Just Burn It Down

You have to wonder just how many police departments are this messed up:

Federal investigators are focused on one Ferguson, Mo., police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, but at least five other police officers and one former officer in the town’s 53-member department have been named in civil rights lawsuits alleging the use of excessive force.

In four federal lawsuits, including one that is on appeal, and more than a half-dozen investigations over the past decade, colleagues of Darren Wilson’s have separately contested a variety of allegations, including killing a mentally ill man with a Taser, pistol-whipping a child, choking and hog-tying a child and beating a man who was later charged with destroying city property because his blood spilled on officers’ clothes.

One officer has faced three internal affairs probes and two lawsuits over claims he violated civil rights and used excessive force while working at a previous police department in the mid-2000s. That department demoted him after finding credible evidence to support one of the complaints, and he subsequently was hired by the Ferguson force.

The noxious James Pasco of the FOP makes another grand appearance.

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37 replies
  1. 1
    Violet says:

    You have to wonder just how many police departments are this messed up:

    All of them, Katie.

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    FOP motto:

    “Making the Thin Blue Line Thicker One Lie at a Time.”

  3. 3
    Poopyman says:

    … beating a man who was later charged with destroying city property because his blood spilled on officers’ clothes.

    A despondent Fyodor Dostoyevsky was unavailable for comment.

  4. 4
    Violet says:

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Andrea Mitchell just announced that there will be a “revealing look at Chuck Todd from those who know him best” on MTP this morning. Gag.

  5. 5
    Cervantes says:

    @Violet: Why do you give them and their advertisers your time?

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Violet says:

    @Cervantes: I didn’t really. I had the TV paused and FF’d to the end of my local news to see a weather update. It’s raining a lot here and I wanted to see what the forecast was. I went too far on the fast forwarding and it landed on the opening of MTP and I just caught that bit. I’ve turned off the TV now.

  8. 8
    Patricia Kayden says:

    No doubt that the Ferguson P.D. is a mess. What can be done except probably disbanding its current workforce and hiring qualified replacements that reflect the community demographics. The current P.D. is so petty that they allowed their dogs to pee on Michael Brown’s memorial. And leaving Brown’s body out in the open for four hours after gunning him down is nothing but a modern-day lynching.

  9. 9
    Poopyman says:

    @Cervantes: I maybe shoulda gone with Kafka instead.

  10. 10
    Cervantes says:

    @Violet: Sorry, I did not mean to sound censorious. Was just curious.

    Those people really are revolting. We should be, too.

  11. 11
    Violet says:

    @Cervantes: I don’t watch the Sunday shows hardly ever. On occasion I’d catch a tiny bit of the David Gregory version of MTP and couldn’t believe how awful it was. During the Chuck Todd promo they showed his smug face and I just wanted to reach out and punch him through my TV. I can’t imagine how awful MTP is going to be with him. Ugh.

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    Who, exactly, is in charge in Ferguson? It has to be someone.

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    @MattF: That’s a good question. There’s a Mayor. I think I heard something about a city manager hiring the police chief or something. The whole place needs a clean sweep.

  14. 14
    WereBear says:

    I would imagine that this is quite common; in areas where the whites are both racist and a minority.

  15. 15
    NotMax says:

    The baton doesn’t fall far from the conductor. Police chief, mayor and any other local entities with authority or a say in the operations of the department are tainted (if not outright complicit) and/or grossly incompetent.

  16. 16
    Kathleen says:

    I’m shocked that the Post is reporting this. The article was excellent, but I could not bring myself to check the comments.

  17. 17
    Botsplainer says:

    @Violet:

    @MattF: That’s a good question. There’s a Mayor. I think I heard something about a city manager hiring the police chief or something. The whole place needs a clean sweep.

    From what I understand, Missouri has maintained state control of St Louis area policing since prior to the civil war – the police board is stacked with Legislature choices, and I think the mayor only gets one.

    And yes, the reason is the one you expect.

  18. 18
    Anya says:

    @Violet: I hope he bathes for this ‘revealing look’. That man looks like he needs a shower and a good scrub.

  19. 19
    MattF says:

    @NotMax: But you’ll notice… there are certain common themes to the various problems. Goals that are being achieved.

  20. 20
    NotMax says:

    @Violet

    Trouble if that Todd was very good when he reported from Hotline on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal nearly every day.

    Then he was hired away and that pesky Peter Principle kicked in.

  21. 21
    RaflW says:

    Ah. So when the Ferguson mayor was on TV in early days of the protests saying they didn’t have racial problems there, I think in hindsight that was a threat to its black citizens, not absurd wishful thinking or blind privilege.

  22. 22
    Mike in NC says:

    @Violet: Also, too: John McCain yammering about the urgent need to bomb Syria, Mexico, and the Crimean peninsula.

  23. 23
    Cervantes says:

    You have to wonder just how many police departments are this messed up:

    According to one national data base, “white” police officers killed a “black” person nearly twice a week, every week, during the eight-year period 2005-2012.

    Of those “black” people, 18% were under 21. The comparable number for “white” people was 9%.

    Actually, the numbers are even more adverse than indicated, because this particular data base includes only incidents self-reported by police departments.

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    @Cervantes

    *gasp* Might you be implying the reporting is less than totally scrupulous?

    The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP – is there a worse acronym?) has a bone to pick with thee.

    (removing tongue from cheek in 3, 2, 1&8230;)

  25. 25
    MattF says:

    @Mike in NC: Not North Korea? He’s getting forgetful.

  26. 26
    NotMax says:

    Speaking of Labor Day, >remember when?

  27. 27
    Cervantes says:

    @NotMax:

    (FOP – is there a worse acronym?)

    Given that fops worry a lot about their appearance, and given what we’ve seen of the police in Ferguson and elsewhere, I’m not sure it’s such a bad acronym.

  28. 28
    Mike in NC says:

    The little village of Bald Head Island, NC has just fired five public safety officers (cops with EMT and firefighter training) for sexual harassment and improper use of electronic communications.

    Just an isolated incident, right?

  29. 29
    Gene108 says:

    @NotMax:

    I think it is more to do with a management hierarchy – the DC press corps – that does not reward honest fact based analysis.

    If Todd kept doing the crunching analysis he did with Hotline, he at some point would have produced a counter-narrative to Narrative of the Day the DC press corps had decided upon and that can not be allowed.

  30. 30
    jayboat says:

    @Mike in NC:

    I lived in the area (Oak Island) for ten years. To my knowledge, during that entire decade there was not one black family living there. Bald Head was worse, pure uppercrust whitebread, accessible only by ferry and is (or was, it’s been a while) privately owned by the sons of a Texas oilman.

    Color me not surprised. I am sure the ‘best and brightest’ that you speak of were mostly hired from Brunswick County. Good ‘ol boy ground zero… one of the most backward and bigoted places I’ve ever had the misfortune to visit. To say I don’t miss the place would be the understatement of the day.

    So, yeah- as far as the topic of the thread, it’s a nationwide systemic problem, no matter the size of the county.

  31. 31
    Mike in NC says:

    @jayboat: I believe a one-way ferry ride to Bald Head runs $23, so we’ve ever had the urge to visit!

  32. 32
    bemused says:

    It would be easier to count the number of times that McCain hasn’t been on sunday morning shows than the number of times on.

  33. 33
    J R in WV says:

    @bemused:

    Would the answer perhaps be “42” as it is on so many other important occasions? The “hasn’t been” question, I mean…

  34. 34
    Cervantes says:

    @jayboat:

    Bald Head was worse, pure uppercrust whitebread

    It’s a small population, probably fewer than a hundred homes; not everyone is rich; and I’ve seen one or two African-American families.

    (I go there to visit with the sea-turtles.)

  35. 35
    Joey Maloney says:

    @NotMax:

    The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP – is there a worse acronym?) has a bone to pick with thee.

    It could be the Fraternal Association of Police.

  36. 36
    Arclite says:

    @Violet:

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Andrea Mitchell just announced that there will be a “revealing look at Chuck Todd from those who know him best” on MTP this morning. Gag.

    Amazing podcaster Dan Carlin said once that “journalists” on TV were just actors that lacked dramatic talent. =D

  37. 37
    Currants says:

    @Cervantes: I saw that–Well played, Cer!

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