PunditFact checks racial claims in Ferguson

St. Petersburg, Florida -- Protests in Ferguson, Mo., have taken center stage since the shooting death of an unarmed teen and several claims have been made about the town and the police department.

10 News anchor Allison Kropff teams up with PunditFact to put a few of those claims to the truth-o-meter.

The killing of unarmed black teen, Michael Brown, is raising several questions about Ferguson's police department. One claim that was made several times after the shooting was that the majority of the people in the town are black and the majority of the department is white.

On "Meet the Press," host Andrea Mitchell threw out some numbers: "You've got three black officers and 50 white officers with a town that is 67 percent African-American."

PunditFact checked with the Census Bureau and it's true that 67% of the city is black. Fact-checks went to the Ferguson police chief for the number of officers.

"Tom Jackson who said there were three black officers and 50 white officers. The only little room for doubt is the department's spokesperson said there were four black officers. He actually said something to the effect of 'the discrepancy between three and four might be because we don't see color in our ranks," says Katie Sanders with PunditFact.

Because of that discrepancy, PunditFact rates her claim, MOSTLY TRUE.

This post saying people in Ferguson are "feral and violent" and "murder each other" was tweeted more than 7,000 times. It came from a handful of Twitter accounts claiming to be associated with the hactivist group Anonymous and claiming to come from the wife of the police chief in Ferguson.

"The profile actually belonged to a woman in St. Petersburg. We tried to reach out to her via Facebook and calling her but she didn't want to talk about how she got caught up in this. And we actually couldn't verify the text which is actually very inflammatory," says Sanders.

Based on that, PunditFact rates this post PANTS ON FIRE.

You can read the details of both of these fact-checks here. There are also two other checks on Ferguson.


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