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Help Get Justice for Michael Brown

smalldervishmemeYou can help see justice have its day. You can make a real difference standing up against state corruption and tyranny. You can make a difference toward ending, by exposing and shaming, the wanton and deadly racism so common among the men with guns we ask to police our streets (and it is indeed usually the men). This is how.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave (!), you should know by now the story of Michael Brown, an unarmed college student gunned down by Ferguson police, in circumstances so incredibly suspicious and tinted with racism and shocking abuses of police authority, as to horrify anyone paying attention. This isn’t new (we’ve heard this story sadly too many times: see some examples of this being pointed out here and here and here). But this is becoming the last straw. And now his family wants to fight. And they are incurring expenses pursuing legal recourse (they have already had to pay for their own autopsy, because the city’s has suspicious omissions and appears to be covering up the facts…you know, as for example). And fighting for their fair day in court will only get more expensive here on out, as the corrupt city authorities appear to be circling their wagons and will do everything in their power to stonewall them and mount their expenses in the hope they will give up for lack of money.

Indeed, Anonymous has just exposed the fact that, apparently, the chief of police [now heading the investigation] in Ferguson, or else his son, hangs a confederate flag on his living room wall!! Brown’s family is not likely to get honest justice from the authorities.

The police have even resorted to physically attacking and arresting the press, gassing and assaulting people in their own backyards, and charging into the streets to shoot and beat down peaceful protesters, even camera crews from major news organizations (so much for the first amendment “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”). They are even dragging pregnant women out of their cars and smashing them to the ground for no good reason. The timeline shows some protest rioting and looting has occurred. But the police then use that as an excuse to assault completely peaceful protests, and deny people access to public areas, even their own homes (Ferguson now looks like the streets of any tyrannical nation). The police are literally shooting people with rubber bullets, gassing them, bombing them, and beating them. And using the mini-riots in other locations as an excuse. But think about this. The cops are now the Redcoats. And this is a real tea party. Or, rather, more like the 1766 New York riots over the quartering act…when the people were answering the unjust use of force against them by yet another haughty and unanswerable imperial power. The quartering act riot of 1766 (assault on the state police). The tea party riot of 1773 (destruction of property). The Ferguson riot. What, really, is the difference?

But no matter. This is about starting to put an end to all oppressive and tyrannical abuse of power, by supporting a peaceful family that is being denied justice.

Help the Brown family bring the truth to light and have a fair trial of the facts. They have raised so little so far, barely three grand. For a case like this they will need fifty to a hundred grand. I want to see an outpouring of support. Send what you can to the Michael Brown Memorial Fund. Please do this. If not for Brown and his grieving family, do it to show you believe in opposing corruption, abuse and oppression in your own country. Do it to show you are fed up with police getting away with the murder of black men every month. Do it to show this must stop. And the people are now paying attention.

Comments

  1. says

    Please also join us for the #NMOS14 National Moment of Silence tonight, wherever you are able. See this morning’s post by the Black Skeptics (on FTB) for more info on how to join in. I’m going to the one in St Louis tonight. Even though it’s downtown under the Arch, rather than in Ferguson, I’m rather nervous for our well-being… but I can’t live in a world where this keeps happening.

    • says

      I feel the same.

      Good luck. Stick together.

      And maybe write the number of a lawyer on your arm (don’t put it on a card or in your wallet or anything else the police can confiscate and conveniently neglect to allow you access to).

  2. Ryan Scarbel says

    For two people who have vastly different fundamental worldviews, you and I seem to agree on a lot of practical things such as this. I may not agree with you on your work regarding Jesus (although I do enjoy reading and writing refutations to it :D), but I fully support your efforts to make this planet a better place for everyone, and for that I have so much respect for you. Keep it up Richard (this kind of stuff, not the other haha).

  3. says

    This is an atrocity in my opinion. It saddens me to all the people that have been “bullied’ by corrupt legal power in America. I’m glad we can all make difference when we stand together. And hopefully get justice that the Brown family deserves for the terrible loss they have endured.

  4. Jonah Glou says

    Correction: The confederate flag is apparently hanging in the home of the police chief of St. Louis, not of the police chief of Ferguson. The relevance is that the St. Louis police department has taken over the investigation of the incident.

    • says

      Thank you. That’s an important detail. I’ll correct the article.

      [For the record it originally said "Indeed, Anonymous has just exposed the fact that, apparently, the chief of police in Ferguson, or else his son, hangs a confederate flag on his living room wall!! Brown's family is not likely to get honest justice from the Ferguson authorities." This sentence has since been revised for accuracy.]

    • EDG says

      “That’s an important detail.”

      Is it? Of all the evidence/instances of racism relating to this tragedy, this is probably the least important. The confederate flag is not necessarily a symbol of racism. I fully understand that, to many people, the flag is indeed a symbol of hatred/racism/oppression. On the other hand, I know a lot of people who actually have Confederate Flag paraphernalia and none of those people are racists. Yes, yes, sampling bias. The point is that there are a quite lot of southerners who see this symbol as something totally unrelated to race and it’s not at all improbable that a non-racist southerner would have a confederate flag somewhere in their home.

      The presence of the symbol in a the home of a St. Louis Police Chief (where he lives with other people) is not damning evidence that the man himself is a racist. Is it in poor taste? Yeah. Is it tacky? Kinda. Could he actually be a horrible racist? Sure. But, lets actually figure out whether or not he’s a racist before we pass judgement, huh?

      FWIW: I read Richard’s blog regularly but I never comment. I’m an atheist, liberal-ish, I grew up in the deep south, and I don’t have any particular fondness for the confederate flag. The only reason I’m writing this is that I know that it is a mistake to conclude that a person who has a confederate flag in his home is a racist. I realize that Richard stopped just shy of this conclusion (R.C. said “is not likely to get honest justice” as opposed to “will not get….”). Even this is premature, IMO. And lot of people on the internet and elsewhere are calling for resignations, harassing his son, etc etc.

      For a good post on the confederate-flag-in-the-south issue, see: this post. (I’m not the author of that blog and the post was obviously written long before the murder of Michael Brown.)

    • says

      First, it’s important to not defame the Ferguson police chief’s family by falsely attributing to him the behavior of a different police chief’s family. I mean, maybe the Ferguson police chief also hangs a confederate flag in his living room (his behavior of late would be consistent with that), but facts are facts. It’s important to get them right–for anyone who values the truth. That’s what I was referring to: getting the facts right.

      But since you made it about the flag not being indicative of racism or even racial insensitivity (both relevant to this case, and thus important)…

      Hanging the Nazi flag and claiming not to be Antisemitic but just celebrating your German heritage would not fly as an excuse. Not even you would buy that. Yet…this is what people who hang the Confederate flag are doing. Nearly everyone not from the South (and not white) sees this. Because we aren’t blinded to it. (That some black people also don’t see it is no more relevant than “I have some black friends” entails you can’t be a racist. Indeed, black people who fly that flag state false claims about what it represented: meaning, they can only fly it by denying reality. Same as if a German Jew today flew the Nazi flag insisting that flag was “really” all about German independence.)

      Anyone who hangs that flag is, whether they want to or not, celebrating slavery, and the actual effort to fight a war and kill a hundred thousand people to defend slavery. If that’s not racist, it’s massively, gobsmackingly insensitive to the very real racist horrors associated with that flag, the purpose for which that flag was designed, and for which it was flown. Just like the Nazi flag was designed and flown for its own infamous purpose and mission. And that is what makes it racist. Maybe not “just go’an shoot all them submen” racist. But it’s at least a little bit racist. By hanging it you are saying “I don’t give a shit that this flag was flown to defend the enslavement of your race…fuck you, it makes me proud!” And that’s intrinsically a little bit racist. It essentially signals what you don’t care about–namely, what that flag was designed for, and what the flag was flown for. Which means you don’t care about the horrors of slavery or its subsequent racist legacy (from Jim Crowe to Trayvon Martin). Which is white privilege to the nines (or willful ignorance to the nines). Which is racism to the ones at least.

      Not all racism is hillbillies with billyclubs. You can be all about equality and giving blacks a leg up and whatever humanitarian pursuit of social justice genuinely endears you. But doing all that and still thinking your “heritage” matters more than the horrors inflicted on a whole race of people under the very banner you are flying is itself a form of racism. Mild racism. But to those who can’t ignore the reality of what that flag represented, because they are still living in its vestiges monthly, it’s disturbing. And anyone insensitive to that disturbing signal, is placing their race and pride (or ignorance) above the realities of southern slavery and its still-extant legacy of racism. And there is no way that kind of insensitivity is not at least a little racist. (And yes, in the way I intend the term, blacks can be racist against other blacks, even maliciously so, but obviously also not maliciously but ignorantly so.)

      Rationalizations are just rationalizations. At the end of the day, it is reality that remains.

      Hanging the Confederate flag is disturbing.

      Hanging it in the home of a man commanding a majority white policeforce policing majority black neighborhoods, doubly so.

    • EDG says

      Ok. I misunderstood “That’s an important detail”. TL;DR = maybe you’re right.

      “But since you made it about the flag not being indicative of racism or even racial insensitivity (both relevant to this case, and thus important)…”
      Hanging the Nazi flag and claiming not to be Antisemitic but just celebrating your German heritage would not fly as an excuse. Not even you would buy that.”

      Nitpicky pedantry: I didn’t say anything racial insensitivity. Is there a distinction between “racial insensitivity” and “non-malicious racism”?

      Anyway, of course I wouldn’t believe our hypothetical German. But this is because, AFAIK, ~100% of the people who today display Nazi flags are actually admitted anti-semites. That is the primary thing that the modern usage of that flag signifies to everyone today. In other words: we unanimously agree on the meaning of that (the Nazi flag) symbol and you never find it used outside of an antisemitic context (museums and other historical/educational uses excepted) . If a German claimed to be displaying that flag as a “German pride thing” I’d call bullshit because I’ve never known or heard of anyone using that symbol for that purpose. Therefore, it’s much more likely that this hypothetical German is an anti-semite but does not want me to think so and, so, is lying about the purpose.

      On the other hand, I know and have heard of a lot of people for whom the confederate flag does not signify racism. For whatever reasons (non-maliciously racist, very ignorant/oblivious/insensitive, etc) a lot of southerners are able to look at the confederate flag itself as a symbol for southern pride and/or decentralized government. Given the flag’s history, it doesn’t really make sense, but that’s the way they see it. Maybe they aren’t weighing their justifications for displaying that symbol vs. the negative effects it has on others. And maybe you’re right that even that is enough to make them a little bit racist despite though they don’t see that meaning in the symbol. I’ll have to think about it.

      Of course, some people do fly the confederate flag precisely because they and a lot of others see it as a symbol of white supremacy or racial segregation or whatever. So, the St. Louis Chief is somewhere on the spectrum between “Secret White Supremacist” and “Uhh, I didn’t really think about it”. And, if you’re right, the second extreme (best-case-scenario) makes him a little bit racist or non-maliciously racist or “racially insensitive” (if that’s a different thing).

    • says

      Is there a distinction between “racial insensitivity” and “non-malicious racism”?

      Yes. “Racial insensitivity” is just one form of “non-malicious racism”; there are other forms.

      But this is because, AFAIK, ~100% of the people who today display Nazi flags are actually admitted anti-semites.

      Notice how uncharitable you are from the armchair as soon as the tables are turned. If there can be people who sincerely or willfully forget that the Confederate Flag was flown to defend human slavery, why can’t there be people who sincerely or willfully forget that the Nazi Flag was flown to annihilate the Jews? The exact same excuses can be leveled for each. Why would it be possible for a Southerner to be sincere in their rationalizations, but it’s not even possible for a German to be sincere in theirs? After all, just imagine the parallel timeline: 100 years from now, how many Germans will be proudly hanging Nazi flags claiming they really represent German pride, while Jews continue to be deeply disturbed by it? It’s the same thing.

      If you have to deny reality and harbor false beliefs to change what a symbol means, there is something deeply disturbing about that. And that is precisely the problem. The opposite of Never Forget always entails some degree of racism. And that’s just a fact. The truth may hurt, but alas that does not make it false.

  5. Dave Bruemmer says

    Now it has come out that Michael Brown was involved in a strong-armed robbery just moments before the encounter with the officer. It’s also being reported that Brown and the officer were struggling for the gun when the shooting occurred, and that Brown had forced the officer into his squad car during the struggle.

    • says

      You have the timeline backwards. The struggle claim was already being reported from day one (the police version of which has been contradicted by multiple eyewitnesses). That he appears to have snatched some cigars came out only recently. But that’s moot.

      We are not supposed to live in a country where unarmed theft results in a posse gunning you down in the street, no trial, no jury.

      That sounds a lot more like Somalia. The ensuing heavily militarized assault of the entire police force on their own entire town over several days only cherries that cake.

      So Brown’s alleged crime is not at all relevant to either injustice. They remain shocking injustices, and illustrate that we are giving way too much power to people far too ill equipped to be trusted to use it humanely.

      And they need to be told that. Loud and clear.

    • gwen says

      Firstly, the video, which was released after the DOJ asked the department NOT to do so, apparently shows someone who MAY be MB. to my knowledge, the identity has not been confirmed. Secondly, the officer interacting with MB had no knowledge of the burglary at the time of the confrontation. Thirdly, shoplifting $5 in cigarettes is hardly enough to deserve a death sentence.

      Whatever actions MB may or may not have taken in the store, had absolutely no bearing on haw he was treated by the police officer. When you have a populace which is over 60% black, and the police squad and government officials 95% white, you are going to have problems. I grew up in such a city as a teen, and remember the constant harassment as a black teen on the street, doing nothing in particular to cause any harm to anyone or anything. I have 2 brothers who were (during that time) beaten by the police. The department dropped the charges and paid one brother. The other brother’s case was taken to court by the DA, and after hearing my brother’s first sentence, the judge told him to ‘stop, I don’t want to hear anymore, case dismissed’, and threw it out.

    • says

      I think the data show that that robbery was committed by Brown. At least to a high probability if not a certainty. (All clothing and other details is a confirmed match. I know some viewers were questioning the match because of bad angles and low res images, but they were wrong.)

      But yes, the police have confirmed the shooting officer was not responding to that (although it did go out on dispatch before the shooting encounter).

      And it was $50 in cigars, not $5. But that doesn’t alter your point. With which I quite concur.

  6. Richard G says

    Lol, one witness was his crime partner in the robbery and the other was Tiffany Mitchell, who was driving by in her car and described it as “tussling through a window” and then she heard a shot and Michael ran away and the cop continued shooting him. The medical examiner report is crucial, one shot and it’s totally justified. He was 6’4″ and 300lbs. The cop was caught unaware that these two had just committed a felony and was probably casually talking to them when Michael thinking he was about to be arrested, assaulted the cop.

    • says

      I don’t know where you are getting your facts. But you have disturbingly altered what Mitchell actually said. And somehow have conjured psychic knowledge of the autopsy report. And you have omitted the fact that all witnesses agree Brown surrendered, unarmed, hands up. And then was gunned down.

      What is really disturbing is that you have done all this. To alter reality. Why? You need to seriously look at yourself and ask why you did this. Why is it so important to you to alter the facts of what happened?

  7. says

    Hi Richard.

    Just a note to let you know that your work inspired me to do a Bayesian analysis of the verdict in the Lockerbie bombing trial.

    I know you are a busy man, but I thought you would be pleased to know that your efforts to promote methodological rigour are having an effect! Unless of course I’ve got it wrong…

    http://3stes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/bayesian-probability-analysis-of-guilty.html

    If you want to get in touch about it, just leave a comment on my blog there.

    Best

    Will

  8. Dave Bruemmer says

    Here is the latest account of what went down that I’m hearing:

    Brown drew the attention of the officer by walking in the middle of the street, and he was told to move. At that point Brown refused to comply and began cursing at the officer. At this point the officer was notified of the robbery, Brown matched the description, and he was carrying items that matched the description of what was stolen. He followed slowly, and then got out of his car, at which point he was rushed and an attempt to get his gun by the victim’s friend. At least one shot was fired at this point. The officer got his gun back, and ordered them to stop and get on the ground, and again they refused. Then the cop was rushed by the victim, who was then shot dead.

    • says

      That’s not an accurate description of events. It mixes truths with half truths, and falsehoods attested to by no one, and some falsehoods contradicted by all witnesses, and also some key omissions.

      I wonder how that happened. Why are you so intent on denying and altering and ignoring key facts?

      You need to do some serious soul searching.

    • KT says

      I’m just curious how you know what the truth is? Were you there? Have you examined the officer? The body? Even the entire autopsy? Interviewed everyone that claims to be an eyewitness? The officer? I personally don’t know what happened and think everyone should wait until they have ALL the facts before they rush to judgement. Anything else is just irresponsible and only serves to further an agenda in one direction or the other.

    • says

      Just to be clear, I think one should not state an unreasonable skepticism, of such a standard that would entail renouncing nearly all human knowledge.

      There is ample data, for example, ascertained from witnesses and journalists to come to all the conclusions I have actually come to (I am assuming we are not attributing to me any conclusions I have not stated).

    • Johnny Knoxville says

      There are a total of three potentially independent witnesses: the two females and the male overheard on this video.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prrydnTAly0

      Both female witnesses asserted that Mike Brown was shot in the back and yet the autopsy contradicts this (no bullets are shown to have entered the back or the back of the arms). They also claim he didn’t assault the officer (and yet I expect medical evidence taken from the officer to soon contradict this).

      The autopsy also suggested Mike Brown was shot in the arms before he was shot in the head (which would explain why he was able to keep running at the police officer as is suggested by the first witness).

      What motive does the police officer with no evidence of prejudice have to shoot a man in the face with his hands up facing him in a public space in broad daylight? If someone had been filming, he would be locked up forever in a matter of hours. (You would think a racist cop would be aware that the filming of such events has become very probable. One of the witnesses says she even got her phone out to do just that but was too scared–convenient) And for what? An encounter with someone who disobeyed him? Because that’s never happened to him before and he became so offended? If he was this sociopathic and impulsive, it’s likely there would already be complaints about him.

      An impulsive robbery perpetrator who just successfully manhandled a store owner, however, seems far more likely to think he could do the same with the smaller officer. The fact that the police are confidently backing him up even after the FBI came to investigate hints to me that they have some pretty good forensics to back up the officer’s story. And that Brown supporters like you will soon be changing your story and reaching for excuses to explain why if a 300 lb man chargers an officer he’s already assaulted, it’s still third-degree murder.

      I say this as a lifelong liberal. I’ll gladly put money that the DOJ backs up the rushing the officer theory. And I doubt it’s because they’ve had any lack of soul searching.

      Never have I seen such preconceived bias from my fellow liberals. It’s pretty disillusioning to see atheists voice so much confidence in a couple of two vulnerable witnesses in the face of all logic and circumstantial evidence.

    • says

      Both female witnesses asserted that Mike Brown was shot in the back and yet the autopsy contradicts this

      False. Both said they saw the cop shoot at his back and then he turned to surrender as if he had been shot. None said they actually saw him get hit.

      Attention to detail. Learn it. Live it.

      They also claim he didn’t assault the officer (and yet I expect medical evidence taken from the officer to soon contradict this).

      Also not true. Neither witness saw the beginning of the scuffle. It’s entirely possible Brown struck the cop, or the cop hit his face in the scuffle (with his own limbs, as commonly happens in close grappling, or the steering wheel as Brown struggled to pull away). What both those witnesses saw, once they noted the struggle was already occurring, was the cop pulling Brown through the window and Brown trying to pull away.

      Attention to detail. Learn it. Live it.

      The autopsy also suggested Mike Brown was shot in the arms before he was shot in the head (which would explain why he was able to keep running at the police officer as is suggested by the first witness).

      False. No witness has claimed he was “running at the police officer.” All witnesses claim he was stopped, hands raised, and saying he surrendered.

      Even the unknown possible witness whom conservative venues are touting on this video doesn’t say that. He only says Brown “comes back toward” the cop because of the shots the cop kept firing (the “police kept dumping on him”), which he says “must have been missing him.” In other words, Brown turned around (that is what the questioner asked him: why he had turned around). The answer: because the cop was shooting at him. There is no reference to charging the police officer at all, much less prior to being shot at. When he says “he kept coming towards him” it is unclear whether he is referring to the police officer; Brown, he says, was “still standing” (not running); and all in the conversation express surprise that the cop still shot him (so clearly they were not talking about him rushing the cop). (Check yourself: starts at minute 6. The transcript is doctored, so listen to the actual audio.)

      Don’t be fooled by conservative doctoring and spin. Actually check the evidence yourself.

      The only identified “witness” who has said Brown “rushed at him full speed” is…you guessed it…the guy who shot him. South Park in years past has famously made fun of this all-to-common police lie with the comic line “He was coming right at me!”

      Maybe you are thinking of an anonymous woman who called a radio show…and aped the police officer’s report almost verbatim (and contradicts several details of the actual identified eyewitnesses). Oh, and then on air “identified herself as the officer’s friend.” Seriously. Are you saying a friend of his just happened to be there to witness the shooting, got all the corroborated details wrong, and then exactly mimicked the officer’s own account? Really?

      And it’s our bias you think needs to be reigned in?

      What motive does the police officer with no evidence of prejudice have to shoot a man in the face with his hands up facing him in a public space in broad daylight?

      Rage. Self-righteousness. And disregarding the humanity of the target. This is a scene repeated so many times in cop-black interaction it’s not even a low prior anymore. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you have a lot of catching up on recent history to do. I am certain the cop believed he was doing exactly what was righteous. Only after the public reaction did he realize he’s fucked if he admits to it. A story played out again and again and again and again and again and again, by appalling police abuses of authority all across the country, most especially when the police are white and the victims black.

  9. Alfred Silva says

    Kids today do not realize that the only time White America and the police and government took Black America seriously was when we carried guns and ex soldiers (Black) joined the fight.

    The USA was built on the blood sweat and violence of and against Black people. They talk nice and use the law the moment we fight back. In LA in All of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida, California, Maine, Indiana and need I say Washington state, Virginia they still beat, shoot and frame bblack people.

    remember how they said Rodney King was an isolated incident. How they could not stop cussing when OJ was set free by their own laws? well its time for us to stand up once more.

    No More Beyonce and Jayz , Mariah Carey and the other Niggas trying to be white pacifying whites. You are either with us or against us. Take a stand or get out of the way.

  10. Richard G says

    Richard, I read “tussling through a window.” here, second paragraph at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/13/tiffany-mitchell-michael-brown_n_5677003.html – no cop would pull a 6’4′ dude into his cruiser window. What if indeed Michael did slug the cop and reached for his gun? You are so good at questioning the motives of the Gospel writers using critical thinking skills – are there any possible motives for black witnesses to exaggerate or fabricate their eyewitness testimony?

    • says

      And yet eyewitnesses confirm he was pulling Brown into the vehicle (the door was closed) and Brown was trying to push his way back out (hands outside the vehicle). Whether in his resisting he punched the cop is possible (it’s just as possible the cop smashed his own face, while conveniently being hid from cameras for days, in order to claim abuse, but let’s assume, for no reliable reason at this point, that he actually did get injured during his irresponsible behavior).

      This police officer clearly was not thinking rationally. He fired six rounds into an unarmed man with his hands up. Again as multiple witnesses confirm. So what you think “he would do” cannot apply (unless you, too, would shoot an unarmed man six times). The actual report of the sequence of events is that the cop was a hothead, started acting like a jackass because of a perceived insult, reversed his truck to where they were (and stopped so loudly as to squeal tires), tried to fling his door open, but he had stopped so close it hit Brown’s body, bouncing the door back shut, at which point the cop grabbed him, evidently in a rage. Brown resisted. The cop pulled his weapon and fired. Brown ran. The cop got out and fired several rounds (at an unarmed man’s back). At which Brown turned with his hands up to surrender (and even announced his surrender verbally). And the cop then shot him six times, twice in the head (and we know the fatal head shot was the last to be fired, because the other rounds entered level, and the fatal shot entered at a downward angle…Brown was falling as the officer fired that shot).

      This is, again, as reported by multiple witnesses, at least one on camera so far. And the forensic data all corroborates it.

  11. A dude says

    Hi, Richard.

    What good reason is there to think that Trayvon Martin scenario involved racism?

    Also: Can a white guy shoot a black person without it being “tinted” with racism? I mean, couldn’t he just be a dick, or a nervous wreck, or just a bad cop?

    • says

      Since you are just “a dude” with a fake email address, you clearly have no courage of any conviction. So replying to you is a waste of anyone’s time. If you want to get pwned, admit who you are, and take it like a man (or a woman…if such you be).

    • A Dude says

      Richard,

      Who i am is not a matter of concern. If I said something to get “pwned” (what are you, 13?), my “pwning” can happen whether or not you know my name.

      Now, you either have evidence that this cop is a racist or that the shooting was motivated by racism, or whatever else could justify your allegation that it is tinted with racism, or not. Frankly, I see no evidence of racism, even if the shooting is criminal or negligent. The only thing tinted here is your lens–you see racism where none is apparent. For you, a white cop negligently shooting a young black male implies racism…just admit it.

    • says

      Nice. You continue to hide. You have no courage of your convictions, just as I said. You are too ashamed to admit who you are and have your views credited to yourself.

      And now you troll me by asking me impertinent questions.

      I never said the cop was racist, only that it’s possible (and not as a logical exercise, but as in, it has a non-negligible probability). If you want to insist it’s not racism but has some other cause, the burden is on you to demonstrate that. I do not have to demonstrate racism was the cause because I did not say it was, only that it could be. I have allowed that it is one of many available causes. My statements make epistemic sense. Yours do not. You presume to have knowledge you don’t. I presume nothing but what the possibilities are given the available social background evidence.

      What I also said is that racism in general police society is proved by the rate at which cops, for example, shoot unarmed, nonviolent black men vs. white men. That is background evidence. You cannot ignore it. Police have a problem with black people generally. And are racially biased in their decision to use violence against them. That does not entail all police. But it entails enough police for it to be a serious problem. And as it is so frequently a cause known, it is a cause that could easily be at work here.

    • A dude says

      Oh, Richard. You’re being silly. I did not state that there is no racism. I just said that no apparent racism. In contrast, you didn’t just state that it was possible that there is racism involved, you said that it actually is tinted with racism.

      Here’s what you said:

      “Unless you’ve been living in a cave (!), you should know by now the story of Michael Brown, an unarmed college student gunned down by Ferguson police, in circumstances so incredibly suspicious and tinted with racism and shocking abuses of police authority, as to horrify anyone paying attention.”

      A tint of racism within this scenario is some racism. Show your evidence for that. Noting background cases about the police and black men and shootings does not tint this particular case with racism, at least not unless you’re willing to claim that every negligent shooting of a black man by a white cop is tinted with racism. In that case, you’re being even sillier.

    • says

      I’ll grant that you can mistake my use of “tinted” as meaning “is” rather than “seems.” Now that you know I meant “seems” and not “is,” we’re on the same page.

  12. Dave Bruemmer says

    I’m not making any judgements here. I’m just telling you what I’ve heard and getting a reaction to it. The reports are awash in conflicting information. Even if he did deserve to be shot that wouldn’t justify the police going overboard in their suppression of the civil unrest and demonstrations. Perhaps you care to give me a better picture of what happened and how you know it?

    • says

      Are you really so irrational you can’t sort out good evidence from bad and construct the most probable explanation of all the evidence so far advanced? Do you really just believe anything anyone anywhere says and then throw up your hands and say “well people are saying so many contradictory things I guess I just can’t know anything”?

      Because you couldn’t possibly be an atheist if that was your epistemology. And if you are a theist, well, that would explain why you have such a terrible epistemology.

      I’ve already provided several links, but there are more you can find if you care to: several documented eyewitness reports, and a full autopsy report.

      But yes, the police response (a Putin-style paramilitary assault on their own citizens in direct violation of everyone’s constitutional rights…notably these days never done in a white neighborhood to white protesters) is unjustifiable no matter what happened to Brown.

      But there is no credible account of what happened to Brown that is justifiable either. (Not even the police’s own quasi-“official” story.)

  13. says

    Thnx for your post + for the link to the Michael Brown Memorial Fund: http://www.gofundme.com/justiceformikebrown

    ICYMI – some good hard-hitting #Furguson articles:

    –Tim Wise for the New Yorker: Resurrecting Apartheid: White Police and Politicians are Waging War on Black America (August 15, 2014) http://www.timwise.org/2014/08/resurrecting-apartheid-white-police-and-politicians-are-waging-war-on-black-america/

    –Ron Jacobs for CounterPunch: @NatCounterPunch > “Missouri’s Legacy of Violent Racism” (or Quantrill’s Raiders Come to Ferguson) http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/18/missouris-legacy-of-violent-racism/#.U_I5PcifJUw.twitter … #Ferguson

    –Charles Pierce for Esquire Magazine @Esquiremag · 2h “You shoot an unarmed child and you leave him there as a grim public spectacle.” —Pierce on Mike Brown: http://esqm.ag/6011WBvU

    –Dave Zirin in the Nation: The Nation ‏@thenation 4h – “The Problem with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Powerful Essay on #Ferguson” http://thenat.in/1tgTmT5

    –Time Mag article: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – “The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race” (August 17, 2014)
    http://time.com/3132635/ferguson-coming-race-war-class-warfare/

    –@NatCounterPunch “Under Occupation -The Shortest Distance Between Palestine & Ferguson” @hyphy_republic http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/15/the-shortest-distance-between-palestine-and-ferguson/#.U_JPNBPugHo.twitter … #Ferguson #Gaza

    Good quote: @thenation Dave Zirin: Oppression acts as a cancer on the solidarity necessary to fight for a better world. @EdgeofSports @kaj33 #Furguson

  14. gwen says

    As a woman of color, I treat anyone ‘hanging’ a confederate flag ANYWHERE with extreme caution. Just the fact that you would have it, knowing the history of the flag, would be so incredibly insensitive (to me), I could never consider you a friend. I would always wonder what else I might find…. homophobic tracts… Nazi literature..KKK sympathies. They are all pretty similar in my book.

  15. balthasar25 says

    Just want to clarify something for those not familiar with how the Lou is organized. Saint Louis city proper is unincorporated and not actually part of St Louis County where Ferguson is located. Jon Belmar (guy with confederate flag, giant asshole) is the St Louis County police chief. The chief of police for the Saint Louis PD is Sam Dotson (not a giant asshole as far as I can tell). STLPD is assisting in Ferguson but not in charge. St Louis County PD is in charge in Ferguson kind of, along with the state troopers.

  16. Georgina Preciado says

    The way you speak to others is absolutely disgusting. You’re so quick to label people as irrational and to belittle them in every way possible if they don’t agree with you. I wish you’d try to talk down to me after I say something in sincerity to you in person. I’d slap the shit out of you so hard you might learn some respect, and maybe some empathy too. I take it as a small form of justice that you’re likely a miserable maggot, bitter at most of those who occupy this world alongside you. Serves you right.

    • says

      What comments are you talking about?

      You have never commented on my blog before.

      (Or are you admitting to using a sockpuppet?)

      But, um, if you want to claim you have been inappropriately called irrational, posting a comment threatening to get your way by using physical violence, interspersed with childish insults and completely unintelligible non sequiturs, is pretty securely not making your case.

      (Or am I arguing with a bizarre spambot? Anyone?)

    • Georgina Preciado says

      “What comments are you talking about?”
      I am clearly talking about the comments in this thread in which you, as I’ve already said, are quick to label people irrational and belittle them in any way you can if they don’t agree with you. Does it require a whole of intelligence to figure that out? If you’re that thick, maybe you’re the one in need of “soul-searching.” Perhaps we should appeal to the audience on this one since you’re fond of doing that: am I talking to an asshole that needs some soul-searching? Anyone?

      “But, um, if you want to claim you have been inappropriately called irrational, posting a comment threatening to get your way by using physical violence, interspersed with childish insults and completely unintelligible non sequiturs, is pretty securely not making your case.”
      I don’t know who the hell you are. I searched the internet for stuff to read on this subject and came across your SHIT. So all I’m doing is calling you out on it. How funny is it that I’m accused of some mysterious “unintelligible non sequitur” when you’re so clearly in that business in the same paragraph in which you accuse me of a non sequitur. HA! I’m sure the “childish insults,” irony would be just as lost on you. You embarrass yourself.

    • says

      If someone uses fallacious reasoning, they are being irrational.

      They cannot pretend they aren’t by saying it’s insulting to tell the truth about how they are behaving.

      That itself is irrational.

      You have consistently so far acted like a child, and failed to identify any statement I have made that is false.

      Which is the paradigm of irrational.

      That might steam your hide, but if the truth hurts, it’s not the truth that has the problem.

    • EDG says

      (Or am I arguing with a bizarre spambot? Anyone?)

      Maybe this is a new flavor of spam, but I think Georgina is a real person.

    • says

      Seems like so far. It’s just weird, someone who never comments here suddenly interjecting random childish insults devoid of argument, to no apparent purpose.

    • Georgina Preciado says

      “If someone uses fallacious reasoning, they are being irrational.”

      When someone is quick to call others irrational as you are, pretends to be “disturbed” by and proceeds to belittle others for voicing an honest point of view, they are being an asshole.

      “They cannot pretend they aren’t by saying it’s insulting to tell the truth about how they are behaving.”

      They cannot pretend they aren’t being an asshole by claiming they’re speaking the truth.

      “That itself is irrational.”

      That itself is ass.

      “You have consistently so far acted like a child, and failed to identify any statement I have made that is false.”

      You have consistently so far acted like an asshole and failed to refute the fact that you’re asshole.

      “Which is the paradigm of irrational.”

      Which is the paradigm of assholes.

      “That might steam your hide, but if the truth hurts, it’s not the truth that has the problem.”

      That might steam your hide, but if the truth hurts, it’s not the truth that has the problem.

      “Seems like so far. It’s just weird, someone who never comments here suddenly interjecting random childish insults devoid of argument, to no apparent purpose.”

      Oh, did you miss all that honey? You’re an asshole and I called you out on it. Purpose? Quite apparent I thought. Childish? Hardly. Apt better describes it. Random? As Newtonian physics. Devoid of argument? Maybe, I’ll give you that one.

    • says

      Being “honest” does not excuse you from being “irrational.” An honestly stated fallacy is still a fallacy. And stating a fallacy is still irrational.

      It is not being an asshole to point out that someone is using fallacious logic. That is in fact our epistemic and moral responsibility in any discussion: to point out when someone is using fallacious logic. Insisting your argument was “honest” does not address whether your argument was rational.

      Meanwhile, repeating the words ass and asshole childishly over and over again, is by definition acting like a child. Notably, I have never called anyone an ass or an asshole here. You are the one who resorted to childish insults. I used plain clinical language for an actual fact: someone relied on an irrational argument and I correctly identified that as irrational.

  17. Damon Zwolinski says

    Thank you for posting the link about the Michael Brown Memorial Fund which I didn’t know about. I made a donation and will continue to do so to help the Browns with their legal fees.

  18. Johnny Knoxville says

    It wasn’t just “Next thing I know he’s coming towards police”
    Wait until the witness finishes by saying:
    “Next thing I know I’m thinking he’s missing him. He kept running towards Police”

    Nothing about hands up. Nothing about being shot at from behind. Perfectly explains why the officer fired so many shots (initially non-lethal) and why the victim fell forward. (Physics suggests a guy standing and shot in the eye would fall backwards). The running perfectly explains why the witness couldn’t tell that Brown was being shot. It perfectly explains why the witness hasn’t contacted the media to correct what you believe is what’s being widely misinterpreted. It fits.

    If Brown was standing there with his hands up saying don’t shoot, don’t you think this guy would have told the others then or at least now?

    “According to his account to the Ferguson police, Officer Wilson said that Mr. Brown had lowered his arms and moved toward him, law enforcement officials said. Fearing that the teenager was going to attack him, the officer decided to use deadly force. Some witnesses have backed up that account.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/20/us/shooting-accounts-differ-as-holder-schedules-visit.html

    Though to be fair, The New York Times is a well-known conservative spin doctor.

    “False. Both said they saw the cop shoot at his back and then he turned to surrender as if he had been shot. None said they actually saw him get hit.”

    They said they saw “the kid jerk as if he’d been hit.” Nobody sees a bullet actually penetrate someone, only the symptoms. My point was that there’s no evidence to suggest he fired when Brown was running away from him.

    “Also not true. Neither witness saw the beginning of the scuffle. It’s entirely possible Brown struck the cop, or the cop hit his face in the scuffle (with his own limbs, as commonly happens in close grappling, or the steering wheel as Brown struggled to pull away). What both those witnesses saw, once they noted the struggle was already occurring, was the cop pulling Brown through the window and Brown trying to pull away.”

    Fair critique. I should have been more patient with my language. Nonetheless, suspicious that the witnesses won’t note any wrongdoing on behalf of Brown. Both missed the initial confrontation, arrived in time to see the cop shoot a kid with his hands up in the face in a predominantly black neighborhood but didn’t videotape it. Heard Brown shot at from behind but that shot just so happened to miss him. The two witnesses just so happened to be friends: the one with the supposed better view having a very disjointed story in her first interviews that she ends by ranting politically and saying the cop “shot randomly”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/08/18/another-eyewitness-woman-comes-forward-with-footage-taken-immediately-after-the-michael-brown-shooting/

    Plus, how does she know he got back from the Quik Trip this early unless she talked with Brown’s friend? Sounds like Brown’s friend fed her what she describes as a “backstory” that may have painted her and her friend’s testimony.

    “But there is no credible account of what happened to Brown that is justifiable either. (Not even the police’s own quasi-”official” story.)”

    Not sure why you consider a 300 lb man sprinting full speed at an injured officer a non-lethal threat, but good luck finding a serious lawyer who agrees with you.

    “This is a scene repeated so many times in cop-black interaction it’s not even a low prior anymore. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you have a lot of catching up on recent history to do. I am certain the cop believed he was doing exactly what was righteous. Only after the public reaction did he realize he’s fucked if he admits to it. A story played out again and again and again and again and again and again, by appalling police abuses of authority all across the country, most especially when the police are white and the victims black.”

    Not sure what the point of this last rant was except to confirm your immense bias. I consider the implications of alleged police abuse to be an extremely nuanced issue. You seem to have an extraordinarily unique perspective of what constitutes unlawful use of force and so who knows what you even consider to be abuse and how statistically fair you’re being in your criticisms.

    • says

      “Next thing I know I’m thinking he’s missing him. He kept running towards Police”

      You must be hearing things. Or being fooled by the doctored transcript. Because the words “running towards Police” are not there. Seriously. Listen.

      At minute 6:54, in answer to the question why Brown turned around, he says it’s because “the police had his gun drawn on him…yeah, the police shot him…the police kept dumping it on him…I’m thinking that the police is missing, like, he probably, like [inaudible1] the police…more like, it’s [inaudible2]…nothing he did…[inaudible3] police fired shots, next thing I know, that [inaudible4] ain’t missing.” Inaudible1 is a single brief word, not four, so there is no possible way “He kept running towards” is there. So why do you think it’s there?

      No such words are anywhere on the recording.

      At minute 7:14, “the dude started running from the [inaudible5] police,” repeating his disbelief at why the cop was shooting.

      And so on. This witness is not at all saying the guy ran at the cop. He is saying he can’t understand why the cop shot him because he was just running away.

      You then go on to keep citing the officer’s account as if it outweighed multiple independent eyewitnesses. I need not comment further on the irrationality of that method.

      My point was that there’s no evidence to suggest he fired when Brown was running away from him.

      Except the evidence of every witness so far (other than the cop himself). Every one has said he was being fired on as he ran. Every single one. Even your own cited source (the NYT) says this. Yet you keep acting as if you never heard of this. Why?

      Here is an exact quote from your own cited source: “Many witnesses also agreed on what happened next: Officer Wilson’s firearm went off inside the car, Mr. Brown ran away, the officer got out of his car and began firing toward Mr. Brown, and then Mr. Brown stopped, turned around and faced the officer.”

      So WTF? Why are you lying to me about what your own source says?

      The two witnesses just so happened to be friends

      Now you are making shit up. One of the witnesses (whose video I have linked to) wasn’t even from the neighborhood. Another was waiting for a bus. They weren’t connected at all. A third, a man, was Brown’s friend, so one can allege bias there, yet his story fits everyone else’s on the scene (other than the cop’s). And we have another completely independent man on the background audio, whose words you keep falsely reporting, who also corroborates that sequence of events. And now you link to what actually is a third woman, yet another witness, viewing the incident from a balcony, and not one of the two other women who have gone on record already, nor connected to either of them. And this perfectly calm woman (not ranting politically…your racism is showing) very calmly and clearly corroborates everything I have said. And somehow you are ignoring this and all the corroborating independent eyewitness testimony. Why?

      “Not sure why you consider a 300 lb man sprinting full speed at an injured officer a non-lethal threat”

      No witness (other than the cop) has ever said anything about Brown sprinting full speed at the officer. All witnesses contradict that claim. All of them. And now, thanks to you, we have five independent witnesses corroborating my account, none connected to each other.

      You just aren’t behaving rationally here. Your distortion of the evidence and false weighting of evidence makes arguing with you evidently pointless. You ignore the actual words of multiple independent witnesses, and choose the most biased story that contradicts all of them. Why?

  19. Johnny Knoxville says

    Fyi: Georgina appears to have been referring to your last response to Bruemmer.

    For a philosopher, you’ve been coming off pretty emotional. That being said, I guess it’s a good thing you’re a philosopher and not a police officer.

    • says

      I actually was a police officer. In the Coast Guard I served in active law enforcement for over a year, and was fully trained in related procedures, and required to make decisions affecting the safety of an entire ship, as well as in regards issuing, using, and releasing weapons and ammunition for law enforcement operations.

      Your denigration of emotion is irrational. Cool heads in tense situations is not about being a robot. It’s about exercising judgment and restraint, following sound training, and recognizing the humanity of all parties involved, on all sides of a situation. If you delete all emotion, then you become a danger to society.

      Emotion is vital to human judgment and behavior. If it weren’t for emotion, we would all be monsters.

      And many a philosopher has pointed this out. As well as pretty much every scientist specializing in human emotions and decision making.

  20. Johnny Knoxville says

    Forgot to note something critical: that the whole “still standing” bit was referring to the fact that Mike Brown hadn’t fallen yet. It’s obviously a common expression to refer to someone who hasn’t been knocked down and it’s often used metaphorically. “Then he kept coming towards him” would obviously refer to Mike. If a cop was shooting a guy in the face with his hands up for no reason, the fact the cop was moving would be utterly irrelevant and the last thing this guy would bring up. And yet this guy won’t shut up about Mike comings towards him-repeats this detail on multiple occasions. Since Mike charged the cop, it was a critical detail and the reason why this guy wasn’t going on some tirade about the killer cop who shot a guy in the face with his arms up.

    • says

      “Then he kept coming towards him” would obviously refer to Mike.

      Not in context. The cop, they said, was the one chasing and shooting him. And they express disbelief at this. They are clearly not saying he was “running” at the cop.

      Listen to the whole audio.

      When the witness describes why Brown turned around (around minute 7), he says, verbatim:

      Because “the police had his gun drawn on him…yeah, the police shot him…the police kept dumping it on him…I’m thinking that the police is missing, like, he probably, like [single inaudible word] the police…more like, it’s [couple of inaudible words]…nothing he did…[inaudible words] police fired shots, next thing I know, that [single inaudible word] ain’t missing.”

      There is nothing here about Brown running at or coming at the cop. The witness and his audience remain in disbelief as to why the cop shot him.

      The discussion of the cop firing at least eight shots, one burst of four, followed by another burst of four some moments later (corroborating the shooting at his back description, corroborated by numerous eyewitnesses), comes much later, at minute 8:20. Another witness, who heard but didn’t see, says, “I heard, like, I heard like, eight shots, it was like, four, and then it was like four more, it was like, pop, pop, pop, pop, he stopped for a minute, pop, pop, pop.” The eyewitness then chimes in (at minute 8:26), “the police officer, I mean, how many times have you heard that, the police was like, [few words inaudible] still shooting, and I’m thinking, the dude’s still standing, I’m thinking he missing him, then he kept coming towards him, and he said [inaudible]…” This looks like a description of the cop, not Brown. And there is again no mention of running or charging, and again disbelief that the cop continued shooting. And notably, all other eyewitnesses, who have given clear and audible descriptions (three unconnected women now, and Brown’s male friend), corroborate that Brown did not run or charge at the police officer.

      Do the math.

    • says

      Mitchell neither knew Brown nor lives in Ferguson. You should know this. That you don’t tells me you aren’t actually listening to their testimony.

      Which says a lot about how reliable your reasoning process is.

  21. Johnny Knoxville says

    Who are these three unconnected women?

    Witness Tiffany Mitchell was picking up Piaget Crenshaw for work. Piaget admitted to having hung out with Mike Brown.

    Learn the facts, brah.

    • says

      Oh, I see, I was confusing two different witnesses. My apologies. You are right, Crenshaw and Mitchell are the witnesses I have in mind and did know each other.

      Piaget said in her interview that she knew his family and hung out with them before. Mitchell, however, did not know Brown and she does not even live in Ferguson (as Mitchell confirms in her own interview). She was only there to pick Crenshaw up for work; she is Crenshaw’s boss.

      Here is the actual report from Crenshaw. And from Mitchell. (Video link of an interview is upthread, but repeated here. Another here and again Piaget’s primary interview.)

      We have yet another witness now. And Johnson. And the unknown male witness on the background audio (actually two, since the one who reports what he heard also corroborates the sequence of events), who also corroborates the sequence of events (and does not, contrary to people making false claims here about what is said in that audio, say anything about Brown charging or running at the police officer).

      These stories still all corroborate each other.

      So you are still kicking against the goad of reality. You are alleging a massive “racial” conspiracy of numerous calm, intelligent witnesses against a single police officer. Why?

      (Hopefully you aren’t buying bullshit like this. Um…over a dozen people were present to witness the event, and yet the half dozen who have come forward as witnesses say exactly the opposite, and not a single one of these “dozen” other witnesses has been identified or can even be named. Are you really this gullible? And you trust a police department who would tell a reporter that?)

  22. Johnny Knoxville says

    What’s wrong, no comprende facetious jokes?

    Who are these three unconnected women?

    “Girl waiting for the bus” was the witness I presented you. She wasn’t new. So fyi, you got that wrong too.

    • says

      I am interested in facts and arguments, not jokes about someone’s murder and government assaults on a town’s civil rights.

      Yes, I was confused about Piaget. Changes nothing. Unless, indeed, you are alleging a massive multi-party conspiracy.

  23. Johnny Knoxville says

    Your distortion of the evidence and false weighting of evidence makes arguing with you evidently pointless. You ignore the actual words of multiple independent witnesses, and choose the most biased story that contradicts all of them. Why?

    • Georgina Preciado says

      Let me ask you a simple question, Mr Richard. If someone is in fact being irrational or handling things poorly, does an empathetic person say to them “you’re being irrational/handling things poorly?” Or do they take the persons thoughts and feelings seriously and engage with them in that way, and try not to make them feel backed into a corner? Because you know the latter will often have the opposite affect. The latter is what someone does who sees others as opponents. And your whole manner of presentation is filled to the brim with combativeness, characteristic of someone who defines worthiness by intellect and others as people to fight. Why are these people, who are interested in having discussions about this topic, your opponents Richard? Why don’t you have empathy for people? Your lack of self-awareness is almost pity-invoking. You have no understanding of human beings, how people come to be what they are, and how they develop. Trust me, they aren’t flawed for lack of abuse from men like you.

    • says

      If someone is in fact being irrational or handling things poorly, does an empathetic person say to them “you’re being irrational/handling things poorly?”

      Yes. It’s your moral and epistemic duty.

      Unless you want to manipulate them by being dishonest about what is going on.

      What is irrational is to respond to being called irrational by acting even more irrational, rather than asking, “Oh wait, why is what I said irrational?” (Even though I already said why) and then “Oh, right, that is irrational, I should stop doing that and rethink how I am processing information and reaching conclusions.”

      The latter is how a rational person behaves. By definition.

      Meanwhile, an irrational person just gets more hotheaded, childish, insulting, and combative.

      Only one of us has done that.

      And it isn’t me.

  24. Johnny Knoxville says

    “dude was running and the cops just shot.him. i saw him die bruh”

    Oh that’s your new witness? Because that tweet really confirms your story about Mike standing still with his arms up when he was murdered. Behind the obsessive yet proven crucially fallible rhetoric, all you really have is the testimony of Mike’s friend, Mike’s other friend, girl who was picking up Mike’s other friend, tweeter who saw someone running getting shot and a witness who never mentions anything about Mike being murdered with his hands up etc and seems remarkably cool with police after supposedly witnessing one of the most sociopathic murders but does have a lot of things to say about some dude running towards some other dude. Against a police force with potentially massive amounts of forensic evidence who you will soon assert is committing some vast conspiracy because you heard Mike’s chain say he was innocent.

    Just promise me if the FBI contradicts all your bullshit that you won’t keep obsessively rambling about some racist conspiracy.

    • says

      Wow. You are delusional. You actually think “dude was running and the cops just shot.him. i saw him die bruh” was tweeted by someone saying he was running at the cop?

      How off your rocker are you?

      I’m starting to think you are just a racist. Because you have no sound epistemology here. It all seems skewed against what black people are saying. With wild conspiracy theories and illogical readings of plain statements.

  25. Dave B says

    I appreciate how you’re sifting through the reports to try and ascertain what happened. It’s not easy because the police have circled the wagons, Bill O’Reilly and the conservative media are wetting their pants in defending the police (Brown was not an innocent college bound kid but a violent bad guy who attacked an officer–case closed) , and the media mostly consists of a huge network of poorly paid, poorly trained writers with little in the way of journalistic integrity, people whose #1 objective is to write stories that will generate views, web hits, and so on (a friend of mine is an Internet media web editor and he says this all the time).

    Most stories say the officer knew of the robbery but I’ve seen others claiming that there was no robbery (with extended footage of Brown paying, and only getting physical after an argument with the clerk) and even that the store did not even initially report any robbery to authorities. It’s hard to know who to believe,

    Now the big story is the severe injuries the officer suffered. If I’m understanding you correctly you think that the officer went wrong at the moment (after the scuffle) that he began firing on a fleeing Brown, and continuing to shoot after he gave himself up. That helps the officer’s case, and although your proposal that he may have added to his injuries after the fact to make it look better isn’t implausible (this was only recently reported and we don’t yet know when he was examined) and I can see something like that go down (cops always protect their own without apology), it’s going to be impossible to prove and it comes off as being ad hoc.

    I’m looking forward to your thoughts on my comments. No, I’m not a theist and I’ve been on your jock since the says of the God Movie documentary and your appearances on Reggie’s old show. So don’t worry about mincing words. I consider it a badge of honor to get rolled up by you in a post. LOL

    • says

      Most stories say the officer knew of the robbery

      Just FYI, his own police department has officially confirmed he did not.

      (This contradicts the officer’s filed report; which may come back to bite him, since filing a false report is a serious infraction.)

      I’ve seen others claiming that there was no robbery (with extended footage of Brown paying, and only getting physical after an argument with the clerk) and even that the store did not even initially report any robbery to authorities.

      Please source this. I have not found any such claim myself.

      On the officer’s injuries, all sorts of things are possible (he could easily have injured himself in the scuffle, he could easily have been accidentally injured by Brown in the scuffle, he could easily have been punched by Brown in the scuffle, he could easily have faked the injury after the scuffle…although video of him at the scene does not show any significant injury to his face, some bruising may have swelled later). Not one of them justifies the shooting. Nor contradicts any other witness of what happened (except perhaps Brown’s friend, although his description of the scuffle is ambiguous as to this, and he might not have even seen, for example, a delivered blow in the rapid chaos). So it’s moot.

  26. Johnny Knoxville says

    “next thing I know, he’s running…running towards police”

    2:11-2:14

    If you study how the witness uniquely pronounces police throughout the video, it’s exactly how he says it here. Try listening with decent headphones. I’ve even seen numerous Brown supporters online admit it to other people. It really is the missing piece for a lot of undecideds. Plus if this witness saw someone get shot in the face for no reason, don’t you think he’d consider sharing the vital details of what would have been an insanely unjust murder that just took place right in front of him? and that people/media etc should know about the kid who got shot standing with his arms up saying don’t shoot. He’d be so pissed at that cop and yet he never comes close to criticizing the cop or saying anything close to your story of feeling like he should spread the real truth about the cop to anyone–just like the initial reaction of your supposed witness on Twitter who saw a guy shot running. Mike has a violent an impulsive history and a much more believable motive of trying to avoid jail by repeating his manhandling of a smaller guy. The cop doesn’t. The cop also lacks a motive other than an arbitrary bout of rage in a black neighborhood in the daylight against a guy surrendering with his arms up. Every piece of the puzzle fits the cop’s story except your witnesses who are mostly linked to each other, Brown, and have political motives. From your confidence, you’d think it was the cop on video shown walking down a store owner just minutes before the shooting. It’s incredible how you let your mind run with your bias to the point where you didn’t even know your initial witnesses were all tied to Brown and each other.

  27. says

    Carrier,
    I would like to know your take on the following video. Its thrust is different but you agree on the basic issues except the commentator believes (incorrectly it appears) the cop was reacting on a report of the theft.

    • says

      Sorry, I don’t have time to watch videos from random people about their thoughts, even on any issue at all. (I’m not being facetious. I’m serious. There are tons of videos on numerous subjects I am interested in and writing about; I don’t have time to watch any of them, either.)

      To be efficient I am only interested in primary evidence: forensics, photographs, eyewitness reports, etc. If you have any of that that I haven’t seen, let me know. Otherwise, there are a hundred million people with thoughts. Thoughts aren’t evidence. Thoughts might be interesting. But we only have so much time to parcel out in a day.

    • says

      Huh?

      That’s a non sequitur (your premise “And statistically, blacks are less likely to be killed by police than whites in proportion to the number of violent crimes committed by each race” in no way entails your conclusion “Hence why the widespread racism claims have been using anecdotes instead of comprehensive numbers” or even, I must suppose, your implied conclusion, that all those anecdotes are lies).

      It’s also a fallacy called Red Herring: black people are unjustifiably shot (or assaulted) more often by police than whites. Your premise “And statistically, blacks are less likely to be killed by police than whites in proportion to the number of violent crimes committed by each race” says nothing about proportion of justifiable shootings.

      You are also lying to me again about your own source.

      Your own source does not say what you claim.

      It actually says almost what I just did: that the statistics hide actual unjustified shootings by departments simply rubber-stamping them as justified.

      Your own source also shows that when you look at cases that have markers of unjustifiable homicide (e.g. frequency with which persons who were not attacking anyone were shot and killed), there is an enormous racial disparity. This cannot be blamed on a statistical effect of blacks being more violent, as you imply (in racist fashion: “blacks deserve to get shot more because blacks are a more violent people”). Because these victims were not being violent. So the violence of other people is entirely irrelevant (regardless of race). Even when targets are not being violent, blacks are three to four times more likely to be shot and killed than whites.

      That’s from your own source.

      I am getting tired of your lying to me. If this continues, I am going to block you.

  28. Georgina Preciado says

    “Yes. It’s your moral and epistemic duty.”

    “Duty”? Says who??? I’ve never heard of any such thing and feel no such duty. Where are you get this language? Because it’s pretty weird to me. You didn’t really answer my question, which referred to your belittling behavior *in addition* to being quick to label others irrational.

    “Unless you want to manipulate them by being dishonest about what is going on.”

    Avoiding calling people irrational and avoiding belittling them and preferring to engage with them by addressing their points is not dishonesty. It’s showing regard for their context. Calling someone irrational is akin to calling them stupid. That’s how it’s usually taken, and it arouses defensiveness. You can hide behind semantics all you want. Doesn’t change the fact that you’re a bully and you wield the word to be a bully.

    ” “What is irrational is to respond to being called irrational by acting even more irrational, rather than asking, “Oh wait, why is what I said irrational?” (Even though I already said why) and then “Oh, right, that is irrational, I should stop doing that and rethink how I am processing information and reaching conclusions.” ”

    You never called me irrational. You pissed me off with how you treated others. Your article was interesting to me, I wouldn’t have imagined someone well-spoken would talk to others like I saw shortly after, and I called you an asshole because you were and still are being one. How is that being irrational? Maybe what’s irrational is this non-sequitur you’re stuck on (that I must be a sock individual that you called irrational before).

    “The latter is how a rational person behaves. By definition.”

    Oooh, DEFINITIONS. Scary. That’s some pretty authoritative stuff, mister. Ouch. You got me! (Because you know, discussing ideas means war). Pffft. Puhleez.

    “Meanwhile, an irrational person just gets more hotheaded, childish, insulting, and combative.”

    You’re the one who is hotheaded, childish, insulting, and combative. You just don’t see it, and likely don’t want to either. Some of those people above did nothing more than express an honest thought and your first reaction was to talk down to them. Weird for me to see you’re such a public figure. Would you talk in those ways to people who come up to the mic to make a comment or ask a question after one of your live debates? Maybe the internet just brings out your Mr. Hyde. Hmmm.

    “Only one of us has done that.”

    Yes, you.

    “And it isn’t me.”

    I was angry at you before, but not anymore. I just feel sorry for you.

    • says

      Since you just said it is not your moral or epistemic duty to tell the truth, we are done.

      I will not continue having a conversation with someone who openly admits they don’t even believe in telling the truth.

    • says

      That’s not a relevant article. It only asks if we “can” imagine alternative scenarios. No one here has not been doing that.

      You are the one who is insisting it wasn’t racism. You are thus the only one who has been making a positive assertion in need of evidence. I am just talking odds based on past cases.

    • A dude says

      Hi.

      The author does way more than offer possibilities. The whole point is to discuss whether there is sufficient grounds to think that the shooting involves racism, and the author denies it. Maybe the shooting really is racially motivated–maybe. But there is no ground to think it; and so there is also no ground to think there is a “tint” of racism.

      My only point is that you should not infer, suggest or insinuate racist motivations, at least not yet. Don’t jump the ball, Richard.

    • says

      The author does not deny racism was involves. He says it could have other explanations. That’s it. “I can hold my judgment until I know more.” His words. That’s not denial. It’s acceptance of the reality that we are dealing with probabilities and not certainties (and he doesn’t do any math to argue which way the probabilities go).

  29. Richard G says

    Richard, in that video you posted i can clearly hear “he doubled back toward him cus” – blacks in america are the most monolithic group, politically, conformity, group consciousness, a black going against the group solidarity in a neighborhood risks violence on his person. Rich, i’m a progressive liberal too, i understand we need them riled up with racism to get them out to vote for our side against the forces of christofascists! When are you going on Bill Maher, he would love to have you.

    • says

      I find your claims about black people to be intrinsically racist. You basically just said they are all the same and all stick together to tell lies. Because they are black.

      That’s simply not true.

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