Category Archives: Civil Rights

Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department

Investigation of the

Ferguson Police Department

DOWNLOAD Report

United States Department of Justice

Civil Rights Division

March 4, 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. REPORT SUMMARY………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1

II. BACKGROUND…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6

III. FERGUSON LAW ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS ARE FOCUSED ON

GENERATING REVENUE………………………………………………………………………………….. 9

IV. FERGUSON LAW ENFORCEMENT PRACTICES VIOLATE THE LAW AND

UNDERMINE COMMUNITY TRUST, ESPECIALLY AMONG AFRICAN

AMERICANS …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 15

A. Ferguson’s Police Practices……………………………………………………………………………….. 15

1. FPD Engages in a Pattern of Unconstitutional Stops and Arrests in Violation

2. FPD Engages in a Pattern of First Amendment Violations ……………………………. 24

3. FPD Engages in a Pattern of Excessive Force in Violation of the Fourth

B. Ferguson’s Municipal Court Practices ………………………………………………………………… 42

1. Court Practices Impose Substantial and Unnecessary Barriers to the

2. The Court Imposes Unduly Harsh Penalties for Missed Payments or

C. Ferguson Law Enforcement Practices Disproportionately Harm Ferguson’s

African-American Residents and Are Driven in Part by Racial Bias ………………………. 62

1. Ferguson’s Law Enforcement Actions Impose a Disparate Impact on African

2. Ferguson’s Law Enforcement Practices Are Motivated in Part by

of the Fourth Amendment…………………………………………………………………………. 16

Amendment…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 28

Challenge or Resolution of Municipal Code Violations………………………………… 43

Appearances……………………………………………………………………………………………. 54

Americans that Violates Federal Law…………………………………………………………. 63

Discriminatory Intent in Violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and Other

Federal Laws…………………………………………………………………………………………… 70

D. Ferguson Law Enforcement Practices Erode Community Trust, Especially Among

Ferguson’s African-American Residents, and Make Policing Less Effective, More

Difficult, and Less Safe …………………………………………………………………………………….. 79

1. Ferguson’s Unlawful Police and Court Practices Have Led to Distrust and

2. FPD’s Exercise of Discretion, Even When Lawful, Often Undermines

3. FPD’s Failure to Respond to Complaints of Officer Misconduct Further

4. FPD’s Lack of Community Engagement Increases the Likelihood of

Resentment Among Many in Ferguson ………………………………………………………. 79

Community Trust and Public Safety…………………………………………………………… 81

Erodes Community Trust………………………………………………………………………….. 82

Discriminatory Policing and Damages Public Trust……………………………………… 86

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5. Ferguson’s Lack of a Diverse Police Force Further Undermines Community

V. CHANGES NECESSARY TO REMEDY FERGUSON’S UNLAWFUL LAW

ENFORCEMENT PRACTICES AND REPAIR COMMUNITY TRUST …………….. 90

VI. CONCLUSION…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 102

Trust ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 88

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