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Author Topic: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?  (Read 1600 times)

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Online RedEve

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2014, 05:22:34 PM »
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.

This precise concept is what police forces all over Europe have started realizing since the 1980s when it came to their dealing with football hooligans.
Now the violence is not entirely gone, but it's gone down by a significant amount. And this was not achieved by buying more water canons, batons and training more German shepherds.

Offline consortium11

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2014, 05:27:20 PM »
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.

Hopefully you're right, but I'm putting a "wait and see" here.

Remember when Ronald Johnson was put in charge of policing the protests and his softer touch approach saw him hailed the "King of Ferguson" while getting almost universal praise? Remember when that was considered the turning point?

What happened the next night?



The looting started again... with the police letting it happen. The fact that we're having to praise armed citizens for protecting their store (which had already been looted) rather than having the police do their jobs strikes me as pretty worrying.



As a final point, I'm incredibly wary of any argument that seems to follow the line "well, it's someone's fault because the clothes they wore/things they carried made the other party do something".

That sounds suspiciously like the sort of language we see in another type of case and pretty much universally condemned as victim blaming. Now, I'm not suggesting anyone here subscribes to that point of view... but the similarities in language and the form of argument are disturbingly similar.

Offline Cycle

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2014, 05:34:16 PM »
What happened the next night?

According to the New York Times, last night was a deescalation:

Quote
Captain Johnson, whose agency is overseeing security here, said there were only sporadic problems on Tuesday night, and none of the wide-scale looting and confrontations that had erupted on other nights. Still, the police did make 47 arrests overnight.

As the tension on the street seemed to ease, the focus turned to the investigation into the shooting death of Michael Brown.


Offline consortium11

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2014, 05:49:07 PM »
On the topic of German vs US Policing...

They may not be carrying guns but I wouldn't exactly call this "touchy feely" policing either...

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/12/23/article-0-1A3D063200000578-77_638x393.jpg

Let's also remember how the police were equipped when trouble first started. The heavier equipment came followed the trouble, not pre-empted it.

This precise concept is what police forces all over Europe have started realizing since the 1980s when it came to their dealing with football hooligans.
Now the violence is not entirely gone, but it's gone down by a significant amount. And this was not achieved by buying more water canons, batons and training more German shepherds.

That's a rather... unique... take on how football hooliganism (at least in the UK) was diminished. I'd suggest that the reason football violence went down was because the number of officers at and around games was massively increased, they pre-emptively wore riot gear (rather than relying on "normal" police and only sending in the riot squad later), more horses were used from the start, fans were kept almost entirely seperate, drinking was largely banned at and around the stadiums and the main troublemakers were arrested and hit with football banning orders.

In places where the police, clubs and authorities have taken a less aggressive position with hooliganism like Italy you get scenes like the ultras stopping matches and demanding players remove their shirts or the captain of a team having to negotiate with the leader of the hooligans in the hope the match will be allowed to happen.

Offline Cycle

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2014, 06:15:55 PM »
Let's also remember how the police were equipped when trouble first started. The heavier equipment came followed the trouble, not pre-empted it.

SWAT was called in on the 10th, the same day as that Twitter photo, to respond to rioting.  They brought in more gear during the day on the 11th, when there wasn't rioting.  And then they stayed and went around with their weapons, which, in my opinion, increased tension unnecessarily and likely contributed to the civilian population's anger level.

Here's a quote from that gentleman who served in the Army:  "In the military, ... 'your force posture matches the threat. You only raise your weapon if there is a threat that requires lethal force.'" 


Edit:  Now watch this (language warning) and decide if his force posture is called for given the threat level.  Personally, I can't think of a situation where a police officer legitimately needs to say the words "I'm going to f*cking kill you..."
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 08:12:50 PM by Cycle »

Offline Retribution

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Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2014, 08:47:58 PM »
I agree a de-escalation in tensions is a good thing. Having said that I tend to think it is kind of hard to ask an officer to be kinder and gentler when faced with what is a situation that is dangerous to them and say the shops being looted and citizens they are sworn to protect. Yeah, I am sure some cops said some harsh things, but I do not know about others out there but personally I have been in tense situations in my life. When the tension gets up there people react as they would not during other times. The alternative is well let the whole place burn. Difficult situations all the way around. It is all academic with us, but I would say when faced with a situation one is wondering if they are going to live through they might react a tad bit differently.

Having said all of that I do not know what the right answer is. I simply was not there and am loath to jump to conclusions because both sides have a tendency to toss out the rhetoric that is more "sexy" and plays better for their side. I am sure the police made some mistakes, but I am not buying the argument that riots happened because there was a response. Then toss in a side of rumor and misinformation like the whole allegations about tanks and things get even more muddy. But when I try and put myself as an officer when there was violence the night before and now it is supposedly calmed down I would still vote to carry the biggest gun I could get my hands on because I want to go home at the end of my watch.

As I think about it both sides bring a lot of baggage into the whole situation. And it is pretty presumptuous for me to make a call on either side without having walked a mile in their shoes. But I cannot think of a situation when I would think burning the whole dam town down is the right response for some other wrong. Thus why I say the rioters can stop it anytime they like. All they have to do is cease rioting and protest peacefully.

Offline kylieTopic starter

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Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2014, 01:43:43 AM »
Quote from: consortium11
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.

        I think that totally depends what exactly you have in mind when you say narrative.  It's also possible to set the bar for seeing relationships between events over time so high, that well none of us are related to anything I suppose.  If one wishes to. 

       And the idea that someone in a particular conflict case has to be squeaky clean to be an actual victim of racism or oppression, as it were, is a handy "out" if one wishes to avoid seeing that oppression generally.  Or even to further it, as we've heard often from the Syrian government for example:  "But you can't blame us for killing our people and shelling cities (with chemical weapons no less), because look the opposition are all terrorists..."  It's basically the same idea:  Don't look here,  where oh who could say maybe the people I support are actually in the process of abusing by the way, but hey that doesn't matter cause if I can find anything in your particular example to make anyone say "Oh they didn't play by the rules" in some respect sometime or other -- well then, all is fair game and we'll just carry right on, no one will care about that whole human tragedy anymore.

        It isn't analytically sound to use this sort of standard and hold everything in lieu of angelic paragons.  Not if the discussion is about understanding what keeps happening in the structure of that society.

Quote
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.

       I'm not sure what your particular standard is there for Brown himself "mattering."  But you can look at the statistics and research on who police stop how often, who gets what crime sentences how often.  You might look into how much of a White city government budget is coming from police citations on a largely Black population for very minor violations, matters that might often go unattended in other communities.  And at least in Ferguson, you could also see who the state itself found actually deserving of more police attention in terms of the chance of actually finding contraband (they said, Whites). 

      There are quite a few telling summary data figures about this context, not to mention the broader state of Black community economics in the region in the wake of the recession, in multiple articles that have come out in the Guardian recently.  And some in some US sources which I've only peeked at more casually -- even CNN mentioned at least the differences between police and local situations, as I linked earlier.  But I think it's telling that it usually takes just this sort of event (or series of events, if you would prefer) to make that kind of data material 'of interest' for regular news media.   

       Now, to me it makes no sense to turn around and say all that has nothing important to do with the chances of what actually happened to Brown, going down in that setting.  The guy doesn't have to be an angel to look and say, hmm the chances of someone who looks like him, unarmed getting shot on the street at night in that area probably have quite a bit to do with how race and class have been playing out there.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 02:31:45 AM by kylie »

Offline kylieTopic starter

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Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2014, 02:26:21 AM »
Who gave them this undeniable right [to loot,] Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton? :P

        Maybe I missed it, but did you or someone provide a quotation from Jackson or Sharpton here?  I don't have the text of statements by either handy to actually break down.

        What I see from just one one Guardian article mentioning him right off:  Jackson has said at least two things:

     1)  They only paraphrase him briefly about it there, but he apparently said that the looting of businesses should stop

      ...  Which appears to directly contradict what you suggest.  But again, you've made a big sweeping claim about his position without quoting anything specific that I can see in this post.

and also:

      2)  that there is another form of "looting" going on in how Blacks have been systematically manipulated and barred from economic opportunities, and wow, why doesn't anyone panic more about that second kind?  Cause from the point of view of Black communities such as Ferguson, it's pretty telling that store losses get them a little attention but their day to day desperation hardly ever does (except perhaps in shows that make them all out to be doing it to themselves).  And I think if you look at the system seriously, it's hard to argue with him there.

Quote
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.

         Would you say the same thing of say, the Boston Tea Party?  I'm curious.  What makes this baffling here, precisely?

Quote
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?

        Well, speaking of seeking some control rather than deciding everything by the most force available:  It was the state governor who did a couple things.

         First, he put the local police under command of the Highway Patrol after considerable mayhem.  For which the very county prosecutor who will be formally investigating Brown's murder in the face of repeated criticism of his record of consistently siding with the police in controversial situations, apparently said it was "shameful" to do anything that even suggested the police had failed in any way...  The Highway Patrol, with a Black captain who happened to take a much more restrained posture, seemed to have some effect (there was the night of calm)...  That was before the police publicly discussed the store video -- apparently in an effort to defend the department, but in the face of advice by federal investigators against further biasing the inquiry and inflaming the Black community with that to them very familiar appearance of "assumed guilt before due process." 

       And then the governor brought in the National Guard, which I'd say most consider the military rather than police.  So unless you see the National Guard as a natural adjunct police force rather than a separate military culture, I think one might say it's all moved to some extent beyond simply having a civilian police force.  Maybe we can agree on that regardless of what you make of the police employing uniforms, weapons and vehicles funneled to them directly from the Pentagon post-Iraq.

         Basically on this part:  I was very curious what people thought would come of actually deploying military troops...  Would it work, would it take more than the Guard, and how or when exactly do you get them out again.  What kind of situation do you have with the police and community when they finally leave?  Which was why I mentioned LA.

 
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 02:34:36 AM by kylie »

Offline Cycle

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2014, 10:36:36 AM »
Second night of relative calm in Ferguson.  Hopefully this means we're moving in the right direction.

Offline Retribution

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Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2014, 11:03:42 AM »
Quote

      2)  that there is another form of "looting" going on in how Blacks have been systematically manipulated and barred from economic opportunities, and wow, why doesn't anyone panic more about that second kind?  Cause from the point of view of Black communities such as Ferguson, it's pretty telling that store losses get them a little attention but their day to day desperation hardly ever does (except perhaps in shows that make them all out to be doing it to themselves).  And I think if you look at the system seriously, it's hard to argue with him there.

       

I tried, really I did but this statement is just so wrong, on so many levels I cannot let it pass. I am not denying the plight of poverty and it's affect on the African American community. It is real, it is out there, and it is tragic. But just because someone is in a bad situation it DOES NOT give them the right to destroy something someone else has and has worked for. That is wrong in every way, shape, and form that is within rational comprehension. If say someone mugs you, it does not give you the right to say mug someone else.

When I was a kid and I got mad about something I would throw a temper tantrum. My wise parents would then beat my ass for it and tell me that behavior was not acceptable. I feel the same way when it comes to riots and looting in this case. If you are arguing as it seems that they are a rational response then you clearly do not live on the same planet I do because that sort of thought process is just plain flawed.

Offline Passion and Desire

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2014, 12:47:23 PM »
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.
Oh yeah, right. I should have said "heavy military grade armored vehicles and automatic weapons that had been deployed in war zones before." That's totally different. I mean, the photos of said vehicles and weapons are all over the internet recently, it's really hard to actually miss it.

But thanks for arguing semantics and completely missing the point.



They may not be carrying guns but I wouldn't exactly call this "touchy feely" policing either...

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/12/23/article-0-1A3D063200000578-77_638x393.jpg
Of course. But the most heavy equipment German police is ever going to carry when dealing with protesters is
  • riot gear
  • standard issue 9mm pistol
  • baton
  • can of mace
If shit's really about to hit the fan, units mounted on horse will be employed, perhaps even a water cannon. Still, that absolutely can't be compared to the military grade weapons and armored vehicles used in Ferguson.



Offline Retribution

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Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2014, 02:27:51 PM »
This is where I bow out gracefully because we are not going to agree. All we really are going to accomplish is pissing each other off. Having said that, as I said in posts further up I am not saying the police handled everything right. In fact I think they screwed up in many cases. I just have a fundamental problem with saying riots and looting is a proper means of protest.

Offline Passion and Desire

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2014, 04:59:49 PM »
I just have a fundamental problem with saying riots and looting is a proper means of protest.
And I never said that. What I said is that the militarization of law enforcement is utterly stupid and counterproductive on the highest scale. If you push the arms race between population and police, if you try to intimidate and shock the people you're sworn to protect, then you gain nothing and everyone loses.

Case in point. To think that an escalating tactic of more and more police force will result in a better result takes a very special kind of retard as governour and/or police chief. Especially when disproportionate police force was the spark that ignited this whole powder keg in the first place.

It's exactly that sort of behavior that is responsible for the USA's reputation as a bunch of gun-toting, trigger-happy, stupid right-wing NRA rednecks. Too many people making the decisions think that all problems can be solved with more weapons, while that actually makes it only even worse. But they are either too ignorant to notice, or too arogant to care.

Offline Cycle

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2014, 05:20:49 PM »
Right, I think it is fairly clear that no one is saying that rioting is a valid form of protest.

I also think most of us agree that it is too early to decide whether the killing of Michael Brown is illegal or not.

I don't even think anyone is saying that militarization of the police is the sole and only cause of the Ferguson rioting.

But there are some of us who feel that militarization was not helping the situation, and possibly/likely contributed--as one of multiple factors--to a riot erupting.  And as such, I, for one, don't think that police should do that when facing the potential for a riot--as local police did from the 11th onward.  Rather, not lugging out the heavy gear but engaging in talks with the people instead is a more effective way to deescalate, in my opinion. 

This--talking, without big guns--is what they have been doing recently.  And now, we've had two days without massive rioting.  So, it seems that there is some merit to the idea that militarizing the police is not the best way to respond to the potential for rioting.

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Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2014, 05:35:35 PM »
Right, I think it is fairly clear that no one is saying that rioting is a valid form of protest.

I think Retribution was referring to the OP who was seemingly justifying the looting in Ferguson, and drawing parallels to the Boston Tea Party :

2)  that there is another form of "looting" going on in how Blacks have been systematically manipulated and barred from economic opportunities, and wow, why doesn't anyone panic more about that second kind?  Cause from the point of view of Black communities such as Ferguson, it's pretty telling that store losses get them a little attention but their day to day desperation hardly ever does (except perhaps in shows that make them all out to be doing it to themselves).  And I think if you look at the system seriously, it's hard to argue with him there.

         Would you say the same thing of say, the Boston Tea Party?  I'm curious.  What makes this baffling here, precisely?
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 05:41:28 PM by Valthazar »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2014, 05:50:35 PM »
Just as a point of comparison - for all the 'lauding' that the Boston Tea Party gets, back in the day it was far from the 'shining example of patriotism' that it is put forth as being.

Quote
Governor Thomas Hutchinson had been urging London to take a hard line with the Sons of Liberty. If he had done what the other royal governors had done and let the ship owners and captains resolve the issue with the colonists, the Dartmouth, Eleanor and the Beaver would have left without unloading any tea.

So - talking about it instead of escalating would have resulted in no rioting and looting.

Quote
In Britain, even those politicians considered friends of the colonies were appalled and this act united all parties there against the colonies. The Prime Minister Lord North said, "Whatever may be the consequence, we must risk something; if we do not, all is over".  The British government felt this action could not remain unpunished, and responded by closing the port of Boston and putting in place other laws known as the "Coercive Acts".

Once the looting had occurred, even those sympathetic to the colonists pulled back their support, and things only got worse.

Quote
In the colonies, Benjamin Franklin stated that the destroyed tea must be paid for, all 90,000 pounds (which, at two shillings per pound, came to 9,000, or 998 thousand today [nearly $1.7 million US]).  Robert Murray, a New York merchant, went to Lord North with three other merchants and offered to pay for the losses, but the offer was turned down.

And even the people we lionize as champions of the cause were saying that amends should be made.

Offline Cycle

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #43 on: August 21, 2014, 06:03:52 PM »
I think Retribution was referring to the OP who was seemingly justifying the looting in Ferguson, and drawing parallels to the Boston Tea Party

Fair enough.  I guess I should have said "most of us are not" rather than "no one."

Offline consortium11

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #44 on: August 21, 2014, 06:39:35 PM »
To think that an escalating tactic of more and more police force will result in a better result takes a very special kind of retard as governour and/or police chief. Especially when disproportionate police force was the spark that ignited this whole powder keg in the first place.

But, at least nationwide, the stats disagree.

Since 1991 (when violent crime rates hit their peak) violent crime has been dramatically reduced and is now lower than it's been since the 1970's. That reduction corresponds pretty closely with an increase in police militarization and a change in tactics to pre-emptively target "hot spots" even before crimes occur. The logic used to argue this is fairly simple; if you put more, better equipped (and that also means better armed) officers into the areas where you expect trouble to be, there is less chance of there being trouble in the first place. It may not always work, but the evidence suggests it tends to.

Now, of course, correlation does not mean causation and there are many other suggestions for why the crime rate fell; longer prison sentences, a generally aging population, less lead in water, a generation of young people growing up having seen the impact of drugs and crime on their elders and not wanting that for themselves etc etc. But to discount the change in policing tactics strikes me as extremely naive.

Politically I lean towards a sort of anti-authoritarian libertarianism... I'm not fan of the state or the heavy hand it wields. But I don't think dismissing evidence on the basis of my ideals is a strong position to take. As much as I dislike it, the evidence suggests that putting lots of heavily armed police officers into location if you think there might be trouble... even if there hasn't been any yet... reduces crime as a whole and violent crime in particular.

Offline Formless

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #45 on: August 21, 2014, 07:27:23 PM »
I may be unaware of the whole law structure in the United States.

But am I the only one who notices the store owners' plight during these events?

I wouldn't comment on the death of Michael Brown. But seeing how some of these store owners were affected by this?

Now to each one who said that using force against riots isn't the right thing to do. I would agree with you ...

But have you ever taken it from the perspective of a business owner whose store was looted , damaged and burned?

Such as this example :

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/articles/2014/8/19/amid-protests-andlootingfergusonbusinessownersseekamiddlegrounda.html ( basic google search result )

Now forget about militarization of the police , and forget about the death of a single individual and focus on that one man who had nothing to do with either of these two. How do you think he feels? Would the lack of police force solved his problem?

Do you think he'll agree with you that because the police put on some heavy gear that they ruined his store?

It is easy to lose sight of right or wrong when you judge something from a bystander's point. But it is so much worse to base an opinion and an argument without considering the real results of your suggestions.

That is all I have to say about this matter. The unfortunate individual has passed away , may he rest in peace, and I trust that justice will be served.

Offline Cycle

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #46 on: August 21, 2014, 07:58:49 PM »
It is easy to lose sight of right or wrong when you judge something from a bystander's point. But it is so much worse to base an opinion and an argument without considering the real results of your suggestions.

I believe I have considered the real results of my suggestions.  My suggestions mirror what the police in Ferguson have done recently.  Note the real results that followed:  lack of rioting.  Now, compare this against the real results of the period when police were toting about the bigger guns:  not lack of rioting.

I don't think anyone here wants store owners to be hurt in a riot.  (Or at least, most of us don't.)  To the contrary, I think we're trying figure out the best way to prevent the next group of store owners from being hurt in a preventable riot.  Some folks seem to think bigger guns is the way to prevent riots.  Others think more talking and defusing is the way to prevent riots.  There's the difference.

Once the riot occurs, and people are getting hurt, of course the police need to act.  But that's not the point.  The point is, what can we do to try to eliminate the elements that caused things to ever get to this point.

Now, on the subject of statistics, could someone provide a link?  I can't seem to find any reports that say giving police armored vehicles and tripod mounted assault weapons has reduced the potential for rioting.  The best I found was the ACLU study suggesting the opposite.

Offline Tairis

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #47 on: August 21, 2014, 09:53:39 PM »
Here's the thing: why does it matter what the police are equipped with. You know what De-escalates the situation? Not fucking rioting. Amazing how that works. It boggles my mind how everyone worries about how 'militaristic' the police are... the police are doing their jobs. The problem are the parasites that somewhere along the way decided that 'protesting' meant 'I have a right to break the law, endanger lives, and steal the property of others'.

Now on the other hand I don't approve of the way that the police are being equipped these days, but that's an entirely different discussion. It has nothing to do with the current riots or the death of Brown and everything to do with finances, politics, and poorly run civil services. But if you have mobs of people burning and looting I can't really see where its fair to get mad at the cops for being equipped to handle deadly situations. To quote Men in Black 'A person is smart, people are dumb, panicky, and dangerous'.

Offline consortium11

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #48 on: August 22, 2014, 03:55:14 AM »
Now, on the subject of statistics, could someone provide a link?  I can't seem to find any reports that say giving police armored vehicles and tripod mounted assault weapons has reduced the potential for rioting.  The best I found was the ACLU study suggesting the opposite.

As the ACLU report says, the main driver behind the militarisation of the police is the 1033 program which was started in 1990 and took till about 1991/1992 to really get going.

Violent crime peaked in 1991 and has been steadily dropping since, with the 2012 figures the lowest it's been since 1970.

Again, correlation does not = causation, so it could be that it's simply a coincidence that the two timelines are so closely aligned and, as mentioned previously, there are lots of other factors that could contribute to why the US is currently in a historically low crime era (property crimes are also lower than any time since 1968). But to dismiss the changes in the police's approach and tactics entirely... or to argue that they actually inflame the situation... seems naive to me.

Offline Cycle

Re: Ferguson, Missouri... What next?
« Reply #49 on: August 22, 2014, 09:58:48 AM »
Again, correlation does not = causation, so it could be that it's simply a coincidence that the two timelines are so closely aligned and, as mentioned previously, there are lots of other factors that could contribute to why the US is currently in a historically low crime era (property crimes are also lower than any time since 1968). But to dismiss the changes in the police's approach and tactics entirely... or to argue that they actually inflame the situation... seems naive to me.

There are two flaws in this position.

First, as you admit, the tables do not prove causation.

Second, and more importantly, it compares apples to oranges.  My point is that bringing "the big guns" before a riot happens can create an increased risk of riots happening.  Nothing in these tables discuss that.  There is no data on riots, or potential riots. 

That video of the officer walking around sticking his assault weapon in people's faces yelling "I'm going to f*cking kill you" suggests that at least some officers do not know how to properly use "the big guns."  I don't see how it is naive to suggest that, instead of mixing such individuals with a group of people who may potentially riot, we should talk to the group instead to try to defuse the situation.

The fundamental flaw here seems to be that some police are looking at the protestors/potential rioters with an "us versus them" mentality.  That the protestors/potential rioters are the enemy and they must be defeated.  But that isn't how police should work.  Their motto is "to protect and serve" not "shock and awe."  Rather than look at the protestors/potential rioters as a group to defeat, I think they should look at them as a group to protect and bring back into the fold.  If violence erupts, fine, do what you need to to protect yourself.  But don't go into the situation with the preconceived notion that you have to "f*cking kill" everyone.