City of Diamond settles suit over its traffic ticket policy

Changes to how Missouri municipals conduct their traffic ticket policy continues to move forward. Most recently the City of Diamond agreed to stop its practice that critics said was the using of traffic ticket quotas to generate revenue. The decision was part of a settlement announced by the state’s attorney general last recently.

Additionally, the city agreed to mandatory training for top city officials on compliance with Missouri laws against traffic quotas.

The City of Diamond had been sued by Attorney General Eric Schmitt in April 2019.  The allegations were that the City’s Police Chief wrote on a white board that the city was $5,000 behind and instructed officers to issue tickets “RFN.”

Schmitt’s Office alleged in the lawsuit that a whistleblower said RFN is an acronym for a phrase that means immediately, The lawsuit also contended that the police chief sent the town’s mayor and Board of Aldermen regular updates on how many tickets each officer had written up.

The settlement also implements a $100 fine for every day of noncompliance.

Missouri has banned the use of ticket quotas following protests in Ferguson over the 2014 fatal police shooting of Michael Brown. Although Brown’s shooting didn’t involve a traffic stop his death led to violent protesting, which highlighted concerns about how police had been boosting revenue with traffic fines and court costs among predominantly black residents of St. Louis suburbs.

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