1. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    Ferguson

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Daniel, Aug 14, 2014.

    Please tell me you guys are absolutely outraged at the situation in Ferguson. I'm absolutely outraged and have half a mind to protest in my own city.

    • A police officer shot an unarmed teenager, possibly murdered
    • The police department still refused to release the name of the officer
    • There is a media blackout - mainstream slant, lack of coverage, FAA No Fly Zone, reporters arrested, reporters gassed
    • Police offers have preemptively tear-gassed, fired rubber bullets, launched flash bang grenades, and possibly used sound cannons on PEACEFUL protestors
    • Some looting and rioting is occurring, largely from a minority of people and possibly in response to the police militarization
    • Reporters from The Huffington Post and Washington Post have been arrested, apparently for recording the police or public assembly
    • The city alderman was arrested for "unlawful assembly" (?)
    • A state Senator was in the protests and got tear gassed
    • The Al Jazeera television crew was teargassed by police, then had their equipment dismantled by police
    • Residents have been teargassed in their back yards and have been cut off from assembling and traveling
    • POSSIBLE media blackout in the Ferguson area through blocking television broadcasts and/or internet connectivity
    • Anonymous has leaked the name of the shooting officer (possibly false), leaked audio from the night, and has called for protests across the United States

    Try telling me we have freedom of speech. Try telling me we have freedom of the press. Try telling me we have the right to peaceable assemble. WE NO LONGER HAVE THESE RIGHTS IN THE UNITED STATES.

    The police are militarized and the United States is a police state. This is not just Ferguson, this is true nationwide.

    Obama is about to make a statement on the situation. He's going on air at 12:15 EST. You can watch his statement here. If you are not already following this situation I urge you to do so. Find the Twitter hashtag #Ferguson. Check out the Reddit livestream here.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  2. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I heard a no fly zone was created because those peaceful demonstrators were shooting at the news choppers. Perhaps a media blackout is better than another L.A. riot.
     
  3. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I don't know very much about this, because it's not really been talked about on the news here. I've checked Sky News, BBC news and CNN, and all three are talking about Iraq and Ukraine primarily. What's going on?
     
  4. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    That's possible, but from my understanding, unlikely. They might use that to justify a no fly zone. But their reaction against the press makes me thinking it's more likely for other reasons. Going to read more on this now.

    I don't want to see rioting, but a media blackout is unacceptable in any non-authoritarian society. By implementing a media blackout, using military tactics, and using weapons against protestors, the police are fanning the flame.

    Are you not shocked and appalled by this?
     
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  5. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I'm appalled by both sides. I live in a city where small riots occur and physical retaliation is taken without a full story being release. It is not ok to loot and riot. What did those store owners do to deserve this? How does the murder of a teen give you the right to a free TV?

    I am not siding with the cops; however, I don't know all the facts. I do know that you change your tactics when fighting guerrilla warfare, though.
     
  6. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    Police shot a black teen in a small town, Ferguson, Missouri, United States. People are saying he murdered the kid. The police have handled the situation poorly, responding to vigils and protests with force and tear gas, which then turned to rioting and looting. There are many more details. It's either not covered by those news outlets due to poor journalism or due to a media blackout. For a news source, I recommend #Ferguson on Twitter and the Huffington Post. Russia Today and The Washington Post are also covering it. I recommend multiple and alternative news sources since major news outlets aren't covering all the details.

    I'm looking for an event summarization timeline, I'll post it when I find it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
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  7. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Daniel what did you think of the president'a statement?
     
  8. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-28782308 You already know most of this information, but still good package if you don't.
    I think that police has gone too far too fast. As a media member hopefully I really don't like the way feds treat reporters.
    And should hands up be a universal sing of surrender?
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The police cannot sit on that autopsy forever.
     
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  10. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am just dismayed by this. Part of the problem is that we are equipping all of our police forces, even small town police forces with things like tanks and SWAT-type equipment -- stuff that is (or was) only used by the military or by a very specialized type of force, used only in very rare/unusual situations. The problem is that when the police forces get all this stuff, it makes them want to use them.

    Combined with the gun-rights movement, and the racial profiling, and the crazy Missouri government officials, it's a recipe for disaster. And the same situation holds true in many places in the U.S.
     
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  11. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    I thought it was very lukewarm. Even the media commentary after said he was "straddling the line." He should have denounced the police misconduct and spoke strongly against the militarization of police across all of America. Ferguson, MO is a town of 21,000 people and they have a militarized police force! Instead of speaking out, he basically pandered to both sides and said nothing. He made some acknowledgements, but what the situation really needed was for him to side with the people who' rights have been clearly violated.
     
  12. yagr
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    yagr Contributing Member

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    I had the dubious luxury of spending some time in the former Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War. It is fascinating to me how closely the discussions of the day regarding the KGB compare to the discussions in the US about the police today.
     
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  13. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    I completely agree. I believe many of these military-type weapons and tactics come from federal government grants. They've used this equipment and tactics for years throughout the country - Ferguson seems to be capturing the sentiment against this that's been building. There is absolutely no reason a town of 21,000 people should have a police force with equipment and tactics like this.

    I believe the militarization of the police here is the major issue, as are our basic rights of free speech, free assembly, and free press. There were between 50,000 and 80,000 no-knock SWAT raids in the U.S. in the last year. Police stations across the entire country are getting tank-like vehicles and crowd-dispersing weapons. Sound cannons! They used sound cannons in Iraq. They train their guns on peaceful protestors. Some police stations are even getting government grants for their very own drones and anti-terrorism units! It's out of control!

    You are right that this is a complex issue. There are many factors, with many building on each other. We don't know if the shooting could have been race motivated, and though there are certainly racial issues of inequality involved and evident in Ferguson, I believe that the focus of the media and some protestors on race under shadows the issues that 1) a teenager was potentially murdered by police 2) there is no transparency or accountability for police in America, 3) the rights of free speech, press, and assembly are in jeopardy, and 4) the police are militarized across the country.

    My concern is that in a few weeks everyone will forget about Ferguson. Hopefully not this time. If we don't make changes, a similar scenario will play out again. And again. Maybe next time their bullets won't be rubber.

    Police that look and act militarized ARE militarized. This is a HUGE problem.
     
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  14. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    We are so used to the instant reaction of the 24 hour news culture. What's wrong with waiting for more facts to come out rather than knee-jerk reacting?

    I'm convinced this cop shot an unarmed kid who was fleeing. I think that is what the investigation is going to show. But Obama has done plenty, ordered the FBI to investigate, (which they have already begun), and assigned Eric Holder to the task directly. I expect my President to wait for the facts to be determined before ranting against anyone.

    On the other hand, I'm more than concerned with Obama's interference in freedom of the press when it comes to his own administration, but that's another subject.

    As for the news media coverage, maybe you've read too much Pharyngula (long story if you aren't familiar with it), but MSNBC and CNN have been covering it since it happened and certainly the mainstream online news sources have as well.

    I'm curious where you see a "media blackout"? Yes, the local police (city and county) have made an ignorant attempt to shut cameras off. That's going to backfire on them big time, already has actually.
     
  15. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think this kind of thing is happening everywhere. Our police here aren't as armed as yours, but they are just as corrupt and prepared to go far to cover their own asses. I hope something's done about it.
     
  16. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    People from the UK, how much does this echo those London riots we had a few years ago?
     
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  17. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    This really is awful.

    To add to the list, a pastor who was helping the victims was shot in the stomach.
     
  18. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Ferguson is not a podunk town in the middle of nowhere. It is part of Greater St Louis inside the 270 loop; it might as well be a suburb. That's like saying Watts isn't part of LA.
     
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  19. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was born and raised in the St. Louis area (only moved to Virginia at the beginning of this year), so I've been getting a lot of information about this from my friends.

    According to one witness, the police officer went to open his door, but was so close to Brown that it hit him and closed again. The police officer, believing Brown pushed the door closed on purpose, grabbed him by the neck. There was a struggle, the officer threatened to shoot, and when they continued to struggle, he shot Brown while holding onto his shirt. The witness and Brown proceeded to run. The witness hid, but Brown was shot again. According to several witnesses, Brown raised his hands and told the officer, "I'm not armed, stop shooting," and Brown was then shot several more times, which killed him.

    According to police, Brown pushed the door closed and tried to take the officers weapon. Over the struggle, the gun accidentally went off.

    I completely back the Ferguson police department not releasing the officers name. As heated as this has gotten, that officer will end up murdered in his home if they ever find out who he is. The department already received numerous death threats, which is why they postponed releasing his name.

    As for the militarized police force in a small town, St. Louis County actually began policing the area, along with the Ferguson police. So there was a large police presence that was gassing and shooting rubbing bullets at peaceful protesters. I absolutely believe that reducing the police force will lower tension.

    As for the media blackout, the police stated that NO media was to be in the area. It's still being reported via cell phone footage, but any reporter caught in the area is being forced to leave (or being arrested).

    The no fly zone was for the safety of the helicopters flying over the scene because bullets were being fired at them.

    This is truly a horrible situation that I've been keeping a close eye on. I'm glad more witnesses are coming forward, and that the FBI is taking control of the investigation.

    To me, it sounds like murder, no matter which side of the story is true. You don't shoot an unarmed person with their hands in the air. You arrest them.
     
  20. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    There was a similar shooting in the LA area. Two cops shot a 25-year-old black man. The cops claim they were defending themselves because the man allegedly tackled one of the officers. The man's family has a different story. At this point, it's hard to tell what's true and what's not.

    As far as the Ferguson thing is concerned, this is just another example of the us vs. them mentality. The majority of the officers in Ferguson are white, and the majority of the residents are black. When white cops are dealing with black people, it's like all of a sudden the cops get itchy trigger fingers.
     
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  21. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    This is my position. Even if he didn't have his hands up, there was no need to shoot a fleeing unarmed suspect. You can arrest them later. Get a K-9 unit out to find them.

    The original crime was friggin jaywalking. :( Regardless of the contended facts, the basics ones: minor crime, unarmed and shot while fleeing are more than enough to charge the officer with criminal excessive use of force.
     
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  22. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    [​IMG]
     
  23. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    I see where your coming from, and I agree with the later sentiment. The problem with waiting for more facts about the case is that the police have escalated the situation to the point where there are numerous violations of basic constitutional and human rights. Such violations should be responded to decisively with condemnation. My problem with Obama's speech was the lack of condemnation and not recognizing major human rights violations and police militarization as outrageous. He could have easily done this and perhaps taken steps to resolve violations/police misconduct, all while maintaining the need to determine the facts surrounding the shooting.

    Not familiar with "Pharyngula." I've seen it covered on CNN, though it did seem under-covered. I don't think there's been a complete mainstream media blackout. I have noticed that MSM stories have sometimes avoiding reporting certain facts, secondary stories, or focused on certain smaller issues/elements of the case.

    I've also noticed a huge increase in mainstream media coverage after reporters were denied access, arrested, and gassed. Outrage from members of the media may have ended any media blackout if it existed.

    Potential media blackout. I don't have all the facts on this point and I don't claim to. I'm not saying there's a full-fledged one. Police in Ferguson have stopped people from recording, assembling, arrested reporters - and even tear-gassed them. This is a rumor, which is unconfirmed and could be wrong, that the local police have "scrambled connections" for location television and/or internet/social media. They may have disabled telecommunications within the vicinity of the protest. This is unconfirmed, but there have been some reports of this from people who claim to be in the area.

    On a larger media scale, it seemed at least downplayed to me until last night. For the past 1-3 days I had people I personally known shocked that they hadn't heard about Ferguson and that the media wasn't covering it. They seem to be since last night.
     
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  24. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    While the Twitter account was suspended, the police deny it and the first few news links I looked at have scoured the name, Google search still has this result:
     
  25. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    That's fair. For me, it' a moot point though - I don't think such equipment and tactics should be used in any city of any size against peaceful protestors.

    Thanks for sharing. It baffles me how the government and police still don't realize that arming a police force to confront violent protestors can only serve to inflame and escalate the situation and even leave to violence.

    So is the no media policy still in effect? Where is that covered in the mainstream media? It makes it look like they have something to hide.
     

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