FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOX) – The U.S. Department of Justice says it will “take the necessary legal actions” after the Ferguson City Council has attempted to change their agreement.
Related story: Ferguson Council Passes Amended DOJ Consent Agreement
The DOJ released the following statement:
WASHINGTON – Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, released the following statement regarding the Ferguson, Missouri, City Council vote on the proposed consent decree with the Department of Justice:
“The Ferguson City Council has attempted to unilaterally amend the negotiated agreement. Their vote to do so creates an unnecessary delay in the essential work to bring constitutional policing to the city, and marks an unfortunate outcome for concerned community members and Ferguson police officers. Both parties engaged in thoughtful negotiations over many months to create an agreement with cost-effective remedies that would ensure Ferguson brings policing and court practices in line with the Constitution. The agreement already negotiated by the department and the city will provide Ferguson residents a police department and municipal court that fully respects civil rights and operates free from racial discrimination.
“The Department of Justice will take the necessary legal actions to ensure that Ferguson’s policing and court practices comply with the Constitution and relevant federal laws.”
After seven months of negotiations, a consent agreement was announced last month that envisions a top-to-bottom reshaping of basic practices, such as how to conduct traffic stops and when to use force.
Last night’s vote by the Ferguson City Council ended with a unanimous passing of the agreement. But the vote also included seven amendments to the original plan.
Ferguson would also have to pay the cost of a DOJ monitor for at least three years; increase diversity training for officers; and purchase software and hire new staff to maintain statistical analysis of police data on arrests, traffic stops, use of force and other police actions.
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