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Ferguson (opinion piece, please give your opinion and discuss)

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Ivory11

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Australia
SO we all know about the Ferguson riots, sparked when a white cop shot a black teen which has set off massive riots, looting and burning across the area of Ferguson Missouri and it's gotten to the stage where a state of emergency has been declared, hundreds have been arrested, there have been deaths, people beaten on the streets by protesters and police alike.

However what's been lost in all the hype and chaos of this is any sort of real discussion of the events which created an environment where something like this could spark such a massive response and of the circumstances of the event itself. I've yet to see a single televised news story actually going over the events that lead up to the shooting other than an off-hand word or two, I've seen testimony from the victim's friends and family a hundred times but I haven't seen the testimony of the cop himself.

Personally, I don't see this as a race issue, I see a tragic situation that has been twisted by the media to BE a race issue without any discussion over it.

When this happened, instead of exploring the factors of this, what lead up to it, the teen's life which lead up to the killing and the cop's point of view, the media has instead been blarring out this story of "white cop shoots black teen" with only the occasional off-hand mention of the teen trying to grab the cop's gun and almost no mention of what actually lead up to the shooting itself. the fact the media didn't report that little detail to the public is deliberately misleading, and when that cop was found "not guilty" the public wasn't told what the judges were told, they paint this picture of "the cop got off the hook because he's white and the teen was black" when in reality, there's no way that could be the case, for a court to essentially legalize the killing of someone else on the basis of their race, that would be commonplace in the 1950s but it wouldn't be possible in 2014, when such cases are presided over by human rights groups as well as higher ups from Washington and more who would never simply let something like that slide.

I think this stinks of the media twisting a tragic situation into something MEANT to spark unrest and riots, which would mean big ratings and money for the media agencies reporting on the ensuing chaos. the police are accused of brutality, but when you look at the looting, the burning and violence committed on the protester's side, what else are they meant to do? join in?

I have no pity or mercy for those looters and rioters, who chant the slain kid's name while they loot and burn the very stores who give their community jobs, money and supplies. While I do feel sorry for the slain kid's family and friends, I feel that they weren't given the whole story or if they did, they didn't believe it, and from what I've seen of the kid's friends and what I've read about them, they do fit the profile of someone who would claim it was cold-blooded casual murder by this cop for no reason.

I wouldn't blame the cop or the teen, this is a tragedy in every sense of the word, the blame lies with the media and with the looters. the media have twisted this tragedy into something not meant to encourage discussion, but to incite violence and backlash. I blame the looters for their violence, their looting and their burning of their community which provokes such heavy-handed responses by the police. too many people forget completely that cops are people too, they have families, they have good and bad days, and most of all, they live in those very same communities. those stores that are being looted and burned are the ones those same cops have been going to for years, that shoe store ransacked and burned? hundreds of cops bought their children's first shoes there, that liquor store? there are cops who made their stops there after work on friday nights to pick up their pre-drinks to have with their buddies... they live in those same communities, is it so wrong that they want to protect it from the people who are actively burning and looting their community? their homes? what if one of those cop's little brother is working at a looted walmart or worse?

too many people forget these facts, and this chaos isn't the cop's fault, it's not Mike Brown's fault it's the media's fault.
 

DeusExMachina

Planetoid
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
First of all, the evidence concerning the Micheal Brown case is pretty damning for the cop in question. There are a number of witness testimonies, forensics and autopsy reports and even one video recording that pretty clearly point to the fact the the young unarmed man was shot at a bit of a distance (I think it was at least 10 feet/3 meters) while obviously surrendering.
So this is and issue and it is an indicator of a much larger issue. Police officers in the USA statistically and anecdotally speaking are pretty trigger happy (there are even multiple video recordings of several different incidents) and kill a lot of people in the line of duty unnecessarily.
Also the statistic speak for the fact that this is a race issue all across the board (look at the numbers for searchings, arrests and sentences listed ordered by race and this gets pretty clear immediately) and that there is a dire need for action.
Factoring in that now the case doesn't even go to court, despite all the evidence that should at the very least warrant a day in court, I can see why people, especially black and Hispanic communities are upset.

As to the role of the media in all of this. You have to remember that media is a business and so they create content that people want to see and read. That often means exaggeration and sensationalizing of the facts to outright twisting or ignoring them, should the network in question have an agenda.
I'm not sure that the media coverage is was sparked the riots I think it to be much more likely to be an aftereffect inside the community but suffice to say, the media didn't handle the whole thing all to well.

Now on to the protests. I have full empathy for people protesting these events and the obvious trends in police violence, in fact I think that is necessary all across the USA to drive the message home that this is in no way acceptable.
But only under the condition that these protest are peaceful and non-violent in nature. As soon as you start smashing windows, beating people or even looting as a result of this you've lost the message and all of your integrity on this issue.
I stand firmly against the use of violence in almost any situations and especially when it come to pointing out failings of a system or protesting/demonstrating. As soon as you start looting and vandalizing you've lost any ground for a reasonable argument and my sympathies.
 

Tierhund

Super-Earth
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Location
UK
I have to be sparing with this response as I have seen far too much of people saying it isn't a race issue when it overwhelmingly is. There is evidence of Darren Wilson being in cahoots with the KKK. He was donated over $600,000 for murdering a black teenager, many comments involved 'thanks for killing another n*gga'. Through independent blogging and tweets from protesters and the solidarity from protests in Palestine and Syria, where the truth of the matter comes from, not the highly censored and sensationalised American media; there is evidence of hyperviolence from police; evidence of a shooting to an innocent bystander near the riots going mysteriously missing when the police confiscated it for evidence (also they deny having any documentation of said confiscation), there is testimonials from black peaceful protestors witnessing white protestors coming to the protests and inciting violence and antagonisation to the police to start riots; when a white peaceful protest occured further along in St Louis all the police wore casual clothes, cargo shorts and only handguns in their pockets (the white protestors openy carrying loaded weaponry, whereas the black protestors in Ferguson were unarmed and were being tear gassed, beaten, arrested, met with rubber bullets, tanks and 'a state of emergency'); there is evidence of the prosecutor against Darren Wilson actually being one of the main creators of the fundraiser in Darren Wilson's favour whilst also sporting 'I am Darren Wilson' wristbands with other white majority supporters; protestors have been blamed for property being broken into and ransacked and even their local church being set on fire (which is very much historically a KKK act) which makes no logical sense as citizens would not fuck up their own community when protesting against violence; there is overwhelming evidence of the Ferguson police department falsifying evidence, lying, censoring information, being criminally negligent (the photographer failed to photograph Mike Browns dead body where it lay on the ground for 3 hours, testifying that her camera ran out of battery, but also testifying that she left the scene with Darren Wilson to 'document his injuries'), lied about the distance from the alleged robbery, lied about the robbery entirely (the store has reported making NO report to police about the alleged robbery), autopsy from independent examiners proves Mike Brown was shot in 'defensive position with arms raised'; there are countless eye-witnesses and video evidence of the actual murder in question, all of which is discounted by the judge in favour of Darren Wilson's buddies basically saying he's an alright guy; 85 days into the protests and the internet awash with signal boosting evidence of the proceedings, Google began censoring information- removing videos, posts, links to evidence and sources, decimating and deleting the 'Ferguson' tag on Tumblr, showing clear intents to censor the truth much alike Communist China.

Across the board, the american media, white independent media and police reports have damned, falsified accounts, deliberately cut together footage and testimonials to portray the protestors amidsts a very racist America as thugs, as black people who have no substance, that 'violence is wrong', etc.

I have found this so unbearable that I have actually retched and I have lost hair and sleep over the overwhelming injustice and suffering and institutional racism taking place. Now don't get me wrong- I'm not biased because I'm black. I'm actually white. And it's sickening to see such watery arguments of 'violence is wrong no matter what'. Looters are not of the protesting Ferguson community- they are not part of the protest, much like during the London protests of 2012/2013 a vast majority of violence was in fact incited by non-protestors wanting to profit from the anonymity and overstretched police resources.

The fact Darren Wilson has not been indicted (something that is so rare regarding the amount of evidence against him, the rarity being 0.004% when calculated), meaning the judge thought there was barely a case against him and was not worth the effort, is a clear sign of police conspiracy, censorship and overwhelming injustice from a corrupt legal system. The fact America totes land of the free and opportunity is so laughable and horrific considering so much injustice, genocide and violence takes place every day, with all the wrong people being blamed. It has more similarities to fascist dictator regimes than it does its beloved democracy, like communist China and ESPECIALLY Nazi Germany, which is funny because America likes to tote itself as 'the hero who gets the bad guys'.

If anyone wants sources from me, I will get them. I will gladly trawl through maybe 50+ pages of reblogs of evidence from the very beginning of November if you want me to, if Google and Tumblr have not removed my untagged material reblogged straight from twitter, examiners, independent critics and witnesses. If you want this information, just ask.

If you want to say this is not about race, you are blinded by privilege and indifference and you are suckling on the teat of a lovingly discriminatory legal system and society. You are fattened and lazy from apathy and being sheltered from the atrocities that take place, and I can only pray to whatever higher power there be in this universe and world that you one day come to realise the system that you have supported and enabled, and the millions of people you have unwittingly oppressed and silenced.

I want to make it clear that one does not identify as a racist. You can do, say and act in a racist manner and still not call yourself a racist. Racism is not a born trait, it is not an adopted trait. It is learned, it is encouraged, it is societally riddled like veins through rock formation that bleeds across a vast mountain. Much alike misogynistic sexism and violence, we're told it doesn't exist and the people who are suffering are blamed for their own plight.
 

Tierhund

Super-Earth
Joined
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Location
UK
Darren Wilson and the Ferguson police also lied about the extent of Darren Wilson's injuries (they, from the beginning, reported 'orbital blowout' which is almost equivalent of the orbital bone and cheekbone being fractured into multiple pieces. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/11/the-photos-of-darren-wilsons-injury/383155/ THIS is the true, fresh, extent of his injuries), the distance from the car Mike Brown was (this is relevant when protocal says to apply lethal force- within 40 feet of the vehicle lethal force becomes more applicable. The Ferguson police department reported Mike Brown was 35 feet from the vehicle. He was proven to be 153 feet),

Also if you look for photos of Darren Wilson's injuries, you will find FAKE evidence in Google images. Amazing. Well done Google, you fuckers.

He's black, he's a thug, so it's ok he was shot over 6 times, including body shots and head shots even after he was dead.

White Americans, you are being deceived.
 

captain_jay_conrad

Super-Earth
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Aug 23, 2012
Location
Courthouse.
Tierhund, I see that you have strong opinions regarding this case. That's understandable. Cases of this scope and magnitude often illicit strong opinions. However, I noticed in your first post on this issue, you mention a judge determined that the case was not strong enough to go to trial, and therefore it was dismissed.

The indictment process in Missouri is not unlike that in most of the states. A felony charge must be brought via an indictment. Indictments are handed down by the Grand Jury. Grand Juries are convened by the prosecutor. The Grand Jurors are randomly selected from the community as a standard jury is. However, unlike the actual trial proceeding, a judge is not involved in a Grand Jury's normal proceedings.

In addition, Grand Jury proceedings are conducted in secret, the accused does not have the right to speak, but is allowed to answer prosecutor's or Grand Jurors' questions if they are summonsed. Anything they say to the Grand Jury can be used against them at trial, if an indictment is handed down. The accused is also not allowed the right to have counsel present at the Grand Jury. Defense Counsel is barred from speaking, unless invited to speak by the Grand Jury itself. That almost never happens.

On top of this, the accused is not allowed to present their own evidence. Only the prosecutor is granted the right to present evidence. Therefore, the Grand Jury proceeding is not about debating the facts of the case. Rather, the purpose of convening a Grand Jury is to present the prosecution's facts to determine whether the evidence is sufficient to establish probable cause.

Probable cause is a much lower standard than the burden of proof at a criminal trial. It simply means that, based on the evidence at hand, it is more likely than not that the accused committed the offense in question. Therefore, when eyewitness testimony is contradictory, it's very hard for the Grand Jury to hand down an indictment...because it makes the evidence much less likely to succeed at trial. That is to say, that if the Darren Wilson case moved to trial, it is very unlikely that the case would succeed, because the prosecution must prove beyond a "reasonable doubt" that Darren Wilson satisfied all of the elements of First Degree murder, or manslaughter, if that was the charge which the Grand Jury chose to indict him on.

Reasonable doubt is a significant hurdle for the prosecutor to over come. If one element of the crime is not satisfied, the jury must acquit. In cases of this nature the defense of "Self defense" is an affirmative defense. That means that if there is evidence demonstrating that a reasonable officer, under like circumstances felt that his or her life was in danger, then he or she was justified in using deadly force to defend themselves. This same defense is used by civilian defendants as well.

Once the prosecutor has presented his or her evidence to the Grand Jury, then the Grand Jury must deliberate and vote on whether or not to Indict the accused. A certain number of Grand Jurors must agree in order for an indictment to be handed down. I don't know Missouri's statutory requirement, as I'm not licensed to practice law in that state. In Texas, the requirement is for 9 Grand Jurors to vote for indictment.

If the prerequisite number of Grand Jurors voting in favor of indictment cannot be procured, then there will be no indictment. A judge is not even present during the Grand Jury proceedings. Therefore, a judge made no determination as to whether this case had the potential to succeed for trial or not.

Moreover, the Grand Jurors were chosen at random before this case was even on the docket. There were black Grand Jurors on this panel and white Grand Jurors. However, the number may not have been equal. However, it has always been that a division of the vote from a Grand Jury will not be shown, as Grand Jury proceedings are conducted in secret. In fact, in the State of Texas, the accused doesn't even have the right to know that the Grand Jury is even considering whether or not to indict them.

So, the fact that there are many indictments has no bearing on the specifics of this case. The jurors saw the evidence, as presented, and were not convinced that the evidence was efficient to establish probable cause. And, therefore, no indictment was handed down.

Now, while it is true that in the past this system has been discriminatory, to claim that no progress has been made with respect to diversity and civil rights baffles me. Blacks are no longer precluded from jury duty―which includes serving on Grand Juries. Furthermore as per Batson v. Kentucky, a juror cannot be excluded from jury service on the basis of race alone. And that's for a regular trial. Grand Jurors are pre-selected by lottery and cannot be excluded by the prosecutor, and as previously mentioned, the defense counsel has no right to appear or make arguments in the proceedings at all. So, we have made progress with the jury system.

We also have made progress in race relations. I won't deny that there are still divisions between the races. But, to claim that if one simply doesn't view race as being an element of Officer Wilson's actions is blinded by white privilege which is some amorphous form of institutionalized racism smacks of a dangerous logical flaw. Namely, a suppressed correlative. You have said if I argue that race doesn't apply to the case at hand (within the limits of the incident in question) then I am racist. Just because some who believe that race wasn't a factor might be racists, it doesn't mean all who hold that belief are.

It's difficult to make an argument when faced with that sort of absolute statement. There is no room for presenting a dispute, and it applies a label based on the suppressed correlative. In other words, you have defined the argument in such a way that all things we might say are not applicable to this case, are applicable o this case.

I respect your opinion, but I thought these issues needed to be addressed. It's important for us to be able to exchange our ideas. Also, it is important to ensure that our understanding of the Grand Jury proceedings are accurate. Otherwise, it devalues the valid arguments and opinions you have to offer.
 
B

Broomhandle45

Guest
Apologies to people who wanted to continue this discussion, but it wasn't intended to be accepted in the first place. The discussion has merit, but the potential for this escalating to somewhere really bad and very quickly due to various factors such as all the recent events made us decide otherwise, this was purely an accident that shouldn't have happened. Once things are a little less rough on things coming out, people are more than willing to submit other topics regarding this...just realize it might be a little while before we actually accept them.

We do want open discussion on important topics, but some topics are like a match to gasoline. Such as this one.
 
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