Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Justice Department report calls out Ferguson's Police on their Bias and Excessive Force

Ooh wee, The DOJ investigation on Police department in Ferguson is back with some key info on their practices. Trust me, it's some good stuff.

NYT reports

The Justice Department, which opened its investigation after a white Ferguson police officer shot and killed a black teenager last summer, says the discrimination was fueled in part by racial stereotypes held by city officials. Investigators say the officials made racist jokes about blacks on their city email accounts.

The report’s findings were summarized by a federal law enforcement official. The full report is expected to be released on Wednesday. A separate report is expected to clear the officer, Darren Wilson, of any civil rights violations in the shooting of Mr. Brown.

Ferguson officials now face the choice of either negotiating a settlement with the Justice Department or potentially being sued by it on charges of violating the Constitution.

In compiling the report, federal investigators conducted hundreds of interviews, reviewed 35,000 pages of police records and analyzed race data compiled for every police stop. They concluded that, over the past two years, African-Americans — who make up about two-thirds of the city’s population — accounted for 85 percent of traffic stops, 90 percent of citations, 93 percent of arrests and 88 percent of cases in which the police used force.

Black motorists were twice as likely as whites to be searched but were less likely to be found in possession of contraband such as drugs or guns.

The findings reinforce what the city’s African-American residents have been saying publicly for the past year: that years of discrimination and mistrust created the volatile environment that erupted after Mr. Brown’s shooting.
More from MSNBC

In 88% of documented incidents in which police used of force against someone, that person was black. Blacks were even bitten by police dogs disproportionately. In each of the 14 cases involving someone being bitten by a police dog, that person was black.

The poor treatment didn’t end on the street. Blacks in Ferguson were 68% less likely than others to have their cases dismissed by the Municipal Judge and were disproportionately likely to have a warrant issued against them, according to the report. As recently as 2013, 96% of the people who were arrested on an outstanding warrant were black.

But even more than the treatment they received once stopped, the Justice Department’s report found that blacks were used in the criminal justice system to buoy the city’s economy and balance its budget. The practices uncovered by federal investigators have violated residents’ Constitutional Rights of due process and equal protection under the law.
I will post the full report hopefully tomorrow

The DOJ’s report found that blacks were also subject to unfair stops and arrest for minor offenses like “manner of walking” in a roadway.

Since 2010, according to the report, the court has collected more revenue for Failure to Appear in court charges than any other charge. The court collected $442,901 in fines for such violations accounting for nearly 25% of total court revenue that year.

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Viktor is a small town southern boy living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Twitter, writing about pop culture, politics, and comics. He’s the creator of the graphic novel StrangeLore and currently getting back into screenwriting.