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Loretta Lynch explains why the Dept. of Justice is suing Ferguson

After a 2014 federal investigation into systemic abuses, the city and the Department of Justice came to a settlement on agreement. But on Wednesday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that the Justice Department is suing the city due to a recent city council vote.

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Department Of Justice Sues Ferguson, MO Over Police Reforms

The U.S. Justice Department filed a civil rights lawsuit against Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday to enforce a police and court reform plan after the city said it wanted to amend some aspects of a consent decree it had reached with the federal agency.

The residents of Ferguson have waited nearly a year for their city to adopt an agreement that would protect their rights and keep them safe.
- Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Feb. 11   10:00 am
Department of Justice Sues Ferguson, Which Reversed Course on Agreement

The Department of Justice filed a civil rights lawsuit against Ferguson, on Wednesday, less than a day after the city rejected an agreement to overhaul its beleaguered criminal justice system and address allegations of widespread abuses by its police department.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said:

“Their decision leaves us no further choice.”

The federal and local authorities had spent months negotiating a settlement that would have prohibited police officers from making arrests without probable cause, installed a federal monitor and barred officers from using stun guns as punishment. But after city officials raised concerns about the cost of the settlement, the Ferguson City Council voted, 6 to 0, on Tuesday night to change the terms - knowing that the Department of Justice had promised to respond with a lawsuit.

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Finally! Ferguson has been a mess for too long now. Ferguson police department should have been reformed a long time ago. Not that it’s the only city in America where police terror is a big problem though. I really hope that this case will show the authorities that justice will always win no matter what. You abuse your power - pay for it. 

#JusticeToThePeople

#Ferguson

#BlackLivesMatter

pbs.org
Could Ferguson Win Its Case Against the Justice Department?
Federal officials have twice failed to force reforms on a police department. Will Ferguson be next?

A few weeks ago, it seemed like Ferguson, Mo. might actually enter into an agreement to overhaul its police and city court.

City officials had reached a tentative agreement with the Justice Department in January to implement widespread reforms, including retraining police officers, restructuring the city court and removing rules in the city code that police had used almost exclusively to penalize African-Americans.

Now, change in the city that helped give rise to the Black Lives Matter movement following the police shooting death of 18-year-old African-American Michael Brown will come much more slowly, if at all.

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📷: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

motherjones.com
The Justice Department just sued Ferguson for "routine violation" of residents' civil rights
Here are all the details.

The US Justice Department has sued the city of Ferguson, Missouri, following months of “painstaking negotiations” with local officials and more than a year of investigating their alleged discriminatory and unconstitutional practices.

The Justice Department launched its investigation into the Ferguson Police Department after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer in August 2014, sparking months of protest across the country and public outcry over the use of deadly and excessive force by the police.

On Wednesday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that the Justice Department was filing a lawsuit against Ferguson one day after the city council rejected a proposed settlement that sought to “remedy literally years of systematic deficiencies.” The Justice Department spent more than six months negotiating a settlement with local officials after it identified widespread civil rights violations and racial discrimination in the Ferguson Police Department’s stops, searches, and arrests. It also alleges that local court proceedings violated the due process of residents. The city council’s rejection of the agreement, Lynch said, “leaves us no further choice.”

Here is the full text of the lawsuit:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2709268-Ferguson-DOJ-Lawsuit.html#document/p1

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Here’s the full text of Lynch’s remarks:

Good afternoon and thank you all for being here. I am joined by Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division.

Nearly a year ago, the Department of Justice released our findings in an investigation of the Police Department of Ferguson, Missouri. Our investigation uncovered a community in distress, in which residents felt under assault by their own police force. The Ferguson Police Department’s violations were expansive and deliberate. They violated the Fourth Amendment by stopping people without reasonable suspicion, arresting them without cause and using unreasonable force. They made enforcement decisions based on the way individuals expressed themselves and unnecessarily escalated non-threatening situations. These violations were not only egregious – they were routine. They were encouraged by the city in the interest of raising revenue. They were driven, at least in part, by racial bias and occurred disproportionately against African-American residents. And they were profoundly and fundamentally unconstitutional. These findings were based upon information received from Ferguson’s own citizens, from Ferguson’s own records and from Ferguson’s own officials. And they demonstrated a clear pattern or practice of violations of the Constitution and federal law.

After announcing our findings one year ago, we began negotiations with the city of Ferguson on a court-enforceable consent decree that would bring about necessary police and court reform. From the outset, we made clear that our goal was to reach an agreement to avoid litigation. But we also made clear that if there was no agreement, we would be forced to go to court to protect the rights of Ferguson residents. Painstaking negotiations lasted more than 26 weeks as we sought to remedy literally years of systematic deficiencies. A few weeks ago, the Department of Justice and Ferguson’s own negotiators came to an agreement that was both fair and cost-effective – and that would provide all the residents of Ferguson the constitutional and effective policing and court practices guaranteed to all Americans. As agreed, it was presented to the Ferguson City Council for approval or rejection. And last night, the city council rejected the consent decree approved by their own negotiators. Their decision leaves us no further choice.

Today, the Department of Justice is filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the city of Ferguson, Missouri, alleging a pattern or practice of law enforcement conduct that violates the First, Fourth and 14th Amendments of the Constitution and federal civil rights laws. We intend to aggressively prosecute this case and I have no doubt that we will prevail.

The residents of Ferguson have waited nearly a year for their city to adopt an agreement that would protect their rights and keep them safe. They have waited nearly a year for their police department to accept rules that would ensure their constitutional rights and that thousands of other police departments follow every day. They have waited nearly a year for their municipal courts to commit to basic, reasonable rules and standards. But as our report made clear, 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.

h/t: Jaeah Lee at Mother Jones

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CultureHISTORY: #ConcernedStudent1950 - The University of MIssouri Protests - November 2015 

There is something fucking incredible happening at #Mizzou. 

Sparked by a hunger strike by grad student Jonathan Butler (2nd photo), students, Mizzou Football players and coaches, and now #‎Mizzou‬ faculty are protesting the inaction over racial incidents at the university post-‪#‎Ferguson‬. They are calling for the removal of the university president who many feel has not done enough to address the problems. (Note - Hashtag relates to the year that the first the black student attended Mizzou)

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US government sues Ferguson over police reform.

The US Justice Department is suing Ferguson, Missouri to force the city to adopt police reforms negotiated with the federal government.

Unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer in the city in 2014, sparking protests. Ferguson was required to reform its policing after investigators found widespread racial bias in the force.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said there was no option but to sue after the city voted to revise the agreement.

Source (x)

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All Hands on Deck - Art by Damon Davis in Ferguson

Damon Davis is an Emmy Award winning artist from St. Louis and traveling around the country to display his art.

“I tell stories that speak to the human experience. The hands you see are images I have captured of people who have shaped and upheld this movement. The peoples movement. It is our right – to be seen, to be heard…to be validated. It is our collective responsibility. The "All Hands On Deck” project is an ode to that diverse collective dedicated to protecting our human rights, no matter race, age or gender. “All Hands On Deck” is our charge - a call of action to stand with those who stand for us all.“

- Damon Davis

#BlackLivesMatter

In today’s news:  A young black kid in Ferguson ended up shot to death in his back yard, surrounded by police. Ferguson PD insisted it was suicide. Even though every witness on the scene claims the cops killed him and there’s an actual audio recording of him begging them not to shoot seconds beforehand.

Originally posted by securelyinsecure

No words any more; only The Oprah Winfrey Look of Sadness and Absolute Disgust ™ can cover it.

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November 24, 2015

Ferguson activists and community members gather at the Ferguson Police Department and hold a candlelight vigil one year after Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced that the Ferguson grand jury found no probable cause to indict Darren Wilson in the murder of Mike Brown. 

You can watch a livestream of the vigil and protest here.

m.nydailynews.com
Black Lives Matter activist MarShawn McCarrel commits suicide at Ohio Statehouse
A Black Lives Matter activist killed himself on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse, authorities said.

MarShawn McCarrel, 23, shot himself in front of the Columbus building Monday evening, Lt. Craig Cvetan of the State Highway Patrol told the Columbus Dispatch.

“My demons won today. I’m sorry,” the activist, who recently attended the NAACP Image Awards, posted on his Facebook page about 3 p.m., just hours before his body was found near the Statehouse.

His last tweet read: “Let the record show that I pissed on the state house before I left.”

Not suicide. Murder. Capitalism, police terror and white supremacy are killing the youth in so many ways.

 Rest In Power, MarShawn McCarrel

instagram

This happen approximately 5 hours ago now… I can’t even take a nap #Ferguson