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Fri Aug 22, 2014, 10:07 AM

Ferguson Feeds Off the Poor: Three Warrants a Year Per Household [View all]

Ferguson Feeds Off the Poor: Three Warrants a Year Per Household
In the chamber where Officer Darren Wilson received a commendation six months before killing Michael Brown, a minor court generates major money from the city’s poor and working people.


But there is another, unnoticed irony in the venue itself. Three times a month—one day and two nights—the City Council chamber also serves as home to the incredibly busy and extremely profitable Ferguson municipal court.

A report issued just last week by the nonprofit lawyer’s group ArchCity Defenders notes that in the court’s 36 three-hour sessions in 2013, it handled 12,108 cases and 24,532 warrants. That is an average of 1.5 cases and three warrants per Ferguson household. Fines and court fees for the year in this city of just 21,000 people totaled $2,635,400.

The sum made the municipal court the city’s second-biggest source of revenue. It is also almost certainly was a major factor in the antagonism between the police and the citizenry preceding the tragedy that resulted when Wilson had another encounter with a subject six months after he got his commendation.

And any complete investigation into how Michael Brown came to be sprawled dead in the street with a half-dozen bullet wounds must consider not just the cop but the system he served, a system whose primary components include a minor court that generates major money, much of it from poor and working people.

Five of the six City Council members who meet in this chamber are white, even though the city itself is more than 70 percent black. The City Council appoints the municipal judge, currently Ron Brockmeyer, who is also white.

But when this same chamber serves as Ferguson Municipal Court, a disproportionate number of the defendants are black.



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Reply Ferguson Feeds Off the Poor: Three Warrants a Year Per Household [View all]
babylonsister Aug 2014 OP
gordianot Aug 2014 #1
bigtree Aug 2014 #2
Baitball Blogger Aug 2014 #3
JEB Aug 2014 #4
Fred Sanders Aug 2014 #5
EC Aug 2014 #6
IsItJustMe Aug 2014 #7
woo me with science Aug 2014 #8
ReRe Aug 2014 #9
ColesCountyDem Aug 2014 #10
Orrex Aug 2014 #11
gordianot Aug 2014 #15
tea and oranges Aug 2014 #12
daleanime Aug 2014 #13
SwankyXomb Aug 2014 #14
Demeter Aug 2014 #16
gordianot Aug 2014 #19
Enthusiast Aug 2014 #17
PeoViejo Aug 2014 #18
Jack Rabbit Aug 2014 #20
gordianot Aug 2014 #23
happyslug Aug 2014 #30
bbgrunt Aug 2014 #21
logosoco Aug 2014 #22
WillyT Aug 2014 #24
Trillo Aug 2014 #25
Liberal_in_LA Aug 2014 #26
Manifestor_of_Light Aug 2014 #27
gtar100 Aug 2014 #28
IrishAyes Aug 2014 #29
Cha Aug 2014 #31
tooeyeten Aug 2014 #32