Fines

Ferguson to Increase Ticket Fine Collection by "About a Million" Dollars

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During its time in the national spotlight, Ferguson, MO, received scrutiny here at Reason and elsewhere for its use of fees and fines to generate revenue for the city government, a strategy that some critics viewed as ratcheting up tension between law enforcement and the community.

"When you have towns like those in St. Louis county that get in some cases, 40 percent of their municipal revenue in fines and fees, they have chosen a very expensive way of taxing their population, one that creates maximum hassle and maximum hostility," says Walter Olson, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and publisher of the blog Overlawyered.

But now, Bloomberg News reports, the city actually is planning to increase fines to address a serious revenue shortfall:

"There are a number of things going on in 2014 and one is a revenue shortfall that we anticipate making up in 2015," Jeffrey Blume, Ferguson's finance director, said. "There's about a million-dollar increase in public-safety fines to make up the difference."

Revenue from violations, which already represents the city's second-largest source of cash after sales taxes, will rise to 15.7 percent of receipts in fiscal 2015, from a projected 11.8 percent this year, he said. In 2013, fines brought in $2.2 million, or 11.8 percent of the city's $18.62 million in annual revenue, according to budget documents.

Last month, Reason TV highlighted three of the country's most "fee-ridden" cities and pegged Ferguson at number two, but maybe it's time to move it on up to the top spot. Watch the video above and decide for yourself.

"America's 3 Most Fee-Ridden Cities" was originally released on Nov. 24, 2014. The original text is below:

Fees, fines, and petty law enforcement: Little ticky-tack violations can pile up quickly and are enough to drive even the most civic-minded citizens crazy. But they can also create an undercurrent of hostility between citizens and the government officials who are supposed to serve them. Former Reason writer Radley Balko uncovered a pattern of overzealous fee-collection in the suburbs of St. Louis county for The Washington Post and speculated that the overbearing law enforcement helped create a pressure-cooker environment that finally exploded in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting.

"When you have towns like those in St. Louis county that get in some cases, 40 percent of their municipal revenue in fines and fees, they have chosen a very expensive way of taxing their population, one that creates maximum hassle and maximum hostility," says Walter Olson, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and publisher of the blog Overlawyered.

Watch the video above for Reason TV compilation of America's 3 Most Fee-Ridden Cities, listed below:

3. Detroit, Michigan

In the wake of the largest municipal bankruptcy in history, Detroit launched a variety of revenue-generating schemes, such as raising the prices of parking meters in a downtown with a rapidly dwindling population and workforce. Unfortunately for the city, about half their meters are broken, making it one of the only cities to actually lose money on parking enforcement. But what really grants Detroit this honor is "Operation Compliance," an initiative pushed by former mayor David Bing aimed at bringing all of Detroit's small businesses up to code through costly permitting. The initiative launched with the stated goal of shutting down 20 businesses a week.

2. Ferguson, Missouri

Ferguson has stayed in the news for the massive protests over the police shooting of Michael Brown and for the militarized response of law enforcement to those protests. But tension between the citizens and the government run deep in Ferguson and the other nearby St. Louis suburbs. Citizens report of being constantly harassed by law enforcment over minor violations and then being forced to navigate through an overrun court system. The Washington Post reported that one courthouse in St. Louis County had issued five arrest warrants per citizen.

1. Bell, California

Residents of this tiny California town just south of Los Angeles rose up against the local government after learning that their city officials were robbing them with high property taxes and ridiculous parking fines and city fees in order to pay themselves exorbitant salaries. The ringleader was City Manager Robert Rizzo, who paid himself $1.5 million in annual salary and benefits in a town with a per capita household income of $24,800. Rizzo is now rotting in federal prison alongside his accomplice, former Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia, but the town is still on the hook for the $137 million in debt left behind. Locals call it the "Rizzo Tax."

"Ideally, the local population would rise up and say, 'It's time to take back our town. Government is not just a revenue source. It should be an engine of justice.' Until that happens, we've got a much wider problem," says Olson.

Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Paul Detrick, Tracy Oppenheimer, and Weissmueller. Approximately 4 minutes.

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  1. Why can’t they just make up the revenue shortfall by higher business taxes? Oh, wait…

    1. Very well. A tax on protests, then.

      1. They should have a Looting and Arson Tax.

      2. You joke, but they’ve found reasons to charge people fees for looking at government documents/emails

        And here’s your receipt, and here’s my receipt for your receipt

        1. You beat me to it. I was going to suggest they just tax people’s ducts.

            1. I don’t watch anything Brazilian that does not have sweet curvaceous cheeks in it, Espi.

              Who the fuck uses a moniker like that. No one cares about tandu in 2015.

  2. If the SJW “warriors” want to make a principled stand (rather than by encouraging opportunities for looting and burning buildings) for the residents (zeks?) in Ferguson, they should organize a mass boycott of any and all fines levied by the city for the kinds of petty shit that these cycles of fines represent starting on 1/1/2015. There’s no better way to shine a light on the cockroaches in charge of that locale than to deprive them of additional revenue by theft and force them to fix a system of “justice” that is about nothing but revenue generation, as freely admitted by the idiot in the article. For fucks sake, do something concrete to help the residents of that shithole to get out from under the thumb of the assholes in charge. Impotent rage is for 2 year olds.

    For the life of me I cannot understand how those who think that any and all problems can be solved by the application of more government cannot see the fallacy of that argument in light of this sort of behavior (and it’s not an isolated incident FFS) on the part of government. They must be the sorts of people who would buy lottery tickets for a chance to spend a week in Warty’s basement.

    1. “Organizing” and “rallying” aren’t really in the SJW lexicon. Posturing, staging, and retweeting are really more their style.

    2. If the SJW “warriors” want to make a principled stand (rather than by encouraging opportunities for looting and burning buildings) for the residents (zeks?) in Ferguson, they should organize a mass boycott of any and all fines levied by the city for the kinds of petty shit that these cycles of fines represent starting on 1/1/2015.

      I love this idea. It’s non-violent, actually deals with a real source of complaint, and has a chance of actually working.

      For the life of me I cannot understand how those who think that any and all problems can be solved by the application of more government cannot see the fallacy of that argument in light of this sort of behavior (and it’s not an isolated incident FFS) on the part of government. They must be the sorts of people who would buy lottery tickets for a chance to spend a week in Warty’s basement.

      Because the Wrong People are in charge. If the right people were in charge, there would be no government abuses, poverty would come to an end, and all racism and sexism would cease to be.

      As a result, whenever they fail (which is always) the just say that the wrong people were in charge. It doesn’t matter if they thought the person was a miracle worker when they first elected him (like Barack Obama), the instant he fails he just becomes one of the wrong people and they assume that if someone else had been in charge, all would have been well.

      1. And conversely, whatever their merits while in office, anyone with (R) trailing his name is perforce the wrong person.

      2. The “right” people have been in charge for years. The problem is, the “wrong” people still have the ability to block the “right” people from instituting their utopia.

        Solution:

        Eliminate all wrong people.

        /the party of peace and tolerance

        1. It’s called not having any idea how to ride the laugh parade into the sensational sunsets of intelligent colors whipping about like tornadoes of existential happenings.

      3. I love this idea. It’s non-violent, actually deals with a real source of complaint, and has a chance of actually working.

        Unfortunately the state’s response will most assuredly be violent and it will not be reported by the media, which ultimately is a voluntary propaganda organ for the state, and so has absolutely no chance of succeeding.

        1. They cannot arrest everyone. They will not have the time, manpower, nor the political will to impose martial law, which is essentially what would need to happen, in order to enforce the petty system of punitive fines if the vast majority of the citizenry joined with the boycott.

          The use of state violence against a morally right stance will eventually fail as it did in the Civil Rights era and this is exactly the type of action that the press will eat up despite the over simplification of the interests portrayed into downtrodden minorities -vs- powerful, elitist, white guys. I’m not saying that the press’ narrative will be nuanced but it will be broad and it will be sympathetic to the David in this morality play.

          The thing is, any boycott would need to be a deeply rooted and sustained campaign – 2 weeks of marching and chanting “I ain’t paying” won’t resolve this abuse of the populace. I’m not sure that the SJW set has the capacity for sustained action when the banality of the process begins to settle in and more exciting, more directly confrontational events beckon. That’s the essential power of government in these situations: the ability to wait until resistance fades.

    3. How does that make any sense? They aren’t just fines, they are fines backed with force.

      You don’t pay the fine, you go to jail (eventually).

      The people organizing the boycott won’t be going to jail.

  3. my buddy’s mom makes $86 /hr on the laptop . She has been fired for seven months but last month her payment was $17557 just working on the laptop for a few hours. visit the website……
    ?????? http://www.payinsider.com

  4. I seem to remember a previous society that brutally shut down it’s insurgents and then levied a huge tax on them to recoup the enforcement costs.

  5. A million more reasons for Ferguson residents to despise their police.

    1. You bounced back fast from your little trip last night

      1. I may never eat pussy whilst on acid again.

        1. If Gene’s playmate cleanses her wrinkly chocolate starfish with sweet aromatics acid can, in fact, be enjoyed whilst tongue-slithering the pink canyons.

          Best of luck, Cunnilingus Gene.

      2. Special springs manufactured from the finest titanium, dear mr lizard, allow for a most exhilarating bounce-back under the most demanding of environments, however astral or chemically-induced.

  6. Looks like Sony has managed to officially get themselves on Block Insane Yomomma’s enemies list. The IRS won’t be too far behind.

    Nobody insults the Dictator and gets away with it. Not even his supporters.

    1. That nickname is still the lamest insult I’ve ever seen.

      1. What’s wrong with “Mike M”? How is it insulting?

        -jcr

      2. “That nickname is still the lamest insult I’ve ever seen.”

        People seem to devolve to 9yr olds when talking about presidents.

        BUSHITLER!!

        Although ‘Darth Cheney’ is technically an accurate formal-title. He IS a actual Sith Lord. He had to go to galactic dark-lord graduate school and everything.

        1. But Fauxcahantas is actually a brilliant nickname for Elizabeth Warren and whoever came up with it deserves to be paid for their services.

          1. True that.

            The best derogatory names tend to be reserved for idiots in congress who attract the derision of the more-informed/politically-aware insult-professionals.

            Presidential-criticism, by contrast, attracts hordes of vituperative morons who utilize the most basic, brainless forms of shit-slinging.

        2. I think Chimpy McBushitler was the worst from that era. Just pick ONE and make it clever, thankyouverymuch.

      3. Careful, seguin. Pointing out that the stupidest insult for Obama ever conceived is the stupidest insult for Obama ever conceived will get you painted as an Obama supporter. Because reasons.

        1. Barack Obummer.

    2. What did we tell you about that? Are you trying to make us all look retarded?

      1. I don’t see what Mike M’s link has to do with Obama.

        I think Mike’s reputation is trying to publicly commit suicide.

        1. What reputation? That of being a crank conspiracy theorist? It can’t commit suicide, it’s already dead.

  7. What, no hat tip? I has a sad.

    1. Reason is taking a page from Ferguson’s play book and instituting mandatory donation levels for hat tip recognitions.

  8. I assume they still have free elections in Ferguson and that the voters can end these outrages over the course of the next few elections. Instead of bitching about things, throw the bums out.

    1. Time to kick out the evil politicians and hire “evil” corporations to run municipalities.

    2. Your naivete would be charming if it weren’t so sad.

      1. Na?ve, really? Where I live a small group got up in arms about a sewer project that might have cost each resident some $25K; they voted out one supervisor and the two remaining caved in and came up with a more sensible and less costly solution.

        1. So if 51% of the people want the tax, it is just?

          1. What does that have to do with one’s ability to relocate?

            Oh right nothing.

  9. Parents of Sandy Hook victims plan lawsuit against Bushmaster

    Parents of some of the victims of the 2012 school shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, will on Monday announce they are suing Bushmaster, the manufacturer of the gun used by Adam Lanza.

    They are working with an attorney who represented Michael Jackson’s family in a $1.5bn wrongful death lawsuit against his international concert promoter, and a Democratic lobbyist who worked in the Clinton administration and specialises in taking on major corporations, the Guardian has learned.

    Parents of at least 13 of the 20 young children killed in the December 2012 shooting have in the past two weeks opened estates in their names at the regional probate court, a necessary first step in filing a lawsuit over their deaths. Eleven of these sets of parents checked a box specifying that they intended to make a wrongful death claim.

    Sunday 14 December, the second anniversary of the killings, also marks the legal deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit over the incident in the civil courts. The Hartford Courant reported earlier this week that parents were discussing a legal action against Bushmaster.

    So they’re going to waste their money and get laughed out of court by a judge?

    Bushmaster could even conceivably countersue for filing a frivolous lawsuit.

    1. Bushmaster could even conceivably countersue for filing a frivolous lawsuit.

      But they won’t because countersuing the parents of dead kids would be the worst optics imaginable.

      1. Screw em, colt has plenty of money. Plus they need to send a message every time the screeching masses try this shit.

        BTW why don’t they bother to sue the school district first?

    2. The 1.5 billion Michael Jackson lawsuit??? Ahahahaha! How did that turn out?!?

  10. Someone remind me again how government isn’t just another gang…

  11. Natalie . even though Steven `s artlclee is nice… I just purchased Peugeot 205 GTi after earning $6824 thiss month and-even more than, ten grand this past-month . with-out any question its my favourite job Ive had .
    Best way to keep join======== http://www.jobsfish.com

  12. Ferguson to Increase Ticket Fine Collection by “About a Million” Dollars

    Side note =

    A ‘moment of Satori‘ for me on the road to libertarianism was when someone was mumbling about “how Government “only” needed $100 billion more to ‘solve’ social problem X, and why would anyone object to that”… and in my mind i saw that # divided up into the actual millions of people’s lives whom it was going to be taken from (on top of everything else) and how it was ‘one more day’ that person had to work, an extra hundred hours they’d spend laboring, instead of enjoying the fruits of their own labor, just so some bureaucrats would have the funding to open another Department of Accomplishing Nothing. Now, every time some small town Government says, “Million”, all i see are the Already Poor-ish people being made even poorer, because now the fucking police force is going to need more Goons to keep the citizens from burning down the mini-mall every 10 years. “the Price of Civilization” Indeed.

    1. Government could immediately have access to an additional 60 billion dollars if they would just shut down the Department of Education, a completely useless organization that didn’t even exist prior to the 70’s and which has had no positive impact on American education in the 40 years of its existence.

      I remember when someone on Salon said that shutting down the DOE was a ‘terrifying’ idea. That’s a wonderful example of how the left thinks. Even though all the evidence shows that test scores and educational attainment have been relatively stagnant over the 4 decades that the DOE has been in existence, it’s still terrifying to talk about shutting them down…for some reason.

      They never bother providing evidence that any of their programs actually work. They just assume that a program must do what it was meant to do, and that therefore anyone who opposes it doesn’t want such good work to get done.

      1. “Government could immediately have access to an additional 60 billion dollars if they would just shut down the Department of Education”

        I know. and I completely agree with your point.

        The insult-to-injury-added horror of how awful these government programs are is the belief by the general public that “They Exist = Therefore They Must Be Doing Something!? WHY DO YOU NOT WANT SOMETHING BEING DONE??”

        They become permanently immune from criticism no matter how bad they actually are.

        The idea that “less money thrown down a toilet” actually frees up capital to be used in other more-productive ways doesn’t penetrate their skulls – Less Money is just Less Money. Its the zero-sum universe. MORE IS ALWAYS BETTER. Even when it means pumping more gas into an inefficient machine.

        Which, (side note) is a case-study on their ignorance re: Energy = they still fail to understand that we’ve increased energy efficiency w/ ‘fossil fuels’ far faster and far more cost effectively than any improvements that could be had from “current implementation” of Solar, Wind, etc.

        They then argue, “but more (forced) investment in these areas would magically improve efficiencies”…

        Again – always putting the cart in front of the horse. ‘Efficiencies’ can only emerge from competition – not from government mandate that gives them a guaranteed slice of the energy $ “pie”.

        1. They become permanently immune from criticism no matter how bad they actually are.

          Which is exactly the rationale behind political perpetuation and its absolute resolve to never stop expansion, much less reverse it.

          Permanent immunity from criticism is the fountainhead of elite power and all its tendrils. Achievement has zero to with efficiency as you correctly state simply because efficiency negates the expansion of power. Achievement within political perpetuation is the negation of efficiency.

          Negate efficiency, provide a mantra, gain control over the crowds, government becomes benevolent and emotionally necessary. Faith then enters the mass picture. And as any good religious person knows you submit to gain faith because faith is a direct requirement to maintain your emotional connection to deities or government.

          1. Negate efficiency, provide a mantra, gain control over the crowds, government becomes benevolent and emotionally necessary. Faith then enters the mass picture. And as any good religious person knows you submit to gain faith because faith is a direct requirement to maintain your emotional connection to deities or government.

            Good God. It’s amazing how lucid and rational you are before the sun goes down.

            1. I eat Irish Butter. Best soft gold ever.

          2. Good Lord,

            This actually was intelligible and somewhat insightful to me.

      2. “..if they would just shut down the Department of Education,….”

        When I suggested this to a statist he said that since I got my education, now I think nobody else should”

        I mean, there’s no point in even responding to that; he’s too far gone.

  13. “They Exist = Therefore They Must Be Doing Something!? WHY DO YOU NOT WANT SOMETHING BEING DONE??”

    And the obvious answer to this is: since Pres Carter created this cabinet position, have public schools gotten better worse?

    1. What amazes me is how many of these organizations progressives now deem to be ‘indispensable’ did not exist prior to the late-70’s. Yet, if you look at trends before these various organizations existed, there is no evidence they actually improved anything.

      The DOE has certainly not improved education. On-the-job deaths and accidents have declined since OSHA was implemented, but those things were also rapidly declining prior to OSHA, so it’s impossible to claim OSHA caused this improvement when the improvement was already going on. There are thousands of examples of this – programs which did not exist prior to 1975 and which have not really caused any discernible improvement, but which progs now claim cannot be dispensed with.

      I also love when progressives claim we’ve become less regulated over time and ‘more right-wing’ for this exact reason. Prior to like 1972 there was no EPA, no OSHA, no Department of Education, virtually no national campaign finance laws, with the exception of banning actual quid pro quo corruption.

      So tell me – other than a few minor things like deregulating the airlines and deregulating trucking (both of which had incredibly positive impacts on those industries) where did this alleged right-wing deregulation occur?

      1. Carter also deregulated home brewing, IIRC.

    2. They’ve gotten better at being worse?

      You can’t point to ‘test scores’ or ‘spending per pupil’ and expect to carry on a rational conversation with someone who thinks ‘public schools’ are an inviolable source of Goodness and for whom slavish support, regardless of performance, is part of ones self-perception as a ‘good person’

      Simply put – criticizing public schools writ-large means you are a fucking evil monster.

      the only way to get anywhere with these people is to keep the subject on something like how “inner city schools” have failed minorities and that Charters provide incredibly cost-effective alternatives to simply ‘throwing more money’ into a broken system.

      1. My god, just look at the per-pupil expenditures in government schools versus the tuition paid at private schools — it’s twice as much!!

        1. oops, just looked at my 3:02 post, and I see I left out the word “or” between better and worse.

    3. Have they gotten worse? I’m not seeing that.

  14. If you knot government into a massive tangle good luck figuring out the political physics.

  15. OT: As they did on the Mike Brown case, this website is doing really investigative reporting on the Jessica Lane Chambers murder: Mississippi Burning ? Day #6 ? The Murder of Jessica Lane Chambers Exposes Massive Problems In Panola County Mississippi?

    1. Infowars did something similar with the Boston Bombing and failed rather horribly.

      1. I thought it was Reddit that fingered some suspects who turned out to be innocent.

        But the “treepers” at the Conservative Treehouse did impressive work on the Mike Brown crime scene, and the grand jury report vindicated much of their work. (And the parts not confirmed, like the witness-coaching by Anthony Shahid, still seem likely to me.)

        1. ” the “treepers” at the Conservative Treehouse did impressive work on the Mike Brown crime scene”

          That may indeed be the case.

          However, there is habit of internet truthers suddenly getting too-clever for themselves, and making claims like, “ice trey”(?) was attempting the other night, claiming that a ‘3.5 second silence’ in an audio recording “proved Mike Brown was charging really fast”.

          Forget the fact that any ‘movement’ at all is being assumed from thin air, or extrapolating from some witness statements to assume specific times anything may have occurred, if they did at all.

          In the case of that specific piece: the slapdash manner of the way it jumps from ‘hyper-detailed analysis of time-stamps on a CCTV’….

          … to statements like, “That “gas station”, well let’s just say it’s the hub of drug and illicit activity surrounding the drug and crime community“…

          …shows an odd preference for providing extensive details for some ‘facts’, and then just assuming others from circumstantial impressions.

          The only really-very-super creepy thing in that entire piece is = “how’d the guy know they ‘poured gasoline in her mouth'”?

          1. The only really-very-super creepy thing in that entire piece is = “how’d the guy know they ‘poured gasoline in her mouth'”?

            Not creepy at all. The tow truck gassed up at this Muslim dude’s station. The driver probably overheard second-hand murmurings from first responders at the murder site. He then conveyed this like a typical rumor-monger to the gas station ‘attendant’. I see nothing abnormal about this.

            1. I don’t think that, absent an autopsy, even a first responder would be able to tell the difference between 1) someone doused with a flammable liquid and set afire, and 2) someone doused with a flammable liquid, also had some poured down their throat, and set afire.

              1. She was alive when taken to the hospital. I’m positive a few bright emergency techs would’ve had a handle on what the fuck was going down with this dying burnt human just by using their visual assets.

                A small, disturbed community translates information super fast. I’ve seen it happen around here.

                1. Yeah, I see your point. That could be the case.

                  Personally, I’m more intrigued by the cops being shown the tape on the monitor, instead of having the whole thing turned over.

                  1. Out of the entire thing I’d say that visual struck me as strange, Papaya mysteryman.

          2. That last bit was intriguing, indeed.

            I realize that this sort of blog investigation tends to be sloppy. They’ll throw up anything possibly related, facts, speculation, whatever, and see if it sticks. It’s more of a brainstorming session than a pure “our fact-checkers and editors and lawyers vetted this” sort of operation. You know, the way Rolling Stone does…. (?( ?? ?? ??)?)

            But they’ve found many interesting leads: the fact that the store owner is so young, Muslim, has lots of cash, is connected with local gang members who have connections with Islam, and only showed a possibly-edited version of the surveillance tape to the police… very interesting.

            1. I’m forty, retired, owns guns, smokes pot and plays with mushrooms, gets smashed constantly, draws pictures, swings, dances insanely at local clubs, gardens naked, and owns a shiba.

              Please, lord, let no one get murdered within 150 acres of my strange ass.

              1. Just don’t hang out with gangsters.

                1. I am the gangster of my woods, Pap. The hickory trees give me their majestic beings so that I may create sweet delicacies with their vapors.

        2. http://www.infowars.com/boston…..its-found/

          Just one link. You are correct in that Reddit had some stuff going down also at the time that ebbed into Infowars.

          Problem I see with the conservatives tracking down this sweet girl’s murderer(s) is that the suggested perp is Muslim, associated with black thugs, seems to have access to some photos and ‘questionable’ info, and (gasp) fires and owns serious firepower. I shoot serious firepower with my non-murdering solid patriot brother all the time as do many ‘Muricans who aren’t spineless fucking progressives.

          This fuck might be responsible. However, several of the points this fellow makes seem greatly suspect to me. I just don’t care to outline them in text right now because no one gives a single fuck and I have beer to drink and presents to wrap.

          The repulsive filth that killed this sweet blonde will be found. Doubtless tho on a conservative fear-wanking rag.

          1. Yeah, it does seem awfully convenient that this guy hits every conservative Terror Button and he’s the one they honed in on.

            Black guy with guns? Check. Muslim? Check. Clearly involved with the drug trade? Check. Facebook photos of him smoking weed? Yeppers. Has an un-Amurican name like ‘Ali?’ Check.

            This strikes me as a bit too close to the way progs were behaving in the case of the Rolling Stone article. They believed it immediately because the people who were accused were Southern White frat boys who progressives reflexively hate and fear. Conservatives look like they’re doing the same thing in this case.

            1. This strikes me as a bit too close to the way progs were behaving in the case of the Rolling Stone article. They believed it immediately because the people who were accused were Southern White frat boys who progressives reflexively hate and fear. Conservatives look like they’re doing the same thing in this case.

              One giant fucking obvious difference is that Southern frat boys don’t really have gang rape initiations, but gangs really do murder people.

              1. but gangs really do murder people.

                Should the standard of proving guilt be any different than NON-gang killings?

              2. Indeed, Sidd.

              3. One giant fucking obvious difference is that Southern frat boys don’t really have gang rape initiations, but gangs really do murder people.

                I’m sorry, I was unaware that I should believe conservative conspiracy theorists having an anti-Muslim circle jerk just because, theoretically, the guy is probably a drug dealer.

                And of course gangs kill people – just like some frat boys actually do rape people. You want to know what most gangs don’t do? Track down random people and set them on fire for no reason. Frat boys, by the way, do sometimes rape people, they just don’t do so as part of frat initiations. In that regard this is actually very similar. Although gangs do kill people, this sort of murder does not seem likely to be gang related. When someone is set on fire in this way, that seems more personal than gang connected.

                Want to know what’s way more likely in this instance? That she was killed by someone she knew because of personal disputes. That’s why most people are murdered, particularly when they’re murdered as brutally as this girl was.

                1. Irish, you read the whole post and didn’t think the murder might well be gang-related? (As well as possibly being “personal”?) I don’t think this sort of brutal murder is a typical rejected-boyfriend murder. It looks more like a kill-the-snitch murder.

                2. You seem to be under the impression that “personal” and “gang connected” are to some degree mutually exclusive. That’s retarded.

            2. But I don’t like Muslims, Irish. I should be embarrassed to admit this but I’m drunk and I’m going to just fucking throw it out.

              The problem here is JUST because someone I admittedly DO NOT like MIGHT be involved in a serious crime is ZERO justification for me to judge them harshly without the facts.

              I do NOT want people I don’t like being fucked up over misguided ‘justice’. I may not like you but I will fight for principled and ethical rule of law to make fucking 100% certain you are guilty. Nothing less.

              My tastes in humanity cannot taint innocent until proven guilty.

              1. I think there’s a difference between “judging people” and saying, in effect: “Here are some shady people who seem connected to this murder.” I suppose “raising questions” is a form of judging, and can be used falsely or maliciously, but I don’t think it’s always wrong to do that sort of thing.

                1. You are making it difficult for me to drone you, Pap. Like I said… you opened up a conversation and played it like a boss.

                  1. Thank you, Agile. I just think there’s a valid citizen sleuth/Encyclopedia Brown/crowdsourced crime-solving thing going on. It has risks and might well be wrong, but it’s interesting. And the DIY aspect has a libertarian flavor, as well.

    2. Without getting into this specific story and its likely ‘hate crime being ignored’ potential…

      I sincerely detest the (seemingly new) journalistic habit of calling out headlines announcing the term “PROBLEMS“… as a generic ‘cultural red flag’… rather than identifying exactly what the so-called “problem” is.

      (someone once pointed out that ‘the most Millennial statement ever put to print ‘ is, “…here’s why that’s a problem / here’s the problem with that“… which is always the means by which some SJW-type turns every single @*#&$@ story, regardless of the details, into something about one of their pet Social Issues Which Demand Collective Progressive Attitudes To Make Right. Everything WILL be squeezed into the necessary “Race/Gender/Class”-war narrative, like it or not…)

      …in this specific case, i’m not sure whether the “problem” is that ‘police are lazy’, or that ‘these brown people be mad fucked up’.

      1. In this case, the “problems” seem to center on the police being reluctant to confront a major gang in their community.

        Would you rather they used the word “issues”? “Situations” is also used as a similar euphemism, but wouldn’t work here. I see your point about the SJW force-fit-into-pet-issues thing, but the word itself doesn’t bother me.

        But read that post and let me know what you think. The amount of clues/evidence they’ve found is astonishing. Hour-long reality TV investigations of unsolved crimes have been based on far less.

        1. I read the entire post. I’m not impressed. Sorry, Pap.

          Hour-long reality TV investigations of unsolved crimes have been based on far less.

          You’re nuts. People need to be convicted on MUCH more than so-called gang affiliation and ‘being Muslim’ with guns. And I’m a Hitchens atheist who absolutely ABHORS anything Islam. BUT, I’m a thinker first- THEN atheist. The fact is, JUST because this punk has money, is Muslim, owns legal firepower, and knows gangsters does NOT make him a murderer.

          I’m very uncomfortable hanging people from trees unless the evidence is a head-splitting hammer.

          1. They’re not saying he’s a murderer. They’re saying he’s a suspicious character with connections to local gangsters, who may have connections to the murder. And they’re saying that he seems to have shown only an edited version of the surveillance tape to the cops.

            1. Pap, they’ve sewed the letter on this young punk, man.

              The edited version of the so-called tape is what some youtube fuck came up with. We don’t know who or what edited the tape.

              I love that you’ve created commentary and discussion but I don’t love the fact that if this Muslim punk ends up truly innocent his raggedy ass has been dragged all over the internet by well-meaning ‘investigators’.

              And as much as I rather dislike fucking Muslims and their sucky religion none of us should be party to destroying the rep of an innocent American with values different than ours.

              1. Well, I don’t want innocent people dragged through the mud, either. But when there is a real unsolved crime, I see nothing wrong with citizens doing their own investigating. Republishing things from people’s public Facebook walls, public records, noting connections and omissions and contradictions, etc., seems like fair game to me. The treepers are not doing anything mob-like: “This guy did it! Go get him!” The Ferguson/Trayvon protestors did far, far worse. (Remember Spike Lee publishing what he thought was George Zimmerman’s address?) I think they are getting close to the line, but I haven’t seen them cross over it, yet.

                1. Well, admittedly there is a free speech element here so…

                  Pap is doing the work, brothers and sisters. Pap is doing the work.

          2. You’re nuts. People need to be convicted on MUCH more than so-called gang affiliation and ‘being Muslim’ with guns. And I’m a Hitchens atheist who absolutely ABHORS anything Islam. BUT, I’m a thinker first- THEN atheist. The fact is, JUST because this punk has money, is Muslim, owns legal firepower, and knows gangsters does NOT make him a murderer.

            Yep. It looks like he’s almost certainly involved in some sort of criminal activity, but there are parts of this country where fucking everyone is involved in criminal activity – particularly in some shady parts of Mississippi.

            There are probably fifty people with criminal records that the victim came into contact with on an average day in a place like that.

            Per Wikipedia Panola County, Mississippi has a per capita income of only $13,000 and a family income $20000 lower than the national average.

            It’s a poor as hell, backwoods section of Mississippi. There were probably 5 people at that gas station when Lane was there who had criminal records, so the fact that one of them was this Ali guy is hardly a smoking gun.

            1. Well put, Irish.

            2. But nobody is claiming a smoking gun. They’re just saying that there are a number of interesting things about that gas station and the owner. True, it all may be a coincidence, and the lawbreaking and criminal records may have nothing to do with the murder, but I don’t think that’s the way to bet. The murder seems a lot like a gang thing, she had connections with some bad elements in town, and it is very odd that the police were shown the surveillance tape on a monitor, instead of having the whole thing handed over to them.

              1. Pap, what if someone thought YOU were an ‘interesting’ diamond in the rough in a local crime? And then published a shit ton of info about your social media activities including here on Reason?

                1. Yeah, well, I’d hate that, but then, I’m not mixed up with gangsters, keep my Facebook activity private, am careful about what I say online, etc. Under the “we all commit felonies every day” rule I suppose someone could connect me with something, but I’m not worried.

                  The closest I ever came to that sort of thing was many years ago. The feds contacted my girlfriend of the time, thinking she was connected to some organized crime activity, because her number was found in somebody’s phone book. But it wasn’t with her name, so someone wrote down a number wrong. In any case, she went to testify, and as soon as she walked in the room, the investigators looked surprised and abashed. They could tell she wasn’t the sort of person who’d be in that guy’s phone book. So they quickly ran through a bunch of questions and let her go.

          3. MY baseless speculation on the case is:

            The local cops were using her as a confidential informant in a lame attempt to gather evidence against the drug gang. Possibly coerced her into doing it following a petty drug bust. The gang figured it out and killed her in a public way to send a message.

            The scenario explains how / why she was killed and also the cops lackadaisical investigation (not that lazy isn’t a cop’s default setting).

            Cases like that happen in SoCal at the rate of 1-2 times per decade. I have no doubt that they also happen all across the country. They also get very limited media attention because of how bad they make cops look.

            1. VG: that seems very possible.

  16. So… Ferguson is about to inflict more petty shakedowns on their already impoverished citizens, enforced of course by the police. This will end well.

  17. its up to the Johnsons once again dude.

    http://www.AnonPlanet.tk

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