Nixon and Kinder commend Ferguson's efforts at police reform

11 months 1 week 5 days ago February 11, 2016 Feb 11, 2016 Thursday, February 11 2016 Thursday, February 11, 2016 5:48:00 PM CST in News
By: The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri's top two elected officials credited Ferguson on Thursday with pressing ahead with policing and court reforms despite a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit alleging that the St. Louis suburb routinely violated residents' rights and misused law enforcement to generate revenue.

The civil rights lawsuit, filed Wednesday, came a day after Ferguson essentially rejected a settlement agreement with the DOJ by adding seven amendments to a proposal reached after months of negotiations. The plan sought to vastly improve police and municipal court practices in Ferguson, the town where 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed, was fatally shot by white officer Darren Wilson in August 2014. Wilson was cleared of wrongdoing.

During a visit to Kansas City, Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon told reporters he was "heartened" by Ferguson leaders pledging to press ahead with reforms despite the lawsuit — "a far different attitude than was there two years ago," he said, when administrators facing certain issues "swept them under the rug."

"That attitude shift is really important and something that I think is a positive step," Nixon said.

Nixon did not directly address an Associated Press question about the appropriateness of the Justice Department lawsuit, saying he was not involved in negotiations. But he said Ferguson had "a real concern" about the affordability of the Justice Department's mandates: "They don't want to sign something they don't have the dollars to pay for."

Meanwhile, Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said in a statement that Ferguson leaders "are making a good-faith effort to adopt reforms to correct past problems. But the Justice Department demands would force the city to stop providing basic services to residents to pay for mandated wage hikes."

Three Democratic members of the Missouri House, all from the St. Louis area, said in a statement that they are working on a proposal for an emergency loan fund to help Ferguson implement the reforms.

"If we can provide financial help in the form of a loan program, there is no reason for the city to hesitate in embracing the DOJ's reforms," Rep. Sharon Pace of St. Louis said.

But House Speaker Todd Richardson, a Republican from Poplar Bluff in southeast Missouri, said there is no budgeted money to bail out Ferguson, nor has there been a request from the governor to do so.

"This is a problem that I think Ferguson is going to have to figure out a way to work out," Richardson said.

The Ferguson council voted 6-0 Tuesday in favor of the Justice Department agreement, but made changes significant enough that the federal agency deemed it a rejection. Mayor James Knowles III said the changes were necessary after an analysis indicated the reforms would cost the financially strapped town up to $3.7 million in the first year, and up to $3 million in each of the second and third years of the agreement.

One of changes would have removed a stipulation requiring significant police pay raises to police in order to attract better candidates, and more minority candidates. The city analysis said that provision alone would have cost about $1 million.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A twin-engine Beechcraft Baron aircraft had a crash landing on Monday afternoon at Columbia Regional Airport. It... More >>
32 minutes ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 4:38:00 PM CST in News
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — A proposed bill would impose penalties on Missouri gun owners who don't report a lost... More >>
1 hour ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 3:16:34 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - If you're a Missourian and have purchased dairy products in the past 14 years, you might be eligible... More >>
2 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 2:55:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again and again). Sleep is incredibly important. It’s... More >>
3 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 1:47:00 PM CST in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A Vandalia man was sentenced to seven years in jail after he encouraged a 13-year-old to have... More >>
3 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 1:43:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway released an audit on Shelbina municipal court in northeast Missouri that found... More >>
3 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 1:13:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Economic Development Director Stacey Button is not looking for a new airport manager. Former Columbia Regional Airport... More >>
4 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 12:32:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police are looking for a possible link between a shots-fired call and a shooting victim who showed... More >>
7 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 9:35:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a decomposed body has been found near a bridge in a Kansas City... More >>
10 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 6:30:00 AM CST in News
LA MONTE - The Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office filed charges against three men after a home invasion Saturday night.... More >>
22 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 6:47:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The MFA Oil Break Time shootout featured talented athletes from all around Missouri on Sunday. There were six... More >>
22 hours ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 6:45:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Less than 24 hours after a call for help identifying the driver in a hit-and-run, Columbia police have... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 4:40:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, whose electric arm helped his team win the 2015 World Series title,... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 2:36:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Two people were arrested Friday in connection with a terroristic threat, according to an email from Columbia police.... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 2:08:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police officers responded to shots fired early Sunday morning in Columbia, according to a news release. ... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 1:26:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a 20-year-old man is charged in an attack on a 12-year-old girl... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 12:51:01 PM CST in News
JASPER (AP) — A southwestern Missouri man is taking recycling to the extreme by building a house made from everything... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 11:03:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — A University of Missouri professor hopes his invention of a new mug that maintains the coffee's temperature... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 10:56:06 AM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 37°
6pm 36°
7pm 39°
8pm 37°
9pm 36°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
5:00p
American Dad!
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Celebrity Apprentice
9:00p
Timeless
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld