After Ferguson, cities face a body-cam dilemma

American cities rushed to provide police departments with body cameras, spurred by public outcry over shooting incidents in Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere.

Having moved fast, however, cities are now running into friction, often from within their own ranks. Opponents of the contract arrangements say officials may have cut corners by signing no-bid deals, by not testing options thoroughly or by becoming too cozy with vendors.

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Ferguson, Missouri, demands high fees to provide government files after Michael Brown shooting

Officials in Ferguson, Missouri, are charging nearly 10 times the cost of some of their own employees' salaries before they will agree to turn over files under public records laws about the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Missouri's attorney general on Monday, after the AP first disclosed the practice, contacted Ferguson's city attorney to ask for more information regarding fees related to document requests, the attorney general's spokeswoman said.

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Editorial: Ferguson City Council needs transparency first, changes second

In confusing public relations with public governance, the Ferguson City Council took one step forward and two steps back this week. On Monday, in advance of a Tuesday night City Council meeting, the public relations firm hired by the city announced that the City Council was “implementing several changes and new programs in response to community concerns.”

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Editorial: Open government: The battle never ends

All governments share a common temptation: to use their power to evade accountability. Several police officers proved it again last week in Ferguson, Missouri.

In the middle of heated demonstrations over the shooting of Michael Brown, two reporters – one from the Washington Post – got roughed up and arrested without cause by officers at a McDonald’s restaurant. The officers may have been set off by Post reporter’s refusal to stop filming them with a video camera. They were certainly set off by the journalists’ presence.

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