On Thursday, Reverend Enoch Fuzz with the help of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee hosted representatives from the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division in a historic town hall meeting at Corinthian Baptist Church.
The morning began with a tour of the African-American Community for the Department of Justice officials from Reverend Fuzz, then led into the town hall meeting.
In attendance were many interfaith leaders including Pastor Frank Stevenson, Dr. Judy Cummings, and Rev George Brooks Sr.
Reverend “Sonnye” Dixon, Jr. spoke of how appropriate town hall meeting was in relation to current events in the African-American community. “Timing is always important,” Rev. Dixon Said “I am sure that when Pastor Fuzz called me some weeks ago about this meeting, to talk about relationships-I am sure that he at that point did not know that the conflict in South Carolina would happen”. Dixon went on to say that “this conversation needs not to happen [only] when there is a problem but needs to be an ongoing conversation.”
Also in attendance were community leaders like District Attorney Glenn Funk, Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson, FBI Special Agent in Charge Todd Hall, and FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jeff Peterson.
The purpose of the town hall was to provide insight into the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and to help educate the public about their purpose and when it is appropriate for them to become involved.
“We hope the presentation helps you know the inner workings and familiarize you with the State Attorney’s Office and Department of Justice Civil Rights Division,” stated U.S. Attorney David Rivera. “Part of the presentation included examples of civil rights violations that were prosecuted, demonstrating the commitment we have to the important work.”
“A lot of people know they have rights, but we don’t necessarily know what they are,” stated Karima Maloney, Deputy Chief of the Civil Rights Division. “Part of the work of the Department of Justice is to identify the specific rights and prosecute cases involving the violent interference with liberties and rights defined in the Constitution or federal law.”
The Civil Rights training session consisted of three parts: Criminal Division, Civil Division and Community Relation Services. After the meeting there was a question and answer session followed by lunch.