Sometimes the wheels of justice grind slowly and sometimes they race around in circles like they’re competing for the Porsche Cup. In the Ferguson case, the latter seems to be the way it’s going. “Big Mike” Brown was shot and killed on August 9th. Jury selection started on the same day in every kitchen in America. The guy’s not even in the ground yet but the race to official judgment goes on, making haste rapidly . . .
Sgt. Patrick Hayes wrote an article for TTAG criticizing the police response to demonstrators in Fergsuon, Missouri in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting. The above video was uploaded to YouTube last night. In it, a police officer wanders down the street, pointing his rifle at protesters. At about 30 seconds in, he points the carbine at multiple people and says, “I will f@cking kill you. Get back!” The person recording the video asks the officer for his name. “Go f@ck yourself,” he replies. “It looks like the officer has been removed from duty,” theconcourse.deadspin.com reports. “Today, the ACLU of Missouri sent a letter to the Missouri Highway Patrol calling for the cop to be removed, and now, the ACLU is reporting on Twitter that the deed is done.” Question: what was he doing out there in the crowd on his own, anyway?
There’s this idea – a myth really – that local policing used to be low-key, even-handed and, well, friendly. While we’re busy deploring the current pace, scope and scale of current police militarization, it’s important to realize that law enforcement officials have been on the wrong side of the battle to defend and extend our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected rights for many, many years. (Birmingham Sheriff Eugene “Bull” Connor’s treatment of civil rights protestors springs to mind.) Not all cops. Maybe not even most of them. But enough of them that I feel fully justified highlighting the threat as and when it appears. You can call me anti-cop all you like. Below if you wish. But I’m committed to defending Americans’ gun rights and civil liberties against all enemies. I welcome any and all who share in that mission, police included. Questions?
I’m a Georgia Police officer with more than a few years of service under my belt. Unlike most of my colleagues, I’ve had riot training. But not much and not recently. Equally, my department doesn’t keep or maintain riot gear: shields, tear gas, etc. The responsibility for quelling civil disturbances – like the one in Ferguson, Missouri – lies entirely with the Georgia State Patrol. We call them, they handle it. Done. That’s not how it went down in Ferguson, before Governor Nixon called in the Highway Patrol. And from what I’ve seen of the situation since then, it looks like the Show Me State Police are making some major miscalculations . . .
“Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered the state National Guard to restore peace after a third straight night of violence in the St. Louis suburb rocked by protests over the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer,” businessweek.com reports. “Nixon’s decision came after organized groups attacked police officers with firearms and gasoline bombs last night, leading police to fire a barrage of tear gas into the streets. ‘Given these deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent attacks on lives and property in Ferguson, I am directing the highly capable men and women of the Missouri National Guard to assist Colonel Ron Replogle and the Unified Command in restoring peace and order to this community,’ Nixon said in a statement.” Apparently . . .
St. Louis TV station KSDK is reporting that 90 minutes in advance of another midnight curfew, police have swiftly moved through another line of protesters who were throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails. Once of the KSDK reporters is quoting one police officer that multiple shots were fired by rioters, though there are no reports of injuries. This as nytimes.com has just reported that an autopsy performed by Dr. Michael M. Baden, New York City’s former medical examiner at the request of Michael Brown’s parents, shows that he was shot “at least six times” . . .
“Yes, there is good reason to think that many of these unjustifiable homicides by police across the country are racially motivated. But there is a lot more than that going on here. Our country is simply not paying enough attention to the terrible lack of accountability of police departments and the way it affects all of us—regardless of race or ethnicity. Because if a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy — that was my son, Michael — can be shot in the head under a street light with his hands cuffed behind his back, in front of five eyewitnesses (including his mother and sister), and his father was a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who flew in three wars for his country — that’s me — and I still couldn’t get anything done about it, then Joe the plumber and Javier the roofer aren’t going to be able to do anything about it either.” – Michael Bell, What I Did After Police Killed My Son [via politico.com]
TTAG reader TD writes: “The anti’s are trying to frame the argument that the weapons like the one pictured above are military in origin. Check out the Stainless Steel barrel and the machining on the receiver–this is a civilian rifle like you would see at any public range on any given Saturday. Do not let them get away with saying this sort of weapon belongs only in the hands of the military.”
Ferguson, Missouri was home to a fourth night of rioting following the shooting death of an unarmed African American. usatoday.com reports that the police arrested protesters and journalists alike. “Antonio French, a St. Louis alderman who had been posting frequent photos and video of the protests and police response, was taken to the Ferguson jail and arrested for unlawful assembly, his wife, Jasenka Benac French, said via Twitter. Journalists in the St. Louis suburb to cover the fray wound up being part of the story when two were detained at a McDonald’s restaurant where members of the media were charging cellphones and writing. Reporters Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of The Huffington Post said on Twitter that police told them to stop recording the chaos, then took them into custody.” The heavy-handed police response has already questions about . . .
|Open carriers with rifles; neither hunters nor protesters, but private purchasers at a “buy back” event|
Most law enforcement officers don’t interact much with people openly carrying long guns. That has been changing in recent years as more and more members of the gun culture have exercised their First and Second Amendment rights by openly carrying. The movement has taken off in Texas, where the open carry of modern pistols is banned in public places. Texas is one of only six states that bans the open carry of handguns. This is an archaic anomaly with roots in the civil war and the rewriting of the the Texas Constitution during reconstruction. In other states . . .
I started following Dana Loesch a few months back when she appeared on The View to talk about why she became a conservative after years of being EXTRA liberal. So last night while I was getting my social media fix, I noticed that Dana was retweeting like crazy about the developing riots in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, a topic Farago covered this morning. One of Dana’s retweets is above, from local news source KSDK . . .
So a Ferguson, Missouri cop shot a young black man two days ago. Here’s the police version of events [via wsj.com]: “County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the shooting occurred after an officer encountered two people—one of whom was Mr. Michael Brown—on the street near an apartment complex in Ferguson. Mr. Belmar said one of the men pushed the officer back into his squad car and a struggle began. Mr. Belmar said at least one shot was fired from the officer’s gun inside the police car . . . The struggle spilled out into the street, where Mr. Brown was shot multiple times. Mr. Belmar said the exact number of shots wasn’t known, but ‘it was more than just a couple.’ Police are still investigating why the officer shot Mr. Brown, who police have confirmed was unarmed.” Yesterday, someone in the African-American community organized a march on the police station . . .
I was wondering why the tale of a rifle-toting man shot in an Ohio Walmart didn’t trigger the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America anti-gun group’s hysteria alert system. After all, MDA’s only success has been their unsuccessful attempts to get chain stores and restaurants to ban legally carried firearms from their premises. When the story first hit the net, John Crawford’s death at the hands of a brace of Ohio cops seemed to make MDA’s point that guns should be banned from Walmart – forgetting the fact that a crazy man with a gun in a store argues for allowing gun owners to exercise their gun rights within a Walmart. Well, it turns out . . .
“If the U.S. were overrun by dangerous dogs, you would think we’d hear a lot more about a biting epidemic. Yet postal workers, meter readers and pizza deliverymen—among others—all manage to do their jobs without either getting maimed by pets or killing them. It seems awfully curious that police officers seem to be the only ones who face such a stark either/or.” – A. Barton Hinkle, It’s Time for Cops to Stop Shooting Dogs [via reason.com] [h/t Pascal]
“It started just before 10:00 a.m. when Alameda County [CA] Sheriff’s deputies went to serve an eviction notice to a tenant,” ktvu.com reports. “Hayward police say when deputies entered the home, they found suspicious notes indicating there were explosives inside the home. That’s when the bomb squad and SWAT where called to the scene, and streets were blocked off to traffic. Neighbors in the surrounding homes were told to evacuate. One of them told KTVU she text messaged with the man, who police aren’t identifying yet . . .