Professor to Serve on Independent Team Monitoring Ferguson, Mo., Consent Decree

Professor to Serve on Independent Team Monitoring Ferguson, Mo., Consent Decree

Professor to Serve on Independent Team Monitoring Ferguson, Mo., Consent Decree

Professor Delores Jones-Brown of John Jay College’s Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration, and the founding director of the College’s Center on Race, Crime and Justice, will serve on an eight-member team monitoring a federal consent decree for the city of Ferguson, Mo.

The team from the Cleveland, Ohio-based law firm of Squire Patton Boggs was approved July 25 by U.S. District Judge Catherine D. Perry of the Eastern District of Missouri. The team will be led by Clark Kent Ervin, a partner in the firm’s Government Investigations & White Collar Practice Group, who previously served in the administration of President George W. Bush as the first inspector general of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Professor Jones-Brown said she was “moved to tears” by her selection to the monitoring team. "After more than eight years working on research related to police reform in New York City, and nearly two decades of ‎writing about police officers who engage in the unwarranted use of force, this appointment, more than anything else in my career, represents the premier opportunity to engage in work that can make a difference in the lives of real people,” she said.

The consent decree that the team will oversee was reached between the City of Ferguson and the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) in March 2016 after a federal investigation revealed a pattern and practice of unlawful conduct, including civil rights violations, by the Ferguson Police Department, culminating in the August 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.

The DOJ investigation concluded that Ferguson police routinely violated constitutional rights by stopping and searching people without reasonable suspicion and arresting people without probable cause, and that the Ferguson municipal court operated with a profit motive. The Brown shooting helped fuel the national #Black Lives Matter movement.

The reforms called for by the consent decree are aimed at bringing about constitutional and effective policing, promoting officer and public safety, fostering greater trust between police and the community, and ensuring fundamental fairness and equal treatment regardless of race in the municipal court.

Professor Jones-Brown, who is a former Monmouth County, N.J., prosecutor, will be joined on the monitoring team by Samuel Rosenthal, head of Squire Patton Boggs’s Government Investigations & White Collar Practice Group; former Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis; Kimberly Norwood, a professor of law at Washington University Law School; Natashia Tidwell, a former police officer and federal prosecutor who is now with the law firm of Collora LLP; Frances McLeod, founding partner of Forensic Risk Alliance, a forensic accounting and data analytics firm; and Thomas Maronick, a marketing, advertising and consumer survey expert and former senior executive with the Federal Trade Commission.

Professor Jones-Brown was also recently selected as a Rutgers 250 Fellow for A Day of Revolutionary Thinking by Rutgers School of Criminal Justice. On November 10, 2016, Professor Jones-Brown will be presented with the Rutgers Medal and honored along with prominent alumni for her achievements.