African American Studies
African American Studies
The report on the Ferguson Police Department by the U.S. Department of Justice has managed to illustrate the extent to which misconduct carried out by law enforcement officers is primarily ingrained in the Ferguson community. Accordingly, the investigation applied by the DOJ managed to exhibit a long-term pattern of practices implemented by the Ferguson Police Department. Consequently, the methods utilized by the police department in question constitute contraventions and violations of major Constitutional sections, specifically the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, and the Fourteenth Amendment. It is essential to note that the amendments in breach by the Ferguson Police Department openly focus on the protection of the rights that civilians are entitled holistically and regarding specific procedures such as search and seizure. Indeed, the report is an indicator of the extensive racial discrimination imposed against minority groups, specifically African American communities at the hands of law enforcement officers expected to perform the expected mandates.
Unfortunately, the report by the DOJ seems to affirm the suspicions that have long encompassed the Ferguson Police Department, specifically concerning the demise of Michael Brown. Even though there was a considerable level of uncertainty regarding Brown’s death, most of the African American residents living in the community asserted that the deceased was merely a victim of police misconduct (Lowery 50). It is possible that Brown died at the hands of a police officer named Darren Wilson while amidst a struggle (Sarat and Ogletree 101). Despite this, there was insufficient evidence to disprove the officer’s allegation, which calls for self-defense as the sole reason for Brown’s death. However, the fact that most of Ferguson’s residents regarded the event in question as an outcome of police misconduct manages to affirm the conclusions illustrated by the DOJ report regarding the Ferguson Police Department, which highlight the organization’s involvement in the violation of civil rights and privileges.
Indeed, the report has managed to provide a setting that seems to elucidate why African American residents correlate the death of Michael Brown to criminal action by the police. Over the years, the Ferguson Police Department has been involved in the dissemination of brutality, breach of rights, and acts that aided officials in alienating the community in question (Brondo 133). Aside from Brown’s death, instances exhibiting the violation of rights were illustrated by some of the conclusions established by the report. For example, the report asserted that police officers regularly conducted stops and searches that possessed an insufficient connection to the safety and security of Ferguson’s residents (Department of Justice 16). In other instances, the report stated that it was evidently common for officers to issue more than ten citations in one stop. Such practices clearly illustrated the extent to which police officers contravened people’s rights by failing to abide by regulations guiding stops and searches.
While the report
illuminates the incompetence of the Ferguson Police Department, it manages to
establish the consequences arising from the disproportionate position of Blacks
in American society. For instance, proof gathered from speeding citations by
police officers indicated that the effect of enforcement approaches on Blacks
was over 40 percent higher especially when citations were issued in accordance to the presiding officer’s evaluation
(Department of Justice 22). Similarly, such inequalities are represented regarding
the application of force by Ferguson’s
police officers. In this respect, it is apparent
that the Ferguson Police Department has regularly engaged in measures
aimed at the oppression of African Americans. Supposedly, the only positive
thing derived from the report is that it manages to show the extent to which
the African American population suffers collectively across the United States.
Brondo, Keri V. Cultural Anthropology: Contemporary, Public, and Critical Readings. Oxford University Press, 2017.
Lowery, Wesley. They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement. Little, Brown, and Company, 2017.
Sarat, Austin, and Charles J. Ogletree. Racial Reconciliation and the Healing of a Nation: Beyond Law and Rights. New York UP, 2017.
United States Department of Justice. Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department. United States Department of Justice, 4 Mar. 2015. https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1681138-ferguson-doj-report.html. Accessed 8 Jun. 2018.
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