Ferguson has made progress on reforms prompted by the protests after the 2014 death of Michael Brown, but still has a lot of work to do to keep up with dozens of tasks mandated by a consent decree with the Justice Department, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. “A lot’s been done. A lot still needs to be done,” summarized Jared Hasten, a lawyer for Ferguson. Hasten told U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry yesterday that city officials and employees have been told “what is expected of them.” The team monitoring progress on the compliance will have a day of meetings today in Ferguson.
Christy Lopez of DOJ praised the selection of the monitoring team, telling Perry that it went “much better” in Ferguson than in some cities. She said that the public was highly engaged in the process and team members are highly respected in their fields. Lopez said she has concerns about the city’s work so far. She said Ferguson needs to hire a full-time compliance coordinator to focus on the process, and should ensure that new policies actually comply with the consent decree before they are implemented. Lopez said 76 items are supposed to be completed and verified by an upcoming 180-day deadline. Clark Kent Ervin, leader of the monitoring team called its work “enormously important” and said the team would evaluate and audit the city’s progress, not just verify the implementation of the decree on paper.