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ST. LOUIS — A business owner, two pastors, a community activist and a police detective are among the 16 people appointed by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to an independent panel tasked with helping the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson heal after the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Nixon introduced the nine black and seven white members of the Ferguson Commission Tuesday in St. Louis.
The commission was created to study the underlying social and economic conditions underscored by unrest following the early August shooting of Brown, who was black, by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, who is white. It will make recommendations in a report due by September 2015.
More than 300 people applied for spots on the commission, including out-of-state residents and Missourians who don't live in the St. Louis area. The Democratic governor selected a racially diverse group; nine of its members are black, seven are white. Its ranks include the owner of Ferguson construction supply company, two pastors, a university professor, two attorneys, a 20-year-old community activist and a St. Louis police detective who is also president of the state chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police.
The Missouri Development Finance Board approved a $100,000 grant Tuesday to help cover the commission's operating cost. State Economic Development Director Mike Downing has said that additional funding will come from private contributions and the Hawthorn Foundation, a nonprofit group that helps finance state economic development efforts.
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