Saturday afternoon Ferguson, MO police officer shot and killed an 18 year old teen. We don’t have even the partial story as yet, but we do have some really disappointing tid-bits.
Here’s what is passing for facts at the moment. The 18 year old, Michael Brown, was shot multiple times in the back and once in the head by Ferguson police. Brown was not armed. It has been alleged that Brown got into a scuffle with the police officer, shoving him back into his police car just before the shooting. Brown’s body was found about 30 feet from the police car.
Your Curmudgeon is not a real friend of the local police. We find them to be a bunch of militarized shock troops and are on the edge of being generally out of control. That said, there is absolutely nothing good coming out of this episode.
While we certainly don’t have the full story, we would expect that if Brown had a record, if the officer was injured those mitigating factors would have been made public and they haven’t. It would appear, based on early accounts, that the Ferguson cop probably ran off the rails even if he was shoved back into his car by Brown. There has been nothing reported about any previous criminal activity by Brown, and nothing about outstanding warrants. There was no report that the officer was injured in the alleged scuffle. We are very skeptical about the shooting given what we know now.
On the other side of the story, the black community in Ferguson hasn’t helped their case, at least in terms of working to engender an open and honest investigation into what happened. Their actions last night didn’t give anybody any reason to have much sympathy for the community.
Mr. Brown’s death on Saturday touched off protests in the community, with a vigil Sunday night giving way to mass looting and property destruction. Police reported arresting 32 people as they responded to thousands of calls, including reports of shots fired and looting at stores such as Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Foot Locker.
“We had a tremendous amount of property damage. And as it was, we had no injuries or fatalities,” said St. Louis County Police chief Jon Belmar, who had 500 officers on scene to help quell the unrest.
Fortunately, it appears that the police on the scene acted with an appropriate air of caution. Things have calmed somewhat, though we would guess Ferguson is still a tinderbox waiting for a spark.
We think the story is going down hill from here.
The shooting is garnering national attention from civil-rights activists. Rev. Al Sharpton said he’s been in touch with Mr. Brown’s family and stands with them as they look to a achieve a fair investigation and justice. Florida attorney Benjamin L. Crump, who represented the family of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American shot to death by a Florida neighborhood watchman, has been hired by family of Mr. Brown.
Al Sharpton never met a dead black man he couldn’t turn into a riot and into cash for Al. And, other than for fools like Sharpton and his followers, there is absolutely no comparison to the death of Michael Brown and the death of the punk, Trayvon Martin, other than an opportunity for race-baiting slugs like Sharpton and Crump to make a buck.
It appears that Eric Holder’s FBI is also Johnny-on-the-Spot. They will likely use their community funds to organize crowds for Brother Al as they did in Florida. In Ferguson, the County Sheriff has taken over the investigation, we doubt they called in the Feds.
All in all, at least right now, it doesn’t look like this will end well.
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