Racist police in Ferguson, United States government discovers

This video from the USA:

Ferguson Police Probe: Authorities Point to Alleged Racist E-Mails

3 March 2015

The Department of Justice is expected to release its findings as early as Wednesday.

From the New York Times in the USA:

Ferguson Police Routinely Violate Rights of Blacks, Justice Dept. Finds


MARCH 3, 2015

WASHINGTON — Ferguson, Mo., is a third white, but the crime statistics compiled in the city over the past two years seemed to suggest that only black people were breaking the law. They accounted for 85 percent of traffic stops, 90 percent of tickets and 93 percent of arrests. In cases like jaywalking, which often hinge on police discretion, blacks accounted for 95 percent of all arrests.

The racial disparity in those statistics was so stark that the Justice Department has concluded in a report scheduled for release on Wednesday that there was only one explanation: The Ferguson Police Department was routinely violating the constitutional rights of its black residents.

The report, based on a six-month investigation, provides a glimpse into the roots of the racial tensions that boiled over in Ferguson last summer after a black teenager, Michael Brown, was fatally shot by a white police officer, making it a worldwide flash point in the debate over race and policing in America. It describes a city where the police used force almost exclusively on blacks and regularly stopped people without probable cause. Racial bias is so ingrained, the report said, that Ferguson officials circulated racist jokes on their government email accounts.

In a November 2008 email, a city official said Barack Obama would not be president long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years?” Another email included a cartoon depicting African-Americans as monkeys. A third described black women having abortions as a way to curb crime.

“There are serious problems here that cannot be explained away,” said a law enforcement official who has seen the report and spoke on the condition of anonymity because it had not been released yet.

Those findings reinforce what the city’s black residents have been saying publicly since the shooting in August, that the criminal justice system in Ferguson works differently for blacks and whites. A black motorist who is pulled over is twice as likely to be searched as a white motorist, even though searches of white drivers are more likely to turn up drugs or other contraband, the report found.

Minor, largely discretionary offenses such as disturbing the peace and jaywalking were brought almost exclusively against blacks. When whites were charged with these crimes, they were 68 percent more likely to have their cases dismissed, the Justice Department found.

“I’ve known it all my life about living out here,” Angel Goree, 39, who lives in the apartment complex where Mr. Brown was killed, said Tuesday by phone.

Many such statistics surfaced in the aftermath of Mr. Brown’s shooting, but the Justice Department report offers a more complete look at the data than ever before. Federal investigators conducted hundreds of interviews, reviewed 35,000 pages of police records and analyzed race data compiled for every police stop.

The report will most likely force Ferguson officials to either negotiate a settlement with the Justice Department or face being sued by it on charges of violating the Constitution. Under Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., the Justice Department has opened more than 20 such investigations into local police departments and issued tough findings against cities including Newark; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Cleveland.

But the Ferguson case has the highest profile of Mr. Holder’s tenure and is among the most closely watched since the Justice Department began such investigations in 1994, spurred by the police beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles and the riots that followed.

While much of the attention in Ferguson has been on Mr. Brown’s death, federal officials quickly concluded that the shooting was simply the spark that ignited years of pent-up tension and animosity in the area. The Justice Department is expected to issue a separate report Wednesday clearing the police officer, Darren Wilson, of civil rights violations in the shooting.

It is not clear what changes Ferguson could make that would head off a lawsuit.

The report calls for city officials to acknowledge that the police department’s tactics have caused widespread mistrust and violated civil rights. Ferguson officials have so far been reluctant to do so, particularly as relations between the city and Washington have grown strained.

Mr. Holder was openly critical of the way local officials handled the protests and the investigation into Mr. Brown’s death, and declared a need for “wholesale change” in the police department. Ferguson officials criticized Mr. Holder for a rush to judgment and saw federal officials as outsiders who did not understand their city. …

Ms. Goree said she was skeptical that changes would be made without the city’s being sued.

“If the Justice Department doesn’t take it to the full extent of the law,” she said, “it’s not going to be one iota of a change.”

See also here. And here. And here.

Ferguson shooting: Police employee fired, 2 suspended over racist emails: here.

FERGUSON POLICE DEPARTMENT COULD FOLD OVER DOJ PROBE The legal cost to fight the Department of Justice’s allegations of systematic traffic stops could force the Ferguson Police Department to fold. [Ryan Reilly and Mariah Stewart, HuffPost]

For the activists who cast Ferguson, Mo., as a symbol of the fight against police racism, the Department of Justice report castigating the city’s Police Department for patterns of racial bias was long-sought vindication. The full report, which is to be released as soon as Wednesday, portrays a troubled, overwhelmingly white department policing a predominantly black city where racism was prevalent, where violence was sometimes used against people of color and where traffic stops focused on blacks as a way to raise municipal funds, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the findings: here.

Seven months after one of its white officers fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old, the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department’s own findings of what transpired remain under wraps: here.

WASHINGTON — Darren Wilson, the former police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August, will not face federal civil rights charges in connection with Brown’s death, Justice Department officials said Wednesday: here.

Officer who killed Ferguson teen cleared, but police slammed as racist: here.

How Ferguson, Missouri Uses Cops and the Courts to Prey on Its Residents: here.

Police in Ferguson, Missouri have presided over a predatory system of entrenched racism, economic exploitation and constitutional rights violations stretching back several years, according to a long-awaited Department of Justice investigation released Wednesday: here.

The racial bias in policing found in Ferguson is not unique to Missouri, by Nyle Fort. Local and state police departments around the country are violating the civil and human rights of black people and other oppressed communities daily: here.

About 200 protesters marched Tuesday morning from Los Angeles’ Skid Row, the scene where an unarmed homeless man was shot to death on Sunday by several police officers, to LAPD’s downtown headquarters. The demonstrators packed the Los Angeles Police Commission’s weekly meeting to protest the man’s killing and other cases of police brutality by the LAPD against the homeless: here.

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