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Saturday, July 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

City Clerk Near Ferguson Fears for His Job

ST. LOUIS (CN) - A village clerk's job status is uncertain after he told a national TV reporter that he believed police were behind the shootings of two police officers outside the Ferguson Police Department last week.

John Muhammad, village clerk of Uplands Park - which is near Ferguson - told a Fox News reporter that he believed the shootings were a set-up within the police fraternity.

Muhammad went on to say that police "operate just like the KKK. I think they did it to make themselves a victim, when honestly the victims are black people. I think it's just a publicity stunt, no more than that."

Muhammad, who identified himself to the reporter as a city manager, will have his position as village clerk reviewed at a meeting Tuesday night. Muhammad, who was hired four months ago, is suspended pending that meeting's outcome.

Michael Spurling, chairman of the Uplands Park board of trustees, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the board does not agree with what Muhammad said and was upset that he identified himself as the city manager.

"He is not the city manager; he's the village clerk," Spurling told the Post-Dispatch.

Uplands Park, 7 miles northwest of St. Louis, has a population of 447 on its 44 acres. Ninety-six percent of its resident are African-American, according to city-data.com.

In related Ferguson news, the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously endorsed a bill that will provide $8.5 million of general revenue for the state's emergency and disaster response.

The funds were depleted due to the protests that followed the Michael Brown shooting last August.

About $11.5 million was spent after Gov. Jay Nixon called in the Highway Patrol and National Guard to help local law enforcement during the sometimes violent protests. That left $6.7 million for emergencies for the remaining budget year, which ends June 30.

With tornado season approaching, officials were concerned that the state could be vulnerable should another emergency happen.

The measure now moves to the Senate floor for debate.

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