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Borgholio
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Borgholio »

This whole thing is becoming one giant clusterfuck. It's going to get worse before it gets better.
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Welf »

Siege wrote:Oh no, they threw glass bottles at officers kitted out in body armor, sniper rifles and armored trucks! Clearly this warrants a massive escalation of force! Also let's arrest or shoot at journalists covering the protests because clearly that's something that will make everything better for us. What the fuck are these people thinking? Do they perchance think the way the authorities handled the protests at Tahrir and Maidan were a sterling example to be imitated?
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by salm »

What they do here is video tape the riots from many angles for evidence and as soon as they have a positive ID on a bottle or rock thrower, 4 lines of two riot cops next to each other will storm in, home in on the thrower, grab him and take him away to arrest him.

Now, they also use teargas and watercanons to despers crowds sometimes but it appears to me that in a situation where you clearly have offending individuals you want to grab them individually while reserving gas and water for instances where you want to get rid of crowd from a specific place.

The idea being that gas or water might free one specific area but that will just make the crowd gather elsewhere. So I´d use gas and water if I wanted the crowd to gather elswhere, perhaps in a place where the police force has some sort of advantage and it´s easier to controll the crowd.

Grabbing the offending individuals keeps the crowd at the same spot but you can pick off the worst offenders one by one. Knowing that the offenders get caught also keeps people who might get drawn to throw something in the moment of heat from doing so as it demonstrates that you´re not shielded by the crowds anonymity.
Depending on the equipment, logistics and discipline the police have this might be difficult, though.
In the images a couple of comment up it looks like they are very badly equipped for this task.
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

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St. Louis alderman says police dragged him from his car at Ferguson protest

FERGUSON • St. Louis Alderman Antonio French emerged Thursday morning from a night in jail after his arrest at the Ferguson protests to say that the police officers' "heavy-handed" approach on the streets is making the situation worse.
French said police dragged him from his car Wednesday night but gave him no documentation that says why he was arrested. He was released about 7 a.m. today without having to post any bail.
No police spokesman was available to explain why French was arrested.
French said he should never have been locked up, nor should the dozen or so others at the jail overnight.
"Inside that jail is nothing but peacekeepers," he said. "They rounded up the wrong people ... reverends, young people organizing the peace effort."
Police arrested about a dozen people Wednesday night, including French and Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery and Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilly.
Police used tear gas and sonic cannons to disperse the crowds. Today, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is scheduled to visit Ferguson in the wake of the growing protests.
As he walked out of the Ferguson Jail this morning, French wore his signature oxford button-down shirt -- slightly wrinkled from sleeping in it on a jail cot, and with a burnt orange color on the shoulder from where a fellow inmate had wiped his eyes from the burning tear gas.
French talked with reporters about his experience. He said he was near the burned-out QuikTrip at about 9 p.m. Wednesday when police in riot gear ordered protesters to disperse. Several hundred people were there.
"Police had just given a final warning to disperse and released smoke bombs, people scattered and ran," French said. "Police started to move forward with riot gear and tear gas started to come."
"I moved away when it looked like they were throwing what I thought was tear gas ... it turned out to be smoke bombs," French added. "I realized the best place (to be was in my) car with the windows rolled up. That's where I was."
He said he was recording what was happening.
When a reporter asked French today how he went from being in his car to being arrested, he said: "They open your door and drag you out."
"They just rounded up anybody they could see," he said.
He had no complaints about the way the officer treated him, other than how securely the officer wrapped his wrist with the plastic handcuffs.
"I don't think I was mistreated," he said. "The roughest things were those zip ties ... pretty tight."
He said he was treated well inside the jail and offered a honey bun at 6 a.m. for breakfast, which he declined. He was told he'd be held 24 hours on a charge of unlawful assembly, but then he was inexplicably released without bail or any paperwork at 7 a.m.
French is in his first term as alderman of the 21st Ward in St. Louis. His ward includes the Mark Twain, Penrose and O'Fallon neighborhoods. After the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson on Saturday afternoon, French has been attending protests and rallies, posting updates on social media.
French said he will continue to document the protests and police response as long as the protesters are on the streets. He wasn't able to post anything for the nine hours he was in jail because they took his phone from him. At 8 a.m., French said he was ready to log back in. "I've gotta find a charger somewhere," he joked.
He said he was also heading to an ATM to get cash to bail out two of his staffers who were arrested after being pulled from their cars. Police told his staffers, two women, that they were arrested for a noise violation, French said.
"In an American city, people are being tear-gassed and snipers are pointing rifles at them," he said. "Everybody should be upset ... heavy-handed police approach is actually making the situation worse.
"Before they arrived heavy-handedly, it was a peaceful situation."
French said the city is wrong to try to limit protests to daylight-only.
"We have a right to protest 24 hours a day," French said. "Our constitutional rights don't expire at 9 p.m." - Kim Bell, 7:25 a.m. Thursday
OUR EARLIER STORY
Law enforcement officials on Wednesday asked for patience to allow the investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown to take its course as tension over the teenager’s death continued for a fifth straight day.
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said his office will take as much time as necessary to review circumstances that led a Ferguson police officer to fatally shoot the 18-year-old Brown on a street Saturday afternoon.
“The timeline on this is there is no timeline,” McCulloch told an afternoon news conference. “We will do this as expeditiously as possible. But we won’t rush.”
Resisting pressure from street demonstrators and public officials for answers that show why the unnamed officer confronted Brown and a companion shortly after noon on Saturday, McCulloch said the details may not emerge until the process of collecting evidence and presenting it to the grand jury is complete.
“I know that’s not the answer anybody wants to hear at this point,” he said. “Everybody wants to know what happened.”
McCulloch called the problem twofold. First, he said, ethical rules prevent prosecutors from disseminating the physical evidence. He also said he won’t do anything to corrupt the integrity of the investigation.
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by General Zod »

salm wrote:What they do here is video tape the riots from many angles for evidence and as soon as they have a positive ID on a bottle or rock thrower, 4 lines of two riot cops next to each other will storm in, home in on the thrower, grab him and take him away to arrest him.

Now, they also use teargas and watercanons to despers crowds sometimes but it appears to me that in a situation where you clearly have offending individuals you want to grab them individually while reserving gas and water for instances where you want to get rid of crowd from a specific place.

The idea being that gas or water might free one specific area but that will just make the crowd gather elsewhere. So I´d use gas and water if I wanted the crowd to gather elswhere, perhaps in a place where the police force has some sort of advantage and it´s easier to controll the crowd.

Grabbing the offending individuals keeps the crowd at the same spot but you can pick off the worst offenders one by one. Knowing that the offenders get caught also keeps people who might get drawn to throw something in the moment of heat from doing so as it demonstrates that you´re not shielded by the crowds anonymity.
Depending on the equipment, logistics and discipline the police have this might be difficult, though.
In the images a couple of comment up it looks like they are very badly equipped for this task.
That only works if the police want accountability. So far they've done their hardest to try and cover up their actions by clamping down on any attempts to record their actions and refusing access by the Press.
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Channel72 »

The Ferguson police suck so bad at PR. Obviously, any show of force like this is going to backfire politically.

I guess they're not used to being in the spotlight.
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by gigabytelord »

Report: St. Louis County Police To Be Withdrawn From Duty After Ferguson Protests
The St. Louis County Police Department will no longer be involved in the policing Ferguson, Missouri, the suburban community rocked by protests after the death of an unarmed black teenager who was shot by a police officer last week.

Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), who represents Ferguson, told Bloomberg on Thursday that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) is expected to announce the decision later today.

"The gov. just called me and he's on his way to St. Louis now to announce he's taking St. Louis County police out of the situation," he said.

The situation, already tenuous after extensive police presence that included rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas since Michael Brown's death last week, exploded Wednesday evening after SWAT officers roughed up and arrested two reporters inside a local McDonald's. The journalists were unharmed, but the incident highlighted the town's ramped up police presence, which has been criticized as overly militarized.

It was unclear which authorities, either state police or the Federal Bureau of Investigation, would be taking over in place of St. Louis County Police Department.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the county police was "not aware of reports that they are being relieved of duty."

The Ferguson Police Department has continued to withhold the identity of the officer who shot Brown out of concerns about his personal safety.

The governor released a statement on the situation on Wednesday evening, urging law enforcement to "keep the peace and respect the rights of residents and the press during this difficult time."

“I have been closely monitoring the situation and will continue to be in communication with local leaders, and I will be in north St. Louis County tomorrow," Nixon said. "As Governor, I am committed to ensuring the pain of last weekend’s tragedy does not continue to be compounded by this ongoing crisis."

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said Wednesday evening that she was in contact with local officials and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Devision in order to "de escalate the tense and unacceptable situation" in Ferguson. She is also expected to meet with Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday.
This could get interesting if the police choose to simply ignore such an order if it exists.
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Borgholio »

Can a state governor legally order a county police department around? I wasn't aware that the police were under the authority of the state government...just local.
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by gigabytelord »

Borgholio wrote:Can a state governor legally order a county police department around? I wasn't aware that the police were under the authority of the state government...just local.

I've no idea, it's not the same in every state. What's okay in one state may not be in another.
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Patroklos »

Channel72 wrote:The Ferguson police suck so bad at PR. Obviously, any show of force like this is going to backfire politically.

I guess they're not used to being in the spotlight.
They are a 53 member suburban department. Their local walmart has more employees. Why would they be?
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Elheru Aran »

In general the Governor can be considered a sort of 'mini-President' of their states, so they do tend to have a fairly wide degree of authority over most state and local law enforcement. They rarely exercise it-- too much trouble-- but if the pooch gets royally fucked, they do have the ability to step in and say "OK, you do this, you do that, everybody behave now".

This does always vary by state, though, and some local jurisdictions can be terrifyingly powerful. Take the LAPD; it's got more hardware than some countries' armies...
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Simon_Jester »

Channel72 wrote:The Ferguson police suck so bad at PR. Obviously, any show of force like this is going to backfire politically.

I guess they're not used to being in the spotlight.
Apparently not.

I would speculate that they're used to a style of policing that relies on brutalizing and intimidating the population (especially the black population) in an attempt to reduce the incidence of serious crime... while still pumping up arrest statistics even as crime goes down. Which makes them look effective.

Now, supposing you have this attitude in a police department. It becomes immediately obvious how this mindset evolves, when you're no longer dealing with a situation where officers act like a sort of a sort of nonlethal version of the Spartan Krypteia, and make their quotas by arresting individual blacks for "matching the description" or for "blocking the sidewalk" by standing on it.

Now you're dealing with large groups of people, many of whom are clearly and distinctively angry and shouting insults, and a few of which are even slightly dangerous. And the pseudo-Krypteia style of policing relies on massively disproportionate response to the slightest hint of defiance or resistance, because it's constantly in hostile confrontation with the public. If the average member of the public starts showing any real spirit or gets their hands on meaningful legal counsel or, hell, even insists on their basic constitutional rights... it all falls apart.

So they respond to a mob chanting slogans with a couple of hotheads throwing empty bottles the same way they'd respond to that black guy on the sidewalk wriggling when someone grabs him and tackles him to the ground: Pepper spray, tasers, batons, whatever it takes to 'ensure compliance' and teach that uppity guy a lesson about daring to 'resist' his oppressor's fist with his face.
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My comparison to the Krypteia is deliberate. The Krypteia was used by the Spartan citizens to keep the servile helot population in a subjugated condition, by gathering information on them, by threatening them, and by identifying potentially dangerous leaders and preemptively killing them.

I feel that in some places, the relationship of the law enforcement and the judiciary with poor communities has become sort of similar. On behalf of the organized body of the state and the 'mainstream' population, the police and courts go into the poor community and try to terrorize them into not making trouble for the rest of the people. The people in these ghettoes are not seen as citizens with the same rights as normal middle-class people, but as inherently criminal scum, who can reasonably be seen as 'low-class' and potentially criminal even in the absence of wrongdoing.

Basically... helots.

The brutality of the Spartan system isn't there, it's all done with pepper spray rather than with daggers. But the basic concept is similar: keep the population of second-class citizens servile by specifically targeting their leaders if they organize AND creating an atmosphere of terror with random attacks, abuses, and arrests.
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Patroklos »

Dramatic much? Do you have any proof of systemic abuse by this department?
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Siege »

VOX wrote:Here's the transcript of the exchange (emphasis added):

Reporter: Who makes decision to tear gas (inaudible)?
Jackson: The commander on the scene.
Reporter: What agency is he from? Who's in charge?
Jackson: Sometimes it's highway patrol, St. Louis County, us, St. Louis City...
Reporter: So when something goes down on West Florissant (inaudible) at night, police (inaudible) from different agencies there, there's one person in charge of all of them, or (inaudible)?
Jackson: There's one incident commander each night.
Reporter: So that commander rotates, it's not the same guy.
Jackson: Yes.

What that means is that at least four different people, from different police departments, have made the decision to tear-gas protesters: one for each night tear-gas canisters have been fired. That means that the problem isn't just with the St. Louis County police, or with the Ferguson police.
This is the height of insanity and incompetence. It means continuity of command, no consistency, and no accountability. In the middle of a series of riots. Every second it's looking more like these guys are desperate to check off every box on the list of things not to do. All the while playing military dressup, of course. The photo's of police getups coming out of St. Louis are ridiculous. I've seen soldiers in active warzones with less armor and fewer guns than these nutjobs.
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Patroklos »

Actually it looks like they are rotating in rested commanders who are not necessarily tainted by responding the the previous days violence in responding to what will hopefully be peaceful this time around.

Again I point out that the Ferguson police offices has 53 officers. Of those how many do you think are actually field officers vice specialists? Have the experiance and seniority to deal with a situation such as this? Do you want those guys to just stay awake for days at a time making decisions while actively engaged in the stress of holding back rioters? Then of course since we have sensationalized this to the maximum extent possible do you honestly think there is any law enforcement entity of note that can afford not to make thier presense and participation known?

The military is no different, commanders have to sleep and while you might wake them up for the go ahead on the really big stuff you deligate the on the spot decisions to your trusted representatives. This is completely normal.
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by cosmicalstorm »

Heres a very conservative take on it.
Who Curb-stomped Officer Friendly?

Written by Henry Dampier, Posted in UncategorizedIn the context of the riots in the greater St. Louis area, many people are asking what happened to the friendly police officers that were celebrated in the propaganda reels of the mid 20th century.The first thing that happened is that they never really existed, because characters on film are not real people. Although it’s a little facetious to state it, it could use re-stating, because people tend to confuse real characters with fictional ones.The second thing that happened is that rounds of riots and terrorism, blotted out in history with Martin Luther King-worship, ended the legal regime of segregation and attempted to integrate formerly uniform communities. The Federal government banned racial discrimination and encouraged businesses, informal clubs, and other organizations to develop an internal commissar system to encourage representative racial distributions on their staffs.The third thing that happened, really beginning under Nixon, was a legal and police reaction to the increase in public disorder under the corrupt pretext of ‘drug enforcement.’ Police rhetorically and strategically positioned themselves as front line soldiers in a ‘war on drugs,’ with drugs used as  a pretext for sidestepping the traditional Anglo legal norms restricting police actions.Next, when a few squads of Saudi suicide soldiers blew up a skyscraper and blew a hole in the Pentagon, police gained a second front ‘war’ to fight in the form of terrorism and the a new bureaucracy intended to unify local police with different Federal law enforcement agencies, the military, and the intelligence agencies. Many local police forces were able to expand their armories and gain access to new military training to help them execute their (popularly acclaimed) new responsibilities.The debate around ‘police militarization’ is usually disingenuous from several different directions. The first, most important distinction, is that this militarization was somehow politically unpopular.It was overwhelmingly popular. Enabling laws like the PATRIOT act polled very well when they were signed. Politicians of both parties universally supported the development. Local politicians in particular clamored for grants and new funding from the Federal treasury. At no point have the facts supported the narrative of people power opposed to state power. In this particular case, ‘people power’ unified in an ecstasy of internal war build-up with the state.Because Americans spend more time watching TV than they do almost anything else, it’s easy for them to mistake the world as it appears in fictional shows as it really is. In the real world, despite anti-segregation laws, de facto segregation is ordinary for the same reasons as was understood at the time that the state undertook its grand desegregation project — namely that, if  most people have at least a slight preference for people of their own kind and cultural background, the ‘Schelling segregation’ effect will play out over time. You can use this argument either as a justification for state desegregation (because market effects will lead to segregation predictably due to assertion of individual preferences), or as one against it (because it means the anti-segregation struggle must be a permanent mission and drain on the treasury unless it can change human nature).Much as Marshal Tito used a combination of brutality and brainwashing to hold together multicultural Yugoslavia, America, too, requires both tools to hold together its multicultural state construct. While ‘proposition nation’ is a lofty term in the American mind, pathetic, detestable Yugoslavia was also a ‘proposition nation’ — a Soviet one. Arguably, Serbs, Croats, and Albanians have much more in common than the various mutually opposed American tribes.Obama is merely an imitation Tito of the same poor make as Yugoslavian cars used to be poor copies of American models.It makes no sense to mourn the loss of English freedoms while simultaneously cheering the dilution of the English stock in America. The legal  freedoms came from the uniquely English culture, and were only supportable when that culture was dominant. Whenever you have multiple cultures and competing systems of morality, it is not possible to maintain a coherent and simple legal system, because the cost of enforcing compliance becomes higher the less naturally obedient people are to the behavioral norms that support the law.You can dance around this point all you like, but in cold light, there is no evading it permanently. Automatic rifles, APCs, tanks, gas, drones, helicopters, and ceramic plate armor are all necessary to maintain order in a society that is disorderly, culturally chaotic, and ridden by internal political conflict. Tyranny is the natural end point of the choices that Americans have made, and it ought not to be celebrated. Commanding the police to disarm while also demanding that they continue their impossible missions on behalf of the state is just as ill-fated a proposal.Politicians, on behalf of their addled constituents, pile  impossible mission on top of impossible mission and then feign moral outrage when the men that we demand perform the impossible missions we asked of them turn to steroid abuse and perform SWAT raids on grandmothers. That a piecemeal fix is possible without causing more damaging consequences is a delusion.To end the tyranny, you must go after the original causes: chiefly, that the country is no longer governable as a single unit.- See more at: http://www.socialmatter.net/2014/08/14/ ... EeUM2.dpuf
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Elheru Aran »

...so America is a new Yugoslavia now, ruled as a police state by the liberals or something? :wtf:

Someone's reading entirely too much into this situation.
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

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I guess coherent paragraphs are too progressive?
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Siege »

Patroklos wrote:Actually it looks like they are rotating in rested commanders who are not necessarily tainted by responding the the previous days violence in responding to what will hopefully be peaceful this time around.
I don't give a damn if they rotate in rested commanders. Read closely. It says that different agencies are in command on different moments. That is indefensible. One of the first rules of handling any crisis is that there needs to be one consistent authority where the buck stops. I don't care if that's not the local PD, in fact it's probably best if it's not. But be it state or county or highway patrol or flipping Make-A-Wish, there needs to be one agency in charge so there's a consistent chain of command that's in the loop and can't lose valuable information (like 'don't teargas these guys' or 'we guaranteed those people there wasn't a curfew') in transfers of authority between agencies who probably don't have protocols set up to reliably share information consistently and in real-time at the best of times, let alone in the middle of a fucking riot.

You say this is "completely normal" in the military. It is not. This is as if in the middle of a warzone every six hours supreme command over all assets in the battlespace is transferred from the army to the FBI to the coast guard. I'll bet real money that in the aftermath of this absurd clusterfuck it will turn out that a lot of the seemingly crazy, random, conflicting and downright bewildering behavior of the authorities will be proven to be down to the fact that the left hand had no fucking idea what the right hand was doing. Because that's what you get when you fuck up your chain of command like this.
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Gaidin »

gigabytelord wrote:Report: St. Louis County Police To Be Withdrawn From Duty After Ferguson Protests


This could get interesting if the police choose to simply ignore such an order if it exists.
I don't know whether the Ferguson police would be withdrawn, but the words I keep hearing on the news are the SWAT are going, while the Governor is definitively giving command to the captain of the state Highway Patrol whom is originally from Ferguson. It would still be a joint task force, rather unavoidable, that, but there's finally actually someone that seems to be in definitively named to be in charge, since all the stories I read before now is things in various areas seemed to rotate between who happened to have rank regardless of what force you were on. I could never find which force's chief was actually running the overall thing given how things could change if you went from one street to another.

Haven't done a lot of searching for an article on some announcement on what he's actually doing re: orders so, I have no link for it. Just what I hear.
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Kuja »

Kuja wrote:Al-Jazeera gets the gas-

And now part 2-

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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Simon_Jester »

What I think the author of that long rambling article above is missing (because he's a lunatic) is that modern America isn't so much a case of multiple feuding ethnic groups who have to be coerced into line by a 'Tito' and his army of enforcers. It's a case of one ethnic group being quite simply dominant over all others. During segregation they were separate but unequal, and desegregation didn't really change that, it just made the gap in wealth and power and privilege more conspicuous.

Thus, if society cannot or will not commit to giving the minority groups equality... it becomes necessary to suppress the minority groups by force. The force can be informal and 'privatized'*, or it can be done with the full authority of the state, although not necessarily overtly directed at the minority group.

I would argue that modern policing has this effect of formally suppressing ethnic minorities, although it is also becoming an instrument of class warfare in general as poor whites become targets along with poor blacks.

*(Sexism, for instance, is/was normally 'enforced' by random male citizens committing acts against random female citizens that are not officially sanctioned, and may not even be legal, but still have the cumulative effect of suppressing women and preserving male dominance)
Patroklos wrote:Dramatic much? Do you have any proof of systemic abuse by this department?
It's speculative. I was quite explicit about that at the very beginning of my post.

But there are numerous examples of police departments behaving this way throughout the country, as a matter of being "tough on crime."

My point is that this is not an isolated random incident, that it fits into a broader pattern of the police in urban areas ceasing to view themselves as the protectors of (part of) the citizenry, and starting to view themselves as an occupying army intended to keep (part of) the citizenry in a state of battered submission.

As a result, they use excessive force. They trump up charges against private citizens who they consider disrespectful. They act with such violence and hostility toward the public that the public starts to believe tales of lurid and malicious police violence whether such tales are true or not. When the citizens start protesting (and, in some cases, rioting), they jail journalists and city aldermen, and anyone else who lands in the dragnet. They start arresting people for videotaping them.

They start behaving, in other words, like the "police" in the phrase "police state."

And the behavior of the Ferguson and St. Louis police in this matter fits the profile so well that I would bet money on there being a history of abusive conduct by the Ferguson and St. Louis police in the past. But since such things are often not reported by national or even local media because it's not necessarily considered news when a black guy gets his head bounced off the pavement for looking at a cop cross-eyed, I don't think I can realistically prove it with the time, energy, and materials available to me today.

Therefore, this is speculation. I am sorry if you don't like it, but please understand that my assertion is actually NOT "the Ferguson police are abusive," even if I'd bet that way. My assertion is that there is a broad pattern of what I describe occurring, in various cities, and that it contributes to the sort of angry confrontation between citizen and police that we see today in St. Louis.
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Thanas »

Whoever got the damn idea of putting police in armored trucks and armed with assault rifles should be fired. Nobody is shooting at them, there is no reason to escalate on that level. Riot shields and batons are plenty enough there. And if you go "BUT THANAS. THINK OF THE RISK" then you can be reminded that every year in Europe you get actual riots, as in molotov cocktails and massive bricks being thrown at police from rooftops and yet nobody there thinks they need to use assault rifles.

In comparison, the oft-criticized Ukrainian police, when faced with an actual uprising in their capital, were not equipped with assault rifles either save a tiny minority. Most of them were using batons and shields - against an uprising that was shooting back. Meanwhile, when faced with a few stores being messed up, the brave US police needs to bring out the armored vehicles and assault rifles.

Those US police in the photos seem to suffer from the "being a massive pussy" and "not being taught proper riot control" symptoms.
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Thanas »

And this is a good article about the problem:

http://deadspin.com/america-is-not-for- ... 1620169913
The United States of America is not for black people. We know this, and then we put it out of our minds, and then something happens to remind us. Saturday, in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., something like that happened: An unarmed 18-year-old black man was executed by police in broad daylight.

By now, what's happening in Ferguson is about so many second-order issues—systemic racism, the militarization of police work, and how citizens can redress grievances, among other things—that it's worth remembering what actually happened here.

Michael Brown was walking down the middle of the street in Ferguson's Canfield Green apartment complex around noon on Saturday with his friend Dorin Johnson when the two were approached by a police officer in a police truck. The officer exchanged words with the boys. The officer attempted to get out of his car. At this point, two narratives split.

According to the still-unnamed officer, one of the two boys shoved him back into the vehicle and then wrestled for his sidearm, discharging one shot into the cabin. The two ran, and the police officer once again stepped from his vehicle and shot at the fleeing teenagers multiple times, killing Brown.

According to Johnson and other eye witnesses, however, the cop ordered the friends to "get the fuck on the sidewalk," but the teenagers said they had almost reached their destination. That's when the officer slammed his door open so hard that it bounced off of Brown and closed again. The cop then reached out and grabbed Brown by the neck, then by the shirt.

"I'm gonna shoot you," the cop said.

The cop shot him once, but Brown pulled away, and the pair were still able to run away together. The officer fired again. Johnson ducked behind a car, but the cop's second shot caused Brown to stop about 35 feet away from the cruiser, still within touching distance of Johnson. Multiple witnesses say this is when Brown raised his hands in the air to show he was unarmed. Johnson remembered that Brown also said, "I don't have a gun, stop shooting!" The officer then shot him dead.

After that, the narratives dovetail again. Brown was left where he died, baking in the Missouri heat for hours, before he was removed by authorities. The officer was placed on paid administrative leave.

Michael Brown is not special. In all its specificity, the 18-year old's death remains just the most recent example of police officers killing unarmed black men.

Part of the reason we're seeing so many black men killed is that police officers are now best understood less as members of communities, dedicated to keeping peace within them, than as domestic soldiers. The drug war has long functioned as a full-employment act for arms dealers looking to sell every town and village in the country on the need for military-grade hardware, and 9/11 made things vastly worse, with local police departments throughout America grabbing for cash to better defend against any and all terrorist threats. War had reached our shores, we were told, and police officers needed weaponry to fight it.

Officers have tanks now. They have drones. They have automatic rifles, and planes, and helicopters, and they go through military-style boot camp training. It's a constant complaint from what remains of this country's civil liberties caucus. Just this last June, the ACLU issued a report on how police departments now possess arsenals in need of a use. Few paid attention, as usually happens.

The worst part of outfitting our police officers as soldiers has been psychological. Give a man access to drones, tanks, and body armor, and he'll reasonably think that his job isn't simply to maintain peace, but to eradicate danger. Instead of protecting and serving, police are searching and destroying.

If officers are soldiers, it follows that the neighborhoods they patrol are battlefields. And if they're working battlefields, it follows that the population is the enemy. And because of correlations, rooted in historical injustice, between crime and income and income and race, the enemy population will consist largely of people of color, and especially of black men. Throughout the country, police officers are capturing, imprisoning, and killing black males at a ridiculous clip, waging a very literal war on people like Michael Brown.

"There's a long history of racial tension and misunderstanding in this region," St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Aisha Sultan told me over the phone yesterday. "Especially on the north side."

This sort of thing—especially on the north side—is what gets glossed over a little too easily when we try to fit a particular incident into a broader narrative. Ferguson is a small town of 21,000, mostly white until the 1960s, when whites fled anywhere but where they were. Today, Ferguson, which is a bit north of St. Louis, is mostly black; Ferguson and St. Louis County police are mostly white. That fits a metropolitan area flanked by two rivers that divide neighborhoods and regions by race, the sixth-most segregated in the United States.

To people, like me, from the coast—I'm from Maryland—St. Louis can seem like a blank in the the middle of the country, a place where people and even ideas get stuck on the way to somewhere better, or at least somewhere else. But St. Louis is like New York (the fourth-most segregated metro in America), or Los Angeles, or Miami, or Dallas, or Washington, DC, only more so. Far from a blank, St. Louis is often regarded as the most American of America's cities.

"It is a microcosm of the rest of the country," Sultan said. "If this can happen in St. Louis, it can happen in any city."

It does. On August 5 in Beavercreek, Ohio, 22-year-old John Crawford was killed in a Walmart when a toy gun he had picked up from inside the store was apparently mistaken for a real gun. LeeCee Johnson, who had two children with Crawford, said that she was on the phone with him, and that his last words before she heard gunshots from police officers were, "It's not real."

On July 17 in Staten Island, New York, 43-year-old Eric Garner, a well-known presence in the neighborhood who sold illicit cigarettes and kept an eye on the block, was killed after breaking up a fight when NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo used an illegal chokehold on the asthmatic man. "I can't breathe," he said, before he died. "I can't breathe."
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 1ka4oKu1jo[/youtube]

On the night of September 14, 2013 in Charlotte, N.C., 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell was killed after getting into a car accident. He climbed out of the rear window of the car, stumbled to the nearest house, and banged on the door for help. The homeowner notified the police, who showed up to the house. Ferrell was tased, and then an officer named Randall Kerrick shot and struck Ferrell 10 times.

There was Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., and Oscar Grant in Oakland, Calif., and so many more. Michael Brown's death wasn't shocking at all. All over the country, unarmed black men are being killed by the very people who have sworn to protect them, as has been going on for a very long time now. It would appear that cops are not for black people, either.

After Brown's death came his demonization. First, we heard that Brown had run for stealing candy from a store. Then we were bombarded with a photo of Brown in a red Nike tank top on a stoop, posing for the camera.
Image
This photo, in which Brown was flashing a "gang sign"—a peace sign, actually—was presented as proof that the teenager was a thug; his friends and family now not only have to work through their grief, but against a posthumous slur campaign. Johnson described his friend in an MSNBC interview as cool and quiet. Brown's uncle, Bernard Ewings, said in a Sunday interview that Brown loved music. Brown's mother, Leslie McSpadden, said that he was funny and could make people laugh. He graduated from high school in the spring, and was headed to college to pursue a career in heating and cooling engineering. Monday would have been his first day.

By all accounts, Brown was One Of The Good Ones. But laying all this out, explaining all the ways in which he didn't deserve to die like a dog in the street, is in itself disgraceful. Arguing whether Brown was a good kid or not is functionally arguing over whether he specifically deserved to die, a way of acknowledging that some black men ought to be executed.

To even acknowledge this line of debate is to start a larger argument about the worth, the very personhood, of a black man in America. It's to engage in a cost-benefit analysis, weigh probabilities, and gauge the precise odds that Brown's life was worth nothing against the threat he posed to the life of the man who killed him. It's to deny that there are structural reasons why Brown was shot dead while James Eagan Holmes—who on July 20, 2012, walked into a movie theater and fired rounds into an audience, killing 12 and wounding 70 more—was taken alive.

To ascribe this entirely to contempt for black men is to miss an essential variable, though—a very real, American fear of them. They—we—are inexplicably seen as a millions-strong army of potential killers, capable and cold enough that any single one could be a threat to a trained police officer in a bulletproof vest. There are reasons why white gun's rights activists can walk into a Chipotle restaurant with assault rifles and be seen as gauche nuisances while unarmed black men are killed for reaching for their wallets or cell phones, or carrying children's toys. Guns aren't for black people, either.

Sunday was Brown's vigil, and several hundred people congregated in Ferguson. They began to march toward the Ferguson police station in protest. Police met them in full riot gear, with rifles, shields, helmets, dogs, and gas masks. Protesters yelled, "No justice, no peace!" They called the police murderers. They raised their hands in mock surrender, saying, "Don't shoot, I'm unarmed."

And then the protest turned violent, as some citizens began to break into, loot, and set fire to storefronts in their own community.

Police officers shot tear gas and rubber bullets. Thirty-two people were arrested that night. Two policemen were injured. There was nothing easy to make of it. It was a senseless and counterproductive attack on the community; it was the grief-stricken flailing of people who knew it could have been them, or their friends, or their brothers or sons. Whatever it was, it was met with force.

On Monday morning, Sultan went back to Ferguson, where she witnessed citizens cleaning up debris from the night before. Some were shocked by the violence; others said that they'd been backed against a wall, forced into necessary evil. Sultan interviewed an 11-year-old boy about the rioting. "It seems like police are about to go to war with the people," he said.*

On Monday night, police again took the streets as demonstrators again marched in nonviolent protest, holding their hands high. Police again fired rubber bullets and tear gas, and again blocked off the main streets, not allowing anyone in or out. Police were photographed sweeping into side streets, and pointing guns over fences into backyards. It spilled over into today. They ran helicopters and drones over all of it; they shot tear gas; they ran up on citizens with guns drawn.
Image
"Return to your homes," they yelled over megaphones.

"This is our home," the people of Ferguson answered. There wasn't—there isn't—much more to say.
The last image says more than I ever could.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
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A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
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Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Broomstick »

Thanas wrote:Whoever got the damn idea of putting police in armored trucks and armed with assault rifles should be fired. Nobody is shooting at them, there is no reason to escalate on that level....[snip]....Those US police in the photos seem to suffer from the "being a massive pussy" and "not being taught proper riot control" symptoms.
I really think the police here are an exception and not a rule - the 30 years I've lived in the Chicago area the CPD has had its problem, but has managed to handle both planned and spontaneous masses of people, some of them quite angry, without resorting to this level of violence. Let's not tar all police because there's one department that needs serious house-cleaning.

Frankly, a squad of trained horse mounted police would be more effective here, able to herd people around without needing to hurt them. That is, after all, why a lot of large American cities still have mounted police, they're fantastic for crowd control. The downside, of course, is that horses require daily maintenance, you can't just lock them in a garage until you need them.
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