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Friday, August 01, 2014

OT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video

As Gov. Chris Christie prepares to cap off his trip to New Hampshire tonight with a fundraiser at a minor-league baseball game, the Democratic National Committee has released a online video taking a swing at the Republican governor’s handling of New Jersey’s economy.

The clip is modeled after an old-time newsreel — the kind that would have been shown in movie houses when Babe Ruth ruled the baseball diamond in the 1920s.

It notes that under Christie — a possible candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2016 — New Jersey has among the highest property taxes and slowest job growth in the U.S.

“On his economic record, Chris Christie strikes out,” the video’s narrator says.

Bitter Mouse Posted: August 01, 2014 at 09:10 AM | 6359 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: new jersey, politics, video

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   3301. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 16, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4772490)
To add to that point beyond Mefisto's and the DA's comments, the whole tussle is fairly specific. Perry targeted precisely the part of the Travis County office that was in the process of investigating cronyism and graft by one of Perry's pet agencies, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. So it isn't even that Perry was strongarming a generalized blue drunken PITA, but that he did so by lasering in on unconnected investigations that were becoming embarrassing to him.

As I understand it, Perry vetoed the funding for the only part of the DA's office that was funded by the state, rather than the county. If he could have cut off all her funds, presumably he would have had enough leverage to get her out of office but that apparently wasn't the case. However, I have yet to hear any argument why Perry isn't acting within the lawful powers of the governor by refusing to fund a function presided over by a public official who had disgraced her office.
   3302. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 16, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4772491)
To add to that point beyond Mefisto's and the DA's comments, the whole tussle is fairly specific. Perry targeted precisely the part of the Travis County office that was in the process of investigating cronyism and graft by one of Perry's pet agencies, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. So it isn't even that Perry was strongarming a generalized blue drunken PITA, but that he did so by lasering in on unconnected investigations that were becoming embarrassing to him.

As the DA points out, that still might be technically legal, but it puts a different cast on things. If nothing else, it makes one question the governor's basic political wisdom. Here's a partisan watchdog with a public mandate. They're known for indicting Republicans. Instead of cleaning up their act or his own in an above-board manner, Perry tries to escalate the bullying. Could he not have seen the upshot coming?

LOL. You're making it sound like Perry only wanted one specific investigation defunded, when, in fact, he vetoed funding for the entire public-integrity office — while making it clear that every dollar would be restored if the drunken D.A. resigned.

Given that the public-integrity office is in liberal Austin while the state's officeholders are overwhelmingly Republican, the office was always going to be investigating some Republican or other. That issue is a red herring.

It's hilarious that you seem to have no problem with the drunken D.A. remaining in office — while behind bars! — but you're one of the few people on the internet who think these charges against Perry are legit.
   3303. Mefisto Posted: August 16, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4772492)
I have yet to hear any argument why Perry isn't acting within the lawful powers of the governor by refusing to fund a function presided over by a public official who had disgraced her office.


You won't hear any such argument because nobody thinks that that, standing alone, is criminal.
   3304. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 16, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4772494)
I love the "Release the cop's name!" "Oh my god how could you have released the robbery video?!" juxtaposition.
But the juxtaposition is what the criticism is about. They concealed the killer's name for a week, and then when the pressure got too great for them to conceal it, they also released an unrelated story to distract from it. And of course the police do not normally release shoplifting videos in the first place¹, so why would they do it right at that time?



¹ They might if the goal were to ask for the public's help in identifying a suspect in a robbery -- but that obviously wasn't the purpose here, since (a) they weren't actually asking for the public's help in identifying a suspect in a robbery, and (b) they don't do that in trivial cases anyway.
   3305. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 16, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4772496)
You are bad at reading.
The fundamental problem with the State’s case was its failure to prove proceeds of criminal activity.
...
Because we conclude that the evidence was legally insufficient to support DeLay’s convictions, we reverse the judgments of the trial court and render judgments of acquittal.

Actually, I'm the one willing to cite and quote a substantial portion of the decision - where the Court explains why the evidence was legally insufficient:
The State does not dispute that the law allowed corporate contributions to general-purpose political action committees for administrative expenses. Practically speaking, lawful corporate contributions to the administration of a committee ultimately support the committee’s principal purpose, and funds given for the administration are not transformed into “proceeds of criminal activity” merely because the funds were from corporations. Nor are funds illegal merely because the corporate contributions allowed individual contributions to be used to support candidates.

The State does not contend that the corporations were prohibited from making donations to TRMPAC or that TRMPAC was prohibited from transferring those funds for use out of state. See Tex. Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 277 (1995) (“Title 15 of the Election Code does not prohibit a Texas corporation from making contributions and expenditures in connection with elections in other states.”); Tex. Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 208 (1994) (“It is clear . . . from the Texas campaign finance laws taken as a whole, that the offices and campaigns referred to are Texas offices and Texas campaigns. . . . Therefore we conclude that the legislature did not intend to require that general-purpose political committees report political expenditures made in connection with out-of-state campaigns, officeholders, or measures.”). Given the testimony of the corporate representatives and the undisputed facts that the corporations could lawfully make donations to TRMPAC and TRMPAC could lawfully transfer the corporate funds out of state, the State failed to prove the “applicable culpable mental states” for the donating corporations to support a finding of criminal intent by the corporations.12 See Ex parte Ellis, 309 S.W.3d at 90. [emphasis added] [footnotes omitted]

The Court explicitly states the donations and transfers were legal, which is what I said and what tshipman objected to while laughably claiming I was the one misreading the Court's decision.
   3306. BDC Posted: August 16, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4772497)
t's hilarious that you seem to have no problem with the drunken D.A. remaining in office — while behind bars! — but you're one of the few people on the internet who think these charges against Perry are legit

Whoa, my friend, scroll up to my derisions of the drunk above, and my earlier comment that the indictment was ridiculous. It absolutely is. But politics is about avoiding getting into ridiculous situations. One way is to avoid peeing matches with skunks. I'll think up some other animal metaphors and get back to you :)
   3307. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 16, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4772499)
But the juxtaposition is what the criticism is about. They concealed the killer's name for a week, and then when the pressure got too great for them to conceal it, they also released an unrelated story to distract from it. And of course the police do not normally release shoplifting videos in the first place¹, so why would they do it right at that time?

Well, that video was going to come out one way or another, whether the police released it or TMZ paid somebody $10,000 for it.

As is often the case with small-city police departments in cases like this, the Ferguson PD made so many early mistakes that whatever it does now is going to be criticized by one faction or another.

"Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence," etc.

***
Whoa, my friend, scroll up to my derisions of the drunk above, and my earlier comment that the indictment was ridiculous. It absolutely is. But politics is about avoiding getting into ridiculous situations. One way is to avoid peeing matches with skunks. I'll think up some other animal metaphors and get back to you :)

OK; I don't remember you bashing the drunk. This just seems like one of those cases where if both sides can't agree the charges are absurd, there's probably no hope for American politics.
   3308. tshipman Posted: August 16, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4772501)
Okay dude, I don't care enough to argue anymore, so you win.

Congrats to you and your BFF Tom DeLay. Clearly, Tom DeLay was the real victim.
   3309. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 16, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4772517)
Okay dude, I don't care enough to argue anymore, so you win.

What a gracious way to admit you were wrong. Thanks.
   3310. GregD Posted: August 16, 2014 at 06:32 PM (#4772519)
It is easy to believe Perry likely had partisan motivations. But that just means that, as I wrote before, the worst case scenario is he practiced political hardball of the type Andrew Cuomo finishes with before breakfast. Partisanship isn't illegal. I don't know Texas law and I am not a lawyer, so maybe Perry did violate something. But from afar, it looks like routine politics.

I still think an active indictment is an albatross to him running for pres. But I would agree on reflection that if he gets a quick dismissal it will fade before he has to answer too many questions.
   3311. tshipman Posted: August 16, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4772522)
What a gracious way to admit you were wrong. Thanks.


It's pointless to argue with you. All you do is repeat talking points/spin over and over again and just take what you want to believe.

I could spend more time looking at a legal opinion to prove a silly point about the exact nature of Tom DeLay's corruption, or I could just stop and do literally anything else.

Like, you are seriously defending Tom DeLay as not being corrupt, and in fact stating that his prosecution was. That's a decision that you've made. Why argue with it? You've exposed your ridiculousness better than I ever could have.
   3312. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 16, 2014 at 06:45 PM (#4772525)
I still think an active indictment is an albatross to him running for pres. But I would agree on reflection that if he gets a quick dismissal it will fade before he has to answer too many questions.

Possible Rick Perry 2016 Campaign Slogans are already appearing:
1. Democrats Defend Drunk DAs, I Defund Them.

2. Good Governors Don't Let DAs Drive Drunk.

This is an easily understood issue on which Perry certainly appears to be on the popular side. It shouldn't hurt him, might even help a bit, although there are still obstacles to his candidacy. Granted, I'm assuming that the charges are dismissed well ahead of the first primary or caucus, but that doesn't seem like an outrageous assumption.
   3313. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 16, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4772527)
Maybe it's because the cop's name was a bit more relevant to the shooting than the robbery video, since the cop who killed Brown didn't even know about the robbery at the time he confronted him.


But the robbery is still relevant even though the cop didn't know about it, as already discussed.

Do you think that a judge would admit that video as evidence in a trial of the policeman?


Yes, in every court in the land.
   3314. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 16, 2014 at 07:05 PM (#4772530)
It's pointless to argue with you. All you do is repeat talking points/spin over and over again and just take what you want to believe.

I didn't cite any talking points, I quoted the actual Court decision, showing it said exactly what I said it did. You had claimed that I was "bad at reading", when you had either: (1) not read the decision, (2) not understood the decision, or (3) deliberately misrepresented the decision. Such tactics don't enhance your credibility. Then you go on in #3311 to suggest that your opinion that Tom DeLay was corrupt is relevant to whether he committed the specific charges the Court threw out. Really? The bottom line in the DeLay case is that the prosecutor was claiming that a series of legal contributions and transfers somehow became illegal because they didn't like where some of the money ended up. They lost because the statutes didn't prohibit those contributions and transfers.
   3315. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 16, 2014 at 07:17 PM (#4772533)
.
   3316. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 16, 2014 at 07:24 PM (#4772536)
They denied that they would ever release the name, and told people to shove it and expect no accountability. (Ferguson policy is that the only way to have a complaint against an officer is if the officer files a complaint himself! Surely you can't endorse that, Ray!)

When they were all but forced to say the name, they refused to give any more information about the shooting but instead spent the vast majority of the time in a data dump on the robbery in what was obviously an effort to inflame the community.


They should have released the cop's name right away - especially because it had to come out soon enough anyway -- but this is a trivial issue.

As to releasing the robbery video, when would the "timing" have been right to release it? Answer: never. So please stop pretending there was any "time" the cops could have released this video that wasn't going to draw fire from the usual crowd.
   3317. tshipman Posted: August 16, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4772537)
As to releasing the robbery video, when would the "timing" have been right to release it?


At the trial.
   3318. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 16, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4772544)
The release of the video inflamed the community. It was preposterous to release it when it was released.

As to the case in chief, it's marginally relevant, at best. As a general principle, it isn't the case that a video that might lead one to possibly be arrested some time in the future is admissible. Moreover, its prejudicial value far outweighs its probative value. There's next to no chance any judge would admit the whole thing into evidence in a criminal homicide case against the cop.
   3319. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 16, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4772545)
And as such, the police had no business in releasing the video and the police report anymore than if they had released his HS transcript showing he failed remedial math and skipped classes an occasional Friday.


Utter ridiculousness. A robbery 10 minutes earlier by Brown is certainly relevant to the issue of who assaulted who first, and, specifically, officer's claim that Brown is the one who assaulted him.

It's hard to believe that people have stooped to these levels in the discussion.

And I'll remind people that if the officer is indicted, murder will likely not be the only charge; the charges will include assault, etc., if there is evidence that the officer initiated the violent contact without cause. The robbery incident would carry greater weight in defending against that charge, since the officer's claim that Brown attacked him first becomes more believable when one considers that Brown knew he was fresh off of a convenience store robbery at the time he was approached by the officer.
   3320. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 16, 2014 at 07:47 PM (#4772548)
As to releasing the robbery video, when would the "timing" have been right to release it?

At the trial.


You might have heard we don't just go straight to "trial" here in the US. I know this is difficult for the leftists here who want to skip straight to execution by hanging, lethal injection and electrocution all at once, but there are preliminary stages, including arrest and a preliminary hearing or grand jury for the purpose of indicting the defendant. Along the way - before the trial - the defendant is entitled to exculpatory evidence.

The video was coming out before trial, as a matter of process. (At which point the same people would have claimed that the cops sat on it so they could trot it out as a surprise to help the officer by inflaming the community or something.)
   3321. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 16, 2014 at 07:48 PM (#4772550)
Utter ridiculousness. A robbery 10 minutes earlier by Brown is certainly relevant to the issue of who assaulted who first, and, specifically, officer's claim that Brown is the one who assaulted him.

Not really. The fact that someone had committed a crime, or had done something that could lead to them being arrested, in their past does not in fact make it more likely that they assaulted a police officer. See, e.g., the unpaid parking ticket example. Nor is evidence that someone acted violently in the past typically admissible to show that they acted violently in the incident at issue. (See Federal Rule of Evidence 404).

   3322. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 16, 2014 at 07:55 PM (#4772553)
Not really. The fact that someone had committed a crime, or had done something that could lead to them being arrested, in their past does not in fact make it more likely that they assaulted a police officer.

A person who fears imminent arrest is undoubtedly more likely to assault an approaching police officer than someone with no such fear. That's how we got to the point of having SWAT teams serving arrest warrants.

Again, we have no idea if Brown assaulted the police officer, but this idea that assaults on police are entirely random and unpredictable is utterly absurd.
   3323. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 16, 2014 at 07:57 PM (#4772555)
Not really. The fact that someone had committed a crime, or had done something that could lead to them being arrested, in their past does not in fact make it more likely that they assaulted a police officer.


I'm loving your usage of "in the past" here. It was literally 10 minutes prior.

See, e.g., the unpaid parking ticket example.


"See, e.g., the ridiculous example I gave on the previous page, that you ignored the first time because it was so ridiculous." Not very persuasive.
   3324. tshipman Posted: August 16, 2014 at 07:58 PM (#4772556)
Along the way - before the trial - the defendant is entitled to exculpatory evidence.


Okay, so I didn't mean you have to avoid releasing it before the officer is indicted or anything.

I suppose I should rephrase to say that the police should have released in a court setting and not before.
   3325. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 16, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4772559)
I'm loving your usage of "in the past" here. It was literally 10 minutes prior.

So? The same principle you're applying would apply to any crime or anything subjecting a person to arrest, regardless of when it was committed. You're being very Andyesque in your exaltation of whim over principle.

"See, e.g., the ridiculous example I gave on the previous page, that you ignored the first time because it was so ridiculous." Not very persuasive.

Not ridiculous at all. Too many unpaid parking tickets is a crime, therefore anyone who knows they have enough for it to be a crime would fear arrest upon any contact with police under your principle.

Making your whim even worse here is that fact that there won't be any real evidence that Brown feared arrest, because we know the police never did anything to put him under arrest because they had no idea of his involvement in the cigar incident. The "fear of arrest" you're postulating is entirely speculative, no different than the guy with too many unpaid parking tickets.(*)

Now, if a policeman says to someone, "You're under arrest," then your principle starts to make some sense ... but at that point you don't need any evidence of what the person is under arrest for; it's the cop indicating to him that an arrest is imminent that's the relevant fact. So if here, the cop had said, "Get over here, we're arresting you for taking those cigars," there would be no need for the video.

(*) And the eyewitness testimony and what we know is yet worse for your whim. Since the police interacted with Brown in a way indicating that they weren't even thinking of arresting him, but instead merely ordering him to the sidewalk, the theory that he "feared arrest" is yet more speculative. There isn't a lick of evidence that he "feared arrest" and plenty of evidence showing the cops had no interest whatever in arresting him.
   3326. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 16, 2014 at 08:12 PM (#4772562)
I'm loving your usage of "in the past" here. It was literally 10 minutes prior.


So? The same principle you're applying would apply to any crime or anything subjecting a person to arrest, regardless of when it was committed.


No, because the robbery had just happened, so it provides a reason for Brown to think the cop was approaching him for that.

You're being very SugarBear here.
   3327. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 16, 2014 at 08:15 PM (#4772563)
No, because the robbery had just happened, so it provides a reason for Brown to think the cop was approaching him for that.

And then the cop ordered him to the sidewalk and gave no indication he was arresting Brown for the shoplift, completely vitiating your whim.
   3328. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 16, 2014 at 08:22 PM (#4772567)
And then the cop ordered him to the sidewalk and gave no indication he was arresting Brown for the shoplift, completely vitiating your whim.

We're supposed to assume that Brown had robbed or attempted to rob a convenience store just 10 minutes prior, but it probably didn't cross his mind that the approaching police officer might be approaching him because of that?

You've got to be kidding.
   3329. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 16, 2014 at 09:03 PM (#4772584)
The officer apparently contends that Brown assaulted him and there was a struggle for the officer's weapon. Brown's involvement in a robbery gives him a motive for assaulting the police (fear of arrest) and thus it is clearly relevant.
People don't always act rationally, to be sure, but that's not remotely rational. Brown committing a misdemeanor that would get him a slap on the wrist is not a "motive" for assaulting a police officer and trying to grab the guy's gun, acts which would get him (a) killed, or (b) jailed for a significant period of time.
   3330. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 16, 2014 at 09:28 PM (#4772596)
You are bad at reading.
And you're bad at understanding whet you read. You apparently think that the appellate court was saying that the case hadn't been proved, like when Clemens was acquitted. That's not what the court was saying. It was in fact saying that the legal theory was incorrect, that the prosecution was treating as a crime something that wasn't.
   3331. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 16, 2014 at 11:24 PM (#4772646)
People don't always act rationally, to be sure, but that's not remotely rational. Brown committing a misdemeanor that would get him a slap on the wrist is not a "motive" for assaulting a police officer and trying to grab the guy's gun, acts which would get him (a) killed, or (b) jailed for a significant period of time.


It's no more irrational than the story that the officer threatened to shoot Brown and then fired away at a fleeing Brown because he thought Brown had slammed the door on him. (Acts which could get the officer killed (death penalty state) or jailed for life.)

The Missouri teen who was shot to death over the weekend told a police officer he was unarmed and begged him to stop shooting, said a friend who was with Michael Brown when he was killed. Dorian Johnson, 22, told msnbc the two were walking down the street in Ferguson when a police cruiser drove up to them. "His exact words were get the f--k on the sidewalk,” Johnson told msnbc. They responded that they were just walking back to Johnson's house, but the officer slammed on his brakes, stopping so he was face-to-face with them.

The officer, whose identity and race have yet to be made public, tried to open his door, Johnson said, but the door hit Brown and ricocheted closed. The officer then grabbed Brown by the neck, Johnson said. “I could see the muscles in his forearm,” Johnson said. "That’s when I heard, ‘I’m gonna shoot you.’” Brown started running, stopping at one point with his hands up as he cried, "I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!" Johnson said the officer fired several shots, and Brown collapsed to the ground.


   3332. GregD Posted: August 17, 2014 at 12:50 AM (#4772690)
Ray, on the release, I thiink it is clear that a different police department--call it Ferguson Prime--that released lots of information from the start would have been well placed to release the robbery information as they put it together.

It is also conceivable that the police department that existed might, even after all its mis-steps the first few days--have been able to release this in a way that carried legitimacy.

I'm not arguing there was no way they could release it.

But let's look at what they did:
1) They decided to release it at a press conference where they finally released the officer's name, where they refused to elaborate on the incident itself or on the officer's background and went out of their way to hamhandedly make it a diversion

2) They ignored requests from the Department of Justice that they handle the information in a different way.

3) They did this without informing the commander on the ground.

I think that combination is damning. Are you really defending the way they handled it? You're shifting the case--unless I'm misreading you--to saying that people would always criticie them no matter when they released it. But 1) that isn't in evidence, 2) the way they released it violated basic practices and 3) the fact that some small group might have criticized a more-appropriate rollout is immaterial to the fact that a much larger group criticized this particular rollout.
   3333. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 01:01 AM (#4772692)
But you can't clamor for them to release all of their information and then get upset when they release their information. Apparently they had freedom of information (or whatever it's called) requests from the media that they release info.

But let's look at what they did:
1) They decided to release it at a press conference where they finally released the officer's name, where they refused to elaborate on the incident itself or on the officer's background and went out of their way to hamhandedly make it a diversion


I simply don't think it's a valid criticism that they released the robbery information as I think it's relevant to the story of what happened that day and I think the people screaming about the "timing" are just upset that they released it at all.

How did you expect them to "elaborate on the incident itself"? There are serious factual issues in dispute. An investigation hasn't been done yet. And people seem upset that they want to conduct an investigation at all. How did you expect them to elaborate on the factual issues in dispute before an investigation has been done? Ask God? Ask the Impartial Observers like Sam and Al Sharpton?

I think that combination is damning. Are you really defending the way they handled it?


Not really, not entirely; I just think this entire line of complaint is a trivial matter by people who in general don't want to give the police a fair shake no matter what they do.
   3334. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 17, 2014 at 01:15 AM (#4772696)
For those interested in more on the Rick Perry indictment, this is the most detailed analysis I have seen. It's by a prosecutor, albeit one with conservative leanings. However, I haven't seen anyone make a case that you can criminalize a veto absent evidence of bribery, although I don't claim to have made a comprehensive search and perhaps others can provide such material. However, right now the case looks so weak I'm wondering if it will turn out to be the rare case that actually gets a prosecutor disciplined.
   3335. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 01:38 AM (#4772698)
By the way, how is Holder's post-verdict investigation of George Zimmerman for civil rights violations going? Has Holder admitted yet that since he knew there was zero case for that his post-verdict comments were merely for the purpose of inflaming the community?

During a speech at to the NAACP, Attorney General Eric Holder stated that the Department of Justice was continuing to investigate Zimmerman for civil rights violations after the verdict, and also criticized existing "stand-your-ground" laws. Holder's speech was denounced by the NRA and Florida Governor Rick Scott.[402]
   3336. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 17, 2014 at 01:43 AM (#4772700)
I previously linked to the booking video of the DWI District Attorney that Perry wanted to remove, here's dash cam video of her arrest, including her failed sobriety test. She was driving the wrong way on a one-way street, with an open bottle of vodka beside her. The case is so weak that Texas Democrats who were quick to cheer Perry's indictment are likely to be the only ones politically damaged by the case.
   3337. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 01:45 AM (#4772701)
It's no more irrational than the story that the officer threatened to shoot Brown and then fired away at a fleeing Brown because he thought Brown had slammed the door on him. (Acts which could get the officer killed (death penalty state) or jailed for life.)
Ray, let me introduce you to Earth. Earth, this Ray; he's a patent attorney. Ray, this is Earth, where cops do not go to jail for killing people in the line of duty.
   3338. The District Attorney Posted: August 17, 2014 at 02:06 AM (#4772702)
The defiance being shown by the Ferguson/St. Louis County PD to their state and federal counterparts is shocking to me. Governor Nixon is allowing the intramural warfare to fester, and is demonstrating an unwillingness to lead.
   3339. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 17, 2014 at 04:45 AM (#4772711)
But you can't clamor for them to release all of their information and then get upset when they release their information.

But they didn't release "all of their information". They released a tiny bit of information about the suspect (the name), that they knew they couldn't hide anymore. And a bunch of stuff aimed at discrediting the victim.
   3340. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 08:32 AM (#4772718)
And a bunch of stuff aimed at discrediting the victim.


This is such a silly line of argument. Once more: the victim "discredited" himself.
   3341. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: August 17, 2014 at 09:34 AM (#4772728)
I think that combination is damning. Are you really defending the way they handled it?



Not really, not entirely; I just think this entire line of complaint is a trivial matter by people who in general don't want to give the police a fair shake no matter what they do.


So does this go on the long list of issues on which you don't really disagree with the people with whom you're arguing, but because they are liberals, you're gonna argue anyway?
   3342. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 17, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4772796)
Ray. Dude murdered a guy. The cops were going to cover it up. It blew up on them. Now they're bling the victim to piss on what they can. And you're falling for It hook line and sinker.
   3343. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4772822)
So does this go on the long list of issues on which you don't really disagree with the people with whom you're arguing, but because they are liberals, you're gonna argue anyway?


What a bizarre comment, that you can't see any disagreement between my position and those I'm arguing with.

Not as bizarre, perhaps, as your implied conclusion that David and SugarBear are "liberals," but thanks for your contribution. I guess.
   3344. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4772825)
Ray. Dude murdered a guy. The cops were going to cover it up. It blew up on them.


If you think they ever thought they would get away with never releasing his name -- or that that was their plan -- you are seriously deluded.

In any event, what is the takeaway from all of this? What is the overall point you're making? That the country is akin to the civil rights era south and that a large swathe of the cops in this country are racist murderers?
   3345. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4772832)
Wow? Take a little vacation, and you miss a lot of Sturm und Drang around here.

I have two deeply conflicted sets of feeling here.

1) I hate, hate, hate, the militarization of the police. As I've said before, I think all Federal agencies besides the FBI should be stripped of their paramilitary units. Likewise, no ordinary local police force needs automatic weapons, APCs and snipers (the largest city police departments are probably an exception). It's a good thing if you need to involve an extra jurisdiction to get access to heavier weapons. There's no need for anything heavier than riot gear, batons and shotguns to suppress a riot.

I would also virtually ban no-knock raids, and/or serving warrants at night. Only exceptions being kidnapping/hostage type situations, which should have to be specifically authorized by warrant, with evidence shown why the raid is necessary. Who cares if someone flushes some drugs down the toilet?

2) I hate, hate, hate rioting. It directly puts innocent lives in jeopardy. Ordinarily, I'm fine with the use of force to suppress rioting, though in the case, the police seemed to do a really shitty job, provoking as much, or more than suppressing.
   3346. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 17, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4772838)
If you think they ever thought they would get away with never releasing his name -- or that that was their plan -- you are seriously deluded.


Their original thought was "dead black boy on the street equals 'gangsta got his due.'" They never, ever saw the blow back coming. Every indication we have from that PD is that they're so insular and corrupt that they had no idea that they wouldn't get away with this being just another dead black boy. You can see their abject lack of larger picture understanding by their "turn suburban Missouri into Fallujah" reaction to the blow back. They are cops. When cops kill people, cops tell their friends in the DA's offices what the story should be, then they tell their friends in the media what the story is, and then, lo and behold, the "evidence" gathered by the cops gets spun up and presented by both of those teams as the "facts" of the case. As David points out, and you ignore, cops don't go to jail for murder, Ray. It's "code of blue" ####. They'll cover up and hide for their own, lest they ever have to account for their own wrongdoing in the future.

The release of the "robbery" video is about creating a public narrative where the murder victim "deserved to die" because he was an "angry black man." That is all that video is meant to do. If it makes the lives of the sheriff's department more difficult, all the better. There is absolutely nothing presented to date to suggest that the STL County PD is anything other than abject corrupt bastards covering for one of their own.
   3347. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 17, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4772840)
2) I hate, hate, hate rioting.


So, you hate the police state, but you hate the only means any populace has to combat the police state. I suppose you wouldn't oppose some very sternly worded letters to the editor.
   3348. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4772844)
So, you hate the police state, but you hate the only means any populace has to combat the police state. I suppose you wouldn't oppose some very sternly worded letters to the editor.

We don't live in medieval England (hat tip to GregK). You can protest without rioting.

Also, those people in Ferguson could, you know, actually turn out to vote. If the population of Ferguson is two-thirds black, and they don't like how the white town gov't runs the white police force, vote the bastards out.

If the town gov't/police force is engaged in illegal activities and/or corruption, you can appeal to county, state and federal authorities to intervene.

In the 21st century USA, there is virtually no excuse for rioting. How does burning and looting innocent people's property, and putting lives at risk help anything?
   3349. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 17, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4772845)
ou can protest without rioting. Also, those people in Ferguson could, you know, actually turn out to vote.


How quaint.
   3350. CrosbyBird Posted: August 17, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4772848)
So, you hate the police state, but you hate the only means any populace has to combat the police state.

Really? The only means to combat a police state is to riot?

The problem with a riot is that it is an uncontrolled, violent event that is very likely to harm innocents. I'm every bit as outraged by the behavior of the Ferguson police as you are, but that doesn't justify placing more innocents at risk.

But ignore the moral sense of this, and think about the practical. Rioting plays precisely into the hands of those who insist that black people are dangerous animals and of course you have to occasionally shoot a couple or they'll run wild in the streets. It is entirely counterproductive to the goal of reducing the police state (unless you're under the delusion that the rioters can possibly win).

Not that I advocate a violent response, but if you really need that, make it a cold and calculated violent response. Make sure that the only people who are harmed by the violence are those directly involved in the oppression.
   3351. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4772859)
To echo CrosbyBird, if the only alternatives you give law-abiding citizens is a thuggish police force, or violence in the streets, you're going to get a thuggish police force.
   3352. formerly dp Posted: August 17, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4772866)
It's "code of blue" ####. They'll cover up and hide for their own, lest they ever have to account for their own wrongdoing in the future.
In the Amadou Diallo case, they moved the trial of the cops to Albany in an attempt to get a more favorable jury. Cops never rot for this sort of stuff. It's deplorable.
   3353. Greg K Posted: August 17, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4772868)
We don't live in medieval England (hat tip to GregK). You can protest without rioting.

I sometimes think of rioting as the Clausewitz quote about war being continuation of policy by other means. Riot is usually just one stage in a series of decisions, reach when other options or exhausted or closed to you. In that sense it can probably be sees as a systemic failure as likely nobody really wanted to violence, but you end up there anyway.

But I think the unpredictability of war (which I think is Clausewitz again) probably applies as well. Engaging in fairly low level protest always has a varying degree of risk that it will escalate into something else just by the unpredictable nature of a bunch of people gathering in one place.

There's a balance to be struck between the protesters making plausible displays of deference to authority (after all, once they establish whatever change to the status quo they are seeking, they want to powers to be to maintain that new status quo) while challenging it. The forces of authority need to maintain a plausible display of generosity and concern for the protesters, otherwise any success is just temporary.

From what I understand about this Ferguson stuff, the forces of authority messed up the balance badly, and the dynamics broke down.
   3354. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4772874)
I sometimes think of rioting as the Clausewitz quote about war being continuation of policy by other means. Riot is usually just one stage in a series of decisions, reach when other options or exhausted or closed to you. In that sense it can probably be sees as a systemic failure as likely nobody really wanted to violence, but you end up there anyway.

But I think the unpredictability of war (which I think is Clausewitz again) probably applies as well. Engaging in fairly low level protest always has a varying degree of risk that it will escalate into something else just by the unpredictable nature of a bunch of people gathering in one place.

There's a balance to be struck between the protesters making plausible displays of deference to authority (after all, once they establish whatever change to the status quo they are seeking, they want to powers to be to maintain that new status quo) while challenging it. The forces of authority need to maintain a plausible display of generosity and concern for the protesters, otherwise any success is just temporary.

From what I understand about this Ferguson stuff, the forces of authority messed up the balance badly, and the dynamics broke down.


That sounds pretty accurate. You don't break out the snipers and APCs until you have a full fledged, violent riot going on, and even then they're probably unnecessary.
   3355. CrosbyBird Posted: August 17, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4772877)
No question about that. But Ferguson is just one incident within the larger issue of disproportionate enforcement and tragedy that faces black Americans.
   3356. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4772878)
No question about that. But Ferguson is just one incident within the larger issue of disproportionate enforcement and tragedy that faces black Americans.

True, but this is a much larger and trickier issue to navigate.

Black inner-city neighborhoods are among the most violent, and a vast majority of the victims are black. If you don't have some sort of disproportionate police enforcement, you're denying black citizens adequate police protection. The type of policing that's adequate in Lincoln Park or the Village isn't adequate on the South Side or in East New York.

It's a complicated trade-off between the rights of young black men to not be unduly harassed, and the rights of all blacks not to be murdered, mugged, burglarized, raped, etc.

But, having police more integrated into the neighborhood (i.e. walking a beat) and trained to be excessively polite, even when dealing with people they suspect are up to no good, would be a good first step.
   3357. tshipman Posted: August 17, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4772888)
Really? The only means to combat a police state is to riot?

The problem with a riot is that it is an uncontrolled, violent event that is very likely to harm innocents. I'm every bit as outraged by the behavior of the Ferguson police as you are, but that doesn't justify placing more innocents at risk.

But ignore the moral sense of this, and think about the practical. Rioting plays precisely into the hands of those who insist that black people are dangerous animals and of course you have to occasionally shoot a couple or they'll run wild in the streets. It is entirely counterproductive to the goal of reducing the police state (unless you're under the delusion that the rioters can possibly win).

Not that I advocate a violent response, but if you really need that, make it a cold and calculated violent response. Make sure that the only people who are harmed by the violence are those directly involved in the oppression.


I think this is one of those "check your privilege" moments.

In a perfect world, would the protests have been exclusively non-violent? Yes, of course. But I don't think you can blame people for not being Ghandi or Martin Luther King. When faced with an injustice like a young man surrendering to police and being gunned down, I think a riot is an appropriate response. What else would have gotten attention?

Let me put it to you this way: if you're black, and you surrender and still get shot, why follow any of their rules? None of them matter.
   3358. McCoy Posted: August 17, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4772900)
why follow any of their rules?

Because it is a pretty rare movement indeed that achieves anything by being violent while also not being heavily armed.
   3359. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 17, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4772904)
In a perfect world, would the protests have been exclusively non-violent? Yes, of course. But I don't think you can blame people for not being Ghandi or Martin Luther King. When faced with an injustice like a young man surrendering to police and being gunned down, I think a riot is an appropriate response. What else would have gotten attention?

Let me put it to you this way: if you're black, and you surrender and still get shot, why follow any of their rules? None of them matter.


When even Al Sharpton calls on people to keep their protests nonviolent, I think you have the answer to that.

The moral justification for rioting is non-existent, since (a) it isn't directed at the actual perpetrator of the injury; and (b) the damage is almost always self-inflicted.

The Washington riot of 1968 was but one of scores or hundreds of examples of this. In exchange of a few days of venting and a bit of stolen loot, what had been achieved? A dozen deaths, over a thousand injuries, over 1,000 properties destroyed, and many people rendered homeless. None of those victims and none of those property owners happened to be named James Earl Ray.

In the riot's aftermath, it took nearly 30 years before the most heavily damaged areas (14th St., U St., H St. NE) began to be resurrected---and that resurrection forced out many of the original residents, all of whom were black.

So tell me once again the point of rioting. It's the political equivalent of a one night stand where the father leaves the mother to raise the baby.

   3360. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4772909)
In the riot's aftermath, it took nearly 30 years before the most heavily damaged areas (14th St., U St., H St. NE) began to be resurrected---and that resurrection forced out many of the original residents, all of whom were black.

And that's the success story. There are cities in this country with neighborhoods that still haven't recovered fully from the late-60's riots.
   3361. The District Attorney Posted: August 17, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4772922)
Is this just free association? You are really not describing the situation in Ferguson.
   3362. zenbitz Posted: August 17, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4772924)
Rioting...
The unbeatable high
Adrenaline
Shoots your nerves
To the sky

   3363. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4772927)
Is this just free association? You are really not describing the situation in Ferguson.

We're talking about the risks of violent protest. Once you start a riot, it's really hard to know where it's going to end.
   3364. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 17, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4772931)
When even Al Sharpton calls on people to keep their protests nonviolent, I think you have the answer to that.


I'm sure if Al Sharpton says we should pay supercereal attention. I mean, that guy has done so much to advance the cause of justice over the years, right?
   3365. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 17, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4772936)
Once you start a riot, it's really hard to know where it's going to end.


When you've been shat on for centuries and you're given pretty clear demonstrative evidence that the system doesn't really give a #### if they mow you down like dogs in the streets, you don't really care where it's going to end. Nor should you. You - Snapper in his comfortable middle class life where the cops come and help him out when he calls and you have literally never worried one single time in your life if your sons or nephews would be randomly murdered by the police for no apparent reason - YOU care where it ends. Because if the world burns, your #### gets worse. But there comes a point where you're poor and hopeless and the system you live under is so clearly biased against you that even if it all burns, the odds of it getting worse are really low. And when that point tips, the world will burn. This, not some ethereal notion of good or evil or "but I earned my money with me super awesome law school brain", is why you ############# really need to worry about income inequality. Because historically, it's only the black folks getting shat on this badly. But as the scales tip forward toward the "1%" more and more, and the cops do what pigs always do and suck up to the power teat, eventually, the world is going to burn.
   3366. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4772945)
"Sam has accurately described reality," said nobody ever.
   3367. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 17, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4772954)
"Sam has accurately described reality," said nobody ever.


This is adorable coming from your pie-in-the-sky take it on faith and hope ass.
   3368. JE (Jason) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4772969)
The moral justification for rioting is non-existent, since (a) it isn't directed at the actual perpetrator of the injury; and (b) the damage is almost always self-inflicted.

The Washington riot of 1968 was but one of scores or hundreds of examples of this. In exchange of a few days of venting and a bit of stolen loot, what had been achieved? A dozen deaths, over a thousand injuries, over 1,000 properties destroyed, and many people rendered homeless. None of those victims and none of those property owners happened to be named James Earl Ray.

In the riot's aftermath, it took nearly 30 years before the most heavily damaged areas (14th St., U St., H St. NE) began to be resurrected---and that resurrection forced out many of the original residents, all of whom were black.

So tell me once again the point of rioting. It's the political equivalent of a one night stand where the father leaves the mother to raise the baby.

+1. Come to think of it, I am frankly amazed it took so long for a reply like this to get posted.
   3369. JE (Jason) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4772971)
When you've been shat on for centuries and you're given pretty clear demonstrative evidence that the system doesn't really give a #### if they mow you down like dogs in the streets, you don't really care where it's going to end. Nor should you. You - Snapper in his comfortable middle class life where the cops come and help him out when he calls and you have literally never worried one single time in your life if your sons or nephews would be randomly murdered by the police for no apparent reason - YOU care where it ends. Because if the world burns, your #### gets worse. But there comes a point where you're poor and hopeless and the system you live under is so clearly biased against you that even if it all burns, the odds of it getting worse are really low. And when that point tips, the world will burn. This, not some ethereal notion of good or evil or "but I earned my money with me super awesome law school brain", is why you ############# really need to worry about income inequality. Because historically, it's only the black folks getting shat on this badly. But as the scales tip forward toward the "1%" more and more, and the cops do what pigs always do and suck up to the power teat, eventually, the world is going to burn.

You need to adjust the strings supporting your Guy Fawkes mask, Sam, because it's clearly cutting off your access to oxygen.
   3370. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 17, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4772990)
You need to adjust the strings supporting your Guy Fawkes mask, Sam, because it's clearly cutting off your access to oxygen.


The IRS tightens up bogus "non profit" status seekers around obviously political organizations: OHMYGOD ITS THE END OF CIVILIZATION; IMPEACH!!

Cops murder people in the streets: everyone should just chill and let the process take it's course.

Convenient.
   3371. BDC Posted: August 17, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4773006)
"Sam has accurately described reality," said nobody ever

I won't have that. His insights on Jason Heyward have been spot on.
   3372. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 17, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4773016)
When even Al Sharpton calls on people to keep their protests nonviolent, I think you have the answer to that.

I'm sure if Al Sharpton says we should pay supercereal attention. I mean, that guy has done so much to advance the cause of justice over the years, right?


Did you miss the "even" in that sentence you quoted? Although in truth Sharpton has actually calmed down a lot since his days of Tawana Brawley and leading boycotts of Korean-owned stores.

As an emotional reaction to a horrible act of injustice that seems to culminate a lifetime of felt injustice, rioting can be excused in the abstract. But who suffers from rioting? Certainly not (in this case) Darren Wilson, whose house is well protected, any more than the houses in Cleveland Park or Chevy Chase got burned down during the Washington riots.

The best reaction to what happened in Ferguson would be for a massive voter registration and get-out-the vote campaign to help sweep the current Ferguson officials out of office and replace them with a more 21st century model, one that's actually responsive to the residents of the town more than to the people currently residing in its cemeteries.

-------------------------------------------------------

+1. Come to think of it, I am frankly amazed it took so long for a reply like this to get posted.

I was in an all-black pool room at 1419 Irving St. in Washington on the night that Dr. King was killed, and I was quite close to (euphemism alert) "the action" in varying ways over the following three days. Nobody who ever lived through and witnessed that tragic and horrific event first hand could ever possibly want to see it repeated anywhere.
   3373. tshipman Posted: August 17, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4773033)
As an emotional reaction to a horrible act of injustice that seems to culminate a lifetime of felt injustice, rioting can be excused in the abstract. But who suffers from rioting? Certainly not (in this case) Darren Wilson, whose house is well protected, any more than the houses in Cleveland Park or Chevy Chase got burned down during the Washington riots.


Would anyone have paid attention absent the riots? That's part of the equation, too. What guarantee would there have been for justice?
   3374. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 17, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4773037)
As an emotional reaction to a horrible act of injustice that seems to culminate a lifetime of felt injustice, rioting can be excused in the abstract. But who suffers from rioting? Certainly not (in this case) Darren Wilson, whose house is well protected, any more than the houses in Cleveland Park or Chevy Chase got burned down during the Washington riots.


Well, obviously the biggest problem with riots as they tend to play out is that they never get to burn the houses that need burning.
   3375. Greg K Posted: August 17, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4773043)
Well, obviously the biggest problem with riots as they tend to play out is that they never get to burn the houses that need burning.

Yeah, riot (like anything else) is probably at its best* when it is focused on specific goals. The problem is that "riot" in the sense of what's going on in Ferguson isn't planned at all, but a fairly spontaneous response to repression.

In my mind I keep coming back to the same point - the dynamics of public protest/action/riot whatever you want to call it, is a fairly delicate balance that requires all actors to play their roles properly. And when one doesn't (in this case the local police) it turns bad quickly.

*Best in the sense of more likely to achieve its goals, and less likely to cause collateral damage or hurt people.
   3376. greenback calls it soccer Posted: August 17, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4773046)
Would anyone have paid attention absent the riots?

Precious few paid attention after the riots. The primary lesson learned in the 1960s was "move to the suburbs, so I can pretend those people's problems don't exist."

Darren Wilson will likely walk away from this without an indictment, so I can understand the outrage. But the riots of the late 1960s form a clear example of the need for a long-term plan.
   3377. The District Attorney Posted: August 17, 2014 at 06:41 PM (#4773053)
WHAT IS THIS CONVERSATION. Last night, people disobeyed a curfew. The police response was to tear gas them. (Which is banned by the Geneva Convention to use against soldiers, but apparently is ok to use against our own citizens who are breaking curfew.) Is disobeying curfew a "riot"?

Apparently one protestor shot another protestor. Did that make it a riot?

I've heard of police riots. Maybe you mean that? Because it would make more sense.

What are you even talking about? You're talking about people burning down their own city. That's not happening. Am I taking crazy pills?
   3378. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: August 17, 2014 at 06:57 PM (#4773067)
I see that there was a discussion on Swisher Sweets on the last page. I used to smoke them in high school back during the 1980s and occasionally have one since then for nostalgia's sake. And I'm Polish-Irish; about as pale as you can be.

I was going to introduce myself, but I think that I recognize most of you guys.
   3379. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 17, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4773072)
When faced with an injustice like a young man surrendering to police and being gunned down, I think a riot is an appropriate response. What else would have gotten attention?

Guy who opposes Second Amendment rights thinks it's "appropriate" for people to riot 24 hours after an incident that takes days, weeks, or months to properly investigate and resolve. Yikes.

Also, nothing says "sticking it to the man" and "justice for the dead guy" like smashing into a black-owned business and stealing a bunch of hair weaves.

As mentioned previously, a lot of the people causing problems aren't even from Ferguson. From the arrest reports, they're mostly a bunch of dregs from St. Louis who are looking to make trouble and steal things.

Let me put it to you this way: if you're black, and you surrender and still get shot, why follow any of their rules? None of them matter.

We could apply this principle in some other ways that I'm quite sure liberals like you would abhor.

***
WHAT IS THIS CONVERSATION. Last night, people disobeyed a curfew. The police response was to tear gas them. (Which is banned by the Geneva Convention to use against soldiers, but apparently is ok to use against our own citizens who are breaking curfew.) Is disobeying curfew a "riot"?

I think it was safe to describe last Sunday's events as rioting, although it was on a small scale. The problem we have in Ferguson is that legions of nebbishy media types have rolled in, and they seem to believe that seeing police carrying EBRs and thugs tossing a couple Molotov cocktails is the equivalent of having embedded in Iraq or Afghanistan at the height of the hostilities.
   3380. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4773075)
In a perfect world, would the protests have been exclusively non-violent? Yes, of course. But I don't think you can blame people for not being Ghandi or Martin Luther King. When faced with an injustice like a young man surrendering to police and being gunned down, I think a riot is an appropriate response. What else would have gotten attention?


Of course, I imagine the cop's story will be that Brown first attacked the cop and tried to wrestle his gun away. If the cop's expected story is to be believed (and it very well may not be credible once we get all the witness statements; that's what the investigation is for), then Brown surrendered AFTER endangering the cop's life. Which would still pretty much make it murder to shoot him after he surrendered (*), but the point is that in that version Brown is not exactly Mother Teresa as you're painting him to be. Trying to wrestle a gun away from a cop -- if that's what happened -- is a crazy action and even after you surrender you're counting on the cop who was just in a fight for his life to turn the switch off immediately.

Since the confrontation escalated after a trivial non-issue, someone must have been irrational to escalate it. Could have been the cop who, as David says, may not think he has much to worry about in the way of accountability (except that we see as it turned out he has much to worry about). Could have been the guy who had no trouble terrorizing and pushing around a store clerk 10 minutes earlier. (And yes, Brown did terrorize him; Brown violently pushed him away the first time and then when the clerk approached him again Brown stalked him away.) That is what the witness statements will hopefully settle, who escalated the situation. We have Johnson's statement already that is not favorable to the cop.

(*) It's hard to imagine how the cop can escape a murder conviction if he shot a man who was running away. Perhaps he will try to say that he believed Brown was armed and thus still dangerous to the cop or others; perhaps he will say he lost track of Brown after the struggle and when he found him again he didn't process in time that Brown was running away. Either way, it is a massive problem for the cop if the witness statements that Brown was running away hold up. (I'm not sure it's quite as interesting as people make it out to be that Brown at some point put his hands up to surrender. If the cop started shooting Brown while he was running, as we have noted here cops will empty their clips and shoot many bullets, so if he was shooting in the first place then he's probably going to empty his chamber no matter what Brown does. I'm not making a legal point here, just an observation.)
   3381. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4773079)
Yeah, it's hard to see how the riots and looting are helping the innocent business owners there. Or anyone there, really, other than Sharpton.

   3382. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 07:15 PM (#4773080)
When you've been shat on for centuries and you're given pretty clear demonstrative evidence that the system doesn't really give a #### if they mow you down like dogs in the streets, you don't really care where it's going to end. Nor should you. You - Snapper in his comfortable middle class life where the cops come and help him out when he calls and you have literally never worried one single time in your life if your sons or nephews would be randomly murdered by the police for no apparent reason - YOU care where it ends. Because if the world burns, your #### gets worse. But there comes a point where you're poor and hopeless and the system you live under is so clearly biased against you that even if it all burns, the odds of it getting worse are really low. And when that point tips, the world will burn. This, not some ethereal notion of good or evil or "but I earned my money with me super awesome law school brain", is why you ############# really need to worry about income inequality. Because historically, it's only the black folks getting shat on this badly. But as the scales tip forward toward the "1%" more and more, and the cops do what pigs always do and suck up to the power teat, eventually, the world is going to burn.

Absolute crap.
   3383. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4773083)
As an emotional reaction to a horrible act of injustice that seems to culminate a lifetime of felt injustice, rioting can be excused in the abstract. But who suffers from rioting? Certainly not (in this case) Darren Wilson, whose house is well protected, any more than the houses in Cleveland Park or Chevy Chase got burned down during the Washington riots.


Well, obviously the biggest problem with riots as they tend to play out is that they never get to burn the houses that need burning.

Boy, you really want to see black people gunned down in the street, don't you? So, you think all the rich and middle class people are going to stand by while mobs invade their neighborhoods and burn their homes? You really think police and National Guard, and armed citizens (a la the Korean shop owners during the LA riots) wouldn't use massive force to prevent that?
   3384. BDC Posted: August 17, 2014 at 07:24 PM (#4773088)
GGC, are Swisher Sweets actually soaked in sugar or something? I don't think I've ever smoked one, but 35 years ago when I had a sense of smell I knew people who did.

I imagine they code "young" as much as anything else, like sweet wines or liqueurs. In Chicago two weeks ago I listened to a young white guy on a construction site explaining the difference between Swisher Sweets and other floral smokes. Don't know what else he'd been smoking, but he was eloquent.
   3385. GregD Posted: August 17, 2014 at 07:26 PM (#4773090)
As several people said above it is important to separate out a few, mostly non ferguson people staying in the street from a real riot. Every report I have read says that various community groups including the Nation of Islam were urging people to go inside at midnight.

The one case where rioting is justified I think is if one cannot get an audience from the people in power. If the authorities deny that they have to even respond to a large group of people then rioting to get that audience is a time honored strategy and often an effective one.

The key shift in ferguson was when the highway patrol established that they would talk to community groups and hear their concerns.

The initial ferguson response of "dead kid? Tough ####." Is exactly what prompts rioting all over the world.
   3386. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 17, 2014 at 07:29 PM (#4773094)
Boy, you really want to see black people gunned down in the street, don't you? So, you think all the rich and middle class people are going to stand by while mobs invade their neighborhoods and burn their homes?

Indeed.

"Why were the officers standing back? Why don’t they shoot these looters?
   3387. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 17, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4773100)

A couple days ago, someone cracked a "Maybe [Brown] doubled back?" joke. Now this video is up at Drudge.

No idea if the audio recording is legit or not, but an alleged eyewitness claims the officer and Brown both moved away from the vehicle, and Brown "doubled back toward him."
   3388. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: August 17, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4773102)
BDC, I'm not sure how they get their sweet flavor. I just know that, like other drugstore cigars, they are made from bottom of the barrel tobacco.

I don't consider them particularly "urban." I thought that Black and Milds had that rep. Those are the pipe tobacco flavored ones with a plastic tip at the end.
   3389. Greg K Posted: August 17, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4773111)
I don't know what it is about pipe tobacco (I can't stand cigars or cigarettes) but I absolutely love it. Unfortunately I'm deathly afraid of cancer so I don't ever use my pipe. I will occasionally buy a pouch of pipe tobacco and keep it by my desk to smell every now and then for a few weeks though.

In related news, I think I should probably get a different filter for the things I choose to disclose about myself here.
   3390. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 17, 2014 at 08:04 PM (#4773113)

Also from Drudge:

Eric Holder orders a third autopsy of Michael Brown. (Story says second, but prior reports have said the state and family have performed autopsies, so it seems like it's the third.)
   3391. Howie Menckel Posted: August 17, 2014 at 08:32 PM (#4773123)

I don't trust the derivation I saw enough to post it, but the officer may be claiming that the deceased was running toward him at some point.

I'm waiting to see if the autopsy can at least tell me if he was shot in the front or back, or both. There are nuances beyond that, obviously, but that seems like a pretty important detail to know for sure first.

I know, that opens me up for more vitriol......
   3392. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 17, 2014 at 08:42 PM (#4773128)
The Washington Post has a long story about an almost two-decades long scam that defrauded Medicare of billions of dollars for unnecessary motorized wheelchairs. The government is pretty efficient at sending out checks, not nearly as good at ensuring that the money is used appropriately. RTFA, and keep it in mind when anyone tries to claim we have a bare bones budget that couldn't be cut without causing incredible hardship. The real truth is that there is so much money, the Feds can barely keep track of it.
   3393. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 17, 2014 at 08:47 PM (#4773131)
RTFA, and keep it in mind when anyone tries to claim we have a bare bones budget that couldn't be cut without causing incredible hardship. The real truth is that there is so much money, the Feds can barely keep track of it.

As of a few years ago, there was an average of $3,000,000 per day in Medicare fraud ... in Miami alone.
   3394. JE (Jason) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 08:54 PM (#4773135)
CNN strikes again. Just ... wow.
   3395. Greg K Posted: August 17, 2014 at 08:59 PM (#4773138)
an almost two-decades long scam that defrauded Medicare of billions of dollars for unnecessary motorized wheelchairs.

Where's George Costanza when you need him?
   3396. Mefisto Posted: August 17, 2014 at 09:02 PM (#4773140)
@3292: Yeah, the wheelchair pushers are probably guilty of fraud. But the amount at issue is roughly 0.1% of the Medicare budget over that time.
   3397. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: August 17, 2014 at 09:03 PM (#4773141)

CNN strikes again. Just ... wow.


After going off on Andy and others on the Ferguson police chief wife's fraudulent facebook posts, you're willing to hang it all out on this?

edit: 15 seconds of research searching for "103 year old driver" found that this "story" is over a year old, and is only now in the news because the hip-hop community has chosen to make it so for their own purposes. Well done Jason
   3398. JE (Jason) Posted: August 17, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4773143)
After going off on Andy and others on the Ferguson police chief wife's fraudulent facebook posts, you're willing to hang it all out on this?

? ? ?
   3399. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: August 17, 2014 at 09:10 PM (#4773145)
? ? ?


See the edit. This is an old, non-story.
   3400. tshipman Posted: August 17, 2014 at 09:12 PM (#4773146)
I don't consider them particularly "urban."


Maybe it's just me (or maybe just California?). Anyways, enough people have disagreed with me that everyone can feel free to disregard my explanation above.

CNN strikes again. Just ... wow.


That's really old. I think I saw that first more than a year ago.
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