7 Racist Emails From Ferguson Officials And Other Tidbits From DOJ Report

The Department of Justice has released their full report from their investigation into the Ferguson,MO Police Department. Despite their decision to not prosecute Darren Wilson, their report on the FPD is disturbing. The DOJ concluded that the FPD has arrested people to “retaliate against individuals for using language that, while disrespectful, is protected by the Constitution.” The FDP is also guilty of widespread racial profiling and other contemptuous activities. The DOJ found a number of vulgar, racist e-mails from FPD police officers, and others in the local criminal justice industry. These e-mails show a complete disregard for the lives of African-Americans in Ferguson, and in general.

Here are the e-mails from the Department of Justice report:

  •  November 2008: An e-mail said President Obama would not be president for very long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”
  • March 2010: An e-mail mocked African Americans through a story involving child support. One line from the e-mail read: “I be so glad that dis be my last child support payment! Month after month, year after year, all dose payments!”
  • April 2011: An e-mail depicted Obama as a chimpanzee.
  • May 2011: An e-mail said: “An African-American woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital for a pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers.’”
  • June 2011: An e-mail described a man seeking to obtain “welfare” for his dogs because they are “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddies are.”
  • October 2011: An e-mail included a photo of a group of bare-chested women dancing, seemingly in Africa, with the caption, “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.”
  • December 2011: An e-mail included jokes that are based on offensive stereotypes about Muslims.

The racist e-mails are just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of verified accounts of racist profiling of African-Americans and the unjustifiable use of force used against them. There are also multiple accounts that indicate that the FPD used persistent abuse of power against peaceful protest after the killing of Michael Brown. According to the report almost 90% of the time forced is used, it is used against African-Americans.

One incident of unjustifiable use of force from the DOJ report says:

“In February 2014, officers responded to a group of African-American teenage girls “play fighting” (in the words of the officer) in an intersection after school. When one of the schoolgirls gave the middle finger to a white witness who had called the police, an officer ordered her over to him. One of the girl’s friends accompanied her. Though the friend had the right to be present and observe the situation—indeed, the offense reports include no facts suggesting a safety concern posed by her presence—the officers ordered her to leave and then attempted to arrest her when she refused. Officers used force to arrest the friend as she pulled away. When the first girl grabbed an officer’s shoulder, they used force to arrest her, as well.  Officers charged the two teenagers with a variety of offenses…This incident underscores how officers’ unlawful response to activity protected by the First Amendment can quickly escalate to physical resistance, resulting in additional force, additional charges, and increasing the risk of injury to officers and members of the public alike.”

Examples like the one above are rampant throughout the entire 102-page report. Among them are statistics such as the following:

African Americans are 2.07 times more likely to be searched during a vehicular stop but are 26% 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.

  • African Americans have force used against them at disproportionately high rates, accounting for 88% of all cases from 2010 to August 2014 in which an FPD officer reported using force. In all 14 uses of force involving a canine bite for which we have information about the race of the person bitten, the person was African American.
  • African Americans are more likely to receive multiple citations during a single incident, receiving four or more citations on 73 occasions between October 2012 and July 2014, whereas non-African Americans received four or more citations only twice during that period.
  • African Americans account for 95% of Manner of Walking charges; 94% of all Fail to Comply charges; 92% of all Resisting Arrest charges; 92% of all Peace Disturbance charges; and 89% of all Failure to Obey charges. 38
  • African Americans are 68% less likely than others to have their cases dismissed by the Municipal Judge, and in 2013 African Americans accounted for 92% of cases in which an arrest warrant was issued.

This type of behavior could just as easily be found in any police department in the United States. This report provides a completely new level of legitimacy to those working to end the brutality and racism that is so pervasive through the United States police forces.

Featured Image Credit:By Jamelle Bouie [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons