Dear Mayor Knowles and Council
Attached is a very detailed analysis (Download File) by area pastor Daryl Meese, comparing the Ferguson Consent Decree to Cleveland and several other Consent Decrees. The report confirms what we all are realizing - Ferguson is being asked to do far, far more than any other city, and as importantly, in a much shorter time frame. Given the extensive scope of the agreement, the very high projections based on our understanding of the terms, and the inexperience of both Ferguson and the DOJ on something this broad, we ask that the City Council respectfully declines to pass this resolution on second reading, and does not at this time agree to enter into this consent decree.
Surely the DOI was surprised by the initial cost calculation as well, and is open to re-visiting and clarifying language. This situation is a first for Ferguson, but it is also a first for the DOJ - they have never tried to negotiate anything this extensive, and they are learning as they are going. Now that we have had a chance to see the proposal, we are able to do the side by side analysis - information that wasn't available to the DOJ or Ferguson. Now that the agreement has been priced out, surely the DOJ is open to continuing the conversation, to clarify language and tighten terms, and to talk through realistic timelines.
Not voting Yes doesn't mean we aren't committed to moving forward as a City. It's simply a recognition that we are learning as we go along, that we as a City and a nation have to get this right - we have to make sure Ferguson IS able to become an example for the rest of our Country. Again, we ask you to not pass the resolution, and instead allow us to continue our conversations as a City and with the Department of Justice. We have a roadmap now - give us a chance for true input on how to make it even better,
Help Ferguson Get the Truth Out
Beginning with Eric Holder announcing the Department of Justice’s “searing” report, the DOJ has selectively collected and presented information to paint Ferguson as racist and abusive. Ferguson Truth was formed to push for transparency and truth from the Department of Justice, to counteract this distorted narrative that the DOJ created.