Ferguson Mayor: 1 City Official Fired, 2 Being Investigated Over Racist Emails

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March 4, 2015 7:03 p.m.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles on Wednesday said that the city had fired one official and was investigating two others after the Justice Department uncovered numerous racist messages sent on city email accounts.

During its investigation into the Ferguson Police Department, the Justice Department found numerous racially charged emails sent by city officials. Knowles said that the emails were sent by the three individuals.

“This type of behavior will not be tolerated in the Ferguson Police Department or in any department in the city of Ferguson,” Knowles said about the emails during a press conference responding to the DOJ report.

Knowles detailed a few diversity initiatives that the city will undertake to address the issues outlined in the Wednesday DOJ report, but he did not address whether anyone in the Ferguson police department would be terminated.

He added that since August 2014, the city has hired a black female corrections officer and two black female assistant court clerks.

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Knowles said that the city would work to address the issues detailed in the Justice Department report.

“We must all work to address issues of racial disparity,” he said.

The Justice Department issued a report on Wednesday alleging a pattern of racial bias and violations of Constitutional rights at the Ferguson Police Department. The DOJ found that between 2012 and 2014, blacks made up 85 percent of the department’s vehicle stops, 90 percent of citations, and 93 percent of arrests, when blacks comprise only 67 percent of the city’s population.

The DOJ also discovered racially charged emails sent by city officials from their official email accounts. One of the emails “stated that President Barack Obama would not be President for very long because ‘what black man holds a steady job for four years’,” according to the report.

This post has been updated.

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