- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The mayor of Ferguson, Missouri, said he has fired one police officer and suspended two others after a Justice Department report revealed racist e-mails sent by law enforcement personnel.

“This type of behavior will not be tolerated in the Ferguson Police Department,” Mayor James Knowles said Wednesday.

The Justice Department report highlighted a number of offensive e-mails sent by police officials, including one that compared President Obama to a chimpanzee; an image of topless African women dancing with the caption “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion”; and another that said black women who get abortions are helping to stop crime.

Mr. Knowles has been criticized for his handling of the situation with the police department.

Some advocates note that he has yet to fire Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson, despite the Justice Department report that found extensive civil-rights abuses and excessive use of force on the part of law enforcement.

Mr. Knowles didn’t take questions from reporters at the press conference, but said he had taken a number of steps to fix the racial problems, including convening a civilian oversight board that will review complaints against the police and offer suggestions.

The mayor added that “all Ferguson police department officers have completed mandatory diversity training as of Dec. 31, 2014.”

City officials met with Justice officials Tuesday before the report was publicly released, Mr. Knowles said.

The Justice Department has threated legal action including federal lawsuits if the city of Ferguson does not make changes to the behaviors of the police department.

The report also heavily criticized the police’s focus on fines and fees, saying the department was being used to generate revenue, not enforce the law.

 

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