From around the blogs -- Ferguson, Missouri
1) Many have remarked on the militarized, occupation-force-like character of the police deployed in Ferguson, and some have tried to justify it by pointing to the occasional looting the accompanied the protests, but all this display of intimidating force didn't prevent the looting! The looting happened anyway. Besides being bad for all the obvious reasons, militarizing the police doesn't even deter crime.
2) We still don't know exactly what happened in the shooting of Michael Brown. There are conflicting reports and it will take careful investigation to establish the facts. But in a time when conservatives are re-imposing Jim-Crow-style vote-suppression gimmicks and rolling back civil-rights protections, it's only natural that a lot of black Americans feel targeted and under siege by the authorities, especially in certain parts of the country You can't do all that crap and then expect people to give you the benefit of the doubt when a black person is killed by the police under suspicious (at best) circumstances.
3) They arrested reporters who were covering the story. There's no ambiguity or "two sides" to that. It's how the authorities act in Russia or Iran. Not here.
Anyway, here's a sample of what other bloggers have had to say:
"The one observation I have tonight is that this is an incredibly odd way for the police department of St. Louis County to behave. When there is civil unrest because the local police killed an unarmed 18 year old in cold blood for no reason, the smart response is to do community outreach. But they turned the whole thing over to the county and then the decision was made to use terror on the populace. There has been one store looted and one store lit on fire, but it's not like there was a total breakdown of law and order. Breaking out mine-resistant vehicles, sniper rifles, and full-on riot gear and firing stun grenades, tear gas, and rubber bullets at peaceably assembled people is not how you overcome the overzealousness of one bad cap and repair your reputation with the community." -- Booman Tribune
"How many times have we read on conservative blogs that President Obama is 'shredding the Constitution?' How many times have conservative pols, pundits, and bloggers accused President Obama of fundamentally changing this country? Meanwhile, the police in Ferguson, Missouri, and other cities across the country have violated the most fundamental Constitutional guarantees. It's not the president who is slamming reporters' heads against walls for being reporters and performing their constitutionally protected rights, it is an out-of-control police presence, which is under the jurisdiction of the individual cities and towns' leadership -- the mayors and city/town councils. When will this be addressed by them?" -- Progressive Eruptions
"It's actually funny in a way, because all their violence and body armor and tanks just show that they are a bunch of wimps. Does a real man panic and put seven bullets in a boy because he doesn't immediate respond to the officer's command? Of course not." -- Frank Moraes
"But for Fox News, it is pretty much a non-story. Or rather, the murder of an unarmed teen was a non-story. The many peaceful protests was a non-story. Militarized police use of excessive force against protesters was a non-story. Pretty much everything about Ferguson was a non-story except for some looting that took place Sunday evening." -- Frank Moraes
"I was reminded of that a few days ago while I was listening to a program about changing careers on public radio. One of the people who called in was a cop who said he should have become a farmer like his dad because police work was such a disappointment. He went on to talk about how he expected to be chasing "bad guys," but instead found he spent most of his time mediating and negotiating community conflicts. To me, that gets to the heart of our problem with law enforcement. We envision it as "good guys vs bad guys" and then recruit people for the job who want to stick it to the "bad guys." Racial sensitivity training is never going to cut it when the problem goes much deeper. Until we get to the place where we see law enforcement as a service working for/with the community and recruit folks who are good at doing that, we won't be able to fix this mess." -- Horizons
"Every nog is looking for that 16 minutes and that big payout. It's the black American dream. I can't help but laugh when I see these goddamn monkeys running around shouting about justice. Justice!! Really? From a subculture known for nothing if not violence and materialism. You know every last one of those protesting niggers has visions of being roughed up by the police and it being captured on film dancing in their little pea brains." -- Anonymous commenter here, where there's more of the same, like this advisory guide -- never forget that these people exist.
The best blog post on Ferguson is Green Eagle's, which I insist you click over to and read in its entirety.
At the moment a take-over by state-level police, led by a captain who grasps the difference between policing and military occupation, seems to offer some hope of defusing the crisis. Too bad they didn't think of that sooner.