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DOJ Gov Doc: Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department [March 4, 2015]

Report Summary:

…Ferguson’s law enforcement practices are shaped by the City’s focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs.  This emphasis on revenue has compromised the institutional character of Ferguson’s police department, contributing to a pattern of unconstitutional policing, and has also shaped its municipal court, leading to procedures that raise due process concerns and inflict unnecessary harm on members of the Ferguson community.  Further, Ferguson’s police and municipal court practices both reflect and exacerbate existing racial bias, including racial stereotypes. Ferguson’s own data establish clear racial disparities that adversely impact African Americans.  The evidence shows that discriminatory intent is part of the reason for these disparities.  Over time, Ferguson’s police and municipal court practices have sown deep mistrust between parts of the community and the police department, undermining law enforcement legitimacy among African Americans in particular.

full report

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