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Will there be an after action report on the police response? Otherwise, it's still no justice no peace, curfew or not. And the provocative press conference by the Ferguson police chief seems designed to get still more work from the tactical police units even as the police should be aware of looters from outside of Ferguson casing the town for likely targets, just as happened during the LA riots. How limited is media access during the curfew and in the putative combat zones? Videos and still images from a variety of sources show that tear gas rounds were specifically aimed at multiple camera operators and news crews.

And now Paul Rand, among others are calling this the Libertarian Moment that defines the overreaching role of the State in maintaining civil order. Ron Paul might indeed be Nirvana to that crowd.

A year ago, my cameraman husband was killed in Egypt. He was just doing his job.

My husband, Mick, was an easy target for an Egyptian military sniper, who could have been on some rooftop a mile away. He was big and blonde in a sea of protesters, hauling a bulky television camera. I think the security forces just got tired of seeing him there. So they decided to kill him....

Mick, a British journalist with Sky News and previously with ITV News and CNN, had been in the vicinity of Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque for about an hour and a half that sweltering morning. He was filming the Egyptian security forces flattening the protesters’ camp there.

The protesters, loyal to ousted president Mohamed Morsi, had been there for weeks — and suddenly hundreds of them were killed in a matter of hours. Mick, 61, was filming a group of women gathered near the mosque, one final image before his team planned on leaving the area, when he was shot dead.

He was doing his job. Just like three journalists from the Al Jazeera network, including an Australian reporter, who are now serving long prison sentences in Cairo. And the three Egyptian journalists who were killed that same day, including a 26-year-old woman.

Police escalation can occur with inadequate training, either in demonstrations, protests, or simple police stops that aren't even "stop and frisk". Odd how even in DK, police shootings aren't tallied as examples of the "gun-crazy USA".
University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist David Klinger said there are no reliable statistics on police-involved shootings in the St. Louis region, but he said police in the U.S. kill at least a few hundred suspects every year.

Klinger, who has led two federally funded studies on police shootings and interviewed about 300 officers involved in those incidents, said police often show tremendous restraint, refraining from shooting suspects who come at them with knives or guns. Sometimes, he said, they simply have no choice but to fire.

In other instances, mistakes are made.

"Officers really aren't out there to shoot people," Klinger said. "That doesn't mean there aren't knucklehead cops out there. But the vast majority of officers have held their fire far more often than they've pulled the trigger."

Have we come to this "The Libertarian Moment" via Ruby Ridge, Waco, Oklahoma City, and Cliven Bundy's Melon Ranch? Does counter-insurgency gear/costumes beget insurgency as "Barney Fife Meets Delta Force", just as some police on-scene at Ferguson claimed they heard shooting proportedly not theirs, framing any furture police discharge of weapons.
The outrage in Ferguson is understandable—though there is never an excuse for rioting or looting. There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response.

The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action.

One of the leading figures in today's libertarian movement, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, offers his take in an opinion piece for Time magazine on Thursday afternoon:

"When you couple this militarisation of law enforcement with an erosion of civil liberties and due process that allows the police to become judge and jury - national security letters, no-knock searches, broad general warrants, pre-conviction forfeiture - we begin to have a very serious problem on our hands…

"Americans must never sacrifice their liberty for an illusive and dangerous, or false, security. This has been a cause I have championed for years, and one that is at a near-crisis point in our country."

Reason magazine's Ed Krayewski builds on this theme of a militarised police force as the spear-point of an intrusive government, causing more harm than good:

"What's happening in Ferguson certainly looks like a counter-insurgency," he writes. "If cops keep it up long enough, some residents might respond with an insurgency. Around the world, insurgencies are fueled by unemployed young men with few prospects. It's the way things like this tend to work, actions and reactions, supply meeting demand, in this case residents filling roles cops seem to be waiting to have filled."

He continues by noting that much of the criticism of law enforcement abuses are instigated by laws that intrude on individual rights.

"Whether they look like it or not, cops will be an occupying force seeking compliance from local residents on behalf of democratically elected central authorities," he writes.

...and more tear gas during the curfew (from ABC news)
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    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 Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:40:05 PM PDT

  •  Hiding their oppression from the TV makes it (5+ / 0-)

    not real. Then evil LEO can do whatever rioting they want then blame the negro.

    They can kill more of us also, without witnesses.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:59:11 PM PDT

    •  I'm wondering why people of color don't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      routinely record police starting from the moment they come into sight until the moment they leave.  You can always erase the recording if nothing happens.  But if something does happen, you have a record of it from before the beginning.  

      "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

      by Calamity Jean on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 09:00:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The detail that most disturbed me... (9+ / 0-)

    ...was seeing these police officers decked out in full camo and body armor, pointing their assault rifles at civilians.

    I mean, the armor and uniforms and ridiculously overkill (no pun intended) equipment was bad enough.

    But they're literally pointing them at people who are just going about their business. As anybody who's had even a modicum of training with guns knows: You NEVER point a gun at anything unless you mean to shoot.

    All of which says to me that in some places in this country, particularly Ferguson now, the police really have declared war on the citizens.

    "Don't ride in anything with a Capissen 38 engine. They fall right out of the sky." -- Kaywinnit Lee Frye

    by Technowitch on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:15:03 PM PDT

  •  Seal Team Six wannabe Cops (6+ / 0-)

    It might be different if these hillbilly cops had even a modicum of the training required to become a real SEAL. Cos-Playing just about sums it up!

  •  Hmm. Tremendous restraint. I've of a mind to (6+ / 0-)

    think exercising "restraint" of one's impulsive desire to respond with all available force should be a requirement (one of many reasons I do not--yet--own a gun).

    I wonder what a non-militarily equipped police response would have been... Oh, that's right. The guy that sent away the heavy artillery, then walked and talked among the citizenry seemed to have somewhat of a calming effect...

    Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

    by LinSea on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:38:59 PM PDT

  •  Libertarian whitewash of racism's role (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Calamity Jean

    "Whether they look like it or not, cops will be an occupying force seeking compliance from local residents on behalf of democratically elected central authorities," he writes.


    Note the dogwhistles.  Democracy is to blame, central government is to blame.  Thus no discussion of the targeting of blacks by artificially-maintained white majorities in local and state government, which is something libertarians have no problem with as long as it's done Founding Father-style.

    No talk about the cozy days of sheriffs belonging to the Klan, the Klan doing dirty work for local oligarchs against the poor, the purchasing of governors by robber barons so that they would send their National Guard to shoot down strikers.

    Local residents are not created equal under capitalism.  But racism allows the 1% to con another 50% or more into siding with it against a manufactured nonwhite enemy.  The more local the government, the easier it is to buy, or bypass.

    They want a government that only defends property rights.  What happens to those without property?

  •  Rand Paul ran as a Republican, not a Libertarian, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and you won't see a single Republican vote against big goverment when it comes to the military. They are also the people who pushed for allowing military hardware to be transferred to police SWAT units. For Republicans to claim now that they are champions of civil rights and preventing government intrusions is contrary to their actual actions. But, they never let reality intrude on their narratives.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:08:56 AM PDT

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