Commentary: Ferguson’s City Manager Resigns, But It Really Makes You Wonder

Ferguson-riot

I strangely find myself hearkening back to one of my favorite adolescent movies, Pump Up the Volume. It’s a movie about a loner who – alone and disaffected in the days prior to the internet – starts a pirate radio station where he finds, much to his surprise, that he has a ready audience of disaffected, disenfranchised malcontents.

However, while the movie hits on global themes of teen alienation, you quickly learn that the problems here are not about growing up so much as they are about a corrupt high school principal.

That is what Ferguson is starting to feel like. At first, this was a story about a police officer who ended up killing a young, unarmed black man. It started a narrative on police-community relations. And, now that the officer has at least been criminally exonerated both by a Grand Jury and the US Department of Justice, we learn that the real problem in Ferguson is extreme municipal corruption.

John Shaw, who is just 39, was hired back in 2007 as city manager, and now he has resigned after the Justice Department accused city agencies of systematically discriminating against African-American residents. Resigned is probably the wrong word, as the Ferguson City Council on Tuesday voted 7-0 to approve a mutual separation agreement.

The report detailed a number of instances in which Mr. Shaw saw the revenue from court fees and fines as a positive thing.

In a way, the Justice Department report, which hammered Ferguson officials, seems like a sort of a cop out, even in light of articles that note that Ferguson tactics were neither unique nor extreme by regional standards.

Digging up a Post-Dispatch editorial, however, it is a mistake to dismiss the severity of the findings. As a March 7 editorial in the St. Louis paper notes, there is the case of Ferguson municipal court Judge Ronald Brockmeyer. While he seemed to be “one of the people who understood that things had to change,” he was actually “hiding a secret.”

“While he was busy sentencing poor, black defendants to fines they would never be able to afford, he had conspired with a racist court clerk and prosecutors in other cities to fix traffic tickets for friends, family and himself,” they write.

“Ferguson has allowed its focus on revenue generation to fundamentally compromise the role of Ferguson’s municipal court,” the DOJ report reads. “The municipal court does not act as a neutral arbiter of the law or a check on unlawful police conduct. Instead, the court primarily uses its judicial authority as the means to compel the payment of fines and fees that advance the City’s financial interests. This has led to court practices that violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process and equal protection requirements. The court’s practices also impose unnecessary harm, overwhelmingly on African-American individuals, and run counter to public safety.”

Writes the Editorial Board, “For anybody paying attention the past seven months, or for the African-Americans who have been constantly harassed for Driving (or Walking) While Black in Ferguson and surrounding communities, the report came as no surprise. The Ferguson protests, beyond the immediate anger over Mr. Brown’s death, were — and are — a manifestation of decades of anger. Anger over oppression, anger over the casual violation of civil rights, all detailed in painful precision in black and white in the DOJ report.”

If you’re white, ask yourself this:

  • Have you ever received a ticket for telling an officer your name is Mike, instead of Michael?
  • Ever been arrested for improper “Manner of Walking in Roadway”? That’s a charge the Ferguson police department issued frequently. In Ferguson, Walking While Black isn’t a sardonic joke. It’s an actual offense.

But here you go – you have to ask yourself, is this just Ferguson? Are they simply the bad guys here and we can forget the global lessons? That might be your temptation, but, as the editorial points out, “If you watched the protests on television, if you didn’t understand why black people in Ferguson and St. Louis and Cleveland and New York were and are upset, please read the DOJ report. It is chock-full of real-life examples of police and court harassment that should anger people of all colors and backgrounds. It is damning and it is real.”

We had a reader a few weeks ago cite a 15-year-old report from New Jersey that cited data to suggest that racial profiling doesn’t happen. There is a reason why we have terms like Driving While Black, Walking While Black, and, at least in Davis, Mowing While Black.

Ferguson made the mistake of being too blatant about it. But the reason that the anger rose from coast to coast is that it resonated.

I understand that people are going to look at the particulars of the Darren Wilson shooting of Michael Brown and argue that Darren Wilson was justified in his actions. I still largely believe that, had Darren Wilson handled the situation more adroitly, the incident could have been avoided.

But, regardless, you can’t ignore the context of that interaction – the distrust globally between police and young black man. And the distrust that had built up over the years due to local factors that have only now really come to light.

Of course, none of the rest of the country knew of any of this when the city of Ferguson exploded back in August. But knowing what we do now, can we really be surprised?

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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124 Comments

  1. sisterhood

    This is an interesting, thought provoking article. It is really not much of a surprise. We are taught, at a young age, that everything must be quantified. I’m not surprised that Ferguson had a monetary reward system based on court fees and fines. Our own school system is based on grades. Often, grades are bases on the quantity of work. For example, do we really teach excellent writing skills, when a writing assignment dictates the essay must be 200 words, single spaced?

    What happens if it is a slow day in Ferguson, and no one commits a fine or even a minor traffic violation? Do the cops feel pressure to have a certain amount of moving violations or to catch someone for a failure to appear? I’m curious about Davis cops, too. Must they pull over a certain amount of people each day? What happens if they don’t?

    Most of my jobs, in public sector and private, rewarded workers bases on the quantity of work produced. One job actually gave promotions, monetary rewards and a really expensive rewards banquet for the workers who produced the most. This caused all sorts of nasty competition, and did nothing for team building and employee morale. It even caused nice people to cheat on their statistics, do very sloppy work, and back stab their friends.

    We need to worry more about the quality of policing, and crime prevention. We need to base work rewards on cooperation, and customer service, and an excellent work product, not competition.

    I wonder what Ferguson will do, budget wise, if they have a reduction of fines. Also, might they also see a reduction in incarcerations, and that revenue source, if they are under more scrutiny?

    “I still largely believe that had Darren Wilson handled the situation more adroitly, the incident could have been avoided.”

    I wholeheartedly agree.

     

     

     

     

  2. Barack Palin

    “While he was busy sentencing poor, black defendants to fines they would never be able to afford, he had conspired with a racist court clerk and prosecutors in other cities to fix traffic tickets for friends, family and himself,” they write.

    Fixing tickets for family and friends happens in jurisdictions everywhere, it’s never right, but it has nothing to do with racism.

    How do we know the clerk is racist?  I read the article and the link and didn’t see that.

    1. David Greenwald

      I was curious about that comment as well – “racist clerk” – I’ll have to do more research on that one.

      As for the fixing tickets part, I think it’s the juxtaposition that the judge is sentencing poor, black defendants to fines they can’t afford while helping his friends who can afford it, avoid theirs. It’s not that the practice is racist in and off itself, it’s that it’s likely to engender mistrust in the system that I think is far more important.

    2. Tia Will

      BP

      Fixing tickets for family and friends happens in jurisdictions everywhere, it’s never right, but it has nothing to do with racism.”

      Actually I do not think that we have any more evidence that it does not have anything to do with racism than we do to support the assertion that it does. Do we know the race of this clerk. If we know for instance that he is black, I would say that it is statistically more likely that more of his family and friends would also be black and therefore the bulk of the people he was getting favors for would also be black. I would say the same if he were white. This may not be overt racism, but it certainly would be an example of disparate impact on individuals and communities based on race.

       

    3. TrueBlueDevil

      Life has a disparate impact for countless reasons. If the clerk was passing out favors, I don’t really care what their race was, put a stop to it.

      1. Miwok

        People will bribe someone just to avoid the paperwork. Maybe the clerk was making more by fixing than doing the paperwork?

        A guy in Woodland rode by the old Police Station on Court doing a wheelie, and got pulled over by the railroad, got a ticket for Reckless driving, took it home to a wife’s friend, and it got “deleted” the next day at her computer.

  3. Barack Palin

    The report detailed a number of instances in which Mr. Shaw saw the revenue from court fees and fines as a positive thing.

    Though he may have liked the revenue no where have I read that Shaw told police to specifically target blacks for tickets.

      1. Barack Palin

        Did you know that the Brown family attorney is a black man named Anthony Gray who was also the prosecutor for over seven years in a local community named Pine Lawn until recently and last year that police dept issued over 17k  tickets and over 5k warrants in a town of only 3200 residents.  Why was Anthony Gray turning a blind eye?

        1. Barack Palin

          Before becoming Pine Lawn’s equivalent of a police chief, Gray was the city prosecutor, a critical role in the town’s approach to collecting massive amounts of money through its municipal court.  He has now resumed his role as the town’s prosecutor. In 2013 and 2014, Pine Lawn collected $3.5 million in court fines and fees, which accounted for almost half the city’s general revenue.

          Well, according to the article you posted he’s back at prosecutor now.  So prosecutor for 71/2 years, police chief last year and now back to the town’s prosecutor.  So where’s the outrage, where’s the DOJ, is this town practicing black on black racism?  Is that racism or just bad policy?

        2. Davis Progressive

          where’s the outrage?  there’s plenty of outrage, however, right now brown’s attorney isn’t the focus of the justice department report.  at some point, hopefully, the justice department will help to clean this entire mess up.  trying to turn this on anthony gray or deflect isn’t going expedite this process.  however, the genie is now out of the bottle and as the new york times article from last week shows, ferguson is only one of many.

  4. Frankly

    So the misguided policies of liberals and social engineers, combined with the corrupt Democrat politician payouts to the public sector employees killed Mike Brown.

    That seems to be the point being made here.

    1. Davis Progressive

      i don’t know the party of those involved, in many cases they are non-partisan offices anyway.  i may agree with your point about corrupt politicians but making it partisan makes it far less likely that people who might otherwise agree with you, will here.

      1. Davis Progressive

        i think it’s about both.  but i still find it fascinating how hard you guys continue to look for explanation other than racism.

        the term you want which you have avoided is disparate impact – it doesn’t mean the policies were intentionally or intended to be racist, but their effect is.

        “City officials have frequently asserted that the harsh and disparate results of Ferguson’s law enforcement system do not indicate problems with police or court practices, but instead reflect a pervasive lack of “personal responsibility” among “certain segments” of the community. Our investigation has found that the practices about which area residents have complained are in fact unconstitutional and unduly harsh.”

        so you are trying to split a hair that doesn’t split.

        1. Davis Progressive

          actually i’m not. disparate impact is what we are talking about here (or should be).  the policies here reflect the reality that race wasn’t the target of the policies but rather their effect.

          ironically disparate impact is what was invalidated by the scotus on the housing front.

      1. Barack Palin

        Not at all, I’m just shooting holes through the whole theory that the Ferguson police dept is blatantly racist which is being thrown out there by the DOJ and liberals.  You might call it trolling, I call it the facts.

        1. Davis Progressive

          no, you’re reading is partial and incomplete because you are trying to avoid the key point – the key is that the policies created a “disparate impact” on the black community.  they were likely not intended to do so.  they likely were in fact intended to generate revenue.  the problem is that as the justice department stated, they are “unconstitutional and harsh.”

      2. Frankly

        The biggest “disparate impact” on the poor black communities is caused by crappy education and crappy job opportunities.  In addition, there is the crappy family values where 70% of black children are conceived out of wedlock and raised without a father around.

        These are the root causes of the problems.  What you and others continue to do is to point to symptoms to deflect from the truth.

          1. Don Shor

            No, DP, you don’t understand. The city manager of Ferguson resigned because of crappy schools/job opportunities/family values/out of wedlock (quaint term) babies, Democrats, liberals, and public unions. That’s why he resigned. 😉

        1. Frankly

          You are doing everything you can to avoid the truth and perpetuate the false “the law enforcement and judicial system is racist” narrative that ensures that we will never solve the very problems that primarily contributed to the death of Mike Brown.

          1. Don Shor

            How about a narrative that the law enforcement and judicial system in Ferguson, and in a lot of other places, come down heavily on poor people and people of color with excessive enforcement and fines for trivial offenses?

        2. Frankly

          How about a narrative that the law enforcement and judicial system in Ferguson, and in a lot of other places, come down heavily on poor people and people of color with excessive enforcement and fines for trivial offenses?

          Sure, but what does this have to do with Mike Brown being dead?

          And why is this news or a surprise? Like I wrote, government at all levels does this overreach thing.  You are not going to solve many, if any, problems dealing with this on a transactional basis.  It is a systemic problem.  It is a problem that emanates from a political view that government is the solution for everything,  and that leads to government being out of control.

          And if you want to continue down this nuanced path that it is not big government per se, it is just this need to fix the problem of excessive enforcement and fines for “trivial” offenses, then there are two related questions:

          1. What do you do about it?

          2. What will ALL the consequences be related to #1?

          The statement from law enforcement and the judicial is basically that the areas where more blacks live are also areas most lacking in personal responsibility (more violations). The cops spend more time in these neighborhoods with more violations and are more likely to crack down.

          Think about a summer camp for kids where one cabin is filled full of kids breaking the rules and another has mostly rule-following kids.  Wouldn’t it be logical to expect that the RA of the cabin of greater rule-breakers would establish harsher penalties to motivate good behavior?  When compared it would seem there is unfair rule enforcement bias between the cabins… but only if we ignore the consequences of forcing the exact same rule enforcement to both cabins even though one has a higher incidence of rule breaking than the other.

          I guess we have to debate the broken window theory here.  If there is greater leniency in these high-violation neighborhoods will it lead to more violations?   And will it lead to more non-minor violations?   Will these violations bleed out into other neighborhoods and create more victims of crime?

          I think law enforcement still operates under the premise to catch law breakers early to prevent them from breaking more laws.

          1. Don Shor

            And if you want to continue down this nuanced path that it is not big government per se, it is just this need to fix the problem of excessive enforcement and fines for “trivial” offenses, then there are two related questions:
            1. What do you do about it?

            L.A. Times, quoting the DOJ report: “African Americans accounted for 95% of manner of walking along roadway charges from 2011 to 2013, according to the report.”
            So what do you do about it?
            Stop citing and arresting and fining people for “Manner of walking along roadway.” I don’t think that’s fundamental to the “broken window theory.” Basically, stop harassing people. And if there is a community that believes they are being harassed, perhaps establish better communication to understand why they feel that way and what policy changes could be implemented to reduce the perception and the reality of harassment.

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          Citizens in those areas often clamor for more police whenever another often young Black man is killed, usually via black-on-black crime.

          Citizens clamor for police to take drug dealers off of corners, they ask for help at church, at community meetings.

          HEATHER MAC DONALD: The Myth of Racial Profiling
          There’s no credible evidence that racial profiling exists, yet the crusade to abolish it threatens a decade’s worth of crime-fighting success.

          http://www.city-journal.org/html/11_2_the_myth.html

        4. Davis Progressive

          “Sure, but what does this have to do with Mike Brown being dead?”

          they investigated ferguson when they investigated the death of brown.  they found insufficient evidence to charge brown, but found a lot of problems with the way the police and public officials were conducting themselves.  don has laid it out well, so no need for me to repeat.

        5. Davis Progressive

          trueblue: why do you keep reposting the link to the same faulty article?  there is plenty of evidence that racial profiling exists.  the article was written in the spring of 2001.  two years later the california highway patrol radically changed their policies on pretext stops (as david posted in response to your comment about) to eliminate the kind of phishing expeditions that were common almost exclusively for blacks and hispanics.  that’s just one example.  this report documents another example.  so nothing from 2001 is going to debunk the doj’s report.

        6. TrueBlueDevil

          DP, what do you think of the PC police policies Eric Holder has shoved down the throats of the Seattle Police Department, which has lead to a 21% increase in murder and an over 40% increase in car theft? (See new post at the bottom, with quotes and link.)

        7. Davis Progressive

          i read the article you posted written by the hoover fellow in the nypost.  it’s a fairly biased account.  however i’m largely in support of such efforts.

          We found that SPD has engaged in a pattern or practice of excessive force that violates the Constitution and federal law. Our investigation further raised serious concerns that some SPD policies and practices, particularly those related to pedestrian encounters, could result in discriminatory policing. We negotiated and filed a consent decree to address these concerns on July 27, 2012, and separately entered into a settlement agreement on related issues on that same date. On September 21, the court modified and entered the consent decree.

          the author that you post below seems to believe that stopping these kinds of stops has led to an increase in crime, i happen to believe that in the long run improving the community trust in the police will be a huge improvement.  it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s not true through the bias, but if his account is accurate, one of the problems appears to be that the police overreacted to the decree and so they essentially did what happened in new york and stopped doing basic police tactics – that’s poor leader and lack of training, not the decree.  no need for the police stop stop wearing tasers or responding to back up calls, that’s not the problem.  the problem is the police using their discretionary power in a biased manner and singling our blacks.

    2. Frankly

      Point me to where any local GOP politicians are funded by public sector unions.   Until and unless we stop being so hypersensitive to criticism of the party responsible for these practices that causes cities to be cash-strapped, and until we admit that it is liberals and Democrats primarily protecting the crappy education status quo and pushing for more and more regulations that tax success thus chasing away capital from economic development investment, and protect labor and the environment to excess at a cost of economic growth and job supply… we will never address the root cause of these problems.  And we will see all sorts of other unintended consequences as government gets creative to bring in more revenue to the beast.

      Check what is happening at the federal level.  Instead of demanding we cut the pay and benefits of federal government workers to match the general labor market (because that would piss off the public sector unions and the unions would take it out on their political benefactors that are generally 100% Democrat), more and more agencies are free wheeling going after business to extort cash with frivolous penalties and claims to bring in more revenue.

      This is a problem of politics.  There isn’t a nuanced solution until and unless we admit that.

      1. Davis Progressive

        public sector unions as opposed to industry that is supposed to be regulated by government agencies.  it’s all the same.  but i’d rather stay on topic.

        1. Frankly

          I run a business that is the private side of a public-private partnership with a federal program for economic development and jobs.   It is not all the same.  I have an overseer.  I am regulated and audited to extreme… usually with rules set by attorneys and job security risk-averse bureaucrats that lack any common business sense.  However, nobody really oversees the agencies.   Except when there is some political storm and then other attorneys and bureaucrats in other agencies start pounding on the subordinate agency and then they pound harder on us.  But again, there is a general lack of transparency because there is no entity with higher authority.

          And they overreach because they can.

          This is why Hillary Clinton uses her personal email account.  There is nobody keeping tabs.  The press/media used to help, but at least the main media is really part of the same organism now as is Washington.

          And at the local level it is not much different.

          How does this relate to Mike Brown?  All that tax revenue being sucked up by your public sector worker friends retiring in their 50s with a six figure pension is money that could otherwise be used for programs that would have given Mike Brown a better education, and stronger moral compass and better economic prospects.  It is big government that is responsible for much of the problems in the black communities.  And the GOP is consistently advocating for smaller and less expensive government.

          If Mike Brown’s community had better schools and a stronger economy where he and his family had greater economic prospects, I think it is likely he would not be dead today.   That is all about politics.

          Let’s say we can turn back the hands of time to before Mike Brown was born and we could establish an agenda for helping to prevent this tragic event.  What would we do?  I suppose we could put a lot more effort into racial sensitivity training for the Ferguson cops.  Or maybe we implement a racial quota control… that the cops have to lighten up on the number of encounters with black residents when they hit a certain metric that keeps the number balanced with other demographic groups in their precincts.  Do you really think that these types of changes would help Mike Brown?  Do you really think it would help the community?

          If not these things, then what would you do?  I know what I would do… and it would start with making it illegal for public employees to form a union.

          1. Don Shor

            All that tax revenue being sucked up by your public sector worker friends retiring in their 50s with a six figure pension is money that could otherwise be used for programs that would have given Mike Brown a better education, and stronger moral compass and better economic prospects.

            What programs would you support being paid by the tax dollars that would be freed up by paying public employees less?

            It is big government that is responsible for much of the problems in the black communities. And the GOP is consistently advocating for smaller and less expensive government.

            I recall Jack Kemp advocating for enterprise zones, back many years ago.
            Honestly, though, I think the history of many cities – including Sacramento – involves a long period of housing segregation created by intentional policies of municipal governments over many years. Businesses were unwilling to locate in those minority neighborhoods long before “big government.” Except that there was also a pattern in some areas of locating the worst-polluting industries in minority areas. So those “environmental regulations” you are always bemoaning often were a response to grotesque pollution of people who were least able to resist that treatment. Finally, schools in poorer areas are always poorer funded and have fewer resources.
            You don’t seem to acknowledge the racial patterns in housing and economic development, and even government policy, that lead to many of the problems we have today.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          I don’t know the full history of every city in America, but I do know that hundreds and thousands of businesses went out of business, closed, or fled, after riots ravaged many urban cities in the 1960s.

          This pattern has existed til today where a riot or lawlessness can start at the drop of a hat, often spurred by outside agitators, often young foolish boys / men, anarchists and opportunists. I don’t know if the last two groups also took advantage in the 1960s, but they do today in Oakland and Berkeley.

          Businesses have to evaluate these risks of a riot every 5 years, and the risk of losing everything. Insurance rates skyrocket.

          I have spent plenty of time in urban area businesses, and in some neighborhoods the staged “slip and fall” customer is a weekly occurrence.

          Yes, some of those polluting industries also provided well-paying jobs that fed and clothed large families, allowed them to buy homes and start businesses, and send kids to college.

        3. Frankly

          What programs would you support being paid by the tax dollars that would be freed up by paying public employees less?

          You hit on it.

          Economic development programs.  Jobs programs.  Education enhancement programs (but not just money that will be sucked up by the teachers union for greater pay and benefits and more administrators).   Local tax incentives to attract and retain business. Better mental health and drug treatment services.  There are a myriad of things we could do to help the people in these poor neighborhoods extracting the premium we are paying big government and grossly over-compensated government workers.

          Ironically, the local government was doing the opposite… fining the poor people for more revenue to keep paying the grossly overpaid government workers.

          Again, this is a political problem.

          1. Don Shor

            the premium we are paying big government and grossly over-compensated government workers.

            You think the public employees in Ferguson, Missouri, are grossly over-compensated? Are they unionized?

        4. Frankly

          You think the public employees in Ferguson, Missouri, are grossly over-compensated? Are they unionized?

          I do know that Ferguson employees claim they are underpaid compared to other surrounding cities, and that the city has started giving raises to help improve morale and retention.

          But you are missing the point here.  It is a government systemic problem.  The feds give less to the states, the states give less to the counties and the cities.  The total number of government employees, and the total cost-per-employee has skyrocketed.  It is like a giant growing leech on the side of general societal well-being sucking it dry.

          Basically, stop harassing people. And if there is a community that believes they are being harassed, perhaps establish better communication to understand why they feel that way and what policy changes could be implemented to reduce the perception and the reality of harassment.

          The people of Falluja Iraq were pissed off at the US for their work and sacrifice to remove the menacing hostiles that the people of Falluja cried about needing help removing.

          Why people feel a certain way is often at odds with what is actually good for them.  And if you look at the situation for many people in low income circumstances, it is absolutely demonstrative of a tendency to chose direction based on feeling rather than rational and objective considerations of what leads to good or bad outcomes.

          What I find fascinating is this tendency for the big government lovers to wring their hands over sub-optimization of service on a transaction-by-transaction basis, but be so tone deaf to the point that it is the commonality for government service to be sub-optimized and to deliver less than top-level service and outcomes.

          We are paying Nordstrom prices for KMart service, but the system will never deliver Nordstrom service because it lacks the business model and incentives to do so.

          Last time I checked the job of police was simply law enforcement.  So you want them to apply some nuanced larger social perspective working to prevent residents from feeling harassed?  See the kids walking down the middle of the street impacting traffic and think “I should just leave them alone since it will just seem like I am harassing them to demand that they walk on the sidewalk.”  That isn’t a workable expectation unless you are willing to accept that to make it happen, you would just need to decrease the amount of time that law enforcement spends in these neighborhoods.  In other words, like for Falluja we just pull out.

          1. Don Shor

            We destroyed 60% of the buildings in Fallujah and reduced the population by 30 – 50%. Great example. And irrelevant, as usual.

            Why people feel a certain way is often at odds with what is actually good for them.

            I wonder if you could possibly be more patronizing. Nope. You couldn’t.

            So you want them to apply some nuanced larger social perspective working to prevent residents from feeling harassed? See the kids walking down the middle of the street impacting traffic and think “I should just leave them alone since it will just seem like I am harassing them to demand that they walk on the sidewalk.”

            Yes. That is exactly what I think. Police have discretion as to how, how often, against whom, and how rigorously they enforce minor code violations. If they are doing it in a manner that provably affects people of color more than others, they should look at their policies. That is a top-down issue that needs to be addressed.

            this tendency for the big government lovers

            I’m not acquainted with anyone who meets that description. Is it some new kind of fetish?

    3. TrueBlueDevil

      Just think if the Indian clerk at the gas station had a gun or a taser, the choir boy Michael Brown might still be alive, the officer would still have his job, businesses would not be burned down, Brown’s parents wouldn’t be lined up for felony battery / theft, and the union corruption would continue.

      1. Tia Will

        Just think if the Indian clerk at the gas station had a gun or a taser, the choir boy Michael Brown might still be alive,:

        Just think if our society did not glorify the use of force, bullying and violence combined with a might makes right attitude, perhaps Michael Brown would still be alive. Perhaps he would not have bullied the clerk. Perhaps the policeman who ultimately shot him might have sought to de escalate rather than escalate the situation long before it got to the point of a struggle for the gun. Perhaps the evening might have ended with a polite request to step out of the middle of the street and perhaps grudging compliance of that request.

        What if we were not conditioned by our society to expect the worst from others and constantly be suspicious and on guard. If so would Trayvon Martin still be alive, or the 12 year old playing with his toy gun, or the young man walking down a staircase when two police just happened to be on patrol with a drawn gun ?  If we are going to address these issue, we are going to have to go beyond race to address the issue of suspicion and violence in our society, not think of better ways to arm all of us.

        1. hpierce

          Like the “what if’s”.  Nice segue to the previous article.  I’ll play.  What if Zimmerman’s mother decided to abort her pregnancy?  Trayvon might still be alive.  What if Trayvon’s mother had decided to abort him.  Would have Zimmerman killed someone, cost the taxpayers a lot of $, gained media attention, etc.?  What if Michael Brown’s mother decided to end that pregnancy?  What if Wilson’s mother did?  Fun game.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          But you enjoy writing and asserting race issues. I’m all for peace, I’m a peaceful man myself, but you’re a bit naive if you think community gatherings and tie dye love will sooth the savage beast called testosterone, or young stupidity, or gangs, or greed, or altered sates of mind, or all of them combined together. If Brown didn’t rob the store, wasn’t greedy, or entitled, or high under mind-altering THC, maybe he’d still be here.

          Likewise, if Trayvon had run home, run back to the store, and not jumped a night street patrol and slam his head into the concrete, he still would be here. Trayvon also had THC in his system, and texted about guns and violence frequently.

          Aren’t we seeing a pattern here with THC and young people? Brown, Trayvon, Daniel Marsh?

        3. hpierce

          TBD… suggest you would have better said, ” a self-appointed night street patrol”.  Zimmerman has demonstrated, after he was acquitted, to be a jerk of the 10th degree.  Even his “woman” wants nothing to do with him.  Good hint as to his character.  The DA in that case, in my opinion, blew it by not at least getting Mr Z on voluntary manslaughter.

  5. TrueBlueDevil

    David wrote: “We had a reader a few weeks ago cite a 15-year-old report from New Jersey that cited data to suggest that racial profiling doesn’t happen. There is a reason why we have terms like Driving While Black, Walking While Black, and, at least in Davis, Mowing While Black.”

    David mis-states the exhaustive state-wide study in New Jersey, which was a scientific statistical study which showed that officers wrote tickets at virtually an identical rate to who was speeding. So the tickets didn’t match the ethnic makeup of the city, they matched the ethnic makeup of the speeders.

    David also contradicts himself, as he has previously stated here that when he has gone on “ride alongs” with officers, they often don’t know the ethnicity of who they pull over.

    Crime is not committed in an ethnically proportional manner across our nation, victims aren’t proportional, either.

    SPEED KILLS RACIAL PROFILING STUDY
    http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2014-09-03.html

     

    1. David Greenwald

      Which is fine, but it’s 15 years old and was performed in New Jersey whereas we know that Racial Profiling has happened elsewhere and admittedly so.  I cited you for example a settlement from a lawsuit in California where the CHP completely had to change the way they conducted traffic stops as part of the settlement.

          1. David Greenwald

            The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has agreed to adopt sweeping reforms intended to end the practice of racial profiling on California’s highways, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California announced today. The reforms include a ban on consent searches and restrictions on drug-related pretext stops and are likely to have a broad impact on law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

            Today’s settlement establishes the CHP as the first law enforcement agency in the nation to prohibit their officers from asking motorists for consent to search their cars or persons.

            The ACLU contended in its lawsuit that giving officers the discretion to seek consent when they did not have probable cause to search resulted in a disproportionate number of motorists of color being subjected to extensive searches, and was a critical component of racial profiling.

            In the course of the lawsuit the ACLU established that Latinos were approximately three times as likely to be searched by CHP officers than whites in the Central and Coastal Divisions, and African-Americans were approximately twice as likely to be searched in those divisions. In the wake of these findings, CHP Commissioner, Spike Helmick commendably ordered a moratorium on consent searches in 2001. The settlement extends this prohibition until 2006.

            The settlement agreement — also known as a consent decree — bans drug-related pretext stops, which means that CHP officers cannot use minor traffic violations as an excuse for stopping and searching a car for illegal drugs unless the officers have probable cause or reasonable suspicion of drug activity.

  6. Barack Palin

    Ever been arrested for improper “Manner of Walking in Roadway”?

    Oh, did you mean when Michael Brown was walking down the middle of the road right after robbing a store and refusing to get out of the street after the officer asked him to?  No, I’ve never been arrested for that.

      1. David Greenwald

        Read page 62: “Ferguson’s police and municipal court practices disproportionately harm African Americans. Further, our investigation found substantial evidence that this harm stems in part from intentional discrimination in violation of the Constitution.”

        They then list out the practices and disproportionate findings for African Americans…

        They write:

        These disparities are not the necessary or unavoidable results of legitimate public safety efforts. In fact, the practices that lead to these disparities in many ways undermine law enforcement effectiveness. See, e.g., Jack Glaser, Suspect Race: Causes and Consequence of Racial Profiling 96-126 (2015) (because profiling can increase crime while harming communities, it has a “high risk” of contravening the core police objectives of controlling crime and promoting public safety). The disparate impact of these practices thus violates federal law, including Title VI and the Safe Streets Act.

        The racially disparate impact of Ferguson’s practices is driven, at least in part, by intentional discrimination in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Racial bias and stereotyping is evident from the facts, taken together. This evidence includes: the consistency and magnitude of the racial disparities throughout Ferguson’s police and court enforcement actions; the selection and execution of police and court practices that disproportionately harm African Americans and do little to promote public safety; the persistent exercise of discretion to the detriment of African Americans; the apparent consideration of race in assessing threat; and the historical opposition to having African Americans live in Ferguson, which lingers among some today.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          DOJ statistics prove that many crimes are committed disproportionately, correct? Often by multiples?

          DOJ statistics prove that many crime victims are ethnically disproportionate, correct? Often by multiples?

          Either way, we’ll see what happens to crime in Ferguson in the coming years.

          1. David Greenwald

            Except for this problem:

            In each of the last 14 years, the data show that African Americans are “over represented” in FPD’s vehicular stops.53 That data also shows that in most years, FPD officers searched African Americans at higher rates than others, but found contraband on African Americans at lower rates.

  7. TrueBlueDevil

    I watched the movie City Slickers last night with Billie Crystal. In the beginning of the movie there is an interesting scene. The city folk start their outing, and the group is introduced to each other. There is a father (in his 50s-60s) and son (late 20s) on horseback who happen to be black.

    Phil Berquist (city slicker): Where are you from?

    Ben Jessup (city slicker, Father, black): Baltimore. We have a dental practice there.

    Mitch Robbins(another white city slicker): Really, you’re both dentists?

    Steve Jessup (Son, black): Yes! We’re black AND we’re dentists. Let’s not make an issue out of it.

    Ben Jessup (Father): Eh, they’re not making an issue of it. You’re making an issue of it.

    The Son reminds me of a lot of modern-day Progressives.

  8. Frankly

    Me: So you want them to apply some nuanced larger social perspective working to prevent residents from feeling harassed? See the kids walking down the middle of the street impacting traffic and think “I should just leave them alone since it will just seem like I am harassing them to demand that they walk on the sidewalk.”

    Don: Yes. That is exactly what I think. Police have discretion as to how, how often, against whom, and how rigorously they enforce minor code violations. If they are doing it in a manner that provably affects people of color more than others, they should look at their policies. That is a top-down issue that needs to be addressed.

    Well then you need to get to the lawmakers, not the law enforcers.

    I will absolutely oppose what you advocate for because it will result in more dead and injured cops second guessing themselves over which crime to ignore and which to address.  You are really advocating another form a racism here…. to say that blacks are more justifiably more sensitive because of the history of slavery and a general sense that they are discriminated against and so we need to ignore more offenses so as to not upset that particular group of people.

    You are advocating for a form of racial profiling.   Affirmative action policing.  Now that I understand what you and others want, I can easily say that it is a terrible idea.

    The better idea is to pull out so the cops don’t have to witness all those offenses.

    Or change the laws so nobody gets harassed for those minor offenses.

    1. Don Shor

      Absolutely. So remove all portable basketball hoops from streets and cul-de-sacs. Because they’re illegal. Immediately. Cite all homeowners who have them. Drive around and find them all, issue the tickets, make them pay the fines. Because they’re illegal. Or do you think the police should make better use of their time, even though that law is on the books?
      How about vegetable gardens in front yards. Did you know that in some communities, that’s a code offense? Let’s get the police to go around and cite all gardens that don’t comply. Make those owners pay the fines. Because it’s illegal. Or do you think the police should make better use of their time?
      I have a customer who received a notice from the Davis police that he had 30 days to prune his hedge off the sidewalk. It encroaches by six inches. If he didn’t comply, they would fine him, and the fines would escalate until he got the hedge pruned to comply with city code. Should the Davis police drive around and check hedges in every neighborhood? Or should they use their judgment about when to enforce this particular law?
      Police officers and departments everywhere make priorities about what to enforce and how. Your absolutism on this topic is selective and nonsensical. Your extension of that to accuse me of advocating “another form of racism” is more than nonsensical.

      1. Miwok

        While it was entertaining, Don and Frankly, this is why they need to rewrite the laws and ordinances. You cannot selectively enforce in Davis then argue you cannot in Ferguson.

        I would like to pull cops over for talking without hands free technology, but you will tell me they are exempt or something. If you cannot pass an ordinance or law that applies to everyone then it is not something  I want to obey either. Making it a law, means you are subservient to a cop who may or may not charge you, which is what Ferguson has.

        Hedges? Shouldn’t that be Code Enforcement? But then, they have not enforced codes in years. Half the houses in Davis would not be rented if they enforced codes.

      2. Frankly

        So are you advocating just allowing all people in MO to just walk down the middle of the streets, or only blacks?

        Backetball hoops and gardens are hardly in the same category. But you won’t get many arguments from me to eliminate all the stupid rules-to-live by so the cops don’t have to spend so much time enforcing them.

        Get rid of the rules, get rid of the laws.  If a cop ignores the kids walking down the middle of the street and one or more gets run over and severly injured or killed, then what?  Civil suit against the cop for failing to enforce the law?

        This really is a bunch of crap… demanding the cops basically ignore the law only to prevent hypersentive racial responses.  It is frankly astounding that smart people like yourself cannot seem to think this through.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          This is similar to LAUSD not enforcing basic interpersonal conduct / behavior for students because they didn’t like the rate of students referred to continuation school / dropout rate. So they’re giving them a slap on the wrist… only time will tell if the knuckleheads rule the roost. Does this mean we’ll soon have more citizens in the work force who lack basic norms of behavior, or just more unemployed / underemployed?

        2. David Greenwald

          “So are you advocating just allowing all people in MO to just walk down the middle of the streets, or only blacks?”

          You do realize that that’s not what’s happening, right? What’s happening is that the police see a person who is committing an infraction. In Davis, I often jaywalk because of where my office is compared to an alleyway, and police often see me and never say boo. Why? Because it’s not necessary. In Ferguson they were using that as an excuse to both rack up revenue for the city and to use it as a pretext to see if they could find something more serious. Is that a problem? Well when they are only doing it for one race, or disproportionately so, then yes. And btw, the report indicates that even controlling for disparate crime rates, the disproportionate stops for black held and when they did search blacks, they found them in possession of contraband or other violations of the law about 25 percent less frequently than whites. The police have discretion as to when and whether to enforce minor law violations and I have never seen a place that systematically enforces jaywalking.

        3. Don Shor

          65% of the population, 95% of the “walking” citations. Hm. Acknowledging that is a “hypersensitive racial response”? Do blacks in Ferguson walk differently? Do they violate the “walking” ordinance at a much higher rate than non-whites? Could you ever possibly see through the fog of your ideology to recognize there might possibly be some disparity in that rate of interaction with police and minorities there? Do cops ever do anything wrong in your world? Is there ever a difference in how races are treated in your world? Do members of ethnic minorities ever, in your world, have any basis for complaint about anything that happens to them? If there is a clear numerical pattern that has no other obvious explanation than disparate treatment, do those being disparately treated ever have any reason to complain about that in your world? Or should they just put up with it?

        4. TrueBlueDevil

          But you also didn’t address the Michael Brown scenario, where he was walking down the middle of the street with his homie, high as a kite on marijuana, and carrying a bag of pot. He wasn’t “jay walking”.

          ” ‘This amount of Delta-9-THC in Brown’s blood was more than twice the amount that in Washington State–where marijuana is legal–would allow someone to be arrested for driving under the influence.

          “ ‘Delta-9-THC detection in the blood defines impairment,” according to the report.
          “THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) “seriously impairs judgment and motor coordination,” according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).”

          http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/evidence-michael-brown-was-high-pot-and-carrying-bag-it

          Don, you throw a lot of questions our there. In Southern California, there are places where African Americans do the “strut” across major boulevards that takes so much time, few cars can even cross the intersection! It’s called culture, I don’t think the cops are perfect in Ferguson, but I also don’t think you’re likely to fess up to the anti-social behavior exhibited by many in the “underclass”. Erkel isn’t getting beefed.

          “If there is a clear numerical pattern that has no other obvious explanation than disparate treatment…” – but the problem is you rarely even consider those others items, David rarely considers those other items, it’s right to the race topic. I think it excites you in an odd way.

          1. Don Shor

            It’s called culture, I don’t think the cops are perfect in Ferguson, but I also don’t think you’re likely to fess up to the anti-social behavior exhibited by many in the “underclass”.

            Ah. So the reason 95% of the “walking” citations involve blacks is because they are anti-social. Got it.

            I think it excites you in an odd way.

            Please explain this comment.

    2. David Greenwald

      The problem is that a lot of police departments also recognize that what they are doing with the rigorous enforcement makes the police less rather than more safe. The Ferguson matter was not about safety but rather about revenue.

  9. TrueBlueDevil

    The Seattle Police Department has had a “consent decree” imposed on it by Eric Holder, had their police policies altered by Political Correctness / social scientists, and has spurred a lawsuit and a dramatic increase in crime.

    “Consent decree, de-policing.
     
    “ ‘Since Holder stepped in, crime is up 13% overall in Seattle. But it’s not just minor infractions. It’s the biggies — aggravated assaults up 14%, car theft up a whopping 44% and murders up 21%.
     
    “More than 120 Seattle police officers, detectives and sergeants have filed a lawsuit against Holder, claiming his de-biasing order has jeopardized their own safety.

    “The 80-page suit, filed in US District Court, contends the reforms have created “hesitation and paralysis” among officers, robbing them of their ability to make reasonable, split-second judgments in the line of duty.
     
    “There is evidence of a dramatic decrease in proactive police work to investigate and stop crime,” the suit says….”
     
    “…Social psychologist Lorie Fridell is credited with pioneering the “unconscious bias” theory in policing. … While she admits the link between blacks and crime is statistically strong — African-Americans commit 53% of all murders and are 10 times more likely to commit violent crimes than whites — she trains cops to resist that “stereotype.”
     
     
    http://nypost.com/2014/12/07/eric-holder-believes-all-cops-are-racists-targets-unconscious-bias/

    1. Frankly

      Very interesting TBD and not suprising.

      As a corporate manager for 30 years, there are a few things I know about employees and peak performance.  And one of those things is to be clear about what is expected in performance.  Get all wishy washy and you foment risk aversion.   You get employees that stop making good decisions and your get employees that stop making decisions all together.

    1. Miwok

      Thank you DP. I have been consulting a bit for the City of Vallejo and they have at least 6 or 8 people in that department, and a web site to file complaints or questions.

  10. Tia Will

    TBD

    Likewise, if Trayvon had run home, run back to the store, and not jumped a night street patrol and slam his head into the concrete, he still would be here.”

    You conveniently left out a few pieces of this story. As hpierce pointed out, a self appointed night street patrol. A self appointed night street patrol who went out armed with a gun. An armed self appointed night street patrol who was instructed by the police dispatcher that they had it and not to follow Trayvon.

    One thing is clearly true about that night. Trayvon and Zimmerman had equal rights to be out walking the street that night. But because one of them decided he should play policeman, Trayvon is dead. Zimmerman had just as much ability to walk away from the situation as Trayvon did and was in fact instructed to do so. So if you believe that Zimmerman had the right to stand his ground, why do you not believe that Trayvon had exactly the same right and was not exercising it out of fear of Zimmerman ? Why in your mind does the Hispanic self appointed “security” have the right to “stand his ground” while the black kid should “run away” ?

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      You conveniently leave out that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman!  He was the physical aggressor, he initiated the fight, he attacked Zimmerman. You leave out that he didn’t just confront him, or just pin him down… no, no, he broke his nose and was slamming his head into the concrete! You leave out that he had THC in his system. He didn’t throw 2 punches, knock him down, and then runaway.

      Tell me, doc, if Zimmerman didn’t have a gun, and he was being whupped and his head slammed into the ground, what kind of injuries could he expect to receive? Concussion, severe concussion, contusions, internal bleeding in the brain, he could be knocked unconscious, … coma? Even death? Who knows if he was knocked unconscious if Trayvon would kick his head in, step on his face, break a limb. We don’t know, do we? Hindsight is 20 / 20. The streets are not about “rights”, its about survival and street smarts. Trayvon sadly failed on 2 counts.

      I stumbled into a street fight video, and one of the world’s best cage fighters, Gracie (of the Gracie family fame of South America) comments about what went “right” and “wrong”. I think he asks the viewers, “How many street fights have I been in?” “Zero. How many have I walked away from? Eight, nine.” Walk away. If need be, runaway. I fear your quibbling and liberal moral relativism may sway young minds to be ‘bad a**es’ themselves to stand up to “racist” individuals when a far better choice is to exit the scene.

      I also find it extremely interesting that you now want to turn this into a brown-black racial issue, as if I am choosing the side of a Latino over a Black individual. Trust me, I could care less. On a tangental note, you have read me extol the numerous virtues of Dr. Ben Carson, an amazing nureo surgeon, who may run for President. Well, he made a stupid comment about homosexuality, prison, and choice, and I think it’s fair to say his chances just dropped to near zero. It has nothing to do with his skin tone, I still have the highest regard for him, he simply stepped in a giant pile of poo, the liberal press will never forget, and it highlights the difficulty in a non-politician running.

      1. Tia Will

        TBD

        You conveniently leave out that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman! “

        I certainly do not leave that out. I do not approve of the “stand you ground law” under which Zimmerman mounted his defense. I do not approve of physical violence at all. However, if you have a law that states that you have the right to defend yourself when you feel threatened, then it must apply equally to all. What I feel should have happened is that Zimmerman seeing someone he considered suspicious, should have called it in and then retreated to the safety of his home or car as instructed and awaited the arrival of the police.  Had he acted in this manner, Trayvon would not have had any reason to have to make the decision of whether to physically defend himself or to run away. If the law allows one person to fight to the death, then that same law should apply to anyone who feels they are threatened. The problem here is that only one individual survived to tell his side of the story.

        I also find it extremely interesting that you now want to turn this into a brown-black racial issue”

        I do not want to turn it into a black-brown racial issue. The races matter not at all to me in this circumstance. What I wrote was an accurate depiction of the physical characteristics and backgrounds of the individuals involved. I made no generalization at all based on their races. It is you who have done that because you of course “know” what a liberal must think. This was no more a “racism” based comment than you pointing out that Dr. Carson is black ( repetitively I would add).

        The streets are not about “rights”, its about survival and street smarts.”

        I do not think that we should concede to this kind of lawless attitude about our streets. I do believe that our society is about the defense of our rights. I do believe that the police have another function than to just “enforce the law”. I believe them when they say that their role is also to protect and defend. If you hold to this credo of survival and street smarts, you are advocating for a wild west scenario in which the person who has the largest weapon and the most suspicious mind rules the streets. Is that really the society you want to live in ?

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        At some point do we do the math? Did they want a shooting, probably not, though Jarrett (Obama’s brain), Obama, Holder, and Sharpton may be disciples of liberal icon Saul Alinsky (author of “Rules for Radicals“). There is a famous photo of Obama explaining one of Alinsky’s principles in a college classroom at a chalk board. I say “may” because since Alinsky is such an extreme figure, there is always a chance the photo was doctored. But Obama wasn’t really vetted before he ran for President, we knew very little about him, so who knows. I’m not saying he was born in Africa, but he is likely the least vetted POTUS in history. He wasn’t a Governor, he wasn’t a long-time Senator, he skated in at a young age due to Bush fatigue, disenchantment with Hillary Clinton, and other reasons.

        Holder has been riding Ferguson, and before that Trayvon Martin’s case where they both rendered judgement before they even had the facts … I believe Obama sent emissaries to the funeral of Michael Brown, who we know was high as a kite on THC and attacked a store clerk and tried to shoot an officer … his parents committed several felonies after the fact … but doesn’t meet Benjamin Netanyahu?

        This was the same Obama who, before he had any facts, said that the police at Harvard “acted stupidly” when they detained a black Harvard professor who got mouthy and belligerent.

        As part of all of this Ferguson / Soros funded protests, apparently there has been an encampment at the police department headquarters… I saw a police official comment on this late last night. He said this would not normally be allowed, it would be cleared out but wasn’t due to pressure. There are over 30 groups in the St. Louis area funded by Soros, millions of dollars spent stirring up negative emotions, this isn’t routine. The mainstream liberal media won’t report that.

        This is on top of the murder of two New York City police officers.

        I don’t recall shootings like this under Bush, under Clinton, even under Jimmy Carter.

        More proof tat Obama is a divider, not a uniter?

         

        1. Davis Progressive

          the problem with doing the math is that it requires more than a selective read.  you have an extremely partisan view of the world that i don’t think a lot of people share.  i haven’t been registered with a major political party in over 30 years.  your view of the history is fairly limited though and from what i can see, you tend to google right wing blogs to get it.

          so let’s fill out a more comprehensive view.

          in the 1960s, we saw a number of riots.  some of them like watts were precipitated by years of frustration and the rising tide of expectations not being met by reality.  there were also riots in response to the killing of mlk.

          the lawlessness of the period, plus mistakes by lbj in vietnam and the divided democratic party in 1968 led of course to nixon.  nixon was an interesting figure whose rhetoric was not always matched by politics.  he actually pushed through a lot of progressive legislation, he also unleashed the southern strategy which i think did two interesting things.  it ended the political fight over desegration, but it also shifted the debate from de jure racism to de facto.

          a huge surge in crime in the 1970s pushed the country to the right on the law and order spectrum.  we saw the war on drugs, the start of mass incarceration and a new form of policing efforts.  this important, because a lot of what we are seeing today, the groundwork was laid in the 70s and 80s.

          in the 80s we saw the huge escalation in the war on drugs and vigilante justice.

          that culminated in the laws like three strikes and worse in california that really were the crown jewels for mass incarceration.

          the 1992 riots in la were interesting because we saw the impact of police-minority interactions but instead of creating change, most people chalked it up to the pecularities of lapd.

          we have had a lot of little incidents between 1992 and now, but for the most part, i think it’s a ticking time bomb.

          the back drop here are:

          mass incarceration putting huge amounts of black people in particular behind bars at a time when crime rate has been dropping.
          a major recession.  the unemployment rate has finally fallen below 6% after what, six or seven years of down turn, but a recent report shows that black unemployment rates remain very high.
          policing efforts that create huge amounts of animosity in the minority community who for years have felt targeted
          a report from the doj that now justifies the belief that they are targeted
          several high profile incidents that have been poorly managed by authorities

          so you have all of these factors and huge statistics that have been pumped out in a report you haven’t read other than experts in the right wing blogosphere, and you want to blame the people who are complaining about these problems for someone finally losing it last night, it’s unbelievable.  obama is a divider because for the first time since i can remember he has an ag who at least isn’t turning a blind eye to it?  really.  i’m sorry, but i just don’t think you have enough appreciation for this issue.

           

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          Please, Obama had Camelot for 4 years. He lied (we all know that now) as he pushed through the largest Progressive legislation in 50 years, which a majority of Americans are now unhappy with. He ran the table. He had all three branches of government for 2 years, and also passed a massive “Stimulus” Bill that wasn’t. He was given a Noble Peace Prize for breathing.

          The fact that America’s Mayor questions his love of the country tells many something. Does every president really have to go around the world on an Apology Tour? Please, I think his emotional and intellectual development ended in college. Dr. Charles Krauthammer, a political commentator, has said that Obama is clearly a narcissist, probably a condition that has affected a number of our Presidents. 

          George Soros funding Ferguson protest groups is just a fact, same as the young Obama relying on Franklin Marhshall Davis as a trusted mentor and “wise man”.

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          DP: I haven’t been a member of a major political party in over 3 decades either, so you have no moral high ground there. But you clearly brand yourself “Davis Progressive”. I’ve probably seen as much or more real life on the ground inner city life than most, so I don’t write from marble-encrusted Capitol corridors. Yes there are pockets of racism, but it clearly isn’t the top issue, or even a top 5 issue in the black community. I think Larry Elder numbered it #17 in items affecting the black community.

          You are correct there were injustices in inner cities; there are also poor choices, and a social and familial fabric ripped apart by Progressive programs. You conveniently skip where the crime exposion came from, not thin air. The black family by and large survived slavery intact, but was ripped apart by liberal social programs and the 60s Drug Culture. Yes, there were “expectations” built by MLK and others, whereas those immigrant groups who came from the east coast or middle America were able to overcome hard times for a variety of reasons.

          Some argue that crack was the first drug trade controlled by African Americans which made a few wealthy, and devastated their community, hence the stiffer sentencing laws. Crack and drive by shootings brought a wave of horrific violence. I recall little vigilante justice. Three Strikes, Bill Clinton, and Rudy Giuliani crafted a plan focusing on the top 20 urban cities as a way to substantially reduce crime. There has been a substantial drop in violent crime, in particular murder, and tens of thousands of black male lives have been saved.

          John Rothman (Democrat, Presidential historian) says Nixon governed as a liberal. He signed affirmative action into law! See The Philadelphia Order and an explosion in black employment in the federal government.

          Rodney King was sad, lose, lose, lose. Obama has pumped $7 Trillion in hot checks, massively expanded the welfare state, gutted some of President Clinton’s welfare reforms, and still the economy sputters. We have fewer and fewer Americans working, and our President opens the floodgates to millions more illegal immigrants who now often chase African Americans out of their traditional neighborhoods in South Central Los Angeles with racist attacks, beatings, violence, and threats. (Your lingo and knowledge seems caught in 1985.) Formerly middle class blue collar jobs are down making a fraction of the wage, rarely with benefits. Meanwhile both sides of the isle bring in more H1B Visa workers to depress wages and opportunities on the other end.

          Isn’t it convenient how the white liberals and media avoid these brown-on-black issues? I think they just want the votes and power, and treat in a patronizing manner.

          A large majority of inner city crime is black-on-black, which removes the supposed racial element. It is often white officers that are called into these violent caldrons to clean up the mess. Never-ending Progressive policies have chased good-paying middle class jobs to Mexico, China, Honduras, or driven them out of business all together, and then the people who destroyed said jobs and school systems ask us to hand them the keys again.

        4. Davis Progressive

          i find it interesting, you claim that your not a member of a major political party and yet, every post is obama this, clinton that.  my point was not to achieve moral ground, but rather to have a discussion rather than a litany of character attacks on politicians which i find uninteresting and boring to be hoenst with you.

           

          in your long diatribe, you completely ignored the core of my point which has nothing to do with racism and everything to do with why you see a large amount of frustration in the black community.

           

          so i’m largely done discussing things with you, as there can be no discussion with you.  you simply spout off on things that you really don’t understand with know knowledge or context.

        5. TrueBlueDevil

          Yet you don’t have the honesty to say where these drugs or massive increase in violent crime came from. You just want to condemn the police (called in to clean it up) or explain why the citizens feel frustrated (which I understand), giving them half answers at best, and play The Card.

    1. Barack Palin

      got what they again wanted, two police officers have been shot in Ferguson

      It’s going too far to say that “Al Sharpton / Eric Holder / George Soros wing of the Progressive Party” got what they wanted, but they all are definitely complicit in these officers shootings for stoking the hatred in Ferguson.

          1. David Greenwald

            I think it’s unlikely. Moreover, it’s not people in Ferguson really need to be agitated, there is a lot of pent up anger and now we see why. I think if police are concerned about their safety, one of the ways to make them less safe is to continue these kinds of practices.

        1. Barack Palin

          I think it’s unlikely.

          Really?  Are you saying that blacks don’t follow the news?  I can’t understand why you would ever make a statement like that.  It’s news all over the world but huge news if you live in Ferguson.

          1. David Greenwald

            Interesting. I said, “You think the person who shot those officers was watching the news?” You responded, “Really? Are you saying that blacks don’t follow the news?” Most likely one person shot the officers, at most two. But you’re holding “blacks” responsible for the shooting, collectively?

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          I guess we’ve learned that people in Ferguson don’t read the news. I figure they catch it via the late-night joke readers (aka comedians) and on their iPhones.

        3. Barack Palin

          I guess we’ve learned that people in Ferguson don’t read the news.

          Yes TBD.  This isn’t the first time I’ve read this on here.  Liberals would have you believe when people get all riled up and know exactly when, where and why they are going to protest or riot it has nothing to do from them getting their information from the news.

        4. Davis Progressive

          the problem that you have is look at the initial response to the shooting.  on august 9, the incident happens.  already, neighbors are angered because the body remained on the street for hours after the shooting.  the next day, there is a candlelight vigil, people protesting the shooting end up starting nights of riots.  at this point, no one that you accuse of instigating has said a word.  so the anger is not coming from national sources, it came locally.

        5. Barack Palin

          Baloney, the DOJ report caused the protesting in front of the police station which was a national story.  I don’t understand why you two push that people in Ferguson don’t follow the news.  Does that have something to do with most of them being black in your eyes?

  11. tribeUSA

    I’d bet the former Ferguson police chief is relieved that he resigned; regardless of whether or not this latest double shooting of police had occurred; the DOJ report together with the stance taken by the feds, all the way up to Holder and Obama, is certainly going to make policing in Ferguson somewhat of a challenge, at least in the near term.

  12. Tia Will

    It is very interesting to me that we have wrong doing on the part of Michael Garner clearly documented on video.

    We have wrong doing in the form of corrupt practices by members of the police and judicial system in Ferguson.

    And we have a group of posters here who claim that they stand for equal application of the law and for enforcement of those laws. Some of these same posters want to implicate Sharpton, Holder and Soros for the shooting of these two officers or even for making policing more difficult in Ferguson.

    What happened to individual respect for and adherence to the law? What happened to taking responsibility and accepting the consequences of ones own actions?

    It is clear to me that shooting police officers engaged in their lawful duties is wrong in and of itself. Why do these posters want to place the blame on someone other than the shooter himself ?  Could it be that they make this claim as a poorly aimed political jab at those with whom they disagree ?

    So it would seem that if there is an unjustified shooting such as the stairwell shooting or that of the 12 year old, then that is just a rogue cop, or one bad apple, or the momentary use of bad judgment or acting with incomplete information. But if a police officer is shot in the line of duty it must be because of some left wing malfeasance …….really ?

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      There is a long history here (see above) that you ignore.

      They knew the “Hands up, don’t Shoot” was a lie, and they did nothing to stop it. They don’t meet with reasonable people, they confab with charlatan Al Sharpton and George Soros. They don’t urge calmness, Eric Holder after his announcement that he would leave office urges young people to read Malcom X. They didn’t stop these lies or this false narrative. This whole thing became a political tool.

      Now they find the officer is innocent of all charges, so they unfurl a second report of over 80 pages to smear the department. Don’t get me wrong, there are some troubling issues in that report … and there items which aren’t. They told them they were going to give them something, and they gave them something.

      We didn’t have shootings like this under Carter, Clinton, or Bush, did we?

      1. Tia Will

        TBD

        We didn’t have shootings like this under Carter, Clinton, or Bush, did we?”

        I think the answer to your question depends on what you mean by “like this” ? We have in this country a long litany of violence that has occurred in association with riots. A brief summary as found on Wikipedia

         

        Post Civil Rights Era: 1978 to today[edit]

        I arbitrarily started the list with 1965 because the Watts riots are the first that I remember clearly. I am quite sure that police were injured in at least some of these riots. And I am quite sure that based on the dates, there were a number of different Presidents in office at the time of these violent activities.  I think there is a lot more involved here than the “blame the political left” narrative that you are so wedded to.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          You seem to have misinterpreted or misread my intent. When I wrote “We didn’t have shootings like this under Carter, Clinton, or Bush, did we?”, I was talking about an ambush of police officers during a time of relative peace. (There was no riot in progress.)

          Just like we had two police officers gunned down recently in New York, some argue after demagoguery by Obama, Holder, De Blasio and Sharpton.

          1. Don Shor

            Your numbers are wrong. Your accusations are wrong. Your whole premise of blaming the President, Attorney General, Mayor of New York, and various others is simply a false narrative that says more about you than about the facts of the situation.
            This was an ambush attack on the police in Ferguson. The perpetrators are unknown. You are making assumptions and making wild accusations against politicians that you happen to despise.

            Please review the charts and data in this article. http://www.vox.com/2014/12/22/7430943/police-killed-statistics

            Felonious killings of police officers have varied over the years, with an average of 55 killed per year. Per capita killings have declined slightly over the years. Ambush killings are about 22% of the total number of felonious killings of police officers.
            We did have shootings like this under all recent presidents. There has been no increase in those shootings under President Obama. Your assertions are unfounded. Your comments on this thread have been outrageous.

  13. TrueBlueDevil

    President Obama knew the evidence was overwhelmingly in favor of Officer Wilson. There were 12 witnesses (many we’re told are black) who corroborated the officer’s version of events. Yet Obama labeled grievances after the decision “legitimate”, and Time Magazine had a cover that read “Ferguson: In Defense of Rioting”. Ironically and sadly, in this search for vengeance, the majority of the businesses burned down were owned by minorities.

  14. Davis Progressive

    that’s why you should never use an iphone voice recognition to post a comment. does anyone else get blank lines when they try to post with a mobile?

  15. Don Shor

    [moderator] I have pulled a number of posts. The topic is Ferguson police department and the DOJ report. Comments, though tangentially related to that, have veered off course. Please try to stick to that topic. Thanks.

  16. TrueBlueDevil

    Now AG Eric Holder has called the shooter / shooters “punks”. Sounds like he is trying to cover for his previous demagogue behavior.

    BTW, Brown laid in the street for four hours because they had to photograph and document the crime scene.

  17. David Greenwald

    It sounds like Holder’s reaction is similar to mine. Critical of Ferguson but bothered by violent reaction to it. I’m bothered by your rhetoric in the last day or so.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      I think if one wants to analyze society and police behavior, the Eric Garner case on Staten Island is a much better place to start. Even that case is complex, police followed procedures (supposedly), and the supervising onsite Sargent was an African American woman. Along with that sad case, watch a few video clips of police officers getting beaten on the side of the highway when they don’t follow protocol to bring some balance to the discussion. Add in  a few videos of citizens who are the victims of inner city crime.

      Progressives seem to jump on the worst cases – like Trayvon or Michael Brown – that they think fits a narrative. It gets old. And then the response, even here, has been “Well, isn’t it good to still have the discussion?” No, not when it is patently false. One of the many tragic consequences of these endless discussions are that people that used to have open minds, now basically feel like it is a crying wolf syndrome. True insight is lost, and numerous worthy and worthwhile discussions never happen because the Left is so utterly obsessed with race.

      Last night a fellow poster assumed that I was backing Zimmerman over Martin because one is brown, and the other black. I guess the idea that the physical aggressor who slammed a citizens head into the pavement met an unfortunate death never crossed her mind. I have counseled young people numerous times – walk away. Run away! I really worry that these political discussions and grievance confabs gins up some young people to be confrontational with the police. Add is some ganja, add in a few beers, stoke the flames, get them at a protest rally … and what tragic things could happen?

      One of the interesting items that pops up again and again is that THC has been found in high amounts in many of these combatants / law breakers. Daniel Marsh, Trayvon Martin, and now Michael Brown. I know this topic is not politically correct for the Left as they see pot as “harmless”, even given recent medical studies and the advent of “dabbing” or “wax” ups the toxicity of the game.

      If you want a provocative video on this topic – Ferguson, the police, the military police state – here is one for you that fits neither narrative. I don’t agree with everything, but at least it is a real discussion with input from multiple viewpoints.

      What They’re Not Telling You About Race Riots

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=serhXCQbFfU

       

  18. Tia Will

    Last night a fellow poster assumed that I was backing Zimmerman over Martin because one is brown, and the other black. I guess the idea that the physical aggressor who slammed a citizens head into the pavement met an unfortunate death never crossed her mind. I have counseled young people numerous times – walk away. Run away! I really worry that these political discussions and grievance confabs gins up some young people to be confrontational with the police. Add is some ganja, add in a few beers, stoke the flames, get them at a protest rally … and what tragic things could happen?”

    As the cited fellow poster, I would like to set a few things straight.

    1. I made no assumption regarding why you backed Zimmerman. I merely pointed out that you had, and also in the same post I correctly identified the two men by their racial origins. Anything else was your interpretation.

    2. It has certainly crossed my mmd that there was aggression on the part of Martin. I just happened to feel that it came after the aggression started by Zimmerman in the form of stalking or following in a threatening manner which he had been instructed not to do. Now I don’t care to speculate whether or not you would find being obviously followed threatening, but I most certainly would. So if I had physically assaulted Zimmerman because I was afraid of him, how would that not have been within my rights according to the “stand your ground law” ?

    3. It really doesn’t matter what you or I have counseled others to do. What matters is the law which should apply equally to Zimmerman and to Martin. And while we are on the subject of following wise counsel, Zimmerman was counseled not to follow Martin and chose not to obey. Zimmerman was not a member of the police, nor was he acting on official police business. He was a citizen, just as was Martin with exactly the same rights and responsibilities.

  19. Barack Palin

    A black man who had been demonstrating in front of the Ferguson police department has been taken into custody for the shootings of the two cops.  It’s time for Holder and the FBI to get right on this.

  20. hpierce

    Curious… were Federal Laws violated?  Were the officers’ “civil rights” violated?  Looks to me like a “crime” where the City, County, State LEO’s have (and SHOULD have) jurisdiction.  Cheap shot (and kinda’ dumb), BP. [IMO]

    1. Barack Palin

      The officers were shot during a demonstration involving race so yes one might say their civil rights were violated.  Should the feds have gotten involved in Michael Brown’s shooting or should that have been handled by local authorities since no laws were broken?  Maybe in the future hpierce you should think before you respond, because your retort came off as obtuse.  [IMO]

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