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Anger and fear following fatal shooting of unarmed teen in St Louis

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Awoken, 13 Aug 2014.

  1. Awoken

    Awoken Gazing at the stars

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    I have been following the story from the start and didn't see another post on it.
    Unarmed teen Mike Brown was shot dead by an officer in Ferguson, St Louis, MO. There have been three nights of protest by the community in the wake of the shooting and the police have responded to the protests in full combat gear with AR weapons, tanks and helicopters. Tear gas, baton rounds and rubber bullets have been fired into the unarmed crowd (provocation unclear as there has been NO evidence of firearms being used by protesters).

    There has been looting but this seems opportunistic and separate from the protests going by many Twitter feeds from people on the ground. The community have been helping local business owners clean up during the day. Despite an 'on going investigation' no civilian witnesses have been sought.

    Full story: www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-a...cle_04e3885b-4131-5e49-b784-33cd3acbe7f1.html

    Reddit has a live scanner feed: www.reddit.com/live/tdrph3y49ftn

    Good sources on the ground are Alderman @AntonioFrench and local rapper Tef Poe @tefpoe
    Good local journalists: @valeriehahn and photog David Carson @pdpj

    Anonymous have declared #opFerguson after the police went back on their word and refused to release the name of the police officer involved in the shooting. Anonymous is doxing the police as a result starting with the police chief. They have also taken down local websites and seem to have tracked down a photo of the officer involved taken by a civilian witness (he is pictured standing over the body.of the teen who was shot).
     
    Last edited: 13 Aug 2014
  2. Awoken

    Awoken Gazing at the stars

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  3. padrejones2001

    padrejones2001 Puppy Love

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    There have been a number of other high profile police shootings of innocent people in the last month or so, too, and the things that are happening in Ferguson are those racial tensions coming to a head. Of course, it doesn't help that all the officers involved in these shootings are on paid leave, at the of which the police commissioners inevitably say, "After thorough investigation, we have determined that you were justified in your use of force."

    It's not hard to believe that peoples' faith in their local police departments are waning when they engage their subjects by saying, and this is an actual quote, "Bring it, you ****ing animals. Bring it." I live in Minneapolis, and during the Republican National Convention in 2008, I experienced a similar level of decorum from police officers brought in to keep the peace. Police officers are being held in lower and lower regard for this and other behavior, but I doubt there's anything that's going to be done anytime soon to change any of that.
     
  4. Awoken

    Awoken Gazing at the stars

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    I've followed the development of other cases but the brutality and calousness with which the police responded in Ferguson led me to try and bring events to a wider audience (I've posted details in many places across the web and tried to raise it with friends in the media).

    I can't understand the logic of responding with brutality to the backlash following the murder of someone by your own force. Surely the Police could see that it would not end well for them when it hit the media. Once Anonymous released the dispatch tapes which show that crowd control was called first (dog units) and only hours later (once the area had been isolated) were the EMs called.

    The protest is a mixed bag. There are church groups, youth groups, local residents, musicians, aldermen, journalists, etc. Most of the people in attendance have been peaceful and have but there are reports that a few individuals have thrown rocks, bricks, bottles, driven cars up to police lines and then turned around (the number of people doing this is VERY few and does not come close to representing the majority of people there). There has been a lot of angry shouting at the police and provocative chanting. The police turned up in full military on Day 1 and have been getting more repressive each day, using the first thrown object as an excuse to launch a full on assault of the protestors (an assault which has also escalated each night). This is not a strategy for avoiding violence, this is a police force who are actively antagonising it.

    The protestors are understandably angry at what has happened, angry with the way they are treated in their day-to-day lives, angry at the calous attitudes of the police and grieving for the senseless loss of another young member of their community. It is a complex situation which needs a nuanced and intelligent response.

    In addition to this, the police have institued rules (which looked innocent at first), such as restricting movement into and out of areas as well as 'accidentally' injuring journalists. It looked like this was all part of procedure until the pretence was dropped and they started actively targetting journalists (cameras smashed, memory cards taken, no fly zones to prevent filming from the air and then arresting anyone they could find wielding a camera).
    https://twitter.com/AntDeRosa/status/499924710252355584
    It became clear that they wanted to control the narrative, unaware that thanks to social media they had already lost control of it.

    Last night (Wednesday 13th-Thursday 14th) saw the worst on both sides with everything but live ammunition being used on protestors and journalists (pro and citizen) being snatched straight off the street (targetted hits - Alderman Antonio French was picked up along with two photogs in McDonalds). A few young protestors responded had Molotov Cocktails which were thrown after smoke grenades were launched at the protestors (how many were thrown is unclear, there were only 3-5 seen in photos and they were struggling to get them to light let alone throw them).
    https://twitter.com/PDPJ/status/500012277299675136

    Thankfully sanity seems to have prevailed and the governor, Gov. Jay Nixon, has withdrawn the local police force who are now being investigated for violating the constitutional rights of the protestors (shooting and tear gassing journalists, a senator and a pastor hasn't helped their case). Police operations have been placed under Captain Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. He was raised in the Ferguson area.

    Mike Brown and the events in Ferguson are now an international issue (and being debated at a UN conference in Geneva): http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/...cle_8c1f4e45-d316-5157-bdaf-3f6870578980.html

    There are calls for a curfew but I think this will lead to a fierce reaction. It's better to let the people vent their frustrations and protest (the looting has reduced markedly and community leaders are out on the streets to stop the minority from using the protests as cover while they conduct criminal activity elsewhere - it would be perfectly appropriate for police to continue to respond to criminal events such as looting and noone seems to have a problem with that). Engagement with the local community is key and it is this that is lacking in the response so far. Thankfully witnesses have now been interviewed and more are being sought: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/13/dorian-johnson-michael-brown_n_5676101.html

    The FBI will be involved with the investigation and the DOJ is trying to smooth community relations.
     
    Last edited: 14 Aug 2014
  5. Awoken

    Awoken Gazing at the stars

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  6. padrejones2001

    padrejones2001 Puppy Love

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    Unfortunately, this isn't especially uncommon. I've been plenty of places where police have tried to confiscate my memory cards, or impound my camera, neither of which are legal, but what's illegal when you make the rules, right? At this point, what's happening in Ferguson is par for the course, and none of it surprises me, which is a sad reality.

    My only hope is that the federal government doesn't run away from this with their tail between their legs, and comes up with a way to hold cops that think they're above the law accountable for their actions. With the current state of affairs, and how polarized congress has been, I doubt you could get ten congressmen in a room to agree on what day of the week it is, much less pass meaningful legislation.
     
  7. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    I found this a rather interesting read...
    Ferguson Attacks And Web Censorship Are Parts Of Same Story
    http://torrentfreak.com/ferguson-attacks-web-censorship-parts-story-140817/
     
  8. G0UDG

    G0UDG helping others costs nothing

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    The police in the U.S need to stop not only physically attacking and arresting innocent people because of race/skin colour but start upholding the law instead of breaking it at every turn, the southern part of the U.S is still full of racist Bigots with nothing better to do than attack/disrespect others because of Race, Colour, Creed, Religion etc it stinks. I sincerely hope the officer involved is arrested and sent to prison for this at the very least
     
    Last edited: 18 Aug 2014
  9. padrejones2001

    padrejones2001 Puppy Love

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    From the Huffington Post:
    "St. Louis officials have identified the 25-year-old man shot dead yesterday in an officer-involved shooting that happened only a few miles from where Michael Brown was killed by police earlier this month.

    Authorities said Kajieme Powell stole donuts and energy drinks from a store yesterday afternoon, which prompted the owner to call police, according to KSDK. When two officers arrived shortly before 1 p.m., they said they observed Powell acting erratically. He refused to put down a knife when commanded to do so, police said.

    Witnesses said the suspect yelled, 'Shoot me now. Kill me now,' before approaching officers. Some people who saw the shooting described it as "suicide by cop," according to USA Today.

    In a statement delivered before a crowd near the scene of the shooting, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said that both officers opened fire on Powell after the suspect came within three or four feet of police while holding the knife in an 'overhand grip.'"

    I doubt race relations in Missouri are going to get any better after the police killed another black man yesterday afternoon.
     
  10. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Multimodder

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    Skip to 1:10 if you're impatient
     

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