Former Indiana police chief finalist for Ferguson chief spot

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) — A former northwest Indiana police chief who’s in the running to become Ferguson, Missouri’s, next top officer says leading that department would be a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Mark Becker stepped down as East Chicago’s police chief on Friday, the same day Ferguson officials named the former FBI agent one of four finalists for its vacant police chief post.

Ferguson drew national attention after the fatal 2014 shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer set off weeks of protests. That officer was cleared of wrongdoing in 18-year-old Michael Brown’s killing.

But a U.S. Justice Department report found that Ferguson police disproportionately targeted black residents with stops and searches and arrested many without legal justification.

Becker tells The (Munster) Times Ferguson’s next police chief will face a “tremendous challenge.”

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