NEWARK - The American Civil Liberties Union is calling for a federal investigation into the Newark Police Department, saying it routinely violates residents' civil rights through excessive force and false arrests.

The ACLU filed a 96-page complaint asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the city's police force.

ACLU-NJ's Senior Council Flavio Komuves says that one city officer has had 62 internal affairs complaints in his career, while another had 45 complaints filed against him.

The group says the city has paid out more than $4 million in the course of two and a half years to settle lawsuits brought against the police department by citizens or department employees.

Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy said today the department has been working with the ACLU since 2006. He said some of the recommendations made by the ACLU were illegal so that's why the department implemented only some of the changes.

McCarthy says the lawsuit is "disappointing, frustrating and disingenuous." He says progress has been made, and he's sorry if it's not fast enough.

Click here to download the entire ACLU-NJ petition.

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