The Escalating Unrest in Ferguson, Missouri

by Crane-Station

On August 9, 2014, unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was African-American, was shot several times and killed by a yet-unnamed police officer, as Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, age 22, were walking to Brown’s grandmother’s house. The incident occurred in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri.

The officer apparently stopped the two young men and ordered them off of the street and onto the sidewalk. Some sort of an altercation ensued, but at any rate, the first shot was fired from within the police vehicle, the young men fled, and the officer pursued them, firing several shots at them as they were fleeing, killing Brown.

Michael Brown was a high school graduate with no criminal record, and was about to begin college.

On August 10, vigils were held that began peacefully, but when police began to show up in riot gear, the protesters escalated in frustration, and began, to confront police.

Since that time, there have been several developments relating to the refusal of police to release the identity of the shooter. As the situation in the streets escalated, the FAA briefly declared a no-fly zone over the St. Louis suburb. The Missouri State troopers have taken over security in Ferguson. The ACLU has filed Sunshine Law requests, to identify the officer who killed Michael Brown.

From a Livestream last night, here is what happened to a group of peaceful protestors, who had their hands in the air, and were unarmed.

What do you think about what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri? Please share thoughts, and updates, links as you see them, because this is an unfolding situation. I find the situation in Ferguson to be heartbreaking, but also, police militarization is out of control there and elsewhere. Also, the African-American civil rights movement began in 1954. That was 60 years ago. What does a situation like this, because the officer who killed the fleeing and unarmed teen was reportedly white, have to say about the progress of it?

68 Responses to The Escalating Unrest in Ferguson, Missouri

  1. girlp says:

    Why did the Chief release the robbery report when he knew Darren Wilson did not know of the robbery.

  2. Breaking:

    The St. Louis Dispatch is reporting Darren Wilson as the officer who shot Michael Brown.

    http://www.stltoday.com/

    • bettykath says:

      It took 7 days for them to release the information that Michael Brown was a robbery suspect who was judged and convicted by Darren Wilson.

      A witness says it was 30 minutes before the ambulance showed up but … the ambulance that had been at the nearby sick call came to the scene “immediately following the shooting,” to “assess Michael Brown,”

      Even if Michael and his buddy were involved in the robbery, is it police policy to shoot someone in the back? or in the front when they have their hands raised?

      The cops and the spin machine are working overtime……

      • ericadec3 says:

        This is wrong! You never hear about things like this with white ppl. Thats a problem.

      • ericadec3 says:

        The clerk had a lawfull reason to shoot and kill but this officer did not. Now whats really cold about this is that …as far as we know… didnt address him for the robbery but for walking in the street. I feel helpless but we have to do something

      • Disappointed says:

        If they were suspects why was the other young man not arrested at the scene? Something just seems to convenient. Jmo

      • Nef05 says:

        I just heard a news anchor state definitively that Michael Brown was suspected of strong arm robbing a store that led to this shooting. So yes, the police and spin machine are definitely working overtime.

        The community is questioning the ID. The claim is related to his socks/shoes. The claim is his footwear in the video does not match the footwear in the photo of him laying, deceased in the street. I haven’t been able to compare, as the video itself is not up yet.

        Secondly, The police are now saying that Ofc. Wilson was interacting with him as a suspect from the beginning. But, from what we have heard from the witnesses, it only appeared that the officer was concerned with getting Mike and his friend out of the street and onto the sidewalk. They heard “Get the fuck on the sidewalk”. Nothing about the “robbery” at all. While I wonder if the officer even knew about this “robbery” at the time. Considering I don’t believe a “robbery” of some cigarillos went out immediately over the radio as an APB; I have NO doubt that the police will spin it that way.

        In fact, not only are they doing so, but the media is colluding with them to present this scenario. Of course the right wingnuts have jumped onto to it, as a de facto excuse for why it was alright to shoot him, in the back and to continue to shoot him when he turned and surrendered with his hands up. See comments below the linked CNN video. It’s Trayvon/Jordan all over again.

  3. Ezra Klein has a well-researched article at Vox that statiscally proves what we have known and discussed here on this blog.

    The criminal justice system is racist.

    Combine a racist criminal justice system with a militarized police force that willfully and intentionally violates the Fourth Amendment everyday as a matter of policy and you will have the situation we have today.

    Unless we reverse the tide, we will have more Michael Browns and war zones in our cities.

    Dear God, Gimmee Shelter.

  4. Marsha says:

    I read that a preliminary autopsy report was released on Tuesday but I cannot find any information about the contents. Does anyone have a link to information? If this report was available, you would think that the media would be telling us how many times he was shot and whether he was shot in the back.

  5. roderick2012 says:

    Has anyone read the transcript from the Ferguson 911 dispatchers that Anonymous uncovered?

    The dispatchers heard about he shooting through the media.

    The police didn’t report the shooting because if they had an ambulance would have been dispatched to the scene of the shooting and they wanted to make sure that Michael Brown died so he couldn’t tell his side of the story.

    The police officers dumped Brown’s body into the trunk of a police SUV.

    • roderick2012 says:

      I was wrong.

      The police did report the shooting, but didn’t request an ambulance until hours after the shooting so the intent remains the same—they wanted to make sure that Michael Brown didn’t survive to tell his side of the story.

      • Nef05 says:

        According to Tiffany Mitchell, an eyewitness who recounted what she saw on The Last Word tonight, an ambulance showed up 30-40 mins after Michael Brown was shot.

        I’m not disputing what you’re saying. It is more than likely one of the witnesses called for an ambulance long before the police did, and the ambulance that showed up was the result of that call, rather than the police. Clearly, they didn’t want Michael Brown to talk. I don’t doubt that for a second!

      • Crane-Station here. What the…Oh.my.God.

  6. Nef05 says:

    I know a lot of folks here stay away from HP, but this came through my newsfeed today and I was appalled. Of course I’ve seen the efforts to criminalize Michael Brown, Jordan Davis and we all lived through the criminalization of Trayvon, but I had never seen a list such as this compiled side by side. I’m still trying to process all the ramification/ripples of it, given the impact of the media on a society increasingly complacent about gaining their info in soundbites and headlines, without bothering to use critical thinking or to look deeper. My first instinct is to be frightened, because to a lot of people, perception is reality and the media tells you every black man is a threat. Does this not make the media morally complicit?

    WHITE SUSPECT
    suspect 7
    Straight-A student plots to bomb high school

    In 2008, 18-year-old Ryan Schallenberger was accused of plotting to bomb his South Carolina high school. Ohio’s Chronicle Telegram wanted readers to know that he was a straight-A student, running an AP story with this headline.

    BLACK VICTIM
    victim 3

    Shhoting victim had many run-ins with law

    And according to the Omaha World-Herald, this is what you needed to know about Julius B. Vaughn, a 19-year-old gunned down in Omaha last year:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/media-black-victims_n_5673291.html

  7. kenteoth says:

    This situation is way out of hand…cops are supposed to serve and protect not start a war within the city they are working in….SMDH…..

    • Nef05 says:

      Instead of protecting and serving, police are searching and destroying.
      If officers are soldiers, it follows that the neighborhoods they patrol are battlefields. And if they’re working battlefields, it follows that the population is the enemy. And because of correlations, rooted in historical injustice, between crime and income and income and race, the enemy population will consist largely of people of color, and especially of black men. Throughout the country, police officers are capturing, imprisoning, and killing black males at a ridiculous clip, waging a very literal war on people like Michael Brown.

      http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/america-is-not-for-black-people-1620169913

      To extend that – there are several articles making the rounds now about 1033 program(which we taxpayers pay for) which is allowing the militarization of local PDs. There’s an excellent article in Salon’s online mag. but I can’t put two links in one post. Look for the article “One Nation Under SWAT:”

      In 1997, Congress expanded the purpose of the program to include counterterrorism in section 1033 of the defense authorization bill. In one single page of a 450-page law, Congress helped sow the seeds of today’s warrior cops.

      The amount of military hardware transferred through the program has grown astronomically over the years. In 1990, the Pentagon gave $1 million worth of equipment to U.S. law enforcement. That number had jumped to nearly $450 million in 2013. Overall, the program has shipped off more than $4.3 billion worth of materiel to state and local cops, according to the DLA.

      If you’re into conspiracy theories here’s a not so far-fetched one. It is: The corporations and their 1% executives (along with their bought politicians) are allowing/encouraging the militarization of the local PDs for their own protection for the time, soon to come, when we plebians realize how we’ve been robbed, have no legitimate recourse and resort to revolting. Since I’ve been predicting a “let them eat cake” revolution for some time now, I feel there may be some truth to this.

      • bettykath says:

        Wouldn’t it be nice if they re-purposed the money so the VA can have the doctor and nurses and facilities it needs to do its job? Enough that the can fully staff and service the mental health issues that nearly all vets have.

        And how about spending a bit so schools wouldn’t have to be shut down? With all that they are spending, we could be moving to a max of 20 students per classroom. Not enough teachers? Free college for those who will teach. This would include all out-of-work college grads who need teaching certification.

        It might be nice to reinstate the food stamp money first.

        Not enough money to do all three? Pro-rate Congressional pay. Those who do a part-time job (badly!) shouldn’t get full time pay. Besides, the bonuses they get from corporations would keep them from needing food stamps.

        • Nef05 says:

          Bettykath – you mean do some actual governing for the benefit of the people? I wish! Nope, this program is welfare for the defense contractors who needed an outlet for the war machines they were producing that the pentagon didn’t need. Which is very unfortunate. Like you, I’d much rather see these funds go to the programs that you listed.

  8. bettykath says:

    OT Robin Williams had early symptoms of Parkinson’s

    From his wife:
    “Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the frontlines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.

    Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.

    Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.

    It is our hope in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.”

    • CS here, yes, I did see that, and thank you. That he had recently received this news reaffirms my opinion that the so-called treatment providers who saw him at Hazelden were so over-focused on ‘war on drugs’ that they completely missed his greater underlying issue of grave depression, especially given the new medical diagnosis.

      • kenteoth says:

        As another fellow Parkinson’s fighter I find it beyond ridiculous that people have such hard judgmental hearts that they cannot even show any compassion to Robin who made millions laugh when they were probably ready to check out themselves….RIP Robin you won’t have to worry about people hurting you anymore…

  9. John Nichols
    ‏@NicholsUprising
    Respecting rather that assaulting civil liberties, MO State Patrol escort Thursday night protest in #Ferguson. pic.twitter.com/v5E8bQrrOg
    Reply Retweet Favorite More
    Embedded image permalink

  10. Northeast Portland, Oregon Livestream now:

    Portland, OR, a Livestream now, that I can actually watch:
    Followed by Matt Stoller and 3 others
    Rebelutionary Z ‏@Rebelutionary_Z 10m
    LIVE: March beginning in Portland–>
    http://www.ustream.tv/jessehadden
    #HandsUpDontShoot #Ferguson #NMOS14
    Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More

  11. Natalie Jackson ‏@NatJackEsq 56s
    #MikeBrown #Ferguson FYI ORLANDO: I’m hearing that there will be a WE ARE FERGUSON rally at Lake Eola Park on Saturday, August 16th at 2pm.
    Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More

  12. Retweeted by kirk murphy
    Hafiz ‏@muslimsoul 37m
    St. Louis in support of St. Louis…#Ferguson #RIPMikeBrown pic.twitter.com/qcqgZAskTd

    Embedded image permalink
    RETWEETS
    37
    FAVORITES
    14
    Devon CoxDr. Amy DeanDoSomething.orgEcomapu TravelLisa CampbellDSMILES4LIFELacy Hannah
    7:53 PM – 14 Aug 2014 · Details Flag media
    Collapse Reply Retweet Favorite More

  13. PhillyBoyRoy says:

    Looters will see far more jail time than the shooter.

  14. PhillyBoyRoy says:

    Whites all over seem to believe that the protests / looting somehow justifies the initial shooting which set off the protests / looting.

    The logic is bafflingly stupid. They are inexplicably dumb.

    I’m white btw

  15. Wow. From Kentucky, here is Rand Paul:

    Rand Paul: We Must Demilitarize the Police
    Sen. Rand Paul @SenRandPaul 12:26 PM ET

    http://time.com/3111474/rand-paul-ferguson-police/

  16. Ian Millhiser ‏@imillhiser 2m
    Looks like the new police boss in #Ferguson is actually familiar with something called the Constitution. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/08/14/with-highway-patrol-hugs-and-kisses-replace-tear-gas-in-ferguson

  17. Captain Ron Johnson, an African American, shut-down the aggressive out-of-control police response yesterday by marching with the protesters and having the police wear their regular uniforms.

    • Crane-Station here, correction to Fred there. He is marching today with the protestors, and it has changed the climate from yesterday.

    • bettykath says:

      This is great news.

      • masonblue says:

        Yes, it is. We have simply got to quit this police militarization craziness. Had it continued, tonight’s headline may well have been completely different and even more tragic.

        • Two sides to a story says:

          Awesome.

          Mr. Johnson is also saying that the robbery or theft and Brown’s death are two different issues. Local police tried to connect Brown to a suspected robbery or theft. Demonizing the victim.

          All the usual haters are online calling Brown a thug.

  18. Two sides to a story says:

    I’m encouraged that the Feds have gone in. Hopefully they’ll kick some azz and take names.

    Interesting that mainstream media outlets are showing alternative livestream coverage of Ferguson on national and local newscasts, as they did last night on LA and national news.

    One of the greatest tools in the fight against militarization of police and police brutality is citizen reporting. Keep your cell phones and cameras ready.

    • roderick2012 says:

      TSTAS:I’m encouraged that the Feds have gone in. Hopefully they’ll kick some azz and take names

      The DOJ still hasn’t indicted Zimmerman so I would temper any optimism with caution.

  19. bettykath says:

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/25574-anonymous-releases-name-of-alleged-michael-brown-shooter-sets-deadline-for-st-louis-police-response

    excerpt:
    According to Dorian Johnson, a close friend of Brown’s who was walking home with him during the time of the shooting, a Ferguson police officer told the boys to “get the fuck on the sidewalk,” and that when the boys told the cop they were only a few minutes from their destination, the officer then grabbed Brown by the neck and attempted to pull him into the patrol vehicle window; when Brown reared back, the officer threatened to shoot him.

    Moments later, according to Johnson, the officer fired a shot and let go of Brown. Brown and Johnson ran from the patrol vehicle. As Johnson took cover behind a car, he watched the officer shoot Brown in the back as he ran. Brown then turned around to face the officer and raised his hands into the air, telling the officer he was unarmed and to stop shooting. Johnson then said he watched the officer shoot Brown seven more times in the head and chest area.

    “It was just horrible to watch. It hurt him a lot. I saw it in his eyes. It hurt him a lot,” Johnson told NBC News. “It was definitely like being shot like an animal. It was almost like putting someone in an execution.”

    Who you gonna believe, a murdering cop or eye witness to the murder? I know, it’s biased question.

    • Disappointed says:

      It’s easier to believe the one who is speaking out. The Police seem to be working over time to cover their asses. So we learned in the Zimmerman trial walking in rain is punishable by death and now it seems jay walking is a death sentence. My husband and I are old white people. Honestly I never thought after 50 plus years would race relations still be this f;cked up. I refuse to apologize for the racist in this country let them stand on their ignorance.

      • bettykath says:

        to me, jay walking is crossing the street in the middle of the block. These young men seemed to be walking along the side of the road, not crossing it.

        This sounds like another zimmerman/dunne incident in that a Black teen didn’t kiss his axx when ordered.

      • Thank you for commenting, Disappointed.

      • bettykath says:

        I think the publicity this has gotten will see the officer charged and just maybe see him convicted. LWOP seems a good end to one chapter of this. Demilitarization of the police would be a good end to another chapter. Complete revamp of this police department would be another good end. The publicity just might let this be 2 wins (1 and 3; 2 is a bigger job.)

  20. Frederick Leatherman says:

    Update:

    “The ACLU of Missouri filed a lawsuit Thursday to obtain copies of initial police reports regarding Brown’s shooting after St. Louis County police rejected the group’s open-records request for the incident report.”

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-ferguson-police-shooting-unrest-20140814-story.html#page=1

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