Ferguson’s police department has history of discrimination, abuse

The DoJ’s decision documented systematic abuses on the part of the Ferguson Police Department and Ferguson Municipal Court, as well as repeated discrimination on the part of both institutions. Here are a few of the more frightening quotes from the report:

“Issuing three or four charges in one stop is not uncommon in Ferguson. Officers sometimes write six, eight, or, in at least one instance, fourteen citations for a single encounter.”

(Captain of the Patrol Division on how to deal with officers that are not assigning enough citations:) “Regardless of the seniority and experience take the officer out of the cover car position and assign them to prisoner pick up and bank runs…Failure to perform can result in disciplinary action not just a bad evaluation.”

“SROs (School Resource Officers) told us that they viewed increased arrests in the schools as a positive result of their work.”

“In Ferguson, officers will sometimes make an arrest without writing a report or even obtaining an incident number, and hundreds of reports can pile up for months without supervisors reviewing them.”

“Nearly 90 percent of documented force used by FPD officers was used against African Americans.”

“In every canine bite incident for which racial information is available, the subject was African American.”

“During the last three years, the court imposed roughly one Failure to Appear charge per every two citations or summonses issued by FPD.” (Failure to Appear charges place people in jail for not appearing in court in relation to otherwise non-jailable offenses.)

“We have heard repeated reports, and found evidence in court records, of people appearing in court many times—in some instances on more than ten occasions—to try to resolve a case but being unable to do so, and subsequently having additional fines, fees, and arrest warrants issued against them.”

“We spoke with one woman who, in addition to owing several hundred dollars in fines to Ferguson, also owed fines to the municipal courts in Jennings and Edmundson. In total, she owed over $2,500 in fines and fees, even after already making over $1,000 in payments and clearing cases in several other municipalities. This woman’s case is not unique.”

“Because of the large number of municipalities in the region, many of which have warrant practices similar to Ferguson, it is not unusual for a person to be arrested by one department, have outstanding warrants pending in other police departments, and be handed off from one department to another until all warrants are cleared. We have heard of individuals who have run out of money during this process … and as a result were detained for a week or longer.”

“We (DoJ) spoke with one African-American man who, in August 2014, had an argument in his apartment to which FPD officers responded, and was immediately pulled out of the apartment by force. After telling the officer, ‘you don’t have a reason to lock me up,’ he claims the officer responded: “N*****, I can find something to lock you up on.’ When the man responded, ‘good luck with that,’ the officer slammed his face into the wall, and after the man fell to the floor, the officer said, ‘don’t pass out motherf****r because I’m not carrying you to my car.’”

“In one instance, a woman called FPD to report a domestic disturbance. By the time the police arrived, the woman’s boyfriend had left. The police looked through the house and saw indications that the boyfriend lived there. When the woman told police that only she and her brother were listed on the home’s occupancy permit, the officer placed the woman under arrest for the permit violation and she was jailed.”

Post Author: tucollegian

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