‘Racially biased’ Ferguson sent emails laughing at black people, ticketed African Americans

Police in Ferguson are racially-biased and fueled tensions in the city for years before Michael Brown was shot dead, a report by the Justice Department will reveal.

Officers increasingly ticketed black citizens in regular traffic stops used to boost the department’s coffers, senior officials connected to the report told The New York Times.

Those unable to pay the mounting fines would be repeatedly jailed, creating an ‘avoidable’ cycle that caused tension with the African-American community.

A racist joke circulated via email among police officers will also be featured in the report, it is claimed.

The findings come three months after a grand jury refused to indict officer Darren Wilson over the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown on August 9 last year.

Brown was spotted by Wilson after a robbery at a nearby convenience store. Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said Wilson approached Brown because he was ‘walking down the middle of the street, blocking traffic’.

The 18-year-old was shot on Canfield Drive less than five minutes later.

Some witnesses claim Brown had his hands up in surrender when he was shot – something that has been contested by others.

The incident caused widespread protests. Businesses were looted and set fire to in Ferguson and hundreds attended demonstrations in St Louis, Washington, Oakland, Atlanta and Los Angeles.

A grand jury decided not to indict Wilson on November 25 last year – but the results of the report by the Justice Department have not been expected until this week.

Investigators will not seek to label Ferguson police as racially motivated but will look to see if the fatal events in August last year were avoidable.

Blacks accounted for 86 per cent of traffic stops in 2013 – despite the fact they only made up 63 per cent of the population, data published by the Missouri attorney general revealed.

Once they were stopped they were twice as likely to be searched.

The Justice Department stresses that this causes concerns surrounding the alleged violation of human rights in the city, which became the epicenter of heated debate over racial equality last year.

The report’s authors, including outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, have spent around six months analyzing the use of force in Missouri prisons, and the interaction between police and civilians in Ferguson.

Ferguson’s mayor, James Knowles III, slammed the Justice Department for criticizing the city before sharing their findings.

‘How come they haven’t told us there is something that needs to be changed as they found it?’ Knowles demanded at a press conference, the Times reported.

‘Why have they allowed whatever they think is happening to continue to happen for six months if that’s the case?’

Source: The DailyMail

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