After serving in the US Army and returning home to St. Louis, Thomas Baker was the target of overpolicing and racial profiling at every turn. He found himself trapped in a web of municipal tickets and warrants that put his family in financial peril and cost him thousands of dollars. “All of my money was going into the court system. You try to turn your life around but you have all the cards in the deck stacked against you,” said Thomas. He lost jobs because he had to make multiple court appearances. His marriage was strained by the burden of paying hundreds of dollars a week in excessive court fines, and he was illegally jailed in modern-day debtors’ prisons when he couldn’t keep up with payments.
ACD cleared all his warrants and helped reduce his fines, which enabled him to finish college and launch a successful career in tech. While we celebrate this good news, our struggle for justice continues. Since 2016, Thomas has been a lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against Florissant, and we still are fighting for Thomas and the thousands of people harmed by this city.