James Knowles | St. Louis Public Radio

James Knowles

The St. Louis County Council passed a resolution Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, asking municipalities to spend Proposition P solely on policing. The resolution is non-binding.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

In an effort to block municipalities from using a recently passed “public safety” tax increase on things like potholes and snow removal, the St. Louis County Council passed a resolution Tuesday asking for the money be strictly spent on policing.

Problem is, the resolution doesn’t actually do anything.

Ferguson on August 14, 2014
File photo | Lawrence Bryant | St. Louis American

 

On August 9, 2014, Ferguson officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, in the Canfield Green apartment complex. His death touched off weeks of protests, reigniting a national conversation about race and policing that continues to this day.

Closer to home, reforms have been slow to take hold, even those mandated by the federal Justice Department. The following list isn’t comprehensive, but, rather, a big-picture view of what has and hasn’t changed.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles takes the oath of office at Ferguson City Hall Tuesday night.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles and Councilwoman Ella Jones made something perfectly clear Tuesday night: The city’s mayoral election is over, and there’s no schism between the two elected officials.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles speaks to reporters in February 2016 after a City Council vote to amend the Department of Justice consent decree instead of approving it outright.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In an apparent vote of confidence, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles won re-election Tuesday over City Council member Ella Jones.

Knowles, who has been the face of the municipality since Michael Brown’s fatal shooting in 2014 by an officer thrust it and its racial divisions into the international spotlight, barely missed having to face a recall election in 2015. He beat Jones, who would have been the city’s first African-American mayor; unofficial results show the vote was 2,133 to 1,594.

Voters cast electronic ballots at Central Baptist Church in St. Louis on Nov. 8, 2016.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s Election Day in the St. Louis region, where voters will decide on a number of high-stakes issues.

Polls are open in Missouri and Illinois from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Election officials in St. Louis and St. Louis County said no problems had been reported at polling stations by midday, and that turnout was light.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles chats with a supporter ahead of canvassing; Councilwoman Ella Jones greets people at a restaurant. On Monday, March 27, Knowles and Jones will participate in a mayoral forum ahead of the April 4 election.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday's St. Louis on the Air we aired highlights of the Ferguson Mayoral Forum held earlier this week at the Ferguson Community Center. Incumbent Mayor James Knowles III and Councilwoman Ella Jones are on the ballot for the April 4 nonpartisan election in Ferguson and both participated.

The event was sponsored by St. Louis on the Air and The Center for Social Empowerment.

Residents and activists pressure Ferguson's City Council members to agree to the Department of Justice's proposed consent decree during a public forum on the decree in March of 2016.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Numerous challenges await Ferguson’s next mayor, including a tight budget, frayed race relations and an understaffed police department. But the winner of April 4 contest will also face a less tangible quandary: repairing the city’s tattered image.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles is up for re-election for the first time since then-police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown in August 2014, an event that placed the north St. Louis County municipality in the international spotlight.

Ferguson Police Chief Delrish Moss speaks at a March 14, 2017, City Council meeting.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A seemingly understaffed, overworked Ferguson Police Department is sowing unease among the some of the municipality’s residents, though authorities say they want to make sure they’re hiring the right officers.

Voters fill out their ballots at Central Baptist Church on Washington Avenue on March 7, 2017.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ March primaries are in the books. But don’t exhale quite yet: April’s municipal contests throughout the St. Louis region are only 22 days away.

Granted, these are typically low-turnout affairs that don’t attract as much attention as, say, a presidential election, but they’re often critical for taxation decisions. Plus, April elections can serve as pivotal showdowns for deciding the elected leadership of St. Louis County’s multitude of municipalities.

Michael Brown Sr. stands at the back of the Ferguson Community Center's event space during the public comment portion of a 2016 Ferguson city council meeting.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Since the presidential campaign began in earnest, it’s become fairly common for candidates to allude to the aftermath of Michael Brown’s shooting death at the hands of a Ferguson police officer.

But according to officials that represent Ferguson, neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has visited the city since announcing their presidential bids. And with both candidates set to debate Sunday at Washington University, some of the city’s elected leaders say it’s time for Trump and Clinton to see the town for themselves.

Ferguson City Manager De'Carlon Seewood
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson officials say mixed results from Tuesday’s election will not keep the city from complying with its consent decree with the Justice Department.

Voters approved a sales tax increase but a measure to hike property taxes fell short of its needed two-thirds majority.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III listens to public comments on Saturday during a public hearing at the Ferguson Community Center.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson residents will consider raising taxes next week to fill a big budgetary gap, a potentially critical decision for the beleaguered city.

Before the city approved a consent decree with the federal government, members of the Ferguson City Council placed a sales tax increase and a property tax hike on the April 5 ballot. The sales tax proposal would boost the city’s sales tax rate by 0.5 percent. The property tax item would increase the city’s property tax rate by 40 cents per $100 assessed value.

Michael Brown Sr. shakes hands with Ferguson's City Council members after a special session in which the council voted to agree to the terms of a Department of Justice consent decree.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson has decided to adopt the Department of Justice’s consent decree that has made headlines over the past year. The City Council initially rejected the decree and attempted to implement changes. Members have now changed their minds.

“This is the best way for us to move forward together. There’s still a lot of work to be done. This is a step in the right direction,” said Mayor James Knowles.

A group of more than a dozen activists, including Francesca Griffin and Mauraye Love, 9, center, wore bright safety vests and silently interrupted the council meeting to call on the city to agree to the Department of Justice's proposed consent decree.
Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

The Ferguson City Council appears poised to approve a consent decree with the federal government, which aims to transform the beleaguered city’s police department and government.

It’s a move that could ultimately spare a financially struggling town from costly litigation with the Department of Justice.

Protesters carrying a banner that reads demand constitutional policing work to interrupt a meeting of the Ferguson City Council on February 23, 2016.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The decision by the Ferguson City Council to reject a proposed consent decree and take a chance in court is no more popular now than it was two weeks ago.

Protesters chanted "no consent decree, bankruptcy!" "no justice, no peace" and called for the resignation of Ferguson Mayor James Knowles and city prosecutor Stephanie Karr. They unfurled a banner demanding constitutional policing as the council members conducted their business. 

Muhammad Yaacoub is the owner of Sam’s Meat Market in Ferguson. And he says that business has been slow since he reopened his doors last August.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On a foggy morning in Ferguson, customers trickled in and out of Sam’s Market to pick up soda pop and snacks. This small grocery story reopened last summer after being looted three times and set on fire during the riot over Michael Brown’s shooting death.

Muhammad Yaacoub, the owner of Sam’s Meat Market, says that business has been slow since he reopened last August. And despite promises of economic redevelopment, empty lots and abandoned buildings surround his business on West Florissant Avenue.

The Justice Department slapped the city of Ferguson, Mo., with a civil rights lawsuit this week after the City Council voted to change a proposed settlement agreement to reform the police and courts.

When Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the suit on Wednesday, she said Ferguson police disproportionately targeted black people for traffic stops, use of force and jail sentences.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles listens to public testimony on Saturday about a proposed consent decree. Knowles and the rest of the city council could vote on whether to accept the 131-page agreement on Tuesday.
File photo |Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

It’s not hyperbole to say that Tuesday’s vote on a proposed consent decree with the federal government is the biggest decision in Ferguson’s history.

The 131-page document casts a huge structural and financial shadow of a municipality still reeling from the shooting death of Michael Brown. If the Ferguson City Council votes to accept the agreement, it could deliver monumental changes to the city’s police department and government – at a hefty price tag.

Ferguson resident Felicia Pulliam questions city officials during a city council meeting called to discuss the Department of Justice's proposed consent decree at Ferguson's city hall Tuesday evening.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

When it was his turn to speak about a consent decree that could dramatically shape Ferguson’s future, Gerry Noll acknowledged that the 131-page document was a risk.

The proposed agreement with the Department of Justice would impose major changes to the city’s police department and government. And it would require the city to pay for a monitor to track compliance – which could be very expensive.

Former Ferguson Brian Fletcher says the Pledge of Alligence before being inaugurated as a Ferguson City Councilmember last April. Fletcher died on Sunday at the age of 56.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 9:40 a.m., Jan. 12 with funeral arrangements -Brian Fletcher, a former mayor of Ferguson and a new member of the City Council, died unexpectedly Sunday. He was 56.

Fletcher served two terms as mayor from 2005 to 2011. He also served as a Democratic committeeman for 16 years, as a member of the Ferguson-Florissant School District board, as an alderman for Country Club Hills, and as a member of the Ferguson 4th of July committee and pension board.

Kelly Moffitt, St. Louis Public Radio

After the Ferguson Commission's report was released last week, St. Louisans across the region seemed to be echoing a common refrain: “But what can I do with it?” That was a question that “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh tried to answer at Monday night’s public town hall “Ferguson Commission:  Where Do We Go From Here?”

A man with an American flag stands in front of a Ferguson Police car earlier in July.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

If you’ve developed an interest in legislation inspired by the unrest in Ferguson, then you’ve probably seen some strong adjectives attached to a law known as Senate Bill 5.  

Sen. Eric Schmitt’s legislation has been described as “sweeping,” “multi-faceted,” “massive,” “broad” and "significant.” It lowers the percentage of traffic fine revenue cities can keep; prompts St. Louis County cities to adhere to certain standards; and provides new guidelines for how municipal courts should operate.

File photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson announced alterations to its embattled municipal court, including recalling warrants and providing alternative punishments.

The moves come as a multi-faceted state overhaul of the municipal court system is expected to have a sweeping impact on St. Louis County cities.

Normandy Mayor Patrick Green and Cool Valley Mayor Viola Murphy
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On a special edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum welcomes two mayors of small north St. Louis County to the show talk about a sweeping overhaul of the state’s municipal courts system.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III prepares to hand a resolution to a city resident. Knowles reflected on how his city's changed since Michael Brown's death earlier this week.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

In a year filled with trials and tribulations that few municipal officials face in a lifetime, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles learned quite a bit.

Throughout the 12 months that followed Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a former Ferguson police officer, Knowles said his city found out the hard way how important it is for a government to communicate with its residents. Just because somebody doesn’t speak up at a council meeting or through an e-mail, Knowles said, doesn’t mean “there aren’t issues out there that need to be addressed.”

Andre Anderson, the new interim chief of the Ferguson police department, listens as Mayor James Knowles announces his appointment to the job on July 22. City manager Ed Beasley is to Anderson's left.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

A 24-year veteran of the Glendale, Ariz., police department will take the reins in Ferguson for the next six months.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles announced Wednesday that Andre Anderson, who has led Glendale's Criminal Investigations Division, will take over the 50-officer Ferguson department on July 23. He'll have the job for six months, replacing Al Eickhoff, who took over after former chief Thomas Jackson resigned in March.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III meets the press on Wednesday. He announced Police Chief Tom Jackson was stepping aside.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

An effort to recall Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III appears to have narrowly fallen short.

St. Louis Board of Elections Democratic director Eric Fey told St. Louis Public Radio that critics of the mayor had gathered 1,787 valid signatures – which was 27 short of the 1,814 needed amount to trigger a recall. Petitioners were given additional time to gather signatures after initially submitting too few.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III meets the press on Wednesday. He announced Police Chief Tom Jackson was stepping aside.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Petitioners seeking to oust controversial Ferguson Mayor James Knowles from office haven't gathered enough valid signatures to trigger a recall election.

Eric Fey, the Democratic director of elections at St. Louis County Board of Elections, told St. Louis Public Radio that petitioners had gathered 1,008 valid signatures. They needed 1,814 to trigger a recall.

Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

Many gathered to speak for and against Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III at Tuesday night's Ferguson City Council meeting. Earlier in the day, reports surfaced that a petition to recall the mayor would be turned into the city clerk and presented to the council at the meeting. However, the petition was never filed.

Longtime Ferguson resident Ruffina Farrokh Anklesaria chants "Give Peace a Chance" at a pro-Ferguson and pro-police rally outside the Ferguson Police Department.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

About 75 police and Ferguson supporters demonstrated outside the city's Police Department Sunday afternoon, protesting against hostility toward police and calls for the city’s mayor to resign.

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