Sunday, March 08, 2015
Local governments "fine the poor" to balance their budgets; At Selma, Holder speaks about erosion of voting rights by Supreme Counrt
The New York Times reported, in a few stories today, that a number of states and local governments are trying to get by on “fining the poor”. This is an outgrowth of the attention to police profiling of African Americans, particularly in Ferguson MO, in traffic and street stops, and perhaps the “broken windows” theory. A typical story today in the NYT is by Campbell Robertson, Shaila Dawan and Matt Apuzzo, “Ferguson became a symbol, but bias knows no border”, link here.
One solution would be to force local law enforcement departments to consolidate into large units. You don’t need a country police department and a separate department in every town, and a separate sheriff’s department.
The problem certainly calls to mind the whole issue of civil asset forfeiture, and its abuse.
Eric Holder, speaking at Selma Saturday, said that voting rights for African Americans are gradually being eroded by state laws that require identification and restrict voting hours, link here.