Police Abuse

St. Louis County Declares State of Emergency After Unrest in Ferguson on One Year Anniversary of Michael Brown Killing

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The media descended on Ferguson on the one year anniversary of the killing of Michael Brown. Peaceful protests were interrupted by a shoot-out between multiple people, at least one of whom allegedly shot at cops before he was shot by cops and critically injured. After the shooting, police presence "turned heavy," according to CNN. Police claim other protesters threw rocks at them, with three officers sustaining injuries. A journalist was also reportedly robbed in a parking lot, and several local businesses were damaged. Police say they called in tactical units, and this afternoon the county executive declared a state of emergency in response, hoping to prevent unrest amid protests scheduled for today.   

A year ago yesterday, the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., sparked protests in the suburb of St. Louis that spread across the metro area and the country. A grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Brown. The Department of Justice (DOJ) stepped in and found no reason to question Wilson's claim of self defense and no reason to bring charges. The DOJ found much of the witness testimony suggesting foul play unreliable. It's unlikely, for example, that Brown's last words were "hands up, don't shoot," while it's almost certain he tried to take Wilson's gun from him while the officer was still in his vehicle. While some people staked to the hagiography of Ferguson question the DOJ report, they offer no argument as to why the DOJ, which under President Obama and then Attorney General Eric Holder was more active in police oversight than it ever had been before, would engage in a cover-up. 

Even by the DOJ's account the incident pointed to the need for reforms, from rules of engagement to the protocol for medical attention after police use of force. And the police reform movement that grew out of the unrest in Ferguson has moved beyond the one case and to broader problems. Reformers in Missouri were unsuccessful in getting laws passed by the state legislature aimed at police reform, but such campaigns are ongoing around the country, and have led to talk of reforms from the federal to the local level. More sustained attention is paid to individual cases of police misconduct than ever before, and the issue is likely to be an important one in the upcoming presidential election. 

Another DOJ report found systemic racism and discrimination by the Ferguson PD, and activists in Ferguson have to continue pressing reforms based on that. Last night, events in Ferguson provide more evidence for why the media and professional protesters should move beyond Ferguson as the wider movement has done. Reforming the Ferguson PD and law enforcement in the St. Louis area is Ferguson's fight, not fixing the problem of police violence everywhere in the country. There are plenty of places to focus on, all deserving their own spotlights. Putting all the attention on Ferguson doesn't  negate that.

NEXT: The problem with jury nullification

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  1. I think it’s really cool you now think the DoJ is a reliable source.

    In the meantime, some advice from an old fart: if you want to ensure heavy police presence, shoot at them.

    1. The DOJ released evidence of police officers saying all sorts of racist shit about the residents of Ferguson. Here’s a charming email sent by one of the good officers of the Ferguson Police Department:

      May 2011: An e-mail said: “An African-American woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital for a pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers.

      And:

      June 2011: An e-mail described a man seeking to obtain “welfare” for his dogs because they are “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddies are.”

      October 2011: An e-mail included a photo of a group of bare-chested women dancing, seemingly in Africa, with the caption, “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.”

      Yes, clearly people who would send these sorts of things THROUGH THEIR WORK EMAIL would never actually engage in racist policing or discriminatory practices.

      I don’t trust the DOJ, but I trust evidence, and their evidence should not be discounted merely because of the source – especially given that they found no evidence of racial animus on the part of Wilson himself, which means they were hardly on a witch hunt.

      1. Right, but the protesters wanted Wilson as a scapegoat – and Obama was forced to admit that this wouldn’t work.

        Framing an innocent cop for the sins of his colleagues would have been really sick, and it would of course have distracted attention from the *real* abuses.

        1. Sure, the protesters were idiots who ignored all the evidence regarding the actual confrontation between Wilson and Brown. That doesn’t change the fact that the DOJ provided some pretty compelling evidence of racism among city employees.

          1. Just because the Obama Justice Department says something doesn’t mean it’s not true.

            I believe that the Ferguson cops abuse their power because that’s what I read in Reason. If the Obama administration says that same thing, that’s just background noise to me.

            1. Call me old fashioned, but what you should do is look at what evidence is provided by the source rather than just believing people you like and not believing people you don’t like.

              1. That’s fucking stupid and impractical, Irish. I don’t have the goddamn time to sift through fucking evidence in order to make up my own mind. That’s other peoples’ jobs.

                1. That having been said…if Joe Stalin told me 2+2=4, I’d double check him on a calculator.

              2. OK, Irish, I mean I trust Reason more than Obama.

                I am aware that Reason sometimes does unwarranted cop-baiting, and maybe this Ferguson stuff represents one such case.

                So maybe the alleged problems with the Ferguson cops aren’t problems at all, and haters are just piling on.

                1. But I’m not going to pretend I did my own independent investigation of Ferguson policing practices.

      2. If I were in charge: free abortions for all in mall kiosks across the land. No age limit and no questions asked. Stem cells happily harvested for research.

        1. I would like to join your “even less popular than the Libertarian Party” Party.

      3. Yeah, you do that shit on work email, and you’re fucking retarded.

        I had a close friend call me in a panic about something he received, unsolicited, in his work email. It was pretty bad, and this guy is fairly high profile.

        All of this stuff if archived for years and years.

    2. “I think it’s really cool you now think the DoJ is a reliable source.”

      It’s not.

      They have a bias in favor of the OMG RACIST! narrative.

      Despite this bias, they let Wilson off the hook.

      That’s not because they simply love white cops and want them to get away with killing “gentle giants.” It’s because the evidence to prosecute Wilson simply isn’t there, and *even the DoJ* has to acknowledge this.

  2. This means the FAA will restrict air traffic over Ferguson again?

  3. what are we being distracted from this time?

    1. Trump kicking the ass of the gamma male cuckservatives.

      1. And the post about Blacks Behaving Badly brings out the total idiots. It’s like clockwork.

        1. You think they’re going to turn out in droves for something halfway technical, like the latest dispatch from the Obamacare disaster?

  4. So to keep going on about Jury Nullification — what if Jury’s just stopped deciding to convict these blatant discrimination cases, like 40 years for selling something on the street or insane crap like that?

    1. If juries continually refuse to convict people charged with violating a particular law, then there’s a good chance the state will stop trying to prosecute violations of that law.

      1. No. Bench trials.

        1. A few years back, after some high-profile trial where a defendant everyone assumed to be guilty was acquitted (Casey Anthony, maybe?), Bill O’Reilly went on air and said that some criminal trials are simply “too important” to be decided by ordinary people, and that mandatory bench trials were more appropriate. Right now, bench trials are used mostly by cops on show-trial for crimes committed while in costume after their acquittal has been arranged beforehand.

  5. I’m just glad there’s been so much healing in the community since that tragic event

    1. Well, they went a few months without riots or any cops shooting unarmed black people (AFAIK)….so.

      Progress!

    2. The people injured a year ago have fully healed from their physical wounds. That’s what you meant, right?

      1. Most, with a few notable exceptions.

        1. What, this zombie Michael Brown costume isn’t doing it for you?

          1. This Website has been blocked

            Information Security Policy 8.1.3.F Acceptable use of assets (a) Data access and resource privileges

            My company thinks you’re a bad person for posting that, Jim. And I’m WORSE for trying to see it….:)

            1. Dude, it’s bad. And the comments are worse.

              Joe
              My local costume shop is sold out of the Zombie Mike Brown costume. Scooter is doing a great service and is a heck of a humanitarian. It’s great that some small good is coming out of the whole Mike Brown incident

              ?
              Reply
              ?
              Share ?

              ?
              Avatar
              Like one less EBT card to issue.

            2. Does anyone in IT ever see who tried to access filtered websites? I always wonder. I work for a national bank and have outrageously liberal internet access, but occasionally I wonder whether I’m being kept tabs on.

              1. You’re being kept tabs on. I can assure you internet traffic is monitored and all emails are backed up off site.

                Who the hell you think you are, Hillary?

          2. I preferred the Ray Rice costume

              1. Wait, never mind. Ray Rice. I was thinking Tamir Rice.

                Such a racist, I know.

            1. I hear that the sale of Rice Jerseys spiked in Balmer after the incident. And I definitely noticed seeing a lot more of them.

    3. If only the president had sat down with Darren Wilson and Michael Brown’s family for beers and a reasoned discussion of the issue.

      1. That wouldn’t have happened without a union rep there.

    4. By “healing” you mean large amounts of monies paid into the accounts of whoever the local Clay Davis’s are?

  6. Let’s see black racist mob attempting to disrupt the lives of ordinary citizens just trying to make a living, and the “stormtroopers” who think that every interaction with a citizen should involve some sort of fellating of him by the citizen. Not really sure who to root for here……..

    Well maybe a few less citizens just going about their business will be harassed by Missouri cops today.

  7. What the fuck people? Being anything but extremely polite to the cops makes you extremely unsympathetic in group protests like this. Talk to your main supporters about how to react to outside aggression. Ideally you want your protestors to pull their own back if they get too caught up in the moment (Tea Party did a really good job of this), but at a minimum get some people dispersed that understand why violence doesn’t play well on national news and are willing to try and talk the crowd down. Also start early, then call things to a close hours before dark. People feel more anonymous in the dark and are willing to do things they wouldn’t during the day (generally things you don’t want them caught on camera doing).

    1. Ideally you want your protestors to pull their own back if they get too caught up in the moment (Tea Party did a really good job of this), but at a minimum get some people dispersed that understand why violence doesn’t play well on national news and are willing to try and talk the crowd down.

      It’s especially good the Tea Party did this since the media portrayed them as crazy violent nutjobs anyway, so if the Tea Party had behaved themselves with the total lack of morality we saw at the Occupy camps, there would have been wall to wall negative coverage for about two months.

      1. Well, apparently, you missed the following story. Read and learn, bagger.

        Revolt against the ruling class

        On the right are the wreckers. The Tea Party

        On the left are the rebuilders. The Occupy movement

        1. Wow, Robert Reich’s arguments never fail to be completely moronic.

          Also, LOL at a former Labor Secretary writing an article with this headline:

          Opinion: A revolt is taking place against the “ruling class”
          Political insiders don’t see that the biggest political phenomenon in America today is a revolt against the “ruling class” of insiders that have dominated Washington for more than three decades, says Robert Reich.

          The proletariat is revolting against ‘insiders!’ You know, people who are like me!

          1. Re: Robert Reich:

            Robert Bernard Reich (/?ra??/;[1] born June 24, 1946) is an American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997.

            From 1980 until 1992, Reich taught at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he wrote a series of influential books and articles, including The Next American Frontier and The Work of Nations. In The Next American Frontier he blamed the nation’s lagging economic growth on “paper entrepreneurialism”?financial and legal gamesmanship that drained the economy of resources needed for better products and services.

            Former Harvard faculty member who worked for three presidents, one as a member of the cabinet, complains about Washington insiders completely without shame or irony.

            1. He gives Berkeley a bad name.

              1. Leave Breathed out of this!

            2. If he changes his name to Phillipe Egalite, we’ll know what he is thinking… get out ahead of the mob!

            3. The subtext, Irish, is Washington has the wrong insiders. If only they had Reich back, then all would be well.

              It’s also suggesting that Reich is totally “down” with what the young people are throwing down… he gets them, man.

              *flips chair around backwards before sitting down and ‘rapping’ with the class*

          2. That article is some of the most biased political opinion hackery I’ve read in a while.

      2. The tea party was supposedly racist, and that’s all that matters.

        Really, if you listen to the progressives talk about Michael Brown, even, it isn’t about rights or respecting the rights of black people.

        It’s about racism, and their conception of racism is completely divorced from what we libertarians are talking about when we talk about rights.

        No they don’t care about when white people are wrongly shot, but then they don’t care about black people’s rights either.

        Tony can explain it to you insofar as it can be explained. On the one hand, he thinks that Rosa Parks was mistreated by racists, but on the other hand, he doesn’t believe she had a right to sit in the front of a public bus–or any other right that the government at the time didn’t give to her and recognize.

        The tea party was racist. One that was established, nothing else about them mattered.

        1. Racism is one of the greatest tools of the left, which is why they use it so often. It has two purposes, to shut down any logical argument you may have, about anything, by declaring you racist, or by deflecting any talk about real causes or solutions to a problem, as is the case here.

          With the left, it’s all about their agenda. And keeping cops from beating down and killing blacks is not part of that agenda. And you right wingers need not insert yourself into this argument, because it’s about race, and you don’t understand that, because you’re racist. So the science is settled and the debate is closed.

          I always get called sexist and racist at WaPo. The last time, I said that Hillary Clinton is a lying and corrupt old hag. That got me ‘Well, here comes the sexism, figures. And you hate Obama too because he’s black.’. I didn’t even say anything about Obama, didn’t have to. The person automatically used the race card to back up the gender card.

          1. “With the left, it’s all about their agenda. And keeping cops from beating down and killing blacks is not part of that agenda.”

            They do care, but they don’t see the consequences the way we do.

            If ObamaCare fails to bring down the cost of care, why it would do that was a mystery to them when it was enacted.

            At least their intentions were good, right?

            It’s the same thing with racism.

            They don’t see any connection as to why urban teen unemployment is four times what it is for whites and why raising the minimum wage makes that happen.

            They don’t see any connection between the drug war and blacks being disproportionately convicted of felonies for it. They know that somehow the consequences end up racist, but they don’t connect that cause to specific policy.

            The evil is in the hearts of racists–not the policies that make such racist outcomes not just possible but almost inevitable. If you see what’s lurking in the minds of rednecks as the problem, there’s no reason to vote for politicians from another party or to change policy. You might lash out at the Confederate flag instead.

            1. The fact that they think banning rebel flags is more important than ending the drug war just goes to show how fucked up their priorities are.

              1. It isn’t the priorities. It’s the causes.

                They see the racism in people’s hearts as the problem–not public policy.

                Getting rid of the drug war won’t change the racism in people’s hearts.

                Getting rid of the minimum wage won’t change the racism in people’s hearts.

                Banning the Confederate flag from public property is a direct attack on what’s in the hearts of racists.

                They think of economics the way creationists think of evolution. The obvious things you see are invisible to them. You’re speaking a language they don’t understand and you[‘re describing relationships that don’t exist in their minds.

                Some of their leaders may be willfully deceptive, but the true believers genuinely don’t get it. The latter are genuinely ignorant for sure. Look at Tony. He’s pretty much par for the course.

                1. Do you think getting rid of the drug war will end racism? What?

                  This is obvious to anyone who isn’t a libertarian: all the evil in the world, racism included, does not spawn in government labs. People are often shit all by themselves, or haven’t you noticed?

                  The argument is not over the policy change. We all agree on that, and that it should not follow any other concern in priority.

                  What you seem to miss is that without the racism, these policies wouldn’t have existed in the first place. In all probability, they will only get changed when they start seeping into the enclaves of white druggie douches to the extent necessary for them to make it a political issue in their lives. Most of us are going to let them wait it out in cages until we are sufficiently affected to get around to it.

                  Ignore race and you don’t understand why cannabis is even illegal. Ignore race and you must posit some abjectly racist explanation for disparities in punishment and poverty. You do not help anything. You help one thing: the reinforcement of your childish horseshit comforting belief that you’re right about everything, even subjects you refuse on principle to study deeply. Just get a fucking blanky.

                  1. What you seem to miss is that without the racism, these policies wouldn’t have existed in the first place.

                    True.

                    In all probability, they will only get changed when they start seeping into the enclaves of white druggie douches to the extent necessary for them to make it a political issue in their lives.

                    I come from a large family of DEMOCRATS. They supported Prohibition until a relative got 10 years on a drug charge.

                  2. One little mistake Tony – you got racism and punishment right. On the poverty thing you are not taking all the major factors into account.

            2. The left is pretty good on Drug War Racism. Rand Paul did not invent the attack on it. He is an early adopter, though.

            3. urban teen unemployment

              Yet, you are delighted to carry their water.

              If you mean “black”, just say it…

        2. Those arguments aren’t connected. One is an astoundingly long-lasting debate over the meanings of words and your inability to understand that things can be talked about in both is and ought terms.

          The other is infinitely more complicated. The utopian goal is a society that enacts real, civilized justice and does so in a way that does not express biases against historically oppressed minorities.

          Any decent human being cares when anyone is shot. That’s why we’re against guns, and you are the psychopaths who don’t care when people get shot. There is quite obvious by the choice you’ve made in that rights conflict. Never ban the guns, no matter how clear the connection between gun presence and gun death, or the catastrophic numbers of gun deaths (and I don’t want to have that debate right now).

          You are leeches on the BLM movement using your tiny suckers to bleed out a few drops of anti-cop, anti-union, and quasi-anarchist nonsense. It’s about recognizing the real, actual role that race plays in these government abuses. Black people in this country were slaves longer than they’ve been free. Toss out a few condescending platitudes, I’m sure that will help. It is after all, all you’ve got.

          Better yet let’s debate semantics so you can get your natural rights boner you’ve been nurturing ever since it first made sense when you are 3 and told about Santa. What better way to solve criminal justice problems.

      3. That is what Occupy tried to do as well, I recall. They did have leaders comrades who tried to rein in bad apples and, y’know, crimes, for the sake of optics. Many of them followed the same tactics Illocust is talking about.

        1. The ones trying to rein in the bad apples, were those the ones with the megaphones talking about how white men have to speak last?

      4. It’s especially good the Tea Party did this since the media portrayed them as crazy violent nutjobs anyway, so if the Tea Party had behaved themselves with the total lack of morality we saw at the Occupy camps

        Gell-Mann Amnesia. Although it’s not often seen in the exact same sentence.

  8. A journalist was also reportedly robbed in a parking lot . . .

    The journalist can take comfort knowing that these are peaceful protests by people who care deeply about their community, that emotions are running high, and that the people are simply making their voices heard.

    1. Just don’t park anywhere near them or you might get robbed or jack. Of course, it’s all your fault if you get redistributed.

  9. “Peaceful protests were interrupted by a shoot-out between multiple people, at least one of whom allegedly shot at cops before he was shot by cops and critically injured. After the shooting, police presence “turned heavy,” according to CNN. Police claim other protesters threw rocks at them, with three officers sustaining injuries. A journalist was also reportedly robbed in a parking lot, and several local businesses were damaged.”

    Why can’t angry mobs behave themselves and just, you know, fade into the background while reporters tell us what’s really happening–from a progressive perspective?

  10. There’s only one solution to this problem. If we can somehow get more democrats elected in these problem inner city areas and get them in control of things, then all the problems will be resolved. It’s apparent that the Rethuglican Teahadists who have been in control of these areas for decades have failed, just like capitalism. I mean, we at least have to try it, right?

    1. +1

      It’s the same thing in Chicago.

      They may only have on Republican alderman out of fifty sitting on the city council, but that’s one Republican too many, and once he’s run out of office, I’m sure there will never be another unjustified shooting by the police in Chicago.

      1. only have on Republican alderman out of fifty sitting on the city council,

        What did it take to get the one Republican there?

        1. Probably limited nomination rules. That way there’s always at least one from a minority party.

        2. A dead girl or a live boy in the trunk.

        3. “What did it take to get the one Republican there?”

          The Democrat he replaced pissed of the SEIU.

          So the SEIU recruited a Republican to replace her.

          So what did it take? And endorsement by the SEIU.

          “Napolitano isn’t a typical Republican by any measure. The police officer-turned-firefighter won with the help of the Service Employees International Union, which paid for approximately $80,000 worth of negative ads blasting his opponent as bad for working families during the runoff campaign.

          In addition, Napolitano campaigned with Cook County Clerk David Orr ? considered by many to be the dean of Chicago’s progressive movement ? and touted the endorsement of the Chicago Teachers Union in the final days of the campaign before Tuesday’s winner-take-all runoff.”

          http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago…..-free-zone

          1. Ah, so the election does come down to two parties: Americans vs. the Unions. America: 0; Unions: 1

  11. A journalist was also reportedly robbed in a parking lot,

    There’s a well if irony here so deep, I can’t hear the splash at the bottom.

    1. It sounds like a turd in a punchbowl. Or so the journolists inform me….

  12. Over-under on a mainstream media report about how years of progressive housing policies and welfare programs have exacerbated the poverty among minorities in St. Louis?

    1. Six feet under

    2. The problem with Section 8 is that landlords are able to refuse to accept Section 8 vouchers. So while some landlords will happily accept them in poor neighborhoods, they won’t in better places even if the tenant can afford rent, and even though Section 8 renters are more reliable than other low-income renters. Why do they refuse in certain neighborhoods then? Guess.

      Progressives would of course be happy to alter the program to try to mitigate the ghetto problem. What’s the libertarian solution? Oh yeah, “work harder” … or starve on the street, presumably.

      1. “The problem with Section 8 is that landlords are able to refuse to accept Section 8 vouchers.”

        Well, no, but thanks for playing, slaver.

  13. I’d be interested in how many left-wing groups have a presence out there now and are involved in the “protests,” versus how many locals. Anti-police demonstrations and snatching the mic out of the hands of old men running for president seems to be the new hotness.

  14. I want to feel sorry for the people of this community, and I just don’t. I don’t mean to collectivize, but I just can’t raise even one fuck to give for these idiots. Townsfolk or cops – burn your fucking town down again – means nothing to me. Cops got shot at? I don’t care. People got the shit beat out of them or shot by cops? Don’t care.

    The opposite of “love” is not “hate” – the opposite of love is ambivalence or ignoring someone. Not caring. I opposite-of-love Ferguson, MO and everything about it, including the reporting.

  15. Tony’s mom must have failed to pay the inertoobz bill again. A global warming story and a couple on racism and Tony hasn’t appeared even once.

    1. Maybe he was the journalist that got robbed in the parking lot?

  16. “while it’s almost certain he tried to take Wilson’s gun from him”

    I can’t agree with this statement. This is a conclusion on his motivation for having a hand on the gun. The evidence only supports that his hand was on the gun… not the reason.

    Another perfectly reasonable motivation for having his hand on the gun was that Wilson pointed the gun at Brown and Brown tried to push it away so he wouldn’t get shot.

    I don’t support Brown, but I also get tired of hearing people repeat these assumptions as if they were facts.

    1. Isn’t there evidence that the first shot was fired literally from the hip?

  17. There is one reform that would fix quite a lot.

    End Prohibition, you fools

  18. Wilson’s defense of himself, which he made unprompted to the grand jury, was that he had to shoot Brown for fear that Brown might run off and hurt other police officers or passersby. In other words, not that he feared for his life, but that he had to use deadly force to stop an unarmed man from running around hurting people.

    This is an important distinction. The Supreme Court has made clear deadly force is not authorized against people who aren’t an immediate danger. They announced this in a case where an unarmed young man stole a few dollars and was shot in the head as he tried to flee over a fence. It’s difficult to say that Wilson getting into a scuffle with Brown makes the analysis different.

    Wilson’s defense is that Brown was not a danger to him but may have been a danger to others. Maybe Wilson misspoke or maybe his quote was mischaracterized, but on the basis of his grand jury testimony, the shooting was bad. You can’t shoot people who punch you unless you reasonably believe they are a real an immediate danger. A speculative danger that an unarmed man, even a large man, might run off and punch others would mean that the Supreme Court’s ruling has no teeth (except in a few rare situations).

    If Wilson had stuck to the party line and claimed that Brown was a danger to him, then the shoot could be seen as good. But that statement to the grand jury strongly suggests his motivation was not one of immediate defense from physical threat.

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