Police brutality in Ferguson escalates drastically tonight


Another young, unarmed black boy was executed over the weekend — this time by the police. Witnesses claim Mike Brown, a young man returning from a store who was due to leave for university in a week, was shot from 30+ feet away by police while he had his hands up. That he was shot ten times. That he was left to lay in the street for four hours while police “contained” the scene.

The police claimed that he had been shot after a struggle with an officer in which he tried to get the officer’s gun. They claim that he had been arrested on suspicion of shoplifting — despite the store claiming they’d never called the police and didn’t suspect Brown of this alleged crime in the first place.

Protesters chanted things like “No Justice, No Peace” and “Don’t Shoot Me”, and the news media reported this as “Kill The Police”. People are rightly outraged that a young, unarmed boy was murdered by white government officials, and these same officials respond to their grieving by bringing out police dogs and tanks. A cop proclaims, on CNN no less, “bring it on, you fucking animals.”

The town of Ferguson, St. Louis is tonight a warzone as militarized police crack down on protesters. And what do you hear on TV? “Looting” and “rioting”. Nothing about murdering an unarmed boy sparking the protests that are being spun as a race riot. And this in a week that already saw a black man murdered by cops for holding an airsoft gun in the airsoft gun aisle of Wal-Mart.

Antonio French has been recording scenes from the day’s protest and the police action, which now includes firing rubber bullets and tear gas into crowds, shining lights directly at reporters who are trying to take video, and intimidating people who are clearly only armed with cell phones.

This brutality has got to fucking end. What year is this?

Comments

  1. Stevarious, Public Health Problem says

    But but but… police officers are magical fairytale creatures who can do no wrong!

    Seriously tho, I was reading another article that pointed out in a town that’s 65% black, the police force is only 5% black. Something drastically wrong with that picture.

    Ah, here it is. The police force is 53 strong, with 3 blacks, 2 other minorites, and 3 women. In other words, law enforcement in this town is a white man’s club, with just enough token minorities that they can say “Oh yeah, we hire minorities, sure!”

  2. smrnda says

    Cops tend to be pea-brained thugs in the US. Regrettably, it might just be that your typical USian is a pea brained thug.

  3. says

    The police must be demilitarized. You can tell who’s prepared for a riot by what they bring and how they dress: and the cops come dressed to kill.

    What’s good is that the protesters aren’t coming with guns, unlike Cliven Bundy’s fans.

  4. says

    Have you ever noticed that the cops never de-escalate? Their approach is to come with overwhelming force until the protesters de-escalate. This shows a strategic incomprehension of human relations.

  5. smrnda says

    @Marcus

    The cops don’t de-escalate since they aren’t being sensible and rational and trying to prevent harm; they’re engaged in some idiotic macho posturing where the only message they care about sending is that they never back down, and that violence, when done by them, is always legal. It’s also a message to the Black community, that they are an occupied people with no rights.

    Remember the cop who pepper sprayed the pregnant occupy protester who was already on the ground with the other protesters and doing nothing? Who miscarried? That’s just the ‘look at ME! I’m a COP! I can do anything to you because I’m a COP!’ mentality at work.

  6. says

    Jason:
    I’m going to copy/paste a comment I left at Pharyngula in PZ’s thread about the media attention to Robin Williams’ death, because the whole situation in the US with regard to people of color being oppressed and discriminated against seriously hit home for me, deeply, about an hour ago, and I can’t stop shaking and crying and I want people to hear, first hand, how a person of color feels about this situation. I hope you don’t mind:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/08/12/robin-williams-brings-joy-to-the-hearts-of-journalists-and-politicians-once-again/comment-page-2/#comment-834375

    This country is starting to scare me to a greater level than it had before. I live in Florida, home of George Fucking Zimmerman. Do you see my gravatar? I’m a man of color. I’m just they type of person that Zimmerman would probably distrust. I’m just the type of person that the police would probably not be terribly nice to. I’m the kind of person people would be suspicious of. I’m the kind of person who the justice system typically treats horrifically.
    For the first time in fucking I don’t know how long, I’ve met a guy who is pretty cool. He lives 10 minutes from me. I’ve been single for so fucking long that I have forgotten what it’s like to date or even be in a relationship. I’d pretty much given up hope of ever having the chance to fall in love with someone.
    What does this have to do with this thread?
    I don’t have a car.
    I walk to his house. Often in the evening.
    When I leave at night, IT’S FUCKING AT NIGHT. In fucking Florida. The fucking bible belt. Where they already don’t like black people. Then I’m gay on top of that. And an atheist? That’s a fucking trifecta for some people.
    The first night we hung out, I walked home. That was before I knew about Mike Brown. I read about that after I got home that night actually. That kinda freaked me out, but I did the same thing a lot of people in this country did, and treated it like an isolated incident. As I thought about it more, I realized that it’s not isolated. Yes, it’s one incident, but it’s part of something bigger, far worse, and a great deal scarier.
    Trayvon Martin was just walking home with skittles and a fucking iced tea. He was killed for nothing, bc of a racist scumbag who should be in prison (and I swear to god CAESAR do NOT fucking say a fucking goddamn thing you vile shitstain). I’ve walked to the store at night before. I’ve worn a brightly colored tee shirt, and shorts. I’ve carried my cellphone and wallet at all times. Why? Because in the back of my mind, I have to worry about the possibility that someone will want to shoot me because I’m a person of color. Nevermind that I don’t own a gun, and don’t want to. Nevermind that I’ve never been in a fight in my life. Nevermind that I’m not an aggressive person prone to violence. Nevermind that I have a hard time hurting a roach, let alone another human being. No, nevermind all that. There are people out there that wish I were dead, or would take the opportunity to kill me for nothing.
    And you know what? That scares me. That horrifies me. Not so much that it’s going to paralyze me, bc dammit I’m not going to live my life frozen by fear, unable to do anything.
    But I should be able to live my life and not worry about the possibility of being shot and killed. I should be able to have the same equal opportunity to go through life with the same possibility of a fulfilling existence as white people.
    But I can’t.
    I can’t because I was born a different color.
    And now, in this country, this land of supposed freedom and equality…this land that says everyone was born equal and free, we have a police state that is brutalizing black people. Young and old. We have a government that looks the other way at this ongoting civil rights travesty. We have media that doesn’t want to even tackle stories like this, and when they do, they treat them like isolated incidents. They don’t treat them like symptoms of a deeper problem…when they even document them.
    So that brings us to Mike Brown and Robin Williams. I’ve said it so many fucking times in this thread and I’ll say it again:
    I’m sorry Robin Williams died. I’m sorry his family and friends are grieving. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, no matter how much I despise them. I wish our mental healthcare system were significantly better. I wish there were no stigma attached to mental illness. Do you get this people? Do you understand that I’m not minimizing what happened to Robin Williams? I hope to fucking god you do because I’m sick and fucking tired of saying it.
    But, compare his death, and how it is treated in the media. Compare that to how black people across this country feel. FOR FUCKS SAKE, COMPARE IT TO WHAT I’VE JUST DESCRIBED.
    I’m fucking shaking right now and crying because I can’t believe people have so spectacularly missed the point of this post, and it has really hit home tonight, the third day in a row that I’ve gotten to go on a date with the same guy. He drove me home bc even he realizes that it can be dangerous out there at night for certain people with a certain skin color. I appreciate that he chose to do that, even though I would never ask him to do it. I don’t want to be an imposition on anyone.
    Don’t I deserve to be able to walk home at night without the worry of being harassed or worry about facing threats from racist assholes? Doesn’t every black person? Doesn’t every single person who is oppressed or discriminated against?
    IF SO, THEN WHY WON’T THE MEDIA GIVE A FUCKING SHIT ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON?
    Why is my life…why are the lives of black and brown people across the US..across the planet even…why are they treated like they aren’t of worth? Why are we dehumanized and treated like second class citizens?
    Why?
    And why can’t we have a discussion in this country about this?
    Can someone, one you people who are berating PZ for bringing this up…can one of you explain that to me?
    GODFUCKING DAMMIT!
    Yes I’m crying and shaking still. I guess it doesn’t matter to some people, because I’m just a person of color. Fuck.

Trackbacks

  1. […] In Ferguson, police are trying to control a situation. On twitter, you can see footage that is simply chilling (here, for instance, pay attention to the trivial detail of where the gun is pointed). More here. […]

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