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Mayor: 3 Ferguson Employees Linked To Racist Emails No Longer With Department

Three Ferguson, Mo., employees who were responsible for emails that contained disparaging references to President Obama and African-Americans are no longer employed by the city, Mayor James Knowles tells The Associated Press.

As NPR's Carrie Johnson reported, the emails were uncovered this week as part of a federal investigation of the city's police force that concluded the department engages in "a pattern of unconstitutional policing." The Justice Department also said it will not file federal charges against Darren Wilson, the now-former police officer, who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown last August.

Brown's death resulted in extensive protests and scrutiny of the city's police department that culminated in the Justice Department investigation.

As Carrie reported about the emails:

"One says Obama will not be president for long because "what black man holds a steady job for four years." Another says a black woman in New Orleans was admitted to a hospital to end her pregnancy and then got a check two weeks later from 'Crime Stoppers.'"

The AP says that Knowles, the Ferguson mayor, first learned about the emails on Wednesday after meeting with Justice Department officials in St. Louis.

"He said he was so incensed that he ordered the accounts of all three employees disabled while he was in the car returning to Ferguson after the meeting," the news service reported. "Knowles said there was no evidence that Jackson or other police administrators were aware of those emails."

Knowles also told the AP that city leaders will meet Justice Department officials in about two weeks "and provide a plan for ways to improve the police department."

"They want to hear what we will do," he said. "We're going to hopefully work out some sort of agreement and we'll move forward."

Meanwhile, President Obama, speaking on The Joe Madison Radio Show on Sirius XM radio's Urban View channel, said the type of racial discrimination described by the Justice Department report in Ferguson, Mo., was not unique to that city's police department.

"I don't think that is typical of what happens across the country, but it's not an isolated incident," he said. "I think that there are circumstances in which trust between communities and law enforcement have broken down, and individuals or entire departments may not have the training or the accountability to make sure that they're protecting and serving all people and not just some."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.