In the aftermath of a scathing report showing Ferguson unfairly targeted African-Americans and preyed on its most vulnerable citizens, the Justice Department is asking the city to make more than two dozen changes to the city's police department and municipal courts — or face a costly lawsuit.
The 102-page report on the patterns and practices of the Ferguson Police Department released on Wednesday, describes an out-of-control police department whose officers target African-Americans, stop and search people without reasonable suspicion, arrest people without probable cause, abuse their authority to quash protests, routinely ignore civil rights and use excessive force by unnecessarily using dogs, batons and Tasers.
It describes a city government that uses its police and courts as an ATM, tolerating a culture of police brutality while pressuring the police chief and court officials to increase traffic enforcement and fees without regard to public safety, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
It exposes a court run by the police department that routinely violates due process and intentionally inflicts pain on the most vulnerable residents and whose supervisors circulated racially insensitive emails, one of which in 2011 depicted President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee.
Read full DOJ report here.