Friday, March 13, 2015

P. S. Another thing hurting Rahm...

...Emanuel may be the events in Ferguson, Missouri.

Yep, the Justice Department's report on the "racially biased and exploitative practices" of the local authorities in Ferguson remind me of the red-light cameras in Chicago. From "A Chilling Portrait of Ferguson" in the Times (my emphasis):

The arrests and fines of blacks were driven to some extent by the fact that Ferguson’s budget relies partly on fines and fees; city officials routinely urged the Police Department to generate more revenue through ticket writing.

And from U. S. News and World Report:

Among the issues identified in the report was a disproportionate amount of African-Americans targeted for traffic stops and other low-level violations. It said that police relied too heavily on the use of force and were quick to escalate confrontations with citizens, and also found that citizens often were denied their due-process rights in the local jail system and in how the municipal courts processed citations. Fueling the fire, the Justice Department said, was the city’s dependence on fines for minor offenses to fill municipal coffers.

Sound familiar?

P. P. S. I don't have a dog in this fight -- I really don't. In fact, I'm embarrassed to admit that, although I've been back in the city since June, I'm still not registered to vote here. (We voted via absentee ballot last November.) But, even if I was registered to vote in Chicago, I still don't know for whom I would vote. (Can you believe it?)

Having said all that, from Rahm's ads and actions these last few weeks, I wonder if his internal polling has him worried. He sure strikes me as a guy who's running scared.

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