Turns out that racism may not be the most pressing issue in Ferguson, Missouri. The place is simply loaded with criminals according to the DOJ report.

In the city of Ferguson, nearly everyone is a wanted criminal.

That may seem like hyperbole, but it is a literal fact. In Ferguson — a city with a population of 21,000 — 16,000 people have outstanding arrest warrants, meaning that they are currently actively wanted by the police. In other words, if you were to take four people at random, the Ferguson police would consider three of them fugitives.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-robinson/the-shocking-finding-from-the-doj-ferguson_b_6858388.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592&ir=India

The questions raised by Attorney General Eric Holder are why the proportion of black/white crime is tilted. Yet he never mentioned the proportion of crimes/citizens.

It turns out that nearly everyone in the city is wanted for something. Even internal police department communications found the number of arrest warrants to be “staggering”. By December of 2014, “over 16,000 people had outstanding arrest warrants that had been issued by the court.” The report makes clear that this refers to individual people, rather than cases (i.e. people with many cases are not being counted multiple times). However, if we do look at the number of cases, the portrait is even starker. In 2013, 32,975 offenses had associated warrants, so that there were 1.5 offenses for every city resident.

That means that the city of Ferguson quite literally has more crimes than people.

To give some context as to how truly extreme this is, a comparison may be useful. In 2014, the Boston Municipal Court System, for a city of 645,000 people, issued about 2,300 criminal warrants. The Ferguson Municipal Court issued 9,000, for a population 1/30th the size of Boston’s.

Are all of those arrests warranted? Is it just a revenue stream? Is this just a training ground for our police state?

And this is precisely what occurs in Ferguson. As others have noted, the Ferguson courts appear to work as an orchestrated racket to extract money from the poor. The thousands upon thousands of warrants that are issued, according to the DOJ, are “not to protect public safety but rather to facilitate fine collection.” Residents are routinely charged with minor administrative infractions. Most of the arrest warrants stem from traffic violations, but nearly every conceivable human behavior is criminalized. An offense can be found anywhere, including citations for “Manner of Walking in Roadway,” “High Grass and Weeds,” and 14 kinds of parking violation. The dystopian absurdity reaches its apotheosis in the deliciously Orwellian transgression “failure to obey.” (Obey what? Simply to obey.) In fact, even if one does obey to the letter, solutions can be found. After Henry Davis was brutally beaten by four Ferguson officers, he found himself charged with “destruction of official property” for bleeding on their uniforms.

The racism industry won’t like the idea of ceding the debate to be hijacked by the issue of police/court corruption. That’s not where their money is. I sincerely doubt the good people of Ferguson, Missouri are more rabid criminals than any other comparable urban area in America. Citation statistics won’t tell that story. Nor will the conviction rate. Statistics don’t exist to measure the validity of criminal activity. Now there’s a corruption racket with far more dollars in play than racism. The question is will anyone take on, expose and be able to bring down the criminal justice complex?

Advertisements