The long-awaited Department of Justice report on the Ferguson, Mo., police department’s racial practices doesn’t look good.
Sources familiar with the unreleased report tell The New York Times that the DOJ will fault Ferguson police for years of racially discriminatory police stops. A damning email reportedly included a racist joke circulated to several Ferguson city leaders and officials will also be referenced in the report.
The DOJ will not only accuse Ferguson police of institutional racism, but will also say that the bias built a powder keg of racial unrest, ready to explode at the death of Michael Brown.
DOJ officials familiar with the unreleased report say it is highly critical of Ferguson police for disproportionately stopping, searching and ticketing Ferguson blacks.
The DOJ intends to use these allegations to force Ferguson police into serious reforms. Earlier reports indicated that if Ferguson doesn’t comply, the DOJ will sue.
The full report is expected to be released as early as this week, just one in several investigations into police killings that continue to make headlines and drive the controversy of police race relations.
In an extraordinary step, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder vowed to Politico’s Mike Allen to make it easier to convict racially-motivated civil rights violations. Interestingly, in that same interview he accused his political opponents of racism.
Many critics said that since the department was unable to nail certain police departments with civil rights charges, Holder is lowering the standards.
Those lower standards certainly could have made it easier to convict Ferguson police for civil rights violations.