This evening the DOJ and Attorney General Eric Holder released a report that, while exonerating Darren Wilson of proposed Civil Rights violations, found the city of Ferguson exhibited “racial bias” in its treatment of black residents.
The report, 102 pages, reaffirmed what many residence had been saying last year about policing in the city. In a press conference AG Holder talked about a woman you received a 100 dollar parking ticket and had paid more then 500 dollars in penalties, fines and interest. She was arrested twice and was forced to spend six days in jail for unpaid tickets. Yet, to this date, Holder ended, she still owed some 500 bucks on the tickets.
It was just one example of how the city sucked the financial life’s blood from the black citizens of Ferguson. CNN reports:
In Ferguson, just over 67% of residents are black. But among the findings, the report shows that 85% of traffic stops, 90% of citations, 93% of arrests and 88% of use-of-force incidents involved African-Americans, the Justice Department said.
St. Louis Alderman Antonio French said the police department’s behavior amounted to “taxation by citation.” He told CNN the arrests affected not just Ferguson residents but also residents of nearby communities who pass through Ferguson en route to other locales in the area.
Some believe Eric Holder, a black man, may be to blame for the condemnation:
Politics may even be at play, Los Angeles-based community activist Joe Hicks suggested. Attorney General Eric Holder wanted to bring civil rights cases against Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson, who killed Michael Brown in August, and Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who killed Trayvon Martin in 2012 — but neither case panned out. The report may be Holder’s way to “extract a pound of flesh, if you will, from the Ferguson Police Department.”
And from Bernard Parks (the black former police chief in Los Angeles):
…the report released Wednesday shouldn’t be taken at face value, but rather should be used to help determine “what is really going on in Ferguson and what to do to correct it.”
But even white residences have had issues with police:
Tom Steigerwald, 31, [a white resident] who has lived in Ferguson since 1994, said Ferguson has always been a diverse town, and race isn’t much of a factor among residents.
“It’s always diverse, but they always got along,” he said.
But the police?
“They all got a power trip problem, a lot of them,” he said.
And then there are those emails:
• A November 2008 e-mail stated that President Obama would not be president for very long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”
• A March 2010 e-mail mocked African Americans through speech and familial stereotypes, using a story involving child support. One line from the e-mail read: “I be so glad that dis be my last child support payment! Month after month, year after year, all dose payments!”
• An April 2011 e-mail depicted Obama as a chimpanzee.
• A May 2011 e-mail stated: “An African-American woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital for a pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers.'”
• A June 2011 e-mail described a man seeking to obtain “welfare” for his dogs because they are “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddies are.”
• An October 2011 e-mail included a photo of a bare-chested group of dancing women, apparently in Africa, with the caption, “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.”
• A December 2011 e-mail included jokes that are based on offensive stereotypes about Muslims.
The Report below: