I’ll Believe It When I See It

The agreement in question was one of those “Let’s negotiate with the law breakers to do away with any chance of justice, change in behavior, and prosecution of the criminals” that are so familiar in the Department of Just Us dealing with Banksters and other members of the protected Neoliberal elite classes.

I didn’t draw your attention to it because it was just too depressingly typical.

I can’t believe the City of Ferguson was stupid enough to screw it up.

Justice Dept sues the City of Ferguson to force policing reform
By Mark Berman, Sari Horwitz and Wesley Lowery, Washington Post
February 10 at 1:21 PM

The federal government filed a 56-page civil lawsuit Wednesday against the City of Ferguson, Mo. alleging that, 18 months after the police shooting of Michael Brown, the city’s police and court system continue to violate black residents’ civil rights.

The suit — a contentious next-step in what has been a months-long negotiation process over potential reforms between federal and city officials — says these “ongoing and pervasive” violations come from the city’s use of law enforcement to generate revenue, echoing the findings of the Justice Department’s investigation into the city in 2014.

The lawsuit comes one day after city officials requested several changes to a tentative agreement reached by city and federal negotiators following the Justice Department’s investigation into the city’s police and court practices — which concluded that the city engaged in practices that were racially discriminatory and violated residents’ civil rights.

“Our investigation found that Ferguson’s policing and municipal court practices violate the Constitution, erode trust and undermine public safety,” said Vanita Gupta, the DOJ’s principal deputy assistant attorney general.

Ferguson’s city council members voted unanimously on Tuesday night to accept the Justice Department’s proposed reforms only if federal officials agreed to seven changes, which included: changing the deadlines in the agreement, not mandating any salary increases for police officers and altering certain fees.

The Justice Department quickly disparaged the city council’s actions as an unfair development after extensive negotiations. Gupta, who heads the department’s Civil Rights Division, vowed that the federal government “will take the necessary legal actions” to reform the city’s courts and policing practices.

Under powers granted to the federal government by legislation passed after the police beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, the Justice Department can force police agencies to undergo reforms if it concludes a department’s current policies permit civil rights violations, and can sue a municipality to force such changes if city officials do not cooperate.

“The Ferguson City Council has attempted to unilaterally amend the negotiated agreement,” Gupta said in a statement early Wednesday. “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.”

The NAACP had called on the city to approve the deal, arguing that worries about funding have long been cited as arguments against civil rights changes.

“We reject this argument out of hand as an affront to democracy,” Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said in a statement. She added: “The Ferguson City Council must approve the proposed consent decree and work diligently and immediately to acquire the necessary funds to protect the lives and civil rights of all its residents, regardless of race.”

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  1. Vent Hole

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