Another Unarmed Black Teen Shot by Militarized Police
Where have all the good cops gone? On Saturday, 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer. Brown’s death has sparked considerable outrage in Ferguson, with protests and riots breaking out all weekend long, and continuing today.
While a lot is still unknown about the circumstances of the shooting, we do know that Brown was initially stopped by police for walking in the middle of a road. And, in an interview with KTVI, Dorin Johnson, who was with Brown at the time of the shooting, said that, “A police officer squad car pulled up. And when he pulled up, these was his exact words, he said, ‘Get the f*ck on the sidewalk.’ And we told the officer we was not but a minute away from our destination, and we would surely be out of the street.”
Another eyewitness, Piaget Crenshaw, said that Brown had put his hands in the air to let police know he was unarmed and did not pose a threat. While the investigation to determine what exactly happened between the time Brown was first confronted by the officers and the shooting continues, it looks like this tragedy could be another instance of police brutality in America, and part of a trend that is growing like wildfire.
On July 17th, 43-year-old Eric Garner lost his life after being confronted by NYPD officers in Staten Island, New York for allegedly selling cigarettes illegally. When initially confronted by the officers, Garner told them not to touch him. Then, just moments later, video shows a NYPD officer grabbing Garner, putting him in a chokehold, throwing him to the ground, and rolling him on his stomach.
It’s important to point out that chokeholds are banned as police tactics under NYPD rules. In the video, you can hear Garner’s muffled voiced screaming “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” Moments later, Garner was dead.
The New York City medical examiner’s office ruled that Garner’s death was directly caused by the police chokehold, saying the exact cause was, “compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.”
And, in a video posted to YouTube just three days before Eric Garner’s death, NYPD officers can again be seen using a chokehold on a man who allegedly skipped paying his subway fare, a completely non-violent crime. The officers can also be seen punching 22-year-old Ronald Johns in the face, and spraying him with pepper spray.
Meanwhile, earlier in July, video surfaced of a California highway patrol officer brutally punching a homeless woman on the side of a busy Los Angeles freeway. According to the officer, the woman was walking barefoot on the freeway, and refused to stop walking on the freeway.
In the video, the police officer can be seen tackling the woman, pinning her down, and repeatedly punching her in the face as she tried to protect herself. California Highway Patrol is continuing to investigate the incident, and has claimed that despite the video evidence, the woman suffered no injuries.
In 2011, the California Highway Patrol almost beat a truck driver to death just for asking about a traffic ticket, and last year, it had to pay out $250,000 in a lawsuit settlement for hogtying and kneeing a pregnant woman who was on her cell phone while driving.
It seems like every week, a new video is being posted to the Internet of police officers across the country actively engaging in police brutality.
That brutality needs to stop, and it needs to stop now.
Fortunately, we can accomplish that in a number of ways. First, we need to pay our police officers better, and then raise hiring standards. They put their lives on the line each and every day, yet all across the country, they’re drastically underpaid and poorly trained or supervised.
Second, we need to work on stopping police departments from stocking up on military-style weaponry, and relying heavily on hyper-militarized SWAT teams. Local police forces aren’t supposed to be mini-armies. We have the National Guard for that.
And finally, we need to bring back and increase funding to community policing programs, like those that were introduced by the Clinton administration back in 1994 and put 100,000 cops on the streets - on foot.
The federal Community Oriented Policing Services program provides resources for local police forces across America, and is intended to help those forces get out of their cars and then become more involved in their communities.
Unfortunately, funding for community policing in America has seen a steady decline since the COPS program was first introduced. In 2010, $792 million was allotted in the form of federal grants under the COPS program for local police forces across the country; By 2012, that number had shrunken to just $199 million.
From New York to Los Angeles to Ferguson, Missouri, America’s police forces are being increasingly viewed as violent occupying armies, and it’s time to change that.
It’s time to bring the good cops back.
Congrats on the new website design. Another new thing to adjust to at my advanced age. Things started downhill back when Reagan took us off crank handle telephones, by cracky!
If I enter something on the blog the new message count goes away.
Increasingly violent police officers are a sympton of an increasingly paranoid society, which is itself a characteristic of the "Caged Rat Syndrome", which is a symptom of overpopulation.
Sadly, as our population continues to explode, things are just going to get worse.
There will never be an end to human cruelty nor will there be peace on Earth until the human race has finally exterminated itself.
Anyone up for a good old fashioned Global Nuclear War, with a little biological and chemical warfare on the side?
Thom is right. However, I don't think any of this is new. I think that because of the advent of personal communication devices with video cameras built in that we are now capturing it as evidence. For decades now black Americans have told us repeatedly about how they have been mistreated by law enforcement. It's easy to discount those stories as hearsay; however, when there is an active video of the incident that isn't so easy anymore.
Here in my city the police force has been cut to a skeleton crew. We've actually been told that if it isn't a life threatening emergency best to file the report ourselves on line because an officer may never even be dispatched. Not only is such a situation a hay day for real criminals it also stretches the ability of the officers that are still employed very thin. That added stress creates an ideal environment to cause someone to overreact.
We have a definite problem in this country with law enforcement and police brutality. I think the solutions that Thom talks about are the ones that will best solve this problem. He has my full support.
Thom, I believe that in some jurisdictions, at least some of the COPS money is used to pay "certified police informants" instead of paying for patrolmen to walk the streets. These informants are recruited from the recently paroled or those on probation. Their sometimes questionable testimony is rarely needed because the defendants plead Guilty to a lesser charge because the defendants can rarely afford proper legal counsel.
stecoop01, you may be correct about the 'caged rat syndrome'. But I think that ALL police officers accused of using excessive force should be given drug tests for steroids. 'Roid Rage' might be behind all the police rage and excessive force, but we may never know if our sworn officers are not tested for anabolic steroids. They are surely exhibiting the symptoms.
For once, I disagree with you, Thom. I think it is a liability issue. We need to treat police equally as citizens, and use investigations that are not run by his fellow workers, but by neutral third parties. Even in this age, no one is willing to cross the thin blue line, and we allow this to continue to happen by letting so many officers get away with previous infractions with a system where their buddies help them out in order to save face for the department as a whole.
This might be off topic; but, we lost a legend today. Robin Williams died at the age of 63. Possibly a suicide due to a severe bout with manic depression. He will be sorely missed.
Quote catman306: stecoop01, you may be correct about the 'caged rat syndrome'. But I think that ALL police officers accused of using excessive force should be given drug tests for steroids. 'Roid Rage' might be behind all the police rage and excessive force, but we may never know if our sworn officers are not tested for anabolic steroids. They are surely exhibiting the symptoms.
catman306 ~ Well said! I agree!
Never assume the Popo won't shoot you for just being you.
Even the mids are at risk today as evidenced by by the incarceration of Cecily McMillan and the death of Bangkok Museum Director Roxanna Brown in the Federal Detention facility near Seattle. Pulled out of an academic conference in Seattle and jailed without bail under dubious charges, she was denied medical care and died an agonizing death in her cell. Federal authorities denied any wrong doing until suddenly giving her Thai son an $880,000 settlement.
Robin Williams was greater than just TV and movies. Here he's doing stand-up comedy in the tradition of George Carlin.
Weapons of Self Destruction - Robin Williams
DAnneMarc: That is really terrible news! I really liked Robin Williams. This is the first I have heard about it. Wow! Only 63...who would have thought that Robin Williams, as funny as he was, was depressed. I think he lived in San Francisco. Maybe he had other places too, I don't know. Thanks for telling us about that!
I'd bet that many of those people, who were abused by police, probably partly brought it on to themselves by sassing or arguing with the police or not immediately following their orders. But, that is usually something you never hear about. I know some people can be real impossible nags and argumentative and totally disrespectful and it shows. The police should be chosen and trained to react in a manner that does not put people in danger, for sure, even if people react in a verbally abusive manner. But I don't think many cops will stand for verbal abuse or argumentative people. If people were smart, they'd show absolute respect and subservience to the people who have the ability to kill you if you piss them off...because they just might do just that. Take it up later in a court of law with a lawyer if it is that important to you. When ever I have been stopped for a traffic violation, I have always been courteous and responded "Yes, Sir" or "No, Sir" and the police have never been discourteous to me.
Yes and No should be sufficient. No matter what is "said" to a police officer, there is no excuse for physical abuse. If there is a law violated the suspect can be arrested and the courts can decide if punishment is in order. Never heard of a judge that sentenced anyone to a beating or death by a policeman.
RogerH: I definitely agree with you.."No matter what is 'said' to a police officer, there is no excuse for physical abuse"...Well, there are exceptions though...the person could say: "I'm wearing a bomb and I will kill us all! " I think that is cause to do something drastically physical. If the person claiming such a thing indicates that he could be a threat to anyone...they have the right to defend and protect not only others but themselves. "Never heard of a judge that sentenced anyone to a beating or death by a policeman". I think it would be very rare unless the community really gets ticked off and demonstrates...then the police chief all the way up to the mayor, or beyond, is getting pressure put on them to administer justice.
Palin, am I right in assuming you are not a person of color? My own experience with police has been very similar to yours. But if we are both white, then neither of us can assume our experiences would match those of a black person or any person of color; especially if that person is young and male. Most of these unwarranted shootings, fatal chokeholds, etc. I've been hearing about involve young nonwhite men. - AIW
I noticed that in the Community blogs that the reply to and the #numbers are working correctly. Just thought I'd try to click on "reply" to see what happens. I just clicked on "reply" from a previous DAnneMarc comment and it looks like it doesn't magically make the numbers appear...oh, well, I tried. They do work, like I said, in the Community blogs. Maybe the site administrator will get around to making it work here as well. I suppose we should all try to be a little patient...change sometimes takes time to work out all the bugs.
Palindromedary ~ Police have a number of weapons other than guns at their disposal. They have batons, pepper spray, stun guns and tasers. They are equipped with radios and capable of calling for backup at a moments notice. All have been trained in self defense; and, many have a military background. When a policeman reaches for a gun there can only be one reason, a direct threat to to his life. Society has so equipped police officers with non lethal weapons because we don't want them to use their guns. Whenever a policeman kills a civilian the burden of proof falls on that officer to justify the use of such force. Use of any unjustifiable force is never acceptable when you have the ability to incapacitate with a stun and then handcuff. Reaching for a gun against an unarmed jay walker is a criminal offense and that officer deserves to be treated as a criminal. He should have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he didn't commit a crime. I really don't care what was said or how that young man acted. Walking down the middle of a street simply is not reason, justification, or probable cause to suspect anything dangerous enough by an officer in a moving vehicle to justify overreacting with deadly force.
Aliceinwonderland: You assume correctly. I'm just a WASA (white anglo-saxon atheist) and you may be right and because of that, I see things slanted from my experiences based on that fact. But, I've gotta tell ya' I've seen and heard some Black women and men raising all kinds of hell with policemen (and it is not always Blacks...it is White and Browns and Reds and Yellows as well) when they are accosted by them...kicking and screaming and clawing. They don't act civil but expect the police to be civil to them? Then, there are people who try to provoke an incident with the police in hopes that they could sue them later. Yes, there are people like that!
Many people cause their own problems and make things a lot worse for themselves just because of their big, sassy mouths with no sense. Anyone with good sense should know that having a big mouth, often accompanied with resisting physical and threatening actions, will only get themselves into a whole lot of trouble. Most people will have the good sense not to argue with and try to resist a person with a gun who is trying to rob them. They know that they could very well be killed. So, is it with the police. And the problem is getting worse. So, if people want to avoid being murdered, or just roughed up, they should just try to be as 'civil', and not sass or argue with the cops...and however much it hurts, and is seemingly demeaning, respond respectfully to those you don't feel respectful to. It could keep you from being roughed up or killed. You are not going to be able to talk police out of what they have a mind to do. You can't talk them out of a traffic ticket...don't even try. Just take the ticket and either pay it or go to court. Same thing with everything else...you can't reason with wild animals that can tear you to shreds if they think they have a reason to...don't give them a reason and you might survive.
Civil disobedience is different in that you are not the only one, you are with hundreds or thousands of protestors all resisting in like manner, and are likely being filmed. In participating in such actions, you should fully be aware and expect that you might be roughed up, maybe even killed. Once arrested and carted off away from the crowd, it would be a very good idea to morph back into a compliant arrestee because you might end up being very roughly treated, maybe even killed, and it probably wouldn't be recorded for evidence. And the police would do to you in private what they may not do to you in public.
DAnneMarc: And I certainly agree with you on all that you have said. All I am saying is that people need to smarten up and see the rattlesnake in the grass. If you persist in the direction of the snake you are going to be bit. My understanding of that guy walking down the middle of the street was that he argued with the police and refused to obey them when they ordered him to get out of the middle of the street. The police had no right to do what they did. But if the guy had been smart...he would have immediately said "Yes, Sir" and immediately complied. Things would be a whole lot better for him now if he had. Things would be a lot better for a great many people had they immediately complied and, at least, faked an air of respect.
Palin, there is probably some truth to your generalization about people with sassy mouths. However I agree with Marc; there's no excuse for lethal force against a sassy mouth, or a jaywalker with a belligerant attitude. The kinds of behavior you've just described might be provocative and unpleasant but they are not life-threatening. Most of those behaviors would not even justify a tazer or a stun gun. And you seem to be ignoring the fact that in many of these incidents, the police officer's aggression was without provocation. Remember stop-and-frisk in New York City, used primarily against young black and Latino men? That is fucking bullshit. And we've see these thugs-in-uniform assaulting peaceful protesters enough times to be certain whose interests they are protecting.
Having such dangerous unprofessionals "serving" within the ranks of law enforcement creates a fascist, hair-trigger sort of environment where being confronted by the police is no better than being confronted by an armed bandit.
I'm not going to deny your points about people's behavior towards police officers, Palin. But that's what goes with the territory if you're a police officer. They should deal with obnoxious individuals in a professional manner; maybe even arrest them and cart 'em off to the county jail if the situation warrants it! But under no circumstances, save for life-threatening ones, should lethal force ever be used.
Witnesses said that unarmed teenager killed last Saturday was holding both arms up when he was shot. This kind of bullshit is intolerable, and we as a society should not stand for it. - Aliceinwonderland
Off topic, but: Compare the movies "In Bruges" (2008) with "Calvary" (2014). Brenden Gleeson stars in both...in the first (In Bruges), he's a hit man sent to kill a pedophile Priest but is totally conflicted because he had previously, accidentally, killed a choir boy in killing a prior pedophile priest; and in the second (Calvary), a non-pedophile Priest (Gleeson) told by one of his parishioners in the confession booth that because the parishioner had been molested by a pedophile priest as a young boy and the priest had already died that he would shock people by killing a non-pedophile priest....him. The movie introduces various odd characters and tries to keep you guessing who the would-be killer is. The language and imagery may be shocking to some people.
No. Not a growing trend. It's been going on for some time. Now America's short attention span is captivated over what looks like a trend? (I'm paraphrasing. I love your show) No way. If you think this is trend, then you're one of those folks that's been turning away whenever something like this pops up. Remember Rodney King? People forget just how far America is willing to go when it comes to police overstepping their authority. I can see this officer speaking to a total stranger this way. In a provacative way designed to provoke rather than mediate. As a former dispatcher, I can tell you that the evening shift is usually the most activity prone. The busiest of shifts. I for one do not like seeing our police officers dressed as though they were an occupying force instead of one that protects. If you have to dress up this way, call the national guard. And swat teams that wear ski masks? Why? Customer service is of utmost priority to officers while on patrol. It will save them. The community as does a person, responds better when treated as an adult, not a degenerate. I urge Americans to use their video cameras more often because this spotlight on law enforcement will rapidly dissipate. Let us not go overboard. The police do serve a valuable purpose.
I live in James City County, VA which is home to both the CIA training facility and high ranking retired military. The police here will lie on reports to protect both groups and anyone associated with them. Corruption is rampid, but because of the government connections, even the Obama Administation will not do anything. I had my home broken into, all of my things taken and so far have had to spend over $20,000, borrowing over 17.000, out of pocket to repair the damage they caused, and it still isn't all fixed. The police wrote in the reports that I did the damage myself, and I am insane, even though I was out of the country for 2 years at the time and the neighbors continually called the police about the people who illegally took up residence here. I even got a guilty plea out of one of them, but the police still refuse to press charges against them. One man's father got money for CIA ops. I have a notebook that was left here that proves it. I live on 889 a month, and the county is happy to screw me because of the connections of the parents of these young adults.
Petite, stories like yours make me crazy. I don't know how folks like you, subjected to such abusive neglect from our '"justice" system", manage to keep their sanity. As if the burglary wasn't bad enough... - AIW
DAM -- In CA this is a result of the omnivore created 36 years ago. AKA, Prop 13.
Quote gopherindian:No. Not a growing trend. It's been going on for some time. Now America's short attention span is captivated over what looks like a trend?
gopherindian ~ Well said! I agree! Typical Americans will do anything to deny situations that they find appalling when there is little easy recourse to do anything about it. Especially if it doesn't directly affect them. Of course, that denial becomes very difficult when the evidence is staring you in the face via a video recording. Yet, even then, I've seen extraordinary efforts spent at denial by some. In the famous Oakland BART shooting of Oscar Grant I've seen some people go out of their way to deny what they saw. "He pulled the trigger by accident. You could tell by his reaction." I heard. "Why was he aiming a loaded gun at an unarmed teenager lying prone on the ground with three police officers holding him down?" I'd ask. Silence.
Fortunately, that is a rare reaction of denial that I've noticed. Far from the general mean. Most people are horrified and outraged beyond belief. However, this reaction goes to show just how far some people will go to deny even their own eyes. This "trend" is more of a trend of realization than anything else. It is a profound revelation of what really goes on in our streets behind most people's backs. It is not a trend of behavior or circumstance in the minority community. There this is the norm. This is a trend of realization in the white community; and, it is a long time coming. Like you, in the long run, I certainly hope shock and realization win out over denial and rationalization. If anything positive is to come of these tragedies, it would be the widespread acknowledgement by our society that this problem exists; and, needs to be addressed and resolved. Serious steps need to be taken by law enforcement organizations, our government, and justice department to prevent such senselessly harsh encounters with police in the future; and, what we might be seeing for the first time is the beginning of such a movement that will accomplish just that. Equal treatment under the law for all. It is a shame that so many had to sacrifice so much to obtain so little.
gopherindian re #279688 -- I am replying with respect to your growing trend analysis. I think a key cause of this society ill, cops using excessive force, as well as many others is due to growing economic inequality. This inequality started growing as reaganomics took root. The Rodney King beating took place after this inequality started. The inequality continues to worsen. The ability of citizens to use video recorders has certainly increased our awareness of the problem. I think the number of incidents is also growing.
Petite fighter: Are you referring to Camp Peary in York County (but some of the 9,000-10,000 acres does reach up a little into James City County)? It is also known as "The Farm" where the CIA, DIA and the Navy share the facillity. They currently call it STC (Special Training Center). They deny it but it has been believed to be a training center for teaching how to torture people. The mile long airport is believed to have been one of the places where Air America smuggled in drugs during the Vietnam War.
Chris Rock (a black Canadian commedian) will show you what NOT to do when stopped by the police. Funny man with some good sense.
Chris Rock - How not to get your ass kicked by the police!
Wrote this comment on our local News Facebook Page. Tag- I'm it.......
"Another Unarmed Black Teen Shot by Militarized Police" (Hartmann).
Amazingly, while crime is lower than it has been in 30 years (Wikipedia, Richard Davis-Desert News, Christian Science Monitor) how is it possible that the LVMP needs more police officers? Meanwhile the police Shoot first and investigate later, refuse to attend car accidents, mistreat and abuse citizens, especially the poor. Itseems the only citizens who have rights are those who have the financial means to enforce their own rights as the poor can not and the police know it! Unfortunately, the police need a big reminder that WE are citizens in terribly tough economic times caused by those who will never know the suffering they caused because the police do not arrest white collar crimes and the Justice Department will not prosecute them. Where is the "Protect and Serve" within domestic policing?
According to Radley Balko of The Huffington Post: "A Decade After 9/11, Police Departments Are Increasingly Militarized".
Citizens are not terrorists! "The problem with mingling domestic policing with military operations is that the two institutions have starkly different missions" (Balko).
Meanwhile the Children’s Defense Fund, Cradle to Prison Pipeline® Fact sheet for Nevada declare that: "The States spend about 2.8 times as much money per prisoner as per public school pupil. Unless we focus our efforts on early intervention and prevention, rather than punishment, we are robbing thousands of youths each year of their futures and our country of vital human resources."
Citizens/Parents do their part by working and raising families while severe social resources have been drastically cut. Until social services are reinstated and schools produce High School Graduates at 1980 rates those who dwell behind guarded gates will not be able to hide or run far enough.
Our citizenry deserves social services that support families in a dignified and respectful manner. As the State and National levels we know how to provide strong communities for ALL and not just those in gated communities.
The entertainment news in place of real news goes against what our country is founded upon and scaring citizens to believe we need more police at a time crime is lower than it has been in thirty years is disgusting.
United We Stand -
Divided we Fall.
catman306 ~ Thanks for the link to that video. It was hilarious; and, so true. Very good advice as well!
catman306: Yes, that was funny and true. I guess Chris Rock says it so much better than I ever did.
I knew a retired African-American cop in Chicago (Chicago's police department today is kind of a model of professionalism, they're like uniformed social workers. Mayor Richard M. Daley, as much as I didn't like him for his gentrified mind, Walmart, etc., was always trying to show that he wasn't "your father's Mayor Daley" and one of the things he did was to professionalize the police department. He got their pay increased and required four years of college to get on tthe force. When the Democratic National Convention came back to Chicago in 1996 he showcased this new police department. - of course, I'm white so my experience with the C.P.D. might be better but even I remember what ignorant pigs they used to be.). He was an old timer and he described to me once an instance where his partner arrested someone who wasn't violating any statute just for fun as she was walking out of the grocery store with a bag full of groceries. He said he disapproved of his partner's act but didn't dare give him any trouble because he might have to depend on him in a life or death spot.
That and things like the rule against fraternizing with the public (so they wouldn't hesitate to arrest anyone who violates the law) made the mentality of "brothers in blue" against the world that makes investigating them so hard.
And yet another black man shot today, Wed, in L.A.
catman306 ~ Thanks for the heads up on that story. Unarmed and shot multiple times in the back while lying face down? You have got to be kidding me. This warrants a federal investigation. I'm tired of the rats guarding the cheese. I just don't trust a Police Chief or a District Attorney to investigate crimes occurring under their own jurisdiction. It's simply too damn likely that the orders to commit these crimes originated in one or both of these offices. I say, let the FBI take over this investigation and let the US Justice Department review and rule in it.
Cold blooded murder pure and simple!
There should never be a reason to shoot someone face down on the pavement like that if they are unarmed. Most of these beatings and murders by the cops are done while several cops have the suspect pinned down. It's just plain murder!!!
(What Would Billionaires Want?)
In the best tradition of 'Divide and Conquer' they'd probably prefer a violent race war as opposed to a violent class war.
Since the feds, state and most of the local governments ultimately do the bidding of the super rich, what we are seeing is happening with the blessings of the billionaires.
If, for instance, there is a great deal of property insurance that will be paid out in that area there will probably be no more violence in Ferguson. That violence will be generated somewhere else in that case. Police can shoot unarmed black young people anywhere.
But widespread racially motivated violence removes a great deal of pressure for billionaires from:
the climate change political and technological issues
the fossil fuel industries
and generally from any changes to the 'status quo' way of American Business.
Any casualty of a race war will probably not be a participant in a class war.
As a resident of St. Louis I am both appauled and saddened by the events of this week. Still, how everyone should interpret these events is a matter of perspective:
The Perspective of the African Americans in St. Louis: Just another case of an unarmed young man, minding his own business, and assassinated by a white police officer in broad daylight. After what happened in Florida with Trevon Martin, just another case of dehumization of the African Americans in this country, so anger and outrage is not only to be expected but is completely justified. The use of tank like vehicles, tear gas, smoke bombs, rubber bullets, and fully automatic rifles pointed at peaceful marches by the white police force clearly exemplifies the simple fact that their is a continued race problem in this country. The outrage is always there and completely justified.
The Police's Department's Perspective: Just another situation of a cop being assaulted by an African American. The police officer was attacked in his own vehicle, punched multiple times in his face and head by a huge man, requiring the police office to be hospitalized. In response to this immenent threat to his life, the officer fired his weapon and killed the young man. Following the event, Anonymous hacked into the Police Department's data base; personal contact information for all of the police officers in the town were stolen, and threatening phone calls were made to home addresses and cell phones of police officers and their families. Then, the first night of protests resulted in riots, with torching and looting of several local businesses, followed by continued threats to the police officers and their families. Basically, society waged war on the police department. In the following days, the Mayor of this town stated on a radio broadcast that the police chief of the county and the police chief of the town were fired upon while driving near the scenes. Besides, the number one cause of death for an African American male aged 18 to 45 is to be murdered, usually by another African American male. We live in a truly violent society. Everyone has a gun, there is no gun control despite the police department's pleas for tighter gun control laws. The cops are in the middle of a shooting gallery every day they put on the uniform, and all of society is completely terrified. More than 30,000 deaths per year in this country due to gun violence; only countries in active war zones can compare to such statistics. We are at War within the boarders of the US. For these reasons, the police have every right to defend themselves, with armed vehicles, automatic rifles, etc.
A white St. Louis citizen's perspective: Saddness and Outrage at all of it. The real issue is Poverty and Hopelessness in the African American Community, that can boil over with any polorizing event. As an emergency physician who has practiced in multiple cities in the US, this issue is NOT unique to St. Louis. I am completely saddened by the fact that an 18 year old has been killed; still, let the FBI and the Justice Department determine the facts of this shooting with full disclosure to the public. Why did the media automatically assume the complete guilt of a police officer? This was NOT the same situation as Trevon Martin and the facts need to come out to clarify exactly what transpired so that true justice can be served. In the meantime, why does it take the killing of an African American Male by an white police officer to elicit the justifiable outrage? Why is there not outrage every day in the inner cities with number of shootings that occur on a daily basis? Why are the African American leaders not more outraged on a daily basis with fact that the number one cause of death for an African American male is murder by another African American male? The answers are clear to me: these leaders have expressed their outrage for many decades but white, affluent America refuses to listen and instead hides behind their own gated communities and their own guns. Poverty and hopelessness is never seriously addressed, so anger and outrage can boil over at any time. We have to do better as a civilized society with a true social conscience!
rflood321 -- What makes you say the following:
Quote rflood321:Why is there not outrage every day in the inner cities with number of shootings that occur on a daily basis? Why are the African American leaders not more outraged on a daily basis with fact that the number one cause of death for an African American male is murder by another African American male? The answers are clear to me: these leaders have expressed their outrage for many decades but white, affluent America refuses to listen and instead hides behind their own gated communities and their own guns.
I like to blame it on the media entirely.
Agreed, Chuck! But let's not forget who owns the media. And it ain't us. - AIW
AIW -- I blame the billionaires exclusively.
Atta boy Chuck.
Those cigars were hardly a loaf of bread. (re: Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables") Besides, anyone dumb enough to assault a police officer like that is just asking for trouble. It was hardly a Trevon Martin equivalent case. It was hardly an Oscar Grant equivalent case. Brown was a big and strong guy who beat up the officer and tried to get his gun causing it to go off in the car.
It seems to me that people just can't take a hint! We are living in a police state and the Police are no better than NAZIs. Unless you want to be a martyr and have a death wish you had better not risk being sassy to these killers. Yes, Sir! Yes, Sir! What ever you say, Sir! And I think that's the message they are trying to send us. You'd better not challenge authority...especially if that authority is carrying weapons. Not all police are psychos but some of them are. We need to put political pressure on those who hire these people into positions where they can murder people and then, often, get away with a slap on the wrist. These people need to be screened and trained and punished as severely as they would punish any criminal for beating or murdering someone.