...In the ensuing decades, those “kangaroo courts” enabled small towns, especially in St. Louis County, to pad their budgets by extracting fines from people for extraordinarily minor violations of municipal codes -- under threat of jail. Arrest warrants were issued for thousands of people, for supposed crimes like wearing baggy pants, missing a special sticker on their car, or failing to subscribe to a designated trash service. Residents who had to endure these local courts described them as “out of control,” “inhumane,” "crazy,” “racist,” “unprofessional” and “sickening.”
The decades between Lauer's warning and 2014 brought no significant reforms to Missouri's municipal courts. Then, on Aug. 9, a Ferguson police officer's bullet that killed 18-year-old Michael Brown brought an end to the inaction...
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
The Ferguson Protests Worked: