The Disgrace of Ferguson

Filed in National by on August 14, 2014

Take a look at this picture:

I’m old enough to remember this kind of image being routine from news stories from Central and South America or the Eastern Block countries. We used to see those images as the disgrace of these dictatorships, where they have to point their armies at their citizens in order to maintain their power.

That picture is from Ferguson. This St. Louis suburb can afford to equip its police as if they were an occupying army. And they are delivering on the authoritarian behavior of an occupying army.

And you can’t make an argument about danger or threats, either. The people in Ferguson are mostly standing and standing with their hands up. Besides, Cliven Bundy and his crew were armed to the teeth and never faced this kind of occupying force — even though they deserved it. Apparently the American rule is that standing up to mis-applied authority is that only white people can do it and can be called patriotic for it.

The Ferguson PD is arresting and roughing up reporters. The Washington Post reporter arrested has posted an account of his arrest:

Elon James White went to Ferguson to report and he has pictures of being blocked from the protesters:

Then there’s the FAA banning low-flying aircraft over Ferguson, mainly so that the media can’t film it.

I can’t provide any better commentary on this business than this piece from Deadspin — America is Not for Black People. READ IT. Every word of it. This is nothing but truth.

There are reasons why white gun’s rights activists can walk into a Chipotle restaurant with assault rifles and be seen as gauche nuisances while unarmed black men are killed for reaching for their wallets or cell phones, or carrying children’s toys. Guns aren’t for black people, either.

Right. And I’ll go further and observe that all of those guns are specifically meant to be pointed at black people. Then this:

Part of the reason we’re seeing so many black men killed is that police officers are now best understood less as members of communities, dedicated to keeping peace within them, than as domestic soldiers. The drug war has long functioned as a full-employment act for arms dealers looking to sell every town and village in the country on the need for military-grade hardware, and 9/11 made things vastly worse, with local police departments throughout America grabbing for cash to better defend against any and all terrorist threats. War had reached our shores, we were told, and police officers needed weaponry to fight it.

Officers have tanks now. They have drones. They have automatic rifles, and planes, and helicopters, and they go through military-style boot camp training. It’s a constant complaint from what remains of this country’s civil liberties caucus. Just this last June, the ACLU issued a report on how police departments now possess arsenals in need of a use. Few paid attention, as usually happens.

The worst part of outfitting our police officers as soldiers has been psychological. Give a man access to drones, tanks, and body armor, and he’ll reasonably think that his job isn’t simply to maintain peace, but to eradicate danger. Instead of protecting and serving, police are searching and destroying.

If officers are soldiers, it follows that the neighborhoods they patrol are battlefields. And if they’re working battlefields, it follows that the population is the enemy. And because of correlations, rooted in historical injustice, between crime and income and income and race, the enemy population will consist largely of people of color, and especially of black men. Throughout the country, police officers are capturing, imprisoning, and killing black males at a ridiculous clip, waging a very literal war on people like Michael Brown.

Then ask yourself why people might not cooperate with the police.

But more than that, the business of standing up to tyranny is supposed to be part of every American’s civic DNA. Except when black and brown people do it, it is a threat to social order. Which is why Cliven Bundy and that guy who flew his plane into the IRS building in Texas get to be heroes and the people of Ferguson trying to get some basic justice for one decent kid are facing storm troopers.

Of course the system is trying to protect the police shooter — they won’t release his name and they are claiming to be performing its own investigation. The ACLU has filed an action to get the man’s name and the Anonymous group has been working from tapes of the scanner communication to ID the officer. They think they’ve ID’ed him and his name is now being floated around twitter.

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  1. pandora says:

    This is a disgrace, and it’s sad that it took reporters being arrested – and not a young man’s death – to make this story explode. And it’s finally exploding.

    As of this morning there were no live feeds from major news outlets because they were shut down. How is that allowed?

    Damn right there are two Americas – white, Cliven Bundy America and black/brown America. That must end.

  2. ITK says:

    Al Macetti is talking about this now on the radio. Some of the folks calling his show sound really ridiculous. I am happy Al is calling bullshit on these people.

  3. pandora says:

    Is there a bigger idiot than Joe Scarborough? Joe called out the reporters who were arrested, saying they just wanted to get on TV. Earlier he called them out for not obeying the police who told them to leave a public place – even though they flippin’ did.

    One of those reporters (Lowery) is hitting back:

    “I would invite Joe Scarborough to come down to Ferguson and get out of 30 Rock where he’s sitting sipping his Starbucks, smugly. I would invite him to come down and talk to the residents of Ferguson where I’ve been since Monday afternoon having tear gas and rubber bullets shot at me, having mothers and daughters crying, a 19-year-old boy crying — he had to run and pull his 21-year-old sister out from a cloud of tear gas, thinking she was going to die. I invite Joe Scarborough down here to do some reporting on the ground. Then maybe we can have an educated conversation about what’s happening here.

    [...] Let me be clear about this: I have little patience for talking heads. This is too important. This is a community, a community in the United States of America, where are things on fire. This community is on edge. There’s so much happening here, and instead of putting more reporters on the ground we have people like Joe Scarborough running their mouth and have no idea what they’re talking about.”

    Oh my! That’s gonna leave a huge mark.

    BTW, did I mention that Scarborough is an idiot?

  4. Dorian Gray says:

    I proudly and without snark quote MC Ren and Ice Cube. “Fuck The Police!” These cops are militarized nasty fascist pigs. They wear army gear, wave automatic rifles in the faces of unarmed people, parade down residential streets in armored vehicles, fire tear gas over fences into private property… disgusting, vile swine.

    Why? Because some redneck cop hassled some black kids walking in the street and shot one multiple times after a scuffle. Everyone knows what this is about. I fucking hate the pretense. Like can we just say that the police are racist slime. Well I just said it and I believe it. Until there are real consequence for the murder of Michael Brown I hope the unrest continues.

    How do you like those apples!

  5. Dorian Gray says:

    Fuck Joe Scarborough as well.

  6. Jason330 says:

    I’m getting the feeling that America “gets” it.

  7. Dorian Gray says:

    Oh and I hope Anonymous really stick it to these cops too. I hope they name names.

    The only way to combat the police state is to get out in the streets. I support every single protester it the streets of Ferguson. There are more of us than there are of them.

  8. Jason330 says:

    The St. Louis County Police Department will no longer be involved in the policing Ferguson, Missouri, the suburban community rocked by protests after the death of an unarmed black teenager who was shot by a police officer last week.

    Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), who represents Ferguson, told Bloomberg on Thursday that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) is expected to announce the decision later today.

    “The gov. just called me and he’s on his way to St. Louis now to announce he’s taking St. Louis County police out of the situation,” he said.

  9. Liberal Elite says:

    “The St. Louis County Police Department will no longer be involved in the policing Ferguson”

    What a brilliant move. You can see why Jay Nixon is said to have a political future.

  10. Dorian Gray says:

    The site Liberal America has the goods…

    http://www.liberalamerica.org/2014/08/14/anonymous-releases-photo-of-alleged-michael-brown-shooter-bryan-willman/

    Disobedience and dissidence are American values…

    Busting the balls of the powerful and the tyranical since 1776….

  11. Dorian Gray says:

    Plus it looks like Anonymous has video of the victim’s body being put into a police SUV. No paramedics. No ambulance…

    Support our brothers and sisters protesting in the streets.

  12. SussexAnon says:

    Great clip of Lowry responding to Scarborough.

    “I would invite Joe Scarborough to come down to Ferguson and get out of 30 Rock where he’s sipping his Starbucks smugly…I have little patience for talking heads. This is too important. This is a community in the United States of America where things are on fire. This community is on edge. There is so much happening here and instead of putting reporters on the ground we have people like Joe Scarborough running their mouth who have no idea what they’re talking about.”

    F-ing amazing. Listen to the whole thing if you can.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/wesley-lowery-joe-scarborough_n_5678050.html

  13. Another Mike says:

    This whole episode has been disgusting. No, looting and rioting are not the correct response, but the wholesale deprivation of civil rights by the police must stop and needs to be addressed. A TV crew was tear-gassed and their equipment taken. Reporters were ordered from a McDonald’s and arrested. A city alderman was taken into custody for taking pictures. Civilians are exercising their First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble, and they have been met with tear gas, rubber bullets and guns pointed in their faces. What the hell happened here?

    This is a predictable outcome of the militarization of America’s police agencies. The 1033 Program, which gives away surplus military equipment to local law enforcement, needs serious review. In fact, a congressman from Georgia just today proposed just that.

    And lest anyone be surprised at the police response in Ferguson, here is a quote from a former Boston officer. “Have no doubt, police in the United States are militarizing, and in many communities, particularly those of color, the message is being received loud and clear: ‘You are the enemy,’” Tom Nolan, who spent 27 years on the Beantown beat, wrote for Defense One in June.

    And according to Pulaski County, Iowa, sheriff Michael Gayer, who received an MRAP — and whose population is 13,124 — “The United States has become a war zone.”

    That is what the citizens of this country are up against.

  14. Steve Newton says:

    Here’s the only thing Another Mike says that I question:

    No, looting and rioting are not the correct response …

    And I feel like it is an obligatory throw-in phrase rather than a heartfelt thing.

    When the police ARE militarized, when African-Americans are the targets, when nobody in power cares short of an outright murder and the roughing up of two elite reporters …

    Then tell me again why rioting and looting is NOT the correct response. Seriously. If the community “remains calm” here, NOTHING WOULD EVER CHANGE and we would move on to the next story. The rioting and looting has made the militarization of our police forces and the limitations of our civil rights REAL to many Americans who could not be bothered to listen over the past decade as many voices told them what was going to happen.

    It’s disturbing when we reach the point that rioting and looting ARE necessary to draw attention to a completely f**ked up situation and system, but I have to admit that it’s far LESS disturbing to me than if the people had sat back, one more time, and just endured.

  15. Aint's Taking it Any More says:

    Is there any point to waiting for the investigation to run it’s complete course or do we already know enough to castigate or canonize the police, the rioters or the demonstrators.

  16. pandora says:

    We know that all of the protestors were treated to militarized police behavior. We know that the police used tear gas, rubber bullets, dogs, etc. against everyone – not just the looters (which was one incident). We know that the police were dressed in jungle camouflage and used heavily armored vehicles with snipers on top. We know that reporters were arrested for being in a McDonald’s and others had their equipment removed while running away from tear gas. We know that the area was declared a no fly zone. We know that an alderman was arrested for taking pictures.

    What we don’t know is the name of the officer who shot Michael Brown.

    So, while we don’t have the results of the investigation into Michael Brown’s shooting we know enough to call out all of the behavior I just listed. Are you really sitting on the fence on this?

  17. puck says:

    It’s disturbing when we reach the point that rioting and looting ARE necessary to draw attention to a completely f**ked up situation

    Nowadays you need rioting, looting, *and* HD video of police misconduct to even have a chance at getting some police accountability. Law enforcment no longer admits wrongdoing unless it is on camera, and really not even then.

    Since you can’t count on LE to do the right thing unless it is videotaped, maybe we need cameras everywhere, with a public right to FOIA the tapes.

    The instant change in the Ferguson crowds with a new police force and minus the riot gear should stand as a rebuke to police forces everywhere.

  18. Dorian Gray says:

    Once again Professor S Newton is the answer man. Well put.

  19. Vikkt says:

    “And lest anyone be surprised at the police response in Ferguson, here is a quote from a former Boston officer. “Have no doubt, police in the United States are militarizing, and in many communities, particularly those of color, the message is being received loud and clear: ‘You are the enemy,’” Tom Nolan, who spent 27 years on the Beantown beat, wrote for Defense One in June.”

    I call bullsh*t on this. I am in Wilmington, Delaware. I wish they would set up camp down on MLK Blvd and 4th Street. This place is a friggin zoo full of crime and police are helpless to do anything about it.

  20. cassandra_m says:

    I am in Wilmington, and the WPD is definitively not helpless to do something about the issues on 4th and MLK.

  21. Vikkt says:

    So why is it safer for the thugs to walk the streets than it is for normal people?

  22. Geezer says:

    Last time I checked, almost all the shooting victims in Wilmington were people you would probably call “thugs.” So your premise is bullshit. It seems they are less safe, not more so.

  23. Vikkt says:

    Better check again Geezer. There are innocent kids and bystanders getting shot almost EVERY DAY down in the bad areas. There was even a vicious rape of two girls who lived in the city earlier this year.

    But go ahead and keep misinterpreting my comments if it makes you feel better. Meanwhile the thugs keep Killmington near the top of the lists of most dangerous cities.

  24. xyz says:

    Whoops! Turns out the little angel was another two-bit thug. Don’t wanna get shot by the police? Don’t commit strongarm robberies and don’t ever reach for a cop’s gun. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

    But by all means use police behavior as an excuse to riot (and more importantly) loot for a week. It’s whitey’s fault, right?

  25. pandora says:

    Wow, xyz. It’s rare a racist so proudly displays their racism.

    Perhaps you could also tell me which statement by Police Chief Thomas Jackson is true – since he can’t seem to get his story straight. But he did accomplish his goal – inciting more unrest.

  26. cassandra_m says:

    Actually, it is.

    Whether he stole cigars or was jaywalking, neither was a reason for this kid to be in a body bag. And if this was a white kid gunned down under similar circumstances, you’d understand that. You certainly do not expect the cops to gun down your kids if they are jaywalking. And why is that, exactly? Because you expect the police to respond to your kids in proportion to whatever offence they committed.

    What crimes could your children commit that you would accept and live with them coming home in a body bag for?

    That question is important, so think about it. And you cannot be in this conversation — blaming this kid — without providing a serious answer to that question first.

  27. xyz says:

    He didn’t just “steal cigars”, he committed a felony assault. And he assaulted a police officer.

    So by “accept and live with” you mean do not go out and loot and riot, I guess yes, I would accept and live with what happened if my children committed similar crimes.

  28. pandora says:

    “And he assaulted a police officer.”

    Prove that statement.

  29. xyz says:

    Well, we are not in a court of law, but do you really think the officer just went ahead and shot the kid for no reason? Really?

    Why don’t you tell me what you think happened?

    The punk was just sauntering down the street and the officer just pulled out his gun and shot him?

    Do you think the kid would be alive today if he just did what the officer told him to do?

  30. pandora says:

    No proof? Thought so.

    Unlike you, I haven’t said what I “thought” happened. I have written about what has actually happened – in relation to the protests. I’ve been waiting for the incident report – a report that still hasn’t been released, btw. But you obviously don’t need to see that report since you’re psychic.

  31. xyz says:

    No answer to my questions? Thought so.

  32. pandora says:

    I did answer your question. I don’t know what happened. You want me to make things up like you do?

  33. cassandra_m says:

    So by “accept and live with” you mean do not go out and loot and riot, I guess yes, I would accept and live with what happened if my children committed similar crimes.

    This is not why Michael Davis was shot. He was shot because he was jaywalking (what the police stopped him for). And you’d be OK with the police shooting your kids for jaywalking? Just trying to be as clear as possible on this point.

  34. xyz says:

    He was shot because he assaulted a cop and grabbed for his weapon.

    And you did not answer my question.

  35. pandora says:

    “He was shot because he assaulted a cop and grabbed for his weapon.”

    Yet again… Prove that statement.

  36. cassandra_m says:

    Indeed. The Ferguson PD, The FBI and the DOJ are investigating this and you seem to know exactly what happened. Have you gotten in contact with them? Besides, there are very many eyewitnesses to this who say that this kid was walking away with his hands up. Clearly, no longer enough of a threat to shot at. You would be OK with your kids being shot under this circumstance? Walking away with their hands up?

  37. Davy says:

    @cassandra_m:

    Ferguson PD is not investigating; they asked the St. Louis County PD to investigate instead.

  38. Aint's Taking it Any More says:

    Pandora:

    Not sticking up for anyone BUT disprove the statement. No one is right if no one is informed. The heretics are running the dialogue. Hold judgment.

  39. Geezer says:

    The notion that the unarmed victim attacked a police officer does not pass the sniff test. You have to be a racist asshole to even think that’s true. Luckily, we have some right here.

  40. pandora says:

    “Not sticking up for anyone BUT disprove the statement.”

    But… there is no proof. Why would you ask me to disprove something when no one knows what happened yet? Xyz’s scenario isn’t based on known facts.

    “No one is right if no one is informed.”

    No one is right if people make things up.

    “The heretics are running the dialogue.”

    Who do you consider the heretics? Could you name/describe them?

    “Hold judgment.”

    That’s funny, cause you come off kinda judge-y.

  41. xyz says:

    “The notion that the unarmed victim attacked a police officer does not pass the sniff test”

    Well, when the “victim” is a two-bit thug that apparently believes in the law of the jungle (I don’t want to pay for these cigars, and I’m bigger than the store owner, I’ll just shove him to the floor on my way out), it becomes a pretty believable scenario.

  42. pandora says:

    Your dog whistles are showing.

  43. cassandra_m says:

    Ferguson PD is not investigating

    The Ferguson PD is investigation enough to drop a bunch of information on Brown that let’s xyz here take comfort in the fact that a two-bit thug was gunned down, not a kid who was walking away from the cops.

    And I want all of the “hold judgment” crowd to answer this question I posed to xyz (who refused to answer, BTW):
    What crimes could your children commit that you would accept and live with them coming home in a body bag for?

  44. Aint's Taking it Any More says:

    Pandora:

    Simply responding to your backhand of XYZ when you told him to “Prove that statement.”

    At the present I am not sure how anyone proves, as in rational assessment, anything. Agreed – judging those who blather on without knowing what they speak of.

  45. pandora says:

    I didn’t backhand him. He presented an unproved scenario as fact. He completely made it up. I asked him to prove his claims. Do you really have a problem with that?

    What if I had said… “The officer called Mike Brown a racial slur and then grabbed him.” Shouldn’t I be called upon to prove such a claim? I think so.

    You say, “At the present I am not sure how anyone proves, as in rational assessment, anything.”

    When xyz asked me what I thought has happened, here is what I said, “I did answer your question. I don’t know what happened. You want me to make things up like you do?”

    So… why are you calling me out? I am sincerely interested.

    And who are the heretics?

  46. xyz says:

    Your question is a foolish one. What does “accept” mean? I have no choice but to accept what happened. What happened cannot be undone because I choose not to “accept” it.

    Then the real question becomes

    Do I go out into the streets and riot and loot?

    Do I hire a lawyer and initiate a lawsuit?

    Do I become emotionally distraught because my child made bad choices and paid an inappropriate price?

    Do I allow race pimps like Jesse Jackson and Ben Crump to turn my personal tragedy into tragedy for everyone else in my community?

  47. xyz says:

    I didn’t really expect Pandora to answer the question. I knew that she would not answer because her preferred narrative collapses if one looks at what happened in a logical manner.

  48. pandora says:

    Logical = making things up? Um… okay.

    And what exactly is my narrative? Go read my comments on this thread, and get back to me. Sure looks to me that my narrative is I don’t know what happened. Unlike your narrative – which is complete fantasy at this point.

    And you can’t honestly answer Cassandra’s question because that scenario doesn’t exist in your world… or mine. That’s our privilege.

  49. cassandra_m says:

    What happened cannot be undone because I choose not to “accept” it.

    It is not about undoing, as you well know. But it is good to know that you would be OK with the local PD shooting down your kid because he was jaywalking. That’s the kind of authoritarian bullshit that the protesters are speaking to. Too bad for your kids.

  50. pandora says:

    I’m not expecting an answer to my points on what I actually said. I am expecting a lecture on backhanding or tone.

    And there isn’t a single white poster on here (me included) that would “accept” what happened to Mike Brown happening to their child. They would say, “It was just a phase!” or “My kid was going through a rough patch.” And white America would nod in agreement. And that’s the difference.

  51. Aint's Taking it Any More says:

    The heretics – the press, the deniers, the know it all crowd.

    The reporting is absolute shit – as it often is. Depending upon who you choose to listen to the Ferguson community governed/controlled by racists:

    http://www.msnbc.com/melissa-harris-perry/watch/the-larger-context-of-michael-brown-shooting-318927939681

    Listen to others, and the demonstrators are nothing more than reckless fools driven by their own racist views:

    http://www.ijreview.com/2014/08/168698-eyewitness-recalls-important-detail-background-video-mins-ferguson-shooting/

  52. Geezer says:

    What you’ve got there is a piece of context-setting commentary on one hand: We’re talking about a police agency that cracked an innocent black guy’s head and charged him with BLEEDING ON THEIR UNIFORMS.

    Then you have the conservative “blacks deserve their fate,” police-worshipping noise factory — IJR exists, by its own admission, for the sole reason of “framing” current events — looking for ANYTHING that will allow them to pull the same blame-the-victim shit they did with Trayvon Martin.

    The second link does not say what you claim it says about “their own racist views.”

    In fact, you can’t tell much of anything from the overheard conversation. The speaker is pointing at things, but we don’t see that. And after two listens I still can’t tell if he was IN the truck or ON the truck.

    So neither of the links goes to any reporting at all. So before you pronounce the reporting “shit,” try knowing what you’re talking about.

  53. pandora says:

    Did you even listen to ijreview video? I did. Because it doesn’t say what you seem to think it says. In fact, it confirms the eyewitnesses accounts of Mike Brown running away and then turning around. And it doesn’t say one thing about the demonstrators, so I’m not sure what this has to do with your point about, you know… demonstrators being “nothing more than reckless fools driven by their own racist views.”

    And what part of the MHP interview did you have a problem with? Because no where in that interview did I hear her, or her panel, say that the “Ferguson community governed/controlled by racists.” If I missed that, please direct me to that part. Thanks.

    And your list of heretics is pretty vague. Who are the deniers and what are they denying? Who are the know-it-alls and what are they claiming to know?

    (And I’m not “backhanding” you, altho I noticed how you didn’t respond to my comment about that. Why is that?)

  54. Geezer says:

    “when the “victim” is a two-bit thug that apparently believes in the law of the jungle (I don’t want to pay for these cigars, and I’m bigger than the store owner, I’ll just shove him to the floor on my way out), it becomes a pretty believable scenario.”

    God, but you’re a moron. So you think that a two-bit thug doesn’t know the difference between an unarmed store clerk and an armed police officer. I’m pretty sure he would know that if he lived by “the law of the jungle.”

    Which is it? Or are you going to go with that old cop stand-by, “He must have been hopped up on something!” That’s what the “friend” of the shooter claims.

  55. bobsmith6019 says:

    Just something I found on line
    “Wilson’s state of mind prior to the altercation should not take prescient over Michael Brown’s possible state of mind. Brown had just committed a strong-arm robbery and with in minutes, he was confronted by a police officer. Brown had to assume he was about to be arrested for the crime. This would be the mindset of Brown and his adrenaline, his reckless behavior toward authority (as exemplified by his strong arm tactics with a store owner), his physical strength took control and he (may have) assaulted the officer and a struggle followed. What was going through Officer Wilson’s mind at the time he spoke to Brown is insignificant COMPARED to what was going through Michael’s mind.”

  56. pandora says:

    Okay, let’s break this down.

    The police officer pulls up to Brown and his friend and tells them to get out of the street. Everyone agree on that? (And yes, that can change once we see the incident report)

    Did the officer put the car in park? Or was the car still in drive when Mike Brown allegedly attacked the officer? If the car was in park was the officer getting out of the car, or planning to get out of the car? And if so, why would he be getting out of the car since the Ferguson Police Chief has clearly stated that he stopped Brown and his friend due to jaywalking? What caused the officer to put the car in park and get out of the car? (Again, I don’t know)

    And if we want to look into Mike Brown’s state of mind, then why wouldn’t he have simply run from the armed officer? He wasn’t armed, so why would he bend over and reach into the patrol car, across the body of the officer and across the steering wheel to try and un-holster the officer’s weapon?

    Did the officer tell him he was under arrest for the robbery? According to what we’ve heard from the Ferguson Chief of Police that doesn’t seem to be the case, but I don’t know.

    And what was the officer’s state of mind? Seriously, if you’re going to speculate on Brown’s state of mind then you have to speculate on the officer’s. Personally, I’m not comfortable speculating on either, but if you guys want to go down this path, then… go down this path.

  57. bobsmith6019 says:

    Pandora,

    It might be relevant to show the kid’s state of mind, rather than the officer who shot him. If the kid had just robbed a store (a felony offense), he might not have wanted to be taken into custody. Thus, the kid may have thought the basis for the encounter was to apprehend him for the robbery, rather than to usher him onto the sidewalk. It is possible, the kid resisted the officer, and tried to wrest his weapon away.

  58. Aint's Taking it Any More says:

    Geezer/Pandora:

    Read isn’t your strong suit is it?

    Try reading the transcript below. According this report, the credibility for which I do not vouch for, Brown turned around and ran back toward the police officer.

    Good day.

  59. Steve Newton says:

    Perhaps this helps understand the context of what’s going on in Ferguson (and not just the moment of life and death between Brown and the officer):

    “According to data taken from the US Census Bureau and a handful of news reports, roughly 64 percent of Ferguson’s population of 21,203 – 14,290 people – are black, yet its mayor, James Knowles, is white; five members of its six-person City Council are white; six of its seven school board officials are white; and out of the 53 sworn officers on the Ferguson Police Department, three – three! – are black.

    “There’s more. According to the Missouri Attorney General’s office, even though white people in Ferguson are statistically more likely to be found carrying ‘contraband’ on their persons during police searches than black people, the latter are six times more likely to be stopped in their vehicles by local PD, 11 times more likely to be searched and 12 times more likely to be arrested.”

    http://nblo.gs/ZfuyE

    There’s a pretty tall building to be leapt by those who are OK with this killing: proof that the officer was in fear for his life, or that he had legitimate reason to fear for somebody else’s life. That’s what he should have to show. Resisting arrest, theft, looking like a thug, running away, not following instructions . . . .

    If our children live in an America where any of those can bring on an instant death sentence, then there are far worse things going on here than a town full of people rioting.

  60. bobsmith6019 says:

    Steve, we I read what you posted below I’m shocked that there are not more non white elected officials. This should not be, are the people of Ferguson not voting in their elections or what. Something is not right here.

    “According to data taken from the US Census Bureau and a handful of news reports, roughly 64 percent of Ferguson’s population of 21,203 – 14,290 people – are black, yet its mayor, James Knowles, is white; five members of its six-person City Council are white; six of its seven school board officials are white; and out of the 53 sworn officers on the Ferguson Police Department, three – three! – are black.”

  61. xyz says:

    First autopsy results show all shots fired from front….

    Let the new spin commence…

    “Then tell me again why rioting and looting is NOT the correct response. Seriously. If the community “remains calm” here, NOTHING WOULD EVER CHANGE”

    Wow, just plain wow. I simply cannot understand the line of thought that produced this comment…

    National Guard called in… Looks like someone has finally figured out that a “demilitarized” police force isn’t the right strategy when faced by packs of feral looters.

  62. Geezer says:

    “Wow, just plain wow. I simply cannot understand the line of thought that produced this comment…”

    Obviously. A lack of understanding is what makes one a conservative.

  63. ben says:

    Yes XYZ… all 6 shots… including one through the eye and one through his mouth… were fired from the front. Interesting that the cop who murdered him was able to fill him with bullets, while fearing for his own life….. and not hit his fellow pig, who was apparently getting beaten up Zimmerman style.

  64. Geezer says:

    The compassionate police response worked until the FPD released the video of the robbery. The release of the tape dispelled the good will the head of the state police had established the day before.

    Lesson: Racists can make any situation worse. But you already proved that yourself.

  65. Dave says:

    @xyz

    “First autopsy results show all shots fired from front….” which of course is situational and dependent on the details including distance, the overall situation, weather, lighting, etc.

    But don’t let that stop you from your own spin on things based on a simplistic and binary interpretation of the facts, few of which you actually possess. This includes your conflation of looting and protesting with the infantile idea that a response to one is also appropriate to the other.

    Two unfortunate characteristics of most right wing nut jobs is their hypocrisy, which knows no bounds and their appalling lack of critical thinking skills. The former is simply a flaw in their value system or principles (what’s good for me but not for thee). The latter is an indictment of our educational system (or the RWNJs IQ I suppose).

    In case you cannot critically work your way through the thought, protesting is a time-honored America tradition and the appropriate response is that which is necessary to maintain order. Looting is a criminal activity, and lives and property are at risk. The response should always be different. Pretending that both of those require the same response is either stupid or malicious. Your choice.

  66. pandora says:

    We need a “like” button for Dave’s comment.

  67. Aint's Taking it Any More says:

    To be fair and “dislike” button should be included as well.

  68. Steve Newton says:

    packs of feral looters

    Nah, no dog whistle there.