Ferguson municipal judge announces sweeping changes
FERGUSON (AP) - Ferguson's new municipal judge has ordered massive changes in the city's much-criticized municipal court, a move he says seeks to restore confidence in the system and ease the burden on needy defendants.
Judge Donald McCullin announced the changes Monday, which include withdrawing many old arrest warrants and giving defendants new court dates and payment options. The new plan allows for community service or fines to be commuted for the indigent.
McCullin was appointed in June. The previous municipal judge resigned in March after a U.S. Justice Department report said Ferguson's municipal court system often targeted blacks, who make up two-thirds of Ferguson's residents.
The Justice Department also investigated the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed, by a white Ferguson officer. Federal officials declined to prosecute him.