On March 4, roughly seven months after Officer Darren Wilsonshot and killed unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the Department of Justice released a 102-page report investigating the Ferguson Police Department. The investigation revealed 67 percent of African Americans account for 93 percent of Ferguson’s arrests made between 2012 through 2014. Aside from anecdotal accounts of an unlawful bias on the part of Ferguson’s police department, the investigation asserted Ferguson’s law enforcement efforts were focused on generating revenue and not public safety. In the face of such scathing condemnations, Ferguson’s Mayor James W. Knowles III responded during a recent news conference.
“Do they have a statistic that tells me that they’ve examined every arrest that we’ve made for the past four years and that half, or all, or 10 percent, or five percent are unconstitutional or without cause?” Knowles asked, in transcripts from his news conference published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “They do not have that. They have not examined at that level that I know of at this point.”
Knowles added the report’s assertion that there was probable cause to believe Ferguson’s police department and courts routinely violated citizen’s civil rights was “not proof,” and there was “probably another side to all these stories.”
According to the DOJ report—which can be accessed free of charge at Justice.Gov—members of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice spent 100 days in Ferguson. The data was collected from ride-alongs with on-duty officers, compiled emails, and records provided by the Ferguson PD.
You can read the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s full account of Mayor Knowles press conference at their website.