#Ferguson sued for jailing people too poor to pay tickets in ‘grotesque’ conditions: lawsuit
Get a traffic ticket in Ferguson, Mo., and it could mean an extended stay in a putrid jail cell.
A group of civil rights lawyers is suing the St. Louis suburb, alleging that it detains people in grotesque, squalid conditions when they are unable to pay common penalties and court fines.
The lawsuit, filed Sunday on behalf of 11 people, claims the city of Ferguson has “built a municipal scheme designed to brutalize, to punish and to profit,” according to NPR.
read more at: nydailynews.com
“As they walk past you, in the hallway, down to the jail,” he says, “the body odor is so strong because of the lack of bath, that a court clerk walks down the hallway with a can of Febreze and clears the air out. Every time.”
There have been several suicides, or suicide attempts, in municipal jails in St. Louis County In recent years, including the suicides of two men in the Jennings jail, one in May 2013 and one in October 2014.
New statistics from Missouri’s attorney general show that in 2014 the city of Ferguson, which has a population of 21,000, issued nearly 33,000 arrest warrants for traffic violations and other low-level misdemeanors. Jennings, a city of 15,000 residents, issued 15,000 such warrants last year. Many of those went to people who lived outside those cities.
There is a lot of information from NPR on this subject. One thing talked about on the radio show I listened to on NPR Sirius Radio was the lack of good public transportation in the St. Louis area.
People need to drive to get to work or school, easy pickings for police departments who who’s budgets depend on fines from traffic violations. Those who can’t afford lawyers, end up being, in a sense, double taxed—quite unfairly.
a google search for NPR Ferguson Debt Prison results