Those Racially Charged Emails From Ferguson Cops and Court Officials Are Pretty Bad

Lynette Holloway
James Knowles, the mayor of Ferguson, Mo., visits with pro-police demonstrators outside the city’s police headquarters on March 13, 2015.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The unredacted content of racially charged and religiously insensitive emails sent by the former court clerk of Ferguson, Mo., and two former supervisors in the Ferguson Police Department were released Thursday to the Washington Post.

The emails, released in response to a public-records request, were sent and received by Mary Ann Twitty, who was Ferguson’s court clerk, as well as former Ferguson Police Capt. Rick Henke and former Police Sgt. William Mudd, the report says.


All three were removed from their jobs after the Department of Justice discovered the emails, spurring an internal investigation by city officials, the Post notes.

The unredacted versions show for the first time which employees sent which emails. Here are a few examples, according to the Post:

In a message dated Tuesday, April 19, 2011, Twitty forwarded a message titled “Very Rare Photo” that included an image of former President Ronald Reagan feeding a baby chimpanzee. Beneath the photo is this caption: “Rare photo of Ronald Reagan babysitting Barack Obama in early 1962.”


In an email that Mudd forwarded to Twitty in May 2011—which she then forwarded to others—the body of the message says, “A black woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital [for] pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers.’”

Federal, state and local officials immediately condemned the emails, some of which were included in part or referenced in the DOJ’s report on its investigation, which was sparked by ongoing protests against police violence against blacks after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson officer who has since resigned from the force.


“The evidence of racial bias comes not only from statistics but also from remarks made by police, city and court officials,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in March when the report was released, the Post reports. “A thorough examination of the records—including a large volume of work emails—shows a number of public servants expressing racist comments or gender discrimination; demonstrating grotesque views and images of African Americans in which they were seen as the ‘other,’ called ‘transient’ by public officials and characterized as lacking personal responsibility.”

Read more at the Washington Post.

Share This Story