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Report says Ferguson police department has 'racially biased practices'

An investigation into Ferguson police in the US state of Missouri has found patterns of racial discrimination. A scathing report on the findings is expected to be released by the US Justice Department this week.

A US Justice Department investigation has found "sweeping patterns of discrimination" within the

Ferguson police department

, municipal jail and court, a law enforcement official was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

The report, which could be made public as soon as Wednesday, will charge that the police disproportionately used excessive force against the black community.

Other findings showed that black drivers are stopped and searched far more often than white motorists, even though they're less likely to be carrying contraband.

The Justice Department also found that black defendants were 68 percent less likely than others to have their cases dismissed by a municipal court judge.

From April to September last year, 95 percent of people held at the city jail for more than two days were black, according to the official who spoke to the press on condition of anonymity.

The findings of the report also include a 2008 message in a municipal email account stating that US President Barack Obama would not be president for very long because "what black man holds a steady job for four years."

The Justice Department began the civil rights investigation following the

fatal shooting of Michael Brown

, an unarmed black 18-year-old, by a white police officer in August.

The killing sparked weeks of

protests

and riots in Ferguson.

lw/bw (AP, Reuters)

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