After being named in the 100-page Department of Justice report that detailed the systemic racial discrimination practices used by Ferguson officials, one judge has decided to resign from his position.
According to reports, Judge Ronald Brockmeyer has left his title at the Ferguson municipal court after accusations of “significantly increasing court collections over the years.”
He has been accused of sending people to jail as they could not pay a fine, and requested that a charge be dropped against a relative, as seen in the DOJ report.
USA Today reports:
The report also includes a list of what the judge did to help in the areas of court efficiency and revenue. That list, drafted by Brockmeyer, approvingly highlighted the creation of additional fees, many of which are widely considered abusive and may be unlawful, according to the Justice Department. The city of Ferguson repealed some of the fees, including a “failure to appear fine,” during the Justice Department’s investigation.
The Justice Department’s scathing denouncement of racially biased policing operations in Ferguson, came six months after Michael Brown, 18, was shot by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, setting off demonstrations that spread across the country.
The Supreme Court of Missouri transferred Judge Roy Richter of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, to the St. Louis County circuit court, where he will be assigned to hear all of Ferguson’s pending and future municipal division cases. The court said the move was to “help restore public trust and confidence in the Ferguson municipal court division” and will take effect March 16.
Chief Justice Mary R. Russell released a statement, saying:
“Judge Richter will bring a fresh, disinterested perspective to this court’s practices and he is able and willing to implement needed reforms. More than two-thirds of all Missouri court cases are filed in the municipal divisions. Though these are not courts of record, they are the first – and sometimes the only – impression Missourians have of their court system. Although we recognize the local control our statutes give these uniquely local entities, we must not sacrifice individual rights and society’s collective commitment to justice.”
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SOURCE: USA Today | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty