Nixon and Kinder commend Ferguson's efforts at police reform

2 years 6 months 6 days ago Thursday, February 11 2016 Feb 11, 2016 Thursday, February 11, 2016 5:48:00 PM CST February 11, 2016 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
MILLER COUNTY - The Miller County Sheriff's Office reports that suspected shooter Devin Mckie is in custody after being arrested... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 10:36:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE – About 100 people rode their bikes early Saturday to help raise funds for the 43rd annual Missouri River... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 2:23:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
PLATTE CITY, Mo. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies in northwestern Missouri's Platte County say they've seized more than 200 pounds of... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:48:56 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
BLACK JACK (AP) — A baby bobcat found in eastern Missouri and being nursed back to health might be mistaken... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:42:55 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Funding cuts to in-home care for the disabled could force some Missouri residents into nursing homes,... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:34:39 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - Miller County Sheriff Louie Gregoire said two people suffered gunshot wounds Friday night. Gregoire said the suspect... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:23:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The North America Diving Dogs dock diving competition was in its second of three days Saturday at the... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:01:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is investigating an attempted burglary of an off-campus sorority house near MU. In... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 11:01:00 AM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - The Moberly Police Department is currently investigating an armed robbery of Break Time North, 1210 East US 24.... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 10:18:00 AM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- New court documents filed in the case of a Colorado man suspected of killing his pregnant wife and... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 12:09:31 AM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — It's not just audiotapes. Omarosa Manigault Newman has a stash of video, emails, text messages and... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 10:57:37 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials on Thursday approved a new generic version of EpiPen, the emergency allergy medication that... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 8:10:26 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The bomb used by the Saudi-led coalition in a devastating attack on a school bus in Yemen was... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 7:41:13 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A judge has ordered a mental evaluation for the man accused of starting the Holy Fire that has... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 7:14:03 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An ethics panel says there's reason to believe that former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens broke the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 5:43:44 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A community Facebook post on a Jefferson City page said a student got dropped off at the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 5:22:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
BRANSON (AP) — A former employee of a southwestern Missouri paddlewheel tourist boat alleges in a lawsuit that he suffered... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 4:36:01 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
LINN- Forbes Magazine named State Technical College of Missouri as the third best two-year trade school in the country. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 3:44:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 69°
7am 69°
8am 73°
9am 77°
10am 81°