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Old 2014-08-14, 03:39   #1
kladner
 
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Default Civil Unrest, Police Responses, Media Suppression

There are a number of police shooting situations around the country. The one in Ferguson, MO has touched off massive overreaction from militarized, armored police. The the massive force employed, the filling of residential neighborhoods with tear gas, and the attempts to intimidate, impede, and arrest journalists make it clear that these forces are operating far outside proper legal restraints.

Where are elected officials while this madness goes on?
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Old 2014-08-15, 00:16   #2
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Default Police in Ferguson teargas news crew, dismantle their equipment

http://boingboing.net/2014/08/14/vid...ice-gassi.html
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Old 2014-08-15, 00:25   #3
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The Militarization of U.S. Police: Finally Dragged Into the Light by the Horrors of Ferguson -Glen Greenwald

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2...rors-ferguson/

Quote:
The harrowing events of the last week in Ferguson, Missouri – the fatal police shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager, Mike Brown, and the blatantly excessive and thuggish response to ensuing community protests from a police force that resembles an occupying army – have shocked the U.S. media class and millions of Americans. But none of this is aberrational.
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Old 2014-08-15, 04:02   #4
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No major drama so far in Ferg. Mo. tonight. Some idiot shot off some fireworks and police went to investigate. (a call of shots fired was put out on the scanners, but later retracted.)

(check that, as I sit here typing the report of a media person attacked, don't know the details.)

But at the main rally hundreds of people, Black Panthers and St. Louis City Cops mingling together (the City is separate from the County cops who have been removed from the scene) and a heavy media presence.
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Old 2014-08-15, 04:09   #5
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Default Dancing in the streets in Ferguson

Quote:
A new witness in the killing of Michael Brown emerged Thursday, corroborating major details offered by earlier witnesses, Dorian Johnson. Both described the initial interaction between Brown and the officer as a tug-of-war in which the officer grabbed Brown as Brown tried to free himself from the officer’s grip through a car window.
http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/st-louis-...-michael-brown

Quote:
Missouri takes control of security away from Ferguson police
http://news.yahoo.com/police-chief-s...1TsCkA65bQtDMD

It's a totally different scene, for the moment, from last night. It bears close watching. It must also be remembered that this situation arises from just one such shooting incident out of many which have happened just recently around the country. There are many other communities which cry out for justice.

Quote:
Images coming from Ferguson, Mo., reveal unfiltered, uncomfortable truths
http://www.washingtonpost.com/entert...prss=rss_style
Quote:
A photograph is never sufficiently proportional to truth. The truth — the full story, the context of things — is too large and complicated to be encompassed by any single image. So from Ferguson, Mo., where daily protests have erupted after Saturday’s police shooting of an unarmed African American teenager, we get only photographic data points.

A man lights a rag in a bottle and prepares to throw a Molotov cocktail; militarized police sit atop armored vehicles, guns drawn and aimed at protestors who have their hands raised. Both are volatile images, and both confirm aspects of the truth: There are provocateurs among the mostly peaceful protestors, and the police have adopted a terrifyingly aggressive posture in relation to the citizens they supposedly serve.

But these images aren’t coming from Egypt or the Gaza Strip or Ukraine. These are our own, homegrown documents of social unrest and they can’t, like images from more distant lands, be kept safely at bay.

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2014-08-15 at 04:18
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Old 2014-08-15, 04:18   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
Clarifying this as well, the tear gas cloud shifted with the wind and the SWAT team from a neighboring county helped the Al Jazeera team and packed up all their gear, then drove them to their news van to recover.

Clearly a miss-reporting by the media. Which should have been obvious since the other film crew was standing right across the street filming the whole thing and wasn't arrested.

In this one instance the SWAT guys were the good guys. Al Jazeera tweeted about it.
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Old 2014-08-15, 04:25   #7
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That is very good to hear. There was some sanity. I'll have to see if I can find mention of it.
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Old 2014-08-15, 04:34   #8
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I should point out that the St. Charles Sheriffs dept SWAT team was the good guys, I'm not really sure which group was at the other end firing the tear gas too close to the reporters--it's a mixed bag and a jumble of different dept.s from all over the state (which is probably a large portion of the problem)

Tonight it's one group the MO St. Patrol with a clear chain of command and apparently a cooler and wiser leader.
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Old 2014-08-15, 23:50   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/entert...prss=rss_style
Quote:
But these images aren’t coming from Egypt or the Gaza Strip or Ukraine. These are our own, homegrown documents of social unrest and they can’t, like images from more distant lands, be kept safely at bay.
And yet there are crucial commonalities at work in those places and here, chief among which is "who is arming the goon squads?" The answer, while deeply disappointing, is alas unsurprising:

Militarized Policing: One Nation Under SWAT
Quote:
“I wonder if I can get in trouble for doing this,” the young man says to his buddy in the passenger seat as they film the Saginaw County Sheriff Office’s new toy: a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. As they film the MRAP from behind, their amateur video has a Red Dawn-esque feel, as if an occupying military were now patrolling this Michigan county’s streets. “This is getting ready for f**king crazy times, dude,” one young man comments. “Why,” his friend replies, “has our city gotten that f**king bad?”

In fact, nothing happening in Saginaw County warranted the deployment of an armored vehicle capable of withstanding bullets and the sort of improvised explosive devices that insurgent forces have regularly planted along roads in America’s recent war zones. Sheriff William Federspiel, however, fears the worst. “As sheriff of the county, I have to put ourselves in the best position to protect our citizens and protect our property,” he told a reporter. “I have to prepare for something disastrous.”

Lucky for Federspiel, his exercise in paranoid disaster preparedness didn’t cost his office a penny. That $425,000 MRAP came as a gift, courtesy of Uncle Sam, from one of our far-flung counterinsurgency wars. The nasty little secret of policing’s militarization is that taxpayers are subsidizing it through programs overseen by the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Justice Department.

Take the 1033 program. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) may be an obscure agency within the Department of Defense, but through the 1033 program, which it oversees, it’s one of the core enablers of American policing’s excessive militarization. Beginning in 1990, Congress authorized the Pentagon to transfer its surplus property free of charge to federal, state, and local police departments to wage the war on drugs. In 1997, Congress expanded the purpose of the program to include counterterrorism in section 1033 of the defense authorization bill. In one single page of a 450-page law, Congress helped sow the seeds of today’s warrior cops.

The amount of military hardware transferred through the program has grown astronomically over the years. In 1990, the Pentagon gave $1 million worth of equipment to U.S. law enforcement. That number had jumped to nearly $450 million in 2013. Overall, the program has shipped off more than $4.3 billion worth of materiel to state and local cops, according to the DLA.
(Multiple embedded links in the above excerpt available at the source article, which is lengthy but well worth your time if you can spare an hour of weekend reading).

Keep this in mind whenever you hear the blatherer-in-chief or one of his PR minions wax philosophic about "the need to have a national conversation" or some such deflectionary nonsense. There are indeed many conversations that urgently needed to be had on the long, sorry post-9/11 road to full-blown constitution-nullifying police-statehood, but which the PTB evidently had no interest in.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2014-08-15 at 23:52
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Old 2014-08-16, 00:14   #10
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Another fine article about the issue in the form of this Al Jazeera op-ed:

Ferguson and the cult of compliance: When the police won’t take no for an answer
Quote:
The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, set off by a policeman’s shooting of an unarmed black teen last week, appear to be spinning out of control — not because crowds are rioting nightly but because law enforcement is operating as though they are in a war zone. Peaceful protesters are facing nothing short of a domestic army, armed with military equipment, waiting for a provocation.

As the protests progressed, the police have used noncompliance, or the failure to obey their every order, as their justification for whatever violence came next. That’s also the excuse that the police used to explain why an officer shot Michael Brown. They said the incident started because Brown didn’t comply with an order to move, so it is he who is to blame.

What happens if you don’t comply when the police give you an order? What rights do you really have? How free are you, really, when the authorities have weapons pointed at you or when they have the right to draw a weapon and use it with relative impunity?
At least in more-genteel days of yore (including those of the anti-Vietnam-War protests), officials and the MSM had the (relative) decency to call such police tactics what they are: martial law. As opposed to regular constitutionally provisioned 'peacetime law'. The fact that the phrase 'martial law' is so rarely used in the MSM anymore quite telling -- they have clearly accepted the wholesale abrogation of civil rule of law, on a permanent basis. (Or as long as there is 'a threat', which equals the same thing.)

Keep that in mind next time you dare consider wandering outside your city's designated "free speech zone", or consider taking part in a peaceful protest without first getting a "city permit" to exercise your rights of free speech and peaceable assembly.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2014-08-16 at 00:15
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Old 2014-08-16, 17:15   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Keep that in mind next time you dare consider wandering outside your city's designated "free speech zone", or consider taking part in a peaceful protest without first getting a "city permit" to exercise your rights of free speech and peaceable assembly.
The BLM tried something like during the Bundy standoff several months ago. It didn't exactly work out well for them. I imagine a similar militia consisting of several thousand armed citizens would make the local police back down pretty quickly.
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