Fines and fees: Consequences and opportunities for reform

In Politics by Michael Rae


In August 2014, Michael Brown, Jr., was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. The incident triggered several nights of protests and tense interactions between police and city residents. The U.S. Department of Justice subsequently launched a civil rights investigation into the Ferguson Police Department, the results of which were released in a report published by the DOJ in March 2015.

The Department of Justice report offered a scathing review of the Ferguson Police Department. Specifically, the investigation revealed widespread racial bias and discrimination within the police department. Moreover, the report noted that:

Ferguson’s law enforcement practices are