Latest: Ferguson residents worry about cost of DOJ agreement
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on a public meeting in Ferguson over a proposed settlement with the U.S. Justice Department (all times local):
Ferguson residents have mixed feelings about a proposed agreement with the U.S. Justice Department that calls for changes to police practices, and many are worried the deal could bankrupt the town.
About 100 people crammed into Ferguson City Hall chambers Tuesday for the first public meeting since the proposal was announced last week. An equal number were turned away due to space limitations.
Speakers were split on whether the city should adopt the proposal, but people on both sides worried it could cause even more financial hardship for the St. Louis suburb already scrambling to deal with a $2.8 million deficit.
Ferguson has been in the national spotlight since 2014, when 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot by officer Darren Wilson. Wilson wasn’t prosecuted but the shooting led to Justice Department scrutiny of Ferguson police and municipal court practices.
Ferguson residents are getting their say on a settlement city leaders negotiated with the U.S. Department of Justice that calls for sweeping changes to police practices in the St. Louis suburb where 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot.
The first public meeting on the proposed consent decree Tuesday night will be followed by comment sessions Saturday and on Feb. 9, when the city council could approve the agreement.
Brown, who was black and unarmed, was killed by white Ferguson officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014. Wilson was not prosecuted, but the shooting led to an outpouring of concern about police and the town’s municipal court system, leading to a critical Justice Department report.
The agreement, if approved, would likely avert a civil rights lawsuit against Ferguson.