The Latest: Ferguson re-elects Knowles as mayor
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on Ferguson, Missouri, municipal elections (all times local):
Ferguson, Missouri’s top elected official in the tumultuous 32 months since the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown has won another three-year term.
Mayor James Knowles III on Tuesday held off a challenge from city Councilwoman Ella Jones, who was seeking to become the St. Louis suburb’s first-ever black mayor. Knowles won with 56 percent of the vote to Jones’ 44 percent.
It will be Knowles’ final term in office, due to term limits. He was first elected to the City Council at age 25, and was just 31 when he was elected mayor. Jones, a retired Mary Kay executive, was elected to the council in 2015, her first elected position.
Ferguson became a flash point of racial unrest following the 2014 shooting of Brown, a black and unarmed 18-year-old, by white officer Darren Wilson. A grand jury and the U.S. Department of Justice cleared Wilson of wrongdoing and he resigned in November 2014.
Ferguson, Missouri, will have strict new requirements for use of police body cameras following voter approval of a ballot initiative.
On Tuesday, voters in the town that became a flashpoint of racial unrest following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown overwhelmingly approved the body camera measure. It will require officers to have cameras on at virtually all times, require the city to maintain body camera video for at least two years, and make footage from public places widely available.
Ferguson officers have used body cameras since a few weeks after Brown, who was 18, black and unarmed, was killed by a white police officer in 2014. But critics say officers don’t always have them on and cite other problems with the current policy.
The person who’s been the public face of Ferguson, Missouri, since the St. Louis suburb was thrust into the spotlight following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown faces a challenge in his bid for re-election.
Two-term Mayor James Knowles III is opposed by Councilwoman Ella Jones in Tuesday’s election. Jones would be Ferguson’s first black mayor.
Brown was killed by officer Darren Wilson in August 2014. The shooting of the unarmed, black 18-year-old by the white officer led to months of sometimes violent protests. Wilson was cleared of wrongdoing. He resigned in November 2014.
The investigation led to a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit over racially biased police and court practices. A settlement calls for significant changes.
Ferguson voters also will decide on strict new rules for police body cameras.