In Dellwood, Ferguson, basically, in North County, if you’re black, they’re going to stop you,” a resident said according to a new report on policing in the area.
For residents of Ferguson, Missouri, and surrounding municipalities in St. Louis County, it’s not surprising that racial tensions have boiled over. In a town of 21,000, two-thirds of the residents are African-American, and many reports have highlighted a fraught relationship between Ferguson’s residents and its mostly white police force. Only three people in the 53-member police department are black, according to the Washington Post, and the Ferguson Police Department disproportionately stops and arrests black drivers.
“Everybody in this city has been a victim of DWB, [driving while black],” Anthony Ross, 26, explained to the Post.Despite Ferguson’s relative poverty, fines and court fees comprise the second largest source of revenue for the city, a total of $2,635,400, according to the ArchCity Defenders report. And in 2013, the Ferguson Municipal Court issued 24,532 arrest warrants and 12,018 cases, or about 3 warrants and 1.5 cases per household.
Racially profiled *for profit* in Ferguson. From dirty tricks by the local courts to bogus traffic stops by the police, in a city where two thirds of the residents are Black people, these residents don’t just feel that they are getting stopped because of the color of their skin. Rather, they feel like they are getting stopped because of the color of their skin so that the city of Ferguson can profit off of them—for traffic tickets.
A literal “Black tax”