Ferguson officials to comment on DOJ report, treatment of African Americans

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FERGUSON, MO (KTVI)- Officials in Ferguson will comment Wednesday on a scathing report from the Department of Justice about their police department, and its treatment of African Americans. The report is highly critical of the city and its police force, but not terribly surprising to people who live here.

The Department of Justice report accuses Ferguson of patterns and practices of discrimination against African Americans, targeting them disproportionately for traffic stops, use of force, and jail sentences. In a town that's about two-thirds African American, more than 85 percent of traffic stops and more than 90 percent of arrests involved blacks. There were also quotations of racist jokes sent back and forth in city emails. It's something many point to as evidence of a culture that needs to be changed.

Reaction was certainly that of disappointment, but not of surprise. They'll tell you that African Americans have been complaining about this for years.

Officials were briefed Tuesday. The full report will be released Wednesday, and Ferguson officials have planned a news conference to address it, although they have yet to say when that will happen.

Many are again calling for Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson to resign.

Ferguson DOJ Statement:

Today, City of Ferguson officials met with the Department of Justice, to receive the report concerning the outcome of their investigation of the Ferguson Police Department.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III, City Manager John Shaw, Police Chief Tom Jackson and City Attorney Stephanie Karr, were present in the meeting today in downtown St. Louis.

City Officials were told by the Department of Justice that the report would not be released to the media or to the public until Wednesday afternoon, March 4, 2015. At this time, the City is currently reviewing the report and its findings. The City will release an official statement in a press conference on Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

The time of the press conference will be announced following the official announcement from the Department of Justice.

 

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