Yesterday, the anger in Ferguson spiked after the police chief came forward with his continued refusal to release the name of the officer who shot Mike Brown. “The officer required protection after numerous death threats had been made,” he said; in the meantime the nightmarishly militarized police force keeps their heavy firearms trained Most Dangerous Game-closely on the demonstrators who more than anything just want someone to be held accountable for killing an unarmed kid.
From the New Yorker, about those tanks and that body armor: “In many instances, the receipt of these military-grade weapons is contingent on their use within a calendar year.” Adam Serwer writes at MSNBC, “It is possible that, since 9/11, police militarization has massacred more American schoolchildren than any al-Qaida terrorist.” People in Gaza, recognizing the same tear gas canisters in pictures, have tweeted their advice.
From the New York Times: “On Wednesday, the St. Louis County medical examiner’s office said it would take two to three weeks to complete the autopsy of Mr. Brown, including a toxicology report, which is standard procedure in such deaths.”
A casual two to three weeks to find out how many times the officer shot him! The police department also has recourse to continue withholding the name of the officer, requiring the ACLU and National Bar Association (who have filed information requests) to sue.
Here’s a Pew study on racial perceptions of fair treatment: 70% of black people say that black people are treated less fairly by the police; 37% of white people agree. From Serwer’s MSNBC piece: “Nerves fray when policing comes up precisely because that image of racial innocence is hard to maintain in the face of stark disparities. White men walk into department stores carrying real guns and walk out unmolested, while a black man with a toy gun is shot dead.”
The police in this case seem to be deploying a sort of equal-opportunity unfairness, anyway.
Oh, and of course, the reporters arrested for using their computers inside McDonalds and processed very leave-no-traces illegally and then let go. “The chief thought he was doing you two a favor,” quotes Wesley Lowery.
I’m still right here on it. No one would riot for less. I believe that people are the same everywhere; either you believe the black community in Ferguson is kin to you or you don’t.
Just now: Anonymous released the name of the officer.