Blacks were disproportionately targeted by Ferguson police

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According to a source cited by NPR the Ferguson Police Department

… violated the Constitution when it policed to raise money and with a racial bias toward African-Americans, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the report.

The investigation, the source says, concluded that blacks were disproportionately targeted by the police and the justice system and that has led to a lack of trust in police and courts and has led to few partnerships for public safety.

The report will be released on Wednesday. But there are some tidbits available including two emails between police and court employees.

One says Obama will not be president for long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.” Another says a black woman in New Orleans was admitted to a hospital to end her pregnancy and then got a check two weeks later from “Crime Stoppers.”

According to the data assembled in the report, African Americans constitute 67% of the Ferguson population but make up 85% of the vehicular stops and 93% of those arrested, and are twice as likely to be searched as whites but less likely to possess drugs or weapons one searched.

In the court sytem, African Americans were 68% less likely than non-African Americans to have cases dismissed by municipal judges and more likely to have arrest warrents taken out on them. NPR reports that “From October 2012 to October 2014, 96 percent of people arrested in traffic stops solely for an outstanding warrant were black,” and “Blacks accounted for 95 percent of jaywalking charges, 94 percent of failure to comply charges and 92 percent of all disturbing the peace charges.”

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4 thoughts on “Blacks were disproportionately targeted by Ferguson police

  1. Michael 2,

    African Americans were searched disproportionately often, but of searched-people, whites were more likely to possess drugs. Thus decisions to search whites were more driven by cause than decisions to search African Americans. This is strong evidence countering your suggestion that police were proportionately targeting criminals by disproportionate by targeting African Americans.

    Kieran Suckling
    Executive Director
    Center for Biological Diversity

  2. Kieran, exactly. I want to see more of the report, but it looks like the determination will be that the Ferguson police and courts were acting unconstitutionally, which, if based on the numbers, means bias.

  3. Blacks were disproportionately targeted by Ferguson police

    Well, ain’t that a surprise!

    “We might as well learn not to expect nothing from Southern justice. They’re going to stack the cards against us every time.” Sterling said.’ (Italics original.)
    – Page 60, ‘Black Like Me’, John Howard Griffin, Panther Books, 1960, 1961.

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