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#1 Selena

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:47 PM

Having grown up near Seattle, I'm no stranger to riots -- the WTO riot was a huge thing, as are the Mayday riots we get every other year or so. Lots of peaceful protesters, and always some group causing trouble for the sake of causing trouble.

 

But man, what is currently happening in St. Louis is downright scary. 

 

The Cause:

 

Another young black kid being shot to death. Supposedly he had some kind of scuffle with a local policeman. The cop subsequently shot him five times until he died, despite him holding up his hands and shouting "don't shoot!" The police say he attempted to steal the cop's gun, but eyewitnesses say that he was not attempting to be violent at all -- simply trying to flee. Truth? Unknown. But it caused the community -- primarily African-American -- to begin a protest in the name of justice.

 

This both comes on the heels of various other instance where people have gotten away with shooting unarmed black kids, and years of racial tension in Ferguson itself.

 

 

Right Now:

 

After several nights of protesting and rioting, the police have more or less got the place under martial law -- you're to be in your home by 11, they're dispersing any crowd (peaceful or otherwise) using any means necessary. A young woman photographing the riots was shot in the head (but has lived). There's a huge cloud of tear gas hanging over much of the neighborhood. Heavy armored SWAT trucks, sharpshooters, K9 units, you name it. 

 

They have also banned air traffic, preventing news choppers from entering the area, and they fired tear gas at official reporters from Al Jazeera US. They've been ordering people to turn off their cellphone and cameras. A Washington Post journalist attempting to film an arrest was effectively removed from the scene by force. Streets blocked off, preventing people on foot from going straight home.

 

Getting more tense by the day, especially after the most recent shootings. The more the police crack down, the more the crowds get riled up, and things are escalating. Some people are now throwing Molotovs back at the cops.

 

 

 

Footage of Al Jazeera being tear gassed:

 

 

 

And here is a link to a reddit social media livestream:

 

http://www.reddit.co...e/tdrph3y49ftn/

 

 

 

 

It's just crazy, man. There are definitely riots going on, which is unfortunate, and there are definitely some people out there trying to cause trouble. The protesters have condemned them. But police seem indiscriminate about which groups they're using force on -- from rioters, to peaceful protesters, to actual news teams. Any gathered group is being targeted.

 

I get breaking up rioters/looters. That's sensible. But manhandling the press and peaceful people the way they've been, along with cutting off air traffic? That's moving into scary dystopian territory, especially with how well-armed the police are. They also seem to deliberately be arresting/targeting people who are recording events -- either through mass media or social media.

 

All in all, this is scary, and a damn shame. Apparently people in the area feel like this has been brewing for some time. :(



#2 Delphi

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:02 AM

For the love of everything holy...

You know we've had so Mich gun violence perpetrated by police lately I really think we need a better solution. Just up in Salt Lake City a policeman went into someone's yard without a warrant and unannounced and when their dog came to investigate nonagressively, as a good dog does, the cop shot it in the face. Dog died.

Then even worse are all these young minorities getting shot and kill for just existing basically.

Cops should be the last people on earth with a twitchy trigger finger. If you can't trust a cop to shot shoot only when needed then who can you trust?

I know this is about the riots but the triggering incidences are related to violence against youth and especially gun violence.

Ideally it should be like the case for what to do about rape as was discussed on Facebook and here. Teach people to respect and not suspect people of crimes based on skin color or cultural background. I mean what, it's been sixty plus years since the beginning if the Civil Rights Movement and we still can't figure this out? That doesn't really speak highly of us as a whole, sadly.

So with the gun thing. I'm a target shooter. I like guns. But I treat guns the same way I treat fire or the ocean. It's a powerful force that needs to be respected or it will kill you or someone else. If you can't understand that you have no business being around it. If you can't understand with a gun that you don't point it unless you intend whatever you're pointing it at to die or be destroyed, you don't put your hands on a gun I don't care if you're a cop or not. You don't use it to wound someone. People and animals move. Your wounding shot can become a killing shot in a split second. Guns are tools for killing. Period.

Which means I really think police forces need an alternative to defend themselves. Maybe if they've shown responsibility and restraint with a different weapon first they can graduate to a gun but it's clear to me despite the training some people just don't get what guns are capable of. I mean do they need to get a cadaver from a med school and shoot it in the head with different kinds of rounds for it to sink in what these weapons can do?

I get that "the bad guys" have guns too. A very close friend of the family went on what was supposed to be I believe a routine domestic violence check from a concerned neighbor. Well it turned into a shoot out because it wasn't a domestic violence issue, it was with some high profile Russian criminals. He ended up with a hit on him. (He's quit being a cop since then and decided to do something safer. Like be a power lineman) But I know he understands gun safety because he was taught by my dad when he was a scout. My dad has quite a vested interest in gun safety since he was accidently shot in the calf with a .22 by a friend. Some of the other cops in town? I'd feel safer with one of my dad's twelve year old scouts wielding a gun instead of them.

So what's the alternative for subdueing a flight risk and such? I really don't know but I'd like to find one. It won't solve the heart of the problem which is an iherent distrust of people that are different. That's going to take time and very sad to say but certain people in certain generations passing away and taking their hate with them. But I see it like a driver's license. You can't follow the rules of driving a car then you don't get to drive one. Its a step in the direction of safety at least. We shouldn't be afraid of our own civil servants.

I mean five times? That's more than excessive.

Sorry to go off on the gun thing but its really been bothering me. The people you think could be trusted above anyone else to use a gun responsibly are proving at least a significant fraction of the force can't.

#3 Jasi

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:29 AM

I'm fairly radical with regard to gun control. I really do think that in many places, guns should be outright banned, idgaf. I don't think it should necessarily be a nationwide law or anything, because in very rural areas, guns seem far more necessary. But in my opinion, within basically any urban center, like NYC or LA or St. Louis or Detroit, guns do way more harm than good because of the population density. Here in NYC, cops accidentally shoot bystanders way too frequently, simply because it's pretty impossible to fire a gun in Manhattan and be sure that it's only going to hit your intended target.

 

To me, it's simply not worth it. We need to somehow affect a cultural shift where people stop thinking of guns as being so necessary or American or whatever and instead see them for what they are—tools for killing. And in urban centers, we can be more specific: they are tools for killing human beings (because you are not shooting a rampaging bear in your Brooklyn brownstone). My opinion: Your tool for killing human beings is not something to be glorified. You don't need one. You don't deserve one. You aren't entitled to one. It is gross to fetishize guns, killing, and street justice in the way that so many people do. 

 

But until some kind of cultural shift happens where people recognize how barbaric it is to feel entitled to kill another person, like, basically regardless of the situation, it just isn't going to fly. You can't just outlaw guns in DC because anyone can drive an hour up the road and buy guns in Maryland instead and bring them back home. It does need to be more widespread than that. I'm totally okay with guns in Montana and Alaska and whatever, but not in NYC and not in St. Louis. I don't really care if that makes me statist liberal scum. A person straight up sounds like a nutter to me when they insist that they need or have the right to be able to kill other people.

 

edit: to nod to the topic at hand, although the gun control thing is obviously very related—police are often out of control this way. I'm very in favor of making the police more de-militarized. I like that in the UK they only have batons. If you really need weapons, then that's above their pay grade and training and they need to call in some kind of special force. Killing innocent civilians is completely unacceptable.


Edited by Jasi, 14 August 2014 - 09:32 AM.


#4 Egann

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 11:26 AM

I have heard at least three different versions of events which don't agree on practically anything. Suffice to say I have no clue what actually happened and I'm just going to wait for more details.

 

But in the big picture, one person dying is not a big deal. There was a big foofurah on the local news when a local father accidentally left an infant in the car and the kid died of heat stroke. Nobody mentioned that last year more than 600 other kids died exactly the same way in the US, almost 2 per day.

 

One kid dying at police hands? Not really a big deal. Even confirming the cop is bad, it's unfortunate and totally worth getting angry over, but it's not a huge deal. The expression "straw that broke the camel's back" come to mind.

 

I mean five times? That's more than excessive.

 

I'm surprised you don't know this, but that doesn't strike me as excessive force at all.

 

Sure, on paper it only takes one shot to kill, but realistically that almost never happens in a gunfight. People on adrenaline can take an astonishing amount of abuse, so someone could go down from a graze to the elbow or fight on after taking a half dozen shots to the chest. It just depends.

 

That, and the 9mm parabellum like police use is actually pretty bad when it comes to stopping power. There are certainly better self-defense rounds. The .357 magnum is known as an excellent defense round. Police don't use it because it has strong recoil some officers can't handle and it overpenetrates.

 

SWAT and special forces who need to conserve ammo are typically taught to shoot twice at the center of mass and once at the head, but other than that? Everyone's taught to shoot the other guys until they go down.

 

So, no. Five rounds is not excessive force. One round when the other guy was no longer a bodily threat is excessive force, but only an investigation will reveal that.

 

My opinion: Your tool for killing human beings is not something to be glorified. You don't need one. You don't deserve one. You aren't entitled to one. It is gross to fetishize guns, killing, and street justice in the way that so many people do.

 

Interesting word choice; "fetishize." I can't deny that there are certainly groups like that, but the world is actually a pretty violent and unpleasant place, and I don't see that changing. Lethal coercive force is likely to always be part of human nature because it will always be part of human life.

 

The only question is if you trust your neighbor down the street or the federal government more. Personally, I don't trust either of them because both are capable of despicable violence. That said, the government dwarfs the individual's capacity for evil. How many people have died in random mass shootings? A few hundred in the past thirty years? How many have died in gun homicides? A few hundred thousand in the past fifty years? The most violent regimes--the ones with tens of millions of dead--have been the most insistent about disarming the people. It's not because the people will be particularly effective at fighting back, either, but because it is symbolic.

 

On the whole I think dealing with an occasional Columbine is a small price to keep guns. It's not because they will secure the liberties against the government, but because only a government which is trying to honor personal freedom would trust citizens with lethal force. It is the ultimate symbol of government service as opposed to government ownership.

 

If that means I'm fetishizing guns, so be it.

 

I get breaking up rioters/looters. That's sensible. But manhandling the press and peaceful people the way they've been, along with cutting off air traffic? That's moving into scary dystopian territory, especially with how well-armed the police are. They also seem to deliberately be arresting/targeting people who are recording events -- either through mass media or social media.

 

The sad truth is that's nothing new. Policework during any public crisis has always blurred the lines; police regularly overstep their constitutional authority and will lie about what your constitutional rights are. Lincoln undermined Habeas Corpus to prevent Maryland from seceding back in 1861, even though technically only congress can do that. Yeah, it's that old.

 

Pretty much the only thing you can do is hope you can catch them at it enough they generally don't.



#5 SteveT

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 11:57 AM

One kid dying at police hands? Not really a big deal.

 

The police would seem to agree with you on that point.  That's the problem.

 

Police in the U.S. are allowed to confiscate property without due process, kill animals without due process, and kill unarmed teenagers who are trying to surrender...without due process.  They lie in court, send SWAT teams to serve warrants, threw a flashbang at a baby, shoot any dog who barks at them as a matter of standard procedure, coach drug-sniffing dogs to help them fabricate reasonable suspicion to search vehicles without a warrant, taze pregnant women in traffic stops, take bribes to break up peaceful protests...  This list goes on.  Internal affairs does not handle these problems.  Officers are maybe put on leave for a while until the media heat dies down, then the department issues a report that they did nothing wrong.

 

Read the news.  We have a problem with the police in this country.  They do not respect the rights of citizens.  The jump quickly to lethal force.  

 

If one kid dies at police hands, it is a big deal, and it is something police departments should scrutinize so they can understand what went wrong and whether they can prevent it in the future.  If you take the attitude that 1 dead person is no big deal, that's how you end up with 100.



#6 Selena

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 12:38 PM

edit/update: Anonymous is more or less heavily involved too, as St. Louis police departments have repeatedly come under cyber attacks, often resulting in service loss.

I'm surprised you don't know this, but that doesn't strike me as excessive force at all.
 
Sure, on paper it only takes one shot to kill, but realistically that almost never happens in a gunfight.

 
Except this wasn't a gunfight. While the cause of the fight is up in the air, almost all stories have the kid as being unarmed while he was in flight -- and that he went down after the cop's first shot. He was alive and incapacitated, holding up his hands, and saying "don't shoot." That's the universal sign of "I give up." The subsequent four rounds were fired deliberately to kill him. This is the equivalent of send a K9 to take someone down, but then refusing to call it off once the suspect is on the ground. Instead letting the dog continue until it rips open the suspect's neck. Police manage to take other criminals alive under more harrowing circumstances.
 
 

The sad truth is that's nothing new. Policework during any public crisis has always blurred the lines; police regularly overstep their constitutional authority and will lie about what your constitutional rights are. Lincoln undermined Habeas Corpus to prevent Maryland from seceding back in 1861, even though technically only congress can do that. Yeah, it's that old.
 
Pretty much the only thing you can do is hope you can catch them at it enough they generally don't.

 
Have you considered that this apathetic attitude is the exact reason why it continues to be a problem? "Well, it's always been like this, oh well." If the police budget was more focused on dash cams and on-person cameras (as used by other countries), then the rate of police brutality would decline. And guess what? For all the high-powered rifles and armored trucks St. Louis has, they conveniently cannot afford simple dash cams for their vehicles -- which is why there's no concrete proof of what went down.
 
It is a stupidly easy fix for at least a sizable chunk of the problem. The rest can fixed by other means, and a stricter application of justice once a cop breaks the rules -- most are just put on "paid administrative leave" until the public forgets what happened.
 
Effectively saying "this is just the way it is" solves nothing and contributes to the problem -- you want a country of justice, you have to actively speak up and take action.
 
 

Teach people to respect and not suspect people of crimes based on skin color or cultural background. I mean what, it's been sixty plus years since the beginning if the Civil Rights Movement and we still can't figure this out? That doesn't really speak highly of us as a whole, sadly.

 
This, regrettably, is a bigger problem than the guns in these situations (although the use of lethal force is still a problem too). 
 
I mean, let's look at recent events.
 
Bunch of NRA white guys have "open carry" protests where they take their rifles into public stores for the sake of the Second Amendment. Just a few weeks ago, a black man picked up a toy gun from Walmart and was walking around the same store with it while he was on the phone with his girlfriend. Suddenly the girlfriend hears police order him onto the ground without much warning -- and when he tries to explain that it's only a toy, they shoot him dead, with her listening to entire incident.
 
Standoff at the Bundy Ranch? Good ol' boys praised it as a "stand against the government" rally. Bunch of armed people -- Bundy himself having actually defied federal law -- standing their ground against law enforcement. A protest in a predominantly black city? Tear gas, flashbags, sonic weapons, forced dispersal of even peaceful protesters, and tear gas being lobbed into front yards of residential streets. There was rioting, yes, and that is bad, but the vast bulk of the people there are peaceful protesters.
 
Just a few weeks ago, another black man was choked out until he died because he was selling cigarettes on a street corner and tried to argue with police about it. And elsewhere, a black woman was put on the ground and beaten in the face excessively by a police officer when she objected to an arrest -- rather than subdued and cuffed.
 
The community's upset because they know shit like this never gets deal with -- it just get swept under a rug until people forget about it. Then the crooked cops resume duty, or, in the best scenarios, they leave the force with a hefty paycheck rather than seeing any actual justice. It's nothing new. And eventually it reaches a boiling point, especially if it's a city that's had tension for many years already.
 
"But it's not really about race!" white people cry.... except when you look in the comments section of popular news sites reporting on this, a huge chunk of the comments are "lol if i were there i'd shoot me a nigger" or "they're animals!" or "black people get so riled up about everything omg" or "niggers deserve it!" Disgusting.
 
2014, swear to god.

#7 Jasi

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 12:51 PM

"But it's not really about race!" white people cry.... except when you look in the comments section of popular news sites reporting on this, a huge chunk of the comments are "lol if i were there i'd shoot me a nigger" or "they're animals!" or "black people get so riled up about everything omg" or "niggers deserve it!" Disgusting.

 
2014, swear to god.

 

 

Plus people that try to shift the conversation from the actual crime that started the whole thing to condemning the rioters and acting like that makes the original crime more understandable, or at the very least, makes it "even", and always vaguely or not-so-vaguely invoking racist explanations for why black people might be so prone to rioting.


Edited by Jasi, 14 August 2014 - 12:57 PM.


#8 Delphi

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 01:41 PM

No, Egann I get that in a gun fight one shot won't do it. As Lena pointed out, this wasn't a gun fight. It was an unarmed guy. Who went down after one shot. Your gun did what you wanted it to do. Now put it away.

If he was on PCP and had the super power rage going on, five shots is probably minimum. But this wasn't that situation. Assess intelligently if you're going to shoot.

And I have shot a police 9mm before. I'm a pretty damn good shot with it if I say so myself. I still think five shots is excessive in all but the most extenuating of circumstances.

I agree with Steve and Lena that apathy is our worst enemy in this. Saying oh well it's just one person doesn't work. Today it's one. Tomorrow it's three. Two weeks from now its five. Three months and it's ten. Where do you draw the line? There shouldn't be a line to begin with. One is too many.

I don't believe an occasional Columbine is worth it and I really am at a loss for words that you'd put it that way.

We're at the point in society that not even one death shouldn't be acceptable. Thinking over wise just gives excuses not to care. I ask if we really want that? Yes people die every day. That doesn't mean we should allow someone to cut another human being's life short. To become that callous to not care that this violence is happening in our country goes against the life, liberty and freedom that our founding fathers fought for.

What really kind of gets me though regarding gun laws is that we license people to drive but not to own guns? Are bare minimum I think someone that wants to own a gun should have to pass a gun safety class overseen by preferably a military member along with a background check.

Also the Bundy Ranch thing happened three hours away from where I live now. It was...interesting. To be against it was unpatriotic but the guy was breaking the law. I don't care how long his family has been there. My family has been around these parts longer than his and we own land up around Vernal, Utah. And we pay all the dues legally required and get hunting licenses even though we own it. So I don't give a flying frak what his excuse is. He's an American citizen, he follows the laws. Don't like the laws? Get involved in local government and get it changed. His claim to the land is sketchy as hell too because despite his claims they have been on it more than 140 years. Las Vegas channel 8 has more on that: http://www.8newsnow....-family-history

One of the biggest things that irks me is that Bundy claims to be a good Mormon man. Well article of faith number twelve would like to have a word with him: We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

Oops.


Honestly I was scared when that was going on because all the gun nuts in my town came out of the woodwork. A lot of them had obviously never been in a gun safety class in their life. Working at The hospital I kept expecting someone to come in to the ER from an accidental discharge.

But during all this the Paiute and Navajo tribes in the area have had their burial grounds ran over by these wingnut Bundy supports' ATVs. But we don't hear about that. Because they're brown and stuff.

But back on subject regarding following the laws. I think another issue is that police now feel that they are above the law. I do need to applaud the city I live in by proving this isn't true. Police officer got a DUI but due to conflict of interest the case was turned over to a different agency. If more officers were held responsible for their actions maybe the bad ones wouldn't have such a God complex.

Article here:http://www.stgeorgeu...s/#.U-0B8SXnbXP

Heh, guess you guys know where I live now. XP Wanna stop bye?

#9 Kwicky Koala

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 04:06 PM

On the whole I think dealing with an occasional Columbine is a small price to keep guns.

That may be the most callous thing anybody's ever said on this forum. Are you trolling? Or do you really have that little regard for human life?

I'm honestly shocked you Contro regulars let Egann get away with these bizarre statements. I get that people have reasons to oppose gun control, but I never thought I'd see someone openly admit that they just don't care about the thousands of innocent lives claimed by having so many lethal weapons in the country.

And Columbines are anything but occasional.

#10 Veteran

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 04:36 PM

I was about to quote the same as the above post.

Because jesus christ Egann! You don't really believe that do you?

#11 Selena

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:28 PM

What a difference a change in leadership makes. They put the State Patrol guy in charge, and his tactic? No riot gear, no armored trucks -- just regular ol' police officers keeping an eye on things in a sensible fashion. He's directly marching with the protesters, as are many of his officers. A staging area for the press was also set up, so that reporters could have a base of operations. 

 

The result?

 

No riots, no conflicts. Any fringe groups trying to cause trouble are dealt with accordingly and with appropriate force. The situation has been describe as having "good vibes all around," and protesters are directly calling out anyone who is trying to cause trouble. Amazing. Goes to show that if your opening tactic is to come out with paramilitary gear, the public feels threatened and rises up to meet that level of intensity. Keep things cool and sensible? So follows the crowd. Thank goodness they put another guy in charge.

 

Hopefully things stay calm from here on out, and hopefully the FBI taking over the murder case from local cops will get things straightened out. 

 

One scary part about all of this is that nobody would know about this situation if not for social media causing a stir. Official news was more or less kicked out of the area, so it was direct footage that went viral that caused people to pay needed attention to it all.

 

 

 

 

 

Still, as always, the racist commentary made by the public on news sites and social media managed to shine an ugly light on certain backwards mentalities in the US.



#12 Egann

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:35 PM

 

On the whole I think dealing with an occasional Columbine is a small price to keep guns.

That may be the most callous thing anybody's ever said on this forum. Are you trolling? Or do you really have that little regard for human life?

I'm honestly shocked you Contro regulars let Egann get away with these bizarre statements. I get that people have reasons to oppose gun control, but I never thought I'd see someone openly admit that they just don't care about the thousands of innocent lives claimed by having so many lethal weapons in the country.

And Columbines are anything but occasional.
 

Or maybe it's because I've looked at the numbers on this one.
 
Columbine-like events appear frequent because news outlets leap on reporting them, but they're actually quite rare. For comparison, here's a body count for the largest mass shootings in the past fifty years (dates back to 1966). Total of 352 or about 7 per year Bad, right?
 
Well, last year the United States had 14,173 murders. Google "United States Murder Rate" if you don't believe me. More men murder their wives or girlfriends every year than all victims of senseless mass shootings since 1900 combined. And the United States' murder rate is high, but not unbearably so.
 
Perspective makes everybody a cynic.
 
 
 
 
So, now that I've had a chance to research, I've come to a conclusion. I still don't know enough. I'll add a bit more, though.
 
I found a few versions of each, but I basically found two eyewitness accounts to Michael Brown's death. Tiffany Mitchell, who drove up while it happened, and Dorian Johnson, who was with Michael at the time. They corroborate on most points, but Dorian's account has the cop go straight from issuing a command to lethal force. To say this is utterly bizzare is an understatement. It makes me think I'm missing something kinda important.
 
So, on to the riots. As near as I can tell this is all because St. Lou's police department is being about as transparent as shoe leather. Will I get gassed again? "I hope not." I mean, Jeez, could you come up with a better non-answer? Add in the racial tension of a city like St. Louis and presto, protest.
 
Chances are the St. Louis police department knows something they're not letting on, which means we are potentially looking at a cover-up here.
 

Have you considered that this apathetic attitude is the exact reason why it continues to be a problem? "Well, it's always been like this, oh well." If the police budget was more focused on dash cams and on-person cameras (as used by other countries), then the rate of police brutality would decline. And guess what? For all the high-powered rifles and armored trucks St. Louis has, they conveniently cannot afford simple dash cams for their vehicles -- which is why there's no concrete proof of what went down.

 
Question: how does knowing the historical context translate to apathy? If you had said I was being jaded, I would have had to agree. I'm also a bit of a conspiracy theorist and you have to wash everything I say down with my jumbo-sized keg of cynicism. For example, to my eyes the prosecuting attorney declining to say how many times Brown was shot because he "wants to test the veracity and accuracy" of any further witnesses is suspicious at best.
 
None of that means I'm apathetic, though.
 

Standoff at the Bundy Ranch? Good ol' boys praised it as a "stand against the government" rally. Bunch of armed people -- Bundy himself having actually defied federal law -- standing their ground against law enforcement. A protest in a predominantly black city? Tear gas, flashbags, sonic weapons, forced dispersal of even peaceful protesters, and tear gas being lobbed into front yards of residential streets. There was rioting, yes, and that is bad, but the vast bulk of the people there are peaceful protesters.

 
I still don't know what to make of Bundy, as they basically played chicken with law enforcement. On the one hand it was crazy and what was won was really not worth fighting over (much less putting the children on the front porch as if to say "kill us first"), on the other hand they did get the government to back down. I'm torn between retarded motivation and successful results. What gives?
 
The more accurate comparison may be Steve Lohner, the major difference being that mid-sized city Colorado probably doesn't have the racial tensions of St. Lousi. There's probably a ton of other cases of people being stupid, though.
 
 

I agree with Steve and Lena that apathy is our worst enemy in this. Saying oh well it's just one person doesn't work. Today it's one. Tomorrow it's three. Two weeks from now its five. Three months and it's ten. Where do you draw the line? There shouldn't be a line to begin with. One is too many.

 
Simple: when I know what is going on, I make up my mind if I approve. I did not approve of PRISM, for example, because it undermined oversight and needlessly circumvented existing wiretap laws. Here, I don't know what's going on.
 
EDIT: Lena's post:

Why am I not surprised?


Edited by Egann, 15 August 2014 - 12:03 PM.


#13 Delphi

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 10:15 AM

I don't put stock in conspiracy theories. Not large ones anyways.

The way I figure it the more people involved means more people that have to keep up the lies. Each person is a potential slip up. Small consquiracy could maybe keep that under wraps. Large group of people like the supposed moon landing hoax? Too many people to keep quiet.

I mean for crying out loud you think our government is capable of a large scale conspiracy theory today? Maybe in the height of the cold war when there was a lack of social media and it was easier to manipulate facts. Today they can't even get wikileaks under control.

It's okay to take facts with a grain of salt. Contrary to probably what appears to be wide eyed idealism on here, I'm quite a skeptic with a lot of things. Crystal healing, young earth theories, chemtrails and so on I don't believe in at all. As Carl Sagan said extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Without it I'm not going to be easily swayed. Tell me chemtrails exist and I'll ask you to go get me an air sample from the chemtrail and explain to me what in the sample is supposedly mind controlling us or whatever is the in vogue theory if the day.

Religious beliefs not withstanding but I don't want to skirt around the event horizon of that black hole today. I'm not here to convert anyone and religion or lack of religion is an intensely personal matter.

But back on subject.

I don't understand the point you're trying to make with school shootings and the murder rate. Neither should be happening at all. Perspective isn't saying a few murders here isn't as bad as the murders over there. You can't reduce human lives to simple numbers. That makes them a on object and not a life. Dehumanization is the first step to worse offenses. If they're not human then their lives didn't matter. Only every life matters to someone, especially in a world as connected as ours is now.

There's no balancing of the scales here. This isn't war where to paraphrase Mass Effect ten million die over here so one billion can live over there.

This is just senseless violence with no goal in sight. I don't care how rare a school shooting is, they never should have happened. The husband murdering his wife shouldnt have happened. We really shouldn't need a law that says don't kill other people. This should be common sense.

I guess I'm mostly confused as to your logic why you'd accept school shootings when I see no pay off.

#14 Delphi

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 10:15 AM

Derp double post nothing to see here. Blame crappy intermountain west internet services.

Edited by Delphi, 15 August 2014 - 10:16 AM.


#15 Jasi

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 11:17 AM

I guess I'm mostly confused as to your logic why you'd accept school shootings when I see no pay off.

 

 

It's the absurd fear of a totalitarian regime taking over the US. People who say things along the lines of "school shootings are worth it if I can still have my machine guns" are saying they would rather not have gun control, even if it would fix problems we actually suffer today, out of fear of problems that the USA has never actually had and never will have—and the idea that a bunch of random people with guns is the only thing that can prevent said problems. So that's the payoff. Because a totalitarian regime would be worse than freedom + senseless daily murders, right? Worth it.

 

A combination of a fear of change and also a natural disposition of being fearful just in general, seeing violent enemies in every establishment and every minority. Yup, basically like a conspiracy theory.


Edited by Jasi, 15 August 2014 - 02:17 PM.


#16 deep

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 06:59 PM

I'd just like to chime in here and say that it's a disgusting opinion to hold that excessive force was not used here. It's not even a question of being liberal or conservative or what school of ethics one applies to. That's a disgusting opinion. Even though we're still lacking decisive evidence that Brown ever reached for that gun, I wouldn't ever backtrack that statement.

 

Even if he did reach for the cop's gun, he was shot twice in the back while running away, then turned around, put his hands up, pleaded to not be shot anymore, and was shot another five times in the front. He died 20 feet away from the car. Even if he had reached for that gun, that cop was no longer in danger when he chose to unload five bullets into that conspicuously unarmed kid.

 

With a straight face and clear conscience you're telling us that isn't excessive force? One bullet into a surrendered human being is too fucking much. He shot a defenseless and stationary, completely surrendered target five more times from a distance of 20 god damn feet, and shitheads are still trying to rationalize it and defend that cop.

 

That kid was executed.



#17 wisp

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:14 PM

Some stranger's post popped up in my FB feed today after one of my friends commented on it. The post linked to a Fox News story claiming that he had stolen approximately $50 worth of cigars from a convenience store before getting shot. The person who posted it said, "all you defending this thug should feel like idiots," and many comments followed; my friend was the ONLY person in that conversation who wasn't just agreeing with him. 

 

That just made me absolutely sick. 

 

Even if he DID steal cigars from the store, is fucking $50 REALLY worth killing somebody over? I don't even understand how people can say his death was justified because they think he stole something that small.



#18 SteveT

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:58 PM

And to add to that, he was not being arrested for the cigars.  He was stopped for jaywalking.  The officer was unaware of any stolen cigarettes.

The most rational hypothesis I've seen is that he panicked when the cop stopped him, which in turn panicked the cop, and the situation escalated from there.

 

But no.  Petty theft and jaywalking does not retroactively justify a cop emptying a clip into him while he tries to surrender.


Edited by SteveT, 15 August 2014 - 09:59 PM.


#19 Egann

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 01:55 PM

*sigh*

 

I'm going to start by quoting my post on Trayvon Martin because I said some relevant things.

 

I think it's pretty clear Zimmerman was guilty of something like criminally negligent manslaughter, where negligent would mean reckless, or more likely imperfect self defense. Neither of those charges were on the table. It was homicide or second degree manslaughter. What he did was criminal, to be sure, but it wasn't murder, either.

 

...

Still, Zimmerman was completely within his rights to go up and talk to Martin, dispatcher's advice or not, and if Martin had lived he probably would have gotten an aggravated assault charge or something like it. The gun and marajuana were clearly not great ideas.

 

Like many situations where someone wound up dead, both people did stupid stuff to get there.

 

Understanding what charges are floating around is very important here. Based on the limited information we have--two eyewitness testimonies--it looks like the cop is guilty of voluntary manslaughter, which is not a charge to be sneezed at or taken lightly. That said, we don't know a lot. A lot of people float around this phrase "shot five times" but I still can't find any place where police confirm that number--and it's pretty clear both witnesses didn't see or didn't mention some pretty important events.

 

Heck, being VERY charitable to the cop, it's possible Brown was already mortally wounded before he backed away from the car and bled out. It's very unlikely with two eyewitnesses timing the shots otherwise, but witnesses aren't exactly the most reliable sources of evidence.

 

But reading this thread you'd think the cop is guilty of premeditated murder, floating around words like "executed." Uh, no. Voluntary manslaughter is the most I can see any prosecution try to stick.

 

The problem is that the St. Louis Police have been anything but competent and transparent in this case. Meeting protests with a curfew and teargas? It's their right to protest the sky being blue. It's also pretty clear the information the police are giving the media is shamelessly one-sided. We only just now learned the cop's name, learned Brown had filched something less than $45 of legal tobacco products, and the police officer is mild-mannered and would never hurt a fly.

 

Well, obviously not. If the cop isn't guilty of anything, why the lack of information, propaganda campaign, and riot cops?

 

I am not worried about if the cop is a murderer. 14,000 murders per year, remember? I (mostly) trust our legal system to give him a fair shake. I'm also not terribly concerned with if he's a racist. I am much more concerned that the St. Louis police are (or were) up to a cover-up and a propaganda campaign to undermine the legal system. And who is coincidentally positioned to be able to sway the hand of justice like that? The police. A precedent like that could institutionalize racism and murder and is a fantastic cause for concern.

 

My general rule of thumb is that individuals deserve the benefit of the doubt until they get their shake in court. Institutions deserve no such privileges.

 

 

I guess I'm mostly confused as to your logic why you'd accept school shootings when I see no pay off.

 

 

It's the absurd fear of a totalitarian regime taking over the US. People who say things along the lines of "school shootings are worth it if I can still have my machine guns" are saying they would rather not have gun control, even if it would fix problems we actually suffer today, out of fear of problems that the USA has never actually had and never will have—and the idea that a bunch of random people with guns is the only thing that can prevent said problems. So that's the payoff. Because a totalitarian regime would be worse than freedom + senseless daily murders, right? Worth it.

 

A combination of a fear of change and also a natural disposition of being fearful just in general, seeing violent enemies in every establishment and every minority. Yup, basically like a conspiracy theory.

 

 

No, I just understand this phrase "diminishing returns." It is mathematically impossible to reduce risk to zero, so our policies will always be about what an acceptable risk is.

 

Now, rank the following in terms of policy priorities:

 

1) America is probably the world's worst developed nation in terms of income inequality.

2) Poverty is now at a historic high and is also shortening America's average life expectancy.

3) Car accidents killed 33,500 people in 2012.

4) Mass shootings on average kill 7 people per year and about 600 gun-related fatal injuries happen per year.

 

Now, you may note that I have omitted overall gun related deaths, which is on the order of 30,000 per year. This is because most of those were homicides or suicides. It is practically impossible to argue how much removing the guns would actually change those numbers because they involve an intent to harm and you could argue anything you want about how much of that could be solved by simply taking guns away. We are 100% certain mass shootings and gun-related fatal injuries would be stopped.



#20 J-Roc

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 01:25 AM

How about we talk about the recent capping of a young black man for stealing TWO FUCKING SODAS.

 

This happened with a motherfucking international spotlight on the town.

 



#21 Oberon Storm

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 08:48 AM

The viewpoint is too far away. I couldn't tell if he had a knife or not. I have to admit that if he did have a knife part of me is saying he should have dropped the damn knife.



#22 Jasi

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 12:25 PM

Everyone can talk about "the victim should have blah blah blah" but the victim also shouldn't have been shot five times and that's the point of these discussions, not whether or not the person had straight As in high school. 



#23 Oberon Storm

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 01:45 PM

He was clearly approaching an office that had his gun drawn. They were clearly yelling at him to put the knife down. He started to back away, but then he started to approach the officers again with the knife in hand. I don't give a runny shit about what grades he made in high school. Stealing the soda means precisely dick. All that matters is that he approached armed police officers with a knife in his hand while they gave him ample opportunity to put it the fuck down.

 

And this only really applies to this guy. There is no cell phone footage of what happened to Michael Brown. There still is no clear answer as to what happened that day.


Edited by Oberon Storm, 23 August 2014 - 01:46 PM.


#24 Jasi

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 03:12 PM

They gave him like 30 seconds. They could have tried to talk the guy down out of what is clearly crazy-based rage, or otherwise attempted at all to de-escalate, rather than jumping straight to lethal force. He wasn't charging at them or anything. They clearly had the upper hand already and really weren't in much danger.

 

edit: after re-watching, it's seriously 18 seconds. They get out of the car at 1:26 and shoot him five times at 1:44. Sorry but that is not ample time and it doesn't seem like they really tried anything else besides "drop your weapon" at all. Like, "Well, he didn't immediately drop it, better kill him." People seriously need to raise their standards for what merits killing a person.


Edited by Jasi, 23 August 2014 - 03:15 PM.


#25 Elvenlord

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 04:02 PM

What are they supposed to do, wait until a knife is in their belly? 18 seconds is a lot when you could have died in the 19th.



#26 Selena

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 04:51 PM

According to US police training, they followed protocol. The thing is, the use of lethal force is approved a lot more readily in the US than in other countries -- other countries default to non-lethal techniques.

 

"What was he supposed to do? He had a knife!" 

 

British police carry no guns and resolve these situations non-lethally, so it's obviously possible to handle standoffs without lethal force. We just choose not to rely on tasers or pepper spray as frequently as other places. Presumably because of the US' firearm fetish -- criminals here are more likely to be carrying guns than criminals in other nations, and the US picture of law enforcement is still subconsciously the cowboy sheriff archetype.

 

To say that guns are the only way to resolve a standoff is factually incorrect.

 

 

Still. A disproportionate number of minority criminals are shot repeatedly and killed. Remember that police manage to take a lot of white violent criminals alive, and for stuff far worse than just petty crime. That's the crux of the issue. We have the image that black guys (especially poor black guys) are "thugs," so we -- and the police -- assume that they'll be more inclined to violence, even if they aren't doing anything all that threatening. 

 

Recall the black guy who had his testicles dislodged when a cop roughly "searched" him for... wearing a scarf during a harsh winter and looking "suspicious."

 

 

 

"Thinking" that you are threatened is not the same as actually being threatened, especially when you've got racial motivations in your subconscious. "Thinking" that one is being threatened is the same defense that guys like Zimmerman use to get away with shooting their respective Black Kid, even if the victims weren't actually displaying a serious threat.



#27 Twinrova

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 04:54 PM

What are they supposed to do, wait until a knife is in their belly? 18 seconds is a lot when you could have died in the 19th.

 

Uh, use a fucking taser?

 

 

 

Seriously.



#28 Jasi

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 05:15 PM

I feel like people would be singing a different tune if it was their mentally ill relative that got shot five times and killed by the police after 18 seconds of evaluating the situation. Would they be saying "Well, to be fair, my aunt did have a knife. How else could the cops have neutralized the situation besides killing her?"



#29 Elvenlord

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 05:20 PM

According to US police training, they followed protocol. The thing is, the use of lethal force is approved a lot more readily in the US than in other countries -- other countries default to non-lethal techniques.
 
"What was he supposed to do? He had a knife!" 
 
British police carry no guns and resolve these situations non-lethally, so it's obviously possible to handle standoffs without lethal force. We just choose not to rely on tasers or pepper spray as frequently as other places. Presumably because of the US' firearm fetish -- criminals here are more likely to be carrying guns than criminals in other nations, and the US picture of law enforcement is still subconsciously the cowboy sheriff archetype.

 

 

 

In general, I'd agree. However, watching this video, I don't think there weren't many options. 

 

 

To say that guns are the only way to resolve a standoff is factually incorrect.

 

 

Did anyone actually say this?

 

Still. A disproportionate number of minority criminals are shot repeatedly and killed. Remember that police manage to take a lot of white violent criminals alive, and for stuff far worse than just petty crime. That's the crux of the issue. We have the image that black guys (especially poor black guys) are "thugs," so we -- and the police -- assume that they'll be more inclined to violence, even if they aren't doing anything all that threatening. 
 
Recall the black guy who had his testicles dislodged when a cop roughly "searched" him for... wearing a scarf during a harsh winter and looking "suspicious."

 

 

Yup.

 

 

"Thinking" that you are threatened is not the same as actually being threatened, especially when you've got racial motivations in your subconscious. "Thinking" that one is being threatened is the same defense that guys like Zimmerman use to get away with shooting their respective Black Kid, even if the victims weren't actually displaying a serious threat.

 

 

Walking towards someone with a knife drawn is threatening. Again, in general I'd agree, but not here.

 

Uh, use a fucking taser?
 
 
 
Seriously.

 

 

Did you see a fucking taser? How do you know they even had one? If they did, I could see they should have exited the vehicle with a taser drawn instead of a gun, but they didn't, and he came towards them, armed police, with a knife drawn. At that point, they made the only real choice they had. Either that or run the chance of being killed themselves.

 

 

Seriously.



#30 Twinrova

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 05:28 PM

If a cop is trusted enough to have a gun I see zero reason for him/her to not also have a taser. You said it yourself, he exited the car with his gun already drawn, which I'm saying shouldn't have happened.




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