Above: Ferguson police spent the evening dropping tear gas containers on reporters to keep news of police repression from getting out. They are unaware of the deadly truthful combination of cell phones, citizens, and twitter.
My fellow American: You live in Ferguson, you just don't know it yet.
BREAKING: Rep. Clay Says St. Louis County Police to be Relieved of Duty #Ferguson
— Derek Wallbank (@dwallbank) August 14, 2014
Some petitions about #Furgeson
"Ferguson police just executed my unarmed son!"
Stop the police abuse. Send the National Guard to Ferguson.
Create a Michael Brown Law requiring police officers to wear cameras and record any interaction with the public at all times.
Please Enact New Federal Laws to Protect Citizens from Police Violence and Misconduct
Tweets about Furgeson
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 14, 2014
— Matthew Nighswander (@mattnighs) August 14, 2014
So, just to be clear, 100% of murders in #Ferguson this year were committed by police officers. These "riots" are state-sponsored terrorism.
— Andrew David Thaler (@SFriedScientist) August 14, 2014
Mike was the FIRST Homicide in #Ferguson this year. Take that in. And it was the POLICE that killed him.
— Reagan Gomez (@ReaganGomez) August 14, 2014
— clydetheslyde (@clydetheslyde) August 14, 2014
— Madhusudan Katti (@leafwarbler) August 14, 2014
the same place you put your hand on when you stood in class to say "Liberty and justice for all" is the place cops are aiming at. #Ferguson
— bethany (@wiIted) August 14, 2014
— auserie chanel (@caliwifi) August 14, 2014
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) August 14, 2014
— Tabitha Henderson (@tabithalou) August 12, 2014
— Rick S (@gratepool) August 14, 2014
— Ahmadiyya Times (@AhmadiyyaTimes) August 14, 2014
— nevena jovanovic✨ (@nevenator_) August 14, 2014
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) August 14, 2014
— Cassidy Moody (@CassFM) August 14, 2014
— Liz Peinado (@LizPeinadoSTL) August 14, 2014
— Celina (@WantingThe5Ds) August 14, 2014
I've been hearing from people who were soldiers in Iraq that our troops in Fallujah had less gear to fight off insurgents than these cops have to deal with noncombatant civilians.
John Legend packed a 10,000 word essay into that tweet: "human. citizen. taxpayer. i'm in my lane, homie."
In one way I feel sorry for the police. There are too many stupid people out there that think the police will protect them and stop crime. They cannot do either, but are blamed repeatedly for not being able to do so. They have a very difficult job.
That being said there is no excuse for this type of behavior. Yes when you are push to become a kind of standing army then this become a lot easier and when the state highers people who are prone to violence, are taught to be violent, and people get angry because you did not stop some minor crime than things will start to escalate.
They need to fire EVERYONE there and start over. And that goes for other places as well.
I wish I could say "here is an easy solution" but there isn't one they have to take the system down, regroup, retrain both the cops and the citizens and start over.
L. Long, good points. I was one of those citizens who helped make the cop's job easier; joined the local S.A.F.E. program, used 911 responsibly, National Night Out, other community support, etc. etc.
Then this crap the cops do started getting worse and worse and worse.
Then one day I called 911 to report a serious crime in process. The cops came in about an hour, shook me down while I was standing in my yard cooking fucking hot dogs. I sent them on their way.
Then, things got even worse, and it became increasingly apparent that calling 911 endangered you and everyone around you.
I think increasingly the citizenry won't help the cops any more and doesn't really care about most of them most of the time. This is a direct result of bad cop behavior, which I believe was on the way to becoming "normal" for a long time but was very quickly advanced by 9/11.
It would also help if cops were not required in many jurisdictions to have sub-normal IQ's.
Have you done an image search on those helmets the Ferguson police are wearing? There's an odd similarity the image search algorithm turns up.
You mean the helmets that look like Nazi helmets?
Eric, the soldiers themselves think that.
One storify from some veterans. The remark at the top says it all.
The general consensus here: if this is militarization, it's the shittiest, least-trained, least professional military in the world
One individual's (very similar) view. Though his paragraph of arithmetic on how many rounds the cops are carrying should give anyone cause to pause. http://pecunium.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/ferguson/
It would also help if cops were not required in many jurisdictions to have sub-normal IQ’s.
I worry less about this than our failure to screen out people who become cops for the wrong reasons, including but not limited to satisfying their need for power trips. Such people just shouldn't be cops, and it seems that our current police forces draw disproportionately from this population.
Adding in military hardware makes this worse. The sort of person who joins a police force for the power trip also likes to play with his toys.
Ideally I'd like cops to be smart and willing to serve the people who pay their salaries. But if I can only have one of the two, I'd rather have the latter.
My sons are both in their 30s. Nearly every kid they went to school with who was a bully, had issues controlling himself or was a hater of some kind has become a cop. It is a license to maraud through the streets and use the billy club, intimidate and harass. Eric @7 has it almost right.
More reasons to be upset: last night police forcibly moved journalists from locations that had been indicated as outside the "no go zone". In at least one case where a journalist was filming activities an officer repeatedly moved the camera lens away from. There are also reports of police covering their faces with bandanas and obscuring their badges, refusing to give their names to journalists.
Is there any research on the effect wearing riot gear has on the attitudes and activities of police? (Does it increase aggressiveness or authoritative behavior?)
Dean, maybe not directly but there is research that indirectly indicates that.
I don't know about you, but it makes me consider buying a couple of assault rifles, some 30 round mags, body armor, etc. That the local police are becoming more and more militarized is very troubling.
There does seem to be pretty good scholarship around the idea that deindividuation is part of the group psychology of police/military uniforms.
I received riot control training two times, in different Army National Guard units. The basic idea was that the rioters are your friends and neighbors caught up in mob insanity. Our job was to break them up into small groups, whereupon they would become sane again and go home. We were not there to inflict pain and injury, or kill anyone. I assume the guard unit which killed friends and neighbors at Kent State had had no trining. According to my training, they did everything wrong.
Not clear how much the police at Ferguson think they re dealing with friends and neighbors.
i reccomend people watch Naomi Wolf - The End of America revisited - New Hampshire Liberty Forum 2014 http://youtu.be/fJSp1skVIkA - it's very appropos to what is going down now.
Jim @14: "Gentlemen, get the thing straight once and for all– the policeman isn't there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder."--Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, 1968. At the time it was considered a gaffe, but now we see that it was actually prophetic.
Well, who is surprised by that? The USA isn't a democracy any more. It's on oligarchy. Face the truth.
Small town out of control.
Self defense is en vouge.
Gun sales soaring
The State fails, again.
I think the police have some justification in lobbing tear gas at the media: the media have shamelessly exploited this situation to whip up riots in order to sell news. They have been responsible for both propagating utter lies about the original incident as well as encouraging anger and violence in response to police doing their job by attempting to impose law and order in a community that obviously needs a lot of it imposed.
Jim Thomerson: Not clear how much the police at Ferguson think they re dealing with friends and neighbors.
They aren't. The population of Ferguson is almost entirely black, the police are white. I doubt most of the police even live in Ferguson. It's certain that they have never interacted with the local populace in a civilian context.
They have been responsible for both propagating utter lies about the original incident as well as encouraging anger and violence in response to police doing their job by attempting to impose law and order in a community that obviously needs a lot of it imposed.
utter lies? Do fill us in on what those are and how you know them to be such. Facts would be best - although with the lack of information from the town, it will turn out you don't have any.
#19 - I didn't know that Fox News interns read this blog.