The federal Department of Justice (DOJ) is expected to release a finding regarding its investigation into the Ferguson Police Department as early as Wednesday that federal discrimination law and the constitution were violated by the Department’s racial bias and emphasis on generating revenue, according to ABC News sources.
The Ferguson Police Department was under investigation by the federal Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division after being in the news. A Missouri grand jury failed to find probable cause to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the August 9, 2014, shooting of unarmed Ferguson teenager Michael Brown. After 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot, riots occurred in Ferguson, with many businesses being vandalized and cars pummeled in the fiery aftermath.
Many questioned how an unarmed youth questioned by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for jaywalking could be shot to death, even after the confrontation became physical. Emotions ran high again after the grand jury’s verdict was released in November, 2014, according to the AP. Peaceful protests also took place across the United States, with a call to investigate the Ferguson Police Department.
The DOJ’s report will, according to a law enforcement source released by ABC News, find a pattern and practice of discrimination by the Ferguson Police Department. The DOJ reviewed statistics and e-mails of the Police Department and City of Ferguson.
The statistics for Ferguson are as follows. Although Ferguson’s population is 67 percent African-American, African Americans were found to be subjected to 85 percent of all traffic stops as well as 90 percent of all citations and 93 percent of all arrests. African Americans also accounted for 95 percent of what is essentially a jaywalking charge, 94 percent of all “failure to comply” charges, and 92 percent of all disturbance of the peace charges.
According to the AP, the DOJ also found that African Americans were 68 percent less likely than other races to have their cases dismissed by a Municipal Court Judge. Also, from April to September of 2014, 95 percent of individuals held at the city jail for more than two days were African American, according to an anonymous source, who wanted to remain anonymous because the DOJ’s report hasn’t yet been released.
Racially biased e-mails on official Ferguson accounts were discovered in official Ferguson e-mail accounts, according to ABC News. Examples appear blatant, such as one from November, 2008, that said that President Barack Obama would not remain president for the entire presidential four-year term because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.” An e-mail from Ferguson from May 2011 stated that “an African-American woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital for a pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers.’ ”
The DOJ has conducted approximately 20 other civil right investigations of police departments under Attorney General Eric Holder, based on discrimination, according to the AP, and, when bias is found, police departments have agreed to make changes to become compliant with the law.
In an Inquisitr article, the DOJ had threatened to sue the Ferguson Police Department on the basis of discrimination.