DS Wright has covered the war on citizens citizen assemblies and the press in Ferguson, MO here, so I’ll be able to skip that for the most part. His commentariat have brought many useful and provocative links, as well.
Please add what you saw, either through following the LiveStreams, or #Ferguson or related accounts. At some national reporters were on the scene, some arrested for filming the militarized police, some pepper-sprayed and shot with rubber bullets. Let’s hope that their personal experiences will translate into wider coverage of what citizens are up against: a fascist police state run amok, avoiding making themselves the story, eh? And let’s hope that their collective reporting contextualizes the larger issues, as in Colonization 2.0 and the increased use of Defense Department military weapons, armored vehicles, sound cannons, etc., killing citizens without due process with overwhelming impunity, as well as the following.
The Real News did an interview with Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report yesterday: “Understanding the Ferguson Uprising in the Context of Mass Incarceration”
The transcript can be found here.
One of the most tragic statistics that Kali Akuno quoted was this:
‘….roughly about 40 percent if you add it all up, were folks whose basically family members or they themselves were in some form of distress and called the police seeking aid for someone who was disturbed, off their medication, dealing with some health issues or health-related crisis.’
How many times have we read of exactly that? Even in personal experiences related on these boards? Too many.
I wrote about Operation Ghetto Storm back in 2013 and attempted to show the methodology and categories they used for their claim that ‘in 2012, blacks were killed extra-judiciously on average, every 28 hours. What might the 2014 numbers look like, or indeed for Latinos, First Americans, the homeless and mentally ill as well (including veterans, of course)?
“The report, authored by Arlene Eisen of the Malcolm X Solidarity Committee, is 130 pages long; 29 are text, photos, and graphics, Memorial pages. The remaining pages are charts identifying the dead with photos, locations, armed or not, mental health issues, self-medicating issues or not, police report claims and alleged circumstances, then additional comments pertaining to dissenting eye-witness claims, investigations yielding X effects or ongoing ones, etc. The author/s had a separate column for ‘Was excessive force used’; for each person there was either a Yes or a No given. This chart shows that by their reckoning, in 12% of the incidents, the answer was NO.”
But yes; think of James Boyd, homeless and mentally ill, executed in the hills above ABQ; Kelly Thomas, homeless and mentally ill, beaten death by cops in Fullterton, Ca, or a host of others who weren’t of color, but easy targets for evil cops.
Ford’s belief that were Ferguson to have all black cops not necessarily being a solution to the over-arching problem may not sit well with some folks, but his argument that its the system itself is compelling, especially given that we know some black cops have been guilty of dark deeds as well.
Nola.com has coverage of this event yesterday: ‘Officer shoots 2nd man near site of Michael Brown protests in Ferguson, Missouri’, although the initial reports are sketchy, and the man may still be alive, this I found very interesting (aside from the various community plans for peaceful protests):
‘The fullest account of Brown’s death so far has come from Dorian Johnson, who said he was walking home with Brown when they were approached by an officer in a squad car who ordered them to move to the sidewalk. Johnson told news crews that he and Brown kept walking and the officer then reversed his car “to where it almost hit us.”
The officer, Johnson said, tried to open his door, but it “ricocheted” back. Johnson said the officer reached through the window, “grabbed my friend around the neck” and tried to pull him into the car. The officer then reportedly pulled out his weapon and said, “‘I’ll shoot you,’ or ‘I’m going to shoot,'” Johnson said.
When the officer opened fire, Brown was hit, said Johnson, who hid behind a car. Brown kept running, Johnson said. Johnson said the officer pursued Brown and fired again. When Brown felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air and started to get down on the ground. The officer kept firing, Johnson said.
Police have said there is no security or police video of the confrontation.’
But whoosh and double whoosh; another murder by cop in LA. 25-year old Ezell Ford was shot and killed by LAPD cops on Aug. 11. Members of his family said Tuesday that he was complying with police orders when he was fatally shot by LAPD officers in the Florence neighborhood South Los Angeles.
‘Patrol officers had “conducted an investigative stop” in the 200 block of 65th Street, and “during the stop a struggle ensued” and police opened fire, an LAPD news release issued midmorning Tuesday stated.
The man was transported to a hospital where he underwent surgery, according to Officer Sara Faden, spokeswoman for the LAPD. He later succumbed to his injuries, police confirmed.
Police were being tight-lipped with details about the incident because of a “gathering” at the scene of the shooting, Imaizumi said.
It was unknown if the “suspect” had any gang affiliations, police said in the news release.’
Civil rights leaders called for a meeting with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck over Ford’s shooting, according to Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson.
“The killing of Ezell Ford — coming on the heels of the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson, Missouri — again raises the issue and problem of tense police-community relations,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “This is the sole reason we have called for a meeting … to get all the facts in the shooting and for assurances that the shooting will be subject to the most rigorous review to determine if there was any wrongdoing in Ford’s death.”
‘Tense’; one might say that….
From Dominican News:
From the lessons we’ve learned so far from Oakland and Albuquerque, it’s going to take unrelentling and ever-growing citizen activism to stop the killings and illegal arrests and incarcerations. Churches must become more heavily involved (social gospel), and much more than bullshit lip service from the political class. Didn’t Eric Holder ask the FBI to investigate whether or not Michael Brown’s civil rights might have been abrogated? Zounds; what about his right to not be executed for nothing?
Stop the blood! Stop the carnage! We want a democracy, and demand our Constitutional rights!
Yes; Ferguson is getting lots of media attention. Let it be good coverage. Obomba just weighed in: “”Important to remember to how this started. We lost a young man, Michael Brown. In heartbreaking and tragic circumstances.”
(cross-posted at My.firedoglake.com)