Responses to the DOJ’s Report on Ferguson’s Atrocious Law Enforcement

The DOJ may have cleared Darrin Wilson, but the city government of Ferguson is roundly condemned. The atrocious racism and massive problems with Ferguson’s law enforcement machinery is just a case study. They’re not unique: cities around the country operate this way, with one law for the rich and white, and another law for the poor and brown. I don’t know how we fix this, but we have to.

Lindsey India: Justice Department Finds Bias In Ferguson But Clears Darren Wilson

Eric Holder said during a press conference, “Seen in this context — amid a highly toxic environment, defined by mistrust and resentment, stoked by years of bad feelings, and spurred by illegal and misguided practices — it is not difficult to imagine how a single tragic incident set off the city of Ferguson like a powder keg.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates: The Gangsters of Ferguson

One should understand that the Justice Department did not simply find indirect evidence of unintentionally racist practices which harm black people, but “discriminatory intent”—that is to say willful racism aimed to generate cash. Justice in Ferguson is not a matter of “racism without racists,” but racism with racists so secure, so proud, so brazen that they used their government emails to flaunt it.


It must noted that the rhetoric “personal responsibility” enjoys not just currency among the white officials of Ferguson, but among many black people (“black-on-black crime!”) who believe that white supremacy is a force with which one can negotiate. But white supremacy—as evidenced in Ferguson—is not ultimately interested in how responsible you are, nor how respectable you look. White supremacy is neither a misunderstanding nor a failure of manners. White supremacy is the machinery of Galactus which allows for the potential devouring of everything you own. White supremacy is the technology, patented in this enlightened era, to ensure that what is yours inevitably becomes mine.


Mano Singham: Ferguson and the hidden tax on the poor

People would be fined and/or arrested for all manner of offenses, even parking tickets, then when they could not pay the fines, additional penalties would be tacked on so that they were in permanent state of debt that they could never escape from, similar to victims of loan sharks except that in this case, the loan sharks had the power to beat you up and throw you in prison without fear of any legal repercussions. This policy was aimed at the poor. Fining well-to-do people does not generate as much money because they can simply pay the fines and walk away. It is the additional penalties that really bring in the money and the poor are the ones subjected to it. Furthermore, the police actually went out of their way to reduce or eliminate the tickets given to their friends. This is the hidden tax on the poor and it is a disgrace.


Juan Thompson and Ryan Deveraux: Feds: Ferguson Preys Viciously on Black Residents

For those familiar with law enforcement in St. Louis County, the report reflected a confirmation of longstanding problems. “This report tells us something we already know,” said Montague Simmons, chair of the St. Louis nonprofit Organization for Black Struggle. “The question we should be asking is what do we do with it? Do we dismantle the racist police state, and disband the Ferguson the Police Department? Or do we learn nothing and keep on with the same thing.”


The department’s use of force also included the discriminatory use of police canines, even on children: “FPD engages in a pattern of deploying canines to bite individuals when the articulated facts do not justify this significant use of force. The department’s own records demonstrate that, as with other types of force, canine officers use dogs out of proportion to the threat posed by the people they encounter, leaving serious puncture wounds to nonviolent offenders, some of them children.” The report documented 14 bites by police dogs in which racial information was available — every person was black.

The Ferguson police also targeted black women. In one scene, officers were called to a domestic disturbance, but instead of aiding the woman who called 911, police jailed her for an occupancy violation. In a separate incident, another black woman, who had also called 911, was issued a summons for an occupancy permit violation. The report says she told the officer that she “hated the Ferguson Police Department and will never call again, even if she is being killed.” The Department of Justice also cataloged how police tasered black women even when they posed no physical threat.


Mark Berman: The Justice Department also says Ferguson police tolerated sexual harassment of female officers

However, tucked away in a footnote toward the end of the report, investigators also described another troubling trend: Evidence suggested that the department, which included very few female police officers, “tolerates sexual harassment by male officers.”

While this fact is not given the same attention as the other issues uncovered by investigators, it is offered less as an aside and more as evidence of larger problems that pervaded the department.


Gary Legum: Justice Department Has Some Thoughts On The Ferguson P.D.

You know how conservatives are always whining about taxation being tyranny depriving them of their hard-earned money, and those taxes are collected at the barrel of a gun in the form of onerous governmental authority? THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF A GOVERNMENT LITERALLY TAXING ITS CITIZENS AT THE BARREL OF A GUN. So no, we don’t want to hear any whining about Obamacare again. Ever. We’ll be happy to hear you guys take up the cause of Ferguson’s minority population over its treatment, though, you principled conservatives, you. Anyone? Bueller?

Karoli: Ferguson Sergeant Fired For Racist Email Was Darren Wilson’s Supervisor

Mudd was also the sergeant Darren Wilson called right after he shot Michael Brown, and was a key Grand Jury witness in Wilson’s defense.

And now, he’s fired.

STLAmerican reports that Mudd’s testimony was some of the most important to cover Wilson’s account, and even embellished what he told investigators on the day of the shooting.

Gary Legum: Surprise! City Of Ferguson Run By A Bunch Of Grifty Criminal Racists!

We’re of the opinion that firing Twitty and Mudd is a bit like cutting off a couple of toes when the entire leg is already gangrenous. Like we said, fire everyone…out of a cannon into the sun.

Doktor Zoom: Just About Every White Person In Ferguson Resigning For Being A Racist Disgrace

The fallout continues in the city of Ferguson, Missouri, following the Justice Department’s report on how the city pretty much ran its police force as a revenue-collection operation aimed at transferring money from black citizens to the city’s general fund. On Wednesday, Chief of Police Thomas Jackson announced, “with profound sadness,” that he is resigning, effective March 19.

PZ Myers: The Ferguson law enforcement system was worse than I ever imagined

And that’s just Ferguson. Does anyone believe other communities in Missouri, or in other states, are free of the same problems plaguing that city? Demolishing the rotten police force in Ferguson would have another purpose, beyond that one town: make an example of Ferguson’s law enforcement system, then send a copy of that Justice Department report to every town in America, with the message that there are consequences to these kinds of violations.

Image is the British crown on a red background atop the words "Stand up and fight racism."

Responses to the DOJ’s Report on Ferguson’s Atrocious Law Enforcement

3 thoughts on “Responses to the DOJ’s Report on Ferguson’s Atrocious Law Enforcement

  1. 1

    I don’t know how we fix this, but we have to.

    For a start, how about a Federal law requiring all fines, asset forfeitures, and any other property confiscated by local agencies MUST be sent to the state as general revenue, and no consideration of such collections may be used when calculating disbursements from the state back to local agencies. In other words, Missouri can’t give a new fire engine to Ferguson just because Ferguson send a buttload of speeding ticket fines to Missouri.
    I know there are some whole states out there that probably think the Ferguson budget balancing model sounds great, so they might try to rip off minorities on a state-wide basis, but this would at least require a whole lot more people to be in on the conspiracy, and thus make exposing it much easier.

  2. 2

    So the police of Ferguson have now been exposed as nothing but an organized crime racket. The only justice would be for every single cop on the force to be put on trial for these actual crimes and held accountable.

  3. rq

    Sure, that takes care of Ferguson. What about the neighbouring communities? A lot of the people working in Ferguson’s system worked across several municipalities, leavin the same trail of corruption in their wake. Judge Brockmeyer comes to mind as only one of these people, and he has so far been relieved of duty in, I believe, four other townships – but he is not at all the only one.
    Yes, the Ferguson PD should be dismantled and every single officer and supervising authority (up to and incl. the mayor, at the very least) should be brought to justice for these crimes. But the same should apply to every other municipality in the region. And probably quite a few across the country.

    If anything better than just a tiny island of justice called Ferguson is to arise from this debacle (and that’s putting it mildly), it would be for people to be incensed enough to take a look at the police forces policing their own communities, and dragging the same kinds of crimes and despicable behaviour out into the light (if present).

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