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Justice Department, Ferguson Reach Compromise over Police Reform

FILE - Officers and protesters face off along West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 10, 2015. The city and the U.S. Justice Department have reached an agreement over police reform.

The U.S. Justice Department and the central U.S. city of Ferguson, Missouri, have reached an agreement that resolves a lawsuit filed by the federal government against the city over reforming its mostly white police department.

The federal government, alleging a pattern and practice of unconstitutional police conduct, sued the city last month after city leaders voted to change the terms of a deal negotiators had been hashing out for months.

The City Council in the St. Louis suburb where the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown helped spark the Black Lives Matter movement voted Tuesday to approve the agreement.

It calls for the hiring of a monitor to ensure that Ferguson follows the requirements. New diversity training will be instituted for police, software will be purchased, and staff will be hired to analyze records on arrests, use of force and other police matters. All patrol officers, supervisors and jail workers will be outfitted with body cameras.

The city had been under federal scrutiny since the August 2014 shooting of Brown, who was black and unarmed, by white police officer Darren Wilson, who was cleared of wrongdoing by the Justice Department in the shooting and whom a St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict.