Sunday, March 15, 2015

Ferguson officials should be charged under the RICO Act

Please allow me to open with…I’m no lawyer.

The reason for my opening? There’s a law that says people who are not lawyers, cannot assert themselves as lawyers. Isn’t that something? You can impersonate a teacher or truck driver, no worries. But act like a lawyer without paying a law school for a degree and, you are breaking a law.

Now, when I think about a law, for some dumbass reason, I think they should apply to everyone equally. Surely, our law makers would not spend all of their valuable time creating laws that applied to some groups of folks and not others. I think laws are created to help everyone.

Can you imagine what would happen if a small municipal community in Missouri announced they just passed a law that would raise $1 million per year by targeting drivers within its city’s limits? Wonder if it was further reported that through the efforts of the city’s police department and judicial system, older white, male drivers would be allowed to be targeted to cover 80% of the new law. Basically, cops would be on the lookout for white males driving about town and pull them over. 

The cops would find multiple “violations” which would require white men to pay $800,000 per year and others to pay $200,000.

The hurricane-force shit storm that would rain down on this community would be epic. And rightly so.

Anyone who lives around St Louis knows that there are certain municipals that target African-American drivers. It took us a few months to notice who mostly were pulled over by the cops. When we would ask folks, they were open about things – especially in Ferguson – before it was “Ferguson.”

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a federal law designed to combat organized crime in the United States. According to NOLO “it allows prosecution and civil penalties for racketeering activity performed as part of an ongoing criminal enterprise. Such activity may include illegal gambling, bribery, kidnapping, murder, money laundering, counterfeiting, embezzlement, drug trafficking, slavery, and a host of other unsavory business practices.”

“To convict a defendant under RICO, the government must prove that the defendant engaged in two or more instances of racketeering activity and that the defendant directly invested in, maintained an interest in, or participated in a criminal enterprise affecting interstate or foreign commerce. The law has been used to prosecute members of the mafia, the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, and Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group, among many others.”

The whole Ferguson system - its leaders - should be charged using the RICO act. The recent Department of Justice report lays out all kinds of unsavory business practices.

There are no laws that allow these practices to occur. Ferguson’s police department and its criminal justice system are an organized crime syndicate similar to the mafia. Our U.S. Department of Justice would have a strong case against the criminal organization in Ferguson using RICO.

But there again, I’m not a lawyer.

Peace, DAP

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