Thursday, August 21, 2014
Ferguson makes 2.6 million dollars a year from court fees. In 2013, the court "disposed of 24,532 warrants and 12,018 cases, or about 3 warrants and 1.5 cases per household."The white paper which Hunter is discussing is here.
There's your smoking gun. If it seems the town of Ferguson sees protesters as something less than human and more like cattle that have escaped their pen, it may be because the town has been "farming" their mostly-black population as a vital source of revenue for a good long time. In Ferguson, a ticket for jaywalking can be the gateway to repeated jail stays, homelessness, and a lifetime of poverty.
So maybe this helps to explain why Michael Brown was trying to get away from a jaywalking charge -- he didn't have the $275 fine.
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Watching the live stream from Ferguson a resident related how he and many he knows have stacks of jaywalking tickets on streets with no sidewalks
Not surprising -- I was appalled that they would be harassing their own citizens this way.
I heard Barbars Erenreich discussing this topic on the radio a while ago. It's not just Ferguson, lots of towns hit the poorest people with fines they can't pay which lead to more fines, late feed, etc,
Some places send parents a bill for their kids' room and board in juvenile detention, then jail parents if they can't pay. It's really horrific.