News Story (Missouri)
August 14, 2015
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
READ THE REPORT FROM ARCHCITY DEFENDERS HERE
Organizations mentioned/involved: ArchCity Defenders (St. Louis)
A year after Michael Brown’s death brought attention to the dangers faced by African-Americans, including the perils of “driving while black,” in Ferguson, Missouri, and other St. Louis County cities, a new report claims that racially motivated traffic enforcement is endemic to many of the area’s small municipalities.
In fact, “many St. Louis municipalities are demonstrably worse than Ferguson,” says the report from ArchCity defenders, a St. Louis County legal aid organization.
ArchCity and other advocates want the Missouri Supreme Court to consolidate all the local municipalities’ courts into a “full-time, professional regional court system,” believing that this “would not only lessen the incentive to use racially discriminatory fines and fees as a revenue stream, but would also make it easier for poor and Black people to navigate the legal system in St. Louis County and make it easier for organizers and legal watchdogs to monitor compliance.”
The legal aid organization estimates a consolidated court system would cost some $6 million to $8 million, whereas the municipalities’ separate court systems cost a total of $15.8 million in 2013.