Ferguson, Justice Dept. Reach Reform Deal

The U.S. Department of Justice reached a deal with Ferguson, Missouri on systemic changes following the fatal 2014 police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

The tentative agreement follows seven months of negotiations and most likely will avert a civil rights lawsuit that federal officials can bring against the department if it resist changing its policing practices.

Under the agreement, all patrol officers, supervisors and jail workers will be required to wear body cameras and microphones. The equipment will be installed in the department’s squad cars within 180 days.

Law enforcement officials will also be required to activate the cameras for all traffic stops, arrests, searches and encounters with people believed to be experiencing a mental health crisis.

The city will also revise its municipal code by repealing sections that authorized jail for people who fail to pay fines for violations.

A federal investigation into Ferguson’s police department found patterns of racial bias across the city’s criminal justice system.

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