Evan Perez and Alexandra Jaffe of CNN announced this evening that the Department of Justice “is preparing to bring a lawsuit against the Ferguson, Missouri, police department over a pattern of racially discriminatory tactics used by officers, if the police department does not agree to make changes on its own…” Perez and Jaffe reported that Attorney General Eric Holder had said this week that “he expects to announce the results of the department’s investigation of the shooting death of Michael Brown and a broader probe of the Ferguson Police Department before he leaves office…”
Perez and Jaffe said that it was Michael Brown’s death at the hands of Officer Darren Wilson that had “thrust Ferguson into the center of a nationwide debate over police tactics and race relations.” They added that the DOJ “is expected to announce it won’t charge Wilson for the shooting…” They continued by noting that the DOJ is also “expected to outline findings that allege a pattern of discriminatory tactics used by the Ferguson police.”
Sources said that if the Ferguson police “don’t agree to review and revise those tactics…the Justice Department would sue to force changes in the department.”
Perez and Jaffe:
Among the issues expected to be part of the Justice Department’s lawsuit are allegations made in a recent lawsuit filed by a group of low-income people who claimed officers in Ferguson and nearby Jennings targeted minorities with minor traffic infractions and then jailed them when they couldn’t pay fines.
Jason Easley (Politicus USA) said, “It took the murder of Michael Brown for a discriminatory police department to be exposed.” He added, “It looks like the Brown family won’t be getting justice, but at least the Ferguson Police Department will be cleaned up before more lives are ruined or ended.”
Perez and Jaffe said that the DOJ “would ask for court supervision of changes at the Ferguson Police Department to improve how police deal with the minority communities they are supposed to protect. ” They said that Eric Holder had hinted at plans to announce the outcome of the dual investigations during an appearance at the National Press Club on Tuesday.” Holder was quoted as saying, “I think everybody will see when we announce our results that the process that we have engaged in is, as I said back at the time when I went to Ferguson, independent, thorough and based on all the facts. And I am confident that people will be satisfied with the results that will be announced.”