Richmond police Chief Chris Magnus was summoned to Ferguson, Mo. last month to assist in a civil rights investigation related to the high-profile fatal shooting Aug. 9 of an unarmed young black man by a white Ferguson police officer.
Magnus is one of two law enforcement experts on a 7-person panel assisting the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division, which is leading the probe related to Ferguson, where racial unrest persists following the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
The DOJ is not only investigating Ferguson but all of St. Louis County, Richmond police Capt. Mark Gagan said Friday.
The chief is offering his strategies on creating a culture within a police department and the city it serves that ultimately prevents and reduces use of deadly force, Gagan said. Recruiting, training and policymaking are among the topics.
While a Richmond police officer fatally shot an unarmed man just last month following a struggle, the incident marked the first killing by a RPD cop in seven years.
The chief is not commenting on the DOJ’s ongoing investigation. Gagan did confirm, however, that Magnus was chosen because of the Richmond Police Department’s forward-thinking training and procedures pertaining to use of force.
Magnus’ community policing strategies, which include a focus on transparency and community dialogue, have been heralded for improving relations between officers and Richmond residents, and are credited with a significant reduction in violent crimes in recent years.