The Situation in Ferguson, MO
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The police detective who was brutally beaten with his own handgun and had picture of the attack posted on social media by spectators, was afraid to use force of the suspect due to media scrutiny, CNN reported.
The officer, who declined to be named for safety reasons, told CNN he didn’t want to be accused of needlessly killing an unarmed man.
“A lot of officers are being too cautious because of what's going on in the media," the officer said to the news site. "I hesitated because I didn't want to be in the media like I am right now."
Details on the incident have not been fully released, but the department said the suspect was able to grab the officer’s gun and beat him unconscious. A few onlookers took pictures of the officer and posted them on social media — praising the beating of a cop.
The six-year veteran didn’t shoot the man while he was being assaulted because of the national outcry surrounding police shootings, he said to the publication.
Chief A.C. Roper sees the celebratory reaction to be a symptom of a larger issue.
"As a profession, we have allowed popular culture to draft a narrative which is contrary to the amazing work that so many officers are doing everyday across this nation,” he told the news site.
The officer is “doing much better.” Roper told the website, and reaffirmed the department stands behind him.
Police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators and made nine arrests Wednesday night in north St. Louis as protests continued over an officer-involved fatal shooting of a young African-American man earlier in the day.
Police said Mansur Ball-Bey, 18, pointed a gun at them before officers opened fire.
Relations have been tense between police and some residents in St. Louis for some time now. And protesters did not appear ready to give police the benefit of a doubt a year after Michael Brown, a black teenager, was shot and killed by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis…
Police Chief Sam Dotson said some protesters on Wednesday threw bricks and bottles at officers, and eventually police tear gas filled the air.
Dotson also said a car was set on fire and some businesses were burglarized. At night, blazes were reported at houses in the neighborhood.
Police maintained an increased presence at the intersection of Walton and Page, the site of the protests, throughout the night, Dotson said…
Abandoned, boarded up homes line many streets in north St. Louis, where the shooting occurred.
The crime rate is high there, Dotson said. In recent days, a business near the site of the shooting took gunfire, and someone was murdered blocks away.
On Sunday, a 93-year-old Tuskagee Airman who lost his way pulled over in the neighborhood to call his daughter and was robbed. When he asked passersby for help, he was carjacked…
Watch out for a little "adult language."
"Dark complexioned" man in custody in cold-blooded assassination from behind of white Houston deputy sheriff.
Farakhan may have his 1st of 10,000 warriors.
While the US has had its share of deadly social violence over the past year, much of split along along racial lines, it has mercifully avoided a full-blown racial war. However, in recent weeks there has been a troubling increase in invocations toward even more violence, and even more deaths, which seek to achieve just that: a United States gripped in racial warfare.
The latest such call for violence was caught on tape just a few days ago, when on July 30 during a speech delivered at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Miami, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan called for black Americans to "rise up" and "kill those who kill us" if the federal government fails to "intercede in our affairs."
Follows an excerpt from his troubling sermon:
I am looking for 10,000 in the midst of the millions, 10,000 fearless men who say death is sweeter than continued life under tyranny.
Death is sweeter than to continue to live and bury our children while the white folks give the killer hamburgers.
Death is sweeter than watching us slaughter each other to the joy of a 400-year old enemy.
The Koran teaches persecution is worse than slaughter. Then it says, retaliation is prescribed in matters of the slain.
Retaliation is a prescription from God to calm the breaths of those whose children have been slain. So if the federal government will not intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us. Stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling."
Two questions leapt to mind while reading that.
1. Is such a call for murder not illegal?
2. Why would a Baptist church invite a Muslim extremist to address their congregation?
I might say that the first was in Roanoke, but that isn’t true either.
The first was in the mountains of Ararat:
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
MILWAUKEE — Cities across the nation are seeing a startling rise in murders after years of declines, and few places have witnessed a shift as precipitous as this city. With the summer not yet over, 104 people have been killed this year — after 86 homicides in all of 2014.
More than 30 other cities have also reported increases in violence from a year ago. In New Orleans, 120 people had been killed by late August, compared with 98 during the same period a year earlier. In Baltimore, homicides had hit 215, up from 138 at the same point in 2014. In Washington, the toll was 105, compared with 73 people a year ago. And in St. Louis, 136 people had been killed this year, a 60 percent rise from the 85 murders the city had by the same time last year.
Law enforcement experts say disparate factors are at play in different cities, though no one is claiming to know for sure why murder rates are climbing. Some officials say intense national scrutiny of the use of force by the police has made officers less aggressive and emboldened criminals, though many experts dispute that theory…
The police superintendent in Chicago, Garry McCarthy, said he thought an abundance of guns was a major factor in his city’s homicide spike. Even as officials in both parties are calling for reducing the prison population, he insisted that gun offenders should face stiffer penalties.
“Across the country, we’ve all found it’s not the individual who never committed a crime before suddenly killing somebody,” Mr. McCarthy said on Monday. “It’s the repeat offenders. It’s the same people over and over again.”
Among some experts and rank-and-file officers, the notion that less aggressive policing has emboldened criminals — known as the “Ferguson effect” in some circles — is a popular theory for the uptick in violence.
“The equilibrium has changed between police and offenders,” said Alfred Blumstein, a professor and a criminologist at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University.
Others doubt the theory or say data has not emerged to prove it. Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said homicides in St. Louis, for instance, had already begun an arc upward in 2014 before a white police officer killed an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, in nearby Ferguson. That data, he said, suggests that other factors may be in play.
Less debated is the sense among police officials that more young people are settling their disputes, including one started on Facebook, with guns.
Capt. Mike Sack, a homicide commander in the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, cited killings there that had grown out of arguments over girlfriends, food and even characters on a TV show. “Most remarkable is that individuals get so upset over things that I or others might consider petty but resort to such a level of violence,” he said…
In New Orleans, Michael S. Harrison, the police superintendent, said the city’s rise in homicides did not appear to reflect any increase in gang violence or robberies of strangers, but rather involved killings inside homes and cars by people who know their victims — particularly difficult crimes to predict or prevent.
“That is not a situation that can be solved by policing,” Superintendent Harrison said. “It speaks to a culture of violence deeply ingrained into a community — a segment of the population where people are resolving their problems in a violent way.”…
In Milwaukee, most of the victims and the suspects in their killings are black men under 30, police data shows, who come from neighborhoods where foreclosures, joblessness and poverty are also high. Most involve guns and people — both victims and suspects — who have been arrested before. The most common motive in the slayings was not robbery or gang rivalry but an argument, according to the data.
On July 3, as an annual fireworks display along Lake Michigan ended, Tariq Akbar, 14, was shot in the back of the head while he was leaving the crowded celebration to meet his mother, who was parked not far away.
“The police were right there — not even 50 feet away,” his mother, Arifah Akbar, said. “This is when you know how bad Milwaukee has gotten.”
The police said the shooting had stemmed from a dispute on social media. A 15-year-old has been charged.
Chief Flynn was among those close enough to hear the shots that night. He said that dozens of officers were near the lake, but that was not enough to deter the shooting…
Chief Flynn said that his officers were responding to crimes as they always have, but that they were making fewer traffic stops and conducting fewer field interviews, a fact he attributed to “free-floating anxiety” among officers around the nation.
“This is a job that requires judgment, but it requires judgment being exercised under pressure in ambiguous circumstances,” he said. “In that context you are going to sometimes, trying to do the right thing, still make the wrong decision.”