Ferguson Report Finds Flaws in Schools as Well as Police Department

School resource officers from Ferguson’s police department act in an ‘unreasonable’ manner while in the town’s schools, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The U.S. Department of Justice report on Ferguson, Missouri has implications for the town’s schools as well as its police department.

Two school resource officers from the town’s police department act in an “unreasonable” manner while in two of Ferguson’s schools, according to the department’s report. The department also said it “holds schools accountable for discriminatory actions” taken by outside parties responsible for enforcing discipline in schools.

The officers that the department specifically referred to work in a middle school and a high school in Ferguson-Florissant School District. The department cited a lack of training and an ambiguous job description as factors leading to the officer’s overreactions to routine discipline issues and unnecessary use of force. The department detailed several instances of the officers arresting students as examples of them mishandling issues, according to blogs.edweek.org.

The report, which focused on the Ferguson police department in response to last summer’s fatal shooting of teenager Michael Brown, was released on March 4. The department conducted hundreds of interviews, onsite reviews and read through thousands of police records and emails to make the report. It found that the Ferguson police department violated the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution in part due to its emphasis on revenue and disproportionate arrests of African-Americans.

The department wrote in the report: “The City must replace revenue-driven policing with a system grounded in the principles of community policing and police legitimacy, in which people are equally protected and treated with compassion, regardless of race.”

Image: report cover

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