Press Releases

Conyers Support Bill Authorizing FBI Assistance in Mass Killings Investigations

Washington, DC, September 12, 2011

Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2076, a bill allowing the attorney general and the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to provide assistance at the request of state and local law enforcement officials in the investigation of mass killings and other violent acts such as school and workplace shootings.  Current law does not give the FBI and the Department of Justice explicit authority to grant local law enforcement requests for assistance in investigating mass killings because these crimes most often occur in settings solely under the authority of state or local governments.  Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) released the following statement in response to the bill’s passage:

“State and local law enforcement agencies responsible for investigating mass killings in the workplace or classroom often need the many resources the FBI is well capable of providing,” Conyers said.  “Yet while the FBI continues to receive requests for such assistance from state and local law enforcement, there is no federal statute which directly provides jurisdiction to the FBI to respond to such requests.  This legislation allows the FBI to provide state and local law enforcement with much needed assistance when requested even if the violent act does not appear to otherwise violate a federal law.

“We should also work to ensure the FBI has the authority to assist local law enforcement in situations like the tragic fatal shooting of Tayshana Murphy in Morningside Heights in New York City last Sunday morning.  So far, there have been no arrests for the murder of this promising young woman, who at 18 was a stand-out basketball player and nationally ranked among high school players.  We should do all we can to assist in such situations.”