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We greet the day with a heartwarming scene from the Midwest.

Scott Olson of @GettyImages

Scott Olson of @GettyImages


Would you believe that already this morning, on Twitter, I’ve had one guy blaming the parents for bringing their children to a “protest/riot zone”? Of course you would.

Comments

  1. says

    I just need to scream a bit:
    GRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

    In the midst of protests over civil rights violations and systemic racism and police brutality, women have to deal with sexist doucheholes too?! God. Fucking. Dammit!

  2. rq says

    So protestors ended up locked out of the building, with questions left unanswered.
    Protest in Ferguson continues>

    Princeton discussion about Ferguson (audio discussion).

    FERGUSON: The Community Responds — AUDIO ONLINE
    CSR hosted a panel discussion on the events in Ferguson, Missouri, surrounding the death of Michael Brown. Panelists included local faculty and faith leaders: Wallace Best and Vernon Mitchell, Jr, Princeton University; Leslie Callahan, St. Paul’s Baptist Church; Brittney Cooper, Rutgers University; and Yolanda Pierce, Princeton Theol. Seminary. Click below to listen.

    In New York: Eric Garner’s family sues NYPD for 75 million:

    The family of a black man who died after being placed in a chokehold by New York police announced Tuesday that they would sue the city and police for $75 million. […]
    Garner’s death was classified as a homicide by the New York medical examiner’s office, and a grand jury is determining whether there is sufficient evidence to bring charges.

    The police officer who had Garner in a chokehold has been identified as Daniel Pantaleo, and he was suspended.

    The chokehold was captured live on an amateur video.

    tbc

  3. rq says

    Tony
    I think it’s always been that way. Someone mentioned it recently in another thread about activism, how this was a thing even back in the ’60s. Like, civil rights first, then feminism, and the feminist bits just got left behind mysteriously and completely accidentally.
    So… more power to those young women, I say.

    +++

    Last few things, I swear!
    Police chase in St Louis ends with no fatalities – photo here.

    Protestors once again went to the Cardinals game, with, again, some interaction with fans: photo 1, photo 2, photo 3, photo 4.
    (The last few thigns will continue into the next comment, but I’m almost done – a lot of stuff today!)

  4. rq says

    Another discussion in Ferguson last night (twitter photo).

    And worth a mention: new blog by Mike Spangenberg on Michael Brown, parenting, and being white.

    For white people, like me, it is essential that we push not only to engage in conversations about race, identity, and power, but to challenge the very foundation on which our understanding of the world is built. We have to always question the premise. And it’s from this notion that this blog draws its name.

    In the wake of the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, I’ve found myself engaging in conversations (both in person and online) with lots of different people. I’m hardly the first to point out the disparate responses on social media by white people and people of color. My timelines have been full of posts about Ferguson, police brutality, and racial injustice, mostly by people of color (with a sprinkling of posts by justice-oriented white friends throughout).

    And given the echo chamber most white people live in, this paucity of protest should not be surprising.

    Among white people who did speak out, too many posted awful things unworthy of a link. One of the things that has struck me repeatedly from so many white people is, despite the uncanny consistency of the six eye witnesses who have come forward, the almost instinctive, reflexive defense of Darren Wilson and the Ferguson police.

    Worth a look, at least (first post up now).

  5. rq says

    General racism: racial profiling in Brooklyn.

    Suddenly and without provocation, the teens — who were not involved in any kind of mischief — were ordered by the officers to remove themselves from the area. Bennett, who was apparently taken aback by the unprovoked form of harassment said, “I was really really upset and disturbed, not by the kids, but by the way the police were yelling at them to get out of the neighborhood,” she expressed at the meeting.

    Racial profiling in Boston: 24% of population, 63% of stop-and-frisks.

    The study analyzed more than 200,000 encounters not resulting in arrest between the Boston police officers and civilians (classified by the department as “field interrogation, observation, frisk and/or search) between 2007 and 2010. In 75 percent of those cases, no reason or probable cause for the search was recorded by the police other than “investigate person.” Of the 200,000 encounters, only 2.5 percent of them resulted in the seizure of contraband.

    2. point. 5. percent.

    “The ACLU’s report underscores our need to be vigilant in every city across this country, including Boston, to stop bad, racially motivated policing that doesn’t deter crime,” said Michael Curry, the president of the Boston NAACP. “Flawed stop and frisk and policing policies and practices leave too much discretion to police officers, and ultimately infringe upon the rights of black and brown people. While we share a desire to stop and prevent crime by the few, it shouldn’t come at the expense of the majority of law abiding citizens.

    Parenting: to raise, love and lose a black child. I’m sorry I can’t handle this one emotionally right now.

    A storify of the beginning of events in Ferguson – that is, the death of Michael Brown and the immediately following events. A good reminder of why this thread is still going on page 5, slowly but steadily.

    From the Realms of Ridiculous: man wears “Fuck the police” shirt in court, wins case. Just guess what colour he is.

    Burns appeared at his hearing, wearing a black t-shirt with “fuck the police” across the back. It’s difficult to hear what the judge says to Burns during certain points of the six-minute video that captured the hearing, but it’s clear that he got off for the violation.

    “I went to court wearing a shirt that said “Fuck the Police” and while I was told I had no 5th amendment right and I was not actually allowed to ask any questions during my trial,” he wrote. “I somehow still manage to win.”

    Yeah, ‘somehow’. Take a look in the mirror.

  6. rq says

    Is this what I think it is? Is this black people exercising right to carry and patrolling the federal building in Dallas???

    Once again, the issue of women: Black Last Supper (image), not a woman to be seen. That men’s only list looks pretty familiar, don’t it.

    Quick data on voters in Ferguson, with unregistered voters somewhere around 21%.

    McCullogh to attend Michael Brown Town Hall on Thursday, in Normandy. This should be good. Or terrible, either way.

    Hmm, County Council doesn’t seem to get it.

    thisisthemovement, installment #27: Missouri police and FBI plan for riots; Saint Louis Public Radio has officially filed against the city of Ferguson; new voter registration numbers (with article with number breakdown, short read); Cardinal fans and protestors clash; the “herstory” I posted above, about the imvolvement of black queer women and queer folk in the movement; #FergusonOctober, a review of planned activities; theological commentary on truth and Ferguson, as well as forgiveness and community; traffic stop gone wrong – the one from Indiana. Calendar of events, etc., etc. Go take a look.

  7. rq says

    Still a chance for federal charges in that failed SWAT raid that severely injured a toddler.

    A Habersham County grand jury said on Monday that the drug investigation had been “hurried and sloppy”.

    It also concluded there was not enough pre-raid surveillance.

    A sheriff had said there was no indication a family were in the home, even though a vehicle with four children’s car seats was parked in the driveway.

    The jurors extended their sympathies to the Phonesavanh family, but also to the law enforcement officers involved.

    HUH???

    “We have seen and heard genuine regret and sadness on the part of the law enforcement officers involved,” the jurors wrote, “and we think it is fair and appropriate to point out that they are human beings as well.”

    HUH??? “Everyone makes mistakes, teehee, amirite?”

    In Ohio: More people at the police department.

    Community for Ferguson October.

  8. says

    Fatal officer involved shooting in St. Louis

    Homicide detectives from the St. Louis police department have been called to the scene of a fatal officer involved shooting in the 4100 block of Shaw Blvd. in south St. Louis.

    The shooting occurred around 7:30 pm.

    Police say an off-duty officer working a second job attempted pedestrian check. The suspect fled on foot, and officer pursed the suspect. The suspect turned and fired at the officer. The officer fearing for his life returned fire fatally wounding the suspect.

    A crowd has gathered at the corner store at Klemm next to the Shaw Market. Some in the crowd say the suspect in his 20’s, was shot 16 times. They also say the suspect was only armed with a sandwich.

  9. rq says

    Tony
    Victim’s name ir Vonderrick Myers, from what I can tell… the first tweet in the list today was ‘sympathy for the Myers family’ and I though something had happened to PZ… :/
    No word on the officer who shot him – is xe also going to disappear?

  10. rq says

    An apparent Witness account, which (no surprise) differs from the police version.

    This shooting might break the fragile situation in Ferguson.

    More hpotos from the scene earlier – there were big things planned for this weekend in Ferguson, it seems like events will be expanded.

    Mainstream media blocked by protestors; heartbreaking.

    Missouri State Highway Patrol issues statement on the non-constitutionality of the 5-second rule:

    From the outset, the overriding goal of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Unified Command has been to allow citizens to speak while keeping the community safe. Today’s ruling is consistent with these principles because it allows protestors to exercise their constitutional rights to pieaceably assemble but also allows law enforcement to impose appropriate restrictions to protect the public from violence.

  11. rq says

    STL Today on the shooting, currently no new information.

    Also, the police chief was to hold a press conference on this latest shooting, but he has decided not to (I think for his own safety?). Might be a good move, since protestors have already said they don’t want another Jackson-type situation.

    From May by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Case for Reparations. Long piece with lots and lots of history, of the kind one doesn’t usually learn in school.

  12. rq says

    Some more pictures of St Louis, still going on: from Antonio French, from David Carson.

    Three articles, three sources:
    Associated Press on the death of Myers

    “As he exited the car, the gentlemen took off running. He was able to follow one of them before he lost him and then found him again as the guy jumped out of some bushes across the street,” Adkins said. “The officer approached, they got into a struggle, they ended up into a gangway, at which time the young man pulled a weapon and shots were fired. The officer returned fire and unfortunately the young man was killed.”

    He did not name the officer or the man killed.

    STL Today on the same (repeat?) –

    Police said the uniformed officer involved was working a secondary job for a private security company when he encountered four pedestrians in the 4100 block of Shaw Boulevard and stopped to talk with them at about 7:30 p.m.

    The four fled and the officer chased one, Assistant Chief Alfred Adkins said.

    The man the officer was chasing jumped from some bushes and struggled with the officer. The man then pulled a gun and fired at the officer, Adkins said. The officer returned fire and fatally shot the man.

    The officer was not injured, and a gun was recovered from the scene, police said.

    Given the mysterious nature of invisible and spontaneously appearing guns, that’s not much of an assurance. But to continue, from that article:

    Lavell Boyd, 47, lives in neighborhood and said he happened upon the scene as he was going to a store on Shaw to pick up a sandwich. Boyd said he heard 14 or 15 shots as he was in his car.

    “When I pulled up I saw the cop standing over him (Myers) then he pointed the gun at everyone else telling everyone to get back while he was searching for another clip,” Boyd said.

    Boyd said he heard others nearby telling the officer “you killed my friend.”

    The. Fuck. I’m sure he handcuffed the corpse, too.

    And finally, CNN with some interesting snippets

    The death comes on the heels of the Michael Brown shooting two months ago in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, and just ahead of “A Weekend of Resistance” in St. Louis where activists will push for movement in the investigation into that case.

    Like Brown, the man who was killed in Wednesday’s shooting was black. The officer in both incidents are white, police said.

    The difference: Brown was unarmed. In Wednesday’s incident, the man had a gun, said police spokeswoman Leah Freeman said. […]
    As the rage grew, a car that was driving through the crowd had its back window broken. [a word on this in a moment]

    A short time later, a series of gunshots could be heard. It wasn’t clear where they came from. […]
    The officer was working a second job for a security company, one that was approved by his department, Freeman said.

    He had on his police uniform.

    When he tried to make a “pedestrian check,” the man ran, Freeman said. She did not elaborate on what the check would have entailed.

    When the officer ran after him, the man turned and fired, Freeman said.

    “Fearing for his safety, the officer returned fire striking the suspect, fatally wounding him,” she said.

    CNN also says that Vonderrick Myers (some spell it Vonderrit, but I’m going with twitter folk here) was in his early 20s – he was 18.
    I’m more confused about an officer working his second job while still in official uniform. Isn’t it illegal to wear it while not on duty, or something? Or, if you’re wearing uniform, you’re officially at work?
    (I know that locally, that’s the rule – even if you’re just going to/from work, if you’re wearing your uniform, you have to provide public assistance in potentially violent situations, because you count as on-duty as soon as you go out in public and therefore it’s your duty to serve. And that means even if working a second job – the uniform takes precedence. Not sure why this seems important, I guess because the term ‘off-duty’ doesn’t seem to apply if the shooting officer is in uniform. And no non-fatal options available.)

  13. rq says

    Also, twitter seems to have discussion on an ankle bracelet on Myers. Not sure of the significance, but before that – some on twitter are guessing at the direction Myers’ character assassination will take: 18 and in grade 11? A thug with authority and law issues… even though he had a job.

    Press conference in the morning. Critical.

    A word to the white: “don’t do stupid shit that will get black people killed. A black person will get shot for the rock YOU threw. STOP”.

    In preparation for the weekend, declaring a state of national crisis – fly the flag upside down. There’s a short explanation of what that means in the photo.

  14. rq says

    Police following the protestors (in St Louis), some damage to cars.

    More on the ‘character’ of Myers: by tomorrow, he will have weed in his system and a violent past at school.

    Correction on the name: Vonderrit. Also, that ankle bracelet. For resisting arrest. Which, given the police track record, could be anything. Fuck this shit.

    More photos on location: photo 1, photo 2.

    There’s a series of tweets on a press conference in the next post. It’s… you’ll see.

  15. rq says

    First, a word from God himself.

    Here’s Chief Dotson, aware how police use-of-force will look, and mentions Ferguson protestors present in STL (like that’s a bad thing?). Ah, so a cop can tell you have a gun by manner of running – victim shot first, then cop fired back.
    Officers (re: protesting) are showing amazing restraint (well, there’s no tear gas!), even though some windows and cars damaged. He’s not happy about the damage but promises police will show restraint.

  16. rq says

    Protestor comment: police should take people’s lives more seriously, worry less about the windows.
    From the chief: justification, of a sort – person had previous experience with police (yuh, no wonder he ran). A word on “pedestrian check”, with some wondering why an off-duty cop was trying to do work. Official version, officer fired 17 shots.
    Anyone with information is asked to come forward, and official version is that Myers had a gun, not a sandwich (as witnesses are saying).

  17. rq says

    Yeah, that pedestrian check. “When you’re off-duty, you are one yourself.”

    Officer fired 17 shots – suspect kept pulling trigger even after gun jammed. You know what’s really sad here? It’s unclear whether the suspect is meant to be Myers or the officer.
    Still no name on the officer, though.

    Another name correction, from the victim’s dad: VonDerrit Myers, Jr.

    A word on that ‘conviction’ mentioned previous: only charges, trial was set for October 17. And still the bracelet.

  18. rq says

    More on guns: 17 round magazine is actually possible, so maybe the officer didn’t reload. But to empty the clip?

    Chief Dotson not being received well – after lying about the Kajieme Powell shooting, there’s not a lot of trust left. Like, none.

    Protestors at the PD (photo).

    NY Mag on the shooting:

    According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police and protesters have wildly different versions of how the shooting occurred. Police say four pedestrians fled after they were stopped by an off-duty officer on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The officer chased one of the men, later identified as Vonderrick Myers Jr., and claims the teenager jumped out of some bushes, struggled with him, then pulled out a gun and shot at him. The officer says he returned fire, killing Myers.

    Several witnesses say Myers was unarmed. “He had a sandwich in his hand, and they thought it was a gun,” said Teyonna Myers, the victim’s cousin. “It’s like Michael Brown all over again.” […]
    According to relatives at the scene of the shooting, which is about a 25 minute drive from Ferguson, Myers worked in a warehouse and attended high school. “My nephew was coming out of a store from purchasing a sandwich. Security was supposedly searching for someone else. They Tased him,” said Jackie Williams, who said he talked with several witnesses. “I don’t know how this happened, but they went off and shot him 16 times. That’s outright murder.” [tased and then shot?????]
    [statement to buzzfeed, within the article]An officer working department-approved secondary for a security company, wearing a St. Louis Police Officer’s uniform was in the 4100 block of Shaw when he attempted a pedestrian check. The male suspect fled on foot. The officer pursued the suspect. The suspect turned and fired a gun at the officer. Fearing for his safety, the officer returned fire striking the suspect, fatally wounding him. The officer was not injured. A gun was recovered from the scene. The officer is a 32-year old white male. He has been on the force for 6 years. The suspect is a black male believed to be 18-20 years old. As is department policy, the officer has been placed on administrative leave. The investigation is ongoing.

    With photos and video.

  19. rq says

    Protestors still out, with slightly different demographics than Ferguson – some are requesting tents.

    An article from the Guardian, which still uses the wrong name spelling. It took me a while, too, but I’m not a professional journalist. :P No real new information.

    And then the Huffington Post just puts it right in the title.

    St. Louis Police Lt. Col. Alfred Adkins said the 32-year-old officer was working a secondary security job late Wednesday when the shooting happened. Adkins said the officer, a six-year-veteran of the St. Louis Police Department, approached four men on the street. […]
    Adkins did not describe any conversation between the officer and the four pedestrians, and didn’t explain why he gave chase.

    Pretty much all the articles have this, but they never say why he approached them. Also, in his uniform? For no reason? No wonder they ran.

  20. rq says

    Ballistic evidence shows three shots fired at cop? Hmm. It’s entirely possible they picked up casings, those aren’t too hard to find, but if they found the actual bullets, it seems doubtful they’d have analyzed trajectory so quickly. Though maybe.

    This is not a Ferguson problem, or a St Louis problem – it’s a global problem.

    No tear-gas? Different neighbourhood.

    And about that protest harassment: “if I hear another “you single?” WE AT A PROTEST!”

  21. says

    rq, if you ever went to a school dance or a concert here in Canada, you’ll have seen cops in uniform who were working off-duty. They’re paid for the night separately from being paid as a cop. So it doesn’t seem so odd to me.

    What does seem hinky is why he did a ‘pedestrian check’ (an investigation, no doubt, consisting of ‘are you really walking around in gangs, you n***** thug?’ Not on my patch!’) on four young men in the first place. If he doesn’t do the racial profiling, then maybe no shots get fired by anyone.

    Unfortunately, in their heads, all cops seem to think they’re on The Wire or a hip hop video, the way they respond to a group of Black boys as though they are necessarily gangstas up to no good. Its those white-coloured glasses that we need them to lose.

  22. rq says

    Cait
    Hm, but if he’s not working as a police officer, wouldn’t he have a different uniform on? Not that it matters, really… just seemed odd to me.
    Anyway, what you said about the pedestrian check.

    Its those white-coloured glasses that we need them to lose.

    Time to scratch off the white-out.

    +++

    Anyway, another tweet-summary of Dotson’s synopsis of the evening: group of 3 African-American males (males? not… men?) caugh officer’s attention (why?), ran off as officer approached, so he went after them (no backup, of course) through a gangway, after which they came back together (they split up?); suddenly the 18-year-old turned aggressive towards the officer, didn’t obey voice commands so they fought, and then suspect’s sweatshirt came off/he ran up hill (do not get the significance of that slash) and officer saw he had 9mm handgun, which “the suspect” proceeded to fire three times at the officer, whereupon the officer fired back 17 times. Because the dead boy’s gun jammed and this was even more threatening.

  23. rq says

    Meanwhile, in Kansas City: Police kill a man with samurai sword, for being ‘aggressive’. So they shot him behind his own house.

    Back to St Louis, Riverfront Times on last night’s shooting:

    According to police, the officer was in his police uniform, but working for Hi-Tech Security around 7:30 p.m. yesterday, when he drove past three young African American males in the 4100 block of Shaw Boulevard. Upon seeing the officer, the group began to run. St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson told reporters at a press conference last night that based on the way one of the men was running — “holding his waistband, not running at full stride” — the officer believed he had a gun.

    The 32-year-old officer (and six-year veteran of the force) then followed that individual on foot through a gangway. Moments later, the officer and the suspect got into a “physical altercation,” according to Dotson, in which the teen lost his grey hoodie and the officer observed a gun.

    The suspect then ran up a hill and turned to fire three shots at the officer and kept pulling the trigger but his gun jammed, according to police. Responding to those initial shots, the officer fired back, killing the suspect.The officer was uninjured, and police say he fired a total of seventeen shots in return. [okay, that clears up the ‘manner of running’, but if you think he has a gun, why would you go after him? alone? as a trained police officer? action hero wannabe.]

    And that article ends with an update on the charges against VonDerrit Myers. And starts off with “Updated with information regarding previous charges against the deceased suspect for unlawful use of a weapon and resisting arrest. ” Because this is Important To Know.

    Updated STL Today article:

    At one point the officer got out of his car and followed the suspect through a gangway. “When the officer went through the gangway, he saw the three gentlemen had come back together,” Dotson said. “One of the gentleman started to approach the officer in an aggressive manner. The officer was giving verbal commands, telling them to stop, telling them how to surrender, telling them that they were under arrest. The suspect continued to come towards the officer until they got into a physical altercation. The suspect and the officer were hands on with each other. At that time, the suspect’s gray hooded sweatshirt comes off and the suspect starts to run up a hill at the address on Shaw.”

    Basically the same story, with a few details changed.

    The officer said he “wanted to be certain that it was a gun and did not fire at that point. The suspect pointed the gun at the officer and fired at least three rounds at the police officer. We believe this to be true because there are three projectiles that we recovered with trajectories going towards the officer, down the hill, and one piece of ballistic evidence located behind the officer. At that point, the officer returned fire. As the officer moved towards the suspect, the suspect continued to pull the trigger on his gun.”

    Then there’s more about the charges, plus words from other witnesses – but what really gets me is this one (I know I quoted it above, too):

    “When I pulled up I saw the cop standing over him (Myers) then he pointed the gun at everyone else telling everyone to get back while he was searching for another clip,” Boyd said.

    Searching for another clip. Because (a) his first one was empty and (b) it wasn’t enough for him (and probably (c) he was scared at that point). What an appalling lack of basic human decency.

  24. rq says

    Okay, so apparently the police searched the site and found three bullets with the right trajectory to be heading towards the cop… and then a passer-by found these. Just wondering, who’s covering forensics on this??? Sloppy work, at best.
    I don’t know if it’s a rumour or not, but there’s word that VanDerrit was shot in the back of the head. How many autopsies for this one?

    Photo from the streets from last night.

    St Louis Post-Dispatch with an updated article, the update line sort of says it all:

    UPDATED at 11 a.m. Thursday with more details on teen’s gun charge, ankle monitoring as part of release on bail.

    Because all of that is relevant.

    A good point, regarding number of shots fired vs. counted.

  25. rq says

    FTB’s Ed Brayton on the five-second rule, just for completeness.

    Washington Post on the shooting death of VanDerrit Myers:

    According to police, the officer was working for a private security company at the time, patrolling a specific neighborhood, when he encountered three men he thought were acting suspiciously at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. When they saw the officer make a U-turn, they fled, police said.

    “One of them ran in a way that the officer believed that he was armed with a gun – holding his waist band, not running at full stride,” Dotson said, referring to the 18-year old. […]
    The officer involved in the shooting worked for Hi-Tech Security, which employs several St. Louis police officers in secondary, “moonlighting” jobs. He was patrolling the neighborhood on behalf of that company, not the city’s Metropolitan Police Department.

    The officer — a six-year veteran of the force — has been placed on administrative leave, St. Louis police spokeswoman Schron Jackson told the Los Angeles Times. […]
    “Chief Dotson has a fairly good reputation as being a straight shooter, honest, considerate,” Conway said in an interview. “I watched his police officers handling themselves admirably in the face of some serious yelling, screaming, kicking of their cars last night.”

    Administrative leave – with pay, no doubt. No name released. And yes, such admirable behaviour from those cops.

  26. rq says

    More confusion re: the gun – apparently reported stolen in September, now recovered from scene, but this is a good reason why twitter sometimes sucks. The character limit doesn’t say if the gun recovered was stolen from Myers or by Myers.

    They get some of the order of events wrong, but the Guardian on upcoming protests – which were set to go before this latest shooting, but will now probably include it somehow.

    Mervyn Marcano, a spokesman for Ferguson October, said the group expected to draw between 6,000 and 10,000 protesters for what it calls “three days of resistance”. He said the protests were aimed at “making those who are comfortable uncomfortable”, adding: “Folks want to continue the momentum.”

    Ashley Yates, a co-founder of Millennial Activists United, told a rally in New York earlier this week that there would be a “mass convergence on Ferguson” this weekend. “We’re hoping for the same response we got in the first week, only with some organisation this time,” she said.

    Protesters plan on Friday to march on the office of Bob McCulloch, the St Louis county prosecutor who has been presenting evidence on Brown’s death to a grand jury that is considering criminal charges against Darren Wilson, the officer who killed him.

    More from Brittany Farrell, the same woman in the protestor vids just upthread. This time, to shut down the Ferguson PD.

    Employee at Shaw Market (where Vonderrit Myers bought his last sandwich) speaks of the night, and relationship with Myers (short bit in instagram caption). Friends and family outside the market. I don’t think any of them have spoken to press yet, beyond a few statements from last night.

  27. rq says

    Black and in blue: A Ferguson police officer reflects on a tough time.

    Most of the insults he heard on the line that day are too graphic to print. Among the more polite are “sellout” and “Uncle Tom,” Dilworth said. He had stood with two other black officers, one from the Missouri Highway Patrol and one from the St. Louis County police.

    “We didn’t blink,” he recalled in an interview this week. “We didn’t say anything to them. We stood there and took it. We all talked about it afterwards. I said, ‘Don’t address ignorance with ignorance.’

    “But it’s hard to hear that from the minority group that you are representing … You tune it out, but psychologically you’re dealing with scars. Some officers are going to see counselors. We’re not robots.” […]
    Dilworth is the only black supervisor and one of four African-American officers on a force of 53 in a community where two-thirds of the 21,000 residents are black. […]
    He questioned why protesters don’t hold such signs at the scenes of murders, such as the recent killing in St. Louis of Donnie White. Dilworth said he knew White, who was on the way home from work when he got caught in crossfire between suspected black gangs.

    “We are not killing you; you are killing yourselves,” he said, his voice rising inside his police SUV. “This is a systematic problem that’s been going on for years. I want to tell them to wake up! And look at exactly what the problem really is! Look at the statistics. The number of officer-involved shootings is relatively low. I stand a better chance of being killed by you.”

    Some more from St Louis: (last night) supporters gather.
    Looking at the crime scene, it turns out there were no bushes.

    It turns out that legally, the off-duty officer had the power to effect an arrest, even though working other job.

    More information, though it’s much the same, plus they get the age wrong.

  28. says

    A friend of mine is a police officer (I’m sure she probably doesn’t like my Facebook posts on police brutality, but given the police state in the US, I really don’t give a flying fuck), and she works extra jobs as security when she’s not on duty. She wears her full uniform on these jobs. Usually it’s at places like department stores or at one of the gay bars here in town. I was always under the impression that even though she’s off duty, that since she’s in uniform, her ‘cop powers’ and status are still active.

  29. says

    “We are not killing you; you are killing yourselves,” he said, his voice rising inside his police SUV. “This is a systematic problem that’s been going on for years. I want to tell them to wake up! And look at exactly what the problem really is! Look at the statistics. The number of officer-involved shootings is relatively low. I stand a better chance of being killed by you.”

    And he said the protesters were ignorant?!
    He needs to realize that the death of Michael Brown was not the beginning of the frustration felt by African-Americans towards law enforcement. This has been a barely simmering pot of disenfranchisement and outrage for…well…a long, long time. Ferguson is not the only reason black people are pissed off. That he can’t see this (or refuses to) is probably part of the reason people are labeling him an Uncle Tom.

  30. rq says

    Still from (my) last night, CBS St Louis: Scenes of grief and anger at scene of Shaw neighbourhood shooting. Very hsort article.

    Media remarks on the disparities between witness and police storeis. Sandwich vs. gun. And no name for that officer.

    FOI request in Kajieme Powell shooting – also no incident report in that shooting, interestingly. At least, none available.
    (Also, what are the names of the officers who shot him, without googling?)

    State Senator wants federal probe into shooting,

    More than 20 black leaders gathered for a news conference outside police headquarters and questioned why the officer approached Vonderrit Myers in the first place.

    “This here was racial profiling turned deadly,” state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed said.

    The St. Louis Democrat said that in addition to requesting a Justice Department investigation, she will ask Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to appoint a special panel to look into concerns about profiling and police use of deadly force. The Justice Department is already investigating the shooting of Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson. A state grand jury is still deciding if Darren Wilson, the white officer who shot the unarmed, black 18-year-old, will face charges. […]
    [VonDerrit Myers] was the third fatal police-involved shooting in the St. Louis area since Brown’s death. On Aug. 19, Kajieme Powell, 25, was shot by St. Louis city officers after police say he moved toward them with a knife while telling them, “Shoot me now. Kill me now.” Each officer fired six shots, and Powell died at the scene.

    On Sept. 17, officers shot and killed a 42-year-old man in the St. Louis County town of Jennings after the suspect allegedly slammed his vehicle into two police vehicles before pointing a rifle at officers.

    This is.. a horrifying story of a modern-day lynching. Young, black promising student and football player is found hanging at the playground near his home.

    Newton told the Guardian that when he received Lacy’s body two days after he died, he was struck by the abrasions he saw across both shoulders and down the insides of both arms. He also noted facial indentations over both cheeks, the chin and nose. Though police have told the Lacy family that ants were responsible for causing the marks, to Newton the state of the body reminded him of corpses he had embalmed where the deceased had been killed in a bar-room fight. […]
    Rogers conceded that it was hard for any family to accept a suicide in its midst, and that it would be natural in those circumstances to search for alternative explanations, to clutch at straws. But he said that in this case the clutching at straws appeared to have been on the part of “elected officials who can’t deal with the realities of race. Given the sensitivity of the issues here, it’s much easier to put this in a box marked ‘suicide’ than ask the tough questions. I’m afraid that politics have held back the investigation.”

  31. says

    The day before Lacy was found hanging, there had been a funeral service for his great uncle Johnny, who had died a couple of weeks previously. Lacy had been close to his uncle, and was visibly upset, but not to an extreme degree, his family said. He grieved “as a normal person would”, Claudia said.

    Then there were those facial marks on his body. Even the undertaker, FW Newton Jr, who has worked as a mortician for 26 years, was taken aback by what he saw.

    How does a “normal person” grieve?

    About a week after Lacy died, his family, with the help of the NAACP and their own lawyer, put together a list of questions and concerns that they presented to the district attorney. First, there was the overriding sense that Lennon was simply not the kind of boy to harm himself. He had no history of mental illness or depression, and was so focused on his future it was inconceivable he would intentionally cut it short.

    I really empathize with this, but they have no idea what was going on in his head. I’m not saying that he did take his life, but that *is* a possibility. There’s often a lot of shit going on in a person’s mind that others know nothing about.

    Still, he was found hanging. That image is so tied to racism in the US. It’s incredibly hard to shake that horrible feeling that he was lynched.

  32. rq says

  33. rq says

    https://twitter.com/deray/status/520431678960189440/photo/1
    https://twitter.com/alexiszotos/status/520425967341158402/photo/1

    this was earlier, after which apparently things went bad again – https://twitter.com/alexheuer/status/520426383307063296
    Captain Dan Howard: most violent protestors not local – does he mean from Ferguson? https://twitter.com/CaptainDan301/status/520423217647738880

    Unfunny: protestor to police: “We all have Ebola!” – https://twitter.com/akacharleswade/status/520460144552194048
    Intersection – https://twitter.com/deray/status/520444707110133761

    more…

  34. rq says

    Non-intersection: chief will not engage women leaders – https://twitter.com/deray/status/520453114399567872
    Storify of #shawshooting, night before last.

    Family of Vonderrit Myers.
    LA Times on the shooting:

    “In case we needed another reminder, this is not about the city of Ferguson,” St. Louis Alderman Antonio French tweeted. “This is about all of St. Louis — and beyond.”

    Some people in the area disputed the police narrative, as did Myers’ family.

    “All I know is he came out the store with a sandwich,” an emotional Tyrone Myers, an uncle, said in a telephone interview. “Next thing, he’s shot several times by a cop who was chasing someone else.” […]
    Berhe Beyent, the store’s manager, said, “Like six minutes after I sold him a sandwich, he got shot. … He wasn’t armed when he was here. He didn’t have a hoodie.”

    That detail differs from the police version of events. A police statement said the officer and the suspect “got into a physical altercation, with hands on each other. During the altercation, the suspect’s hooded sweatshirt came off of him.” [..]
    Dotson said he didn’t know how many of the officer’s bullets struck the man, or why the officer, who was unhurt, fired that many times.

    The medical examiner, Dr. Michael Graham, told the media that a preliminary autopsy showed Myers was killed by a shot that entered his right cheek, and was hit six or seven times other times in the lower extremities.

    More eye-witness accounts from within (or at least, near-vicinity witness accounts):

    Campbell, who lives up the street from the store, said on Wednesday night, young people — “elementary to high school students” — had gathered across the street. She was outside the store when a white police officer pulled up nearby. Campbell said she heard the officer say he was “looking for somebody who robbed a house… He said he was looking for four young men” in connection with a potential home burglary. It was unclear if the burglary had already happened or might be about to happen.

    She said that Myers was one of the young men the officer spoke with, and that the officer got out of his vehicle and followed Myers.

    Campbell said she went inside the store and was at the register with her 4-year-old son when she thought she heard a Taser, then heard two shots, “pow-pow,” but said she might have missed something because she was inside.

    “Everything went scary,” she said, adding that she quickly left with her son and that young men at the scene were running.

    “When the kids was running, everybody was running,” Campbell said, adding, “the kids said it was the police officer shooting.”

    Ahmed Aidarous, 32, who lives on the second floor of an apartment house near the shooting scene, said he heard three or four gunshots, followed by a fusillade of more gunshots, one after another.

    “After that, somebody cry [out],” like a loud shout, said Aidarous. He didn’t know whether it was the officer or Myers, but “after like 30 seconds, more police [arrived], like magic,” said Aidarous, snapping his fingers.

  35. says

    I don’t get how all kinds of people can just stand on the sideline and watch, without joining in with the protest. Do they not have hearts? I’d be down there myself by now, if my passport hadn’t expired.

  36. rq says

    police refuse to work with protest organizers – https://twitter.com/sarsoora834/status/520020696827564032
    arrestees will be taken 2 hours away – https://twitter.com/sarsoora834/status/520021881575845888

    Some new information following press conference – once again, please be sympathetic to the police officer:

    “He’s fortunate the guy missed him,” said Brian Millikan, adding that his client, though highly trained, may have been influenced by the current atmosphere surrounding the use of force by police.

    Millikan said that the officer served with the U.S. Marines in Iraq and is “shaken up.” Millikan said he and his client welcome any outside investigators.

    So what’s the officer’s name?

    police changing their story? – https://twitter.com/ShaunKing/status/520562074041069568
    not sure if this is particularly transparent – https://twitter.com/charlesjaco1/status/520561098450157569

  37. rq says

    CaitieCat
    Yeah, it seems like it’s just a spectator sport to some. I hope their wake-up call isn’t a violent one, but a harsh one, yes.

  38. rq says

    This one’s a bit ahead of its time (says October 27, 2014), about how the protests that followed the police shooting of Michael Brown created a network of youth in revolt.

    During the first week, a few demonstrators resorted to property damage to air their grievances. Seals remained on the front lines through the height of the police crackdown—and not for the first time. Last year, he protested when Cary Ball Jr. was fatally shot twenty-one times by police officers in St. Louis City. He is still in contact with Ball’s mother. Recalling the differences between last year’s demonstrations and this year’s, Seals said that the protests in the wake of Brown’s death were more effective. After Ball was killed, “we did everything positive; we did everything peaceful…I feel like [the Ball protest] is a prime example that when you do things quote-unquote ‘the right way,’ you don’t get any results.” The internal police investigation later declared the shooting of Ball justified.

    The outcome of last year’s protests left Seals distrustful of community leaders like Antonio French, a Ferguson alderman, and the clergy in St. Louis, who have urged a voter-registration campaign in the wake of the recent protests. After watching politician after politician come and go without any improvement in the communities he’s grown up in, Seals is skeptical that voting will solve the many problems plaguing the area, especially the poverty and systemic racism—problems he knows all too well from mentoring local kids, “the same people out there fighting and putting their lives on the line every day [at the protests]. The same kids that are written off as thugs and criminals and nothing.” […]
    The Ferguson Freedom Fighters were not the only ad hoc group to form in the crucible of the Michael Brown protests. Marching for justice during the day, and running through clouds of tear gas by night, young protesters bonded and shared ideas. Cliques formed, occasionally along the lines of common interest or social class, but more often by happenstance: the Lost Voices, the Millennial Activists United and Hands Up United. When the protests slowed, these groups stayed in touch. They held strategy meetings in churches and schools, attended training sessions by national organizations, made T-shirts and solicited donations. They have shifted the political culture in the city, and their goals, as they develop, will be crucial to its future.

    This new generation of protesters represents a marked break with the older generations of black leaders in the city. They disagreed with the tactics of the civic leaders and clergy members who, for example, urged protesters to obey police curfews widely viewed by the young people as disrespectful of the community’s legitimate outrage. Most of these older leaders already had a stake in the political process in St. Louis through nonprofits or as politicians. National figures like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were treated with similar skepticism. Jackson was booed at a rally when he asked for donations. Resisting co-optation, the majority of St. Louis’s young protesters took matters into their own hands. As Dr. Reynaldo Anderson, assistant professor of the humanities at Harris-Stowe State University, told The Nation, the protesters “are not interested in hearing what the establishment has to say. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to go off in the other direction and listen to what the old-line…black nationalists have to say either. I suspect they’ll come up with someone quite unique, [someone] that is empowering to them in their community but still has the ability to cooperate with people who are not members of the community.”

    Summary of the latest St Louis police shooting, with some good description of the local area:

    First the area where Myers was shot is in South St Louis in section called Shaw. The area is a mixed area with a large population of poor Blacks and poor whites.. Its also a neighborhood that is undergoing gentrification. A hallmark of that gentrification is the use of police in some of the gentrified and more affluent areas.Those police work for a firm until recently was known as Hi-Tech Security. They are now called GCI Security.

    Poe noted that the officer that shot Myers was working for a wealthy gentrified neighborhood called Flora Place. Residents pay off duty police who serve as guards literally making the neighborhoods ‘gated’ even though the blocks are public. […]
    In recent days we seen the actions of public-private police officers come into question around the domestic violence case of San Francisco 49er Ray McDonald. For those who don’t know McDonald was accused of beating his pregnant girlfriend. She called police. When police arrived they were surprised to see another police officer already at the house. That officer was Sgt. Shawn Pritchard who was off duty and working for the San Francisco 49ers.

    I want folks to sit back and think about that for a minute.. Here we have a woman who says she was beaten. She calls police. The police arrive. The only problem is the police that arrive work for the person who harmed you. In the case the first officer on the scene worked for the 49ers and represented the interests of Ray McDonald.. What was said? Not said? Was the victim intimidated? Was evidence hidden, destroyed? Was McDonald prepped by his employee as to what he should say or not say? Read about that HERE–http://cbsloc.al/1C0Q0GS
    St Louis is ground zero for this type of Public-Private police hybrid.. According to the St Louis Dispatch this practice has flourished in recent years with the blessing of the police department and city government. Wealthy communities upset with a shrunken police department have gone all out, pay annual fees through a third party vendor like GCI get a fleet of public police who are privatized. Read about that HERE–>http://bit.ly/1vb5eKI […]
    We will see how this all plays out over the next few days as tens of thousands of people are now in Ferguson for massive protests around the shooting death of Michael Brown.. The new ground zero in St Louis is now in the Shaw neighborhood around the shooting death of Vonderrick Myers Jr.

    About the arrestees being taken two hours away – https://twitter.com/stlcountypd/status/520635464261189633
    this is false (part two) – https://twitter.com/stlcountypd/status/520635986405896192
    they will be taken to St Louis County Justice Services – https://twitter.com/OwlsAsylum/status/520638929750335489 (which is where?)

    Ferguson’s weekend of resistance bolstered by St Louis

    This morning in Ferguson — as often is the case in this bruised little city still reeling from the killing of teenager Michael Brown by a police officer here two months ago — there’s a sense of tenuous calm. Thousands of protesters from across the country are expected to land in Ferguson today for what organizers expect to be an historic weekend of rallies and protests. Billed as a “Weekend of Resistance,” organizers have planned a series of actions that begin with today’s march on the office of St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch and continue until Monday’s widespread civil disobedience, a la the Moral Mondays movement. […]
    On Thursday night, hundreds of protesters spread across several blocks on St. Louis’ south side, riled by the shooting death of Myers, who was shot and killed on Wednesday by a white off-duty police officer. Police say Myers brandished a 9mm pistol and fired on the officer who then responded with approximately 17 shots. [..]
    “I think it rejuvenates a lot of people,” said Johnetta Elzie, who’s been protesting since Brown’s death. “I was getting worn out. But once we started getting more details [about Myers’ killing], all they had to tell me was that he just turned 18. Police said he had a gun, neighbor say he had a sandwich. I don’t trust the police at all. I just don’t believe them.”

    While Myers’ killing in St. Louis sparked spontaneous protests this week, it was the shooting death of Brown in Ferguson two months ago that has fueled widespread discontent and outright anger across the region. […]

    “With Mike Brown there is this righteous indignation in the protests because we know that that was wrong, that there was something fundamental and core about what happened to him. That is unquestioned,” McKesson said early on Friday morning. “With Vonderrit Myers there are a lot of questions and you can feel that as you protest. But the common thread though both is what is the response to blackness? You maced us and I did nothing wrong — God only knows what you did to him without the crowd and without the press.”

  39. rq says

    (double-post because of links in text)
    This one’s a bit ahead of its time (says October 27, 2014), about how the protests that followed the police shooting of Michael Brown created a network of youth in revolt.

    During the first week, a few demonstrators resorted to property damage to air their grievances. Seals remained on the front lines through the height of the police crackdown—and not for the first time. Last year, he protested when Cary Ball Jr. was fatally shot twenty-one times by police officers in St. Louis City. He is still in contact with Ball’s mother. Recalling the differences between last year’s demonstrations and this year’s, Seals said that the protests in the wake of Brown’s death were more effective. After Ball was killed, “we did everything positive; we did everything peaceful…I feel like [the Ball protest] is a prime example that when you do things quote-unquote ‘the right way,’ you don’t get any results.” The internal police investigation later declared the shooting of Ball justified.

    The outcome of last year’s protests left Seals distrustful of community leaders like Antonio French, a Ferguson alderman, and the clergy in St. Louis, who have urged a voter-registration campaign in the wake of the recent protests. After watching politician after politician come and go without any improvement in the communities he’s grown up in, Seals is skeptical that voting will solve the many problems plaguing the area, especially the poverty and systemic racism—problems he knows all too well from mentoring local kids, “the same people out there fighting and putting their lives on the line every day [at the protests]. The same kids that are written off as thugs and criminals and nothing.” […]
    The Ferguson Freedom Fighters were not the only ad hoc group to form in the crucible of the Michael Brown protests. Marching for justice during the day, and running through clouds of tear gas by night, young protesters bonded and shared ideas. Cliques formed, occasionally along the lines of common interest or social class, but more often by happenstance: the Lost Voices, the Millennial Activists United and Hands Up United. When the protests slowed, these groups stayed in touch. They held strategy meetings in churches and schools, attended training sessions by national organizations, made T-shirts and solicited donations. They have shifted the political culture in the city, and their goals, as they develop, will be crucial to its future.

    This new generation of protesters represents a marked break with the older generations of black leaders in the city. They disagreed with the tactics of the civic leaders and clergy members who, for example, urged protesters to obey police curfews widely viewed by the young people as disrespectful of the community’s legitimate outrage. Most of these older leaders already had a stake in the political process in St. Louis through nonprofits or as politicians. National figures like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were treated with similar skepticism. Jackson was booed at a rally when he asked for donations. Resisting co-optation, the majority of St. Louis’s young protesters took matters into their own hands. As Dr. Reynaldo Anderson, assistant professor of the humanities at Harris-Stowe State University, told The Nation, the protesters “are not interested in hearing what the establishment has to say. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to go off in the other direction and listen to what the old-line…black nationalists have to say either. I suspect they’ll come up with someone quite unique, [someone] that is empowering to them in their community but still has the ability to cooperate with people who are not members of the community.”

    Summary of the latest St Louis police shooting, with some good description of the local area:

    First the area where Myers was shot is in South St Louis in section called Shaw. The area is a mixed area with a large population of poor Blacks and poor whites.. Its also a neighborhood that is undergoing gentrification. A hallmark of that gentrification is the use of police in some of the gentrified and more affluent areas.Those police work for a firm until recently was known as Hi-Tech Security. They are now called GCI Security.

    Poe noted that the officer that shot Myers was working for a wealthy gentrified neighborhood called Flora Place. Residents pay off duty police who serve as guards literally making the neighborhoods ‘gated’ even though the blocks are public. […]
    In recent days we seen the actions of public-private police officers come into question around the domestic violence case of San Francisco 49er Ray McDonald. For those who don’t know McDonald was accused of beating his pregnant girlfriend. She called police. When police arrived they were surprised to see another police officer already at the house. That officer was Sgt. Shawn Pritchard who was off duty and working for the San Francisco 49ers.

    I want folks to sit back and think about that for a minute.. Here we have a woman who says she was beaten. She calls police. The police arrive. The only problem is the police that arrive work for the person who harmed you. In the case the first officer on the scene worked for the 49ers and represented the interests of Ray McDonald.. What was said? Not said? Was the victim intimidated? Was evidence hidden, destroyed? Was McDonald prepped by his employee as to what he should say or not say? Read about that HERE– http://cbsloc.al/1C0Q0GS
    St Louis is ground zero for this type of Public-Private police hybrid.. According to the St Louis Dispatch this practice has flourished in recent years with the blessing of the police department and city government. Wealthy communities upset with a shrunken police department have gone all out, pay annual fees through a third party vendor like GCI get a fleet of public police who are privatized. Read about that HERE–>http://bit.ly/1vb5eKI […]
    We will see how this all plays out over the next few days as tens of thousands of people are now in Ferguson for massive protests around the shooting death of Michael Brown.. The new ground zero in St Louis is now in the Shaw neighborhood around the shooting death of Vonderrick Myers Jr.

  40. rq says

    About the arrestees being taken two hours away – https://twitter.com/stlcountypd/status/520635464261189633
    this is false (part two) – https://twitter.com/stlcountypd/status/520635986405896192
    they will be taken to St Louis County Justice Services – https://twitter.com/OwlsAsylum/status/520638929750335489 (which is where?)

    Ferguson’s weekend of resistance bolstered by St Louis

    This morning in Ferguson — as often is the case in this bruised little city still reeling from the killing of teenager Michael Brown by a police officer here two months ago — there’s a sense of tenuous calm. Thousands of protesters from across the country are expected to land in Ferguson today for what organizers expect to be an historic weekend of rallies and protests. Billed as a “Weekend of Resistance,” organizers have planned a series of actions that begin with today’s march on the office of St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch and continue until Monday’s widespread civil disobedience, a la the Moral Mondays movement. […]
    On Thursday night, hundreds of protesters spread across several blocks on St. Louis’ south side, riled by the shooting death of Myers, who was shot and killed on Wednesday by a white off-duty police officer. Police say Myers brandished a 9mm pistol and fired on the officer who then responded with approximately 17 shots. [..]
    “I think it rejuvenates a lot of people,” said Johnetta Elzie, who’s been protesting since Brown’s death. “I was getting worn out. But once we started getting more details [about Myers’ killing], all they had to tell me was that he just turned 18. Police said he had a gun, neighbor say he had a sandwich. I don’t trust the police at all. I just don’t believe them.”

    While Myers’ killing in St. Louis sparked spontaneous protests this week, it was the shooting death of Brown in Ferguson two months ago that has fueled widespread discontent and outright anger across the region. […]

    “With Mike Brown there is this righteous indignation in the protests because we know that that was wrong, that there was something fundamental and core about what happened to him. That is unquestioned,” McKesson said early on Friday morning. “With Vonderrit Myers there are a lot of questions and you can feel that as you protest. But the common thread though both is what is the response to blackness? You maced us and I did nothing wrong — God only knows what you did to him without the crowd and without the press.”

    Best quote in that article:

    “Racism doesn’t take a nap on a rainy day so I don’t get to,” McKesson said. “Rain, snow, sleet, whatever. You don’t get to wash away my feelings.”

    Washington Posto n last night:

    While protests have continued in Ferguson for Brown, the unarmed black teen whose Aug. 9 shooting by a white officer has sparked weeks of unrest, mourners and protesters gathered all day Thursday in the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis where another 18-year-old black man was shot and killed by a white police officer on Wednesday. […]
    “They washed his blood away, but they can’t wash away what happened yesterday,” Jackie Williams, Myers’ uncle, told reporters on Thursday night. “And my family is deeply sorry, and we’re missing him already. We’re hurt, and we lost our child, and it means a lot.” […]
    Protesters marched several blocks from the shooting scene to an intersection just off the freeway, where they shut down traffic for close to an hour. Chanting “Indict, convict, send that killer cop to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell” and “this is what democracy looks like,” the protesters took control of the intersection at Grand and Shaw streets, allowing only an ambulance traveling to a nearby hospital to get through the roadblock. Police lights could be seen in the distance, but officers did not initially engage the protests — allowing ministers and protest leaders on hand to direct traffic away from the roadblock.

    After about an hour, protest leaders ended the roadblock and again began to march. However, some members among the dozens became violent — burning an American flag, throwing a brick through the window of an apartment along the march route, and smashing the glass door of at least one storefront.

    That’s when officers, clad in riot gear, lined up to face the protesters. After a brief standoff, officers deployed pepper spray on protesters and journalists in an attempt to disperse the crowd.

    St. Louis Police chief Sam Dotson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that two protesters were arrested and that one officer was slightly injured.

    “I’m very disappointed,” he told the St. Louis paper. “We acted in good faith. It just shows how unorganized the protest leadership is.”

    CNN looking for news – anyone who has seen, observed, participated in the protests. Submit personal essays and video.

    A word on the monitoring bracelet – https://twitter.com/mattdpearce/status/520595339766538240

  41. rq says

    Protests in St Louis beginning:
    being visible – https://twitter.com/deray/status/520672859568738304
    the media – https://twitter.com/deray/status/520675534456750080/photo/1
    police trailing the crowd – https://twitter.com/deray/status/520677809254313984/photo/1
    police car in front of the crowd (no photo) – https://twitter.com/deray/status/520678798753550338
    officers blocking traffic for protestors – https://twitter.com/deray/status/520679633650724864/photo/1
    a view of the crowd – https://twitter.com/SeeSenyour/status/520679400027992065

    Police participation in this way makes me think they believe it will be a short-lived march (rain, cold, etc.). i wonder how things will go as the night progresses.

  42. rq says

    Oh, almost forgot: Salon publishes article by mother of Bou Bou Phonesavanh, the baby whose face was seriously damaged by a SWAT flash grenade. Going to TW the article for general violence and heartbreak.

    The SWAT officers were searching for a relative who did not live in the home where we were staying. They suspected he might have some drugs, and for that reason alone, they raided the house, armed for war. They never found what they were looking for. But they crippled my family.

    Not only did they blow up my son, but they also violently threw my husband to the floor. His shoulder is still so injured that he cannot care for our kids alone and awaits surgery himself. Before this happened, my husband and I worked vigorously the last 10 years to be free of debt. But now I have to stay home, and in five short months our family has taken on nearly $900,000 in medical bills, some of which have now gone into collections.

    The SWAT team raid happened while we were staying in Habersham County, Georgia. After initially offering to cover the medical expenses, the county has since refused to cover any of our medical costs, all of which would never have happened if the SWAT team hadn’t broken into the home. The county refusing to pay has been very hurtful.

    My kids have nightmares all the time. We all find ourselves waking up in a cold sweat, remembering that night.

    Baby Bou Bou will not leave my husband’s and my side, even at our house. He wants to be constantly held. Our 3-year-old daughter is also very clingy and it is very hard for her to go to school. Bou Bou and I have been going with her and sitting at school all day. Otherwise she won’t stay.

    Our days are really difficult. There are no words that can describe the hurt I feel in my heart when I try to explain to my kids what happened. As a mother, I just don’t know what to do some days. Everything’s just been so difficult and it feels like it will never get better.

    I can’t explain to my kids that the cops are there to help them. They know otherwise, and they’ve been traumatized by it. My kids don’t even feel like I can protect them. When we’re at the mall and see security guards, they’re scared. It breaks my heart.

  43. rq says

  44. rq says

  45. rq says

    So first some reading articles, then some photos, okay? Tomorrow should be less naked links and more actual comments.

    More than a thousand march in St Louis, night ends in sit-in and arrests. Supposedly some rocks got thrown. At police.

    NYTimes – new outcry after another St Louis police shooting.

    Demonstrators angry about conduct of law enforcement officers in the region staged a peaceful, if disruptive, protest throughout the evening, and blocked traffic along Grand Boulevard and other side streets. The protesters, some of whom burned or stomped on American flags, chanted demands for justice.

    And for most of the night, the St. Louis police watched from afar, adjusting their locations as people marched through the streets and avoiding interactions with them. A helicopter circled and occasionally directed its spotlight toward the crowd.

    But at around 10 p.m., the protest grew chaotic as officers clutching riot shields and pepper-spray canisters rushed into the crowd. It was not immediately clear what provoked the abrupt response; Chief D. Samuel Dotson III of the St. Louis police said two people were arrested and an officer sustained minor injuries, KMOV-TV reported. An armored vehicle with two officers’ heads visible poking through its roof hatch crawled along Grand Boulevard, and dozens of other police vehicles flooded the area, where protesters and officers cursed at one another as a standoff began.

    Too many see black or white in police shooting: former police reporter offers a perspective. Sample:

    A police officer can shoot at a fleeing suspect only if the officer “has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious bodily harm to the officer or others.”

    Stealing cigars and roughly shoving a clerk probably would not meet that standard. Assaulting and trying to disarm an officer probably would. […]

    There is no justification for shooting a man who is trying to surrender — unless you don’t know he’s trying to surrender. Perhaps all Wilson knew was that Brown was coming at him. The fact that Wilson was backing up as he was firing would seem to be consistent with a frightened man firing in self-defense.

    Talk about ambiguous. The construction worker’s story cuts both ways.

    That’s if you believe it. His story is considered important because he is “neutral.” That’s a polite way of saying he’s white. Most of the witnesses are black, and they are considered potentially biased, and therefore less credible. Insult upon injury. No wonder so many people are angry. […]

    Also, I expect trouble no matter what the verdict. If it’s an acquittal, blacks might stage a conventional riot. Whites riot, too, but in unconventional fashion. O.J. Simpson was acquitted in California in 1995. The next year, whites voted to outlaw affirmative action in the state. We don’t loot, but we get even.

    Some of it doesn’t sit well, but it’s certainly food for thought and a good reason to go over the reasons why I believe what I believe about the Michael Brown shooting. (Basically, tl;dr – because there’s no verdict / not all evidence is in, no one should have an opinion on the matter.)

    Hot 104.1 STL on surveillance video of Vonderrit buying a sandwich shortly before being shot (video in article).

    Surprise sit-in at gas station, 17 arrested.

    And MLK’s letter from Birmingham jail. I hadn’t read it before, maybe someone else hasn’t, either. On civil disobedience and non-violent campaign.

  46. rq says

    thisisthemovement, installment #29. With a lot of advice for the weekend. Somewhere I missed installment #28, I hope y’all forgive me!

    training for tomorrow – it’s a holiday in the US, too? https://twitter.com/gbissellKSDK/status/521344593275940864/photo/1
    city police – https://twitter.com/durrieB/status/521185112655155201/photo/1
    memorial to Vonderrit – https://twitter.com/search4swag/status/521205353774870528/photo/1
    stand-still – https://twitter.com/michaelcalhoun/status/521196911341342720
    arrests – https://twitter.com/durrieB/status/521194891238711296/photo/1

  47. rq says

    Vonderrit’s father: what’s so suspicious about a black boy walking in a neighbourhood 80% black? https://twitter.com/Dyferent1/status/521315043158540288
    from Mike Brown to Vonderrit Myers – https://twitter.com/deray/status/521311214656569344
    a bit more on civil disobedience (not protected by law), from the ACLU – https://twitter.com/sdkstl/status/521194399405862912/photo/1
    claims of rocks thrown from STL chief Dotson – https://twitter.com/kidnoble/status/521221207077953537
    tear gas? I believe maced? – https://twitter.com/Nettaaaaaaaa/status/521214279031087104
    (old news) 14 arrested, call for information with jail support telephone number – https://twitter.com/Nettaaaaaaaa/status/521213355839610880

  48. rq says

    Toronto Star on the 17 arrested.

    Tensions have simmered since Brown’s death. Residents were upset about the way his body lay in the street for more than four hours while police investigated the shooting. Many insist Brown was trying to surrender, with his hands up. Residents also protested the military-style police response to the days of riots and protests that erupted immediately after Brown’s shooting in the predominantly black St. Louis suburb where just three black people serve on a 53-officer force.

    Here’s also the CBC on the shooting of Vonderrit Myers, and the weekend of protests.

  49. rq says

    More pictures of crowds, because it’s good to see these gatherings, not just hear about them:
    pre-protest gathering – https://twitter.com/DeniseLieberman/status/521466320274358272
    Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein has a court date! – https://twitter.com/elisacrouch/status/521500977678278656/photo/1 (she doesn’t look too fazed)
    the family of VonDerrit Myers – https://twitter.com/RE_invent_ED/status/521506513580335105/photo/1
    the 19 arrested are released – https://twitter.com/dahktin/status/521432157076881408/photo/1
    nice: singing works – https://twitter.com/RayDowns/status/521525184969183232/photo/1
    police – https://twitter.com/bdoulaoblongata/status/521529059646644224

  50. rq says

  51. rq says

    last night protestors split into groups to protest, to cover all of Shaw and not be all one giant target, I suppose (smaller groups less scary) – https://twitter.com/Remroum/status/521522796552540160/photo/1
    blocking the intersection – https://twitter.com/akacharleswade/status/521533486059229184/photo/1
    games – https://twitter.com/plussone/status/521531296078524418/photo/1 “If they think it’s a game, we will play.”
    police at the gas station (from the previous sit-in) – https://twitter.com/deray/status/521539477647659008
    autumn mist and protestors – https://twitter.com/kidnoble/status/521541577916055552/photo/1

  52. rq says

    firefighters watch – https://twitter.com/deray/status/521542826660990976/photo/1
    Vonderrit had a son – https://twitter.com/rikrik__/status/521520058850238464
    silent march with his family – https://twitter.com/Nettaaaaaaaa/status/521534066256916480

    Darren Wilson’s broken jaw – https://twitter.com/WesleyLowery/status/521334192496717825/photo/1

    St Louis American: the political negligence of black leadership.

    A fundamental truth I have learned in these past 30 years is usually people fail because they focus on the wrong thing. We obsess about the tactical, who did it and when did it happen, and we completely ignore the strategic, what are we doing and why? It’s the difference between chess and checkers or the good hustler’s critique of a bad hustler: “he plays for the hundred and misses the grand every time!”

    My view is the circumstances that created the events that resulted in tragedy of Michael Brown’s much too early death can be placed squarely at the feet of black leadership, or I should have said at the failure of black leadership to fulfill the only moral imperative of leadership – protecting and advancing the interest of the people you lead.

    I say this not from the perspective of some uninvolved third party, but as a member of that leadership for the last 30 years. Now there are a lot of African-American suits that will disagree, but that doesn’t stop it from being true. There will be an official report of who did it and what happened, but real questions for us revolve around why? And by “why?” I don’t mean the Ferguson policeman that pulled the trigger, but why could Ferguson, and by inference all of St Louis, be a place where the conditions that produce these outcomes take root and flourish?

    The political negligence of black leadership over the last 30 years has produced an existential threat to the black community that calls our very existence into question. While Michael Brown was literally lost to us Saturday afternoon, how many thousands of young black men and women are we figuratively losing every day to poverty, drugs, violence and failing public schools?

  53. rq says

    This is… protestors going to SLU. – https://twitter.com/deray/status/521547394031583232
    got blocked by police – https://twitter.com/MsJodieEvans/status/521548101916844032/photo/1
    but were allowed past – https://twitter.com/vcmitchelljr/status/521548527592550400
    at university gates, blocked again: protest leader got everyone in with students ID: “I am a student and I have a lot of guests” – https://twitter.com/WesleyLowery/status/521549418303352832 (they all got in – https://twitter.com/WyzeChef/status/521549427698196482)
    going in – https://twitter.com/MsJodieEvans/status/521549806704287744/photo/1

  54. rq says

  55. rq says

    Michael Brown’s famiyl is present – https://twitter.com/KINGDACEO/status/521556316519555072
    SLU campus now a sit-in site forp rotestors – https://twitter.com/RayDowns/status/521555093196251136

    Sports: ah, Cardinals fans! https://twitter.com/chriskingstl/status/521384376764887040/photo/1
    From the LA Times, Cardinals October vs. Ferguson October, a look at priorities, I suppose.
    Due to backlash, Ferguson bar discontinues sale of Cardinals Darren Wilson shirts. Idiots.

  56. rq says

    a few more pics of the sit-in:
    soccer – https://twitter.com/Nettaaaaaaaa/status/521573800899387393/photo/1
    students – https://twitter.com/organizemo/status/521573282257317888/photo/1
    protesting crowd – https://twitter.com/MsJodieEvans/status/521574345890889728/photo/1
    security guard: “these kids are trying to get an education”; protestor: “this is an education” – https://twitter.com/FaithUnedited/status/521574057146204160

    The Guardian: Ferguson activists reject religious leaders’ platitudes.

    The fuse was lit when hundreds of people who came to hear the intellectual and activist Cornel West speak were subjected to speeches by a succession of preachers from the major religions offering essentially the same message about loving one’s fellow man and standing up against injustice. The meeting was billed as being “in the tradition of the civil rights movement” but the tone was in part governed by the venue for the meeting, St Louis University, a Catholic institution.

    Some in the audience grew restless and then angered at the series of reverends, imams and rabbis until a small group of activists demanded to speak. They were supported by chants of “let them be heard” and “this is what democracy looks like”, a rallying cry at protests over Brown’s shooting.

    Tef Poe, a St Louis rapper and activist for Hands Up United, a campaign group seeking racial justice in Ferguson, took the microphone and noted that the Christian, Jewish and Muslim preachers on the stage were not the people on the street trying to protect people from the police.

    “The people who want to break down racism from a philosophical level, y’all didn’t show up,” he said to loud cheers. […]

    In the midst of this, a lone white man in the audience caused uproar when he shouted that African Americans should not underestimate white people’s “gift to you”. The man had to be escorted from the arena.

    West did not disappoint the audience, telling listeners that an older generation of African Americans had failed them.

    “The older generation has been too well adjusted to injustice to listen to the younger generation. The older generation has been too obsessed with being successful rather than being faithful to a cause that was zeroing in on the plight of the poor and working people,” he said. “Thank God the awakening is setting in. And any time the awakening sets in it gets a little messy.”

    A little later he drew loud cheers as he sharpened his argument. “What our young people are also upset about is that they understand that too many of our black middle class brothers and sisters have been ‘reniggerised’. All you’ve got to do is give big positions, give them some status, give them a little money, but walking around they’re still intimidated, they don’t want to tell the truth about the situation.” […]

    Not all the earlier speakers were unwelcome. Hedy Epstein, a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor who was part of the kindertransport to Britain, told how she arrived in the US in 1948 and was taken aback by racial segregation where she was living in the south. Epstein was arrested in August after joining a protest over Brown’s killing and is awaiting trial for “failure to disperse”.

    But the meeting appeared to mark a watershed as protest organisers prepared for what is billed as a day of civil disobedience on Monday, modelled on “Moral Monday” demonstrations launched over political policies in North Carolina, by training volunteers in passive resistance and what to do if they are arrested. Churches ran a “faith in action mobilizing training” session on Sunday afternoon that included the occupation of a police station. At other sessions, volunteers were instructed in blocking traffic and sit down resistance.

  57. rq says

    a few more pics of the sit-in:
    soccer – https://twitter.com/Nettaaaaaaaa/status/521573800899387393/photo/1
    students – https://twitter.com/organizemo/status/521573282257317888/photo/1
    protesting crowd – https://twitter.com/MsJodieEvans/status/521574345890889728/photo/1
    security guard: “these kids are trying to get an education”; protestor: “this is an education” – https://twitter.com/FaithUnedited/status/521574057146204160

    The Guardian: Ferguson activists reject religious leaders’ platitudes.

    The fuse was lit when hundreds of people who came to hear the intellectual and activist Cornel West speak were subjected to speeches by a succession of preachers from the major religions offering essentially the same message about loving one’s fellow man and standing up against injustice. The meeting was billed as being “in the tradition of the civil rights movement” but the tone was in part governed by the venue for the meeting, St Louis University, a Catholic institution.

    Some in the audience grew restless and then angered at the series of reverends, imams and rabbis until a small group of activists demanded to speak. They were supported by chants of “let them be heard” and “this is what democracy looks like”, a rallying cry at protests over Brown’s shooting.

    Tef Poe, a St Louis rapper and activist for Hands Up United, a campaign group seeking racial justice in Ferguson, took the microphone and noted that the Christian, Jewish and Muslim preachers on the stage were not the people on the street trying to protect people from the police.

    “The people who want to break down racism from a philosophical level, y’all didn’t show up,” he said to loud cheers. […]

    In the midst of this, a lone white man in the audience caused uproar when he shouted that African Americans should not underestimate white people’s “gift to you”. The man had to be escorted from the arena.

    West did not disappoint the audience, telling listeners that an older generation of African Americans had failed them.

    “The older generation has been too well adjusted to injustice to listen to the younger generation. The older generation has been too obsessed with being successful rather than being faithful to a cause that was zeroing in on the plight of the poor and working people,” he said. “Thank God the awakening is setting in. And any time the awakening sets in it gets a little messy.”

    A little later he drew loud cheers as he sharpened his argument. “What our young people are also upset about is that they understand that too many of our black middle class brothers and sisters have been ‘ren*gg*rised’. All you’ve got to do is give big positions, give them some status, give them a little money, but walking around they’re still intimidated, they don’t want to tell the truth about the situation.” […]

    Not all the earlier speakers were unwelcome. Hedy Epstein, a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor who was part of the kindertransport to Britain, told how she arrived in the US in 1948 and was taken aback by racial segregation where she was living in the south. Epstein was arrested in August after joining a protest over Brown’s killing and is awaiting trial for “failure to disperse”.

    But the meeting appeared to mark a watershed as protest organisers prepared for what is billed as a day of civil disobedience on Monday, modelled on “Moral Monday” demonstrations launched over political policies in North Carolina, by training volunteers in passive resistance and what to do if they are arrested. Churches ran a “faith in action mobilizing training” session on Sunday afternoon that included the occupation of a police station. At other sessions, volunteers were instructed in blocking traffic and sit down resistance.

  58. rq says

    Washington Post: 1000-plus protestors begin sit-in at SLU, after a peaceful march.

    The demonstrations were the latest in a series of meticulously organized protests and acts of civil disobedience. The specifics have been held tightly by organizers, with just several dozen people aware of each night’s plans until moments before the actions.

    The demonstrators gathered in the Shaw neighborhood — at the scene of another recent police shooting — and split into two groups.

    The first group departed just after 11 p.m., marching to a nearby intersection and shutting down traffic by playing hopscotch, jumping rope and tossing footballs. […]

    The second group departed about 45 minutes later, marching silently on the sidewalk to meet up with the first group.

    As the groups converged, they were met with officers in riot gear who held cans of pepper spray and smacked their shin guards. […]

    “Can you please stop beating your sticks and talk to the people you protect?” asked Derek Robinson, a local minister.

    Protesters asked officers why many did not have visible name tags and warned them that observers from the Department of Justice were in the crowd.

    After about 20 minutes, officers backed down and allowed the march to continue up the sidewalk.

    A spokeswoman for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department did not immediately return a request for comment. […]

    Campus security and police officers attempted to stop the protest from entering St. Louis University’s campus.

    “I am a student, I have my id, and I have a lot of guests,” a protest leader said into the megaphone.

    The security officers moved out of the way and the crowd poured into the campus.

    Once inside the campus, protesters gathered at the campus center chanting “out of the dorms and into the streets” as students rushed out of buildings. Some joined the protesters, others took photos and others brought out bottles of water.

    “This let me know that my son was loved and he is still being loved, right now,” said Vonderitt Myers Sr., whose son was shot and killed by a police officer earlier this month.

    Myers’ family marched at the front of the pack and the demonstrators observed four minutes of silence in his honor. […]

    They noted the significance of it being Columbus Day, calling him “the first looter” and saying that they were “reclaiming” the college campus.

    “On this day we are here to reclaim our shit — I know this was a college a couple of hours ago but as of right now this is our spot and we not going nowhere. This is a sit-in.”

    As of 2:45 am central time the sit-in continued.

  59. rq says

    Daily Beast on last night.

    Michael Brown’s father: people probably think I’m okay, I’m really not.

    But in a rare interview on Sunday, Michael Brown Sr. spoke exclusively with msnbc, detailing how his faith has helped him power through his grief, and how the pressure to fight for justice for his son belies his broken heart.

    “To be honest, it’s a whole lot on my back now. It’s a situations where I’m not going to never heal in the inside,” Brown Sr. said, standing outside of the Flood Christian Church, about a two-minute drive from where his son was shot. “I can get by maybe day by day. People probably look and see me, probably think that I’m doing OK and I’m really not.”

    “It’s just something I have to work on, just stay prayed up and be positive to people around the world and other folks, the people that need me to be strong with them,” he said. “Because we have a lot of support and I have to be strong for other people, too.” […]

    The family of that teen, Vonderrit Myers Jr., 18, was scheduled to attend services at Flood Christian on Sunday, but in the middle of Rev. Lee’s sermon he received a text from the teen’s father cancelling.

    “I just can’t move,” Lee said the text read. […]

    “As long as they’re not using my son in vain on what they are doing as far as the looting and stuff like that, I have no control over anyone,” he said. “Only thing I can do is pray for their soul to be able to go home to their families and have a positive outlook on their situation.”

    Despite the handful of bad apples that have sought to provoke police and enflame an already seething situation in Ferguson, Brown said he’s in awe of how much support his family has received.

    “We just really appreciate all the love and support from all over the world,” he said. “The last thing that he said before he passed was that everyone was going to know his name. I didn’t know it would be this way.”

    (MSNBC)

    More photos:
    right now – https://twitter.com/elonjames/status/521691456457940992/photo/1
    tornado watch in St Louis – https://twitter.com/mattdpearce/status/521691719251685378
    two moments from the weekend – https://twitter.com/jelani9/status/521691316934422529
    moments from last night – https://twitter.com/geauxAWAYheaux/status/521554378298114048

    tbc

  60. rq says

  61. rq says

    In Ferguson, arrests have happened, starting with Cornel West https://twitter.com/justinbaragona/status/521707293336145920
    dress better, they said; look presentable, they said – https://twitter.com/Skip2MyLou_/status/521712087266238465/photo/1 (he did say he was coming out to be arrested in solidarity…)
    at headquarters – https://twitter.com/BridjesONeil/status/521709853656748034
    democracy – https://twitter.com/trymainelee/status/521709525658005504/photo/1
    protest – https://twitter.com/Jobi2032/status/521699251995549696/photo/1

    Meanwhile, the Lost Voices are in Chicago: https://twitter.com/OccupyChicago/status/521709380426010624

  62. rq says

    still at Ferguson PD – https://twitter.com/1740testore/status/521731531451035648/photo/1
    holding back protestors – https://twitter.com/Yamiche/status/521726962117935104/photo/1
    facing police with mirrors #1 – https://twitter.com/alicesperi/status/521713459667283971/photo/1
    facing police with mirrors #2 – https://twitter.com/CheathamKMOV/status/521712465835741184/photo/1
    (I really love the mirror idea, very visually creative, hopefully effective.)

    4+ hours out in the rain – https://twitter.com/WesleyLowery/status/521719964458549249
    facial expressions – https://twitter.com/kodacohen/status/521724701471932416/photo/1

  63. rq says

    clergy marching towards PD – https://twitter.com/kodacohen/status/521724921429622784/photo/1
    reading the names – https://twitter.com/trymainelee/status/521692844986470401

    Fred Pestello’s (SLU president) awesome statement. If only everyone could respond with such grace and understanding. Full text:

    An Important Update from the President
    Dear students, faculty, staff and parents,

    These are unprecedented times for the St. Louis community, and Sunday and this morning, they arrived on our doorstep, as a protest was staged on our campus. We as a SLU community have responded peacefully and have kept the protests from escalating in any way. Please know that at all times, the safety of our students has been our top priority – and continues to be.

    As many of you know by now, hundreds of protestors marched to our campus early this morning protesting police brutality and other social injustices, and held a rally and sit-in around the clock tower. The march started in the Shaw neighborhood and proceeded up Grand Avenue to the Frost Campus. The University had no prior knowledge that this action would take place.

    Once on campus, the protestors were peaceful and did not cause any injuries or damage. In consultation with St. Louis Police and our Department of Public Safety, it was our decision to not escalate the situation with any confrontation, especially since the protest was non-violent. While the protestors were sometimes loud, they were respectful of the students they met. At the same time, we ensured that all of our residence halls were secure and that DPS was carefully monitoring the scene. As of 6 a.m., approximately 25 protestors remain on campus in tents just north of the clock tower. We remain steadfastly committed to ensuring the safety of all of our students and campus to the very best of our ability. To that end, our response has been non-confrontational and consistent with our mission.

    While I know that having middle-of-the-night protests is unexpected and can be disturbing, I applaud the actions of everyone on campus – especially our students – for handling this situation with great grace and compassion. After consultation with Provost Dr. Ellen Harshman, we have agreed that classes will go on as scheduled today, but we will leave it to individual faculty members to make any adjustments to their class schedules for today.

    Earlier last night, more than 1,800 people came to our arena to hear clergy and young activists speak about the difficult issues that have led to these protests. At that event as well, the attendees were peaceful.

    There is certainly the possibility that protests – some near our campus – may continue. We expect these also to be peaceful, but we will handle any of them with the care of our students foremost in our actions. Let us all pray for better days ahead.

    Sincerely,

    Fred P. Pestello
    President

    “We have nothing to lose but our chains” – https://twitter.com/shazza_razza/status/521722255739346945
    arrests – https://twitter.com/pd_shutterspeed/status/521736310219112449/photo/1
    Michael Brown’s mother during the march last night – https://twitter.com/BYP_100/status/521331299298996224/photo/1

  64. rq says

    demonstrators have left Ferguson PD – https://twitter.com/trymainelee/status/521735986989236225/photo/1

    and a letter-to-the-editor – what about balanced reporting? – https://twitter.com/mattdpearce/status/521737321365110787 Full text:

    Paper stimulates anti-police mentality

    The Post-Dispatch continues to give violent protesters front-page coverage with huge pictures and articles, thus fueling the flames and increasing the violence as the unlawful thrive on the publicity.
    The paper has helped stimulate an anti-police mentality, which has hampered the police in protecting the good people of Ferguson and elsewhere. Their hands are being tied by being told not to use force even in the face of danger.
    When was the last article from the police’s point of view? They are putting their lives on the line every day to protect all of us.
    The families of law enforcement men and women live in fear of their making it home after work. They worry that some hate-filled out-of-control individual has injured their loved ones with flying projectiles or has taken them down completely because they hesitated to draw their weapon,thus letting the out-of-control “protester” have some shots at them first. The current negative attitude against the police that the paper is inflaming with biased reporting would seem to indicate that this should be their approach. The Post-Dispatch is endangering good people’s lives.
    Where is the fair reporting of both sides of the issue that includes the full story of what the police have had to endure? We’ve been given barely a glimpse.
    Jacqueline Dougherty – St. Charles

    For comparison, see the letter in previous comment. Talk about privilege.

  65. rq says

  66. rq says

  67. rq says

    police present inside city hall – https://twitter.com/jrosenbaum/status/521768263966277633
    protestors call for mayor – https://twitter.com/nickpistor/status/521767902685720576/photo/1
    another view – https://twitter.com/KMOVMatt/status/521768327258329088/photo/1

    Ah, and I think there are at least two different actions going on right now, too. Third link previous comment refers to a location not city hall, I believe. This is them: https://twitter.com/nanecam/status/521769099970772992/photo/1 and https://twitter.com/MusicOverPeople/status/521769268745359360 .

  68. rq says

    (yes, two events – https://twitter.com/GeekNStereo/status/521769373858795521 )
    he can take protestor demands to the mayor, but the mayor won’t come out to speak? – https://twitter.com/alidreith/status/521769339482292224/photo/1
    ah, the protestors go to the mayor, but he won’t come out to them – https://twitter.com/Yamiche/status/521769695352205312
    he’s not the mayor (re: chief of staff) – https://twitter.com/nickpistor/status/521769715148935170/photo/1
    arrest for holding a banner – https://twitter.com/Rebeccarivas/status/521769936193355776/photo/1
    at the mayor’s door – https://twitter.com/jrosenbaum/status/521769992510275584/photo/1

  69. rq says

  70. rq says

  71. rq says

    Last night’s protests in twitter pictures.
    There was a lot going on, hopefully I get something resembling chronological order, but I doubt I got all of it.
    Anyway, here goes.
    Some people went to Wal-Mart, and got arrested:
    photo 1, video 1, photo 2, photo 3 (more from before arrests later);
    Some people went to the Stenger rally, as awakeinmo pointed out, and got arrested: photo 1, photo 2;

  72. rq says

    A few protestors staged a sit-in at the Stenger rally – photo 1, police apparently refused to remove them because it would look bad – arrests look good, though (photo 2).
    The police look over-prepared (photo 3), but I mean look at that crowd out there (photo 4), so scary.

    There were people at the football game (inside and outside): photo 1, photo 2 (more of this banner collage).

  73. rq says

    Back to Wal-Mart, though I think they shut down two in the end – one earlier, this one seems later in the evening:
    police outside, so excited (photo 1, photo 2), with protestors in the parking lot (photo 3 – yeah, they didn’t get inside this one, got closed down before they arrived). Protestors warned drivers in advance (photo 4), and they (protestors) had a good briefing beforehand (photo 5).
    Everything is so organized, it’s amazing.
    And still, arrests (I believe this is from Wal-Mart): police snatch camera from his hands and arrest him.

  74. rq says

    Yes, they closed the second Wal-Mart down because protestors were on their way (Wal-Mart for John Crawford III, by the way): photo 1, photo 2.

    Back to the game, protestors unfurled banners (one behind the endzone – so awesome photo 1), some of which weren’t televized (like the large combined one, seen in this collection of photos – photo 2).
    Protestors left with loud chanting after approached by police (photo 3.

  75. rq says

    Some more police tactics: as the twet I lost said, “Nothing says ‘vote for me’ like zip-ties”: photo 1.
    Some of the methods used by police included chokeholds: photo 2.

    A few more pics of the Lost Voices in Chicago: photo 3 (several at the link)>
    Youtube video of the protest at Wal-Mart (one of them).

    Arrestees are taken to Richmond Heights, not sure how far that is. Some rumours that they’d be taken elsewhere, but that turned out to be due to being processed in the car for speed. Supporters wait.

  76. rq says

    Officer conduct: sharing license plates, pulling a gun on protestors (that one got caught on video, hopefully it will turn up soon).

    Okay. So about those arrests.
    Here’s a list.
    Yes, Cornel West was arrested (HuffPo article).

    West had joined peaceful demonstrations at St. Louis University on Sunday night. Hours earlier, during a large mass protest service, West said that he came to get arrested.

    “It’s a beautiful thing to see people on fire for justice, but I didn’t come here to give a speech,” West said during a discussion on Sunday night. “I came here to go to jail.”

    Final count: 43 arrested? BuzzFeed says 56:

    Protesters peacefully took over St. Louis City Hall, while hundreds — including clergy members — chanted for justice outside the Ferguson Police Department. Others took their message to West Florrisant Avenue, disrupting businesses and blocking traffic. At a fundraiser where Sen. Claire McCaskill was scheduled to appear, a crowd called on her to speak out for their cause.

    The day of protests was one in a series of events planned for Ferguson October, a coalition of activists and residents aiming to build national support against police violence. They called for justice for Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old shot by Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson in August, as well as other black men around the country who have been killed by police. […]
    Protesters marched in and outside local Walmarts, to memorialize John Crawford, the 22-year-old man killed by a police officer inside an Ohio Walmart. […]
    Others took banners to the St. Louis Rams game. […]
    By Monday afternoon, protesters arrived at St. Louis City Hall where they unfurled a banner. […]
    At 5 p.m., when City Hall closed, the protesters said they would peacefully leave. But they vowed to be back on Wednesday. [they left the banners!] […]
    Other protesters remained outside the Ferguson Police Department, where authorities arrested a total of 43 people by 6:30 p.m. local time. […]
    Still others took their message to a local mall, a community college and a political fundraiser. […]
    Among the arrested were clergy members and Professor Emeritus at Princeton, Cornel West, who took part in a demonstration against police brutality, the New York Times and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

    Lots of review and pictures at the link, amazing to see!

  77. rq says

    Police apparently had a sniper out.
    Also, short video featuring two of the protest leaders and their protest at the mall.

    Fox2Now on the demonstrations: Protesters staged a demonstration inside the Jones Dome during the Rams Monday Night Football Game. They purchased tickets and had seats in the higher sections of the stadium. Some displayed banners; one said “black lives matter.” Football fans said there was little to no reaction. There was no cheering and there was no booing. Some said they didn’t even see the display of banners.

    Earlier one man was arrested in the rotunda of the St. Louis City Hall. He was among some 75 people who demonstrated and make demands of city officials. Those demand included body cameras for cops. City officials said they are making progress on changes in the city. […]
    In Webster Groves a fundraiser for democratic county executive candidate Steve Stenger turned into a protest target. About a dozen people were arrested; they were dragged away from the doors they had blocked. They wanted politicians who were inside to choose a side, tell protestors where they stand.

    STL Today: More than 50 arrested on Moral Monday.

    St. Louis County police released a list of 49 protesters who were arrested by late afternoon by their department, Ferguson Police, and the Missouri Highway Patrol. Of that list, 24 were from St. Louis area, and three were from outstate. The rest were from throughout the country. None were from Ferguson. […]
    Two miles away, six more protesters were arrested in the intersection of West Florissant Avenue and Lucas & Hunt Road, where they had been blocking traffic by holding up a sign. They had been part of a separate demonstration that began about a block away, at the entrance to the Emerson Electric Co. world headquarters. Watched by officers, the demonstrators never ventured onto Emerson property. […]
    Shortly before 6 p.m., about 75 protesters converged upon a fundraiser in Webster Groves, for County Councilman Steve Stenger, Democratic candidate for St. Louis County Executive in the Nov. 4 election. Two protesters were arrested after they got inside the event, at 110 East Lockwood Avenue, and at least five more were arrested outside. […]
    Two more demonstrations began about 4 p.m., one at St. Louis City Hall and the other at Plaza Frontenac in west county. At the mall, about 35 demonstrators who had been milling about gathered together near the central escalator near the Tiffany’s store and chanted. Shoppers stopped to watch, some of them snapping pictures with their phones. One person walked out of Cardwell’s restaurant and hugged a protester. […]
    Downtown at City Hall, about 60 organized by Young Activists United gathered in the rotunda, blowing whistles and chanting. They had met a block away at Soldiers Memorial and marched to City Hall, going through security one by one to get into the rotunda. [..]
    At 6 p.m., about 60 protesters gathered outside the Walmart in Ferguson, which had been the scene of looting on the wild night one day after Brown was shot. A line of police officers guarded the store’s locked front door. Ferguson police said six people were arrested for trespassing and failure to comply and a reporter was detained. […]
    At about 8:30 p.m., another group of protesters gathered outside the Walmart in Maplewood, where they chanted outside the store and police stood waiting. At least five people were arrested, some inside the store. […]
    The first and biggest protest so far Monday began in the morning with a march from Wellspring Church, two blocks away, and with about about dozen clergy walking up to a line of officers outside the station and offering to hear their confessions. The ministers then moved toward the side door of the station, which was guarded by officers in riot gear.

    Those articles about cover the basic action from yesterday.
    […]
    Jamell Spann, another organizer, said, “We made people feel uncomfortable, but we want to show them how we feel uncomfortable every day.”

  78. rq says

    From that NY Times article:

    The equation by which Evans arrived at a rate of return on slave investments indicates P as the price of slaves, k as the number of years the investor holds the slaves, H as the yearly rent for male slaves age 20 to 50, N as the number of male slaves alive at midyear and r as the internal rate of interest.
    No mathematical equation exists to produce the economic model that ends with 18-year-old Michael Brown, shot multiple times with his hands in the air, his lifeless body left in the street for four hours. The numbers will inevitably be run, however, to determine the cumulative cost of damages owed to owners of property looted or destroyed in the riots engulfing Ferguson, Mo., after Brown’s death, thus fulfilling a ritual cycle enacted repeatedly over the last 100 years: injustice, outrage, appeals to peace, reprimands against violence and looting and then insurance claims. [still calling them riots, I see – …]
    Today the chorus of voices declaring #BlackLivesMatter also speaks to the militarized police forces gathered to contain revolt, mourning and rage. They speak to the courts who will later hear arguments of defense: The gun was used by accident instead of a Taser (as in the killing of Oscar Grant III in Oakland, Calif.); the victim was in possession of weaponized concrete (as in the killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.); the possibly imperiled young woman at the front door in the dead of night was a menace in need of immediate extermination (as in the case of Renisha McBride in Dearborn Heights, Mich.). Two trials were required to bring justice for Jordan Davis, murdered in Jacksonville, Fla., because his “thug music” was too loud. For John Crawford III, killed in the pet-food aisle of a Beavercreek, Ohio, Walmart, there will be no hearing, for a grand jury has decided not to indict the officers responsible. In very many other similar instances, the vigilante or “justified” or “officer-involved” homicides do not receive media attention. According to a report issued by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, at least one black person is the victim of “extrajudicial killing” every 28 hours in the United States. […]
    The bloody inversion of a bloody history arrives at these black lives dispatched with ease. The last few years have seen scores of memorials, re-enactments, monuments and editorials coinciding with the sesquicentennial of various events of the Civil War. But it is these deaths — the killings in Ferguson and Beavercreek and beyond — that commemorate the unfinished, perhaps unending, struggle to assert black humanity in a country built on its denial.

  79. rq says

    #OccupySLU on video, watch people live in tents! (Actually, it’s just good to see people still out there.)

    VonDerrit gets the ‘no angel’ treatment from police association:

    Moments before the press conference, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department released lab results that showed Myers had “gunshot residue” on his hands, pants and shirt. The department stated that, “The presence of gunshot residue on the jeans and shirt could be from being in the environment of a discharged weapon or coming in contact with an object with gunshot residue on it.”

    Jerryl Christmas, attorney for Myers’ family, told the St. Louis American that the family does not believe that he had a gun. In regards to the gunshot residue test, which was conducted by the Missouri Highway Patrol, Christmas said, “He was shot numerous times. There’s going to be gunshot residue.”

    However, Jeff Roorda, business manager for the police association, said that the test validated the story of the police officer – a 32-year-old white male and a six-year veteran of the police force. His name has not yet been released to the public or the Myers’ family.

    Oh look, it’s Roorda again. More on the GSR in a moment, but honestly, if he believes this validates the story of the officer? He should never have been a police officer himself. Because it doesn’t.
    But it all gets worse:

    Roorda said that the police found pictures of Myers on social media displaying a weapon of the same make and caliber that was fired at the officer and recovered at the scene.

    Christmas said Myers’ mother believed the photo was about a year old, judging from his haircut and clothing. According to the police report, the 9mm gun that Myers allegedly used was reported stolen on Sept. 26, 2014. The make of the gun that police now report finding differs from the one that St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson initially mentioned after the incident occurred. [,…]
    Roorda also told the press about a case involving Myers in St. Louis County 21st Judicial Circuit Court. Myers was a juvenile but certified as an adult, and he said, “Prosecution was initiated in regards to a murder in St. Louis County.” One reporter corrected Roorda and said that it was not a murder case but a shooting.

    Roorda acknowledged that the investigation did not result in a conviction. When asked what the significance of the case was if he was not found guilty, Roorda responded, “I’ll let you guys decide.”

    Yuh, that’s Roorda in action. Frankly, he scares me. Especially since he’s been convicted of falsifying information as a police officer. Not an impartial party, here.
    A word from Ferguson October organizers (still the same article):

    Ferguson October leaders released a statement after the press conference, stating that the police chose to collude the Weekend of Resistance with “the character assassination of a teenager who was killed by a law enforcement officer.”

    “The information released about VonDerrit Myers’ past sheds absolutely no light on what the officer knew at the time he decided to stop him,” the statement read. “We have no indication that VonDerrit was engaged in any illegal activity other than being ‘suspicious,’ which police have allowed to become a code word for racial profiling.”

    Going to see if that statement is around somewhere.

    In the meantime, Chris Hayes on civil disobedience, Ferguson and beyond. Really good bits. Quote: “For us, this is not an academic issue […]like, I said this a few weeks ago, people who want to take the time to break down racism from a philosophical level, y’all need not show up.”
    Two more videos in the playlist after this one (about Cornel West, then Rams fans) which are pretty good, too.

    Gunshot residue shows that VonDerrit shot at police officer, say police after forensic analysis. Well, here’s what forensics actually says:

    forensic scientists from the Missouri Highway Patrol crime lab found gunshot residue on Myers’ hands, shirt and inside the waistband and pockets of his jeans. Police said that although gunshot residue can be present on anyone near a shooting, the results show levels consistent with Myers being the shooter, because the police officer was standing too far away

    Mmkay. So what’s the GSR doing inside his waistband? Pockets? From what I understand in the police version, Myers died with the gun in his hands since he was still pulling the trigger when the officer (still nameless!!!) shot him. Why would he have GSR from the shooting in his waistband? It’s entirely possible he got it there, if he had a gun that he had fired at any other time, and stuck in his pants. But this shooting? No (and I only got some basic courses on GSR, so maybe you can take the police word on this). Hands and shirt, maybe – depends where on the shirt. Oh, and I haven’t yet seen any information on how far the officer was from Myers when he shot him, which can make a huge difference – especially since there was a witness who came upon the scene with the officer standing over Myers’ body, looking for another clip. So distances aren’t large, but they may not be small enough for good, conclusive GSR results, either.
    More from that article:

    The officer’s name has not been released. His attorney, Brian Millikan, said the officer saw Myers running with his right hand holding the right side at his waistband, as if he could be keeping a gun in place.

    Millikan said that was the same spot where the officer later saw Myers draw a gun. He said that the officer had an “obligation to act” [the fuck does this mean?] after spotting the fleeing men.

    The officer believes Myers fired five to seven times, Millikan said, and believes he would have been dead had the gun not jammed. Millikan said that one live round remained in Myers’ gun.

    After Myers’ death, several photographs showing him holding three guns, including one that looked like the stolen Smith & Wesson pistol recovered at the scene, circulated on social media. Millikan said that his client recognized both Myers and the distinctive, two-tone semiautomatic in the pictures. […]

    Roorda and Millikan also said that when Myers was 16, he was criminally charged and certified as an adult after police say he shot a 15-year-old in the leg. Court records show, however, that a judge dismissed the case after the victim failed to show up for a preliminary hearing.

    St. Louis County police declined to provide the arrest or incident report. Christmas said he was unaware of the case, as did Peter Cohen, Myers’ lawyer for a gun case that was pending at the time of his death.

    Nice character slaughter, with deadly follow-through, there.

  80. rq says

    Oh, the previous quote – original police story is that Myers fired 3 shots. Now it’s 5 to 7. I don’t like how these stories keep changing.
    Also, here’s more on the results of the gun shot residue analysis, which is a lot more ambiguous than Roorda presents. Surprise.
    And a response to the shameful STL Police Union grandstanding, as this letter from Ferguson October organisers puts it. Full text:

    Shameful Grandstanding by St. Louis Police Union in VonDerrit Myers Case

    On the heels of a successful and broadly celebrated Weekend of Resistance, we reached a new level of shameful grandstanding when the St. Louis Municipal Police Department chose this day to collude with the union that represents their officers and proceeded to engage in the character assassination of a teenager who was killed by a law enforcement officer.

    The information released about VonDerrit Myers’ past sheds absolutely no light on what the officer knew
    at the time he decided to stop him. We have no indication that VonDerrit was engaged in any illegal
    activity other than being “suspicious,” which police have allowed to become a code word for racial
    profiling.

    This officer, whose name is still unknown, was allowed to use “stop & frisk” tactics which have
    been condemned from coast-to-coast. Many city, regional and state leaders have been hiding behind empty
    statements, sending the implicit message that things should just “get back to normal.”

    But, “normal” cannot continue. Police departments, here and acr
    oss the country, vigorously defend unconstitutional practices that violate the civil rights of black communities. Police unions continue to make it their primary purpose to stand with police officers unconditionally, no matter how reprehensible their behavior.

    Chief Dotson made a promise to the residents of St. Louis: a transparent Force Investigative Unit that would fully disclose complete reports, which would then be followed by an independent investigation by the Circuit Attorney. Instead, the police union was allowed to cherry-pick biased information from an allegedly active investigation into the shooting death of VonDerrit Myers.

    He has trampled all over that investigation by effectively partnering with Rep. Jeff Roorda and the union he leads in a clear attempt to sway public opinion.

    We do know this: their actions today serve to remind black communities that their mistrust in the police is well-placed. Teens like VonDerrit Myers live in an environment where police have been given carte- blanche as judge, jury and executioner.

    The real tragedy lies in the fact that black teens have been given little reason to believe that even the
    simplest of interactions with police officers won’t result in their sanctioned murders.

    And the residents of St. Louis have no reason to believe that the St. Louis Police Department can complete a fair & impartial investigation involving one of their own.

    Anyway, about the Monday protests: Thousands march for justice, an end to police violence.

    Michael Brown’s wikipedia. Haven’t had time to explore.

    This is the article from a couple comments up, but I’m reposting because I jsut caught a line I missed before:

    While many young black men sag their pants and tend to have on hand on their waistbands, the St. Louis American asked if police officers chase after every young man who is holding his pants. Steiger said that police are trained to know the difference between a man pulling up his pants and a man holding a gun.

    Yes, yes they are.

    On the tentative good news front, City of St Louis will no longer ask job applicants about felony convictions.

  81. rq says

    From October 10, another piece on the Shaw shooting and the first night of protests following. All that pepper spray.

    Also from October 10, DailyKos article on the changing police story (which seems to be changing still). Very good, detailed read with photographs showing inconsistencies in police story.

    21 times greater. Those are the odds of getting shot if you’re a young black man compared to a young white man.

    The 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012 captured in the federal data show that blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police.

    One way of appreciating that stark disparity, ProPublica’s analysis shows, is to calculate how many more whites over those three years would have had to have been killed for them to have been at equal risk. The number is jarring – 185, more than one per week.

    ProPublica’s risk analysis on young males killed by police certainly seems to support what has been an article of faith in the African American community for decades: Blacks are being killed at disturbing rates when set against the rest of the American population.

    Our examination involved detailed accounts of more than 12,000 police homicides stretching from 1980 to 2012 contained in the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report. The data, annually self-reported by hundreds of police departments across the country, confirms some assumptions, runs counter to others, and adds nuance to a wide range of questions about the use of deadly police force.

    Colin Loftin, University at Albany professor and co-director of the Violence Research Group, said the FBI data is a minimum count of homicides by police, and that it is impossible to precisely measure what puts people at risk of homicide by police without more and better records. Still, what the data shows about the race of victims and officers, and the circumstances of killings, are “certainly relevant,” Loftin said. […]
    The data, for instance, is terribly incomplete. Vast numbers of the country’s 17,000 police departments don’t file fatal police shooting reports at all, and many have filed reports for some years but not others. Florida departments haven’t filed reports since 1997 and New York City last reported in 2007. Information contained in the individual reports can also be flawed. Still, lots of the reporting police departments are in larger cities, and at least 1000 police departments filed a report or reports over the 33 years.

    There is, then, value in what the data can show while accepting, and accounting for, its limitations. Indeed, while the absolute numbers are problematic, a comparison between white and black victims shows important trends. Our analysis included dividing the number of people of each race killed by police by the number of people of that race living in the country at the time, to produce two different rates: the risk of getting killed by police if you are white and if you are black.

    More details, numbers, calculations and information in the article. But ho-lee-shitt.

  82. rq says

    Is this good news? Obama picks Vanita Gupta to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division:

    Gupta is as passionate an advocate for racial justice as you could find. At a time when the Obama administration faces a potential Republican majority in the Senate — and having lost a tough nomination battle over the nominee’s connection to a racially charged murder case involving a police officer — they chose a nominee who has spent the last decade attacking racism in the American criminal justice system. Gupta has called for the decriminalization of marijuana, criticized the militarization of local police, and gone after cops engaging in “highway robbery” through civil asset forfeiture laws.

    Given Gupta’s skill set, it’s hard not to imagine that the scenes coming out of Ferguson, Missouri, where tensions between the black community and a mostly white police force erupted into ongoing protests, influenced the administration’s decision. In many ways, Gupta’s job at the ACLU was policing the police. As head of the civil rights division, she’ll do that with the power of the federal government at her back.

    As an attorney with the NAACP LDF, Gupta helped overturn the drug convictions of dozens of black and Hispanic residents of Tulia, Texas, in a sting orchestrated by a local sheriff who was later convicted of perjury. In her work for the ACLU, Gupta has focused on ending the War on Drugs and curtailing mass incarceration, policies she sees as having devastated communities of color.

    Hmm, sounds pretty good.

    Quick table of offender/victim data, very narrow, from 2011, but it was pulled up on twitter as a response to the ‘black-on-black’ crime accusation – by pointing out that ‘white-on-white’ crime is at about the same numbers (but these are, I believe, absolute numbers, not proportional).

    That officer with the rifle at the traffic stop? Is under investigation.

    County police officer Shawn McGuire said the officer in question was wearing a body camera during the time of the incident, which he said began when the officer tried to pull over a car on the Maryland Heights Expressway near the exit for the Hollywood Casino at about 11 p.m. Monday because the driver failed to use a turn signal.

    Ah, failed to use a turn signal. Warrants a weapon, I believe!

    From The American Prospect, The Making of Ferguson – how official racial-isolation policies (like housing) primed Ferguson for this summer’s events:

    Kinloch and some middle-class white neighborhoods that also adjoin Ferguson were once unincorporated in St. Louis County, but in the late 1930s the white neighborhoods formed a city, Berkeley, to separate their schools from Kinloch’s. With a much smaller tax base, Kinloch’s schools were inferior to Berkeley’s and Ferguson’s, and after Berkeley’s incorporation, Kinloch took on more characteristics of a dilapidated ghetto. This arrangement persisted until 1975—several years after Williams moved into Ferguson—when federal courts ordered Berkeley, Ferguson, and other white towns to integrate their schools into a common district with Kinloch.

    Other African Americans followed Williams into Ferguson, but the black community grew slowly. By 1970, Ferguson was still less than 1 percent black. But it had some multi-family buildings, so when public housing in St. Louis was demolished in the 1970s, the St. Louis Housing Authority gave vouchers to displaced families to subsidize rentals in Ferguson. By 1980, Ferguson was 14 percent black; by 1990, 25 percent; by 2000, 53 percent; and by 2010, 67 percent. Other northern and northwestern suburbs near St. Louis were similar. Meanwhile, those beyond the first ring to the south and west remained almost all white. Recently, the white population in the city itself has been expanding. […]
    Allen finally succeeded in getting a white friend to make a “straw purchase” (hiding the true buyer) of a home in Kirkwood, another nearly all-white St. Louis suburb; a second friend gave him $5,000 toward the $16,000 price. The funds were probably needed because the Federal Housing Administration would not insure mortgages for African Americans in Kirkwood, and no bank would issue them. Allen’s income was higher than those of the 30 white homeowners on his block—he alone had a college degree. Once he moved in as the second African American there, “for sale” signs sprung up on neighboring lawns; eight years later, the ratio was 30 black homeowners to two white homeowners.

    Allen described life in Kirkwood in 1962 and then in 1970:

    [W]hen I first moved there … I don’t know if [the police] were protecting me or protecting someone from me. We had patrols on the hour. Our streets were swept neatly, monthly. Our trash pickups were regular and handled with dignity. The street lighting was always up to par. … We now have the most inadequate lighting in the city … [P]eople from the other sections of town … now leave their cars parked on our streets when they want to abandon them. … [W]hat they are making now is a ghetto in the process. The buildings are maintained [by owners] better than they were when they were white but the city services are much less.

    […]
    No doubt, private prejudice and suburbanites’ desire for homogeneous middle-class environments contributed to segregation in St. Louis and other metropolitan areas. But this explanation too conveniently excuses public policy. A more powerful cause is the explicit intents of federal, state, and local governments to create racially segregated metropolises. The policies were mutually reinforcing:
    Advertisement

    • Zoning that defined ghetto boundaries within St. Louis, turning black neighborhoods into slums;

    • Segregated public housing that replaced more integrated urban areas;

    • Restrictive covenants adopted by government mandate;

    • Government-subsidized suburban development for whites only;

    • Boundary and redevelopment policies to keep blacks from white neighborhoods;

    • Real estate and financial regulatory policy that promoted segregation;

    • Denial of services in black ghettos; convincing whites that “blacks” and “slums” were synonymous;

    • Urban renewal programs to shift ghetto locations, in the guise of cleaning up those slums;

    • A government-sponsored dual labor market that made suburban housing less affordable for blacks.
    That government, not private prejudice, was responsible for segregating greater St. Louis was once widely recognized.

    That government, not private prejudice, was responsible for segregating greater St. Louis was once widely recognized. In 1974, a federal appeals court concluded, “Segregated housing in the St. Louis metropolitan area was … in large measure the result of deliberate racial discrimination in the housing market by the real estate industry and by agencies of the federal, state, and local governments.” The Department of Justice stipulated to this truth but took no action in response. In 1980, a federal court ordered the state, county, and city governments to devise plans to integrate schools by integrating housing. Public officials ignored the order, devising only a voluntary busing plan to integrate schools, but not housing. […]
    The FHA’s suburban whites-only policy continued through the post-war housing boom that lasted through the mid-1960s. In 1947, the FHA sanitized its manual, removing literal race references but still demanding “compatibility among neighborhood occupants” for mortgage guarantees. In 1959, the Commission on Civil Rights summarized: “With the help of FHA financing, all-white suburbs have been constructed in recent years around almost every large city. Huge FHA-insured projects … have been built with an acknowledged policy of excluding Negroes.”

    The FHA seal of approval guaranteed that a subdivision was for whites only. Advertisements like those from 1952 (shown at right) were commonplace in St. Louis (and nationwide). The ad promotes “FHA Financed” Ferguson homes; the other ad promotes an “FHA approved” Kirkwood subdivision.

    More at the link. A lot of history and a lot of officially sanctioned, systemic racism.

  83. rq says

    Young Activists United to meet with Mayor Slay, sometime later today.

    The group’s list of demands includes a civilian review board to look at police activities, body cameras for city officers to wear, and independent review of shootings by police officers.

    City officials say they were in the process of implementing all those things before the demands ever came down, but there is a legislative process required to get the work done.

    The group says they’re more interested in results than process.

    “These are things the city has needed for a while,” Kennard Williams said. “They’re long overdue. Constantly we’ve been hearing, ‘It’s coming, it’s on the way, we’re working on it.’ It seems like it’s just a giant procrastination party.”

    Well, the police are expecting them inside.

    William Lacy Clay Endorses Stenger For St Louis County Executive. Not something that will make him particularly popular, I think.

    “Talk is cheap, but actions are real,’’ Clay told host Charlie Brennan. “Rick Stream has consistently voted against the vital interests of African Americans, women and working people.”

    Clay’s announcement was somewhat unexpected, coming just weeks after his campaign had indicated that he would stay out of the county executive race. On Wednesday, his campaign and Stenger’s issued news releases simultaneously after the congressman’s radio appearance. In a brief statement, Stenger said that he was “thrilled” to have Clay’s support.

    Stenger has been under fire from some African-American officials because he has stood by County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, who is overseeing the grand-jury investigation into the Ferguson police shooting of teenager Michael Brown.

    The movement develops: Justice for Mike Brown – and expanding definition.

    But after Michael Brown’s death, Ferrell decided to take a break from her final year of nursing school and devote her time to working with Millennial Activists United, a local grassroots organization formed in August.

    She says she’s delayed her education to fight for justice, but not just justice for Michael Brown.

    “It’s not solely about Mike Brown anymore,” Ferrell says. “Michael Brown was a martyr; he was the catalyst for it. We definitely want justice for Mike Brown, but this is so much bigger than Mike Brown now, so much bigger.” […]
    “Shifting a culture overnight won’t happen without accountability measures,” Hansford said. “That’s why there must be penalties in place that have an impact that will hurt. When you have an environment where there is not accountability people don’t feel the pressure to change. So what justice looks like for me in the short term is an environment where there is accountability, so that people feel the pressure and they know they have to change the way they interact with black youth.”

    The article refers the protestor demands (linked to several times at thedemands.org), with a few words about Ferguson October.

  84. rq says

    thisisthemovement, installment #30: Mike Brown Sr. speaks; #OccupySLU; twitter account that tweets the names of black people killed by police;
    the gunshot residue report; More Diverse Police Departments Don’t Mean Less Misconduct; STL on VonDerrit; Moral Monday protests; protests during Rams game; the arrests of clergy; continuing protests; Anthony Davis tweets about Ferguson protests; Tom Morello (of Rage Against the Machine & Audioslave) Releases Ferguson Song; Blake Lively and the subtlety of racism.
    Upcoming events, donation links, go see what else is interesting.

    AND there’s a new witness to the Ferguson shooting. I guess a bunch of black eye-witnesses just can’t be trusted.

    One Canfield resident — who said he saw the killing of Brown from start to finish and talked to the grand jury recently — has given the Post-Dispatch an account with some key differences from previous public statements from other witnesses.

    Among the recollections of the witness, who agreed to an interview on the condition that his name not be used, were:

    After an initial scuffle in the car, the officer did not fire until Brown turned back toward him.
    Brown put his arms out to his sides but never raised his hands high.
    Brown staggered toward Wilson despite commands to stop.
    The two were about 20 to 25 feet apart when the last shots were fired.
    He would not detail what he had told the grand jury but said the members seemed fair and asked a lot of questions.

    In more detail, because the list is kind of impersonal:

    In the latest account of the Brown killing, the witness said he saw Wilson’s police SUV stop near Brown and Johnson as they were walking in the middle of Canfield Drive. He said he heard Wilson say something to them, but not what. He said Wilson drove past them, then backed up.

    The witness said he had been on the right side of the police SUV and did not have a clear view of what happened on the opposite, driver’s side. “There was a tussle going on,” he said, adding that he believes he saw Wilson’s hat fly off.

    He then heard a shot and saw Brown run, followed by Wilson. He said Wilson aimed his handgun at Brown and yelled: “Stop! Stop! Stop!”

    The witness said Brown did stop, mumbled something he could not clearly hear and took a step toward Wilson.

    “When he stepped foot on that street, the officer told him to stop again, and he fired three shots,” the witness recalled. “When he (Brown) got hit, he staggered like, ‘Oh,’ and his body moved. Then he looked down.

    “His hands were up like this (he gestures with arms out to the side and palms upward), and he was looking at the officer and was coming toward him trying to keep his feet and stand up. The officer took a few steps back and yelled, ‘Stop,’ again, and Michael was trying to stay on his feet.

    “He was 20 to 25 feet from officer, and after he started staggering, he (Wilson) let off four more rounds. As he was firing those last rounds, Michael was on his way down. We were thinking, ‘Oh my God, oh my God, brother, stop, stop.’ He was already on his way down when he fired those last shots.”

    The witness said Wilson didn’t have to kill Brown. “It went from zero to 100 like that, in the blink of an eye. … What transpired to us, in my eyesight, was murder. Down outright murder.”

    Photos of on-going protests:
    #Occupy SLU;
    San Francisco sports fans;
    Ferguson PD;
    more sports fans.

  85. rq says

    Ferguson activists on race and faith, upcoming event.

    Photo: Maplewood Wal-Mart removes ammo from shelves for fear that protestors will walk in and steal it. Hey, if these protests can remove ammo from shelves, maybe there’s a way they can limit the sales of firearms, too, hey?

    Breakdown (by race) of people in St Louis County and City prisons. The numbers are impressive, and then there’s the disparities.

    A Saint Louis community officer calls the employer of a local activist in an attempt to intimidate and cause her to lose her job. She calls him back.
    (The fact that he can call her employer also says something to that stereotype about these people needing jobs.)

    St Louis will not be releasing a report on Michael Brown’s death. In lieu, Shaun King for the Daily Kos releases his detailed timeline of the event.

    NBC News on why Ferguson police never filed an incident report: because they handed the case off immediately to county police. (Didn’t it happen on Ferguson PD time, though? Shouldn’t there be an incident report that states, at the end, ‘handed off to county police’, or words to that effect?) The article is from August 22, just for info.

  86. rq says

    Police violence: it’s not just America.

    Mr Barker was arrested after intervening in an altercation between two of his friends and police.

    He was originally charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer after being taken to Ballina Police Station, charges which were overturned when the restored CCTV footage, previously believed to be damaged, unveiled a different version of events.

    Ballina Local Court Magistrate David Heilpern overturned the charges, ordered the NSW Police pay Mr Barker’s costs and referred the matter to the Police Integrity Commission.

    The PIC handed down its report in 2013, recommending criminal charges for six of the officers involved. The ABC reported a total of 25 charges were laid against the officers. A fifth officer will also waive his right to a committal hearing.

    The Atlantic asks, What if Black America was a Country? An official one, rather than just the completely different reality that is lived by black Americans every single day:

    Naturally, this exercise presumes a monolithic black America, but this is a standard hazard when comparing large entities using statistical medians and per-capita rates. Another obvious concern is that a sub-national, racial demographic is not equivalent to a sovereign nation. Nearly all the sources of black America’s attributes are grounded in America’s history, economy, geography, and government structures. Still, it is this truism that gives weight to the insight revealed by the following charts: Black America is a fragile state embedded in the greatest superpower the world has ever known.

    Infographics at the article.

  87. rq says

    Complaint filed against an officer.

    40 000 voter registration applications lost

    “Over the last few months, the group submitted some 80,000 voter registration forms to the Georgia secretary of state’s office — but as of last week, about half those new registrants, more than 40,000 Georgians, were still not listed on preliminary voter rolls. And there is no public record of those 40,000-plus applications, according to State Representative Stacey Adams, a Democrat,” Al Jazeera explained.

    Flynn said that while Manney correctly identified Hamilton as someone who was emotionally disturbed, he ignored his training and police policy and treated him as a criminal.

    “You don’t go hands-on and start frisking somebody only because they appear to be mentally ill,” Flynn said during a news conference announcing the firing.

    Protesting continues: photo 1, photo 2.
    Sorry for sparse posting, a bit of stress at home, but regular programming shuold be back soon.

    Banning affirmative action hurts minority enrollment. It’s like a paragraph.

    With a nod to Tony, Milwaukee cop fired six months after shooting a man in the park</a

  88. says

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/10/tweet-about-ferguson-police-brutality-and-a-cop-may-call-your-boss-to-get-you-fired/

    A St. Louis police office is facing an Internal Affairs investigation for intimidation after he admitted on video that he had contacted an activist’s employer because some of her tweets about police brutality were considered “incitement.”

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Thursday that the Internal Affair probe had been launched after Leigh Maibes, who participated in the Ferguson protests, had posted a YouTube video of a telephone conversation with Officer Keith Novara.

    “You know, to me this feels like intimidation because you are an officer that patrols my area, and an officer I’ve also had contact with about trying to resolve some issues on my street,” Maibes tells Novara. “So, were you doing that for my benefit?”

    “No, I wasn’t doing it for your benefit,” Novara says. “I was just doing it to let them know that if their phones were going to be ringing off the hooks that that was why.”

    Maibes points out that her employer is located his outside of Novara’s district, but he argues that “some of the tweets that I was seeing was inciteful.”

    “I don’t say anything against police,” Maibes explains. “I have a problem with police brutality. Is that being against police?”

    “That’s your opinion, and you can have that opinion,” Novara says.

    When the conversation turns to discrimination against African-Americans, Novara informs Maibes that he no longer wishes to “engage” in the discussion.

    In a statement obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Police Officers Association accused Maibes of being an apologist “for the so-called ‘peaceful protestors’ in Ferguson,” who “defend throwing bricks, bottles and rocks at police officers as ‘freedom of speech or freedom of expression.’”

    This shit is why I get angry when people talk about the “riots” and the “looting”. It distracts from the very real problems in Ferguson and around the country. It’s a tactic used to undermine the actions of protesters by characterizing them as violent. It’s large scale character assassination.
    Have some people rioted or looted? Sure. But the vast majority of protesters have not.

  89. says

    This shit is why I get angry when people talk about the “riots” and the “looting”. It distracts from the very real problems in Ferguson and around the country. It’s a tactic used to undermine the actions of protesters by characterizing them as violent. It’s large scale character assassination.

    Yup, and it’s been a standby for demonizing progressive demonstrations since basically forever. The specific tactic of having the police/authorities assault demonstrators and then blame the demonstrators for the outbreak of violence dates in the U.S. to the early 1800s and overall to at least the 1500s, if not earlier.

    On an unrelated note, I heard a song today that was written about the troubles in Ireland, but it seems deeply appropriate to this situation as well: Free the people

  90. says

    New report shows that skewed racial perceptions of crime – particularly, white Americans’ strong associations of crime with blacks and Latinos – have bolstered harsh and biased crime control policies.
    From the Intro:

    The United States is now at a critical juncture in
    recalibrating its criminal justice policies. The majority of Americans support easing criminal punishment for drug offenses. The Attorney General, bipartisan Congressional leadership, and the United States Sentencing Commission are calling for reforms to reduce the severity and disparate impact of criminal sanctions. A number of states have led the way: New York, New Jersey, and California have dramatically reduced their prison populations without compromising public safety and six other states have achieved double-digit reductions in recent years.

    Nationwide, prison counts have receded every year since 2010 after 37 years of consecutive growth. The racial gap in incarceration rates has also begun to narrow. To guide and give greater momentum to these reforms, this report examines a key force driving criminal justice outcomes: racial perceptions of crime. A complex set of factors explains the severity and selectivity of punishment in the United States, including public concern about crime as well as racial differences in crime rates. This report synthesizes existing research showing that skewed racial perceptions of crime – particularly, white Americans’ strong associations of crime with blacks and Latinos – have bolstered harsh and biased crime control policies. White Americans, who constitute a majority of policymakers, criminal justice practitioners, the media, and the general public, overestimate the proportion of crime committed by people of color and the proportion of racial minorities who commit crime. Even individuals who denounce racism often harbor unconscious and unintentional racial biases. Attributing crime to racial minorities limits empathy toward offenders and encourages retribution as the primary response to crime. Consequently, although whites experience less crime than people of color, they are more punitive.

    Other racial differences in views and experiences also
    contribute to whites being more punitive than people
    of color. Black Americans’ negative encounters with the criminal justice system and greater recognition of the root causes of crime temper their preference for punitive policies. White Americans, by contrast, have less frequent and more positive criminal justice contact, endorse more individualistic causal explanations of crime, and are more likely to harbor overt racial prejudice.

    I wanted to quote more from but it’s a pdf and I guess I can’t (or I’m a tech idiot and don’t know how to work around this).

  91. rq says

    Tony @148
    The video where she calls him back is @144.

    +++

    Also, that officer is now under investigation:

    Novara says that he was giving the broker a “heads up” and communicating with him as part of his responsibilities as a South Patrol officer. Novara adds that he was warning Maibes’ boss that the phones at the business might be “blowing up,” from people upset about her tweets.

    “Why did you think it was your place to do that?” Maibes asks.

    “Some of the tweets that I was seeing were inciteful,” Novara said. “That’s why I just wanted to let him know.”

    It’s unclear what tweets were of particular concern. […]

    The association’s business manager, Jeff Roorda, claimed in a statement Thursday that Novara’s speech was protected under the First Amendment and that he was only “setting the record straight on public statements made by people spreading irresponsible lies and calling for violence against the police.”

    But whether the officer’s phone call to Maibes’ boss truly falls under the rights guaranteed by the Constitution is a matter of debate.

    Jeffrey Mittman, executive director for the ACLU of Missouri, said that the First Amendment limits government restrictions on free speech, but not necessarily how employers regulate employees’ speech.

    Ah, the ancient crime of tweeting while black! (Also note the Freez Peach! argument. That seems to apply to only half the people involved.)

    STL Today on that new witness who came forward anonymously (and spoke to the Grand Jury non-anonymously, I would say). Basically the same text as I had above. I also missed the fact within the article that the official autopsy has not actually been released yet. O.

    John Grisham, this one’s for you: St Louis cop arrested for child porn allegations. A retired officer.

    Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly on white privilege (video).

    It’s for Diversity!!!: Everyone In What Looks Like A Group Photo On GOP Governor’s Website Is Photoshopped, including the black woman. No, it’s not the same woman Republicans were using for their other ad.

    In St Louis, protest continues.

  92. rq says

    thisisthemovement, installment #31: new eyewitness testimony; if Black America was a country; the toll of protest on police (with a lot of problematic issues within); recap of Ferguson October; 5 key questions on the Darren Wilson grand jury; The Old Jim Crow; when government depends on citizens breaking the law (this on the court fees and traffic fines); public policy, segregation and the making of Ferguson; municipal court study; officer Blake under investigation for that shotgun of his.
    In fact, most stuff I have posted above is in this newsletter.

    That one about citizens breaking the law – it’s from a lawyer’s perspective, and it is painful. AND I DID NOT KNOW OCCUPANCY PERMITS WERE A THING:

    Occupancy permits are just one of the myriad ways in which these municipalities can sap funds from poor people. Basically, if you live in St. Louis County, you’re required to get one for your residents. It doesn’t matter if you rent or own. The police can then periodically make compliance checks (although generally they conduct these checks after they’ve been called to a residence for another reason, like a noise complaint or domestic dispute). If there are more people in your place than your permit allows, they can fine you and each person in your home. Attorneys I spoke to say the regulation can end up being a way to enforce antiquated local laws against unmarried cohabitation, and judging by comments you sometimes hear in courtrooms or from local officials, a way for police and prosecutors to essentially fine people for having premarital sex. You can probably guess which communities are most likely to be subjected to these occupancy inspections.

    Within that article, a woman gets fined $25 for staying the night at her boyfriend’s house, and she wasn’t on the occupancy permit. !!!!!! My brain is not comprehending this.
    The final three paragraphs of that article:

    All of which is to say that the problem here goes much deeper than racist cops or vitriolic protesters. Whether you believe Darren Wilson and side with his defenders, or you believe Michael Brown was murdered and you side with the protesters, you should want to fix St. Louis County. Figuring out what actually happened on that afternoon in Ferguson is important, but it isn’t nearly as important as what the incident has come to represent, however imperfect the representation. Police shootings happen everywhere. Questionable police shootings of unarmed suspects happen everywhere. Questionable police shootings of unarmed black suspects happen everywhere. Yet we’ve never seen a sustained protest like this.

    This isn’t as much about a police shooting as it is about the release of residual anger over an antagonistic system of governing that virtually requires its poorest citizens to live in misery and despair. Black residents identify with Michael Brown because odds are, many black residents have been harassed by police for jaywalking, wearing “saggy pants” or generally looking suspicious. You needn’t believe that all cops are racist to understand why that happens. If you’re a white cop in a town that’s 90 percent black, and your main job is to fine people for petty infractions, nearly all the people you cite for petty infractions are going to be black. If Bel-Ridge wasn’t collecting the equivalent of $450 in fines each year for each of the town’s residents, the town of Bel-Ridge probably wouldn’t exist. If the town of Pine Lawn weren’t issuing so many citations that its court now has the equivalent five outstanding arrest warrants for every resident, or Country Club Hills weren’t issuing so many that it has 26 per resident, those towns would probably evaporate, too. When a government’s operational budget relies on fines for inconsequential offenses, poor people will be disproportionately unable to pay those fines, or to pay an attorney to get them out of paying them. And when the repercussions of not paying them include a suspended license, more fines and, eventually, the constant fear of an imminent arrest, it becomes nearly impossible for them to maintain a job, shuttle kids to child care, get an education, obtain housing — basically to function as a human being. You not only make it extraordinarily difficult to escape the cycle of poverty, you remove from people any hope of ever escaping it.

    This is what St. Louis County government is built upon. And this is what needs to be changed.

    Yes. Yes, it does.

    Cop with shotgun, again – he is currently on leave. Paid, no doubt. While being investigated.

    Police on those unresolved murders: witnesses refuse tocome forward with information. Oh really?

  93. Saad says

    Michael Dunn sentenced to life in prison for the Jordan Davis murder.

    A Florida judge Friday sentenced Michael Dunn to life in prison without parole for the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

    [. . .]

    Dunn, 47, was convicted of first-degree murder this month for shooting into an SUV full of teenagers at a Jacksonville, Florida, gas station after an argument over loud music from the teens’ vehicle.

  94. says

    Well, that’s justish, at least. Justice(TM) is for white people. Justish, or ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Justice’ to use the brand name, is justice recalibrated for darker skin tones in consumers of Justice(TM).

    Just would have been a law saying any random asshole can’t have a gun to kill people he doesn’t recognise as people. Just would have seen Jordan Davis continuing to hang with his friends.

  95. rq says

    In some ways, Tony, I wish there were more comments. But mostly, I just wish there wasn’t a need for a thread like this at all (and yes, I do think there’s a need).
    As for ‘justish’, needs a place in the OED immediately. :)

    +++

    Racism and privilege from an Asian point-of-view.

    Various elements helped open my eyes to the disparity of blacks, which included: Boyz n the Hood, the poignant and riveting film about the plight of gang violence in south central LA, humanely directed by John Singleton; the rise of Hip Hop music, potently conveyed by Tupac Shakur, N.W.A., and Public Enemy; and sadly, the notorious video of police brutality pertaining to Rodney King that ignited the 1992 Los Angeles riots. These social factors forcefully struck a conscientious nerve that altered my worldview. I recognized that individuals like Oprah Winfrey or Magic Johnson were outliers in terms of their success and acceptance from the mainstream; they were ultimately…one in a million. As a corollary, they didn’t represent the vast majority of American black folk whose pain and suffering remained rampant. […]
    It’s a sensitive subject, even more so for blacks—who have excelled and flourished against the odds. Addressing the hardships of American black folk can be somewhat disparaging to those who have thrived…as it unfairly attaches a stigma to them. Not every black person is struggling to survive. Many have soared. Many have prospered. They have changed the landscape of the racial dynamic, which is actual and factual. Yet still, a significant portion of black Americans continue to fall behind, creating a gap in the black community. Cornel West, a prominent scholar and sagacious leader, will tell you the same about his race. Henry Louis Gates Jr., another renowned scholar, will also articulate a bleak and similar viewpoint. Even Barack Obama, America’s first black president, is fully aware of the lopsided gap in spite of his own success. The conversation nowadays has quietly changed from white and black inequality to black and black inequality. Spin it all you want, but the inconvenient truth painfully reveals that the everyday black man is still fighting to move forward, not only in America, but globally as well. […]
    In my heart of hearts, the rise of Barack Obama was a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it was a monumental step toward social equality with regard to minorities in America. On the other hand, it was also an obstruction, a detriment of sorts to racial progress. Barack’s presidential wins in 2008 and 2014 didn’t solve the hardships of American minorities. At best, it was a triumph in terms of symbolism, which is quite a feat nonetheless. Yet unfortunately, in the Obama era, it’s become an issue for everyday black folk to express their discontent when others are quick to argue, “Why are you complaining? You have a black president. Stop griping already.” Obviously, no one will publicly concede to it; but privately, amid their friends and families, this insensitive attitude is quite prevalent, which is awfully disturbing for the following reason. If we continue to harbor this quiet resentment behind closed doors, it will only create more appalling incidents like the fatal shooting of Treyvon Martin in Florida, or the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale BART station, and most recently, the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The suppression of personal frustration will manifest itself in violent, destructive ways.

    Really liked (except for the use of ‘females’, but…).

    And the Toronto Star has a piece about an old piece of guilt-by-colour, namely – an interview with John Artis, the man who was convicted together with Rubin ‘The Hurricane’ Carter.

  96. rq says

    Protestors in Ferguson targeting police officers’ homes, concerns for officer safety.

    At the Ferguson City Council Tuesday, several protesters said they would start protesting at homes of police and government officials. Several demonstrators later showed up at the home of an MHP officer in Hazelwood. Authorities said the officer was not home at the time and the protesters left before police arrived.

    “These things are real, these things happen, so it’s a legitimate concern,” said Sgt. Brian Schellman with St. Louis County Police.

    Schellman said some officers fear retaliation by protesters against themselves or their family. Schellman said officers did not initially wear name tags during the protests in Ferguson because of a fear that someone would hack their email, or that violent protesters would come to their homes.

    Facing threats and shots makes protest duty emotional for police. Basically an article on the justification of using excessive force:

    But he said tear gas was necessary once Molotov cocktails and gunshots were fired.

    “It’s very tough to distinguish who is peaceful and who is not,” he said. “Tear gas was not thrown until it needed to be thrown. That was a last resort the whole time we were up at Ferguson. It keeps us safe and keeps protesters safe. It disperses the crowd.”
    […]
    “Those shots were very close, within 100 yards. I actually heard rounds zipping by my head. That’s not a good feeling,” he said. “That really kind of hurts your feelings when…politicians get involved and people in social media get involved, ‘Well, what do they need those armored trucks for?’ Well, we need them because we’re getting shot at for no reason.”

    Within a hundred yards. Hurts their feelings. Shot at for no reason. When they brought the trucks first, then faced anger. *spits*

    New York Post, The Ferguson Effect: A Cop’s Eye View.

    “Ferguson” has become the latest defense for committing crime, often invoked by people we arrest and their loved ones. Sadly, this feeling has not only infected the normal criminal element that I expect that behavior from, but even seems to be affecting middle-class families.

    While the effects can be felt far away, the localized effects are far more serious. Last Wed­nesday, a white officer in St. Louis, Mo., returned fire — in other words, he was shot at first — killing a black male suspect.

    Normally, this event would barely garner back-page news, because sadly, it’s no longer newsworthy when a cop gets shot at. But, in the shadow of Ferguson, such an event is national news, and serves as fuel for more protests and vandalism.

    Cops getting shot at is not news-worthy anymore. Well, cops killing black kids has never before been news-worthy. More from that article:

    Did you know that in just three days last week, six cops were shot in the line of duty, one of whom was killed?

    Oct. 7, Chicago: One officer, a captain, is shot in the face and chest. Other officers at the scene take fire and are pinned down by the suspect.

    Oct. 8, North Las Vegas: An officer is shot during a gunfight with a suspect.

    Oct. 8, Phoenix: An officer on a traffic stop is shot in the face. The suspects flee; the officer calls for help. Two other officers arrive and start rendering aid, only to come under fire from the suspects who circled back and attacked the responding officers.

    Oct. 8, Oklahoma City: Two officers are shot by a suspect during the same event.

    Oct. 9, Midland County, Texas: Sgt. Mike Naylor is shot and killed while responding to a report of a sexual assault.

    Where are those stories in the national news?

    What does it say about the media who make a victim out of a criminal, and ignore the good guys being injured and killed trying to keep society safe?

    People ask me if things are different for cops since Ferguson.

    Yes, yes they are.

    I wonder how many black people have been shot in that same amount of time? That never make the news? Personally, any shooting that happens should be news-worthy because it should be that rare, no matter who is doing the shooting against whom. Sadly…

    Another on the cop calling the protestor’s employer. Same info, nothing new, just for archiving purposes.

    From Chicago to Geneva, a call for police accountability:

    It’s realities like the one currently playing out in Ferguson – and what African-American communities have seen as a lack of police accountability on the ground for decades – that have helped spur a group of activists in Chicago to turn outside the US criminal justice system to force accountability for police misconduct.

    Instead, they are taking their complaints to the United Nations.

    We Charge Genocide, a coalition organizing against police brutality in Chicago, will send six organizers to present a report to the UN Committee Against Torture on November 12 and 13. At issue during the committee’s 53rd session will be whether the US government is fully abiding by the Convention Against Torture.

    By We Charge Genocide’s estimation, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) is torturing youth of color. “The CPD’s conduct constitutes torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment as defined by the Convention, and occurs at extraordinary rates, disproportionately against black and brown youth, and with impunity,” Page May, an organizer with We Charge Genocide, told Truthout.

  97. rq says

    Back to Ferguson and Darren Wilson: Why he isn’t charged and why he most likely will not be, which is the general feeling from twitter- that there will be no indictment at all.

    Danger signs: Prosecution not pushing for indictment

    Danger Sign #1: Prosecutor McCulloch, with close ties to law enforcement and who has indicated no particular enthusiasm for prosecuting this case, has refused to recuse himself, despite calls from tens of thousands in the community via a petition drive that he do so.

    Danger Sign #2: McCulloch chose not to review the investigation himself and file charges directly. This was an option available to him. Instead, he chose to take the case to grand jury, which has proceeded very slowly, dragging on for months. Delays favor the defense, because at trial, witnesses’ memories fade, and the prosecution has the burden of proof. And of course, if the grand jury chooses not to indict, McCulloch can claim that it was their decision, not his, and wash his hands of the matter.

    Danger Sign #3: McCulloch has said that he is giving the jurors every scrap of evidence and then they will decide what charges, if any, are appropriate. Dumping all the evidence on the jury and letting them decide may sound fair, but generally prosecutors put on just enough evidence to establish probable cause that a crime has been committed and save the rest for trial. While prosecutors must reveal exculpatory evidence, this is the biggest red flag of all.

    There’s a nice comparison with Trayvon Martin’s murder and Zimmermann within.

    In the same vein, Why Darren Wilson hasn’t been charged: basically, because of the grand jury format and extended time period. The article is long and well-worth quoting, there’s just so much of it with lots of good questions. I recommend just reading it.

    #VestOrVote – against bulletproof vests for children and on voting.

    The ironic billboard [photo at the site, near the bottom of the text] is part of the #VoteOrVest campaign started by the Florida community organization the Dream Defenders. The group first came to the national spotlight after staging a 31-day sit-in at Florida Governor Rick Scott’s office following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teenager. […]
    Taylor hopes the unusual campaign will cut through apathy and inspire people of color to vote despite what she sees as the “dismal” political climate and disenfranchisement of black and Latino voters in Florida.

    “The climate in Florida has been very bleak.” Taylor told msnbc. “It’s almost like there is a feeling of hopelessness. A lot of times you ask someone in Florida who they’re voting for and they’ll say ‘do you really think this will help us?’”

    As a group, the organization believes voting is one integral part of a multi-pronged strategy for political power. “We don’t believe that voting is the only way to be politically engaged, but voting is important, especially in midterm elections.”

    Specifically, the Dream Defenders hope people will look beyond the draw of voting for big name candidates in flashy presidential elections and vote in local elections as well. “You need to think about more than just presidential or gubernatorial. Think about who you’re voting for for mayor or for sheriff. These are people that decide the quality of life in your community,” Taylor maintained.

    And while on the topic of voting, helping poor people vote improves public health. At least, it did in Brazil.

    Another shooting in Ferguson. police involved. A bit more info in tweets up next.

  98. rq says

    Pictures of/from protest: In London, “Dear America, What the hell are you doing??”; I don’t want to hate you, I want to hug you; in San Franciso bay during Cardinals game.

    thisisthemovement, installment #32: same articles on Darren Wilson not being charged; articles plus video on the threatening police officer; youth and the resistance; legal analysis comparing Michael Brown case with Trayvon Martin; VonDerrit’s family responds to police narrative; deadline extended for task force in Ferguson for civilian review board; “Outside Agitators”, Community and the Movement; Ferguson documentary banned in STL theatre; restoring voting rights to non-violent drug offenders. Yes, the links overlap, but there’s some stuff I didn’t catch.

    Here’s the article on youth on the frontlines, I jsut like it a lot and it deserves its own link.

    “I love Ferguson” planning alternative Halloween event, over safety concerns.

  99. rq says

    Mike Brown shooting hits close to home for new Ferguson resident:

    It was back in 2009 that Robernae’s friend Kiwane “Lil Tez” Carrington was shot by a police officer. The teenager was locked out of his grandmother’s home and was trying to get the keys to the house by climbing through a window. A neighbor reported a burglary and an officer arrived on the scene and shot Kiwane in the back, Robernae said. Police told a different story — that Kiwane was in a struggle with the police officer when he was shot. The officer wasn’t charged after authorities classified the shooting as an accident.

    Robernae’s family moved to Ferguson last year hoping to escape such conditions. Robernae’s mother, Anitra Davis, who has five children ranging in age from 15 to 22, was attracted by the decent public schools. They are one of 5,000 families in Ferguson, population 21,000, according to 2010 Census data.

    But life in Ferguson has been far from bucolic, Robernae said. The largely black population is ruled by a nearly all-white government. While she said she doesn’t fear the police in the St. Louis suburbs, she said friends in Ferguson “will treat the police differently. If they come close, they’ll just walk away. .. I have friends that have been stopped for no reason.”

    After Brown’s death in August, Robernae wrote a poem titled “Canfield Fire,” named after the Ferguson street where Brown was shot and killed by Police Officer Darren Wilson. In the middle of the street, a memorial still stands for Brown piled with candles. “I wrote the poem because the incident that happened to Mike Brown also happened to my friend in Illinois,” Robernae said.

    It’s everywhere.

    An American horror story: open letter from Ferguson protestors and allies, full text:

    n Open Letter From Ferguson Protestors and Allies (10.17.14)
    Permission is granted to reprint. For inquiries regarding this letter, please contact @deray .
    We are living an American Horror Story.
    The unlawful slaughter of black bodies by the hands of power has continued day after day, year after year, century after century, life by precious life, since before the first chain was slipped around black wrists. Black youth, brimming with untapped potential, but seen as worthless and unimportant. Black activists, stalwart in pursuit of liberation, but perceived as perpetual threats to order and comfort. Black men, truly and earnestly clinging to our dignity, written off as the ravenous, insatiable black savage. Black women, always unflinchingly running toward our freedom, dismissed as bitter and angry after long denial and suffering.
    Not one group of us has been spared from the bullet or the beating, too many armed only with our Blackness, left to live this American Horror Story.
    The story has come alive once again in Ferguson. Ours were the bodies, the strange fruit that swung from the poplar trees. Ours were the bodies, the motionless forms stretched out in the street for 4.5 hours. Ours were the bodies, left to be seen to rot as warnings against being too uppity, too confident, too bold, too free.
    Ours were the bodies, served up as notice to remain humbly and quietly in our place, never to awaken America’s
    fear of Blackness.

    It was Emmett’s body in Mississippi. Little Aiyana’s body in Michigan. Amadou’s body in New York City. Travyon in a Sanford gated community. Jordan in a Florida gas station. Jonathan’s body on a North Carolina road. Renisha’s body o
    n a Detroit front porch. John in an Ohio Walmart. Ezell on a Los Angeles sidewalk. Eric’s body on a New York corner. Mike’s body on a Ferguson street. It was names and bodies that we will never know in cities and towns across this land.
    In every main street and dark corner of this nation, Black people are unsafe to breathe, walk, speak, lead, move, grow, learn and be without the distinct possibility that our blackness will be seen as enough weapon to justify the taking of our lives. Our education doesn’t save us, for Mike was on his way to college. Our respectability doesn’t spare us, for men and women were lynched in three-piece suits and Sunday dresses. Our innocence doesn’t protect us, for little Aiyana was only seven years old when the officer’s bullet struck her down. We are living an American Horror story. From every corner of life we have assembled, time and time again, to demand we turn the page. Time and again we were met with militarized forces that unlawfully tamped down on peaceful action and peaceful people.
    That we must keep emphasizing the civil nature of our disobedience and highly organized struggle is but another moment in the myth of the so-called Black savage our country seems determined to pen on us. We are despised for our struggle for freedom, despite learning it from those patriots at the Boston Harbor who cried “give me liberty, or give me death” and those Black freedom fighters whose likeness and admonitions are now emblazoned in our
    Nation’s Capital.

    In Ferguson, police met our protesting of police brutality with the disgusting irony of greater brutality, the likes of which Americans had never seen on our own soil. In this American town, officers tapped their batons, pointed guns in our faces, kneed our women’s heads, threw our pregnant mothers to the ground, jailed our peaceful clergy and academics, and tear gassed our children. We are living an American Horror Story. But it is significantly past time for the story to end. Never to be told again.
    The onus to close this book falls directly on our leadership. Our elected leaders bear direct responsibility to ensure the safety of every one of its citizens at the hands of its agents, and to capture justice for every life taken. In this, the land of the free, you are responsible for securing and preserving that freedom for all of your citizens, irrespective of – or perhaps, especially because of – our skin.
    In a story in which we have been overwhelmingly targeted, unduly struck down by threat of our blackness, we require explicit attention, protection and value. We require freedom, and will hold everyone accountable to preserving our inalienable right.
    We will no longer live this American Horror Story.
    Nonviolent direct action is a necessary, vital, and wholly American tool in forcing meaningful, permanent, transformative action from our leaders and fellow citizens. Today, the 70th day of this nightmare, some may wonder why we have yet to stop – to stop chanting, stop marching, stop occupying .
    But we have not yet found peace because we do not yet know justice. Therefore we, together with our allies, will continue to occupy the streets and the American consciousness until the book is closed. Even in facing this terror, we have not met those who mean us harm with the same.
    Even in the face of this terror, we will continue to force the readers and writers of this, a most American of horror stories, to face the blackness that they fear, the blackness they have spent this entire story trying to erase, trying to soften, trying to co-opt, trying to escape. We will no longer allow you to escape this story and pretend that the epidemic of black lives dying by white hands is merely a figment of an active Black imagination. You must come face to face with the horror that we live daily.
    You must come to know and profess the truth of this story, and be determined to end it. We are not concerned if this inconveniences you.
    Dead children are more than an inconvenience. We are not concerned if this disturbs your comfort.
    Freedom outweighs that privilege. We are not concerned if this upsets order.
    Your calm is built on our terror. We are not concerned if this disrupts normalcy.
    We will disrupt life until we can live.
    This is an American Horror Story. Together, we are writing the final chapter.

    An Open Letter From Ferguson Protestors and Allies (10.17.14)
    Permission is granted to reprint. For inquiries regarding this letter, please contact @deray .
    We sign:
    @2LiveUnchained @AbernM @akacharleswade @alaurice @ampstlouis @barbd_wyre @bdoulaoblongata @BeutfulStranger @blackstarjus @BrownBlaze @dejuanh @deray @dlatchison011 @dreamhampton @Felonius_munk @geauxAWAYheaux @Haiku_RS @iam_MzCaram3l @ittynitty1992 @jadorekennedy @JamilahLemieux @JustAlandria @justinbaragona @JustRod @Kaephoria @Kenya_D @kfen73 @kidnoble @missleighcarter @Misterbiceps @Mocha_Skyy @mollyrosestl @MsPackyetti @NakedDiary @nettaaaaaaaa @nina_badasz @OwlAsylum @Patricialicious @princebraden @RE_invent_ED @realbodean @rikrik__ @Salute_DeezNutz @Search4Swag @shear_beauty @StaceDiva @TammieHolland @tdubbohmygod @teemichelle @thediva1975 @tristantaylor88 @vcmitchelljr @WesKnuckle @WyzeChef

    (I may have messed up some punctuation, sorry.)

  100. rq says

    Tony s blog post: protests continue.

    NY Times on Darren Wilson: police officer recounts a struggle.

    The officer, Darren Wilson, has told the authorities that during the scuffle, Mr. Brown reached for the gun. It was fired twice in the car, according to forensics tests performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first bullet struck Mr. Brown in the arm; the second bullet missed.

    The forensics tests showed Mr. Brown’s blood on the gun, as well as on the interior door panel and on Officer Wilson’s uniform. Officer Wilson told the authorities that Mr. Brown had punched and scratched him repeatedly, leaving swelling on his face and cuts on his neck.

    Yet this information is only being presented now… And the gun had to have been very close to Michael Brown, to have his blood on it.
    More:

    In September, Officer Wilson appeared for four hours before a St. Louis County grand jury, which was convened to determine whether there is probable cause that he committed a crime. Legal experts have said that his decision to testify was surprising, given that it was not required by law. But the struggle in the car may prove to be a more influential piece of information for the grand jury, one that speaks to Officer Wilson’s state of mind, his feeling of vulnerability and his sense of heightened alert when he killed Mr. Brown.

    Police officers typically have wide latitude to use lethal force if they reasonably believe that they are in imminent danger. […]
    The officials briefed on the case said the forensic evidence gathered in the car lent credence to Officer Wilson’s version of events. According to his account, he was trying to leave his vehicle when Mr. Brown pushed him back in. Once inside the S.U.V., the two began to fight, Officer Wilson told investigators, and he removed his gun from the holster on his right hip. […]
    “What the police say is not to be taken as gospel,” Mr. Crump said, adding that Officer Wilson should be indicted by the grand jury and his case sent to trial. “He can say what he wants to say in front of a jury. They can listen to all the evidence and the people can have it transparent so they know that the system works for everybody.”

    He added: “The officer’s going to say whatever he’s going to say to justify killing an unarmed kid. Right now, they have this secret proceeding where nobody knows what’s happening and nobody knows what’s going on. No matter what happened in the car, Michael Brown ran away from him.”

    So the answer, I guess, when in your car and feeling frightened and vulnerable as your quarry runs away, is to get out of the car and shoot him down. Makes sense to me, right. Not. I can see Michael pushing Wilson back into the car – to get away from him! How is that a threat to Wilson, if then Michael turns around to run away? Honestly, this is information that will probably not help the case for indictment (he was scaaaared!), but it should do the exact opposite. At the very least, Wilson should have called for back-up. Not got out of the car alone. That action speaks to me of anger and aggression, not a frightened case of self-defense. Especially in a supposedly-trained police officer.

  101. says

    Did the NYPD really need to pepper spray a guy waiting for the train?

    On Sunday, September 28, New York Police Department officers pepper-sprayed and arrested a young man named A. B. Simmons at a subway station in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. According to a video of the incident obtained by VICE, Simmons was approached by an individual cop between 12:30 and 1 AM at the Atlantic Ave. – Barclays center stop, the busiest in the borough. After being told he was not under arrest, Simmons, already visibly upset, grew angry and tried to get away from the officer, who was subsequently joined by another cop. After appearing to lunge at one of the officers, he was pepper-sprayed while they handcuffed him.

    An eyewitness told me the confrontation was sparked by an accusation of turnstile-jumping (or “fare-beating”), one of the low-level offenses targeted under NYPD Commissioner William Bratton’s beloved “broken windows” policing strategy. Regardless of what set it off, the incident provides fresh ammunition for a growing legion of critics who say broken windows means routine, violent nightmares for people of color.

    According to Kenneth Montgomery, who witnessed and filmed the encounter, Simmons entered the train station around the same time he did and was waiting on the platform for about 20 minutes before being approached by the first officer. Montgomery told me he saw Simmons swipe in with his Metrocard. The cop who approached Simmons had previously spoken with a group of young men skating down the ramp, asking for their identification. After checking the skaters’ ID and letting them go, he approached Simmons. Montgomery began filming once the conversation between Simmons and the police officer got heated.

    “Something told me to start filming it just to see what’s going to happen, because basically the officer was trying to say he didn’t swipe his Metrocard, but [Simmons] was like, ‘Yes, I did. What are you talking about?’” Montgomery said.

    Simmons apparently told the officers he had bought an unlimited metro card several days before and had swiped it through the turnstile that night. He can be heard in the video screaming for someone to take his card and try swiping it, presumably to prove its validity. Montgomery can’t make sense of the officers’ decision to pepper-spray the man.

    “It just got crazy for no reason,” he said. “I honestly felt like the other cop had no reason to pull out his mace and spray him.”

    Montgomery also thinks the time line for the encounter was strange, to say the least.

    “If he hopped the turnstile, why wait 18 to 20 minutes to go approach him about it? Usually, if someone hops the train, they [approach them] right away.”

    Simmons was taken to the 78th Precinct, where he was held overnight. His charges include fare-dodging, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. The NYPD did not respond to VICE’s inquiries about the arrest.

    Note the complaint of ‘broken window’ policing.

    Eric Garner’s death saw cries of ‘broken windows’ policing

    What is ‘broken windows policing?

    The broken windows model of policing was first described in 1982 in a seminal article by Wilson and Kelling. Briefly, the model focuses on the importance of disorder (e.g. broken windows) in generating and sustaining more serious crime. Disorder is not directly linked to serious crime; instead, disorder leads to increased fear and withdrawal from residents, which then allows more serious crime to move in because of decreased levels of informal social control. The police can play a key role in disrupting this process. If they focus in on disorder and less serious crime in neighborhoods that have not yet been overtaken by serious crime, they can help reduce fear and resident withdrawal. Promoting higher levels of informal social control will help residents themselves take control of their neighborhood and prevent serious crime from infiltrating.

    What is the Evidence on Broken Windows Policing?

    The broken windows model as applied to policing has been difficult to evaluate for a number of reasons. First, agencies have applied broken windows policing in a variety of ways, some more closely following the Wilson and Kelling (1982) model than others. Perhaps the most prominent adoption of a broken windows approach to crime and disorder has occurred in New York City. In other agencies though, broken windows policing has been synonymous with zero tolerance policing, in which disorder is aggressively policed and all violators are ticketed or arrested. The broken windows approach is far more nuanced than zero tolerance allows, at least according to Kelling and Coles (1996) and so it would seem unfair to evaluate its effectiveness based on the effectiveness of aggressive arrest-based approaches that eliminate officer discretion. Thus, one problem may be that police departments are not really using broken windows policing when they claim to be.

    A second concern is how to properly measure broken windows treatment. The most frequent indicator of broken windows policing has been misdemeanor arrests, in part because these data are readily available. Arrests alone, however, do not fully capture an approach that Kelling and Coles (1996) describe as explicitly involving community outreach and officer discretion. Officers must decide whether an arrest is appropriate and many police stops and encounters with citizens in broken windows policing do not end in arrest. As opposed to a zero-tolerance policy focused only on arresting all minor offenders, Kelling and Coles (1996) describe a more community-oriented approach to partnering with residents and community groups to tackle disorder collectively in a way that still respects the civil liberties of offenders. Whether the NYPD was able to adopt this model successfully remains up for debate but it does suggest that the intervention is complex and difficult to evaluate.

    Third, the broken windows model suggests a long term indirect link between disorder enforcement and a reduction in serious crime and so existing evaluations may not be appropriately evaluating broken windows interventions. If there is a link between disorder enforcement and reduction in serious crime generated by increased informal social control from residents, we would expect it would take some time for these levels of social control in the community to increase. Policing studies usually use short-follow up periods and so may not capture these changing neighborhood dynamics.

    There is also no consensus on the existence of a link between disorder and crime, and how to properly measure such a link if it does indeed exist. For example, Skogan’s (1990) research in six cities did suggest a relationship between disorder and later serious crime, but Harcourt (2001) suggested in a re-analysis of Skogan’s (1990) data that there was no significant relationship between disorder and serious crime. Hence, there is no clear answer as to the link between crime and disorder and whether existing research supports or refutes broken windows theory.

  102. rq says

    SLU president posts an update on protests. Full text:

    A Demonstration Update from the President: Oct 18

    To the Saint Louis University Community:

    This afternoon, the small encampment at the clock tower was voluntarily and permanently removed by a group of SLU students and the other demonstrators.

    This peaceful outcome was the result of many intense hours of outreach and conversation with clock tower demonstrators, community organizers, clergy, city leaders and members of the University campus.

    Now, the University must come together.

    We will move to more formal and institutionalized conversations about race on our campus. We also will begin to devise short- and long-term initiatives that retain and attract more students and faculty of color, promote equal opportunity, and advance focused economic development in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

    These efforts are completely consistent with the mission of this University. They are just the start of what I had announced in my inaugural address: That this extraordinary University bring to bear its creative, intellectual and economic energy and help lead St. Louis to a better place.

    This week has been a challenge for many of us, including me.

    Unlike some with whom I spoke, I have never been followed by security throughout a department store, had taxicab drivers refuse to pick me up, or been seated by the bathrooms of a half-empty restaurant. But those indignities — and far worse — are not uncommon to people of color, including our students, faculty and staff.

    Many of their life experiences, described to me in stark and painful terms, have weighed on me as peaceful demonstrations and teach-ins have played out this week.

    Also weighing on me has been the concern expressed by some students and parents who were worried about a non-peaceful outcome to this demonstration. Many of you who wrote or called felt that this demonstration was inappropriate for our campus.

    In addition, I was disheartened by some of the harsh and ugly words hurled via social media, phone calls and emails that only fueled anxiety, misunderstandings and divisions on all sides at a time when what we needed most was to listen and learn and find common ground.

    While there have been setbacks and sudden tensions along the way, we acted quickly to ease them. And spurring us on toward the peaceful outcome we have achieved this afternoon have been the many thoughtful and inspiring voices I have heard this week, especially from our students. Their commitment to our mission and values continues to inspire me each day. I also appreciate the voices of our faculty and staff, community organizers, ministers and young voices in the African-American community throughout the region.

    This has been a difficult week. I know it has consumed my every waking hour trying to find a point of common ground and mutual understanding. I believe we are there.

    I also wish to apologize to you that my total attention to secure a resolution meant that I could not personally respond to your calls and emails. I want you to know I heard you. In the coming days and weeks, there will be opportunities for us to communicate more directly.

    I want to thank everyone who displayed the best of what our Jesuit University stands for this past week.

    Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.
    President

    From the Onion: Police Pleasantly surprised to learn man they shot was armed.

    Today was the #MothersMarch. I don’t have too many photos, but here’s another.

    thisisthemovement, installment #33: Darren Wilson’s account; Why VonDerrit Matters; Too much Ferguson?; the whiteness project (which Tony caught, above); racial disparity in police shootings – it must be addressed; racist housing that built Ferguson; the sentencing of Michael Dunn; stop and frisk, and urban trauma; the cost of police presence (all that overtime…). The usual calendar, donation links, etc. Go look!

  103. rq says

    Okay, and the perfect chance for comparison (I’m not going to dig for more on this one, since the browser keeps crashing DAMN YOU TWITTER errr no DAMN YOU BROWSER).
    But.
    There was a pumpkinfest. In New Hampshire. That didn’t end well (BuzzFeed).

    But by the evening, the event took a chaotic turn. Hundreds of students gathered in the streets and backyards, drinking excessively and starting riots.

    Ah, but they were white, therefore we apply this comparison, and voila! they are simply people having a little too much fun. Here, get it now? I heard there was tear-gas, as per BuzzFeed:

    Police responded quickly and with force, bringing canine units, SWAT gear, and using tear gas, tasers, and pepper spray against the students, according to witnesses and reports on social media.

    With something like 50 arrests. But oh no, not riots, just kids having too much fun and forgetting themselves. Some of the aftermath.
    While other people protesting and demanding a right to a peaceful, unharassed existence is condemned. *spits* The article also lists some nice comparisons in media portrayal.
    And they say racism isn’t a thing anymore. Can I scream now?

  104. rq says

    Here’s Fox News on Pumpkinfest.

    Poor kids who do everything right don’t do better than rich kids who do everything wrong (Washington Post).

    Specifically, rich high school dropouts remain in the top about as much as poor college grads stay stuck in the bottom — 14 versus 16 percent, respectively. Not only that, but these low-income strivers are just as likely to end up in the bottom as these wealthy ne’er-do-wells. Some meritocracy. […]
    But even if they didn’t, low-income kids would still have a hard time getting ahead. That’s, in part, because they’re targets for diploma mills that load them up with debt, but not a lot of prospects. And even if they do get a good degree, at least when it comes to black families, they’re more likely to still live in impoverished neighborhoods that keep them disconnected from opportunities.

    Those police officers, always up for nabbing those criminal types: 9th Wonder pulled over by cops, but he tells his own account on Facebook (within the article):

    Ok…..

    It went down like this….and pull from it what you will…

    On the way home from A3C Music Festival(which was CRAZY by the way…shouts to A3C), on I-85 North crossing the South Carolina border, and passed a Sheriff that was sitting on the side of the road. The speed limit was 65…..I was doing about 69-70….

    The cop pulls out when I passed him and pulled up behind me. I have “Harvard Est. 1636″ around my license plate(for those who don’t know I am a Harvard Fellow and a Lecturer there). He pulls up, no blue lights. Then he pulls up beside me, and looks in my car. It’s myself, my assistant Tia, and Rapsody.

    He gets BACK behind my car….*BLUE LIGHTS*….

    So I pull over….

    He comes to the passenger side of the car. He asks for my license and registration(I already had it out). I gave it to him. Then he says…

    “Can you step outside the car?”

    Ok….THIS is the moment where I’m at a crossroad…..

    A). Exercise my rights, (I failed to mention that my assistant Tia is one of my best friends since 1989, and got her Law Degree from Ole Miss), before Mr. Officer decides to exercise HIS right to call back up and have 5 cars up behind ours, and to say I was resisting arrest for asking why do I need to get out of the car……

    B).Get out of the car so no one gets hurt.

    I step out of the car and walk behind my vehicle…

    The conversation went like this…

    Officer: “Do you know why I stopped you?”
    Me: “Nope”
    Officer: “You moved into the rumble strip lane a little and you got a crack in your windshield..Is this your car?”
    Me: “Yeah…it says Patrick Douthit on my registration”
    Off: “What do you do?”
    Me: “Music Producer…and I also am a Professor…”
    Off: “Where?”
    Me:”Harvard, Duke, and NC Central…” as I point to my license plate..”
    Off: “No Kiddin…”
    Me:”Would you like to see my ID’s officer?”

    Long pause…….

    O: “Who is that in the car?”
    M:”That’s my assistant, and my artist…”
    O:”Artist? She draws?”
    M:”No….she is an emcee…a rapper”
    O:”Oh ok….you play any instruments?”
    M:”Yeah…I played 7 in high school, mainly just use beat equipment now, and I deejay”
    O:”You say you teach school…what college did you graduate from?”
    M:”I didn’t graduate…”
    O: “Wow…you got it all figured out…..do you drink…..any drugs?”
    M:”Nope”
    O:”Ever been arrested? Any trouble?”
    M:”Nope….I personally don’t have time for that…”

    So he asks me to stand there…and he proceeds to the car to ask Rap and Tia the SAME thing…to see if my story checks out…he walks back 5 min later…

    O:”You oughta give your assistant a raise”
    M: *Blank Stare*
    O:”Your license valid?”
    M:”Yep”
    O:”Ok…I’ma call your license in…..”……

    We wait…

    O:”You married?”
    M”Yep…You?”
    O:”Yep, 14 years…
    M:”That’s good……I got kids too…I’m trying to get home so I can see them if you don’t mind officer…”
    O:”Ok…….”

    They call him back and tell him I had no warrants….and no charges….

    By that time…he has found what he thinks…is a Unicorn….

    O: “Ok man……your artist has some music out?”
    M: “Yep”
    O: “She like…hardcore rap?”
    M: “Officer I don’t know your knowledge of the music….but….you ever heard of the Fugees?”
    O: “Yep”
    M: “She’s like a Lauryn Hill type of style”
    O: “Seems like you got it all figured out….I’m just gonna give you a warning ticket…..you can keep it or not….”
    M: “Cool….”
    O: “Yall be safe….”

    Take from this what you will….I know this though….

    Never in a million years tell me my skin color doesn’t matter…..any wrong words or movements…I could of been arrested….or dead…

    Yes…your Grammy Award Winning, Professorial, Sample Chopping, favorite Producer…

    I’m black first….before anything…..

    Ferguson protestors brace for no indictment, with a highlight on the recent (hearsay?) account of Darren Wilson’s testimony.

    That government officials familiar with the civil rights investigation into the shooting are leaking information to the media on Wilson’s side of the story, however, suggests the Justice Department will not be pressing civil rights charges against the police officer. It also calls into question whether the St. Louis County grand jury, tasked with determining whether Wilson committee a crime, will indict him.

    “Many of us are shocked. This feel likes a coordinated media campaign to prepare us for a no indictment decision,” Deray McKesson, an organizer for the protests in the wake of Brown’s death, told msnbc Saturday. “The timing of this article suggests there will not be even a civil rights filing, which is dangerous.” […]
    “Leaked testimony from Officer Darren Wilson contains nothing more than the same tired tropes of menacing black rage that have been used for centuries to brutalize black youth,” the Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, from the Fellowship of Reconciliation, said in a statement. ”This community will continue to do what it has been doing since day one: demand answers and justice for another fallen black child, led by the brave young people who have refused to bow down even in the face of tanks, tear gas and the cross hairs of snipers.”

    May they have strength and support in the continued fight.

    Today in international racism, Russian tennis official gets one-year suspension for making horrible comments about the Williams sisters. I won’t repeat them here, they’re in the article, but ” Serena Williams says comments by the head of the Russian Tennis Federation referring to her and older sister Venus as “brothers” were bullying, sexist and racist, and that she supported the one-year suspension imposed by the WTA against the official.”

    “I think the WTA did a great job of taking [the] initiative and taking immediate action to his comments,” Williams said Sunday in Singapore ahead of her WTA Finals defense. “I thought they were very insensitive and extremely sexist as well as racist at the same time. I thought they were in a way bullying.”

    Asked whether he regretted his comments, Tarpischev told The Associated Press on Saturday at the Kremlin Cup that the program on which he spoke was “a humorous show.” When asked about his ban, Tarpischev said: “I can’t comment. I don’t understand it.”

    Yes, he wouldn’t, would he.

  105. carlie says

    CNN’s coverage of PumpkinFest doesn’t mention the riot gear response, but does have some interesting quotes from people involved. And by “interesting”, I mean “absurdly privileged”.

    Authorities weren’t able to provide exact figures, but CNN affiliates reported dozens of arrests and the Southwest New Hampshire Mutual Aid Dispatch Center reported multiple ambulances being sent to the scene.
    “I got hit with a Jack Daniel’s bottle, like across the face,” Keene State student Roger Creekmore told WMUR.
    Steven French, 18, who was visiting from Haverhill, Massachusetts, described the chaotic scene to the local paper, The Keene Sentinel, as “wicked.”
    “It’s just like a rush. You’re revolting from the cops,” he told the paper Saturday night. “It’s a blast to do things that you’re not supposed to do.”
    Other young people shouted expletives at police, started fires in the road, pulled down a street sign and apparently tried to flip over a Subaru, the Sentinel said.

  106. rq says

    Political scientist detained before trip to Ferguson, Missouri. Intro to the interview:

    Charlie Grapski a political theorist and scientist, had planned to travel to Ferguson, Missouri to study irregularities in local government and to investigate the police shooting of Mike Brown, but was detained. He was released Saturday afternoon after being held under Florida’s Baker Act. Police alleged Grapski had made threats to officials and was detained at Park Place Behavioral Health Center in Kissimmee, Florida for 48 hours, but not charged.

    In the following interview, Mr. Grapski described his detention as an “gross misuse” of his constitutional rights. He told of his future plans to continue investigating the local government in Ferguson. He also offered some advice for activists working to expose abuses by local law enforcement.Grapski had planned to meet with the Saint Louis District Attorney and local government officials from Ferguson to investigate the August 9 shooting of Mike Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a white police officer.

  107. rq says

    First some protesting: photo 1, photo 2, photo 3, photo 4 (that last picture is of the PD as protest supporters tried to find out some information about the two who got arrested at the game – apparently, they were spit on by fans, there was some physical conflict, and in the end, only protestors (two) got arrested; there was also some issue about the bond amount and who could accept it (of employees)).
    Solidarity in Greenville, SC: photo 5.

  108. rq says

    The Boston Globe on Keene and Pumpkinfest and those adorably rowdy students. The vandalism is variously called ‘the disruption’, ‘the crowd’, ‘out of control [fun]’, ‘chaotic’ and ‘extreme’. But never, not in this article, a ‘riot’, or ‘vandalism’, or any other specifically negative word. Contrast that to the one night of looting and several nights of police excess in Ferguson. Just riots, and riots, and violent riots. And from what I understand, the footage used in TV media of Ferguson is exactly that – the violent, tear-gas bits, and never ever the peaceful protesting that went on during those same days and is still going on now.

    Raw Story also looks at the event, through the eyes of twitter. Epic lesson, indeed!

    One rioter, Steven French, told the Keene Sentinel that he traveled from Haverhill, Massachusetts to attend the festival because he knew it would be “f*cking wicked.”

    “It’s just like a rush. You’re revolting from the cops,” he continued. “It’s a blast to do things that you’re not supposed to do.”

    The police viewed the behavior of French and his cohorts less favorably, barricading streets and firing tear gas into crowds in an effort to disperse them.

    There follows a series of awesome Twitter. A sample:

    White people in New Hampshire really need to do some self-reflection and regulate their animal impulses in the wake of #keenepumpkinfest.

    These are no angels. RT @raywert: Look at these thug gang-bangers in Keene, NH. #pumpkinfest [with photo of white students standing on overturned car]

    How many of the defiant white youth causing mayhem & destruction come from fatherless families? #PumpkinRiot

    If white people continue to glorify pumpkin violence in their culture they deserve the spice-latte thug stereotypes. [with photo of Disney’s headless horseman from the Tale of Ichabod Crane film]

    A question: Is it legal for police to shoot an unarmed surrendered citizen?

    Considering the facts of Mike Brown’s shooting death at the hands of Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, the question is, then, is it legal for a police officer who is reasonably aware that a citizen is unarmed, to shoot and kill that citizen if the citizen is incapacitated or has peaceably surrendered?

    In the end, the shooting death of Brown and the case against Wilson may go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Follow below for more. […]

    There, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ruling from the 6th Circuit, and clarified why in its decision:

    The Court explained that shooting a fleeing felon dead is constitutionally unreasonable because “The intrusiveness of a seizure by means of deadly force is unmatched. The suspect’s fundamental interest in his own life need not be elaborated upon. The use of deadly force also frustrates the interest of the individual, and of society, in judicial determination of guilt and punishment. Against these interests are ranged governmental interests in effective law enforcement …. we are not convinced that the use of deadly force is a sufficiently productive means of accomplishing them to justify the killing of nonviolent suspects.”

    The Court went on to say, “The use of deadly force to prevent the escape of all felony suspects, whatever the circumstances, is constitutionally unreasonable. It is not better that all felony suspects die than that they escape. Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so. It is no doubt unfortunate when a suspect who is in sight escapes, but the fact that the police arrive a little late or are a little slower afoot does not always justify killing the suspect. A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead. The Tennessee statute is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes the use of deadly force against such fleeing suspects.”

    “Officer Hymon could not reasonably have believed that Garner — young, slight, and unarmed — posed any threat. Indeed, Hymon never attempted to justify his actions on any basis other than the need to prevent an escape. The District Court stated in passing that “[t]he facts of this case did not indicate to Officer Hymon that Garner was ‘nondangerous.'” …. This conclusion is not explained, and seems to be based solely on the fact that Garner had broken into a house at night. However, the fact that Garner was a suspected burglar could not, without regard to the other circumstances, automatically justify the use of deadly force. Hymon did not have probable cause to believe that Garner, whom he correctly believed to be unarmed, posed any physical danger to himself or others.”

    “It is not, however, unconstitutional on its face. Where the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or to others, it is not constitutionally unreasonable to prevent escape by using deadly force. Thus, if the suspect threatens the officer with a weapon or there is probable cause to believe that he has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm, deadly force may be used if necessary to prevent escape, and if, where feasible, some warning has been given. As applied in such circumstances, the Tennessee statute would pass constitutional muster.”

    This Missouri statute is the state law governing under what circumstances police officers can use force, and it was the primary statute used to protect officers Robert Piekutowski and Keith Kierzkowski in the shooting deaths of Murray and Beasley. It will also be the statute used to protect Wilson in the shooting death of Brown. The problem with this Missouri statute is that it has not been updated in the decades since the Supreme Court handed down the Tennessee v. Garner decision and is, according to Chad Flanders, a law professor at St. Louis University, “unconstitutional.” As Flanders explains:

    As it is written, the Missouri statute says that an officer is justified in his use of deadly force if he believes that it is necessary to effect the arrest of a person and the officer also believes that the person “has attempted to commit or has committed a felony.”

    In a 1985 case, Tennessee v. Garner, the U.S. Supreme Court said statutes like this were unconstitutional because they permitted the use of deadly force even when the felony at issue wasn’t dangerous or violent. In theory, a police officer operating under the Missouri statue could use deadly force even if the officer believed a suspect had passed a bad check for more than $500, a class C felony in Missouri.

    This kind of thing would be ridiculous, the Supreme Court said: “It is not better that all felony suspects die than that they escape,” they wrote. “The fact that the police arrive a little late or are a little slower afoot,” the court continued, “does not always justify killing the suspect.” The majority in Garner then spelled out the circumstances where deadly force would be justified: When the officer reasonably believed that the suspect posed “a threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or to others.”

    Unfortunately, the law regarding police force for any felony is still on the books in Missouri, and Wilson might still try to rely on it in arguing his use of force was valid. Wilson can rely on it in any state prosecution of him without any constitutional problem. States don’t have to make all of their criminal defenses consistent with the Constitution

    Ultimately, two things appear certain when one considers the Wilson case in light of both the Missouri statute and Tennessee v. Garner:

    1. Wilson had absolutely no intention of “effecting an arrest” of Brown.

    2. It is easy to argue that it is unreasonable for an armed Wilson to believe that an injured, unarmed Brown was a true threat to his personal safety while standing in the middle of Canfield Drive.

    Tennessee v. Garner, more than anything else, is about the limited lawfulness of an officer using lethal force on a fleeing suspect. It does not adequately address the lawfulness (or lack thereof) of an officer using lethal force on an injured/surrendered suspect. No case law adequately addresses a similar situation faced by Wilson and Brown, but stated strongly in Tennessee v. Garner—and in most basic statutes governing police use of lethal force—the threat to an officer or the community must be both “serious” and “reasonable.”

    Finally, what is being almost universally overlooked in most known cases of an officer killing an unarmed citizen is that the rule of law in Tennessee v. Garner that “deadly force may be used if necessary to prevent escape” or “effect an arrest,” but officers—firing at least 11 shots in the case of Brown, 41 in the case of Amadou Diallo, or 50 in the case of Sean Bell—are rarely shooting to prevent escape or effect an arrest, but are shooting with the clear and obvious purpose of killing the suspect. Because so much leniency has been given to police departments to determine when an officer “fears” for his safety, it is now the immediate and most common defense used, even if no true threat ever existed.

    Even more text at the link itself, very informative though probably will be ultimately ignored.

  109. rq says

    Why VonDerrit matters

    Myers, in other words, may not be the model victim in the ongoing story of police brutality and white violence against young black men. But his death nonetheless has sparked an important wave in the burgeoning movement built around the notion that black lives matter. All black lives – not just those that draw the most public sympathy.

    “Vonderitt Myers matters because we are still talking about a fundamental question of the value of black children and the value of black life,” said Brittany Packnett, head of Teach for America in St. Louis. “The circumstances may be different, but there’s the recognition that if we don’t come out early and often to demand justice for African-American children, quite often it doesn’t come.” […]
    Brown’s killing was also among a string of similar cases across America this summer, where cops killed unarmed black men under mysterious circumstances. [eh? mysterious?]

    They include Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York on July 17, killed in a police chokehold after being confronted over selling untaxed cigarettes; John Crawford in Beavercreek, Ohio on August 5, shot down by police at a Walmart as he talked on his cell phone and toyed with a plastic gun he’d picked up off a shelf in the toy department; and Ezell Ford in Los Angeles on August 11, felled by police bullets after they stopped him on a sidewalk, at which point they say he made “suspicious movements” before attempting to take an officer’s gun.

    The protests sparked by Brown’s killing only grew more emboldened by what happened to Myers weeks later. But while Brown’s killing fits a much neater narrative, with multiple eyewitness accounts and forensic evidence, the Myers case is murky.

    It goes on to question his past and posing with guns, because if he posed once with a gun, he must always have one with him. But:

    The police account of what happened the night of the shooting has changed multiple times. And even with mounting evidence to the contrary, there is the unshakable heart-of-hearts belief among those who love Myers that he was not armed that night.

    “We as attorneys understand what these lab results mean,” Jermaine Wooten said. “If I fire a gun at you in close proximity there is going to be gun powder residue all over your body. So the fact that the gun powder residue is on Vonderrit is not indicative at all that he fired a weapon.” […]
    “With Vonderrit you have the structure saying trust me while we find the truth. But how can we trust you in the midst of all of this,” said DeRay McKesson, a protest organizer. “How dare you demand my trust when you continue to violate our ability to be alive, our freedom to assemble and continue to threaten the assembly of black bodies.”

    “We’re out here because people are dying,” McKesson added. “We also refuse to live in a world where blackness is a death sentence. I refuse to let that be my reality.”

    thisisthemovement, installment #34: Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson visi Saint Louis; the peaceful ending of Occupy SLU; Grand Jury evidence leak – isn’t this the second time information is being passed on?; Georgia and those 40 000 lost voter registration applications; from Ferguson to Staten Island; pumpkin violence and those crazy-ass kids, eh?; again, the I Love Ferguson group plans an alternate Halloween; study finds teachers expect less from black students. Calendar of events, donation links, other stuff. Go check it out!

    Tracking “outside agitators” – I wonder if visitors showing support count?

    The FBI has joined in discussions with police chiefs as far away as New York and Los Angeles and lots of cities in between, to coordinate a response to possible civil disturbances if officer Wilson gets off scot-free, and to keep track of so-called “outside agitators” who might spread the Ferguson contagion across the country.

    When the FBI makes these kinds of noises in public, you can be sure that a national counter-intelligence operation is already fully in motion – a program designed to “neutralize and destroy” any possibility of the re-emergence of a militant movement against today’s national security and mass Black incarceration state. Although many of the organizations and individuals that have traveled to Ferguson in support of the local struggle for justice may not yet be clear in their own minds about the political direction that a national movement should take, they have already been targeted as potentially dangerous “agitators” – as threats to national security. Their movements and contacts with fellow activists are being tracked, and individuals and organizations are being sorted out and categorized according to the level of threat they may represent to the state.

    What’s interesting about this – true or not – were the few arrests a couple of weeks ago, that seemed specifically targeted at those working to keep the movement alive and public, like livestreamers and the more prominent people.

  110. rq says

  111. rq says

    Fans and protestors clash after Rams game (STL Today article) – in photos, see here; for historical context, see here; for media portrayal, see here.

    Riot or no, homes are selling in Ferguson. Things have slowed down, but they haven’t stopped.

    Sales are down 32 percent in Ferguson since the shooting, more than the 13 percent drop for all of St. Louis County, in what has been a down year for home sales across the region.

    “I was shocked when I pulled the data. It doesn’t really look that bad,” said Dennis Norman, a partner in MORE.

    As of last week, sales contracts were pending on 19 other Ferguson homes, although the deals had not yet closed. Unless problems develop, a sale normally closes roughly six weeks after a contract is signed.

    Another eight homes have “contingent” contracts. A buyer has stepped up, but closing depends on solving a problem — sometimes the sale of the buyer’s own house.

    But it’s not a normal market in Ferguson. Eleven homeowners have pulled their homes from the market since the trouble began. None did that during the same period last year, although there were a few withdrawals earlier this summer, before the protests and violence that followed Brown’s death.

  112. rq says

    Oh, the power of misleading media and false advertising: Some students from Pennsylvania went to Ferguson October. Except it wasn’t what they’d been expecting.

    It took seven University of Pennsylvania students piled into a rental van nearly 16 hours to drive to St. Louis. They had raised $600 in three days from a Go Fund Me account that was supposed to last them through the weekend. They slept wherever they could crash for free — the basement of a St. Louis couple’s home, or packed on the floor of a church at night.

    But once in Ferguson, it was nothing like the war zone they had seen splashed on their television screens exactly two months earlier.

    Instead of armored vehicles blocking suburban intersections and stoking chaos in the streets, police squad cars were escorting peaceful marches that were careful organized and tailored during the day. Instead of training assault rifles on the faces of protesters, officers were standing idly by, at times even joking around with anyone within earshot. […]

    Krasovitzky said they were frustrated by how controlled the atmosphere was during the day.

    “If protesters aren’t willing to get out of their comfort zones, it’s actually a joke to authorities,” she said. “They’re more effective when it gets more radicalized or more intense.”

    Yes, they judged Ferguson by the media shots they’d seen in August, the ones that keep getting repeat exposure because they just look so AWESOME on TV. I hope they continue with their support, but it would be nice if they’d come knowing what to expect. And not looking for a fight with police.

    And how to speak to children about race – mothers leading the conversation. Sound bites from several women at the link, good stuff.

  113. Pteryxx says

    rq, I’m still reading what and when I can manage. Thanks for all the information.

    Pumpkinfest *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

    What’s interesting about this – true or not – were the few arrests a couple of weeks ago, that seemed specifically targeted at those working to keep the movement alive and public, like livestreamers and the more prominent people.

    That’s been a running theme since the first couple of weeks back in August. The cops apparently were targeting people like Wesley Lowery whose voices on Twitter were becoming prominent and effective.

  114. carlie says

    I grew up 15 miles from Ferguson, in a place where all my family still lives. But I’m 100% sure that if I were able to be there and protest, I’d be labeled an outside agitator.

  115. rq says

    Yeah, Pumpkinfest just floored me last night / this morning.

    carlie
    When VonDerrit Myers was shot, some Ferguson protestors went to St Louis in support – and they were labelled outside agitators. Like communities aren’t allowed to support each other anymore. It’s an absurd label, especially when simply applied to people who happen to have come from out of town.

  116. Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy says

    “outside agitator” is like the Ferguson version of “white knight”. Characterize coming to the defense of another person/group as a bad thing and then that person/group is left looking like a lone, irrational voice with no support.

    Also, weren’t the Darren WIlson support protests held in St Louis? I don’t remember those people being labeled “outside agitators”. Go fig.

  117. says

    Exactly. It’s a reactionary dogwhistle going back decades at least, othering people who have come to support local fights against injustice. I’m pretty sure the civil rights volunteers and Freedom Riders were called outside agitators, as were Jews and Communists in Nazi Germany, as ACLU is named for helping with the immigrant children on the US southern border.

    It’s meant to appeal to the nativist/authoritarian mindset: “Here are people From Away, here to make our peaceful community chaotic and disordered, aren’t they horrible interfering in our business? They don’t know what it’s like living near Those People!’

  118. rq says

    And because all police officers are local, no matter where they are from, right. Police are a unit, everyone else is a fragmentation of non-linked communities.

  119. rq says

    This is just a headline, but apparently federal officials are saying there’s not enough evidence to indict Darren Wilson.

    Echoes of COINTERLPRO in Ferguson. (COINTELPRO, for the historically-challenged of us.)

    While rumors of FBI involvement in Ferguson existed for weeks, it wasn’t until this Reuters report was released that the FBI was actively meeting with St. Louis officials “two to three times per week” that it was fully confirmed. Since then, instances of COINTELPRO-like activities by local police and government officials appear to have had a dramatic uptick.

    What you will see below is a regularly updated list of documented cases of police abuse, humiliation, misinformation, outright lies, coercion, informants, plants, and more. This list will be updated regularly. […]
    September 28

    —Police performed a mass arrest during a very tense night of protests. One protestor who was being arrested could be overheard by another protestor telling the police that they accidentally arrested the wrong man. The crowd of protestors erupted in frustration. Police escorted the man away. He had been seen by other protestors joining the crowd for days, and after the incident, no reports were made of seeing him again.

    October 2-3

    —Ferguson activist Alexis Templeton was erroneously charged with the more serious count of resisting arrest (instead of a noise violation) although she can be clearly seen in this video, at 0:50, in a black T-shirt, with her hands up.

    —Jailed for a simple noise ordinance violation, 13 Ferguson protestors were forced to wear humiliating orange jumpsuits before they were released. […]
    October 12

    —St. Louis Chief of Police Sam Dotson tweeted that protestors were throwing rocks and were arrested for illegal activity. The Blaze then reported that 17 protestors were arrested for throwing rocks. After videos from six live-streamers showed no rocks being thrown, Dotson, the next day, admitted that police only found one rock that was thrown, and that one landed 15 feet away from police. By the time the new information came out, the damage was already done. Not one of the 17 protestors was charged for throwing rocks.

    More in the timeline at the link, and it’s a rather long list of misinformation spread by police and media since the beginning – starting with all kinds of info on Michael Brown (marijuana, past record, the surveillance video, etc.) and ending with the obvious targeting of prominent protestor voices (as already mentioned above).

    Upcoming event: Ferguson: A Viral News Story.

    What is the process of reporting a viral news story?

    How do you cover a story that is constantly changing and unfolding over a period of weeks and months?

    How is journalism changed by publishing on the digital sphere?

    The Tow Center for Digital Journalism is pleased to host a panel discussion with Antonio French, Alice Speri, and Zeynep Tufekci; moderated by Emily Bell. The panel will discuss the challenges of reporting from Ferguson, Missouri and address how social media is being used by journalists and citizen journalists. The panel will also address how algorithmic filtering mediates which news stories we as citizens have access to.

    Our panelists:
    Antonio French, City of St. Louis, Missouri
    Alice Speri, Reporter for VICE News, CJS Alum
    Zeynep Tufekci, Sociologist and Assistant Professor at UNC

    Protesting during the Mothers’ March (photo).

    Here’s a picture of the protestor hit by that fan at the game, as not seen in media photo 1; and here’s a picture of the guy who did it, as not seen in media photo 2.

  120. rq says

    Ugh, link overload, so posting the following two comments as doubles:

    This is just a headline, but apparently federal officials are saying there’s not enough evidence to indict Darren Wilson.

    Echoes of COINTERLPRO in Ferguson. (COINTELPRO, for the historically-challenged of us.)

    While rumors of FBI involvement in Ferguson existed for weeks, it wasn’t until this Reuters report was released that the FBI was actively meeting with St. Louis officials “two to three times per week” that it was fully confirmed. Since then, instances of COINTELPRO-like activities by local police and government officials appear to have had a dramatic uptick.

    What you will see below is a regularly updated list of documented cases of police abuse, humiliation, misinformation, outright lies, coercion, informants, plants, and more. This list will be updated regularly. […]
    September 28

    —Police performed a mass arrest during a very tense night of protests. One protestor who was being arrested could be overheard by another protestor telling the police that they accidentally arrested the wrong man. The crowd of protestors erupted in frustration. Police escorted the man away. He had been seen by other protestors joining the crowd for days, and after the incident, no reports were made of seeing him again.

    October 2-3

    —Ferguson activist Alexis Templeton was erroneously charged with the more serious count of resisting arrest (instead of a noise violation) although she can be clearly seen in this video, at 0:50, in a black T-shirt, with her hands up.

    —Jailed for a simple noise ordinance violation, 13 Ferguson protestors were forced to wear humiliating orange jumpsuits before they were released. […]
    October 12

    —St. Louis Chief of Police Sam Dotson tweeted that protestors were throwing rocks and were arrested for illegal activity. The Blaze then reported that 17 protestors were arrested for throwing rocks. After videos from six live-streamers showed no rocks being thrown, Dotson, the next day, admitted that police only found one rock that was thrown, and that one landed 15 feet away from police. By the time the new information came out, the damage was already done. Not one of the 17 protestors was charged for throwing rocks.

    More in the timeline at the link, and it’s a rather long list of misinformation spread by police and media since the beginning – starting with all kinds of info on Michael Brown (marijuana, past record, the surveillance video, etc.) and ending with the obvious targeting of prominent protestor voices (as already mentioned above).

    Upcoming event: Ferguson: A Viral News Story.

    What is the process of reporting a viral news story?

    How do you cover a story that is constantly changing and unfolding over a period of weeks and months?

    How is journalism changed by publishing on the digital sphere?

    The Tow Center for Digital Journalism is pleased to host a panel discussion with Antonio French, Alice Speri, and Zeynep Tufekci; moderated by Emily Bell. The panel will discuss the challenges of reporting from Ferguson, Missouri and address how social media is being used by journalists and citizen journalists. The panel will also address how algorithmic filtering mediates which news stories we as citizens have access to.

    Our panelists:
    Antonio French, City of St. Louis, Missouri
    Alice Speri, Reporter for VICE News, CJS Alum
    Zeynep Tufekci, Sociologist and Assistant Professor at UNC

    Protesting during the Mothers’ March (photo).

  121. rq says

    Here’s a picture of the protestor hit by that fan at the game, as not seen in media photo 1; and here’s a picture of the guy who did it, as not seen in media photo 2.

  122. rq says

    More pumpkins: photo 1, photo 2.
    And the St Louis Post-Dispatch: Smashing pumpkins in Clayton leads to three arrests for littering, assault – for a second there I thought they were referencing the band. :P

    The arrests occurred after approximately 10 demonstrators approached the St. Louis County Justice Center with a red wagon filled with pumpkins scrawled with slogans denouncing “RACISM,” “WHITE PRIVILEGE,” and “HATE.”

    Authorities took protest organizer Derek Laney into custody after he held a pumpkin overhead and decried the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police before smashing it at the feet of officers stationed about 10 feet from the Justice Center door.

    The pumpkin bore the words “POLICE BRUTALITY.”

    “We are going to smash (pumpkins) symbolically at the foot of someone who can bring (the Brown) case to justice,” Laney said prior to his arrest in a reference to St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch, whose office is in the building. “It’s another way to let people know we will be heard.”

    Laney said the staged event also hoped to draw attention to the disparity between the portrayal of the nearly 50 white college students arrested Friday at the annual Keene, N.H. Pumpkin Festival and the characterization of the disruptions in Ferguson following Brown’s shooting.

    From KSDK.com, a few videos: rescheduling the NAACP town hall meeting, the one that was supposed to have updated information on the Michael Brown case; video on VonDerrit shooting and the ‘new’ GSR evidence; and the Reverend Al Sharpton to return to Ferguson to bring awareness.

  123. rq says

    Youtube video featuring several Ferguson voices: Ferguson, The Bay Area and Beyond: A Conversation About Race and Justice. It’s two hours, haven’t had time to watch it, but I intend to sometime today.

    This is actually a really nice summary of the Ferguson October weekend: Racism, repression and resistance. Lots of photos from all over the weekend.

    Oh, missed this one on the pumpkins, from Washington Post: Ferguson protesters wield pumpkins to make a point: ‘We have pumpkins. We are not armed.’

    As The Post’s Mark Berman has snarkily noted, the pumpkin festival debacle “was reminiscent of Ferguson, one might say, if one was willing to equate years of simmering tension finally boiling over with a bunch of college kids setting things on fire.”

    Yes, exactly.

    thisisthemovement, installment #35: protestor arrests at Rams game; A Call to Black Power; Keene is not Ferguson; homes still selling in Ferguson; waiting for the indictment decision; In Search of a Revolution; rescheduling events; Mississippi, Lockup Capital (of the WORLD). Calendar, donation links, go see for yourself.

  124. rq says

    From Twitter:
    Protestors are admirable, but police errors have helped keep movement alive;
    Police still can’t leave protestors alone;
    If you’re looking for help vomiting this morning, read this letter from admins to Darren Wilson supporters from the ‘We Are Darren Wilson group. It is pretty close to being THE pinnacle of privilege on display;
    Got privilege? (photo);
    Didn’t catch the context of this, but apparently black officers are glad for the protesting, because something needs to be done.

  125. rq says

    Distrust of the media: Ferguson protestors chase away CNN journalists. Four minute video.

    Post-Dispatch on the pumpkin protestors, with a highlight on one line:

    Clayton Police Chief Kevin Murphy said the demonstrator was charged with assault because police sensed the pumpkin was about to be lobbed in the “direction of officers arresting another person.”

    Police officers are just sooo psychic.

    Ferguson-inspired mural in Trenton removed, becausei t incites violence. It’s a portrait of Michael Brown and says ‘Sagging pants is not probable cause’.

    More leaks expected in Michael Brown shooting grand jury. Letting them down slowly, I guess. :P Liars.

    St Louis Post-Dispatch on the arrest of Senator Nasheed. She was still in jail on Tuesday. Not sure on her status now.

    100 students start college. Who graduates? By income bracket.

  126. rq says

    Photo: panel on Ferguson, featuring protestors.

    Rand Paul: capable of getting 30% of the black vote, he says. And he has a strategy!

    Now before the liberal left and cynical political observers fall off their chairs laughing consider this isn’t just wishful thinking from Rand Paul. There is some historical and polling data to back up his “One Third of the Black Vote” argument, and if there’s anybody in the 2016 Republican field with even a puncher’s chance of pulling this off, it’s Rand Paul. […]
    The following three things would have to happen in the next two years for Rand Paul to have a chance.

    1. Republicans would have to both abandon and repudiate voter ID policies from the national to the local party. The first reason is obvious. […]

    2. Rand Paul would have to champion and pass some legislation that specifically benefits the African American community — preferably a policy that Obama has been too cautious or distracted to pass. […]

    3. Rand Paul would have to pick a credible African American man or woman as his running mate.

    With some adding and numbers at the link.

    Michael Brown in photos, just a reminder.

    Official statement from Tribe X re: the end of Occupy SLU. Going to try and transcribe it during the evening, it’s very tiny print in those photos.

  127. says

    Rand Paul: capable of getting 30% of the black vote, he says. And he has a strategy!

    Suuure he is. And I’m capable of starring in a Hollywood blockbuster alongside Laverne Cox and Neil Patrick Harris. The which is infinitely more likely than any one of those three things happening, let alone all of them. (Especially the second, since AFAIK Rand Paul’s never gotten a damn thing passed in his life).

  128. rq says

    On prisons and the prison labour industry: 870 000 slaves in America today.

    At prisons across the United States, men and women build office furniture, clean cellblocks, make industrial sinks for school cafeterias, work as telemarketers, sew the uniforms worn by their guards and fellow inmates, and complete dozens of other mindless, routine tasks that keep the giant engine of the carceral state running. Though part of the pretense for prison labor is that it helps inmates save money and earn skills that will ease their transition upon release, these terribly paid, manual labor jobs provide little practical assistance to inmates returning home. Instead, they are more akin to a modern-day version of slavery: unprotected, physically demanding and economically exploitative.

    Still, despite the poor quality of the jobs available, inmates eagerly accept whatever work is on offer to break up the monotony of prison life and to earn some cash to send to their families on the outside. Working can help alleviate the psychological strain of being locked up, giving inmates a sense of focus and self-worth.

    If it’s so beneficial for them to work, they should be paid adequate wages. At least minimum (which, I know, isn’t adequate).

    Light privilege, not the same as white privilege, but different from racism, too:

    I have a white-passing friend who has a terrible complex about his appearance. By Anglo/Caucasian beauty standards he’s gorgeous, but he doesn’t fit in with his family or community, so he feels ugly. His darker brothers clowned him from birth. Growing up, he was an oddity at his mostly black school and kids called him every kind of cracker and he carries deep discomfort into adulthood. I would never discount his experience or brush it off by saying “Oh well, you benefit from Light Privilege so nevermind your feelings!” Both things are possible. He doesn’t experience racist microaggressions like darker skinned people, but he experiences internal racial conflict in ways that they will never know. One is systemic and one is personal, and they are both real.

    Senator Nasheed was carrying a gun and refused a breathalyzer during her arrest. Because she wasn’t driving a car, and Missouri is open-carry, but she’s black. So yes, the right to bear arms without being condemned for it is for white people. She’s getting a lot of flack from other protestors for the arrest, too, as in – she should have known better about that gun. That she wasn’t ‘with’ them, it was something she did on her own. The twitter consensus seems to be that this was a bit of a publicity stunt on her part.

  129. rq says

    Ugh, forgot to add: she was released this morning.

    Lecture and Performance Series on Disability and Justice.

    Disabled activist Lydia Brown (COL ’15) has organized a Lecture & Performance Series on Disability Justice for the 2014-2015 academic year. The impetus behind the series is to promote critical discussions and dialogue about disability as a diversity and social justice issue, especially in ways that connect disability to other movements for social justice and marginalized communities through an intersectional lens.

    Tomorrow: National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality.

    15 questions for Darren Wilson:

    1. When your SUV pulled up alongside Mike Brown and Dorian Johnson as they were walking along Canfield Drive, did you tell them to “get the fuck on the sidewalk?”

    2. When you pulled away from Brown and Johnson on Canfield Drive, why exactly did you decide to put your SUV in reverse to confront them again? Your chief says you did not know about the earlier convenience store incident where it is alleged Mike Brown stole some cigars. Was it to express your anger that they didn’t obey your earlier command to “get the fuck on the sidewalk?”

    3. Four eyewitnesses report seeing and hearing your tires screech as you violently put your SUV in reverse on Canfield Drive, nearly hitting Brown and Johnson. Why did you reverse in such a reckless and provocative manner?

    4. When you arrived back at where Brown and Johnson stood, if you did not know about the store incident, why exactly did you open your door to confront them? Did you intend to arrest them for jaywalking?

    5. Precisely how far away was your door from Brown and Johnson when you flung it open?

    6. Did you believe Brown or Johnson were armed at any point during your confrontation?

    7. Reports have surfaced that you told federal investigators that you were repeatedly punched and scratched by Brown through your SUV window. Why did you not see the medic who arrived on the crime scene? Why do no photos or videos or eyewitness reports from the scene have evidence of even a shadow of an injury, or you touching or favoring any injury?

    8. It’s been reported that you claim that Brown “went for, or lunged for,” your gun. Was this when the gun was within inches of his face before you fired two shots at him through your window and hit him with one?

    9. After you shot Brown through your window, he fled over 100 feet away from your SUV. Did you still feel threatened while you chased him down Canfield Drive with your gun drawn and firing, according to witnesses, at least six shots?

    10. Six eyewitnesses saw you fire multiple shots at the back of Brown while he fled down Canfield Drive. Was it your intention to arrest or kill him with those shots?

    11. When you fired your eighth shot of the day, four eyewitnesses said they saw Brown’s body jerk before he turned around to surrender to you. Did you believe you hit him again, for the second time, with your eighth shot?

    12. Six eyewitnesses say that they saw Brown turn around and physically and verbally surrender to you. How did you interpret those actions?

    13. Before you fired the two fatal shots into Brown’s eye and the crown of his head, as he was falling down, you had shot him a total of four times already. Did you still believe him to be a threat to you at that point?

    14. No record exists of you ever radioing in for backup or support at any time. Did you use your cell phone to call for backup? Who else did you call and why?

    15. Who first told you not to create a report after you shot and killed Brown, and what reason did they give you for such a request?

  130. rq says

    Dalillama
    Let me know when your movie opens, I’ll save up the funds to go see it ten times in theatres. ;)

  131. rq says

    Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announces Ferguson Commission, full text:

    October 21, 2014

    Good afternoon.

    I’d like to thank Florissant Valley, and the many elected officials, educators, business and civic leaders joining us today.

    Throughout the history of our nation, we have struggled to treat all our citizens as equals. The same has been said of our democratic institutions and the men and women entrusted with their stewardship.

    Too often we have fallen short of the guiding principles on which our great democracy was founded. For too many, the promise of “unalienable rights” of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” rings hollow.

    In the small Missouri town where I grew up, the railroad tracks were the racial dividing line: whites on one side, blacks on the other. Separate and unequal. It was the way things were.

    Thankfully, we have come some distance since those days. But the journey is not over in 2014. The protests set in motion by the events of August 9 in Ferguson echo others within our lifetime.

    Across the decades, those protests have been a cry from the heart, heard and felt around the nation and around the world. A cry for justice. A cry for change in the schoolhouse and the courthouse. A cry for change in the social and economic conditions that impede prosperity, equality, and safety for all of us.

    When there has been a clear vision of a better future, and a well-marked path for progress, protests have yielded lasting change. When there is only rage and despair, anguish and chaos follow.

    Recently, one of the young Ferguson protesters said to an older protester, this is not your parents’ civil rights demonstration. He wasn’t wrong.

    The torch has been passed to the next generation to continue the unfinished work of creating a more just and equal society. The passion and energy of the young have been, and continue to be, a driving force in solving the shared problems we face.

    And they are shared problems.

    I think of the mother of an African-American teenager, as she kisses him goodbye each morning, hands him his backpack and watches him head off to school, knowing that he might never come home again. She lives with that fear every day.

    I think about the wife of a cop, as she kisses her husband goodbye, hands him a cup of coffee and watches him drive off to work, knowing he might never come home again. She lives with that fear every day.

    That is the world we live in.

    Too much violence. Too little hope.

    Too much fear. Too little trust.

    But as the smoke clears and the shouting dies down, the question that lingers in the air is this:

    What now?

    What will we do in this moment, while the whole world is watching?

    What will we do to move forward after 73 days of civil unrest?

    How do we move on from shouting past one another in the streets, on the Internet and the evening news?

    Some people would tell you that the choice is one thing or the other: Trust or force. Speech or silence. Black or white.

    It is far more complicated than that. Legitimate issues have been raised by thoughtful voices on all sides. Shouting past one another will not move us to where we need to go.

    Outsiders eager to grab the national spotlight and push their own agendas do not have the best interests of this community, this state or this nation at heart.

    We need to solve these problems ourselves, we need to solve them together, and we need to act now.

    That is why today I am announcing the creation of the Ferguson Commission.

    I am asking for your help in identifying individuals in this region to serve on this commission. I plan to announce those selected early next month.

    My fervent hope – and my belief – is that we will find thoughtful people from every walk of life, ordinary citizens as well as empowered leaders in business, education, public safety and our faith communities, who are willing to serve their state when it needs them most.

    My charge to the Commission through Executive Order will be three-fold:

    1. First, to conduct a thorough, wide-ranging and unflinching study of the social and economic conditions underscored by the unrest in the wake of the death of Michael Brown;

    2. Second, to tap the expertise needed to address the concerns identified by the Commission – from poverty and education, to governance and law enforcement;

    3. And third, to offer specific recommendations for making this region a stronger, fairer place for everyone to live.

    The men and women selected to serve on this commission must be willing to come together in good faith, endure the fierce crucible of public opinion, and lead the hard work of change.

    They must be willing to talk candidly and openly, and – more importantly – to listen to what those on every side have to say. These are difficult conversations that for far too long have been avoided or ignored.

    This work is not for the faint of heart.

    Make no mistake: there will be anger and conflict, fear and distrust. The enemies of change will not easily yield to reasoned voices calling for a stronger, more united region.

    But to move forward, we must transcend anger and fear. We must move past pain and disappointment.

    We must open our hearts and minds to what others have seen, what others have lived, and respect their truth.

    That is the challenge that lies before us. And I believe the good people of this region are eager to meet this challenge.

    Let me be clear: this is not an investigation into Michael Brown’s death, or the facts of what happened in the street that day.

    The responsibility for that investigation belongs to the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney, the grand jury, the FBI, the federal Department of Justice and the United States Attorney General.

    Whatever the outcome of their investigations, we must move forward together.

    More acts of violence and destruction like those we have experienced at times during the past 73 days will not be tolerated, and will only hurt the communities that have suffered the most at the very time they need restoration and healing.

    Our faith, our laws, and the principles on which our democracy was founded demand more of us.

    We must hold ourselves, and one another, accountable to the highest standards of personal responsibility and mutual respect.

    In the end, history will be our judge. But we are also being judged in the here and now. And the stakes are high.

    This is a defining moment that will determine whether this place will be known as a region marred by racial division and unrest, or a region that pulled together to rise above and heal.

    This region is the economic engine of our state. For decades, many of the people in this room – and thousands of others — have worked hard to make this region a thriving center of business innovation, cultural excellence, and scientific research. Its leaders are actively engaged in attracting the best and brightest talent from around the world.

    If we do not act – and act now – the damage could be severe and long-lasting.

    Our streets cannot be battlefields.

    Our neighbors must be free to lead their daily lives – to go to work, to church, to run a business – without fear. Our children must be able to walk to school and play in the park in safety. The wives of police officers and the mothers of teen-aged sons deserve peace of mind.

    If we want peace in our streets, we must work together to create a more just and equal society.

    What each of us believes in our heart-of-hearts must change as well. That is an exercise many of us undertake weekly – on our knees – in cathedrals and Kingdom Halls, temples and mosques.

    We are all flawed vessels, crudely cast in the mold of our maker.

    None of us alone can heal the broken world. But together, there is much we can accomplish.

    With your help and support, the Ferguson Commission will chart a new path forward, as we take the next steps toward healing and positive change.

    Let us seize this defining moment to show our nation – and our children — the true colors of courage.

    Together, I know we can do it.

    Some problematic language, from a person woefully short on action in the right places.
    From Twitter: Gov. Nixon spreads too much responsibility to the community; says our streets cannot be battlefields when people still have these images in mind (and let me tell you, seeing that after all this time does not diminish the shock – that is America). Opinions, anyone else?

    thisisthemovement, installment #36: the geography of fear; 15 questions; the pumpkin protest; #HomecomingBlackout; Michael Brown Jr’s aunt speaks out; Wrong Place, Wrong Time; I Come to be Arrested; coordinated leaks. Calendar of events, donation links, go look!

    A thought on those – who seem to be from the slightly older generation – who go to Ferguson to be arrested: is this a way for them to legitimise their contribution in the eyes of the younger generation? Is this an answer to those younger folk who have said that the older generation has done too little or has been too tepid? A way to reduce the intergenerational isolation by showing that they are ready to put themselves on the line?
    Or am I being ungenerous and oblivious here? (I just seem to get that kind of dynamic, especially with Sen. Nasheed’s arrest and the generally negative protestor response it got.)

    On the subject of cops: a good cop blows whistle in Albaquerque investigation:

    On Friday, the Albuquerque Police Department announced that they have completed their probe into the killing and have turned over documents to the to the FBI and the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office. Either agency could still pursue charges against the officers involved, although this particular District Attorney’s office has never filed charges against an officer after a shooting. This department has shot and killed over 30 people in the last 4 years. […]
    Yet, surprisingly, after months of investigation, Stone has raised concern over the chain of custody of evidence, as well as the chief wanting him to end his investigation.

    “I discussed with Commander Montano my concerns of possible mishandling of evidence in this case and the lack of chain of custody to show who may now be in possession of this evidence may have gone.” Stone documented in his report.

    More at the link.

  132. rq says

    Aside: No such thing as a non-lethal weapon. On tear-gas, pepper spray and tasers.

    In New York: NYPD to tackle police violence.

    Yep, that’s right. It’s a blog! Forget about trying to win hearts and minds by firing dirty cops, stopping stop-and-frisk, or even using stupid body cams that never seem to be recording when cops get crooked. No-no-no, NYPD will have none of that. Instead, NYPD is going to crank up the statist propaganda machine and launch another social media campaign. Clearly, those in upper pig management learned nothing from the #myNYPD campaign. […]
    Unfortunately for us, New York Police Department’s desperate attempt to slap paint on the facade of its corrupt crumbling institution is indicative of a fundamental problem with America’s mentality. Why hold cops accountable for murder when you can rebrand their image? America’s “image is everything” way of thinking is indicative of the American way. All brought to you by “LAPD Campaign Name + logo” and funded by the tax dollars of New Yorkers. It is no coincidence that in a time of rampant corruption, our society often places more value on good public relations over the actual integrity of an operation. So much so that the police, the very people who are hired to protect and serve our communities, are more concerned about their image than holding accountable officers murdering, assaulting, and terrorizing people. Police violence is STILL disproportionately high in communities of color and low income communities. Not by coincidence, but by design. A reality that the stop-and-frisking NYPD continues to perpetrate. Bet you won’t see any stop-and-frisks in NYPD’s blog.

    Yes. Blogging saves lives (thank you, PZ!).

  133. rq says

    (Sorry that’s another police shooting, this time in Chicago, of a 17-year-old named Laquan McDonald.)

  134. carlie says

    One could spend a huge amount of time parsing the symbolism caught in this photo.

    It is a white man struggling to take an American flag away from a black woman, as she tries to keep her grip. She’s a protester engaged in trying to make a political statement (in several ways; the flag is mounted upside down, which is a distress signal). The look on his face appears to be somewhat jovial, as if this is a game to him. I just…. I can’t take my eyes off of it.

  135. rq says

    carlie
    See comment #179, there’s an awesome historical comparison in the third link (I think – the one that says historical context). It’s a photo.

  136. carlie says

    rq – sorry, I hadn’t looked through all the pics at your link! Didn’t mean to rehash.

  137. carlie says

    Another historical photo for comparison.

    The picture was taken at the side entrance to the Governor’s mansion on Capital Street in Jackson in the summer of 1965. The boy is Anthony Quinn, aged 5. His mother, Mrs. Ailene Quinn of McComb, Mississippi and her children were trying to see Governor Paul Johnson; they wanted to protest aganist the election of five Congressmen from districts where blacks were not allowed to vote. Refused admittance, they sat on the steps. The policeman struggling with Anthony is Mississippi Highway Patrolman Hughie Kohler. As Kohler attempted to confiscate the flag, Mrs. Quinn said: ‘Anthony, don’t let that man take your flag.’ Kohler went berserk, yanking Anthony off his feet.

    In the South during the civil rights movement, the American flag was a potent symbol of support for racial integration (and support for federal law). Southerners who believed in racial segregation displayed Confederate flags instead. People were pulled from their cars by policemen and beaten simply for displaying an American flag on their license plates. So the simple act of a small child carrying an American flag represented defiance of Mississippi law and custom.

    Anthony and his mother were arrested and hauled off to jail, which was a cattle stockade at the county fairground, since the city jails were already full of protesters. The Quinn protest was organized by COFO (Council of Federated Organizations), an umbrella organization responsible for most civil rights activities in the state. Today Anthony lives in Florida. I believe he is a lawyer. His mother died recently, and when Patrolman Kohler died a number of years ago, his obituary in the Jackson Daily News referred to this photograph and mentioned how Kohler regretted that moment ‘for the rest of his life’.”

  138. rq says

    It’s all good, I see you found some more, too!!! Whoa!

    +++

    With apologies to followers of the thread, updating may be sporadic the next couple of days (though there’s a lot of info). Then again, it may be even more complete than usual. My dad just died and I’m not sure how I’m going to go about distracting myself from that.

  139. rq says

  140. Saad says

    rq, #215,

    City drops case for all protestors arrested August 18

    Good. Now compensate them for the stress caused and the time and money wasted.

  141. Saad says

    How are these reports saying the shot to the hand was at close range implying to so many people that Wilson was justified in killing him by shooting him several more times at range? I guess it’s not the reports; these people had their minds made up.

  142. rq says

    Saad
    There’s a lot of nitpicky detailed discussion of these reports on twitter right now, with mentions of all kinds of discrepancies. The DOJ autopsy hasn’t been released yet, people are wondering what that one will say, whether it will reconcile information or not. But yes, the general consensus is that someone’s mind was made up, then the reports were written – also who leaked them and why (and how), and currently there’s the thought that Roorda himself is behind these leaks, via an intermediary.

  143. rq says

    So much wrong in this Toronto Star article on the newly-released autopsy information. I mean, they get things half-way right. But the conclusions are a little too certain.

    Rally at Daley Plaza.
    Students at Michigan U.
    Washington U students.
    More Washington U students.

    thisisthemovement, installment #37: McCullogh, highest paid STL employee; official Michael Brown autopsy, the one that is now making the rounds of the world and will be used to discredit 6 different witnesses; STL police complete implicit bias training; unrest may continue; the end of Occupy SLU; Cedric the Entertainer comments on Ferguson; Judgement Day; Black-ish (being the only black woman in the news eoom). Calendar of events, donation links, etc. Check it out!

  144. rq says

    Goddammit. New evidence supports officer’s account of shooting in Ferguson – from the Washington Post. It’s very similar to the Toronto Star article.
    And, you know, usually when someone kills another person – even in self-defense – there is an arrest and a trial (no? at least an arrest?). The fact that all this is going on just to avoid the arrest of Darren Wilson is just… mind-boggling. And the fact that Michael Brown left trace evidence all over his car (the one that he got pulled towards, so no surprise, eh?) will be seen as evidence of attacking. And therefore, all is well because everything is justified.
    This is not a good day for this.

  145. rq says

    I’m curious about the ballistics and shell casing evidence. Blood spatter, too, in greater detail. But smearing blood all over the car… doesn’t cut it for me, especially since the first shot was fired from the car. Wasn’t it? They’re confusing me with all this information.

  146. rq says

    Remember that actress who was publicly making out with her boyfriend? They were both charged with lewd conduct.

    Self-defense. Trying to prevent an aggressor from reaching the trigger of his gun – which is getting Michael Brown condemned in the public eye for being an aggressor himself. So he could have just let himself be shot, right there beside the car.

  147. rq says

    At police headquarters, not sure if Ferguson or STL or STL county, in photos (short story – protestors trying to get in for a meeting and being held back at the doors):
    with mirrored coffin – https://twitter.com/AllisonBlood/status/524994739859243008
    use the side doors – https://twitter.com/AllisonBlood/status/524995214297944064/photo/1
    protestors and police – https://twitter.com/AllisonBlood/status/524998779536019457/photo/1
    some protestors leaving – https://twitter.com/AllisonBlood/status/524998927183925248/photo/1
    others demand to get in – https://twitter.com/AllisonBlood/status/524999116355411968/photo/1
    entering through the side door – https://twitter.com/AllisonBlood/status/524999889231441921/photo/1
    tbc

  148. rq says

  149. rq says

    Assembly points for October for rallies against police brutality.

    Aside: Ben Bradlee Wrestled With Racial Issues; Fabled Editor, Dead at 93, Acknowledged His Ignorance. The question is, did he learn from it?

    Daily Mail: Federal investigators are leaking details to discredit Michael Brown because cop who killed him will NOT be charged, claims ex-St Louis police chief.

    Addressing the New York Times article published last Friday, which included leaks from the grand jury which is taking place in secret, Fitch said he would call the sensational information phase two of the feds strategy.

    In other words, ‘to coordinate leaks to the media, and to start getting some of the facts out there to kind of let people down gently,’ said Fitch to CBS St. Louis.

    ‘When I say this is phase two – phase one was really Eric Holder’s announcement how they were going to basically do a complete review and take over the Ferguson Police Department.’ […]
    ‘If there was a struggle inside that car over a firearm, it sounds to me like Officer Wilson would have been justified in taking the action he did if he pulled the trigger and actually shot Michael Brown in the vehicle area.’

    Bolding mine – ‘in the vehicle area’. But later, out on the street? Photos and videos at the link.

    More from the Daily Mail: Is Ferguson officer about to be CLEARED over killing of unarmed Michael Brown? Al Sharpton leads outcry after report there is not enough evidence to charge cop who says he was ‘in fear of his life’;
    Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson blames prejudice in St Louis for Michael Brown shooting in emotional speech to hundreds of mothers gathered in silent tribute to the teenager;
    EXCLUSIVE – ‘It’s murder and they will feel the wrath of God’s vengeance': Michael Brown’s family react angrily to leak of Darren Wilson’s testimony

  150. rq says

    In Ferguson: creating a funeral march. For Michael Brown? For justice? For unbiased media?

    How can Gov. Nixon call for peace in Ferguson when Jeff Roorda is his closest ally?

    Criticized around the country for his slow initial response and tone-deafness to frustrations in Ferguson, perhaps nothing causes concerned citizens to distrust Nixon more than his unwavering support of one man, Jeff Roorda, current member of the Missouri House of Representatives who is now running for a position in the state Senate in Missouri.

  151. rq says

    Suddenly I’m in moderation. Well, in the meantime:
    Madison, Wisconsin.

    In Ferguson, a tense night. Not going to go find it now (thank you Crashy Browser), but some protestor came out to throw things at police and got quickly shut down by other protestors – or at least, would have, if he hadn’t run away.
    Three police forces out there. One of the arrests, and I like the name – the snatch-and-grab team.
    Fox2News on last night in Ferguson: Protesters clash with cops in Ferguson on, “Day Against Police Brutality” – 2 arrests.

  152. rq says

    Ferguson October Protesters in Atlanta hold traffic up on I-85 and I-75! – the article with video, here’s a couple of photos.

    Let’s talk about leaks: it’s been a Week of leaks: Grand jury, medical examiner, and federal government leak Darren Wilson case details:

    Suddenly, though, in the past few days, the integrity of the case has all but been thrown out of the window and sensitive leaks are being reported from the grand jury in the Darren Wilson case, from the St. Louis County medical examiner’s office, and from the federal government in their own investigation.

    Whatever confidence protestors had left that anything resembling justice for Mike Brown would happen, has been lost. What follows is a growing account of the leaks from this week. Protestors and police chiefs alike believe it’s all being done to prepare people for a announcement coming soon that Darren Wilson will not be indicted. […]
    Less angry at what the leaks reveal than increasingly frustrated at the leaks themselves, local protestors are suspicious of the of true purpose of the leaks, which all appear one-sided, pointing to an attempt to smear Brown and back up Wilson’s account.

    For instance, no information has been released about testimony from two construction workers who say they saw Brown surrender with his hands up.

    No information has been released about the grand jury testimony of Tiffany Mitchell, who reported seeing the entire scene unfold from just feet away.

    Ah, but the DOJ condemns the leaks, in efforts to regain trust or, at least, to influence opinion.

    The U.S. Department of Justice condemned the leaks Wednesday as “irresponsible and highly troubling” and said, “There seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case.” […]
    “There is no way there should be reports from all these anonymous sources and these ‘leaks’ ….This is supposed to play out in the courts and the justice system, and not the media,” said Patricia Bynes, a Ferguson resident and prominent voice in the protest movement. Quoting a popular chant, she added, “The whole damn system is guilty as hell.” […]
    “A non-transparent grand jury process and a leaky investigation is not the way the outcome of this important case should be determined,” tweeted St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, who participated in many Ferguson demonstrations. “These leaks do not help restore people’s faith in the justice system. Quite the opposite.”

    St. Louis County prosecutor’s office spokesman Ed Magee said his office probably wouldn’t investigate the leaks because prosecutors could not force journalists to divulge their sources and because the information could be coming from federal officials in Washington.

    “There’s really nothing to investigate,” Magee said Wednesday. “We don’t have control over anybody leaking anything. All we can control is people in our office and the grand jury, and it’s not coming from us or the grand jury.” […]
    A Justice Department spokeswoman responded in a statement to the Los Angeles Times: “The department considers the selective release of information in this investigation to be irresponsible and highly troubling. Since the release of the convenience-store footage, there seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case.”

    However, there’s a lack of trust from protestors and their allies in some places – that maybe the leaks are coming from the DOJ. The other option speculated on (though the two are not mutually exclusive) is Roorda.

  153. rq says

    String of articles, on the leaks and the autopsy itself.
    Alderman, Justice Department slam Michael Brown investigation leaks

    “What I’m alarmed by is the way this is being tried in the public and that information is being leaked out and we’re not getting a clear picture of everything,” says French.

    Instead, he tells CNN, his community is still waiting for the opportunity to move on.

    “I think one of the things that we’ve asked for from the beginning is that the only way that this thing can happen in a way that actually gives the community what they’re asking for is a public trial,” says French, “and I’m concerned that the way this information is being leaked out that it really does not give much credence to the process and it doesn’t restore faith in the process.”

    Discovery, ethics and the killing of Michael Brown Jr.

    Like the protest movement associated with the municipality, Ferguson, that employed the police officer who killed Michael Brown Jr., we believe there was sufficient evidence to charge Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson with the murder of this young man. Officer Wilson should have told his side of that story immediately in a detailed police report that should have been made public when the ACLU and other groups requested it through open-records laws. Wilson’s version of the shooting, as documented in the police report he was bound by duty to produce, and all autopsies of the deceased should have been open to public view for two months now, not shrouded in mystery. Or, conversely, they should have been sealed from public scrutiny by a judge, but made available to both sides in an adversarial trial process, where evidence should have been carefully vetted and challenged by both sides in open court, and all witnesses cross-examined by opposing counsel, in open court.

    This did not happen, due to the decision of St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, which we find suspect, and the political cowardice of Gov. Jay Nixon, which is legendary. In the absence of a fairly adjudicated, orderly and adversarial trial process, we have been thrown open to the tawdry open media marketplace, the ethics of which hit a new low this week. First the New York Times and then the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published versions of Officer Wilson’s testimony that would not have been admissible in court, given that each report was third-party anonymous hearsay. In each case, the reporter claimed to get the testimony from an unnamed person who allegedly heard it from an unnamed official who allegedly heard the testimony from Wilson. In plain terms, if questioned how they know what they are telling us to be true, the reporter’s answer would be, “Wilson told somebody who told somebody who told me.”

    Michael Brown killer speaks out on leaked autopsy – to be clear, not Darren Wilson himself, but his team of lawyers. Again, it focuses mostly on that thumb injury that may or may not mean Michael Brown was reaching for the gun, and while the media have been focussing on the aspect that it supports Darren Wilson’s version, the scientist herself says somewhat differently:

    Melinek said that interpreting the forensic findings is often subjective.

    “If other witnesses have statements as to where [Brown’s] hands were, they could also be consistent with the forensic findings if they line up with the injury trajectory and distance,” she said.

    Melinek added that the only statement she compared to the forensic evidence was that made by Wilson and that a number of other scenarios could also be possible, including Brown trying to protect himself or his hands for whatever reason being near the muzzle of Wilson’s gun.

    SO SHE IGNORED ALL OTHER WITNESS TESTIMONY!!!! Wow. A forensic expert is supposed to look at all the evidence – the whole point of a forensic scientist is to analyze, scientifically, the evidence, without any agenda. Just the science. Yes, this can sometimes lead to different interpretations, from different scientists, but they must always, always, look into all possible scenarios. *sigh*
    And then:

    All but one of the gunshots, Melinek said, seem to have struck Brown in the front of his body, which is consistent with witnesses who said Brown had been facing Wilson when he was shot. Depending on any witnesses physical proximity to the shooting, Brown could have been turning to Wilson in surrender, stumbling toward him after being shot or charging him.

    So the evidence, in a sense, still could be interpreted in support of the six eye-witnesses. Except that’s not that version that is being spun right now.
    Video on the autopsy and the paper.

  154. rq says

    Municipal courts prey on the poor – those court fees and fines again!

    “The municipalities claim it’s a public safety issue, but we see court fees and fines coming up as property values are going down,” said Dave Leipholtz, director of Community Based Studies for Better Together, “which makes it difficult to accept the public safety argument.”

    Twenty of the 21 municipalities that derive at least 20 percent of their general budget from fines and fees are located north of Olive Boulevard and within the boundary of I-270. These municipalities’ populations are on average 62 percent black, with 22 percent below the poverty line. (By way of comparison, St. Louis County as a whole is 24 percent black with 11 percent below the poverty line.)

    Combined with the Attorney General’s 2013 finding that black drivers were 66 percent more likely than white drivers to be stopped, it is clear that these municipalities’ method of financial survival comes primarily at the expense of black citizens.

    “For some people, a $100 fine is a bad day, but for other people it starts a spiral of what bill will they not pay next,” Leipholtz said. “This system circles around and hits the poor in more and more ways.”

    According to 2013 data, 73 of the 81 municipal courts turn a significant profit, bringing in more revenue than they require to operate. On average, a municipal court in St. Louis County brings in an average of $711,506 in revenue from fines and fees each year yet costs $223,149 to operate, leaving an average net revenue of $488,367.

    That’s not bad, eh? Almost half a million.

    The Rams fan confronts the Ferguson protestor. Interesting read:

    Let’s start with the upside-down U.S. flag that some Ferguson protestors brandish. It’s an international symbol of citizen in distress that was embraced before Ferguson, for very different reasons, by Tea Party members. But to the average Joe six-pack it looks like desecration. Countless people have died defending that flag and the right for people to say what is on their mind. They died for the principles the American flag stands for. For many, the flag is off-limits.

    So, for many of those same Americans, is football. “How dare you?” is their response. How dare protestors interrupt their day of peace and football chanting slogans and bearing an upside-down American flag? These are the same people who have yet to ask why things are as they are in Ferguson and other communities. Instead they continue to move further west or south, where it will not affect them directly. It is a non-factor to them, and when they get tired of it they just turn off the news and move on to something else that takes their mind off of it all – say, football?

    For those who want nothing to do with the protestors, this Sunday was their time to issue some payback. A little throw-down got started when a drunken white male Rams fan tried to grab the upside-down American flag from a black woman protestor. I say be careful for what you wish for, as both sides have yet to understand that we are all in this together, like it or not. […]

    The protestors want all of St. Louis to understand just what the hell is going on. And for those who have elected to bury their heads in the sand and not take part in the discussion and hopefully the eventual solution, sports is the last refuge. Politics and sports have worked hard at avoiding each other over the years, but when the two cross paths, it can lead both sides to dialogue. And that is what the right-thinking sorts on both sides want: a conversation, not a fight.
    […]
    The protestors will not go away anytime soon, and as long as they remain peacefully vigilant in their actions, more will gravitate to what their message is all about. That will take time, for sure, but in sports as in struggle, winning never comes easy.

    Ah, yes, peacefully vigilant. Yes. That is the key. And those who don’t wish to see?

    The Making of the Warrior Cop, from Mother Jones. A piece by Shane Bauer on the urban militarization convention he went to (and got kicked out of.

    All that battle gear you saw in Ferguson was acquired not from the military, but from private companies like the ones touting their wares at Urban Shield.

    A lot of numbers and a lot of pictures at the link.

    In other news, second autopsy scheduled for VonDerrit Myers, according to his family’s lawyers.

    From August 23, see Darren Wilson supporters, if you can stand it.

  155. rq says

    Right now, Shaun King is coming out with a series of tweets on Roorda. I hope he storifies them – there’s a whole bunch.

    In the meantime, protestors are in Clayton, trying to get another protestor out of jail (or atl east get bail reduced) and facing a lot of resistance from police, who don’t seem to want to allow them to enter a public building. In twitter photos:
    blocking off the entire sidewalk; police; locked doors; police at entrance; inside, clerk calls security; Clayton City Manager present.

    tbc

  156. rq says

    annnd officers watching.
    The City Manager couldn’t help, and apparently all visits to the Clayton Justice Center are supposed to be by appointment now. Even though it’s a public building.

    Shift over the VonDerrit in Shaw, some autopsy results were presented in press conference as livestreamed here (I think you can watch a recording?). In tweets, Myers family attorney speaks (check out that totally caucasian dummy on the side); gunshot wounds to back of legs, which apparently shows VonDerrit was running uphill. Oh here’s another video: Vonderrit shot 8 times, 6 from the back. Also, inconsistency: did VonDerrit fire a Ruger or a Smith&Wesson?

  157. rq says

    Crap, that one ended up in moderation. Eh. Moving on, statement from Darren Wilson’s legal team on those DOJ leaks (short one).

    Two more articles on protestors blocking the highway in Atlanta: ajc.com, and media blackout USA.

    Officers using license plate tracking to identify protestors? Some activists say so.

    Now an activist in Ferguson says he’s hearing the police are using license plate readers to track and monitor activists involved in the protests seeking justice for police shooting victim Mike Brown. I’m curious to hear more about this allegation, and hope reporters covering Ferguson do some digging. It would be totally unsurprising to find that it’s true. Absent commonsense legal protections to ensure police don’t abuse their access to powerful surveillance tools, why wouldn’t officers use license plate trackers to keep an eye on protesters who are demanding that one of their own face murder charges? After all, not long ago those very same police officers were told to stop wearing “I Am Darren Wilson” bracelets.

    Oh, elections: Maria Chappelle Nadal up against bullshit.

    In St. Louis, the Torch of the Civil Rights Struggle is Passed to a New Guard:

    “I thought it was just a protest, but my brother, who’s a little older than me, was like, ‘No, this is a civil rights movement,” Dontey Carter, a leader of the Lost Voices and a regular presence at the protests, told VICE News. “I was like, ‘Really?’ I didn’t really put it in that perspective. I thought I was just a protester, but he’s like, ‘No, you’re a civil rights leader,’ and I was like, ‘Wow…’ ”

    Carter, a 23-year-old former Crips member and a father of two small children, had never been to a protest prior to August 9, when Brown was shot. He was at a friend’s house in Ferguson when he saw television news broadcasts of the crowd assembling on Canfield Drive.

    “I went down there and people started protesting and standing up, and I was like, ‘This is where it’s at,’ ” he said. “Me being there by myself felt kind of weird, but when we all did it together, it was amazing.” […]
    Carter described the past two months as a “spiritual awakening.”

    “My life changed radically,” he remarked. “I had friends die left and right — drugs, gangs, violence — and I’ve pulled away from all of that working for the movement.”

    He’s not the only one. Ferguson’s black community became united during the protests, with groups setting beefs aside to march on the streets with a common purpose. Protesters recognize that police brutality is just one form of violence that intrudes on their lives. As they work to redress this, they have also come together in other ways.

    “There was so much depression going on around here. It’s hard for you to actually think straight, to do something with yourself, cause there’s so much around you that’s negative,” Carter said, adding that the movement has changed that. “It wasn’t all about me. Other friends that were all about gangs and violence, they let all of that go, and they stood together. They weren’t too concerned about any of the stuff that was going on beforehand.” […]
    “It’s the young people that moved this movement forward,” Traci Blackmon, the pastor at Christ the King United Church of Christ in nearby Florissant, said at a mass meeting held at St. Louis University as part of Ferguson October.

    Her own generation — the civil rights’ generation — had become too “comfortable,” she added. As some African-Americans enjoyed the victories of their battles, they grew complacent with a society that remained deeply unequal, and forgot that the struggle hadn’t been wholly won.

    “We have been fooled all of these years into thinking that when you can get through the door, then all is well,” Blackmon said. “Our generation has been guilty of confusing access with ownership.”

    “We must rise up and stand with the young adults,” Renita Marie, another pastor, agreed at the end of an impassioned speech that comparing the protests to the cries of a growing child. “We are leaving our babies out there on the street night after night, and it’s time for us to stand side by side with them…. It’s time we tell [St. Louis Police] Chief Dotson, ‘That one is mine, and you back off.’ ”

    But as a parade of pastors, humanists, imams, and rabbis took to the stage, a stark contrast between their words and the protesters’ hunger for action became evident. If the younger generation shared the sentiment, it had grown impatient with the rhetoric. […]
    “I was hoping to hear a plan from our elders on what we’re gonna do to make change, and I was disappointed,” a young woman from Louisiana said as she and a few others took the stage. “Look at all the people here. Now imagine if y’all were out on the streets… It’s too loud in the streets? Oh well.”

    “What these pastors are saying is essential — we need to strategize before we actually get out there so these protests don’t fizzle out like they always do,” another young woman said. She turned to the older speakers behind her and said, “I respect you.”

    “But what most of these people do… They say what we should be doing, but they don’t do it,” she added. “And we need to get it done.”

    Brooks had been in the middle of a highly allegorical speech on selfies and history that was lost on many in the audience when a young man in the crowd started yelling at him. People complained that the NAACP had been too passive, a no-show on the streets, and that it had lost touch with the younger generation as it reveled in the glory of its past. [..]
    The conflict that played out on stage at the mass meeting seemed straight out the revolutionary’s playbook — threading between theory and praxis, and revealing the seams of a movement too broad, ambitious, and entrenched in history to not also be somewhat divided.

    “It turned out to be, I think, one of the most significant and important moments in the whole weekend,” Rev. Mike McBride, a California-based pastor and member of PICO, a national network of faith-based community organizations that have been working in Ferguson since August, told VICE News. “As Tef Poe and others say regularly, this civil rights movement is not your mom and dad’s civil rights movement. Every generation must re-appropriate the lessons of the past, the experience of their elders, and they must then make it relevant for the time in which we live.”

    “Every organization that is institutional, whether the church or the NAACP, these institutions are there to serve the people. They’re not there for the people to serve their interest,” he added, acknowledging that the response to years of police violence from some of these institutions had been “inadequate.” “What’s happening to the legacy of institutions like the church and the NAACP is that those young people are just building upon it. And we should allow them to build, we should help them to build, but we should by no rate abandon them.” […]
    It will take a continued relationship for the movement to grow wiser and more effective, he added. At a recent meeting between Ferguson youth and clergy members, McBride recalled, some protesters said they wanted their relationship with the older generation of civil rights activists to be like the one between “a boxer and his trainer.”

    “We wanna be able to go to the ring and box and fight because we believe it’s our turn,” McBride said, characterizing the view of the young activists. “But we wanna come back every three minutes and sit down on the stool and hear… What do you have to say? What are your instructions? Where should I throw a jab? Where should I duck?”

    “The approach of the young people has never been in my experience one of, ‘We do not want direction nor do we want to listen,’ ” he added. “I think what they’re clearly saying is that they will reject any kind of direction if it lacks a relationship, and this is a challenge to our generation and many of us who have allowed culture, class, race, and many different things to fracture relationships with our young people.” […]
    “We live in a world where the rich live in their world and we live in our world, and we’re trying to put the two worlds together,” Carter said, welcoming the spillover of protests beyond Ferguson. “I support everybody that’s in the movement and down for the cause. I can’t really dictate how anybody else should push for it, because our agenda is to get justice for us all — give us all equal rights. Even if you’re not the same color as me, you’re still in a system that’s oppressive.”

    Sorry for taking so much out of that article, it really touched me.

  158. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Sorry for taking so much out of that article, it really touched me.

    Post what you think those of us who don’t have much time to play “follow the links” should know. Thanks for your updates. *clinched tentacle salute*

  159. Pteryxx says

    Thanks again, rq. Post as much as you think is important.

    —-

    from the Daily Kos “Week of Leaks” article: (link)

    Wednesday, October 22: The Washington Post reports that seven or eight African-American eyewitnesses confirm Darren Wilson’s account of events. Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post confirmed to me today that these details were learned through a trusted source inside of the grand jury proceedings.

    and from HuffPo:

    On Wednesday, unnamed sources told The Washington Post that seven or eight black witnesses have given testimony before a grand jury deciding whether to indict Wilson that was “consistent” with the officer’s account. The witnesses have not gone public with their accounts for fear of their safety.

    As a reminder, the usual rules of evidence don’t apply to grand juries. Hearsay is permissible and there is no judge or opposing attorney to challenge any evidence or testimony presented. And, the office of the District Attorney (Bob McCulloch, who the community has petitioned to have removed given his track record) controls what evidence gets presented and what witnesses appear.

    From Vox.com back in August:

    “Grand jurors vote on indictments that are presented to them by the District Attorney’s Office. They can rely on hearsay, such as summaries of witness statements and other reports, and almost always do. The practical effect of allowing the grand jury to rely on hearsay is to speed the process along. And there is no obligation for prosecutors to present possible defenses to the grand jury. The only question the grand jury must answer is whether there is probable cause to believe a crime has occurred. That’s a very low standard, and it’s almost always met when the District Attorney seeks charges.

    “So when a District Attorney says, in effect, ‘we’ll present the evidence and let the grand jury decide,”‘that’s malarkey. If he takes that approach, then he’s already decided to abdicate his role in the process as an advocate for justice. At that point, there’s no longer a prosecutor in the room guiding the grand jurors, and — more importantly — no state official acting on behalf of the victim, Michael Brown.

    So for all we know, “Josie” could have given testimony.

    No word about Dorian Johnson, Mike Brown’s friend and the first witness to go public, who was supposed to have testified before this same grand jury. The last I heard, he’d been detained and put into protective custody in September (and his attorney’s law license was suspended).

  160. Pteryxx says

    via David Johns on Twitter, Chris Hayes of MSNBC interviewed Chris King of the St. Louis American newspaper on why he couldn’t ethically print the anonymous leaks.

    The effect of leaks in the Ferguson grand jury

    By msnbc @msnbc

    Chris Hayes talks to a newspaper editor who was offered leaks pertaining to the grand jury but refused them.

    Video link at MSNBC.

    Chris King: (Twitter link)

    Chris King ‏@chriskingstl

    Major ups to @allinwithchris for sticking w an editorial decision story in #Ferguson when Ebola in NY was developing. Respect for craft.

    9:20 PM – 23 Oct 2014

  161. Pteryxx says

    Amnesty International has just released its report on human rights abuses committed by police in Ferguson. Shaun King on Twitter, Chicago Tribune:

    The Amnesty International report said law enforcement officers should be investigated by U.S. authorities for the abuses, which occurred during weeks of racially charged protests that erupted after white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, 18, on Aug. 9.

    The use by law enforcement of rubber bullets, tear gas and heavy military equipment and restrictions placed on peaceful protesters all violated international standards, the group said.

    […]

    The report also criticizes a Missouri law that the group said may be unconstitutional because it allows police to use deadly force against someone even if there is no imminent threat of harm.

    The report calls on state lawmakers to make Missouri law comply with international standards making lethal force by police a last resort, said Rachel Ward, director of research at Amnesty International.

    “Lethal force is only to be used to protect life when there is an immediate threat,” Ward said. “The Missouri statute goes far beyond that. It is of grave concern.”

    The full report at Amnesty USA: Extensive summary, PDF link

    Due to conflicting reports, what happened between Brown and Wilson remains uncertain. According to one witness, Brown and his friend attempted to walk away when the officer fired his weapon, shooting the unarmed Brown, whose hands were in the air. According to police statements, a physical confrontation between the officer and Brown resulted in the officer shooting the unarmed Brown.

    Regardless, international standards provide that law enforcement officers should only use force as a last resort and that the amount of force must be proportionate to the threat encountered and designed to minimize damage and injury. Officers may only use firearms when strictly necessary to protect themselves or others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury. Even then, the intentional lethal use of firearms is justified only when “strictly unavoidable in order to protect life.”

    Irrespective of whether there was some sort of physical confrontation between Michael Brown and the police officer, Michael Brown was unarmed and thus unlikely to have presented a serious threat to the life of the police officer. As such, this calls into question whether the use of lethal force was justified, and the circumstances of the killing must be urgently clarified.

    Also troubling is Missouri’s broad statute on the use of deadly force. Amnesty International is very concerned that the statute may be unconstitutional and is clearly out of line with international standards on the intentional use of lethal force as it goes well beyond the doctrine that lethal force only be used to protect life.

    Racial discrimination and excessive use of police force nationwide

    The shooting of Michael Brown highlighted on a national level the persistent and widespread pattern of racially discriminatory treatment by law enforcement officers across the United States, including unjustified stops and searches, ill treatment and excessive, and sometimes lethal, use of force.

    Indeed, just days after Michael Brown was fatally shot, St. Louis police officers shot and killed a young African American man, Kajieme Powell, 25, who was reportedly holding a knife; police claims that he was brandishing a knife were not borne out by the available video footage of the shooting. On Aug. 11 Ezell Ford, 25, an unarmed black man with a history of mental illness was shot and killed by Los Angeles police officers; and on Jul. 17 Eric Garner, 43, died after being placed in a chokehold by New York Police Department officers after being approached by an officer who attempted to arrest him for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

    The United States government must to do much more to address systemic racial discrimination and ensure policing practices nationwide are brought into line with international human rights standards. For years, the monitoring of police conduct and excessive use of force has been hampered by the failure of the Department of Justice to collect accurate, comprehensive national data on police use of force, including the numbers of people killed or injured through police shootings or other types of force. Because this data is not being consistently collated at a national level, no one currently knows how many people are shot and killed by police officers in the United States.

    And most of the rest of the report:

    Law Enforcement Response to Protests in Ferguson

    “I condemn the excessive use of force by the police [in Ferguson] and call for the right of protest to be respected. These scenes are familiar to me and privately I was thinking that there are many parts of the United States where apartheid is flourishing.” – the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, on the police response to Ferguson protests.

    The rights of peaceful assembly, freedom of association and freedom of expression are basic human rights. These rights are also guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the state of Missouri. The vast majority of those participating in the demonstrations in Ferguson that spontaneously grew in the days and weeks following the shooting Michael Brown have been peaceful – as noted by government officials such as the President of the United States, the Governor of Missouri and Attorney General along with the Missouri Highway Patrol. However, the responses by state officials and law enforcement to the violent actions of a limited number of protestors have impacted the rights of all participating in peaceful protests.

  162. rq says

    I have a couple more articles on the Amnesty International report, will put them up in a moment.
    First, though, I want to put up some info on the VonDerrit shooting, as the autopsy results (from the medical examiner contracted by the family) were presented.
    Vonderrit Myers’ family releases autopsy, lawyers say findings conflict with police reports:

    Jermaine Wooten , one of the family’s lawyers, said the report’s findings –showing almost all shots from behind – contradict the story of the police officer, who has not been identified. Wooten said police representatives have told them that Myers was facing the officer the entire time.

    Wooten said Myers had to have been facing away from the officer for the first shots because he could not have endured the two shots to the side and remained standing. The head wound rendered him unconscious and the shot to his left thigh shattered his femur, dropping him immediately. […]
    The lawyers met with the police department’s medical examiner Dr. Michael Graham, who said Myers’ DNA does not appear on the gun that Myers was allegedly carrying.

    To be honest, from experience, it’s really difficult to find DNA on a gun, but that’s a minor quibble at this point, considering the wound analysis.

    Via AP, Autopsy: St. Louis officer shot Myers from behind:

    “The evidence shows that the story we’ve been given by the Police Department does not match up,” one of the attorneys, Jerryl Christmas, said. “There’s no evidence that there was a gun battle going on.”

    Wecht said it’s likely that Myers was initially shot six times in the back of both legs. He said another shot hit the side of the left leg, shattering his femur.

    The fatal wound was to the side of Myers’ face, Wecht said.

    Police have said Myers shot first at the officer. They released details of lab tests by the Missouri State Highway Patrol that showed gunshot residue on Myers’ hand, waistband and shirt. Police union leaders said the finding dispelled claims by Myers’ family that he didn’t fire at the officer, whose name hasn’t been released.

    And HuffPo on the same: Autopsy: St. Louis Officer Shot Vonderrit Myers From Behind. The police version looks like this:

    “It’s absolutely consistent with what the officer told the investigators from early on,” said Millikan, a former St. Louis police officer. “There were no shots fired when (Myers) was running away. That’s simply not true.”

    Police Chief Sam Dotson has said Myers fired three shots before his gun jammed.

    Millikan said Myers was shot in the back of the legs while lying on his side with a gun in his hand.

    “He was propped up on his left elbow, and his legs were facing out at the policeman as he went down, but he was still holding the gun and pointing it at the policeman,” the lawyer said.

    Following the autopsy announcement, protestors were in Shaw streets last night, protesting. With a huge police presence. In twitter photos: preventing another Occupy; standoff with police; some policep resence

    tbc

  163. rq says

    SLU students get involved; at SLU gates; the march beforehand.
    I know sometimes these peacefully protesting pictures might seem boring, but I keep putting them up because I think it’s important to see that this is an ongoing struggle. It matters, no matter how it is manifested, and it’s actually more important to see the peaceful, constant, daily effort rather than just the flashy shots of teargas and violence.

    Some videos: Ferguson: Duty to Fight, Duty to Win:

    When white police officer Darren Wilson killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown on August 9, the St. Louis, Missouri, suburb of Ferguson became an amplifier for the issues of police militarization and racism. In the midst of the chaos that ensued, two young black women—Alexis Templeton and Brittany Ferrell—became leaders of a movement, reclaiming the megaphone from longstanding civil-rights leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

    Antonio French on the Mike Brown case leaks – I presume that’s a council meeting at which he’s speaking.
    AG Holder reportedly “exasperated” by Ferguson, Mo. info leaks:

    As more information emerges seeming to back Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s account of the Michael Brown shooting, Eric Holder expressed aggravation over the leaks. Holder described the periodic release of inside information about the case as “inappropriate and troubling.” Vladimir Duthiers reports.

  164. rq says

    Here’s a Storify on that Justice Center lockout yesterday.

    Man films local officers’ attempt to intimidate him under false pretences :

    He said for weeks, two officers have been harassing him, claiming they want him to give up a name of anyone they can plant a gun on or else they’ll arrest him.

    When asked where the gun was, Robinson said they had one but never showed it to him. The officers told him “I have a fully-loaded 38.”

    Officers were unaware that Robinson was filming the ride on his cell phone.

    “Your nine years are going to seem like four times more. I know y’all said you need a gun and a body, got to have a body with it,” said NAME. “I don’t need no gun case. You know I’ll get you somebody.”

    Robinson said they made it very clear what they’d do if he didn’t give up a name.

    “If you don’t give me anything in the next 24-hours then I’ll write this case up as you ran from me but you got away. But I know who you are and you had this gun.”

    Part 2 of that story: Officer accused of harassing St. Louis man, assaulting suspect :

    On Wednesday, Robinson’s girlfriend, Kaneisha Morris said Robinson wanted to check in with his parole officer, but was arrested.

    Morris said Robinson could have been locked up because one of the officers in question. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Detective Thomas Carroll is also being investigated for assaulting a suspect in another non-related crime.

    Reuters on that Amnesty report: Police in Ferguson committed human rights abuses: Amnesty report:

    The Amnesty International report said law enforcement officers should be investigated by U.S. authorities for the abuses, which occurred during weeks of racially charged protests that erupted after white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, 18, on Aug. 9.

    The use by law enforcement of rubber bullets, tear gas and heavy military equipment and restrictions placed on peaceful protesters all violated international standards, the group said. […]
    The report calls on state lawmakers to make Missouri law comply with international standards making lethal force by police a last resort, said Rachel Ward, director of research at Amnesty International.

    “Lethal force is only to be used to protect life when there is an immediate threat,” Ward said. “The Missouri statute goes far beyond that. It is of grave concern.”

    Amnesty cited a Missouri statute that says a police officer may use deadly force “in effecting an arrest or in preventing an escape from custody” when that officer “reasonably believes that such use of deadly force is immediately necessary to effect the arrest and also reasonably believes that the person to be arrested … has committed or attempted to commit a felony.” […]
    “Michael Brown was unarmed and thus unlikely to have presented a serious threat to the life of the police officer,” the report said.

    And just in case, the report from the Amnesty site again.

  165. rq says

    Missouri Police Stocking Up On Riot Gear Ahead Of Grand Jury’s Decision About Whether To Charge Officer Darren Wilson:

    The preparations are aimed at avoiding a renewed outbreak of violence during the potentially large demonstrations that could follow an announcement of whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will face a criminal trial for the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown.

    The conveniently omit the fact that it’s the police who turned things violent, not the protestors. The following paragraph again begins with ‘clashes’ and the images of riot gear drawing strong condemnation. More from the article:

    In the meantime, law officers have adjusted their tactics for interacting more peacefully with protesters while also honing their procedures for quick, widespread arrests. They plan to have a large contingent of officers at the ready, but have been meeting with clergy, community leaders and students in hopes of building relationships that could ease tensions on the streets.

    “I know there’s a lot of anxiety, there’s a lot of fear, anticipation” about that announcement, said Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who was put in charge of security in Ferguson in the days after Brown was killed and is now part of a coordinated command with local police. But “I have a lot of hope.”

    Law enforcement officers expect to receive at least a day’s notice before a grand jury announcement. That should provide time for them to execute security plans but may also allow demonstrators to prepare.

    All the non-existent gods forbid the protestors have time to draw up some new posters and come up with more creative, non-violent ideas, hey. :P Because they’re probably not preparing anything already.
    Last little bit:

    Earlier this week, Democratic state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, of St. Louis, intentionally got arrested for refusing to leave the street in front of the Ferguson Police Department. Even that was an act preparation. Nasheed said she wanted to show others that “you can peacefully protest, but you don’t have to be violent under the banner of justice for Michael Brown.”

    I’m really hating the preconception that protestors will be violent. They’ve done nothing, as a group, to show that they’re an angry, senseless mob – the individuals who have overstepped some lines have been individuals, dealt with easily, with no indication that the rest are going to follow along. Not like Pumpkinfest, hey. And yet they’re still being painted as on the edge of violence. As a tweeter said, police preparations for violent riots makes it seem as if they don’t think the black community can handle disappointment, when they’re so bloody used to handling disappointment on a daily and constant basis.

    Of course, there are those out to provoke and be more in-cops’-faces – but I can’t blame that tactic, either.

    At one point you can hear Masri tell officers, while pointing at each one, ‘I`m praying for your death and you death and your death and your death.’

    Bassem Masri sat down with us to answer to his tactics. He said, ‘We need to be talking about how we gonna fix the police, not how do we fix Bassem.’

    Reporter Hayes asked, ‘It appears at times you`re trying to get an officer to strike you.’

    Masri: ‘Maybe, nah. I don`t want to get hurt. I don`t want to go to jail. Hell no and you know what it is? Like I just stated earlier, I`m a citizen who`s mad.’

    The article at the end has his record. And it is impressively full of tiny little traffic stops and failures to appear. Not a fan of the death threats, though – not at all.

    More photos from the Shaw protest:
    Grand after the protests (photo of video camera on empty street); police presence; STL Metro bus blocked the street, unclear whether accidentally or on purpose.

  166. rq says

    St. Louis County town rejects body cameras for police:

    The issue unexpectedly came up at the Oct. 13 Board of Aldermen meeting when Alderman Shamed Dogan (Ward 2) urged during the aldermanic comment period that a few cameras be acquired and used. The body cams would be particularly helpful when Ballwin officers are called to help in areas where civil unrest is occurring, he said.

    However, Ballwin Police Chief Steve Schicker said at a budget work session last month that he was not recommending the purchase of body cameras in 2015 due to rapidly changing technology, which makes today’s devices obsolete tomorrow. Schicker also cited challenges of integrating in-car cameras with those worn by police officers and security concerns about images maintained by third-party “cloud” data storage firms . . .

    Continuing the tally: Leaks everywhere in St. Louis. Here’s a running tally of the denials.

    Current Tally of Denials

    —The St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s Office denies it leaked the sealed autopsy report of Mike Brown, but confirmed that what has been released is the real thing.

    —Darren Wilson’s attorney categorically denies having anything at all to do with any of the leaks of any of the reports or testimony from the grand jury.

    —The St. Louis County prosecutor’s office also denies being the source of the leaks.

    —The St. Louis County Police Department just stated, “Our department did not like any information being reported.”

    Chris Hayes on the effect of leaks on the Ferguson grand jury (video).

    Video of #Ferguson: Reporting a Viral Story . With the participation of Antonio French, a St Louis Alderman.

    Media highlighting the Evil Passt of medical examiner supporting Von Derrit’s family (twitter photo of text pointing out his past of using office resources for his own benefit in the Post-Dispatch).

  167. rq says

    And this, by a legal observer, “I went to Ferguson to protect the protesters. I got arrested instead.”:

    I am a law professor who teaches human rights law and race and the law, and I participated in Ferguson October because I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror if I didn’t contribute what I could to this movement taking place 10 minutes from my home. As a legal observer, I was hoping to document (and maybe, by my presence, prevent) police brutality against protesters. Local Walmarts were selected as protest sites to amplify the connection between the killing of John Crawford, which took place at a Walmart in Ohio, and the killing of Mike Brown. Both are case studies in police impunity, the criminalization of black youth, and the logical consequence of the two: police too often feel that instead of simply patrolling black and brown communities, they can go hunting in them, without punishment.

    I arrived at the Maplewood Walmart with my fellow activist and good friend Autumn Marie. She instructed me: “Go to the orange juice section and pretend to buy some orange juice. I’ll meet you there. And don’t forget to bring your green legal observer hat.” I did as told. I spent almost 10 minutes mulling over different types of orange juice while I was waiting for Autumn; the other customers must have thought that I was the most anal beverage shopper they’d ever seen. She finally arrived and gave me her phone and keys — as the legal observer, I would be able to safekeep them for her in the event that she was wrongly arrested for exercising her First Amendment rights. I took my shopping cart over to the pet food section, where the protesters had arranged to meet.

    As we converged, the ten or so protesters began clapping and chanting, “Tell me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!” I stood to the side of the protesters and put on my neon green hat, which read “National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer.” About four other people emerged with neon green caps, and the sudden burst of neon comforted me — at least I was not alone as an observer. I tried to keep a safe distance from the protest, as instructed, close enough so that I could see but not in a way that obstructed the demonstration. This was not as easy as it seemed. Because of the way the aisles were designed, it became difficult to see what was happening, especially as protesters marched back and forth.

    Customers began gathering and taking pictures with their cell phones. The clapping and chanting continued: “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” Meanwhile, the police wanted the protesters to leave. They waved their arms toward the door, and the protesters complied, making their way to the front of the store. I followed close behind. The protesters then locked arms and continued to chant. As I stood about 5 or 10 feet away, trying to not get in the way, my arm was suddenly twisted. I was being handcuffed.

    Without warning and before I could think, I was led away with both hands behind my back. It was surreal. I was the first person arrested. The protesters were chanting and singing and making noise, and the police walked right past them to arrest me first. The only thing that differentiated me from a random customer standing and watching and taking pictures was my green legal observer hat. And there were four other legal observers there. The police walked right past them and arrested me. The only thing that differentiated me from the other observers was the fact that I was black. […]

    After our release, Tef Poe sent out a tweet that has resonated with me ever since: “I can’t stress enough that the most important part about jail is having good cell mates.” We talked through the night with each other, spending a good amount of time laughing — to keep from crying, I suppose. There was so much brotherhood that at times it felt like I was sitting in a small, cold, barbershop with bars. The first thing we did was make fun of the cops for forgetting to take my glasses and forgetting to take Bassem’s belt. Then we laughed about the fact that here I was in jail, not only as a lawyer but as a law professor! Then we talked about protest strategies: where we would protest next, what we could do better next time. […]

    Beyond their own cases, the other prisoners had a lot to say about race and the legal system. I write scholarship in this area and write about it often, but just like any other time when a theorist comes into contact with someone who is on the ground, I had to concede that my knowledge of the situation was more cerebral, lacking the emotions that they brought. However many books and law review articles I may read, I can never instinctively know as much about the law and what it is really about as someone who has spent years of his life in prison. What he knows that I can’t know is difficult to express in words. But I felt that, at certain moments on this night, the other prisoners appealed to me from a place of brotherhood and sought to communicate that knowledge to me.

    Of the many things that struck me, I remember one prisoner saying, “Not all police officers are bad. Just like any other job, there are good apples and bad apples.” He had good reason to paint police with a broad brush, but instead he embraced a more empathetic, nuanced approach. […]

    It was at that point that the police tried to intimidate me. One of the officers told me that we were going to be headed to the county jail, and that we were not going to be released for a long time. They gave me a blanket that was so filthy that it was surely a biohazard, and told me that I should get comfortable with it because I would be spending at least one night in jail, probably more. Although I saw their intimidation tactic for what it was, I didn’t make too much noise about it. I figured it would be pointless to argue with them. Instead I decided to relax and try to get some sleep. This never actually happened, thanks to the continuing questions and chatter from the prisoner in the jail cell across from me.

    In the early hours of the morning, the police began to free the activist prisoners one by one. Each time they took another one of us away, the jail became quieter and more oppressive. Although it was only for a brief time, more and more I experienced the violent nature of being caged.

    I wasn’t surprised that Tef was first to get bailed out. He had a bevy of fans and supporters agitating for his release. I was surprised, though, at how desperately I wanted to be second, then third, then fourth. Every time the police walked by, all I could think about was whether I would be the next person released. I couldn’t get that anticipation out of my mind. On some deep-down level, even with my knowledge to the contrary, the officer who told me to expect a long jailing and a trip to county had an effect on my psyche. In the moment, I hated myself for wanting to be next. I should have been happy for my brothers and cell mates to get free. But even now, days later, I remember more than anything that anxiety and anticipation, almost as if it were a thick, burning knot in my stomach. […]

    As I walked out of the jail early the next morning, and I was met with cheers and embraces from my friends and fellow activists, I felt changed. Even now, I have difficulty in putting this into words. But in some way I think that night in jail removed from my mind the last vestige of any thought that I would be treated differently by the police because of the content of my character. I am a lawyer and law professor. I had a neon green hat on, and I stood to the side in silence, taking pictures. But watching and pretending to be neutral did not protect me. Having my dress slacks on pulled up around my waist did not protect me. In the eyes of the police, I was one thing: a young black male.

    Standing to the side in silence is not an option for me.

  168. dianne says

    As I stood about 5 or 10 feet away, trying to not get in the way, my arm was suddenly twisted. I was being handcuffed.

    Can this really be described as “being arrested”? It sounds more like a kidnapping to me. At least, the author doesn’t say anything about being read his rights or being told why he was arrested or anything similar. Maybe he just had too much to write about and couldn’t include it all, but…creepy. Not that I expect anything but creepy at this point.

  169. Pteryxx says

    Following up on Chris Hayes (MSNBC video): He says the only hint of where the leaks are coming from is in this LA Times piece:

    St. Louis County prosecutor’s office spokesman Ed Magee said his office probably wouldn’t investigate the leaks because prosecutors could not force journalists to divulge their sources and because the information could be coming from federal officials in Washington.

    “There’s really nothing to investigate,” Magee said Wednesday. “We don’t have control over anybody leaking anything. All we can control is people in our office and the grand jury, and it’s not coming from us or the grand jury.”

    He said that “you can tell by the information they have” that the leaks are not coming from the grand jury or the prosecutor’s office, citing reports using sourcing language such as “officials briefed on the investigation.”

    “We’ve got a joint investigation going on [with federal officials], so we’re sharing information and we’ve been sharing information the whole time,” Magee said.

    And from Chris King, who repeated the statements for MSNBC: (bolds mine)

    Chris King, managing editor of the St. Louis American, a newspaper for black audiences, said law enforcement officials had offered him the leaks, saying “they had been briefed on the evidence and it didn’t look good for Michael Brown supporters,” but he declined and decried “third-party hearsay” in an editorial for the paper.

    In the video segment, Chris King of the St. Louis American also said that, as a minority paper in a racist city, they can’t print anonymous sources because nobody will believe them. “We’re not taken seriously when we use *named* sources,” he said.

    Chris Hayes also spoke with Brown’s family’s attorney Benjamin Crump, who reminds that all the family has asked for from the beginning is for the officer responsible to be charged and given a fair and transparent trial.

    MSNBC puts transcripts up about three to five days after the segments are broadcast. (Transcript main page)

  170. Pteryxx says

    From HuffPo: Report: Chicago Police Are Getting Away With Brutality, And Most Of It Is Against Minorities

    Though about 33 percent of Chicago’s population is African-American, the city’s arrest rate of black youth is disproportionately high, according to the report. In 2011, 77 percent of the Chicago Police Department’s youth arrests were of black youth. In 2012, that percentage increased to 79 percent.

    The report also notes that black and Latino targets were involved in 92 percent of the Chicago Police Department’s uses of stun guns from 2009 to 2011. Throughout the first half of 2014, black targets have been involved in 78 percent of the department’s stun gun uses, the report notes.

    The use of stun guns has also failed to significantly reduce the number of police-involved shootings since they were implemented by the department in 2010, the report notes. Black Chicagoans are, again, drastically overrepresented among those who are shot by police. As the Chicago Reporter previously observed, black Chicagoans are 10 times more likely than their white peers to be shot by a police officer.

    The report notes it’s also rare for a Chicago police officer to be held accountable for misconduct allegations. Among 10,149 complaints of excessive force, illegal searches, racial abuse or false arrest filed by residents between 2002 and 2004, only 124 — 1.2 percent — were sustained, and only 19 cases led to a penalty of suspension of at least a week or worse, according to the document.

    Citing a 2007 report by a University of Chicago Law School professor, the report notes that a brutality complaint filed against police in Chicago is 94 percent less likely to be sustained than elsewhere. In the city, only 0.48 percent of brutality complaints are sustained, compared to 8 percent nationally.

    The report itself has been submitted to the UN by the volunteer group We Charge Genocide: Main page, Link to zipped PDF

  171. rq says

    Annie Lennox whitewashes Strange Fruit:

    “Strange Fruit” is a protest song and it was written before the Civil Rights movement actually got on its feet, got established. And because of what I’ve seen around the world, I know that this theme, this subject of violence and bigotry, hatred, violent acts of mankind against ourselves. This is a theme. It’s a human theme that has gone on for time immemorial. It’s expressed in all kinds of different ways, whether it be racism, whether it be domestic violence, whether it be warfare, or a terrorist act, or simply one person attacking another person in a separate incident. This is something that we as human beings have to deal with, it’s just going on 24/7. And as an observer of this violence, even as a child, I thought, why is this happening? So I’ve always had that sense of empathy and kind of outrage that we behave in this way. So a song like this, if I were to do a version of “Strange Fruit,” I’d give the song honor and respect and I try to bring it back out into the world again and get an opportunity to talk about the subjects behind the songs as well.

    More at the link, comparison to someone actually explaining the song.

  172. rq says

    Ferguson: ‘Don’t Shoot Coalition’ Release Recommendations to DOJ:

    MUNICIPAL REFORMS INCLUDE:

    – Body cameras on all officers with policies as articulated by Drone Free St. Louis:
    http://www.dronefreestl.org/?p=688

    – Solid enforcement of racial profiling protections, including use of racial profiling statistics in performance reviews.

    – An end to departmental policies that measure officer’s performance predominantly by number of stops or arrests or provide incentives for stops and arrests, replaced by measures of performance rooted in community policing.

    – Requirement that police provide “receipts” after any police encounter that include the reason for the stop, and the officer’s name and badge number.

    – Setting of law enforcement priorities by community members or community advisory boards.

    – Release of detailed annual internal affairs complaint and resolution statistics, including a name-redacted list of how many complaints the officers with the highest numbers of complaints each year receive.

    – Early Intervention Systems for officer performance and conduct with oversight to guarantee appropriate responses to red flags.

    COUNTY REFORMS INCLUDE:

    – Countywide Civilian Oversight Board designed for inclusion of all St. Louis County departments and embodying the principles of independence, representation of all stakeholders, access to all evidence and the ability to make policy recommendations as well as discipline and training recommendations in response to individual incidents.

    – Consolidation of Departments.

    STATE REFORMS INCLUDE:

    – Mandatory training requirements for all officers on issues such as cultural sensitivity, interacting with mentally ill, responding to sexual assault, domestic violence, officer misconduct and integrity, use of force, effective communication and de-escalation skills and other topics in which Missouri police do not receive adequate training. Dialogue with affected communities should be part of all training;

    – Required annual report on the use of deadly force by all Missouri Police Departments.

    – Mandated use of an assessment tool gauging racial bias in all Missouri police forces that goes beyond the recording of racial composition of police stops.

    – Whistleblower protection for officers and confidential informants.

    – Statewide guidance on the creation of civilian oversight boards based on the principles given above.

    FEDERAL RECOMMENDATIONS INCLUDE:

    – A publicly available national database of police shootings, excessive force and deaths in custody, broken down by race and other demographic data, with key privacy protections, including the exclusion of personally identifying factors and information.

    – National use of force policy and a mandate that state and local police adopt it.

    – Strict limits on asset seizure and the transfer of any military equipment to local law enforcement under 1033 and other programs, guidelines that ensure that the equipment is not used against non-violent protesters and an end to the requirement that such military weaponry is used within a year.

    – End of the Byrne Program that incentivizes arrests.

    FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS:

    Click here to read more: http://bit.ly/10rtpbn

    Click here to read Don’t Shoot Coalition’s Letter to DOJ: http://bit.ly/1shhguW

  173. Pteryxx says

    Major fact-correction via Daily Kos: The Official Michael Brown Autopsy Report Doesn’t Say What the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Says It Does

    (Bolds are in original)

    For the TL;DR crowd, here’s a synopsis of the problems with the article written by Christine Byers and Blythe Bernhard for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

    The Post-Dispatch says that the autopsy report supports Wilson’s version of events. In fact, it supports the earlier eyewitness testimony at least as much as it does Wilson’s.

    The Post-Dispatch (and later, the Washington Post, which essentially reported on the the St. Louis reporting) claims that a forensic expert said the autopsy shows that Michael Brown was “going for his (Wilson’s) gun.” Except that’s not what the expert said – at least not in anything she provided on the record. She told Lawrence O’Donnell that it was just as likely that Brown was trying to defend himself from being shot.

    The Post-Dispatch quotes the expert saying that Michael Brown’s was not in surrender posture when he was shot. She actually wrote that she can’t say with reasonable certainty that his hands were up when he was shot in the right forearm.

    The article claims the expert said the autopsy didn’t support witnesses who said Michael Brown was shot while running away or with his hands up. She apparently said nothing of the sort.

    The expert quoted has since told Lawrence O’Donnell that she was only asked if the autopsy report was consistent with Darren Wilson’s version of events. She was not asked if it fit other scenarios, though there are eyewitness accounts that differ from Wilson’s account.

    More detail at the link.

    Dr. Melinek has come forward on her own blog to correct the record, giving the full text of the quotes she provided to the Post-Dispatch, as opposed to what they printed: Blogspot link

    This is how I was quoted in the Post-Dispatch the next day:

    >
    > Dr. Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco, said the autopsy “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.” She added, “If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.” Sources told the Post-Dispatch that Brown’s blood had been found on Wilson’s gun. Melinek also said the autopsy did not support witnesses who have claimed Brown was shot while running away from Wilson, or with his hands up.

    >
    > Notice the difference? There’s a big difference between “The hand wound has gunpowder particles on microscopic examination, which suggests that it is a close-range wound. That means that Mr. Brown’s hand would have been close to the barrel of the gun” and “he’s going for the gun.”

    > I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to correct this, in my own words last night, when Lawrence O’Donnell invited me to appear as a guest on MSNBC. Mr. O’Donnell allowed me to explain the autopsy findings clearly and in context—if not in full. The show is called “The Last Word,” and Lawrence O’Donnell makes sure he gets it. Despite the guest-badgering and interruptions that are a signature of his television persona, however, Mr. O’Donnell did allow me to correct the record that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch created. I am even more grateful to Tyrmaine Lee, whose companion article to last night’s Last Word segment (linked above) serves as an excellent corrective to the Post-Dispatch article.

    Trymaine Lee’s article at MSNBC: This is the same article linked by rq at #235.

    Later that day, Melinek told msnbc that her words had been partly misconstrued.

    Melinek said that she had compared the forensic evidence included in the official autopsy report and Wilson’s statements and found them consistent. Since the report indicated the wound to Brown’s right thumb was close and in line to the barrel of Wilson’s gun when it discharged, it could mean he had been reaching for the gun.

    “I’m not saying that Brown going for the gun is the only explanation. I’m saying the officer said he was going for the gun and the right thumb wound supports that,” she said. “I have limited information. It could also be consistent with other scenarios. That’s the important thing. That’s why the witnesses need to speak to the grand jury and the grand jury needs to hear all the unbiased testimony and compare those statements to the physical evidence.”

    “If other witnesses have statements as to where [Brown’s] hands were, they could also be consistent with the forensic findings if they line up with the injury trajectory and distance,” she said.

    Melinek added that the only statement she compared to the forensic evidence was that made by Wilson and that a number of other scenarios could also be possible, including Brown trying to protect himself or his hands for whatever reason being near the muzzle of Wilson’s gun.

    Here’s the Lawrence O’Donnell segment from Wednesday night, Oct 22: (Video link)

    And here’s a follow-up segment from last night, Friday the 24th: “Inaccurate and misleading” (Video link)

  174. rq says

    Pteryxx
    I think upthread I had an article where she (the expert) explicitly said that she only compared evidence to Darren Wilson’s account, and none of the witness accounts, which is why she can’t speak to them (but definitely allows for the possibility that they are consistent with the injuries, too).
    This is definitely a case of the media spinning it wrong – why, I suppose that’s obvious by now.

  175. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    rq, Pteryxx, Tony!, and anyone else I have missed — Thank you for creating and maintaining this archive. It has taken me a long time to get caught up, but I finally made it. You definitely still have a reader in me, and it sounds as if many other people read too. Again, thank for all your effort.

  176. rq says

    Some stuff that collected yesterday, on the Amnsety report (probably repeats but I’m not going to check, sorry, no spoons right now), and other things:

    The Guardian: Ferguson protests: Amnesty report criticises police excesses.

    MSNBC: Amnesty International slams Ferguson over human rights abuses.

    Washington Post: Amnesty International: Ferguson police committed human rights abuses during Michael Brown protests.

    Some photos:
    There was a rally for Darren Wilson. No one showed up.
    Compare and contrast: open carry protest police presence. Note: all of these people are armed.
    Imagery: University of Pennsylvania students protest.

  177. rq says

    Vest or Vote elections ad (I think a repeat).

    MSU protest at homecoming met with shouts, racial slurs:

    “People were saying, ‘Go back to St. Louis,’ ‘You don’t belong here.’ People were being called the N-word and people were making gun gestures,” said Jakal Burrell-El, an MSU senior and organizer for Homecoming Blackout, Saturday’s demonstration. He said he recognized some of the students verbally attacking the group, but because he was wearing a mask, they did not recognize him.

    “When it happens on your own campus, it’s kind of hard to deal with;… Some of the comments that we got reiterated the whole need for this protest in the first place.” […]

    “I think everything that transpired led to more dialogue for what we have to do at the university level and what student leaders have to do,” he said. “Some people questioned having the event at homecoming. If we had this at a normal event, none of this would have happened…. We’re starting to get some ground in moving in the right direction.”

    The university has been supportive, and the Athletic director is planning on apologizing for having protestor chalk drawings and text removed, but not that of other students. He thought phrases like ‘Black Lives Matter’ are incendiary, but he’s thought about it now.

    This is thugwatchers from St Louis Coptalk, where they list those people that need an eye kept on them. In this case, some of the more frequently detained protestors.

    Here’s another comparison, from 1992: Bulls’ NBA Victory Sparks Chicago Riots . Note the differences in levels of violence (as compared to Ferguson, that is).

    Police reported more than 1,000 arrests on charges of burglary, theft, mob action, disorderly conduct and damage to property, all in the hours following the Bulls’ dramatic come-from-behind victory against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 6 of the National Basketball Association Finals for their second consecutive championship.

    There were scores of injuries, nearly all of them minor. No one was killed. Among those injured were 95 police officers, two of whom received minor gunshot wounds. Three civilians were shot, two by storekeepers and one by the police, according to a police spokesman. The owner of a South Side liquor store and an employee received second-degree burns when looters attacked their establishment.

    Although drunken revelry is still the most common mass response to sports championships, violence of the type that occurred here late Sunday and early today is becoming more common. Last year, after the Bulls’ first NBA championship, the looting was less widespread, there were 100 arrests and no serious injuries or deaths. […]
    Chicago Police Superintendent Matt Rodriguez told reporters this morning that there was so much criminal activity Sunday night that more than 1,300 extra officers deployed on the streets could not stop every act of lawlessness, especially at the outset of the looting. He cited several reasons for the explosion, including the hot weather, the excitement of the final game and the “post-Rodney King” environment. […]
    At Stuart Brent Books, a well-known bookstore in the city, looters smashed the windows and simply threw books all along the sidewalk. The stunned proprietor could barely conceal his anger and frustration. “I have no explanation for it,” said Brent, who has operated the store for 47 years. “Think of the shame they brought to one of the three or four great streets in America. The thing that frightens me is how close we are to barbarism.”

    And this is those fine, upstanding pillars of society, sports fans.

    thisisthemovement, installment #38: police involved shooting in STL city and county; STL school districts plan for grand jury announcement; forensic expert on the Mike Brown autopsy (misquoted); VonDerrit autopsy released; Amnesty International; Atlanta highway shutdown; The Calm Before the Storm; Myers’ DNA not on the gun; Protestors at MIZZOU homecoming. Calendar of events, etc.

  178. rq says

    VonDerrit‘s funeral is today (Sunday).

    New device tracks when cop pulls trigger (VIDEO):

    The latest technological marvel developed and currently being tested by a Silicon Valley startup, Yardarm Technologies, is designed to keep track in real time and send a signal to the dispatchers when a gun is drawn from its holster and when it’s fired. It can also track the trajectory of the shot as well as the location of the weapon.

    That’s mostly information already known, though, isn’t it?

    Compare and contrast: Man Captured After Killing Two California Officers in Shooting Spree – and they didn’t kill him. It’s a Gawker article, so there’s lots of links in the text. When asked why they didn’t shoot the shooter, the police chief allegedly said ‘That’s not who we [the police] are’.

  179. rq says

    From Ebony, [FERGUSON FORWARD] 75 Days Later, The Movement Only Grows:

    As we near a decision from the Grand Jury, all indications lead to a non-indictment. There have been several leaks that have made this apparent– first, Darren Wilson’s account of the killing and then, just last night, reporter Christine Byers was able to secure a copy of an official police report detailing information from the first autopsy. Remember, she is the same reporter that once said that more than a dozen witnesses corroborated Darren Wilson’s version of the story. We see through this coordinated campaign to smear Mike Brown’s name and we are prepared to soldier on, no matter what the Grand Jury comes back with.[…]
    This early version of the movement found West Florissant Avenue, the street where Mike Brown took his final walk before heading to Canfield, as the hub of our activity. By September, protest had become firmly planted across from the Ferguson Police Department. Although there had always been protestors there, in September the Department became the focus and center of resistance. The PD lot protests differ from West Florissant in that the space is narrower and the target of the protest is always present. Grounding the lot as the core protest site made a new, tighter community of protestors emerge. In addition to traditional protest activities of marching, chanting, and civil disobedience, the lot frequently has arts and crafts for kids, chess/checkers, music, and food. In many ways, the community formed at the PD lot solidified the spirit of sustained protest in the movement.

    On West Florissant, we marched in circles and were technically only allowed to stand still in one isolated space. But at the PD lot, we could meet and strategize. For the first time, there existed a space that served both as protest site and communications hub. […]

    For the past 75 days, we have been tracking every story, every fact, every leak. We see through the media spin, the untruths, and the distractions. We stand firm in our demand for justice.

    The movement has matured. The movement lives.

    Live Amnesty discussion: Ferguson: Where do we go from here?

    Tune-in live to any of the streams below to hear a powerful panel discussion from Tef Poe, Dr. Marva Robinson, Brendan Roediger, Jarris Williams, Maalik Shakoor, and Patricia Bynes.

    I hope there’s avideo or transcript eventually.

    Nasheed Gangs – part of what makes Ferguson what it is today (youtube video).

    In Ferguson, Twilight ramble cancelled:

    An email from event organizer Gerry Noll cites the lack of availability of Ferguson police officers to accompany riders and monitor street closings. The Ferguson Bicycle Shop owner adds that the Ferguson department “has been stressed and stretched thin recently and we don’t want to add to their workload.”

    The family-friendly event was to have included group bike rides, repair clinics and free food and beer tastings.

    Also from KSDK.com (with video), Reverend ministers at front lines of Ferguson.

  180. rq says

    From the BBC, Grand jury decision could reignite Ferguson unrest .

    The Islamic State, domestic abuse in the National Football League, Ebola and mid-term elections. While the people of Ferguson may remember – and earlier this month town residents renewed demonstrations following the shooting of another black teenager in the area – the US public seemed willing to forget.

    The story moved off the front pages, then out of the news entirely and into the pile of other discarded outrages, like incompetent Veterans Administration hospitals and Taliban prisoner-of-war Bowe Bergdahl. […]

    Every so often, however, there’s a little flicker among the story’s ashes, a sign that the fires that burned in Ferguson aren’t extinguished – that the issues of race and poverty, police militarisation and societal cohesion are not gone but merely dormant.

    Such was the case earlier this week, as the Washington Post and the St Louis Post-Dispatch reported on evidence being considered by a grand jury investigating whether charges should be brought against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown. […]

    The news has some conservative commentators saying: “I told you so”.

    Breitbart’s John Sexton writes that while the leaks may be illegal, “after two months in which the agitators with the loudest voices have been telling mostly one side of this incident, they may be a public service”.

    “It wasn’t so long ago that Ferguson, Missouri, was supposed to be an American morality tale of racism, the militarisation of police and all manner of other evil,” says the National Review’s Rich Lowry.

    Now, he writes, the “story of a cold-blooded execution by cop seems even more unlikely”. […]

    The racism these incidents supposedly revealed, she says, is long since gone.

    “Now racism is the province of a few kooks, while the overwhelming majority of Americans of all colours agree on the sacredness of equality and vote twice for a black president to underscore it,” [Mona Charon] writes.

    While conservatives may be crowing, Burke E Strunsky, a deputy district attorney in California, writes in the Huffington Post that individual facts in the Brown case are no longer determinative. New revelations, no matter how compelling, are going to be dismissed as twisted or outright lies.

    “Compounding and clouding the factual findings in this case is a pervasive history of institutional discrimination – both overt and covert – so that the default position becomes one in which the system is perceived to be rigged to cover up a killing of an African American by a Caucasian police officer.” […]

    A spokesperson for the US justice department, which is conducting an independent investigation into the shooting, told the Post that the leaks appeared to be “an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case”.

    That’s certainly the way the citizens of Ferguson seem to be responding to the latest revelations. According to interviews by multiple news sources, the prevailing perception is that it’s all part of a campaign to villainise Brown, smooth the way for a decision by the grand jury not to indict Mr Wilson, and cover up police malfeasance.

    “If there’s a non-indictment I think you’ll see an immediate uproar,” Carlon Lee, a minister at a Ferguson church, told the Daily Beast’s Justin Glawe. “I don’t think people have seen the amount of unrest and anger that will come if there’s a non-indictment.”

    Certainly a revealing article about the prevalence of the systemic unwillingness to believe black witnesses.

    Elections: Can Ferguson swing the vote?

    [P]olitical parties, advocacy groups, and prominent spokespeople are pointing to the crisis in Ferguson to motivate blacks to go to the polls, often in striking ways. The Dream Defenders—a Florida-based organization of young activists formed in the aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s death—has gone viral with its “Vest or Vote” campaign, anchored by a powerful tongue-in-cheek video which presents a stark choice between dressing black children in bulletproof vests before they head to school, or voting in the midterms. The video is accompanied by a photograph of a young black girl wrapped tightly in Kevlar, and a pledge card asking people to vote. […]

    African American clergy are getting in on the action as well. Prominent black denominations and faith leaders like Rev. Cynthia Hale, Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner and others are calling the final two Sundays before the election “Freedom Sunday” and “Turnout Sunday” and asking congregants to go to the polls, often with a Ferguson-motivated appeal. In one example, Texas pastors—including Bishop T.D. Jakes and prominent national pastor Dr. Freddy Haynes—recorded videos for “Freedom Sunday Texas,” connecting the midterms with 1964’s Freedom Summer and encouraging black midterm voting (the author has worked with these clergy and others on civic participation issues).

    Not all African Americans leaders are encouraging black voter turnout, however, even in the shadow of Ferguson. Journalist and pundit Tavis Smiley said in a recent interview with ABC News that “if you’re black or brown, other than helping to save the Democrats’ hide,” there are no good reasons to turn out to vote this November. Smiley claimed that Democratic appeals to black voters are more about election year politics than a genuine desire to change policies.

    Ferguson protestors and unemployment: some protestors having issues finding jobs. We’ve heard about several that either still are employed, or have put future plans on hold to protest – but some just can’t seem to find work.

    When protests erupted in the streets of Ferguson in the days and weeks following the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. by a Ferguson police officer, whole sections of the city were taken over by police and by mostly peaceful yet angry protesters. While the massive crowds have long since dissipated, many local residents – some trapped in their homes during the demonstrations – are still paying the price.

    “I done lost my job behind all of this,” said Hardy, a truck driver who lives in the apartment complex where police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Brown on Aug. 9. “I just couldn’t get out. You’re hearing bullets all the time at night. They had tear gas shooting out. I was just kind of paralyzed.”

    For some — it’s unclear how many — gainful employment became one of many casualties in the fallout from the unarmed teen’s death. Some quit paying gigs for non-paying positions on the frontlines of the protests. Others say they were hemmed in by police activity or by fear and lost their jobs because they couldn’t make it to work on time. Still others say their jobs have been threatened because of their support for Michael Brown and his family. A number of officers, some caught aiming weapons at unarmed protesters and the press, have lost their jobs as well. […]

    A local real estate agent-turned-protester said people, including a police officer, have called her job to complain about her involvement in protests. A former bill collector for a health care company said his boss gave him an ultimatum — either full-time hours at the office or with protesters in the streets. And a dentist hundreds of miles away in Tennessee said her private postings to social media in support of Brown have angered the partners at her dentist office, so much so that she claimed she was squeezed out of the practice. […]

    Users on one pro-police message board, St. Louis Cop Talk, have been particularly active and aggressive in denouncing Maibes [a real estate agent].

    In one post from as recent as last week, a poster embedded a photo of Maibes along with her contact information at work under text that read: ”As a public service we would like to advise all St. Louis City employees, especially first responders, not to use this Realtor. She does not support us. We should not support her.” […]

    Long before Brown’s killing, Ferguson had struggled with stubbornly high unemployment — a problem that has only gotten worse as poverty in nearby St. Louis has spread into the suburbs.

    Unemployment in Ferguson rose from less than 5% in 2000 to more than 13% in 2012, an analysis by the Brookings Institution found. Over the same time the poverty rate skyrocketed with a quarter of the population living below the poverty line. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of households in Ferguson using federal Housing Choice Vouchers climbed from about 300 to more than 800. Unemployment for black residents is about three times that of white residents.

    The recent events in Ferguson have exacerbated many of the economic and social issues facing Ferguson’s most vulnerable. The start of the school year was delayed for a number of area schools. Many stores closed voluntarily or were looted or burned, leaving employees and store owners temporarily without income. [I don’t recall any stores particularly looted or burned – am I missing something?] […]

    Larry Fellows III worked as a biller for a local healthcare company in the days before Brown was killed. After the incident, Fellows said he joined scores of protesters who’d poured into the streets. “I was out there every day all day talking to people, talking to politicians, talking to other protesters trying to strategize and organize,” Fellows said. “Then it became a full-time job.”

    In the meantime, he was still employed by the health care company. He’d check in with work daily and give them updates. Fellows, 28, said he was honest with his employers. “I’d call and say, this is what I’m doing. I’m not calling in sick but mentally I won’t be able to come because I can’t focus,” Fellow said. “My mind is not at work — it’s outside.”

    Half-days turned into no days, he said. The longer and hotter the protests became the less he found his way back to his office.

    Then, about 10 days after the shooting, Fellows said he was arrested while protesting. After being released from jail he took the paperwork from his arrest to his manager. She told him to “take some time to get your life together and figure out what you want to do.”

    “I was going through a lot mentally trying to figure everything out,” Fellows said. A conversation with his mother helped him focus. “She said, ‘What do you want to do, because you’re about to risk a lot,’” he said she told him. At that moment Fellows said he knew exactly what choice he would make.

    “I thanked them for the job, the opportunity and I left,” Fellows said. […]

    Umar Lee, a local cab driver and veteran of the Ferguson protests, said he feels as if there’s an invisible target on his back.

    Lee said he went to renew his taxi driver’s license last week and that, when he walked into the office, he was greeted by a wave of smirks. Lee said someone even smiled wryly and said, “We know who you are, Mr. Lee.” He’s heard from management at his job that pro-police groups are putting pressure on the owner to fire him.

    Like Maibes, Lee has been the target of online attacks. He is a white convert to Islam, and much of the insults he’s received have to do with his religion, race or his support of Brown, who is African-American.

    In one, a poster under the name Kenneth Flaig wrote that he hoped Lee would “chew on glass and [expletive] die. Another poster who sent a message under the name Melissa Dawn Duniphan, warned Lee to stay out of Troy, Missouri. The same person posted an image of seven black bodies — silhouetted and hanging by their necks from a tree under a setting sun — along with the words: ”A system cannot fail those it was never built to protect.”

    “I haven’t been fired but the owner doesn’t want to lose any business,” said Lee, 40. “He feels the pressure.” Lee said anonymous antagonists have called his cab company, Laclede cabs, and even started an email campaign calling for a boycott of the company until he is fired. […]

    “This makes me sad for all the people that don’t have the financially ability to just leave the way I did,” said Harris [the dentist in Tennessee], who last year made news when she waged a publicity campaign to become the first black “Bachelorette” on ABC’s hit show. “They have to stay and keep their mouth shut because they are so afraid that they will get fired and won’t have their First Amendment rights.”

    thisisthemovement, installment #39: The Gospel is not a neutral term, on faith, christianity and the role of the church in the fight for justice; Jim Crow and the Ferguson leaks; unemployment woes of Ferguson residents; from protestors to friends (a nice protestor perspective); Liberty and Justice for All?; DOJ investigation to be completed while Holder is AG; a piece on one of ferguson’s first black families; arrested as a legal observer (that piece by SLU Law Professor Justin Hansford); Ferguson and the Impact on the STL County Executive Race. Calendar of events, donation links, go have a looksee!

  181. rq says

    Compare and contrast: white school shooter vs. black pedestrian.

    Video: Mirrors of Privilege: Noticing Racism. It’s time to get uncomfortable, as the headline says.

    I am a racist. Not a white hood and robe wearing KKK racist. Nor a shaved head, swastika loving, Dr. Martens with red laces, neo-Nazi racist. I am a woman who walks through this world living the white experience of power/privilege plus prejudice, racist.

    Confronting the internalized racism embedded in my soul as a mostly white American has not been easy, comfortable or enjoyable. It has been a long arduous road filled with denial, pain, disappointment, self-critique, education, self-hatred, shame, deconstruction and growth. To this day, oppressive language and actions stumble out my being no matter how hard I try or aware I believe I am. It is the unavoidable reality of the white experience in a white supremacist society. Even in this very piece, there will undoubtedly be something overlooked, phrased wrong, over simplified and so on – that reveals the racism that comes with bearing the preferred skin pigmentation of our empire. This is one of many symptoms of my individual racism and white privilege. […]

    Another layer of the onion unravels; I was not doing what I could do because I did not have to. Or so I thought. Although I nor anyone in my blood family lives in fear of being shot while unarmed like Ezell, Omar and Mike, the reality is, white people and especially white allies are an important component in the struggle to end racism. It is through our actions, silence, apathy, cognitive dissonance and complacency that white supremacy is upheld. […]

    It is white people who slowly kill people of color every time we do not call out racist actions, comments, jokes, and microaggressions. Especially, when there is a chance to do so in the place they are most prevalent: all white spaces. A space that actually presents an opportunity for real talk with fellow white people about the racism we individually and collectively perpetrate. With flaws and bizarre questions on display, this is the safest space for white people to get uncomfortable and confront racism in without causing further harm to those who experience racism every day. Not to be confused with denying racism when the subject of racism is brought up in non-all white spaces; that behavior is racist. But by calling out and discussing racism, the only place white people can go in that moment is one step closer to the vaccine that will forever rid this world of the racist disease permeating out of our white bodies.

    Seemingly a small thing, this is where racism starts. It is how racism slowly etched itself into our culture and first became ingrained into once untainted white beings. And when you stack the thousands of racist incidents happening this very moment, they are like an army of needles pricking the skin of people of color. Each prick dehumanizing entire races. In ten minutes, a thousand more pricks. By the end of the month, a million small holes are inflicted. Until, that little prick you silently let pass by adds up to so much pain that tear gas is flying down the burning streets of Ferguson and cries to put an end to racism in America are sounding around the world. […]

    Does this mean you need to organize a hands up rally to end racism? No. Even I am still critiquing and deconstructing my own position on playing the roll of organizer. Especially, since I, like many white people there, put my hands up and chanted: “Hands Up! Don’t shoot!” Ignoring a quiet voice in my head that said, “White people should be screaming ‘hands up’, while people of color put their hands up and chant back ‘don’t shoot’.” Which is a more accurate representation of the dynamics of our society. Similar to #IAmNotTrayvonMartin, various critiques and social media posts are now emerging about how uncomfortable people are seeing white people put their hands up, chanting the final words of Michael Brown. Why? Because white people are not and have never been Michael Brown.

    Time and time again, I have heard from people in St. Louis that what is most needed and desired from white allies is not the organization of rallies (although attendance is appreciated), but for white people to confront racism in their selves, families, and communities. Of course, this is uncomfortable and takes courage. But it is not half as frightening as realities portrayed in the video below that people of color must live as an “other” in America.

    St Louis coptalk on protestors. It’s a forum full of… stuff. :/

    At Vonderrit’s memorial in Shaw. It has been dismantled repeatedly several times, but there are always people to put it back up.

    Upcoming event: A Call for Men, featuring Michael Brown’s father and Trayvon Martin’s father.

  182. rq says

    In Ferguson, it was Michael Brown. In Denver, Ryan Ronquillo.

    Protesting in Orlando: photo 1; photo 2.

    On police: Police Pay Gap: Many of America’s Finest Struggle on Poverty Wages:

    Data obtained by NBC News from 24 municipal police departments in St. Louis County reveal a gulf between police officer pay in poor, majority African-American northern cities and wealthier, whiter cities further south. Average annual patrol officer pay ranges from $23,000 in Hillsdale to nearly $70,000 in Town and County and Des Peres.

    The police pay gap in St. Louis County is mirrored in metropolitan areas and rural communities around the United States, with some officers earning a comfortable middle-class living and others scraping by on poverty and near poverty wages, forced to take second and third jobs to cover basic costs. […]

    Low pay is not a problem unique to St. Louis County police agencies. Around the country, patrol officer compensation varies dramatically from one jurisdiction to the next. In more than a quarter of American metropolitan areas, including large swaths of the South and Midwest, Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show that at least one in ten police officers earn less than $15 an hour.

    In San Francisco, California and parts of Long Island, New York, the lowest-paid group of police officers earn more than $29 an hour, or $60,000 a year. Average annual pay for officers in these parts of the country is $90,000.

    “It has to do with the tax bases of our communities,” says Police Chief John Buchannan of Beverly Hills, Missouri, which has a population of 574 and employs nine full-time police officers who are paid an average hourly wage of $12.50 to patrol less than a tenth of a mile that comprises the city, plus neighboring Velda Village Hills. “Other places have more people and lots of business that produce revenue,” Buchannan said.

    Small, low-resource departments, experts say, often function as training grounds for police officers hoping to move to higher-paying departments. Half of the 14 police officers on the Hillsdale force were hired in 2013 or 2014.

    There’s a nice graphic map and chart at the link.

    Now for the worser side of police, they’re not happy with the DOJ. Police Officers’ Suing The DOJ For Violating Their ‘Right’ To Deploy Force Without Restrictions Shot Down By Federal Judge. Nice use of apostrophes in a professional paper, but to the point:

    The crowdfunded lawsuit sloppily rewrote the Second Amendment as a “right” to self-defense. Any restrictions on use of force infringed on this imaginary “right.” Not only did the Dept. of Justice’s remedies — prompted by years of excessive force deployment and biased policing — somehow violate these officers’ rights, but they apparently also granted “criminals” (which basically means anyone who isn’t a cop in this context) extra rights.

    The officers who signed on to the lawsuit, without the support of the police guild, objected, saying the policy elevates the rights of criminal suspects over those of police.

    And they weren’t too happy with the additional oversight, either.

    They argued that Merrick Bobb, the court-appointed monitor overseeing the reforms, refused input from the police department in the drafting of the new policy, and that it violates their constitutional right to defend themselves.

    As to the creative interpretation of the Second Amendment, Judge Pechman had this to say [pdf link]:

    Plaintiffs can point to no case establishing that the Second Amendment codified a free-standing right to self-defense, as opposed to case law interpreting the textual Second Amendment rights to “keep and bear arms” in light of their purposes (which the Supreme Court has held include the facilitation of self-defense)…

    In the criminal context, the Ninth Circuit rejected the idea that recent Supreme Court cases confirmed a Second Amendment right to use a weapon in any particular way: “[N]either [Heller nor McDonald] concerned the use of a weapon, as distinct from mere possession. . . .” United States v. Morsette, 622 F.3d 1200, 1202 (9th Cir. 2010). Similarly, nothing in the Supreme Court’s recent Second Amendment jurisprudence lends support to Plaintiffs’ novel theory that a police department policy outlining expectations for an officer’s use of force can burden conduct protected by the Second Amendment.

    Instead, the Supreme Court has been clear that “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited” and is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” Heller, 554 U.S. at 626. Plaintiffs selectively quote historical sources cited in Heller to suggest that so long as self-defense is a purpose for the individual claiming a Second Amendment right, the Second Amendment forbids “unreasonable” restrictions on the manner a weapon is used.

    […]

    Here, the Policy represents an effort by an employer, the Seattle Police Department, to regulate the use not only of (employer-issued) weapons but of the force its employees are specially sanctioned to wield on behalf of the city government. This scenario has no relation to the Second Amendment guarantees for individuals recognized in Heller, McDonald, and Peruta.

    More takedowns at the link. Telling – police officers wrote this up without the support of their guild.

    thisisthemovement, #40: Vonderrit Myers’ funeral; a closer look at courts in ferguson and nearby municipalities; Ferguson Q&A with Jamilah Nasheed; Black Lives Matter; Protest vote for Republican Rick Stream; reduction in STL County traffic tickets; a profile of the Ferguson Burger Bar, a staunch supporter of protestors; salaries of police officers in STL County; the economic impact of school suspensions. Calendar of events, etc., etc., go look!

  183. rq says

    In photos: rebuilding Vonderrit’s memorial.

    Body-cams are not immune to corruption and… malfunctions: Cop With History of ‘Malfunctioning’ Body Cam Shoots 19-year-old Girl. Yep, Another ‘Malfunction’

    Police said Hawkes was pointing a gun at the pursuing officer. A semi-automatic pistol was found near her body.

    The autopsy report showed that she died of 3 bullet wounds, which were fired from a downward trajectory.

    The other lapel cams of the officers involved in the Hawkes incident did not show the shooting. In some of the videos the gun cannot be seen either.

    According to the Albuquerque Journal, an APD spokeswoman said officers moved the gun into the dirt nearby “for officer safety” after a still image of the shooting was captured. One video shows an object near her head as an officer arrives.

    APD claims that these body camera cables are designed in a break away fashion to prevent the officers from being strangled with the cords.

    APD is no stranger to death and corruption. Recent shootings coupled with their history of shootings and corruption in the past have sparked multiple resignations along with a federal investigation.

    This is in Albaquerque, by the way.

    Via Crommunist, The Nod: A Subtle Lowering of the Head You Give to Another Black Person in an Overwhelmingly White Place:

    The Nod is also so much more than that: It’s a swift yet intimate statement of ethnic solidarity. The Nod is saying, “Wow, well, I really didn’t expect to see another one of us out here, but you seem to be doing your thing just fine. More power to you, and all the very best.”

    The Nod is something that several white friends of mine often find bewildering. A few years ago, as I walked down a street in Italy with a friend, a black man looked at me and gave a small, stern bow before making his way off. “Who was that?” my friend asked. “Did you know him?”

    Her incredulous expression made it seem as if I was part of some mysterious cabal.

    I shook my head, no, I didn’t know him; but, in a sense, I did. He was bearing witness to the same thing that I was, which is what you might call “the geography of race.” […]

    For example, the last time I got The Nod was in a hotel lobby in Rio de Janeiro during the World Cup, just a few paces from the Ipanema beach; a hotel where, apart from the staff, I saw only one other black person all week.

    It was to my surprise, then, that I barely got The Nod in Berlin. Here, after all, is a city within a country that doesn’t have very many black people at all: Though there are no official records, the estimate is between 300,000 and 500,000 among a population of over 80 million. I visited Germany for the first time in 15 years, just after they had claimed the World Cup, and was struck by the lack of diversity. Yes, there was a large Turkish community, and no shortage of white Europeans; but, in this supposed melting pot, there weren’t so many of visibly African descent. That’s not to say, though, that what I experienced was “the unbearable whiteness of Berlin”. There didn’t seem to be too much need for The Nod here; this felt like a town where there was always somehow room at the table for just one more, whoever you were. […]

    I could contrast the ease I felt there, for example, with the anguish I saw on a black man’s face in mid-90s Moscow, or the brotherly welcome that I recently got in Bratislava. Almost all of the black people I encountered in Berlin seemed as indifferent to my race as they would be if I were back in Hackney or Brixton.

    For a post-Nod world.

  184. rq says

    Okay, so this just came up on twitter, via here:

    Anonymous Operation Ferguson: Grand Jury Leak

    Monday – October 27, 2014 3:00 PM ET USA

    Last night we announced that we have received over the past several days a series of leaks from two separate and unrelated sources regarding the long awaited Grand Jury decision regarding the murder of Mike Brown by Ferguson PD Officer Darren Wilson. In our opinion after careful analysis the sources are reliable, and the information we are about to reveal is true. Both sources are government employees with access to both internal government as well as confidential police communications. For reasons of safety we will not be revealing anything further on either our sources or the material leaked to us. The following is a synopses of the leaked information:

    On or about November 10, 2014 the Grand Jury decision will be announced. Darren Wilson will NOT be indicted on ANY charges related to the murder of Mike Brown. All local police Chiefs and jail commanders have been notified to begin preparing for major civil unrest. Governor Nixon has been notified of the impending announcement and has ordered the Missouri National Guard to begin preparations for a possible re-enstatement of the martial law that was declared at the beginning of the Ferguson protests.

    As additional evidence that neither the State nor Federal authorities intend any legal action against Darren Wilson for the murder of Mike Brown, one of our sources has provided a very intriguing close up glimpse of Darren Wilson – his current where abouts and lifestyle.

    Darren Wilson is still in the St. Louis area and recently attended a Blues game. He has been made aware of the impending Grand Jury and US DOJ decisions in his favor and is now comfortable enough that he has just closed purchase on a new home in the south county area. He is still co-habitating with his girl friend “Barbie”, who is now pregnant with their first child. I guess his paid vacation for murder has been productive in more ways then one.

    In an attempt to “protect” himself, Darren Wilson has altered his appearance. His hairline & hair color have been altered and he has grown a substantial beard. He is operating under the alias “Darren Obrien” or another false identity.

    Finally on an un-related note. “Josie” who called into a radio station during the early days of the Ferguson protests and purported to give Darren Wilson’s “side” of the story, from which many conservative media outlets (such as FOX News) have since spun the most outlandish falsehoods – has been identified as an account assistant at Javelin, Inc. and is associated with the Ferguson PD. We are still gathering info on this person and what exactly her relationship is with the FPD and her interest in Mike Brown’s murder.

    As more information is leaked to us we will update this document. Please follow us on Twitter @OpFerguson and visit our website at http://www.OperationFerguson.cf where this leak and other valuable information related to the Ferguson Movement is posted and regularly updated.

    Also, Orlando protests in photos, some of the faces, some of the police.

  185. rq says

    There’s a rapper in LA who just got convicted. He also has a song about Ezell Ford.

    The police are still out of control: Serpico speaks. Once again, on what happens to the good cops.

    Even now, I do not know for certain why I was left trapped in that door by my fellow police officers. But the Narcotics division was rotten to the core, with many guys taking money from the very drug dealers they were supposed to bust. I had refused to take bribes and had testified against my fellow officers. Police make up a peculiar subculture in society. More often than not they have their own moral code of behavior, an “us against them” attitude, enforced by a Blue Wall of Silence. It’s their version of the Mafia’s omerta. Speak out, and you’re no longer “one of us.” You’re one of “them.” And as James Fyfe, a nationally recognized expert on the use of force, wrote in his 1993 book about this issue, Above The Law, officers who break the code sometimes won’t be helped in emergency situations, as I wasn’t.

    Forty-odd years on, my story probably seems like ancient history to most people, layered over with Hollywood legend. For me it’s not, since at the age of 78 I’m still deaf in one ear and I walk with a limp and I carry fragments of the bullet near my brain. I am also, all these years later, still persona non grata in the NYPD. Never mind that, thanks to Sidney Lumet’s direction and Al Pacino’s brilliant acting, “Serpico” ranks No. 40 on the American Film Institute’s list of all-time movie heroes, or that as I travel around the country and the world, police officers often tell me they were inspired to join the force after seeing the movie at an early age. […]

    So my personal story didn’t end with the movie, or with my retirement from the force in 1972. It continues right up to this day. And the reason I’m speaking out now is that, tragically, too little has really changed since the Knapp Commission, the outside investigative panel formed by then-Mayor John Lindsay after I failed at repeated internal efforts to get the police and district attorney to investigate rampant corruption in the force. Lindsay had acted only because finally, in desperation, I went to the New York Times, which put my story on the front page. Led by Whitman Knapp, a tenacious federal judge, the commission for at least a brief moment in time supplied what has always been needed in policing: outside accountability. As a result many officers were prosecuted and many more lost their jobs. But the commission disbanded in 1972 even though I had hoped (and had so testified) that it would be made permanent.

    And today the Blue Wall of Silence endures in towns and cities across America. Whistleblowers in police departments — or as I like to call them, “lamp lighters,” after Paul Revere — are still turned into permanent pariahs. The complaint I continue to hear is that when they try to bring injustice to light they are told by government officials: “We can’t afford a scandal; it would undermine public confidence in our police.” That confidence, I dare say, is already seriously undermined.

    Things might have improved in some areas. The days when I served and you could get away with anything, when cops were better at accounting than at law enforcement — keeping meticulous records of the people they were shaking down, stealing drugs and money from dealers on a regular basis — all that no longer exists as systematically as it once did, though it certainly does in some places. Times have changed. It’s harder to be a venal cop these days.

    But an even more serious problem — police violence — has probably grown worse, and it’s out of control for the same reason that graft once was: a lack of accountability.

    I tried to be an honest cop in a force full of bribe-takers. But as I found out the hard way, police departments are useless at investigating themselves—and that’s exactly the problem facing ordinary people across the country —including perhaps, Ferguson, Missouri, which has been a lightning rod for discontent even though the circumstances under which an African-American youth, Michael Brown, was shot remain unclear. […]

    In some ways, matters have gotten even worse. The gulf between the police and the communities they serve has grown wider. Mind you, I don’t want to say that police shouldn’t protect themselves and have access to the best equipment. Police officers have the right to defend themselves with maximum force, in cases where, say, they are taking on a barricaded felon armed with an assault weapon. But when you are dealing every day with civilians walking the streets, and you bring in armored vehicles and automatic weapons, it’s all out of proportion. It makes you feel like you’re dealing with some kind of subversive enemy. The automatic weapons and bulletproof vest may protect the officer, but they also insulate him from the very society he’s sworn to protect. All that firepower and armor puts an even greater wall between the police and society, and solidifies that “us-versus-them” feeling.[…]

    And with all due respect to today’s police officers doing their jobs, they don’t need all that stuff anyway. When I was cop I disarmed a man with three guns who had just killed someone. I was off duty and all I had was my snub-nose Smith & Wesson. I fired a warning shot, the guy ran off and I chased him down. Some police forces still maintain a high threshold for violence: I remember talking with a member of the Italian carabinieri, who are known for being very heavily armed. He took out his Beretta and showed me that it didn’t even have a magazine inside. “You know, I got to be careful,” he said. “Before I shoot somebody unjustifiably, I’m better off shooting myself.” They have standards. […]

    Law enforcement agencies need to eliminate those who use and abuse the power of the law as they see fit. As I said to the Knapp Commission 43 years ago, we must create an atmosphere where the crooked cop fears the honest cop, and not the other way around. An honest cop should be able to speak out against unjust or illegal behavior by fellow officers without fear of ridicule or reprisals. Those that speak out should be rewarded and respected by their superiors, not punished.

    We’re not there yet.[…]

    The first place I went was to the mayor’s department of investigation, where I was told outright I had a choice: 1) Force their hand, meaning I would be found face down in the East River; or 2) Forget about it. The rest you know, especially if you’ve seen the movie. After refusing to take money myself, but coming under relentless pressure to do so, I went successively to the inspector’s office, the mayor’s office and the district attorney. They each promised me action and didn’t deliver. The lobbying power of the police was too strong. I discovered that I was all but alone in a world of institutionalized graft, where keeping the “pad” – all the money they skimmed – meant that officers spent more time tabulating their piece of the cake more than as guardians of the peace. […]

    As for Barack Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, they’re giving speeches now, after Ferguson. But it’s 20 years too late. It’s the same old problem of political power talking, and it doesn’t matter that both the president and his attorney general are African-American. Corruption is color blind. Money and power corrupt, and they are color blind too.

    Only a few years ago, a cop who was in the same 81st Precinct I started in, Adrian Schoolcraft, was actually taken to a psych ward and handcuffed to a gurney for six days after he tried to complain about corruption – they wanted him to keep to a quota of summonses, and he wasn’t complying. No one would have believed him except he hid a tape recorder in his room, and recorded them making their demands. Now he’s like me, an outcast. […]

    The sum total of all that experience can be encapsulated in a few simple rules for the future:
    1. Strengthen the selection process and psychological screening process for police recruits. […]
    2. Provide ongoing, examples-based training and simulations. […]
    3. Require community involvement from police officers so they know the districts and the individuals they are policing. […]
    4. Enforce the laws against everyone, including police officers. […]
    5. Support the good guys. […]
    6. Last but not least, police cannot police themselves.

    There’s four pages of hopelessness, but he ends on a rather hopeful note.

    So far, five cases in Ferguson have been dismissed because Darren Wilson didn’t show up.

    A spokesman for the Ferguson Police Department and Wilson’s lawyer did not immediately return requests for comment. Magee said he could not provide details on the cases because they were now closed, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the latest involved a felony drug charge against Christopher Brooks, who claimed in a Facebook post that Wilson roughed him up during the 2013 arrest. The judge tossed out the case after giving Wilson, who received a commendation in the case, weeks to show up before the grand jury.

    Kinda related, the Overpass Light Brigade: PISS OFF THE GOP & VOTE!!!

    A police shooting from 2012: Eight Police Officers Fired 46 Times at My Mentally Ill Son for Holding a Pen Knife. There’s video of the incident at the link, TW for graphic discussion of violence.

    Milton was a homeless, mentally ill African-American man, who was born on April 25, 1963, in Saginaw, Michigan. He was a community worker, and he was always there speaking out for those whom he considered the weak, for those who did not have the strength to speak for themselves.

    He had a mental disability that became apparent as a young adult, from when he was probably 24 or 25. But in spite of this, he lived his life independently and with freedom.

    He managed his own affairs, and that I supported and understood.

    As long as he was on his medication and all, he did fine. It was when he wasn’t on his medication that he was impatient. He’d sometimes become intolerant. But when he was on his medication, he maintained.

    He always would say everybody has equal rights. That was one of his songs that he sang all the time. So he exposed violations and campaigned for redress for people that he thought were victims. […]

    For him to be shot at 46 times and hit 14 times by all white policemen, it really raised questions in my mind. How they circled him and assassinated him. One policeman, after he was on the ground, turned him over, handcuffed him, and put his foot on his back. […]

    When you have the U.S. government go in and look at Milton’s case for four or five months and then come out and say, “Well, it wasn’t intentional.” To shoot at somebody 46 times and it wasn’t intentional? It has given me a commitment for the little time that I have left to work with parents whose kids have been similarly killed.

    I still don’t understand why they cuff dead people. They did it to Kajieme, too.

  186. rq says

    Ooh previous comment that italicized paragraph is my emphasis, sorry for not making a note on that!!

    LAPD Fear Rapper’s Finger-Gun Gesture, Will Now View Young Black Men As Threats: I think it’s a bit of a spoof article, but it’s too close to the truth to be funny.

    They have also released an official account of the police version of events, which reveals that they saw Ford walking on the sidewalk (bad move), stopped the car, and tried to talk to him. They don’t say why they were attempting to talk with him, but things took a threatening turn when Ford “continued walking” and “made suspicious movements, including attempting to conceal his hands.”

    Then came the familiar-sounding “struggle for the gun,” at which time, they say, “The partner officer then fired his handgun and the officer on the ground fired his backup weapon at the individual.”[…]

    That’s right, black people, now you’re a threat if you conceal your hands, and if you don’t conceal your hands. Like I told you before, you’re better off just cutting them off. You can also add “using phrases that are less-than-endearing” to the list of things that the police think they can shoot you for.

    From allhiphop.com, The Ferguson Report: The Smearing Of Mike Brown, on character assassination and inflammation attempts, with a very uplifting intro on the successful #OccupySLU event.

    More in a bit.

  187. says

    The sum total of all that experience can be encapsulated in a few simple rules for the future:
    1. Strengthen the selection process and psychological screening process for police recruits. […]
    2. Provide ongoing, examples-based training and simulations. […]
    3. Require community involvement from police officers so they know the districts and the individuals they are policing. […]
    4. Enforce the laws against everyone, including police officers. […]
    5. Support the good guys. […]
    6. Last but not least, police cannot police themselves.

    Just knowing how much police corruption, abuse of power, and brutality occurs every day…feeling in my gut that Darren Wilson will not be brought up on charges…it frustrates me beyond belief. Seeing those simple rules above fills me with hope for a split second, followed by a dashing to bits of that hope.

    ::sigh::

  188. rq says

    The latest talk in the Kajieme Powell killing: Kajieme looks back. It’s just a screenshot from the video of his death, showing him looking back at the crowd watching him n the cops. Just after that, he walks onto the lawn, causing the cops to change the angle of their shot, thus completely missing and no longer endangering any bystanders. The going theory is he did this consciously.

    Group calls for DOJ inquiry into treatment of press in Ferguson. Ferguson is sure keeping the DOJ busy.

    “The press play a critical role in documenting and disseminating information about human rights violations, including those that happen during public protests,” Katy Glenn Bass, deputy director of free expression programs at PEN, said Monday in a statement. “The pattern of press freedom violations observed in Ferguson is troubling not only because it suggests a breakdown in communication between the police and the fourth estate, but also because it restricted the flow of public information about police actions in Ferguson, thus limiting the ability to hold the police accountable for misconduct.”

    In the days following Brown’s killing by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, widespread protests erupted and news outlets from across the country converged on the small city in the suburbs of St. Louis.

    As the protests grew larger, so did the police contingent on the ground, their arsenal of weaponry and the force with which they used to respond to protesters. Some journalists reported being attacked by protesters, while others reported being roughed up and threatened by police. […]

    Schellman said the department’s policy now is for officers to always wear their name tags and badges. He also said that the county police department has also expanded its training to include an extensive review of the 1st, 4th and 14th Amendments and that officers will have a laminated card on them at all times with rights of the press.

    As for reporters being cordoned off, Schellman said the media staging areas were set up so that press could “be close enough to the incident as possible, with their safety in mind,” that reporters were never required to stay in that place and that it was “made available should they want to use it.”

    That assertion runs counter to many reporters’ experiences on the ground, as msnbc witnessed firsthand orders by police to either stay in place or face arrest.

    The PEN report was not “a blanket condemnation of the law enforcement officers who policed the Ferguson protests,” its authors noted, citing some armed individuals among the crowds who at points fired off weapons. “However, the number of reported abuses collected here strongly suggests that some police officers were deliberately trying to prevent the media from documenting the protests and the police response.”

    More at the link.

    School district writes to McCullogh (that’s the letter, twitter photo), asking him to release the Grand Jury (non)indictment not during school hours. Here’s the St Louis Public Radio article.

    “Information released during the school day has the potential to greatly affect school district operations and we implore you to refrain from making a grand jury announcement until such time as we can provide safe passage home for all students,” according to a letter dated Oct. 22.

    The letter was sent by the Riverview Gardens School District, and it includes the signatures of superintendents for Ferguson-Florissant, Hazelwood, Jennings, Kirkwood, Mehlville and the Normandy Schools Collaborative. Both Mehlville and Kirkwood are the designated transportation districts for transfer students from Riverview Gardens.

    Specifically, the letter asks that the announcement of the grand jury’s decision be made after 5 p.m. on a weekday or on the weekend, preferably on a Sunday.

    “Please be aware that we have travel route concerns directly and indirectly for students in Ferguson-Florissant, Riverview Gardens, Jennings as well as student transfers at Kirkwood and Mehlville. Students in Hazelwood, Normandy and Special School District will all likely be impacted — approximately 20,000 students, collectively,” according to the letter.

    Next St. Louis County Executive Faces Big Challenge Turning North St. Louis County Around .

    Hoo boy – policing clothing, and this time it’s not hijabs and burqas: Harlem Businesses Prohibit Hoodies, Masks .

    The new signs are creating a buzz in the neighborhood where some of the residents find it offensive and a form of racial profiling. […]

    However, the creator of the signs told the news site that the signs weren’t racially offensive as criminals “can be black, white, brown, yellow, blue or green.” [they forgot purple]

    “When you get a guy walking into a store and he has a hood up, a mask up, it can be a scary thing.”

    “The only complaint you might have is from the little thugs selling drugs in the corner,” he added.

    AAAHAHAHAHAHA because shoplifters always wear hoodies in order to be easily identifiable to the public.

  189. rq says

    The Guardian: Ferguson police brace for new protests by spending thousands on riot gear. Yup, more than $170 000, to date.

    A breakdown of the department’s spending since August on equipment intended for the policing of crowds and civil disobedience, which totals $172,669, was obtained by the Guardian from the county force.

    Since the height of the protests, the department has spent almost $25,000 buying 650 teargas grenades, smoke-and-gas grenades, smoke canisters and “hornets nest” CS sting grenades, which shoot out dozens of rubber bullets and a powdered chemical agent upon detonation.

    It has spent a further $18,000 on 1,500 “beanbag rounds” and 6,000 pepper balls, paintball-style projectiles that explode with a chemical irritant when they strike a protester. The department uses LiveX branded pepper balls, which are billed as ten times hotter than standard pepper rounds.

    Another $77,500 has been spent on 235 riot gear helmets, 135 shields, 25 batons and 60 sets of shin guards, and other “uniform items”. A further $2,300 was used to buy another 2,000 sets of the plastic handcuffs that have been used to detain dozens of demonstrators plucked from crowds on West Florissant Avenue.

    In addition, an estimated $50,000 has been set aside by the department for repair work for damaged police vehicles. However, in a sign that further clashes are expected, they are in fact “not repairing any vehicles until unrest is over”, a department inventory said.

    “We purchase these items in hopes that we never have to use any of them,” said Sergeant Brian Schellman, a spokesman for the county police department. “But it is our responsibility to have proper equipment to keep our police officers and all citizens safe should violence break out anywhere at any time.”

    Certainly sounds safe to me, heh. Especially since ‘all citizens’ kind of excludes a bunch. But whatever, right?

    Same info from PZ Feed: Police in Ferguson Stock Up On Riot Gear Ahead of Grand Jury Decision.

    Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic, Charles Barkley and the Plague of ‘Unintelligent’ Blacks:

    I simply maintain, as I always have, that if aliens were to compare the socioeconomic realities of the black community with the history of their treatment in this country, they would not be mystified. Respectability politics is, at its root, the inability to look into the cold dark void of history. For if black people are—as I maintain—no part of the problem, if the problem truly is 100 percent explained by white supremacy, then we are presented with a set of unfortunate facts about our home.

    And the looking away is quite old. In his book Lynching: American Mob Murder in Global Perspective, historian Robert Thurston traces the roots of respectability politics to the postbellum era. Asked to assess the problem of lynching, black public figures condemned barbarism—but not just the barbarism of white mobs.

    “The criminal record of the Negro people is alarming in its proportions,” wrote the great black educator Kelly Miller in 1899. “The whole race is given an evil reputation by reason of its criminal class.” Miller was not pro-lynching. But he believed that black criminality was part of the cause and argued that black protest would be fully justified until the rate of black criminality was zero […]

    Even in that time there were black people who refused to look away. None stand higher than Ida B. Wells:

    Like many other persons who had read of lynching in the South, I had accepted the idea meant to be conveyed—that although lynching was irregular and contrary to law and order, unreasoning anger over the terrible crime of rape led to the lynching; that perhaps the brute deserved justice and the mob was justified in taking his life.

    But then Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and Lee Stewart, friends of Ida B. Wells, were lynched, and it became clear that in he case of lynching, the claim of rape might be the pretext for something else:

    This is what opened my eyes to what lynching really was. An excuse to get rid of Negroes who were acquiring wealth and property and thus keep the raced down and keep the nigger terrorized.

    What Wells did with this realization is what makes her extraordinary. Wells had, at that point, been run out of Memphis for investigating the death of her friends. She lived in the North, effectively under neo-Confederate fatwa. But Wells returned to the South—sometimes with pistol in hand—and spent a significant part of her career investigating and exposing lynchings. To put this differently, having seen her own fault, she rededicated herself to the self-education, to hard study, and publicizing the truth. […]
    Thinking people have a decision to make. Will they follow a tradition that half-apologizes when powerful people commit awful crimes? Or will they follow the tradition of Ida B. Wells, of study and investigation, of trying to understand, no matter how horrible that understanding may ultimately seem to be?

    We cannot look away.

    A bit on the militarization of police: Authorities say no harm in sending military vehicle to collect judgment from elderly couple. Because you need 24 armed officers to collect some stuff from an elderly couple. Old people are scaaaryyy!!!

  190. rq says

    The Guardian: Ferguson police brace for new protests by spending thousands on riot gear. Yup, more than $170 000, to date.

    A breakdown of the department’s spending since August on equipment intended for the policing of crowds and civil disobedience, which totals $172,669, was obtained by the Guardian from the county force.

    Since the height of the protests, the department has spent almost $25,000 buying 650 teargas grenades, smoke-and-gas grenades, smoke canisters and “hornets nest” CS sting grenades, which shoot out dozens of rubber bullets and a powdered chemical agent upon detonation.

    It has spent a further $18,000 on 1,500 “beanbag rounds” and 6,000 pepper balls, paintball-style projectiles that explode with a chemical irritant when they strike a protester. The department uses LiveX branded pepper balls, which are billed as ten times hotter than standard pepper rounds.

    Another $77,500 has been spent on 235 riot gear helmets, 135 shields, 25 batons and 60 sets of shin guards, and other “uniform items”. A further $2,300 was used to buy another 2,000 sets of the plastic handcuffs that have been used to detain dozens of demonstrators plucked from crowds on West Florissant Avenue.

    In addition, an estimated $50,000 has been set aside by the department for repair work for damaged police vehicles. However, in a sign that further clashes are expected, they are in fact “not repairing any vehicles until unrest is over”, a department inventory said.

    “We purchase these items in hopes that we never have to use any of them,” said Sergeant Brian Schellman, a spokesman for the county police department. “But it is our responsibility to have proper equipment to keep our police officers and all citizens safe should violence break out anywhere at any time.”

    Certainly sounds safe to me, heh. Especially since ‘all citizens’ kind of excludes a bunch. But whatever, right?

    Same info from PZ Feed: Police in Ferguson Stock Up On Riot Gear Ahead of Grand Jury Decision.

    Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic, Charles Barkley and the Plague of ‘Unintelligent’ Blacks:

    I simply maintain, as I always have, that if aliens were to compare the socioeconomic realities of the black community with the history of their treatment in this country, they would not be mystified. Respectability politics is, at its root, the inability to look into the cold dark void of history. For if black people are—as I maintain—no part of the problem, if the problem truly is 100 percent explained by white supremacy, then we are presented with a set of unfortunate facts about our home.

    And the looking away is quite old. In his book Lynching: American Mob Murder in Global Perspective, historian Robert Thurston traces the roots of respectability politics to the postbellum era. Asked to assess the problem of lynching, black public figures condemned barbarism—but not just the barbarism of white mobs.

    “The criminal record of the Negro people is alarming in its proportions,” wrote the great black educator Kelly Miller in 1899. “The whole race is given an evil reputation by reason of its criminal class.” Miller was not pro-lynching. But he believed that black criminality was part of the cause and argued that black protest would be fully justified until the rate of black criminality was zero […]

    Even in that time there were black people who refused to look away. None stand higher than Ida B. Wells:

    Like many other persons who had read of lynching in the South, I had accepted the idea meant to be conveyed—that although lynching was irregular and contrary to law and order, unreasoning anger over the terrible crime of rape led to the lynching; that perhaps the brute deserved justice and the mob was justified in taking his life.

    But then Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and Lee Stewart, friends of Ida B. Wells, were lynched, and it became clear that in he case of lynching, the claim of rape might be the pretext for something else:

    This is what opened my eyes to what lynching really was. An excuse to get rid of Negroes who were acquiring wealth and property and thus keep the raced down and keep the n*gg*r terrorized.

    What Wells did with this realization is what makes her extraordinary. Wells had, at that point, been run out of Memphis for investigating the death of her friends. She lived in the North, effectively under neo-Confederate fatwa. But Wells returned to the South—sometimes with pistol in hand—and spent a significant part of her career investigating and exposing lynchings. To put this differently, having seen her own fault, she rededicated herself to the self-education, to hard study, and publicizing the truth. […]
    Thinking people have a decision to make. Will they follow a tradition that half-apologizes when powerful people commit awful crimes? Or will they follow the tradition of Ida B. Wells, of study and investigation, of trying to understand, no matter how horrible that understanding may ultimately seem to be?

    We cannot look away.

    A bit on the militarization of police: Authorities say no harm in sending military vehicle to collect judgment from elderly couple. Because you need 24 armed officers to collect some stuff from an elderly couple. Old people are scaaaryyy!!!

  191. rq says

    * Asterisks in ‘n*gg*rs’ in the above blockquote are mine, got caught in the filter.

    There’s still time to demand a moratorium on 1033 (petition). That’s the bit that allows police to militarize themselves so heavily.

    Local and state police around the country are being armed like soldiers through the Department of Defense’s 1033 program.

    Authorities are getting dangerous military equipment and therefore a green light to use paramilitary tactics with civilians. Authorities use the 1033 program claiming it will “enhance officer safety,” but paramilitary policing puts everyone at risk.

    Paramilitary SWAT teams force their way into people’s homes in the middle of the night, often just to search for drugs, wounding and even killing pets and children. Militarized police aim rifles at peaceful protestors as seen in Ferguson, Missouri. Even college campus police are getting armored trucks, grenade launchers, and military-grade body armor.

    Police militarization is unnecessary and dangerous.

    The program has been in effect and unchecked for over two decades. Since the 1990s, 1033 has provided more than $5 billion worth of surplus military equipment to state and local agencies – at no cost to them and at high cost to taxpayers.

    The federal government is already reviewing the 1033 program and other federal programs that fuel the militarization of policing. A moratorium will halt military give-aways to local police while this review is underway.

    Demand a moratorium on 1033 today.

  192. says

    West Virginia editorial writer scrubs post calling Michael Brown an ‘animal’

    harleston, West Virginia newspaper columnist has drawn criticism for a blog post calling Michael Brown “an animal” and trashing protesters in Ferguson, Missouri as “racists,” Talking Points Memo reported.

    “That’s not the view of the paper as a whole,” Charleston Daily Mail editor and publisher Brad McElhinny said of Don Surber’s post this past Saturday. “His words were uncareful and he is aware of that. He is aware that although it was his personal blog, people realize he is a columnist and an editorial writer for the paper and it’s certainly affected our reputation.”

    According to media blogger Jim Romenesko, Surber published the post at his personal blog this past Saturday.

    “This summer I had an epiphany as I watched packs of racists riot in Ferguson, Missouri, in support of a gigantic thug who was higher than a kite when he attacked Ferguson Police Department Officer Darren Wilson, who unfortunately had to put this animal down,” Surber originally wrote.

    Brown was shot and killed by Wilson this past August, which set off a series of protests that spread around the country. The police response at the time was criticized for escalating tensions between authorities and residents, as well as journalists covering the demonstrations.

    Surber later posted an update, saying, “I made a factual error. Michael Brown was not an animal but a man. Big. Brutal. High. His death was a justifiable homicide and not a putting down.” However, the post was deleted from his site by Tuesday afternoon, though a cached version is still available online.

    So. Much. Wrong.

  193. Pteryxx says

    This piece is just now making the rounds on Tumblr, and as far as I can tell, nobody’s linked to it in this thread yet.

    Parents Talk Back: Black moms tell white moms about the race talk (News-Observer, North Carolina)

    Christi Griffin, the president of The Ethics Project, wanted this to be different. She wanted to invite mothers of other races to hear directly from black mothers the reality of raising a black son in America. She wanted them to hear the words they each had said to their own sons, in different variations over the years, but all with the same message: Stay alive. Come home alive.

    She wanted mothers who had never felt the fear, every single time their son walked outside or drove a car, that he could possibly be killed to hear what that felt like.

    Griffin’s son, now grown, had never gotten in trouble nor given her any trouble growing up. But when her son was 14 years old, the family moved into an all-white neighborhood. She took him to the police department to introduce him to the staff. She wanted the officers to know that he belonged there, that he lived there.

    […]

    Marlowe Thomas-Tulloch said that when she noticed her grandson was getting bigger and taller, she laid bare a truth to him: Son, if the police stop you, I need for you to be humble. But I need more than that. I need for you to be prepared to be humiliated.

    If they tell you take your hands out of your pockets, take your hands out. Be ready to turn your pockets out. If they tell you to sit down, be prepared to lie down.

    You only walk in the street with one boy at a time, she told him.

    “What?” her grandson said. In his 17-year-old mind, he hadn’t done anything wrong and nothing was going to happen to him.

    “If it’s three or more, you’re a mob,” she said. “That’s how they will see you.”

    She started to cry.

    “Listen to me,” she begged. “Hear me.”

    Finally, she felt him feel her fear.

    If they ask you who you are, name your family.

    Yes, sir and no, sir. If they are in your face, even if they are wrong, humble yourself and submit yourself to the moment.

    “I’m serious,” she said. “Because I love you.”

    […]

    Amy Hunter, director of racial justice at the YWCA in metro St. Louis, said it’s taken her 10 years to be able to share this story about her son without crying. She didn’t want her white friends to see her cry when she told it. She didn’t want to look weak.

    Her four children are now older, but when one of her sons was 12, he decided to walk home from the Delmar Loop in University City where he had met some friends.

    He saw a police officer circling him, and he knew. He was wearing Sperrys, a tucked-in polo shirt, a belt. He was 12, and he knew, but he was scared.

    He lived five houses away, and he hadn’t done anything wrong.

    “I knew you were home,” he said to his mom when he finally made it home after being frisked. “I knew I was about to get stopped, and I thought about running home to you.”

    His mother froze.

    “I forgot to tell him,” she said. “I forgot to tell him: Don’t run. Don’t run or they’ll shoot you.”

  194. Pteryxx says

    Cops behaving badly, via Amanda Hess at Slate: To California Cops, Stealing and Sharing Naked Photos of Women in Custody Is a “Game”

    Five days after her release, the Contra Costa Times reports, the woman was tooling around on her iPad when she discovered that explicit photographs of herself had been forwarded to an unknown number while she had been sitting, deviceless, in jail. CHP officer Sam Harrington later admitted that he had seized the woman’s confiscated phone, searched it for nude photographs, sent five of them to his own phone, then forwarded some along to two fellow officers. Harrington had attempted to erase the evidence on the woman’s cellphone, but her synced iPad revealed the trail.

    According to court documents obtained by Matthais Gafni and Malaika Fraley of the Contra Costa Times, Harrington described the behavior to investigators as a “game” he had learned in the CHP’s Los Angeles office. Officers across the state play along, passing around naked photographs along with disgusting commentary about the women they pick up. Sometimes, the material is sent to civilians, too. Harrington said that he’d done the same thing a “half dozen” times over the past few years. In a second known incident, this September, Harrington scoured a DUI suspect’s phone while she was receiving X-rays for her injuries and sent bikini shots to another officer. He replied: “No fucking nudes?”

    Since uncovering the scheme, Gafni has detailed similar incidents in police stations across the country, none of which have produced criminal charges against the cops.

    From Gafni’s source article, one of a series: Contra Costa Times

    In 2011, after her arrest on suspicion of public drunkenness by a Morgan Hill police officer, Casey Serrano alleged that a corporal found a nude photo stored on her phone and uploaded it to her Facebook profile while she was in custody. Serrano said another officer accessed her phone and deleted photos of his patrol car which was blocking her driveway and parked in a manner that violated police protocol, according to court documents and Siegel.

    An internal investigation found then-Corporal Mindy Zen uploaded a photo where Serrano’s naked breast was exposed onto Serrano’s Facebook account, Siegel said.

    “She was really embarrassed by that. Fortunately, it was not up that long before one of her friends called her,” Siegel said. “But you never know how many people see something like that and it can be reposted. It caused a great deal of emotional distress.”

    Serrano filed a claim against the city and received a $75,000 settlement, Siegel said. Zen was demoted and officer David Ray, who deleted the photos, was fired. He sued for wrongful termination and in August a judge ruled Ray’s conduct was “egregious” when he arrested the Gilroy woman and her friend without probable cause and tampered with her cell phone to eliminate photos of his transgressions.

  195. rq says

    Tony
    Twitter right now is saying there will be no resignation – however, because Twitter is not letting me access older tweets right now, I don’t know if they’re talking about Jackson – or Wilson. The source being cited is Christine Byers, the same woman who has been leaking all the other stuff; she seems to have some connection with the PD.

    Anyway, remember those 40 000 missing voter registration forms in Georgia? Court doesn’t care. They’re not going to try to find out why they disappeared, or where they are. Lots of angry people.

    FergusonFireside tonight,

    Join this national conference call with Ferguson protestors.

    We want to remove the middle-man and go straight to the American people so that you can hear from the protest community.

    This panel discussion will span a host of topics, including the indictment decision, protest actions, authenticity, gender, and the militarization of police. We will also take questions via the #FergusonFireside hashtag on twitter.

    Students, teachers, families, parents, activists, organizers, friends — all are welcome and encouraged to participate in the first of a series of calls. The movement starts with you.

    To allow one Ferguson is to enable endless others.

    There was a video projected onto the wall of the St Ann PD – watch it here.

    TRIGGER WARNING FOR EXPLICIT RECREATION OF LYNCHING

    Tennessee family sets up Halloween display.

    An offensive Halloween display outside of a Fort Campbell home has been removed.

    The display appeared to show an African-American family hanging from a tree outside of an on-post residence on Litwin Street.

    The child in the display had a knife in its back.

    Officials said the resident willingly removed the decorations after being informed of concerns raised by the community.

    There’s a photo – the picture shows three black bodies hanging from a tree branch, and a small toddler-sized dummy clinging to the legs of the middle one. IT IS HORRIBLE.
    Do not read the comments.

  196. rq says

    Several sources on how Jackson is NOT stepping down:
    St Louis CBS Local; KSDK.com (with autoplay video!!!); St Louis Post-Dispatch.

    Darren Wilson missing? No biggie: only six cases dismissed due to his no-show (previous report said five).

    Remember the convenience store footage? Here’s a closer look at what Mike Brown did and didn’t do in that store. So, not only was releasing that video irresponsibly stupid, it was also just plain wrong.

    Good cop, bad cop: Police Union Slams Cops For Helping Eric Garner’s Mother Change Headlight.

    Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, condemned officers who helped Eric Garner’s mother change a headlight yesterday. After Gwen Carr received a traffic ticket over the expired light in question, an NYPD officer showed up to her house to fix it. Carr is the mother of the man whom the NYPD used a homicidal and illegal chokehold on and she is currently suing the city for $75 million. […]
    Lou Turco, head of the Lieutenant’s Benevolent Association, contradicts that story and says the officer was ordered to perform the repair.

    For her part, Carr doesn’t give a fuck and bluntly said she never asked for anyone’s help:

    “The only thing I have ever requested of the NYPD was what any mother would ask, which is the arrest for the killing of my son.”

  197. rq says

    Protesting continued yesterday at the St Ann PD, in photos (TW on that second set!!!!): photo 1, photo 2.

    Not just the police, but also businesses plan for civil unrest following Ferguson grand jury announcement:

    In a letter widely shared online, Pace Property told all tenants in the complex to be ready for problems, even though there is no indication anything is headed their way.

    “We are asking every store manager to give some serious thought to what your response would be in the event of demonstrations or civil unrest,” the letter read.

    In Clayton, various business owners say they’ve had a number of informal conversations about what could happen when word comes from the justice center, just up the street from many of their storefronts.

    At the Diamond Shop, owner Thom Kohn says he’s just looking for guidance from the city.

    “We’re hoping they’ll give us enough time to say this is what we’re expecting and this is what we suggest the merchants of Clayton do to be safe, to keep property safe, and hopefully things will stay peaceful,” he said.

    Police say they’ve been going door to door trying to reassure shop owners. They’ve also sent out literature containing emergency preparedness tips.

    “We have sent out cards to over 200 businesses to let them know how they can prepare for emergencies in the short term,” Clayton Police Chief Kevin Murphy said.

    Reverend Al Sharpton returning to Ferguson, and he has the entire weekend planned out.

    Police reforms? Massive Ferguson reform package developing, according to a ‘source’.

    A source familiar with the discussions also told FOX 2 leaders from local mayors, to state lawmakers, to members of congress were working a Ferguson reform package to be unveiled in the coming days or weeks.

    Possible changes include: Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson, stepping down; the termination of officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed, Mike Brown, 18, August 9th and St. Louis County Police assuming operation of the Ferguson Police Department. St. Louis County and Ferguson officials told Fox 2 they knew of no such changes.

    Twitter had added rumours of possibly disbanding the Ferguson PD altogether.

    TW: Yesterday or day before, I had a link with an interview with the mother of a homeless man shot 46 times for wielding a penknife. Here’s the graphic footage of how 8 officers shot him down.

    thisisthemovement, installment #41: comparing protests in the 1840s and now; police chief in Beavercreek planning on stepping down, says it is not linked to the shooting of John Crawford III; Ferguson PD spending thousands on riot gear; DOJ inquiry into treatment of press; commentary on Ferguson re: media and American interest in tragedy; St Louis school superintendent letter to McCullogh; 7 Things I Can Do That My Black Son Can’t (white father comments on his own privilege re: biracial son); still no sign of Darren Wilson; 9 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Dressing Like a Ferguson Protestor for Halloween (in other words, DON’T). Calendar of events, donation links, go take a look.

  198. rq says

    Probe into Alleged Juror Misconduct on Michael Brown Grand Jury May be Nearing an End:

    The judge and prosecutor Bob McCulloch have been investigating for three weeks.

    If the tweet is legitimate and not a hoax, the source of the leak could be dismissed from the grand jury.

    The grand jury could rule on the case with only 11 members because only nine are needed to render a verdict by law. There could also be calls to scrap the whole panel and start over.

    Shakeup of Ferguson police force expected:

    The plan, described by a source with direct knowledge of the plans as “extremely delicate,” said the details are still being hashed out in closed-door meetings between Ferguson city and St. Louis County officials who have sought consultation from the Justice Department, which is conducting a civil rights investigation into the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in August. The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the plan could include not just the resignation of Chief Jackson but the resignation of Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Brown on a Ferguson street, setting the city into weeks of unrest.

    The source who spoke with msnbc said Chief Jackson and Officer Wilson are expected to be eased out of the Ferguson police force, before what could be a full-scale take over of the Ferguson force by the St. Louis County police.

    But police chief(s) involved apparently say they know nothing.

  199. rq says

    To review, back on October 4, Millenial Activists United called for Police Chief Jackson to step down.

    For immediate release: Oct 4th, 2014
    Contact: MillennialAU@gmail.com

    Over the past 56 days, and under the leadership of Police Chief Thomas Jackson the Ferguson police department have failed to live up to the mission statement of protection of life and property in Ferguson that is posted on their website. Millennial Activists United demands that Chief Jackson resigns and gives Ferguson the space to move forward with a new chief chosen by the community.

    “One thing that’s come from these protests is that people pay attention now, paying attention comes with accountability and that’s been my big word this entire time,” says MAU member Alexis Templeton. The time for accountability for the numerous injustices committed under the direction of Jackson include the gross mishandling at the site of the shooting of Mike Brown, the disregard of protocol by Darren Wilson by calling a fellow officer before reporting the fatal shooting to dispatch, the use of canine units in a grieving community as a means of crowd control and overall, creating an unsafe environment with heavy militarized police presence that culminated in Mike Brown’s body laying in the street for four and a half hours. A complete lack of transparency and accountability by the Ferguson police department has further added to the tension in the city. The compounding violations also include the deceptive practice of covering name tags, the removal of badges from police uniforms, the excessive force used against demonstrators, the selective enforcement of city ordinances, and the illegal arrests and detainment of over 200 peaceful demonstrators. The October 2nd arrest of 13 peaceful demonstrators, including MAU members Ashley Yates, Brittany Ferrell and Alexis Templeton should be the last intolerable act under the current chief.

    Chief Jackson has shown time and time again he is incapable of serving the community he has sworn to protect and has given empty apologies, but has yet to take real corrective action. The community & Millennial Activists United demand that Chief Thomas Jackson resign so that Ferguson can to move forward with a community appointed police chief, who will protect life and property in their respective order.

    Millennial Activists United:
    Alexis Templeton
    Ashley Yates
    Brittany Ferrell
    Larry Fellows III

    Supporting Community Leaders:
    St. John’s UCC
    Patricia Bynes
    Traci Blackmon
    Deaconess Foundation
    Reverend Starsky Wilson

  200. says

    The grand jury could rule on the case with only 11 members because only nine are needed to render a verdict by law. There could also be calls to scrap the whole panel and start over.

    Who would make the call the scrap the panel though? McCullough?

  201. Pteryxx says

    reading rq’s link in #280 about the missing voter registrations in Georgia: (that link again) (bolds mine)

    The New Georgia Project, who spearheaded the voter registration drive and brought the lawsuit against the state, vowed Tuesday to “continue to pursue all legal avenues available.” But with the election mere days away, there may be little remedy for the tens of thousands of people who submitted all necessary documents, but have still not received a registration card. Four of those impacted voters were present at the court hearing, but were denied the opportunity to testify.

    […]

    Burrofsky said the people she registered in Dunwoody, Georgia, a more affluent and conservative community, did show up in the system, while those in more diverse and low-income communities in DeKalb County mysteriously disappeared.

    “It just hadn’t occurred to me that this would be a tactic that the Secretary of State could use. I was very naive, I guess. I feel absolutely sick that this election is being stolen,” she said.

    With the races for the state’s governor’s mansion and Senate seat too close to call, the missing voters could not only sway the political control of the state, but the political control of Congress’ upper chamber.

  202. Pteryxx says

    More detail on the missing voter registrations in Georgia:

    Press release from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law, including links to PDFs of the lawsuit and the judge’s decision: (Press release) (Writ of Mandamus, 65 pages) (Judge’s decision, 14 pages)

    At a hearing last Friday, Superior Court Judge Christopher S. Brasher refused to permit a number of affected individuals to testify about their voter registration applications, and he had earlier refused to permit the plaintiffs to obtain crucial testimony under oath from the Secretary of State’s office about its procedures. Even so, the plaintiffs submitted expert analysis showing thousands of individuals who should have been added to the voter rolls or received notice but have not, as well as obvious flaws in the State’s voter registration system and policies. The plaintiffs also showed that some voters whose applications were officially processed have not received basic information about their correct polling place.

    Today’s decision discounted that evidence and did not acknowledge a single flaw in Georgia’s voter registration process. Instead, the court directed unregistered Georgians to cast provisional ballots, which frequently are disallowed and result in disenfranchisement. The decision only holds election officials to the standard of “substantial compliance” when it comes to processing voter registration applications; however, the decision does not cite any authority allowing public officials to deny eligible Georgians their right to vote guaranteed by the Georgia Constitution on the grounds of “substantial compliance”. The judge’s decision also labelled the claims in the lawsuit “premature”, even though early voting began over two weeks ago and election day is a mere week away.

    Background article from Sunday: (ThinkProgress)

    Lawyers for Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp and three counties who are also the target of the suit countered that state law sets no deadlines for processing voter registrations, and emphasized that any voter unsure of their registration status can always cast a provisional ballot. Those who do so must return within three days to present additional documentation or otherwise cure any problem with the system. But the NAACP and New Georgia Project called this remedy “unacceptable.”

    “I cannot tell you what little return we actually see in terms of provisional ballots,” Johnson said. “The election is decided the night of the election. It’s not really a ballot at all.”

    Even if every one of the registrations in limbo does get processed and added to the voter rolls by Election Day, Johnson says the uncertainty has still been “problematic.” Because the 40,000-odd voters have not yet received their registration cards in the mail that tells them which precinct they’re assigned to, “this ambiguity may discourage people from going to out to vote, and those who do go won’t know where to go, and they’ll be shuffled around from polling place to polling place.”

    Amidst this chaos, the Secretary of State publicly accused the New Georgia Project in September of submitting fraudulent registration forms. A subsequent investigation found just 25 confirmed forgeries out of more than 85,000 forms—a fraud rate of about 3/100ths of 1 percent.

    Abrams explained to ThinkProgress that all other third party registration groups must submit every form they get no matter if it’s incomplete or forged. She characterized the subpoena and accusations as an attempt to intimidate and discredit her efforts.

    […]

    At the same time these changes were taking place, the state enacted measures courts have found to disproportionately impact voters of color. In 2006, Georgia enacted a “strict” voter ID law. Five years later the state cut the number of days of early voting. In 2012, the Secretary of State purged thousands of voters from the rolls a few months before the presidential election. Just last month, the same Secretary of State lamented before an audience of Republican activists that the registration of more voters of color would mean a win for Democrats.

    That’s Brian Kemp, the same Secretary of State named in the lawsuit that Judge Brasher just threw out.

  203. Pteryxx says

    Just saw Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC talking to forensic assistant Shawn Parcells, who participated in the family-requested autopsy of Michael Brown.

    Parcells described (and demonstrated on a replica skull) the final two shots to Brown’s head. According to Parcells, the one above Brown’s eye took a path toward the front of his lower jaw, and the last shot to the crown of his head traveled forward, towards his jaw again – which suggest the more likely scenario had Brown falling to the ground face-down below the level of Wilson’s gun at that point.

    Link to video segment at MSNBC

    Note that Parcells has a title of “forensic pathologist assistant” and not “forensic pathologist” as he has no medical degree. Breitbart, Fox, and the usual suspects call him a fake and worse because of this. Parcells himself says that’s because pathology assistants aren’t *required* to have medical degrees; they’re assistants and work under the supervision of a degreed forensic pathologist, in this instance Dr. Baden. He’s still an expert for purposes of testifying in court.

    Pathology Blawg from August 21 (link) detailing Parcells’s own account of the August 17 autopsy performed with Dr. Baden.

    Pathology Blawg from July 2013 (link) where Parcells describes his qualifications and the option of board certification for pathologist assistants.

  204. Pteryxx says

    More in major, major GOP voter suppression plans:

    via Daily Kos, GOP to Kick 7 Million from Voter Rolls in 27 States. Link references an Al Jazeera investigation titled Jim Crow Returns: Millions of minority voters threatened by electoral purge.

    Election officials in 27 states, most of them Republicans, have launched a program that threatens a massive purge of voters from the rolls. Millions, especially black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters, are at risk. Already, tens of thousands have been removed in at least one battleground state, and the numbers are expected to climb, according to a six-month-long, nationwide investigation by Al Jazeera America.

    At the heart of this voter-roll scrub is the Interstate Crosscheck program, which has generated a master list of nearly 7 million names. Officials say that these names represent legions of fraudsters who are not only registered but have actually voted in two or more states in the same election — a felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison.

    […]

    Based on the Crosscheck lists, officials have begun the process of removing names from the rolls — beginning with 41,637 in Virginia alone. Yet the criteria used for matching these double voters are disturbingly inadequate.

    Millions of mismatches

    There are 6,951,484 names on the target list of the 28 states in the Crosscheck group; each of them represents a suspected double voter whose registration has now become subject to challenge and removal. According to a 2013 presentation by Kobach to the National Association of State Election Directors, the program is a highly sophisticated voter-fraud-detection system. The sample matches he showed his audience included the following criteria: first, last and middle name or initial; date of birth; suffixes; and Social Security number, or at least its last four digits.

    That was the sales pitch. But the actual lists show that not only are middle names commonly mismatched and suffix discrepancies ignored, even birthdates don’t seem to have been taken into account. Moreover, Crosscheck deliberately ignores Social Security mismatches, in the few instances when the numbers are even collected. The Crosscheck instructions for county election officers state, “Social Security numbers are included for verification; the numbers might or might not match.”

    In practice, all it takes to become a suspect is sharing a first and last name with a voter in another state.

    […]

    Twenty-three percent of the names — nearly 1.6 million of them — lack matching middle names. “Jr.” and “Sr.” are ignored, potentially disenfranchising two generations in the same family. And, notably, of those who may have voted twice in the 2012 presidential election, 27 percent were listed as “inactive” voters, meaning that almost 1.9 million may not even have voted once in that race, according to Crosscheck’s own records.

    […]

    “It’s biased, I think, both in form and intent,” says Rep. Stacey Abrams, leader of the Democrats in the Georgia state legislature. “But more concerning to me is the fact this is being done stealthfully. … We have never had this information presented to us.”

    Abrams, in her second role as founder of New Georgia Project, a nonpartisan voter registration group, has, in coordination with the NAACP, already sued Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brian Kemp, on behalf of 56,001 voters who filled out registration forms but have yet to see their names appear on voter rolls.

    Abrams is especially concerned that the Crosscheck list was crafted by GOP official Kobach. “I believe that Kris Kobach has demonstrated a very aggressive animus towards people of color … in voter registration,” she says. Abrams is now threatening legislative and legal action against Kemp.

    Butler is particularly incensed that she was not informed of the use of Crosscheck’s list, because she is also a member of the board of elections in Morgan County, Georgia.

    The Al Jazeera article includes a tool to check names against the lists they received from Georgia and Virginia. The 28 states using the Crosscheck list:

    Alaska
    Arizona
    Arkansas
    Colorado
    Georgia
    Idaho
    Illinois
    Indiana
    Iowa
    Kansas
    Kentucky
    Louisiana
    Massachusetts
    Michigan
    Mississippi
    Missouri
    Nebraska
    North Carolina
    Ohio
    Oklahoma
    Pennsylvania
    South Dakota
    South Carolina
    Tennessee
    Virginia
    West Virginia

    Washington state is enrolled in Crosscheck but has declined to use the results.

  205. rq says

    Mostly link-dumping due to Life.
    St. Louis County Council approves $1 million to help North County residents

    HuffPo on the grand jury leak: Probe Of Possible Ferguson Grand Jury Leak On Twitter Wasn’t Exactly In-Depth

    McCulloch said after the possible leak that he would be “shocked if a member of the grand jury said anything.” On Thursday, he announced that his office had concluded that the account was hacked “and the origin/author of the tweet is unknown.”

    McCulloch spokesman Ed Magee told The Huffington Post that Nichols had voluntarily spoken with investigators and never went under oath. While Nichols also allowed investigators to look at her computer, they did not examine her cell phone or any other electronic devices she might own, Magee said.

    “She said she has nothing to do with it, and that’s what we went by and we couldn’t prove otherwise,” Magee said. “She was very cooperative, came in and talked to us.” She didn’t have a lawyer, he said.

    Judge unexpectedly meets with protesters about warrant amnesty, with video.

    Presiding Judge Maura McShane is supposed to supervise the some 80 courts that are operated by municipalities to handle traffic and nuisance tickets, housing code matters and some domestic abuse. She told the demonstrators she has limited authority and cannot hire or fire court judges. But Judge McShane agreed to bring their concerns to the attention of a committee of judges and lawyers she has working to improve the system.

    In twitter photos, that looked like this and like this.

    Also twitter photo, map of the school districts requesting the GJ decision be released at a certain time. Not sure how that maps onto other city demographics.

  206. rq says

    Reverend Al Sharpton arrives in Ferguson.

    A word on Holder, because. Eric Holder Says He Regrets Lying To A Judge And Saying A Reporter Was A ‘Co-Conspirator’ But The Law Made Him Do It.

    Press release: St Louis police association supports Stenger, rather aggressively:

    The Dooley Administration symbolizes everything that is wrong with government and the damage that has been done to St. Louis County is immeasurable. Crocker stated, “The Dooley Administration is the proverbial “cement block shoes” dragging this county and its police department to the bottom of the river.” “Steve Stenger is the guy we need to beat Charlie Dooley. He is the only guy that can beat Charlie Dooley,” Crocker added.

    A Ferguson protestor, rapper Tef Poe: The democratic party is failing us, though I’m pretty sure the Republican party would be failing them even worse, in the long run.

    Senator Claire McCaskill and Governor Jay Nixon are conservative-styled Democrats who refuse to truthfully touch the subject of race because white privilege and classism have made it possible for them both to ignore Missouri’s ugliest perils. State Rep. Jeff Roorda (D-Barnhart) claims to be a friend of minorities in the labor movement, but he does not sympathize with us on the subject of police brutality. Congressman Lacy Clay is a black man, and even he voted for an extension of the militarized-weapons program. We are being thrown to the wolves and left for dead.

    St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has tossed us into the lake of fire as he blindly chooses to not address the topic. Every attempt to have our voices heard by the people who control our lives with their irresponsible legislative choices has been muted by the state. The president is black, but Eric Garner is dead. The president is black, but my sisters from Millennial Activists United were still rounded up like cattle and thrown into jail for absolutely nothing.

    Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will not save us. Anyone actually tied into and in support of these tyrannical men and women will not save us. The Democratic Party has now become the party supported by closet racists and country-styled, old-fashioned conservatives. […]

    As the situation now stands, there is no real option for political inclusion of all people in America. We have the opportunity to design one, but the Democratic Party is not it. We have buried ourselves alive by continually supporting the lesser of two evils.

    Remember those supposed proposed changes to the police department and all things related? Ferguson Officials Deny Any Plans To Change Police Operations.

    Oh, and bad news for the official autopsy of Michael Brown, maybe: Brown family’s pathologist wants to testify:

    Michael Baden conducted an autopsy on Brown’s body in August at the request of the teen’s family and concluded then that the teen could have been shot from as far away as 30 feet. A leaked copy of the St. Louis County medical examiner’s autopsy report says microscopic particles of gunshot residue were found in a deep layer of skin, showing that the teen was shot once in his thumb at close range.

    Baden said he wants a gunshot residue report, as well as several pieces of evidence, to draw his own conclusions. He said is willing to testify about his findings before a grand jury deciding whether to charge the officer who shot Brown.

    “Gunshot residue can look very similar to ordinary dirt on the ground, and his hand, for four hours, was on the ground,” Baden said. “So dirt on the ground, the body being moved when they were putting him in the body bag could create the microscopic appearance of gunshot residue.”

    Very, very interesting.

    Oh, forgot this to go with that friendly judge above: photo, protestors invited in by judge.

    This is the actual statement from McCullogh, denying any leaks from the Grand Jury, twitter photo.

    Recently several concerns have been raised about information being “leaked” from the grand Jury. Frist, no information or evidence has been released by the grand just. A tweet several weeks ago claimed the author talked to a friend who is serving on the GJ about the case. That did not happen. An investigation revealed that the account had, indeed, been hacked and the origin/ author of the tweet is unknown. The owner of the account has no connection with any member of the grand jury.

    Second, more recent reports claim that certain testimoney and documents have also been “leaked” by or from the grand jury. Even a cursory reading of the news articles reporting the information refutes that claim.
    The New York Times acknowledged that they received the information in Washington, D.C. from a government official who had been briefed on the Michael Brown case. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch stated very clearly that the information and document they obtained did not come from the grand jury.

    As exasperating as I and others find the piecemeal release of information and documents, no information or evidence has been released by the grand jury, any individual juror or anyone associated with the grand jury. Whoever is releasing the information is doing great disservice to the grand jury process. Additionally, anyone suggesting that the “integrity of the entire grand jury process has been destroyed” is wrong, irresponsible and does a great disservice to the public.

    Tpyos mine.

  207. rq says

    Reverend Al Sharpton arrives in Ferguson.

    A word on Holder, because. Eric Holder Says He Regrets Lying To A Judge And Saying A Reporter Was A ‘Co-Conspirator’ But The Law Made Him Do It.

    Press release: St Louis police association supports Stenger, rather aggressively:

    The Dooley Administration symbolizes everything that is wrong with government and the damage that has been done to St. Louis County is immeasurable. Crocker stated, “The Dooley Administration is the proverbial “cement block shoes” dragging this county and its police department to the bottom of the river.” “Steve Stenger is the guy we need to beat Charlie Dooley. He is the only guy that can beat Charlie Dooley,” Crocker added.

    A Ferguson protestor, rapper Tef Poe: The democratic party is failing us, though I’m pretty sure the Republican party would be failing them even worse, in the long run.

    Senator Claire McCaskill and Governor Jay Nixon are conservative-styled Democrats who refuse to truthfully touch the subject of race because white privilege and classism have made it possible for them both to ignore Missouri’s ugliest perils. State Rep. Jeff Roorda (D-Barnhart) claims to be a friend of minorities in the labor movement, but he does not sympathize with us on the subject of police brutality. Congressman Lacy Clay is a black man, and even he voted for an extension of the militarized-weapons program. We are being thrown to the wolves and left for dead.

    St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has tossed us into the lake of fire as he blindly chooses to not address the topic. Every attempt to have our voices heard by the people who control our lives with their irresponsible legislative choices has been muted by the state. The president is black, but Eric Garner is dead. The president is black, but my sisters from Millennial Activists United were still rounded up like cattle and thrown into jail for absolutely nothing.

    Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will not save us. Anyone actually tied into and in support of these tyrannical men and women will not save us. The Democratic Party has now become the party supported by closet racists and country-styled, old-fashioned conservatives. […]

    As the situation now stands, there is no real option for political inclusion of all people in America. We have the opportunity to design one, but the Democratic Party is not it. We have buried ourselves alive by continually supporting the lesser of two evils.

    Remember those supposed proposed changes to the police department and all things related? Ferguson Officials Deny Any Plans To Change Police Operations.

    Oh, and bad news for the official autopsy of Michael Brown, maybe: Brown family’s pathologist wants to testify:

    Michael Baden conducted an autopsy on Brown’s body in August at the request of the teen’s family and concluded then that the teen could have been shot from as far away as 30 feet. A leaked copy of the St. Louis County medical examiner’s autopsy report says microscopic particles of gunshot residue were found in a deep layer of skin, showing that the teen was shot once in his thumb at close range.

    Baden said he wants a gunshot residue report, as well as several pieces of evidence, to draw his own conclusions. He said is willing to testify about his findings before a grand jury deciding whether to charge the officer who shot Brown.

    “Gunshot residue can look very similar to ordinary dirt on the ground, and his hand, for four hours, was on the ground,” Baden said. “So dirt on the ground, the body being moved when they were putting him in the body bag could create the microscopic appearance of gunshot residue.”

    Very, very interesting.

  208. rq says

    Oh, forgot this to go with that friendly judge above: photo, protestors invited in by judge.

    This is the actual statement from McCullogh, denying any leaks from the Grand Jury, twitter photo.

    Recently several concerns have been raised about information being “leaked” from the grand Jury. Frist, no information or evidence has been released by the grand just. A tweet several weeks ago claimed the author talked to a friend who is serving on the GJ about the case. That did not happen. An investigation revealed that the account had, indeed, been hacked and the origin/ author of the tweet is unknown. The owner of the account has no connection with any member of the grand jury.

    Second, more recent reports claim that certain testimoney and documents have also been “leaked” by or from the grand jury. Even a cursory reading of the news articles reporting the information refutes that claim.
    The New York Times acknowledged that they received the information in Washington, D.C. from a government official who had been briefed on the Michael Brown case. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch stated very clearly that the information and document they obtained did not come from the grand jury.

    As exasperating as I and others find the piecemeal release of information and documents, no information or evidence has been released by the grand jury, any individual juror or anyone associated with the grand jury. Whoever is releasing the information is doing great disservice to the grand jury process. Additionally, anyone suggesting that the “integrity of the entire grand jury process has been destroyed” is wrong, irresponsible and does a great disservice to the public.

    Tpyos mine.

    Protestor Brittany Packett bears witness :

    Brittany said it was a pleasure to come to Burroughs to speak about an important issue but admitted that in the days and hours leading up to the assembly, all she saw was “a blank page…a blinking cursor.” She wondered if she was simply drained of words since for the past five weeks – since Michael Brown’s death on August 9 – she had participated in 27 interviews, panels and blog posts. She also said that when she was a student at Burroughs, it wasn’t always easy to voice her thoughts. In fact, at times, she did so at great cost. But now, “I have privilege [through TFA, by virtue of her education, …], and I must use my voice.”

    Brittany was in Kansas City when Michael Brown was shot. She cut her trip short because “I needed to be in that space, in that time.” She shared the story of Emmett Till about whom she wrote her undergraduate thesis. At 14, Till was beaten and murdered in Mississippi after whistling at a white woman. Till’s mother insisted on an open casket so that the world would have to witness his mutilated body. Brittany said, “I had to go to Ferguson to bear witness.”

    Brittany explained that she grew up as an African American in North County and that she understood and experienced the lack of respect felt there. During the protests which followed Brown’s death, she said that absence was stark. She spoke of a small child who ran when she saw the police and of a college student who came to the protests because she was ‘tired of people not believing I am a person.’ She talked about having to flee from tear gas during a peaceful gathering.

    Brittany repeated “My voice is a responsibility…to share what you might not know. … If not me, who? If not now, when? … So, how will you use your privilege? How will you listen? How will you speak without fear?”

    At the end of assembly, Brittany answered a few questions, including one posed by a junior, “Where can we start?” Brittany made three suggestions:

    “Be there. Support the Ferguson community by spending money there.

    Help people have constructive outlets.

    And have the dialogue. We are where we are because we lack relationships. We don’t know each other and are driven by our biases. We need to seek understanding, without judgment.”

    Here’s that Stenger press release, it was lost among the tabs.

    Controversial cover: Student newspaper posts vulgar Ferguson remarks. The University sent this news release to media about the controversial cover story:

    The Standard is the official student-run newspaper of Missouri State University. Student editors and staff members are responsible for all content. The views expressed do not represent those of the university.

    The story featured in the Oct. 28, 2014 issue did not violate University policies. It was a fair and balanced article addressing a recent campus protest. The University does not censor the student newspaper.

    First published as The Southwest Standard in January 1912, The Standard provides useful information to the MSU community, gives MSU students an opportunity to learn in a real-world, professional setting, and serves as an advertising platform for the MSU campus and the Springfield community.

    The Standard has a print circulation of 7,000 and is published every Tuesday (with a few exceptions) during the fall and spring semesters. The newspaper is distributed free at more than 50 campus and downtown locations, and it’s delivered to all Greek houses. It is also available online at http://www.the-standard.org, in a digital edition at issuu.com/thestandard-msu, and via our free mobile app.

  209. rq says

    Earliest police report from Ferguson is released and conflicts with Darren Wilson’s testimony leaks (the tweet):

    Here is the initial report Detective Hokamp provided about the confrontation and shooting death of Mike Brown at the hands of Darren Wilson. It can be found on Page 2 of the official autopsy report.

    The deceased and another individual were walking down the middle of Canfield. Officer D. Wilson (DSN-609), of the Ferguson Police Department observed the two individuals, he requested that they get out of the roadway.

    The deceased became belligerent towards Officer Wilson. As Officer Wilson exited out of his patrol vehicle the deceased pushed his door shut and began to struggle with Officer Wilson, during the struggle the officers weapon was un-holstered. The weapon discharged during the struggle.

    The deceased then ran down the roadway. Officer Wilson then began to chase the deceased. As he was giving chase to the deceased, the deceased turned around and ran towards Officer Wilson. Officer Wilson had his service weapon drawn, as the deceased began to run towards him, he discharged his service weapon several times.

    This account given by Detective Hokamp, the earliest on record, even if just a summary of the encounter between Mike Brown and Darren Wilson, is missing core details that are conspicuously absent but appear in several leaks reported months after the shooting.

    The article continues with five key discrepancies between this and Darren Wilson’s official account:

    1. Detective Hokamp, in his record from the day of the shooting, says nothing of Darren Wilson hearing a radio call about a robbery with suspects matching Mike Brown’s description, as Wilson does in his own statement weeks later. Months later, Wilson allegedly recounts it this way:

    After Brown passed by, Wilson realized that Johnson’s clothing matched a recent radio alert about a suspect in a robbery at a nearby market where cigarillos had been taken.

    2. Detective Hokamp, in his record from the day of the shooting, says nothing of Darren Wilson pulling away from Mike Brown and Dorian Johnson and then reversing his car to confront them. Months later, Wilson allegedly included this in his account of the day:

    Wilson backed up his SUV to Brown and Johnson. The source said Wilson told investigators he had placed the SUV in park.

    3. Detective Hokamp, in his record from the day of the shooting, says nothing of Darren Wilson being beaten so badly that he nearly lost consciousness, as Wilson allegedly does in his own statement weeks later:

    During the struggle, Brown handed the cigarillos to Johnson, then swung his left hand and hit Wilson on the right side of the face. Wilson said he almost lost consciousness.

    4. Detective Hokamp, in his record from the day of the shooting, states that the gun “discharged” during the struggle. Darren Wilson, in his alleged account below, admits to firing two shots at Mike Brown from the SUV:

    The second time Wilson pulled the trigger, the gun did fire. Wilson told investigators he thought the bullet had struck Brown in the hand, the source said. Broken window glass was everywhere, and blood was on the door, the gun and Wilson’s hands. At the time, Wilson said, he wasn’t sure whose blood it was.

    The struggle continued, and Wilson attempted to pull the trigger twice more. The source said Wilson thought Brown’s hand may have interfered again. Wilson was able to fire a second shot, and Brown ran.

    5. Detective Hokamp, in his record from the day of the shooting, reports that Darren Wilson fired “several” shots at Mike Brown, all while Mike Brown was charging at him. Audio from that day appears to have Darren Wilson shooting at least 11 shots at Mike Brown with a three-second pause between shots 7 and 8.

    It’s easy to understand, when comparing the discrepancies between the account of Detective Hokamp on the scene that day and the alleged account of Darren Wilson months later, why concerned citizens would think Wilson injected key details later to aid in his own defense.

    More on chief Jackson: Ferguson police chief, Thomas Jackson, to leave post, law enforcement officials say. So is he leaving, or isn’t he? I guess nobody knows.

    A word or two on Capt. Ron Johnson: Capt. Ron Johnson hopeful St. Louis can be a leader in healing racial divides, with video interview.

    The Missouri Highway Patrol continues to be the lead law enforcement agency for coordinating police protection of citizens, including protestors and property once the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown shooting is announced. Captain Ron Johnson, commander of Troop C in St. Charles is urging everyone to take time to consider the outcome and then to continue talking.

    Justice in Ferguson All hell may break loose:

    The grand jury’s decision is expected to come down in a few weeks time. If the leaked evidence is representative of what the grand jury has heard, then Mr Wilson probably won’t be indicted. This will hardly soothe Missouri’s racial tensions. As one protester declared, “If there is no indictment, all hell is going to break loose.”

    Local school officials are worried. The school year began a week late for local students, owing to the protests over the summer. To prevent more disruption, school officials have asked the county prosecutor to wait until classes are not in session—perhaps on a weekend or in the evening—before making the grand jury decision public.

    Anticipating a furore, the St Louis County Police department has reportedly been stockpiling riot gear. The department has spent $173,000 since August on tear gas, plastic handcuffs, smoke grenades and canisters, rubber bullets, beanbag bullets and pepper balls. They have also invested in new helmets, batons and shields.

    New report details the disastrous municipal court system in St. Louis County

  210. rq says

    From Democracy Now!, Will Mike Brown’s Killer Avoid Charges in Ferguson? Cops Stockpile Riot Gear Amid “Troubling” Leaks.

    The Missouri Times: Eyes On: New Media, Old Media, and Ferguson.

    From the National Review, The Ferguson Collapse – why it’s not about race.

    thisisthemovement, installment #42:

    Darrien Hunt’s Autopsy Report Released State Autopsy finds that Darrien Hunt was shot multiple times, with most of the gunshots entering the back of his body. Medical examiner also found no drugs in Hunt’s system. Must read.

    Local Business Suffers After August Unrest Bar owner files a lawsuit against several police agencies for loss of revenue in August while a police command post was in front of their business. The suit asks for $25,000 at least. The bar is back open but business is still slow.

    Open Letter to Kanye: Ferguson Is Happening, Where are You? “I believe no one man should waste all that power,” the author writes as she implores Kanye to speak out about Ferguson. She thoughtfully engages the topic of celebrity activism in her commentary re: Kanye. Powerful read.

    What Travelers Learned After Visiting Ferguson In this brief article, folks from out of town and locals express their feelings on how Mike Brown Jr. protesters treated them. “It wasn’t until the police show up that I feel unsafe” said Katherine Hawkerself, on her experience at the protests in Ferguson.

    Dear White People The film Dear White People recently hit theaters and is already making waves in the racial waters. The film lightly touches on subjects of racism, systematic oppression, who can and can’t be considered racist and interracial dating. This article pulls together the ties of the film and how it relates to the unrest in Ferguson.

    Rehearsing for Death: On Schools and Lockdown Drills A teacher reflects on the impact of school lockdown drills on her students and herself in this incredibly powerful commentary. Great read.

    Ferguson City Council Passes Deadly Force Resolutions The Ferguson City Council passed resolutions calling on the Missouri General Assembly to pass legislation regarding the use of deadly force. Interesting read.

    What would the U.S. Economy Look Like If Racial Inequality Didn’t Exist? This critical exploration offers insight into the “economic case against racial inequality” by highlighting the billions of dollars wasted each year managing a governmental structure founded in inequality. Important read.

    New Report Details “Disastrous” STL County Municipal Court System In a previous newsletter, we posted the report Better Together on the STL County Municipal Court System. This article does the best summation of this report. Necessary read.

    The Aging of the American Prison Population “By 2030, a third of all inmates will be elderly — and many prisons may look a lot like nursing homes,” the author writes as explains the impact that the tough on crime/mandatory sentencing era has put the American prison population.

    Links in text, take a look.

  211. says

    Department of Justice findings on the use of force by the Albuquerque Police Department

    The US Department of Justice announced this morning that it’s 500 day investigation into the pattern and practice of use of force violations had ended and found “serious Constitutional problems” in the Albuquerque Police Department. 46 page report concludes majority of use of force incidents they reviewed used unnecessary force.

    Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocyln Samuels reports that since opening the investigation in 2012, the review team has conducted an “exhaustive” review of the department. Their examination sought out facts and reasons underlying the problems identified.

    “We have determined that structural and systemic deficiencies — including insufficient oversight, inadequate training and ineffective policies — contributed to the use of unreasonable force,” says the report. The pattern and practice of use of force violates federal law.

    She also cites a “culture of acceptance of the use of excessive force”

    Why don’t ya’ll just go ahead and get this done…right now…in every police department across the country. I’m sure you’ll find that your findings are depressingly common.

    (You can download the 46 page report at the link)

  212. rq says

    From all over the weekend:
    Washington Post: Federal civil rights charges unlikely against police officer in Ferguson shooting;

    STL Today: Not-so Anonymous: How hackers wreaked havoc in St. Louis;

    A video on Jordan Davis that I haven’t had a chance to view;

    On violent cops and (non)justice, via Courthouse News Service: Chicago Cop, Accused of Torture, to Keep Pension ;

    Via the Guardian: From Michael Brown to Assata Shakur, the racist state of America persists;

    On the eye-witnesses in the Michael Brown shooting, from Daily Kos: The complete guide to every public eyewitness interview in the shooting death of Mike Brown (this is a good one, with photos and all public interviews provided by the original witnesses);

  213. rq says

    To continue the annotation, this will be a mix of Michael Brown-pertinent and racism-in-general posts. Apologies for the link-chasing, regular programming will resume soon.

    Teacher Goes on Racist Tirade — And These 13-Year Olds Teach Her a Lesson of Their Own;

    This is a currently broken link to Ferguson to Geneva, but hopefully it will eventually be back up with more info.

    STL Today: Sharpton: Ferguson movement needs to focus on justice for Michael Brown (that’sfrom his Friday presentation);

    I read about this also on Mano’s blog Viral Woman Walking in New York Catcalling Harassment Video ‘Edited Out White People’;

    thisisthemovement, installment #43:

    Initial Ferguson Police Report Re: MB Conflicts with DW Account The initial Ferguson police report re: Mike Brown notes that DW chased after MB, among other things. Absolute must read.

    Police Feel Threatened In Ferguson This NYT has run an article describing the many ways in which the Ferguson police feel threatened post-August 9th. This is an important read, if not only to show the incredible power of the media to continue the narrative of black people (and black pain) as inherently dangerous. NYT, we expect more from you.

    Personal Blog Sparks Outrage Don Surber, a writer for the Charleston Daily Mail wrote a personal blog referring to Michael Brown Jr. as an “animal” that needed to be “put down.” This past Tuesday, Surber completely removed the blog post offline. The editor of the Daily Mail, Brad McElhinny says the blog would not have been approved to be printed in the paper.

    Shaw Market Thrives (+Questionable Reporting by Post-Dispatch) This article describes the community atmosphere of the Shaw Market, where VonDerrit had just purchased a sandwich prior to being killed by an off-duty officer. It also includes this sentence, “Police, supported by gunshot residue tests and ballistics evidence, say Myers shot at an officer….” Please check out the gun residue results — they do not say that Myers definitively had a gun.

    Brown Family Pathologist Wants to Testify Before Grand Jury Michael Baden, who conducted the private autopsy, has a range of serious concerns about the official STL County autopsy and wants to testify before the Grand Jury. Must read.

    Future Darren Wilson Cases Will Not Be Dismissed Darren Wilson was set to be a witness in ten pending felony cases, and five of those cases have already been dismissed. STL County prosecutor Bob McCulloch says his office will not be dismissing any other cases involving Wilson.

    No Grand Jury Leak, Questionable Investigation Concludes Seemingly based on just one interview, McCulloch has apparently concluded the investigation into the supposed Grand Jury leak via twitter. McCulloch has said that the account was hacked. Must read.

    Holder Supports Ferguson Police Department Reform AG Holder has condemned the recent leaks and has voiced support for “wholesale change” in the Ferguson Police Department. Important read.

    Wrongfully Convicted African-Americans Wait Longer to Be Exonerated Than Others This HuffPo article describes a recent study that highlights the difference in years. by race, that those who are wrongfully convicted must wait for release. The infographic in the article is superb. Interesting read.

    Chief Belmar Defends Barring Protestors Entry into Police Headquarters STL County’s Chief Belmar, he who tear-gassed protestors, defends barring protestors from entering police headquarters. He notes, “…it’s one of the few police headquarters that you can walk around without an escort.”

    Official Report on VonDerrit’s Death Forthcoming The official report on the death of VonDerrit is planned to come forward to prosecutors next week. It will be interested to see how this new unit handling police shootings functions, especially in the context of VonDerrit and Kajieme’s death. Important read.

    The Link Between Race and Poverty This quick read and quick chart highlight the relationship between race and poverty. Check this out.

    thisisthemovement, installment #44:

    Family of Kajieme Powell Files Wrongful-Death Suit Karen Powell, the mother of Kajieme Powell, has filed a wrongful-death suit against the City of St. Louis, the Board of Police Commissioners, Chief Dotson, and the two unnamed officers who killed her son.

    VonDerrit Myers Gun Residue Analysis In yesterday’s newsletter, the link to the VonDerrit Myers Gun Residue Analysis was incorrect. Click here to access the analysis.

    McCulloch Expresses Faith in the Grand Jury Yesterday, McCulloch expressed faith in the Grand Jury and defended the integrity of the legal process in an interesting written public statement. It’s an interesting statement, for sure. Definite must read.

    Body Cam Sales Rise Dramatically The lead maker of body cams has reported a 300% increase in sales during 2014. It is truly fascinating how money moves in the work of social justice. Wow. Interesting read.

    T. Coates on White Supremacy and Black Struggle “…there’s nothing wrong with Black people that the complete and total elimination of white supremacy would not fix,” Coates notes as he talks about white supremacy and its impact on Black America. Must read.

    We Are Living an American Horror Story The St. Louis American has posted the Open Letter by Ferguson Protestors and Allies entitled, “We Are Living An American Horror Story.” This was crafted by a group of protestors and allies to reflect on the movement and to ground its underpinnings. Important read.

    Ferguson and a Century of Racist Policies This commentary thoughtfully explains how structural and systemic worked to create the conditions of poverty and inequality in St. Louis, and Ferguson, specifically. Powerful read.

    Quick Snapshop Update on Ferguson This succinct article provides a quick recap on the happenings of Ferguson. Quick, solid read.

    Ferguson Before #Ferguson This long-read solidly explores issues of systemic racism, linking events in Baltimore to events in St. Louis. Powerful read.

    Chief Jackson Responds to AG Holder’s Comments Ferguson Police Chief Jackson responds to the talk of his potential resignation and offers pointed words in response to AG Holder. Hmmmmm.

    Mike Brown’s Mother Headed to the United Nations AG Lesley McSpadden, Mike Brown’s mother, is going to the United Nations in a few week to speak about the death of her son and police brutality.

  214. rq says

    Ah, McCullogh: St. Louis County prosecutor expresses faith in grand jury. Surprise, surprise.

    And from Vice News, Mike Brown’s Mom Is Taking Her Son’s Case to the UN in Geneva. Good luck!!!

    From Associated Press, the article on that flight ban over Ferguson.

    On Aug. 12, the morning after the Federal Aviation Administration imposed the first flight restriction, FAA air traffic managers struggled to redefine the flight ban to let commercial flights operate at nearby Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and police helicopters fly through the area — but ban others.

    “They finally admitted it really was to keep the media out,” said one FAA manager about the St. Louis County Police in a series of recorded telephone conversations obtained by The Associated Press. “But they were a little concerned of, obviously, anything else that could be going on.

    At another point, a manager at the FAA’s Kansas City center said police “did not care if you ran commercial traffic through this TFR (temporary flight restriction) all day long. They didn’t want media in there.”

    FAA procedures for defining a no-fly area did not have an option that would accommodate that.

  215. rq says

    Ugh, wrong button. More from that article:

    But police officials confirmed there was no damage to their helicopter and were unable to provide an incident report on the shooting. On the tapes, an FAA manager described the helicopter shooting as unconfirmed “rumors.”

    The AP obtained the recordings under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. They raise serious questions about whether police were trying to suppress aerial images of the demonstrations and the police response by violating the constitutional rights of journalists with tacit assistance by federal officials. […]

    The Kansas City FAA manager then asked a St. Louis County police official if the restrictions could be lessened so nearby commercial flights wouldn’t be affected. The new order allows “aircraft on final (approach) there at St. Louis. It will still keep news people out. … The only way people will get in there is if they give them permission in there anyway so they, with the (lesser restriction), it still keeps all of them out.”

    “Yeah,” replied the police official. “I have no problem with that whatsoever.” […]

    None of the St. Louis stations was advised that media helicopters could enter the airspace even under the lesser restrictions, which under federal rules should not have applied to aircraft “carrying properly accredited news representatives.” The FAA’s no-fly notice indicated the area was closed to all aircraft except police and planes coming to and from the airport.

    “Only relief aircraft operations under direction of St. Louis County Police Department are authorized in the airspace,” it said. “Aircraft landing and departing St. Louis Lambert Airport are exempt.”

  216. rq says

    From New York Times, On the Other Side of Ferguson’s Protest Lines, Officers Face New Threats:

    She said that the animosity, found on social media and in protests just outside police headquarters, had been so virulent at times that she listened more carefully these days to calls requesting assistance before she sent an officer — for fear of a possible ambush. […]

    No matter what the grand jury decides, law-enforcement officials are preparing for a return of the violent protests that defined the first weeks after Mr. Brown’s death, as well as the continuing brightness of an unforgiving spotlight on the Ferguson police.

    “We’re under siege,” the beleaguered Chief Jackson said this week, referring specifically to the nightly protests outside headquarters, but perhaps to himself as well. Speculation continues about his possible resignation, about a push to replace him, about St. Louis County taking over policing of the city.

    The chief said that he had not been asked to resign and had no plans to leave. But he called these recent weeks “horrible” and added, “It is not uncommon for me to pull up at a light and have someone yell something offensive or put up their hands” — the gesture of surrender that some say Mr. Brown was making when he was shot. […]

    “What I can’t understand is the constant hate,” Ms. Johnson said. “And the failure to be patient until there’s a thorough investigation.”

    These days, Ferguson police officers say that they live as though someone out there intends to do them harm. They no longer wear their uniforms to or from work. They vary their routes back home. A few have relocated their families.

    And more on the no-fly zone, from August (with autoplay video): Michael Brown Death: No-Fly Zone Enacted Over Missouri Town:

    “On Sunday night our police helicopter came under fire on 3 or 4 occasions, so we requested that the FAA put up a no-fly zone for the safety of pilots who would be in the area,” St. Louis County Police Department Officer Brian Schellman told NBC News. The ban on flights is scheduled to last until Monday, Aug. 18.

    So apparently this is a no-fly zone enforced in August that is only getting attention now.

  217. Pteryxx says

    from Boingboing: Ferguson’s no-fly zone created to ground news-choppers

    Freedom of Information Act requests from the Associated Press reveal that St Louis police requested the no-fly zone to prevent the press from getting overhead footage of the crackdown on demonstrations, and that the FAA was complicit in crafting an illegal ban that allowed commercial aircraft to land at the airport while still grounding the news-birds.

    Needless to say, the story that the no-fly was created in response to shots fired on a police helicopter was just bullshit.

    quoting Time.com:

    At another point, a manager at the FAA’s Kansas City center said police “did not care if you ran commercial traffic through this TFR (temporary flight restriction) all day long. They didn’t want media in there.”

    FAA procedures for defining a no-fly area did not have an option that would accommodate that.

    “There is really … no option for a TFR that says, you know, ‘OK, everybody but the media is OK,’” he said. The managers then worked out wording they felt would keep news helicopters out of the controlled zone but not impede other air traffic.

    The FOIAs were in regard to the August no-fly zone, of course, but Stl Louis officials were still pushing the safety excuse this past Friday. (Two days ago)

    The conversations contradict claims by the St. Louis County Police Department, which responded to demonstrations following the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, that the restriction was solely for safety and had nothing to do with preventing media from witnessing the violence or the police response.

    Police said at the time, and again as recently as late Friday to the AP, that they requested the flight restriction in response to shots fired at a police helicopter.

    But police officials confirmed there was no damage to their helicopter and were unable to provide an incident report on the shooting. On the tapes, an FAA manager described the helicopter shooting as unconfirmed “rumors.”

    The AP obtained the recordings under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. They raise serious questions about whether police were trying to suppress aerial images of the demonstrations and the police response by violating the constitutional rights of journalists with tacit assistance by federal officials.

    Such images would have offered an unvarnished view of one of the most serious episodes of civil violence in recent memory.

    “Any evidence that a no-fly zone was put in place as a pretext to exclude the media from covering events in Ferguson is extraordinarily troubling and a blatant violation of the press’s First Amendment rights,” said Lee Rowland, an American Civil Liberties Union staff attorney specializing in First Amendment issues.

  218. rq says

    Okay, some more clumsily dropped links.

    Last week a Ferguson Fireside happened. Here’s an audio link.

    Sharing in Ferguson’s issues :

    Ferguson, Mo., burst upon the national scene with the shooting death of an African American teen by a white police officer. And in the aftermath, traditional tropes of racial tension in cities, and the binary of big-city blacks and suburban whites has played out in the national consciousness, with calls for firing the police chief and an end to mass incarceration and racial profiling.

    The reason the traditional way of viewing these issues is misguided is simply because that view is warped.

    The Brookings Institution has already demonstrated that the evolution we see, which in part gave rise to the unfortunate incident in Ferguson, is part of the suburbanization of poverty in this country.

    According to Brookings’ view, by 2008 the fastest-growing poor population in America was in the suburbs.

    Locally, there are an estimated 53,000 poor children living in wealthy Delaware, Chester, Bucks, and Montgomery Counties. Nearly $145 million would be needed to adequately fund public education in these suburbs, according to Public Citizens for Children and Youth, an advocacy organization in Philadelphia.

    And poorly implemented federal fair-housing policy has had the effect of turning parts of suburban communities into housing projects, as housing-choice vouchers do anything but offer those in need a real choice. People are steered by suburban housing authorities to create concentrated poverty in only a handful of towns, or majority-minority neighborhoods, in otherwise very wealthy county jurisdictions.

    It is in this context of increased and concentrated poverty, underfunded suburban schools, and lack of scale in the delivery of human services that we find minority and poor youths more likely to be expelled from school and arrested and incarcerated. This makes the school-to-prison pipeline a suburban issue, as well as an urban one.

    These are the realities that state and federal politicians, philanthropists, the business sector, and activists continue to ignore and misunderstand.

    From KDSK.com, Ferguson events focus on youth, change, with autoplay video!!!

    “You have to lift their sprints. There is so much going on here, that people aren’t focusing on positive things, or things that keep them engaged and active,” explained community organizer, Larry Fellows III. “So we’re making sure they are active and having a good time while all of this is happening in their backyards.”

    Following the festival, the church held an educational forum hosted by Anthony Gray, an attorney for the family of Michael Brown, titled: “How to Get Away with Police Brutality.”

    Gray used the meeting to explain current laws and brainstorming ideas for change in the community.

    “I think the only thing that’s going to help us heal, family, the only thing to move us forward, is by coming together and talking and getting familiar with one another,” Gray said.

    Several in attendance offered their ideas and concerns. One woman who identified herself as “Rae” talked about the need for more political representation within her community.

    “Yes, voting is important, but if we don’t have anybody to represent us on the ballots, and represent our neighborhoods, and our best interest, then voting is essentially useless. So we need to worry about getting those figures in office,” Rae said.

    USA Today on the flight restrictions: U.S. approved Ferguson no-fly area to block media.

    More on the racism and education front: Recent college graduates are pushing lower-income African Americans out of cities:

    Between 2000 and 2010, cities like Austin, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco—places that vote majority Democrat, consider themselves socially and culturally progressive, and boast racial diversity—all lost unprecedented numbers of African Americans. San Francisco, for instance, saw a staggering 20.4 percent loss in its African American population between 2000 and 2010. Chicago and Washington D.C. also experienced double-digit losses.

    During that same decade, the only three major cities (populations over 500,000) that voted Republican in the 2012 presidential election— Phoenix, Fort Worth, and Oklahoma City—all saw significant increases in African American numbers; their African-American populations grew by 36.1 percent, 28 percent and 11.4 percent respectively. […]

    Her research points to how cities such as Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C. have over the past three decades attracted ever-larger numbers of college graduates. Using Census data, Diamond shows that as college graduates occupied larger shares of these cities’ work forces (while avoiding other cities they deem less attractive) income inequality in these cities grew.

    Urban industries and amenities catered to the higher-waged worker, making these cities more expensive to live in. Lower-wage workers (those with only a high school diploma) also desired the enhanced quality of life offered by these cities—better food and air quality, lower crime rates—but they couldn’t afford to live in them. Simply put, as college grads arrived, lower-waged workers were driven out. […]

    What happened in Austin seems to be consistent with the Stanford research. Austin has the highest percentage of college graduates as well as the highest median incomes in Texas. Census data also suggests that the African Americans who left Austin between 2000 and 2010 were by and large lower-waged workers (African American losses occurred in tracts that were on average poorer than those that did not see losses).

    The loss of Austin’s African American population amid tremendous growth in its general population certainly doesn’t square with the city’s reputation as a “tolerant” place, one celebrated for its progressivism, cultural dynamism, and emphasis on sustainability.

  219. rq says

    thisisthemovement, installment #45:

    Ferguson Instituted The No-Fly Zone to Keep Media Out The AP has confirmed that the initial no-fly zone over Ferguson was actually meant to keep out the media. There are two many important quotes in this article to highlight, just read it now. Absolute must read.

    How Racism Stole Black Childhood “The trouble is that the penalty for being ‘young and irresponsible’ is not the same for everyone,” the author notes as he expertly unpacks the impact of racism on black childhood, from Bush to Tocqueville to Mike Brown. Solid, quick read.

    Zimmerman Defense Attorney On Ferguson, Posted by CNN Mark O’Mara writes commentary on Ferguson that is published by CNN. In short, this piece is infuriating but important insofar as it shows why protestors struggle with CNN’s lack of responsibility for content on their platform and also the power that racism denial ideology still holds. Read this.

    White Male Officer Kills Black Male in STL County In July, Before Mike Brown On July 5, 2014, an unarmed Christopher Jones was killed by a white male officer in Pine Lawn. As with the other 3 black men killed recently in STL by officers, the details surrounding the killing of Jones are murky. Read this — there is a pattern of officers killing black meSTL. Important read.

    Complete Guide to MB Public Witness Interviews Shaun King has put together a guide to all of the public witness interviews related to MB. This is a strong resource.

    Post-Dispatch Accuses Protestor of Mobilizing Anonymous, Runs Story On How Difficult the Lives of Police Are Post-August 9th In a tradition started by the NYT, the Post-Dispatch has run a story about how difficult the lives of police have become since August 9th, specifically focusing on the actions of Anonymous. Also, the article attempts to discredit Tef Poe by suggesting that Tef asked Anonymous to mobilize. Tef did not mobilize Anonymous, Anonymous realized that a conspiracy was brewing and Anonymous was right. Absolute must read.

    Protestors Hold Event at Justice Center This quick article describes a recent peaceful protest at the Justice Center.

    Links in text, go take a look, other stuff, etc.

  220. rq says

    Protestors protesting media: photo 1, photo 2, a mock front page.

    “America was Ferguson before Ferguson was Ferguson.”

    thisisthemovement, installment #45:

    The Sharing Economy: Airbnb, Uber, Lyft and Race This powerful article explores how implicit bias and race inhabit spaces within the sharing economies of Airbnb, Uber, and Lyft, among others. Fascinating read.

    Police Manhunts and Race A retired LA PD sergeant offers commentary on race as experienced through the lens of police manhunts. “Eric Frein had been named as one of the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted. Am I to assume that Eric Frien was ‘less frightening’ to law enforcement than [Christopher] Dorner, [Mike] Brown, or [Ezell] Ford?” she writes. Solid, quick read.

    Viral Catcalling Video Intentionally Edits Out White Men By now, you’ve likely seen the popular viral video of a woman walking around NYC for 10 hours who recorded the 100+ catcalls she received. Well, the majority of the men in the video are black and Latino….because white men were edited out of the video. Interesting.

    FAA Transcript Prove that STL Intentionally Closed Airspace to Restrict Media Here you can find the transcript from the FAA that proves that STL officials intentionally closed the airspace to restrict media presence following the killing of Mike Brown. Absolute must read.

    Education, Segregation and Race “African Americans share a uniquely high exposure to poverty in the US,” this article begins, as it explores data re: black students and high-poverty schools, segregation, and race. Powerful, important read.

    Pastor as Protestor: Meet Renita Lamkin The Post-Dispatch has run a thoughtful story on Pastor Renita Lamkin who has been protested since the initial days and is often seen supporting and protecting other protestors. Solid read.

    Sermon on the Last Words of Jordan Davis Click here to listen to a sermon on the last words of Jordan Davis by @NyleFort. Incredible, powerful listen.

  221. rq says

    First, some stuff on voting, because all you Marickaners should go vote today, if you haven’t already!

    Black Male Turnout Higher Than Official Data Suggest:

    The census report listed the turnout rate for black men as 61.4 percent, compared with 70.4 percent for black women. However, once noninstitutionalized felons — people who are not in prison but lost the right to vote as punishment — are removed from the tally of eligible voters, the turnout rate among black men rises to 68 percent, according to Bernard L. Fraga, a political scientist at Harvard, and the rate among black women rises to 71.4 percent.

    There’s a nice graph to help you visualize this data at the link. And wow.

    St. Louis County scrambles to print more paper ballots after election day shortage: they ran out of ballots. Paper ones. Turned away some voters, too. Though most came back.

    In Florissant, one man said he went to cast his ballot at the John Knox Presbyterian Church when they ran out of paper ballots. He said he and several other people were upset because they didn’t know how to use the electronic voting machines. The voter said he was told to come back after 1 p.m.

    Supervisor Charles Meador said poll workers there realized immediately this morning they only had five of one of the paper ballots when they typically need about 300 of that version. He thinks there was a mix-up at headquarters. He called immediately to alert them of the problem, but more paper ballots didn’t arrive until about 9:30 a.m.

    There were about 25 to 30 voters who didn’t want to use the electronic ballots, he said. Nearly all waited or came back when there were paper ballots, but a few were “irate” about the situation, Meador said.

    ‘Hands Up, Go Vote’ Activists Take Their Cause To The Polls :

    The crowd of nearly 75 at Greater St. Mark Family Church in Ferguson, chanted “Hands Up, Let’s Vote” and “We young … we strong … we gonna to vote all day long.”

    The rally, organized by the National Action Network, focused on mobilizing the black community for this year’s midterm election.

    From this morning, voters line up in Ferguson.

    And Ferguson looms over race for St. Louis County Executive:

    No matter how badly Rick Stream and Steve Stenger would like to steer the conversation toward better government, the county executive campaign keeps returning to what a debate moderator last week characterized as the “elephant in the room.”

    Ferguson.

    Neither Stenger or Stream requires a reminder that, in addition to administrative responsibilities, the job they hope to win Nov. 4 carries a mandate to unify St. Louis County in the aftermath of one of the most turbulent moments in its 202-year history.

    The candidates are savvy enough to acknowledge that beyond using the office as a bully pulpit, a county executive has little power to do such things as reform the municipal court system or improve education in Ferguson and north St. Louis County.

    But that hasn’t stopped them from sharing their respective visions for leadership.

    Ferguson as a talking point, I guess?

  222. rq says

    Guns ‘N Hoses boxing event postponed amid Ferguson unrest, because it’s boxing for a good cause.

    The continued unrest in Ferguson has put heavy demands on emergency responders across the region, inhibiting the volunteer fighters’ ability to train, organizers said. Those demands will likely continue to impact behind-the-scenes organizational efforts emergency responders donate to the cause every year.

    There are also concerns about attendance. The event drew about 17,000 people last year, with emergency responders, their friends, and families, making up a significant portion of the crowd.

    The top concern is public safety, organizers said. They want to make sure everyone is available for duty with things in Ferguson continuing to unfold.

    VICE News with a look at Ferguson PD emails: Ferguson Police Emails Reveal ‘Life is Very Rough’ for Officers.

    Eickhoff’s email was one of only seven internal emails the City of Ferguson turned over to VICE News in response to an open-records request filed in late September for records pertaining to Brown’s death and the protests that immediately followed. For those seven emails, the City of Ferguson charged VICE News a fee of more than $1,200. [bolding mine]

    Based on the email chain obtained by VICE News, Eickhoff is the only official who responded to James. He sent James an email in response to a question about a use of force report and the overall investigation into Brown’s death:

    Devin, St. Louis County is handling report/warrant application. That is what the Grand Jury is doing. The Grand Jury is the use of force. If the shooting is unjustified then he [Wilson] will be charged. Life is very rough for the officers having recordings in their face all the time, worrying who is out there gunning for them…. Eap [Employee Assistance Program] and good wives help with the stress. I am sure public perception is negative from the news media BUT the residents in Ferguson support us.

    [bolding mine – I guess the bad ones don’t, and all police officers have wives – yes, even the women!!!!]

    City Clerk Megan Asikainen told VICE News she was “surprised” that “there were seven emails matching your search criteria.” She thought there would be fewer.

    “All emails from August 9 through October 3 were searched,” Asikainen said after we inquired about the small number of emails containing those keywords in light of Brown’s killing and the unrest that followed. “There were several days following August 9 that the City did not have email capability at all. And, even after that, email capability was not up to par for several more days. To be quite frank, city officials could not rely on and could not utilize email as a timely and effective method of communication for some time following the initial server and computer difficulties.” […]

    Other news organizations that sought records from the city were also told they would have to pay a hefty deposit. Last month, the Associated Press, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and CNN filed complaints with Missouri’s attorney general over the high fees related to the state’s Sunshine Law requests, saying that the fees “clearly appear to be an effort by city officials to discourage or even eliminate efforts by the media to continue its investigation into this incident.”

    Nanci Godner, press secretary for the state’s attorney general, confirmed to VICE News that the office received three complaints about the fees. “I can let you know when a next step happens,” Godner said on October 14. She has not responded to follow-up requests for comment.

    It took five hours for Acumen to search for and retrieve the seven emails, according to a three-page worksheet Acumen President Robert Wagnon turned over to the city after the firm completed the email search. Wagnon did not respond to requests for comment about the email search.

    The link includes the work log plus all seven emails they (the company Acumen) managed to find.

    Blast from the past: elections flier from 1950s, asking questions like “Do you want… negroes eating beside you at all public eating places? negroes sleeping in the same hotels and rooming houses? negroes to occupy the same hospital rooms with you and your wife and daughters? negroes using your toilet facilities?” Plenty more in the list.

    thisisthemovement, installment #46:

    7 Internal City of Ferguson Emails Released Ferguson charged VICE news more than $1,200 to release only 7 emails that indicate that police were stressed by having cameras in their faces and that in between August 9th and October 3, the phrase “Michael Brown” was not sent via email by any Ferguson city official. Fascinating, absolute must read.

    Polls Show Stenger and Stream Statistically Tied in STL County Exec Race Heading into Election Day, polls indicate that Stream and Stenger are tied in the race for STL County Executive.

    White House Defends Ferguson No-Fly Zone, Not Intended to Restrict Media Coverage The White House has said that the no-fly zone should not have prevented news helicopters by referring to “a provision of obscure federal regulations intended to allow press flights as long as they meet certain conditions.” The White House did not directly address the transcripts that highlight FAA staff noting that the restrictions would keep out media. Must read.

    STL County Scrambled To Print Additional Paper Ballots on Election Day STL County did not print enough paper ballots for Election Day. Yes, real life. Quick, important read.

    Post-Dispatch Editorial Criticizes No-Media-Fly-Zone The Post-Dispatch used its editorial page to comment on how the no-fly zone aimed at preventing media coverage threatened the trust of police which is already fragile post August 9th. Interesting read.

    Ferguson Referenced In Several Political Ads Nationwide Ferguson has been a topic of/in campaign literature nationwide and this article provides a quick narrative snapshot of the campaigns that have referenced Ferguson in some way.

    Protestors Protest Post-Dispatch Coverage Yesterday, protestors protested outside of the offices of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to address inaccuracies published by the newspaper and the lack of accountability that the Post Dispatch has had with balancing Ferguson narratives. Important read.

    28th Annual Police-Fire Charity Boxing Match Postponed Because of Ferguson Protests The Guns N’ Hoses Boxing Match, scheduled for Nov. 26th, has been postponed until 2015 because of the Ferguson protests. Interestingly, McCulloch is the president of this year’s organization that is planning/hosting the event. Solid read.

    Kind of puts a perspective on that whole ‘I let them use my bathroom’ line. And what’s with the hospital question? Does one go to hospital to share a room with one’s wife and daughters (note sexism!!!)? I understand ‘sharing a room’ kind of phrasing… but ‘with you and your wife and daughters’, is it a family illness?

  223. rq says

    That’s weird, the last paragraph previous comment should come right after ‘plenty more in the list’ rather than after that blockquote.

    Aye and I suppose it was too much to hope that voting in Ferguson would occur peacefully.
    So, Fox2Now announced that Stenger has won the race for St Louis County, while neglecting to point out the fact that there is a less than 2000 vote difference between Stenger and Stream (the Republican candidate). I understand this means an automatic recount, though that didn’t stop the victory speeches, or the protestors. Who sang “Which Side Are You On?” during Stenger’s speech.
    So it was crowded, with some protestors escorted out.

  224. rq says

    More images: as represented in media; another arrest; “I’m not sure what they’re protesting. I’m not sure they know either.” (jsut a tweet quoting someone at the party); “I don’t care, I don’t care” says woman and starts to laugh while watching protestors being arrested.
    Antonio French got some media attention: apparnetly he was inciting violence (though his twitter feed is pretty tame), just as Ferguson protestors are destroying their own city. Both of those are media quotes (paraphrasing).

  225. rq says

    Now some articulage:
    Ferguson Residents Face Long Lines After Voting Push;

    St. Louis County Election Officials To ‘Reassess’ After Paper Ballot Shortage Causes Delays.

    Shifting tracks a little bit, Proof the police have told two huge lies in the shooting death of Darrien Hunt. The two-and-a-half lies:

    Lie #1: As the first officer exited his vehicle, Darrien Hunt lunged at him with his sword. […]

    In the newly released autopsy report in the shooting death of Darrien Hunt, it states the earliest known account of the police perspective as follows:

    The first officer exited his vehicle and the subject charged him swinging the sword. Three shots were fired (at Hunt) upon the initial contact.

    This photo alone, taken by bystander Jocelyn Hansen, contradicts that story and proves that both officers had exited their vehicle and were talking to Hunt.
    […]
    Lie #2. Police claimed Hunt took acid and was on drugs but his toxicology report came back negative for all drugs and alcohol.
    […]

    However, when the state toxicology report came back, it proved that Hunt was not under the influence of any drugs whatsoever—making the police statement about Hunt being on drugs seem like an absurd attempt to justify the shooting.

    Potential Lie #3. Witness Leonard Zogg says police have deliberately misrepresented what he said he saw on September 10.

    In the earliest police report from the day Hunt was killed, Leonard Zogg is quoted as saying he saw Hunt lunge at the officers and swing his sword at them. Zogg emphatically denies ever seeing any such thing and states that he never stated anything of the sort.

    On the same topic, LA Times: No charges in Utah police shooting of sword-wielding man. I guess shooting someone running away from you is perfectly justified, because the street was so damn crowded he would have been a danger to many people, so firing a shot into crowds that dense is just the smart thing to do. Except, oh wait, not so many people around? I guess shooting someone in the back is still justified.

    Also, Roorda lost his election. Though if Stenger and McCullogh remain in power, I doubt he’ll have much to worry about.

  226. rq says

    19 Rules of Engagement presented by the Don’T Shoot Coalition (sorry, it’s atwitter picture of a document).

    Here’s the Don’t Shoot Coalition again: Don’t Shoot Coalition Makes Preparations for Grand Jury Decision.

    In an effort to ensure community members are able to exercise their constitutional right to assemble in a safe and intimidation-free environment, Don’t Shoot members are attempting to negotiate three key elements to a safe police response, according to the release:

    First, to come to agreement on rules of engagement for all involved police agencies to foremost value the safety of those protesting, including a de-militarized response (no armored vehicles, rubber bullets, rifles or tear gas). Second, to provide advance public notice of the date of the announcement of the grand jury’s decis