Recent News On Ferguson and St. Louis
Federal Probe Into St. Louis Police Department
St. Louis CBS Local News reports that as many as 25 St. Louis City police officers are under investigation for being hired to protect drug dealers. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson says the involved officers are no longer on active duty as the investigation continues.
The Drug Enforcement Agency, FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Circuit Attorney are all involved in the investigation that began in December. The investigation began when an off-duty police officer was shot in North St. Louis. The off-duty officer returned fire and the man he shot later turned up dead in a burning car.
In a press release by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, they state that they are unable to discuss details or findings before the investigation has concluded.
Ferguson Municipal Judge Resigns
As a result of the Department of Justice’s investigation and report, Judge Ronald Brockmeyer resigned from the Ferguson bench. He is still assigned to hear cases in Florissant, Breckenridge Hills, Vinita Park and Dellwood. In the DOJ’s report on Ferguson, Judge Brockmeyer was accused of jailing impoverished defendants who were unable to pay fines.
CBS St. Louis reports that Judge Brockmeyer is facing his own legal problems, owing more than $170,000 in back taxes.
The Missouri Supreme Court has assigned Missiouri Court of Appeals Judge Roy Ritcher to St. Louis County Circuit Court to hear all of Ferguson’s pending and future municipal division cases. Judge Ritcher is also authorized to implement needed reforms to Ferguson’s court policies and procedures.
Ferguson City Manager John Shaw Resigns
At a meeting of the Ferguson City Council on Tuesday evening, the Council voted 7-0 to approve a mutual separation agreement with John Shaw. Such agreements are usual when an organization seeks a termination and the person wants to resign.
John Shaw oversaw city agencies that the Department of Justice accused of systematically discriminating against Black residents.
Shaw is the fifth person named in the Justice Department report to lose his job, joining Judge Ronald Brockmeyer; Ferguson Municipal Court Clerk Mary Ann Twitty; and two police department officials including one who supervised Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Michael Brown.
Although Ferguson has a Mayor, the Mayor is mere window dressing. Ferguson Mayor James Knowles is actually part-time, earning less than $5,000 a year for the job. John Shaw was appointed by the city council to an indefinite term of office, and supervised all city departments, including the police department. It was Shaw who hired Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson in 2010, and Shaw who nominated Municipal Judge Brockmeyer.
According to the city charter, only the City Manager, who in this case was Shaw, has authority to hire and fire city workers, including the police chief and police officers.
Is Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson next? Maybe the next City Manager will make that decision for Jackson.
Posted on 03/11/2015, in Department of Justice, Potpourri and tagged 25 officers, drug dealers, federal investigation, Ferguson, John Shaw, Judge Brockmeyer, Mary Ann Twitty, Police Department, St. Louis. Bookmark the permalink. 89 Comments.