18:29 GMT07 May 2021
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    The Ferguson Commission elaborated a plan of action to address a wide range of city issues, from police-community relations to racial issues in the city. The plan will be presented on September 15.

    FERGUSON (Sputnik) — The Ferguson Commission will present its suggested plan of action on September 15 to address the city issues raised by the events that followed Michael Brown’s shooting last year, Commission member Traci Blackmon told Sputnik.

    "On September 15 we will announce our recommended plan of action," Blackmon stated.

    Blackmon, who is a pastor of Christ the King United Church of Christ, noted that the platform will include some 30 calls of action which will address a wide range of issues, from police-community relations to municipal court reform to racial issues in Ferguson, as well as child well-being, education, and economic empowerment.

    "We’ll have recommendations in all of those areas and not just recommendations, but follow-through plans, that we hope would be beneficial to this city," she stressed.

    Blackmon underlined, however, that the Commission does not have an implementation power.

    On August 9, 2014, Darren Wilson, a white police officer, shot dead unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

    The incident set off mass protests across the United States and launched a national debate about racial inequality and police violence in African American communities throughout the United States.

    More outrage erupted in November, when a US grand jury failed to indict Wilson for the fatal shooting, and later in March, when the US Department of Justice cleared Wilson of any civil rights violations in the shooting of Brown.

    On March 3 and July 31, 2015 the Department of Justice released reports documenting racial bias by the Ferguson, Missouri police department and the St. Louis Family Court.

    The Commission of 16 community leaders was appointed by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, following the unrest after Brown’s death, to find out the causes of it and to come up with ideas that could be implemented to make the St. Louis region better.

    Blackmon underlined that although there have been some positive changes, the situation with police abuses has not been improved.

    "We had 10 people die since Michael Brown from the police violence and right now, unless someone dies tonight, we had a hundred and nine, I believe, people die in active acts of violence outside of the police violence. People are talking more, so that’s better. People are trying to strategize long-lasting changes that would help our community. We’ve had some minor successes, some legislation on how the law enforcement acts, but we have a long way to go," she explained.

    The United States has seen multiple protests prompted by high-profile and well-documented cases of police brutality over the past year. Most recently, Baltimore was swept by days of protest riots after after 25-year-old African-American Freddie Gray died of a spinal cord injury while in police custody in April. Six police officers were charged in connection with Gray’s death, all have pleaded not guilty.

    In recent months, the US Department of Justice has launched numerous probes into incidents of police brutality mostly against African-Americans in Baltimore, Ferguson and most recently, Charleston.

    Over the past year, US President Barack Obama has launched several policy initiatives in the wake of renewed calls for increased education to counter racial bias. The initiatives include investing in police body-worn cameras for US law enforcement agencies around the country and a plan for addressing segregation in US neighborhoods.


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    racism, violence, police, reforms, Ferguson, US
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