Like many others, I looked at what is going on in Ferguson Missouri and I wonder how things went so out of control. As per today, as I saw events erupt, I decided to take a little look at why this was happening. Not the fact of the boy who was shot, but what brought all this about. Doesn’t it seem strange that the events as they are evolving, that there is little to no mention at all in the press on this?
So what got all this started?
Well there is more than one story. First the one in USA Today (at http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/14/michael-brown-ferguson-missouri-timeline/14051827/)
12:01 p.m. – The officer encounters Michael Brown and a friend as they walk down a street. Brown is shot to death as a result of the encounter.
This is not much, is it?
We get a lot more from the NY Times (at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/18/us/michael-brown-autopsy-shows-he-was-shot-at-least-6-times.html) Here we see: “At 12:01 p.m., they were stopped by Darren Wilson, a police officer, who ordered them off the road and onto the sidewalk, Mr Johnson, who is 22, later said“.
So this is because two kids were walking on the road and they were told to get on the sidewalk?
I am certain that the press is not hammering on this fact, but it seems to me that this escalation is purely due to events that go way beyond the mere shooting of a teenager named Michael Brown.
The wiki page (not too reliable a source) is slightly more informative, which seemed to be a combination of three papers. There we find: “Michael Brown, an 18-year-old male, died after being shot at least six times by Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old Ferguson Police Department officer. Brown was walking in the middle of the street along with his friend Dorian Johnson when Wilson stopped them and told them to use the sidewalk. From there, a conflict between the two erupted at the vehicle, as Brown allegedly assaulted the officer through his window. The officer allegedly reached for his weapon inside his vehicle shooting Brown in the thumb then shooting when Brown allegedly charged the officer, ending with Brown’s death from multiple gunshot wounds“.
So from this part we see a policeman alleged to be under attack. I use alleged as there is conflicting evidence on this. As you read the NY Times article, which is a very good and informative read, we also see a first inkling on how much limelight attention this is drawing.
The article also has a statement that is part of the problem “Thousands of protesters demanding information and justice for what was widely viewed as a reckless shooting took to the streets here in rallies that ranged from peaceful to violent“, this reads in two ways. The first is that if the entire part of moving to the sidewalk is true, then not only did Michael Brown bring this on himself (based on the evidence), but consider this, a cop tells you to get off the road and walk on the footpath, you do this, matter closed, no deaths, no shootings and no city on fire.
Is this oversimplifying the matter?
The second part is that if we alter the previous statement a little (for illustration) “Thousands of protesters demanding information and justice for what was widely viewed as a reckless shooting took to the streets here, rallying violently“, this is not done for correctness, this is done to illustrate one particular group that has been there all along. If you doubt me, then look at the photos of Ferguson in flames. This also leaves a clear indication that there is a lot more at play then we are seeing.
What we see here does not even come close to the London Looting scene from August 6th until August 11th 2011.
There is however a lot more, certain events are escalated in view by possible the press and possibly several political players. Can someone explain to me how it comes that the Brown family, they are, as we can all agree under a sad situation allowed to address a UN conference in Geneva on torture? This is seen in ‘Brown family returns to Ferguson from UN conference in Geneva‘ (at http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/brown-family-returns-ferguson-un-conference-geneva). If we look at Amnesty International (at http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT40/001/2003), we see a document where on page 36, at 2.4 we see “The CRIPA provided the federal government with an important civil remedy, enabling the US (federal) Department of Justice to seek federal court orders or injunctions to eliminate patterns of abuse or unconstitutional conditions in state and local institutions“. This in itself is not an answer, what is shown that there are issues in play, there are remedies and legal avenues, so why were the Browns in Geneva? Was this a political play and a waste of time? Yes, I state a waste of time, because there are many issues in the world, many nations where torture is a real issue, where in many nations domestic violence against women (which I personally see as torture), is still at the foundation of society ignoring it all the way up to the top of national legislation. This includes Australia, the United Kingdom and several EEC nations as well.
It sounds extremely harsh to say it, but the shooting of an African American walking on the road does not cut it for the UN on torture (but it should be investigated).
It should be investigated, for the reason that we see the statement by Dr Baden in the NY Times to be “The bullets did not appear to have been shot from very close range because no gunpowder was present on his body”
Yet, NBC (at http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/michael-brown-shooting/vonderrit-myers-case-cops-say-shot-teen-had-gunshot-residue-n225761) states: “The St. Louis teenager fatally shot by an off-duty officer, which set off fresh protests in an already tense atmosphere, had gunshot residue on his hand and the waistband of his jeans, according to lab results released Tuesday by the police department“.
So there is a conflict of data already, according to the NY Times: “Dr Baden, 80 80, is a well-known New York-based medical examiner, who is one of only about 400 board-certified forensic pathologists in the nation. He reviewed the autopsies of both President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr., and has performed more than 20,000 autopsies himself“. It seems that this person is top notch in his field, which gives ample questions on where the NBC information comes from.
The entire issue that the police officer was attacked in his car! If we go back to USA Today, we see as the timeline for August 10th at 10:00 “10 a.m. – Michael Brown, 18, was unarmed, St. Louis County Police Chief Joe Belmar says in a news conference. Belmar says Brown physically assaulted the officer, and during a struggle between the two, Brown reached for the officer’s gun. One shot was fired in the car followed by other gunshots outside of the car“.
We now have an issue, there is conflicting evidence and the gunshot residue is part of the smoking gun (it really is). So, what happened?
There is an issue on several levels and no matter how the Grand Jury goes; there are massive issues, because the death of one teen (in a nation with well over 17,000 homicides in 16 states) does not seem like a big number (statistically speaking). Linked to this is one more part that we saw in the NY Times “According to what has emerged so far, on Saturday, Aug. 9, Mr Brown, along with a companion, Dorian Johnson, was walking in the middle of Canfield Drive, a fistful of cigarillos in Mr Brown’s hand, police say, which a videotape shows he stole from a liquor store on West Florissant Ave.“, so we see a possible result of a crime, which can only come to light after the facts, we see a shooting with conflicting data.
There is a lot going on in Ferguson, Missouri, yet the press are all focussing on the fires, I have seen little to nothing in regards to how these fires got started in the first place. Is this the direct consequence of a collapsed economy, a collapsed morale anticipating no future? If so, then Ferguson is only the tip of the iceberg and we will see a lot more escalations, likely far beyond the state borders of Missouri.