Flutterby™! : On race & Ferguson

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On race & Ferguson

2014-08-12 13:38:33.684826+00 by Dan Lyke 21 comments

Pia Glenn: I Intervened On Behalf Of A Young Man Who Was In Danger Of Being Unfairly Arrested

Popped up on my radar because of the news coming out of Ferguson Missouri, where Michael Brown was shot by a police officer:

... The officer said to "get the eff onto the sidewalk," he recounted. Johnson said the officer reached out of the car window and grabbed Brown around the neck.

Another witness, Piaget Crenshaw, said she saw police chase Brown. “He ran for his life,” she said. “They shot him and he fell. He put his arms up to let them know that he was compliant and he was unarmed, and they shot him twice more and he fell to the ground and died."

And my Twitter feed last night was filled with images of (black) people standing, with their hands up, a cell phone in one hand presumably recording video, in clouds of tear gas. As we've seen in the Occupy crackdowns and similar attacks, the police have been planting provocateurs in protests, so in my mind it's as likely that the news of looting we're hearing has been police action as opportunists, but either way it's clear that in a Southern community that's 65% black, a 53 person police force with 3 black members is probably not working with the community effectively.

The big question for me is: How did the municipal government become so unbalanced that the police force ended up that racially imbalanced? What sort of disenfranchisement left them either feeling like participation in that government was fruitless, or making it actually fruitless?

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-12 13:55:39.606404+00 by: Dan Lyke

Police in Ferguson Fire Tear Gas on Protesters Standing in Their Own Backyard

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-12 15:13:07.20314+00 by: Dan Lyke

Eyewitnesses contradict the police officer's account of the shooting.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-12 15:48:26.342376+00 by: Dan Lyke

When Parenting Feels Like a Fool’s Errand: On the Death of Michael Brown.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-13 07:23:13.904843+00 by: Dan Lyke

MeFi user Blue Jae lives 6 miles from Ferguson, and talks about the events.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-13 17:15:37.029407+00 by: meuon [edit history]


Good article.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-13 17:26:35.443451+00 by: meuon

At what point does an active, retired / ex-military person make a decision based on their oath of enlistment. I seriously pray I never find myself in that situation and ask myself that question.


Defining "enemy" as a variable.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-13 21:58:22.110582+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yep. I regret that when Petaluma's police department had a horribly militaristic web site up "for recruiting purposes", I didn't raise more hell. It's down now, but...

And: Mike Brown's mom: https://twitter.com/Femininja4...tatus/499135749812649984/photo/1

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-14 11:35:13.739585+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Ferguson Police Arrest Two Reporters Who Tried to Film Them in a McDonald's

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-14 13:24:52.433291+00 by: TheSHAD0W [edit history]

TV crews hit by bean bags, tear gas, SWAT takes down cameras

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-14 14:21:11.912326+00 by: meuon

the only sane answer at this point is state or federal removal of the local police in Ferguson.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-14 14:59:00.594355+00 by: Dan Lyke

In Ferguson, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery gives account of his arrest.

Apparently it's now St. Louis County police (the county has a police department separate from the sheriff's department). And I would say that it's time to bring in the National Guard, but it sounds like the governor doesn't have a clue either.

Really amazing to think that reporters are walking around unarmed talking to people, but nobody in the law enforcement or political structure is willing to go have conversations.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-14 14:59:38.439585+00 by: Dan Lyke


#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-14 15:07:32.363783+00 by: Dan Lyke


#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-14 15:26:38.815972+00 by: Dan Lyke

RT Paul Palubicki ‏@paplikaplik (who, I believe, served his full 20 years, I think I became aware of him when he was a part of the "Sgt Stryker's Daily Briefing" blog back in the noughts):

They call it "militarization" of the police, but that would imply a basic ethos of professionalism. It's the thugification of the police.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-14 17:18:03.637924+00 by: Dan Lyke

Some clear pictures of looters stealing have emerged.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-14 17:43:00.387862+00 by: Dan Lyke

There are 4 different police organizations operating in Ferguson, with a rotating command structure. W.T.F.?!?!!?

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-14 17:50:59.413425+00 by: Dan Lyke

Senator Claire McCaskill press release: McCaskill in Ferguson: Time to ‘de-militarize this situation’:

“We need to de-militarize this situation—this kind of response by the police has become the problem instead of the solution. I obviously respect law enforcement’s work to provide public safety, but my constituents are allowed to have peaceful protests, and the police need to respect that right and protect that right. Today is going to be a new start, we can and need to do better.”

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-14 18:01:03.96962+00 by: Dan Lyke

Colorlines: Understanding What’s Happening in Ferguson.

So what would have happened if one of the people in the power structure here, police chief, mayor, whatever, had simply said

We recognize your right to assemble peaceably and protest. Let's get the press in here, make sure they've got some great camera angles. Everybody get your cell phone out, be ready to video. We want to help you get your message heard.

And, by the way, all of these citizens, residents, journalists, are recording this event. If you were thinking about using this event as cover for violence, for looting, for anything that might harm the community, there's HD video of this event from a gazillion camera angles, and all of these people will help bring whoever tries to pervert their message to justice.

The only person who's anywhere near that is McCaskill.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-14 22:13:07.975636+00 by: Dan Lyke

Missouri House Majority Leader House Majority Leader John Diehl says the governor should impose a curfew on Ferguson

This fuckwit, R-Town and Country (a town with the highest median income in Missouri, 87.8% White, 7.5% Asian), seems to think that doubling down on idiocy is the solution. No freakin' wonder they're having these problems.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-14 22:42:14.288346+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

This: This is how you fucking do it! The governor has put the Missouri State Highway Patrol in charge of Ferguson, replacing the city and county police departments. RT Jon Swaine @jonswaine:

Highway patrol captain Ron Johnson is leading protesters on a march through Ferguson. A corner turned?

(With picture). Note how he's dressed. Those citizens and residents are not the enemy of the police, not if the police are really "of the city (polis)". They want justice. If you show up as one of them, the citizens will help, not fight.

Fuck yeah Mr. Johnson.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-08-14 23:51:36.275721+00 by: Dan Lyke