More disturbing news from Ferguson:
The FBI has questioned a man who says he recorded audio of gunfire at the time Brown was shot by Ferguson police on August 9, the man’s attorney told CNN.
In the recording, a quick series of shots can be heard, followed by a pause and then another quick succession of shots.
Forensic audio expert Paul Ginsberg analyzed the recording and said he detected at least 10 gunshots — a cluster of six, followed by four.
The funeral of Michael Brown The funeral of Michael Brown
“I was very concerned about that pause … because it’s not just the number of gunshots, it’s how they’re fired,” the man’s attorney, Lopa Blumenthal, told CNN’s Don Lemon. “And that has a huge relevance on how this case might finally end up.”
The man, who asked that his identity not be revealed, lives near the site of the shooting and was close enough to have heard the gunshots, his attorney said.
Ten shots. Take it away, of all people, Mark Steyn:
In Ferguson, both parties agree that the first shot was fired from inside the car. The rest were fired by the officer when he’d got out of the car, with Chief Jackson conceding there could have been ten bullets fired. For purposes of comparison:
In 2011 the German police fired 85 bullets. That’s all of them. The entire police force. The whole country. Eighty-five bullets in one year. That’s seven bullets per month. One bullet for every million German citizens.
So the Ferguson PD used as many bullets on Michael Brown as the Polizei used on ten million Germans. But, by American standards, that’s relatively restrained. The same year as those German figures – 2011 – the Miami PD blew through the Polizei’s annual bullet allowance on just one traffic incident:
Police killed Raymond Herisse, 22, of Boynton Beach in a barrage of gunfire after they said he refused an order to pull over while speeding down a crowded Collins Avenue in his Hyundai…
Twelve officers – from Miami Beach and Hialeah – unleashed more than 100 rounds at Herisse, police said. The hail of bullets also struck and wounded three bystanders.
By comparison, those 85 German bullets per annum were aimed somewhat more precisely:
85 Patronen verfeuerten Polizeibeamte in Deutschland im Jahr 2011 bundesweit auf der Jagd nach Verbrechern, 49 davon waren Warnschüsse. 36-mal gaben die Polizisten gezielte Schüsse ab. Dabei wurden 15 Personen verletzt und sechs getötet, wie aus einer Statistik der Deutschen Hochschule der Polizei im westfälischen Münster hervorgeht.
That’s to say, of those 85 bullets, 49 were warning shots. America no longer does “the warning shot”. But whatever happened to “the shot”? With the 36 non-warning bullets fired by German police that year, they killed six people and wounded fifteen. That’s a bullet-and-three-quarters per target. Whether shooting to kill or to disable, they’re trying to do it with a single shot. American policing takes a third of Germany’s annual bullet allowance just to off a dog:
In July, three officers fired 26 shots at a pit bull that had bitten a chunk out of an officer’s leg in a Bronx apartment building. And there have been other episodes: in 1995, in the Bronx, officers fired 125 bullets during a bodega robbery, with one officer firing 45 rounds.
Just what happened on Saturday is still being investigated. Police experts, however, suggested in interviews yesterday that contagious shooting played a role in a fatal police shooting in Queens Saturday morning. According to the police account, five officers fired 50 shots at a bridegroom who, leaving his bachelor party at a strip club, twice drove his car into a minivan carrying plainclothes police officers investigating the club.
The bridegroom, Sean Bell, who was to be married hours later, was killed, and two of his friends were wounded, one critically.
Three months ago I asked this question:
Are American civilians so different from Europeans or Aussies or Kiwis or Canadians that they have to be policed as if they’re cornered rebels in an ongoing civil war?
A startling number of American readers wrote to say, with remarkable insouciance, that the US could not afford the luxury of First World policing. Large tracts of America had too many illegal immigrants, drug gangs, racial grievances, etc. Maybe. But the problem is that, increasingly, this is the only style of law enforcement America’s police culture teaches – not only for the teeming favelas, but for the leafy suburbs and the rural backwaters and the college-town keg party, too.
Which is to say that one day, unless something changes, we will all be policed like Ferguson.
Black people already are…