Ferguson Police Department

Justice Department Report Acknowledges Racially Biased Policing In Ferguson

A Justice Department review supports the notion that Ferguson PD acted harshly with race in mind.

For several months, the small town of Ferguson, Missouri has been a conversation staple for all the wrong reasons.

Mainstream frustration with the city started with the shooting death of unarmed black male Michael Brown, moved to the violent pushback of peaceful protesters with tanks and tear gas, then continued on to the non-indictment of Darren Wilson, the white officer who shot Brown down and walked away a free man.

At the epicenter of all these points of anger lies one entity: the Ferguson police force. From the start, the local community pointed their fingers at the majority white department with claims that their policing tactics stemmed from racial bias.

As of today (Mar. 3), a report from the Department of Justice supports those same claims, examining various statistics relate to use of force, canine bites, driving incidents, employee emails and more.

According to the review—which was shared by an unnamed official to USA Today—in 88 percent of all documented cases of use of force, it was used against African Americans. A three-year examination of suspect stops found that African Americans accounted for 85 percent of drivers stopped by police, 90 percent of people issued tickets and 93 percent of people arrested. Mind you, African Americans only account for 67 percent of Ferguson's population.

Blacks residents of Ferguson also accounted for 95% of the people charged with walking in the street and 92% of people charged with disturbing the peace. The list of troubling statistics goes on.

Ferguson's Mayor James Knowles III and Police Chief Thomas Jackson were just a couple of the city officials who met with DOJ representatives. "At this time, the city is currently reviewing the report and its findings,'' said a statement issued by the city.

A more complete report is expected to be disclosed.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Kenneka Jenkins' Mother Sues Hotel For $50 Million After Daughter Found In Freezer

Kenneka Jenkins' family is reportedly taking legal action against the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois after the teen was discovered dead in the hotel kitchen's walk-in freezer, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Jenkins' mother, Tereasa Martin has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the hotel, alleging that the staff were responsible for her daughter's untimely death.

The lawsuit names the hotel, F&F Realty, Capital Security, and Investigations and Murray Bros. Caddyshack – the restaurant that leased the kitchen – as  liable for Jenkins' death. Martin claims the hotel and other parties failed to secure dangerous areas and hire competent staff to monitor them.

According to court documents, the hotel and security staff ignored multiple warnings about the group of people that were partying in the hotel room where Jenkins was ahead of her disappearance. The lawsuit noted that Jenkins passed several hotel staff members who should have seen that she was in an altered state and prevented her from entering the kitchen.

Hotel personnel also neglected to thoroughly review security footage after learning of Jenkins' disappearance. If they had done so, "they would have been able to locate her which would have prevented her death,” according to the lawsuit. As result of the incident, Jenkins' family claims they suffered tremendous "conscious, physical pain and suffering," humiliation, and loss of wages.

As previously reported, 19-year-old Jenkins attended a hotel room party on the ninth floor of the Crowne Plaza on Sept. 9, 2017, around 1:13 a.m. in a fully coherent state, the lawsuit claims. Around 2:30 a.m. Jenkins' and friends reportedly were leaving the party when she realized she had lost her phone. Two hours later, friends told Martin that her daughter was missing. After Martin contacted the hotel desk, security reviewed the surveillance footage, but did not find anything at the time. Jenkins was officially reported missing at 12:36 p.m. on Sept. 9.

Jenkins was found 21 hours after she was reported missing. Her body was discovered in a double-door walk-in freezer located in an unused kitchen that was accessible to the general public, the lawsuit said. The sticker on the door of the freezer, which contained instruction on how to open was barely visible.

Upon further review, surveillance videos show Jenkins stumbling into the kitchen and walking toward the freezer around 3:32 a.m. She was reportedly visibly inebriated at the time.

Jenkins was pronounced dead on Sept. 10, 2017. Her death was a ruled an accident caused by  hypothermia, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

In addition to the damages regarding her death, Jenkins' family is suing to cover the expenses of her funeral, which was held last year.

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Dr. King's Childhood Home Sold For $1.9 Million To The National Park Service

The two-story Atlanta home that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr spent his formidable years has been sold. According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the yellow and brown house on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta was sold for $1.9 million to the National Park Service.

Will Shafroth, CEO of the National Park Foundation said it was hard to place a dollar amount on the location where a lot of Dr. King's character was molded.

"It is difficult to value something this significant in our nation’s history. It is a priceless asset. It is one of the most important places to tell the story of America,” Shafroth said.

Bernice King, daughter of late the civil rights leader, said the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change had been considering selling the home since the passing of their mother Coretta Scott, in 2006. King said the center will focus on nonviolent educational and training programs.

“We are working on creating more robust, nonviolence training,” King said. “Our society is desperately in need of Dr. King’s nonviolent teachings right now in order to create a just, humane and peaceful world. That is what we are trying to put our energy in.”

The home was reportedly built by a white firefighter in 1895 and then purchased by Dr. King's maternal grandfather, Rev. Adam Daniel Williams, who was pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church for $3,500. When King's mother and father wed in 1927, they moved. All of King's siblings including himself were born in the home.

Elizabeth Paradis Stern, spokeswoman for the National Park Service said the preservation of the home will not falter now that it's out of the family's possession.

“The most important thing about this is that this property will be protected and preserved permanently as one of our most important properties,” Stern said. “It is part of the American fabric.”

READ MORE: New Book Details Dr. King's Teenage Years And His Alleged White Girlfriend

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Sandy Hook Elementary Evacuates After Bomb Threat On 6th Anniversary Of Mass Shooting

Sandy Hook Elementary School was reportedly forced to evacuate its students and administration on Friday (Dec. 14), after receiving a bomb threat, CNN reports. The incident occurred on the sixth anniversary of the school's tragic mass shooting.

Newtown, Connecticut Police Lt. Aaron Bahamonde stated that the threat didn't appear to be substantial, but they decided to  evacuate the facility as an extra precaution.

Bomb squads reportedly swept the school and surrounding area for explosive devices but did not discover anything on the property. They later concluded that there was no immediate threat. The school administration dismissed students and faculty for the rest of the day however, considering the previous incident.

As previously noted, Sandy Hook endured a horrific mass shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult, staff members.

Earlier this month, thousands of documents were released about Lanza that revealed his mental state and social status in the years leading up to the shooting.

The shooting is not believed to be in connection to the recent string of bomb scares around the nation that targeted major politicians including the former first families Barack and Michelle Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

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