Suit challenges Missouri law limiting municipal court fines
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A dozen St. Louis-area municipalities are suing the state in hopes of halting a new law limiting the ability by Missouri cities to profit from traffic tickets and court fines.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Cole County, challenges the 4-month-old measure that was the first significant step taken by state lawmakers to address concerns raised after the August 2014 police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
A Justice Department report in March cited racial bias and profiling in Ferguson's policing as well as a profit-driven municipal court system that frequently targeted blacks. Since then, practices of many municipal court systems throughout the St. Louis area came under increased scrutiny.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says his office will "vigorously" defend against the lawsuit.