The power structure in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, was noticeably shaken after former Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed teen, Mike Brown, in the street on August 9, 2014. As a result, people became outraged and protested, petitioning the local government for justice and reform.
The leadership of the mostly-white police force for the mostly-black community was dismantled, with then Chief Tom Jackson, the City Manager and Municipal Judge all resigning within days of each other. Now, Ferguson has named their next police chief who plans to help the town rebuild itself.
After serving more than 20 years with the Miami Police Department, Maj. Delrish Moss will become the police chief of Ferguson, MO, according to New York Daily News.
Moss has first-hand experience with watching a racially divided community attempt to get back on the right track. He was a witness to the 1980 riots in Miami that were a result of four white police officers fatally beating Arthur McDuffie and being acquitted.
“I lived in Overtown when it burned. You see things being destroyed,” Moss told the Miami Herald in early March. “The people hurt the most are not the police or the businesses outside the area. It’s the people who live there. And I was one of those families.”
Moss would join Miami police four years later, doing time in homicide before moving on to media and community relations. His experience there will likely help in his new position as he hopes to restore relations between police and members of the community.
“Ferguson needs a lot of things,” Moss recently told the Herald. “It needs a massive recruiting drive to become more reflective of the community. You can’t tell me there are no qualified African-Americans in that community.”
Moss’ hiring comes days after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel named Eddie Johnson, a veteran CPD officer, as the interim Superintendent and his pick to fill the position on a permanent basis. With these two hirings, one starts to wonder why these steps weren’t being taken sooner.
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