POLITICS

U.S. Preparing To Sue Ferguson Police Over Charges Of Racial Bias: Report

02/18/2015 09:18 pm ET | Updated Apr 20, 2015

WASHINGTON, Feb 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to sue the Ferguson, Missouri, police department over allegations of racially discriminatory practices unless the police force agrees to make changes, CNN reported on Wednesday.

The network, citing sources, said the Justice Department would not charge the white Ferguson police officer involved in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last August but was expected to outline allegations of discriminatory Ferguson police tactics.

ferguson police arrest Police arrest people in the street outside the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Mo., on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. (Getty)

The department would file suit if Ferguson police did not agree to review and change those tactics, CNN reported.

The shooting of Brown last August by officer Darren Wilson led to months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and galvanized critics of the treatment by police and the U.S. criminal justice system of blacks and other minority groups.

ferguson police arrest Police arrest a man during a protest on Aug. 20, 2014, over the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. (AP)

A St. Louis County grand jury decided last year not to prosecute Wilson, who has since left the Ferguson police force. The Justice Department has been conducting probes of the shooting and the operations of the Ferguson police force.

darren wilson handoutIn this Feb. 11, 2014 image from video released by the City of Ferguson, Mo., officer Darren Wilson attends a city council meeting in Ferguson. (AP)

Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment on the CNN report.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who is preparing to leave office, said earlier this month he hoped to complete the civil rights investigation of the shooting before he steps down.

ferguson police arrest Law enforcement officers watch on during a protest on August 18, 2014 for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer on August 9 in Ferguson. (Getty)

CNN said the potential Justice Department lawsuit could include allegations that police targeted minorities in issuing minor traffic infractions and then jailed them if they could not pay the fines.

It reported the agency would seek court supervision of changes taken by Ferguson police to improve its dealings with minorities. (Reporting by Peter Cooney; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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