The Justice Department is suing the city of Ferguson in an attempt to forcibly overhaul the city’s troubled police and court operations, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday.
The decision comes hours after city leaders sought to revise a long- negotiated settlement, citing prohibitive costs of executing such a deal.
“There is no cost for constitutional policing,” Lynch said late Wednesday.
“Painstaking negotiations lasted more than 26 weeks as we sought to remedy literally years of systematic deficiencies,” she said of the government’s action, which followed a public announcement last month of a tentative agreement that the attorney general described as “both fair and cost-effective . . . Last night, the City Council rejected the consent decree approved by their own negotiators; their decision leaves us no further choice.”
Lynch said the residents of Ferguson have been waiting “decades for justice,” having endured civil rights breaches that established a pattern and practice of racially biased policing.