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Last week’s DOJ report on the Ferguson Police Department revealed that the Missouri town incentivized police to hassle people over the most harmless infractions if it meant they could earn a buck for local government. Residents who couldn’t afford to pay fines for offenses like failing to wear their seatbelts were sometimes even jailed.

But it turns out that a judge responsible for jailing Ferguson residents over a few bucks of unpaid traffic tickets actually owes the IRS some $172,646 in back taxes.

The judge, Ronald J. Brockmeyer, personally designed a system of fees which would quickly rack up the bills levied against Ferguson’s poorest residents, making it easier for him to jail them.

Brockmeyer, of course, is not in jail; and he has also been caught waiving fees for friends and fellow government officials.

Talk about hypocrisy.

Bonnie Kristian is a columnist at Rare, weekend editor at The Week, and a fellow at Defense Priorities. You can find more of her work at or follow her on Twitter @bonniekristian
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