By now, most of America is aware of the shooting of 18 year old Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, a killing that was initiated by that police officer insisting that Brown stop walking in the street.
In New York, police used a merciless choke hold on Eric Garner and killed him, despite his many pleas for them to stop because he couldn’t breathe.
In Los Angeles, a homeless woman, Marlene Pinnock was walking along the side of the freeway when a Highway Patrol officer ordered her to stop and when she didn’t, he threw her to the ground and savagely punched her in the face…to protect her from harm, the CHP alleges.
All of these victims of police violence and in the first two cases, murders of unarmed civilians are African American and in all cases, the first response from the police organizations responsible for the murders and brutality was to justify these horrendous acts. Justify it…excuse the beating, suffocation and shooting of American citizens who were just walking and harming no one (police stopped Garner for selling loose cigarettes) , the very people they are supposed to be protecting…unless police have a more black and white definition of who they are supposed to protect and who they aren’t.
These are just three recently publicized situations out of many similar situations that African Americans see happening frquently across the United States. The combination of racism embedded deeply in police forces and the new era of aggressive policing makes for a deadly threat to innocent Americans who are African American.
Add to that, the militarization of police forces which has turned them from a philosophy of protecting and serving the community to responding to even minor situations en masse with armored vehicles, military gear and combat uniforms complete with helmets and gas masks and we see an America that only used to live in dark science fiction stories.
And what makes the killing and ongoing conflict in Ferguson many times worse is the police department’s response to it all, which has been to inflict even greater hostility upon its community, using brutal and overkill tactics on those who are protesting including using tear gas (even on people protesting in their own backyards), rubber and wooden bullets, aiming their semi-automatic military rifles at protestors and issuing ominous threats to any media trying to cover their assault on their citizens.
Yes, this is happening in your United States of America.
Absolute generalizations are necessarily flawed, there are many police officers who are white and not racist, black, Latino, Asian, many who haven’t a racist bone in their body and believe in their proper duty to protect and serve the people in their community. But as monicaangela noted in her recent comment:
Facts About Current Officers
The sampling of current officers was comprised of 2,698 fulltime officers from twenty-one different states. A total 1,116 of the 2,657 officers asked to complete a confidential questionnaire, did so. This equates to a response rate of 42 percent. An additional forty-one officers provided confidential interviews. The following facts were revealed.
· In response to “Please describe the first time you witnessed misconduct by another employee but took no action,” 46 percent (532) advised they had witnessed misconduct by another employee, but concealed what they knew.
· In response to the question “At the time of the incident occurred, what did you think would happen if you revealed what had taken place?” the five reasons listed most often were: I would be ostracized (177 times); the officer who committed the misconduct would be disciplined or fired (88 times); I would be fired from my job (73 times); I would be “blackballed” (59 times); the administration would not do anything even if I reported it. (54 times)
· 73 percent of the individuals pressuring officers to keep quiet about the misconduct were leaders.
· Eight percent (40) of the 509 officers who admitted to intentionally withholding the information about officer misconduct were upper administrators. The upper administrators of the average American police department comprises only five percent of the agency.
· The average age of an officer who covered up an incident for the first time was 31.4 years of age.
· The average years of experience when they first took part in the Code of Silence was 8.2 years.
· 449 of the 532 officers were male, while 74 were female.
· Of the 532 who confessed they had participated in the Code of Silence, 252 were pressured to keep quiet by the officer(s) who committed the misconduct and 118 felt pressure from uninvolved officers. The remaining 162 officers advised they covered up the incident even though they were not pressured.
· Excessive use of force was the most frequent situation over which the Code of Silence occurs, with 217 were excessive use of force circumstances.
· The five most frequently offered solutions for controlling the Code of Silence from the 532 officers who confessed to taking part in it were: Conduct good ethics training (listed 46 times); More consistent accountability (listed 20 times); Ensure open communication between officers and leaders (listed 16 times); Provide an anonymous reporting system (listed 14 times) and Protect whistleblowers (listed 10 times).
So even good officers are often intimidated out of stepping up to protest the abuse of power by their police forces.
Though this isn’t new, the new visibility of police demonstrating their disregard for the rights and lives of African Americans, coming on the heels of increasing murders of black men and women by white citizens, encouraged by the Stand Your Ground laws in many states, makes this a dangerous and racially threatening time for African Americans.
And before white Americans step back in relief that they don’t have to be worried about how their police force has been turned into a military-styled army, consider what happened across the country during the Occupy Wall Street protests.
Coast to coast, from Los Angeles to New York, police forces descended on the peaceful protests using military vehicles and tactics, liberally attacking protestors with flash grenades, rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray in overwhelming force, marching on them in full military gear and using military vehicles to intimidate citizens and enforce their domination of citizens.
Racism and abuse of power in police forces have always been a problem but consider the visual change of police riot squads over the decades, primarily after 9/11 and the massive funding provided to police across the country to remake themselves in a military mode.
Riot Police in Tennessee – 1960’s:
Riot Police in California – 1970’s
Riot Police in New York – 1980’s
Riot Police in New York – 1990’s
Riot Police in Denver – 2000’s (after 9/11)
Riot Police in Ferguson, Missouri – Now
Over the years, we’ve looked at other nations, especially the oppressive ones, whose police looked so militaristic and overkill. Now, we are one of them.
Here in Los Angeles, I recently attended a community event where police attended to meet and greet those living in the area. The Mayor even stopped by. The sentiment was the healthy type that seems to be disappearing across America nowadays, that police and citizens are partners in the community and that communication and collaboration is vital. Citizens of all races were chatting and associating with police, the mood was positive and pleasant. This is not difficult for a police force (and Mayor) to make happen, it only requires the will and principles to do so.
Instead, in Ferguson, Missouri, we see a virtually all white police force assaulting their community that is 70% black in a military-style overkill and treating them as the enemy. If the community is the police’s enemy, aren’t they then the enemy of their society? Shouldn’t it be the police that are “arrested” at this point instead of the entire community? If they aren’t serving the people, who are they serving? Just themselves, their power and their enforcement of white racial superiority?
The FBI is now investigating this killing of Michael Brown by a police officer so those who believe in justice can have some hope that the truth will come out and if this officer is guilty of murder, he is convicted and sentenced for it.
Meanwhile, the militarized police state that many Americans are living under, even if it has little direct impact on them today, will remain unchanged unless citizens and communities come together to pressure their cities to return their police to being public servants instead of an army that’s independent, unanswerable and free to be adversarial to their community.
Hey Monica. I’m replying up here because we’ve run out of space below. Thank you for your reply.
I swear I saw a comment yesterday that contained the Oliver video. I have a pet peeve about posting videos that have already been posted. That’s why I deleted mine.
Please, don’t think for a minute that I hold any animosity toward you. Quite the contrary. I think you are a brilliant, caring, and passionate person. Few in number these days.
Whew!!! That takes a load off. And thank you for the compliments, I return each and every one of them to you because that is the feeling I have when I read your comments.
If Michael Brown committed a felonious strong-arm robbery at a convenience store just minutes before he was shot, why didn’t anybody from the store call 911? The report was made by a customer following what appeared to be an altercation between the 6’4″ Brown and a much smaller store employee.
According to the store’s owner, police didn’t issue a subpoena for the store’s surveillance video until last Friday — the day it was provided to the media by police officials, along with the name of Officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot Brown a few minutes after the incident at the store. Wilson was not aware of the alleged robbery, and he was not pursuing Brown as a suspect. The fatal encounter began when Wilson rebuked Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, for jaywalking.
An excerpt of the security video shot from a different angle shows the figure identified as Brown at a check-out counter paying for the cigars before the apparent confrontation with the store clerk.
Why hasn’t anyone interviewed the clerk to find out what actually happened? The news media should have been all over this. Why didn’t anyone contact the clerk and get his side of the story?
Police are not above the law. He should be in jail by now. They can do investigations from jail. If he makes bail? he can go to police head quarters for a bad shooting issue.
The policeman violated police procedures for shooting some one who is running away and shooting some one with their hands in the air.
OH thanks. their was no evidence of cigarettes or anything else where he was shot.even if he like fingered the store.
Thanks for the link.
It also can put a restriction that the policeman can not leave the county or go out of the country.
IN no way are the tanks needed.
Well you do not what the reggae?
I sent an email to the email address you gave me that very same day. I haven’t heard anything from you. If you would like, you can ask AdLib for my email address, tell him I gave you permission.
The Roots Of Unrest In Ferguson, Explained In 2 Minutes
Bull Connor 2.0
It is not only here…The Billdeberg foundation is here to stay.We are facing times of an upheaval dooms day.We have over 3 billion people on this planet without jobs.The carbon print is immense.Food is scarce and so is water – reason why the Chinese are buying everything and depleting Africa of their most treasures, natural resources…Follow the money….We are doomed…..
Hear, hear EXFANOFARINA, if we don’t get our act together soon there won’t be another millennial generation in our future.
I don’t know if anyone has posted this already as I’m in a bit of a rush to go out, but this is really shocking.
New video shows moments after shooting
I wasn’t aware of this video Kalima, thanks for posting it. I imagine there will be lots more videos like this one before this is all over. One thing the police seem to be forgetting these days is the fact that just about everybody has a cell phone with the ability to record an incident like this. I feel so sorry for that young lady who had to witness this first hand. I notice she said that the police confiscated her phone…that was telling…they know this was not self defense…all information up to this point appears to lead to a senseless murder carried out by someone who felt he had the right to take the life of another person because he had been humiliated by the fact that he couldn’t control this young man.
Hello monica. The latest finding is that he had mj in his system and I say, so what? I have never witnessed anyone who became violent from smoking weed.
I hope that more videos like this come to light because the police don’t have a leg to stand on. Read that the President is sending Eric Holder to Ferguson. Maybe the investigation will progress quicker now.
Have to dash. See you later and take care.
Hey Kailma. The mention of MJ is the same tactic authorities in Florida tried to use to demonize Treyvon Martin. They reported that he had been suspended from school for having a small trace of weed in his book bag.
It’s exactly the same tactic. Just like that video of Brown (allegedly) stealing cigars from that store. It’s all an attempt to demonize this kid.
You know the RW assholes are eating this up, hook, line and sinker. Among the brainless and the racists, these tactics work.
Not one of them seems to think that the summary execution of a young black man is unjust punishment for using MJ or stealing cigars. The killer cop didn’t even know Brown was a suspect in the cigar theft when he shot the kid, in cold blood.
Exactly KT, it’s nonsense and thankfully won’t wash with most people. Those who believe it want to believe it and use it as an excuse for murder. Their brainwashing, ignorance and hate consumes them like a black hole. You can’t even feel sorry for these uninformed people anymore, it’s who they choose to be.
I agree with your assessment, this is a tactic the police have been using for years. Kill a person unlawfully and begin immediately to build a case around smearing the victim. We have seen it time and time again in the news…just goes to show you how ignorant those who use this tactic are, they aren’t even capable of inventing a new strategy to try to get away with murder, they are so sure of themselves, so lazy in their tactics, and so sure that the citizens of this nation are ready and willing to Kow Tow to their shenanigans that they no longer even put forth the effort to cover their dastardly deeds. The question the citizens of this nation should be asking is. How do these people get these jobs in a position of authority? Also, they should be asking themselves what would happen to a black man or woman if he/she held that position under these circumstances.
Sometimes comedy allows people to listen to the truth in a different way. This skit by John Oliver does, with the use of comedy cover a lot of what is wrong with the mostly white leadership in Ferguson Missouri…they have an attitude that is beneath any human being. Their attempt to control the citizens and not the police is evident. The Governor is a disgrace, the Chief of Police is inept to say the least, and the people of that city and many, many other cities in this country are suffering because of these antebellum attitudes of the leadership presiding over their city and their state.
Did you remove the video or is this more comedy on your part?
More comedy? No, I removed the video because I saw that you had already posted it.
I posted it because I thought it was great commentary on the recent events.
I never posted that video. Could you replace it please? Thank you. Never mind, I’ll post it myself.
Monica, the John Oliver video was here yesterday. It was one of three videos in a single comment box. That’s why I deleted my posting of the same video.
I wasn’t just imagining this, I checked this entire thread and couldn’t find it gain. I don’t remember who posted that comment with the three videos in it.
When I delete my own comments, I merely backspace through the text that I want gone, but then you can’t post a blank comment. I usually write OOOPS, when this happens.
You reposted it before I saw your request to me to post it again. I don’t hang around all day or night here.
I believe what you are saying, but believe me I did not post that. I was happy to see it posted by you. I have to admit I thought you deleted it because of my comment.
It would be a disaster for me if I thought you would intentionally do that to me. I have grown very fond of you since I have been here, and would be truly sad if I felt there was animosity between us.
What frightens me about this is that are people out there who would have would have in full support of the protests had this happened in another country.
Instead, I have read and heard one justification after another for the violence — the most telling “He was a big Black guy and the officer was scared.”
They said that about (just to name a few):
Jean Charles de Menezes
They might have said it about me in 2011, heading north on Interstate 95, through Baltimore’s Ft. McHenry Tunnel, surounded by squad cars, guns fixated on me…
Exactly Jim..Police violence against men and women of color in this nation is a disgrace. As was stated on the Melissa Harris Perry show this last weekend, hundreds of black men have been killed by white police officers in this nation..not to mention the harassment that goes on daily.
Monica, I saw a stat which showed unarmed Black men are being shot by the police at the rate of one an hour. When I find the info, I will share it.
It appears the correct statistics on just how many Black people, men women and children and even other police officers are killed in this country daily weekly or yearly are unknown. Mother Jones did a study of this in an article on August 15, 2014. You can read it here: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men
Thank you, Monica. I can only imagine what some folks are saying in light of what happened last night.
I can imagine what they should be saying, but I’m sure that is not what is being said. You know it’s strange that many human beings can’t seem to relate to anything unless it effects them personally. My response to that is: Why wait until it is too late? If it is happening to others today, it is not going to be long before those same people doing it to others will find a reason to do it to you.
The similarities between what is happening in Ferguson and what is happening in Gaza are striking. Apartheid under any other name is still apartheid. 🙂
Brodie, reading the story from the link gave the shivers. I am white, so will never know what it is like to be a black man. It must be frightening to be pulled over and have guns pointed in your direction. Especially here in America. I have been shot at many many times in Vietnam, but that was expected. Here right on I 95 near Baltimore it is not acceptable!
My friend, I’m so sorry that this kind of thing still happens after the civil rights era. America should be ashamed. I am. Profiling is wrong based on race.
Peace to you my friend. I hope some day to meet you and many others on this site.
Thank you, Nirek. Funny thing about it is that it did not dawn on me until much later how close I had come to being shot. When I shared the story with my wife, she was horrified. My friends were angry.
It was my wife’s idea for me to write about it…
Brodie, I’m glad you wrote about it. Sorry I missed it the first time. I don’t think I was here until 2012.
Again it seems like we should be beyond this kind of thing by now.
In 1968 when MLK was killed I was stationed at Fort Meade in Maryland. There were riots in DC and we were sent to disperse the rioters. I have more to say about these riots. Some of our training for riot control was the psychology of a riot. They told us that there are instigators who get people fired up and then disappear. Leaving the folks who are angry to face the police.
I had a lot of training on the subject. In no way am I excusing police shooting anyone, especially someone with his hands up.
Michael, I’d missed your 2011 post somehow. Good Lord, that was a harrowing episode. I’m so glad you lived to tell — and write — about it.
Here we are three years later and — by the looks of Ferguson — we still have a long, long way to go in educating police departments on issues of justice.
Maybe now — with the eyes of the whole world (including Amnesty International) on us — we’ll make some progress.
Thank you, Kesmarn. Glad to see groups like Amnesty International taking an interest. I have been touring some other Websites (I know, I know…), and the majority of the posts applauded the shooting and compared the kid to a beast, a monkey, a mad dog, a thug worthy of death.
Hey Brodie, that disgusts me so much that I stay away from all of those sites. This place is more civil and we are all friendly.
How sickening… What is wrong with these people?
Are things worse now than they have been? Or are there just a few people who are more vocal than ever?
I really can’t tell…
plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose
the more things change, the more they stay the same
So sad, I have heard stories of incidents like this all my life. I’m sure happy you still have a positive attitude MJB, some black men I know have had this happen to them so many times, they are literally what we call men with a short fuse. This type of harassment does something to the psyche of a man who in many cases are treated as though they are less than a man.
I can imagine what your wife might have felt…no, it was no laughing matter, and I’m sure at that moment she was forced to think of herself as a widow and living without the person she loved because of something that should never have happened, why couldn’t that officer have engaged you in dialogue while you were sitting in your car, why have to take you out of your car, humiliate you, cuff you, and then joke about it when the event was over why? This behavior by police officers in this nation should be dealt with legally through actions and lawsuits brought by the citizens of this nation. Police officers need to be brought under control, and DWB, (driving while black) WWB (walking while blace), LWB (living while black) or even the act of appearing to be black in this nation needs to be exposed for what it is…SYSTEMIC RACISM.
More enlightenment on the situation in Ferguson MO…Why this isn’t just about the death of Michael Brown, a tragedy in itself, but the roots of this go far, far back in our history.
There is a virus going around that is infecting cops and causing them to become homicidal against the American citizenry. This disease is the Tea Party. They spread their poisonous lies over the conservative media and are making the GOP think it is perfectly fine to shoot innocent people, shoot the feds, shoot anyone they think is interfering with their opinion of the day. Felon governor Rick Perry wanted to call out the National Guard because he couldn’t handle the immigration problems in his own state. If we need to use the NG it should be to protect the American citizens from homicidal cops.
Hear, hear jjgravitas. I have to disagree with you on the Tea Party being the disease, the disease is what caused the tea party to come into existence, the disease is something that has been in this nation since the days of slavery. The disease is the divide and conquer tactics used by wealthy white citizens in this nation, framers of the Constitution which of course later had to be amended to include all citizens of this nation, not just wealthy white land owners…that is the disease, and it has existed for centuries…I believe it is coming to a head, and the disease is about to be cured.
Well said, Monica. The Tea Party did not create this evil. They tapped into it.
They are playing by the age old play book devised before the Civil War, the tactics changed slightly after the Civil War, but the object of the evil is still the same, the tea party is just a spoke in the wheel.
So now the government is rethinking giving military equipment to the police.
“WASHINGTON (AP) — After a decade of sending military equipment to civilian police departments across the country, federal officials are reconsidering the idea in light of the violence in Ferguson, Missouri.
The public has absorbed images of heavily armed police, snipers trained on protesters and tear gas plumes. Against that backdrop, Attorney General Eric Holder said that when police and citizens need to restore calm, “I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message.”
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said police responses like that in Ferguson have “become the problem instead of the solution.” Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said he will introduce legislation to curb the trend of police militarization.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said his committee will review the program to determine if the Defense Department’s surplus equipment is being used as intended.
One night after the violence that accompanied the presence of military-style equipment in Ferguson, tensions eased when a police captain, unprotected and shaking hands, walked through a crowd in a gesture of reconciliation. The contrast added to the perception that the tanks and tear gas had done more harm than good.
As the country concludes its longest wartime period, the military has turned over thousands of surplus weapons and armored trucks to local police who often trained alongside the military.
A report by the American Civil Liberties Union in June said police agencies had become “excessively militarized,” with officers using training and equipment designed for the battlefield on city streets. The report found the amount of goods transferred through the military surplus program rose in value from $1 million in 1990 to nearly $450 million in 2013.”
It seems that you have started someone thinking, AdLib. Good job, my friend.
If only the citizens of this nation would investigate who was really behind this welfare give away to our Military Industrial Complex and those who continually waste our hard earned dollars creating these surpluses of weapons, which then because the amounts being created are much, much more than necessary, require the wealthy to again bail out the big weapons making/dealing corporations in this nation by providing grants of our hard earned tax dollars so that these corporations can send these weapons to cities and towns across this nation to, of course, be used against the citizens of this nation.
It was said that these weapons were to be used by police departments in case of terrorist events…however, I find this a blending of the police with the military…we have the National Guard and the Coast Guard to deal with matters of terrorism, why do we need to bring police officers into something they are not trained for…could it be states rights and the continued moaning and groaning of governors of states who do not want the Federal government to protect their citizens…Makes you wonder why these people who continue to scream states rights are doing so…could it be because they are in many cases the old guard who are afraid that the federal government will protect “All” of the citizens in their state, even the citizens they themselves have through laws and policies relegated to second or third class citizens stauts? I wonder….
Can you say Halliburton? Xe (or whatever these scum call themselves these days. Academi?)? Or how about the tons of money that the “security” state is making off of our backs while 1 in 5 children go to bed hungry. What a sick society we have become, if we ever weren’t a sick society…
SLM, I can only agree with you. 100%!
Academi and Halliburton are two in a long, long list. Check out the link I placed above in my comment to Nirek.
I agree, this is a sick society we live in, and we haven’t just become a sick society, we have been that way since this country came into existence.
I dare say even before. When the Puritans landed, the Wampanoag should have told them to get back on their ship and keep moving. Instead those gentle, loving Natives showed them how to plant corn in the sandy earth. Even after the harsh winter when the Puritans stole the Wampanoags’ stored food, they were forgiving. Too bad it is always the loving, giving people that get used as the doormat of the selfish.
the Wampanoags were a matrilineal tribe, as such it is understandable that they would extend their maternal instincts to the new arrivals who were unable to care for themselves.
What did they get for their kindness? King Philip’s War (1675–1676) against the English colonists resulted in the deaths of 40 percent of the tribe. Most of the male survivors were sold into slavery in the West Indies. Many women and children were enslaved in New England.
I’m sure there were those during that time that were telling them to have patience, to wait for justice etc. Yes, it’s and old story that keeps repeating itself. When will good people learn and stand up against these injustices.
Monica, once again I have to agree with you. I think it all starts with the military budget being bloated and the lobbyists for the MIC pushing for more. We have enough weapons. Lets put some money into domestic programs and good paying jobs for Americans.
Maybe we should penalize corporations that outsource their work to other countries. And do away with the dreaded lobbyists for the MIC!
It is even worse than we think Nirek. I never knew there were so many defense contractors feeding at the public trough. Take a look at this:
Now we know why there isn’t any money left over for infrastructure, jobs, and the like….it is being siphoned off by these corporations, and all for war, destruction and chaos in this nation and abroad.
Monica, that link is an eye opener! I for one had no idea that there were so many “pigs at the trough”! So many of them are foreign countries too. Outsourcing is bad enough but to outsource defense spending is worse.
Thanks for the link, Monica.
You’re welcome Nirek, looking at the vast number of “pigs” that are usurping our tax dollars through war and aggression, it is evident that the New World Order concept is in full swing.
Racial harmony in Ferguson wasn’t suddenly shattered by the killing
of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, last Saturday.
For those still following this thread, I think you’ll find the article linked below very revealing, although not surprising. It’s from The Atlantic and is called “The Roots of Violence in Ferguson Run Deep”:
I read this article in the Atlantic. It covers a lot of what we have already covered here on PlanetPOV. The entire article is eye opening. Even Captain Johnson, a member of the State Police acknowledges the fact that racial profiling is being carried out in Ferguson and other cities and counties in the state. If the police know this and are doing absolutely nothing about it, how can the people possibly fight it?
Profiling is not only a racist part of what the police do, it is also a systemic manner in which the government continues to steal wealth from minorities. They fine them, with traffic tickets, and any other charge they can place on them and take their hard earned money whether they are guilty of the crime or not. If they can’t pay the fine, they jail them causing them problems with their employment which again causes financial problems for them and their families. This by the way not only happens in Ferguson, it happens throughout the country. I guess we can call it a part of the New Jim Crow.
Exactly right, monicaangela, and that’s why in a couple of my other posts here I wrote I live about 9 miles as the St. Louis JIM Crow flies from the spot Michael Brown was shot to death.
It’s not only about race, it’s also about power. I was raised in Los Angeles. I remember well the Watt’s riots and Rodney King. The 4 white police acquitted of all charges.
Then along comes Occupy. Mostly white people being treated with disrespect, tear gas. Huge military equipment. Tearing down of tents and many being arrested,
We in California are certainly not the South but, we also have all the latest military equipment. It’s about power. The police have the power and will use that power against anyone and they do it with a gleam in their eyes.
UC Davis students were pepper sprayed by police while sitting on the ground protesting.
I may be wrong since I have never lived in the South or visited any states in the South or Missouri for that matter.
If you combine power and a racist this is what happened in MO.
You know what you’re talking about, CAdawn, and the
combination of unchecked power and a racist attitude
is a sure recipe for disaster.
You know the solution to this and many other problems in America today is to have good paying jobs and a livable wage as a minimum wage. There would be no need for good decent people to have to resort to shoplifting or stealing. Thus there would be little crime and little need for police brutality.
The police could be “officer friendly” and help and serve the citizens.
Pie in the sky? Maybe. But we still need a job for everyone who wants one and decent pay for the work provided.
This just doesn’t seem like the America I believe in. Police shooting people just because of their skin color? WRONG!
According to the Martha’s Vineyard Times, here is a list of the things Joelle O’Reilly-Hyland, who is a millionaire, stole:
A $36 necklace from a surf shop.
A $96 embroidered shirt from the same surf shop.
A cashmere sweater with a fox embroidered on it. The exact price of this item is not given, but we’ll lowball it at $118 since O’Reilly-Hyland was charged with “larceny of goods valued at more than $250.” Also “wanton destruction of property” because she damaged the sweater when she removed its electronic anti-theft tag. You may be wondering how she can be charged for destroying her own sweater. Remember: it was only her sweater because she stole it.
O’Reilly-Hyland and her husband are managing partners at “an independent investment boutique,” which is rich people talk for “a thing.” In 2009, they listed their Manhattan townhouse for $19 million, though it only sold for a paltry $10 million, barely enough to cover one surf shop necklace.
And the cops didn’t shoot her? Slackers!
Good thing they didn’t, she or the members of her family would have sued the pants off of them after claiming she was a kleptomaniac and not responsible for her actions…with millions they would have won their suit…in this nation, money talks…she would have been handled with kid gloves, and her case probably never would have come before a judge let alone police officers shooting her for her actions. 🙂
More money than brains, huh Monica?
I posted that to assure you that stealing has almost nothing to do with good paying jobs or being poor. There are millions of poor people who do not steal.
Stealing becomes an issue when the person doing the stealing is old enough to know better. Sometimes children under the age of five take objects that interest them, not yet understanding that stealing is wrong. They might not have enough self-control to resist taking something they want.
For those old enough to know better, there are several reasons for stealing. Stealing may be caused by jealousy, low self-esteem, or peer-pressure. Social issues like feeling excluded or overlooked can also cause stealing. People may steal to prove their independence, to act out against family or friends, or because they do not respect others or themselves,
Sometimes, stealing is a compulsive disorder. This is called kleptomania. In other cases, a person may have come to believe that stealing is socially acceptable. Some people steal as a means to survive due to economic hardship. Others simply enjoy the rush of stealing, or steal to fill an emotional or physical void in their lives.
I just read this, and it goes a long way in explaining why a Ferguson
cop thought saying “Get the fuck on the sidewalk!” was the appropriate
and respectful way to speak to anyone, thus setting off the most violent, destructive and completely avoidable incident in the city’s 120 year history.
It is the horrific story of how other Ferguson so-called “police officers” arrested an innocent black man and then brutally attacked him: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/15/the-day-ferguson-cops-were-caught-in-a-bloody-lie.html
Ferguson’s motto, believe it or not, is “Proud Past. Promising Future.” Ferguson has a lot of work to do and fast if it wants to have any future at ALL!
This is a truly shocking and very revealing story, NoMan! Thanks so much for getting this link out there. I also put it in our Twitter feed. It needs to be widely circulated.
You’re welcome, kesmarn. A wider knowledge
of the truth about the Ferguson Police Department’s dishonorable past may force it to clean up its act and ultimately become one the black citizens of Ferguson can respect rather than fear and hate.
Incidentally, I live about 14 road miles, but only
about 9 miles as the St. Louis JIM crow flies, from
where Michael Brown was killed Saturday — not as a completely law-abiding teenager it now
seems, but gunned down as an alleged suspect in a convenience store robbery.
But regardless of how the ugly event finally plays
out, it’s hard to believe Officer Darren Wilson had to kill Michael Brown to apprehend him. What he did adds no luster to the reputation of the police department or city of Ferguson.
Now more than ever Missouri is no longer the “Show-Me” State. Unless it can do better,
it deserves to be called the “Shame-On-Me” State.
According to the news, the police officer that stopped Michael Brown did not stop him because of that incident that plastered all over the TV before naming the officer that killed him.
I am so glad you are here with more information regarding this incident and as someone who lives in the area or near the area, I’m sure you know about the conduct or should I say misconduct of the police there. According to reports, this tension has been percolating for years now. The lid is off the pot now, so hopefully the good people of Ferguson, of Missouri, will not allow this to fade away.
The return of Justice for the citizens of this nation should begin here, we should all demand it. And, the citizens of Ferguson should get together and petition the government for redress involving the abuse of their civil rights. The citizens of Ferguson, every one of them who had to endure the militarization of their community should bring a civil suit against the police department that sent that attack on their community.
Thanks, monicaangela, and I
agree with your thoughts and
If you haven’t followed the link
I gave (in my post currently at
the top of this page) about the
Ferguson P.D.’s sorry record,
here it is again:
But be warned. It will make
your blood boil!
Awful…simply awful. What we need in this nation is what they have in New Zeeland.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) is an independent body that considers complaints against the New Zealand Police and oversees their conduct. It derives its responsibility from the Independent Police Conduct Authority Act. Under section 12.1 of the Act, the Authority’s functions are to receive complaints about the police employees, practice, policy, or procedure; investigate those complaints and make recommendations based on those investigations.
The Authority also monitors conditions of detention and treatment of detainees in Police custody. In this respect, the IPCA is one of several ‘national preventive mechanisms’ designated in 2007 under an amendment to the Crimes of Torture Act.
I didn’t realize you were that close to the scene, NoMan. You certainly will provide a unique and valuable perspective on this as things play out.
I’m beginning to wonder if Missouri will begin to be known as the “Don’t Shoot” state.
This whole situation deserves a thorough investigation and clean-up by the Feds!
NoMan, I can’t think of a good reason to excuse the action of those officers. There is no reason to beat on anyone, and certainly no good reason to shoot a young man with his hands in the air! They need to show respect before they can expect to get respect. In my opinion.
You’re absolutely correct, Nirek. Every decent human
being should learn, and most especially officers of the
law who are sworn “To serve and protect” must learn, “to show respect before they can get respect.”
Unfortunately many of the cowardly clown cops of
Ferguson and the St. Louis County Police didn’t know
this, and their incompetent commanders are ultimately responsible for the excessive use of force and the resulting escalation of trouble.
Exceptionally well said, AdLib — even for you!
In Ferguson, Missouri, we’ve just seen the collision and violent
combustion of two huge problems in the United States — outrageous racial suppression and runaway militarization of local police forces.
You wrote “Justify it…excuse the beating, suffocation and shooting of American citizens who were just walking and harming no
one…the very people they are supposed to be protecting…unless
police have a more black and white definition of who they are supposed to protect and who they aren’t.”
Unfortunately, far too many police DO have a “…more black and white white definition of who they are supposed to protect and who they aren’t!”
Consciously or not, you’ve identified the grave problem in a nutshell: White racist police believe they are supposed to protect white people and not protect black people. Even worse, they think it’s open season on black people and consciously look for ways to harm them.
This is a rather dismal prescription for racial harmony, not to mention equal justice under law.
Thanks NoMan, very appreciated!
Yes, that’s exactly what I intended when I wrote “black and white definition”, police there and in many cities do indeed seem to think that the phrase “Protect and Serve” only applies to white residents and “Potential Suspect” applies to all black residents.
I remember a story a few weeks ago about Klansmen being removed from a southern city’s police force. What a surprise.
NoMan, since you are near the scene, can you shed some light on whether this is a festering of the “old south” and “rebels” type feelings on the part of the “police” or is it something else? How dense is the population in Ferguson?
If what you say is true and I have no reason to doubt it, then it sounds like the civil war all over again.
Oh boy, Nirek, I can shed a LOT of light for you and
will start here and now.
Although Missouri was a very southern-leaning border state in the Civil War, it was largely the influence of great numbers of German immigrants fleeing oppression in their native country who helped keep Missouri on the Union side in the war.
Most people don’t know it, but Missouri saw the 2nd greatest number of battles of all the states — mostly small scale engagements and fierce guerilla skirmishes — but some major battles, too; and the scars of the Civil War are, 150 years later, still as raw to some in this state as they are in many states of the deep south.
It’s not the Civil War all over again. In a number of ways it’s as if the Civil War had never stopped. Many Missourians regard blacks as inferior and wish they were still slaves. I could go on, but I think you may already be getting a clearer picture of the consequences of unresolved issues between the races in St. Louis and much of the rest of Missouri.
Of course the racial problems of Ferguson are mirrored in many other cities in many other states that didn’t even exist as states during the Civil War. Missouri’s dark past isn’t completely responsible for the current crisis, but it hasn’t
helped it, either.
But despite these problems, the city of St. Louis is a center of liberal political thought and the bastion of the Democratic Party in the state.
At the same time, St. Louis remains the 9th most
segregated city in the U.S. Ferguson is about 12 miles from St. Louis, with a few other contiguous cities in between.
Ferguson was settled around 1855 and was incorporated as a city in 1894. It was mostly white for much of its history but now is about 73% black and 25% white. This notwithstanding, it has a white mayor and a white police chief, with 50 white police officers and 3 black officers.
The chief has tried to hire more black officers, but fewer blacks than whites want to be police officers and Ferguson, like most other cities in St. Louis County can’t offer the salaries of the St. Louis City and the St. Louis County Police forces. The city and county, therefore, get most of the black recruits.
Ferguson covers 6.19 square miles. The estimated population in 2012 was 21,135, and the population density is 3,400/square mile (I
didn’t actually know these figures — I just
looked them up!).
This is just the briefest of overviews, but I hope
it helps you. But as the devil is in the details, there are a lot more details that would give you more insight into how Ferguson blundered into a totally preventable catastrophe.
NoMan, thanks for the reply. Your insight is valuable to me as you are there. I am trying to understand more clearly what is happening in my own country.
This helps me , thanks again.
You’re welcome, Nirek. I’m always
glad to help when I can.
Thinking back on it, my short
history of Ferguson’s and
Missouri’s racial difficulties is
perhaps a little over-simplified
and overdrawn to keep it at a
reasonable length. But it
remains basically accurate,
What I didn’t say and should
have mentioned is that there
are legions of progressive
Missourians — including socially
liberal, traditional Republicans —
who devote much time and energy
to advancing the cause of full
equality under law for ALL
minorities, while also trying to
liberate the racist reactionaries
from the chains that keep THEM
yearning to live in an idealized
fantasy world of pre-Civil War
bliss that never was.
We aren’t where we should be
yet. But even given the huge
setback in Ferguson last
Saturday, we have made
significant progress over the
years and will make more —
despite the efforts of the
Cracked Teapot Party-
controlled Missouri State
Legislature to trash our
state in its demented race
to the bottom!
NoMan, I’ve never been to MO. I plan to stay where I am and have been all my life except for the military bases my Dad brought us to. And of course my own army days.
I’m learning more here than the schools ever taught me about our history. Too bad the schools don’t teach history that is real and civics. That is one thing I was taught, civics. It has guided me throughout my life. Voting is a civic duty as well as privilege, IMO.