Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is naming a “Ferguson Commission” to address the “social and economic conditions” highlighted by months of protests surrounding the killing of a black teenager by a white Ferguson police officer, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Nixon said the group would include about 15 people and have three goals: to study the underlying causes of the unrest, to tap into expertise needed to address those concerns, and to make specific recommendations for “making the St. Louis region a stronger, fairer place for everyone to live.”
Nixon expects the work of the commission to take six months to a year. Asked if the panel’s creation is an attempt to prepare the community for the possibility that Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson won't face any charges at the state or federal level for killing Michael Brown, 18, Nixon said, “That's not the thought behind it,” Nixon said. “The investigations on the local level and federal level are obviously continuing, and that's up to the grand jury and the Department of Justice. … I see this as a separate and vital track.” The Post-Dispatch also reported that autopsy on Brown shows that he was shot in the hand at close range and that he had been using marijuana before the incident.