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Ferguson reviewing nearly 8,000 old court cases

ST. LOUIS – Ferguson, Missouri, is reviewing nearly 8,000 pre-2014 municipal court cases to determine which should be thrown out, a process expected to take about six months.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry on Tuesday heard a status update on the consent agreement between Ferguson and the U.S. Department of Justice. The agreement requires Ferguson to remedy mistreatment of black residents by the St. Louis suburb’s police and court system.

Part of that effort is a court amnesty program. City Attorney Apollo Carey says 7,933 cases dating to before Jan. 1, 2014, are being reviewed. Generally, only those for more serious crimes like assault or drunken driving will be pursued.

The fatal August 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown prompted a Justice Department investigation that resulted in the consent agreement, reached in 2016.