What's been going on the last several days in the northern St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO - I live in deep south STL city, if that helps - has been almost a crime. Militarized police are basically throwing tear gas canisters, arresting people left and right (one was a St. Louis city alderman and friend of mine) and basically showing the world what martial law may well be like in this nation if it keeps up.
A very popular blog called Shit Saint Louis Says (he's a self-described conservative and has served several tours in the Middle East) said something about it today; the guy has been calling out regulars on local message boards for, shall we say, some continually idiotic statements (or, as my buddy David 2 says, Following The Script).
Here's his entry for today (after previously saying on Facebook, "I'm not touching it."): http://www.saintlouiscomments.com/2014/08/ferguson-riots-and-why-ev...
Police force that's mostly white dealing with a community that's mostly black? Oh, sure, no problem there at all! [/sarcasm]
Yes, and the dead boy was unarmed. He was shot multiple times.
I look at the news sites and it makes me ashamed. In 2014 midwest (or is it South?) USA there is such an oppressive situation.
I don't know what happened with the young man was shot and killed. From the sounds of it, it was a lot more bullets than needed to subdue him, regardless of whether the first was or was not in response to perceived threat. Which still looks and sounds like "he's a young black man, scary, we gotta pertect ourselves!" If there was any evidence that he did anything threatening, I imagine the story would have come out, so it's suppression of news. I saw photos of young black men with sign's saying "Am I next?" and I have to wonder if they ARE next.
Militarized police. Arrests right and left, including arrests of press for just being in McDonalds. Suppressing the news. Is Ferguson a suburb of Kiev?
That's for sure Loren. And the racial divide in St. Louis doesn't make it easier. Hell, the traditional St. Louis question - where did you go to high school? - oftentimes is asked to establish someone's pedigree. If you didn't go to the right rich-boy or rich-girl school - especially the right rich-boy or rich-girl CATHOLIC school - you may as well hang it up. I went to school on the Illinois side, which means in some folks' eyes, I'm worse than dirt.
True story: Many moons ago I was at a nightclub on the Laclede's Landing district. I was living in my hometown, Granite City, IL, an working-class steel town about 20 minutes or so from the club. I was talking to someone who came out from the well-to-do West STL County suburb of Chesterfield. I told her where I was from and from her reaction, if I said I was from the far side of the moon, I would have had a better chance. I sometimes wonder how many husbands she's gone through...
Sentinent, I have to admit, all the news coming out of Ferguson and the arrests and what not - not to mention the mouthing off on comment sites, Internet forums, what not - make me ashamed to say I'm from here. But It's what I was expecting from those loudmouths, especially ones I call The Usual Suspects. You can almost set your watch to those jokers.
Last year I was in St. Louis overnight and met up with an old boyfriend for dinner. I was staying at a west side - other tables were available and unused - and we watched other tables being served first, which had people seated after us. We had a long wait. Our food was terrible - it looked to me almost like it was fished out of a waste-can. Tasted awful too. I looked over to other diners' meals and thought, pretty good! I wondered, is it because two guys are here? Because one of us is black? Or just my imagination? I had no idea. Well, I did have an idea, and I didn't like it. My friend said, never mind, some places are just crummy. 2013 - at the time - and we still have to wonder about those things. Pathetic.
Just kind of wondering here. A young man is unjustifiably shot by law enforcement. And that gives residents of the neighborhood a right to destroy personal property, loot, and burn down the neighborhood? That's the solution??
Brent, I'm glad you posted this. I live about 65 miles from St. Louis and the coverage we are getting of this is terrible. We all know that rioting and looting is not the solution, but it's an aftermath of a shooting that many claim is outright murder. Some of the rioters and looters are not even from the area.
I've heard at least 3 stories on what happened. They are different and they vary, so they all can't be true. In all stories it started when the police officer told Michael Brown and his friend to "get off the streets" and it was broad daylight at the time. Apparently what happened next was because of what the 2 teens said or did, like maybe in raising of hands in a way that was determined to be "gang signs." Maybe they just put their hands in the air.
STORY ONE has Michael Brown in the patrol car with the officer when a struggle breaks out and Brown is trying to wrestle the gun away from the officer.
STORY TWO has Michael Brown and his teenage friend walking up and not allowing the officer to get out of his car.
STORY THREE has Michael Brown and his friend wrestling with the officer and stuffing him back into his car.
Take your pick on which dubious story to believe. Brown's grandmother was driving home and saw him running down the street. By the time she stopped the car Michael Brown was laying in the street dead from multiple gunshot wounds. He was unarmed!
If I go by the 3 storyline senarios above I have to ask myself some questions. Why did the officer tell the 2 teens to get off the street? Why would Michael Brown go for the gun of an officer that he was setting in the car with? Reports say at least one shot was fired inside the patrol car. Did the officer get out of the car? If so, why? If the officer got out of his patrol car and Michael Brown and his friend wrestled with the officer and stuffed him back into the car, why was the officer's wrath directed only at Brown? What was Michael Brown's friend doing while all of this was going on? If the 2 boys were doing something wrong then why is Brown's teenage friend not under arrest right now?
The family is calling for anyone with video footage to come forward. The police are saying very little and haven't even given out the name of the officer. It's as if the Ferguson police force is waiting for all the stories to get in about the incident so they can then make up one of their own. I'm not seeing any logic, facts, or evidence here.
What I am seeing is an action that seems to be murder, and the reactions of a community after that tragic event. I can't even say for sure that this was racially motivated. Still, I think for a minute and cannot tell you the last time something like this made the news with all white people.
The latest updates Friday, August 15th, 2014 of the Ferguson shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown are as follows.
Early morning this Friday the Ferguson police chief released surveillance video from the Ferguson Market and Liquor store that reportedly showed Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, inside the store and Brown was stealing cigars. Johnson appeared to put some of them back, but Brown strong armed a man that was trying to stop him and they walked out the door. Michael Brown's family said that the video likeness did appear to be that of Brown, but accused the police and media of character assassination.
At this time social media comments went into the idea that this thug, Brown, got exactly what was coming to him because he didn't do as the police officer told him, and he was stealing cigars. What we actually learned here is that the store which was robbed did not even report the incident. A customer called it in to police who came to confiscate the video and have it aired publicly.
Meanwhile, police gave out the name of the officer that shot and killed Michael Brown. His name is Darren Wilson, but by the time reporters got to his residence it was learned that he left town on Thursday for areas unknown. Smart move here by officer Wilson.
Back to social media posts and blogs again, it was then said that officer Wilson knew of the robbery at Ferguson Market and Liquor (because of the surveillance video) and therefore had tracked the 2 teens down on the street to try and arrest them. This simply was not true. Officer Wilson knew nothing of the robbery incident and found the 2 teens walking in the middle of the street. He then ordered them off the street and this led to the fatal events of the shooting. Just what happened exactly was never made clear. Did Michael Brown, who was unarmed, push the officer and go for his gun as reported before? Did this happen in or outside of the squad car? What led to officer Wilson allegedly getting out of his squad car? So many of these questions are still not made clear. Why did police wait so long on releasing names and order of events in a shooting that still is a mystery? Where is the police video?
Overnight the protesters came out again and so did the looters. Police apparently told the protestors that they could protest but they had to "get off the street." This refrain takes me back to remarks that officer Wilson first said to the 2 teens just before the shooting.
It is also now apparent that the protestors are one group, and the rioters and looters are another. They are not the same, and protestors have even been seen trying to turn back the looters and send them away. Governor Jay Nixon has put Highway Patrol captain Ron Johnson in charge of security in Ferguson. Part of this might be because Johnson used to live in Ferguson and knew the area well. Another idea is to lessen the presence of Ferguson police and calm the area.
About 11:45 PM the Ferguson Market and Liquor store, now boarded up, was hit and broken in to by the looters. This was just after the protestors disbanded. Police and patrolmen tried to disperse the crowd but were out numbered. Law enforcement had maybe 100 on the scene and the looters, all said to be opportunists and not from the local area, numbered about 200. Law enforcement used teargas to escape the scene about 4:00 AM but before everything went haywire there was at least one more shooting.
Ferguson Market and Liquor was the hardest hit, but just down Ferguson Avenue Sam's Meat Market and other businesses were also looted. Sam's had more damage in my opinion. In the videos that I saw live in the early AM this Saturday morning some of the protestors had stayed behind to discourage the looters. Some looters listened and went away. Others did not and entered the stores. Employees and store owners were on the scene in Ferguson after 4:00 AM to discuss events that were live on KMOV TV and simulcast at the same time overnight. Ferguson Market and Liquor stores owner refused to go on camera. Since they had nothing to do with any of this, who would blame him?
That's the latest on this unresolved shooting death of Michael Brown and the aftermath that has happened. Was Brown, who was unarmed, murdered by policeman Darren Wilson? There are lots of questions and no real answers. Where is the squad car video? Why have no videos from the street (if any) been released as evidence? Why have the police not released a detailed series of events as to what happened? They have said that Michael Brown tried to strong arm officer Wilson. This story has no real credibility due to lack of direct evidence. When will law enforcement fill us in?
Meanwhile protestors march and might have signs and chants. "Hands up. Don't shoot." This is because many of them honestly believe that Michael Brown had his hands up in the air when he was shot multiple times. Again, where is the police video from the patrol car?
You are so correct, Daniel. My last report on this might appear as if I had some sort of inside information, but what happened was that I could not sleep. I turned on the TV to local channel 4 KMOV-TV and found overnight coverage of everything in Ferguson, and it was simulcast on radio at the same time. I couldn't get away from it all, and just kept watching.
I do think that Missouri governor Jay Nixon was right in putting captain Ron Johnson in charge of security in Ferguson last Thursday. He knows the people there and the situation now seems more calm.
As the Brown family mourns, I have trouble understanding why the series of events is taking so long to unfold. It's as if the local police do not know and they are still trying to put together the puzzle of this shooting.