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Fri Nov 28, 2014, 02:32 PM

Justice Department likely to impose reforms on Ferguson police

Source: LA Times

Those hoping the federal government will criminally prosecute Ferguson, Mo., police Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of an unarmed black man are likely to be disappointed, but chances are strong that the Justice Department will impose significant reforms on the city's police department through its ongoing civil investigation.

St. Louis County officials announced Monday that a local grand jury had found insufficient evidence to charge Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown, 18.

Ferguson protest
Police officers face protesters in Ferguson, Mo., after the grand jury decision. (Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)
Some Ferguson activists hope that the Justice Department, which is conducting its own inquiry into the shooting, will file a federal criminal case against Wilson. But former civil rights prosecutors say the threshold for charging him with a federal crime is even higher than for local prosecutors because it requires proof that the officer intentionally used more force than reasonably necessary to deprive someone of his civil rights.

"It's a very tough thing under federal law to indict a police officer in a shooting," said William Yeomans, who supervised police investigations while serving as a top Justice Department official and currently teaches law at American University. "It doesn't happen very often."



Read more: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-ferguson-feds-20141125-story.html

13 replies, 2366 views

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 02:39 PM

1. What the family needs to do is sue Wilson in civil court, like what they did

Last edited Fri Nov 28, 2014, 05:19 PM - Edit history (1)

With oj

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Response to still_one (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 03:13 PM

2. They should sue him for the obscene amount of money he received thru charity..n/t

This is the DU member formerly known as monmouth4.

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Response to monmouth4 (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 05:18 PM

6. That is what I meant, the damn auto correct put it wrong, thanks

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Response to still_one (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 03:32 PM

4. They might not be able to win such a suit unless it can be proven he violated Browns rights

as police have some immunity to lawsuits unless they do something like violate civil rights.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 05:20 PM

7. We will see

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Response to still_one (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 05:29 PM

8. Yup we shall. Mind I am only speaking for what I suspect the final appeal would be if it were to go

to trial, the family were to win and then if the police department appealed it.
I suspect what will happen if the family does sue or tries to and if it isnt tossed out right away due to immunity that the department will offer to settle it as it would probably be cheaper for them.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 05:54 PM

11. you mean like life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, maybe? n/t

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Response to eggplant (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 07:33 PM

13. More like the rights as outlined under federal law and in this case they are probably going to argue

the officer was merely following all standard procedures and only took action to ensure his own safety, we are just going to have to wait and see what happens.
I mean heck the family could also just decide not to file a lawsuit *shrug*

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Response to still_one (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 05:42 PM

10. That would all be covered by the city...

 

... and thus the local residents as Wilson's actions were taken during the course of his LE duties.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 03:17 PM

3. Making long-term changes in the Ferguson police force that will improve the lives of Ferguson

residents is the most important thing there.

Under Holder, the Justice Department has been particularly aggressive in such investigations, opening 20 of them in the last five budget years, twice as many as under his Republican predecessors during a comparable period, according to Justice Department statistics. During the same period, it prosecuted more than 300 officers for misconduct. It has entered into formal agreements, called consent decrees, with nine departments, including New Orleans and Albuquerque.

In Ferguson and surrounding St. Louis County, they will probably be looking for evidence of excessive use of force, unreasonable searches, racial profiling in arrests or traffic stops, and other problems. The department's training and use of discipline also may be examined.

"It can go to every corner of the police department's operation," Yeomans said. Bringing a case against Ferguson should not be difficult, he added.

"We've seen there are problems and the police department's response to the protesters demonstrated some serious problems about what the police department thinks is appropriate use of force," he said. "There is a strong basis for believing that there will be systemic changes to the Ferguson Police Department."

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-ferguson-feds-20141125-story.html

A trial of Wilson will not really change life that much for those who are being abused on a daily basis in Ferguson. In fact, should the verdict be not guilty for Wilson, things could get worse because the police department would feel really high and mighty.

But a federal order for Ferguson, an order requiring them to reorganize and retrain the police force and treat people fairly, especially people of color, would mean long-lasting improvements for the entire city.

This brings hope.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 03:43 PM

5. They should be able to sue

The governor and the prosecutor.

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Response to mainstreetonce (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 05:35 PM

9. Should and can are two different things and I just dont see them being able to sue either one.

Not unless something was to be uncovered like for example if evidence was uncovered that the DA tossed the case on purpose at the governors urging but thats about the only way such a suit will work against those two.
Most likely they will sue the police and maybe the city and or county as those are the ones they have the best shot at and even those will be difficult as the police have immunity largely from lawsuits unless you can prove a civil rights violation.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 06:17 PM

12. The Ferguson police department was mistreating non-white citizens for a long time

The city of Ferguson was being funded off of fines from minority citizens. This case has drawn attention to the Ferguson police department
This is the DU member formerly known as Gothmog.

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