After a public records request from The Washington Post, the city of Ferguson, Mo., on Thursday evening released the actual, unredacted racist emails sent by the city’s former court clerk and two former Ferguson police officers. Predictably, they are as awful as expected.
The e-mails, released to The Washington Post in response to a public-records request, were sent and received by Mary Ann Twitty, who was Ferguson’s court clerk, as well as former Ferguson police captain Rick Henke and former police sergeant William Mudd. All three were removed from their jobs after the Department of Justice discovered the e-mails, which prompted an internal investigation by city officials. The unredacted versions show for the first time which employee sent which e-mails.
Some of the emails — all sent between 2008 and 2011 — targeted President Obama, while others were just racist in general. One of the emails had the subject line “Very Rare Photo” with former President Ronald Reagan in TV show “Bedtime for Bonzo” holding a baby monkey with the caption: “Rare photo of Ronald Reagan babysitting Barack Obama in early 1962.”
Another May 2011 email read: “A black woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital [for] pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers.’”
Says the Post:
These e-mails were among the evidence presented by the Justice Department in a report released this year that concluded that racism pervaded the Ferguson Police Department. The report cited an analysis of those ticketed and arrested as well as anecdotal evidence about when and why Ferguson police officers use force on residents.
“A thorough examination of the records – including a large volume of work e-mails – shows a number of public servants expressing racist comments or gender discrimination; demonstrating grotesque views and images of African Americans in which they were seen as the ‘other,’ called ‘transient’ by public officials, and characterized as lacking personal responsibility,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder said in March upon the report’s release, according to The Post.
Holder’s Justice department began investigating the town of Ferguson when unarmed teen Mike Brown was killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in August 2014. Wilson was not indicted on any charges in Brown’s death, nor was he charged with any federal crime for civil rights violations. Wilson resigned from the Ferguson police department.
St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, whose twitter photo below shows the email with Ronald Reagan, said to the Post that the full content of the e-mails further prove that change is needed in Ferguson.
“Even after the DOJ report . . . there is still a lot of work to be done and it still remains to be seen whether the people who remain in power will be the ones to make the change,” said French to The Post.