Force won't bring justice

Rioting, edgy police make volatile mix that hinders shooting probe

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Tense brinkmanship is playing out on the streets of Ferguson, Mo.

Bricks, bottles and death threats hurled at police by menacing demonstrators are being met with tear gas, rubber bullets and orders to disperse from officers in military-style gear.

Making matters worse are FBI reports that representatives of the militant New Black Panther Party organization have arrived in this small St. Louis suburb.

A CBS affiliate there reported a recent Facebook post by the Panthers’ national chief of staff: “This is the hour all the greats promised. If you die, die like a warrior. I’ll see you on the ground.”

These escalating tensions will do nothing to deliver justice for Michael Brown.

If anything, they will invite only more tragedy and widen the divide that mostly African-American community has with its mostly white police force.

“I understand the community’s anger, and protests are legitimate and in order,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote in USA Today. “But Michael Brown’s family said things should not be made worse with looting and vandalism. That will only cloud the real issues, will not bring Michael Brown back and will not facilitate justice.”

The investigation into the 18-year-old Brown’s shooting death is still open. Though circumstances may point to an unjustified use of force – the unarmed teen was shot several times while reportedly fleeing a confrontation with police near his grandmother’s home – no one can be sure exactly what happened Saturday until all the evidence is processed.

Until then, both sides would be wise to calm down. It’s obvious from the events unfolding in this city of 21,000 that both protestors and police are ratcheted too tight.

Walter Olson of the Cato Institute think tank says the unfolding drama “will be cited for years to come as a what-not-to-do manual for police forces.”

Police officials say they are being measured in their responses. Yet, two reporters covering the unrest – one from The Washington Post and one from The Huffington Post – were told to disperse and stop recording before being wrongfully taken into custody. After news of their arrest spread, they were quickly released without being charged.

Video of the incident, widely available on the Internet, depicts an aggressive and overzealous response by officers.

In a separate incident, a St. Louis alderman was arrested for unlawful assembly and taken to the Ferguson jail.

If this is how police treat out-of-town observers, how are they treating residents?

The detainment of news media is just one of many public confidence-eroding judgment calls made by St. Louis County Police since they took over the investigation of the Brown incident six days ago.

For one, they still haven’t released the identity of the Ferguson officer – said by witnesses to be white – who was involved in the deadly confrontation. Such a delay was understandable when security precautions would need to be taken to protect the officer and his family. But now?

All told, law enforcement officials have released remarkably few details about the incident. An official statement on the shooting itself wasn’t issued until Wednesday.

And when police have talked about the case, some comments seemed to have bordered on the flippant. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar described the number of times Brown was shot during a news conference as “more than just a couple of times, but not much more.”

“When counting bullets, ‘just’ and ‘not much more’ are odd words to choose,” wrote Amy Davidson of The New Yorker.

The shooting of a reportedly unarmed black teen with no criminal record who was about to begin college was like putting a powder keg in the town square. Law enforcement officials have a duty to uphold the law and maintain order, but they don’t need to further fan flames when they do.

Things aren’t looking good in Ferguson right now. Pray they don’t worsen.

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deestafford
27723
Points
deestafford 08/15/14 - 07:44 am
8
4
The incident with the two...

The incident with the two journalists is not as portrayed in the MSM. According to the talk radio and local journalists in St. Louis the two were camped out in McDonalds for hours and refused to leave when asked to do so by the manager who then called the police.

Obama did not help by seeming to take the side of the rioters. He is quick to jump in any racial incident without knowing the facts. This is at least the third time he has done this. He is giving aid and comfort to the rioters.

Unfortunately, many of the protesters are outsiders who are trying to start a race war.

What was the police supposed to do when the rioters were burning down stores? What were they supposed to do when people started to throwing rocks and other things at them?

There is talk about the low percentage of black police officers in the the town compared to the population and that should be an area of concern; however, I bet there would have been nothing different if there had been a black police officer doing the shooting.

People should wait until all facts are out as to whether the victim was trying to take a police officers weapon or not. Of course, the agitators and community organizers involved don't really want this thing to be peacefully settled because it gives them power.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 08/15/14 - 08:03 am
9
3
I guess I shouldn't expect

I guess I shouldn't expect the editorial staff of a media outlet to side with law enforcement, over their colleagues; but maybe some fairness?

"were told to disperse and stop recording before being wrongfully taken into custody."

Anyone who watched the video, SHOULD have witnessed this officer tell this media crew to disperse and leave, approximately 6 times. What did they do instead? With everything going on in Ferguson and the tension happening, they shoved a phone camera in his face!! Media people can be some of the most despicable individuals to deal with; and I have first hand knowledge of this!! Often times, they care more about reporting THEIR story; rather than doing what is right!! It's all about getting a better story or better shot than their counterparts!!

Just like the paparazzi, they couldn't care less about the circumstances or what's going on around them; only care about getting the best story!! With everything going on in Ferguson, the police must keep tight security!! You would think that media would understand that and not be confrontational, but that's far from the truth, many times!! Some (emphasis on some) media personnel like to CREATE a story, within a story!! Many don't mind being arrested, as long as they can spin the circumstances to make themselves look innocent; because it creates a story, within a story.

I've personally witnessed this numerous times. At murder scenes, where media areas are set up, with the crime scene secured with police tape; I've had to warn media personnel numerous times, when they were attempting to sneak around or even through the secure area, just to get a better picture!! This is NOT having respect for the families involved or the law enforcement, working the scene. At fatal wrecks, I've had to warn them and stop them from taking pictures of the deceased and the gory details of the injuries. You would think that a journalist would respect the victims and deceased, but many times they do NOT!! Again, it's all about getting the best "shot" or story and their advancing their personal careers!! Unfortunately, many media personnel care more about showing their boss that they are the "Go getters" and can be counted on to get the best story, rather than caring about the victims or circumstances involved.

So, then you have situations like this, where it's goes overboard and people are arrested!! Wrongful arrest? Maybe, as I've had numerous situations where I could have arrested media personnel and choose a stern warning instead; but I wouldn't exactly say it was wrongful to arrest that crew!! Because sometimes, the media causes more problems than it helps solve!! My guess is that a supervisor reviewed the arrest, and although legal and made in good faith; charges were unnecessary in this situation; so they were not filed. That doesn't make it a "wrongful" arrest; it just means they decided to not file charges.

The media is a wonderful thing and helps the citizens try to maintain accountability with their public servants; as it should be. We NEED them, and need their jobs to be done professionally!! But just as with EVERY profession, some individuals take their job too far, for many different reasons. But when the media starts speculating, without all the facts; simply because they want to be the FIRST to break the story, they're doing no one any favors and not helping a thing!!

deestafford
27723
Points
deestafford 08/15/14 - 08:17 am
7
5
Too many media...

Too many media act as if they have been annointed by some higher power to do what they want and some how they are special and above the law.

Needless to say these two, one from the Detroit paper and the other from the Huffington Post, were not there to be on the side of the police and relished a confrontation with law enforcement.

OJP
6666
Points
OJP 08/15/14 - 09:04 am
7
3
@deestafford

"Too many media act as if they have been annointed by some higher power to do what they want and some how they are special and above the law."

Well, they press is quite literally above every law that conflicts with the 1st Amendment, which is part of the Supreme Law of the Land. The "higher powers" that anointed the press were the founders of this country.

As for the specific incident (and others like it), there's an easy fix: Lapel pin cameras for all law enforcement. Protects cops from b.s. charges of misconduct and protects the public from abuses of power by the cops. Win-win.

Lapel pin cameras in Rialto, CA, have reduced complaints against police by 88%: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/10/10/heres-why-c...

internationallyunknown
4211
Points
internationallyunknown 08/15/14 - 09:02 am
0
14
A riot is the language of the

A riot is the language of the unheard.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

There are reports of undercover police officers inciting the riots, for a reason to use force.

To fully understand this situation, one must leave the MSM and communicate with people who are in Ferguson.

Last night, many major cities held protests with THOUSANDS of people.

Either you are for...or you are against.

This isn't about race....A HUMAN LIFE WAS LOST FOR NO APPARENT REASON.

The media can find witnesses, but the Ferguson PD are not SEEKING the eye witnesses.

The President spoke more about international affairs than the affairs taking place on his own soil.

Why hasn't any negative information been released about Michael Brown.....because there isn't any.

internationallyunknown
4211
Points
internationallyunknown 08/15/14 - 09:06 am
0
11
All eye witnesses stories are

All eye witnesses stories are pretty much the same....now you know how difficult of a task that can be.

Bizkit
31507
Points
Bizkit 08/15/14 - 10:29 am
10
1
Now we find the shooting

Now we find the shooting victim committed a strong arm robbery over a box of cigars in a convenience store and then resisted arrest resulting in his shooting. So I wonder if the black community will back down now we find the victim isn 't innocent and committed a robbery and was being arrested as a suspect-which they have the video of him committing the crime. He resisted arrest and apparently beat up the cop before he was shot. Seems the facts don't support that this was just an innocent kid gunned down by vigilante police.
So International your obvious jaded and biased opinions of late aren't being supported by facts-and a video of the guy committing strong arm robbery. The police officer was treated for injuries after a conflict between police and Brown who resisted arrest. The police officer just didn't gun him down but he was a suspect (the real actual person course the cop didn't know that) who resisted arrest and then was shot. If the victim hadn't resisted arrest he would have been released once they found he didn't commit the crime-course he did commit the crime and the reason he resisted arrest.

Little Old Lady
5954
Points
Little Old Lady 08/15/14 - 10:23 am
10
1
Robbery

Now it turns out that Brown and his "witness" were involved in a strong arm robbery at a store prior to being stopped by the police based on a BOLO. Brown roughed up the store clerk. It is on video.

cush1944
8283
Points
cush1944 08/15/14 - 10:31 am
9
1
"All eye witnesses stories

"All eye witnesses stories are pretty much the same....now you know how difficult of a task that can be."
Not if you have little time and someone to coach you. I bet the race baiters ole Al and Jesse have such folks.

historylover
8947
Points
historylover 08/15/14 - 10:34 am
8
1
Bizkit

I saw this just now on the news as well. Now here's my question. Why in the heck have the police in Ferguson not released these facts sooner? They have allowed these protests and resulting riots knowing they had a logical reason for stopping Brown in the first place. WHY let it all happen for days now?

He is a huge man - just look at the photos of him picking up the store clerk - and it is totally possible if not even likely that he accosted the cop in the same manner. Thus the cop shot him. End of this story I hope but you know it won't be.

I am all for peaceful protests. I am against police violence. But this appears to not have been racism or any other fault on the part of the policeman.

Bizkit
31507
Points
Bizkit 08/15/14 - 10:37 am
9
1
A human life was lost for a

A human life was lost for a foolish reason and now all the cities and supporters of this young criminal look foolish because of jumping the gun and promoting anarchy rather than letting the justice system and rule of law work. What are they protesting? Injustice-well the justice system hasn't had time to work to preclude that-the cart before the horse. The protest seems purely motivated about "race"-if the cop were black would it be an issue? Black on black crime is a daily occurrence and if the cop had been black would protest ensue?

Bizkit
31507
Points
Bizkit 08/15/14 - 10:43 am
5
0
I support peaceful

I support peaceful protest-done quit a bit of that in my day. But we never looted or any violence-least at protest I was at. I did get tear gassed in Miami at the Rep Convention during Nixon's 72 run. I don't understand what the protest are about, because they seem premature and precipitated by race baiters rather than a real issue. Police are usually slow to release and perform investigations, then the justice system of trials which will be year later. Seems patience and prudence were ignored.

faithson
5158
Points
faithson 08/15/14 - 10:44 am
2
11
anyone catch that pic of the

anyone catch that pic of the guy in the gun torrent with the 50 caliber pointed at the crowd as he sat atop a fully loaded military vehicle, oh yea, this is acceptable, bring overbearing 'force', military force to bear upon the crowds, your UNAMERICAN if you don't see a problem here, you have let your better senses be overcome with your passion for safety. Let alone the training of the other military arms upon the crowd.

cush1944
8283
Points
cush1944 08/15/14 - 10:44 am
8
2
"He is a huge man - just look

"He is a huge man - just look at the photos of him picking up the store clerk"
historylover, that can't be true. I saw ole Al Sharpton say that he was just a boy.

Once again the race baiters ole Al and Jesse make a fool out of themselves and black folks.

Bizkit
31507
Points
Bizkit 08/15/14 - 10:56 am
3
2
Yes Faithson reminds me of

Yes Faithson reminds me of Kent State and the National Guard slaughtering unarmed innocent college students. Course they were white so who cares uh. LOL. The song remains the same.

historylover
8947
Points
historylover 08/15/14 - 11:03 am
1
5
faithson

You are totally correct. I guess I didn't elaborate enough in my post, since that is exactly why I'm wondering why the Ferguson police are just now releasing this information? It could have never started, but it's as if the police there have been promoting the violence. Sorry cush1944 but I bet it will all come back to race as the police force in Ferguson is so predominately white in a mostly black city.

historylover
8947
Points
historylover 08/15/14 - 11:06 am
1
6
Bizkit

Why did you turn your post ugly? Of course everyone cares and did care about Kent State. At least my generation does and did at the time too.

Why throw out the sarcastic race card there at the end? I don't get it. sorry..

historylover
8947
Points
historylover 08/15/14 - 11:17 am
1
6
The Klan

So of course, just to make sure that we continue to pretend that race doesn't play a part in this tragedy, let's see what the Klan thinks...

http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2014/08/13/kkk-raising-money-for-police-of...

ELLIOTTMESS55
662
Points
ELLIOTTMESS55 08/15/14 - 11:23 am
0
0
it's all about money
Unpublished

it's all about money folks.one female witness who saw the shooting appeared on cnn with her attorney.why does she need an attorney and how will she pay him? settlement money,that the city will gladly pay to get rid of this mess.most of those protesting don't know brown anymore than you or i.many scenes i have seen look they are right in front of a housing project,which explains why so many do this nightly,they have nothing else to do.the humorous part is when many complain that the police need more training.this coming from many who enjoy the fruits of those police officers taxes,that subsidize their way of life.amazing.to those who complain about law enforcement.don the uniform and try it for awhile. and if these incidents keep up,place all black officers in predominant black neighborhoods,and whites in white neighborhoods.each responds to their own race only.stupid? of course,but it beats paying all of these frivolous lawsuits.

Bizkit
31507
Points
Bizkit 08/15/14 - 11:24 am
9
1
Ugly? History I don't

Ugly? History I don't believe in race, but everyone else does and I didn't play the race card first. I believe it turned ugly long before I commented, and I'm just responding to all the premature ugliness in the response to this shooting which doesn't appear appropriate or even motivated by anything other than rumor. That and I love to stir the stew with inflammatory rhetoric-I do it often.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 08/15/14 - 11:24 am
7
3
internationallyunknown

"There are reports of undercover police officers inciting the riots, for a reason to use force."

Yes, of course the police are at fault for the riots as well.

There are also reports that Al Jazeera used their own smoke "bombs" to cause the illusion they were being attacked (gased) by the police.

Do you believe that as well? There can be "reports" on just about anything!!

Bizkit
31507
Points
Bizkit 08/15/14 - 11:33 am
6
0
It's hard to believe that the

It's hard to believe that the KKK or New Black Panthers still exist, but as much as I am offended by both groups it does indicate freedom is still alive and well. I support protest when justified-which this doesn't appear justified but just premature. It may prove to be justified, but really few facts have been released and a lot of rumor and angst seems to be driving this. What appears problematic is the black community seems to be taking the stance "us against them" as though they are outside society and our justice system. I don't know though perhaps the community response and the media treating the story are creating misconceptions. It al seems guttural responses.

historylover
8947
Points
historylover 08/15/14 - 11:35 am
1
4
myfather15

I did not imply that race was an issue in the shooting. Re-read my comment. What I am saying however is that NOW race is the issue on everyone's plate. I'm not sure what a "race pimp" might be, but read the article if you haven't. This isn't made up propaganda. I just wanted to point out that not just the "Jesse Jackson" types are involved in perpetuating this tragedy as each day passes.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 08/15/14 - 11:43 am
6
2
faithson

"bring overbearing 'force', military force to bear upon the crowds, your UNAMERICAN if you don't see a problem here, "

Yes, yet it's perfectly acceptable for crowds of HUNDREDS of people to recklessly run around town, looting, stealing and assaulting anyone in their path!! Right?? The police should show up in the underwear with cap guns and plead with people to stop rioting, right?

Just like a leftists, to always point to the wrong behavior as right, and the right behavior as wrong!!! Not even mentioning how heinous the riots and looting are, but denouncing the police RESPONSE to these actions. What are they suppose to do? In LE, we are taught in riot training you always bring force a superior to the force against you!! That means more people than they have and more firepower than they have!! Sorry, but if these people would have remained calm and allowed the system to find out the TRUTH, of what happened, a police force like this wouldn't have been needed?

Do those protesters not trust their good buddy Eric Holder? You can gaurentee that he is on their side, so they could have waited until he was finished with his investigation, couldn't they? We've got a black president and attorny general, both of whom have been VERY racially divisive; does it make any sense for the black community to NOT trust them?

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 08/15/14 - 11:49 am
6
2
I don't have to reread your comment, I'll post it

"So of course, just to make sure that we continue to pretend that race doesn't play a part in this tragedy, let's see what the Klan thinks..."

So, you're saying let's not pretend that RACE, doesn't play a part in THIS tradegy, but then again; you're now saying that you didn't say race was a factor. Hmmmmmm

And yes, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan and Jesse Jackson and the leader of the New Black Panthers, are the extreme racist element of the black community!! The KKK and other groups are the extreme racist arm of the white commmunity!! But if a black officer, shot a white citizen and the NBP was raising money for him, I wouldn't say that PROVES that the black officer was racist or that the shooting was race based!! They can raise money for whomever they choose!!

historylover
8947
Points
historylover 08/15/14 - 11:52 am
2
7
myfather15

Truly, sometimes your comments make me nervous that you are in law enforcement as you say. I have three family members also in LE and they do not share your way of looking at things. I have to say thank God! No offense, just you seem to always equate every single thing back to your dislike of anyone who's not conservative or right leaning. The world is made up of a lot more than political affiliation. I hope you exercise that thought when you are enforcing the law.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 08/15/14 - 11:53 am
4
2
"I'm not sure what a "race

"I'm not sure what a "race pimp" might be, but read the article if you haven't. "

Look at a picture of Al Sharpton, Luis Farrakhan or Jesse Jackson and you're looking at a race pimp!! I wasn't calling you one.

A race pimp is a disgusting individual who has made millions of dollars, gained great popularity and influence, all on causing racial division in this Country!! They pimp their brother's, sister's and other citizens out for the love of money and power!!

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 08/15/14 - 11:55 am
7
2
historylove

Sorry if my calling a spade, a spade; offends you!! You aren't the first to say you're "concerned" and you won't be the last. I couldn't care less what you're concern about, in regards to me.

Now, I'm signing off for a while. Have a good day.

historylover
8947
Points
historylover 08/15/14 - 12:02 pm
2
4
Exactly as I assumed.

You have a good day too myfather15. Off to work for me!

Darby
25701
Points
Darby 08/15/14 - 12:10 pm
7
2
"Why hasn't any negative information been

released about Michael Brown.....because there isn't any."

Oh, my goodness... Looks like somebody spoke just A TAD TOO SOON.

Video tapes and still photos of the convenience store robbery say just the opposite.

Looks like this "poor innocent, law abiding, college bound" kid had a bit of dirt on him.

Now the real "spin" must begin.

Interesting too that his family has engaged the ambulance-chaser that represented the thug Trayvon Martin.

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