According to the Washington Post, up until three years ago Darren Wilson worked for the Jennings Police Department, located not far from from the city of Ferguson. The Jennings police department was also made up of mostly white officers, who were supposed to be protecting and serving a mostly black community. Instead, there were so many problems between the police and residents of the town, that the entire 45 person police force was fired. Wilson was one of the officers who lost his job, when the Jennings police force was disbanded.
The city of Jennings has a population of only 14,000 residents, 89 percent of those citizens are black. The racial make-up of the city’s police force, on the other hand, was something like 43 white officers to two black officers. Much like Ferguson, the poverty rate is high and full time employment is scarce. Rodney Epps, one of the Jennings city council members who voted to disband the entire police force, told the Washington Post that the city was plagued racial tension.
“The straw that broke the camel’s back, an officer shot at a female. She was stopped for a traffic violation. She had a child in the back [of the] car and was probably worried about getting locked up. And this officer chased her down Highway 70, past city limits, and took a shot at her. Just ridiculous,”
Epps said during an interview, published on August 23.
After a string of lawsuits over unnecessary force, including accusations of police beating and attacking residents without cause, along with federal and state investigations that revealed fraud and corruption inside the Jennings police department, the city council realized that the entire force was a liability, instead of an asset.
The council voted 6-1 to shut down the Jennings police department, fire all 45 officers who belonged to it, and start over.
While there are no specific reports about Darren Wilson at this time, Lt. Jeff Fuestang, who was appointed to run the city’s new police department described conditions in Jennings at the time the that Wilson was fired:
“There was a disconnect between the community and the police department. There were just too many instances of police tactics which put the credibility of the police department in jeopardy. Complaints against officers. There was a communication breakdown between the police and the community. There were allegations involving use of force that raised questions.”
So much for that spotless record. Darren Wilson, along with 44 other cops, was fired because of serious misconduct, excessive force and rampant corruption. Why is that not on his record?