DOJ report critical of St. Louis County family court
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The U.S. Department of Justice has released a report critical of the St. Louis County Family Court, alleging that black youths are treated more harshly than whites, and juveniles are often deprived of constitutional rights.
The investigation was initiated in 2013, addressing issues that drew increased scrutiny last year after the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black, by a white police officer in Ferguson, a St. Louis County town. The new report was issued just over a week before the anniversary of Brown's death, Aug. 9.
Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta calls the findings "serious and compelling."
The report says the Justice Department could pursue litigation but will seek mutual agreement to resolve violations. Messages seeking comment from St. Louis County officials were not immediately returned.