- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Young protest leaders who stormed St. Louis City Hall this week as part of the Ferguson October demonstrations against police killings said Wednesday they plan to sit down with Mayor Francis Slay and city officials to discuss their demands.

Young Activists United leaders are scheduled to meet with the mayor Thursday afternoon at City Hall.

The group wants Slay to require all city police officers to wear body cameras, to create a civilian review board for police, and to implement mandatory independent investigations of fatal shootings involving police. Some of these demands were already being addressed.

The group also wants to make sure that the city does not take part in the Defense Department’s 1033 program, which provides surplus military equipment to local police.

Protest leaders who spoke at a press conference outside City Hall Wednesday they said they expect a quick response and no hollow promises.

“This place right here has a lot of power to make a lot of change,” said Rasheen Aldridge, a 20-year-old college student. “We’re tired of not getting our voices heard. … If change is not implemented in this city, young people will continue to step up for their freedom.”

Slay vetoed a civilian police oversight plan backed by the Board of Aldermen in 2006. But his office said in a letter Wednesday that the mayor was working “in good faith” with a city alderman on that issue but that it could take a few weeks to realize.

Comptroller Darlene Green released a statement committing to “a plan of action” on civilian review and body cameras. The resolution was adopted by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, comprising Slay, Green and Lewis Reed, who is president of the Board of Aldermen.

Body cameras will initially cost the city $1.2 million and another $800,000 annually. Slay spokeswoman Maggie Crane said the city would seek voter support for a bond measure to cover those costs.

Monday’s demonstration at City Hall was one of 10 protests that day organized under the banner of Ferguson October after the Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a municipal police officer in St. Louis County.

The four-day event drew activists, college students and clergy from across the country. More than 50 people were intentionally arrested at locations including the Ferguson police department, the headquarters of Fortune 500 company Emerson Electric, a Ferguson Wal-Mart and a political fundraiser at a Webster Groves law office attended by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

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Follow Alan Scher Zagier on Twitter at https://twitter.com/azagier

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