By: Donnie Casto II
“State power will always win. We’ll paint you as a child molester, and we’ll paint you as a methamphetamine manufacturer. We’ll say any lie we want over our propaganda machine, the mainstream media, and we’ll burn you and your children in your fucking home. So, you just be apathetic, America. You stay docile. And don’t you ever forget, you’re free to do what we tell you.” – Bill Hicks, 1993, on his witnessing and recording events at Waco, Texas
A strange and heavy cloak of evil vibrations came over yours truly after reading the Justice Dept. Ferguson report. It is both enlightening and disturbing. Enlightening regarding the utter corruption and disturbing because of the revelation that the old Jim Crow south still runs thick in an inept police department. The report all but admits to violations of Ferguson resident’s natural constitutional rights, particularly gross repetitive First and Fourth Amendment rights violations. Ferguson Police pursued tickets, targeting largely African American residents, based on pressure from city officials for revenue. I suppose it’s safe to say the old adage about the five-o “making their monthly quota” for tickets is not a joke or laughing matter anymore.
The race issue aside, the constitutional issue is what really burns me. When a report cites a resident in the act of sitting in his car in the summer of 2012, who without any legal justification is asked to provide I.D., referred to as a pedophile, ordered out of his car, patted down, and arrested for eight bogus violations, causing him to lose his employment as a federal contractor, I think those defending the police are finding the hill getting a bit more slippery. The report highlights the enormous volume of minor infractions the police cited residents for, with the courts often adding additional fines, fees, and penalties as well as jail time. In 2013, 9,000 warrants for minor infractions were issued, all with the express intent of generating revenue for the city. The report goes as far as to highlight e-mail jokes about African American abortions being “crime control” that were circulated among police supervisors and court staff.
“City officials have frequently asserted that the harsh and disparate results of Ferguson’s law enforcement system do not indicate problems with police or court practices, but instead reflect a pervasive lack of “personal responsibility” among “certain segments” of the community. Our investigation has found that the practices about which area residents have complained are in fact unconstitutional and unduly harsh. But the City’s personal-responsibility refrain is telling: it reflects many of the same racial stereotypes found in the emails between police and court supervisors.” If the federal government was looking for a reason to consolidate local and state police under the federal umbrella, you can thank the fine folks in the Ferguson Police Department for enabling it.
The DOJ report basically corners the government to admit that the Patriot Act is unconstitutional. (Hey Mr. President, note the violations of the First and Fourth Amendments in your own Justice Departments report please, and maybe take some advise and repeal the Patriot Act) and that what most people have been saying about out of control police abuse has been confirmed.