Councilman: Federal reform plan could bankrupt Ferguson

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FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) – A Ferguson city councilman says the federal government’s plan to reform policing and municipal courts could bankrupt the St. Louis suburb where the police shooting death of Michael Brown a year ago sparked racial unrest.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the councilman, Brian Fletcher, wouldn’t discuss what the board finds unacceptable about the U.S. Department of Justice’s proposal. But he says the council will request more time to find an alternative that won’t “financially ruin the city.”

Sunday marks one year since 18-year-old, black and unarmed Brown was killed by a white Ferguson police officer, who later was cleared by a county grand jury and the Justice Department.

A Justice Department probe of Ferguson’s justice system later found a profit-driven court system and widespread racial bias by police.