Police Abuse

Post-Ferguson Police Reforms Require Look at Police Unions, Structural Power, Not "Community Relations"

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Vandal at Ferguson protests
@JakeTapper

A long piece from The Nation explains "why it's impossible to indict a cop" and the systemic hurdles to police reform, including, briefly, the role of police unions:

Firing a police officer with a record of abusive behavior (or worse) is often extremely difficult and can carry a heavy political cost. Patrolmen Benevolent Associations, which have escaped the kind of resentment directed at other public-sector unions, tend to be powerful players in local politics able to inflict pain on any politico who would cross them. (Remember when Sarah Palin struggled to fire a state trooper and ex-brother-in-law who had allegedly acted like a thug towards her sister?)

As The Nation alludes to, many conservatives who otherwise distrust the power of public unions are highly deferential to police unions. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's union reform bills exempted police and firefighters even as police and firefighter unions joined protests against the legislation. Meanwhile in Ohio John Kasich's union reform attempts did include police and firefighter unions but unlike in Wisconsin, the Ohio proposals failed in the legislature. Libertarians and other consistent critics of the asymmetrical power and privilege secured by public unions don't exempt police unions.

Later on in the piece, The Nation dismisses the self-regulatory regime designed with the help of the police unions, comparing it to "self-regulation" in the poultry-processing or coal mining business. An more apt analogy would be to ether public sector jobs whose unions have created cushy self-regulation. From teachers to federal workers, almost any example works. When it's more difficult to terminate employees, it's more difficult to eliminate bad employees. This is dangerous in the public sector, where government employees, like cops, tend to get a lot of deference in their exercise of power over the public, which is represented at the negotiating table by other government employees.

The Nation goes on to identify what it calls the "criminalization of working-class people" as one contributing factor to police abuse. The proliferation of petty laws aimed at raising revenue does aggravate the problem.  While The Nation focuses on police models that involve targeting known violent gang members and not the community at large, the "decriminalization of working-class people" will also require rolling back laws, laws often supported by progressives.

The Nation makes an important point that's often been lost in the "national conversations" after Ferguson:

Police demilitarization, the decriminalization of working-class people, new policing models: these are all projects that could work in Ferguson and thousands of other American cities. Although none of these large-scale ideas is explicitly race-conscious, they would most likely tighten the severe racial disparities in policing violence that exist all over the country, more so than pouring more money into racial sensitivity training for cops. (Changing residency requirements of municipal police officers to get a more ethnically representative force might help a little, though research shows that such requirements correlate with less confidence in the police, not more.)

These big-picture reforms are fundamentally political solutions that will require long-term effort, coalition politics that spans race, ethnicity and political affiliation—a challenge, but also a necessity.

The problem of police violence is a problem of government violence. Solutions will have to involve restraining government. There are people on the left and the right, lots of them, who almost worship the institutions of government. They may have their pet peeves, institutions they don't like depending on their political affiliation, but they trust in the power of government to accomplish things when it comes to their agenda. Others on the right, and the left, have a more healthy distrust of government, one that cuts across sectarian agendas. The Nation is right that police reform is not something that will happen without coalition-building. That makes it important to, like The Nation did in this piece, direct the focus at systemic solutions not just racial or class ones.

Yesterday Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement ahead of the Ferguson grand jury announcement, saying the conversation surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown was "about the need to ensure confidence between law enforcement and the communities they protect and serve." It's not, or at least it shouldn't be. Conversations around police violence focused on community relations aren't helpful because they keep the issue of the systemic power wielded by police out of view in favor of mere race-consciousness in the application of that power. The conversations have to be about restoring the constitutional rights and protections of the people and rolling back the systemic power enjoyed by cops that has helped destroy those constitutional rights. The only effective police reforms are ones that target that systemic power, and not just applications of it deemed media friendly or race- and class-conscious.

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  1. There are people on the left and the right, lots of them, who almost worship the institutions of government. They may have their pet peeves, institutions they don’t like depending on their political affiliation, but they trust in the power of government to accomplish things when it comes to their agenda.

    Yeah. There are a lot of stupid people out there.

    1. Yes, but the number drops with each YouTube video.

      /goes back to making lemonade

  2. HAH! Good luck asking Government to give up its self-granted right to rape and/or kill you at will.

  3. I don’t get the boogeyman status of police unions. Of course they push to take our money and grant their members special protections, but isn’t that the case for any group that contracts with the government? The protections they get are usually contractual, and we are not against contracts. Is it because the work ‘collectively?’ Many government contractors form lobbying associations. Is it because they get special legal privileges when the work collectively? That’s true of corporations too.

    1. Contracts with the Government for special protections are precisely the kinds of contracts that I’m against. Similar to Crony Capitalism.

      1. Of course, no fan myself, but I don’t get the especial focus on public unions as opposed to, say, the AMA, ABA, defense contractors, etc

        1. Because public unions have no identifiable opponent/competition.

          In the market, if my workforce unionizes, I fire their asses and sublet to another company or hire a new workforce.

          If I’m the mayor and my police chief comes in and says “we gotta have raises or we’re doing even less shit than we do now.” I have basically no alternative but to cave, or suffer any number of labels detrimental to my re-election. “child hater!” “Racist!” “Why do you hate COPS!?”

          1. Who is the opposition when the AMA lobbies government for special benefits?

            1. I believe there have been several conversations around here that have been very critical of the AMA, especially wrrt how they restrict the supply of doctors.

              1. I believe there have been several conversations around here that have been very critical of the AMA, especially wrrt how they restrict the supply of doctors.

                You are correct.

            2. Who is the opposition when the AMA lobbies government for special benefits?

              What benefits, specifically?

              I wasn’t aware the AMA was a union. Is that true?

              1. “CLEAR! CLEAR! We’re losing him! We…wait, it’s time for my break.”

              2. Er, licensing requirements that they control, for starters.

              3. It is not. Nor is the ABA, an organization of which I am not a member despite the fact that my firm would pay for it if I wanted to be one.

            3. Who is the opposition when the AMA lobbies government for special benefits?

              Well, there was Milton Friedman. And there’s still the Institute for Justice. Yes, the AMA is part of the problem, but the AMA is weaker than police unions on the whole. Plenty of stands taken by the AMA have been rejected by voters, even though they win on some of the licensing issues.

              The AMA falls into the category of “private organization lobbying for a protected monopoly,” but its members are not also generally direct employees of the state. So there’s some amount of competition there and possibility of patients complaining, even if the overall lobbying group works for protectionism.

              Police unions are different because they’re also direct employees. They are in a different category.

              1. I think you’re overestimating the efficacy of public unions and underestimating the efficacy of groups like the AMA, but considering the very focus I’m arguing against that’s not surprising.

              2. The AMA falls into the category of “private organization lobbying for a protected monopoly,”

                The central planning bureaus with the most staying power are the ones that people don’t know are central planners. So a semi-private trade association seem on it’s surface at least to not be the cause of doctor shortages or centrally planned pricing for medical procedures.

        2. Also, governments steal their funds from the public. There’s nothing on the line for a government union getting whatever they want… It’s theft, all the way down.

        3. In the defense contracting industry, there are at least competing contractors to choose from. There are a ton of laws aimed at defense contractors and the bidding process, and contractors will come in with lower bids to steal away a contract. Now, people argue that sometimes all the anti-corruption efforts designed to allow free re-competes cost more than the bad old corrupt ways, but it’s at least a possibility.

          It is exceedingly rare to fire an entire police department that has gone bad and start over from scratch, though it has happened in one or two extraordinary cases.

          1. Unions compete too (sometimes viscously) and labor law is as voluminous as defense procurement law

            1. Not public sector unions, Bo.

              As a forced member of one, I can say for certain, I had no choice, it was a requirement of taking the job. The unions have a lock on the titles, and extract dues from even non-members. While the regular civil service unions in NY are weak, the PBAs are far from it (and NYSUT, which always makes me subconsciously insert an L into their initialism).

              There is no competition between unions on this side of the divide.

            2. Yeah, Fort Worth PD is TOTALLY competing with Dallas PD.

          2. In the defense contracting industry, there are at least competing contractors to choose from.

            Mergers and acquisitions have reduced the number of competitors. As the number of competitors decreases, the dysfunction of government increases. We are down to 3 aircraft contractors from 8 in the 70’s and 11 in the 60’s. This has exacerbated government waste.

            The government seems to hate oligopoly/trusts when it affects consumers, but loves it in government contractors because they become bedfellows instead of buyers/sellers.

            Even in the case where police departments have been disbanded, they have never been started over from scratch, they have merely been replaced by a force that covers a larger geographic area. The bedfellows may have changed but the buyer/seller arrangement hasn’t been reinstated.

            People need an easy way to disband entire governments and start over. Without that capability, the next alternative is to simply move. It speaks volumes that a government like the City Of Detroit where the population has essentially voted (with its feet because it has no other choice) that the city government has to be disbanded, yet remains as entrenched as ever; the “remedy” to date has been a takeover by a larger, equally dysfunctional entity.

            Logically, there is no better indication of a vote of “no confidence, must dissolve” than registered voter turnout under 50%. Of course, “no confidence, must dissolve” is never an option on ballots.

    2. Because there’s nobody on the other side of the bargaining table, and their members are entitled to use violence in their trade.

    3. In the private sector, when unions force the costs of the company’s goods and services up, customers have a choice to shop somewhere else. If this results in the company having to close, so be it.

      Not the case in the public sector. Government forces people to pay for its services, even if the people neither want nor need them.

      Because of that there is no comparison between public and private unions.

      1. I’m not comparing public and private sector unions. I’m saying public unions are just another group lobbying and contracting with the government.

        1. They are not contracting with government. The are government.

          1. They have a contract with the government just like any other contracting party. They all get that check from the same place.

            1. Bo is missing the point. Why am I not surprised?

              1. Maybe your point is not as clear and strong as you think?

                1. Maybe your point is not as clear and strong as you think?

                  No. My point is clear and strong. You’re just deliberately obtuse like Tulpa.

            2. Your basic premise must be that money obtained by government is owned by government, not stolen from someone else.

              I’ll pay a cop whatever he wants as long as I can use *your* wallet.

              1. Oh no, I think it’s stolen alright. I just don’t see the public unions as worse than the other many theives.

                1. Ok, so, starting with the concession that it’s stolen:

                  If I’m the mayor, bargaining with money that isn’t mine, that I have very little interest in retaining, how is that like two private parties contracting with each other to receive the best services for the lowest price?

                2. Oh no, I think it’s stolen alright. I just don’t see the public unions as worse than the other many theives.

                  Public sector unions are unionized employees of the state, who will pay their inflated salaries by the point of a gun. Private sector unions are unionized employees of a private enterprise whose inflated salaries will actually put the enterprise, and thus the union jobs, out of business.

                  It’s an entirely different dynamic where tax payers are over barrel while the public sector employees thrust inside them without so much as a drop of lube.

        2. Except public unions are more like you pressing “print” on your printer and money coming out.

          1. How more so than any other big interest group?

            1. It is *far* more common to have another contractor or office supply company come along and underbid the current contract than it is for a competing union to come along and underbid the current government employee unions– at least in the states that have precisely the sort of legal protection preventing such. In some cases, such as prisons, I don’t think it’s a good idea to allow it– but it being a bad idea to allow competition makes it more important that special laws strengthening the union not be allowed.

            2. In Illinois, they have a state Constitutional provision that prevents state worker pensions from ever being decreased, even if there’s no money and the initial contract was mathematically impossible to pay. Considering that most pensions are negotiated on the government side by someone who will be out of office when the shit hits the fan and who is willing to buy a little temporary peace, that’s a problem.

              It’s the very short-term focused nature of most other interest groups that make them less of a problem, when negotiating with politicians with similar short time horizons.

              1. Considering that most pensions are negotiated on the government side by someone who will be out of office when the shit hits the fan and who is willing to buy a little temporary peace, that’s a problem.

                Also take into account how many on BOTH SIDES of the table plan to retire to A DIFFERENT STATE with lower taxes (because their public employee pensions are more sensible.)

    4. You mean besides the fact that they exercise power by keeping the worst cops on the force? This is the problem with collectivization of a workforce. Every member of the collective must be treated as equally valuable and productive, when it is a certain fact that this is untrue. So while I don’t have a problem with groups banding together to negotiate a contract in their favor by not letting their employer play them against each other, there is this downside. In private industry, there is the market to sort it out when the collective becomes too much of a drag on productivity. Or there used to be. GM should have gone under. There is no competing group of cops who aren’t union to provide better service. Well, there are in many gated communities, where the private security force interfaces with their clients and the cops.

      1. To clarify the first statement: The union exercises power and influence over its own membership by keeping the worst employees employed. Or at least on the payroll.

    5. The police have a much greater ability to harass and threaten their political opponents directly. Remember the “playbook” going around some police unions on how to best intimidate people, including following opposition politicians around in hope of getting them for DUI or similar BS? The teachers union can’t do that.

  4. “Immunity” – that is a root of the problem. The FOPs of the world hide behind contract first, immunity second. Immunity is the worse of the two.

    1. I agree with this.

  5. There are people on the left and the right, lots of them, who almost worship the institutions of government.

    Almost?

    On the right and on the left, the worship of the state borders on being a religion.

    1. I think cops are getting distinctly unpopular in this country. The cops are popular with the media. The media loves cops. And many politicians love cops because they like cops’ campaign money and they love the media to think well of them. The public, however is increasingly sour on cops.

    2. State borders aren’t so bad.

      1. I just want to draw a new one at the line of the tappen zee…

  6. Finally, a constructive Reason opinion piece on this, not a rant or fig leaf. Agreed that “community relations” is BS. You stroke certain influential people the right way, bribe others, and suddenly everyone is holding hands and singing and then they go home and the neighborhood rots.

  7. We need a lot of reforms to police in this country. The problem is how exactly does the Ferguson case show the need for them? If your problem with the Ferguson case is that the cop wasn’t indicted, that is a valid concern. But how does eliminating the power of unions or taking away the cops’ toys solve that? Is it Reason and the Nation’s position that if not for the cop union in Feguson the grand jury would have indicted? I hate cop unions as much as anyone but that seems to me to be a pretty bold statement. I don’t think the union had anything to do with Wilson not being indicted or Wilson shooting Brown.

    Is it too much to ask that Reason set down the lefty crack pipe for a moment and realize this is not the case to use to reign in cops? Reason might want to also realize that the Prog friends at the Nation dont’ give a fuck about police brutality and don’t print a single word unless they think doing so will advance the leftist cause.

    1. We very rarely have any kind of opportunity where the public is receptive to the idea of reining in police officers. Whatever you think of what happened in Ferguson, this is a rare chance to actually have this conversation and maybe make a few changes.

      1. Yeah, but in the context of a case where a guy robbed a store and then tried to take a cop’s gun.

        There’s a sympathetic case to run with when trying to attract the ol’ swing voters!

      2. No Andrew this is not a good case to have a conversation about reining in police officers, as the culture war has already taken root. The left has made this about racial injustice and victimhood, not police abuse. The party lines have been drawn, the parameters have been set your either with them or against them.

        1. Libertarians should walk away from this case. What is there to say about it now beyond being angry the Grand Jury didn’t bend to the mob?

          1. Identity politics has poisoned every well ever. I’m legitimately pissed that this didn’t go to trial, if only because if Officer Wilson had been a “civilian” it definitely would have. But that isn’t the argument that is being had or ever will be had in these kind of cases.

            1. I am not so sure it would have gone to court even if it had been a civilian, though who knows. Ultimately, as much as I hate cops, I do understand they have a job to do and I am not going to say they should be charged with murder when they shoot someone after this kind of a prolonged and pretty violent encounter.

              I am all for charging and convicting cops of murder or manslaughter who mistake a TV remote for a gun and shoot someone. But if you go out and get into a fight with the cops like Brown did, I am hard pressed to have much sypathy for you absent evidence they shot you after they had already subdued you.

              1. It definitely would have gone to court John, you can’t be serious I mean you don’t even have to look past the trayvon martin case. Zimmerman looked like he got the shit beat out of him, had forensics on his side and that still went to court in a state with stand your ground laws.

                1. the lack of transparency here is a huge problem.

                  1. Zimerman was not charged initially. It was only after the media showed up and generated the mob that he was charged. Zimmerman never should have been and never would have been charged absent Obama and his court media.

                    1. Wilson would have never went before a GJ without the mob.

                2. Zimmerman wasn’t charged and never would have been had the race mongers not shown up. Zimmerman is a good example of it not going to court. The only thing being a cop bought Wilson is the DA didn’t bend to the mob. Take away the mob and the media an neither case goes to court.

                3. The Zimmerman case went to court only after it became a national affair. Without the outrage (national discussion about race) Zimmerman would have never been indicted.

                  1. Which is what should have happened here. The police should be treated like everybody else, not given extra protections that would never ever be afforded to me.

                    1. Plus, like it or not the mob rules. The mob was placated with a show trial in Florida and the protests were peaceful after the flimsy case was tried.

                      No show trial in Ferguson, and mob violence ensued.

                      Note that in criminal trials it is always “the people against so-and-so”. The people of Ferguson wanted a trial. Instead they were only given the decision of TOP. MEN.

                      Perhaps its best if “the people” go to trial and lose rather than let the government preserve its winning percentage.

    2. Is it too much to ask that Reason set down the lefty crack pipe

      “the decriminalization of working-class people”

      yes

  8. In Ohio, the proposals didn’t fail in the legislature. SB5 was passed. SB5 was repealed by the public in 2011 in a “direct democracy” vote(Issue 2).

    1. And rightly or wrongly, that served as a message to others looking to do the same thing–if you want your union reforms to pass, leave the police and fire out of it (like in Wisconsin). If you want them to fail, include them (like in Ohio). The message was received.

      1. Yes, that’s exactly correct. Which suggests that the fundamental problem is not conservative politicians unreasonably protective of the police unions, but conservative (and liberal) voters.

        1. Its the voters for sure. But why are the voters so pro cop? Could maybe the media’s constant propaganda for cops have something to do with that?

          Maybe voters wouldn’t be so pro cop if the media were anything but worthless shitbags and shills for government power.

          1. With crime being at an historic low, it reasonable to assume that a majority of voters have not been crime victims. So they still have the mistaken belief that cops actually investigate crime like they do on fictional television shows.

          2. I can’t speak for anywhere else, but right this moment in NE Ohio, it’s a pretty tough sell to break the pro-cop attitude because of some fairly specific, very unfortunate events, not counting the 12-year-old in Cleveland.

            The Akron PD has, for whatever reason, seen a lot of current and former officers either drop dead or be killed in the space of just over a year. Just last weekend, there was a funeral for a 32-year-old cop who actually WAS a seriously good guy (I happen to have played soccer on a team with him locally). He was shot while off-duty at a local dive bar in front of a boatload of witnesses.

            Up until this year, IMO, general public opinion had started to turn against police (or at least a more appropriate skepticism had set in – very deservedly, because by and large, APD is pretty well loaded with asshole adrenaline junkies and had been abusing their authority for years).

            As a side note, it seems that the cops who have passed 30 years old and are involved in other outlets of activity in their spare time (i.e. team drinking/athletics) with other members of the community almost universally are not power-mad dicks.

            […and the ones who drop out of those activities are ones to watch later.]

          3. I think most people are pro-cop out of fear, and because the mass media is not skeptical of cops.

            First lets look at media:
            Contrast popular crime shows from the 1970’s to the ones running now: In the 70’s you had a bunch of private investigator shows – where the cops were portrayed as a hindrance or a nuisance. Nowadays the PI’s are rare and usually are suffering from some psychological problems which prevent them from being real cops and they help the cops (Monk, the Finder, White Collar).

            The shows like TJ Hooker, Chips and Barney Miller, have been replaced by shows like NCIS, SVU, Castle etc where the police rap things up in a neat bow in minutes.

            That is not to say I think there is a desire to propagandize the populace so much as the media is making shows that people are willing to watch, and people want to pro-cop propaganda.

            1. As to why… I think there is an increased desire for third-parties to provide safety, and a general feeling that criminals are scary madmen who are utter berserkers. And this feeling is one that causes people to feel that they are helpless. If a burglar is going to be deterred by your lock, locking the door makes you feel secure. If you think your are threatened by Akbar the Mike Meyers protege, who will kick in the door to rape your dog and ride off on your daughter, then you can’t stop them, you can merely cower in fear hoping the knights come and save you.

              I think this is largely a cultural issue, and think that it will only turn around when something happens that opens people’s eyes to the danger modern police pose to the citizenry.

            2. I confess that I enjoy NCIS (the original – the spinoffs suck). I even sort of like SVU from time to time (a habit formed when my wife would default-watch it).

              In both cases, I enjoy it despite all the statist bullshit, because I know I can filter it and compartmentalize it while still watching a drama/dramatic comedy.

              I do miss the shows like CHiPS and Barney Miller quite a bit, though.

  9. The conversations have to be about restoring the constitutional rights and protections of the people and the concurrent roll back of the systemic power enjoyed by cops that has effective destroyed those constitutional rights./i

    White privilege talk

  10. OT (sorta): Find a protest near you!

    http://peoplespowerassemblies……ael-brown/

    Just in time for the holidays. Hurrah….

    1. “Do you want to fight for social justice *and* get great pre-Black Friday discounts? Well, this is your lucky week…”

  11. “(Remember when Sarah Palin struggled to fire a state trooper and ex-brother-in-law who had allegedly acted like a thug towards her sister?)”

    Did the *Nation* just say something sympathetic to Sarah Palin?

    http://thechristians.com/sites…..k=XcGW-uTu

    1. Forget the Nation, lets talk about Reason. The one rogue cop Reason has ever defended was the one who was lucky enough to have the evil Palin as an enemy. That story broke when Weigel had the election beat. That fucker went to the matresses defending that guy and pointing to the story as an example of her corruption. And the editors never stepped in to stop him or print any dissenting views.

      And you wonder why I consider reason to be beltway media douche bags first and Libertarians second.

      1. Yeah, that was pathetic. It would have been a scandal if Palin *hadn’t* tried to get the guy fired.

        1. I think that to certain folks at Reason, contract with SoCons triggers a sense of ritual pollution, necessitating a disavowal of just about everything the SoCon does. If (s)he says “have a nice day,” it’s all part of the same evil plot.

          1. Well, I signed a contract with my wife not to have SoCons say “Have a nice day” to me, so you’re in violation of contract when you do it.

      2. And you wonder why I consider reason to be beltway media douche bags first and Libertarians second.

        I would’ve guessed it’s because you’re a conservative first and libertarian second (or third).

  12. Hard to believe that The Nation is making Reason look like amateur hour.

    1. Hey, tulip

  13. Oh, I suspended by FB account today. Again.

    THANKS, FERGUSON, MO!

    And the election, and tards in general….I couldn’t take any more after last night’s derp.

    I’ll try again maybe around Christmas so I can say hi to friends….:(

    1. I quit FB in summer and haven’t looked back. For me the occasional, superficial contact with long distance friends and family doesn’t make up for all of the bullshit. Plus it’s a huge timewaster, I’ve become a million times more productive since. /end anti-FB screed

      1. I never joined in the first place.

        Win!

        1. What is FB?

          1. Ferguson Book.

            *ducks and runs from room*

            1. Oh Good one. Well played sir.

  14. The Ferguson case won’t be framed in terms of protecting individual rights vs. the police – it will be framed as Cops vs. The Black Community, America’s Troubling History of blah blah.

    But then, hey, the Nation looked at some of the broader issues – maybe I should be more optimistic.

  15. Am I the only one who can’t stay logged in right now?

  16. These big-picture reforms are fundamentally political solutions that will require long-term effort, coalition politics that spans race, ethnicity and political affiliation?a challenge, but also a necessity.

    Until the authoritarian mouthbreathers begin to bray, “SOFT ON CRIME!!!”
    And those complex solutions, however well intended, will vanish in a puff of malodorous smoke.

  17. http://www.vox.com/2014/11/25/…..story-side

    Officer Darren Wilson’s story is unbelievable. Literally.

    Other than the waistband thing…is this really “Unbelievable” ?

    1. No. Vox is the biggest piece of shit waste of space on the internet. It is worse than Salon. Salon doesn’t even pretend to be anything but a leftist trolling outfit. Vox in contrast actually thinks it is providing news coverage.

      I honestly wonder which lefty rich guy was dumb enough to give Klein the money to start that piece of shit. Talk about a fool and their money being quickly parted.

    2. I’m surprised they managed to publish something that wasn’t about the demeaning portrayal of female super heroes in comics

    3. Oh bloody hell, I didn’t realize Klein wrote that. That explains the abject stupidity.

      Why did Michael Brown, an 18-year-old kid headed to college, refuse to move from the middle of the street to the sidewalk? Why would he curse out a police officer? Why would he attack a police officer? Why would he dare a police officer to shoot him? Why would he charge a police officer holding a gun? Why would he put his hand in his waistband while charging, even though he was unarmed?

      None of this fits with what we know of Michael Brown. Brown wasn’t a hardened felon. He didn’t have a death wish.

      Aside from the fact we didn’t know that last thing, I love the parsing of “hardened felon.” Brown might have been college bound, but he’d also just robbed a convenience store.

      I also love calling Brown a kid. Oh, he would have been charged and tried as a juvenile if he’d been arrested?

  18. How is it in other countries? How was it in this same country 50 or 100 yrs. ago? These are the questions that need to be asked to help with cause-&-effect.

    1. Also state to state, city to city.

  19. The problem of police violence is a problem of government violence.

    And the government is systemically incapable of admitting error.

    We’re fucked.

  20. my friend’s half-sister makes $74 /hr on the laptop . She has been fired for 8 months but last month her payment was $15926 just working on the laptop for a few hours. browse this site….

    ?????? http://www.payinsider.com

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