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Ferguson, Missouri, collects around $2 million annually in fines and fees, mostly from traffic tickets -- a 44 percent increase from three years ago, the city's annual budget shows.
Towns that rely largely on revenue from traffic tickets are "over-policed," former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch once explained to the local radio station KDHX. "The laws are over-enforced," he said. "People really feel harassed," said Thomas Harvey, the director of ArchCity Defenders, a public defenders' group in St. Louis. "If you ask our clients, they believe they're being stopped, first, because they're black. And they also believe that it's not about public safety, it's about generating revenue for the courts."
originally posted by: Blueracer
a reply to: gorsestar
Police resources are needed more in areas with higher crime. Which side of town is more prone to someone sucker punching an innocent victim as they walk down the street? Do you know any doctors or judges who play "knockout"? Where does more rape and murder occur? Where do more strong arm robberies happen? Your answers will probably show why there is more of a police presence in poorer areas.
They said, 'If you go in those areas, those people know judges, lawyers, politicians, and we're going to get a phone call and they're going to shut our operation down -- and there goes your overtime,'" he recalled.
The result, official figures show, is that African Americans, particularly young males, are far more likely to be arrested, tried and jailed for drugs and other felony charges than their non-black counterparts.