The Department of Justice just released its decision on whether or not to charge Officer Darren Wilson with civil rights violations for the shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In a move that likely surprised no one the DOJ found no reason to prosecute Officer Wilson.
However, in his press conference to announce the decision, Attorney General Eric Holder cited a second DOJ report, also just released, that focused on the Ferguson police department and shows that Officer Wilson’s racist policing is not the exception to the rule, but it is the rule in Ferguson.
African-Americans were far more likely to be stopped and searched, as Holder pointed out, but they were 26% less likely to have contraband on them than white suspects. From 2012 to 2014, every single “resisting arrest” charge was against an African-American suspect. They also endured 90% of “use of force” incidents.
In a damning revelation, the DOJ report shed light on how city officials pushed the FPD to raise revenue for the city through tickets, fines, and other police actions. Now, if you turn a bunch of racist cops loose on a town with the goal of raising revenue, what do you think will happen?
According to the DOJ report, “the City’s pressure to raise revenue, has resulted in a pattern and practice of constitutional violations.”
If you’re wondering if anything will happen as a result of these two latest DOJ reports, Holder warned the FPD that the Justice Department “reserves all of its rights and abilities” to enact systemic change. Holder cautioned the city that if did not work with federal officials to forge a new path forward, if Ferguson fails to negotiate a settlement, a federal lawsuit will likely follow. “It is time for Ferguson’s leaders to take immediate, wholesale and structural corrective action,” Holder proclaimed on Wednesday.
Additionally, two city officials whose racist behavior and bigoted emails were mentioned in the DOJ report, both of whom were suspended as a result, have both resigned. Also, the top court clerk, Mary Ann Twitty was fired earlier this week. Other than that, it remains to be seen how Ferguson plans to move forward.
If you need a humorous wrap-up of the Department of Justice’s mixed findings about the police of Ferguson, if you’d like something to wipe clean your palette of the lingering aftertaste of bullshit, Jon Stewart lets his anger rain down like a biblical plague, and washes away the hypocrisy in this clip from The Daily Show.
And be sure to check the second vid when senior Ferguson correspondent Jessica Williams says it all when she blurts out, “Fuck these people!”