The city of Ferguson, Mo., announced Wednesday — almost one year after the police shooting death of Michael Brown — that it has chosen a black officer from Arizona as its interim police chief.
City officials have named Andre Anderson, 50, a commander with the Glendale, Ariz., police department, as Ferguson’s new interim chief, giving him control of a 45-officer suburban police department that has faced international scrutiny following the shooting of Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, by Darren Wilson, a white officer, in August.
“I believe I am the right particular person for this job,” Anderson told reporters on Wednesday morning.
The incident and subsequent investigations by the Department of Justice prompted a massive upheaval in Ferguson city government, including the resignations of then-police chief Tom Jackson and city manager John Shaw.
Among the findings of the federal review was that officers were specifically targeting black and poor residents, using tickets to raise revenue for the city, and frequently using unnecessary physical force. It also uncovered several racially charged e-mails sent by police, court and city officials.
Anderson has spent 24 years at the Glendale Police Department, where, according to several articles by the Arizona Republic, he has mentored and coached at-risk youth at a local boxing gym.
He is the second interim official chosen from Glendale, joining Ed Beasley, who left his job as the Arizona city’s manager to be Ferguson’s interim city manager earlier this year.
“He is extremely well-qualified,” Ferguson Mayor James Knowles told Reuters. “He will bring us a fresh perspective coming from outside the St. Louis region.”
Anderson’s hire was first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.