It's no longer possible to rely 100% on ads to keep our organization going. If you believe in why Films For Action exists, we hope you'll become a supporter on Patreon. A monthly donation of $1, $3, $5 or more per month will really help!
Ferguson's Democratic Congressman Calls For Entire Ferguson Police Department To Be 'Dissolved'
Ferguson's Democratic Congressman Calls For Entire Ferguson Police Department To Be 'Dissolved'
By Jameson Parker / addictinginfo.org
Dec 7, 2014

Finally a lawmaker has put his weight behind what many people have been saying for months: this doesn’t end with Darren Wilson’s resignation, the entire Ferguson Police Department needs to go before any progress can be made.

According to Reuters, Rep. Lacy Clay (D), who serves the Ferguson area, encouraged the Justice Department to disband the entire police force, citing not just Michael Brown’s death but an entire culture that has been “oppressive” to blacks and a clueless leadership which have made problems worse, not better, in the aftermath of Brown’s shooting.

“With the patterns and practice investigation, I would hope that the Ferguson Police Department would be dissolved and the duties and responsibilities of policing Ferguson would be turned over to the St. Louis County police,” Clay said in an interview.

“They are working toward being a more diverse police force, St. Louis County is. And I think they have a little more professionalism, as well as training necessary to police diverse communities,” Clay said.

The lack of diversity in Ferguson’s police department is appalling. Despite the fact that a 2-1 majority of residents in Ferguson, Missouri, are black, the FPD comprises of 50 white officers and just three African-Americans. When asked about whether this may present a problem, FPD spokesman Timothy Zoll told Politifact he and the other employees of the department don’t see race. “The discrepancy may have been that we really don’t see black or white among our colleagues,” Zoll concluded.

Which is funny, because for a department that thinks it is racially colorblind, the officers certainly seem to find a lot of African-Americans to arrest in Ferguson – about four times as many as whites.

In Ferguson, Missouri, blacks outnumber whites by more than 2-to-1. But African-Americans are arrested at a rate roughly four times higher than their white neighbors, according to Census data and Ferguson crime statistics released by the Missouri Department of Public Safety. Ferguson’s arrest rate of blacks outpaces national and state numbers. The St. Louis suburb has been the site of unrest and protests in the wake of thepolice-involved shooting of Mike Brown, an unarmed black teenager, over the weekend.  [source]

Which brings us back to Rep. Clay, who hits the nail on the head: Ferguson’s police force has been operating less as a force for civil justice and more as a racially-motivated extortion racket. After noting the overwhelming number of black motorists – most of them low-income – stopped and ticketed to extract money to finance the predatory police department like some kind of racist perpetual motion machine, Clay put it succinctly: “They’re balancing their budgets on the backs of poor people.”

Rep. Clay has reason to be concerned about Ferguson’s future. It can be said that law enforcement is only as effective as the trust people have in the system, and right now the Ferguson Police Department’s level of public trust is circling the drain. It’s not just that one of its officers killed an unarmed kid and won’t be charged. It’s not just that the immediate response from the department was an orchestrated smear campaign targeting the victim. It’s not just the heavy-handed militarized response to peaceful protests. It’s all of those things and then some – extending back years.

Because of Darren Wilson, the Ferguson Police Department has had a powerful spotlight focussed on it, and all of its nooks and crannies have been illuminated. What was found is ugly, rotten, and most likely unfixable. Tear it down and build something new.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

4.0 ·
1
Featured Films
The Staging Post: Courageous People Never Give Up! (2017)
61 min The Staging Post follows two Afghan Hazara refugees, Muzafar and Khadim. Stuck in Indonesia after Australia 'stopped the boats' and facing many years in limbo, they built a community and started the school which inspired a refugee education revolution. A real-life...
Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective (2015)
92 min Humanity is more than ever threatened by its own actions; we hear a lot about the need to minimize footprints and to reduce our impact. But what if our footprints were beneficial? What if we could meet human needs while increasing the health and well-being of our...
Within Reach (2013)
87 min Within Reach explores one couple's pedal-powered search for a place to call home. Mandy and Ryan gave up their jobs, cars, and traditional houses to 'bike-pack' 6500 miles around the USA seeking sustainable community. Rather than looking in a traditional neighborhood, they...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th century when it forced Native American children into government boarding schools. Today, volunteers...
Fall and Winter (2013)
102 min This stunning film takes you on a hypnotic journey, reaching to the past to understand the origins of the catastrophic environmental transitions we now face. Over two years, director Matt Anderson traveled 16,000 miles to document firsthand our modern industrial world and the...
The Economics of Happiness (2011)
65 min Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: fundamentalism and ethnic conflict; climate chaos and species extinction; financial instability and unemployment. There...
Trending Today


Love Films For Action? Become a Patron!

Our Patreon campaign is now live! We hope you'll be among the first to support this new direction for Films For Action. The goal is to go 100% ad-free by next year and become 100% member supported. A monthly pledge of just $1 -5 per month x a few thousand awesome people will ensure we can continue our work and grow our impact across the world. Click here to join.

Join us on Facebook
Ferguson's Democratic Congressman Calls For Entire Ferguson Police Department To Be 'Dissolved'