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OP-ED | The Problem Isn’t Just the Police

by Susan Bigelow | Aug 22, 2014 6:29am
(60) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Civil Liberties, Law Enforcement, Opinion

What’s going on with the police in this country? If, like me, you’ve been alternately shocked and deeply saddened by the actions of police against protestors, journalists, and residents in Ferguson, MO, then this is a question that demands an answer.

The current series of demonstrations and strong police reactions began when a police officer in Ferguson shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown. There are many black voices out there talking about the racial aspect of this awful tragedy, and I strongly suggest you read some of them. Greg Howard’s powerful essay, “America is Not For Black People,” is a good place to start. There are many others.

But this isn’t just about one young man’s life stolen by police in one town, it’s about a bigger pattern that white America is finally waking up to. Some recent examples: a black man named John Crawford was shot dead in an Ohio Wal-Mart because he was holding a toy air rifle. In South Dakota, an 8-year-old Rosebud Sioux girl was shot with a stun gun because police couldn’t convince her to put down a paring knife. In New York, a black man named Eric Garner was strangled by police who had him in a choke-hold.

And it’s not just happening in other states. Here in Connecticut, witnesses say that a Hartford teen was complying with officers’ orders when they shot him with a Taser. In Enfield, charges against a man who was accusing the police of brutality were quietly dropped after video emerged of the incident. And lastly, preliminary analysis of Connecticut traffic-stop data suggests that there’s a higher chance police will stop you if you are black or Latino.

The police themselves seem to be acting more like military than ever before, as well. “I’m A Cop: If You Don’t Want to Get Hurt, Don’t Challenge Me,” the title of a recent essay in the Washington Post, sounds like the arrogant attitude of an occupying force. The scenes of police in Missouri wearing military-style desert camouflage gear and confronting protestors with heavy military vehicles have been seared into the national consciousness over the past few weeks, but thanks to programs that sell military surplus to police for pennies on the dollar, departments all over the country now have access to this sort of gear.

The Courant found that plenty of Connecticut police departments have picked up cheap weapons and vehicles. Stratford, Fairfield, Windsor, and Windsor Locks have picked up M-16s, for example, while Meriden, West Hartford, and Woodbridge now own grenade launchers. Eleven departments, including Madison and Windsor, possess mine resistant vehicles, and Stratford owns a Huey helicopter. I can’t imagine what they’re planning on doing with them, especially in an era where violent crime has been falling for two decades.

Unfortunately, none of this will be easy to undo. It’s like this country figured out the recipe to make the perfect bomb: take longstanding institutional racism and historic attitudes of the police toward nonwhite people, and mix in the toxic effects of white paranoia, white supremacy, bulging prisons, gun culture, sensationalist media, and cheap military surplus, and you get something that is going to explode. And it has, again and again.

Look, I know that there are fantastic cops out there. I’ve met a lot of them, and I’m grateful for the work they all do every day. It’s a tough, dangerous job, and it doesn’t come with a lot of rewards. Many officers risk their lives on a regular basis to keep us safe.

But that doesn’t change any of the facts above. The police are in this gray area, where on the one hand they’re doing great things and making the country a better place to live, but on the other hand they’re engaging in oppressive behaviors: racially profiling people, becoming more militarized, and using firearms when they don’t need to.

If that gray area seems familiar, it’s because the U.S. military has lived there since 2001. I do have to wonder if we’re seeing yet another effect of the long war, this twitchy nervousness, and this sorting of everyone — without exceptions — into camps labeled “friends” or “enemies.”

Whatever the underlying causes, this road we’re on is a dangerous one, and we must do what we can to turn around. Examining racial profiling here in Connecticut is a good start, but the next governor and the next session of the legislature must do more to heal the chasm that’s opened up between police and community.

Susan Bigelow is an award-winning columnist and the founder of CTLocalPolitics. She lives in Enfield with her wife and their cats.

DISCLAIMER: The views, opinions, positions, or strategies expressed by the author are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of CTNewsJunkie.com.

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(60) Comments

posted by: Salmo | August 22, 2014  11:19am

As far as I know at the moment the jury is still out on what was the actual cause of what happened in Ferguson. It is no secret that every day that goes by finds young thugs aggressively pushing the envelope as to how far they can go to antagonize the police. I fear if we keep hammering the police we will be hard pressed to find even certified morons to want to be police officers.

posted by: Greg | August 22, 2014  12:50pm

Agree completely.  And add to your list the growing number of SWAT deployments for non-violent situations or to execute search warrants…some of which inevitably get botched or are flat out wrong with no repurcussions.

To your point about armored vehicles:
http://rt.com/usa/164816-american-police-militarization-war/

Keene NH needs a bearcat/MRAP to protect the annual Pumpkin Festival. Podunk Indiana needs the same because there’s a war out in the cornfields?Really?

Given this militarization in both equipment and mindset is a extremely clear trend over the past decade or two, one cannot simply dismiss it and have it backed up with data.  By FBI data, violent crime as a whole is down by nearly half in the last 20 years, yet we’re arming police as if it doubled or tripled.  Oh, and nobody in any local/state/federal administration seems to be at all concerned. 

That alone should tell you something, tin foil hat or not.

posted by: Bulldog1 | August 22, 2014  6:06pm

I’ve got a retired police chief in the family but I’m also old enough to remember the pictures of Prague, Budapest and Tienanmen Square where vehicles just like those in Ferguson, Mo. were being used to suppress the people of those countries.

Where is the leadership of the towns receiving these combat vehicles?  Do they discuss the need and/or purpose of having such vehicles prior to the PD asking for them?

What’s lacking is the joint effort of the police and the citizenry to assure a peaceful, law abiding community.  It isn’t cheap, it requires that laws be observed and that police build the bridges to the community.  Where poverty and a lack of respect for the community itself, never mind the Law, things will require tougher approaches.  Hartford, with all it’s problems, seems to have improved the relationship between the police and the community so it can be done.  Ferguson on the other hand seems to have taken a more “occupied territory” approach which lead to the shooting of the young man there. 

In the end there is no substitute for community involvement by all parties to make the system work.

posted by: ASTANVET | August 22, 2014  6:47pm

First Susan, I would ask that you take the race out of this - I do not believe that the race card has a place in this discussion.  The over militarization of the police is a HUGE problem.  Liberals (such as yourself) advocated for the restriction of firearms for citizens, yet voted for the president who campaigned on the promise of a civilian force as well equipped and trained as the military.  You got what you asked for.  Billions of dollars in MRAP vehicles, HMMWV’s, M4’s, more kit than I had in my tours of duty as an infantryman in combat.  These police officers (LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS not PEACE OFFICERS) are kitted up and ready to rock.  That being said, they are, by in large, patriotic citizens who have a desire to serve.  Some are bad, but most, MOST are good, oath abiding men and women who put themselves on America’s front line.  What does that front line look like?  Well, due to a porous border and a long line of cartels, terrorists, and who knows who else pouring into our country, the face of America is changing.  If for example a terrorist cell is active in the US (I assume they are) the military can’t be utilized unless martial law is enacted.  You don’t want that - you don’t want civilians taking control of their own security, you don’t want the police having guns and equipment like this… So what’s the answer Susan?  Just add to that the dismal economy in large part due to our governmental interference - you’re building a powder keg with only the heavily armed police to do what they feel is right… There is no civil society left… and who do you blame for that??!!??

posted by: Bluecoat | August 22, 2014  6:50pm

I had a conversation with a CT police officer two weeks before this became a national story.
When I questioned the military tactics being used today, which include killing the family dog, shooting kids who answer the door with video game controllers, and the case in Georgia where the police threw a flash bang into a infants crib, the comments I got back from this officer were, “Why shouldn’t I have these weapons and tools, and “I can take someone out from 100 hundred yards”!
Did I mention this officer was in the military,?
Now He did have some good points, but,  I told him that these weapons should be carried on an everyday purpose, but He disagreed.
Suggested reading here is Radly Balko’s new book on this exact subject and Many, many posts from Glen Reynolds at instapundit.com over the last three or four years

posted by: Bluecoat | August 22, 2014  6:55pm

http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/?s=Militarization+of+police

posted by: Bluecoat | August 22, 2014  7:02pm

Don’t know what to look for,
Popular Science made it easier for you
http://www.popsci.com/article/technology/spotters-guide-military-grade-gear-now-being-used-police

posted by: Bluecoat | August 22, 2014  7:06pm

Here is a great example of police who just can’t wait to use their new toys.
I agree with Glen Reynolds here, this is embarrassing,
What the video of Doraville Georgia’s best and finest, Population 8,500
http://reason.com/blog/2014/08/13/how-a-suburban-swat-team-sees-itself

posted by: ASTANVET | August 22, 2014  10:35pm

Bluecoat, that’s the bigger issue I think - it’s the field of dreams principle… once you build it (swat team MRAPS multicam uniforms with ACH helmets all with M4’s or M21 sniper rifles) they will find reasons to use them.  If you think police should have it, regular citizens should be able to have it too.  A buddy of mine who is a high ranking dude in one of our local PD’s was showing a picture of his departments new MRAP vehicle - when I questioned him about it (the picture he was showing with the enthusiasm of a new born child) - he said for “high risk warrants” - i’m guessing the execution of “high risk warrants” will go up as every guy wants to try out the new toys.

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 23, 2014  8:37am

This is a great topic to be discussing and the issues are multifaceted.

The concern about this has been raised primarily from the pro 2nd Amendment crowd and we were told we were lying and alarmists. Now we see it in action and again we are vindicated for telling the truth.

However, we’re being tricked by the media on this one. The police and SWAT having this stuff is not even on the same scale as the Feds having this. The police are our friends, our neighbors, our coaches and live in or locally to the communities they serve. They are the first line of defense against rioters and maruaders. They are under no legal obligation to die or be seriously hurt because a group of people want to act like terrorists.

The REAL concern should be why does the IRS have this stuff and much more of it? Why does the EPA have this? The Bureau of Land Management? The Department of Fisheries? Remember the issues raised on this board and elsewhere on why the feds were buying machine guns and millions of rounds of hollow point ammo for these Departments. It was for these groups, and not for the FBI, DEA, ATF which is more understandable, but still concerning.

Now as to police protecting themselves. The reason for them having this weaponry is pretty much twofold.

1) It was bought for war and rather than scrapping it, it was provided to local law enforcement.

2) There has been a plan to provide this and rightfully so because of two situations. One was in LA and one was in Miami when bank robbers killed and wounded multiple police and FBI over the course of a long gun battle where the police are under armed and the criminals had firepower and body armor that could not be penetrated.

Finally, as it relates to Ferguson, Hartford or wherever, the SCOTUS, Chief Justice Renquist specifically wrote in the overwhelming majority decision that the standard that an officer follows when using deadly force is not 20-20 hindsight, but what the officer truly believes in that split second what their risk is.

As it relates to Ferguson we should all be very concerned about two things.

One is that justice should be color blind and that anyone who lied here from the officer to the attorneys on TV needs to be punished severely.

Second is that if the facts determine that the officer acted appropriately and people riot again as has been threatened by leaders of these groups,and shoot at officers again, then we need to stand with the police using whatever is at their disposal to protect themselves, law abiding people in the community and businesses.

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 23, 2014  8:56am

Susan, you really need to get command of your facts on some of these situations.

I dont know anything about the little girl story but that sounds insane. I do know about the Walmart.

That guy was walking around the aisles of that store pointing that gun at people. He wasnt in the aisle where he took it off the shelf and was examining it like a reasonable person would for purchase. He left that area near the toys, BB guns, etc and went to the ladies section and other places not nearby pointing it at people and laughing which is why people called 911. The officers did not just walk in and blow him away. He was told to drop it and he didn’t.

As for Ferguson I think we know most of the facts even though we officially know very little. We also know what the standard the officer is legally obligated to follow as the SCOTUS has told us that.

My very strong feeling is that as of now I believe the officer acted appropriately but I need one more piece of specific information as we all do to make a fact based determination.

Brown was shot 6 times. We know that Brown tried to get his gun in the car and a shot went off in the car. We know the autopsy results.

The question is were 7 bullets missing from the officers gun? If more than that were fired it could actually give credence to the story that he was trying to shoot Brown as he fled and Brown turned around to surrender. If all shots fired outside of the car struck Brown then only a lying moron would come to the conclusion that he was surrendering and not charging the officer.

I also get furious at people on TV that think that after you struggle with an officer to get his gun, that if you unarmed and come at the officer again that the officer shouldnt shoot you.

Why is it material that the officer is former military yet when a video is shown of Browns behavior 5 minutes prior its not? Is it material that he just stole cigars? To me not really. What is material is that rather than walking out with the cigars he chose to GO BACK on the video and assault a much smaller person. Hmmm sound familiar?

posted by: shinningstars122 | August 23, 2014  11:15am

shinningstars122

@Joebigjoe the EPA and the IRS being militarized?!?

My goodness you are going off the deep end with that rant.

Let me share alittle OWS perspective with you all.

This was when America first saw this display and use of force by local police departments with the liberal Bloomberg leading the pack.

To most people it was not an issue, until much later, and many in the mainstream media agreed that Occupiers were getting what we deserved for exercising our Constitutional rights and challenging the status quo, Wall Street, the plutocracy, and corporatism.

Hartford PD was one of the few exceptions nationwide in exercising tolerance for the Occupy movement.

It was not until we had serious issues in the encampment that the Mayor had enough and the SWAT team was called in when the encampment was shut down.

The irony, and hypocrisy, is that of the numerous CCDL protest held at the state house over the last few years showcases this hypocrisy.

As those protesters did not have to endure the same display of force or be photographed, which HPD did do to Occupy Hartford members, as they protested their 2nd Amendment rights…mind you with many carrying rifles, hand guns, automate weapons and calling for the violent over throw of the US government.

The point is if you are white and middle class well you get treated a whole lot differently than folks in Ferguson or Occupiers in an encampment.

I mean where is the NRA in Ferguson? Shouldn’t they be rushing in to arm up all these minorities with guns to help them protect and defend their Constitutional rights?

As many of us already know, as do most card carrying members of the NRA and CCDL, it will never happen folks and all I will say on that is 2042.

What is happening, very quietly mind you, is that guns being purchased by whites have surged in the suburbs surrounding St. Louis since this all began.

The point is, and one we should all take note, is that this militarization of all police departments is the direct results of the war on terror and the Patriot Act.

With the clear reality that endless sleeper cells and other jhadists have not infiltrated every aspect of US society, the government and police thus turn their suspicions on us all.

I mean talk about a self fulfilling prophesy?

The point is we will not go back to before 9/11. No politicians will ever call for the de-militarizing of these police forces…it is not worth the political risk if “something” ever did happen.

All we can do now is check and balance the abuses that do and will continue to occur by police and the government’s continued surveillance of all its citizens no matter what their skin color is.

Just like us Occupiers once said we are all the 99% we can now say with just as much clarity and truth… we are all Ferguson.

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 23, 2014  12:02pm

53…53…53

The number of police officers executed with their own firearms over the last 10 years in the US by unarmed assailants who attacked them, got the gun and on the spot executed the officer.

I dont want to hear this unarmed garbage any more in the media.

Also I forgot one comment from before. In the Cambridge Police situation Obama and Trayvon martin he acted like a jerk and not a President. In both cases he was wrong.

In this case however notice two things.

One is that he hasnt acted like an idiot. Why? Because as the most powerful person in the world he got information very quickly from people in the know that this was probably a good shoot by the officer. If he knew otherwise he would have expressed outrage and fired up his political base.

Second is any dirty work will potentially be done by Holder and his Civil Rights goon squad. Holder is supposed to be color blind as the most Sr law enforcement official in the country. Rather than talking about his experiences of being black which played to the political base he should have said one thing and thats simple. “

The US justice department will offer any assistance necessary to determine the facts and if its found the officer acted outside of the law then the legal process will deal with that and if anyone riots or lies as part of the process the US legal system will deal with them as well as agitators including community activists, attorneys, citizens.”

posted by: justsayin | August 24, 2014  4:44am

Susan again you bias blindd you. Two sides to the story give it time and let the facts come out.

posted by: Politijoe | August 24, 2014  6:49am

Politijoe

Susan, great article and well written. There are a few usual cohorts who are not alarmed by a local PD paramilitary. Who want to dismiss the fact institutional racism is contributing to this issue and those who have a fear-based perspective against all things different, including facts. Of course its usually the same thinking that completely ignores the primary factor which contributed to this issue, namely the murderous hustle by political thugs who invaded a sovereign nation under a false pretense. A failed policy that continues to haunt us to this day with local paramilitary police forces as just one example.

This contradictory ideology that reinforces the role of the military-industrial complex as the world’s largest arms supplier to an already volatile region. An error that is compounded when our military, which happens to be the world’s largest consumer of the regions oil, intervenes to protect the oil reserves. Legitimizing a convoluted philosophy that influences a perpetual state of war and a culture of violence.

The types of individuals unwilling to step back and consider the facts and their own limited perspectives and fears promotes a self-fulfilling cycle of fear and violence that has become the bigger problem in America.

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 24, 2014  9:32am

Shining Stars get your facts right. Yes they are militarized as is the USDA. I guess thats in case the cows riot. Would you like me to post links to the information directly off Federal government web sites for the procurement of these items?

Seriously, we are not a country divided on race as much as we are a country divided on facts, as many people on your side like to ignore them and distort them.

You really show your patheticness when you support OWS and talk about the NRA not going to Ferguson.

The fact, again you arent good with facts, is that OWS in NYC was shut down AFTER people started being violent, women were raped, people were living in filth that created a heath risk, and interfering with people that just wanted to go to work.

Ferguson, I think its a good thing that people marched peacefully to express their grievances. We should honor every amendment of the Bill of Rights but your side likes to pick and choose what you like. However in the end this was tarnished by people primarily from outside of Ferguson that were violent, destroyed peoples livelihoods that had done nothing to any black person other than provide jobs and place for people to buy groceries etc. Frankly those people that rioted and threw molotov cocktails at police should have been shot, and I stand behind that comment fully. There is a saying and there are laws that support the comment that “looters will be shot.”

If people are maruading, burning, shooting, looting and attacking innocent people, you seem to think it’s a bad thing for people nearby to buy guns because they are afraid. If I didnt capture your feelings on that accurately I apologize. If I did capture that accurately I sincerely hope that you are getting the therapy you need because the day you deny peoples right to be afraid and legally defend themselves it would mean you have some serious issues with reality.

The one thing I fully agree with you on is government surveillance. Funny thing though is we had John Brennan flat out lie to the Congress, we had the CIA spying on the Senate, but we dont see Obama firing anyone. I guess he is too busy yucking it up on the golf course to really care about civil liberties.

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 24, 2014  10:25am

Again SS, watch the news other NBC and you might learn something.

Why do you think this story below has not gotten more airtime on your stations? My personal feeling is that it doesnt fit the narrative that you support that there arent jihadists and sleeper cells in this country.

I also ask you why this very law abiding young man’s clear execution hasnt led to protests and violence in front of mosques?  As a matter of fact I don’t hear Obama saying a single word about this. The execution of a white prep school student in a nice town in New Jersey by a black Muslim who executed other white people in other parts of the country as revenge against the US and on behalf of Islam, that wonderful religion of peace.

http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2014/08/accused_serial_killer_says_livingston_teens_murder_was_vengeance_against_us.html

posted by: NoNonsense2014 | August 24, 2014  11:05am

Susan, I beg to differ on a couple of your “facts”. In the Enfield case, the charges were not “quietly dropped… after a video emerged.” The Enfield police actually submitted an arrest warrant for their officer to the prosecutor, who declined to sign it. The PD is still conducting an internal investigation. The dropping of the charges was in the Courant, so it wasn’t “quiet”. And as for what the traffic stop stats may or may not show, the “preliminary analysis” isn’t much of an analysis and the conclusions are misleading. Do you know whether those (or any or all) of the stops were justified or unjustified from that “analysis”? Of course not. So to say that it “suggests” anything is wrong.

posted by: Greg | August 24, 2014  4:23pm

@SS122:  Before you accuse anyone of tin-foil hat paranoia of regulatory agencies militarizing, please explain why the Dep. of Agriculture needs submachine guns:

http://reason.com/blog/2014/05/16/why-the-hell-is-the-department-of-agricu

All those illicit raw milk sellers are sure violent:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/08/03/swat-team-raids-raw-milk-farm-rawesome-arrests-owner/

EPA…yea them too:  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/11/epa-facing-fire-armed-raid-alaska-mine/?page=all

Although, I believe you and I agree this exact sort of have-toys-must-find-use is abhorrent regardless of the application.  I do remember driving by the day Pedro shut down the Occupy Hartford encampment and i was quite surprised by the sheer mass of blue and red flashing lights just to clear out a few tents; not to mention the revaluation of DHS/FBI/NSA surveillance of OWS in NYC akin to something we’d see for a terror group operating out of Yemen.  Which brings us both into agreement: Why the sheer paranoia by law enforcement for protesters of any type?  Even further than that, why no politician save Rand Paul or Justin Amash actually speaking out against this sort of hut-hut-huting around of fully geared up LE pointing their weapons, off safety, at protesters is well beyond me. Unless, after all, there is something bigger going on that makes me put my tin-foil hat back on. 

If MRAPs in Farmtown, IN or Bearcats in whitewashed, upper-middle West Hartford don’t make anyone of any political pursuasian take a step back and ask why, then we’re all doomed.

posted by: JH_1 | August 24, 2014  7:37pm

Shiningstars - Please explain what “serious issues in the OWS encampment” prompted the mayor to call in SWAT to shut it down. 


If you’re going to make such a divisive and strong statement like “If you’re white and middle class, you’re going to get treated a whole lot differently than folks in Ferguson or Occupiers in an encampment”, then please elaborate a little more. 


Did the same serious issues in the OWS encampment you referred to occur at the CCDL rally?


To the best of my knowledge, no one at the CCDL rally broke any laws.

posted by: shinningstars122 | August 25, 2014  5:00am

shinningstars122

The issues that forced the mayor to shut down the Occupy Hartford encampment included one of the homeless people living there, who threatened another homeless person with a hand gun.

This man fled once reported by the Occupiers to HPD.

The other was an attempt, it could have been two separate incidents, of attempted sexual assault by another of the homeless folks who had also chosen to live there.

These folks were not Occupiers but welcome to stay in the camp if they respected the goals of the movement, which sadly they did not always do.

My point of mentioning the comparison to the CCDL rally, which I did attend in 2013, was that if a person of color were walking down Main street in Hartford, that same very day, carrying an automatic weapon HPD would have surely stopped them.

As I recall HPD was not even there to check if many of these folks even had a legal permit as they walked to the state house from their cars.

The only police presence was the Capitol police and I recall only a few officers at that.

99% of the folks who attended that rally were white so I stand by what I wrote.

It must have been the assumption on law enforcement’s part that there would be no need to consider that for the overall safety of people in Hartford it might have been prudent to see if many of these folks even had a legal gun permit.

The point is they did not do that and if you listened to what many of the speakers said at the rally, it would have made you cringe and question there rationale on how many of these folks came to their questionable conclusions.

Here is just one youtube video from that rally.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2cSnZpDnow

posted by: GuilfordResident | August 25, 2014  7:46am

I fear my government. I fear the police.

posted by: Politijoe | August 25, 2014  11:14am

Politijoe

Bigjoe, you seem to embrace a particular pattern of beliefs on any given issue including: healthcare, institutional racism, militarized police, justified shootings, etc.. although I don’t think your alone, the convoluted logic does seem be represented by many conservatives that suggest the bottom line is always ‘WHO’ are we talking about. This of course leads to are they deserving, moral and worthy in their actions to justify healthcare benefits or being shot dead by police.

What is equally as troubling is the broader issue that is usually dismissed or ignored completely. In the case of Feguson and paramilitary police forces-WHY has this occurred? In my opinion its the result of a perpetual culture of war in America and a culture of violence. Employing these weapons in a civilian environment against citizens regardless of who is rioting is unjustified. Same with a deadly police shooting of an unarmed citizen. When an officer shoots multiple rounds into an unarmed teenager the issue becomes police procedure because that should’ve never happened….unfortunately it happens far too often.

Therefore, the issue is less about the symptoms of Ferguson, Wall St, Iraq, Trayvon Martin and more about the residual effects of our policies concerning military, war, racism, equality and poverty in America.

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 25, 2014  1:22pm

Just heard Al Sharpton the radio say that “we will retaliate for allowing a dead young black man to lay in the street for 4 hours.”

I believe in the 1st Amendment but can we put reasonable limitations on this man? Not take his right to speak but just give him a limited amount of time to speak and limit where he can speak.

The reason Brown was in the road for 4 hours is because they were working forensics to make sure that the officers story was either the truth or a lie. They measured where the officer said he was standing, where the car was, where Brown was, where the shell casings were, where blood droppings were, DNA, tons of measurements and pictures.

Sharpton knows this so this to me is inciting hatred and possible rioting. When is the rest of thinking America of all races going to stand up and tell him where to go and tell him when he gets there to stay home.

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 25, 2014  2:02pm

Joe, your utopian non-violent ideals just don’t fly.

Every one of the people on this board would agree that a police officer acting outside the scope of the law and killing, beating, raping, an innocent person needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

However you seem to think an unarmed person is not a deadly threat to an officer or even a private citizen. You’re nuts on that. I think you need to go to a local MMA gym near where you live, throw on all the body protection they have including head gear and go at it in a controlled environment and then tell me how you feel.

As for Americans violence, violence has been going on for thousands and thousands of years and for all we know tens of thousands. The progressive left and their thoughts on this are a threat everyone. No one wants an unjust war, no one wants an innocent person killed especially by police, but I can tell you that true evil exists in the world and needs to be destroyed whenever we can.

If you were at Sandy Hook that horrible day and saw that jerk walk in shooting and you saw that he left another weapon on his car that he wanted to use later or was too heavy for him to carry, would you take that weapon and kill him, would you call the police and wait outside listening to the carnage, or would you be a man and take care of business? Please answer that as I answer a lot of your questions.

By the way as for multiple rounds, most were in his arm and I can assure you that if it were me and wanted to hurt someone, I’m going to keep coming until you hit me center mass or in the head. I’m as big as Mike Brown so I know I can make up 10 yards on someone I wanted to hurt in about a second or two max and in the real world the victim doesnt have have any time to respond.

posted by: GBear423 | August 25, 2014  2:32pm

GBear423

SS122-  HPD would probably have SWAT teams on ANY man walking main street with an automatic rifle. I do not think they would be thrilled with a white guy toting a semi-automatic rifle either.

So at this event you went to with all the racist gun-toting white people, did they start shooting each other?  Shoot any minorities?  Pigeons? Terrorist sleeper cells? The breeze? Empty beer cans?

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 25, 2014  2:42pm

More White House people at that funeral today than at Margaret Thatchers, a world leader and a great friend to the US.

Wow this administration has really purposely divided us and has their priorities all wrong. Hillary Clinton even wants no part of this but she should be made to weigh in on this if she wants to be President. A good time would be after the truth comes out.

posted by: Politijoe | August 25, 2014  3:04pm

Politijoe

Shiningstars there is certainly validity to your sentiments and to dismiss it as ridiculous is simply ignoring the obvious. As a over-simplified example a few years ago a guy shoots eighteen people in the parking lot of a supermarket in broad daylight. The victims included a US congresswomen who survived being shot in the head and six others who died including a federal judge and a nine year old girl and this guy was taken alive. Now contrast that with an 18 year old teenager in Ferguson who was shot six times while unarmed. The question really is if Jared Lee Loughner was black would he have been taken into custody without a shot being fired?

posted by: ASTANVET | August 25, 2014  3:06pm

shiningstars122 - i have friends who live on wall street, OWS was a disaster for them.  Tell me, what did my friends do to deserve smelly encampments on their doorsteps?  Do they not have rights and privilages to not have bongo drums and pot wafting through the air?  Walking through their feces and urine?  You glamorize OWS…it was an ugly display.  While I agree with some of the platforms, audit the fed, end fractional banking, sound money, and reinstate some of the regulations on wall street… OWS trampled on some peoples rights to try to help other peoples rights.  That’s not the way to do business.  Remember the Rapes?  No?  HTFD OWS tent village was not sanctioned, it did not have a permit, there were TONS of crimes committed - How do you get it both ways, either you don’t trust the cops because they are racist fascist pigs…or you say that they are the only ones you want with firearms when it’s a gun control debate.  If we elect people to office who are people of virtue, but have no faith in the population to be virtuous, where do all the cops/politicians/regulators come from that you want to be in charge… lucy, you have some ‘splainin to do…

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 25, 2014  3:25pm

“While I agree with some of the platforms, audit the fed, end fractional banking, sound money, and reinstate some of the regulations on wall street…”

I agree with those too but I dont have to act like a pig like too many of the OWS people did to get my point across.

I loved it when actual employers went out there to people that said all they wanted was a job, they offered to interview them for jobs in some of these firms for positions offering really good money, and they refused the opportunity. They are too darn comfortable on the govt dole living in their parents basement.

posted by: Politijoe | August 25, 2014  6:43pm

Politijoe

Astanvet- you stated “i have friends who live on wall street, OWS was a disaster for them.  Tell me, what did my friends do to deserve smelly encampments on their doorstep, You glamorize OW, it was an ugly display.”….. Since when was Democracy suppose to be neat and tidy. You’re dissatisfaction with the fact Wall Street folks were inconvenienced by a group of Americans who were protesting the inequality, wealth redistribution and virtual crime syndicate that exists on Wall Street at the expense of the working and middle class is shortsighted and reveals your tenuous grasp on the broader issues we face as a nation.
Your comment noting HTFD OWS was not sanctioned and did not have a permit is laughable in the face of the cause they were supporting. And characteristically
Joebig cited some anecdotal incident based on fear, judgement and morality regarding employers offering jobs and really good money, and they refused the opportunity. Seriously, you think they were there to apply for a job?

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 25, 2014  7:42pm

Maybe I’m old fashioned but if you dont want a job, then dont hold up a sign saying that you want one.

Thinking that camping out near Wall Street is going to change the criminal behaviors of some of the people there is pretty pathetic logic.

Since most rich Wall Streeters are elite liberals maybe the OWS crowd would stand a better chance of change if they didnt vote for liberal Dems that are more tied at the hip with the Wall Street power structure than the so-called rich Republicans.

posted by: ASTANVET | August 26, 2014  5:13am

Politijoe - Dude, you are basically saying that one person’s rights outweigh those of another - which to me is a flawed philosophy.  Next you’ll be spouting to each according to their needs - from each according to their ability… collectivist, marxist nonsense.  I don’t understand the “tenuous grasp on the broader issues we face as a nation” - you have no idea what I do for a living, nor what I have done for the issues we face as a nation… that’s a pretty bold statement from the cheap seats.

posted by: shinningstars122 | August 26, 2014  5:17am

shinningstars122

@ASTANVET talk about typical main street media arrogance.

The majority of people who were party of the Occupy movement were not as you “describe”.

The Hartford site was one of the more successful encampments and enjoyed wide supporter, many from the commuters heading west each afternoon, and had very few issues for weeks in regards to safety.

I think you need to thank the Occupy movement for moving forward many issues that needed to be looked at from both the electorate and Legislative branch of our government.

It is pathetic that many of your ” friends” on WS may have had a hand in the collapse of our economy and not one has faced any criminal prosecution.

Just lay down you millions, hundreds at that, and settle with the Justice Department and it is just the cost of doing business.

Its ironic that you hold more contempt for ” bongo playing hippies” than criminal bankers and investment houses who liquidated trillions of peoples’ money and forced 10 million folks to the unemployment lines all in the name of greed.

@JoeBigJoe has it right on this one folks.

posted by: GBear423 | August 26, 2014  5:38am

GBear423

Newt Gingrich said it best in regards to OWS:  “Take a bath.  Get a job.”

What a filthy and embarrassing display of our countrymen. To think there are people here that feel that was something to have pride in. Just another example of Democrat divisive policies and politics. When will these lemmings wake up and see that their heroes are the ones that keep them underfoot?

posted by: Politijoe | August 26, 2014  5:55am

Politijoe

Joebigjoe lets address a few of your comments. First, you seriously think the whole reason for OWS was because the protesters wanted a job? How could you have missed that message entirely-could it be because you were judging, moralizing and inserting value statements into your thinking instead of realizing that Wall Streets gambling addiction, our compromised elections and wealth inequality are all tied to this crime syndicate. Are these not problems you’re concerned with or is it as you stated….“Thinking that camping out near Wall Street is going to change the criminal behaviors of people is pretty pathetic logic”
What is the basis of that conclusion, there are plenty of instances in history where citizen action changed the course of events to better the lives of Americans. The Vietnam war, civil rights and the suffrage movement to name just a few, how is this issue different? Or could it be as you stated “Since most rich Wall Streeters are elite liberals they would stand a better chance of change if they didnt vote for liberal Dems that are more tied with the Wall Street power structure than the so-called rich Republicans.” Again what evidence do you have to support such egregious comments?

“The reason Brown was in the road for 4 hours is because they were working forensics to make sure that the officers story was either the truth or a lie.” ....... Problem here is it took the first detective apx 90 mins to arrive on scene and almost all other situations like this-including police shootings, the victims do not lie in the street for that length of time,
this was unusual.
“you seem to think an unarmed person is not a deadly threat to an officer or even a private citizen..” ........ I Never said an unarmed person is not a threat. I said if an unarmed teenager is shot dead six times by default there was poor police procedure-big difference. Because he’s black and poor should make no difference.
“No one wants an unjust war, no one wants an innocent person killed especially by police” .......I never said we wanted an unjust war or unjustified police shootings. I said conservative thinking and our national policies led us into an unjust war and has contributed to the Ferguson tragedy.
Your question “If you were at Sandy Hook…” is a false equation that is not relevant to the discussion. Once again you’ve missed the point on that issue as well-affordable and accessible mental health treatment.
“By the way as for multiple rounds, most were in his arm” .....at the moment Im unsure of this statement, however the point is what about the less lethal means of taser, mace, where was his backup, etc…
Like healthcare eligibility, these are not issues of worthiness or whether one has worked hard enough (both very subjective measures) this is an issue of equality and fiscal soundness, but I suspect you already knew that.

posted by: GBear423 | August 26, 2014  6:05am

GBear423

In regards to the subject of this article, it really perplexes me that in this modern era, we are denigrating our law enforcement professionals immediately, and glorifying a known thug. 
There is proof that this 6’-4” BULLY was strong-arming a convenience store, abusing a much smaller clerk, and had stolen property when the police came upon the scene.

I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone.  The specifics of the shooting have not been released. Though we have columns and talking heads criticizing the fact that our Police Officers have the best equipment we can provide.

The people there put themselves against the authorities. I see the cops coming down the street in body armor and gas masks and a MRAP I reckon I am going to present a peacefully protesting GBear, smiling and waving at the police. Guess what?  GBear will be just fine, the cops are there to enforce the law not harm peaceful protesters.

posted by: ASTANVET | August 26, 2014  11:38am

Shiningstars122: my friends who live on wall street had nothing to do with any collapse, nor do they trade on the floor.  They just happen to be wealthy and live there… what did they do to deserve the treatment they got at the hands of your OWS crew?  First hand I will tell you it was disgusting, it was illegal and not the way to settle differences.  Reinstating Glass-Steagall has less to do with wanna be throwback protests… OWS had some good ideas, until it was co-opted by marxist ideology.

posted by: Politijoe | August 26, 2014  2:05pm

Politijoe

GBEAR, the critical point your overlooking is regardless if this teenager was a bully he was unarmed and shot SIX times. Those facts alone suggest proper procedure was not followed and law enforcement is held to a much higher standard.

Your comment ” we have talking heads criticizing the fact that or Police Officers have the best equipment we can provide.”........again your ignoring a critical point which is the equipment is military grade not civilian grade this is a MAJOR difference.

You further state ” I see the cops coming down the street in body armor and gas masks and a MRAP I reckon I am going to present a peacefully protest’.....aside from the obvious above referenced missed point your theory is completely inaccurate. When this level of force is presented in an American civilian protest it actually enflames the situation, not diffuse it.

ASTANVET your comments regarding the OWS protest as ” disgusting, it was illegal and not the way to settle differences, wanna be throwback protest co-opted by marxist ideology.” ...... what is so “disgusting ” about protest, this is a bit contradictory coming from a conservative patriot. America, was founded on protest and we have been doing so since our inception, along with the rest of humanity to speak against oppression and argue for equality. In case you’ve forgotten 1770 colonist protested the British at the customs house in Boston, we’ve had a long history of labor union protest, the women’s sufferage movement, the Vietnam protest, civil rights protest and gay rights. Globally we’ve seen Tiananmen square the Arab spring. These are just a few examples that illustrate the “inconvenience” of civil unrest- which is always the response of an oppressed minority or a failed policy-Ferguson was no different.

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 26, 2014  2:18pm

Joe I am sure you and I can both honestly say we find the other frustrating. I can tell you are a smart guy and I’ll also say that some of your heathcare thinking (just a little) has made me rethink some of what my positions were. However, in general I find you to be what I will call “pacifistly naive and utopian” about how the world really works.

I never said that OWS was about jobs and I have also definitely said that I agree with some of what they stood for. However, dont go stand there with a sign saying “job needed” and then when someone from the skyscraper comes down and says “hey lets talk about a job for you” you dont say you dont want one. That ends up on the news and then people wont listen to the rest of the groups message. I’m very pro 1st amendment and I dont believe in camping out and living like a pig when marching every day, then going home to shower would probably give you more positive visibility and respect.

Where did you get this story that the first detective arrived 90 minutes later? In a shooting the whole police department is pretty much there in foce in moments to support the officer, especially one that requires medical attention.

Have you ever fired a gun? I dont think so is my guess. You havent answered my Sandy Hook question. My hope is that you do and say that you would fire at that scum bag. Anyone, not just you, that would say anything other than that in defense of basically babies, really has no standing as it relates to questions in society of violence, self defense, or proper police procedures when dealing with a violent felon.

You seem to forget in Ferguson that the officers gun already went off because Brown wanted to use it on him in the struggle in the car. Any behavior of Brown after that other than going face down in the asphalt would be unacceptable. Not sure if the officer had a taser, but you already faced deadly force so you dont use a taser to stop a 300 lb man coming at you full speed that will reach you in 1-2 seconds. You use a taser to subdue someone who is staying in the same general area and not advancing.

I am bothered by the CNN report where they say that there was a pause in the shots fired though, but we shall see if thats true. They just announced 550 layoffs yesterday because educated people dont want to watch them anymore to get their news, so maybe its true and maybe its sensationalism to drive ratings.

I do know that I was disgusted to hear that Michael Brown was compared to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in his funeral. I’m going to guess that I am joined in that sentiment by many members of the black community that are church going loving people.

posted by: Greg | August 26, 2014  3:22pm

“I see the cops coming down the street in body armor and gas masks and a MRAP…”

And herein lies the question of why the police need to show up prepared for an armed insurrection.  If you think you’re there for a peaceful protest and law enforcement rolls in with armor, wouldn’t you be a little put off your peaceful protest is being treated as if Red Dawn just happened?

And how come nobody is commenting on photos of LE with their AR’s raised and pointed as if they’re ready to shoot? Nobody commenting on the sniper atop the MRAP? Why a sniper with a semi-auto platform? Why the rifles? Go find the video of “officer go f**k yourself” and watch this guy point his AR at folks and declare “I’LL F*KING KILL YOU” and then ask yourself if that’s acceptable behavior for law enforcement, or moreso if it’s acceptable that type of occurrence is so commonplace in America we just don’t care anymore.

This country seems to be a little too accepting of the police state, whether it be BLM at Bundy Ranch (which liberals found nothing wrong with) or Ferguson (which many conservatives find nothing wrong with), the NSA, DHS and the FBI surveilling OWS like they’re a terror group, SWAT raids for minor drug deals, LEOs shooting dogs on calls, etc etc etc.  Either this debate crosses political lines and things change or else it will get worse- much worse and we’ll only get partisan ballyhooing when it effects someone’s own political ideals and not the other guys.

posted by: shinningstars122 | August 26, 2014  8:36pm

shinningstars122

@ATANVET they just live there…LMAO. 1-22 New Yorkers is now a millionaire, along with more than half of Congress, you keep good company.

How much have these folks made on the stock market since 2008?

Let me share that fun fact with you.

95% of income gains have gone to the 1% since the Great Recession. The majority of these folks, investment houses, and corporations ” borrowed” this money, from the US Treasury mind you, at zero percent interest.

Claiming that is wrong or out of balance is Marxism?

Hardly.

Actually it has more to do with Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan than Karl Marx.

I suggest you seek out the book ” Winner Take All Politics”

@GBear423 if you statement was true then why in Earth would the Ferguson Police release a video of the robbery just as the investigation was just beginning?

All that did was cast a racial bias, which you seem to love embracing, as well as infuriating a local populace.

The city of Ferguson rakes in $2.2 million a year, it largest revenue source from the police targeting minorities for motor vehicle infractions, court fines, and the such.

I suggest you listen to this story.

http://www.npr.org/2014/08/25/343143937/in-ferguson-court-fines-and-fees-fuel-anger

I mean I think it is safe to assume you are white and male and more than likely you have never been shaken down by the police?

Remember the police are here to protect and serve…the tax payers all of them no matter what color their skin is.

posted by: ASTANVET | August 27, 2014  5:15am

Shiningstars122 - so you don’t care who they are, or what they do.  It is enough that they are rich and that they live there… welcome to the bastille…

posted by: Politijoe | August 27, 2014  5:59am

Politijoe

Astanvet, how did you arrive at the conclusion that I was espousing “one person’s rights outweigh those of another” and from that faulty conclusion you assume that is my philosophy.  What I (were) talking about is the common good. The awareness of poverty, equality, wealth, race and to that end protest and democracy. When I made the statement regarding your tenuous grasp on the broader issues we face as a nation it was directed at your apparent lack of awareness of these points. Although not my intent this obviously offended you. You did however, correlate my statement with what you do for a living. I dont feel that is somehow relevant but since you’ve opened that door, what is it you do for a living that you feel provides you a broader perspective regarding a paramilitary police, race, poverty, equality and wealth. Id also be interested in hearing about some of the things you mentioned you have done for these issues were discussing.

Finally, we all bring various perspectives to the table borne from our experiences, be they military service, political persuasions, lifestyles, education, environments, childhoods, etc… What I’m suggesting and what I tend to hear from conservatives, after going around the block a few times on any particular subject, is a narrow perspective that doesn’t take into account at least some of these other variables I’ve mentioned. In contrast I hear is an awful lot of moralizing, judgements, fear-based anecdotal value statements that are subjective and cannot be supported with evidence, data or fact. This indicates to me that conservatives are wedded to their beliefs not facts which results in a limited world-view that doesn’t take into account basic human flaws and life experiences which in the end creates an enormous empathy gap.

posted by: GBear423 | August 27, 2014  6:45am

GBear423

PJ-  you are missing my point. 

I do not know if Michael brown, being of very capable size and strength and demeanor, was trying to kill the Police Officer.

I do not know if Michael Brown was offering the police officer a cigar and the cop thought, oh wow, why don’t I shoot this citizen 6 times.

I don’t know, do you??  but you and others want to assume the cop just gunned down this happy young man for no good reason.  Why?

and if you and a group of your friends exercising your Constitutionally protected Right to Assemble and Protest saw an armed Police force marching toward you ready for downtown Gaza, are you going to be incensed and attack the Police force???  Really? 

Well as I said, I will stand there smiling and waving at the display of Law Enforcement and hope they catch the bad guys looting and smashing businesses in my community.

posted by: GBear423 | August 27, 2014  6:58am

GBear423

Regards to Greg and PJ on the issue of our militarized Police Force, I am alarmed by it.  It does seem like too much for their primary mission.  though there are scenarios in some places where criminals have the type of weapons and ammo that make this equipment ideal for Police.

the Rioters were armed with firearms and lobbing Molotov cocktails, a basic incendiary grenade. So ya I think they came on the situation with a need for that equipment. if it were only people protesting then YES it was overkill.  BUT there was property damage, looting, and armed robberies in progress.  So I have the opinion that the police were doing their job. 

Its the community leaders that have over the decades failed these people.  That is what they are rising against, they want a better life and some respect.  they need to have an investment in society and their city.

posted by: Politijoe | August 27, 2014  10:19am

Politijoe

Gbear your statement “you and others want to assume the cop just gunned down this happy young man for no good reason”...... you are operating from misinterpretation and assumption…… No one ever indicated the officer shot this man for no reason. What I have said is when a law enforcement officer, who is held at a higher standard, FATALLY shoots an unarmed teenager SIX times, then by default proper police procedures were not followed.
Your additional comment “ if you and a group of your friends exercising your Constitutionally protected Right to Assemble and Protest saw an armed Police force marching toward you ready for downtown Gaza, are you going to be incensed and attack the Police force?....... this is a false question, the point were making is WHY is “local law enforcement armed for Gaza?”
Furthermore you then state “the issue of our militarized Police Force, does seem like too much for their primary mission”…… great this is the critical issue and should be the point of discussion. Instances where criminals have the type of weapons and ammo that make this equipment ideal for Police are rare. Again the obvious point you’re missing is the increasing PATTERN and FEQUENCY of a paramilitary police presence. However you contradict yourself with the following statement “if it were only people protesting then YES it was overkill.  BUT there was property damage, looting, and armed robberies in progress.  So I have the opinion that the police were doing their job.”……. I don’t think anyone would agree that the protesters had weapons or ammo (even a molotov cocktail) that rises to the level of a military response employing MRAPS and automatic weapons pointed at protesters. This is clearly an unmeasured response.
And finally your comment “Its the community leaders that have over the decades failed these people.  That is what they are rising against, they want a better life and some respect.”………. I agree completely with your assessment unfortunately, you again contradict yourself.

If you recognize this fundamental issue then how is it at all possible that its perfectly ok for an officer to fatally shoot an unarmed teenager six times? (we don’t know all the facts yet, but this fact alone is alarming and indicates the officer did not follow proper procedure) Therefore, lets stop arguing semantics and address the issues you’ve identified:  equality, racism, opportunity and poverty.

If you recognize this fundamental issue then how is it at all possible that a paramilitary police force responding to civil unrest is perfectly ok? Therefore, lets refrain from the rhetorical discussions and address the issues of perpetual war and a culture of violence in America.

posted by: GBear423 | August 27, 2014  2:51pm

GBear423

PJ eloquently illustrated: “FATALLY shoots an unarmed teenager SIX times, then by default proper police procedures were not followed. “

LOL I am thinking: what is the proper procedure if I have a 6’-4” man trying to pull my gun away from me??? *(I am 5’-9”)
please enlighten us.

posted by: Greg | August 27, 2014  5:31pm

Gbear- My first guess of a failure of police protocol in this case would be something along the lines of the officer’s ability to deescalate a situation.  Given the conflicting reports of what actually happened coupled with the seemingly tense and longstanding racial issues in that whole area yea…the ability of that officer to gain compliance of someone peacefully can be called into question.  Deescalating situations should be a tool in an officer’s toolbox, yes?

There’s a lot that happened between the cop getting out of his car and the shooting, most that has been released is hearsay and conjecture by pretty much everyone, including Ferg PD, and nobody would ever challenge the official account of a PD, right? Then again some folks have already made up their minds about what happened, so it’s pointless to debate it.

posted by: Politijoe | August 27, 2014  8:37pm

Politijoe

GBear your question “I am thinking: what is the proper procedure if I have a 6’-4” man trying to pull my gun away from me, please enlighten us”....... well to begin with were not actually certain the teenage victim was attempting to take the officers gun. The ONLY fact we have at the moment is that a police officer fatally shot an unarmed teenager six times-that’s the fact. Therefore you’re once again operating from an assumption.  I had thought my use of the term proper procedure was self-evident however perhaps I was wrong so lets try to break this down with some enlightenment. There are appropriate levels or a continuum of force police use. Most law enforcement have policies based on escalating series of actions an officer may take to resolve a situation. This continuum generally has several levels and officers are instructed to respond with a level of force appropriate to the situation at hand.

•  Officer Presence — No force is used
•  Verbalization — non-threatening, non-physical deescalating commands.
•  Empty-Hand Control —grabs, holds and joint locks to restrain an individual, escalating to punches and kicks to restrain an individual.
•  Less-Lethal Methods — Blunt impact using a baton or projectile to immobilize a combative person. The use of chemical sprays or projectiles, Taser guns
•  Lethal Force — if deemed life threatening

The question regarding procedure and the use of appropriate force in the Brown case is:
1) If the victim was disobeying commands what verbalization and subsequent non-lethal methods were employed (if any) prior to escalating to a fatal shooting.
2) How /why did the victim get close enough to the police vehicle to breach the officers personal safety zone and reach for the officers gun (assuming that is a fact)
3) Once the alleged altercation had ceased within the vehicle- was there an appropriate use of force in subduing the allegedly non-compliant victim on the street using non-lethal methods —baton, projectile, chemical spray, projectiles or Taser. Prior to the fatal shooting.
4) Was the use of six shots an acceptable level of force to subdue an unarmed and allegedly non-compliant male.

Lets assume the worse case scenario, the victim rushed the officer’s vehicle, immediately reached for the officers gun, a struggle ensues and the victim is perhaps shot and then breaks from the officers grasp exiting the vehicle, proceeding to move several feet from the vehicle. The officer immediately exits the vehicle and follows the victim, instructing the victim at gun-point. The victim remains non-compliant and subsequently turns to again rush the armed officer requiring six shots. This appears to be an unlikely scenario however the facts are not completed yet regarding the details-however when a law enforcement officer fatally shoots an unarmed teenager six times, then by default proper police procedures had not been followed during this encounter.

posted by: Moboss | August 28, 2014  3:01am

Politijoe, you are wrong in regards to” by default proper police procedures had not been followed during this encounter”. If an officer feels deadly force is warranted then you can expect him to shoot until the suspect is down. If the first four shots were the ones that hit Brown’s arm then that would not necessarily have stopped this 6’4” 300lb. adult.

posted by: Politijoe | August 28, 2014  7:53am

Politijoe

Bigjoe, lets take these comments one at a time. Im glad to hear that parts of our conversation has influenced some perspective regarding healthcare-I’d be curious what that shift in perspective may be. It’s unfortunate you feel I may be “pacifistly naive and utopian” about how the world really works. But I could understand how you may have arrived at that conclusion. In reality, I see the world as it is, I also see the world as it could be. I’m confident that we the American people, have the ability to change the world through our collective determination, protest and vote….in other words, democracy. And when you define the OWS as “camping out and living like a pig when marching every day, when going home to shower would probably give you more positive visibility and respect” makes me want to shower after reading that statement. Who ever said Democracy should be neat, tidy and respectful? In most instances it’s a dirty job. Why does who they are or what they look like change what they stand for?

When you mentioned “dont go stand there with a sign saying “job needed” and then when someone from the skyscraper comes down and says “hey lets talk about a job for you” you dont say you dont want one”…… again this protester wasn’t there to apply for a JOB. The sign was rhetorical.
Your question “Where did you get this story that the first detective arrived 90 minutes later? In a shooting the whole police department is pretty much there in force in moments to support the officer, especially one that requires medical attention”……. the OFFICERS were on scene immediately but the homicide detective wasn’t on scene until 90 mins later and the body remained in the street for four hours.

Once again your assumptions are clouding your perspective when you state “Have you ever fired a gun? I dont think so is my guess”……. Answer is yes, I own fire arms, for over a decade I have a concealed carry permit and have studied defensive firearm tactics and MMA training  

You mention “You havent answered my Sandy Hook question”….yes I did answer that question…..its a false question that simply isn’t relavant to the discussion. Furthermore your definition that a mentally ill young man who performed a horrible, unimaginable act is nothing but a “scum bag” ignores the larger issue of affordable, accessible and effective mental illness treatment in America.

Your assumption that “the Ferguson officers gun already went off because Brown wanted to use it on him in the struggle in the car”…… we THINK that’s what happened-the ONLY facts we know at the moment is that an unarmed teenager was fatally shot six times in broad daylight in the middle of the street.

The Ferguson PD are offered Tasers and your assumption that the 300 lb victim was approaching the officer full speed….is simply conjecture at this point.

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 28, 2014  8:55am

Minor points that could be major depending on the facts.

1) Right arm shots…Brown attacks the storekeeper with his right arm

2) Right arm shots…an officer under stress or anyone with impaired vision from the beating that is not in doubt from a factual standpoint, will pull shots left. Left equals Browns right arm which means these shots with his adreneline as well going with his bum rush of the officer probably felt like bee stings and then when he was closer the officer was able to accurately shoot center mass and if Browns head was pointed down at an angle like a person tackling would do, the shots would go into the top of the forehead.

posted by: GBear423 | August 28, 2014  9:38am

GBear423

I have had my own experience with Police and unfortunately the procedures they use are not the sort that you gents are proposing or feel are the case.  de-escalation is not their priority at all, Controlling the situation is. They speak loudly and directly, sometimes using colorful metaphors, to the suspect to assume a prone or other subdued position. the duty of the citizen is to follow their directions immediately, otherwise you risk being charged with resisting or being disorderly. may not be in the hand book but it certainly has been my experience.

PJ you got my point, despite the attempt not to, I am glad. You are so full of ADD in your writings, listening to you speak must be like a tennis match, add to this your penchant for incomprehensible edu-speak and its really a chore to decipher your point.  You are going from assumption to facts back to assumptions. I was providing the reasonable assumption that the physically smaller officer had a physically larger individual on top of him in a struggle for a firearm, the officer began shooting, did not subdue the attacker until the final rounds were fired. This is my opinion and my default assumption of the demise of Mr. Brown. I am awaiting confirmation or to see if there was a different conclusion by the investigation. smile

You my dear sir, have been operating from an assumption that proper procedures were not followed. You are part of the problem from my perspective.  You cast doubts and unfounded criticisms on our law enforcement professionals by default. You are presented with hard evidence of the character of the deceased suspect, and still “assume” the Officer was in the wrong. That in my original post regarding the column is what perplexes me. /shrug

posted by: Politijoe | August 28, 2014  9:49am

Politijoe

moboss, Youre ASSUMING the victim charged the officer in the vehicle and again after attempting to flee. The point of my argument is, as I’ve already stated….. how did this situation escalate to the point of a fatal shooting of an unarmed citizen? at what point did procedure break down, at what point did the officer escalate from questioning to psychical altercation and from there to shooting -multiple times?

what was the continuum of force that took place? it would suggest procedure broke down along the way. Even at the initial stop-why didnt the officer exit the car to question the victim?

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 28, 2014  1:32pm

Joe, PUH LEEEZE, stop watching MSNBC, the Obama network.

The officer pulled up besides the guys walking in the middle of the street and told them to stop blocking traffic. When the officer tried to get out of his vehicle, he was pushed back into the vehicle where Brown jumped on top him, punched him, and tried to get his gun and the gun discharged in the vehicle.

Do you really want to reduce police brutality, police injuries, and injuries to innocent law abiding citizens either through foot chases, lethal and non-lethal use of force or car chases? I do, don’t you?

10 years mandatory minimum sentence for fighting an officer or fleeing an officer. It is a joke for some of these people and a badge of honor to fight a cop. They can enjoy that honor with 10 years in the slammer and yes you can raise my taxes for that one.

posted by: Moboss | August 28, 2014  2:29pm

Politijoe, we are all, yourself and me included, assuming about many aspects of what happened and the full story may not be revealed for months. When a situation devolves to the point of a suspect being shot does not mean procedures broke down or weren’t followed. Most times the suspect dictates the level of action against him.

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 28, 2014  5:51pm

Joe, I’ll elaborate on some of the healthcare in the next story about it.

I guess you were apparently right as I searched and someone other than MSNBC has reported that the homicide detective took his sweet time getting to the scene. Thats pretty offensive to me to be frank if thats true unless they were in court and the judge wouldnt let them leave.

Joe do you not realize the negative perception on the OWS crowd in the real world. That perception is due to their behavior across many fronts and not from what they said they stood for originally before it became 50 different insane things and they lost their coherent message. You and I talked about “they” in other forums and thats an example of a “they” to me. 35 years old, no job, and dont want a job because you have to protest and couldnt possibly work.

You really had me saying “wow Joe has fired a gun and taken martial arts so maybe the picture I have of him isnt accurate” Seriously I was surprised and for about a tenth of a second or more I thought that.

Then you started with the Sandy Hook mental illness and people not able to get mental health treatment.

Did you ever think there are evil people in the world that even if it was available wouldnt avail themselves of it?

posted by: Politijoe | August 28, 2014  7:09pm

Politijoe

Mboss,  an 18 year old unarmed civilian was fatally shot six times in broad daylight….... That’s not an assumption that’s a fact. The remaining question was there proper procedure to ensure appropriate continuance of force. This we don’t know. It is my suspicion that given what we do know proper procedure was in fact breached very early if not immediately within the officer approaching the victim. Otherwise it is highly unlikely (but a possibility) an incident of this nature would result with this outcome if procedure was followed. To suggest we don’t investigate the officers procedure is irresponsible. To speculate the victim rushed the officer in the car and again on the street is conjecture. Simple.

posted by: Moboss | August 29, 2014  12:34am

Politijoe, you wrote ” It is my suspicion that given what we do know proper procedure was in fact breached…”,so you admit you don’t know either.
I never said his ACTIONS (not procedure) should be investigated. Of course it will as in any OIS. You seem confused on what “procedure” means.