Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Even to Redstate, Ferguson Looks Bad

Leon Wolf at Redstate, generally regarded by liberals as a conservative snake pit, is appalled by the findings of the DOJ report on the Ferguson police department:
The report, taken as a whole, even in terms of material collected exclusively from FPD documents, is incredibly damning of police and municipal court practices in Ferguson. Anyone who can read the actual report itself and be comfortable with the fact that citizens of an American city live under such a regime is frankly not someone who is ideologically aligned with me in any meaningful way. The practices of the FPD and Municipal Court are destructive to freedom and in blatant violation of our constitutional rights, and they depend for sufferance on the fact that most people are not willing (or, in the case of most of Ferguson’s residents, able) to mount an expensive legal fight for relatively trivial amounts of money such as are involved in a traffic ticket. Evidence of the Ferguson PD’s knowledge of their blatantly unconstitutional practices (especially with respect to the habitual issuance of arrest warrants for missing a payment) is shown in the report by the way that the Municipal Court regularly drops these warrants as soon as a defendant appears with counsel.
Wolf tried to rule out DOJ bias by ignoring everything that came from interviews with citizens,  and everything DOJ investigators said they had observed. But even without those things, just the data collected from the files of the Ferguson PD are damning. The Ferguson PD acted mainly as a revenue-generating machine for the city -- the City Manager even bragged about this in emails obtained by the DOJ -- and their main victims were African Americans.  Even some conservative partisans are coming to recognize that this is not acceptable.

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