“Highly Toxic”: Holder Slams Ferguson Police for Racism

Police in Ferguson, Missouri, disproportionately targeted blacks, creating a "highly toxic environment defined by mistrust and resentment" that primed the city to burst like a "powder keg" when unarmed black teen Michael Brown was killed last year by Officer Darren Wilson, Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday. In unveiling the findings of two Justice Department investigations on Wednesday, Holder agreed with a local grand jury's decision to not indict Wilson, stressing that "Michael Brown's death, though a tragedy, did not involve prosecutable conduct on the part of Officer Wilson." But Holder excoriated the Ferguson Police Department for what he called illegal practices, including constitutional violations, money-grubbing tactics, and excessive and dangerous use of force disproportionately targeted against African Americans. Ferguson PD fired one officer and suspended two others over racist emails uncovered in the investigation, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said Wednesday. St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch TEXTlater said in a press conference that he didn't feel any need to be vindicated by the Justice Department's decision. McCulloch admitted, however, that "we've all got a long way to go to restore and to build that trust in the community."

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