Skip to main content

Police officers keep watch while demonstrators (not pictured) protest the death of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 12, 2014. Police said Brown, 18, was shot in a struggle with a gun in a police car but have not said why Brown was
So far there's been no accountability for the insane escalation of tensions in Ferguson by a heavily militarized police force because there's no one in charge of that police force. Until Thursday morning, when the St. Louis County Police were pulled out, there were four different forces in the city, and none of them in charge of the whole shebang.
Prior to [Thursday] morning, there were at least four different police departments on the ground in Ferguson at any given time: the Ferguson police themselves, the St. Louis County police (where Ferguson is located), police from the City of St. Louis, and police from the Missouri Highway Patrol. Even after the St. Louis County police were withdrawn on Thursday, that still leaves three agencies. At the press conference Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson held Wednesday—the first press conference since the unrest on Sunday—he was asked who is in charge of making the decision to tear-gas and shoot rubber bullets at protesters and use flashbangs. […]

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.
So no one is truly in charge and no one is accountable. That's a constantly shifting responsibility that seems to be intentional and something that cops there are taking advantage of. Consider that the Ferguson Police Department refused to provide any information about the names and badge numbers of the officers who arrested reporters Wesley Lowery and Ryan Reilly. Just to show how out-of-control that situation is, here's the report from a Los Angeles Times reporter, who is also in Ferguson:
I just called Ferguson police chief to ask about @WesleyLowery and @ryanjreilly, told him what I knew. His response: "Oh, God."
@mattdpearce
That lack of accountability in Ferguson was demonstrated Wednesday and Thursday. In his press conference Wednesday, Jackson promised that protesters would be allowed to gather, even after sunset, provided they were peaceful. But the guns and the armored vehicles and the snipers were out in broad daylight. And when sunset came, and protesters were standing peacefully where they'd been standing for hours, the police started demanding they retreat.

Until there's a real chain of command established in Ferguson, until all the officers from all the different departments are reporting to one person, this is going to be continue to be a dangerous fiasco.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:29 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  If it weren't for real guns and risk of harm, (16+ / 0-)

    those f-ers would look like cartoon characters.

    "It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." (Artemus Ward)

    by Silencio on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:37:12 AM PDT

  •  My friends visiting from Germany noted (22+ / 0-)

    many similarities with the old GDR. For those that don't remember, that was communist east Germany. Starting with the paperwork to visit the US, how the TSA works, the militarized police force, the NSA. By the way the Germans are really still pissed at the USA over the NSA. Velcome to the "new" USA, papers please!

  •  wait a second, haven't they done FEMA exercises (17+ / 0-)

    for chain of command during emergencies or even DHS joint exercises? Sounds like a real clusterfuck or something more than base incompetence

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:16:00 PM PDT

  •  Idiots (12+ / 0-)

    Any crisis responder knows there needs to be one incident commander. One. Not two or three or four, not taking turns. One. Granted s/he needs to sleep sometimes, and can delegate duty to someone else for a period of time, but with strict instructions well understood by the person filling in on just what the parameters for action are. From all reports, the incident commander should be able to log a good solid 8 hours of rest from say 4 AM to noon most days.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:20:20 PM PDT

  •  It is very possible that his reference to rotat... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    It is very possible that his reference to rotating commanders indicates the appropriate implimentation of an ICS command structure. Not that the decisions were any good, but knowing what I do about ICS, it appears that there would be a single commander at all times but not always the same person.

    •  If ICS, they are doing it wrong (5+ / 0-)

      ICS typically calls for one incident commander.

      Single incident commander - Most incidents involve a single incident commander. In these incidents, a single person commands the incident response and is the decision-making final authority.
      Unified command - A Unified Command involves two or more individuals sharing the authority normally held by a single incident commander. Unified Command is used on larger incidents usually when multiple agencies or multiple jurisdictions are involved.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Even in a Unified Command, which this may well have called for, there is effectively one "voice".

      Under a Unified Command, a single, coordinated Incident Action Plan will direct all activities. The Incident Commanders will supervise a single Command and General Staff organization and speak with one voice.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/..._(ICS)

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:51:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  sounds like oakland n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC, Angie in WA State
  •  Keystone Cops (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC

    Literally -- except militarily armed up the kazoo

  •  So... (17+ / 0-)

    Roving bands of paramilitary groups.  Like Somalia or the Ukraine.  Great.

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

    by RichM on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:48:31 PM PDT

  •  Psychotic assholes with a badge and gun (5+ / 0-)

    and nobody is in charge. I can't see what could possibly go wrong.

    Oh my god, it's full of cheese! - 2001 first draft

    by sizzzzlerz on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:49:57 PM PDT

  •  Again...Holder Needs To Go To Ferguson, Missouri (9+ / 0-)

    It's worse than fifty years ago. If not Holder himself, someone with equal stature. Remember Bobby Kennedy. Where are you now?

    "Never before has it been so hard for the rich to become poor, or for the poor to become rich." Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R,Ky)

    by wild hair on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:51:12 PM PDT

  •  I Had Same Impression of Mayor. Like Concussion (6+ / 0-)

    victim --clearly in Ferguson, "nobody at home."

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:52:40 PM PDT

  •  Recall the Do Lung Bridge scene in Apocalypse Now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC

    Lots of firepower being expended but "No one is in charge here".

  •  When you don't have a leader.... (5+ / 0-)

    or at least someone to coordinate efforts you have a vacuum...  everyone tries to fill the void causing chaos. Sounds like this is what is happening in Ferguson.
    The main problem seems to be the militarization without the training.... citizens are NOT the enemy!

    •  Speaking of leadership: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ruscle, LateNightLarry, cyncynical

      How come the 67 percent of Ferguson residents who are black, and live under this "occupation" mentality (I assume that most of them do, even if a few wealthier black families do not), have not taken advantage of the Voting Rights Act SOMETIME in the last 50 years, to VOTE OUT the all white city government and vote in one consisting of some black and some non-bigoted white people, who would recruit a fair minded police chief and a balanced crew of police officers?  Have their votes been successfully suppressed by the Jim Crow hangers-on to the extent that Jim Crow is still in effect, even BEFORE the recent killer Supreme Court decision?  Have they been so complacent that they do not BOTHER to vote?   Believe me, if a black police chief and some black cops were treating white citizens like that, they would soon be history.  And it should work the same way with black citizens being mistreated.  If the black community in towns like Ferguson USED their voting power, this kind of event could not happen.

      •  How do you KNOW they Haven't? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KathieS, cyncynical

        Ever heard of being cowed in your own town?  See South African history for a humongous example of how the minority can run the majority.

        They probably pulled out every cheating weapon and voter fraud trick possible to wind up with an almost all White governance of an almost all Black town.

        "Washington, DC: Where Corruption is Rewarded, and Ethical Merit is DESPISED.

        by The Truth on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:19:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Local AA pol says they don't bother (6+ / 0-)

        She says it's because they have too much else to worry about and aren't thinking about political engagement.
        http://www.npr.org/...

        I'd hazard a guess there may also be an element of hopelessness that itwould make a difference (the usual "they are all alike and all out to screw us" attitude. Maybe this will motivate some meaningful community organizing.

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:40:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A sensible police chief (12+ / 0-)

    There's at least one in Missouri. Apparently the Saint Louis (city, not county) police chief saw this clusterexperience coming a mile away and decided beforehand that neither ne nor his officers were going to participate.

    I wonder if he tried to warn his cretin counterparts.

  •  I'm confused (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wild hair

    I though the Governor fixed this, this morning.



    For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope.
    - Albert Einstein:  Leftist, socialist, emo-prog, cosmic visionary.

    by Pluto on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:56:50 PM PDT

  •  Somebody ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC, PsychoSavannah

    Somebody take responsibility for that fiasco? What do you think the odds are that anyone will, with all the loose cannons on the street, ironically armed with loose cannons.

  •  What I said earlier . . . a failure of leadership (0+ / 0-)

    and training.  Not a moral failure of individual cops.

    I understand that's not a popular perspective in the heat of the moment.  I'm not defending, I'm blaming.

    Just not blaming the guys in the military drag . . . blaming the ones who put them there and tell them what to do and train them to be the enemy.

    A drowning man can not learn to swim. -- Chris Lonsdale

    by Rikon Snow on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 12:58:24 PM PDT

  •  Systematic of government in St. Louis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC

    I know there are people that will claim that this is just a way for the police to shift blame from themselves, but honestly its just totally systematic of the way government works in the St. Louis Area. Numerous agencies that when coordinating efforts never want to relinquish total control and thus we are always constantly left with a nebulous game of "hot potato." The police may be part of the problem, but it's something that has been going on in St. Louis for decades with numerous other agencies.

    With that said, it is total bs for the Ferguson Police Chief to be so nebulous when it comes to this question, even if it has been the standard practice of government for decades. There are really only two police departments that have jurisdiction over the area and thats the Ferguson Police Department and St. Louis County Police Department. Other surrounding municipal departments including the St. Louis City Police have  only been called into assist those other department, which means they shouldn't have any control over the situation unless explicitly tasked to do so by a controlling authority.

  •  The mayor and the governor (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC, ranton, kfunk937

    The most directly accountable persons are the mayor and the governor. Whether by their action or inaction, all activities by the various MO police on the scene are the responsibility of those two men, one of whom is an Democrat!

  •  KKK Cops? (7+ / 0-)

    White supremacist organizations such as KKK have inflitrated police historically.  Two Florida cops just recently were found to be KKK members complete with hood and Klan regalia.

    News Update:  KKK is raising funds for "hero" cops in Ferguson.
    Coincidence??

    "AMERICA DID NOT INVENT HUMAN RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS INVENTED AMERICA"

    by michealallison on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:05:57 PM PDT

  •  Somebody explain to me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chitown Kev, kfunk937

    why a majority-black town has an almost-all-white police force if the purpose of the police force is NOT oppressing the citizenry.  Has anybody even bothered to come up with a legitimate reason for this?

    30, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:06:05 PM PDT

    •  Systematic racism in hiring, of course. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angie in WA State, TDDVandy, kfunk937

      Good luck becoming a LEO if you are black and poor. If you think a police force who treats its citizens this way would have hiring department/HR staff who are not also racist when members of the black community apply for openings, you're kidding yourself.

      I'd actually like to hear from a black employee on the Ferguson police force about his experiences while working for the agency.

      Fat chance of that, of course.

      We are all students and teachers. I often ask myself: "What did I come here to learn, and what did I come to teach?"

      by nerafinator on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:14:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  NOT St. Louis Metro Police, they pulled out Tues. (12+ / 0-)

    Their chief DOES NOT agree with the police intimidation tactics of the past few days and only had 4 officers nearby directing traffic.

    “My gut told me what I was seeing were not tactics that I would use in the city and I would never put officers in situations that I would not do myself,” he said.
    "This is going to drive a further wedge, without question,” he said. “I have two responsibilities: to protect our community and to keep it safe and to protect my officers. After two nights of not making any progress in Ferguson I was concerned about both of them.”

    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty (Chris Christie, Antonin Scalia, or Scotty Walker (pick your favorite) said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

    by Eman on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:06:31 PM PDT

    •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eman, Angie in WA State, DarthMeow504

      Pulled out tactical after Monday and all today.

      This is one of the most important posts to understanding what is going on.  

      Saint Louis County does not include Saint Louis City which is a City not within a County.  The County police are overseen by a five member panel appointed by the County Executive and there is no direct accountability to the Executive so the Chief of Police in the County PD reports to a committee.

      Because of the 93+-2 at any given time municipalities many with their own department like Ferguson's, the County PD has long concentrated on patrolling unincorporated areas, a few towns without their own forces, and major crimes that small departments can't handle.   It is designed as a tactical force and when you only have a hammer....everything is a nail.  

      While the Ferguson Chief has some issues, he's not making any decisions at this point.  He is talking to the press because the County Chief saw the PR disaster unraveling and saw a perfect person to throw under the bus.  Most, if not all, of the military equipment is Saint Louis County.  The City limited it's participation and we have examples of 60 officers in tactical gear compared to an entire department in Ferguson of 53 officers.  

      There is someone who is primarily in charge, or was until Nixon did the first decent thing in his career, was Jon Belmar the Chief of the County PD.  He kept his head low and let the Ferguson guy attract all the negative press.  

      •  Thanks for the detailed reply, Arch :) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angie in WA State, ArchPundit

        Your description of county police is very similar to how things function here in Illinois (although we call them County Sheriff's Departments).  They normally serve and protect the unincorporated areas and county roads only.

        I was just pleased but somewhat amazed at how clearly and strongly the St. Louis Metro chief shared his disgust at the storm trooper tactics of the past few nights, and wanted it known that the city police were having nothing to do with this police disaster.  He obviously smartly bailed from this cluster-fuqua after the first night.

        But once again noticeably absent from the podium of the hoopla press conference, where are the elected leaders of Ferguson?

        If the Ferguson municipality has an elected mayor and council and they have their own sworn police department, who gave the authority for the county to take over these attacks with its militarized storm troopers?

        The responsibility for abdicating their sworn duty to protect to the county lies with the government of Ferguson.

        Am I missing some quirk of Missouri law?

        "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty (Chris Christie, Antonin Scalia, or Scotty Walker (pick your favorite) said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

        by Eman on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:15:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Asking for help (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kfunk937, Eman

          When the town of Ferguson asked for help, that was the moment the County came in and that is to be expected in how they overlap--County police come in on big stuff.  

          Remember, the Mayor doesn't have that much authority in a city manager form of government which Ferguson has.  The Mayor is essentially a slightly more influential member of the City Council in that form. He can't hire or fire directly without a council meeting.  

          The County PD in Saint Louis County is essentially a sheriff's department, but the head is not elected.  He is appointed by a board of police commissioners appointed by the County Exec and confirmed by the County Council.  So there isn't direct accountability there either.  

          Essentially, Jon Belmar, the County PD Chief who was brought up through the ranks in SWAT is pretty much his own boss until the Commissioners intervene.  It's not like in a city where often the Chief reports to an elected authority or in a county where a Sheriff is elected.  Belmar is insulated by design from a governmental structure created in the 50s when Saint Louis County was a very calm place.  

          When I grew up, the Sheriff's department was far more friendly and naturally practicing community policing than the Town of Normal--which had a City Manager form of government.  

          I was surprised Dotson said it, but I also knew the City of Saint Louis (which is a city not within a county and so not connected to Saint Louis County) would have handled this much better.  The City Department has tons of problems and is hardly as racially sensitive as it should be, but it has had more experience at handling these type of situations and better organized for it.  

          Ferguson leaders can't act that fast because of their form of government and essentially the County has a similar form--no one was in clear charge.  

          •  Most suburban police departments (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ArchPundit, kfunk937, Eman

            are more used to giving moving violation tickets to speeders than dealing with mob violence. And they don't tend to be the most sensitive in racial matters, either.

          •  I hear you clearly, Arch, but... (0+ / 0-)

            SOMEONE in Ferguson had to ask for and approve the county's "help" (or lack thereof).  That may be the chief of police, the city manager, or the elected board.

            I do understand the city manager form of government - I live in a village of about 20K outside Chicago with the same form of government.  But when I call the elected mayor (or Village President in our case), I get a response.  Usually from whichever employee is in charge.

            So if the mayor has his mouth taped shut, why is the city manager not taking some responsibility?  Or the police chief himself?

            Sorry to rant, but fun to exchange comments with you after so many years.

            "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty (Chris Christie, Antonin Scalia, or Scotty Walker (pick your favorite) said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

            by Eman on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 11:06:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Chief Asked (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eman

              I don't doubt that he was the one who asked.

              Once you have a situation bigger than your force can handle, the request would go to County PD and then in most cases in Saint Louis County, the County PD takes charge.  It has authority within the town of Ferguson so there is usually overlapping authority, but the County takes lead when it comes to something like this--or say major crimes.  

              The Chief still has authority over his officers, but the operational command goes to Saint Louis County.  

  •  So what we have here is no one in charge. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, dagnome, Penny GC, kfunk937

    There is no clear chain of command and that is counter to every idea of a command structure. Rotating commanders? Please. That four police force commanders allowed this to happen speaks volumes about those commander's lack of leadership. there is no chain of command and police officers are to use their discretion in any event they find themselves in. That is why last night went so horribly wrong.
    Call out the national guard. Now. What ever else they might not have, they will have the following.
    1. A clear and defined chain of command.
    2. A clear and defined set of standard operating procedures.
    3. A clear and defined set of rules of engagement.
    4. the public will be informed of all of these things before  the NG  takes up it's policing of the area.
    What needs to happen at this point is that all four police force commanders should receive immediate notice of employment termination. The the rank and file need to be purged. Investigation of all of the officers for crimes must take place and be vigorously prosecuted to the limit of the law. Save what you can, but throw out the trash, and there seems to be more trash than officers at the moment.

    Give blood. Play hockey.

    by flycaster on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:09:23 PM PDT

  •  'Law Enforcement'... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC

    in Ferguson bears a striking resemblance to the TeaOP on so many levels.

    "These 'Yet To Be' United States" --James Baldwin--

    by kevinbr38 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:09:55 PM PDT

  •  Holy administrators, Batman! (5+ / 0-)

    Do you realize what this means?

    Just how close did we get to a total and utter cluster-fucking disaster, with blood filling the gutters and corpses lining the sidewalks?

    You arm a bunch of testosterone laden men, dress them in armor, add ammo, guns, helmets, boots, pepper spray, handcuffs, leg restraints, and bullt proof vests that proudly say, "P O L I C E" in big white letters, and you have a recipe for disaster.

    I watched that Cap't Crunch on hannity, or at least as much as I could stand. I could not escape the idea that he views the residents of that town as sub-human, primates who waste space with their subhuman, welfare based existence.

    Had Hannity had a big flashing sign saying RACIST behind him, it could not have been any clearer.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:09:58 PM PDT

  •  Silver lining -- *ssholes from 4 agencies will be (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC, PsychoSavannah

    found out and hopefully canned.

    Not in time to save Michael Brown, but in time to save other people.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:10:28 PM PDT

  •  Westboro Baptist will show up next. /nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:11:37 PM PDT

  •  Coming out of working for public safety, I find... (3+ / 0-)

    Coming out of working for public safety, I find it extremely hard to believe that there is NO chain of command yet, especially in the 2nd or 3rd day. If true, it is inexcusable and heads will be rolling.

  •  Chief is a racist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC, ranton, kfunk937

    He has a big ol' Confederate Flag flying in his living room, per his now-censored Facebook account. And then there was that Ferguson PD saying, "Bring it, you fucking animals" from behind the safety of a police line in full combat gear.  The KKK has nothin' on that PD.

    What we have here is a Police Riot.

  •  Sounds very much like Berkeley in 1968: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC, Angie in WA State

    Berkeley police, Oakland Police, Alameda county sherrifs (the "Blue Meanies" as they were called, Highway Patrol, and the National Guard. Sometimes all at once.

    Oh, and Ronald Reagan floating above it all, giving the finger to us. Saint Ronnie.

  •  STL County: Almost 100 municipalities (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    charliehall2

    Part of the problem is that STL metro (Pop.: 2.5M) has 100 towns.  Nearly every one has a police force.  Ridiculous, but it's one way that "we've" achieved the kind of segregation that many cities only "dream of".  

  •  The fact St Louis County is the force ordered (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, ArchPundit

    to stand down gives a little hint that the problem may be with them OR from a visual standpoint (the heavy equipment) they are a bad photo-op.  Unless you're a gun nut and are currently looking for their gear online.

  •  Assault Rifles with Sneakers... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    foreignthinker

    ... what, did they just come from paintball?

  •  In addition My muni has been sending police (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angie in WA State, kfunk937

    to Ferguson. I heard our city's police chief say, at the city council meeting on Tuesday, they had dispatched officers 16 times over 3 days, to Ferguson and to demonstrations in Clayton.

    So add to the mix assorted muni police forces, I am sure my muni wasn't the only one sending backup.

  •  Headline photo (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angie in WA State, kfunk937

    It is confusing, if not misleading. These goofy looking, sneaker wearing slobs are the cops doing mayhem in Ferguson?

  •  Is it just me, (3+ / 0-)

    or in the photo included in this diary, are they seriously wearing matching jeans and nikes?

    We are all students and teachers. I often ask myself: "What did I come here to learn, and what did I come to teach?"

    by nerafinator on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:06:38 PM PDT

  •  Cop is dressed in running shoes and blue jeans (3+ / 0-)

    guy next to him has a full beard... these look like drug cops.  Who are these guys?  They are wearing gas masks to hide their identities - no one wants to wear a gas mask until the moment you have to, they are uncomfortable and hot.

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:18:12 PM PDT

  •  The real focus in Ferguson, MO (0+ / 0-)

    needs to be on WHERE they got all the advanced equipment (DHS), WHY this type of equipment is being spread among local law enforcement agencies (citizen insurgencies, or are we expecting alien invasions in Omaha?), WHAT the stipulations are for it's use (if any, and if not WHY).
      It's extremely irresponsible of any government body/agency to freely sprinkle this stuff around (it's offered, not requested in many cases).
      As we see, MO law enforcement couldn't resist pulling out the new toys to play real, or were encouraged by someone within higher levels of US govt to do so, appearing to lack any on the ground supervision or controls of their actions.
      Ferguson, MO, must deal with finding out why a young man was shot by a policeman under questionable circumstances.
      The people of the United States of America need to probe, question, and demand explanations of the distribution of "war materials" to local police agencies around the country BEFORE more us find ourselves confronted by locals wanting to try out their new toys, or, even worse, trained soldiers denying us our freedoms.

  •  The death of Michael Brown... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KathieS

    is a single, possibly criminal, act.  Everything that has happened since that moment is nothing more than a complete failure of leadership by people elected or hire to be leaders.  The perception of the people is that somebody is hiding and protecting the shooter and that there will be no justice.  

    There are enough known FACTS to make that conspiracy seem very real.  They won't release the name of the officer.  It's four days later and they still haven't made an effort to interview the best possible witness...the man who was with Michael Brown when he was murdered.  The police are arresting reporters who clearly have done nothing wrong.

    While I cannot and do not condone looting and rioting it's not hard to understand why things have gone completely to hell.  Nobody knows who is in charge, and assuming someone is, they're doing nothing to convince people that justice will ever have its day.

  •  This is typical of local government in the US (0+ / 0-)

    with multiple overlapping layers of responsibility and no one unit able to address all problems.

    This is a problem nobody wants to deal with and a major reason for the problem is racism.

  •  Beyond belief (0+ / 0-)

    A totally white boy police force waiting for their chance to show the citizens of Ferguson what for. EVERY GODAMN SINGLE one of those police officers should be hauled into court and given 20 year prison sentences with not ONE DAMN CHANCE for parole.
    Hopefully there will be some very 'important' city officials who should go to prison also.

  •  beyond belief (0+ / 0-)

    A totally white boy military goon squad out to get their chance at showing the protesters what for. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE GOONS SHOULD GO TO PRISON WITHOUT A CHANCE FOR PAROLE for 20 years.

    Typical of what the psychopathic invaders from europe and the middle east are really about.

  •  Well THIS (0+ / 0-)

    ought to finally lay to rest the talk that these guys are military veterans suffering from PTSD (like so many on this site want to claim, that these are all whacked out vets) because there is NO WAY a military leader would condone this!

  •  A town of 25,000 does not have this kind of force (0+ / 0-)

    I think (IF the "investigation" is ever public - and it probably won't be) the mess was actually pounced on by Homeland Security,the allied State and County Agencies as a good training day for tactics and hands-on experience without too much danger of having troops really hurt. There is no place to train Terrorist attack forces other than Afghanistan and Iraq and Police Departments - State Trooper SWAT teams and County Riot Units have very little hands on experience. The last  real experience was a few local problems in LA and NYC. THink about it - No-fly zones, drones, gas, rubber bullets, armored police vehicles and body armor as good as anything the military has overseas... how? (From the Feds) why? (So they will be ready for uprisings by environmentalists, clean water advocates, anti-fracking groups, counter protests protecting Abortion Clinics, Protests when people are not allowed to vote, Foreclosures and finally the re-starting of, or building of Nuclear plants. THere are so many things that Corporate America would like to have the GOvernment protect from the people. My Hometown had 12 police cars TOTAL. Ferguson has HOW MANY? Come ON!

    •  whitcombc (0+ / 0-)

      You're right. They want to aggressively overpower Americans for exercising any rights strongly enough to keep them from doing it again. Military equipment should be confiscated and returned to the military. We need to make that clear before the war they want breaks out.

  •  For one (0+ / 0-)

    thing, the officers are not mature enough to be given the military arms they have received. Somewhat like children with new toys they can't wait to try out. This should be a lesson and all military equipment should be confiscated and returned to the military where it belongs. Everyone is right in saying we are not Iraq. This is serious and no good will come of it.

  •  BALONEY! SOMEONE IS IN CHARGE!! (0+ / 0-)

    There definitely are people in charge of the police in Ferguson Missouri: Racists, hate-mongers, militiamen types and most deifinitely REPUBLICANS!

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site