Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today joined more than 120 Members of Congress in demanding answers from Attorney General William Barr about the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) deployment of unidentifiable law enforcement officers in Washington, D.C. amid the national protests against police brutality and racial injustice in America.
Numerous reports have found that DOJ law enforcement officers are policing the nation’s capital without carrying name plates, official insignia or agency markings on their uniforms.
“The public must know in all cases whether individuals purporting to enforce the law by detaining citizens or using force against them are actually authorized to do so – and by whom,” the Members wrote. “This is critical to police accountability to the people. How can our constituents complain about abusive conduct on the part of your officers if they cannot even identify them or which agency they work for? Anonymity for armed federal agents thus confers on them a cloak of immunity, impunity and omnipotence.”
The Members continued: “It appears now that under your directive and leadership, the DOJ has formed an army of unidentifiable and unaccountable law enforcement personnel to dominate Washington, D.C. This is an invitation to further chaos, confusion, discord and violence.”