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Ferguson Protesters Re-charged under questionable law, can pay $300 to recall warrants

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posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 10:50 AM
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This blows my mind, although it shouldn't. What is going on in this place?


Officials in St. Louis County have issued warrants for the arrest of at least 47 individuals charged in connection with the August 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri, a Huffington Post review of court records has found. But the law that county officials are using to prosecute those protesters — some of whom were originally arrested while standing on the sidewalk — should have come off the books in 1987, when the Supreme Court struck down a similar ordinance as unconstitutional.


What an extremely disgustingly corrupt county and city. It's all about money, as none should be surprised. I wonder how much Ferguson's debt has to to with this?

Essentially, due to legal problems with them being originally charged with "failure to disperse," the county has changed its strategy: re-charge them with "interference" (and then set up a system that allows them to pay a fee to have their warrants recalled). Yes, you read that correctly. Extortion, much?


Last summer, just before the statute of limitations was set to expire, it issued new charges against at least 95 protesters under its “interference” statute, which makes it unlawful to “interfere in any manner with a police officer or other employee of the County in the performance of his official duties or to obstruct him in any manner whatsoever while performing any duty.”


There are several very important issues here:

1)

The interference law, which is the target of an ongoing lawsuit, is almost certainly unconstitutional. It is strikingly similar to a ordinance struck down by the Supreme Court in 1987, when the high court ruled that the freedom to verbally oppose or challenge police action without risking arrest “is one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state.”

and:


[A] federal judge found in October 2014 in a case that challenged the practices used by law enforcement agencies in Ferguson. The judge said that policymakers knew that such people couldn’t lawfully be arrested and that the policy “was being used against peaceful citizens,” but officials “did not stop the practice.”


2) Those who now have warrants out for the *new* charges can get those new warrants recalled BY PAYING A FEE OF $300. Really? Hello Extortion


Ferguson protesters who have warrants out for their arrest and are worried they may be jailed have another option: They can pay St. Louis County to recall the warrants.

That’ll be $300, please.
WTF???

3) Some people's charges (such as the WaPo and HuffPo reporters) were dropped if they "committed" not to sue the county, a practice that is shady in itself (see #4 below).


The county dropped those charges last month — after [WaPo and HuffPo reporters] Lowery and Reilly promised not to sue. Officials in the St. Louis County Counselor’s Office have made similar agreements to drop charges in exchange for commitments not to sue in at least two other cases.


4) Even though

People arrested in Ferguson should have been charged in the city’s own municipal court. But the county is prosecuting many of them in the St. Louis County Municipal Court [. . .]

[O]fficials in the St. Louis County Counselor’s Office play two sometimes-conflicting roles: They protect the local government from lawsuits, but also prosecute low-level cases in the equivalent of traffic court. That creates an incentive to bring low-level charges against people who might sue the county — charges that the county can then drop when plaintiffs agree not to sue.

The failure-to-disperse law was no longer going to work for that purpose. So the county changed its strategy [. . .] it issued new charges against at least 95 protesters . . .


Corruption, corruption, corruption.

This city/county is a judicial cesspool. And, as usual, it's all about the MONEY.

These things also likely happen far more frequently than we realize.

HuffPo Link




posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 11:13 AM
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a reply to: Liquesence

I would just move away.

And vote with my feet and my wallet.



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 11:41 AM
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originally posted by: Sargeras
a reply to: Liquesence

I would just move away. And vote with my feet and my wallet.

For the people so charged ... it's unlikely they could afford to. And if they could, would you like them moving into your town?



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 11:46 AM
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And the sad thing?

Most of the people being charged probably can't afford a lawyer or any kind or proper legal defense (unless they get donations or outside support).

It's tricks like this that get people sucked into the merry-go-round legal system...once you get sucked in, its nearly impossible to get out of the revolving door of parole violations and whatnot.

Despite most of our prison system NOT being private, we sure love to lock up people. I think its how we "clean up society". . . We just lock up the poor, mentally ill and minority populations. Out of sight, out of mind seems to be the M.O.

But if you have money? Oh well...that's a very, very different game! Not only can you get charges reduced or dropped, you can even counter-sue and reverse the situation back upon the prosecution for damages!

What a world...
edit on 1-6-2016 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 11:57 AM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

It's a pretty nifty model all things considered. The system decides. If there's enough money ... incarcerate. If there's not ... parole.

And all the while these 'people' stand-by to threaten societal norms. If the sheople aren't making the right noises ... let the 'protesters' riot. They'll pay after they've had enough of that.

And ... when there's nothing going on, let 'them' kill one another like animals and keep their population from exploding.

All part of the American Economic Model. Gotta love it!! /sarc



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 12:23 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

I completely agree. Most people (who are poor) struggle to get out of the system once they're in it because it's set up to keep them in it.

The thing that gets me is, not only if a majority of the prison system private, but, at least here in Georgia, even some of the probationary companies are private. So, not only do these people struggle to support themselves, and not only are they in debt and burdened by court fines, etc for minor offenses, they also have to pay a probationary fee per month, plus any additional costs such as drug tests, etc. The fees and fines are just STACKED up on these people.

I also saw a first time black DUI defendant (with no lawyer) get 12 months in county, while a white guy with a lawyer and 2 prior DUIs get a fine and probation for a third lifetime DUI. In this same court, a young black male got community service (and a fine) for running a stop sign.

It's this crap, like you mention, that keeps people in the system and lets those with money more easily "escape."

The sad thing about the stuff in Ferguson, is a lot of these people will have no idea they have new charges or warrants, so they're screwed; not to mention they probably can't afford lawyers, etc, when the law and the charges are questionable to begin with.

It's a racket. A business, and as we all know it's all about MONEY, but under the guise of "punishment" or protection" and "getting rid" of what society in general considers "undesirables."

It's disgusting how #ed up the system (and the world) is.



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 12:31 PM
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originally posted by: Snarl

originally posted by: Sargeras
a reply to: Liquesence

I would just move away. And vote with my feet and my wallet.

For the people so charged ... it's unlikely they could afford to. And if they could, would you like them moving into your town?


I'm sure they probably can't afford it, that's the sad thing.

They could move to my town. They can go anywhere they like, and I wouldn't try to stop them. They're Americans and this is America.



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 01:05 PM
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Sounds like our little small town. When the news investigated they were talking to a woman who had 24 parking tickets and all the things that keep rolling over. After the woman was done with her rant the reporter asked why she kept parking in handicapped spots and her reply was Why do youall have to act like that!

Mostly get what they deserve




posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 01:09 PM
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a reply to: Liquesence

St. Louis County officials?
This probably pretty much explains the problem: www.stlouisco.com...

Check the County Executive and the County prosecutor.

Is it any wonder blacks in the US don't want white rule?



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 02:17 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

Then combine it with Three Strikes laws and...



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 02:30 PM
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a reply to: Liquesence

That, and there are a lot of "requirements" to get yourself back on the straight and narrow.

For a DUI for example it might be like:

"30 days house arrest with ankle monitor" ... OK, well that's $150/week. What if the guy can't afford that? Jail time! So later when he's out he's lost his job and ends up on the street with his cousin the drug dealer.

or:

"On the ankle monitor you can't ingest alcohol or use or handle any products with alcohol. Mouthwash will trigger the skin sensor" -- well guess what? About every single bathroom product from deoderants to shampoos contains some kind of alcohol. Forget one morning and spray some Hugo Boss? BAM the monitor goes off, you've violated your probation and back to jail...

or:

You want you licence back? Okay you have to get SR-22 insurance and a breathalyzer installed in your car. Wait, you can't get your breathalyzer installed unless you show proof of SR-22 insurance...but you can't get SR-22 insurance until you get your licence back...

It's confusing as hell and unless you really pay attention and dot every I and cross every T -- you'll screw one detail up and back to jail for you!

Most people get a public defender that is some kid fresh out of law school. They want to play nice with the prosecutor's office. They're over worked and underpaid. They ram poverty-stricken people with low education through the system via "plea bargains" that boost the prosecutions numbers.

There's massive collusion and incentive to keep the poor criminals and locked away. Out of sight, out of mind.

Our prisons are NOT supposed to be mental health facilities, but sadly they are the largest mental health providers in the country.

We lock up the poor, mentally disabled, and minority groups that rich men don't want to see walking the streets.

Our government has institutionalized ways to make this a reality via laws and complex sentences that punish the poor more disproportionately than the wealthy.

It's a broken, racist and corrupt system that makes a very few very wealthy.



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 05:58 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

Again, I completely agree.

The system is designed to make it extremely difficult for a certain segment of the population to escape its grasp once in it, all the while making them more bitter and resort to various methods to survive. With police now in schools, we've just started the process even earlier.

In addition to your examples, on for my favorites is: In my state, conviction of a misdemeanor amount of marijuana results in automatic suspension of drivers license, even if the person was not operating a motor vehicle at the time. Whereas with a DUI you can get a temp license for work and school (and sometimes that interlock device, which comes with its own monthly fee), with the drug conviction there is no permit to drive. Period.

Got a job? Commute to school? Need to go get groceries for the kids? Take the kids to school? You. Are. SOL.

Alas, it's easier to legally shake them up for all the money they have to survive for as long as possible so they're always treading water for dear life, or throw them in prison.


Our government has institutionalized ways to make this a reality via laws and complex sentences that punish the poor more disproportionately than the wealthy.

It's a broken, racist and corrupt system


Yup. Nothing to add there.



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 06:01 PM
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originally posted by: mikell
Sounds like our little small town. When the news investigated they were talking to a woman who had 24 parking tickets and all the things that keep rolling over. After the woman was done with her rant the reporter asked why she kept parking in handicapped spots and her reply was Why do youall have to act like that!

Mostly get what they deserve



I live in a very small southern town.

While it has its problems (and its need for money), what you describe I would not attribute to the majority.

People will always try to take advantage of the system, rich (who can get away it) and the poor (who usually don't).



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