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[OFFICIAL] Ferguson police officer fired over emails, 2 others suspended – mayor

Two Ferguson, Missouri, police officers were placed on administrative leave Tuesday after city officials were informed of the results of a damning Justice Department report, and a third officer has since been terminated, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III said at a press conference.

The actions were taken after a review of city emails discovered “explicit racial bias” by the three police officers.

“Let me be clear. This type of behavior will not be tolerated and the Ferguson Police Department or in any department in the city of Ferguson,” Knowles said, adding that the officers were immediately placed on administrative leave after city officials were informed on Tuesday. One was later fired.

“These actions taken by these individuals are in no way representative of the employees of the city of Ferguson,” the mayor said. “Today’s report allows the city of Ferguson to identify the problems, not only in our police department, but in the entire St. Louis region.”

Knowles added: “The department is in the process of hiring three new officers. We hope to have an update on these positions and the racial makeup of these new hires sometime in the next week.”

The mayor added that Ferguson, as well as the state and country as a whole, must work to address issues of racial disparity in all aspects of society. “All Ferguson police officers have completed mandatory diversity training as of December 31, 2014,” he said.

The Ferguson Police Department has also launched an explorer program to both engage youth in the law enforcement profession and to potentially recruit them for police officer positions in the future.

The mayor also announced a weekly task force made up of residents, businesses, and law enforcement officers who will form a civilian oversight board to review complaints and to provide citizen input into the policies and procedures of the city’s police department.

“This ground-breaking initiative will be the first of this kind in this region,” he added.

The City of Ferguson has also retained the services of an independent consultant, as recommended by the Department of Justice, to conduct a patrol staffing and employment study.

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