WATCH: Reason TV's Coverage of the Ferguson Protests—Police Militarization, Harassment, Looting, and More


As the protests continue in Ferguson, MO, check out Reason TV's on-the-ground coverage from earlier this week. The first video focuses on protesters in front of the police station and along Florissant Avenue (where the officer shot Michael Brown) after Missouri's governor ordered the Ferguson police to stand down and assigned security duties to highway patrol.

The 2nd video features protesters reacting to the revelation that the police department had security footage of Michael Brown allegedly robbing a convenience store, a fact that the police officer who shot him was not aware of at the time of the shooting.

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  1. The officer didn’t know Brown was a suspect at the time, but Brown didn’t know that.
    Assuming he thought the cop was looking for him in connection with the robbery, he likely acted differently than if he was innocent.
    Too bad there’s no video of the shooting, but the ‘gentle giant’ angle turns out to be bullshit.

    1. All of which apparently makes it okay to shoot a fleeing suspect from 35 feet away?

      Christ. It’s amazing to see how many people have changed their minds since they released that video. “Yeah, he was guilty of something, so this isn’t a problem”. Fuck that.

      1. Andrew S.
        I don’t know if it was justified or not. I’m saying the fact the officer did not know he was a suspect does NOT mean the earlier strong-arm robbery didn’t affect what happened. At least one person knew about the robbery: Michael Brown.

      2. Here’s an eyewitness saying Brown was charging towards the officers when he was shot.

      3. All of which apparently makes it okay to shoot a fleeing suspect from 35 feet away?

        IANAL, but under the “fleeing felon rule,” I think that is okay. But the autopsy showed Brown was facing Wilson when he shot, and there is supposedly at least one eyewitness account that says he was charging when he was shot.

    2. Too bad there’s no video of the shooting

      Are you sure? Everyone seems to know the exact distance away the deceased was when he was shot.

      1. Measure the distance between the shell casings and the body. No video required.

        1. Because no one ever runs or even moves after being shot. They just crumple and drop right on the spot.

          1. After being shot several times, yeah, they usually do.

            1. How many people have you seen get shot several times?

              1. Westerns, cop shows, action movies…

                1. Your mom. . .

              2. How many people have you seen get shot several times?

                I’ve seen plenty of battlefield and police dash-cam footage. Yes, if it’s non-fatal the person can keep running, but more often than not when shot several times, at least one of the shots severs the spine or strikes the heart. Down they go.

                In this case the guy was pronounced dead within minutes of being shot. That suggests that at least one of the shots was fatal, causing him to drop on the spot.

              3. Anybody who gets shot by the cops?

              4. In addition, blood loss makes a person weak. I knew a guy who had been stabbed in a gang fight, and he said he dropped right there on the spot. It wasn’t a fatal stabbing, but the instant loss of blood and resulting drop in blood pressure made him so weak he just fell to the ground.

                1. One of the perps in the ’86 FBI Miami shootout killed two special agents and fucked up a bunch more AFTER being mortally wounded. He took a bunch more rounds after the fatal shot while advancing, switching weapons and shooting hands. Baby Face Nelson did essentially the same thing. Quite a few posthumous recipients of the Medal of Honor earned it by advancing and killing after suffering multiple catastrophic shots to center body mass

                  1. Fuck it. The guy was unarmed and a racist cop decided to unload a clip on him for no other reason than, “Fuck?black guy. Must kill him”. That’s probably exactly what happened.

                    1. other than not a single shred of evidence or a single eyewitness accounts points toward that happening, you’re probably right.

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  2. Reposting something I posted yesterday:

    This is the St. Louis County Prosecutor. He currently is investigating the case. Apparently, unless he agrees to give up control of the case, he has control of the case.

    Regardless of the facts, there is zero chance that this will be a free and fair investigation that will result in anything resembling “justice”.

    1. The key thing against him in the article is the parking-lot shooting.

      But it seems that one of the politicians asking them to step down seemed to be threatening a riot if he didn’t.

    2. Wow. There’s a whole lot of stupid in the comments. Weapons grade.

    3. “[State Senator Jamila] Nasheed pointed to the Jack in the Box case in her letter: “Critically important, you must consider the potential consequences if you choose to not seek a special prosecutor. If you should decide to not indict this police officer, the rioting we witnessed this past week will seem like a picnic compared to the havoc that will likely occur, because the black community will never accept that there was an impartial investigation from your office.””

  3. Missouri Governor is on Meet the Press, backing and filling desperately.

    Andrea Mitchell: Should the police chief be fired?

    Gov: Blargle blargle umm, err, blah blah blah justice. Those guys begged me to impose that curfew.

    1. “””Andrea Mitchell: Should the police chief be fired?”””

      Don’t know but I do know that Andrea Mitchell should be fired.

  4. It’s all about RACE!

    No, it isn’t, you fucking dummies. It’s all about cops out of control, completely immune to any consequences for their actions, no matter how lawless.

    1. “It’s all about RACE!”

      Yep that the narrative now, and because of that nothing will ever be done about police abuse.

      If the leftists and the race hustlers actually gave a shit about black youths getting shot then they would downplay the racial angle. They would instead do everything they could to convince white suburbanite soccor moms that the exact same thing could happen to one of their kids. Once a majority of the country start thinking that their kid could be shot then maybe something might start to change.

      Unfortunately the leftists don’t actually give a shit about blacks so instead will play up the racial angle to keep them supporting team blue, and the various organizations that supposedly care about blacks, but actually don’t.

      1. I agree. As soon as this becomes about tribalism (blacks vs. cops) it swamps first principle(s).

        Any kind of long term civil liberties victory comes from first principle.

        Nothing positive will come from this situation. Nothing.

      2. because of that nothing will ever be done about police abuse.

        Meh. It’s an impediment, sure, but I wouldn’t say never. People will eventually wake up to the abuse and will demand change. It’s happened before (60s) and it will happen again. We may not ever see libertopia, but I think people are about at their limit for the abuse they’ll take and will start pushing back. When you start to see riots and protests on a more regular basis, you’ll know we are there.

        1. FdA, I wish I could be as optimistic as you are.

          The riots in Detroit etc made people afraid, elected some black mayors, and accelerated white flight, but otherwise had little impact. When ‘The Whole World Was Watching’ it was liberal white kids getting bludgeoned on live TV that shocked people. There were some changes, but not that much.

          Today’s outrage industry has cried racism so many times that people are immune to what was shocking in 1968. Things will have to get an awful lot worse for substantial changes, IMHO.

          1. Things will have to get an awful lot worse for substantial changes, IMHO.

            But they will. The world is crumbling around us at an accelerating pace as a direct result of the policies implemented by the two TEAMS. We will either throw off our chains and have our libertarian moment OR we’ll plunge into a hellish Randian dystopia. I think it’s 50/50 which way it goes. But one thing is for certain…things will not remain as they have been and the day of the two TEAMS is over.

        2. The race hustlers are certainly fouling the issue and nothing good will come from their participation.

          However, I think there’s some evidence that libertarian concerns regarding the militarization of the police, SWAT and other aggressive police procedures, and the advancement of the police state are more generally understood as serious threats to civil society and not the paranoid sentiments of a lunatic fringe.

          Conservative commentators who have consistently sided with cops and prosecutors have reversed sides regarding Ferguson. If comments over at FreeRepublic are any guide, even the conservative hoi polloi, who usually side with the popo and don’t care much when people of color are oppressed, is 75/25 critical of the police. I doubt that even Mark Levin is chanting his praises to the police, firefighters, and first responders in the case of Ferguson.

          It seems like the critical work of Balko, Reason, and Cato has finally got across to politicians as well.

      3. People are slowly starting to realize this.

    2. I really don’t understand how the cops are out of control in this case.

      A cop shot a robbery suspect who was apparently aggressive and was 6’4″ and 290 lbs. Do you realize how large that is?

      Police used tear gas to break up a riot.

      When they didn’t, a bunch of shops were looted and in some cases, set on fire.

      So what should happen here? 6’4″ 290 lb people should be allowed to roam at will, threatening and robbing people?

      Mobs should be able to riot and burn down buildings?

      Both are perfectly valid functions of the police. Property owners cannot defend themselves from others 100% of the time.

      1. These are important points. I don’t think they even arrested anyone for looting that first night. Paramilitary cops standing there not stepping in to stop looting/torching of private businesses.

      2. A cop shot a robbery suspect person who the cop did not suspect of anything who was apparently aggressive and was 6’4″ and 290 lbs. Do you realize how large that is?

        Just trying to keep the facts in view, is all.

        Sounds like it may have been a good shoot. I would point out that, if that cop were a mere prole, there would be no question that an indictment would be handed down.

        There’s no question that he shot an unarmed person. The only question was whether a reasonable person would have been in fear of their life. That is almost a laboratory definition of a question for a jury. The defendant here was uninjured, the corpse was unarmed With those undisputable facts, I don’t think you can say to a very high degree of certainty that the defendant can prove that any reasonable person would have shot the corpse-to-be.

        1. Way to be completely full of shit. Not a suspect because it trumps your narrative is a good call.

        2. who the cop did not suspect of anything

          R C Dean, the autopsy indicates this is misleading. Yes, Wilson initially noticed Brown walking down the middle of the street. (Note that this a good clue about how stupid and self-centered Brown was: rob a store, then walk down the middle of the street holding the loot.)

          Then, IIRC, Wilson may have gotten a call about the robbery, and went back again to confront. But in any case, there was a struggle, with Brown supposedly reaching into the car for Wilson’s gun. That’s when the first two shots were fired, one of which wounded Brown in the hand. So at the time of the first shots, Wilson may have connected Brown with the robbery, but he certainly knew Brown had assaulted him.

          Unless you think Wilson, sitting in his car, decided to shoot Brown? Come on.

          Then it looks like Brown ran, stopped, turned, and charged back. Given his earlier stupid actions, this seems quite plausible.

        3. The defendant here was uninjured,

          Wasn’t the cop punched in the face by Brown? Even if his orbit didn’t end up getting fractured, did he get concussed, or at least bruised?

          I do agree with you that, on similar facts, IMHO it’s likely the shooter would be indicted, were he a non-LEO

      3. The police threw tear gas and flashes at protesters. They did not stop looting. The cops also arrested reporters for reporting and enacted an authoritarian police state that did not stop any crime. The footage has been played here. Stop lying.

      4. If the cops want people to believe their narrative then they should wear video cameras. Absent a video I’m going to believe their victims narrative every time. They did this to themselves

    3. It’s all about RACE!

      No, it isn’t, you fucking dummies.

      The hell it isn’t. What a bunch of fucking bullshit.

      If Michael Brown had been just a white guy, this case would be getting no attention whatsoever from the vile, lowlife scum in the national media or the professional gutter-rats like Al Sharpton, and there would be no need to have the National Guard deployed because nobody would be threatening to burn St. Louis down the the ground.

    4. I have to agree L P Brooks.

      Given some of the shit I have heard that has gone on in past years with t his department the whole situation has reached boiling point.

      The details of the Brown case are unimportant, it just happened to be the last straw in their eyes.

      Cops are not the brightest bunch and they do develop an ‘us vs. them’ mentality. Dealing with a large number of unsavory individuals in a community will have them painting everyone with the same brush. Make them unaccountable and you have the perfect recipe for just what we are seeing.


    1. To be fair, Al Sharpton is one hell of an outside agitator.

    2. Actually, there was an “inside agitator.” Soon after the event, a local black activist showed up and seems to have quickly coordinated some witness stories around the bogus “his hands were up in surrender” narrative.


    What sort of monster would suggest such a thing? That noble law enforcement professional is a hero.


      1. It seems like there are a lot of people who think if the police disappeared then the country would start to resemble Mad Max over night.

        1. You mean would look like parts of Ferguson?

          1. No, that’s what a racist police state focused on arresting only non-criminals looks like.

  7. They would instead do everything they could to convince white suburbanite soccor moms that the exact same thing could happen to one of their kids.


  8. A startling number of American readers wrote to say, with remarkable insouciance, that the US could not afford the luxury of First World policing.

    Great. We have somehow or other become a nation of thumb sucking bedwetters.

    1. We have somehow or other become a nation of thumb sucking bedwetters

      Do you mean the gun-grabbers who don’t believe anyone except government approved agents can safely handle a firearm? Or do you mean the drug-grabbers who don’t believe anyone except government approved agents can safely handle drugs?

      Oh, right, both.

  9. Sometimes you jsut have to roll with it.


    1. How often do you suppose the squirrels eat an anon-bot message?

      If we get, say, one in three, then this bot is working damn hard for his money.

      I say we give him a cheer.

      Here’s to the hard working bot! Hip hip hooray!

      1. Anon Bot – doing the work actual human beings won’t.

        He’s It’s our own little undocumented alien!

        1. I say fuck all spammers with a rusty knife.

  10. Michael Brown: born into poverty, single mom, never held a job, probably illiterate, strong arm robber, possible gang member, taught two things in his life – he is a victim, and the Man (cops) is holding him down. That he chose to be a criminal, walk in the middle of the street, and attack a cop are on him. Not the cops.

    1. So it’s a wrap then – CC has it all figured out! Everyone return to your homes! Thank you!

      1. As opposed to the people here, who think 290 lb people should be able to rob and terrorize people at will, and mobs should be able to loot and burn down buildings without any sort of repercussion from the police.

        Because police trying to stop that from happening are “abusing their power”. I guess everyone in the country has to stand guard over their property with an assault rifle all the time, who needs police?

        1. As opposed to the people here, who think 290 lb people should be able to rob and terrorize people at will,

          Could you perhaps point out a comment or two to that effect.

          Most of the regulars here would probably agree that the store owner could and should have perforated him thoroughly.

          The debate is over when and how a cop is justified in shooting someone, and whether the rather obfuscated facts of this incident meet that standard.

          and mobs should be able to loot and burn down buildings without any sort of repercussion from the police.

          Again, pls point out, etc.

          The reaction here has generally been that the police response was thoroughly misguided and ineffective, not that there should have been no police response at all.

          1. This is the same bullshit that people say about the NAP to libertarians “I’m not advocating violence, I’m advocating a fine or whatever.” Then we logically point out that failure to pay the fine leads to violence.

            Yeah, nobody is advocating we do nothing, it’s just that they don’t approve of doing anything. But here’s the thing, if you authorize the police to stop someone when they loot, and those people keep looting, then the next logical step is increasing violence- like in the example above.

          2. Most of the regulars here would probably agree that the store owner could and should have perforated him thoroughly.

            I don’t believe it for a second. If a store owner killed a teenager over a few cigars, half of the commentariat here would be going apeshit and playing the race card all over the place. And Gillespie and most of the content providers would be even worse.

    2. Lost me in the last two sentences, but there is a pattern in these stories.
      I think it’s important to separate some of the parts: the police action in full Army camo is obviously of concern, and no news to Reason followers.
      The dead young man was a perp. The media Travon-ed his image for mass consumption.
      There exist amateur videos in which audio of eyewitnesses, who one cannot say are sympathetic to the fuzz, stating the perp was charging the police when they shot him.

    1. How not to get your ass kicked by the police!


  11. A thug of the state kills a thug of the street and I gotta pick a side? Perfect world and I get a Mexican standoff gone wrong.

  12. Better pay your subway fare.


    Disturbing moment NYPD officer uses his baton to violently attack man, 20, at the subway because he didn’t pay his fare

    A member of the New York City Police department was caught on film hitting a young man with a baton at the Myrtle subway stop in Brooklyn
    20-year-old Donovan Lawson had reportedly jumped the turnstile and tried to enter the subway without paying
    At one point the officer hits the young man so hard in the head that blood sprays some of the bystanders
    Prior to this Lawson had been sprayed with pepper spray
    The NYPD Internal Affairs Unit is investigating the incident

    Comments are pretty predictable.

    1. The officer turned the corner and the baton just went off. It was an accidental baton discharge. The officer is totes sorry.

      1. More training is needed!

        1. I’ll say! That baton will be walking a desk beat for at least four hours. Maybe six if it gives the shift sergeant lip again.

    2. The NYPD Internal Affairs Unit is investigating the incident

      Why do I suspect this consists of a bunch of cops on their lunch hour, watching the video on a monitor and pausing it to high-five every baton strike?

  13. They had some crane shots (or helicopter footage) of Ferguson ‘protests’ a number of weeks ago…

    …and it was like 150 media-cameramen, and 20 screaming protestors

    I could almost hear some of the TV camera guys on the ground, “Come on, give me a fierce look~! Tasty! NOW DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR ARMS! Give me that oppressed face…”

      1. Next to ‘selfies’ and ‘tweet wars’, the worst thing Millenials have introduced into society are “acronyms for everything”

        Cause like a SJW called me an MRA and i was all like OMG STFU

        Speaking of TRS… there is this =

        “Regarding Libertarianism:

        Classical liberalism’s champion, John Locke, was an idiot. He makes a very false assumption of humanity and Western peoples. To Locke, human and market interaction is a completely voluntary phenomenon, due to the high intellectual capacity of humans* to desire a more prosperous society through logical and peaceful evaluation. Because of this, he believed a government ought to be small, and strictly serve the whims of the populace to achieve the most prosperous and free society.

        It sounds nice because it’s completely self-empowering. When libertarians/liberals make claims of human importance, it’s a self-valuing claim with a collective cushion; basically saying “I am very important” with safe language.

        The truth is humans have the value they create. Value is demonstrable, not magical. Also, human interaction is not a voluntary phenomenon. We interact because we must interact. Sure, you can claim interaction is voluntary because nobody is forcing you to do it, but it’s equivalent to arguing the consumption of food is a voluntary action….”

        I read the rest of his screed and get most of it; but it sounds like he’s some kind of SoCon crusader for moral totalitarianism

        1. I’m not particularly enthusiastic about all of his goal, either. But his analysis of libertarianism hits the nail right on the head:

          Classical liberalism was not corrupted. It inevitably became modern liberalism. What’s really funny is we are observing libertarianism become more and more dildo, like a contained experiment observing the inevitable stages of liberalism. Libertarians do little but act as useful idiots for liberalism, and we’re starting to see many libertarians being just plain useful to liberalism.

          Not only does classical liberalism inevitably morph into modern liberalism, in the case of libertarianism the process only took about 25 years. I’d be willing to bet real money that even if you managed to elect Ron Paul and reset the clock back to 1787, we’d be right back where we are now in less than a decade.

  14. if it wasn’t for reading years of reason and seeing cops constantly shooting innocent people and having it declared justified, I’d probably be kneejerk supporting the cops. as it is, I see no reason to give them the benefit of the doubt. they made this bed. they can lie in it.

    1. “they made this bed. they can lie in it.”


    2. Yeah, if you don’t want people treating you like a hostile occupying force bent on extracting revenue from them,

      then maybe you shouldn’t act that way.

  15. Gotta love H&R for bringing back a three-month old thread.

    1. Yeah, I was wondering what was going on for a second. Didn’t remember commenting, then I saw it was 3 months ago.

      Speaking of dead threads, Tulpa showed up in the thread about the NYPD cop killing the guy in the stairwell. Because he loves to spread his bullshit long after the thread is dead.

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