What We Know: Ferguson asks for changes to reform agreement

AP News
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Posted: Feb 10, 2016 3:12 PM

The St. Louis suburb where a police officer fatally shot Michael Brown has asked the Justice Department to make changes to an agreement that would reform the city's police and court systems. Here's what we know about the request and what happens next.

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— Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III says the changes were deemed necessary after a financial analysis showed the original agreement was so expensive that it could potentially lead to the dissolution of the city.

— The biggest proposed change removes a requirement that police salaries be raised. City officials believe meeting that provision would also require fire department salaries to rise, potentially costing $1 million annually.

— The analysis showed that the city's cost would be up to $3.7 million for the first year alone and $1.8 million to $3 million in each of the second and third years. The city has a $14.5 million budget and is already facing a $2.8 million deficit.

— The head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division says the city's request "creates an unnecessary delay" in making needed changes. If the department does not go along with the changes, a civil rights lawsuit is possible. A court battle could cost Ferguson millions in legal fees.