Part 3 of my 4 part, not-for-profit, documentary is out today.
A couple of other things:
-I wish I could talk more about the night of 8/9/15 but unfortunately, my assignment that night was quite a bit more specialized so talking about it in depth while maintaining my anonymity is probably impossible.
-St. Louis County is being forced to investigate one of their officers in reference to a Facebook post he made about taking his wife to a bread&breakfast with overtime money earned during the protester labeled “Mike Brown Anniversary Weekend.” That is literally the extent of his accused wrongdoing. Show of hands, how many people would be investigated by their employer for making a Facebook post about taking their spouse to a B&B with legally obtained overtime?
The fact that said overtime was gained policing Ferguson during a time period when three people were shot, and many more were shot at including officers, is more justification, not less, to use one’s time off and overtime unwinding with a loved one. Though attrition throughout all North St. Louis County policing agencies is at all time highs, the County alone has supposedly been averaging 5 resignations a pay period. Those that remain make no qualms about discussing the fact that morale is in the tank and with stories like this appearing in the national news, it’s no wonder why.
-The good news of the moment is that the unrest seems to have subsided once again. Other serious problems remain, but short of another officer involved shooting we seem to be out of the woods, riot wise. The violent crime situation is another story…
Part 2 of my 4 Part series is now available on Youtube.
There is a lot of talk about the anniversary of Mike Brown’s death possibly stirring up renewed unrest/rioting. At this point, my opinion is that the chances are about 50/50. Protests will occur, but whether or not they descend into a repeat of this time last year is not clear.
It’s entirely plausible that scheduled protests will be more consistent with what was seen during the Ferguson October event last year. Had Vonderitt Myers not gotten himself shot earlier that week, nothing probably would have happened during the weekend.
One of the things I’ve learned since last year is the difference between those on the street willing to start fires and shoot at police, and those posers who want to derive power by implied (and in some cases explicit) association. The latter were in charge of Ferguson October. They may be in charge of the scheduled events for the anniversary.
The problem is that Ferguson and North County as a whole are not safe places these days, as they haven’t been for many years. Distractions allow for more violent people to come out of the shadows and kickstart riots all while those responsible for the distractions give cause, endorsement, and protection to the violence.
With that said, as soon as there is another Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) in North County involving a white cop and a black suspect, justified or not, bad things will happen. If there is any question about the circumstances, or God forbid, a shooting is legitimately unjustified, riots are a certainty.
Pictured above is a map showing reported violent crime: murder, felony assault, robbery, and arson, to St. Louis County Police since August in the area around W. Florissant near Ferguson. It does not include those same crimes reported to Muni’s in the area which explains why it drops off at the Ferguson City limits and other corresponding city limits. In other words, this is an under-representation of the total problem.
The DOJ is apparently preparing to release another report on Ferguson in the coming weeks. The report is expected to be a condemnation of the tactics used by the officers from around fifty agencies who responded to the riots following the death of Mike Brown back in August.
While the Response Report is expected within the next several days, a much larger report on St. Louis County Police in the vein of the Ferguson report from March is expected later this month. The timing of these reports is suspect considering that we are currently one month away from the anniversary of the riots, a time that almost everyone in Law Enforcement expects to be bad… though at the moment we can only guess as to how bad. County Police are reportedly going to twelve hour shifts again preemptively around that time just in case.
While I don’t have access to the entire Response Report, a supposedly confidential executive summary of the report was leaked to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. According to the Post, the DOJ faults the response in the following ways, which I’ve organized into a more manageable format for my own dissemination. My commentary is in italics: Continue reading
A Guide to Municipal Courts in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area
1.) The Court System
2.) Fines and FTA’s
3.) Traffic Only – Get out of Jail Free
4.) Conflicts of Interest
5.) Racial Components
6.) Recent Lawsuit against Ferguson and Jennings
7.) My Solution Continue reading
NYPD 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.
I’ve seen a few comments minimizing the events in Ferguson when compared to riots in Europe. I want to counter that argument with some audio footage I took of North County on New Years of 2014. There is one big difference that separates these riots from otherwise similar events in Europe. Listen to the audio and see if you can figure out what the major difference is.
The attempted shutdown of Interstate 70 was a complete failure. I managed to avoid being a part of this event since it was during the day and the event fizzled out by the time my shift started that night. However, officers from my agency were in attendance.