DOJ Releases Report on Discriminatory Practices of Ferguson Police Department (Updated)

The full report should be released tomorrow.

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UPDATE #2: The report has been released. 

According to the Washington Post, there were seven racist emails: 

1. November 2008: An e-mail said President Barack Obama would not be President for very long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”

2. March 2010: An e-mail tried to mock African Americans through 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!”

3. April 2011: An e-mail depicted President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee.

4. 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.

5. 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.”

6. October 2011: An e-mail included a photo of a bare-chested group of dancing women, seemingly in Africa, with the caption, Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.

7. December 2011: An e-mail included jokes that are based on offensive stereotypes about Muslims.

UPDATE #1: As expected, the Department of Justice's report found a pattern of racial discrimination in the practices of the Ferguson Police Department. An official explained the findings to the Associated Press: 

The official says the investigation found that officers disproportionately used excessive force against blacks and too often charged them with petty offenses. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak on the record before the full report was released.

The official says the report will allege direct evidence of racial bias among police officers and court workers and a system that prioritizes generating revenue from fines over public safety.

The Associated Press adds that the discrimination extended to the judicial system, as well: 

The Justice Department also found that blacks were 68 percent less likely than others to have their cases dismissed by a municipal court judge, and that from April to September of last year, 95 percent of people kept at the city jail for more than two days were black, according to the officials. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record before the report is made public.

As for the racist joke circulated via email, it was in reference to President Obama

Among the findings of the report was a racially tinged 2008 message in a municipal email account stating that President Barack Obama would not be president for very long because what black man holds a steady job for four years.

According to the New York Times, officials in Ferguson must decide must decide on a settlement, or deal with being sued for Constitutional violations.  The full report is expected to be released tomorrow. 

Original Story: Both local officials in Ferguson, Mo. and state officials are expected to be learn the details of the Department of Justice's investigation into the practices of the Ferguson Police Department today. Yesterday, it was revealed that the DOJ determined that the department had discriminated against African-Americans. 

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that local and state officials will be briefed on the report today, indicating that the findings of the report could be released very soon. According to the Post-Dispatch, both Ferguson Mayor Jay Knowles lll and Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson say they're clueless to the details of the analysis: 

Knowles has said the Justice Department has kept city officials in the dark about the investigation in Ferguson.

Attorney General Eric Holder remarked in October that the Ferguson Police Department was in need of wholesale change.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said the only interaction he has had with federal investigators is granting their requests for “thousands” of documents pertaining to Internal Affairs matters and racial profiling data. All of the requests have been for documents dating back to 2010 — the year Jackson became chief.

What's more, the Post-Dispatch reports that Jackson believes yesterday's leak is actually detrimental to the investigation. "It’s so unprofessional and degrades the entire process," he said. 

The Post-Dispatch adds that the end result of the investigation will most likely be a settlement. 

[via St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Associated Press and New York Times]

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