Civil Rights

DOJ sues Ferguson one day after it sought changes in proposed policing pact


A yea-and-a-half after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown ignited a civil rights movement in Ferguson, Missouri, the U.S. Department of Justice has sued the city.

Announced by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the federal lawsuit filed Wednesday by the DOJ in the Eastern District of Missouri follows a Tuesday vote by Ferguson’s city council to amend a number of provisions in a consent decree reached after months of negotiation.

CNN, Reuters and the Washington Post (reg. req.) have stories.

At issue in the pattern and practice case are police and court practices the government says are racially biased. Much of the alleged problem stems from using the criminal justice system as a source of revenue, the DOJ contends.

City council members Tuesday reportedly balked at the potential cost of some measures called for in the consent decree.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Proposed consent decree would reform Ferguson policing and municipal courts”

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Ferguson cop won’t face federal charge in Michael Brown’s death; DOJ discounts surrender accounts”


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