One Ferguson, MO police official has been fired and two others are on administrative leave after the Department of Justice uncovered racially charged emails during an investigation of the Ferguson Police Department, according to NBC. Seven of the emails between police and court employees were highlighted that showed constitutional violations and revealed that there was excessive use of force towards African Americans and that they were targeted disproportionately. The senders were not publicly revealed.
“This type of behavior will not be tolerated in the Ferguson Police Department or any other department,” Mayor James Knowles told the press yesterday (Mar. 4). “We must do better not only as a city, but also as a state and country.”
After these emails were unveiled, Attorney General Eric Holder bashed the city of Ferguson for being a “highly toxic environment” of racism and misconduct.
Ferguson became a media hotbed for racial tensions to run high after former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed teen Mike Brown last August. With the discovery of these emails, which date back to 2008, it shows that their was corruption and racial bias within the police department long before Brown’s death.
Here’s a rundown of what the emails said below.
- A November 2008 email stated that President Barack Obama would not be president for very long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”
- A March 2010 email mocked African-Americans through speech and familial 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.
- A May 2011 email stated: “An African-American woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital for a pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers.'”
- A June 2011 email described a man seeking to obtain “welfare” for his dogs because they are “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddies are.”
- An October 2011 email 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.