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Mark Follman, reporting for Mother Jones:

As darkness fell on Canfield Drive on August 9, a makeshift memorial sprang up in the middle of the street where Michael Brown’s body had been sprawled in plain view for more than four hours. Flowers and candles were scattered over the bloodstains on the pavement. Someone had affixed a stuffed animal to a streetlight pole a few yards away. Neighborhood residents and others were gathering, many of them upset and angry.

Soon, police vehicles reappeared, including from the St. Louis County Police Department, which had taken control of the investigation. Several officers emerged with dogs. What happened next, according to several sources, was emblematic of what has inflamed the city of Ferguson, Missouri, ever since the unarmed 18-year-old was gunned down: An officer on the street let the dog he was controlling urinate on the memorial site.

The incident was related to me separately by three state and local officials who worked with the community in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. One confirmed that he interviewed an eyewitness, a young woman, and pressed her on what exactly she saw. “She said that the officer just let the dog pee on it,” that official told me. “She was very distraught about it.” The identity of the officer who handled the dog and the agency he was with remain unclear.

This pretty much speaks for itself, doesn’t it?






71 replies
  1. 1
    jo6pac says:

    Sad state of affairs in the New Amerika:(

  2. 2
    Xantar says:

    Apologies for the thread hijack, but this is kind of related.

    Omaha police accidentally kill Cops crew member following them

    There’s not enough information to know whether the shooting was justified or whether they followed proper procedure. But from my layman’s point of view, 30 rounds to bring down one guy seems like quite a lot.

  3. 3
    Belafon says:

    @Xantar: The guy they were shooting at was holding a pellet gun.

    What cops seem to have completely lost is the ability to properly assess the threat situation to themselves and others. I realize some of that is because of how many guns there are, but it doesn’t explain the random firing.

  4. 4
    Ruckus says:

    @Xantar:
    This is the militarization of the police. Firepower. Overwhelming firepower. We don’t have to aim, we just throw up walls of lead. Doesn’t work if you are worried about collateral damage. If you don’t give a shit, throw up a wall of lead. He’ll be dead. Of course if you are still crappy shots, as the cops in LA a while back who shot up the wrong pickup, trying to hit a cop killer. There were two women in the truck delivering newspapers, the cops threw up a wall of lead and only hit one of them, wounded the other. As well as surrounding parked cars and houses. Did the wrong thing and did it very badly.

  5. 5
    cleek says:

    respec mah authoratah

  6. 6
    debbie says:

    @Xantar:

    Not quite the 41 used to murder Amadou Diallou.

  7. 7
    Amir Khalid says:

    This police behaviour goes beyond lawlessness and into outright hatred. I think this is a police force that needs to be disbanded, and its members marked as unfit for police work elsewhere.

  8. 8
    gian says:

    @Belafon:

    thing is there’s a whole market for making pellet guns look like real guns. remove the orange tip from one of these:
    http://www.airsoftstation.com/

    and how the hell are you going to know it’s not a real gun by looking at it? (it’s why they get used in robberies, the victims can’t tell the difference)

    as for the MB memorial, that’s just one more data point as to why people are angry and were rioting. In a town where they get fucked with on a daily basis because of who they are, the citizen’s aren’t going to readily believe that this one time things were different.

  9. 9
    Belafon says:

    @gian: I figured the gun looked real enough to fool the robbed people. I guess I’m trying to argue that the cops need to be trained better to go “hey, why aren’t we getting injured?” and act proportionally.

    What we need to do is find a way to make the wall of bullets expensive.

  10. 10
    Eric U. says:

    @gian: the airsoft machine gun I saw was very realistic. I didn’t think it was modified, but I’ll ask the irresponsible parent that allowed it to happen

  11. 11
    The Moar You Know says:

    Can’t tell the difference between most pellet guns and a real one unless I’m right on top of it and have the luxury of a few seconds to look it over closely. Problem is, most manufacturers of pellet guns do their best to make them look as much like real firearms as possible, they sell better that way. So I’m not surprised that a guy holding a pellet gun around a bunch of jacked-up cops got himself shot to pieces.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jo6pac: “Post-racial” America. The new paradise.

  13. 13
    Neech says:

    @gian:

    Yeah. This has been an issue for a while. Bloomberg tried to do something about it and the gun humpers mocked him: http://www.nydailynews.com/new.....e-1.289420

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    This police behaviour goes beyond lawlessness and into outright hatred. I think this is a police force that needs to be disbanded, and its members marked as unfit for police work elsewhere.

    This already happened to Darren Wilson’s police department once.

    Well, except for the “marked as unfit for police work elsewhere” part.

  15. 15
    Bill D. says:

    @Ruckus: If they only hit one, how did they wound the other? Or did you mean that they killed one and wounded the other?

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @cleek: The credo of the American cop.

  17. 17
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    That second part is really important.

  18. 18
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    How does this event fit with the open carry movement? And with Wal Mart selling guns both real and toy? And with toy guns that look real? The gun culture is crazy.

    A friend forbade his teen son from running around in the woods play with his friends shooting real-looking toy guns because he was afraid the kid would get killed.

  19. 19
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid: Without question the second part is important.

    Without the second part, we fail.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Problem is, most manufacturers of pellet guns do their best to make them look as much like real firearms as possible, they sell better that way.

    Ferengi/MBA priorities will the the doom of the human race.

  21. 21
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    This police behaviour goes beyond lawlessness and into outright hatred. I think this is a police force that needs to be disbanded, and its members marked as unfit for police work elsewhere.

    Unfortunately, it’s not an outlier. NYPD is just as bad.

  22. 22
    Mandalay says:

    @Belafon:

    What cops seem to have completely lost is the ability to properly assess the threat situation to themselves and others.

    I’m not sure that is something new. But what they have lost is the ability to misbehave without getting recorded by the public, and long may it continue. Here’s yet another example of a cop choosing to be a complete asshole to a motorist. We would never know about it if it hadn’t been filmed.

    We rightly demand that cops cars in Ferguson have cameras installed. It’s a sad thought, but maybe we should be getting cameras in our cars as well.

  23. 23
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:
    We can only hope that these lethal internal contradictions will eventually be the undoing of ammosexuality.

  24. 24

    @Iowa Old Lady: Pretty simple. If you’re white, no problem. If you’re another color, expect to die when you open carry.

  25. 25

    I also read that a little while later, police cruisers ran over the memorial.

    As I said elsewhere, I think they are trying to provoke a violent response.

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    I haven’t looked for updates lately, but that seems to be what happened to the guy who was killed by cops in Wal-Mart — he was fooling around with a realistic pellet gun the store had for sale but was unable to convince them that that’s all it was.

  27. 27
    Belafon says:

    @Mandalay: You’re right. I have argued before that what they are doing is not new, it’s the getting caught that is.

    I guess I’m arguing that why US cops just like to spray bullets like from a fire hose can’t be completely explained away by the population have more guns than in other countries.

  28. 28
    Mike in NC says:

    A long time ago I read where many countries, like Japan, require toy guns and water pistols to be made in colors like orange and pink to clearly identify them as non-weapons. Apparently in America a toy just needs to look as real as possible.

  29. 29
    The Moar You Know says:

    A long time ago I read where many countries, like Japan, require toy guns and water pistols to be made in colors like orange and pink to clearly identify them as non-weapons. Apparently in America a toy just needs to look as real as possible.

    @Mike in NC: Sadly, there’s a whole new gun market that’s rendering such laws obsolete:

    http://www.glamguns.com/hk47.html

    Yes, it’s real.

    Ha, you clicked! It’s not. But there is a real Kello Kitty AK47 floating around, I’ve seen it.

  30. 30
    Amir Khalid says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    I like the My Little Pony carbine. It’s just darling

  31. 31
    Belafon says:

    @Mnemosyne: According to the family, who got to see the Wal-Mart footage:

    Attorney Michael Wright said: “We need Mike DeWine to refer this case to the Department of Justice. Not to a special prosecutor.”

    Wright said Crawford did nothing wrong in Walmart. “Nothing more, nothing less than shopping.”

    Wright, who has seen store surveillance video of the shooting incident, said Crawford was shot while talking on the phone, holding the butt of the gun with the barrel pointed at the floor.

    He said Crawford was “shot on sight” in a “militaristic” response.

  32. 32
    Roger Moore says:

    @Belafon:

    I guess I’m arguing that why US cops just like to spray bullets like from a fire hose can’t be completely explained away by the population have more guns than in other countries.

    I think it gets down to bad training. They aren’t being taught to carefully aim each shot, so they wind up treating their guns as bullet hoses the way they see the heroes do in the movies. I suspect they would be less prone to shoot at all, much less to spray lead around the way they do, if they had real confidence they could take people down with one shot.

    @Mike in NC:

    Apparently in America a toy just needs to look as real as possible.

    Of course. We’re always talking about ammosexuals fantasizing about shooting people. Toy guns let them extend the fantasy to the point of actually shooting people, albeit without the real-world consequences. Making the toy guns as realistic as possible helps them to maintain suspension of disbelief.

  33. 33
    Barry says:

    @Belafon: “The guy they were shooting at was holding a pellet gun.”

    Meanwhile, there have been many ‘open carry’ events at WalMarts, with zero white people shot.

  34. 34
    chopper says:

    @Ruckus:

    a lot of it is ‘the cops must always be safe’. it used to be being a cop came with a certain risk. yeah, you pull over someone and there is a chance he’s a nutbag with a gun. or that a guy will pull a gun instead of his wallet to show you his ID. but them’s were the breaks, you’re a fucking cop.

    nowadays you get pulled over and the cop’s gun is already drawn. you go to get your wallet, the dude yells ‘gun!’ and puts 30 bullets into you. all because they don’t want to take any slight chance, and the country is fine with that. the jury will say ‘well, he thought the dude was a threat’.

  35. 35
    Cacti says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    This police behaviour goes beyond lawlessness and into outright hatred. I think this is a police force that needs to be disbanded, and its members marked as unfit for police work elsewhere.

    Funny you should mention that.

    Before Wilson came to Ferguson, he was part of a police force that underwent just such a purge. After ongoing problems with corruption and complaints of brutality, the entire Jennings Police Department (including Wilson) was fired by the City Council.

  36. 36
    Elizabelle says:

    OT:

    DC Area Balloon Juice meetups: one tonight, the second this Tuesday night, September 2nd

    Please come drink and maybe dine with us at Murphy’s Irish Pub in Old Town Alexandria, in honor of the visiting Mr. and Mrs. efgoldman. They’ll arrive 7:30 to 8:00p; I will try to be there closer to 7:00 p with a Tunch clipboard or some Balloon Juice indicator. Second floor. And it’s $14.95 steak night, through 9 pm tonight.

    Murphy’s Alexandria • 713 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 • 703.548-1717

    We will meet again this coming Tuesday, in honor of the visiting Siubhan Duinne. Same place, time TBD.

    RE Transport: car is good; plenty of on-street free parking after 6 or 7 p. (Check the meters.) FYI, Murphy’s is pretty close to Christ Church; you can park behind it and walk to Murphy’s …

    Accessible via King Street Metro station (blue and yellow? line; there’s a shuttle bus OR you can hoof it, if you’re so inclined.)

    Apologies for the short notice.

    And we must do a DC city meetup at some point. Apologies to those for whom Old Town Alexandria is too far a trek. Someone else should take the lead on organizing it — you’ll get more notice, for one!

  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:

    OT: in moderation re BJ meetup in Old Town Alexandria tonight; Murphy’s Pub.

    Haven’t read the thread, but the K9 officer needs suspending at least, and maybe reassigning.

    I cannot believe the Chief of Police still has his job. Would love to be a fly on Eric Holder’s wall at DoJustice.

  38. 38
    Chyron HR says:

    @Mike in NC:

    A long time ago I read where many countries, like Japan, require toy guns and water pistols to be made in colors like orange and pink to clearly identify them as non-weapons.

    As a Transformers fan, I’m pretty sure you have that backwards.

  39. 39
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Belafon:

    This is how bad that shooting was — even the commenters at the Daily Caller were like, WTF were those cops thinking?

    And, of course, two people died in the event, because a woman died of undisclosed causes (probably a cardiac incident) in the panic the cops created.

  40. 40
    Mandalay says:

    @Belafon: Here’s another example of cops massively overreacting because their behavior was being recorded.

    And with regard to your earlier comment about cops losing “the ability to properly assess the threat situation to themselves”, this what the chief of police said when the cop started to be filmed on a cell phone:

    The driver reached out of his window with a black object in his hand. The sergeant immediately felt threatened by this gesture and took actions to protect himself and others on the scene.

    He inadvertently told the truth when he spewed that lie.

    We need legislation that asserts the rights of citizens to film cops. Pixelize ’em!

  41. 41
    scav says:

    @chopper: And with that shoot first and furiously attitude, they still insist on abject, immediate and unceasing public adoration for their putting their lives in danger self-promotion.

  42. 42
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Mandalay: We need laws that positively affirm people’s rights- i.e. “officers shall not interfere with a citizen’s right to film police on duty”

  43. 43
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    This police behaviour goes beyond lawlessness and into outright hatred. I think this is a police force that needs to be disbanded, and its members marked as unfit for police work elsewhere.

    Rather like the force where Darren Wilson previously worked, except it seems he was perfectly qualified for Ferguson.
    @Villago Delenda Est: Late to the party, I am…

  44. 44
    Ruviana says:

    @Bill D.: Both women were wounded. It was a former L.A. cop who was taking revenge on a wide range of people including former co-workers. Cops were really jumpy!

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/08/us/lapd-attacks/

  45. 45
    The Moar You Know says:

    It was a former L.A. cop who was taking revenge on a wide range of people including former co-workers.

    @Ruviana: Funny how, to this day, nobody asked why Christopher Dorner took the actions that he did. Particularly since he took the effort to actually explain why he did it.

    Nope, he’s just some bad black cop who went off his rocker for no reason at all.

  46. 46
    Xantar says:

    @Belafon:

    I don’t necessarily fault the police for opening fire on this guy. He fired a pellet gun at them. It’s unreasonable to ask the police to determine in the heat of the moment that it’s not a real gun. Pointing a pellet gun at cops trying to arrest you and pulling the trigger is just bone-headed stupid, and I don’t really have a problem if you get killed as a result.

    But my question is why did they have to fire 30 bullets at the guy? Was he hiding behind something and popping out from time to time to open fire? Could they not simply take cover and then carefully maneuver into a position to box him in? I thought that was pretty standard practice, but admittedly I don’t know how they train cops these days. In any case, it just seems to me that because they fired so fast and furiously, a guy on the TV crew got killed. I’m not a fan of the the show he worked for, but he didn’t deserve that.

  47. 47
    Paul in KY says:

    Gee, that just surprises the fuck outa me.

    (end sarcasm)

  48. 48
    Paul in KY says:

    @chopper: Definitely correct there, chopper.

  49. 49
    TG Chicago says:

    @Xantar: Agreed. In a heated situation, I won’t fault cops for failing to distinguish between a realistic pellet gun and a real gun.

    But there’s no excuse for the hail of gunfire that led to a guy on their side — who was wearing a bulletproof vest, btw — to get killed by their own fire.

    Are cops actually trained to keep firing until they run out of bullets?

  50. 50
    brantl says:

    Not ammosexuals, ammomaniacs, LIke pyromaniacs, their dangerous with fire, these guys are dangerous with guns.

  51. 51
    Trollhattan says:

    @Mike in NC:
    They’ve been trying to do this in California for years, but the Usual Suspects are a-gin’ it. I think this bill is still alive.

    http://sd22.senate.ca.gov/news.....nsequences

    Did Gun Counter Gomer ever get his new BBQ?

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @brantl: Well, I don’t disagree, but ammosexuals is trying to make a point about their fetishizing of firearms, and also about their pretty obvious need to compensate for something.

  53. 53
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    The driver reached out of his window with a black object in his hand. The sergeant immediately felt threatened by this gesture and took actions to protect himself and others on the scene.

    The last thing a cop wants to have out there when he gets busy with his weapon is a record of the incident that he does not have total control over.

    That’s every bit as dangerous to him as someone pointing a firearm back at him.

    These motherfuckers need to be monitored every fucking second they are on duty. They cannot be trusted to behave without someone figuratively looking over their shoulders at all times.

  54. 54
    Fred says:

    Years ago (1970s-80s?) my friend Jim, a city cop told me he saw a woman in the middle of a neighborhood street, with a handgun, waving it in the air and shooting randomly in all directions. Did he pull his piece and drop the woman for the general safety of all? Did he call in back up and wait for the SWAT team to take the threat out? No, he walked up to the crazy lady, grabbed the gun and said “Gimme that thing before you hurt somebody.”
    Were those less dangerous times? I don’t think so. But they were more innocent times. Cops just didn’t waste people in the street in those days. They didn’t want to.

  55. 55
    Calouste says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I haven’t looked for updates lately, but that seems to be what happened to the guy who was killed by cops in Wal-Mart — he was fooling around with a realistic pellet gun the store had for sale but was unable to convince them that that’s all it was he was white.

    FTFY

    A white guy could have been walking around with a real gun in Walmart and he wouldn’t get shot. The police would probably not even get called.

  56. 56
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Calouste:

    A white guy could have been walking around with a real gun in Walmart and he wouldn’t get shot. The police would probably not even get called.

    unless he looked like a hippy or sumptin,l but yeah, you’re right.

  57. 57
    Mayken says:

    @Amir Khalid: Yeah, it’s kinda a red-flag that Darren Wilson was already part of a force that was disbanded for exactly this shit.

    But nothing to see here. No patterns. He’s just a cop doing his job. Etc. Etc. Etc.

  58. 58
    Mayken says:

    @Belafon: Yeah, kinda disagree with the former – in the heat of things when a “toy” gun looks just like a real one, not much in the way of training is going to make it possible for the office to know this one isn’t. But I totally agree about the wall of bullets shit. US police are notoriously bad shots – more time on the range, more time drilling when to engage with lethal force and when not to, as well as training them NOT to unload the damn gun every time you actually fire it is warranted for almost every police force in the damned country.

  59. 59
    Mandalay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    These motherfuckers need to be monitored every fucking second they are on duty. They cannot be trusted to behave without someone figuratively looking over their shoulders at all times.

    Yes indeed.

    The genie is out of the bottle on monitoring technology, and it’s never going back in, but only governments and corporations have reaped the benefits so far. Well it’s time for the little people to get a piece of the action as well. IANAL but I think we need legislation along the lines proposed in post #42: “officers shall not interfere with a citizen’s right to film police on duty”. Maybe a new amendment to Constitution: the right to bear cameras?

    And finally, there should be really serious consequences for cops who infringe on our right to bear cameras. This nonsense of constantly pretending that filming cops misbehaving presents a “threat to the safety of officers and the public” has got to stop.

  60. 60
    Mayken says:

    @The Moar You Know: Little pink .22s – for girls natch – are also a real thing. Seriously, my SIL has one she’s saving for her currently 9 month old granddaughter. Yes, I worry for the girl.

  61. 61
    Barry says:

    @Mnemosyne: “I haven’t looked for updates lately, but that seems to be what happened to the guy who was killed by cops in Wal-Mart — he was fooling around with a realistic pellet gun the store had for sale but was unable to convince them that that’s all it was.”

    Google ‘open carry WalMart’. A whole bunch of white people do this, and **none** have been shot.

  62. 62
    Barry says:

    @Roger Moore: “I think it gets down to bad training. They aren’t being taught to carefully aim each shot, so they wind up treating their guns as bullet hoses the way they see the heroes do in the movies. I suspect they would be less prone to shoot at all, much less to spray lead around the way they do, if they had real confidence they could take people down with one shot.”

    I think that it really comes down to the fact that they can get away with it. We see statistics where forces have large numbers of shootings, many with no gun on the dead person, but zero are referred to criminal prosecution.

  63. 63
    Barry says:

    @Mnemosyne: “This is how bad that shooting was — even the commenters at the Daily Caller were like, WTF were those cops thinking?”

    Now – I’ll bet you a cold one that by Monday, they’ll all be justifying it.

  64. 64
    navarro says:

    @Calouste:

    ohio is an open carry state.

  65. 65
    Barry says:

    @Calouste: “A white guy could have been walking around with a real gun in Walmart and he wouldn’t get shot. The police would probably not even get called.”

    White guys **do** do that, and none have been shot.

  66. 66
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Amir Khalid: Amen to that. I hope the good folks of Ferguson come out in droves and vote out all their elected leaders and replace them with folks who have their back. The police have adopted an “us against them” mentality and in my opinion have become dangerous to the Ferguson community. I hope the DOJ is investigating the Ferguson PD beyond the Brown killing.

  67. 67
    RaflW says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    These motherfuckers need to be monitored every fucking second they are on duty. They cannot be trusted to behave without someone figuratively looking over their shoulders at all times.

    I have major qualms about the British obsession with cameras everywhere, but maybe it would help. Though of course who controls the cameras makes all the difference.

  68. 68
    J R in WV says:

    I think a police officer who takes any violent action against any citizen and doesn’t have video clearly showing everything that happened should be guilty of a crime, no questions asked. Fired, never gonna be a cop again, never gonna own a gun again.

    They should all have a camera on their chest, and it should run for the whole shift. If there were no incidents on the shift, then after a few months and a review that video data could be erased. But since storage is so cheap now, really, cops whole career should be capture on official video, and kept until years after they are retired.

    The guy in Walmart who was shot down because some white lady(s) got scared of a black customer… she in/they are as guilty as the cops, really. A Guy holding a toy gun in the toy gun aisle, on the phone, for cripe’s sake!!! So SCARY!!! Cause he’s so dark!!!

    Repulsive!

  69. 69
    KS in MA says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    They sure sound like they’re trying to provoke a violent response. I’m wondering what a suitable non-violent response might be (other than nonviolent marches, of course)… What if people started mailing dead fish to the Ferguson cops, individually and as a department? That’s not illegal, is it?

    (Late to the party … long day at work.)

  70. 70
    Ruckus says:

    @Bill D.:
    They hit and wounded the driver. The passenger was not hit.

  71. 71
    Ruckus says:

    @Ruckus:
    @Ruviana:
    I stand corrected. I believed only the driver was shot.

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