Just in Time for the Holidays

IMG_20141224_033724Last night started like any other and with the holidays approaching, I don’t think there was any officer working who expected what eventually transpired. Ferguson had continued to remain tame. Even the call load seemed to have diminished when compared to the last several months.

Unfortunately, around eleven o’clock, Berkeley had an incident of some kind at a Mobile station and started asking for more cars with a supervisor stating that it was “going to be bad.” Berkeley is the municipality immediately west of Ferguson. It starts to the north of the county bumping into the southern edge of Hazelwood and Florissant. Then it extends all the way down and past Natural Bridge before bumping into St. John and Bel-Ridge. There are approximately 9,000 residents who live in Berkeley compared to 21,000 in Ferguson, 26,000 in Hazelwood, and 52,000 in Florissant. Continue reading

Culpability

ripNYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were executed while sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn today.  When the suspect was later cornered, he took his own life.  Additionally, an off-duty St. Louis City Officer was shot multiple times yesterday, though he fortunately survived.  Obviously the surviving City Officer has not been named.

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Preview

preview            So, I’m writing a novel using Ferguson as the backdrop.  My story is going to revolve around a black plain-clothes St. Louis County officer who has to sneak into Canfield Green Apartments to locate a missing girl during the height of the riots back in August. While it will be based on many (thought not all) events I witnessed or took part in, the overall story and the specific individuals discussed will be fictional.  I considered writing a non-fiction account of Ferguson in book form, but after 70+ entries on this blog, it would seem that I essentially already accomplished that goal. Anyway, I’m currently about 40k words into the novel so far. Getting everything up to snuff for release is going to take a little while. Below is a short excerpt: Continue reading

Hadaka Jime, the Rear Naked Argument

Q5QNBe0Hadaka Jime, otherwise known as the rear-naked choke to those outside of Judo, is a standard “choke” which is applied when an individual blocks off the carotid arteries on the sides of the neck. Blood flow slows to the brain and the individual falls unconscious within approximately 5-10 seconds. Once the choke is released, blood flow resumes and the individual wakes up. In a proper carotid choke there is no pressure applied to the windpipe and thus there is no disruption in breathing. In Judo tournaments children as young as 16 are allowed to apply near full-tilt carotid chokes to the point of submission or unconsciousness. Kids in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments can apply chokes in the same manner as young as 6.

While Judo and Jiu Jitsu are by no definition tame, children and adults are allowed to use variations of carotid chokes regularly even to the point of unconsciousness without the body count one would associate with a deadly or fatal technique. Exceptions and accidents do exist but the numbers back up the relative safety of these moves.  As such, the notion that any use of a chokehold is inherently deadly force is either a gross exaggeration or the result of misunderstanding the technique. In law enforcement, carotid chokes are known as “Vascular Restraints.” Continue reading

Witnesses: Darren Wilson Annotated

darren-wilson1The following abridged testimony of Darren Wilson took place on 09/16/2014.  As before, the pages are in reference to the 4799 page PDF that the New York Times compiled.  Of particular interest are the pages 865-951.

There was no indication of forgiveness for minor crimes like with Dorian Johnson. Seeing as this is his case there shouldn’t be any forgiveness, but there shouldn’t have been with Dorian either.  During the introduction Darren Wilson advises that he is a little short of 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighs around 210 lbs.

Prior to the incident on Canfield, Wilson was on a sick case involving a baby with a fever and her mother at Northwind Estates apartments down the road from Canfield Green. The mother and her baby were transported to the hospital. Continue reading

Witnesses: Dorian Johnson Annotated P1/2

dorian-johnson-hands-upThe following is my abridged edition of Dorian Johnson’s testimony to the Grand Jury. I think it’s important to read and as you go along, you’ll find my annotated commentary. Page 504 of 4799 page PDF starts Dorian Johnson’s testimony which took place at Justice Services in Clayton on 09/10/2014. It should be noted that at the beginning of the testimony Dorian and the assistant prosecutor discuss for the record that he is not under threat of prosecution for any type of minor criminal activity he admits to during his testimony. I understand why this was done, but it turns my stomach regardless.  This first entry will be testimony related to everything prior to Darren Wilson arriving.  The second entry I will post tomorrow will be all testimony once Darren Wilson arrives.

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