Ferguson's New Plan: Police Cameras

City calmer ahead of Holder visit

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 20, 2014 5:29 AM CDT | Updated Aug 20, 2014 7:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – Ahead of a visit from Attorney General Eric Holder today, officials in Ferguson, Missouri, say they want to make big changes to law enforcement and end the "discord and heartbreak" that has followed the police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. A statement released by city leaders says it is looking at changes including requiring all police to wear cameras, hiring more African-American officers, and requiring police to live in the city, reports NBC, which notes that a petition seeking a "Mike Brown Law" to require state, county, and local police to wear cameras has now received more than 127,000 signatures.

In a St. Louis Post-Dispatch op-ed, Holder promises a full, fair, and independent investigation into the shooting. He praises the bravery of police officers who put their lives on the line, but also stresses that "good law enforcement requires forging bonds of trust between the police and the public." Trust "requires that force be used in appropriate ways," he writes. "Enforcement priorities and arrest patterns must not lead to disparate treatment under the law, even if such treatment is unintended. And police forces should reflect the diversity of the communities they serve." Another person was shot and killed by police in St. Louis yesterday, but Ferguson was more subdued last night than it was the previous five nights, the AP reports. Police still made 47 arrests, but the crowds were smaller and no tear gas was fired. A grand jury will begin hearing evidence today on whether Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, should be charged, reports Bloomberg.

Police handcuff a protester after rushing the crowd to arrest him on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson early this morning.
Police handcuff a protester after rushing the crowd to arrest him on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson early this morning.   (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Curtis Compton)
A Missouri State Trooper talks with protesters in Ferguson early this morning.
A Missouri State Trooper talks with protesters in Ferguson early this morning.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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