Ferguson is cleaning house. The court clerk has been sacked and a number of other officials have either been fired or resigned after a scathing Department of Justice report found that there was merit to the rampant allegations of racism.
Writes CNN on March 7: “Racist emails – like one that depicted President Obama as a chimpanzee – resulted in three Ferguson, Missouri, city employees resigning or being fired, the city spokesman said Friday.”
After the Michael Brown shooting death last summer by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, assertions of racism made inroads into almost every local and government department in the city. The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division conducted a months-long investigation and released their findings on March 4 in a 105-page report that stated there was a “history of racist behavior in the Ferguson Police Department and city.”
Adds CNN: “Police officers Capt. Rick Henke and Sgt. William Mudd resigned Thursday over the emails discovered during the U.S. Department of Justice investigation of racial prejudice in the city’s police and judicial system, city spokesman Jeff Small said on Friday, citing the city attorney. The city’s top court clerk, Mary Ann Twitty, was fired earlier this week in connection with the emails, Small said.”
Examples of the email messages and photos, sent as far back as 2011, include one where a bare-chested African woman is doing a tribal dance, captioned with: “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.” Another email depicts a man attempting to get welfare benefits for his dogs, complaining that they are “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no clue who their daddies are.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder commented on Friday: “We are prepared to use all the power that we have, all the power that we have to ensure that the situation changes there. And that means everything from working with them to coming up with an entirely new structure,” adding that the possibility of dismantling the Ferguson police force is not off the table. “If that’s what’s necessary then we are prepared to do that.”
The Department of Justice declined to prosecute Darren Wilson on charges after he gunned down 18-year-old Michael Brown in August. Michael Brown’s family has since said they will file a lawsuit against Darren Wilson and the City of Ferguson, something that they had spoken of in November when a grand jury declined to indict Wilson on charges.
Court Clerk Twitty was further accused of “fixing” traffic tickets for her friends. “The Ferguson, Mo., top court official was fired over racist emails; she made her friends’ traffic tickets go away — as she helped the local government make revenue off of blacks and poor people,” writes the Daily News.
The DOJ report gives details on Twitty’s illegal and unethical actions. She is accused of making at least a dozen valid driving citations “disappear” for people she knew and for friends of friends.
“The court clerk helped Municipal Court Judge Ronald Brockmeyer clear a notice for a speeding violation in a nearby town in August,” according to the report. “In March 2014, a friend of the Court Clerk’s relative emailed the Court Clerk with a scanned copy of a ticket asking if there was anything she could do to help. She responded: ‘Your ticket of $200 has magically disappeared!’”
With the resignations of Henke and Mudd, the Ferguson Police Department only has to replace the remainder of its entire force in order to become racism- and brutality-free.
Sound off below: Your thoughts on the Ferguson court clerk and the other fired officials.