Internationally Speaking

tefpoedresseduphypocriteMichael Brown’s parents, along with other geopolitical/criminological experts like Tef-Poe (is that a cardigan?), are currently attending meetings in Geneva, Switzerland in reference to supposed American Police abuses. In honor of their noble efforts, I thought I would help give them an international perspective with which to frame their arguments. While decrying the militarization of the police and in particular the militarization of American riot police, I thought it would also be wise to bring up a number of other more progressive countries with police forces who have engaged in actions in recent history which may have been forgotten. Forgive my following attempt at humor:


 

1.) Canada
1280px-Flag_of_Canada.svg
The following pictures are from Vancouver, British Columbia during the riots from 2011. During the events of unrest, Vancouver police deployed riot police (1)(2)(3)(5), wearing riot armor (1)(2)(3)(5), wielding riot clubs (aka murder sticks)(1)(2), deployed tear gas (a chemical weapon)(4), assault riot weapons (which only the military use)(2)(3), rubber bullets (7), and armored riot vehicles (only useful in running people over)(5). They also wore uniforms which obscured their name tags and a few individuals had the audacity to block their faces with balaclavas (1)(2)(3)(5)! Clearly the police here were trying to hide their identities so their individual abuses could not be reported!

In 2013, riot police were deployed in New Brunswick in a similar fashion using MRAP vehicles (They’re called tanks in Ferguson!) (6).
1 2 3 4 5 6 Rubber Bullet Wounds


2.) United KingdomFlag of the week United KingdomIn 2011, during the riots in London, the   police also utilized riot police (1)(2), wearing riots armor (helmets, tactical vests, and pads)(1)(2), wielding riot clubs (1)(2), deployed tear gas (2), obscured their nameplates and faces (1), and utilized armored riot vehicles (3)(4).1 BRITAIN-POLICE-UNREST 3 4


3.) Switzerland2000px-Flag_of_Switzerland_(Pantone).svgWhile the Michael Brown supporters are protesting supposed American Police abuses in Geneva, they should take time to protest the same actions by Geneva Police that are supposedly so reprehensible for American Police. Back in 2009, Police in Geneva, Switzerland engaged protesters at the World Trade Organization with riot police wearing intimidating and antagonizing riot gear (1)(2), without wearing nameplates (1), wielding riot clubs (1)(2), and deployed tear gas (2). They also used rubber bullets while making arrests.

1 2


The only logical conclusion to be drawn from this information is that the police in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland must disarm! Demilitarize Canada! Demilitarize the United Kingdom! Demilitarize Switzerland!

/joke


The above evidence is just further proof that the cries of abuse against protesters have been baseless.  As evidenced above, the response has not been excessive, nor unusual for the circumstances.  What’s more, the areas in question, London, Vancouver, and Geneva are not known for gun crime like St. Louis is and these incidents of rioting were not enhanced with an exclamation of gunfire as was commonplace in Ferguson. Furthermore:

  • -In 2013, there were 6 homicides in the city of Vancouver, BC.
  • -In 2010, there were 53 homicides in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • -In 2013, in London there were 69 homicides
  • -In 2013, in St. Louis there were 120 homicides in the city alone.

Sources:

That’s not per capita. That’s raw events for cities with the following populations:

  • -Vancouver Metro – 2.4 Million, City – 600k
  • -Geneva Metro Equivalent – 915k – 196k
  • -London Metro 13 Million, City – 8 Million
  • -St. Louis Metro 2.8 Million, City -319k

Source: Wiki (sue me)

What’s more, the majority of our murders in St. Louis are gun crimes, so on top of beating out other locations in terms of homicide incidents, our incidents are committed more regularly due to the ease and availability of firearms.  Why would common tactics be okay for safer jurisdictions but not for those of us in a far more dangerous environment?

Of course, the bottom line is that the “police abuse” argument is being utilized by protesters and the media because a lot of people really want the St. Louis County Police to be the bad guys in this story.  Unfortunately, at this stage in the game, we’re past discussing facts.  We live in a world in which people like Amnesty International still spread lies like the one in their report that Mike Brown was executed by Darren Wilson with no prior conflict and without Wilson so much as exiting his car.  This level of bias is forgiven by the media and by the protesters because it supports the narrative they have committed themselves toward.

The common argument that riot gear AKA militarization is somehow indicative of an American Police mentality that leads toward violence is utterly asinine when viewed from an international lens.  That lens is even clearer when the same militarized gear is used in areas like those listed above which are undeniably safer places than St. Louis.  We’re not talking about Latin America or the Middle East.  The nations I compared above are first world countries not known for violent nor gun crime.

The indignation of the protesters in terms of riot response and riot gear is being repeated in the lead up to the Grand Jury announcement with complaints about the purchase of gear and the utilization of training. There is persistent whining within the protester community (not to be confused with the Ferguson community) that the police are preparing for war with Ferguson. You don’t get to threaten war with a cry of, “no justice, no peace” and then be surprised when people prepare to defend themselves from your threats.

WS

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5 thoughts on “Internationally Speaking

  1. The thing is, police are not “gearing up” for peaceful protests. They are gearing up in expectation of violent actions by hooligans who care not a whit about the object of the peaceful protesters. They are there to stir up controversy, commit violence and looting while destroying livelihoods and property, and to do or attempt to do harm against police. If the law enforcement agencies DID NOT show up to those protests with the appropriate gear, all hell would break loose and lawfulness would not be restored until the police could bring in their gear or the armed services were deployed, in full combat gear. Imagine the outcry if cops showed up to a riot without riot gear and innocent, peaceful protesters were seriously injured or killed. The police are there more and more to control chaos.

    What people don’t understand is that the First Amendment, providing for the right to assemble and the right to protest, DOES NOT allow for violent protests. Violence is not a constitutional right. And anyways, in many cases organized protesters must get permits allowing protests, and must work with law enforcement to guarantee, the best ways possible, that the protest will be orderly and will occur in designated areas. I think that is why, and how, law enforcement can force those involved in a spontaneous protest to keep miving or risk loitering charges. I see this as becoming an increasingly prevalent and dangerous issue as members of the general public, armed with a cell phone that records audio and video but who don’t have any credentials start demanding the rights and access of a free press. Having the latest iPhone does not make one a journalist.

    I think what we see in situations like Ferguson is how easily a mob mentality can take over and turn a potentially effective response, a civil action, into what amounts to a gang turf war, the gangs being the looters and rioters vs the cops. These are situations in which the police departments consider their jobs well done if there are no deaths and property loss is confined to a small area. Nowadays that’s almost the best they can hope for.

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  2. Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Brown went to Geneva to speak about police abuses. Are you so naive that you don’t believe police abuses occur? You must think police can do no wrong. I’d like to see your response if a son or daughter of yours was killed by a LEO. Yes, law enforcement officers in other countries have at various times mounted riot tactics. Is that the model we want in the US? Your argument is not compelling to me. You present a ton of facts but they’re irrelevant to the situation at hand. You are simply adding to the problem.

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    • Who said police abuses don’t occur? I’m drawing specific attention to the specific examples being used regularly by Michael Brown supporters which I contend are not abuses. In this post I’m mocking the notion that riot response tactics are unusual or excessive. They’re clearly not unusual given the examples used above and opponents of their use by American police seem grossly unaware of that given that they’re attempting to get the United Nations to intervene.

      If my argument is not compelling to you, feel free to make a counter argument. Explain what you feel is an adequate response to riots would look like.

      Expand your idea that I’m “adding to the problem.” You might want to try defining the problem before making the claim that I’m adding to it.

      Also, what does my son or daughter being killed or not by an LEO have to do with the legitimacy of their argument? Passion in the face of tragedy is not evidence that an argument is valid. They have every right to be devastated at the loss of their son, but they don’t get to default to being right just because you sympathize. What’s more, many people would argue that their sons or daughter don’t have a very high chance of becoming the victim of unjustified or justified police violence because they don’t attempt to fight with police. The stats back that argument up in that police shootings are statistically rare, let alone unjustified shootings, and compared to the vast number of other shootings on an hourly basis.

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      • There are a couple of things I am willing to spend time explaining. The rest we’ll just to to let be as I don’t have time to gather full references and documentation as if this is a court case. First, I do not understand why Mr. and Mrs. Brown need to give time to explaining international police abuses in order to address their specific case. Do you have their transcript or did you listen to a live broadcast of their presentation? if you didn’t, how can you know what they said or didn’t say anyway? You are making assumptions about what you believe will be their case. It seems you simply want to discredit them by saying they are presenting a false story—and I see no basis for that.

        The other thing that stood out relates to this comment: “The above evidence is just further proof that the cries of abuse against protesters have been baseless. As evidenced above, the response has not been excessive, nor unusual for the circumstances.” That police in other countries have mounted riot responses similar to what happened in Ferguson in response to protests is simply not proof that cries of abuse have been baseless. What were the circumstances that preceded the riot police response in each of your international examples? Were they EXACTLY the same as what happened in Ferguson? If not, the comparison is weak. You are basically saying that since police in other countries outfitted themselves similar to how the Ferguson police outfitted themselves, that it’s justified and that all claims of any abuse are baseless. This is ridiculous. You are doing exactly what you allege the protestors and the Browns have done: you’ve presented “facts” that tell the story you want to tell. That does not mean it’s the truth.

        Finally, I say you are part of the problem because you are offering up misleading information to invalidate and discredit the side of the story you oppose, and providing a litany of extraneous information that sounds good, but is irrelevant. I’m sure it’s effective, however, because there are a lot of people ready to believe whatever supports their belief system that LEOs act justly and that anyone who is on the other side is a criminal who deserves whatever treatment comes their way.

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      • “There are a couple of things I am willing to spend time explaining. The rest we’ll just to to let be as I don’t have time to gather full references and documentation as if this is a court case. First, I do not understand why Mr. and Mrs. Brown need to give time to explaining international police abuses in order to address their specific case. Do you have their transcript or did you listen to a live broadcast of their presentation? if you didn’t, how can you know what they said or didn’t say anyway? You are making assumptions about what you believe will be their case. It seems you simply want to discredit them by saying they are presenting a false story—and I see no basis for that.”

        Do you have some evidence that their story has changed any from the same one they have supported since August? Do you have some evidence that their argument is different from the argument they said they were going to Geneva to present? While I wasn’t present for the interview in Geneva, they have put out statements in relation to this event that indicate what their argument would be. Their story isn’t a mystery to anyone except apparently you.

        “That police in other countries have mounted riot responses similar to what happened in Ferguson in response to protests is simply not proof that cries of abuse have been baseless.”
        It speaks to the unusual portion of “cruel and unusual punishment” outlawed by the 8th amendment of the United State Constitution, one of the ways along with the reasonable person test from Graham v. Connor that we use to define “excessive force.” Showing that a type of response is common internationally in locales that are safer proves that it is not unusual. Going to Geneva, a city where the same tactics have been used as recently as 2013, to argue that such tactics constitute abuse just shows how ill-informed they are.

        “What were the circumstances that preceded the riot police response in each of your international examples? Were they EXACTLY the same as what happened in Ferguson? If not, the comparison is weak. “
        I covered this, but I suspect you became annoyed and stopped reading my post half-way through. I’ve also covered this in earlier posts. First of all, circumstances don’t have to be “EXACTLY” the same in order to be justified responses to those circumstances. No two incidents in any concept are “exactly” the same. Secondly, the international incidents lacked something that occurred regularly in Ferguson and increased the danger for law enforcement and everyone else present, namely gunfire. In other words, the tactics used internationally have been for safer environments than those encountered in Ferguson, but I’ve already covered that repeatedly. If the tactics and gear used by riot police in safer situations than Ferguson are justified, then the police responding to the riots in Ferguson were justified as well in using the same tactics and gear.

        “You are basically saying that since police in other countries outfitted themselves similar to how the Ferguson police outfitted themselves, that it’s justified and that all claims of any abuse are baseless. This is ridiculous.”
        Not all claims of abuse are baseless at face value. I never said as much. In fact, I started my last comment with exactly the opposite. I’m arguing in reference to the repeated claim that abuse is widespread, you know the entire reason for going to the UN. If Ferguson locals who went to Geneva were doing so in reference to a singular or isolated incident than it just goes to show how little they understand about the UN and its mission. If I want to get a mole removed from my arm, I don’t amputate my arm.

        “This is ridiculous. You are doing exactly what you allege the protestors and the Browns have done: you’ve presented “facts” that tell the story you want to tell. That does not mean it’s the truth.”
        You must be new here friend. My posts cover whatever I encountered first hand and whatever is supported by evidence and reason. I’m still waiting for a counter-argument since you seem to be obsessed with arguing semantics.

        “Finally, I say you are part of the problem because you are offering up misleading information to invalidate and discredit the side of the story you oppose, and providing a litany of extraneous information that sounds good, but is irrelevant.” You have not presented one single bit of evidence that discredits a anything I’ve said. You have not supported your contention that it is misleading. Simply claiming something is ridiculous doesn’t make it so.

        “I’m sure it’s effective, however, because there are a lot of people ready to believe whatever supports their belief system that LEOs act justly and that anyone who is on the other side is a criminal who deserves whatever treatment comes their way.” You’re speaking in absolutes and if you think this is my belief system then you haven’t read this post or any other one on this blog for that matter. My comments have been in reference to the absolutist comments made, in this case, by protesters from Ferguson in Geneva. When those absolutist comments are shown to be baseless it sheds doubt on their secondary claims when its clear they’re trying to be dishonest by indicating that any possible actual abuse is widespread. Saying something is a police abuse and proving it are two very different things. Of course, you don’t seem to be interested in discussing how police abuse is defined. You simply seem interested in making ad hominem attacks which ironically supports my notion that the argument you clearly support is baseless.

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