Target: Ferguson Missouri Mayor James Knowles
Goal: Demand reform of Ferguson, Missouri police and court systems that have been found to be plagued by racism.
Reform of the racist police and courts of Ferguson has been rejected by leaders after it was proposed by the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ). The town of Ferguson is infamous for being the site of the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by police office Darren Wilson. The USDOJ has since issued a review of the city’s justice system and concluded the existence of racial bias and a longstanding pattern of racial targeting.
The results of the initial investigation by the USDOJ are shocking. Some of the statistics from the Ferguson Police Department found that 93 people of the people arrested from 2012-2014 were black along with 88 percent of people arrested with force, and 85 percent of people who were subject to vehicle stops were also black. These statistics unequivocally conclude that black people in Ferguson are targeted by its police department.
The USDOJ proposed reform that demanded the city provide body cameras and more efficient training for police officers. They would also install a federal monitor and prevent officers from arresting people without probable cause. Mayor Knowles and the city council rejected the deal, fearing that the suggested changes would cost too much.
This proposal by the USDOJ is something that’s only intention is to restore basic constitutional rights in a place where they have clearly been absent, and is not something that should even be debated. Sign to demand that the city council and mayor accept these necessary reforms to protect residents from racial bias.
Dear Mayor Knowles,
It is clear from the USDOJ report that the town of Ferguson has a problem with racial bias that has contaminated both its police and justice departments. When something this disturbing has been so deeply entrenched in a town for so long, the only way to combat it is to pursue something drastic, like the massive reforms proposed by the USDOJ.
While I understand that your primary concern is the cost of the reforms, I believe that the importance of these changes far outweigh any cost. Not only has the flawed Ferguson Police Department resulted in a high profile case where your city received national criticism, but it will also continue to do more harm to your people unless something is done.
The way in which black people are treated by both the police and justice departments in Ferguson is clearly an unfair violation of human rights. We demand that you accept the USDOJ’s proposal of complete reform, not only because it will establish a strong message against racial profiling and help protect your community, but it will also set a precedent for other cities where law enforcement is corrupted by racial bias to look at ways they can reform their systems as well.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Otto Yamamoto