Two weeks ago, Ferguson officials and the U.S. Department of Justice announced that they’d come to an amicable deal over police reform, which would bring law enforcement in the Missouri city more in line with the constitution and avoid a lengthy battle in court. So much for all that: after Ferguson welched on the deal this week, the DOJ announced its plans to sue.
In avoidance of a long and expensive court fight with the U.S. Department of Justice, the city of Ferguson has agreed to a package of federally recommended reforms to the ways in which its police department operates. The agreement comes after the release of a DOJ report last year that laid out the racial unfairness and misconduct of the city’s cops in harsh detail.
The Oath Keepers in Ferguson just lost their highest-profile member. Sam Andrews, who led armed members of the militia-style group into protests following Michael Brown’s death and its one-year anniversary, quit in characteristically loud fashion amid a verbal war with the group’s founder this week, citing what he called a “racist double standard” within the Oath Keepers.
Sam Andrews received three phone calls during an hour-long lunch at a Pizza Hut in St. Louis County, Missouri, last week. Andrews is a member of the group called the Oath Keepers, and the callers were fellow Oath Keepers, congratulating and questioning him about his latest “operation”: Over the previous two nights, in nearby Ferguson, he’d led a group of five white men with assault rifles and body armor to the scene of the protests marking the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. It had been a grabby image for the media convened there, and he relished the attention.
As prominent Black Lives Matter activists, including DeRay McKesson, Johnetta Elzie, and Cornel West, were being arrested outside the St. Louis federal courthouse, the executive of St. Louis County declared an emergency in Ferguson. The St. Louis County police department, who last night exchanged gunfire with and wounded an alleged gunman, will now take over all policing in Ferguson.
At least one St. Louis County police officer opened fire during tonight’s anniversary protests in Ferguson, allegedly after coming under “heavy fire.” There are reports that one person was wounded during the shooting, which took place as the interim chief of the Ferguson police department gave a live TV interview.
Writing for the New Yorker, Jake Halpern has turned in the first extensive interview with Darren Wilson, the former Ferguson, Mo., cop who shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown. In conversations at his home, hidden somewhere “on the outskirts of St. Louis,” Wilson reveals he’s not exactly haunted by second thoughts about what happened: He “did his job” that day, and just wants to move on with his life.
The family of Michael Brown has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the city of Ferguson. Last August, an unarmed Brown was gunned down by Officer Darren Wilson, who is charged with using “an unnecessary and unreasonable amount of force in violation of [Brown’s] constitutionally guaranteed right to life.”
Residents of Ferguson made history yesterday with a record turnout, electing two black candidates—Ella Jones and Wesley Bell—to City Council. The noteworthy vote ushers in a new era for the local assembly: for the first time since Ferguson’s founding, half of the council seats are held by African Americans.
It has been established, through documents uncovered during a federal probe, that the municipal government running Ferguson, Mo., is fundamentally racist. And now today, following public records requests made by the Guardian and other outlets, we have the full offensive emails sent between three Ferguson employees over the past seven years.