Crimes of Repetition

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I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

So it wasn’t just that one uppity nigra boy got hisself shot caused all the trouble in Ferguson.

The Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice has found that city’s police and courts systemically biased against black Americans. Killing one of them was the sincerest expression of that racial hatred — though not enough to indict the officer who really was only the instrument of city policy.

From 2012 to 2014, nearly ninety percent of documented use of force against Ferguson residents was against black people, who comprise sixty-seven percent of the town. Never mind undocumented force. Even the police dogs were trained to hate the blacks, and never met a black man they didn’t bite, and never met a white man they did bite.

It seems a white man almost couldn’t get arrested in Ferguson, where ninety-three percent of the arrests were of blacks.

The municipal court and city attorneys were no better: the courts were far more likely to dismiss cases against white folks than black; prosecutors offered better deals to whites, who were run through the system much faster.

Ferguson police routinely stopped black people without reasonable suspicion, arrested them without probable cause, and frequently insulted and physically abused their “suspects.” If you were black, you were a suspect. If you made a face at a cop and your face was black, you went to jail. It wasn’t clear that anybody in the Ferguson police department had the remotest familiarity with the United States Constitution.

The Ferguson court was much more interested in raising money for the town than in anything so sissified as justice or the rights of the accused. Again these fines fell hugely disproportionately on black people.

Racial bias was evident in official emails sent back and forth between the Ferguson police and courts. Very jolly they were too:

A November 2008 email stated that President Barack Obama would not be President for very long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”

A March 2010 email mocked African Americans through speech and familial stereotypes, using a story involving child support. One line from the email read: “I be so glad that dis be my last child support payment! Month after month, year after year, all dose payments!”

An April 2011 email depicted President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee.

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

A June 2011 email described a man seeking to obtain “welfare” for his dogs because they are “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddies are.”

An October 2011 email included a photo of a bare-chested group of dancing women, apparently in Africa, with the caption, “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.”

A December 2011 email included jokes that are based on offensive stereotypes about Muslims.

Not only did no one in Ferguson government object to the emails, they were frequently forwarded to others so everyone could join the fun.

So pervasive was the rot in law enforcement, so decayed the foundation of the halls of justice in Ferguson, so betrayed the community trust in these institutions, the Justice Department called for a complete abandonment of current policies and practices, and a total overhaul of the justice system in that city.

The effect of the Justice Department findings was that the white officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teen in the dying days of last summer could not be held criminally responsible for what he did. Darren Wilson did not murder Michael Brown, the feds say.

Ferguson justice murdered him.

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