Yeah, it's the culture. Ferguson PD has 53 police officers. One of their officers is currently in hiding for shooting Mike Brown. But he's hardly the only one.
In four federal lawsuits, including one that is on appeal, and more than a half-dozen investigations over the past decade, colleagues of Darren Wilson’s have separately contested a variety of allegations, including killing a mentally-ill man with a Taser, pistol-whipping a child, choking and hog-tying a child and beating a man who was later charged with destroying city property because his blood spilled on officers’ clothes.
One officer has faced three internal affairs probes and two lawsuits over claims he violated civil rights and used excessive force while working at a previous police department in the mid-2000s. That department demoted him after finding credible evidence to support one of the complaints, and he subsequently was hired by the Ferguson force.
Police officials from outside Ferguson and plaintiffs’ lawyers say the nature of such cases suggests there is a systemic problem within the Ferguson police force. Department of Justice officials said they are considering a broader probe into whether there is a pattern of using excessive force that routinely violates people’s civil rights.
Ya think? When that number of officers in a small department are accused of the same thing -- excessive force -- I think you can take that to the bank.
Before the Darren Wilson apologists drive by with their supplied talking points, let's clarify one thing. All of the victims who complained were African-American. All but one of the complaints filed was against white officers. In one instance, the complaint was against one of the three the African-American officers employed by the Ferguson police department.
I'd love to know if the demoted officer mentioned above was with the now-disbanded Jennings police department before he switched to Ferguson. Whether or not he was, it's still astonishing that Ferguson hired him after evidence was found supporting the claims against him. At least, it's astonishing if you assume Ferguson wanted fair policing. If, on the other hand, they were looking for cops unafraid to use excessive force to keep citizens in line, maybe it's less astonishing and even predictable.