Ferguson Reports

On March 4, the U.S. Justice Department released the results of its investigation into the killing of Michael Brown last August in Ferguson, Mo. It concluded in an 87-page report “that the facts do not support the filing of criminal charges against Officer Darren Wilson.” But a second, parallel investigation revealed “a pattern or practice of unlawful conduct within the Ferguson Police Department.” Announcing the outcome, Attorney General Eric Holder said, “This investigation found a community that was deeply polarized, and where deep distrust and hostility often characterized interactions between police and area residents.” He said, “Our investigation showed that Ferguson police officers routinely violate the Fourth Amendment in stopping people without reasonable suspicion, arresting them without probable cause and using unreasonable force against them.” He added, “It is time for Ferguson’s leaders to take immediate, wholesale and structural corrective action. The report we have issued and the steps we have taken are only the beginning of a necessarily resource-intensive and inclusive process to promote reconciliation, to reduce and eliminate bias and to bridge gaps and build understanding.”

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