The 198-page Ferguson report spearheaded by Democratic Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was released Monday and has declared that racism is the underlying problem between citizens and police officers.
That conclusion is not hard to believe when the report is titled, "Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity." There were 16 volunteer St. Louis citizens on the commission that Gov. Nixon said represented an "authentic" and "credible" group. They were cops, CEOs, protesters, professors, business owners, ministers, and non-profit leaders, the governor said in a Monday speech.
He laid forth a fourfold plan based on the "countless hours of discussion and deliberation:"
1. Justice for all
2. Youth development
3. Opportunity to thrive
4. Racial equity
In the introduction to the report, the commission explains why the title of the report was chosen:
We believe that if we attempt to skirt the difficult truths, if we try to avoid talking about race, if we stop talking about Ferguson, as many in the region would like us to, then we cannot move forward.
We know that talking about race makes a lot of people uncomfortable. But make no mistake: this is about race.
We have not moved beyond race. St. Louis does not have a proud history on this topic, and we are still suffering the consequences of decisions made by our predecessors.
Though the report is an exhausting 198 pages, it is not meant to be read as policy. It instead is being described as "the people's report" -- written to a broader audience; not lawyers, legislators, or politicians. It is stated to be "a study of underlying issues, not an investigation of an incident." It is also being labeled "a living document," one that is in the digital domain and easily updated to "reflect new research."
However, the report does make multiple recommendations on how to fight racial inequality. These "calls to action" include, but are not limited to, expanding Medicaid eligibility, raising the minimum wage, enacting "inclusionary" housing zones for more diverse neighborhoods, and creating "a 25-year fund to support racial equality."
Also among these recommendations are changes to how law enforcement conducts its business, such as updating the force used on fleeing suspects, and also minimizing the use of militarized weaponry.
And that's the real target here, police officers. It is suggested that they be retrained on all levels to appease an enraged community that see themselves as victims of biased brutality. And when that fails, the report assures that the government can step in to provide further safety nets in combating racism and inequality.
The report is embedded in its entirety below: