The U.S. Justice Department, fed up with the city of Ferguson, Missouri over proposed reforms in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting, filed a 56-page civil lawsuit Wednesday seeking to force the city to make the changes it had previously agreed to adopt voluntarily.
"The 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 U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch in announcing the filing of the suit.
The residents of Ferguson should not be forced to wait any longer. https://t.co/f6SIjOqWq0-- AG Loretta Lynch (@LorettaLynch) February 10, 2016
After seven months of negotiations, the city and the federal government reached an agreement in January. The agreement called for improvements in police training and practices as well as changes in how local courts operate.
But Tuesday night, the Ferguson City Council, saying it was concerned that the agreement could cost nearly $4 million during the first year, voted to make changes.
The suit -- a contentious next-step in what has been a months-long negotiation process between federal and city officials over potential reforms -- says these "ongoing and pervasive" violations come from the city's use of law enforcement to generate revenue.