Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Body's Story and A Burning Town

Just moments after my Twitter feed advised me that the Ferguson PD elected to crack down on the curfewed protesters and journalists about two hours early, I got a good idea about why--

The independent autopsy of Michael Brown's body had been released (and where is the autopsy from the local ME? one might well ask, as well as ask why another federal one might be requested before this young man's bones are put to rest). And the wounds tell a story. They can't not.

“People have been asking: How many times was he shot? This information could have been released on Day 1,” Dr. Baden said in an interview after performing the autopsy. “They don’t do that, even as feelings built up among the citizenry that there was a cover-up. We are hoping to alleviate that.”
Dr. Baden said that while Mr. Brown was shot at least six times, only three bullets were recovered from his body. But he has not yet seen the X-rays showing where the bullets were found, which would clarify the autopsy results. Nor has he had access to witness and police statements.

But the entry wounds to the arms and head of Michael Brown from a distance suggest to me shots not to incapacitate but kill--two to the head? I think he was down and his hands may have been up to shield himself--a totally submissive posture and not out of line with what eyewitnesses have indicated.  And I don't really have time to argue why this is not what anyone does with a suspect picked up for walking in the street who may meet the description of an unarmed person who boosted some 'rellos from a convenience store.

So let's take the unmeasured response the PD in Ferguson seem to have been taking, and let me drop any pretense at saying anyone did anything right here--can I point out that Democratic Governor Jay Nixon is about as clueless and useless as a person could be?  That enacting a curfew on mostly peaceful protests where local citizens used their bodies to block the efforts of looters, as if they were the problem, other than directing the local authorities to comply with some semblance of what was reasonably being requested--at least the appearance of an investigation and the charging of the officer in question with the homicide he apparently committed in the line--is shamefully pandering to the white law'n'order fetishists? Let me even go so far as to shame the Democrats in the House who have been presented with opportunity to demilitarize local police forces before, and abstained. It is entirely true that every step taken here has been wrongfooted.

But tonight's fuckup is different. The tear-gassing of even children and the threatening of journalists on some real short notice to get out of the streets even after a formation to box folks in.  As if to distract from that tale of the young man's body and to distribute shame all along that thin blue line. Journalists have been arrested and released--but with the understanding that they are not welcomed, and even the host of an MSNBC show, Chris Hayes, was threatened with being maced. 

I can't stop myself from supposing that just like the police presser that had to dig in and release a store surveillance video that may be of Michael Brown to try and smear him even while releasing the officer's name,  this weird overreaching response to hurt protestors and journalists and make things worse, is somehow to distract from the grave, murderous incompetence of the police force in the first place. When, for crying out loud!  Even an honest trial could not do so much damage to the reputation of any of these fine upstanding peace officers of the local law as this brutality which everyone has eyes to see.

It doesn't have to be this way. They chose it.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

This is what our police militarization is all about.

And it's bipartisan...has been since the Republican wing of the Democratic party took control of 'our' opposition.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Where in the unholy fk have these people been? It's not just the damned equipment, although arming your locals as though they were beat cops in Fallujah never made any sense. It's the attitude that comes with the equipment, the attitude that allows your average local chief of police to decide he's Patton on the way to Bastogne. No-knock warrants. SWAT teams to conduct simple drug busts. The very concept of a "war" on some drugs -- or, indeed, a "war" on terror --leads to the inescapable conclusion on the part of police that they should arm themselves as though an actual war was going on. This "started," Andrea, in the mid-1980's, and it was black folks in the cities that saw it first. Hell, "trigger-happy policin'" was one of the elements cited in Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues," and that was in 1969. All that's changed is the available weaponry.

Charlie Pierce