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Even atheists have sacred cows

Wow! I haven’t been sent so much hate mail since I mangled a cracker. It seems that one of the great American holies is celebrity culture: don’t you dare say anything that comes across as callous about a beloved comedian. My favorite so far was an email that accused me of being a “Jew ghoul”, and then went into detail about the autopsy report because it showed that Robin Williams “suffered like Christ.” That’s the problem, really: it’s fine that you liked and respected the man — I did, too — but the obsessive fascination of our media with every detail of a celebrity’s pain is disturbing. There are helicopters flying over Williams’ house and media vans parked outside it, as if something important will happen there any time, while Ferguson, Missouri is under a police-ordered blackout. There are other celebrities lining up in front of cameras to talk about how wonderful Robin Williams was, while police in body armor, carrying shotguns and batons, are lining up to march down the streets of Ferguson. And damn few people seem to be able to see the stark contrast, much less care about it.

Here are a few intelligent comments on the subject. First is carlie.

I am reacting really strongly to this particular subject, I think, because I watched it play out on twitter last night. I follow a lot of people who are really up on the news as it happens, and the juxtaposition of people giving heartfelt tributes to Williams, people giving legitimately important information about depression, and people showing the absolute breakdown in Ferguson, was incredibly disconcerting. When you see a tweet that’s a freaking animated picture of a genie hugging Aladdin, and you genuinely tear up over it, and then the next thing you see is a picture taken an hour prior of policemen with dogs and riot gear ganging up on one unarmed young man begging for peace and justice, well, it kind of puts things in perspective in a really stark way.

Unfortunately, where you’ll see the real drama playing out is on twitter, with residents sharing the nightmare. When I just checked CNN, the stories were about the aforementioned Williams autopsy report (WHY? Also, why is Williams insta-autopsied and the full report released to the press, while the official Mike Brown autopsy report is suppressed, so the parents will have to get a second, independent autopsy done?), and a long video of a string of Famous People (Mel freakin’ Gibson!) queuing up to talk about how much they loved Robin Williams. Press priorities, you know.

And here’sTony! The Queer Shoop. You might be able to tell that he’s a little bit angry.

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. 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.

Reality should be more important to atheists than some fantasy on the screen. It doesn’t seem to be working out that way.

ceesays is also rather unhappy.

You’re all sitting here talking about mike brown, but I’ve got some more fuckign names for you while you’re all booing the derailing nitwit with the tone argument. Sit all your asses down. Open your ears, and hear me.

Mike Brown was a 17 black boy who was killed by police while he was unarmed. I’m aware that most of you had heard about him before this post.

He died two days ago.

John Crawford was an unarmed 22 year old black man who was killed by police while shopping in a wal-mart, a hotspot for white people to slouch around wearing the latest all american fashion – assault rifles. Perhaps you heard of him. Perhaps the name is fuzzily familiar.

He died on August the 8th.

Perhaps you’ve even heard of Ezell Ford, a 24 year old black man who was killed by police while he was walking along 65th street, some TWO HUNDRED blocks north of where a shooting had been reported. He was lying on the ground and obeying police orders when he was killed by police.

He died on August the 13th. oh look.

That’s today.

you all going to be paying attention when the next unarmed black man dies to police on the 15th? you gonna remember their names when there’s another black person lying dead in the street, killed by police on the 17th? are you going to remember eric garner’s name? you wondering who eric garner is?

It’s not just mike brown. It’s name after name after name, and it’s been going on for years. YEARS. somebody black is KILLED by police in america once every 28 hours, and you’re upset because you have depression and how could anyone dare point out that the media grabbing onto Robin William’s suicide is a political move rooted deep into anti-blackness.

Well. I have mental illnesses too. And Robin Williams – he was famous. He was rich. He had treatment. More treatment than I could ever obtain for my comorbid bipolar disorder and PTSD. And if he couldn’t beat it, why should I even bother?

And if I did beat it, what kind of a life do I get with this skin? because black women get murdered by police. did you hear about the black grandmother who was nearly beaten to death by a cop? did you hear about that? Did you hear about the young pregnant woman in ferguson who was bodyslammed?

Did you hear that it’s so bad that black people don’t want to have children, because look at the world they’d be bring their kids into? Did you hear any of that?

Look, I’m sorry Robin Williams is dead. I admired him a great deal. I loved his HBO improv performance. I watched Mork and Mindy. I watched The Dead Poets Society and Patch Adams and Death to Smoochy. I’m sorry he killed himself, both because I can’t stop imagining how deep the pain has to go to actually go through with it. Williams’s death has conviced me that I have a terminal disease from which there is no cure, and I will die from it. Maybe not today. But I know how I’m going to die. It got him, it’ll get me too. That’s just how it is.

But PZ is right. News media is using his death as a way to turn a blind eye to Mike brown and all the other dead black people they ignore or blame for their deaths.

Oh, and you thought the If I was gunned down photo meme was funny?

Oh.

Would you mind terribly if I don’t feel safe around you at all? because that photo meme made me want to smash things and weep, because that’s the joke, you see. We’re never allowed to be human. Not even when we’re innocent. Not even when we’re murder victims, because we are not human.

Comments

  1. says

    “They didn’t even check to see if he was breathing.”

    Lewis E. Reed @PresReed · 2h
    @LauraKHettiger @KMOV Not like the previous altercations. Community policed themselves & did a commendable job restoring order

    Erica Smith @ericasmith · 2h
    #MichaelBrown’s cousin Todd Pruitt is helping cleanup in #Ferguson. “You will not use my family’s name as a way to display ignorance.”

    word34 ‏@word_34 5m
    .@SenatorNasheed is calling for Ferguson PD Chief Tom Jackson to be removed and she is right #Ferguson citizens should demand it

  2. says

    Cleveland Cop Indicted for Manslaughter in the Deadly Shooting of an Unarmed Black Man and Woman

    A white Cleveland police officer, who stood on the hood of a car and fired at least 15 shots through the windshield, killing an unarmed black couple, following a car chase, was indicted on Friday by a Cuyahoga County [Ohio] Grand Jury.

    The grand jury indicted Officer Michael Brelo on two counts of manslaughter for killing Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams on Nov. 29, 2012, Timothy J. McGinty, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, said in a statement.

    If a jury or judge convicts Brelo — and that is not a sure thing because juries and judges are reluctant to convict white cops in deadly shootings of blacks even when they may be unarmed and present no threat — Brelo could face a mandatory prison sentence of three to 11 years.

    The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association is already calling Brelo a hero.

    In deadly shootings of African Americans, particularly black men, lawyers for the police officer usually argue their client feared for his life.

    Williams was shot 24 times and Russell was shot 23 times.

    [...]

    Cleveland police officers fired 137 shots, McGinty said in a statement. The other officers stopped shooting but Brelo continued to the shoot after first climbing on the car’s hood.

    “Officer Brelo started shooting again and fired at least 15 shots, including fatal shots downward through the windshield into the victims at close range as he stood on the hood of Mr. Russell’s car,” McGinty said. Brelo fired a total of 49 shots at Russell and Williams, McGinty said.

    To support his decision to seek an indictment, the prosecutor cited a 9 to 0 U.S. Supreme Court Decision. The court ruled that the police should stop shooting when they see that a suspect is incapacitated and ended any threat of continued flight.

    “Let’s be clear what happened here. The driver was fully stopped. Escape was not longer even a remote possibility. The fight was over,” McGinty said. “After the ceasefire, Officer Brelo unleashed an unlawful, second barrage of shots. The ultimate legal issue is whether the police officer was justified when he stood on the hood of Mr. Russell’s car and emptied his clip into the occupants after the chance of flight was completely eliminated and they no longer presented a threat to the public’s safety. He was not.”

  3. says

    Things that happened 3, 4 days ago are being tweeted by new people on #Ferguson, highlighting how many people still don’t know about what happened.

  4. The Mellow Monkey says

    In the Aftermath of Ferguson, Stay Angry and Stay Woke

    They think that distracting us with this sudden burst of competency will somehow make us forget about the load of bullshit they just dropped. The Ferguson Police Department is now trying to paint Mike Brown as a robbery suspect in order to justify his shooting. Yes, they are trying to give grounds for riddling the body of an unarmed 18 year-old with bullets. Trying to suggest that because he may have tried to steal a box of cigars, he deserved to die.

    Not just that, the Ferguson Chief of Police has admitted that the officer who shot Mike Brown had no prior knowledge that he was a robbery suspect when he shot him. Which begs the question: What the hell reason do you have for releasing the footage or discussing that information in the context of this case when it had absolutely nothing to do with his death?

  5. The Mellow Monkey says

    As a quick aside about something I saw in the comments of the Jezebel article I just posted, as well as on FB and on Twitter:

    If you’re going to derail a powerful discussion of racist violence and oppression by complaining about non-standard English and still call yourself an ally, you’re doing it wrong. Dialect bias is still a bias and when used in this way to police how POC are discussing an issue that effects them it becomes a tool of racist silencing.

  6. says

    Bigots are now embracing the meme that Mike Brown’s size meant he wasn’t unarmed.

    Katherine ‏@katmrowr 6m
    Ppl need stop saying Brown was unarmed. His sheer size n using it to try n disarm a cop was his weapon. #ferguson

    Pray For Life ‏@Pray_4_Life 1m
    Left talk about bullying, then excuse NFL-sized gangsta strangling little clerk? #MikeBrown, Bully http://www.vdare.com/posts/michael-brown-bully … #Ferguson

  7. rq says

    Inaji
    Just… wow. On that last post. How are they going to spin that one? Just… how? Holy. Shit.
    And thanks for the updates, no twitter at work for me.

  8. says

    MM @ 5*, thanks for that link, included it in my latest blog post.
     
    *Would someone please get off their arse and fix the fucking comment numbers, please? Also, dump that incredibly sucky pale gray for quotes. There aren’t words enough for how much that sucks.

  9. says

    rq:

    Apparently there’s been some confusion about the real Darren Wilson.

    This wouldn’t have been a problem if the FPD had done their damn job and arrested the killer cop, rather than cover up for 6 days, while aiding said killer cop to flee the area.

  10. says

    Seriously, What rq Said @1010.

    I can’t thank you folks enough for keeping updates rolling, because I just can’t bear Twitter as it is currently set up, and Twitter’s the only place real journalism seems to be happening anymore.

  11. Pteryxx says

    More thanks to Inaji, rq, and TMM for keeping us informed, and the rest of the internet (who aren’t racist genocidal shitbags) for keeping the info flowing.

    See also feministbatwoman who’s doing stellar work curating social and traditional media info.

    Pics of Ferguson locals guarding stores to prevent looting.

    Description of Al Jazeera livestream.

    a group of people then broke into the liquor store that the police claimed mike brown stole from and threatened the Vice and Al Jazeera America crews, telling them to stop filming them (the looters) (all of this was on the live stream which i was watching) and shoving them into the road so they backed off for a long time and were nervous to check on the store again for about 15 minutes.

    when they next checked there was a group of about half a dozen black men blocking the broken entrance to the liquor store with their hands raised and keeping anyone else from going in. the camera crews approached them and began interviewing them and here are some things i caught even though it was loud with multiple interviews going on at once: “we live in this town and these are our stores. we shop at these stores. every one of us protecting this store is from ferguson and the people looting it weren’t. they wanted to set it on fire. we stopped them and told them ‘that’s what they want us to do. that’s how they want us to act here’. very few people want to fuck things up and ruin people’s day to day jobs and those are the stories the press wants to cover but they don’t show us chasing them off and protecting our stores. we want our town to stay together. the police don’t care about us, they will kill us the same as if we were the ones doing it because they can’t tell us apart. they don’t care enough to try to tell who is looting and who is peacefully protesting and trying to keep things together.”

    one of the guy who was blocking people from looting the store then handed his cellphone to the al jazeera america reporter and said “my mom is on the phone and she’s scared for me, she thinks i’m out here fucking things up, can you tell her what is going on” and the reporter talked to the guy’s mom and was telling her how brave her son is. god damn.

  12. says

    Pteryxx:

    one of the guy who was blocking people from looting the store then handed his cellphone to the al jazeera america reporter and said “my mom is on the phone and she’s scared for me, she thinks i’m out here fucking things up, can you tell her what is going on” and the reporter talked to the guy’s mom and was telling her how brave her son is. god damn.

    I wonder if I’ll ever stop crying…

  13. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    one of the guy who was blocking people from looting the store then handed his cellphone to the al jazeera america reporter and said “my mom is on the phone and she’s scared for me, she thinks i’m out here fucking things up, can you tell her what is going on” and the reporter talked to the guy’s mom and was telling her how brave her son is. god damn.

    Well, damn.

  14. Pteryxx says

    Via feministbatwoman:

    After releasing images from a gas station robbery to the press Friday morning with the suggestion Mike Brown was pictured in them, the Ferguson police department is now backtracking. In a second press conference hours later, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson admitted that Brown’s shooting was unrelated to the incident.

    Jackson told reporters that Brown and a friend were in fact stopped, “because they were walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic.”

    FBW cites News One, but this media report links to footage of the news conference.

    http://theboxhouston.com/9525067/ferguson-police-chief-admits-mike-brown-shooting-not-related-to-robbery-watch/

  15. rq says

    Pteryxx @(5)16
    That is exactly what people should be seeing, hearing and/or reading about Ferguson right now.

    +++

    An analysis of Obama’s statement – could have been stronger? You bet your ass!

    I just read somewhere but closed some tabs that Amnesty International is sending / has sent a delegation to Ferguson? Oh, I guess that’s old news now. Not quite the UN, but good nonetheless.

  16. says

    Marc Abian:

    Don’t think the video is from June.
    http://www.inquisitr.com/1413862/michael-brown-robbery-conspiracy-theory/

    It’s interesting, that link has been continually posted by white racists, screaming about those ugly brown animals all over #Ferguson and other feeds. If the date isn’t from June, I’ll happily concede that, when there is verified, valid information and confirmation.

    The date on the video, however, doesn’t have a damn thing to do with the verified fact that Tom Jackson publicly admitted that the video had absolutely nothing to do with Mike Brown, or Wilson deciding to try and stop him [from jaywalking]. The incident report was leaked yesterday, which states cops were still looking for a robbery suspect 7 hours after Mike Brown was gunned down in the street.

    So, what’s your fuckin’ point?

  17. says

    Via #AntonioFrench: Short nap. I’m back. I haven’t seen this in days. (Photo of his cellphone battery readout @ 100%)

    Ben Miller @BeenJaminMiller · 3h
    @AntonioFrench @stltoday cops need to protect the biz there from the looters and lowlifes. I support the cops.

    One week ago a young unarmed black teenager was killed by a cop in Ferguson, MO. His name is Mike Brown. (Photo of Mike Brown in the snow, smiling). There have been 6 responses (one not included because there was no text):

    MrDoodyHead ‏@MrDoodyHead 5m
    @MichaelSkolnik one week ago MIKE BROWN also robbed a store and manhandled the clerk. : ( #Ferguson

    Belisar Hoxholli ‏@belisar 2m
    @MrDoodyHead @MichaelSkolnik That he robbed we will never know. He has to be convicted of that and with him dead, it doesn’t work.

    Don Jon ‏@RichardTheD 1m
    @MichaelSkolnik And before anything else. He was human. An American.

    Big Gulps ‏@ChubFeet 1m
    @MichaelSkolnik I’m certain the innocent boy who choked the store clerk after stealing, was 100% compliant with police and not aggressive

    MrDoodyHead ‏@MrDoodyHead 54s
    @belisar @MichaelSkolnik I have to say the same shit over and over again. HE DID IT, moron! it’s on video. saw it w/ my own 2 eyes. #STFU

  18. Marc Abian says

    Inaji #25

    You and rq posting right after you seemed to think the date of the video was quite important a few comments ago. I posted a link on that topic which you brought up, about a fact that deserved the ALL CAPS treatment, and you’re asking me what could my point possibly be, and implying I’m some screaming white racist?

  19. says

    And for all us old hippie folk, a remembrance

    There’s somethin’ happenin’ here
    What it is ain’t exactly clear
    There’s a man with a gun, over there
    Tellin’ me I got to beware

    (I think it’s time we)
    Stop, children, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look – what’s goin’ down?

    There’s battle lines bein’ drawn
    Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
    Young people speakin’ their minds
    Gettin’ so much resistance from behind

    (It’s time we)
    Stop, hey, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look – what’s goin’ down?

    What a field day for the heat
    A thousand people in the street
    Singin’ songs and carryin’ signs
    Mostly sayin’, “hooray for our side”

    (It’s time we)
    Stop, hey, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look – what’s goin’ down?

    Paranoia strikes deep
    Into your life it will creep
    It starts when you’re always afraid
    Step out of line, the man come and take you away

    (We better)
    Stop, hey, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look – what’s goin’ down?
    (We better)
    Stop, hey, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look – what’s goin’ down?
    (We better)
    Stop, now, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look – what’s goin’ down?
    (We better)
    Stop, children, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look – what’s goin’ down?

  20. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Inaji #30, one didn’t need to be a hippie to remember that song. It got a lot of play during my undergrad years.

  21. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    The videotape is a distraction. The question remains this; even if Micheal Brown did rob the store, how does this justify shooting him and leaving him to bleed out with even calling EMTs?

    And how does this justify sending paramilitary police into town, threatening people who were demanding answers?

    The videotape is meaningful only to people who think that what happened to Micheal Brown was justified and that the black people of Ferguson deserve an occupying force in their town.

    Yes, I am saying that the videotape is fodder for the racists.

  22. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yes, I am saying that the videotape is fodder for the racists.

    I’ll second that claim.

    Nerd @ 32, well, for all us who have been there before, then.

    The Redhead was at U. Toledo in Ohio when Kent state went down. I missed seeing a police riot by a couple of hours at my undergraduate university. The city police had negotiated with the ‘Nam war protestors, and were taking an hands-off approach since they weren’t damaging anything. The county sheriff had other ideas, and held a police riot in honor of the protestors. No guns, but plenty of police batons used to make their point, followed by mass arrests, and terrible haircuts to humiliate the long-haired protestors. *spit*

  23. Pteryxx says

    For comparison, this headline on the Guardian today. (Warning, references a school shooting)

    Denver teenager was not deemed high-level threat before fatal shooting

    • Karl Pierson, 18, had threatened to kill debate coach
    • Documents released in shooting in which 17-year-old girl died

    The documents obtained by the AP show that after being demoted from his status as captain on the speech and debate team on 3 September, Pierson left the school and yelled in a parking lot that he would kill the coach.

    The school classified the incident as a threat against staff, and Pierson’s parents were contacted, the report says. His mother decided to keep Pierson out of school for the next three days in order to seek the help of an outside psychologist, according to the documents.

    On 9 September, the report says, school officials, including an assistant principal and a school psychologist, met with Pierson’s parents, and “it was determined that he was not a high level of threat and would be able to go back to his classes.

    That school has armed resource officers on duty. Presumably there was an armed officer on duty when this teenager was yelling death threats in the parking lot. Yet nobody shot at him.

    But, y’know, when I saw a headline of “Teenager not deemed high-level threat before fatal shooting” among all the Ferguson headlines, I thought, for a minute there, maybe the fatal shooting was OF the teen in the headline. Nope… not OF the non-threatening teen. BY the non-threatening teen.

  24. says

    Tony:

    Inaji @26
    I guess that Tweet was deleted, bc there’s nothing at the link.

    Fuck, I’ll keep an eye out. What it was about, MLK frat had agreed to pick up all funeral expenses.

  25. says

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/08/16/after-police-killings-georgia-teens-create-cop-accountability-app/

    Three teenagers from Decatur, Georgia have created an app designed to foster a culture of accountability and accessibility for citizens dealing with local law enforcement and to reduce instances of police brutality.

    The Madame Noire blog reported on Five-O, an app for Android and iPhone that directs users to the nearest law enforcement facility in the event of an emergency and allows users to rate and review their experiences with officers of the law.

    Sixteen-year-old Ima Christian and her brother Caleb, 14, and sister Asha, 15 created the app as a response to the deaths of young people of color at the hands of out-of-control police.

    “We’ve been hearing about the negative instances in the news, for instance most recently the Michael Brown case, and we always talk about these issues with our parents,” said Ima Christian to Business Insider. “They always try to reinforce that we should focus on solutions. It’s important to talk about the issues, but they try to make us focus on finding solutions. That made us think why don’t we create an app to help us solve this problem.”

    The siblings have a deep knowledge of coding. Five-O is the third app produced by their company Pinetart, Inc.

    Five-O users can not only rate and document their experiences with individual police officers, but also share and compare their experiences with other users via county-specific message boards. The teens hope to not only document abuses of power, but to highlight positive interactions with law enforcement

    Very smart kids.

  26. says

    Tony:

    Five-O users can not only rate and document their experiences with individual police officers, but also share and compare their experiences with other users via county-specific message boards. The teens hope to not only document abuses of power, but to highlight positive interactions with law enforcement

    Damn good work.

  27. Pteryxx says

    Colorlines citing CNN footage

    A young woman, whom Lemon fails to identify, shared a troubling story about her encounter with Officer Wilson about a month ago—in which she alleges that Wilson mistreated her, making her suffer the effects of a painful macing. She says Wilson also threatened her with arrest.

    “I looked at his nametag and I was telling myself that I’d never forget who he was and what he did to me,” she explains. When she saw his name in the news this morning, the young woman says she knew exactly who Darren Wilson was.

  28. says

    Steven Greenhouse ‏@greenhousenyt 1m
    Breaking: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declares state of emergency and curfew in #Ferguson in response to last night’s looting.

    T.J. Holmes ‏@tjholmes 1m
    Cap Johnson: curfew will be from midnight to 5AM. #MikeBrown #Ferguson

    Patrick deHahn ‏@patrickdehahn 4m
    Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says, “This is a test to return peace.” #Ferguson

    hystericalblackness ‏@hystericalblkns 4m
    It’s all telling black people to discipline themselves. #Ferguson #Curfew

    Justice Putnam ‏@justiceputnam 5m
    Hey Nixon, instead of calling for a curfew, how about firing the #Ferguson PD Chief, cops on steroids and members of the Oath Keepers?

  29. says

    Sara DuBois ‏@SaraLDuBois 1m
    Has @GovNixon met with local activists, community members to hear their story& solutions? or just police? #ferguson #HumanRightsFerguson

    Black Girl in Maine ‏@blackgirlinmain 2m
    So the people continued to be punished in #Ferguson…now they will be under a curfew, but where is the justice?

    Don’t Shoot. ‏@ParallelMatt 3m
    The same police force that shot tear gas into a CHEERING crowd is now meant to protect them with a curfew #Ferguson

    Bo last name Dacious ‏@bolastname 3m
    State of emergency and a curfew? Now I know that martial law is very much possible in these United States #ferguson

    stevegiegerich ‏@stevegiegerich 4m
    “We cannot allow the ill will of the few undermine the good will of the many.” MO Gov. Jay Nixon. #Ferguson #MichaelBrown @stltoday

    1Kellee ‏@1Kellee 6m
    More oppression 4 citizens of #Ferguson. Curfew.

    Kim Moore ‏@SoulRevision 6m
    THEY SHOULD HAVE DECLARED A STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR #MikeBrown’s SHOOTING. #Ferguson

    Snarkaroni™ ‏@Snarkaroni 6m
    Yes, Jesus (and a curfew) will fix this. #Ferguson

    enigma4ever ‏@watergatesummer 7m
    #Ferguson A Kid Was Murdered In Broad Daylight on a Street + Left to Die- Police Going to be in Charge of that Curfew ? HellNo!!

    Doug ‏@sigmapoet1914 7m
    Why are they treating #Ferguson folks like kids with a curfew when we need Darren Wilson to be prosecuted now .

    Lauren Victoria ‏@Crewof42 8m
    40 FBI agents and a curfew and no autopsy report or report on shooting? Get ready for an active evening.

    Hanso-sama ‏@Astro_Hanso 10m
    When cops tell you what time to go to bed and what time to wake up, you are a slave in their eyes. #ferguson #acab

    Political Nerd ‏@Sttbs73 11m
    So the #Ferguson Chief of Police still has his job but the citizens of #Ferguson are on lockdown?

    Sunk Costs, Inc. ‏@LaPajamas 12m
    Ron Johnson talking abt filling out cards w/eyewitness info? Bogus. Already have 4+ consistent witness accnts. #ARRESTDARRENWILSON #Ferguson

  30. says

    Via #Ferguson:

    “Sleep is not an option, Gov. Nixon, we want justice!” “why is the focus on security, when we need justice?” -Audience at #Ferguson presser

  31. says

    Lauren Carter ‏@bylaurencarter 2m
    Woman asked why the focus of the press conference is on controlling people’s anger instead of addressing the source of it. #Ferguson

    Alice Speri ‏@alicesperi 4m
    “This whole press conference has turned into an explanation of why you are controlling people and telling people to calm down” #Ferguson

    Kim Moore ‏@SoulRevision 4m
    “There’s BEEN no arrest or anything but yet you’re telling people to calm down. WHY?!?”

    Erica Smith ‏@ericasmith 1m
    County prosecutor must file homicide charges, says @LacyClayMO1, and he hasn’t done it yet. #Ferguson

    Luis Daniel ‏@luisdaniel12 1m
    Live press conference shows they have NO idea what they’re doing.

  32. says

    Tony:

    What’s the rationale there

    So far, it’s basically Nixon saying shit like ‘there can’t be justice unless there’s peace, so curfew.’ Nixon is fucking up all over the damn place, and is coming across as painting everything being the fault of the townspeople.

  33. says

    Inaji:
    Thanks.
    The citizens of Ferguson do not need a curfew. There’s no reason for it, and does nothing to rectify the frustrations of that community. If anything it inflames it. It’s incredibly patronizing and victim blaming.

  34. says

    Elizabeth Kennen ‏@jazzcattrio 8m
    So what’s the reason given for not arresting the cop who killed Mike Brown? Because it wouldn’t be fair to him? #Ferguson

    Regina ‏@regibaby67 8m
    Let’s get all demonstrators in #Ferguson shirts and badges that say “PRESS” so they can be out on the streets past curfew. #MartialLaw

    GottaLaff ‏@GottaLaff 9m
    So let’s recap: Citizens are distraught, angry, hurt. They feel betrayed, disenfranchised, cut off at the knees. #Ferguson

    A Aryeh Perez ‏@Jethro_Aryeh 9m
    If this COP cared anything about this community & thinks he’s innocent. Why not volunteer for custody. All this madness would end. #Ferguson

    Phillip Atiba Goff ‏@DrPhilGoff 9m
    If there is a state of emergency in #Ferguson what is the emergency? Injustice? Safety? Or bumbling politics? Could be all 3! Stay tuned.

    Elise Hu ‏@elisewho 9m
    Leader of new black panthers trying to negotiate a later curfew start time so his group can better help maintain peace #Ferguson

    Kim Moore ‏@SoulRevision 10m
    We are watching law enforcement and government officials silencing the voices of those in pain be enacting a curfew tonight. #Ferguson

    Sharon J Martindale ‏@crash2000J 11m
    The people of Ferguson feel like they are being punished by curfew. They want the alleged killer arrested, charged and put in jail.#Ferguson

    Nerdy Wonka ‏@NerdyWonka 11m
    #Ferguson PD was quick to release the store video but can’t release autopsy and incident report. Yet they wonder why people are outraged.

    Da Vinci ‏@YourLifeAfter25 5m
    When you give a murderer paid leave for his actions… what message do you send? #Ferguson

    Rashona ‏@Rashona 7m
    A curfew! Not “charges are forthcoming” not “Officer Wilson has turned himself in” but a curfew. #Ferguson #HandsUpDontShoot

    Kelly Milner Halls ‏@KellyMilnerH 8m
    A curfew in #Ferguson? In context of the old “sundown towns,” it is a very bad idea. Gov Nixon, wake up!

  35. says

    Tony:

    If anything it inflames it. It’s incredibly patronizing and victim blaming.

    Oh yeah. Fuck, I’m not in Ferguson, and my first reaction was anger. The prosecutor hasn’t filed charges, no one will say jack shit about why FPD allowed killer cop to skip town, killer cop hasn’t offered to turn himself in, the autopsy report is still being withheld, and so are the incident reports. So, hey, the solution? Put a whole town on lockdown. Yeah, that’s gonna help.

  36. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh yeah. Fuck, I’m not in Ferguson, and my first reaction was anger.

    So’s mine. In order to calm to the town, the police officer in jail awaiting murder charges, the Ferguson and STL county chiefs jailed for human rights violations, and all the riot gear destroyed.

  37. Pteryxx says

    Next killing, right on schedule. /bittersarcasm

    Rawstory

    Three officers said they ordered Taylor to reveal his hands, but they said he ignored their commands and was “visibly upset.”

    Taylor was then shot by police and was pronounced dead at the scene.

    His brother said Taylor was wearing headphones and did not hear the officers until they surrounded him.

    “He couldn’t hear them, so he just kept walking,” said Jerrail Taylor. “(Then) they had guns pointed at his face. That’s when he turned off the music. I saw them point guns at my brother’s face, and I knew what was going to happen.”

  38. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Might as well shut up about all of this. I see people much more wise then any of us say that we are just trying to earn brownie points by talking about this.

  39. chimera says

    It’s going to be a terrible night. I don’t know how the people can respect the curfew. It’s humiliating them. It’s like telling them to eat their own shit. They must feel torn between anger and despair.

  40. rq says

    I have a bad feeling about this night. :( I hope it’s just a feeling.
    Whatever happened to the sensible Captain Johnson? I thought he had been placed in some sort of authority for the time being.

  41. Ichthyic says

    Cleveland Cop Indicted for Manslaughter in the Deadly Shooting of an Unarmed Black Man and Woman

    manslaughter??

    *headdesk*

  42. says

    rq:

    Whatever happened to the sensible Captain Johnson?

    When asked about responses to people being out after ‘curfew’, Johnson said there would be no teargas or armored response, they’d just talk to people. No one is quite sure how that one is going to work.

  43. says

    Ichthyic:

    manslaughter?

    Yeah. Apparently, shooting someone over 20 times is just no big these days. At least, not if a cop does it.

  44. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Cleveland Cop Indicted for Manslaughter in the Deadly Shooting of an Unarmed Black Man and Woman

    manslaughter??

    Yeah, typical of prosecutors, drop the charge one degree for cops, instead of what they should do, raise it one degree due the responsibility to “serve and protect”, not kill, the public.

  45. says

    Janine:

    Might as well shut up about all of this. I see people much more wise then any of us say that we are just trying to earn brownie points by talking about this.

    The people saying that crap remind me of responses from some of the dictionary atheists: ” I don’t want anti-racism activism in my atheism”.

  46. says

    Melissa Harris-Perry talks about the deaths of black men that have occurred at the hands of police in the past decade.

    Justice Calls ‏@CallsForJustice 5m
    Punish the instigator of last night’s riot, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson, not the citizens of #Ferguson

    Gabe Ortíz ‏@TUSK81 5m
    #BundyRanch didn’t get a curfew, they got guest spots on Fox News. #Ferguson

    Ryan Robinson ‏@Ryan_LR 10m
    #Ferguson police don’t want justice. They want control and maintenance of status quo by any means. They could have easily offered justice.

    whitney trettien ‏@whitneytrettien 16m
    My timeline’s been nothing but #Ferguson all week. From Berlin, thinking of and standing with those there; tired, angry, heartbroken.

  47. Pteryxx says

    Al Jazeera via AngryBlackLady: Why isn’t the Tea Party sending a militia to Ferguson?

    We know the Tea Party isn’t afraid to “patrol” dangerous areas. We know the NRA has money. One would think that the two groups would join forces and drive out to Ferguson with a few trucks full of guns, street soldiers, and good cheer. They could ensure that liberty was being maintained. This would be a great PR move – they could finally prove that when it’s time to make a stand, they’re willing to do it.

    That is, if they cared about minorities, at all.

    —-

    Imani ABL ‏@AngryBlackLady

    Your movement has gone global, @FeministaJones.

    London Black Revs @LondonBlackRevs
    Solidarity from London to #Ferguson Vigil on Sunday 17th, outside US embassy pic.twitter.com/dFIInwpL8u

    my stars, as i live and breathe. #sundowntown is trending on twitter.

  48. says

    Michael Crawford ‏@dmcrawford 12m

    Good thing the cop who killed #MikeBrown got out of #Ferguson before the curfew. Wouldn’t want him to be inconvenienced.

  49. Ichthyic says

    Both Nixon and the mayor of Ferguson show the fundamental disconnect that is at the heart of how racism maintains itself in places like Ferguson.

  50. says

    Pteryxx:
    (from your link @74)

    US mass media was reluctant to report on Ferguson. For a while, the best information was disseminated via Twitter, and St Louis Alderman Antonio French’s Vine account. That is, at one point, our most reliable source of information about Ferguson was a platform most of us use to watch 7-second videos of cats dancing to rap music. Or at least it was, until French was arrested.

    Hmmm, I seem to recall a certain Poopeyhead arguing that the media’s priorities were screwed up. I guess the militarization of an American city and the civil rights violations of the citizens therein just weren’t a big deal to the mainstream media.

  51. says

    Tony:

    I guess the militarization of an American city and the civil rights violations of the citizens therein just weren’t a big deal to the mainstream media.

    They still aren’t. If they actually gave a shit about that, we wouldn’t still be hearing about ‘mass riots and looting’ from msm.

  52. says

    Fuck, I’m not in Ferguson, and my first reaction was anger.

    Likewise. I saw a headline about it elsewhere and thought “Wait, what the entire fuck?”

    In order to calm to the town, the police officer in jail awaiting murder charges, the Ferguson and STL county chiefs jailed for human rights violations, and all the riot gear destroyed.

    Plus the firing and blacklisting from law enforcement of every member of the Ferguson and STL police forces, and their replacement by… that’s the problem, really, I have no fucking clue where to start on that one offhand, because pretty much all the other police departments I know of have the same fucking problems. What we really need is a whole new paradigm of policing, including partially a return to older modes of what’s now called ‘community based policing’, whereby officers have a regular beat they traversed on foot, and part of their job is specifically to interact in a friendly and helpful fashion with the residents, so as to build trust and goodwill, and put a human face on the police department. Also so that the officers will be more inclined to perceive those they interact with as people, and thus be less prone to resort to rough handling.
    Also, of course, disarming the cops needs to be a priority; not just all the military shit, but even sidearms for patrol officers. There’s probably a need for some armed squads here and there (although if we had some sensible gun regulations there’d be a lot less need), but for most of the country that could be handled at the state level with a single specialty group called out when strictly needed). And, of course, cameras on all cops at all times while on duty, with a feed to a remote database which is under the control of a civilian oversight board, and which the police department has no access to, ever.
    The trouble is, of course, that still doesn’t fix the underlying problem of festering racism, just makes it harder to sweep under the rug and less likely to be fatal. Unfortunately, I have no fucking clue what to actually do about the problem of festering racism.

    Pteryxx #61

    Fuck.

  53. Ichthyic says

    What we really need is a whole new paradigm of policing,

    Take a look at what happened to L.A. after Rodney King, and get an idea of what that might look like, and the limitations of it.

    http://www.policemag.com/blog/patrol-tactics/story/2012/04/the-l-a-riot-20-years-later.aspx

    My partner suggested actually doing police swap programs, where small groups of police from more sane countries swap with small groups from places like Ferguson for a 6 month rotation.

    I think the police of the US could learn a lot from seeing how differently police forces in say New Zealand or the UK routinely train their officers in how to interact with their communities.

    likewise, the police in the UK and NZ would learn what is so different about how police in the US are trained, and can realize why their training is so much better suited to the job at hand. Nothing reinforces the lessons better than seeing how NOT doing it this way affects people’s interactions.

  54. says

    Dalillama:

    What we really need is a whole new paradigm of policing, including partially a return to older modes of what’s now called ‘community based policing’, whereby officers have a regular beat they traversed on foot, and part of their job is specifically to interact in a friendly and helpful fashion with the residents, so as to build trust and goodwill, and put a human face on the police department.

    I am all in favour of bringing back the beat cop. Yeah, we have a fucktonne more people now, but we sure as hell aren’t going to see a fucktonne of new cops they way things are going. If we went back to beat policing, we’d end up with better cops in the long run, too.

  55. says

    Antonio French is supporting the curfew. Damn, man.

    Charles Jaco @charlesjaco1 · 1m

    @cujrf1Yep, due process takes time. Unless you’re a black kid walking. Then you can be charged, convicted, sentenced, & executed in 3 min.

  56. says

    Lofty:
    I’m not sure why the age of the officer makes any difference.
    re: your link-
    It’s frustrating to see that image of looters circulating the internet. Far too many people already think the protesters were looting and rioting. We know now that those arrested for looting were not members of the community. To show an image like that without at least acknowledging that those criminals are not connected to the protests is going to lead people to believe that such actions were linked to the protests.
    If anything, they should at least have shown an image of the protesters gathering non violently.

  57. says

    http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/dumbest-police-chief-america?page=0%2C1&paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

    1. Officer kills an unarmed black teen in the street.

    2. Officer who kills the teenager requests assistance but does not inform his commanders of what happened. Instead, they learn it on the news like everyone else.

    3. The scene is left in the hands of the officer’s own colleagues who allow the officer to leave the scene of the crime. His vehicle is also allowed to leave the scene – presumably breaking the integrity of the chain of evidence.

    4. Victim is left lying in the road for four hours – inflaming the community and presumably destroying evidence.

    5. Witnesses say that the killing officer never bothered to check for a pulse once his victim went down. None of the other officers arriving on the scene checked for a pulse. Bystanders in the medical field were not allowed to attempt CPR.

    6. Rumor has it that the cellphones of possible witnesses were confiscated.

    7. Police launch campaign to protect the officer at all costs – including the destruction of the community of Ferguson.

    8. Police launch a full military invasion of the traumatized town of Ferguson.

    9. Police caught on international TV screaming “Bring it! Bring it you fucking animals!”

    10. The response to a community protesting police brutality is the imposition of ‘martial law’ complete with authoritarianism, tear gas, rubber bullets, flash grenades and sound grenades.

    11. Police throw the Constitution out the window and arrest, assault and teargas journalists.

    12. Police arrest a well-known public figure for the “crime” of “failing to listen”.

    13. Chief of Police praises his officers for showing incredible restraint.

    14. After days of shocking behavior that caught the attention of the world, police finally release Killer Cop’s name – while concurrently launching a smear campaign against his victim. This decision to reignite the fuse of the powder keg is not run up the chain of command – despite pledges from the Governor that there is a new Sheriff in town.

    15. Chief of Police specifically says that he is not interested in talking to the community he has been victimizing.

    16. Chief of Police holds multiple press conferences in which he contradicts himself repeatedly.

    17. Chief of Police makes a statement PRAISING the Killer Cop while concurrently smearing the dead teenaged victim at the center of the nation’s outrage: “He was a gentle, quiet man,” Police Chief Thomas Jackson said Friday, referring to Wilson. “He was a distinguished officer. He was a gentleman. … He is, he has been, an excellent officer.

  58. Pteryxx says

    Ken White at Popehat:

    If you are arrested for shooting someone, the police will use everything in their power — lies, false friendship, fear, coercion — to get you to make a statement immediately. That’s because they know that the statement is likely to be useful to the prosecution: either it will incriminate you, or it will lock you into one version of events before you’ve had an opportunity to speak with an adviser or see the evidence against you. You won’t have time to make up a story or conform it to the evidence or get your head straight.

    But what if a police officer shoots someone? Oh, that’s different. Then police unions and officials push for delays and opportunities to review evidence before any interview of the officer.

  59. Menyambal says

    Oh, for goodness sake. Arrest the officer! Place him under arrest, put him in a secure location, and pass the word that he has been arrested.

    Secretly, of course, all his buddies can bring him pie and shake his hand, and later the judge can acquit him, but for now just arrest the officer. They have arrested journalists, they have, for no damn reason, surely they can arrest a cop.

  60. says

    58 LGBT organizations and civil rights groups show their support for the family of Michael Brown. This is the full letter as well as the names of the supporting organizations:

    When communities experience fear, harassment and brutality simply because of who they are or how they look, we are failing as a nation. In light of the recent events in Missouri, it is clearer than ever that there is something profoundly wrong in our country.

    The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community cannot be silent at this moment, because LGBT people come from all races, creeds, faiths and backgrounds, and because all movements of equality are deeply connected. We are all part of the fabric of this nation and the promise of liberty and justice for all is yet to be fulfilled.

    The LGBT community stands with the family of Michael Brown, who was gunned down in Ferguson, Missouri. We stand with the mothers and fathers of young Black men and women who fear for the safety of their children each time they leave their homes. We call on the national and local media to be responsible and steadfast in their coverage of this story and others like it–racialized killings that have marred this nation since the beginning of its history. We call on policy makers on all levels of American government not to shrink from action, and we are deeply grateful to Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice for their immediate commitment to a thorough investigation.

    At this moment, we are inspired by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies … but the silence of our friends.”

    ACLU
    Advocates for Youth
    AIDS United
    AMBi – The Alliance of Multicultural Bisexuals Bay Area Bisexual Network
    BiNet USA
    Bisexual Organizing Project
    Bisexual Resource Center
    Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100)
    Campus Pride
    Center for Black Equity, Inc.
    CenterLink
    COL AGE
    Courage Campaign
    Equality Federation
    Equality Hawaii
    Equality Maine
    Equality Michigan
    Equality North Carolina
    Equality New Mexico
    Equality Pennsylvania
    Equality Texas
    Family Equality Council
    Fairness Campaign (KY)
    Garden State Equality
    Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
    Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Georgia Equality
    GetEQUAL Nevada
    GLAAD
    GMHC

    GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI)
    Human Rights Campaign
    Immigration Equality
    Indiana Equality Action
    Lambda Legal
    MassEquality
    National Black Justice Coalition
    National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
    National Center for Transgender Equality
    National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects
    National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
    National Minority AIDS Council
    National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
    Nehirim
    One Colorado
    PFLAG National
    Pride at Work, AFL-CIO
    Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
    Soulforce
    Southerners on New Ground (SONG)
    Tennessee Equality Project
    The Equality Network (OK)
    Trans People of Color Coalition
    Transgender Law Center
    Trevor Project
    True Colors Fund

    (my bolding)
    This letter is a great way to show support for the family of Michael Brown. I like that it acknowledges the interconnected nature of equality movements.

  61. says

    When communities experience fear, harassment and brutality simply because of who they are or how they look, we are failing as a nation. In light of the recent events in Missouri, it is clearer than ever that there is something profoundly wrong in our country.

    The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community cannot be silent at this moment, because LGBT people come from all races, creeds, faiths and backgrounds, and because all movements of equality are deeply connected. We are all part of the fabric of this nation and the promise of liberty and justice for all is yet to be fulfilled.

    I needed that. Thanks, Tony.

  62. says

    I am getting seriously sick of the amount of times I’ve seen “Officer Wilson may not have known about the robbery, but Michael Brown certainly did!” on #Ferguson.

  63. says

    Lee ‏@AaronLe62210480 11m

    6:23 cops blocking traffic on W Florissant, apparently side street access only #Ferguson

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/us/ferguson-mo-michael-brown-and-darren-wilson-2-paths-to-a-fatal-encounter.html

    They were stopped not because the police were looking for a robbery suspect, Chief Jackson said Friday, but “because they were walking down the street blocking traffic.”

    Devin Stone, 28, a friend of Mr. Brown’s, was home in his apartment at the time, across the street from the place where the men were confronted by the police.

    Sitting outside his building, Mr. Stone said he was jolted by the sound of two gunshots, followed by several more in rapid succession. The second series of shots “sounded automatic,” he said. “They let it rip.”

    Mr. Stone ran outside and saw two police officers, both white men, standing near Mr. Brown, who was lying on his stomach, his arms at his sides, blood seeping from his head. Another neighbor, a woman who identified herself as a nurse, was begging the officers to let her perform CPR.

    They refused, Mr. Stone said, adding, “They didn’t even check to see if he was breathing.”

    On Friday, speaking to reporters, Chief Jackson said the shooting was “absolutely devastating” to Officer Wilson. “He never intended for any of this to happen.”
    Correction: August 16, 2014

    An earlier version of this article misstated the number of years that Darren Wilson worked for the police in Jennings, Mo. It was two, not four.

  64. says

    Tony:

    I wonder if the New York Times will amend that article to show that Michael Brown did not rob that convenience store.

    I’d like to see them make the point that it does not matter whether or not Mike Brown stole something. Since when is it okay to summarily execute a person for stealing? Or Jaywalking? Or anything else?

  65. yazikus says

    At least the FBI is handing out cards seeking anyone with information on the shooting. That is better.

  66. yazikus says

    Inaji, I just wanted to also say thank you for all the compiling and dredging through the news to share information here. It is much appreciated.

  67. says

    Yazikus:

    At least the FBI is handing out cards seeking anyone with information on the shooting. That is better.

    It’s not so great when you consider that 4 witnesses came forward immediately, and are still being ignored, in favour of the feds ‘finding more witnesses’. Makes me wonder how hard they are looking for something to justify Mike Brown’s murder.

  68. Arren ›‹ neverbound says

    Inaji (and rq, The Mellow Monkey, others who are sharing updates): sincere thanks for your time and effort here.

    I’m currently (myopically) wrapped up in my own (infinitesimal) shit & work, but have to take an hour or so each night to try to keep abreast of what’s happening in Ferguson. The curated feed of updates here has helped me do so. Thanks again.

    (I don’t have any original sentiment to express about this latest enormity. …..A fucking curfew?)

  69. says

    I can’t stomach the wealth of racist tweets in between legit messages anymore. Good luck to the next people picking up the coverage. Keep covering, stand strong, and stay safe, everyone.

  70. Pteryxx says

    rq – Twitter won’t allow copy-pasting unless scripts are enabled for both twitter.com and twimg.com. If you’re using noscript, turn them both on.

    Vine’s livestream just ended as everything appears to have calmed down, but they said they will bring it back up if needed.

    Ferguson police are saying tear gas was not used, only smoke canisters – but numerous reports on the ground are saying they are in fact being burned by tear gas. Also the police are wearing gas masks, not necessary for smoke.

    Ryan J. Reilly @ryanjreilly

    Original press officer told me he made a mistake in saying it was tear gas #ferguson https://vine.co/v/M3OBqQ27rmh

    (Twitter link)

    David Carson ‏@PDPJ

    #Ferguson cops say smoke, other media down it are reporting tear gas pic.twitter.com/JtWAWog40W

    (Twitter link)

    Alex Altman ‏@aaltman82

    This is one of the canisters being fired. #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/qXmtL2DGFu

    (Twitter link)

    Responses:

    @aaltman82 @katz That is an actual tear gas agent: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CS_gas

    @aaltman82 @mattdpearce CS gas: The compound 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile a cyanocarbon, is the defining component of a tear gas .

    @aaltman82 @WillMcAvoyACN Just looked it up: its a sting ball, 3231 is tear gas, this is 3230 -same class though.

  71. lochaber says

    what would they be using smoke for anyways? Isn’t it generally used to either signal or conceal movement? neither of which is terribly useful in a well funded, supplied, and coordinated riot-control type force. I mean, it’s not like cops would lie or anything, right?

    Anyways, thanks to everyone who’s been posting updates on here, I really appreciate it, and I’ve been getting most of my information off of random gawker/jezebel affiliated subblogs, and this thread and it’s predecessor. I don’t use twitter myself, so me trying to pry out anything useful would be an exercise in futility.
    Inaji, rq, Tony!, and everyone else, thanks for your efforts, it’s appreciated.

  72. rq says

    I’ll have to sign off for a bit, my day is beginning and I’ll be at work again sans Twitter, but I think the relay shall continue.

  73. Pteryxx says

    Washington Post article from Thursday: Tear gas is a chemical weapon banned in war. But Ferguson police shoot it at protesters.

    While that appears to have held true as of Thursday morning, some scientists and international observers contend the tactic of spraying people with tear gas, which commonly uses the chemical agent 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile (CS), can pose serious dangers. “Tear gas under the Geneva Convention is characterized as a chemical warfare agent, and so it is precluded for use in warfare, but it is used very frequently against civilians,” Sven-Eric Jordt, a nerve gas expert at Yale University School of Medicine, explained to National Geographic. “That’s very illogical.”

  74. Pteryxx says

    Alex Altman ‏@aaltman82

    We are just camped out in middle of street waiting. All quiet. Officers say they don’t have arrest nos. #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/ruTHDGglAM

    (Twitter link)

    That’s from half an hour ago. I gather that the vast majority of the protesters left peacefully between about midnight and 1 AM, with the efforts of both citizen peacekeepers and police speaking to them on the ground.

    Alex Altman ‏@aaltman82

    Very angry young man w face confronts Ron Johnson, screaming, demanding answers. “You deserve answers,” Johnson says. “You will get them.”

    (Twitter link)

    Ryan J. Reilly ‏@ryanjreilly

    Amazing moment now between Ron Johnson and a masked protestor.” #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/6IGKZrZ1fR

    (Twitter link)

    Yet a small core of protesters refused to obey the curfew order, plus a group of troublemakers who arrived late at night looking for confrontation.

    Alex Altman ‏@aaltman82

    Rev Cleo Willis, one of peacekeepers tonight, says saw six men lie down in street right as first gas flew. “We’re ready to die,” one said

    (Twitter link)

    Antonio French @AntonioFrench

    Too many young men talking about they’re ready to die tonight. #Ferguson

    (Twitter link)

    Sourced mostly from the twitter feeds of Antonio French, Alex Altman, and Trymaine Lee.

  75. Pteryxx says

    From about 10pm local time tonight:

    Trymaine Lee ‏@trymainelee

    Malik Shabazz, working w/New Black Panther Party: “At 11:30 when I say move out, move out. They have 3,000 men ready. I don’t want you hurt”

    (Twitter link)

    Chris King ‏@chriskingstl

    My sources have said the instigators come out at night up the foot trails from Jennings. Police intel knows that. Hope they use it tonight.

    (Twitter link)

    Antonio French @AntonioFrench

    Very thin numbers as the curfew nears. Community leaders have been talking to the young guys. Many have already left #Ferguson.

    (Twitter link)

    Amy K. Nelson ‏@AmyKNelson

    Rolling thunder, laying on horns, rain beading down and nothing much else but just cops gathering and journalists watching them.

    (Twitter link)

  76. Pteryxx says

    Background from NBC yesterday: Feds Urged Police Not to Release Michael Brown ‘Robbery’ Video

    Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson released the video Friday, telling reporters that he had no choice because the media requested the release under the Freedom of Information Act. The Department of Justice, which is conducting its own investigation into Brown’s Aug. 9 death, has had a copy of the footage all along and never considered releasing it to the public, the source said. Early Saturday, a lull in the violence which has rocked the town of about 21,000 people was shattered when more stores were looted and tear gas was once again used to disperse crowds.

    So much for Ferguson police cooperating with the DOJ.

  77. Pteryxx says

    and way at the bottom of this NYT article via Twitter and FeministBatwoman: NY Times confirmed that a local nurse begged to perform CPR on Michael Brown but was denied.

    Sitting outside his building, Mr. Stone said he was jolted by the sound of two gunshots, followed by several more in rapid succession. The second series of shots “sounded automatic,” he said. “They let it rip.”

    Mr. Stone ran outside and saw two police officers, both white men, standing near Mr. Brown, who was lying on his stomach, his arms at his sides, blood seeping from his head. Another neighbor, a woman who identified herself as a nurse, was begging the officers to let her perform CPR.

    They refused, Mr. Stone said, adding, “They didn’t even check to see if he was breathing.”

  78. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Just had a short piece on 7 tv news here in Oz. Talking up the ‘riots’ as a reason for the police response.
    They rushed over the whole ‘shooting an unarmed teen’ bit to focus on civil unrest.
    Funny how they show scenes of peaceful protestors at the same time they say riots…
    Disgraceful attempt at journalism.

  79. Pteryxx says

    From Daily Kos on Thursday, background on Mike Brown’s school.

    In Pluto’s diary on the life of Michael Brown, you might notice one detail that’s both touching and disturbing:

    Mike’s graduation photograph was taken in March 2014, still many months ahead of when he would be able to graduate in August. Imagine the “why” of this fact:

    The grinding poverty in Mike’s world only allowed Normandy High School to acquire two graduation gowns to be shared by the entire class. The students passed a gown from one to the other. Each put the gown on, in turn, and sat before the camera to have their graduation photographs taken. Until it was Mike’s turn.

    What kind of American school would have to share robes across the entire senior class?

    The kind that’s been the subject of a lot of attention from the state board of education.

    This district was created by merging two of the poorest, most heavily minority districts around St. Louis—Normandy and Wellston. The poverty rate for families sending their kids to Normandy Schools was 92 percent. At Wellston School District, the poverty rate was 98 percent. Every single student in the Wellston district was African American.

    Still, the state education board voted to merge the districts in 2010 (the first change to state school district boundaries in thirty-five years). Plagued by white flight, crashing property values that destroyed tax revenues, and a loss of state funds as the better-off residents of the area sent their children to private schools, the resulting district isn’t just short of gowns, it’s short of everything. Residents of the district voted again and again to raise their own property taxes, until their rates were actually the highest in the state, but a higher percentage of nothing was still nothing, and district revenues trended steadily down.

    It gets worse – basically, their accreditation was handwaved so that parents cannot ask for their kids to be transferred out of the failed district.

  80. Pteryxx says

    Overview of Ferguson late tonight.

    NBC News ‏@NBCNews

    BREAKING: One person shot and seven arrested in #Ferguson after curfew, officials say http://nbcnews.to/1mWQ9Uw pic.twitter.com/eZfoFBZlEf

    (Twitter link)

    BBC News US Verified account ‏@BBCNewsUS

    Police defend use of tear gas as “proper response” to their car being shot at in #Ferguson, Missouri http://bbc.in/1oFMwrR

    (Twitter link)

    though according to Antonio French’s timeline, tear gas was used to disperse the remaining crowd *before* he heard shots fired.

    (cont’d)

  81. Pteryxx says

    Michael Calhoun ‏@michaelcalhoun

    “I was disappointed in the actions of tonight.” #Ferguson #CaptRonJohnson pic.twitter.com/yU9nvEIiad

    (Twitter link)

    Michael Calhoun ‏@michaelcalhoun

    Johnson says the tear gas happened in response to person in street with handgun and people inside Red’s BBQ. #Ferguson

    (Twitter link)

    KMOV ‏@KMOV

    “No looting tonight that we know of,” –Capt. Ron Johnson. #Ferguson #KMOV

    (twitter link)

    Blayne Alexander ‏@ReporterBlayne

    The response was NOT related to enforcement of curfew. Was bc of ppl at Red’s. Made 7 arrests. #Ferguson

    (Twitter link)

    Antonio French ‏@AntonioFrench

    I can tell you firsthand that some of the people that remained tonight were armed. Were ready for a fight. And wanted to injure police.

    (Twitter link)

    Matt Pearce ‏@mattdpearce

    The most important news tonight is that Capt. Johnson said the wounded man was in critical condition and could die of his wounds.

    (Twitter link)

    According to Matt Pearce’s timeline, around the time police pressed a SWAT line forward to clear the main street, shots were fired on a side street and a young man there was hit. The shooters apparently ran away. Per Capt. Johnson’s remarks to the press, the seven arrests were for failure to disperse, both smoke and tear gas were deployed, and the gas was deployed to clear the street and get to the shooting victim to rescue him. Capt. Johnson also said that a police car was shot at tonight.

    It’s almost five AM and I hope someone can clarify the order of events with a little more daylight.

  82. says

    french canadian news this morning;

    “over two hundred people ignored the curfew, one person was injured. look at all this rioting”

    the only image they showed was a crowd with tear gas being fired at them.

  83. Nick Gotts says

    Tashiliciously Shriked@131,

    Well, obviously, they meant “Look at these police rioting”.

  84. zenlike says

    Inaji @94

    I am getting seriously sick of the amount of times I’ve seen “Officer Wilson may not have known about the robbery, but Michael Brown certainly did!” on #Ferguson.

    This shouldn’t surprise me any more, but still, every time it happens it is again a kick in the gut: yes, there are people out there that think extra-judicial execution is a proper punishment for being a suspect in a robbery case. And these people vote. Apparently, they thought Judge Dredd was a good concept and missed the satire.

    Pteryxx @126

    and way at the bottom of this NYT article via Twitter and FeministBatwoman: NY Times confirmed that a local nurse begged to perform CPR on Michael Brown but was denied.

    This was plain cold-blooded murder. Nothing less. Even if we believe the most wild stories the police and their apologists out there put out, it still doesn’t excuse not trying to save a downed suspects life.

  85. Al Dente says

    Pteryxx @126

    and way at the bottom of this NYT article via Twitter and FeministBatwoman: NY Times confirmed that a local nurse begged to perform CPR on Michael Brown but was denied.

    I believe the legal term is “depraved indifference.”

  86. Pteryxx says

    From press conferences this morning:

    Meet The Press ‏@meetthepress

    On #MTP – @GovJayNixon says #Ferguson police chief was wrong to release security video of Michael Brown

    (Twitter link)

    Adrienne Broaddus ‏@abroaddus

    .@GovJayNixon also says he DID NOT know the robbery video would be released. Calls it an attempt to “disparage” the victim’s character.

    (Twitter link)

    Linda Lockhart ‏@LLockhart92

    Now on NBC’s Meet the Press, Cong. John Lewis calls minimal racial diversity in #Ferguson a disgrace: Police chief, mayor need to apologize.

    (Twitter link)

    Wesley Lowery @WesleyLowery

    Gov Nixon says he DID NOT know the robbery video would be released. “It’s just not right.” Calls an attempt to “disparage” the victim.

    (Twitter link)

    So the Ferguson PD released the liquor store video without the mayor’s knowledge or approval, and *over the objections of the DOJ* (see my #125 on this page above). Still no word on what department or authority, if any, is even in charge of the police response on the ground. Guess even authoritarianism takes a back seat when galloping racism needs to be defended.

  87. Pteryxx says

    Word on Twitter about the arrests:

    MORE ‏@organizemo

    5 out of 7 from this morning are out of jail. All were arrested after being dragged out of cars, some parked in own driveways. #Ferguson

    (Twitter link)

    MORE ‏@organizemo

    2 others should hopefully be out soon. They were also in cars. #Ferguson

    (Twitter link)

    MORE ‏@organizemo

    One group was pulled out in front of family members house, women pulled by their hair #Ferguson

    (Twitter link)

    MORE ‏@organizemo

    Another group report cops shot rubber bullet into windshield of car and then people inside were arrested #Ferguson

    (Twitter link)

    MORE ‏@organizemo

    All say, “we thought we were going to get shot” #Ferguson

    (Twitter link)

    Some comments in response say that the media were kept segregated into the agreed-upon media staging area while the police were clearing the streets (with tear gas), which is why nobody from the media witnessed the seven arrests.

  88. chimera says

    I haven’t caught up on the thread today but wanted to share this. Scroll down the article for a really fascinating animated map of tweets containing #ferguson and related hashtags around the world between August 9 and 14. You can zoom out to watch the whole world progressively light up with #ferguson or zoom in on your city/country to watch it begin. It’s interesting to note things like Morocco lights up early on but almost nothing from neighboring Algeria. Buenos Aires leads the way in South America, followed by Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, an extremely connected city. Italy remains dark much of the time. Barcelona and Madrid are the brightest cities in Spain. Madrid I get, it’s the capital of Spain, but why Barcelona? Is it because there is more of an activist fiber in Barcelona than other cities on the Iberian Peninsula?

    I wonder what all the variables are, having internet access, being proficient in English, having an interest in social justice issues and ???

    In any case, it seems that Twitter’s role in informing the public has reached a clinamen or threshold of some sort.

  89. Pteryxx says

    Confirmation that the press were kept away from whatever the police did after curfew:

    Matt Pearce ‏@mattdpearce

    Yep. We were threatened with arrest when some of us tried to leave. [in reply to]
    Alice Speri @alicesperi
    So frustrated right now, police keeping media way out of where they’re facing protesters, we have no way of telling what’s going on there

    (Twitter link)

    Matt Pearce @mattdpearce

    Yeah, the cops said no.
    [in reply to]

    DG @DaveLG
    @mattdpearce Wonder if anyone approached the police to see if they would allow a “pool” reporter to be out on the line with them?

    (Twitter link)

  90. says

    More on the militarization of police in the US:

    But here is something that makes no sense, that is inarguable: Ferguson (population: 21,135) has about 40 robberies per year, a couple of homicides, almost no arson cases and a crime rate only a bit higher than the national average. Indeed, the town’s crime rate was going down as of two years ago, when the last major data is available. Ditto in neighboring St. Louis.

    Now St. Louis isn’t exactly the picture of safety, but two years ago the St. Louis Police Department also acquired a Lenco BearCat armored military vehicle, a “tactical support vehicle” and a helicopter that’s popular with the Korean air force. Earlier this year, the US Department of Homeland Security donated a 22-ton Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle – the thing we used on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan – to the police department in nearby St. Charles, Missouri (population: 66,463).

    On Saturday night, as people took to the streets to protest the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, the Ferguson Police Department, the chief of which reportedly displays a confederate flag in his home, had that machine at his disposal

    Sure, there may have been “unrest” that needed paying attention to, but why were there Iraq-grade trucks even at the ready in the police station of an American suburb in the first place? Since when do local cops need wooden bullets and AR-15s? What the hell is the point of cops looking like this?

    What is happening in Ferguson is exactly what opponents of the rise in military-style policing across America have long feared: when the feds arm white local cops with weapons of war and their superiors encourage them not to just play dress-up but to use their new war toys, it is inevitable that ordinary citizens – especially citizens of color – will get treated as the enemy. As we’ve seen in Ferguson, when military might comes to Main Street, “hands-up, don’t shoot” quickly turns into a quasi-declaration of war on a grieving community.

    How the hell do we stop equipping and training suburban cops as warriors? I’ve written about this for a long time, and I’m not sure another unarmed black kid getting shot is going to end what Radley Balko calls the Rise of the Warrior Cop – even now that military veterans themselves have had enough.

    http://www.occupy.com/article/ferguson-what-happens-when-white-suburban-cops-get-weapons-war#sthash.irlzqaIN.dpuf

  91. says

    http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/attorney_general_holder_orders_a_federal_autopsy_of_michael_brown

    Brian Fallon, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, announced via press release this morning that Attorney General Eric Holder has asked for the Justice Department to arrange for a federal medical examiner to perform an autopsy on the body of Michael Brown. Michael was the unarmed black 18-year-old shot and killed by white police officer, Darren Wilson, on August 9. The incident has spawned a week of protest in Ferguson, Missouri, the community where the shooting occurred.

    ABC News is reporting that the attorney general asked for the second autopsy at the request of Michael Brown’s family and because of the “extraordinary circumstances” involved in this case. The Justice Department investigators, who are conducting an independent investigation of the shooting, will be able to access both the federal autopsy and the one performed by local officials.

    Mr. Fallon said the second autopsy will take place “as soon as possible”.

  92. Al Dente says

    chimera @138

    Madrid I get, it’s the capital of Spain, but why Barcelona?

    Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain with a population of over 1.5 million.

  93. Pteryxx says

    Also in Matt Pierce’s timeline:

    Matt Pearce @mattdpearce

    Actually, I asked Antonio French about it, and he said, well that’s what a curfew is. “They can do that.”
    [in reply to]
    Anthony Oliveira @oliveiranth
    @mattdpearce these officers are clearly dealing in bad faith w journalists and acting unethically and illegally.

    (Twitter link)

    So if I’m reading this right in context, one of the functions of a declared curfew is that it keeps cooperative journalists away from whatever happens in the curfew area. Meaning, I guess, that the police might no longer be acting illegally by forcing journalists away or arresting them to get them out of the curfew zone. I hope Ken at Popehat or someone else specializing in First Amendment law weighs in on this.

  94. Pteryxx says

    The Associated Press @AP

    Police in Ferguson confirm they fired tear gas canisters on protesters defying a curfew: http://apne.ws/1oRVNqX

    (Twitter link)

    First report I’ve seen of sound cannon being used, reported by a journalist at the Riverfront Times:

    Danny Wicentowski ‏@D_Towski

    Three apcs slowly advance on group of 8 protesters linking arms. Sound cannon. #Ferguson

    (Twitter link)