Department of Justice Finds Signs of Racial Bias in Ferguson Police Force
The national discussion about police brutality and race relations that intensified last summer with the police-related killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and other unarmed black people continued on Tuesday with the news that a Department of Justice investigation has found evidence of racial bias within the Police Department in Ferguson, Missouri.
Those findings will be released this week, The Washington Post reports:
The Justice Department will issue findings this week that accuse the police department in Ferguson, Mo., of racial bias and routinely violating the constitutional rights of citizens, including by stopping drivers without reasonable suspicion, making arrests without probable cause and using excessive force, officials said.
In hundreds of interviews and in a broad review of more than 35,000 pages of Ferguson police records and other documents, Justice officials found that although African Americans make up 67 percent of the population in Ferguson, they accounted for 93 percent of all arrests between 2012 and 2014.
The findings come as Justice Department officials attempt to negotiate a settlement with the police department to change its practices. If they are unable to reach an agreement, the department could bring a lawsuit, as it has done against law enforcement agencies in other jurisdictions in recent years. A U.S. official said that Ferguson officials have been cooperating.
As part of its findings, the Justice Department concluded that African Americans accounted for 85 percent of all people stopped by Ferguson police officers and 90 percent of all citations issued.
The DOJ’s inquest also took emails between Ferguson police officers and local court officials, including one missive containing the statement that President Obama would not remain in office for long, because, as the writer put it, “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”
–Posted by Kasia AndersonWAIT, BEFORE YOU GO…
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