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Police in Ferguson to wear cameras after Michael Brown death

FATAL SHOOTING: Teenager Michael Brown

POLICE OFFICERS and jail workers in Ferguson are to wear body cameras following the fatal shooting of teenager Michael Brown in 2014, city officials announced last night (Jan 27).

The recommended overhaul follows seven months of negotiations and likely averts a civil rights lawsuit that federal officials have the option to bring against departments that resist changing their policing practices.

City officials posted the proposed 131-page deal between the federal government and the Ferguson Police Department on the city's website and scheduled three public sessions over the next two weeks for input from residents. A City Council vote is scheduled for Feb 9.

Under the agreement, within 180 days, all patrol officers, supervisors and jail workers will be required to wear body cameras and microphones, and the equipment will be installed inside the Police Department's squad cars.

The cameras are to be activated for all traffic stops, arrests, searches and encounters with people believed to be experiencing a mental health crisis.

Brown, 18, was shot six times by former Ferguson officer Darren Wilson. His death has sparked riots and protests across America.

A federal investigation into the Ferguson police force found sweeping patterns of racial bias across the city's criminal justice system. A Justice Department report issued in March found that officers routinely used excessive force, issued petty citations and made baseless traffic stops.

The federal inquiry came amid heightened national scrutiny over deadly police shootings in Ferguson, Baltimore, New York and elsewhere.

A St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict Wilson, who is white, in the death.

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