Ferguson, Missouri elects two black city councillors
Updated: 2015-04-08 16:39
Kate Mazzacavallo (L) and Roy Hawkins (R) cast their ballots with assistance from an elections official during the municipal elections at First Presbyterian Church in Ferguson, Missouri, USA, April 7, 2015. [Photo/IC]
"I hope this means we'll have a more engaged and willing-to-listen council," a resident of the St. Louis suburb and State Representative Courtney Curtis said, noting however that two candidates championed by activists had lost.
"This will be the most minority representation ever on the council. What they do remains to be seen, but I am hopeful."
The council will select a new city manager, who in turn will hire and supervise the police chief and all other city employees, with the exception of the city clerk.
Both the previous police chief and city manager resigned, as did Ferguson's municipal judge, after the US Justice Department said in March that it found widespread discriminatory practices in the police department and the municipal court.
A county grand jury declined to indict Wilson for Brown's death and the US Justice Department also declined to pursue charges against the officer, who resigned from the department.
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles, considered a seventh member of the council, said reforms are already under way and do not depend upon new council members.
"People in general want to see change," Knowles said by phone. "I don't think any candidate who is running for office or anyone on the current city council has said they want to keep things the way they are."