Violence in Ferguson, Police Throw Smoke Bombs in Street

Police fired tear gas, smoke bombs and rubber bullets in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri.

The situation became more tense after nightfall, with police ordering people to go home and then using smoke bombs and later tear gas after some people threw Molotov cocktails and other things at them.

Here's an AP photo. Here's a live-streamed video of the lead up to the police actions and the aftermath. From the video, it was the police who advanced first, on a crowd that seems peaceful, and had their hands in the air while they chanted "Hands up, don't shoot."

Not on the video, there is a photo of some protesters trying to light a molotov cocktail (unsuccessfully, according to the caption) and another of a protester throwing a burning tear gas canister back at police (In other words, the police threw first.)Here's a photo of an empty tear gas canister picked up at the scene. [More....]

Two reporters were arrested, purportedly for videotaping police and not leaving a McDonalds quickly enough and released. Police say another protester allegedly pointed a gun at a police officer and was shot.

Here's what I want to know: Why do the St. Louis County Police need this kind of military equipment? How does Missouri justify paying for such equipment but not dash cameras for Ferguson's 18 police cars? A dash camera would have recorded what happened between the officer and Michael Brown. According to the police chief:

There is no dashcam video of the shooting of the unarmed, 18-year-old Brown. The department does not have cameras in its 18 cruisers. They received a Department of Justice grant this year for two dash cams and two officer cameras – but the dash cams have not yet been installed.

The over-militarization of our country's police force needs to seriously be scaled back. Citizens should not be encountering this when walking through their home towns.

How can a police department expect to win the trust of a community with this kind of a response to citizen complaints and protests?

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    I guess dash cams... (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by unitron on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:53:46 AM EST
    ...just aren't "military" enough.

    Thanks for this post J... (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 07:58:14 AM EST
    This is an almost unprecedented police action...appallingly unprecedented.  

    The peace officer is a relic, all we got now are war officers, outfitted by the Secretary of Defense with army surplus. Scary is what it is.  Terrorizing.

    It's been almost 100 years of law enforcement ramp up, we gotta start ramping down like yesterday...this is no way to live.

    That's not Army surplus (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 08:34:08 AM EST
    That is top of line special order military equipment.  My husband says the photos are revolting.  He says he also takes offense at the copying of military patches, particularly sporting the American flag on their sleeve.  He wears it at work because his boss is the American people....these officers are supposed to be serving these communities but the look of their uniforms seems to indicate they answer to larger higher authority like the President, but they don't.  Does the President really have any say so at all about the actions they take without some sort of big fight?

    This is a ROGUE MILITARY (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by ZtoA on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:19:07 PM EST
    with no real military training, discipline, command structure or professionalism.

    I don't know... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 08:42:40 AM EST
    but I would love for the president to get to using the pulpit to address this militarization problem at least, even if he has no power to intervene directly and call off the dogs in Ferguson.

    I suppose he could pull a JFK and send in the troops to reign in the rogue troops with their boots on the necks of Americans who deserve the justice and respect guaranteed to them by law.


    He is evaluating the situation (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 08:44:48 AM EST

    Update, 1:06 a.m.:  The White House said early Thursday that President Obama had been briefed on the clashes Wednesday evening in Ferguson and said the president will be notified as needed by staff. It also said Obama was scheduled to be briefed on the latest developments in Ferguson on Thursday morning.

    The family lawyer (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 09:01:46 AM EST
    Just said the justice department is on the ground there.

    Actually, he's funding the situation. (none / 0) (#40)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:03:53 PM EST
    The police force (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by lentinel on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 08:39:53 AM EST
    has morphed from something that was supposed to protect civilians into something that is designed to protect the State from civilians.

    It's not really... (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by sj on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:31:35 PM EST
    ...that unprecedented, unfortunately. This mirrors the police response to the Occupy movement.

    Good call... (none / 0) (#71)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:03:33 PM EST
    but even the NYPD wasn't this crazy in clearing out the camp...maybe out in Oakland it was this bad.

    Jeralyn, Glenn has an excellent post up (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 08:09:47 AM EST
    today at The Intercept: The Militarization of U.S. Police: Finally Dragged Into the Light by the Horrors of Ferguson.

    From his post:

    Last night, two reporters, The Washington Post`s Wesley Lowery and The Huffington Post`s Ryan Reilly, were arrested and assaulted while working from a McDonald's in Ferguson. The arrests were arbitrary and abusive, and received substantial attention -- only because of their prominent platforms, not, as they both quickly pointed out upon being released, because there was anything unusual about this police behavior.

    Reilly, on Facebook, recounted how he was arrested by "a Saint Louis County police officer in full riot gear, who refused to identify himself despite my repeated requests, purposefully banged my head against the window on the way out and sarcastically apologized." He wrote: "I'm fine. But if this is the way these officers treat a white reporter working on a laptop who moved a little too slowly for their liking, I can't imagine how horribly they treat others." He added: "And if anyone thinks that the militarization of our police force isn't a huge issue in this country, I've got a story to tell you."

    Lowrey, who is African-American, tweeted a summary of an interview he gave on MSNBC: "If I didn't work for the Washington Post and were just another Black man in Ferguson, I'd still be in a cell now." He added: "I knew I was going to be fine. But the thing is, so many people here in Ferguson don't have as many Twitter followers as I have and don't have Jeff Bezos or whoever to call and bail them out of jail."

    Glenn also says:

    The dangers of domestic militarization are both numerous and manifest. To being with, as the nation is seeing in Ferguson, it degrades the mentality of police forces in virtually every negative way and subjects their targeted communities to rampant brutality and unaccountable abuse. The ACLU report summarized: "excessive militarism in policing, particularly through the use of paramilitary policing teams, escalates the risk of violence, threatens individual liberties, and unfairly impacts people of color."


    Ultimately, police militarization is part of a broader and truly dangerous trend: the importation of War on Terror tactics from foreign war zones onto American soil. American surveillance drones went from Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia into American cities, and it's impossible to imagine that they won't be followed by weaponized ones. The inhumane and oppressive conditions that prevailed at Guantanamo are matched, or exceeded, by the super-max hellholes and "Communications Management Units" now in the American prison system. And the "collect-it-all" mentality that drives NSA domestic surveillance was pioneered by Gen. Keith Alexander in Baghdad and by other generals in Afghanistan, aimed at enemy war populations.

    It's chilling.  Horrifying.  Unconscionable.

    Will it stop?  Not inclined to believe it will.

    Post it while you can, Anne. (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:15:01 PM EST
    The day is coming when this will be labeled subversive, seditious, and get us thrown into a camp.

    We will be dealing with this bullsh*t... (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 08:46:15 AM EST
    ...for rest of the lives. And the militarization of the police is not simply about equipment, it is about the all the PTSD afflicted former military members who will come home and go into the police work, believing, as apparently these stormtroopers do, that they do no represent the communities they serve, but that they rule those communities from above and beyond the scope of any piffly "laws" they are supposed to follow and enforce.

    Deifying the military does this.

    I believe we will also (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 08:58:06 AM EST
    It is disturbingly Orwellian that the fringe right only take time out from their constant mewling about the loss of our "freedoms" to be cheerleaders and apologists for this stuff.

    The militarized cops like the ones in Ferguson are IMO a way more serious threat to our way of life than ISIS will ever be.


    The protestors should (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by MKS on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 09:31:51 AM EST
    have taken lessons from Cliven Bundy.   K-dog, where are you?

    Come armed with assault rifles, aim your rifles at federal agents, shout at the top of your lungs that you are taking your country back and you just want to get back to the original constitution, and for God's sake, and most importantly, be white.  

    Right here Baby... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 09:37:18 AM EST
    no doubt they'd be slaughtered by the pale pigs if they pulled a Bundy...different rules different shades.  But they'd be totally f*ckin' justified!

    Taking a flying leap (none / 0) (#13)
    by MKS on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 09:48:00 AM EST
    into futuristic fantasy, with advances in technology it may be that guns and bullets will be obsolete.  Maybe people can walk around with their own personal Iron Domes....

    The 2nd Amendment (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:04:19 AM EST
    will be amended to specifically exclude the right to an iron dome.  If a black guy tries to get his hands on one, anyway.  Just like when the white man tried to change the rules when Huey got a shotgun. :(

    It was St. Ronald Reagan (none / 0) (#17)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:17:59 AM EST
    who, when Governor of California, signed a bill forbidding open carry of loaded weapons in public because he said there were no reasons for ordinary citizens to do so.

    Yes sir... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:40:49 AM EST
    he just left out the "black" between "ordinary" and "citizen".

    Here in 2014, there should be no reason for citizens to carry loaded weapons, but with police (and vigilantes in "Stand Your Ground" states) behaving like this, we're seeing reasons why a black man may very well have very good reason to. Hard to preach non-violence when you're subject to so much violence on the regular.  


    First hand accounts of police actions (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:03:39 AM EST
    Despite the fact that the police chief went on the air today and said there was no curfew, cops have been shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at peaceful crowds, ordering livestreamers to turn off their cameras, jamming cell phone signals, using the sonic cannons developed for Iraq crowd control. unbelievable video

    They even fired into the houses in the area.

    Wesley Lowery has been on the streets of Ferguson since Monday, talking to the people of the community. He's also been teargassed, been shot at with rubber bullets and yes, arrested.......

    Here's Lowery's account of his arrest:

    One instructed me to exit to my left. As I turned left, another officer emerged, blocking my path.

    "Go another way," he said.

    As I turned, my backpack, which was slung over one shoulder, began to slip. I said, "Officers, let me just gather my bag." As I did, one of them said, "Okay, let's take him."

    Multiple officers grabbed me. I tried to turn my back to them to assist them in arresting me. I dropped the things from my hands.

    "My hands are behind my back," I said. "I'm not resisting. I'm not resisting." At which point one officer said: "You're resisting. Stop resisting."

    That was when I was most afraid -- more afraid than of the tear gas and rubber bullets. C&L

    Alderman Arrested, On 24-Hour Jail Hold In Ferguson

    Police arrested Antonio French for unlawful assembly after publicly announcing there was no curfew in Ferguson.

    This tweet from his wife gives a sense of the arrogance ablaze from these militant cops.

    Senka @senka

    @AntonioFrench being booked now. Not sure what the charge is yet. Was ordered out of his car and arrested because he "didn't listen".


    That this is going on in my neck of the woods is beyond belief. I can only imagine what it is like for those living this reality.

    I can't be the only one who (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:14:48 AM EST
    thinks that the way the police have handled this, right from the beginning, speaks to the likelihood that the initial confrontation with Michael Brown and his friend was conducted with much the same attitude and assumptions.

    I saw a couple on the news last night, saying that they had moved their children's mattresses to the floor, so afraid they are of bullets being shot into homes - and both are ready to pack up and move.


    Here's the thing (2.00 / 1) (#18)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:27:29 AM EST
    Everybody wants an investigation in Michael Brown's death.  An investigation cannot happen as long as there are riots and looting going on.  All that's going to happen is that evidence is going to be destroyedand the investigation will be corrupted.  I see two outcomes from this, neither which will be satisfying:

    1. The cop was justified, and in order to retain calm when all is said and done, s/he will be given up as a sacrificial lamb. OR
    2. The cop was not justified and out of control and investigators will not be able to piece together a coherent investigation with evidence that will hold up in court, and the cop will get away with administrative leave and leave the community torn apart for years to come.

    In no way do I see the whole truth coming out of this situation and true justice being found.

    Seems the cops are not interested (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:53:34 AM EST
    in transparency as they are demanding that reporters turn off their cameras prior to them employing their military actions against civilians and arresting reporters and aldermen for attempting to get out the story. Ferguson Chief of Police on the Hannity show just
    another way to calm down the situation. Feed the right wing racists more likely.

    A cop as a sacrificial lamb. Give me a break. If there are sacrificial lambs, they are the unarmed civilians being gunned down by the police and police want-a-bes.


    All I said was (1.00 / 0) (#21)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:57:19 AM EST
    There are two scenarios here.

    Just presenting all the options does not a supporter make.


    Balanced reporting? (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:00:05 AM EST
    No (none / 0) (#26)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:24:17 AM EST
    Looking at this objectively of what actually could happen and not focusing on only one aspect.

    I don't see what was wrong with my comment (excpet bonus!  I got a 1 rating from our newest resident troll - M88.  Gonna put that on my vitrual billboard collection).

    I said these are the two likeliest scenarios that I see happening.  The other option of course, being, that a fair investigation takes place, evidence is collected and actually  allowedadmitted, and we actually can know what happened, and if warranted, charges are brought against the people responsible and the community can find a way to heal.  

    But I don't see that option happening.


    Well we definitely agree on (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:39:00 AM EST
    one thing.

    I definitely don't see a fair investigation taking place. Regardless of the number of witnesses who dispute the one cop's version of events, the cop's narrative wii IMO be promoted as fact.


    There aren't only two possible outcomes (3.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:35:10 AM EST
    in this case.  Just because you say so, doesn't make it so.

    Your scenarios don't address (5.00 / 4) (#49)
    by ZtoA on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:20:37 PM EST
    what is happening NOW. Do you have one that does?

    Get over the looting (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by sj on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:39:11 PM EST
    Seriously. As long as you make that The. Most. Important. Thing. you are playing into the scenario that makes your option 2 the likeliest outcome.

    I seriouly doubt the officer-involved (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:03:31 AM EST
    shooting invesfigation is being slowed or corrupted by subsequent events.

    As do I... (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:17:40 AM EST
    no video, all we've got are the officer's and eyewitnesses conflicting accounts, and everybody knows who has the greater incentive to lie.

    And I disagree with jb that "everybody" wants an investigation.  The local cops don't...they'd rather everybody forget the whole thing so they can go back to harassing and perpetuating violence in the community in peace.


    If that's what they want (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:21:02 AM EST
    They should have stuck to whacking the locals and not moved onto reporters and politicians.   That gets you on the news.

    "When your only tool is a hammer..." (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:34:34 AM EST
    Mob mentality isn't just for angry mobs tired of being treated as less than human 3rd class citizens...same applies to mobs of badged thugs with military hardware.  

    Bastards can't help themselves...they're just playing whack-a-mole now.

    America needs to see and hear th*s sh*t so they can wake up...that might be some good to come out of this horrible tragedy and subsequent unrest.  


    They do I agree (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:40:37 AM EST
    But here is what I think is the sad truth.  This story will go away.  Just like all the ones before it.   Who is talking about the guy who was murdered with a choke hold this week?   This militarized police force is what the powers want.  They are very aware of the danger in the stratified society we have built and are building.   I just mentioned the civil rights protests of the 60s.  They learned from that experience.  This time the protesters won't win.   Dadler said it right.  This is going to be with for a long long time.  

    I hear ya... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:05:59 PM EST
    I've basically said the same thing many times...after the 60's and early 70's, when social unrest brought social change for the good, the authorities learned their lesson and built themselves a police state. So social unrest over the Iraq War or police brutality and summary executions or economic fairness is quickly and quietly snuffed out.

    My generation and those following learned fast and quick that the rebellion of our parents in the 60's will not be tolerated.


    Yes, the militarized police (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by KeysDan on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:09:39 PM EST
    force is what the powers want.  The political issue of special escalation by having to call out the national guard is avoided by having regular escalation by the local police.

    Well, when you effectively assume ... (none / 0) (#84)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:30:39 PM EST
    ... the cringed position of a dog who's just been pummeled with a rolled-up newspaper, you're probably right. You can pretty much always ensure an inevitable failure or at the very least, the perpetuation of the status quo, when you approach difficult situations and / or unpleasant tasks with an attitude of resignation or defeatism.

    Complaining without any sense of purpose or determination is no virtue. Rather it is simply complaining. And by convincing yourself that nothing's ever going to change despite efforts to the contrary, you will ultimately prove yourself to be little more than a true visionary of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    "Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    "In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    "Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.

    "It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate,
    I am the captain of my soul."
    - William Ernest Henley (1849-1903), Invictus (1888)



    When your only tool is authoritarianism... (none / 0) (#42)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:07:55 PM EST
    There will also be ballistic tests and (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:38:13 PM EST
    expert reports.  Where was the officer when he fired each shot, angle of the gun, location of bullet wounds, bullet casings, powder burns/spread.

    The protests started very shortly (none / 0) (#82)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:16:04 PM EST
    After the killing.  I have read that the body was left in the street by law enforcement for hours, a vigil was held near it by members of the neighborhood.  Can these facts be used to nullify any and all crime scene evidence?

    I really can imagine no justification for (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 11:00:17 AM EST
    failure of the city to remove the body for so long. Unless it was deemed unsafe for the relevant personnel to do so. And yes, unless the incident scene was well-protected from contamination, it will be difficult.

    Thank you for sharing some (none / 0) (#126)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 05:43:18 PM EST
    Of your knowledge on such situations

    Seems to me (2.00 / 1) (#27)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:28:26 AM EST
    that some witnesses will not be interviewed at this point since the town is literally in chaos.  And my guess is that some people's stories will be influenced by the events that have taken place since Mr. Brown's shooting.

    I hope "some people" includes (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:45:16 AM EST
    the cops, who may be sitting on a record, individually and as a department, that isn't going to bolster their "story."

    Do you think they haven't taken statements - a more appropriate word, in my opinion, than "stories," which seems to connote fiction - from the young man who was with Michael Brown when it all happened?  He was right there.  Right there to recount what happened - probably in direct opposition to what the cop will claim.

    Here's what I know: in a confrontation with an individual - one who, in this case, appears to have been doing nothing but walking in the middle of the street - the trained professional is supposed to conduct his interaction in such a way as to not inflame or escalate the situation.  And I am not seeing much evidence that the cops - throughout this entire situation - have approached the community on that basis, which in turn, does not speak well for the likely way in which the initial officer dealt with Mike Brown.


    Yes, it does, obviously (1.00 / 1) (#37)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:50:26 AM EST
    Why you would think otherwise is beyond me.

    I don't know what happened that day.  Neither do you, but you have apparently made up your mind already.  Do I think this stinks to high heaven?  Absolutely, but since there is also evidence that at least one shot came from in the car, it seems that it is not as neat and clean as everyone wants it to be.

    And no, I don't think many of the cops have been interviewed yet, since they are out on the streets right now, and the feds just got involved.


    Really? (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:54:52 AM EST
    I don't know what happened that day.

    Let me help you out.   The police shot and killed an unarmed teenager without even a "halt" and left his body in the street for hours.


    How many cops were witnesses (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:14:23 PM EST
    to Michael Brown being shot? I don't recall reading that there  was more than one cop, let alone numerous cops at the scene at the time of the shooting . So please enlighten me, Why would their statements be relevant?

    BTW there is also a statement from the police that the policeman in question was the only person who shot the gun. If you recall, everyone, even the police, agree that Michael Brown was unarmed. IOW he did not have a gun.


    How long do you think the department (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:23:04 PM EST
    waits to take statements in an officer-involved shooting that results in death?  Do you really think it's possible they have yet to take a statement from the shooter, 5 days after the shooting?  The police chief explained the reason for leaving Brown's body in the street for hours was that it took a long time to process the scene.  Do you think that did not include talking to the people who were there?

    And I don't know what you mean by "many of the cops;" was there a whole crowd of them there that day when Michael Brown was killed?  My understanding is it was one cop - the shooter.

    The young man who was with Brown is speaking out:

    Dorian Johnson said he was standing inches from Brown when the shooting occurred around 1:40 p.m. Saturday. He gave his account of the shooting to KSDK-TV.

    "The officer is approaching us and as he pulled up on the side of us, he didn't say freeze, halt or anything like we were committing a crime. He said, 'Get the F on the sidewalk.'

    After Johnson said the officer thrust open the door of his patrol car, hitting the pair, Johnson said the officer grabbed Brown around the neck and tried to pull him through the window. He said Brown never tried to reach for the officer's weapon.

    "The second time he says, 'I'll shoot,' a second later the gun went off and he let go," Johnson said. "That's how we were able to run at the same time. The first car I see, I ducked behind for because I fear for my life. I'm scared. I don't know what's going on. I don't understand why this officer is shooting his weapon at us."

    According to Johnson, the officer pursued Brown and fired another shot. which struck Brown in the back. He said Brown turned and faced the officer with his hands raised.

    "My friend started to tell the officer that he was unarmed and that he could stop shooting (him)," Johnson said. "Before he could get his second sentence out, the officer fired several more shots into his head and chest area. He fell dramatically into the fatal position. I did not hear once he yell freeze, stop or halt. it was just horrible to watch."

    Johnson said he could tell Brown was in pain after the shooting.

    "It hurt him a lot," he said. "I could see it in his eyes. It was definitely like being shot like an animal.

    The law enforcement agency tasked with (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:35:04 PM EST
    Investigating an officer-involved shooting should interview the officer very soon after the shooting. Within hours.  

    And as to the companion (none / 0) (#79)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:00:11 PM EST
    of the deceased victim, is there reliable information no one has contacted or attempted to contact him to schedule the officer-involved shooting interview?  It is at least a possibility he is refusing to voluntarily be interviewed for this purpose. His call at this point.

    Which the FOP will not allow (none / 0) (#100)
    by Peter G on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 09:00:54 PM EST
    Not in Philly, anyway. Same advice a criminal defense attorney would give.  Cop has the same Fifth Amendment right as anyone to refuse to provide information to be used against himself in a potential criminal case. In fact, in this instance, the unnamed cop is looking at a potentially capital case.

    I think the Feds just got involved (none / 0) (#59)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:00:16 PM EST
    So they may not have all the other witnesses who may have been there.

    And while this young man should definitely be interviewed by the Feds, since, as you point out, it was the middle of the afternoon - there had to be other people around.

    My whole point, which many people have chosen to lose their minds over because they obviously can't read, is that I don't see how now we are going to get definite answers.  God Almighty himself could come down with a video and say "This is what happened," and there will be people who wouldn't believe him.

    It's sad really.


    According to reports there were (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:16:08 PM EST
    other people who witnesses the event who state the cop shot down an unarmed man who had his hands in the air.

    Still interested in how many other cops were in your opinion on the scene when Brown was shot. If they were not on the scene, why did you say that they couldn't be interviewed because they were out on the street?.Why was this relevant to the discussion?

    A hundred AA's statements would just be discounted as  "stories" that are biased and influenced by events. That is can clearly be seen by comments in this thread.


    Actually, today's Porkers are trained (none / 0) (#43)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:09:21 PM EST
    not to de-escalate situations but to shout at the top of their lungs.

    I would just add (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:16:20 PM EST
    That there is no "other version" of shooting and killing an unarmed person.  I don't give a damn how aggressive they are.  And this person was apparently not aggressive at all.   But even if he was there are other ways of dealing with an unruly citizen.  You do not "have" to shoot and kill an unarmed person.  You do not have to "have" to pulverize a grandmothers face with your fists.
    This is the age of technology.  There are other ways.  There is no "other version" of why this is necessary.

    Link, please. (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:31:58 PM EST
    Cop's story not influenced by (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:46:47 AM EST
    trying to save himself from murder charges?  Police department not influenced by events?

    The "some" people came out with their conflicting stories fairly quickly but they are deemed influenced by events?


    One of them was on the Last Word (none / 0) (#103)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:54:32 PM EST
    on MSNBC tonight.

    Setting aside the content of her experience, it didn't seem to me that this witness was influenced by the events that took place after what she saw happened between the cop and the victim.


    An investigation has a much smaller (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:31:35 AM EST
    chance of succeeding and being objective when the police show as little regard for Michael Brown's family, friends and community by letting his body lie in the street for hours, and by publicly stating that the shooter had suffered a tragedy, too.

    Look at the pictures, read the first-hand reports. Look at how people are being treated. If the police are interested in calming the community, they have a strange way of doing it.   And if this is how they think it's supposed to be done, what does that say about their day-to-day treatment of the citizens of the community they are supposed to be serving?  I'm seeing an attitude and a culture of bullying and intimidation and confrontation that makes it less - not more - likely the initial incident was handled appropriately, starting with how the cop chose to initiate his interaction with Michael Brown.


    All I keep thinking (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:35:08 AM EST
    Is thank god the police were not as militarized during the civil rights demonstrations in the 60s and 70s as they are now.  

    what? How about (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 07:43:14 PM EST
    Chicago 1968, Columbia University, 1968 (here's a photo), Kent State, 1969,

    I don't believe (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by sj on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 08:07:35 PM EST
    he was trying to say that the police could be less brutal; he was trying to say that it's a good thing those brutal local police of the 1960s's didn't have these and these.

    Back then it was the military that was militarized.


    Yes (none / 0) (#98)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 08:13:25 PM EST

    Didn't say there was no police violence (none / 0) (#97)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 08:12:35 PM EST
    I was gassed myself.   What I meat was the police, sure they had helmets and clubs, but the did not show to every encounter looking like they were invading a country.  like this If they had the equipment now common there would have been a lot more injuries like the one in the photo

    It's funny you mention Kent.  Just watching Rachel do a segment on how the police action there changed everything.
    It's an interesting segment.


    That said (none / 0) (#101)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 09:40:19 PM EST
    They are better armed but so are we.  We are all now armed with cameras.  some very iconic images coming out of MO

    I wish you joined (none / 0) (#99)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 08:14:32 PM EST
    The conversation more often.

    The Feds are investigating (1.00 / 0) (#33)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:39:03 AM EST
    I'm not talking about the internal local investigation or the local police.

    And since the FBI and US Attorney's office seem to have a much stronger record of convictions than in local investigations, I still think it's going to be difficult for them to get a completely true picture of everything that is going on.


    What riots and looting? (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by vicndabx on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:24:38 PM EST
    News reports I've seen point to standoffs with aggressive point my assault rifle at you police personnel.

    Yes, these things happened in the beginning, not since.

    Most of the truth is there already should you choose to see it.


    There was apparently some looting ... (none / 0) (#58)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:25:43 PM EST
    ... the first night of confrontation, but that apparently has not been the case since. and it is noteworthy that none of those charged with looting and theft are actually from Ferguson.

    Police used similar tactics and equipment (5.00 / 6) (#38)
    by Peter G on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:54:31 AM EST
    including the terrifying sonic cannon ("LRAD"), to suppress peaceful protest of a G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh five years ago. Our ACLU won damages for unjustified (unjustifiable) use of that sonic boom, which is a purely military weapon, in city streets, on behalf of a Carnegie Mellon professor who suffered permanent hearing loss.

    Your brothers and sisters.... (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 05:56:04 PM EST
    at the ACLU of Missouri better eat their Wheaties...they're gonna be swamped for years after this travesty upon tragedy.

    Watching the Ferguson police chief (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:45:33 PM EST
    Now.   Clearly not accustomed the questions he is getting.
    One interesting question - the one that made him flee the mic - "are you surprised the word "war" is being used?  Are you surprised by the military look of this (paraphrase) - no, we are doing this in blue.

    I have been watching he footage.   I see a lot of camouflage.  No blue.

    Twitter (5.00 / 4) (#53)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:53:58 PM EST
    Jayzus. (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Angel on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:04:13 PM EST
    One more (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:58:09 PM EST
    Just heard on teevee

    All search warrants in St Louis country are now served with a swat team regardless of the crime.

    What could go wrong?

    they are in many places (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 07:49:57 PM EST
    especially in large drug cases, and have been for years.

    Here's what can happen. In the parents' words.

    Swat team raids increased 1500% in two decades up to 2007.

    In 2007, Radley Balko, the author of the Cato Institute's "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America," told a House subcommittee that there has been a detected 1,500-percent increase in the use of SWAT teams over the last two decades. These raids, which Balko placed at about 40,000 per year, have increasingly moved from being used in response of emergency situations beyond the control of the regular police deployments -- as SWAT was envisioned to be used for when first implemented by former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates in 1966 -- to being used to service drug searches and arrests.

    5 raids gone wrong.


    Direct quote (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:00:21 PM EST
    Elizabeth Warren        ✔ @elizabethforma
    This is America, not a war zone. The people of #Ferguson just want answers. We all want answers.

    The truly sad part of this entire ... (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:21:55 PM EST
    ... sordid episode is that it's highly likely that this was entirely instigated by the Ferguson police force. How did it come to pass that 18-year-old Michael Brown could be shot and killed last Saturday for the sole crime of jaywalking while black?

    Brown had no criminal or arrest record, he was an exemplary student in high school, and was about to head off to college. Given all that, the police department's account that this young man suddenly lunged for the white officer's gun without provocation, after merely being asked by that officer to remove himself to the sidewalk or side of the road, is ludicrous on its face -- unless, of course, one is willing to suspend his or her notion of common sense.

    As of this writing, five days after the incident, investigators still haven't interviewed Brown's friend who was with him that afternoon, and who was an eyewitness to his friend's death at the hands of that as-yet unidentified Ferguson police officer.

    But herein lies the real rub as to how all this came to be. By virtue of its demographics and politics, the town of Ferguson, MO stands as a stark 21st century example of Jim Crow, which despite the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 obviously remains very much alive and kicking in certain sections of the country.

    Even though 67% of this St. Louis suburb's 21,000 residents are African-American, 50 of the 53 commissioned officers on its police force are white (94%). As are the department's chief and deputy chief. As are its mayor and five of its six city council members (85%). And as are six of its seven school board members (85%). Per the Los Angeles Times:

    "Blacks in Ferguson are twice as likely to be stopped by police as whites, according to an annual report on racial profiling by the Missouri attorney general. Last year, 93% of arrests following car stops in Ferguson were of blacks. Ninety-two percent of searches and 80% of car stops involved blacks[.]"

    And now that all this has also come to light, we should definitely want to inquire why and how that sort of appallingly racist political and municipal disparity -- and yes, it most certainly IS racist -- can still exist in in the United States in the year of our Lord 2014, A.D., because that disparity is likely the root cause for the town's present troubles.

    And I very much doubt that any of this is due to the electoral acquiescence of Ferguson's majority African-American residents themselves, who appear to have been effectively disenfranchised in both purpose and design -- if not actually in fact -- by their white neighbors.

    The militarization of police forces across the country is certainly a topic that's ripe for public discussion, but it is by no means the only issue here that needs a thorough public examination and an accompanying remedy.


    Do you know (none / 0) (#60)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:02:12 PM EST
    Even though 67% of this St. Louis suburb's 21,000 residents are African-American, 50 of the 53 commissioned officers on its police force are white (94%). As are the department's chief and deputy chief. As are its mayor and five of its six city council members (85%). And as are six of its seven school board members (85%).

    How many blacks apply to be Ferguson police officers?  I have read that 94% of the force is white?  Are black applicants being denied jobs or are they just not applying.  Do you know?


    Seriously (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:04:21 PM EST
    It's just a question (none / 0) (#62)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:08:28 PM EST
    Seems to me if you're going to thro around statistics like "THE POLICE FORCE IS 90% WHITE!" it's a legitimate question to ask, "Why"?

    Nothing to do with this case, but I am curious.

    Of course, that takes critical thinking skills to see that.


    It is also a legitimate question to ask (5.00 / 4) (#67)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:30:15 PM EST
    why a  distortional  number of black people are being stopped when there own statistics show that white people are 12% more likely to have contraband. Several thousand blacks were stopped in Ferguson in 2013 vs a few hundred white people.

    It is also a legitimate question to ask why walking in the street is such a serious crime that it warrants shooting an unarmed man.

    It is also a legitimate question to ask why the cop continued to shoot an unarmed man once he was down.

    It is also a legitimate question to ask why the police found it necessary to shot rubber bullets and gas canisters into people's houses last night in their military attack on protesters. Did the neighborhood houses become part of the protest or was it something else entirely.


    You ask a legitimate question, jb. (none / 0) (#73)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:13:10 PM EST
    We now need to demand the answers. Indeed, in a black majority suburban township like Ferguson, how is it that a vastly disproportionate number of positions on the police force and in municipal government have come to be held by white people?

    As I noted below, given the ferocity of black residents' current anger directed at the police in the wake of Michael Brown's shooting death, I very much doubt that it has anything to do with their mindless acquiescence to white minority rule.



    I believe the chief has said (none / 0) (#77)
    by vicndabx on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:40:44 PM EST
    they have tried, but people don't trust the police.  Looking for the article.

    Given the events of the past week, ... (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:01:37 PM EST
    ... the residents no doubt have good reason to not trust them. I'd also be interested in learning how many Ferguson police officers actually live in Ferguson.

    One of the great travesties in modern municipal government across the country is the failure of so many municipalities and police departments to actually hire local residents to perform the daily work of government. (That said, we don't have that problem over here, by virtue of our living on islands.)

    When police officers and local bureaucrats have no vested personal interest in the communities where they work, save for the bi-monthly receipt of a paycheck, it's not surprising to see them treat with contempt the very citizens whom they've otherwise sworn an oath to protect and / or serve.



    I highly doubt (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by CST on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:10:22 PM EST
    that no black people are applying for those jobs.

    And even if that were the case, a competent police force would try to recruit them.

    It's called community policing and it's much more effective at actually preventing crime.


    Just did a quick google (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:14:07 PM EST
    Black unemployment in metro St. Louis is 35+%.  
    I'm sure not a single black person has applied.

    maybe they need to increase their outreach (5.00 / 4) (#95)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 07:54:11 PM EST
    efforts. Hire a p.r. firm who can help broaden their appeal to minority applicants, engage with citizens on social media, break down the wall between "us" and "them."

    An attitude change might work wonders. Larger cities don't seem to have a problem with minority recruits, so your efforts to put the lack of minority cops in Ferguson on the minorities is unfair.  


    Saw the former mayor of Ferguson, a (none / 0) (#108)
    by caseyOR on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 12:22:04 PM EST
    stereotype, if ever I saw one, of a good ole boy, on the News Hour on PBS last night. He was talking about the lack of minority cops on the Ferguson force. He blamed it on the city of St. Louis and on St. Louis County. (Point of information, the city of St, Louis is not in St. Louis County. The city is an independent city).

    Anyway, the former mayor said that the 90 or so small municipalities in St. Louis County are all competing with the city and the county itself for good candidates. The city and the county pay more than the smaller towns. So, claims the former mayor, Ferguson and the smaller cities are left with the dregs of the applicant pool.

    It sounded like he was saying that all of this isn't the fault of Ferguson because Ferguson had no choice but to hire bad applicants, all the good ones having been hired by the city and the county, to populate their police force.

    Not a ringing endorsement of the Ferguson PD.


    The mayor says it's difficult to hire black officers.

    "We hire everyone that we can get," Knowles said. "There's also the problem that a lot of young African American people don't want to go into law enforcement. They already have this disconnect with law enforcement, so if we find people who want to go into law enforcement who are African American we're all over it because we want them to help us bridge the gap. But these young people, they're not interested in law enforcement. There's already this frustration with law enforcement."

    Hmmmm (none / 0) (#110)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 12:59:13 PM EST
    If other largely or entirely white departments are any indication of what the Ferguson blacks would have to go through in order to be "part" of the department, my guess is that no one would want that job.

    Very hard to crack a racist blue line.


    More, fwiw: (none / 0) (#111)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 01:08:24 PM EST
    Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said 50 of the city's 53 police officers are white. He said he made recruiting and promoting black officers a priority when he took over four years ago after a three-decade police career in St. Louis and St. Louis County.

    Jackson said he promoted two black officers to sergeant in his first year in Ferguson, though one of those officers has since left for a better-paying job.

    "I'm constantly trying to recruit African-Americans and other minorities," he said. "But it's an uphill battle. The minority makeup of this police department is not where I want it to be."

    Interesting (none / 0) (#113)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 01:20:11 PM EST
    Also it would be interesting to hear the other side of the story, if there is one.  Usually there is..

    you will find it.

    Endemic Racism (none / 0) (#115)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 01:37:29 PM EST
    Two-thirds of Ferguson's residents are black, according to 2013 census records. But there are only three African Americans on the city's 53-member police force. The city council is also predominantly white, as is the mayor....


    Despite Chief Jackson's valiant efforts (or lip service) could it be reflective of a wider practice of racism recently found in the St. Louis County PD?

    In 2013, the Missouri State Conference of the NAACP filed a federal civil rights complaint against the St. Louis County Police Department. In addition to accusing the department of racism in its hiring, firing and discipline practices, the filing alleged county officers racially profile people near stores in the southern part of the county.

    Well, to be factual, (none / 0) (#121)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 02:09:51 PM EST
    racism has been alleged, not "found." Not that I think the allegation has no merit.

    and only 1 black counsel-person.

    With 2/3 of the population being black, did the black community there not offer any candidates besides that one person?


    Given the depth of raw feelings that ... (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:01:43 PM EST
    ... Michael Brown's death has exposed amongst the black majority, I very seriously doubt that they've simply acquiesced to white rule.

    If 14,000 of the town's 21,000 residents are black, the powers that be can produce a white-majority in municipal government by employing any one or all of the following three means: (1) Jerrymander the voting districts; (2) Engage in electoral fraud, which is a lot easier if you're the ones who count the votes; and (3) Resort to blatant intimidation of the majority populace.

    I think it's important to remember that despite its physical locale in the Midwestern heartland of the country, Missouri culture is and always has been a very Southern in its roots and acts.

    Missouri remained in the Union during the Civil War, only because Union troops acted quickly and aggressively to drive that its pro-Confederate governor and legislature from Jefferson City and occupy most of the state militarily, before they could convene to enact an ordinance of secession. By the time they did convene in Springfield and did so, they effectively controlled only the southwestern corner of their state. (One of the Confederate battle flag's thirteen stars stands for Missouri.)

    Old habits die hard.


    True (none / 0) (#72)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:07:53 PM EST
    MO has been treading more and more red.  Metro St Louis not but this is suburbs.  Serious suburbs.  

    Over the past few years MO has been making AR look good by comparison.


    Actually, "acquiesced to white rule" (none / 0) (#83)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:19:14 PM EST
    doesn't seem too far off the mark, although I would describe it as "acquiesced to the status quo" even when motivated otherwise.

    According to this article, David Kimball, a political science professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis who studied the issue, basically says the black community there simply does not vote.

    And he does not mention any of the things you posit as being factors.


    Batocchio at Hullabaloo.. (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:43:48 PM EST
    ... has a rather long but fascinating post today, "Lucky Duckies and Fortunate Sons," about the divergent attitudes of people on opposing sides who are playing in a game that's been rigged in favor of one side and against the other.

    Generally, people on the losing side tend to grow discouraged and check out when they realize that the game is rigged against them, while the beneficiaries of the proverbial thumb on the scales tend to deny that the game's been rigged in anyone's favor.



    racially proportionate governance in Ferguson, etc., would be a game-changer in the citizen's lives.

    Or, said the other way, (none / 0) (#89)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 06:10:17 PM EST
    this all presumes that the citizen's lives would all be significantly better if the governance was racially proportionate.

    It's an interesting question (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 06:49:12 PM EST
    I have lived in many cities.  Two are St Louis and Atlanta.

    Now except for numbers which came from wiki there is nothing scientific about this comment.    They are not far apart on the list percentages of black population.   Atlanta was 54 St Louis was 49.  But (and this is the unscientific part) the feeling you get there is very different.  Or maybe I should say the feeling I got there.  Atlanta has had good minority representation in government for a long time.  St Louis has not really.  Certainly not as much.
    There is a very different feel in these two cities when it comes to race.   I like the city of St Louis but I'm sorry to say I never felt relations between the races was very good there.  Not so in Atlanta.  And I honestly don't think it's because there are more white racists in St Louis.  I think it's because the non white population feels they have a seat at the table in Atlanta.

    I think it actually makes a big difference.   But I am not prepared to do enough googling to support that opinion.  It's just an opinion.


    I can't disagree with you there. (none / 0) (#102)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:20:53 PM EST
    Racially proportionate governance would be much better for the long-term good of the city than what they have now. At the very least, people like me wouldn't be bringing up issues of racial disparity.

    ... I'd make every effort I could to reach out to the majority black community and engage them on their terms, to ensure that they embrace the vested interest they have in the maintenance of their own neighborhoods.

    From what I've seen this week, the opposite appears to have occurred amongst the ruling white minority, a "Yah-HOO!!! Who's yer daddy?" attitude in which blacks are not accepted as fellow members of a greater community, but are instead treated as a collective nuisance and threat, to be first contained and then firmly set in its place.



    Was looking at the (none / 0) (#91)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 06:55:15 PM EST
    Demonstration footage today and I noticed an interesting thing.
    You are much more likely to see a black person with their face covered.  Way fewer white demonstrators seemed to feel the need to cover their face.

    "America... (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 07:25:19 PM EST
    "The worst part of outfitting our police officers as soldiers has been psychological. Give a man access to drones, tanks, and body armor, and he'll reasonably think that his job isn't simply to maintain peace, but to eradicate danger. Instead of protecting and serving, police are searching and destroying.

    If officers are soldiers, it follows that the neighborhoods they patrol are battlefields. And if they're working battlefields, it follows that the population is the enemy."

    ... is not for Black People" - Greg Howard

    Another general observation re law enforcement (none / 0) (#78)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:55:32 PM EST
    smallish suburban cities, they don't get the the cream of the crop as applicants. It is not unusual for those who are hired to have previously been sworn officers for a larger agency. Perhaps permitted to resign instead of being terminated. Or never could get hired by the larger agences to begin with. Pay and benefits aren't as good either.

    Missouri Troopers to Take Over Ferguson Security (none / 0) (#81)
    by Angel on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:10:03 PM EST
    Ferguson Police Chief identifies (none / 0) (#104)
    by Angel on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 09:21:27 AM EST
    The smear: Dead kid was a "suspect" (none / 0) (#105)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 10:35:12 AM EST
    in a robbery.  A $48.99 box of cigars.  An abso-freakin'-lutely heinous crime.  

    So... gunning him down was ok.  Call it Policy and be done with it.  Move along, proles.  Nothing to see here.  Move along or we'll shoot you too...

    How you can tell it's the "truth?" (none / 0) (#106)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 10:57:51 AM EST
    Because it only took them five days to come up with the story.

    I don't know, that video looks pretty bad (none / 0) (#112)
    by vicndabx on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 01:18:35 PM EST
    and does now strike at the heart of the credibility of his friend. Link

    That being said, it's hard for me to understand shooting someone in the back.  CNN commentator says the Supreme Court has ruled that is OK.

    What smells to me is the lack of an incident report. That should have been completed by now and released.


    If you think that smells, ... (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 03:31:29 PM EST
    ... then you'll just love this story now up on the Washington Post website, in which Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson has apparently walked back his convenience store robbery suspect angle, and has instead sought to clarify that the fatal encounter between Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson was unrelated to any alleged robbery.

    If that's the case, then why did Chief Jackson even bring it up in the first place? WTF, man!



    I think they've known that all along, hence the (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Angel on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 02:48:55 PM EST
    release of the videos in the store wherein Brown is allegedly in an altercation with the store clerk.  Tried to shift the story from the street shooting to the alleged robbery, but it didn't work and now they're inching their way to the truth - hopefully.    

    Kinda thuggish for sure. (none / 0) (#116)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 01:46:50 PM EST
    Did he think the guy he physically pushed around and stole from would not then immediately call the police?

    Nothing he did in that store excuses him getting shot to death, but he sure didn't do himself any favors by choosing to start the whole ball rolling...


    All I see is blurry low resolution video (none / 0) (#117)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 01:52:45 PM EST
    of somebody.

    the thief/thug in the video is Brown.

    I'd like to request that henceforth, ... (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 06:19:54 AM EST
    ... we please cease using the term "thug," because I've noticed that it somehow only seems to find its way into our crime-related discussions whenever we're talking about African-Americans or Latinos.

    I don't mean to single you out here, because I've seen others do it here and elsewhere in the past. But given the almost casual manner in which you've now twice dropped "thug" into this thread, please be aware that its use can be either interpreted or misinterpreted as an inference of racial or ethnic bias on your part. And there are people out there who will take vigorous exception to it when you toss it out there offhandedly, even though you likely mean nothing personal by it.

    You can save yourself a lot of potential grief by simply referring to the late Michael Brown as "the deceased" or "alleged suspect," as I and others do.



    "thug" can be controversial.

    Brown used his considerable bulk to purposely intimidate, physically accost and ultimately steal from a dude who was literally less than 1/2 his size. And who was completely in the right.

    When talking about the robbery he coldly and callously committed, as we are here, I'm happy to drop "thug" and refer to him as "thief," "mugger," "assailant," etc.

    When talking about the shooting I usually refer to Brown and Wilson buy their actual names, as that is the most neutral.

    fwiw, I would refer to Wilson as "probable murderer," but this website pretty much has that side of the discussion fully covered...


    "alleged robber" (none / 0) (#133)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 01:43:04 PM EST
    I might use "punk." (none / 0) (#135)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 03:27:27 PM EST
    According to persons, including relatives, (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 05:13:14 PM EST
    the deceased liked to smoke pot and had to be rousted out of bed when he'd sleep in but was supposed to be in class at "the worst public high school" in Missouri. See NYT article I linked to above.

    "had to be rousted out of bed..." (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 07:02:46 AM EST
    Slap the cuffs on me too, Oculus.

    I was merely regurgitating what (none / 0) (#142)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 09:33:16 AM EST
    his relatives told the reporter. Article link is in my comment below. And, yes, this description probably fits many high school seniors.

    Any Dirt on the Cops? (none / 0) (#140)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 08:42:21 AM EST

    Wonder why?


    Check it out: (none / 0) (#141)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 09:24:38 AM EST
    Hahahaah Your Dirt on PO Wilson (none / 0) (#143)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 09:47:06 AM EST
    Glowing reports on PO Wilson... smears on the deceased, not surprised to see that you have a dog in this race.

    I did have a moment where I wondered (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by Anne on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 10:28:35 AM EST
    what an officer would have to do in Ferguson to receive a commendation...if their idea of exemplary behavior would be in line with my own.

    From the linked article:

    Officer Wilson received a commendation for "extraordinary effort in the line of duty" in February. Greg Kloeppel, a lawyer for the union representing Ferguson police officers, confirmed the commendation that Officer Wilson received, but he declined to provide information about what kind of person the officer is or any details about his life.

    Juxtaposed against this, is, I think what gave me pause:

    Mr. Stone ran outside and saw two police officers, both white men, standing near Mr. Brown, who was lying on his stomach, his arms at his sides, blood seeping from his head. Another neighbor, a woman who identified herself as a nurse, was begging the officers to let her perform CPR.

    They refused, Mr. Stone said, adding, "They didn't even check to see if he was breathing."

    Followed by the four hours Michael Brown's body lay in the street; not much sensitivity there, or understanding of how emotion is likely to be inflamed by the indifference.  


    He wasn't all that neighborly. (none / 0) (#144)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 09:52:34 AM EST

    He was a d***head who snatched a box (none / 0) (#139)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 07:05:18 AM EST
    of cigars, then shoved the clerk out of his way.

    End of violence.

    That puts him much higher on the moral high ground than the cop whose first response was to gun him down.


    HufPost: (none / 0) (#118)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 01:57:12 PM EST
    Ferguson has a brand new police station (5.00 / 3) (#120)
    by MO Blue on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 02:07:47 PM EST
    Why was the Police Chief's news conference held outside of a looted business instead of outside the police station?

    Better to stir up the white population and justify shooting a man multiple times?


    Also if Brown and Johnson were suspects (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by MO Blue on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 02:11:16 PM EST
    In a robbery, why wasn't Johnson held for questioning. All news reports immediately after the shooting stated that Johnson wasn't arrested.

    The conference (none / 0) (#123)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 02:19:49 PM EST
    Seems to have established that the officer who shot Brown had no knowledge of the alleged robbery video.  The two were completely unconnected.

    Until the police decoded to release it along with the identity of the shooter.   Just apparently smear Brown.


    Which has worked rather well, (none / 0) (#128)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 08:49:22 PM EST
    judging from some of the comments I've read.

    Some people are happily red herringed away from the issue of the appropriateness of backshooting "suspects."


    Please note my update above, ... (none / 0) (#125)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 03:38:17 PM EST
    ... that Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson now appears to be walking back his initial allegations about Brown being the suspect in a nearby convenience store robbery: "The initial contact between the officer and Mr. Brown was not related to the robbery."

    Okay, now I AM confused.


    Police Chief Jackson... (none / 0) (#127)
    by sj on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 08:05:16 PM EST
    ...may be a more honest man than he is being given credit for. He is not helping the cover up story at all.

    ... in that first press conference, and never once gave a straight answer when asked point blank by a reporter whether or not Officer Wilson's encounter with the deceased was related to the cigar theft at the convenience store.

    Instead, he just channeled Buford T. Justice and kept telling the press to read the report. It was several hours later before he subsequently sought to clarify his earlier remarks.

    Maybe Jackson now belatedly realizes that it's also HIS a$$ on the line here, given the thoroughly abysmal and unprofessional manner in which his department has conducted itself during this entire sordid and sorry mess.

    Were I on the Ferguson City Council, I'd be looking to sack the guy. Not right now, obviously -- but as soon as everyone and everything calms down, I'd be introducing a resolution of no confidence in Jackson's leadership and seeking his dismissal from his post.



    I agree with everthing you just said (5.00 / 2) (#137)
    by sj on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 09:16:24 PM EST
    My only point is that I prefer a liar who is uncomfortable lying than one to whom it comes naturally.

    Gotta wonder if the Chief remembered (none / 0) (#131)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 09:09:59 AM EST
    to sanitize the old job applications, the ones with the tiny B written in the invisible check box or with comments coded in whatever internal language they've been using to preserve the Klannishness of that occupying white police army.