Priorities

B3RKkjLCMAAtW-i.jpg largeThe situation in Ferguson has calmed dramatically since Monday.  There are still protests, but without the active threat of pending violence that the demonstrators have taken advantage of for months, their complaints seem much more inconsequential.  Tempers have not cooled and the inevitable departure of the National Guard will be the test to see if we have achieved any modicum of lasting peace.  I’m personally skeptical, but don’t mind if in the meantime people want to lay on the floor of shopping malls or peacefully picket in front of Ferguson PD because they’re too afraid to step things up again like they did on Monday.


On Tuesday, 11/25/2014, our emergency plan was finally put into effect even though we were called in on Monday.  During our Tuesday briefing we were informed that the Justice Department had issued cards that were supposed to physically be on our person at all times while responding to Ferguson and abroad.  Supposedly, the officers checking us in at the Command Post were supposed to check us for these cards and for visible name-tags.  Those not in compliance were supposed to be sent back to venue.  Seeing as the first time we heard about these cards was Tuesday, how effective do you suppose this mandate was?  Despite the fact that the civics lesson on the cards is written like house rules for a five year-old, attached by farm animal magnets on the refrigerator, if a police officer was going to willfully violate someone’s first, fourth, fifth, sixth or fourteenth amendment rights, they’re going to refrain from doing so because the Justice Department’s card told them to stop?  Anyway, see the DOJ’s condescension below:

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12 thoughts on “Priorities

  1. “Conduct these assemblies/gatherings in designated public areas.”

    So this leads to the question: are things like the interior of shopping malls, exterior shopping mall parking lots, the exterior parking lots of places like gas stations, restaurants, etc. considered public or private areas? I would think sidewalks are public areas, as are areas next to police stations, city community centers, perhaps public school property, and of course, public streets.

    And what does “designated” mean?

    Further, are those assembling allowed to block public streets, entries to businesses, public buildings, entrances to parking lots?

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  2. As you seem to point out, Tuesday was more than a little late for a lot of things! Are the political leaders, and the Unified Command, so afraid of doing something wrong that they held back both August 10 and last Monday night? True, they got a lot of criticism for the tear gas in August, but that criticism is crap, in my opinion, and I think they should have had to cojones to say so in public. Why do you think they have been tip toeing around the protestors?

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    • Because the media absolutely crucified police command back in August calling us militarized untrained thugs violating civil rights and torturing mourning peaceful protesters. The political ramifications of this mischaracterization are going to be felt in law enforcement for years to come and the murder rate in St. Louis and those municipalities boarding the city and North County are evidence enough of the long term effects we have to look forward to.

      This time around in the lead up to the Grand Jury decision, we had people accusing Nixon of being racist for activating the state’s emergency operations plan. Business owners were called racist for boarding up anticipating violence from the protesters. What’s more, there is still no tactical solution to the no-win situation we’ve been put in playing whack-a-mole with looters and arsonists who then fire randomly on first responders trying to put the fires out. You can’t return fire when you can’t see who is shooting. An enforced curfew would be the only way to be able to lawfully arrest people and move on to bigger threats. However, even that isn’t a cure-all when arsonists are taking advantage of your time distracted affecting minor arrests to move on to the bigger fish.

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      • I get the political thing. In my opinion, it’s well past time for our governor to grow a pair (or two), as should Charlie Dooley, Mayor Slay, and the police chiefs involved. I realize they were all libeled in the press as racists. They should have fought back, hired a PR specialist to deal with Al Sharpton and all that liberal press trash. At the street level, they would have had more support than they realize. Instead of saying politely that no protestor was killed and riot gear never harmed anyone (which they did), they should have come out full force against the rioters and looters, condemning their actions, and promising to shoot the next rioter the police encountered unless he laid down on the ground. Let the black community scream, remind them that if they don’t want to get shot they need to stop doing things that make cops draw their guns and put them in the line of fire. This tip toeing stuff has got to stop. All the good people of all races are being bullied by a few black leaders who make excuses for bad behavior. As my mother said years ago, her family was poor, yet neither she nor her siblings committed crimes or smoked dope. Just because one is poor does not mean one has to become a criminal.

        It’s a shame Governor Nixon didn’t realize he would be dealing with terrorists. That would have cast a who different light on this, and would have let him do things differently. Sometimes, it’s what you call something that makes a difference, especially in the court of public opinion. People only sort of understand what rioters, looters, and arsonists are, but every one since 9/11 knows what terrorists are.

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      • The only thing I disagree with you on is threatening to shoot the protesters. I don’t think that would have helped and would have only been used to bolster the false narrative of widespread police violence against the black community. However, taking a firm stance and arresting everyone that broke the law, particularly when the first curfew was enacted, would have gone a long way toward preventing the same people from coming out night after night and others from accusing the police of random arrests when what they were really seeing was restraint and discretion. These individuals would probably have bonded out on the first charge or the second, but in time the bond amounts would continue to increase and the court dates and costs would continue to mount toward more serious fines and incarceration. Fearing this strategy is half of the mindset behind the argument for amnesty from municipal and misdemeanor warrants and fines.

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      • Fair enough. I agree with your comment about the handling of the initial curfew. Even so, I think some people only understand overwhelming force, or the threat of it. I realize that’s not “politically correct” nowadays, and probably should be limited to very serious situations, but that’s what this looked like to me.

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      • I would have been happy with proportional force as allowed by state law and legal precedent. I think we can both agree that the force used has been well below proportional.

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    • Unless an agency is under a consent decree, they don’t have any authority when we’re not talking about federal law violations. What we’re seeing is the result of political pressure put upon the local politicians by national entities. All police command ultimately reports to some politician in some form. The politicians in question are being squeezed by the federal government and the national media into accepting a non-codified authority.

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  3. I haven’t had any respect for the DOJ since Holder. I am glad there has been a lull in the problems. Gives law enforcement and the peaceful citizens a slight break. Stay safe out there.

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