August 15, 2014

Here we go again

There's been another shooting of an unarmed black teenager, and what played out last summer is sort of repeating itself. To wit:

  • There are discrepancies of what actually happened
  • The victim's side says Michael Brown -- the suspect who was shot dead in Ferguson, MO -- did nothing wrong; the police claim otherwise
  • The media, and popular culture in general, are reviving the meme that this is yet another example of the "epidemic" of police brutality against black Americans
  • There are calls, again, for "honest discussions" about race in America
  • But, in these "honest discussions," just don't dare to raise the issue of wildly disproportionate black crime rates
  • Black American leaders and others are making the claim that black lives "aren't valued" as highly as white lives
  • But, again, don't dare bring up the "not valuing" of black lives with regards to the black-on-black violence which permeates (mostly) urban areas
  • Progressives are missing the point that the militarization of police forces is big government in action

Today the name of the cop involved in the shooting was revealed: Darren Wilson. His race, at this point, still remains a mystery, however. Also revealed was the situation which led to the confrontation between Wilson and Brown: It seems Brown was a suspect in a robbery.

Here is the Missouri statute pertaining to the use of deadly force to effect a felony arrest. Based on the police's initial statements, these (at least one, certainly) appear to apply to this case.

To be sure, the Ferguson police didn't do themselves a lot of favors with the delay in issuing Wilson's name and the account of the incident (which, I understand, still isn't 100% complete). Nor was, as noted above, the overly "military" nature of the post-shooting response to protests.

But also not doing anyone favors are responses like that of WDEL's Al Mascitti who today went on a rant about "white people" (especially Tea Party types, of course) being the only ones who support police in this case, and even made a comparison of the "hopelessness" of black communities across the country to that of ... Palestinians in Gaza. (He even said that people "know" Hamas rockets launched into Israel "don't hurt anyone," but they provoke an unreasonable response.)

The details will keep coming out, and the inter-political philosophy squabble of various viewpoints about the incident will make for interesting discussion.

But there's certainly one thing you can count on: The mainstream media has its NarrativeTM, and it will stick to it ... no matter the facts.

UPDATE (by Hube): The latest reports indicate that Wilson was unaware of Brown's robbery activity when he stopped him. Brown and a friend were stopped for walking in the middle of the street and blocking traffic.

UPDATE 2 (by Hube): This site notes that, although Wilson stopped Brown and friend for walking in the street, once he saw cigars in Brown's hand he thought he might be the robbery suspect.

Posted by Felix at August 15, 2014 12:22 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

I hate to argue in front of the kids but I have a bit of a different perspective. I do think that black people, especially young black males are subject to much more scrutiny and even abuse by the police. Yes they do represent a disproportionate number of convicted felons and/or criminals. The "why" of that is hugely complicated and would take more time than I really have to get into it.

That said, the behavior of Ferguson's police department since the shooting has been DEPLORABLE.

See here: https://storify.com/AthertonKD/veterans-on-ferguson

I have a lot of respect for police officers and have more than a few in my family but the militarization of our police forces is way out of control. I blame much of this on the federal programs that goes around giving military vehicles to podunk towns and every damn town in America having a SWAT team. In 1982, police executed 3,000 SWAT calls nationally. Today that number is 80,000.

Policing, like education and healthcare is completely broken and needs a complete reinvention.

Posted by: Duffy at August 15, 2014 03:05 PM

I agree that blacks are subject to more scrutiny than whites and (perhaps) other ethnic groups. I also agree that the issue why the black crime rate is disproportionate is multi-faceted, and many of those facets are due to "progressive" policies.

The disproportion feeds into more police scrutiny, and it becomes a vicious circle.

I'd certainly be interested in hearing more of your views on the matter, Duff. That is, if you can spare the time for us kids. ;-)

Posted by: Hube at August 15, 2014 03:12 PM

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