WASHINGTON (AP) – A person familiar with the matter says the Justice Department is close to an agreement with the police department in Ferguson, Missouri, about making widespread changes within the agency.
Such an overhaul could avert a civil rights lawsuit that federal officials have the option to bring against departments that resist changing their practices.
The person was not authorized to discuss the matter by name and spoke only on condition of anonymity.
Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson said Wednesday that negotiations with the police force to create a court-enforceable consent decree have been productive. She says the Justice Department believes such an agreement must be reached without delay.
The federal government launched an investigation into Ferguson’s policing practices last year following the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.