STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Ferguson's Problem Is not Police Racism But a Broken Justice System
By Staff News & Analysis - March 07, 2015

Ferguson's Conspiracy Against Black Citizens … Despite the uncertainty surrounding the killing of Michael Brown, many black residents of Ferguson, Missouri, immediately thought that he was the victim of a wrongful death at the hands of police officer Darren Wilson, who shot him after a scuffle. [But] the Department of Justice concluded that there is no evidence to disprove Officer Wilson's claim that he feared for his life during the encounter. And the federal agency also presented context that explains why so many black residents assumed foul play and took to the streets in protest: For years, Ferguson's police force has meted out brutality, violated civil rights, and helped Ferguson officials to leech off the black community as shamelessly as would mafia bosses. – The Atlantic

Dominant Social Theme: Ferguson is anomalous. Fedgov needs to take charge and make it right.

Free-Market Analysis: The Department of Justice report on Ferguson is startling. The statistic that jumps out is not one that this article in The Atlantic makes the lead – but it IS the lead or should be. Here is the horrible statistic in context as the article relates it toward the end of the text:

Recall that the population of Ferguson is about 21,000 people. "According to the court's own figures, as of December 2014, over 16,000 people had outstanding arrest warrants that had been issued by the court," the report notes. That is staggering. As is this figure: "Of the 460 individuals arrested during traffic stops solely for outstanding warrants, 443 individuals—or 96%—were African American.

So out of 21,000 people in Ferguson, 16,000 had outstanding arrest warrants. And almost all were black. This is apparently the reality of 21st century America.

To be fair, the article explains that the reason for so many warrants had to do with Ferguson's revenue needs. The police were encouraged to write as many citations as possible and the courts, in turn, hounded Ferguson's desperate, impoverished citizens for every nickel.

"Officers routinely conduct stops that have little relation to public safety and a questionable basis in law," the report states. "Issuing three or four charges in one stop is not uncommon. Officers sometimes write six, eight, or, in at least one instance, fourteen citations for a single encounter." Some officers compete to see who can issue the most citations in a single stop.

The adversarial actions of police officers and the perversion of the court system into a revenue-oriented justice mechanism is surely nothing unusual in 21st century America. Media attention, according to the article, has focused on potential racism in the police force, including racist emails. But the real problem is the institutionalized criminal mechanism that indicts people regularly in order to raise revenue.

We spoke… with an African-American woman who has a still-pending case stemming from 2007, when, on a single occasion, she parked her car illegally. She received two citations and a $151 fine, plus fees. The woman, who experienced financial difficulties and periods of homelessness over several years, was charged with seven Failure to Appear offenses for missing court dates or fine payments on her parking tickets between 2007 and 2010. For each Failure to Appear, the court issued an arrest warrant and imposed new fines and fees.

From 2007 to 2014, the woman was arrested twice, spent six days in jail, and paid $550 to the court for the events stemming from this single instance of illegal parking. Court records show that she twice attempted to make partial payments of $25 and $50, but the court returned those payments, refusing to accept anything less than payment in full. One of those payments was later accepted, but only after the court's letter rejecting payment by money order was returned as undeliverable. This woman is now making regular payments on the fine. As of December 2014, over seven years later, despite initially owing a $151 fine and having already paid $550, she still owed $541.

It is to the article's credit that it focuses on this kind of judicial psychosis. But unfortunately, the article fails to derive the obvious message inherent in this report. Instead, the conclusion of the article seems to be that the Ferguson police force has entered into a "conspiracy" against black people.

Little wonder that black people in Ferguson took to the streets after the killing of Michael Brown. Sooner or later, some event was bound to push them over the edge into protest, and even if Officer Wilson acted totally unobjectionably in that encounter, it wouldn't change the fact that the general lack of confidence expressed in municipal and police leadership was well-founded. A DOJ investigation was long overdue, and so are major reforms.

Reforms! The kind of activities described in the report – or at least the mentality – is surely present in many big-city police departments. The real problem, the one that the mainstream media will never address, has to do with the large-scale failure of US justice.

The criminal justice system is not delivering justice anymore. It is creating criminals with abandon. And many of these unfortunate individuals then end up working in "privatized" prisons. The problems faced by US-style justice is much, much deeper than racism. Unfortunately, it begins with the system as it is structured in most Western countries. Just as fiat-monopoly money is bound to be abused by the central banks that print it, so monopoly, "public" justice is inevitably bound to be abused as well.

When only one group – in this case the government – has the affirmative obligation to provide policing, arrests, judicial sentencing and imprisonment, the results will inevitably become corrupted. Such systems lack checks and balances.

Those who built the world's previous cultures understood this well. Once upon a time there was a vast history involving private and third-party justice. The remnants can be seen in the Middle East, India and elsewhere. People tend to settle their grievances face to face or family to family. One can argue that such a system provides rough justice at best. But is it so much worse than a system that criminalizes three-quarters of a single town?

After Thoughts

The US system of jurisprudence is as broken as its monetary system and its educational establishment. The chances are that these facilities are not going to return to health, either. When a society begins to decline (as so many have in the West, not just the US), the next step, as Gibbon observed, is the "fall."

Posted in STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
  • Impending Sky

    “JOBLESS mechanic Leon Humphreys shocked magistrates by demanding the right to trial by combat under medieval law when he appeared at a Suffolk court.

    Mr Humphreys, 60, made his request after being charged with failing to notify the DVLA that his motorcycle was off the road.

    He claimed he was entitled to ask the court to establish his guilt or innocence by allowing him to fight to the death against a champion nominated by the DVLA.”

    http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/magistrates_decide_on_trial_by_combat_1_130488

    Sometimes things become so absurd you really wish you could demand a trial by combat. There was once incident when an officer attempted to give me a $175 ticket and an 8 point violation for running a red light on a bicycle. Luckily the magistrate threw it out. It really was too much when the officer stopped the car in front of me, sliding sideways with 4 wheels locked up.

    • Bill Ross

      just another failed tribute collection incident.

    • Centurian

      It can be fun to turn the tables. When I was in college, I was in a rescue squad and taught rock climbing to college kids. On summer break, I was at work 100 miles away from school when I got a call from the Sheriff’s office in the college county asking if I could help. Somebody had fallen off of a 300 foot cliff. There were initial calls for help, indicating that the guy might have stopped on a ledge or vegetation. Nobody could get to the guy on the rock face to help him.

      I left work, went home for my climbing equipment and proceeded to hurry to the scene. This was in the day of 55mph top speed limits. I went a little faster. Got pulled over by a state trooper in my home state near the state line. He saw that I had a red light (legal) in my car. I told him the story and he asked me to follow him to the barracks. I did, but protested that there was a real emergency. I also noted that the road was built for 70mph, I was doing 65 and the trooper had done a dangerous maneuver to cross the median and had likely driven 120mph to catch me. I asked who was the bigger threat to public safety?

      His Sgt. told him to charge me with impersonating a police officer and illegal use for possessing a red light in a vehicle. They all laughed at my story. I asked for a phone call and had them dial it and confirm that it was the Sheriff’s office. That got some attention. Then I asked for a Captain and they all sat up straighter. During my conversation, which I let them listen to, I told him I was detained for speeding and other potential charges and that I could not make it. The Captain was frantic.

      The Sheriff’s Captain asked me what else he could do. When I said that the only other option was to call the Governor and request activation of an Army MAST helicopter from the state capital, the troopers all stared at their shoes. No trooper likes to do anything that will piss off any Governor.

      They gave me a single ticket for minor speeding and sent me on my way with a promise that nobody would interfere. I got there more than an hour later than I could have and found and recovered the body, which was now 300 feet down the cliff.

      When I went to court over the ticket (with my mother in tow), I was the only defendant in the room in a suit. I had letters from the Sheriff, himself and the Coroner indicating that my story was true and that the delay may have contributed to the death of the victim. I met with the DA and gave him copies of the documents. So, I plead no contest to speeding and paid $5 in court costs and went home.

      When asked by the judge, about how I cooperated, the trooper sounded like job reference. My mom was proud of how he described my behavior. They were all happy to have this little problem go away without having to put the letters in the court record and then defend their actions.

      Yeah, I was speeding in a state other than the one where the emergency was. I was not an official responder in that state. But, I was trying to do the right thing. The cops and the prosecutor got it and the judge with or without knowledge of the details let us find a way to fix it.

      That, of course was a long time ago. Today I might have just been shot!

      • Impending Sky

        Great share. Hope you are still climbing!

  • Welcome to the Brave New World. It is OK, I suppose, since Ferguson isn’t HERE, and after all, those people are impoverished because they are lazy, shiftless, drug addicts……… right? What many Americans do not realize is that what happens in Ferguson, what happens in Guantanamo, is headed to your neck of the woods PDQ. Americas quiet acquiescence to the abuse of power will inevitably lead to these same issues in our own neighborhoods. Very few realize that we are already living in a totalitarian police state. Wake up America.

    • FedUP15232

      You are so right. I have seen exactly the same thing in San Jose, CA.

  • Bill Ross

    “that there is no evidence to disprove Officer Wilson’s claim that he feared for his life during the encounter”

    … and NEVER can be, in the absence of “mind reading”

    Current impositions of “justice” focus on criminal intent, something that can NEVER be proven, due lo lack of REAL (mind reading) “evidence”. A make work program, by and for legal “profession” and dependents. They have also rationalized away “innocent until proven guilty” (by REAL facts, evidence, victims)

    Even the “rule of man, over other men” concept of justice (What WE say) is mis-defined.

    Justice Defined: Every individual is accountable for, owns, and is responsible for the consequences of their OWN actions, good (property rights, fruits of labor) or bad (damages, reparations to victims).

    Once codified by “rule of law”:

    http://www.nazisociopaths.org/modules/article/view.article.php/c1/34

  • RED

    In the “instant case”, there is not juse a minor lack of evidence, as implied by mr. soetoro, there is a preponderance of “Affirmative Defense” evidence exonerating the police office for this specific issue.

    There is also an apparent attempt to, in effect, “Nationalize” the local police by the “justice dept.”. it was correctly predicted many months ago that eric holder and cohorts would use the “incident” as leverage to go after the local police department based upon contrived “higher level” issues. The justice dept. will file suit, and the small police department, insufficiently funded to defend such suit, will fold and fall under the direct control of the feds. There is apparently a history of this occurring in numerous other cities across the nation.

    While I despise the “Sanctioned Extortion” in which most police departments are engaged, there appears to be a larger nefarious fed. issue in play as well.

    (Use of selected lower case letters is intentional).

  • nailheadtom

    “the Department of Justice concluded that there is no evidence to disprove Officer Wilson’s claim that he feared for his life during the encounter.”

    That conclusion opens up a real can of worms. In view of the numerous instances of police killings, certainly a non-police officer (or citizen, as the cops call them) can be put in a situation where he fears for his own life at the hands of a cop with a gun and defends himself with a firearm. If a cop can successfully use this a defense for a murder charge, why not anyone else?

    • Fortunately, the media attention on this thing makes clear, and these things are also in the report, and in media interviews, that there were conflicting stories on this incident.

      The truth does not need a lie to support it. Lew Rockwell’s web site has a number of people that point to hundreds of incidents like this, meaning abuse by cop and theft by cop. In most cases, it’s not a white guy shooting a black guy that gets the news. Everybody now knows that a bunch of (presumably black) bystander witnesses saw him attacking the cop as he sat in the car, and they saw him charging the officer but NOT with his hands up. There are other conflicting witnesses.

      There are cases where the cops were not in danger. Take the incident at the White House where an army of cops filled an unarmed woman full of holes for simply escaping the aggression of the Secret Service operatives. Or the grandma who was ready to defend herself against intruders, there’s plenty.

      Or in New York where you’ve got a much better case against the cops. And against the city of New York.

      The only reason they didn’t play up the one in New York was that the widow said it was an economic crime enforcement, not a black thing. The Atlantic only researched the details because limousine liberals want to feed the racism penance idol.

  • william scott

    Writing ticket “quotas” is unfortunately nothing new in the majority of lower revenue / population communities, in the USA… and lower income areas tend to have higher drug and alcohol use, violence in general and “no hope” under “the system.” I find it interesting that the RCMP in Canada where I’ve been residing the past year+ rarely stops anyone here (-100,000 popl.) and people are driving, etc. just as “law abidingly” as in the US, without all the police “presence.” (As I suspect they did recently, in NYC when the cops quit citing people?) In fact, they only have a handful of police here (and no city, or county sheriff / equivalents) and it’s like the US was, decades ago… Ferguson’s police are clearly out of control. (i.e. Killing people.) I’m surprised the locals haven’t stormed the police station and / or patrols yet, and killed a bunch of cops. You can’t “shoot first and ask questions later…” then claim they’re ALL a bunch of Michael Brown “thugs,” after your weapon. I’ve been saying this online for years now… it will be an “eye for an eye” (across the board) if FEDGOV doesn’t wake up? You can’t “police” 320 million with 250 million firearms and billions of rounds of ammo with “brute force” tactics, for much longer. And I doubt the military is going to go along with the (wearing a uniform = suicide) mandate… They will most likely TURN ON the D of C, in short order!?

    • Guy Christopher

      The military will go along with whatever they are told to go along with. 1994 Study Finds 25% of US Military Will Fire On Americans If Ordered. That was 1994. It’s likely a lot higher now. And history has taught us the US military will fire on civilians if ordered. Has happened often. Will happen again.
      http://thenewalexandrialibrary.com/armysurvey.html
      When the military conducts these interviews, they keep names. Those names who will not fire on civilians if ordered will find themselves patrolling a stretch of the Arctic when it appears time is near.

      • william scott

        YES… and the current DC squaters “retired” how many top ranking military officers, who were honest… and the “ex” military outnumbers the “active” crop by 3- 5:1??? I hear ya, though… Likely -50% will “go along to get along,” initially. Then it comes down to “passive vs. resistance” levels? (i.e. Hard to gauge???) Main issue is the advanced weapons they could use… but I suspect they would be sniped one at a time, left and right? (i.e. individuals with small arms, vs. groups of mainly uniformed DHS / NATO troops?) However the rank and file police won’t fair well in the interim (if there is one?) once people begin fighting back… or say Obummer declares Martial Law, after another false flag op?? Crime, will tell???

      • Col. Edward H. R. Green

        Then there is the likelihood that the fedgov would also recruit foreign mercenaries who will have no compunction at all with murdering American civilians.

        BTW, who conducted that 1994 study ?

  • Guy Christopher

    We know a couple of names which won’t be arrested or prosecuted or added to the 16,000 warrants on the next episode of CSI Ferguson, and those are the Brown family members who kicked the crap out of each other over who gets the tee-shirt money. You will never see those folks in a police line-up and you won’t see constant 24/7 coverage of it either. Nor will you see anyone arrested and tried for inciting to riot. Or for burning buildings (arson still a felony in Missouri?) And what will that teach? It will teach that if you scream racist loud enough, and pay off Sharpton, you can get away with anything. Could that possibly have any bearing on a community’s view of the law?

    • william scott

      I think the “community rap sheet” speaks “attitude to power” clearly enough? These people have little left to gain / loose… so of course they’re telling cops to “shoot me” or going for their weapons. (If they don’t have a firearm?) They should have seen this coming and told DC to disappear three+ decades ago… and now police are being played, federalized and soon used as martyrs, to incite “Martial Law?” At least a number of State sheriffs are on record as saying they won’t “play ball” with the Fascists, and Oath Keepers has prompted a “reality check / awakening” among many, so I don’t believe the black / white, etc. game will play out how they presume it will, in DC?

  • william scott

    Good editorial. And you make the correct point that “injustice” in the system (i.e. allowing “public trustees” and a one- sided for profit policing / judicial system to supposedly balance the scales of justice, which anyone who has ever sat in a US court room, knows is a farce) is like expecting the “government” (in general) to look out for the citizenry’s best interests.

  • Samarami

    I’m not sure “broken” fits the US “jurisprudence system” (or “monetary system” or “educational establishment”). I like the way Daily Bell phrased it two or more years ago, although I think the link is now dead, and don’t know how to retrieve the archived article:

    A justice system in which the state
    makes the laws, enforces them, prosecutes them,

    hires the prosecutors, licenses the defense attorneys,

    pays the judges, builds the jails

    (and contracts them out to private entities),

    pays the wardens and the guards and eventually the parole officers …

    is not a unbiased system.

    http://www.thedailybell.com/3939/VIDEO-17-Year-Old-Honor-Student-Jailed-for-Missing-School

  • Randy

    I was waaay ahead of the curve on this one when I wrote my paper The Scam of the Legal System about 7 or 8 years ago. The various police agencies are nothing more than the fetid, diseased and rotting teeth in the mouth of what we call the legal system. Yank those stench emitting teeth out, and the mouth can no longer chew up enough people to keep the legal system alive.
    Prohibition was defeated and then repealed due to too many court cases ending in acquittals because of jury nullification. If enough people are educated in The Three Magic Questions, the police agencies will not be able to feed the current admiralty jurisdiction legal system and it will whither away to nothing again. Except for where it really is needed. But then how many bona fide contracts are there in the world when you apply the strictest held definitions of the words contract and fraud?? Is anybody who is reading this able to think that far in a straight line?
    What is the EXACT AMOUNT of fraud that any man or woman has the right to commit? What is the EXACT AMOUNT of fraud that any man or woman has an actual obligation to endure? What is the BASIC PREMISE that is being operated off of, in the instant case? Or behind door #2, how about asking a “judge” if he/she will be willing to sign a legally binding affidavit that at no time will any fraud be allowed to transpire in any of the proceedings of the legal system? I can guarantee you that not even one will do so because they KNOW their shole system is a scam, a fraud, an artifice.

    Randy

  • Elizabeth Martin

    While I agree with your point about the “institutionalized criminal mechanism that indicts people regularly to raise revenue”, I am truly disgusted an appalled that you would say the REAL problem isn’t racism……………..they are BOTH “real” problems, in Ferguson and throughout the country.Your view is disgusting, appalling and -sadly- racist. Educate yourself a little more – then maybe you can write well enough to at least hide your arrogant, dismissive racism. (And no, I am not African-American, but an aware American who actually knows that racism IS a huge problem). Absolutely disgusting.

    • Sorry you feel that way. If the system worked properly – and we’ve written a lot about what that would entail – racism wouldn’t be an issue. People would be able to seek justice individually and on their own terms as they used to for thousands of years.

      You’re trapped in a paradigm that can only conceive of public monopoly justice. But there are other age old methodologies that have worked much better than the current horrible and obviously racist one.

      The problem of the US judicial system is that it exists at all as it does. It exists for purposes of control not for purposes of providing an outlet to resolve criminal and civil matters. Again, the problem with the system is not racism, as we pointed out. It is a much larger one having to do with the system’s design and construction.

      • Elizabeth Martin

        You are assuming – arrogantly – that I am “trapped in a paradigm that can only conceive of public monopoly justice” – how would you know that? NOTHING could be further from my truth. AS I said, I agree that this “justice” system is a degenerate and horrific “criminal mechanism” – I guess you didn’t understand my sentence agreeing with your assessment of that. My point was, and is, there are evil problems with BOTH, and when there is no justice for one person – EVEN a “minority” person,(or the MANY targeted African-American citizens of Ferguson), there is no justice for ANYONE. (Oh, except the “owners” of the system, of course). You continue to defend your racist dismissal of “racism is ‘not the real problem’ by claiming to know what “paradigm” I’m “trapped in” – and yet you know nothing whatever about me. I, on the other hand, am very discerning. Also, I never make assumptions – you should get out of the habit of that! Cheers!

  • TimeToWakeUpAmerica

    “Ferguson’s Problem Is Not Police Racism But A Broken Justice System”? So, 1) the Ferguson Cops aren’t the least bit Racist?, 2) Ferguson Cops are simply the product of a broken “Justice” (JUST-US) System, and 3) Ferguson, MO’s problem is a broken “Justice” (JUST-US) System, but, somehow Ferguson, MO is different than the rest of the U.S.?, and, indeed the entirety of the U.S., U.K., “E.U.”, and every other place that fits into the category of “Western”? Right.

    • 1. The article clearly calls what happened to Ferguson “horrible” and refers to racism. 2. If the system were privatized and demonopolized, there wouldn’t be any need for the kind of police dept. Ferguson has. It wouldn’t exist.3. Ferguson’s abuses may be worse than in other places but it is monopoly Western justice that gives rise to these kinds of abuses … everywhere. If the judicial system was taken out of the hands of the state and people once again could settle their grievances face to face or use an impartial, private third party to resolve differences as has been done in the past, racism would likely cease to be a judicial issue. The focus on racism by the US Justice Dept. unfortunately minimizes or even prevents a discussion of these issues.

loading