US city of Ferguson hires veteran black police chief, Delrish Moss | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 10.05.2016
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US city of Ferguson hires veteran black police chief, Delrish Moss

After a civil rights investigation uncovered injustices in the city of Ferguson, that saw rioting following the killing of an unarmed black man by police, a new chief has been hired. Delrish Moss is a community expert.

The city of Ferguson hired on Monday 51-year-old Delrish Moss, a veteran of the Miami police department, to lead its embattled police department.

Moss, an expert in community policing, was brought in to try to restore the community's confidence in the authorities after the city was wracked by protests and riots by citizens angered by the aggressive conduct of the local police.

"We carefully selected candidates we felt had the experience to move the Ferguson Police Department forward, including someone who could immediately work with the community," said Ferguson city manager De'Carlon Seewood, adding that Moss was chosen from a field of 54 candidates.

The St. Louis suburb had been sued by the US Department of Justice to change its police and court system after the federal government found both to be biased against minorities.

The city agreed to a series of reforms which also saw top officials resign.

Prior to its reforms, a federal investigation found that police officers in the city of 21,000 "routinely" pulled over drivers without a lawful reason, carried out arrests without justification and used "unreasonable force" against suspects.

Protest in the US city of Ferguson

Harsh US police tactics helped spur on the Black Lives Matter movement against law enforcement violence and racism

A flashpoint city erupts in 2014

Ferguson rocketed to worldwide attention following the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black, by a white officer in 2014. It was just one of several killings of black men, mostly by white officers.

Residents frustrated by the police killing unarmed citizens, protested over a period of weeks. Their action led to the larger Black Lives Matter movement.

Thomas Jackson, who had been chief at the time of Brown's shooting death and was criticized for ordering the crackdown on peaceful protesters, resigned in March 2015. Interim Chief Andre Anderson, the city's first black chief of police, resigned in December.

jar/jm (AFP, dpa)

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