(CNN) – The U.S. Justice Department is filing a lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, Missouri, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday. The lawsuit alleges a pattern and practice of unconstitutional police conduct in the city.
Federal authorities had no other choice but to file a lawsuit against the city after the Ferguson City Council voted to change the terms of a consent decree, Lynch said.
“We intend to aggressively prosecute this case,” she told reporters, “and we intend to prevail.”
“The residents of Ferguson have suffered the deprivation of their Constitutional rights, the rights guaranteed to all Americans, for decades. They have waited decades for justice,” Lynch said. “They should not be forced to wait any longer.”
A city spokesman told CNN that officials will have no comment about the Justice Department’s lawsuit until Thursday.
Ferguson officials have not seen the lawsuit, city spokesman Jeff Small said.