Thursday, February 11, 2016

Back To Ferguson

So last time I had checked, the Justice Department and the City of Ferguson, Missouri had worked out a consent decree for dealing with the city's odious, racist police practices, having worked out a deal to reform the city's police and courts like adults.

And then, Tuesday night, the Ferguson City Council unanimously voted to scrap the parts of the deal they didn't like and throw months of negotiations out the window with an eye towards running out the clock on the Obama administration, and taking their chances with the next administration being much, much less interested in prosecuting civil rights violations.

In other words, these guys wanted nine more months to comply at the minimum, and wanted to push any sort of actual reform until 2017, where of course a Republican administration running the DoJ would dropkick the case into the deepest well they could find, never to be heard from again.

The Justice Department delivered their response Wednesday afternoon.

The Department of Justice on Wednesday announced that it would file suit against Ferguson, Mo., after the city rejected an agreement to overhaul its beleaguered criminal justice system and address allegations of widespread civil rights abuses.

“Their decision leaves us no further choice,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said in remarks prepared for a news conference announcing the suit.

Ms. Lynch said residents of the city had waited too long for reforms. “They have waited decades for justice. They should not be forced to wait any longer,” she said.

The Ferguson City Council voted, 6 to 0, on Tuesday night to reject the deal, which had been negotiated by Department of Justice and city officials. Council members expressed concern over the cost of that deal, but now face the prospect of a lawsuit that could cost millions in legal fees even if they prevail.

Ferguson has responded in kind:

Mayor James Knowles signaled Wednesday the city is ready to take on theJustice Department in federal court after municipal leaders voted to revise a tentative agreement to overhaul Ferguson's troubled police department and court system.

The mayor's comments came a day after city council members in the St. Louis suburb voted unanimously to remove language from the agreement that, local officials assert, mandates big raises for police officers. City leaders also sought to cap fees for required federal monitoring of the program at $1 million.

"The ball is in their court," Knowles said at a hastily called news conference Wednesday. "We're sitting and waiting to talk. If they want to threaten legal action, then that's what they're threatening."

Knowles is a scumbag of the lowest order, frankly.  He fully expects to get away with it. He just might, too.

But not if Loretta Lynch can help it.

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