Ferguson swears in new police chief Delrish Moss

african kings

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The embattled police force in Ferguson officially has a new chief.

Delrish Moss was sworn in Monday, becoming the first permanent black chief in the St. Louis suburb where 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed, was fatally shot by a white officer in 2014. The officer was not charged but the shooting was a catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ferguson Officials Announce Permanent Michael Brown Memorial

Moss spent his entire 32-year career with Miami police and planned to retire in September. He said in an interview with The Associated Press that he felt called to Ferguson, even though he had planned to retire in September. He was chosen from among 54 applicants.

Moss grew up in a tough Miami neighborhood and saw firsthand examples of racially biased policing. He says he will encourage officers to find ways to positively interact with the community.

New Video Surfaces In The Michael Brown Shooting Case Shows Witnesses In Disbelief

Moss has said he hopes to diversify the mostly white department as it rebounds from the fallout of months of unrest that followed the fatal 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown. A judge last month approved Ferguson’s settlement with the U.S. Justice Department to amend the municipal code, eliminate bias and reform the courts and police department.

Moss spent 20 of his 32 years in Miami as public information officer. He replaces Tom Jackson, who resigned in March 2015 following a Justice Department report critical of Ferguson’s criminal justice system.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.