What do I think about what’s going on in Ferguson, Missouri?

Re the Brown shooting:  On the one hand, American police do a lot more shooting than any other police force in the world.  More shots were fired in that single incident in Ferguson than were fired by the entire German police force in six whole weeks. 

On the other hand, African-Americans do get a disparately-harsh response from law-enforcement.   It causes some to prejudge all cases involving black shooting victimes.

On the third hand – that cuts both ways.  We don’t know the facts – not all of them – about the Brown shooting, but we’ve seen the media whitewash the likes of Darren Evanovich, trying to create a racial incident out of what turned out to be a perfectly clean self-defense shooting. 

On the fourth hand, if Brown was going for the officer’s gun, that’s a legitimate cause for self-defense.  Even for a regular citizen.  If someone grabs your gun, the law doesn’t require you to read his mind as to what he intends to do with it. 

On the fourth, we may not ever really know why the scuffle happened, or exactly what happened. 

And that, in fact, is the only real response I have to add.  Remember the media’s reports in the first hours, days, even weeks after Columbine?  Virginia Tech? The Giffords and Aurora Theater and Newtown shootings?  Remember how close to the actual facts of the stories they got?

Not at all.

So I’ll wait for the facts to shake out, assuming they ever do.

Regarding the Police Response:  I’ve written before about how I oppose the militarization of the police.  And the first couple of days of the Ferguson PD’s response was the Keystone Kops led by Major Frank Burns.  Oh, don’t get me wrong; I have no problem with the DoD selling military firearms and armored vehicles to police departments – provided they sell them to law-abiding citizens, as well.

And yet when the Ferguson Fusiliers were withdrawn and replaced by the kinder, gentler, New-Ageier Missouri State Police?   The violence ebbed ,then came back as bad as ever, prompting local, black residents to wonder to the media why the cops weren’t shooting looters.  And now the National Guard is involved. 

The Charlatan Caucus:  Of course, where there are grievances, there will be grievance vultures.  And sure enough, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are on the scene – which in and of itself devalues much of the local community’s complaints. 

As bad, in their own way?  The media – which continue lead with inaccurate info, when they’re not making the story about themselves.

15 thoughts on “Ferguson

  1. Once again, the racist in chief and his race baiting, hypocrite AG Eric Holder, exacerbate an already bad situation.

    To add insult to injury, the Missouri Branch of the Communist Party, I mean the DNC, had the insensitivity to set up a voter registration booth within yards of the street memorial to Michael Brown. Never a group to waste a good fundraising opportunity, the Democraps once again show their true colors.

    I also have one other question. Why is it when a black professional athlete is involved in any incident, the media wets themselves trying to make them look guilty, yet when a white on black thug crime occurs, the black person is the one awaiting sainthood?

    The media makes it impossible for anyone to get a fair trial in this country anymore, due to their reckless, unprofessional and criminal behavior.

  2. Boss:

    To answer your question using Ray Rice since he was the most recent black athlete which the media went after how does it help Al Sharpton and the other race hustlers to try to show hey the white people are after the blacks when the incident is clearly a black man attacking a black woman.

    It only becomes charged when it happens to be white on black?

    Do you see the media giving Chicago which had far more deaths and injuries to Chicago compared with Ferguson. Oh that’s black on black!

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  3. Ironic, isn’t it? Sharpton at the head of a lynch mob. This something you do as an expression of power, not weakness.

  4. I actually didn’t hear about this story until last Wednesday (I don’t read newspapers or watch the news and I didn’t see it covered on any the blogs I regularly read) so I have the benefit of coming into a little bit later. My own thoughts:

    1) It’s pretty uncontested at this point that Michael Brown robbed a store 10-15 minutes before he was shot and killed by a police officer. We have the video tape and the admission (through the attorney of the man who was with Brown during the shooting) that they had robbed the store together.

    2) Under Missouri law, the police officer had the legal authority to use deadly force if he reasonably believed it necessary to stop someone from committing a felony or to stop someone from escaping that he reasonably believed had committed a felony. That’s not a “license to kill” willy-nilly but if Brown had assaulted him (as the officer claimed and as the bruising on his face supports) he could legally shoot him. If Brown assaulted him and tried to escape, he could legally shoot him. If the officer (who didn’t originally know about the robbery when he first encountered Brown but learned of it during their encounter) thought that Brown was the robber and he was trying to escape, he could legally shoot him.

    3) I support “Stand Your Ground Laws” (don’t know if Missouri has one in place or if so what the parameters are) because I believe that people who don’t start fights who are attacked in place where they are legally allowed to be (including but not limited to their homes or place of business) should not be required to retreat from an attacker and have the right to use force, including deadly force to thwart an attack. If the storekeeper had shot and killed Brown during the robbery, I’d be fine with that. If any of the storekeepers who are seeing their stores being broken into and looted shot and killed the looters, I would be fine with that.

    4) I’m not as concerned about how the police dress or what kind of vehicles they travel in so much as I am concerned that they’re doing their jobs which is to use retaliatory force against those who initiate force against innocent citizens. The police officer who shot and killed Brown after he (a) unquestionably committed and tried to flee from a violent felony who committed and (b) may or may not have also committed a second violent felony by attacking the police officer did his job as far as I’m concerned. The rest of the police in Ferguson (who are currently being hampered by the Missouri State governor who sent in the State Patrol to take over the scene) are NOT doing their jobs when they allow looting to go on in front of them.

    5) I am utterly disgusted with the public officials (Barack Obama, Rand Paul, etc.) who have extended their “sympathy” to Michael Brown. He was not the victim – he was the aggressor. The fact that they couldn’t wait for the facts to come in because they wanted to exploit his death for their own political pet cause does not excuse it. What they have done is morally and intellectually bankrupt and they deserve our condemnation the same as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

  5. Re: Deadly force vs. felony suspect, the literal interpretation that deadly force could be used on any felon trying to escape was changed in about 1966.

    Tennessee v. Garner found that two police officers were wrong to use deadly force by shooting a Black teen as he was going over a fence after being found in a stolen car. This case radically (and correctly) changed the “fleeing felon” law.

    In order to use deadly force, at least in MN, some component of the suspect’s use, or likely use, of deadly force must be part of the situation in order for an officer to use deadly force against him/her. From what I’ve read about this situation, Mr. Brown had not yet used deadly force at the time he encountered the Henderson cop.

    The officer might likely argue the disparity of force regarding how big and strong the cop is vs. Mr. Brown’s considerable amount of both. Even in a regular fist fight/physical assault, deadly force cannot be used by the police unless clear evidence indicates that the suspect used or was going to use deadly force first. For example, the officer is on the ground and the suspect starts kicking him in the ribs, stomping his head, choking the officer, try to take her/his gun, etc.

    Most departments, all in MN per state law, must establish a use of force continuum which outlines how and when what type of force may be used. Basically, most allow the use of force one level up from the force the suspect is using; s/he refused to comply – the cop may restrain her/him, The suspect throws a punch, the cop may utilize OC, Taser, stick, etc. Up to when the suspect uses or threatens the use of deadly force or force which can cause severe bodily harm. Then the cop may use deadly force. The continuum is not linear, it can jump from to verbal commands (lowest level) to deadly force (highest level) without using those in between if the situation escalates that way.

    I suspect that the officer in the Brown shooting will rely on this or gun-grabbing as the defense of his use of deadly force, unless he is bigger and stronger than Brown with no other impairments to justify it.

    Right now, any one who acts on their belief of what happened is an idiot. There is a lot to be learned before a credible stand can be taken.

  6. Joe, I guess you have not been informed of the “orbital blowout fracture to the eye socket” suffered by Brown in the encounter.

  7. I just heard of it. However, I was hoping to outline what would likely justify the use of deadly force, not make any determination of justification or not.

    My personal bias is to be on the side of the officer, and truly hope that his actions will be found lawful. Unfortunately, I suspect that many in power would like to see a guilty finding, for “peace and justice.”

    Another concern should be the usurpation of power from the local law enforcement agency, by the county, then state, now the feds. While the locals would have likely asked for mutual assistance from any or all of them, or recused themselves for the sake of objectivity, I don’t get the sense that they had much choice in the matter.

    Regardless of a like or dislike for the cops, the disregard of local government authority should many us uneasy …

  8. Kel’s comment suggests to me that the police have been very quiet in order to allow those pushing an agenda to offer numerous theories that will conflict with the officer’s hospital report and fingerprints found on his gun, upon his person, and on his car.

    I don’t like the militarization of the police, but boy, if you wanted an example of why they might want armored personnel carriers to get safely to and from the riot, a significant minority of the town of Ferguson are making the argument for that.

  9. Brown… Wilson… Now, if one of them was Scungillizotti, then I would not have mixed it up.

  10. Emery is onto something. A Go-Pro mini digital camera costs about $300 and they work well (I have the video of my first skydive over Lake Superior).
    Cheap insurance for every police department.

  11. I’m thinking if they sell some of those fatigues, they can buy some cameras and just say “roll tape” when someone accuses them. My goodness, it’s cheap insurance. Just ask the convenience store that the deceased robbed minutes before his death.

  12. The best solution may come with time and funding. Stick a camera on every uniform.

    Smartest thing Emery’s ever said. And I think the burnsville police is already doing something like this.

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