Feds may force changes for New Orleans department
Federal civil rights chief talks about drastic options for 'troubled' NOPD
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.