Police union leaders and city officials in Ferguson, Missouri, have continued to kick back against a damning report from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) that revealed routine violation of black residents’ constitutional rights, as the city prepares to negotiate a settlement with the federal government.
Last Friday, Ferguson mayor James Knowles III told the Huffington Post that while the report had “merits”, he believed it also placed too much of an emphasis on race relations in the city.
“Regardless of the merits of a lot of the things that happened in the report, I think it’s unfortunate that the Department of Justice always tried to narrow it down to race,” Knowles said. “I think there are things in the report that were a miscarriage of justice, but every instance in the report they tried to make it about race. I don’t think that’s fair.”
The DOJ report contained overwhelming statistical and physical evidence of racial bias throughout the city’s criminal justice system.
According to 2010 census data, Ferguson’s population of around 21,000 is 67% African American. Between 2012 and 2014, 93% of all arrests there were of black people, and nearly 90% of use-of-force incidents were against black residents.
A raft of resignations and removals followed, including city manager John Shaw and police chief Thomas Jackson . Protesters called for Knowles to stand down and for the police department to be disbanded.
Knowles, who works as a part-time mayor and is paid a monthly stipend of $350, told the Huffington Post he would resist any move to disband the police but also argued that his power to instigate reform had been overblown in the media.
At a pro-police rally in St Louis on Saturday, Jeff Roorda, the controversial police union representative who has been an outspoken advocate of the white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in August 2014, dismissed the DOJ findings.
Roorda argued that US attorney general Eric Holder had deliberately released the investigation in order to distract from his department’s civil rights investigation in the Brown case – which was published at the same time and which declined to bring charges against Wilson.
“Eric Holder … wanted with every fiber of his being to find some wrongdoing on the part of Darren Wilson,” Roorda said, according to the St Louis Post-Dispatch . “They raid St Louis like a band of marauders.
“What do they find? They find that this ‘hands up don’t shoot’ myth was just that – a fiction that was perpetrated upon the people of Ferguson, the people of Missouri and the people of the world,” he said, referring to a slogan adopted by protesters over Brown’s death.
Local political resistance to reforming the beleaguered Ferguson police department was further underlined on Monday as the St Louis Post-Dispatch revealed that of the 60 measures of reform filed to the Missouri state legislature in the wake of Brown’s death, just two have made any progress in 2015 .
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015
‘Why do we need camo in space’: Trump’s Space Force ridiculed for woodland camouflage uniforms
On Friday, the United States Space Force released an image of their new uniforms on Twitter.
The image shows a Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) for a four-star general in a woodland camouflage pattern, with a matching camo nametape.
However, many people were confused as to why the Space Force would use uniforms designed to blend in on earth.
Here's some of what people were saying:
Sorry for the question but why do we need camo in space?
BUSTED: National Archives caught doctoring exhibit to remove criticism of President Trump from women
The National Archives were caught editing an artifact from the Trump administration to remove criticism of the president, according to a bombshell new report in The Washington Post.
The newspaper reported on a "large color photograph" at the National Archives exhibit marking the centennial of women's suffrage.
"The 49-by-69-inch photograph is a powerful display. Viewed from one perspective, it shows the 2017 march. Viewed from another angle, it shifts to show a 1913 black-and-white image of a women’s suffrage march also on Pennsylvania Avenue. The display links momentous demonstrations for women’s rights more than a century apart on the same stretch of pavement. But a closer look reveals a different story," the newspaper noted.
Dershowitz is running a ‘bizarro defense’ of Trump: Harvard Law colleague says ‘Alan is just completely wacko’
Two of the most famous names associated with Harvard Law School had competing appearances on MSNBC on Friday.
It began when Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus, was interviewed MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber about his new role officially representing President Donald Trump during the Senate impeachment trial.
Dershowitz claimed that neither abuse of power nor obstruction of Congress count as "high crimes" under the constitution.
Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has also been associated with Harvard Law for five decades, was asked about Dershowitz's argument during an interview with Chris Hayes.