I was watching Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon, on the Sunday morning talk-show circuit and thought I should break out the Windex to clear up a few things.
- What was the point of releasing the robbery video?
- Did the robbery video rekindle violence?
- How Effective has Ron Johnson been?
- First Fatality from Protests
- Myth: The Ferguson Police Department has Been Removed from the Response
- Myth: Capt. Johnson is in charge of the investigation of Darren Wilson / Mike Brown.
1.) While there was outrage regarding the release of the video showing Michael Brown robbing a convenience store, it adds a number of new dimensions to the story. In light of the fact that the riots continued even Thursday night, a full night before the video release, the media contention that the release of the robbery footage rekindled dead flames is wrong, disingenuous, and purposefully inflammatory. Furthermore, the notion that just by releasing a video, one is blaming the victim is asinine since the video itself casts doubt on the media’s insistence of Brown’s victimhood.
Until the investigation is complete, Wilson is just as easily a victim. For the record, there are circumstances where shooting someone who is unarmed is justified and legal. Those circumstances are slim and specific, but they do exist. Some examples include:
- Physical assault by a much larger aggressor
- Physical assault by more than one aggressor
- An aggressor attempts to retrieve a weapon
- An aggressor articulates their intention to cause imminent serious injury or death.
All four examples require that the action place the user of deadly force in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or death.
2.) The Circumstances in Ferguson did not improve after Capt. Johnson took over command on Thursday night. The narrative that peace had returned was preordained and a lie. Officers not wearing riot gear were injured that night, while others were told to stand down when responding to looting and other violence. If a tree falls in the woods…
3.) Along similar lines, Jay Nixon has also been attempting to downplay the violence on Friday night when MSHP was unable to manage supposedly “peaceful protests” without calling back in officers who Capt. Johnson and Jay Nixon have regularly insulted by stating they were to blame for the violence, namely St. Louis County and their Tactical Unit. This incident eventually resulted in an aid-call, sometimes called an “all call” and every municipality in the region being called to respond much like the previous Sunday on 08/10/14.
Even after the rampant looting caught on tape by the media on Friday 8/15/14, the philosophy of Capt. Johnson has still not changed. While Ferguson officers have been arresting looters as have the northern neighboring jurisdictions, Capt. Johnson has not been adequately using the resources at his disposal to respond to looting. There are patrols outside of the CP (Command Post), but there are none on the side streets leading up to W. Florissant which has become the focal point of this conflict.
Furthermore, Capt. Johnson is still considering individuals who have been routed onto side streets from large crowds of looters, who had to be dispersed, to be “protesters.” This distinction is allowed to change at a moments notice as if they are children playing a game of tag. The label of “protester” has essentially been used to let looters call “base” so they can’t be arrested. The curfew should have cleared up this distinction allowing for the arrest of anyone on the side streets, but Johnson still refuses to enforce the curfew.
On Saturday, 8/16/14, there were reportedly seven arrests for curfew violation all while dealing with hundreds of people who defied the curfew. Apparently, enforcement doesn’t work when your only tool is “discussion” as Johnson contended a few days ago. Apparently he hasn’t noticed the word “force” hidden within the word “enforcement.” Force must be used reasonably, but to rule it out in order to give crowds that are looting, rioting, and shooting the benefit of the doubt is beyond dumb.
4.)Saturday resulted in the first fatality resulting from the riots, but you won’t hear about it on the news. A protester was shot and listed in critical condition after being transported to the hospital. The protester was not transported by ambulance because ambulances could not safely reach the area amidst the other “peaceful” protesters. On 08/17/14, the injured protester succumbed to their injuries. This development makes the claims by Capt. Johnson and Jay Nixon that the night went fairly well to be utter falsehoods.
-Some members of the national and local media are telling outright lies about the events. For example, after Saturday’s events, one KTVI reporter kept repeating that at least there was no looting. A Chop Suey business was ransacked and nearly burnt down while there was widespread reports of looting surrounding the W. Florissant area that Capt. Johnson has repeatedly failed to secure.
5.) Ferguson Police and St. Louis County Police continue to be a part of the response. They have not been “removed” as the media keeps outright stating. Jay Nixon has also not corrected these repeated misstatements. St. Louis County Police, Tactical Officers saved numerous Highway Patrol Troopers Friday night who were surrounded. They are not getting the credit they deserve.
6.) Capt. Johnson is not in charge of the investigation of Michael Brown. Merely the response to protests/looting/riots in the Ferguson city limits. Interestingly this does not seem to include Jennings, Dellwood, or Florissant which have all seen looting as well since as early as Sunday 8/10/14. This is a North County problem and will continue to be a North County problem until rioters start getting arrested and the looting is responded to with the resources available to Capt. Johnson.