Ferguson Official Stated President Obama Wouldn’t Last Long “Because What Black Man Holds a Steady Job for Four Years”

More details emerge from the Justice Department’s investigation into Ferguson.

Police watch as protesters marched on Aug. 19, 2014, for Michael Brown.Charlie Riedel/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


New details have emerged about the Justice Department’s forthcoming report finding patterns of racial discrimination among officials and police officers in Ferguson, Missouri. Among the findings is an email saying that Barack Obama wouldn’t last long as president because he’s black and data showing that for years, traffic stops, use of force, petty crime charges, and affronts by police canines disproportionately targeted the city’s black residents.

Here are more findings as reported by the Associated Press‘s Eric Tucker and PBS NewsHour:

  • Ferguson’s black drivers were more than twice as likely as their white counterparts to be stopped and searched, according to records over two years. Black drivers were also 26 percent less likely to be found in possession of contraband.
  • According to the police department’s internal records concerning force, 88 percent of those cases involved force against blacks. All 14 canine bite incidents involved blacks.
  • Blacks were 68 percent less likely than others to have their cases dismissed in municipal court. An arrest warrant was more likely to be issued for blacks.
  • The Justice Department found that the court uses petty crime charges to pad the city’s budget. As of December 2014, 16,000 out of Ferguson’s 21,000 residents have outstanding warrants for minor violations, including traffic tickets.
  • A 2008 message in a municipal email account stated that President Barack Obama would not be president for very long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”
  • Over a six-month period in 2014, 95 percent of inmates who spent more than two days in the Ferguson jail were black.
  • Petty offenses disproportionately target black citizens. 95 percent of all “Manner of Walking in Roadway” charges were against blacks.

The DOJ’s full report is expected as early as Wednesday.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.