An announcement from the Department of Justice regarding a civil rights suit against the city of Ferguson is imminent, the Associated Press reports. According to court documents, the city is accused of engaging in "an ongoing pattern or practice of conduct" that deprives citizens of "rights, privileges, and immunities" protected by the United States Constitution.
The move comes nearly two years after a white Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson, fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown and ignited a national debate surrounding the prevalence of racially charged police brutality. Though a grand jury in St. Louis declined to indict Wilson in Brown's death, the Justice Department's investigation found that local authorities were in fact implementing policing tactics that unfairly targeted the city's black citizens.
The suit comes just one day after Ferguson officials asked for amendments regarding an agreement between city and federal authorities stemming from that investigation, the Washington Post reports. The DOJ and civil rights leaders considered the requested amendments an attempt to block police reform, promising to "take the necessary legal actions" to ensure the new measures were properly implemented.
"The Ferguson City Council has attempted to unilaterally amend the negotiated agreement," Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department's civil rights division, tells USA Today. "Their vote to [make amendments] 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."