Credit: pasa47 / photo on flickrWe’ve known since March that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has looked at how the police and courts in Ferguson, Missouri, have behaved and found significant unconstitutional treatment of its citizens (particularly minorities), finding any excuse to cite or arrest people and then trying to milk them for money to fund its government.
Now, nine months later, The New York Times reports that a deal is approaching between the small St. Louis County suburb and the DOJ to resolve the problem. But there’s a bit of a snag compared to how the DOJ announces deals with other cities to reform police behavior. Because a big chunk of Ferguson’s sins involve the police and courts treating the citizens like piggy banks (as opposed to just the city leaders treating them that way, I guess), implementing oversight systems that also cost money are going to be a bit of a challenge. With very little revenue to work with, Ferguson leaders argue they’ll have to raise taxes, and that will require a public vote:
The agreement, which would be filed in federal court, would require new training for police officers and, improved record-keeping, and would install a federal monitor to ensure those changes were made, officials said, one week after marathon negotiations that began in the morning and stretched past midnight.
“We have made tremendous progress. We’re very close,” Mayor James Knowles III said in a telephone interview. He said “small sticking points” remained, though he declined…