The Justice Department had joined the fight against the city of Ferguson, as an investigation, which took months, uncovered a multitude of problems in the way that police and courts treat poor people and minorities in the St. Louis suburb.
The Justice Department is seeking to prove several things which includes the idea that cops in Ferguson stop and search the cars of Black drivers without any cause, police officers use excessive force and a court system that is based on making a profit off of fines for petty violations.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch was very vocal about the issues involving Ferguson.
“The residents of Ferguson have waited nearly a year for the city to adopt an agreement that would protect their rights and keep them safe. … They have waited decades for justice. They should not be forced to wait any longer,” she said during a Washington news conference.
The Justice department started to investigate Ferguson’s police force just weeks after the 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by Darren Wilson in August 2014. Officers are responding too quickly “impatience, frustration and disproportionate force,” the lawsuit claimed. There have been more than 90,000 summons and citations for municipal violations given in a four-year period ending in June 2014.
Now, the Justice Department is not solely investigating Ferguson’s police department; they have looked in more than 20 law enforcement agencies for violations in the past six years. The investigations usually end up in a settlement. In 2012, the Justice Department sued a county in Arizona after there were allegations the sheriff targeted Latinos with stops and arrests.
The federal government also sued North Carolina’s Alamance Country because of their biased policing practice against Latinos.
When discussing Ferguson, Lynch said, “We intend to aggressively prosecute this case, and we intend to prevail.”
(Xinhua/Yin Bogu via Getty Images)