Federal civil rights investigators ordered the Ferguson, Mo., police chief on Friday to ban his officers from wearing bracelets supporting Darren Wilson, the white officer who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in August.
The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Justice Department asked police chief Tom Jackson to "confirm our understanding" that officers in the St. Louis County police department would not wear "I Am Darren Wilson" bracelets while on duty. The bracelets sparked outrage last week when a photo of one spread across social media:
So how can the Ferguson police stop screwing things up? What we have here is a failure to communicate. Ferguon's mayor has insisted there is no racial divide in the small St. Louis suburb, but when your police force is 94% white and 67.4% African-American, you end up with one community policing another with a serious lack of empathy or understanding. And it's like this across the U.S.: According to a New York Times analysis of a government survey, hundreds of police departments across the country have forces that are 30% whiter than the communities they serve.