Ferguson’s City Council will have some serious legal issues to face.
The Department of Justice announced that they will be taking legal action against Ferguson City Council after they rejected the department’s recommendations aimed at reforming unconstitutional policing practices.
“The residents of Ferguson deserve what every American is guaranteed under the Constitution. Residents of Ferguson have suffered the deprivation of their constitutional rights—the rights guaranteed to all Americans—for decades. They have waited decades for justice. They should not be forced to wait any longer” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch during a news conference Monday.
Following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in 2014, Ferguson has made insufficient changes since the DOJ opened its investigation. In a 56-page civil lawsuit, the grievances are outlined.
Last March, the DOJ found that Ferguson police regularly violate residents’ constitutional rights and unfairly target African-Americans. Both sides negotiated for 10 months, and finally reached a 131-page consent decree. However, city council rejected the agreement last night, stating that they would only agree if the DOJ pushed back the deadlines, capped federal monitoring fees at $1 million and removed provisions that could lead to an increase in officer salaries.
City council was aware that if they refused to approve the agreement, they could face a lawsuit.
Ferguson city council members have yet to respond.