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Ferguson Courts Told to Clean Up Their Act
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Ferguson Missouri

Summary: The city of Ferguson has a long road ahead to mend the relations between government personnel and black members of the community but the city is trying to repair the damage.

After the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown last year, the Justice Department has taken a hard look into the court practices in Ferguson, Missouri. In June, Municipal Court Judge Donald McCullin ordered all arrest warrants obtained before 2015 to be withdrawn.

  
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Those defendants will be given new court dates with the option of payment plans or community service to take care of their case. Those that are destitute may have their fines commuted.

Just five months ago, the U.S. Department of Justice came down on the leaders of the city for working with the police force to raise their revenues by exploiting citizens. They stated that the court practices have caused significant harm to people when their minor code violations turned into multiple arrests, jail time, and resulting payments costing way more than the original ticket.

Arrest warrants for persons with minor traffic violations will no longer be jailed, but will instead be released and given another court date. McCullin hopes the changes will “continue the process of restoring confidence in the Court…and giving many residents a fresh start.” Hopefully, the members of the community will take advantage of this “fresh start” and help change the reputation of the town.

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Previously, defendants would have their driver’s license suspended by the city’s director of revenue if they failed to appear in court or pay a fine. Now those that have lost their license can re-obtain them and be able to drive again.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/24/us-usa-ferguson-court-idUSKCN0QT29720150824



Photo: cbsnews.com



 

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