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U.S. Justice Department Finding: Biased Policing In Ferguson

Black drivers were more than twice as likely as whites to be searched during traffic stops, but were less likely to be found holding anything illegal.
U.S. Justice Department Finding: Biased Policing In Ferguson

Some small comfort, I suppose. I wonder if this means they'll be placed under Justice Department supervision:

Clouded by racial bias and a narrow-minded drive for municipal court revenue, police in Ferguson, Missouri have habitually violated citizen's civil rights, with black residents bearing the brunt, a U.S. Justice Department investigation has found.

The probe, prompted by the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white Ferguson police officer last August, uncovered a pattern of unfair traffic stops, questionable arrests, unreasonable use of force and interference with free speech, according to information provided to NBC News by a Justice Department official.

[...] Investigators from the agency's Civil Rights Division found that Ferguson's black citizens, who make up about 67 percent of the city's 21,000 residents, made up 85 percent of traffic stops, and 93 percent of all arrests from 2012 to 2014. Black drivers were more than twice as likely as whites to be searched during traffic stops, but were less likely to be found holding anything illegal. Blacks were also the focus of 88 percent of instances in which police used force to subdue someone.

A similar pattern emerged inside Ferguson's municipal court, where data indicated that the town targeted blacks for arrests on outstanding warrants to appear in court, the Justice Department said. From October 2012 to October 2014, 96 percent of those arrested during traffic stops solely because of an outstanding warrant were black, investigators found.

Blacks were also far more likely to be hit with petty offenses like jaywalking, disturbing the peace and "failure to comply," according to investigators. From 2011 to 2013, blacks accounted for 92 percent or more of people who faced such charges.


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