A Dump of the Ferguson Police Department’s Racist Behavior [blog/news]

A Dump of the Ferguson Police Department’s Racist Behavior [blog/news]

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On March 4, 2015 the Department of Justice released their findings in the investigation of the Ferguson Police Department. You can Download the full report here.  Below are some of the major findings from the report.  Plenty of people thought the department showed racist and discriminatory tendencies but now we have proof.  Read the below excerpts and comment below.  We’d like to know your thoughts!

[bctt tweet=”The 67% of African Americans in Ferguson account for 93% of arrests made from 2012-2014.”]

  • African Americans are 2.07 times more likely to be searched during a vehicular stop but are 26 percent  less likely to have contraband found on them during a search. They are 2.00 times more likely to receive a citation and 2.37 times more likely to be arrested following a vehicular stop.

Ferguson’s law enforcement practices overwhelmingly impact African Americans. Data collected by the Ferguson Police Department from 2012 to 2014 shows that African Americans account for 85% of vehicle stops, 90% of citations, and 93% of arrests made by FPD officers, despite comprising only 67% of Ferguson’s population. African Americans are more than twice as likely as white drivers to be searched during vehicle stops even after controlling for non-race based variables such as the reason the vehicle stop was initiated, but are found in possession of contraband 26% less often than white drivers, suggesting officers are impermissibly considering race as a factor when determining whether to search


The report concludes that in every dog bite incident reported, the person bitten was black.


 

Ferguson’s law enforcement practices are shaped by the City’s focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs. This emphasis on revenue has compromised the institutional character of Ferguson’s police department, contributing to a pattern of unconstitutional policing, and has also shaped its municipal court, leading to procedures that raise due process concerns and inflict unnecessary harm on members of the Ferguson community. Further, Ferguson’s police and municipal court practices both reflect and exacerbate existing racial bias, including racial stereotypes.Ferguson’s own data establish clear racial disparities that adversely impact African Americans. The evidence shows that discriminatory intent is part of the reason for these disparities…

Partly as a consequence of City and FPD priorities, many officers appear to see some residents, especially those who live in Ferguson’s predominantly African-American neighborhoods, less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue..


 

In 2013 alone, the court issued over 9,000 warrants on cases stemming in large part from minor violations such as parking infractions, traffic tickets, or housing code violations. Jail time would be considered far too harsh a penalty for the great majority of these code violations, yet Ferguson’s municipal court routinely issues warrants for people to be arrested and incarcerated for failing to timely pay related fines and fees


 

We spoke with one African-American man who, in August 2014, had an argument in his apartment to which FPD officers responded, and was immediately pulled out of the apartment by force. After telling the officer, “you don’t have a reason to lock me up,” he claims the officer responded: “N*****, I can find something to lock you up on.” When the man responded, “good luck with that,” the officer slammed his face into the wall, and after the man fell to the floor, the officer said, “don’t pass out motherf****r because I’m not carrying you to my car.”


 

Racist Emails

  • A November 2008 email read in part that President Barack Obama wouldn’t likely be president for long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.” And then in April 2011, another email depicted Obama as a chimpanzee.
  • Another email joked that African-American women should use abortion to control crime.
  • May 2011 email: “An African-American woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital for a pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $3,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said: ‘Crimestoppers.'”
  • A March 2010 email mockingly read: “I be so glad that dis be my last child support payment!” Month after month, year after year, all dose payments!”
  • October 2011: An email included a photo of a group of topless, dancing black women, seemingly in Africa, with the caption: “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.”
  • A December 2011 email included jokes playing on offensive Muslim stereotypes

 

Violent force against the mentally impaired was used

While court rulings hold that an individual’s mental impairments must factor into use-of-force decisions, officers used violent force against mentally impaired people in a number of cases. In a notorious 2011 case, officers shot and killed a man who was running nude through Ferguson and pounding cars while proclaiming that he was Jesus; the man was schizophrenic.

Two years later, officers approached a “suspicious” man spotted running in public pushing around a shopping cart. The man, who was intellectually disabled, pulled away when officers patted him down. In response, “[t]he officers drive-stunned him in the side of the neck.”


 

Is the Ferguson Police Department Racist?  Share your thoughts below!

Sources
http://www.salon.com/2015/03/04/8_horrifying_revelations_in_the_justice_departments_ferguson_report/
http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/04/politics/document-justice-department-ferguson-police/index.html
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/03/The-Gangsters-Of-Ferguson/386893/
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-ferguson-analysis-20150305-story.html#page=2
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/03/04/17-disturbing-statistics-from-the-federal-report-on-ferguson-police/

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