Ferguson MO: What News?
Since Freedom last reported on racial tension and police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri, there are numerous developments, but little change.
A Department of Justice investigation verified what many suspected: Ferguson police disproportionately used force against African Americans, noting, among other things, that during the study period, 100 percent of incidents in which a police dog bit a suspect involved blacks; 95 percent of people kept in jail for more than two days were black; African Americans were disproportionately targeted for harassment and citations, including thousands for their “manner of walking;” and that police and the municipal court system acted with intent to generate revenue by handing out fines and tickets to black and low-income residents.
Six Ferguson officers or officials, including the chief of police, have resigned since the DOJ report was released in early March. Yet the atmosphere in Ferguson remains volatile. Protests continue, including one in which two police officers were shot, though not seriously hurt, outside a police station. And some residents have initiated an effort to force a recall election of the city’s mayor, James Knowles, who vowed, “Let me be clear, this type of behavior will not be tolerated in the Ferguson Police Department, or in any department in the city of Ferguson.”