Memphis U.S. Attorney’s Office Creates Civil Rights Unit
By Andrew Ramonas | February 18, 2022 3:12 pm

U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III announces the creation of the Civil Rights Unit in front of the Memphis hotel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. (DOJ)

The Memphis U.S. Attorney’s office has established a Civil Rights Unit, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez of the Justice Department Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III of the Western District of Tennessee announced this week.

The new unit will prosecute cases involving hate crimes, discrimination, human trafficking, official misconduct and law enforcement public corruption. Perez and Stanton announced the establishment of the unit in front of the Memphis motel where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.

“The Justice Department is committed to enforcing our nation’s civil rights laws, and I am pleased that the Civil Rights Division has a strong partner here in Tennessee to help carry out this critical work,” Perez said, according to the DOJ.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Parker of the Western District of Tennessee will lead the unit. Western District of Tennessee Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Coleman and Jonathan Skrmetti, who came to Memphis this year from the DOJ Civil Rights Division in Washington, will serve with Parker in the unit.

This story has been corrected to reflect that Skrmetti is an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Memphis who previously served in the DOJ Civil Rights Division.

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