This post originally appeared on the ACLU of Missouri's blog

The United States Department of Justice will confirm tomorrow what residents in the St. Louis metro area have long known: If you’re black in Ferguson, you have a greater chance of being stopped, searched, arrested, cited, and abused by police.

The department found that “Ferguson Police disproportionately stopped African-Americans for no reasonable suspicion, made arrests with no probable cause and used force disproportionately against blacks,” according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Of the 14 incidents where a police dog bit a person and there was racial information, 100 percent of the bitten were black. The Justice Department also reportedly uncovered evidence of racist emails within the police department.

These findings are intolerable. And they are not unique to Ferguson. In cities and towns across the United States, communities of color are under siege by their own police departments, as documented by ACLU affiliates in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.

We must find a way forward. Here in the St. Louis area, all of us as a community must first look back at the shooting of Michael Brown and the protests that followed. Darren Wilson, a white police officer who stated Mr. Brown looked like a “demon,” shot the unarmed teenager down in the street. And that officer was employed by a department that treated blacks unfairly and circulated racist “jokes.”

Only by looking back honestly at where we’ve been can we find our way towards fair policing. 

Many individuals, organizations, elected officials, community leaders, and commissions are working to find solutions, both here in St. Louis and nationally. On Monday, the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing issued an ambitious set of recommendations. A common theme in both local and federal reform efforts is policing that returns to a model of “protect and serve.” Service encompasses the idea that those being served must be included in creating a solution based on mutual trust and respect.

The ACLU of Ohio worked in Cincinnati with the African-American community, police leaders, elected officials, civil rights and police misconduct lawyers, and police unions to collaboratively negotiate a model of community policing that respected community and individual rights while also giving police the tools to keep those communities safe.

We can do the same here in St. Louis and cities and towns across America.

If we fail to do so, our past of racial segregation and discrimination will continue to haunt us. The only difference now is that the “Whites Only” signs have been replaced by a “new Jim Crow” that demeans African-Americans through arrests, fines, and imprisonment.

Learn more about racial justice and other civil liberty issues: Sign up for breaking news alertsfollow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

View comments (5)
Read the Terms of Use


Perhaps the ACLU can look into why the Justice Department can find and release to the public emails from the Ferguson Police,but can't seem to find the emails from Lois Lerner.


Is this talking about the dress?


My husband was racial profile in court on the 27Th day Feb. We went to court an his public defender lawyer didnt show up for court that day my husband has. Serious Mental Illness class 3 an Stanley was trying to explain everything to the jugde which was. Jugde Callinghan on the bench that day he was trying to tell the jugde that he was mental ill an he didnt understand what he judge was saidimg an Stanley ask the jugde to. Explain it to me because i have power of attonery over because of his mental state but instead of The officer listen to when they walk up to Stanley they through him on this floor he went one was an his shoes.we another Stanley wS crying because he was scare n he was have mental issue an no one listen to. Stanley they went to shock him about 3 or 4 times. I feel they. Racial profile Stanley n that not right p of nil

Human Rights Fi...

On April 12th there will be a vigil for Kenny Lazo, who died as a victim of police brutality. We would love the support of the entire New York City community. Check out the emotional interview with Kenny's wife: - Recorded and produced by Human Rights Fifth Estate

Human Rights Fifth Estate is a human rights organization which covers stories like these. Please check us out on Facebook and Twitter @Human5thEstate

Jack Fernandis

ACLU is really showing the nice content. You have here cleared me the difference and I wanted to share it on because you value the content.
Good Luck!!

Stay Informed