15 August 2014

From around the blogs -- Ferguson, Missouri

I haven't had time to study the Ferguson situation closely enough to write a post about it, but I do have a couple of observations.

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.

6 Comments:

Blogger Frank Moraes said...

I want to be clear about my statement, "Does a real man panic and put seven bullets in a boy because he doesn't immediate respond to the officer's command?" In that article I was comparing the treatment of Michael Brown with the treatment of Andy Lopez last year in my home town. So that's a direct reference to Lopez. We don't yet know such details in the Brown case.

By the way, the Lopez shooting was found to be proper and legal. I'm slightly hopeful there will be more justice in Brown's case.

15 August, 2014 10:05  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

It's still murky about what actually happened the day Michael Brown was killed.

At the few conservative blogs I've visited, most of the commenters there are happy the police shot the "thug." Nothing new there. They are the same idiots who supported George Zimmerman and haven't the brains to see beyond their rancid bigotry.

15 August, 2014 15:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's what some gun nuts had to say:
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/reddits-gun-community-take-aim-at-novice-over-militarized-police-in-ferguson-0814

Vic78

16 August, 2014 06:33  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Frank: Thanks for the clarification. The fact that the police tend to be exonerated in such cases unless there are mass protests sends a very bad message.

Shaw: It's funny how they go on and on about the need to resist "oppressive" government, but then when it actually does something oppressive.....

Vic78: Hilarious! Not just militarized, but ineptly militarized.

16 August, 2014 06:50  
Anonymous Bacopa said...

It might be a good time to start a voter registration drive in Furguson. I bet turnout will be high in November. There won't be nearly enough time to clear the court cases and purge the voting rolls by November.

16 August, 2014 12:41  
Anonymous Seminole said...

I have waited for all of the forensics to be completed before making up my mind on this. It appears that the officer, who looked very young on TV, was confronted in his vehicle and then asked for backup. His radio was on the wrong channel (may or may not be true) and the backup didn't come. He exited the vehicle and went after the other young man.

From the blood trail it appears that the young man went back toward the officer and he fired at him. First, it seems a bad decision on the part of the officer to exit the vehicle until he was certain that backup was on the way. If he had stayed and waited the other young man would be alive.

What penalty should a young, inexperienced officer pay for making a bad decision that costs someone else their life, even if a lot of the fault falls on that person as well. Taking all of the racial aspects out of it, that seems to be the question. It is a tragedy for all.

In Atlanta we have a heavily minority police force and that helps to avoid these situations. That seems the first thing they need to address.





26 November, 2014 13:47  

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