How Ferguson, MO – and other towns – milk the poor

In its violent crackdowns on demonstrations since a white police officer shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in early August, Ferguson police revealed a fresh proclivity for abusing its citizens. However, the city’s finances suggest the St. Louis suburb’s criminal justice system has been stealthily exploiting residents—particularly those who are black or poor—for years.

Ferguson’s economy steadily withered over the last decade, as did its population. Yet even as the number of adult residents fell 11% between 2010 and 2013, fines collected by the city’s court system surged 85%, hitting $2.6 million last year….

Via These seven charts explain how Ferguson—and many other US cities—wring revenue from black people and the poor @ Quartz.

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