Aug 14, 2014
** New Update **

Okay, you have my apologies for jumping the gun on this. I underestimated how misleading every bit of this initial reporting was.

I assumed the shooting itself would turn out to be justified, and it seems to be heading that way. And I assumed the two reporters who were jailed and soon released were victims of by a simple misunderstanding. And I assumed the SWAT team was protecting the Al Jazeera camera equipment and not "stealing" it.

But I let my skepticism slip when I saw the tear gas allegedly fired by the SWAT guys at the reporters. I still don't know where the tear gas came from, but given all the wrong reporting so far, I no longer assume it was intentional.

I still think the police needed to be replaced, at least temporarily, to keep the boiling pot under control, and apparently the governor did just that. But I see now that the enemy in this story was the media (including social media) all along.

Oh, and me. I'm part of the problem this time.

Damn it. I hate when that happens. Thanks for pushing me back on track.

This isn't an excuse, but seeing images of guys in military-like gear tear-gassing news crews turned off my critical faculties for a day. My B.S. filter should have caught that from the start.

This is a good lesson. Pictures lie.

What follows is my wrongness from yesterday. You should ignore it.

**Update at bottom.**

At what point does it make sense to send in the U.S. military to disarm the local police and SWAT in Ferguson.

Now might be good.

See this.

When you tear gas journalists on U.S. soil, that's an act of war in my opinion.

[Update: Police are being removed]. That's probably the right move.]
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Aug 18, 2014
If you are big, strong, and unarmed, and make a habit of punching lone armed people in the face, then every once in a while, the person being punched will become annoyed and shoot you dead. But only every once in a while, so it must not be all that important. Just beware of those teenaged feelings of invincibility and the temptation to go back for a second helping.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 18, 2014
While my personal take is that a police officer thought he had carte blanche, and over-stepped his authority (based more on how the police have acted since than on any knowledge of facts on the ground), I wanted to point out a few things.
Yes, 6 shots seems excessive, but in many cases people have taken a lot more bullets than that and remained hostile. If the deceased was fighting the officer, the repeated shots to the arms would have had minimal effect on his fighting ability for at least 45-75 seconds while adreniline was pumping. Even a head shot may not slow someone down. The only shot that is a foolproof takedown is a spinal cord shot-unless the spinal column deflects the bullet. (The only rule of bullet path inside a human body is that bullets don't seem to follow any rules inside the human body).
The National Guard are state, not US troops, and do not fall under Posse Comitatus, they are allowed to work for the police (the reason police ranks are Sgt, LT, and Capt is so they can order National Guard troops). Also, Posse Comitatus only legally applies to the Army and Air Force. The Navy and Marine Corps have always acted as though it applies to them under their assumption of the intent of the law, but if an executive ever did send in the Marines, it would take a court case to decide one way or the other if it was in fact legal.
Only an idiot repeatedly harrasses the press if they are confident they did nothing wrong, in most cases where attempts are made to suppress the press, you find that someone has something to hide. (note the Al Jazeera folks were not the only press that were interfered with, I think ABC and HuffPo reporters were actually arrested for not packing up their gear fast enough in a McDonalds-thus preventing them from making a report by deadline)

+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 18, 2014

Race is not the issue. We should look at inner cities as a society of human beings and as in any society of human beings, a super majority of the people are good and decent people (as humans go) just trying to get through the day, and a tiny percentage rattle the cages and make life difficult for everyone else.

I can understand people's reactions when their communities are threatened by inner cities, but I can also imagine myself being a decent person in an inner city, and that has to be a worse feeling.

I don't have solutions myself, but we should first acknowledge that the problem is not so simple. Maybe after emotions have cooled down and more facts are revealed.
Aug 18, 2014
Ah, Scott, my faith in you is restored!

I'm glad to see you wearing your objectivity goggles again. I have questions about the tear gas and some other issues as well, I look forward to finding out the facts someday.
Aug 17, 2014
Amazingly, the cops are still acting hyper aggressively towards the media. Some cop threatened to shoot a reporter! The lack of self awareness is pretty shocking. (and makes you wonder how they act when cameras *aren't* rolling....yikes)

Also, the Mike Brown autopsy report will throw more confusion into the mix. He was shot 6 times, including in the top of the head and on the insides of his arms. This seemingly lends some amount of credence to story of him having hands raised. However, he was not shot in the back as an "eyewitness" indicated earlier.
Aug 17, 2014
Here is the audio and transcript of a radio interview that my friend did telling the story the officer's wife told her in the Ferguson Missouri story referencing to a comment I made earlier . It also matches exactly with what was being said by an eye witness in the background of the video referenced by @batsinthebelfry's comments.
These protesters have zero credibility and next time now that they've been shown to have cried wolf, reasonable people will be even less likely to believe anything these folks have to say. This officer is going to be put through hell now and by every account is a very good man.
https://plus.google.com/ DanMcDermott/posts/K9o2f2iBfpT
Aug 17, 2014
For anyone interested, this cell phone video taken immediately after the shooting in the Ferguson, Missouri situation should clear up any questions about what went down . The person talking in the background describes the entire encounter. There is also a transcript of the video for those that have difficulty understanding Ebonics.
Aug 16, 2014
BTW, Scott, you remained strangely quiet on the recent Israeli/Palestine flare-up.

Any opinions on that, or did you decide to let that particular powder keg roll by undisturbed? :)
Aug 16, 2014
What "simple misunderstanding" can result in the arrests of journalists?

Anyway, it's very interesting how information is slowly dripping out here.

Ferguson PD have released the robbery incident report and video showing Brown robbing someone, but still have not released an incident report of his shooting (a week later).

A cynic might say this is done to curry public favor to cover some damning details that will come to light once the official shooting incident report is released.

Aug 16, 2014
I'd like to take a minute to give thanks for the great contributions that the Black community has made to our society. First off is their peaceful and generous nature that make them ideal neighbors, lending testimony to their exceptional family values and parenting skills unrivaled by any other culture we know. I might add also their commitment to academic excellence enriches our schools and serves as an example to all who hope to achieve prominence as a people. And less we forget about the real estate values that are fueled by the mix of African Americans into an area due to their caring, kind, and respectful nature of these communities. This is an example of all they have achieved through their enthusiasm for self improvement by hard work and a self-reliant can-do nature. Without their industrious and creative drive, we would be much poorer as a nation.
+23 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 16, 2014
I have no problem with your response to my comments. I'm a bit perplexed that you would find it hard to believe that the officer's wife would comment in private to a very close friend about the events, given that people will tell absolutely anything and everything to others, especially in extremely stressful !$%*!$%*!$%*!$
Am I a racist? I grew up in a very small community back in the 60's and 70's with 3 or 4 black families, that were in every way just like the rest of us. And treated as such. Then I went to college and for the first time was exposed to inner city blacks. Quite an eye opener. I spent a few years in the Army. Some of my best friends were black. They were in no way any different than myself. Then I moved to Kansas City, Missouri. That was the beginnings of disillusionment with the black community. I wasn't born a racist, I was not indoctrinated into a racist mindset. I doubt my experience is in any way unique. I do consider myself more willing that most to be honest with myself, and I have no problem stating what I believe to be the truth regardless of how others feel about it.
My point is, I think the black community is doing more to alienate the masses of white people than they are persuading us to see their side of the story/problem. I no longer have much compassion for what many black people in this country are dealing with when it comes to racism and prejudice. If you wish to label me as a racist I think you've oversimplified the situation.
Aug 16, 2014

The account sounds pretty close to official statements; could even be accurate. Frankly I doubt the part about the officer's wife telling a friend telling you. For one, it's hard to imagine a policeman's wife giving that account to a friend under the !$%*!$%*!$%*! unless it had already been released; the only reason to attach the alleged first-hand connection (second-hand, actually) is to try and add credence to an account that may yet collapse.

As for the rest, it's a strange brew of vintage screaming racism and more recent left-wing paranoia. It reads like an old-school race-baiter repackaging to draw a wider demographic, or at least slap a new label on old poison.
Aug 15, 2014
Sorry about accidentally posting that 3 times.
+11 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 15, 2014
I've been commenting on this blog for over 10 years.
A friend of mine received a call from the police officer's wife that shot the guy in Ferguson the morning after the shooting. My friend has been close friends with the officer's wife since high school. The wife was very very upset about this even before it hit the news. The wife told her that her husband pulled up next to the guys and asked them move to the sidewalk and not remain walking down the middle of the street. One of them started mouthing off and the officer attempted to exit the vehicle at which time the guy pushed against the car door keeping the officer from exiting the vehicle. Once the officer got the door open Brown attacked him and attempted to take his gun away. One shot was fired inside of the vehicle. Once Brown was outside of the vehicle he was shot additional times.
The inner cities have become a black plague upon our nation. I live over 100 miles outside of St. Louis in a small town in central Missouri. Over the last 10-15 years the black plague have slowly been infiltrating into our community. The welfare mommas can get free HUD housing anywhere and are now doing so. And they are bringing their gang member drug dealing baby daddies with them. Now heroin is everywhere. I am now all in favor of removing these people from society at all cost. I live out in the country and won't be here a great deal longer, and am probably fortune in that regard. The future looks extremely bleak from my perspective. The wealthy and powerful have largely accomplished their goals of economically enslaving the masses. The middle class has been ravaged. The government has managed to create a permanent sub species of human with their welfare programs. And the rest of us are getting dangerously close to having that sub species completely unleashed on us. What a shame it is that a nation that had so much promise has become what it it now. Am I racist? LOL At this point that seems irrelevant.

[Yes, you sound like a racist. But I have to say I appreciate both your honesty and the information. -- Scott]
Aug 15, 2014
Knee-jerk much everybody? This video doesn't really tell anything about what was going on, you are all reacting based on opinion. I see the officers pointing the lights and the camera down, not trying to "take their equipment" as the article says. Ever been in a situation where you might have to defend yourself with bright lights pointed in your face? It puts you at a tactical disadvantage. Do any of you know what dialogue the officers had with the crew prior to this? Do any of you have insight to their situation or the totality of the !$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$% don't know what happened, but I will reserve judgement until I know the facts. If you claim to know their intent and motive then I would suggest that you are either immature or have an agenda of your own.

I'm really disappointed in you, Scott. You have always seemed practical, this statement was not your finest moment.

[Your point about not knowing the details is valid, and in particular I would agree it is equally likely the police were protecting the camera equipment, or adjusting the lights out of their eyes, not stealing it. The camera-confiscating aspect of the story always sounded like bullshit. However, I don't know of an alternate explanation for the tear gas when the police could simply walk up to them and ask them to relocate, or arrest them, assuming some law was being broken. But more to the point, it doesn't matter if the real story was innocent because it destroyed confidence in the police, and that is a dangerous situation. They have been replaced already, and I credit the governor for that. And now the details seem to support the shooting as justified, which doesn't surprise me. I was less concerned about that, because due process should sort it out, but gassing the media is an entirely different level. -- Scott]
Aug 15, 2014
So teargassing journalists is an act of war, but shooting an unarmed man without trial, arresting peaceful protesters and teargassing a populace isn't?

+6 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 15, 2014
Stills from the convenience store security system show a very large guy, holding a much smaller guy by the throat during the theft altercation preceding the confrontation with the cop.


Pictures can be deceiving though, maybe the big guy was simply providing a throat massage to the little guy.
Aug 15, 2014
For the most part I regard the news as a "type of entertainment" rather than a "source of information" so I was skeptical from the start. But it's a soft-enough boundary that I don't like plot twists in my news. I enjoy the illusion that journalists are attempting to provide information, and in this case, they're playing the audience so overtly that it feels like Jerry Springer, rather than news-as-entertainment.
+10 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 15, 2014

[Okay, I officially hate this entire story now....(some contradictory data points that have come to light)....Okay, I give up trying to understand what's going on, here.]

And I for one feel vindicated for my skepticism of the press accounts of this whole affair.
+11 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 15, 2014
Okay, I officially hate this entire story now.

1. White cop guns down a black kid at 35 feet, who had his hands in the air, surrendering.
2. Cop and black kid had a struggle at the police car, was shot twice before fleeing.
3. Black kid was college bound and never had any kind of trouble.
4. Police withhold identity of white cop.
5. Black kid was suspect in store robbery.
6. Cop name is released, Sgt Darren Wilson is black.
7. Surveillance video of store robbery clearly identifies black kid.
8. Black cop Sgt Darren Wilson of St Louis police force is not the one involved in this incident.

Okay, I give up trying to understand what's going on, here.
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