FERGUSON, Mo. – Racist emails released Friday by the city of Ferguson indicate most were sent by a former city court clerk to two police officers, and there’s no indication other city employees were involved.
The emails were discovered during an investigation into the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed, by a white police officer.
A grand jury in November declined to indict the former officer, Darren Wilson, who also was cleared of civil rights violations by the U.S. Department of Justice in March. Police treatment of black men has become a major issue in the U.S. in the aftermath of the killing.
A separate Justice Department report last month found widespread racial bias in Ferguson’s policing efforts and the municipal court system, which it said was driven by profit mostly extracted from black and low-income residents.
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The report cited a series of inappropriate messages sent by an unspecified number of city employees, including one message that compared black welfare recipients to mixed-breed dogs. Several of the emails focused on President Barack Obama, including one that stated he wouldn’t be in office for long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”
It appears that most of the emails released Friday and obtained by news outlets were sent from Court Clerk Mary Ann Twitty to police Capt. Rick Henke and Sgt. William Mudd.
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Twitty was fired over the emails, while the two officers resigned. Names are redacted in several places, and City Clerk Megan Asikainen told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that non-city employees are not being named.
The city did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press on Friday evening.