Techdirt is off for Memorial Day. We'll be back with regularly scheduled posting tomorrow!Hide

Turns Out When Police Act Cordial, Rather Than As An Oppressive Military Force, Things Work Out Better

from the shockingly-unshocking dept

After covering the militarized police fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri the past few days, including highlighting Anil Dash's rather simple point that the way to deal with angry protestors isn't to make them angrier, it appears that someone finally got the message. Missouri's governor kicked out the St. Louis County police, who were responsible for much of the previous escalation, and sent in the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who almost immediately set a very different tone -- one that involved a much smaller police presence, and one that was a lot friendlier. It even involved talking with (not just to) protestors in a cordial manner. The most striking image -- a complete reversal of the day before -- has to be Captain Ron Johnson, who was put in charge, walking with the protestors (in ordinary police garb) rather than having militarized police aiming high powered weaponry at them.
It's almost as if treating the public as people with rights who the police are supposed to be serving, rather than as an enemy that needs invading... works better. Who would have expected that, other than, well, most normal people?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 6:21am

    That's awesome. Hopefully this will spark the much needed debate and reforms to put the Executive back into its place and restore the citizenry rights. I won't hold my breath but the Federal morons should be watching and learning closely.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 6:37am

    Will be interesting to see what happens next as they are supposed to be releasing this morning the name of the officer who shot the boy.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Ninja (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 6:56am

      Re:

      I have mixed feelings here. I do believe some names should be kept from the public because sometimes as the investigation moves the party that seemed to be wrong/criminal (ie: the cop) turns out to be innocent. But if his/her name is released to the public before misunderstands are cleared it can lead to harassment and threats as the public (speaking of it as an entity) judges on half-baked evidence and delivers the verdict. I'm not saying the cop is innocent or something and this reasoning MUST apply to cops and citizens alike along with being carefully analyzed and applied by a judge (or maybe more than one for high profile cases). There was a case here where a woman was killed by an angry mob because she was mistakenly pointed by the police as the abductor of a kid. In an ideal society where people actually judged based on evidence or the result of a trial it would be no problem letting all names out in the open but we have much to evolve before that. How to prevent this from being abused is another story though (maybe release all names and provide police protection for the accused along with full support to spread the news if the person is found innocent with proper public coverage of the evidence and why it makes that person innocent).

      my 2 cents

       

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

      •  
        icon
        John Fenderson (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 7:37am

        Re: Re:

        Good points. However, if we're going to be this sensitive to the possible innocence of the suspected cop, should we not also show the same sensitivity when it comes to non-police suspects? I don't think that cops and non-cops should be treated differently in these sorts of matters.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Michael, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 7:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I agree, and that is why I am always frustrated when they withhold the names of police officers involved in things. I cannot remember any stories about shootings or other criminal activities in which the suspect had their name withheld from the media because of safety concerns.

          Maybe it does happen, but I cannot recall any instance of it.

           

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

        •  
          icon
          Ninja (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 11:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm not saying the cop is innocent or something and this reasoning MUST apply to cops and citizens alike

          That's precisely what I'm saying. I just took this cop as an example. I don't know the details and if there's evidence of him shooting hte boy I haven't seen yet. But there is animosity towards him. It doesn't matter if cop or civilian, the question here is that sometimes withholding the names involved may be the best course of action to avoid mob justice.

           

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

      •  
        icon
        jupiterkansas (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 7:41am

        Re: Re:

        Then perhaps if a police officer kills someone they should be arrested and put on trial like anyone else?

         

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

        •  
          icon
          Ninja (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 11:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's what should happen yes. From what I got from the article they are technically investigating and there's no lawsuit ongoing so far. The family should totally sue the PD in this case to get the cop to trial.

           

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

      •  
        identicon
        PRMan, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 9:56am

        Re: Re:

        It's not that the cop is innocent. From everything I've heard it's WHICH cop is guilty.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Michael, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 10:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          We really do not know. At best, we have the accounting of a police officer who may or may not have killed an unarmed person without proper cause and the accounting of a friend of the person killed and some VERY basic forensic information (the body was 30 feet or something from where the incident started).

          However, at this point, anyone not a police officer involved in a shooting like this would be under arrest and the public would have been given their name. Let's start by treating police and citizens the same way when a potential crime has been committed - they are supposed to be held to a HIGHER standard, not a lower one.

           

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

        •  
          icon
          Ninja (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 12:02pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's the core issue of my point. From what you've heard. What if the media went sensationalist and the cop is innocent? Heck, take the cop out of the equation, think any other average Joe that is accused of something that unleashes a public outcry. What if this person is NOT guilty? That's the point here, not if the cop is innocent or not. If he turns out to be innocent it is actually a GOOD thing his name is being withheld because he'll be spared of mob justice, harassment and threats. This is also true for ANY person that is accused of something before all evidence is checked. There is the problem that open court procedures are less prone to rigging so there is that to discuss too but you got my original point.

           

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 6:46am

    I would argue that the incredible work of both citizen and professional journalists - as Techdirt has previously written about - helped to exert pressure on the state government to deescalate the situation.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 8:40am

      Re:

      Deescalate is exactly the word. I see the citizen and journalist reaction as mirroring the escalation level excerted by the police and thus the improvement as a clear result of the police changing attitude. It is not exactly a new idea that escalation level works that way. It is just that some politicians seems to have forgotten it under the heavy lobbying.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    John Cressman, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 6:48am

    Yes... but...

    Yes... but is that only because they've looted all the local shops already? So now most of the opportunists are back home enjoying their ill gotten loot?

    These riots had very little to do with the shooting and much to do about the scum of the earth using a tragedy to profit by starting looting - unless someone can tell me how looting helps the poor dead teen in any way - or his family?

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 7:10am

      Re: Yes... but...

      "Yes... but is that only because they've looted all the local shops already? So now most of the opportunists are back home enjoying their ill gotten loot?"

      Most of the demonstrations and gatherings resulting from the police shooting had absolutely NOTHING to do with looting or violence, unless you count the police firing tear gas and rubber bullets into the protesters. Nice fucking try, though.

      "These riots had very little to do with the shooting and much to do about the scum of the earth using a tragedy to profit by starting looting - unless someone can tell me how looting helps the poor dead teen in any way - or his family?"

      As a matter of proportion, the riots also BARELY EXISTED. Your racism is showing.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        ChrisB (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 8:38am

        Re: Re: Yes... but...

        Calling someone racist because they are concerned that looters are exploiting this situation is unacceptable. Did he say "black" looters or "black" rioters?

        Calling people racist in this way is just a method to shut down the conversation. You should know better.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 9:17am

          Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

          Oh, please. Anyone who has followed the story of what's been happening in Ferguson and responds with "all them looters have already looted, that's why there ain't no riots today!" is either a racist idiot or they're getting their news coverage from racist idiots. That's it.

          Because the looting has been minimal, the protests have been ongoing, and a flip was switched when the police began acting like human beings. Bringing up looters in this story made zero sense at all and if you don't think "looters" is a conflation with "dem blacks", then you have your head in the sand....

           

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

      •  
        icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 10:54am

        Re: Re: Yes... but...

        As a matter of media coverage, the riots barely existed. That's a different matter, and your racism-ism (the knee-jerk reaction to blame anything bad that happens involving a minority on racism automatically) is showing.

        Frankly, we still don't have a very clear picture of what happened (or is happening) in Ferguson, because all we've been getting is one side of the story, and Techdirt (rather uncharacteristically!) jumping on the exact same bandwagon as all the rest of the media is really not helping.

        I will say, though, that people screaming "RACISM!!!!!" at every opportunity looked silly 20 years ago, they looked ridiculous after we elected a black president by a landslide, and today they mostly just look dangerous, more harmful than what pitiful amounts of actual racism still remain in this country.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 11:45am

          Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

          "I will say, though, that people screaming "RACISM!!!!!" at every opportunity looked silly 20 years ago, they looked ridiculous after we elected a black president by a landslide, and today they mostly just look dangerous, more harmful than what pitiful amounts of actual racism still remain in this country."

          I want the rest of the Techdirt community to take a moment and read this, because it's important to highlight what problems we still have in this country, and Mason Wheeler is a huge part of the problem. This isn't about "screaming" racism, it's about battling the idiots that think only a "pitiful amount" of racism still exists just because we elected a black President with something like 55% of the popular vote.

          Fuck you, dude. Seriously....

           

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

          •  
            icon
            Mason Wheeler (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 2:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

            I want the rest of the Techdirt community to take a moment and read this, because it's important to highlight what problems we still have in this country, and Mason Wheeler is a huge part of the problem.


            No, the problem we have in this country is that there are a lot of people with an agenda who don't want racism to be dead, because they make plenty of hay out of it. And then there's the problem of people believing it. It's really another expression of the same problem we see in legacy media companies: when the problem you're solving goes away, there's no more need for your services, so the natural reaction against legitimate obsolescence is to use illegitimate, underhanded tactics to push back against it.

            Perhaps you haven't noticed, but racists are held in about the same high regard as pedophiles in the USA, and for good reason: they're idiots who make trouble, and we're sick of it. Problem is, these days so is the other side. Martin Luther King's dead, his heirs (as reported by Techdirt!) are a bunch of worthless parasites on society, and sometimes it seems like all we've got left are the Malcolm X types.

            This isn't about "screaming" racism,

            The fact that you think that just underscores how serious the problem is. You're being taken for a ride and you don't even know it. Have a look at what was going on in this case before any of the stuff being covered in the news started. Yes, what happened to the kid was a horrifying tragedy, but it was a local issue, and there were no riots requiring militarized police response and major news coverage before a bunch of activists showed up in Ferguson to "spread awareness" and drum up some outrage.

            Seems to me the racism-ists didn't get the race riot they wanted in the Trayvon Martin case, so now they're trying again with a more sympathetic dead kid to rally around. That's about as cynical and ugly as it gets.

            it's about battling the idiots that think only a "pitiful amount" of racism still exists just because we elected a black President with something like 55% of the popular vote.

            Did I say "just because"? Pay attention, folks, if you're taking a moment and reading this. That right there is a sure sign of someone who knows their argument is crap: misrepresentation and mockery. Make people laugh at the other side's argument so they won't think about it.

            The fact of the matter is that we've got successful black people being very successful at every level of society, private and public, and nobody is stopping them. Meanwhile, we've also got a bunch of unsuccessful black people with really screwed-up lives... and a bunch of unsuccessful white people with really screwed-up lives. That actually sounds a lot like equality to me!

             

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

            •  
              icon
              sorrykb (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 4:29pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

              Mason Wheeler wrote:
              Perhaps you haven't noticed, but racists are held in about the same high regard as pedophiles in the USA, and for good reason: they're idiots who make trouble, and we're sick of it. Problem is, these days so is the other side.

              Hi. I'm on the other side.

              I'm on the other side because I understand that racism did not magically disappear when we elected a black president.

              I understand that entrenched institutional racism has survived even though don't see quite the level of public use of overtly racist language as we used to (although I could introduce you to a cousin of mine who will disprove that in about 5 minutes of "conversation"), the spirit of this lives on in the carefully crafted language of coded racism: "food stamp president", "welfare queens", and yes, "states' rights". You can hear it for yourself: http://www.thenation.com/article/170841/exclusive-lee-atwaters-infamous-1981-interview-southern-stra tegy

              Oh, and there are also the ongoing efforts to restrict voting rights, under the guise of "preventing fraud". Here's some reading for you that documents how most allegations of fraud have been completely unsubstantiated, and others have been cases of simple bureaucratic error: http://www.brennancenter.org/issues/voter-fraud

              And yes, racism is still a problem, even though we no longer see heavily armed police using dogs and tear gas and fire hoses against peaceful protesters -- oh, wait. We just saw that. (Although the fire hoses were replaced with grenade launchers. Yay. Progrss)

              And that's all just racism in the public sphere. We haven't even gotten into private sector employment discrimination, housing discrimination, and oh so many things.

              So, yeah, Mason Wheeler. Count me on "the other side."

               

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

              •  
                icon
                Mason Wheeler (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 6:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

                I'm on the other side because I understand that racism did not magically disappear when we elected a black president.

                Again, that is not at all what I said. If anything, my position is the exact opposite: we were able to elect a black president because racism is long dead in the US.
                The spirit of this lives on in the carefully crafted language of coded racism: "food stamp president", "welfare queens"

                These are economic issues that racism-ists try to disguise as racial issues to raise their own profile. Last I heard, most food stamp and welfare recipients in this country are white.
                Oh, and there are also the ongoing efforts to restrict voting rights, under the guise of "preventing fraud".

                Which, again, are blown heavily out of proportion. Opponents of voter fraud reform like to toss around statistics like "there were only six cases of confirmed voter fraud discovered IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY in the last Presidential election." (Not sure if that's the actual number, but it was definitely low enough to make it look like a non-problem.)

                This is a classic example of lying with statistics. Because what the last election (the last several, in fact) also have had were many, many precincts in which more ballots were cast than there were registered voters, particularly in swing states. That right there is prima facie evidence of the existence of fraud, and if they only figured out who and how six times, then something is very, very wrong. That makes perfect sense.

                You know what doesn't make sense? The racism-ist argument that this is voter ID laws are maliciously designed to impose undue economic hardship upon minorities to keep them from voting. If anything, this is (yet again!) an economic problem being hijacked and made to look like a racism problem, but in reality it's not even a genuine economic problem!

                The last time I got an ID, it cost me $20. It's good for 5 years. And I don't care how poor you are; there's no one who can't find some way of coming up with $20 once every 5 years! The entire argument is ridiculous on the face of it.
                We no longer see heavily armed police using dogs and tear gas and fire hoses against peaceful protesters -- oh, wait. We just saw that.

                Probably the biggest mistake anyone can make when analyzing any complex system is to think in only 1 degree of cause and effect. Yes, there was a heavy-handed police response. That was bad. But if you stop there you reach wrong conclusions.

                Here's a better conclusion for you: You know what's even worse in every way than a heavy-handed police response? Riots in the streets. You know, the sort of thing that happened when activist media blew the Rodney King story way out of proportion? The sort of thing that almost happened in response to the Trayvon Martin case? And now when a bunch of the same people who went around stirring up trouble in the Trayvon Martin case appeared in Ferguson to try again... well, if I were a cop and someone did that in my town, I'd be inclined to err on the side of caution too!

                Racism in the US is a thing of the past, and the more that people from generations who grew up before the Civil Rights movement die off, the more whatever's left of it dies with them.
                We haven't even gotten into private sector employment discrimination, housing discrimination, and oh so many things.

                The last software company I worked for was quite a melting pot. The second (or maybe third) most senior developer on the team I worked with was a South American immigrant of native descent. One of the lead developers on another project was an Indian woman. One of the guys who wrote significant parts of the codebase and then left to take another job before I started with the company was arabic, and so on. We had people of all races and colors all over the company... and one black guy. We had nothing against hiring minorities of any type, but so few black people ever even applied that you might not know it if you were just to look at the org chart.

                I'll leave the reasons why to a sociologist, but from the research I've seen, in the majority of cases today in which people with an agenda want to raise the hue and cry of racism, the cold, dispassionate data points instead to economics or (particularly among blacks) to self-sabotaging cultural issues within minority communities themselves.

                 

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

                •  
                  icon
                  Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 6:25pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

                  "to self-sabotaging cultural issues within minority communities themselves."

                  ....and racism is dead. Awesome.

                   

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

                  •  
                    icon
                    BernardoVerda (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 7:06pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

                    >> "to self-sabotaging cultural issues within minority communities themselves."

                    > ....and racism is dead. Awesome.

                    To be fair, such "self-sabotaging cultural issues within minority communities" do exist -- but of course, he's nonetheless largely confusing cause and effect. The self-sabotage is a symptom of the problem, that amplifies the problem and makes them worse, in a pernicious feedback effect.

                     

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

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Mason Wheeler, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 9:56pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

                    ....and racism is dead. Awesome.

                    Spoken like a True Believer who cares more about his dear ideology than about facts.

                    When a sizable majority of black children are born out of wedlock and denied the opportunity to be raised in a stable family environment, is that the fault of white racists?

                    When drug abuse is so prevalent among African-Americans that, years before the economic crash of 2008, economists were already pointing out that blacks as a whole had given up all of the social gain that they had fought so hard to win during the Civil Rights movement, is that the fault of white racists?

                    When black parents literally teach their children to actively not strive for success because they'd be "acting too white," thereby trapping them in a cycle of failure, poverty and misery, is that the fault of white racists?

                    Ideology can scream "racism" all he wants, but once Data looks under the hood, a very different picture emerges.

                     

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

                    •  
                      icon
                      Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 16th, 2014 @ 4:42am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

                      "When a sizable majority of black children are born out of wedlock and denied the opportunity to be raised in a stable family environment, is that the fault of white racists?"

                      Here's the statistics for anyone else who is interested. In 2011 2/3 of every black child was born into a single parent household. White children, while having a higher number in total, only have a 1/4 chance of being born to a single parent. Here's the thing: if you opened up the prisons and released the non-violent drug offenders, those numbers will look quite different as prisoners return home to raise their kids. So, he's not wrong that it's a problem to have so many black kids grow up with one parent, but when he asks if it's the fault of racism, the mass incarceration of blacks in this country says yes.

                      http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/107-children-in-single-parent-families-by#detailed/1 /any/false/868,867,133,38,35/10,168,9,12,1,13,185/432,431

                      "When drug abuse is so prevalent among African-Americans that, years before the economic crash of 2008, economists were already pointing out that blacks as a whole had given up all of the social gain that they had fought so hard to win during the Civil Rights movement, is that the fault of white racists?"

                      It's not, because on this one you're just making things up. White people are twice as likely to abuse drugs than blacks, it's just that blacks are 300% more likely to get some/more/longer jail time than whites.

                      http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/07/study-whites-more-likely-to-abuse-drugs-than-blacks/

                      "Wh en black parents literally teach their children to actively not strive for success because they'd be "acting too white," thereby trapping them in a cycle of failure, poverty and misery, is that the fault of white racists?"

                      Citation please. By the way, anyone reading this exchange, this part in particular, still want to defend Mason the racist?

                       

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

                      •  
                        identicon
                        Mason Wheeler, Aug 16th, 2014 @ 8:10am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

                        n 2011 2/3 of every black child was born into a single parent household. White children, while having a higher number in total, only have a 1/4 chance of being born to a single parent. Here's the thing: if you opened up the prisons and released the non-violent drug offenders, those numbers will look quite different as prisoners return home to raise their kids.

                        First, nice job moving the goalposts. I say "born out of wedlock," you respond by conflating it with "Daddy's in prison."

                        Second, citation needed. The difference between 2/3 and 1/4 is about 42%. If I were to take your argument at face value--implying that parity could be achieved, or mostly achieved by this one step--you're saying that approximately 40% of all black kids being born these days have at least one parent in prison due to "non-violent drug offenses." I've never seen statistics anywhere like that published anywhere.

                        Third, you're building on a horrendously mistaken premise, a lie that costs lives: that drugs aren't a "real" problem. That's an idea that's in vogue lately in certain political circles, and it's malicious and false. Look into it, follow the money, and what you'll find is that it's being pushed by people who either are now or would end up making obscene amounts of money selling drugs that are currently illegal.

                        Meanwhile, drugs kill, and do worse than kill. If there is anything in this world worse than murder, it's drug dealing. A murderer kills you and you're dead, and it's over. A drug dealer strings you along for years or decades, extracting every last drop of wealth that he can, along the way dragging you, your family and your loved ones into misery (and frequently abject poverty,) often forcing you to turn to crime to feed the habit, and only when every last good thing in your life has been crushed are you finally discarded and left to die.

                        As Mother Teresa once said about the poor, it's very fashionable to talk about drug addicts, and much less so to actually talk with them. I've done that. I've worked in rehab. I've seen first-hand what it does to people, and they were the lucky ones, the ones who managed to get out at some point, or at least to reach a point where they sincerely wanted to try to. There are plenty more who don't, who have it even worse.

                        The only drug policy that makes any sense is one we've never actually contemplated: call a spade a spade. Prosecute, convict, and execute drug dealers as the mass-murderers they are, and treat addicts as victims, not criminals, getting them into treatment and counseling.

                        It's not, because on this one you're just making things up.

                        Translation: I haven't done any actual research like you have, and it doesn't fit my preconceived biases, so I'm dismissing it out of hand.

                        White people are twice as likely to abuse drugs than blacks, it's just that blacks are 300% more likely to get some/more/longer jail time than whites.

                        http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/07/study-whites-more-likely-to-abuse-drugs-than-blacks/

                        Yet another example of lying with statistics. Nowhere in that entire article does it mention the elephant in this particular room: cocaine. Cocaine, particularly crack, has far more severe soul-destroying and family-destroying effects than most common drugs. (Though meth can give it a run for its money.) It's also disproportionately popular among black drug addicts, and much less so among white drug addicts. And again, this is consistent with what I've personally seen working in treating these problems.

                        "Wh en black parents literally teach their children to actively not strive for success because they'd be "acting too white," thereby trapping them in a cycle of failure, poverty and misery, is that the fault of white racists?"

                        Citation please.

                        My mistake. When going back and looking this up again, it seems I mis-remembered, and most (but not all) of the pressure in this particular issue comes from black peers, not black parents. But that doesn't make it not a pervasive, self-sabotaging cultural issue.

                        “Go into any inner-city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can’t teach kids to learn.They know that parents have to parent, that children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white.”
                        —Barack Obama, Keynote Address, Democratic National Convention, 2004
                        (Cited in http://educationnext.org/actingwhite/. The entire article is worth reading, particularly the graph about two pages down that shows starkly just how bad the issue is, both among black and hispanic students.)

                        "[One] generation gap, for instance, is that a lot of black youth now are anti-education and anti-intellectualism, who feel that getting an education is being white, is acting white. We never had that in previous generations, this is something new. I think this is very, very disconcerting that black youth are culturally adapting such postures when the high school dropout rate is so high, when they’re going to jail at increasing rates, it’s in fact really very high, and in jail about 70 percent of inmates have not graduated from high school."
                        Dr. Alvin Poussaint, explaining the real problem behind high black incarceration rates, and it's not drugs.

                        50 percent drop out rate, I’m telling you, and people in jail, and women having children by five, six different men. Under what excuse, I want somebody to love me, and as soon as you have it, you forget to parent. Grandmother, mother, and great grandmother in the same room, raising children, and the child knows nothing about love or respect of any one of the three of them. All this child knows is “gimme, gimme, gimme.” These people want to buy the friendship of a child, and the child couldn’t care less. Those of us sitting out here who have gone on to some college or whatever we’ve done, we still fear our parents. And these people are not parenting. They’re buying things for the kid. $500 sneakers, for what? They won’t buy or spend $250 on Hooked on Phonics.

                        ...

                        Brown Versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem. We’ve got to take the neighborhood back. We’ve got to go in there. Just forget telling your child to go to the Peace Corps. It’s right around the corner. It’s standing on the corner. It can’t speak English. It doesn’t want to speak English. I can’t even talk the way these people talk. “Why you ain’t where you is go, ra,” I don’t know who these people are. And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. Then I heard the father talk. This is all in the house. You used to talk a certain way on the corner and you got into the house and switched to English. Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t land a plane with “why you ain’t…” You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth. There is no Bible that has that kind of language. Where did these people get the idea that they’re moving ahead on this. Well, they know they’re not, they’re just hanging out in the same place, five or six generations sitting in the projects when you’re just supposed to stay there long enough to get a job and move out.

                        Now look, I’m telling you. It’s not what they’re doing to us. It’s what we’re not doing. 50 percent drop out. Look, we’re raising our own ingrown immigrants. These people are fighting hard to be ignorant.

                        -- Bill Cosby, speaking at the 50th Anniversary commemoration of Brown v. Board of Education. The entire thing is worth reading.

                        See also http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/52025/

                        By the way, anyone reading this exchange, this part in particular, still want to defend Mason the racist?

                        How typical of the intellectually dishonest. Anyone with an apposing viewpoint, especially if he should dare to back it up with hard facts, must immediately be countered with ridicule and portrayed as not only wrong but malicious. Anything to keep the audience from actually thinking about what he has to say and possibly taking it seriously!

                        I'm about the least racist person you'll ever meet. I've lived in too many places, known and formed close friendships with too many people of too many distinct backgrounds, to ever buy into the pernicious lies that tell you that certain people are worth less as people because of who their ancestors were. But people like this guy are so desperate to make reality fit the preconceived narrative that they call the facts themselves--and by extension anyone who dares to bring them up--racist should the facts be inconvenient.

                        The only serious racists I see today are the people who blame the faceless "White Man" for perpetrating made-up oppression because it's simpler than facing the fact that they are responsible for their own failure by not putting forth the effort necessary to become successful. If that's not racist, what is?

                         

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

                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 9:19pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

                  Here is an ready indicator for you that racism is NOT dead. What is the percentage of the prison population that come from a minority group?

                  Are all races represented equally?

                   

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

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Mason Wheeler, Aug 16th, 2014 @ 8:13am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

                    Looking at the incarcerated, these are not political criminals. These are people going around stealing Coca Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake! Then we all run out and are outraged, “The cops shouldn’t have shot him” What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?

                    I wanted a piece of pound cake just as bad as anybody else. And I looked at it and I had no money. And something called parenting said if you get caught with it you’re going to embarrass your mother. Not you’re going to get your butt kicked. No. You’re going to embarrass your mother. You’re going to embarrass your family.

                    -- Bill Cosby, who's actually put his money where his mouth is and given a lot of money and effort to help improve conditions for black youths. You gonna call him racist next?

                     

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

                    •  
                      icon
                      sorrykb (profile), Aug 16th, 2014 @ 9:29am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

                      Mason Wheeler:
                      The only serious racists I see today are the people who blame the faceless "White Man" for perpetrating made-up oppression

                      My cousin (whom I mentioned earlier), upon being called racist:
                      I'm not racist. It's the n-----s who's racist.

                       

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

                      •  
                        identicon
                        Mason Wheeler, Aug 16th, 2014 @ 12:58pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

                        Which just goes to demonstrate the point I've been making all along: it's more important to look at facts than at stupid things that random people say.

                         

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

        •  
          icon
          Ninja (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 12:10pm

          Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

          America is still very racist much like the rest of Europe. The fact that the racist people keep quiet due to laws against racism does not mean it has gone away. Frankly the original comment tone seems more like some conservative moron that hasn't grasped the situation (ie: hasn't read enough or got fed from Fox News) than racism (although the wording does imply racism).

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            AJ, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 12:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

            "some conservative moron that hasn't grasped the situation (ie: hasn't read enough or got fed from Fox News) than racism (although the wording does imply racism)."

            I find it fucking hilarious that your calling someone a moron because of their perceived political views while at the same time defending them from being a racist.

            LOL?

             

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

            •  
              icon
              Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 12:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

              "I find it fucking hilarious that your calling someone a moron"

              I love the internet....

               

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

              •  
                identicon
                AJ, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 12:47pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

                Come on! that shit was funny!

                 

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

              •  
                identicon
                AJ, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 12:52pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

                It wasn't the fact that he was calling him a moron, it was the fact that he was doing so while defending him from racism.

                You just can't make that shit up!!!!!

                 

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

            •  
              icon
              Ninja (profile), Aug 18th, 2014 @ 3:23am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

              Seems you didn't understand what I said. I'm not defending anyone, I'm just telling what I understood. And I didn't use conservative in the political sense of the word but rather as more orthodox persons. Not that all 'conservative' ideas or people are bad. Dunno if it was clearer?

               

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

        •  
          icon
          nasch (profile), Aug 17th, 2014 @ 7:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

          It's very easy for privileged whites to declare that there isn't much racism left.

           

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

          •  
            icon
            Mason Wheeler (profile), Aug 18th, 2014 @ 10:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

            It's easy for anyone to declare anything. That's why what actually gets you good results is looking at the data.

             

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

            •  
              icon
              sorrykb (profile), Aug 18th, 2014 @ 4:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

              Several people here have provided the data (from a variety of sources) for you. Take your blinders off and look at it.

               

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

              •  
                icon
                sorrykb (profile), Aug 18th, 2014 @ 4:22pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes... but...

                and damn I referred to data as "it". I meant "them". Much data, good analyses. Go look.

                And try to understand that "I work with a black guy and it doesn't look to me like he's had a problem with racism" is not a data point.

                 

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

      •  
        icon
        Ninja (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 12:06pm

        Re: Re: Yes... but...

        Also, even if there were such acts it's very important to separate things. Sometimes it's a handful of idiots doing violent things when the great majority is just protesting peacefully. That's another problem of our police: targeting the ones that really are breaking some law instead of the whole crowd.

         

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 7:13am

      Re: Yes... but...

      It's because there isn't chaos caused by cops firing rubber bullets at protestors and tear gas at news crews for looters to take advantage of.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      John Fenderson (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 7:40am

      Re: Yes... but...

      Right. Because some of the crowd is into looting, then clearly looting was the only thing that people cared about. /sarc

      It truly sickens me how when things like this happen, the fact that looters come out is used to brush aside the real issues that people are pissed off bout.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 11:33am

        Re: Re: Yes... but...

        Not to mention the fact that if you decide to ignore the main issues and focus on the small amount of looting... the police did a really bad job of dealing with the looting/attempted riot. They didn't bring in the riot squad (slow moving shield walls, fire hoses, flashbangs and loudspeakers), they brought in a fully mobilized paramilitary force. Really. There are tried and tested ways to deal with rioting and looting, and they usually involve police presence inside the hot spots (not surrounding them) backed up by dispersion tactics. Calling on the public to record the activities of those who behave badly is also becoming a tactic used by smart police forces.

        The idea is to make those doing the violence/looting look like idiots, a minority, and have them well documented. Looting stops pretty quickly when you have 50 smartphones recording the people's faces and a police officer standing by taking statements. It's when you project the image that the police are no longer in control, but instead are on the defensive (fatigues does this) that looting/riots escalate.

         

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

    •  
      identicon
      me, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 8:29am

      Re: Yes... but...

      but... an innocent man was still killed, and the local police commited acts of domestic terror. They need to be held accountable, think jail time.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 1:27pm

        Re: Re: Yes... but...

        an innocent man was still killed

        Best stick with there is no demonstrated reason that a police stop over jaywalking should have resulted in a corpse.

         

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

    •  
      icon
      Padpaw (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 9:47am

      Re: Yes... but...

      your despicable using this as a platform to spew hate against people you dislike because of the colour of their skin

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 3:08pm

      Re: Yes... but...

      Uhh...Multiple cities in the US held rallies, I don't see any looting going on there.
      But it's most likely because the police force there also didn't respond in military gear?

      http://gawker.com/rallies-for-michael-brown-spread-across-the-country-1622023982

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Prashanth (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 6:48am

    Causal effect with the police

    Is it really the case though that people would have been *so* much more cooperative if the police acted cordially all along? I mean, I'm sure that if the police had acted cordially all along, things would certainly have been better than what they were when the SWAT teams were in place, but I'm wondering how much of the current positive interactions with the cordial police are more just relief at the SWAT team now being gone.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      AJ, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 7:15am

      Re: Causal effect with the police

      "Is it really the case though that people would have been *so* much more cooperative if the police acted cordially all along? "

      Hard to tell, every situation is different. But when you form a line with shields, guns, and riot gear, your setting a tone of violence, violence is what your going to get. When you show up dressed as professional police officers, mingle within the crowd, and "control" as best you can the escalation or intensity of the protest, you have a shot at it staying peaceful.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 7:44am

      Re: Causal effect with the police

      How far do you want to go back? Did the nature of relations between the citizenry and this police department contribute to the shooting in the first place?

       

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

    •  
      icon
      John Fenderson (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 7:46am

      Re: Causal effect with the police

      "Is it really the case though that people would have been *so* much more cooperative if the police acted cordially all along?"

      When the police act like the military, they tend to make the situation worse than it would otherwise have been. If the police behaved in a more profession fashion, it would probably have made at least some difference. Even if the difference is small, it would still be an improvement.

      The police reaction certainly did no good whatsoever. Even if the crowd would have been just the same with a decent police force reaction, at the very least there would have been a lower cost in terms of injuries, police reputation, and monetary outlay.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      alternatives(), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 8:13am

      Re: Causal effect with the police

      Is it really the case though that people would have been *so* much more cooperative if the police acted cordially all along?

      If cordially means "not shooting unarmed suspects dead" then yes, it would seem to be the case.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 9:12am

      Re: Causal effect with the police

      Is it really the case though that people would have been *so* much more cooperative if the police acted cordially all along?

      Almost certainly, yes. Remember that the protest were non-violent until the militarized riot police came in and started threatening people.

      Basic psychology. You take normally non-violent people, put them in a group where they are angry and in an emotional state, and give them the impression that their anger is not justified (by telling them to disperse and go away). Then start threatening them with violence (pointed weapons, tear gas), and of course they are going to react and respond in kind. What else would you expect?

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    AJ, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 6:54am

    This article prompted me to read a few others. This is how it's done. I realize not all protest start out or end well. But when you show up with tanks and AR's what do you think is going to happen?
    When you talk to and connect with the people your sworn to protect, hear their grievances, and let them know your there to keep the peace AS WELL AS to protect their right to protest you are much more likely to have this. Especially when you show up as professional police and not soldiers.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 7:01am

    the really annoying thing is that this is how police are supposed to behave, as human beings, elected and employed by the councils etc to PROTECT AND SERVE! they are not there to do, as so many chiefs and officers think nowadays, to force the public to behave in a particular manner and any deviation can bring the wrath of God, in human, uniformed form, down on them in seconds! Ferguson isn't the only place this happens. it's a trend that is engulfing almost every habitable area of the Planet. as with other ridiculous things, there are certain people behind the way the police and others are acting. what a shame that whoever these paranoid beings are they have to keep bring everyday people and everyday places into their ridiculous ways of behaving. shame they cant be rooted out and dispelled to somewhere where the only people they can harm are themselves or those with the same misguided reasoning!

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Case, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 7:25am

    Like a military force?

    What I'm seeing there is nothing military, just a gang of poorly organized though guys parading their castoff army gear and trying to establish their position by pointing said gear at random people. "Warlordization" would be a much more fitting term.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      John Fenderson (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 7:47am

      Re: Like a military force?

      That's still like a military. A bad military, sure, but still a military.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Case, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 9:18am

        Re: Re: Like a military force?

        Sure, the Popular Front for the Liberation of [failed state] is a military force, but the term kinda implies the police to be acting like the local military. If they actually did that, officers would be taught proper Escalation of Force, and have strict rules for when to stick a gun in somebody's face.

        So apparently, the organization which neither should handle demonstrations nor actually wants to is better trained for it than the police in some places. Maybe we should militarize police in that regard...and while we're at it, somebody tell those hobby soldiers not to carry the entire armory with them. Small wonder they break up every assembly after two hours, with something like three times the regular combat load on their backs they probably can't keep upright much longer.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          John Fenderson (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 9:31am

          Re: Re: Re: Like a military force?

          "the term kinda implies the police to be acting like the local military"

          It does, yes. And justifiably so because that's exactly how they're acting.

          "If they actually did that, officers would be taught proper Escalation of Force, and have strict rules for when to stick a gun in somebody's face."

          Again, you're talking about a good, well-trained military. That's not the only kind of military.

          "Maybe we should militarize police in that regard"

          Absolutely not. Better the cops be a bad military force than a good one.

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Case, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 9:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Like a military force?


            It does, yes. And justifiably so because that's exactly how they're acting.

            Except that they don't, as I just explained in a sentence you even quoted yourself...

             

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 11:30am

          Re: Re: Re: Like a military force?

          Would militia cover it better? I don't think militarization is only applicable on training, but pretty specifically is used about the equipment used. When that is said, I believe their training is in fact better than you make it seem.

          Escalation of Force is so basic psychology that even stopping a bar fight - something many patrol cops see weekly or daily - can use it. When it comes to handling weapons I know for a fact they have pretty extensive training in how to use them properly. I don't think there is a clear overarching hole in education that covers what has happened. It seems to have deeper roots in misinterpreting the situation.

           

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

    •  
      icon
      nasch (profile), Aug 17th, 2014 @ 7:24pm

      Re: Like a military force?

      What I'm seeing there is nothing military, just a gang of poorly organized though guys parading their castoff army gear...

      Really, you don't see it?

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 7:48am

    Well...huh. This is a really welcome start to my Friday.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 7:50am

    But all of that military gear, dawg? If they just act all nice and everything, it just never gets used - and that makes a warrior cop sad.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Irving, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 8:12am

    What a well-executed PR exercise

    Classic bad-cop/good-cop.

    Of course, the murdering cop still goes free.....

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 9:10am

    One thing to notice, is Captain Johnson is African American. Whenever you're dealing with someone in a position of athority, it's important that both sides be able to relate. Given that none of the officers in Ferguson are black, even though something like 70% of the population is, it automatically sets up an "us vs them" attitue for both sides.

    A second issue, do the officers who work in Ferguson actually live in Ferguson?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 9:54am

    It's nice that they "kicked out" the police force that cause all this but uh... repercussions? Is the chief of police going to be out on his militarised ass? Are the local officials going to be held accountable for letting this go on for so long?

    I doubt it.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 10:17am

    1. something bad happens
    2. police react with "show of force"
    3. more and more escalation
    4. state troopers take over and restore order
    To me, this looks pretty much like the pattern that Cory Doctorow used in Little Brother: Coincidence?

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 10:34am

    But, but, but...

    ...they're treating those criminals as equals! Can they do that?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 10:50am

    Of course Cushing wouldn't report this. After all it is about authority being sane. It's not news for Cushing if you can't write about hating a cop.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    connermac725 (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 11:07am

    Finally some reasonable police work

    sad when the people you pay to serve you treat you like a terrorist
    maybe now this issue can move forward if he did have his hands up as witnesses say the cop should face charges just like any other person who shoots an unarmed person
    actually more so as they a supposedly trained for this

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Just Once, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 1:13pm

    I see this as an escalation

    I know this is pessimistic (not a strong enough word?), but removing local troops and putting state forces in place?

    How is that de-escalation?

    This conversation has become dated. The convo now includes the on-the-ground army commander from Katrina as an actor in this community field.

    Is this further de-escalation?

    I don't see how those actions are serving that purpose.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      9Blu (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 1:51pm

      Re: I see this as an escalation

      Bringing in the state police was absolutely the right thing to do. The state police showed up as cops, not some paramilitary organization like the county police tried to be. They showed up to keep the peace while not interfering with or antagonizing the protesters. It went from armored police vehicles with snipers (!) looking down their scopes at the crowd, police shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at the protesters, and harassing and even trying to suppress the press reporting on the situation to police in regular uniforms not interfering with the protests, just being there to make sure that no violence broke out. And guess what: it didn't.

      I'm holding off judgement on what happened since we don't have all the facts yet (thanks to the local PD being idiots and not releasing them right away). However to say that the local and county cops mishandled the aftermath would be a huge understatement. The local police chief needs to be fired. If for nothing else that the fact that his department has dash-cams but never had them installed. Dash and/or bodycam recording of this incident would have made it much clearer what actually happened here. They local PD should have also been more forthcoming up front with all of the information on the situation that first day. Instead they only told a fragment of what happened, which made zero sense (some kid randomly assaults a cop, wtf?). Then they let everything fester for almost a week, and I feel that hey are still withholding important facts about the case from the community even after today's revelations. They failed to keep order during the first night of demonstrations when some people took advantage of the protests to turn violent. Then they brought in the county cops who turned militaristic against the peaceful demonstrators and the press the following nights, antagonizing the community and creating more violence and tension in the process. In addition, due to the way this was handled, even if (big if, but still) the cop turns out to be in the right in all this, by trying to "protect" him and the rest of his department, the police chief has instead totally fucked him.

      The whole situation is the very definition of a world-class cluster-fuck.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2014 @ 4:31pm

      Re: I see this as an escalation

      Escalation should be judged by the level of force applied or the discrepancy of such. Force is still "might makes right", thus to a large degree dependant on equipment and the approach to interactions. It is serving to somewhat deescalate to bring in a black cop, to communicate with the protesters and to not wear military equipment.

      The later problems seems to be caused by the local police releasing a video presumably showing the kid participating in a robbery.

      If the testimony of the police officer holds up, knowledge of a theft goes to the credibility of the deceased and will give a self-defence claim more meaning. However, even if the kid was part of the theft and even if he did wrestle, 7 shots and ending up POW-style quite a distance from the cop just ain't gonna look good no matter how you spin it. The discrepancy between the police officers statement and the witness statements is the real controversy and nothing about that equation is gonna change by adding character evidence of a lesser crime than murder. The police releasing such evidence now and withholding more relevant evidence seems extremely unfortunate and smears a dead persons character. Not very tactful or well-timed since the eye-witness testimonies haven't been officially discredited to a point of irrelevance. Furthermore the black cop in charge wasn't consulted on the release of the information from Ferguson Police department who have changed their description of the event several times and DOJ warned the police not to release it... Ferguson Police have lost any shed of credibility as an objective part they might have held earlier. Letting others take over the jurisdiction is a prerequirement for getting an even remotely trustworthy investigation.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 2:16pm

    damn.  i just had a look and it does say protect and serve.  i thought surely it must say provoke and starve.

    credit to the state and especially capt johnson.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Occams, Aug 15th, 2014 @ 5:19pm

    "Cordial"????

    Where's the fun in THAT?

    These guys don't sign up to "Protect and to Serve"....

    They sign up to shoot and loot, blast away, and feel what it's like to kill with impunity.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Rocco Maglio (profile), Aug 19th, 2014 @ 11:36am

    Overcome by events

    This post has been overcome by events. It was too early to give Captain Johnson his victory lap. After this day of little violence there were a number of days with rioting and looting. The national guard was called in to try to restore peace. A number of business were looted and will not recover.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.