We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day… that was posted today :-P

So, when the police are dressed like combat troops, it’s not a fashion faux pas, it’s a fundamental misunderstanding of who they are. Forget the armored vehicles with the gun turrets, forget the faceless, helmeted, anonymous Robocops, and just listen to how these “policemen” talk. Look at the video as they’re arresting the New York Times and Huffington Post reporters. Watch the St Louis County deputy ordering everyone to leave, and then adding: “This is not up for discussion.”

Really? You’re a constable. You may be carrying on like the military commander of an occupying army faced with a rabble of revolting natives, but in the end you’re a constable. And the fact that you and your colleagues in that McDonald’s are comfortable speaking to your fellow citizens like this is part of the problem. The most important of the “nine principles of good policing” (formulated by the first two commissioners of the Metropolitan Police in 1829 and thereafter issued to every officer joining the force) is a very simple one: The police are the public and the public are the police. Not in Ferguson. Long before the teargassing begins and the bullets start flying, the way these guys talk is the first indication of how the remorseless militarization has corroded the soul of American policing.

Which brings us back to the death of Michael Brown. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that everything the police say about this incident is correct. In that case, whether or not the fatal shooting of Mr Brown is a crime, it’s certainly a mistake. When an unarmed shoplifter in T-shirt and shorts with a five-buck cigar box in one hand has to be shot dead, you’re doing it wrong.

- Mark Steyn

113 comments to Samizdata quote of the day… that was posted today :-P

  • Snorri Godhi

    Sorry, but the quote for today has already been claimed:
    http://www.samizdata.net/2014/08/samizdata-quote-of-the-day-after-tomorrow/

  • Bob sykes

    This is the quote of the day:

    Go over to Fred on Everything

    http://www.fredoneverything.ne

    and read his current post. An excerpt follows:

    “We need to realize, but will not, that blacks are a separate people, self-aware and cohesive. They have their own dialect, music, and modes of dress, which they value. They name their kids LaToya and Keeshawn instead of Robert and Carol because they want to maintain a distance from whites.

    “The races spring from utterly different cultures. Compulsory integration is thus a form of social imperialism in which whites try to force blacks to conform to European norms. Blacks have no historical connection at all to Greece, Rome, the Old Testament Hebrews, Christianity, the Middle Ages, the Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, to Newton, LaGrange, or Galois, to the philosophic tradition of Thales, Aquinas, Schopenhauer, or Hegel. Nor do Eurowhites have roots in Africa. No commonality exists.”

    Fred is a former urban cop now living in Mexico.

  • He is right that many black American communities are a separate people, self-aware and not so sure about the cohesive bit.

    And I would say that Fred has why that is totally, utterly and completely wrong. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Africa vs. Greece, Rome, the Old Testament Hebrews, Christianity, the Middle Ages, the Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, etc, etc, etc… Nothing whatsoever. Not even slightly.

    The true cultural Imperialism has been to use the regulatory welfare state to create virtual reservations from what in the 1950′s were starting to be aspirational communities, turning them into essential vote-farms of domesticated livestock fed with silage of government largesse. If it was down to some magical link to Africa, then there would not be widespread integration (and widespread miscegenation with non-blacks) in any other countries like, say, Britain, right? Yet there is. Are there racial problems in the UK? Sure, but compared to the USA it seems rather less of an issue (and I am being rather diplomatic). So what does ‘Africa’ have to do with anything? I was introduced to Hayek by a Jamaican who I suspect would have hard pressed to name the capital city of 5 sub-Saharan African countries and wished he was not stuck playing Othello, even if he understood why he was without rancour.

  • I was introduced to Hayek by a Jamaican who I suspect would have hard pressed to name the capital city of 5 sub-Saharan African countries and wished he was not stuck playing Othello, even if he understood why he was without rancour.

    OK, you must expand on that bit…:-)

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Steyn misses the point: the police are the occupying army of the government. They are doing ‘it’ exactly right.

    The only comforting fact is that ultimately, they are outnumbered and surrounded.

  • He was a Thespian and very into The Bard, but always ended up playing Othello. He later branched out into playing Bottom as well :-D

  • Gareth

    From the article:

    So we have an officer who sees two young men, unwanted for any crime, walking down the middle of the street and stops his cruiser.

    The policeman might not have known about the robbery at that moment but if it was Michael Brown who did it, then Brown would know and it would have informed his behaviour towards the policeman.

  • Jacob

    There is no justification for violent destruction of private property by demonstrators. The police’s job is to stop this, it doesn’t matter if they use armored cars or teargas. If armor protects policemen from being hurt or killed by rioters – then it’s use is justified.
    Everyone is entitled to protest all he wants, but not to use violence, not to break into shops and destroy property.
    Violent protests are unacceptable – the color of the protesters doesn’t matter at all, neither whether they are African or Greek or whatever (Muslims).

    If a police officer did something wrong (the original killing) he must be investigated and tried if need be. If the police’s attitude is wrong, they need to be re-educated. It doesn’t justify riots, in which third parties (shop owners) are castigated.
    The police is justified in using whatever force it takes to stop the riots.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    ‘Fred’ is spouting facile nonsense. My Scandinavian ancestors (and a primitive, tribal lot they were) had damn all to do with, say, ancient Greece until someone told them about it, and my very African-American wife is as much a product of Greek culture as I am. Moreso, since classical Greek given names were a staple in black families a few generations ago. Our culture comes from where we grow up, not where our ancestors did.

    The present cultural segregation of American blacks is a product of a culture of victimization, sold to them by self-interested ethnic and political leaders who need a small pond to frog it over, or to use as a reservoir of votes. The wickedness of white dominance has been replaced, deliberately, with the even greater wickedness of black self-pity.

  • Perry: but how was he introduced to Hayek?…

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Jacob
    August 16, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    There is no justification for violent destruction of private property by demonstrators.

    Let’s not assume, without further evidence, that the looters and the protesters are the same people.

  • As to Fred’s remark, I’d just direct his attention to such lily-white individuals as are listed here.

  • Perry: but how was he introduced to Hayek?…

    A good question to which I do not have a good answer. I really do not know. His folks could afford to send him to a Public (i.e. Private) school in the UK and he was a voracious reader of books, so maybe he introduced himself. But I am guessing. But the fact remains a Jamaican pointed out the economics we were being taught at an expensive school was gibberish and it was he who showed me something that actually made sense.

    The present cultural segregation of American blacks is a product of a culture of victimization, sold to them by self-interested ethnic and political leaders who need a small pond to frog it over, or to use as a reservoir of votes. The wickedness of white dominance has been replaced, deliberately, with the even greater wickedness of black self-pity.

    I agree completely.

    Let’s not assume, without further evidence, that the looters and the protesters are the same people.

    Wise words. Maybe yes, maybe no, but it is very dangerous to just assume they are one and the same without evidence.

  • So here we have a group of people who are utterly dependent on the welfare state, have consistently voted for an expansion of government, vote en masse for Democrats who promise them more goodies paid for by somebody else, and cheered the arrival of a President who promised to expand these programmes yet further and reinforce the view that they are helpless victims.

    And now they’ve run up against agents of that very same state who, as anyone intelligent realised all along, hold them in utter contempt to the point they gun them down with impunity.

    My question is: what the hell did they think was going to happen? What did they think was going to be the outcome of a greater and more invasive state? Light-handed, community policing?

    Actually, they didn’t think: they saw the goodies and voted for more. And now they’re paying the price. Not that I have the slightest confidence a single one of those protesters will wake up tomorrow thinking “Y’know, maybe we shouldn’t give the government so much power…”

  • Not that I have the slightest confidence a single one of those protesters will wake up tomorrow thinking “Y’know, maybe we shouldn’t give the government so much power…”

    Indeed, but I will soon post a link to an article about how not all disaffected blacks in the USA are willing to drink the same poison Kool-Aid, and the state does not like that one bit either.

  • Jacob

    “Let’s not assume, without further evidence, that the looters and the protesters are the same people.”

    If the protests end up or are mixed up in looting and arson, it’s time to stop the protests too.

  • I want to also address something Fred asked in another post about evolution: why aren’t westerners reproducing? Some say it is the education of women. That is true in part. But there is also another reason. Cities and thermodynamics. In cities children are too expensive. This also touches on the socialism/welfare question up thread. BTW welfare has been a feature of cities for quite a long time. Also read the discussion in the comments.

    http://classicalvalues.com/2013/11/behavioral-sink-behavior-and-thermodynamics/

    Be sure to read the link to “Red and Blue” which has more on the subject.

  • I have lived with Blacks in America. I know the culture some. And I must say that lily white Rand Paul gets it. They are seething with resentment and rage over taking the brunt of drug prohibition. Here is a video by a Black former DEA agent explaining the whole rotten game. I’m sure it is difficult to see from the outside. But it is quite real. You can get the gist from watching about two minutes from the point indicated:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmgeCeGk–I starting about 1 minute 30 seconds in.

  • why aren’t westerners reproducing?

    Because relatively rich people who expect to live a long time don’t accord a very high priority to reproducing.

  • Bombadil

    Which brings us back to the death of Michael Brown. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that everything the police say about this incident is correct. In that case, whether or not the fatal shooting of Mr Brown is a crime, it’s certainly a mistake. When an unarmed shoplifter in T-shirt and shorts with a five-buck cigar box in one hand has to be shot dead, you’re doing it wrong.

    I am certainly no fan of our shiny new militarized police state. But I have seen this argument several times now, in various media: Michael Brown was unarmed and retreating. Why did the cop shoot him?

    If we assume for a moment that Michael Brown had just assaulted the cop and was retreating, what should the cop have done? He is not there to engage in “fair fights” – that is not the police officer’s job description. Michael Brown had a companion with him, and was not a small man. So what tactically reasonable alternative did the cop have other than shooting Michael Brown or letting him go?

  • Ockham's Spoon

    He is not there to engage in “fair fights”

    Correct. He is there to try and arrest him. He is not there to shoot him unless the cop or someone else is in immediate fear of their life.

    So what tactically reasonable alternative did the cop have other than shooting Michael Brown or letting him go?

    If he was unarmed are you seriously saying there was no other way to subdue him except to summarily execute him? Taser him maybe? Or just do it the old fashioned away like they do elsewhere else: call more cops and pile on top of him? And if they for some reason had no way short of killing him, then yes, let him go. Once they knew who he was, track him down under more favourable circumstances and arrest him them. It was not like he was holding someone hostage or waving a gun or a bomb around. Unless there is some compelling reason, how is shooting someone simply because they might escape a rational approach to policing an allegedly ‘free’ society? I doesn’t work that was in most places I assure you.

  • Bombadil

    He is not there to shoot him unless the cop or someone else is in immediate fear of their life.

    Actually I don’t think that is the standard. Take a look at this link. Money quote: ” To justify the shooting, Wilson would need to demonstrate that he feared for his life, or thought Brown was fleeing, not just when Brown was by the car, but even after he started shooting. The officer would need to establish that, right up until the last shot was fired, he felt Brown continued to pose a threat to him, or a threat to flee, whether he actually was or not.”

    A threat to flee.

    He could taser him if he had a taser. Did he?

    He could call in other cops but they would take minutes to arrive. Would Michael Brown have waited around for them?

    And if they for some reason had no way short of killing him, then yes, let him go.

    If I run up to your sister and punch her in the head right in front of a cop, and then run off, the cop should just let me go since I am not (currently) threatening anyone?

    I understand the impulse that drives the thought. But the consequence of that policy is that we might as well just disband the police force and have vigilance committees again. And I don’t think THAT would work out too well for the Michael Browns of the world.

  • I find amusing the concept that the police should pay no attention to people WALKING down the MIDDLE of the street. It would seem to be a rather basic part of COMMUNITY policing, especially since it happened to lead to the “pulling over” of two people who we now know just committed a violent crime. Or are the police to surrender these neighborhoods to the gentle hands of “unarmed teens”; Who just happen to be 6’4″, weigh 300 pounds and who just assaulted a man. Of course, I am sure Brown and his compatriot had been model citizens up that afternoon, spending there usual Saturday afternoons reading Hayek and Bastiat.

  • Ockham's Spoon

    If people can be shot by police because they’re a ‘threat to flee’ than I’m extremely happy I don’t live in the USA.

    If I run up to your sister and punch her in the head right in front of a cop, and then run off, the cop should just let me go since I am not (currently) threatening anyone?

    Well if you try that in the UK, the cops will chase you, call more cops and stick you good and proper. But they sure as hell won’t shoot you for running away from them unless you seem to be armed.

    If that is what passes for acceptable in the USA, seriously, you guys are so far beyond the point of no return I scarcely know what to say.

  • I find amusing the concept that the police should pay no attention to people WALKING down the MIDDLE of the street.

    Has anyone actually said that? I get the impression most people would think arresting the idiot was an excellent idea. I think it is just that walking down the middle of a street like a nutter tends not to get you shot dead in most other countries.

  • Let me see . . .

    Deaths before police going around “dressed like combat troops” in Ferguson- 1

    Deaths after police going around “dressed like combat troops” in Ferguson- 0

    The incidents in Ferguson, MO are rapidly becoming the Sandy Hook shooting of the Libertarian Right. In that case, faced with a terrible event, the Left played a media card that essentially, would have had no role in averting the original tragedy. Gun control, specifically of long guns(“assault weapons”) became the slogan of the hour. Now, in Missouri, the Libertarian Right mounts the hobby of the “militarized police.” The facts are that Michael Brown was not run over by a “tank”, blown up by a drone, or shot by sniper after being disabled by a flash bang. The facts are that there have been mobs, looting and arson in Ferguson. The concern over the militarization of policing in America is justified, but it should be examined through facts that actually support the argument instead of ones that have been molded to fit an agenda. Let’s leave seeing the world as we desire it to be rather than as it is to the Left.

  • rfichoke

    I understand the impulse that drives the thought. But the consequence of that policy is that we might as well just disband the police force and have vigilance committees again. And I don’t think THAT would work out too well for the Michael Browns of the world.

    I don’t think anyone is really saying there shouldn’t be consequences for Michael Brown. But private security at large department stores and malls capture shoplifters all the time without killing anyone. The problem with law enforcement is their immunity from prosecution and the atmosphere of superiority that results from it. They know they can do practically anything they want with impunity. They know they’re “supercitizens” and the rules don’t apply to them

  • “Has anyone actually said that? I get the impression most people would think arresting the idiot was an excellent idea. I think it is just that walking down the middle of a street like a nutter tends not to get you shot dead in most other countries.”

    Walking down the street like a “nutter” is not what got him shot. That is what drew the attention of the lone policeman. What of the whole struggle with the policeman? The version of the policeman would seem to be given weight by Brown’s size and proven violent, illegal behavior immediately preceding the altercation.

  • K.S . McPhail, I’m afraid that you may have misunderstood or mis-followed the sequence of the events in Ferguson: the issue of police militarization has not been repeatedly brought up as part of the Brown shooting incident itself, but rather as part of the subsequent events in that town, where police force has been enforcing law and order, including closing the area to press, in full military getup, armored vehicles et al. And yes, I am aware that there have been protests and demonstrations, some of them violent, including looting.

  • I have followed the events rather closely in Ferguson, thank you. I do not agree with the easy conflating of “protest” and “demonstration” with “looting” and arson. I have been to a demonstration before. There was no smashing of a Taco Bell.

    The violence after the shooting would in decades past led to cries to call out the National Guard. The lack of experience of what are essentially “militiamen” in dealing with policing, and the casualties that followed led to changes in the equipping of police forces so that they could handle the situation themselves. Hopefully with more positive results.

    If a person turns there neighborhood into a war zone, they should not be surprised when it begins to visually resemble one.

    And yes the issue of police militarization has been quite frequently brought up in relation to the actual shooting at many sites I have been to, if not this one.

  • Ockham's Spoon

    Walking down the street like a “nutter” is not what got him shot.

    But what you have said indicates that running away after walking down the street like a nutter is grounds for being shot dead the USA

    That is what drew the attention of the lone policeman. What of the whole struggle with the policeman?

    There’s a reason that the Plod in the UK are rarely alone. And if they find some gut lord beyond their ability to control, they don’t call in an Armed Response Unit, they call in more Plod unless he’s waving a shotgun around. So yeah, what of the whole struggle with the policeman? If you have evidence this lard arse was trying to take away his weapon, well fine. It was a good shooting then. But if not, then it is a piss poor piece of policing. Like the quote said, you’re doing it wrong. I’ve seen a great many Large Lagered Up Lads getting hammered by the Old Bill over the years and yet somehow they manage to avoid shooting them, unless they have the misfortune be Brazilians who look a bit like Arabs right after a bus and a train blew up. And they certainly don’t shoot them for no other reason than they might leg it.

  • KS McPhaill seems not to know about the extent to which the US Government has been giving military surplus to police departments all over the country for largely unnecessary SWAT departments (do towns under 10,000 people really need a SWAT team?) and to fight the War on Drugs. Predictably, being in possession of such materiel has led the police to use it increasingly frequently, with many no-knock, wrong-door raids, and a whole bunch of inncent dogs being killed (do a Google search on the term “puppycide”).

    Reason magazine has been writing a lot about the issues, and Radley Balko, formerly of Reason and now with the Washington Post, has written a book called Rise of the Warrior Cop about the subject.

  • Snorri Godhi

    relatively rich people who expect to live a long time don’t accord a very high priority to reproducing.

    Needless to say, there are differences in this respect between women and men.

  • The concern over the militarization of policing in America is justified, but it should be examined through facts that actually support the argument instead of ones that have been molded to fit an agenda.

    You work with the incidents you have. Not the incidents you wish you had.

    Rand Paul has used this incident to turn 2016 into a referendum on Drug Prohibition.

    Good for him.

  • Ted Schuerzinger
    August 16, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    “Charming” wrong house no knock raid. http://classicalvalues.com/2014/08/it-was-the-wrong-house/

    “They didn’t have any reason to, but they hit my nephew in the head with their rifle. He’s 13,” recounts Mclendon.

    Major Delrish Moss, with Miami PD, said that in all of the chaos of the raid, the 13-year-old was injured when he “ran into an officer’s weapon.”

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  • Snorri Godhi

    He could call in other cops but they would take minutes to arrive. Would Michael Brown have waited around for them?

    Once i took a walk along the Cam, downstream from Cambridge. On the way to the Cam, i overhead a policeman giving a description of a suspect over his walkie-talkie. (The policeman sounded as though he had been running after the suspect.) 10 or 15 minutes later, walking along the Cam, i ran into 2 policemen holding a suspect who fitted the description. I am posting this as a tribute to what the British police used to be; but also to make it clear that the police didn’t need Michael Brown to wait around to catch him.

  • In this context, Senator Paul stood out for the passion of his attack on what he sees as a national trend toward overly militarized police forces and, as a Republican, for explicitly raising the issue of systematized racial bias against blacks.

    “The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action,” Paul wrote in an op-ed for Time magazine’s online edition.

    http://news.yahoo.com/rand-paul-raised-2016-prospects-fiery-ferguson-response-191942639.html

  • I noticed first it with the UK police, but I suspect in wearing and using increasingly militarized kit the American police are trying to adopt the swaggering arrogance and brotherhood spirit which combat units so deservedly display, only without exposing themselves to the same dangers or even achieving the same level of fitness. In short, they think by dressing like Marines they’ll be respected like Marines, whereas in actual fact they look like a load of wannabes who failed basic military training.

  • Tim Newman
    August 16, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    The rules of engagement for the Marines in a war zone are much stricter than they are for American police on domestic duty.

  • Jim

    “why aren’t westerners reproducing”

    Abortion may have something to do with it. The number of births in the UK in 2012 was 812K, and the number of abortions the same year was 185k. Thus the birth rate would have been over 20% higher if not for abortions.

  • Mr Ed

    they look like a load of wannabes who failed basic military training.

    (Context is UK police) Hundreds of Uk police officers are failing fitness training.

    However, there is a twist, if that is not too energetic. More women than men fail the fitness (fatness?) test, so the cry has gone up that the tests are unlawful sex discrimination, and for daring to require police officers to be fit, you may get sued.

    However, this gem really gives the game away:

    Mr Winsor also recommended that from 2018 the tests should be made harder, using challenges based on the type of things an officer might face on duty, but this is being considered by the College of Policing in case it negatively impacts on women.

  • jdm

    The true cultural Imperialism has…

    That was a beautifully written paragraph. I got a tear in my eye while reading it.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Johnathan Gentry of (I assume) Ferguson, Mo., would appear to agree with Paul, above, on Fixing Ferguson.

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/3731606825001/ministers-explosive-rant-on-violence-in-ferguson-goes-viral/#sp=show-clips

    (I’m on limited bandwidth, so didn’t watch the whole thing. Some who approve of Mr. Gentry’s position seem to think the Fox News host or hostess was out of line.)

    Mr. Gentry’s website:

    http://johnathangentry.com/

  • Anon Y. Mous

    Steyn makes some good points, but he has it wrong that the crime involved was shoplifting. It was a strong-arm robbery.

    Commenter Bombadil is way off with that “threat to flee” business. Cops can’t shoot someone who is fleeing except in very limited circumstances. Basically, the cop would have to believe that the suspect had committed a serious felony and that his escape would constitute a serious threat to others going forward.

  • That is a great clip Julie, thank you. BTW, he lives in CA.

    I watched the entire clip, and I don’t see how any of the anchors could have been out of line…

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thanks for your recommendation, Alisa. I think that was a second interview; maybe the objection was to the first one?

    Anyhow, Next time I’m someplace where the House offers free wi-fi (Starbucks, library) I’ll watch it. :>)

  • OK. Yes. Blacks have got to do something about their culture. But don’t Italians need to do something about theirs? Who can forget Al Capone? Doesn’t he alone prove the Italian propensity for violent thuggishness?

    Or does it say more about the effects of Prohibition in America?

    Trees meet forest.

    Is it possible that Rand Paul has the best understanding of the situation out of all the leaders of the American political class?

    When the M/F ratio is out of whack the ladies look to alphas for protection. And how do you prove alpha? A propensity for violence is a marker. And how did the government whack the M/F ratio? By targeting black males in Prohibition enforcement.

    All these things feed each other in a downward spiral. You want to change the culture? Change the M/F ratio. Morals will follow. – Morals follow demographics. They are a trailing indicator not a cause.

  • Kevin B

    Does anyone out there know the provenance/reliability of this story which alleges that Eric Holder of Obama’s DOJ ordered the Ferguson PD not to release the robbery video?

    I would say that it would be dynamite if true, but then I remember all the other dynamite stories about the DOJ and other Obama administration departments that never go anywhere and think WTF.

  • Don’t know about ‘ordered’, but ‘urged‘.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Alisa
    August 17, 2014 at 12:30 pm
    Don’t know about ‘ordered’, but ‘urged‘.

    Some nudges are nudgier than others. ;^)

  • What ever. The cop who did the shooting had no knowledge of the robbery.

    This commentary takes into account the video. And still comes to the same conclusion. The militarization of the police is a bad ides. The commenters (me among them) go further and say the Drug War is a bad idea.

    http://jpfo.org/articles-assd04/wolfe-police-militarization.htm

  • Most likely, PfP. Still, I’d rather stick to what I know (sort of).

  • The cop who did the shooting had no knowledge of the robbery.

    We can’t be sure about that, at least for now. He said that he had no knowledge, but then heard about during the course of the incident. He then noticed the cigars in Brown’s hand and concluded that he may be the robbery suspect. Or so he says – like I said, we can’t be sure at this point. But, as you say, whatever, because none of that justified using deadly force against Brown. Maybe something else did, but then we have not heard about it yet.

  • Ockham's Spoon

    Cops can’t shoot someone who is fleeing except in very limited circumstances. Basically, the cop would have to believe that the suspect had committed a serious felony and that his escape would constitute a serious threat to others going forward.

    Good to know! It restores my hope that the USA was not a completely deranged place after all! That makes much more sense. Cheers mate!

  • Gareth

    Garbled over a police radio and misheard by a distracted policeman maybe strong-arm robbery sounded like ‘armed robbery’?

  • Paul Marks

    “Shop lifter”?

    That is not what the film shows M.S.

    But O.K. say the policeman (the policeman who ended up in hospital after being unfortunate enough to meet Mr Brown) had not had a firearm.

    Let say the policeman beat the Mr Brown with his nightstick – that could easily go wrong, Mr Brown could still have died.

  • Paul Marks

    By the way is there any evidence that the policeman who shot Mr Brown was dressed in a para military fashion, or was driving a tank?

    I have no brief for the Mayor of Ferguson, or the Governor of Missouri or the Attorney General of Missouri. They are all Democrats and all of the wild spending and shyster lawyer type.

    However the situation they face is impossible.

    Ferguson (like other towns) is changing – it has changed dramatically in only a few years. It was a white town (only a few years ago) and it is now a black town (talk of a “mixed community” is just dishonesty).

    I would just leave it to burn IF that is what the new people want to do with their town – and it is their town, they are the majority (I would not bother with the place – no sending in paramilitary police) – but then I do not live there. Nor am I politically responsible for the place.

    So they try and keep a grip on the place.

    Which is not really possible – but they try anyway.

    As I have said before there is no RACIAL reason why a black town can not be a conservative town (most black people in America used to be conservative).

    If there was no welfare (no food stamps and so on) better leadership might well emerge in the “black community”.

    Leadership that would take deal with people like Mr Brown without any need for white policemen.

  • Ockham's Spoon

    By the way is there any evidence that the policeman who shot Mr Brown was dressed in a para military fashion, or was driving a tank?

    Steyn answers that pretty well if you read the article. And the answer is: so what? When an unarmed thug gets shot, that’s a crap bit of police work, that is. Or maybe you think it saves money on pain in the arse trials. The Plod here in the dear old blighty seem to have doing the legs of fat bastards like this geezer down to a fine art. And just as well as we live in a place where rivers flow with lager and we love to kiss the pavement after a night out in our piss stinking city centre of choice. So why did that approach not make it across the Atlantic? If Steyn’s numbers are true, the Yanks seem to have a big problem with their Old Bill being a bit trigger happy. I don’t give a monkeys how they deal with the rioting silver backs, but I can see how the initial shooting might have ruffled a few feathers even if the world only lost 80 IQ points with this arsehole’s passing.

  • Gareth

    The “JJ Witness Video” – Eye Witness Audio of Mike Brown Shooting States: “Brown Doubled Back Toward POlice”…

    A conversation recorded inadvertently at the scene details one witness describing what they saw, which apparently corroborates Wilson’s description of events – the witness says that Brown fled, Wilson followed and then Brown turned and came at Wilson.

  • I don’t give a monkeys how they deal with the rioting silver backs, but I can see how the initial shooting might have ruffled a few feathers even if the world only lost 80 IQ points with this arsehole’s passing.

    Ockham’s Spoon, that comment made me laugh so hard.

  • Ya know. I went through the 60s on the hard left side of politics (Just north of Oakland, CA to boot) and we always called the “pigs” an occupying army. And now they are in fact kitted out like one. This is not an improvement.

    Now what ever Mr. Brown deserved – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    It would seem that a couple of the points enumerated may have been ignored.

    ==================

    The thing is – the local constabulary by not releasing as much information as they had as soon as they had it – made it look like they were covering up. And the cover-ups have been so common and so pervasive that people start assuming – another one. And they get hot.

    On top of that I can’t think of a police shooting in America that was not justified – for a very long time. The usual rubric is “I was afraid….”

  • http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2014/08/15/exceptional-catch-the-jj-witness-video-eye-witness-audio-of-mike-brown-shooting-sharing-brown-doubled-back-toward-police/comment-page-2/#comment-899150

    2)They said they stood over him?

    3)Yeah, they shot him some mo when he was on the ground. Yeah, That’s what they said. Shot him some more while he was on the ground. Police killed dude, police killed him, yep. Said he had his hands up and everything they still shot him. He fell on the ground, they stood over him and they shot him some more. They just got him laying in the street dead as a muffuka, they just got him laying here.

    ==================

    Now it is possible that Brown was shot and the officer did not know when to stop. The autopsy report may clear this up.

  • http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/2004/09/how-to-put-end-to-drug-users.html

    (c) 1999 M. Simon

    This is a column I first wrote some time ago. Published widely at the time. The process outlined above is always the same. Gays, Jews, drug users. Targets change. The process remains the same.

    We are starting to come to our senses on the drug laws. I’d like to see the process move faster.

    ================================================

    Now aside from the gang aspect (drug laws) there is also the resent caused by disparate policing. This is likely to get drowned out now that the thug behavior is paramount.

  • Bombadil

    Here is the legal use of force doctrine for officers in Missouri:

    3. A law enforcement officer in effecting an arrest or in preventing an escape from custody is justified in using deadly force only

    (1) When such is authorized under other sections of this chapter; or

    (2) When he reasonably believes that such use of deadly force is immediately necessary to effect the arrest and also reasonably believes that the person to be arrested

    (a) Has committed or attempted to commit a felony; or

    (b) Is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon; or

    (c) May otherwise endanger life or inflict serious physical injury unless arrested without delay.

    4. The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of justification under this section.

    And I suspect, although I admit that I do not know for certain, that punching a police officer and attempting to grab his gun is a felony. Therefore, even if the officer didn’t know about the store robbery that had just been committed, he still knew that Brown had committed a felonious assault on a police officer (assuming that the cop isn’t lying about that).

    To reiterate my position, I am absolutely in favor of de-militarizing the police. That means ditching the MRAPs, the camo gear, all the trapping of military power. It’s the wrong idea for police.

    But I also think that to jump to the conclusion that the police just murdered that poor innocent child, without waiting to hear the facts, is a bad idea.

  • that punching a police officer and attempting to grab his gun is a felony

    If he actually did try to take his weapon then yes, good shoot.

    If he punched him? Really? As the hilarious Ockham’s Spoon points out, UK police get into rucks with people and that rarely results in anyone getting shot dead. Ditto for the rest of Europe where the police are routinely armed.

  • Paul Marks

    Why did the policeman go to the hospital with facial injuries?

    Did he beat himself up?

    It is easy to be clever after the event.

    And with the “changing demographics” of Ferguson, the policeman (and others) should have MOVED OUT (gone to live in the Dakotas or wherever) years ago.

    However, people are slow to see that certain changes mean that they have to leave town – that it is not their town any more. It may be a nice town in the future (I do not deny that) with a strongly conservative black Mayor and good black police force (fair enough – let us hope this is the case). But it is not a town that people of the past (the former population) should still be living in – but that is very hard for the to see (they resist this).

    There is nothing to be done about this – things are what they are.

    But as with Mr Steyn on Iraq (where he simply refused to understand that the CULTURE of the population meant that Saddam was not particularly out of the ordinary) I do not think (without reading the article) that Mr Steyn is willing to see the truth about Ferguson.

    Would he go and live there?

    If not, why not?

    It is not a “mixed community” – it was a white town, and is becoming (basically already has become) a black town. That does NOT mean that it will be a bad place (there is no genetic reason why black people can not be conservative – most American blacks were conservative as recently as the 1950s), but it is a different sort of place (those of the old population who remain should leave).

    For example, say that “my town” of Kettering, Northamptonshire suddenly (over only a few years) became Spanish speaking. There is nothing “wrong” with the Spanish language (any more than there is something “wrong” with black skin) – but it would not be “my town” any more, and I should (if possible) get out and live somewhere else.

    Saying “well you could learn Spanish – you could adapt to the changes” (and on on) ignores the basic facts of human history and human nature.

    When a new group of people (say a new cultural group) move in and become the majority (a few strangers can be absorbed – but if the strangers are the MAJORITY then the place is fundamentally transformed) then it is time for the “hold outs” of the old group of people to go.

    Trying to stay is just (in the end) silly – it would be like keeping “Blooms” open in Whitechapel because it used to be (many years ago) a Jewish community. It is no longer – so the place shut down (and it was sensible to close the place).

    Although, no doubt, the article is very good. I will now read it to see if it covers these points.

  • Police in other First World countries get injured all the time without people ending up dead quite so often as in the USA. If the thug in question was trying to take the weapon, then yes, shooting him was perfectly justified. But when I ran this past a UK policeman I know, his remarks were:

    1. Get all the accounts you can and assume everyone, including the policeman, is lying about something. The truth is a bit like a venn diagram, so talk to everyone there.

    2. If the policeman had a car, and could not deal with the guy alone (and why alone?), he should have stayed in his car and called for backup.

    3. This is why I would not want to carry a gun as a policeman. The mere fact you have it on you can cause you to have to shoot someone.

  • Bombadil

    An unarmed assault can easily be a deadly assault though, especially if the assailant is 6’4″ and 290 pounds, and has an accomplice with him. The police officer HAS to assume that if he is overpowered he will be killed. He doesn’t have the luxury of engaging in schoolyard knockabouts.

    I am just arguing that the fact that Michael Brown was unarmed doesn’t make it a bad shooting. Too bad the police officer wasn’t wearing a body cam; I think every cop should wear them all the time they are on duty.

  • Paul Marks

    Having read the article….

    Mr S. does touch on these matters (near the end – when he mentions the idea that First World policing methods will not work with an increasingly Third World population), but he does not examine them at any length.

    As for his idea of no police at all……

    Well, in the case of Ferguson that would have meant…..

    As the population arriving from St Louis increased a tipping point in Ferguson would have been reached – where the existing population would have responded by trying to “burn out” (to use the Irish expression) the newcomers (there being no police to stop “community action” on either side). Perhaps the community conflict would have been sparked off by a specific incident – or perhaps not.

    Perhaps the existing population would have won (in which case the fundamental demographic change would not have occurred – with the newcomers fleeing back to St Louis), or they would have lost (in which case they would have had to leave – as they are leaving now).

    It is just the way things are. And in other contexts (such as Belgium with the French speakers and the Flemish) Mr S. understands this nasty side of humanity quite well.

    It would be better if everyone loved each other – but that is not human nature (which contains a large streak of tribalism – after all that is what this talk of “community” and “communities” is about). A few strangers are actually often welcomed (novelty value) – but once the number of strangers goes above a certain point…..

    Population groups come and go – after all what is now Ferguson Missouri used to be the hunting grounds of an Indian tribe (who would have taken the area from another tribe or tribes).

    Where the Indians overjoyed when the Europeans came and started to farm their hunting grounds?

    Unlikely.

    Of course rich people (I am NOT pointing at Mr S. here) have their own “tribe” – fellow rich people. So they often do not see the importance of cultural (or ethnic) “tribes” to ordinary people.

    Perhaps if everyone was rich (that may be true one day) other “tribes” would not matter. As disputes of resources (and so on) would loose their sting. No one would be scared of dying alone in the gutter (the nagging fear of ordinary people).

    Who knows – perhaps people who alive today (as children) will see this.

    When nano technology (and so on) will enable people to have (within reason) what they want – whilst living on mountain tops (or beside the sea – or great lakes). When “community” no longer matters in the sense it does now.

    I have no idea whether such a state of affairs is possible (and I certainly will not live to see it), but let us hope it is.

    Then the tribalism of Ferguson (and so on) would truly be a thing of the past.

    For the present we can just make things as apolitical as possible.

    No “public land” (let private owners decide who they want on their land – and who they do not want) and no government welfare schemes DESIGNED (and the American ones are deliberately designed) to create a dependent (and, at the same time, HOSTILE) population.

    Such action will not end tribalism – but it may reduce it.

  • Paul Marks

    I agree with the body camera point.

    The technology is no more expensive than a lot of the paramilitary stuff that is bought now (indeed it is cheaper).

    The problem with a lot of films showing “police brutality” is that they do not show the lead up (what the other person or persons did).

    A body cam (showing everything the police officer viewed that day – and with him or her unable to edit it) would deal with this.

    Full disclosure….

    A lot of my friends (yes I do have friends) are police officers (or former ones) and a lot of my enemies are criminals.

    White criminals – if anyone wants to know.

  • I saw some reports (fragmentary) that said the officer fired 8 shots. That seemed a tad excessive.

    Well we have an autopsy. (and another one coming from the Feds) but this is not looking good. No matter what the Tree House Conservatives (link up thread) think.

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/08/18/us/michael-brown-autopsy-shows-he-was-shot-at-least-6-times.html?from=homepage&_r=1

  • From the NYTs link:

    Mr. Brown died last week in a confrontation with a police officer here in this suburb of St. Louis. The police department has come under harsh criticism for refusing to clarify the circumstances of the shooting and for responding to protests with military-style operational gear.

    “People have been asking: How many times was he shot? This information could have been released on Day 1,” Dr. Baden said in an interview after performing the autopsy. “They don’t do that, even as feelings built up among the citizenry that there was a cover-up. We are hoping to alleviate that.”

    =======================

    Cover up? I believe I pointed that out up thread.

  • Even in Chelsea, hardly the mean streets of London, I never see the police walking down the street alone… always two of them. What really puzzles me is why was a lone policeman trying to interact with some large guy acting strangely by walking down the middle of the street? Do they not do the whole “back up” thing?

  • Paul Marks
    August 18, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Ya know – Drug Prohibition is over enforced on the Black community in America. This causes resentment. Matt Fogg – former DEA agent explains why this is so. Link in this comment:

    M. Simon
    August 16, 2014 at 1:36 pm

  • I’ll venture the theory, based on this internet meme, that a lot of American policemen have gradually become too fat and unfit to chase suspects, and so have increasingly taken to shooting them instead. How many American policeman could run a quarter of a mile?

  • The mere fact you have it on you can cause you to have to shoot someone.

    The Anton Chekhov rule of policing, perhaps?

  • long-lost cousin

    1) It’s possible to punch someone to the point of SBI or death. Especially when you outweigh him by a hundred pounds.

    2) The UK plod who said he’d stay in his car is a coward, and if he had done that in the real world you’d have posted a rant about what cowards the police are in general.

    3) The MRAPs and camo didn’t come out until after the shooting, and just in time for people in the crowd to start shooting at or flinging molotov cocktails at the cops. Even though I realize full well that half of the posters here consider dead police to be a feature, rather than a bug…

    4) Defeating a gun grab is clearly a justifiable purpose for deadly force. Steyn has it wrong, and in this realm wouldn’t know “right” from a bacon cheeseburger.

    5) Tasers are flatly inapplicable to use against multiple bad guys, even when they do work. They can only be applied to one suspect, and then need a cartridge change before they can be re-used. Oh, and in my experience with them they fail in about one application out of four.

    6) That wasn’t shoplifting. That was a robbery, an actual violent crime.

  • Ockham's Spoon

    2) The UK plod who said he’d stay in his car is a coward, and if he had done that in the real world you’d have posted a rant about what cowards the police are in general.

    Which only shows you know jack shit about the Plod. It ain’t about proving how macho you are, it is about getting enough people there to arrest an unarmed toad without killing him. If you haven’t figured that out, maybe that’s the problem with the Plod on your side of the puddle, they would rather shoot someone dead than be thought a “coward”. Jesus, there would be mountains of corpses outside every fucking pub in England if our thugs-in-blue did it the way you nutters seem to think is perfectly reasonable. Here they call for a Paddy Wagon full of rozzers, who debus en mass and apply whatever stick is required. Strangely it hardly ever ends up with anyone dead even when the fists and boots are flying. But then our Plod is not so fucking stupid to try anything alone. Blimey I can hardly believe I’m taking the side of the Plod, but compared to these geezers in the states, they suddenly seem down right reasonable.

    5) Tasers are flatly inapplicable to use against multiple bad guys

    The silver back in question was a large lad apparently but not so large he counts as multiple bad guys.

  • Jacob

    The police may have acted right or wrong, interesting topic, but not the main issue. The militarization of police too, isn’t the main issue. Mark Steyn is wrong.

    The main issue is if it is justified or acceptable to start violent riots, with looting and arson, whenever someone thinks the police acted wrong.
    The second issue is: how do you stop the riots.

  • The militarization of police too, isn’t the main issue.

    Actually it is the only issue. I am agnostic on this particular shooting. Maybe justified, maybe not. But the fact the US police are trigger happy compared to pretty much every First World nation, well that really is quite an issue.

    The main issue is if it is justified or acceptable to start violent riots, with looting and arson, whenever someone thinks the police acted wrong.

    No not really because of course the arson and looting is not justified. I really don’t think anyone here, or Steyn for that matter, really thinks otherwise. Order has collapsed so call in the National Guard. It is a no brainer. That is not the issue. You need a military force? Call in a military force. You need police? Then you need to have a police force, not a military force called a police.

  • Bombadil

    You need a military force? Call in a military force. You need police? Then you need to have a police force, not a military force called a police.

    THIS. To which I would add, armchair quarterbacks who speak about how calmly they would deal with a 6’4″ 290lb man charging them, punching them, and attempting to steal their weapon should probably take a step or two back and just try to imagine the situation. And then imagine it happening in a couple of seconds … a couple of crazy, adrenaline-charged fearful seconds. Being a libertarian shouldn’t mean that we hate the agents of the state; it should mean that we want their jobs to be well defined and carefully supervised. Right?

  • long-lost cousin

    Which only shows you know jack shit about the Plod. It ain’t about proving how macho you are, it is about getting enough people there to arrest an unarmed toad without killing him.

    So, in the UK, they have to call for cover in order to tell a dipshit to quit blocking the street? Is that one of those health and safety regulations that you guys are so proud of? (You do remember that this is how it started, right? Brown knew from the outset that he was in immediate flight from a violent felony, but the officer just knew that a pair of hood rats were blocking the street.)


    The silver back in question was a large lad apparently but not so large he counts as multiple bad guys.

    There were two of them. The other one was the guy with the outstanding robbery warrant who claimed to be a witness.

    Even if Brown were alone, it still doesn’t make the taser an especially useful defensive implement, and especially not with a gun grab.

  • 1. Prohibition creates job openings for thugs – the US has actual prior experience in this area see Prohibition, Alcohol
    2. Disparate enforcement of laws (see Drug Prohibition) creates resents see, Apartheid end, South Africa for examples.

    Trees. Meet forest.

    ============================

    Howard Wooldridge, Retired Police detective:
    “The War on Drugs/Drug Prohibition has been the most destructive, dysfunctional and immoral policy since slavery & Jim Crow.”

    http://www.citizensopposingprohibition.org/

    Minority youth are severely impacted: Studies show these groups use at about same rate, but youth of color are stopped, searched and arrested at rates as high as four times the white rate. Former police chiefs – George Napper of Atlanta, Anthony Bouza of Minneapolis and Norman Stamper of Seattle – have criticized this outrageous feature of marijuana enforcement.

    ========================

    Note: Howard is a long time e-mail friend of mine:

    Howard Wooldridge of Frederick, MD: retired police detective, graduate of Michigan State University, co-founder of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (www.leap.cc), full-time advocate since 2005 in Washington, DC as the police voice in opposition to drug prohibition, drug policy reformer since 1997. Fluent in three foreign languages.

  • Ya know. When I diagnose a production problem in a plant, the rule is to go from the particular to the general. We call it looking for root causes. The thread here has degenerated into examining the particulars, losing sight of the root cause.

  • Jacob

    “Then you need to have a police force, not a military force called a police.”

    Why? Why does it matter ? What’s the difference? Why do policemen have to be more exposed and vulnerable, and use less of the protective gear that’s available to the military?

    As to police violence in the US – maybe it’s somehow related to the violence of the criminals in the US that that are also more “trigger happy” and more violent in general than in other countries?

    Or maybe you propose, like Paul Marks, that certain areas or neighborhoods should be “de facto” extraterritorial zones, where police don’t patrol and don’t enter? Because – you see – in some areas it’s easier for police to act calmly and in a “civilized” manner.

  • Jacob
    August 19, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Because occupying armies don’t get voluntary cooperation. Policing is cheaper and less dangerous for all concerned if citizens voluntarily cooperate.

    As to police violence in the US – maybe it’s somehow related to the violence of the criminals in the US that that are also more “trigger happy” and more violent in general than in other countries?

    In the US we had a similar episode in the past. We called it Alcohol Prohibition. Ever study that era? Or maybe you have and are just nostalgic.

  • The moment police stop thinking of themselves as civilians, then they are indeed no longer civilians, they are a patrolling army and need to be seen as such.

    Gear them up like soldiers and pretty soon they are soldiers. If you need soldiers to patrol certain areas, then actually send soldiers and stop warping the notion of what police are supposed to be, civilians who are merely professionally maintaining order as part of a community rather than in occupation of that community. Not only does that prevent the wholesale militarisation of police (small townships in the USA now have and routinely use SWAT teams), it also forces a certain honesty about the fact that in some regions of the country thing are so dysfunctional that they are in a de facto state of insurgency.

  • Paul Marks

    The alternative to the local police department are the State highway patrol – the people with “Trooper” on the back of their armour which is who people like Mr S. are complaining about (the actual policeman who fired the shots would did not look “military”, at least not compared to them).

    The State police are NOT the people who were originally involved in the shooting – they are a separate force.

    As for getting rid of the police – then you have the army or the militia (as in 18th century or early 19th century England) whom Governor Nixon ordered in a couple of days ago.

    The normal thing (in an English riot) was for the “Riot Act” to be read (whether the rioters could actually hear the reading was not legally relevant) and then the army (and the militia – such at the County Yeomanry, normally cavalry) would open fire and charge – and carry on killing till the rioters ran away.

    If Mr S. wishes to go back to that system – fair enough.

    “End the militarisation of the police – send in the army” seems a bit illogical, especially as the actual Police Department of Ferguson were not particularly military any way (I repeat – they are NOT the people with the armoured vans you are seeing on your television screen, you are seeing state police with “trooper” written on their backs).

    As for St Louis County generally – not to be confused with the independent city of St Louis (they have been divided since 1876).

    The Chief Executive of St Louis County is Mr Charles Dooley – he has been in control of the money since 2003.

    Have a look at a photograph of Mr Dooley – does it appear likely that he is involved in a military conspiracy against black people?

    Ditto the commander of the State Troopers (the Highway Patrol), Captain Ron Johnson (the person actually in charge of the military looking police).

    By the way…….

    In every census since 1880 (the county was divided from the city of St Louis in 1876) the population of St Louis County has increased (St Louis City has been in decline since 1950 – under an endless series of Democrat Mayors) – the county prospered.

    In 2010 the Census showed that the population of St Louis County was in decline.

    No doubt black people are leaving – because of the military police conspiracy against them……..

    Nothing to do with tax increases to pay for the “community projects” for the new community that is moving from the city of St Louis to County of St Louis.

    Moving to towns such as Ferguson – and towns near by.

    I find it hard to believe that Mr Charles Dooley (and Captain Ron Johnson and so on) are actually involved in a military police conspiracy against black people.

    Especially as it is NOT black people who are leaving the County of St. Louis (now declining in population for the first time in its history).

    Who are the people who are leaving towns such as Ferguson RIGHT NOW (as I type these words – with a death rattle in my chest and lungs, and pains going down my right side and arm).

    Are they black?

    Are they people (of any colour) in fear of the POLICE?

    Is anyone leaving Ferguson (or any near by town) because they are afraid of the POLICE?

    I suggest (indeed I more than suggest) that the people who are leaving Ferguson right now (packing their bags and just going) are NOT in fear of the police.

    Ditto the people who have been leaving towns such as Ferguson for YEARS.

    It is the people who are MOVING IN to Ferguson who say they are afraid of the police – not the people who are LEAVING.

    Still “what is to be done” (to take words from Mr “Lenin”).

    Well I suggest that the 50 or so “racist white cops” also LEAVE.

    If they are not in Ferguson they can not do anything wicked there.

    Of course the number of killings in Ferguson will increase (go up)- to levels more like those of St Louis (city – not county) or Chicago.

    But the media will not care – and will not report it much.

    So everything will be fine.

    By the way – I have not checked whether the town is within the lines of the County of St Louis or just outside (but still in the metro area).

    My proposal remains a “modest” one (in the sense that Dean Swift would have understood).

    Let all these “racist” “militarised” police leave – all of them (without exception).

    Let the new community of Ferguson behave as they wish – without any oppression from “the man”.

    After all the “Financial Times” had an article yesterday (by a Harvard Law Professor) blaming everything on slavery and post slavery oppression – and discussing whether black people should “have their own country” (a suggestion made by Thomas Jefferson – the good professor reminded the readership of the F.T.).

    So I am sure all will be well – in a land ruled by Harvard Profs with “community activists” (some from as far away as New York and California – oh yes the vultures have arrived in Ferguson in force) to act as their strong arm.

    As that well know “racist” Jason Riley (of the Wall Street Journal) has said.

    “The black crime rate in 1960 was a fragment of what it is today – if black crime (such as the thousands of murders) is the result of poverty or racism, this must mean that there must have been vastly less racism and poverty in 1960 than there is now”. Quote from memory – I was listening to him talk.

    Now Mr Riley will go and iron his white hood – before putting on his “militarised police” armour.

  • Paul Marks

    “You reactionary bigot Paul”.

    Actually I am – both a reactionary and a bigot, but I am just as bigoted against white people as I am against black people.

    After all I would (most likely) have burned towns similar Ferguson during the Civil War (Missouri voted to remain with the Union – but rebels were active in certain towns).

    And I would have certainly hanged local cultural hero figures (all white) after the Civil War – the James Brothers, the Youngers, I would have hanged the lot of them.

    I despise white mobs (and white “social bandits”) as much as I hate black mobs (and black “social bandits”).

    I am not physically strong (in fact at the moment I doubt I will be able to get out of this chair) and would not engage in fisticuffs with scum – I would shoot them (or order them hanged).

    Just call me John Jay.

  • Jacob

    “Policing is cheaper and less dangerous for all concerned if citizens voluntarily cooperate.”

    Policing is “cheaper” and even unnecessary where there is no crime….
    When you said “if citizens voluntarily cooperate.” you meant “if criminals voluntarily cooperate.” didn’t you ?

    Yes, the war on drugs is an error, but that’s another issue. There would be crime, and racial tensions and crime and shootings also without drugs (or rather with a lot of drugs but no “war” on drugs). Stop blaming everything on the war on drugs.

  • Paul sorry, but as far as I can see here, no one was saying that blacks are driven out of wherever by police. No one, other than you, even brought up the subject of people of any color leaving whatever area, for whatever reason, unless I’ve missed it? And no one argued for getting rid of police. And it has been repeatedly stressed here that police militarization is discussed in the context of the riots, not the context of the shooting incident. Who are you arguing with?

    The City of St. Louis in indeed an entity separate from St. Louis County, but that is hardly relevant to anything, because the city itself is barely populated, and is de facto a business district of the larger metropolitan/suburban entity which is the County. Or at least that was the case when I lived a couple of hours away from it some 15 years ago. I doubt that things have changed much since then, though. In that sense, Ferguson is only nominally a town, and for all practical intents and purposes it is just another neighborhood of that larger entity colloquially known as St. Louis. I could be wrong and am more than willing to be corrected.

  • Paul Marks
    August 19, 2014 at 11:19 am

    The murder rate peaked during Alcohol Prohibition. It must have been because of the propensity for violence on the part of….. Italians.

  • OK, I now recall that M. Simon brought up the numbers of blacks arrested etc. Well, whatever. Fact is, local and State police forces throughout the country are clearly getting out of hand, with their victims being of whatever colors (about which I couldn’t care less, unlike M. Simon, with all due respect).

  • Ockham's Spoon

    Blimey, I’d reply to all that but not a lot of it seems to be about any of this. But apparently the fact the Yank Plod shoots an amazing number of people each year is how things should be for some reason, if I understand what the hell you are writing. If you said what you meant in half as many words and tried to just cover one point per comment, I’d have a better idea.

  • Jacob

    By the way, I prefer that criminals in the US be aware of the fact that US cops are gun-crazy, nervous and trigger happy. (They have good reasons to be). Let criminals beware and be afraid. If a policeman challenges you “stop!” you should stop.

  • Oh yes Jacob, I agree, because it is well know than US cops never make mistakes or raid the wrong house or do anything bad, what with them universally being selfless dedicated public servants, so I can think of no better qualification for the job than being gun-crazy, nervous and trigger happy. Indeed an absolute fortune could be saved on trial costs and expensive jails by taking this line of thinking to its logical conclusion. Better yet, just get rid of the police altogether and have the army do the job!

  • Alisa
    August 19, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Let us suppose that there is a British law against drinking gin and it is enforced most heavily (by a factor of 4 on a per capita basis) against the Scots. Do you think the Scots might resent it mightily? Does that make the situation in America clearer?

    Watch the video linked here in this thread – M. Simon August 16, 2014 at 1:36 pm – for corroboration by a DEA agent.

    For a more fair and balanced look not inflamed by today’s passions look up

    https://www.google.com/#q=policing+during+alcohol+prohibition

  • The Sanity Inspector

    If the police keep treating American neighborhoods like favelas, pretty soon they may turn into favelas.

  • Jacob
    August 19, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Evidently you have no idea how much worse policing prohibition makes things. Prohibitions have the effect of increasing crime – ALL KINDS OF CRIME – not just crimes against the prohibition regime. A general sense of lawlessness pervades.

    Euros do not have anything like what is going on in America in recent memory. But you can get a sense by studying the American scene during Alcohol Prohibition which is fairly well documented.

  • Jacob

    “Better yet, just get rid of the police altogether and have the army do the job!”

    What’s the difference? Why does it matter what you call them (police or army) ?

    As to policemen making mistakes – of course they do, who doesn’t ? So what ?

  • Sure, M. Simon, but how does resentment (or race) come into a discussion about the police being trigger-happy or being militarized?

  • rfichoke

    Uh, Jacob? You said: “By the way, I prefer that criminals in the US be aware of the fact that US cops are gun-crazy, nervous and trigger happy. (They have good reasons to be). Let criminals beware and be afraid. If a policeman challenges you “stop!” you should stop.”

    I don’t think it’s all that hard to see that “gun-crazy, nervous and trigger happy” and “making mistakes” are two tastes that don’t taste great together.

  • Alisa
    August 19, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    White neighborhoods are policed differently from Black neighborhoods. In white neighborhoods citizens are treated with deference – in America it is called “white privilege” and it is real.

    https://www.google.com/#q=driving+while+black

    Also called “racial profiling”. It is pernicious. It is evil. It is pervasive.

    Imagine being a suspect of “general crimes” just because of the color of your skin.

  • Jacob

    “gun-crazy, nervous and trigger happy” and “making mistakes”

    I didn’t mean that the police better be gun-crazy, or trigger happy. Of course, police should be trained to behave responsibly. I meant that’s good to promote an *image* of trigger happiness to deter criminals.

    “White neighborhoods are policed differently from Black neighborhoods.” Maybe because the incidence of crime is different ?

  • Also called “racial profiling”. It is pernicious. It is evil. It is pervasive.

    …and old. The attitudes on the part of police officers being discussed here and elsewhere are increasingly becoming a phenomenon that makes no distinction between white and black neighborhoods, and the same goes for police militarization. Here’s one of the very many websites that document such things throughout the country,.

  • Maybe because the incidence of crime is different ?

    With so many things a crime the more the police look the more they find.

    And things that get a pass in white neighborhoods “throw it in the sewer” get “hands behind your back, you are under arrest” in black neighborhoods. Me and my black buddy were just discussing this less than two minutes ago.

  • Alisa
    August 19, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    It is not old. It is still fresh to the people it is being done to. But I will grant that it is new to whites.

  • I still don’t see what race has to do with it. Are many cops racist? Probably, although probably not more so than the rest of the population. Are there policies or procedures in place that target blacks specifically? I have no idea. Is there racial profiling being practiced? Most certainly. What does any of that have to do with the topic at hand I still cannot understand.

  • Alisa
    August 19, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    1. What was the main excuse to kit out police like soldiers? The Drug War.

    2. Who is the Drug War most vigorously prosecuted against? Blacks.

  • rfichoke

    I didn’t mean that the police better be gun-crazy, or trigger happy. Of course, police should be trained to behave responsibly. I meant that’s good to promote an *image* of trigger happiness to deter criminals.

    OK, I misunderstood then. But I don’t think that will work. It wouldn’t take long for criminals to test the cops and find out that they’re paper tigers. And a big part of our problem today is that the cops do have that image and it tends to attract constitutionally unfit candidates to the career of law enforcement. That is, it draws people who like having and using authority over others. And those are the people who least need to have or use authority.

  • Who is the Drug War most vigorously prosecuted against? Blacks.

    …possibly because most people in the drug business are blacks? Still don’t see why that is of any interest.

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