Ferguson

DOJ to Announce It Has Eyes, Could See Disastrous Police Response to Ferguson Shooting

Sniper rifles aimed at protesters kind of a problem.

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You look like a fool. Get down from there.
AP

In today's "No, really?" news, some media outlets have gotten their hands on a confidential early draft of the Department of Justice's (DOJ) report analyzing how St. Louis-area police responded to the protests and anger that brewed in the wake of Michael Brown's shooting by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Of course they declare it to have been awful, something everybody who saw the news coverage (or live streams from citizens in the area) could tell. From Reuters:

The Justice Department draft report, which covers actions over the 17 days following the Aug. 9 shooting, found that police lacked effective protocols to handle the events, were not adequately trained, struggled with communication and coordination, and made a series of mistakes that in some cases heightened tensions and spurred mistrust of the police.

The use of dogs for crowd control during the protests in Ferguson incited fear and anger in the crowd, according to the report, while the use of tear gas on people without warning in areas from which there was no safe retreat was also a problem.

In addition, police were inconsistent in using force and making arrests, the report said. Some officers removed their nameplates while working the protests, evading the accountability for their actions that is "fundamental," the Justice Department said.

The report also criticized police for positioning snipers atop armored vehicles to monitor the crowd through rifle sights, saying the tactic "served only to exacerbate tensions."

It found that law enforcement agencies set a negative tone for media relations by initially offering only limited public information about Brown's shooting, and said that police inhibited protesters constitutional rights to free speech during the protests.

The report has 45 "findings" and recommendations for improvement, according to Reuters.

Removing name tags to avoid identification isn't a "training issue" or a mistake, but a decision done with deliberate intent by a police officer seeking to act without consequences. These are the kinds of officers that should be looking for a new line of work, but I'm not expecting much. 

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  1. This report will be placed prominently in Ferguson’s round file cabinet.

    1. I disagree, I read something about more training…

      There’s an opportunity to fluff budgets and raise pay.

  2. “Removing name tags to avoid identification isn’t a “training issue” or a mistake, but a decision done with deliberate intent by a police officer seeking to act without consequences”

    Or, you know, so they aren’t personally targeted or their family targeted by pissed off protesters. I think a lot of them were just trying to protect their identity after seeing how people went after officer Wilson and his family.

    They still should have kept them on, cuz that’s part of being a cop, but I can at least understand why they wouldn’t want to.

    1. Especially when you’re firing tear gas at members of the media and identifying yourself verbally as Officer Go Fuck Yourself.

      1. haha, yeah exactly

        although, to be fair, there are a few “members of the media” who could use a good tear-gassing

        1. Well, it was Al Jazeera America.

  3. I’m still annoyed that, when the DoJ decided there wasn’t evidence against officer Wilson, they released a report on Ferguson police abuse at the same time that they announced Wilson’s exoneration.

    Talk about a scapegoat! The cops who actually engaged in abusive behavior are still on the force, while the one guy who demonstrably did nothing wrong was sacrificed to appease the mob.

    1. This is what makes cops paranoid. You’re attacked by a felon, and, fearing for your life, you shoot the guy, and in a heartbeat you’re a devil-figure and not-exactly-nonviolent protesters are demanding your scalp, and the media joins in the cry.

      And the Obama/Holder Justice Department, which has every incentive to prosecute you, finally decides it’s got nothing on you, so it buries the lede and announces your exoneration alongside a report on police abuse in your department. And the media stories are like “Page A1: DoJ finds police abuse…page C13: Wilson cleared.”

      1. Well tough shit, they reap what they sow. They have absolutely zero hesitation to unleash all of that, and much, much worse, against a “civilian” the 99.999% of the time that the tables are turned. Officer Wilson suffered a lot less than any non-cop would have had the circumstances been reversed.

        1. So Wilson is now part of an ominous Other? A “they?”

          Was he treated fairly or not? Or does collective guilt make this irrelevant?

      2. Tough shit. It is clear to me that Wilson’s attitude was at lest partially to blame for escalating matters, and the general Ferguson police department attitude takes much of the rest. Sure, Brown was a cheap thug and had just strong-armed a cheap robbery. But when cops lay the groundwork so thoroughly, they reap what they sow, and I have little sympathy for Wilson or any of the others. The police advertise for thugs, they get thugs, and that is the bed they have made.

        1. That sounds too much like collective guilt for me.

          1. It is voluntary collective guilt. Cops join the police because they want to be part of the police. No one forces them.

          2. When cops give up the TBL, they can skate on the collective guilt.

            Until then, they wanna play soldier, they can live with group punishment.

  4. The use of dogs for crowd control during the protests in Ferguson incited fear and anger in the crowd

    No shit? Better replace those dogs with *robots*, toot sweet.

  5. The report also criticized police for positioning snipers atop armored vehicles to monitor the crowd through rifle sights, saying the tactic “served only to exacerbate tensions.”

    And it violates the first rule of firearm safety, “Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.”
    That’s why Leupold invented binoculars and spotting scopes.

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