EMAILS COST 3 THEIR JOBS: Veteran Ferguson police officers resign
(CNN) — Racist emails — like one that depicted President Obama as a chimpanzee — resulted in three Ferguson, Missouri, city employees resigning or being fired, the city spokesman said Friday.
Police officers Capt. Rick Henke and Sgt. William Mudd resigned Thursday over the emails discovered during the U.S. Department of Justice investigation of racial prejudice in the city’s police and judicial system, city spokesman Jeff Small said on Friday, citing the city attorney.
The city’s top court clerk, Mary Ann Twitty, was fired earlier this week in connection with the emails, Small said.
Several employees forwarded the emails but until now none had been disciplined, the report said.
Examples of the racist emails include one sent in October 2011 that showed a photo of bare-chested dancing women, apparently in Africa, with the caption “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.” A June 2011 email described a man trying to put his dogs on welfare because the canines were “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no … clue who their Daddies are.”
When asked about what happens next in Ferguson, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday, “We are prepared to use all the power that we have, all the power that we have to ensure that the situation changes there. And that means everything from working with them to coming up with an entirely new structure.”
When a reporter asked if that included dismantling the police force, Holder replied, “If that’s what’s necessary then we are prepared to do that.”
Holder ordered the investigation after a white police officer, Darren Wilson, shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown last summer, setting off months of sometimes violent street protests in the town outside St. Louis.
The DOJ declined to bring charges against Wilson, who has since left the force. No state charges were filed either.
In a separate report, the Justice Department described what it said was a “pattern and practice” of discrimination against African-Americans by the Ferguson police and municipal courts. That discrimination included racist emails.
Ferguson is a town of 21,000 that is 67% African-American.