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St. Louis County will consider new rules for cops in Ferguson and 56 other cities

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The executive of St. Louis County proposed new rules for police on Wednesday in the 57 towns and cities in Missouri’s largest metropolitan area in the wake of complaints of racial profiling and unfair fines and fees.

The proposals come weeks after a federal report found that abusive policing had strained relations between minorities and the mostly white St. Louis County Police Department and made more than 100 recommendations for changes.

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St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said in a statement he would present the bill to the county council on Tuesday and the new standards would go into effect within six months for police in dozens of municipalities.

The new rules would bring officer recruiting and training and use-of-force policies in line with basic standards. Such rules are already in place at the St. Louis County Police Department, county officials said.

The police killing of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed African-American, in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson in August 2014 triggered a national movement over policing and race. The fatal shooting by a white police officer was found to be justified.

The U.S. Department of Justice studied the St. Louis County Police Department and recommended it address minority under-representation, enhance training with a focus on fair and impartial policing and community engagement, reduce use of force and work to ensure racial profiling does not occur.

In addition, residents of two St. Louis suburbs have sued city governments claiming that officials have abused and exploited impoverished people through onerous traffic fines and court fees.

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In a report on its investigation that found widespread abuses in Ferguson’s police and municipal courts practices, the Justice Department said many people interviewed described similar abuses in other municipalities in St. Louis County.

Stenger said the new rules would address many of those issues.

“To build trust between police and residents, this legislation will require that all departments establish use-of-force polices that they make available to the public,” Stenger said in a statement.

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The new rules set standards for licensing and training police officers. The rules also establish policies on when officers may use force and bar them from stopping people based on race, ethnicity or other criteria.

(Reporting by Fiona Ortiz in Chicago)


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Trump’s Mt Rushmore speech trashed on CNN for being nonsense straight out of the ‘Hannity universe’

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On CNN Saturday, reporter Brian Stelter tore into President Donald Trump's Mount Rushmore speech.

"The president had a chance to deliver one of these unifying messages, especially ahead of Independence Day, but instead he chose to go on the attack," said anchor Christi Paul. "Do you think that was the right strategy and why?"

"It sounded like a Stephen Miller speech," said Stelter. "And that is something that appeals to the parts of the president's base that he really focuses on. This is wartime conservativism [sic], this belief that conservatives are at war trying to protect the country from change."

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2020 Election

Trump advisors futilely trying to get him to stop ranting about statues as his re-election prospects collapse: report

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According to a report focusing on Donald Trump's rally at Mt. Rushmore on the evening before the 4th of July, advisors to the president ate attempting to get him to start focusing on bread and butter issues that will get him re-elected instead of harping on statues being pulled down by protesters across the country.

As the Daily Beast report illustrates, their efforts appear to be futile based upon his Friday night speech.

With the president trying to fire up the crowd by insisting, “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders. They think the American people are weak, and soft, and submissive,” the Beast reported that Trump, "decided to focus heavily Friday evening on protesters and Black Lives Matter activists who want various American monuments, including those honoring Confederate, white-supremacist, and slave-owning figures of history, torn down and destroyed for good. "

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Trump’s a traitor — and the Russian bounty scandal is the final straw

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The first story of the rest of Donald Trump's life was published last Friday in the New York Times, revealing that the Russian intelligence agency known as the GRU has been paying bonuses to Taliban fighters to kill Americans, and that this intelligence had been reported to Trump and had been known at least since March. The story was subsequently confirmed by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the AP.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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