In Reference to Militarization

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The above image is a still image of the beating of Rodney King. The ramifications of this event are still regularly referenced and felt throughout policing. For the purposes of this discussion, I want to bring up the issue of Rodney King as evidence that police can overreact, can use bad judgment, and can be capable of great harm. Obviously, I don’t feel that this is a fair characterization of all officers, or even most in general, but it is important to fairly admit when mistakes are made.  Objectivity demands it.  Similarly, the issue of police militarization is a real and important topic. For those wondering, this topic will tie back in to what’s going on in Ferguson.

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Bloody Sunday

A Week Later…

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I arrived at the station that night at about 2040. I was on the road in a police car for maybe a minute and had traveled just outside of the parking lot, when I flipped on the scan function on my radio. Immediately, I heard, “Um… be advised, we’ve got several hundred… correction… several thousand demonstrators heading south on West Florissant toward the CP [Command Post].”
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For The Record

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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.

  1. What was the point of releasing the robbery video?
  2. Did the robbery video rekindle violence?
  3. How Effective has Ron Johnson been?
  4. First Fatality from Protests
  5. Myth: The Ferguson Police Department has Been Removed from the Response
  6. Myth: Capt. Johnson is in charge of the investigation of Darren Wilson / Mike Brown.

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The Johnson Doctrine

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August 14th, 2014 shifted command from the St. Louis County Police to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. This shift in command and philosophy was promised by the Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon. As I mentioned in my earlier post, the Highway Patrol was a part of all action up to this point.  The philosophy articulated by Capt. Johnson should not reflect on the general mission of the MSHP.

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Dissonance

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“We’ve got to go.  They’re rioting in Ferguson,” my friend Rick said
quickly as I walked into the police station on the evening of August 10th,
2014.  I grabbed a set of keys from the wall and seconds later, we were in
a car together heading toward Ferguson, Missouri, a municipality in North
St. Louis County.  We didn’t work for Ferguson PD but we knew if they were
calling for our help, things weren’t going well.  “Officer-in-need-of-aid”
calls came through every so often and we would respond when they were
close.  However, from the start we knew this time was different.

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