Two DOJ letters weren’t enough.
FPD regulations aren’t enough.
The FPD keeps flouting their own rules and regulations, let alone the DOJ letters requiring that all officers comply with Department rules and common sense, and have IDs showing at all time on duty. The fact that they’re not displaying their names shows that they do not want their identities easily known and that they may think that they can act with impunity against a community still angry that the officer who shot and killed an unarmed man, Michael Brown has not been indicted, let alone arrested and charged in that killing.
The Department has repeatedly shown a disregard for the law, including what information was released in relation to the shooting, how the investigation was being handled, and even the identity of the officer involved, his injuries, and other factual evidence that was gathered at the scene.
This is not only reckless disregard for the law, but shows just how lawless this organization is. Ferguson deserves better, and that includes everyone from the mayor to the city council (which includes a former who-should-be-disgraced FPD officer who was involved in another excessive force incident), to the police chief and the officers of the Department itself.
Note too that the Department of Justice issued one of the letters in response to officers wearing bracelets stating “I am Darren Wilson,” which is precisely the wrong message you want to send to the community grieving over the death of Brown, and where eyewitness accounts essentially concur that Wilson not only used excessive force, but engaged in an extrajudicial killing of Brown. They are, in effect, saying that they would do the same thing — and implying that Wilson did nothing wrong.
If you scratch deeper, you’d probably find the same problems with other Greater St. Louis area police departments, including the county police.
A house cleaning will not be sufficient. The rot and stink is too far entrenched for a hodgepodge firing of a couple of officials.
And that also means that Ferguson residents (and those elsewhere in the STL area) have to vote - and vote in every election to see all these folks gone. Antonio French has a big job ahead of him, but he can’t do the lifting alone. It takes time, a GOTV effort, and sustained efforts beyond just this election cycle.
UPDATE at 9/29/14 10:54:32 am by Charles Johnson