Official: US report finds racial bias in Ferguson police - KMOV.com

Official: US report finds racial bias in Ferguson police

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A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that a Justice Department investigation has found patterns of racial bias in the Ferguson, Missouri, police department and at the municipal jail and court.

The official says the investigation found that officers disproportionately used excessive force against blacks and too often charged them with petty offenses. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak on the record before the full report was released.

In its investigation, the Justice Department asked for records for every officer and civilian employee since January 1, 2010. The request also asks for all incidents reports, complaints and investigations for all officer-involved shootings, and all use of force and custody cases going back more than 10 years.

The official says the report will allege direct evidence of racial bias among police officers and court workers and a system that prioritizes generating revenue from fines over public safety.

News 4 has learned the Justice Department found African Americans make up 85 percent of all vehicle stops, 90 percent of citations issued, and 93 percent of arrests made in Ferguson. 67 percent of Ferguson's population is African American.

The report will also cite the city's court system that relies on fines, mostly from African Americans, for revenue. African Americans are 68 percent less likely to have their cases dismissed.

The report will also detail an internal city email that stated Barack Obama wouldn't be President very long because "what black man holds a steady job for four years."

"What we hear about in this report is consistent with the narratives and stories we hear coming back at you, particularly with young people," said Rev. Starky Wilson with the Ferguson Commission.

Members of the Ferguson Commission said they hope the report can spark change.

"It makes you angry, then you drive that anger towards change. You cannot go through circumstances we've been through since August 9 and be complacent. We as a region have to understand this is our reality," said Rich McClure with the Ferguson Commission.

The full report could be released as soon as Wednesday.

The Justice Department began the civil rights investigation following the August shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, by a white police officer.

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