Police In Ferguson Sign Court Agreement Promising Not To Interfere With Media… Then Go Threaten And Arrest Media

from the because-who-cares dept

We’ve been writing about the efforts by the police in Ferguson, Missouri to intimidate and arrest reporters trying to cover the protests and the police (over)reaction there. What’s now come out is that, last Friday, the police actually signed a court agreement promising not to interfere with the media:

Parties acknowledge and agree that the media and members of the public have a right to record public events without abridgement unless it obstructs the activity or threatens the safety of others, or physically interferes with the ability of law enforcement officers to perform their duties.

This was based on a lawsuit brought by Mustafa Hussein, the reporter for radio station KARG (Argus Radio) who got some attention last night after a police officer yelled at him to “get the fuck out of here or you’re going to get shelled with this” while pointing some sort of weapon at him:

Note that the agreement was signed by Hussein and parties representing St. Louis County, the City of Ferguson and the Missouri Highway Patrol… on Friday the 15th. The threat to Hussein came on Sunday… the 17th.

And those kinds of activities are continuing today. Here’s an Instagram video of a Getty photographer, Scott Olson, being arrested. Olson, if you don’t know, is the guy who has photographed many of the most iconic images of what’s happening in Ferguson, including this astounding shot. Here are a few more Olson images, courtesy of Getty’s recent embedding program:

And the police arrested him. Yeah, you can see how they thought he was a “danger”… to them trying to control the narrative of what’s happening.

And here’s a video of police threatening CNN’s Don Lemon — which I’ve now seen, but for reasons that I don’t understand, the video seems to disappear at times (as does the embed code).

No matter what, it seems pretty clear that police are continuing to stamp on the rights of just about everyone, including those with cameras and microphones (so you can just imagine how they’re handling those without such things). The fact that there’s a signed court agreement promising not to do this doesn’t seem to matter to anyone.

Filed Under: , , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Police In Ferguson Sign Court Agreement Promising Not To Interfere With Media… Then Go Threaten And Arrest Media”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
142 Comments
CK20XX (profile) says:

This is honestly looking like one of those situations where it may be best to nuke it from orbit and start over from scratch.

What I mean, exactly, is perhaps firing every single officer and head of law enforcement in the city. It would be an extreme measure, but if the police are the ones disturbing the peace, getting rid of them all and hiring new ones from, say, the ranks of the peaceful protestors would go a long way towards restoring the peace. It would fix one of the main problems and get some cool heads in that are ready to fix the other big problem: police militarization.

Something similar to this happened in the country of Georgia in 2004. The police force was effectively disbanded via mass firings and about three months of peace followed.

Manabi (profile) says:

Re: Re:

What I mean, exactly, is perhaps firing every single officer and head of law enforcement in the city. It would be an extreme measure, but if the police are the ones disturbing the peace, getting rid of them all and hiring new ones from, say, the ranks of the peaceful protestors would go a long way towards restoring the peace. It would fix one of the main problems and get some cool heads in that are ready to fix the other big problem: police militarization.

The local police are a big part of the problem. I particularly liked how they decided to stir up things AGAIN last Friday by releasing the info that Brown was suspecting of robbing a convenience store of some cigars. Even though the justice department asked them to not do so. Given the timing (Thursday the Governor put the Highway Patrol in charge and things calmed down), it seemed to be nothing but pure spite.

Now there is also the problem of people coming in to riot and loot, most of which are apparently outsiders. But the local police just keep egging things along and making it worse. I would imagine the Governor’s about had it with them.

Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t understand why people think there shouldn’t be a significant armed police presence in Ferguson right now. I keep hearing stories about all the wild, lawless roving bands of thugs armed to the teeth (and mask), menacing people there.

Oh, you mean all those thugs ARE the police? And the unarmed people are the protesters and media personnel?

Wow, that’s fucked up…

Zonker says:

Re: Re: Re:

Remember last week when Ferguson police did exactly that at the McDonalds where journalists were eating?

AMENDMENT III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

That right has already been violated there.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Loopholes big enough to drive armored trucks through

Parties acknowledge and agree that the media and members of the public have a right to record public events without abridgement unless it obstructs the activity or threatens the safety of others, or physically interferes with the ability of law enforcement officers to perform their duties.

Given police have argued in the past, successfully at times, that simply watching or videotaping them both constitutes a ‘threat’, and ‘interferes with the ability of law enforcement officers to perform their duties’, the ‘promise’ is completely worthless, and can be discarded at their whim.

Apparently police are much like sub-atomic particles, where simply observing them is enough to force them to change their behavior, so obviously recording them is ‘interfering’ with their duties. /s

On a semi-related note, are they still pretending that the various arrests of reporters is ‘accidental’, or have they finally started admitting that it’s entirely on purpose?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Loopholes big enough to drive armored trucks through

Apparently police are much like sub-atomic particles, where simply observing them is enough to force them to change their behavior, so obviously recording them is ‘interfering’ with their duties.

It’s the Heisenberg Authority Principle: observation of authority alters the behavior of authority, therefore observation of authority is usurpation of authority, hence treason.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Loopholes big enough to drive armored trucks through

Apparently police are much like sub-atomic particles, where simply observing them is enough to force them to change their behavior, so obviously recording them is ‘interfering’ with their duties.

Well, it appears that when being observed, individual officers’ morality meters kick in, preventing them from behaving in the manner requested of them by their superiors. So it really IS quantum.

On a related note, I was flying through O’Hare back when the shoe bomber episode happened. Everything was lined with young National Guardsmen, most of whom looked to be totally freaked out to be in a situation where a bomb could go off at any moment, and their assault rifles would be useless. At the time, I figured that it wouldn’t have taken much to push that situation over into something much worse than what Ferguson is currently experiencing.

As soon as we dehumanize people (whether it be individual police officers or the general public), many of the societal checks and balances that keep us functioning as a group start to break down. I hope all sides in the current situation take a moment to think about this.

Anonymous Coward says:

It is very obvious and has been from the start where the problem is. It’s called lack of accountability. That blue line is one huge problem standing in the way.

You put cameras on the cops and the cruisers, make sure it can’t be accessed by the cops on the beat, and suddenly there is far less beatings, shootings, and belligerence from the police force. Or so it has worked out in most places that have tried it.

Here is one place that doesn’t want accountability. Detaining the news reporters (even if it isn’t called arrest and amounts to the same thing) is an attempt to keep what is happening out of the public’s attention. As long as there are cell phones with cameras that isn’t going to work. All it does is show the cops for what they are, bullies with no intention of following the law, except where it advances their cause.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I also have a strange feeling the police force in Ferguson is upto something else and they’re using the current unrest to do things without anyone noticing.

Not sure what they are but given the average Ferguson cop’s willingness to beat/threaten/harass/injure unarmed teenagers I wouldn’t put it past them

Justin Johnson (JJJJust) (profile) says:

This "agreement"... so what?

I haven’t reviewed the case in PACER, but from the standpoint of looking at this document and the complaint alone… I have to ask: What was the intended purpose of this?

It’s not an agreement not to do things, merely an agreement as to the rights of parties involved. This paper is great for show, but of very little legal effect.

Whatever (profile) says:

Based on what is coming in from CNN and other sources, it seems that the police were doing as they said. They had worked with the community to set up situation where they could march and protest and the police stayed out of the way and actually provided security to keep traffic away and such.

Then it went down hill. People started throwing things at the police. People stopped marching and started to congregate and block the road and stop the lawful and peaceful protest and replace it with another standoff. At that point, the police went back to the same tactics as before, geared up, and those in the protest who seek confrontation got exactly what they want.

Community leaders in Ferguson need to understand that they are getting played big time by people who seek confrontation and seek to goad the police into taking action. Instead, the community leaders are speaking big on TV and doing nothing to solve the issues. Shouldn’t these protests happen during the day, in controlled situations, less likely to be turned into trolling matches?

Too many people in that community appear unwilling to point out the bad actors and have them dealt with. That tolerance and tacit support of their actions is what really causes the ongoing problems here.

Remember, the police didn’t loot any stores. They didn’t burn any buildings down. They didn’t rip up road signs and try to use them for weapons. They didn’t try to lead people into darker areas to shoot at them (which seems to be the case tonight, with a group of protesters leading police into a side street that turned into a reported shooting.

The police are over doing in a very big way, but like dancing, it takes two to tango. The community needs to realize that none of this is helping, and to back away to find more civilized and controlled ways to express their anger without giving the trolls a chance to take over the agenda.

CK20XX (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I thought CNN wasn’t a reliable news source anymore…

The “takes two to tango” line particularly leaps out at me though because it’s one that’s echoed around a lot of public schools. And it’s not really true either. It takes only one person to start a fight. It takes two people to make it a fair fight. Trying to find blame in both parties like that is something you do when you don’t care about the situation and just want to shut it down, which leaves things open for the situation to return, possibly worse than before.

It’s also worth noting that the protestors aren’t the ones doing the burning and looting. Those ne’er-do-wells comprise a third faction separate from the police and protestors.

You’re also forgetting how the highway patrol diffused the situation in less than a day. When the police re-entered the equation, things went downhill again.

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Trying to find blame in both parties like that is something you do when you don’t care about the situation and just want to shut it down, which leaves things open for the situation to return, possibly worse than before.

Finding blame in both parties is only showing that you cannot fix things without fixes on both sides. There are things that can be done within the police to make it better, and there are things to be done by the community to make it better too.

A fight with only one side is like the sound of one hand clapping (in all of it’s meanings). The police out on the street with absolutely nobody there wouldn’t be news. The people peacefully walking down the street and holding a candlelight vigil for their fallen friend would not be an issue.

There are a certain group of people who are interested in causing conflict, baiting police into action, and generally using the community and their protests as a cover for their more aggressive agenda. The community needs to realize they are getting played, and move away from it and find a more constructive way to protest and make their voices heard.

As for the highway patrol, that was a very well played part of the process of making the local police look bad. The one day off was a way of saying “see, look!”, but really, it just seems like the bad actors with the agenda just took the night off.

CK20XX (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Do you have any suggestions for how people can more constructively protest and make their voices heard? You put forth some romantic platitudes, but I don’t think what you’re suggesting is achievable even in theory, especially with a situation that’s escalated this badly. The suggestions put forth by the law enforcement are pretty artificial, seemingly designed to corral the protestors so they won’t have to listen to them, thus making their voices less effective rather than more. “An official channel for protestors”, or even whistleblowers for that matter, is an oxymoron.

Also, a fight with only one side is called a massacre. The sound of one hand clapping is the sound of someone’s palm colliding with someone else’s cheek. I mean, c’mon, you realize that this all started when the police murdered an unarmed boy by shooting him six times, right? And that they’ve done everything possible to keep the truth from getting out and the protestors started protesting cause they were sick of being lied to and feeling threatened among other things, right? That alone makes your arguments invalid. This is the apex of something that’s been building up for a long, long time.

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Do you have any suggestions for how people can more constructively protest and make their voices heard?

I sure do. Protest in front of the town hall. Go to where the event happened and have a memorial. Work on healing the community. Organize a group to go to the state capital to work on getting changes in the police force. FILE CHARGES WITH THE STATE POLICE for abuse if you have a provable case. Get lawyers who work pro-bono to take cases against the police force to create change.

Looting and rioting does not create change. It creates hardship for the innocent property and shop owners who lose everything, it takes jobs and money out of the community, and it perpetuates the problems that already exist.

a fight with only one side is called a massacre.

not if the other side isn’t there. If everyone was home, do you honestly think the police could “harm” them? Do you think the police would go door to door, knock and enter and dump tear gas in just to say they did their jobs?

you realize that this all started when the police murdered an unarmed boy by shooting him six times, right?

We don’t know that. We know a young man (not a boy) about to start college got into an altercation with a police officer, who felt (justified or not) that deadly force was required. We don’t know that it’s murder, that is still speculation. yes, he is dead and that is very sad, but on a site where people yell “due process” all the time, don’t you think the officer also deserves that same due process and not a rush to judgement? Or does that only apply when you are sympathetic to the defendant?

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Protest in front of the town hall.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA. Good one pal. We both know the police will react likewise regardless.

Work on healing the community.

The Occupy protests (specially the WallStreet one) were doing it. There were even activities for children and a collective effort to bring food and hygiene for everybody camped. I guess this is what kept the police from going mad even though there have been incidents with cops and cops on horses at some points. Granted it didn’t escalate as Ferguson.

FILE CHARGES WITH THE STATE POLICE for abuse if you have a provable case.

Where have you been in the last few years? The Government doesn’t care. And even if they do fill such charges they still have the CONSTITUTIONAL right to protest.

Looting and rioting does not create change.

Indeed, that’s why the protests were peaceful. The rioting started when police escalated things. The looting has nothing to do with the protests, it’s about a bunch of opportunists.

If everyone was home, do you honestly think the police could “harm” them?

Oh yeah, a protest where everybody remains in their home. Sounds like a successful protest to me indeed. Moron.

We don’t know that.

Then why isn’t the police being transparent and clarifying things? And even so, the people STILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO PROTEST even if things weren’t known. But in the end YOU are pretending it’s not known yet but most facts point against the cop in this case.

yes, he is dead and that is very sad, but on a site where people yell “due process” all the time, don’t you think the officer also deserves that same due process and not a rush to judgement? Or does that only apply when you are sympathetic to the defendant?

For an obnoxious moron you actually said something good. Good thing you also agree that the crowd has the Constitutional right to protest wherever they fucking want.

CK20XX (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

My colleague here pretty much says my own thoughts even though he goes heavy on the mockery.

I do kinda like your protest suggestions, except they don’t seem feasible when the game is rigged to keep you from winning. That’s the kind of situation Ferguson is in now. When the rule makers reveal that their rules are untrustworthy, that’s when anything goes, for better or for worse. When a government proves abusive of basic rights, it is the duty of the people to alter or abolish it.

If everyone was home, do you honestly think the police could “harm” them? Do you think the police would go door to door, knock and enter and dump tear gas in just to say they did their jobs?

Uh… YES. Yes, I do. At this point, I would not be surprised if the police tried doing that. They’ve consistently been the instigators throughout all this.

I mean, cripes, the coroner’s report pretty much confirmed what everyone already suspected. C’mon, dude, you seriously sound like you can’t be bothered to do your research here. Talking about about due process is all well and good, except the officer who allegedly did it has been sent away on paid vacation instead of being asked to provide an explanation. What kind of due process is that?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

It’s interesting that you seem to conflate those protesting with those who are rioting.

I guess you didn’t bother to understand the two groups are not one and the same.

Nor did you bother to inform yourself that the former is in a number of cases protecting businesses from the latter.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/16/ferguson-protesters-guard-stores_n_5684042.html

But I guess doing so would kinda negate everything you’re saying and trying to put a spin on. That being that people are protesting as they are legally allowed to do and doing so in a civilized way without looting. But there are people who are not protesting at all, who are looting. And again, you seem to want to lump the latter in with the former and then wag your finger at the former for those doing the latter and you’re justifying brutal tactics and behavior on the part of the police for what’s happening on the part of the latter.

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I guess you didn’t bother to understand the two groups are not one and the same.

I do very much. But it’s also clear that the protesters are being used as cover for those who seek to create mayhem. They are sort of being used as human shields, and that is what makes this many times worse than it could be. As I said at the top:

There are a certain group of people who are interested in causing conflict, baiting police into action, and generally using the community and their protests as a cover for their more aggressive agenda. The community needs to realize they are getting played, and move away from it and find a more constructive way to protest and make their voices heard.

They are getting played.

So perhaps if you paid attention and read, you would understand that I am not putting spin on it, but you seem to be trying very hard to bait me by entirely misrepresenting everything I post. please stop.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

So word your comments right. Everybody here is getting the impression you are a complete moron. I’ll give you another tip from my personal experience.

In one protest some dudes linked with the infamous Black Blocks (I’m not discussing here if they are right or wrong) tried to cause damage to the city hall where the protesters gathered. The people actually set up a human rope to protect the building. Same happened with the municipal theater. At another when the vandals started acting people sat down (it was told via social media to do it so the real criminals would be exposed to the police). Despite this the police just shoot everybody. Later they caught one or two of the vandals and several innocent people along them (some were arrested for carrying goddamn vinegar in case of teargas, a defense against the police). There’s no news of the looters being arrested (though a few did return the stolen goods out of shame after the public started criticizing the opportunists).

A good police force would be arresting those caught looting and just went along with the protest on standby in case something that required their intervention worried. And again, all interventions should be targeted. Firing rubber bullets and teargas at will is not how you deal with things.

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

So word your comments right. Everybody here is getting the impression you are a complete moron. I’ll give you another tip from my personal experience.

Pro tip for you. When you call someone a moron and insult them, they generally don’t read the rest of what you write.

As for the rest of your story, that’s nice. That isn’t however what is happening here. at most you have a church leader or a concerned citizen tut-tutting as these places are looted. People are firing guns and generally being idiots.

A good police force would be arresting those caught looting and just went along with the protest

Good citizens wouldn’t loot and wouldn’t give cover to looters – this situation has the people knowingly and willingly giving cover to those who seek to destroy everything. Yes, a few are calling them out, but you notice nobody is naming names, putting up looter pictures on twitter or instagram, and stuff like that. They have plenty of time for pictures of the “militarized police” but no time for those who destroy the town.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

don’t you think the officer also deserves that same due process and not a rush to judgement? Or does that only apply when you are sympathetic to the defendant?

the Police have been granted a certain legal authority, but that is not enough to do the job they need public legitmacy and moral authority, these can only be ‘Earned’, by treating people decently and behaving correctly. finally police operate in a legal framework that grant them powers beyond a mere civilian, and it is reasonable that members of the police are to be held to account for actions they do, If an action of a member of the police results in the death of a member of the public, their action better be beyond reproach, lest it damages the standing of the rest of the police. and yes, with the powers granted to the police, they need to prove all the time that that members of the police has not been corrupted by these powers of authority over citizens.

Eldakka (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Remember, the police didn’t loot any stores. They didn’t burn any buildings down. They didn’t rip up road signs and try to use them for weapons. They didn’t try to lead people into darker areas to shoot at them (which seems to be the case tonight, with a group of protesters leading police into a side street that turned into a reported shooting.

Nope, the police did none of that. They just murdered an unarmed blackman who was 35-feet away and running away at the time.

And when people had the audacity to complain, to ask that the police officer be treated as any other citizen (arrested, questioned) the police decided to counter the uppity citizens by equipping themselves with assault rifles, armour, APCs, fucking ARTILLERY (I’ve seen video and pictures of an APC/MRAP with a multi-tube mortar firing 7 or 8 tear-gas canisters – 40mm projectiles). They’re nearly as well-armed as an army light infantry company.

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

They just murdered an unarmed blackman who was 35-feet away and running away at the time.

I wish that I had your certainty of the way things are. Seems just as likely for the moment that the officer fired in self defense against someone who assaulted him, tried to take his gun, and was coming back for more.

The rest of your post points out the problem. You are concentrating on the what (they got guns, big guns!) and forgetting that perhaps that it’s not a question of people complaining, but HOW they are complaining. When you file a complaint by looting a liquor store and burning down a convenience store, perhaps there is a bigger issue at play.

(oh, and for those who will go on about me being pro authority, I agree that the police are way over the line here… but I can also see how they got there, and it’s doesn’t reflect well on them OR the citizens who have goaded them into it).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I would counter the latter argument here with the fact that this has been brewing for a long time in the American psyche (perhaps as early as 1970).

The excessive militarisation of the police is a huge issue for the police as well, and that has played a part in the problems demonstrated by the police in Ferguson.

Note that I am not arguing in favour of those malicious actors on both sides of this divide; they can go die in a fog of teargas. I’m arguing that the treatment of the free press has been nothing short of fascist, something that many people in the USAF have been willing to lay down thier lives for.

Manabi (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I wish that I had your certainty of the way things are. Seems just as likely for the moment that the officer fired in self defense against someone who assaulted him, tried to take his gun, and was coming back for more.

Doesn’t really matter what the reality is, that’s the impression the local residents have, particularly the black ones. The police has to deal with that reality, and needs to handle things as if it was true to help calm the situation. There’s a time to insist on resolving the truth of the issue, and that day will come, but it hasn’t come yet. Right now trying to defend the cop, or paint the black kid in a bad light (e.g. the thing with him allegedly stealing cigars), is just pouring fuel onto the fire.

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Who are you trying to kid? I think the thin blue line often leads to officers protecting each other, and since the courts and justice system tends to lean towards the officers as being honest, that it leads to massive abuses.

No flip flop – both need to call out the bad actors.

(nice troll bait, do you throw bottles at police too for fun?)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Looking back at all the posts signed off with Whatever, anyone can see you hardly ever point out the thin blue line. Every time a story like this goes up your sentiments are summarized along the lines of “Footage taken by citizens? How dare they behave in a way that might interfere the police from several yards away or paint them in a bad light! Obviously the public is at fault here!” It doesn’t take two brain cells to see which side you’re on, despite your constant insistence that you don’t have one.

Remember what you said once? “If you can’t change them because the majority of people don’t want to change them, then you might want to consider it’s you that needs changing.” Considering that the majority of people here have noticed your tendencies to pander to the police, it’s likely you’re the one with the issues.

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Please cite examples. I tend to be a law and order type, but I do not blindly support the police. I am actually a big fan of the police having cameras, although I do think there is potential for other problems with it. I don’t have a problem with people filming the police unless they are getting up in their face and pretty much impeding the police in their job. Some of the video from these last few days show camera people jumping in front of officers to take a snap or make a video, even when it is clearly not a good time.

Considering that the majority of people here have noticed your tendencies to pander to the police, it’s likely you’re the one with the issues.

Yes, my comment is towards a majority of people, not in regards to a small subset of syncopates and yes men. Stinky bait, I won’t bite any harder than that.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I tend to be a law and order type, but I do not blindly support the police.

Ok, ok. So you just support police with severe myopia. Better?

I don’t have a problem with people filming the police unless they are getting up in their face and pretty much impeding the police in their job.

Which isn’t what usually happens. Of course your definition of impeding the police in their job can be based on filming from miles instead of feet.

Some of the video from these last few days show camera people jumping in front of officers to take a snap or make a video, even when it is clearly not a good time.

SOME people. Most did not. I wonder if Al Jazeera was too close when the cops fired at them.

Yes, my comment is towards a majority of people, not in regards to a small subset of syncopates and yes men. Stinky bait, I won’t bite any harder than that.

Ah, hypocrisy at it’s finest.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

All of that and you choose to focus on the one remark that can barely be construed as an insult.

He’s not wrong. You consider filming the police in a way that clearly shows them overstepping to be impeding whatever it is they’re doing.

If you consider pointing out your failings as insulting and trolling, small wonder there’s no point engaging you in anything.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

perhaps you will notice, there is no exception for: But excepting when we slide into a full-on police state and armed mercenaries just feel like cracking some skulls, because MOTHERFUCKIN’ EAGLES, bitchez…

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You can’t help being an obnoxious idiot, can you? Ah but I know from experience. People like you are clueless idiots that accept what the mainstream media feeds you and believe the oh-so-awesome Govt is always right. Let me tall you something.

I’ve been to protests, both peaceful and not, and thus what I am saying is from pure personal experience. In one of the violent protests the people in the front line were walking peacefully chanting and carrying banners when they were confronted by a good cop. The cop told them the police needed to know what would be happening, where they would be heading and stuff like that to which the crowd at the front told the cop they’d follow the police instructions and cooperate but they’d keep blocking the streets because 1- it was a protest and 2- there were over 50 thousand people so there wasn’t enough space. I was like half a kilometer behind it and a few friends who were at the front told me how it happened. The protest was on for over an hour already without any incident.

The cop told them he’d speak with his superior and reach them back so people stopped and waited. A few minutes later heavily armored cops came and started shooting rubber bullets and teargas. Things went hellish very quick, the bullets broke a few glass doors here and there and chaos was installed. That’s when the looters came in. They were not participating in the protest in anyway but they seized the opportunity of the chaos and the already broken, destroyed things to escalate things and profit. The cops shot teargas inside shops, bars and even a hospital where protesters took shelter. A hospital.

The mainstream media reported everything as “Vandals loot and destroy private property in a protest”. The protest was against Govt corruption (no mention), it started very peacefully (no mention) and the police was at fault for the violence (no mention). But in the age of Internet information flys high and fast and people were generally outraged. Facebook was bustling with things from the protest and evidence from police violence and the original story from the front crowd leaked with videos from the interaction between that good cop and the people. That cop was praised for his attitude.

A few days later a new protest was scheduled and over 300 thousand participated (official count) there are estimated numbers up to a million. Due to the huge public outrage the Govt told the police to stay out of it. I saw almost no police officers that day and yet everything went smoothly. The only incident was some loots near the protest end that took place away from the main crowds (it split in two at some point).

So, my obnoxious moron, you should stop with your bullshitting. Your comment would be reasonable back when the riots just happened and the info was still blurry and cloudy but now that a lot of info has surfaced outside the mainstream media that confirms the facts it’s about time you stopped it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

This is why protests like this needs inception type video documentation. That way you have multiple cameras recording from further distances and you can capture each illegal act as it occurs. The cops start shooting or beating the peaceful protesters? The people in the crowd with camera phones are getting an up close view. The ones located on the roofs or upper floors of strategic buildings getting a wider view including the violence and illegal destruction of property and evidence of a crime by those police.
If the police start getting wise to the 2nd level of documentation, go for a 3rd with high altitude blimps with sufficient power to capture details of both scenes.

You eventually want a spider web of documentation from audio recording on the protesters themselves, to as much video as is possible. The police have enormous resources that can be used to make up evidence of “crimes” but with our own evidence, we can invalidate their lies. People who despise truth are not serving in our best interests.

Trevor says:

Re: Re:

The thing is, protesting in “controlled situations” defeats the purpose of the protest.

The same way Free Speech Zones defeat the purpose of Free Speech.

If the police say “Protest over here” so they can control the situation, protesters should go exactly anywhere else. That is the nature of a protest.

You forget that the people are protesting the actions of the police force (killing of an unarmed man; subsequent cover-up like activities; failure to release any meaningful information; etc). If they are protesting the police, why should they listen to them?

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Do High, Young Man

That’s just begging for the cop defense of “I couldn’t see what he was holding, he could have been a SNIPER!”

Stand slightly back from the window with the lights off in the room and they won’t see you at night. During the day you may want the window closed, which does present some difficulty but it can be overcome.

Binko Barnes (profile) says:

I don’t understand the endless stream of photos of “police” pointing their guns at civilians. Isn’t it the absolute primary rule of gun safety that you don’t point a weapon at a person unless you are going to fire?

What’s with all the running around in packs and pointing your guns at everything in sight? Makes them look like a bunch of scared little kids who don’t even know how to behave and are all the more dangerous for it.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re:

THANK YOU: murderous behavior by mercenary goons of the state is not a big deal…

a young black kid walking down the street with a air gun, or water gun, or cordless drill, or cell phone, or fucking nothing at all is an INFINITELY DANGEROUS threat to society and its completely understandable -perhaps regrettable- that he was blown up by pearl-clutching kops…

but armed goons roaming the streets with weapons meant for war, threatening EVERYONE they are SUPPOSED to ‘protect and serve’ ? ? ?
the new normal…
whatever defends it, must be double plus good…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Isn’t it the absolute primary rule of gun safety that you don’t point a weapon at a person unless you are going to fire?”

Yes. It is. You also don’t point a weapon at ANYTHING unless you’ve thought about what you’re going to hit when you miss…which you will.

The police in Ferguson are completely out of control and are going to murder more people if someone doesn’t remove them from the situation permanently. Because even if this crisis quiets down, six months or ten months from now, they’ll kill another unarmed black man execution-style — because they can. And they know it.

The cop who murdered Michael Brown in cold blood is probably going to get away with it. The police have had plenty of time to destroy evidence, plant fake evidence, and everything else needed to ensure that. That can’t be helped now. But what CAN be helped is the next incident, which is completely avoidable if and only if the Ferguson PD is disbanded.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

i don’t recall if it was mentioned here, or i saw it somewhere else, but they were recounting a ferguson kop incident from -as i recall- 2009…

a black man was traveling on a local highway, got off at the ferguson exit by mistake, and it was raining so hard, he decided to sit in his car for a while until it slacked off…

before he knew what hit him, one of ferguson’s finest drags him out of his car and throws him the back of their cruiser and off to jail… apparently NO MENTION of why he was being treated like this… as it turns out, his name was SIMILAR to a person there was an outstanding warrant for their arrest, and when superkop ran the plates, assumed this was the perp, and went into robokop mode…

they take him to the station -and if i recall correctly- KNOW that it is a case of mistaken identity, BUT STILL is arrested and insist he has to get in the cell, nigger…

guy bitches about getting in an already occupied one-person cell with no other bed (3am in the morning), so they go full-pig on him, and get 4 or so to slam him into the cell/wall, and proceed to cuff him and beat the shit out of him…

when they beat him so bad they have to take him to the hospital, they THEN arrest him for some bullshit ‘defiling property’ charge of the four ‘peace officers’, which amounted to them saying the perp had gotten blood on their uniforms…

THEY BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF HIM, then arrest him for getting blood on them… i believe that is the very definition of chutzpah…

now, the topper is, the guy had enough balls to file suit after the fact (i bet only 1 out of a thousand dare to do so), and it came out in trial/testimony that the piggies actually admitted there was no blood on their unis…

…and OF COURSE they get away with that bullshit ! ! !
THAT is the flavor of piggy in ferguson, well, EVERYWHERE…

Austin (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Yes, that is the rule, quite literally I believe it’s rule #1.

But here’s the thing: the Army sent them guns. The Army didn’t send them “advisors” (which would be Army Rangers, in a foreign mission) to teach them how to use them. I guess the Army made the mistake of assuming – incorrectly – a bunch of redneck cops in Missouri knew how to handle a gun. And I say this as someone living in the woods in Alabama – even the complete rednecks I know, who often can’t spell any word over 5 letters, know enough gun safety that they wouldn’t pull this crap.

I mean, seriously, nobody, and I mean NOBODY in the US Army would ever do shit like this. Gun raised means 100% ready to fire, last chance before they blow your ass away. A raised rifle is not the universal symbol for “stop what you’re doing.” It’s the universal symbol for “make your peace in the time it takes this round to fly through the air.” That the cops in Ferguson don’t understand this is more than enough reason why they shouldn’t have these weapons in the first place.

Anonymous Coward says:

unless there are some serious changes, this is the sort of thing that will happen all over the USA. the whole nation is turning into nothing less than a Police State! the police are supposed ‘to protect and serve’. that definitely is NOT the case! they have same or similar equipment to the army and have a ‘shoot first, ask afterwards’ mentality. the police were the cause of what is going on in Ferguson and are doing whatever they can think of to justify what happened to the youth and what is happening now. unless Obama or someone very close to the top of the authority tree gets a grip on this, it will spread! the only way forward, to begin with, is to stop all the armed forces equipment being bought by police forces. once that happens, dialogue can take place. if there is no change, wait for the next incident and see how that spreads out of control!!

Anonymous Coward says:

the Victim

When the first private Autopsy was done the report was no residue from the firearm propellant on the body, Six Bullets in the victim, the last two in the head, that sounds like a double tap.

No determination was found for residue on the clothes. the body of the slain was returned to the family, but the police kept his clothes.

Coming back to that powder residue either the young man was at some distance from that ‘police-man’ when he fired (which is the police narrative) or some evidence is on that young man’s clothes indicating he was much closer to the weapon discharge.

Standard training doctrine is to train police to aim & fire their guns at the torso, the theory is to make sure you hit something, no head-shots, you might miss, and/or you might need to question the suspect/crazy/perpetrator later, after they have been subdued.

It is easy to imagine the pain from the first four bullets would have made the young man compliant and overwhelm that young man’s resistance which begs the question, why the double-tap, execution style.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: the Victim

Let me start by saying that I think the police officer in this shooting is probably guilty of murder.

Now, moving on, I have a few issues with your comments:

When the first private Autopsy was done the report was no residue from the firearm propellant on the body, Six Bullets in the victim, the last two in the head, that sounds like a double tap.
None of the autopsy results released suggest the order of the wounds. How could they? As far as a “double-tap”, SWAT training in my home town taught officers to squeeze the trigger twice when firing, depending on the training of the officer, he may have fired twice simply out of muscle memory.

Coming back to that powder residue either the young man was at some distance from that ‘police-man’ when he fired (which is the police narrative) or some evidence is on that young man’s clothes indicating he was much closer to the weapon discharge.
If he was within a few feet of the officer, there would be GSR on his clothes and all exposed skin. Unless his body was washed, he was probably a significant distance away when shot.

Standard training doctrine is to train police to aim & fire their guns at the torso, the theory is to make sure you hit something, no head-shots
Not all training. We do not know what training this officer received.

It is easy to imagine the pain from the first four bullets would have made the young man compliant and overwhelm that young man’s resistance which begs the question, why the double-tap, execution style.
Again, we have no idea what order the wounds happened in and if he was “executed”. This kind of talk only escalates the situation.

6 shots at an unarmed suspect seems excessive to me, but until there has been an actual investigation, we really do not know much. I think it is important that a REAL investigation takes place, but your conclusions are premature.

Austin (profile) says:

Re: the Victim

The better question: why wasn’t this kid tazered?

If the claim – and as best I can tell, it’s horse crap – is that this kid just robbed a store, but did so without a weapon, and was then walking (or running) away UNARMED, then why the hell didn’t the cop simply TAZE HIM??? Is this not EXACTLY what cops carry tazers for? For immobilizing potential threats who do not have lethal weapons on them? This is so much the precise use case for a tazer, it’s practically in the company brochure!

And instead? 6 bullets. For all my complaining that the cops are over-zealous, if they had just tazed the kid, none of this would be happening. And there is less than ZERO good reason why they didn’t.

Unless you want to tell me the police department with body armor, riot shields, assault rifles, tanks, and enough tear gas to drown an entire football stadium doesn’t carry something as common and basic among police as a tazer?!

Antsan (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Look to the Ukraine. Look to Egypt. Look to any other country with major uprisings and revolutions lately.
I’m not very optimistic that it would turn out any better in America, of all places – and even more so if gun nuts are the ones that start the revolution in the first place because in the Ukraine it’s bad enough when the gun nuts took over later.

John Cressman (profile) says:

Accountability

If I had no accountability either, it wouldn’t matter what I had signed… I’d just do what I wanted.

I understand that tensions are high, but there really isn’t any excuse for restricting the press.

THAT SAID… I’ve seen some accounts of the more liberal media deliberately trying to taunt the police into doing something that gives them headlines.

That’s the media’s fault – REPORT the news… don’t try to MAKE the news.

Still, it could be handled MUCH better than it is.

Chris-Mouse (profile) says:

It's all part of the government's war on whistleblowers

The police activity has to be kept top secret. After all, if terrorists knew the procedures used by the police, they’d be able to find ways around them. This means that anyone releasing video of police activities is revealing police procedures, and must be treated as a security leak

/sarc

weneedhelp (profile) says:

in times like this

neighboring states citizens should grab their guns and descend on Ferguson. Only way this will be discussed nationally is if it becomes a bloodbath. And that is exactly what it will become when they let the cop that killed that kid go free.

Fox 29 Philadelphia just ran a “news” piece last night and that is the first I am hearing of it in the MSM in this area. No mention of the local police needed to be replaced by State police… not a word. I guess something like that isn’t Faux “News” worthy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

You see!? Blue used to conflate reporting someone with censoring someone as well.

But many of us did it because his points were so predictably authoritarian that you knew with 99% certainty that you’d want to report it after reading it. Shill.

Don’t worry, I still read you shit. I just want to let everyone know I hate you and your opinions.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Free speech and freedom of the press only promise that you are allowed to publish, that is place before the public, whatever you want to say, at your own cost, or at someone else cost only if they agree to pay. If any publication payed for and controlled by any other person refuse to carry what you want to say, that is their right, as it is the right of everybody else to ignore you.
Therefore you cannot claim censorship when someone else refuse to carry you speech in a publication that they control, or allow people to vote to hide whatever it is that you said. That is free speech rights do not include a right to demand that others listen to you, or provide the means of making your speech available to other people at their expense.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I don’t. While what he says might be wrong, misleading, or outright lying, he’s on topic. The report button should only be used for posts that are completely off topic. Spam, harassment, that kind of thing.

I find that Whatever is his own worst enemy. If you let him speak freely, he tends to counter his own arguments and show his bias. Most of the trolls that have come and gone are the same.

Guest says:

Not to Interfere Agreement

What baloney! The media should be getting Obama to sign such an agreement. Ferguson can’t hold a candle to the obstruction, interference, indictments (under treason laws no less), surveillance, and manipulation of journalists of this administration.

Didn’t the FBI and State Patrol come rushing in to take over from the “local amateurs” whose army-like presence was fomenting violence, only to have those great incoming professionals, led with great fanfare by crack Black State Trooper, call in the real military, the national guard to restore order? So the problem is the Ferguson Police Force? Good night they’ve long since ceased running the show. Does the media on site not even know this much?

Anonymous Coward says:

On an unrelated note...

How about an article on “thug tourism”. Was listening to an NPR report on Ferguson saying that there were people from out of town coming in and doing rioting (shop-breaking, etc… the ruination stuff).

No idea the truth of it, but it’s an interesting thought, people driving in to participate in (or instigate) a riot.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Well that’s from a cop, so of course that will be his viewpoint. Some excerpts:

“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.”

” And you don’t have to submit to an illegal stop or search. You can refuse consent to search your car or home. “

Hm, no conflict there huh?

Anonymous Coward says:

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address
Monday, March 4, 1861

And to think it all started in a little town called Ferguson, Missouri.

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Can’t happen here. Can’t happen here. Can’t happen here. Can’t happen here. Can’t happen here. Can’t happen here. Can’t happen here. Can’t happen here. Can’t happen here. Can’t happen here. Can’t happen here. Can’t happen here. Can’t happen here. Can’t happen here. Can’t happen here.

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address
Monday, March 4, 1861
=======================

Sadly, he was talking about the United States of America, a place that died as a nation on the infamous date 9/11, when the government – in a secret session – in preparation for a corporate take-over, decided to secretly declare war on the world at large, and especially its own people, using terrorism as the public “reason” for its fascist war-measures actions and reactions.

Because Terrorists!!!!

The USA would better be described today as Americo Inc..

All of the actions taken by the government-in-power, are 100% legal entirely due to the fact that they are functioning under the War Measures Act and can thus re-interpret all laws as the need arises.

All civilians are thus stripped of rights and can be placed under arrest and held without trial, and without due cause, and incarcerated in secret cells here in the US or elsewhere, as the need arises, because the government-in-power is secretly at war.

The War Measures Act was invoked secretly because the enemy is the public and the government-in-power did not want to forewarn the enemy, or cause it to retaliate by letting it know it was under attack.

The government-in-power realizes that it is outnumbered a million to one and that even the military might change sides if it were to become aware of the truth.

The War Measures Act allows the government to act with complete immunity to law and without the need to explain its actions or decisions to the public or the courts, regardless of what those actions might be – including the assassination of Americans and Foreigners, on foreign and domestic soil by remote controlled bombs.

Ferguson is simply a Shock Test. A controlled test scenario that will let the government-in-power know what is needed for future assaults on other towns and point out the necessary restrictions that need to be in place to allow such assaults to run unhindered.

These tests have been taking place for some time now, but the need of the Elite to take over the country and enjoy the fruits of their labors is increasing as they get older and so the process is being escalated.

Part of this process will be the ending of Net Neutrality which will allow them to put an end to public communications via the web. All invading armies must first control the media in order to occupy the conquered land successfully.

Or did y’all think that the government-in-power was arming the police across the nation in order to prepare for an invasion by aliens from Mars?

There is but one reason to arm your police in the manner of an army, and that is to wage war on the general public. The public has already been reclassified as the adversary.

That should tell you just who the war is being waged against.

When the cat is finally let out of the bag, the government-in-power expects a massive public rebellion and so is merrily preparing the police as the first wave of defenses.

But fret not. Should you still be doubtful that the government-in-power has its sights set on you as the enemy, all you need to do is sit and watch tv and go to work and pretty soon, you’ll be heading to work and run face first into the forces of fascist law occupying your town.

Armed to the teeth and with a license to kill. You.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Here’s the thing though, after the whole NSA debacle went public, a lot of those ‘the government is spying on the public!’ ‘conspiracy theories’ were shown to be pretty close to the truth, if not accurate, so just dismissing something outright as a ‘crazy conspiracy theory’ doesn’t really hold as much weight these days.

Not to mention at least some of that does make sense or match up with available evidence.

The government does consider the public the enemy, and does believe itself above the public, answerable only to itself, if that.

Arming the police with military-level gear guarantees it will be used against the public, as this mess has shown.

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

so just dismissing something outright as a ‘crazy conspiracy theory’ doesn’t really hold as much weight these days

Blind rats sometimes get the cheese, and broken watch is still accurate twice a day. Neither is really a good indicator.

The “government is spying on you” thing is as old as the hills. Anyone who has grown up in the US pretty much can figure out that someone is watching, at least a bit. If you didn’t think they were watching, at least a bit, then you are incredibly naive. It’s also insanely ignorant to think that since technology makes it so easy to obtain information on people, that the government agencies wouldn’t be there doing exactly the same thing.

Oh, did you catch the “german government listens in on Hillary Clinton” story last week? That one didn’t get any play here because it would take the wind out of a lot of people’s sails. Guess what? EVERY GOVERNMENT DOES IT.

So conspiracy theorists are right because they already knew what the rest of you were denying, that it happens, has happened, and will continue to happen – everywhere in the world.

The government does consider the public the enemy

No, that is your opinion, not fact. Oh, and they do answer to the people, who seem foolishly intent on re-electing the same cast of congress critters for decades at a time. You the people speak out of both sides of you mouth, I think!

Arming the police with military-level gear guarantees it will be used against the public,

By that logic, a man with a gun will certainly kill someone, so the police have some work to do. Don’t you dare pick up a syringe, you will guaranteed turn into a heroin addict!

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

It’s also insanely ignorant to think that since technology makes it so easy to obtain information on people, that the government agencies wouldn’t be there doing exactly the same thing.

Yeah I know, how silly of me and others to expect that agencies who are supposed to be focusing on external issues and/or threats, and in fact are not meant to have anything to do with domestic issues, might abuse their power and spy on the public in the country on a massive scale. /s

Also, ‘it’s easy, so of course they’re going to do it’, there’s this little thing called ‘self-restraint’, where even if you can do something, even if it’s easy to do something, you can still not do it. And when that something is ‘violate the privacy and rights of massive numbers of your own citizens, for essentially zero gain’, that ‘self-control’ thing is rather important.

Guess what? EVERY GOVERNMENT DOES IT.

‘Spies on foreign politicians and high-placed officials’? Absolutely, and other than some fake outrage when it gets discovered, for the most part such spying is seen as pretty standard and accepted. However, ‘performs massive spying efforts against their own citizens‘? Not so much, and people are very right to be concerned about such activities.

By that logic, a man with a gun will certainly kill someone, so the police have some work to do. Don’t you dare pick up a syringe, you will guaranteed turn into a heroin addict!

So, if they’re not going to use the stuff, why ask for it? In fact, why fight so hard to get it? Crime rates have been going down for a good while now, so why exactly do they need military level gear again?

And, as a matter of fact, according to the very act/bill that ‘gives’ police forces all their shiny toys, they do have to use them, unless they want to lose them(thanks to zip for finding this tid-bit).

j. Utilization of Property

Property received through the 1033 Program must be placed into use within one year of receipt and utilized for a minimum of 18 months unless its condition renders it unusable. If property is not placed in use within one year of receipt, it must be transferred to another authorized agency, or returned to a DRMO [Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office – i.e., the Feds].

source: https://www.ok.gov/dcs/searchdocs/app/manage_documents.php?att_id=10800

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

That’s what I love about you Whatever. You’re downright incorrigible. And predictable as a politicians speech.

I am curious though, as to why you would think that government needs to literally wage a secret war against people who, like me, simply offer plausible explanations for the draconian and deceitful practices of the government and big business and organized crime.

After all, if they have nothing to hide…. 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

I tried to share a photo from this article with someone. I right click to find the image and “share to facebook, twitter, embed?”. No, I’d like to hyperlink them to the photo direct thank you very much.

Why would you make the sharing of culture harder? Now I’ll find another site, share that instead. No, not just the photo, the full page, and won’t be sending traffic here again because of this annoyance.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...