The Ferguson Commission established by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon unveils recommendations today to address racial inequities highlighted by mass demonstrations over the past year, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “The law says all citizens are equal,” the commission says. “But the data says not everyone is treated that way.” From criminal justice and housing, to education and economics, the report offers indictments and solutions, using everyday language to describe complex policies. The commission put forth 189 “calls to action,” many of which had already been made public. Now the panel is going into detail about how it arrived at its conclusions, as well as providing an extensive bibliography of its research.
Among the proposals: Consolidating the St. Louis area's many police departments and municipal courts, both of which have been accused of targeting minorities to raise revenue for cities and seen as key factors in the unrest after Michael Brown's death last year; establishing a statewide use-of-force database to track police shootings and making the data publicly available; developing a comprehensive statewide plan for dealing with mass demonstrations that focuses on the preservation of human life and allowing credentialed members of the media to cover events without being threatened with arrest; ending hunger for children and families; establishing school-based healing centers that address behavioral and health issues; ensuring access to equitable rigorous high school courses to help narrow the gap between the number of white and minority students who need remedial instruction in college, and reducing predatory lending by capping the maximum annual percentage rate of interest for loans at 36 percent.