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20 August 2014

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turcopolier

Edward Amame

The lack of representation would be mitigating if Blacks in Ferguson voted in local elections in something like proportionate numbers given their majority in the population. They do not and Jesse Jackson pointed that out a few days back. My wife is active in local politics here and it is very clear to me that if Blacks turned out to vote they could create a government in Ferguson, MO that would look like them. That government would change the police department to its taste. pl

Tyler

Ongoing threat to the community?

What are you on? You think they're rioting because they don't have access to crime scene reports? Ahahaha. No, they're rioting because they want free stuff and this is as good as an excuse as any.

turcopolier

Laura Wilson

As I said above to Amame, if Blacks voted in Ferguson they could have whatever government they wanted. pl

Edward Amame

@tyler - In my case, your only intent is to provoke and congrats, you did. What I meant to write was "dead black teen it didn't like."

Laura Wilson

Colonel, you are right about the voting issue. The fact remains, however, that a local police department is not charged with protecting only the voters. They are charged with protecting all of the people on their streets…citizens, non-citizens, voters, non-voters, the sane and the insane. This department has not done their job. Period. Their actions (all of which create reactions) have not positively affected ANY of the people who live in Ferguson in this particular instance. I'm sure the whites aren't feeling any more protected and well-served than the blacks at this point.

The voting issue is long-term. Short term this department has failed its community.

oofda

The failure of the PDs to provide any explanatory information has exacerabated the situation. This is in addition to the militarized response - and the non-military response of pointing weapons at people who are not threatening them.

turcopolier

Laura Wilson

You can't have it both ways. either it matters if the Ferguson government is Black oriented or it does not! pl

walrus

I had a discussion with my Police Officer son about "militarisation" during our recent dive trip to the coral sea.

His opinion is that it's not "militarisation" but "occupational health and safety" that is driving the changes. As he puts it, when the police are facing such things as well organised transnational biker gangs and similar people with access to the latest weapons and technology, as we face here, it would be a total dereliction of duty not to provide the police with body armor, high tech. communications and surveillance equipment and the latest and greatest weaponry - they need the edge for their own safety let alone effectiveness.

To put that another way, the old concept of the friendly unarmed cop walking the streets, settling things with their fists, is now a fantasy thanks to drugs and the proliferation of the technology like tasers and other toys the crazies get their hands on.

As for "police brutality" he has already had his first ethics investigation (cleared) after some jerk videoed him "pacifying" an ice addict who was a danger to himself and the rest of his detail, and sent it to the ethics people. His comment was that camera videos rarely show the "Before" and "After" situations that led to police action. In his case the addict was trying to get himself run down on a busy road, tried to bite the police who tried to rescue him, needed eight guys to get him out of the police van and caused one arresting officers knee reconstruction.

turcopolier

oofda

"the non-military response of pointing weapons at people who are not threatening them" Yes, my soldier father taught me at age seven that you do not point a firearm at someone unless you are going to kill him. pl

Laura Wilson

Re the militarization issue, this is the "news of the day from Davis, CA." :Davis police have acquired a hulking Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle from the military, the same type of surplus equipment that has drawn criticism from the ACLU for possibly increasing tensions between officers and citizens.

Davis Police Chief Landy Black in a memo said that the city recently received the $689,000 Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) at no charge. The vehicle is one of the smaller versions of the armored vehicles used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The acquistion comes at a sensitive time. The use of armored vehicles in Ferguson, Mo., by police confronting protesters, has sparked talk over whether the use of military equipment by the nation’s officers is too pervasive.

Black, while sensitive to concerns about the militarization of America’s police force, said the vehicle could come in handy due to its ability to ward off bullets.

The chief said the vehicle can provide cover to perform rescues of victims and potential victims during shooting incidents. It can also safely deliver officers into active-shooter incidents or barricaded hostage incidents.

He noted there is no civilian equivalent to the MRAP.

“This is not militarization,” wrote Black. “I wish police generally, and Davis Police specifically, weren’t forced to deal with the sort of circumstances that make this sort of tool a necessity. But like it or not, the types of incidents that we need to be prepared for, the types of incidents that put citizens at dire risk, especially as recent history has demonstrated, too often also create victims from students and children.”

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/20/6642425/davis-acquires-mine-resistant.html#storylink=cpy

I was in at the Gray's Harbor County Fair a week or so ago where one of these vehicles (black, of course!) was parked as part of a local police department display. The young policeman was confused by my questions: "Is this a military vehicle?" "Are you in the military?" "What is the motto of your police department?"

"What would your department use this for?" That one he answered: "In a hostage situation to protect our officers." All I could say to that was, "How would this protect the hostages?" It was apparent from this discussion that all of this militarization stuff is not to help the cops do their job of protecting the community…it is to protect themselves from their community.

To fully appreciate this, you must realize that Gray's Harbor County in Washington State has a total county population of 65,000 (63,000 are white) and the largest town, Aberdeen, has a population 17,000. And they need the Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP). It maybe be free but the consequences to civil liberties may come with a very high cost.

Edward Amame

PL

I'm also active in local politics and don't fathom the across-the-country tendency of minority voters to skip off-year elections, but they do. Ferguson's no different and that's when Ferguson holds its municipal elections. I read that turnout in off years in Ferguson is approx 11% for blacks and 17% for whites.

VietnamVet

Jack,

The average student loan debt is $29,400. The few good jobs left in the USA need a College Degree and experience. Our students have been shafted by the ending of cheap good higher education; like I had. They were sold a bill of goods by financial interests and our government that the cost of their higher education would be paid back by a lifetime of higher salaries. Instead they will be in debt for the rest of their lives.

Total US Government Spending is Down in the Obama Era. This is what austerity looks like:
http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/01/government-spending-down-obama-era

The increased debt is due the 4 trillion dollars given to bankers, Wall Street and the rich by the FED through TARP and Quantitative Easing. If the money had been spent on jobs and infrastructure, there would be no need to worry about revolts in the USA. I can’t argue monetary policy but I believe that government can print as much money as it wants as long as it maintains its good faith and credit. Our current economic problem is due to the lack of demand due to declining salaries in America and Europe and that the digital money created is going into the portfolios of the wealthy few not to create jobs.

Jose

VV - Those are things that happen when we have a centralized economy that is making all the decisions. Look at Europe and see the patterns of structural unemployment because of the lack economics growth. Austerity?

EdAm - Same thing happened in Miami a few years ago, but it was corrected by a Black and Hispanic Alliance that sued for lack of representation and won. Why can't all those civil rights lawyers and agitators file a lawsuit?

Student debt, join ROTC.

Student deb

turcopolier

jose

"join ROTC" The military would not want most of these people as commissioned officers. pl

turcopolier

EA
I will say it again. If you don't turn out to vote, you deserve the government that you get. pl

kao_hsien_chih

I don't mean "tribal" in the "race" sense, but in the way they seem to regard themselves as a group apart from the citizenry in general, as a part of the "cop" tribe, so to speak.

I am probably reading the same news sources as oodfa, but, from what I can tell, the police in the area seem to be acting in the most unprofessional fashion, given the way they are brandishing firearms to threaten both locals and journalists. They are not soldiers, whose goal is to kill "enemies," nor are the local citizens their "enemies" who are supposed to be killed. The sort of aggressive behavior that they are engaging in seems at least as lawless and "tribal" as that of the mob, and given that they are supposed to be agents of the law, that seems far worse.

This is met by the locals responding collectively as a "tribe" in the race-sense, as you note. The middle ground, where we can discern the rights and wrongs in the legal sense, seems to be losing out.

kao_hsien_chih

The same applies to you. pl

Liberal thought part 2, or white guilt. Brown and yellow people should not have any guns either, and if they shoot a black person, they should be painted white and treated as such.

Will Reks

God damn it! I told you to name the person you address. pl

You actually believe that, don't you?

The first part is probably mostly true if we're honest.

Most liberals and most libertarians think that the police don't need MRAPS and look ridiculous in camoflauge and desert boots on city streets in the USA. This complaint that police forces have become militarized doesn't equate to taking their guns away.

turcopolier

All

The cop from St. Anne MO who was fired was following standard Israeli practice.

As for joblessness, let's be honest and credit NAFTA and similar "good deals" for some of that. pl

kao_hsien_chih

I don't think the problem of "militarization" is that of the equipment. It may contribute to the problem, but it's not the core.

The problem with militarization is that of attitude, that the law enforcement increasingly seems to think that it is a tribe apart from the citizens whom they are supposed to protect and are willing to abuse their power (see my response to the colonel above), specifically, they seem to think of the citizens of an "enemy."

Nor is it really a matter of race, in particular. My impression is that police are increasingly likely to use excessive force on almost anyone these days, regardless of race (there were lots of stories online these days, including an instance where a dozen cops terrorized without showing any badge a pair of sorority girls (either at W&M or UVa, I forget where) whom they mistakenly thought to be illegally buying alcohol or the case of a pair of Green Beret trainees who were shot in North Carolina supposedly because of mistaken identity). Perhaps race aggravates the problem, but focusing on race actually distracts from the problem, namely that agents of law seem to be increasingly drunk on power and act accordingly.

Perhaps Jefferson's warning about the tree of liberty should be heeded more closely after all.

Will Reks

Sir,

I'll make sure to do that. I had noticed though that sometime ago the blog started to display who was responding to whom. Although in our case, specifically, it will look like I am replying to myself.

turcopolier

All

"the blog started to display who was responding to whom" where? Ah! If you look at the listed comments on the front page it says that, but I have only so much time in my day and that does not work for me. I cannot keep running back and forth between the front page and my editorial comments page. I have to deal with a different page on which the addressee is not named. I have already deleted several comments for not following my instructions. pl

Cee

Tyler,

This loose cannon shouldn't ever have a gun and work on police force again. Thank God his commanding officer had better sense!

I do have the say that the (Caucasian?) antagonists in the crowd should have used better judgement.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AFia3Uo0TQ

Cee

Tyler,

If that OVERZEALOUS officer had used some restraint this wouldn't be happening. So WHAT that Brown was walking in the middle of the street. I don't understand it, but in some neighborhoods that is normal.
Didn't the officer have something better to do than giving orders about THIS?!
We KNOW that he had no knowledge of the stolen cigars. He just needed to assert some authority for NO GOOD REASON!!

Cee

Vietnam Vet,

Thank you for your comments and question.

Edward,

God forbid that people get registered to vote...

In an interview with Breitbart News, Missouri RNC executive director Matt Wills expressed outrage about the reports of voter registration booths popping up in Ferguson, Breitbart reports.
“If that’s not fanning the political flames, I don’t know what is,” Wills said, “I think it’s not only disgusting but completely inappropriate.”

You can't make this insanity up.

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