The City of Ferguson is exploring some serious changes to their police force. Most notably, police officers may soon be wearing cameras on their vests so all acts will be recorded…
The city will also work to rebuild the business district, as many shops have been looted, and others have boarded up their windows in preparation. They will also work to increase the number of African American officers on their police force, as the predominantly African American population of Ferguson has a predominantly white police force.
The policeman who shot dead a black teenager in St Louis has revealed he is under 24-hour guard and ‘can’t go out’ at this ‘stressful time’ in his first comments since the killing.
Darren Wilson text messaged a close friend to say that he can’t leave protective custody because he would be immediately recognized – making him and his young child a target…
Shepard told MailOnline: ‘People are very suspicious of law enforcement as it is and something like this happens you will always be remembered as the cop who murdered Mike Brown, regardless of what happens at trial or if he’s ever charged or fired.
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE: The police have every right to be able to defend themselves and to protect themselves and to be able to leave their house in the morning knowing that they have the appropriate and best equipment out there. We have asked them to do a really difficult job, so I’m not going to second guess, if that’s what they think they need. Don’t go out and commit crimes!…
Imagine if they didn’t have some of this protection. Maybe it would have been even worse in Ferguson!
It was ridiculous and wrong for police snipers to train their weapons on peaceful protestors in Ferguson. But, when you get right down to it, the militarization of police has had basically nothing to do with events there, even though the Left and parts of the Right have wanted to make that the main issue…
We’ve seen some witless heavy-handedness on the part of the cops, for instance the arrests of a couple of reporters at the McDonald’s last week. But some perspective: Cops were perfectly capable of being heavy-handed long before anyone gave them surplus military equipment. The scenario in that McDonald’s would probably have been exactly the same whether or not there were armored vehicles outside on the street or not.
Finally, there’s the argument that the militarized police were inciting the crowd. This wasn’t entirely implausible, although it seemed unlikely because it should be possible for lawful, well-intentioned people to restrain themselves from throwing things at cops whose uniforms and vehicles they don’t like. Sure enough, after a night of calm in the wake of the “demilitarization” of the police response and the insertion of Captain Ron Johnson, the lawlessness started right up again.
And yet, even Ray Kelly thinks police in Ferguson, Missouri, have gone way too far in their handling of the turmoil after the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson last week.
“The toothpaste is out of the tube here,” Kelly told Bloomberg News. “There’s lots of things that should have been done differently, and you have to live with them.”
The department’s first major misstep, Kelly said, was not immediately releasing all of the information surrounding Brown’s death. Telling the public what happened “certainly has the potential for quelling or lessening disturbances,” Kelly said. “You tell them what you know and tell them what you don’t know, rather than dribbling it out.”
Kelly also said it was “mind-boggling” that the Ferguson Police Department has 50 white police officers and just three black police officers in a town that’s nearly 70 percent black.
Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?…
[I]f you believe (or know) that the cop stopping you is violating your rights or is acting like a bully, I guarantee that the situation will not become easier if you show your anger and resentment. Worse, initiating a physical confrontation is a sure recipe for getting hurt. Police are legally permitted to use deadly force when they assess a serious threat to their or someone else’s life. Save your anger for later, and channel it appropriately. Do what the officer tells you to and it will end safely for both of you. We have a justice system in which you are presumed innocent; if a cop can do his or her job unmolested, that system can run its course. Later, you can ask for a supervisor, lodge a complaint or contact civil rights organizations if you believe your rights were violated. Feel free to sue the police! Just don’t challenge a cop during a stop.
An average person cannot comprehend the risks and has no true understanding of a cop’s job. Hollywood and television stereotypes of the police are cartoons in which fearless super cops singlehandedly defeat dozens of thugs, shooting guns out of their hands. Real life is different. An average cop is always concerned with his or her safety and tries to control every encounter. That is how we are trained. While most citizens are courteous and law abiding, the subset of people we generally interact with everyday are not the genteel types. You don’t know what is in my mind when I stop you. Did I just get a radio call of a shooting moments ago? Am I looking for a murderer or an armed fugitive? For you, this might be a “simple” traffic stop, for me each traffic stop is a potentially dangerous encounter. Show some empathy for an officer’s safety concerns. Don’t make our job more difficult than it already is.
But you don’t have to have an armored vehicle to be a jerk and a danger to the public. If you have the attitude that you are owed deference and instant obedience by the people around you, and that you are justified in using violence against them if they don’t comply, we already have a problem. That’s especially true if official institutions back you up, which they do.
If you really think that everybody else should “just do what I tell you,” you’re wearing the wrong uniform in the wrong country. And if you really can’t function with some give and take—a few nasty names, a little argument—of the sort that people in all sorts of jobs put up with every damned day, do us all a favor: quit.
The law enforcement problem in this country goes well beyond boys with toys. It’s much deeper, and needs to be torn out by the roots.
Asked by Lemon if the police in Ferguson are getting a “bad rap” by the media, Johnson said, “They are getting a bad rap” because they are just trying to bring “peace” and “justice” to the city.