Skip to main content

I suppose it's inevitable that Sunday commentary lags the week's news. Even my own Sunday piece (coming your way later today) was written back on Thursday, and though I touched it up this morning, it now seems like a dispatch from another planet.  So it shouldn't be surprising that only two of the New York Times' columnists, and exactly none of those in the Washington Post, mention the ongoing events in Ferguson, MO. But it is disappointing.

So let's just go straight to Leonard Pitts.

All last week we had reports of news photographers being ordered to stop taking pictures and reporters being tear gassed. One officer reportedly took a TV camera and pointed it to the ground. Add to this police refusal until six days after the incident to name the officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, and the picture that emerges is not one of transparency.

...

Let us hope that between the time of this writing and the time of your reading, the fighting in the streets of Ferguson is done. It makes no sense to compound tragedy with tragedy.

But let us also understand: The mere restoration of order is not the same as peace. If events in Ferguson prove nothing else, they prove the status quo of police harassment, and no accountability is untenable and intolerable. And what happened to these two reporters should be instructive to those whose reflex in such matters is to accord police the benefit of even overwhelming doubt.

The Ferguson Police Department would be ecstatic for there to be a return to "order." That way, they could go back to shooting people in the street and charging the people they beat for bleeding on their uniforms.

Ross Douthat gives a history of how we initiated the the Police War, starting with the origin of SWAT.

In an era of riots and hijackings, the SWAT model understandably spread nationwide. But as the riots died away and the threat of domestic terror receded, SWAT tactics — helicopters, heavy weaponry, the works — became increasingly integrated into normal crime-fighting, and especially into the war on drugs.

This was phase one in the militarization of America’s police forces, as described in Radley Balko’s essential 2013 book on the subject, “The Rise of the Warrior Cop.” Phase two, in which the federal government began supplying local police with military hardware, began in the 1990s and accelerated after 9/11, under the theory that Islamic terrorists could strike anywhere, and that it might take a cop with a grenade launcher to stop them.

... And it’s a path to potential disaster, for cops and citizens alike. The “S” in SWAT was there for a reason: Militarized tactics that are potentially useful in specialized circumstances — like firefights with suicidal terrorist groups — can be counterproductive when employed for crowd-control purposes by rank-and-file cops. (The only recent calm on Ferguson’s streets came after state cops started walking through the crowds in blue uniforms, behaving like police instead of storm troopers.)

How strange is this this Sunday? How about this: Ross Douthat is the only columnist to devote all of his precious inches to the most pressing story in the nation, and he's also the only one to be 100% right.
... for decades we’ve been equipping our cops as though the Symbionese Liberation Army were about to come out of retirement, as if every burst of opportunistic lawlessness could become another Watts, as though the Qaeda sleeper cells we feared after 9/11 were as pervasive in life as they are on “24” or “Homeland.”

And this is where it’s ended: with a bunch of tomfool police playing soldier, tear-gassing protesters, arresting journalists and turning Ferguson into a watchword for policing at its worst.

Time to take their toys away.

It was never time to give them these "toys" in the first place, but it's definitely way past time to pull them away.

Serge Schmemann also touched on the Apolice Now mentality,

The millions of dollars of military equipment on display along Ferguson’s West Florissant Avenue — including a $360,000 BearCat armored truck, helicopters and most of the body armor worn by police officers — was clearly not designed for crowd control.

On the contrary, the police, with their assault rifles, combat helmets and armored vehicles, only further angered the crowds. It was only when Gov. Jay Nixon finally sent an officer of the state’s highway patrol to take charge, and Capt. Ronald S. Johnson, an African-American native of Ferguson, sent the heavy armaments away and started talking to the protesters, that the passions ebbed.

The images of militarized police taking aim at people they are sworn to protect has put a spotlight on the programs that have enabled police departments across the United States — including many small ones, like Ferguson’s 53-strong force — to acquire combat gear. Much of it has come from Department of Homeland Security grants dispensed since the “war on terror” was declared in the wake of 9/11.

I suppose it was inevitable that the War on Terror, like the War on Drugs, would become a War on American Citizens. In fact, it was from the beginning. And in any War on American Citizens, America's minority communities are the front line.

Jamelle Bouie normally of Slate is running this week in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The most striking photographs from Ferguson, Mo., aren’t of Saturday’s demonstrations or Sunday night’s riots; they’re of the police. Image after image shows officers clad in Kevlar vests, helmets and camouflage, armed with pistols, shotguns, automatic rifles and tear gas. In one photo, protesters stand toe-to-toe with baton-wielding riot police, in another, an unarmed man faces several cops, each with rifles at the ready. ...

This would be one thing if Ferguson were in a war zone, or if protesters were violent — although, it’s hard to imagine a situation in which American police would need a mine-resistant vehicle. But an episode of looting aside, Ferguson and St. Louis County police aren’t dealing with any particular danger. Nonetheless, they’re treating demonstrators — and Ferguson residents writ large — as a population to occupy, not citizens to protect.

Can you ask around St. Louis and find white residents who are still saying obnoxious things about the citizens of Ferguson? Absolutely. But you can also find much, much more sympathy than you might think -- and a visit to the streets of Ferguson will show you some white St. Louisans are present and accounted for.

Come inside to see what the rest of punditry has on their minds...

David Kirp reminds those who want teaching to be run like a business, that they're in the wrong business.

Today's education reformers believe that schools are broken and that business can supply the remedy. Some place their faith in the idea of competition. Others embrace disruptive innovation, mainly through online learning. Both camps share the belief that the solution resides in the impersonal, whether it’s the invisible hand of the market or the transformative power of technology.

Neither strategy has lived up to its hype, and with good reason. It’s impossible to improve education by doing an end run around inherently complicated and messy human relationships. All youngsters need to believe that they have a stake in the future, a goal worth striving for, if they’re going to make it in school. They need a champion, someone who believes in them, and that’s where teachers enter the picture. The most effective approaches foster bonds of caring between teachers and their students.

I know you have other concerns -- rightly -- this morning, but read this.

Frank Bruni is in Colorado.

In many ways, Colorado is the new Ohio, a political bellwether. The percentage of its voters who chose Barack Obama in each of the last two presidential elections almost precisely matched the percentage of voters who did so nationwide. And nearly all the currents that buffet national politics swirl around the Rockies, which run like a ragged spine through a state that’s both very flat and very tall, bursting with agriculture and booming with high tech, outdoorsy and urbane, a stronghold of the religious right (Colorado Springs) and a liberal utopia (Boulder).

In other ways, “Colorado is the new California,” in Hickenlooper’s words. It floats trial balloons — marijuana being one example, education reforms being another — while other states watch to see which take flight and which wheeze and crumple to earth.

That’s partly because it’s a place without foregone conclusions. The Colorado electorate is divided almost exactly into one-third Republican, one-third Democratic and one-third neither of the above. So conservative and liberal proposals alike are pushed in the Legislature and put before voters; discussion isn’t proscribed by the one-party dominance that you find in a red or blue state.

Somehow, political battlegrounds seem less interesting this morning. Battleground battlegrounds have the upper hand.

Aaron Miller goes to dreamland to imagine a Hillary foreign policy, circa 2008.

During her term as secretary of state, Clinton talked a lot about “smart power” — elevating diplomacy and development alongside military might. Now, she is distancing herself from the foreign policy of the president she served, telling the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg that “great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”

But what if she had been the one in the Oval Office since 2009? How different would her foreign policy be from President Obama’s? These questions are clearly more than a thought experiment. If she runs in 2016, potentially the first secretary of state since James Buchanan to ascend to the White House, voters will want to know the answers.

...on substance, Clinton’s policies would probably not have diverged fundamentally from the ones the president pursued while she was his secretary of state or those he has embraced subsequently. Indeed, Clinton could never have become Obama’s top diplomat and functioned so well in that job had they not been largely on the same page in terms of how they saw the world and what America should do about it. They both are transactors, not ideological transformers — smart, pragmatic centrists largely coloring inside the lines in a world of long shots and bad options. In other words, there’s no need for them to “hug it out” on foreign policy.

And either one of them would have been far better than the other option in 2008. By now, John McCain would have either run out of countries to bomb, or simply run out of bombs.
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

  •  I will continue to say F*CK the police (32+ / 0-)

    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 04:02:16 AM PDT

    •  Getting harder and harder to support them, (15+ / 0-)

      despite the fact I do know they face real danger and do good works from time to time as well.

      "Don't do stupid stuff" should apply to local law enforcement as well.

      And that would include applying warlike aggression against a civilian population. And not treating unarmed, non-violent protesters worse than armed, threatening, law-breaking militia.

      I would like to think all this will lead to a period of de-escalation before the economic and environmental injustice get so bad the shit really flies, but I'm not terribly optimistic.

      I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

      by Words In Action on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:59:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  IOKIYA law enforcement; that's the problem; (13+ / 0-)

        we spend more money on them than on school.

        Why?

        Completely ridiculous.

        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 05:21:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We don't spend more money on police than school (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Samer, al23, divineorder, TerryDarc

          at least not near where I live.

          In New Jersey property taxes that pay for schools are greater than the property taxes paid for municipalities and counties combined.  Add in to that that the state and federal government pump a lot of money in to the schools.

          Since law enforcement is nowhere near a quarter of the budget for towns or counties, that means we spend far more on education than police.

          In New York City they budgeted a little under $5B on police in 2015.  In 2012-2013 New York City spent a little under $24B on schools. (Sorry, didn't collect links but it's from the official NYC budget page.)

          According to Census the entire country spends $602 billion on education and the Justice Policy Institute puts law enforcement spending at just over  $100 billion.  CBS puts prison spending at around $65 billion.  Even doubling these two numbers gets nowhere near education costs.

          •  BTW ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TerryDarc

            that doesn't mean I don't think we spend too much on law enforcement and ESPECIALLY on prisons, just that we do spend more on education than law enforcement.

          •  That doesn't include the free toys coming from the (0+ / 0-)

            Pentagon, nor the operation of "fusion centers" and other databases, etc., which the feds share.

            Still not in the $600b range, but what is defined as "education" in the census figure?

            ALL education?

            Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

            by dadadata on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 06:46:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah. That lead photo is great publicity for the (6+ / 0-)

        Good Ole U.S.A. around the world.

        Tell me how it doesn't, in essence, look like photos of Baghdad and Kabul.

        These politicians, elected officials, and police leaders, with one apparent exception, are morons.

        Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

        by dadadata on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 06:44:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Who kidnapped Ross Douhat and replaced him (22+ / 0-)

    with that guy?

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:11:26 AM PDT

  •  Take their SWAT raid funding away. (8+ / 0-)

    It's the only thing that makes sense, although it may be easier to say than do, It's also the only thing that could succeed in dialing this insanity back.

    Tired of being trickled down on?

    by tovan on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:12:19 AM PDT

    •  Never happen. (11+ / 0-)

      In fact, it will be increased.  This situation should be the curtain coming completely open revealing just how forceful and in control corporate America is.  They run us, the politicians, the country.  The only power we have is the vote and they are working diligently to take that away.  They already have 2/3 of the nation completely apathetic and are working to nullify those of us that do vote.  The uprising must continue.

      Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

      by tobendaro on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 05:53:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The law enforcement community nation-wide (4+ / 0-)

      ...has been undergoing a retrofit over the last 12 years to circumvent the Posse Comitatus act by creating a standing army capable of gunning down any non-compliant citizen in the event of a revolution.

      The use of Federal armed forces won't be necessary if a civilian counterpart has been repurposed and sufficiently outfitted to put down an insurrection.

      You've got ALEC, dozens of neocon Bush appointments to federal judge benches, the entire republican party and every "law n' odor" DINO to thank for this; and to think that America voted for all of it because of 9-11 and their faith in their government to take their oath of office seriously.

      Makes you real proud to live in a free country, don't it?

  •  The David Kirp link (0+ / 0-)

    Seems to be broken.  I was interested in reading that.  Anyone have the right one?

    "In 20 years, the GOP will be small enough to drown in a bathtub." - me

    by estamm on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:12:37 AM PDT

  •  Bizzaro World Douthat... (6+ / 0-)

    no doubt he will return to normal by next week.

    But, but how odd and creepy feeling to agree with him totally today.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:16:55 AM PDT

  •  I wonder what the anti-gun lobby is saying now... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mwm341, DRo, mkor7

    The can no longer say you don't need a firearm to defend yourself...we have police to protect us.

    Yeah.  Right.

    •  Yes, shooting cops would solve everything. (8+ / 0-)

      Brilliant solution.

      •  How many more freedoms will you give away? (0+ / 0-)

        In the history of man, talking comes to an end.

        •  So to preserve freedom, shoot cops. (6+ / 0-)

          No.

          People are trying to preserve and better the community of Ferguson, not launch a bloody civil war.

          Because that is what will happen if we start shooting cops.

          •  Shoot cops in Ferguson? Who said that? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hawkseye

            Ferguson is a symptom of a larger problem.  No one is going to march in the streets with guns if Ferguson is the limit of it.  But, if you aren't prepared to defend yourself against an oppressor, what will be the next town?

            No one is advocating shooting cops. And I don't see most cops advocating the abandonment of constitutional guarantees.

            But, shit happens.

            •  Abandoning gun control will not help Ferguon. (9+ / 0-)

              Expanding private militias will not help Ferguson.

              Gun control is irrelevant to the crisis at hand.

              The US government has far more financial and military resources than private citizens. Walking back state power must be fought on other terrain than calling to arm everyone.

              •  Right. (0+ / 0-)

                It seems to me that, when you create an overly armored police force, you create a sense of invulnerability whose twin is arrogance. The brutal fact of the matter is that, once police security becomes paramount, then citizens become expendable. We want police to be safe, of course. But when the balance shifts too far in one direction, you create an alien army.

                Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

                by Anne Elk on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:33:35 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Get a grip, Boris. (0+ / 0-)

              The killing of Michael Brown was a police shooting. They happen. A lot of white folks are killed by police, too. Sometimes, even often, the cop is in the wrong. We have a criminal justice system to deal with that.
                 As for the racial element: Compare how the (mostly white) Occupy protesters were treated by police compared to the protesters (and looters) in Ferguson.
                 The big difference in Ferguson is the optics. The local cops dressed up in cammie uniforms, rode armored cars, and brandished rifles. That inflamed the situation probably, but functionally the Ferguson  cops have been acting just like police acted during the disorders in the 1960s. They tried to control a situation using tear gas and smoke bombs.
                 As far as I can tell from the coverage, they didn't use clubs to the extent that 1960s police and NG did.
                 The fact is: The first duty of a government is to maintain order. No government can long tolerate rioting and looting.
                 What would happen if people started using firearms to resist the police?
                 We know the answer to that. It's happened numerous times. Law enforcement will respond with overwhelming force. People will be killed.
                 And that would happen even if the country were a socialist paradise run by a completely nonwhite government.

              •  Amazingly enough (10+ / 0-)

                It didn't happen in Nevada, did it? Or when all those idiots in Texas were walking around carrying in Target and Chipotle.
                Or the WHITE kid in Colorado that insists that carrying a shotgun around is merely him exercising his rights. Or that WHITE man threatening police with his gun-

                “Houseman refused to comply with requests that he put the rifle down and talk to the officers. During the negotiations, Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Lt. Stacey Geik, who took over as commanding officer on the scene, told a dispatcher that Houseman was “exercising his open carry rights, however, he has certainly overextended them at this point.”
                After a 40-minute standoff, in which Houseman had a heart-to-heart with police about the revolution and gun rights, the police negotiator was able to cox the gun out of Houseman’s hand and end the siege on a peaceful note. The following day after the standoff, the police officially declined misdemeanor charges against Houseman and even returned his gun to him.
                10 Armed White Men Who Did Not Die By the Police

                If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

                by skohayes on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 06:39:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  You know, if people in this country got off their (7+ / 0-)

              ass and voted in the 80-90 % range, and educated themselves about their governance, we wouldn't have these problems and we'd have little need for guns other than for sport. (Cops' guns included.)

              They're too busy watching tv shows and movies that star and feature guns, guns, guns, guns, guns, guns, guns, guns. etc.

              So it's somewhat understandable the amount of fantasizing that goes on about guns.

              But it's still annoying.

              There is NO WAY people in this country are going to "restore their freedom" or "vanquish the oppressor" with guns.

              In fact, this whole "2nd amendment" guns trope is actually a diversion away from the responsibility and hard work that is necessary to restore our freedom.

              You can't make this stuff up.

              by David54 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 06:23:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Cops are friends. Shoot invaders. (0+ / 0-)

            I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

            by labradog on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 05:30:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Freedoms have been taken nt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TerryDarc

          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 05:24:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Channeling Richard Nixon? (0+ / 0-)

            nt

            It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before... Richard P. Feynman

            by TerryDarc on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 01:42:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  How about (3+ / 0-)

          taking the fucking guns away from the cops?

          Why is it always MORE GUNS with you gun humping people?

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 09:01:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  If you're black they kill us armed or not; gun (25+ / 0-)

      nuts have made it worse. It's clear that having black skin is a clear & always present danger; we're magically armed because of our skin color.

      The people who are armed & dangerous are mostly white & their employees the police. Y'all have permission to kill us just because.

      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 04:38:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't buy it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mwm341

        The FBI stats don't show that and you know it.

        •  Spoken like another white person who doesn't (20+ / 0-)

          get being black in America.
          You make a lot of assumptions about what I know.  I know that white supremacist gun nuts including the police make America a shitty place for black people.

          Turn on the TV & behold why guns do NOT make America a better safer place.

          They make America a shirty place, Period.

          Thanks for playing "the white privilege know it all game".

          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 04:54:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  FBI crime stats and homicide data (0+ / 0-)

            http://www.fbi.gov/...

            There is lots of data.

            •  Your data does not reflect population statistics (9+ / 0-)

              White people including Hispanics who self identified as white constitute approximately 74% of the US population while Blacks make up slightly less than 13%.  Even if you add those persons who self identify as mixed race to the Black total, it is still slightly less than 22% of the total US population.

              Extrapolating that to the murder figures you linked from the FBI, one would expect that more than three times the number of Whites would be murdered than Blacks.  The FBI figures show that the number of Blacks murdered is only slightly less than that of Whites.  So Blacks are more likely to be murdered in the US than Whites regardless of the race of the person committing murder.

              But those statistics are not really relevant to the number Blacks killed by police.  What is relevant to the current issue in Ferguson is the extremely high number of Blacks who are killed by police.  While there are no real definitive statistics kept for various reasons, the number of Blacks killed by police is disproportionately high compared to the percentage of Blacks in the US population. A significant number of these murdered people were unarmed and even when committing a crime, it was a relatively minor offense. Blacks, particularly males, have every right to fear police.

              "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~ So.Lib.inMD UID166438

              by gulfgal98 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 06:37:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  When it comes to killing, it is already too late. (9+ / 0-)

            Where we need to take a stand is at abuse (domestic and official and systemic). Our judicial attitude towards abuse has to be reformed because, rather than being an enhanced form of discipline, abuse (physical and mental and psychological) is a prelude to physical violence and murder. If teachers can get away with being rude; they'll get away with paddling. If cops can get away with shoving and "taking people down," then they'll get away with shooting off their guns as easily as their mouths. Cops need to be taught to "keep a civil tongue in your head" when addressing civilians. Their intent (to protect) cannot be allowed to trump their lack of respect for the citizenry for whom they work.
            Insubordination to their immediate superiors is a firing offense. The same should be true of insubordination to the citizenry at large. We do not need cops policing the community; we need police that are responsive to (answer to) the community. Above all, we need them to start telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
            A half truth is a lie.

            •  hannah - Good luck hiring teachers and police (0+ / 0-)

              who'll cater to your attitude.

              •  That's what management is for. (5+ / 0-)

                People who get paid have an obligation to follow directions. That's true of Congress, as well.
                Horses can't be made to drink, but people can be persuaded to follow directions, if they're paid. On the other hand, if they're paid and don't follow orders, then they need to be dismissed and we hire someone else.
                Hiring is always a crap-shoot. Unjust stewards abound, but the solution, two thousand years later, is still the same -- fire their asses.
                Of course, if you're hiring wardens instead of teachers, then the product is not going to be education.
                If anybody's to be faulted, we should perhaps look at our professional management programs which are focused on manipulating people, instead of production. Looking at people as products doesn't help either.

          •  Oooh can I play the white privilege game too? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mkor7, Stude Dude

            Is the grand prize a high-paying job and a suburban McMansion in a gated community with a lifetime supply of Chinese-produced items of consumption delivered by swarthy malcontents who will soon be replaced by Amazon drones and automated self-driven GoogleCars?

            I love this game!

            •  *Boxed Zin, Adderall & Xanex not included. (0+ / 0-)

              --Some mental restrictions may apply.
              --Strict adherence to Fox talking points and membership in the Fundy MegaChurch of your choice, required.

              The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% agree they are.

              by GreatLakeSailor on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 03:56:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  You know, I'm often annoyed by the use of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OldDragon

            "white privilege" here, but in this case it's glaringly obvious, and as this relates to the entire "law enforcement/incarceration/use of public funds" issue in this country, it's definitely apt.
            More specifically, your use of it is apt.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 06:27:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The real problem is some Americans (5+ / 0-)

            are not treated like human beings namely non-white people. That is today, not 400 years ago.

            A black young man was shot by a white police officer & left in the street rotting like a piece of meat.

            This gun nut open carry asshole was not killed by the police in

            Vyan's diary:
            http://www.dailykos.com/...

            I believe that guns make America shitty place, incliding on the hands of the white supremacist police. There's more guns in spite of less crime.

            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 06:54:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  How 'bout you provide a link to *your* version (28+ / 0-)

          of those statistics?

          I will offer what I found in just under 5 minutes:

          Police Kill 2 Black Men a Week in America, the FBI Reports

          Here are a few more disturbing numbers the Federal Bureau of Investigation reveal in a study that covers a seven-year span:

              Black males under the age of 20 are killed at more than 50 percent during police shootings.
              Young black men were being killed at least 96 times per year out of 400 police self reported killings. That means that at minimum white police officers killed 2 young black males each week.

          Local police involved in 400 killings per year
          The reports show that 18% of the blacks killed during those seven years were under age 21, compared to 8.7% of whites. The victim in Ferguson was 18-year-old Michael Brown. Police have yet to identify the officer who shot him; witnesses have said the officer was white.
          Exactly How Often Do Police Shoot Unarmed Black Men?
          In 2007, ColorLines and the Chicago Reporter investigated fatal police shootings in 10 major cities, and found that there were a disproportionately high number of African Americans among police shooting victims in every one, particularly in New York, San Diego, and Las Vegas.  
           [This is a particularly good article if you're interested in the truth]

          1 Black Man is Killed Every 28 Hours by Police or Vigilantes; America is Perpetually at War With Its Own People

           


          Police officers, security guards, or self-appointed vigilantes extrajudicially killed  at least 313  African-Americans in  2012 according to a recent  study. This means a black person was killed by a security officer every 28 hours. The report notes that it's possible that the real number could be much higher.  

          The report, entitled "Operation Ghetto Storm", was performed by the  Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, ...[link to Operation Ghetto Storm]

          As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

          by JaxDem on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:57:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  "feeling threatened" is the key link (7+ / 0-)

        What I notice as a thread running through all the narratives is someone "feeling threatened" and therefore shooting/calling 911/whatever that leads to yet another black male getting killed.  "Feeling threatened" is enormously subjective, in the eyes/senses of the receiver, regardless of what the alleged threaten-er is actually doing or intending. So it is tailor-made to be heavily influenced by deep-seated racial (and ethnic/religious, such as anti-Hispanic or anti-Muslim) prejudices.

        For many white people, and even more police, being in the presence of a black male -- and especially of more than one -- makes them "feel threatened." Period.

        Those of us of European descent have been conditioned this way since 1608 or 1619 or whenever the first slaves arrived in the 13 colonies. And if "feeling threatened" is enough to justify stopping & frisking, or shooting and killing, the person who you perceive is threatening you -- well, that results in just the kind of rampant violence against black males that we're now seeing (but that has happened for decades, just out of the view of most white Americans).

    •  Yeah, but when the NRA says "us"... (13+ / 0-)

      ...they aren't talking about "those people." They're talking about the old white rich (and not-so-rich) people who jump to their tune. The citizens of Ferguson? They're the "racial agitators" O'Reilly was screaming about on The Five the other say.

      "If you're going to go down with the ship, make it a submarine." - Wayne Shorter

      by Oliver Tiger on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:48:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A .38 or .45 caliber gun (0+ / 0-)

      won't do shit against tear gas.

      If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

      by skohayes on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:57:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're a real Einstein Boris. (9+ / 0-)

      Yeah, every single citizens armed to teeth and making shitty decisions about he use of force, just like the Ferguson PD...

      Yeah, that's the ticket.

      Dumbass.

      Tar sands, fracking and deep water drilling are expensive. Crude oil price exceeded $100/bbl in 2008 where it still hovers. NH₃ based fertilizer feeds an estimated ⅓ of the world with the Haber-Bosch process using natural gas as a feedstock.

      by FrY10cK on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 05:27:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cops shouldn't carry guns either, dude (0+ / 0-)

      That's what they do in countries. Give people the ability to kill and they look for a reason to use it.

    •  It wasn't GUNS that stopped this, it was policing. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PsychoSavannah

      ACTUAL policing, not Master-Chief-Invading-Kabul tactics - people in blue with uncovered heads talking to their community and listening.

      It was people in the community taking care of each other that stopped this - young men protecting the store-fronts from the few looters that will be blown up all over the MSM as the Real Face of Ferguson's Community.

      God, you RKBA gun-blowers will find any excuse to protect your precious deadly dildoes from the mere hint of sane regulation. "Oh, if only JFK had had a gun in Dallas that day..."

      “[Sir Arthur Conan Doyle] created Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson - which proves he was way ahead of his time on gay marriage.” - Bill Maher

      by gardnerhill on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 10:15:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is some evidence that JFK (0+ / 0-)

        was actually killed by accidental discharge of a secret service agent's gun discharging into the back of the President's head as the agent dashed up toward the Presidential limo. The ultimate Gunfail.

        Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

        by Anne Elk on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:47:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, there is not evidence. The internet is not an (0+ / 0-)

          excuse to believe in {redacted} things.

          I am a Liberal. I am not a Progressive. If you are a Progressive you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

          by LemmyCaution on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 06:01:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your opinion (0+ / 0-)

            Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

            by Anne Elk on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 08:30:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, a fact is not an opinion. (0+ / 0-)

              There is absolutely no evidence, i.e., objective, verifiable physical matter, that supports this nonsense.  The guy who dreamed  this up literally pulled it out of his a@@.  Letting people here spout this nonsense unchallenged does nothing for Kos's reputation as a serious website. Next you'll be saying 9/11 was a false flag operation.

              I am a Liberal. I am not a Progressive. If you are a Progressive you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

              by LemmyCaution on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 01:38:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Listening to Cspan's Washington Journal... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, indres, Stude Dude

    Lotsa black rage.

  •  We have come a long way from Norman Rockwell (7+ / 0-)

    haven't we;

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/...

    That early photo of the guy with dreds walking toward four or five SWAT team appearing Millicents reminded me of the chant "the whole world is watching" from another time.

  •  Thanks Mark (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, rl en france

    With the happenings in Ferguson it's hard to care about much else.

  •  Just e-mailed my governor (13+ / 0-)

    and asked him what "enlightened" alternate universe he resided in where it is acceptable to shoot dead a surrendering suspect in a crime of stealing something worth a pocket full of change? Meanwhile banksters loot Americans of suitcases of $100 bills everyday but continue to walk scott free and receive hefty bonus' for doing so. I didn't bring up that initially it was just a jaywalking infraction because my governor can't perceive that anymore. Once an AG, always an AG.

    "Limited minds can only recognize limitations in others." Jack London

    by spunhard on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:48:57 AM PDT

  •  Let us just remember that Occupy experienced (13+ / 0-)

    this kind of hospitality for a couple of months before being summarily swept off public lands. Here in Salt Lake, that meant all the tents, the kitchen, everything just being dismantled and loaded into a payloader, which then dropped it all into huge dumptrucks, which hauled it away, while we were all kept at bay. Several people were arrested and hauled away as well. And they hated to be recorded...

    Unlike Ferguson, pretty much no one aside from the Occupiers and there constant community companions seemed to be concerned.

    None of this is to say I'm not concerned for the residents of Ferguson. To the contrary, I appreciate and am angered and saddened by what they are going through all the more.

    I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    by Words In Action on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:49:51 AM PDT

    •  Yes. Remember, "Occupy" threatened the very (5+ / 0-)

      legitimacy of the corrupt Billionaires' Boys Club, and EVERY. SINGLE. MAINSTREAM. MEDIA. OUTLET. is owned and controlled by that Club.

      The so-called "liberal media" was bound and determined to 1) demonize the Occupy movement, and 2) sweep it off the front page as soon as possible. They succeeded. The plutocracy still reigns supreme, and the media CEO's are still safe with their multi-billion-dollar balance sheets.

      So now the mainstream media can do what they do best: act as "concern trolls". There's no financial harm to their ownership in pitting a corrupt and over-militarized police state against a racial minority, so let the pitting continue. But as soon as Comcast and Disney and NewsCorp and the rest of the Media-Industrial Complex think that casting those racial minorities in a good light no longer boosts the bottom line, the tide will turn and Ferguson's black community will suffer the same fate as Occupy.

      "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

      by blue in NC on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 05:35:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  this is actually a surprise? (14+ / 0-)

    I think that people have not been paying attention.  Anyone who has been part of any sort of protest can tell you that this is the way of things.  The police no longer act like police.  They act like storm troopers anytime that large groups assemble.

    the attacks on journalists is not new either.  just go back and look at how occupy wall street was treated.

    This is a sign of totalitarianism.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:52:50 AM PDT

    •  Yes, I'm thinking of the news video clips of the (7+ / 0-)

      campus police at U.C. Davis pepper spraying directly into the faces and eyes of students during a peaceful protest.  As I recall, a court decision on that went against the police.
      We don't need police to meet out punishment or to control us.  We need police to protect us.
      The whole idea of policing needs to be re-thought, as it has in some areas.  Police need to act more like social workers in troubled communities and help teenagers, and young men in particular, find healthy outlets for their energies.  So many kids need good role models, and police are a logical choice to act as such.  I think "Midnight Basketball" programs were a success until Republicans began cutting funds for everything but essentials.  "Essentials" are tax cuts for the rich if you're a Republican.
       

      Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

      by hawkseye on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 05:23:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's a link to the UC Davis matter. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mauricehall

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...
        Students were protesting tuition hikes and were awarded $30,000.00 each along with attorney fees and court costs.  Cop was fired, but he also got a settlement of $38,000.00 for wrongful termination.  This latter information is in other articles with links available on Google.  I suppose the taxpayers of California have paid for the whole thing, and that pisses me off.

        Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

        by hawkseye on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 05:36:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hawkseye

        The police believe their job is to shut us up.  That's wrong.

        I agree with you that more money needs to be put into building up strong community relationships.

        "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

        by noofsh on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 07:22:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Let's not forget the criminal element (10+ / 0-)

    Lead.

    Kevin Drum's cover story at Mother Jones wrote up research that ties a rise in violent crime to lead exposure from gasoline - a wave that crested and broke after gas went lead-free.

    http://m.motherjones.com/...

    A lot of hysteria about violent criminals fueled the law and order craze that helped feed the militarization of the police. Who knew the most effective crime reduction tool would be environmentalism?

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:53:47 AM PDT

  •  By now (4+ / 0-)
    By now, John McCain would have either run out of countries to bomb, or simply run out of bombs.
    McCain would be the late John McCain, followed by a now former half term president & gods only know who would actually be president now since neither McCain & his vp pick would be available after presidenting got to be actual, hard work. But, yes, many more bombs would have fallen.

    “Poverty wants much; but avarice, everything” Publilius Syrus

    by gelfling545 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 05:01:12 AM PDT

  •  I used to live in that very apartment complex (11+ / 0-)

    in Ferguson from 1980-81. Michael Brown was murdered within sight of my balcony.

    I am completely supportive the protestors and If I were still living there or anywhere close enough to get there my pale face would be out there on the street with them.

    I ask him if he was warm enough? "Warm," he growled, "I haven't been warm since Bastogne."

    by Unrepentant Liberal on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 05:01:25 AM PDT

  •  Its getting hard to tell from the graphics if a (8+ / 0-)

    story is about Ferguson or Iraq. Except the SWAT cops appear to be more heavily armored and more uniformly lily white.

  •  I look at the pictures of cops on (8+ / 0-)

    tanks and I wonder where I might have to move in order to live my senior years in a free country, where can I die in a country that's not at war with itself?  The hopes and dreams of our Founders may have been foolish after all.  A Democratic Republic seems impossible when it's built on genocide and slavery.  Perhaps if we knew our history and adapted as the world changes we'd be less arrogant, less sure that we have the answers to everything.  Maybe we'd be less frightened of change, less prone to hate.  I don't know.  

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 05:05:11 AM PDT

  •  Sometimes, George W. Bush spoke true (7+ / 0-)

    without intending to. That was the case when he said, "we fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them over here." People assumed that by "them" he meant foreign or alien terrorists. Whom he actually meant was ordinary people, the great unwashed populace, that needs to be pacified and contained. "Them" is "us" -- we, the people, who, relying on the promise of the Constitution and more recently, the Declaration of Human Rights, expect to engage in self-government and give direction to our public servants. That's not how the public servants see it. What they prefer, and have been accustomed to, is to rule in loco parentis, with the authority of parents, but none of the obligations or duties.

    So, now that the fighting "over there" is coming to a halt, an example has to be made at home (can't attack all the citizenry, after all) and the traditional targets of intimidation and subjugation are fair game. Besides, the dark complected ones are easy to identify. Not to mention that the similarity in outward appearance provides a certain comfort level. Also, the normally compliant never expect they're going to be attacked as a prophilactic and aren't prepared to fight back.

    Predators are cowards. They intimidate because they are afraid of getting hurt. It's a risky business being a brute.

    •  JimP wrote on that "full spectrum dominance" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      Your comment here would fit nicely into that Diary too:
      I mean, just what did people think "Full-Spectrum Dominance" meant?

      This:

      So, now that the fighting "over there" is coming to a halt, an example has to be made at home (can't attack all the citizenry, after all) and the traditional targets of intimidation and subjugation are fair game.

       - hannah

      ..and it is not just because the MIC and the industries involved has contracts spread out amongst numerous different states making the politics of military spending reduction nearly impossible.

      This:

      Predators are cowards. They intimidate because they are afraid of getting hurt. It's a risky business being a brute
      especially when the predators are a tiny minority with the same needs yet lacking the better instincts of a parasite to not harm the host it requires to survive
  •  who is "greatest threat to press freedom in 20 yrs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, hester

    quoting James Risen of NYT

    "He’s the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.”
    that makes whoever this is also a enemy of democracy since it depends on a adversarial press to expose government corruption

    could whoever this person is be a supporter of the surveillance state?

    you will have to click the link to find out the answer

    Where’s the Justice at Justice?

  •  "If they can shoot a white boy like a dog, (12+ / 0-)

    imagine what we've been going through."
    What I did after the police killed my son

    Yes, there is good reason to think that many of these unjustifiable homicides by police across the country are racially motivated. But there is a lot more than that going on here. Our country is simply not paying enough attention to the terrible lack of accountability of police departments and the way it affects all of us—regardless of race or ethnicity. Because if a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy — that was my son, Michael — can be shot in the head under a street light with his hands cuffed behind his back, in front of five eyewitnesses (including his mother and sister), and his father was a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who flew in three wars for his country — that’s me — and I still couldn’t get anything done about it, then Joe the plumber and Javier the roofer aren’t going to be able to do anything about it either.

    If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

    by skohayes on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 05:31:13 AM PDT

  •  Leonard Pitts, sheesh (6+ / 0-)

    I don't know Mr. Pitts from a hole in the ground, but this is incredibly sloppy writing:

    "One officer reportedly took a TV camera and pointed it to the ground."
    One officer did not "reportedly" do this.  The officer is seen on another camera doing exactly this, pointing the camera to the ground.  

    This is a fact, not something that's been heard second hand and not confirmed.  It's adding words for no reason, yet the words change the meaning of the sentence and makes it incorrect.

  •  We may actually want to wait... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Micheline

    for the sacrament evidence. I realize that's a novel idea in this age of advocacy journalism. The Ferguson community may have legitimate and totally justified grievances against the police. That's a matter the State and the DOJ should investigate. But this case may not be the best case for making that claim. Until ALL the evidence is presented we should be very cautious -- at least those really concerned with justice -- about implying the guilt or innocents of anyone involved. Michael Brown "may" have been the victim of criminal actions on the part of the police officer. BUT the officer's actions "may" also have been totally justified. I think all of us, especially those in the press, should be more responsible with how we discuss and report this situation.

     

    "The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world." - Reinhold Niebuhr

    by Sam Weller on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 05:41:47 AM PDT

    •  Bullshit (11+ / 0-)

      Stealing is not an excuse for murder by cop, sorry. I don't care if the kid robbed a bank, the police don't get to be judge, jury and executioner.
      And you're not going to see any evidence coming from the Ferguson PD, unless it helps their case.

      If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

      by skohayes on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 05:47:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  skohayes - You are assuming that the "word on the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        darest

        street" is entirely factual. We have a whole criminal justice system - including forensic science - to get at the truth.
           It is entirely possible that the facts will show that the officer's actions were justifiable or excusable.

    •  But you're missing the point of the protests (4+ / 0-)

      Sure, if this was a matter of one bad cop shooting a kid then you'd be right. Then the justice system would kick in, a thorough investigation would reveal the truth and the guilty would be punished.

      The problem is no one trusts that to happen. And they're often right. There's a strong tradition of cops sticking together and covering for each other, even in cases where there isn't racial tension between the police and the community.

      Without the protests and the "advocacy journalism", there's a strong chance this case would have vanished without a trace. The State and the DOJ wouldn't have gotten involved. The internal investigation would have cleared the cop. The prosecutor wouldn't have pressed charges.

      Exactly when was "all the evidence" going to be presented? How long should people have waited before being outraged?
       

      The Empire never ended.

      by thejeff on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 08:47:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But what.. (0+ / 0-)

        if this is one good cop doing his job? What if, as with the overwhelming vast majority of police shootings in this country, the officer in this case was justified? We'll have to wait and see what the evidence reveals.  

        And let's be clear on something. Police officers go through a far more rigorous examination of their background and character than most people - especially in the Press and in politics - ever face applying for a job. And as we can see, it can be a thankless job in many cases. Many of us wonder why they'd want to even do it.  

        You say the police have a "strong tradition" of covering up. But what you're really saying is there is strong tradition of the press revealing specific cases of police cover ups that ultimately represent a small number of the over-all police internal affairs investigations where in the vast majority of the cases the officers involved did not in anyway "cover" for their fellow officer's misconduct. Of course those piles of cases don't get reported and are an inconvenient statistic in situations like this. The fact of the matter is the vast majority of police officers have a solid integrity in these matters. It's nonsensical to think most police officers are willing to face prison time or be fired to protect another officer's bad conduct.  

        You support "advocacy journalism." Well I guess you enjoy the "fair and balanced" views presented at Fox News. Hey, if that's how you see it, we just see it differently. There certainly is a place for opinion journalism. But the media should be clear with viewers and readers where that line is. The lines are very blurred in this case.

        As for the environment in town of Ferguson, there may be more questions here than just the police department. I guess it's easy to sublimate one's anger into a culture of conspiracy and distrust of police institutions but it's more constructive to face the mirror first. It's easy to blame all this on the police department when there are larger problems within the community that people may be choosing to ignore.

        In this specific situation we need to have justice served, regardless of the emotions. If the officer was unjustified then he should face charges. If the officer was justified in shooting Brown then we need to say it and explain why regardless of the feelings people may have.

        The Ferguson police do need to address the serious image problem they have. They need to meet with community leaders and discuss better ways to address problems in the community. And certainly the State and the DOJ should monitor the situation. But in the end the police must do their job. That, first and foremost, is what the law and public order demands.  

        "The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world." - Reinhold Niebuhr

        by Sam Weller on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 10:42:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, that's all true. (0+ / 0-)

          And the Ferguson police have needed to address that serious image problem for years.
          But they haven't.

          If all the protesters and the advocacy journalists and everyone else just shut up and sat down and waited for all the evidence to be presented, when would they get around to addressing it? Why would they? Why would the state and the DOJ get involved?

          But no, we should just sit back and trust that the system works and let the police do their job and not question when they say their job involves shooting black people. Law and public order demands it.

          The Empire never ended.

          by thejeff on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 10:51:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Okay, well... (0+ / 0-)

            I never said don't protest peacefully to express your concerns and bring needed attention to the situation. My original concern was with assuming the officer was guilty of a crime before knowing what the evidence tells us.

            And you provide a good example of what I see as a big part of the problem. You write: "...let the police do their job and not question when they say their job involves shooting black people. Law and public order demands it." And what police officer said that?? And what evidence do you have that the officer in this case shot Brown strictly because he was black? Do you know the officer? Can you speak to his personal character? How do you know this particular officer wasn't well regarded in the black community?

            One of the worst of human tendencies is to jump on the bandwagon.  

            "The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world." - Reinhold Niebuhr

            by Sam Weller on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:30:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  He didn't. I'm sure it's not in the handbook (0+ / 0-)

              But it happens an awful lot.

              They don't put it that bluntly of course. But everytime a young black man is shot for, shall we say questionable reasons, people just like you say we have to let the police do their job. And shooting black people appears to be part of that.

              Sure, each individual case may or may not have a good reason or at least enough wiggle room you can't prove otherwise, but there's a really awful pattern.

              Now, you shouldn't use that pattern to convict an individual shooter, but you should use it to condemn the system and reform it.

              Or we can wait for the police report to exonerate another shooter.

              The Empire never ended.

              by thejeff on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:56:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Bullshit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      There is NO justification for what amounted to the death penalty.  

      NONE

      ZERO

      ZILCH

      Let along shoplifting.  

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 09:13:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I thought of a possible justification (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sam Weller

        What if Brown was being contacted for committing a robbery, stood 6'4", weighed 300 pounds and instead of complying with the officers orders he instead fought the officer? What if police work was a dangerous job and police officers fear for their lives when they are attacked? What if the officer shot Brown because he felt his life was in danger? I know that's kind of a perfect storm of improbable events but I think that might amount to a justification....

        But it was way more likely just a cop who wanted to experience being hated by the public, dragged through media and criminal persecution and possibly losing his career so that he could brazenly murder an innocent minority because.... Well because that is all that cops ever want to do.....

        •  :rolleyes: n/t (0+ / 0-)

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 10:07:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Uhhhh.... (0+ / 0-)

            Are you arguing for reproductive rights in response to my comment about racism? Or, are you saying that you know of a miraculous loophole in the law that prohibits police from apprehending people if the people don't consent to having their bodies taken into custody? Think about all those idiots in prison! All they had to tell the cops was that they didn't consent to having their bodies arrested and it wasn't police business if they wanted to use them to perpetrate crimes. I get it! I can just be like "it's my body! I can use it to kill people/you if I want to! It's none of your business!!!"

            You're a genius buddy!!! You just solved racism.... Probably saved the pandas as well.

            •  What if the moon was made of green cheese? (0+ / 0-)

              What if the sun goes around the earth?
              What if there really are leprechauns in your garden?

              You can "what if" any bizarro nutbar thing you want, but nobody else HAS to accept it or agree.

              If it's
              Not your body,
              Then it's
              Not your choice
              And it's
              None of your damn business!

              by TheOtherMaven on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 07:27:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I am reminded of what happened in Charlotte (7+ / 0-)

    during the Democratic National Convention.

    The authoritarians were all a-flutter about the possibility of violence. Not only does a party's convention offer a national stage for "evildoers", but also Charlotte is home to such national pariahs as Bank of 'Murka and Nuke Power. The powers-that-be were lookin' forward to some good ol' 1968-era Chicago head-bustin'.

    Instead, Charlotte Police Chief Rodney Monroe not only instructed police - including ranking officers - to march with protesters, he often was seen doing so himself. There was literally no violence in Charlotte as part of the DNC.

    Being African-American, Chief Monroe has received - and continues to receive - a hefty dose of bashing, slander, and character-assassination from the diminishing rightwing and/or teabag contingent here in Charlotte. But our police - even though they do have an excessive storehouse full of military-style gear and equipment, which I wish they'd get rid of - generally tend to dress in conventional police uniforms, travel in conventional police cars (or on mountain bikes), and engage in a lot more "traditional" policing (nowadays known as "community policing"). We are fortunate to have a chief like Rodney Monroe, and I hope city council doesn't give in to the sort of "thinking" that has produced our current disgrace of hyper-militarized "police" departments nationwide.

    "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

    by blue in NC on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 05:45:14 AM PDT

    •  IIRC Charlotte also did not treat Occupy like (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue in NC

      many of the other major cities did.  I might be wrong because Occupy in Charlotte didn't have anywhere near the numbers or press coverage.  But I do know that at one time Charlotte was essentially leaving them alone.

      "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

      by stellaluna on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 06:42:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, Charlotte was pretty abusive of (5+ / 0-)

        Occupy.

        The police were very tolerant and very respectful, but city council and the city attorney (presumably in order to kiss the collective ass of Bank of 'Murka) passed various oppressive and discriminatory laws to force them to end their "occupation". Tent cities were demolished and they were run off of public property.

        It was sort of Bloomberg Lite. The silk-stocking plutocrats that run our city from their perches in the towers wanted none of that anti-plutocracy stuff, don't you know. So they quietly eliminated the civil rights of the Occupy protesters and ended the movement here in Charlotte. Bank of 'Murka, Wells Fargo, Nuke Power, and the banksters and polluters that are part and parcel of those corrupt industries have prevailed...again.

        The problem was our bought-and-paid-for city government, though, not really the police.

        "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

        by blue in NC on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 07:02:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I actually do remember that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blue in NC

          As usual in Charlotte not so much riot gear and tear gas as plutocrats.  The Charlotte PD does seem to be different.  The fact that a CMPD officer who shot an unarmed man was indicted shows the difference.  That had slipped my mind until we had this conversation.  Here's the link.  It does show are real difference in response.

          "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

          by stellaluna on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 07:14:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep...I had forgotten about that indictment, too. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stellaluna, tb mare, PsychoSavannah

            Don't know how I forgot...it was pretty recent!

            Speaks well of Chief Monroe's department.

            Now, OUTSIDE of Charlotte, we see many of the small-town police departments ramping up the hyper-militarization pretty aggressively. They wear fewer uniforms in day-to-day activities and more black mesh "tactical" paramilitary gear. They drive fewer "conventional" patrol cars and more "bigfoot" SUV's and armored military-style assault vehicles. The town governments are weak and inept, and the town residents get all warm and fuzzy about how safe their jackbooted police make them feel.

            It's a recipe for Ferguson-style disaster in thousands of small towns and suburbs across the country.

            "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

            by blue in NC on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 07:30:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Speaking of "Wars"... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, tb mare

    The failure of the war on poverty and failure of the war on drugs-- which is more or less a military response to a mental health issue-- are two of the reasons we're in the mess we are in.

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 05:49:06 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Mark nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rl en france

    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 05:51:39 AM PDT

  •  The War on Drugs (6+ / 0-)

    Is a war on the People, especially people of color.

    Back in the 60's the cops were called "pigs," and as always us hippies are right about everything.

    "Things are not as they appear to be, nor are they otherwise." - Buddha

    by US Blues on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 06:01:18 AM PDT

  •  Reagan. (7+ / 0-)

    Especially during the Reagan years, when he exacerbated the drug problem in this country, and tripled the national debt to fund the MIC beyond their wildest dreams, this problem  began to emerge.

    Deficit spending is how Reagan pulled us out of the recession he created.

    Which blows the lid off the arguments of the deficit hawks.

    If he had spent the money on rebuilding our cities' crumbling infrastructure, instead, we wouldn't have an out of control drug enforcement/ white privilege maintenance law enforcement system.
    (I'm annoyed sometimes at the use of "white privilege" by some on the left to hammer poor white people who are deluded by the system, but in this case it's glaringly obvious. )

    The project ahead of us is basically to reverse the course of American life back to the time that Reagan was elected and start over. Most of the stuff that's happened since then are mistakes piled onto the original mistake of electing Reagan .

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 06:03:43 AM PDT

    •  Same here. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David54, Eric Nelson
      (I'm annoyed sometimes at the use of "white privilege" by some on the left to hammer poor white people who are deluded by the system....)
      Let's unknowingly alienate people to knee-jerk over to the Rushes and Ruperts and never figure out why.

      "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

      by Stude Dude on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 09:26:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then lets figure out another way (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude, gardnerhill

        to talk about it, because it's a real thing and without a way of talking about it, you can't talk about what black people actually face.

        You can't deal with institutional racism while pretending it doesn't exist.

        The Empire never ended.

        by thejeff on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 09:51:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Walking while white"? (0+ / 0-)

          And usually not getting hassled.

          Although, I didn't pick up on this until there a pie fight over it in one of the K Chronicles diaries.

          "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

          by Stude Dude on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 10:17:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "White Privilege" is Climate Change for liberals: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stude Dude

          Too many of them DONT WANNA BELIEVE ITS TRUE SO ITS NOT TRUUUUUUUUEEEEE.

          Or the Poor Poor Whites get all butthurt over a term they Don't Yike Cause it Makes them Sadface. (Mostly because someone else came up with the term instead of whites and it's NOT FAIR.)

          Well, try reading this by a white male who uses terms other whites might actually listen to because a white male came up with it.

          White Privilege is Real - the fact that the staunchest defenders of keeping white privilege invisible are finally noticing is proof positive that it exists.

          “[Sir Arthur Conan Doyle] created Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson - which proves he was way ahead of his time on gay marriage.” - Bill Maher

          by gardnerhill on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:34:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  For my part, I didn't say white privilege didn't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stude Dude

          exist and I'm pretty sure Stude Dude wasn't saying that.
          What I am saying is that this whole episode is testimony to its existence.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:32:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Two of the biggest (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, mkor7, Eric Nelson

    and most expensive domestic failures in this country over the last 40 years are the "war on drugs" first then later the "war on terrorism". Both need to be stopped, but the money that supports both are gravy law enforcement won't give up easily.

    If you are not the lead dog, the view never changes.

    by RepresentUsPlease on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 06:48:28 AM PDT

  •  Douthat is lining up behind Rand Paul, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mkor7, Stude Dude

    in my opinion.
    Rand Paul is going to be a problem.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 07:14:06 AM PDT

  •  Ferguson has been deja vu for me. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, laurak, Stude Dude

    We saw the same thing play out a few years ago here in Oakland with wildly inappropriate police response to peaceful Occupy protesters. Not so much of an overtly racial element here, although police were totally ignoring (!) business-as-usual carnage in blighted, immiserated neighborhoods in the city to clobber and tear-gas Occupy protesters downtown. (They were "understaffed" and had to "establish their priorities" don'cha know :)

    Hey, some "priorities."

    The common thread linking Oakland and Ferguson is the sense that the civilian government really doesn't have the reigns of the police force. The PD is very self-protecting and nepotistic and does whatever it wants. It's administrative chaos. At most, if you're lucky, you're going to hear muddled, confused defensiveness from public officials regarding the actions of the police force. As when Mayor Jean Quan famously blamed the Occupy demonstrators for police over-reaction.

     

    "Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come." --Rumi

    by karmsy on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 07:39:05 AM PDT

  •  That would be becuz it's old news. (0+ / 0-)

    Just the same ol' same ol' since Thurs., and it's now Sun.  Nothing to see, move along, move along.  It gets a little old reporting the same story.  Besides... we know how this ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.  Everyone bored with #Ferguson, looking for the next big thing.

    Follow Connect! Unite! Act! MeetUp events! For live podcasting of your Event contact winkk to schedule.

    by winkk on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 07:47:14 AM PDT

  •  Prioritizing public funds (3+ / 0-)

    Imagine if the $360,000 spent on the BearCat armored truck instead was directed at revitalizing Ferguson, creating jobs programs there, or any number of other things that would have a positive impact on the community.

    This is where the racism in America is most striking. Ferguson is a "high crime area," so instead of spending public funds to do something to reduce the desire for criminal activity, let's instead channel public funds into more tanks, guns, and weapons for law enforcement.

    This is all based on the unspoken assumption that the situation in any given black community will not and cannot improve with some public funding. No such assumption exists about white communities.

    "Nationalism, religious bigotry and feudal loyalty are far more powerful forces than…sanity." —George Orwell, “Wells, Hitler and the World State” (1941)

    by Blood on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 08:15:03 AM PDT

  •  Symbionese Liberation Army (0+ / 0-)

    Now there's a mostly forgotten '70s reference. The Patty Hearst thing was going on back when I was in junior high.

    Despite all that have a nice day attitudes that decade wasn't all feel good ooga chackas....

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 09:30:05 AM PDT

  •  Oink. (0+ / 0-)

    And I am Kilrain of the 20th Maine. And I damn all gentlemen. Whose only worth is their father's name And the sweat of a workin' man Steve Earle - Dixieland

    by shigeru on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 10:24:06 AM PDT

  •  Naw, Douthat mimicking Rand Paul needs an issue.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare

    ..any issue with an answer that progressives/liberals have been trumpeting for years to buy some creds while putting the bulk of their BS agenda out of sight out of mind behind a façade, hiding what neither can keep themselves from sneaking into the "fine print"  

    This is why sentencing reform has a growing number of Republican champions, and why Rand Paul’s critique of the Ferguson police was more pointed and sweeping than President Obama’s.
    [...]
    To be clear: I cheered Paul’s comments, I support most of the reforms under consideration, I want lower incarceration rates and fewer people dying when a no-knock raid goes wrong. But there may be trade-offs here: In an era of atomization, distrust and economic stress, our punitive system may be a big part of what’s keeping crime rates as low as they are now, making criminal justice reform more complicated than a simple pro-liberty free lunch.
    ..nothing out of the ordinary opportunism for dickheads like the both of them. But as always with Douthat and Paul the subtext is where to find their tells.

    Thx Mark Sumner

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site