LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A federal lawsuit claims court officials in a Louisiana community often keep poor people jailed for months for no reason other than they can't afford bail.
Civil rights lawyers sued the sheriff who oversees the Lafayette Parish's jail, a state judge and another court official responsible for setting bail amounts for people arrested in Lafayette, Vermilion and Acadia parishes. The suit accuses them of running a "wealth-based detention scheme" that violates the civil rights of impoverished people.
Attorneys from the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center filed the class action Monday on behalf of a man arrested Saturday on a theft charge. The suit says Edward Little doesn't have the $375 necessary to secure his release.
The three defendants didn't immediately respond to calls seeking comment.