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Justice Department slams Ferguson police for racial bias

Posted in World

Published on March 06, 2015 with No Comments

Blacks in Ferguson, Missouri, make up about two-thirds (67%) of the population, but they accounted for 93% of those arrested in the city, 88% of victims of use of police force, and 85% of vehicle stop and search over the past two years, a report by Justice department.

They also made up 95% of the arrests for jaywalking (where police have discretionary powers), and 90% of all traffic tickets issued. All 14 cases of police dog bites involved blacks, and blacks were 68% less likely to have cases dismissed by Ferguson municipal judges.

A small additional detail to context these stats: Some 95% of Ferguson’s police force is white -50 white cops and three black cops.


The probe was led by Vani ta Gupta, an Indian-American attorney who heads the justice department’s civil rights division.

Evidently, the Ferguson police didn’t stop at merely discriminating against blacks on the street. They revealed in exchanging racist jokes that didn’t even spare man in the White House who recently delivered stirring words about tolerance in India. One of the emails exchanged by white policemen cited in the probe reportedly jokes that President Barack Obama will not be in the White House for long. Why?
“What black man holds a steady job for four years?“ Another one is worse: A black woman in New Orleans was admitted to a hospital to end her pregnancy and then got a check two weeks later from “Crime Stoppers“ -the implication being that black women have abortions as a way to curb crime because their children turn out to be criminals. Another email showed a cartoon depicting AfricanAmericans as monkeys.

Gupta’s unit spent six months conducting hundreds of interviews, reviewing 35,000 pages of police records and analyzing race data compiled for every police stop, to arrive at a conclusion that is widely known in the United States -“if you’re black you might as well not show up on the street, unless you want to draw the heat,“ as one Bob Dylan song put it. Ferguson police, the probe says, used black people to essentially generate revenue, imposing punitive fines for the smallest offences.

Gupta has a fearsome track record of making errant police forces pay . In a case that pitchforked her into fame, she represented 46 African-Americans who had been convicted by an all-white jury in Texas in 2003 on drug dealing charges. The 46 accused were not only released after four years of incarceration, but Gupta also won them a $5 million settlement.




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