The internet is abuzz the Ferguson shooting. It seems that some people are a bit confused on what happened, and are willing to just say “well, of course the white guy got off.” Or that “of course the black people rioted and harmed people who did nothing to them.”
These are my thoughts, just to get them out of my head where they’ve been running around.
- The grand jury could not indict the police officer because there wasn’t enough evidence. Read the transcripts (here and here) and you’ll see that there was disagreement in the officer’s account and the witnesses’ accounts; the witnesses didn’t agree. The law is set up to not convict people if the evidence doesn’t support it to a reasonable extent. Yes, you might not like it but that’s the case. How would you feel if a young man was convicted and the evidence did not support it? What would you say if the witnesses didn’t agree in that case?
- What would you say if this was a black officer and a white young man? Could “looked like a demon” be applied to either case? Yes, it could. It seems that this was needlessly spun as a racist remark with no good reason.
- A very good opinion piece on CNN from a woman whose husband is a police officer and who has a son, and who all happen to be African American, shows the problems with thinking this is just a simple matter of racism.
- Yes, there should be something done about how some police treat people who do not look like them. There should be something done about how some people treat other people who do not look like them. We need to realize that we are all humans and not defined by where our ancestors lived and how much sun they got. That is pure idiocy.
- To riot does nothing but harm. It does not show any interest in social justice because it achieves nothing but violence, and usually is one part of a continuing cycle. If these folks were interested in justice, where is the justice for those people they harmed? Justice isn’t only what you want when you want it. Collateral damage isn’t acceptable. If you feel harmed, then focus on those that harmed you. I can understand and in some cases support harming those who have harmed you; I am no kind of pacifist. I cannot support being so idiotic to hurt others. I’ve seen a lot of people claim that those who were harmed somehow “deserved” it. Then where does the blame end?
That’s it. You may agree or not. We can discuss what I’ve said.
9 thoughts on “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – My thoughts on the Ferguson incidents”
You don’t attack a police officer in his car and not expect trouble. A Clusterfuck of errors
indeed it was, on all sides. People make mistakes and unfortunately those mistakes often snowball.
Police officers are trained to react in certain ways. It isn’t perfect, and no human is. If we wish law enforcement, then we have humans doing it. We recently had a kid killed because he was brandishing a air gun that looked like a real one. In this culture of guns that the US has, mistakes can be made. And no, I’m not anti-gun, just anti stupidity.
Incidentally, my brother is a police officer, in the interests of honest disclosure.
To tell you the truth, I’m really quite confused about what all the fuss is about. The kid (man, really) robbed a shop, attacked the store owner, then attacked a policeman in his car, and winds up dead. The dead part is bad, yes, but we’re clearly dealing here with someone completely out of control.
well, as I understand it, there was some question whether he was the actual robber. I *think* that is the issue but am not sure at the moment anymore. I’ll have to do some research.
here’s a set of two timelines. I tend to believe the officer’s version because of the acknowledged description of the robbery which showed “Big Mike” to be aggressive and not too concerned with the law. I’ve also shot pistols and the bullets are far harder to control than a long arm.
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People riot when they feel they are not being heard and I think in the court of public opinion, there is an injustice that has occurred, how to deal with it is the next issue. This Fergusson affair on the other hand is looking quite complex. I will find time to read the transcripts and make a judgement for myself
I agree with a couple of caveats; some people do riot when they do not think they are heard. Unfortunately some people riot to steal and cause damage in anonymity. However, rioting often makes valid complaints ignored even more. In this case, there are folks who can say “well, it’s valid to assume that people of another color are violent and thoughtless” when there is pointless destruction. It’s a cycle that is very hard to stop.
I agree with the caveats and you are right, it’s a bad cycle. I saw enough riots when we were in campus.
Looks to me like a cowboy and likely slightly racist cop encountered an aggressive criminal piece of ghetto trash with the inevitable result of fire and gasoline.