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Monday, June 8, 2015

Bill Would Make ‘Policing For Profit’ Ticket Schemes a Federal Civil Rights Violation

Police departments all over the United States are raking in the money from average citizens. These aren’t hardened criminals, they are every-day people whose rights are being violated by greedy departments and cities which have criminalized victimless behavior in order to make millions off of people who are just minding their own business.
In some cases, these revenue-generating schemes seem to deliberately target specific groups that the police want to shake down for revenue. Now, right on the heels of the Department of Justice report on Ferguson, Missouri, Representative Emanuel Cleaver came out with a bill that he says will help keep the police under control.
Cleaver’s will introduce a bill that would make the sort of policing practices documented in the DOJ report a federal civil rights violation.
Representative Cleaver is calling the bill The Fair Justice Act. It would make it a civil rights violation punishable by up to five years in prison for any police officer, chief or department in the United States to try to enforce any criminal or traffic laws if the purpose for such enforcement is raising revenue for the city.
“The time has come to end the practice of using law enforcement as a cash register, a practice that has impacted too many Americans and has disproportionately affected minority and low-income communities,” Representative Cleaver told The Washington Post. “No American should have to face arbitrary police enforcement whose sole purpose is to raise revenue for a town, city, or state.”
The FBI investigation into the Ferguson Police Department documented dozens of anecdotal data of African American residents being disproportionately targeted by police for ticketing schemes. We recently reported that a full 75% of Ferguson residents have active warrants out for their arrests right now!
“What we saw was that the Ferguson Police Department, in conjunction with the municipality, saw traffic stops, arrests, tickets as a revenue generator, as opposed to serving the community,” President Obama said, commenting on the DOJ report. “And that it systematically was biased against African Americans.”
But is there hope for this bill? Most of the mainstream media has been strangely silent on it, not even mentioning its proposal. If anyone is going to get the word out about the bill, it’s going to have to be all of us, on a grassroots level.

(Article by S. Wooten and Jackson Marciana)