Transforming Americans into Enemy Combatants

19 Aug

Stealing a pack of cigars and shoving a clerk justifies being shot 6 times to death

If the rioting in Ferguson, MO is to stop, the police should be as forthcoming with the incident report of Brown’s homicide as they were with the surveillance tape of him apparently ripping off cigars from a store. If cops could justifiably kill every kid who shoplifted or shoved someone, we’d probably be almost all out of kids

What I’m waiting for is all the big swinging 2nd Amendment / open carry dicks to defend Ferguson residents against tyrannical government behavior. The people who live in that community have a right to protest, and, as one Facebook friend writes, “the police are supposed to be peace keepers. Not funeral planners in fucking camouflage and armored tanks.”

Many have already convicted Michael Brown of Black thugdom in the 1st degree, and are using an irrelevant incident to justify his killing. In the meantime, we don’t have a copy of the police incident report regarding the shooting (those who support the shooting don’t wonder why, or give a damn because it might interfere with their conviction of Michael Brown), and the police officer has, as far as anyone knows, not once been required to give a statement to anyone in any forum, much less under oath. 

No one is justifying looting or violence in connection with these protests, and not all of the demonstrations have been thus. Consider whether a police response that looks more like Iraq than Missouri is a ham-handed provocation that serves mostly to treat local residents as enemy combatants. 

Scary big Black kid may have resisted arrest or talked back to a cop, so don’t tase or pepper spray him. Just shoot him 6 times.

39 Responses to “Transforming Americans into Enemy Combatants”

  1. Jaquandor (Kelly Sedinger) August 19, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    I find deeply depressing the way an awful lot of folks are willing, on the basis of some very sketchy evidence indeed, to write Michael Brown off as a “thug” or, worse, an “animal”. It really doesn’t take much for a brown person to completely forfeit their claim to being a human being with those “Inalienable rights”, does it?

    • EricSaldanha August 19, 2014 at 9:52 am #

      We’ll be debating the circumstances of the shooting itself well after the officer is inevitably exonerated….however, there is no defense for the actions of Ferguson PD once they were on the scene of the shooting. Not calling for paramedics, not allowing a nurse on the scene to administer CPR, leaving the boy to bleed out in the middle of the street and his corpse to rot for four hours before finally removing him, not by ambulance, but throwing him into the back of an SUV. Disgraceful.
      And, to add insult to this grievous injury, the police are treating the residents who are lawfully and rightfully protesting this treatment like, as Alan notes, the enemy. Every officer who points his or her weapon at an unarmed civilian needs to be removed and prosecuted immediately.

      • Scott Whitmire August 19, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

        “Every officer who points his or her weapon at an unarmed civilian needs to be removed and prosecuted immediately.”

        Yup. I see these idjits glassing the crowd with their rifle scopes-apparently they didn’t opt in for the tank/binocular combo meal.

  2. Tom Beecher August 19, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    It’s amazing to me just how many people are justifying multiple gunshots as a legitimate use of force, while at the same time ignoring the fact that the body was found 30 feet away from the police vehicle he was allegedly struggling with the officer at.

    I want to let the criminal justice system work. I want to BELIEVE it can work. But when the PD won’t release documentation or reports, it’s hard to think it will.

    One can only hope a fair and impartial investigation can determine the truth of this tragedy. Although frankly the way the internet prefers confirmation bias over facts, I’m not sure it will matter much.

  3. Sean Danvers August 19, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    I can’t remember a time where a police shooting, regardless of cause, involved fewer than four shots fired.

  4. rastamaniac August 19, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    The other night, Sunday to be precise, I saw a tweet showing an 8 yr. old kid on the ground who was said to have been tear gassed. One week after the first protest turned into riot and every night afterward the same thing happened it would be safe to assume that these gatherings are no place for young kids. Instead of questioning the idiot who exposed that poor kid to tear gas the reporter points a finger at the cops. Trust me I am no rabid cop defender and it’s clear to me how these cops in Ferguson have a ton to answer for. But do we need to enable stupid, irresponsible people who put their kids in danger for the sake of a puppy eyed photo op or more cynically, a lawsuit payday? Thing about these kinds of tragedies is they seem to open the door to more tragedies when opportunists and morons come looking to be part of the action.

    • Alan Bedenko August 19, 2014 at 10:16 am #

      By the same token, an 8 year-old kid, accompanied by a parent or guardian, has every right to walk down the street in his town. Even with a placard. Even chanting a slogan.

      • Michael Rebmann August 19, 2014 at 10:24 am #

        There is a difference between stupidly exercising a right and responsibly exercising a right. The judgment shown by the parents of the 8 year old is what is in question, not their rights.

      • Alan Bedenko August 19, 2014 at 10:29 am #

        “Stupidly exercising a right”?

      • Michael Rebmann August 19, 2014 at 10:32 am #


      • Farmerjohn August 19, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

        So when Alan says “fuck your gun”, he is stupidly exercising his 1st amendment right, but shouldn’t be able to?

        Rights are rights regardless of whether you think they’re important or not.

      • Michael Rebmann August 19, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

        I never said anyone should be denied their rights. Only, that if they are being stupid about it, don’t act surprised if there is an unwelcome response. The “fuck your gun” analogy doesn’t really apply. We are talking about a situation with hundreds of people gathering under an air of tension and potential violence.

      • Farmerjohn August 19, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

        It applies just fine in my opinion. I don’t agree at all with his opinion on guns, but he has every right to voice it. Determining whether he is exercising his 1st Amendment right “stupidly” is not up to me or anyone else, quite frankly. Just like it is not up to him to determine whether I own firearms or not. There’s no gray area. You either have a right or you don’t.

      • EricSaldanha August 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

        were the civil rights marchers in the Deep South in the 1960’s “stupidly exercising” their rights? After all, there was much tension and potential violence in the air – later turned into real violence by the police.

      • Michael Rebmann August 19, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

        Leave the kids at home.

      • EricSaldanha August 19, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

        There were children at the civil rights marches in the 60’s who were injured. Of course, there were four little black girls who were blown up in a church targeted by white supremacists. Were they to blame for the violence committed against them?
        Also, how precisely does one “leave the kids at home” when the cops are gassing you on your front yard.

      • Scott Whitmire August 19, 2014 at 2:01 pm #


      • jimd54 August 19, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

        Seldom do I agree with Michael but I do on this one. Being a responsible parent trumps exercising any right. Leave the kid at home, or if home is where the gas is flying, get him to a secure location. Then go protest your ass off.

      • Scott Whitmire August 19, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

        Little bugger was asking for it, amirite? I mean did you see how he was dressed? Just sashaying purty as you please.

      • Michael Rebmann August 19, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

        Commonsense should guide the parents of an 8 year old. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the situation could turn violent or dangerous.

      • Thomas August 19, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

        The Police gave the appearance of safety by implementing the curfew time that they then disregarded. Can’t blame the parents on this count

      • jimd54 August 19, 2014 at 11:48 am #

        Not a fan of using children as props.

    • EricSaldanha August 19, 2014 at 10:44 am #

      “…stupid, irresponsible people who put their kids in danger…”
      You do know that some Ferguson residents were tear-gassed while on their own property, right?

  5. Michael Rebmann August 19, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    The militarization of police forces is wrong. The blame for which can be placed squarely upon the federal government. The riotous looters are beyond wrong and deserve the response, and more, that they are getting. The premise that Brown was shot for stealing cigars is speculation at this point. His interaction with police is also speculation. It is possible that Brown was acting in a manner consistent with “consciousness of guilt”, whether or not the police officer had knowledge of his swisher sweets thievery. Shooting him 6 times appears to be indefensible. Excessive force by police is becoming an all too common phenomena.

    • hwhamlin August 19, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

      In 2013 alone $449,309,003.71 in surplus heavy military equipment was distributed to local police forces under a Pentagon program called 1033. For better or for worse, this militarization undoubtedly changes the attitude of the police. It has to be a bit self-ratifying — not to mention more fun — to go out on a routine drug raid in an APC with a mounted “Ma Deuce”, compared to going in six or seven stretch Crown Vics.

      • UncleBluck August 19, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

        I’m beginning to believe what all the Gun people have been saying for quite a while now regarding this particular issue….why is our government purposely militarizing our police departments ? I don’t buy the surplus argument because they could sell the stuff on the market and write down some of the cost of these wars. On top of it they give it to these untrained Barney Fifes……

    • UncleBluck August 19, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

      That seems to be the common thread in police shootings. They make sure the person is dead…Bonnie & Clyde style….I remember a story out of NYC a year or so ago where the cop shot the guy 20 times……

      • JP Fitzpatrick August 19, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

        nobody shoots to disable anymore. Lost art, poor training or bloodlust?

      • Scott Whitmire August 20, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

        They never did. Shooting to wound has always been a Hollywood trope.

  6. jimd54 August 19, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    I was wondering too where the armed gang that swarmed to Clive Bundy’s ranch are? Is this not just a tad more serious than a bunch of cows?

  7. Scott Whitmire August 19, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    I’d agree that this is the sort of situation that might warrant a militia muster. The looting/rioting is getting a lot of play, but what I’m seeing from social media that I follow is that there really isn’t a whole lot of that going on (see here, frex: or It’s mostly gassing peaceful protestors.

    For myself, I’d love to see that happen. Beside being the right thing to do, I’d dearly love to see Eric Holder’s little pin head explode from the cognitive dissonance that would cause. I’ve seen a few militia-esque websites echoing the idea that the militia should put itself between the cops and the peaceful protestors.

    Radley Balko has written an excellent book “Rise of the Warrior Cop” detailing this police militarization, check it out.

    I am fed up to my eye teeth with police misconduct being swept under the carpet. Whether it’s tossing flashbangs into a baby’s crib (on a drug raid that netted precisely 0 illegal shit) or choking dude to death over a single untaxed cigarette, or shooting a kid in the street. I said it on your FB page and I’ll say it here-if the police, judges and prosecutors refuse to police themselves, they are going to reap a whirlwind. Sooner or later people will decide that if the police want to play us vs them that there’s a lot more of us. When the police decide they want to rejoin the community and serve it instead of subjugating it, let me know.

    • Farmerjohn August 19, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

      I hate to bring race into it, but…. blacks just aren’t as important as a white dude with a great many cows. And that holds true for both sides of the 2nd amendment argument.

  8. Scott Whitmire August 19, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    Door to door searches? I don’t know how reliable this is.

    Also, on a related note. Suppose, just for the sake of argument, that the shooting of Mike Brown was justified.(Maybe he really was charging at the cop after breaking the cops skull with his hammer fists or something-I don’t know) That in no way exonerates the police from their response to peaceful protests. That in no way justifies what has happened since.

  9. Farmerjohn August 19, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

    I don’t get it. First, you’re talking about a person’s right to not get shot by the police at any given moment. Later, you argue for the peoples’ right to assemble. In the middle of all of that, you denounce people’s right to bear arms (which was really out of place in this entry) and seemingly ponder why this wouldn’t trigger a sort of militia response.

    I fully realize that you couldn’t care less about people’s 2nd amendment rights (however you choose to construe the actual wording). It’s quite evident that the police in Ferguson couldn’t care less about your right to assemble when it matters most. Their response is what we get when people can freely pick and choose what rights are important to others.

    • Alan Bedenko August 19, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

      I didn’t denounce anyone’s right to bear arms. I merely noted the absence of anti-government 2nd amendment activists from this particular imbroglio.

      • Farmerjohn August 19, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

        “big swinging 2nd Amendment / open carry dicks”

      • JP Fitzpatrick August 19, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

        it speaks to the hypocrisy. You have groups asserting their open carry rights in an Applebees or a Chuck E Cheese, clearly causing patrons to be uncomfortable. And droves of like minded “patriots” rushing to the aid of a white tax evader and his cows, but I don’t hear boo about anyone rushing to defend the people of this town’s (for the most part) peaceful protests from their oppressive police force. Wait, I stand corrected, I did see an “Onion-esque” article saying this was happening………..

      • Farmerjohn August 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

        Here’s my take on it. In the case of Clive Bundy’s ranch, the folks who went to the ranch to “defend” it knew that there was very little risk of provoking an actual firefight with any military forces (including the national guard). It gave them a chance to puff up their chest feathers and show that their “molon labe” and “cold dead hands” garbage wasn’t just talk.

        In Ferguson, however, that certainly is not the case. There’s a real chance of exchanging gunfire over there with the overmilitarized police presence and the itchy trigger fingers that come along with receiving M4’s (each with three pistol grips, six red dots, four scopes, and a shoulder thing that goes up) and armored vehicles left over from Iraq. If gunfire is exchanged and the police force wins, the public and federal response would very likely be to enforce further restrictions on firearms ownership.

        With that considered, I can see why there was no 2nd amendment response in Ferguson. However, I can’t help but realize that race is also a factor. It was, in their eyes, a largely “black problem”, not an “American problem”. So there’s that too.

  10. Scott Whitmire August 19, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    Money quote: “In 2014, when a police cruiser doesn’t have a camera, it’s a conscious choice. And it should be regarded as such.”

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