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Outstanding warrants in Ferguson outnumber residents nearly 2 to 1


Outstanding warrants outnumber residents in Ferguson, Missouri nearly two-to-one, a new report has revealed.

The St. Louis suburb, where unarmed black teen Michael Brown was shot dead August 9 by white police officer Darren Wilson, has just over 21,000 residents and had more than 40,000 arrest warrants as of June 2013, according to ArchCity Defenders, a local advocacy group.

The town's aggressive policing strategies and difficult to navigate court system generated $2,635,400 in fine revenue for the small town in 2013. Court fines are Ferguson's second-largest source of revenue, according to the Daily Beast.

"The City of Ferguson has more warrants than residents," reads a letter from ArchCity Defenders to Ferguson mayor James Knowles. "Most of these warrants are from unpaid fines for nonviolent offenses.

"For many young people, these warrants act as a barrier to employment and housing. Just as importantly, the psychological trauma of spending each day subject to arrest and incarceration is debilitating."

The large number of warrants is unusual for a town of its size, but not in that area.

The neighboring town of Pine Lawn, which is 96 percent black, has a population of 3,275 and a staggering 23,000 outstanding warrants, according to the Riverfront Times.

ArchCity Defenders believes this method of policing is predatory and leading to a rift between citizens and authorities. The group wants Ferguson to forgive most fines and warrants, it wrote in the letter.

Ferguson residents are not alone in feeling police forces discriminate against minorities, according to a recent Pew Research Institute Poll.

Only 37 percent of whites in the U.S. feel police treat minorities fairly, Pew found, and a meager 10 percent of blacks agree.

Traffic stop statistics in Ferguson – blacks comprise 71 percent of the population, but 87.3 percent of stops, according to ArchCity Defenders – bare these numbers out.

About 41 percent of whites feel police use the right amount of force for each situation, according to the poll. Only six percent of blacks feel similarly.

Despite this difference of opinion of police shared by the two groups, 69 percent of the public feel blacks and whites get along "very well" or "pretty well," according to the poll.

ArchCity Defenders plans to make their case during an upcoming Ferguson city council meeting, where five of the six council members are white.

Ferguson Shouldn't Return To 'Normal' Unless It's A 'New Normal'

Related links:
Timeline: Michael Brown's death, the Ferguson protests and his funeral
Mourners gather in St. Louis for Brown funeral
Michael Brown remembered as a 'little kid in a big body'

Join the discussion

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jltjt9 August 26 2014 at 12:45 AM

In 2011 the Justice Department under Eric Holder conducted a study that found the real concern for black parents and their children is black youth killing black adults and teens. The November 2011 report concluded that black men between the ages of 14 and 24 make up 1% of the population, nevertheless they represent 27% of all the nation's murderers.

There is a culture of violence in our black communities and the statistics of young children being murdered by other blacks and black children is horrifying. And yet, no one speaks about the death of a black child unless of course he or she is killed by a white or Hispanic.

It is time that the President to speak out against violence in many of our black communities and speak out against the rapper who influences our children by way of his music, to the gangster, the poor treatment and disrespect of women, violence and the gun.

If the President would direct his voice to the inner city youth he could make a change. The time is now.

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27 replies
greatbirdusa August 26 2014 at 6:58 AM

Blacks in Ferguson are typical of blacks in America.
*96% of black murders and committed by other blacks
*77% of crimes in America are committed by blacks
*53% of white murders are committed by blacks
Yet only
12% of America are black..!
*FBI National Unified Crime Report
So then -
Outstanding warrants for blacks in Ferguson should not be a surprise.
America has a high crime problem.
The cure would involve
Removing the black crime cancer.
Imagine America's crime rate dropping by 2/3 of what it is today!

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35 replies
kvave August 26 2014 at 12:47 AM

Second , why are we treating a ROBBER like a Martyr , yet someone else poots sideways , and they are evil

If I got mad and looted and pillaged , Id probably be shot on sight YET THE BLACK COMMUNITY can do it anytime they dont like something and the entire system listens WHAT A CROCK

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8 replies
bigmac25 August 26 2014 at 12:51 AM

Probably the easiest solution would be for people to stop committing crimes.

How's that for a concept on change?

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15 replies
corvettelover199 August 26 2014 at 12:30 AM

riots for weeks, is it really a surprise there are so many warrants??? The people of this city are animals....to bad truth hurts.

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24 replies
yayabeanes August 26 2014 at 12:23 AM

Is it predatory that the police were doing their job while it's resident citizens mostly those collecting government support did not behave and obey the law...If that's the case get rid of the town, period...Empty it and let them move on to where they think they will be treated better while shouting, "Gimee gimme gimme! "

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34 replies
kentblackdog August 26 2014 at 12:31 AM

It is not that hard---the blacks are copmitting MORE crime per capita than the whites

Wonder if the reporters will take the next step,and research black on black crime and black on white crime
----the numbers are quite revealing as to what is really going on here

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12 replies
allstarcaps August 26 2014 at 12:50 AM

Blacks have the highest crime propensity, and the highest violent death and crime rate among themselves, so why the heck would arrests and prosecutions NOT reflect that!!?? This is just another redonkulous white guilt liberal attempt to skew the truth!!

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9 replies
FromTheChrysalis August 26 2014 at 12:35 AM

I don't believe this story for a second. 40,000 "outstanding warrants" mean you have 40,000 people who have missed their court dates in a city of 20,000. The police know where these people live, they would simply go arrest them. I think maybe this local "advocacy" group must have recently formed as a front for these aggressive race-baiters that have rolled into town. Most likely they added a couple zeros to the real total.

There is absolutely no way Ferguson has 40,000 outstanding warrants LOLOL But let's say the number is 400 or even 4000, just work out community service if you can't pay the fine and then don't commit the offense again. Behave yourselves!

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19 replies
blo2thehead August 26 2014 at 12:28 AM

This is the problem of the police? It's a root cause of the gangster culture that is the major reason that people get shot. Welcome the Uncle Tom's and see the change that your black community wants.

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7 replies
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