Another Night Of Unrest In Ferguson, And An Assault On Journalism

The situation in Ferguson, Missouri isn't calming down.

Ferguson Tear Gas

As we approach the one-week anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri police office under circumstances that have yet to be fully explained, the unrest that has gripped the town since the shooting continued into a fifth night with an increasingly angry crowd facing down an increasingly militaristic police force:

As has been the case since Monday, the parking lot of a QuikTrip looted and burned Sunday evening has been the epicenter of hostility between protesters and police.

The animosity for the most part was verbal Wednesday until a thrown bottle prompted police to fire smoke bombs at the crowd shortly before 9 p.m.

When police then ordered demonstrators to evacuate the area or face arrest the protesters responded that “we are not going anywhere.”

Police a short time later chased protesters into nearby neighborhoods after dispersing the crowd for the third straight night with tear gas grenades.

On Wednesday, police also used piercing-sound sonic cannons to scatter the crowd.

As they have since Saturday, demonstrators throughout the evening taunted and threatened police.

“If I’m going to go, I’m taking one of you with me,” warned one demonstrator.

Another shouted, “We’re not dogs, so what the hell you’ve got those whipping sticks for? Because you want to whip us like dogs.”

A county police tactical operations armored vehicle was deployed at the demonstration site for most of the night.

Protected by body armor, police sat atop the vehicle methodically fitting high-caliber automatic weapons into tripods which were then trained on the crowd.

“You are being ordered to leave now!” police announced frequently through a public address system. “If you don’t leave peacefully there will be arrests.”

The crowd ignored the demand until the tear gas was fired.

As of midnight there were reports of sporadic gunfire.

At 2 a.m., several dozen police officers riding inside and on three armored tactical vehicles pulled up in front of the Ferguson police station. Forming a skirmish line, they faced the last of the night’s protesters, a group of about 100 gathered across the street on the parking lot of the Andy Wurm Tire & Wheel shop.

A booming voice from a police loudspeaker ordered the crowd to disperse.

The protesters complied but not before some of them cursed the cops.

But 2:15 a.m., a tense quiet had fallen over Ferguson.

Much of what unfolded on the streets of Ferguson last night was being live-streamed in at least some form by people who had the technology to do it, as well as being reported on via Twitter by reporters such as The Guardian’s Jon Swaine and others. In the meantime, the investigation of the shooting itself continues to drag on, which is no doubt playing a large role in the anger and frustration that is driving the protests. The St. Louis County Prosecutor says that the investigation will take time, and that it’s unlikely that any information will be released until it is completely. This apparently includes everything from the identity of the officer to the results of the autopsy on Brown’s body, notwithstanding that it has likely been completed at this point since the body has apparently been turned over to his family by the coroner. On some level, I suppose, the information blackout is understandable. Especially in a case such as this where tensions are running so high, releasing incomplete information only leads to misunderstandings and conspiracy theories. At the same time, though, it is obvious that the community’s anger is driven in no small part by the fact that there is the perception that law enforcement is acting to cover up the truth, although there is apparently also a long history of tensions between the police in Ferguson and the town’s African-American community that this incident only seems to have poured gasoline on, To some extent, those suspicions are likely being reinforced by what sometimes seems like selective leaking of information, such as earlier in the week when the Police Chief gave what he said was a summary of what the officer involved in the incident had said happened or yesterday when he gave details of a minor injury that the officer was treated for after the incident. Finally, yesterday yet another witness came forward and told a story about last Saturday that seemed to corroborate the version of events given by Brown’s friend and contradicting the rudimentary story that the Police Chief recited. Given all of that, the fact that there is massive distrust of the police is no surprise at all.

The police actions against protesters wasn’t the only thing that happened last night in Ferguson, though. Before the night had even fallen in Missouri, two journalists who are in Ferguson covering the shooting and the protests were taken into custody by St. Louis County Police:

Two reporters covering the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri were arrested and physically assaulted by police on Wednesday.

Ryan Reilly, the justice correspondent for The Huffington Post, and Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery were working in a McDonald’s when a SWAT team suddenly invaded the restaurant. After being told to stop recording the proceedings, and refusing, both men were then violently arrested. (Recording police officers is a legal act.) Lowery was shoved into a soda machine. An officer slammed Reilly’s head against glass.

Reilly and Lowery were released shortly after news of their arrest broke. Police in Ferguson—which has seen days of protests following the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by an unnamed officer—have been extremely antagonistic towards journalists, as well as towards the protesters demonstrating against Brown’s death.

Wesley Lowrey recounts what happened in a piece at the Post:

For the past week in Ferguson, reporters have been using the McDonald’s a few blocks from the scene of Michael Brown’s shooting as a staging area. Demonstrations have blown up each night nearby. But inside there’s WiFi and outlets, so it’s common for reporters to gather there.

That was the case Wednesday. My phone was just about to die, so as I charged it, I used the time to respond to people on Twitter and do a little bit of a Q&A since I wasn’t out there covering the protests.

As I sat there, many armed officers came in — some who were dressed as normal officers, others who were dressed with more gear.

Initially, both Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post and I were asked for identification. I was wearing my lanyard, but Ryan asked why he had to show his ID. They didn’t press the point, but one added that if we called 911, no one would answer.

Then they walked away. Moments later, the police reemerged, telling us that we had to leave. I pulled my phone out and began recording video.

An officer with a large weapon came up to me and said, “Stop recording.”

I said, “Officer, do I not have the right to record you?”

He backed off but told me to hurry up. So I gathered my notebook and pens with one hand while recording him with the other hand.

As I exited, I saw Ryan to my left, having a similar argument with two officers. I recorded him, too, and that angered the officer. As I made my way toward the door, the officers gave me conflicting information.

One instructed me to exit to my left. As I turned left, another officer emerged, blocking my path.

“Go another way,” he said.

As I turned, my backpack, which was slung over one shoulder, began to slip. I said, “Officers, let me just gather my bag.” As I did, one of them said, “Okay, let’s take him.”

Multiple officers grabbed me. I tried to turn my back to them to assist them in arresting me. I dropped the things from my hands.

“My hands are behind my back,” I said. “I’m not resisting. I’m not resisting.” At which point one officer said: “You’re resisting. Stop resisting.”

That was when I was most afraid — more afraid than of the tear gas and rubber bullets.

As they took me into custody, the officers slammed me into a soda machine, at one point setting off the Coke dispenser. They put plastic cuffs on me, then they led me out the door.

I could see Ryan still talking to an officer. I said: “Ryan, tweet that they’re arresting me, tweet that they’re arresting me.”

He didn’t have an opportunity, because he was arrested as well.


During this time, we asked the officers for badge numbers. We asked to speak to a supervising officer. We asked why we were being detained. We were told: trespassing in a McDonald’s.

“I hope you’re happy with yourself,” one officer told me. And I responded: “This story’s going to get out there. It’s going to be on the front page of The Washington Post tomorrow.”

And he said, “Yeah, well, you’re going to be in my jail cell tonight.”

Once at the station, we were processed, our pockets emptied. No mug shots. They removed our restraints and put us in a holding cell. Ryan was able to get ahold of his dad. I called my mom, but I couldn’t get through. I couldn’t remember any phone numbers.

We were in there for what felt like 10 or 15 minutes. Then the processing officer came in.

“Who’s media?” he asked.

We said we were. And the officer said we were both free to go.

There are obviously bigger things going on in Ferguson than what happened to Reilly and Lowrey, however their experience is not unique in how things have unfolded since Saturday with regard to the press. On more than one occasion, for example, police officials have pushed journalists out of areas that they were operating in and otherwise made it difficult for them to cover the protests and the police response. In this case, when these two men were taken into custody there was quite literally nothing going on. Protesters had begun to gather in the area near the McDonalds where they were located, and the police had brought in tactical teams in response, but there were no signs of unrest and, at least until it got dark, even signs that perhaps last night would have been the first night without significant conflict. It remains unclear why this group of officers felt it was necessary to clear people out of the McDonalds, although the idea that they didn’t want witnesses around certainly comes to mind. In any case, it seems clear from the reports from both Lowrey and Riley, reports from those on the scene, and the fact that they were released almost instantly as soon as higher ranking officers were made aware of the situation that the detention was entirely unlawful and improper, and just seems to be another example of the overreach that the police in Ferguson have been demonstrating for five days now.

Photo via St. Louis Post Dispatch

FILED UNDER: Crime, Law and the Courts, Policing, Race and Politics, Science & Technology, , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Mu says:

    So, are any of these police actions violating criminal statute, or are the journalists depending on bringing civil action on their own (with the big hurdle of qualified immunity at the pre-trial stage)?

  2. Ron Beasley says:

    The images of last night will be seen all over the world making it even more difficult for the US to be critical of anyone else.

  3. @Ron Beasley:

    Excellent point

  4. Tillman says:

    Glad to see the sonic cannon from the History Channel specials is actually getting use! You have to imagine all those cops just itching to pull it out on a mob. It’s so high-tech and gadgety!

  5. Janis Gore says:

    Every damn one of these offending officers should be publicly shamed and ostracized. They should be unemployable on any force in the country.

    They can keep their butts behind the counter at McDonald’s!

  6. Janis Gore says:

    Keep your eyes on the prosecutors, y’all. Make sure they do the right thing.

  7. President Camacho says:

    Contempt of cop. A serious crime in almost every jurisdiction. Those boys need to be taught a lesson.

  8. rudderpedals says:

    Is there a home rule provision or something else preventing the State from deploying state law enforcement officers to take over city policing?

  9. Gustopher says:

    I’m a little surprised we don’t have protesters from around the country descending upon Ferguson, the St. Louis city hall, and the Missouri state house.

    Even if the police were somehow justified in killing an unarmed boy, everything they have done since then has been appalling and disgusting. And the Governor has completely failed to act to reign in this unfolding disaster.

  10. Ron Beasley says:

    @Janis Gore: More than the individual officers I place most of the blame on the police chiefs of both Ferguson and St Louis County. Also the elected officials who have done nothing to reign them in.

  11. KM says:

    It remains unclear why this group of officers felt it was necessary to clear people out of the McDonalds, although the idea that they didn’t want witnesses around certainly comes to mind

    “I hope you’re happy with yourself,” one officer told me. And I responded: “This story’s going to get out there. It’s going to be on the front page of The Washington Post tomorrow.”

    And he said, “Yeah, well, you’re going to be in my jail cell tonight.”

    This is petty authority issues being played by morons with tanks and body armor. Nasty, vindictive actions by people in power that get excused with tepid rationale by the chief like “They didn’t know any better”. There’s video of this crap up on HuffPo and Washington Post, photos and tweets all over of the high-handed actions that have very little to do with crowd control/anti-rioting and everything to do with intimidation. They are trying to scare this town into submission, force it down when clearly people aren’t taking this crap anymore.

    Yes, there are looters who deserve to be arrested and prosecuted – giving them a great excuse for a freaking tank to drive down an American street with the intent to use against American citizens. A power trip for small-minded people. This is madness – the police clearly have no idea what to do.

  12. ElizaJane says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    To top it off, the police also fired tear gas at the crew reporting for Al Jazeera. Pictures of it were all over Twitter last night.
    This has been a very, very bad week for the USA. I don’t think most people have registered quite how bad this is.

  13. JKB says:

    FBI, they came for the civil rights investigation on the shooting and they’ll stay for the civil rights investigation for the riot.

    One wonders, will Ferguson police end up under FBI oversight for a few years. I’m sure they’ll love that.

    On the upside, police chiefs who have a more nuanced PR sense are probably rethinking how they use their shiny new military surplus in their jurisdictions. Rolling your MRAP in for a barricaded hostage situation, yea. Rolling down the street with your “high caliber, automatic weapons on tripods” on the roof, probably not.

  14. JKB says:

    @Tillman: Glad to see the sonic cannon

    I’m thinking parabolic shields

  15. Tyrell says:

    @Gustopher: Governor? I haven’t heard anything from the mayor or city council; except one of them was arrested or “detained” for being in a demonstration.This sounds more like stuff in China!,
    “Defuse the situation” (Colonel Troutman, “Rambo, First Blood”)

  16. President Camacho says:

    They can fit a lot of officers in those MRAPs and then drive them straight to jail where, it seems, most of them belong.

    I would say its time for some grown ups to move in and take over the law enforcement duties there – stop the looters and stop the out of control cops.

    Peaceful protests, okay.
    Looters and vandalism, not okay.
    Out of control cops not okay.

  17. Some of the journalists have fallen victim to “looters” taking advantage of the chaos too:

    Police Fire Tear Gas On Al Jazeera Crew And Then Take Their Equipment

  18. Guarneri says:

    Hmmm. Confrontation with authorities. Not allowed to film or interview. Threats of arrest or with weapons.

    Are you sure these guys were in Furguson, and weren’t trying to cover the illegals coming over the US – Mexican border?

  19. Gustopher says:

    @Tyrell: I have low expectations for people in low offices… Yes, they should do their jobs, but they have clearly failed. Or they favor this response.

  20. charles austin says:

    As the only person commenting here so far as I know that actually lives in St. Louis, I find all the commentary fascinating. This event, like so many others, appears to be a Rorschach test.

    Some of us still have to live here when the cameras go home and the agenda items have been checked off.

  21. Janis Gore says:

    @Gustopher: If I didn’t have school starting on Monday, I’d go.

  22. Janis Gore says:

    I’m shocked to the core.

  23. CB says:

    @charles austin:

    I’m interested by the way individual events over the last week are portrayed within the larger context. Certain groups latch onto the rioting on Sunday, and use that to justify the police response. Others focus on the initial shooting and go from there, justifying every subsequent action taken by the protestors.

    I don’t have a larger point to make, other than to note out that everyone only sees what they want to see, and that itself is preventing a resolution. Scary, and sad, to see this in America, in 2014.

  24. Davebo says:

    @charles austin:

    Some of us still have to live here when the cameras go home and the agenda items have been checked off.

    Well it appears you’ve got a helluva community there. Perhaps if some of you who live there held those you elect accountable TV crews wouldn’t be rushing in the report the mess you allowed to fester.

  25. Jack says:

    It’s likely that the attitude displayed by the officers towards the media in McDonald’s was the exact same attitude show by the officer towards Michael Brown that ignited this incident.

    This Judge Dredd, “I am the Law” crap by police needs to stop. Take away everything but batons and hand cuffs and you’ll see incidents of police brutality drop faster than a lap dancer’s G-string during Fleet Week.

  26. @CB:

    We need to stop the rioting. The problem is I consider the cops to be rioting just as much as the protestors are.

  27. Rob in CT says:

    Apparently the local police chief went on Hannity. That’s a pretty big tell, for me, about his mentality in general. And the likely mentality of his subordinates. Yes, that’s a bit of a reach. But given what we already know: that a dispute over jaywalking between a cop and an unarmed teen resulted in said teen being shot and killed, I don’t think it’s much of a stretch.

    There are far too many police forces who seem to generally operate under the idea that they are holding back “the animals.” They’re soldiers and the citizenry are the enemy. Individual cops might not agree, but if the culture is like that they’ll mostly go along (especially when you couple it with the idea that you always, always, always back up your fellow cops no matter what they did). That, plus a general sense of entitlement that says that “contempt of cop” is a serious crime, leads to some really bad outcomes.

    None of this justifies riots, of course. But people aren’t saints. You cannot expect to treat the citizenry as the enemy and not have at least some of them return the sentiment…

  28. Tyrell says:

    @Janis Gore: Yes, I would not suggest skipping school. The truant officer would probably show up and arrest you.

  29. Davebo says:

    Clay: “The gov. just called me and he’s on his way to St. Louis now to announce he’s taking St. Louis County police out of the situation”— Derek Wallbank (@dwallbank) August 14, 2014

  30. KM says:

    @Rob in CT:

    There are far too many police forces who seem to generally operate under the idea that they are holding back “the animals.” They’re soldiers and the citizenry are the enemy. Individual cops might not agree, but if the culture is like that they’ll mostly go along (especially when you couple it with the idea that you always, always, always back up your fellow cops no matter what they did).

    THIS. A thousand times this! I generally am very supportive of law enforcement since, by its very nature, they tend to see the worst of humanity on a regular basis and still choose to go to work each day. It’s a hard job, no doubt about it. A good man can easily become bitter dealing with that sort of thing day in and day out. So a protective culture (no man is an island) is not necessarily a bad thing and strong internal support is extremely good for morale for when you feel like the world is a terrible terrible place. They are there for each other when very few people are.

    However, there is no excuse for letting that internal culture turn toxic, nihilistic, paranoid. It hurts the officers as well – trapping them with bad/violent coworkers they feel they must support since its Us-vs-Them. It abuses their loyalty the same way it abuses the citizens’ trust. Rot is quick to spread since no one challenges, and are thus tainted by association. Everyone gets trapped – it just depends on which side of the badge you are how it manifests.

  31. Gustopher says:

    I really think all police uniforms and equipment should be in pink, just to cut down on the masculine posturing and perpetually remind the police that they are not the ultimate authority.

    If it works in Sheriff Arpaio’s prisons, it will work in our police forces.

  32. @Gustopher:

    I dunno, that might make them even brutal as a form of psychological compensation.

  33. Dave D says:

    It is like the cops are going out of their way to foment the ire of this community. The only problem is they messed up last night targeting Al Jazeera, and arresting the wrong kinds of people (journalists and the alderman). That said I’m sure some federal agency is going to have to reign them in so some sense of order can be restored. Perhaps America needs to rethink giving military grade hardware to people who will find a use for it warranted or not. Because it is insane watching camouflage clad cops on MRAP’s “policing” the streets in America.

  34. @Gustopher:

    What we really need is to make them wear those little body cameras, so that everything they do while on duty is recorded.

  35. Jack says:

    The use of Bearcats, MRAPs, gas masks, full body armor, and noise machines is simply escalating an already tense situation and reinforces the “Us verses Them” attitude that has become an increasingly prevalent mindset amongst law enforcement.

  36. Dave D says:

    @Stormy Dragon: The excuse I keep hearing when that is brought up, is that is prohibitively expensive. It is much cheaper to buy used MRAP’s, drones and sonic cannons than cameras for the cops.

  37. Gustopher says:

    There are reports (well tweets) that state and federal officers will be taking over the situation, and sending the St. Louis County PD back to their barracks.

  38. Tyrell says:

    When the photo first came up, I was hoping for “ISIS Destroyed!” headline.

  39. Mu says:

    @Stormy Dragon: They made those mandatory in Albuquerque after the 30th or so deadly police shooting. They have an astonishingly high number of failures in just the important moment, like whenever someone gets shot.

  40. Another thing helpful is to remember the 9 “Peelian Principles” that are supposed to form the core of modern policing:

    1.To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
    2.To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
    3.To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
    4.To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
    5.To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
    6.To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
    7.To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
    8.To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
    9.To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

    Does that sound like the Ferguson police to anyone? Why not?

  41. charles austin says:

    With all due respect, there seems to be little understanding or knowledge about the political landscape in St. Louis from all the reporting and commenting I have seen. St. Louis is a large agglomeration of small cities that act very independently of each other, phenomenally so from the perspective of someone who has live in several other large cities. And then there is St. Louis County which is much more important than the county governments in the cities I have lived in. Overall, the looting damage done is probably a lot less than you might imagine from the news reports. Ferguson isn’t that big, but is serving as a flashpoint for issues that are much broader than Ferguson’s.

    I watched the initial looting as it happened live and can assure you it had next to nothing to do with the protests of Michael Brown’s death. The people looting the tire shops would have happily done so the week before except for the police response it would have gotten then. The question really is why didn’t the police respond more forcefully to the looting when it happened initially? While it was going on the police from St. Louis city, St. Louis county and many nearby communities were gathering in force very close to the looting but they did not respond nearly as forcefully as they seemed to be preparing to do. I assume the leadership was trying to prevent the kind of abuses some seem to be trying to provoke by keeping the two sides apart as much as possible, but that is conjecture on my part. The local police had been at the protest in force, perhaps too much force, before things got out of hand and they were overwhelmed. It was strange watching the prolonged looting and knowing that a very large number of police could have come down very hard while it was going on but did not. I’m guessing there may well have been some difficult issues of command involved. FWIW, we also just had a primary where the St. Louis County Executive lost, meaning that the real political landscape was in extreme turmoil before any of this happened.

    I concur completely with the concerns expressed by, say, Radley Balko on the militarization of the police and see it getting in the way of any resolution of the current situation rather than the proverbial nipping it in the bud. Nothing like depersonalizing yourself and the people in front of you to make violence all the more practical. I’ve always been a law and order kind of guy but I find these trends quite worrisome and like many others, I am losing faith in officialdom and despair about the widening chasm between the government and the people. But I digress.

    St. Louis is the most parochial and segregated “city” I have lived in, and the politics is corrupt, inbred, and nepotic which will make any real or lasting solutions next to impossible while concurrently making worse actions on both sides ever more probable. Any efforts to deescalate are welcome, but that’s not what we are seeing much of right now, especially from local media.

  42. charles austin says:

    Davebo, of course, I could have prevented it and established flowing rivers of chocolate where children fly kites and dance and sing, but they didn’t ask me. 🙂

  43. charles austin says:

    Please also note that I have written nothing about Micheal Brown’s death, because all I know about it is what I have seen on the news reports, which are conflicting and not particularly dispositive.

    I hope justice is done.

  44. stonetools says:

    Soundtrack, with lyrics:


    There’s something happening here
    What it is ain’t exactly clear
    There’s a man with a gun over there
    Telling me I got to beware

    I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
    Everybody look what’s going down

    Things haven’t changed much.

  45. @Mu:

    Being deliberately turned off is not a hardware failure.

  46. Jack says:

    Updated for the 21st Century

    This is what happens when you call the cops
    This is what happens when you call the cops
    This is what happens when you call the cops

    You get your rights violated or you all get shot.

  47. Janis Gore says:

    @stonetools: No sh*t.

    What an obfuscating dumbass the mayor is. I just saw Banfield interviewing him on CNN. She was rough with him.

  48. Modulo Myself says:

    @charles austin:

    You won’t comment on the shooting of an unarmed black kid by the police, because you can’t tell what is going on, but you will explain exactly what is going on with the rioting and looting, due to your having watched it on television.

    Got it.

  49. Janis Gore says:

    Gov. Nixon on CNN now.

  50. DrDaveT says:

    There are obviously bigger things going on in Ferguson than what happened to Reilly and Lowrey

    Perhaps. Or perhaps it’s all the same thing, and what happened to Reilly and Lowrey is one little tip of the iceberg. In terms of “actionable intelligence”, though, I think I learned more from what happened to Reilly and Lowrey than from all of the other statements and actions and reporting.

  51. Janis Gore says:

    President speaking, CNN now.

  52. stonetools says:

    Another blast from the past:

    Police chief agrees with Sean Hannity that the unrest was caused by “outside agitators”.

    Apparently he is taking instruction from the ghost of Bull Connor.

  53. Tyrell says:

    @Rob in CT: It did not used to be that way. The police wore their uniforms, walked around on foot, ate lunch at restaurants beside them, went to church with them, were in school together, and knew each other. They carried a gun, walkie talkie, sometimes a night stick (billy club back then), and later a can of mace. I knew some officers who had never used guns except in competitions. Most had served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Their approach was a relaxed, neighbor type of thinking. Not forceful or confontational. Flak jackets, helmets, and heavy weapons were not around or if they were it was for a hostage or sniper situation.

  54. anjin-san says:

    I think it’s clear that this is an issue where liberals and conservatives have common ground. Hopefully we can all put aside partisan acrimony and work together to reign in these public servants when they are no longer serving the public in the manner we deem appropriate.

    Perhaps we can even shrink the partisan divide that has grown so vast just a bit in the process.

  55. Janis Gore says:

    @Tyrell: They still do that in Vidalia, LA. A lot of them are black, too. We used to feed Natchez police breakfast at the Hampton Inn. Nice people.

  56. Modulo Myself says:


    Oh yes, the police and black people were just besties until this damn militarization took hold.

  57. Janis Gore says:

    @Janis Gore: I retract that. Why should I wish these nasty bastards on the hardworking people in McDonald’s?

  58. Modulo Myself says:


    That would be nice, but it would require a huge sacrifice.. Malevolence and mayhem did not originate because of Humvees and SWAT teams; they came out of the American psyche. There is absolutely no point in American history in which law and order has been tied to respect for the bodily integrity of the poor and dark-skinned. Admitting this, of course, is not hard, except to those people whose identity is in deep connection with this form of superiority. If it would be easy, if this power did not mean so much, it would have already happened.

  59. Mu says:

    @Stormy Dragon: You wouldn’t want to accuse our brave police officers of deliberately obstructing justice or destroying evidence?

  60. Janis Gore says:

    Officer involved in shooting “very shaken” by the aftermath, says police chief.

    Wonder why?

  61. Jim R says:


    Police chief agrees with Sean Hannity that the unrest was caused by “outside agitators”.

    Sounds like an embattled Middle Eastern dictator struggling to explain why his lackeys are gassing and beating people on the streets.

    How long before “TERRORISTS!” make an appearance?

  62. PJ says:

    Ryan Reilly has posted a video on youtube that he shot after he was released.

  63. Janis Gore says:

    @PJ: My Lord! What the hell were these officers thinking?

  64. @Janis Gore:

    What the hell were these officers thinking?

    “RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!!”, I believe.

  65. charles austin says:

    Modulo Myself, no, what I wrote is I have nothing to say about Michael Brown’s death because all I know is what I have read in the papers. And what has been in the papers has been everything from the cop was attacked in his car to the cop attacked two kids walking down the middle of the street. I fail to see what my conjecture based on limited and clearly conflicting information would add to the discussion. Like I said, it seems like a Rorschach test so far, and as I also said, I hope justice is done.

    FWIW, I offered my observations of watching multiple feeds of the looting and the police gathering in real time. Yes it was on television but it was pretty unfiltered as three of the four local networks were scrambling to get whatever they could on the air in a “man on the street” manner and I think an argument could be made that that gave me a better perspective than if I had been at only one of the locations. There is less trying to explain it on my part than noting that it is a lot more complicated than has been presented in much of the after the fact coverage I have read. Sorry if that doesn’t work for you.

  66. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @charles austin: I lived in Jennings for several years and know Ferguson well. Or used to. I don’t recognize any of this and it saddens me greatly. I don’t really have anything to say anymore, it is just all so wrong.

  67. Rob in CT says:

    @charles austin:

    Just want to chime in and say thanks for solid posts. Not that I’m 100% with you, but it’s close enough that it’s worthwhile to give ya a shout out & a thumbs up.

    Sh*t is f*cked up and bullsh*t, boys & girls. Left, Right or Center. Things are badly out of wack. Whether it’s the racism (IMO, a huge factor), the militarization (also important, IMO – see Radly Balko for more) or if you prefer the most charitable interpretation, incompetence, a kid is dead for no good reason and the whole thing is a national (international?) shitshow.

  68. Janis Gore says:

    Jeffrey Toobin is doing good legal analysis on CNN.

  69. wr says:

    @charles austin: If it means anything coming from a commenter who has found fault with just about everything you’ve ever posted here, I found your messages on this subject thoughtful and sincere. I had no problem with you saying you were withholding judgment on the shooting until you had actual information, even though that’s a violation of the internet’s prime directive…

    In fact, I’ve been really pleased to see that you and JKB, who are not only very conservative (from my point of view) but often deliberately provocative (which is not a perjorative — who here ain’t?) have been reacting to this in the same way as most of the libs here — that for this moment at least partisanship is taking a back seat (again, on both sides) to a sober assessment of a real problem.

  70. Jeremy says:

    And contrary to some very misguided statements on Twitter, libertarians have also been speaking up against Ferguson – and have been speaking up against police militarization and this stuff for years. I think this is one issue we can all agree on, for once.

    Go read Reason magazine if you want some hard hitting stuff.

  71. @Jeremy:

    Radley Balko has also been doing excellent coverage of police abuse for years:

    Personally, I think he deserves a Pulitzer for his work.

  72. Modulo Myself says:

    @charles austin:

    The people looting the tire shops would have happily done so the week before except for the police response it would have gotten then.

    Right, you were just saying that black people just love to riot. Please. This is flat-out racism. That you are straining to find complexity with the shooting of an unarmed kid just shows how bad it looks for the cop who shot him. After all, the only real exonerating fact for this cop would be the sudden homicidal urge by an unarmed boy to kill a police officer, which is basically the same thing as saying the people who were rioting were always going to riot. Everything else that could have happened ranges from the cop killing the kid for no reason to the cop being so hyper-aggressive that he scared the kid into fighting back. None of these look good, and because there are witnesses and because standards for bullshit are changing.

  73. Rob in CT says:


    Seriously, of all the accusations one could level at libertarians “soft on police abuse” really isn’t one of them. Radley Balko wrote the friggin’ book, and many others have played the same tune. Sure, some of it is goverment = bad, broken clock stuff, but at lot of it is more thoughtful than that. While I’m no libertarian, a political philosophy that puts no (or at least less) coercion front and center is going to be well-positioned to call out this sort of thing. If it wasn’t for shitstains like Murray Rothbard (who deliberately decided to pander to racist reactionaries in order to bolster libertarian numbers), they’d be even better at it as a group.

  74. Rob in CT says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I love that you got a downvote for that. Agreed on the Pulitzer. Or some award, at least.

    As far as I can tell, I share very, very little with Mr. Balko politically. We come at this issue from very different starting points. That matters, but it should not wreck the possibility of common ground. Ok, our ideological priors differ. But we both agree water is wet. Should we decide to argue that it’s more or less wet than the other says it is?

  75. Tillman says:

    @wr: It’s kind of hilarious, the nonpartisanship in this thread. Isn’t that a sign of the end of days?

  76. Tillman says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    After all, the only real exonerating fact for this cop would be the sudden homicidal urge by an unarmed boy to kill a police officer, which is basically the same thing as saying the people who were rioting were always going to riot.

    I think he’s pointing out that cops shoot kids for worse reasons and don’t get riots in response. This is a fact. It’s not racist to point that out.

    Rather, I thought he was noticing that the Ferguson community had been strained in its relations with its police department for a while. This was the spark. Plenty of racism and institutional racism in particular in those strains, sure.

  77. Tillman says:

    @Stormy Dragon: They certainly form the core of modern British policing. There’s nothing in that article that suggests American police have taken such principles to heart.

  78. Modulo Myself says:


    Well, if that’s what he meant then I was totally wrong.

  79. charles austin says:

    Modulo Myself, reading is fundamental. I said people, not black people. In fact, I saw white and black people looting those stores Sunday evening. I also said looting, not rioting, though that may be a little nuanced. I watched people back up large new pickups to these stores, and carry out what they could, throw it into the truck and drive away. That doesn’t sound like rioting to me, but it does sound like looting. Finally, and for at least the third time, I hope justice is done. I find it hard to believe that that sentiment is in any way controversial. Meanwhile, I would appreciate it if you would please stop trying to impugn me with racist motives where there are none.

  80. Andre Kenji says:

    That reminds me of Brazil. But with a racism that´s less subtle.

  81. Janis Gore says:

    So, I was talking to the young black women working the desk in one of the buildings on campus.

    One said, “Missouri. The show me state. Looks like somebody needs to go show them something.”

  82. Janis Gore says:

    @charles austin: Happened in New Orleans during Katrina. Some of the looters were policemen.

  83. rodney dill says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    The images of last night will be seen all over the world making it even more difficult for the US to be critical of anyone else.

    Because EVERYONE in the world knows that the degree of problem in Fergusen is indicative of the same level of problems as Syria, Gaza, North Korea, Ukraine/Crimea… Of course ‘Perception is reality’ and the media has proven to be poor at not portraying the next ‘air-worthy crisis’ as the worst thing ever.

  84. Janis Gore says:

    Well, now.

  85. al-Ameda says:

    I agree with those people who have said that what has transpired since the killing is completely understandable and predictable when the police come to the community as an occupying force.

    It sure seems to me that deadly force has become an option that is front and center, rather than a last resort, in many police departments. I’m from a law enforcement family, my father was an urban police officer for 30 years, about 15 years of which were in rough districts. In his career he never fired his gun, he had to draw it on occasion however he never fired his service revolver. I’m not sure if the mentality of today’s police officers is to default to ‘shoot first, ask later’ or if training is deficient, but it is not acceptable, and it causes the community to fear, not respect, their police department.

  86. bill says:

    @al-Ameda: i think a lot has changed since then, cops get kilked and they have to up the ante to protect their own, it seems to spiral out of control as the cops and crooks adapt different stratagies to deal with the extremes. Then you have the garden variety amateur who makes a wrong move, and here we are again.
    Im guessing the site was down for a spell ?

  87. rudderpedals says:

    County PD stands down and Thursday is quiet. Friday brought the PD back along with the disturbances. Trouble seems to follow this department. It’s time to shut it down and clean house.

  88. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @al-Ameda: Your comment reminds me of an encounter that I had with one of my students after graduation a while ago. He had volunteered for the military and gone to Afghanistan after H.S. graduation. I met him a couple of years later at the college at which I was teaching. When I asked him about his life he shared with me that he had gone to Afghanistan and “it was the best experience of my life. I can hardly wait to go back again when I finish this term.”

    I hope that I am overacting, but I found it troubling that a young man who could hardly wait to get back to Afghanistan was studying to become a State Police officer. The meeting was long enough ago that he is the right age to be one of the officers in Missouri (although he probably is on the West Coast somewhere).

  89. Tyrell says:

    First, let me say that the shabby treatment of the governor is shocking and rude: being hollared at and generally disrespected. All of this shouting and hollaring is not needed. Second it was a big mistake for the police to stand back last night and just let the looters take over. Whose decision was that? You don’t make things better by backing down to criminals and letting them burn down the town. Next, these outsiders that are there just to stir up trouble or get on tv should pack up and head out.
    Major mistakes have been made, and not just by the police.

  90. bill says:

    @Tyrell: were they upset that a video of this huge “kid” showed him stealing and assaulting a clerk just prior to his shooting?

  91. PAUL HOOSON says:

    All support for Brown should have evaporated after the store video caught him in drug thug activity. Those Swisher cigars are popular among drug users to use as “blunts” where marijuana is added to the cigar. – Although the police shooting of Brown appeared related to a later incident in which he appeared to have assaulted a police officer and may have attempted to take away his gun, resulting in the shooting, it was only more evidence that this was a neighborhood thug and criminal and not deserving of any public sympathy. Further, many shop owners would go for their own gun or baseball bat when some abusive hoodlum like Brown shows up and starts some physical abuse during theft. – I owned a small store for three years, and anyone who attempted an assault always ended up in much worse condition than us each time they pulled nonsense. One guy tried to assault us with a bicycle lock – We did that better by beating him with his own bicycle, leaving him in bloody heap in the middle of the street. The only thing that thugs respect is strength and a good beating that puts them out of the robbery business for a few weeks while they nurse their injuries. Weakness only invites problems like robbery. A good beating is a good crime deterrent. – Brown might still be alive and a reformed citizen if some shop owner gave him a good beating and helped educate him as to right and wrong.

  92. PAUL HOOSON says:

    Here’s a good lesson for shop owners. – I own a giant nightclub in Portland, Oregon and we’ve even had huge Hip Hop shows without a single lawless incident. – How did we have peace and safety at my club? We set up three perimeters of security based on a military model. – Didn’t allow guns or knives in the club or gang colors. And I had a motorcycle friend of mine associated with The Hells Angels MC as head of security. – I call this peace through strength. – This little clerk that Brown abused was an easy target because he was small and unable to project strength to deter crime. Local thugs like Brown are cowards and target a little shopkeeper like this guy as a crime victim. That’s a dangerous situation for that clerk to do business in. – A combination of mutual respect for the customers along with strength would make that clerk much safer.

  93. Tyrell says:

    Some of the convenience store owners around here communicate strength through the security firm commonly known as ” Smith & Wesson”. I don’t think they have ever been robbed.

  94. DrDaveT says:


    All support for Brown should have evaporated after the store video caught him in drug thug activity.

    Some of us are capable of distinguishing “a belief that the police should not shoot unarmed people dead in the street without cause” from “personal support for Michael Brown and everything he stood for”.

    It would not surprise me at all if Brown had been an unpleasant or even contemptible person, a criminal, a hoodlum, a thug. That’s irrelevant to the shooting.

  95. Eric Florack says:

    Interesting how many have ignored this evidence.
    Now why would they do that? Is it because as I suppose, it damages the illusion of Brown being this innocent gentle giant? Assuming you’ve no seen the vid, here you go.

    @DrDaveT:Its hardly irrelevant. It of itself suggests there is more going on here than the defenders of Brown would have us think.

    And let’s get serious, here… would there have been riots if a White guy got shot? I suspect it would look like the West Bank following the 9/11 attacks… celebrations.

  96. DrDaveT says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Its hardly irrelevant.

    Unless you want to claim that Brown’s crime justifies shooting him dead — even assuming the officer knew of his possible involvement, which seems not to be true — it’s irrelevant. Is that what you want to claim?

    would there have been riots if a White guy got shot?

    Now this _is_ relevant — but clearly not in the way you think. You’d make a good Ferguson cop, Eric.

  97. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Eric Florack:Police rarely every shoot unarmed whites…and quite often take armed and aggressive white perps alive. So your what if scenarios are a joke. Crawl back in your hole…goon.

  98. Pharoah Narim says:


  99. anjin-san says:

    @ Pharoah Narim

    Police rarely every shoot unarmed whites

    The Bundyville crowd was pointing sniper rifles at law enforcement and none of them ended up in the morgue.

  100. anjin-san says:

    Interesting how many have ignored this evidence.

    How is this relevant to the shooting? The police have made it clear that it is in no way linked to Brown being stopped and subsequently shot.

  101. anjin-san says:


    All support for Brown should have evaporated after the store video caught him in drug thug activity

    If you own a nightclub, there is illegal drug activity on your premises. Is it ok with you if the cops come in hot every night to get this activity under control?

    If you are so upset over people smoking pot, why do you choose to be in a business that is closely linked with drug activity? You don’t seem to mind taking some of the money that drug thugs make from illegal drug sales and putting it in your pocket.

  102. rodney dill says:

    @Pharoah Narim: Since you doubt him, why don’t you visit The Viewpoint in Oregon and find out. He at least is using a name and location, as opposed to Pharoah Narim.

  103. Pharoah Narim says:

    @rodney dill: riiiiiggght….. because Pharoah couldn’t possibly be a name like, say…. Paul… or Rodney. Folks that live in the real world understand that a shop owner getting the better of a could couple of robbers had less to do with bravado that with luck. On any given day the baddest MFer can be bested. It’s not like the movies. Their are many brave men 6ft below and cowards up walking around. Clowns like that are the ones that end up getting hurt over something stupid.

  104. Rodney Dill says:

    @Pharoah Narim: So I guess that means you’re still not planning on visiting Paul, who YOU accused of being only a keyboard tough guy…. I guess it takes one to know one.

    (…and no, I’ve never claimed to do other than hide behind internet anonymity myself, but then I don’t go around claiming others are only keyboard tough guys)

  105. PAUL HOOSON says:

    Hello Pharoah. I don’t like guys like Zimmerman or Goetz because they appeared to racist in nature at their core and lawless with firearms. Like a couple of free lance keystone cops without the badge. – Unlike those guys, I have a great love and respect for the African American community, where all of my staffers with the exception of myself, my girlfriend and one bartender are African American(us three are Jewish, I’m part Irish and Jew). The big majority of my customers are African American and they deeply appreciate offering them a club they feel 100% safe at. – The big majority of African Americans are good citizens who want safe neighborhoods free of crime. But, at the same time they want police relations to be fair with them, where good citizens are not discriminated on the basis of their skin color.

  106. Tyrell says:

    So far I have not heard any explanation or apologies from the police concerning the rough treatment and detention of the two reporters who were in McDonalds. That has not been addressed in any of the news conferences or the Governor’s statements as far as I know.

  107. anjin-san says:

    @ Tyrell

    Why do you expect an apology? Rousting the reporters was part of the Ferguson PD agenda – kick ass and intimidate.

  108. stonetools says:

    Two observations:

    1. Captain Johnson is a rock star, and is on his way to higher office, if there is any justice in this world.

    2. Nixon’s wobbly, Third Way approach, while angering liberals, might be the best that liberals can expect in Misery, birthplace of Rush Limbaugh. hope the grand jury returns a true bill soon and the officer gets arrested and tried.

  109. Grewgills says:

    Johnson did strike the right tone. I hope things calm down soon.

  110. hilo says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    Police rarely every shoot unarmed whites…and quite often take armed and aggressive white perps alive. So your what if scenarios are a joke. Crawl back in your hole…goon.

    Oh good, you have statistics. Can you please share a link or something to these statistics? I’ve been looking for them.


  111. Tyrell says:

    @stonetools: Was it Captain Johnson’s idea to not arrest the looters ? Or was that someone else’s bright idea? Actually they don’t need army tanks, rocket launchers, or the Gestapo SS to apprehend and arrest looters.
    Governor Nixon should have told the people to disperse and go back home. They can do more good there.
    The police around here (3 and 1/2) are wearing short sleeves for the summer. In some towns it is shorts! How’s that for “stylin and profilin!”
    “Now you people go on back to your homes.” (Marshall Dillon, “Gunsmoke”)

  112. wr says:

    @PAUL HOOSON: Wow. 99.9% of the country saw that vile presentation in which the police chief played a months old tape to try to justify shooting an unarmed kid — not mentioning that the officer is question knew nothing about it — and said “what a pathetic attempt to manipulate public attention in our favor.”

    Welcome to the .1%

  113. wr says:

    @PAUL HOOSON: “And I had a motorcycle friend of mine associated with The Hells Angels MC as head of security. – I call this peace through strength”

    What a brilliant idea. If only someone else had thought of using Hells Angels as security. Think how much good they could do, say, at a Rolling Stones concert.

    Oh, wait.

  114. bill says:

    @Rob in CT: true, he could have gone on one of the other networks – but “have you stopped beating your wife” type q & a’s probably went against his grain.
    so, any updates with the video of this poor little kid man handling a store clerk for cigars? and autopsy results show no shots to the back- will these ‘tards apologize to the local businesses they torched & looted? as if…
    let’s all gather round and sing “kum by ya” or something stupid as the msm once again uses the black community for it’s own needs.

  115. Jeremy says:

    @Rob in CT:

    My god I cannot stand Rothbard. I hate being lumped in with him.

  116. PAUL HOOSON says:

    @wr: That was one unfortunate incident with that single concert, but the Angels helped to promote many successful concert events without a single incident. Look at the Janis Joplin cover on the album “Big Brother And The Holding Company” . There is a little thing that says “Endorsed By The Hells Angels”. This MC helped to promote Janis Joplin’s concerts in the early years and she was forever grateful for their support. Oakland Chapter founder Ralph “Sonny” Barger had an excellent relationship with many musicians without any incidents at the concert events. The Grateful Dead, Blue Cheer, Cold Blood and many other musicians, especially in the San Francisco area, helped to achieve stardom thanks to concert promotion and support from the Hells Angels.

  117. PAUL HOOSON says:

    @wr: No. It turns out that Brown actually had those stolen cigars on him at the time that he was involved in the assault on the police officer, where the officer fired the first shot from his car after the officer was roughed up, with a facial injury, and Brown may have tried to get the officer’s gun according to some CNN reports on Friday.

  118. anjin-san says:


    The Hells Angels were indeed involved in the bay area music scene back then to a degree most people don’t know about these days, and it’s too bad that Altamont is all that is remembered.

    Hells Angles Party at Pepperland Poster

    That being said, Chet Helms and Bill Graham were the real promotional drivers back then, and Marty Balin also deceives a nod for starting The Matrix. Graham, of course, was the dominant, indeed the only major player on the scene here pretty much from the late 60s to the time of his death

  119. Tyrell says:

    Latest reports are that Governor Nixon has ordered in the National Guard. This after another day of the people there fighting with each other, shooting at each other, damaging businesses, and a general breakdown. The videos and photos show a lot of disorder. It seems that a thug element is running things and efforts at peaceful gatherings are being sabotaged.

  120. PAUL HOOSON says:

    @Tyrell: This has always been my argument here. That Brown was a terrible poster boy for any serious political campaign aimed at reversing racial profiling or other stereotypes. – Since the report of his assault on the police officer in his car, the strong-armed robbery, I have zero-sympathy for either Brown or anyone who is part of these protests for his sake. Where’s the sympathy for the little grocery store guy who has to work maybe two hours just to replace what Brown stole to use to roll blunts to smoke dope?

  121. wr says:

    @PAUL HOOSON: Amazing. In the morning the police chief releases the surveillance video, but then when actually questioned — something he apparently never expected to happen — had to admit that the officer who stopped Brown did not do so because he knew about or was investigating the robbery. Then, hours later, after blistering press coverage pointing out that this was nothing more than character assassination, the chief suddenly changes his mind as says the officer saw Brown carrying a box of stolen cigars, something he’d apparently forgotten to mention all morning.

    And you not only lap it all up, you spread it around as if it’s gospel.

    So tomorrow when the chief announces that the officer had reason to suspect that Brown was actually a member of Al Qaeda out to blow up city hall, can we expect you to mindlessly parrot that as well?

  122. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Interesting how many have ignored this evidence.
    Now why would they do that? Is it because as I suppose, it damages the illusion of Brown being this innocent gentle giant? Assuming you’ve no seen the vid, here you go.

    Interesting how you apparently believe that deadly force is justified in any possible police situation. How is it that the Ferguson police could not handle this situation without shooting Brown?

  123. bill says:

    @wr: well aside from stabbing a guy to death and roughing up the bands…..wasn’t that bad was it!?

  124. Pharoah Narim says:

    @hilo: I normally don’t do other people’s homework but here you go:

    One of many investigations conducted. I’ll await you’re excuses as to why it’s skewed, false, biased, etc….on the other hand….I won’t be waiting.

  125. Eric Florack says:

    @DrDaveT: He was not the innocent he was billed as.
    That is directly relevant. @al-Ameda: , you too, om this….

    It says there is much going on here, that most are not aware of. I’m willing to let the system do its job. Clearly the rioters have already jumped to their own conclusions… largely based on the illusion of his being this innocent angel.

    How cute…… BUT ITS WRONG.

  126. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    @DrDaveT: He was not the innocent he was billed as.
    That is directly relevant. @al-Ameda: , you too, om this….

    Who said he was an innocent?
    Again, do you believe that he should have been killed by the police for what he did?

  127. gVOR08 says:


    It would not surprise me at all if Brown had been an unpleasant or even contemptible person, a criminal, a hoodlum, a thug. That’s irrelevant to the shooting.

    Very true. Got any ideas on how to explain to conservatives that his personal characteristics are irrelevant? I’ve never succeeded.

  128. anjin-san says:

    @ Florack

    He was not the innocent he was billed as.

    Florack’s search for the truth continues. Of course some of us remember the long string of lies he told about Trayvon Martin.

  129. Eric Florack says:

    @anjin-san: sure, you do.
    But lets see what we have here.
    we have a huge kid, who for the most part didnt need weaponry to intimidate.
    We know he stole some swisher sweets, likely to hollow them out, and fill them with mariuana. we know he was high on Marijuana.
    What do you suppose the chances are he disobeyed a lawful order, and owing to the kids size and what is now shaping up as history, the cop felt threatened and responded accordingly?

    Ya see, these little puzzle peices are starting to fall into place.

  130. Anjin-San says:

    @ floack

    We already know you think “shoot first, ask questions later” is the correct course of actions for both cops and civilians dealing with black kids. Nothing new here. Plenty of my white buddies did much worse than what Brown allegedly did when I was coming up. None of them got so much as a tune up from the cops, much less shot dead.

  131. Anjin-San says:

    It’s kind of funny. When a white kid smokes dope, he is a “stoner” – when a black kid does, he is a “drug thug.”

  132. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    What do you suppose the chances are he disobeyed a lawful order, and owing to the kids size and what is now shaping up as history, the cop felt threatened and responded accordingly?

    Again, are you saying that he (Brown) deserved to be shot and killed for not moving out of the street?

    The officer had a gun, Brown did not, yet you’re saying that the officer felt threatened and intimidated. Is the problem that the officer was incapable of handling that situation without deadly force? Was the officer insufficiently trained?

  133. DrDaveT says:

    @Eric Florack:

    He was not the innocent he was billed as.

    So the officer was correct to shoot him dead, because he was not an innocent? Is that really what you’re saying here?

    So what fraction of Americans do you feel the police are justified in shooting on sight? Enquiring minds want to know…

  134. anjin-san says:

    @ DrDaveT

    Hey, he was big, he was black, and he apparently smoked pot. Florack does not need much more than that.

    Once again, just as in the Treyvon Martin shooting, the “he was high on pot” meme has emerged from the right. I grew up in a time and place where smoking pot was almost an Olympic sport. I never saw anyone who was stoned attack anything other than cookies, doritos, and brownies.

  135. DrDaveT says:


    Got any ideas on how to explain to conservatives that his personal characteristics are irrelevant?

    Sorry, I haven’t found anything that works there either. The idea that the life, liberty, and property of the people I don’t like and wouldn’t associate with should be as vigorously defended as those of my friends and family is a strictly left-wing meme, and has been since the last of the Lincoln Republicans died out.

    You can almost use this as a filter to understand present-day American ‘conservatives’. Insert the personal pronoun ‘my’ in front of all statements of basic rights and important principles, and you’re awfully damned close to spot-on. Freedom of my religion, protection of my property, freedom of my speech, presumption of my innocence, … Yeah, that’s about it.

  136. DrDaveT says:

    So if Eric thinks Brown’s personal history and foibles are relevant to why it’s OK to shoot him, maybe he will also admit that this story is relevant, too.

    The headline is “Ferguson Cops Once Beat an Innocent Man and Then Charged Him With BLEEDING ON THEIR UNIFORMS”. Enjoy. (And yes, he was black — why do you ask?)