HuffPo Offers Look Back One Year After Ferguson

In one of those “it’s been a year already?” moments, the Huffington Post is offering a major deep-dive story into what the Ferguson unrest meant to both the local community and to the United States. It’s a good look at how things have changed, including the media treatment of police shootings. In particular, the story illustrates how non-criminal cases migrate into jail-worthy events.
 
The team-written report mostly comes down on the side of things getting better and perhaps the protests paying off, saying “… Ferguson’s protests spawned at least 40 state measures aimed at improving police tactics and use of force. The national conversation around race and policing has shifted so dramatically that the director of the FBI said law enforcement officials historically enforced “a status quo that was often brutally unfair to disfavored groups” and discussed how unconscious racial bias affects police officers with no pushback from the law enforcement community.”
 
See the story here: The Ferguson Protests Worked

Post-Ferguson Reform Continues To Focus On Courts, Traffic

 

A new report released by a coalition of legal aid groups in California is the latest documentation of how local governments’ quest for traffic-ticket funds has skewed the judicial landscape. The Los Angeles Times notes that the report “… comes a month after the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division issued its report on Ferguson, Mo., which criticized similar practices for their disparate effect on low-income and largely minority populations.”

The report says that “… traffic-court fines layered with escalating fees and penalties have led to driver’s license suspensions for 4.2 million Californians — or one in six drivers — pushing many low-income people deeper into poverty…” 

“As in Ferguson,” the California report noted, “these policies disproportionately impact people of color, beginning with who gets pulled over in the first place.” Reformers are calling for, among other things, an end to license suspensions for unpaid tickets and a reduction in fees and penalties.

Read the LAT story here.