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Ferguson Officials Agree to Federal Reform Plan

More than a year and a half after Michael Brown was killed, leaders in Ferguson, Missouri, agreed to a reform plan imposed by the Justice Department.
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The City Council in Ferguson, Missouri, voted unanimously Tuesday to accept a federal plan to reform law enforcement, more than a year and a half after a white cop shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.

"We understand the importance of today's vote," Mayor James Knowles said after the 6-0 vote. "Our number one goal is to not only move the city but the entire region forward. We have heard the concerns of the community, and we're looking forward to working with our citizens."

The government of Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, and the U.S. Justice Department tentatively agreed to a plan last month, but the City Council rejected it over fears that it could bankrupt the town of about 21,000 people.

Related: Ferguson Reaches Tentative Deal With Justice Department

That led the federal government to sue, and after federal officials reassured local lawmakers that they wouldn't have to raise police pay, Tuesday's vote was scheduled.

In a statement Tuesday, the city said the vote "avoids the time and cost of litigating the DOJ's claims and allows the City to continue its focus to ensure constitutional policing and court practices."

The killing of Brown, 18, on Aug. 9, 2014, by a white officer led to weeks of protests and helped give birth to the Black Lives Matter movement. An investigation by the Justice Department was widened to encompass the entire law enforcement system and found widespread misconduct, abuse and discriminatory practices.