Study finds how cities benefit from fining their Black residents.
Michael W. Sances of the University of Memphis and Hye Young Mou of Vanderbilt University, revealed a couple of rather nasty facts concerning issuing fines in predominately Black communities.
The duo collected information from more than 9,000 cities and found that cities with bigger African-American populations somehow rely more on fines and court fees to bring in revenue. According to The Atlanta Black Star, the average collection was around $8 per person in cities that receive at least some revenue from citations. However, the price jumped to nearly $20 per person in cities with higher more Black people.
Study Finds Cities Rely More on Fines for Revenue When They Have More Black Residents – Atlanta Black Star https://t.co/klLrZ4rFV6
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“What a lot of cities do is rely on a source of revenue that falls disproportionately on their black residents,” Sances said. “And when Blacks gain representation on the city council, this relationship gets a lot better. The situation does not become perfect — but it becomes alleviated to a great extent.”
The results of the research only prove the existing idea that African-Americans are unfairly targeted when it comes to ticketing. Last year, more than a dozen plaintiffs filed a lawsuit accusing 13 St. Louis County, Mo., towns with “extorting money” through traffic fines from low-income Black residents in “a deliberate and coordinated scheme … to fill [their] coffers.”
Study: cities rely more on fines for revenue if they have more black residents https://t.co/ylZmWPUkxu
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The researchers suggested that electing more Black people to local governments may serve as a potential solution to the disparity, they acknowledged that even an all-Black representation might not completely fix the problem.
“There’s a degree of influence there for sure,” Sances told the news site. “[But] we don’t assume city councils have perfect control over the police.”