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Congresswoman Clarke’s Statement on DOJ Report on the Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on a report released by the Department of Justice which determined that the practices of the Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department were based on racial bias and disproportionately victimized African Americans in the community.

The investigation was initiated after the killing of the unarmed eighteen-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer, who was not charged with any crime.

“The report released by the Department of Justice demonstrates practices by the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department that are profoundly disturbing and are inconsistent with our moral commitment to equal justice under the law. In effect, the police department was practicing a form of extortion, in which the African-American residents of the community were disproportionately issued traffic tickets and other citations or arrested and charged with crimes that had never been committed, for the purpose of raising revenue for a police department and a local government from which African-Americans were almost entirely excluded. These practices demonstrate that one hundred and fifty years after the introduction of the Black Codes and Jim Crow, institutionalized racism continues to prevent African Americans from sharing in the full blessings of a free society. I consider this report not the end of an inquiry but rather a call to action.  We cannot allow the legacy of racism to persist in the Twenty-First Century. We cannot allow another generation raised in a nation that proclaims its commitment to equality to suffer the indignities of law enforcement practices that stigmatize them based on their race or to know the indifference of a government that does not care about their interests.”

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.

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