FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOX) – In the wake of the Ferguson consent decree, outside observers are keeping the heat on officials to see that it’s carried out correctly.
Enter the newly formed “Ferguson Collaborative,” made up of groups like the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression, Organization for Black Struggle, and the Don’t Shoot Coalition.
“We know that in order for this to be anything more than lip service, for it to be worth any more than the paper it’s written on, there has to be deep, engaged community involvement,” Collaborative spokesperson Denise Lieberman says.
Collaborative members delivered their demands to Ferguson city leaders and the U.S. Department of Justice Monday.
“The consent decree is a first step to addressing the entrenched problems in this community but must have strong accountability written into its oversight if it is to usher in any long-term sustainable change,” read part of the statement.
Collaborative member Mildred Clines says an essential part of putting together the monitoring team that will oversee how the consent decree is carried out would be public involvement in the selection of that team.
“We want to be able to see their bios,” she said during a press conference outside Ferguson police headquarters. “We want to see their application in its entirety. We want to be able to ask questions, and give feedback to the parties involved.”
As for the make-up of the monitoring team, the Collaborative issued numerous demands including:
* The monitor should be comprised of a team of persons, not an individual.
* The monitor team must include a community liaison.
* The community liaison should be someone local, who has established working relationships and trust with the protest community and other community stakeholders.
* The monitor team should include persons with diverse experience including: an activist/protestor with experience in community organizing; expertise in racial justice, bias and socio-economic conditions; an understanding of municipal courts practices, including legal aid and public defense; expertise in best practices in anti-bias training.
“If this consent decree is going to usher in any lasting change at all, the community has to be involved,” Lieberman says. “Not just in crafting how it’s implemented, but also involved in overseeing how it’s implemented.”
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