What better way to quell a black uprising in Ferguson, Mo. than to hunt down white “racists” by exposing a number of carefully selected private emails?
One Ferguson Police Department employee has been fired and two others have been placed on leave after federal authorities identified them as responsible for writing personal emails with a “racist” content, the mayor of the city said.
The Justice Department meanwhile has cleared the police officer of civil rights violations in the death last August of the black Michael Brown.
The decision ends a lengthy investigation into the shooting last August, in which the officer, Darren Wilson shot and killed Brown in the street as he tried to stop him for a possible theft. Several witnesses said Brown, 18, had his hands up in surrender when he died, leading to violent clashes in Ferguson and nationwide protest chants of “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
But federal agents and civil rights prosecutors rejected that story, just as a state grand jury did in November.
The announcement comes as the Justice Department issued a 100-page report that found systematic racial discrimination by the Ferguson police officials and the court system against African Americans. Mayor Knowles said the city “must do better” to address racism.
The report on the shooting, an 86-page report, however demolishes the fanciful version of events that sent blacks and liberal whites into the streets chanting “hands up, don’t shoot.”
Nevertheless the DOJ report cited “racist emails” exchanged by Ferguson city employees as examples of a culture that supported “discriminatory behavior” when Wilson was actually cleared of such wrong-doing.
“Our review of documents revealed many additional email communications that exhibited racial or ethnic bias, as well as other forms of bias. Our investigation has not revealed any indication that any officer or court clerk engaged in these communications was ever disciplined,” the report said.
There were no accounts of senior officials asking others to stop sending the emails or any indication of reports being made about inappropriate emails.
– A November 2008 email about Barack Obama, then the president-elect, wondered “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”
– One March 2010 email mocked African Americans through speech stereotypes, using a story involving child support. One line from the email read: “I be so glad that dis be my last child support payment! Month after month, year after year, all dose payments!”
– An April 2011 email depicted President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee.
– Meanwhile, a June 2011 email described a man seeking to obtain “welfare” for his dogs because they are “mixed in color, unemployed, last, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddies are.”
– Another email, from October 2011, included a photo of a bare-chested group of dancing women apparently in Africa, with the caption, “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.”
– A December 2011 email included jokes that are based on offensive stereotypes about Muslims.
According to the DOJ report, each of these email exchanges involved supervisors of the Ferguson patrol and court operations.
A DOJ official told reporters that some of the emails were sent by people still involved in helping to negotiate a settlement with the agency. The DOJ declined to identify them.
Regarding the discoveries made by snooping federal officials, Attorney General Eric Holder said that a “highly toxic environment” existed between Ferguson police officers and the city’s African American residents even before the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. The unarmed teenager was killed by Officer Darren Wilson in a confrontation that set of weeks of protests locally and nationwide.
“It’s not difficult to imagine how a single tragic incident set off the city of Ferguson like a powder keg,” Holder said.
He added that excessive force was overwhelmingly used against African American residents, noting that only African Americans were bit by police dogs. Holder said there was “no alternative explanation” except racial bias exists to explain it.