DOJ: Ferguson Cops a Bitch

    Judging from comments around the web, the usual non-reality based right wing segment of the country is up in arms about AG Holder and the DOJ reports on the investigation of the Ferguson Police Department and the DOJ exoneration of former Officer Darren Wilson, who killed Michael Brown last summer.  Wilson was found not to have violated the civil rights of Brown in shooting him down in the street and Wilson will face no federal charges whatsoever.

    Right wing commenters have called that "crucifying" Officer Wilson, who killed Brown who was initially stopped for walking in the street.

    It is appropriate to compare Wilson's case under President Obama's DOJ, to the case of Rodney King  and 4 Los Angeles police officers under President George H. W. Bush's DOJ in 1992:

    WILSON, 2014 - killed a young Black man in Ferguson who was walking in the street who reportedly tried to grab his gun. VICTIM - dead. COP Wilson: No Federal Indictment, no trial, no prison.

    4 LA COPS, 1992 - severely beat up King, a Black man, who was speeding, King led them on a high speed chase, resisted arrest, and was likely under the influence of alcohol. VICTIM - beat up. COPS -investigated and indicted by George HW Bush DOJ for violation King's civil rights, 2 later convicted and sent to federal prison, US Supreme Court denies overturning sentencing.


    That is the end of the Wilson is 'crucified by Obama' rebuttal.

    Now to move on to the DOJ report on the operation (see Ferguson Police Tainted by Bias, DOJ Report - NY) of the Ferguson Police Department and courts.

    Some law enforcement problems noted in the report, link, include:

    1. In one case police officer accuses a man sitting in a car near a basketball court of being a pedophile, page 3: the summer of 2012, a 32-year-old African-American man sat in his car cooling off after playing basketball in a Ferguson public park. An officer pulled up behind the man’s car, blocking him in, and demanded the man’s Social Security number and identification. Without any cause, the officer accused the man of being a pedophile, referring to the presence of children in the park, and ordered the man out of his car for a pat-down, although the officer had no reason to believe the man was armed. The officer also asked to search the man’s car. The man objected, citing his constitutional rights. In response, the officer arrested the man, reportedly at gunpoint,

    2. Collusion or Conspiracy between the judicial and executive branches of local government to raise money by issuing citations, from the report, page 2:

    City officials routinely urge Chief Jackson to generate more revenue through enforcement. In March 2010, for instance, the City Finance Director wrote to Chief Jackson that “unless ticket writing ramps up significantly before the end of the year, it will be hard to significantly raise collections next year. . . . Given that we are looking at a substantial sales tax shortfall, it’s not an insignificant issue.” Similarly, in March 2013, the Finance Director wrote to the City Manager: “Court fees are anticipated to rise about 7.5%. I did ask the Chief if he thought the PD could deliver 10% increase.

    3. continued, raising money part of officer promotions, page 2:

    Officer evaluations and promotions depend to an inordinate degree on “productivity,” meaning the number of citations issued. Partly as a consequence of City and FPD priorities, many officers appear to see some residents, especially those who live in Ferguson’s predominantly African-American neighborhoods, less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue.

    4. African Americans are more than twice as likely as white drivers to be searched during vehicle stops even after controlling for non-race based variables such as the reason the vehicle stop was initiated, but are found in possession of contraband 26% less often than white drivers.

    5. A vignette of being Black in Ferguson:

    In June 2014, an African-American couple who had taken their children to play at the park allowed their small children to urinate in the bushes next to their parked car. An officer stopped them, threatened to cite them for allowing the children to “expose themselves,” and checked the father for warrants. When the mother asked if the officer had to detain the father in front of the children, the officer turned to the father and said, “you’re going to jail because your wife keeps running her mouth.” The mother then began recording the officer on her cell phone. The officer became irate, declaring, “you don’t videotape me!” As the officer drove away with the father in custody for “parental neglect,” the mother drove after them, continuing to record. The officer then pulled over and arrested her for traffic violations.

    It's a bitch, no?

    And those who blame the victims by saying "Well, it's the Black's fault for not voting these people out of city government!"............

    That would be a good idea, but, our constitutional rights and the law, are not up for violation depending on who is in office, or how many more fines they need to avoid raising taxes.

    That is why the DOJ investigated in the first place, and that is why, in the Real World, reviewing police reports, court documents, witness statements, and examining what is going on in police departments, courts and city governments is not an unwarranted assault on cops, it's a necessary and vital task to improve justice, and citizens faith in our justice system.

    If perhaps 90% of our police departments in the country did not have similar violations, a RICO organized crime case against the Furguson cops/courts and city manager and mayor, for conspiracy to deprive citizens not only of their rights, but their money, would be called for....that would probably do clean up things across the nation.  But the right is already having fits over this straightforward report, which AG Holder presented with these words:

    As the brother of a retired police officer, I know that the overwhelming majority of America’s brave men and women in law enforcement do their jobs honorably, with integrity, and often at great personal risk.  I have immense regard for the vital role that they play in all of America’s communities – and the sacrifices that they and their families are too often called to make on behalf of their country.  It is in great part for their sake – and for their safety – that we must seek to rebuild trust and foster mutual understanding in Ferguson and in all communities where suspicion has been allowed to fester.


    Here is my second shot.

    I wrote awhile ago about my son . He had a Black friend and they would talk about how Seany would be free to do all these things and his friend knew damn well how this would not work for him.

    Louis CK talks about his often.


    And every time I write about this 14th Amendment issue, I get so goddamn mad and here it is; at least the issue presented.

    This recent DOJ study just confirms everything I ever knew or thought I knew.

    God Bless this Attorney General.

    I am astounded.


    One hell of a study.


    Probably nothing.

    I just recall an old mentor of mine who used to speak about lurking with intent to loiter.

    That is all I got right now.

    And 2 choice Ferguson cop emails:

    November 2008: An e-mail said President Obama would not be president for very long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”

    October 2011: An e-mail included a photo of a group of bare-chested women dancing, seemingly in Africa, with the caption, “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.”

    Missouri the "Show me the Bill of Rights, and I'll Show You a Jail Cell" State.


    I read these emails today.

    Thank you.

    We need to spend more time on this.

    The FBI director admits that racism is a problem in law enforcement. The NYPD chief of police noted the negative interactions of the New York police department with Black citizens since its creation as an organization partially occupied in catching slaves. There are allegations that the Chicago PD has a facility used to abuse minority citizens. The news from Ferguson merely confirms what the Black community has felt for decades.

    We all remember the head of one of the NYPD's police unions blasted the Mayor of New York after the Mayor made public the warning he had given his African -American son about interacting with police. It is life-saving information that is necessary because police feel free to abuse African-Americans. The officers of the NYPD responded to being "insulted" by a work slowdown. One thing that was lost in the slowdown was that just as in Ferguson, fines handed out by the NYPD does generate in millions in revenue. The impact on New York's city budget is small.

    Police are no longer worthy of the benefit of the doubt. Court systems seem to fall into lockstep with police actions.

    Sounds like some terrible things have been going on in Ferguson. Why didn't they ever say anything?

    Because it has been going on since Reconstruction in one form or another in repression and abuse. This goes on in a lot of states.  We have stuffed out prisons with young black men.  

    What trk said, but also cameras. When the policed lied about beating a person, often black, people believed the cop. Now videos are showing how often they lie. Sometimes I think it's worth the loss of privacy to have more cameras watching us because they also keep an eye on the police.

    If by 'they didn't say anything' you mean the Black victims of these policies I would say when they did complain, video record or dispute illegal police actions they got arrested,... or worse. Read the report linked above, (and this is not Selma 1965.)

    I was being sarcastic.

    Residents of Ferguson have been crying foul for years, as have people in far too many places across the country. The atrocities detailed in the report are only shocking to those who never believed them.

    The 50th anniversary of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, aka "Bloody Sunday" will be celebrated in Selma, Alabama this weekend. The march was an example of a police riot where tear gas, police clubs, and horses were used against peaceful protestors. The hatred exemplified by the police continues today.

    In the aftermath of Selma, Viola Liuzzo was murdered by White Supremacists. Sitting in the car during the murder was an FBI informant who remained silent and did not identify the killers. To deflect attention from his agency's involvement in the crime, J Edgar Hoover conducted a slander campaign against the slain woman. Law enforcement at its finest.

    As an interesting aside Republican leadership will not attend the Selma anniversary. The GOP never hesitates to send a clear message to the Black community.


    Thanks for the links. J. Edgar Hoover's FBI agent did nothing as a witness to murder.

    Mark Felt, Hoover's #2 man, who apparently was OK with Hoover's organized crime operation called the FBI, and wanted to run it himself, was the secret Watergate source for the Washington Post's shining knight Woodward. Nixon had passed Felt over and appointed L. Patrick Gray as FBI Chief when Hoover died in May, 1972.

    'Deep throat' (Felt) an imagined secret guardian of the law and American rights who, according to our whitewashed history, was so aghast by the penny ante Watergate break-in that he helped send (nuts) but far too liberal, Nixon to his ignominious resignation. With the approval of the right wing. The story goes the Democrats hit a homerun for holding a Republican President accountable, and it's never happened since (Iran contra, Florida vote 2000, Iraq War etc).

    Another part of the Ferguson scandal is that Ferguson authorities like to criticize Black citizens for not acting responsibly, yet the people in the court system were fixing tickets and court issues for their friends.

    Not a big surprise but one of the debt-hanging judges owes the U.S. government $170K

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