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Author Topic: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?  (Read 1601 times)

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Offline kylieTopic starter

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Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« on: August 19, 2014, 02:15:14 AM »
          By now probably many (in the US anyway) are aware of the shooting of Michael Brown by police and ongoing protests and rioting (sample timeline) in Ferguson, Missouri.

If you haven't caught it, a swing at summary

            Brown was a Black youth reportedly shot on the street as police investigated a robbery in a convenience store.   According to the police, Brown was found to have no weapons on his person at the time he was shot.  A friend also on the street who observed the shooting, and the police have given differing accounts about whether Brown was fleeing or turning, facing or not facing the police in the end and about what his posture was at that moment. 

            There has been over a week of protests against the use of lethal force with bursts of violence -- both civil unrest and an often militarized police response and later attempts to set a curfew.  This is now about to be followed by deployment of the Missouri National Guard (state-level, largely part-time citizen soldiers) in support of the police.  Meanwhile, while the state process continues as I understand it, the federal government plans an additional federal autopsy on Brown and parallel (federal) criminal investigations of both Brown's death and the police response in civil rights terms.   

           The string of events has again (see Rodney King, Trayvon Martin..) developed to highlight a disconnect that exists in many American cities between predominantly Black, generally poorer communities with little state investment, versus police forces that rarely patrol those communities so much as they very actively protect the property of wealthier districts and neighborhoods.  And with Ferguson in particular, something of an extreme case perhaps of general trends:  The Ferguson police force is not only somewhat to much better off financially than many in the immediately aggrieved Black community, and again perhaps drawn from a population that tends to live in separate neighborhoods of the city, but it also happens to be a police force of almost no Blacks and vastly majority White.  I expect these three items -- net wealth, separate homes, and race -- quite often go together to a noticeable degree, but they are reported to be especially pronounced in Ferguson.



           While there is, I suppose (hopefully), still the possibility that a more cohesive bundle of evidence will be assembled on the particular situation of Brown's death...  It's all very frustrating and trying that these explosive, racially thick situations seem to be just as inevitable and recurring in American history as say, increasing gaps between the middle and working class from the later 20th century on...  Which are certainly not only along ethnic lines, though that also does often overlap. 

         I also feel a deepening pathos and grinding cynicism about this week when Palestinians in Gaza, very recently themselves shelled by an American-sponsored occupying military to the tune of hundreds of dead children, show up posting tear gas endurance advice for Black protesters facing police equipped with surplus military vehicles unloaded by the federal government to state police in the wake of the (umm, previous) Iraq conflict. 

        I am a world away from all this, except well...  I will walk into the college classrooms in about a week, and I doubt a week will pass before the usual periodic questions running "Did you own a gun in the US?  Have you ever fired a gun?  Have you ever shot anyone?"  come along with probably, some understandable added earnest.  I could possibly make some allusion to the Chinese government's handling of the Uighur and Tibetan populations, but that does not change the fact that much of the world often sees America as both replete with quasi-military quantities (if not quality!) of weaponry starting from private households to local police on up, and chronically locked in racial abuses.  And you know, sitting in a country where almost no one has a firearm in the home and most have been taught to insist they are each oh so "normal" members of "common" society (for better and worse and despite some histories of serious differences, but still?)...  That diagnosis seems to have quite a lot going for it.  Of course there are serious exploitation problems here too.  But there is a difference in those specific types of violence and division many of us here simply do not need worry about day to day.

------------------------

          A couple questions to bounce:

         About using the military:  I was rather young and busy at the time of the 1992 LA rioting.  In that case, as I understand it (I plead desire for quick idea here and consulted a Wiki right off -- but hey, point me to something else manageable summary level if ya got it)...  The federal government sent in not only some Guard but moreover the full-time military (some of them even Marines) and did it under federal command.  Does anyone have opinions about this case?  Is deploying the National Guard and having them sent under state command, a good move?  Would federal troops, a federal command structure, or more regular troops perhaps be better?  Or if you like...  Would you agree the troops are necessary?

          Do you think the federal government (or some organization perhaps?) should be involved in some way that hasn't been discussed much in all the reporting?  Has something perhaps been overlooked?

           Again, I don't know enough of what happened in LA.  I suppose it was a much larger urban area to manage?  (Ferguson is population 32,000 or maybe somewhat less, seeing different numbers...)  I am wondering though, how exactly the conflict petered out there.  While I'm sure there are various reports somewhere online, I'd also be curious if people who were perhaps in the area have some take on it.  What was done militarily -- or was that basically an occupation of troubled districts? -- and how long did it take to matter.  Or was it more a matter of exhaustion, political settlements, or more.  Again, even if the summary report is out there...  What did it feel like to be there?  Were things really settled?

            Finally...  If people will errm, "humor" me but I can't help asking.  How does something like this go on for over a week, and nobody makes a thread about it?  Is the Elliquiy demographic just so dramatically removed from the experiences of people in those neighborhoods?  Have we perhaps gotten ourselves into some corner where people hold back from discussing it, based on how previous threads about race or armed conflict have played out (or maybe just how/how far they have/not been allowed to play out)?  Or is this not acceptable summer Politics fare?  Ahem.  I know I've taken some time to get around to it myself, wondering if this would end sooner.  And I know there have been a few police shootings of Black youths over the past couple years that have drawn a lot of media attention.  But I'm still kinda surprised this one hasn't gathered visible interest here sooner.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 02:28:54 AM by kylie »

Offline consortium11

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2014, 05:22:49 AM »
I'm in the UK so I'm a few steps removed from the event and the debate around it; it's made the news over here and got a fair amount of attention but it isn't completely dominating the airwaves.

Why hasn't the story got more traction on E?

I'd suggest at this point because there's not actually a huge amount to talk about.

With the shooting itself there's still so few concrete facts established that the majority of what is written (whether eventually proven true or not) is going to be a combination of guesswork and gossip. At this point all we really know for certain is that Michael Brown was shot multiple times and killed, that shortly before he'd helped commit a robbery but that the police officer in question didn't know about the robbery when he interacted with Brown. It's been suggested that there are few signs of a struggle and that Brown was likely shot from over two feet away but that's from a pathologist hired by one of the sides in question and thus should be taken with a pinch of salt for the moment. Without more facts and evidence being presented it's pretty much impossible to debate anything about the shooting without having to rely on stuff that right now cannot be proven.

With the rioting and general disturbance it seems to me that any debate will be limited because the positions are rather common sense. People of course have the right to protest (and I don't intend to get into a jurisprudential debate about the right to protest etc etc) and assemble but they do not have the right to loot. Much like with the UK's own Tottenham Riots it appears quite clear that while the demonstrations began legitimately and contained those with good intentions others are simply using it as an excuse to indulge in a bit of anarchy (used colloquially rather than politically) and to steal with much less risk of getting caught (which could probably also filter into why the LA Riots died down; those simply interested in personal enrichment and merryment are far less likely to keep looting when instead of facing an overstretched police department they instead find the army and national guard... as well as an organised and armed group of shopkeepers).

Now, one could use this tragedy as a jumping off point for a wider debate about race, state control etc etc in the US but with so few facts that can be established one runs the risk of looking a fool and undermining one's wider points if the shooting doesn't follow the narrative. One can look at the Duke Lacrosse Case and the number of people who tried to use it as part of a wider point about racism and sexism only to find themselves looking rather foolish when the case fell apart. Moreover it also strikes me as somewhat... unfortunate... to take an individual's death and essentially remove all individuality from it from viewing it entirely as part of a supposed wider context. For either side to use Michael Brown's death to make a point, be it about racism in general and/or specifically in the police or about the dangers of "thug" culture means pretty much removing Michael Brown from the story. Wait until you hear the first "it could have happened to anyone" or "it could have happened to any black child"... that's the point where the people making that statement are openly saying that Michael Brown doesn't matter anymore, what matters is this wider point. And that strikes me as rather sad and dehumanising.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 01:45:56 PM by consortium11 »

Offline KalebHyde

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2014, 05:53:32 AM »
I would like to echo Consortium's points as I live in the same state that this is happening in and I fully agree it is far too early to know exactly what took place.  Some reports now are claiming an initial scuffle occurred and that the kid was shot as he charged at the officer.  No one really knows for sure yet but what I find a shame is the rush to judgment from the media and those who gain from inflaming racial tensions.  America is not perfect but we have come such a long way in race relations.  It is a real shame that some of our own citizens would have the world think we are stuck in the 1800's.

As for the looting, it is always wrong.  Destroying the property of those with nothing to do with the situation does nothing constructive and,I believe, it dishonors the memory of the victim and his family.  Our governor recently called in the National Guard though so far they are only standing by.

Offline Euron Greyjoy

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2014, 01:15:21 PM »
With the rioting and general disturbance it seems to me that any debate will be limited because the positions are rather common sense. People of course have the right to protest (and I don't intend to get into a jurisprudential debate about the right to protest etc etc) and assemble but they do have the right to loot.
Who gave them this undeniable right Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton? :P To say a whole group of people is allowed to riot and loot whenever they don't get their way or is mad, is baffling. While I hate how the police have become the second military, I do believe they should be there to keep the peace. I mean whats the alternative? Having no police and letting Ferguson burn?

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2014, 01:22:38 PM »
Who gave them this undeniable right Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton?

My money's on whatever deity's in charge of typos.

Offline consortium11

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2014, 01:46:13 PM »
My money's on whatever deity's in charge of typos.

Indeed

*Ninja edit*

Offline Mathim

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2014, 02:53:10 PM »
I'm just so burned out on this kind of thing it just never crossed my mind to make a thread or comment about it. I mean, don't situations like this happen fairly frequently? It's just that some in particular get more special attention than others for whatever reason? Stuff is messed up and it's not really looking like it'll get any better so talking about a specific incident rather than what's wrong in general doesn't seem like the logical step to me. Maybe I'm missing the point...

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2014, 04:00:31 PM »
It is sad how divided the US is now.  Even the protesters are making generalizations of what a black cop would do, or a white cop would do, even though very little facts are out.

That's why I avoid these discussions, just like the Trayvon Martin one.  Just the media up to their usual tricks, trying to divide people even more.

Black on black violence is by far a greater hazard in inner cities, yet so little media attention is devoted to that. 

Offline Rogue

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Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2014, 04:07:17 PM »
Who gave them this undeniable right Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton? :P To say a whole group of people is allowed to riot and loot whenever they don't get their way or is mad, is baffling. While I hate how the police have become the second military, I do believe they should be there to keep the peace. I mean whats the alternative? Having no police and letting Ferguson burn?

So let's talk about some riots that weren't handled with this sort of violence.

Let's talk about all of these riots. Or how about this one. Let's talk about how none of these have been answered with potentially deadly force. But I suppose because it's for sports and not civil rights that's okay.

Let's talk about how at first those stores that were supposed to be protected by the police were protected by the citizens depicted...

here


Let's talk about how similar these pictures look:
1960's

Ferguson



How the demographics in Ferguson look like this:

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide


How the guy who was robbed didn't even report the robbery!

That a kid about to start college was EXECUTED for walking in the middle of the street (the now official reason he was pulled over).

How their petition only asks that cops stop being capable of killing people and not being punished for it when it's unnecessary force. And that they be punished when they do.

How it's messed up that people protesting that police brutality are criminalized by the media and only requesting basic human rights, while the police officer is making money off of this.

Let's talk about how messed up it is that people can still be shot dead in the middle of the street for nothing more than walking down the middle of it because a cop said they would.

I am not anti-cop. There are some amazing cops out there. There's a cop who bought a woman's groceries when they could have arrested her so that she could feed her kids. There are many other stories out there. But this is a tragedy that was handled extremely incorrectly by the police on every account. It's getting better, but by no means is this fixed. I just hope this finally fixes it because it'll be safer for everyone. Literally, EVERYONE. Even the police officers.

The way the police have handled this riot from beginning to now (save the couple nights of peace) has been terrifying. When a government official, who was being peaceful gets tear gassed, you know there is a big issue.

Offline Cycle

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2014, 04:17:23 PM »
Tell me if these images look similar in any way.




Two are from Ferguson.  Two are from Baghdad. 

When police militarize, it escalates a problem.  It doesn't solve it.  Whether they realized it or not, the local police in Ferguson tried to force control over the situation.  That was a mistake.  It is not the police's place to force control over a general population.  The police are the servants.  The civilians are the masters.  Try to invert that and you have chaos.

Then someone decided to replace the local police with the highway patrol.  Who didn't go in riding armored vehicles with machine guns.  Surprisingly, that seemed to cool the population down.

Offline Rogue

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Offline Lux12

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Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2014, 04:34:22 PM »
To be honest, this is a bad situation all around. On one hand, you can't let people just run around hurting other people like that, but calling in the guard is probably only going to aggravate their fears. They might be able to stop the rioting, but it won't fix the mess that led to it in the first place. Just because a wound closes up doesn't mean won't leave a nasty scar.

If anything has been overlooked, it's the systemic issues that led helped create the events that led up to this  social tragedy. There were a series of news stories about black people being assaulted for relatively minor offenses before the riots, one of them was killed. Another was beaten severely by an officer for what amounted to jay walking. The fact that people are still miffed about what happened to Trayvon only further contributed. Americans don't like to talk about race or the long and troubled history our nation has with ethnic issues and when they do, they seem to assume the kkk, skinheads, and other such groups are the only facilitators and the only kind of racism is the overt kind. The truth is, that unwillingness to acknowledge that other manifestations exist feeds the monster. People would rather fight the most obvious symptoms that get the proper treatment. If America had listened before these events took place, we would have far fewer people rioting.

Am I saying they should be rioting or that I like that they're rioting? No. It saddens me that the protesters did resort to violence. I would rather the protests remained peaceful, but it doesn't change that it's going on and what fans the flames anger. I may not be black but when you learn a bit about someone else's perspective, it gets easier to understand.

All I can tell you is that a lot of people want to think all manners of prejudice, systemic oppression, and bias are dead, but they aren't. Pretending they are keeps them alive. It's like living in a political version of samsara. Unless people are finally willing to admit the problem exists and then work to end it in a more meaningful way, society cannot metaphorically reincarnate into a better, more peaceable state.

Offline DorothyGale

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Offline Euron Greyjoy

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2014, 06:16:58 AM »
My money's on whatever deity's in charge of typos.
Care to point out the typo?

quote author=Rogue of TimeyWimey Stuff link=topic=211565.msg10397437#msg10397437 date=1408482437]
So let's talk about some riots that weren't handled with this sort of violence.

Let's talk about all of these riots. Or how about this one. Let's talk about how none of these have been answered with potentially deadly force. But I suppose because it's for sports and not civil rights that's okay.

Let's talk about how at first those stores that were supposed to be protected by the police were protected by the citizens depicted...

here


Let's talk about how similar these pictures look:
1960's

Ferguson



How the demographics in Ferguson look like this:

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide


How the guy who was robbed didn't even report the robbery!

That a kid about to start college was EXECUTED for walking in the middle of the street (the now official reason he was pulled over).

How their petition only asks that cops stop being capable of killing people and not being punished for it when it's unnecessary force. And that they be punished when they do.

How it's messed up that people protesting that police brutality are criminalized by the media and only requesting basic human rights, while the police officer is making money off of this.

Let's talk about how messed up it is that people can still be shot dead in the middle of the street for nothing more than walking down the middle of it because a cop said they would.

I am not anti-cop. There are some amazing cops out there. There's a cop who bought a woman's groceries when they could have arrested her so that she could feed her kids. There are many other stories out there. But this is a tragedy that was handled extremely incorrectly by the police on every account. It's getting better, but by no means is this fixed. I just hope this finally fixes it because it'll be safer for everyone. Literally, EVERYONE. Even the police officers.

The way the police have handled this riot from beginning to now (save the couple nights of peace) has been terrifying. When a government official, who was being peaceful gets tear gassed, you know there is a big issue.
[/quote]
The sports rights are different because they are spontaneous and  are short lived, compared to whats going on in Ferguson. The peaceful protesting has been going on for ten days now, but every night there is violence. The citizens started to protect areas days after the violence begun. Tell me if the peaceful protestors are the majority, why cant they keep the so called minority in check? I get it police brutality is common amongst black people, no body here yet is trying to deny that. However, police brutality isn't a race issue because it affects everyone. Like you said the majority of the people of Ferguson are black and most of the cops are white, so it goes without saying they're only going after black people. All I'm saying is no race has the right/excuse to riot.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2014, 06:36:23 AM »
Care to point out the typo?


Guess the reference was to "but they do have the right to loot" - a fairly clear typo but a sneaky one because it didn't make the sentence look disjointed, just kind of...odd, it cracked the line of argument (and it has since been fixed).

Offline Retribution

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Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2014, 08:30:15 AM »
Alright I was born and raised in the Metro East. I have not lived there for 25 years now, but it is pretty much where I refer to as "home." Race issues in the area are nothing new and while I have not been to Ferguson more than a time or two it is nothing special in the St. Louis area. I am reserving judgement on the entire situation until more details come out because well there have been no hard facts released for the most part. So I will wait until the end of the investigation.

Having said that law enforcement is handed a rotten job in which every split second life or death decision will be second guessed. And going for an officers gun is serious, I know this with family who work in law enforcement and I think this article demonstrates http://www.fedsprotection.com/news.asp?page=1701

Next peaceful protest ends when riots start. People do not like militarized police there is a simple freaking answer, do not riot. If it turns to riots and looting then there are few other options for the police.

Lastly both sides are polarized and jumping to conclusions. A little meet in the middle would go a really long way. I suspect police are a little guilty of profiling and I suspect the African American community are a little guilty of assuming if an officer is forced to use force he is racist. I do not know what happened here like I said I will wait till the investigation results come out. As for number of shots fired if an officer really feared for his life well then I doubt he is going to stop firing until the target is on the ground....heck in St. Louis proper a few years back there were peaceful protests over an officer involved shooting on the Landing. The officer was being drug by the suspect's car when he fired the fatal shot. I am sorry in my world that is an officer left with no other choice. On the other side of the coin things like the Rodney King beating years ago show when the officers were in the wrong. Like I said I will wait for the investigation results.

As for tensions there are social and economic issues at play. I am not smart enough to say how to fix them and repair say income gap or the like. But in my opinion those concerns are belittled one protests turn to violence. If someone is trying to turn this into a gun control issue that is ludicrous and idiotic because I do not see the police being disarmed anytime soon or that ever being practical. Guns were not involved otherwise so anything else trying to say this shows we need more gun control is comparing apples and oranges and using tragedy to make political hay. This is why I will fight in the very literal sense of the word anyone trying to impinge on my second amendment rights.

So all I really know about all of this for sure is the rioters can stop the violence anytime they like. Just cease rioting.

Offline RedEve

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2014, 08:37:42 AM »
It is sad how divided the US is now.  Even the protesters are making generalizations of what a black cop would do, or a white cop would do, even though very little facts are out.

That's why I avoid these discussions, just like the Trayvon Martin one.  Just the media up to their usual tricks, trying to divide people even more.

Black on black violence is by far a greater hazard in inner cities, yet so little media attention is devoted to that.

Not sure how black on black violence justifies unwarranted use of extreme force by the police?

Also, unless it was misreported, there had not been a single homicide in the neighborhood where the killing of Michael Brown happened for a long time.
So even the notion that this was some extreme hotbed of violence is a construct (that I'm sure the Ferguson PD would love everyone to believe).

I'm inclined to believe the witnesses, just because the PD has been so little forthcoming with information and so ultra-defensive in general. That is not how an entity that knows it is 100% in the right behaves.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2014, 08:59:54 AM »
Not sure how black on black violence justifies unwarranted use of extreme force by the police?

I was not commenting on anything regarding the police, since the investigation is still under way.  My statement was more rewarding the ensuing violent riot, which we can all agree has done nothing productive for anyone. It is certainly not helping to encourage a thorough investigation.

My statement was more a commentary on the type of news stories that make national headlines in the American mainstream media.  The shooting of one man makes national headlines, because of people inferring facts based on suggestive speculation.  Yet a much greater epidemic of violence, black on black violence, a true reality of life, will not elicit the same passion.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2014, 09:15:51 AM »
I was not commenting on anything regarding the police, since the investigation is still under way.  My statement was more rewarding the ensuing violent riot, which we can all agree has done nothing productive for anyone. It is certainly not helping to encourage a thorough investigation.

My statement was more a commentary on the type of news stories that make national headlines in the American mainstream media.  The shooting of one man makes national headlines, because of people inferring facts based on suggestive speculation.  Yet a much greater epidemic of violence, black on black violence, a true reality of life, will not elicit the same passion.

I suppose the reasoning behind it is that people think the police ought to live up to much higher standards of good judgment and of not jumping at random persons, (alleged) harassment, shooting a man and leaving him to die in the street (as some people claim happened in the incident that started things off) etc...than criminal gangs, burglars, drug pushers/addicts and looters. We've given the cops the right to enforce some kinds of things and to haul people in for questioning or drag them off to the arrest cell, then we expect them to show themselves worthy of those prerogatives (plus that in many countries, though not in the US, they are the only ones allowed to settle matters with a gun in public without nearly always risking to go to court for it afterwards). Crooks are crooks, you can certainly be rightfully angry with them or bring them into the hands of the police, but it's not as if they have pledged to us to show consideration, judgment or even mercy.

Like Retribution, I wish to personally suspend judgment so far on what's happened and the reasons behind it, because the reporting has been a bit vague and I don't really know anything about the area.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 09:24:03 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Passion and Desire

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2014, 04:12:36 PM »
Next peaceful protest ends when riots start. People do not like militarized police there is a simple freaking answer, do not riot. If it turns to riots and looting then there are few other options for the police.

[...]

So all I really know about all of this for sure is the rioters can stop the violence anytime they like. Just cease rioting.
Wow...

In that case I guess the German police must be some sort of miracle worker, because they manage to deal with riots without fucking tanks and machine guns. ;)

Offline consortium11

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2014, 04:26:58 PM »
I'm inclined to believe the witnesses, just because the PD has been so little forthcoming with information and so ultra-defensive in general. That is not how an entity that knows it is 100% in the right behaves.

I tend to dislike trial by public opinion and argument by press release for this exact reason.

Michael Brown was killed 11 days ago. In terms of an investigation that's very little time. Facts are still being gathered, reports prepared, statements compared etc etc. I'd much rather the police/investigators went about their job as best they can without feeling the need to give each new "development" (which may or may be true) a public airing and contribute to the "he said, she said" aspect that is already fueling the news media.

It could also be that the last time they released high-profile information relating to Michael Brown the response was an resumption of rioting after a day (and night) of relative calm. Knowing that offering any new information could inflame tensions once again I'm not going to hold their reluctance to reveal every detail to the press against them. At the end of the day, however entitled we feel, the police's duty isn't to keep the news media fully informed of everything that goes into their investigation or each piece of information they discover.

Offline Retribution

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Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2014, 04:32:24 PM »
Wow...

In that case I guess the German police must be some sort of miracle worker, because they manage to deal with riots without fucking tanks and machine guns. ;)

Please show me a link that has tanks in Ferguson? There are not any. There are also not machine guns in Ferguson. Now I will admit there are M16s and AR15s but those are not machine guns. Fully automatic weapons have been illegal in the US since 1934 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Firearms_Act  Even the military issues few fully auto firearms these days since on full auto the weapon is hard to control. Three round bursts are a more common setting http://www.city-data.com/forum/history/326668-why-no-full-auto-m16.html

But thank you for illustrating how a lot of misinformation gets spread.

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Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2014, 04:36:38 PM »
And while we are speaking of bogus rumors here is a whole link dedicated to them! http://twitchy.com/2014/08/11/best-rumor-of-the-night-column-of-tanks-headed-to-ferguson-mo/

consortium11 well thought out and reasonable as ever  :-) as I said I am withholding judgement until the full report is out.

Offline Cycle

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2014, 05:09:15 PM »
Yeah, it's not columns of tanks.  Just men in body armor, toting assault rifles, during the day when there is no rioting, with at least one person aiming some kind of firearm that was mounted on a tripod on top of an armored vehicle.





It makes sense to reserve judgment on whether Brian Brown was killed illegally until after we see the autopsy, and the Brown family gets a copy of the police report.  But there's no reason to hold off passing judgment on what the police did over the last several days.  You can see it for yourself.

In my opinion, they made a fundamental mistake when they brought in that much weaponry.  Police do not have power because they have guns.  Police have power because they are trusted.  Trust is earned.  Not demanded.  Not taken.  When someone decided that the solution to the protesting is to bring in the heavy gear, they presumably thought that would scare the citizenry into disbursing.  But they failed to account for the fact that fear can do two things:  it can cause people to run--or it can cause them to fight.  The latter makes a riot much more likely to happen.

Now consider what the change in approach (i.e., when they rolled back the armored vehicles) has done to the situation.  Last night?  Riots?  No.  The police talked to the civilians.  They made agreements on when to protest, and how to work together to prevent rioting.  Talk, not guns.  That is how you solve this problem.

Offline RedEve

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2014, 05:18:32 PM »
Wow...

In that case I guess the German police must be some sort of miracle worker, because they manage to deal with riots without fucking tanks and machine guns. ;)

It's a basic de-escalation tactic to precisely not use any grandiose displays of force.