Po­lice agree to sweep­ing changes in Mis­souri city

Jus­tice Dept.’ s rec­om­men­da­tions fol­low2014 fa­tal shoot­ing of teen

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Alan Scher Zagier

st. louis » The Jus­tice Depart­ment has reached a ten­ta­tive agree­ment with Fer­gu­son on sys­temic changes fol­low­ing the fa­tal po­lice shoot­ing of 18- year- old Michael Brown in 2014, city of­fi­cials an­nounced Wed­nes­day.

The rec­om­mended over­haul fol­lows seven months of ne­go­ti­a­tions and prob­a­bly averts a civil rights law­suit that fed­eral of­fi­cials have the op­tion to bring against de­part­ments that re­sist chang­ing their polic­ing prac­tices.

City of­fi­cials posted the pro­posed 131page deal be­tween the fed­eral govern­ment and the Fer­gu­son Po­liceDepart­ment on the city’s web­site and sched­uled three pub­lic ses­sions over the next two weeks for in­put from res­i­dents. A City Coun­cil vote is sched­uled for Feb. 9.

Un­der the agree­ment, within 180 days, all pa­trol of­fi­cers, su­per­vi­sors and jail­work­ers will be re­quired to wear body cam­eras and mi­cro­phones, and the equip­ment will be in­stalled in­side the po­lice depart­ment’s squad cars. The cam­eras are to be ac­ti­vated for all traf­fic stops, ar­rests, searches and en­coun­ters with peo­ple be­lieved to be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a men­tal health cri­sis.

The city also agrees to re­vise its mu­nic­i­pal code, in­clud­ing by re­peal­ing sec­tions that au­tho­rized jail for peo­ple who fail to pay fines for vi­o­la­tions.

The plan calls for­more thor­ough train­ing of po­lice of­fi­cers and changes to the city’s use of force pro­ce­dures. Such deals also gen­er­ally re­quire the ap­point­ment of amon­i­tor to over­see a po­lice depart­ment’s com­pli­ance.

Afed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Fer­gu­son po­lice force found sweep­ing pat­terns of racial bias across the city’s crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem. AJus­ticeDepart­ment re­port is­sued in March found that of­fi­cers rou­tinely used ex­ces­sive force, is­sued petty ci­ta­tions and made base­less traf­fic stops.

The fed­eral in­quiry came amid height­ened na­tional scru­tiny over deadly po­lice shoot­ings in Fer­gu­son, Bal­ti­more, New York and else­where. A St. Louis County grand jury de­clined to in­dict for­mer Fer­gu­son of­fi­cer Dar­renWil­son, who iswhite, in the death of Brown, who was black.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.