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Supporters of officer Darren Wilson hold placards outside Barney's Sports Pub in St. Louis, Missouri August 23, 2014. No arrests were recorded overnight, marking three consecutive relatively calm nights for the St. Louis suburb following daily unrest since Michael Brown, 18, was shot by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. About 14 miles (22 km) away in St. Louis, dozens of supporters of the officer gathered at Barney's Sports Pub to raise money for Wilson's family.   REUTERS/Adrees Latif   (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW CIVIL UNREST) - RTR43H92
It's to be expected that the officer that shot Michael Brown would have supporters.
The gathering began gaining steam in the early afternoon outside Barney’s Sports Pub in south St. Louis — a place many described as a popular police watering hole. At it’s peak, between 50 and 70 people crowded around a table as organizers said they had raised thousands of dollars for Wilson, who killed Michael Brown on Aug. 9. A brief press conference ended with the group reciting in unison, “we are Darren Wilson.”
But for a group motivated by the supposed railroading of the nice officer just dispensin' jaywalking tickets like a nice officer should, they certainly are quick to jump to their own presumptions.
“We’ll all see this in the end that it was a good shooting. You know, it was a good kill.”
What are we basing that on, sport? So far, the information we have about the shooting is very close to nothing at all, which is precisely what all of the rude people saying rude things about the Ferguson Police Department have been rudely saying. The police report describing it was left blank. The sole justification we've heard from the officer or the department is through friend-of-the-girlfriend-of-the-officer suppositions that do not match the accounts of multiple witnesses. In response to public demands for information, the chief of the department released a videotape attempting to show that the victim was a Bad Person, then announced that no it didn't have anything to do with the jaywalking stop so never mind.

And that's pretty much it. We'd all be very happy to wait for the results of the "investigation" to come in, but as far as anyone can tell there wasn't going to be any "investigation" at all, not until people took to the streets to demand one. Two bullets to the head is generally not the accepted penalty for jaywalking, and you will have to forgive the folks who are more than a bit miffed at the apparent normalization of such a thing, the banal business as usual dismissals of it as perfectly standard police work.

We know that the relationship between law enforcement and residents in the area has been horrible for some time. We know from statistics that Ferguson law enforcement is extraordinarily devoted what we shall tersely describe as "traffic enforcement," and we know from reports that the Ferguson courts conduct themselves in such a fashion as to squeeze their poorest residents for remarkable sums of money based on those efforts. We have witnessed post-shooting police reactions that confirm a fair amount of the worst things residents say about them, including incompetence, excessive and spurious police violence, and arresting reporters for crossing the street too slowly (hey, but they didn't kill them for it—progress?)

And yet there's a sizable chunk of the St. Louis (and American) population who can wander around in all this smoke and swear up and down that there's no fire here. Nope, just normal police work, nothing to see here. Good job! Chin up Bro! Stay strong!.

At one point tonight, Michael Brown protesters chanted "hands up, don't shoot!"
Darren Wilson supporters responded: "Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!"
Many of these probably tremble at any hint of government excess, but this episode doesn't offend them. For many of them, the reasons turn out to be blindingly obvious. The rest of these folks we're still pondering on.

Originally posted to Hunter on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:12 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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