SWAT Team Shows Up In Ferguson, Detains Reporters Live Tweeting Their Actions

from the incredible dept

We've been debating internally whether or not to cover the mess that is currently going on in Ferguson, Missouri. There has been plenty of attention paid to the protests and the failures by police there -- and we frequently cover problems with police, as well as the militarization of police, which was absolutely on display in Ferguson (if you've been under a rock, police killed an unarmed teenager there last week, leading to protests over the past few days -- and the police have been handling the situation... poorly, to say the least). However, the situation was changing so rapidly, it wasn't entirely clear what to cover. The pictures from Ferguson of a very militarized police force were disturbing, and we've been thinking about writing something on that (and we may still). However, this evening, things got even more ridiculous, as not only did the SWAT team show up, but it then arrested two of the reporters who had been covering the events: Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post. Both had been vital in getting out the story of what was happening on the street.

Here are a few of their tweets (prior to being arrested):




And then, soon after those and other tweets, another reporter, Jon Swaine from the Guardian, reported that he saw two reporters detained by police in a McDonalds:
Lowery and Reilly each had live tweeted the police entering the McDonald's, followed by a long silence from their accounts:


A fourth reporter on the scene, Matt Pearce of the LA Times, contacted the police chief about the situation, who was apparently surprised at the turn of events and said he'd order them released:
Soon after, both Lowery and Reilly tweeted about their experiences, which were not exactly pleasant.
I'm sure that we'll have more on this whole thing, but as GideonsTrumpet notes, Lowery and Reilly were technically detained, not arrested, "which is far more insidious" because there's no accountability. No charges to challenge. Nothing. It's just a way to silence the press who were diligently getting the word out there on what they were doing.

There are all sorts of very questionable activities going on in Ferguson, including intimidation and threats against the protestors exercising their right to assembly and free speech. Detaining reporters in the middle of that is just the latest in a long string of "fuck your constitutional rights" by the (very heavily militarized) police down there.

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 6:23pm

    Not gonna be good.

    Gotta dread that first shot from a civilian who is tired of this crap really starting things off bad.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 6:24pm

    Aaaand there goes another paycheck straight to ACLU

     

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  3.  
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    mrtraver (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 6:26pm

    Anonymous involved, too?

    I'm surprised I haven't seen any coverage on here about this purported Anonymous video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75WkEZK_f6g
    I have not done any other research as to the validity.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 6:48pm

    First Amendment Fear

    Maybe, just maybe, they are starting to realize that the First Amendment does not define the press:

    "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."

    and that everyone might be the press. A formerly small but annoying class (that had some special privilege if they jumped through the correct hoops), that is now potentially huge; and possibly annoying in very different ways.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 6:55pm

    Cue Whatever defense comment in 5, 4, 3...

     

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  6.  
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    Jay (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Anonymous involved, too?

    That was dumb. That caused the Ferguson police to shut down. However, it seems that wasn't the "hacker" type Anonymous who do such hacks.

    I would take it with a grain of salt because you have to remember that the FBI and other LEOs are known for trying to go after mass group gatherings and undermine them in a number of ways.

     

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  7.  
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    vegetaman (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 7:43pm

    I like the "I took a picture and he asked me for ID", because in what world does that make sense? How is that even a relevant question!? Ugh. This makes me sad.

     

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  8.  
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    Whatever, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 7:45pm

    (Parody)

    These protesters are just a small vocal minority and everyone should be glad the cops are protecting the majority from them. The unarmed person that got shot probably had it coming anyways.

     

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  9.  
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    Starke (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 7:50pm

    Re: (Parody)

    Yeah... not really feeling it. It might just be the situation's a little too fucked up for that, at the moment, or it might be the part where, if you'd left the parody tag off of your post, there'd be no way to know you weren't serious.

     

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  10.  
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    SolkeshNaranek (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 8:19pm

    Disturbing

    Ferguson chief tells me @WesleyLowery and @ryanjreilly's arresters were "probably somebody who didn't know better."


    Am I the only one that finds the above statement (from the chief of police, no less) deeply disturbing?

    Members of a SWAT team are supposed to be very seasoned officers which receive extra training in weapons and tactics.

    The fact that the police chief thinks they are "probably somebody that didn't know better" speaks volumes about the type of officers and their qualifications that have been put on a SWAT team.

    No wonder the situation is getting so out of control. Based on these recent revelations, I would not be surprised if at some point the police completely lost their composure and started firing into the crowd at random (Kent State ring a bell for anyone (although that was the National Guard in that incident)).

     

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  11.  
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    ahow628 (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 8:45pm

    So cool!

    But holy shit do those guys look cool in that SWAT gear!

     

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  12.  
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    ahow628 (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 8:47pm

    Re: Disturbing

    I'm not certain, but it didn't look like the officer in the McDs was one of the SWAT guys. Probably was just some dumb rook who was getting his first taste of the riot gear.

     

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    sorrykb (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 9:01pm

    Reporters and reporting

    And for updates on what's happening on the ground, we have
    1) a bunch of accidental citizen-reporters and a few big and small media outlet reporters (bravo to the ones who stayed).. On Twitter.

    2) A collected live feed... On Reddit.

    and... god help us...

    3) A live video feed from Alex Jones. $%#$$ INFOWARS has more live coverage than the biggest TV news organizations in the U.S. (But I can't bring myself to click on their feed. I just can't. There were a couple other live feeds up earlier, but they seem to have stopped.)

    And as to the response of the police chief when told that his SWAT team had assaulted and arrested two reporters
    Ferguson chief tells me @WesleyLowery and @ryanjreilly's arresters were "probably somebody who didn't know better."

    I believe the "didn't know better" had nothing to do with the chief's concerns about freedom of the press, and everything to do with: "oh shit this time we attacked people who might have some influence with people in power".

     

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  14.  
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    Digger, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 9:18pm

    Missouri cops need to be jailed, all of them.

    I doubt that there's more than a handful of decent cops in the entire state. Most of the "township" cops are out to rake in as much cash, generate as much fear and play power games with anyone and everyone they can, all while allowing Busch (beer) family members to get away with vehicular homicide and murder.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/for-busch-family-woman-s-death-is-latest-in-tragic/a rticle_2efd8b6d-b179-53dc-a6b9-dc9ae1c4e929.html

    Every township needs to be cleaned and and re-zoned into something sensible with federal oversight until such time as the kindergarten cop mentality that is so prevalent in that state disappears.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 9:23pm

    As someone who lives in the St. Louis Metro area...

    I can tell you that the St. Louis police are on alert, as are police in other nearby communities. The police are nervous and fear this could spread. Some acts of vandalism, smash and grabs, etc., have occurred as far away as south St. Louis, and Ferguson is in north St. Louis near the airport. But the local tv stations (e.g., www.kmov.com for local news coverage) say these are just thugs trying to cash in on the unrest.

    There was another police shooting today in Ferguson--apparently a guy in a mask with a gun took a pot shot at a cop who then shot back. The guy is in critical condition at a local hospital right now. At least he's not dead which probably would inflame the situation. A state rep. was tear gassed, and she's black.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 9:26pm

    moving to another country is looking pretty good right now

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 9:38pm

    and the USA isn't fast becoming a Police State? are you kiddin' me? and the more police forces are allowed to spend tax dollars on things like Water Cannons, armored vehicles, crowd dispersal vehicles, drones, the list goes on and on, the less control there is of those police forces. it can only lead to worse things and sooner or later there will be violent clashes because the people want to be led, not herded!!

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 9:45pm

    Re: Re: (Parody)

    Say hello to Poe's Law.

     

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  19.  
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    Andrew D. Todd, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 9:49pm

    Small Town SWAT is Different From Big City SWAT.

    Big City SWAT is paid men who are being exempted from their regular duties, and that implies a certain choosiness. Small Town SWAT is something different. It's a kind of unpaid volunteer reserve, enthusiasts like George Zimmerman, who are given a uniform, and allowed to blast away at targets on the police department shooting range, more or less on the theory that this will keep them out of mischief. You know how that works... if one of them actually gets a paid police job, he turns up once or twice at the meeting to brag, and then drops out. So small town SWAT tends to fill up with the wannabees, who have not been able to convince anyone to put them on the payroll.

    I think you can assume that the Ferguson police chief called the SWAT out, put a gun in the hands of someone like George Zimmerman, because the situation had worsened beyond what his comparatively small number of _paid_ officers could handle. Ferguson may be legally a city, but economically and sociologically, it is part of St. Louis, and potential rioters and/or protesters will have been driving in from all over the larger city. The Ferguson police chief must have not wanted to admit he was out of his depth and hand over to either the county sheriff or the state governor (the commander in chief of the Missouri National Guard).

    The greatest fear of the city fathers of such small towns is annexation by the adjoining big city. The city fathers would lose their jobs. One can see how this would preclude asking for help.

     

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  20.  
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    Starke (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 9:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: (Parody)

    Yeah, I just didn't remember the name.

     

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  21.  
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    sorrykb (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 10:01pm

    Re: Small Town SWAT is Different From Big City SWAT.

    Not so different, really.

    Escalating violence and stupendous arrogance by police is as much a problem in big cities as in small towns. (And I say that as a resident of the city who helped make SWAT such a popular thing. Darryl Gates left LAPD 20 years ago, but his legacy lives on. Unfortunately.)

    Wherever police power is not checked by strong oversight and accountability, a culture of abuse is inevitable. The militaristic escalation just makes it worse.

     

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  22.  
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    Nathan Hale (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 10:20pm

    Last time it began at Lexington green...

    Only 3% of Americans were ever part of the Continental Army. And we defeated the only Super Power in the world.

    And as before....

    "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country!"

     

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  23.  
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    David, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 11:07pm

    Re: So cool!

    Good you like the look, because there is more of it where this came from.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 11:22pm

    Im all against militarization
    But when the "protesters" sole intention is to loot every store they can then i find it hard to support them. They use the killing of that guy as an excuse to steal physical stuff.
    Very immoral

     

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  25.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 12:55am

    So those first two photos...if it weren't for the word Police on their uniforms, I would have thought that those guys were US Army, and my first thought would have been "Isn't the US Army forbidden by law from being active within the US, outside of their bases?"
    But of course a single word can make all the difference...

     

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  26.  
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    Anon, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 1:04am

    Weird

    Why do SWAT need to dress like soldiers? Green or camouflage? What, they're going to hide in the trees? What happened to police officer blue? What's with the backpacks? Are these guys going on a 25-mile forced march with rations, or are they supposed to be able to move with minimum hindrance?

    And who thought the solution to the town's problems was to get rid of the reporters? Did these idiots dream it up themselves, or did the officer in command also lack the basic understanding about the difference between a constitutional state and a war zone? What possible rationale to clear people out of a McDonalds -but not the employees? Selective or what?

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 1:32am

    Re:

    I looked at those pictures and saw men who should have their guns taken away for an appalling breach of gun safety. You never ever point a gun at people unless you you at least have the right to shoot them because there is an immediate threat to life. An angry unarmed crown does not count as an immediate threat to life.

     

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  28.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 1:39am

    Re: Disturbing

    Members of a SWAT team are supposed to be very seasoned officers which receive extra training in weapons and tactics.

    But not, apparently, in the law and what is, and is not, legal.

    Or, even worse, perhaps they do know the law, and in particular are aware of the difference between the law on the books, and the law in practice.

    Arresting or 'detaining' someone for taking pictures/video of the police? On the books, not legal. However, since no judge has the spine to actually punish cops who do so, in practice such arrests/detentions are effectively legal.

     

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  29.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 1:46am

    Re: Re:

    Heck, that's Gun Safety 101, the very first lesson in fact: 'Never point a gun at anything you don't intent to shoot.'

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 1:47am

    Someone was calling me the 'plague' last week after I said police would temporarily detain photographers.

    Turns out the plague was right :p

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 2:01am

    Re: As someone who lives in the St. Louis Metro area...

    I don't live there any more, but I grew up next to Ferguson and have family scattered in and around the area, so I'm there often enough.

    As a white middle-aged male, I don't fit the pigs' profile of A Bad Guy, so I largely escape the harassment and bullying, the assaults and arrests, the fabricated charges and the rest. But not everyone is so lucky, and this time, the incident ended with Michael Brown dead. (Because of course a kid a few days away from going to college decided to attack an armed police officer, well, just because. Right.)

    The pigs there routinely beat, intimidate, insult, and arrest citizens for the crime of being black -- and then they lie, lie, lie about it. Everyone knows this. And their reaction is a mix of fear and rage -- as should be obvious by now. The Ferguson police aren't there to "protect and serve": they're an organized, armed gang with a very long history of threats and violence.

    The only difference between today and last week, last month, last year, is that NOW there are outside reporters getting a taste of it. Nothing else has changed.

    Michael Brown was murdered by a racist thug with a badge, and in all likelihood, he'll get away it because the cops have spent the last several days destroying incriminating evidence and fabricating exculpatory evidence. Of course they have: it's what they do. It's how Ferguson works.

     

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  32.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 2:12am

    Re: First Amendment Fear

    exactamundo...
    made this point a while back: 'the press' are PROXIES for US ALL, exercising their free speech/reporting rights on behalf of ALL OF US...
    the press doesn't have 'special rights' we mere citizens don't have, they have the SAME RIGHTS we ALL HAVE, they are simply exercising them on our behalf...
    WE ALL have those rights, just that some individuals are exercising them on our behalf in their news gathering actions to inform us all...
    not as if reporters are supposed to dig up all this info, interview public officials, etc ONLY to keep that information personal and private to themselves, and thus are allowed those rights as a privileged classp; no, that research and reporting is done on behalf of all of us...

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 2:29am

    Re: First Amendment Fear

    or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press

    Freedom of the press means a freedom to print or have printed and disseminate what one wants to say. That is it is protecting what the founding fathers did, print and circulate political pamphlets that opposed the existing government.
    Note for the regular trolls, that means at ones own expense, and does not meant other people have to disseminate your speech for you.

     

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  34.  
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    David, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 3:06am

    Re:

    How does it not make sense to get the ID from somebody who waves around equipment indicating that he plans his best to serve as material independent witness to any occuring events in a situation of general unrest?

    "Glad you are here to stand witness, please give your ID in case we need to call on you, and please make sure that you don't get in the way when doing your civic duty in order to minimize the danger for yourself, us, and others."

    Nothing wrong with that as far as I can see. Except that is not exactly what seems to have transpired...

     

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  35.  
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    Whatever (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 3:11am

    Having seen some video clips (including on Huffington Post) of people pretty much getting in the way of riot police to film them, I am entirely surprised that there were not more arrests. The right to film police doesn't mean the right to impede them or get in the way of a police operation.

    The solution to the towns problems are not simple - the police appear to be way over the line, but the public reaction is equally past intelligence. Rioting, looting, and destroying things doesn't solve the issue.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 3:20am

    Re:

    " Rioting, looting, and destroying things doesn't solve the issue."

    "If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

    Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."

    --- Frederick Douglass

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 3:55am

    Re:

    If by "getting in the way" you mean "being in a place where they go out of their way so you are in the way and have no egress".

     

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  38.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 4:03am

    Re: Re:

    Asking for ID is one thing, and could be reasonable in some cases for the reason you state, now, how they respond if the person refuses, that's the important part, as, unless you're being arrested, I don't believe you're obligated to give them any personal information if you don't care to.

    Also, if a cop is going to ask someone for their ID, I'd say it's only fair that they return the favor, listing name and badge number for the record.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 4:26am

    Re:

    Impassioned Whatever defense of police shooting up people confirmed.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 4:34am

    Re: So cool!

    They look like an army, aren't they supposed to be the police?

     

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  41.  
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    David, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 4:49am

    Re: Re: So cool!

    They are supposed to do crowd control, and the looks are part of the job.

    Be glad they look like an army rather than a Transformers movie casting show refuge camp.

     

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  42.  
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    Frank, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 4:56am

    Police State.

    Barack Obama's pistol swinging gestapo at large.

     

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  43.  
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    Lance (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 5:28am

    Re: Missouri cops need to be jailed, all of them.

    Surely you are kidding about "federal oversight". If there's one group that I don't want getting involved, it's the feds. Their version of oversight is likely to make what the police have done so far look like a Tupperware party.

     

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  44.  
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    John Cressman, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 5:34am

    Welcome!

    Welcome... to the post Constitutional America... remember... MIGHT MAKES RIGHT!

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 5:55am

    Re: First Amendment Fear

    Didn't you hear? ... Only corporations have first amendment rights.

    /s - jic

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 5:58am

    Re: (Parody)

    I would not be surprised to hear that coming from the likes of Hannity or Limbaugh.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re: Re: So cool!

    Here come the scoopers

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 6:06am

    Re:

    Yeah, I'm sure that every "protester" was in on the planned looting beforehand. They even had a meeting on who would loot which business.

    fyi: according to reports, it started out peaceful and police started the shit then it spread. This is classic antagonistic riot mongering, the police seem to enjoy it.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re:

    How dare you get in my way when I want to supersize my Big Mac. That's a tazing mister ... stop resisting

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 6:10am

    Re: Police State.

    Thanks Obama!

     

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  51.  
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    Bt Garner (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 6:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You keep forgetting that the "Two Sets of Rules" applies to *everything*. Including gun safety.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 6:22am

    Re:

    Rioting, looting, and destroying things doesn't solve the issue.

    Neither does the threat of attack dogs, tear gas, and fully armed fucktards who apparently, and according to their own supervisor, "don't know better."

    Keep backing someone into a corner, and eventually they'll fight. Fact of the matter is that filming them is entirely necessary, and they deserve all the notoriety they're getting - the world is watching, and apparently, the police still don't understand the implications of that.

     

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  53.  
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    Bt Garner (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 6:30am

    Re: Re: First Amendment Fear

    but, but, corporations are people too!

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, because I'm sure a photo from inside a somewhat peaceful McDonalds would become useful evidence in a subsequent riot related court case.
    /s

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 6:41am

    Re:

    "the people want to be led"

    Like sheep? I think not.
    Leaders should lead by example. Some people may follow.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re:

    " "Rioting, looting, and destroying things doesn't solve the issue."

    ...

    Keep backing someone into a corner, and eventually they'll fight. "

    Looting is theft. Rioting puts the lives and livelihoods of NON-INVOLVED parties at risk of harm. Destroying things belonging to innocent third-parties gains what exactly for the perpetrator? Fighting back against the/an oppressor is one thing, harming other people (including members of their own community) is entirely another.

     

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    John William Nelson (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 7:36am

    Technically arrested, not detained

    Technically, you're arrested if you're cuffed and processed, and not allowed to leave an area. Whoever said that was "technically being detained" must be reading from the cop's handbooks because often get confused about when and how they can stop folks. A real easy bright line for most judges is when the cuffs go on.

    It is also technically false arrest and false imprisonment.

    Although, to make it even more confusing, the technical terms "arrest" and "detention" are different for some specific regulatory and procedural situations.

    Nevertheless, as far as Constitutional rights are concerned, this was "technically" an arrest, plain and simple.

     

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  58.  
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    Digger, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: Missouri cops need to be jailed, all of them.

    Hell no I'm not kidding, federal oversight would be a thousand times better than what Missouri has right now.

    And that's saying something.

     

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  59.  
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    DigDug, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re: Missouri cops need to be jailed, all of them.

    When you can get stopped 6 times in 18 blocks by police from 6 different "townships" because they've radioed each other for a "let's have some fun with this clown tonight" party, you know something's fucked up in Missouri.

     

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  60.  
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    Javarod (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:07am

    Re: Disturbing

    Not a real surprise, consider that the Ferguson PD never released a statement on the shooting before the STLCPD did their press conference the next day. And then there's the answer given when a state Senator asked if she'd be gassed again. Oh, and the one about the fact that only 3 of the 53 officers on the force are black is because black kids don't want to be cops. FPD's incompetence is incredible, in fact according to Breaking News the STLCPD has announced that they're no longer going to be involved. I think the next announcement will be the firing of the police chief.

     

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  61.  
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    digger, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: First Amendment Fear

    You think you're joking, but that's how congress is acting. Only corporations with deep pockets are people cuz they're the only ones that can make them rich.

     

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    Javarod (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:13am

    Don't forget about Alderman Antonio French, a former reporter who's been one of the best sources for information there, he was arrested and held overnight for unlawful assembly. This on top of... lets see, they threatened to arrest him on Monday, tear gassed a state Senator, arrested 2 reporters, tear gassed another Huffington Post reporter, tear gassed an Al Jazeera news crew that was setting up, then dismantled their equipment, and rolled up on another news crew and tear gassed them. And did we mention the No Fly Zone over Ferguson?

     

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    Javarod (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:17am

    Re: Missouri cops need to be jailed, all of them.

    What they need to do is reduce the number of towns out here, its ridiculous. A county of 524sq miles has 90 incorporated municipalities, and 45 unincorporated areas. The biggest problem with the police is that they have to justify their existence, which as you can imagine is hard with this many towns.

     

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    Javarod (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: As someone who lives in the St. Louis Metro area...

     

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  65.  
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    Whatever (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re:

    Keep backing someone into a corner, and eventually they'll fight

    no, eventually they will bust the windows out of the local electronics store and empty it out, and do the same to the local 7/eleven too.

    Point is if you want to fight, fight. Don't use it as an excuse to rip off and destroy other people's business and property.

     

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  66.  
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    Whatever (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re:

    If there is no struggle there is no progress

    Yeah, I am sure that there will be progress now the 7/eleven has been destroyed and the electronics stores looted.

    Come on. If they want to fight, fight the man. Don't screw up innocent people's lives just because you see a chance for some free stuff.

     

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  67.  
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    Whatever (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re:

    Excuse me, I didn't defend them. Paul, you should log in when you post stupid stuff like that!

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Assuming everyone who disagrees with you is Paul.

    This isn't the first time you've posted stupid shit defending asshole policemen while logged out either.

     

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  69.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Missouri cops need to be jailed, all of them.

    Two of the major metropolitan areas where I live have their police forces under federal oversight because of the level of abuse they engaged in. And you know what? Although it hasn't fixed all the problems by a longshot, it has made the situation a bit better. There are, at least, fewer straight-up murders committed by the police.

     

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    Rekrul, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:50am

    Re: As someone who lives in the St. Louis Metro area...

    I can tell you that the St. Louis police are on alert, as are police in other nearby communities. The police are nervous and fear this could spread.

    It should spread! Not the vandalism and looting, but the protests.

    Cops in the US have far too much impunity to beat or kill people and then explain it away as they were afraid for their safety, or they were just following procedure. See a kid with what seems to be a gun? Shoot him to death first and ask questions later! Guy won't comply with your demands? Beat him to death! Old woman won't sign a ticket? Taze her!

    Not all cops are bad, but a large number of them have become thugs who think that questioning their authority should be a capital crime.

     

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    hoare (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:01am

    live tweets

    Will they try to make "live tweeting" by the public illegal or will they just kill the network locally?

    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024306188_tweetingcrimexml.html

    All you "citizen reporters" are putting the police at risk!

     

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  72.  
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    Rekrul, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:06am

    Re:

    So those first two photos...if it weren't for the word Police on their uniforms, I would have thought that those guys were US Army, and my first thought would have been "Isn't the US Army forbidden by law from being active within the US, outside of their bases?"

    Actually, states are forbidden from using the army to enforce law, but...

    The government has the power to order the armed forces into action on American soil in order to stop things like a rebellion, insurrection, domestic violence, etc. So basically the second that the government feels there's any serious threat to their power, you'll be seeing real tanks and soldiers on US streets.

     

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    Digger, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:06am

    Re:

    Uhh - if I was just standing there, and an officer pulls a gun on me (as part of a crowd), I'd pull mine and kill the fucker in self defense as it sure looked like he had the intent of killing me or someone else.

    That's the part that the cops forget.

    If they pull their weapons first, it's every citizen's right to defend themselves against the criminal-cop that is illegally drawing their firearm.

     

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    Matthew A. Sawtell, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:06am

    Ask the folks in Detroit and LA how well that worked out...

    ... so many decades ago, as they have been left to wallow in the splendor of the squalor. Once the riots happen, there will be an exodus, and those left behind will NOT be welcome elsewhere for generations to come.

     

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    Rekrul, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:08am

    This is what now happens in America when you question authority.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re:

    "If they pull their weapons first, it's every citizen's right to defend themselves"

    Really? This sounds wrong to me. Can you support this?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:25am

    Response to: Whatever on Aug 14th, 2014 @ 3:11am

    Sitting inside McDonalds drinking coffee is what they were doing.
    They had an interview on NPR this morning at least go find out the details before talking out your ass.

     

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    Matthew A. Sawtell, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:35am

    A government is a shadowy reflection of its people...

    ... so is anyone really surprised anymore? In the end we, as Americans, have no one to blame but ourselves. We have no Monarchy, Oligarchy, or 'Strongman'. Whether we call ourselves a Democracy or a Republic, the onus of responsibility has been ourselves and ourselves alone. Trouble with treating this country like a 3rd World Hellhole is that you eventually will be treated as if you live in a 3rd World Hellhole.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:36am

    There was a rap concert in town two nights ago, over in Earth City. The cops were so paranoid it was going to turn into a real riot, they had over 200 police waiting in full SWAT gear. Well, it was more than normal swat gear. These guys are armed to the teeth, geared up with as much (or more) equipment than a full blown military unit.
    I've seen plenty of cops in riot gear, this pales in comparison. Most people are not being violent at all even in Ferg... but the cops are reacting as if they're in the middle of the post Rodney King LA riots.
    This goes far beyond racism. That's just the surface issue. People in general are sick of the police acting as tyrants, and if thecops keep going with the heavy handed response the situation could easily explode.

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Do you have any proof that the looters have any relationship to the protesters? It is more likely that a crimi9nal element see a chance to grab some stuff while the police are tied up in the protests.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:44am

    Re:

    yeah, because there's another country that is less racist than this one? Not possible. I have traveled to many countries, and as bad as it is here, it's worse almost everywhere else.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Asking for ID is one thing, and could be reasonable in some cases for the reason you state, now, how they respond if the person refuses, that's the important part, as, unless you're being arrested, I don't believe you're obligated to give them any personal information if you don't care to.

    I think in most jurisdictions you're required to identify yourself (not necessarily by presenting photo ID) if asked by police. Otherwise they can detain you while they determine your identity.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "you're required to identify yourself"

    I think this is a technicality (my inner pedant is the one that cried out), but my understanding is that you are not required to identify yourself. However, if you don't identify yourself, the police do, as you say, have the power to detain you until they can determine your identity -- so it's in your best interest to do so anyway.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Missouri cops need to be jailed, all of them.

    Two of the major metropolitan areas where I live have their police forces under federal oversight

    You live in two major metropolitan areas?

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: So cool!

    SWAT teams are essentially a loophole that allows the US to have a domestic military -- so it's only natural that they look like military. That's what they are.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:55am

    death threats

    I am in no way condoning any of what has transpired, but why is no one on here bringing up the fact that several local officers were receiving death threats long before the cavalry arrived? That must be part of the discussion. It weighs on the decisions the cops make as to how they have been responding. It doesn't justify the response, but it definitely affects their decisions. If you've been reading the news, all of those officers are from surrounding communities because the local guys are under protection.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Missouri cops need to be jailed, all of them.

    Actually, yes, I do. One is where my home and family are, the other is where my job is. I have an apartment there because it's too far to commute daily.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 10:01am

    Re: Police State.

    I didn't realize that Obama was in charge of state and municipal police forces. Silly me.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: So cool!

    I didn't know David Rockefeller knew how to use a computer.

     

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  90.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 10:13am

    Re: Reporters and reporting

    This is insightful because you indirectly tell others who might not know who Alex Jones is to shun anything he does. If Bill Cooper hadn't been shot by the cops in november 2001, that would be an ex-high ranking Navy Intelligence officer to listen to, but he wasn't given much time to live in this new millenium.

    Proof? Try and call Alex Jones to discuss Bill Cooper. lolz will ensue.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Missouri cops need to be jailed, all of them.

    I know a guy like that who had lots of potential in life, but due to a massive brain concussion he had, while on some psychedelic drugs nonetheless, trying to bring a refrigerator 6 stories high without any equipment with his girlfriend....who slipped and had him go down with the fridge which destroyed his nose and front teeth (looks like an ex boxer now). He started to act even weirder after this (he had a fucking concussion on LSD and some other stuff). Her girlfriend called an ambulance, but the cops showed up, for no particular reason, she didnt mention the drugs.

    Since then that guy's life is ruined, cops all mess with him in a 1000km radius, he carries around a police snooper just to protect himself (not kidding), it helps him get away from where he is in time before they arrive in case he happened to walk the streets while looking "different".

    sorry bout the long story, but that's in Canada, where I imagine most of you imagine things are massively different.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: Missouri cops need to be jailed, all of them.

    Here the Provincial Cops take over, 600 people towns have their own shops down there ? Yeah my province has its own police force, Ontario does too, no mounties here, which is good because I hear they are major dickheads.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: As someone who lives in the St. Louis Metro area...

    I know a friend in the US who has a friend who made the "crime" of paying for a new plasma tv, cash, while black. Store owners called the cops.

    He wasn't arrested but was majorly questioned about how come he had 800 dollars in cash.

    And I never want a cashless society, it would be such bullshit, some people hacked your paypal account and your bank kicks you out ? Well I guess you'll have to do without any money now bro.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re: Re: As someone who lives in the St. Louis Metro area...

    Wow, really? Once again, I feel lucky for being a middle-age white guy. I would absolutely have paid cash for a purchase like that (I generally don't use a card unless I'm paying more than a couple of grand). I've never anyone raise an eyebrow, let alone call the cops.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 10:33am

    Re: Technically arrested, not detained

    A real easy bright line for most judges is when the cuffs go on.

    Do you have any reference for that? I'm not finding anyone saying cuffs = arrest.

    "An arrest is a seizure of a person in which the subject is 1) required to go elsewhere with police, or 2) deprived of his freedom of movement for more than a brief period of time, or 3) subjected to more force than is reasonably part of an investigative detention. "

    Are handcuffs always not reasonably part of an investigative detention? Not sure, but I could see courts ruling that as a detention by that definition.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Missouri cops need to be jailed, all of them.

    One is where my home and family are, the other is where my job is. I have an apartment there because it's too far to commute daily.

    That sounds really obnoxious.

     

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    Digger, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Basic human right to defend your life, it doesn't require documentation from anywhere.

    If someone, I don't care who they are, pull their guns out and aim them at you, while you are just standing there, doing nothing illegal, then hell yes you have a right to defend yourself.

    Cops are people, and unfortunately, in Missouri a majority of them are also criminals and deserve anything they get for illegally drawing their weapons, up to and including being killed, which would only improve the situation there.

     

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    Digger, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 10:56am

    Re:

    But when the "cops" sole intention is to harass, maim and murder people who have done absolutely nothing wrong, so that they incite riots, instigate violence just so they can escalate with bigger guns and more violence, then it is the police that need to be apprehended, in the same manner that they "apprehend" people themselves.

    The cops are responsible for all of the violence through their own criminal activities, any and all violence, damages, injuries and other crimes need to placed squarely on the officers shoulders, all charges should be filed on the cops involved as they instigated the entire tragedy.

    Illegal stops.
    Murder
    Instigating riots
    Police brutality
    kidnapping (what they call detaining - it's illegal)
    violating the constitutional ammendments equates to treason, and should be treated as such

     

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    Bt Garner (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Whether it is right or wring is irrelevant. The third of a second that it takes you to pull out your firearm will most likely end up with you sporting a bullet hole in your chest.

    Your rights mean nothing when you are dead.

     

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    sorrykb (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re:

    Uhh - if I was just standing there, and an officer pulls a gun on me (as part of a crowd), I'd pull mine and kill the fucker in self defense as it sure looked like he had the intent of killing me or someone else.

    And you'd be shot dead. And probably a whole bunch of people around you would be shot dead. And the police would have legal justification for shooting you. Yeah. Great idea.

     

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    Michael, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: As someone who lives in the St. Louis Metro area...

    I am also a middle-aged white (and I mean REALLY white) guy and I paid for a car in cash a few years ago.

    It raised a bunch of eyebrows. I wouldn't recommend doing it.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Missouri cops need to be jailed, all of them.

    Yeah, it sucks. But sometimes the best available option is one that sucks.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Technically arrested, not detained

    Handcuffs can absolutely be used with a detention without it rising to the level of arrest. For example, if there's a bar fight, the police might just handcuff everybody involved until they can sort out who acted criminally. Those people aren't arrested, but detained.

    If you're arrested, you'll be processed. If you're detained, you'll just be allowed to leave once the police have finished.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 12:18pm

    Re: death threats

    "why is no one on here bringing up the fact that several local officers were receiving death threats long before the cavalry arrived?"

    Were those threats cited as being a part of the reason for the response? If not, then it's not really very relevant.

    "all of those officers are from surrounding communities because the local guys are under protection."

    So the officers involved weren't the ones who received the death threats, then? That makes the threats even less important.

     

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    Zonker, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 12:35pm

    Re:

    When the police themselves are lawless, they promote lawless behavior in others. Do as I do, not as I say is the message they are sending.

    Rioting, looting, and vandalism is the natural consequence of lawless behavior from those tasked with enforcing the law. Law abiding citizens defending themselves from police brutality are distracted from protecting their own property, and the police are too busy assaulting innocent civilians to enforce the laws they themselves won't obey.

     

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  106.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re:

    if it weren't for the word Police on their uniforms, I would have thought that those guys were US Army,

    Apparently the US army veterans would disagree with you. http://boingboing.net/2014/08/14/us-veterans-ferguson-police-d.html.

     

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    Zonker, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 12:59pm

    Re: death threats

    All of this could have easily been avoided by the police simply doing their job: arrest and put to trial the alleged murderer in their ranks where a civilian jury can determine if he/she is guilty or not. Instead they hide and refuse to even name the alleged guilty officer as a clear demonstration that they are above the law and may kill anyone at will without penalty.

    How could this behavior *not* result in death threats and riots against them?

     

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  108.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 1:46pm

    BACK IN THE US
    BACK IN THE US
    BACK IN THE USSR
    DON'T KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE
    BACK IN THE US
    BACK IN THE USSR

     

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  109.  
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    Darth Colonel Sanders, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 2:46pm

    2A

    Every nonwhite person in the US should observe their Second Amendment right and protect themselves.

     

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  110.  
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    Socrates, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 5:35pm

    Sanctioned vandalism?

    The police claim that a struggle over a gun caused the kid to be shot 8 times inside a van is quite telling. The claim that those protesting gunning down the kid is looters, is week sauce too. And it is very unlikely to be true.

    Looting by independent opportunistic criminals is most likely, followed by police purposefully letting vandalism and looting go undisturbed. Less likely is looting initiated by the police, though it happens for various reasons. Least likely by far is looting by those mourning the assassinated kid. An important reason is WHY they showed up to protest in the first place, and whom they consider themselves to be. Nobody loot to prove they are not the criminals.

    (Nor is protestors looting for food relevant in Ferguson).


    When citizens unmask vandals and looters at protests they frequently turn out to be police. Typical daft excuses is that they need to do it to "blend in" or "build cred". Vandals have also very obviously been smashing things for a long time in front of the MSM, before equally obviously let go, while protesters being prevented from unmasking them, by the police.


    Police staging riots, looting and vandalism would not welcome recording devices. Though someone even remotely interested in fighting crime would actively encourage documentation.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Response to: Whatever on Aug 14th, 2014 @ 3:11am

    Whatever's clit is allergic to facts.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: As someone who lives in the St. Louis Metro area...

    Why not? Are raised eyebrows really that painful?

     

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  113.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    My question was whether the assertion that it's your right to pull a gun on a cop when they pull a gun on you is accurate. I don't believe that it is.

    I wasn't addressing the ethics of the situation.

     

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  114.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 8:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Basic human right to defend your life, it doesn't require documentation from anywhere."

    If a cop pulls a gun on you when performing his duty, I don't think that automatically constitutes a threat to your life that justifies a lethal response. There can be circumstances where it would, of course, but those are the exceptions and not the rule.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  115.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 9:37am

    Re: Welcome!

    It has always been like this. They've just got more powerful toys now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  116.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    My question was whether the assertion that it's your right to pull a gun on a cop when they pull a gun on you is accurate. I don't believe that it is.

    I wasn't addressing the ethics of the situation.


    You two are talking about different things. He's making a claim about natural rights, and you're asking about legal rights.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  117.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 5:42pm

    USA is a police state.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  118.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2014 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The only think you are required to give if you are detained is your name. See Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, and Terry v. Ohio.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  119.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 17th, 2014 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think I covered that with "Otherwise they can detain you while they determine your identity" but OK. In order to avoid detention, you're required to identify yourself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  120.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 17th, 2014 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The only think you are required to give if you are detained is your name.

    Otherwise referred to as "identifying yourself".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  121.  
    icon
    Javarod (profile), Aug 18th, 2014 @ 6:53am

    Re: Ask the folks in Detroit and LA how well that worked out...

    Ad Asbury Park, NJ to that list. Race riots in 68, i lived and worked in there in the late 90s, and it was still a hole.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  122.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 9:29am

    Re: (Parody)

    To be fair what happened is still in dispute. We're not sure whether the person was attacking the cop before being shot or not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  123.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2014 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: (Parody)

    (and the way the T.V. media messed everything up and butchered this whole thing doesn't help either).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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