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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  . . .

police militarization. The cops are using armored vehicles, wearing military-style uniforms with military-style helmets, carrying military-style gear and wielding military-style rifles. Here’s a snapshot of last night’s from USA Today, with mashable.com pics from previous day’s police work.

"A Missouri State Highway Patrol tactical vehicle travels down South Florissant Road in Ferguson on Monday. " (text and photo courtesy mashable.com)

Throughout the city on Wednesday, dozens of officers set up barricades, blocking most main roads. As the sun set, the loud flash of grenades and the whir of helicopters filled the area. Tear gas was dispersed, so much that the stinging air lingered for hours.

Members of the crowd hurled Molotov cocktails and other objects at police, according to the Associated Press.

Police yelled “Hold the line” and “Stop your vehicle.” As three vehicles approached a QuickTrip store that had burned on Sunday night, officers in bulletproof vests drew and pointed rifles at the cars.

The sound of apparent gunshots was heard nearby and police officers began to back away from protesters who approached them with their hands raised.

So the question is, does this militarized police response help matters in Ferguson or hurt them? And will it halt or accelerate the march of police militarization across the U.S.? The fact that the police are mostly white (Ferguson PD has three black officers in a force of 52) and that the community is mostly black (67.4 percent African American) will no doubt inflame this debate. But is it too late?

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406 COMMENTS

  1. It’s helping bring police militarization, and post-9/11 police dogma, to the forefront of mainstream thought. I’m a millenial. People my age who otherwise wouldn’t care are pissed about this.

    • Agreed. This is a damn shame. I’m not a hater of LE as a whole like it seems most people are these days, but some of this is going too far, too fast.

    • The more urgent a situation appears, the more the government (who the police are merely a branch of) use it as an excuse to become hostile and aggressive and the more they violate the rights of peaceful people.

      • > use it as an excuse to become hostile and aggressive and the more they violate the rights of peaceful people.

        I don’t want total militarization either..but what PEACEFUL people? A situation has occurred, the story is not fully told, and a riot starts. Phoned in death threats to LE. LOOTING and BURNING completely unrelated businesses.

        Mad about your friend being shot by police? Steal armloads of cell phones and tennis shoes. That makes sense. Threaten cops, throw Molotovs? You f’in bet the PEOPLE WE PAY to take care of this will gear up. I would and, be honest here, so would you.

        Put up barricades, get them to behave in a civilized manner, shut off utilities to the neighborhoods under self-attack. Once there is an immediate effect to their cause, calmer heads might get others in line.

        Hit a cop with a brick? BANG!

        Next.

        • You make an excellent point. I’m pretty heavily against the up-arming of police and fact that too many podunck towns hand some M16s and an MRAP to a bunch of gun ho but poorly trained guys, label them SWAT and call it good.

          That said, while I understand the frustration of the residents over this issue, I don’t get why the citizens think looting is an appropriate response. The shooting certainly does look bad, but at the moment, we don’t know what actually happened. This could be Zimmerman all over again. White guy shoots black guy, so it must be a race issue. Maybe the police officer was right or maybe he was wrong. We still don’t know the facts. That said, four days should be enough to figure things out and it certainly looks like some stalling on the part of the police is going on here.

          If the black community restricted its response to picketing (and maybe looting) the police station, they’d have my unequivocal support. They’ve had to put up with a lot of grief from the predominantly white police force and the town has a long history of racial segregation issues. However, turning a tragic incident into the opportunity for some five finger discounting makes the participants simply out of control animals that need to be put down.

        • You are conflating the protesters with the looters; they are two totally different groups of people.

        • I’m not convinced the bare handful of looters wasn’t paid off to go in there and legitimize the police response.

        • This. Like most civil unrest incidents, peaceful protestors and looting rioters are acting in the same time frame. Discretion is a very good thing to have in these situations.

        • “What peaceful people?” Not all were looting. The 2 reporters who were assaulted and detained in McDonald’s, the Al-Jezeera reporters who were shot at with tear gas and who had to flea and then the cops took down their cameras that were on tripods. And many more.

          Also, I was speaking in general terms. The totally unnecessary lockdown of a major city (Boston) after the marathon bombing, hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the Patriot Act. I could go on.

        • I am against arming law enforcement with military gear; But; There are many hard working, tax paying civilized people of color that I’ll bet were not a part of the out of control mob of black people in Ferguson. Then there are black people who don’t want to work because they feel whitey owes them anything they want because of slavery that was abolished 150 years go by a white man. It is these out of control black people that don’t want to be called nigger. A “BIG” black dude breaks the law and beats the hell out of an policeman trying to detain him and the policeman shoots the 6’4″, 300 lb black in self defense. Now the blacks, (I didn’t say niggers) want to lynch the officer who will undoubtabley once the honest facts (And not the dudes buddy with the hands up crap:) be exonerated. In the meantime; It is to bad Jackson, Sharpton, the islamic traitor obama and all of his co conspirators traitors and their wealthy supporters arn’t a part of the black mobs who you can bet will go on a stealing, burning destroying killing rampage when the officer has been proven of no wrong doing!!! Now blacks want to piss and scream about law enforcement in military gear. Bullshit. Open up with .50 calibers and let the blacks know get your black ass’s under control or be carried out in a body bag. Sound brutal???? Bulshit. Fricking black mobs want to play hardball?? Show them what .50 hard ball is all about. When the blacks know their out of control bullshit will probaly get them a body bag there is not going to much if any rioting. Now reactivate the WPA; Now you work as welfare is a thing of the past. No more black mama’s with 15 kids by 15 different black guys getting big welfare chacks. All of this sounds terrible?? How about all of the hate and destruction by out of control blacks who expect to be paid to do nothing but cause racial trouble.

    • Exactly. I was on twitter the other night and everyone was complaining about police militarization and I thought “well at least this raising awareness about PM”

    • Yep. Even the low information voters who don’t care about police militarization can’t look the other way at this. Unfortunately some are saying that this is institutionalized racism. I don’t see race riots.

    • Yeah, and I’m an OFWG who would like to add that if a police force acts like an occupying army, it should not be surprised when the citizenry starts to treat it like one.

    • Alley, thanks for that validation of a trend I’ve sugested here, might be underway among those first believers in hope and change.

      Millenials and independent thinkers might be intersted in the writings of Professor Glenn Reynolds, consitutional law scholar, aka the Bogfather, over at Instapundut. Heres a reference to his earlier writing, mentioned by Rand Paul, today:

      http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/193388/

  2. When the only tool you have is a hammer (militarized police), every situation looks like a nail.

    Unfortunately, I believe this will hasten the pace at which DHS is encouraging local police departments to gear up with military grade equipment.

    • Totally agree. Give the goons some new toys and they just MUST use them at the first opportunity. Land of the free…..oh yeah….in your dreams.

    • I would say that the police are either well armed, or even underarmed. I want a effective force agains rioting masses

      • I think an effective force against the rioting masses would be a police force that did not summarily arrest people for recording events and did not respond like an occupying army. I think the police should have the tools to do their jobs, but I do not think they should have the capacity to deny these folks, the Bundy family or anyone else their natural rights.

        • When I was in the CT National Guard, we did riot training with shields and batons. We were trained to form a solid line and look threatening, while giving the crowd a way to escape to avoid any “boiling over” of the crowd. The stomp-shuffle was alot more effective than a rambling group of armed guys in the wrong camouflage wandering next to an armoured vehicle. Also, while watching that video, it looked like 9 officers all stopped to check on one guy being handcuffed. In my training, those being cuffed would be pulled through the line to be dealt with by a set group of guys in the back.

          These guys didn’t look like riot police, they looked like a goon squad.

      • I think if more of the rioters targets were hard targets, there would be far fewer imported rioters ant the riot would die out quickly. A police force that has the ability (and apparently the propensity) to arrest anyone for anything (or nothing), is not necessarily a good thing

      • Sammy says “I would say that the police are either well armed, or even underarmed. I want a effective force agains rioting masses,

        @Sammy
        If only the Brits had an effective force against the rioting masses. Dont.Lick.Boots.Ever.

    • I disagree. In fact, the police do have a vast and widely varied assortment of tools at their disposal.

      There are community outreach programs, citizen’s police academy programs, student presentation programs, crime prevention programs, cash for crooks programs, anti-gang tip programs, commend or condemn an officer or civilian employee programs, news releases and crime statistics programs, and even a police museum open to the public in a number of the larger cities.

      There are plain clothes cops, uniformed cops, undercover cops, crisis management cops, public relations cops, scientist cops, lawyer cops, accountant cops, administrative cops, recruitment cops, cops in executive leadership of the department, and cops whose specific function is to serve as educators of the public in the ways and means of police work. In the police, as in the military, the actual number of individuals running around kitted up Rambo-style is very small relative to the total personnel.

      No, the real problem with the police isn’t that the police wield weapons of war, but that they shelter statist ambitions. Shakespeare was right: these violent delights have violent ends. When a cop’s every desire is to smash someone’s face or crack someone’s skull, he uses his hammer not because it’s his only tool, but because it’s the best tool for that vicious-minded job.

      Now, I’m no fan of MRAPs and the whole militarized police approach in general, because I don’t believe it’s even all that useful, let alone cost effective. Nevertheless, expecting the police to recommit to lawful preservation of the peace, simply by banning inanimate armored vehicles, is like expecting violent criminals to give up the life and get day jobs, simply by barring them from owning inanimate firearms.

      • I agree with you whole heartedly. LE has numerous resources that in today’s society are rarely used. When I was growing up we had the officer friendly program which targeted kids and young adults. The purpose was to ensure that coming up we stayed on the right path. It was effective for about 80% of us. This program is no longer used. I don’t mind a well armed police force in the event that something should happen to where they are our first line of defense but don’t just hand them out proper training must go with that.

      • I have a friend, who until his recent promotion, was in charge of hiring at our local PD. He considered it one of his main responsibilities to keep out prospective officers who wanted to join up so they could legally crack some skulls. He said there were a lot of these people and it took a lot of work to weed them out.

    • Ben Richards: Food riot in progress. Approximately 1,500 civilians. No weapons are evident.
      Dispatcher: Proceed with Plan Alpha, eliminate anything moving.
      Richards: I said the crowd is unarmed! There are lots of women and children down there. All they want is some food, for God’s sake!

    • Of course, this is only speculation but I think that too many urban officers will see these events and only identify with the other officers and not journalists or other citizens caught in the middle. It’s my guess that it will drive their decisions to militarize even more.

      My first thought while watching the video was that it would at least highlight police militarization. How many will see police militarization as a bad thing after this is anyone’s guess.

      • Of course they will. Militarization was originally triggered in part by the Watts riots, and when they used the new tactics in LA riots, they got even more impressive pushback… so they militarized even more. This isn’t the first or even the second round.

        • Militarization started with the king of evil Daryl Gates in the early 1970s – and it wasn’t really even his idea.

          I remember well my grandfather’s (and uncle’s) utter disgust at what he did to paramilitarize the police (they were both deputies among other things). They told me exactly where we would be now if he and those of his ilk weren’t stopped, tried, and executed for treason. That never happened and here were are…

        • Where did I say that it started in the 90s? I said that it was triggered by the Watts riots – that’s 1965. Daryl Gates was an inspector in LAPD during that time, and those riots is what gave him the impetus for coming up with all the crap he did. Or rather it was John Nelson’s idea (triggered by the same events) but Gates was the enthusiastic believer who did more than anyone else to make it happen.

          I hope there is a hell, because people like that surely need one.

  3. If it’s Thursday, it must be time for another anti-cop thread at TTAG!

    Oh no! Lions, tigers, and cops with scary trucks! Again. Still.

    Run around run around….flap arms, gnash teeth, pull hair!!!!

    • There is a distinction to be made between ‘anti-cop’ and ‘anti-police militarization.’

      If you don’t believe the police are being militarized, or that those militarized police are using their tactical capabilities in non-tactical situations then please state your arguments.

    • You can really look at this and not see a totally out of whack militarized response? And complain that people find it excessive? After murdering that man?

        • Homicide is the crime, murder is an action. He definitely murdered that guy, whether it’s homicide is yet to be determined.

        • @Matt in IN, close but no cigar.

          “mur·der

          /ˈmərdər/

          noun

          noun: murder; plural noun: murders

          1.

          the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.
          “the stabbing murder of an off-Broadway producer”

          synonyms: killing, homicide, assassination, liquidation, extermination, execution, slaughter, butchery, massacre; More
          manslaughter;

          literaryslaying

          “a brutal murder”

          •informal
          a very difficult or unpleasant task or experience.
          “my first job at the steel mill was murder”

          synonyms: hell, hell on earth, a nightmare, an ordeal, a trial, misery, torture, agony More
          “driving there was murder”

          verb

          verb: murder; 3rd person present: murders; past tense: murdered; past participle: murdered; gerund or present participle: murdering

          1.

          kill (someone) unlawfully and with premeditation.
          “somebody tried to murder Joe”

          synonyms: kill, put to death, assassinate, execute, liquidate, eliminate, dispatch, butcher, slaughter, massacre, wipe out; More
          informalbump off, do in, do away with, knock off, blow away, blow someone’s brains out, take out, dispose of, ice, rub out, smoke, waste;

          literaryslay

          “someone tried to murder him”

          •informal
          punish severely or be very angry with.
          “my father will murder me if I’m home late”

          •informal
          conclusively defeat (an opponent) in a game or sport.

          •spoil by lack of skill or “

        • Murder is a crime. Homicide is an action that may or may not be a crime. Murder is defined simply as the unjustified homicide aka unjustified killing. Killing someone in self defense is justifiable homicide.

    • Easy to say from the comfort of your chair, far removed from the civil unrest and violent police crackdown. We all have courage, and apparently a lippy mouth, to endure the misfortunes of others, now don’t we?

    • El Mac, you never disappoint. Are you really that clueless or you’re just trolling? To be fair, I’m not following the riots so I honestly don’t know their scale and what the appropriate response is, but how is TTAG cop bashing? By showing that, what many of us predicted, came true? That if you train police officers to be military minded and give them military tools, then their local town and its residents will be nothing more to them but enemies in hostile territory. And that’s exactly how they are behaving, by rolling out MRAPs to crush protests after what appears to be one of their own killing an innocent person unjustifiably. They are wearing full gear and are pointing loaded rifles at anybody and everybody, whether they are a threat or not. It’s only a matter of time before one of those cops lets a round fly and then all hell breaks loose. Their mindset isn’t to protect and serve the people, but themselves. They are now being trained to be an aggressive force and given the tools required for that. And you call that policing? That’s normal? I guess TTAG and other media are cop bashing by reporting this. The nerve!!!

      • In fairness I don’t know the “exact” details..but “detaining” the press and any peaceful protesters (not against detaining looters) sounds a heck of a lot like N. Korea or the USSR

        • Pieces of crap. Freaking blueprint right here. Cops searched a relatives business van the other day without a warrant. Said they would get a warrant, but she had food in there and was in a hurry. Freaking sick of this bs. They won’t stop.

        • Cops searched a relatives business van the other day without a warrant.

          Searching for what?

        • IDK if it has been covered here yet but I’ve read reports of checkpoints. If your ID doesn’t match the address then you do not pass. From what I read, they were stopping and interrogating everyone.

        • I’m guessing drugs? Big colorful truck with logos, must be drugs. Can’t be illegal immigrants, those guys get airplane rides to key voting districts/ contagious disease nexus’s. She really should have told them to get bent, people need to know if that judge would grant a warrant with no probable cause.

        • This would actually not be a normal sight in the USSR, either (at least from 60s onwards). Where it would happen, like in Novocherkassk in 1962, people seriously freaked out. But the normal Soviet cop would be your friendly take-kitten-off-the-tree, ask-me-the-way-there type. They weren’t stupid.

    • I’m less concerned about scary trucks and more concerned about cops shooting people with their hands in the air.

      But choose whichever topic you feel is less anti-cop.

    • El mac, you give the impression in some of your posts that you might be an active, or former cop. If so, surely you would realize that your words have meaning, and at some point you go beyond seeking to inform, to seeking to inflame.

      • @rlc2, and that’s exactly the point. 75% of the posts here by unknowledgeable nitwits or purpose built rabble rousers are exactly just that – meant to inflame. It gets rather old.

        • El mac, you lose the ability to inform, with your insight as LEO ( you did not confirm on that, can you?)

          if yiu lower yourself to that level, no matter how tempting.

          You know the old saying about getting into pi$$ing contests…everyone ends up smelling of urine…

    • *If* this is what the police have become, then I am anti-police. The behavior is unacceptable, no matter the uniform. If this is not what police have become, if this does not represent them, then they need to change that characterization.

        • I expect it’s another guy who, like you, subscribes to this cop adage:

          “With full armor, the right shit, and training, you can kick ass and have fun.”

  4. The militarization of our swinest will accelerate until the abuse happens in middle class white areas. Then they’re in big trouble. It may stop at that point. We did see them back down in Nevada, at least for now.

  5. It doesn’t much matter if the Ferguson PD is mostly white, as the majority of the officers you see in photos are from the St. Louis County police forces. They’re the ones with the military toys shooting at people and arresting reporters.

    • The reason the Founders did not want a standing army is because a standing army gets tired of standing around. Same goes for the militarized government paramilitary squads some call SWAT teams.

  6. So if reporters (“news media” is more accurate) had not been detained would their narrative be the same? I think not.

    • Yup. And I’m guessing the press has more and higher paid attorneys than the county.
      The lawsuit is probably being typed up now.

      • Except for the Al Jazeera crew that got gassed. That clip will smash all previous AJ-USA viewership records. On other networks.

    • A reporter for the WaPo and one from the HuffPo. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that until fairly recently they were solidly in the “only the police are to be trusted with firearms” camp. I’m kind of having trouble figuring out whom, if anyone, to root for here.

  7. Or if you don’t have a strong presence things could easily get out of control. Without a strong response then the city burns. This is a state of unrest. Order must be restored for the people who live there. We have a method to remedy unjust police action. Rioting is not that rememdy. Unless there is a strong presence looting would go on unchecked.
    I’m not happy with either side however I will always side with law and order.

    • “Order must be restored for the people who live there.”

      An interesting point, and one to take very seriously.

      However, this kind of thinking CAN be abused. How do you define “order?”

      Is it merely stopping the riots and looting? Or, does the rioting stand solely as a springboard for further degrees of “order.”

      Gotta say…arresting folks, reporters or not it does not matter, for videoing and photographing events is quite alarming if it is happening as described.

      • Order would be defined in this instance as a lack of riots and malicous violence. I’m not saying jack boots kicking in doors because that is not order either. Order would be defined as a lack of riots and a return to the rule of law where as a citizen could leave their residence or operate their business without having large groups menacing their persons or business.
        Good enough?

        • “Good enough?”

          Yes, for YOUR definition of order.

          Question remains…what is “order” for those pulling the strings and calling the shots in municipal departments across the country. And by string puller, I mean the politicians as much as the actual chain of command within an agency.

          There’s a real slippery slope danger …

        • Especially since there has been NOTHING from the mayor of St. Louis and/or Ferguson so far. Just crickets, frogs and flash bangs.

        • Why don’t they fly Kerry in and have him declare a unilateral cease fire? Its got to work at least one of these times, right?

    • Law and order is one thing but you don’t go into an American city looking like a force recon unit. We witness this a lot overseas and usually quelled in a day or 2. Their cops show up with sticks horses shields and gas but they still look like cops and act like cops. They arrest the perps that need to be arrested.

    • “We have a method to remedy unjust police action.”

      Do we, though? How many times have we seen police use of excessive force swept under the rug, or punished with a short vacation? I agree that rioting is not a proper response, of course, but it’s what you get when people no longer have faith in the system. The refusal of police to clean their own house and get rid of the “bad apples” is one of the root causes of this sort of unrest. The public no longer expects the justice system to work in cases like this, and the frustration boils over. Then an overly-militarized response, intended to intimidate, does actually work to clamp down and restore order, but at the cost of further resentment and frustration. Rinse, repeat, the cycle continues, and tensions are ratcheted up one more level.

      One of these sorts of incidents is going to be the real tipping point, and when that happens, it’s going to be really ugly. I’m not sure what the solution is, but part of it has to be the dismantling of the Blue Wall and the end of the “us vs. them” attitude that a lot of police officers seem to have – an attitude that is fostered and reinforced when you kit out your cops like they’re Marines going to war.

      • Since the po-po are [in theory] under someone’s command, it’s time to publicly CRUCIFY their commanders. As an example. And not with a paid vacation. With aggravated assault charges.

        • Correction: It’s time to give the politicians who support marauding law enforcement an *unpaid* vacation.

    • This is an extremely poor way to restore order, however. It only serves to inflame the riots further, and draw more people to them who would otherwise stay back, but who don’t like the sight of camouflaged armed thugs on an APC parking in their streets and casually aiming a rifle at passers-by. If this was outside of my window, I’d be on the street right now.

  8. Typical anti-police agitprop.

    The police are up against people from out of state up here to stir up riots and violent confrontations. The mobs destroyed private property, to the tune of wiping out a local convenience store worth well over one million bucks.

    The police there have had well over twenty vehicles destroyed by mobs, have been shot at, have been attacked with bricks, bottles and molotov cocktails.

    Thanks, RF, for adding to the mess with overblown headlines that are not reflecting reality.

    Note to media: best to get your precious Pulitzer price winning hopeful shots from a place not between angry mobs and police officers.

    Tell you what, let’s have the anti-cop fanatics on TTAG head on up here and post up in front of the mobs wearing and using whatever “non-militarization” gear they want and see how they do.

      • @Dryw, if that be true, then neither does this article have anything to do with the truth about guns. However, it does have everything to do with the typical leftist agitprop foisted on folk by RF.

        • Lighthearted sarcasm. Based upon an comment left by the Reverend in a separate story.

          In my opinion this is exactly the manner of story which should be published/discussed @TTAG

          Sidebar: I read the first sentence in your response with a pirate accent.

        • Leftist agitprop? RF? You, sir, have a very tenuous connection to reality, or leftist agitprop for that matter.

        • @ElMac: sunlight is the best disinfectant. If a specific topic, any topic, is a pile of malarky; earnest discussion/investigation assists in highlighting that conclusion.

          All part of a broader conversation: is/is not militarization a real issue? That certainly is relevant to firearms discussion.

        • Of all potential points in the discussion, one of the most relevant is the “They have X, so I need Y” argument from both sides of the equation.

          If militarization is a real issue, will such ‘escalation’ accomplish anything? If its not an real issue, why are so many concerned?

          The fact that TTAG is not a “reviews only” site is what makes it stand out in a crowd. No one has shackled anyone to a chair with the browser locked into a singular URL.

        • I appear to have misconstrued this thread as an earnest discussion of pertinence, not an argument for it’s own sake.

    • The problem is that situations like this should never happen. People are rioting and attacking police because of decades of unfair treatment of black people. I don’t have all the details on the murder of the guy in MO, but the police have unjustly beat and murdered many black people for a very long time across the country.
      I am not anti police. I am anti corruption. Based off of my personal experience as a young black man, there is quite a bit of corruption in the profession of law enforcement.

      • @justAMan, no you are not just a man, you are a young black man – your description, not mine. Murder? You might want to go back to school and study up on the court system. There hasn’t even been a trial yet and you have the man convicted. Hmmmmm….. see the hypocrisy there?

        • @justAMan, no you are not just a man, you are a young black man – your description, not mine. Murder? You might want to go back to school and study up on the court system. There hasn’t even been a trial yet and you have the man convicted. Hmmmmm….. see the hypocrisy there?

          We have multiple eyewitnesses that state the cops shot the 18 year old after he ran away from them (approximately 20ft) and then continued to shoot him after he stopped and raised his hands in the air.

          @ “El Mac” – you might want to go back to school and study up on the court system. Murder is illegal and cops shouldn’t be doing it.

        • @Anonymouse, uh….yeah and eye witnesses are always so spot on. Who appointed you judge, jury and executioner? Ah yes, you did. Why of course.

        • @the mac

          @Anonymouse, uh….yeah and eye witnesses are always so spot on. Who appointed you judge, jury and executioner? Ah yes, you did. Why of course.

          You seemed to have missed the mark. The question is – who appointed the cop judge, jury, and executioner? He shouldn’t be shooting unarmed people 20 feet away from him with their hands in the air.

        • @El Mac

          “@justAMan, no you are not just a man, you are a young black man – your description, not mine. Murder? You might want to go back to school and study up on the court system. There hasn’t even been a trial yet and you have the man convicted. Hmmmmm….. see the hypocrisy there?”

          Holy crap man! You are so racist! If you started at “study up on the court…” it would have just been an annoying defend any cop at any cost comment. That was just over the line.

        • “You might want to go back to school and study up on the court system.”

          Would this be the same court system that gives automatic benefit of the doubt to the police, the one that routinely enables suppression of evidence, the one with prosecutors who either decline prosecutions or overcharge the accused to guarantee acquittals, or the one where the local and state prosecutors are almost, always in a cozy relationship with the departments accused of misconduct?

          Need evidence? In the last two decades the Seattle PD, New Orleans, PD, Cincinnati PD among others required no less than Federal agents, Federal prosecutors and Federal courts issuing Federal rulings and Federal decrees to stop systematic and gross violations of human and constitutional rights.

    • Doesn’t happen often, but I have to agree with you, Paul. With all the outside agitation currently present, the situation is a mess, and unless the desired result is burning down the whole town, then a heavy, high profile, disciplined, well armed police presence is probably the best response. Unfortunately all it takes is one trigger happy, out of control cop to blow this into a huge problem that can spread to other cities. It could have been handled differently at the very beginning, but I think it’s too late now for Mayberry’s Sheriff Taylor to calmly talk folks into going home peacefully.

      • Disciplined force?

        I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not, but pointing weapons at unarmed people is hardly disciplined – they should Be Disciplined for such actions!

        A disciplined force would not be arresting people (public or reporters) whose only perceived crime is that they were/are recording events – which the Supreme Court had ruled is perfectly legal.

        If you go and read the “Veterans on Ferguson” website you’ll be able to read what a truly disciplined force thinks of the police actions in Ferguson, MO.

    • Gotta agree with you here rev. What do you think should happen RF. The poverty pimps are moving in & you can be sure Holder & Odumbo will move in to f##k things up. RF do you think 50 black police officers would help? They would be seen as Uncle Tom or whitey. Whatever-Ferguson is screwed.

    • Paul, here is my issue with their gear choice, those are Battle Fatigues, that is not riot gear. Many of the cops in the pics I’m seeing are armed with a rifle and ballistic vests (not riot, ie, padded hard plastic). I don’t see helmets with face shields, long batons and/or polycarbonate shields, they things best used to contain a riot. If you are armed with only a rifle then you have basically two choices don’t shoot or shoot, and very little options as far as crowd control goes (you don’t swing a rifle like a baton because it could be taken, nor push back a crowd like a shield, because you have to stay at stand of distance). They look like they are dressed for outright war, not riot control, and it isn’t helping their cause in the court of public opinion, in fact it’s drawing more militant protesters with no connection to the community.

      The goal in riot control is to control, disperse, and ideally push through (I’m you’re seen how they used shields in 300) and detain the key agitators, good luck doing that with guys who’s only option is a rifle (rubber bullets are capable of killing at CQB distances). Personally, I’d prefer a face shielded helmet and a large shield if they are throwing Molotov Cocktails, shields are easier to drop then ripping off burning clothes.

      This is riot gear, very different from BDUs.
      http://files.schuminweb.com/life-and-times/2009/crystal-city/full-size/206.jpg

      • I believe you are talking about this kind of riot police in action.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbFSVh1mmiw

        S Korean Riot Control Police. Baton, shields, grabbing leading agitators etc etc. It is definitely a training session.

        These cops (used to be called Combat Police in S Korea for a reason) are actually young people serving in the S Koran police for 2-3 year term instead of serving in the actual armed forces of S Korea. Hence these these folks are in early 20s, not in 40 – 50 year old police officers.

    • We wouldn’t have to Paul – if the police wouldn’t shoot unarmed 18 year-olds in the back while running away.

    • Your belief is the militarization of the untrained or not properly trained is the right course of action? That’s why states have a national guard who’s primary training is for things of this nature. LA riots of 92 CA national guard. Putting military weapons and gear in the hands of street cops is a disaster waiting to happen.

    • I did. While in the military. Yes, while doing riot training with the CT national Guard, we had less “militarization” than the police in the above pictures. So I say this- If the police look more like soldiers than, say, soldiers do… Doesn’t that count as militarization?

    • Well maybe if the police didn’t have so many members that go around shooting unarmed people, or beating them to death, or shooting dogs at the drop of a hat, and maybe if they were trained to de-escalate situations instead of escalating them as they so often do, then maybe there wouldn’t be so much “anti-cop agitprop.”

    • And maybe if the police didn’t lie so much and cover up their own crimes there would be less of this “anti-cop agitprop.”

      Three eye witnesses said he turned around with his hands up in a universal sign of surrender and the cop then executed him. This, after the cop shot him in the back.

      Paul T. McCain – Maybe you should stop complaining about all the “anti-cop agitprop” you see here. The police have well earned the criticism.

    • Admit it, Paul. You’re watching the show and enjoying the popcorn thinking, “those assholes deserved it, and then some more”, and your only regret that you’re not over there to parade in tacticool gear, scare some civvies by muzzle-swiping them (just for giggles), and maybe go rough on some hippies with taser and pepper spray (just for squeals).

    • Shut it Paul. You are a anti-gun, pro-militarization of police, armchair know it all. You take an actual legit protest that has every right to turn angry and violent and blame everyone but the the cops.

  9. “… that police told them to stop recording the chaos, then took them into custody….”

    I thought there was a ruling that public locations are public and there’s no expectation of privacy, and public officials are not exempt.

    Man, this is messed up stuff. That dude with his hands up and there are two rifles in that picture trained on him. Lord knows how many more are off camera.

    • Contempt of cop trumps all rulings. They can play the dumb card locking you up for no crime whatsoever and let others sort it out while you sit in a cell dreaming of how much you’ll clear in the lawsuit.

      Camera + stupid red zoning cop = ka’ching!

  10. It is certainly a double edged sword. You have to respond to the riots, but military type clothing and gear is ridiculous. How about riot shields and light grey uniforms. Camo in an urban setting, never understood it. Standing and sitting on a Bearcat, lovely target profile.

  11. As the Rodney King riots and Katrina aftermath have shown us the police are unprepared for this kind of thing. Send in the roof Koreans! 🙂

  12. Not that I should ever have to justify it, but these riots are a good reason to have a 30rnd mag in a rifle.

  13. There have been some interesting interviews from police and protestors coming out of the area along the lines of “when I see a cop in riot gear all I can think is riot.”

    A higher up cop from the department actually commented that uniformed cops had better ability to calm a would-be riot while the riot gear cops basically guaranteed a riot would happen. I’ll see if I can find his name in a transcript of the interview.

    • It’s a good point. Does it cause the situation to escalate even further?

      I don’t really know. I do feel uncomfortable seeing all those militarized cops running around amped up knowing they’re two weeks paid vacation away from shooting someone.

      I feel like the actual military, the the Missouri National Guard, would have more accountability. Plus they could free up police resources to go make arrests without having to worry about being mobbed.

      • The guy who was the Chief of Police during Seattle riots says the same thing now, and admits that his handling of them was totally wrong for this exact reason – that they expected violent confrontation, and geared up for it and behaved as it would be coming any moment… and ended up basically triggering it.

    • Okay, I got my wires crossed. It was the Customs and Border Control Commish speaking about the WTO riots.
      http://www.npr.org/2014/07/18/332286063/transcript-commissioner-kerlikowskes-full-interview

      He believes suiting up his guys with riot gear played a role in instigating the riots. Such a display showed the protestors that a riot was expected and so the self-fulfilling prophecy played out.

      Hindsight is always 20/20 but if we are to believe that cops need to up arm to compete with an up arming criminal menace than why wouldnt the reverse also be true? Cops come out amped and armored and people are supposed to remain calm and orderly?

      • There is a big difference in showing up, all geared out, before a riot even happens vs. bringing the correct gear to a riot that’s 4 days old. What do you think inspires the out of town rioters, pictures on TV of rioters with their hands up facing batons and shields OR rioters with their hands up, yelling “hands up, don’t shoot”, facing cops wielding rifles (you can’t see rubber bullets in the pic on the news)? The black panthers and the race pimps get endless mileage out of the second option, not nearly as much with the first.

        Dressing cops like soldiers is inflaming rather then diminishing those looking for trouble. The cops are making it too easy for the agitators at this point, and their militarized appearance has a lot to do with it.

        • Even regular infrantry doesn’t wear that amount of body armor!

          Those POS cops (Police Operator Syndrome) have styled themselves on ST6 or Delta.

    • With Travyon, there weren’t many eye witnesses and none of them was close by and saw everything in detail. This case seems to be the opposite. Multiple eye witnesses and close by:

      Darian Johnson (the fellow jay-walker)
      Piaget Crenshaw (walking to her apartment)
      Tiffany MItchell (driving in her car)

      But hey – we have the Trayvon family lawyer on the case already.

      Honestly, with as many eye witnesses as there are – should be a quick shut and closed case. Right?? Right? Wait? No one has even been arrested yet? If he wasn’t a police officer – his name would have already been released.

  14. I was watching a report on the militarization of the police on MSNBC the other day on the Rachel Maddow show. I rarely watch such a biased network, but even they were concerned about why small town police forces need MRAPs and other military gear. They also were perplexed by the camo in a city…

    • Sadly, the people that will care probably already do, and read / post places like here at TTAG and even the progressive sites. It’s funny…we share some of the same concerns.

      But, I don’t know that it will matter to whatever segment orders their life around what new cell phone model is coming out, when Dancing with the Stars is on or whatever some chick who’s name starts with a K is doing this week.

      I just don’t know. Can you fire up folks out of apathy? It didn’t really happen in the American Revolution, and we have a far greater number of “distractions” nowadays. (At least then, people had livelihood as an excuse to be distracted…now, it’s “entertainment” and that is itself a bit disconcerting).

      • Most Americans were pretty apathetic regarding the Revolution in the 1770’s, too. Only a small minority of active participants is actually needed – the vast majority of any population will just go along with whoever seems to be in charge. This was a recurring theme back then – how to rile up the people to support the revolution? It turns out, they didn’t really need to, as long as they had their 5-10% of active revolutionaries and a sufficient population of supporters to provide money and resources. True, we do have more distractions these days, but we also have a lot more free time. It’s a lot easier to revolt when you don’t have to worry about harvesting the corn and miking the cows.

        I’m not saying I expect another revolution – I think that’s an extremely remote possibility – but that apathy isn’t the main thing standing in the way of one. The collective loss of the values that America was founded on is a much bigger problem to overcome – back then, there was a spirit of self-determination and responsibility that is all but gone today. The average adult American today is a spoiled, coddled child compared to the people of the Revolutionary period.

        • It turns out, they didn’t really need to, as long as they had their 5-10% of active revolutionaries and a sufficient population of supporters to provide money and resources.

          Do not forget that the active revolutionaries had substantial support from France. Much like the CIA aided Iraq and Russia is aiding the Ukraine Separatists.

  15. I’m not really bothered by the police response, seriously. These maniacs are burning down businesses and most of the media on the scene are there to help them. They want “Trayvon 2: Trayvon meets the LA riots” so they can get ratings/clicks and build their careers, they came to vilify the police and their twitter updates or what have you function as sources of intelligence for organized vandals and looters.

    Riots are not democracy, riots are not justice. The police are doing their jobs and it is the so-called journalists and looters who should be ashamed. If this was a bad shooting that started this, then the officer should face justice. But the fact of the matter is someone leaked the wrong name for the officer already and that individual received credible death threats. I am not yet convinced it was a bad shooting, the truth will come out in due time and if you think the local police there are going overboard, I think you’re blind.

    • When rioting happens near your neighborhood, and next day you’ll be staring down the barrel of a rifle that a camouflaged guy sitting on top of an APC next to your window aims at you because you might be a “threat”… you’ll realize why you’re wrong.

  16. I think what we really need right now in Saint Louis is a team of Chipotle Ninjas to roll in here and hold public open carry demonstrations in the neighborhoods of Ferguson to show everyone how they have the right to open carry. This will quell the disturbances and the police can take off their body armor and lay down their military-brand military rifles, etc.

    I’m thinking this team of guys should lead the way:

    http://7mat2p4zx64lewmu.zippykid.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/2000×2000.jpg

    • We don’t need no stinkin militarized police, why back 100 years ago or so armed citizens dressed in white would have put down these criminals right quick. (that’s a big /S for all you faux Libertarians out there.)

      • Yeah, way to represent the POTG as a decent group there tdivna.
        Getting tired of the kinds of comments you leave…