The Latest: Lynch civil rights key to suit against NC law

Loretta Lynch
Attorney General Loretta Lynch prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, before the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies subcommittee hearing on gun control. Lynch defended President Barack Obama's executive actions curbing guns, telling lawmakers that the president took lawful, common-sense steps to stem firearms violence that kills and injures tens of thousands of Americans yearly. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s visit to highlight her agency’s recommendations to the Fayetteville Police Department and the reforms officers have implemented (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says civil rights laws exist for anyone victimized because of a physical characteristic they can’t control.

Lynch was visiting her native state Tuesday for the first time since the U.S. Justice Department sued North Carolina over a state law that blocks some legal protections for LGBT citizens. Lynch said she disagreed with conservative black pastors and civil rights figures who hours earlier blasted her comparison of House Bill 2 to Jim Crow laws that relegated blacks to inferior opportunities.

Those criticizing Lynch included Clarence Henderson. He joined the 1960 Woolworth lunch counter sit-in in Greensboro, North Carolina, an event that energized the civil rights movement. He says civil rights protect how someone is born, while the law addresses transgender people who use public restrooms matching their self-expressed sense of gender.

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2:45 p.m.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says more police departments are inviting her federal agency’s suggestions on law enforcement techniques to head off community complaints later.

Lynch visited her native state Tuesday to encourage a North Carolina police department’s reforms. She congratulated Fayetteville police for improving public transparency and responsiveness. Lynch says more police departments are embracing changes that head off trouble.

Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock in 2014 asked the U.S. Justice Department for input on how it could operate better. The agency made dozens of suggestions in December.

Lynch is highlighting elements of a report last year by President Barack Obama’s policing task force. The panel was created in response to upheaval in Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere that exposed the gulf between police agencies and their communities.

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9:30 a.m.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is encouraging a North Carolina police department’s efforts to become more community-friendly.

Lynch is scheduled to visit Fayetteville on Tuesday to celebrate the Police Department’s improvements in policy and oversight.

The visit is part of her national Community Policing Tour of six communities that excel in areas cited in a report by President Barack Obama’s policing task force. The group was created in response to upheaval in Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere that exposed the gulf between local law-enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.

Fayetteville police Chief Harold Medlock in 2014 asked the U.S. Justice Department for input on how it could operate better. The federal agency made dozens of suggestions in December and has noted that the racial disparity in police traffic stops is declining.

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