It's now or never.
September 17, 2014 11:40 PM   Subscribe

 
Jesus, that's thoroughly researched and thoroughly damning.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:11 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


It might be thoroughly researched, but it's not well researched, and it is questionably damning.

What really kills it for me is his misrepresentation of a couple of the news articles he quotes. He accuses Roorda of wanting to "protect officers who murder citizens," but that's obviously hyperbole. I mean, it's obvious to me, but the author apparently believes that Roorda is bloodthirsty. Roorda introduced a bill that would prevent the names of officers involved in shootings from being released in order to protect their safety and that of their families. How long that restriction would last for a given case is uncertain: he linked to a local news article, not the text of the bill. But the bill never passed and Roorda accepted a compromise that would not ban the release of names, but would allow the police department to release names on a case-by-case basis after evaluating the risk to the officer.

Keep in mind that these are officers who have been involved in shootings. They have not necessarily been accused of wrongdoing.

The author also misrepresents McCulloch's (STL prosecutor) actions. He states that "when asked about why he wasn't going to prosecute the officers, McColloch called the men they killed 'bums'." But that's not what the article says at all. He did call the two men bums, and he shouldn't have, but the reason he didn't prosecute the officers in that shooting is that a Federal probe found that the shooting was justified.

The author begins his series of tweets with what appears to be his own personal reconstruction of the events that occurred in the shooting of Michael Brown, starting with when Brown allegedly fled from the police vehicle. He doesn't source the "eyewitness accounts" he draws on, and eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable anyway. He also relied on audio of the shooting and the autopsy report. With the information he has presented, I see no reason to accept his version of events.

The author's string of tweets isn't particularly compelling. The author seems like a busybody (as far as I can tell, he's not even from MO) suffering from white guilt posting speculation and deliberate misrepresentation (I'm being charitable and assuming he can read newspaper articles) on Twitter. I'm not impressed.
posted by jingzuo at 12:41 AM on September 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


Yea, this is the kind of fight where you should only really throw a punch if you can land a clean blow. Not because the other side is fighting fair, but because if you cock it up the other side will just keep punching until you're dust.

This kind of takedown needs to happen, but not if it's this iffy.
posted by emptythought at 12:47 AM on September 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


Not sure how much of it is a home run. But why is Jay Nixon palling around with one of the three people responsible for the Darren Wilson fundraisers? I personally have trouble seeing those fundraisers as anything but a hateful "fuck you" to anyone seeking justice in this situation, so it's really bizarre and troubling that Gov. Nixon is happy to associate with that guy and speak at events for him.

Re: McCulloch, that Washington Post article is a must read.

He did call the two men bums, and he shouldn't have, but the reason he didn't prosecute the officers in that shooting is that a Federal probe found that the shooting was justified.

Here's the full story (from a USA Today article):

"In 2001, two white undercover drug officers shot and killed two black men in the parking lot of a Jack in the Box restaurant, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The officers said the men, who had prior felony convictions in drug and assault cases, tried to escape and drove toward them. However, a federal investigation found that the men were unarmed and that their car had not moved when the officers fired 21 shots into the vehicle, killing both men. That inquiry concluded, however, that the shooting was justified because the officers feared for their lives.

"McCulloch refused to prosecute the officers, despite public protests. He said of the dead men, 'These guys were bums.'"
posted by naju at 1:16 AM on September 18, 2014 [25 favorites]


(as far as I can tell, he's not even from MO)

How could this possibly matter?

Also, the assertion that anybody concerned about what's going on in Ferguson is just being a "busybody" is somewhere between upsetting and downright offensive.
posted by IAmUnaware at 1:17 AM on September 18, 2014 [39 favorites]


he author seems like a busybody (as far as I can tell, he's not even from MO) suffering from white guilt

I believe the classic ad hom you're looking for is "outside agitator", as lovely a history as that has in Southern racial discussions. The discussion of the arguments is fine, there's no need to throw in fairly classically racist tropes.
posted by jaduncan at 1:33 AM on September 18, 2014 [71 favorites]


The objections jingzuo raise are the usual nitpicking with no merit you always get whenever American authorities are questioned, there to obscure the fundamental truth of what Shaun King has tweeted.

"Oh no it's not protecting police murderers, it's just not releasing their identities to the press, something not done for any other suspected murderer. "
posted by MartinWisse at 1:52 AM on September 18, 2014 [20 favorites]


naju: I don't think that provides any new information. He called the men bums. He declined to prosecute the cops involved in the shooting because the Federal probe found that the shooting was justified. Attempting to glue things together to have it come out as

he didn't prosecute the cops because he thought they were bums

is disingenuous. Or do you believe that local prosecutors should ignore the results of Federal civil rights investigations?

IAmUnaware It matters because the author strikes me as an opportunistic self-promoter. He's from California, not Missouri. There are plenty of profound injustices in his own backyard. But Ferguson is the one that's getting media attention right now, so that's what he latches on to. And while you're looking at his Twitter feed, well, you might as well check out his website that's linked there. And buy his book!

MartinWisse Not every police shooting is a murder. And how often do non-police involved in shootings have people rioting in the streets and calling for their blood?
posted by jingzuo at 1:58 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Keep in mind that these are officers who have been involved in shootings. They have not necessarily been accused of wrongdoing.

There is no expectation of privacy in Public, right? Public Officers are, by definition, always in public, so, they never have any expectation of privacy.
posted by mikelieman at 2:18 AM on September 18, 2014 [12 favorites]


Or do you believe that local prosecutors should ignore the results of Federal civil rights investigations?

When the federal probe's conclusions aren't supported by the actual determined facts of the situation, yes, it's not the end of the process. The "bums" comment didn't help, nor did the refusal to release the surveillance tapes that showed the police were lying, nor did a lot of other things.

It's just one illustration of a prosecutor we can't really rely on to hold police accountable. As the Washington Post piece notes, "During his [23-year] tenure, there have been at least a dozen fatal shootings by police in his jurisdiction (the roughly 90 municipalities in the county other than St. Louis itself), and probably many more than that, but McCulloch’s office has not prosecuted a single police shooting in all those years. At least four times he presented evidence to a grand jury but — wouldn’t you know it? — didn’t get an indictment." Further: "[Lowery] has since asked McCulloch’s office for a list of cases in which prosecutors pursued charges against a law enforcement official. McCulloch’s office ultimately came up with only one case over 23 years that The Post could verify of the prosecution of a white officer for using inappropriate force against a black victim, and it wasn’t a shooting."

Forget the quibbling over "bums." McCulloch's entire record is damning. We can't look to him for effectuating justice in the Michael Brown case.
posted by naju at 2:44 AM on September 18, 2014 [25 favorites]


Without knowing the details of the cases, the statistics regarding McCulloch's record are meaningless.

I believe the Feds are still examining the Michael Brown shooting. If, in the end, they find that the shooting was not justified, but McCulloch declines to prosecute the officer because he feels that "the federal probe's conclusions aren't supported by the actual determined facts of the situation," will you still be a supporter of disregarding the results of a Federal civil rights probe in favor of the local authorities' determination of the facts of the situation?

And we're not merely quibbling over "bums". We're discussing the Twitter posts Evilspork linked, and one of the unfortunate features of those posts is that they contain a number of lies. One of them is that McCulloch said that he would not prosecute the police involved in a previous shooting because the men who were shot were bums. That is not factual based on any evidence that the author supplied.
posted by jingzuo at 2:59 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


"Roorda introduced a bill that would prevent the names of officers involved in shootings from being released in order to protect their safety and that of their families. How long that restriction would last for a given case is uncertain: he linked to a local news article, not the text of the bill. But the bill never passed and Roorda accepted a compromise that would not ban the release of names, but would allow the police department to release names on a case-by-case basis after evaluating the risk to the officer."
There is a disgustingly venal kind of cowardice and hypocrisy that is central to this but perhaps non-intuitive. Police departments constantly ask witnesses to crimes they had no part in and did not volunteer to see to place their lives, families, and livelihoods in genuine credible danger in order to make our communities safer by coming forward and standing by their words in public and relying on the police to protect them. What does it say to us as a community when sworn officers, who we pay generously for their 'commitment', are not only so terrified of the people they serve that they are unwilling to stand by their actions in front of us, but have so little faith in the ability of the police to protect 'their own' - a category that is so clearly expressed to no longer include us?
posted by Blasdelb at 3:03 AM on September 18, 2014 [106 favorites]


The first link isn't loading for me at the moment, so instead, I'll remind folks of the two thoroughly researched and thoroughly damning blog posts by Charles Grapski over at Photography Is Not A Crime about the ongoing criminal obstruction of justice on the part of Ferguson-area police who are blocking attempts to see any incident reports about Mike Brown's death. Grapski points out the obstruction involves clear, ongoing violations of both Missouri open records laws *and* the local departments' own rules:

St. Louis County and Ferguson Police Violating Public Records Laws Regarding Michael Brown Shooting Death

No Incident Report? Then Where’s Use of Force Report? More Violations from Ferguson

Salon has a summary, which was posted near the end of the previous Ferguson thread.
posted by mediareport at 3:09 AM on September 18, 2014 [23 favorites]


I believe the Feds are still examining the Michael Brown shooting. If, in the end, they find that the shooting was not justified, but McCulloch declines to prosecute the officer because he feels that "the federal probe's conclusions aren't supported by the actual determined facts of the situation," will you still be a supporter of disregarding the results of a Federal civil rights probe in favor of the local authorities' determination of the facts of the situation?

I believe federal prosecutors will step in and prosecute in such a situation, so that question doesn't necessarily matter? But look. Prosecutors have a duty to seek justice when sufficient evidence leads to probable cause. The facts of that situation pointed pretty heavily in that direction.
posted by naju at 3:32 AM on September 18, 2014


The author seems like a busybody (as far as I can tell, he's not even from MO)....

It matters because the author strikes me as an opportunistic self-promoter. He's from California, not Missouri. There are plenty of profound injustices in his own backyard.

"Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states....Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial 'outside agitator' idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider."
posted by kewb at 3:36 AM on September 18, 2014 [22 favorites]



Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Solomon Burke said it best:
Well you better listen my sister's and brothers,
'Cause if you do you can hear
There are voices still calling across the years.
And they're all crying across the ocean,
And they're cryin across the land,
And they will till we all come to understand.

None of us are free.
None of us are free.
None of us are free, if one of us are chained.
None of us are free.

And there are people still in darkness,
And they just can't see the light.
If you don't say it's wrong then that says it right.
We got try to feel for each other, let our brother's know that we care.
Got to get the message, send it out loud and clear.

None of us are free.
None of us are free.
None of us are free, if one of us are chained.
None of us are free.

It's a simple truth we all need, just to hear and to see.
None of us are free, if one of us is chained.
None of us are free.
Now I swear your salvation isn't too hard too find,
None of us can find it on our own. (On our own)
We've got to join together in sprirt, heart and mind.
So that every soul who's suffering will know they're not alone.

Oh, none of us are free.
None of us are free, yo
None of us are free, if one of us are chained.
None of us are free.

If you just look around you,
Your gonna see what I say.
Cause the world is getting smaller each passing day. (Passing day)
Now it's time to start making changes,
And it's time for us all to realize,
That the truth is shining real bright right before our eyes. (Before our eyes)

None of us are free.
None of us are free.
None of us are free, if one of us is chained.
None of us are free.

Oh, none of us are free.
None, none, none of us (None of us are free)
Oh, none one of us
(None of us are free, if one of us is chained) Well, well,
Well, once again

(None of us are free) None of us are free
(None of us are free) None of us are free
(None of us are free, if one of us is chained) One of us, none of us, one of us

(None of us are free) Lord, have mercy
(None of us are free) Oh, let me save you
(None of us are free, if one of us is chained)
If one of us is chained, none of us are free.
Well, I gotta tell about it

(None of us are free) Oh, ma ma ma
(None of us are free) Ma ma Lord
None of us are free, if one of us is chained.
None of us are free.

None of us, none of us, none of us are free.
None of us are free.
None of us are free, if one of us is chained.
None of us are free.

None of us are free.
None of us are free, no
None of us are free, (if one of us is chained), oh, Lord
(None of us are free) oh, Lord

None of us are free.
(None of us are free)
None of us are free, if one of us is chained.
None of us are free.


posted by mikelieman at 3:46 AM on September 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


But the bill never passed and Roorda accepted a compromise that would not ban the release of names, but would allow the police department to release names on a case-by-case basis after evaluating the risk to the officer.

So instead of banning the release of names, the compromise merely allows the police to not release the names. I don't think the problem was that the police were too willing to do that. This is like saying "We're not banning abortion, we're just closing all the abortion clinics."
posted by Etrigan at 4:25 AM on September 18, 2014 [21 favorites]


disgustingly venal kind of cowardice and hypocrisy

That is what should be painted on the outside of police cruisers.

At this point, if you're a cop in America, I truly, honestly believe you're a racist, psychopathic thug. In my lifetime I have gone from believing that your average cop was a decent person doing a difficult job to knowing the average cop is fighting a war of "au-thor-ri-tay" vs. the rest of us. They just haven't had time yet to kill every black person.

Imagine you get off on "being in charge" and "administering justice" and maybe even literally get off on being a tough-guy killer. There is a job available in vast numbers across the US which pays well and gives you absolutely fucking carte-blanche to do whatever you want. The job is police officer. It attracts "talent" accordingly.
posted by maxwelton at 4:32 AM on September 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


He's from California, not Missouri. There are plenty of profound injustices in his own backyard.

As we all know, it's only possible to care about one problem, and it must be the problem closest to you geographically.
posted by almostmanda at 4:46 AM on September 18, 2014 [23 favorites]


As we all know, it's only possible to care about one problem, and it must be the problem closest to you geographically.

BUT WHAT IF I'M EQUIDISTANT???
posted by jaduncan at 4:52 AM on September 18, 2014 [14 favorites]


BUT WHAT IF I'M EQUIDISTANT???

Then THAT's your problem. Obviously.
posted by YAMWAK at 4:54 AM on September 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


We're discussing the Twitter posts Evilspork linked, and one of the unfortunate features of those posts is that they contain a number of lies. One of them is that McCulloch said that he would not prosecute the police involved in a previous shooting because the men who were shot were bums. That is not factual based on any evidence that the author supplied.

No, what Shaun King said is that in a discussion of why the officers wouldn't be prosecuted, he called the victims bums. Nowhere did Shaun King assert that that was the reason. You are slamming him for words you are putting in his mouth, and then dismissing him based on wrong facts. So what are we to so with you?
posted by entropone at 5:16 AM on September 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


> ...(as far as I can tell, he's not even from MO) suffering from white guilt ...

> He's from California, not Missouri. There are plenty of profound injustices in his own backyard.

It's totally irrelevant to the content we're discussing here, but just for the record, Shaun King is African-American and originally from Atlanta. He's the former pastor of Courageous Church in Atlanta.
posted by nangar at 5:38 AM on September 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


The source for the 'bums' thing.

Not a lie. Someone in this thread is spreading misinformation, and it's not Shaun king.
posted by empath at 5:42 AM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


At this point, if you're a cop in America, I truly, honestly believe you're a racist, psychopathic thug.

It's all fun and hyperbole until someone you love is murdered.
posted by Pudhoho at 5:43 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


jingzuo writes: The author seems like a busybody (as far as I can tell, he's not even from MO) suffering from white guilt…

jingzuo, can you clearly explain what the term "white guilt" means to you?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:49 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


"There is no expectation of privacy in Public, right? Public Officers are, by definition, always in public, so, they never have any expectation of privacy."

Well, here's the thing. I spent the last five years as a local elected official. We fired a popular principal for fairly serious wrongdoing. Parts of the community were enraged not about the wrongdoing, but about the firing (offering justifications from "he couldn't have done that! he's a good guy!" to "well sure he did that but other people probably did worse things!"). A subset of those people began a campaign of harassment against me (viewing me as the most vulnerable member of the board) to attempt to get me to change my vote -- death threats, rape threats, harassment of my neighbors -- and when that was ineffective, they moved on to threatening my children, including a specific threat to my pre-kindergartener at school that gave his name, school, and classroom. And twice when out shopping with my three-year-old I have been approached by people involved in this who SCREAMED at me until my three-year-old started crying (they were scary to me too!) and we had to flee to the security/customer service desk. My three-year-old is now scared of strange adults at Target because of this. Although I have left that office, the nightmare remains ongoing -- we had to cancel our phone -- because these people are now focused on retaliating against my "corrupt" decision-making. It's not a great feeling to be anxious every day when you send your kindergartener to school because literal crazy people are threatening your family. It's not a great feeling to decide if you need groceries badly enough to risk taking your three-year-old with you because he's now so scared of strangers approaching him in stores, and maybe you will run into one of these nutjobs. Perhaps I have no expectation of privacy, but I think my children do.

Public officers are public, fine; but their families are not. And there are some really unreasonable, bad people out there who feel free to target public employees and officials who are, legitimately, doing their jobs. The names of officers in officer-involved shootings are public and need to be released. But it is facile to pretend that this is an uncomplicated action that will be met with calm and reasonable reactions.

Even if Darren Wilson did murder Michael Brown, which I believe he did, that doesn't mean that his wife, his children, his parents -- whatever family he has (I don't actually know) -- deserve to suffer for his actions (ignoring any indirect suffering they experience because of consequences to him). This becomes even more difficult and fraught if the officer was justified in firing his weapon. One of the consequences of a "throw them to the wolves" attitude when public employees or official do unpopular things (whether those unpopular things were right or wrong or even felonious) is that good people will not want to serve in those jobs, and you will end up with more Darren Wilsons and fewer Eyebrows McGees (if I may use myself as an example of rectitude; I tried to serve well); fewer people serving out of idealism and a desire to help their communities and do the work well, and more opportunists and power-seeking narcissists. That's not a great outcome.

I don't have a solution, but I think it matters that we recognize the balancing of concerns that we need to be doing, as a community, when we talk about public officials.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:57 AM on September 18, 2014 [75 favorites]


It's all fun and hyperbole until someone you love is murdered.

...and you can't get justice because the shooter was a cop.

It's not enough to let systemic issues of corruption be minimised just because the police will respond to a murder call. Why not aim high and go for addressing both?
posted by jaduncan at 5:57 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


And how often do non-police involved in shootings have people rioting in the streets and calling for their blood?

wow, why are people protesting their institutions' predation upon them instead of, uh
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:38 AM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


> At this point, if you're a cop in America, I truly, honestly believe you're a racist, psychopathic thug.

Including all the black cops, of which there are many?
posted by jfuller at 6:39 AM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


And how often do non-police involved in shootings have people rioting in the streets and calling for their blood

That tends to happen when murderers get away with murder.
posted by empath at 6:40 AM on September 18, 2014


The point of protesting police killings isn't that holy crap, murder is so wrong and we sould also take to the streets every time somebody murders somebody else.

The point is, holy crap this is a tremendous irreversable abuse of power by an institution that is allegedly there to protect us but instead often acts more like organized crime.
posted by entropone at 6:41 AM on September 18, 2014 [21 favorites]


At this point, if you're a cop in America, I truly, honestly believe you're a racist, psychopathic thug.

Including all the black cops, of which there are many?


But don't let it be a black and a white one
Cause they'll slam ya down to the street top
Black police showing out for the white cop
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:52 AM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Without knowing the details of the cases, the statistics regarding McCulloch's record are meaningless.

Uh, they are quite meaningful in the sense that it is utter unbelievable that in a county with a population of a million and some several thousands of police officers going about their business daily, that in 23 years, and a well earned reputation for racial and other serious issues in the police forces, there has not been more than ONE SINGLE EXAMPLE of a police officer who used unwarranted force or unjustifiably shot someone.

It just beggars belief. Large masses of people are simple not that uniformly virtuous and perfect in their judgement and actions.
posted by flug at 7:23 AM on September 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


Is it possible to both think the Ferguson case betrays a shit-ton of racist corruption and that this random guy's string of tweets is not a very compelling case? I'm hoping for more real journalism, less activist tweets.
posted by Nelson at 7:23 AM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Jingzuo: A Federal probe found that the shooting was justified.

Naju (quoting press): The officers said the men, who had prior felony convictions in drug and assault cases, tried to escape and drove toward them. However, a federal investigation found that the men were unarmed and that their car had not moved when the officers fired 21 shots into the vehicle, killing both men. That inquiry concluded, however, that the shooting was justified because the officers feared for their lives.

WTF? Were they suffering from some Lovecraftian existential dread?

What possible reasonable fear were they in from a couple of unarmed men in a stationary car? I mean shit, I'm unarmed in a stationary car every god damn day. Is the Justice Department saying I'm a deadly threat to any police officer who happens by and so he would be justified in killing me?

Just because the Federal probe was apparently just as fucked up as the original local investigation doesn't make King's findings any less damning.
posted by Naberius at 8:04 AM on September 18, 2014 [26 favorites]


WTF? Were they suffering from some Lovecraftian existential dread?

"In fear for my life" is the "Stand your ground" card for law enforcement. And, if you don't think this is a known thing in policing, you're greatly mistaken.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:08 AM on September 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


Including all the black cops, of which there are many?

You can be part of a discriminated-against group and still share the attitudes and beliefs of the people repressing you. In the case of the police in the US, the organizations themselves are racist to their core. When you put on their uniform, that's what you become, whatever your own color might be.
posted by maxwelton at 8:15 AM on September 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


WTF? Were they suffering from some Lovecraftian existential dread?

Even then, any reasonable person would know better than to shoot bullets at Shub-Niggurath or Nyarlathotep. It would be purely ineffectual and might make the Elder One angry. Er.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:27 AM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


> Were they suffering from some Lovecraftian existential dread?

Given H.P. Lovecraft's views on race, I find this oddly appropriate.
posted by papercrane at 8:47 AM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Even then, any reasonable person would know better than to shoot bullets at Shub-Niggurath or Nyarlathotep. It would be purely ineffectual and might make the Elder One angry. Er.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:27 AM on September 18 [1 favorite +] [!]


What if you're firing banishment rounds?
posted by Thistledown at 9:46 AM on September 18, 2014


The idea that police and their families are in danger of angry, vengeful citizens

vs.

the reality that citizens, especially citizens of color, ESPECIALLY BLACK citizens, are in DAILY danger of scared, often racist cops with lethal weapons

is like the difference between

being afraid of your family members being killed

and

living with the deaths of multiple of your family members who have actually already been killed.

One is not like the other.

(The deep fear, btw, that angry mobs of black people will come to your home and kill you in your privilege has a long and storied history. I highly, HIGHLY recommend reading The New Jim Crow for additional perspectives on the history of policing and the ghettoization of black communities in this country since the Civil War.)
posted by whimsicalnymph at 9:51 AM on September 18, 2014 [24 favorites]


At this point, if you're a cop in America, I truly, honestly believe you're a racist, psychopathic thug. In my lifetime I have gone from believing that your average cop was a decent person doing a difficult job to knowing the average cop is fighting a war of "au-thor-ri-tay" vs. the rest of us. They just haven't had time yet to kill every black person.

This is just not true. Look, if you check my comment history you'll know that my son is a police officer in a southern state, but I'm also very aware of how his personality has changed since entering the academy and joining the force. I'm not a fan of police culture. I do know that there are bad cops and that sometimes the good cops don't out the bad ones the first time they see something ugly or maybe until they're forced to during an investigation. That doesn't make every cop a psychopath or a racist or a thug-it makes them a human being who doesn't make the right choice every minute of every day.

Listen, I'm in no way some sort of blind police supporter, groupie or apologist, but you need to stop painting every police officer with one big brush.
posted by hollygoheavy at 10:26 AM on September 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


Another great book, an ethnography of a largely black community in Philadelphia that was excerpted on the blue previously, is Alice Goffman's On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City. It is amazing—I ordered it in June after reading that excerpt, but from my local bookstore, so it was back-ordered up until very recently. So I only just started reading it, but man. It is essential reading anytime, but especially so in the wake of events in Ferguson.
posted by limeonaire at 10:27 AM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


For the record, police and their families are threatened routinely. People don't want to go to jail, they get pissed off and some of them don't get over it. Criminals don't always stay in jail forever and it's not hard to find someone when you're holding a grudge. And they're aren't all black, so it's not a fear of an angry black mob coming to your house, it's a fear that one person who remembers your face and name sees you in Target with your family, now they know what THEY look like too.
posted by hollygoheavy at 10:41 AM on September 18, 2014


The cops didn't investigate, McCulloch isn't prosecuting and everyone's hoping that at some point Mike Brown will be forgotten about and swept under the rug.

Maybe something will come out of the Federal investigation. Maybe. If it does it will be with everyone at the local level trying to make sure that doesn't happen.
posted by Artw at 10:58 AM on September 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


Sigh.
posted by cashman at 11:09 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Eyebrows McGee: Your story is scary. And I believe all of it, because there are plenty of people out there to do crazy, assholian things.

But the problem with devising protections specific to criminal justice officials, or to public officials in general, is that it's "selective justice".

We routinely see the criminal justice establishment orchestrating "perp walks", leaks, and selective disclosures that expose ordinary citizens and their families to the same sorts of dangers. Those people may have done wrong, but they haven't been convicted of anything. And their kids sure haven't, any more than yours have. Nonetheless, they get their names, faces, and alleged crimes on the news... and they can easily get the same kind of harrassment you did.

In fact, it's starting to look like that sort of thing is becoming a standard LE tactic. Not sure you can get a conviction? Well, you can punish 'em, anyway: do the perp walk and make sure that guy can't walk down the street in his own town again. Defendant won't plead? Leak something, or threaten to leak something. Need more funding and more public sympathy? Partner with "Cops" or whatever, and get on TV! To hell with the impact on the people you accuse... or their families.

When I see an attempt at protective legislation that doesn't address those problems, all I can think is that the political class is being awfully understanding of its own members and affiliates, compared to the amount of understanding it gives the people it doesn't like. If you want to solve those problems, then you need to make criminal accusations in general a confidential matter (unless, of course, the accused wants to go public... no hiding your own dirty laundry behind somebody else's "privacy").
posted by Hizonner at 11:37 AM on September 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


Oh wow. There's another amazing Shaun King Storify out, this one about the distance between Wilson's SUV and the spot where Brown died.

@ShaunKing exposes Ferguson PD lie about distance from SUV

Good God this story just gets more fucked up. Maybe I'm just tired, but I teared up reading this. It just makes me feel so helpless to know how stacked this narrative really is.
posted by limeonaire at 11:47 AM on September 18, 2014 [13 favorites]


So Mike Brown wasn't even inside the magic 25ft Zone of Death? Unsurprising.
posted by Artw at 11:52 AM on September 18, 2014


there's too much emphasis on ferguson, as if it were a distinctive aberration; it isn't, every american lives in a potential ferguson. haven't most of you been following the daniele watts situation in los angeles? did she have to show her ID or not? i say no, based on my understanding of the fourth and fifth amendments, but i hope she sues so we can get some kind of definitive adjudication of what rights, if any, we have left.

the issue of whether police who shoot people should be identified immediately is important, but not as important as some of you think, because it has a negative unintended consequence. in the looming era of asymmetric conflict, targets will become fungible, because everything we have sown abroad will eventually come home and take root in america. the police establishment is putting the good cops at risk for the behavior of the bad cops. just the other day in pennsylvania, some cowardly freak ambushed and killed a random state trooper, and i hope they catch him and he gets a jury of people like me, because i'm pro-death penalty and it wouldn't be a long deliberation.
posted by bruce at 11:56 AM on September 18, 2014


>stop painting every police officer with one big brush.

For every actively "bad cop" there are dozens or hundreds of "good cops" that ignore or enable that behavior. That doesn't make them "good guys doing their best to get through the day", it makes them "bad cops" too. Until that changes police have lost the benefit of the doubt.

> if you're a cop in America, I truly, honestly believe you're a racist, psychopathic thug.

We can't know that, but I think it's far, far safer for people to act like that is the case. Don't engage with them unless there is no other option, be aware of your surroundings, no sudden moves, no arguments, film everything, leave the area as soon as you are able..
posted by anti social order at 11:57 AM on September 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


We don't know that Darren Wilson is especially racist or especially brutal. What we do know is that he fucked up and killed someone for no good reason, and that the institutions surrounding him have colluded to ensure that he will face no consequences for that whatsoever. We also know that such killings are not uncommon, and covering for such killers is standard operating procedure for Police. We also know that when facing public protest police will escalate to unacceptable levels of brutality. Those are the things that should be addressed and the reason that police, as a group, are suspect.
posted by Artw at 12:08 PM on September 18, 2014 [24 favorites]


limeonaire Michael Brown may have been 100 feet away from the SUV, but he was within 10-15 feet of the cop. From the article that King himself tweeted:

"...the worker heard a gunshot. Then he saw Brown running away from a police car. Wilson trailed about 10 to 15 feet behind, gun in hand." (emphasis mine)

So Wilson was not shooting at Brown from 100 feet away. They were within close proximity.
posted by jingzuo at 12:09 PM on September 18, 2014


Sure, it's possible that the shots were fired during the two points at which Wilson was in closer proximity to Brown. That would even jibe with the pause in the gunfire we heard in the released audio. But the point is that the police early on claimed that Brown was no more than 35 feet away from the car when he was killed, a statement that has shaped the narrative in the 41 days since Brown died and that now has been shown to be completely untrue.

The police narrative has had many people imagining that Wilson struggled with Brown while in his car, then got out of the car and shot at Brown from right there. But from what we're seeing in King's Storify, that's not how it happened. From this, it doesn't sound at all like Wilson was standing his ground and shooting while Brown charged him or whatever; it sounds like Wilson chased Brown down and executed him.
posted by limeonaire at 12:25 PM on September 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


stop painting every police officer with one big brush.

People can't be painted with a big brush, but subcultures can. Subcultures are defined by big brushes.
posted by rhizome at 12:31 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


But from what we're seeing in King's Storify, that's not how it happened.

Which, if you were lucky enough to be on Twitter just before the story broke and it became national news, minutes after Brown was shot, you knew from the eye witnesses accounts being tweeted live.

It's just that these are disbelieved while police murder apologists like jingzuo over here nitpick everything to death.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:31 PM on September 18, 2014 [12 favorites]


Then he saw Brown running away from a police car. Wilson trailed about 10 to 15 feet behind, gun in hand.

He was so afraid of an unarmed man, he decided to pursue him.

The number of the times the cop-placating narrative has changed is uncountable at this point.
posted by Dark Messiah at 12:35 PM on September 18, 2014 [13 favorites]


Well this is interesting. I've asked my husband rhetorically why on earth the police line/barrier was so large the I'd never seen one so large on the news, and sort of assumed it was that size because they didn't want people from the neighborhood getting a close look. I now wonder if it does have something to do with the proposed idea that the distance of the shooting was so far.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 12:44 PM on September 18, 2014


Metafilter: because there are plenty of people out there to do crazy, assholian things.
posted by Naberius at 12:50 PM on September 18, 2014


[This needs to not become a protracted, police-apologist "what if?" conversation, thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:54 PM on September 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


The thing I like most about this is the notion advanced by King that THE MAN has miscalculated in pushing back the grand jury because it gives people time to get organized.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:09 PM on September 18, 2014


Well, I certainly think that any hope they have that just pushing this off will mean people will forget about it is a false one.
posted by Artw at 1:12 PM on September 18, 2014


"It's just that these are disbelieved while police murder apologists like jingzuo over here nitpick everything to death."

Heyo. That seems a bit over the line, honestly. It's as bullshit as jingzuo saying Steve King acted out of "white guilt."
posted by klangklangston at 1:54 PM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


At least it sounds like the grand jury proceedings will be released to the public (with audio!) if no bill is returned. That will let us see if McCulloch was simply being a big coward who wanted nothing to do with this or if he actively sabotaged the process.
posted by Justinian at 2:01 PM on September 18, 2014


> Is the Justice Department saying I'm a deadly threat to any police officer who happens by and so he would be justified in killing me?

Naberius, I guess that depends on just how scary you are. By the standard of "fearing for their lives", it would seem all non-police are potentially walking targets.

As to the distance argument in the original article, it does give a plausible explanation to the gap between the first and second volley of shots in the released sound recording.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 2:10 PM on September 18, 2014


So as the old thread comes to an end and this one starts up, I thought it might be good to recap the items of info we still would like to see come out of Ferguson, and what info we've gotten so far.

1. Darren Wilson's record from his years with the dissolved Jennings police department
2. Any of Wilson's disciplinary records that aren't in his Ferguson Police Department file
3. All video of the shooting from the cellphones that were confiscated by police
4. The police reports directly pertaining to the shooting of Mike Brown
5. The percentage of Ferguson police officers who actually live in Ferguson
6. What happened in the conversation leading up to the shoplifting incident
7. What tests the medical examiner did to find Mike Brown had marijuana in his body
8. Why purchased body and dash cameras weren't in use, and when they will be
9. Why Darren Wilson hasn't been detained—and whether police know his whereabouts
10. Why no ambulance was called when Mike Brown was shot
11. Why a nurse on the scene was not allowed to help when Mike Brown was shot
12. Why Mike Brown's body was left on the scene for four hours after he was shot—and what else was found there
13. What role Charter and AT&T had in censoring local cable and Internet last weekend during initial protests
14. Who's astroturfing Twitter with "Michael Brown is GUILTY! Forget that thug and stop being bitches!"
15. Darren Wilson's medical records for any medical treatment he got after the incident
16. Who leaked the "traces of marijuana" result to the press
17. Any definitive evidence that protesters actually did throw Molotov cocktails at police
18. The names of the officers who've threatened they would shoot reporters each night
19. Accounts of what happened in the convenience store from customers or employees present
20. Any evidence that shoplifting video was in fact released in response to a FOIA request
21. Who provided the bogus info about "a dozen witnesses" supporting Wilson's account to Christine Byers of the Post-Dispatch and convinced her to tweet it

As far as I know, we still don't have any info on Nos. 1 and 2 (nor Darren Wilson's juvenile record, as requested by the Riverfront Times, though we did learn Brown had no significant juvenile record, if any). I don't know that we ever got No. 3, either, though we did get audio of the shooting from another source, and there is video of the two nonresident witnesses. Re: No. 4, the ACLU managed to get this basically blank St. Louis County Police Department report, and we learned that there likely isn't a Ferguson police report. Moreover, the Ferguson police department is violating the law and its own rules regarding these reports.

I don't think anyone has managed to come up with a definitive answer for No. 5, though FiveThirtyEight reports that most police officers don't live where they serve. On Nos. 6 and 19, I don't think we ever found out more specifics of Brown's conversation with the shop employee, but video from another angle brought into question whether Brown perhaps paid for some of the cigarillos. Dorian Johnson's attorney said that some were taken, but the shop owner wasn't who called the police, and the one witness apparently claimed he was, calling her statement into question. Re: No. 7, we never got definitive details about the marijuana testing done, and re: No. 16, we never found out who leaked that result to the press.

Re: No. 8, there were in fact just two body cameras and two dash cameras collecting dust, but as of August 30, Ferguson police had begun wearing some of the 50 donated body cameras. Apparently only three dash-mount cameras were purchased, though, and the city didn't have the money to install them as of late August. Re: No. 9, Darren Wilson still hasn't been detained or indicted, 41 days later, and we still haven't been given a reason for that beyond they didn't have to. But he did testify before the grand jury on September 17, raising the question of his whereabouts once again. (And then the deadline for the grand jury's decision was moved to January 7.) Re: Nos. 10 and 12, according to this timeline published September 14, the ambulance wasn't called because it actually ran across Wilson standing over Brown in the street after the shooting. The timeline doesn't really explain why police chose not to expedite proceedings when they could have done so by up to an hour, though.

Re: No. 11, we never did find out why the nurse on the scene wasn't allowed to help. Re: No. 13, there were additional accounts of Charter cable being out in North County during the protests, but Charter claimed this was due to an unplanned outage. Re: No. 14, I don't know that we ever found out who was behind the bots astroturfing Twitter with messages about Mike Brown, but other attack spam against local Democratic politicians has popped up from the many-headed hydra. Re: No. 15, we don't have actual medical records yet, but a source has told CNN (Daily Mail link) that Wilson had a swollen face, but X-rays came back negative for any additional injury.

We got some tiny bullshit on No. 17 (there's like one New York Times video showing a seeming Molotov cocktail and one questionable St. Louis County police photo that's been tweeted). Re: No. 18, we learned (partly thanks to Anonymous) that Lt. Ray Albers of the St. Ann police, Glendale officer Matthew Pappert, and St. Louis County cop Dan Page were responsible for some of the vitriol directed toward protesters, and Albert resigned, Pappert was fired, and Page retired. Many other officers, though, were neither outed nor disciplined.

Re: No. 20, it seems the Ferguson police chief lied when he said the possible robbery info was released due to a FOIA request. In the meantime, routine requests for other info from reporters were treated as open records requests by city officials, despite the fact that no records were kept of what requests had been made. And re: No. 21, I haven't seen any info on who provided the bogus info to Byers about "a dozen witnesses" supporting Wilson's account.

Is there anything else we should add to the list at this point?

Thanks again to everyone who's continued to tweet and talk about this stuff, correct misinformation as you see and hear it, and push for more info to be released.
posted by limeonaire at 5:16 PM on September 18, 2014 [45 favorites]


Also, these should also be "previously" links, for anyone who didn't happen into these Ferguson threads while they were going: One county, 90 police forces and The difference between knowing and understanding. Just some due diligence and housekeeping!
posted by limeonaire at 5:26 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


To elaborate on my earlier comment...

20. Any evidence that shoplifting video was in fact released in response to a FOIA request

In King's linked piece above, he states in a tweet "The Ferguson Police Chief has been caught in a FULL OUT LIE about why he released the videos of Mike Brown. No FOI requests made him do that"

It bugs me that it took us, in this thread to link to some elaboration on that. You shouldn't write something like this and not toss in some links to back up things like that you're going to say.

Just because i was out there and i could find it doesn't defeat that.
posted by emptythought at 5:49 PM on September 18, 2014


While i stand by what i said in my first and second comment, the second storify of King's tweets is fucking damning. That's the action i was looking for.

Those images, and that chart, need to blow up. Pictures, links, facts. Back up what you're saying and make it consistent.

I'm interested to see how those construction workers get "coached" or questioned to how they really know they saw him run 90 feet in the trial, and "plant the seed of doubt". It'll happen, ugh.

maxwelton: Imagine you get off on "being in charge" and "administering justice" and maybe even literally get off on being a tough-guy killer. There is a job available in vast numbers across the US which pays well and gives you absolutely fucking carte-blanche to do whatever you want. The job is police officer. It attracts "talent" accordingly.

I posted this in one of the previous threads, but it's worth restating. My friends dad, who has supported me throughout my life in various ways, had to move away from his home town.

There were a big stack of reasons, but one of the biggest ones was that the bullies who beat him and his friends up from elementary school all through high school graduated and immediately became cops. Like as fast as they could complete the training, they were small town cops.

The first time he got pulled over and seriously harassed by one of them, he realized he was completely fucked and needed to bail the hell out of town pretty much that weekend.

I reflect on this, in basically the way you have, whenever i think about who becomes a cop. And every time i hear about or encounter a piece of shit bully cop(and i've met plenty) i come right back to that.
posted by emptythought at 6:04 PM on September 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


[Couple comments removed, cut it out.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:16 PM on September 18, 2014


limeonaire, thank you for collecting all that information into one post. That will be very useful.
posted by Zimboe Metamonkey at 6:57 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Anybody know, how does Shaun King know that the SUV that he says was Darren Wilson's was Darren Wilson's?

He just states it, as fact, and bases his entire GOTCHA on "this is Darren Wilson's SUV." How does he know?
posted by brentajones at 7:35 PM on September 18, 2014


I don't know for sure, but interestingly, there was a video posted on YouTube today of an officer moving the vehicle that people speaking in the background say was Wilson's. I wonder whether someone saw King's tweets and suddenly realized their video might be relevant.
posted by limeonaire at 8:07 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Regarding item #21 on limeonaire's list, I see that Christine Byers is now back from leave, apparently having suffered no repercussions from Tweeting falsehoods, and is once again reporting on the police beat for the Post-Dispatch even though she has been proven to be either a sucker or a shill for the cops. How can anyone take what she writes at face value ever again?

And given that the paper's editor just brushed off what was either 1) his police reporter getting played like a chump, or 2) said reporter willingly spreading disinformation planted by the people she's supposed to be covering, how credible is anything that appears in the Post-Dispatch?
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 8:25 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


That is fascinating, Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner. I didn't know she was back!

Also interesting: The same account that was posting attack spam against local Democratic legislators is now posting attack spam against Shaun King, in between bland tweets like "'For Better or Worse' Fall Premiere Delivers 1.2 Million Viewers." I really wish there were a way to find out more about the many-headed hydra that is these political spam accounts.
posted by limeonaire at 8:28 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


limeonaire, in searching the Post-Dispatch's archives, it looks Byers came back from a six-month leave as of September 1, and, incredibly enough, has been allowed to write several Ferguson-related stories since then.

I guess readers are supposed to be satisfied with the truly pathetic non-explanation for her Tweeting offered by the P-D's editor, but to me, her return to work with no obvious consequences for spreading lies is both an insult to readers' intelligence and one more indication of the precipitous decline of what used to be a good newspaper.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 8:56 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


It bugs me that it took us, in this thread to link to some elaboration on that. You shouldn't write something like this and not toss in some links to back up things like that you're going to say.

I'm sure King has posted it many times to his Twitter. He's been on Ferguson relentlessly since day one and I recommend following him. He keeps me angry, which is not helping my sleep or stress any but is keeping me ready for action when the time comes (lord I hope the time comes).

Note that this Storify link was put together by someone else, not King himself. So I don't think it's fair to criticize him for what isn't in this specific set of tweets.

It's interesting to see this come up here, actually, since I follow him and see this stuff happen in my Twitter timeline. It's clear that what he's doing is oratory via tweet, and it can be pretty powerful stuff. You see some of it in the OP with "Follow me. It's about to get damn ugly..." and so forth.

Seeing it in this Storify form makes it easier to judge it as you would a news or opinion article, but I think then you're missing a lot of the context and intention behind his tweets.
posted by wemayfreeze at 10:15 PM on September 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yea, this is the kind of fight where you should only really throw a punch if you can land a clean blow. Not because the other side is fighting fair, but because if you cock it up the other side will just keep punching until you're dust.

The other side is gonna keep punching no matter what. Not that we shouldn't stick to facts and be mindful of not losing the truth, but demanding only 100 per cent accurate and vetted commentary all the time is a classic way of dismissing legitimate concerns.
posted by wemayfreeze at 10:20 PM on September 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


From this morning's thisisthemovement newsletter: Ferguson asked residents to comment after the Michael Brown shooting. Here’s what they had to say.

Perhaps the most amazing comment on multiple levels was "Is it possible to stop distributing EBT to people participating in this 'civil disobedience'?"

So many assumptions, so much injustice...
posted by limeonaire at 7:36 AM on September 19, 2014 [6 favorites]


Roorda introduced a bill that would prevent the names of officers involved in shootings from being released in order to protect their safety and that of their families. How long that restriction would last for a given case is uncertain: he linked to a local news article, not the text of the bill. But the bill never passed and Roorda accepted a compromise that would not ban the release of names, but would allow the police department to release names on a case-by-case basis after evaluating the risk to the officer.

To call that a compromise is an exercise in naive thinking that ranks up with thinking the stork delivers babies. Names will not be withheld by default, we will simply make it an option for the group of people who want to not disclose names - they may choose to release them or they may choose the thing they want to be the default.

We're not doing away with speed limit enforcement, we're just making it up to the driver whether or not they pay the fine!

I will acknowledge that this might not always be exactly the same result: it's possible that the police department could very well choose to use name disclosure as a punitive measure for any officer who doesn't uphold the blue wall of silence. Are you one of a few officers in an officer-involved shooting and refusing to follow the party line? Yeah, okay, your name will get released.
posted by phearlez at 12:38 PM on September 19, 2014 [4 favorites]




At the risk of straying further afield, this:

Man Shoots at Intruders, Turns Out it was a No-Knock Raid. Now He Faces the Death Penalty

Scares the holy fuck out of me. Because I've seen one of these carried out across the street from me and I NEVER heard the SWAT officers scream "POLICE" until after they were well into the guy's house. Like maybe twenty seconds between breaching the door and finally announcing themselves. It was also a bogus raid, nothing was found. I think my reaction time would be much quicker than twenty seconds, probably closer to five. Add to that doing it in complete darkness, in a neighborhood where home invasions have occurred, and I fear for my life and the officers' lives who participate. Seriously scares me. Idiocy.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 6:59 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Cop suspected of killing someone in cold blood? Hey, we need a five-month grand jury.

Someone suspected of killing a cop? Time to shutdown the area for a manhunt.
posted by rhizome at 1:44 AM on September 20, 2014


First in Series of Ferguson Town Halls to Be Held Tonight.

The Justice Department is barring media from the meetings, fearing its presence would change the tone of the conversations.
posted by Artw at 6:51 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Justice Department is barring media from the meetings, fearing its presence would change the tone of the conversations.

How in the blistering fuck is that legal? Banning the press from an ostensibly public meeting? *head asplode*
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 4:46 PM on September 22, 2014


this is the clueless way they want to handle PR in st louis county - it's amazing to me they released this!

meet the 900 pound gorilla - really?
posted by pyramid termite at 4:54 PM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


How in the blistering fuck is that legal? Banning the press from an ostensibly public meeting? *head asplode*

I'd be curious to know if it really was the Justice Department - would not bode well of it was.
posted by Artw at 4:59 PM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


How in the blistering fuck is that legal?

how in the blistering fuck is that possible with smart phones and portable recorders?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:04 PM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


"How in the blistering fuck is that legal? Banning the press from an ostensibly public meeting? "

Typically if there's fewer elected officials present than a majority of a quorum, such a meeting isn't subject to the Open Meetings Act or other sunshine laws. For all practical purposes for local government, assume that means two elected officials. If there are three, it's an open meeting (unless it falls under a specific exemption like personnel). But if they're having meetings in all four wards, there are probably just one or two officials at each, and it's therefore not a "public" meeting for the purposes of open meetings laws.

My feelings are mixed. I've been at similar sorts of meetings, and having media there -- especially national media -- would invite grandstanding and reduce the ability of people to be open and honest. And local media will stand right outside the doors and interview people as they come out. (At least a few will probably attend the meetings as citizens, but in my experience they will respect the stricture that they not "report" on it and will only use it as background.)

"how in the blistering fuck is that possible with smart phones and portable recorders?"

People are generally pretty self-policing as long as everything is proceeding in good faith. But if things start to get shitty, the smart phones will come out.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:11 PM on September 22, 2014


Ryan J. Reilly: This document titled "Most Common List of Misconceptions" was handed out at #Ferguson meeting (link)

It appears to be from the Ferguson PD (or the PR firm handling their communications). I'm not the one to definitively sort each item out, but there's clearly a lot of expert spin and disinformation happening here. Very unsettling to read.
posted by naju at 9:19 PM on September 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Michael Brown memorial burned overnight

:(
posted by tonycpsu at 8:24 AM on September 23, 2014


Oh, for fucking serious. I'm so, so tired of people reminding me just how deeply awful they can be.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 9:15 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


I like the one that is all "ARE YOU PR BOTS? No, we are not PR bots".
posted by Artw at 9:40 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Michael Brown memorial burned overnight

Oh please, oh please, oh please, let there be a video camera that caught this perpetrator either accidentally or on purpose. Or prove that it was accidental in origin.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 11:13 AM on September 23, 2014


Regarding the memorial burning, people are saying that there weren't normally candles burned at that memorial, by the way, and that some smelled a scent of what might have been accelerant.

Then there's this.
posted by limeonaire at 4:22 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ferguson Postpones Popular Festival, Residents Blame "Illegal Protesters"

Also, regarding North St. Louis County in general:

New report shows high cancer rates around Coldwater Creek and West Lake Landfill in north St. Louis County

and

Nurse who questioned rare cancer link to Coldwater Creek dies

Current thought: Fuck you, people I know who didn't think there was "enough of a story there" in North County two years ago. I'm so sad and angry.
posted by limeonaire at 7:45 PM on September 23, 2014






Which in politician-speak means nothing of substance.
posted by rhizome at 12:30 PM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ferguson residents give feds an earful about police harassment

My mother spent her evening at this meeting; she didn't even make it out to Rosh Hashanah dinner, heh. (Happy new year, by the way...)
posted by limeonaire at 9:11 PM on September 24, 2014


They released the video of John Crawford beng shot, sync'd with the 911 call... it's bad. Very, very bad. A completely innocent man, doing completely innocent things, is slandered and shot. This is going to blow up.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:44 AM on September 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


The 911 caller basically called in a lynching.
posted by rhizome at 10:21 AM on September 25, 2014 [9 favorites]


Today's Ferguson news, if you haven't seen it: Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson issued a video apology to Mike Brown's family. (Can we say "half-assed and after-the-fact"?) And U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is resigning. Holder was apparently already planning to leave office by year's end, but I worry about the timing of this when it comes to achieving justice in Ferguson.

Also, from this morning's thisisthemovement e-newsletter, here's the protesters' response to the Most Common List of Misconceptions in Ferguson document put out by the city of Ferguson on Monday.
posted by limeonaire at 3:43 PM on September 25, 2014 [4 favorites]




Oh wow. I hadn't seen this August 22 letter from former St. Louis County Chief of Police Tim Fitch to Gov. Jay Nixon, on behalf of the Missouri Peace Officers Association, as reported by KTVI-TV.

I found that when looking for recent stories on Fitch on Twitter, because I have information that suggests local police are trying to use him to put forward a narrative that runs counter to what actually happened in the 48 hours following Brown's death, such as saying no riot gear came out before violence and looting began among the protesters. As the response from protesters above suggests, I'm concerned we're going to see more revisionist history from these people in the days to come.
posted by limeonaire at 4:20 PM on September 25, 2014


Also, from BuzzFeed: Ferguson Protesters Feel A Loss As Holder Steps Down

By the way, I'd like to say, as I was digging through my saved tweets and bookmarks earlier, trying to confirm what I remember seeing with my own eyes on social media in the 48 hours after Brown's death, BuzzFeed stood out as one of the earliest sources curating tweets and reporting on protesters' perspectives. Despite its general "virality mill" approach, it has done great things with the story in Ferguson.
posted by limeonaire at 4:35 PM on September 25, 2014


Damn. People on Twitter are alleging that someone at Faraci's Pizza threatened protesters with a weapon tonight. That can't be good...
posted by limeonaire at 7:52 PM on September 25, 2014


The protests swelled tonight, by the way, in the wake of the release of that apology video. There are a lot of people out; for more, check out the #Ferguson hashtag. The movement lives.
posted by limeonaire at 8:12 PM on September 25, 2014


I've posted a few links to stuff regarding this issue, and here's another: Health Department wants inclusive study of health problems near Coldwater Creek

I am so glad more attention is finally being brought to this. These environmental issues are relevant to this thread because they're yet another way people in North County, including those right on the edge of Ferguson, have suffered from injustice for years.
posted by limeonaire at 8:54 PM on September 25, 2014


Oh wow. Apparently Chief Jackson came out and talked to protesters tonight, then started to march with them...and then some sort of altercation broke out and the police on the scene just rushed the protesters. See video from St. Louis Public Radio.
posted by limeonaire at 9:07 PM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]




FYI, to understand what actually happened last night after Chief Jackson came out to speak to protesters and march with them, you need to see these two videos. It's clear that no protesters attacked him.
posted by limeonaire at 7:08 AM on September 26, 2014


Re: Ferguson, by the way, for anyone still reading, I wanted to let you all know, I was taped speaking with Gwen Ifill at a town hall here in St. Louis last Sunday, for a 1-hour special, America After Ferguson, that will air on PBS tonight at 7 p.m. Central. My piece on Quartz caught the eye of a PBS producer in D.C., who invited me to take part.

A lot of people spoke at the town hall, so there are no guarantees who will make it into the ultimate segment that airs. But the conversation was an excellent one across the board, and I highly suggest tuning into the show or recording it tonight. Ifill wrote about her experience at the town hall, and some preliminary clips have been posted from the event. It's worth tuning in just to see Tef Poe and Sen. Claire McCaskill seated next to each other, debating the power of voting. But there were a lot of illuminating micro conversations in the two hours we were there.

People are also talking about it on the ‪‪#‎AmericaAfterFerguson‬ and #‎AfterFerguson‬ hashtags on Twitter, so you can check that out as well. And you can see more details about the show here and here.
posted by limeonaire at 7:45 AM on September 26, 2014 [9 favorites]


I love voting, I'm a fan of voting. Oftentimes I'm a voter myself, but the oft-unspoken flipside of voting is for public officials to have some respect for the citizenry and resign when they can't do the job they've been entrusted to do. Jackson has revealed himself to be a bad public servant who is also a product of the perhaps not-long-for-this-world police department that has so many deeply-ingrained problems, problems that rely on a status quo that no longer exists.

I mean really, a video apology. What contempt, what cowardice.
posted by rhizome at 10:39 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ferguson is our libertarian moment, but not in the way some libertarians want you to believe, Mark Ames, Pando Daily, 25 September 2014
Ladue, Missouri — the richest suburb in St. Louis — features all-private streets. It is the “St. Louis Solution” personified. Ladue also has a 1.0% black population. A few years ago, Ladue’s police chief was fired for refusing to target black drivers who passed through the city limits. Following the Robert Poole blueprint, Ladue sought to cover its $300,000 city budget shortfall through “offender fees” — traffic tickets — rather than by raising taxes on its millionaire homeowners. In 2006, African-Americans made up 22.5% of traffic stops by Ladue police in a town where they were only 1% of the population.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:06 AM on September 26, 2014 [5 favorites]


Wow...that's a great article, ob1quixote. Another layer of the onion peels back. At those times when people say, "God, how the hell did we get here?" this is another answer.
posted by limeonaire at 11:27 AM on September 26, 2014


There is absolutely no information on the Googles about the resolution of the case brought by the police chief who was fired.
posted by rhizome at 2:51 PM on September 26, 2014


OK, guys, Gwen Ifill's America After Ferguson town hall on PBS can be viewed here. It's also on YouTube. (The intro seems clipped slightly in the YouTube version, but it's basically all there.)

Also, there's a behind-the-scenes video. Heh. It shows, ever so briefly, among many other things, when I got the chance to meet protest leader Johnetta Elzie (@Nettaaaaaaaa on Twitter). And here are some short clips from the larger discussion.

People are also discussing it on the ‪#‎AfterFergusonPBS‬ hashtag on Twitter, so check that out, too. It's been a good conversation.
posted by limeonaire at 10:54 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]




Under Color of the Law, Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Politics Blog, 26 September 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 1:01 AM on September 27, 2014




rhizome: I finally got a chance to look this up on the public Missouri Case.NET site. It's the case "ED95593 - LARRY WHITE, PLT V CITY OF LADUE, MO, RES."

Date Filed: 10/01/2010
Location: EASTERN DISTRICT CT OF APPEALS
Case Type: AP Civil Appeal Circuit
Disposition: Case Disp- Opin & Mandate Sent
Circuit Court Case Number:10SL-CC01184


Here's a list of parties in the case:

MOORE , MICHAEL , Intervenor-Appel Acting Pro Se
PO BOX 220314
KIRKWOOD, MO 63122

CITY OF LADUE, MISSOURI , Respondent represented by CARMODY , GERARD TIMOTHY , Attorney for Respondent
120 SOUTH CENTRAL AVENUE
SUITE 1800
CLAYTON, MO 63105
Business: (314) 854-8600

co-counsel PUPILLO , TERESA DALE , Co-Counsel for Respondent
120 SOUTH CENTRAL AVENUE
SUITE 1800
CLAYTON, MO 63105
Business: (314) 854-8600

WHITE , LARRY , Plaintiff represented by KARSH , ELI , Attorney for Plaintiff
230 S. BEMISTON
SUITE 1200
ST. LOUIS, MO 63105
Business: (314) 997-9150


Below are the docket entries for this case. Can someone with more knowledge of these things than I have tell me more about what actually happened on the basis of this?

08/12/2011 Citation
340 S.W.3d 320

07/05/2011 Case Disp- Opin & Mandate Sent

06/08/2011 Denied
Associated Entries: 05/04/2011 - Mot for Rehearing/Tran to SC

05/04/2011 Mot for Rehearing/Tran to SC
Filed By: MICHAEL MOORE
Associated Entries: 06/08/2011 - Denied

04/19/2011 Opinion- Affirmed
Per Curiam Order Opinion

04/12/2011 Case Submitted
Scheduled For: 04/12/2011; ; DIVISION 3; EASTERN DISTRICT CT OF APPEALS

03/09/2011 Appellant's Reply Brief
Filed By: MICHAEL MOORE

03/08/2011 Granted Until
MARCH 9, 2011
Associated Entries: 03/04/2011 - Mot Ext Time File Reply Brf

03/04/2011 Mot Ext Time File Reply Brf
Filed By: MICHAEL MOORE
Associated Entries: 03/08/2011 - Granted Until

02/17/2011 Granted
Associated Entries: 02/09/2011 - Motion- File Suppl Legal File

02/14/2011 Case Docketed
DIVISION 3: Sullivan, Sherri B., P.J.; Ahrens, Clifford H., J.; Mooney, Lawrence E., J. April 12, 2011

02/09/2011 Respondent's Brief
Filed By: GERARD TIMOTHY CARMODY
Motion- File Suppl Legal File
Filed By: TERESA DALE PUPILLO
Associated Entries: 02/17/2011 - Granted
Supplemental Legal File
Filed By: GERARD TIMOTHY CARMODY

02/03/2011 Granted Until
FEBRUARY 9, 2011
Associated Entries: 02/01/2011 - Mot for Ext Time to File Brief

02/01/2011 Mot for Ext Time to File Brief
Filed By: GERARD TIMOTHY CARMODY
Associated Entries: 02/03/2011 - Granted Until

01/18/2011 Req for Oral Argument Filed
Filed By: GERARD TIMOTHY CARMODY

01/10/2011 Case Screened- Regular

01/03/2011 Appellant's Brief
Filed By: MICHAEL MOORE

12/02/2010 Granted Until
JANUARY 3, 2011
Associated Entries: 12/01/2010 - Mot for Ext Time to File Brief

12/01/2010 Mot for Ext Time to File Brief
Filed By: MICHAEL MOORE
Associated Entries: 12/02/2010 - Granted Until

11/01/2010 Legal File/ROA Complete

10/06/2010 NOA Filed in Appellate Court

10/01/2010 NOA Filed in Circuit Court
Suppl Ntc Appl-Legal File Only
Filing Fee Paid


This is notable to me as a frequent lay reader of these cases because usually in Missouri Case.NET, cases have other categories of data: Charges, Judgments & Sentences, Service Information, Filings Due, Scheduled Hearings & Trials, Civil Judgments, and Garnishments/Executions. So I'm also wondering why the paucity of info on this...

Interestingly, if this is the same Larry White, he doesn't list the job on his LinkedIn.
posted by limeonaire at 7:33 PM on September 27, 2014


Oh! When I Google that case number above, I got this appeal from December 17, 2013. Interesting. It looks like the appeal was denied, if I'm reading this right?

Long story short, rhizome, it looks like the city of Ladue tied this up in the courts for three years, and ultimately, White received no justice.
posted by limeonaire at 7:40 PM on September 27, 2014


Um, in other news, guys, protests are getting interesting and tense again tonight. There's an unconfirmed report that local news is nonetheless tweeting that an officer was shot. Someone tweeted this list of media covering it, which has interesting info. There's also this story stub from KMOV-TV.
posted by limeonaire at 7:49 PM on September 27, 2014


On the Larry White case above, here's the summary of that final appeal denial, by the way.
posted by limeonaire at 7:54 PM on September 27, 2014


Another story stub from BuzzFeed.

Also, I love how these two KMOV-TV reporters are definitely not talking to each other. One reporter, at 9:52 p.m.: "Confirmed. - Ferguson Police officer shot in arm. Details at 10 on News. 4 #kmov" Second reporter, at 9:53 p.m.: #breaking a #Ferguson police officer has been shot. Working for more info now. @kmov

C'mon, guys.
posted by limeonaire at 8:01 PM on September 27, 2014


Protesters there are afraid that the suspect has already been shot and killed, or will be shot and killed when found.
posted by limeonaire at 8:27 PM on September 27, 2014


Why...is that same KMOV reporter pestering Antonio French to "update" a tweet?
posted by limeonaire at 8:34 PM on September 27, 2014


Multiple tweets saying someone shouted "target down" on the scanner - the shooter? A cop reporting his shooting of this cop?
posted by Artw at 8:43 PM on September 27, 2014


Heads up, I'm seeing that the officer was shot in Dellwood, not Ferguson, though every damn news outlet, including the L.A. Times and The Boston Globe, is reporting that it was Ferguson. But it may have been a Ferguson officer.

Maybe that's just my St. Louis provincialism showing... But it feels like it matters that we get these details right.

...but apparently The New York Times is also reporting that this took place in Ferguson. 'Cause I guess everywhere in the area is Ferguson if you don't live here.
posted by limeonaire at 9:00 PM on September 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Limeonaire thanks so much for all the great links you have been finding throughout all of this.
posted by SarahElizaP at 9:08 PM on September 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Heh. Well, don't thank me yet. There's so much misinformation out there tonight, both from the media and from the police. Current rumor is that there were two incidents: Police shot a 12-year-old in Dellwood, and someone shot a police officer in Ferguson. So confusing!
posted by limeonaire at 9:28 PM on September 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


" There's so much misinformation out there tonight"

That reminds me of a quote that is sometimes my email signature (plagiarized from somewhere).

"Those that do not read the news are uniformed. Those that do read the news are misinformed."
posted by el io at 9:38 PM on September 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


"Those that do not read the news are uniformed. Those that do read the news are misinformed."

The quote how you meant it is awesome. Your typo there almost makes it more awesome, given the circumstances.
posted by limeonaire at 9:41 PM on September 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


(quickly double-checks .sig. sighs in relief that a typo'd .sig file hasn't been sent 10,000 times over the past 5 years).

A cut/paste of the .sig is as follows : "Those who do not read the paper are uninformed. Those who do read the paper are misinformed."

But before posting it I realized 'the paper' was an antiquated term with diminishing meaning.
posted by el io at 9:45 PM on September 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Given that the officer was reportedly shot at the Ferguson Community Center I think it's safe to say he was in Ferguson.
posted by Justinian at 10:49 PM on September 27, 2014


See my comment from more than an hour ago, Justinian. At that time, there had been at least two incidents, one of which was in Dellwood. And now there's been a third, possibly a shooting involving an off-duty officer near Interstate 70 and Hanley Road.
posted by limeonaire at 11:02 PM on September 27, 2014


There's so much going on right now, though, it is hard to keep track. Sometimes the upward mobility of journalists makes things difficult. There's something to be said for deep knowledge of an area. That KMOV reporter isn't from here, it turns out...and on nights like tonight, it shows.

I'm exhausted, but also really amused by the debates on Twitter about where Ferguson ends and Dellwood begins. Here's the map, by the way. This area is such a ridiculous patchwork...and as we learned in the last two months, that's by design, to divide and confuse and fine.
posted by limeonaire at 11:15 PM on September 27, 2014


AP Interview: Browns unmoved by chief's apology

The back of McSpadden's shirt, from a letter she once wrote to her kids, makes me tear up: "To my children... If I had to choose between loving you & breathing... I would use my last breath to tell you I ♥ U"
posted by limeonaire at 11:28 PM on September 27, 2014


Apparently in the I-70 incident, the officer was injured by glass, not a bullet? But why was the glass flying? This reporter doesn't know... So much misinformation.
posted by limeonaire at 11:33 PM on September 27, 2014


Ah, and apparently the southern Dellwood/Ferguson officer shooting was just at a business near the Ferguson Community Center, not at it, Justinian. So it could well have been in Dellwood. The northern I-70 officer shooting was apparently a drive-by on the highway. Info per the Riverfront Times, which is also kicking ass with the reporting lately.
posted by limeonaire at 11:46 PM on September 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


limeonaire: A Ferguson police officer was shot in the arm at about 9:25pm last night after coming across a burglar in the Ferguson Community Center while conducting a building check.

They caught a burglar inside the Ferguson Community Center who then fled and shot the officer during a foot pursuit. I don't know what is gained by trying to parse this as somehow "not in Ferguson".
posted by Justinian at 7:02 PM on September 28, 2014


Just talkin', Justinian. It's not about gaining anything. Last night, it was just about trying to figure out what the hell happened.
posted by limeonaire at 7:30 PM on September 28, 2014


Plus Ferguson cops are trigger-happy and known liars, so it's not like we can Compleyly trust their accounts of anything that happened.
posted by Artw at 9:22 PM on September 28, 2014 [1 favorite]




Nafeez Ahmed of the Institute for Policy Research & Development (UK) links US police militarization to concerns by government agencies about potential domestic unrest in response to environmental or economic crises. Article on Ferguson in Le Monde Diplomatique, English Edition: Ferguson ‘taste of things to come’ (not paywalled). Earlier article in The Guardian's Environment Blogs: Pentagon bracing for public dissent over climate and energy shocks.
posted by nangar at 7:57 AM on September 30, 2014 [3 favorites]




Ferguson Demands High Fees to Turn Over City Files

Of course.
posted by homunculus at 6:40 PM on September 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Aw man. Ferguson PR consultant told city officials he had a college degree; now he says he doesn't

These six pages of documents regarding his contract are also very interesting: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

I felt bad for Devin James, because he was already caught in the crossfire of racists and credentialists who despised him for his background and people who despised him for working for Ferguson. Once his prior conviction came out, he was fired by the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, but retained by Ferguson (in each case, it seemed, more for appearances than anything else). And then it came out that he lied on his résumé to get the gig...and that he'd worked for a bunch of other people and agencies locally that will now be scrutinized.

I feel like this case is so emblematic of the problems we're facing right now as an area and a society. There are these issues of how to succeed as a young black man who's come of age in an environment that has led him to have a prior conviction, and then there are these issues of the ethics of PR. It feels like James has been both used and scapegoated here, by agencies that should've vetted him better in the first place. (Or, as some have speculated, perhaps someone did vet him and found exactly what they were looking for in one wreck of a young man.) He's kinda the definition of a tragic figure.

Sigh. I'd also love to know more about Elasticity's role in doing "disaster PR" for Ferguson and the St. Louis area. Founding partner Aaron Perlut is definitely a St. Louis booster, so maybe the company took the contract more from that perspective, but it's interesting to see in this letter, as in many other places, St. Louisans' preoccupation with how this has affected our standing in the world, rather than the injustices taking place.
posted by limeonaire at 7:41 PM on September 30, 2014


I guess this is also a reminder of what you sign up for when you sign up to work in PR.
posted by limeonaire at 7:51 PM on September 30, 2014


Meh. Of the people who should lose their jobs over Fergusson he's probably on the bottom of it, but it's not like he's not on the list.

Plough the entire administrative structure under, I say.
posted by Artw at 7:51 PM on September 30, 2014


Still, everyone has to be terrible at their jobs to hire that guy to do PR for that police department.

"Gun Incident at Faraci Pizza Leads to Confrontations with Protesters"

Faraci Pizza Plan 'Do the Right Thing' Performance
posted by klangklangston at 9:25 PM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


"The investigation has been basically completed that is being conducted by both the FBI and St. Louis County PD," Ed Magee, the spokesman for the prosecutor's office, told CNN.

Ominous, given that doing a proper job the FBI should be investigating the St Louis County PD as part of this.
posted by Artw at 11:47 AM on October 1, 2014 [1 favorite]




asockpuppet: Grand Jury being investigated for misconduct
There are apparently too many people — mostly white people — who don't see Michael Brown as a "real St. Louisan", or a "real Missourian". Probably not a "real American" either. Therefore they feel justified in cutting corners and skirting the rules. I'm goddamned sick of it.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:51 PM on October 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


what an utter clusterfuck this is becoming - and it's not just because they may be incompetent, but it's because they don't WANT to be competent
posted by pyramid termite at 7:37 PM on October 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Garbage In, Garbage Out.
posted by rhizome at 12:03 AM on October 2, 2014 [1 favorite]




Man, they're going to have to burn some rubber on making up some stupid ridiculous rules on what you need to bring with you to vote, etc.
posted by emptythought at 1:57 AM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Shaun King is now saying the fix is due to come in around October 15 and the National Guard are planning more massive riots, FWIW.
posted by Artw at 2:59 PM on October 3, 2014


Oh, and St Louis County PD is back in charge of security, so expect teargas and rubber bullets tonight.

Also they're putting peaceful protestors in orange jumpsuits and perp walking them, because that's a great move.

Fergusson's racist fuck ups are a gift that keeps on giving.
posted by Artw at 3:06 PM on October 3, 2014


Wait, orange jumpsuits... like... prison jumpsuits? Like the DOC ones?

Because all i can think of when i hear orange jumpsuit is like, this.

Great job guys, there's totally nothing wrong with that imagery.
posted by emptythought at 4:45 PM on October 3, 2014


the National Guard are planning more massive riots

Haha. The omission of the word "for" here is kind of perfect, Artw. The way the authorities (authorities on what?) have been behaving, it almost seems like they want unrest.

And yeah, orange jumpsuits indeed. The image of a priest in an orange jumpsuit is perfect.
posted by limeonaire at 5:03 PM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


State auditor to examine court books of Ferguson and nine other systems, Kevin McDermott, St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Auditor Tom Schweich plans to launch audits of 10 municipal courts in the coming fiscal year, including the one in Ferguson, in the wake of concerns about fine-related abuses by local officials.

... Schweich said he also wants to audit Ferguson city records, and he encouraged a petition of local residents that would allow such a review.

“It looks like they need one, just from what I’m reading,”
Editorial: St. Louis leads post-Ferguson: Amnesty is the answer
posted by nangar at 5:33 PM on October 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


The auditor is a republican which is interesting
posted by empath at 8:16 AM on October 4, 2014


Since the guy who helped run the Darren Wilson fundraiser is a Democratic State Senator who was fired as a law enforcement officer for falsifying police reports, a Republican would be an improvement, specifically through the simple fact that it's a different person. This is where team-politics causes a lot of trouble: a change is needed, but the change has to be to a different party than the one a voter identifies with, which to many people is unpalatable.

Roorda is up for re-election next month, btw. Hint hint.
posted by rhizome at 9:23 AM on October 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Because all i can think of when i hear orange jumpsuit is like, this.

I'm thinking more James Foley myself. It goes a little better with the context.
posted by rhizome at 9:27 AM on October 4, 2014


State senators Maria Chappell-Nadal and Jamilah Nasheed (both black Democrats) have dropped public hints (maybe better described as overtures) about possible cooperation or quid-pro-quos with politicians in the Republican Party. Schweich seems to have very publicly flirted back and promised to deliver something concrete. They have a common enemy in the (mostly white and historically racist) state Democratic party establishment.

I'm not from Missouri, and I don't know enough about Missouri politics to understand what's going on here, but it seems like something is.
posted by nangar at 10:40 AM on October 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Protesters sang a choral arrangement of "What side are you on" at last night's St. Louis Symphony concert: Flash mob at the St. Louis symphony!

The protest was staged immediately after intermission before the orchestra had started playing. The venue, Powell Hall, said all the protesters were paying ticket holders and left after the protest. Their version substituted "friends" for "boys" in the refrain and added the verse "Justice for Mike Brown is justice for us all." This was also broadcast live on local public radio. (Here's a short write-up with an audio snippet)
posted by nangar at 7:26 AM on October 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Antonio French's twitter feed has a collection of retweets and photos of the symphony protest.
posted by nangar at 7:33 AM on October 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Longer write-up by Rebecca Rivas of the St. Louis American, that includes some quotes from the symphony protest organizer.
posted by nangar at 8:51 AM on October 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wow. Again, maybe I'm just tired, but that made me tear up. That was beautiful.
posted by limeonaire at 10:06 AM on October 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


An injunction has been issued regarding the "five-second rule" for protesters standing still.
posted by limeonaire at 3:51 PM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh wow. Also, Twitter user SonofBaldwin has curated a Facebook post of Shaun King's tweets from this weekend on ramped-up militarism leading up to coming protests. (I couldn't find a Storify of it.)
posted by limeonaire at 4:29 PM on October 6, 2014




Uggggggh. Cardinals Fans Get Ugly In Clash With Ferguson Protesters

Best fans in baseball my ass.
posted by limeonaire at 7:55 AM on October 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


This needs to happen in the bleachers, during a televised championship game, with the protesters chanting "THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING," because those Cardinals fans just saying what a lot of Americans believe, thanks to the truth serum that is shitty midwestern beer. And I hope (probably in vain) that some of the players or management make strong public statements against these assholes on ESPN and the networks.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:36 AM on October 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ooo, this is useful: List of Known #Ferguson Twitter Trolls. I wish we knew more about the people behind this network of accounts—it would be so satisfying to be able to out some of these bigots.

As the (white) public's behavior at the Cardinals game last night shows, two months in, it's readily apparent how unwilling so many people are to even countenance change or look in the mirror to see how they're contributing to these problems. Public shaming definitely needs to be part of the answer.
posted by limeonaire at 8:55 AM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Shaun King's tweets linked above about ramped-up local riot plans have been confirmed by this Reuters piece: Missouri police plan for possible riots if Brown cop not charged

Also? Ferguson voter registrations lower than reported. Apparently there were 128 new voter registrations in Ferguson since Brown's shooting, as opposed to the 3,287 the St. Louis County Election Board initially reported. Apparently someone there pulled the wrong report. It's distressing that the St. Louis County Election Board is who we trust to get the votes right, yet it can't even get the number of new voters right.
posted by limeonaire at 12:05 PM on October 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


"If"

I'd like they've made plans that aren't simply "escalate as much as possible, make no attempt to differentiate between rioting and protests, suppress the media, lie a lot about Molotov cocktails, tanks" - not very likely though, is it?

This is going to be horrible.
posted by Artw at 1:38 PM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, in the wake of the militarization in Ferguson, hard-working journalists are digging up more beneficiaries of the government's military-surplus programs: Even an Ozarks coroner gets surplus military guns
posted by limeonaire at 4:44 PM on October 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Bringing It All Back Home, Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Politics Blog, 07 October 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 7:05 PM on October 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


"Bringing It All Back Home," Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Politics Blog, 07 October 2014:

Let us point out for the everlasting record that any argument against these protesters that contains the word "inappropriate" is prima facie unworthy of rebuttal. Protests are supposed to be inappropriate. They are supposed to be inconvenient. They are supposed to be both, and more so of each, if it appears that the conditions under protest have remained unchanged, or the object of the protests has started to be forgotten in the public mind.


Amen.
posted by limeonaire at 7:07 PM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I understand the word even more simply: "inappropriate" connotes politeness, which was an invention of the aristocracy denoting class standing. It's a dogwhistle for calling protesters animals.
posted by rhizome at 7:29 PM on October 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


Regarding that voter-registration thing, here's what I wonder: How many of the 3,159 "interactions with Ferguson residents...[including] changes of address and other alterations to records" that weren't new voter registrations were people updating their addresses through the efforts of local registration booths so they could vote? What we don't know is the baseline number of these updates in Ferguson during a normal election cycle. I suspect the booths may have been more effective than the "128 new voters registered" figure would suggest. I wonder whether someone could dig further by checking in with the St. Louis County Election Board to find out how many of the 3,159 "interactions" were changes of address.
posted by limeonaire at 8:36 AM on October 8, 2014


TBH given that voter suppression is now mostly institutionalized (thanks, Roberts Court!), I'm just assuming this is a case of "oops, all these registrations just happened to magically disappear so close to the end of voter registration" because, I dunno, ACORN was a thing.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:04 AM on October 8, 2014


Even supposing that voter registrations didn't outright disappear or get unfairly invalidated, it seems like releasing a falsely high number early on and then only correcting it a day before the end of voter registration could've been a tactic to reduce efforts to register voters.

Despite all the efforts that are happening right now, with Shaun King's group finally taking shape and everyone gearing up for Ferguson October this weekend, I feel kind of despondent. But that might just mean I need to eat something. My emotions are kind of tricksy that way.
posted by limeonaire at 6:54 PM on October 8, 2014


Another young black man was killed by a white police officer tonight in St. Louis, this time in the city's Shaw neighborhood. Twitter has more as this develops, but right now, police are claiming the young man shot at the officer. The young man's aunt is reportedly saying the teen only had a sandwich...
posted by limeonaire at 8:17 PM on October 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Harry Enten of 538 issued a mea culpa for accepting the 3,287 new voters figure. According to the last census only about 15,000 people in Ferguson are old enough to vote, and over 13,000 of them are registered already. So 3,000+ new voters is impossible. That's still an impressive amount of activity though, even if most of them were making sure their registration was current and their addresses were updated. It may point to higher turnout.

What's really important for HealSTL is to put together a credible slate of reform candidates and get people to vote for them in the municipal elections in April. In Ferguson, like a lot of small towns, cities, and counties in the US, elections are usually decided in advance, and a lot of candidates run unopposed. They don't need more people to register and vote for the same Democrats that currently run things, they need new candidates on the ballot, candidates that will actually try to change things if they get elected.
posted by nangar at 8:54 PM on October 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


From the Reuters article on the Shaw shooting, apparently the cop was working off-duty for a private security company, but wearing his city police uniform. The incompetence in the STL police force really seems to be bottomless.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:20 AM on October 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Vonderrick Myer, tased for holding a sandwich, then shot 16+ times for... not getting up fast enough after being tased?

gg, STL
posted by Evilspork at 12:54 PM on October 9, 2014


a box and a stick and a string and a bear: "From the Reuters article on the Shaw shooting, apparently the cop was working off-duty for a private security company, but wearing his city police uniform."

Oh my God. Oh my God. This is like the Chernobyl of insuring your officers if you run a police department. (The ebola of it? What's the worst thing right now, other than St. Louis police?) I bet it was his police-issue weapon, too.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:58 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I had the same gut reaction, but after doing a bit of googling, it seems like this is totally above board (dept-issued weapons and all) in a ton of departments around the country. Regardless of it being legal or not, it seems like having someone in a non-city-police vehicle chasing you through your town would be plenty of justification for self-defense (so long as you're white, of course...)
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:07 PM on October 9, 2014


Off duty, but still available to stop by for some casual racist harassment.
posted by Artw at 3:37 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here's some more background info, from 2009, on the firm that employed the officer.
posted by limeonaire at 4:02 PM on October 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Sigh. So yeah, regarding the Shaw shooting, while the city police definitely seem to be more professional than those we've seen in the county, it was just this March that this incident involving the city police occurred, with an investigation still ongoing. And as I mentioned in the last comment, there have been issues with these private city security forces before. And then there's what happened to Kajieme Powell.

Regardless of the outcome of this investigation, I think it's time for people in St. Louis and across the country to examine their preconceptions about black youth—and in this case, that includes any preconceptions we might have about black youth and guns, the notion of which seems to send people into a frenzy. Amazingly, it feels like the racist comments in the #shawshooting hashtag on Twitter have actually been more immediately virulent and vitriolic than the ones in the #Ferguson hashtag were—I'm not sure whether that's because the forces of racism have already been mobilized in the wake of Mike Brown's shooting or what, but as of today, it's been two months since his death, and there is clearly still so much work that needs to be done.

Anyway, right now, there are definitely places in the police story regarding Vonderrit Myers Jr. where we're going to need more information. One, reports of the autopsy don't mention gunshot residue on Myers' hands. Did police or the medical examiner not check for this, or has the information simply not been released? Two, the police account thus far mentions a sweatshirt Myers was wearing, but in footage from just before the shooting, none of the three teens appeared to have a sweatshirt on. Moreover, as the market manager noted, the witnesses were correct in stating that Myers had just bought a sandwich, which lends credibility to their other statements. (Apparently Chief of Police Sam Dotson earlier said no sandwich was found at the scene, but there could be multiple reasons for that, not least of all that there was a chase.) Beyond that, there's at least one photo out there of Myers seriously sagging. It seems possible that what the officer thought, in the dark of night, was Myers reaching for a gun was actually him pulling up his pants or a similar action while being chased. It also seems possible that the gun allegedly retrieved from the scene may never have been in Myers' hands.

I wasn't there; I don't know what happened. But I do know that I need to see more to believe the police officer's story in this case.

On a positive note, though, I'm pleased that Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce immediately brought in a federal investigator. Joyce is past president of The BackStoppers' board of directors, so it's good that she recognizes her relationship with local police has bearing on any investigation. I wish the current BackStoppers board president had the same sensibility.
posted by limeonaire at 5:12 PM on October 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


Even if a second job was allowed, I don't understand how you could allow someone to work private security while wearing their police uniform.

Police have powers that private security doesn't—how would a citizen know whether the action taken against them was legal or illegal?

Why is the media reporting this as if it's not a serious problem?

Honestly it's like something out of Libertarian Police Department, although at least if they had to feed quarters into their gun there would be fewer victims.
posted by robcorr at 5:23 PM on October 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Ah, there's video now of Vonderrit Myers Jr. at the convenience store before the shooting. No sweatshirt (on any of the guys), and he definitely bought a sandwich.
posted by limeonaire at 5:36 PM on October 9, 2014


This account of the Shaw protest, from 4 a.m. last night, is very positive.
posted by limeonaire at 5:43 PM on October 9, 2014


one of the immutable laws of the Internet is that no matter how a black dude died, somebody will say he had it coming.
posted by empath at 5:49 PM on October 9, 2014


Can someone explain to me how wearing the uniform when off duty, especially while working as a security guard, isn't impersonating a police officer(which is, you know, a crime)?

Fuck, i mean you can get fired for talking on camera while off the clock wearing a fucking mcdonalds uniform because you're "representing the company". How is this not some horrific intersection of that and impersonating an officer?

My brain is like, shorting out here guys. The only thing i can think of is the cynical bullshit answer of "because he's a cop, and the rules don't apply" and that just... doesn't really satisfy me. How the fuck is this not illegal AND against some serious department rules?
posted by emptythought at 5:50 PM on October 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


it's my understanding that a police officer is a police officer whether he's on duty, at a second job, at home, whatever

he can arrest people and enforce the law if he sees a law broken

he can probably wear his uniform even when not on duty

there may be local regulations that put some restrictions on this, but basically, a cop is a cop is a cop
posted by pyramid termite at 6:04 PM on October 9, 2014


From looking around a little, that depends entirely on the state and local laws. The only federal law is that an off-duty cop can carry a firearm.
posted by klangklangston at 6:42 PM on October 9, 2014


> How is this not some horrific intersection of that and impersonating an officer?

My brain is like, shorting out here guys ... How the fuck is this not illegal AND against some serious department rules?


It's worse than that. Please read the article limonaire linked to above. I used to live in a city where affluent neighborhoods were regularly patrolled by police, but it was hard to get a response to 911 calls if you lived in a poor neighborhood that actually had a high crime rate. The city government's explanation for this was always that the police have to "protect property values". This really takes the cake, though: the same attitude, with Indonesia-style corruption layered on top, plus official city council sanction frosting.
posted by nangar at 6:53 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Can any of you guys remember that story that (I think) was posted on the blue a few years ago about a guy who was falsely accused of a crime, and even arrested in front of his kid's school for it, but was shown to be innocent on the basis of something like a receipt or a single camera's footage, and who's now afraid to go anywhere without documenting his whereabouts? I can't find it...

That's what some of the arguments I'm having right now about Myers remind me of. I fear that we're getting to a point where 1. young black men may start to have to do the same thing, lest they be accused of a crime at some point, and 2. Brown's killing and subsequent police actions may become the justification for rolling out a London-style panopticon of cameras in my city and across the U.S. I've actually seen people unironically calling for that sort of thing on Twitter, and such a movement actually already got its start in the city a few years ago with Alderman Antonio French's expanded use of cameras in his ward.

There are absolutely benefits to having cameras available to capture the actions of both criminals and police—but we shouldn't forget what we're giving up for that convenience. In our rush to capture everything, we need to remember what Edward Snowden showed us about this country's already, uh, robust surveillance apparatus.
posted by limeonaire at 7:05 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I believe he was at a baseball game and was shown on TV briefly, limeonaire.
posted by Justinian at 12:16 AM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Matt Pearce's write-up in the LA Times gives an outline of contradictions in accounts of the Vonderrit Myers shooting.
posted by nangar at 5:16 AM on October 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


At this point, I'm honestly afraid that cops across America are just testing the waters and seeing how far they can go.

Every time this happens, the severity of a crime for which I would be willing to call 911 increases. At this point, if I saw a burglary in process my first thought would be "do I want to make a phone call condemning this man to death?"
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:10 AM on October 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Eh 50/50 chance your burglar is a swat team hitting the wrong house.
posted by empath at 6:14 AM on October 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Can any of you guys remember that story that (I think) was posted on the blue a few years ago about a guy who was falsely accused of a crime...

You might be thinking of Juan Catalan? Footage shot for Curb Your Enthusiasm overturned his conviction for murder.
posted by jack_mo at 12:22 PM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


...both criminals and police...

But you repeat yourself.
posted by Evilspork at 2:01 PM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


But you repeat yourself.

Police & Thieves
posted by mikelieman at 2:19 PM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Molly Crabapple: How Can We Stop Cops from Beating and Killing?
posted by homunculus at 6:29 PM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Four Weeks In FergusonE:60, September 2014

E:60 examines Ferguson, Mo. controversy through eyes of local H.S. football team, Andy Hall, ESPN, September 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 2:00 AM on October 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh my God. I had forgotten about trying to find that online after it aired, ob1quixote. Well, there was this Saturday morning's crying catalyst. (Basically every Saturday I've actually had off in the past two months, I feel like I've spent the morning reading about the previous night's events in Ferguson and beyond, and I've cried. It's like the one time each week where I've had space to just let those emotions rule me for a while. And yeah, this made me lose it.)

After Mike Brown's shooting, Eugene Irby has to feel like the angel of death passed over him this summer.
posted by limeonaire at 8:27 AM on October 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Today's march in downtown St. Louis was beautiful. I wasn't there, but I followed it on Twitter. Check out this search for a ton of inspiring photos of people marching to hold the police accountable. Also, this photo—and the story behind it, reported by Shaun King—is awesome.
posted by limeonaire at 11:50 AM on October 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


On the Shaw shooting, this is pretty good, also from Shaun King.
posted by limeonaire at 12:10 PM on October 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


This is a great long read (and a good rebuttal to those who say we must wait for the courts for justice): Bias in the Box: For capital juries across America, race still plays a role in who gets to serve.
posted by limeonaire at 4:36 PM on October 11, 2014


St. Louis Post-Dispatch article on the DOJ's Community Relations Service, David Hunn & Chuck Raasch.
posted by nangar at 10:39 AM on October 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Recap of last night's protests, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

More detailed article on the South St. Louis sit-in, Wesley Lowery, Washington Post.
posted by nangar at 10:53 AM on October 12, 2014


Wow, that Community Relations Service article is very interesting, nangar. That provides some background for something I read recently, too—a woman from Kirkwood mentioned attending those community meetings for a year after the Kirkwood City Council shooting, but she said from her perspective, it didn't really seem to improve conditions for those in the city's historically black neighborhood, Meacham Park. I wonder whether the service has ongoing efforts there...
posted by limeonaire at 11:00 AM on October 12, 2014




Big WaPo peice on asset seizures and police spending.

(I feel a bit sorry for Sparkles the Clown for getting dragged into this, TBH)
posted by Artw at 7:15 AM on October 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


There's a thread about civil asset forfeiture, btw.
posted by homunculus at 11:20 AM on October 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


By the way, Cornel West Arrested In Ferguson. And earlier, more than 1,000 protesters marched from the Shaw neighborhood to a sit-in at Saint Louis University. Perhaps my favorite part of the latter story:

Chanting “hands up, don’t shoot,” marchers headed toward St. Louis University. University security and police officers tried to stop the protest from entering the campus.

“I am a student, I have my ID, and I have a lot of guests,” a protest leader said into the megaphone.

The security officers stepped aside and the crowd kept moving. Participants then gathered at the campus center chanting “out of the dorms and into the streets” as students rushed out of buildings. Some joined the protesters, others took photos and others brought out bottles of water.

posted by limeonaire at 11:27 AM on October 13, 2014 [4 favorites]




I was really impressed with last night's protest marches and the sit-in at SLU. They seemed meticulously planned, very clever and well executed. The local organizers seem to be getting really, really good at this surprise protest thing, and it's remarkable that they've gained enough trust to be able to that.

WyzeChef wrote on twitter this morning:
Last night’s action was easily one of the dopest things I’ve ever been a part of. It almost doesn’t even seem real.

It’s was the first time I’ve seen the police completely clueless and helpless since this whole thing started.
> “I am a student, I have my ID, and I have a lot of guests”

Yes, I really love that line. I also love that they had protesters skipping rope and doing hopscotch in the middle of an intersection on a major arterial while another set of protesters was marching in from a different location.
posted by nangar at 12:44 PM on October 13, 2014 [3 favorites]




Mapping the Spread of the Military’s Surplus Gear

Some amazing journalism has come out of the follow-ups regarding police militarization.
posted by limeonaire at 6:01 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Protest inside the Rams-49ers game.
posted by rhizome at 11:27 PM on October 13, 2014


Sigh. Forensic evidence shows teen shot at St. Louis officer, police say

Forensic evidence is one thing, but devoting a third of the article to quotes and opinions and unsourced allegations from Jeff Roorda is another thing entirely. Gross.
posted by limeonaire at 11:52 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Jailed by Mistake: Wrongful arrests jail about 100 people for over 2,000 days, Robert Patrick & Jennifer S. Mann, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
posted by nangar at 3:13 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh my God, nangar. That happened to my own mother—who is far from a criminal! She once applied for a job and learned that she'd failed a background check, so she went to St. Louis County to find out more—and was arrested on a completely erroneous warrant from the city of St. Louis. Someone had literally hit the wrong key or something, and it took her months to get it all cleared up. It was pretty traumatic for her.

And re: the guy using his brother's name thing, I know someone that's happened to multiple times, too—luckily, he has some friends in law enforcement, so they're generally able to fix the problem. But yeah, wow.
posted by limeonaire at 9:25 PM on October 14, 2014


and was arrested on a completely erroneous warrant from the city of St. Louis. Someone had literally hit the wrong key or something

Ma Buttle?
posted by Justinian at 9:54 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Black voters in St. Louis County direct their anger at the Democratic Party, Sandhya Somashekhar, Washington Post.
posted by nangar at 5:10 AM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Someone on twitter dug up a Missouri State Highway Patrol bulletin on "Understanding Gunshot Residue". They stopped performing analysis of GSR collected from gun homicide victims on a routine basis in 2008, because victims of shootings frequently get gunshot residue on them, resulting in false positives.
GSR KIT POLICY CHANGE—The limitations of GSR analysis have ramifications for individuals associated with a crime scene, specifically victims. Generally, kits should not be collected from victims, whether the incident is a homicide, assault, or suicide ... our experience demonstrates that homicide or assault victims shot by someone else can test positive for GSR. One test, for example, demonstrated that GSR can travel in the direction of the bullet as far as 18 feet. Finding GSR on a shooting victim’s hands does not differentiate between a self-inflicted wound or a homicide. Likewise, a negative GSR result from a suspected suicide does not mean that someone else fired the weapon.

Because GSR kits cannot demonstrate whether a shooting was self-inflicted or not, the MSHP lab will no longer routinely analyze kits taken from shooting victims after September 1, 2008.
So the forensic evidence the STL police union presented as conclusive isn't conclusive, and their interpretation goes against the recommendations of the MSHP, the agency that performed the analysis. We're left with inconsistencies in the official police account: Vonderrit Myers clearly wasn't wearing a hooded sweatshirt, which makes up an important part of the official account, and according to eye-witness accounts and store security footage, he didn't appear to be armed (or wearing a hoodie) a few minutes before the chase and shooting. The GSR evidence doesn't really clarify anything. Myers was shot and alleged to have been a shooter. Either way he'd have gunshot residue on him.
posted by nangar at 10:19 AM on October 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


Eyewitnesses testifying at grand jury hearing: Witness adds new perspective to Ferguson shooting, Christine Byers, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
posted by nangar at 6:38 PM on October 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Report on municipal courts in St. Louis County calls for oversight, stricter limits, Jeremy Kohler & Jennifer Mann, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
posted by nangar at 6:05 AM on October 16, 2014


The St. Louis PD contacts a self-employed activist and live-streamer in an apparent attempt to get her fired. She calls back. Storify, YouTube.
posted by nangar at 7:50 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


More on municipal courts and policing in St. Louis County: Why we need to fix St. Louis County, Radley Balko, Washington Post.
posted by nangar at 9:56 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


St. Louis Police Officers' Association spokesman Roorda goes ballistic in response to an Internal Affairs complaint by the local activist and live-streamer mentioned above:
It is confounding to us as an organization of law enforcement professionals that apologists for the so called 'peaceful protestors' in Ferguson and the Shaw neigborhood defend throwing bricks, bottles and rocks at police officers as 'freedom of speech or freedom of expression'. Then, those very same people feign righteous indignation when a police officer who is fed with the corrosive, anti-police rhetoric that this particular agitator has made in a public forum on social media, exercises his freedom of expression in a truly peaceful manner ... today Officer Novara joined the ranks of law enforcement officers and police union officials who have received death threats, had threats made against their children or been subject to cyber-attacks.
posted by nangar at 11:40 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Personally, I'm honestly surprised that the press in general is still taking Roorda's statements seriously, or not prefacing them with some qualifying notes on his background. Actually, I'm more surprised they're still calling him at all, unless no one else will speak to them or the point is to see how ridiculous it's gonna get. The guy is up for election, so the latter is a possibility, I guess. But when you have as many questionable things in your background as he does, it seems like a little more digging is in order on anything he has to say. Yet even the American quoted him earlier, and he seemed entirely too happy to answer.

Beyond everything else dodgy about Roorda, my question is, why are these questions being answered by a union rep? If I had questions for a line worker at a factory about an accident, I'd ask that person, the company that person works for, or the attorney handling the case, not their union rep—right? In this case, I'd ask the officer's attorney, the owners of GCI, or the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department before I'd consult some outside source like this. I'd love to know more about why the press reporting on this is putting up with that.
posted by limeonaire at 3:57 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


One I missed from two months ago: Is this how a dystopia starts?

The unfortunate thing is, the calls for universal body- and dash-cam use since then may have only brought us closer to dystopia. While I think cameras definitely would've helped clarify things in both the Brown shooting and the Myers shooting, their use also raises some clear ethical implications. Brown's killing and subsequent police actions may become the justification for rolling out a London-style panopticon of cameras here and across the U.S.—what a legacy that would be. I've actually seen people unironically calling for that, and such a movement actually already got its start in the city a few years ago with Alderman Antonio French's expanded use of cameras in his ward.

There are absolutely benefits to having cameras available to capture the actions of both criminals and police—but it seems like we shouldn't forget what we're giving up for that convenience. In our rush to capture everything, we need to remember what Edward Snowden showed us about this country's already robust surveillance apparatus. The dash-cam data, specifically, and potentially body-cam data can easily be put into massive databases by companies like Palantir and pumped into the U.S. surveillance infrastructure. Police out west are already doing this. In our haste to put these systems in place to solve this justice problem, we should probably be mindful of how the data can be misused and create other injustices.

Basically, my inner tech geek and my inner social justice warrior haven't totally made their peace when it comes to these cameras, and those are some interesting ethical and tech issues that come up with this, especially when the specter of dystopia is raised...
posted by limeonaire at 4:15 PM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh my God, what the hell? Roorda is in this story, too. Nearly every major news story about the police that came out in the last day quotes this dude. What am I missing here? Why aren't local news outlets talking to anyone else?
posted by limeonaire at 4:46 PM on October 16, 2014


Maybe Police Unions are now officially in charge of cover-ups, instead of it being an informal thing.
posted by Artw at 4:58 PM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Hmm. According to a notice on page 4 of this month's police union newsletter, apparently the union's annual dinner dance is this Saturday at Grbic Restaurant. I wonder whether any protesters will be there.

Also worth reading in the newsletter: The union president's notes on page 3 re: some of the ethical considerations regarding body cameras (which would actually be fairly on-point if they weren't accompanied by so many instances of the phrase "cop haters") and the glowing Roorda bio on page 9 that glosses past the reason he stopped working for the Arnold police department.
posted by limeonaire at 5:26 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hm. Now that I think about it some more, I wonder whether the choice of a local restaurant for this "police ball" is tactical. Anyone who protests there can easily be painted as "hurting a local business." If that was deliberate...these dudes are more cowardly than I thought.
posted by limeonaire at 5:41 AM on October 17, 2014


It being a union, they almost certainly patronize local and/or union businesses on purpose all the time. I have been to some truly bizarre venues for union events because of the preferences for local ownership and unionized workforces. And unions police each other about this quite a bit ... if the invitations were professionally printed but not at a union shop, the police union will DEFINITELY HEAR ABOUT IT and their failures of solidarity.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:05 AM on October 17, 2014


In this case, the union president explained the choice of venue by saying "Grbic's [the restaurant] is owned by a very pro-police business and the venue and food is outstanding."
posted by nangar at 7:34 AM on October 17, 2014


Johnetta Elzie (@nettaaaaaaaa) has an article published in Ebony: 'When I close my eyes at night, I see people running from tear gas'
posted by nangar at 8:31 AM on October 17, 2014


I wonder if police investigate death threats sent to them — while they usually refuse to if they're received by ordinary citizens.
posted by nangar at 8:40 AM on October 17, 2014


Yeah...I saw that explanation. And I hear Grbic is awesome. But it does make me wonder nonetheless. I haven't seen anything on Twitter about protests set to occur outside this thing yet, though.
posted by limeonaire at 2:51 PM on October 17, 2014


Girls to the Front—Women on the Frontlines of the Struggle in Ferguson, Michelle Zei, {young}ist.

Black Freedom Fighters in Ferguson: Some of us are queer, Darnell L. Moore, the feminist wire.
posted by nangar at 3:14 PM on October 17, 2014


> I haven't seen anything on Twitter about protests set to occur outside this thing yet, though.

If there is, it probably won't be announced. We'll see.
posted by nangar at 3:19 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]




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