Ferguson Police Racially Discriminates against Black residents, concludes U.S. Justice Department
Racism in Ferguson goes as far as someone saying that not even Obama himself could hold his job for four years due to the color of his skin.
An investigation conducted by the Department of Justice of the United States seconded the most widespread complaint among black residents in Ferguson: police and justice discriminate against them.
After six months of investigation, the federal government has concluded that the police, judicial and correctional departments in the St. Louis (Missouri) suburb routinely carries out practices of racial prejudice.
The investigation began in August after the death of an unarmed black 18 year old man who received at least six shots from a white police officer. The case of Michael Brown unleashed a wave of protests in Ferguson fueled in large part by anger entrenched in the African American community about an alleged pattern of police abuse.
In the town of 21,000 inhabitants in the Midwest of the US, most of the inhabitants are black, but most political, police and educational structure is occupied by whites.
The Justice Department has concluded that between 2012 and 2014 police officers routinely violated the constitutional rights of black citizens in Ferguson by excessively using force and conducting unjustified traffic stops to raise revenue.
After announcing their findings, the federal government will initiate a negotiation with the authorities of Ferguson to force certain changes or, if that fails, sue the city for its constitutional violation.
In the last six years, the federal government has made a dozen civil rights investigations regarding the work of police forces in the US.
The case of Ferguson is not an exceptional one. Tensions over race issues between the federal government and local authorities have been a constant in recent US history. In the 50s and 60s, Washington forced those opposed to racial segregation laws to comply with them.
After hundreds of interviews and reviewing 35,000 pages of police reports, federal investigators determined that, despite representing 67% of the population of Ferguson, blacks account for 85% of traffic stops, 88% of the cases in which Police used force, 90% of subpoenas and 93% of the arrests of the city.
Black drivers are twice as likely to be inspected by a policeman despite being less likely to carry weapons or drugs. African Americans also fill the majority of incidents in which dogs bite citizens, which further proves the uncomfortable echo of police repression in black marches for civil rights in the 60s.
In the judicial system of Ferguson, African Americans have fewer options to have a judge dismiss cases against them which results in up to 95% of blacks held over two days in jail. Most warrants are for minor infractions such as parking or traffic violations.
Discrimination, concludes the investigation, comes from above. It is fed in part on racial stereotypes of the top authorities. The researchers found an email from 2008 that claimed that Barack Obama would not be president long. “What black man holds a steady job for four years,” the message said.