FERGUSON, Mo. — A forthcoming Justice Department report on the Ferguson Police Department has found that city officials engage in practices that discriminate against black residents and routinely violate the Constitution and federal law, according to officials familiar with the results of the investigation.
The formal report, expected to be released Wednesday, largely blames the Missouri city for breeding mistrust of the police through its policies. The report is particularly critical of ticketing practices in Ferguson, which like many other municipalities in St. Louis County, relies heavily on its local court system to generate revenue for the city.
African-Americans were overwhelmingly those charged with certain petty offenses that particularly depend on officers’ judgment, according to the forthcoming report. Between 2011 and 2013, African-Americans made up 95 percent of those charged in Ferguson with improper “manner of walking in roadway,” 94 percent of those charged with “failure to comply,” and 92 percent of those charged with disturbance of the peace. Black residents account for just 67 percent of the city’s population.
A Ferguson official told The Huffington Post that city and Justice Department officials met at a federal building in downtown St. Louis to discuss the results of the investigation on Tuesday. The so-called “pattern or practice” investigation of the Ferguson police had been announced by the Justice Department in September, just weeks after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
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