"The notion that you would use a law enforcement agency or law enforcement generally to generate revenue, and then the callous way in which that was done and the impact that it had on the lives of the ordinary citizens of that municipality, was just appalling."
|Example of fees and costs generated by courts and law enforcement. (Source).|
Holder was referring to the findings of the Department of Justice investigation of the Ferguson, MO police department. The investigation found that the department "engaged in or practiced a pattern of conduct that violates the Fourth, Fifth, and 14 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
See also: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
President Obama said he doesn't believe the practices by the Ferguson police reflect the practices of law enforcement across the country, but doesn't believe it's "an isolated incident" either.
Related: Building communities of trust
Ferguson residents have been besieged by police who repeatedly fined, and or arrest the most financially vulnerable of the city's citizens for seemingly minor offenses - like jay-walking - resulting in substantial fines and court costs.
|Excerpt from the administration's 21st Century Policing task force document - page 9.|
The notion that law enforcement uses its citizen to generate revenue probably isn't news to a lot of people given the fact that more and more prisons are being built across the United States and reports show an increased incarceration rate, especially in areas where people of color reside.
America's Stop and Frisk policy
Ferguson cops shot; Holder calls perps "punks"
Iowa cop charged with violating civil rights, police brutality