Ferguson drops 2012 charges against Navy veteran | St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson drops 2012 charges against Navy veteran

Sep 13, 2017

The city of Ferguson has decided it will no longer prosecute Fred Watson.

Ferguson’s municipal prosecutor officially dropped the charges Monday against Watson, a Navy veteran who was arrested in 2012 while sitting in his parked car after a basketball game. Ferguson charged him with several ordinance violations, including failure to wear a seatbelt.

Federally mandated reforms to Ferguson’s municipal court required prosecutor Lee Clayton Goodman to drop the charges, he said.

Those reforms took effect in April 2016. Goodman said the delay was simply a matter of working through the legal process.

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Watson, who is African-American, filed a civil rights lawsuit in July. A spokeswoman for his attorneys said that the lawsuit should still go forward because the now-dropped charges had a significant impact on Watson’s life.

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