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In Kansas City, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says police problems may extend beyond Ferguson

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (from left), Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce president Jim Heeter, Clyde McQueen and Gov. Jay Nixon promoted a summer jobs program in Kansas City.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (from left), Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce president Jim Heeter, Clyde McQueen and Gov. Jay Nixon promoted a summer jobs program in Kansas City. The Kansas City Star

Gov. Jay Nixon told reporters Thursday in Kansas City that the racism and poor police practices uncovered in Ferguson, Mo., probably exist in other Missouri communities.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Justice Department released a blistering report that quoted racist emails and described routine targeting of African-American residents in Ferguson. The department said its study showed a pattern of civil rights violations in that community.

“We don’t have the same level of information on every city,” Nixon said. “Your hope, when you see something this jarring, is that (Ferguson) is an outlier. But deep inside you, you know there are still challenges throughout our state.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Thursday that the parents of Michael Brown, the black teenager killed in Ferguson, plan to sue the city and the officer involved in the altercation last summer.

Nixon declined to comment on the possible lawsuit.

“Those are individual rights and individual cases,” he said.

Nixon was in Kansas City to promote a summer jobs program for up to 1,500 young people. It links private employers with paying summer jobs and is supported largely through federal welfare funding.

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders attended the announcement.

To reach Dave Helling, call 816-234-4656 or send email to dhelling@kcstar.com.

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