Wednesday, November 26, 2014

So much for a nice pre-Thanksgiving post.

I've left the video here to illustrate the stark contrast between cultural and social desires and reality, Enjoy.


Had I the time and the appropriate editing software I'd have treated you with scenes of the Ferguson riots set to the music featured above.

1.  The standard for obtaining an indictment from a Grand Jury is probable cause.  Here's a pleasant or unpleasant fact for you dependent upon your point of view;  If you can't obtain an indictment there is no way in hell you are going to obtain a conviction to the standard of "beyond reasonable doubt".  Let's not mince words though, we all know what the rioters of Ferguson want is a lynching, anything less than hanging Darren Wilson from the old oak tree is just not going to satisfy the crowd.

2.  I have an hour commute each morning and have been spending it cycling through the following talk stations: POTUS, Patriot, Urban View, and Progressive on Sirius.  I'd like to address a comment I heard many times on three of the four stations.  "Mike Brown didn't deserve to die for stealing a handful of cigars".

HELLO! Back the cart up Hoss... Mike Brown didn't die for stealing a handful of cigars, he was stopped for walking in the street and possibly, stealing a handful of cigars.  Mike Brown died for assaulting a police officer.  Now whether or not you consider that justifiable given the evidence released is up to you.

3.  Mike Brown is a symptom of a bigger problem and a catalyst for what is going on right now.   It's a multifaceted problem with everything from the Gangsta subculture to the Police subculture at fault.  It's also a "racial problem", but perhaps not in the way you think.  I've known a lot of cops over the years and there are pretty much only two races: Cops and Civilians. I'm not convinced that if Mike Brown was an 18 year old six foot five 290 pound white kid that came through the window of a patrol vehicle and wrestled for the officers gun things would have turned out any differently.

One of the problems is the way the majority of police interact with the community, most cops interact with three kinds of people: Cops, Victims, and Perps.  They live in different neighborhoods, hang out with other cops, and spend life fairly isolated in patrol cars from the community that they serve.  Until we change the way our police do business, and the federal government isn't helping by militarizing them, nothing is going to change, if anything it is going to get worse. We need to get the police out of their cars, at least in urban areas, and onto the streets and interacting with the community in general on a regular basis.  Cops need a regular assigned neighborhood, need to get to know the people in their neighborhoods and the people need to get to know them.

4. There is a trust issue between the police and the black community.  I got news for you, I'm an upper-middle class middle-aged white guy and there is a trust issue between the police and the white community also.  Understandably, the issues between the police and the two communities are not currently the same, but give it time, I'm sure we'll eventually get there. 

5.  The law enforcement response in Ferguson was incompetent.  While I can sort of understand the rational for initially maintaining a low police presence as to not inflame the situation, we can all see, and hindsight is 20/20, how that worked out.  Maintaining the police in a mass military formation like a phalanx of Hoplites was also stupid (although I do understand that it maximizes police safety).  The police should have been stationed at the store Mike Brown robbed, at the business that had been previously been looted, and stationed in pairs along the street at regular intervals, close enough to support one another but far enough apart to provide general coverage.  Having 200 cops in tight formation controls no more territory than a smaller group could.

What do you think?

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