04/14/2010

Feds may force changes for New Orleans department

Federal civil rights chief talks about drastic options for 'troubled' NOPD

USA Today

NEW ORLEANS — Allegations of corruption and coverups in the New Orleans Police Department have prompted the U.S. Justice Department to consider a little-used tactic that could force changes -- and restore public confidence.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, who as a federal prosecutor 15 years ago helped convict a New Orleans police officer of murder, recently met with city leaders here and says the city's police have become so troubled that his department may file a "pattern or practice" discrimination lawsuit against the city. That would allow the Justice Department to seek a court order to impose changes.

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