A year ago, my cameraman husband was killed in Egypt. He was just doing his job.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".
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.
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."
...and more tear gas during the curfew (from ABC news)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.http://www.bbc.com/...
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.