Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by LambChop, Sep 22, 2014.
New thread. Continue here....
The fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager Saturday by a police officer in a St. Louis suburb came after a struggle for the officers gun, police officials said Sunday, in an explanation that met with outrage and skepticism in the largely African-American community.The killing of the youth, Michael Brown, 18, ignited protests on Saturday and Sunday in Ferguson, Mo., a working-class suburb of about 20,000 residents. Hundreds of people gathered at the scene of the shooting to question the police and to light candles for Mr. Brown, who was planning to begin college classes on Monday.
Mr. Browns stepfather, Louis Head, held a cardboard sign that said, Ferguson police just executed my unarmed son.
A couple of things:
1) We are not going to allow links to blogs in this case without prior approval. And approvals will be tough to get.
2) Posts directed at other posters rather than the case will earn a TO without explanation. If you have a problem with another member, use the alert feature and scroll on by OR use the ignore feature and keep it to yourself
Bringing over my response to TheDuchess, in case she misses it, due to thread closing:
I'm sorry TheDuchess. I must have missed your previous posts. I can't speak for everyone, but the shooting death of MB is more symbolic than anything else. When he was shot, people assumed the shooting was racially motivated. Not because of the facts of the incident itself, but because of their own personal experiences with police officers in Ferguson. As I've stated, the relationship between black residents in Ferguson and Ferguson police officers has been strained for many years. Many AAs in Ferguson can share horror stories around being profiled, pulled over without cause, having weapons drawn on them without cause, their vehicles tossed without cause, etc. I realize not everyone believes these stories when they hear them- even I do not believe all of them- but there is enough of a breakdown between residents and LE that people assumed the worst. Racism.
Some of the issue is a lack of education. I'm not talking school-system education, I'm talking about education of the process in general. People already believed no one in LE cared that MB was shot, so it wasn't a leap for them to also believe his body had layed in the street for 4 hours as an act of disrespect. For many in the community, it is literally easier for them to believe, based on their own experiences, that those officers didn't care about MB than it is to believe there's a logical (non-racially motivated) explanation.
It truly is easier for many residents to believe MB had his hands up in surrender and was shot anyway than it is to believe OW was acting in self-defense. Again, the reason for this is because of their own experiences, their own histories with local LE. Many believe a white police officer shooting an unarmed black male without cause was inevitable. Many express shock it hasn't happened sooner. When MB was shot and killed, they took it as proof of the breakdown they've perceived between LE and their own families for many, many years.
THAT is why I believe race has to be a part of the conversation regarding the death of MB. Not because I automatically assume OW was racist, but because people are acting out the pain and anger of decades of dysfunction. You cannot begin to understand where they are coming from if you don't understand the racial tension that has haunted the region over such a long period of time.
Someone not impacted by the racial dynamic may find it easier to look at the facts objectively, with no filter (racial or otherwise) and come to a certain conclusion. The residents of Ferguson do not have that luxury. It's not because they're bad people, it's because they live in a racial divide, where their existence is literally "us vs. them". Now, some of that is their own doing. I'm the first to admit that. But not all of it is, and there are some people that have enjoyed measurable success- black and white alike- off of the racial divide.
Hopefully that answers your question somewhat?
There were two meetings: the regular County Council meeting at night and the Committee of the Whole meeting a couple of hours earlier.
Both meetings featured either Dooley or his political ally, Council Chairwoman Hazel Erby, going after Stenger.
Earlier at the Committee of the Whole meeting, Erby sparred with Stenger.
She cut him off during debate over the troubled St. Louis County Childrens Services Fund.
Madam Chair Id appreciate having the opportunity, I had the floor, Id like to ask my questions, Stenger said.
Im going to finish this, Steve! Erby said, refusing to allow it.
You should be ashamed of yourself, Erby chided Stenger.
Ok, I get it now. Erby's aligned with Dooley, who's hoping to get revenge from all we've discussed prior. And apparently fighting and unbecoming behavior at these meetings predates Michael's death.
The landscape's been ugly for a long time. I've asked my friends many times to help me understand why Charley Dooley can do no wrong in their eyes, even as they look at a really messed up economical/social landscape among AAs in St. Louis County. No, Dooley isn't solely responsible, but even if he's a great guy, he is ineffective. In my friends' defense, they've tried to explain it to me, and I just don't get it. It's possible I'm just a dunce. Maybe they think he's the lesser of two evils. I just don't care for Dooley and never have. I didn't have many people to celebrate Stenger's victory in the primaries with, but celebrate I did!
Earlier you had some choice things to say about Wilson. If you're marching with these guys, do you too believe he should be arrested?
Quote from Klood-N [There were threats made at that meeting. I get that she and others are up for election and the ever growing list of those protestors now demand be arrested/fired/recalled has to make politicians in the area nervous. It would have been great had one official in those meetings stood up and said, "We won't tolerate your threats of violence here." ]
This is a great point, no local public official has strongly denounced the criminal and illegal behavior of some of these protestors that I've heard. jmo Until someone doesn't mince words with these criminal protestors and clearly admonish them, it's just enabling them to continue this type of highly inappropriate "protest." They aren't likely to garner much local, state, national or international support either; the riots, looting, arson, potential terroristic/threats, extortion are extremely improper and shameful, imo. Has anyone shamed these "protestors" yet?
I appreciate your continued willingness to discuss your views on this case and the protests that stemmed as one who has protested, CMac2. Thank you for your well considered responses to questions about your thoughts. I appreciate the effort and patience it takes articulating a POV that does not seem to align with the majority.
Just wanted to say that.
I don't know enough about what happened to push for Wilson's arrest. I fully support the idea of having the Grand Jury hear evidence. I think that is the only chance the community has in getting an impartial determination of whether it's likely a crime was committed or not. Have I heard troubling things about what may or may not have occured that day? Of course. But I've heard troubling things about both MB and OW. I don't believe many of the people involved in this case have the ability to be impartial, whether it's the police department, McCulloch, the Brown family, or the residents of Ferguson. There has been too much history for me to think anyone I've seen up to this point truly has no personal agenda. That goes for both sides. So, as a citizen of the area, that's why I try to make a difference in ways that will in no way hinder or impact this investigation. Obviously, for one reason or another, the people of Ferguson don't trust their elected officials. Why? Because they didn't elect them. Why? Because they didn't vote. I just decided to start there. Maybe we can solve THAT problem, at least. Otherwise, I just pray justice prevails and the truth comes out, no matter what that truth ultimately looks like, if that makes sense.
Also, to clarify, when I go to the protests, it's to support a peaceful demonstration. It's to register voters, it's to hand out water and supplies. As I stated before, I handed out water to an OW supporter last time I was down there. I don't go to hold up signs, and I chose not to be a part of the I-70 march that shut down traffic. I just want the area to make some good come of this tragedy, so the kids in that community have a future worth looking forward to. It's just that I get troubled when it starts to feel like there's no other dialogue about the "other side" of the story, no thought given to the pain that divides this community.
Honestly? I think they're scared to. They'll denounce the threats all day long in private, but won't say it in public. Every time a black person expresses an opinion that is not part of the standard script, they get attacked. You'll see some of that during the PBS Townhall on Friday. Gwen Ifill interviews a man from NYC (I cannot recall his name- Riley or somebody) about his thoughts on the case. He mentions some of the problems within the black community, and dared speak those most hated words, "Personal Responsibility". I'm not going to lie- some in the crowd (not all) snickered, and rolled their eyes. The prevailing wisdom is that a black person who voices dissent is an Uncle Tom. No black person wants that label. I just don't think the answers lie with the current politicians. It's going to be a grassroots effort involving the residents of the community, churches and non-profit organizations.
I'm puzzle why there is a "racial divide" because race has no bearing on this case. There was no racial profiling involved when Officer Brown told Brown and Johnson to get out of the street. Because the majority of the residents of Ferguson are AA, it isn't racial profiling if a police officer believes an AA young man matches the description on a BOLO. I believe the neighbors who complained to the media are also primarily AA and the unemployed men who sit around smoking dope while their women are at work are also primarily AA.
My son lives in a high crime area of Chicago. The neighborhood is predominantly Latino and the majority of crimes are committed by and the victims are predominantly Latino. The neighborhood is relieved when police enforce the laws.
The race of police officers and politicians who enact the laws they enforce is irrelevant to the discussion about the shooting of Michael Brown. All that is relevant was whether Officer Wilson was justified or not.
CMac2 I wasn't directing the question to anyone in particular, but thank you for your thoughtful insight, it's appreciated.
I'll add thanks for the apology, CMac. Those first posts were explosive. Glad you turned down the blast. That skillset is needed in Ferguson. I'm hoping that "no thought to the pain" isn't again directed to people posting here. As pointed out before, many feel for the community, but not for the rioters, instigators, and orchestrators manipulating and using Michael and others for their gain. IMO, supporting protest activities at this point advances the violence and hate, not solutions or healing.
If it is "revenge" they are trying to achieve, their approach is bizarre. Stenger is right in his attempt to insist on better accountability of money in a children's fund under investigation. Good grief.
From your article: Stenger was ripping the Children Service’s Fund for failing to get effectively dollars from a special sales tax voters approved in 2008 to the children in crisis it’s meant to help.
The fund has a $78 million balance.
“I don’t think that it’s excusable. I don’t think it’s something you should stand before the council and make excuses about,” Stenger said to the fund’s director, Julie Leicht, regarding the failure to provide the Council with a report on the fund’s current status in the wake of a scandal under the former director.
I think that's the link many people are missing, and that's what I tried to explain in my novel (ha ha) to TheDuchess. It doesn't really matter what OW's motivation was. Not to the black residents of Ferguson. The reason it doesn't matter is because of the racial divide that has existed in the area for so long. They didn't feel like they needed to wait for "facts", they didn't need proof of a racial motive. Their history with local LE was proof enough. In their minds, this shooting was proof of what they already believed, which is that cops are hunting black boys in Ferguson. EVERYONE in that area- certainly in that apartment complex- is AA. The complex itself is low-income housing, so yes, there's a lot of crime, drug abuse and whatever else happens in areas where people aren't thriving economically. In a point of law, all that's relevant is whether OW was justified or not. In Ferguson, that's the least of the community's concerns. I'm not saying that's right, I'm just saying that's reality. And, if a determination is made that OW was justified, the residents will not believe it. They are completely convinced of what they believe happened, and the motivation behind it.
We had a big box in our tutoring office. Students were allowed to drop their homework for various teachers inside the box and we would distribute it for them. They would often be afraid or embarrassed to be seen turning in assignments in class, so they'd drop it off with us, anonymously. Especially the boys. They'd be called 'Tom' if they turned in their work.
At the middle class school where I worked, it was the exact opposite. Students would be embarrassed by not doing their schoolwork or getting poor grades. In South Central, that was something to brag about. Saying you flunked a test and didnt do the term paper was a badge of honor. :facepalm:
That needs to change immediately. They used to bring in popular athletes from USC to try and say it was 'cool' to do well in school, but it only promoted the false hopes of becoming a star athlete, imo. They need to find a way to make the students take their education seriously. "My mama didnt graduate and she doin Okay" is what I heard a lot.
I did owe the forum an apology, so thank you. I am very passionate about this topic, and I get overly-protective when I let my emotions get involved, and get to feeling that only one side of the equation is being respresented. I continue to fully support the right to peaceful demonstration, and therefore the protestors, but do not blindly support all gatherings. My brown-behind was nowhere near Ferguson when the rioting and looting was going down- I came there in the daytime to avoid problems. I was also conspicuously absent during the I-70 march, and e-mailed Maria Chappelle Nadal (she's the one who invited me to attend) to explain exactly why I would not be there. Unfortunately, people with personal agendas have made a terrible mess of things. I don't want to see those who believe in peace and progress drowned out by the noise of those who want their 15 minutes of fame.
I took part in many anti-war protest as a student at UC Berk in the early 70's. I sat down in the quad and I sat down in the registrars office, but when I saw the molotovs being filled with gas, I scurried out of there. I did not want to burn down anyones business, just to get my point across. It is hard to believe that 40 years later, we are still burning down our own neighborhoods.
That's just scary. They're calling for the man's death and they don't even care about the facts! Have to remind myself, not everyone there feels that way. That's certainly prejudice against nonblacks & LE though, IMO.
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