|Illustration by Pierre Tourigny.|
By Chris King
The U.S. Department of Justice investigative report on the Ferguson Police Department released on March 4 put into new perspective a key police witness who testified to the St. Louis County Grand jury and federal investigators about Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s fatal shooting of Michael Brown Jr. on August 9.
RELATED STORY: Ku Klux Klan Infiltrated FL Police Dept — One Cop Resigns, the Other Gets Fired After FBI InquiryThe DoJ review of emails provided by the Ferguson Police Department turned up a series of jokes about African Americans (including the president and first lady) that has led to one termination and two resignations.
One of the two veteran Ferguson police commanders who resigned on Thursday, March 5, Sgt. William Mudd, was the first police supervisor on the scene at Canfield Drive following the fatal shooting on August 9 and the first person to speak to Wilson about the event.
RELATED STORY: Fundraising Site for Ferguson Cop Who Killed Michael Brown Saturated By Racist Comments By Donors — Site Censors the CommentsMudd testified to the grand jury on September 16. The witness’ name is redacted in the transcripts provided to the public by St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch. However, the Ferguson police sergeant who testified to interviewing Wilson soon after the shooting also testified about his own role shooting and killing a threat at St. Louis County Courthouse in 1992, for which Mudd was awarded a Medal of Valor. Mudd also belatedly filled out an incident report about Wilson’s fatal shooting of Brown, which confirms this witness is Mudd.
Sgt. Mudd resigned on Thursday, according to the Post-Dispatch, following his identification as the police commander responsible for emailing one of the jokes about black people circulated within the Ferguson Police Department. Mudd reportedly was responsible for emailing (in May 2011) a joke about CrimeStoppers paying a black woman to have an abortion. The DoJ noted that no one at the time was censured for circulating the racial jokes, which in fact tended to be forwarded to others approvingly.