The Progressive Cynic

© Josh Sager – March 2015

The tragic shooting of Michal Brown by a Ferguson Missouri police officer ignited a national firestorm over the issues of police brutality and the marginalization of racial minorities by law enforcement. Thousands of protesters, in dozens of cities, have marched for justice since the shooting and the inertia of the public seems to indicate that this won’t be stopping any time soon (particularly because such shootings happen on a weekly basis in this country).

Demonstrators gesture with their hands up after protests in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown turned violent near Ferguson, Missouri

While the primary foci of these protests has been on issues of police violence and racism, the recent DOJ report on the Ferguson police force has illustrated a third issue that is undeniably as important as the other two: The Ferguson police department has been shaking down poor residents of their city for a personal profit—if those targeted cannot pay, they are forced into a hopeless and virtually endless whirlpool…

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