Department of Justice

The Ferguson Police Department could be facing a lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice. Reports indicate that the Department of Justice is planning to sue the Ferguson Police Department regarding instances of alleged racial discrimination if it does not make wide-sweeping changes to its racist policing practices.

CNN released news of the threatened lawsuit on Wednesday, stating that the U.S. Justice Department did not plan to file charges against the officer at the center of the scandal involving the fatal shooting of the unarmed black teenager last August. However, the Justice Department is planning to outline charges relating to the racially discriminatory practices employed by the Ferguson police. Further, if the police department does not change its ways, the department could face litigation in court.

The tragic shooting of the black teenager by the white officer last August inspired protests -- both peaceful and violent -- across the nation, especially in Ferguson. Protests became especially prevalent after a grand jury in St. Louis County, Missouri, chose not to press charges against the officer who shot the unarmed teen.

Ferguson Death Strengthened Criticism of Police

Many critics of law enforcement -- both at home and abroad -- strengthened their opinions that police officers in the United States are prejudiced against blacks and other minorities and treat them unfairly in their policing efforts. Since the event, the U.S. Justice Department has been investigating the shooting incident, while also investigating the Ferguson Police Department's law enforcement practices.

Among the allegations in the threatened lawsuit, there could be charges relating to Ferguson police purposefully targeting minorities with traffic tickets, and even jailing them if they were not able to pay the traffic ticket fines. The agency may also obtain court supervision to ensure that the police department's changes are actually carried out.

Police Brutality Victims Can Seek Justice in Court

Inappropriate police conduct and brutality commonly result in personal injuries and other injustices -- even death. Victims of police brutality, and families of fatally injured victims, may have strong claims for financial restitution relating to such abuse. While no amount of litigation could ever right such unconscionable behavior by a police officer, financial remedies obtained in a successfully navigated police brutality case could help victims and their families obtain some sense of justice.