Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderArkansas legislature splits Little Rock in move that guarantees GOP seats Oregon legislature on the brink as Democrats push gerrymandered maps Christie, Pompeo named co-chairs of GOP redistricting group MORE said Friday that he is "prepared" to dismantle the Ferguson, Mo., police department to prevent practices the Justice Department said violated the rights of black citizens.
"We are prepared to use all the powers that we have, all the power that we have, to ensure that the situation changes there," he said. "That means everything from working with them to coming up with an entirely new structure."
Holder was also specifically about the possibility of dismantling the police force.
"If that's what's necessary, we're prepared to do that," he said.
Holder's comments come after the Justice Department released a lengthy report on Wednesday accusing the police department of systematic racial bias.
The DOJ launched its investigation into the force after the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown over the summer by a white police officer, Darren Wilson.
The report found that police officers disproportionately stopped, arrested and cited black people for a variety of crimes. They also used excessive force against black residents.
Investigators also found emails containing racist jokes written by police and court officials. On Friday, city officials said that two officers had resigned and a clerk in the court system had been fired over the messages.
In a separate investigation, the department decided not to file civil rights charges against Wilson.
When they released the report, Justice officials said they would work with Ferguson to implement their recommendations. But that does not preclude them taking more severe action down the road, like suing the city or dismantling the police department.
However, it will likely not be Holder leading the DOJ when the report's recommendations are implemented.
The woman nominated to be his successor, Loretta Lynch, is waiting to be confirmed by the full Senate after being approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.