US Attorney General Hosts Youth Town Hall In Miami

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — As part of her two day swing through South Florida, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch hosted a youth town hall with student “Peace Ambassadors” at Miami’s Booker T. Washington High School where the discussion focused on police-community relations.

In addition to Miami, Lynch will visit Portland, Oregon; Indianapolis; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Phoenix; and Los Angeles in the coming months as part of an initiative to improve trust, cooperation and public safety between law enforcement and local citizens.

The initiative comes amid a national debate about police use of force and tactics following high-profile police shootings of unarmed young men in such places as Ferguson, Missouri, and Cleveland.

The six cities were selected because they excelled in each of the six pillars discussed in the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing final report. Following the town hall, Lynch held a roundtable discussion on policing at Miami-Dade College and then visited the Freedom Tower.

On Thursday, Lynch stopped by the Miami-Dade Police Department where she thanked officers for their service to the community.

She also stopped by the Doral Police Department which is considered a nationwide model for intense training in community policing, avoiding use of force and a pioneer in adhering to a program established by the Justice Department.

“The city of Doral is one of the places that we look to as an example of so many things,” Lynch said.

That is in sharp contrast to the small town of Ferguson, Missouri where the fatal shooting of a young black man set off a national uproar.

Lynch’s Justice Department sued Ferguson on Wednesday for backing out of an agreement to reform its history of racist police practices, detailed by federal investigators following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

The City of Miami came under Justice Department scrutiny in 2013 after 33 fatal shootings by police in less than three years. Miami was ordered to to agree to federal oversight, but that was not immediately forthcoming.

Regalado said the agreement was delayed due to concerns by the city about the length of time the federal oversight would last, and the expense it would pose.

News of the deal emerged Friday, Lynch said the proposed settlement would include significant police reforms.

Miami U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said the agreement should be finalized by the end of February. It would include a court-appointed monitor to oversee the police department for up to four years.

It also must be approved by the Miami City Commission. (TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)