Ferguson report reveals shocking set of racist emails sent by law enforcement

Emails depict Barack Obama as a chimpanzee and mock African-American speech

A shocking set of racist emails sent by senior Ferguson law enforcement officials depict Barack Obama as a chimpanzee

A shocking set of racist emails sent by senior Ferguson law enforcement officials depict Barack Obama as a chimpanzee

 

A shocking set of racist emails sent by senior Ferguson law enforcement officials depict Barack Obama as a chimpanzee and characterise Michelle Obama as a bare-chested African woman, inside a damning federal investigation into civil rights violations committed by the police force.

Extracts from seven emails sent by Ferguson police supervisors, published in a long- awaited US justice department report released on Tuesday, were seized upon by investigators as illustrative of the “unequivocally derogatory, dehumanising” array of communications obtained in the investigation that were “demonstrative of impermissible bias”.

In one email, sent in April 2011, the president is depicted as a chimpanzee. Another, sent in October 2011, includes a photograph of dancing women, “apparently in Africa”, with the caption “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion”. The authors of the emails were not made clear by the federal report.

Unemployed and lazy

Another, sent in May 2011 stated: “An African-American woman in New Orleans was admitted into hospital for pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers’.”

Other emails: Suggest that Mr Obama would not be president for long with the line “what black man holds a steady job for four years”.

Mock African Americans through speech stereotypes.

Include jokes “based on offensive stereotypes about Muslims”.

A separate justice department report, also released on Tuesday, cleared former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the August killing of the unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

The department report into the broader behaviour of the Ferguson police notes that the emails come from individuals who are all currently employed Ferguson officials sent from their official emails during work hours, and states that some were sent by police commanders.

Although the report does not name the senders of the extracted emails, a footnote reveals that in 2012, Ferguson city manager John Shaw forwarded on an email that “played upon stereotypes of Latinos”.

The city manager then sent another email “within minutes” apologising for the “inappropriate and offensive” message, after claiming not have to seen its entire contents.

“Our review of documents revealed many additional email communications that exhibited racial or ethnic bias, as well as other forms of bias,” the report states.

“Our investigation has not revealed any indication that any officer or court clerk engaged in these communication was ever disciplined.”

– (Guardian service)

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