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Public Opinion On Ferguson Shows Deep Racial Divisions

Ferguson Protester

A new Pew Research Poll reveals something that probably shouldn’t be all that surprising, namely that black and white Americans view the Michael Brown shootings, and the protests that have followed in its wake, very differently:

Blacks and whites have sharply different reactions to the police shooting of an unarmed teen in Ferguson, Mo., and the protests and violence that followed. Blacks are about twice as likely as whites to say that the shooting of Michael Brown “raises important issues about race that need to be discussed.” Wide racial differences also are evident in opinions about of whether local police went too far in the aftermath of Brown’s death, and in confidence in the investigations into the shooting.

The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Aug. 14-17 among 1,000 adults, finds that the public overall is divided over whether Brown’s shooting raises important issues about race or whether the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves: 44% think the case does raise important issues about race that require discussion, while 40% say the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.

By about four-to-one (80% to 18%), African Americans say the shooting in Ferguson raises important issues about race that merit discussion. By contrast, whites, by 47% to 37%, say the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.

Fully 65% of African Americans say the police have gone too far in responding to the shooting’s aftermath. Whites are divided: 33% say the police have gone too far, 32% say the police response has been about right, while 35% offer no response.

Whites also are nearly three times as likely as blacks to express at least a fair amount of confidence in the investigations into the shooting. About half of whites (52%) say they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence in the investigations, compared with just 18% of blacks. Roughly three-quarters of blacks (76%) have little or no confidence in the investigations, with 45% saying they have no confidence at all.

Not surprisingly, there area also sharp differences in perception of the Brown shooting and the police response to the protest based on political party, with 68% of Democrats saying that the incident raises important issues about race while 61% of Republicans say that too much emphasis is being placed on race. There is a similar partisan divide on the issue of the appropriateness of the police response, although not nearly as stark. Some 43% of Republicans say that the response has been about right, 20% say that it has gone too far, and 37% have no opinion. Among Democrats, on the other hand 56% say that it has gone too far, 21% say it has been about right, and 23% have no opinion. Independents are roughly divided on both questions.

To some extent, of course, the political divided is a function of the racial divide that is the primary focus of Pew’s article about the poll, and as I stated above that divide is hardly a surprise. We saw a similar racial divide in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s shooting and the protests that erupted during the two month period before George Zimmerman was formally charged with his killing. We saw it again during Zimmerman’s trial and then in the wake of his acquittal. And, we’ve seen in come up again and again in connection with other incidents that have some kind of a racial element to them, especially when they involve an interaction between young African-American men and police officers or those, like Zimmerman, operating even if only in their own mind under some kind of lawful authority.  While Americans tend to view these types of events through a lens that assumes that racial problems are a thing of the past, while African-Americans tend to view them through a lens that assumes that race is still very much a part of American life.

It’s not hard to understand why there is such a large gap between the races on this issue. For the most part, it can all be traced to the fact that white Americans and African-Americans have two very different perceptions of law enforcement and the justice system, and to be honest it is a difference that I’ve noticed in personal conversations regardless of one’s income level or level of education. When a well-off African-American with a stellar education tells you that they still have concerns about being stopped by a cop if they happen to be out driving late at night, you can’t just chalk that up paranoia. Obviously, there is some reason that so many African-Americans feel that way, and we are seeing the emotions that this fear creates playing out on the streets of Ferguson today.

Some on the right would tell us that we shouldn’t pay attention to things like this, that the fact that a young black man was shot by a white police officer doesn’t mean that it was necessarily a racially motivated incident. Quite honestly, they have a point. Even if it turns out that Officer Wilson’s actions do not meet the legal standard for justifiable homicide, that doesn’t mean that he’s also automatically guilty of the civil rights violations that the Federal Government is now investigation. However, that doesn’t mean that we should ignore the fact that so many African-Americans believe otherwise, nor should we dismiss the concerns that they raise that the shooting of Michael Brown is far from an isolated incident. At the very least, these perceptions need to be addressed even if they aren’t true because they lead to exactly the kind of frustration we’re seeing unfold right now. Above all, though, the fact that these perceptions are so widespread suggests strongly that there is some truth to them regardless of the fact that some Americans would like to view racial problems as something that’s part of the past.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    44% think the case does raise important issues about race that require discussion, while 40% say the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.

    I believe that the 40% represents those people who believe two things: (1) that racism is ‘over,’ we passed the Civil Rights Act 40 years ago and Blacks need to get over it, and (2) Obama is again dividing the public with his comments on the events at Ferguson.

    Time and again these “Ferguson” type of events come up and the response is nearly always the same – Whites and Blacks see these event very differently. Whites minimize race as a factor, and Blacks point out that it’s Ground Hog Day – the same things happen again and again.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 0

  2. michael reynolds says:

    Just one of the many forms of denial that afflict conservatives. They just drift further and further away from reality itself. They live in an imaginary world now, a world set in a past that never existed but was just the invention of 1950’s era sitcom writers. It’s the kind of thing you expect with the onset of senility.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 7

  3. Matt Bernius says:

    Doug, excellent write up. One thing I want to push on:

    For the most part, it can all be traced to the fact that white Americans and African-Americans have two very different perceptions of law enforcement and the justice system, and to be honest it is a difference that I’ve noticed in personal conversations regardless of one’s income level or level of education. … Obviously, there is some reason that so many African-Americans feel that way.

    I think your use of “perception” is indicative of the underlying issue. “Perception” paves over the fact that we have mountains of statistical, observational, and anecdotal data to say that this is about “two very different *experiences* of law enforcement.” “Perception” allows the reader to retreat to “it’s all in their heads” (i.e. it’s their fault, their bias).

    To be clear: I’m not saying you did that or do that (the rest of the paragraph, including the sentence I included in the above quote) makes that clear. And I understand why you might have chosen to write “perception.”

    However, I think we all need to acknowledge that the data demonstrates that, generally speaking, white america and colored america have to very (quantifiably) different experiences with Law Enforcement.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 2

  4. Gustopher says:

    Had the police killed a white kid, I don’t think there would have been as much of a protest, and the police response to the protest wouldn’t have been as bizarrely over the top.

    To get this level of attention, there needed to be the general racial issues (racial disparity, flat out racism, whatever you want to ascribe it to) increasing tensions beforehand, a killing that is hard to justify (at least on the surface), as well as a contemptuous and over-militarized police force over-reacting.

    There are enough obvious problems with the shooting and its aftermath that people can easily pick and choose which ones fit into their worldview — they get to be rightfully outraged and disgusted, but not have any of their preconceptions challenged.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  5. @Matt Bernius:

    Fair points. I guess what I am going for there is the idea that, in the end, this isn’t a question about statics so much as it is a question of how people feel when they encounter law enforcement. The fact that perceptions are so sharply different seems to me to be an indication that it isn’t “just in their heads,” but rather something that’s based in reality and in experience.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  6. george says:

    What do other groups think? Some of us are neither white or black.

    Seriously, America is not now (nor was it ever) composed of just those two groups. And some non-black/non-white groups might have interesting perspectives on it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  7. Matt Bernius says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    I appreciate all of that Doug. And that was the message that came through clearly to me.

    From my perspective, this is a topic like climate change. We use words like “perception” because if we go to “experience” it feels like we are making a much stronger claim. That said, the data in both cases is pretty unambiguous.

    The fact that perceptions are so sharply different seems to me to be an indication that it isn’t “just in their heads,” but rather something that’s based in reality and in experience.

    I totally agree. However, many don’t have the intellectually honest to make that leap. Or the simply don’t wish to make that leap because they don’t like the implications that come with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  8. Just Me says:

    I think few white people experience law enforcement or the justice system and their opinion is often colored by what they see on TV-both news and fictional shows.

    Driving while black is something many black people experience. Poor blacks in poor neighborhoods certainly see cops and the justice system as one that prosecutes unfairly and often fails to protect when needed (many of those shop owners of looted stores were black and had nothing to do with the. Brown shooting and when they needed the police they didn’t get them).

    I think there is a race problem but I also think it is a law enforcement problem and the two are woven pretty tight and unraveling one may help with the other but both need to be addressed. I think outside of the racial issues the police have been pretty incompetent in their handling of the shooting and aftermath.

    I think one other contributor here is media-both the 24 hour cycle and social. A lot of disinformation has been passed around as well as correct information.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  9. Matt Bernius says:

    @Just Me:

    I think there is a race problem but I also think it is a law enforcement problem and the two are woven pretty tight and unraveling one may help with the other but both need to be addressed. I think outside of the racial issues the police have been pretty incompetent in their handling of the shooting and aftermath

    Very well said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  10. MR X says:

    I’m reserving judgement until more facts and information are in. Rushing to judgments and pointing your finger at people is foolish without knowing the whole situation. I don’t think anyone really knows exactly what happened here. Yes, race is still a problem in this country and it will take some years for people to be more accepting of each other. The best hope is that the younger generation has access to more info and has more knowledge and respect for minorities than the older generations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  11. @michael reynolds:

    I think the poll results show that this isn’t just limited to conservatives. Even with the overwhelming number of African-Americans who think that race is a big issue in the Brown shooting, that number dips to 68% among Democrats as a whole, and 46% among Independents.

    (I’d be interested to see a racial breakdown within political parties but Pew doesn’t seem to have that in their crosstabs)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  12. Console says:

    Well, it’s not merely a difference between Black and White. Like most political issues in America the division is White and everyone else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  13. rudderpedals says:

    @george: It’s just a click away.
    Hispanics: 50% said it raised important questions about race to 25% thought race gets too much attention. Does that help?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  14. ptfe says:

    @Just Me: “I think few white people experience law enforcement or the justice system…”

    Entirely true. And when they do, the white population experiences a justice system much closer to the one we’d like to see universally, while our black (and hispanic) populations experience a justice system that we would expect in dystopian sf: trying to get away from an armed and violent person means you’re guilty and might be shot; submitting to their will means you’re guilty and might be beaten. No matter what, you’re guilty because the cop says so.

    I’m not black. I never will be.

    I will likely never be randomly stopped and searched just for walking down the street.

    I won’t get many tickets because I can get a cop that considers me “non-threatening” to think of me as “the guy next door”, rather than being racially profiled as “threatening” to start with. Likewise, I am unlikely to be imprisoned based on a traffic stop, even if I have some weed in the car.

    I can tell a police officer when I think they’ve overstepped their bounds without fear of being assaulted just for voicing an opinion.

    I’m glad I’m not black when a cop pulls me over. I’m pretty sure everything will work out fine in the end if I just act like a normal (white) person. And it makes me very sad to write that, because it means something is seriously wrong with our police and justice system.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 1

  15. JohnMcC says:

    I keep hoping that other aspects of our racial divide get a little bit of a mention when the cable-news-heads pause for breath. Disparities in housing, education, opportunity, affirmative action, etc, etc. This is not simply a law enforcement issue. I keep hoping. And hoping.

    Happened to be little boy in Montgomery when Dr King led the bus boycott. Taking our ‘colored lady’ who was my mom’s ‘help’ home so she wouldn’t have to walk I recall wonderingly observing ALL THOSE BLACK PEOPLE walking down the side of the road. Very tense time which probably stimulated me to retain the memory.

    So I’ve been hoping and hoping my whole lifetime. But that’s a small part of the 400 years America has been afflicted with this issue.

    Next year in Jerusalem?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  16. JKB says:

    The Daily show made a good point in a bit a couple weeks back about the choking death by police in Staten Island. The guy they bring on at the “Black Correspondent”, Larry Wilmore, ended it by saying it wasn’t a White vs. Black problem but rather a Cop vs. Black problem.

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  17. CB says:

    @MR X:

    The best hope is that the younger generation has access to more info and has more knowledge and respect for minorities than the older generations.

    The problem is that the younger generation learns it’s attitudes and social cues from the older generation. Hate breeds hate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  18. gVOR08 says:

    @al-Ameda: “…those people who believe two things: (1) that racism is ‘over,’ we Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act 40 years ago…”.

    Clarified that a little. I don’t believe I’ve ever met a Republican, anyone for that matter, who considered himself racist. Self awareness is not a front line skill on the right. And when they get to believing bull, they go all the way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  19. JKB says:

    What seems to have been lost in all the hubub and take over by outside agitators, is the facts reported in the early days of this protest. Namely, that Blacks in Ferguson were stopped more, fined more, etc, than non-Blacks. As one guy put it, it was a serious drain on the Black family’s finances.

    That seems like something the DOJ might look into for civil rights violations. The shooting of Mike Brown is looking more and more that it will be justifiable based on the facts of the incident. Presuming the governor of Missouri doesn’t form up a mob to go after the officer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  20. george says:

    @rudderpedals:

    Yes, thanks. I find among my community (mind you, I’m up in Canada now so its not so immediate) mainly nuanced opinions. Almost everyone thinks there’s prejudice, and that the police are too quick to arrest (and shoot) minorities. But most also think that you have to wait until all the facts are in; every group has elements that are simply trouble.

    Of course, all the facts doesn’t necessarily mean the court decision; no one thinks the justice system is impartial (a quick scan at the percentages in jail shows why). But first reports are almost always wrong – you don’t have to be on the wrong side of many of those to be skeptical about them.

    And rioting and looting typically hurts minorities and poor more than anyone. I’ll note that in Canada most riots in the last decades have come after hockey games or political events such as the G20, none of which were minority driven, and the looting etc has been as bad as what’s reported in Ferguson. There’s no particular racial element to looting and rioting, just to who ends up hurt the worst (the poor, which often are minorities).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  21. Matt Bernius says:

    @JKB:
    What’s critical to understand is that, as with most riot situations, their ultimately more about what built up the pressure as opposed to what touched off the spark.

    Time will tell as to whether or not the shooting of Brown was justified. But to you point, what created the pressure was a systemic feeling of oppression/inequality (which seems to be born out by a variety of facts). Under that condition (as it has been with past race riots), its not so much a matter of *if* something would happen or necessarily *what* the precipitating event was, so much as *when* a touchstone event would happen.

    Sometimes, a community is lucky and the spark never occurs. But the longer the overall practices are taking place, the longer conditions are prime for an explosion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  22. MR X says:

    @CB:

    I’m not so sure about that. I think with the internet and social media that younger people are more accepting of minorities. I’d probably want to see a poll to confirm that, but my gut instinct tells me that. It really is the only option. This country is too polarized for anything to happen. Forcing change on people only leads them to dig in more to their beliefs. It’s through education and personal experiences that truly bring upon real change.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. CB says:

    @MR X:

    I’m with you there, I think the advent of social media has exposed younger generations to alternative views that they simply would not have otherwise been exposed to. But, and this is strictly gut speak, I’d be willing to bet that political views such as these still form based on those of the people within one’s immediate support system.

    Otherwise, I agree with your comment, and indeed I do see social media and proliferation of ideas as the best hope to ending entrenched prejudice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  24. bill says:

    @al-Ameda: maybe they realize that only blacks are allowed to kill other blacks- as 90% of them are ? Or maybe they want to see what really happened before they comment ?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 21

  25. EddieInCA says:

    Anecdotal, so take it as you will.

    I have a friend who lives in Studio City. He works in Century City. He recently bought a new Chrysler 300 as his every day car. Previously, he drove a Ferrari Mondial Convertible – for six months. He got his dream car eight months ago, and now it sits in his garage until he can sell it because – in 2014 – in Los Angeles – in broad daylight – he’d get stopped twice a week on average while driving through Beverly Hills on his way to work.

    Twice.
    A.
    Week.

    He never once got a ticket. He’s in the process of suing the Beverly Hills police department for profiling, so if he files the case, you’ll probably hear about it.

    Here’s the irony. He bought the Ferrari used for $29,000. It’s a beautiful car. The Chrysler? He bought it new for $44,000. In the six or seven weeks since he’s had the Chrysler, he’s been stopped…. zero times.

    Zero.

    Black man in a 1990 $29K Red Ferrari Convertible, let’s stop him twice a week.

    Black man in a 2014 $44K Black Sedan, let’s ignore him.

    I can’t imagine the rage I’d feel if this happened to me.

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  26. charon says:

    @MR X:

    Television also. I have been watching shows like Teen Wolf on MTV, where mixed race couples are depicted pretty routinely. This is a lot different from deriving your notions of “normal” from 1950’s sitcoms, which seems typical for the Fox News Channel viewers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  27. CB says:

    @bill:

    Allowed? ALLOWED??

    You realize that all these black-on-black killings you guys love to pimp involve killers immediately arrested and convicted, right? You realize the entire issue with cases like Zimmerman and Ferguson are that NO ONE IS HELD ACCOUNTABLE, RIGHT?

    You and your cohort are awful people, dude.

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  28. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    White AmeriKKKa just needs to accept the new reality: a white person is never ever ever allowed to shoot a black person who does not have a gun, regardless of the circumstances. Better to get the crap beaten out of you, even killed, than raise a gun against a black person. Especially if they are below the age of 20.

    Inconvenient facts so far that have come out from this case: the cop who fired was injured in the incident, with some reports of a broken eye socket, and despite all those eyewitnesses, Brown (6’4″ tall, 300 lbs) was NOT shot in the back, but five of the shots were from the front and the sixth in the top of the head, on a downward and forward angle. That indicates that he was either A) turned away from the shot, with his head tipped way, way, way back, or B) facing the shot, with his head bent very forward.

    Oh, and there’s video footage of Brown pulling a strongarm robbery moments before the shooting — which would give him a hell of a motive to attack a cop who yelled at him for walking down the middle of the street.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 28

  29. JKB says:

    @Matt Bernius: what created the pressure was a systemic feeling of oppression/inequality

    I agree, there are two separate incidents here. The shooting and then the protests that it sparked.

    The problem I see is the agitators have come in and short circuited the probably legitimate protest in Ferguson. That won’t release the pressure as the Ferguson residents aren’t getting their say with the Black Panthers and the Sharptons, even the Governor rolling in to co-opt the event. It is interesting, I’ve seen that of the nearly 100 arrests, only like 4 or so have been local residents.

    The media could do the world a favor, hook up with the locals, and refuse to give air time to the outsiders.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  30. Rob in CT says:

    I think there are a couple of things going on here:

    1) Racism; and 2) Different life experiences (which circles back to racism if you dig, but let’s put that aside for a moment).

    There are plenty of folks who aren’t particularly bigoted, but who are basically clueless about what it’s like to interact with cops while black and don’t want to know otherwise (because finding out about it frankly sucks – you want to think things are basically just). Some will read the stories and come to understand that their experiences as, for example, middle class white people, don’t match up with the experiences of, say, poor black people. Many will not. If you asked 18-yr old me about this situation, you’d have gotten a clueless response. I’ve learned some things since then, though I wouldn’t present myself as any kind of expert.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  31. Tyrell says:

    The major news organizations, including CNN, MSNBC, and CNN, the governor, and many citizens there agree that an outside element has come and hijacked the demonstrations. They are from long distances. The governor used words like “organized”, “planned”, “outsiders”. Where are these people from ? Who is training them ? Where are they getting their weapons ? What is their purpose ? Who is behind this ? There have been reports of someone displaying an ISIS flag. If so, that would be inciting a riot, illegal, and totally insane.
    We have seen people fighting each, fire bombing, and looting. It is a shame that we see honest store owners having their businesses blown up, looted, and burned.The actions of outsiders has served to totally delegitmatize the causes and purpose of marchers. And school cancelled? Dr. King would be appalled . As a parent, I would be appalled. Whose bright idea was this? Certainly these demonstrations could be moved so the school buses can get to schools. Ridiculous !! It would be a much better idea for these demonstrations to be held in a large parking lot, school gym, or church building.
    “This country was under siege!” (Joseph Califano, Lyndon Johnson cabinet member, commenting on riots and insurrections of the ’60’s).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  32. MR X says:

    @charon:

    Good point. Shows like the WIRE should be required in schools. there’s no other show like that can tackle the complexity of the inner city. ,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  33. al-Ameda says:

    @bill:

    @al-Ameda: maybe they realize that only blacks are allowed to kill other blacks- as 90% of them are ? Or maybe they want to see what really happened before they comment ?

    Or maybe they actually believe that the only “real” racism is “reverse racism”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  34. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Inconvenient facts so far that have come out from this case: the cop who fired was injured in the incident, with some reports of a broken eye socket, and despite all those eyewitnesses, Brown (6’4″ tall, 300 lbs) was NOT shot in the back, but five of the shots were from the front and the sixth in the top of the head, on a downward and forward angle. That indicates that he was either A) turned away from the shot, with his head tipped way, way, way back, or B) facing the shot, with his head bent very forward.

    Speaking of ‘inconvenient’ facts’ – 6 shots fired to subdue an unarmed man.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  35. MR X says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    lets assume the events happened like you believe… Why did the cop have to shoot an unarmed guy Six times?? He couldn’t shoot him in the leg or something. the fact remains the guy was unarmed and its irrelevant if he committed a robbery.

    This is also not about politics and I resent people on both sides who try to make it about politics. its about excessive force and human rights which are issues that should really bring people together.

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  36. Matt Bernius says:

    @JKB:
    Mark the calendar! We agree on something. Well said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  37. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    the cop who fired was injured in the incident, with some reports of a broken eye socket

    That’s from Jim Hoft, the dumbest man on the internet, so it’s basically guaranteed not be true. And now we know who is gullible enough to believe something posted by the dumbest man on the internet.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2

  38. Matt Bernius says:

    @MR X:

    He couldn’t shoot him in the leg or something

    For the record, in self-defense shooting (i.e. at a person versus a target), there is no concept of “shoot to wound.” If for no other reason than the fact that attempting to “wing” someone *is incredibly dangerous for bystanders.*

    First, bullets tend to go *though* limbs and keep going (as the one that hit Browns arm did). Secondly, aiming for a moving limb (or head for that matter), you likely to miss, and again, that bullet keeps going.

    Anytime you shoot at a person, your aim is center mass for your safety and the safety of everyone around you (excluding the person you are shooting at).

    This isn’t intended to be a defense of the shooting. At this point we all should wait until more facts are officially released. Still, people need to get rid of “TV/Movie” ideas like shooting limbs or guns out of hands.

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  39. Matt Bernius says:

    @David M:

    That’s from Jim Hoft, the dumbest man on the internet, so it’s basically guaranteed not be true.

    For the record, it’s something that Fox News is reporting (I found it via the Wikipedia page on the incident):
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/08/20/missouri-cop-was-badly-beaten-before-shooting-michael-brown-says-source/

    At this point, I’d suggest that everyone with hold predictions one way or the other. The police report and other information is going to be forthcoming.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  40. CB says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    That source, at least according to whatever bullsh!t show Gretchen Carlson hosts, was none other than Gateway Pundit himself. Funny how that happens.

    EDIT: Yeah, always read the article first. I’m dumb.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  41. gVOR08 says:

    Out of curiosity, who except white Republicans is surprised by this disparity in reactions?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  42. beth says:

    @CB: Actually the article says “a source close to the department’s top brass” which could be Dumb Jim. The Fox article is pretty much word for word the same as his. I still woudn’t put much faith in this until they release the actual police report.

    Don’t forget Fox ran with the “six star $50 million resort hotel being built for immigrant children” a month or two ago and that untrue story came from Hoft too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  43. dennis says:

    @ptfe:

    I was going to pipe in, but you said it all. Thanks, brother.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I am thinking, when was the last time an unarmed white man was shot by a cop? I am sure it happens, but I draw a blank. Aside from Michael Brown, when was the last time an unarmed black man was shot by a cop? Oh yeah, earlier that week in a Wal Mart.

    Nahhhhhh…. Race has nothing to do with it. That’s why Cliven Bundy still walks the dirt plains of Nevada.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  45. dennis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You know, sometimes, reading your and bill’s tripe is so disheartening. Then I remember Doug’s admonition not to take seriously the internet commenters …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Matt Bernius: @Doug Mataconis: I had a discussion with some black friends during which they related a story of being on a date and followed by a car full of drunken white guys who were harassing them. I asked why they didn’t just drive to the local cop shop. The look of absolute horror on their faces said it all. Instead, James stopped and faced the 4 or 5 down by himself (he could do that).

    On all the occasions when I was getting F’d with by a cop, I always knew it would end. A black man wonders if the end is… The end.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  47. rudderpedals says:

    Fox’s needlessly anonymous sourcing invites contempt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  48. george says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I am thinking, when was the last time an unarmed white man was shot by a cop? I am sure it happens, but I draw a blank.

    Happens in Canada fairly regularly, though rarely fatally as far as I know (fatalities make the news, just being shot isn’t newsworthy). Being poor/drunk of is asking for trouble, whatever your race. They’ve even killed Poles coming off planes for not speaking English, or 70 year old white men for refusing to leave the car for a breathalyzer (accidentally of course, by zapping them with Tazers five or ten or how every many times it takes to kill them – seriously, those two were zapped until there was no movement – ie dead – and its hard to imagine how any serious person could think the intent in either case was anything other than homicidal).

    Being colored makes it more likely, but its not anything close to being a necessary condition. Its worse being colored. But that doesn’t mean its a picnic being white and poor and dealing with the cops.

    Most cops are good people. But there is a subset that are thugs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  49. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Oh goodie. Just when the rest of the racist troll brigade was running out of steam, here comes little Jenos with his patented tut-tutting about how terrible it is that white people sometimes have to face criticism just because they’re exercising their constitutional right to kill black teenagers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  50. beth says:

    @george: Colored? Really? What color are they?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  51. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @george:

    But that doesn’t mean its a picnic being white and poor and dealing with the cops.

    Yeah. I know. You want to hear about it? I didn’t think so. But you want to know the difference? The only time a cop pulled a gun on me was when he thought I was black.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  52. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    The only thing worse than a troll is a boring troll. Yes, I am talking about you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  53. george says:

    @beth:

    In Canada if you want special attention from the police, the choice color is red, and by a long shot. Incarceration statistics aren’t even close for any other group.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  54. Tyrell says:

    The main issue here is not racism, even though there is some racism. The main issue is doing what is right, correct treatment of our fellow citizens, and respect, regardless of race. Those should be the goals. Attorney General Holder should be there to help the police in their investigations: gather evidence, get and analyze finger prints, canvas for and interview witnesses, and review test results. Then he needs to step back and let the prosecutor’s office make some determinations.
    As of now that ISIS is at it again. AG Holder has his hands full with that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  55. Modulo Myself says:

    Let’s assume that the Fox News report is true, and we’re learning through anonymous sources nearly two weeks after a shooting of an unarmed 17-year old that the kid beat the hell out of the cop. This is a death that took hold of a community and yet the police are giving out information as if nobody in the community deserves anything related to the truth. Why didn’t they say this on Friday? Or before? Even if it’s true, who expects these stories to be believed? It’s disgusting that this is being learned now, through anonymous sources.

    And if it’s not true and the Ferguson police are behind the lie, then they are admitting they are basically capable of casual murder.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  56. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @MR X: lets assume the events happened like you believe… Why did the cop have to shoot an unarmed guy Six times?? He couldn’t shoot him in the leg or something. the fact remains the guy was unarmed and its irrelevant if he committed a robbery.

    Here’s a scenario that fits the known facts as of this moment:

    Brown robs the store. He and his friend leave, walking down the middle of the street. The cop sees them, not aware of the robbery, and yells at them to get out of the street. Brown, knowing he just committed a felony, charges the cop. They struggle in and near the car. At some point, the cop’s gun comes out, and one shot is fired. Brown flees. The cop, having been pretty solidly beaten, yells at Brown to stop, possibly even firing a shot. (The cop is most likely not thinking overly clearly at this point — if he indeed has a broken eye socket, he’s been hit in the head pretty hard.) Brown turns and charges at the cop, who has a legal duty to keep Brown from getting his gun. He shoots at Brown and keeps shooting until he’s stopped.

    Again, that’s a plausible scenario based on the facts known as of right now.

    What is known at this point is that there was an incompetent response by the police to an unreasonable response of rioting to a false narrative about the shooting. And the key false element we know at this point: that Brown was shot in the back. All but one of his wounds were from the front, and the only one that might have been from behind would have been instantly fatal — he would not have been able to turn back around after the head shot.

    I’m sensing a common theme here with the Israel/Hamas war and the Zimmerman case — the theory that if you are better armed than your attacker, you do not have the moral right to use that superiority against your attacker. That kind of thinking is insane.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 19

  57. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    What known facts? There are witnesses who have given their names who say that Brown put his hands up and then was killed:
    http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/08/_5_eyewitness_accounts_of_michael_brown_s_shooting.html?wpisrc=topstories

    Meanwhile, you treat an anonymous source as the truest thing ever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  58. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    And here’s a counter-charge of racism: when a non-black police officer shoots a black person who doesn’t have a gun, the assumption is that it was done out of racism. The cop is assumed guilty until proven innocent.

    Again, like the Zimmerman case, I don’t know all the facts yet. But the initial reports have already been proven wrong — Brown was NOT shot in the back. However, the narrative has already been set, and the usual suspects are already way too invested in that false narrative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 14

  59. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Modulo Myself: What known facts? There are witnesses who have given their names who say that Brown put his hands up and then was killed:

    The autopsy report shows that at least some of the rounds went through Brown’s arms and into his body. If he had his hands raised, they would not have hit his body.

    Go and stand in front of a mirror and raise your hands. Try to see where bullets shot through your arms would go next. Then put your hands out in front of you, like you were charging someone to attack them, and see where bullets through your arms would end up.

    Also, ask any lawyer how reliable eyewitness testimony is, especially when it contradicts physical evidence.

    Finally, are those the same witnesses who said Brown was shot in the back?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 15

  60. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Modulo Myself: Let’s take a look at those accounts, shall we?

    Dorian Johnson, who was with Brown when they robbed the store:

    Johnson said that Wilson pulled Brown through the car window by his neck, and Brown began to try to pull away. Johnson said that Wilson shot Brown during the scuffle, and Brown managed to break away from Wilson’s grip. Brown and Johnson then began to run away from the police vehicle.

    The cop grabbed a 6’4″, 300-lb man by the neck and tried to pull him into the cruiser through the driver’s door window? Just how insanely stupid a move was that? And after grabbing him and pulling him in through the window, he shot him, too? That’s just too stupid to believe.

    Tiffany Mitchell:

    “Michael’s body jerked as if he were hit,” Mitchell said. “Then he turns around and put his hands up, and the officer continued to walk up on him and shoot him, until he goes all the way down to the ground.”

    She says Brown was shot in the back. The autopsy says no shots were from the rear, except maybe the one that was instantly fatal.

    Piaget Crenshaw: Implies that Brown was shot in the back, but doesn’t say so explicitly. Also said Brown raised his ARM (singular).

    Emmanuel Freeman: Only said that Brown was running.

    Fifth source, anonymous: claims to have had a religious conversation with Brown before Brown robbed the convenience store. Says that he saw Brown shot “six or seven times” after turning to face the cop — consistent with the autopsy.

    If the cop did, indeed, suffer the kinds of injuries being reported, then there is pretty much no case against him. And the racism charge is complete BS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 13

  61. anjin-san says:

    Nothing gets Little Jenos going quite like the body of a bullet riddled black teenager lying in the street.

    Just when you think he could not possibly be a bigger creep, you find out he can.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3

  62. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Oh, annie, you really can’t let go of your crush on me, can you? All I have to do is pop up in a thread, and you get so aflutter that you can’t discuss the topic, you can only fixate on little ol’ me.

    It’s so darned flattering. And just a little creepy, how you can’t seem to take no for an answer…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12

  63. anjin-san says:

    And just a little creepy

    Still searching for an original thought, eh? No worries, just continue to faithfully parrot Treacher & Hannity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  64. anjin-san says:

    BTW Jenos, has another human being ever actually had a crush on you? You seem confused about what a crush is. Here’s a clue – people constantly telling you that you are an imbecile? Not a crush. That’s actually known as “contempt”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 5

  65. Pharoah Narim says:

    @bill: That’s only 4% higher than the white on white murder rate… A rate that, is twice as high as the W->W murder rate in Western Europe. Got any more stats? I like this game.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  66. Tyrell says:

    @EddieInCA: Around here and a lot of places red cars get pulled over more than any. If you are a young person in a red car you will get pulled over a lot. I know a man who drives a ’68 Firebird. He gets pulled over a lot by police who just want to check out his car; engine, interior. Would that be profiling ?
    “She’s real fine my 409″ (Beach Boys)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  67. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: SHOPLIFTING a $10 box of cigars is NOT a felony. In what world would someone who committed a felony, as you say, then be found casually walking down the middle of the street not far from the scene of the crime? Do you read the crap you type? Your guiding principle is the Black man is ALWAYS in the wrong. Please– fashion some more stories for us. They’re getting entertaining.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  68. anjin-san says:

    @ Pharaoh Narim

    The story I’ve heard, though I am not certain it is correct, is that the store where the cigars were stolen did not think it was a big enough deal to even call the police over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  69. bill says:

    @CB: accountable for what, defending themselves? do you and your cohorts ever feel stupid for not waiting for the actual facts of a story to come out before ranting about some non-existent “racial profiling bs”? of course not, that would make you smart and/or logical.
    side note, there’s not a whole lotta reporting about the real facts of the brown shooting now that they don’t go along with the racial narrative. do any of you fell “had” for actually believing that some criminal accomplice/friend of the “victim” would actually tell the truth about what happened? and is his complete lie about it (that actually set off the whole rampage) going to be blasted across the front page of every paper? of course not, it’s just another in a long series of false “racial killings” by whites on blacks to keep the blacks in the news (showing us all how “rational” they are) hint, there’s no mention in this blog about the physical confrontation between the cop & the “kid”- as witnesses have already come forward about.

    @Pharoah Narim: sure, tell us all the last time a black guy killed a white guy and was deemed a “racist”. or an “angry white mob” looted and burned down businesses because they were angry over one of those crimes? or maybe you followed the whole “roderick scott/chris cervini” ordeal that was splashed across the news for weeks? well, it wasn’t- for some strange reason.
    maybe you could tell us the crime rate by blacks against whites, and vise-versa? don’t torture yourself, it’s pretty ugly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  70. DrDaveT says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    as with most riot situations, they’re ultimately more about what built up the pressure as opposed to what touched off the spark

    Nothing new here…

    In the heat of the summer
    When the pavements were burning
    The soul of a city was ravaged in the night
    After the city sun was sinkin’

    Now no one knows how it started
    Why the windows were shattered
    But deep in the dark, someone set the spark
    And then it no longer mattered

    Down the street they were rumbling
    All the tempers were ragin’
    Oh, where, oh, where are the white silver tongues
    Who forgot to listen to the warnings?

    On and on come the angry
    No longer following reason
    And all the stores were the target now
    Where just the other day they were buyin’

    Drunk with the memory of the ghetto
    Drunk with the lure of the looting
    And the memory of the uniforms shoving with their sticks
    Asking, “Are you looking for trouble?”

    “No, no, no,” moaned the mayor
    “It’s not the way of the order
    Oh, stay in your homes, please leave us alone
    We’ll be glad to talk in the morning”

    “For shame, for shame,” wrote the papers
    “Why the hurry to your hunger?
    Now the rubble’s resting on your broken streets
    So you see what your rage has unraveled”

    Baricades sadly were risin’
    Bricks were heavily flyin’
    And the loudspeaker drowned like a whisperin’ sound
    When compared to the angered emotions

    And when the fury was over
    And the shame was replacing the anger
    So wrong, so wrong, but we’ve been down so long
    And we had to make somebody listen
    In the heat of the summer…

    — Phil Ochs, “In the Heat of the Summer”, 1965

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  71. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @EddieInCA: In all fairness, what says “drug dealer” more clearly than an anonymous black guy (as in not a recognizable film or TV celebrity) driving a Ferrari convertible through Beverly Hills? Come on now, cut the police a break.

    (Just channeling my inner Jenos.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  72. Grewgills says:

    @anjin-san:
    The owner of the store stated through his attorney that he did not call the police, that it was a customer that called. I would guess that was to avoid becoming a target.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  73. Pharoah Narim says:

    @bill: Why are white homicide victims 6 times more likely to have been victimized by another white person and 2-1 vs their white cousins in Europe? I think white people and the cops are worried about the wrong group of people. Wouldn’t you?

    I just saw an armed mob show up at the Bundy ranch a few months ago. They didn’t need to loot and rob because their demands were met. Maybe that’s where the Ferguson crowd went wrong….They should have protested at a ranch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  74. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Pharoah Narim: SHOPLIFTING a $10 box of cigars is NOT a felony. In what world would someone who committed a felony, as you say, then be found casually walking down the middle of the street not far from the scene of the crime?

    You’re right, SHOPLIFTING is not a felony. However, when you use force while stealing, that becomes 2nd degree robbery. And the video shows Brown shoving the store employee away from him when he is confronted.

    Do you read the crap you type? Your guiding principle is the Black man is ALWAYS in the wrong.

    When was the last time you actually thought about what you were saying? I’m guessing it’s been a couple of years.

    Like I said, I’m seeing the Zimmerman thing all over again. The initial outrage is based on lies and false information (Brown shot in back). However, the narrative has been set, and must not be denied. I’m waiting for the transition to “fake, but accurate” phase — that’s when people finally admit that the initial reports about the Brown shooting were totally false, but how they bring to light a very real problem that must be addressed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 14

  75. Tyrell says:

    Soon the politicians and news people will be heading out to the next “breaking news” event. School will get started back up and people will get back to their routines. It was reported that there were more reporters and tv camera people than demonstrators. There is a lesson there somewhere. What about the burned and bombed businesses? Who is going to pay for that? Were people arrested and will they be held accountable for ruining someone’s business, costing people their jobs? Several lessons: don’t let outsiders come in and take over. That includes especially the politicians, who in this case made things worse. Don’t sit around and wait on the government to help out. If you want change, you have to make it happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  76. bill says:

    @Pharoah Narim: boy, really going out of your way to find something in there huh? i assume you actually went to the fbi site and looked at the crime rates as you have nothing to counter with? don’t worry, im an idealist too- just not dumb enough to believe what i read on the front page all the time!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  77. Barry says:

    @JKB: “Namely, that Blacks in Ferguson were stopped more, fined more, etc, than non-Blacks. As one guy put it, it was a serious drain on the Black family’s finances.”

    If you read about the Ferguson PD, it’s hard to avoid the impression that it really is a bandit gang, and should be treated as such.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  78. Barry says:

    @george: “Almost everyone thinks there’s prejudice, and that the police are too quick to arrest (and shoot) minorities.”

    As has been pointed out above, that has been repeatedly proven.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  79. Barry says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Inconvenient facts so far that have come out from this case: the cop who fired was injured in the incident, with some reports of a broken eye socket, …”

    ‘Some reports’

    You know, if I were the chief of that department, and the police officer had been injured, I’d have had that medical record on the news immediately; it would be rather important backing to his version of events.

    But I don’t see that. It’s been a week, and after a few days a rumor has been floating around.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  80. Barry says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Oh, and there’s video footage of Brown pulling a strongarm robbery moments before the shooting — which would give him a hell of a motive to attack a cop who yelled at him for walking down the middle of the street.”

    Lie

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  81. Barry says:

    @JKB: “The problem I see is the agitators have come in and short circuited the probably legitimate protest in Ferguson.”

    WTF?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  82. Barry says:

    @Tyrell: “The major news organizations, including CNN, MSNBC, and CNN, the governor, and many citizens there agree that an outside element has come and hijacked the demonstrations. ”

    Bullshit. As for the governor, that’s been standard practice for decades. ‘It couldn’t be us, it’s got to be Northern Abolitionists Wobblies Communists Feminists Islamofascists outsiders.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  83. Barry says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “I am thinking, when was the last time an unarmed white man was shot by a cop? I am sure it happens, but I draw a blank. Aside from Michael Brown, when was the last time an unarmed black man was shot by a cop? Oh yeah, earlier that week in a Wal Mart.”

    When was the last time that an unarmed white man was shot by the police, who then left his body on the street for hours?

    When was the last time that an unarmed white teenager was shot, and the police didn’t bother to try to ID the guy?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  84. Barry says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “Race has nothing to do with it. That’s why Cliven Bundy still walks the dirt plains of Nevada.”

    Maybe they just covered up the slaughter, when the National Guard was called in[1], and drones with laser-guided missiles[1], and Humvees with chain guns[1] pursured the survivors across the desert, not taking prisoners[1]. The also covered up the use of flamethrowers[1] to burn out every building and hiding spot.

    [1] By the standards of the right, all of those would be justified in a similar case, where the criminals were leftists or non-white. And if such a thing happened, my money would be on all of the above being actually used.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  85. Barry says:

    BTW, here’s what the Ferguson PD does, and even moreso, here’s what the prosecutors and judges quite deliberately lets them get away with:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/15/the-day-ferguson-cops-were-caught-in-a-bloody-lie.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  86. Barry says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Again, that’s a plausible scenario based on the facts known as of right now.”

    No, it’s not, due to the two-week delay.

    “What is known at this point is that there was an incompetent response by the police to an unreasonable response of rioting to a false narrative about the shooting. ”

    This is beyond incompetent; anybody who wasn’t f-ing dumb would have known better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  87. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Barry: A little friendly advice, Barry: you should do a little homework before you show just how stupid you are.

    Why didn’t the cops come out with the officer’s injuries sooner? I think we’ve already established that they aren’t very competent.

    And you shouldn’t call something a “lie” when there’s video of it all over the place.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  88. Barry says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “The autopsy report shows that at least some of the rounds went through Brown’s arms and into his body. If he had his hands raised, they would not have hit his body.”

    Gee, I wonder if being shot causes changes in body position?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  89. Tillman says:

    @Barry: There actually were outside agitators affiliated with the Communist Party there. They were wearing T-shirts and everything. They weren’t disavowed either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  90. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’m sensing a common theme here with the Israel/Hamas war and the Zimmerman case — the theory that if you are better armed than your attacker, you do not have the moral right to use that superiority against your attacker.

    I mean, sure, if you strip away as many relevant facts as possible, that’s certainly a conclusion you could reach. By the way, what contraconceptive do you take to achieve that?

    What I enjoy about this thread and the others on this issue is it has revealed something hard to render through a political prism. You have conservative and liberal commenters agreeing with each other often, which is next to unthinkable on any other topic. However, what I really enjoy about these threads is they’ve revealed the true diehards and trolls. Congrats, Jenos, you’re nothing but an pseudointelligent facsimile hiding a shill!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  91. Lenoxus says:

    Jenos:

    Like I said, I’m seeing the Zimmerman thing all over again. The initial outrage is based on lies and false information (Brown shot in back). However, the narrative has been set, and must not be denied.

    I really shouldn’t ask this, but what was the false information about Zimmerman?

    In any case, it seems that liberals’ supposedly-wrong impression of Zimmerman’s character turned out correct, yes? He’s a basically violent man. Call it a coincidence if you want.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  92. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Barry: Gee, I wonder if being shot causes changes in body position?

    Quite possibly. But still, not a single shot from the back, as the witnesses claimed.

    On the other hand, being confronted with facts hasn’t caused any changes in your position, has it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  93. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Lenoxus: I really shouldn’t ask this, but what was the false information about Zimmerman?

    That ZImmerman was uninjured in the fight, that Zimmerman chased down Martin with gun drawn, that Zimmerman had defied police orders to not follow Martin, that Zimmerman was white…

    In any case, it seems that liberals’ supposedly-wrong impression of Zimmerman’s character turned out correct, yes? He’s a basically violent man.

    So, the “fake but accurate” angle again. He’s a bad guy, so it’s no big deal if he’s lied about and railroaded, he deserves it anyway…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  94. Tyrell says:

    @Barry: Several of the real demonstraters also talked about these outsiders moving into and blending with the the demonstrations when it would get dark. They are the ones throwing the bombs, burning things down, shooting, and doing a lot of looting. Again that comes from the residents of Ferguson. I am not making this up about the outsiders. This has been the case in many a situation like this involving urban rioting.
    “Hot town summer in the city, back of my neck gettin’ dirt and gritty” (The Loving Spoonful, 1966)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  95. wr says:

    @Tyrell: “As of now that ISIS is at it again. AG Holder has his hands full with that.”

    The US attorney general has about as much to do with an international terrorist group operating in the Middle East as the head of the EPA.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  96. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: You forgot to mention how Michael Brown repeatedly slammed the cop’s head onto the curb, causing huge injuries. I mean, come on — as long as you’re going to be recycling every Zimmerman post you’ve ever written, you might as well be consistent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  97. ElizaJane says:

    Two things: First, the idea that Brown had reason to fear and even fight with the police because he’d just committed a felony. Do you really think that when he shoved the storekeeper out of the way he thought “oh he**, I was meaning to just shoplift but now I’ve made it into a strong-arm robbery?” I mean, was this guy actually thinking along the lines that the police want the public to think now?

    Second, and more along the lines of this story — a few months ago I was in a jury pool with about 15% black potential jurors. The case was going to involve testimony from several law enforcement officers — not police, but bureau of wildlife protection or some such. The defendants were white. Nonetheless, when asked “would you tend to automatically trust the word of a law enforcement officer, or to automatically distrust them?” every black person said they would distrust them. So the jury ended up all white.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  98. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “He’s a bad guy, so it’s no big deal if he’s lied about and railroaded, he deserves it anyway”

    Funny, but that’s what many people think is being done to Michael Brown, with you a significant supporter of it. Except Brown is dead and can’t defend himself, while Zimmerman is still alive and had his day in court.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  99. JKB says:

    Well, it’s an economics blog, but someone has finally written about what could be a good part of the root causes in Ferguson

    Namely, how for the poor, and often minority, a simple citation can spiral into a 3 weeks or so in jail before they can appear before a judge. And don’t think the cops don’t time some arrests to be at the top of that cycle and pile on extra charges that will be dropped to jack up the bond.

    That is not to say that tactical use of the system against people who incur police ire is the most common problem, but it is used that way.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  100. anjin-san says:

    I’m curious, if the cop in question had serious facial injuries, why not just release a photo showing them? That would quickly provide some clarity on the issue, supporting the argument that the use of deadly force was justified.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  101. Matt Bernius says:

    @JKB:
    Thanks for the link.

    One thing I find especially interesting in scanning the comments threads on marginalRevolution, OTB, and other sites dealing with issues surrounding Ferguson, is that they really point to one of the key places where Conservatives and Libertarians part company: policing and the notion of what constitutes law enforcement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  102. RockThisTown says:

    Public Opinion On Ferguson Shows Deep Racial Divisions.

    Impossible. The great uniter Obama has brought us together.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13

  103. Matt Bernius says:

    @anjin-san:

    I’m curious, if the cop in question had serious facial injuries, why not just release a photo showing them?

    Beyond potential HIPA issues and the flat-footed response to this entire incident, I’m not sure.

    Along those lines, I know some people have been commenting on how an individual with serious head/facial injuries could still be walking around on site. Head injuries are tricky and sometimes don’t register for hours (one recent example is the death of Miranda Natasha Richardson, who immediately after the accident that led to her death was moving around fine and only complained of a headache).

    To be clear this isn’t saying that the anonymous accounts are correct (though ABC is claiming their own independent source claiming a “serious facial injury”). Simply that it’s wise to wait for more information before staking arguments on this claim one way or the other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  104. anjin-san says:

    @ Matt Bernius

    Not my area of expertise, but it seems that the officer could simply sign a HIPAA release if that was the issue.

    At any rate, the as yet unsupported claims of serious facial injuries to the officer have done their job. “His face was bashed in” has become part of the public dialog, and a lot of people are taking it as gospel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  105. Mikey says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    I know some people have been commenting on how an individual with serious head/facial injuries could still be walking around on site.

    It’s not that hard for me to imagine, not after seeing what happened to Kris Draper.

    I don’t know if you watch hockey, but I’m a huge fan of the Detroit Red Wings. Back in the 1996 playoffs, Wings forward Kris Draper had his face slammed violently into the boards by Colorado Avalanche player Claude Lemieux (spit). Draper’s injuries were awful–broken jaw, broken nose, smashed orbital bone, and a concussion. It took 40 stitches to close the various cuts.

    In spite of all that, he was giving interviews after the game, blood everywhere and his face looked like he had a grapefruit hidden in his cheek. Maybe it was just hockey player toughness, but still.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  106. Tillman says:

    @Matt Bernius: …you mean Natasha Richardson? Liam Neeson’s wife? Miranda Richardson is still alive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  107. Matt Bernius says:

    @Tillman:
    DARN THOSE BRITISH RICHARDSONS! You are completely correct.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  108. Tillman says:

    @Matt Bernius: I’m just glad I didn’t have to mourn another dead Richardson.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  109. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san: I haven’t been following the case, but I get the impression that the police haven’t handled anything particularly smoothly. But weren’t they refusing to give the officer’s name initially? Not easy to conduct an internal investigation quietly and protect the officer’s identity while posting pictures of his face.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  110. Mikey says:

    @anjin-san:

    the as yet unsupported claims of serious facial injuries to the officer

    Well, FWIW it’s being reported by ABC News.

    We’ll see, I suppose. So far the local PD has been far less Ferguson than Keystone…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  111. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    That ZImmerman was uninjured in the fight, that Zimmerman chased down Martin with gun drawn, that Zimmerman had defied police orders to not follow Martin, that Zimmerman was white…

    1) No, the common argument was that his injuries were minor and they were. Zimmerman’s and your contention that the two minor lacerations on the back of his head were consistent with his head being repeatedly bashed into the sidewalk are ridiculous.
    2) You have no evidence that Zimmerman did not have his gun drawn when pursuing Martin beyond his account of the incident. Since Martin was shot dead, there isn’t another account. Your claim that this has been disproven is false.
    3) The 911 dispatcher made it clear to Zimmerman that they did not want him following the suspect. The portion of the 911 tape showing this has been pointed out to you numerous times, yet still you repeat this nonsense of yours.
    4) Zimmerman appears white and doesn’t have a name that casts him as other than white. When dealing with the police that is what matters.
    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    5) Again you are treating an unsubstantiated claim of ”serious” injury as gospel.
    6) The anger over the Brown shooting was never primarily that he was shot in the back. The first account of the incident that sparked the protests did not say he was shot in the back. What sparked the outrage was that once again an unarmed black teen was shot by the police and it looked like once again there would be no consequences for the shooter unless there was sufficient outrage.
    7) You have once again seized on peripheral issues and elevated them to the status of the central issues in an effort to score points.

    * On an (almost) irrelevant side note, Zimmerman’s actions post shooting seem to have born out the opinions of many who thought he was a weak bully with a chip on his shoulder, yet you still fetishize him. Why is that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  112. anjin-san says:

    @ Mikey

    Still an “unnamed source”

    It may well be true. If so, it seems like Ferguson PD could have gotten it out early on.

    Getting good information out early on is fairly important in a situation like this. None of us really know the facts, but I do know that the “hero cop, black thug” meme tends to get rolled out quickly in these cases.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  113. President Camacho says:

    @anjin-san: except you w the inside scoop

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  114. Matt Bernius says:

    @Grewgills:

    6) The anger over the Brown shooting was never primarily that he was shot in the back. The first account of the incident that sparked the protests did not say he was shot in the back. What sparked the outrage was that once again an unarmed black teen was shot by the police and it looked like once again there would be no consequences for the shooter unless there was sufficient outrage.

    While the shooting was the ignition point for the protests, the actual fuel is a rather well established history of local police in Ferguson “special” treatment of the local african american population (as was the case in Florida as well).

    Hell, JKB is even volunteering that the broader problem here — and the source of much of the protests — is part of a larger “Cop on Black” problem (and providing links to back it up).[*]

    [*] – I’m only singling you out JKB, because we don’t typically agree on much ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  115. Eric Florack says:

    apparently, there are some who can see beyond race in the matter,
    example…http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell082114.php3

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  116. anjin-san says:

    @President Camacho:

    except you w the inside scoop

    Where have I claimed to have “the inside scoop”? Please be specific.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  117. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    But weren’t they refusing to give the officer’s name initially? Not easy to conduct an internal investigation quietly and protect the officer’s identity while posting pictures of his face.

    The officers name has been public for some time, which kinda renders this point moot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  118. Tyrell says:

    @wr:
    Recent news articles:
    “ISIS is the most frightening thing I have encountered as attorney general”: Attorney General Holder
    “Attorney General Holder launches investigation into ISIS”
    Sounds pretty involved and concerned to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  119. Grewgills says:

    @Matt Bernius:
    Agreed. My point was that, contra the argument of some, where on his body he was shot was not what ignited the protests. It was that another unarmed black teen was shot by a cop and the community thought it was going to be swept under the rug that ignited the protests. Had there not been a protest, it probably would have been.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  120. Mikey says:

    @wr:

    The US attorney general has about as much to do with an international terrorist group operating in the Middle East as the head of the EPA.

    The US Attorney General oversees the FBI, an organization I can assure you is very concerned indeed about ISIS.

    The DoJ is also investigating the ISIS murder of American journalist James Foley.

    The FBI has been involved in investigation of international terrorism since well before 9/11. The investigation of the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996 is just one example. That investigation resulted in indictments in U. S. federal court of several Saudis involved in the bombing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  121. Rob in CT says:

    @JKB:

    Yes. It’s another way that being poor is expensive. The scenario I’ve seen written about most often “car breaks down -> can’t get to work -> lose job -> can’t pay rent and so on. No reason it can’t be “minor infraction, can’t pay fine, held in contempt…”

    Nice to see more recognition of this. It’s something a lot of do not and will never experience, so it’s easy not to see it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  122. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Moosebreath: Funny, but that’s what many people think is being done to Michael Brown, with you a significant supporter of it. Except Brown is dead and can’t defend himself, while Zimmerman is still alive and had his day in court.

    What have I said about Brown so far that is false? I said he was 6’4″, that he weighed 300 pounds (give or take — reports say 292 or 293, so I figure close enough), that he was caught on video doing a strong-arm robbery of a convenience store just before the shooting, that he was shot almost exclusively from the front (with the exception of the head wound, which was kind of an “above and behind” angle that involves some unusual contortions). It’s since come out that he had illegal drugs in his system.

    Which of those things is false?

    BTW, the Justice Department is now leaning on the local cops to NOT release information about the case, saying it could be “inflammatory.” They wanted to suppress the convenience store video, and it’s quite consistent that they’re pushing the holding back of the cop’s medical report.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  123. Rob in CT says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Jay-zus. What a bunch of typos. I’m running low on sleep, my apologies. Trying again:

    Yes. It’s another way that being poor is expensive. The scenario I’ve seen written about most often is “car breaks down -> can’t get to work -> lose job -> can’t pay rent and so on. No reason it can’t be “minor infraction, can’t pay fine, held in contempt…”

    Nice to see more recognition of this. It’s something a lot of us do not and will never experience, so it’s easy not to see it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  124. DrDaveT says:

    @ElizaJane:

    Nonetheless, when asked “would you tend to automatically trust the word of a law enforcement officer, or to automatically distrust them?” every black person said they would distrust them. So the jury ended up all white.

    Ah, the miracle of voir dire. A system designed to avoid bias on juries ends up promoting it, by weeding out the honest and the skeptical.

    If that’s really the question they asked, by the way, it’s legal malpractice. It’s a false dichotomy; a forced choice between two alternatives that don’t exhaust the possibilities. The correct reply to it would have been “Neither; I don’t automatically trust or distrust anybody’s word.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  125. PJ says:

    Deep racial divide my a**.

    Read the full poll.

    62% of White Democrats say that the Brown case raises important issues.
    22% of White Republicans say that the Brown case raises important issues.

    25% of White Democrats say that the question of race gets more attention than it deserves.
    61% of White Republicans say that the question of race gets more attention than it deserves.

    The margins of errors for these groups, and even more for Black, non-Hispanics, are quite big, but despite that the difference between White Democrats and White Republicans are outside the margin of error.

    On the other hand, the difference between White Democrats and Black, non-Hispanics is within the margin or error.

    So, the poll doesn’t show a deep racial divide between White Democrats and Black, non-Hispanics.

    It’s shows a deep racial divide between Black, non-Hispanics and White Republicans.

    And it shows a divide between White Democrats and White Republicans.

    So again.

    Deep racial divide my a**.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  126. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I think the poll results show that this isn’t just limited to conservatives. Even with the overwhelming number of African-Americans who think that race is a big issue in the Brown shooting, that number dips to 68% among Democrats as a whole, and 46% among Independents.

    (I’d be interested to see a racial breakdown within political parties but Pew doesn’t seem to have that in their crosstabs)

    In the full report you’ll notice that there’s no difference between those identifying themselves as Republicans and the subgroup White Republicans.

    I think that says quite a bit about the racial breakdown of those identifying themselves as Republicans today…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  127. ElizaJane says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I’m sure that the answer they were looking for was exactly that — neither. A few white people responded that they would be inclined to accept the word of a police officer, and I didn’t notice whether they got tossed out of the pool. I just noticed that all the black people said they would be inclined not to believe a law enforcement official and they were definitely put out of the pool.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0