posted at 19:50
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In Ferguson, blacks say racial bias is fact of life
Ferguson is at boiling point over a grand jury's decision not to indict a white officer for shooting dead an unarmed black teenager, and African Americans here are furious over police brutality, racism and what they say is daily profiling. "Any black man driving through Ferguson is a nervous man because he's worried about the police pulling him over." Jackson says he has been harassed by police multiple times. According to a Justice Department report, blacks and Hispanics are three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop than whites, and four times as likely to experience the use of force in encounters with police. Alexander is a supporter of Copwatch, an organization that researches complaints against police officers in a bid to promote public safety and ensure officers remain accountable. Two summers ago, he says he was pulled over by St Louis County police at midnight as he drove into his affluent neighborhood, his hair in dreads, on a bogus insurance call, which was later thrown out in court. Ferguson's police department is overwhelmingly white, even though its population over two decades has grown to become two-thirds African-American. Williams has a degree in criminal justice and dreams of joining the police force - "Anything to be a positive role model at such a negative time," he said.

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