After the death of Mike Brown in 2014, the city of Ferguson and its law enforcement were placed under a national microscope. The predatory nature of the department was exposed and was eventually reined in. However, now that they can’t police for profit, the Ferguson police department is going broke.
Prior to the death of Mike Brown and the ensuing DoJ probe, traffic fines were the town’s second largest source of income, after sales tax. The DoJ report noted that financial incentives were driving law enforcement to continue unfair policies, predominantly targeting African-Americans.
In 2013, African-Americans accounted for 86 percent of traffic stops, while making up 63 percent of Ferguson’s population.