This State Is Cracking Down on One of the Most Pernicious Police Practices – Mic

Fines for missed court appearances and traffic tickets, and late fees tacked on to late or unpaid fines, were Ferguson’s second largest source of revenue in 2013, accounting for $2.2 million of the city’s $18.62 million in revenue, according to a Bloomberg review of municipal budget documents. This is in a city where more than 1 in 5 residents are living below the poverty line, and courts are issuing more than 1,500 arrest warrants for every 1,000 people.

Unfairly targeted: “These are people who make the same mistakes you or I do — speeding, not wearing a seat belt, forgetting to get your car inspected on time. The difference is that they don’t have the money to pay the fines,” Thomas Harvey, a co-founders of St. Louis advocacy group ArchCity Defenders, told the Washington Post in September. “So they just get sucked into this vortex of debt and despair.”

via This State Is Cracking Down on One of the Most Pernicious Police Practices – Mic.

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