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.
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