A Tale of Two Criminalities: Why Ferguson isn’t a Black and White Issue

I have abstained from writing an article on the issue of the Ferguson, Missouri riots for a number of reasons. One is that I am in the Southeast portion of the State of Missouri, far from the violence and not able to judge the issue in person. Nor do I have any plans to go survey the scene in person. Quite frankly, it seems like a very good place to stay away from for a while.

One of my subscribers asked me to do an article on what is transpiring in North St. Louis County and stated that they knew that I would give an unbiased account on the issue.

I have been keeping up with the articles, reports and live streams of the events in Ferguson and I feel I have gathered enough information to make an unbiased account, one that is likely to anger those on both sides of the issue.

Let’s start from the beginning.

USA Today has posted a timeline of the events transpiring in Ferguson, Missouri starting on Saturday August 9:

11:48 a.m. to noon – An officer responds to a call of a sick person.

11:51 a.m. – Another call comes in about a robbery at a convenience store. The dispatcher gives a description of the robber and says the suspect is walking toward the Quick Trip convenience store.

12:01 p.m. – The officer encounters Michael Brown and a friend as they walk down a street. Brown is shot to death as a result of the encounter.

12:04 p.m. – A second officer arrives on the scene followed by a supervisor one minute later. An ambulance responding to the earlier sick person call drives by and responds to assess Brown.

Sunday Aug. 10

10 a.m. – Michael Brown, 18, was unarmed, St. Louis County Police Chief Joe Belmarsays in a news conference. Belmar says Brown physically assaulted the officer, and during a struggle between the two, Brown reached for the officer’s gun. One shot was fired in the car followed by other gunshots outside of the car.

Brown’s parents retain attorney Benjamin Crump, who represented the family of Trayvon Martin, as their counsel.

A candlelight vigil to honor Brown later turns violent. More than a dozen businesses are vandalized and looted. More than 30 people are arrested and two police officers suffered injuries, police said.

looters1This timeline establishes the first criminal element in the Ferguson, Missouri riots, the looters.

The looters “crashed” a candle light vigil and began vandalizing and looting area businesses. The most notorious of these businesses is the Quick Trip convenience store, which was looted and then burned to the ground. The Quick Trip location later became a staging area for other protests and riots.

I call this the establishment of the first criminal element because the perpetrators of the looting and burning weren’t out to raise awareness of a perceived injustice, they were out to get “theirs” using the Mike Brown shooting as the excuse.

In an epic Youtube rant Jonathan Gentry addresses the black community, the riots and the police stating that the looting and the robbing “is not helping” Mr. Gentry also states that all the black community knows how to do is march, protest and blame the “white folks” and police.

His words were spot on and unfortunately all of the looting, robbing and blaming the police, brought the police and they were open for business. This leads us to the second criminal element in the Ferguson riots issue, the police themselves.

America’s police departments have been undergoing a very quiet militarization in recent years. In an article posted on Time magazine’s website, Senator Rand Paul writes:

The outrage in Ferguson is understandable—though there is never an excuse for rioting or looting. There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response.

The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action.

In his article Senator Paul quotes the Cato Institute’s Walter Olson who observed:

Why armored vehicles in a Midwestern inner suburb? Why would cops wear camouflage gear against a terrain patterned by convenience stores and beauty parlors? Why are the authorities in Ferguson, Mo. so given to quasi-martial crowd control methods (such as bans on walking on the street) and, per the reporting of Riverfront Times, the firing of tear gas at people in their own yards? (“‘This my property!’ he shouted, prompting police to fire a tear gas canister directly at his face.”) Why would someone identifying himself as an 82nd Airborne Army veteran, observing the Ferguson police scene, comment that “We rolled lighter than that in an actual warzone”?

I was watching KARG’s “I am Mike Brown” Live Stream of the events Wednesday night and saw how the police ordered journalist to turn off their camera’s. They pushed the protesters and journalists into a residential neighborhood and proceeded to fire flash bang grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets.  In some cases journalists were intentionally targeted and some of the tear gas grenades were fired at homes causing fires in the yards of the residents.

Two reporters from the Huffington Post and the Washington Post were dragged out of a McDonald’s restaurant in Ferguson. Other reporters were fired on directly. Infowars.Com’s  reporter Joe Biggs had to be taken to a hospital after being hit with a rubber bullet.

The whole thing angers me. First off, I never saw the “up side” of looting businesses and lighting them on fire in your own community. What good does that do?

Don’t get me wrong. Looters should be dealt with swiftly and harshly. That being said I can not look at what transpired afterwards and have a good feeling about it.

I was told that maybe the reporters should have gotten the hell out of there when they were told to and that they should have had the “slightest respect” for the law.

  I saw the videos, the law had no respect for them. Most of us aren’t invested in the community of Ferguson so it is easy for many to applaud the police for their actions. The question that must be asked is this: What if they rolled into your neighborhood, shot tear gas canisters at your house and lit your yard on fire?

The criminals who lit the original fires paved the way for the police to light their own. Ferguson gave them an excuse to try out their new military equipment and occupation techniques and if you think that is freedom, you’re wrong.

One witness even stated that the police allowed the looting to take place in order to justify their techniques that were to follow later.

The solution to the Ferguson problem could be solved quite simply. Law abiding citizens should arm themselves. There were some businesses in Ferguson that did not get looted because there were a few armed citizens who prevented this from happening. As the Gateway Pundit reported:

Several businesses were vandalized and looted during the rioting. But not this one…St. Louis Ink Tattoo Studio

The St. Louis Tattoo Studio and County Guns businesses share a storefront in a Florissant strip mall less than ten minute drive from the epicenter of last night’s riots in Ferguson.
Their stores were not looted.

Mike Gutierrez (left) and Adam Weinstein (third from left) brought guns to guard their store during the riots in Ferguson last night. (River Front Times)

Meanwhile all of what has transpired over the past week seems to be concluding with a very typical ending.

The Governor has ordered the Missouri State Highway Patrol to take over security operations in Ferguson. So far the State Patrol has acted more professionally than their predarmed_citizensassessors by employing less militaristic tactics.

Last night things were calmer. Much calmer.

Today also saw the release of new information from the Ferguson Police Department.

According to the Huffington Post:

“The Ferguson Police Department released a video of a convenience store robbery, following the revelation of the name of the officer who shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson announced Friday that six-year veteran Darren Wilson was the officer who shot Brown on Aug. 9 in the St. Louis suburb. He also announced the department would release reports and video footage relating to a “strong-armed robbery” that took place in the area before the shooting occurred.

Brown, 18, was named as a suspect in these reports. He allegedly took a box of Swisher Sweet cigars worth $48.99.. Later in the day, Ferguson police released surveillance footage from a convenience store where the incident took place. In the three-minute video, three men can be seen entering a store. Two of the men go to exit together when another man, supposedly an employee at the store, tries to stop them. The larger of the two men pushes the apparent employee before walking out. ”

The IJReview has published some very interesting photos of Mike Brown that contradict the “gentle giant” image that the media has worked to portray him as.

The end result is yet another shooting of what appears to be a gang-banger being portrayed as an angel, which gave criminals an excuse to loot and burn which was allowed and facilitated by the police in order to  give them an excuse to try out new military equipment and techniques -Editor

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About aldermanlacy

I am just an average blue collar American who works hard and tries to be a good dad. I have a passion for history, music and freedom.

One Response to “A Tale of Two Criminalities: Why Ferguson isn’t a Black and White Issue”

  1. Good summary of the story.

    Did you read the article about officer Wilson’s injury? Apparently, his occipital bone was fractured in the confrontation with Brown. The article goes on to report that the independent autopsy revealed that all six shots hit Brown from the front, none from the back.

    On the subject of police militarization, cops riding in APVs and wearing camo seems off putting, but considering they have machine guns, etc and are instead using non lethal rubber bullets and tear gas while the “protesters” are shooting lead and throwing molotov cocktails seems like the model of restraint.

    As one wag said,”The “militarization” of these cops is a sign of their weakness, not their strength. They hope that an intimidating appearance and physical presence will be effective in containing or discouraging the crowd so they do not have to actively use violence and risk the political ramifications of that. Some Police State. Bull Connor wouldn’t be having this shit.”

    http://therightstuff.biz/2014/08/19/the-militarization-of-the-puhleeeeze/

    They’re not shooting people, they’re not even spraying people with fire hoses or sicking German Shepherds on them, just riding and marching around throwing flash bangs attempting to intimidate and failing. They seem to lack the will to do what’s necessary to subdue the rioters, probably because of fear of the political fall out.

    Don’t think the cartels and other gangs aren’t studying this limp-wristed response.

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