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Ferguson Panel Recommends Police, Court Reform

A reform panel formed after the Ferguson police shooting of Michael Brown is pushing for the consolidation of police departments and municipal courts in the St. Louis area, and decreasing the use of police force.

The Ferguson Commission, a 16-member panel appointed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon in November, released a copy of its 198-page report online on Monday. Nixon and members of the commission were scheduled to discuss details of the report at an afternoon news conference.

The report acknowledges that the commission has no power to enact any of the proposals, but Nixon has said the commission has the full support of his office. "The law says all citizens are equal,” the report's introduction states."But the data says not everyone is treated that way." The events in Ferguson raised concerns about police departments and municipal courts in that north St. Louis County town, but also elsewhere in the region. The departments and courts have been accused of targeting minorities to raise revenue, leading to the mistrust that was a key component of the unrest following Brown’s death.

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