Client Stories

Roelif Carter 

“For over 30 years, Ferguson, Normandy, Cool Valley, St. Ann and other municipalities have caused me and others so much mental anguish. Three years ago we sued Ferguson for the same thing we’re now suing Normandy for — overticketing, demanding money, and jailing us when we couldn’t afford to pay.”

“How old will I get before receiving any closure? It feels like the municipalities hope I leave this earth before they do right by us.”

“After serving my country in the Air Force I worked at Ford, one of the biggest motor companies in the world, and retired from. As a husband and father, I proudly provided for my family. After having a brain aneurysm, I couldn’t work and was on disability. As a black man driving, I was always a target, but with less income it got worse. Even though I’d pay the courts as much as I could from my fixed income, I was still getting locked up. This whole system in St. Louis is inhumane, and it needs to change.”

On September 10, 2018 ArchCity Defenders filed a debtors’ prison claim against the City of Normandy on behalf of Angela Davis, Quinton Thomas, Roelif Carter, Meredith Walker, and many other St. Louis residents who were victims of Normandy’s abusive policing and debtors’ prison practices. Asserting Fourth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment claims, the plaintiffs were routinely profiled by police, issued traffic citations for minor offenses, denied legal counsel, charged excessive court fines and fees, and illegally jailed for their inability to pay debts.

For more on the lawsuit, click here.

Inez Bordeaux

After several years of court rooms and legal battles, Inez Bordeaux, our amazing client is another step closer to getting her life back. Today we celebrated all of the victories including the most recent news that with our help she got her Nursing License reinstated!

We are happy for Inez, grateful for her persistence all these years, and proud of her continued advocacy. Inez is a leader in the Close The Workhouse campaign and we can’t wait to see what is next for her!


Fred Watson

Two years before unarmed teen Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, Fred Watson’s life was turned upside down. The Navy veteran was sitting in his parked car after a basketball game in a public park, when a Ferguson police officer charged him with seven minor violations that Watson says were false charges. After five years of pursuing those charges, prosecutors suddenly dropped them in September without explanation. In the process, Watson lost his top-level security clearance, his job in cybersecurity, his savings and his house. Now, he’s suing Ferguson for violating his civil rights. Soledad O’Brien joins Watson and Blake Strode, Executive Director of ArchCity Defenders in St. Louis to discuss the case.


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