Ferguson Officials Miss Crucial Deadlines In DOJ Deal

Ever since the 2014 death of Michael Brown, a Black unarmed 18-year-old who was left slain by Ferguson police officials, the city’s police department has been under the eye of the Department of Justice. According to NBC News, Ferguson officials have missed crucial deadlines that were set in efforts to reform policing procedures.

From NBC News:

Clark Ervin, a Washington lawyer monitoring the consent decree involving the St. Louis suburb that has been under Justice Department scrutiny since the fatal 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown, told The Associated Press this week that Ferguson has missed some 120- and 180-day deadlines in crafting new policies and procedures on basic policing practices.

The missed deadlines underscore the challenges police departments can face complying with the sweeping overhauls mandated by the Justice Department, particularly when the troubles are as deeply-rooted as in Ferguson. The progress in Ferguson will be under particular scrutiny given how the city emerged as a flashpoint in the national debate over race and police use of force, and because of the city’s initial resistance last year to signing a federal agreement that local officials feared would be too costly.

Ervin, who is overseeing Ferguson’s compliance with the federal government, says that the missed deadlines do not mean that the city isn’t putting the effort towards bettering its police practices. “While a number of deadlines have been missed, and deadlines are important, that does not mean that the city is not working hard both in terms of police reform and court reform,” he told NBC News. “This is difficult work. Needless to say, there’s a lot to be done, but progress is being made.”

According to NBC News, under Ferguson’s arrangement with the DOJ, the city would have to implement diversity training for law enforcement officials, jail workers and police officers would have to wear body cameras, squad cars would be equipped with dashboard cameras, and there would be a civilian police oversight board. The agreement would total nearly $2.3 million over a three-year span, reports the outlet.

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