Monday, August 18, 2014

Last Call For The Response On Ferguson

President Obama spoke this afternoon about the situation in Ferguson, Missouri.

Earlier this afternoon, I spoke with Governor Nixon as well as Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill. I also met with Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Justice Department has opened an independent federal civil rights investigation into the death of Michael Brown. They are on the ground and along with the FBI, they are devoting substantial resources to that investigation.

The attorney general himself will be traveling to Ferguson on Wednesday to meet with the FBI agents and DOJ personnel conducting the federal criminal investigation and he will receive an update from them on their progress.

He will also be meeting with other leaders in the community who’s support is so critical to bringing about peace and calm in Ferguson.

Ronald Davis, the director of the DOJ’s Office of Community- oriented Policing Services, or COPS, is also traveling to Ferguson tomorrow to work with police officials on the ground. We’ve also had experts from the DOJ’s community relations service, working in Ferguson since the days after the shooting to foster conversations among the local stake holders and reduce tensions among the community.

So, let me close just saying a few words about the tensions there. We have all seen images of protesters and law enforcement in the streets. It’s clear that the vast majority of people are peacefully protesting. What’s also clear is that a small minority of individuals are not.

While I understand the passions and the anger that arise over the death of Michael Brown, giving into that anger by looting or carrying guns, and even attacking the police only serves to raise tensions and stir chaos. It undermines rather than advancing justice.

So, three distinct avenues of attack on this, the investigation, AG Holder on the ground, and COPS director Ron Davis on the ground.  This of course was just not enough for some but at this point, it will never be enough.

Meanwhile, I'll let John Oliver take it away, saying what needs to be said.

Giant Brass Ones, Indeed

Meanwhile, in Cleveland...

A billboard depicting part of the male anatomy is sparking controversy on Cleveland's west side. 
"It's totally inappropriate," said John Sumlin as he passed by the sign, near Pearl and State Roads, Friday afternoon. 
The picture is seen under the words "DOES ANYONE IN CONGRESS HAVE A SET OF THESE." The opposite side of the sign shows an unflattering caricature of President Obama and reads, "IMPEACHMENT NOW." 
"Sometimes you've got to put things out there in order to make a point and get people to turn their heads," said Nancy Sysack, who owns the sign. "There's more graphic stuff in the art museum."

Republicans are betting that they can get away without impeaching like their rabid base insists.  This would mean that the GOP was going to stand up to the crazies that control their party.  Of course that's not happening.

You created the monster.  You live with the monster.

Six Of One, Half-Dozen Bullet Wounds In The Other

The NY Times has released the results of the private autopsy requested by the family of slain Ferguson resident Michael Brown, and it shows uncommon brutality, if not a full-blown execution, as he was shot at least six times.

One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury, according to Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, who flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family’s request to conduct the separate autopsy. It was likely the last of bullets to hit him, he said.

Mr. Brown, 18, was also shot four times in the right arm, he said, adding that all the bullets were fired into his front.

The bullets did not appear to have been shot from very close range because no gunpowder was present on his body. However, that determination could change if it turns out that there is gunshot residue on Mr. Brown’s clothing, to which Dr. Baden did not have access.

Six shots, including two in the head.  The amateur CSI clowns on the right are claiming this exonerates Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, as it somehow "proves" Brown was charging the officer.  But Brown was supposedly shot as he was allegedly going for Wilson's gun while in the back of Wilson's police cruiser, and yet there are no indications he was shot at close range.

The story keeps changing, and people wonder why nobody believes the Ferguson cops besides the loonies on the right looking to justify Brown's murder.

Meanwhile, Gov. Jay Nixon has called the National Guard on the people of Ferguson.

Gov. Jay Nixon signed an executive order deploying the U.S. state militia, saying demonstrators had thrown Molotov cocktails and shot at police as well as a civilian, a description of the night's events diverging widely from some eyewitness accounts.

“Tonight, a day of hope, prayers, and peaceful protests was marred by the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state, whose actions are putting the residents and businesses of Ferguson at risk," Nixon said in a statement on his website.

Exactly who does Nixon mean here?  Organized individuals from outside the state?  Does he mean the media, who were threatened with violence yet again if they kept recording for the world to see?  Because it looks like to me that the cops fired unprovoked.

A midnight curfew was imposed for the second night in the tense St. Louis suburb hit by racially charged demonstrations, violence and looting since Michael Brown, 18, was shot to death on Aug. 9 by white police officer Darren Wilson.

At around dusk on Sunday, hundreds of protesters in Ferguson including families with young children fled to safety after police wearing gas masks and body armor fired tear gas and smoke canisters to scatter them hours ahead of the curfew.

"The smoke bombs were completely unprovoked," said Anthony Ellis, 45. "It (the protest) was led by kids on bikes. Next you know they're saying, 'Go home, Go home!'"

And now the National Guard will show up.  Will they bring actual tanks, I wonder?

All to protect a cop who executed an unarmed man.



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