Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced Tuesday the formation of a regional commission to address inequality in Ferguson, Mo., the site of ongoing protests after an unarmed black teen was shot and killed in August by a white police officer.
The “Ferguson Commission” will include leaders in business, public safety, education as well as “ordinary citizens” who will investigate issues of poverty, law enforcement and education in the St. Louis suburb and provide policy recommendations, Nixon said in a press conference.
“Legitimate issues have been raised by thoughtful voices on all sides,” Nixon said. “Shouting past one another will not move us to where we need to go.”
The commission, which is not tasked with examining Brown’s death, will be appointed by early November, Nixon’s spokesman Scott Holste told the Wall Street Journal. The governor expects the group to provide recommendations by early spring.
Nixon’s announcement follows months of protests, some violent, over the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson, whose case is currently under review by a grand jury. The commission’s announcement also comes on the heels of a Monday arrest of a Missouri state senator who was arrested in Ferguson after reportedly refusing to comply with police orders during a demonstration there.
“If we want peace in our streets, we must work together to create a more just and equal society,” Nixon said. “This is a defining moment that will determine whether this place will be known as a region marred by racial division and unrest, or a region that pulled together to rise above and heal.”