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Police Force, ‘Broken Windows’ And A Death In Missouri

The death of an unarmed 18 year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, has sparked a national conversation about police and deadly force. We’ll investigate.

Police wearing riot gear walk toward a man with his hands raised Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.  (AP)

Police wearing riot gear walk toward a man with his hands raised Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (AP)

More shooting last night outside St. Louis, where for three days and nights now citizens have protested – some have looted – after the police killing of 18-year-old and unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.  He was headed off to college.  He was walking down the street.  He was killed.  In Ferguson and beyond, the issue of police use of deadly force is hot.  In New York, where a police chokehold killing was caught on video.  In Albuquerque, where police violence has come quick and deadly.  This hour On Point:  the Ferguson fury, and police use of deadly force in America.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Rachel Lippman, crime and justice reporter for St. Louis Public Radio. (@rlippmann)

Daniel Isom, retired St. Louis chief of police. Professor of policing and the community in the University of Missouri, St. Louis’ department of criminology and criminal justice.

Steve Zeidman, director of the Criminal Defense Clinic at the CUNY School of Law. Former Legal Aid Society supervisor.

Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center. Author of “The Insanity Defense” and “Out of the Shadows: Confronting America’s Mental Illness Crisis.”

From Tom’s Reading List

St. Louis Public Radio: After A Weekend Of Violence, A Community Begins To Repair Itself –”St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said that his detectives needed to talk to “scores” of witnesses at the apartment complex that may have witnessed the shooting. This came as Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced he had asked the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a separate investigation.”

New York Daily News: Is ‘broken windows’ broken? Yes — “While Eric Garner’s tragic death in police custody, ruled a homicide Friday by the city’s medical examiner, has prompted inquiries into police use of force and chokeholds, his passing should also compel a larger investigation into why the police felt compelled to arrest Garner, who they’ve said was selling loose cigarettes, in the first place.”

CNN: Albuquerque, Justice Department reach deal over police brutality — “The Justice Department concluded in a report released in April that Albuquerque Police had a history of brutality and unnecessary deadly force. ‘The pattern and practice is the result of serious systemic deficiencies in policy, training, supervision and accountability. The police department’s failure to ensure that officers respect the Constitution undermines public trust,’ the DOJ said in the report.”

 

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  • HonestDebate1

    The looting and violence are unacceptable. It should not be excused in any way.

    • Ray in VT

      Are you prepared to step up to the plate and blame Obama and the Justice Department for doing just that (excusing looting and violence that is)?

      • HonestDebate1

        If all he is gonna do is dog whistle, Obama should just shut up.

        • Ray in VT

          I know, right? He just gives these people a pass and his Justice Department encourages them to riot by pleading for calm and understanding. It’s all wink wink, you know. Better to listen to the people who really know what urban minorities are all about and what their problems are: Southern, white conservatives.

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you kinda’ sorta’ understand the plight of the urban minorities so maybe a bit of slack should be cut? I mean, who could blame them? Right? Let’s just call for peace instead of condemning senseless violence and destruction. Let’s sympathize from the highest levels. It’s sick.

          • Ray in VT

            Pretty disgusting that you see things that way, but it has what I have come to expect. How long before we hear about the “epidemic” of black violence, especially against white people?

          • HonestDebate1

            Evidently from reading these comments there is an epidemic of white racist cops, who don’t care about poor black people, committing murder for fun. That’s the hot button. That’s the sick meme so eagerly accepted by racists, especially in the North.

          • Ray in VT

            What a bizarre reading of comments. So incredibly typical of your warped view of things, however.

          • HonestDebate1

            You should read the comments again… assuming you read them at all.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup. I have. Twisted and strange your conclusions are. Sad for you it must be.

          • Ray in VT

            What’s the meme of Southern racists? That Obummer’s encouraging minorities to go on the rampage, as they are prone to going after whities anyways?

          • Don_B1

            There has always been “the (thin) blue line” where police officers feel “disrespected” by the public and retreat to distain of the public.

            This was probably first documented by a William (?) Wesley (sp?) in his master’s thesis at M.I.T. in 1952. [Sorry, but I have not been able to find a link to it.]

            Then when you add in a (near?) all-white police force (and local government officials) with a 75% Black population, where Blacks are arrested (for walking while Black, etc.) at a rate 50% above their proportion of the population while whites are arrested at a rate 40% below their proportion of the population, there is good evidence that racism is more than just a perception.

        • jefe68

          Oh that you would heed your own advise.

        • Don_B1

          From the “dog-whistler-in-chief”!

      • 65noname

        huh?

        • Ray in VT

          That was the claim last year when the Justice Department sent some people to Florida and asked for calm, regardless of the outcome, regarding the George Zimmerman trial.

          • 65noname

            that was who’s claim?
            I have no idea what you are referencing but except for some meaningless paltitudes the obama government and its lacky justice department have been noticably absent in the struggle against poilce brutality

          • Ray in VT

            “that was who’s claim?” The misnamed poster Honestdebate1.

          • 65noname

            thanks

          • Ray in VT

            No problem. Some of the stuff posted here has some roots quite some time ago.

          • Ray in VT

            There were also some claims made about race and crime that come from, as far as I can tell, a group with questionable views regarding non-whites.

          • 65noname

            I hear you.

    • Human2013

      The shooting of an unarmed young man is unacceptable

      • HonestDebate1

        Certainly.

  • john in danvers

    Something like the Albuquerque situation, where there is a pattern of abuse, suggests a do-over like bankruptcy. Shut down the old police department, organize a new one from the ground up, where all positions are competitively filled, and it would be best to use different facilities, and put all the old records into archives. Otherwise, institutional inertia may dominate reform efforts.

  • Human2013

    We’ve created a hierarchy so deep based on race and wealth
    in this country that it’s likely to linger and hinder for the next several centuries.

    We pioneered the hard science and convinced the world that
    there is, in fact, a hierarchy of the races that the Nazis looked to the States to confirm the Jews were inferior and deserving of extinction.

    Now we find that police officers have no regard for poor
    black people. At what point in history did we attempt to change the American psyche and dispel the myths of race and intellect or race and crime or race and poverty – never. In fact, groups of people are so concerned that the truth of human equality is spreading, that they’ve doubled down on their divisive rhetoric.

    Let me remind everyone of how perverse the system is:

    “Professor Gates is a banana eating jungle monkey”

    • HonestDebate1

      That’s sick.

      • Human2013

        Tell that to the Boston Police officer who spread it across the precinct

        • HonestDebate1

          I have no idea what you are talking about.

          I just find the practice of baselessly painting with the broad brush of racism, sick. If you look at this tragedy and your chief conclusion is police officers have no regard for poor black people then you are every but as much of the problem as those rioting in the streets. This situation is horrible enough without injecting garbage into the debate.

          • Human2013

            Garbage? Did you read the quote? Please, drop your act and
            lets have a real conversation.

          • HonestDebate1

            You have already forfeited any hope of a real conversation with your sick premise.

          • Human2013

            It is the insincere and inauthentic nature of people like you, which disallows a real solution.

          • Ray in VT

            Don’t you know that racism is over? Just ask white conservatives.

          • HonestDebate1

            Racism is alive and well but the word no longer has meaning. It’s bandied about with astonishing ease.

          • Ray in VT

            Perhaps some just choose to ignore definitions and usages with which they do not agree, preferring, instead, to attempt to impose their own view of the definition upon everyone else.

          • 65noname

            actually it’s raciist police behavior that is occurring with astonishing ease.

          • John Cedar

            One of my friends from college was arrested in Rochester for making a
            comment while walking by a cop who was arrested a drunk and disorderly.
            “come on..give him a break”, was all it took.

            My
            friend was cuffed and stuffed and in the holding area, the officer
            grabbed my friend’s thumb and bent it for minutes on end while his hands
            were duffed behind his back, releasing him in the morning with a broken
            thumb. My friend is albino white and is a 0.001 percenter.

            Another
            friend was arrested for DWI. “have you ever had the screen test”, the
            arresting officer asked? As he violently slammed on his breaks, causing
            my friend to smash into the cage. landing on and blooding his face being
            that his hands were cuffed behind his back. This friend is also from a
            well-to-do family and very white.

            I could go on with several more stories. But those who see racism in everything simply do not understand the situation and experiences of other races.

          • jimino

            Are they still alive or did they get shot by the cops?

          • John Cedar

            They are still alive.

          • 65noname

            while it is true that cops are likely to brutulaize anyone that irritates them, the fact is that they brutualize afro-ameericans far more than euro-americans in the same circumstances. but if your point is that cops have to been stopped from brutualizing anyone, no matter what their race, sure.

          • 65noname

            actually we’re looking at the entire history of how the cops deal with afro-americans. From the history in the south to the histroy of every city in the US.

      • Human2013

        The truth is often “sick”

    • Human2013

      “The Rockefeller Foundation helped develop and fund various German eugenics programs, including the one that Josef Mengele worked in before he went toAuschwitz.[4][6]”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_eugenics#Hitler.27s_views_on_Eugenics

  • James

    I am not entirely unsympathetic to the rioters, the economy sucks for the middle and working class (although we probably disagree about the reasons it sucks) and the police are out of control in this country.

    • 65noname

      the people in fergueson “rioted” after a cop murdered an unarmed afro-american youth for committing the crime of walking down the street. when the police start doing that in euro-american neighborhoods we’ll see what results.

      • TELew

        Perhaps the most shocking thing I saw in the videos of the “riot” was when two African-American youths bashed out the glass at a bus stop.

        Essentially, they had one or two big barrels. The bus stop had a shelter, a metal frame with three large glass panels. The youths took turns in throwing the barrels at the glass until they broke it.

        Explain this.

        For the record, from what I heard it sounds to me that the policeman who fired the shots should be fired and probably tried for murder. The first shot or two may have been in self-defense, but the additional shots certainly weren’t.

        The disparity of whites vs. blacks on the police force and the school board definitely need to be addressed, and it is obvious that this causes problems. Nevertheless these disparities did not force the two youths to vandalize the bus stop, where the shelter presumably was there to benefit the local residents (probably relatives and friends of the youths), nor did it cause people to loot stores or burn the gas station. Perhaps one of the most poignant scenes was the looting of the hair stylist’s shop, where the owner, an African-American woman, stood out front, pleading with the looters, to stop. She could only take photos of the perpetrators, and hopefully she will bring them to justice.

        Regardless of disparities and police brutality, by the time a person is 16, and especially after they have reached official adulthood at 18, people are responsible for their actions. The statistics never seem to take this into account, and those who put forth the statistics to explain the situation ignore the major factor of freely chosen behavior.

        • 65noname

          first of all, it is not my job or my responsiblity to “explain” any aprticular individual response to living in an occupied police state. I’m sure that any particular persons at the demonstration is capable of “explaining” their own actions.
          as for your description of your sense of peoples criminal responsiblity, yes most people who caused damage probably exercised what you seeem to call “free will”. but that’s not the issue; thee issue is wwhat do ytou expect will happen after decades of police brutality being tolerated, in fact encouraged by government as cwell as the rampant racism in employment, housing, even in the provision of medical care.
          for, instance, the jewish population in warsaw used free will to fight the police and army. they destroyed much property and killed a lot people. do you believe that they should have been held criminally responsibile because they exercising “free will”?

          • TELew

            Comparing the Jewish uprising in Warsaw to the current situation in American cities is absurd. They were the ones left behind to “clean up” things after all the other Jews had been deported to death camps, and they knew that it was now time for them to suffer the same fate.

            There is a big difference between a “demonstration” and a “riot.” There were demonstrations earlier in the day. And Al Sharpton is leading a series of demonstrations now. But what happened that night was a riot, plain and simple.

            The destruction and looting of property has nothing to do with “demonstrating,” especially because the property destroyed provided essential services to the local community. Who is it that is going to be sitting in the rain and cold this winter at that bus stop? People who used to go to the gas station to get a coke or candy bar, or to fill up on gas, because it was just down the block have had that taken away from them. Is racism the reason the company will not rebuild and reopen that station?

            To tell the truth what I would hope would happen after the decades of abuse is that black community leaders would organize politically. There should have voter registration drives. School board positions are elected positions; a majority black community should be able to put a majority of people into office. And if there is fraud, organizations such as the NAACP are eager to investigate matters.

            Destroying property and looting businesses are not acceptable solutions, regardless of anger. And worst of all, such actions not only confirm racist beliefs, they cause non-racists to hold similar opinions.

          • 65noname

            of course the differences, and every situation is “different” from every other situation, might seem to be less different to people living in an inner city neighborhood occupied by the cops who beat up, arrest, assault and kill at will and without regard to the law and whether any real crime has been committed (other than “breathing while being black”)
            but I wasn’t claiming that they are exactly the same. I was asking how far the “absurd” claim that the only thing that matters is the “absurd” free will nonesense is being carried.
            as for your other neo-social control stuff, a dollar short and a day late. afro-americans have been pleading for political recognition and justice for decades to no avail. those phoney political science 101 cliches no longer fly. probably sooner than later they’re going to stop accepting being shot down in the streets as the price of peace. and start defending themselves and their community.

          • TELew

            I know that it is very difficult for young people to grow up in the environment you describe. But there are also adults, and it is with them that responsibility for change lies.

            No one is going to give people political recognition just by “pleading.” They have to take action. And regardless how many times they have made such attempts before, they have to try again until they succeed.

            As for “defending themselves and their community”–the enemy is not just the police, but also those within the community that have no more concern for it but to tear everything else up.

            If you want to live in that kind of community, then you have to take action.

          • 65noname

            I think that the people of the community will determine who is their enemy. and the issue is that the police shoot down afro-americans with impunity, asault them without consequences, arrest them without cause, I can go and on. and your issue is to spend your time critizing some afro-americans who finally respond with anger. As for your latest neo-political science 101 rap, afro-americans have beeen attempting to use the normal, and useless, ploitical channels and methods since the civil war. what it has gotten them is death by government and economic deprivation. now that they are going beyond that you yell, “it isn’t nice”.
            they reply, “it might not be nice but the nice ways don’t work”. and “where were you when we werr vtrying those ‘nice’ ways?”

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    The problems we face are not the fault of the police but of a society in general that has lost a sense of community and the ability to “self regulate” itself. The police are now responding to complaints that they seldom heard of decades ago. And the pressure on them is tremendous. They often respond to one crisis after another, 8 hours a day, day after day, year after year. And under this constant pressure (of injury or death) we expect them to ALWAYS make responsible decisions? To “do the right thing” each and every time? How realistic is that? So to those who are critical of the police (and most police officers are mature, responsible people) remember it is society that has created this environment, then abdicated it’s responsibility, and called the police with the expectation they will “fix” the problem(s). Let the finger pointing begin, by people who have absolutely no idea what the police face on a daily basis.

    • Human2013

      I completely agree and understand the difficulty of being a police officer, but you’re not addressing the elephant in the room: Race.

      • Steve_in_Vermont

        I agree, but I’ve found that bringing this subject up is not PC and often results in condemnation. Like many (white) Americans I’ve found it best to avoid the issue. Sad.

    • Yar

      How do we get to the heart of these issues? The job of the police is to keep the haves protected from the people they exploit. We still live in a nation of slavery. Economic slavery can be as brutal as bondage, the whole world is erupting in civil unrest to unjust economics. It is ironic that our church is starting a 3 month study of Exodus this week. In a white upper middle class congregation, I expect the preacher to identify with the oppressed when in reality we have much more in common with Pharaoh.

      • HonestDebate1

        “The job of the police is to keep the haves protected from the people they exploit. ”

        Do you really believe that?

        • Yar

          At a class level not on a personal level, although it gets expressed in very personal terms. Cops are closer economically and socially to those they are arresting than the political leaders who tell them what to do. They are also exploited in our unjust economic system. Look at Detroit as an example, who still has faith in their pension? These facts change how people face day to day decisions at work.
          So yes, I do believe it.

          • HonestDebate1

            Thanks for putting a finer point on it. I don’t agree.

          • Yar

            All sweetness and light in your community?

        • 65noname

          yes I do. do you really NOT believe that?

      • Human2013

        What happens when the police realize that the “haves” would rather higher their own private security than pay taxes to fund their salaries.

        • Yar

          Read Exodus, it doesn’t end well. Gated communities are simply inverted prisons. You can’t experience freedom when your neighbour is locked up or out.

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe they’re seeking to be modern day latifundia.

          • Jill122

            Is that the latin word for “plantation”?

          • Ray in VT

            I think that it is in some ways analogous. They were large Classical estates, and my recollection of late Rome was that as the state and other local institutions decayed, those estates became more self-contained and fortified, sort of like Medieval castles.

    • Ray in VT

      While I think that some situations are new(er), I think that some of the situations that police face have long been around, and crime is currently much lower than it was a generation ago. I sometimes think that police are too quick to escalate tensions or encounters, although some of that may be due to them facing, at times, people who are more willing to reach for a gun. Regardless of that, though, I think that some things could be avoided by law enforcement not being so heavy handed in some, or many, cases.

      • Yar

        As a beekeeper I have learned that the more protected I am the more likely I am to get stung. The hardening of a police force removes the possibility of community policing.

      • Steve_in_Vermont

        When I started my career (1967) I learned very quickly when time is on your side (in confrontations with others) use it.

        • Ray in VT

          I can’t disagree with that, and I can’t imagine what it must be like to go to a job everyday and to know that the next guy you pull over for speeding could pull a gun on you. However, that having been said, I do find some of the current incidents of police force to be troubling.

    • 65noname

      actually, the police have been acting as an ocuppying military force in afro-american communities for centuries. for instance, haven’t you heard about the inner city revolts against police brutality that occurred in the 60′s?
      the only pressure on cops is the pressure that results as a consequence of their brutality against afro-americans, their record of false arrests, false evidence, cop brutality against afro-americans who are doing nothing but walking down the street, sexual assaults against afro-american women who are engaging in prostitution or who are simply accused of being prostitutes because they are afro-americans, we could go on and on.
      it’s the police who don’t have the ability to “self-regualte themselves”.

      • TFRX

        It can’t help that that town in MIssouri has 2/3 African-American population and a 90% white police force.

      • TELew

        Perhaps the police should stop patrolling African-American communities at all. I am sure all the problems these communities have will mysteriously resolve themselves.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Police in Missouri (and maybe many other places, too) are using racial profiling. They have been collecting data on this since 2000 and if you are a person of color, you are basically 2X more likely to be stopped by the police, than if you are white.

          • TELew

            I am aware of this. However, the statistic itself does not reveal what underlies the statistic.

            My question is where are these stops occurring, and has the driver done something to warrant being stopped.

            What is not true is that policemen simply look the other way when a white person violates the law. White people get stopped all the time, especially for speeding, and the police do issue tickets.

        • 65noname

          of course, another solution might be to hire a racially diverse police force and put in community control of the police.

          • TELew

            I agree with you.

      • TELew

        You are correct that police forces consisting of predominantly or exclusively white officers have a very bad history with regards to its interactions with the African-American community. This needs to be changed, and having a more diverse police force, with more African-American policeman patrolling black communities, are reforms that definitely need to be instituted. However, as a whole America’s white population’s opinions on race are far different from what was common in the 1960s. The universal devotion to “white supremacy” is far in the past, though segments of the white population may hold to it.

        Nevertheless, this doesn’t change the fact that poorer black communities (as well as other racial communities, white included) have high rates of crime, most of it black-on-black. The high crime rate, especially gang activity, make a policeman’s job much more dangerous, and this is as true for non-white policemen as well as white. It is simplistic to argue that the problem is all caused by racism.

        • 65noname

          try reading what I wrote. I never said that “the problem is all caused by racism”. I wrote that afro-american neighborhoods are occupied by police forces. the program is about the results of euro-american occupying forces in afro-american neighborhoods. hard to discuss that without discuss race. unless, of course, you want to deny the existence of racism.
          your statement that “The universal devotion to ‘white supremacy’ is far in the past” indicates that is exactly what you want to do. leaving out your “universal” qualifier that makes it impossible analyze the sentence in a meaningful manner, while outright segregation is now “illegal” the US is in fact, segregated. this country runs on race and its economy is fueled by racism.

  • Human2013

    Ok, as always, some people don’t want to discuss race, but
    how can you ignore it.

    While people of color make up about 30 percent
    of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent
    of those imprisoned.

    According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three
    black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime

    Students of color face harsher punishments in school than
    their white peers, leading to a higher number of youth of color incarcerated.

    Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences
    compared to white offenders.

    • John Cedar

      Who here isn’t willing to discuss race? Maybe this kid would be alive if he had less skin pigment.

      All of the statistic you cite, are measured, observed tabulated and analyzed by people such as yourself, who want more than anything, to prove that race and economics are the determining factors in all things Americans. If you spent even a single moment, being skeptical or critical of the statistic you cite, your entire philosophy and outlook would tumble to the ground like a house of cards in a climate change caused hurricane. The false equivalents in those statistics are glaring. A generic suburban white kid who smoked pot a dozen times, does not belong in the same category as Snoop Dog.

      • Ray in VT

        Of course those statistics and findings of copious amounts of research can’t really be true.

        • John Cedar

          I never said the statistic are not true. Only the findings are not true. It is true that Snoop Dog and generic suburban white kid both admit to smoking pot.

          • Ray in VT

            Of course, because was that research to be true, then what would it do to your positions? Perhaps you need to be more critical of those, as opposed to nay-saying research while providing no factual counter-claims, except for one false comparison.

        • Jeff

          Well you have to get into the specifics not just the statistics…just like how Asians (another minority group) seems to have very few issues with incarceration or school punishments. If this was about different skin color and racism it would be equally distributed among all non-white races. It’s time to take a long, hard look at culture and the impact it has on children in different racial groups. That’s the real indication of causation, not skin color.

          • Ray in VT

            One also has to get into the specifics of stereotypes regarding Asian Americans, such as how they are hard working, good at math, etc., and attempt to look at how those stereotypes, like those of African Americans, impact issues of incarceration and punishment. Stereotypes of African Americans as criminal, lazy, aggressive, etc. exist, and we see people from that group get punished earlier and more often in school when compared to other groups for similar behaviors. One cannot, or at least should not, ignore that or blame it on the “culture” of the kids or people getting punished.

          • Jeff

            It is about attitude, how you treat authority which is learned through culture…it’s the individual family’s choice to follow the dominant culture of their area or to create their own. Some families make that choice to break out of the bad culture, work hard, treat education as a privilege and treat others with respect. That’s what we need to talk about, how teach that to all students of all colors and how get them to have grit.

          • Ray in VT

            So black kids who commit minor offenses in school just need to have more respect for the authorities that punish them far harsher than their peers of other ethnic groups? That sounds like a great solution.

          • Jeff

            No, I know teachers and now they have to put up with a minority child hitting and screaming at them because of the “altered” punishment rules meant to keep the statistics from showing that they have racist punishment policies. Is that the result you want? That teachers are putting up with physical abuse and mental abuse to prevent the statistics from showing so-called “racism”? Because that’s where we’re at today!

          • Ray in VT

            Do you want minorities to continue to get disproportionately punished for similar offenses? That is where we are, yet your solution seems to be to blame minorities for not respecting authority or fitting in. Funny how it never seems to be the fault of the people who are getting shafted by the system.

            Then let the teachers that you know blow the top off of the situation by bringing such cases to light via the media.

          • Jeff

            Seriously? Look at this news story? Do you think a teacher is going to risk their entire life, job, any career by being labelled a racist by trying to bring the injustices to light? Nope, people like you will point a finger at those teachers and call them racists! I’ve seen the bruises on the teachers’ arms that have been caused by the policies you advocate for.

          • Ray in VT

            Don’t worry, there’s probably enough people like you to keep them in place no matter how hard they come down on black kids for minor stuff until they respect authority and get in line with the dominant culture.

          • Jeff

            I’m just asking for equality in the eyes of the law and government, that’s all I’ve ever asked for.

          • Ray in VT

            While downplaying the fact that some groups are getting shafted and blaming them for it.

      • 65noname

        nice comparison of apples and oranges. the fact is that euro-americans involved with drugs are arrested at a lower rate, convicted at a lower rate and given far lighter sentences than afro-americans involved with equivilant amounts of drugs.

        “If you spent even a single moment, being skeptical or critical of the statistic you [mis]cite, your entire philosophy and outlook would tumble to the ground like a house of cards in a climate change caused hurricane.”

  • Matt MC

    Since the police just can’t resist shooting unarmed (mostly minority) folks (to borrow Obama’s phrase), I suggest that the top of every clip be loaded with rubber bullets. That way they have enough time during the firing process to ask themselves questions like, “Am I shooting because I’m angry?” “Aren’t three or four bullets in the chest enough?” and “What about that taser thing?… that’s fun, too!”

  • 65noname

    certainly hope that this show’s announcer asks why the police have yet to interview the one known eye witness.

  • keruffle

    If one group commits a disproportionate amount of violent crime, they obviously would recieve greater legal and media attention.

    • Yar

      Like the violence of the banking crisis that moved thousands out of their homes? Look at how many of them went to jail.

      • Human2013

        Yes, and it is easy to refer to them as crimes against humanity.

    • TFRX

      If one group commits a disproportionate amount of violent crime

      From my understanding as a white suburbanite, the problem cops are a very small amount of the total,

      However, their actions can have repercussions on an exponential scale.

    • hennorama

      IF

  • Human2013

    Many stories have been surfacing on a modern debtor’s prison. When crime subsides, hit the poor with a fine they can’t pay. Judges have completely disregarded the law and are throwing people in prison who don’t have the ability to pay. Another setback for civilized society.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      There are a lot of trends that are pushing us in this – wrong – direction. Because of the September 11th attacks, police departments have been co-opted into a very different role – they are paramilitary. Real estate red-lining, the school-to-prison pipeline which is partly being driven by the privatization of prisons – are other drivers.

  • John Cedar

    Here in my great state of NY, where we are ruled by a thug governor, who witness tampered his own Moreland commission, but thus far has failed to boot his Communist professor challenger from the ballot, there are no systematic police evaluations.

    Yet baby Cuomo spent much time trying to implement systematic teacher evaluations. Even though teachers already go through a probationary period before they are tenured, in which time the administrators, (if competent) have ample time to evaluate for incompetence. Meanwhile, police are in the job for life (I mean until they are 40) once they go through the academy. The blue wall of silence is worse than any teachers’ union. There is no mechanism for finding and weeding out bad cops, only a mechanism for protecting them.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    We loot when we’re mad
    We loot when we’re sad
    We loot when we’re totally nonplussed. Hey!
    We loot when we’re crabby
    We loot ’cause we’re grabby
    We’ll loot all the live long day.
    –Anthem of the Inner City Put-Upons

    A refreshing alternative to Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.

    • Jill122

      Better than sending rockets over the “wall”. It’s what happens when people get treated like sh*t. The thought: “they don’t care about us, but they do care about their things. If I want to hurt them, I’ll just grab their things.”

      In other words: the response should be expected — just as I would expect your response from someone like you.

  • nj_v2

    The Fascist States of Merica; Land of the free, home of the sadistic, disturbed, power-crazed…

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lawyer-for-woman-beaten-by-cop-its-unacceptable/

    ByDON DAHLERCBS NEWSJuly 6, 2014, 7:20 PM
    Lawyer for woman beaten by cop: “It’s unacceptable”

    A graphic incident in Los Angeles is under investigation after video emerged of a police officer beating a woman on the side of a highway.

    The video was recorded along the Santa Monica freeway last Tuesday during the afternoon rush hour. In it, 51-year-old grandmother Marlene Pinnock is seenbeing pulled to the ground and pummeled by an unidentified California Highway Patrol officer.…

    http://www.alternet.org/swat-team-blew-hole-my-2-year-old-son

    A SWAT Team Blew a Hole in My 2-Year-Old Son
    Officers threw a flashbang grenade in my son’s crib, and left a hole in his chest. It gets worse.

    http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/cop-shoots-drunk-man-death-after-forcing-him-drive-car-video?akid=12058.1084699.5qo-Ab&rd=1&src=newsletter1013113&t=11

    Cop Shoots Drunk Man to Death After Forcing Him to Drive a Car [Video]
    50 cameras captured the scene but the cop wasn’t punished. Now the victim’s family is suing.

    July 27, 2014 | More than 50 cameras caught Christopher Magee, a police officer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, brutally shooting a black man named Carlos Harris to death in the parking lot of a night club three years ago. Now, Harris’s family is suing the police for negligence and wrongful death, which could cost Baton Rouge taxpayers up to 2 million dollars, according to reports.…

    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/06/27/swat-teams-claim-corporate-exemption-public-scrutiny

    Published on Friday, June 27, 2014
    by Common Dreams

    SWAT Teams Claim ‘Corporate’ Exemption From Public Scrutiny
    ACLU hits brick wall after issuing public records requests for information about deadly force, incident reports, and more.
    by Sarah Lazare, staff writer

    Operators of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams comprised of tax payer-funded police and sheriffs in Massachusetts claim they are immune to public records requests about deadly force, incident reports, and more because they are private “corporations.”

    In addition to SWAT teams run by individual towns, many of these military-style domestic policing units in Massachusetts are operated by regional “law enforcement councils,” which are bankrolled by tax-payer money and comprised of publicly-funded police and sheriffs. According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, approximately 240 of the 351 police departments in Massachusetts belong to these LECs.…

  • DJJS

    Is this accurate, Tom, from your webpage intro (if not, shame on you!)? “…18-year-old and unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. He was headed off to college. He was walking down the street. He was killed.” I’ve heard on other radio shows that he was hardly just walking down the street and then shot…

  • Enuff_of_this

    When you militarize the local police this is what you get.

    • Jeff

      Yeah, the local police do not need tanks.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        That’s brilliant – Jeff for Master of the Universe! All bow down to his Wisdom!

        • Jeff

          And there you have it folks, sometimes the jerks just point themselves out.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            It was sarcasm – d’uh.

            Your suggestion is already what many police departments have – they’ve got MRAPS and other armored personnel carriers. And it is exactly the opposite of what we need in these sorts of situations.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    We can eliminate the 2nd Amendment then only criminals* and police will have guns. I’ve wanted it repealed for decades.

    In Scotland, uniformed police don’t carry guns.+ And Edinburgh and Glasgow have major crimes including everything we have here. Not that the Scots don’t have an arsenal but when they break out the armament, evil folks get capped. As it should be.

    * open season on them
    + at least, until recently – don’t know if the law has changed

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Was the solution to this situation – to have more guns on the scene?

  • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    Police need to stop playing soldier: it’s that simple.

    Unfortunately, the militarization of police is a feedback cycle that needs to be explicitly broken: increased militarization creates public opposition that only encourages police to ratchet up their level of force in otherwise ordinary encounters to meet an imagined threat, and the acceptance of this practice within police forces attracts the kinds of thugs that like to play soldier and impose their will on otherwise peaceful citizens.

    • Jill122

      Very well stated. If I may, I’d like to add that we need to look at racism again. We *all* know it’s a dirty word, but we’re not looking at it closely enough and really trying to root it out of our society.

    • Mari McAvenia

      An excellent analysis. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle, as you point out. It appears to me that the police forces in this country deliberately seek out the most aggressive, antisocial people they can cull from an otherwise peaceful community. The “boys in blue” might as well be wearing gang colors. That’s the way they’ve been behaving: like armed, deadly thugs.

      • jmpo’lock

        They don’t even have to “seek” for them, the type is attracted as flies to sh…
        Simultaneously liberals self select out, and the Departments also reject any such applicants as “unsuitable” for the job.

    • jmpo’lock

      Exactly. Does anyone remember the ‘ole time cop on the beat, with little more than a billyclub?

      Just look at the Army that shows up for any demonstration. They look exactly like something from Star Wars or a modern dystopian video horror game…

      I think they should be forced to wear PINK UNIFORMS

      • Mari McAvenia

        And carry bubble-guns, only.

    • Enuff_of_this

      That’s the problem, they are not soldiers to begin with. The military has rules of engagement and rules for the use of force which states, counties and municipalities do not have and because their employees “feel” that they were in danger and not “in fact” in danger and reach for the most decisive weapon at the ready and use it

      • Jill122

        Wahll I’m on your side BUT perception is reality when your life is on the line. We only know they were NOT in danger after it’s over. BUT your response, in my mind, points to a definite need for better training at the academy.

        Police shouldn’t be on the streets if all they are doing is protecting their own lives behind a uniform. Because they can be menacing, abusive and down right belligerent with people who’s expectations are that the police are supposed to be there to serve.

        Whether there’s hidden racism of not, there’s certainly a tension right from the get-go when the cops are there to protect themselves and the people on the street are there living their lives.

        • Enuff_of_this

          Training does help sort it out as well and police do not spend enough time doing that.

        • jmpo’lock

          Remember the story where the lady in the school talked down a guy who was about to perform a massacre? Got him to lay down his gun and submit to arrest?
          She needs to be hired as a conflict resolution trainer for these Police Departments!

          It really is amazing how empathetic, calm friendly talking to agitated people can and quite often does work.

          I have personally used similar tactics to diffuse violent people and even stopped what could’ve or would’ve been a crime about to happen on a few occasions.

    • jimino

      Plus, the harm is compounded by prosecutors and judges refusing to use their discretion to control increasingly aggressive police conduct. To the contrary, they typically defer to the cops in their decision making process.

      In our locale, where the prosecutors and judges are on the ballot, the police are a powerful political force.

  • Human2013

    We have a behemoth military budget with thousands of defense contractors. Of course the excess military gear would trickle into a neighborhood near you . Many local forces now have military tanks. Yes, tanks for paved roads.

  • ana172

    Veterans get preference in police, firefighter jobs. After ten-plus
    years of war what you’re seeing is the influx of returning vets going
    into public safety jobs and bringing that military training and mindset
    with them, for the good or the bad. The police are increasingly
    militarized and they treat the populace like insurgents.

    • Mari McAvenia

      It’s definitely “for the bad” if you or someone you care about ends up in their crosshairs when the guy happens to be flashing back to Iraq because of his untreated PTSD.

  • jmpo’lock

    The Militarization of the Police is one large part of this problem, which by default turns the civilian population into “the enemy”.
    But the second and perhaps greater and intractable part of the problem is the “talent” that these jobs are attracting. When you have a job that is fulfilled by bullies, thugs, neo-fascists and other authoritarian nit wits this is the inevitable outcome.

    Since progressives and intellectuals typically shun this career path, you get close minded, inflexible and angry people in the force, so rather than “serving and protecting”, rather than actually “keeping the peace” they more often than not exacerbate the violence.

    I have personally experienced and certainly witnessed it so many times it has become the norm. If one does not IMMEDIATELY comply with an officer, keep absolutely quiet, and “act with complete “respect” for the officer, you will be assaulted (verbally and possibly physically), threatened, and if you try to protect yourself, respond verbally or flee….you very likely will be hospitalized or killed.

    Now that’s American Justice….

    • Mari McAvenia

      The word “justice” isn’t applicable to this scenario. It’s American Injustice, as usual.

    • nj_v2

      A couple of years ago, i was driving (Boston exurbs) and there was some road construction ahead.

      Traffic was stopped in the other direction, and there was a detail cop kind of just standing there, not actively directing traffic. The way in front of me was clear, but i was at the edge of an overpass, and the contrast of the darkness underneath with the bright sunlight outside made it hard to see what was ahead. So i was stopped, waiting for direction.

      I caught the cop’s attention, and made a hands-up gesture intended to mean, “What should i do?” since he wasn’t making any directorial gestures.

      He mocked my gesture and began vigorously waving me through. I half expected him to pull me over.

      I think a lot of these guys are emotionally disturbed bombs waiting to go off.

      • jmpo’lock

        Absolutely. Give a guy a badge and a gun, and they get to determine the law according to their whims…whatever “probable cause” is? Has anyone ever been able to defend themselves against “probable cause”. It basically means the cops can do absolutely whatever they want. I mean really, when they openly in public slaughter kids on film, and get little more than a vacation!??
        Where I grew up in Maine, all the cops of my generation were the bullies and criminal stripe. That type of course actively seeks this type of authority and power….

      • OrangeGina

        not to mention that Mr. Cop was raking in the big bucks for this “detail”. MA is a state that doesn’t allow civilian flaggers. NH does. And yes, you want to limit your interactions with “the Man” to as little as possible. They are no longer your friends.

    • InActionMan

      There is an intelligence test to become a police officer. If you are too intelligent you are not allowed on the force.

      http://abcnews.go.com/US/court-oks-barring-high-iqs-cops/story?id=95836

      • jmpo’lock

        So sad.
        And if you’ve ever smoked weed… forget it!

  • homebuilding

    In General, many police departments are over-militarized, over-armed, and over aggressive.

    The war on drugs has empowered them……..

    and we’ve slipped badly away from civil liberties.

    We are in a very sad, pre knot sea time.

    • jmpo’lock

      Right on about the War on Drugs, add in the post 911 American paranoia and cowardice….enter Big Brother, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, 1984 as reality

      Supported by our own tax dollars through the Military Industrial, Prison and Security Complexes

    • InActionMan

      When I was a child peace officers dress as peace officers (Go watch an episode of “Hill Street Blues”.

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4c/Hill_Street_Blues_Cast.jpg

      They wore light blue shirts and grey pants. They now dress in all black with Nazi storm trooper uniforms and drive around in all black vehicles. I believe this has a psychological on the officers themselves. Dress like a storm trooper, act like a storm trooper. Let’s dress our peace officers like peace officer again.

      • TFRX

        I can’t find it, but maybe two weeks ago I heard something on an NPR affiliate about how the mere manner of girding a cop in full battle (no sic) gear and sending them into just any place–a street fair, a gathering with some addl security detail, not a incident situation–kept them from mixing and observing and almost pre-escalated their behavior and also caused citizens around them to be more on edge.

        This was way before the Ferguson MO incident. Sadly prescient.

  • toc1234

    come on Chief, you’re supposed to swallow Tom’s race bait pronto…

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The biggest evil to ever befall a professional law enforcement organization = the “public service” unions.

  • Human2013

    When Eric Garner said he couldn’t breathe, it appeared the officer squeezed harder.

  • Obamunism 2.0

    How Team Obama Justifies the Killing of a 16-Year-Old American

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/10/how-team-obama-justifies-the-killing-of-a-16-year-old-american/264028/

    Where was all the ‘liberal outrage’ when Obama ordered the assassination of an unarmed 16 year old American boy?

    The only liberal outrage I heard came from former Obama supporter, Dr. Cornel West, who has since called Obama,
    a ‘war criminal’, and ‘global George Zimmerman’.

    • jmpo’lock

      ????
      Guess you don’t really follow or know of any actual Liberal media.
      Try any of these sources for EXTENSIVE outrage:
      The Nation
      Democracy Now!
      RT
      The Young Turks
      Truthout.org
      I could go on…

      Plus you’re just off topic. Clearly, OK, we get it. You hate Obama. But please, either get on topic: Police Transgressions, or take your sanctimonious soapbox elsewhere.

    • hennorama

      Obamunism 2.0 — as has been pointed out to you on numerous occasions, the young man you write about was not the target of the air strike that resulted in his death.

      There is no way to get to the conclusion that “Obama ordered the assassination of an unarmed 16 year old American boy,” since his death was unintentional.

      From the article titled Four U.S. citizens killed in Obama drone strikes, but 3 were not intended targets on politifact.com:

      Al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, a U.S. citizen born in Denver, Colo., died Oct. 14, 2011, in Yemen when, the Times wrote, “a missile apparently intended for an Egyptian Qaeda operative, Ibrahim al-Banna, hit a modest outdoor eating place in Shabwa. … Banna was not there, and among about a dozen men killed was the young Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, who had no connection to terrorism.”

      See:
      http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2014/mar/19/kesha-rogers/four-us-citizens-killed-obama-drone-strikes-3-were/

    • TFRX

      When your only tool is a Fisher-Price plastic hammer, everything looks like that little play workbench, doesn’t it?

    • Ray in VT

      There is no evidence that “Obama ordered the assassination of an unarmed 16 year old American boy” as you claim. Also, you may encounter more “liberal outrage” over issues such as drones were you to search farther than cns or Kremlin media.

      • jmpo’lock

        I think he was referring to the Drone strike that did kill the American boy in Yemen.

        • Ray in VT

          Indeed. I am aware of that. However, available facts do not support his characterization of the event.

          • jmpo’lock

            Clearly he has Obama insanity illness

          • Ray in VT

            Perhaps, and for that observation you can perhaps expect to be labelled an apologist for the President.

          • jmpo’lock

            ha ha……ha ;)

          • hennorama

            jmpo-lock — pretty sure that wasn’t intended as a joke, but instead as a statement of fact.

          • jmpo’lock

            Hi Hennorama, I think it is actually BOTH. It’s a joke that I would be labeled as such, because any review of my commentary belies that idea…but also true, that most conservatives, when notified of their own viewpoints/ideas tend to attempt to project it back onto you, or its opposite, as in this case.
            i.e. since I pointed out the obvious fact that the poster has deep enmity towards Obama, he would (falsely) deduce that therefore I MUST be an Obama apologist.

    • StilllHere

      It does suggest that the government puts a low value on human life and one wonders if this behavior changes the standards across the US enforcement spectrum.

  • 65noname

    o.k. now we know that you can always find a professional cop defender who will a way to defend any murder by cops. you can even find an afro-american to do it

  • William

    Perception is reality and reality is the police are much more violent towards blacks.

    • Mari McAvenia

      They’re not terribly “nice” to women, either. In fact, they’re not nice to anyone except themselves and bigger, more powerful white men. So much for the motto “protect and serve”. It’s more like “offend and kill”.

  • Dab200

    The problem is the 2nd Amendment and the fact that the Police need to suspect all citizens to be armed and act accordingly!

    • Mari McAvenia

      If that’s not the definition of a nation gone insane I don’t know what is.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Unwarranted violence in all forms should be vigorously investigated and prosecuted: police, the military, race car drivers, hockey and football players, teachers, and parents. The last often going berserk against really defenseless young citizens.

    If citations & public shaming can’t reign in an uncivil & unlawful society, jail terms are in order. Even if state and federal taxes have to fund new prisons.

  • David_from_Lowell

    Why isn’t there a Broken Windows policy for corporate crime? Because law enforcement targets communities of color and poor people.

  • Stephen706

    Here is a different focus–stop breaking the laws and getting police involvement

    • James

      how in the hell do you we do that? It’s against the law to cross the street at the wrong place, it is against the law to take up more then one seat on a subway, it is against the law to drink beer on a sidewalk, we are living in a police state, where the only reason you aren’t cited (or arrested) for a crime everyday for a crime nearly everyday is because of “police discretion” and that there aren’t enough police to enforce all the laws to the letter.

      • Stephen706

        Rules of society are pretty simple

        • jmpo’lock

          Clearly you’ve not had any interactions with zealous “peace” officers…

          • StilllHere

            Suggesting his/her rules work…

          • jmpo’lock

            No suggesting lives a sheltered life….

          • StilllHere

            Stephen, cut in line, then you’ll feel the oppression borne by the lawless revolutionaries!

          • jmpo’lock

            Let me get this strait. If you walked into some bureaucratic office, say the Motor vehicle dept., and it was completely empty, and there was only one agent half asleep working the desk, you walk back and forth ten times in the cattle pen rather than just walking right up to the guy? Really?
            Is it bad at the border or any other place because the Government taxpayer funded employee has a gun? Or does this apply to ALL empty cattle pens? Fast Food, Post Offices etc too?
            You really ARE the perfect citizen.
            You never speed either right?
            Such an angel, so ethical, so noble….

      • Human2013

        In some states, it’s against the law to pat a man on his back. He’s not familiar with the many wacky laws on the books.

  • Becca Xox

    RE: Former Police commissioner, who denies race as a factor: Race is ALWAYS a factor. Also, he states that African-American men are disproportionately involved in crime–THIS IS FALSE! As shown by things like the Stop & Frisk in NYC, where people of color were stopped at a much higher rate but had much lower rates of illegal drug or gun possession. They ARE, however, watched and locked up far more than any other groups. POLICE OPERATE WITH IMPUNITY IN THE U.S. The police themselves cannot do independent investigations. I don’t understand why we don’t have separate citizen oversight for police. But part of the problem is that PRISONS are big money–a way to replace jobs and industry lost to overseas jobs, and a way to lock up the poor and people of color. THE WHOLE SYSTEM IS DISGUSTING!

    • Radical___Moderate

      To say that, proportionately, blacks and latinos are not committing more crimes than whites is just not true. See official FBI stats. That is not racism, that is realism.

      • jmpo’lock

        It’s a question of class, NOT race.
        Desperate, historically oppressed, discriminated and humiliated people do desperate things.
        To point to rote statistical numbers really is dangerously simplistic and ignorant. (not saying that you are acting such, being general here) It is certainly a probable gateway to racism, and has obviously been used as such
        The issue needs to be studied holistically.

        • Radical___Moderate

          I must disagree respectively regarding class. I came from a poor and largely single=parented rural family background. We often did not have an abundance of resources. Nonetheless, unlike a number of my friends growing up whom were more middle class than I, neither my sister nor I broke the law, stole, got in trouble with police etc. Wealthy people commit crimes too. To me it is about choices that people make as individuals.

          • jmpo’lock

            Sure, there are always exceptions, which is why we have to be careful with generalizations. That said, it is a pretty obvious fact that more crime occurs in poor places than wealthy. However, the type of crimes, and their policing are also different based on class neighborhoods. For example, I’m pretty sure that in Beverly Hills there is a lot of cocaine going down and not being policed whereas in Bangor ME there is a lot more Bath Salts going down…and being aggressively policed….

          • Radical___Moderate

            I agree with that in principle. You are right about how there is an imbalance to say the least in how are legal system treats the rich and the poor. You are right to suggest that some of the very wealthiest and powerful people and politicians are quite guilty of criminal offenses. Nonetheless, I still believe that we are each, to a great extent, responsible for our own decisions in spite of aggregate trends and and tendencies which may surround our particular demographics. That is likely also true when it comes to police who can and do indeed choose each day whether they are going be the proverbial “good cop” or “bad cop.” It could be worse, we could have “police” forces like the kind they had in the old USSR or China or other places. And, if we are not careful and diligent, we will have them.

      • Ray in VT

        It is true that minorities commit crimes disproportionate to their numbers, and I think that at least some of that is driven by poverty and a lack of more legitimate options (when it comes to something like dealing drugs or robbery for profit). It is also true that minorities get arrested at higher rates for the same crimes, and they get sentenced to longer terms if convicted.

        • jmpo’lock

          Is it true that if a toke is had, and no cop is around to smell it, no smell was made? (thus no crime stat was recorded)
          Cause CLEARLY there are no drugs on Wall Street et al….

          • Ray in VT

            They do say that it is only a crime if you get caught. I saw no cops at the concert that I was at on Friday night, but I certainly did get a whiff of more than one toke.

          • jmpo’lock

            Bunch of poor minorities at your concert eh? :)

          • Ray in VT

            Well, it was a punk show in Vermont, so not so much. ;) There were a few who stood out, though. It was a pretty good time. There was a mosh pit and some crowd surfing, but I didn’t see any fights or anything like that. Everyone who I saw and talked to was pretty laid back and having a good time, and I don’t think that they were all smoking up.

  • ian berry

    Officers are not only being trained by their department but Im sure these guys also train quite seriously outside the office in Mixed Martial Arts. You’ve watched UFC, right?

  • Stephen706

    Look at it from the police side–they get thrown into volatile and high-risk situations every encounter, they don’t know if someone’s intentions are to hurt them as seen (plenty of video out there of officers getting shot during simple things like domestics or traffic stops). Hindsight is always easy–but no one gets that luxury if the split second of the situation. Yes, I am saddened that these men died, but–but the police didn’t come after them for no reason. They were drawn in, and ten were battled. DOn’ care if the situation was littering or selling illegal cigarettes–still these were crimes

    • Stephen706

      The police didn’t start the situation–they just finished it. Bottomline is stop breaking the law and stop fighting the law enforcers

    • Ray in VT

      So even people who are unarmed or are breaking pretty minor laws should expect excessive amounts of force that may result in their deaths?

      • Stephen706

        Don’t resist, don’t mouth off, don’t pick a fight you cannot and will not win. Excessive force counters applied force. With no applied force, there is no excessive response

        • jmpo’lock

          The guy who died in the chokehold had been harassed by the 5-0 for a long time previously. He was NOT being violent. The Police totally escalated it.
          Why couldn’t they just talk him down? Oh that’s right he was being disrespectful, so therefore he deserved a beat down and arrest. And the petty crime, well that’s just the excuse for a fight

          • Stephen706

            again, mouthy lights the fuse… and these guys/gals have no idea when mouthy becomes violent

        • Ray in VT

          “Excessive force counters applied force. With no applied force, there is no excessive response” At least some of the cases in question don’t fit the view that you are promoting. Some people are getting beat or shot who aren’t being violent, and while it may not be a good idea to get mouthy with a cop, it isn’t illegal, and it shouldn’t get one shot.

          • Stephen706

            true, but again mouthy lights the fuse

          • Ray in VT

            But it shouldn’t end up with what might euphemistically be called “lead poisoning”.

          • Stephen706

            The police don’t start the skirmishes or fights, they just end it. Stop fueling the fire and stop fanning the flames. Simply be smarter.

          • Stephen706

            Never underestimate the power of the mouth as well as nonverbal body language. Listening to NPR this morning and the “Story Corps” story. Kid should have never been beaten. He got smart with them. And yep the cops were white and probably racist. It is sad that we are such on edge in this country but then again have you ever seen people protest when an innocent cop just doing his job, or firefighter or EMT gets hurt or killed simply doing what their supposed to do? I haven’t. We need to be fair and equal on both sides.

          • Ray in VT

            Getting smart isn’t illegal and shouldn’t get one beaten. “He got smart with them.” One thing that he did was ask if they had a warrant. That isn’t instigation. That is seeking to protect one’s rights.

            True, protests do not occur when cops get killed or injured. They, of course, are in a dangerous line of work, where they know that they can die on the job, and the public knows it as well. I don’t think that our society expects that average citizens doing little to nothing illegal should get severely beaten or shot for getting “smart” with the police.

          • Stephen706

            Very true Ray. Very true. There is a process, it may be slow, and folks need to let get to completion and then let’s judge things. People seem to forget that.

        • jefe68

          Yes, lets all give in to the excessive force of police behavior.

          I experienced this when I was stopped for a minor traffic infraction of going 5 miles over the speed limit, which I was not. The cop was so over the top, yelling and screaming at me to shut up when I asked why he stopped me. At first I was not sure, then when he did calm down he wrote me the ticket.

          I contested the ticket and won, but I was also threatened by the magistrate.
          After I left I thought about filing a complaint against this man, who had no right telling me not to come back to “his” traffic court. It’s not his court.

          My point here is that something is really wrong when traffic magistrates start acting like they think they are Judge Roy Bean.

          • Ray in VT

            There’s this one town in New York where I have been stopped 3 times over the past 7 years (only 3 other stops the rest of my life). One of the times the officer played 20 questions regarding who I was, where I was going, why I was going there, and he never did tell me why he pulled me over. I was gearing up to tell him that he was going to need a warrant to look through my car, which I thought might be coming, but which never did. The whole thing was just really strange. People need to know their rights and take steps to assure that law enforcement officers aren’t stepping over the line.

          • jefe68

            That sounds like a revenue issue. They probably stop most vehicles with out of state plates. Most people would rather pay the fine than go back to the town to contest the ticket. I bet they make a lot of money over a year doing this.

          • Ray in VT

            The thought had occurred to me. There was a town near Albany that I was advised to avoid near the end of the month back when I was in grad school, because at least the perception was that out of state cars got really worked over then for revenue.

  • soundfriend

    People who place themselves in questionable circumstances may experience questionable consequences.

    • Human2013

      You meant to say deadly consequences.

      • soundfriend

        In the context of this discussion, a deadly consequence is always a questionable consequence.

    • smaktcat

      Just living in one of these puts you in “questionable circumstances.” poverty is becoming a crime punishable by death. Cops are scared of the public they are policing( sadly with good reason) but that is just not a good reason to use lethal force for minor infractions.

      • soundfriend

        I made no statement to the effect that it is a good reason to use lethal force for minor infractions. I simply stated a fact.

  • Joachim110

    The UK police has been ruled as fundamental racist and this applies here to. In the UK they at least recognizing it, here they deny and cover up. The police forces are militarizing and I am very concerned that they shoot first and cover up later. Have you seen the women being beaten up on a highway by brutal police and it is time to cleanse the police from these elements that think that own the street.

  • James L. Beede

    I wonder if the goal of community policing should be changed from maintain order to “maintain safety”. In such a changed context police would be trained differently and might be less likely to engage into a ‘hands on’ or deadly force situation but might find ways to defuse the situation. I work with brain injured patients who are regularly assaultive but we are able to maintain safety for all, even when someone requires a physical restraint. By the way, physical contact is the last resort and even if we have to use it the patient’s rights and dignity must be preserved at all times.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Stop hiring the Irish to be the police chiefs around the country. Booze and violence is embedded in the Irish-American DNA. A deadly brew with a long, sad history of using the truncheon on civil society as the first step towards maintaining “law and order.”

    • Joachim110

      Agree. They seem not to be fit for any other job.

  • Kalai Mugilan

    Fact: crime has continued to go down in the last thirty years, regardless of what cities have done, or communities have done. Thus, stronger police is an incomplete attribution to the reduction of crime. I blame the NRA for the heightened police over reactions, they believe everybody is carrying a gun.

    • jmpo’lock

      Certainly gun culture has contributed to the problem, but when cops are shooting, tasering, choking, swearing at et al, children, elderly, women, unarmed, mentally ill, homeless etc….all cases where NO FELONY was either in progress, or ever about to BE in progress….there seems to be MUCH more to the problem.

      Running away seems to be a petty crime to deserve the death penalty

      • Mari McAvenia

        Yup. If the cops were reacting to an overarmed populace they’d be storming the suburban homes of average looking white men. THEY possess most of the guns in this country.

  • John Boul

    This is a challenge for the St. Louis community, but I have no doubt that leaders, such as Chief Isom, are able to handle this. I have a Masters in Urban Affairs from St. Louis University, and know the resources are hard at work to resolve this.

  • Human2013

    To the last caller, someone has to buy the excess military equipment.

    • Mari McAvenia

      The gov is GIVING these toys away. A no-brainer for budget-minded Town Fathers. Hell, yes, they’ll take that “welfare tank”!

      • Enuff_of_this

        Sad but very true

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    It’s fun to dress up like Hitler’s bodyguard but it has no place in a civil society. And we don’t need Sepp Dietrich running the local police station, either.

  • ghm52

    When you start the interaction with “Get the F out of the road!”, you are NOT there to “Protect and Serve”!

  • Jill122

    Tom — excellent point. They are getting a lot of money from the federal government for all sorts of military equipment. It’s time for the feds to set some standards and get a buy in from governors, or at least as many as will go along.

    • jmpo’lock

      We should recycle the stuff, melt it for scrap!
      Or we could send it to the Middle East. (Just Kidding!)

      • Jill122

        Just Kidding? Why? We’re sending equipment to the Peshmurga. Why not this stuff? There are lots of people rooting for the Kurds to finally get something for their loyalty.

        • jmpo’lock

          You have a point. Somehow doubt Palestine would be on the list though huh?
          (I mean the non-Israel part of Palestine of course)

    • Enuff_of_this

      The difference is that the military can and do head straight into stuations where they will very likely sacrifice their lives while doing their job and are equipped and trained as such. The police, on the other hand, are trained and equipped to do the exact opposite.

  • nj_v2

    Go here (especially the apologists for racism)

    http://www.prx.org/pieces/96251-1005-goats-cops-and-haircuts-8-5-2014

    and listen to Segment 3 (about 18 minutes)

    Everyday racial profiling from everyday cops.

    This is one story, from one city, at one point in time.

    How extensive do we suppose institutionalized racism really is?

  • dt03044

    Perhaps the police are becoming militarized because the general public is so heavily armed. With all the emphasis on gun rights, including semi-auto weapons, high capacity magazines, hollow point bullets, etc. it’s no wonder the cops are afraid.

    • Jill122

      That’s an excellent point BUT militarization started BEFORE all the open carry laws. It was supposedly in response to DRUGS. Which means this is a self-inflicted wound.

    • amazonjn

      Domestic arms race? I’m glad to live in a country where very few police are armed.

    • HonestDebate1

      The militarization of the police is troubling.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Why is the public so heavily armed?

  • ghm52

    As a citizen, what if I have a heart condition and I am just stopped by the police? Do I not have the right to a reasonable expectation that my police officers will not cause me deadly harm? Are we not both at the center line to start with instead of defending our basket at all costs?

    • Enuff_of_this

      If I were you, i wouldn’t do anything to provoke the police into pulling you over or otherwise engaging with you

      • ghm52

        My point is, It apparently doesn’t take much to be singled out…it could happen to anybody under the most benign circumstance.

        • Enuff_of_this

          That came across more like well, what if this, which is sounds more like splitting hairs by analyzing every conceivable scenario. It’s straying off topic.

          • ghm52

            Speak for yourself!

          • Enuff_of_this

            Is that the best you can come up with?

          • ghm52

            Final Answer to you: Only when It’s what a troll deserves!

          • Enuff_of_this

            I’m crushed but is exactly the type of answer I expected from someone like you.

  • jefe68

    The root of the militarization of the police is pretty obvious and this has been happening and is a direct result of the blurred lines being drawn in guise of the war on terror. A small town police force does not need an armored car nor do they need a SAWT team.

    http://www.salon.com/2014/07/04/11_disturbing_facts_about_americas_militarized_police_force_partner/

    http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21599349-americas-police-have-become-too-militarised-cops-or-soldiers

    • TVPC58

      Those dang pumpkins! This is happening all over the country and people think that guys like Alex Jones are nuts when they bring up the subject.

      • jefe68

        Alex Jones is nuts.

        • TVPC58

          Yes, he’s an excitable boy! He’s sometimes interesting to listen to to though. My point is that truth can come from many venues and when topics from Alex Jones. NPR, and Eric Holder (about militarization of police) match, then they should be considered.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Who wants to pay for trained police when the citizenry doesn’t pay for pot holes, sink holes, and the a-holes running our public governments?

  • Human2013

    To Elizabeth, it’s much easier to harass the impoverished that don’t have a lawyer on staff. It reinforces the hierarchy of class and the poor lose dignity. Since, 99% of Americans are destined for poverty, we’re in serious trouble. Yet another setback for humanity and civilization.

    • jmpo’lock

      This is the real reason for militarization. Just wait until the climate crisis adds the gasoline to the fire.
      “Crowd Control”

  • Peter Cariani

    The police get vicious whenever they see any challenge to their authority. It’s not just race or class and it’s not all police. There were similar kinds of incidents that could have had similar results in the Occupy protests.

    The problem is not policing for “broken windows” and other smaller antisocial acts — it is that the police do not screen for psychologically labile officers who have anger issues that are not controlled.

    Whoever you are, you need to remember that police are people who carry guns and that some fraction of them are prone to expressions of explosive anger — avoid messing with them, whether you are in the right or in the wrong, regardless of how minor your behavior.

  • Radical___Moderate

    The rioting and looting is embarrassing. The people doing that are just criminal opportunists who are taking advantage of a tragic situation. Until a full investigation is complete, I think we must admit that none of us know what really happened there just as we did not know what happened between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.
    As Lord Acton wrote: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” However, as Ben Franklin re-stated in “Poor Richard’s Alamanac”: “Idle hands are the devil”s workshop.”

    • jmpo’lock

      Maybe true, but history seems to indicate that when people are oppressed they react in the darndest ways…..

      • Jill122

        Finally someone gets it. Thanks for your insight. My sentence for this behavior: “You don’t care about me — but maybe you care about your stuff!”

      • StilllHere

        It’s the perception of oppression, like when people don’t pay attention to rules that apply to everyone because they perceive themselves to be oppressed, as in “we don’t have to go through the snake line and will just bypass it because no one is there.”

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          It is not a “perception” – it is the reality for a vast majority of people.

        • jmpo’lock

          I see you are the perfect citizen. You are very obedient. You should go very far in the proto-fascist state. You are so fine in your abject obedience and ignorance.
          Indeed, the perfect citizen. OBEY
          Never think or act for yourself. That would be seditious.

          • StilllHere

            Because whining about being oppressed works so well for you?

          • jmpo’lock

            Sorry…didn’t equate pointing out a fact, to “whining” guess I was “out of line”?
            I won’t do it again, ….sir. (or is it Madam?)

          • StilllHere

            You perceived you had a fact, but were mistaken.

            Anyway, good luck with the revolution Che! Fight the power, one TSA agent at a time!

    • ghm52

      The other kid told us exactly what happened! As of Monday night, he was not yet interviewed by the police! (per Chris Hayes show interview)

      • Jill122

        Yeah, what’s up with that? An eye witness has NOT been interviewed? But we hear lots of reports about threats to the officer’s life. It’s setting up to look like just another “white” wash.

        • ghm52

          I hope the other kid has protection for his life by an unbiased detail…IMHO, he is at risk of retaliation.

      • margbi

        If his statement was correct, why did the officer open with such a confrontational statement? “Why the f*** are you walking in the street?” Disrespectful and maybe intended to elicit a bad response?

      • Radical___Moderate

        Is that the same other kid who is himself a criminal with warrants and thus has been unwilling to talk with the very police whom are seeking him in this investigation?? It seems we are too willing to believe the narratives we want to here. Let’s let all the facts come out first.

        • ghm52

          Clearly you believe your narrative: that a kid, in fear for his life after watching his friend get murdered, must be a criminal and thus must not be telling the truth.
          Riiiight…

    • Jill122

      Rioting and looting are a “natural” response to a “your life means nothing to me” attitude. You think they are looting for the “goods” — I believe they are looting to create a menace. If you don’t have a gun and don’t want to bring a “knife” to a “gun fight” (rocks or bottles either), then you do the next best thing — you tear stuff up behind the police line. You know they’re not going to break ranks to come after you and you can break the law to aggravate them. The madder you are, the bigger the haul.

      Think Palestine or any other apartheid state.

      • Radical___Moderate

        But they are destroying their own neighborhoods and reinforcing the worst stereotypes of city people and minorities. It destroys credibility with mainstream America.

    • Ray in VT

      I think that far too often there are people who are willing to take advantage of various situations in order to wreak some things and grab some stuff.

      • Jill122

        “Stuff” doesn’t mean much when you’ve lost one more brother. Stealing or looting or destroying “Stuff” that belongs to the perceived “oppressor” are a way to get back. It’s guerilla warfare.

        When police start a war, don’t be surprised what the “enemy” does to respond.

        When police show more respect for private property than they do for life, they and WE should expect that the people being targeted would turn around and target “stuff.”

    • M. J. DeMenna

      White, black, rich, and poor, America was never the land of opportunity. American is the land of opportunists. Until we become civil and care about the financial wellbeing of our neighbors, that’s the way it will be.

      • StilllHere

        Who is the opportunist in this situation? Not the original altercation but what has happened since then.

      • Radical___Moderate

        I do agree.

  • hennorama

    Is mistrust of some Missouri police officers justified?

    Perhaps.

    Last May, St. Louis County, Missouri police lieutenant Patrick Hayes (who denies the allegations) was fired after “internal affairs investigators determined that Hayes violated department policies when using ‘inappropriate racial references,’ while issuing … orders…”

    Police Chief Tim Fitch, who ordered Monday that the 20-year department veteran be dismissed, said he cannot comment now because the case is in litigation.

    Fitch has said that others might still face discipline.

    In a letter obtained by the Post-Dispatch, Fitch wrote to Hayes: “You were heard by at least nine officers on multiple occasions directing enforcement action on persons with black, tan or colored skin without any reference to probable cause.”

    Here are some reported examples of the allegations against Hayes:

    four officers who lodged the allegations against Hayes accused him of making statements such as “Let’s have a black day,” and “Let’s make the jail cells more colorful,”

    alleges that Hayes used phrases such as “Let’s have a Black Day today,” and “Stop everybody with a tan,” and “Stop everybody black at the mall.”

    The writer claims Hayes told black officers, “Not you guys, you’re the good ones.”

    Sources:
    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/st-louis-county-police-lieutenant-who-allegedly-targeted-blacks-is/article_691eb995-7247-5c0b-a48b-e7048c777b37.html

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/st-louis-county-police-lieutenant-denies-racial-profiling-order-that/article_2935ade9-37ec-5ba8-be59-3b73b3a6e398.html

  • HonestDebate1

    I have not heard the show yet but it is always more reasonable than this blog. This OP page asked all the right questions and avoided all the stupid projections. Let’s talk about police brutality. Let’s talk about law enforcement. Let’s expose the truth if there is a history and root out any abuse.

    • Ray in VT

      Yes, it is more reasonable. They didn’t have anyone on blaming Obama and/or the Justice Department and downplaying the known disproportionate outcomes when it comes to minorities and the justice system. Also, where is this blog to which you often refer? I don’t see it here in the comments.

      • jefe68

        I do, but not in the way HD is waging his accusatory finger.

        • HonestDebate1

          This is the second time in a week you have held obvious truth over ideology. You even found a way to do it hatefully. I’m impressed. Really.

          • jefe68

            This is umpteenth time that you told a tale full of sound and fury, but it signify’s nothing.

    • nj_v2

      ^ Still doesn’t know what a blog is.

      • Ray in VT

        Perhaps it is known and it is merely a choice of incorrect usage, sort of like all those scientist.

        • nj_v2

          And all the terrorist.

      • JS

        He does, but to change would be to admit a mistake, and that cannot be done until you go back and forth for 20 or 30 posts, until he finally admits that he’s an idiot but that Obama is still a horrible president and it’s all his fault.

        • Ray in VT

          And then Obama tries to claim that the government owns the atmosphere.

          • HonestDebate1

            When did he do that?

          • Ray in VT

            When he was plotting his revenge. He got the idea from Colorado, which supposedly claims to own the atmosphere (at least according to some), as long as one only reads half of what they say about precipitation.

        • HonestDebate1

          I’ve maintained I was an idiot since day one. Always have, always will smarty pants.

          • TFRX

            (I got dibs on “and it breaks my hort!” next.)

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t even have a hort.

  • Joachim110

    I notice that police and homeland officials are very quick to question if you respect their authority. Happened to me recently by a rude TSA officer. I think they bully people and people skills are not a hiring element for police. What makes me angry is that these cops even use their light flashing just to get ahead of the line also if they just drive to the coffee shop. We need more regulations for police, they earn far too much of our money and we can expect that they serve us and not bully us.

    • jmpo’lock

      Indeed. I was going to Canada a few years ago. On approach of the border there was no one in the line, so rather than walk through the entire winding cattle line, My wife & I sidestepped it and walked directly to the agent. He proceeded to yell at us lecture and berate us for our….”getting out of line”….I guess.
      On the Canadian side we were welcomed with a smiling young guard, who joked about having the same name as me, congratulated us for the Red Sox win. I joked back saying (this was during Bush admin., Iraq war) that we might need amnesty….he said “Any time, you’re Welcome!” and laughed.
      Quite a difference

      • Joachim110

        They are still like this, guess federal benefits, our tax dollars pay them so well that they stay forever. We should demand more from people that are hired on our tax dollars. Perhaps some common sense testing should be part of the requirements which they do not seem to have at all.

        • jmpo’lock

          And when we returned to the US, it was the same treatment. Canadian side friendly, professional. American side curt, seemingly angry and rude….nice welcome mat…

      • TVPC58

        The militarization of the U.S. border is a real problem. Lots of emphasis is placed on the southern border, but folks living on the northern border, in places like Derby Line, Vermont are constantly harassed by the Border Patrol and CBP officers.

  • jmpo’lock

    I wonder what would happen if the Cops broke into the WRONG house and flash grenade-ed the infants crib, or hauled off the naked mother, or shot dead the dad (cause he pushed his medic alert button in his sleep by mistake)….in Greenwich CT, or Wellesley MA, the cops would be kept nameless, and on “paid” vacation…

    • Jill122

      Some people on this board may not know that you are talking about real cases — they may not realize that news like this is heard by EVERYONE and it makes people angry.

      • jmpo’lock

        And of course the difference being in the outcomes of these sad but TRUE cases! If a preppy football player was shot dead leaving a bar trying to avoid being stopped, or shot in a neighborhood looking for help at night, or zip tied on New Years Eve on a subway platform….
        I could go on of course, because there are a CRAZY amount of cases. And the cops always get off…cause the victims are poor and not white.
        How many does it take for action

  • JBSpurr

    Race and class, race and class. The points about militarization of the police are entirely to the point as well. Of course, I saw gross police abuses of Black people back in the late 60s in Chicago, when they were just big and tough (but might carry “extra” implements of abuse like very long, heavy leather straps, as I saw in use on one occasion). Still, turning the police into these over-armored, forbidding characters will cause them to identify even less with people in the communities they are supposed to protect where unnecessary chasms of race and class already exist. In Iraq, countless thousands of Iraqi families experienced similarly armored aliens bashing down their doors and scaring the heck out of them, often carrying off military-age sons. It was bad for positive outcomes there, and any such high-handed behavior it is just as bad here.

    The talk of police being “scared” speaks, once again, to incredibly poor training and dismal attitudes toward people in the communities they patrol, as does their over-reaction to the mentally ill, most of whom are no threat to anybody however erratic their behavior. If they are scared, just think how scared these abused American populations are. It should be axiomatic that police do NOT draw their guns except when they face a drawn gun, even facing a knife if the wielder is a fair distance away. Judge, jury and executioner are not parts of their job description.

    This sad business is of a piece with the terrible tales of extreme abuses in prisons and jails, such as at Rikers Island. A complete reform of law enforcement and penal administration is in order.

    • Jill122

      Great response. But these are local issues. There’s no top down solution to all of this. As a democrat, I only wish there were. But with Congress so paralyzed and having to spend so much time with the wealthy cajoling them out of their money, they’re “lucky” they have time to vote on their own perks.

      • JBSpurr

        Thanks. You are correct, of course, and I didn’t mean to suggest otherwise. Many reforms in many places, but pervasive publicity and advocacy is needed, plus a multitude of aroused local communities,

    • TVPC58

      Yes, being scared points to a poor selection process for officers. How can you be scared if you have Kevlar vest, tear gas, stun gun, a pistol with a 20+ shot magazine, extra pistol magazines, a shotgun in the patrol car and maybe even an M4 in the car also?

  • 65noname

    while it is true that them is much deeper than just the problem =of police brutality, that is being used as a way to avoid dealing with the fact that cops are permitted to simply shoot afro-americans down in the streets as a form of community control.
    and as for the attempt to paint this as forcing untrained cops to deal with mentally disturbed people, have you ever listened to people in afro-american neighborhoods? or watch how casually they beat, arrest and insult people as a matter of course?
    the cops have a severe mental health issue, they are brutal racists who act much IN the sterotype of southern cops, inflicting casual violence as a way of life. and as for the claim that they don’t want to deal with “mentally disabled people”, THAT’S THE JOB. THEY DON’T GET TO SPEND THEIR WHOLE DAY BEATING UP AFRO-AMERICAN TEENAGERS WHO HAPPEN TO WEAR THEIR JEANS LOW ON THEIR HIPS.

  • John_Hamilton

    Not mentioned at all in this discussion is that many police officers are psychopaths. If you Google police + psychopaths you can pick among many sources of information. Here’s a good one: http://chernobelle.com/police-departments-recruiting-psychopaths/

    When discussing the phenomenon of psychopathy it helps to be clear about what the word means. Google again provides plenty of help. This suffices quite well: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mindmelding/201301/what-is-psychopath-0 .

    Among the characteristics of psychopaths a few stand out as pertinent in regard to police behavior: No sense of ethics or the rights of other people, inability to modulate response, irresponsibility, overconfidence, selfishness and violence.

    Given that research has shown these characteristics are more common among police than most other professions (politicians also are often psychopaths), psychopathy would seem pertinent to any discussion of police brutality.

    But not today’s discussion. Instead we got handwringing. In Eric Berne’s “Games People Play” there is a dodge called “Ain’t it Awful.” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Games_People_Play_(book)] Just sit around and moan about how bad the situation is. Next hour we can talk about a musical group.

    Race matters, but psychopathic police are entirely capable of wantonly shooting “white” people. Here in “liberal” Madison, Wisconsin a police officer shot and killed a popular local musician who was inebriated and went home to the wrong house. The African-American chief of police supported the coverup investigation, but public outcry forced increased scrutiny, and the officer eventually resigned in lieu of being fired. His previous behavior indicated a clear pattern of psychopathy, was known to the police chief, and only light disapproval was registered. The police chief retired to spend more time with his family. He now heads the local chapter of the Urban League.

    If psychopathy is common among politicians, is it beyond imagination that one of them, with a history of irresponsibility, including military desertion, would lie the country into invading another country? If we can’t discuss this, and/or hold this politician responsible for the harm he has done, we have little chance of holding police responsible for their behavior. All we can do is wring our hands, even have radio shows where we get together in collective hand-wringing. At least some jobs are created. It’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow someone some good.

  • StilllHere

    This discussion lacked context and tried too desperately to make huge generalizations from isolated incidents and draw systemic conclusions. This was disappointing.

    • jmpo’lock

      Head over to You Tube and search “Police Brutality”
      You won’t be disappointed

      • StilllHere

        I’ll wait for the mockumentary.

  • TVPC58

    I’m an eclectic radio listener and enjoy Tom Ashbrook and Alex Jones/Infowars. This story is a case of NPR lagging behind folks such as Alex Jones. He has been reporting for years on the militarization of local police forces and their overzealous engagement policies. The general media poses this as an African-America problem. Yes, race is a major factor in these “broken window to fatal encounter” incidents. However, this problem will not be solved unless everyone realizes that they can become a victim of overzealous police tactics.

    One of the contributing factors to the militarization of local police departments is their collaboration and funding from federal agencies, such as Homeland Security. Our local, rural, county sheriff department has a tank. Why do they need a tank?

    It is ironic that Al Sharpton wants to call in the feds as saviors of
    the people of Ferguson, MO, when they have been a contributing factor to
    the problem.

    Some tactical policies may reduce shootings by police. Perhaps, police should carry their firearms with an unloaded chamber and they would have to rack it before it can be fired. Gun control advocates are all about reducing magazine capacity for semi-automatic weapons. How about this for the police? Most police nowadays carry tear gas and stun guns. Why are firearms used first? Some police officers may not be psychologically suited for duty in that they on the force because they want to strangle or shoot some unfortunate who engages with them.

    I agree with the former police chief of St. Louis that police should use social skills in dealing with the public and potential low-risk criminals. Departments like Chapel Hill, NC require masters degrees for their officers and they emphasize social/psychological skills when dealing with the public.

    It says on most police cars, “To protect and to serve.” Using common sense engagement practices is a simple way to accomplish this.

    • hennorama

      TVPC58 — to a large extent, the practice of law enforcement “uparming, and uparmoring” came about as a result of the 1997 North Hollywood shootout. The LAPD and other responding agencies were unable to stop two heavily armed and armored bank robbers with their standard issue pistols and shotguns, prompting some officers to appropropriate high-powered weapons from a nearby gun store.

      As to calls for Federal investigation in Ferguson, MO: this is at least in part due to local distrust of the police, and their ability to impartially investigate this killing of an unarmed young man.

      See also: How the North Hollywood Shootout Changed Patrol Arsenals
      http://www.policemag.com/channel/weapons/articles/2012/02/how-the-north-hollywood-shootout-changed-patrol-rifles.aspx

      • OrangeGina

        I think it goes back to the SWAT teams of the 70′s. And the cheesy TV show with the even cheesier theme song . . . you’re hearing it your head right now, admit it!

        • hennorama

          OrangeGina — thank you for your response.

          The phenomenon referred to in my comment is not how SWAT and tactical law enforcement units are armed, but how virtually all law enforcement officers now have higher-powered weapons in their patrol vehicles, and are also authorized to carry high-powered pistols as their service weapons.

          This is in addition to the now standard armoring of individual officers and their patrol vehicles.

          Thankfully, I don’t know the song to which you refer.

      • TVPC58

        Two very good points! Yes, you are correct, that LA incident changed the way police were armed…out with the five or six shot .38 Special revolvers and in with hi-capacity semi-auto pistols and the establishment of SWAT teams and use of AR/M-16 type rifles.

        According to FBI experiences and research the 9mm Parabellum(Luger) cartridge is considered under-powered and resulted in the development of the 40 S&W cartridge and the some use of the 45 ACP by police forces. Most LE departments use the 40 S&W now.

        I had to rib Al Sharpton, he’s quite a character. I understand that getting the Feds involved is justified and is just like back in the 60s in the South when the FBI was needed to investigate criminal activity by local police departments.

        • hennorama

          TVPC58 — thank you for your response, and your very kind words.

          Rev. Sharpton, as reported by the local Fox News station and elsewhere, called for calm in Ferguson, MO:

          Standing on the stairs of the Old Courthouse, Sharpton called for peace saying that the looting and violent behavior only dishonors the memory of Michael Brown.

          “I know you’re angry, I know that this is outrageous, but we can’t be more outraged than his mom and dad and if they can hold their head dignity, so can you,” Sharpton said.

          See:
          http://fox2now.com/2014/08/12/live-updates-rev-al-sharpton-speaks-in-st-louis/

          As to a DOJ investigation — I don’t know whether one is justified, but simply presented a possible reason for calls for such an investigation, given local concerns.

          Thanks again for your very kind words.

  • hennorama

    One must wonder how budget pressures, and the pressure to “improve the numbers” relates to some of these law enforcement issues, especially the idea that officers in the field must be more efficient, which leads away from the “cop on the beat” community policing model.

    The Los Angeles Times reported last week that, during a 12-month period ending in Sept. 2013,

    LAPD MISCLASSIFIED NEARLY 1,200 VIOLENT CRIMES AS MINOR OFFENSES

    The LAPD misclassified nearly 1,200 violent crimes during a one-year span ending in September 2013, including hundreds of stabbings, beatings and robberies, a Times investigation found.

    The incidents were recorded as minor offenses and as a result did not appear in the LAPD’s published statistics on serious crime that officials and the public use to judge the department’s performance.

    Nearly all the misclassified crimes were actually aggravated assaults. If those incidents had been recorded correctly, the total aggravated assaults for the 12-month period would have been almost 14% higher than the official figure, The Times found.

    The tally for violent crime overall would have been nearly 7% higher.

    This reporting led to the Police Commission’s announcement of an investigation into the way the LAPD classifies incidents. The commission will be examining multiple years of data.

    This is hardly the first incident of “fudging the numbers,” and it won’t be the last, unfortunately.

  • Sima

    I grew up in Ferguson in the 50s, walked home from school alone in 2nd grade safely. The population average was a touch beige at that time. I think this sort of incident is the leading edge of a vast economic wedge.

  • HonestDebate1
  • tbphkm33

    The caption above says: “Police wearing riot gear walk toward a man with his hands raised…”

    I see a sad state of affairs in the United States. Not “police,” but in fact a state operated para-military unit walking toward a man with his hands raised.

    The militarization of local police, who are neither educated or trained efficiently for such a role, is going to come back and haunt the United States.

  • StilllHere

    In 2012, 49 police officers were killed (44 by firearm) in the line of duty and 53,000 incidents of assault of a police officer were reported. It’s dangerous out there.

    • jmpo’lock

      Some facts (and this is only 2003-2009):

      A total of 4,813 deaths were reported to the Arrest-Related Deaths program
      from January 2003 through December 2009.

      Of reported arrest-related deaths, 61% (2,931) were classified as homicides
      by law enforcement personnel, 11% (541) were suicides, 11% (525) were due to
      intoxication, 6% (272) were accidental injuries, and 5% (244) were attributed to
      natural causes.

      State and local law enforcement agencies employing 100 or more full-time
      sworn personnel accounted for 75% of the 4,813 arrest-related deaths reported
      during 2003-2009.

      Among reported arrest-related deaths, 42% of persons were white, 32% were
      black, and 20% were Hispanic.

    • hennorama

      Stilllhere — your comment is misinformative, as evidenced by the following two points:

      1. Law enforcement is nowhere in the top ten of the most deadly US occupations.

      2. Per 2012 FBI data, agencies reporting under the Uniform Crime Report systems employed over 670,000 officers, defined as follows:

      The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines law enforcement officers as individuals who ordinarily carry a firearm and a badge, have full arrest powers, and are paid from governmental funds set aside specifically for sworn law enforcement.

      Sources:
      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/police_employee_data/police_employee_data

      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/74tabledatadecoverviewpdfs/table_74_full_time_law_enforcement_employees_by_population_group_percent_male_and_female_2012.xls

      • notafeminista

        There was no claim made that law enforcement was in the top 10 of most deadly US occupations. A statement was made that “it’s dangerous out there” – substantiated by verifiable numbers.

        • hennorama

          notafeminista — thank you for your response, which once again indicates your lack of understanding of the written word.

          “There was no claim made [that a claim was made] that law enforcement was in the top 10 of most deadly US occupations. A statement was made that “[your comment is misinformative]” – substantiated by verifiable numbers.”

          • notafeminista

            Fair enough. Point out that which provoked your post.

          • hennorama

            notafeminista — TYFYR.

            You seem to be misinformed, as I am not subject to your command.

          • notafeminista

            Not at all…merely trying to understand your post. That is all.

    • TFRX

      Anec will not get you data.

      And this “how many cops get assaulted” is not comparing two warring parties each of which has an equal reason to be on the proverbial battlefield.

    • JS

      Were any of those 44 killed by an unarmed teenager?

  • pm05

    In Tucson, police “anticipated” students partying or “rioting” after March Madness games. Instead of having police on the street, walking among the students and keeping order, they were in full riot gear ready to “suppress the riot.” So, of course, the drunk students became aggressive and taunting. The police, when they “planned for a riot” very clearly created the riot!

    I always trusted police, but an encounter with one very belligerent officer was enough for me to not ever want to speak or contact an officer for help!

    The police are not here to be bullies, they should be here to “protect” and serve. If they are so afraid that they always have to have a gun in their hand, then we need to change so things – attitudes of the police?

    • StilllHere

      And ladies are asking for rape when they wear short-shorts and high heals?

      • Ray in VT

        Is it a legitimate rape?

  • jmpo’lock

    “Though Americans commonly believe law enforcement’s role in society is to protect them and ensure peace and stability within the community, the sad reality is that police departments are often more focused on enforcing laws, making arrests and issuing citations. As a result of this as well as an increase in militarized policing techniques, Americans are eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist, estimates a Washington’s Blog report based on official statistical data.

    Though the U.S. government does not have a database collecting information about the total number of police involved shootings each year, it’s estimated that between 500 and 1,000 Americans are killed by police officers each year. Since 9/11, about 5,000 Americans have been killed by U.S. police officers, which is almost equivalent to the number of U.S. soldiers who have been killed in the line of duty in Iraq.”

    http://www.mintpressnews.com/us-police-murdered-5000-innocent-civilians-since-911/172029/

  • hennorama

    JCC — thank you for adding this valuable perspective.

    Along the same lines, from a 2010 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin about use-of-force investigations:

    (The entire article is worth a read.)

    As a Santa Monica, California, police officer pointed out, “No one knows about the hundreds of instances when a police officer decides not to shoot. Perhaps, no one cares. After all, people say we’re trained to handle such things, as if training somehow removes or dilutes our humanity.”

    Source:
    http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/january-2010/police-investigations-of-the-use-of-deadly-force#disablemobile

  • marygrav

    When we look at African Americans and relate them to poverty and crime, we can thank two people and one organization And no one can name the people and the organization explain why better than Houston A. Baker Jr. in Beyrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era (2008). In a chapter titled “Friends Like These” Baker credits White Backlash administered at the hands of Irving Kristol and his Neoconservative cohort Norman Podhoretz.

    Both men ploted and planned the death of President Johnson’s Great Society and Model Cities, which were designed to end poverty in the inner cities where Blacks and Puerto Ricans were abandon and lived in contration type conditions. Baker writes that the path that Irving Kristol pioneered throught the thickets of Cold War polemics, journalistic feuds, political skullduggery, corporatist sycophancy, think-tank blueprinting [the AEI & others], and misogynistic [the greatest beneficiaries of Affirmative Action have been White women], racist [Whiteness at any cost], and homophobic hate mongering today forms the neoconservative highway of a thousand points of “lesser lights.”

    Many have cosen to walk in his acrimonious and loose-fitting idealogical shoes. He remains, however, nonpareil in his brilliantly choreographed, quixoitic, whimsical, none-too-scruplulous shits and turns of allegiance.
    Michael Harrigton called these neoconservatives “Shape-Shifters” because their ability to hide behind liberalism, while opposing precisely the types of social and distributive justice that have been the ends of such not-so-distant inaitaives as the Great Society, the War on Poverty, demostration cities, and of course, affirmative action. Hence, when we sepak of democracy’s best advocates and defenders we cleary cannot mean [quoting James Baldwin] “friends like these!”
    Baker writes that Neocons have never been concerned with fulfilling the best intentions and implicit promises of the Declaration of Independence or even their own best selves. they have always salviated for insider status vis-avis the American WASP establishment. both kristol and Podhoretz have been autobiographicall forthright about ther hunger for establishment prequisites.

    And the best and fastest way of achieving this was to support and help create White Backlash through their powerful publications Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, Nathan Glazer, Charles Murray [the Broken Glass theory of policing] Midge Decter, Daniel Patrick Moynihan [Beyond the Melting Pot & Black family psycosis] Jeane Kirkpatrick, Michael Novak and James Q. Wilson were all dedicated, corporately financed, academy and think tank–housed [AEI scholars and fellows & members of PNAC] warriors against what Baker calls the second American Revolution.

    Such neocons were and remain fierce counter-counterculturulraist. So determined and suceessful were these neocons in destroying the future of the Negro from the 1970s on until they had criminalized urban youth that traditionally made up 25% of the militiary, while only being 12% of the society at large, the Army suffered a loss of recruits that severly effected the 2003 militiary invasion of Iraq that the Neocons themselves had engineered.

    These neoconservatives corrupted the Justice System until judges had no place because of “get tough of criminals” laws, where Blacks and minority recieved long sentences in privatized prison systems and where no debt to “society” can ever be repaind, so that no jobs aways a Black or brown felon. And felons cannot serve in the military.

    African Americans are living at the long cycle of Neoconservatism. But don’t think that Whites have escaped. It was this same group of neoconservatives that took over the American Enterprise Institute and showed the lazy WASPs how they could still be rich while at the same time breaking and busting Union and paying stagnant wages since the 1980s and still remain thought of as loyal Americans.

    Because of the majority of people I have mentioned are Jewish, the first thing that comes to mind is that I am anit-Semitic. I am not because I have too much to be greatful to for my fellow American in their devotion to Negro causes. But I do believe in the witness of history and giving the source of my belief that where African Americans have fallen on the social scale has more to do with “cold war” warriors than it has to do with innate criminality because when you control the media; you control the message.

  • Gato Pardo

    Nobody is talking about the Hispanic man strangled and beaten to death in front of his wife and daughter by Moore police in the parking lot of a movie theater…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BFJYBbyqAg

  • Bo Radley

    No one is talking about the explosion of fire arms on the streets…as with the Georgia flood gates of open carry. As long as we keep dumping deadly weapons on the streets, we will see police departments acting and reacting to protect themselves.

    • Gato Pardo

      The deceased didn’t have a firearm

    • 65noname

      the cops have been murdering afro-americans for decades. it has nothing to do wwith them being aqrmed or any fear on the part of the cops.

      • Salty

        Sorry you feel that way… There has been abuse in the past. I think there is very, very little now. What I see personally is a lot of folks acting like thugs and being offended when they get treated like thugs. The more we scream “racism” the more we get separated by races and the worse these problems get.

        • TFRX

          “Sorry you feel that way.”

          “I think there is very, very little now.”

          Submitted without comment.

          • Salty

            Very good. You copied well. Not sure of the point however…

          • StilllHere

            He doesn’t have one, he’s just jaqing off.

          • Salty

            *like*

          • TFRX

            The ultimate insult is to let your words fail on their own.

          • Salty

            That doesn’t even make any sense. Thanks for trying.

        • 65noname

          “we” are already seperated. check out any statistic that measures segregation in the US. they all show even more “seperation” now than ever. check out unemployment rates for euro-americans v afro-americans. check income levels. check out bank loans. check out access to education. but, of course we shouldn’t do that because we wouldn’t want to demonstrate how “seperated” “we” are.
          but, yea. that’s what is always said. last year there was racism. but not anymore. It’s suddenly all better. and then make disparging comments to write off anyone’s claim of being abused by the police. the problem is that they’re all thugs. Never notice the police brutality but always interprate the TV images as demonstrating that they’re all thugs. And dress wrong.
          of course that is what was said last year, last decade, last century.
          .

          • Salty

            Not sure of the point…

            I am responsible for my fate; my fate is due to my behavior and choices.

            How about the rest of you?

          • 65noname

            you seem to be “not sure of the point” a lot. so I’ll spell it out for you: re: YOUR COMMENT, “The more we scream “racism” the more we get separated by races and the worse these problems get”, WE ARE ALREADY SEPERATED.

          • M. J. DeMenna

            It’s kind of easy to be master of one’s fate when one’s people have not been economically disenfranchised throughout American history. After every revolution in the history of the world, there has been a restructuring of the economy … except for African Americans, twice. Once after the Civil War, and once after Civil Rights.

            Most people would think that equal opportunity is a pre-requirement for meritocracy–that it is an injustice for one kid to grow up in poverty while another kid grows up in luxury. That’s commonsense, but when those kids are black, no one cares. Poverty causes brain damage, instills fear and hatred, and social inferiority complexes. And then kids who have to grow up in this deal with the white majority’s paranoia that black males are potential “thugs.” Yet, people think they are “responsible for [their] fate.” Maybe in a country that cares about equal opportunity.

            Otherwise, if one is on top of the social later in a country without equal opportunity, one is not there by merit…one is just egotistical.

            Also, “thug” is the new n-word.” Coded words are still transparent. Remember that guy in Jacksonville who shot that kid for playing loud music. He said the “thug music” made him scared.
            As a white male from the South, I know that every working class republican is a racist. Even the good hearted working class republicans have some problems. (Rich republicans are voting for their own economic interests.) I know this language, and I know what’s behind it. I just wish you guys would be honest with yourselves.

          • Salty

            “Coded Words”?? I am speaking in “code”? I am not even sure how to do that. I just know what I see. The new “N-word”? Not sure where that came from.

            What I know is that I am a child of poverty from the wrong side of the tracks. I made a decision that I would determine my fate. I made decisions that I benefit from now. I am NOT special. I did it – anyone can.

            There are no predetermined victims in this country. I know too many folks of various backgrounds, races and nationalities who determined they would not be victims. They aren’t. They too are the outcomes of their choices and behaviors.

          • TFRX

            Plenty of upstanding, proper-acting people who were “responsible for their behavior” got cannonaded with firehoses and sic’ed on by police dogs in the 60s.

            So, yeah.

          • Salty

            This isn’t the 1960s. And you need to read up on that famous picture of the kid and the police dog. There is a lot more to that than most know or want to.

        • StilllHere

          There’s a whole racism industry that wants to perpetuate the myth.

          • Salty

            You got it StillHere. Too much money to let the whole “victim” thing go.

          • StilllHere

            Jackson, Sharpton … This is their meal ticket and opportunity to stay relevant in a post-racial society.

        • nj_v2

          ^ Denial

    • brettearle

      Many police are often TOO trigger happy–WITHOUT regard to assessing threat, accurately.

      But, yes, it can sometimes be very, very hard to discern what is a threat to what is perceived as a threat.

  • Richard

    I didn’t have a chance to listen to the complete program. Has there been any studies to see if any police involved shootings were done by officers that were combat veterans? Are there any safeguards in place to screen the influx of veterans, many who saw, and were subjected to horrific combat brutality, and returned to civilian life without being diagnosed with PTSD or any combat related disorders from being hired as a police recruit?
    I’m not suggesting that there is a connection, but asking the question, what if there is?

  • David Snieckus

    Tom
    Just saw the dinner scene in August Osage County last night with Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper where they discussed meat eating and listening to your ON POINT story today, I thought I’d made the following comment: Excessive eating of putrefying flesh (meat) that has been violently killed and slaughtered leads to that FEAR in humans. For a good study on this read WORLD PEACE DIET by Will Tuttle.
    enjoy
    david snieckus
    617-964-2951

  • brettearle

    First of all, I have been unfairly harassed on MORE than one occasion: civil rights violations and invasion of privacy, other transgressions, that were likely illegal as well.

    However, I would NOT paint a 100% broad brush.

    While it is true, that there seems to be widespread reports of brutality and illegal harassment, I do not believe that all precincts, in metropolitan centers, behave this way.

    And while State Police training and competence vary, I believe that the dysfunction, that you point out, is much more tagged onto the inner city police, than anywhere else.

    I know it’s bad.

    But not every street, in the United States is a potential hazard, for innocent strollers.

    Let’s not try to sound an alarm–as if Fascism is around the corner.

    It may be coming. But it isn’t going to happen tomorrow.

    And the reason why lawmakers are letting this dysfunction happen is because they are afraid, they are in denial, and they might be afraid of losing too much of their Republican constituency.

  • Salty

    Are there some abusive police officers? Sure, a few … but very few. The basic rule is, was and always will be: you will be treated like you act. Act like a thug and you will be treated like one. Act respectable and you will be treated with respect. … … … and, yes … … it is THAT simple.

    • Mean Girl

      Actually no, it is not “that simple” and to claim so is to be in complete, willful and likely racist denial.

      • HonestDebate1

        That’s sick.

        • Mean Girl

          No, it isn’t.

          • HonestDebate1

            Assuming racism is indeed sick. you have no idea. Respect the word because it should have meaning.

          • Mean Girl

            No idea? How about evidence. How about a kid shot to death. How about consistent harassment and abuse.

            What is “sick” are people denying that racism is thriving in this country and that the right is largely responsible for it.

            Or do you want to claim that the whole “birther” thing was and is not wholly based in vile right wing, politically motivated, racism?

          • HonestDebate1

            Yea, no idea. All you know is the color of skin. You know nothing about the content of character. No one is denying racism exists. Where’d you get that? Did you vote for Obama because he is half black?

          • Mean Girl

            I “get that” from hearing right wing racism “deniers” talk about how we are in a “post-racial” period, and how “racism doesn’t exist.” Meanwhile we see it everywhere.

            As for your crack about Obama and “half black” – do you acknowledge that the whole “birther” thing is wholly based in vile right wing, politically motivated, racism? If you don’t, in my opinion, you are part of the problem.

          • HonestDebate1

            No one cares what color Obama is.

          • Mean Girl

            No? Apparently you do because you referred to him as “half black.” Who parses the amount of “black” someone is? Who even mentions it.

            And I notice you did not answer my question. Why is that?

          • Salty

            The PSM elite is constantly talking about BO’s skin color. Conservatives don’t care about skin color – only about actions.

            PSM = political / social / media

          • Mean Girl

            What is PSM?

            Silly to even bother.

          • Salty

            PSM = political / social / media

          • HonestDebate1

            It is just as inaccurate to refer to him as black as it is to refer to him as white. I did answer your question. The silly birthers are not racists. No one cares what color he is.

          • Mean Girl

            You don’t see it because you choose not to.

          • Salty

            “…the right is largely responsible for it.” Oh my, we have a long way to go. We are in a post Orwellian world. We have moved into a Carollian one. (As in “Lewis Carol”. I think I may have made that adjective up. If the reader doesn’t understand that last comment, then that is part of the problem – education is the key here to see what is going on.) .

            We have a culture and slices of America that live on the plantation of the dependency of the modern welfare state. Take away a group’s self determination and replace it with dependency and we have what we witness again and again – a breakdown and division in our country.

            But we also get a locked in block of voters, so one political group has an interest in perpetuating this. Clearing this mess up would threaten their livelihood.

            We are in serious trouble… It all makes me want to move to some remote mountain valley somewhere and live with my family and other like minded families and that America we have seen recently to every one else.

          • Mean Girl

            Utter nonsense. Yes, please move.

          • Salty

            What is nonsense? Where am I wrong?

      • brettearle

        Playing the respect game will reduce mistreatment.

        One can recommend such strategy and still claim that racism is frequent within Law Enforcement.

        It’s not all-or-nothing.

        Henry Lewis Gates had every right to be angry. Very angry.

        And while the incident brought the issue to Public Attention, had Gates used his influence–to make his point, later–he might have been spared such treatment and avoided the possibility of serious injury.

        If you want to go around and prove points, fine.

        But since we can’t trust cops, shall we get our heads bashed in, in the process?

        • Mean Girl

          Yes, nice sentiment but that is not the way things work in the real world. In the real world “the house” always wins – until there is such an egregious instance of “normal” police behavior, such as the incident with the chokehold death caused by the NYPD and caught on video, that attention is finally paid. Otherwise there is merely bureaucratic denial and excuses.

          I don’t condone or think that riots or looting is warranted. Nor do I think it is productive. But it is hard for me to say it is not justified. Racism in the country is real and the people who deny that, claiming we are in some “post-racial” period, are at best blind.

          • brettearle

            You looked completely away from my point because of your self-righteous and radical agenda.

            Of COURSE, there is brutal racism. No question.

            But not all Black Men are harassed by cops.

            But most Black men expect to be harassed by cops.

            There IS a difference.

            You are NOT pointing out something that happens every other moment.

            What happens every other moment is THE tension of expectation–between the cops and the minority community.

            We may be in a partial police state in some places.

            But we are somewhat away from the perception of your radical extreme Left-Wing agenda–that refuses to compromise.

            I deplore the possible Republican ethic which supports the police, without caveat.

            But your radical view is also part of the problem.

            And your self-righteousness is your basic Turn-Off.

          • Mean Girl

            Just word soup. There is nothing “radical” in being against institutionalized racism.

    • StilllHere

      I agree, but in an age of shirking responsibility and excuse-making, many will not get this wisdom.

      • JS

        That “shirking responsibility and excuse-making” cuts both ways.

    • hennorama

      Salty — No.

      “The basic rule” is that police officers are to treat all members of the general public with respect.

      There’s no “Act like a thug” exception.

      In fact, this is likely to be codified in actual rules for police conduct, along the lines of this from the Boston PD:

      Rules and Procedures

      Rule 102
      February 11, 2003

      Sec. 9 RESPECTFUL TREATMENT: Employees shall, on all occasions, be civil and respectful, courteous and considerate toward their supervisors, their subordinates and all other members of the Department and the general public. No employee shall use epithets or terms that tend to denigrate any person(s) due to their race, color, creed or sexual orientation except when necessary in police reports or in testimony.

      Source:
      http://bpdnews.com/rules-and-procedures/
      http://bpdnews.com/s/Rule-102.pdf

      In addition, being respectful toward police in no way guarantees that such respect will be returned in kind, rules, or no rules.

      • Salty

        ??? Let me see if this helps: If one demonstrates threatening behavior then one will be treated as a threat. (thug = threat). Hope that helps.

        • hennorama

          Salty — thank you for your response.

          Let’s assume, solely for the sake of argument, that “thug = threat.”

          What “threatening/thugging behavior,” if any, was demonstrated by Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and James Boyd?

          • Salty

            I have no idea… My comments are not about the specifics of the situation. Rather they were to to general case that if one acts in a threatening manner then the reaction will probably be “significant”.

          • hennorama

            Salty — TYFYR.

            Putting your original comment in that context, one infers that you believe that police officers have an “either/or” attitude, and that the only two possible behaviors in their presence are those that are “like a thug/threat,” or “respectable.”

            Is it “THAT simple” in your mind?

            Can one be “disrepectable,” and not be a “thug/threat”?

            Can one be “respectable,” and at the same time also be a “thug/threat”?

          • Salty

            Thug = threat, Disrespectable = Disrespectable the two are not the same. I don’t see how one can act in a respectable manner and be a thug / threat/

          • ghm52

            A cop says: “Get the F–k off the street” to these kids…no respect there and pretty threatening…just who is the thug?

          • Salty

            Bad language is not respectable but one needs to do as directed by the police.

  • hennorama

    Cliven Bundy, is that you?

    1. Please define “Many.”

    2. Please provide some evidence for the claim that “Many black owned businesses were looted and torched.”

  • JS

    Did you hear about the Wall Street executive accused of stealing $1,000,000′s in insider trading who was dragged from his office in a choke hold, and shot to death, right on Wall Street, after “resisting” arrest?

    Oh, that’s right, that doesn’t happen.

    But it does happen if you dare to sell loose cigarettes for $1 a piece on the street.

    • HonestDebate1

      Obviously cops love to murder poor people. That’s the only conclusion to be drawn.

      • Ray in VT

        Yup. That’s what he said. It’s right there for everyone to see. He should apologize immediately.

    • hennorama

      JS — I’m not aware of anyone who “dare[d] to sell loose cigarettes for $1 a piece on the street,” who was subsequently “[put] in a choke hold, and shot to death, right on [the] Street, after ‘resisting’ arrest.”

      Your comment seems to be combining circumstances involved in the deaths of Eric Garner (chokehold used by police), and Michael Brown (shot to death by police).

      Was that your intent?

      • JS

        Ok, he was only choked to death. Sorry for the added detail.

        • Mean Girl

          There are so many instances that it is an easy mistake to make.

        • hennorama

          JS — Thank you for your response.

          There’s no “sorry” needed. I was simply trying to understand your comment, and nothing else.

      • TFRX

        I was getting a vibe from JS that “this is not the thing which white collar criminals never need worry about”.

        (PS I admit to stealing that box of pens 20 years ago.)

  • HonestDebate1

    Al Sharpton is on the scene, terrific. These race hustlers are quite disgusting. We don’t know the hearts of the participants in this but so many are so eager to blame racism. Who cares? What difference at this point does it make? If the cop was the biggest racist in the universe, so what? If it is shown he abused his authority then hang him from the highest tree. Race is irrelevant. All lives are precious not just the one the race hustlers tell us to be concerned about.

    • Mean Girl

      “Who cares? What difference at this point does it make? If the cop was the biggest racist in the universe, so what? ….Race is irrelevant. “

      …says the old white suburban guy in his lounge chair.

      What an utterly ignorant and complacent point of view.

      • HonestDebate1

        I’m an old white rural guy in my lounge chair. I just think race is irrelevant, sue me.

        • Mean Girl

          Right, irrelevant to YOU. So basically you do not have a clue.

          • HonestDebate1

            I prefer to judge people by the content of their character. Do you have any black friends? Or do you just pity them?

          • Mean Girl

            It is just words for you.

            And you lost me with your claim that the “silly” birthers are not racist. If you can’t see the obvious racist hate in their actions and words – I’m done. Have a good night.

          • HonestDebate1

            Good night,

  • hennorama

    It was nice to see Rev. Al Sharpton promoting calm yesterday, in the face of violence in Ferguson, MO.

    As reported by the local Fox News station and elsewhere:

    Standing on the stairs of the Old Courthouse, Sharpton called for peace saying that the looting and violent behavior only dishonors the memory of Michael Brown.

    “I know you’re angry, I know that this is outrageous, but we can’t be more outraged than his mom and dad and if they can hold their head [with] dignity, so can you,” Sharpton said.

    Michael Brown’s mother did not speak. His father only simply asked for “no violence.”

    Sharpton admonished those who called for justice and answers to respond without violence. “If you want answers, throw your arms up, If you want justice, throw your arms up,” he said.

    See:
    http://fox2now.com/2014/08/12/live-updates-rev-al-sharpton-speaks-in-st-louis/

    • JS

      It’s never nice to see Al Sharpton.

      • hennorama

        JS — TYFYR.

        Putting your opinion aside, substitute “a national figure” in place of Rev. Sharpton’s name in my comment above, so it focuses on the message, as follows:

        “It was nice to see a national figure promoting calm yesterday, in the face of violence in Ferguson, MO.

        As reported by the local Fox News station and elsewhere:

        Standing on the stairs of the Old Courthouse, the national figure called for peace saying that the looting and violent behavior only dishonors the memory of Michael Brown.

        “I know you’re angry, I know that this is outrageous, but we can’t be more outraged than his mom and dad and if they can hold their head [with] dignity, so can you,” the national figure said.

        Michael Brown’s mother did not speak. His father only simply asked for “no violence.”

        The national figure admonished those who called for justice and answers to respond without violence. “If you want answers, throw your arms up, If you want justice, throw your arms up,” he said.

        Does that change anything about your opinion?

        • JS

          While I agree with the sentiment, it’s never nice to see Al Sharpton as a National figure.

          • hennorama

            JS — TYFYR.

  • Joe_Martin

    Attention young, black people of St. Louis: The best thing that you can do for yourself is to move out of St. Louis. That’s right. Vote with your feet and get out of St. Louis as soon as fast as you can. Hear me out.

    St. Louis is NOT a good city for young, black people. Choose to live and work in a city where you can find racial acceptance and tolerance for your age. It will be so much better. St. Louis is an old city run by an older generation that is oppressive toward the young. You will not find success here where the older generation has it in for you, particularly the white baby boomers. You want to go where you can find friends, good job opportunities, and a welcoming and safe community. You want to be in a city that has strong population growth, good quality schools, low crime rate, high home values, strong economic growth, and lots of diversity (people like you). The longer that you stay in St. Louis, the more that you will suffer oppression from an older and white generation that only has contempt for your human existence. Some of the older, whites are competitive toward you. There is white hatred and hostility toward your human existence in case you are not aware.

    If you were born in poverty, you have a 5% chance in your lifetime to pull yourself out of the poverty trap and into the middle class. There’s a slim chance to get out of poverty if you stay in St. Louis. So please move out of here so that you stand a chance to have a good life. I want you to do well and succeed. I want you to have your dreams fulfilled and acceptance. Please encourage as many young, black people that you know that there are many, wonderful cities where you can find acceptance and where you can do well. Please get out of this backwards town. It is a dying city.

    If any adult knows of young, black people in St. Louis, please be sure to tell them this truth. St. Louis is not a city where young, black people can find success and thrive. Please help them to see this truth and put them on the path where they can have a better life. Life can be good in other cities. Please explore those other cities.

  • Joe_Martin

    Attention young, black people. St. Louis is NOT a good metro area for young, black people. You want to live in a city that has strong population growth, good quality schools, low crime rate, high or decent home values, strong economic growth, and lots of diverse people (some that look just like you). Please do not stay in St. Louis. The future of this metro area is only going to get worse. Here is information that you need to know about St. Louis. Please read carefully.

    Rust belt city is dying. St. Louis has a vanishing population. More people leave STL than stay. The city continues to shrink as people leave or die off. A vanishing city is an indicator that there’s not a lot of opportunity and/or that lots of people are dying off.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/st-louis-falls-to-its-lowest-population-in-more-than/article_a1434d74-4046-11e0-8ae8-0017a4a78c22.html

    http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/st-louis-population/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/25/us/25census.html

    Lots of vacant properties. STL metro area ranks in the top 5 for vacant/abandoned foreclosed homes in the entire US at 34%. So, for every 1000 foreclosures, 340 of them are owner-vacated (abandoned foreclosures). The city has about 20,000 empty vacant
    lots so far. There are lots of zombie foreclosures.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/07/13/cities-most-abandoned-homes/12536257/

    http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/cities-demolish-homes-problems-linger

    Large senior population. St. Louis county has 15% of its population known as the “silent generation” (ahead of the baby boomers). Then, we have the
    baby boomers, which represent 28%. Together, these 2 generations add up to 43% of the population. In about 10-20 years, you will see a good, say 30%, of the 43% of the population die out and be gone from St. Louis county. It will be a suburban slum with a lot of zombie foreclosures in the sprawling neighborhoods. People will lose equity in their homes if they purchase a home property between 2015-2030. Don’t own propertyin case you need to relocate for a job as you could be tied down for up to 2-3 years before your house sells. It can be very hard to sell.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2012/12/14/aging-america-the-cities-that-are-going-gray-the-fastest/

    http://www.stltoday.com/business/columns/jim-gallagher/young-families-still-suffer-from-housing-bust/article_6c53c398-3d96-5e9e-a182-12f5ac088dd1.html

    Low-wage city. STL is a low-wage city. 90% of all new jobs created since the recession is low wage jobs (lots of working poor in healthcare, call centers, and fast food like McDonalds, Popeye’s, Wendy’s). Once those fast food jobs are automated, there will be vast unemployment in this city and heavy reliance on public assistance by former fast food workers. About
    50% of all health care workers have less than a bachelor’s degree so their future job options are limited. It should be interesting when the health care workforce is predominantly young, black and the patients are the older, white baby boomers. Not a good racial situation.

    http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/number-health-care-workers-low-education-levels-rising-their-wages-arent

    http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/09/26/booming-or-busting

    History of racism, segregation, and white flight in STL metro area. 51% of the city is Black and STL is rated as the most segregated city in the US.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17361995

    http://www.pruitt-igoe.com

    http://www.spanishlakefilm.com

    http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/new-documentary-explores-white-flight-spanish-lake

    High suburban poverty. St. Louis county poverty grew by 75% in 12 years (2000-2012). STL city has about 11% of the metro region’s population, which is very small, with about 318,000. Both the city and county of St. Louis represent 50% of the metro population.

    http://video.ketc.org/video/2365257635/

    Unaccredited St.Louis Public Schools (though labeled as “provisionally unaccredited”). You can look up accreditation scores for several school districts to get a sense of the quality but many are of very poor quality. STL public schools scored a 24 out of 100 when 51 is passing for accredited. Missouri ranks 47th or 48th in providing resources in pre-K education for low-income children. Home values are determined by school quality so expect your home values in the city to decrease if the “provisional” gets changed to “unaccredited”. Again, avoid home ownership if at all possible. It will only get worse–not better.

    http://news.stlpublicradio.org/term/school-accreditation

    http://staytuned.ninenet.org/episodes/school-choice/

    High crime, particularly murder and armed robbery. We have thugs and gangbangers as well as kids that play the “knockout game”. Lots of shootings. Please do not build a future in a dangerous city.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/11/17/us/a-divided-st-louis.html?_r=0

    http://www.kmov.com/news/crime/Armed-robbery-at-Ballpark-Village–270448981.html

    http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2014/02/st_louis_named_no_5_most_dange.php

    http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/crime/2014/08/05/st-louis-murder-statistics/13612993/

  • Joe_Martin

    “In St. Louis, zip code is destiny”. I plead that young, black people leave St. Louis to escape their future of oppression that awaits them.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/columns/the-platform/editorial-rev-al-sharpton-is-right-st-louis-has-issues/article_a0fb2b20-9785-5f28-9135-9fc40845c28b.html

    • StilllHere

      Avoid Detroit maybe?

  • Radical___Moderate

    No, not at all. I have no current narrative because, like you, I was not there. I just firmly believe that we must wait for all of the facts to come out. Many of the people protesting may end up looking quite wrong IF evidence comes out to contradict what they think happened. Likewise, if it does turn out that this cop over-reacted, then many who are ignoring this story and others like it, will have to pay more attention to what is the reality of police brutality in our country. What I am saying is that, indeed every case IS different and we must not, as a democratic society, jump to blanket statement conclusions that over-simplify what are very complex issues.

  • Salty

    I am glad you agree but I would not support shooting “thugs” on the spot”. I hope you are not being serious.

  • hennorama

    Chad Wildey — thank you for your response.

    One reason for a moderate such as myself to use sources such as a local Fox affiliate is to deny conservatives/Republicans/TEA Shindiggers a reason to complain about the source of the information presented.

    Thanks again for your response.

  • Salty

    Well… Now the facts are coming out I wonder if the PSM elite will be recanting? Yeah, probably not…Mike Brown is the chief suspect in strong armed robbery earlier that day in the area and the wrong named being leaked by the media… Am I hearing Sharpton apologizing? … … … Oh wait, that was just the distraction or race-baiting static… … Or maybe it BO’s apologizing for his jumping in and trying to create a moral equivalence between rioters and the police trying to deal with the rioters. Wait, no… … wrong again… more static.

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