This video says about itself:
Ferguson Residents Challenge “Modern Debtors’ Prison Scheme” Targeting Blacks with Fines, Arrests
10 February 2015
Monday marked six months since a white police officer killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting sparked protests over Brown’s death and the broader racial divide it came to symbolize. Now, half a year later, a major legal action is taking that divide head-on. On Sunday, more than a dozen St. Louis-area residents filed class-action lawsuits against Ferguson and another suburb, Jennings.
The residents accuse local officials of creating a “modern debtors’ prison scheme” that targets African Americans with arrests and fines and then locks them up when they cannot pay. A study last year by the ArchCity Defenders found a large part of the revenue for several St. Louis counties comes from fines paid by African-American residents disproportionately targeted for traffic stops and other low-level offenses. In Ferguson, fines and fees were the city’s second-largest source of income in fiscal year 2014.
Ferguson issued on average nearly three warrants per household last year — the highest number of warrants in the state, relative to its size. We speak to Michael-John Voss, managing attorney at ArchCity Defenders, one of the groups that has filed a lawsuit against Ferguson and Jennings. We are also joined by Allison Nelson and Herbert Nelson Jr., two of the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuits.
From BuzzFeed News in the USA:
Ferguson Police “Believe” Four People Arrested In Protests, Refuse To Release Charges
The demonstrations came Wednesday night after a Justice Department civil rights investigation found a pattern of racial bias and unconstitutional use of force among Ferguson police officers. Police on Thursday wouldn’t disclose the charges of those arrested, saying the information was “private.”
Originally posted on March 4, 2015, at 7:02 p.m. Updated on March 5, 2015, at 1:01 p.m.
What We Know So Far
The Justice Department on Wednesday released the results of two civil rights investigations, one into the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and one into the Ferguson police department.
Investigators concluded there was not enough evidence to charge Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Brown, a black teenager who was unarmed.
Justice Department officials did find a widespread pattern of unconstitutional abuse committed by the Ferguson police department, including the use of unreasonable stops and force on minority members of the community.
Michael Brown’s parents said Wednesday they were “saddened” and “disappointed” by the decision.
Attorney General Eric Holder said about not charging officer Darren Wilson, “I…know these findings may not be consistent with some people’s expectations.”
Three city employees have been placed on administrative leave, including one who was fired, after the DOJ found racist emails.
Posted at 12:58 p.m., March 5
A group of protesters gathered outside the Ferguson police department on Wednesday night. A dispatcher told BuzzFeed News she “believed” four were arrested, and wouldn’t give out charges because that information was “private.”
DOJ REPORT DETAILS FERGUSON POLICE DEPARTMENT’S TRANSGRESSIONS “A damning report released by the Justice Department on Wednesday heavily criticized the operations of the police department and municipal court in Ferguson, Missouri, where Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, was shot and killed by a white police officer in August. DOJ’s civil rights investigation into the Ferguson criminal justice system found that authorities have routinely violated the rights of black citizens and have used tickets to generate revenue for the city.” Read the most shocking parts of the report. So far, one police department employee has been fired and two more are on leave in light of the investigation. [Ryan Reilly and Mariah Stewart, HuffPost]
Ferguson: A City Where Policing, Discrimination and Raising Revenue Went Hand in Hand: here.
US ATTORNEY General Eric Holder says leaders in Ferguson, Missouri, must take ‘immediate, wholesale action’ after a report of widespread racial bias in its law enforcement: here.
Ferguson Police Racist, Unconstitutional, Justice Department Says: here.
Ferguson police discrimination: the shocking numbers: here.
How Racism Became Policy in Ferguson: here.
Racial Bias In Ferguson, And Beyond: here.
DOJ REPORT DOESN’T END WITH FERGUSON “It was billed as an investigation of the Ferguson Police Department. But a hard-hitting report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Justice also reads as an indictment of cities and towns across the St. Louis region. The report implicates at least four other municipalities in alleged misconduct or questionable behavior. And as the Justice Department itself acknowledged, many of the conditions described in the report could have been written about any number of the 90 municipalities in St. Louis County.” [Ryan Reilly and Matt Sledge, HuffPost]
The US Justice Department announced Wednesday that it will not bring federal charges against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who fired at least six bullets into Michael Brown last August, killing the unarmed teenager: here.
Mar 5, 2015 12:07 PM EST. ST. LOUIS — Lawyers for the parents of an unarmed, black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by a white police officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson said Thursday that they would file a civil lawsuit in Michael Brown’s death: here.
The U.S. Justice Department report on the Ferguson Police Department — which among other things alleged police targeted blacks and used arrests as a revenue-generating scheme — echoes some incidents that occurred over the last decade in southeast Los Angeles County. Residents in blue-collar, predominantly Latino southeast L.A. County complained for years that they were unfairly targeted by city officials for profit: here.