Last year, the topic of over-policing and police brutality bubbled to the surface after several high-profile killings made national news. The names Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice became household names when each were tragically killed by police last year, sparking protests across the nation and fueling a debate about what proper community policing looks like.
Just this week the Department of Justice released a scathing report about widespread racial profiling, discrimination, and abuse by the police department in Ferguson, Missouri. Although the DOJ elected not to charge former officer Darren Wilson in the death of Mike Brown, the Justice Department’s investigation uncovered eye-opening details about racism in the department.
Here are some highlights of the report:
- Members of the Ferguson PD circulated racist emails, including one featuring President Obama with the question: “What black man holds a steady job for four years?”
- Although Black residents make up 67% of residents in Ferguson, they accounted for 93% of all those arrested.
- 85% of all drivers stopped by police were Black
- In 14 incidents where police dogs were unleashed and people were bitten, all victims were Black.
- Ferguson has a total of 53 police officers, only 3 are Black.
Read more here.
The damming report illustrates a department rife with ingrained racism and in need of serious change. Ferguson MayorMayor James Knowles III has repeatedly insisted that there is “no racial divide” in his city, but many residents say otherwise.
Against this backdrop of months of discussion and protests about policing, a Seattle production team asked 50 men and boys of color what they think of the police.
And like any relationship, it’s complicated.
Take a look.