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Good morning, America!

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. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I just wonder when it will dawn upon the politicians and police involved, the story is now about their misuse of force, not the fact protesting is still occurring.

  2. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Silly parents, believing the police when they say they’re going to stop flinging tear gas indiscriminately at people for breathing while black.

  3. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    But then it’s so difficult to tell one black person from another in the dark, I suppose it’s too much to ask of police to only target people who are breaking laws. *hurk*

  4. rq says

    All responsible parents know that they should be staying home with their children, instead of trying to challenge the system with their humanity. Honestly. How is the state supposed to impose its authority with all these human shields in the way?

  5. Saad says

    “Breathing while black”

    Hah! That’s great. Thanks for the laugh.

    Would not have thought a few weeks ago that image could possibly be from an unknown town in the midwest United States. This is very scary.

  6. Menyambal says

    Even a child would notice the desert-tan combat boots, and realize that the original set of paranoid, over-armored, undisciplined militarized cops are back, pointing assault rifles into the neighborhood.

  7. Usernames are smart says

    I bet if Bull Conner were still alive, he’d wish his boys would’ve had all that gear. Then they could’ve shot those pesky journalists so they could get back to ‘teaching those negroes their place’…

  8. Menyambal says

    Huh. My local news was showing an arrest, and saying that the cops were blaming “criminals within the crowd”. Which is a step up.

    The arrest they showed was of a black guy with his hands calmly up, and a dozen or so cops with assault rifles pointed, swirling in on him. It really was a little dance, with a perimeter facing outward. My critique is that there should have been some cops without rifles to use two hands on the victim, and to not have their guns pointed at the backs of the other cops.

  9. says

    I just wonder when it will dawn upon the politicians and police involved, the story is now about their misuse of force, not the fact protesting is still occurring.
    The major media channels are keeping the narrative like that though “Protests are turning violent, and the police resorted to force”. The ray of hope from the press last night was reporters on the ground forming a shield around protesters when police were marching up to them.

  10. says

    The clouds of tear gas in that photo constitute chemical warfare against unarmed citizens.

    From The Dish yesterday afternoon, a post entitled “Suffocating Protesters since 1914″ —

    In the 100 years since it was first developed, tear gas, advertised as a harmless substance, has often proven fatal, asphyxiating children and adults, causing miscarriages, and injuring many. The human-rights organization Amnesty International has listed tear gas as part of the international trade in tools of torture, and Turkey’s medical association has condemned it.

    Yet while tear gas remains banned from warfare under the Chemical Weapons Convention, its use in civilian policing grows. Tear gas remains as effective today at demoralizing and dispersing crowds as it was a century ago, turning the street from a place of protest into toxic chaos. It clogs the air, the one communication channel that even the most powerless can use to voice their grievances.

    In this way, tear gas offers the police a cheap solution for social unrest. But rather than resolve tensions, it deepens them. This week in Ferguson, police fired tear gas into people’s backyards, set it off near children, and launched it directly at journalists.

    http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/08/18/suffocating-protestors-since-1914/

  11. says

    I just wonder when it will dawn upon the politicians and police involved, the story is now about their misuse of force, not the fact protesting is still occurring.

    The major media channels are keeping the narrative like that though “Protests are turning violent, and the police resorted to force”. The ray of hope from the press last night was reporters on the ground forming a shield around protesters when police were marching up to them.

  12. says

    For a proper picture of the media, I suggest playing Black Sabbath’s War Pigs in the background while viewing anything from the media about Ferguson. I really helps cut through the BS.

  13. says

    Sagar Keer @12,

    The major media channels are keeping the narrative like that though “Protests are turning violent, and the police resorted to force”.

    Yes, when really it is “armed soldiers are invading our neighborhood, wounding people with rubber bullets, gassing kids and bystanders, corralling us under a curfew, terrorizing us with tanks — of course we will cry out in rage and pain and call for justice.”

    And on NPR just now, the intro to a story on police militarization began “Since the unrest in Ferguson began…” as though “unrest” were the initiating event, rather than the police murder of an unarmed, nonthreatening citizen.

  14. Jackie says

    These cops won’t be happy until they’ve killed more black people and I worry that the longer they are there pointing rifles at them and the more other racist white folks excuse it, the more likely it gets that more innocent people are going to die.
    Why isn’t there more outrage coming from our government officials? Where are the brave defenders of the second amendment and free speech when actual rights are being violated?

  15. Saad says

    Jackie #17

    Why isn’t there more outrage coming from our government officials?

    Because doing so will lose them lots and lots of votes/supporters.

  16. Pteryxx says

    Scott Olson, who took the photo in the OP, was arrested yesterday: BB – Latest journalist arrest

    Ryan J. Reilly ‏@ryanjreilly

    Can we all agree that Scott Olson completely nailed his arrest photo? #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/7QNWan5p6C
    4:45 PM – 18 Aug 2014

    (Twitter link)

    (Direct image link) [of Olson smiling with hands bound behind him, appearing to joke with one of the officers holding his arms.]

  17. Pteryxx says

    Saad – don’t know, but as he was released a few hours later, they probably didn’t bother to even pretend to charge him.

    Chicago Sun-Times ‏@Suntimes

    Getty photographer Scott Olson is back to work in #Ferguson. Photo via @alexwroblewski pic.twitter.com/X0qpwouB2j

    7:15 PM – 18 Aug 2014

    (Twitter link)

    via Ryan J Reilly, What a photographer captures before he was arrested

    Getty Images photographer Scott Olson was arrested Monday night during protests in Ferguson.

    Reporters on the scene captured photos and videos of his arrest. An Instagram video appears to show Olson as police tie the photographer’s hands behind his back.

    “Media are required to be in a certain area,” Olson says in the video. He goes on to identify himself as a photographer with Getty Images.

    Olson was released just before 10 p.m. ET, according to Getty Images VP Pancho Bernasconi on Twitter. According to Bernasconi, Olson said upon his release: “I want to be able to do my job as a member of the media and not be arrested for just doing my job.”

    Getty confirmed the release in a statement Monday night. “Getty Images condemns Scott’s arrest and is committed to ensuring that he and our other photographer colleagues are able to report this important story,” Bernasconi said in the statement.

  18. caesar says

    How can you blame the police for getting hurt at these protests when you should know by now that some of the people involved have no qualms about getting violent, and instigating a confrontation? By sticking around, you’re saying that you accept the consequences of your actions.

  19. Menyambal says

    Yeah, there are two groups missing from the protestors.

    We should be seeing all the Second Amendment gun nuts (without their guns, please) who seem to worship the Constitutional rights, and who believe that the Constitution guaranteed gun ownership to prevent government tyranny. Here’s your fears, Bubba, but where are you?

    The other group missing is the Hollywood types who appropriate black culture and who admire black entertainers. Ferguson is about being black, and about human rights, and it’s about time to hear from the hoodie-wearing, blinged-up people who have a voice that would be heard.

  20. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    caesar @ 24

    Getting teargassed is not a natural consequence of other people breaking the law, fuckwit. Go away.

  21. Pteryxx says

    via our Queer Shoop’s blog:

    HuffPo – Thank You, Black Internet

    #Ferguson, and moments like this one that lay this nation’s greatest contradictions at our feet, is the reason a new generation of African American change-makers are demanding that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reclassify the Internet as a common carrier service. Too often, our lives depend on our ability to tell stories of the abuse of power, without interference from corporate gatekeepers.

    As the people of Ferguson join the ranks of cities across the country raising their hands in civil disobedience against the systemic abuse of Black bodies by law enforcement agencies, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is considering network neutrality rules that would force Black Twitter and Black blogs to enter the conversation on police brutality through a digital “poor door”; their content tracked into a digital slow lane by expedient, piecemeal regulation that lets the largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) discriminate through a pay-to-play scheme called paid prioritization.

    I would ask you to imagine the impact of an Internet with the legal right to discriminate; if you’re Black, though, I think you already know. Black cable isn’t bringing the story of police brutality in Ferguson to your kitchen table, the Black Internet is.

    see also Cuttlefish – Black Twitter is the internet at its best

  22. Pteryxx says

    and via BB, the original charter of the UK’s Metropolitan Police from 1829.

    Kottke – Policing by Consent

    At the heart of the Metropolitan Police’s charter were a set of rules either written by Peel or drawn up at some later date by the two founding Commissioners: The Nine Principles of Policing. They are as follows:

    1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.

    2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.

    3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.

  23. Jackie says

    If we tell all these racist shitstains that there are no black people on Mars, do you think they’ll go there and make this planet a better place?

    They can take their guns with them.

  24. caesar says

    @27:

    Getting teargassed is not a natural consequence of other people breaking the law, fuckwit. Go away.

    Getting teargassed is a natural consequence of showing up at a protest where people are shooting, looting, throwing molotov cocktails, and generally instigating violence fuckwit. If people don’t want to get gassed or shot, they should protest peacefully during the daytime in the designated area, when it’s less likely that troublemakers will start shit.

  25. AsqJames says

    caeser @24,

    How can you blame the police for getting hurt at these protests when you should know by now that some of the people involved have no qualms about getting violent, and instigating a confrontation? By sticking around, you’re saying that you accept the consequences of your actions.

    Bollocks. You just completely eviscerated the 1st Amendment.

    Any important issue is going to raise passions. Some passionate people are going to overreact. If people can’t protest if even a minority might instigate confrontation “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” is meaningless – you can only protest about non-issues…things everyone already agrees on.

    That’s a heckler’s veto par excellence!

  26. rq says

    *ahem* Never mind.

    people are shooting, looting, throwing molotov cocktails, and generally instigating violence fuckwit

    Well, if they’d all known the police would be at their finest behaviour, well, I’m sure most of the protestors would have stayed home, because, you know, staying safe at home is so much more important than their human rights, and rights as people, and to be recognized as such.
    Regarding the bolded part, well, the police should stop that, I agree.

  27. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Big thank you to PZ and everyone who is gathering all the information in comments.

  28. dianne says

    Having seen the photos that Olson got, I’m not surprised that they arrested him. They were great images, including the one of the single, unarmed young man with his hands in the air having guns pointed at him by riot gear wearing police. It’s clear that the police wanted rid of this photographer as soon as possible.

  29. Rey Fox says

    And right on time, here comes caesar to keep up his perfect record of being wrong on everything.

  30. caesar says

    @32:

    If people can’t protest if even a minority might instigate confrontation

    Not might, people are instigating confrontation.The police are responding with tear gas and rubber bullets. People that show up to said protests know what they’re in for. Like I said in my previous comment, if you don’t want to get gassed, protest during the day, or stay the fuck away. Hey, it rhymes!

  31. dianne says

    I still don’t understand how this curfew and preventing people from assembling thing is constitutional.

  32. rq says

    Not might, people are instigating confrontation.The police are responding with tear gas and rubber bullets.

    Hmm… Okay, I got it: “Not might, people the police are instigating confrontation with tear gas and bullets ., The police people are responding with tear gas and bullets.
    Should give: “Not might, the police are instigating confrontation with tear gas and bullets, people are responding.” Makes a lot more sense.

  33. rq says

    f you don’t want to get gassed, protest during the day, or stay the fuck away.

    People have a right to assemble. Did the Founding Fathers put a daily time limit on that?

  34. Saad says

    Menyambal #25

    We should be seeing all the Second Amendment gun nuts (without their guns, please) who seem to worship the Constitutional rights, and who believe that the Constitution guaranteed gun ownership to prevent government tyranny. Here’s your fears, Bubba, but where are you?

    Very well said. Now anytime there’s a school/mall/theater shooting tragedy and the gun nuts are out in full force saying guns are needed to prevent government tyranny, this story will always be there to shut them the fuck up. Not that it would sink in… sigh, there I go being pessimistic again.

  35. dianne says

    The police are responding with tear gas and rubber bullets.

    Your causality is confused. The police shot an unarmed man, left his body on the street for 4 hours, didn’t bother to write an incident report or call an ambulance. Later, they tear gassed a group of people who were gathering peacefully before the imposed curfew, tear gassed people in their own yards, and threatened more unarmed and non-violent protestors. The police weren’t responding, they were instigating.

  36. robertfoster says

    Ah, the harmony of the post-racial society. Things are so much better now than they were in 1968. I can’t wait to see what progress we’ll see in another 50 years.

  37. Saad says

    Rey Fox #46,

    They’re there. You just can’t see them in all that riot gear and armor.

  38. caesar says

    @41:

    People have a right to assemble.

    And nobody’s taking that away. If people are ok with possibly getting gassed by police responding to violence, then that’s their problem.

    Your causality is confused. The police shot an unarmed man, left his body on the street for 4 hours, didn’t bother to write an incident report or call an ambulance. Later, they tear gassed a group of people who were gathering peacefully before the imposed curfew, tear gassed people in their own yards, and threatened more unarmed and non-violent protestors

    Yeah, I don’t care. Whatever happened previously is irrelevant. There are people in the crowd trying to instigate violence now, and it simply can’t be tolerated. Once again, people who don’t want to get caught up in the police response to the troublemakers need to protest at a time and place where they’re less likely to be present.

  39. rq says

    caesar
    Because the only conceivable response police could have to violence is more violence? Really?

  40. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Yeah, I don’t care.

    Everyone: The first true thing caesar has ever said. It had to happen eventually.

  41. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And nobody’s taking that away. If people are ok with possibly getting gassed by police responding to violence, then that’s their problem.

    Gee, you are even more full of bullshit than ever. Clear cut violations by a police riot of their ability to peaceable assemble. That fact that you can’t comprehend the police causing the riots, means you have your head buried in the sand.
    Typical of someone who looks the other way at institutional racism, and really wants to keep it place, rather than expose it and rip it out because it keeps people, your follow citizens, down, because you can’t compete on an even playing field.

  42. Saad says

    caesar,

    It’s not the peaceful demonstrator’s problem that other people in their vicinity are causing issues. It’s the police’s job to not hurt people not breaking the law.

    Also, “whatever happened previously is irrelevant” is actually the stupidest thing you’ve said so far in this thread, not any of the other stuff people are calling you out on. Don’t believe them.

  43. qwints says

    I must have missed the part in 1st amendment law that says limiting media to a designated area is lawful.

  44. caesar says

    @49:

    Because the only conceivable response police could have to violence is more violence? Really?

    Yeah why not? Those people who are there to incite violence need to see that they will be dealt with in the necessary fashion if they persist in their actions. Eventually such people will be demoralized enough that they will stand down so that the peaceful protesters can protest without fear.

  45. AsqJames says

    caeser @ 48

    Whatever happened previously is irrelevant.

    Seriously? If you don’t even consider prior events, you can’t understand anything.

    I wonder if Lord North had the same attitude to the actions of certain protesters.

  46. Desert Son, OM says

    caesar at #31:

    If people don’t want to get gassed or shot, they should protest peacefully during the daytime in the designated area, when it’s less likely that troublemakers will start shit.

    Curious.

    Strange, then, that in history, so much attention that leads to progress, discussion, increased acknowledgment of socio-cultural complexity, and change, has been made on issues of civil and human rights by not staying in the designated area, during the designated time, with the designated “approved persons”, in the designated “approved manner.”

    The Selma-to-Montgomery march of 1965.
    The Alabama bus boycotts of 1955 to 1956.
    The lunch counter sit-ins.
    Voter registration efforts.
    Integration of Arkansas public schools beginning in 1954.
    Women’s Suffrage in the United States beginning as early as the 18th century.
    Čaŋkpé Opí in 1974.
    Salt Satyagraha of 1930.
    The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804.
    The Opium Wars of 1839 to 1842 and again from 1856 to 1860.
    The Algerian Revolution of 1954 to 1962.
    The Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
    The Stonewall riots of 1969.
    The East German protests of 1989 leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
    The Watts riots of 1965.
    The Los Angeles riots of 1992.
    The Arab Spring beginning in 2010.
    The Orange Revolution of 2004.
    Pussy Riot’s feminist protest presence in Russia since 2011.

    To name just a very few, indeed.

    Why didn’t those people just protest quietly, in the daytime, and go home, patted gently on the head, at the appointed time?

    Why didn’t they, caesar?

    caesar, why didn’t they just do what you suggested? Why do you think that is?

    Still learning,

    Robert

  47. Saad says

    Dayum, Desert Son.

    LOL @ the idea of protesting when and where the authorities tell you to protest. That’s comedy right there.

  48. AsqJames says

    OK, #54 can’t be for real can it? Can anyone point to a historical precedent for the ratcheting up of official violence leading to a persecuted minority becoming “demoralized enough that they will stand down” and that resulting in an eventual peaceful solution?

  49. frog says

    Oh, people, quit trying to school the fuckheaded troll. He’s obviously not here to listen. He’s a piece of shit not worth your pixels.

    Dianne@36: That photo (which I’ve been calling “blue-t-shirt-dredlocks-guy”) is amazing. It’s this situation’s equivalent of “tank guy” in Tiananmen Square.

  50. AsqJames says

    PZ @ 59,

    Oh yeah, I should have been clearer: My definition of “peaceful solution” excludes any which involves lots of killing.

    What can I say? I’m eccentric

  51. caesar says

    @51:

    Clear cut violations by a police riot of their ability to peaceable assemble

    If people are throwing molotov cocktails and looting,then it’s not a peaceful assembly. I keep saying thus over and over, if you don’t want to get caught up in the police response to violence, then avoid the violent protests. It sounds so simple it’s almost defies logic.

    Typical of someone who looks the other way at institutional racism, and really wants to keep it place, rather than expose it and rip it out because it keeps people, your follow citizens, down, because you can’t compete on an even playing field

    Sorry, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Any alleged institutional racism should be snuffed out ASAP, but that has nothing to do with people looting and instigating violence. That’s just people taking advantage of a situation, and as long as it continues to happen, the police are going yo continue to use tear gas and rubber bullets. If you want to be mad at someone, be mad at the looters because nobody’s gonna give a shit about institutional racism when they see people running out of a store with stolen tv’s in their hands.

  52. Desert Son, OM says

    Saad at #57:

    the idea of protesting when and where the authorities tell you to protest. That’s comedy right there.

    In the grimmest sense.

    ****

    Follow up to caesar at various (beginning at #31):

    Here’s a genuine idea to try in Ferguson:

    The police lay down their arms and disperse peacefully.

    The police do this.

    I suspect the result would not be an increase in violence and rioting. I suspect the result would be a mix of somber reflection on the tragic death of Michael Brown and a celebratory street-party expression of solidarity, compassion, and a renewed desire for tomorrow to be just a little bit better for just a little bit longer.

    Amended suggestion: The police lay down their arms and join arm-in-arm with the protesters decrying the systemic oppressions—both micro- and macro-—in which we all play a part by virtue of cultural infusion.

    I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t born a person with racist behaviors. Those had to be subtly and perniciously invested into me by elements of my environment.

    I wish I could say that I have not, or do not, exhibit racist behaviors, but I have come to learn that is not the case. Not because I’m affiliated with a formal organization advocating white supremacy, but because I live in a culture that—overtly and covertly—tells me and the rest of the world that there’s a melanin lottery and I happen to have a winning ticket.

    What if instead of tear gas and batons and riot shields and armored vehicles, what if we took a different approach for once—as a society—and started by simply saying, “You’re right. This is fucked up, and as a culture we’ve been killing non-white people for so long—with bullets, ballots, banking, barristers, and more—that it has become all too easy to assume that when it happens yet again, that the fault is with the killed, not the killers?”

    What do you think?

    Still learning,

    Robert

  53. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Sorry, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

    Two honest statements in one day! Will wonders never cease?!

  54. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If people are throwing molotov cocktails and looting,then it’s not a peaceful assembly.

    Media sources, not police sources required. Liberturds are big on attitude, but not evidence.

    . Any alleged institutional racism should be snuffed out ASAP, but that has nothing to do with people looting and instigating violence.

    Ah, your real problem as a liberturd is the concept of looting and destruction of property, which the community was taking efforts to minimize, and those efforts were not being recognized by the police, nor you. You want racism, or you would condemn the killing of an unarmed black teenager, and the police response of anything other than the arrest and conviction of the murderer, who happened to be wearing a police uniform.

  55. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    But what happened before is irrelevant per the decree from the almighty caesar. The only thing that matters is that there’s looting because, as we all know, property > black people’s lives.

  56. says

    There are people in the crowd trying to instigate violence now, and it simply can’t be tolerated

    Do you feel the same way about police officers instigating violence? If not, why not?

    Incidentally, I’d like some backup for these accusations:

    …people are shooting, looting, throwing molotov cocktails, and generally instigating violence

    Last I checked, several accusation made of the “rioters” have turned out to be bullshit. E.g. the accusation that a McDonalds was looted turned out not to be true; at least one claim of shooting turned out to be fireworks; the claim of molotov cocktails has, as far as I know, not been corroborated in any way; and this is all occurring under circumstance where the police has been flat out lying since day one.

    On top of that, we know that they didn’t have a problem character assassinating their first victim, Brown, so why would we believe anything they say about their subsequent victims? Their tarring of Brown with accusations irrelevant to the original incident wasn’t the work of a single, rogue cop. It was a deliberate effort by the police hierarchy; to avoid any kind of responsibility by falsely making the victim of their violence look like a criminal. Does that remind you of anything? See a pattern of behavior here, maybe?

    Then, cherry on top, we now from the multiple arrests of reporters that the police are actively rounding up and arresting people who have done nothing wrong, are breaking no laws and are posing no threat. We know that they’re doing that. It’s not even an open question.

    So, when the police once again say that they were simply forced to use tear gas on civilians because they were being so violent, pardon me if I react with a tiny drop of skepticism. We know they’ve lied before; in this kind of way, in this kind of situation. It fits the pattern exactly. Why the fuck should we believe anything they say?

  57. Saad says

    caesar,

    Who the hell is saying looting innocent people’s stores is fine? Nobody in their right mind would defend the looters. If the police went in and arrested the specific people stealing shit (and arrested anyone that got in their way of doing so), that’ll be great. By definition, the peaceful protesters won’t be stopping that.

    But that’s not what’s happening. Clearly. They’re indiscriminately firing tear gas at people who aren’t even off their own property. They’re using violence and severe intimidation on a large group of people and expecting things to remain calm and expecting people to not assemble?

  58. says

    That’s just people taking advantage of a situation, and as long as it continues to happen, the police are going yo continue to use tear gas and rubber bullets.

    So the police are just robots, preprogrammed to respond inevitably to minority lawbreaking with brutal mass punishment, eh?

    And we should accept this as the status quo why, exactly? Seems to me you’re making a good argument for disbanding the entire force and starting from scratch. Tall order, I know, but you’re describing a totalitarian robocop type of police force which is entirely incompatible with democratic government.

  59. HappyHead says

    @caesar #54
    Those people who are there to incite violence need to see that they will be dealt with in the necessary fashion if they persist in their actions

    Unfortunately, they won’t be dealt with in the necessary fashion for persisting in their actions, because the primary inciters of violence in these protests are wearing police uniforms, riot gear, and military combat equipment.

  60. Desert Son, OM says

    frog at #61:

    Oh, people, quit trying to school the fuckheaded troll. He’s obviously not here to listen. He’s a piece of shit not worth your pixels.

    Maybe.

    But when I think back on all the times in my life when I wasn’t listening, and someone made the effort to try and get me to listen—sometimes quietly, sometimes loudly—such that I finally did start to listen (and yet still need to be reminded to do so periodically), I’m grateful that someone reached out.

    Many of those have been at Pharyngula. This forum remains one of the most powerful, challenging, intimidating, dynamic, and liberating educational environments I’ve ever encountered.

    Maybe caesar isn’t here to listen. What’s beautiful is that someone else might be, and maybe the counter-narratives to caesar reach that other person.

    Then again, maybe caesar isn’t here to listen yet. All of us, at some point in life with regard to some thing in life, have not cared yet.

    I used to believe in god.

    Then I met Pharyngula.

    (Am still working on a whole bunch of my other shit, though.)

    Still learning,

    Robert

  61. says

    Innocent people have only themselves to blame if they get attacked with chemical weapons for being in proximity to a violent minority?

    Bear in mind that this indiscriminate chemical weapon response against this allegedly already violent minority was performed by an organization with a strong interest in silencing a peaceful protest against their earlier, readily obvious misconduct that ended in murder.

  62. lorn says

    As more information is emerging it is increasingly clear what happened and why police acted as they did. It looks like Brown, after robbing a convenience store and assaulting the owner, was walking down the center of the main street. When confronted by Wilson, who may not have known of the robbery, Brown attacked Wilson as prelude to attempting to take his gun away. During the struggle for the gun in the police car Wilson was shot somewhere between three and six times. The deadly shot looks to have been directly down through the top of his head.

    I don’t see how that wound trajectory, and the one striking the eye and emerging from the jaw, could have been delivered by a roughly average sized Wilson if it was delivered if Brown, a rather tall man, was standing, with or without his arms raised. There would seem to be some contradiction in witness accounts.

    The angle is less a mystery if both men were semi-prone with Wilson backing up and Brown laying on Wilson’s legs with arms in front of him as they grapple over the gun in or near the holster. This might also mean the lacerations of the hand and arm, and impact on the chest, might have come from one bullet. Speculation yes, but at least possible given the information presented.

    Once shot down through the top of the head Brown was essentially dead. He may have moved some distance before collapsing and expiring. Which explains why no ambulance was called. Dead men don’t need ambulances or worry about time. It may also explains the four hour delay. As a crime scene involving a killing everything has to be photographed and documented before anything is moved. I don’t know why this took four hours but I suspect that it may have to do with the rarity of such events in a relatively small town. Unlike NYC, which has a well established call list and protocol it might be expected that it would take longer to get everyone informed and on site.

    Pretty much all the questions will be answered in time.

    I will, singing for the audience, note that while it increasing looks like, subject to further information becoming available ,Brown was the instigator and attacker this doesn’t invalidate the perception of long term discrimination or oppression by the public. It also doesn’t mean the ham-handed tactics by a militarized police force are entirely justified.

    Recent accounts (night of 8/18-19) by residents other than the police are that someone has been shooting at the police but the police are not shooting back. Between gunfire and CS I would think keeping the kids inside would be healthier.

    Before anyone gets to nostalgic for the days before teargas was cheap and widely used you might remember that riot control was previously a matter of rifle fire, bird shot, and baton charges.

  63. says

    Something occurs to me. This argument of “if you’re around a criminal, you’ve only got yourself to blame if you get hurt” is an interesting one. It seems to me that this is actually an argument for indiscriminate violence against the police. A police officer committed murder. As a result, violence against all police officers is warranted until the murderer is apprehended. If you don’t like being the target of violence, resign form the police force. Otherwise, you asked for it.

    Now, I don’t agree with that idea, but presumably caesar does. It’s his argument.

  64. Nick Gotts says

    If people don’t want to get gassed or shot, they should protest peacefully during the daytime in the designated area, when it’s less likely that troublemakers will start shit it will quickly disappear from the news, along with all discussion of the initial killing and subsequent police misbehaviour. – caesar

    FIFY

  65. says

    What the fuck is this “use your free speech only when the government lets you” bullshit? Last time I looked, we lived in fuckin’ America, not some authoritarian backwater.

    The government telling you when and where you can assert your first amendment right is fucking censorship.

  66. says

    Pretty much all the questions will be answered in time.

    Especially if we allow the police to filter the information and bury anything inconvenient. Then I’m sure they’ll be able to tie it all up in a pretty, little bow. And with so many people willing to help them? Piece of cake.

    Remind me, how many times have they changed the story so far?

  67. yazikus says

    As more information is emerging it is increasingly clear what happened and why police acted as they did. It looks like Brown, after robbing a convenience store and assaulting the owner, was walking down the center of the main street. When confronted by Wilson, who may not have known of the robbery, Brown attacked Wilson as prelude to attempting to take his gun away. During the struggle for the gun in the police car Wilson was shot somewhere between three and six times. The deadly shot looks to have been directly down through the top of his head.

    I think this might be the most awful and imaginative paragraph I’ve ever read. Lorn is obviously quite dedicated to fantasizing about removing any and all responsibility from the absent officer. Why, I wonder, would one be so very dedicated to defending what is increasingly a clear act of police violence? What skin in the game does Lorn have?

  68. Jackie says

    Caesar,
    I bet you say the same thing about kids in Gaza.
    Most of these protesters live in that area and their homes are being tear gassed. Sound cannons are being used were their children are. Schools are shut down. Residents in the area have not called for more policing of protesters. They have called for justice to be done and that means that the cops stop hiding Wilson and arrest him. . The cops could just arrest the murderous cop instead of driving tanks through the streets, pointing rifles at unarmed civilians, tear gassing kids, arresting journalists and a Holocaust survivor in her 90’s. and grieving people sick of living in fear of the violent, racist police. There is no excuse for that fascist bullshit. Fuck you for trying to come up with one. If this shit was happening in some white, suburban gated community people like you would act as if this were the end of the world. If they flew drones over your neighborhood and shut you in your home at gunpoint, I bet you would not blame yourself.

  69. Saad says

    I bet that’s a fun game though. What atrocities can you justify by making things up. I think I’m gonna take a crack at the Nanking Massacre. I always had a hunch those darn Chinese children were up to no good…

  70. rq says

    @54

    Eventually such people will be demoralized enough that they will stand down so that the peaceful protesters can protest without fear.

    Yeah, people experiencing violence (esp. from authorities) really have a tendency to just roll over and admit defeat. Especially when they hate the authorities.

  71. carlie says

    By sticking around, you’re saying that you accept the consequences of your actions.

    That shot conveniently leaves out the fucking houses lining the street. These are where people LIVE. Their “actions” can be that they are staying shut up in their houses, and they are still getting tear gassed. That shit gets in through all the cracks in those crappy houses, because Ferguson is majority poor and the houses are built like shit. And know what a lot of poor people don’t have? Air conditioning. Temps in Ferguson for the last couple of weeks have been highs in the 90s and lows in the mid-70s. If you don’t have your windows open at night, inside temps can be unbearable. That lets in more tear gas. Window air conditioning units? Lots of outside air coming in around and through those.

    When police use tear gas to disperse protestors, it seeps into their home.“You wake up with your face itching,” Moore said. When they start to smell it in the house, they turn off the air conditioning, because “it comes right through.”

    So, ceasar, what exactly are the actions they’re facing the consequences of? Being at home? Being too poor to go out of town to a hotel until this all dies down? Not having a house that is completely closed to the elements? What the hell does a person have to do in your mind to deserve their 3 year old getting tear gassed in her bed at night?

  72. rq says

    lorn
    There is no contradiction in witness accounts. Take your shit outside. Because this?

    I don’t know why this took four hours but I suspect that it may have to do with the rarity of such events in a relatively small town.

    Is you calling the cops incompetent. Rarity? Fuck that – these are trained police officers, who are supposedly trained for emergencies, where their first reaction should have been to call emergency medical services.
    So you’re just arguing for gross police incompetence. Sounds about right.

  73. Jackie says

    Last time I looked, we lived in fuckin’ America, not some authoritarian backwater.

    There’s a difference?

    Remember, if you want to harass and threaten women seeking legal abortion, it’s “counseling” and you can get right up in her face and do your best to terrify her into giving up the medical care she has a right to. It’s fine that the forced birthers have ties to domestic terrorists and murderers. Nobody is going to tear gas those mostly white, conservative people. They can assemble as they choose. But if the cops kill a black teen and people protest, it’s a riot and it must be quelled by mostly white cops right away.

    America, fuck yeah. /s

  74. Xaivius says

    Yazikus@82:

    But Lorn is ONLY asking QUESTIONS, maaaaan! He’s going to find the TRUTH about those awful brown people and that nasty boy that assaulted the poor, innocent police officer!

    /snark

    But seriously Lorn, go fucking shove your head in a toilet. Maybe you’ll find even BETTER opinions in there, shitgargler.

  75. Pteryxx says

    re carlie’s #86:

    That shot conveniently leaves out the fucking houses lining the street. These are where people LIVE. Their “actions” can be that they are staying shut up in their houses, and they are still getting tear gassed.

    And virtually none of the police live anywhere near that community. They get to take off their riot gear in the morning and go sleep in a house undisturbed by LRADs and free of tear gas.

    Also, they’re getting paid. They’re not losing time from their jobs or their school (or their jobs AT that school) to walk around with weapons in the streets.

    Whoever called the nightly police riots a “siege” was exactly correct.

  76. Xaivius says

    Also,

    Fuck off, Caesar. We all know you love you some authoritarian brown people beating. We get it. Now go join Lorn in toiletville.

  77. numerobis says

    lorn is on planet “invent a fantasy that has almost nothing to do with what even the Ferguson police would like to claim has happened, then blame the witnesses for not describing what he dreamed up”

    caesar is on planet “rant about jackbooted thugs when they might require him to register a gun but support them to the hilt when they are crushing brown people”

    The two planets are different but orbit each other, in an authoritarian galaxy far far away.

  78. Don'tWantNo (ShortShortMan) says

    Lorn,

    I think we’ve found where the smell is coming from. Someone left your talk hole open, and there is some nasty shit in there.

    You are a repellent liar in the service of white power and authoritarian power. Your lies are stupid and transparent, so much so that they are probably not even intended to convince anyone (gods save you if you have been put on this earth without the awareness to realize that your lies would not fly in this particular corner of the internet).

    Take your fear-soaked trousers and your CSI:Lorn’s Racist Fantasies plotline back to YouTube comments where they belong.

  79. yazikus says

    Xavius @ 89
    What gets me is the time and energy that people like Lorn and Cesar are investing in trying to create these alternate realities. They are real people sitting at their computers, defending the indefensible. I just don’t get it. I mean, I guess if their world view is dependent on a world where white police officers are always good and brown people are always bad… but why would anyone want that?

  80. Pteryxx says

    they are. They’re writing white supremacist genocidal fanfic right here in the comments.

  81. says

    Funny how the Freeze Peach Brigade seems to have jack squat to say about actual government suppression of 1st Amendment rights.

    Banning commenters, deleting comments? CENSORSHIP!!

    Arresting journalists and gassing peaceful protesters? Whatever.

    Good to know what their priorities are.

  82. Bernard Bumner says

    Lorn, you fucking self-parody, are you really arguing that shooting petty theft suspects (he wasn’t) and jay-walkers is proportionate? As for this shot-during-a-struggle nonsense? I know you don’t believe it. Shot six times, the last one fatally, and he managed to tumble, dead, twenty feet across the floor, limbs and head flailing wildly to conceal his true position of aggressor?

    Why not just claim that Brown took the sidearm and shot himself? I’m surprised that the police haven’t tried that story.

    You are a terrible person.

  83. says

    Why not just claim that Brown took the sidearm and shot himself? I’m surprised that the police haven’t tried that story.

    Reminds me of the time a couple years ago when the police claimed that a young (black, natch) man who they had arrested and handcuffed and put in a cruiser managed to extract a gun (from his own rectum? it was never clear) and shoot himself in the head. Handcuffed the whole time.

    I feel a bit ashamed that I don’t remember the man’s name off the top of my head. But there have been so many.

  84. Bernard Bumner says

    @Sally strange,
    I remember it. I suppose that I had it mind when I tried to propose a story too ridiculous for even Lorn to swallow, but there it is.

  85. CJO says

    Which explains why no ambulance was called. Dead men don’t need ambulances or worry about time.

    Awferfuck’s sake. “Dead men” are brothers and sons, and nephews and fathers.

    Communities want dignity for their dead, universally, according to local norms. The callous lack of response and the dehumanizing insensitivity shown by the authorities in the immediate aftermath of the shooting was shameful, and your lame apologia is sickening.

  86. Jackie says

    These corral, abuse, discredit and keep media from reporting tactics are ampted up versions of what happened with Occupy. That was also all about protecting white people from accountability. The escalation of these tactics will continue if nothing is done to stop it.

  87. says

    Because the only conceivable response police could have to violence is more violence? Really?

    They keep militarizing police, to ,”handle more and more dangerously armed people”, with the direct, and logical, consequence being that the unarmed, non-dangerous ones are confronted with military grade training and weapons, and you actually ask this question? Seems to me, to the PD, and the people arming them, the answer is, “Yes.”

  88. says

    caesar:

    How can you blame the police for getting hurt at these protests when you should know by now that some of the people involved have no qualms about getting violent, and instigating a confrontation? By sticking around, you’re saying that you accept the consequences of your actions.

    Look, many of us know that you don’t sympathize with the downtrodden and oppressed, preferring to suck up to those in power bc you think you’re one of those elite special few, but can you take your fucking bullshit elsewhere?

  89. says

    caesar:

    Getting teargassed is a natural consequence of showing up at a protest where people are shooting, looting, throwing molotov cocktails, and generally instigating violence fuckwit. If people don’t want to get gassed or shot, they should protest peacefully during the daytime in the designated area, when it’s less likely that troublemakers will start shit.

    A natural consequence? Would you listen to yourself? Tear gas has been condemned in wartime and you act as if it’s perfectly normal to be deployed on civilians. Of course it’s likely because you don’t give a shit about the people involved, though I doubt you’ll outright say it’s because they’re black. You’ll continue use code words and dogwhistles (all while pretending you don’t know what either of those means).

  90. opposablethumbs says

    People like caesar and lorn make me so ashamed. Odds are high I’m the same colour as they are, odds are fair that I’m in a roughly comparable social stratum. I am ashamed to have so much in common with these dangerous, despicable scum.

  91. Saad says

    Since lorn has presented his well-documented and substantiated account(s) of what happened, just wanted to drop these couple of things here:

    – Two witnesses to the shooting have described it similarly: that after the initial confrontation with Wilson being in the car and firing a shot, Brown turned and ran. Wilson got out of the car and shot him. After being struck by that bullet, Brown turned around with his hands raised and Wilson proceeded to shoot him again. Since there is consensus now that there were at least six shots, we can assume safely that he continued to shoot him more even after that.

    – Police Chief Jon Belmar has stated the distance between Wilson and Brown when Brown was shot was 35 feet.

    Article with this information

  92. says

    C’mooooon, you can tell those rioters are prepared to cause trouble!! Look at ‘em! They’re wearing helmets and body armor and carrying guns and shit! Nobody’d show up to a riot dressed like that unless they were planning on causing trouble!!

  93. dianne says

    lorn, if you’re going to claim that Brown was struggling for the gun then you’re going to have to explain how his body came to have no powder burns on it. This is not consistent with being shot at close range. Also, it’s not 3-6 times but rather at last 6 times. The pathologist confirmed at least 6 shots hit.

  94. mesh says

    @48

    [blockquote] Yeah, I don’t care. Whatever happened previously is irrelevant. [/blockquote]

    Well, of course you wouldn’t – that would require a little thing called empathy, not to mention it would put a damper on your narrative that terrorizing neighborhoods is simply commensurate force. After all, so long as you can appeal to anyone who doesn’t take the tear gas lying down anything short of reducing Ferguson to a mushroom cloud becomes justified.

    Hell, if you subscribe to lorn’s twisted logic that an unarmed black men from 35 feet away with his arms in the air was so dangerous as to warrant immediate execution then surely all black residents of Ferguson must be killed in preemptive self-defense.

  95. gmacs says

    Caesar:

    Sorry, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Any alleged institutional racism should be snuffed out ASAP, but that has nothing to do with people looting and instigating violence.

    That’s horseshit and you know it. If you don’t know about the systemic racism in our country, then it’s due to willfull ignorance. Just look at the incarceration rates for marijuana vs. marijuana usage rates between the races. Look how Stop And Frisk was applied. Look at the makeup of our fucking legislature.

    nobody’s gonna give a shit about institutional racism when they see people running out of a store with stolen tv’s in their hands.

    Then nobody has their priorities in order. I’d rather be robbed of my TV than my rights.

  96. says

    Lorn:

    “Once shot down through the top of the head Brown was essentially dead. He may have moved some distance before collapsing and expiring. Which explains why no ambulance was called.”

    Rubbish. The trajectory a bullet takes when it enters the human body is subject to many different influences. The bullet could have lodged below the skull, skimmed the skull or passed through. And the only people competent to pronounce death are doctors. Not police, not even (usually) EMTs. It was entirely possible Brown could have been saved if he had been taken to an ER immediately. Not to have done this is criminal negligence from a group who are expected to have a greater duty of care to the public than most of us.

    “Dead men don’t need ambulances”

    It was not the police’s place to decide this. I believe negligent homicide is a thing?

  97. ledasmom says

    carlie @ 86:

    So, ceasar, what exactly are the actions they’re facing the consequences of? Being at home? Being too poor to go out of town to a hotel until this all dies down? Not having a house that is completely closed to the elements? What the hell does a person have to do in your mind to deserve their 3 year old getting tear gassed in her bed at night?

    That is very close to what has been haunting my mind since that image of a rubber-bullet wound was linked (I apologize; I forget who posted it, and which thread it was on). Bad enough for a healthy person. What if it was a child who was hit, or someone with brittle bones or circulatory issues or other issues that would make the result of such a wound worse? Using projectiles of any sort and tear gas is being OK with people possibly dying for nothing but being in a particular place on a particular day. The only way it can be considered acceptable crowd control is if you don’t think the police have an obligation to use violence only as an extreme last resort, because tear gas and rubber bullets are violence.
    And I’m just guessing right now that if there’s any lingering effects from the tear gas or the rubber-bullet wounds or anything else the police did in the course of their epic fuckup, there’s not going to be any compensation for that. Seems like a good guess, though.

  98. says

    caesar:

    Like I said in my previous comment, if you don’t want to get gassed, protest during the day, or stay the fuck away. Hey, it rhymes!

    And the fuckwit resorts to victim blaming. “It’s your fault you got tear gassed”.
    I guess it never dawns on this authoritarian asshole that the cops could just not use tear gas.

    Eventually such people will be demoralized enough that they will stand down so that the peaceful protesters can protest without fear.

    Violence vs. violence=peace?
    The fuck? Do you have evidence to support this asinine belief? Assuming the evidence doesn’t lead to mass death.

    Sorry, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Any alleged institutional racism should be snuffed out ASAP, but that has nothing to do with people looting and instigating violence.

    We know you don’t know what institutionalized racism is. I’m still wondering why you comment here. You’re the antithesis of so much of what the commentariat, PZ, and FtB in general stand for.
    ****
    rq:

    Because the only conceivable response police could have to violence is more violence? Really?

    Well of course. In caesar’s world, the reasonable thing to do when a violent situation arises is to meet it with more violence-preferably guns. Because that solves problems.
    ::spits::
    (maybe one day PZ will ban this gun loving, victim blaming, libertarian, racist shitpiston)

    ****

    Desert Son @56:
    I’ve missed your comments around here Robert. Hope you’re well.

    Here’s a genuine idea to try in Ferguson:
    The police lay down their arms and disperse peacefully.
    The police do this.

    I would dearly love it if the police would do this. Tensions in the community ratcheted up when the police got involved. *They* have exacerbated the situation. I hate to get all schoolyard here, but they started it.

    ****

    HappyHead:

    Unfortunately, they won’t be dealt with in the necessary fashion for persisting in their actions, because the primary inciters of violence in these protests are wearing police uniforms, riot gear, and military combat equipment.

    Sadly, one prone to authoritarian thinking like caesar won’t understand what you’re talking about. Siding with the police, despite their use of force and violation of civil and constitutional rights of civilians is his forte.
    Care about the community and decry the actions of the police? Sonotgonnahappenwiththatone.

    ****
    Let’s have our next apologist for the police….lorn COME ON DOWN:

    As more information is emerging it is increasingly clear what happened and why police acted as they did. It looks like Brown, after robbing a convenience store and assaulting the owner, was walking down the center of the main street. When confronted by Wilson, who may not have known of the robbery, Brown attacked Wilson as prelude to attempting to take his gun away.

    The police chief is already on record stating that Wilson knew nothing of the robbery (and we’re still not sure that Brown robbed the store). We don’t know that Brown attempted to wrestle the gun away (I have no idea where you’re getting your information from, but I suspect its from assfax).

    During the struggle for the gun in the police car Wilson was shot somewhere between three and six times.

    He was shot at least six times. This we know. Not “between 3 and 6 times”.

    The angle is less a mystery if both men were semi-prone with Wilson backing up and Brown laying on Wilson’s legs with arms in front of him as they grapple over the gun in or near the holster. This might also mean the lacerations of the hand and arm, and impact on the chest, might have come from one bullet. Speculation yes, but at least possible given the information presented.

    Speculation intended to smear Michael Brown and presented without a shred of supporting evidence is dismissed.

    I will, singing for the audience, note that while it increasing looks like, subject to further information becoming available ,Brown was the instigator and attacker this doesn’t invalidate the perception of long term discrimination or oppression by the public. It also doesn’t mean the ham-handed tactics by a militarized police force are entirely justified.

    You have *GOT* to stop getting your news from FOX and Breitbart.
    Given all I’ve read, there is *zero* evidence that points to Brown being the instigator.
    I notice that in all your attempts to smear Michael Brown, you include NO links to support your speculation. Hard to link to uranus, I take it?

    Before anyone gets to nostalgic for the days before teargas was cheap and widely used you might remember that riot control was previously a matter of rifle fire, bird shot, and baton charges.

    You suck at mind reading. Get a new job.
    I don’t see anyone here being nostalgic. I see people criticizing the use of tear gas by the police. FFS it is condemned in wartime. It should be condemned for use on civilians too.

    Recent accounts (night of 8/18-19) by residents other than the police are that someone has been shooting at the police but the police are not shooting back. Between gunfire and CS I would think keeping the kids inside would be healthier.

    Do you know HOW to link to sources?
    ****
    Avo:

    Also: no shoplifting or assault was reported from that store that day, according to the store’s attorney. Oops.

    To be fair, the owner said neither he, nor his employees called 911. Rather, it was a customer.

    The owner of the store dispute the claim that they or an employee called 911, saying a customer inside the store made the call. They also say St. Louis County issues the warrants for the hard drive of surveillance video Friday.

    In any case, IIRC, the Chief of Ferguson PD claimed they store made the call.

    ****
    carlie:

    So, ceasar, what exactly are the actions they’re facing the consequences of? Being at home? Being too poor to go out of town to a hotel until this all dies down? Not having a house that is completely closed to the elements? What the hell does a person have to do in your mind to deserve their 3 year old getting tear gassed in her bed at night?

    Asking a libertarian if they care about poor people never ends well.

    ****

    Pteryxx:

    Also, they’re getting paid.

    Fuck. Can’t believe I never thought about that.
    They’re getting paid to tear gas people.
    They’re getting paid to disrupt an entire community.
    They’re getting paid to inflame tensions in a community.
    They’re getting paid to violate the civil and constitutional rights of black and brown people.
    And of course, they’re getting paid to do that with taxpayers’ money!

    ****

    numerobis @94:
    Thanks. I needed that chuckle!

  99. ledasmom says

    It does occur to me that blaming people for taking children to a protest zone is along the same sort of lines as the harping upon the “human shield” issue in the case of Israel and Gaza. Hey, what’s worse? Having your children out in your very own neighborhood or tear-gassing children? ‘Cause the two don’t actually seem all that difficult to distinguish, to me.

  100. says

    lorn:

    He may have moved some distance before collapsing and expiring. Which explains why no ambulance was called. Dead men don’t need ambulances or worry about time. It may also explains the four hour delay.

    I can’t believe I missed this.
    From me to you, with every ounce of sincerity: FUCK OFF.

    4 and a half years ago, in January 2010, I found my best friend in his bedroom, lifeless. The first thing I did was shout to my other roommate to call 911. If they could have done anything to save him, they would have, bc that’s their job. No they couldn’t do anything, bc he was already dead, but they tried. They responded in a timely manner. That’s their fucking job. A police officer is supposed to call in injuries or fatalities. They’re supposed to do these things. Don’t you fucking understand that you horrible excuse for a human being?!

    If there was any chance to save Michael Brown’s life, it would have been the job of the paramedics to attempt. Of course the hero police officer that you’re so quick to defend, wouldn’t even let a nurse who heard the struggle attempt to save Michael Brown’s life. No, he wouldn’t do that, nor would he call an ambulance because he wasn’t concerned with the black man he just killed.
    God you fucking make me sick. I’m even angrier at you than I am at caesar and that’s saying something you repugnant piece of shit.

  101. says

    Saad @113:

    – Two witnesses to the shooting have described it similarly: that after the initial confrontation with Wilson being in the car and firing a shot, Brown turned and ran. Wilson got out of the car and shot him. After being struck by that bullet, Brown turned around with his hands raised and Wilson proceeded to shoot him again. Since there is consensus now that there were at least six shots, we can assume safely that he continued to shoot him more even after that.

    If you’re thinking of the same two witnesses I am, I wonder if lorn discounted their eyewitness accounts because they’re black women…

  102. carlie says

    Of course the hero police officer that you’re so quick to defend, wouldn’t even let a nurse who heard the struggle attempt to save Michael Brown’s life. No, he wouldn’t do that, nor would he call an ambulance because he wasn’t concerned with the black man he just killed.

    I cynically think that he was, in fact, quite concerned with the black man he just killed.

    He was concerned that the man would be able to give testimony indicating that he had shot him without cause.

    He made sure that didn’t happen.

  103. caesar says

    @56:

    Strange, then, that in history, so much attention that leads to progress, discussion, increased acknowledgment of socio-cultural complexity, and change, has been made on issues of civil and human rights by not staying in the designated area, during the designated time, with the designated “approved persons”, in the designated “approved manner.”

    None of which has anything to do with the the point I’m making which is that if you associate yourself with violent protesters, you can’t blame anyone for getting caught up in the police response. It makes no difference whether or not the protest is legitimately for effecting social change. If the peaceful protesters want to be taken seriously, then they should do what I suggested and keep the protests restricted to the daytime in order to separate themselves from from the troublemakers. I like how you mention the 1992 LA riots for example, as if that was a positive moment for civil rights. Like the MLK assassination riots, it was an exercise in futility as people destroyed their own neighborhoods and lashed out at anyone they felt aggrieved at. There was no excuse for the violence then, and there’s no excuse now.

  104. says

    gmacs:

    Then nobody has their priorities in order. I’d rather be robbed of my TV than my rights.

    Ah, but remember that caesar believes in a libertarian ideology. To him, property is of the utmost importance.

  105. rq says

    dianne

    his body came to have no powder burns on it

    To be fair, they can’t really determine that, since (as far as I know) they still don’t have access to his clothing. :/

  106. says

    I’d rather be robbed of my TV than my rights.

    Well, obviously. However, that’s not really the issue. The people who are scared about looters usually face a different choice: Be robbed of their TV or have somebody else robbed of their rights.

  107. carlie says

    And I’m just guessing right now that if there’s any lingering effects from the tear gas or the rubber-bullet wounds or anything else the police did in the course of their epic fuckup, there’s not going to be any compensation for that. Seems like a good guess, though.

    You are quite right on that, at least if precedence is an indication: Georgia county won’t pay medical bills for toddler burned by grenade in botched drug raid.

    Bounkham Phonesavanh was hospitalized for weeks in a burn unit after a SWAT officer tossed a flash grenade into his crib during a no-knock raid May 28 in Habersham County. The 19-month-old suffered serious wounds, including a hole in his chest that exposed his ribs, and burns to his face and chest when the grenade detonated just inches away from him as he slept.

  108. says

    Maybe if someone owned these Black people, caesar would give a shit about them. I’m sure he opposes, as any good libertarian does, the unwarranted government interference in preventing respectable businesspeople from doing what they like with their property, such as refusing to free them from slavery.

    What a fucking skidmark in humanity’s pants you are, caesar.

  109. says

    None of which has anything to do with the the point I’m making which is that if you associate yourself with violent protesters, you can’t blame anyone for getting caught up in the police response.

    Nope, you can and should be able to blame police for not being able to do their real job (protecting the community from the violent troublemakers whose presence you’re using to justify police violence against innocent people) instead of their real real job (brutally suppressing challenges to the racist status quo).

  110. says

    caesar:

    None of which has anything to do with the the point I’m making which is that if you associate yourself with violent protesters, you can’t blame anyone for getting caught up in the police response.

    Yes, you can blame someone. You can blame the police. You know who they are, no? They people who have made everything WORSE since they arrived. They do not have to resort to force to resolve situations. There’s this thing called diplomacy. Force, especially the kind on display in Ferguson-which you *should* be opposing, since you believe in libertarian bullshit about not instigating force-should be a measure of last resort.

    If the peaceful protesters want to be taken seriously, then they should do what I suggested and keep the protests restricted to the daytime in order to separate themselves from from the troublemakers.

    Take your victim blaming elsewhere. It is the constitutional right of all citizens of this country to peacefully protest. The time of day does not matter. The police should be able to handle the small number of looters or rioters without endangering the protesters.

  111. says

    Don’t forget that, in addition to refusing any CPR and neither calling an ambulance nor calling into his higher-ups that he had shot someone, Officer Wilson was rude and peremptory to Michael Brown’s mother when she arrived, distraught, on the scene.

  112. carlie says

    I like how you mention the 1992 LA riots for example, as if that was a positive moment for civil rights. Like the MLK assassination riots, it was an exercise in futility as people destroyed their own neighborhoods and lashed out at anyone they felt aggrieved at. There was no excuse for the violence then, and there’s no excuse now.

    In defense of riots.

    Typically, when events like the Ferguson rebellion occur, well-meaning people rush to condemn the participants. At a minimum, they dismiss rioting as unproductive and opportunistic — a few bad apples spoiling the bunch. This is precisely the attitude that Deandre Smith was criticizing in his first interview. Most detractors, some of whom are black themselves, seek to police these communities with “respectability politics” — a call for subjugated people to present themselves in ways that are acceptable to the dominant class in an effort to make political gains.[…]

    We live in a context of white supremacy and neoliberal capitalism, where race-neutral policies are being used to maintain class exploitation and racial hierarchy, and any overt attempts to address racism are being dismantled or disregarded. These policies only intensify the economic dislocation and poverty experienced by those at the margins.
    What both the local news interviewees and the crowd at the scene of Brown’s death seemed to understand was that they needed to disrupt the interplay between racial subjugation and capitalism. They felt that a march or some other acceptable form of benign indignation would not address their political needs — and they weren’t wrong.

    If anybody saying “Riots are awful” also think that the Boston Tea Party was a great thing, guess what, you’re living in the middle of cognitive dissonance.

  113. zmidponk says

    Lorn:

    During the struggle for the gun in the police car Wilson was shot somewhere between three and six times. The deadly shot looks to have been directly down through the top of his head.
    I don’t see how that wound trajectory, and the one striking the eye and emerging from the jaw, could have been delivered by a roughly average sized Wilson if it was delivered if Brown, a rather tall man, was standing, with or without his arms raised.

    Really? How’s about that Brown was falling to the fucking ground or lying on it because he’d been shot four fucking times already, and the ‘hero cop’ Wilson then shot him two more times? That fucking trajectory works, you utter arse.

  114. Jackie says

    How the fuck are they associating themselves with criminals? I once lived a few houses down from a banker who stole $20,000 from retirement funds. Was I associating myself with a criminal by living on that street? How are the protesters supposed to protest at all if whenever a crime occurs in their general vicinity asshole racist scum like you accuse them of “associating” with people committing crimes? What makes you think the crimes have jack shit to do with the protests? How is it OK to tear gas children because someone, somewhere stole some useless crap? How is that useless crap more important than the health, lives, rights and dignity of actual human beings?

  115. gmacs says

    Xaivius @137

    The link talks about someone telling them what Wilson told them, which apparently matches what Wilson told the department.

    Alright, white officer with a bunch of straight-laced looking friends has had more sources repeat his version of the story. Well, I guess more second-hand accounts by other privileged people totally overrides the first-hand accounts of multiple poor, black witnesses. We can put this all to rest folks. Oh, the friends are also saying he had good “moral virtues”.

    Oh, and please pity the officer, because he has a child and just went through a divorce last year. [/sarcasm]

  116. dianne says

    Oh, and please pity the officer, because he has a child and just went through a divorce last year. [/sarcasm]

    If he were a black person who had been shot, that would have been spun as a single parent with a failed marriage behind him.

  117. zmidponk says

    @ceasar, there is an incident that happened in 1972 in Derry, Ireland, known as ‘Bloody Sunday’. A peaceful protest of 10-15,000 people was held, and a one-sided gun battle was initiated by the British Army, causing 13 deaths and another 13 people wounded because a small group, mostly teenagers, threw some stones at them. Does this mean those people who were killed and injured deserved it because they were ‘associating with violent protestors’? I ask, because, if what you say holds water, that must be the case, despite the fact that even the British government now considers those injuries and deaths ‘unjustified and unjustifiable’, and it is widely seen as one of the most shameful incidents in the entire history of the British Army.

  118. dianne says

    This is probably an unfair comparison, but…This is a photo of ISIS militants. The current “worst of the worst” radical crazies willing to kill and destroy whoever disagrees with them. Now, note that they are holding their guns at high ready and NOT pointing them at the people taking their pictures. In short, the police in Ferguson are acting MORE aggressively than ISIS operatives.

  119. Xaivius says

    Dianne@141

    FAR too charitable. It would have been mentions of gang associations, welfare babies, and being ‘a thug.’ They would then comb through his history for every last thing that so much as looks bad (he once violently stole a pen from someone!) and then get white people to talk to cameras about how relieved they are that the menace is gone. Maybe a token interview with a black advocacy group that will immediately be spun as implicit support for the police.

    And that’s the fucking CNN treatment.

  120. frankniddy says

    It’s becoming clearer that under the tenets of American-style libertarianism, property rights are more important than human rights. caesar’s comments seem to be evidence enough of that. The only question is why.

  121. Xaivius says

    Frankniddy@145

    Because it’s an inherently immoral philosophy created by mostly white wannabe rich assholes to justify the horrible shit they do in pursuit of money? It’s pretty much a central plank for straight up institutionalized racism/sexism/general fuckery

  122. Saad says

    Tony #124

    If you’re thinking of the same two witnesses I am, I wonder if lorn discounted their eyewitness accounts because they’re black women…

    Oh, then there are at least three witnesses with this same account, since one of the witnesses I was referring to was Brown’s male friend.

    As for this nonsense about justifying why Wilson didn’t call for an ambulance, I don’t know a single police officer, but I guarantee you that it’s supposed to be second nature to them to call for medical help if they see someone down. Especially if they themselves shot them down. What the hell are you (I think it was lorn) thinking? They’d leave people they’ve killed on the ground like roadkill, visible for all to see and gawk at and then just drag them away later to a graveyard?

  123. Saad says

    I know some of us have had fun taking the piss out of caesar, but the number one sign he’s just a troll is that he hasn’t been getting even slightly upset, despite being called out repeatedly and having choice language hurled at him.

  124. Saad says

    CNN is calling their coverage of Wilson’s supporters “THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY”.

  125. gmacs says

    SallyStrange @149

    As god-fearing, gun-toting Americans know: guns are necessary, because a black man has the strength of 2 silverbacks, and the mentally ill can kill you with telekinetic powers.

  126. gmacs says

    Saad,

    Technically there are multiple sides to the story. There is Brown’s friend’s story, in which Brown was surrendering. There are several women’s stories in which Brown is either fleeing, surrendering, or both. And there is Wilson’s story, where Brown charged him like a bull, or tried to grab his gun, or something. Huh, only one side of the story has Brown attacking.

  127. Ichthyic says

    None of which has anything to do with the the point I’m making which is that if you associate yourself with violent protesters, you can’t blame anyone for getting caught up in the police response.

    you’re an ignorant dolt.

    what if the “violent agitators” (because they wouldn’t BE protestors now, would they?) are the ones associating themselves with YOUR group.

    because that is what is happening now, and that is what has happened throughout all history of peaceful protest in this country.

    where authoritarian THUGS like YOU use that as an excuse to quash dissent.

    you’re pathetic.

    Getting teargassed is a natural consequence of showing up at a protest where people are shooting, looting, throwing molotov cocktails, and generally instigating violence fuckwit. If people don’t want to get gassed or shot, they should protest peacefully during the daytime in the designated area, when it’s less likely that troublemakers will start shit.

    here, let’s fix that:

    Getting stones thrown at you is a natural consequence of preventing people from expressing their feelings about you shutting down their entire community and ignoring the murder of a member of that community, and then tear gassing them because they don’t do what you tell them to IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITY.

    see how that works, fuckwit?

    your argument is the argument of false consequences.

    go away, you don’t do this discussion, or yourself, any favors by opening your idiot mouth.

  128. smhll says

    There’s an interesting column on one of the DailyKos diaries (look for DK + “Seamy Underbelly” + Ferguson) that talks about police overzealousness as a way to raise funds for the town (and fuck with poor people).

    It may be a bit of a derail on to somewhat related issue of For Profit forms of law enforcement.

  129. methuseus says

    dianne @143

    This is probably an unfair comparison, but…This is a photo of ISIS militants.

    It’s only an unfair comparison because you would expect the ISIS militants to have less training in using their weapons than police officers.

  130. Ichthyic says

    “THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY”.

    …and there they go again, demonstrating why once again, the media’s idea of “fair and balanced” is nothing more than a lie used to generate ratings.

    one thing that would go a long way to fixing the problems in the US is if you simply got rid of the meme “fair and balanced” because most Americans at this point have no fucking clue what those two words really mean any more, thanks to the media.

  131. Saad says

    gmacs,

    And in that last story, after charging towards him to grab his gun, Brown immediately warped 35 feet away and got shot. Then since he was a triceratops it took five more shots before he went down. Who the fuck even believes this “side of the story”? Calling it that is so disingenuous; makes it sound like they’re equally plausible. Reminds me of when people treat creationism as another “side of the story” on equal footing.

  132. says

    While we’re on this subject, let’s not forget the time-honored tradition of plain-clothes police officers infiltrating protests specifically to stir up trouble in an otherwise peaceful protest.

  133. says

    Buzzfeed source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikehayes/live-coverage-ferguson-missouri-shooting?sub=3421288_3626788

    Developing…
    Lucas Jackson / Reuters
    The Latest From Ferguson

    St. Louis police fatally shoot robbery suspect.
    Police launch tear gas at protesters Monday night after Molotov cocktails thrown.
    At least two people shot, 78 reported arrested, four police officers injured.
    Capt. Ron Johnson asks media not to “glamorize” violence.
    Gov. Jay Nixon calls in National Guard to maintain peace, lifts curfew.
    Michael Brown was shot “at least six times,” according to autopsy.
    Updates
    Posted at 2:59 p.m., Aug. 19
    Brown family legal team says the funeral for Michael Brown will take place on Monday, August 25. Location TBD.
    Posted at 2:58 p.m., Aug. 19
    St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Sam Dotson said a 23-year-old black man was shot and killed by police in St. Louis.
    The man was brandishing a knife, and did not respond to verbal commands to drop his weapon, he said.
    The suspect was acting erratically, Dotson said. He came at one of two officers with a knife and said “Shoot me, kill me now,” Dotson said.
    Asked whether the events in Ferguson affected the speed which the chief provided information about his incident to reporters, Dotson said this is “how we do things normally here, putting out as much information as we can as soon as we can.”

    As someone pointed out on Twitter, this is right on schedule. Police kill a black man in the USA every 28 hours.

  134. Ichthyic says

    let’s not forget the time-honored tradition of plain-clothes police officers infiltrating protests specifically to stir up trouble in an otherwise peaceful protest.

    I was figuring it didn’t need specific mentioning, but yeah, I’m old, so maybe it does at that.

  135. numerobis says

    dianne@143:
    IS aren’t beheading people just for fun; they display appalling brutality so that nobody dares oppose them. If they behead someone in a village and nobody hears about it, they fail. So they need to be nice to some photographers to get out their terrible message. Modern media strategy meets mediaeval brutality.

    The police in Ferguson are pretty ham-handed about their own media strategy. They got out the spurious robbery bullshit pretty well, and the pot thing was brilliant, but firing at reporters gets you bad press and goads reporters to start asking pointed questions. The police are also unwilling / unable to be quite as brutal as IS-level terror requires, thank spaghetti with meatballs.

  136. says

    Jackie:

    How the fuck are they associating themselves with criminals? I once lived a few houses down from a banker who stole $20,000 from retirement funds. Was I associating myself with a criminal by living on that street?

    Also, how the hell are any of the protesters supposed to know who is going to engage in criminal activity and when? To hear caesar tell it, the people among the protesters who engage in looting or rioting must somehow be clearly marked, so that everyone else knows to stay away from them (and if they don’t, this completely justifies the force used by police).
    As is the case with his libertarian thinking, caesar hasn’t thought this through fully. Or maybe he has and he just thinks that all groups of black people are gangs of rioting thugs who deserve to be shit on by the police. That wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  137. methuseus says

    Icthyic@167

    wait, this surprises you?

    Some of us are innocent enough in our minds that we still expect people to be logical and make sense. This is the only reason I continue to be surprised by outrageous stuff like this.

  138. says

    Saad:

    I know some of us have had fun taking the piss out of caesar, but the number one sign he’s just a troll is that he hasn’t been getting even slightly upset, despite being called out repeatedly and having choice language hurled at him.

    Oh, I know. I don’t expect caesar to get angry over the civil rights violations of black people or the violations of the freedom of speech for journalists, nor the militarization of our police forces, or the extreme levels of police brutality in the US.
    I’ve read many of his comments over the last year or so, and he’s consistently shown himself to be an apathetic asshole.

  139. Pierce R. Butler says

    Cliven Bundy and Wayne LaPierre may have gone missing from the action, but at least one group on the wingnut side of the political fence (an Arizona crew known as Freedom’s Phoenix) has a lot to say about Ferguson (a headline page; scroll or search for Ferguson) that sounds more like reactions from FtB than from Fox.

    Though way out there in right field on economic issues, FP has been blowing the whistle on police violence, war crimes (even in Gaza), and other non-imaginary abuses for several years now.

  140. Desert Son, OM says

    caesar at #126:

    None of which has anything to do with the the point I’m making

    Interesting. I counter that it has a great deal to do with the point you are making. Your quote from #126:

    if you associate yourself with violent protesters, you can’t blame anyone for getting caught up in the police response.

    My point about the other instances, which include peaceful protest and violent protest (more on that in a moment), is absolutely related because the protest is a response to violent conditions that resulted in police escalating the violence, rather than diminishing it.

    The police response does not happen in a vacuum, anymore than the protest develops in a vacuum, anymore than peaceful or violent actions form in a vacuum.

    So I listed a number of different historical periods in which a variety of approaches—none in a vacuum—were taken to address socio-political circumstances. Ferguson is yet another in a long line of responses to a socio-political situation in context, and rightfully joins the list I mentioned, suggesting that, contrary to your mild assertion that the list is irrelevant, the list remains even more relevant than the paltry time you paid it.

    Your statement about “can’t blame anyone” is a hugely problematic abrogation of responsibility that fails to acknowledge that actually there are still choices that can be made. You posit police response as if it is simply automatic, as if the police are not themselves agents, which is hugely insulting to members of the human race who undertake law enforcement as vocation.

    I suggested a possible choice the police might make in my follow-up post at #64. In response to what is happening in Ferguson, the police could choose to put down their weapons and peacefully disperse, or better yet, engender the tiniest modicum of community trust by putting down their weapons and joining the protesters.

    There is a useless and historically disproven notion that servants of law are somehow objective and therefore not to take political position. Yet the police in Ferguson are taking a political position with every tear gas canister fired, every arrest made, every media outlet shut down, every spun statement released, every human intimidated, and every unarmed black person shot.

    So the police have a choice. In other words, the police can take responsibility and make another, different political choice, and stop contributing to the escalation of ill will, mistrust, betrayal, injustice, violence, and community breakdown.

    I fully acknowledge that may not be an easy choice for some of them to make. But it does remain a choice.

    Put it another way: What if the entire police community, including the National Guard elements in Ferguson, suddenly just left? Or put down their weapons and joined the protests? Or simply said, “I’m not going to visit further grief upon those already under tremendous grievance?”

    What’s gonna happen? Do you think that the violence will escalate? I posited that such a move would go some distance to establishing a better mood in Ferguson, not a worse one.

    But it remains a choice. In other words, it remains a responsibility, which is in direct counter to your statement about “you can’t blame anyone,” and also in direct counter to your assertion that the list I compiled is irrelevant as perspective on how social change comes about.

    Later in your comment at #126 you reference my choice to add the L.A. Riots to my list (interestingly enough not mentioning, for example, the Haiti Revolution, which I also cited, and which wasn’t exactly what anyone would call bloodshed-free).

    By the way, for more reading about the Haiti Revolution, you might start here.

    So, anyway, you call me out for mentioning the L.A. Riots, and you specifically word it this way:

    I like how you mention the 1992 LA riots for example, as if that was a positive moment for civil rights.

    I’d like to take a moment to address this. First, I think your comment is insufficiently sophisticated. I compiled that list to show several things, including the complexity of social change, and historically relevant and important realization that social change is a gradual process that includes voices calling for calm and definitely includes and needs voices that get loud, angry, and in-your-face. Interestingly, I included the Salt Satyagrah on the list. That was a non-violent action, but it was by no means non-confrontational.

    For more reading on the Salt Satyagrah, you might start here.

    Second, carlie at #135 posted a response worth reading. Third, I think the L.A. Riots were a complex moment for civil rights, while also saying it has taken me a long time to realize that the idea of everyone just waiting for gradual social change to come along without anyone getting loud and in-your-face about it is historically myopic and often counterproductive.

    I count 20 events in the list I posted, but perhaps it only contained one when you read it. You already discarded the list as irrelevant, when the whole point of it was to counter your notion that protest must occur under conditions approved by those in power.

    Want the protests to be less violent? Me, too. The police can help that immensely by stopping the use of violence: the tear gas, the batons, the riot shields, the armored vehicles, the sonic cannons, the media shutdowns, the intimidation, the shooting of unarmed people of diverse melanin expression.

    The police bear a responsibility. I do not think the police are mindless. Sally Strange posed a similar challenge in response #72. Do you think they can do nothing else but shoot tear gas and intimidate?

    Still learning,

    Robert

  141. tiko says

    @Caesar

    if people don’t want to get gassed or shot, they should protest peacefully during the daytime in the designated area,

    Yeah, because it’s not like the police are going to shoot someone in broad daylight is it,that never happens.Oh hang on, it happens a lot.In fact that’s what this is all about,a black man getting shot by the police in daylight but according to you that’s irrelevant.

  142. The Mellow Monkey says

    First they came for the Black people, and I did not speak out

    This is what we’re doing. We’re watching our brothers and sisters, our fellow countrymen, marched on by a militarized, First-Amendment-breaking attack force, and we’re doing nothing. Because it doesn’t affect us. It doesn’t unsettle us. It doesn’t make is imagine that happening in our neighborhood, because our neighborhood doesn’t have dark boys with sagging pants walking to decrepit apartments.

    White America–and Asian America, and Latin (U.S.) America, and everyone else–this is the time to get upset. This is the time to find some piece of this insanity and allow yourself to see how wrong this is. Pick a piece. Government and media aren’t doing anything about it. Cops acting as military and disrespecting citizens. Intrusion of private space. Journalists locked up. Breaking the First Amendment. Racist cops. Dead innocent young boys. Whatever it is, let it get you riled up that you actually want to do something.

  143. Desert Son, OM says

    Tony! at #121:

    I’ve missed your comments around here Robert. Hope you’re well.

    Thank you, nice to see you, too, and with good wishes in return! *clenched tentacle salutes* and hugs all around for any and all so desiring.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  144. says

    @Icthyic 167
    More exasperation than surprise, this time, anyway.

    @methuseus 168, well I *have* been around these parts long enough that that kind of waffling shit from the media shouldn’t surprise me at all, yet it still manages to…

    (Please forgive no block quoting or formatting. My phone and this text box do not play nice)

  145. says

    Ichthyic:

    let’s not forget the time-honored tradition of plain-clothes police officers infiltrating protests specifically to stir up trouble in an otherwise peaceful protest.

    I was figuring it didn’t need specific mentioning, but yeah, I’m old, so maybe it does at that.

    I haven’t been involved in social justice movements for that long, so I’m sorry to say this was news to me.

  146. AsqJames says

    caeser @ 126

    There was no excuse for the violence then, and there’s no excuse now.

    You have no idea do you.
    You have no idea how some people live.
    You have no idea how some people live their whole lives feeling they have no voice.
    You have no idea how some people live under a daily grind of minor humiliations and degradations.
    You have no idea how some people live their whole lives feeling at best distrusted and at worst feared by those in authority.
    You have no idea how some people live their whole lives fearing that distrust and fear on the part of those in authority will be turned into violence against them.

    And neither do I. Neither, I suspect, do most others here.

    But when it’s pointed out, when there are images, stills and videos, accompanied by words, spoken and written…when those images and words tell the tales of those lives…when they communicate the barest hint of the emotional burden, the psychological wear and tear that living those lives places on people…some of us, those of us with basic human empathy, feel something.

    We feel sympathy for their hardships.
    We feel anger at those imposing those hardships upon them.
    We feel guilt that we may in some small way contribute to those hardships, or benefit from others’ suffering, or that we may not have done our part in ridding our community/country/planet of such suffering.
    We feel they have a right to push back, to reject the authority which has placed them in such hardship, to resist the rules imposed by that authority, to declare that authority illegitimate because it no longer enjoys the consent of the governed.

    But you don’t feel any of that do you?

    In Ferguson the violence of the state created the violence of the street

    In 1966, Martin Luther King started to campaign against segregation in Chicago only to find his efforts thwarted by violent mobs and a scheming mayor. Marginalised by the city’s establishment, he could feel that non-violence both as a strategy and as a principle was eroding among his supporters. “I need some help in getting this method across,” he said. “A lot of people have lost faith in the establishment … They’ve lost faith in the democratic process. They’ve lost faith in non-violence … [T]hose who make this peaceful revolution impossible will make a violent revolution inevitable, and we’ve got to get this over, I need help. I need some victories, I need concessions.”

  147. says

    frankniddy

    It’s becoming clearer that under the tenets of American-style libertarianism, property rights are more important than human rights. caesar’s comments seem to be evidence enough of that. The only question is why.

    In addition to what Xaverius said, libertarians claim that human rights are a subset of property rights (the property in question being your body), which are the only real rights. And, like other property rights that libertarians champion, the person who has rights to the ‘property’ and the person who’s actually living in it are often not the same person, and can be transferred around between third parties without consulting that person. So, basically, you have all the human rights you can afford. Better buy the right to have property fast, or you won’t be able to afford any others. They’re actually proud of this philosophy.
    Ichthyic#164

    I was figuring it didn’t need specific mentioning, but yeah, I’m old, so maybe it does at that.

    You don’t have to be old, you just have to be paying attention; there was a lot of that going on during the WTO protests in Seattle in 1999, widely publicised in alternative media, and the the A20 protests in Quebec 2 years later. Also a lot of less-publicised incidents from years before and after. But it always merits mentioning anytime demonstrators are accused of ‘becoming violent’ or the like. Sure, it isn’t always the case, sometimes it’s freelance assholes, but in the cases I’ve personally familiarized myself with it’s been agent provocateurs (or at least a pretty strong probability of same) more often than not.

    caesar, lorn
    You’re both wretched shitsacks whose existence brings shame to our entire phylum.

  148. rq says

    Tony @178
    There were suspicions of this in Ferguson; had a tweet a couple of days ago but it has since been misplaced.

  149. Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here says

    I’m watching the unfolding news of another black man shot dead, from the UK, and I’m so angry and upset, affected in a way I’ve never been by a story like this. I don’t have anything else to add, just my support to everyone in the US hurting over this.

  150. Ichthyic says

    Caesar:
    “I could be well moved, if I were as you:
    moved influenced, affected
    If I could pray to move, prayers would move me:
    pray entreat, beg, appeal

    But I am constant as the northern star… ”

    a nym aptly chosen, it seems.

  151. John Horstman says

    @Saad #22: At every single protest I have ever been to, police have tried to confiscate any recording devices (including those of professional media employees) once the protest has been declared an “unlawful assembly”, becasue reasons. It’s a patently illegal violation of both Constitutional law and any number of federal, state, and municipal statutes, but somehow the cops never really try to arrest each other. Shocking, I know. There often aren’t any charges, and corporations with lawyers on retainer can usually get their equipment back later (sometimes individuals can as well, once released, or once the protest has been dispersed if they managed to avoid arrest), though usually with all content erased (though sometimes it’s recoverable – in my experience, police departments don’t attempt to secure-erase confiscated digital storage media, usually it’s just the built-in delete function on the camera or a reformat of the memory card).

    I’m an amateur photographer, and I’ve done a fair amount of volunteer photography/videography work at demonstrations. If possible, I always try to set up at least a two-tiered system where the primary photographer is backed by a second photographer some distance away, so that any harassment/arrest/equipment confiscation to which the primary is subject can be captured. It’s also useful to have media runners who can get film, tapes, memory cards, etc. away from the protest in case the police start rioting and/or confiscating everything. These days, I suggest having media runners drop stuff off at location with a landline internet connection (authorities who wish to enforce a media blackout have shown they they’re more likely to shut down mobile OTA networks first, either officially or with local jamming, so relying on them for publishing breaking news can be problematic) so that it can be uploaded to off-site storage, preferably in a very different legal jurisdiction. Someone halfway across the country – or world – can then be the one sorting through the content and posting it to blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. without the concern/pressure of immediate arrest and detention.

  152. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Tony! @ 166

    Also, how the hell are any of the protesters supposed to know who is going to engage in criminal activity and when?

    Presumably via the same mechanism by which people will automagically know which companies pollute the environment and thus won’t buy from them, etc. in caesar’s libertarian utopia.

  153. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Inaji @ 187

    The Lt. Gov. from your link: “we do not do justice in the streets.” Seems a few people ostensibly under his command didn’t get that memo.

  154. says

    Seven of Mine:

    The Lt. Gov. from your link: “we do not do justice in the streets.”

    Yeah. They don’t do justice at all.

  155. anteprepro says

    Oh look, it’s caesar. As usual, fuck off caesar. You still haven’t grown even the tiniest sprout of empathy from your black, withered, libertarian heart.

  156. Pteryxx says

    from rq in the other thread: The rest of the “robbery” video released by the Ferguson PD appears to show Mike Brown paying for the cigars.

    (Source, AATTP)

    Supposedly, the video shows Brown robbing the store, taking a box of cigars. However, the attorney for Ferguson Market says that it was not anyone from the store that called police to report a robbery. In fact, a customer called to report what he viewed as a robbery.

    How, then, did police get the tape? According to St. Louis News, the attorney said, “‘during the course of Ferguson’s investigation, the police department from Ferguson, came to the store and asked for to review the tape.” In other words, the tape was not viewed by police until after Michael Brown was dead in the street.

    In their fervent effort to cast Brown in a negative light, they missed that the video seems to show Brown paying for the Swisher Sweets.

    (and AddictingInfo)

    From observation, it looks as if he had tried to buy more, but then was unable to afford it, hence why he left several packets on the counter. This prompted the store owner to come out from behind the counter and have a discussion with him, which prompted the shove witnessed in the full video.

    Whatever words were exchanged between the man in the video and the store owner, they were not considered very serious, as the store owner nor the employees did not report a theft at the store. According to the stores attorney, the owners were bewildered when the police approached them demanding the surveillance tapes.

    The store owners are now afraid of themselves becoming a target, due to the Ferguson PD’s attempt to tie their store to the fateful shooting. A gross abuse of police authority, one which now puts someone else at risk.

    Again, it shouldn’t matter if he had stolen anything or not before being gunned down for jaywalking. If true, this just shows how utterly, vilely corrupt the Ferguson police really are.

  157. yazikus says

    I think someone linked it above, but THIS is MO’s Lt. Governor speaking. In 20-fucking-14.
    Talking about reinstating the curfue:

    “I don’t understand an argument for not reinstating it,” he insisted. “I don’t understand that. I’m not trying to be overtly political. I am saying, the people of Ferguson, the people of the state of Missouri are crying out for leadership.”

    Talking about justice:

    “We do not do justice in America in the streets though,” he argued. “We have legal processes that are set in motion, that are designed after centuries of Anglo-American jurisprudence tradition, they’re designed to protect the rights and liberties of everyone involved.”

    “That’s one of the great advances of Anglo-American civilization, is that that we do not have politicized trials. We let the justice system work it out.”

    I repeat, these are not comments from Stormfront, they are from an interview with MO’s Lt. Governor.

  158. Ichthyic says

    Fucking hell. This is pretty blatant “Do what I say or get shot and arrested. I am above reproach”

    authoritarians gonna be authoritatin’

  159. fernando says

    After i read and saw some news about the situation in Ferguson, im a bit affraid that the presence of criminals in that town, atacking the authorities, destroying and sacking public and private property, could give a bad reputation to the manifestations that demand a police more professional and more respectful of all races, by making people thinking that the manifestations are responsables for all the confusion going on, when the fault is of some groups of criminals and the inept actions of the authorities.

    Anyway, i hope that all this will end soon, and the town of Ferguson gains police officers better prepared, capable of doing a good job, with respect by all their countrymen, no matter the color of the skin or how much money they got.

  160. Ichthyic says

    Again, it shouldn’t matter if he had stolen anything or not before being gunned down for jaywalking. If true, this just [is just ONE MORE thing that] shows how utterly, vilely corrupt the Ferguson police really are.

    there have been a LOT of things showing how corrupt the entire system is there, from the PD to the prosecutors office, for years now.

  161. anteprepro says

    Jesus fuck. That article Xaivius just posted is pure slime.

    cops are not murderers. No officer goes out in the field wishing to shoot anyone, armed or unarmed….

    Except for the cops that, ya know, do. This kind of assumption is exactly why cops are, in practice, above the law. They are automatically assumed by asshats like this self-important blowhard to be superior to the general public and given a benefit of the doubt FAR beyond that of any other person in any other circumstance. It’s like white privilege cranked up to 11.

    in the overwhelming majority of cases it is not the cops, but the people they stop, who can prevent detentions from turning into tragedies……

    “It’s YOUR fault that I shot you!”

    I can’t even count how many times I withstood curses, screaming tantrums, aggressive and menacing encroachments on my safety zone, and outright challenges to my authority. …..

    RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAH

    But oh no. Swear words! Invading personal space! Disrespect! Whatever will the poor oppressed coppers ever do!?

    One time, for instance, my partner and I faced a belligerent man who had doused his car with gallons of gas and was about to create a firebomb at a busy mall filled with holiday shoppers. The potential for serious harm to the bystanders would have justified deadly force. Instead, I distracted him with a hook about his family and loved ones, and he disengaged without hurting anyone. Every day cops show similar restraint and resolve incidents that could easily end up in serious injuries or worse.

    The above is what cops should do. The above is exactly what the cops in Ferguson ARE FAILING TO DO. So what is the point of bringing this shit up!?

    Sometimes, though, no amount of persuasion or warnings work on a belligerent person; that’s when cops have to use force…..We are still learning what transpired between Officer Darren Wilson and Brown, but in most cases it’s less ambiguous — and officers are rarely at fault.

    “Sometimes you have to use force, and though they probably didn’t need to use force in the case I am actually talking about, officers are almost always right”

    What the fuck is the point of this article? Saying that cops in general aren’t as bad as Ferguson, trying to defend the cops in Ferguson, or both? Because it seems like both, and as a result, it is failing fucking abysmally.

    Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me,

    Authoritarian asshole finally reveals himself. This guy is also “a professor of homeland security” by the fucking way. Holy fucking shit, I know.

    Also, gotta laugh at how close he tries to get to scoffing at “political correctness” by saying “impolitic”. Guess professors are allowed to take very slight liberties with right-wing memes.

    I am aware that corrupt and bully cops exist. When it comes to police misconduct, I side with the ACLU: Having worked as an internal affairs investigator, I know that some officers engage in unprofessional and arrogant behavior; sometimes they behave like criminals themselves.

    And thus the article has no point. Gotta love pointless disclaimers. This is just a way to gain plausible deniability and seem more reasonable, when the real message is “shut up and accept police supremacy”.

    But if you believe (or know) that the cop stopping you is violating your rights or is acting like a bully, I guarantee that the situation will not become easier if you show your anger and resentment. Worse, initiating a physical confrontation is a sure recipe for getting hurt. Police are legally permitted to use deadly force when they assess a serious threat to their or someone else’s life.

    Somehow I get the impression that police and their fanboys are using a very lax definition of “serious threat”…..

    An average person cannot comprehend the risks and has no true understanding of a cop’s job.

    Sophisticated Copology.

    An average cop is always concerned with his or her safety and tries to control every encounter.

    Hey, Mr. Professor of Coplogy, did it ever occur to you that abuse of authority happens to be a subset of “control”? And that it is exactly what we know is wrong with the Ferguson police handling of the protests?

    While most citizens are courteous and law abiding, the subset of people we generally interact with everyday are not the genteel types

    More victim blaming and getting dangerously close to racism….

    For you, this might be a “simple” traffic stop, for me each traffic stop is a potentially dangerous encounter. Show some empathy for an officer’s safety concerns.

    BAAAAAAAAW.

    So the person making an article blaming the victim and excusing police abusing authority now wants you to have empathy for police, portraying them as The Real Victims?

    FUCK. YOU.

    Even the Good Cops show exactly what is wrong with the Bad ones. And illustrate quite nicely why they get away with what they do, and why people are fucking outraged by the shit they are pulling.

  162. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Inaji #161

    The white guy on the left is the one who was trying to incite a riot last night. He came here from Chicago. (Photo)

    Just want to note that so far, the looters and people trying to incite have not been from Ferguson, and the latest batch are white men.

    And I want to note that the person was identified as being part of the Revolutionary Communist Party. (RCP)

    If the RCP sounds familiar to some of the old timers here, that is because there was a bit of a fracas a few years ago when PZ wrote a post about a Sunsara Taylor speech. In recent weeks, her group, Stop Patriarchy, has angered pro choice organizations because of their tactics of raising money from pro choice people that goes to SP and the RCP. They also angered people because they compare anti-abortion laws to slavery. And today, Sunsara Taylor has been defending the RCP in Ferguson because they are fermenting “revolution”.

    (Yes, I did call out PZ for suggesting the people in Chicago/Evanston attend her speech. Not because of a free speech issue and some people tried to think of it. Because Sunsara Taylor and the RCP has been pulling this shit for decades.)

  163. says

    Pteryxx @196:

    My opinion on the shitstorm in Ferguson has nothing to do with the robbery, so this really doesn’t matter to me much, but I can’t quite figure out what’s going on in the video. I don’t see any exchange of money. Maybe it’s my eyes. Maybe it’s the quality of the video. ::shrugs::

  164. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Inaji #187

    Dragging out the white man’s burden:

    Missouri lt. gov.: We need ‘Anglo-American’ justice in Ferguson, not racial protests

    This is 2014, right?

    I will go one further, he wants Confederate justice. And, yes, it is 2014. And for a large percentage of the US population in 2014, the real US is Confederate.

  165. Ichthyic says

    but in most cases it’s less ambiguous

    wait….

    so is this authoritarian shiny copper actually admitting that it’s NOT ambiguous in this case?

    that says a lot, right there.

    I’d have to say that even mr “I’m so persecuted” cop thinks Wilson is guilty.

  166. says

    fernando:

    After i read and saw some news about the situation in Ferguson, im a bit affraid that the presence of criminals in that town, atacking the authorities, destroying and sacking public and private property, could give a bad reputation to the manifestations that demand a police more professional and more respectful of all races, by making people thinking that the manifestations are responsables for all the confusion going on, when the fault is of some groups of criminals and the inept actions of the authorities.

    Please read up more on the events. The people protesting have valid reasons to be pissed off, and I’m rather tired of LOOTING and RIOTING distracting from the violations of civil and constitutional rights going on in Ferguson and across the country. Don’t fall for the narrative the media is putting forth.
    That’s one of the big problems with the mainstream media. Many outlets are showing the small amount of looting and rioting, but framing it in such a way as to make people think that such actions are representative of the protesters. They aren’t. The vast majority of protesters are non-violent and engaged in peaceful protests. As mentioned in this thread and elsewhere, a *lot* of the looters are out of towners who are not affiliated with the protesters. The media (and people like caesar) continue painting the protesters as being associated with them, which is disgusting and dishonest.
    As for the reaction of the public, they need to stop being so gullible, swallowing every bit of tripe put out by certain outlets. They need to learn to exercise skepticism and critical thinking skills, and perhaps search outside of FOX News, ABC, NBC, CNN and other typical news sources. Then they might see that the police are responding with excessive force towards the protesters and that the looters do not represent the community of Ferguson.

  167. Ichthyic says

    Maybe it’s my eyes. Maybe it’s the quality of the video. ::shrugs::

    In the end, it doesn’t matter. Neither the clerk NOR the store owner called the cops to report a robbery, nor did they even say there WAS a robbery, even after the cops showed up based on a store patron’s call.

    like you said, there is no point in even discussing the video, really, except as a distraction.

  168. Ichthyic says

    btw, notes on those links:

    the first is a tweet by the owner of the first store that was burned.

    the second, note, is NOT an american media publication.

    in fact, most of the accurate in depth journalism on this is being done by media OUTSIDE of the US.

  169. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    in fact, most of the accurate in depth journalism on this is being done by media OUTSIDE of the US.

    And social media is being used to spread the stories and allowing eyewitnesses to record and transmit what is happening.

    Which is something that people in the US never had before when past unrest were suppressed; from rebelling unpaid soldiers of Shay’s Rebellion, labor uprisings of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the bombing of Tulsa in 1921 and the LA Riots of 1992.

  170. Jeff S says

    It’s not a good idea to take your small children to a protest when that same protest has erupted into a dangerous situation each and every previous night.

    This is just common sense. If you want to bear the risk and protest, then go ahead, but leave children too young to understand the risks at home.

    Now, of course, there SHOULDN’T be any risk associated with peaceful protest. However, right or wrong, in this case all evidence suggests that night-time protests in the near future in Ferguson have a high likelihood of becoming dangerous (especially to small children).

    Comparisons to the situation in Gaza are ridiculous.

  171. anteprepro says

    By the way, here is some good stuff from wikipedia’s summary of good ol’ Gubner Nixon

    Nixon has overseen the state’s involvement in the court settlements that ended mandatory urban busing in St. Louis and Kansas City’s public schools.[5] His role in the desegregation cases has caused friction with some African American leaders. ….

    The Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) issued a report titled “The Modern Militia Movement” on February 20, 2009, informing the Missouri State Highway Patrol of several groups of people who could possibly be linked to domestic militia groups. According to the report, these groups included white Christians, supporters of third-party presidential candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin, as well as opponents of gun control, illegal immigration, abortion, the Federal Reserve System, and the Internal Revenue Service. Following a joint letter from Paul, Barr, and Baldwin condemning the report, Nixon and the MIAC issued an apology concerning the report and stated that it will no longer be displayed on any official state websites.[6]

    Also, the governor’s website in a nutshell, in his own words:
    http://governor.mo.gov/about-governor

    Governor Nixon has put forward an agenda to make government more efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of Missouri families. He is committed to attracting the jobs of the future to Missouri, making health care more affordable and placing a college education within reach for middle-class students.

    Does not seem to care about the massive racial issues in his state. And seems to only care about poor people insofar as making sure that they can get health care, but doesn’t actually seem to care much beyond that.

    I admit he isn’t complete slime. He is a Democrat after all, so he does actually do some good. But he and Obama are doing a damn fine job of showing that that isn’t good enough.

  172. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Jeff S

    This is happening largely in a residential neighborhood, genius. People are getting teargassed without leaving their own homes. Which you’d know if you’d read the thread, which you’d have done if you gave a shit about what’s actually happening.

  173. yazikus says

    Now, of course, there SHOULDN’T be any risk associated with peaceful protest walking home alone after going to the bar. However, right or wrong, in this case all evidence suggests that night-time protests any walking alone in the near future in Ferguson from a bar will have a high likelihood of becoming dangerous (especially to small children women in short skirts).

    Victim blaming. Always looks the same.

  174. anteprepro says

    Jeff S

    It’s not a good idea to take your small children to a protest when that same protest has erupted into a dangerous situation each and every previous night.

    Your armchair expertise in child rearing and living in a fucking police state is noted but irrelevant. “Common sense” is just a convenient way to assert that your personal opinion is sacrosanct without actually having to bother with making your point.

    However, right or wrong, in this case all evidence suggests that night-time protests in the near future in Ferguson have a high likelihood of becoming dangerous (especially to small children).

    So obviously the solution is to just not leave the house at night. Thank you for your practical and universally applicable advice. You are incredibly helpful and your input isn’t looking like an attempt to the blame the victim and diminish police brutality at all. Great work.

    Comparisons to the situation in Gaza are ridiculous.

    “Don’t bring your children out at night it is way too dangerous!”
    “Oh come now, it isn’t THAT bad out there!”

    Pick a narrative and stick with it, you disingenuous fucker.

  175. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Jeff S, please, ignore the fact that the firing of tear gas and rubber bullets has happened before curfew was supposed to be in effect over the weekend. And also please ignore that the firing is happening where people (including little children) live.

    Also, Jeff S, please tell the people of Gaza to not give the people of Ferguson advise on how to deal with tear gas. The people of Gaza should take your advise and see that their concern is ridiculous.

  176. says

    Jeff S: read the thread. Several people have posted links showing that the gas is going into homes and being fired onto private property.

    There isn’t any way to protect those kids who are in their own beds.

    Further, and correct me if I’m wrong, you’ve made the assumption that the people protesting have someone willing and able to watch their children. Or hire someone to. From my understanding of the financial status of the city, most people at the protests won’t be able to do that.

    And further, for the nth time, there is no reason to be firing tear gas at civilian populations.

  177. Jeff S says

    Seven of Mine

    There can be no criticism of anyone getting tear-gassed in their own home. Is that what the person who was criticizing parents “bringing their childen” was referring to? I doubt it very much.

  178. says

    Jeff S

    Look, it really is very fucking simple. Tear-gas is not a natural phenomenon which happens without agency. If children are tear-gassed, the people to blame are the people who tear-gassed them. Blaming the parents, who were also tear-gassed, is a text-book case of victim-blaming.

  179. says

    Jeff S:

    Comparisons to the situation in Gaza are ridiculous.

    Oh yeah, it’s totally ridiculous, man. I mean, that’s why people in Gaza have been posting photos of themselves with Solidarity with Ferguson, Keep Resisting! signs, and all those tweets from people on #Gaza, giving advice on how to handle teargas, welp, that’s just meaningless.

    And you know, a Turkish newspaper had complete front page coverage of Ferguson, lots of people there in solidarity with Ferguson. Today, Egypt pleaded for the U.S. to back the fuck off in Ferguson. People in Iraq have posted solidarity with Ferguson. People all over the world, y’know, but of course, that doesn’t mean anything.

    Tanks, armored trucks, armored personnel (wearing more and better gear than actual soldiers), LDAP sirens, blinding lights, rubber bullets (and many people with horrible wounds from them), snipers with guns with real bullets, lotsa cops with guns on the ground, pointed at people, illegal arrests of protesters, illegal arrests of reporters, attacking camera crews, dismantling cameras, calling in the national guard, wave upon wave of cops who have removed badges and nametags, protest sites being fenced off, people told they could not protest unless they kept moving constantly, teargas being fired everywhere, seeping into houses, people being gassed on their own fucking property…and you know what, Jeff S? That’s barely the tip of the fucking fascismberg, so perhaps you could manage to check your privilege and your bias, at least to the point that you shut the fuck up and try to learn a little something.

  180. Ichthyic says

    This is big time satire via Vox.

    actually, as is usual, satire is best when there is reality behind it.

    Look at how China IS covering Ferguson.

  181. Ichthyic says

    Which is something that people in the US never had before

    yup, instant unfiltered communication is indeed a new thing. I hope it makes a difference in the long term.

  182. anteprepro says

    Jeff S

    There can be no criticism of anyone getting tear-gassed in their own home. Is that what the person who was criticizing parents “bringing their childen” was referring to? I doubt it very much.

    And? It shows that it doesn’t matter if you “bring your child” or not. THE POLICE ARE CRACKING DOWN EVERYWHERE. You would be affected, protestor or not. It is a police state. A war zone. So we are left with you, tut-tutting people for the audacity of leaving their homes, when even people in their homes are affected anyway. My verdict: FUCK. OFF.

  183. says

    Jeff S:

    Is that what the person who was criticizing parents “bringing their childen” was referring to? I doubt it very much.

    Yeah, I doubt it, too. Perhaps you should stop listening to racist assholes. Did it occur to you that a lot of children are just as upset about what’s going on in their community as adults? Did you know that children have been out helping with clean up? Did you know children have been out, handing roses to protesters? Did you know that children have been quietly playing in side streets, in between the police riots, talking with photojournalists, finding out about their job, and getting to take pictures?

    Did you think about the fact that children should not be blind to what is happening in their home? Ferguson, it’s their fucking home, you asswipe. Where are they supposed to go?

    I’m an old hippie. I grew up in the counterculture. I was at protests when I was 9 years old and up. Fuck you, doing all you can to paint the townspeople of Ferguson in a bad light.

  184. Jeff S says

    Daz

    Who exactly is blaming anyone for getting tear gassed?
    Of course the people to blame for tear gassing are the police. In my opinion tear gas should never be used on anyone, for any reason.

    Now, if I am aware of a marauding police department that fancies itself above the law launching tear gas indiscriminately and firing rubber bullets during protests each night. You can bet your ass that I wouldn’t be taking my children anywhere near that area, regardless of how strongly I feel the need to protest. The safety of my children would always come first.
    Is this controversial?

    It’s a bad parenting decision. It’s worthy of some criticism. In no way does this place the blame for the tear-gassing on the parent instead of the police.

  185. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Jeff S

    Is that what the person who was criticizing parents “bringing their childen” was referring to? I doubt it very much.

    Apart from not being psychic, it looks to me like someone assuming that any child who came into contact with tear gas did so because their parents brought them somewhere. It looks like someone reckoning completely without the fact that people live in the area that’s getting gassed.

  186. anteprepro says

    I’m disturbed by just how many obfuscating shitweasels there have been trying to throw every distraction they can into the fray in order to disrupt dialog about this subject, and how many are ignorant and just outright deny facts that already known. What they do know is irrelevant. Whatever is relevant, they do not know and refuse to know. And there are so many of them. So fucking many. It is fucking depressing. It is a perfect illustration of why we are fucked politically. And some of it is the blame on the media, who are so devoted to BOTH SIDES that they dig up this irrelevant shit and use it to bury the important details. But they even if the media weren’t doing the thinking for them, they would still be zerg rushing, bleating and attempting to spread their dogma of The Milquetoast, trying to convert all to their militant apathy and permitting from no dissent from their party line: a shrug of the shoulders and a vow to move on and stop caring. There is literally no hope until people like that actually decide to start caring about other people again.

  187. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Jeff S

    It’s a bad parenting decision. It’s worthy of some criticism. In no way does this place the blame for the tear-gassing on the parent instead of the police.

    Words!! How do they work!?

  188. Jeff S says

    Inaji

    I honest have no idea how your typical level of discourse is tolerated on this site.

  189. Ichthyic says

    Who exactly is blaming anyone for getting tear gassed?

    Of course, apparently now it’s OUR job to explain what the term “victim blaming” means.

    nope. not gonna do it for you dude. Go figure it out someplace other than here.

  190. anteprepro says

    Jeff S of Christmas Present:

    Who exactly is blaming anyone for getting tear gassed?

    Jeff S of Christmas Past:

    It’s not a good idea to take your small children to a protest when that same protest has erupted into a dangerous situation each and every previous night.

    Jeff S of Christmas Future:

    Now, if I am aware of a marauding police department that fancies itself above the law launching tear gas indiscriminately and firing rubber bullets during protests each night. You can bet your ass that I wouldn’t be taking my children anywhere near that area, regardless of how strongly I feel the need to protest

    Do you know what the word “blame” means?

    Jesus fuck, just shut the fuck up already.

    It’s a bad parenting decision.

    No. Really. SHUT THE FUCK UP

  191. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Jeff S @232

    There are a lot of things you have no idea about. I’ll give you a hint: it has something to do with not being a willfully ignorant racist apologist.

  192. anteprepro says

    What the fuck are you on about, Jeff S? Tolerated on this site? Do you even know the commenting rules here? Do you even know where are you?

    Arrogant and ignorant, all the fucking way down. This thread is now destined to be all about Jeffy. All about Jeff S and his hobby horse. All about his one little fucking distraction, all about his desire to find one, just one, thing he can use to criticize protestors and to go on and on at length about how those protesters are wrong and bad and stupid for that one minute, irrelevant, distraction of a reason. And of course, it will also be about how MEAN we are being about his disingenuous quibbles.

  193. says

    Jeff S:

    Comparisons to the situation in Gaza are ridiculous.

    There may be a different in specific tactics, and the scale of the assault on human lives and rights, but there is a great deal of similarity.

  194. Xaivius says

    @Jeff “I FUCKING LOVE AUTHORITY AND FASCISM” S

    I honest have no idea how your typical level of discourse is tolerated on this site.

    For starters, Inaji actually understands social justice. They also have been damn near non-stop reporting on this situation since it began. So how ’bout you take your tone policing happy fascist ass back to the books and FUCKING LEARN SOMETHING!

    Shitweasel…

    Fuck it. Asshole mode is now on. Anyone else who want to blame black people for breathing can take it to the fucking ‘dome so I can properly scream at you for being a racist sewage gargler.

  195. Ichthyic says

    Do you know what the word “blame” means?

    Jesus fuck, just shut the fuck up already.

    I can just picture Jeff reading this…

    *blink* *blink*

    naw, his brain is not yet ready to parse that what he is doing is indeed victim blaming.

  196. chigau (違う) says

    Jeff S

    Inaji
    I honest have no idea how your typical level of discourse is tolerated on this site.

    The solution to your problem is easy.
    Close the tab.
    This is not your kind of place.

  197. says

    Jeff S #228

    It’s a bad parenting decision. It’s worthy of some criticism. In no way does this place the blame for the tear-gassing on the parent instead of the police.

    If the children were actually with their parents, and actually taking part in protests at the time, you might have a very very minor point, though quite why children shouldn’t be just as upset and desirous to protest as adults, I don’t know.

    The problem is that you chose, in the face of all the extremely major issues under discussion, to highlight a very minor maybe-point in order to blame (yes, you did, at least in part, blame) the parents. Your priorities are on show, and you got judged on them.

  198. anteprepro says

    Any bets on Jeff S or a similar apologist likening children at the protest to “human shields”?

  199. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Just now: Alison Blood KMOX Newsradio on ABC 24 (Australia).
    Apparently local clergy are telling people not to go out tonight so that ‘only the criminals’ are on the street.
    The term ‘violent riots’ is still being used a lot, though I never see scenes of violent protestors – just people being dragged away by police.

  200. anteprepro says

    “Oh sure, MAYBE the police shouldn’t be indiscriminately teargassing, and flashbanging, and rubber bulleting a crowd that they know have children in it, but it is the protesters fault! They brought the children in as HUMAN SHIELDS to stop the police from firing! Well, our noble police force would never fall for such a dirty trick! Bombs away! #TotallyNotLikeGaza”

  201. anteprepro says

    gobi: Well, we all know that you can always count on the clergy to have moral clarity and to know how to best fight against an oppressive status quo! No…wait….

  202. carlie says

    Now, if I am aware of a marauding police department that fancies itself above the law launching tear gas indiscriminately and firing rubber bullets during protests each night. You can bet your ass that I wouldn’t be taking my children anywhere near that area, regardless of how strongly I feel the need to protest. The safety of my children would always come first.
    Is this controversial?
    It’s a bad parenting decision.

    THEY LIVE THERE. These protests are not taking place in open fields outside town. They are taking place in town, in front of people’s houses. Read this and tell me where they are supposed to go. Have you even looked at a map of Ferguson? Do you understand how close those houses are to the main street where the protesters are marching? What the hell would you do if it was happening at your home and you had nowhere else to go? Seriously, Jeff. You don’t get to say “it’s a bad parenting decision” if you don’t even know what you’re talking about.

  203. Tethys says

    I keep having such deja vu at the way events are unfolding. It’s Kent State and the civil rights movement rolled into one big mess of heavily armed white privilege. Flower Power was a means of non-violent protest before it became a symbol of hippie drug culture. This image is burned into my brain, and seems just as relevant today as it was back in the 60’s.

  204. Lofty says

    JeffS, yawn, you’re another tone troll. Go away before your precious feelings are hurt, nay, teargassed.

  205. Ichthyic says

    Any bets on Jeff S or a similar apologist likening children at the protest to “human shields”?

    I’ll take that bet, wrt to JeffS anyway. Better than even odds I’m thinking.

    I see him as clueless, rather than malicious.

    He could go either way though. I don’t think he has yet concluded this is a case of “human shields”, but he also hasn’t yet realized he’s engaging in victim blaming.

  206. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    I honest have no idea how your typical level of discourse is tolerated on this site.

    Please, Jeff S, please point out where Inaji wronged or misrepresented you.

    And what of the rest of us who called you on your victim blaming.

  207. Ichthyic says

    I keep having such deja vu at the way events are unfolding.

    yup.

    It’s Kent State

    Or Berkeley, or Watts (x2), or any of the other of the dozens of peaceful protests against institutionalized racism and authoritarianism that have occurred over the last 60 years.

  208. Jeff S says

    I’m just expressing my opinion in a civilized manner. Not attacking anyone, and I’ve been accused of victim blaming, diminishing
    police brutality, being an ignorant racist apologist, called a fuckwit, shitweasel, and asswipe and told to shut the fuck up and fuck off.

    All for the sin of suggesting parents keep their children away from a situation known to be dangerous, if at all possible.

    The level of discourse on this site is actually shocking. Its an “Us vs Them” kind of groupthink which leads to people seeing a single differing opinion and then making wild assumptions about that person’s motivations and beliefs because they belong to the “other team”.

    Maybe you guys are too used to racist trolls on here, and you have become sick of having to deal with them.
    I can assure you, that is not me. So please, in your responses to me, try not to be so…. dickish?
    If you think I’m wrong, post a counter argument. If you think I’m ignorant, try to enlighten me.

    Don’t try to shame me from posting. Seriously.

  209. Maureen Brian says

    Jeff S has a lot of catching up to do, considering that on the first evening after Michael Brown’s death the local police were going about firing tear gas into people’s yards.

    This is part of what the protest is about, Jeff. People are being attacked in their own neighbourhoods and their own homes so that nowhere is safe.

  210. anteprepro says

    carlie:

    THEY LIVE THERE. These protests are not taking place in open fields outside town. They are taking place in town, in front of people’s houses. Read this and tell me where they are supposed to go. Have you even looked at a map of Ferguson? Do you understand how close those houses are to the main street where the protesters are marching? What the hell would you do if it was happening at your home and you had nowhere else to go?

    Icthyic:

    Or Berkeley, or Watts (x2), or any of the other of the dozens of peaceful protests against institutionalized racism and authoritarianism that have occurred over the last 60 years.

    Occupy: Our Own Fucking Neighborhood

  211. says

    Fucking hell. Another asswipe. Another one who ignores the “polite” responses, responds to the “impolite” responses, then whines about the “typical level of discourse” (read, rudeness/cursing) of the response.

    Can we have a new troll-script yet? This one is stale as fuck.

  212. Ichthyic says

    I’m just expressing my opinion in a civilized manner

    “I’m just being a typical ignorant ass! Why are you all hatin’ on me!”

  213. Ichthyic says

    Hey, JeffS, maybe this will help you:

    When you say what you have said so far, the first thing that comes to my mind is a quote:

    Over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.”

    do you know who said it?

    do you understand why?

    do you think his level of discourse “shocking”? A lot of people sure did at the time.

  214. says

    All for the sin of suggesting parents keep their children away from a situation known to be dangerous, if at all possible.

    There you go again, victim blaming. Either the parents are at fault, as you say they are, and are therefore “to blame,” as we say in the English language, or they are not at fault and you are not victim blaming, as you also contend. Which is it?

    And quit with the tone-policing. We swear a lot here and call each other “rude” words. Get used to it or go find a site with nanny-filters. Your choice.

  215. carlie says

    All for the sin of suggesting parents keep their children away from a situation known to be dangerous, if at all possible.

    THEY.

    LIVE.

    THERE.

    Not “in the town”. THERE ON THE STREET. Look at Florissant drive on a fucking map. It has houses all the fuck over it. Most people can’t afford to up and go to a hotel for a week or two. Most people don’t have innumerable relatives with acres of open square footage in their houses to accommodate guests. They are not bringing their children to a protest. THEY ARE KEEPING THEIR CHILDREN AT HOME. THE POLICE RESPONSE HAS COME TO THEM. God, you’re being willfully ignorant.

  216. anteprepro says

    Jeff S

    I’m just expressing my opinion in a civilized manner.

    “Civility” has nothing to do with it. You really have no fucking clue, do you? Read the fucking rules. Do you understand what “rude blog” means?

    Not attacking anyone, and I’ve been accused of victim blaming, diminishing
    police brutality, being an ignorant racist apologist, called a fuckwit, shitweasel, and asswipe and told to shut the fuck up and fuck off.

    Again, rude blog. Have you actually READ the criticisms, or did you just see the bad words and then jerk away and stop reading because your fee-fees were hurt?

    The level of discourse on this site is actually shocking. Its an “Us vs Them” kind of groupthink which leads to people seeing a single differing opinion and then making wild assumptions about that person’s motivations and beliefs because they belong to the “other team”.

    We don’t think you are on another team. WE see your words, we tell why you are wrong or why they are inappropriate given the context of what we are actually discussing. You ignore that and continue to do the same shit, and we get pissed off.

    Maybe you guys are too used to racist trolls on here, and you have become sick of having to deal with them.

    MAybe if you read the previous threads, you would see that there were in fact trolls using very similar tactics to yours? So yes, that is a factor. As is your ignoring the actual discussion and focusing on your little pet cause, continuing to insist that you are right and ignoring any criticism, and then getting all defensive and whiny when we use mean words, showing further ignorance about the blog itself.

    So please, in your responses to me, try not to be so…. dickish?

    Sigh. We try to avoid gender insults, one. And two, no promises. You aren’t entitled to special treatment.

    If you think I’m wrong, post a counter argument.

    You see, this is why you are getting the response you have gotten. WE HAVE GIVEN COUNTER ARGUMENTS. Pay fucking attention. Fucking read.

    If you think I’m ignorant, try to enlighten me.

    We can try but we are also not obligated to educate you. Especially since your ignorance is starting to seem willful.

    Don’t try to shame me from posting. Seriously.

    If your posts are worthy of shame, then you will be shamed. Deal with it.

  217. AsqJames says

    Jeff S @ 252

    If you think I’m wrong, post a counter argument.

    Saying you wouldn’t “take your children” somewhere dangerous is all well and good, but it has been pointed out to you many many times that THESE PEOPLE FUCKING LIVE THERE! The danger, the tear gas, the rubber bullets, the armoured trucks, the indiscriminate sonic weapons and the whole shebang of a paramilitary police gang is rampaging round their neighbourhoods.

    I repeat, you have been alerted to these facts multiple times. Even if this information hadn’t been personally addressed to you here, there’s an expectation that you equip yourself with a basic level of facts before pontificating. You can’t ignore all of that and then act offended because people call you on it in strong language.

    If you think I’m ignorant, try to enlighten me.

    Not our job. Enlighten yourself. You complain of being accused of a specific thing (“victim blaming”). If you’re posting comments on a blog, you’re quite capable of using a search engine and finding out what that phrase means. Once you’ve done that, you can go back, read what it was you wrote that people thought was victim blaming and (if you can) defend yourself.

    I guarantee there’ll be plenty of people prepared to debate you with facts and logic as soon as you bring some of your own.

  218. Desert Son, OM says

    Jeff S at #232:

    I honest have no idea how your typical level of discourse is tolerated on this site.

    Are you new to this site? If so, I recommend you do some reading about Pharyngula and its environs.

    Important links can be found on the upper left sidebar. Here is where to start.

    From your comment at #232 it sounds like you are concerned with the tone in which your comments are being addressed. If you are worried about tone, then Pharyngula may not be the site for you, as chigau noted at #240. Pharyngula is like the sea, or a great desert: vast, dynamic, filled with opportunities to learn and explore, challenging, subject to certain rules, breathtakingly beautiful, incredibly tough.

    The non-gendered, non-homophobic, non-racist, non-ableist, non-transphobic, non-sexist insult has a long, storied, and beloved place here at Pharyngula, and until PZ (it’s his blog, remember?) says otherwise, that does not seem likely to change. Conversation here in general often employs all manner of “shit,” “fuck,” “piss,” and “asshole,” (and varieties thereof). In addition, comments are valued highly for their content, regardless of the occurrence of non-gendered, non-homophobic, non-racist, non-ableist, non-transphobic, non-sexist terms of various provenance. You also have the power to engage in conversation here in a manner you please (subject to the commenting rules) without policing the tone of others. You have the power to make cogent arguments supporting your contentions and link to sources of data and evidence to bolster your position. And if that does not sound like your cup of conversational tea, you wield a tremendous amount of power to direct your Internet presence elsewhere.

    Anytime we engage in a community, it can help to understand how a community communicates, even if we are not fully adept in that mode, or inclined not to employ exactly the same mode.

    You strolled onto the community stage and blamed the victims of tear gas for being victims of tear gas, and then found yourself challenged with counterarguments, calls to educate yourself, exhortations to read the full thread, and admonitions to consider the complexities of the issue at hand. And how those challenges have been expressed are as varied as the characteristics of the sea, or a great desert.

    “Welcome to fucking Deadwood! Can be combative!” -Al Swearengen, HBO’s Deadwood, 2005

    Still learning,

    Robert

  219. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    I’m just expressing my opinion in a civilized manner. Not attacking anyone, and I’ve been accused of victim blaming, diminishing
    police brutality, being an ignorant racist apologist, called a fuckwit, shitweasel, and asswipe and told to shut the fuck up and fuck off.

    I see you whining that people responded to your rather blinkered words. Ad I do not see you actually engaging to what people said.

    So, fuck off, fuckface.

  220. says

    Jeff S:

    Who exactly is blaming anyone for getting tear gassed?
    Of course the people to blame for tear gassing are the police. In my opinion tear gas should never be used on anyone, for any reason.

    As yazikus so nicely put it @214, you’re engaging in victim blaming. What’s more, you don’t appear to know what that is. Here, let me help you out:

    Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially responsible for the harm that befell them.

    You’re blaming the parents for their children getting hit with tear gas. You’re victim blaming. If you want to assign responsibility for people being tear gassed, you should place the full responsibility on the people DOING the gassing: law enforcement.
    Also, are you aware of the effects of tear gas?:

    Despite its ubiquity across the globe and in United States, tear gas is a chemical agent banned in warfare per the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, which set forth agreements signed by nearly every nation in the world — including the United States. The catch, however, is that while it’s illegal in war, it’s legal in domestic riot control. That means Turkey got to use it on its protesters last year. That meant Bahrain got to the do the same. And now, in Ferguson, cops are likewise blasting residents protesting the police for the killing of an unarmed teen named Michael Brown.

    “I was just trying to get to my sister’s house,” one 23-year-old sobbed on his lawn, according to this harrowing report by The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery, who was arrested by police Wednesday. The man said police had pelted him with rubber bullets and sprayed his face with tear gas.

    Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson has defended the use of tear gas. “There are complaints about the response from some people,” he said, “but to me, nobody got hurt seriously, and I’m happy about that.”

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

    Technically not a gas, Jordt said, tear gas is an aerosol. “Tear gases are nerve gases that specifically activate pain-sensing nerves,” Jordt told National Geographic. And when used properly, in lower doses and deployed in open spaces, its effects are more or less harmless. Those affected sneeze and cough and panic — and may even temporarily go blind — but those symptoms subside after several hours. A 2003 study found there “is no evidence that a healthy individual will experience long-term health effects from open-air exposures to CS or CR, although contamination with CR is less easy to remove.”

    But sometimes things don’t go as planned. “The use of tear gas in … situations of civil unrest, however, demonstrates that exposure to the weapon is difficult to control and indiscriminate, and the weapon is often not used correctly,” wrote Howard Hu in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1989. “Severe traumatic injury from exploding tear gas bombs as well as lethal toxic injury have been documented.” Hu found that if exposed to “high levels of CS,” some victims experienced heart failure or even death. “An infant exposed to CS in a house into which police had fired CS canisters to subdue a mentally disturbed adult developed severe pneumonitis requiring therapy with steroids, oxygen, antibiotics, and 29 days of hospitalization.”

  221. says

    So please, in your responses to me, try not to be so…. [ gendered slur]?
    If you think I’m wrong, post a counter argument. If you think I’m ignorant, try to enlighten me.

    You’ve made the obligatory 3 posts before opening fire already, but here’s a bit of that enlightenment you’re asking for:

    Here are all of the threads posted on this blog on this topic so far:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/08/13/even-atheists-have-sacred-cows/

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/08/17/time-to-arrest-the-police/

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/08/17/why-would-you-support-a-policeman-who-shoots-unarmed-people/

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/08/18/ex-fucking-zactly/

    Read all of the comments on each of them, making sure to pay special attention to the Twitter links to reporters and photojournalists covering the issue. Assuming you’re speaking in good faith (rarely a good assumption here, given the high volume of racist trolls you yourself mention), that should be all the enlightenment necessary to see why people call your statement victim blaming (which it is, even if you didn’t intend for it to be).

  222. Ichthyic says

    “Welcome to fucking Deadwood! Can be combative!” -Al Swearengen, HBO’s Deadwood, 2005

    perfect.

    We should have a Deadwood Day here sometime, and assume appropriate avatars.

    Of course, competition for Swearengen might be a bit tight.

  223. says

    Jeff S @232:

    I honest have no idea how your typical level of discourse is tolerated on this site.

    You’re clearly new here. Go read the commenting rules. You’re being shitty and complaining about peoples’ tone towards you. You deserve the response.
    If you don’t want people to be rude to you, engage your brain, read more about this subject, and stop blaming the victims for what happens to them.

  224. says

    Protests are starting in Clayton.
    If you are unfamiliar with the St. Louis area, Clayton is home to county government and some high-end commerce.
    It will be interesting to see how the police handle protests there compared to Ferguson.

  225. Ichthyic says

    Jim Wright at Stonekettle Station

    Jim did a great job with that; my only addition to it would be to add authoritarianism to the racism that underlies why america has become so segregated.

  226. says

    Jeff S:

    I honest have no idea how your typical level of discourse is tolerated on this site.

    Gee, I think I was just ‘those people’d’. I’m honored, thanks.

    Of all the people who blow through here, I often take great pains to be patient, clear, and explanatory. Why don’t I do that with you? Because every time I’ve read a post by you, it’s saying something egregiously stupid and wrong. I’m not obligated to be nice to you, or hold your hand while attempting to get victim blaming 101, racism 101, privilege 101, and bias 101 into that brain of yours.

    A lot of us have been curating news for 10 days straight. That involves having to read a great deal of racist shit, which is stressful on its own, let alone on top of the stress of shaking, crying, and feeling like we have vomit up our anguish and anger over what is happening to a town full of people who are rightly angry over the murder of an 18 year old, then having their humanity and rights blatantly stripped from them. A lot of us recognize the dire nature of this situation, and that sooner or later, that rumble will mow down our towns. A lot of us recognize our common humanity and the necessity of solidarity. We empathize. We feel their pain. We feel our own pain. We feel the shock and disbelief over events in Ferguson. That shock and disbelief is being shared the world over.

    This is Terror, writ large and inflicted on us from those who have set themselves above and beyond people in general, people struggling to live their lives, people who want to love, create, work, educate, and enjoy themselves and others. People who should not have to live in fear every. single. day. of. their. lives. Adults who, every day, know the insidious and horrible fear that someone they love may be summarily executed by one in authority, who will face no consequence. Children who, every day, know the insidious and horrible fear that they may lose a friend, sibling, parent, relative to execution by cop. Young people who, every day, know the insidious and horrible fear that someone might decide to gun them down. People who, every day, know that if they are gunned down, the media will portray them in the worst possible light, and stupid bigots will eat that up with a sage nod of the head. People who, every day of their lives, live with harassment from those in authority. People who cannot gather without mass amounts of bigots, many of them in positions of authority, assuming they are naturally up to no good. People who are always blamed, no. matter. what.

    Me? I. Am. So. Damn. Lucky. Y’see, I’m mixed race, but that is not apparent on the outside. On the outside, I’m white, white, white. I can pass, so I get white privilege oozing out the ass. I know how fucking lucky I am, and I know not to presume on other peoples’ experiences. I know it’s better if I listen than pontificate. I know that no matter how much I empathize, I’ll never know the deep every day fear that POC get to live with. I know I’ll always be more accepted and have more opportunities than people who are visibly POC. I know that all those things mean I cannot afford to play dimwitted, clueless white person. I know those things mean I need to listen all the time, I need to read, I need to learn, I need to educate myself and educate others.

    You, Jeff S, have had absolutely nothing to say about any of that. No, what was important to you was to nitpick and criticize people in an impossible situation. That certainly paints you in a very bad light, and no one is obliged to suffer your foolishness kindly.

  227. AsqJames says

    Might we have something a little more on topic for a moment?

    I understand the police in Ferguson have put up “checkpoints” around the town and are preventing citizens (who they have no evidence to believe are planning to engage in criminal activity), including journalists, from entering the area.

    Is this legal?

  228. Ichthyic says

    @ Lofty:

    “Officers gave suspect verbal commands. Officers feared for their safety and both officers fired their weapons. Suspect is deceased.”

    That’s it huh. THAT’S what the St Louis PD considers a “Much more informative response”.

    Ok, if that’s all the detail, then I have to wonder….

    police had time to surround the suspect, suspect had not and was not harming anyone at the time.

    So… no tasers then. no pepper spray, no other thought that to give the suspect what he asked for:

    “Shoot me!”

    uh huh.

    Great example of advanced policing methods on display there in St Louis.

    *HEADDESK*

  229. Jeff S says

    To cut through the “Tone-Trolling” crap, lets break down this point and the arguments present against it.

    My point:

    It’s not a good idea to take your small children to a protest when that same protest has erupted into a dangerous situation each and every previous night.

    Counterpoint #1:

    “They live there! They are being tear-gassed in their homes!”

    This is not whom the original Tweeter is criticizing. There are are images of children standing with parents in the street amongst protesters. That is what is up for debate here.

    Here are some that were apparently impacted by tear gas. Absolutely Terrible.

    Counterpoint #2:

    “You are blaming the victim and diminishing police brutality. The police bear sole responsibility”

    The police do bear ALL of the responsibility for firing the gas, bullets and whatever harm this causes to whomever it harms. In no way is a mother who brings her children to a protest RESPONSIBLE for any injuries they sustain by accident, or by malice. The question is not to assign blame, the question is if it is a good idea to take your children to a protest, when “that same protest has erupted into a dangerous situation each and every previous night”.

    Counterpoint #3

    If the children were actually with their parents, and actually taking part in protests at the time, you might have a very very minor point, though quite why children shouldn’t be just as upset and desirous to protest as adults, I don’t know.
    The problem is that you chose, in the face of all the extremely major issues under discussion, to highlight a very minor maybe-point in order to blame (yes, you did, at least in part, blame) the parents. Your priorities are on show, and you got judged on them..

    There were in fact children on the streets taking part in the protests with their parents.

    It truly is only a minor point, of course. It’s not even on the same planet as the other issues at stake here.
    However, my decision to comment on it was not because I have a desire to blame the parents, nor because I wish to distract from other issues (as if I would even have such power), or even because that it is my priority. Rather, it was because PZ Meyers objected to someone making the point, and then everyone pretending that they would all take their children to areas where dangerous events have been taking place on a nightly basis.

    I’ll shut up about this, its already gotten enough attention. If you can’t see where I’m coming from on this, I can’t really help you at this point.

    I’ll shut up about this

    Thank God!
    (beat you to it)

  230. carlie says

    Desert Son, so glad to see you around. Your words are always a help.

    awakeinmo, good to see you too. I was just back in Missouri a couple of weeks ago; this is hitting me hard, so I can’t imagine how much it is to everyone living there.

  231. says

    AsqJames:

    Is this legal?

    No. They’ll do it anyway, just like they have been doing. See the last photo here, pretty much says it all.

    Tony:

    Well said and appreciated my friend.

    :Solidarity Fistbump: and more hugs than you could count, Tony. I’m so glad you’re my friend.

  232. Ichthyic says

    Inaji says no. I’ll defer, but it would hardly surprise me if there was a county statute they were relying on to claim it was legal.

  233. carlie says

    There were in fact children on the streets taking part in the protests with their parents.

    Do you know “in fact” that none of them were parents just trying to get their children home or to daycare? You do understand that people can’t leave their homes and go anywhere without crossing protest lines?

  234. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Lofty, considering ABC Australia reporting: the articles and updates from Jane Cowan have been pretty good – the ones from the Reuters feed not so much.
    So far, what I have seen from the commercial stations over here is pretty much the ‘official’ police line.

  235. AsqJames says

    @Goodbye Enemy Janine,

    Well I take for granted that shooting unarmed people, tear gassing peaceful protesters, and a whole load of other shit they’re pulling are, at least technically, illegal (though caeser, lorn and Jeff S make me wonder). I just wasn’t sure whether police (or other authorities) in the US have the technical right to prevent people from using a whole load of public highways.

  236. Ichthyic says

    JeffS… someday you might actually understand what victim blaming means.

    until you do, suggest you keep your opinions directed to people who actually are familiar with you. Because in public?

    They aren’t helpful. At all.

  237. says

    Jeff S.

    The question is not to assign blame, the question is if it is a good idea to take your children to a protest, when “that same protest has erupted into a dangerous situation each and every previous night”.

    That is assigning blame.

  238. says

    Jeff S #282

    and then everyone pretending that they would all take their children to areas where dangerous events have been taking place on a nightly basis.

    Are you related to the bastard who told my mate who lost a son when the motorcycle they were riding was hit by a drunk truck-driver, that he shouldn’t have taken his child out on that “dangerous motorbike”?

    I’ll shut up about this

    Good. Fuck off.

  239. says

    Avo:

    Arrested for being outside the media pen. Because, you know, journalists really need to be penned up to do their job properly.

    Yeah. That ‘First Amendment Area’ sign makes me despair. And even that wasn’t acceptable last night. Journalists were arrested, with emphasis on the photojournalists. How are they supposed to do their job from a pen? I’m a photographer, and you go where the photos are, you don’t sit on your arse waiting for them to come to you. Late last night, the journalists in the pen were told to leave, with guns pointed at them. Townspeople were begging them to stay, out of fear of what might happen with no media presence.

  240. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    This is not whom the original Tweeter is criticizing. There are are images of children standing with parents in the street amongst protesters. That is what is up for debate here.

    Ad I pointed out that when there was a curfew for the citizens, the police started firing tear gas and rubber bullets before curfew.

    The police do bear ALL of the responsibility for firing the gas, bullets and whatever harm this causes to whomever it harms. In no way is a mother who brings her children to a protest RESPONSIBLE for any injuries they sustain by accident, or by malice. The question is not to assign blame, the question is if it is a good idea to take your children to a protest, when “that same protest has erupted into a dangerous situation each and every previous night”.

    And yet you were assigning blame. And only pulled away from making a blanket statement when you were called on it.

    It truly is only a minor point, of course. It’s not even on the same planet as the other issues at stake here.
    However, my decision to comment on it was not because I have a desire to blame the parents, nor because I wish to distract from other issues (as if I would even have such power), or even because that it is my priority. Rather, it was because PZ Meyers objected to someone making the point, and then everyone pretending that they would all take their children to areas where dangerous events have been taking place on a nightly basis.

    Please point out who pretended that they would take their children into a dangerous situation.

    Also, you did something that most trolls end up doing. (pst… It’s PZ Myers.)

    Also, funny how you dropped your Gaza objection.

    Fuck off, shitheel.

  241. Ichthyic says

    To cut through the “Tone-Trolling” crap

    cut through does not mean “ignore”.

    “ignore” was the word you should be using there. You know, like you ignored why it was brought up.

    If you can’t see where I’m coming from on this, I can’t really help you at this point.

    likewise.

  242. says

    Jeff S:

    Rather, it was because PZ Meyers objected to someone making the point, and then everyone pretending that they would all take their children to areas where dangerous events have been taking place on a nightly basis.

    I think you’re at the wrong blog. For one, you’re whining about tone. For another, you apparently thought you stopped at a blog by some person named ‘Meyers’.

  243. says

    And way to miss my original point that the parents may need to have their children with them because someone like a babysitter may not be possible to obtain.

    Would I take my (hypothetical) children there? No. But I also wouldn’t take myself there because I am a chickenshit. And because I have lung issues that breathing any amount of that stuff would likely land me in a hospital.

    So I do what I can. Which is limited to supporting those out there in part by assuming they know their family, situation, and town better than I possibly can from the other side of the country.

  244. says

    Inaji @280
    No worries. I live on the south end of St. Louis. It is very sad to see my “town” (St, Louis area) go through this though.
    carlie @ 283
    I think most people (well, I would hope that most people) are heartbroken, angry, and yearning for a change. But honestly, there are plenty of old white people nearby who don’t really get it. You may be familiar with the segregation in the St. Louis area? Yeesh.

  245. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Jeff S @282

    Even if they took their kids out of their homes, their homes are still in the area that’s being gassed. That shit gets inside their houses. It’s hot. They’re poor. They don’t have A/C. Their windows are open. STAYING HOME WOULD NOT HAVE HELPED THEM AVOID THE TEAR GAS. They still have to live and work and exist on a daily basis in this area. As carlie pointed out, they can’t get anywhere without crossing into the areas where the protests are going on. You. Are. Talking. Out. Of. Your. Ass.

  246. says

    Inaji:

    Townspeople were begging them to stay, out of fear of what might happen with no media presence.

    Shit like this just makes me want to through up my hands and say, “Fuck this. We deserve to go extinct.” I think I’ve been politically aware much of my adult life. But I swear, these last 6 years are even worse than the Bush years.

    It’s like we’re trying to fuck over as many people as we can before civilization implodes.

  247. Desert Son, OM says

    Jeff S at #252:

    If you think I’m ignorant, try to enlighten me.

    Are you familiar with any of the research literature from educational psychology? If so, you may be aware that, contrary to earlier pedagogical models where agency was invested in instructors, learning is an active process, situated in a socially-mediated environment in which the learner is an agent directing the learning. Counterpoints and contentions against what you have offered have been posted not just in this thread but others, and now links have been provided for those.

    You have an opportunity to be an active learner, an agent guiding your own knowledge building. Information can be provided here, but the agency for enlightenment is you actively engaging with the material: reading, following the links, more reading, still more reading, considering the counterarguments (regardless of whether they contain the word “shit”), looking for authentic narratives from the individuals where these events are happening (like, say the Tweets from the people in Ferguson getting tear-gassed?), yet still more reading.

    It’s not up to us to enlighten you. It is up to you to engage with the information and build knowledge as a way to enlighten yourself.

    If you are interested at all in reading more about the learning process and agency perspective I mentioned, here are some references that you might find useful as a start (in APA style, as that is what I am familiar with):

    Bereiter, C., & Scardamalia, M. (1989). Intentional learning as a goal of instruction. In L. B. Resnick (Ed.), Knowing, Learning, and Instruction: Essays in Honor of Robert Glaser (pp. 361-392). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Ng, E., & Bereiter, C. (1991). Three levels of goal orientation in learning. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 1(3 & 4), 243-271.

    Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (2010). A Brief History of Knowledge Building. Canadian Journal Of Learning And Technology, 36(1).

    Winstone, N., & Millward, L. (2012). The Value of Peers and Support from Scaffolding: Applying Constructivist Principles to the Teaching of Psychology. Psychology Teaching Review, 18(2), 59-67.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  248. anteprepro says

    Jeff pontificates:

    This is not whom the original Tweeter is criticizing. There are are images of children standing with parents in the street amongst protesters. That is what is up for debate here.

    The point is that EVEN IF they stayed home, they COULD still be affected, so IT DOESN’T MATTER.

    The question is not to assign blame, the question is if it is a good idea to take your children to a protest, when “that same protest has erupted into a dangerous situation each and every previous night”.

    God damn, you just don’t get it. You may not want to assign blame, but you fucking are. The analog to short skirts and dark alleys is fucking obvious and disgusting, but you are probably too clueless to get it and too apathetic to really care.

    It truly is only a minor point, of course. It’s not even on the same planet as the other issues at stake here.

    Then why go on your fucking crusade in defense of it?

    However, my decision to comment on it was not because I have a desire to blame the parents, nor because I wish to distract from other issues (as if I would even have such power), or even because that it is my priority. Rather, it was because PZ Meyers objected to someone making the point, and then everyone pretending that they would all take their children to areas where dangerous events have been taking place on a nightly basis.

    (Bolded to note in joke meta observation)
    It clearly was your priority if your objection to PZ’s objection and objection to tacit agreement with that objection prompted you to focus the entirety of your comments in this fucking thread on that one issue. You are just a bad liar.

    I’ll shut up about this, its already gotten enough attention. If you can’t see where I’m coming from on this, I can’t really help you at this point.

    One: About fucking time.
    Two: Your arrogant ignorance is still showing.

  249. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Just had the official police update on the latest shooting here.
    Two trained police officers, in a car, had no option but to shoot dead a person armed with a knife?
    Really?

  250. Ichthyic says

    It’s like we’re trying to fuck over as many people as we can before civilization implodes.

    just practicing.

    really.

    there is a reason you don’t ever hear the Pentagon spouting global warming denials.

  251. Lofty says

    When the only tool you have is assault weapons, every response requires the threat of death.

  252. Ichthyic says

    Two trained police officers, in a car, had no option but to shoot dead a person armed with a knife?
    Really?

    my ass sez:

    yup, they had no choice, you see. They simply don’t carry any non-lethal methods for takedown. Tazers haven’t been invented yet.

    /words I just pulled out of my ass

    …your St Louis tax dollars at work!

  253. says

    Rawnaeris:

    Which is limited to supporting those out there in part by assuming they know their family, situation, and town better than I possibly can from the other side of the country.

    That’s important. Really important.

    Shit, if we didn’t have animals to take care of, we would have been in Ferguson days ago. (Don’t have anyone who could come and stay for an indeterminate amount of time, and we don’t have the kind of money that would allow for boarding. I don’t even know if it’s possible to kennel rats.)

    Anyway, there’s a lot people can do who can’t be on the ground in Ferguson: Campaigns and Ways to Help for #MikeBrown #Ferguson And if people can spare 20 bucks or so, please consider buying a T-shirt (I bought two today): http://teespring.com/operationhelporhush1 or these: http://teespring.com/IAMHUMANDONTSHOOT#pid=2&cid=2122&sid=front

  254. anteprepro says

    Epicenter of protests fenced off: https://twitter.com/FergusonUnity/status/501864099563581440

    Police checkpoints at 5 pm: https://twitter.com/elonjames/status/501855312228667392

    “Keep walking” rule: https://twitter.com/FergusonUnity/status/501887139592671232

    Journalists told they will be arrested if they watch arrest in progress: https://twitter.com/aterkel/status/501881378909462529

    OH NOES CHILDREN IN PUBLIC! BAD PARENTING!!! (line of young women handing out flowers at protest): https://twitter.com/WesleyLowery/status/501890097206558720

  255. zmidponk says

    Jeff S #202:

    This is not whom the original Tweeter is criticizing. There are are images of children standing with parents in the street amongst protesters. That is what is up for debate here.
    Here are some that were apparently impacted by tear gas. Absolutely Terrible.

    See that bit of grass that’s on that photo? It’s entirely possible that’s the edge of the lawn outside the house where some or all of those kids live. These protests, and the police firing tear gas, etc, are happening where these people live. I am not talking about in the same general area, I am talking about right on the street outside their front doors. What is up for debate when these people are simply standing on their own streets?

  256. says

    Reasons to have you kids in an area that was previously known as “your neighborhood”:

    1. No babysitters available, as all the teenaged kids have been arrested.

    2. They said, “Mom, can I play? I swear I’ll stay in the front yard,” so you went out to make sure they stayed in the front yard.

    3. It’s not like your house is any safer. Shit, police like to throw flash-bangs into cribs, and then refuse to pay medical bills.

    4. It’s better they understand what they’re up against while they are young, rather than figuring it out when they have to raise their hands and say, “Don’t Shoot! I don’t have a gun!” while a cop is shooting at them personally.

  257. says

    Tazers haven’t been invented yet.

    Sadly even tasers are a problem, they are less lethal than a gunshot but it seems that with some cops, if you give them a weapon it becomes the default response, a solution to all problems whether needed or not. The Robert Dziekański Taser incident comes immediately to mind.

  258. says

    Carlie:

    Bingo for white opinions on Ferguson

    I choked on my tea when I came to *After Being Told Of Eye-Witness Story* … “Nobody Knows What Happened!”

    When I was typing that, I started to type *Eye-Whiteness*, and the lightbulb clicked. This is the same as rape apologists needing male witnesses to accept a rape actually happened. Here, it’s the copologists who want white witnesses before they’ll accept a cop gunned down a teenager with no reason.

  259. anteprepro says

    Hour ago: Side streets have double and triple layers of barriers already tonight. No way to drive in.
    https://twitter.com/WesleyLowery/status/501881977369554944

    Adorable:

    Youngest actively chanting protestors I’ve seen
    https://twitter.com/ryanjreilly/status/501868645308727296

    Man arrested for lying on ground: https://twitter.com/deray/status/501888092333424640/photo/1

    Those super armored vehicles near a grocery store for some reason: https://twitter.com/Awkward_Duck/status/501888447628312579/photo/1

  260. Ichthyic says

    Much as I trust the laudable, public-spirited and above all honest police force of Ferguson, do we know this knife existed?

    I’m going to just flat out ask:

    Does it matter?

  261. Desert Son, OM says

    carlie at 283:

    Likewise lovely to see you, as well, and ever grateful to read your comments, as I am about so many here!

    ****

    Inaji at . . . life, right now:

    *stands with*

    I’ll probably fuck this up, and if so, will readily apologize:

    Kičhíčamič’iye !

    ****

    Avo at #303:

    Heard, with great empathy. Yet still also cheered by the thought that still in the fight, and reading about it in a community that feels like it is still in the fight, standing by in support of another community that’s still in the fight.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  262. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s a bad parenting decision.

    After you just admitted what has happening indiscrimately in the community, whether peoples whose back yards were tear gassed were demonstrating or not. You are one stupid and hypocritical fuckwitted idjit, whose next post should not occur due to terminal idjitcy.

  263. says

    Over in The Lounge, my comments here and here list different ways people can help. I stumbled across a blog where someone told the author they were feeling helpless and wanted to offer assistance. The blogger noted 6 or 7 ways. I hope this is of assistance to people.

  264. anteprepro says

    Inaji: I’m fairly certain that for type of people who are invested in denial of this incident, non-white people only count as 3/5ths of a witness….

    Ichthyic

    I’m going to just flat out ask:
    Does it matter?

    I would say “slightly” if it did exist. If the police lied about it though, then it become “definitely”.

  265. anteprepro says

    Inaji:

    Tears my heart out. I wonder, how many of those children will make it into adulthood?

    That’s truly a tragic thing to have to think about. But the context of these protests really does force you to wonder that :/

  266. says

    Checking local media…Apparently, the new plan for at least one organization is to pull out of Ferguson and continue protests in Clayton.
    http://www.ksdk.com/media/cinematic/video/14315341/protesters-march-in-clayton-against-muculloch/
    Point of order, McCulloch has total control over “stepping aside” and appointing an independent prosecutor. No can can order him to do it, it has to be his decision. Yet he says he’ll step aside if the governor demands it. Politics.

  267. Ichthyic says

    Avo’s list at 317 seems pretty accurate.

    I’d add:

    5. The police LITERALLY told everyone they had till midnight to be at that spot. Another night said there would be no curfew at all.

  268. Ichthyic says

    I would say “slightly” if it did exist. If the police lied about it though, then it become “definitely”.

    not a necessary piece of evidence to support the contention that St Louis PD regularly “mishandles” the truth.

    not a necessary piece of evidence to support the contention that yes, just like with Brown, this was excessive use of force requiring investigation and review.

    so, again….

    does it really matter?

  269. anteprepro says

    Daz:

    It just smells a little of someone somewhere trying—embellishing the facts, perhaps—to imply the killing was excusable.

    Well isn’t that far-fetched! I have never seen such a strategy before! Nope, it definitely has not been happening anywhere that I can think of. Such a rarity, I am sure, like a unicorn that lays golden eggs.

    On a serious note: I wonder if the events in Ferguson are going to mean that the media might suddenly start paying attention to police brutality cases? One could dream.

  270. says

    Desert Son:

    Kičhíčamič’iye!

    Nah, it’s good. I hear you, misúŋka.* Good time to remember Mitakuye Oyasin.**
     
    *Younger brother
    **All my relations – all things are related, we are all interconnected. Cornerstone of Lakota beliefs.

  271. Ichthyic says

    Bingo for white opinions on Ferguson

    *looks at my own contributions*

    I’m one square away from “bingoing” myself over the last 3 days.

    not sure what to make of that.

    We can’t quote MLK?

    damnit.

  272. Ichthyic says

    One could dream.

    that’s bordering on a paraphrase of MLK!

    *gets a new bingo card out*

  273. says

    Ichthyic:

    We can’t quote MLK?

    I think the bingo has more to do with why someone is quoting MLK, and what bit they are quoting. I’ve seen a bunch of people on #Ferguson and other feeds cherry picking MLK to justify “oh, nasty, bad, ignorant black people looting and rioting, destroying their own town! MLK said…”

  274. carlie says

    awakeinmo:

    You may be familiar with the segregation in the St. Louis area? Yeesh.

    I grew up right across the river. As of 2010 census: my town- 90% white. 1 town over (less than 1.25 miles away): 96% black. Yep. When I was a kid, I went to a science camp for “minorities” (girls were considered a minority then) at the local college. There, a black teacher mentioned on hearing where I was from that common knowledge was for black people to not be caught in my town after dark. It wasn’t until a few years ago, from Pteryxx here actually, that I found out that I grew up in an actual sundown town, which, although the legal stipulations had ended a few decades earlier, still had strong and lasting effects. I brought it up to my parents, and they weren’t surprised. In fact, it turned out they knew several incredibly hideous racial jokes that had been common parlance when they were young, some of them having been transmitted by my grandfather, a cop. So… yeah. My hands are pretty filthy in this.

  275. anteprepro says

    Breakdown of hometowns of people arrested over previous two days: https://twitter.com/ryanjreilly/status/501898062760263681/photo/1

    More on a previous arrest: Heartbreaking: witnessed the St. Louis County police run up to a woman, throw her to the ground, & arrest her. For standing still. #Ferguson
    https://twitter.com/jack/status/501887364453912577

    And: Fuck this country. Really. Fuck.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/08/us-rejects-international-criticism-of-ferguson-police/#.U_P0dbdm95U.twitter

  276. Ichthyic says

    I think the bingo has more to do with why someone is quoting MLK, and what bit they are quoting. I’ve seen a bunch of people on #Ferguson and other feeds cherry picking MLK to justify “oh, nasty, bad, ignorant black people looting and rioting, destroying their own town! MLK said…”

    yeah, I figured, likewise with links to fox news, etc.

    but… the bingo card does not differentiate!

    :)

  277. says

    Ichthyic #336

    so, again….

    does it really matter?

    I’d say yes. Not in the over-all “is that an honest police force” sense (as you say, that’s been thoroughly answered) but as it impinges on the circumstances around someone being killed and how that particular killing was/is being investigated.

  278. says

    From Anteprepro’s link @ 344:

    Marie Harf said such countries, which, at best, have mixed records on human rights and free speech, should avoid comparing themselves to the United States.

    “We here in the United States will put our record for confronting our problems transparently and honestly and openly up against any other countries in the world,” Harf said. “When we have problems and issues in this country, we deal with them openly and honestly. We think that’s important, and I would encourage the countries you named particularly to do the same thing.”

    Transparency? Honestly? Openly? She’s talking about a different earth, right?

  279. anteprepro says

    Hilarious photo caption: https://twitter.com/runasand/status/501880673519800320/photo/1

    Businesses are closing hours early. Entire neighborhoods blocked. Police checkpoints where ID is being asked.
    https://twitter.com/Awkward_Duck/status/501897115182710784

    I like this artwork (it’s a little morbid, approach with caution): https://twitter.com/markuspr1m3_/status/501863657966698496/photo/1

    Protesters telling people not there for peace to go home: https://twitter.com/EliKMBC/status/501888269853155328/photo/1

  280. says

    awakeinmo:

    Seems there’s a rally supporting Ferguson here in my suburb tonight!

    Stand strong, and stay safe!

    Ichthyic:

    but… the bingo card does not differentiate!

    There’s not a lot of room on a bingo card square.

  281. says

    carlie:

    I grew up right across the river. As of 2010 census: my town- 90% white. 1 town over (less than 1.25 miles away): 96% black. Yep. When I was a kid, I went to a science camp for “minorities” (girls were considered a minority then) at the local college. There, a black teacher mentioned on hearing where I was from that common knowledge was for black people to not be caught in my town after dark. It wasn’t until a few years ago, from Pteryxx here actually, that I found out that I grew up in an actual sundown town, which, although the legal stipulations had ended a few decades earlier, still had strong and lasting effects.

    I didn’t know what a sundown town was until it was explained to me here as well (possibly by Pteryxx too), but I lived in Alabama for 15 years. My first roommate came from Cullman, AL and he told me about a sign that said something to the effect of “N*gg*rs don’t let us see you after sunset”. I never knew if he was serious or not, but it always stuck with me. Knowing what I know now, I’m certain he was serious about the sign, and it’s one more reason I don’t want to ever go back to Alabama (not that I have any reason *to* go there).

  282. Ichthyic says

    but as it impinges on the circumstances around someone being killed and how that particular killing was/is being investigated.

    ah, you mean literally, in the specific case.

    yeah, then as a specific piece of evidence, I would agree with that. like it matters where this happened, what car the officers were driving, what time of day it was, etc.

  283. Ichthyic says

    ….iow, all the other details that were left out of the report provided for the media by the st louis PD.

  284. says

    anteprepro:

    I like this artwork (it’s a little morbid, approach with caution):

    Holy shit. That is amazing. Like, “Look upon me and despair!” kind of amazing.

    But really amazing.

  285. anteprepro says

    Inaji, not only must that person live on a parallel earth, but they also did a bang up job of acting like a condescending jackass. It’s a glorified “NO U!!!”, for one, and for two, such a response seems like a diplomatic nightmare. Especially since I thought we were on good-ish (though shaky) terms with China and Egypt. Basically saying “shut up, you guys are oppressive hellholes and we are better than you” doesn’t seem like a good idea. And it is utterly ridiculous to say that considering that fuck-all is still being done about the situation in Ferguson. Bring the fucking cops to justice, for fuck’s sake. This isn’t even HARD compared to the shit that those other countries have had to deal with, and yet the fucker brags about how great we are while an easily remedied situation is left to continue to fester, to burn.

  286. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Been visiting the Redhead this afternoon, and just getting caught up. My thanks to the many regulars who put Jeff S in his place, while keeping the rest of us up-to-date on the news. That is on asshat who doesn’t understand the situation, and is dripping white privilege.

  287. says

    anteprepro @344:
    Thank you for that first link. I got in an argument on FB with an ex-BF who had posted an image that linked looters to the community of Ferguson and I told him the looters were almost totally from outside of Ferguson. Pissed me off bc he called me ignorant of what is going on in Ferguson (I know there is a LOT I don’t know, but FFS, I’ve been keeping track of the events closely over the last 10 days-my levels of ignorance about the shitstorm are pretty low). I defriended him, but this makes me feel validated.

  288. Ichthyic says

    from the last link in 344:

    The Ferguson police officer who has gone into hiding after being named as the cop who shot Michael Brown is not a “cold-blood murderer” as depicted by his harshest critics, but a man without a temper who is “struggling” with the aftermath of the shooting, his friend told ABC News.

    it doesn’t take anger or a short temper to shoot someone; irrational fear and poor training will do just as well.

  289. says

    The Ferguson police officer who has gone into hiding after being named as the cop who shot Michael Brown is not a “cold-blood murderer” as depicted by his harshest critics…

    The temperature of his blood doesn’t matter. He still gunned down an unarmed kid who was trying to surrender.

    Last time I checked, that makes him a murderer.

  290. says

    a man without a temper

    Oh pray, tell. That’s a bloody miracle, that is, a man without a temper. They oughta put him up on display at the Smithsonian.

    This crap is wearying beyond measure. People are making up the worst shit, and it is shit, because if he actually had an orbital fracture, which is also being claimed, why flee? If he’s struggling so, why hasn’t he turned himself in?

    Lies, lies, lies, and more lies.

  291. anteprepro says

    Oh look. Fox News, home of the No Spin Zone, decided to jump in and put their own little Not Spin on the statistics of the hometowns of people arrested during the protest:

    There were 78 arrests made in Ferguson last night while people protested the shooting death of Michael Brown. Of those 78, only four are from Ferguson…..

    Pistor explained that very few protesters are actually from Ferguson, and a majority of rioters are coming in from St. Louis. Some of the rioters are also from out of state.

    “I think a lot of people just really like being on TV,” he told her.

    It’s a good point. What’s the problem? Assuming that all of the people arrested were rioters . Assuming that the people who were arrested DESERVED to be arrested.

    And that’s why Fox News continues to keep its throne as the number one source for authoritarian porn.

  292. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Inaji #360

    The National Bar Association has Filed a Lawsuit Against the City of Fergu

    Ah, that sounds like this, at least the initial theme.

  293. says

    Ichthyic, I’ve linked that song numerous times over the last 10 days, and so have a lot of others. It’s been in my head for days.

    What a field day for the Heat / A thousand people in the streets / singing songs and carrying signs / mostly saying Hooray for our side…

    Yeah.

  294. anteprepro says

    Tony!

    Thank you for that first link. I got in an argument on FB with an ex-BF who had posted an image that linked looters to the community of Ferguson and I told him the looters were almost totally from outside of Ferguson. Pissed me off bc he called me ignorant of what is going on in Ferguson (I know there is a LOT I don’t know, but FFS, I’ve been keeping track of the events closely over the last 10 days-my levels of ignorance about the shitstorm are pretty low). I defriended him, but this makes me feel validated.

    I remember you mentioning that argument at one point, before the unfriending. Sorry the unfriending had to happen, but it is probably for the best anyway. There is a lot of arrogant ignorance on this issue. We’ve been tapped into this shit since the start. I know I’ve been staying up as late as possible, skimming through Twitter feeds and this blog and catching snippets from the mainstream media that are WAY less informative but still help me have an idea of what people are saying about what is going on. And yet the people who hear two or three two minute soundbytes think they are more informed than everyone else. Because for most stories, most people usually ARE less informed than that. But still it is infuriating how confident they are that they REALLY know what is going on. Fucking asinine.

    Also, you will note my caveat when I mentioned Fox News’s take on that same information: a lot of the arrests are just police’s way of harassing journalists. But it does still go to show that not a hell of a lot of rioters/looters are from in-town, regardless.

  295. Ichthyic says

    Ichthyic, I’ve linked that song numerous times over the last 10 days, and so have a lot of others. It’s been in my head for days.

    I figured; how could one NOT think of that song eventually?

  296. says

    And in case people missed it here, the lyrics:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  297. militantagnostic says

    Avo also Nigel the Bold

    <blockquote cite="It’s like we’re trying to fuck over as many people as we can before until civilization implodes.”>

    FTFY

  298. The Mellow Monkey says

    White on White Crime:

    In 2011, there were more cases of Whites killing Whites than there were Blacks killing Blacks. Now, in the United States, a White person is almost 6 times more likely to be killed by another White person than by a Black person, according to FBI homicide data.

    Whites commit the majority of crimes in America. The term “black on black” crime is a destructive concept that perpetuates an idea that blacks are somehow more prone to violence. This is untrue and is supported by FBI, DOJ and census (pdf) data. Yet the fallacy is so fixed that even Blacks have come to believe it.

    It seems that the media in general…and white American society in particular prefer to focus on crime committed by Blacks (character assassination) because it is a way to shift blame & serves as a way to relieve them from the responsibility of murder, violence, prejudice and institutionalized discrimination engendered for generations by whites against blacks.

    It offers a buffer against their responsibility, a way to deflect cause and effect. But the truth, and numbers, tell an absolute different story…in particular, whites are responsible for the vast majority of violent crimes. With respect to aggravated assault, whites led blacks 2-1 in arrests; in forcible-rape cases, whites led all racial and ethnic groups by more than 2-1. And in larceny theft, whites led blacks, again, more than 2-1.

    In Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, she explains that the term “black on black crime” was coined as American cities underwent transformation as a result of riots, white flight and the onslaught of the drug trade. David Wilson, a professor at the University of Illinois, documents the phenomena in Inventing Black-on-Black Violence. Wilson says that instead of attributing increased crime activity to poverty, inequality and disenfranchisement, the media chose to blame “a supposedly defective, aberrant black culture.”

    In a 2010 piece published by The Root, “The Myth of Black-on-Black Violence,” Natalie Hopkinson opines that journalists should follow the direction of the United Kingdom, where the Guardian newspaper banned the use of the phrase. A Guardian stylebook asked authors to ”imagine the police saying they were investigating an incident of white-on-white violence … ” Hopkinson concludes, “The term ‘black-on-black violence’ is a slander against the majority of law-abiding black Americans, rich and poor, who get painted by this broad and crude brush.”

    In summary, Blacks do need to work on things, but DO NOT USE THE TERM BLACK ON BLACK CRIME! This is Adrian X, and this is “Just My 2 Cents”

    References:
    1. http://callandpost.com/news/2013/aug/16/white-white-crime-more-prevalent-black-black/
    2. http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2012/04/whiteonwhite_crime_it_goes_against_the_false_media_narrative.3.html

  299. says

    Also from the last link @344:

    “We here in the United States will put our record for confronting our problems transparently and honestly and openly up against any other countries in the world,” Harf said. “When we have problems and issues in this country, we deal with them openly and honestly. We think that’s important, and I would encourage the countries you named particularly to do the same thing.”

    Oh really. Will you now?
    Dealing with problems and issues openly and honestly? What the fuck is this person talking about? Which problems have been dealt with openly and honestly?

  300. says

    Oh dear FSM, I am not getting sucked into the comments at that ABC News link. This one was enough:

    Excuse me, what civil rights violation?
    When the nice officer asks you to use the side walk and not the middle of the road how is that a civil rights violation? You DO NOT have a “civil right” to recklessly endanger yourself or others.
    Gees people, focus! Please.
    Enough with the BS. Deal with what’s real!
    The onus is on the person who escalates the situation, not a police officer doing the job we pay him to do.

  301. shala says

    Many thanks to everyone continuing to post news here. I’ve kept up with it all and the comparison to what the media is reporting is amazing.

  302. anteprepro says

    Tony!

    Which problems have been dealt with openly and honestly?

    When I think openly and honestly, I think:
    Julian Assange
    Edward Snowden
    Chelsea Manning

    What I don’t think of:
    The country that fought tooth and nail to silence them.

    shala:

    Many thanks to everyone continuing to post news here. I’ve kept up with it all and the comparison to what the media is reporting is amazing.

    I know. I am still surprised even now. Even though the media is actually paying attention, they still only pay minimal attention, and even then, the mainstream outlets still fuck things up in the name of Balance. I have never realized just how useless it is. How attempting to seem “unbiased” can actually make them LESS trustworthy.

  303. says

    Tony!:

    The onus is on the person who escalates the situation, not a police officer doing the job we pay him to do.

    But what if it’s the nice polite police officer that’s doing the escalating?

    “Oh, Hai, nice polite police officer! Sure, I was walking down this obviously not busy street (which is obvious because when the time comes for you to shoot me, there aren’t a dozen witnesses). But my gram’s house is right over there, where I was walking. We’ll be out of your way in just a sec.”

    Nice polite police officer: “Sure! No problem. Just make sure not to block traffic, now, y’hear?”

    Nice polite police officer: “Oh! I almost forgot!” *blam*blam*blam*blam*blam*blam*

  304. anteprepro says

    Tony!’s quote from a moronic cheerleader for police brutality:

    The onus is on the person who escalates the situation , not a police officer doing the job we pay him to do.

    That’s a rather incredible Own Goal, right there.

  305. says

    Avo:

    Nice polite police officer: “Sure! No problem. Just make sure not to block traffic, now, y’hear?”

    Nice polite police officer: “Oh! I almost forgot!” *blam*blam*blam*blam*blam*blam*

    Y’know, there’s a very minor thing which has been a burr under a brainfold: why does no one pay attention to how much time it takes to cross a street? I’ve seen the photos, it wasn’t a big street, so this would be a matter of seconds. And this was reason enough for *blam*blam*blam*blam*blam*blam*? Yeah, that’s definitely the work of “a man without a temper”.

  306. yazikus says

    Since we are talking about media coverage, can I say how disappointed I am at NPR’s coverage? When they finally did start covering it, they talked about ‘two sides clashing’ and how Ferguson was a ‘tinder box’ all week, and how the police are trying ‘to restore order’. And that last one I really take umbrage with. The police are not ‘trying to restore order’ they are actively preventing the citizens of Ferguson from restoring order. Total bullshit. They didn’t mention journalists getting arrested, they rarely mentioned the rubber bullets. They didn’t mention the deliberate misleading information released by the police, they didn’t mention that no report was filed by wilson, they didn’t mention a nurse was prevented from checking on Brown, the didn’t mention that Egypt today issued a statement urging the US to use restrain when dealing with protesters, and as far as I heard they sure as fuck didn’t mention that Amnesty International had a group of observers on the ground, a first in US history. Fuck that shit. These threads have been stellar. Thanks again everyone for keeping the coverage real.

  307. The Mellow Monkey says

    Inaji and Tony!, welcome! I thought it (and the linked references) were really important for counteracting that narrative.

  308. Ichthyic says

    Since we are talking about media coverage, can I say how disappointed I am at NPR’s coverage?

    seconded.

    really though, NPR died with Reagan.

  309. anteprepro says

    I doubt it was a big deal, Avo.

    More Stuff:
    Police getting ready for the evening at #Ferguson carwash.
    https://twitter.com/EliottCNN/status/501895569393348610/photo/1

    Protesters still doing laps up and down the street, chanting “no justice, no peace”
    https://twitter.com/JimDalrympleII/status/501911871516319745/photo/1

    A little dark humor: https://twitter.com/AnonymousPress/status/501907465190277120/photo/1

    Paul Ryan Joins the Bingo Game: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2014/08/19/Paul-Ryan-Lets-Not-Prejudge-Anything/

    No tear gas so far: https://twitter.com/WillRossWriter/status/501912565346103296

  310. says

    Inaji, #384:

    Well, my understanding (and this is from the cops involved), is that the pair was walking down the middle of the street.

    So, that’s the crime: walking down the middle of the street. Well, and potentially copping an attitude when the cops tell you to get on the sidewalk. And by “copping an attitude,” I mean saying, “My house is just up here.”

    Which is apparently enough to make this nice polite police officer go off on a rage.

    Oh! Not a rage. He went off on a “situationally-intense scenario.” Or something. Y’know, because a teen talked back, and said he was almost home, and so wasn’t getting off that busy, busy street right away. Just a few hundred feet down the line. Because, y’know, busy street. As is evidenced by all the eye-witnesses.

    Which is why even the official fucking police narrative doesn’t hold together. There was no reason to get out of the vehicle to deal with two kids walking down a street that isn’t very busy to begin with. It should’ve ended with a cop spraining his eyes while rolling them.

    Not a dead kid.

  311. anteprepro says

    Police are now saying that there are snipers afoot. TAke with a pickup truck full of salt:
    https://twitter.com/passantino/status/501884987340492802

    MO Attorney General joins protestors:
    https://twitter.com/passantino/status/501907019809296384

    Journalistic Gas Masks:
    https://twitter.com/VanJones68/status/501885490216595456/photo/1

    The Thick Green Line:
    https://twitter.com/kickitupanacho/status/501912506042822657/photo/1

    Moar White Person Bingo (Don’t click the link unless you want to feel exasperated)
    https://twitter.com/joshabbottband/status/501901473572474880

  312. says

    Hi! Welcome to America, Land of the Free!

    I mean, as long as you don’t define “Free” as having any kind of freedoms. Really. How ludicrous is that? It’s like defining “cake” as a baked sweet egg-and-wheat mixture, perhaps topped with a nice ganouche. How likely is that? It’s most likely just gonna be a Little Debby oatmeal creme pie.

    Which you can have as much as you want. Just don’t ask for anything like “Boston Creme,” or, heaven forbid, “Angel Food.” As for the “cheese” varieties? That can get you more than locked up.

    It might just get you shot.

  313. Ichthyic says

    Police are now saying that there are snipers afoot

    Wasn’t the Nat Guard being positioned on rooftops?

    Hate to say it, but I am gonna laugh hard if one of them ends up shooting the other (hopefully non fatally).

  314. anteprepro says

    Tweet regarding Maddow show. Implies no fly zone is still in effect: https://twitter.com/bannerite/status/501908151449710592

    300 Protestors: https://twitter.com/RobertKlemko/status/501912530802200576

    Police strategy is to have armored cars drive in loops to attract sniper gunfire… (????)
    https://twitter.com/RobertKlemko/status/501908463279419392

    Less smoking and drinking due to National Guard
    https://twitter.com/RobertKlemko/status/501897123034849280

    Highway Patrol demands ID to drive on Florissant
    https://twitter.com/RobertKlemko/status/501894877811314689

  315. Ichthyic says

    Police strategy is to have armored cars drive in loops to attract sniper gunfire… (????)

    first response:

    Did Chief Wil E. Coyote come up with that plan?

  316. anteprepro says

    Shit is going down RIGHT NOW for awkward duck:

    Squad cars just rolled up on us at the church with rifle guns #ferguson
    https://twitter.com/Awkward_Duck/status/501919310877446144

    Like….we’re just here, at a church, prepping to go give assistance #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/eXmDqwEz8x
    https://twitter.com/Awkward_Duck/status/501919687718862848

    Just had a gun pointed on me. By cops
    https://twitter.com/Awkward_Duck/status/501919490729197568

    Picture: https://twitter.com/Awkward_Duck/status/501919809106227201

  317. yazikus says

    Did Chief Wil E. Coyote come up with that plan?

    Chief Wile E, Coyote would be much more clever than that. With more boulders. And Suuuper Geenius.

  318. carlie says

    Since we are talking about media coverage, can I say how disappointed I am at NPR’s coverage?

    They canceled Tell Me More, their only primarily African-American news broadcast, on Aug. 1, saying that budget cuts required it because it wasn’t popular enough.

  319. anteprepro says

    Ichthyic:

    comment summary:
    “human shield”

    Basically. Looks like Jeff S is a dime a dozen.

    Awkward Duck:
    We immediately dropped the water bottles we have for relief out of fear they’d think it was a gun
    https://twitter.com/Awkward_Duck/status/501921077115637760

    “People think you may be starting something tonight with all these masks”
    https://twitter.com/Awkward_Duck/status/501921397916979200

    #policestate #ferguson real time http://instagram.com/p/r51j7zHLfd/

  320. yazikus says

    Tony! Today was my first day I’ve been able to successfully embed links (at least in a long time). I’m glad it was today. I’ve always seemed to bork them in the past. I’m glad they have worked, and I’m glad that people are reading. How are you holding up?

  321. anteprepro says

    Armchair Twitter assessment: Seems like the cops aren’t being as overtly assholish as usual. That may be due to the National Guard preventing them from acting excessively abusive. It also might be because with the National Guard there, they can crush anything that they perceive as a threat now.

  322. says

    Police are now saying that there are snipers afoot. TAke with a pickup truck full of salt:

    Yeah, there’ve been snipers out since the beginning. < checks link > oh, wait, they’re claiming that the protestors have snipers!?!??!? Excuse me while I laugh bitterly and beat my head on a wall.

  323. says

    Can I just say that I feel righteous and very old after attending my neighborhood’s rally. It was on the college campus, so had to wrap up at 9. Was nice to see it in my Whitey McWhiterson town.

  324. numerobis says

    Re: a few references to Egypt a few hundred posts ago.

    The context here: Egypt kicked out / refused entry to some Human Rights Watch staffers who were in Cairo last week to unveil a report on the 2012 Raqqa crackdown. Said report details how the “security” forces killed more than a thousand peaceful protestors (including a friend of my sister’s apparently, something I only just learned) — and in particular that the result was meticulously planned. In fact the army expected to kill twice as many people as they did. These are the protests against the 2012 coup, not the 2011 revolution (roughly an equal number died in the revolution).

    The Egyptian government’s statement on Ferguson is doubly disgusting:
    1. Trying to deflect attention from their massacres.
    2. They have a point.

  325. says

    Reposting from the other recent thread, my own experience with being teargassed:

    JustFYI, I’ve been teargassed four times.

    Twice in demonstrations, and twice in the Canadian army, which used (uses? don’t know, this was 1983) CS or tear gas as a demonstration vehicle for chemical warfare training. We had to put on our NBC ‘bunny suits’, with gas masks, then do calisthenics and running while wearing the full gear, before taking off our masks, and being required to attempt to sing ‘O Canada’ while being gassed. I did this twice: once in Basic, and again as refresher training when I was posted to the NATO base in West Germany.

    It’s extremely unpleasant, and the name doesn’t do it justice. It’s not tears but inability to breathe that is caused. Eyes and exposed mucosa burn painfully for hours, and if you’ve got any respiratory ailments, it can completely incapacitate and disable.

    It was less awful when I experienced it outdoors, as the concentration was much lower – sadism being endemic in military trainers, they often dangerously overdid the use of CS in gas huts – but it’s still a less-than-lethal (NOT non-lethal) form of chemical warfare, outlawed in war by the Geneva Conventions.

    That they’re using it on unarmed protesters is thoroughly outrageous, and should be completely illegal. But who’s going to stop the police from using it? Not other police, that much is sure, especially when the victims were foolish enough to Breathe While Black.

  326. says

    yazikus:

    Tony! Today was my first day I’ve been able to successfully embed links (at least in a long time). I’m glad it was today. I’ve always seemed to bork them in the past. I’m glad they have worked, and I’m glad that people are reading. How are you holding up?

    I’m doing fine, thanks for asking. This shitstorm is aggravating, but I feel useful being able to do *something* (even if it’s just collecting links and information posted here and helping to distribute them elsewhere). And oh yes, your link upthread is immensely helpful. I clicked through the tweets I saw on the first page and then saw that there were 80 more pages to go through. Whoa. It’s nice to have things collected like that in one central place.
    I hope all is well with you my friend.

  327. Brony says

    I’m thinking about effective responses to aweful justifications.

    Is “because the tear gas is being fired at their homes” really the best response to people saying that they should not bring children to the protests? It’s a thing that needs mentioning but I’m wondering if it is too indirect with respect to the protests because if there were no gas in yards, justifying children at the protests still remains.

    The people of Ferguson should not have to worry about tear gas at all. This is true victim blaming and it works because the “fear for child’s safety” is a convenient way to logically short out and prevent a rational look at where the harm to the children is coming from. It’s a useful way for the person to conveniently shore up beliefs or social goals.

    This police riot is a failure of law enforcement’s ability to tell black people apart from criminals due to a lot of factors like institutional racism, resorting to military responses before anything happens, waving guns around without provocation, and a general psychological refusal to consider something like deescalation as an actual police tactic. If a kid gets gassed or shot, it’s all on the cops given how this has played out. It’s like having that Highway Patrol officer show them how it was done is making them double down.

    You should get to protest without worrying about your kid. If the kid gets hurt it’s on the racist cops because this whole situation became fubar from how they set the emotional tone. But how to get around the emotional BS? This one is tricky.

    @The Mellow Monkey
    That is going on Facebook now. Awesome find. It’s amazing how deep the projection gets.

  328. Menyambal says

    Re: Comment 392. Black kids tend to walk in the street more than white kids do. It’s mostly related to income level, lack of cars and lack of sidewalks, and maybe to culture, but it is a noticeable thing if your job depends on noticing it (I used to drive city buses through various neighborhoods). Two black kids together on a quiet residential street wouldn’t be using the narrow sidewalk — they know what is safe, they are not blocking traffic (I never saw a problem), they are just strolling side-by-side.

    So I am thinking that the kids weren’t just crossing the street, they were probably walking down it, in a perfectly safe, non-blocking way, as is the local custom, acceptable and accepted. To a white cop from a better part of town, it probably seemed like a black thing.

    I say that the officer was hassling them for being black, for walking while black, for walking in a black way. Technically, he was saying that they should have been on the sidewalk, but he may have had no legal right there, and I doubt they were blocking traffic (any blocked traffic would have known who they were, personally, on that street).

    What they were doing was safe and legal, but it was a black thing to do. The white cop was harassing them for racial reasons.

    —-

    And, as I have said, the cops kept that street blocked for five hours with Mike Brown’s body lying in the middle of it, and they are blocking the fuck out of Ferguson for days now. Hypocrites.

  329. Desert Son, OM says

    CaitieCat at #416:

    That one’s a standard at West Point Military Academy here in the U.S., as well, or at least it was in the early 1990s. A friend who is now a nearly-20-year U.S. Army veteran had the tented tear gas exposure trial during his first year at West Point. They, too, had to don environment suits in the midst of the gas release, and while it wasn’t “O, Canada,” he told me there was something about earning the right to an extra helping at chow or similar to “plebes” who could go thirty seconds (or whatever arbitrarily ridiculous measure of time it was) of exposure without donning the mask.

    My condolences on your own gassing, at protest and training alike. As Tony! said, it sounds awful, just like it did when my friend told me all those years ago. And this week, in Ferguson, visited on countless others, including children. Bleak.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  330. Menyambal says

    Good gravy. The cop on the TV was just saying that a cop has a right to defend himself.

    MSNBC is doing pretty well.

    Thanks to all here for all the amazing information.

  331. says

    Tony and Robert, yes, it was pretty unpleasant. And bear in mind, that was my opinion when I was literally the fittest I’ve ever been in my life, as were all my colleagues. It was still very hard to work for the rest of the afternoon, and a few people were pretty sick for a couple of days (mostly those with respiratory ailments of some type – mild asthma, that kind of thing).

    The concentrations would be much lower in the obscenities the police have been committing in Ferguson, but as pointed out, getting it into your home would be really nasty, especially if you have small children or old folks or anyone with any respiratory difficulties. It’s a seriously shitty thing to be doing, and as noted, would be illegal to use in war, which makes use of it in a civilian and ostensibly peaceful context a thing of seriously dubious morality.

    I noticed I forgot to define one thing – the NBC (nuclear/biological/chemical) suit, also known as a bunny suit, is a heavy fabric garment, one piece, with long sleeves, full pants, and a hood, along with gloves and a gas mask. Just wearing the gear is a pain in the arse, hot and stifling and itchy as hell. Pictures can be found here.

    For the record, I got about a third of the way through O Canada in my first attempt, and about halfway through in my refresher training. After that, I was unable to make a sound, as my throat had basically closed from the inflammation and pain, and my voice was hoarse for three days.

  332. Brony says

    Are there any solid reports on the motivations of the people coming in to cause trouble from outside Ferguson? Besides looters taking advantage I mean. It’s one thing to have a report of a person that appears to be trying to incite, it’s another to get some background on them because that can be better for effective rhetoric.

  333. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Thank you so very much to Inaji, Pteryxx, rq, Ichthyic, Tony! and everyone else who has been providing Ferguson links, updates, commentary, and troll bashing. I really appreciate all your efforts; they allow me to keep abreast of developments in almost real time and from more sources than I would be able to find/gather on my own. You are all awesome!

    Desert Son, it is so good to hear from you.

    chigau and Tony, I totally agree about never dissing Twitter again.

    Inaji, I will be ordering a Hands UP, Don’t Shoot shirt tomorrow.

  334. Desert Son, OM says

    chigau at #427, Tony! at #428:

    Yeah, before this time I had poorest concept of its power to record and disseminate what other outlets may be unable or unwilling to render.

    ****

    CaitieCat at #426:

    Thanks for the information, by the way, grim as it is. It’s another important piece in trying to understand what is going on in Ferguson (and other places when similar things occur). Thank you, and glad you are here to share. O, Canada, indeed!

    Still learning,

    Robert

  335. chigau (違う) says

    Tony!
    re: caught up
    With my lousy internet connection, I became aware of Ferguson from PZ’s Robin Williams post.
    I’ve been home for about a day and I think I’m keeping up now.
    Thanks to the efforts of many people here.

  336. Desert Son, OM says

    Hekuni Cat at #430:

    Hello! Good to see you! Been terribly busy with work, hence much absence. Hope you and your loved ones are well! Strength and compassion to you in bleak days, as to us all!

    Still learning,

    Robert

  337. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    ABC 24 TV again: footage of protestors and cops in trucks with spotlights. You can clearly hear a loudspeaker: ‘You are in an unlawful assembly’
    The reporter was filming as someone was being arrested – she didn’t know why- other protesters warning him not to struggle.
    Very telling: she and the cameraman visibly flinched and backed away when they though a cop was noticing them.

  338. Ichthyic says

    footage of protestors and cops in trucks

    finally working their differences out in a shared love of 4 wheel drive vehicles.

    Oops bad writing – the protestors were not in trucks.

    awww.

    ;)

  339. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Police stated that a tazer was not an option because the guy with the knife was at such short range – I think he said three to four feet.
    Clearly backing away wasn’t an option either…

  340. Desert Son, OM says

    Exasperation.

    From this link at Reuters:

    … the shooting sparked concerns about an escalation of public anger over what many perceive as a pattern of excessive police force against minorities.

    The equivocation is facile and gnawing. “What many perceive?” The implication being that things aren’t clear, that the jury’s still out on whether institutions like law enforcement in the U.S. are rent by racism.

    I grow more and more convinced that a course in basic inferential statistics is increasingly a necessity in fundamental education. Hey, media! The numbers are in, folks! There actually is a racism problem in the U.S. For real! In fact, it’s so fucked up, that we’re all in it! Don’t believe me? Ask the reporters on scene getting gassed alongside the residents! Ask the residents!

    Or maybe I cling naively to the hope that the reporting outcome would be different if only . . . . Maybe that’s it: I’m hopeful that it’s just a course in statistics away from realization. Fuck. Ok, have burned through my reserve tank for today, going to bed.

    No peace tonight, however much I wish it for you and yours, wherever you are, in Pharyngula, and Ferguson, and the world.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  341. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Three to four feet – not a long time to get a gun drawn…
    Or maybe they were drawn already?
    …but not the tazers…
    decisions have to be made I guess…
    *snark*

  342. says

    Desert Son:

    Hey, media! The numbers are in, folks! There actually is a racism problem in the U.S. For real! In fact, it’s so fucked up, that we’re all in it! Don’t believe me? Ask the reporters on scene getting gassed alongside the residents! Ask the residents!

    I know what you mean. It’s ridiculous the amount of denial people in the US have about racism. I touched on this earlier (in the wake of the comments by State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf about other countries criticizing the police response in Ferguson):

    I can’t believe State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf even uttered those words. The United States does *not* confront it’s problems transparently and honestly. In a great many cases, the problems aren’t confronted at all. When they *are*, at best they just give lip service to the problem, without actually tackling the root of the problem.

    We have huge issues with race, as we’ve seen yet again, in the ongoing civil rights and constitutional rights violations occurring in Ferguson, MO (problems which are *not* limited to that city).
    We have major issues with our politicians and political parties that the mainstream media and the government refuse to address.
    We have a Rape Culture that devalues women and normalizes, minimizes, and excuses rape, which is not discussed in the mainstream media or by the government.
    We have the erosion of civil rights for People of Color that have been ongoing, and it doesn’t get addressed.
    Capitalism is worshiped almost as much as christianity in this country and it’s created a huge gap between the haves and the have nots, and that’s rarely discussed.
    Our educational system is slipping compared to other industrialized nations, and creationists keep trying to undermine science in the classrooms, and the MSM and government barely want to tackle that problem.
    Our government is still involved in torturing suspected terrorists
    Across the US, women face the problem of not being able to exercise the full extent of their reproductive rights, thanks to the efforts of the GOP and fundamentalist religious believers, and this problem is one that is not tackled head on.
    The United States is involved in drone attacks in other countries which take innocent lives. Do we see the US talking about this significant violation of human rights? No.
    We have major healthcare issues in the United States, which the ACA only just barely begins to tackle.
    We have people in this country who won’t accept that LGBT people are humans deserving of equality, and neither the media nor the government will tackle this problem head on.
    We have a country with a huge problem with unemployment, yet the government certainly isn’t doing all it can to rectify that, nor are they being transparent about the extent of the problem.
    Those are just *some* of the problems facing the United States. We categorically do not deal with our problems honestly and openly. Half the time, the problems aren’t even admitted. This country is in denial. Deeeeeeeep in denial. The US government has *no* right to claim a moral high ground on anything.

  343. Ichthyic says

    Police stated that a tazer was not an option because the guy with the knife was at such short range – I think he said three to four feet.

    uh, he wasn’t at 3 or 4 feet BEFORE they decided to shoot him. THEY MOVED TO HIM FIRST. They had all options available to them, before they put themselves in the position where they decided to shoot him.

    fail police training is FAIL.

    this entire county PD is fail, and needs an overhaul like the LAPD got after Rodney King, only this time keep it going.

  344. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    It’ s my understanding they didn’t even BRING any tazers with them. only guns.

    Yeah, I got that impression too – the whole tazer thing was an excuse for why tazers wouldn’t have worked had they brought them. Lame.

  345. chimera says

    Hello,
    If someone here has a subscription to the New York Times, would you be so kind as to copy and paste its article entitled “In Missouri, Accounts of Shooting Differ” and perhaps some of the comments too? Non-subscribers only have access to 10 articles a month. Like other readers here, I am less interested in this article as an account of what happened and more interested in it as how the NYT is spinning it.

  346. Ichthyic says

    here ya go Chimera:

    U.S.
    Shooting Accounts Differ as Holder Schedules Visit to Ferguson

    By FRANCES ROBLES and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDTAUG. 19, 2014

    Photo
    Protesters marched Tuesday in Ferguson, Mo., where the shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer has spurred 10 days of unrest. Credit Charlie Riedel/Associated Press
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    FERGUSON, Mo. — As a county grand jury prepared to hear evidence on Wednesday in the shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer that touched off 10 days of unrest here, witnesses have given investigators sharply conflicting accounts of the killing.

    Some of the accounts seem to agree on how the fatal altercation initially unfolded: with a struggle between the officer, Darren Wilson, and the teenager, Michael Brown. Officer Wilson was inside his patrol car at the time, while Mr. Brown, who was unarmed, was leaning in through an open window.

    Many witnesses also agreed on what happened next: Officer Wilson’s firearm went off inside the car, Mr. Brown ran away, the officer got out of his car and began firing toward Mr. Brown, and then Mr. Brown stopped, turned around and faced the officer.
    Continue reading the main story
    Related Coverage

    After returning from vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. told President Obama at the White House on Monday that he would go to Ferguson, Mo.
    News Analysis: Holder and Obama Differ in Approach to Underlying Issues of Missouri UnrestAUG. 19, 2014
    Rossiya 24, a government-controlled channel in Russia, is televising videos from Ferguson, Mo., like this one. Russian pro-democracy activists say the police actions are hurting their cause.
    In Russia, Scenes From Ferguson Are Played as Nothing Shocking: It’s AmericaAUG. 19, 2014
    A new advertising campaign for the Kremlin-funded news network Russia Today, or RT, tries to persuade New Yorkers to view it as an alternative to American channels.
    Open Source: Russia, Iran and Egypt Heckle U.S. About Tactics in FergusonAUG. 19, 2014
    Calling for Calm in Ferguson, Obama Cites Need for Improved Race RelationsAUG. 18, 2014
    Family of Michael Brown Says Autopsy Confirmed Witness AccountAUG. 18, 2014
    A detail from a report showing the entry, and re-entry and exit wounds from six bullets.
    Autopsy Shows Michael Brown Was Struck at Least 6 TimesAUG. 17, 2014
    Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. last month. He was set to brief President Obama, returning in Washington, on Monday.
    Obama Administration Plans Autopsy of Michael Brown in Effort to Keep PeaceAUG. 17, 2014
    Social Media on Ferguson: Autopsy Reactions and Scenes of UnrestAUG. 18, 2014
    Garland Moore on Friday in Ferguson, where he once lived. He said area residents were “tired of the police harassment.”
    Deep Tensions Rise to Surface After Ferguson ShootingAUG. 16, 2014

    But on the crucial moments that followed, the accounts differ sharply, officials say. Some witnesses say that Mr. Brown, 18, moved toward Officer Wilson, possibly in a threatening manner, when the officer shot him dead. But others say that Mr. Brown was not moving and may even have had his hands up when he was killed.
    Photo
    F.B.I. agents went door to door looking for witnesses. Credit Eric Thayer for The New York Times

    The accounts of what witnesses have told local and federal law enforcement authorities come from some of those witnesses themselves, law enforcement authorities and others in Ferguson. Many spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a continuing investigation.

    The new details on the witness accounts emerged as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. was scheduled to visit Ferguson on Wednesday to meet with F.B.I. agents who have been conducting a civil rights investigation into the shooting.

    Mr. Holder and top Justice Department officials were weighing whether to open a broader civil rights investigation to look at Ferguson’s police practices at large, according to law enforcement officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal talks. The issue came up after news reports revealed a 2009 case in which a man said that four police officers beat him, then charged him with damaging government property — by getting blood on their uniforms.

    Under Mr. Holder, the Justice Department has opened nearly two dozen such investigations into police departments, more than twice as many as were opened in the previous five years, according to department data.
    Photo
    Michael Brown on his Facebook page.

    Also on Tuesday, federal authorities learned the results of an autopsy performed on Mr. Brown by military coroners that showed that he had been shot six times, though they declined to release further details until their investigation was finished. An autopsy conducted on behalf of Mr. Brown’s family also found that he had been shot at least six times — including once in the face and once in the top of his head — with all bullets striking him in the front. The county has also done its own autopsy, which found evidence of marijuana in Mr. Brown’s system.

    The Brown family has scheduled a funeral for Monday.
    Continue reading the main story
    Related in Opinion

    Op-Ed Contributor: In Ferguson, Black Town, White PowerAUG. 17, 2014
    Charles M. Blow
    Op-Ed Columnist: Frustration in FergusonAUG. 17, 2014

    While clashes between the police and protesters have become a nightly ritual, on Tuesday the scene was calm well after darkness fell. The authorities took their positions before sunset, and Missouri National Guard soldiers staffed checkpoints at the shopping center that is now a police command post. Demonstrators marched without incident while officers watched.

    In a statement on Tuesday night, Gov. Jay Nixon expressed sympathy for the Brown family and praised residents for “standing against armed and violent instigators.” But he also said that “a vigorous prosecution must now be pursued.”
    Photo
    Michael T. Brady, 32, said in an interview that he saw the initial altercation in the patrol car, but he said he struggled to see exactly what was happening. Credit Eric Thayer for The New York Times

    “The democratically elected St. Louis County prosecutor and the attorney general of the United States each have a job to do,” Mr. Nixon said. “Their obligation to achieve justice in the shooting death of Michael Brown must be carried out thoroughly, promptly and correctly, and I call upon them to meet those expectations.”

    The fatal confrontation began on Aug. 9 shortly after the police received reports that two men had robbed a convenience store in Ferguson. Officer Wilson, who was not responding to the robbery, had stopped to speak with Mr. Brown and a friend, Dorian Johnson. The Ferguson police chief, Thomas Jackson, said that it was around the time that Officer Wilson started talking to the two that he realized they fit the description of the suspects in the convenience store robbery.

    A lawyer for Mr. Johnson said that his client was interviewed by the F.B.I. and the St. Louis County police last week for nearly four hours. In that interview, Mr. Johnson admitted that he and Mr. Brown had stolen cigarillos from the store, said the lawyer, Freeman R. Bosley Jr.

    Mr. Bosley said that the officer told the two to get off the street, adding that Mr. Johnson told the officer that he lived nearby. They got into a bit of a verbal dispute with the officer about whether walking in the street constituted a crime, Mr. Bosley said.
    Continue reading the main story
    Graphic
    What Happened in Ferguson?

    Why did the police shoot an unarmed black teenager in a St. Louis suburb, and what has unfolded since then? Here’s what you need to know about the situation in Missouri.
    OPEN Graphic

    Contrary to what several witnesses have told law enforcement officials, Mr. Bosley said that the officer then reached out of the window with his left hand and grabbed Mr. Brown by the throat.

    He said Mr. Brown pushed him off, and the officer then grabbed Mr. Brown’s shirt.

    “My client sees the officer pull a gun and hears him say, ‘I’ll shoot you’ — then ‘pow!’ there was a shot,” Mr. Bosley said, referring to the one that apparently went off in the car. “He did not describe a scuffle. It was more of a scuffle for him to get away.”

    Asked if Mr. Brown had punched the officer, Mr. Bosley said that Mr. Johnson “did not observe that.”
    Photo
    Officer Darren Wilson at a meeting. Credit City of Ferguson, via Associated Press

    However, law enforcement officials say witnesses and forensic analysis have shown that Officer Wilson did sustain an injury during the struggle in the car.

    As Officer Wilson got out of his car, the men were running away. The officer fired his weapon but did not hit anyone, according to law enforcement officials.

    Mr. Johnson took cover near a parked car as he saw the officer confronting Mr. Brown, Mr. Bosley said.

    A man who lives nearby, Michael T. Brady, said in an interview that he saw the initial altercation in the patrol car, although he struggled to see exactly what was happening.
    Continue reading the main story
    Photographs
    Week of Outcry and Confrontation in Ferguson

    Scenes of sorrow and violence in a Missouri town after an unarmed black teenager was shot by a police officer.
    OPEN Photographs

    “It was something strange,” said Mr. Brady, 32, a janitor. “Something was not right. It was some kind of altercation. I can’t say whether he was punching the officer or whatever. But something was going on in that window, and it didn’t look right.”

    Mr. Brady said he had been interviewed by county investigators, but not the F.B.I.
    Continue reading the main story
    Recent Comments
    Abraxaz P. Sanchez
    49 minutes ago

    Brown was unarmed and was shot six times, all because the officer feared he would have been attacked. The officer had various other options…
    Jennifer
    53 minutes ago

    Why is a police officer firing at an unarmed man who is running away? In a residential neighborhood, surrounded by kids and innocent…
    Marilynn
    55 minutes ago

    When did a cop with a lethal weapon get the right to “shoot to kill” an unarmed citizen because they felt threatened? at the very least,…

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    Mr. Brady said he could see Mr. Johnson at the front passenger side of the car when he and Mr. Brown suddenly started running. Mr. Brady did not hear a gunshot or know what caused them to run. But he said he did see a police officer get out of the patrol car and start walking briskly while firing on Mr. Brown as he fled.

    What happened next could be what the case turns on. Several witnesses have told investigators that Mr. Brown stopped and turned around with his arms up.
    Continue reading the main story Video
    Play Video|0:54
    Man Killed by St. Louis Police
    Man Killed by St. Louis Police

    A man believed to be emotionally disturbed was killed by St. Louis police officers after a confrontation at a convenience store.
    Video Credit By Carrie Halperin on Publish Date August 19, 2014. Image CreditLarry W. Smith/European Pressphoto Agency

    According to his account to the Ferguson police, Officer Wilson said that Mr. Brown had lowered his arms and moved toward him, law enforcement officials said. Fearing that the teenager was going to attack him, the officer decided to use deadly force. Some witnesses have backed up that account. Others, however — including Mr. Johnson — have said that Mr. Brown did not move toward the officer before the final shots were fired.

    A lawyer for the police union, Greg Kloeppel, did not return calls for comment.

    The F.B.I., Mr. Bosley said, pressed Mr. Johnson to say how high Mr. Brown’s hands were. Mr. Johnson said that his hands were not that high, and that one was lower than the other, because he appeared to be “favoring it,” the lawyer said.

    James McKnight, who also said he saw the shooting, said that Mr. Brown’s hands were up right after he turned around to face the officer.

    “I saw him stumble toward the officer, but not rush at him,” Mr. McKnight said in a brief interview. “The officer was about six or seven feet away from him.”

    Also Tuesday, a few miles from Ferguson, St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers shot and killed a 23-year-old black man. The shooting threatened to further inflame a community still reeling from Mr. Brown’s death.

    Sam Dotson, the chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police, said two officers encountered a man at the Six Stars Market in northwest St. Louis behaving “erratically” and brandishing a knife. The officers repeatedly warned, “Stop, drop the knife,” but he refused, Chief Dotson said.

    The man approached the officers, knife raised, and was shot after he came within three or four feet, the chief said.

    In a sign of how tense the situation remains, Chief Dotson went out into a crowd at the scene of the shooting to tell it what the police understood had occurred. “I think it’s important that people understand what happened,” he said. He said witnesses, including a local alderman, had confirmed the account of the officers. “I want this message to be out as truthfully and quickly as possible,” the chief said.

    But not all in the crowd were willing to listen. A small group of protesters, most of them black, gathered at the scene chanting, “Hands up! Don’t shoot!”

    “Even if this is a legitimate shooting, they are going to capitalize on this and try to use it for their martial law agenda,” said Christopher Hobbs, 21, who had joined dozens of other residents at the scene.

    Frances Robles reported from Ferguson, and Michael S. Schmidt from Washington. Reporting was contributed by Matt Apuzzo from Washington, Marc Santora from New York, and Alan Blinder and John Eligon from Ferguson.

  347. Ichthyic says

    top ten comments (reader picks):

    Technic Ally
    Toronto 4 hours ago

    Your country has trillions of dollars to spend on external wars and internal wars (like the war on drugs), and on weapons and military style equipment to wage these wars and brutalize and terrorize your citizens and other world citizens.

    Imagine if you could harness some of that spending for good rather than evil.

    Reply
    112Recommend

    jwp-nyc
    new york 3 hours ago

    None of these accounts dispute that Mr. Brown was unarmed throughout.

    Why in the world did Wilson not simply call for help and stay in his car if Brown was so big and bad?

    Like all lies, Wilson’s account will sound more strained and fantastic in each retelling.

    Brown just has the remains of his body and the autopsy to tell his story.

    But, no one is disputing the victim was unarmed and Wilson had plenty of other options at his disposal that he chose not to pursue. Instead he got out of his car and shot Brown repeatedly. At best, manslaughter if he and Brown got into an escalating argument that resulted in Brown pushing or slapping him to get away. Angered Wilson shot his gun off, then got out of the car in the heat of passion and completed the job.

    Having an unblemished records as a cop in a county where the DA has a history deformed by having his father shot in the line of duty by a black man and protects all police who adhere to his paranoid hostile fantasy is not a very reassuring fact. Meaningless in this context.

    An outside prosecutor is badly needed and Governor Nixon should quit playing politics and start doing his job.

    Reply
    89Recommend

    Lucian Roosevelt
    Barcelona, Spain 3 hours ago

    If Michael Brown actually did punch the police officer and grabbed the police officer’s gun (according to this article, several witnesses agree that a gunshot went off in the car) then the police officer is well within his right to shoot Mr. Brown.

    I’m sorry — but if you rob a convenience store, assault the owner, ignore a police officer’s request that you walk on the sidewalk and then punch that police officer and attempt to steal his weapon, I don’t have a good deal of sympathy for whatever happens to you.

    Reply
    85Recommend

    NYT Pick
    Joan R.
    Madison, Wi 3 hours ago

    Well, if “Officer Wilson” has all you folks and folks like you on his jury, he can certainly look forward to acquittal. Looks like you all have your minds made up. I am almost 70 years old and have had only encounter with the police–a speeding ticket, the only one I’ve gotten in 54 years of driving. The representative of “our finest” was ingratiating until I told him I was going to appeal the ticket b/c I thought it was unfair and then he became vicious and ugly and filed a two-page report chock full of flat-out lies on the “incident.” All I could think of was what would have happened to me if instead of having my driving record at my age, and being a white female with a doctorate, I had been a young black male. I’d have been hauled off to jail so fast, the police car would have been going twice the speed of sound to get me behind bars. And most everybody would have believed him when he surely would have added invented charges. Get real, folks.

    Reply
    80Recommend

    Chloe
    NY 3 hours ago

    No mention of the police officer’s orbital blowout fracture from Mike Brown. But tons of coverage from the discredited witness Mr. Johnson and his lawyer, Mr. Bosley, who had earlier claimed Mike Brown was shot in the back (contrary to all autopsy reports).

    Reply
    73Recommend

    Jonathan
    Midwest 3 hours ago

    Why is the bulk of this article given to the testimony of Mike Brown’s robbery accomplice who has already discredited himself by going to every media outlet to say that Mike Brown was shot in the back while running away?

    And how do you exactly grab the neck of a 6’4″ 300 lbs man with one hand out the window? Again, this Dorian Johnson’s account is contradicted by the other eyewitnesses.

    Reply
    67Recommend

    Jackson25
    Dallas 3 hours ago

    We can go ahead and discard all witnesses who said Brown was “shot in the back” as liars– their testimony is no longer valid or believable and they’re no longer credible. Particularly Brown’s robbery accomplice.

    Is that mean? This is serious business, lives are on the line. If they were in court it would be considered perjury.

    Reply
    64Recommend

    pkbormes
    Brookline, Mass. 3 hours ago

    Officer Wilson should have gotten in his car and driven away. The police could have picked up the petty thieves at a later time. There was absolutely no need to chase the men after the altercation. Absolutely no need to shoot to kill.

    Reply
    55Recommend

    Dr. J
    West Hartford, CT 3 hours ago

    According to the article: “As Officer Wilson got out of his car, the men were running away. The officer fired his weapon but did not hit anyone, according to law enforcement officials.” Why would Officer Wilson shoot at two men running away, when their only known or suspected crimes were jay walking and robbery? That alone seems to be use of excess force. Is that considered acceptable police practice and behavior?

    Reply
    53Recommend

  348. rq says

    HOLY SHIT, they even tweeted they’ve been everywhere and never thought they’d be deployed in America.
    I wonder on which side? Because the situation needed more equipment and more military prowess. :( Maybe they’ll bring something new to the table, like negotiating skills.

  349. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Maybe they’ll bring something new to the table, like negotiating skills.

    RentaSoldier?
    Wishful thinking…

  350. Pteryxx says

    Some background links, awaiting the portcullis.

    via Feminist Batwoman:

    The community in Ferguson is struggling to come up with the money to keep their kids fed, since school has been cancelled all this time, yet people have donated over $12,000 to the murderer who started all of this in the last 24 hours alone. Think about that. And then donate to the right cause.

    For those of you who have never dealt with riot cops

    5. If there is no one filming there is no evidence of what happened. That means that if they want to start beating people up first thing they have to do is get the media and the people with livestreaming capabilities out of the way. THE MEDIA WILL BE TARGETED SPECIFICALLY they will later be counted as collateral damage.

    6. After clearing the media and doing what they do they will then blame it on the protestors. “They were violent.” “Planting bombs we had to stop them.” “They were on drugs.” etc etc. People believe police officers over the word of the average citizen. They will spin it so the protestors look like demons.

    7. If violence does not stop the protestors then provocateurs will be used. A provocateurs is an undercover police officer that is “sent in to know what the protestors are up to” but really are there to start anti-police violence that the police will later use to justify their actions. I’ve had one once attempt to get me to set police cars on fire. If you see someone making the protestors look violent or unreasonable you might want to consider if they are a provocateur.

    8.The president will be sad that the events are happening but will not do much more than offer his condolences. This will happen even while the UN is asking for intervention.

    That list just surfaced on FBW yesterday, but the blogger wrote it five days ago, around August 15. They also predicted “free speech zones”.

    via Shakesville:

    “It is not stretching things too far to find a connection between these matters and the treatment of the controversy concerning the role of the Los Angeles police. The report goes into this question at great length, finally giving no credence to the charge that the police may have contributed to the spread of the riots through the use of excessive force. Yet this conclusion is arrived at not from the point of view of the Watts Negroes, but from that of the city officials and the police. Thus, the report informs us, in judicial hearings that were held on 32 of the 35 deaths which occurred, 26 were ruled justifiable homicides, but the report—which includes such details as the precise time Mayor Yorty called Police Chief Parker and when exactly the National Guard was summoned—never tells us what a ‘justifiable homicide’ is considered to be.”

    —Bayard Rustin, in “The Watts,” an essay written in 1966 on the Watts Riots of 1965.

    Read for the parallels to a similar situation 48 years ago.

    from Freedom of the Press Foundation via Boingboing – Documenting the arrests of journalists in Ferguson

    August 19, 2014

    Lukas Hermsmeier of Bild: source | records request.
    Ryan Devereaux of the Intercept: source | records request.

    August 18, 2014

    Ansgar Graw of Die Welt: source | records request.
    Frank Hermann of Der Standard: source | records request.
    Scott Olson of Getty Images: source | records request.
    Kerry Picket of Breitbart News: source | records request.

    August 17, 2014

    Rob Crilly of The Telegraph: source | records request.
    Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated: source | records request.
    Neil Munshi of the Financial Times: source | records request.

    August 13, 2014

    Antonio French, St. Louis alderman and citizen journalist: source | records request.
    Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post: source | records request (by J. K. Trotter).
    Ryan J. Reilly of The Huffington Post: source | records request (by J. K. Trotter).

    We insist that the St. Louis County Police Department, Ferguson Police Department, and Missouri Highway Patrol cease and desist from violating the Constiutional rights of reporters covering the protests, and respect the court document they all signed agreeing that the media and members of the public have a right to record public events without abridgement. This document is not necessary, as the First Amendment provides that right to all members of the media and public, but it’s an indication of how the police have decided to ignore the law.

  351. Pteryxx says

    I just noticed a point in the 1966 article about the Watts riots. The looters didn’t target “their” businesses – they targeted mainly businesses that screwed their community over.

    Nor was the violence along the way random and “insensate.” Wherever a store-owner identified himself as a “poor working Negro trying to make a business” or as a “Blood Brother,” the mob passed the store by. It even spared a few white businesses that allowed credit or time purchases, and it made a point of looting and destroying stores that were notorious for their high prices and hostile manners. The McCone Report itself observes that “the rioters concentrated on food markets, liquor stores, clothing stores, department stores, and pawn shops.” The authors “note with interest that no residences were deliberately burned, that damage to schools, libraries, public buildings was minimal and that certain types of business establishments, notably service stations and automobile dealers, were for the most part unharmed.” It is also worth noting that the rioters were much more inclined to destroy the stock of the liquor stores they broke into than to steal it, and that according to the McCone Report, “there is no evidence that the rioters made any attempt to steal narcotics from pharmacies . . . which were looted and burned.”

    The Ferguson protests are taking place in a largely residential area. Every night, people are having to wander through strangers’ yards, drive through strangers’ yards, hide in back yards, and take shelter in people’s homes to avoid the worst of the tear gas and police on the hunt. At the same time, some houses are unattended because the residents can’t get through the blockades to get home, or because the few who can afford it checked into hotels days ago. Yet there hasn’t been a single report of citizens – as opposed to police – breaking into anyone’s home, or even their car.

    Why has hardly anyone noticed or mentioned this?

  352. rq says

    Pteryxx
    In the other thread, I had a link with livestreaming advice. It’s a weird position to have, though – basically, for making things more open and transparent, you become a target for the cops. So as long as your camera is on them, they have to ‘behave’, but they’ll do a lot to get that camera out of your hands.

  353. Pteryxx says

    rq – I also had a thought that all the back-and-forth MSNBC and other networks were live-covering on Monday night, where the police seemed to tear-gas the crowd intermittently (and at the top of the hours) and where they largely held defensive lines and even backed up a time or two, was all intended to smoke out and wear down as many broadcasters as possible before they could get down to the real brutality. With all the businesses closed, private cars blocked out, and protesters blocked from their homes, after a few hours of this *everyone’s* devices would be running out of battery power.

    And to siege out viewers from those broadcasts, not incidentally. I discovered from Wesley Lowery’s Twitter timeline the next morning, to my shame, that not long *after* I gave up live-posting and went to sleep, the real police rioting began.

    I had just posted that the police response seemed improved. Intentional or not, they suckered me.

  354. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Also, live streaming:
    Many cameras nowadays have built in wifi (or you can get wifi capable SD cards) – if you can’t get photos or film directly to the internet, have someone out of the ‘danger’ area with a smartphone and send to them.
    If your camera is busted or confiscated the images are already backed up to an unidentified ( to the police) source.

  355. Pteryxx says

    gobi’s : Then what’s needed is some sort of crowdsourced or pre-arranged volunteer editing team who can curate random incoming video and direct viewers to the next available stream whenever the current one goes down.

  356. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    One problem with these setups is range: wifi cards, phones and cameras don’t have a lot of broadcast power.
    Also, I have no idea if police have the capability to scramble transmissions – I would have thought that was a military or federal thing.
    I guess the main point is the technology is getting better and it is getting harder to hide brutality. Targeting the media just doesn’t work any more – everyone is a broadcaster.

  357. Pteryxx says

    …I missed a major post: Greta Christina – Michael Brown and Ferguson: My greatest fears for my friends

    I keep saying to myself, “I don’t know enough about it; I haven’t been following it closely enough; other people are already saying what I want to say about it, more eloquently and with better information.”

    And I keep realizing that this is bullshit. I keep not writing about this because it’s painful. And that is a bullshit excuse. Any pain I might have about this is completely trivial. And it doesn’t matter that others have written about it. This is one of those times when it doesn’t matter if my voice is original. This is one of those times when being one more person saying, “This is not acceptable, I do not consent to this” is what matters.

  358. Pteryxx says

    Still working my way through the Watts essay from 1966. This is a long read well worth studying.

    It is not stretching things too far to find a connection between these matters and the treatment of the controversy concerning the role of the Los Angeles police. The report goes into this question at great length, finally giving no credence to the charge that the police may have contributed to the spread of the riots through the use of excessive force. Yet this conclusion is arrived at not from the point of view of the Watts Negroes, but from that of the city officials and the police. Thus, the report informs us, in judicial hearings that were held on 32 of the 35 deaths which occurred, 26 were ruled justifiable homicides, but the report—which includes such details as the precise time Mayor Yorty called Police Chief Parker and when exactly the National Guard was summoned—never tells us what a “justifiable homicide” is considered to be. It tells us that “of the 35 killed, one was a fireman, one was a deputy sheriff, and one was a Long Beach policeman,” but it does not tell us how many Negroes were killed or injured by police or National Guardsmen. (Harry Fleischman of the American Jewish Committee reports that the fireman was killed by a falling wall; the deputy sheriff, by another sheriff’s bullet; and the policeman, by another policeman’s bullet.) We learn that of the 1,032 people reported injured, 90 were police officers, 36 were firemen, 10 were National Guardsman, 23 were from government agencies. To find out that about 85 per cent of the injured were Negroes, we have to do our own arithmetic. The report contains no information as to how many of these were victims of police force, but one can surmise from the general pattern of the riots that few could have been victims of Negro violence.

  359. chimera says

    Ichthyic, previous page, #448, 449 NYT article and comments

    Thank you for copying and pasting the NYT article on Ferguson here in the thread. It’s really sickening how that article was written. For anyone who’s been following the events as they unfold, on Twitter and as curated by Pharungula’s commenters, the distortions in the article are clear.

    I don’t subscribe to the NYT mostly because of the cost but also because I wouldn’t want my precious resources to go towards sustaining such bullshit. I suspected the article would be bad, but I am nonetheless shocked by how bad it is. Why can’t we have news sources that are interested in ferreting out the truth rather than presenting “both sides”?

  360. chimera says

    Pteryxx,

    I was 8 years old when the Watts riots occurred and I remember being glued to the television. Watching that was part of what makes me me, part of developing a social conscious and realizing that I was white. Still, I swallowed the narrative that “the rioters” were hurting their own neighborhoods — How could I not, at 8 years old?– and never questioned it since until today.

  361. Pteryxx says

    The public radio station I have on, here in the southern US, plays the national anthem each morning.

    And the rockets’ red glare
    The bombs bursting in air
    Gave proof through the night
    That our flag was still there

    Oh! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
    O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

    ?

  362. rq says

    They need mobile phone charging locations, plus an off-location (but near-by!) editting team.
    Don’t know about other people’s devices, though, I know when mine is online / searching for internet, it sucks batteries dry about 10x faster than usual. So there’s that, too.

  363. chimera says

    As an antidote to the national anthem that Pteryxx is forced to listen to when they turn on their radio in the morning in the South, I’m thinking of poems by Galway Kinnel, The Book of Nightmares. Going to see if I can find it on my bookshelves.

    THE MAUD MOON

    1

    On the path,
    by this wet site
    of old fires —
    black ashes, black stones, where tramps
    must have squatted down
    gnawing on stream water
    unhouseling themselves on cursed bread,
    failing to get warm at twigfire —

    I stop
    gather wet wood
    cut dry shavings, and for her,
    whose face
    I held in my hands
    a few hours, whom I gave back
    only to keep holding the space where she was,

    I light
    a small fire in the rain.

    The black
    wood reddens, the deathwatches inside
    begin running out of time, I can see
    the dead, crossed limbs
    longing again for the universe, I can hear
    in the wet wood the snap
    and re-snap of the same embrace being torn.

    The raindrops trying
    to put the fire out
    fall into it and are
    changed: the oath broken,
    the oath sworn between earth and water, flesh and spirit, broken
    to be sworn again,
    over and over, in the clouds, and to be broken again,
    over and over, on earth.

    ___ _ ___

    It goes on, The book of Nightmares of the 20th century, and stands up today some 40 years after publication. Kinnel is one of our political poets. Coming back to him today, after a hiatus of decades, I notice the inherent dualism of flesh and spirit in the poem… but won’t go on about that here. It is a sort of kindertotenlieder, appropriate for the mourning of the death of a young man, Michael Brown, a national mourning that has yet to begin.

  364. Menyambal says

    Pterryx, you are amazing. Thanks ever so.

    …….

    In reply to a question in a comment in a pasted article: It would be very difficult to get your arm around the neck of a big man standing outside your car window, but it is very easy to get your hand inside the front of the collar of that same man’s T-shirt, and you can deliver a throat punch on the way, and have a strangle-hold as well as a way to pull. Think for even a second before you start dissing people for impossibilities, eh?

  365. rq says

    Oh my gosh, with a second shooting nearby, Ferguson is finally in the local news. Can you guess which version? “Rioters”, “looters”, “shooting at police”, and then “lack of witnesses to Mike Brown’s death”. It’s just the police side, and nothing else. And the comments… Christ.

  366. chimera says

    Watched the NBC video (link above). One point: the journalist questioning the parents says “… what happened to your son that night…”. Night. It wasn’t night, happened in broad daylight. Anyone who has been following this just a teeny bit should know that. But the narrative of thug in the night, of criminal shot down, of victim deserving what he got is so strong that it comes out unconsciously like this on the journalist’s part.

  367. chimera says

    It is really weird how narratives overtake reality. We are the only animals who do this, who have stories that are more important than what is actually happening or what happened.

  368. ck says

    rq wrote:

    Three guns! Good work, guys. :P

    I’m sure the second amendment types will be around any second now to defend these folks’ right to bear arms… Oh, right.

  369. Pteryxx says

    via some wonderful person or other on Twitter: there are now *five* eyewitness accounts of Michael Brown’s shooting, three of whom didn’t even know each other before Saturday the 9th, and all of their accounts agree.

    (The Root)

  370. Desert Son, OM says

    At #371 Inaji linked to and posted the lyrics of “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield. Chimera added a portion of “The Maud Moon” by Galway Kinnel at #473.

    This morning, another reference occurred to me.

    “September ’77
    Port Elizabeth, weather fine.
    It was business as usual
    In police room 619.

    Oh, Biko, Biko, because Biko
    Oh, Biko, Biko, because Biko
    Yihla Maja! Yila Maja! The man is dead!
    The man is dead!

    When I try to sleep at night
    I can only dream in red.
    The outside world is black and white
    With only one color: dead.

    Oh, Biko, Biko, because Biko
    Oh, Biko, Biko, because Biko
    Yihla Maja! Yila Maja! The man is dead!
    The man is dead!

    You can blow out a candle
    But you can’t blow out a fire.
    Once the flames begin to catch
    The wind will blow it higher.

    Oh, Biko, Biko, because Biko
    Oh, Biko, Biko, because Biko
    Yihla Maja! Yila Maja! The man is dead!
    The man is dead!

    And the eyes of the world
    Are watching now!
    Watching now!
    Watching now!

    Oh, oh, oh!
    Oh, oh, oh!

    -“Biko”, Peter Gabriel, 1980

    Business as usual. When I was growing up, I thought apartheid was something reprehensible that South Africa did, and there I was, white in the U.S., not aware that the same kind of shit was going on right here, in the nation where I live, in a mythology where I live that has catechisms like “Land of the Free” and “Land of Opportunity.”

    Tony! your post at #442 and your blog made me think of this, and thank you for those. The eyes of the world are watching now.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  371. Menyambal says

    Yeah, and we believe stories because they fit our own narratives, and make up our stories to keep it going.

    —-

    Three guns? The police confiscated three guns? Go look at that iconic photo of the armored cop firing the grenade launcher, the one with the cloud of flame out of the muzzle. He has the grenade launcher, with a multiple-round cylinder (maybe all tear gas, but it might be capable of lethal rounds). Slung down his right side is his assault rifle, ready to hand. On his right hip, barely showing as just the top/back part, is a pistol, an automatic, not a revolver. That man has three guns on him! And magazines in pockets on his vest, in case he needs to kill more people.

    And besides, aren’t we supposed to be able to carry guns in this state? I know that the Missouri legislature put through a concealed-carry law after the voters rejected it. But at Ferguson, guns are bad?

  372. says

    Menyambal @486, technically that pistol is a semi-automatic, but your point stands. ‘Semi’ means it requires a pull of the trigger for each shot; ‘automatic’ means basically a bullet hose, pull the trigger and it shoots until it’s empty.

  373. Pteryxx says

    via Tony!’s post linked at #442 (thanks, Desert Son):

    Robert Klemko @RobertKlemko

    Mo. Highway Patrol is asking for ID to drive down Florissant. These teens declined to provide and we’re turned back. pic.twitter.com/Rn8QaqYu6g
    5:53 PM – 19 Aug 2014

    (twitter)

    A reminder – many black people, especially young or elderly black people, may not own ID to show. How are they supposed to get to their homes if they have to show ID first?

    Slate – Why Do Many Minorities Lack ID?

    The most common voter ID is a driver’s license, and minorities are less likely to drive. A 2007 study found that in California, New Mexico, and Washington, whites were more likely to have driver’s licenses than nonwhites. In Orange County, Calif., about 92 percent of white voters had driver’s licenses, compared with only 84 percent of Latino voters and 81 percent of “other” voters. A 2005 study of Wisconsin similarly found that while about 80 percent of white residents had licenses, only about half of African-American and Hispanic residents had licenses.

  374. rq says

    Pteryxx
    Have any of those people been interviewed by the police??? The Latvian version of events says witness accounts do not line up, but again, they gave the police side – which means all those stories we’ve been hearing from the police (Wilson’s account, the chief, everyone else) don’t match up. When will the police/FBI talk to the actual eye-witnesses?
    Oh, and any news on the progress of that FBI investigation?

  375. chimera says

    Menyambal,

    Thanks for your observation up-thread as a school bus driver about black people or kids walking in the street and not necessarily on the sidewalk. It’s the kind of thing most people don’t notice or think about. It’s so relevant to the murder of Michael Brown, having been stopped, initially and essentially, for, in fact, acting black.

    Got me wondering about sidewalks in general and sidewalks and the South in particular (MO being a border state). What is the geography of your observation?

  376. Pteryxx says

    rq – as far as I’ve heard, none of the witnesses have been interviewed by police. IIRC the first witness, Brown’s friend who’s been trying to be interviewed since day 1, asked to be interviewed with a lawyer from the NAACP present. I’m assuming that’s why the cops refused somehow forgot to contact him again.

    The FBI is apparently interviewing witnesses – at least they’ve stated that’s their intent. Given how the Ferguson and St Louis County police have been mishandling information, if I were the FBI I wouldn’t announce anything either.

  377. rq says

    Pteryxx
    I hope the FBI get to these witnesses, and agree to interview them (with their requested support people present, of course). I find it highly suspicious that the police woudln’t talk to Brown’s friend just because he wanted a lawyer present. Guess it’s tougher to intimidate a lawyer than a lone black man. Argh.
    (But yes, in one sense, the fact that the FBI isn’t announcing anything, is a good thing.)

  378. Menyambal says

    CaitieCat, thanks. My age is showing. I did my training on 1911 Colts, and the term used for that kinda stuck.
    —-

    What is the police side of the story? Where is the documentation from the scene? Where are the dispatcher transcripts? The police did everything wrong that day, and since.

  379. Pteryxx says

    from Reuters (at Rawstory) via Shakesville, police brought out the dogs again last night. Along with almost everything else.

    McEwan:

    One plastic water bottle, chucked at police decked out in body armor, and this is where it ends up.

    How does any reasonable person look at that and not conclude that the police are looking for reasons to aggress upon protestors?

    And much of the news this morning is of a tenor which says last night was pretty great, comparatively. See how that works? Now that the police are only pointing their weapons at people, and using pepper spray instead instead of tear gas, and arresting 47 people instead of 78, on a night where people who want to exercise their first amendment rights were told to go home, that’s considered fucking progress.

    It occurs to me that police dogs (well, anyone’s dogs) would not do well in clouds of tear gas. I remember being surprised to see a K-9 unit vehicle in one of the police lines on Monday night. Hm.

  380. Pteryxx says

    rq – this isn’t exactly good news, but it’s news. via Stephanie Zvan

    The county prosecutor, who has close family ties to local police, convenes a grand jury this morning. It is reported that Darren Wilson will be allowed to testify before the grand jury. There is no word whether any of the five eyewitnesses to the original shooting will be called.

    That’d be this county prosecutor. Guardian

    McCulloch has also been challenged by the St Louis County executive, Charlie Dooley, and has been the target of a citizen’s petition demanding his removal, led by state senator Jamilah Nasheed.

    Nasheed has cited McCulloch’s handling of an investigation into an undercover drug sting that left a drug suspect and his passenger dead at the hands of police. McCulloch has been criticized for misrepresenting secret grand jury testimony in his public statements about the 2001 case.

    An investigation by the St Louis Post-Dispatch uncovered audio tapes of the grand jury proceedings, which showed several witnesses testified that the men did not move toward police before being gunned down. McCulloch had previously maintained such testimony never occurred.

    McCulloch, whose career as the St Louis County prosecutor stretches back more than two decades, caused further controversy by calling the dead men “bums”.

    The prosecutor’s family history has also been cited by opponents. McCulloch’s father, a police officer, was killed on duty by a black assailant – a fact his opponents have raised when accusing him of bias. Additionally McCulloch’s mother and brother had careers in law enforcement.

    See also the previous thread.