After the Justice Department’s scathing report on the police department was released, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said on Wednesday that one police official had been fired and two others were on administrative leave.
The racist emails in question detail a blatantly biased police force in a town that consists of a largely black population.
The report concluded that the police department’s practices “have sown deep mistrust between parts of the community and the police department, undermining law enforcement legitimacy among African Americans in particular.”
The evidence they found demonstrating the Ferguson PD’s “intentional discrimination on the basis of race” included arrest statistics and a lot of racist emails. There were so many of these emails that the DOJ could only choose a few to demonstrate what kind of messages the Ferguson PD sent each other in their spare time:
A November 2008 email stated that President Barack Obama would not be President for very long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”
A March 2010 email mocked African Americans through speech and familial stereotypes, using a story involving child support. One line from the email read: “I be so glad that dis be my last child support payment! Month after month, year after year, all dose payments!”
An April 2011 email depicted President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee.
A May 2011 email stated: “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.’”
A June 2011 email 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.”
An October 2011 email included a photo of a bare-chested group of dancing women, apparently in Africa, with the caption, “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.”
A December 2011 email included jokes that are based on offensive stereotypes about Muslims.
And these weren’t the only emails they found. “Our review of documents revealed many additional email communications that exhibited racial or ethnic bias, as well as other forms of bias,” they wrote, adding that no one at the Ferguson PD was ever disciplined, or even called out, for their behavior:
Our investigation has not revealed any indication that any officer or court clerk engaged in these communications was ever disciplined. Nor did we see a single instance in which a police or court recipient of such an email asked that the sender refrain from sending such emails, or any indication that these emails were reported as inappropriate. Instead, the emails were usually forwarded along to others.
This type of behavior will not be tolerated in the Ferguson Police Department,” Knowles said in an evening news conference, without taking questions from reporters.
But it has been tolerated for a very long time. Republicans supported bad police behavior in that town and that comes as no shock to the rest of us. Every excuse was offered in order to support the beating down of African Americans in Ferguson. Protesters were called, “thugs” and “looters” while people like Cliven Bundy were afforded the utmost of respect from the right wing.
What a nice little bubble they live in.
Take the force down starting from the top. Start over. The Ferguson police department needs a do-over. The emails are only the tip of the iceberg. The entire report features a police department which should not exist in 2015.
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