Questions About Municipal Court Systems Not Confined to Ferguson

enhanced-18974-1425512361-3The grave problems that a U.S. Justice Department report spotlighted as plaguing police and court systems in Ferguson, Mo. (see Gavel Grab) are more pervasive issues, the New York Times  reported:

“Ferguson, a city of 21,000, is unusual in some respects — it has issued the most warrants of any city in the state relative to its size, for example — but the unfairness in its court system that the Justice Department highlighted is not limited to it, to St. Louis County or even to Missouri.”

“Ferguson is one dot in the state, and there are many municipalities in the region engaged in the same practices a mile away,” said Justice Department civil rights prosecutor Vanita Gupta. “It would be a mistake for any of those neighboring jurisdictions to fold up their hands. They should absolutely take note of this report.”

Meanwhile The Guardian newspaper reported, “Ferguson judge behind aggressive fines policy owes $170,000 in unpaid taxes. Ronald J Brockmeyer, who is accused of fixing traffic tickets for himself and associates, was a driving force behind using fines and fees to generate revenue.”