Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson Once a Member of Police Force Disbanded Over Racial Tension: Report

The officer who shot Michael Brown six times on Aug. 9 was a former member of the Jennings Police Department, which its city council disbanded in 2011 over corruption and racial tension among its residents. Wilson reportedly did not have any disciplinary issues with the department, but all 45 officers were fired.

Sunday, August 24, 2014, 11:22 AM

The cop who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., once worked for a police department that was deemed to have so much racial tension it had to be disbanded.

Darren Wilson, who has been on paid administrative leave from the Ferguson Police Department following his fatal shooting of an 18-year-old black man named Michael Brown, has been hidden from the public eye and not spoken out despite the enormous amount of attention the Aug. 9 incident has received.

Much of the discussion of the incident has been about the tensions between predominately white police departments in predominately black communities, and a profile on the officer in the Washington Post reveals Ferguson was not the first time Wilson had to deal with these issues in his career.

You're dealing with white cops and they don't know how to address black people.

The newspaper reports Wilson was employed by the small town of Jennings, Mo., whose officers' relationship with the public was so bad the city council decided to take the highly unusual step of firing all of its 45 officers three years ago.

The "straw that broke the camel's back" was when an officer, who was not Wilson, chased a woman outside of the city's limits and shot at her vehicle with a child in the backseat, Rodney Epps, an African American city council member in Jennings, told the newspaper.

"You're dealing with white cops and they don't know how to address black people," Epps told the Post.
Wilson then went to work at Ferguson, where he has not had any disciplinary action and received a commendation by the Ferguson council for subduing a man involved in a drug transaction, the newspaper reports.

But he appeared to have family issues growing up as his parents divorced when he was a toddler in Texas. He later moved to St. Peters, Mo., and his mother, who in 2001 pleaded guilty to forgery and stealing, died when Wilson was 16. Follow on Twitter @joelzlandau

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