FERGUSON, MO (KTVI)– Department of Justice representatives have come to Ferguson in the wake of Michael Brown’s death. They’re making strong demands they don’t appear to follow themselves.
Activists often complain about officers without name tags. Department of Justice representative Christy Lopez jumped on the issue in a recent public meeting saying, “That’s a problem. We need to fix that.” A police wife told us that officers agree they should not be anonymous, but said they`ve lately faced extreme circumstances that have caused some to remove their name tags at times.
The police wife said officers have been, “screamed at by protestors, “we`re going to go to your house. We`re going to rape your wives then we`re going to kill them and we`re going to kill your children” and this is being screamed at them in the presence of Department of Justice agents.”
Those agents said a name tag is non-negotiable, regardless of the threat.
At a public meeting Christy Lopez said, “Especially when it`s tense.”
The police wife said DOJ agents are “not there to guide, they`re there to harm.”
She says a DOJ rep. criticized an officer who said he was afraid for his family. The police wife explained, “The person was told, by the Department of Justice agent, if they`re afraid of the citizens of Ferguson, they shouldn`t be police.”
Yet Federal Agents appeared to be afraid when they called Ferguson police for help. An incident report, obtained by Fox 2, reveals a series of tense moments on September 25th. DOJ was meeting inside a business when a 911 call revealed subjects “stopping at (that business).” Then another 911 call describes “DOJ inside coffee house, requesting escort out of building.”
A Ferguson officer spoke out about the incident in an open letter to the DOJ. The letter also describes another case the officer fears is a sign the feds may not be interested in hearing all sides. The officer wrote about DOJ rep. who said he was a former police chief and asked to ride along with a Ferguson Police Sgt. The police wife went on to describe that, “within 15 minutes, the situation had erupted again and now there were shots fired on West Florissant and they were looting one of the beauty supply stores over there and when that call came out the DOJ officer said “take me back to the station.” They were half way between where this call was and the station and the supervisor wanted to go to the call. That`s where his men were. They needed help. The citizens needed help. The DOJ rep said “No. Take me back to the police department.” The police wife continued, “There would`ve been a perfect opportunity for him to witness these guys in a situation, a tough situation and how did they handle it? He opted instead to distance himself from it entirely.”
Reporter Chris Hayes asked the police wife, “Who are these guys (with the DOJ)?”
The police wife responded, “We don`t know.”
Ferguson officers are reportedly asking for names of DOJ reps and not getting them. They only know names of a couple, who said their names in public meetings – like Christy Lopez and a man who identified himself as a former police chief Mike Davis.
So I asked for a list of names, last Thursday. A DOJ spokesperson in Washington D.C. said, “I will have to check to see if that information is publicly available.” Yesterday, I asked again and I also asked for a response to the specific allegations you heard in this report. The spokesman responded, “Do you know the name of the (Ferguson officer) who sent the letter?” and “Can you tell me more about your story?”
The police wife said, “The only people that have been given voice are the people who will support what appears to be their desired outcome.”
Follow Chris Hayes on Twitter @ChrisHayesTV