Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Ferguson City Council Changes Its Mind, Again: Agrees to DOJ's consent decree

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - Immediately following the Ferguson unrest that began the day after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, and at the urging of President Obama, Attorney General, and other civil rights leaders like Reverend Al Sharpton, the City Counsel invited a policing review by the Department of Justice (DOJ)

While Obama, Eric Holder and other civil rights leader convicted officer Wilson,  St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch subsequently announced that Darren Wilson would not be charged in connection with the crimes.

According to officer Wilsons attorneys: "From the onset, we have maintained and the grand jury agreed that Officer Wilson's actions on August 9 were in accordance with the laws and regulations that govern the procedures of an officer," after the decision was announced.

The unrest brought simmering racial tensions in the community — which is predominantly black and policed by a majority white force — to a boil. Violent protests in the weeks after the shooting, with looters raiding stores and torching a gas station, and the militarized police response hurled the town into the national spotlight. 

Most recently, the City Council decided it did not need the DOJ to help review its policing strategies.  Under threat from the DOJ, the Council reversed course last night.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, released the following statement regarding the Ferguson, Missouri, City Council vote to approve the proposed consent decree with the Department of Justice:
“Tonight, the city of Ferguson, Missouri, took an important step towards guaranteeing all of its citizens the protections of our Constitution.  We are pleased that they have approved the consent decree, a document designed to provide the framework needed to institute constitutional policing in Ferguson, and look forward to filing it in court in the coming days and beginning to work with them towards implementation.”

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