Ferguson and Its Money-Hungry Police

The Justice Department places some blame for the city's racial tension on its prioritizing revenue over public safety.

To protect and to collect fines.

Photographer: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

The Justice Department report released Wednesday on police practices in Ferguson, Missouri, makes agonizing reading -- and not only because of its careful documentation of both patterns and specific instances of racial discrimination by law enforcement in that troubled city. An important subtext is that many of the problems stem from a decision made by politicians to treat the police department as a cash cow.

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