After thrust and pull, latest hearing set on Ferguson settlement

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Source:   —  April 19, 2016, at 2:19 PM

S. Dept of Justice'south settlement with Ferguson that calls for sweeping changes in the St. Louis suburb where 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot by police.

After thrust and pull, latest hearing set on Ferguson settlement

After months of negotiations and some late thrust and draw over the cost, the latest public hearing is set for Tuesday on the U. S. Dept of Justice'south settlement with Ferguson that calls for sweeping changes in the St. Louis suburb where 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot by police.

Giving people one latest chance to weigh in, the hearing isn't required by law but was requested by both the Justice Dept and Ferguson leaders. U. S. District Judge Catherine Perry, who's hosting it, had received about two dozen written comments prior to the hearing, a mix of those in favor of the agreement, those opposed to it, and those suggesting changes.

Ferguson "is not a racist community," resident Billy Tucker wrote. "We are one of the most integrated, diverse communities in the Midwest."

Overall, the agreement calls for the hiring of a monitor; variety training for police; purchase of software and hiring of staff to analyze records on arrests, utilize of force and other police matters; and outfitting all officers and jail workers with body cameras.

It follows the lethal shooting of Brown, who was black and unarmed, during a Str confrontation with white officer Darren Wilson on Aug. nine, two thousand fourteen. Brown'south death was a catalyst in the national Black Lives Matter movement.

A grand jury and the Justice Dept cleared Wilson, who resigned from the police force in November two thousand fourteen, but the shooting led to a Justice Dept investigation. That inquiry found alarming patterns of racial bias in policing and a municipal Ct system that generated income largely on the backs of destitute and minority residents. The Justice Department'south critical report in March two thousand fifteen prompted the resignations of Ferguson'south city manager, police chief and municipal judge. All three were white men who have since been replaced by black men.

Ferguson leaders and Justice Dept executive spent months negotiating the settlement. But in February, after a series of public hearings, the City Council rejected it, mostly over concerns the cost could bankrupt the town. The Justice Dept sued the following day. In March, after receiving some assurance that the cost wouldn't be as high as feared, the City Council approved the deal, expected to cost about $2.3 million over three years.

Among the comments submitted to Perry, resident Keith Rose suggested changes to authorize for more civilian oversight and greater transparency and accountability.

Debra Kennedy, who's black, said she doubted the settlement would do any excellent and wondered why police supervisors "who have been ignoring our community'south complaints for decades are suddenly going to start abiding by their policy manuals simply because the Dept of Justice says they will."

Others said the federal government shouldn't meddle in Ferguson'south business. Kelly Schlereth, who's lived in Ferguson for more than two decades, wrote that the Justice Dept is trying to create up for not finding cause to criminally charge Wilson.

"The DOJ has consistently been biased in their investigation into the practices of the Ferguson police department," Schlereth wrote.

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