Ferguson City Council announced a raft of reforms on Monday to address police conduct in the Missouri suburb where an unarmed black teenager was shot dead by a police officer last month, and scale back a system of fines and arrests that residents say have fallen disproportionately on low-income, black residents.
The city will establish a citizen review board to offer a public check on police conduct, and will reform municipal tickets and fines that have become the city’s second-greatest source of revenue and made Ferguson an outlier in the state for the number of arrest warrants served per person, the New York Times reports.
City officials will vote to cap the total fines collected by the city, the lack of which critics say has created an incentive to issue more tickets and arrest warrants, and will also offer a window of reprieve for pending arrest warrants.
“The overall goal of these changes is to improve trust within the community and increase transparency, particularly within Ferguson’s courts and police department,” said council member Mark Byrne in a statement.
Ferguson was roiled by sometimes violent protests during August after the killing of black teenager Michael Brown by a police officer. The Department of Justice is among the officials investigating the circumstances of his death.
- TIME's 100 Most Influential People of 2022
- Employers Take Note: Young Workers Are Seeking Jobs with a Higher Purpose
- Signs Are Pointing to a Slowdown in the Housing Market—At Last
- Welcome to the Era of Unapologetic Bad Taste
- As the Virus Evolves, COVID-19 Reinfections Are Going to Keep Happening
- A New York Mosque Becomes a Refuge for Afghan Teens Who Fled Without Their Families
- High Gas Prices are Oil Companies' Fault says Ro Khanna, and Democrats Should Go After Them
- Two Million Cases: COVID-19 May Finally Force North Korea to Open Up