The U.S. Justice Department scolded the Ferguson, Missouri, police chief Friday for letting law enforcement officers obscure their names on their badges and wear bracelets honoring Darren Wilson, the Ferguson cop who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown.
In a letter to Chief Thomas Jackson, the Justice Department said residents had provided photos of law enforcement officers "wearing 'I am Darren Wilson' bracelets while in uniform and on duty," a reference to the Ferguson officer who is under grand jury investigation in the Aug. 9 killing of Brown that set off several days of violent clashes. It said residents had also complained that some officers were wearing black tape over their name plates, apparently to protect their own identities — which the Justice Department said violated the police department's own policies.
The letter said it wasn't clear which agencies the officers worked for, but it said Jackson was responsible because "the actions ofother police officers while in Ferguson can impact your community as much as the actions of your own officers" by reinforcing "the very 'us versus them' mentality that many residents of Ferguson believe exists."
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— M. Alex Johnson