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AlmiraGulch

So disturbed by this shooting, and the aftermath

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Whoa. Where are you getting this idea that there is a homeowner who is repeatedly calling in complaints? And that police are forced to act on it? And then the kid somehow becomes a menace who  "wouldn't stop"?  Heck, it's just as likely the kid was pulled in for "tresspasing" the same way that Mike Brown was stopped for "jaywalking".   

Did the homeowner call in the complaints? If not-how did the police know that the kid was trespassing or the nephew of the owner, or have permission? The difference between him and Mike Brown is that he chose to keep trespassing... not the wisest of choices... Also reports that Mike Brown was not just jaywalking, but interrupting traffic-as in not getting out of the road, not just crossing without a crosswalk.

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Did the homeowner call in the complaints? If not-how did the police know that the kid was trespassing or the nephew of the owner, or have permission? The difference between him and Mike Brown is that he chose to keep trespassing... not the wisest of choices... Also reports that Mike Brown was not just jaywalking, but interrupting traffic-as in not getting out of the road, not just crossing without a crosswalk.

 

 

 

Sometimes police really do stop people just because. How would they know? If a cop is familiar with the neighborhood and knows it is all white, then it is not a stretch to think they might assume the kid did not belong there because he was not white, even if he had reason to be there. I don't know the particulars of the situation, but maybe the charges were dropped each time because the home owner didn't actually care if the kid cut across the yard. Maybe the kid kept doing it because he knew the homeowner was fine with it and didn't want to let the cops bully him. Maybe it was different yards and the kid was trying different ways to find a shortcut home. Maybe it was none of those things, but you seem to have an underlying assumption that the kid did something wrong. Others are trying to show that that assumption is not necessarily correct.

 

I have actually witnessed a situation in which a black guy was stopped walking in my neighborhood and told he was behaving suspiciously for absolutely no reason other than the cop didn't think he should be there. All he was doing was walking to meet me. I was walking from the opposite direction and was able to vouch for him, but the situation could have ended very differently.

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http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2014/08/st_paul_police_roughly_arrest_black_man_sitting_in_skyway_video.php

 

 

This incident is why African Americans are not looking at this as a single incident.  This the the reality of many many many black men. If they don't roll over and submit every time they are approached, with or out cause, this is the result.  

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Wow, being that he was later "identified" by another person I wonder how this story would have ended had he not "received a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California, an MBA from Indiana University … and an executive leadership certificate from Harvard Business School,†and been a wealthy producer.  How would the average "paycheck to paycheck" African American got out of that?

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http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2014/08/st_paul_police_roughly_arrest_black_man_sitting_in_skyway_video.php

 

 

This incident is why African Americans are not looking at this as a single incident.  This the the reality of many many many black men. If they don't roll over and submit every time they are approached, with or out cause, this is the result.  

 

"What's wrong is I'm black."

 

Apparently.

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I saw him being interviewed and you know what is really scary? He said that he's paranoid about his parking meters running over, that he was on his way to put more money in,  and that had he not had a text message that he had slowed to read, he would have been running when the police first approached him. His comment was, "And if I had been running, I probably wouldn't be here."

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It is unbelievable.

 

Too believable, sadly. But not as tragic as the black man who, according to the coroner, shot himself in his chest with his hands cuffed behind his back.

 

Yep. You read that right

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I really don't know what to say about those two incidents. How can we make this better ? The only thing I can think of is to keep talking about it. I honestly have no idea how I'd handle if if I had a son who was a black man.

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You are very gracious in this response. 

 

Here are some of my thoughts, not necessarily in any particular order (and not in response to the post I just quoted, but to the thread in general):

 

SOME THINGS THAT MAKE IT HARD TO COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER

It is hard to cross the divide  because in general (doesn't apply to everyone), black folk are viewing an incident as part of a larger story: "My son is an upstanding citizen and has been stopped 2 dozen times by police, including in his own front yard" or "There was this and this and this and this and this and this and this incident of our unarmed men folk being shot and killed by cops." It's a story the black community has tried and tried and tried to tell and feel like falls on deaf ears or patronizing ears,etc.

 

White folk are viewing it as a single incident and "want the facts" before deciding whether there has been an injustice in this particular case (isolated from the larger story.) We tend to focus on the details of the immediate story in isolation from the greater picture. White folk are using a magnifying glass where black folk are using a wide-angle lens.

 

Both groups are interpreting a specific incident through their cultural lens (black folk: " My experience is that this happens All. The. Time. Enough!" White folk: "My experience is that I know of one white person who was stopped for no reason by a cop and he just cooperated and it went fine. If a police officer used force, isn't it probable that he felt threatened?"

 

As a white person, I will say most white people believe that they are playing fair. They don't understand why black people say, " Can't you please listen to us?" They think, "Well, of course, but you need to listen to me too." which  sounds fair-- unless you take into account that black people have to listen to/study white people already because right now, white culture is the majority culture. There is just no way around that. But white people don't have to listen to/study black culture to get by. Our culture is the majority culture. So not realizing that we even *have* a *cultural* viewpoint, whites will tend to think that both groups are starting on even footing and don't understand the exasperation/desperation/despair/anger they see expressed by African Americans.

 

Another complicating issue is that there are often two different definitions of racism being used. Most white people I know use the term "racism" in its meaning of "individual bigotry toward another race" or "disliking another person just because of their race." Using that definition, and human beings being what we are, it's probably reasonably correct when whites then say there is "just as much racism of blacks towards whites as there is of whites toward blacks." 

 

However, many black people are using the word racism in its meaning of "systematic oppression" and that kind of racism can only be exerted by people with power.  When people are using the same word with two definitions, that causes communication problems as well.

 

POLICE PROTOCOLS

I hope that one thing we can agree on is that we need to take a look at police protocols that justify shooting to kill as soon as an officer feels threatened. I've read a lot this week and can't cite all the articles, but I was shocked by one that said few police officers get any training on the psychological aspects of a threat situation. They just get taught where to unload their guns. So with that situation with the young black man who had stolen two sodas and was kind of ranting , you had other people in the community walk by, shaking their heads, but perceiving there was something wrong with him. They were not acting like they were in danger. He clearly had mental health issues. The guy filming said, "Why couldn't they have just tazed him?"

 

Yes, why not?

 

I know officers shoot for the center of the body because they might miss and be killed themselves otherwise. But is that really, really necessary? Because if they are mistaken, and someone is unarmed, that someone is dead. Someone's precious child is dead and all that mama has left is the photo album. Someone's daddy maybe or someone's spouse or brother or friend: Dead. No correcting that error once it happens. Is the shoot to kill protocol really necessary?

 

It also helped me to be reminded of what happens when humans perceive themselves to be threatened: our adrenaline, etc. gives us literal tunnel vision. Our peripheral vision doesn't work as well. A police officer experiencing a sense of threat may not literally be able to notice the differences in body posture between surrendering and another threat.

 

And to the extent that black males are perceived as threatening, this biological process is more likely to be set off.

 

I want our law enforcement officers to be able to protect themselves when necessary, but surely, we can develop better training and more sensitive protocols that can both protect them and protect innocent citizens.

 

I used to work in a facility for the most violent kids (teens) in our state. Staff were not allowed to hurt kids. Period. No matter what. We could take protective action, but that did not include offensive action. I had a broken glass bottle held to my crotch while a young man threatened to use it. He had perceived some "diss" in something I had said to him earlier where none was meant and I had not been warned about his particular issues to even know that I might have inadvertantly teed him off.  I had been exiting the building and his staff hadn't noticed that he had separated from the group, so it was a while before anyone saw what was happening. I had to handle it . I couldn't use force because he was bigger/stronger than I was and he had me firmly by the wrist with the bottle to my crotch. I had to talk. He'd removed the bottle before anyone came by who could help. (He is now, unsurprisingly, in prison for rape.) I share this to say I know what it is to work in an environment where our safety was on the line. There was not a possibility that a kid had a gun, which officers do face, but there was the possibility that they could find a weapon (as did the teen who assaulted me.)

 

I read that for Ferguson, the community is about 60%  black, but the police force had only 3 black officers out of (I can't recall the exact number) maybe 63 total officers. What's up with that?  We can see that on this board with (mostly) women who all share homeschooling, who are intelligent, generally try to argue fairly,etc. that we can have some difficulty communicating. What if the police force is composed almost entirely of people who are of a different race than the community? How is that dialogue likely to go?

 

I know some LEOs who are very fine people and are in it as a way to serve their communities. I also am told by people who grew up around here that the people they know on the force are the same group who were bullies in high school. I can imagine that the job would attract both. What do we do to psychologically screen potential LEOs? To continue to screen/screen out people with power issues as they do their jobs?

 

Is this something we could all agree on and work for in our own communities--protocols that lead to fewer shootings of unarmed people?

 

What about people on the force specifically trained to deal with mental health issues? In one community near me, they have police social workers. They go out on calls where there is possible mental illness, domestic violence, etc. They are not LE, they are backed up by LE. Does your community have this? Or are professional LE who are not clinically trained expected to deal with people with mental illness? 

 

What other practices in communities help prevent "justifiable" shootings by LE that result in mentally ill and/or immature (ie young) people losing their lives? When will we say, "This kind of mistake is just not acceptable and if protocols lead to this, then we need to change our protocols?"  I cannot fault a LEO for following protocols in scary situations, but I can fault the police system, mayor, etc. for allowing flawed protocals.

 

Could we agree to insist on better training and screening of law enforcement? To insist on police forces that reflect at least something of the racial make-up of a community? To insist on police social workers as part of departments? Do we know the protocals of our local police?

 

Michael Brown will not have died in vain if we all take this particular incident as an opportunity to look at the big picture and exert the will to fix what is wrong. Yes, I want the officer to have due process, including the presumption of innocence until the facts are otherwise in. If he didn't follow protocol, he should be tried so that Michael Brown gets justice.  If he did follow protocol and the protocols are at fault, he shouldn't be the scapegoat in order for justice to prevail-- but it is not enough to merely ask the question if protocols were followed. If they were followed, there are a whole lot of follow-up questions to be asked. Why are the protocols acceptable? What can be improved?

 

I also want the African American community to have the presumption that they know what they are talking about when they say that African American males don't get the presumption of innocence and that opposite assumption that AA makes are suspicious or  are threats get them disproportionately killed. Police inflicting the death penalty for jaywalking, stealing cigars, giving attitude, or just WWB is not acceptable. Even  people guilty of crimes worse than jaywalking or petty theft deserve a fair trial and sentencing proportionate to their crimes.

 

:iagree: :iagree: :iagree:

 

:hurray: :hurray: :hurray: :hurray:

 

Well said.

 

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http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2014/08/st_paul_police_roughly_arrest_black_man_sitting_in_skyway_video.php

 

 

This incident is why African Americans are not looking at this as a single incident.  This the the reality of many many many black men. If they don't roll over and submit every time they are approached, with or out cause, this is the result.  

 

A similar situation happened to my African-American pastor in Chicago. He is a lovely family man. Beautiful singing voice. Kind heart. Absolutely no criminal record.

 

A police report was called in when his family was on vacation. They got off the highway to take a driving break in a KKK stronghold. They had no idea. My pastor was sitting at a picnic table at a rest stop listening to his voicemail. My pastor, who I have known for more than two decades, was questioned aggressively by multiple law enforcement officers. He did NOT in any way resist, as his wife and three children can attest.

 

His wife and children can also attest to the fact that he was physically slammed onto a picnic table, endured a short beating (for about a minute), and violently cuffed with absolutely NO provocation. NONE. Yes, his young children witnessed this. He spent the night in jail.

 

Our church made sure he had a good lawyer. He was cleared of all charges at the ensuing trial. He never filed charges for police brutality. He just wanted to be done, and to never drive through Kentucky ever again.

 

This happened during the time that I lived in the flat above their flat, 16 or 17 years ago.

 

I could tell many more stories. I have many African-American friends. The amount of systemic racism they live with is reprehensible. White people simply do NOT understand what it is to be African-American in this country.

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I saw him being interviewed and you know what is really scary? He said that he's paranoid about his parking meters running over, that he was on his way to put more money in, and that had he not had a text message that he had slowed to read, he would have been running when the police first approached him. His comment was, "And if I had been running, I probably wouldn't be here."

I saw that, it is gut wrenching. This could happen to anyone, how can people believe it is the "troublemakers" or "thugs" when it seems no one is immune?

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I saw that, it is gut wrenching. This could happen to anyone, how can people believe it is the "troublemakers" or "thugs" when it seems no one is immune?

 

I agree. This incident in Ferguson has rocked my world. I guess I really wanted to have my blinders on, and believe that we as a society have moved past ugliness like this. But it's impossible to remain in denial after you've seen all this stuff. I just wish I knew of something, anything I could do to make a difference, because it really makes me sad that I'm raising children in a world where the color of someone's skin not only still matters, but is a reason why people choose to act in a hate-filled way.

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Which by itself doesn't tell us anything.

 

“This one here looks like his head was bent downward,†he said, indicating the wound at the very top of Mr. Brown’s head. “It can be because he’s giving up, or because he’s charging forward at the officer.â€

 

If the officer's claim (not sure what it is yet) is that he was being charged by someone 6'4" and 290 lbs, this bit of the autopsy isn't particularly useful.

If he was shot from below, on a tilted head, that means the officer was below him. 

 

At first, when this happened, I thought it was an unjust killing, but not racially motivated. I have seen how police treat young people, even where I live. But, then, more details came out about the kid being on drugs, the kid being shot from below, witnesses saying he was charging the officer and trying to get his gun, and life threatening injuries on the officer. The officer had every reason to believe his life was in danger. And that video of what the young man did to the shop keeper.

 

If the same exact scenario had happened, but the races were different, people would not even be looking at it. The only thing racist I see in all this is just because the criminal was black and the police officer was white, the white guy is criminalized. If you cannot tell the same story without race included, and still see injustice, then there probably was not injustice.

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If he was shot from below, on a tilted head, that means the officer was below him. 

 

At first, when this happened, I thought it was an unjust killing, but not racially motivated. I have seen how police treat young people, even where I live. But, then, more details came out about the kid being on drugs, the kid being shot from below, witnesses saying he was charging the officer and trying to get his gun, and life threatening injuries on the officer. The officer had every reason to believe his life was in danger. And that video of what the young man did to the shop keeper.

 

If the same exact scenario had happened, but the races were different, people would not even be looking at it. The only thing racist I see in all this is just because the criminal was black and the police officer was white, the white guy is criminalized. If you cannot tell the same story without race included, and still see injustice, then there probably was not injustice.

 

I haven't seen anything that said he was shot from below? Everything I've read said that he was shot from above. Of course you can't determine if that was because he was down on the ground, either from previous shots, or because he was surrendering, or because he was bent forward in a charging position. But nothing has come out about the shot to his head coming from below.

 

The more I read about this story, the more I think it was entirely about race. I think the officer confronted them in the first place because they were black teenagers...nothing else makes sense. It seems to me that the entire Ferguson police department has a culture of racism, and I don't know why anyone would think this guy would be immune to it. And when you add in the fact that his first police assignment, which in theory should have shaped who he is as an officer, was with a department equally, if not more so, racist...well, I don't see how anyone can say this isn't about racism, pure and simple.

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If he was shot from below, on a tilted head, that means the officer was below him.

 

At first, when this happened, I thought it was an unjust killing, but not racially motivated. I have seen how police treat young people, even where I live. But, then, more details came out about the kid being on drugs, the kid being shot from below, witnesses saying he was charging the officer and trying to get his gun, and life threatening injuries on the officer. The officer had every reason to believe his life was in danger. And that video of what the young man did to the shop keeper.

 

If the same exact scenario had happened, but the races were different, people would not even be looking at it. The only thing racist I see in all this is just because the criminal was black and the police officer was white, the white guy is criminalized. If you cannot tell the same story without race included, and still see injustice, then there probably was not injustice.

Interesting that you refer to the shooting victim as 'the criminal' . Why must we wait for facts before making judgements about the officer without giving the same respect to the person he killed?

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If he was shot from below, on a tilted head, that means the officer was below him. 

 

At first, when this happened, I thought it was an unjust killing, but not racially motivated. I have seen how police treat young people, even where I live. But, then, more details came out about the kid being on drugs, the kid being shot from below, witnesses saying he was charging the officer and trying to get his gun, and life threatening injuries on the officer. The officer had every reason to believe his life was in danger. And that video of what the young man did to the shop keeper.

 

If the same exact scenario had happened, but the races were different, people would not even be looking at it. The only thing racist I see in all this is just because the criminal was black and the police officer was white, the white guy is criminalized. If you cannot tell the same story without race included, and still see injustice, then there probably was not injustice.

 

Can you cite sources for:

 

  • shot from below (as opposed to head forward which was in the autopsy). What would be the significance of "shot from below" ?
  •  witnesses saying he was charging the officer (or do you mean the friend of the officer's who was not there but was interviewed?)
  • witnesses who said he was trying to get the officer's gun (or was it the officer's friend who wasn't there?)
  • life threatening injuries to the officer? (All I have read his face was swollen, but that's it).

 

I have followed this case closely, but haven't seen any of those. Thanks.

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If he was shot from below, on a tilted head, that means the officer was below him. 

 

At first, when this happened, I thought it was an unjust killing, but not racially motivated. I have seen how police treat young people, even where I live. But, then, more details came out about the kid being on drugs, the kid being shot from below, witnesses saying he was charging the officer and trying to get his gun, and life threatening injuries on the officer. The officer had every reason to believe his life was in danger. And that video of what the young man did to the shop keeper.

 

If the same exact scenario had happened, but the races were different, people would not even be looking at it. The only thing racist I see in all this is just because the criminal was black and the police officer was white, the white guy is criminalized. If you cannot tell the same story without race included, and still see injustice, then there probably was not injustice.

 

First, can you provide links for the above? It is very different from what I have read so far.

 

Second, do you really think no one would be upset if an unarmed white 18 year old had been killed on the street by an officer? I think you are wrong. I would certainly be upset. There are two separate issues here, it seems to me. One is the general increase in violence as a means of control by the police. Against everyone. Sure, not all cops/police departments do it, but it seems to be far more common in general (strictly based on anecdotal evidence, I admit I have no studies to back it up). The other is the impact of race on the general response an individual is likely to receive from a generic law enforcement officer. That is something that is hard to believe unless you have seen or experience it first hand. Which you are unlikely to have done if you are white. It can happen - I'm white and I've seen it first hand - but it is much less likely, and even if you do see it once it is much easier to say it was just that one person, not a systemic problem, than if you face it often.

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http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2014/08/st_paul_police_roughly_arrest_black_man_sitting_in_skyway_video.php

 

 

This incident is why African Americans are not looking at this as a single incident.  This the the reality of many many many black men. If they don't roll over and submit every time they are approached, with or out cause, this is the result.  

 

 

 

 

Too believable, sadly. But not as tragic as the black man who, according to the coroner, shot himself in his chest with his hands cuffed behind his back.

 

Yep. You read that right

Or the Black man killed in Wal-Mart for holding a toy gun: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/27/john-crawford-killed-walm_n_5721676.html

Or the Black man beaten by police in FERGUSON, only to be charged for bleeding on their uniforms: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/15/the-day-ferguson-cops-were-caught-in-a-bloody-lie.html

 

If he was shot from below, on a tilted head, that means the officer was below him. 

 

At first, when this happened, I thought it was an unjust killing, but not racially motivated. I have seen how police treat young people, even where I live. But, then, more details came out about the kid being on drugs, the kid being shot from below, witnesses saying he was charging the officer and trying to get his gun, and life threatening injuries on the officer. The officer had every reason to believe his life was in danger. And that video of what the young man did to the shop keeper.

 

If the same exact scenario had happened, but the races were different, people would not even be looking at it. The only thing racist I see in all this is just because the criminal was black and the police officer was white, the white guy is criminalized. If you cannot tell the same story without race included, and still see injustice, then there probably was not injustice.

Always nice to see people insisting their is no racial component so something people from those races are telling you happens to them all the time and IS race-based and even nicer to see people insisting on doing mental gymnastics to find a justification to institutional racism all from beneath their lovely umbrella of white privilege. Only someone who has never experienced it could possibly defend that viewpoint with a straight face (and even then, as you see from this thread, many would not defend the viewpoint).

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Good grief, another one. Don't watch if profanity bothers you. All the teens are asserting their rights, interspersed with profanity, which is protected by the first amendment, however, and we don't have the death penalty for it.

 

However, this LEO threatens to "Put a round in your a** so fast...."  Now, that *is* against the law, right? Pointing a gun at someone and threatening to shoot them?

 

http://newsone.com/3048753/caught-on-tape-fla-cop-threatens-to-put-a-round-in-black-men-during-traffic-stop-video/  This has not hit the mainstream press yet.  The incident happened a while ago, apparently, but the police chief's more recent comments apparently put this back in the public eye.

 

It is not acceptable for police to threaten death to anyone for cussing or recording them.  Cussing is totally disrespectful... the LEO with the gun does it too, stooping to the level of the teens and adding a death threat.

 

Ironically, the police chief says that it was the occupants in the car who are responsible for escalating the situation, not his LEOs. Thank God no one was killed. Chief says they knew the police did nothing wrong or they would have reported the incident. (And since the chief who would be responsible for reviewing this incident has just declared how he'd view it, we might have some insight into why they didn't bother.)

 

ETA: I did find when searching for the original video on Youtube that some of the mainstream press is picking this up.

 

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A new video of impartial witnesses to the shooting has emerged.  Two men working in a landscape company saw the shooting. Their version corroborates other witnesses who say that Michael Brown was surrendering, with his hands raised it the air, when he was shot. 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/13/ferguson-video-shows-michael-brown-hands-raised

 

 

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Yes. that video footage is very convincing. You have a witness in real time, holding his hands up, something people can *see* not just hear; plus, it was captured well before the time when someone might hear what another person said and copy it--not necessarily on purpose, but our memories can get colored that way.  When the various eyewitnesses from different angles are all saying the same thing, it's going to be very hard for the shooter to get around in court. Additionally, since these 2 were white witnesses, the potential for a juror to discount some testimony thinking that races are taking their "own sides" is greatly diminished. 

 

Another witness kind of diagrammed what he saw right after he saw it. That kind of documentation is very helpful because our memories do alter after-the-fact.

 

I think the police officer is going to have a very hard time being believed if he has a different account with so many very believable witnesses all confirming the same basic facts.

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