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Missouri: Lawsuit Accuses Cities of Running Debtors’ Prisons

HeadlineAug 11, 2016

In Missouri, lawyers have sued 13 St. Louis-area cities, arguing the cities are violating poor citizens’ rights by locking them in jail over minor traffic violations. The lawsuit was filed on the second anniversary of the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African American who was killed by white police officer Darren Wilson in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The lawsuit argues the cities are operating a “modern day police state and debtors’ prison scheme that has no place in American society today.” It was filed on behalf of 13 people, one of whom was locked up in squalid conditions in jail for days over a parking ticket.

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