Breaking News Emails
Two Ferguson, Missouri, police officers have resigned after a Justice Department report highlighted racist emails sent by police and court employees, a spokesman for the city said Friday.
The city identified the officers late Friday as Capt. Rick Henke and Sgt. William Mudd, and said they resigned Thursday. They were placed on administrative leave after the scathing Department of Justice report Wednesday.
The city also confirmed the name of an official who was fired earlier this week in connection with the emails — Mary Ann Twitty, the top court clerk. Twitty did not immediately return a call for comment from NBC News.
The Justice Department report, released earlier this week, highlighted seven racist emails sent by police and court employees.
Among them were one depicting President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee and one mocking blacks through speech stereotypes, using a story about child support. A third described a man trying to get “welfare” for his dogs because they are “mixed in color.”
The report also concluded that police in Ferguson had used excessive and dangerous force and had disproportionately targeted blacks.
A white Ferguson police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in August, touching off weeks of protests. A grand jury declined to indict the officer, Darren Wilson, and the Justice Department did not bring charges against him.
Attorney General Eric Holder said this week that the police had fostered a “highly toxic environment” of racism and misconduct that turned the city into a “powder keg.”
On Friday, at an appearance in Columbia, South Carolina, Obama said that he stands by the Justice Department decision not to charge Wilson. But he said that the treatment of blacks in Ferguson was “was an oppressive and abusive situation.”
“It wasn’t like folks were making it up,” he continued. “What happened in Ferguson is not a complete aberration. It’s not just a one-time thing. It’s something that happens.”