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It’s time to clean house in the Ferguson Police Department.

Cops should be turning in their guns and badges and clearing out today. They don’t respect black people – and they don’t respect the judicial process.

While a grand jury in St. Louis gathers evidence in the Michael Brown case, the deep racial divide between black residents and white police could not be more apparent: The U.S. Justice Department has recently ordered Ferguson Police officers to stop wearing “I am Darren Wilson” bracelets in vigorous support of the white officer who shot and killed Brown, an unarmed black teenager.

“These bracelets reinforce the very ‘us versus them’ mentality that many residents of Ferguson believe exists,” Christy Lopez, deputy chief of the special litigation section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, wrote in a letter to Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson last week.

It’s already a tense time in Ferguson. Black residents are anxiously waiting for the grand jury to make a decision about Wilson and they openly question why prosecutors initially said a decision was expected in October, but then extended the grand jury’s work until January, but now they say the deadline is back to the original timeline of October.

So what’s going on?

Here are the facts: Chief Jackson agreed to bar his officers from wearing the bracelets while in uniform and on duty. Ferguson police and the Justice Department have been investigating the August 9 shooting of Michael Brown. A grand jury is deliberating about whether to charge Wilson. Ferguson is a predominantly African American city but there are only three black police officers on the 53-person force.

And here’s the truth: Black folks have a right to be skeptical. White police officers in Ferguson have decided to rally around their fellow cop who shot Brown which completely decimates the credibility between white police and the black community while police, who took an oath to protect and serve, are patrolling the streets.

So who exactly are these cops protecting and serving? And when did it become acceptable – and legal – for police officers to form a support group for one of their own during an active shooting death investigation and a grand jury inquiry?

COMMENTARY: Ferguson Cops Should Be Fired for Wearing ‘Wilson’ Bracelets, Covering Name Tags with Black Tape was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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