Ferguson

US News
6:09 pm
Wed June 10, 2015

Missouri Slow To Advance A Post-Ferguson Agenda

A number of state lawmakers have passed bills to bolster body cameras or have more streamlined investigations of police shootings. But State Rep. Michael Butler (D-St. Louis) says, "Folks in Missouri are afraid to have the race conversation."
Michael Thomas Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 6:40 pm

In the past year or so, a string of high-profile officer-involved shootings has caught the attention of state lawmakers across the country. A number of legislatures passed bills this year that make police departments more accountable.

But in Missouri, where the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown sparked deeper conversations about race and policing, there hasn't been much legislative movement.

When waves of protests and rioting throughout the St. Louis area followed Brown's death, it was hard for State Sen. Bob Dixon to turn away.

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Fri April 10, 2015

80 Municipal Courts In St. Louis County Change Fees After Criticism

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 3:47 pm

Changing a process that was blamed for fueling anger and frustration with the legal system in Ferguson, Mo., 80 municipal courts in St. Louis County have agreed to set uniform fees and fines to be more fair to people charged with offenses such as speeding.

Critics call the move one step on what they see as a long path of reform. They note that the agreement is voluntary and lacks a formal system of tracking or enforcement.

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The Two-Way
5:04 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Study Finds The Poor Subject To Unfair Fines, Driver's License Suspensions

Researchers conclude that tickets and fines hit the poor harder than other Californians. Nonpayment brings additional punishments such as heavy fines and driver's license suspensions.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 5:57 pm

A new report says an issue highlighted recently in Ferguson, Mo. — that tickets and fines disproportionately burden people of color and the poor, and lead to their incarceration — is not limited to Missouri.

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Law
6:19 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

FBI Director Wades Into Contentious Debate Over Policing And Race

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 6:26 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Code Switch
5:38 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Jail Time For Unpaid Court Fines And Fees Can Create Cycle Of Poverty

Edward Brown, who was jailed for not paying fines he couldn't afford, is among 16 plaintiffs in two lawsuits filed against the cities of Ferguson and Jennings, Mo.
Joseph Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 6:27 pm

On a night last week when the temperature dropped to 17 degrees, Edward Brown, who's 62 and homeless, slept at the bus stop in front of the Jennings, Mo., city hall in St. Louis County.

"It was cold, very cold," he says. "It's so cold I can't really move so I kept playing with my feet — rubbing 'em, twisting 'em, trying to keep warm."

Brown's troubles started when he tried to fight the city of Jennings, and his story shows how court fines and fees can grow, turning an impoverished person's life upside down.

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Code Switch
10:03 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Civil Rights Attorneys Sue Ferguson Over 'Debtors Prisons'

Tonya DeBerry (center) and her children, Herbert Nelson and Allison Nelson, have all been held in Ferguson and Jennings jails for unpaid traffic tickets.
Joseph Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 8:06 am

In a new challenge to police practices in Ferguson, Mo., a group of civil rights lawyers is suing the city over the way people are jailed when they fail to pay fines for traffic tickets and other minor offenses.

The lawsuit, filed Sunday night on the eve of the six-month anniversary of the police shooting of Michael Brown, alleges that the city violates the Constitution by jailing people without adequately considering whether they were indigent and, as a result, unable to pay.

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Carless in OKC
9:28 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Protests Taking to the Streets

ajc.com

A new form of standing up against injustice sweeping across the nation is having an impact on highway drivers.

John and Elizabeth Tankard discuss protestors taking to the freeways in this week’s Carless in OKC.

What does it take to live without a car in OKC?  The Tankards are trying to find out. You can read all about their experiences at carlessinokc.blogspot.com.

Race
5:13 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Here's Why Obama Said The U.S. Is 'Less Racially Divided'

President Obama responds to a question from NPR's Steve Inskeep on Dec. 17 in the Oval Office.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 6:05 pm

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U.S. News
3:26 am
Tue December 16, 2014

President's Task Force To Re-Examine How Police Interact With Public

President Obama announces the creation of a policing task force Dec. 1 as Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey (left) and George Mason University criminology professor Laurie Robinson look on.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 3:09 pm

Earlier this month, after the events in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y, the White House announced the creation of what it's calling a Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

The group's job is to find ways to strengthen the relationship between police and the public, and to share recommendations with the president by late February.

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Code Switch
11:38 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Four Lessons From The Media's Conflicted Coverage of Race

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani appeared on the Fox Business Network earlier this year. He has been a frequent cable news commentator about the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases.
Rob Kim Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 1:52 pm

Now more than ever, America needs productive conversations about race, stereotyping, police, crime and social justice. And too often, our national media continues to fall short.

After many years of dissecting how race works in media, I was both disappointed and but, sadly, not surprised by much of the coverage so far. It repeats many of the same mistakes we've seen for years in how we talk about race-fueled controversies in America.

We don't have the right conversations.

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