Re: What The Fuck, Ferguson?

1

Just too many things to link. From the fact that the cops turned down an offer to interview the friend who was with Brown, to "bring it on, all you fucking animals," to the guy getting tear-gassed in his own yard, to the reporters being arrested at McDonalds, and a dozen other things.

It doesn't surprise me even a little bit that a majority-black town's cops are stone racists, but you'd think someone with some pull would pick up the phone and tell these yahoos to stand down.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 7:59 PM
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So fucked up.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:01 PM
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In the live-ish stream I linked in the other thread, the protesters were saying that the police marching on them (and using sonic crowd dispersal weapons, and firing tear gas; the guy behind the camera claimed there were rubber bullets, but that wasn't clear from watching it) were the St. Louis County Police, not the Ferguson department. I was hoping that the regional municipality would be somewhat saner about this, but apparently not.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:02 PM
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I sort of want to go because it feels like bearing witness at a distance isn't enough, but that would presumably also be a bad idea.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:04 PM
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Hmm ... hopefully the National Guard is no longer your father's National Guard.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:05 PM
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MSNBC has what they're saying is a livestream. Showed cops firing tear gas on protesters with their hands up.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:10 PM
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Whyyyy do they have an LRAD? Nasty, nasty, nasty.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:10 PM
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The governor should, surely, call out the National Guard.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:11 PM
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Whyyyy do they have an LRAD? Nasty, nasty, nasty.

"strict fiscal discipline" doesn't apply to arming police?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:12 PM
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3: Weren't the St. Louis County PD the ones put in charge of the "independent investigation" into the shooting?

I can't believe all the ordinance they've got, tho apparently still no dash cams, based on how they're behaving.


Posted by: Cady | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:13 PM
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Adam Weinstein, Twitter: "All the cutting-edge nonlethal weaponry I saw tested at Quantico in '99 is in play in Ferguson, minus the training."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:13 PM
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And let's remember it's not one rogue police department: they've got reinforcements from all around. Not sure if that includes SLPD.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:14 PM
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Sorry, that's strict fiscal discipline.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:14 PM
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And the era of white identity backlash can go ahead and end any time now.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:15 PM
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6: Link?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:16 PM
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15: on the television. Anchored by Chris Hayes. Though now they've moved away from the livestream, showing earlier images.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:18 PM
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And remember, it's against the law in Missouri law for a public official to help people sign up for health insurance. So if one of those cops loses control and gives someone a signup form they'll be in deep shit.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:20 PM
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10: Always-on cameras for police sound expensive (or at least they used to be; quality data archiving might still be), but surely the actual military gear is orders of magnitude more. That any police department would have the latter before the former is despicable.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:21 PM
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If you're like me and don't have cable, this video, 9 minutes in. Unfuckingbelievable.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:21 PM
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19: That was really painful to watch. Absolutely horrific.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:23 PM
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For people with fancy tv, Al Jazeera America has had great coverage. I wish I'd transcribed the black police officer (I think) they talked to who said he never condones looting, but as far as rioting you look at the Trayvon Martin case where the black community did what you're "supposed" to do and kept things peaceful and then there was no justice. Everyone they've spoken to has been insightful and heart-breaking, though their on-the-scene reporter had to move after their truck got hit with a tear gas canister.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:26 PM
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Does the MO governor nurse fantasies of moving to D.C. in some capacity, hence avoid being shown on television even acknowledging all of this?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:26 PM
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ogged, in answer to your original question, I am not a lawyer, but as I understand it the governor has the power to declare a state of emergency and order out the National Guard.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:27 PM
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the governor has the power to declare a state of emergency and order out the National Guard

That's what I figured, but I also figured the governor has a telephone and can call and say, dudes, don't make me bring in the national guard and/or let the feds investigate you all for civil rights violations. There are some loathsome political calculations being made in a lot of offices tonight.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:30 PM
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For people with fancy tv, Al Jazeera America has had great coverage.

My cable provider doesn't carry it, even though I have 700 other useless channels.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:33 PM
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Right. The governor should be on the telephone, saying just that. Someone in the WH probably should likewise be talking. And yes, it's great that Holder is concerned and may investigate, but somebody needs to stop this right now.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:35 PM
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25: My cable channel cheat-sheet has it listed as "Current TV"; I guess they only recently changed their name? We didn't spring for that package, though.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:36 PM
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Vox seems to be doing a decent job of aggregating things but I'm not sure I've found anything better than just scrolling through Twitter search results. The mainstream media seem pretty shitty right now. I get that the arrest of a Washington Post reporter demonstrates something about the stupidity and incompetence of the police in Missouri, but it's hardly the most important aspect of the story.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:37 PM
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19: That's really something.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:39 PM
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Maybe, just maybe, Democrats in power are not being gutless or foolish, and actually have reasons not to intervene? Just throwing that out there.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:40 PM
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27: I had no idea that's what happened to Current. Thanks for sharing. It was about the only decent channel of the 11 million we get, though I only get to choose the channel when everyone else is in bed anyway.

Only one of my girls' moms is on email, but I'm going back and forth with her about how heartbreaking and gross and awful this is. I don't have anything else.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:41 PM
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27: No, RCN doesn't carry it under either name with any package, as far as I can tell.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:43 PM
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actually have reasons not to intervene? Just throwing that out there

Such as?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:43 PM
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So, the high incidence of asthma in poor black communities plus tear gas in residential neighborhoods, I just can't.

The other comment I really liked on Al Jazeera was a few moments before what I paraphrased before, when the hosts were saying that supposedly protestors had thrown molotov cocktails and the police had responded because of that and that it's hard to know whether this is a chicken-and-egg situation, and the person they were interviewing shut them down by saying that we don't even know that there was a chicken. There's no proof of the molotov cocktails that the journalists on the ground have seen, but they witnessed the "response."


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:49 PM
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Twitter is claiming that Antonio French, the alderman who has posted a bunch of vines showing what's going on, has been arrested.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:55 PM
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Not my will, but Thine, be done.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:57 PM
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There is at least one picture I've seen in circulation that seems to pretty clearly show a molotov cocktail being prepared. (Of course I have no ideas as to its provenance much less as to where it was in the sequence of events.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 8:57 PM
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Seriousness of events seems to have finally begun to imake on impression on Governor:

@GovJayNixon: Canceling all appearances at the @MoStateFair to visit North #STL County tomorrow. Statement to follow.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:00 PM
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Geez, "to make an impression." However slight an impression that might be.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:01 PM
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So, I guess 44 years later I'm in the position of hoping that Nixon calls out the National Guard?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:03 PM
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Maddow's show is on now showing some of the footage at the link in 19.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:06 PM
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They just tear gassed Al Jazeera.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:10 PM
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much less as to where it was in the sequence of events.

It does seem kind of inevitable that if you keep a community under attack this intense for long enough, eventually people are going to fight back.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:16 PM
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Yes. There have been a number of phases of disturbances (including the ongoing "police disturbances", of course) including looting and whatnot. Folks on the ground are unsurprisingly resisting/fighting back in ways well-established in the history of resistance and lashing out against oppressive authority.

Per a retweet of a blog denizen: "Every urban riot, shoot-out & blood-bath has been set off by some trigger-happy cop in a fear frenzy." - HST, 1970. Was very frequently the trigger of major 1960s urban conflagrations.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:28 PM
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The teargassing of Al Jazeera video is kind of great, if only because of how totally unfazed the Al Jazeera crew seems. "Ok, it's drifting over this way you need to refocus the lens a bit, yes, yes, lighting up just a bit.. ok let's run away now."


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:35 PM
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In the 70s, they didn't give the cops tanks either.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:36 PM
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A quick perusal of Wikipedia articles however indicates while most of those (including Watts, Newark and Detroit) were triggered by specific police raids and/or arrests, the precipitating events were not a particular shooting by police.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:37 PM
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It's an apt turn of phrase in describing anything from Kent State to the Sharpeville Massacre to this.

There was a tweet quoting the police chief as saying something like (paraphrasing) "we're actually being very restrained."


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:37 PM
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47: It's probably more accurate for the shoot-outs and blood-baths than the riots.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:38 PM
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Huh, I should go up there, shouldn't I.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:40 PM
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"We've done everything we can to demonstrate a remarkable amount of restraint."

I suppose this is fair in a very technical sense, since people have found the level of restraint to be remarkable. Or, anyway, people have been remarking on it.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:41 PM
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48.2: And that was the police chief for the county, not Ferguson.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:42 PM
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This one seems to capture the police attitude a little better, though.

(Also 51 was me.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:45 PM
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In Detroit, at least, tanks were deployed in '67. And both Nat'l Guard and Federal troops . From Wikipedia:

Most of the Michigan National Guard were white, while many of the Army troops were black. As a result, the National Guard troops faced more hostility when deployed to the inner city. The National Guard and the Army troops engaged in firefights with locals, resulting in deaths to both locals and the troops. Of the 12 people that troops shot and killed, only one was shot by a Federal soldier. Army troops were ordered not to load their weapons except under the direct order of an officer. The Cyrus Vance report made afterward criticized the actions of the National Guard troops, who shot and killed eleven people.
Of course, now the freaking heavy weaponry is already in the hands of the local cops, and clearly that kind of bad escalation threatens. I'm not sure the Nat'l Guard will be the massively professional calmer-downers that folks are hoping for, but almost certainly than the cosplay group currently working the situation.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:49 PM
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51/52/53: Thanks for the clarification. Absolutely stunning.

54: This pithy statement from a fictional character seems relevant.

I wonder if the local police would be better if this situation happened here.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:57 PM
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If you're are using percentage of light machine guns available that were fired as a metric, the level of restraint is 100%. Can't hardly do better than 100%.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 9:58 PM
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56: and heavy artillery?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 10:03 PM
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Army troops were ordered not to load their weapons except under the direct order of an officer.

What the hell are we supposed to use, man, harsh language?


Posted by: Opinionated Colonial Marines Pfc. Frost | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 10:20 PM
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The video in 19 is really something.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 10:20 PM
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The white guy on MSNBC also (as I did before) thinks that that video is a live feed as has been reporting on it as such for the last few minutes, so I'm glad no one else understands the internet either.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 10:37 PM
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Oh, christ, it's a rerun. I don't understand TV either. Goodnight.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 10:38 PM
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Are earplugs effective against those sonic weapons?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 10:40 PM
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The time has finally come for Hawkwind lyrics to be relevant:

In case of Sonic Attack on your district, follow these rules.....

If you are making love it is imperative to bring all bodies to orgasm simultaneously
Do not waste time blocking your ears.
Do not waste time seeking a soundproof shelter.
Try to get as far away from the sonic source as possible,
but do not panic.....

...

Remember, in the case of Sonic Attack, Survival means every man for himself.
Statistically more people survive if they think only of themselves.
Do not attempt to rescue friends, relatives, loved ones.

You have only a few seconds to escape.
Use those seconds sensibly or you will inevitably die.
Do not panic.
Think only of yourself....

These are the first signs of Sonic Attack:
You will notice small objects, such as ornaments, oscillating.
You will notice a vibration in your diaphragm.
You will hear a distant hissing in your ears.
You will feel dizzy.
You will feel the need to vomit.
There will be bleeding from orifices.
There will be an ache in the pelvic region.
You may be subject to fits of hysterical shouting, or even laughter.

These are all sign of imminent Sonic destruction.
Your only real protection is flight.
If you are less than ten years old, then remain in your shelter and use your cocoon.
But remember:
You can help no-one else, No-one else, No-one else......


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 10:47 PM
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Gov. Jay Nixon: "Can;t we all just get along?" (White man political version.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-13-14 11:07 PM
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It occurs to me that if these pics were coming out of somewhere in the Middle East, people would be screaming at Obama to bomb it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:23 AM
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I like that the cop who was talking about restraint in the use of tanks, tear gas and rubber bullets mentions bottles and rocks. Somebody throwing a bottle definitely calls for overwhelming armored assault.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 3:49 AM
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It occurs to me that if these pics were coming out of somewhere in the Middle East, people would be screaming at Obama to bomb itcontinue to send it $3.1 billion dollars of aid per year.

Fixed that for you.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 4:25 AM
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I quite enjoyed the "less firepower than Ferguson" meme going around: https://storify.com/AthertonKD/veterans-on-ferguson


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 4:28 AM
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I don't know that there's anything practical or legal, but I want federal intervention. The FBI? ATF? The DEA? A peacekeeping authority completely separate from the local police.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 4:29 AM
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I mean, national guard, sure, but really screw state and local authority.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 4:31 AM
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The BLM seems like they have a good recent track record. Can the BLM go in?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 4:32 AM
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Eggie, I forgot you were right there. What would you do if you went up? I suppose join the marches. Yeah, maybe go!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 4:32 AM
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I read 71 as the BLS, and thought "I suppose they aren't a very controversial department, are they."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 4:37 AM
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Wasn't there a shortlived defund the BLS movement a while back when the unemployment numbers started improving?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 4:51 AM
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I sort of want to go because it feels like bearing witness at a distance isn't enough, but that would presumably also be a bad idea.

National Moment of Silence rallies in 90 cities tonight at 7pm Eastern. List of cities here.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 5:14 AM
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The BLS probably has its own armed police force and intelligence service, as pretty much every other bit of the federal government seems to. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Intelligence_Community


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 5:15 AM
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Here's what's up with the governor.

Nixon, who has acknowledged an interest in the White House, has professed complete support for Clinton, should she run, and his allies say he hopes to be heavily involved in her likely campaign. With a proven ability to attract white, working-class and rural voters - the kind of people among whom Democrats struggle most - the governor would be an ideal surrogate for Clinton in places like Missouri, and is already being talked about as an appealing vice presidential option.

If that's your constituency, no way do you send in the Guard to protect a bunch of rioting/looting/molotov cocktail throwing animals. Your move, Mr. President.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 5:33 AM
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white, working-class and rural voters - the kind of people among whom Democrats struggle most

The common clay of the New West, in other words.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 5:54 AM
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The thing is, I don't know how Mr. President would proceed (which he won't).

Eisenhower, who very much didn't want to intervene in Arkansas, saw the local authorities to be violating an order from the US Supreme Court. So he federalized the Arkansas National Guard and sent in Airborne units.

Obama, even were he so inclined (which he's not) doesn't have quite that kind of pretext.

But maybe I'm not sufficiently imaginative.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:02 AM
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Oh, and ogged: here's another item re Nixon in politics. Would like a fuller explanation, but Hayes seems like a generally reliable source.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:06 AM
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Huh, I should go up there, shouldn't I.

I've been wondering about this. St. Louis people on my FB feed have been lamenting the situation, and some talked about going there during the day to help clean up after the looting/rioting night, but I haven't seen talk of going to join the demonstrators.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:30 AM
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I find this really funny in a dark sort of way. The bit that's amusing to me is that the police chief is clearly trying to defend the citizens against the openly racist stuff that's being tossed around about looters and riots and stuff. And yet, somehow, when he tries to think of the right phrase to do that what comes to mind first is "outside agitators".

It's not surprising that MO police, especially in this context, are not ready for prime time. But to be this unready takes an almost admirable level of dedication to the concept.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:33 AM
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Armed troops are probably off the table, but at least the President could send in Joe Biden.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:33 AM
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I just got a call to my cell phone from an unknown number in Missouri. Maybe it's related! But no, it appears to belong to some marketing company. I sent them to voice mail and listened in but they hung up.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:51 AM
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Is gswift around? I'm curious if this is enough to alter the customary "give the cops the benefit of a doubt" stance.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:55 AM
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I'm guessing that if thinking that someone claiming that Michael Brown's reaction to be violently grabbed by a police officer and forced into a police car for jaywalking was to think "Hey! Free gun!" was telling a credible story then this more recent stuff probably won't affect that stance in the slightest. But 'benefit of the doubt' is only so much benefit and I doubt it's anywhere near enough to outweigh the increasingly obvious nature of what's going on here.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:17 AM
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85, 86: These both seem to me to be unfair to what gswift has said on similar topics.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:20 AM
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Not to speak for him, but I assume that GSwift can recognize competent crowd control/demonstration policing and knows that this ain't it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:21 AM
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Wait, the governor's name is Nixon?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:22 AM
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It happens. The previous governor was named A. Dolf Eichmann.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:24 AM
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89 - No relation.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:25 AM
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Someone call Neil Young for comment.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:25 AM
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87 - That's why I said that the benefit of the doubt isn't going to do much here. I seriously doubt he'd be willing to defend this, because, at the very least he isn't some roided up psycho who wants to play army. 'Benefit of the doubt' doesn't mean 'always on their side no matter what'.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:25 AM
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Veterans on Ferguson has been interesting (although not all that surprising) reading. A few quotes:

I'll just note that Ferguson PD and St. Louis County PD brought heavier gear to a civil protest than I had to fight the Taliban and Iraqi insurgents. My troops however, were better trained and disciplined. Most of the Vets that I've been tweeting with back and forth throughout the day and evening are shocked at the police tactics throughout the day.

The general consensus here: if this is militarization, it's the shittiest, least-trained, least professional military in the world, using weapons far beyond what they need, or what the military would use when doing crowd control.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:27 AM
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It happens. The previous governor was named A. Dolf Eichmann John Ashcroft.



Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:39 AM
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Potato, potato.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:44 AM
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According to a Bloomberg reporter on Twitter, Rep. Clay said that Nixon said the County police are to be relieved - not sure if by state police or feds or what.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:44 AM
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Anonymous has named the shooter. Facebook search shows young white guy in Missouri with that name who has a pic of Trayvon Martin among his photos.

Turns out he lives in suburban KC, not STL. And he's sympathetic to Martin.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:46 AM
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85: I think he mentioned being on a camping trip in the other thread.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:52 AM
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Because internet communities have such a great track record at identifying criminals.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:52 AM
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Turns out he lives in suburban KC, not STL.

Sounds fishy... that's over 200 miles away.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:56 AM
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I wonder how many visits his Facebook page will get. It's not too hard to figure out he's the wrong guy, though - the dominant pic is in a baseball stadium with a statue that I assume is in the Royals' stadium.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:01 AM
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Fox will identify the shooter as an Arab looking guy from Boston.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:01 AM
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Apparently the governor just ordered the local police to stand down. It's not clear who's being sent in to take over.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:24 AM
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The IDF.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:27 AM
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Plausibly, no one needs to take over. I mean, the protests were maybe unruly and there was some associated crime, but the city wasn't on fire. (I was talking about feds coming in because I didn't think the local cops would stand down without a replacement peacekeeping force.) If the cops get off the street, very plausibly in a day or so the whole thing calms down with no major damage done.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:29 AM
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"The policeman isn't there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder."


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:29 AM
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106: Presumably ordinary "protect people and property from crime" policing still needs to be done. The local police seem to have pretty thoroughly punted that responsibility, but I'm not sure I'd want to be in a city with no law enforcement at all.

Of course I might feel very different about that if I had darker skin.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:37 AM
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105:
-- Ah, sure, but just like every other foaming, rabid psycho in this city with a foolproof plan, you've forgotten you're facing the single finest fighting force ever assembled.

-- The Israelis?

-- Try 'the decent, hard-working men and women of Los Angeles!'


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:38 AM
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You're really scrapping the bottom of the movie quote barrel on that one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:40 AM
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Can someone with more local knowledge correct my understanding of the geography/history of Ferguson? Here's what it looks like to me so far: Ferguson is an inner ring suburb, which is part of St Louis County. Like with a lot of older American cities, there's a distinction in St Louis between city and county government where the "county" became the locus for white flight and has a politics defined largely by white flight opposition to the city. Ferguson itself, though originally a white flight suburb, was a working class white suburb that has (only fairly recently, like past 20 years) been turning black -- but still in a suburban way, without overwhelming poverty or drugs or crime. Both the local police force and the county police force are remnants of the old white flight era, and the district attorney's office is too. This explains both (a) the strong disconnect between population and police force (b) why this was a protest and not a burn-it-down riot, the black population are mostly lower middle class folk who left inner city St Louis to move there (c) in part why the police force seems both so unprepared and so crazy. It's the equivalent of a riot in say Baltimore County (not city) or Moreno Valley CA or one of the black towns in Nassau County on Long Island.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:40 AM
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110: it wasn't great, but a) it's relevant to the "over-militarised police with armoured vehicles" theme and b) Dan Aykroyd is awfully good in it.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:42 AM
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108: Well, (a) for a day or two, I think it's not so bad and (b) they could still answer 911 calls, protect specific locations from property damage, and so on. By "stand down" I meant that they should quit it with the tear gas and generally with trying to get people off the streets.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:44 AM
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I think that if there was a command structure capable of getting the local police to answer 911 calls without using tear gas to get the people off the street, the problem wouldn't exist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:46 AM
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And now they're saying Obama's going to make a statement at 12:15 Eastern (half an hour?).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:48 AM
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Oh, hey, the person who's organizing the National Moment of Silence Witt linked to in 75 is the feminist blowjob evangelist I was talking about in the grapefruit thread. That may kind of sum up Black Twitter, I guess.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:48 AM
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113-- speaking (sort of) from experience, just pulling the cops out of a situation where there's a decent chance that things will go up in flames is really really not what you want to do if you're interested in the long term health of a community. That's basically what happened in the first day or two of the '92 riots and we're still paying the price 20 years later. Not saying that the current situation is acceptable either (it's what's creating the conditions for rioting in the first place) but "all cops stand down and go home or regroup" sure doesn't sound like a good plan either.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:54 AM
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Why is there a decent chance things will go up in flames?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:56 AM
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Stream here, looks like.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:57 AM
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Seems like a plausible outcome given the current tension and a total absence of public order. It's certainly happened before.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:00 AM
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117: Generally, yes, and maybe the situation is inflamed enough now that there really does need to be riot control. But this seems like a situation where there wasn't an initial need for riot control -- if the police had not responded in force to the protests at all, it would plausibly have been fine. And it doesn't seem all that unlikely to me that removing the police antagonists would calm the situation fairly quickly.

This isn't history, it's stuff my parents said about rioting in the 60's. They were both very pleased with the NYPD's performance in riot situations as compared to either Chicago or anyplace in California, in that the NYPD had a vastly superior capacity to stand around harmlessly and not make matters worse. I don't actually know how valid this impression is, but I throw it out for what it's worth.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:04 AM
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There hasn't been anything like riot conditions -- I mean, except on the police side -- for several days. And even on that first day it sounds like it was pretty mild. That one gas station had a sad, obviously. But as far as I can tell it has largely just been protesting.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:08 AM
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121 -- I agree that the local/county cops fucked things up horribly in the first place by turning ordinary protests into conditions that do seem like they have potential for a full on riot. I was only addressing the separate question of, given where we are now, whether all cops should just go home immediately and stay home, or whether the current cops should be replaced with a better trained force so as to maintain order until things calm down past the point where a genuinely destructive riot is plausible.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:10 AM
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This isn't history, it's stuff my parents said about rioting in the 60's.

I have news for you, LB...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:12 AM
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Yeah. I'm not sure, obviously -- not there, and really not an expert. And a calm, trustworthy, well-behaved, uninflammatory force preserving public order would be a an excellent thing. But if we haven't got one of those, this seems to me like a circumstance where having the police doing nothing is plausibly the best option.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:12 AM
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124: They're not particularly reliable, generally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:13 AM
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122 -- don't disagree. But I wouldn't bet heavily on that situation continuing if all possible law enforcement just cleared out for 48 hours. Not that it's impossible, but it really doesn't seem like a risk worth taking. Doesn't take much or a ton of people for a genuinely destructive riot to get out of control, and then your town is fucked for decades.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:13 AM
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Putting on blue uniforms and carrying nightsticks instead of assault rifles I think would be a strong step in the right direction.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:13 AM
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126: I was thinking more along the lines of "the '60s *are* history".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:15 AM
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Or at least getting some blue assault rifles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:15 AM
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You know, one thing that won't get any attention is that the militarization of the police isn't just a matter of equipment: it's also a consequence of the belief that cop lives are worth more than other lives and cop commands are inviolable. Cops have gone from being citizens who are authorized to use force in extraordinary circumstances, to being the personification of force.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:15 AM
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111 has the geography and demographics part right. My great aunt lived several blocks from where the shooting happened. One of the people I've been following online is from Immanuel UCC, which is right there, and which is at the moment really struggling with the realization of what it means to be a white church with very few ties to its now mostly non-white immediate community.

But no insight on whether the police and DA's office are white flight era holdovers.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:19 AM
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131: but that's part of adopting military tactics, right? You want to be a uniform, overwhelming force rather than individuals that the enemy can pick off or subvert. Discipline within ranks -- and caring more about the life of the person next to you than about anything else, including killing people or dying -- is absolutely vital to maintaining cohesion when making war. So if you're training that way, that's what you get.

To my mind, the problem with this as an approach for policing resolves pretty clearly around the presence of the word "enemy" in the previous paragraph.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:20 AM
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131: This seems to me to be not quite fairly phrased to the majority of decent cops, but there's something going on there.

I can't find it searching Crooked Timber, but does anyone else remember a very pleasant, well-educated (that is, I think graduate school in philosophy?) police guest-blogger talking about the Skip Gates arrest? The bit that stuck with me was a moment when he said "Why should the police be the only citizens who can't respond when they're treated rudely and aggressively?" and he didn't seem to understand that, in reality, citizens are treated rudely and aggressively by other citizens all the time, and respond without violence, and certainly without authorization to forcibly manacle and confine people who are rude to them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:24 AM
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I yell at drivers who don't yield to me when I'm walking across the street. I've only actually ran after two of them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:25 AM
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Suburban streets make for shitty barricades.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:32 AM
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(b) why this was a protest and not a burn-it-down riot, the black population are mostly lower middle class folk who left inner city St Louis to move there

Whatever the explanation, it's not a particularly violent place:

http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Ferguson-Missouri.html


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:32 AM
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134: I do remember that, but not the specific part you recall here (which is an excellent point). It's mysteriously absent from the site archives now, but still here.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:46 AM
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40 -> 89


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:46 AM
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You know, one thing that won't get any attention is that the militarization of the police isn't just a matter of equipment: it's also a consequence of the belief that cop lives are worth more than other lives and cop commands are inviolable. Cops have gone from being citizens who are authorized to use force in extraordinary circumstances, to being the personification of force.

You know how I find myself wanting to talk about this? A recognition that policing is a really hard job: as a police officer, you're supposed to be interacting with criminals, disorderly people, violent people, drunks, and so on. And you're supposed to be doing this calmly and competently, in a manner that preserves/restores order without unnecessarily injuring or oppressing the people you're dealing with, even when those people are behaving imperfectly. Sometimes, the police are going to have to be violent, but their core job is to keep all violence, including their own, minimal.

The pro-cop position from people like the Crooked Timber guest blogger who I will freely mischaracterize because I can't find the thread to quote him is sort of "What do you expect from cops -- someone's rude to you and you're going to react aggressively." And that really seems to misunderstand the nature of good police work: while I completely accept that it's difficult to remain calm and rational in a situation that might possibly become violent, that is exactly their job, and a police officer who can't do that kind of thing is a very bad police officer.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:49 AM
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And that really seems to misunderstand the nature of good police work: while I completely accept that it's difficult to remain calm and rational in a situation that might possibly become violent, that is exactly their job, and a police officer who can't do that kind of thing is a very bad police officer.

I had a comment queued up to say exactly this, but you expressed it better than I could.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:55 AM
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131. Special bodies of armed men, with prisons, etc.


Posted by: Fred Engels | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:01 AM
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138: Oh, thanks. Huh, I wonder if the cop/guest-blogger asked for it to be taken down; he seemed like almost a perfect strawman to argue with about this stuff, and in retrospect he maybe thought he'd made himself look bad. Man, did I get angry in that thread.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:04 AM
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141: Total agreement. The hardest part is to at the tipping point where they know they are dealing with "people who are behaving imperfectly" and have to apply some force. Can they remain calm and rational? A bad police officer can't do that, or worse, has that point set way too far towards reacting with force to trivial issues.

Police don't like being disobeyed, and they don't like back-talk, and the officer in Ferguson probably thought the car door thing was deliberate. (Taking Johnson's version of what happened as fact here.) Even without racism involved that could lead to trouble with any officer on a bad day, and really serious trouble with a bad officer.

It would be very interesting to see the officer's service record.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:08 AM
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Y'all know how much I hate disabusing well-meaning liberals of their charmingly naive notions of fairness and equity and what not, but Jeezum Crow! All this pearl clutching about police militarization as if it just happened! Where the fuck was everybody 30 years ago when cops were tearing down people's houses with front-end loaders because someone there smoked freebase cocaine? 20 years ago when Earth First!ers were getting pepper-spray swabbed into their eyes? 10 years ago when all the money for the fancy sniper rifles and armored cars was being appropriated? I'm glad, I suppose, that we're finally, finally seeing Mr. and Mrs. America getting a little upset by this problem, but the horse is in the next county and the barn door is off its fucking hinges. Damn.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:18 AM
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10 years ago when all the money for the fancy sniper rifles and armored cars was being appropriated?

This. Police forces nationwide have been adopting, with encouragement, military-grade equipment and tactics for some time.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:21 AM
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Oh, get over yourself. I'm not claiming to have ever done anything effective about anything, but I've been aware of problems with bad policing as long as I've been aware of anything political, and I'd bet the same is true of most people who comment here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:21 AM
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147 to 145.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:21 AM
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145 exemplifies why getting mainstream support for overturning the status quo is so hard. Whenever mainstream outrage occurs, the people who should be leading the movement think "Why are you outraged NOW? Why weren't you outraged back when I was outraged, before I gave up all hope? You people make me sick."


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:24 AM
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147: I'm mostly talking about people on my FB feed, not folx here, whom I know have been at least aware of the problem for some time, even if not active. I'm especially irritated with my journalist friends, many of whom are outraged - outraged! - about the cops arresting and releasing those two guys yesterday, while they were silent about every identical police abuse of freedom of the press for the last 14 years.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:25 AM
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148 was the least necessary clarification ever.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:29 AM
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149: I'm not sure Natilo's sentiment, voiced in this safe space, should be generalized to all activists, as though it's their fault that the mainstream finds itself impotent. That's champion league excuse-making. Hippie-bashing is never attractive.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:32 AM
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143: well, he had made himself look bad.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:33 AM
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150: maybe you should talk to them there, then.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:33 AM
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150: Fair enough. Looking at that CT thread angried up my blood a little, so I'm a hair on the touchy side.

The catch-and-release journalist harassment was interesting. We'll never know, but I'd love to know if the whole thing was planned as it went down, or if they were arrested by someone who was planning to charge them with some bullshit and then released by someone with some sense -- that is, was there a "Jesus Christ, you arrested a couple of journalists sitting in a McDonalds? What is wrong with you?" moment.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:35 AM
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Yeah, the CT thread is making me angry all over again too.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:36 AM
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"I only sent you to get me a McDouble and fries."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:37 AM
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149 is, like, most of the way to a "Hipster Theory of Politics"--I'm not quite sure the hipster should be given such vast explanatory power....


Posted by: (damnit Jim I'm a) lurker | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:39 AM
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Some journalist tweeted that he called the chief about the reporters (before they were released) and the chief said "Oh Jesus."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:40 AM
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I kind of think a lot of the 'suddenly surprised to discover the obvious thing that they've successfully failed not to notice until now (despite the effort required)' crowd could use some of that "why did this one make you notice and not all the other ones for the last few decades, eh?"

The problem is it's hard to come up with a way to say it that causes people to actually engage in the sort of self-reflection that's necessary in these sorts of cases, or at least most people. (John Cole, e.g., is a good example of what should happen, whereas practically the entire Washington DC press corps is an example of what usually happens.) In my experience even polite versions of "but aren't the people telling you that (things are fine)/(things are going to have catastrophic results) the same ones who told you (list of things that are now really obviously lies)?" do absolutely nothing.

Of course for some of us the answer to "where were you thirty years ago?" is "preschool"...


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:41 AM
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155,156: This quote from some wanker in that CT thread is just...I don't know:

The "scary clothes" argument is unimpressive, by the way. I want both police and soldiers dressed to survive, in a variety of environments against a variety of evolving threats -- and trained to use often similar equipment to do out their respective very dissimilar jobs.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:42 AM
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159: Heh. So maybe we do know. The odds are well in favor of the chief being culpable for most of the bad stuff, so not too much sympathy, but for that interaction he gets at least a flicker.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:43 AM
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I kind of think a lot of the 'suddenly surprised to discover the obvious thing that they've successfully failed not to notice until now (despite the effort required)' crowd

No, there is no effort required to not notice something that has no effect on your life or the life of anyone you know and is not mentioned in the media.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:44 AM
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155 - My guess is that it's a combination of both: "Jesus Christ, you arrested a journalist working for the Washington Post?"

The police have been obviously harassing the hell out of the journalists trying to document what they're doing for the last few days. And it's not like catch and release with bullshit charges that end up dropped later isn't a thing police do all the time during protests. They do it plenty to journalists as well. It's just that in this case they accidentally did it to journalists with clout, and at exactly the wrong time, as opposed to ones who would write a brief article in some vaguely leftist/kind of obscure magazine about how the police harass people and no one would care.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:47 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfWjgAK-VsQ#t=157

http://thedignityvirus.com/2014/08/09/activists-protest-bombing-of-gaza-and-innocent-passerby-harassed-by-pro-israel-opposition-and-arrested/

Fucking fascists, fucking pigs.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:50 AM
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163: Yeah, except we're talking about plenty of people who do read the news, listen to NPR, and so on, not people who respond to the current stuff with "there's a state called Missouri!?"

There are a lot of people who have certainly heard these complaints but immediately dismissed/forgot/otherwise ignored them, or never bothered to update their sense of who is or isn't credible based on past events that they were also paying attention to, and so on. The next time a policeman guns down some poor black kid and tells some farcical story about what happened there are plenty of people who are going to respond in exactly the same way that they did this time (before realizing eventually that, no, something seriously is wrong here).


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:51 AM
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Drifting off the immediate topic, it's irrational, but the specific response I have to these situations in general is to obsessively worry about particular kids I know. Newt's just turned 13, and so are his friends, and they're starting to get tall. And I look at a kid I've known since he was born, and think that he's not an adorable child any more, he's a black teenager, and he's at risk. Newt's gotten the "As a teenage boy, if you are ever interacting with a police officer, scrupulous politeness and total obedience is your only safe course of action," speech, but he's probably not going to need it himself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:51 AM
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Rand Paul is coming down on the right side, even if it is swathed in libertarian gobbledygook about Big Government run amok. Either he walks this back within a week, or he has just forfeited whatever small chance he had to win the GOP nomination. I wager a GOP candidate could sooner be nominated with a reputation for being soft on tax cuts (or even wishy-washy on Obamacare) than with a reputation for being soft on Those People.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:56 AM
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"Americans must never sacrifice their liberty for an illusive and dangerous, or false, security,"

Sidetrack -- "illusive"? I would use "illusory" there. I've seen "illusive" before, and have formed a belief that it comes from people hearing "elusive" and guessing the meaning wrong. Am I just being an uneducated snot, and it's a real word with a long history?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:00 AM
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Oh, never mind, I just googled and there are citations back to the 17th century. I'm an uneducated snob.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:01 AM
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169: I think I've seen it mostly as a typo for elusive or allusive.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:02 AM
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170: but hey, so is essear.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:03 AM
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169: According to OED, it's attested as far back as the 18th century, and has an impeccable Latinate pedigree.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:03 AM
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"Well, I say 'avoision!'"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:05 AM
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ffeJ isn't a snob, he's just totally pwned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:05 AM
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Ah. I've found a reference for my remark in 146.

One of the ways police departments have armed themselves in recent years is through the Defense Department's excess property program, known as the 1033 Program. It "permits the Secretary of Defense to transfer, without charge, excess U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) personal property (supplies and equipment) to state and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs)," according to the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center.
The 1033 program has transferred more than $4.3 billion in equipment since its inception in 1997.

Since 1997. Read the whole thing, as they say. The town of Keene, NH -- a sleepy, charming New England town with which I'm familiar -- acquired an armored vehicle in order to patrol the Pumpkin Festival. Not that they expect to use it or anything; one wouldn't want to become alarmed.

Elsewhere I've read of military training programs for police forces - but can't find a reference for that right now. The idea is that policing is being treated as a form of counter-insurgency.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:08 AM
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I'm not warmed up. Yall have been commenting all day.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:08 AM
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also, just cause I was looking earlier:

http://framework.latimes.com/2010/10/26/lapd-battering-ram/


Posted by: (damnit jim I'm a) lurker | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:14 AM
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161 -

That's kind of an amazing comment, if only for the open assumption that it's totally reasonable to use the same equipment to do radically different jobs. What are we supposed to imagine here, traffic patrol officers taping pens to the end of M-16s and using them to write tickets?

I wonder if taking the idea that police should dress in a way that makes them as safe as possible wouldn't work out the other way entirely. I mean, even without dressing up and playing army the presence of a person legally authorized (and occasionally required) to use force in order to restore order is an escalation of a lot of situations, even if it's not enough of one to make a big difference. Openly displaying deadly weapons, a fancy toolbelt full of dangerous things, or even adding sunglasses to that only makes things seem more threatening, and could really make things a lot less safe for them. Terrifying people doesn't generally calm them down or make them act more rational. If police tried to project a generally unthreatening air instead of a really threatening one I'm not sure things would be worse off as a whole - it's not like people are going to forget that police can arrest/beat/shoot you. Also you'd probably drastically reduce the appeal of joining the police force to the sort of authoritarian violent bullies that end up causing a lot of the problems if they had to dress like Patch Adams while on the job.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:15 AM
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Good tweet on Rand Paul and cops: https://twitter.com/thatweissguy/status/499978084561723392


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:16 AM
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Although, looking at it again, that picture may not be the best one to use because it's kind of terrifying looking.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:16 AM
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168: Good for Rand Paul. Too bad he wants to abolish the Department of Education.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:16 AM
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What are we supposed to imagine here, traffic patrol officers taping pens to the end of M-16s and using them to write tickets?

Tell me it wouldn't be more efficient to replace crossing guards with cruise missiles.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:19 AM
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Don't know if y'all can see this, but it's the earliest reference in the NYTime to "Police Outgunned" that I could find and near the start of the firepower competition:

http://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1973/02/04/issue.html


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:20 AM
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180: Oh, well in that case, too bad he wants to privatize the police.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:20 AM
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Replacing speedbumps with landmines would probably reduce the number of car accidents. I mean, in the long run.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:21 AM
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"Have you been drinking, sir? I'm going to need you to stand on one foot, touch your finger to your nose, and look directly into the howitzer."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:24 AM
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The town of Keene, NH -- a sleepy, charming New England town with which I'm familiar -- acquired an armored vehicle in order to patrol the Pumpkin Festival.

A Pumpkin Festival and all they're bringing is one measly armored vehicle? Sounds they'll need an Apache helicopter and maybe an M1 Abrams tank at an absolute minimum.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:32 AM
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You want to squash any riots early.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:36 AM
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For fuck's sake now I have "MRAP" as sung to the tune of MMMBop stuck in my head.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:37 AM
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188: Sure sure, laugh it up, hippies. But you won't be laughing when the terror is loosed.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:38 AM
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I'm torn on the Paul op-ed. On the one hand, he actually acknowledged racial disparity in policing. On the other hand, he cites Insty and Cato as respectable sources.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:38 AM
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An over-militarized police force is a bad police force for lots of reasons (including that it makes it more difficult for them to do their basic job). A defunded or largely privatized police (which is what Rand Paul wants) will inevitably lead to worse behavior and more beatings and less accountability. No quarter, no restraint, no allowances for that asshole.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:42 AM
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The most extreme examples of so-called Left and so-called Right were the Soviet Union and the Nazi Reich, who shared the September 1939 division of Poland and who were in negotiations for a permanent partnership ("The Four Powers Pact") as late as November 1940. Their differences were superficial. One totalitarian state owned the means of production, the other totalitarian state controlled the means of production. Both rose to power by manipulating a local crisis (which they had in part created). In America, we can expect a daily multicultural crisis intended to bring Progressives to totalitarian power, and the cops (militarized
or not) are first-responders to this political street theater.

Alinsky-style agit-prop combined with Cloward/Piven systemic bankruptcy of legitimate government. Sooner or later, the random event, on top of daily events, triggers the questioning that skilled hustlers want from us. It is the paralysis of the morality "sting", and we will be "devoured" later at their convenience.


Posted by: NRO Version of Bob | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:42 AM
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193: So what Rand Paul wants is to make the world of Robocop a reality?

Libertarians: bringing you the Dystopian Future since 1971!


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:48 AM
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The left is so lazy that I haven't even seen a conspiracy theory that Israel ginned up the Ferguson mess to distract from Gaza.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 11:49 AM
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196: They're too busy trying to sort out their feelings about Rand Paul.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 12:03 PM
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192: I'm torn on the Paul op-ed. On the one hand, he actually acknowledged racial disparity in policing. On the other hand, he cites Insty and Cato as respectable sources.

It's a libertarian thing; I don't know why you'd be torn. Remember the 5 minute rule.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 12:05 PM
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Yeah, at 5:01 I expect Rand to drop something along the lines of, "On the other hand, what do you expect from lazy people who've lived on government handouts their whole lives?"


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 12:09 PM
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Right, if the privatized police force started brutalizing people and being racist and whatnot, people would cancel their subscriptions and use one of their town's many other police forces.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 12:10 PM
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200: Vernor Vinge wrote that story. It had a charmingly eccentric 'Don't Tread On Me' rancher with nukes, and good thing he had them, too, because an oppressive government tried to invade, and he heroically nuked them.

I like Vernor Vinge's books, but he probably shouldn't be allowed near anything sharp.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 12:17 PM
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200 is dead on: the libertarian perspective is that the market will take care of any problems that arise. Which is utterly demented.

Rand Paul is deliberately courting the African American vote in making his remarks. Maybe he actually believes it, maybe he doesn't. The remainder of his policy positions render him poison, obviously, but he's trying to cover that up.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 12:18 PM
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Note to self: don't try to explain Amber Alerts to your three-year-old.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 12:26 PM
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If I live long enough, I might one day be able to distinguish Sean Hannity from Joe Scarborough.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 12:33 PM
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Ok, I'll stop tweeting.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 12:33 PM
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He tweeted.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 12:34 PM
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203: You'd probably be better just to turn back. No matter how old they are and how well you explain it, they're going to want to see mommy some day.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 12:42 PM
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Kids, I am your mother.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 12:53 PM
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Boy George Lucas just can't leave the original trilogy alone.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 12:54 PM
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||

Over the summer, my apartment in Virginia was uninhabited by humans and, likely as a consequence, it became thoroughly inhabited by spiders. Little ones. Like, maybe fifty or so. I've just dispatched the lot of them with the vacuum cleaner.

I am Spider History's Greatest Monster.

|>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 12:58 PM
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Karma, karma, karma green alien.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 12:58 PM
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Boy George Lucas

I could make a joke if I knew anything about Boy George, maybe.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:02 PM
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Not that they expect to use it or anything; one wouldn't want to become alarmed.

A friend in St. Louis commented this morning on Facebook that she had been at a children's vehicle show last year with her sons, and the new St. Louis County tactical tank/mobile command center was on display. She asked the officer there with it how often they had to use it, and he said, "You'd be surprised. [Chuckle chuckle.] "


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:02 PM
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210: Once I was watching the apartment of somebody who went away for the summer for a law internship thing. They left a bowl of apples on the counter. There was a trail of ants going up the steps (2nd floor apartment), into their kitchen, up the counter, and into the bowl. And another trail heading out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:02 PM
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211 to 212.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:02 PM
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The story in 214 would be creepier if there were only one trail of ants, heading toward the bowl of apples.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:04 PM
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210: in the vacuum bag they're all combining into a giant King Of All Spiders.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:06 PM
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104: It's not clear who's being sent in to take over.
105: The IDF.

Clarification: To be clear, the fact that a former St. Louis County Police chief spent any time training in Israel does not necessarily mean police in Ferguson are using IDF tactics against protesters.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:06 PM
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216: THERE WAS ONLY ONE TRAIL, FOR THAT WAS WHERE I CARRIED THEM


Posted by: OPINIONATED ANT MESSIAH | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:07 PM
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My uninhabited apartment was colonized by mildew this summer. I guess I should have left the air conditioner running.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:29 PM
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Thread's title sounds like another bald cash-in on Millennial nostalgia.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:35 PM
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Not a Metafilter allusion?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:37 PM
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It's...neither! Just a question, man.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:38 PM
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Bad attempt at a joke. (It'd be to this as this is to this.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 1:42 PM
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155: My favorite story from the Civil Rights marches was the arrest of Mary Peabody. She was then the 72 year-old mother of the governor of Massachusetts and she went to lead a sit-in in St Augustine, Florida. I think that they tried to get her out once they knew who she was but she just stayed put.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:07 PM
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Ferguson is saved! Justice is served!

Missouri governor names black security chief for Ferguson protests

It'll be alright now.

"The police shot and killed an unarmed black man in South Los Angeles on Monday night, the Los Angeles Police Department said. The police said that the man, whom the department did not identify, had tackled an officer and lunged for the weapon in his holster before being shot at by both the officer and his partner."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:17 PM
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203- I was on a conference call with someone in your area this afternoon and during the call I heard their phone doing the buzzzzzzzz buzzzz buzzzz thing so I guess that must have been it.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:24 PM
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JMM also make a good point that there's no reason for the police to be wearing camouflage- suburbia is neither a jungle nor desert (I've seen pictures of them in either tan or green camo.). No reason, that is, other than pretending you're fighting in a war.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:32 PM
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Not that I disagree with you on the main point, but my own urban, suburban-style neighborhood would be a perfectly reasonable place to use whatever camo soldiers use in forests. That is, if you were trying not to be seen, which doesn't seem like a plausible goal if you are trying to disperse or move a crowd.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:37 PM
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This article refers to 2 police forces that aren't dedicated to militarization and viewing the citizenry as the enemy, and Gswift's is one of them.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:38 PM
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Yes, and another is the LAPD, which started the militarization trend about 40 years ago. My sense is that the untrained-idiots-with-too-much-weaponry problem is now largely an issue for mid-size cities and suburbs, but it's still a huge issue.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:43 PM
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OTOH Steve King probably thinks the protesters have the concealment advantage at night since they're all from, uhhhh, a dark continent.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 2:46 PM
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Some of those comments on the CT thread have me fuming.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 3:09 PM
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233: Yes. I stopped reading that thread a while ago because I could see it was just going to drive me nuts.

The degeneration of the comment section there in the last few years has been sad. It now seems to be a popular spot for racist libertarian fuckwits to go to stroke their chins and pantomime at being Deep Thinkers(TM).


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 4:25 PM
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234: I know, how the fuck did they let geo scialabba, Meredith and Eszter Hargattai and other racist libertarian fuckwits into that thread.

The LGM comment threads are oh so much purer, cleaner, brighter.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 5:03 PM
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Here ya go

Ferguson at LGM

A veritable fucking symposium


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 5:07 PM
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Protestors doing crowd and traffic control. A few city cops relaxed and mingling with the crowd.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 5:38 PM
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Are you live on the scene?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 5:42 PM
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Live-and-on-the-scene-blogging.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 5:46 PM
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Awesome.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 5:48 PM
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Awesome. Don't get hurt, but remember that white privilege makes you a particularly effective human shield.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 5:49 PM
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Hooray for Eggie! Stay safe.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 5:49 PM
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This sounds promising. The Highway Patrol has taken over, and seems to be run by human beings.

Which is totally contrary to my Highway Patrol stereotypes generally, but I suppose it's different in Missouri.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 5:57 PM
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In some pointless provocation, a couple of police cars tried to drive through the intersection in front of the burned gas station. A combination of cops and protesters guided them back out of the crowd.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 5:57 PM
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Thank you, Eggplant. I'm sorry LB wants to see you shot.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:00 PM
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Just kidding. But I'm totally making "with your human shield or on it" jokes in my head and alluding to them on the blog.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:01 PM
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"Come home with your human shield or on it" is Eggplant's new dating line.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:02 PM
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243- IF YOU PRICK US, DO WE NOT BLEED?


Posted by: OPINIONATED PONCH | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:08 PM
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Sun going down, crowd a little more restless. Black Panther traffic control having to work harder keeping a lane open. The uniforms have disappeared.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:10 PM
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Oh good. A drum circle. I didn't know if I was at a protest.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:12 PM
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contrary to my Highway Patrol stereotypes generally

Well, they have strict orders today, right? "Try to treat these animals like white people, just for a little while," or something like that. And they know how to do it. So do the Ferguson and St. Louis County cops, but no one told them that, and they didn't realize it was even possible to go too far.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:14 PM
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Eggplant dating list item: Willing to serve as human shield for civil rights activists? Unafraid of the man?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:19 PM
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I diet think to brig a candle. I feel self conscious holding signs, but a candle I can do.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:24 PM
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Go Eggplant! Hooray for liveblogging!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:30 PM
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Is there really Black Panther traffic control? I was literally (in the parts of my psyche that long plaintively for anarchism) wondering earlier if there were any community organizations with the credibility to restore order if the police couldn't be trusted to do it sanely, and thinking "The Black Panthers, if they still existed. Or the Guardian Angels. Something like that." I guess I knew there were people still calling themselves Panthers -- there were some kind of election fraud allegations a couple of years ago -- but I didn't think they existed significantly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:37 PM
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Huh, New York. This going on anywhere else?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:37 PM
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Things seem to have settled into a friendly, boring, ineffectual protest.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:37 PM
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Woohoo, NYC! Not that I'm involved -- nothing's going on up here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:38 PM
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Yup.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:38 PM
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You may as well try to meet women while you wait for some excitement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:39 PM
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255: There was a group that took up prime real estate on the median, raising the black power salute, and some of them were doing traffic and crowd control. I saw one pin with a panther on it, but I have no idea if they belong to a larger organization.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:41 PM
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260: I walked straight into some woman while we were both rubbernecking. Does that count?
There is a small contingent of officers still working the crowd.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:57 PM
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ITS NOT RIGHT THAT THE POLICE ARE MILITARIZED LIKE THAT. WHY DON'T THEY TAKE ALL THAT EQUIPMENT DOWN TO THE BORDER WHERE ITS NEEDED?


Posted by: Opinionate Jackass in my Facebook Stream | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 6:57 PM
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Woohoo, NYC!

Don't get too proud... right on schedule, NYPD has shown up to start the mass arrests in Times Square.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:00 PM
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I said woohoo NYC, not NYPD.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:02 PM
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I want every police chief in the country on record responding to the question: what went wrong in Ferguson, MO? If they get the answer wrong, they're fired.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:17 PM
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The crowd is getting a little bored and is considering going home to let the dog out.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:21 PM
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Who?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:26 PM
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267: March on the police HQ and put it under siege!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:28 PM
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Mostly me.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:28 PM
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Your dog would probably appreciate a human shield, too.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:29 PM
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Dogs get dog shields!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:32 PM
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BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD SHIELD


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:33 PM
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270: We've been waiting for an answer to that question for decades. Our lives are complete now.


Posted by: Baha Men | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:34 PM
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right on schedule, NYPD has shown up to start the mass arrests in Times Square.

Charming.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:36 PM
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This certainly says something about St. Louis County politics.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:42 PM
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Nice going Eggplant.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:44 PM
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Good for Eggplant.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:45 PM
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That'll do Eggplant. That'll do.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 7:58 PM
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276 is something else. Two words: federal charges.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:00 PM
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Also, nice work, Eggplant. I mean, you didn't even get hit with a rubber bullet, but I assume you woulda if you coulda.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:01 PM
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Thanks guys. Man I'm going to feel left out if the riot starts now that I'm home.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:01 PM
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276: He's a Democrat. Apparently has a reputation as a tough prosecutor. Father was a St. Louis cop killed in the line of duty 50 years ago. By a back guy. In the notorious Pruitt-Igoe housing project (if you saw Koyaanisqatsi you saw footage of its destruction 20 years after it was built).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:07 PM
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Well, I respect his emotional reaction, and hope he fucks off and dies.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:11 PM
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The article where I first saw that indicated that even before these remarks some people were saying that he should be taken off the case.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 8:26 PM
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I guess "police stay away, no violence" might make for a more productive narrative than a second night of police rioting.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:00 PM
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JM and I were in Union Square, but it didn't seem like anything was happening next, so we went home to continue the unpacking from my move. Oops.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 9:58 PM
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Don't worry, I'm sure you'll have other chances to get arrested.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-14-14 10:05 PM
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The Highway Patrol has taken over, and seems to be run by human beings.

I'd be more impressed if they'd done this Monday or Tuesday.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 2:28 AM
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Highway Patrol seems like a clever choice for replacing the local PD. The nature of their job doesn't really afford them opportunities to cosplay as Special Forces commandos. I wonder if this was a deliberate decision or whether they were just the most convenient option available.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 3:06 AM
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O RLY?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 3:10 AM
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Time, I think, for a remake of this film.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_%28film%29

Just get Samuel Jackson to play the James Garner role and there you are.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 3:22 AM
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292: the plot summary leads me to believe there may be unrealistic elements to that movie.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 4:32 AM
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293: James Garner just died. Show some respect.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 4:36 AM
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Look, I'm only appreciating him in the sense that I am recommending one of his films. You're still allowed to do that after he dies.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 4:51 AM
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293: Seems legit to me. How many days did it take the state authority to step in here? We're just lucky the St. Louis County boys didn't have more gumption.

Huh. The town where they filmed it, Zebulon, GA, is shaped vaguely like the Enterprise.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 4:52 AM
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the plot summary leads me to believe there may be unrealistic elements to that movie.

Yes, unfortunately there are, but I suppose they reckoned the audience wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a Panzerschreck and a Rocket Launcher M20.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 4:53 AM
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You don't see so many films around these days where law enforcement are unquestionably and without exception the bad guys. You get individual corrupt coppers but they're generally balanced by non-corrupt ones.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 4:55 AM
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290: Highway Patrol seems like a clever choice for replacing the local PD. The nature of their job doesn't really afford them opportunities to cosplay as Special Forces commandos.

The funny thing about this is that the traditional gripe about Highway Patrol types is that the spiffy outfits -- sunglasses, motorcycle boots and so on, go to their heads and make them drunk with power. The words 'storm troopers' were used in reference to motorcycle cops around the Breath household when I was growing up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 4:59 AM
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299: maybe the Village People have managed to undermine that a wee bit.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:01 AM
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Too bad they also undermined blue collar wages with their parody construction worker.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:24 AM
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You don't see so many films around these days where law enforcement are unquestionably and without exception the bad guys. You get individual corrupt coppers but they're generally balanced by non-corrupt ones.

You still do in sci-fi. District 9, Children of Men, etc.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:25 AM
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Good job, Minneapolis Police Department.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:37 AM
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303: she crossed in a crosswalk and still got ticketed? Cripes, what a blatant illustration of twice-as-good.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:41 AM
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Not just ticketed! They came back half an hour later to arrest her for it, somehow. My best guess is that they were driving back from somewhere and someone went "hey, that's the [polite term for an african american] who was briefly in our way before! Let's [engage in civil community relations]."

It seems likely from what they quote that the poor police Lt. who had to go out and talk to the crowd saying all that some officers may have gotten yelled at a bit.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:59 AM
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The article is confusing, but the charge wasn't jaywalking but rather not staying out of the way of cop cars with their lights/sirens running.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:03 AM
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306: Understood. Still amazed by it. Particularly as I'm in a place that has what I think is an unusually strong jaywalking culture.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:07 AM
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Eggplant Brings Peace to Ferguson

For some reason the Dispatch didn't use that headline.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:22 AM
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I did give some thought to Eggplant's death scene though. He jumps into a bullet to save a child, and he lies there dying. "Don't go, Eggplant!" He whispers, "NMMTM".


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:26 AM
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Supposedly (but everyone's confused) they're going to announce who the cop was; here's a livefeed where the press is still setting up with their microphones on.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:37 AM
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...and the police chief/spokesman has actually shown up.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:42 AM
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Did anyone else have an office pool for the name of the officer?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:43 AM
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He's mostly talking about the timeline of a robbery that happened right before the shooting, I guess to give more context for the officer's actions.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:45 AM
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Darren Wilson.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:46 AM
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No who I had.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:47 AM
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Somebody (also) yesterday thought that might be it.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:49 AM
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Not, that is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:49 AM
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Wow, it's amazing how quickly news from the press conference changed the Google search results. There was maybe a two minute window before most stuff on the first few pages had changed. (Here's another one.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:52 AM
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296: Huh. The town where they filmed it, Zebulon, GA, is shaped vaguely like the Enterprise.

Yeah, a number of SE towns (mostly in Georgia) end up looking something like that as annexations are added to their original circular boundaries (Plains, Georgia, for instance). Discussion of circular boundaries at Strange Maps here. Have not yet found a satisfactory explanation of the geographic distribution.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:14 AM
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How racist is this cartoon? Look at all the dead white people!


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:19 AM
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Are they still sticking to the story of Brown trying to grab his gun?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:19 AM
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They didn't mention any details of the shooting itself. The released material focuses largely on the robbery at the convenience store (not the burnt QT, a different one).


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:21 AM
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320: 7 or 8 of ten.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:23 AM
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A brief discussion among some geographers here:

Circles were used because of "... the advantages of explicit verbal clarity, directional impartiality, and ease of adoption." (Hodler, T.W. and H. Schretter, Atlas of Georgia, 1986, p. 79).

Did not require a survey.

And turns out Atlanta started as a circular city with radius of one mile and first two annexations were to increase to 1½ and then 1¾!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:23 AM
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308: it would work in French, because the French word for eggplant also means "traffic policeman".

(Really. At least in Paris.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:23 AM
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That would explain why all the traffic cops had sauce and cheese.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:24 AM
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The circular part at the top of Delaware represents a 12-mile radius from the copula of the New Market courthouse.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:29 AM
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324: Strange, and somewhat lazy. Then again our state has a circular border.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:29 AM
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Er, New Castle. New Market is someplace else.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:29 AM
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pwned. Not to be confused with New Castle, PA, which is nowhere near it.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:32 AM
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Also, technically, all of Delaware is rightfully a part of Maryland.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:34 AM
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Technically, by the original charter, most of the residents of Pennsylvania live on land that should be part of Maryland.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:36 AM
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the copula of the New Market courthouse.

The part of the engraving between "justice" and "blind"?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:36 AM
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Technically, by the original charter, most of the residents of Pennsylvania live on land that should be part of Maryland.

Don't I know it. Also, all parts of West Virginia north of the South Branch of the Potomac River should be Maryland.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:40 AM
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Technically, it all belongs to the aboriginal inhabitants, the Scottish.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:41 AM
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Those who forget history are doomed to not care about Cresap's War.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:43 AM
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And SW PA counties (Washington) originally organized by Virginia. Also see Western Reserve in NE Ohio and Virginia Military Reserve in Ohio.

Also the Pennamite-Yankee War (Pennsylvania and Connecticut).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:46 AM
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292: one day when me and my brother felt sickish in siem reap we laid the whole day up in our adjacent beds in the grand hotel d'angkor eating successive delicious room service meals, disregarding increasingly frantic pleas to allow the staff to clean our room, and watching movies. the best was tank. well, there were 'better' movies qua actually good films, but none like tank. it was fucking awesome. the corrupt local army officials and PD wanted to stop james garner, BUT HE HAD A TANK. that was it, really. there was a race to the county line, a la dukes of hazzard. BUT HE HAD A FUCKING TANK. it's become a special family thing, a touchstone, like our shared love of sahara. "looks like it's time to pull a panama!" I cannot recommend tank highly enough. he was sargent-major of the whole army, and people were still trying to pull small-town dick-moves, BUT JAMES GARNER HAD A TANK. yeah. it's probably better if you're ignoring the great wonders of human civilization to loll about and eat honey in the comb on very nice baguettes, but I feel it can stand up to tougher scrutiny.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:46 AM
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Also, the District of Columbia. And Accomack County, Virginia. Both are vital parts of Greater Maryland.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:47 AM
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336: That's a new one for me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:49 AM
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Also the Pennamite-Yankee War (Pennsylvania and Connecticut).

My Connecticut peeps faught in that war. Fucking Pennamites.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:49 AM
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337.2: I've mentioned it before, but The Forest of Time is an interesting alternative history where the states don't unify during the Revolutionary War basically over that issue. Pennsylvania becomes German speaking with its northern border at Blue Mountain; the Wyoming Valley is a puppet buffer state controlled by the northern English speaking states.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:49 AM
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339: I've never talked to a Marylander irredentist before. Best of luck in forming Greater Marylandia.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:52 AM
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So... Anonymous got the name of the guy who killed Brown wrong, right?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:52 AM
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Blue Mountain is an interesting border. My mothers ancestors (English/Scottish/Knickerbocker) settled north of the mountain, and my fathers people (Pennsylvania Dutch, with a later branch of Welsh) were south of the mountain. Its a long-ass mountain that makes for a serious divide.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:58 AM
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Yes, but now you've corrected them, so crowdsourcing does work!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:00 AM
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Oh, they're basically flat-out saying Brown was the robber. Along with his friend and death-witness Dorian Johnson, who... was not even brought in for an interview.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:05 AM
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338: life's generally better with tanks. I am gutted that they didn't manage to make a success out of the Tank Girl film, for that matter. Punk girl in crop top driving around the postapocalyptic outback in a tank, hunting down fugitive intelligent kangaroos? I mean, how do you miss with a property like that?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:06 AM
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347: Exactly. Also, the robber looks heavier than Brown and was wearing different clothing. And this is just an entirely different story from the police's previous description. I'd say I don't know who they're fooling, except I looked at a few right wing twitter accounts and I know exactly who they're fooling.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:08 AM
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345: It is a serious divide--when we go back to visit relatives we travel along along the Great Valley for half of it and it's kind of stunning, especially in the winter. The novella I mentioned describes spies sneaking through a few of the smaller gaps; if I recall correctly, the author was from Easton and so was big on the local geography.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:09 AM
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Yeah, unfortunately, the #Ferguson Twitter search results page now is showing a lot of smug racist white dudes.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:09 AM
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347: a) it sounds like bullshit, but b) would it even matter? It would not be a sane thing for a cop to do to shoot an unarmed person fleeing from a store where they had stolen a couple of cigars.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:14 AM
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What does sane have to do with it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:15 AM
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Of course it doesnt matter, but if this is Brown, let's just say this isn't the incident that's going to bridge the racial divide in America. https://twitter.com/wesleylowery/status/500282965633810432


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:16 AM
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Basically what 349 says. I don't think they're trying to persuade anybody so much as provide an excuse for people who want to believe them regardless.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:18 AM
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I'm seeing something on Vox that it is permissible use of force to stop a violent felony suspect from fleeing. But if shoving someone in the course of a robbery counts, that's a travesty in itself.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:19 AM
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Not to mention all the baggage that comes with "suspect".


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:21 AM
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His press release is pretty awkward in general, not just because he spends most of it explaining that Michael Brown wasn't some innocent anyway he was a violent criminal and all you know how they are.

I do love how he says he can't discuss the investigation of the attempted apprehension of the suspect in a "a strongarm robbery" (I don't know that that's a legal phrase, but it's clearly one he practiced for a while because he uses it over and over) right after talking about it and right before talking about it for several minutes and distributing information about it to the reporters.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:21 AM
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Western Reserve in NE Ohio and Virginia Military Reserve in Ohio

In 7th grade we were required to draw on the Ohio blank maps each of us were given nearly every day for some purpose: counties, rivers, canals, railroads, etc. One assignment I very clearly remember was the claims on Ohio territory of the original 13 states. So Western Reserve, Virginia Military Reserve, and I think something called the Miami Conservancy. Along with that, we learned such things as that Worthington was the Southwestern extent of New England settlement, identifiable by its town square, while nearby Franklinton was a miscellaneous collection of cabins, the Northernmost Virginia settlement.

Having come from Ottawa, where local history was John Rideau and a blindfolded Queen Victoria sticking pins in a map, all this was interesting and elucidating, but I have a feeling it didn't take with many people, and I know most adults knew nothing about it.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:23 AM
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As someone on twitter noted, "strongarm robbery" sure sounds a lot like "armed robbery."


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:23 AM
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Who's a reliable source these days on things like looking at the released footage and seeing if it is definitely, possibly, or definitely not Brown? Someone's got to be working on that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:25 AM
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342: I will have to read. I assume that SW PA ends up as Virginia rather than Pennsylvania. There was a lot of political tension in the region during the Revolutionary War in which the Virginians were seen as pushing for ambitious expeditions to Detroit and the like while most of the settlers wanted a more defensive posture. And in fact, a large contingent of local militia were killed or captured in Lochry's Defeat just past Cincinnati in 1781 and about a year later Hanna's Town, the main settlement in Westmoreland County was sacked and destroyed. (Some restoration has been done, not a bad stop for Pittsburghers doing a local 18th-century war sites tour.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:27 AM
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If the security camera footage turns out not to be Brown, my guess is that it's a Hail Mary pass to keep the cop out of jail. If he's legally allowed to shoot a 'violent felony' suspect to keep him from escaping, and he 'honestly' believed that Brown committed the robbery, then he's got a defense. His defense is literally "You people all look alike to me, and I don't let my inability to distinguish get in the way of my triggerhappiness when I'm entitled to shoot one of you", which is an awful defense, but plausibly enough to keep him free.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:29 AM
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OT: Ukrainian army exchanging fire with Russian armour on Ukrainian soil, according to the Guardian...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:30 AM
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I'm telling you, we should invade the Canal Zone. Make us feel proud to be Americans again and get Obama some airport name-age.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:33 AM
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364: Where's James Garner in our time of need?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:33 AM
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I'll bet the local sheriff in Donetsk is a corrupt good old boy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:35 AM
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364: Or, more simply put, Russia invades the Ukraine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:39 AM
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Ah, the Highway Patrol thing makes more sense now: Missouri is one of the many states where that's basically just the name of the state police. The MSHP also has functions in narcotics, violent crime, organized crime, missing persons, criminal record databases, and so on.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:39 AM
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363 seems wise and I hadn't considered that angle before.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:46 AM
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363 seems right. However, from a quick perusal of some online pictures there does seem to be correlation between the clothing. But it really does raise a huge WTF? as to what the Ferguson PD has said and when they said it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:50 AM
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And of course, the footage could be Brown. Googling around, I saw someone in a comment saying that the footage shows a guy in flip-flops (which it does), and Brown was wearing sneakers, but I don't have a reliable source for what Brown was wearing when shot.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:51 AM
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Here's a story making the shoe/sandal claim, but I don't have an original source on Brown's shoes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:53 AM
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This MSNBC story -- http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/ferguson-police-name-michael-brown -- includes statements from Dorian Johnson's lawyer. Seemingly confirming the robbery story.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:56 AM
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372, 373: I did not link the picture I found as it was Brown lying dead in the street but the footwear although not distinct did seem to have the"bands"you can see in the surveillance pictures and the shirt and pants matched.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:58 AM
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Barring real weirdness that seems to confirm that Brown was the guy in the footage. Nonetheless, what I said in 352 -- this is a crazy thing to shoot someone over.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:59 AM
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376 to 374, but also now that I see it to 375.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:00 AM
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It was a picture in this Daily Mail story (so all the caveats that entails).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:03 AM
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The footage I saw of the body was of low quality, and the footwear didn't seem quite right...but I guess that was just me wanting to think otherwise. Stupid confirmation bias; I was wrong.

But it's still no excuse to kill another human.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:04 AM
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Seriously, not even close. What Brown seems to have done (assuming everything is as it seems to be -- he's the guy in the footage and so on) was certainly very bad behavior, and if he were alive he should be ashamed of himself. But he shoved a guy and stole a couple of dollars worth of cigars. Responding to that with gunfire is, again, nuts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:07 AM
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The interesting thing is that both the Ferguson PD and the St Louis County PD revealed themselves to be incompetent and racist such that one could easily understand the protests, even if the shooting was justified (not saying it was). Incredible own goal by the PD.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:09 AM
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Responding to that with gunfire is, again, nuts.

And yet consistent with everything else we've learned about the Ferguson PD's sense of proportionality over the past few days.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:10 AM
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Now this is very good:

The significance of the events in Missouri extends beyond the very real and terrible pattern of police killings of African-American men. It is an intensification of years of cultural shift in which law enforcement and other authority figures have increasingly treated noncompliance as a reason to initiate violence.

...

Too many people are willing to accept that because being a cop is risky, they have to punch, shoot or tase at the slightest provocation. Such attitudes enable the cult of compliance.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:10 AM
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And in addition to ass-covering, I imagine the release of this evidence is politically timed: they're mad the governor made them stand down and the highway patrol make them look like the reptiles they are, and as a response want to rev up their supporters.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:12 AM
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Well, to be fair, I don't think even the PD is arguing that it was cool to summarily execute someone without trial for stealing swisher sweets, just that the interrogation was legit (and maybe an implication that the pushing the cop story was more likely). But who knows and as I just said the cops really just made on national media the victim's family's case that they are over-reactive aholes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:13 AM
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To say something not exactly in the police department's favor, but sort of -- they had this exculpatory (for the cop. Not totally exculpatory by a long shot, of course) evidence. And I do think it was the right thing to do to be really careful, internally, that it was accurate, before saying anything bad about Brown publicly. But that did leave them hanging out to dry with no story for an awfully long time. (No excuse for the tear gas and the mishandling the protests over all, of course.)

I'm not exactly sure what they should have done -- assured themselves of the reliability of the robbery story faster? Made public statements that there was more to the story, but they couldn't release it yet because they had to confirm?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:13 AM
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But he shoved a guy and stole a couple of dollars worth of cigars. Responding to that with gunfire is, again, nuts.

Once again stipulating that Brown is the guy in the tape, I predict this turns into a Bernhard Goetz thing, where a minority of principled liberals say "Responding to petty crime with lethal gunfire is crazy", and the majority of the populace says "Those thugs can't be allowed to act with impunity, they need to be taught a lesson."


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:14 AM
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Not a Bernie Goetz situation because the police interrogation wasn't during the course of the robbery -- totally after the fact. At most it lends some small measure plausibility to the "he pushed me in the squad car" story. Even the cops aren't saying that the petty crime justified the shooting.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:17 AM
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If I were trying to confabulate a story in support of the cop, I would try to make it appear that the cop had been informed that it was a violent robbery, but not the incredible pettiness of the whole thing, and so was using lethal force to stop a dangerous, violent criminal from escaping. That splits the responsibility with the dispatcher (or whatever you call the person who passed the call on to the cop), and turns the whole thing into an "Oops. What a pity."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:19 AM
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Dudes, brothers and sisters, these photos are game over for the nascent national sympathy the police overreaction had managed to create for minority neighborhoods. This is a disaster.

(This point has nothing to do with how crazy it is to shoot a guy who stole ten bucks worth of stuff.)


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:25 AM
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390: unfortunately true. "Yes, he was an aggressive, entitled dick, but even aggressive entitled dicks don't deserve to get shot dead" is a tough case to make.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:27 AM
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Probably I'm losing my mind, but wasn't the story about the cigar theft already out there before it was confirmed? Honestly, that's what scares me most, that Mara's tween relatives are doing age-appropriately stupid things (and posting them on facebook, which is how I know) and it would be so easy for them to be in a petty crime situation like that where the response is outrageously disproportionate. Both Nia and Mara look a few years older than they are because of their size, so when do I have to start worrying in our majority-white neighborhood? At 6 and 8, they're allowed to walk a few blocks by themselves as long as they're together, but by 8 and 10 will that have become unsafe? (Probably not, because we're right by the high school and library and so small groups of black kids or mixed-race groups of kids walk through all day long. But!) Anyway, I disagree with 390 or hope that it's not an accurate take.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:29 AM
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Honestly, I think this is something where the inattentive cluelessness of the American public works for right and justice. I think you're right about the effect the photos would have if people saw them -- a guy that big shoving a little guy looks awful. But I think mostly, the "Police shot someone, outrage, protests" story made it into the vague awareness of the populace, and this update isn't going to for any but obsessives like us and the Fox-focused.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:29 AM
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but wasn't the story about the cigar theft already out there before it was confirmed?

I hadn't seen it yet, but I was reading more coverage of the protests than of the shooting, if you see what I mean.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:30 AM
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Seems to me that this didn't really become a national story until there was the overreaction to the protests, and then succesful intervention to defuse the situation by more reasonable policing. The facts of the guilt or innocence o Michael Brown and or the justification for the shooting are more peripheral. The consequences of overreaction should stick in people's minds (at least in the minds of people running cities and police forces), at a minimum.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:43 AM
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390: This is a disaster.

A least your overreaction to this aspect of the story is somewhat proportionate to your original overreaction in the original direction. You are truly the whitest Mexican.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:46 AM
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Also maybe people will remember that "Anonymous" named the wrong guy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:46 AM
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I hope you guys are right.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:47 AM
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I don't even remember my original reaction, man. Toddlers.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:48 AM
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If I were going to be gloomy (which I usually am) I would worry that the robbery evidence would encourage police forces -- St. Louis area particularly, but generally as well -- in feeling righteous and put-upon. "We get abuse for killing people even when they're criminals? Fuck public opinion."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:50 AM
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One thing I noticed is that in the report the whole incident was instigated by the people working in the store, and they come across as provoking a conflict well before there's any evidence of an intention to rob the store on the part of Brown or Johnson.

(1) Suspect asks for cigars
(2) Store clerk gets them (what I assume from the way box/boxes shifts around in the report, and the fact that the report lists the value stolen as around $50 they're talking about a carton), puts them on the counter
(3) While the clerk is ringing them up, he passes one box (since there are still some on the counter, presumably a box from the carton?) to Johnson.
(4) Clerk says something like "Hey you have to pay for those first" (at this point there's no reason I can see to think that Brown isn't, in fact, paying for them.)
(5) Johnson puts the cigars back on the counter.
(6) Brown gets mad, picks up the box and walks (a short distance) away from the counter
(7) Another person working for the store confronts him (the report says he stood between him and the door, but on the stills we only see them standing face to face with the door off to Browns left).
(8) Brown grabs his lapel (on the still) and releases him (he falls backwards - still on the stills, but no more after this)
(9) Brown leaves.

(The stills released from the video start with a picture of the big guy already holding the other one by his lapels, and end before he leaves the store. So we don't actually see (1) him attacking anyone (just letting go of him after the presumed assault) or (2) him actually stealing anything (though that seems likely from the report).)

Also, and this is really strange to me, the report lists the 911 call coming in at 11:51, and the robbery occurring at 11:53 (from the security cameras) which means, even charitably speaking, that the store was on the phone before they were robbed, reporting a robbery in progress.

To me that comes off way less like a strongarm robbery and more like a series of (super racist) provocations resulting in Brown saying "oh fuck this" and walking out with the cigars which he didn't have on him (from anything I can see) when Wilson killed him.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:50 AM
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I can't remember much from when I was a toddler either.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:50 AM
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the report lists the 911 call coming in at 11:51, and the robbery occurring at 11:53 (from the security cameras)

Different clocks, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:53 AM
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which means, even charitably speaking, that the store was on the phone before they were robbed, reporting a robbery in progress.

I don't know, right now my wall clock tells me it's 12:51 and my laptop says it's 12:53. So I think you can be more charitable than that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:54 AM
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apwned.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:55 AM
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The photo of Brown manhandling my small brown brother is currently at the top of nbcnews, cbsnews and foxnews.com. I think 400 is right, but that reaction won't be confined just to the police, but regular white folks, too. "He probably did something / They protest anything" etc.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:56 AM
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JFTR, Swisher Sweets are disgusting.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:58 AM
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393 But I think mostly, the "Police shot someone, outrage, protests" story made it into the vague awareness of the populace

I suspect this is optimistic. That probably made it into the awareness of half of the populace and the other half got a narrative more like "violent riots break out in Missouri as black people destroy their own neighborhood".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:58 AM
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403/404: Yeah, hence the 'charitably' bit. But from the police report he isn't doing anything that's obviously robbing anyone in enough time to call it in while it's in progress unless they manage to get it in between the time he picks up the cigars in anger and walks out the (what looks like about three feet away) door.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:59 AM
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Which is close to word-for-word what I heard someone telling someone else in my local subway station yesterday.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:59 AM
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The police report that I forgot to add a link to.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:01 AM
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Then again, I do tend to be pessimistic about race in America. I'm still convinced Obama can't get elected.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:01 AM
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410: As I was literally one block from the NMOTS vigil last night,* two young white people passed me talking:

Woman: People just love talking about racism.

Man: They really do.
Woman [in bending-over-backward-to-be-fair tone]: I mean, I'm sure there IS *some* racism against black people.

It's hard to convey the mixture of amused contempt in their voices.

*which was lovely, mellow, and well-attended, btw.


Posted by: ttiW | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:11 AM
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407: I don't think the vast majority of people who buy them are actually smoking most of the tobacco that's in them.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:14 AM
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413 does nothing to disabuse me of my stereotypes of ttiW-ville.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:15 AM
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Also, I was interviewed by our local Fox affiliate. Probably because although 15-20% of the protestors were white, I was the only one in a suit.


Posted by: You can guess | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:16 AM
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Also, I was interviewed by our local Fox affiliate. Probably because although 15-20% of the protestors were white, I was the only one in a suit.


Posted by: You can guess | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:16 AM
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417 -- shoulda used the opportunity to sell gold to suckers.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:21 AM
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What's funny (not ha ha) is that the only person I know who saw me was my sweetheart's unfortunately racist and fearful white grandmother.

I think nobody else I know watches Fox.


Posted by: You can guess | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:22 AM
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Or nobody else you know will admit to watching Fox.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:26 AM
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I'm pretty sure I shoplifted swisher sweets back in the day. That was before they put them behind the counter.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:53 AM
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Sweetheart? Please give me better news than that the dog's grandma watches Fox.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:56 AM
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Also, riffing on 392, and getting personal, I was arrested once and detained as a young teen, with a small group of other young white teens, as a burglary/rape (!) suspect, after a notably ineffective attempt to hide from the police. Needless to say, I hope, we did not commit the burglary/rape. However, there were sure a lot of guns drawn and police dogs and I'm pretty sure that if I ran I would have been shot. Also, at the time (this was the Santa Monica PD, not the LAPD) I was pretty sure that if it had been the LAPD I would have been shot anyway, regardless of race -- that was certainly my parents' view. In the end, nothing happened. I've never been too certain whether this supports or doesn't support the racist trigger happy cop narrative; I don't really blame the cops for doing anything they did but can't figure out whether or not I would be dead if I were black, or not.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:04 AM
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419: The clip's on the web and I think you did a good job making your point in a way that would be maximally digestible by the Fox audience. (Of course, they cut you off...)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:04 AM
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Halford guessed wrong. Suit? Please.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:08 AM
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Dang. Did you try the "I'm your human shield, you can come with me or on me?" line?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:10 AM
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"Is your dad a thief? Because he stole all of the stars in the sky and then was executed by the Ferguson PD."


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:21 AM
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427 is great, and I concur with 424. Even if it's be-suited white people getting a sane message across, at least that message might be heard.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:22 AM
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Oh good, I was worried it was a little too in poor taste.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:29 AM
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429. Go ahead and cut loose, Eggplant. You've got a lot of well-earned slack in this thread.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:32 AM
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Not so loose you get shot, though.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:33 AM
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Not so loose you get shot, though.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:33 AM
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I wore a black suit, low heels, and pearl earrings because I thought: What would I ordinarily wear to a memorial service?

Of course, I didn't know that after the vigil we were going to walk ~1 mile chanting the entire way, climb up to the top of a local monument for photos and then come all the way back. Oh well. Good for solidarity, and my suit will eventually drip dry.


Posted by: You can guess | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:40 AM
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I completely can't guess. Hint? I'd like to see the clip.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:42 AM
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Just eliminate Eggplant and Thorn think of the only other regular commenter who might actually do something instead of talk about it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:43 AM
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433 was totally me, though.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:44 AM
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Oh, the ninja. Now I can't remember the right city -- Cheese-Steak-ville?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:45 AM
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That's not very secret.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:46 AM
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I think I found the clip, and wow is that a horrible reporting job. Peaceful protests here, unlike in Ferguson! State highway patrol taking over because it's so violent! Police shot rubber bullets but say they were shot at with real bullets! I guess this is the message at least 50% of the country is hearing.

Nice sound bite from our own, though.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:47 AM
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439: The reporting was horrible. I think the first guy they interviewed, their voice-over of him was clearly at odds with what he was saying. At the same time, I admit if I had it on in the background and was only half paying attention, I wouldn't have caught that.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:49 AM
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This seems to suggest that the Ferguson PD has a history of excessive force against minority suspects. Charging the guy with property damage for bleeding all over their nice clean uniforms when they beat him up while in custody? Please.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:50 AM
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There is no entry for the word "Hippie" in the 1970 OED.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:57 AM
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Ha, wrong thread.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:57 AM
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And hey, apparently the FPD chief just admitted the officer didn't know about the alleged robbery.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:19 PM
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So, what happened? Did they talk to a lawyer and realized that the previous press conference was a bad move? Just getting deeper into WTF territory.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:24 PM
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Video of the robbery.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:25 PM
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Not much of a robbery.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:29 PM
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Strongly recommend reading the link in 441.

But however lax the department's system and however contradictory the officers' testimony, a federal magistrate ruled that the apparent perjury about the "property damage" charges was too minor to constitute a violation of due process and that Davis' injuries were de minimis--too minor to warrant a finding of excessive force. Never mind that a CAT scan taken after the incident confirmed that he had suffered a concussion.

Schottel has appealed and expects to argue the case in December. He will contend that perjury is perjury however minor the charge and note that both the NFL and Major League Baseball have learned to consider a concussion a serious injury.

Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:32 PM
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That really confirms my suspicion that it was less of a robbery and more of an argument that got out of hand (prompted by, it looks like, the clerk being kind of awful to them). When he handed one pack to Johnson my first instinct (given where they were standing) was that he was passing it on to him because Johnson wanted to buy a pack as well. Getting accused of shoplifting at that point would be really infuriating to me, and I could totally see someone getting angry.

Do you know if there's footage from the camera the still photos came from?


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:33 PM
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/national/surveillance-footage-shows-michael-brown-in-store-altercation/2014/08/15/9ee0fec4-24a8-11e4-8b10-7db129976abb_video.html

This has more video - shows feeds from different cameras.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:38 PM
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This has the video of the actual confrontation between Brown and the owner of the store (the one the stills are from). It's a lot quicker than the stills made it look.

Also, doesn't admitting that Wilson didn't know about the robbery basically the same as admitting that talking about the robbery at all was intended purely as character assassination, in order to make people less sympathetic to the, you know, kid who got murdered? I mean, that's obviously what it was in the first place, but it's pretty bald faced once they say that.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:43 PM
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Oops, I linked the wrong video; yeah, the other ones have more of the confrontation.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:46 PM
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449: Yep, I'm betting that what was released this morning was cherry-picked to be as favorable to FPD as possible. I expect a slow drip of more ambiguous (at a minimum) information emerge over the next few days.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:47 PM
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Also, doesn't admitting that Wilson didn't know about the robbery basically the same as admitting that talking about the robbery at all was intended purely as character assassination, in order to make people less sympathetic to the, you know, kid who got murdered? I mean, that's obviously what it was in the first place, but it's pretty bald faced once they say that.

I think my priors are different than yours in terms of level of confidence about reconstructing the robbery, but I agree with that point wholeheartedly. Again (and this goes to 448 as well) whatever happened with Michael Johnson this is very clearly not a competently run police force, and the same would seem to probably be true of St Louis County as a whole. That you have locally-connected people like the Governor, the state police, and Claire McCaskill running as fast as possible from the County/Ferguson police ship suggests as much.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:49 PM
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Aggh. Michael Brown. Dorian Johnson. Sorry.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:50 PM
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Apparently someone collected the tweets from a neighbor immediately following the killing: https://twitter.com/7im/timelines/499639344613695488


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:51 PM
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I'm wondering how the owner of that convenience store is feeling right now. Not, I mean, because he should feel guilty about Brown's death or anything, since it clearly was unrelated, but being used by the police to attack Brown doesn't seem like the sort of thing that's going to end well for his business. (Weren't there reports that the Quik Trip that was looted/burned/etc. was targeted because people thought that that was the convenience store in question?) I wonder if anyone in the press is tracking him down for an interview now, and if so what he'll say.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:51 PM
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456: And includes towards the end: apparently he stole some rellos.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:56 PM
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County executive of St Louis county is asking that the county prosecutor be removed from the case. Local elites can clearly smell rot.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:57 PM
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I shouldn't be surprised by anything at this point, but I am amazed at the contempt that is being shown to Brown's parents. Apparently they were not told a thing about this until the press conference today when the whole world found out.

Point being, I don't even know if the PD would have told the convenience store owner what they were planning to announce.


Posted by: ttiW | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:58 PM
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If you're worried about causing death to your customers, you basically can't run a convenience store.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 12:59 PM
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They had not told the governor what they were planning to announce.

There are tweets from a second eyewitness. He photographed the cop walking past Brown's body with an automatic weapon.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 1:06 PM
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Vaguely related, pretty interesting homicide clearance rates by jurisdiction (limited to jurisdictions with more murders. So, so racial: the lowest 5 are East Palo Alto, Salinas, Compton, Richmond, and Hayward. Top 5 are Sacramento, Anaheim, San Diego, Visalia, Santa Ana.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 1:07 PM
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And hey, apparently the FPD chief just admitted the officer didn't know about the alleged robbery.

WTF!?! So it's back to straight up police harassment leading to murder.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 1:12 PM
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That is pretty interesting. Note also the huge difference between the LAPD and the LA County Sheriff's Dep't, reflecting a longstanding difference in competence (the LAPD used to be much more evil but also way more competent, now it's less evil (n.b. - not perfect) and way more competent).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 1:12 PM
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463 also makes nicely one of my consistent points on this issue, often ignored by white liberals, which is that poor black people suffer not only from excess police but from two few, under- or mis-resourced police, making it truly the worst of both worlds (also, eat shit Rand Paul). Community policing and basic respect isn't just nicer and more humane, it's better policing, both for prevention and closing cases.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 1:23 PM
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449: Looking at the video, the interaction with the checkout clerk makes no sense at all to me -- Brown's reaching behind the counter in a way that looks sort of invasively inappropriate, but at that point he still seems to be intending to pay; like, he and Johnson are both already holding the cigars, but they're still standing around as if they're waiting to be served. And then he reaches behind the counter again, and then leaves, shoving past the guy. I suppose it'd be clear if there was audio, but the sequence of events is mystifying.

But, completely irrelevant to the cop who killed him, of course.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 1:25 PM
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Area people have views:

"I don't think it's about justice for Michael Brown's family," said the teenage boy. "It's just an excuse for people to do whatever they want to do."


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 1:26 PM
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448: Yeah, the article goes on to note:


Schottel figures the courts might take the problems of the Ferguson Police Department as more than de minimis as a result of the protests sparked when an officer shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old named Michael Brown on the afternoon of Aug. 9.
"Your chances on appeal are going up," a fellow lawyer told him.

I would think so, yes.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 1:39 PM
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467: Audio really would be good, though obviously unavailable. What it looks like to me is that there's an argument, then Brown reaches over the counter and grabs a bunch of cigars and throws them on the floor. The argument continues and he picks them up (I can't tell if it's all of them or not) and storms out. My immediate reaction to it was that I couldn't tell if he intended to run off with the cigars when he first grabs them or was just throwing them around.

Something else that just occurred to me, though: the police report lists the value of the stolen goods at something like $48.99. I assumed this meant a sizable box/case of cigars. But it's clearly just a few packets - maybe three or four at most. So there's no way that's true. I mean, it's entirely plausible that I'm just misreading the report and it's saying something else, but that's super weird looking to me.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 1:44 PM
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I assumed this meant a sizable box/case of cigars.

Must be "street value," like they do with cocaine.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 1:53 PM
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Tobacco's expensive -- could it be 10-12 dollars a pack? But yeah: what I found really confusing is that I couldn't figure out when the interaction went wrong. It totally didn't look like intended-from-the-beginning blatant shoplifting, or it would have been faster: grab and leave, rather than stand around. But the transition from "I'm trying to pay for this pack of cigars" to "I'm throwing things around and stomping out" was sort of obscure -- he was acting oddly, to my eye, before he was leaving.

It's not important, just puzzling. From the stills, I thought he was a complete asshole (still shouldn't have been shot, but an asshole). From the video, I don't get what happened, really.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 1:56 PM
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"Yes, officer - several cigars! And even worse an eighth of an ounce of..uh.. of cigars, I mean. An eighth of an ounce of cigars. They're very small cigars, you know. But expensive."


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 1:59 PM
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(At a bare minimum, from the video, he obviously left without paying for the cigars. So, wrong. But the interaction up to that point, I don't get.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 2:00 PM
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Just listening to "I Am Mike Brown." I don't know anything about the rapper (G.A.G.E.), but it's very good.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 2:03 PM
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472: If they were selling swisher sweets for that price then I think the only thing he did wrong was not being violent enough.

The report that the store clerk gave says that when he passed a pack back to Johnson they said something like "You have to pay for those first". My guess is that that wasn't a polite "store policy says they don't leave the counter" tone of voice, and that a bit more got said afterwards too.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 2:03 PM
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That could be it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 2:06 PM
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Tobacco's expensive -- could it be 10-12 dollars a pack?

It would be in New York, but, as of 2012, Missouri tobacco taxes were the lowest in the country.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 2:10 PM
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476: That was my guess. Did they release the 911 call from the store? (I think not, and that probably means it does not "help" their attempt to plant a thug narrative.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 2:14 PM
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343

A little late what with the flood of actual OT Ferguson posts, but we Maryland Irredendists are there, scattered hither and yon, preparing to strike!

John Barth's "The Sot-weed Factor" and Thomas Pynchon's "Mason and Dixon" discuss the issues in surprising depth.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 2:15 PM
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480: huzzah! By chance, I was listening to Mark Knopfler's Sailing to Philadelphia, which is about Mason and Dixon. One of them was a good Geordie lad.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 2:28 PM
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Also wonder if there were any disputes over ID - from the police report Brown's was expired.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 2:41 PM
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Yeah, every time I've had an expired ID a cop has pulled me into his squad car by the neck.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 2:51 PM
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What expired ID does an 18-year-old have? Library card? Passport?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 2:58 PM
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High school ID?


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 4:07 PM
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I mean in the convenience store. (As long as we're speculating about Brown's moral character and all.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 4:07 PM
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Don't driver's license sometimes expire faster for minors?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 4:09 PM
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High school student ID? Maybe the issue in the store was about proof of age to buy tobacco -- the store wouldn't sell to him based on the ID he had, and that's when the whole thing went sour?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 4:09 PM
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487: Yes. I'd bet that's what it was.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 4:12 PM
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470: Researchers have reconstructed sound from video of chip packets, but I think it was HDTV.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 4:15 PM
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And the police report described the ID type as "permit" - i.e., "instruction permit"?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 4:16 PM
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If the evidence looks the way it does now -- multiple eyewitnesses to the final shots being fired when Brown was 25 feet or so away from Wilson, and Wilson had no reason to think Brown was a violent felon -- Wilson has to go to jail, right? Is there any respectable reason not to criminally prosecute him?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:17 PM
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492: I'd think the evidence relating to the location of the bullet holes in his clothing and body would show if his arms were up or not. If that contradicts the witnesses whatever else they say will be discounted too, right?


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:27 PM
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Respectable by whom?

There are plenty of reasons to not prosecute/discipline him at all that are held in high regard by, you know, racists, right wing people in general, and probably most police officers.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:28 PM
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493: I think it would depend on where the bullet holes are exactly. Upper torso along the sides, certainly, but if they're lower down or more centered I'm not sure they'd show that with certainty.

What story Wilson will tell eventually is going to have a lot to do with it as well, I think. We're already seeing his department in general trying out various possibilities to see if they'll float so I imagine he'll have something pretty polished soon enough.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:32 PM
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Shoot. 495 was also me.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:32 PM
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Aaaaand "shoot" was the wrong 'mild annoyance not really a swear word swear word' to choose in this context, clearly.

Heck?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:33 PM
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Oh FFS.

I need to just stop using this computer and go home to the laptop I know how to use.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:36 PM
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It's probably a lot more work to develop a system of justice based on the actions of individuals and the moral culpability thereof than to just always blame the guy who isn't white. Does nobody ever consider that?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:48 PM
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Hands up or down isn't a serious issue though, it's distance, and forensic evidence, even without eyewitnesses (of which there are at least two, and I have the impression more) should be enough to establish the distance from which he was shot. I mean, where he was lying in terms of distance from the car is enough. I can't see how the cop can tell a self-defense story, and if he wasn't aware of the convenience store incident, he can't use the violent felon escaping story. At which point, there's nothing for it to be but criminal.

But I'm asking -- can anyone spin a legal defense of the cop that's at all plausible? I'm not seeing one at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:49 PM
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Doesn't the cop say Brown hit him? I'm not saying I buy it, but can't you spin that as a felony?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 5:55 PM
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Doesn't really matter if Brown hit the cop or not -- if Brown was running away and the cop shot him while running away (which I think is the witnesses' story and not really plausibly denied by the cop, though caveat I'm not deep in the weeds on this and haven't read any of the accounts in detail) he's liable. The law is actually pretty clear on this one, a cop doesn't have a right to gun down a fleeing felon just because the guy's a fleeing felon. I guess you could come up with some story about how Brown was plausibly about to assault another cop and/or pose a danger to the cops, but that doesn't seem too likely (if the fleeing story is right).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:05 PM
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501: I guess, but that's really weak. The cop doesn't have any pre-existing grounds for arrest that I can see -- no knowledge of any prior wrongdoing -- so there's no way to claim that Brown got violent while being arrested. To get away with this, the cop is going to have to tell the story such that Brown spontaneously attacked him at a level of intensity sufficient to qualify as a seriously violent crime, such that it would justify killing him rather than letting him escape. Obviously, the eyewitnesses are going to contradict that, but even without witnesses it's not very plausible. Unless he's got injuries? A broken nose might keep him out of jail.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:10 PM
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Must say that if this reporting is accurate the cops will likely have a hard time arguing against Brown being shot while fleeing, which I think pretty much makes the shooting automatically unjustified.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:15 PM
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This woman might be a nutcase lying attention whore, but she claims to be friends with the officer's girlfriend and relates the version she heard before the story went national.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:17 PM
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502: Even under Tennessee v. Garner, there's a level of dangerousness that allows a cop to kill you to prevent escape -- it's not limited to immediate self defense. Moby's right, I think, that the cop's best hope is to claim that Brown attacked him in a way that qualified him as the kind of dangerous criminal the cop would be allowed to shoot rather than let escape. This is really weak -- the Brown-attacked story is implausible and controverted by witnesses, and witnesses also say Brown had stopped and surrendered, so wasn't even escaping, at the time of the final shots. But I don't think the cop has anything better.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:18 PM
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Hey, a great opportunity for SCOTUS to overturn another piece of that pesky 4th amendment.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:20 PM
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And I see from looking quickly to check GSwift's story in the other thread that the claim is that Brown was "fleeing threateningly" when shot -- the "threateningly" there is being used to get around Tennessee v. Garner but "fleeing threateningly" sure seems like a weak case when the guy's running in the other direction from the officers and his body is found 35 feet from the squad car.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:22 PM
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505: She's contradicting the police chief, who said Wilson didn't know about the robbery when he shot Brown. Maybe the police chief is going to walk that one back, but I doubt it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:23 PM
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467: Brown's reaching behind the counter in a way that looks sort of invasively inappropriate, but at that point he still seems to be intending to pay; like, he and Johnson are both already holding the cigars

Is it even clear that that's Brown and Johnson? I thought it wasn't, but I haven't kept up with developments today.

In any case, the fact that the shooting officer knew nothing about the alleged cigar robbery is deeply troubling, to say the least. Do we know yet why the officer stopped the two young men in the first place? (I haven't kept up today.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:26 PM
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505: Can someone who's equally free on a Friday night but not currently putting children to bed and thus unable to listen to video summarize what's pertinent from that?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:29 PM
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it's not limited to immediate self defense

No, but deadly force is limited to situations in which there's probable cause to believe that the fleeing felon is likely to cause death or serious bodily harm to a police officer or someone else, or where the suspect is fleeing from the scene of an inherently violent crime. It sure seems like a stretch to argue that here, even assuming that Brown did hit the officer. Not that I'm up on the caselaw in this area, maybe Garner has been so limited that it doesn't have substantial effect anymore.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:29 PM
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I guess maybe if Brown stole the cop's gun and was running with the gun the shooting after fleeing might be justified. But has anyone even suggested that?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:32 PM
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I agree with you that it's a real stretch -- I think the cop might pull it off if he has a seriously broken face, but not legitimately otherwise. I guess I'm contrasting with the Zimmerman case -- while Zimmerman's a monster, his legal self-defense story wasn't absurd (morally, he remained utterly in the wrong). This guy, though, I think if he walks, barring something very surprising about the evidence, that would be inexcusable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:35 PM
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513: Given who shot who, I think we're clear that the cop retained the gun.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:36 PM
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Actually, I guess the argument will be something like this: Brown went for the cop's gun and fired a shot from the gun. This alerted the cop to the idea that Brown was the kind of guy who fires guns at cops, thus bringing him into the "inherently dangerous" felony rule. That, in turn, justified shooting him while fleeing (because they knew that he'd just been involved in an inherently dangerous felony), making the fleeing "threatening." Sure seems like a stretch but I'll bet that's the argument.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:38 PM
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The short version of the girlfriend's friend's version is that they struggled for the gun, Brown managed to fire a shot at the officer in the car, then fled, but then turned and started to charge, at which point the officer shot, but Brown didn't go down, so the officer kept shooting. Officer thought Brown might be "on something," because the shots didn't stop him. But, she also said that Brown fell a few feet from the car, which is plainly false. What I found interesting is that she says she got this story from social media, so there might actually be a record of what the girlfriend was saying. I wonder if that would be admissible.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:46 PM
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The story from the radio sounds directly inconsistent with completely undeniable facts, like that Brown charged the officer and died two to three feet in front of him despite starting at approximately the same place his body fell. That's... not plausible unless we're supposed to imagine some sort of Matrix-style both people charging at each other and one of them firing.

I think it's a pretty clear indicator of exactly what the defense is going to be, though. It's going to be a straight undeniable appeal to racism. Brown was a large violent criminal black man on drugs who, completely unprovoked, attacked a police officer and stole his gun*, then ran away and started taunting him (I foresee some very stylistic renditions of "how black people talk" in the future), and then again completely unprovoked decided to charge him. You've already got the police chief setting up the violent-criminal bit in public, and I'm guessing that the claim that he didn't know about the robbery will fade into obscurity by the time things get around to the officer's side of the story.

*(I'm imagining him saying "I got it back!" in the same voice John Cleese used to explain why he isn't a newt anymore)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:46 PM
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I guess some people ain't heard that a nice black cop is in charge now, so everyone can go back to sleep.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:51 PM
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505: It's an impressively racist version of basically the same story that Gswift argued for in the previous thread. That the police officer was violently attacked and had his gun seized (but got it back), and that he opened fire on Brown afterwards. The story includes a nice bit about Brown "bum rushing" him after taunting him from a distance though, and falling dead "two or three feet" in front of him.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:51 PM
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I assume the cop has a partner, who was right there? There's a man under a lot of pressure right now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:52 PM
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The twitter pictures show a cop with a long gun so maybe they'll claim Brown stole the pistol. Do we know if Brown was shot with a pistol or the rifle shown in those pictures?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 6:57 PM
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509: She's contradicting the police chief, who said Wilson didn't know about the robbery when he shot Brown. Maybe the police chief is going to walk that one back, but I doubt it.

He already has walked it back somewhat (and I'm not sure he ever claimed " didn't know about the robbery " just that the stop was not related to it.)

Jackson said the officer was aware cigars had been taken in the robbery of a store nearby, but did not know when he encountered Brown and Dorian Johnson that they might be suspects. He stopped them because they were walking in the street, Jackson said. But Jackson told the Post-Dispatch that the officer, Darren Wilson, saw cigars in Brown's hand and realized he might be the robber.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:03 PM
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This may just be ignorant of me, but why does a cop in a patrol car have a rifle at all?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:03 PM
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You truly are the Pauline Kael of reasonableness.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:05 PM
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I assume the cop has a partner, who was right there?

In most non-cities, cops ride solo.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:11 PM
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They really need a story that Brown went for the gun/plausibly tried to use it on the officer somehow. Absent that I don't see even a possible case for justified use of deadly force, no matter what appeal is made to racial stereotypes. I guess the "turned around and charged" story but that one really really seems like a stretch. If there's physical evidence going the other way on the "Brown went for my gun" account hard to see how the cop skates. Maybe there's a case out there that says that hitting a cop creates an automatic exception to Garner but I sure hope not.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:11 PM
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I remain Pauline Kael. Who knew? I guess I knew highway patrol were usually alone, but I assumed everyone else worked in pairs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:13 PM
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The "long gun," often carried vertically in the center of the front seat, in line with the rearview mirror, is likely to be a shotgun, in my experience, not a rifle.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:16 PM
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OMG, an 18-year-old black guy with Swishers is the tipoff that he might be the robber? Give me a the biggest fucking break in the world!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:16 PM
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Absent that I don't see even a possible case for justified use of deadly force

Well, if the Wilson is willing to lie (hmmmm), all he has to do is say that during the struggle, Brown muttered something about retrieving a gun, and that's why Wilson was holding him, why he shot him even though he was running away, etc.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:17 PM
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And what happened to the cigars then, I wonder?

Wow -- I went to pay a visit to the old humanities-based academic jobs wiki (based on a conversation with one of my advisors, who must have been high, about my viability on the market -- I will never get an academic job in my life, I assure you) and, on the "universities to fear" page, found a link to this story. Christ.

The incident occurred on May 20 when Ore, an English professor who teaches classes on Race Critical Theory among other topics, crossed the street, she says to avoid construction. She was stopped by Officer Stewart Ferrin, who works for campus police, and Ferrin demanded to see her ID. From there, the situation quickly escalated . . .


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:18 PM
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The physical evidence needed for "Brown went for my gun", or at least the amount needed to convince enough people of the story, is relatively easy to create after the fact.

Yes, I know, but seriously this isn't exactly a police force that has distinguished itself when it comes to honesty, competence, not just deciding to shoot people, and so on. Fire a shot into the car at some point (when it's back at the garage, anything), slap the handle of the gun against Brown's hand and you've probably got more than enough.

I'd like it of the cop ended up in jail for murder, but I'm not willing to bet on it.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:18 PM
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529: I think rifles if they have them are generally in the trunk.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:19 PM
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Tennesee v garner is a civil case, and brown's family will get some money. It's not at all obvious whether the same rule applies in a criminal case against the policeman. Missouri law, not federal constitutional law, will govern any murder case.


Posted by: Unimaginative | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:23 PM
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532: People knew about that already, right? Like academic people, it's moving in those circles? I know I'm tuned into the "Hey, some shit happened to a black person!" channels more than the norm, but I thought that one was getting more attention. (This is in no way a criticism of you, lk. I know I have things I've missed too. I'm just hoping!)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:30 PM
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529: Per our native informant, it is actually a rifle a lot of the time nowadays, although it is carried in the trunk -- I can corroborate that at least some of the MPD officers I used to work next door to had rifle cases with them when they went to go out on patrol.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:34 PM
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536: I was aware of it, but mostly through lefty academics at the other place.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:35 PM
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536: I was aware of it, but mostly through lefty academics at the other place.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:35 PM
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OMG, I totally did NOT hit post twice there.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:35 PM
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Maybe I'm looking at this too closely, but this is description in the NYT* of the action on the surveillance camera seems to mis-characterize it in a somewhat pernicious way:

According to the surveillance video, Mr. Brown approached the counter, leaned over and grabbed a handful of Swisher Sweets, then turned for the door. He pushed a clerk who tried to stop him, then left the store.

*Was actually reading the article because it had info on Darren Wilson who apparently left in a hurry on Tuesday (half-mown lawn).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:42 PM
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Here's the relevant Missouri statute;

563.046. 1. A law enforcement officer need not retreat or desist from efforts to effect the arrest, or from efforts to prevent the escape from custody, of a person he reasonably believes to have committed an offense because of resistance or threatened resistance of the arrestee. In addition to the use of physical force authorized under other sections of this chapter, he is, subject to the provisions of subsections 2 and 3, justified in the use of such physical force as he reasonably believes is immediately necessary to effect the arrest or to prevent the escape from custody.

2. The use of any physical force in making an arrest is not justified under this section unless the arrest is lawful or the law enforcement officer reasonably believes the arrest is lawful.

3. A law enforcement officer in effecting an arrest or in preventing an escape from custody is justified in using deadly force only

(1) When such is authorized under other sections of this chapter; or

(2) When he reasonably believes that such use of deadly force is immediately necessary to effect the arrest and also reasonably believes that the person to be arrested

(a) Has committed or attempted to commit a felony; or

(b) Is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon; or

(c) May otherwise endanger life or inflict serious physical injury unless arrested without delay.

4. The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of justification under this section.

I think 3(a) is no longer valid after Garner, but I'm not sure how that works out in practice. 3(b) seems inapplicable -- even if Brown had been attempting to escape by means of Wilson's gun, he certainly didn't have it at the time the final shots were fired. Which brings it down to 3(c): Wilson has to sell a story that makes Brown
immediately dangerous if not stopped. If he gets away with that, I'm going to want to burn shit down.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:53 PM
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522: If we're talking about the same Twitter feed, that also talks about "AR" coming - Armed Response, possibly? In which case the long gun might have shown up afterwards.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:55 PM
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535 -- I wasn't just talking about a criminal case against the officer, but, even there, Garner at a minimum prevents an argument that the cop lacked the requisite mental state because of a reasonable belief that it was legitimate for police officers to shoot fleeing felons. The case also probably, but not definitively, bars a state law rule that says that a policeman shooting a fleeing felon is automatically a justified homicide for purposes of state criminal law (there's an argument the other way, but I don't think a good one). If there was a criminal trial the cop would indeed (probably) be tried under Missouri law (though there are conceivable federal charges).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:55 PM
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It looks like what happened to me, although the acquisition of the cigars is off camera.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 7:57 PM
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The NYT account looks misleadingly compressed to me. Like, you know how I said that the video clearly did not look as if grabbing the cigars and walking out was the plan, Brown looked as if he were intending to pay, and then something happened? The NYT account leaves out everything but grabbing and leaving.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:01 PM
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Perhaps I should watch it again when sober. In any case, it obviously has no moral bearing on the shooting, as I think we all agree. If it has legal weight then that's a problem with the law.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:08 PM
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541: And from the end of that article - they didn't let a volunteering nurse try CPR on him? Maybe there are some protocols about that, but Lord.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:13 PM
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Oh hey, I'm getting a couple bars of service at the campground. A couple things before I lose service. Up front I think it's safe to say that the crowd control stuff was a total clusterfuck.

Re: the shooting. If Brown tried to grab the gun from the cop then the cop is likely on solid legal ground shooting him even if Brown was fleeing. Supposedly the first shot was fired in the vehicle, maybe during the fight. I'd be very interested in knowing if Brown turns out to have GSR on him.

Not knowing about the robbery initially and then that coming up is not necessarily some convoluted story to cover anyone. Dispatch SOP on that type of call is to get everyone's attention with a signal(for us it's a triple beep) and then to get the details of that call. It is not uncommon for a cop to stop someone and subsequently realize they're with the suspect of another crime that just occurred. Oh, and "strongarm robbery" is a bog standard term, not some attempt to smear a guy with a rhyme or something.

Again I will caution against treating Brown's friend as a reliable narrator. I'm sure you were all as shocked as I was that his initial statements neglected to mention that whole robbery thing that immediately preceded the encounter with the cop. The whole "Ferguson PD refused to interview me" is almost certainly total horseshit. If post Miranda someone invokes their right to an attorney then no interview is conducted right then as per the fucking law. So yes, technically that person has not been interviewed. At least that shithead will have the the decency to not tell everyone that the police refuse to listen to his story, right? Hahahaha, no.

IDP is an oldster. Carbines are very common in the police now. I personally favor a tricked out 12 gauge but there are non crazy reasons for the carbine which I won't get into as I'm tired of typing on this phone.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:38 PM
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You truly are the Pauline Kael of reasonableness.

Or Pauline Kale, vegeton


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:38 PM
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546: The NYT account looks misleadingly compressed to me

Yes. But I guess not as bad as the time Clark Hoyt incredibly used this defense of some of their flawed O'Keefe/ACORN reporting [emphasis Hoyt's]:

The story says O'Keefe dressed up as a pimp and trained his hidden camera on Acorn counselors. It does not say he did those two things at the same time.
So you know, they compressed the part where he changed clothes and went to a different place.

And sure, the convenience store details are a nit, but it serves as a small cautionary note to interpreting reporting for which one cannot see the direct evidence for one.s self.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:43 PM
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Again I will caution against treating Brown's friend as a reliable narrator. I'm sure you were all as shocked as I was that his initial statements neglected to mention that whole robbery thing that immediately preceded the encounter with the cop.

Yes, he certainly stands alone in this episode as someone not volunteering potentially damaging information.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 8:57 PM
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Wow. I made it almost all the way through that radio clip but I couldn't stomach it all.

The claims that Brown was "taunting" him just seem incredibly weird. Nobody at all is saying this kid was talkative, let alone mouthy. To the contrary, he's been repeatedly described as quiet. Under situations of high stress, people more often revert to type than behave completely uncharacteristically, although of course the latter is possible.

A week ago I would have said the police were very unlikely to lie about Brown having fired a shot himself because they wouldn't have any firearms residue on his hands. But after the last five days, I'm no longer willing to say that. I wouldn't put it past this department to create such evidence.

The thing I find most enraging and sad about the clip is the caller's blithe mention, toward the end, that they (presumably she and the officer's girlfriend, among others) were just casually discussing it on Facebook on Sunday night, and nobody had any idea it was going to blow up into this big thing.

Sure! No big deal! Just casually shooting the breeze with your friends, talking about your day at work, how you had to shoot some-- oh.

Oddly, it's also the part that rings most true to me. People always say "How did they think they could get away with it?" in re: cheating politicians, graft, corruption, harassment, abuse, etc.

My experience -- though not so much in the realm of police specifically -- is "They think they can get away with it because they always have before."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:07 PM
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(cont'd). If you live in a super-white suburb very different from the one you police, and your social circle on FB doesn't overlap at all with your work community except in terms of fellow officers...why would you think you COULDN'T get away with telling disparaging, contemptuous, exaggerated, or outright false stories about the community you allegedly work on behalf of?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:12 PM
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If Brown tried to grab the gun from the cop then the cop is likely on solid legal ground shooting him even if Brown was fleeing.
Can you explain the moral grounding behind this? And doesn't this present a very low bar for any corrupt police to cross? What shooting can't be explained away by some testimony about a struggle?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:15 PM
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Note that the lawyers seem to have a very different interpretation of the relevant laws than the cop. Not that I know enough about any of this to know who's right, of course.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:24 PM
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555: Someone willing to attack and attempt to forcibly disarm a cop can be construed the same as if I interrupted a stabbing or intercepted a guy who's been committing robberies with a gun. There's no kings X just because that person decides to run. In this case if the officer has facial injuries consistent with a fight and Brown turns out to say, have a bunch of GSR on his hands and forearms that corroborates the accusation that the first shot was fired during a struggle with the gun then I think there's a good chance the officer's going to get cleared unless he totally screws the report.

And it's quite easy for a gun to go off in a struggle without it leaving the cop's possession. Sometimes it doesn't even make it out of the holster. Some of the holsters have enough of a gap that a finger can be worked into the trigger guard and the gun fired. It happened to one of my coworkers a year or two ago. A guy went for his gun and managed to crank a round off without the gun making it out of the holster.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:37 PM
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556: I'm pretty much saying the same thing as 527. Guy grabs your gun and gets a round off? Sure. But if a cop shot a fleeing suspect over a couple punches to the face I'd assume he'd be in deep shit.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:46 PM
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Fair enough.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:49 PM
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And specifically to 555 last, hopefully the totality of the circumstances makes that difficult but of course there's the possibility and I don't have a good answer as how to ensure it never happens.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 9:57 PM
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Meanwhile in Alaska.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:05 PM
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(I actually have no idea who to trust more on that one. There's a lot of scary violent situations in rural Alaska, and it must be a hell of a difficult place to police.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:12 PM
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542:

If he gets away with that, I'm going to want to burn shit down. make the cops burn shit down by peacefully protesting their actions.

(More efficient that way.)

Also:

I'm sure you were all as shocked as I was that his initial statements neglected to mention that whole robbery thing that immediately preceded the encounter with the cop.

Christ. Well I guess that's the answer to 85 isn't it. No I'm not truly shocked that when asked about a different thing by a reporter he failed to start by saying "OK, so this isn't obviously related but like ten minutes before this happened we were at a convenience store and my friend got in a fight with...(etc.)" If the Wilson started in on them because of jaywalking, which is all that anyone has said so far except for the crazy lady with the 'large black supervillain' story, it's not even an obvious place to start. Maybe he also broke the speed limit driving around a half hour before. And, again, you're still trying to defend the "hey free gun!" story here in the face of multiple eyewitnesses and the fact that that story is deeply implausible compared to the alternatives. Also I'm pretty sure that once you get the lawyer the police can go back and ask to speak with you as opposed to waiting till, say, four days later. Once your lawyer is making statements to the press I think it's fair to say you have one.

The comment about strongarm robbery was in response to the police chief actually self correcting when he accidentally just said "robbery" one time which, I'm pretty sure, is also a description of what happened. You're not seriously disputing that his announcing a press conference to release the name of the policeman who killed Brown and then coincidentally talking for most of it about this robbery (only to clarify later that the two events were unrelated) was a smear job, are you?

And finally the comments about the gun leaving the cops possession are, in fact, because the cops-side-of-the-story lady directly asserts that Brown had the gun and pointed it at Wilson and fired it (he knocked it away from him which is why he didn't get killed).* Accidentally discharging the gun during the heat of the moment (most likely possibility!) is a totally different story, and one that sounds a lot more plausible to me since it seems exactly like the sort of thing that would end up causing an incompetent racist cop who just got into a struggle with a large black guy to panic and default to "I am absolutely in some kind of gunfight right now and clearly should shoot anyone who scares me", leading to exactly the results that we saw.

*(Also Brown turned back around and charged the police officer from 35 feet away when he left the car with his gun pointed directly at him due to a drug crazed frenzy only to be put down at the last minute by a brilliant head shot that felled him not but 2 feet from the officer. Just to clarify: this is not me being sarcastic. It is in fact the story that she told.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:41 PM
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By "the Wilson" above I am of course referring to the form of Wilson which all Wilsons share, and not simply making a typo. Obviously.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:45 PM
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By "the Wilson" above I am of course referring to the form of Wilson which all Wilsons share

If we take Woodrow to be the Ur-Wilson, I presume "the form of Wilson which all Wilsons share" to mean "racism."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:47 PM
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(Apologies to all the non-racist Wilsons out there.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 10:48 PM
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My immediate association with Wilson is balls.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:08 PM
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Is there anything you don't immediately associate with balls, though?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:09 PM
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Jesus Fucking Christ. Apparently the county prosecutor in St. Louis County decided to rile things up again in Ferguson by sending the tear gassers back in.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:31 PM
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The robbery was a couple of hours before the shooting, right?

The word our lawyer friends are looking for is nullification.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:34 PM
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The robbery was a couple of hours before the shooting, right?

No, just a few minutes, I think.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:40 PM
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Got it, ok.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:46 PM
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Wait, no, maybe you're right.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-14 11:58 PM
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Well now I'm just totally confused. The NYT article clearly says they were stopped about ten minutes after the robbery, but some of the other links upthread seem to say or imply that it was an hour or two later.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-16-14 12:09 AM
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That's how I got that idea, but I think the 10 minute version is correct.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-16-14 12:13 AM
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Yeah, I'm inclined to agree. It sure is confusing, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-16-14 12:15 AM
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If we take Woodrow to be the Ur-Wilson, I presume "the form of Wilson which all Wilsons share" to mean "racism."

So Americacentric. The Ur-Wilson is a Woodrow/Harold/volleyball superposition.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-14 5:27 AM
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Is there anything you don't immediately associate with balls, though?

Your mom?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-16-14 5:44 AM
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One thing about even the cop-favorable struggle-for-the-gun story -- the statute doesn't say "Open season on dangerous people" it authorizes deadly force when both the person is dangerous enough and the deadly force is reasonably necessary to effect an arrest. The witness accounts agree that he had stopped and turned around, but the cop kept shooting. That looks to me like enough to bring the cop outside the justification defense, gunshot residue or no.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-14 5:48 AM
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He's certainly right about my being an oldster. The setup I was alluding to, 12 gauge pump prominently displayed in the windshield of suburban patrol car, was ubiquitous in the 70s and 80s when I last spent a lot of time in the Suburbs. The last time I know I saw it was about 30 years ago though.

Chicago PD usually, but not always patrol in pairs and don't display long arms. I've lived here a long time, and struggle with my own Kael tendencies, Kaelia.

I'm what David Riesman defined as a passer, someone who shares the views of the people he lives with about everything except, often privately, their views about the people he came from. The assimilated minority guy is the obvious example, but someone like me, for whom suburban white guys, however glad he may be to have escaped being one, are "his people," has some of it too.

I'm often a dissenter, usually without confrontation, at moments of high dudgeon around here. Too close to home.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08-16-14 5:58 AM
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580: The LAPD has several thousand rifles available, according to the local news. I don't know if every car has one or more, but I think the stimulus came from that North Hollywood shoot-out in 1997 where the cops had to borrow some heavy firepower from a local gunshop before they could take the bank robbers down.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Hollywood_shootout


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-16-14 8:46 AM
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