Poverty Is Not an Accident

Poverty Is Not an Accident
Nelson Mandela

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How 2 make $ off poor folk

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Here's another take on how to exploit the poor! Yay!

Don't mock my rights by putting them in quotes, please. Some of us get picked up via selective prosecution or are arrested without just cause. It happens all the time and it happened to me twice, just because A the city wants a crimi...nal record for all poor people, so we're easier to manage and monitor (they literally criminalize the poor) and because B the city generates revenue through McJails, incarcerating us at taxpayers' expense.

I was locked up the first time because I didn't know I'd gotten a citation because my neighbor stole my dog, removed his collar then called animal control to report my dog was loose without tags, and it went to warrant. I couldn't pay the court fees (half a month's income) and a court clerk, when I'd gone to the city to learn what to do, said, "Get the fuck out of here before I call a guard and have you locked up, that's what!"

The second time was because I demanded a reckless bus driver identify himself so I could report him to the Transit Authority (speeding, swerving with door open and child asleep on bench by door). He called the police and I was arrested for "disrupting public transportation."

A published "mug" shot like that would cost me my job and get me evicted.

It isn't "crime prevention." It won't keep police from setting up road blocks in the War Zone to stop people just trying to come home from work for silly things like busted tail lights, then stealing their cars cuz they were too poor for insurance, etc., but need the car because there are no buses to their jobs.

Besides, "mug" shots show arrests, not convictions. And a person is innocent until proven guilty. It stigmatizes people without evidence, trial or conviction. Poor people can't stop this, can't sue, can't defend ourselves against exploitation.

It's cruel to the innocent. It's unconstitutional. It's not funny.

I forgot to mention: in court, all charges against me were dismissed. In the case of the bus driver, he was later investigated and suspended. I was arrested, in that case, for being too "uppity" by challenging his right to endanger passengers.

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