Ferguson, Frank Griffin, Rachel Lipman discussed on The Takeaway

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Members supported KCRW actresses, Felicity Huffman, and Lauren Laughlin appeared in Boston's federal court in a nationwide college admissions cheating scandal actresses were not asked to enter a plea thirty three parents charging the college admissions scheme involving coaches at sought after schools, including Georgetown and Yale as well as he was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Currently sixty two degrees in Ventura sixty three in downtown LA. Hi, everyone. I'm Tanzania Vega. And this is the takeaway Michael Brown's mother Lesley McFadden was defeated in her bid to become a city council member in Ferguson, Missouri yesterday activists Fran Griffin beat mix baton to win. The city council seat here to talk to us about the election results is Rachel Lipman reporter covering politics and criminal Justice for Saint Louis public radio. Welcome back to the takeaway. Rachel, thank you Tanzania. It's always a pleasure to be on tell us for those remembering Ferguson was the scene of many protests a couple of years back. What does the outcome of this election? Tell us about where Ferguson is today. I think what the election shows is that it is a city, or at least a war at that is ready for some it changed the person that Frank Griffin also defeated Keith Kallstrom was a longtime incumbent in that war. He was a white man representing award. That is predominantly African American. The city itself is majority African American. But this ward is heavily almost eighty percent African American, and it is one of the poorest in the city and Griffin is a woman who had been out working not just protesting. She joined a number of groups that are trying to guide and lead the policy reforms that Ferguson is having to make and is one who was present in the community in ways that activists that I spoke to said that next baton or Kallstrom had never really been Ferguson has been synonymous with racial inequality. Do these elections suggest to change? It is hard to say simply because this is just one ward. If an African American person was able to be elected out of some of the words that are maybe more predominantly white. I think that could potentially market change. But from this war, it isn't necessarily surprising that an African American candidate with get elected. In fact, I think it's more surprising that one hadn't been elected before. Now or before two thousand fifteen. When this it elected its first African American council member the last time, we spoke there was a criminal Justice reformer Wesley bell won the democratic primary for St Louis county. Prosecutor what is he done since? He was sworn back in January some of the bigger things that he has focused on is an effort to expand the diversion programs drug court, for example, some of the programs that help redirect individuals who have been charged with low level felonies that is in limbo right now as they attempt to find the resources for this. It is not an cheap program to run has also taken a page from circuit attorney, Kim Gardner's book, and is no longer going to prosecute marijuana possession charges below one hundred grams he has ruled out the death penalty going forward. It's unclear what he will do with cases that death penalty has already been decided as a penalty that the office will seek and he has also. Said that he will no longer handle child support cases, criminally that if someone is very delinquent on their child support payments. He will handle that instead through civil or collections process. We also know that Ferguson police are still under a federal consent decree where does that stand today have relations between the black community and law enforcement improved. I think that depends on who you ask I think from a very fifty thousand foot level the answer is yes, just simply because the mindset of the department is no longer we have to go out and get these fines and fees, not only because they are limited by state law. But also by the consent decree in terms of how they can police, but I would imagine that there are individual stories or individual officers within that department who still may have problematic relationships with the community, but I think overall at eight for a bride level. Yes, relationships have changed. Rachel Lipman politics..

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