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Open Thread: The death of Michael Brown and the situation in #Ferguson

Police_Shooting_Missouri-0fe27

Beyond appalling.

Please post useful links, pics, videos. I will update this post with more.

Video of demonstration, police firing teargas and rubber bullets.

Ferguson Is 60 Percent Black. Virtually All Its Cops Are White.

Elon James White Twitter feed

Google News Realtime coverage of Ferguson

 

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Lea
Lea
6 years ago

It becomes an issue for non-black people because we don’t want to live in a world that treats black people that way, not just because eventually, maybe one day, it might effect white people too. It’s happening to them now. That’s enough for all of us to make it our problem.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

I’m not articulating this well. I guess I’m trying to say that it isn’t an either or thing. It can be everyone’s cause to get behind and should be. But that cause is still fighting racism specifically aimed at black communities.

lkeke35
lkeke35
6 years ago

I gotcha! You’re articulating just fine.

teacat
teacat
6 years ago

1) The mention of that robbery was nothing if not bait for racists who have already convinced themselves the police are right. I don’t care what freedom of information questions some reporters have been asking; you don’t show that video while also saying that the guy in the video probably wasn’t Brown and the cop wasn’t targeting him :/.

2) How expertly the highway police handled today is all but proof that the police chief and at least a good chunk of the whole Ferguson force need to get their asses fired.

3) Why am I not surprised that anti-government Bundy supporters don’t seem to give a crap about this incident?

teacat
teacat
6 years ago

*targeting him as a suspect

cloudiah
6 years ago

We don’t fucking shoot people for being thieves! Sorry, that video release was all kinds of irrelevant and fucked up. They’re trying to take the focus off the fact that they shot an unarmed person with his hands up, surrendering. Pandering to fucking racists.

Yes, I’m mad.

teacat
teacat
6 years ago

That’s the second ridiculously disturbing part of that whole thing!

Shadow
Shadow
6 years ago

Relevant

@lkeke35

I have long argued that it’s an American issue.

Absolutely (well I’m Canadian, but what you say applies here as well). Which is not to say that we shouldn’t keep in the forefront just how skewed the violence is towards the Black and Latin@ communities. I’m South Asian myself, and I have so many South Asian friends and family that don’t understand why I’m “so upset” when situations like this happen. Firstly, I blow a long wet raspberry in the direction of this bullshit idea that there needs to be a limit to how much fucking compassion and empathy we feel towards others. But secondly, the reason we’re scared of the police is not just because of the harassment and violence we experience from them, which is a lot less than the black and latin@ communities, but also because the police, and society, use their violence against the black and latin@ communities as object lessons for other POCs, as well as other identities that rightfully fear the police. The reason we shut up and take the abuse is because we are shown that things can be worse for us, and unless we work to combat ALL police brutality (and racism in general), rather than just our corner, we will never feel safe because we will always live with the threat of what could happen to us should we fall out of favour.

Also, all the hugs and support are yours for the asking.

blahlistic (@blahlistic)

Racism is a huge failure to extend human empathy and compassion. It’s just stupid and heartless and I don’t get it.

strivingally
6 years ago

An interesting counterpoint to Palestinians tweeting the Ferguson protesters about how to deal with tear gas – Israel-trained police “occupy” Missouri after killing of black youth:

At least two of the four law enforcement agencies that were deployed in Ferguson up until Thursday evening — the St. Louis County Police Department and the St. Louis Police Department — received training from Israeli security forces in recent years.
[…]
Under the cover of counterterrorism training, nearly every major police agency in the United States has traveled to Israel for lessons in occupation enforcement, a phenomenon that journalist Max Blumenthal dubbed “the Israelification of America’s security apparatus.” Israeli forces and US police departments are so entrenched that the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has opened a branch in Tel Aviv.
[…]
Another is the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a neoconservative think tank that claims to have hosted some 9,500 law enforcement officials in its Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP) since 2004.

LEEP “takes delegations of senior law enforcement executives to Israel to study methods and observe techniques used in preventing and reacting to acts of terrorism” and “sponsors conferences within the United States, bringing Israeli experts before much larger groups of law enforcement leaders,” according to JINSA’s brochure.

Former St. Louis Police Department police chief Joseph Mokwa is listed as having traveled to Israel as part of a LEEP conference in February 2008.

So basically the US police is using army-level hardware, and counter-terrorism tactics, against domestic criminals and protesters, and being trained how to do so by Israelis.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

I don’t care if Mike Brown stole some cigars. One of the Steubenville rapists is back at school playing football. Brown was executed in the street.

Phoenician in a time of Romans
Phoenician in a time of Romans
6 years ago

We don’t fucking shoot people for being thieves!

He wasn’t shot for being a thief. The police stated that he wasn’t stopped in relation to the theft – they only dredged up this supposed link a few days after the event.

He was shot because he was a black teen who wasn’t respecting a white cop’s authoriTAH.

cloudiah
6 years ago

@Phoenician, To be really clear, I know that. My point was that even if he was a thief, and that was why he was stopped, we don’t punish theft with shooting on the spot.

lkeke35
lkeke35
6 years ago

To clarify: it’s not that I disagree that it’s a Black problem or a feminist issue. I think what I meant to say is it’s an issue of everyone involved in it. The police and those White people who are supporting them, it’s a problem they’re helping to cause. Black people aren’t doing it all by themselves and can’t solve it all by ourselves either.

Also: it’s just looking at the situation from a different angle. Its a “boots on the ground immediacy” vs. an aerial view. My way of looking at things like this is to take an aerial view. It doesn’t deligitimize your POV. Our destination is the ultimately the same.

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

I have nothing to add to the discussion – just fuck, fuck all of this. Jesus. I don’t have words.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

I’m so disgusted that the police chief released that irrelevant video against the advice of the feds. That he did so without first advising Michael Brown’s parents was cruel. I find it very hard to believe that multiple media outlets requested that security video in a FOIA. Who would have known about it?

Declaring a state of emergency and imposing a curfew was a disproportionate reaction, IMO. It just added more fuel to the fire.

twincats
twincats
6 years ago

@Tracy:

I have nothing to add to the discussion – just fuck, fuck all of this. Jesus. I don’t have words.

This. Oh, and all the NOPE times infinity to condolences for the killer from POTUS. Plus, all the legos in the COMBAT boots of the jacked-up pseudo military police forces.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
6 years ago

I am furious thatthe governor just declared anyone out after dark a criminal. Effing asshat.

Skye
Skye
6 years ago

I don’t have much to add, I can’t believe the governor declared a state of emergency. Is he trying to make things worse?

I do think racism is everyone’s problem. While negative impacts of racism affect certain races more than others by definition, the race or races most negatively impacted didn’t cause this problem and therefore can’t fix it alone. We all need to stand together and say human beings should be treated as humans.

blahlistic (@blahlistic)

Police using teargas on the crowds in Ferguson now…

Shadow
Shadow
6 years ago

So all those hugs for the protestors, and the “I’m from this community too”, and the police putting away their gas masks lasted 24 hrs eh? Fuckin disgusting

Shadow
Shadow
6 years ago

On a slightly more positive note, Toronto showing solidarity. Unfortunately I didn’t know about this in advance

Shadow
Shadow
6 years ago

Fuckin disgusting

Although this is in no way meant to justify the looting and vandalism as okay. I’m just highly skeptical of the prudence and sincerity of the authorities in Ferguson right now

blahlistic (@blahlistic)

Am reading unconfirmed reports in my twitter feed of one protester shot in the neck, and paramedics not being allowed in.
Another one shot and wounded in the leg earlier, was being taken to hospital in a private vehicle.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

comment image:large

lkeke35
lkeke35
6 years ago

The release of that video just alludes to the complete Barney Fife incompetence of the local police. If there going to do that kind of stuff then someone needs to go back and look up their arrest and misconduct records and release all that information to the public.

Oh no,that’s right! Even now the local PD are vigorously shredding any evidence of misconduct ,brutality and incompetence by that department. I’m absolutely certain of that. Just as I’m certain that they’ve been violating those peoples rights for decades and it finally just reached a head.

And a great big Eat shit! to every one of the mentally inert assholes who were so easily derailed by that video. It’s amazing to me how once the authorities introduce some irrelevant
negative info about the victims of various shootings, all compassion just flies out the window. What? Were these people only pretending to be concerned about the violation of Black peoples right to live? We’re handing out death sentences for shoplifting , being a bully or just walking around in the street now?

And I guess that’s why that video was released, if they are competent at nothing else on Earth, they do know how their White public will react. They’re like magpies-distracted by…..SQUIRREL!

lkeke35
lkeke35
6 years ago

Oh and kudos to those people who have made the connection between the same attitudes some people have about blaming rape victims and aligning that squarely with the attitude on display right now all over the internet-that Mike Brown was asking for it.

It’s the exact same narrative. A woman gets raped-what did she do? Nothing.
Rewrite the script to make it about something SHE did wrong.

A Black man is shot-what did he do? Nothing.
Rewrite the scenario to make it about his criminal past. It’s completely irrelevant whether or not his shooter knew about that.

They must have done something to deserve whatever happened to them.

I’m so glad people have pointed out this confluence of victim blaming and put both of these schemes together.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Maybe it’s just because I grew up in more than one country where actual everyone knows it’s happening government propaganda was a thing, but the way they’re trying to spin this seems so obvious. Not just the victim blaming of Brown, which images are being allowed to get out via official media channels and the way those are being curated to depict the protesters as scary and violent. They’re aiming to create the impression in the minds of the public that Ferguson was such a dangerous place to be a cop that, well, don’t you feel sorry for the poor white guy who shot that kid?

I just hope most people aren’t falling for it. There seems to be more pushback against this than against similar attempts at spin in the past.

Unimaginative
6 years ago

I’ve been on-and-off following the #ferguson twitter thing since yesterday, and watching news reports that analyze the spin. Rachel Maddow did a thing the other night where she talked about how the deaths at Kent State resulted from a change in police action a few years before. Protestors did not become violent until AFTER the police did.

In the meantime, what I’m listening to in my car is Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath. I just did a grocery run, and I listened to his recounting of actions by the British army in Northern Ireland in 1969. The similarities are striking and bone-chilling.

It’s obvious, and has been demonstrated time and again, that increasing the police’s show of force backfires and only increases the ire of demonstrators.

It’s almost 50 years later, and most policing doesn’t seem to have changed from obviously, hideously, tragically failed methods. Why are the people who are repeatedly WRONG the ones who are listened to?

Tasha Batsford
6 years ago

Not sure if it has been shared yet, but I thought this was an awesome commentary http://youtu.be/RU_Z7kD5i7g

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Here we go again. What the fuck? I’m going to throw a TW on this link because there’s a vine of an 8 year old who’s been pepper sprayed and it’s unpleasant viewing.
http://gawker.com/chaos-erupts-in-ferguson-as-police-launch-abrupt-offens-1623108362/all

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Apparently the police are only letting white press members through now? http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2014/08/police-in-ferguson-tear-gas-children-and-media

Pabu
Pabu
6 years ago

I am so angry that I am living in a country where this kind of thing just keeps happening. You know, just a day or two before I heard about Michael Brown my grandpa was telling me about how he’d gotten into a minor altercation with another old white man and do you know who he was scared of? The boyfriend of the old man’s daughter, who happened to be black. Even though that man wasn’t even the one he was fighting with and did nothing to involve himself in confrontation until he was told to get my grandpa’s license plate number. I love my grandpa more than I have the words to express but that kind of attitude is just so problematic.

I haven’t been a part of a mass protest since 2011, but I am only six hours from Ferguson and damn it, I want to help. Maybe if I get my white pasty face in front of a camera someone will pay attention, since pale skin is all the other side seems willing to listen to. But more than anything, I just want to be able to talk to the people on the front lines and hear the story from them. People who put their safety on the line for justice, REAL justice, are true heroes and the kind of company I would like to keep.

Phoenician in a time of Romans
Phoenician in a time of Romans
6 years ago

Here we go again. What the fuck? I’m going to throw a TW on this link because there’s a vine of an 8 year old who’s been pepper sprayed and it’s unpleasant viewing.

Welcome to your shiny new police state.

Pabu
Pabu
6 years ago

Except our shiny new police state is pretty much older than me. I’ve known for a while that crime rates have been dropping for years, but I never knew that the police forces nation wide were becoming increasingly aggressive. That’s so backwards it’s appalling.

Don’t these police forces know anything about proportional force? Actually, forget that. I’m sorry I asked.

Skye
Skye
6 years ago

Tear gassed an eight year old? What is going on in my country? We should be better than this. Have we lost the ability to see others as people? Do we really feel threatened by young children (especially those not even in double digits yet)? I just don’t understand.

katz
6 years ago

Poor kid. It’s all so horrifying. For some reason the curfews are one of the things that bother me the most, maybe because that’s just such a typical symbol of a police state exercising petty control over their citizens.

mildlymagnificent
6 years ago

What I want to know is … how come all that shiny, powerful equipment doesn’t include a dozen or a gazillion, or even one, single, solitary loudhailer of astounding levels of power?

They couldn’t yell at people for a while, before warning them, before attacking them?

Ally S
6 years ago

The Missouri Govenor is now bringing in the National Guard.

katz
6 years ago

The Missouri Govenor is now bringing in the National Guard.

To restrain the regular police, right?

…Right?

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

mildlymagnificent – they have apparently be using a long range acoustic device – LRAD – which is supposed to be a powerful loud-hailer – but it seems they’re more interested in using it as a weapon.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/08/14/lrad_long_range_acoustic_device_sound_cannons_were_used_for_crowd_control.html

Pabu
Pabu
6 years ago

First, it angered me to hear the National Guard was being brought in, on top of everything else. Now I’m trying to decide if maybe, just maybe the National Guard will be more reasonable. I have a hard time hoping because, from my experience, police get more aggressive the further removed they are from the targeted community.

Then again, the local police were about as awful as it gets from the start. At least they set the bar low? Why can’t I feel optimistic?

Hey Ally S, can you tell me where you’re getting these updates so quickly? There is usually an awesome grass roots supported website for protests of this magnitude, but my way of finding them usually involves talking to people who are on the front lines. (I lack activist friends and frequently live in the Depressed Cave. It makes these things harder to stay on top of than they should be.)

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

I have no idea why that extra dash ended up there. :/

Ally S
6 years ago

@Pabu

All of my updates are coming through Tumblr. .

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Pabu,

The #Ferguson tag on Twitter is really up to date too. A lot of photos and first hand accounts come in.

Pabu
Pabu
6 years ago

I just want to say that I also really appreciate all of the effort all of you are taking to keep everyone here posted with these links. I’ve been reading through as many of them as I can before I have to take some long moments for thorough brain bleaching. It really sucks to feel powerless in the face of so much…awful.

Ally S and WWTH, I think it’s time to get on Tumblr and get a Twitter account. Facebook just isn’t cutting it. Thanks for the advice!