“What black man holds a steady job for four years?”

That was a Ferguson cop joking about the President of the United States in an email to a municipal court employee explaining why Obama wouldn’t be president very long, according to a Justice Department report released Wednesday, the Guardian reported.

At this point the email’s author isn’t identified, but following release of the report, Ferguson’s mayor held a press conference — which the police chief inexplicably didn’t attend — and announced that a police department employee has been fired and two others placed on administrative leave pending investigation of that and several other racist emails.

The DOJ’s scathing report found “egregious evidence of mistreatment of African American citizens by the police,” and outlined a pattern of systematic racism in the white-run city, whose population is predominantly black and poor. Ferguson’s all-white police force and municipal court system exploit and discriminate against blacks, who account for most of the city’s tickets, fines, and arrests.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder described Ferguson as “a community where local authorities consistently approached law enforcement not as a means for protecting public safety, but as a way to generate revenue” and “numerous constitutional violations by their law enforcement officials including First Amendment abuses, unreasonable searches and seizures, and excessive and dangerous use of force; exacerbated by severely disproportionate use of these tactics against African Americans,” according to CBS News.

I think the situation calls for a radical housecleaning. DOJ should sue in federal court to have city administration placed in court-supervised receivership, dissolve the police department and municipal courts and have those functions contracted to the county (similar to what several King County, Washington, suburbs do), overhaul the city’s finances and revenue generating system, and enforce the Voting Rights Act to protect the rights of Ferguson’s black citizens to register and vote.


Photo: This man can’t hold a steady job, according to a former Ferguson city employee, who is now unemployed.

Your Comment