DOJ Faults Ferguson PD For Racial Profiling
DOJ Findings Confirm Ferguson Police Department Engaged in Pattern of Terrorizing African Americans through Traffic Stops, Other Routine Encounters
ST. LOUIS, MO. – In anticipation of a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) report asserting the Ferguson Police Department engaged in racially biased police practices resulting in disproportionate arrests of African Americans, the Organization for Black Struggle (OBS) released the following statement:
“The Department of Justice will soon release a report which will lift the veil of the Ferguson Police Department’s legacy of racially biased policing. Unsuspecting African Americans were often targeted, harassed and victimized during traffic stops and other encounters with police,” said Christine Assefa, OBS Civic Transformation Organizer. “The primary risk factor for police abuse in Ferguson was race.”
The impending DOJ findings are the result of a lengthy civil rights investigation into the police department and may foreshadow a lawsuit from the Justice Department. However, this is not transformative justice, this is a direct result of the young women and men who organized and refused to accept the status quo. The racial profiling that Ferguson residents continue to endure is only symptomatic of system that lacks accountability.
“While the Justice Department’s findings of racially motivated violations by the Ferguson Police Department may lead to important federal oversight, the findings are merely one aspect of a larger effort underway to ensure a wholesale restructuring of the halls of power in Missouri. ,” said Montague Simmons, OBS Executive Director. “To truly change the way Ferguson police and officials interact with communities of color, we must raise the standards of ethics, accountability and transparency for those who wear police badges.” We need broad based transformative changes that can be enacted across the board without the loss of young lives, national protests, and DoJ intervention each time. Quality Policing Initiative is a path towards that transformation.
“No one is above the law, not even a recalcitrant and racially-biased police department who not only terrorized African Americans, but blatantly balanced its budget on the backs of a vulnerable community who had little recourse to protect themselves. The remuneration for the Ferguson Police Department’s history of abuse must be a sweeping lawsuit by the Department of Justice,” said Simmons. We insist the Department of Justice expand its investigation to include St. Louis County and St. Louis CIty to address the racial profiling that exist in the region and give accountability to the people.