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
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
"They're mad. I'm mad. We should all be angry because of what's going on right now." Read the rest
“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."
— petesouza (@petesouza) August 14, 2014
President Obama speaking on Iraq & Ferguson from the Edgartown School pic.twitter.com/xJxtTjO6Ui
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) August 14, 2014
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.
— Patrick Ruffini (@PatrickRuffini) August 14, 2014
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
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."
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
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
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