Veteran Miami officer tapped to become following Ferguson police chief

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 4:33 PM

Louis suburb heal as it rebounds after the fatal two thousand fourteen police shooting of Michael Brown. Miami Police Maj.

Veteran Miami officer tapped to become following Ferguson police chief

A veteran Miami police officer with two decades of experience dealing with the media and community leaders will get over as police chief in Ferguson, hoping to assistance the St. Louis suburb heal as it rebounds after the fatal two thousand fourteen police shooting of Michael Brown.

Miami Police Maj. Delrish Moss was announced as chief Thursday, putting a black man in charge of a mostly white dept that serves a town where African-Americans create up two-thirds of the residents.

"This has been a long and strenuous process, but we believe Major Moss is the right choice," Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III said in a statement. "We realize the past eighteen months haven't been simple for everyone, but the City is presently emotional forward and we're excited to have Major Moss lead our police department."

The 18-year-old Brown, who was black and unarmed, was fatally shot by white officer Darren Wilson during a Str confrontation on Aug. nine, two thousand fourteen. The shooting prompted months of unrest that sometimes grew violent and helped spark the national Black Lives Matter movement.

A St. Louis County grand jury and the U. S. Dept of Justice declined to indict Wilson, who resigned in November two thousand fourteen. But the Justice Dept issued a critical report of Ferguson in March two thousand fifteen, citing racial bias in policing and a municipal Ct system that made money at destitute and minority residents' expense.

Ferguson'south city manager, municipal judge and Police Chief Tom Jackson all resigned within days of the report. The Ferguson City Council just two weeks ago agreed to a settlement with the Justice Dept that calls for major reforms in the city'south criminal justice system.

Moss said Thursday in a telephone interview he looks forward to working with all segments of the Ferguson community and also hopes to diversify the department.

"The police dept should be much more reflective of the community it serves... I certainly map to hire more people of color, more women," Moss said. "I'd love to hire people from Ferguson who are actually committed to what happens there."

A news release from the city of Ferguson said City Manager De'Carlon Seewood made the final decision to select Moss.

"Our officers have worked extremely tough to implement community policing and community engagement in their daily practices," Seewood said in the release. "Mr. Moss is the right man for the work to continue those initiatives."

Moss, fifty-one, grew up in Miami'south inner-city Overtown neighborhood and as a teenager lived through rioting after white police officers fatally beat a black motorcyclist in 1980.

He also said he was mistreated by two police officers when he was a youthful teenager in Miami. He said he was about fourteen and walking residence from an after-school work cleaning a bank when an officer pushed him against a wall, frisked him, searched his belongings "and number sooner than he arrived he left," Moss said. He said the encounter left him "scared and embarrassed" and is among the reasons he became a police officer.

"He did nothing in that encounter to restore my dignity, or clarify why he'd treated me that way," Moss said.

He joined Miami police in one thousand nine hundred eighty-fourth, steadily rising through the ranks. He worked for a time in the homicide unit, according to his LinkedIn page, before taking over media and community relations twenty years ago.

The work entails handling the city'south media and working with community leaders, particularly in high-crime areas such as the Liberty City neighborhood, according to the department.

He was among fifty-four candidates for the top police work in Ferguson, a St. Louis County town of about 20.000 residents. Other finalists were Frank McCall Jr., chief of nearby Berkeley, Missouri; Label Becker, a former FBI agent who recently resigned as police chief in E Chicago, Indiana; and Brenda Jones, who was fired as police chief in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in two thousand-thirteenth but won a lawsuit alleging race and gender discrimination.

Moss was named to Miami Police Chief John Timoney'south executive staff in two thousand-ninth and promoted to major two years later. The Miami Harbinger reported his office is filled with plaques of appreciation from city leaders, activists and church elders. He's a member of the NAACP and president of the Police Athletic League, which works with young athletes.

Moss was scheduled to retire from the Miami dept in September.

Andre Anderson, a black veteran of the police dept in Glendale, Arizona, took over as six-month interim chief in Ferguson in July, and was expected to be a candidate for the permanent job. But he resigned early, leaving Dec. two. He cited a desire to return to his family in Arizona.

Ferguson'south leadership was mostly white at the time of Brown'south death. But the new city manager, municipal judge and police chief are all black men. The city has also begun an effort to recruit more black officers to its department.

Moss, who'south expected to start work in early May, also said he'd love to meet with Brown's family.

"I wish to hear their story... I think that'll remind me of the task at hand," he said.

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