Many Americans believe that Wilson need not have killed Brown in order to protect himself, and might not have resorted to lethal force had Brown been white. Ta-Nehisi Coates, in his new book, “Between the World and Me,” writing of the psychological impact of incidents like the Brown shooting, says, “It does not matter if the destruction is the result of an unfortunate overreaction. It does not matter if it originates in a misunderstanding.” Coates also notes, “There is nothing uniquely evil in these destroyers or even in this moment. The destroyers are merely men enforcing the whims of our country.”Many Americans are total idiots. That aside it's pretty funny to see people armchair quarterback a life or death situation in a high crime area when they have exactly minus zero experience in gun use, law enforcement or even the basics of self-defense. I wonder if these "many Americans" think that trying to rob a convenience store "need not" have happened? Or if physically assaulting a police officer because he told you to get out the street "need not happen"? This goes to agency and whether one believes that black people ought to be held to the same standards of behavior as everyone else. What part of Michael Brown's actions were "necessary"? Ta-Nehisi Coates needs to have a seat. That is all. The "whims of our country" is: Don't rob people. Don't hit police (generally speaking). Apparently this ass has a problem with law abiding behavior.
en Wilson applied for a police job, he focussed on the northern portion of St. Louis County. The towns in what is called North County tend to be poorer, and to have a higher percentage of black residents, than other towns in the St. Louis area—such as St. Peters, the broadly middle-class, white town where Wilson grew up. North County also has more crime. Wilson felt that working in a tough area would propel his career. “If you go there and you do three to five years, get your experience, you can kind of write your own ticket,” he said. [my underlines]So by the New Yorker's admission: More blacks, more crime and more poverty. Is that racist to write? Is it racist to say? If a police officer notices that the more blacks there are in a location there is more crime, just as the New Yorker just wrote, would he or she be punished?
McCarthy had spent two years working as a police officer at a predominantly black middle school in the city of Normandy. (Michael Brown attended the school, but not when McCarthy worked there.) McCarthy told me that police officers he knew often disliked working in North County schools, because many students had an “us versus them” attitude. But he loved talking with the kids and “investing in the community.”Why do students have an "us versus them" attitude? If you're school age and doing school things there shouldn't be a care either way about police. If you're concerned about what the police are doing it seems to me that either you've been trained to have a certain attitude about police or you're doing something which would make police presence a "problem".
He recalled, “I would do the adopted-student program—take them to basketball games and things of that nature.” Many of the kids confided in him about the stress of having to be “man of the house” when a parent worked nights. McCarthy said that his openness made the students more respectful: “I wasn’t the police to them, because they knew me on a personal level, rather than what that badge stood for.”In other words he was a man who can guide and punish. Exactly what a father is supposed to be. Of course these boys are missing fathers. All those women talking about not needing no man but fucking up their children. Go on with that.
Too many cops, he went on, weren’t interested in understanding the “root causes” of crime; they preferred to “go on calls, handle the call, and leave.”Or perhaps they didn't feel like being parents to other people's kids for a living 'cause that's not what they signed up for.
Wilson recalls hearing “old-timers” talk about racism in Jennings’s past, but their stories didn’t make a vivid impression on him. McCarthy, however, said that in the seventies and eighties the Jennings police “did not play.” He added, “Basically, they’d beat you.” During that period, many blacks from St. Louis moved to North County. Numerous towns there went from being majority white to being majority black. The police forces remained almost completely white.Generally speaking when a black person tells you that so and so "don't play" it means that when it comes to whatever it is, they don't mess around. So if black residents knew that the Jennings police did not play, then they knew that they couldn't carry on with whatever bullshit they were carrying on with in their own neighborhood. And why did blacks move to Jennings? Because they were escaping the nonsense they were doing in St. Louis. Of course that goes unsaid in the article.
McCarthy showed me several police logs from those decades, and many entries documented bigotry on the part of Jennings authorities. In April, 1973, a lieutenant described a holdup that had occurred near the police station. The suspects were two black males. At the bottom of the entry, someone had written, “Men, you better leave your wallets at home. Niggers are going to come in the police station next and rob us.” An entry from December, 1979, described an eighteen-year-old black male who was believed to have been involved in the shooting of a police officer but was then released, “due to his lack of mental capacity.” Below this, someone had scrawled, “Kill the Fucker.”Excuse me for being more concerned about the hold up (near a police station!!) and the shooting than the names police officers called the criminals that did those things.
“We have to fix what’s happening now. That’s my job as a police officer. I’m not going to delve into people’s life-long history and figure out why they’re feeling a certain way, in a certain moment.” He added, “I’m not a psychologist.”I think Wilson has a point here that should be addressed. What is the job of the police officer? Is it to be substitute father's for boys who lost their way? Isn't that a social worker's job? If there is agreement that a lot of what Wilson saw was a result of social issues, then I would agree 100% that there needs to be social services directed at those individuals. Question though: How far would the public allow that to go? Removing children on the table?
“If you live in a high-crime area, with a lot of poverty, there’s going to be a large police presence. You’re going to piss people off. If police show up, it’s because it’s something bad, and whoever’s involved can’t figure out the problem for themselves.”Police are where the crime is. Simple. Drop the crime rates, drop the police presence. A informs B.
“When I left Jennings, I didn’t want to work in a white area,” Wilson told me. “I liked the black community,” he went on. “I had fun there. . . . There’s people who will just crack you up.” He also liked the fact that there was more work for the police in a town like Jennings—more calls to answer, more people to meet. “I didn’t want to just sit around all day,” he said."I didn't want to sit around all day." So there is so little crime in non-black areas that police sit around all day. It stands to reason then that if police are very active in your hood, it means that there are a lot of people doing things they shouldn't be doing AND it's likely that those persons are not white. Don't be mad at me, this is what is written in the New Yorker. Now if Wilson is full of shit, then the New Yorker should have shown that in fact in white areas police are not sitting around all day.
Barb had been working in Ferguson for seven years, as one of three women on a force of roughly fifty officers. “I always thought it was easier to work with guys, because they’re not as catty,” she said.I'm certain she meant "bossy".
uly, 2014, Wilson visited the home of Scottie Randolph, a sixty-seven-year-old African-American man, after Randolph reported hearing gunfire. Randolph says that shootings often occur in his neighborhood when “the teen-agers are out of school.” The frequency “depends on whether they’ve got a drug war or a gang war going on.” His neighborhood had fallen into disarray because of “the economic meltdown.” He added, “A lot of people lost what little they had.” Young people who couldn’t find work resorted to selling drugs. Randolph told me that he needs the police for protection, but—echoing the Justice Department’s findings—feels that they target blacks for fines: “I kind of resent the fact that they’re using minorities as a cash cow.”Scottie is so used to the gun fire that he knows the difference between gang conflicts and drug conflicts. :-/ As for the jobs situation, it reminds me of Frantz Fanon's comment on the native middle class and it's failures. I'll let you look it up.
I asked him if he agreed with Randolph that the neighborhood’s main problem was the absence of jobs. “There’s a lack of jobs everywhere,” he replied, brusquely. “But there’s also lack of initiative to get a job. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” He acknowledged that the jobs available in Ferguson often paid poorly, but added, “That’s how I started. You’ve got to start somewhere.”There are some who blew their top at the lead the horse to water" comment. Of course the full statement is far different than how it was portrayed. That said though there are a couple of points to make here: 1) If a person drops out of school then getting a job is going to be hard. A lot of young men who are unemployed are so because they failed to finish high school. 2) With immigrants taking a lot of construction jobs (I see them all the time) poor and uneducated black men have very few avenues to get jobs in a field that can result in wage growth. But you don't see the local Black Lives Matter group discussing reducing legal immigration and a total end to illegal immigration. Too busy filming police I suppose. 3) It must be admitted that there are a lot of young men who want that quick cash. I've seen plenty of documentaries where young men and boys said that they wouldn't take a minimum wage job when selling [whatever] gets more money. So you can lead that horse....
Good values, Wilson insisted, needed to be learned at home. He spoke of a black single mother, in Ferguson, who was physically disabled and blind. She had several teen-age children, who “ran wild,” shooting guns, dealing drugs, and breaking into cars.We should ask the New Yorker straight out if it disagrees with the "good values" advise. Forget the single mother for a minute. Is ANYONE going to argue that teaching values to children is not a top priority for parents?
If he caught the kids, he checked them for weapons, then questioned them. He recounted a typical exchange: “ ‘Why you running?’ ‘Because I’m afraid of getting caught.’ ‘Well, what are you afraid of getting caught for?’ ‘I don’t know.’ ‘Well, there’s a reason you ran, and there’s a reason you don’t want to get caught. What’s going on?’ ” Wilson said that he rarely got answers—and that any contraband had already been thrown away. Once, he arrested some of the woman’s kids, for damaging property, but usually he let them go. In his telling, there was no reaching the blind woman’s kids: “They ran all over the mom. They didn’t respect her, so why would they respect me?” He added, “They’re so wrapped up in a different culture than—what I’m trying to say is, the right culture, the better one to pick from.”"I don't know". Every time it's "I don't know" and "I didn't do nothing". Every damn time. For real though. If you're going to do a crime and get caught at least learn how to say something along the lines of "I decline to speak until I see a lawyer." When you are caught in the act of committing a crime and say "I don't know" and "I didn't do nothing" to the police, who will be on the stand repeating your words to the jury, you are instantly considered a liar with no credibility. At least the person who says "I'll speak with my lawyer" comes off as somewhat bright. I saw a lot of people fall out over the culture comment. But you cannot escape that there is a criminal class with a criminal code, a culture if you will. We know it. The police know it. It's not racist to point it out. And it's hypocritical when you live a "law abiding culture" life to be upset when the police point out the culture of those who's behavior you choose not to engage in.
I met a man from St. Louis named Sean Bailey, who had been stopped by the Ferguson police in 2005. He had parked his mother’s car outside a Chinese restaurant, left a friend in the car, and run in to get take-out food. The police issued three violations, charging Bailey a hundred and two dollars for parking in a fire lane, and citing him for failure to register his car and driving without a valid license. Bailey, who was unemployed, couldn’t afford to pay, and when he missed deadlines he was charged additional fines. He has since been arrested half a dozen times for having outstanding fines, and has spent three weeks in jail. He says that, cumulatively, he has paid hundreds of dollars, but the city says that he still owes another hundred and fifty-eight. He has little hope of paying the debt, because he and his four-year-old daughter are homeless.Lets count up the mistakes: 1)Parked the car in a no parking zone (fire lane). These things are marked. You know the risk when you park there. But that's a compound on... 2)Driving an unregistered car. This car shouldn't have been on the street ANYWAY but this fool not only puts it on the road but also parks it in a no parking zone. You'd think in the interest of discretion he'd make sure not to park it somewhere where police would have a legal excuse to investigate it. But that's a compound on.... 3) No license. So this fool has no valid license. No registration (and I'll assume no insurance) and STILL took his behind to a store and parked the car in a no parking zone. What kind of special stupid are we dealing with here? And wait. He's unemployed to the extent that he cannot afford to pay the fine that he practically begged to be given, but has enough money to purchase take out food when EVERYBODY *should* know that home cooked meals are far cheaper? What kind of special stupid are we dealing with here? Look, I'm sympathetic to the man being homeless and it's sad that his daughter has to suffer for his mistakes but this guy walked straight into this problem on his own. It wasn't the city's fault his dumb ass drove on an invalid license in an unregistered car and parked it in a no parking zone while buying food he couldn't afford. His choices landed him in the situation. Lets treat this man like the adult he is and stop blaming the police and courts for his predicament.
The Justice Department found other examples of systemic racial bias in Ferguson. From 2012 to 2014, the Ferguson police issued four or more tickets to blacks on seventy-three occasions, and to whites only twice. Black drivers were more than twice as likely as others to be searched during vehicle stops, even though they were found to possess contraband twenty-six per cent less often. Some charges, like “manner of walking in roadway,” were brought against blacks almost exclusively.This paragraph makes the same assumptions the DOJ report did, that each group, blacks and whites commit offenses at the same rate. We know this is not the case nationally, or in any town or city where statistics are kept. And I'll say from experience in various mixed environments that walking in the roadway is almost an exclusively non-White, non-Asian thing. In my experience while whites will jaywalk across a street as frequently as anyone else, black youth far outnumber any other group I've seen walking down the street in a manner to disrupt car flow.
Just before noon on August 9, 2014, Darren Wilson was heading for a lunch date with Barb when his radio announced that there was a “stealing in progress” at the nearby Ferguson Market and Liquor. The dispatcher offered a description of the two suspects. Wilson radioed back: “Do you guys need me?” The dispatcher replied that the suspects had “disappeared.” [my underlines]So Wilson knew what the suspects looked like when he came upon Mike Brown who literally "fit the description".
Brown, Sr., recalls worrying that his son’s physical stature might make him a target for the police. “We had a conversation about just following orders,” he said. “After you thought that you were being disrespected, get a name and a badge number, so your parent can reach out to the police department and file a complaint.” Most important was a simple directive: “Obey.”I'll take Sr. at his word. It's too bad Mike didn't listen to his father.
Each spring, Duane Foster, a music teacher at Normandy, who knew Brown in passing, tells his seniors, “Since you’ve been a child, you have known every year, from August to June, that you’re going to go to school. . . . For the first time in your life, you won’t have anything set in stone. And that should make you scared.”Please stop this Foster fellow from giving this speech. If the school and parents have done their job, then the lack of structure shouldn't be scary at all. It should be looked forward to. It should have been prepared for. In fact before it even happened, the youth should have been given enough responsibility so that the transition is from guided freedom to complete freedom and full responsibility. If your kids are scared at the new freedom and responsibility then I suggest you have not done your job properly.
“How do I compete with somebody struggling with poverty? How do I come into a classroom and say that you don’t need to be selling drugs or participating in gang-like activity?”The above is so sad. An adult, responsible for moulding the minds of young people doesn't know the answer to drug selling and gangs. I think Foster should stick to teaching music and leave the rest to more qualified people.
Michael Brown’s father played an active role in his life, but this isn’t always the case for Normandy students. A third of Foster’s students have a father in jail. Many of them believe, rightly or wrongly, that their father is innocent, and this inevitably shapes how young people in Ferguson view the police.Suggestion: If papa is in jail, he probably did something wrong. That's what we call a teachable moment. He's your dad but he fucked up. Don't do what dad did. There shouldn't be any confusion here.
Dorian Johnson told me that, before entering the market, he and Brown “never talked about stealing things.” Johnson claimed that they were instead immersed in a discussion “about the Bible and God—how you’re supposed to be as a human going through life.” After Brown stole the cigarillos and they left the store, they resumed this conversation. Johnson also claimed that he didn’t even acknowledge that the theft had taken place, because he didn’t want to rub Brown “the wrong way.” He told me, “I was being a real good friend and staying with him, even though I know he committed a crime,” and added, “It wasn’t like he robbed the store—like he held it at gunpoint or anything—so I didn’t think the guy was really gonna call the police.”When I did my write-ups on the incident I wrote that Dorian Johnson was one of the best witnesses for Wilson. I honestly think Dorian is and was a person of conscience who was caught between a sense of loyalty and knowing right from wrong. A lot of brothers are put in these situations Johnson has his own issues, but I see him in a far better light than Brown and had HE been shot instead of Brown I would probably feel far more sympathy. As this paragraph shows, Brown was entirely indifferent to the fact that he had tried to (or did) rob a store and assault the manager. I've known people who thought that their criminal activity was normal and it was proper to just go along with your boys when they do criminal shit.
Jonathan Fenderson, who is a professor of African-American studies at Washington University, in St. Louis, told me that young black men are inclined to see the police as an “occupying force.” Intentionally or not, Wilson’s decision to blockade the street sent a message: You will defer to the power that I exhibit, or I am going to force you back into place.I'm going to hope that Fenderson had more to say than that. Of course it is a power move as well. Police shouldn't exercise power? African-Americans aren't supposed to be subject to the same police procedures as everyone else? There should be special procedures for black folks? Am I reading DailyStormer or The New Yorker? Lets be clear here: Either you think black people are homo-sapiens sapiens with the same capacities as everybody else (A Garveyite position) or you think black people are somehow different than everybody else and need special black[people] codes. Make up your mind 'cause you absolutely cannot have it both ways.
According to Wilson and several witnesses deemed credible by the Justice Department, Brown reached into the Tahoe’s open window, grabbed Wilson, and punched him. This narrative, the report says, is supported by bruising on Wilson’s jaw and samples of Brown’s DNA found on Wilson’s collar, shirt, and pants. It’s not known why Brown did this, and many have speculated that Wilson provoked Brown somehow.I'd like to know whether the New Yorker deems the witnesses credible. If they do not, I would like to know on what basis they find those witnesses non-credible. Secondly I'd like to know what people have speculated Wilson to have done that justifies Brown hitting him particularly given the fact that Brown had just finished robbing a store and assaulting the manager. Clearly his prior behavior and his nonchalant attitude about it shows that it is Brown who is most likely prone to violence and provocation rather than Wilson.
Melissa Harris-Perry, the commentator on MSNBC, noted that Wilson’s use of language—much like his use of the word “demon”—was dehumanizing, and conformed to the “myth of the black brute incapable of pain himself bent on inflicting pain on others.” She added, “Americans long have had difficulty in understanding, acknowledging, and having empathy for the pain of black men.”Melissa- Harris-Perry. Sigh. Yeah Mz. Harris-Perry, never you mind that this particular black man had just finished robbing a store and assaulted the manager and punched a responding police officer in the face. Let's talk about racial code words.
Aldridge talked with residents, gathering firsthand accounts of what had happened.As the DOJ report showed a lot of people claiming to be witnesses didn't witness anything at all. So the correct way to present this would have been to say Aldridge spoke with residents, gathering what [they said was] first hand accounts of what [they thought} had happened.
A few days later, he returned and watched, horrified, as looters ransacked a store. He and several others formed a raggedy line of defense. Some looters walked away, Aldridge says; others didn’t. “Some called us house niggers,” he said, his voice cracking.Guess what I'm called for writing all this truth?
Aldridge told me that, based on what he had heard and read, he believed that Brown was in “surrender mode” when Wilson shot him. When we spoke, he admitted that he had not yet read the Justice Department’s report on the shooting. It was hard not to notice a parallel: both Aldridge and Wilson had turned to the report that buttressed their own world view. It was as if the two Justice Department reports had come to present opposing realities.So Aldridge, like a whole lot of people simply went with whatever narrative fit their personal views of police, poverty and black folks. The justice department had not presented opposing realities. It presented a reality that a large number of people are unwilling to accept because it shatters the mythos' that they abide by. The DOJ report doesn't support Aldridge's position on what happened between Brown and Wilson at all. He cannot admit it. He like far too many "educated" black people have completely dropped the critical thinking skills that they have acquired for some two bit movement that they believe represents the best interests of the black collective. In a sense they are like Dorian Johnson who didn't want to rock the boat with Brown by pointing out he was a crook who just committed a crime. Instead these people want to behave as if no crime had occurred.
Legitimate questions linger about the shooting. If Brown was unprovoked, why did he reach into the police car and punch Wilson in the face? Why did Wilson fire ten shots? A young activist in Ferguson, Clifton Kinnie, said, “The story doesn’t make sense. Black youth don’t fight police—we run.”Except when black youth shoot at cops.
In May, I posed this question to Brittany Ferrell and Alexis Templeton—a charismatic black couple who are two of the most visible activists in Ferguson. Templeton said that the two Justice Department reports “pretty much contradict one another,” adding, “You have to say, Damn, if the Ferguson Police Department is racist, and Wilson works in the Ferguson Police Department, that means he might be racist, too.” She said, “They need to open up and relook at this case.” Ferrell said, “The system is going to do whatever it has to do to protect itself. And if that means protecting Darren Wilson, the officer who represents that system, they’re going to do that.”So if the police department is generally "racist" then one should suspect that everyone in it is racist. OK. Soo.... Since black folks commit crimes at a rate 7x that of the white population, and by the New Yorker's own writing, where there are large numbers of black [and poor} people, there is a lot of crime, we should assume that all blacks are criminals. Or...since most black males who commit crimes, wear baggy jeans and oversize t-shirts, any black wearing baggy jeans and oversize t-shirt should be assumed a criminal. See generalizations, group blame and stereotyping works in a whole lot of ways. Do we REALLY want to take it there?
. He urged me to consider what might have happened if Wilson had known Brown, or Brown’s grandmother, and was able to say, “Does Miss Jenny know you’re out here?” Such a question, Reverend Wilson said, has a more potent moral authority.Clearly Brown didn't give a damn about what his granny or daddy thought. And the Rev should see Wilson's story about the blind, disabled mother. I'll also remind the reader that one grown up in the Canfield apartments saw Brown walking down the street and said to himself that Brown ought to get out the street, but he didn't go out and say that to Brown himself. Why? Why do we expect more from [white] police officers, than we do our own black neighbors?
Michael Brown, Sr., also feels “resentment” toward Wilson, and feels that nothing, not even Wilson’s going to jail, can rectify what happened. When we spoke of the day of the shooting, I asked him what he believed had happened at Ferguson Market and Liquor. “That’s just out of character,” he said. He also insisted that the video didn’t “show all the facts,” though he wouldn’t elaborate. His son, he said, “was an average kid that did teen-age things and had fun and tried to live his life.”Yet another parent in deeeeep denial about what their kids are doing and are capable of doing. The tape says Brown did it. Johnson was there and said Brown did it. Yet Brown Senior thinks he knows more than the tape, Johnson and the guy who Brown assaulted. Just a reflection of the deeeeeep denial that is afflicting many who are still talking about hands up don't shoot.