Missouri Replaces Ferguson Judge

     FERGUSON, Mo. (CN) – Citing the need for “extraordinary action,” the Missouri Supreme Court on Monday transferred a judge to oversee the embattled Ferguson municipal court.
     Missouri Appeals Judge Roy L. Richter will hear all of Ferguson’s pending and future municipal cases starting March 16.
     The U.S. Department of Justice last week blasted the Ferguson municipal court for acting as a revenue-generator that trampled on the public’s constitutional rights.
     The Justice Department’s 102-page report was the culmination of a months-long probe into Ferguson after its police Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown to death on Aug. 9 last year.
     “Judge Richter will bring a fresh, disinterested perspective to this court’s practices and he is able and willing to implement needed reforms,” Chief Justice Mary R. Russell said in a statement.
     Russell said the reforms may not be limited to Ferguson.
     “Extraordinary action is warranted in Ferguson, but the Court also is examining reforms that are needed on a statewide basis,” Russell said.
     The previous Ferguson municipal judge, Ronald J. Brockmeyer, resigned from his Ferguson position, his law office told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
     Brockmeyer will remain in his other municipal positions, including prosecutor for neighboring Dellwood and judge in nearby Breckenridge Hills.
     The New York Times published a devastating story last weekend stating that Ferguson was far from alone in Missouri towns targeting black drivers for traffic citations to fill municipal coffers.

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