Yeah it's been discussed in the default thread but this is deserving of it's own.
I read earlier today that the McDonald's where the reporters were arrested had their doors locked today by police with customers still inside. What the shit...
It's gotten quieter now but it was pretty fucked up the last few days.
9/21 - Arsis @ New Royal Dive
10/28 - Tycho @ North Park Theatre
10/30 - The Rural Alberta Advantage @ Soda Bar
11/4 - United Nations @ Los Globos
11/12 - DFA 1979 @ House Of Blues
11/14 - The Presets @ North Park Theatre
11/29 - Cake @ Del Mar
I don't trust anything or anybody that would change that quickly. There are still no answers.
Right, there are two different threads in the Ferguson story. The first was the shooting of an unarmed black teenager and all collateral issues about race, the police use of deadly force, and the seemingly poor investigation and lack of transparency. The second was the deployment of a militarized local police force to harass and intimate protesters, journalists, etc.
Thread two is starting to calm down for the reasons explained by Tom, thus allowing national attention to return back to thread one. Which I guarantee you will soon turn into a left v. right issue, just like every other racialized issue during the Obama era.
Get the Military Off of Main Street
Ferguson Shows the Risks of Militarized Policing
By ELIZABETH R. BEAVERS and MICHAEL SHANKAUG. 14, 2014
WASHINGTON — FERGUSON, Mo., has become a virtual war zone. In the wake of the shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, outsize armored vehicles have lined streets and tear gas has filled the air. Officers dressed in camouflage uniforms from Ferguson’s 53-person police force have pointed M-16s at the very citizens they are sworn to protect and serve.
The police response has shocked America. The escalating tension in this town of 21,200 people between a largely white police department and a majority African-American community is a central part of the crisis, but the militarization of the police is a dimension of the story that has national implications.
Ferguson’s police force got equipped this way thanks to the Pentagon, and it’s happening all over the country. The Department of Defense provides military-grade weapons and equipment to local law enforcement agencies through the 1033 program, enacted by Congress in 1997 to expand the practice of dispensing extra military gear. Due to the defense industry’s bloated contracts, there is a huge surplus. To date, the Pentagon has donated military equipment worth more than $4 billion to local law enforcement agencies. And the giving goes on, to police forces in all 50 states in the union.
Ferguson’s police department is just one recipient; small towns all over America are now the proud owners of “MRAP” armored vehicles. The largess has gotten so out of hand that a congressman, Hank C. Johnson, is introducing a bill to block the 1033 handouts.
Whereas the Department of Defense hands over weapons directly, the Department of Homeland Security provides funding for arms. It has distributed more than $34 billion through “terrorism grants,” enabling local police departments to acquire such absurd items as a surveillance drone and an Army tank.
For a police department like Ferguson’s, the path to becoming a paramilitary force is a short one. After loading up with free military gear, it is no surprise that law enforcement agents want to use it. In fact, the 1033 program’s regulations require that the police use what they receive within one year.
In the absence of extreme violence or actual terrorist threat, what happens — as the American Civil Liberties Union has documented — is that the equipment and weapons are used by SWAT teams in routine situations, such as low-level drug raids or the execution of search warrants. As Ferguson shows, this militarizing of routine police work exacerbates tensions and increases the likelihood of disorder. This, in turn, appears to justify a militarized police response, and so the cycle continues.
Veteran police chiefs who have served on the front lines of America’s biggest police forces are voicing their concern. Norman H. Stamper, the former police chief of Seattle, has written with regret about the military-style tactics employed during the protests against the 1999 World Trade Organization conference in Seattle; he now advocates “an authentic partnership in policing the city,” involving rank-and-file officers, civilian employees and community representatives.
Militarizing our police officers does not have to be the first response to violence. Alternatives are available. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s statement Thursday highlighting resources like the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services office is welcome. This is where the government should be investing — instead of grants for guns.
Police militarization is a growing national threat. If the federal government doesn’t act to stop it, the future of law enforcement everywhere will look a lot like Ferguson.
and here's the ACLU study referenced.
Rembert Brown's piece about Wednesday night is incredible.
i can't wait for john oliver to do a segment on this.
i am still really confused. i was reading a lot of things i aren't sure are true, talked about them on mark's facebook page.
- i heard this morning that the alleged cigar robbery was a "strong armed robbery", if this is true, why the hell didn't PD state this up front?
- i had previously heard the robbery may not have occurred at QT, and that brown may or may not have been a suspect
- i had heard that the cops didn't call in the shooting right away and that a witness did
- i had heard that brown's friend that was with him went with his lawyer to submit a statement to STL PD, but that a statement was never collected
anyone know what is true or not?
I think you can actually make the case that it is to the credit of the police that they didn't claim Brown was a robbery suspect up front. I guarantee you that Giuliani-style police department would have had that information out while the kid's body was still warm in an effort to legitimize the shooting. Now the local Mayberries may simply be incompetent -- lord knows they've show that it every other aspect of this -- but it is also possible that they were using discretion in not immediately putting out information about the alleged robbery/shoplifting incident.
The rest of the information, who knows. Until police reports are actually released to the media, it's way too difficult to establish an accurate timeline about all of the events.
I dunno Mitch. The cigar robbery story feels like backfill, CYA stuff coming from Ferguson PD. It's like when you catch a person in a lie: they get mad at you then they try to explain it away. The tear gas and grenades etc was the angry reaction; now come the attempts at self-justification.
I mean it took them a week to pull this explanation together. And it's lame-ass: he stole some cigars so we had to shoot him? It just feels like a hail-mary desperation attempt at justification.
And: it's a red herring. Police don't gun a guy down in broad daylight for stealing a box of cigars. It's just Ferguson PD avoiding taking responsibility for their mistakes.
it just seems to me that maybe stating "hey guys, we didn't just shoot some un-armed college bound kid with his arms up who was just walking in the middle of the street, this guy grabbed a store clerk to steal some cigars" would have prevented some of the community outrage. not trying to justify the shooting at all, but i find it surprising the police wouldn't use such a fact to defend themselves until today after everything has started to settle.
i love finding out info as it's happening, but it is hard to know what really happened. i tend to wonder if tom is right, because the police have been mishandling this thing all along.
2) However, notwithstanding 1), we don't know if the officer who shot Brown knew about the robbery or had a reason to believe that Brown was armed or dangerous. We don't know the circumstances that led to multiple rounds being discharged and Brown being killed by the officer. Moreover, there's probably not a legal justification that would allow for the officer to use deadly force simply because Brown was a suspect in what seems like a glorified shoplifting case. Unless Brown presented a threat of death to the officer independent of his suspected role in a robbery, the laws of force in most jurisdictions provide that use of deadly force is justified only to prevent the commission of a violent felony, or to prevent the escape or flight of someone suspected of a violent felony when there is also an independent basis for concluding that the suspect presents an imminent risk of death or serious bodily injury to others if deadly force is not used.
As to the police motivation in releasing this information now, I suspect you can read it multiple ways. I'm only suggesting that there is a charitable reading that could be offered for their delay in putting out the robbery information.
It has to be released at some point, right? Just because it may not be relevant as a justification to the shooting, and just because it can be unfairly used by the police and their right wing media cheerleaders as some sort of twisted moral justification for the shooting, it's still relevant to the overall timeline of the shooting and the competing narratives behind it. Would it have been better for the police to have released information about the alleged robbery before they released the name of the officer involved? Holy shit, imagine how bad that would have looked.
i wasn't sure if you guys were debating the release of the fact that he was a suspect or the video itself, so i deleted this in my last post, but the video was released because [[the press] asked for it, also according to the chief. he claimed to hold it ''as long as he could.''
Holy shit, the chief said in his presser that the original reason for the officer stopping Brown was because of jaywalking. On a residential street.
That's bigger, more damning news than the revelation that the officer didn't know Brown was a suspect for the cigar robbery or any other crime.