U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch issued a call to action in her final speech before leaving office, urging Americans to continue the fight for civil rights. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Loretta Lynch, in her final public address as U.S. Attorney General, issued a call to action at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama saying that those who fear the future should fight for their dreams, as the United States prepares to honor Martin Luther King Jr.. At the church, which has been at the heart of the U.S. civil rights movement, she said, "My friends I am here to tell you, that if it does come to pass that we do enter a period of darkness, let us remember - that is when dreams are best made." Martin Luther King Jr. frequently spoke at the 16th Street Baptist Church. Civil rights and police conduct have been at the center of Lynch's tenure at the Justice Department. On Friday the Justice Department released a report saying that Chicago police routinely violated the civil rights of people in one of America's largest cities, citing excessive force, racially discriminatory conduct and a "code of silence" to thwart investigations into police misconduct. The report said excessive force falls "heaviest on black and Latino communities," with police using force almost 10 times more often against blacks than whites. The Justice Department began a civil rights investigation in December 2015 after the release under court order of a video showing the Oct. 20, 2014, shooting of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager, by white officer Jason Van Dyke. The video was released more than a year after the shooting. The Justice Department completed the review as confirmation hearings were underway for positions in President-elect Donald Trump's administration, including his nominee for U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. President Barack Obama's administration opened 25 civil rights investigations into law enforcement agencies as part of efforts to re-examine and improve police practices in the United States, particularly in minority communities.