The Shooting of an Unarmed Black Man in Ferguson Has Wide-Ranging Implications

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Protesters in Ferguson, Mo complain about the shooting of an unarmed black man
Protesters in Ferguson, Mo complain about the shooting of an unarmed black man

The official investigation will have to sort out the facts in the case in Missouri of shooting an unarmed black man. However, whether police end up justified in the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown has become almost an afterthought.

Information emerged that the teenager was involved in a robbery, but it was not clear that the officer involved even knew about the robbery.  Surveillance videotapes appear to show Mr. Brown shoving a store clerk aside as he stole a box of cigarillos. However, none of that explains the shooting of the unarmed young man.

“It is smoke and mirrors,” said Benjamin L. Crump, a lawyer for the Brown family, of the robbery allegations. “Nothing, based on the facts before us, justifies the execution-style murder by this police officer in broad daylight.”

More interesting, perhaps, is the reaction, where the small St. Louis suburb exploded into riot and violence.   Tensions that began a week ago renewed early this morning after protesters reportedly barricaded a major road and the police responded quickly in riot gear.

“We don’t want anyone to get hurt,” an unidentified police officer told the protesters, according to a story in the New York Times this morning. One protest called it “a police state.”

An op-ed by Elijah Anderson, Professor of Sociology at Yale University, said that what caused the riots in Ferguson exist in so many other cities.

He wrote, “The eruption of protests and violence has been a long time coming. While I certainly do not condone rioting, examining the conditions surrounding Brown’s death — and the deaths of several other unarmed black men killed by law enforcement recently — makes clear that community reactions like those in Ferguson, Mo., are bound to happen. America has continued to isolate poor black people in economically depressed neighborhoods under increasingly oppressive police tactics that breed distrust and hostility.”

He argues, “The broken windows theory, promulgated by James Q. Wilson, holds that where there is urban disarray, there is crime. Wilson argued that cleaning up trash and fixing broken windows — but also quickly policing deviants and miscreants for even small-scale crimes — would lessen crime overall. The thinking was that by taking care of the small stuff, you won’t face as much big stuff.”

However, “The use of ‘broken windows’ policing meant, ​in practice, increasing harassment of young black men.”

Then there is the view expressed by Andre Perry dean of urban education at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “In the minds of many Americans, there’s no longer any difference between a black person and a thug. And as long as public officials equate the two, unarmed black lives will be the accepted collateral damage of our biased quest for ‘protection.’ Michael Brown, 18, is just the latest victim. A St. Louis County police officer shot and killed Brown after an alleged altercation in a police car.”

“How did black and Latinos become suspect simply for being alive?” he asks. “A new study out of Stanford University suggests people who perceive the penal system as more black are more distressed about crime and more accepting of biased policing, which in turn exacerbates the racial disparity. Policy effects negative racial attitudes, and our prejudices clearly create biased policies.”

He adds, “Racially tilted policing and incarceration policy reveals our conscious biases.” Mr. Perry writes, “The split-second decisions police make in determining an imminent threat involves intuition and assumptions. Researcher Alan Lambert posits that stereotyping is not just a conscious act. Lambert found that bias could be thought of as implicit responses that are magnified in certain social settings through a loss of cognitive control. The disproportionate killing of unarmed black and brown people reveals our collective internalized fears. When threatened by the stereotype, police don’t give killing black and brown folk a second thought.”

But this issue goes beyond the instant act – there is also the reaction of authorities to the riot.

Paul Butler, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, writes that police in Ferguson “broke the law when they stopped civilians from videotaping them.”

He writes, “For decades, civil rights activists have struggled to hold rogue police officers more accountable. Claims of excessive force, racial profiling, and illegal arrests were hard to prove.  In the rare cases when prosecutors brought charges against errant police officers, jurors often did not convict. ‘The police were just doing their job’ has been a common refrain.

“But we’ve discovered we’re now holding one of the most powerful tools for social activism in our purses and back pockets. Last year, for the first time, the majority of Americans (56 percent) owned smart phones, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. That was a landmark development with great consequences for criminal justice and citizen oversight of law enforcement. There’s been a power shift in favor of everyday citizens and it’s being recorded on iPhones and Androids – then Facebooked, tweeted and Instagrammed. Now all the world has seen how a few bad cops do their job.”

He continues, “And then there’s Ferguson, Mo. We have seen how the police responded to people who, in the main, peacefully protested the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man. We saw the police, using assault rifles, rubber bullets, tanks, tear gas, and smoke bombs, wage a ‘shock and awe’ campaign seemingly out of the Operation Desert Storm playbook.

“The world witnessed these outrages, in part, because citizens had the courage to videotape what the police were doing. It takes guts because bad cops don’t like being caught on tape and, in some recent cases, they’ve gone after the photographer.”

He adds, “The law is simple, and it is entirely on the side of the citizen photographers.  The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the right of anyone to record police in a public place.  The police can place reasonable restrictions on photographers by, for example, not allowing them to enter a crime scene.  But they cannot stop people from standing on the street and filming them while they make arrests, detain suspects, or otherwise enforce the law.”

The professor continues, “If the police see you filming, they cannot force you to turn over your camera.  They cannot make you delete what you have filmed.  Of course, they can ask you to do any of these things — and the police are very good at making requests sound like orders.  But all you have to do is say something like ‘Officer, I refuse to consent to you to look at my photos.’  Then you have the constitutional right to be left alone.”

Dennis Parker, Director of the ACLU Racial Justice Program writes:

Ferguson Police’s PR Stunt Poisons Independent and Impartial Investigation

The tragic killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department has shocked his family, community, and the nation.

The public and the ACLU of Missouri have called for release of the police incident report on the shooting to resolve the dispute about whether the incident involved the excessive use of lethal force and illegal racial profiling, and to shed light on how many times and where on his body Mr. Brown was shot.

Instead of disclosing that information, the Ferguson Police Department today released approximately 30 seconds of surveillance footage and an offense/incident report concerning a reported shoplifting at a convenience store that police now alleged involved Brown about ten minutes before he was killed. Yet the Ferguson police chief’s own statement undermines the relevance of those disclosures. The officer who shot Mr. Brown, according to the chief, was unaware that he may have been a suspect in the shoplifting and stopped him because he was walking down the middle of a street.

The Ferguson Police Department’s actions appear misleading and remarkably cynical. They call into question the department’s commitment to ensuring an independent and impartial investigation into the killing of Michael Brown. The video and incident report released are of dubious relevance. The decision to disclose them suggests an attempt to assassinate Mr. Brown’s character by showing that he had roughly pushed a convenience store clerk on the day that he was killed. The one-sided and piecemeal disclosure of potentially irrelevant and prejudicial information, while continuing to withhold the critical police incident report that the public has demanded, suggests a desire to confuse rather than to shine a light on what happened.

Mr. Brown’s family and the public deserve better. The Ferguson police’s disclosures seem more like spin control than objective investigation. The department’s apparent attempts to impugn the character of a shooting victim while withholding potentially revealing information about the conduct of its own police officer makes a mockery of the concepts of fairness and impartiality.

Therefore, the ACLU calls for an independent and comprehensive federal investigation by the Department of Justice of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. Without this, there can be no justice for the Brown family or honest conversation about excessive force, racialized policing, law enforcement accountability and transparency, and the kinds of systemic reforms that are critically needed to ensure fair and effective policing in Ferguson and throughout our country.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press wrote a letter to authorities:

Police Detention of Journalists in Ferguson, Missouri, and Public Access to Information

As organizations that cover news and defend the rights of journalists to gather the news, we write to express our deep concern over the unwarranted detention of two journalists on Wednesday and with other reports of police intimidation and harassment of journalists in Ferguson. It is also extremely troubling that the police have not been more timely in releasing the records surrounding these incidents and the shooting of Michael Brown.

While we understand the responsibilities of your three law enforcement agencies differ substantially in these events, we write to all of you in the hope of assuring that these issues going forward are handled in a manner that protects the First Amendment interests of the press and the public in accurate news reports out of Ferguson.

First-hand accounts indicate that Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of The Huffington Post were doing nothing more than sitting in a McDonald’s recharging their phones when they were questioned by police and detained. (Their respective news organizations are both signatories to this letter.) Their statements indicate they were physically mistreated, harassed, handcuffed, and denied answers to their repeated requests for information as to why they were taken into custody. In addition, Lowery was told to stop recording police in violation of his First Amendment rights.

This type of behavior is anathema to the First Amendment and to journalists everywhere. It must not continue and answers as to why it was allowed to happen in the first place must be forthcoming.

As United States Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. said in a statement yesterday, “Journalists must not be harassed or prevented from covering a story that needs to be told.” Not only are the police in Ferguson violating the rights of journalists, but they are actively suppressing the flow of information to which the public is entitled – an issue of grave importance to many Americans across the country.

Officers on the ground must understand that gathering news and recording police activities are not crimes. The actions in Ferguson demonstrate a lack of training among local law enforcement in the protections required by the First Amendment as well as the absence of respect for the role of newsgatherers. We implore police leadership to rectify this failing to ensure that these incidents do not occur again.

As the United States Department of Justice wrote in 2012, “The right to record police officers while performing duties in a public place, as well as the right to be protected from the warrantless seizure and destruction of those recordings, are not only required by the Constitution. They are consistent with our fundamental notions of liberty, promote the accountability of our governmental officers, and instill public confidence in the police officers who serve us daily.” See Statement of Interest of the United States in Sharp v. Baltimore City Police Dep’t, Civil No. 1:11-cv-02888-BEL (Jan. 10, 2012), http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/spl/documents/Sharp_SOI_1-10-12.pdf.

This principle – that not just journalists, but members of the public generally – are free to observe and gather news about police actions has been repeatedly upheld in federal courts. The First Circuit ruled in Glik v. Cunniffe, 655 F.3d 78 (1st Cir. 2011), that the public’s right to record police in the performance of their public duties is a “basic, vital, and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment.” The Seventh Circuit in ACLU of Illinois v. Alvarez, 679 F.3d 583 (7th Cir. 2012), likewise recognized the longstanding right of the public to record police activities.

Also of concern to media organizations is the lack of information available about the original shooting and the arrests of the journalists. Officials took nearly a week to release the name of the officer involved in the shooting, and Lowery wrote that when he asked to see an incident report on his own arrest, he was told there was not one and that one might be available in a week or two. This lack of access to basic information on a timely basis reasonably stokes suspicions in the public mind that the police have something to hide. Managing any public emergency requires openness and accountability, and withholding the officer’s name and the incident reports compromises the community’s trust in their police.

The undersigned media organizations call on the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the police departments of the City of Ferguson and St. Louis County at a minimum to ensure that:

• police officers do not intimidate, harass, or impede journalists covering the news;

• state, county, and local officials are properly educated to understand the rights of journalists and the public to record police officers in the course of performing their duties;

• information about officers involved in future incidents, and about any investigations of these recent incidents, is promptly made available to the public; and,

• if other journalists are stopped or arrested – which is always an extraordinary step in any jurisdiction and must never be motivated by a desire to suppress news – all records of their arrests or detentions are promptly made public to evaluate the legitimacy of police actions.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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100 thoughts on “The Shooting of an Unarmed Black Man in Ferguson Has Wide-Ranging Implications”

  1. Clem Kadiddlehopper

    There is always threes sides to a shooting incident.You never know what someone else sees or knows or how they interpet it. So many people bring their own prejudices and attitudes to every single thing in the news and reshape reality in their minds to fit their beliefs.

  2. TrueBlueDevil

    I don’t think most Progressives really want an open discussion, one that has rarely been open for 30 years.

    I’ve heard that in Colin Powell’s book, he attributed the decline of the inner city to four issues:

    – The decline of the inner city economy
    – The breakdown of the inner city educational system
    – The breakdown of the traditional black family
    – A creeping liberalism that aided the above three

    Mr. Powell may have had a conversion after voting for President Obama and making millions on the speaking circuit, but his answer (see above) was the best I had ever heard.

    Nowhere in the discussions do I hear who is most likely to murder a police officer. A police officer told me they are 8X more likely to be shot by an African American male than by any other citizen. I’ve read that 96 percent of gun crimes in New York are committed by people of color (I have not confirmed this statistic).

    These are not excuses, but we send police officers into areas that look like war zones and expect miracles. I wish this scenario turned out more like the recent attempted robbery / confrontation in San Luis Obispo, where police officers and fraternity members disarmed and subdued a gun-totting (black) young man. Why was this young man shot, but the young man in San Luis Obispo lived? If the officer was attacked insider his car, and given the young man’s apparent size (6’4″, 290 pounds) may have contributed to the officer’s safety.

    What we do know is that young African American men are most at risk from their own brothers. Yes, this death is tragic, sad, frustrating, but if we are really serious about getting to “the root” of the problem, then maybe we need to discuss the items mentioned by Mr. Powell. For what it’s worth, we don’t typically see Nigerian-American or Ethiopian-American young men getting shot, so consider that in your deliberations.

    The evidence is not out, but it will be very interesting to see if the officer involved really has facial injuries. He is reportedly an excellent officer, and has been devastated by this shooting.

    Sadly, these riots / protests will only contribute to the economic blight and problems in St. Louis.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      P.S. The stop and frisk laws of New York have substantially dropped the murder rate in New York, saving the lives of hundreds of young black men. New York now has a lower per capita murder rate than San Francisco or Oakland.

        1. Frankly

          I think you would have a very hard time proving that stop and frisk in New York did not reduce the murder rate.

          And you would also have a very hard time proving that making hand guns illegal in Chicago reduced the murder rate.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            “I think you would have a very hard time proving that stop and frisk in New York did not reduce the murder rate.”

            It would be fairly simple, the murder rate dropped before the policy started and the murder rate dropped in most of the country.

          2. Frankly

            The murder rate fell further in New York after stop and frisk, and fell less after it was eliminated.

            The murder rate in Chicago did not fall.

        2. Frankly

          And here is a moral challenge for anyone against stop and frisk… Say it saves one person from being killed by gun. Or say it saves 100 people from being murdered by gun. It is perfectly rational to make the case that stop and frisk successfully stopped some people that would have otherwise killed with a gun.

          Isn’t sanctity of life a stronger impulse than is social equality?

          Apparently not for some people.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            But it comes with two huge downsides – first, it’s of questionable constitutionality to simply stop someone and frisk them unless the officers have articulable suspicion (Terry v. Ohio). Second, it creates a huge amount of strife and distrust within minority community that police need to rely on to help with community based policing.

          2. Tia Will

            Frankly

            And I would say to you that the same moral challenge is at stake when considering the right to own and carry weapons. If even one life were saved or 100 lives were saved because of the inviolability of guns would it not have been rational to restrict gun ownership ?

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          I believe there were several reasons for the drop in serious crime in New York City.

          1. More police (thank you, Bill Clinton moving to the center)
          2. “Career criminals” being targeted and locked up longer.
          3. A prevention of the smaller “broken window” crimes that help foster the larger crimes. (I may have mixed this with stop and frisk, not sure if these run parallel or are related.)

          Others claim abortion played a role, and I read a provocative and nuanced piece that actually claims that the reduction of lead in our communities has been a major player in crime reduction.

  3. Barack Palin

    It looks like Michael Brown had just robbed a store while pushing the clerk away when confronted. So when the officer stopped him for disrupting traffic and Brown knowing that he’d
    robbed a store it’s not unfeasible that Brown went for the officer’s gun and was shot during the struggle as the officer has stated.

    1. Frankly

      I agree with you that this is feasible. What percentage of cops existing today do we really think are just so plain racist that they would shoot to kill a black teenage for no good reason?

  4. Offering Balance

    Two questions:

    1) Would we be seeing all of this attention if Brown had been shot by a black officer or another black male?

    2) This is essentially a homicide investigation that involved a police officer. Why are people in such a rush to release information from an investigation that is not complete?

    I can only imagine the backlash if some findings had to change after after additional investigation was completed. I know a rush to judgement is the easiest way to go but it doesn’t always work out for the best.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “1) Would we be seeing all of this attention if Brown had been shot by a black officer or another black male?”

      Most likely. There is a phrase in the black community about police that goes “don’t let it be a black and a white one” arising out of the belief that African American police take on the persona of the department.

      “2) This is essentially a homicide investigation that involved a police officer. Why are people in such a rush to release information from an investigation that is not complete?”

      I think that’s just the nature of the culture and there seemed to be very little forthcoming early on.

  5. DavisVoter

    1. It’s impossible to answer this question. If you think the answer is self-evidently “no,” that seems to reveal more about you than about anything else.

    2. Take it up with Chief Jackson or whoever authorized release of the convenience store video.

  6. Frankly

    One white cop shoots and kills one black teenager and riots happen.

    Thousands of black teenager shoot and kill thousands of black teenagers and cricket happen.

    It is obvious that the race baiters, the left and the left media give higher priority to opportunity of racial conflict than they do the sanctity of life.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      You’re discounting the color of authority factor here. And that’s a huge mistake. You’re also discounting the long history of police-minority relations. That’s why I cited the article that noted that there are many cities in the country that have the fuse lit for similar riots. That’s what happened in the 1960s, that’s why the LA riots happened in 1992. Just need an ignition source.

    2. Frankly

      The huge mistake is to contribute to racial anger outlets that contribute to the very problems that lead to this type of incident.

      The huge mistake is to pursue a nebulous and irrational racial social justice goal while ignoring the more devastating statistics of black on black violence and murder.

      The huge mistake is to keep up the same racial narrative in the face of obvious lack of progress with certain racial groups advancing enough in equality with other groups that are advancing.

      Your big problem is the Asian comparison. Asians were enslaved and mistreated throughout the early history of the US… and in fact even more recently if you include the Japanese internment camps, but today they are at parity with, and in many cases exceed the success of, whites.

      I find it more than a bit troubling how hard those that cling to their old and tired black-strife-over-white-oppression template work to explain away that comparison. But it does not matter. We can see clearly what the problem is… a lack of self-worth and self-discipline that is perpetuated by the excuse of a victim mindset that is perpetuated primarily by white elite liberals lacking the ability to think outside of a narrow immediate racial egalitarian mode.

      You see a victim. You will always see a victim. You will defend your position that blacks are still victimized until the day you die. You cannot stop. But unfortunately it is you perpetuating the problem.

      I see simply a human equal in potential failing to behave in ways that allow him to compete with those limited positions available to earn a good life. I would like to increase the number of positions while also significantly increasing the quality of education so that many more have greater success in obtaining a position.

      Your political party is doing just the opposite.

      But bad behavior is bad behavior.

      Someone asked why there are no more black cops in this city, St. Louis, with such a large population of blacks. The primary answer is that most of the young black males in that city that might choose a career in law enforcement already have felonies before they graduate high school, and most don’t even graduate from high school of if they do, they are still functionally illiterate.

      I don’t understand what “black culture” is. Is there such a thing as “white culture”? The answer is no. There is certainly African culture. There is also American culture despite what liberals afflicted with American guilt would like everyone to accept. Black culture is only a political and pop-culture marketing gimmick. It is a placebo for containing the tribe… to offer up that softer hand that says you can resist the harder life of strong morals and ethical and lawful behavior because nothing is really your fault anyway. Easier to be angry and act out and then blame others for your problems rather than face them down and to keep striving with persistence and good behavior.

      The reason that blacks are over-represented in crime is that they hold on to a pseudo culture that accepts and even celebrates lawless behavior. And this they help to explain why cops pay an unequal amount of attention them as a race. It is statistically explained. If it was just racism, then cops would be busting and shooting Asians in greater numbers in their neighborhoods. But they are not.

      The issue is individual behavior around cops, not that the cops are racist.

      Most of the racism we are still dealing with post civil rights is the soft bigotry of low expectations brought to society by the race baiters and liberal elites. That is the new plantation that many blacks cannot seem to escape.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Frankly, there are even better comparisons that the success of Asian Americans of many different backgrounds.

        Ethiopian Americans brought a rich culture, family and Christian values, and entrepreneurship to our nation. Travel to Washington DC for a taste of their culture and pride. I’m told the same exists with Nigerian Americans. Both groups do very well in America, using traditional American values to get ahead and achieve “above the norm”.

        If I have one point to differ with, lumping all African Americans together is a mistake. There is a growing upper class, and solid middle class, that have different lives than the so-called “black underclass”.

        I would also argue at a most basic level the lack of a Father in many homes is a driving force in numerous issues. Our President, Barack Obama, has also echoed these thoughts on numerous occasions. Not PC, but hard to brush under the rug.

        1. Frankly

          TBD – Very good point. I should not lump all African Americans together. However, it is difficult when there is all this claim of white racism against blacks. If whites are so racist and oppressive against the black man, then your points that some current African immigrants do very well flies in the face of that claim.

          You hit the nail on the head with “using traditional American values”.

          The left does not value traditional American values. In fact, the left, especially the secular left, rejects the idea that there is any American culture. And since the left are the self-designated keepers and protectors of oppressed minorities, maybe this is the reason that these minorities don’t advance.

          And I agree 100% with the point about the father in the picture. But the father has to be a good role model. Hence the need for more traditional American values.

          1. Don Shor

            The left does not value traditional American values. In fact, the left, especially the secular left, rejects the idea that there is any American culture.

            Here we go again.

  7. Chicolini

    Being that I am from St. Louis, I have been following this story closely and appreciate the coverage and different sources that are being posted. Also, the myriad of reactions to the events and information trickling out of St. Louis are ones that many people feel whenever confronted with issues regarding race, protests, and rioting . Our family moved to California when I was eight and I returned in the summer of ”67 to my grandmother’s house in North St. Louis. I was there with my brother for two months and all of what’s happening now has a lot of its roots in conditions described in your latest link. I always felt that I grew up in a Southern city and that most of my relatives carried attitudes and prejudices that were deeply rooted in ignorance , fear, and hate. My father and mother not only rejected the climate and collective beliefs of our extended family and the community we lived in, but they worked hard to make sure I understood the issues and realities of such ugly ways and the good to be found in the race of people being marginalized, beat down, and ridiculed. I wish I could find my way back to those streets and see first hand what’s going on and measure in some small way the temperature and mood of the community. It’s not easy or possible for me to truly know all of the particulars without my being there once again. I can only imagine those streets, the oppressive heat of August, and the rising anger and frustrations and fears of all involved. It’s been a long time coming. And it’s not going away after the cameras dim and the story goes cold. Let’s just hope for some calm and peaceful nights to get people out of harm’s way, for some honest investigation of the events that led to Michael Brown’s death, and for thoughtful and meaningful dialog and solutions that will provide safety and rights for all members of this community.

  8. Tia Will

    Frankly

    In your analysis, you are choosing to ignore certain realities.
    1) Racism does exist. We are not talking about generations ago. We are talking about my stepfather and all of his children ( so now we are talking people in their 60’s) who readily used the “n” word, clearly believed that blacks were inferior and would never have socialized with them or more importantly hired a black.
    2) Racism exists not only on an individual but also on an institutional level. Recent story on NPR about an experiment in which the same applications with equivalent educations, experience and accomplishments were sent out under different names. The applications with names John and Amy had many call back opportunities. The names Lakesha and Jamal, much fewer. No other differences ! Whether consciously or not, critical decisions such as whom to interview are made on the basis of those like ourselves. Those whom we view as different, we tend to exclude. Until the numbers of Jamals and Lakeshas as proportionately as high in the hiring hierarchy as the John and Amy’s, or until the John and Amy’s no longer perceive the Jamals and Lakeshas as less desirable there will continue to be disparities until the realization is made that the quality of our skills and the strengths we bring are not dependent upon being just like those who are already successful.

    Having watched this occur in medicine in terms of gender instead of race, I can assure you that until those in power within a system are willing to be open minded and intentional enough to recognize that there is a problem with the way that they have been functioning, these issues will not change. I owe my success in large part to those men ahead of me who were willing to buck the “old boys club” attitude and put their faith in the skills and determination of the up and coming women and allow us to rise on our own abilities rather than reject us simply because we were named Carolyn and Tia instead of Carl and Tom.

    1. Frankly

      You are making a point that the generation that pre-dates civil rights advances is racist?! Duh. Yeah. So that is your entire argument for why we need to keep blasting the message that racism is alive and well and deserving of so much attention from the media and political left?

      Come on Tia. Old people don’t matter in this regard. You are always going to have stubborn older people stuck in their ways and unwilling to change.

      You do seem to reference history quite a bit to justify your positions. I prefer to live in the here and now.

      Racism exists. Yes. It always has and it always will because it is ignorance and tribalism and those two things exist and always will. I see more evidence of black on white racism than I do white on black racism these days. So why are will still unable to move on to that next phase?

      Your NPR name study is laughable because they failed to use eastern European names and other foreign-sounding names as a comparison. Again, it is tribalism, not racism.

      Gender preference in professions is also tribalism to some degree. I don’t like it and always am motivated to break down the gender tribe and turn it into a team focused on the goals of the organization.

      But managing men and women in the workplace in general… there is definitely a big difference.

      1. Tia Will

        Frankly

        Maybe you are not aware, but people in their 60s are still making hiring decisions. I have had say in several over the past 6 years. So much for racism being a thing of the past. The individuals I was referencing are in my same age range. Just because you do not want to acknowledge that racism exists does not make it so

        1. Frankly

          Ok Tia. So there are seniors raised pre-civil rights there are racist. What that has to do with a cop shooting a black teenage suspect?

          And related to your beef with the big racism problem, is that what we are talking about… people over 60?

      2. Chicolini

        Frankly, today to support your thoughts on the events and issues related to troubles in Ferguson, Missouri you claim the following analytical approach:

        “You do seem to reference history quite a bit to justify your positions. I prefer to live in the here and now.”

        Two days ago, in reaction to issues surrounding Robin Williams’s suicide you noted the following:

        “During the time of Jesus, the Romans taxed the Jews so much that it would cause otherwise self-sufficient families to end up in poverty begging for food. Their main beef with the Romans and their individual and collective dreams for happiness were largely to see their tax rates decrease to the point that they could just survive and not go hungry.

        But eventually the Roman empire went away and the taxman was lynched.

        And happiness over the loss of taxation was short-lived only to be replaced with something else perceived to be unfair or inequitable.

        If perspective is based on own life, then just expand the reference to history and global instead of sibling and neighbor.”

        How your approaches change in your mercurial posts and expansive reactions to topics at hand is an amazing gift that just keeps on giving.

          1. Chicolini

            Frankly, an inference regarding an historical event that you cite as an ongoing influence is based on your understanding and interpretation of it. You employ historical references when they suit your purpose and yet regale against someonelse’s historical citation in their presentation of their analysis. Furthermore, you make a very artificial distinction between referencing history and “actual” history. History is an accounting of the past. Its actualization occurs in it’s being told, remembered, analyzed, and interrupted. To reference it is to participate in its actualization.

      3. Tia Will

        Racism is nothing but a more specific form of tribalism as you said earlier in the same post.
        So what is laughable about a study that demonstrates that this particular form of “tribalism” which we call “racism” is still alive and well ?

        1. South of Davis

          Tia wrote:

          > Racism is nothing but a more specific form of tribalism

          It sure is and BOTH the major “tribes” in America do the SAME thing…

          The “blue tribe” just has more “people of color” (and gay guys) in it than the “red tribe” (I actually know a “log cabin Republican”). Not a lot of super conservative bible thumping “red tribe” members are ever hired by the “blue tribe” tribe that runs the public colleges in America, yet the “blue tribe members” (who have never given a second interview to a “red tribe” member) pretend to be “shocked” when companies full of “red tribe” members don’t reach out to hire more “blue tribe” members…

  9. Tia Will

    Frankly

    “The issue is individual behavior around cops, not that the cops are racist.”

    Can you not consider the possibility that both issues may be in play ?
    Perhaps one could consider that being ” a young black male” is a “behavior “that we cannot change. I could become very angry with a police officer as did indeed happen several years ago in an event that I have previously recounted here and still be treated without any violence. During the episode, I reached into my purse several times. As a sixty year old white woman, despite the fact that I was clearly angry, it did not occur to either of the police officers involved to ask me to keep my hands in sight, or to put down the bag, or to step out of the car. Do you think that their reactions would have been the same if the occupants of the car had been two young black men instead of a white couple in their 60’s?
    I sincerely doubt it. They could have been equally innocent, and yet the assumptions made about the degree of danger would likely have been quite different. The officers involved were two white women. They did not see an older white woman as a threat despite my degree of anger and plain disgust with how they were choosing to handle the stop. Could it not be possible that at least some of the time, the officer is making risk assessments based not on the individual who is actually before him, but rather on the basis of the age, gender and race of that individual ?

    1. Frankly

      Check on the security camera footage of this young man stealing from, and then threatening the storekeeper just minutes before he was shot. We don’t know the entire story yet, but after watching that footage, it makes perfect sense that this young man was behaving like a thug and any cop worth his salt is trained to read all the body language and behavior signs of a thug. It does not matter if he is black, white or purple. A person acting like a thug will get special attention from the cops.

      The way I see it, the police focus on all the clues to assess the situation and to form a plan of action. Their response is based on their training and experience. I think the racial components are all after the fact… they come from the Johnny-come-lately armchair quarterbacks and professional critics that have never worked in law enforcement and don’t have a clue what the job entails.

      It is an upside-down 90-10 thing. 90 percent of the cop’s actions are justified because 90% of the people they end up shooting deserve it for one reason or another. 10% are mistakes only understood in hindsight. And a small fraction on that 10% have unconscious racial bias influence, and even a smaller percentage of that small percentage are outright materially racially motivated.

      But the noise from the race baiters, the left and the left media is that 90% of blacks that get shot by cops are innocent victims, and only 10% are justified.

        1. Frankly

          120 minutes? Seems like minutes to me.

          Why don’t you are anyone else count the kid’s behavior in that convenience store? What 17 year old steals and threaten a store owner with physical violence like that? Does that not say a lot about character?

          I’m not saying that he deserved to be shot and killed by the cop. I am saying that there is plenty of evidence to consider that the kid did potentially threaten the cops and was shot because of it. The kid was obviously demonstrating thuggish behavior. And it has nothing to do with race if it was justified… except the people that are making it out to be a racial issue before the facts are known.

          1. Tia Will

            “the police focus on all the clues to assess the situation and to form a plan of action. Their response is based on their training and experience. I think the racial components are all after the fact”

            One “clue” that the police cannot help but observe is the race of the individual. On the one hand you are defending the use in the stop and frisk laws and on the other hand you seem to be stating that the police did not use it as a criteria in this case. I would say that because we cannot be blind to either race or gender as human beings, they are always factors that are taken into consideration by all of us, automatically, whether we are police or anyone else.

          2. TrueBlueDevil

            Another factor the police can’t ignore, probably far more important than race, was the sheer size of Mr. Brown, who one source claims was 6’4″, 285 pounds.

            If the police officer was already attacked once, and 300-pound man is bum rushing him, that is relevant.

  10. Mr. Toad

    What does black on black violence have to do with this? Nothing? Its a diversion, an excuse for supporting the murder of a young black man by a white cop.

    Then there is the militarization of the cops as even Rand Paul questioned. How much worse have the [edit] cops made it with armor and teargas? What is clear is that whatever property crimes occurred or didn’t occur are not worth even one life. A box of cigars worth more than the life of a young man, please!

    The uninformed rush to support the cops of the former non-seccessionist slave state of Missouri tell us more about the writers in the comment section of the Davis Vanguard than they do to inform us of anything related to the events in Ferguson. Is it any wonder that people who regularly rant about immigrants are supporting the cops in Ferguson MO.

    1. Frankly

      Ha! Look at the riots. Of course there is armor and tear gas.

      I know you would prefer amour and tears… but there are a lot of dangerous people out there behaving badly.

      How about we just draw a line around some neighborhoods with all this hyper sensitivity to the cops being racist and tell the cops to not go there anymore?

      1. Tia Will

        Frankly

        ” there are a lot of dangerous people out there behaving badly.”

        And it would appear that some of them are wearing police uniforms, and some of them are not.

  11. DavisVoter

    “nebulous and irrational racial social justice goal”

    “narrow immediate racial egalitarian mode”

    “Black culture is only a political and pop-culture marketing gimmick”

    Some comments here are over the line for me. I’m curious about the possibility of adding an “Ignore” feature that would allow me to screen out posters I believe offer me a low signal-to-noise ratio without having to argue about the overall standards of this community and about whether the posts should be taken down or edited. I’ve seen this on other forums and people seem to have found it useful. (Maybe this feature already exists; if so, I apologize.)

    1. Don Shor

      [moderator] Please submit Vanguard site issues and suggestions via the contact links, rather than as a post on a thread. To all participants: please keep to the topic. Thanks. Don

    2. Frankly

      You can ignore anything on the Vanguard you don’t like or that does not interest you. The fact that you took the time to respond tells me I struck a nerve. That is the point. Too many people stuck on the media template and unable to think for themselves. We need to wake up.

      I would appreciate a like button. It does offer some good feedback from people that might not want to respond. This topic in particular… few people will challenge the emotionally-charged topic of race and claims of racism especially if they have strong opinions against the status quo.

      How many false racism media circus events have we endured over the last 30 years… especially when Al Sharpton has been involved? Twanna Brawley or the Duke Lacrosse team?

      No 17 year old boy should ever be shot by the police. What is the best way to prevent it?

  12. Offering Balance

    Today a commenter used a racial slur against white people. I mentioned that the racial slur was used (I didn’t actually use it) in two separate posts and both of my posts were deleted, yet the original comment was only edited to remove the slur.

    I think it is fair to point out racism is still present, even on a site that caters to liberals, but it CLEARLY works both ways. Maybe since I did not call out the violator specifically this post won’t be deleted.

  13. Mr. Toad

    “Caters to liberals”

    Obviously you haven’t read much of the Vanguard. Its hardly a liberal scene. I’m one of the few. Most of the posters are antigrowth, anti tax, anti immigrant and apparently supportive of shooting unarmed civilians seven times by the cops in MO. pending the outcome of an investigation of course except for the selectively released stuff by the cops which may or may not have any relevance to the facts of the case.

    But don’t put up any anti-white racism that can’t be tolerated.

    1. Offering Balance

      I haven’t read a single post that is supportive of police shooting unarmed people. There have been posts about how it could happen and human nature, not not supporting it. I have read a few posts on the illegal immigration threads I thought were harsh but they have not been anti-imigrant. They are anti-illegal immigration. That is a point liberals regularly conflate when the two are separate issues.

      “But don’t put up any anti-white racism that can’t be tolerated.”

      I won’t put up with any racism, it is unacceptable in any form.

      1. Mr. Toad

        “I haven’t read a single post that is supportive of police shooting unarmed people.”

        “One white cop shoots and kills one black teenager and riots happen.”

        “Thousands of black teenager shoot and kill thousands of black teenagers and cricket happen.”

        I guess you missed this one. And of course I suppose you think the follow ons don’t count either.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          I’m not reading those quotes as supporting police shooting unarmed people, but I see is people comparing the reaction to this incident to the non-reaction they see on other incidents.

          1. Mr. Toad

            They are designed to be an excuse, a rationalization for conduct that is otherwise unacceptable. Black on black violence is race baiting and unrelated to this case and should have been taken down. Not doing so opens the gate. Either the gate is open or its closed. You leave up all this stuff like the Colin Powell stuff and then start taking down other stuff like using “crackers” to describe cops whose actions and reactions pissed of millions of people. Its absurd David and you should know it.

          2. David Greenwald Post author

            I think this is stuff that needs to be debated and discussed, not censored. It’s clearly a view in a sizable segment of the community and it’s not going to disappear by us taking it down.

          3. South of Davis

            David wrote:

            > I’m not reading those quotes as supporting police
            > shooting unarmed people, but I see is people comparing
            > the reaction to this incident to the non-reaction they see
            > on other incidents.

            Just about everyone in America knows the names of three black guys shot by whites (or white-Hispanics), but I bet we could ask every person in Davis and not find a SINGLE person that could name of three black guys shot by other blacks…

          4. TrueBlueDevil

            Mr. Toad wrote: “They are designed to be an excuse, a rationalization for conduct that is otherwise unacceptable. Black on black violence is race baiting and unrelated to this case and should have been taken down.”

            I hear little reaction to most black-on-black killings in Oakland and San Francisco (approx. 50 each, per year), but then every 3 or 5 years when an officer shoots a young black male, the cities are ready to unravel. So I don’t think exploring the contradiction is “race baiting”, and I’m sure some of this is media driven (they gotta sell newspapers).

            The racial slur for white people doesn’t compare to quoting a prominent African American’s views on black America.

  14. Mr. Toad

    Oh yeah we can’t have any racism at all especially the kind that calls it out. I’m all for it so how about the Davis Vanguard start actually taking it down. I’ve seen hundreds of posts here that are racist over the years but never taken down. As for being “anti illegal alien” your nuance is absolutely bigoted and beyond me although I disagree that nuance is observed as much as you suggest.

  15. Mr. Toad

    ” I have read a few posts on the illegal immigration threads I thought were harsh but they have not been anti-imigrant. They are anti-illegal immigration.”

    LOL. This is a the floggings will continue until morale improves remark if ever there was one. First of all its not illegal its undocumented…

    1. South of Davis

      Toad wrote:

      > First of all its not illegal its undocumented…

      I’m wondering if Toad also calls people out and says “First of all it’s not handicapped people it’s handicapable”?

      Nothing wrong with that but it is important to remember that everyone that states a fact using a “nonPC” term is not an evil racist or mean person that wants to lock the disabled (aka “differently abled”) in wards…

  16. Tia Will

    ““One white cop shoots and kills one black teenager and riots happen.”

    “Thousands of black teenager shoot and kill thousands of black teenagers and cricket happen.”

    This thought process ignores a couple of factors.
    1) Location.
    This particular shooting and the subsequent protests are unique to Ferguson. For the most part, it is the residents of Ferguson and surrounds that are showing up to protests. I doubt one can make the case that these thousands of shootings of black on black kids are happening in this particular community. Therefore this event is very singular to this community and thus eminently newsworthy.

    2) Distraction
    While it may be true that the author of these statements is not presenting the numbers of black on black shootings and the video from earlier that day as “excuses”, they certainly serve as distractions from the actual event that is triggering the protests, the shooting itself. I believe that we can all agree that the principle fact on the ground is that a black teen is dead because of a bullet from the gun of a white police officer. At this point, that is all we really know and yet some members of the commenting community are already speculating that perhaps
    it was due to his “thuggish behavior”. Is this kind of assumption making any ore rational than to assume that it was racism on the part of the police ? Both are speculation and in my opinion, both are equally unsubstantiated at this point in time.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Tia wrote: “1) Location. This particular shooting and the subsequent protests are unique to Ferguson. … Therefore this event is very singular to this community and thus eminently newsworthy.”

      Not really. This virtually identical scenario happens in major urban cities on a semi frequent basis. There have been protests / riots in Berkeley / Oakland in the recent past.

      “2) Distraction. While it may be true that the author of these statements … they certainly serve as **distractions** from the actual event that is triggering the protests, the shooting itself. I believe that we can all agree that the principle fact on the ground is that a black teen is dead because of a bullet from the gun of a white police officer. At this point, that is all we really know and yet some members of the commenting community are already speculating that perhaps it was due to his “thuggish behavior”…. Both are speculation and in my opinion, both are equally unsubstantiated at this point in time.”

      i) “Distractions” – I think when 1,000 or 2,000 black males are killed by other black males, and there is minimal reaction; and then everything explodes when a white officer kills (sadly) a black (alleged) attacker, the comparison is valid. If as a community we care about young people, why do we ignore 1.000 or 2,000 deaths?

      ii) There are other “Principle facts”. The police officer in question is not a rogue cop; he actually has a sterling record, and is devastated by this shooting. The victim was 6’4″, 285 pounds, and there is a video tape of him roughing up a store clerk and stealing merchandise an hour before the tragic shooting. East St. Louis is a high crime area. There is also a “game changer” video and audio recording where witnesses relay, right after the crime, their version of what transpired, and it parallels the story the police officer relayed.

      Warning: distant picture of body

      A Witness Conversation Unknowingly Captured at the Scene of the Ferguson Shooting is a Game-Changer

      http://www.ijreview.com/2014/08/168698-eyewitness-recalls-important-detail-background-video-mins-ferguson-shooting/

      Obviously, both tapes will have to be authenticated.

  17. Clem Kadiddlehopper

    Look, I don’t know yet whether this shooting was justified. The problem is a great many do profess to know, or act as if they know.

    Why do we need investigators, lawyers, judges, juries, trials and that most useless of all things, evidence, when we have the media, social media, race baiters and “civil rights” hustlers to TELL us what happened?

    The left tries to force a version of the truth on us (George Zimmerman).

    The right does it too (think Bowe Bergdahl)

    All on the spot, before one shred of evidence has been produced, and before the bailiff even has a chance to pronounce ‘all rise’.

    It’s not mere emotion, it’s not justice.

    It’s anarchy. It’s collective insanity, and we are headed for a lot more of it. And there aren’t enough police in the world to stop it should it really take hold.

    YOU and YOU alone are going to be put in a position to have to stop it, at very least inside your own property line, and perhaps more distant.

    The necessity for this arises out of our inability to come to some sort of understanding with each other. All the laws, all the politics do not matter. The “civil rights” movement has failed. Popular culture, a sick one, one that drives incivility and impatience, combined with a political system that allows one to vote benefit for himself at the expense of others, and codifies corruption into law, has taken hold.

    Freedom? We are all in prison, and the bars are made out in propaganda, lies, innuendo, and political doublespeak.

    Will the only real freedom we still have begin at the muzzle and end at the butt-plate? We are headed that direction.

    1. Frankly

      Good post Clem.

      I think you need to add to this list our press and media. They are looking for copy to sell. They are served well by the anarchy.

      They could run a story about Syria… a place where people of all different skin tones are being slaughtered daily for reasons of cultural and racial bias. But that does not entertain enough. It is all old news.

      Better to gin up this new shooting in Ferguson and inflame racial tensions to milk the old civil rights conflicts that led to so many Pulitzer prizes.

      The black on black shooting… that is old news by now. Nothing exciting or entertaining about that. In fact it hurts feelings to even discuss it. Better to sweep it under the rug.

      The Ferguson story will die out soon to be replaced with the next media feeding frenzy. We will sweep it under the rug too… after it gets milked for all the copy sales and political advantage.

      Certain politicians might be happy that this shooting happened as it detracts the media away from the mounting political failures.

  18. Tia Will

    “Over 90% of black homicides are caused by other blacks.”

    I am unclear about the relevance of this comment to the current incident.
    Within the recent past there have been more recalls of American made cars than their have been of Toyota’s.
    This certainly does not mean that if there is a fatal accident involving a Toyota it should not be thoroughly investigated in an open manner and the news made public if this was a design or recall issue.
    I am just not making the connection. Can one of you who posted or who understands this point help me out ?

    1. Barack Palin

      If you had followed the flow of the conversation you would’ve noticed that the statement was in response to SOD’s comment.

      “Just about everyone in America knows the names of three black guys shot by whites (or white-Hispanics), but I bet we could ask every person in Davis and not find a SINGLE person that could name of three black guys shot by other blacks…”

      To which I responded, “Over 90% of black homicides are caused by other blacks.”

  19. South of Davis

    Someone wrote:

    > Over 90% of black homicides are caused by other blacks.

    Then Tia wrote:

    > I am unclear about the relevance of this comment to the current incident.

    It has to do with 90%+ of the new coverage (including the Vanguard) focusing on the small percentage of blacks shot by whites (and an even smaller percentage that are shot by white-Hispanics).

    It would be like the press not covering the million+ GM recalls but sending a team of reporters and having most TV news coverage going 24/7 if Honda recalls one car for some reason.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      The press loves to focus on white police officers, while they ignore other ethnic groups.

      I recall reading a number of news reports surrounding three violent crimes at the Whole Earth Festival in 2011, which included a rape. Two of the reported suspects were Latino, and possibly the third. The press and community didn’t make this an issue. Same for the Woodland and Davis Latino priests who had sexual relations with underage parishioners recently.

      Violent crimes at Whole Earth Festival lead to dance venue shutdown

      http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/crime-fire-courts/violent-crimes-at-whole-earth-festival-lead-to-dance-venue-shutdown/

      But when we are looking for a mass murderer, or capture one, we’ll get plenty of conversations about ‘middle-aged white males’. The press seems to have a double standard.

  20. Tia Will

    South of Davis

    But you are clearly aware of the predominance of black on black violence so you are getting this information somewhere. I would presume that this information is coming from the “press” or some kind of electronic media.
    If you were not aware of it, you would not be posting about it.

    People frequently state that they want to see a connection between the stories that the Vanguard covers and the local situation. I can hardly see a better connection between the UCD pepper spray incident and what some of us saw as a disproportionate response on the part of the police to what some are saying is a disproportionate police response in Ferguson.

    For me there are two separate issues.

    One is the shooting of an unarmed black male which I believe we all agree we do not have enough facts to arrive at any conclusions at all about whether this particular shooting was justified. Local relevance ? The man who was shot by the police for attempting escape whose name I do not recall, or perhaps the Galvan brothers as two
    regional examples.

    The other issue is that of the militarization of the police and use of tear gas and the detention of journalists as
    suppressive and disproportionate activities. I would argue that all of these issues have local as well as national relevance. I do not see the issue of black on black violence having nearly as much local relevance. If someone knows statistics that vary from my view on this, please correct me.

    1. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      > South of Davis But you are clearly aware of the predominance of black on black
      > violence so you are getting this information somewhere.

      I got most of my information about black on black violence tutoring poor black kids and working with poor black kids (all from the Hunters Point housing projects) in the First Tee program.

      As I said the mainstream press covers black on black violence every now and then (it covered East Palo Alto getting the “murder capital of the US ~1993, in the late 80’s where the US government came in to take control of the SF housing projects that were taken over by drug dealing gang members and ~2006 when Gavin Newsom put Wi-Fi in the “Double Rock” housing project where almost HALF the murders in the ENTIRE city happened the year before).

      I’m not the guy that is always defending the police, I just want to make sure we don’t re-write history and think that black on black crime gets the same coverage as white on black crime (I can’t think of a single time David has covered a black on black (or black on white) crime yet he had multiple posts on the Davis cops just asking a black guy a question he didn’t want to answer).

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        SoD, good points.

        I have noticed, as have others, that the liberal media often goes out of it’s way to *not* identify the ethnicity of a suspect / criminal if it is perpetrated (or allegedly) perpetrated by a person of color. A high profile example might be when there have been multiple shootings / violence in relation to events in the gay community / the Castro District in San Francisco. Law enforcement press releases in Northern California will often not describe the ethnicity of a suspect.

        Others have also noticed that when there is a white suspect, the press seems to report this with glee.

        1. Tia Will

          TBD and SoD

          I think that you two are indeed making good points. As you might expect, I see it somewhat differently. The fact that both the right and the left make much of the other sides use or non use of race in reporting in and of itself tells me that race is an issue. We will know that racism is no longer an issue when journalists ( and everyone else) reports stories without reference to the race of the victim or the perpetrator much as it would appear to be a non issue whether either had brown or blue eyes.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            Unfortunately, that makes no sense when we are trying to apprehend a suspect.

            A friend recalled a perfect example from local radio station KGO Radio 810 from years ago.

            The mornings news said there had been an attack or attempted rape, and a “heavy set Asian male was speeding through the Marina District in a red pickup truck. Please call authorities if you see someone who matches this description.”

            At the noon news and thereafter, the description was changed: “A male suspect speeding through the Marina District in a red pickup truck. Please call authorities if you see someone who matches this description.”

            The police description stayed the same. Apparently, being heavy set and Asian aren’t PC.

            Tia, two points.

            Tia, if I / we need to catch a dangerous criminal, we need the best description possible. Height, weight, age, race, hair cut, tattoos, place of residence, etc.

            Second, I agree in non-crime scenarios we focus far too much on race. One example: “We have hired the first African American Director of Inspection Services.” Is that really noteworthy? Unless it’s in Mississippi, or the PM of England, no, it’s generally not noteworthy.

            In addition, the Progeressives and Media (I know, redundant) get so excited bu this topic, they get their facts wrong. Mayor Quan of Oakland was reported as the first Asian American mayor of a major city, which is incorrect. Not lost on some Bay Area locals is that many see mayor Quan (Asian) and former mayor Dellums (black) as having been disasters as mayor.

            It comes off as patronizing and superficial.

          2. South of Davis

            Tia wrote:

            > The fact that both the right and the left make much of the
            > other sides use or non use of race in reporting in and of itself
            > tells me that race is an issue.

            As a 10+ year reader of SF Gate (the SF Chronicle web site) I can’t tell you how often the (left leaning) Chronicle deletes photos and mention of the race of non-white criminals, even when they are dangerous and on the run (they even scrub the photos and descriptions from wire stories that most center-left newspapers like the Marin IJ don’t have a problem with). I have NEVER see the Chronicle/SF Gate remove a photo or description of a white criminal. Another interesting thing is that SF Gate almost never mentions details about a car or truck UNLESS it is a BMW or SUV (since the only vehicle the left hates more than a BMW is a SUV)…

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      There is a portion of this that I agree with in a nuanced way per “militarization”.

      Over the years I continue to read about citizens who were shot, sometimes killed, who appeared to clearly have mental health issues.

      One case was a young man who was near the Metreon movie theaters in San Francisco, in broad daylight, surrounded by police officers. A second case was a middle-aged woman, I can’t recall where. One of these individuals was brandishing a “pear knife”, and “lunged” towards a police officer, who then shot and killed the individual.

      I would think a solution would be to shoot rubber bullets, or a containment net (I’m thinking of a Star Trek episode with Captain Kirk), or such, if a suspect is not totting a gun, especially it it’s broad daylight and there is plenty of support.

    1. Don Shor

      Yes, and we all know that marijuana makes people violent and dangerous. [/sarcasm]. I seriously wonder why they even released that particular bit of information.

      1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

        Something made Michael Brown violent when he assaulted the old guy in the store he was robbing shortly before he had his fatal confrontation with the police. I doubt it was drugs of any sort. I don’t know enough of his story to know if he had been violent other times or if something in particular led to his bad behavior that day.

        1. Don Shor

          I don’t know enough of his story

          I think that’s the operative statement here. And you don’t have any information from the police officer, who appears to have gone into hiding. Selective release of information is one of the very troubling aspects of this whole case.

      2. South of Davis

        Don wrote:

        > Yes, and we all know that marijuana makes people violent
        > and dangerous. [/sarcasm].

        Marijuana is not like PCP or Crystal Meth, but it has made a lot of people do things that were “stupid” when stoned. Years ago an LA County Sheriff told me that 90%+ of the people booked in a LA County Jail were on “something”.

        I was not there and I have no idea what happened but it sure is interesting to see as each new piece of information comes out the people in the cops are always guilty crowd say “that proves nothing” and the “black guy is always guilty crowd” saying he was on the run stoned after beating a store owner and stealing stuff so “we know he was guilty”…

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          But we know that marijuana, like almost any street drug, impairs the decision-making process.

          Isn’t it also interesting that Trayvon Martin also had used marijuana?

      3. Barack Palin

        The family wanted the fact that Michael Brown had just robbed a convenience store and assaulted a clerk also held back as irrelevant information, kind of hard to believe.

        1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          I think it’s understandable that the family wants their child portrayed in the best possible light. Any family would.

          Also, it may be irrelevant to the situation or confrontation he later had with the police officer. The chief of that department says the officer had no knowledge of the robbery and that his intention to stop Michael Brown had nothing to do with that prior situation.

          What is unknown–and really unknowable since he is dead–is whether Brown’s actions vis-a-vis the cop that shot him were related to Brown’s criminal behavior at the convenience store. In other words, perhaps Michael Brown emerged from that robbery in an agitated state, making him unusually confrontational with the cop? Or maybe Brown thought the cop was going to arrest him for the robbery, and that made Brown aggressive toward the cop? Or maybe Brown was not agitated at all when he was shot by the cop, and the earlier situation had no relevance to his actions or his death. I just don’t think it is knowable whether the earlier situation affected the later one.

          If the cop is tried for murder, which seems likely, given that community’s desire for his blood, it will be interesting to see if the cop testifies. His testimony, of course, would be an effort to put his actions into the best possible light. But he might say, and might be believable in saying, that Brown was trying to attack him and he killed him in self-defense. If that is what the cop says, and it is credible in the context of other evidence, then that suggests Brown’s earlier robbery likely affected Brown’s mindset when that cop tried to stop him.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            Why is it likely that he will be tried for murder, when we haven’t even seen most of the facts yet? Mob justice? Is the President and AG greasing his path towards a murder trial?

            What if there are visible marks on the officer’s face, proving that Brown did indeed attack him?

            The second autopsy proves that he was not shot in the back, so his friend’s description of events ring hallow.

            Toxicology reports, according to the Washington Post, reveal that Brown had marijuana in his system. Did this impair his “executive decision making” functions?

            A new recording called a “Game Changer” has witnesses recounting what happened, and their story parallel’s the officer’s description – that Michael Brown was charging the officer.

          2. Barack Palin

            Rich, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

            “Ferguson officer realized during encounter that Michael Brown might be suspect in robbery, chief says

            The officer who shot Ferguson teen Michael Brown stopped Brown and another teen because they were walking in the street, not because of a robbery a few minutes earlier, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said Friday afternoon.

            Jackson said the officer was aware cigars had been taken in the robbery of a store nearby, but did not know when he encountered Brown and Dorian Johnson that they might be suspects. He stopped them because they were walking in the street, Jackson said.

            But Jackson told the Post-Dispatch that the officer, Darren Wilson, saw cigars in Brown’s hand and realized he might be the robber.”

  21. Barack Palin

    Once again I think those on the left are making a big mistake trying to hitch their wagon to this guy, the more we learn the more we’re finding out Michael Brown was anything but an innocent teenager.

  22. Clem Kadiddlehopper

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/11/synthetic-marijuana_n_3908171.html

    (From the Huffington Post)

    Is there a more technical name for “synthetic marijuana” within the DEA?

    It’s “synthetic cannabinoids.” It’s like bath salts — because it’s easier to say “bath salts” or “spice,” and those are real super generic words. But cannabinoid is basically cannabis. And some call it “spice” some call it “synthetic marijuana” or “synthetic THC,” whatever. It’s easier to say, it’s easier to think. Bath salts are kind of more in lines with cocaine, so that’s a synthetic cathinone. And we had seen those in a few years past, but not a lot of the cannabinoids. Now we’re seeing, and obviously this is a big surge over the past year or two, synthetic cannabinoids/synthetic marijuana.

    So are synthetic cannabinoids/synthetic marijuana technically even marijuana?

    Yes it is. And I know some people get upset about that wording — but it’s because it mimics THC. It’s a cannabinoid, but it’s hard to say that so they’ll call it “spice” or “synthetic marijuana” so it makes it a little easier to differentiate between what’s spice and what’s bath salts. Just like [bath salts] would be like a synthetic cocaine. It mimics the attributes of THC, that’s why it’s called that.

    So it has a similar compound to marijuana?

    Yes, it’s just more extreme.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Is this similar to “dabs” or “wax”, which is taking off on the west coast? Dabs are similar to hash I’m told, one hit can send you to la-la land… but it is also considered the “crack cocaine of marijuana” due to the highly flammable component / butane torch needed to melt the wax at 5,000 degrees. Talk about a risk, even legalize pot proponents are scared by the implications / risks.

  23. TrueBlueDevil

    Christine Byers @ChristineDByers · 3h

    “Police sources tell me more than a dozen witnesses have corroborated cop’s version of events in shooting #Ferguson”

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