Developments in Ferguson

Via the NYT, the latest developments in Ferguson, Missouri:

FERGUSON, Mo. — Gov. Jay Nixon lifted a curfew in this embattled city on Monday, hours after deploying the Missouri National Guard, as officials struggle to control unrest that has paralyzed the community since an unarmed black teenager was killed by a white police officer.

The role of the National Guard will be limited, Mr. Nixon said in a statement. Troops will protect the police command center here, which the authorities said came under a coordinated attack on Sunday night.

“With these additional resources in place,” Mr. Nixon said, “the Missouri State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement will continue to respond appropriately to incidents of lawlessness and violence, and protect the civil rights of all peaceful citizens to make their voices heard.”

Also, the cops did a super-fast tox screening and found that Michael Brown had pot in his system, which explains everything because reefer madness?

The NYT also had a piece over the weekend about leadership on the ground in Ferguson, or the lack thereof, and a possible generational split. I’m going to plagiarize and also paraphrase my own comments from the earlier thread because I’m curious about the general take on this:

Article summary: There’s no unified front, and the “community leaders” — older folks, clergy members, etc. — are trying to get people to protest non-violently. Some younger folks are saying screw that, we need to take on the cops directly.

Are the people who are tossing Molotov cocktails and looting opportunists? Or are they just fed up with non-violent tactics that they don’t see as effective and trying to shake things up another way? My guess is both.

Who will prevail? Damned if I know. I can understand the anger driving the younger people, but as a middle-aged, second-generation hippie, I’m pulling for the old guard’s non-violent tactics to prevail because 1) I don’t want to see anyone else die, including cops, and 2) it damn sure won’t be the people with power who will suffer the brunt of an escalation.

It never is the people with the real power who suffer, not unless this is a Bastille moment. And I don’t think it is.

PS: The president spoke. What did he say?

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229 replies
  1. 1
    HinTN says:

    Slowly and surely we are inching toward that Bastille moment. Probably not Ferguson but it’s coming.

  2. 2
    raven says:

    He’s still speaking. Whatever it is it won’t be enough.

  3. 3
    KG says:

    Are the people who are tossing Molotov cocktails and looting opportunists? Or are they just fed up with non-violent tactics that they don’t see as effective and trying to shake things up another way? My guess is both.

    My guess would be more former than later.

  4. 4
    Felinious Wench says:

    Opportunists. I wish the media would quit conflating protestors and looters. I know, I know, I wish I had a unicorn too.

  5. 5
    Violet says:

    Holder is going to Ferguson.

  6. 6
    drkrick says:

    Are the people who are tossing Molotov cocktails and looting opportunists? Or are they just fed up with non-violent tactics that they don’t see as effective and trying to shake things up another way? My guess is both.

    What about the possibility of undercover people providing provocation? There’s a long history of that kind of thing in the US right up to the present day, and they’re pretty damn convenient for those interested in changing the subject.

  7. 7
    Trollhattan says:

    the police command center here, which the authorities said came under a coordinated attack on Sunday night.

    Great, now it’s BenFvckingGhazi.

    “Where was Hillary and what did she know?!?”

  8. 8
    🚸 Martin says:

    Idea: mandatory tox screening for anyone who shoots anyone else. The victim is always screened, the shooter almost never is.

  9. 9
    Mnemosyne says:

    I can’t find the links because I’m at work, but I remember that in the aftermath of Oscar Grant’s shooting in Oakland, the peaceful protesters came up with a way to “box in” some of the potential bad actors after the first night and were able to minimize some of the damage. Unfortunately, in any crowd, there will always be assholes who want to stir things up, especially if emotions are already running high.

    ETA: And if the cops decide to overreact and bring out the rubber bullets for an angry but otherwise peaceful crowd, the troublemakers will find it easier to convince others that they need to respond to violence with violence.

  10. 10
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Violet: That’s good news.

  11. 11
    Betty Cracker says:

    @drkrick: If it were just the Ferguson PD chief running the show, I’d find that more plausible. Captain Johnson strikes me as a stand-up guy. Of course, I used to think that about Tony Blair, so what do I know?

  12. 12
    mai naem mobile says:

    Well, the left wing version of the teabaggers would be talking about police infiltrators throwing the molotov cocktails and be asking for Roy Blunt to resign because his family was making money off the molotov cocktails. Also too, drones and black helicopters.

  13. 13
    raven says:

    @mai naem mobile: Here’s one:

    Pia Glenn @PiaGlenn · 3m
    You know who focuses on the looters “not helping”? Racist trolls in my mentions. And our President, apparently…….?

  14. 14
    blueskies says:

    @Trollhattan: Bull and shit. The “command center” that is two miles from Ferguson in a Target parking lot? THAT command center? I’d find it hard to believe even with video to support the claim.

  15. 15
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Betty Cracker: if it were the Ferguson PD Chief Festus Fife making molotov cocktails he would have put his name and address on the bottles so someone would bring them back to him and he could get his nickels back

  16. 16
    Violet says:

    I’ll say this. The fact that Eric Holder is going to Ferguson should probably give us a sense of what he really thinks.— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) August 18, 2014

  17. 17
    chopper says:

    @Violet:

    smart move.

  18. 18
    Trollhattan says:

    @blueskies:
    The button-pushers du jour seem to be flailing extra hard if they’re pushing the “coodinated attack” button. Coordinated by whom? for starters.

  19. 19
    John N says:

    People are being pushed to the brink. They are frustrated, they are angry, they are scared. Frustrated, angry, scared groups of people are not always so easy to control. People with no voice are inclined to be heard in other ways. Violence is the tool that people use when they can not get justice via the legal system. History has proven this again and again and again. It’s awful, and it’s dangerous, but that is precisely the point – people are pushed to violence and rioting when their everyday situation is so unjust, and the prospects for improving it though legal means are so minimal, that they don’t see any other way to make themselves heard, to make their frustration known, and to assert that they EXIST in a meaningful sense. The protesting and rioting is itself proof of the hopelessness of the situation. Res Ipsa Loquitur.

    PS – All the people around on the liberal blogosphere who talk about upcoming “Bastille moments” should acknowledge that to favor such a moment is to favor the use of political violence to achieve justice. Let’s stop bullshitting ourselves that we are not also prone to these kinds of violent thoughts. We are all human, with all the entails! Can’t we just admit it already?

  20. 20
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Trollhattan: Well, it was an attack. Maybe two people planned it. We’ve never seen them in the same room together, but they flashed what appeared to be “gang signs”. Which are always bad. And always “flashed” for some reason.

  21. 21
    Botsplainer says:

    @Violet:

    Holder will probably get screamed at to “get the fuck back before I mace your fucking ass”.

    What I’m starting to wonder is where the white Christian clergy is.

    I also put a bug in an ear with somebody in my office (with ties to one of the panthers on scene) as to the value of moving to protest to the county buildings which house the officials responsible for those barking, pasty white suburban cops, and to the tourist mall in the vicinity of the Arch.

    Make white folks feel the sting.

  22. 22
    scav says:

    The depth of thought put into Missouri’s governance — let’s change the approach, curfew status, who’s in control, who is or is not informed, who withholds or releases information despite requests or suggestions or even relevance beyond shiney object status — I fail to see how this pinballing is going to improve the situation as neither residents, observers, officials or others are going to know what actually are the current ground rules or facts. Confusion achieved. Jaysus, that uncertainty provides fertile ground for mayhem and cover for over-reactions, future and past. City – County – State are not putting their best baseline competence side to the camera. Smile MO!

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @John N:

    All the people around on the liberal blogosphere who talk about upcoming “Bastille moments” should acknowledge that to favor such a moment is to favor the use of political violence to achieve justice. Let’s stop bullshitting ourselves that we are not also prone to these kinds of violent thoughts. We are all human, with all the entails! Can’t we just admit it already?

    OTOH one can talk about an upcoming “Bastille moment” without advocating it.

  24. 24
    Trollhattan says:

    @Suffern ACE:Hmmm, “flashed?” Flash mobs? Was there an outbreak of dancing? Were there any “terrorist fist bumps?”

    Chairman Issa and I demand answers!

    Fox News must be catatonic by now over the fapworthiness of it all.

  25. 25
    Hunter Gathers says:

    The Ferguson Police masterminded this clusterfuck to make sure that Darren Wilson either never gets charged with murder or manslaughter or gets an acquittal if it gets that far. The Ferguson PD agitated the community at every opportunity, in order to seed any potential jury in Wilson’s trial with White people who think that Michael Brown got what he deserved. The story has now morphed into how Brown bum rushed Wilson in a fit of pot-fueled Black rage after he strong armed a box of cigars from the corner gas station. No jury in the entire state of Missouri will convict Wilson of any crime in connection with Brown’s death. The Ferguson PD closed ranks, and smeared a dead teenager so a middle-aged Cracker never has to face the consequences of his actions. In other words: Just Another Fucking Day In White Supremacist America.

  26. 26
    gene108 says:

    @Botsplainer:

    What I’m starting to wonder is where the white Christian clergy is.

    Praying for Officer Wilson’s well being, as well as the safety of the Ferguson City PD and the St Louis County PD, as the struggle to maintain order against hordes of residents just waiting to self-destruct and tear their city apart.

    The white church, in many parts of this country are/were some of the biggest pushers of segregation and racism in this country. Jerry Falwell, Bob Jones, etc. were mainstream, until the late 1960’s, by openly standing up for segregation.

  27. 27
    Mr. Twister says:

    @Hunter Gathers: You sir, are correct.

  28. 28
    eldorado says:

    @Botsplainer: What I’m starting to wonder is where the white Christian clergy is.

    oh my, i hadn’t had a good laugh all day. thanks.

  29. 29
    Tone In DC says:

    @drkrick:

    What about the possibility of undercover people providing provocation? There’s a long history of that kind of thing in the US right up to the present day, and they’re pretty damn convenient for those interested in changing the subject.

    Hey, it happened to Occupy (Wall Street and other places).

    http://www.democracynow.org/20.....ce_charges

  30. 30
    srv says:

    So Holder can go to Ferguson but not the border. The admin better not be thinking of Federalization three months from an election…

    There’s no unified front, and the “community leaders” — older folks, clergy members, etc. — are trying to get people to protest non-violently. Some younger folks are saying screw that, we need to take on the cops directly.

    As opportunities for youths shrink even more, a policy of Gazafication between generations will prove effective.

    Next up, the Koch’s announce they’re moving into the private prison business.

  31. 31
    srv says:

    @John N: Change only comes through violence.

  32. 32
    GRANDPA john says:

    personally I don’t believe a word coming from the mouth of the asshole chief of police who , between his actions and that of his department, are totally responsible for the whole problem. His ass should have been fired on day one because of the in your face approach he used .to deliberately incite a hostile reaction The asshole was acting in such a way as to incite “those” people to respond as they did. He wanted a riot

  33. 33
    burnspbesq says:

    White liberal from SoCal: “Don’t you see that when you loot and throw Molotov cocktails and shit, you’re giving the cops exactly what they want, i.e., a reason to go off on people of color?

    Local: “Since when do white cops need a reason to do that?”

    After that, the conversation kinda trails off … Parallel universes and sumpin sumpin.

  34. 34
    Violet says:

    Hey, look. The McDonald’s wasn’t looted.

    Allegations that the #Ferguson McDonald's was looted are inaccurate, McDonald's corporate spokesperson tells me. pic.twitter.com/9KlqtO2wLB— Hunter Stuart (@Hoont) August 18, 2014

  35. 35
    Kathleen says:

    These are the main points I heard:

    – Police must maintain order and protesters have right to assemble.
    – He reiterated earlier statement from police that most of the violence
    was committed by people not from Ferguson.
    – Eric Holder’s visit to Ferguson would focus on coordinating
    the DOJ/FBI investigation.
    – He will maintain contact with Gov Nixon regarding National Guard’s
    involvement/activities (I got the impression he is not happy with
    Nixon and intends to be somewhat of a micromanager on this issue).
    – When Ann Compton asked if he would go to Ferguson or take any
    additional action, he said he had to be very careful to ensure that
    he didn’t weigh in on the situation until investigations were complete
    and facts were in. He then talked about the importance of dealing with
    root causes of poverty, crime and violence that young African
    American men deal with and how his initiative (I think it’s called
    Brothers Keeper) is designed to work with all stakeholders, including
    law enforcement, to help them get education and jobs.

    That’s what I heard. I always get a kick out of him going full metal professor with the Washington Press Corps. He really loves process of engagement and creating good outcomes. I think the Villagers get bored.

  36. 36
    Sherparick says:

    Well, let’s see a bunch of poorly armed and disorganized teens and twenty types against organized fire power of the State of Missouri and a dozen police departments. If it comes down to firepower who is going to win and who do you think will be cheering the body count? Who did you think “won” the riots in Watts, Detroit, Cleveland, Newark, Chicago, etc. from 1965-68? Richard Nixon was elected with 43% of the vote and George Wallace got 17% in ’68. Right now the Tea Party controlled legislature in Missouri is probably coming up with plans for massive incarceration and prison labor as its solution to the “Ferguson” problem.

    That the Ferguson and St. Louis police and the right wing media appear to throwing kerosene on this slow burning fire is particularly obscene. In the face of such provocation non-violence and voting is the only way to beat the machine.

  37. 37

    Obviously I’m not there but what they keep saying in the liberal media (i.e, Thom Hartmann Show and the like) is that most of the molotov-cocktail throwing is being done by those “outside agitators” who have come to Ferguson to exploit an international news story.

  38. 38

    Obviously I’m not there but what they keep saying in the liberal media (i.e, Thom Hartmann Show and the like) is that most of the molotov-cocktail throwing is being done by those “outside agitators” who have come to Ferguson to exploit an international news story.

  39. 39

    Sorry my comment posted twice, no clue why.

  40. 40
    ThresherK says:

    Heard some host on NPR right now saying “thuggish behavior, as seen by his stealing those cigars and shoving the store clerk”.

    Thank god them cops released that videotape, so NPR could leap onto the Bothsides Life-raft like a drowning man.

  41. 41
    Violet says:

    @Botsplainer:
    They’re protesting at the Wainwright Building in STL.

    Protesters march towards Gov Nixon's #StL office chanting "the Nat'l Guard has got to go" #Fergusonpic.twitter.com/t6r4SAjILC— Ferguson Solidarity (@FergusonUnity) August 18, 2014

    Edit: Gah. Link to tweet messed up b/c I had to take out some links to get under 3. You can see it at link to tweet.

  42. 42
    Botsplainer says:

    @gene108:

    That’s the point I wanted to make yet again. Thanks!

  43. 43
    Hal says:

    Sigh. Obama may very well feel Michael Brown was executed. He may be outraged at everything the police are doing. If he were to say anything of the sort, this whole situation would be all about obama and that cop would never see the inside of a courtroom. Some people, some on this very blog, thought obama should have kept his mouth shut when Henry Luis Gates was arrested for sassing that cop, but now some of you want obama to channel Howard Beale when talking about Ferguson?

  44. 44
    Tone In DC says:

    @Kathleen:

    They get bored if they don’t have their chocolate milk and their blanket after recess.
    Just sayin’.

  45. 45
    Botsplainer says:

    @Violet:

    Outfuckingstanding.

    It now needs to spread to touristland.

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @gene108: OTOH People like William Sloane Coffin, Fred Rogers, and the Berrigan brothers have existed as well.

  47. 47
    Patrick says:

    @Botsplainer:

    What I’m starting to wonder is where the white Christian clergy is.

    I assume they are busy harassing people going into Planned Parenthood…

  48. 48
    Violet says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    The Ferguson PD closed ranks, and smeared a dead teenager so a middle-aged Cracker never has to face the consequences of his actions

    Officer Darren Wilson is 28, so not quite middle-aged.

  49. 49
    Trollhattan says:

    Has Sam Bradford weighed in, yet?

  50. 50
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Sherparick:

    That the Ferguson and St. Louis police and the right wing media appear to throwing kerosene on this slow burning fire is particularly obscene.

    This is the sobering point: Operation Suburban Storm is how large portions of White Flight America want to see Those People policed every single day. They will pay taxes for prisons and taxes to turn municipalities into prison camps (and if you can get that money from tickets and confiscation, even better). Look at comments on sites where you have a white-flight metro area (the AJC, for instance) and you’ll see that very clearly.

  51. 51
    Keith G says:

    Betty, like you, I am hoping the older generation holds more sway.

    Not too long ago, there was someone who used to be famous who would carry on about there being two Americas. I have always thought that depending on how it was sliced and diced, there are probably more than two Americas.

    What we seem to be seeing now is some of the veneer being stripped away so the cracks and fissures beneath the surface are more readily apparent. This is not a bad thing. I just wish it could be done without young men being shot in the street and peoples’ businesses being burned to the ground.

    We (our society) are due an accountability moment or two. I am left to wonder if this is one such moment or is this just a late summer placeholder taking our attention until the next shiny thing comes along.

    Grandma used to ask, “Are you really going to stir the pot or are you just interested in ruffling a few feathers?”

  52. 52
    jharp says:

    Compare the response to the Bundy protesters who pointed guns at federal agents trying to enforce a lawful court order.

  53. 53
    rikyrah says:

    for all the bullshyt about Molotov cocktails, how come none of them have been caught on camera?

    all the pics they supposedly show of that are people throwing back tear gas cannisters

  54. 54
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Violet: I’m always amused by the way certain people on the right will swallow any dumb rumor, no matter how unbelievable. I mean, I hear that claim and immediately think, yeah, right. Loot McDonald’s? At night? What valuable item that can easily be carried away would anyone expect to find there? “Lookatme! I got a commercial softcream dispenser!”

  55. 55
    sparrow says:

    @ThresherK: Ugh, I am so sick of the goddamned “thug” codeword being applied almost exclusively to black men. It needs to go down with the N-word as far as things (at least white) people are just not allowed to say. Fuck NPR.

  56. 56
    Trollhattan says:

    @SatanicPanic: Shyte, all I got was this paper napkin dispenser.

  57. 57
    C4talyst says:

    @blueskies: Yep, that command center. I listened to it unfold over the scanner. There has been streaming video from reporters and rioters all week; add the scanner and you damn near get a 360 degree view each evening.

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Violet:

    A lot of fast food-type places are now under corporate orders to assist in emergencies because Starbucks ended up looking really bad when the NYC outlets charged people for water on 9/11. So the employees were probably handing out bottles of milk to people who asked rather than the milk being “looted” as the early reports claimed.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    It depends on how many apple pies were in the warmer at the time. ;-)

  60. 60
    Patrick says:

    @jharp:

    Compare the response to the Bundy protesters who pointed guns at federal agents trying to enforce a lawful court order.

    That’s a great point. When you compare the worst of the protesters in Ferguson, it still doesn’t come close to the Bundy bunch. Destroying windows vs getting ready to assassinate federal agents is a tad different. Heck, those cowards were ready to hide behind women as shields.

    It is amazing what a double standard our media and even the general public holds.

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    meta @metaquest
    Follow

    The Attorney General of the United States of America is going to Ferguson Wed. The Department of Justice & FBI are already there. #DotheMath
    4:05 PM – 18 Aug 2014

  62. 62
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mnemosyne: se Starbucks ended up looking really bad when the NYC outlets charged people for water on 9/11.

    Zounds. If I knew that I’d forgotten.

    Is milk better than water for rinsing tear gas out eyes, or is it what was available.?

  63. 63
    Betty Cracker says:

    @rikyrah: Maybe the claim is exaggerated, but MSNBC showed video of guys lighting at least one Molotov yesterday and published written accounts of it. Personally, I’m taking everything with a grain of salt, though. Every aspect of how each detail of this situation is received is like a clinic in confirmation bias.

  64. 64
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Trollhattan: @Mnemosyne: What’s sad is that we’re joking, but there are millions of people willing to believe this actually happened

  65. 65
    Valdivia says:

    @Hal: this exactly. So tired of seeing it all over the place. Obama will have his angry moment only after he’s out of office.

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @rikyrah: I don’t think a lot people know what a molotov cocktail actually is. If people were throwing them (which I strongly doubt) there would be fires. I don’t recall seeing anything anywhere about fires.

    @sparrow: Thug gets attached to union members as well.

  67. 67
    Violet says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Is milk better than water for rinsing tear gas out eyes, or is it what was available.?

    Palestinian protestors are advising Ferguson protestors via Twitter that milk is better for rinsing off tear gas.

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Supposedly, milk is better for tear gas than water. No idea if it’s actually true.

  69. 69
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): favorite word of the PUMAs at MyDD, too, “Obama’s thugs, Chicago thugs, thuggish tactics” like campaigning.

  70. 70
    Hal says:

    BTW, can someone explain the difference between shop lifting and robbery? Why is the convenience store incident robbery and not shop lifting?

  71. 71
    scav says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Whole milk seems to be recommenced first aid for pepper spray certainly, don’t know about other. makes sense from a what to do if you bite into the wrong chili perspective, I’ve always heard gulp milk, not water.

  72. 72
    Heliopause says:

    PS: The president spoke. What did he say?

    He invited everybody over for a beer.

  73. 73
    Anoniminous says:

    @Violet:

    Holder is going to Ferguson.

    Swear I first read that as “Hodor”

    My brain. She is fried.

  74. 74
    rikyrah says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    I hear you.

    As usual…on point.

  75. 75
    Trentrunner says:

    What you’re seeing in much of White America right now is an entire generation who thinks if you’ve never said “n*gger” in public, you’re not racist, and therefore America is not racist. Goodness, we have a black president, for crying out loud!

    They see the TV coverage, and it’s reinforced that black people are scary, violent, disorganized takers who, given the slightest provocation, will riot and loot and shoot.

    Oh, and where the actual fuck is Hillary Clinton on this?

  76. 76
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Trentrunner: Oh, and where the actual fuck is Hillary Clinton on this?

    To say nothing of Himself.

  77. 77
    Violet says:

    @Hal:

    Why is the convenience store incident robbery and not shop lifting?

    Because in the initial video released (the edited one) Brown gets in the face of the store clerk and sort of shoves him backward a bit. Therefore: robbery.

    @Trentrunner:

    Oh, and where the actual fuck is Hillary Clinton on this?

    Trailing from behind. The only potential presidential candidate I’ve seen speak out on this at all is Rand Paul.

  78. 78
    Keith G says:

    @Betty Cracker: There is so much miss and exaggerated information swirling about…..

    Social strife in the age of Twitter and Vine. Welcome to the new age.

  79. 79
    KG says:

    @Hal:

    Job Position: President of the United States

    Duties/Responsibilities: Running the entire world,whether everyone else agrees with you or not. As a result you will be damned if you do and damned if you don’t. You will also be responsible for babysitting members of the press and/or congress.

    Benefits: You will age 25 years in 8 years. Approximately half of the domestic population will hate you and everything you stand for (including truth, justice, and the American way – they will see you as a threat to each of those things). Approximately 65% of the world population will hate you and everything you stand for (especially truth, justice, and the American way). You will get to fly around in your own plane and helicopter, nor will you have to wait in traffic (however, even people who like you will hate you for causing them more traffic). Once your term is over, you will be able to write a memoir that says nothing substantive that will sell a large number of copies but nobody will read them. You will also get very large speaking fees to say nothing of interest.

    Good luck and godspeed.

  80. 80
    burnspbesq says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Oh, and where the actual fuck is Hillary Clinton on this?

    I’m certainly willing to hear your argument as to why she shouldn’t stay exactly where she is, i.e., nowhere to be seen. What, exactly, could she bring to the table that would actually improve the state of play and not look pathetically self-serving? What role do you have in mind for her?

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Hal: Generically, robbery involves force or threat of force. Theft (of which shoplifting is a subset) does not. I don’t know MO law well enough to comment on specifics nor do I know who, if anyone, did what, if anything, involving the store.

  82. 82
    rikyrah says:

    @Violet:

    Palestinian protestors are advising Ferguson protestors via Twitter that milk is better for rinsing off tear gas.

    And that says it all, doesn’t it?

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Hal:

    The footage from the store showed Brown grabbing the store owner by the shirt, which might tip it into “robbery” rather than shoplifting (since shoplifting is supposed to be secretive). But even that’s come into doubt now because the police version of the videotape seems to have a cut that happens before Brown hands money to the shopkeeper.

    As I keep saying, my guess (and it’s only a guess) is that Johnson got caught trying to shoplift, Brown defended his friend, and ultimately agreed to pay for what Johnson took once Johnson admitted it. But this is only a guess on my part.

    (Edited to add uncertainty since IANAL.)

  84. 84
    Violet says:

    @Keith G: Yesterday Chris Hayes tweeted he was looking at a dead body on the ground. Got retweeted a whole bunch. Today he had to clarify that the person wasn’t dead, they were one of several car accident victims. That individual was lying on the ground prior to being taken to the hospital where they are in critical condition. So the person was badly injured but not dead. Reporters ought to know better than to tweet stuff like that they haven’t confirmed.

  85. 85
    Mnemosyne says:

    @KG:

    I laughed out loud yesterday because John Oliver re-ran a clip that declared that 44 percent of Americans wished that Romney would have won in 2012. OMG, you mean the people who voted for Romney still wish he had won? Stop the presses!

  86. 86
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Oh, and where the actual fuck is Hillary Clinton on this?

    Being invisible. Not doing stupid shit, IOW.

    Everything she did would be wrong anyways.

    If she starts singing “Fight the Power!” then she’s dissing Obama.
    If she doesn’t‘ start singing “Fight the Power!” then she’s trolling for white racist votes.
    If she says “What Obama said…” then she’s wrong in whatever way Obama is wrong — because you know whatever Obama’s doing is wrong.

    So she’s being invisible.

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Oh, and where the actual fuck is Hillary Clinton on this?

    Staying the fuck out of the way so that current elected officials can do their jobs without creating a Hillary criticized Obama’s action/inaction pressgasm? That is my guess. Is it brave? Probably not. Is she adding to any problems? No.

  88. 88
    Patrick says:

    @burnspbesq:

    What role do you have in mind for her?

    How about simply making a statement that she support the President’s actions?

  89. 89
    askew says:

    @Violet:

    Trailing from behind. The only potential presidential candidate I’ve seen speak out on this at all is Rand Paul.

    O’Malley spoke about Ferguson twice. No other potential candidate has touched the issue besides those two, I believe.

  90. 90
    KG says:

    @Mnemosyne: there is part of me that wonders how Romney (and even McCain before him) would have handled a lot of stuff that happened under Obama’s watch. My guess is mostly “not well” but it reminds me of the SNL skit from right before the 2000 election where they did “future” announcements from the president, Gore as the annoying teacher cutting into prime time TV four nights a week to grade quizzes vs Bush shotgunning beers and grilling steak while apologizing for the civil war (“who even knew a war could be civil?”).

  91. 91
    Mike J says:

    @Trollhattan:

    The button-pushers du jour seem to be flailing extra hard if they’re pushing the “coodinated attack” button. Coordinated by whom? for starters.

    A few years ago Fox viewers were in a panic because they believed the definition of a flash mob was angry young black men ganging up on white people.

  92. 92
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Then-candidate Gov. Clinton’s response to the much more serious Los Angeles RIots of 1992 (50+ killed, Marines, and units of the 40th and 7th Infantry deployed under the Insurrection Act, e.g.)

    Mr. Clinton said he had no criticism of the steps taken by President Bush in response to the riots: sending Federal troops and law-enforcement officers to Los Angeles and stepping up a grand jury investigation to determine if Federal civil rights laws had been violated in the beating of the black motorist, Rodney G. King…

    Mr. Clinton said many of the rioters in Los Angeles had used the acquittal of the four police officers as an excuse for looting and burning. The reaction, “while understandable, is still unforgivable,” he said.

    ‘Appropriatly anodyne’, I would say…

  93. 93
    Trollhattan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):
    Yep. The administration is involved via the AJ and speaking on the topic directly, and any Clinton appearances or pronouncements would instantly create a distraction from that.

  94. 94
    Kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The reason they used robbery is this:

    569.030. 1. A person commits the crime of robbery in the second degree when he forcibly steals property.
    2. Robbery in the second degree is a class B felony.
    (1986) Sufficient force to constitute robbery in the second degree was found in a purse-snatching. State v. Butler, 719 S.W.2d 35 (Mo.App.).

    They jazzed it up with “strong arm robbery” and I think it’s outrageous they released the video but all it means is some kind of force was used in the course of a theft.

    The reason it’s more serious is because it’s a person at risk rather than just property. Of course, none of that matters if it wasn’t a theft. I don’t know what happened in that video, and I watched it. Still, anything and everything becomes a more serious charge when you add some kind of risk or harm to a person.

  95. 95
    gelfling545 says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I cannot see that her opinion at this point in time would add one iota to the resolution of the situation. If she is indeed going to run for president, the time will come to ask her but, at this time, it’s just folks who want to see a show of hands and, as you say, whatever she says will be too much/not enough.

  96. 96
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @gelfling545: The situation calls for leaders. Not for politicians. Politicians, although we call them ‘leaders’ all the time, really aren’t.

  97. 97
    Kay says:

    Attorney General Eric Holder was critical on Monday of “the selective release of sensitive information” from the local investigation of the Ferguson, Mo. police shooting of Michael Brown.
    “The selective release of sensitive information that we have seen in this case so far is troubling to me,” Holder said in a statement.

    Good for him. He’s absolutely right and they know it.

  98. 98
    kc says:

    Is it just me or do a lot of the cops in these look like they’re on steroids?

  99. 99
    JPL says:

    Any chance someone was watching CNN? I was attempting to stream but it kept having to restart. Don Lemon was interviewing a group and a Saint Louis County threatened to arrest him and the group, if they didn’t move. The crowd was clearly upset at the tone of the officer and Lemon pointed out that the officer caused the problem.
    As I said, the stream wasn’t consistent, so I’m hoping someone else watched.

  100. 100
    cckids says:

    @Hal:

    Obama may very well feel Michael Brown was executed. He may be outraged at everything the police are doing. If he were to say anything of the sort, this whole situation would be all about obama and that cop would never see the inside of a courtroom.

    Jesus, this.

    I watched the President on MSNBC, and as soon as he was done, the talking heads were all “he was so restrained, he was much more passionate about Trayvon and Gates, is he out of touch, blah, blah, blah.”
    TV immediately got changed to Bones. Give me a gory skeleton any time over that crap.

  101. 101
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @cckids:

    If he were to say anything of the sort, this whole situation would be all about obama and that cop would never see the inside of a courtroom.

    Case going to a local grand jury Wednesday.
    The chances of an indictment, never good, would drop to zero.

  102. 102
    Mike in NC says:

    @Sherparick:

    Right now the Tea Party controlled legislature in Missouri is probably coming up with plans for massive incarceration and prison labor as its solution to the “Ferguson” problem.

    If it hasn’t already happened, expect Republicans in Congress to start complaining that police forces need to have even more military hardware than they’ve been getting in recent years. $500M in 2013 alone was a figure I saw.

  103. 103
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @cckids: I’ve been listening to St. Paul and Broken Bones since I got home from work.

  104. 104
    Keith G says:

    @Violet: `Wow, that is just inexcusable on Hayes’ part. Horrible.

    Re Hillary: This is an important news story still in process with way too many unknowns for outside politicians to get involved – unless they are content to issue just the broadest of platitudes. Actually Hillary may be learning the very important behavior of keeping one’s mouth shut when not doing so would create a loose/loose situation Old dog, new tricks?

    Re Thug: Isn’t there a popular economist known as K-Thug? Why is that? Anyway, I did have to learn not to reach for that word after I was told that some might misunderstand it’s intent. Some of us older folk only knew of it’s use as an identifier of a cruel or vicious ruffian – someone who intimidates with the threat of violence. I never heard it in reference to anyone who was not white because where I grew up there actually were only white people. Well almost.

  105. 105
  106. 106
  107. 107
    Davis X. Machina says:

    You will be glad to know that the real issue, per the RNC, is Obama’s failure to wear a tie while delivering his remarks.

  108. 108
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Davis X. Machina: The deuce you say!

  109. 109
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Keith G:

    Isn’t there a popular economist known as K-Thug? Why is that?

    It’s a joke, son.

  110. 110
    Trollhattan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):
    Smithers, release the hounds!

  111. 111
    mclaren says:

    The role of the National Guard will be limited, Mr. Nixon said in a statement. Troops will protect the police command center here, which the authorities said came under a coordinated attack on Sunday night.

    Could this have something to do with the deployment of tanks, brandishing of grenade-launching automatic weapons, use of tear gas?

    Escalate force and the population will escalate in turn. Tit for tat.

    How about removing the police entirely to their normal patrols? How about demobilizing the national guard? How about we stop treating law-abiding civilians as though they were an enemy population during a military invasion? Think that might de-escalate tensions a little?

  112. 112
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    1) I’ve seen numerous videos of young guys with megaphones enforcing nonviolence.(sit down, hands in the air) so yes young people are involved in the movement.
    2) ever hear of cointelpro? Agents provocateur is a standard procedure to excuse the state to employ violence.

  113. 113
    Bill Arnold says:

    @KG:

    Once your term is over, you will be able to write a memoir that says nothing substantive that will sell a large number of copies but nobody will read them.

    I’m hoping (perhaps naively) for a B. Obama memoir that breaks tradition and does include significant substance. Will read it in any case.

  114. 114
    Violet says:

    Negro Spring:

    Vanessa Lucas and Rona Caldwell in #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/7YZIrcUzjO— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 18, 2014

  115. 115
    Dog On Porch says:

    Way off topic: The Mosul dam has been retaken from ISIS. Given competent oversight, the United States military can accomplish a great deal of good on occasion.

  116. 116
    Baud says:

    There’s no unified front, and the “community leaders” — older folks, clergy members, etc. — are trying to get people to protest non-violently. Some younger folks are saying screw that, we need to take on the cops directly.

    I admit I’m not able to follow all the news all day like I’d like to, but has anyone actually in Ferguson and not just on the Internet rejected the idea of non-violent protest? I didn’t see it in the NYT article John linked to. Or are we now linking the looting that has occurred to protestors and not to outsiders?

  117. 117
    Violet says:

    Freedom of the press:

    Getty Images photographer arrested #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/ScOaHO8bjY— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 18, 2014

  118. 118
    Keith G says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ya don’t say. I apologize that pixels do not communicate the tone of that comment, or this one, mother.

  119. 119
    Baud says:

    @Dog On Porch:

    That really is some good news. Too bad it’s going to get lost in the current domestic mess.

  120. 120
    dennis p brown says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Milk really works – water does nothing for the pain

  121. 121
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Baud: No, no, it’s terrible news! American imperialism in action!

  122. 122
    raven says:

    @Baud: There is no WE here.

  123. 123
    JPL says:

    @kc: Yup. Lemon on CNN accused the police of escalating the situation. Supposedly another journalist was arrested too.

  124. 124
    Violet says:

    @JPL: Here’s a tweet with a picture of Don Lemon being threatened with arrest:

    #Ferguson Police attempting to forcibly shutdown a *live* CNN broadcast. #1stAmendment pic.twitter.com/syFd0ffeHO— Ferguson Solidarity (@FergusonUnity) August 18, 2014

  125. 125
    kc says:

    @JPL:

    Scott Olson, a Getty photographer, was arrested a little bit ago.

  126. 126
    Baud says:

    @raven:

    Yeah, it’s the Judean People’s Front all the way down, isn’t it?

  127. 127
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Baud: Splitter!

  128. 128
    Violet says:

    @JPL: Here’s a tweet with a picture of Don Lemon being threatened with arrest:

    #Ferguson Police attempting to forcibly shutdown a *live* CNN broadcast. #1stAmendment pic.twitter.com/syFd0ffeHO— Ferguson Solidarity (@FergusonUnity) August 18, 2014

  129. 129
    dennis p brown says:

    I’m in moderation for using the word “Milk$”?!

  130. 130
  131. 131
    Patrick says:

    @Kay:

    Attorney General Eric Holder was critical on Monday of “the selective release of sensitive information” from the local investigation of the Ferguson, Mo. police shooting of Michael Brown.
    “The selective release of sensitive information that we have seen in this case so far is troubling to me,” Holder said in a statement.

    This is just a reminder of utterly clueless this police dept is. Do they really think the public is so stupid that it doesn’t see what the Ferguson pd is doing when it releases half-true, selective info? You’d expect it from crappy politicians. But you never expect from a police dept that is supposed to serve its people, all of its people. Don’t they realize that every time they do this, their credibility (as if it was possible) sinks even further?

    They are at Barney’s Fife level but worse. At least Barney Fife didn’t assassinate anybody.

  132. 132
    dennis p brown says:

    I haven’t posted in days and every single post gets moderated!???

  133. 133
    Violet says:

    This has grown beyond Ferguson and Missouri:

    Huge march Right now in NYC for #JusticeForMikeBrown pic.twitter.com/dnbA5nOqbm— Ferguson Solidarity (@FergusonUnity) August 18, 2014

  134. 134
    Baud says:

    @Patrick:

    I commented the other day that, somewhere, the Keystone Cops are going “WTF?”.

  135. 135
    lamh36 says:

    @Violet:

    Wow, law enforcement in Fergie really on a role. arresting another journo, roughing up Don Lemon (and he was wearing dress slack too, shoulda been a suit) and arresting Holocaust survivor.

    https://twitter.com/kittyFitz50/status/501490587141701632

  136. 136
    JPL says:

    If you haven’t seen John Oliver yet, take fifteen minutes and watch this. link

  137. 137
    lamh36 says:

    Oh and lord help us, but Tweety is back from vaykay and anchoring Hardball. Ya know he has literally been salivating to add his 2cents on this whole thing.

    Oh and from what Craig Melvin said just now on Hardball, the police are telling people they can continue to move, but they cannot stop and appear to be congregating or standing staionary for too long in one spot.

  138. 138
    scav says:

    @JPL: Seconded.

  139. 139
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @lamh36: OTOH good for Hedy Epstein for being there.

  140. 140
    Violet says:

    @lamh36: Yeah, I wondered where he was last week. I’m sure he’ll be the first to tell us about the “lunch pail” crowd and what Tip O’Neil and JFK would have done.

  141. 141
    lamh36 says:

    Oh and I may have asked or posted in another thread, but the police are once again NOT wearing badges or name tags!!!

    Is that legal?

    Also too, apparently when Don Lemon asked for the name of the officer who almost arrested him, the officer refused

  142. 142
    mclaren says:

    @KG:

    I’d like this thank this particular fringe lunatic for perfectly embodying not only the deluded and fantastically ignorant mindset of the typical Balloon-Juice commenter, but the demented borderline-psychotic worldview of your standard morbidly obese uneducated halfwit Americano:

    Job Position: President of the United States

    Duties/Responsibilities: Running the entire world,whether everyone else agrees with you or not. As a result you will be damned if you do and damned if you don’t. You will also be responsible for babysitting members of the press and/or congress.

    No doubt the president of the United States thinks his job is to “run the entire world.” And no doubt the ignorantly foolish and hopelessly deluded American population agrees with that seemingly drug-induced fantasy.

    Out here on Planet Earth, however, the actual job of the president of the United States is to flail around and bluster and shake his fist and angrily yammer like an insect stuck in yogurt, while vast events spin out of his control.

    The president of the United States has zero control over foreign countries. The president of the United States has zero control over the economy. The president of the United States has zero control over terrorism or natural disasters or huge disruptive technological change or immense social movements.

    The president of the United States is basically a flea stuck to a giant dog called `the world,’ and this particular flea is roaring and raging and beating his fists to try to tell the dog where to go while the dog completely ignores him.

    Benefits: You will age 25 years in 8 years. Approximately half of the domestic population will hate you and everything you stand for (including truth, justice, and the American way – they will see you as a threat to each of those things). Approximately 65% of the world population will hate you and everything you stand for (especially truth, justice, and the American way). You will get to fly around in your own plane and helicopter, nor will you have to wait in traffic (however, even people who like you will hate you for causing them more traffic). Once your term is over, you will be able to write a memoir that says nothing substantive that will sell a large number of copies but nobody will read them. You will also get very large speaking fees to say nothing of interest.

    News flash, buckaroo: if you’re not the president of the United States, 50% of the population will hate you anyway. That’s life in these immersive online social media. Deal with it.

    Good luck and godspeed.

    The president of the united states doesn’t need luck. He’s got armies of obsequious ass-kissers running around explaining the deep wisdom and profound ingenuity of his every hapless blunder and clueless fumble-fingered stumbling bungle. Remember when George Will rushed forward to describe George W. Bush’s speeches as “Lincolnian”? Even though that moron Dubya couldn’t even string together a coherent sentence? (“I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn’t here.” –at the President’s Economic Forum in Waco, Texas, Aug. 13, 2002. “You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.” -Townsend, Tenn., Feb. 21, 2001. “I am here to make an announcement that this Thursday, ticket counters and airplanes will fly out of Ronald Reagan Airport.” –Washington, D.C., Oct. 3, 2001.”I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.” –Greater Nashua, N.H., Chamber of Commerce, Jan. 27, 2000. “Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.” –LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000. “For every fatal shooting, there were roughly three non-fatal shootings. And, folks, this is unacceptable in America. It’s just unacceptable. And we’re going to do something about it.” –Philadelphia, Penn., May 14, 2001. “I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace.” –Washington, D.C. June 18, 2002.”Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?” –Florence, South Carolina, Jan. 11, 2000. “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” –Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004.)

  143. 143
    burnspbesq says:

    @mclaren:

    Think that might de-escalate tensions a little?

    It might, but you’re implicitly assuming that de-escalation is law enforcement’s objective. That implicit assumption might not withstand scrutiny.

  144. 144
    Trollhattan says:

    @Violet:
    I thought with Tweety is was always the Tip & Ronny show? Has our lady of the magic dolphins chimed in yet with how Reagan’s shiny shoes would have fixed this mess, already?

  145. 145
    Violet says:

    @Trollhattan: No idea. Not really paying attention to it. It’s on in the background.

  146. 146
    Elizabelle says:

    Maria Nicole Chappelle-Nadal just finished on PBS News Hour. She was good, and I thought PBS covered Ferguson updates fairly.

    They made a big distinction between the the opportunists doing the looting and the community members protesting.

  147. 147
    Violet says:

    We don’t have a gun problem here at all. No way:

    Last year, the British police *in total* fired their weapons fewer times than Darren Wilson did on August 9th. http://t.co/PJzJRZkZam— Elizabeth Little (@elizabethlittle) August 18, 2014

  148. 148
    raven says:

    @Elizabelle: What about the looters on the police payroll?

  149. 149
    Violet says:

    Captain Johnson says there are outside agitators:

    Capt. Johnson of MSHP tells @ksdknews that some "gang members from outside Ferguson, outside of Missouri" are among violent insurgents.— Charles Jaco (@charlesjaco1) August 18, 2014

  150. 150
    raven says:

    @Violet: He’s a paid agitator too.

  151. 151
    Kay says:

    @Patrick:

    It’s horrible too because there’s a prosecutor and they have to be working with the police and so it pulls them in too (that is if they aren’t part of it or approving this or somehow unable to stop it).

    What is wrong with them? They have to know there’s national attention on this and they’re losing all credibility. I get this sense that they’re hunkered down, feeling besieged or attacked, so they’ve just decided to go “on offense” or some crazy thing. It’s aggressively bad.

  152. 152
    GregB says:

    Is there anyone else who finds it jarring and shocking as hell to hear perpetrators of domestic unrest described as insurgents?

  153. 153
    lamh36 says:

    Antonio French has posted video of the police putting cuffs on Holocaust survivor Hedy…

    The bullhorn guy is saying “who do you serve, who do you protect”.

    https://twitter.com/AntonioFrench/status/501511158520905728

  154. 154
    goblue72 says:

    @Mnemosyne: That is roughly what happened. Oakland has a long traditional of leftist activism. (I was living in Oakland during the Oscar Grant protests and lived a few blocks from where the protests tended to be centered.)

    As per usual, OPD did whatever it wanted, which meant rubber bullets and tear gas.

  155. 155
    Violet says:

    @Kay: They’re not clueless or stupid–they’re doing this on purpose. All along they’ve been doing what they’ve been doing there for years–target black people, harass, abuse and arrest then without real cause, then cover up and protect their own. This prosecutor is doing whatever he can to confuse things and paint the victim, Mike Brown, as a dangerous lawbreaker. Meanwhile the white officer who shot the gun is hardly being discussed and he’s allowed to go somewhere safe and not be arrested. That is what the prosecutor wants and that’s what’s happening.

    The prosecutor doesn’t care if the eyes of the world are on him because he’s got a future on the wingnut welfare circuit. Has he been interviewed on Fox News yet?

  156. 156
    Mandalay says:

    @Violet:

    Yesterday Chris Hayes tweeted he was looking at a dead body on the ground…Reporters ought to know better than to tweet stuff like that they haven’t confirmed.

    Agreed. Certainly not the worst thing that has happened in Ferguson recently, but an incredibly dumb and irresponsible thing to have done. He actually tweeted “what appears to be a dead body” but that doesn’t get him off the hook at all. He’s acknowledging that he didn’t really know, but decided to tweet anyway.

    Hayes then compounded the error by waiting until today to issue an update, and (AFAIK) has still not offered an apology for his original tweet. I am hoping that he issues that apology at the start of his show tonight.

  157. 157
    Kathleen says:

    @Kay: Kay – it is obvious that no one is in charge or exercising any leadership. I think Captain Johnson has tried but he’s being undermined. With your legal and community involvement background do you have any insight on how someone from one of the jurisdictions could take command and manage and provide leadership? It seems that the Feds can’t, but isn’t there someway either Ferguson (yeah, right), St. Louis County or MO State Police can get their heads together and fix this? Thanks.

  158. 158
    scav says:

    @Violet: To an extent, I don’t really care. It’s a near variant of the renters aren’t really integrated into the community, don’t really count, aren’t really constituents line of attack. Some creeps looking for an excuse to burn things are probably local. Cause gee whiz, I’ve see collage students pull similar stunts after Winning basketball games. Others, some local, have probably been driven past the point where peaceful protest seems to be efficacious because the apparent peace still ended up with how many unarmed men shot by cops nationally recently? Some of the locals are apathetic, some of the locals are doing their damndest to run an organized peaceful protest with the assistence of outsiders. These individuals, no matter their domestic address, even the opportunistic crooks, deserve a coherent, controlled, even-handed, law-abiding and rational response by the local authorities and their agents.

  159. 159
    leeleeFL says:

    @drkrick: yes, cointellpro anyone. First thing I thought of, child of the sixties that I am. I hate thinking like thst, but I really can’t help it. Does anyone else think Tweety’s wondering why our first African-American POTUS has had so many if these “incidents” to deal with misses the idea that these dead young men are surrogates? I had this thought yesterday and felt m ore than a little nauseous.

  160. 160
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name)

    Thug gets attached to union members as well.

    I’ve always seen thug applied to strikebreakers, as in the gun thugs invaded Harlan County during the Brookside Strike (Eastover Coal, remember them?) during 1973.

  161. 161
    Kay says:

    @Violet:

    There is though a certain professional pride among county prosecutors here that they don’t release anything and they keep control of the investigation. It’s true here. In other words, it’s about them :)

    When all else fails that remains.

    To be clear, I don’t think they’re inept or clownish. I do think they’re going to ruin any shred of integrity or reliability the investigation might have had and “the investigation” is just the beginning. What if he’s indicted? Are they going to release certain pieces of information right up until the trial? What about after the trial? They still have to live and work there, or thereabouts. They have to get a handle on their own investigation.

  162. 162
    Violet says:

    @Mandalay: Yeah, it was wrong. He could have made it much clearer that it wasn’t a dead body.

  163. 163
    Cervantes says:

    @KG:

    Job Position: President of the United States

    Duties/Responsibilities: Running the entire world,whether everyone else agrees with you or not.

    Are you saying this without irony?

  164. 164
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer: During the protests against Walker’s anti-union legislation, the term “union thug” was tossed around a lot by the pro-Walker folks. Projection?

    @Violet: What has the prosecutor’s office done that is bothering you? Most of the problematic actions I have seen were taken by the police departments. They are separate entities.

  165. 165
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Tweety just told two black guests how important diversity is in understanding the American experience. Now he’s asking two white people about Obama’s experience as an African-American male.

  166. 166
    goblue72 says:

    @Keith G: I made a criticism of the use of the word “thug” in another thread. I wasn’t being crazy. The vast majority of commenters on BJ are middle-aged white people living in suburban or rural communities, or smaller cities. So I should probably give folks some slack given the sheltered lives they lead and rarity with which they interact with communities of color on a regular basis.

    But “thug” is quickly becoming – or has already become – the new way to call a black man the N-word. And I’m not making this up. Going not too far down the memory hole, Richard Sherman – the Seattle Seahawks All-Pro cornerback & Stanford grad – made a bit of a kerfuffle earlier this year for noting that “thug” is the new N-word.

    http://www.denverpost.com/cald.....ice-bigots

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a.....world.html

    All you have to do is poke around right-wing websites to see how common the word “thug” is tossed around in the context of African-Americans – and African-American men in particular. Thug this, thug that.

    Racism isn’t just what happens on TV when cracker cops aim firehoses at black folks – or rubber bullets & tear gas. Its also both institutional and structural. It is always, always with us. Which is why is doubly important for folks to be continually conscious about the ways in which racism in its various forms plays out – particularly of the structural variety as it is the most deeply embedded and the least obvious.

    There’s been a whole lot of unconscious white privilege – and white ignorance – bandied about last few days in the comment threads on BJ in connection with Ferguson. I’ve seen some comments from folks (some of whom I expect are people of color) that have gotten completely fed up and infuriated with it.

    Ferguson ain’t special. Ferguson happens every day in America – and twice on Sunday. Somewhere, right now, every minute of the day in America, some white cop is violating the civil rights of a racial minority – with a solid chance said violation is happening at the end of a nightstick. Its just that this past week, one community decided it was going to show just how fed up and infuriated they were with the status quo.

  167. 167
    Violet says:

    @Kay:

    What about after the trial? They still have to live and work there, or thereabouts. They have to get a handle on their own investigation.

    Seems most of the white people live elsewhere. Like in a lot of cities, you don’t have to see those people again. Bob McCulloch, the prosecutor, probably runs in wingnut circles and white people circles and they largely seem to be pro-police and anti-Ferguson-protestors.

    The Prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, is not a fan of Jay Nixon:

    St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch Thursday night blasted the decision by Gov. Jay Nixon to replace St. Louis County Police control of the Ferguson situation with the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

    “It’s shameful what he did today, he had no legal authority to do that,” McCulloch said. “To denigrate the men and women of the county police department is shameful.”

  168. 168
    Elizabelle says:

    It surprises me that Ferguson Police Chief Jackson still has a job.

    He and his force have been abject failures here.

    BJ Pool on how much longer he lasts?

  169. 169
    raven says:

    @goblue72: How the fuck do you know what the makeup of the BJ commentators are? You are so full of shit it is incredible.

  170. 170
    Seanly says:

    I love how CNN front-paged some radio caller’s claim that Mike Brown did BULL RUSH the officer because he was all hepped up on Teh Mary-Ja-Wanna. Just like one of those 80’s after-school specials! And the unsourced random caller on a right wing radio station totally matches what the officer told investigators. Case closed? CNN thinks so!

  171. 171
    lamh36 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I saw the too. He had Howard Finemand and Jeanne somebody on. But maybe he was pressed for time, but he cut the segment real short it seems.

    Is it too much to hope that his producers were like “ya know what, make this short” cause the optics of that was stupid…SMH

  172. 172
  173. 173
    Violet says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): See below his comments on what Gov. Nixon did. I thought that was inappropriate.

  174. 174
    rikyrah says:

    @John N:
    I don’t think that they are scared. I think that, in the words of Fannie Lou Hamer

    They are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

  175. 175
    goblue72 says:

    @raven: Um, because I can read. And a lot of the posters are regulars. And over the years, various folks have noted where they live. Its also the Internet, which statistically skews white, middle-aged, suburban. (and male), at percentages that are outsize to folks demographic percentages in the general population.

    Its not that hard to do the fricking math. I’m sorry reality walked up to you and stuck a bee up your rear end at some point, but its not my problem. You have some serious anger management problems.

  176. 176
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @lamh36: They had to leave time for Tweety’s homily at the end.

    Though I have to say: as odd and uniquely clueless as he can be, Tweety was alone among (white) bigfoot media figures in calling the Romney campaign out on their race-baiting> Then again, being Tweety, he forgot all about that when somebody made a documentary about Willard being a nice grampa.

  177. 177
    raven says:

    @goblue72: I’ve got anger management problems because I call out your bullshit? Good.

  178. 178
    Kay says:

    @Kathleen:

    The only thing I’ve ever organized myself is a school board race and a school tax levy referendum and the whole thing there is to avoid controversy or a lot of conflict. I don’t think this situation is at all comparable. It looks to me like this goes really deep and involves nearly every aspect of that town from how police treat people to a lack of elected representation.

    I agree with you that the trooper seems to be in the position of having all of the (public) responsibility and not enough power or leverage. I know that troopers are considered better trained and more professional here than either county or city police agencies- it goes state troopers, city, and then county here, with county being the worst.

    They have enough people, “resources”, so that isn’t it. I don’t know what the local activists do at this point. They seem to be very concerned that they will be lumped in with the “outsiders” and that’s a real concern because I don’t think we can forget that they have deep ties and their own credibility and they have to live there after everyone else goes home.

  179. 179
    goblue72 says:

    @John N: To be in favor of, to show empathy for, or even to engage in wishful thinking of – violence as a response in this situation is according to a number of the BJ commentariat, to be a jackhole.

    Me – having lived in a community where young black men get assassinated on the streets by white cops and then the white cop power structure attempts to avoid all responsibility like it always does – I totally get the response. Heck, I get the “no snitchin’ ” response – don’t agree with it, but I get it.

  180. 180
    Trentrunner says:

    @Seanly: YES! And the CNN voiceover reporter bit kept using the word “accurate” to describe that call-in friend’s account. (Recorded, not spontaneous, and repeated, so not an off-the-cuff characterization.)

    What he should have said is that the caller’s account was “consistent” with Wilson’s account of the shooting. That does not make it “accurate.”

    And no surprise that her account was consistent with the cop’s BECAUSE SHE’S REPEATING WHAT HE TOLD HER.

  181. 181
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Valdivia:

    Obama will have his angry moment only after he’s out of office.

    As I’ve said on several occasions, I cannot wait to read his post-Presidential memoirs. I hope his publisher encourages him to hold nothing back (in terms of emotions). (Okay, and dishing on Republicans.)

  182. 182
    Violet says:

    @Elizabelle: Police Chief Jackson will last a long time. He might be “encouraged” to take early retirement (with incentives–like full pension) but his replacement most likely won’t be any better.

    As I’ve been saying all along, the Ferguson PD is doing exactly what they want to do. They’re aren’t incompetent. They’re highly competent. It’s just that their goals are different from yours and from what’s right.

  183. 183
    goblue72 says:

    @raven: Have fun with yourself.

  184. 184
    goblue72 says:

    @raven: Have fun with yourself.

  185. 185
    goblue72 says:

    @raven: I also note you are hot and bothered about one throwaway line in much longer comment about race.

    But you’ve seized on one small piece of it.

    Care to share your demographics?

  186. 186
    Kathleen says:

    @Trentrunner: Isn’t she his girlfriend and a cop? If so, why don’t the media challenge her version? What makes her automatically infallible? Whey I hate the Media, Chapter 275, verse 1000.

  187. 187
    goblue72 says:

    @Violet: Of course they are. They’re a police department. They have plenty of experience in covering up malfeasance amongst their members and of abusing their authority. I’m not saying your average police academy has a class in that, but it sure seems like they do…

  188. 188
    Belafon says:

    If you want to see some stats that will make your blood boil, check these out (pdf) (h/t DK):

    “Despite Ferguson’s relative poverty, fines and court fees comprise the second largest source of revenue for the city, a total of 2,635,400,” according to the ArchCity Defenders report. And in 2013, the Ferguson Municipal Court issued 24,532 arrest warrants and 12,018 cases, “or about 3 warrants and 1.5 cases per household.”

  189. 189
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Generically, robbery involves force or threat of force. Theft (of which shoplifting is a subset) does not.

    Where does burglary fit in? What’s the distinction there? (Yes, I know all about Google; I’d rather ask Omnes.)

  190. 190
    Belafon says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Does anyone know if “Whitesplaining” has made it into the OED yet?

  191. 191
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Common law burglary requires breaking and entering to commit a felony. So breaking and entering to commit a felony theft is burglary, but so is breaking and entering to commit murder, rape, etc.

  192. 192
    Kathleen says:

    @Kay: Thanks, Kay. The thought just occurred to me that if Governor Nixon or anyone in his administration had any savvy or vision they might be able to forge some kind of workable coalition but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Huge, huge gap in leadership on so many levels.

  193. 193
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Violet: yep. And good. I remember those 1st amendment zones and protest zones in the mid aughts and the msm didn’t have a problem with them because it was mere bloggers getting shut out.

  194. 194
    raven says:

    Here’s your phony ass demographic:

    goblue72

    Real Socialists carry guns. It’s what we use to fight fascists. So, nope, as a lefty, I got no problem with it.

    I have an anger management problem huh?

  195. 195
    sparrow says:

    @goblue72: I am completely with you. It was never a word that I used, because in my memory it has been applied almost exclusively to black males in my hearing (the union example is valid but since unions have been effectively killed, my RW relatives don’t even have to talk about them anymore). I never realized that is why I avoided it until recently, when it became clear. But it is *exactly* the same as the n-word. As soon as you say it, you dehumanize the person. They’re a thug, an animal, a criminal, aka worthless. I won’t use it and I’m going to yell at people that do.

  196. 196
    chopper says:

    @goblue72:

    A comeback so lame and tedious he said it twice.

  197. 197
    Violet says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    What has the prosecutor’s office done that is bothering you?

    Also, isn’t the prosecutor’s office in charge of releasing the autopsy results? The 80 year old forensic pathologist (the one the family hired) just said the autopsy reports are released or held depending on what the prosecutor wants for the investigation.

  198. 198
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Belafon: and we wonder why so few people voted there. 90% of the town would be ticked for trying to leave their homes.

  199. 199
    goblue72 says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Sure would be nice. I seem to recall seeing an interview with Jimmy Carter (many years after he left office). He was talking about the Iran hostage crisis. He said – and I’m paraphrasing – that he told the Iranians behind the scenes that if they killed all the hostages, he’d nuke Iran and turn their country into glass. He had this weird stone cold look in his eye too.

    It was one of those half watching TV moments and then “holy crap – did JIMMY CARTER actually just say what I think he said?!?!?”

    Course, dude did get lowered in a moon suit to disassemble a nuclear reactor in the middle of a meltdown, so I guess shouldn’t have been too surprised the old man had some stones.

  200. 200
    Kay says:

    @Belafon:

    Agreed. People here are getting wise to it. The municipal court is the worst. It is ridiculous how often they fine poor people and the liability goes on forever. “I’m on paper for 2 years for a disorderly” which means (always) more fines when they can’t pay the first one and just a constant revenue stream. I see them lining up at the window to make payments for various fines and fees and costs and I just think “this is now a racket”.

    It’s what we’re replacing tax revenue with. Fines levied on poor people. It makes me sick to my stomach.

  201. 201
    goblue72 says:

    @raven: Still waiting on an answer.

  202. 202
    raven says:

    @goblue72: Yea loudmouth, ignore your “throaway line” about what “we use to fight fascists”. I watched idiots like you get other people’s heads caved in in Miami in goblue72. Don’t run your weak shit on me.

  203. 203
    kc says:

    @Seanly:

    I saw that. Unbelievable that CNN gave such credence to an anonymous caller to some radio show.

  204. 204
    El Caganer says:

    @Kay: What? You think the makers/job creators should be held back by taxes? Let the rabble pay their own freight….and the local government’s, too, while they’re at it.

  205. 205
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Jeez, I hope some time when there’s an international crisis, he’ll do a presser in his pajamas. Or skivvies.

  206. 206
    LAC says:

    @mclaren: I wonder what a description for what you do be: “wanted-asshole. Must be able drain the room of life. Must be full of shit and pretense.” Congrats, it’s yours.

  207. 207
    JCT says:

    @Trentrunner: Yes, the same account where she said he “charged” at him. And that last, fatal entry wound on the TOP of his head? Was this 6’4″ young man prentending to be a bull or something ? Clusterfuck barely begins to describe what is going on here.

  208. 208
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Violet:

    Freedom of the press:

    That whole aspect of Ferguson needs a great deal more attention. I think the ACLU is on it (good) and obviously the affected media outlets, but I’d like to see the entire Village rise up and….

    Oh.

  209. 209
    Mike in NC says:

    CNN = FOX News Lite

  210. 210
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Baud:

    I laughed then, I laugh now.

    Bitterly.

  211. 211
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @lamh36:

    Oh gods, I heard a little bit of his program on the radio. He was spluttering at some attorney (I guess; never heard who she was) who said she thought there was a preponderance of evidence to arrest Wilson. Tweety kept saying she (the attorney) was convicting Wilson, and she kept saying, no you’re conflating what is required in a trial to convict and what is required simply to book him based on the evidence available.

    Vacay apparently didn’t improve Tweety’s mental processes.

  212. 212
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @mclaren:

    Four words:

    Hy.
    Per.
    Bo.
    Le.

    Three more words:

    Sar.
    Ca.
    Sm
    .

  213. 213
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Belafon: It looks like “mansplain” made it recently, but not “whitesplain” quite yet. Presumably it won’t be long.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  214. 214
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Violet: I don’t have the same objection to the autopsy results not being immediately released that many here have. If the prosecution felt that its case to the grand jury would be better made by not releasing it right away, I am okay with that. To get an indictment, the prosecution just needs to put on a couple of witnesses who say more or less the same thing (which they have been) and a coroner’s report that supports the story told by the witnesses. The indictment should be a simple thing.

  215. 215
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I heard an anchor on CNN earlier tonight (don’t know who it was) tell her AA guest that she “is white, but has some black, er, um, African-American friends.”

  216. 216
    El Caganer says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Hey, at least she didn’t say “friends of the colored persuasion.” Yet.

  217. 217
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Five more words:

    Sen.
    Se.
    Of.
    Hu.
    Mor.

  218. 218
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @El Caganer:

    Or “friends who just happen to be black.”

    ETA: Followed, of course, by the obligatory “I don’t care if they’re black, white, purple, or polka-dot.” It was amusing when Sammy Davis Junior said it about 50 years ago. It’s old, tired, hackneyed and clichéd now,

  219. 219
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    I am once again glad that IANAL. But thanks. I hope I never need to know that.

  220. 220
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @goblue72:

    He has major stones. That nuclear meltdown was in Canada, and as an officer of the Canadian Government, with Jimmy Carter in our territory, I had lots of opportunities to hear him tell that story.

    Carter is one of my heroes. If Christianity in general were more like his example, I might actually consider it. He comes as close to being a purely good person as anyone I have ever met.

    Plus, all that stuff about the Carters being teetotallers? I’m here to tell you that nobody loves Canadian ice wine the way Jimmy and Rosalynn love Canadian ice wine.

    Today is Rosalynn’s 87th birthday. She is an amazing woman.

  221. 221
    Mandalay says:

    @goblue72:

    But “thug” is quickly becoming – or has already become – the new way to call a black man the N-word. And I’m not making this up.

    Wow! Thanks for letting us know. I’m pretty sure that nobody here except you knew that.

    You self-important condescending jackass.

  222. 222
    Cervantes says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    [Jimmy Carter] comes as close to being a purely good person as anyone I have ever met.

    That’s a good way to put it, all things considered.

  223. 223
    JCT says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: My daughter spent a summer interning at the Carter Center and she got to meet the Carters at a get together. She still gets starry eyed when she talks about it and a picture she took with them is one of her prized possessions.

  224. 224
    Goblue72 says:

    @Mandalay: some people on this thread & others clearly don’t know it. this blog has been loaded with white obliviousness all last week

  225. 225
    Cervantes says:

    @Mandalay: If we were to stop everyone from saying the obvious …

  226. 226
    Goblue72 says:

    @raven: sputter sputter rage rage. This isn’t the first time you’ve completely lost your shit on this blog.

    Grow up, Chachi.

  227. 227
    Elie says:

    @Violet:

    Milk is best for rinsing out tear gas—

    From Gaza to Ferguson —

    My heart just hurts about this… it just hurts and hurts

  228. 228
    brantl says:

    @Hal: probably the purported shove.

  229. 229
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    Are the people who are tossing Molotov cocktails and looting opportunists? Or are they just fed up with non-violent tactics that they don’t see as effective and trying to shake things up another way? My guess is both.

    I can’t speak for the people actually throwing the Molotovs, but I can say that the latter is definitely fueling my own thoughts on this subject. I’ve never seen police brutality or corruption punished at any point anywhere in my entire life. Not once. I’ve seen friends be robbed by police or imprisoned or fined while false reports get filed, and friends who seek justice for actual crimes dismissed and treated like criminals themselves. Police have been getting worse and worse and worse over the last three decades with no end in sight, and I am fucking *sick* of it.

    This is the breaking point. The cops ARE going to stop gunning people down in the street. And quite frankly, we’ve tried legal remedies. We’ve tried protesting. We’ve tried voting. We’ve tried being nice.

    Cops WILL stop murdering unarmed civilians. Period. If it’s not because they’re afraid of going to jail or even of losing their jobs, then it’s going to be because they’re afraid of something else.

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