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Fri Mar 06 09:43:33 PST 2015
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Department of Justice Releases Ferguson Report
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A U.S. Justice Department investigation has found that the Ferguson, Missouri police department routinely and illegally violates the constitutional rights of its citizens - particularly those who are African-American. The stinging report comes months after a white former Ferguson police officer was cleared of charges in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager. Last August’s shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer put Ferguson, Missouri at the center of a federal investigation. Over six months, the department of justice examined 35-thousand pages of records from 2012 to 2014. It found that while two-thirds of Ferguson’s residents are African American, they made up 93-percent of those arrested... And 90-percent of people given citations. And when an officer pulled someone over -- 85-percent of the time it was an African American. When police used force -- 88-percent of the time -- it was against African Americans. The report also said Ferguson’s municipal courts are biased against African-Americans, who are less likely to have cases dismissed, and more likely to have arrest warrants issued, usually for minor offenses. "we've all had warrants." Terri franks and her three sons are not surprised by the report. She said this stack of tickets and summons her family has received paints a one-color picture. And that's unfair. "what does this pile of fines say to you?" "either we're really bad people, and really bad, bad drivers.... Or it's just excessive." Franks says between fines and legal fees, being black in Ferguson has already cost her thousands. The city will respond to the report on Wednesday.


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