Norman Rockwell does Ferguson, by illustrator Anthony Freda

A riff on Rockwell's "Runaway," from 1958, done in 2014 by Anthony Freda. [HT: @stevesilberman] Read the rest

Ferguson: behind police lines helmet-cam video of tactical team teargassing protesters

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has published GoPro video footage by staff photographer David Carson "during his embed with the St. Louis County Police tactical team on Monday night." At about 2:45 in, police "come under fire and respond with tear gas."

It's really weird to see the term "embed," which we often use to describe reporters accompanying soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan war zones, being used in the context of local police action within the United States. Read the rest

Name of Ferguson police officer who shot Mike Brown revealed

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon today reveled the name of the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown last weekend, outside an apartment complex in Ferguson: Darren Wilson. Read the rest

Whole new vibe at today's Ferguson protest. And by vibe we mean less tanks, guns, tear gas.

After broad condemnation for heavy-handed, violent response to mostly peaceful protests--including President Obama--authorities in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson have changed their approach to protests.

More Ferguson press bullying: 2 National Journal reporters threatened with arrest, blocked by police

"Two National Journal reporters were threatened with arrest and repeatedly blocked from witnessing demonstrations in Ferguson late Wednesday night."

The Ferguson Army: A song by Jonathan 'Song a Day' Mann

"Why’s a small town in Missouri / Need a great big fucking army?"

Video and full text of President Obama's remarks on Ferguson

"Now is the time for an open and transparent process to see that justice is done," Obama said.

Video: Standoff in Ferguson, a New York Times short online documentary

"They're mad. I'm mad. We should all be angry because of what's going on right now." Read the rest

US AG Holder on Ferguson: Police must 'seek to reduce tensions, not heighten them.'

“At a time when we must seek to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local community, I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message,” US Attorney General Eric Holder said today on events in Ferguson.

"Law enforcement response to these demonstrations must seek to reduce tensions, not heighten them. Those who peacefully gather to express sympathy for the family of Michael Brown must have their rights respected at all times. And journalists must not be harassed or prevented from covering a story that needs to be told."

[justice.gov]

Read the rest

US veterans: Ferguson Police Department’s response is a clusterfuck

More on responses to the police crackdown in Ferguson, MO by U.S. veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that the police actions so closely resemble--vets say it's not only overkill, but totally clueless.

Net Neutrality, Algorithmic Filtering and Ferguson

Zeynep Tufekci on Medium argues that the reason the world knows about Ferguson is because Twitter is such a powerful, unfiltered channel for real-time eyewitness reports.

Facebook isn't, and that sucks.

#Ferguson is a perfect example of why Net Neutrality and algorithmic filtering really, really matter.

[photo: David Carson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch staff photog] Read the rest

Meet 3 other unarmed black men killed by US police in recent weeks

Amid the outrage in Ferguson, Missouri over the police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, a reminder that Brown is not the only unarmed black man killed by police in recent weeks. Here are three other incidents on the national news radar: in New York, Los Angeles, and Ohio. [motherjones.com] Read the rest

Video: GOP congressman says Ferguson protesters of 'a single continental origin'

Speaking on conservative internet TV show NewsMax, Rep. Steve King said that he was not concerned that police in Ferguson, Missouri were racially profiling protesters, because all of these protestors appeared to be of a "single origin, a single continental origin might be the way to phrase that." Starts about 2:10 in to this video.

King added that he wants to "reject race-based politics, identity politics" because "we're all God's children and we all should be held to the same standards and the same level of behavior."

And then he name-dropped Dr. Martin Luther King.

"It's pretty close to anarchy there."

Read the rest

'Mike Brown was a man.'

Anil Dash, at Medium: "It’s plain as day that the cops have no strategy, no end goal in Ferguson. There’s no leadership. They don’t even understand the situation that they’ve found themselves in." Read the rest

Ferguson police response 'a municipal version of shock and awe'

Eyewitness Jelani Cobb, reporting for the New Yorker: "What transpired in the streets appeared to be a kind of municipal version of shock and awe; the first wave of flash grenades and tear gas had played as a prelude to the appearance of an unusually large armored vehicle, carrying a military-style rifle mounted on a tripod. The message of all of this was something beyond the mere maintenance of law and order: it’s difficult to imagine how armored officers with what looked like a mobile military sniper’s nest could quell the anxieties of a community outraged by allegations regarding the excessive use of force. It revealed itself as a raw matter of public intimidation." Read the rest

10 facts about the SWATification of the US

SWAT team raids in the US have gone up 25-fold since 1980. Time's recent article about the militarization of the police reports that "the federal government has funneled $4.3 billion of military property to law enforcement agencies since the late 1990s."

End of the American Dream has assembled 10 facts about SWAT teams:

In 1980, there were approximately 3,000 SWAT raids in the United States. Now, there are more than 80,000 SWAT raids per year in this country. 79 percent of the time, SWAT teams are deployed to private homes. 50 percent of the victims of SWAT raids are either black or Latino. In 65 percent of SWAT deployments, “a battering ram, boot, or some sort of explosive device” is used to gain forced entry to a home. 62 percent of all SWAT raids involve a search for drugs. In at least 36 percent of all SWAT raids, “no contraband of any kind” is found by the police. In cases where it is suspected that there is a weapon in the home, police only find a weapon 35 percent of the time. More than 100 American families have their homes raided by SWAT teams every single day. Only 7 percent of all SWAT deployments are for “hostage, barricade or active-shooter scenarios”. Even small towns are getting SWAT teams now. 30 years ago, only 25.6 percent of communities with populations between 25,000 and 50,000 people had a SWAT team. Now, that number has increased to 80 percent. Read the rest

Ferguson police: Officer doxed by Anonymous isn't the one who shot Mike Brown

CNN is reporting that Missouri police say neither of the two officers whose names, photographs, and personal data were released this morning by Anonymous are the officer who shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown. Read the rest

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