How Ferguson robbed its citizens

The DOJ report on Ferguson’s extortion racket, as reported by CNN, details how city officials conspired to shake down poor black residents:

  • Police were threatened with discipline for not issuing enough tickets, and competed to issue the most tickets.
  • By 2013, the city was raising $2.43 million a year from municipal fines, an average of $115 per resident.
  • Fine revenue mushroomed from 12% to 23% of the city budget between 2010 and 2014.
  • City officials pressured police and court employees to raise more money.
  •  Fines for “weeds/tall grass” ranged from $77 to $102.
  • Ferguson’s average parking fine was $102.

Defendants weren’t allowed to pay fines in installments, and additional fees and fines were assessed for late payment or failure to pay. One resident was even arrested in court for — can you believe this — failing to appear in court! She told CNN she doesn’t get visitors because people are afraid to come into the neighborhood. Not surprisingly, Ferguson’s population has been declining since at least 2000, when the city had 22,403 residents; it’s about 21,111 now.

Ferguson-MO-ProtestsPhoto: No, this isn’t Selma in 1964; it’s Ferguson in 2014.




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