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What is going on in Ferguson?

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  • What is going on in Ferguson?

    I have been watching a lot of news about it, still can't figure out if there were no other options to call the Police to be more restrained when using deadly force.

    Maybe an American can shed a light on this for me.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Doktor View Post
    I have been watching a lot of news about it, still can't figure out if there were no other options to call the Police to be more restrained when using deadly force.

    Maybe an American can shed a light on this for me.
    A violent but unarmed black man got into a confrontation with a cop who shot him 10 times. Community protested. The mostly white and heavily militarized police response lead to a riot. Since then groups like the NAACP have stepped in to keep all further community protests peaceful, but the police response is still massively violent. They have even begun arresting and harassing the media. In Missouri, a black man is 66% more likely to be arrested than a white and much more likely to be stopped and searched even though whites are more likely to be carrying contraband. The police will still not release the name of the killer cop, who is now enjoying an extended paid vacation at the expense of the very community he traumatized. The names of the cops arresting reporters are likewise not being released. A real tour de force in why militarized police are a bad idea.

    Oh, and most of the politicians at the local, state and federal level have conveniently begun a graduate level course in belly button fuzz inspection.

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    • #3
      To summarize: different day, same shit.
      sigpic

      Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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      • #4
        Missouri has a legacy as a slave state, and there is still a lot of racial tension. This is particularly true in the more populous urban areas such as St. Louis (where Ferguson is).

        I live in Kansas City, which straddles the Kansas-Missouri while Ferguson is part of the city of St. Louis on the opposite side of Missouri.

        A chunk of land on the east side of Kansas City is essentially a black ghetto. Only 1 in 3 of the rundown houses are occupied, there are no businesses to speak of, and most of people who live there haven't worked in generations. Access to food is a huge issue because most people there do not have cars, there is no public transportation, and any grocery store that tries to serve the area is robbed blind and forced to close.

        Every few years there is a new government plan to try to improve the area but it always fails. When incentives were given for people outside the area to move there, the new residents were viewed by the current inhabitants as invaders and pushed back out. When jobs programs were setup, nobody showed up because there are no businesses in the area within walking distance, and almost nobody there works.

        Yet as intractable as our problem seems in Kansas City it is mostly confined to an isolated area while the rest of the metro area is fairly well integrated. The City of St. Louis has significantly greater racial tension than Kansas City, and instances like in Ferguson where the police force is almost entirely white while the occupants of the area are entirely black is a recipe for a powder keg. The protests have predictably shifted from being about the boy who was shot to being about the general grievances in the black community in St. Louis.
        Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 14 Aug 14,, 16:05.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Bigfella View Post
          To summarize: different day, same shit.
          I don't think so. Someone decided enough is enough. Just wondering if all the rioting will bring something better to the table and if there was a better way.
          No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

          To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by zraver View Post
            A real tour de force in why militarized police are a bad idea.
            Is it really a "militarized police" force in Ferguson? Because the pics i've seen show them armed, armoured, equipped and engaging on a similar level to what European riot police forces have been dragging around since at least the 70s or 80s. Sure, there's a couple guys walking around in camo with M4s and other mil equipment, maybe 20, maybe 30% of officers, but that's about the same share of the force that over here in times of similar mid-level tension would don their full gear and receive a FN FAL or G3 out of the basement arms locker of the station to back up the other guys armed with their duty MP5 (Although over here these guys would at least know that you don't point guns at people unless you want to shoot them. Especially if they carry a camera).

            The problem in the USA is more that there apparently aren't really any mid-level protests. You either get the proverbial "five guys on a street corner holding up signs" or you get full-blown rioting with looting, burned-down buildings, deaths etc. Ferguson is smack in the middle of the latter corner.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Doktor View Post
              What is going on in Ferguson? .
              sad shit, either way you look at it.
              "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" B. Franklin

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              • #8
                Originally posted by kato View Post
                Is it really a "militarized police" force in Ferguson? Because the pics i've seen show them armed, armoured, equipped and engaging on a similar level to what European riot police forces have been dragging around since at least the 70s or 80s. Sure, there's a couple guys walking around in camo with M4s and other mil equipment, maybe 20, maybe 30% of officers, but that's about the same share of the force that over here in times of similar mid-level tension would don their full gear and receive a FN FAL or G3 out of the basement arms locker of the station to back up the other guys armed with their duty MP5 (Although over here these guys would at least know that you don't point guns at people unless you want to shoot them. Especially if they carry a camera).

                The problem in the USA is more that there apparently aren't really any mid-level protests. You either get the proverbial "five guys on a street corner holding up signs" or you get full-blown rioting with looting, burned-down buildings, deaths etc. Ferguson is smack in the middle of the latter corner.
                Actually after the first night the NAACP stepped in and kept it peace. It has been the police instigating violence, hiding their faces and badge numbers and trampling first amendment rights to peaceably assemble and of the press. Europe may have a history of militarized police forces, but the US doesn't. What you see as normal, we see as dangerous and anti-liberty. I also wonder if Euro-cops, recruit from the bottom of the barrel, protect cops with testi-lying and free vacations for acts of violence, have a steroid problem and shoot as many people and dogs as US cops do. For all the problems I have with the federal government, federal cops are generally much more restrained and much more likely to respect constitutional liberties.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kato View Post
                  Is it really a "militarized police" force in Ferguson? Because the pics i've seen show them armed, armoured, equipped and engaging on a similar level to what European riot police forces have been dragging around since at least the 70s or 80s. Sure, there's a couple guys walking around in camo with M4s and other mil equipment
                  The media gets far better ratings when they talk about "tanks" (otherwise known as the same wheeled vehicles they've had for decades) and "military-style weapons" (otherwise known as the same rifles they've had for decades).

                  What irritates me just a little are US military vets claiming that these police officers are carrying more firepower than they (the vets) did patrolling the streets of Iraq.

                  Um, ok?

                  While I'm sure the personal gear and small arms very similar (and why shouldn't they be, considering we're talking about full-blown riots here), I'm wondering then, why the police haven't deployed M2 Browning heavy machine guns, shoulder-fired rockets, TOW antitank missiles and fragmentation grenades?

                  Originally posted by kato View Post
                  The problem in the USA is more that there apparently aren't really any mid-level protests. You either get the proverbial "five guys on a street corner holding up signs" or you get full-blown rioting with looting, burned-down buildings, deaths etc. Ferguson is smack in the middle of the latter corner.
                  Quite well said. That is indeed the case the majority of the time. Either carrying signs or tearing the heart out of the neighborhood....and people wonder why the police are armed and armored?
                  “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                  ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Doktor View Post
                    I don't think so. Someone decided enough is enough. Just wondering if all the rioting will bring something better to the table and if there was a better way.
                    Incident between black person & largely white police force. Black folks get angry & protest/riot. I can't be bothered counting just how many incidents along these lines have happened since Watts in 1965, but its rather a lot for an affluent Western nation (or for some 3rd world ones). Nothing new in this story, all that changes is the location & a few of the minor details.
                    sigpic

                    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                      The media gets far better ratings when they talk about "tanks" (otherwise known as the same wheeled vehicles they've had for decades) and "military-style weapons" (otherwise known as the same rifles they've had for decades).

                      What irritates me just a little are US military vets claiming that these police officers are carrying more firepower than they (the vets) did patrolling the streets of Iraq.

                      Um, ok?

                      While I'm sure the personal gear and small arms very similar (and why shouldn't they be, considering we're talking about full-blown riots here), I'm wondering then, why the police haven't deployed M2 Browning heavy machine guns, shoulder-fired rockets, TOW antitank missiles and fragmentation grenades?

                      Quite well said. That is indeed the case the majority of the time. Either carrying signs or tearing the heart out of the neighborhood....and people wonder why the police are armed and armored?
                      DOJ report that studies multiple riots show that most riots occur after police begin using force to disperse the crowd. There was a riot in Ferguson on night 1, since then the violence has been initiated by the police.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by zraver View Post
                        DOJ report that studies multiple riots show that most riots occur after police begin using force to disperse the crowd. There was a riot in Ferguson on night 1, since then the violence has been initiated by the police.
                        I'm not disputing that. I'm just saying that some of the narrative here is exaggerated, absurd or decades old news.
                        “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                        ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by zraver View Post
                          Europe may have a history of militarized police forces, but the US doesn't.
                          Back in the 60s and 70s, US police had M8 Greyhounds and fielded shotguns with bayonets for close-in work backed up by Tommy Guns. In the 80s and 90s, they had V-100s and M14s. Not really much difference.

                          Originally posted by zraver View Post
                          I also wonder if Euro-cops, recruit from the bottom of the barrel, protect cops with testi-lying and free vacations for acts of violence, have a steroid problem and shoot as many people and dogs as US cops do.
                          Structurally, same guys over here. Except for shooting people, since that's not covered by esprit de corps. If you have larger organizations - since police is organized at state or fed level here -, you can break up these tight-knit groups though, pushing such people into specific outfits (usually larger riot police units).

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                          • #14
                            Dok,

                            Insofar as I can see, the police is more greatly feared in the USA than most European and democratic Asian countries.

                            Maybe the riot police in the US are no more militarized than European counterparts; I haven't been in European riots enough to call the difference. But "beat cops" on regular patrols inspire much fear and everybody give them a wide berth. They shoot an awful lot of people for all kinds of things, liking trying to surrender one's wallet, walking near a perpetrator, being taken hostage, or contemplating suicide when holding a knife. (Warning: Last video filmed from the body cam of the officer during the shooting). Bottom line is that many Americans suspect, perhaps rightly, that their cops are too prone to using their guns.

                            Coupling the perception that cops are inclined to use excessive force with the problem of a nearly all white police force in a nearly all black neighborhood, and you have a volatile situation. It bears mentioning that witnesses allege the black man was shot 20 ft (6 meters) away from the patrol vehicle as he was backing off from the altercation while showing his hands. I am having a hard time being convinced that no mistakes were made on the side of the shooter.

                            Most reports coming out say that a change of police tactics have quieted things down a bit.
                            Last edited by Triple C; 15 Aug 14,, 11:02.
                            All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
                            -Talmud Kohelet Rabbah, 7:16.

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                            • #15
                              In some ways I tend to see what is happening in Ferguson in a positive light. After the initial rioting, things have calmed down, the governor of Missouri has state police patrolling Ferguson, and protests are proceeding mostly peacefully.

                              I like to see people pushing for change because it is a good indication that they care enough about their community and its governance to try to fix their problems.

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