“Over 80 percent of stops in the past five years have been of black drivers, despite blacks only comprising about two-thirds of the population. But once stopped, blacks are more likely to be searched — and less likely to be found carrying anything illegal,” the Washington Post says.
Blacks in Ferguson make less than 60 percent of what Whites make. The median household income for Whites in Ferguson sits at $53,399. For Blacks, median household income hovers around $32,539.
A quarter of the Ferguson Black population, CNN Money adds, lives below the poverty line ($23,492 for a family of four) compared to 11 percent of Whites. Blacks in Ferguson suffer an unemployment rate of 19 percent, nearly twice the national average, while that figure for Whites only sits at 6.7 percent,
The Washington Post suggests that Ferguson cops are targeting Blacks for increased city revenue through ticketing and court fees.
“[St. Louis relies] on revenue generated from traffic tickets and related fines. …Ferguson receives nearly one-quarter of its revenue from court fees; for some surrounding towns it approaches 50 percent,” WP wrote, quoting Jeff Smith, former Democratic senator from Missouri.
Unfortunately, just as Ferguson is divided on race, White and Black Americans, as a whole, clash on Ferguson’s main message. An overwhelming 80 percent of Blacks say the St. Louis city raises important issues about race, while only 37 percent of Whites agree.