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Police officers react to the movements of a rowdy group of demonstrators during protests in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown near Ferguson, Missouri August 18, 2014. Police fired tear gas and stun grenades at protesters in Ferguson, Missouri on M
Just give him a few decades ...
In the aftermath of the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, a disturbing piece of information that emerged was that in a city where blacks make up nearly 70 percent of the population, its police force of 53 officers only has three black members.

Well, good news: Ferguson's mayor is promising to "bolster minority hiring." But don't get too excited, because the mayor warned:

“We don’t hire a new cop every year,” [Mayor James] Knowles said.

So, just give him a few decades. (Oh, and by the way, this is the same jamoke who earlier this week called Ferguson is a "model for the region.")

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sheesh. (12+ / 0-)

    What a guy.

    "...[Among] which are life, liberty, the enjoyment of the fruit of their own labor, and the pursuit of happiness."

    by Yasuragi on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:00:48 AM PDT

  •  Yeah, he's really conciliatory:, (5+ / 0-)
    They hate me so much that I'm running unopposed.
    So many word I could use to describe this guy. All of them profane.

    Nothing is going to change unless the Feds require it.

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:05:50 AM PDT

    •  There was a very articulate Black Woman (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JG in MD, eddiematrix1

      interviewed on Anan's livstream feed from Ferguson early this morning at the parking lot in Ferguson.

      She was absolutely wonderful.  She had a clear coherent message and a lot of charisma.  

      She had a great understanding of both the local situation and the larger picture of discrimination and abuse behind it.

      Her name was Tomika or Tonika - not certain,was not clear on stream.

      If someone can find her she should be drafted to run in November - as a write in at the least.

      I would want her for my mom if I didn't have on.  I would vote for her in a second if she ran for any office.

      • "But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing." Thomas Paine
      • "The trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool." Stephen King

      by Tommymac on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:32:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He knows he's facing a recall. (3+ / 0-)

      One of the State Senators on MSNBC said so.  Voter registration booths have been set up in town.  Organizing has begun.  The next regular election for council is in April 2015, but the Mayor, who I believe was elected in April of last year, can be recalled  this year if they get signatures of  25% of registered voters.

      Mayor is about to get a civics lesson.

      Don't bet your future on 97% of climate scientists being wrong. Take action on climate now!

      by Mimikatz on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:40:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  From what I read, the last election (0+ / 0-)

        had a turnout around 12% and featured the prior mayor and a realtor. Without speaking to any of their qualifications (about which I don't know), the civics lesson so far could be that in a town of around 20K people, it is hard to find someone exceptional to run for mayor.

    •  On the governing side this (0+ / 0-)

      event points to a larger issue of what should be expected in small towns / suburbs in the way of governing. For example, what are the odds that a town of 20k residents has a fantastic, well-qualified mayor who can handle extraordinary events or bring about significant change. The role is often part-time and the person may serve largely as a promoter of the community.
      I don't what the solution is, but I wouldn't always have high expectations in small communities.

  •  The citizens of Ferguson need to recall his ass. (6+ / 0-)

    Let the new mayor fire the entire force. Lots of new hires then.

    •  Fire them for the actions of another? (0+ / 0-)

      I mean, I've had some colleagues at my job who may have messed up. Should I be fired because of that? How is that fair?

      And surely the investigation and trial should be completed before anyone gets fired?

      •  It hasn't been "the actions of another"... (0+ / 0-)

        ...lobbing teargas at demonstrators. It wasn't the "actions of another" to point a gun into the face of a reporter, telling him "I'm going to shoot your fucking ass." Lots of examples, and plenty of firing offenses to go around. This entire department is dirty.

      •  Are you aware the city funds itself from traffic (4+ / 0-)

        Tickets issued overwhelmingly to black residents and from court costs and fines imposed on those folks?  This is clearly city policy.  The Council and Mayor should be replaced, those that are up in April 2015 at that time and the others as soon as possible by recall.

        Don't bet your future on 97% of climate scientists being wrong. Take action on climate now!

        by Mimikatz on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:42:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  First the citizens need to register to vote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IndieGuy

      Nothing will ever change as long an a majority group decides to pass on voting and let a minority rule them.

      ...the GOP seems perfectly willing to hold their breath until the whole country turns Blue.

      by tommy2tone on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 11:54:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In other times Mayor Knowles would have been... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, leonard145b, a2nite, eddiematrix1

    ...a slaveholder.  

    Every day he stays as mayor it's a tragedy.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action. UID: 9742

    by Shockwave on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:11:19 AM PDT

    •  Yes, and the police work for him because he (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave

      needs good overseers to keep the negros in their place.

      He's just waiting for the troublemakers from out of town to leave.

      MB was murdered as a warning to the natives to STFU and behave. He was lynched including leaving his body out on full display.

      FUCK THE POLICE.

      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 Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:01:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I really don't think MB was killed as some kind (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mimikatz, grover

        of big warning to the "natives". That just invokes way too much intent. African-Americans in Ferguson, as has been pointed out by others, are used as a source of revenue by the City of Ferguson. Essentially, the City is a revenue farmer and the people are harvested in the form of citations. This killing is more likely a result of depraved indifference in the same way that a cowboy gets angry at a steer. The cops are the product of a brutal and exploitative system, but it was unnecessary to kill Michael Brown in order to keep this system humming along.

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

        by Anne Elk on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:14:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is what some think (0+ / 0-)

    Warning this link is full of pure Wheeling, West Virginia's hate of diversity.

    It is from the "Wheeling Intelligencer".

    Link will be good until midnight Aug 20.

    http://www.theintelligencer.net/...

    "Read it and weep"

  •  Doubt they hire a new Mayor every year either (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, rustypatina

    but it's certainly high time to get rid of this one, along with the City Manager, Chief of Police and City Council.

    Inside of me are two dogs. One is mean and evil. The other is gentle and good. The two dogs fight all the time. Which dog wins? The one I feed the most.

    by bakeneko on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:16:10 AM PDT

    •  I would think (0+ / 0-)

      that there are going to be a few openings on the force once the dust settles and federal civil rights charges are brought against specific cops.

      “We don’t hire a new cop every year,” [Mayor James] Knowles said.

      It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. ~ The I Ching, 13th Hexagram

      by Blue Intrigue on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:39:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They hired a new one 4 years ago, Darren Wilson (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

    by SocioSam on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:23:01 AM PDT

  •  I see that... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, annieli

    praising an InfoWars reporter as a "patriot hero" is at the top of the Rec list right now.  I'll just leave this here.

    Then, an Infowars bumper says that all American media is "state-run" and your swelling heart starts sinking back into despair.

    By turns useful, amusingly moronic, gut-wrenching, offensively moronic, life-affirming, and infuriating, the footage produced by Jones' Infowars team in Ferguson evokes something like the range of emotions one might feel watching a new Jurassic Park where half the main characters are Creationists.

    These people, on-screen, are not your kind of person. Their beliefs are risible to you, provoking a derisive laughter that slides easily into octaves of contempt and outrage. Then, suddenly they are in mortal danger and their humanity overwhelms you. You want them to be OK. In the heat of the moment, their flashes of Christian charity and pious selflessness endears them to you.

    Then one blurts out, "Satan is testing us. These velociraptors are his work."

    And what is Alex Jones doing with this newfound attention?  Race-baiting, of course.
    Riffing on that theme, repellently, Jones continues, "We're watching Fox News here, and they're basically saying that you [the rhetorical African American protestor] are a New Black Panther which is literally—literally—as bad or worse than the Klan, as bad or worse as La Raza [which, trust this Mexican-American commentator at the L.A. Times, La Raza is just not racist.]" rant, rant, "horrible, horrible, horrible" gravel-voice demagoguery, somehow the New Black Panthers have "major Justice Department connections." Eric Holder. Obama. Doggie whistle.
    Now, in case you think Jones was blasting Fox News for claiming the New Black Panthers are worse than the Klan, hold your breath and watch that video.  It becomes very obvious he's the one making that claim.  And then he goes off into loony conspiracy land that the New Black Panthers are tight with Eric Holder.

    It should not be surprising that Jones himself is not in Ferguson, but still broadcasting from the safety of his own studio, while he sends his loyal fans out there to record what's going on.

  •  This is good news (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah

    53-3 was always one of the bigger problems in this situation. Diversity both of race and of mindset is a positive goal in all professions.

  •  Disband and recreate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody

    they really ought to start over.... discontinue the present police force altogether and start over.

    Rick Perry - the greatest scientist since Galileo!

    by Bobs Telecaster on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:34:58 AM PDT

  •  Someone said just the other day (0+ / 0-)

    that every time theres a black recruit (which isnt often), he/she gets picked up by a big city police force.
    But hey, give Mayor Knowles another decade or two and maybe Ferguson will have 4 or even 5 non-white cops.

  •  If they only hire 1 a year (0+ / 0-)

    it will take decades to desegregate the Ferguson Police force as you noted. What a joke and empty promise. Gee thanks for nothing Mayor.

    Why yes there is a war on women and minorities.

    by karma5230 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:46:52 AM PDT

  •  If I Won the Lottery (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah

    I'd use part of the windfall to offer "relocation allowances" to every cop on the Ferguson force.

    They'd be giving up seniority and accumulated pension years, so as a union man I could say they earned the compensation. I'd guess that an average of $50,000 per might be enough to get a lot of these cops to move on down the road. But even if it took a hundred grand for 50 cops, $5 million would be worth it.

    I'd get a two-fer, when the cops moved out of town, because guarantee, they and spouses all vote like un-Reconstructed Confederates, and they get time off to vote, be sure.

    Maybe I'd offer a much smaller amount to any city official. And a still smaller amount to every registered Republican.

    Once the rot was cleared out, I'd start spending on the schools.

  •  To "jamoke" I'd add "caffone." (0+ / 0-)

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:53:06 AM PDT

  •  I'd argue for disbanding the department. (0+ / 0-)

    I mean, how much can the city of Ferguson pay to hire a competent police chief?

    But that would put them in the jurisdiction of St. Louis county police and it sounds like that department may not be much better.

    •  He's competant; he has kept the negros in (0+ / 0-)

      place including the daytime lynching of MB.

      He just couldn't keep it out of the news.

      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 Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:14:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  His hiring behavior is familiar, it's not unique (0+ / 0-)

    This is what happens all over America, not just in corporations but in municipal boards, the governing boards of non-profit organizations, private clubs, public clubs...

    Here's how it works:  "We tried to get them to apply (join), but they just won't do it."  ie  "It's not my fault, it's their fault, I've done everything I know, and if I'm not getting results it's not because I'm stubborn and short-sighted and won't learn or try something new but it's because it's their fault.  I'm done."  

    Familiar?

    It happens in employment offices and with hiring managers all over America.  

    And the stupid part is, it's easy to fix.  

    1.  Look at how you normally get (white) applicants.
    2.  If you normally get applicants through some feeder system, pressure the feeder (schools, agencies, community police liaisons, smaller towns, social or civic orgs) to expand their pool (by refusing to use them as a feeder if they can't provide a bigger pool), so their pool and your pool are now more diverse.
    3.  Go to where your potential pool are - if your potentials use radio instead of newspapers as their primary medium, advertise on the radio; ask to come to socials (community or civic) or meetings and ASK people to apply; join civic groups that you may never have, to expand your horizons and increase your networking possibilities, etc  It's easy, TRY.  Wade in!

    The citizens must require that the Chief or Mayor or leader act in an affirmative way to expand the pool of qualified candidates, so you have increased and better hiring options.  It's not a quota that limits your options (which is what the hiring of familiar white police can be) but an expansion of your options by increasing and diversifying your hiring pool, to choose the BEST options.

    For too long those in power have not have to try hard, not have to work at it, have not been required to expand the gene pool to include newer, smarter, differently and better experienced blood of people you would never have known if you don't work at it.  Ferguson is what happens when those who hire are lazy and unwilling to do what is best for the operation and policing of their own city.  It's professional negligence on their part.

    One last thing, people often discriminate by creating job requirements that are unreasonable and unnecessary.  If your town consistently does not hire people of color or women, etc, and they say "they weren't qualified", ask to review the qualifications required.  I've written a lot of job descriptions, including police, and there is actually a lot of wiggle room in what can be required:  clean records, arrest authority or eligibility to acquire arrest authority, relevant physical ability (if your most senior cops can't run a timed distance, not sure why not or if you can justify it  then as a BFOQ), drug screen, etc.

    ps.  Looks like they will probably have at least one new opening for a police officer.  Darren Wilson (and his police union) will probably ask for him to be put on paid administrative or medical leave for stress, and I doubt he will choose to return from it.  

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

    by Uncle Moji on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:18:35 AM PDT

  •  Ferguson PD... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grover

    Now with less white jackbooted thugs!

    Well, one less. Maybe. In a year or so.

  •  Diversity in Missouri.. They'll hire a cop with... (0+ / 0-)

    Diversity in Missouri.. They'll hire a cop with a GED..

  •  The Former Mayor of Ferguson (0+ / 0-)

    was on PBS Newshour last week addressing this issue.

    He stated they want to hire more black police officers, but not many enter and graduate from the police academy.

    There are ways to increase black enrollment, but I think the larger issue is: do people in general want to be police officers? is this a desirable career?

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

    by Superpole on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:29:37 AM PDT

    •  Maybe it's because of past discrimination, lack... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grover

      Maybe it's because of past discrimination, lack of promotion etc. But I guess it's easier to say blacks aren't interested or too stupid rather than change the systemic practices at the root if the problem.

      •  I Get it, But (0+ / 0-)

        that wasn't the attitude of the former mayor.

        I suggest we could get better caliber/better qualified police candidates of all races IF their pay and benefits were significantly raised as an incentive.

        But that's not going to happen.

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

        by Superpole on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 03:13:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Too late to save your ass now! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rustypatina

    Too late to save your ass now!

  •  Cause what we need is 500 community signs (0+ / 0-)

    saying that we're taking pride in Ferguson! That's all we need. Besides, all this is the result of outside agitators.

    I see you drivin' 'round town with the girl I love / And I'm like / Please proceed, Governor. - Dave Itzkoff

    by Jensequitur on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 11:00:56 AM PDT

  •  A more diverse police force? (0+ / 0-)

    What's he going to do, Hire some ISIS members? they might fit right in.

    Religion is like a blind man, in a pitch black room, searching for a black cat that isn't there.....and finding it.

    by fauxrs on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 02:20:26 PM PDT

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