"They finally admitted it really was to keep the media out."
November 3, 2014 5:40 AM   Subscribe

Audio recordings show that airspace restrictions over Ferguson following the killing of Mike Brown, supposedly due to shots fired at helicopters, were actually to keep the media out. Meanwhile federal charges against Darren Wilson are looking increasingly unlikely.
posted by Artw (141 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
 
Didn't we know this already anyway? That excuse was paper thin even at the time.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:10 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


We knew this. We did not have confirmation of this.
posted by Artw at 6:11 AM on November 3, 2014 [45 favorites]


While the excuse was indeed quite thin, this audio means that the the department has been caught publicly in yet another lie, and that we have proof the FAA knew the reasons for the ban when they approved it. It's good to have an actual, direct trail of rot in the system to point to.
posted by kewb at 6:14 AM on November 3, 2014 [19 favorites]


I really want to think this will all get resolved peacefully. And life will get better for young black kids in the suburbs of every metropolitan town.

However, that's going to happen. I do think certain news stations will delightedly report how much 'property damage' is done by the coming riots, giving it a wink that it was done to their own communities. And my extended family will gleefully post hate filled bullshit on social media. Because apparently the never-threatened safety of jackass cops is more important than life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for some people.
posted by DigDoug at 6:15 AM on November 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


And the consequences for willfully interfering with freedom of the press are going to be what exactly?

Hahahaha, just playing. F those reporters! Am I roght?
posted by 1adam12 at 6:16 AM on November 3, 2014 [8 favorites]


Regrettably, it doesn't sound like they managed to get St. Louis County police on tape saying this. It's all hearsay.
posted by smackfu at 6:25 AM on November 3, 2014


Sigh. All the cops that stop by the shop, half-joke about how they've been told to send their families out of town and lay up a month worth of food.

I keep my head down and don't engage, for the most part, but I do roll my eyes and tell them, "Oh, now you've become Costco preppers? How many servings of fettucine alfredo can you eat consecutively?"
posted by notsnot at 6:25 AM on November 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile federal charges against Darren Wilson are looking increasingly unlikely.

This is my shocked and surprised face...

I think, deep down, we all knew nothing of any substance would come of this horrible event. The entrenched powers simply hold all the cards. I fear the US is headed into a very dark place.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:33 AM on November 3, 2014 [14 favorites]


Ferguson is an unplanned test.

Powers-that-be now know how to handle thousands of righteous and outraged citizens protestors rioters without even needing to wipe down after.
posted by mistersquid at 6:38 AM on November 3, 2014 [3 favorites]




Regrettably, it doesn't sound like they managed to get St. Louis County police on tape saying this. It's all hearsay.

Obama could, literally, fire someone at the FAA right now. Who knows, they might even find the manager who spoke to AP and make an example of them.

Huerta also said that, to the best of the FAA's knowledge, "no media outlets objected to any of the restrictions" during the time they were in effect.
Our vigorous free press in action.
posted by ennui.bz at 6:42 AM on November 3, 2014 [7 favorites]


My read is that it's not a civil rights violation because we don't know enough to make that call.

Still don't understand how a cop can screw up a stop enough for his gun to be fired inside his car. That's a fact supported by evidence, isn't it? Are there possible conclusions other than he screwed up? He can argue various things around the rest of the evidence, but that seems like the one thing that can't be argued away.

And if read that quote about MB having his head down and "could have been charging" without also noting he may have been falling, I will scream. (I have no idea if the "charging idea even makes sense.)
posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:49 AM on November 3, 2014


I've lost track of all the ways Ferguson has demonstrated that the 1st amendment is dead letter law in the US.

For me, it's only starting to sink in: Ferguson isn't a peculiar place, it's a normal city in a state with a Democratic governor ... so ... in 2014 America I have no guaranteed right to freely assemble, and the press has no guaranteed right to freely cover my activities if I manage to.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 6:51 AM on November 3, 2014 [37 favorites]


.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 6:52 AM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


Obama could, literally, fire someone at the FAA right now.

Yesterday: All governments must protect the ability of journalists to write and speak freely.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:54 AM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, I only recently heard of the killing of Milton Hall two years ago by a phalanx of Saginaw, MI cops. He had one knife in his possession. 46 shots were fired, he was hit by 11.

Newer dashcam video was leaked this past month, you can find it on YouTube. (I can't bear to watch any of the videos.)
posted by NorthernLite at 7:02 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


So the temporary flight restriction law has an exception for the press carved out of it, and the press doesn't know about it? Oy.
posted by smackfu at 7:12 AM on November 3, 2014 [9 favorites]


The first amendment is dead!

The issue isn't with just one person at the FAA, But the whole congress and the cowardly nature of our representatives. (And by the above post so with the press) Few will do the right thing.

It is time for the citizenry to have airborne cameras (drones). Just remember what the cell phone video did for the LA Police department in the Rodney King incident.

Not saying who's account is correct. But if the authorities have "all" the evidence they can suppress what doesn't fit their story. Evidence in the hands of the citizenry makes this very difficult.

Never trust what the government say. "Trust but verify" Ronald Reagan
posted by Mag Plug at 7:17 AM on November 3, 2014


Yeah, but when we fly drones they will be shot down and if it lands on someone's property/family, whoever launched it will be probably be sued stupid.
posted by marienbad at 7:24 AM on November 3, 2014


Same could be said of General Aviation aircraft flying over Property/family. A drone that weighs the same as a football would have little impact on life and property.

"Sued Stupid", another issue for the cowardly congress!

The powers that be have successfully framed the drone debate as a privacy issue. When their real concern is that they fear that they will be under surveillance. Recall that they "bent the law" to keep press helicopters out of the area
posted by Mag Plug at 7:35 AM on November 3, 2014


There was no cell phone video of the Rodney King incident.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:40 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


There was no cell phone video of the Rodney King incident.

Because the format of the video makes all the difference to Mag Plug's point.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:44 AM on November 3, 2014 [8 favorites]


What was the recording device in the Rodney King incident?
posted by Mag Plug at 7:44 AM on November 3, 2014


Presumably a home video recorder not unlike this one. That it was not a cell phone makes little difference.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:48 AM on November 3, 2014


I'm sure that there are lots of civil rights violations that can be hung on the FPD in the wake of the shooting, but I'm not sure the shooting itself was a civil rights violation, as much as it was the result of gross incompetence and possibly maliciousness on the part of Wilson. Murder is generally a state crime, rather than a federal one, but I think its well past time that prosecution of police criminality be taken out of the hands of local prosecutors.
posted by empath at 7:50 AM on November 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Thanks, George Holliday had a hand held video recorder. The point is the same it was the citizenry that caught the gross abuse of power and had the evidence to prove it.
posted by Mag Plug at 7:51 AM on November 3, 2014


It's important that this came out publically, with a big AP story with recordings. Press suppression is not OK, documenting it helps.

I think it's funny the big complaint was St. Louis controllers wanting to be manage approaches to the commercial airport; the TFR was awkwardly close. They have the right to approve aircraft through the TFR but I'm sure it made their job harder. Also if I read the law right there should have been an exception for "properly accredited news representatives", since the TFR justification was about protecting other aircraft. I wonder how often that exception is used?

FAA has a history of bowing to local pressure to issue TFRs. The most egregious is the Happiest Temporary Flight Restriction, a tiny TFR over Disneyland and Disneyworld ostensibly to protect against terrorism. There's a similar roving TFR over major sports events. Neither of them are big enough to provide meaningful protection; it'd take about a minute to fly a plane right through it and do whatever dastardly deed is imagined. But they are sufficient to prevent banner tows, a method of suppressing advertising and free speech.
posted by Nelson at 8:05 AM on November 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


As always, Missouri is the bellweather state.
posted by postel's law at 8:10 AM on November 3, 2014


The First Amendment is not yet dead. It's taken a few vicious blows but it hasn't hit the rope so let's not pretend that all is lost. Not all of us have that luxury.
posted by truex at 8:25 AM on November 3, 2014


Oh Artw, you are awesome. I'd been meaning to get around to making a new Ferguson thread.

For reference, previously: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
posted by limeonaire at 8:38 AM on November 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


Cool so cops can just murder black kids and get away with it over and over again that's a nice little society we have ok
posted by The Whelk at 8:53 AM on November 3, 2014 [20 favorites]


a method of suppressing advertising and free speech.

Marketers ruin everything. Evidence marked #59157c
posted by DigDoug at 8:58 AM on November 3, 2014


But they are sufficient to prevent banner tows, a method of suppressing advertising and free speech.

And, you know, I'm actually good with that. I'm tired of commercial speech. You want to fly over WDW and just look, I'd be good with that. But nope, it was ads, all ads, all the time. Ideally, we'd drop the TFR and simply ban advertisements from aircraft, but the one part of free speech that is completely and utterly protected, it seems, is the right to jam another goddamn ad into your face.

Categorizing DLR and WDW as NDAs is bad, but the effect is good. You get to look at the sky, not a sky full of yet more ads. Personally, the most offensive thing to me about this is that Universal Studios and Seaworld don't get the same the same.

There's a reason that the people who are fighting that TFR are actually the people who want to fly ads over you for money. Also, this isn't a FAA TFR, in the sense that they decided to do it. It was written as public law, and the FAA is enforcing that law. I don't want federal agencies ignoring public law when they think it hinders them -- even if the law is bullshit, because if they get used to deciding what laws they get to consider "bullshit" and ignore, you can bet they'll be ignoring laws to protect J. Random Citizen from abuse. The right way to fix a bullshit law is to fix the law, not ignore it.

We still get the Jesus Freaks who hire a skywriter on Sunday to write Jesus Stuff over the parks, BTW, because they can do that from over 3000AGL. And there are plenty of aircraft who get clearance to operate in that TFR, BTW.

It is time for the citizenry to have airborne cameras (drones).

Flying something in a TFR without clearance from the controlling ARTCC is against the law. Doesn't matter if it's a UAV or a plane. So, the police would just use that to take further action. Personally, if I lived in Ferguson, I'd be putting cameras on poles on private property with permission of the owners -- and streaming those feeds out of the area.

I think it's funny the big complaint was St. Louis controllers wanting to be manage approaches to the commercial airport; the TFR was awkwardly close.

The FAA, like the FCC, is in a weird spot that it is supposed to be an agency that both promotes and regulates. It's completely unsurprising to see the left hand of the FAA implementing a TFR (regulation) and have the right of the FAA ask for it to be changed to make sure that commercial flights were unimpeded (promotion.)

The FAA, indeed, no federal agency, is one mind. They're not even hive minds. They're large originations that don't act as one mind.

Now, however, if you want to take action on this. The FAA's Office of System Operations Security is the office that vets TFR requests. If they don't approve of the TFR, it doesn't get posted. If they do, they tell the relevant ARTCCs (in this case, ZKC in Kansas City) to publish it. Relevant ARTCCs, TRACONS and ATCTs are allowed to make modification requests, as the STL ATCT did because of interference with the 29L approach and 14R departure corridors. This PDF has a section about the TFR process, scroll to page 16, the story title is "We're on a Mission." Fun fact, about 90% of the TFRs requested are refused.

The fact that this was requested to bar Media coverage means the requestor should be fired, and if that reason was attached to the request, the person who approved it should also be fired, and if it wasn't, the person who stripped that reason should be fired. But the people in KC and STL who had to implement the TFR? They could ask for modification, but if that was turned down, all they could do was implement the TFR, so they're not the people at fault.

And the goddamn media could have asked for clearance. If they did and explicitly were refused because they were media, it's a much bigger story.
posted by eriko at 8:59 AM on November 3, 2014 [12 favorites]


There are other kinds of banner tows than advertising. The 2010 case of a heckler flying over golf tournaments was an interesting example, harassing Tiger Woods. There is no permanent temporary flight restriction for golf (there is for football, baseball, etc). So FAA did a ramp check and managed to ground the plane. The FBI apparently got involved later.

I hate ads. I think heckling Tiger Woods is tacky. But free speech is important in the US, and free speech extends to advertising and heckling. Also important to me is the right of US citizens to have access to the national airspace under very liberal rules. We shouldn't give that access up just so Disney can satisfy their commercial interests.

This Ferguson TFR is a whole 'nother level of abuse of TFRs, though, given the urgent national interest there was in reporting from Ferguson. I'd like to think someone will end up getting punished for it, but it seems unlikely.

As for drones, FAA is years late in writing any sort of meaningful regulations about them. They've lost all credibility in their ability to regulate unmanned aircraft, particularly tiny ones that don't pose any meaningful threat to safety. They do still have the authority to regulate, though, and the current law does make many useful applications of drones illegal. It's a bad situation.
posted by Nelson at 9:11 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


And the goddamn media could have asked for clearance. If they did and explicitly were refused because they were media, it's a much bigger story.

Hmm. Interesting point. Apparently the Bommarito SkyFOX helicopter was specifically asked not to fly over Ferguson, after having done so early on. (I remember people snarking about how Bommarito probably hadn't bargained on having its name associated with the protests.) I don't know whether FOX 2 (KTVI-TV) or any other local stations pushed to restore air access, though. It would be interesting to know the outcome of any potential negotiations or conversations along those lines in the past couple of months.

I'd also like to see someone follow up on the notion that there were drones flown in Ferguson; there was a rumor (though I can't find a credible source for it) that police had used drones to follow protesters. But at least one news drone, flown by Berlin-based news service Ruptly, did capture footage there in August. (Added bizarreness: The YouTube ad before that drone footage of a protest at the burned-out Ferguson QuikTrip is for Phillips 66.)
posted by limeonaire at 9:30 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Flying something in a TFR without clearance from the controlling ARTCC is against the law. Doesn't matter if it's a UAV or a plane. So, the police would just use that to take further action. Personally, if I lived in Ferguson, I'd be putting cameras on poles on private property with permission of the owners -- and streaming those feeds out of the area.
True, that is the problem 'they' get to define the area. And they (FAA) are trying to define anything and everything that is not tied to the ground as a flying machine. The law forbids many things for being under the FAA jurisdiction, models, kites and baseballs are a few (these are still being defined as a matter policies).

Before the war on terror was used as an excuse to steal out freedoms there was 400 feet buffer above the ground. I think there is still some 80 feet boundary to the airspace above you property. This still allows you to have some rights in your home on your property, assuming it is not a high rise.

My point was that there needs to be a lot more surveillance on the cops! "Drones" are an easy and mobile way to accomplish this. The citizenry needs these tools not just the militarized police force.
posted by Mag Plug at 9:35 AM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


I understand why they're saying Darren Wilson's acts may not meet the standard for a civil rights prosecution, but it appalls me to think he's going to be let completely off the hook. I feel for the citizens of Ferguson or wherever he goes next (as a cop) who will undoubtedly continue to suffer from the misconduct and criminal behavior his previous and current employers are ignoring.
posted by immlass at 9:53 AM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


The 2010 case of a heckler flying over golf tournaments was an interesting example, harassing Tiger Woods.

I know that's not the core issue here, but what the actual fuck.

As always, Missouri is the bellweather state.

Less the leading sheep than it is the most average, at the risk of sounding like an insufferable pedant. Without intending to, MO really just sort of trails along behind whatever Centrist America is doing. So forth.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:08 AM on November 3, 2014


I guess my only surprise, and it's a tired, "I guess I didn't think about it, but, yeah, of course" surprise, if how fucking blatant the whole "fuck you, nigger" thing is from every one of our government agencies to the people of Ferguson in particular and black people in general.

Even things which are supposed to allow us to address these kind of abuses, like grand juries, are being used to underline just how little value minorities have in American society.

The only reason we don't have minorities sew on stars is their skin makes it easy to identify them already.
posted by maxwelton at 10:10 AM on November 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted. If you really want to review the evidence, there are several very, very long threads you can read to experience those arguments again. We do not need fresh iterations here. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:59 AM on November 3, 2014


Simply out of words to describe the sadness and anger in my heart.

In related crushing news: No charges in Utah police shooting of cosplaying young black man.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:59 AM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


The shooting, Buhman decided, "was reasonable given Mr. Hunt's prior unreasonable totally made up" attack on the officers.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:30 AM on November 4, 2014


What I really want to see is analysis and proof of the Internet blocking/throttling in the area that I saw mentioned, but barely talked about.

What the hell was up with that? Has anyone done an investigative piece on that? Even if it's just a blog post or a storify I'm super curious.

Live steams ended up being the only way to know what the hell was going on, and then it seemed like even the Internet was getting throttled. But I never saw a follow up on that...
posted by emptythought at 12:12 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


This was the only follow-up I found, emptythought. But I haven't searched to find more info about this in a while.
posted by limeonaire at 1:49 PM on November 4, 2014




A New Form Of Leadership Takes Root In Ferguson, Emanuelle Berry, St. Louis Public Radio.
posted by nangar at 6:24 AM on November 7, 2014


It's been three months, y'all.
posted by limeonaire at 12:06 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]






Michael Brown’s parents take their case to United Nations torture panel

The statement urges the U.N. panel to recommend Wilson’s immediate arrest and Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson’s resignation. In addition, it asks that the Ferguson Police Department be held accountable for “systematically targeting and harassing residents of color in a predatory and degrading manner” while granting amnesty to protesters arrested during demonstrations.

The statement recommends that the Department of Justice “conduct a nationwide investigation of systematic police brutality and harassment in black and brown communities, and youth in particular. Methodology and findings of this investigation must be made publicly available.”

posted by showbiz_liz at 7:39 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wow...Tef Poe's "War Cry" is pretty awesome. If you've been following Ferguson, you'll know pretty much everyone he name-checks. It's definitely NSFW for beautiful profanity. This is going on the next mix I make...
posted by limeonaire at 4:11 PM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ferguson protest organizers: ‘I sleep, eat and breathe this.’, Sandhya Somashekhar, Washington Post.
posted by nangar at 4:56 AM on November 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh wow, now this I hadn't seen. At some point, Darren Wilson was apparently filmed arresting a guy for...filming him. What a piece of work.
posted by limeonaire at 4:55 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]




Darren Wilson's radio calls show fatal encounter was brief, Robert Patrick, St. Louis Post Dispatch. (Also has some surveillance video of Wilson at the police station after the shooting.)
posted by nangar at 6:39 AM on November 15, 2014


Netta and DeRay's No Indictment Planning wesite: "We will update this page daily with key information regarding post indictment decision announcement planning."

Proposed Rules of Engagement (for the police), for what it's worth. [pdf]
posted by nangar at 9:57 AM on November 15, 2014




Governor Nixon has just declared a state of emergency, also giving St. Louis County police "command and operational control over security in the City of Ferguson relating to areas of protests, acts of civil disobedience and conduct otherwise arising from such activities."

I can't think of the last time I've read something so... foreboding. Be safe, Ferguson.
posted by argonauta at 12:48 PM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Daily Beast Is already rolling out it's excuses for the verdict. Expect to see these talking points a lot in the next few weeks.
posted by Artw at 2:25 PM on November 17, 2014


So this fucking happened.
posted by emptythought at 7:13 PM on November 17, 2014 [4 favorites]










Words I Never Said by Lupe Fiasco from 2011 is infinitely better and more fitting.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:18 PM on November 21, 2014


And now there's this:

Cleveland Police Kill 12 Year Old Boy Wielding Realistic Looking BB Gun

I have personal insight onto a similar situation involving a minor and a realistic-looking BB gun who was scaring people. Because it happened to my family while I was at work about a year ago.

A developmentally challenged young man (maybe about 17 at most) accompanied some housecleaners to the house next door, and he had a similarly real looking BB gun, which he pointed at our dog while my 6 year old and 3 year old were playing in our backyard. This young man's actions, understandably, scared the crap out my kids, and they began screaming for my wife. She ran out, saw the kid with his gun, scooped up our kids and the dog, ran back inside our house, hid in the bathroom with the kids and dog and called the police.

Police roll up, draw weapons, order boy to put down the gun. I doubt he really knew what was going on, and his parents/guardians are screaming at both him and the cops, but somehow the cops show enough restraint to wait and let him put the gun down. Then they bum rush him and secure the gun.

APD sucks in a lot of ways -- it won't take much googling to find out about some of their more fucked up incidents --but all props to them for showing remarkable restraint. And this is an individual who had the gun out and at the ready. Why was it so crucial in the incident from the link above for the cop to start firing so soon?

I feel like I see overwhelming evidence all the time nowadays that black male = critical threat that must be neutralized immediately in the eyes of so many of my fellow Americans, and I don't see how things are ever going to get any better.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:29 AM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]




Freaking out a little.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:03 PM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yup
posted by DynamiteToast at 12:09 PM on November 24, 2014


Wouldn't it be weird if he is indicted?
posted by Artw at 12:58 PM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't it be weird if he is indicted?

Yah it's amazing how low I feel like the odds of that happening are.
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:26 PM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wonder how Alan Moore feels about the Guy Fawkes mask design from V for Vendetta being the go-to mask for a lot of people at protests and disobedience these days.
posted by Justinian at 5:19 PM on November 24, 2014


CNN is reporting that as of two hours ago, no one had contacted Wilson to ask him to prepare to surrender, etc. So (BIG SURPRISE) I think he's off completely. Better take my eye makeup off before they make the announcement so I can ugly-cry without impediment.
posted by sallybrown at 5:25 PM on November 24, 2014


2 minute warning on PBS Livestream link. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/follow-reaction-ferguson-grand-jury-decision/
posted by macadamiaranch at 6:13 PM on November 24, 2014


He's clearly setting up revealing no bill. Otherwise why go on about how witnesses contradicted their public statements and so on.
posted by Justinian at 6:20 PM on November 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


no indictment
posted by wabbittwax at 6:24 PM on November 24, 2014


So far USA Today is the only one reporting that.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:26 PM on November 24, 2014


We are watching the live video, and he just said they are not indicting on any of the five counts.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:27 PM on November 24, 2014


Small protest march just went past me here in Seattle, followed by all the bike cops in the world. Good luck to everyone doing similar. Good luck especially to everyone in Fergusson.
posted by Artw at 6:27 PM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am watching the live feed. No indictment. It's not just USA Today.
posted by prefpara at 6:27 PM on November 24, 2014


I'm watching live: No true bill.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:27 PM on November 24, 2014


He being the St. Louis County prosecutor, Robert P. McCulloch.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:28 PM on November 24, 2014


From what I am hearing on Twitter there is some disgusting back-patting going on for a successful cover-up, and general snearing at the people who were terrorized by the police. It's pretty disgusting.
posted by Artw at 6:32 PM on November 24, 2014


They're releasing the grand jury proceedings tonight so we'll see what the evidence actually looked like.
posted by Justinian at 6:34 PM on November 24, 2014


That is the smarmiest speech I've heard in a very long time. I don't think that I like McCulloch at all.
posted by leftcoastbob at 6:35 PM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


He is awful. All I get from his tone is that he doesn't care about any of this, resents having to treat this as a big deal, and has contempt for everyone who takes this seriously.
posted by prefpara at 6:37 PM on November 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't even

what

how

HOW

What now?
posted by meese at 6:39 PM on November 24, 2014


He keeps coming back to the fact that decisions in the criminal justice system have to come down to the evidence. A complete, critical examination of all available evidence. "Anything less is not justice." Because no black shooter was ever indicted on circumstantial evidence and sketchy witness statements, right? This is the standard we always meet, right? The hypocrisy is overwhelming.

Now he is condescendingly encouraging people to keep the demonstrations going so we can all benefit. He "joins with Michael Brown's family"

i am shutting this off
posted by prefpara at 6:41 PM on November 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


Everyone's pretending that being charged with a crime is the exact same as being convicted of a crime.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:42 PM on November 24, 2014 [6 favorites]


What now?

Well, cameras on every police officer would be a good start. Not a panacea, of course, but certainly better than this process that lets the prosecutor wash his hands based on the fact that, surprise, a bunch of witnesses disagreed on key details.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:44 PM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Exactly, showbiz_liz.

What's the standard of evidence for an indictment, probable cause?
posted by TheNewWazoo at 6:44 PM on November 24, 2014


He wasn't going to be that either, but it would have been nice if they had have it a shot. Never their intention though - both the alleged investigation and the alleged prosecutor wanted this result.
posted by Artw at 6:45 PM on November 24, 2014


Wow is he being a dick about it though. What's next, go round the parents house and do donuts in their yard?
posted by Artw at 6:46 PM on November 24, 2014


Boy do I hate being right all the time.
posted by mikelieman at 6:46 PM on November 24, 2014


We haven't even had the media roll out their most disgusting racists and apologists yet. Odds on CNN doing something that makes you want to vomit.
posted by Artw at 6:48 PM on November 24, 2014


The BF has a better ear for these sorts of things, and he could tell that a non-indictment was coming, based on the massive amount of lip service to 24-hour news cycle and evidence and testimony.

I just don't even, ugh.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:49 PM on November 24, 2014


538: It's incredibly rare for a grand jury to do what Ferguson's just did.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. attorneys prosecuted 162,000 federal cases in 2010, the most recent year for which we have data. Grand juries declined to return an indictment in 11 of them.
posted by Mothlight at 6:50 PM on November 24, 2014 [13 favorites]


Is someone working on an FPP?
posted by brina at 6:50 PM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


How is there no new Ferguson thread? I'm too furious and speechless to make one, although I guess everyone else probably is too.

Jesus christ that horrible speech though, wow. I was prepared to be fucking furious, but I can't even believe they took the opportunity to put Mike Brown on trial and for this guy to play Wilson's defense attorney. Absolutely fucking revolting. If it's all so confusing and the evidence is so important, how about we have, oh I don't know, I think they call it a trial?
posted by dialetheia at 6:50 PM on November 24, 2014 [7 favorites]


This dude just referenced sunset laws and I thought damn they're really just speaking plainly now aren't they? But apparently that's a different law having to do with evidence coming from grand juries.
posted by DynamiteToast at 6:57 PM on November 24, 2014


President Obama to speak shortly.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:58 PM on November 24, 2014


Will that be at whitehouse.gov/live?
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:01 PM on November 24, 2014


And there's the obligatory footage of protesters trashing a county police cruiser.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:02 PM on November 24, 2014


And there's the riot cops cocking their shotguns. Jesus.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:02 PM on November 24, 2014


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mP3rGUkrrec

Here's where Obama's speech will be.
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:03 PM on November 24, 2014


I predict the speech will be extremely unsatisfying in every way.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:08 PM on November 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


It can't possibly be as unsatisfying as that last one we just watched.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:10 PM on November 24, 2014 [2 favorites]




The best you can say about Obama in this is he isn't really supposed to be involved in this shitshow.
posted by Artw at 7:14 PM on November 24, 2014


Jay fucking Nixon on the other hand... Fuck that guy forever.

Mcculloch already barely qualified as human and still manages to be worse than expected.
posted by Artw at 7:16 PM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Outside of Nixon I expect everyone involved in this clusterfuck to fail up as well.
posted by Artw at 7:18 PM on November 24, 2014


what is happening on the ground? the ktvi livestream is showing some really bizarre footage -- lots of smoke and maybe fire?
posted by brina at 7:19 PM on November 24, 2014


Like we trusted a guy named Nixon
posted by wheelieman at 7:20 PM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


People dumping lighter fluid on shit.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 7:20 PM on November 24, 2014


Tear gas in Ferguson, against people trying to rock over a police car, according to the PBS newshour stream at http://www.ustream.tv/pbsnewshour
posted by persona at 7:20 PM on November 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


Jake Tapper of CNN was complaining that their gas masks suck.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 7:22 PM on November 24, 2014


I've been watching KSDK.com. They're reading a letter from Darren Wilson.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:23 PM on November 24, 2014


Glad cnn cleared up what a brick is...
posted by pearlybob at 7:26 PM on November 24, 2014


At least CNN all got gassed.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 7:28 PM on November 24, 2014


Is there any hope at all, now, for justice on any level, or any accountability for police actions in the aftermath?

Or is this a "wait and see" situation, in the desperate clinging hope that in 50 years, our textbooks and retrospectives will tell the story as it was, and that someone, somewhere, will be ashamed?
posted by WidgetAlley at 7:28 PM on November 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


Obama's speech reminded me of an underqualified interviewee at a job interview.
posted by jaksemas at 7:31 PM on November 24, 2014 [3 favorites]




Can a lawyer chime in with what in the world "objectively reasonable" (as used in the Vox piece that homunculus just linked) means as a legal term of art? "Reasonable" always struck me as precisely the word you use when there are no objective standards.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:39 PM on November 24, 2014


I'm there in seattle. This is not small. This is 500+ people.

really. This is what it looks like every direction from me.
posted by emptythought at 7:41 PM on November 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


In Defense of the Ferguson Riots:

From the Boston Tea Party to Shays’ Rebellion, riots made America, for better or worse. In the past, white rioters have had access to institutional power, which allowed some of their grievances to be legitimized and politically resolved ... The key for the Ferguson uprising, as with any unsustainable political moment, is to transition outrage and disruption into constructive political organization. Easier said than done — but it’s a better reaction than dismissing the riots and only making it more difficult for the people to accomplish this herculean task.

Malcolm X reminds us that media is a key instrument of subjugation because it determines which acts are respectable and which are extreme and thus illegitimate. Instead of following that familiar script, let’s push back against narratives about rioters being devoid of politics. Let’s find ways to honestly observe and discuss their political needs, rather than simply criticize the nature of their response to social violence.

posted by airing nerdy laundry at 7:46 PM on November 24, 2014 [5 favorites]


I saw the protest happening in NYC..... Is there anything happening anywhere else?
posted by pearlybob at 8:06 PM on November 24, 2014


Ferguson Response
posted by jaksemas at 8:09 PM on November 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


pearlybob: There's a pretty big one happening in Oakland.
posted by divabat at 8:12 PM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Bassem Masri's livestream from Ferguson is riveting. He just yelled at a huge group of cops, "I've got 90,000 people watching you right now!" It's powerful to be watching something like this without cable news mediation, and especially to help remind the cops that people can see what they're doing. I'm so thankful that there are brave incredible people providing unfiltered footage of the situation.
posted by dialetheia at 8:16 PM on November 24, 2014 [6 favorites]


McCulloch's presentation was nothing short of contemptible.

Earlier today I was reading part of Patricia Hill Collins' Black Feminist Thought, and McCulloch's continual refrain about the "evidence" really drives home her point about how claims to objective, factual truth by those operating from a context of racism are anything but.
posted by audi alteram partem at 8:19 PM on November 24, 2014 [5 favorites]


Can a lawyer chime in with what in the world "objectively reasonable" (as used in the Vox piece that homunculus just linked) means as a legal term of art?

Obviously don't take this as legal advice, and I'm not in the States, but generally objective reasonableness is meant to exclude subjective considerations. Um. That was kind of a tautology. Let me try again.

Sometimes in law you want a "reasonable person" standard - that way you don't have to prove that the person meant to do something, or they believed that an action would happen. Instead, we want to say any reasonable person would believe XYZ. If I have a magical belief that bullets can't hurt you, too bad. Even if I really really believe it.

But, sometimes we want to modify that by saying that we actually care about a "reasonable person" in the circumstances. Bad example, in the case of a battered spouse we shouldn't look at what a reasonable person would think of doing, but someone who has been subjected to patterns of abuse, etc etc. That's subjectively reasonable. It's pretty common, and generally a good idea.

So in this context, it doesn't matter about any special characteristics of Brown. Does that help?
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:25 PM on November 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


There were protests following the announcement planned in 75 cities in the US. Here's a list. A lot of them were planned for the day after the announcement. I've seen photos from protests tonight in NYC, Chicago, Oakland, DC, and Seattle.
posted by nangar at 8:34 PM on November 24, 2014


Can a lawyer chime in with what in the world "objectively reasonable" (as used in the Vox piece that homunculus just linked) means as a legal term of art? "Reasonable" always struck me as precisely the word you use when there are no objective standards.

Sure.

Objectively reasonable means that you are judging the action/belief from the point of view of an "abstract reasonable man." In other words, you're not to dive into the actual beliefs or motivation of the person. You're only looking at the actions.

To give an example, let's imagine you're in a state where self defense is based on an objectively reasonable belief that your life is in danger. One night you're wandering around and you see a little girl suddenly become filled with the spirit of your ancient reincarnating enemy Kon Fuero a black dragon you defeated in a former life, now returned to this realm to slay you now that you've reincarnated into a regular human and are not Shiing the Eagle of Pure Steel.

You grab the little girl and toss her in front of a bus, assured that her own soul has already been devoured and will never return. The little girl is killed instantly.

You're arrested and make your case to the court. Luckily the whole thing was filmed by the security camera of a 7-11 across the street. The film shows Marsha, a midget thug with eight prior felonies of armed robbery, pull out a knife and advance on you. You grab her after she swings at you and toss her in front a bus. Marsha's reign of terror is at an end.

No insanity plea is needed in this case. Your actions, defending yourself from a knife wielding assailant, are objectively reasonable. A person who understood the facts would have believed they were defending themselves. Your belief that you killed the body of an innocent young girl inhabited by an occult evil is irrelevant.

This standard is often held in contrast with the "honest belief" standard, where what matters is what you believed, honestly, no matter what the objective evidence shows. These days "honest belief" isn't used much as a total defense to murder charge, but rather used to reduce the charge.

So, if the young girl wasn't Marsh, but Alice, an actual innocent young girl, and the same actions took place, security camera and all. You would probably use the doctrine of "imperfect self defense" to have the charges reduced from Murder to Manslaughter. "Imperfect self defense" isn't very common in the US these days, in my understanding, but the "honest belief" standard shows up all over the place.

Hope this helps.
posted by bswinburn at 8:36 PM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


New FPP
posted by A Bad Catholic at 8:40 PM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]




Thanks so much Lemurrhea and bswinburn. Maybe it's the left-brained engineer type in me, but I still have trouble accepting the word "objective" considering "reasonableness" is clearly negotiable depending on who's being asked what's reasonable. In this case, and in the recent "stand your ground" cases, actions were taken by shooters that, to me, signify someone holding an unreasonable belief that they were in danger (given that the people they shot were unarmed.) I'm guessing there's no numeric guideline -- like 51% of the population surveyed would find it reasonable -- so it really just seems to be a giant fudge factor that lets pretty much anyone substitute their own judgement.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:45 PM on November 24, 2014


Ok, let me try again.

"Reasonableness" is does depend on who's being asked. And who is being asked in this case is generally the jury. They decide what is "Reasonable" and what is not.

What the jury doesn't decide is what evidence to consider in deciding that reasonableness.

In the "Objective reasonableness" the word "objective" does not refer to the objectiveness of the reasonableness. It refers to the objectiveness of the evidence used to decide on the reasonableness. I.e. The film of the scene. Testimony of the people who see it. To the best of the jury's ability to figure out the actual actions that took place. They are told to ignore the beliefs of the party involved.

In the "Honest Belief" standard the jury can consider what the people involved believed. The are told they can look inside the defendant's mind, to the best of their ability, and use what they find there to evaluate their actions.

Better?
posted by bswinburn at 8:54 PM on November 24, 2014


OK, yes, that makes sense. I get it now in the abstract at least.

In this case, however, wouldn't it be relevant that the grand jury didn't need to come to a unanimous decision, therefore it's possible that at least five of the twelve members didn't find Wilson's belief reasonable?
posted by tonycpsu at 8:56 PM on November 24, 2014


Can't help you there. I'm a California lawyer and I can go on for hours about preliminary hearings (which California has in the State Courts to fulfill a similar purpose), but how Grand Juries work in Missouri is far from my expertise.
posted by bswinburn at 9:00 PM on November 24, 2014


Yeah, apparently it's even worse -- nine have to vote to proceed in MO.

Thanks anyway for the impromptu legal education.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:51 PM on November 24, 2014




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