Judge cites substantial progress in Ferguson reforms

Ferguson Police Department and Municipal Court

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ The federal judge overseeing a reform agreement between Ferguson, Missouri, and the U.S. Department of Justice says she has seen substantial progress in efforts to eliminate bias in the town’s law enforcement system.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry on Tuesday heard a quarterly update on progress in Ferguson, where the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in 2014 was a catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The white officer who shot Brown was not charged, but a Justice Department investigation raised concerns about the treatment of poor and black residents by police and the municipal court system. A 2016 consent agreement requires significant changes.

Some residents told the judge progress has been too slow. But Perry cited new policies on police procedures and significant changes in court operations.