Justice Department to Fault Ferguson Police, Seeing Racial Bias in Traffic Stops

Matt Apuzzo, New York Times, March 1, 2015

The Justice Department has nearly completed a highly critical report accusing the police in Ferguson, Mo., of making discriminatory traffic stops of African-Americans that created years of racial animosity leading up to an officer’s shooting of a black teenager last summer, law enforcement officials said.

According to several officials who have been briefed on the report’s conclusions, the report criticizes the city for disproportionately ticketing and arresting African-Americans and relying on the fines to balance the city’s budget. The report, which is expected to be released as early as this week, will force Ferguson officials to either negotiate a settlement with the Justice Department or face being sued by it on civil rights charges. Either way, the result is likely to be significant changes inside the Ferguson Police Department, which is at the center of a national debate over race and policing.


While the Justice Department’s exact findings are not yet known, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who is expected to leave office in the next few weeks, and other officials have said publicly that their investigation has focused on the use of excessive force and the treatment of prisoners in local jails as well as the traffic stops.

Blacks accounted for 86 percent of traffic stops in 2013 but make up 63 percent of the population, according to the most recent data published by the Missouri attorney general. And once they were stopped, black drivers were twice as likely to be searched, even though searches of white drivers were more likely to turn up contraband.


Investigators do not need to prove that Ferguson’s policies are racially motivated or that the police intentionally singled out minorities. They need to show only that police tactics had a “disparate impact” on African-Americans and that this was avoidable. Nevertheless, the Justice Department’s report is expected to include a reference to a racist joke that was circulated by email among city officials, according to several law enforcement officials.


The Ferguson case will be the last in a long string of civil rights investigations into police departments that Mr. Holder has directed during his tenure. Since he became attorney general in 2009, the Justice Department has opened more than 20 such investigations and issued strong rebukes of departments in Cleveland and Albuquerque, accusing them of excessive force and unwarranted shootings.

The Ferguson report, however, is expected to more closely resemble last summer’s report into police activities in Newark. There, as in Ferguson, the police stopped black people at a significantly higher rate than whites. “This disparity is stark and unremitting,” the Justice Department wrote in that report, which concluded that African-Americans “bear the brunt” of the city’s unconstitutional police practices.


{snip} Mr. Holder has pledged that the Ferguson investigation–by far the most closely watched during his tenure–would be fair and independent. “I’m confident people will be satisfied with the results,” he said.

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  • Give us this day our daily NYT article about Ferguson.

    There is not a police department or law enforcement agency whose jurisdictions include a lot of blacks where there isn’t a disparate impact of law enforcement tactics and results that works against blacks.

    It’s as if everyone is “guilty” of it, so the DOJ will have that card under the vest to use against you just in case they don’t have any grounds to string up individual white cops who defend their lives against rampaging thug blacks.

    If the DOJ is so worried about debtors prisons, then I have two words for them: Child support.

    • connorhus

      I was talking to a child support specialist the other day, she lives in the little town near me, and she said that it’s pretty well known in her business that minority women are far more likely to give false names for possible fathers of their children and in many cases will intentionally mislead the social services people to keep their men out of paying child support. White women not nearly so much. I would be interested in seeing some actual numbers to see how it breaks down by race as I suspect there maybe some….wait for it… disparate impact there.

      • John Smith

        Why not? Most babbydaddies are on relief anyway, so couldn’t pay unless you count the money they get from drug dealing and robbery as “income.”

        • And most of these black “men” are living at home with their “mommas” or grand moms anyway. What are you going to do? Seize the income mommy gives them?

          • John Smith

            It’s all govt. money anyway.

  • JohnEngelman

    Racial bias exists because of racial differences in average intelligence, and in rates of crime and illegitimacy.

  • RaySist27

    The black/African race is naturally the most violent race on Earth and have a tendency to disregard laws they see as ‘the White man’s laws’. Therefore, blacks don’t fit very well into a society designed by civilized people. Holder wants to unleash black people on Whites. In order to do that, he first needs to disarm the police and the criminal justice system. Unfortunately for us, he is succeeding.

    • TomIron361

      a tendency to disregard laws they see as ‘the White man’s laws’.
      Sir, I agree up to a point. They only say it’s the White man’s law to hide the fact they’re not up to living by a reasonable code. All anyone has to do is look at them and they know they’re not up to par on many/most levels. The vast majority of them will never really move onto life as adults.

    • Sick of it

      To be fair, they tend to disregard laws no matter who makes them. Even when the penalty is death.

  • ozamataz

    Mr. Holder “I’m confident people will be satisfied with the results,”
    And I’m confident Blacks will be satisfied with nothing less than the elimination of the entire White race. Then, with no one left to fund their welfare programs, it will be too late, and they will destroy themselves.

  • TruthBeTold

    They accuse the police of disproportionately ‘targeting’ black drivers but they never tell us if blacks disproportionately warrant scrutiny for their behavior while driving.

    • Peters

      Exactly. Blacks are also disproprtionately arrested, i.e. targeted, in cases of murder and robbery.

  • Race Heretic

    This is just the bitter Justice Department being spiteful that they couldn’t complete their racist witch hunt due to no one actually having committed a crime.

    • TruthBeTold

      They had nothing but they had to give blacks something to keep the Ferguson ‘racism’ narrative alive.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    I will make one comment I agree with in this report, the fact that the government, hence the police department, depends on fines for financial resources. Any time a police department does this it creates a conflict of interest. The mayor will tell the police chief the county needs more $, the chief tells the sergeants who tell the officers to make more arrests….our jobs depend on this. Such arrangements are quite common throughout the country but in many states fines go to the state treasury and towns get back a small percentage. We’ve all heard of “speed traps” in small towns set up just to provide an income. That practice needs to stop, everywhere. It’s hard on the citizens and just as hard on the police, who don’t need or want the pressure to write tickets just to make money (they want the ability to apply some discretion on writing tickets).

    • That’s a problem, but it’s not a racial problem. A municipality so dependent on ticket and fine revenues should disincorporate. St. Louis County has a lot of municipalities, many of them dime a dozen postage stamps that are almost entirely dependent on ticket and fine revenue. Ferguson, while big and populous by St. Louis County municipality standards, gets 15% of its revenue from tickets and fines.

      • Thank you. I was going to say the same thing. If THAT were the problem, as “Steve from Vermont” suggests, there would be riots in most of the communities across the United States. I suggest that “Steve” get out of Vermont, and find out what is really going on in this great land of ours in places where the entire population is not made up of relatively affluent quiet WASPs like in Vermont.

      • 1Forced_Registration

        I can think of several jurisdictions that are severe abusers of traffic revenue. St. John’s, St. Ann’s, Berkeley, Charlack (with its little tiny strip of highway), Ferguson, Pine Lawn, Northwoods come immediately to mind. What do these all have in common? Mid to North county. Far too many towns of 3000-8000 people that would be better off without a local government and with county services. It will never happen though. The local politicians love their fiefdoms, and governments never surrender power unless forced to do so under pain of death.

        • One of the happiest days of my life was when St. George in South County went out of business.

          As for all the dime a dozen postage stamps in North County, I can easily see a day where either the DOJ swoops in with a disparate impact lawsuit, and/or the state finally takes enforcement of its anti speed trap law seriously and sues them. Either one will end with a consent decree mandating disincorporation, or the County Browns taking over primary law enforcement jurisdiction in all of them.

          • 1Forced_Registration

            I wish they would deincorporate Gerald, MO. Its one of the worst abusers in the state. I thankfully no longer have to drive down there, but I programmed my GPS to beep to alert me that I was getting within range so I would slow to the 30mph crawl a the sign with the police immediately sitting on both sides of it hidden…

            They stung me twice…Never again!

          • A few years ago, its police chief was caught in some big scandal or crime. If they don’t disincorporate, then maybe the future four lane Highway 50 can bypass it.

    • Alexandra1973

      Well, one way to stop that practice is to not exceed the speed limit, from where I sit. As long as people only view speed limit signs as roadside eye charts, they’re going to cash in on it.

      And I live in Ohio aka the Speed Trap State.

      • Ella

        They sit out in the open along the Ohio Turnpikes and well, people still speed by with no thought.

      • John Smith

        I thought that was Illinois….

        • 1Forced_Registration

          I once had a delivery up to someplace like Rosewill or Rosemontl, Illinois. It was a mess of construction blue prints and samples worth a ton – so I had to spend the night. Little town was north of Chicago, and I had to take the toll roads. I was doing 80 and getting passed in every single lane. There were police galore on the toll road, but not a single person on their way to Chicago even tapped their brakes.

          Only other place I went that was like that was NJ. At least in NJ they can drive fast and do it mostly safely. The Illinois drivers scared the hell out of me!

          • John Smith

            I went to school in IL and can confirm that the speeds on the roads are pretty high and the flatness of the state makes avoiding any large white Detroit sedan with a yellow stripe down the side pretty easy. My secret was to just pull in behind someone else doing triple digits.

    • newscomments70

      Where I live, the speed traps are set up on toll roads, where wealthier whites drive. The illegals and blacks drive on the toll-free, very run-down interstate. That freeway is lawless, and those fools commit every traffic infraction imaginable…including driving without a license (as illegals), driving drunk/high, and driving without insurance. You NEVER see a cop on the free road. The police go after the whites to rake in the cash. I know some would like to go after the real criminals, but they are not allowed to.

      I used to donate to the police association. They thanked me by selling my name and phone number to several charitable orginizations who constantly harrassed me for donations. I asked one to stop calling me. He responded, “This is a bad time for you, I will call back”…amazing. I was given an expensive ticket for a fairly innocuous traffic violation. That was my last “donation”. I still morally support the police, but I only give forced donations now.

  • Luca

    This is a license for Africans to run hog-wild creating all kinds of mayhen ad social pathology and then cry ‘disparate impact’ when they are arrested at higher rates.

    Using this twisted legal theory, couldn’t Whites complain that Asians are arrested at rates lower than their demographic and cry ‘disparate impact’ as well?

  • superlloyd

    After millions of dollars and so much time, this is the best they can come up with ? Disparate impact in traffic tickets. How utterly risible and pathetic that goon Holder and his lackeys are.

  • Oldcorporal

    Number One, is anyone surprised that the Eric Holder Injustice Department “found” that, naughty, naughty!, the Ferguson police were being “unfair” to the poor, benighted Negroes? Number Two, how do the police always know what the race of a driver is before they stop him/her? Have you looked at the heavy tint on the windows of so many vehicles nowadays? Have you ever stood on a street corner and tried to make out what race the driver of each car is as it speeds past? This whole thing belongs in what the old country people used to call a “slop jar.” It sat under the bed until needed. Need I say more?

    • Alden

      I can tell the race and sex by the noise. A stream of rhyming curse words set to jungle rhythm that can be heard 4 blocks away means black, usually male.

      • Robert Smith

        I think that’s their mating call.

  • RacialRay

    “I’m confident my people will be satisfied with the results,” he said.

    Fixed that fer ya, Slick. You’re welcome.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Attorney General Eric Holder plans to push a new standard of proof for civil-rights offenses …he will call for a lower standard of proof for civil rights crimes. Such a change would make it easier for the federal government to bring charges in the case of a future Ferguson or Trayvon Martin.

    Holder believes blacks should never be arrested for any reason, including murder.

    He also wants the civil rights threshold lowered so more Whites can be prosecuted for thought crimes.

    Holder should leave the racist United States immediately and head for France to start a new life there with his fellow oppressed blacks

  • disqus_Xz3UA6obwj

    How can you have disparate impact if race is just a social construct? So which is it, are racial differences in behavior and intelligence real, where things like academic testing and criminal laws have a disparate impact on blacks, or is race just a myth? Seems the racist liberals are arguing both sides of the coin here.

    • LS Wight


    • 李冠毅

      I’ve taken a look at various Leftists websites. Liberals seem to believe disparate impact is due to “racists” having a poor understanding of race; and disproportionately prosecute certain people just because they have dark skin (one of their favorite quotes is “don’t judge me by the color of my skin”).

      • disqus_Xz3UA6obwj

        Except that all the evidence about crime proves they are dishonest delusional fools stubbornly refusing to face the truth about race.

  • disqus_Xz3UA6obwj

    This whole disparate impact thing is outrageous and clearly unconstitutional for if one group does commit more crime for example (which it does) it penalizes not the group responsible for the crime, but others get penalized for it. Disparate impact = injustice. Just one more dishonest way to excuse away the poor behaviors of blacks at the expense of everybody else.

  • Caucasoid88

    Maybe cause they walk in traffic to say “f*ck you” to people, because they’re ornery Negroes.

  • Kramo

    A city that’s 70% black is not “minority”. So it stands to reason that the majority race will be the majority of stops.

  • Sick of it

    Living in a majority black area, I can tell you this is a lie. Many black criminals are released without a fine because they will NEVER PAY IT and it costs way too much to keep them in prison.

    • Sid Ishus

      I have to be in court from time to time for work. Watching the court process negroes is entertainment at its finest.

      • Sick of it

        It amazes me that they almost always plead not guilty even when offered a deal. They would absolutely 100% lose in a trial, but they still refuse the deal.

  • Ringo Lennon

    I’m sure in all-white areas white motorists are pulled over.

  • Roninf9

    “disparate impact” = Africans can’t function in a White Civilization

  • TeaZar

    Eric “My People” Holder sees everything through the prism of race. He hates YT as does Obama. Watch for Obama’s parting shot with Executive Amnesty for incarcerated blacks in about a year and a half.

  • John Smith

    Anyone who drives knows negroes drive like they’re insane, as well as semi-retarded, and break traffic rules through flagrant disregard for both the laws of man and of physics, neither of which they had a firm grasp on anyway.

  • Hammerheart

    ‘Racial bias in traffic stops’

    It’s almost like good ol’ Holder is parodying himself. A desperate parting shot to try and salvage what little reputation and legacy he has.

  • “The Justice Department has nearly completed a highly critical report accusing the police in Ferguson, Mo., of making discriminatory traffic stops of African-Americans that created years of racial animosity leading up to an officer’s shooting of a black teenager last summer, law enforcement officials said.”

    Huh? WTF! I, uhhh, was under the impression that it was the attack on a police officer by someone who just robbed a convenience store that led to the shooting of said perpetrator. Wasn’t there, like, a grand jury investigation on that? I don’t know. Maybe the writer of this piece missed that in the news. I realize that he was probably very busy getting his story out. I will assume that, and give him the benefit of the doubt. (LMAO)

  • Vito Powers

    Aren’t rules and regulations on driving a motor vehicle “white man’s law” and to be completely disregarded by practicing and apprentice Negroes?

  • Alden

    Fine, stop stopping blacks. Let them kill each other. As for the revenue, in my city the blacks and browns don’t pay tickets anyway. They go to traffic ct in the AM. The judge tells them to go tell the clerk they can’t afford to pay and come back after lunch with a piece of paper from the clerk. They give the form to the judge ‘s clerk and the ticket is dismissed.

    In case you wonder why tickets are so expensive, that is why. It’s also why Whites are targeted by police for traffic stops.

  • I walked to the Diamond Shamrock after lunch and noticed a big, already-drunk black guy drinking out of a paper bag. I didn’t say anything him, but he said “mind your own motherf***ing business.” I did; I walked to the store and back, and then called the police after I noticed another one also drinking out of a paper bag outside the store. The first one was still wandering around my neighborhood, so I minded my business and called the police, providing a fairly good description of both of them.

    Was that “profiling”? Perhaps, but please don’t *ever* tell me to “mind my own motherf***ing business” in my own neighborhood. What happens here is absolutely my business, because my family and I live here.

    With a big, bushy mustache, I now look like an old-school county sheriff, and I was wearing a reproduction “USCSS NOSTROMO 180286” ship uniform cap, so I might have appeared to be ex-navy from the distance: about 10 yards.

    I think they were scouting the Diamond Shamrock for a robbery, and wanted to park their vehicle here for a quick getaway, and the big one wanted to check out the fence.

  • Frank Pucillo

    Could it be that black people tend to be bad drivers.Asians too.Neither blacks nor asians had much to do with the invention of cars or traffic laws.

    • One of my friends is from Thailand, and while he’s a great guy, he does the “Asian driver” thing. This has me reaching for the imaginary passenger-side brake pedal. I taught my wife to drive, so Sayaka doesn’t do what he does. She drives the way I do. At her examination, she had to stop at a stop-sign, and said to the examiner, “That is a blind hill, and can’t see over it, so I will put the window down and listen.”

      Sayaka passed. She took me there later on, and I at 15 inches taller, still can’t see over that blind hill, either. The “stop” signs are in the wrong positions there.

  • Shientienchi G

    The racial makeup of the city was 67.4% African American, well duh, of course they are going to make up that much of the stops

  • Christorchaos

    Plus the 30% white population I will guarantee you is older and drives a lot less, especially at night.