Ferguson officials released copies of the emails discussed in last month’s report on the city’s police department on Friday to several media outlets that filed public information requests. The racist, sexist, and just plain offensive “jokes” somehow seem even worse when accompanied by the images that were first described in the federal government’s legalese.
A county clerk forwarded a joke that called Barack Obama a chimpanzee to a police captain and sergeant; another labeled a photo of a tribal celebration as “Michelle Obama’s high school reunion.”
One email sent from the county clerk to the police sergeant featured a series of “insensitive one-liners.” The first one read:
I was devastated to find out my wife was having an affair … but, by turning to religion, I was soon able to come to terms with the whole thing. I converted to Islam, and we’re stoning her in the morning!”
The three officials who sent the emails were all fired.
Next week, Ferguson residents will vote for three new city council members. As of now, five of the city’s six council members are white. Sixty-seven percent of Ferguson’s residents are black. Only two African-Americans have ever served on the council in the city’s entire history, according to Fusion. The number of registered voters in Ferguson has jumped 5 percent since Michael Brown’s death last summer. The election on April 7 will be the first held since before the protests and the national attention.