ST. LOUIS (AP) – Prosecutors in Ferguson, Missouri, have dropped charges against a Navy veteran in a case cited in a scathing U.S. Justice Department report about the city’s police and courts.
Fred Watson was in his car after playing basketball in 2012 when a police officer told him to put his hands on the steering wheel. Watson says he did nothing wrong.
Watson was eventually charged with nine violations, including driving with an expired license. He says the arrest cost him his job.
All counts were dropped Monday without explanation. Ferguson prosecutor Lee Goodman didn’t return an email seeking details Tuesday.
The Justice Department’s report followed the fatal 2015 police shooting of 18-year-old Michel Brown. The report cites Watson’s case as being emblematic of how routine misconduct by Ferguson police had “significant consequences” for people whose rights were violated.