New York Times Comes under Fire for Declaring Michael Brown to Be “No Angel” in Its Profile Article of the Dead Teenager

Michael Brown

Michael Brown

 By Elaine Magliaro

The New York Times has come under fire for an article that it published yesterday about the life of Michael Brown—the NewYorkTimesunarmed teenager who was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, recently. Jack Mirkinson (Huffington Post) said that Jon Eligon’s “lengthy profile of Brown” in the NYT touched on the “problems and promise” that Brown faced. He said, “Much of the piece could be seen as sympathetic towards him.”

Joanna Rothkopf (Salon) said that Eligon’s article “was a generally poignant piece about Michael Brown, the teenager who was gunned down by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri.” She added that Eligon “wrote eloquently of Brown’s introspective final weeks struggling with religion and the meaning of life. However, the generally respectful article has unwittingly demonstrated the media’s unconscious bias.”

Rothkopf was referring to one paragraph in Eligon’s article that evidently “set people off”:

Michael Brown, 18, due to be buried on Monday, was no angel, with public records and interviews with friends and family revealing both problems and promise in his young life. Shortly before his encounter with Officer Wilson, the police say he was caught on a security camera stealing a box of cigars, pushing the clerk of a convenience store into a display case. He lived in a community that had rough patches, and he dabbled in drugs and alcohol. He had taken to rapping in recent months, producing lyrics that were by turns contemplative and vulgar. He got into at least one scuffle with a neighbor.

Mirkinson said that Eligon’s writing that Brown was “no angel” struck many people “as a very jarring descriptor to insert.” He added that the reaction to the NYT article about Brown was swift: “of course Brown was ‘no angel,’ because he was a regular human being, but what did that have to do with his death?”

Exactly! And, btw, how many teenagers ARE angels? How many white teenagers from middle and upper class communities “dabble in drugs and alcohol?” How many teenagers have “taken” to rapping? Are these bits of information about Brown’s life meant to imply that Brown may have been a young man that had some major behavioral issues or that he might have been a young “thug?”

Mirkinson added that the NYT “further angered people by running a profile of Wilson which did not declare him to be “no angel.” Mirkinson said that Darren Wilson was described as being “well-mannered, relatively soft-spoken, even bland person who seemed, if anything, to seek out a low profile.” He noted, too, that Eligon’s article about Brown “came after weeks in which reports of Brown’s drug use and alleged shoplifting were seen as an example of the kind of treatment black victims of crime sometimes receive in the media.”

Mirkinson was referring to Nick Wing’s HuffPo article titled When The Media Treats White Suspects And Killers Better Than Black Victims (8/14/2014) in which Wing pointed to examples of how the media treatment of black crime victims “is often harsher than it is of whites suspected of crimes, including murder.”

Click here to read Wing’s article.

********************

Some of the Twitter responses to Eligon’s New York Times article about Michael Brown:

Jamil Smith ✔@JamilSmith

I don’t advocate lionizing the dead. But when we write about black men who’ve been killed by the police, “no angel” carries a new meaning.

9:09 AM – 25 Aug 2014

 ********************

Abraham Riesman@abrahamjoseph

“On one hand, Brown was unarmed and by most accounts not a lethal threat. But I have to be objective! Better speculate that was a thug”

10:08 AM – 25 Aug 2014

********************

Roxane Bey@rgay

Okay @nytimes, we need a rewrite on that shameful article about Mike Brown because his parents are burying him today. Shame. On. You.

10:59 AM – 25 Aug 2014

********************

Maaza Mengiste@MaazaMengiste

I have long suspected I’m no angel. Luckily, no one’s seen fit to put 6 bullets into me for it.

9:58 AM – 25 Aug 2014

 ********************

Jamelle Bouie ✔@jbouie

“Listened to rap music, drank alcohol, smoked weed, shoplifted, and got in fights” describes a good chunk of my white HS classmates.

10:00 AM – 25 Aug 2014

 ********************

JeffSharlet@JeffSharlet

Did the NYT editor say to John Eligion, “John, a question about Michael Brown we need answered: Was he angel? Or maybe a griffin?”

9:43 AM – 25 Aug 2014

 

SOURCES

NY Times Declares Michael Brown To Be ‘No Angel’ (Huffington Post)

When The Media Treats White Suspects And Killers Better Than Black Victims (Huffington Post)

Michael Brown Spent Last Weeks Grappling With Problems and Promise (New York Times)

Michael Brown was “no angel,” according to outrageously skewed New York Times report
People took to Twitter to express their outrage over the teen’s skewed portrayal (Salon)

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45 Responses to New York Times Comes under Fire for Declaring Michael Brown to Be “No Angel” in Its Profile Article of the Dead Teenager

  1. Elaine M. says:

    Fox News Wonders If Calling Michael Brown An ‘Unarmed Teen’ Is Biased
    The Huffington Post | By Jack Mirkinson
    Posted: 08/25/2014
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/25/fox-news-michael-brown-unarmed-teen_n_5710179.html

    Excerpt:
    By now, the tendency of news shows to frame seemingly inflammatory suggestions in the form of a question is well-known. Jon Stewart memorably riffed on what he called the “Cavuto,” named after the Fox News anchor’s love of the tactic.

    Monday’s “Fox & Friends” featured a doozy of a Cavuto in a discussion about the media coverage death of Michael Brown:

    “Is ‘Unarmed Teen’ Description Misleading?”

    Fox News contributor Linda Chavez was the one asking this question. There’s a very easy answer. Michael Brown was a teenager. He was unarmed. Therefore, describing him as an “unarmed teen” is the definition of “factual.”

    Chavez, however, thought it wasn’t exactly describing the situation correctly.

  2. Elaine M. says:

    NY Times Writer Says He Was Wrong To Call Michael Brown ‘No Angel’
    The Huffington Post | By Jack Mirkinson
    Posted: 08/25/2014
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/25/ny-times-michael-brown-mistake-john-eligon_n_5711147.html

    Excerpt:
    The writer of a much-maligned New York Times article about Michael Brown admitted on Monday that he had made a mistake when he described the slain teenager as “no angel.”

    Those two words that John Eligon chose, along with a series of of descriptions about Brown’s “dabbling” with drugs, alcohol and rap music, set off a scorching round of criticism for the way the paper had characterized Brown. The Times dug an even deeper hole for itself by writing a concurrent article about Darren Wilson, the man who killed Brown, in which Wilson was described as a “well-mannered, relatively soft-spoken, even bland person.” Many said that the contrast seemed to fit a pattern in which black victims of crime are maligned in the media.

    The controversy also served to overshadow the many positive anecdotes about Brown in Elgion’s story.

    Speaking to the Times’ public editor, Margaret Sullivan, Eligon, himself a black man, said he had erred:

    “I understand the concerns, and I get it,” Mr. Eligon said. He agreed that “no angel” was not a good choice of words and explained that they were meant to play off the opening anecdote of the article in which Mr. Brown saw an angelic vision. That anecdote “is about as positive as you can get,” Mr. Eligon said, and noted that a better way to segue into the rest of the article might have been to use a phrase like “wasn’t perfect.”

    “Hindsight is 20/20. I wish I would have changed that,” he said.

  3. swarthmoremom says:

    http://www.vox.com/2014/8/25/6065245/michael-brown-no-angel “Something that I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on since Michael Brown was shot and killed is the time that I had an “encounter” with the police when I was eighteen and getting ready to head off to college. It seems relevant in light of John Eligon’s revelation in the New York Times that Brown “was no angel”:

    Michael Brown, 18, due to be buried on Monday, was no angel, with public records and interviews with friends and family revealing both problems and promise in his young life. Shortly before his encounter with Officer Wilson, the police say he was caught on a security camera stealing a box of cigars, pushing the clerk of a convenience store into a display case. He lived in a community that had rough patches, and he dabbled in drugs and alcohol. He had taken to rapping in recent months, producing lyrics that were by turns contemplative and vulgar. He got into at least one scuffle with a neighbor.

    When I was Brown’s age I also dabbled in drugs and alcohol. Even used Swisher Sweets to roll blunts from time to time. For that matter, I also did some shoplifting. Got caught one time by a security guard at the K-Mart on Astor Place who confiscated the stuff I’d stolen and yelled at me a bunch. So I suppose that, when an undercover officer came upon me and two friends smoking cigarettes and drinking beer on a park bench that night, he could have shot us dead and then the Times could have reported that we were no angels. We weren’t.

    But he didn’t shoot us. He wrote us citations for drinking alcohol in a New York City park. Some days later we showed up at some kind of express court full of people charged with things like street urination, running down the up escalator at Penn Station, and selling pretzels without a proper street vending license. When our turn came, we huddled for about five minutes with a DA and what I guess was a public defender who told us that we could plea to the lesser charge of having an open container on the sidewalk and pay a small fine. We agreed, paid the fine, and went on with our lives. After college, one friend joined the Marines and the other joined a PhD program. Today they’re both in financial services. But fifteen years ago we were no angels.”

  4. Elaine M. says:

    Ferguson’s booming white grievance industry: Fox News, Darren Wilson and friends
    White defenders of officer Darren Wilson are raising money by slandering Mike Brown, with some help from Fox News
    JOAN WALSH
    8/25/14
    http://www.salon.com/2014/08/25/ferguson’s_booming_white_grievance_industry_fox_news_darren_wilson_and_friends/

    Excerpt:
    Not surprisingly, a thriving franchise of the nation’s booming white grievance industry has opened up in Ferguson, Missouri, over the last week. It’s worth examining closely. As usual, it consists of two parts lies, one part paranoia, but at its heart it’s a big grift.

    The weekend featured multiple protests supporting Darren Wilson, the missing Ferguson police officer who shot an unarmed Mike Brown on Aug. 9. His superiors apparently withheld Wilson’s name long enough for him to delete all social media accounts and skip town, but his supporters are declaring Wilson, not Brown, the victim here. A GoFundMe site raising funds for Wilson’s defense – though he’s not been charged with anything – garnered not only $250,000 in donations, but so many ugly racist rants GoFundMe administrators had to disable comments for the site. (They’ll have no trouble taking a cut of the racists’ money, of course.) Wilson’s supporters say they’ve raised $374,000 online and at local events, “to support his family,” one woman told MSNBC.

    Why, besides racism, are Wilson’s supporters so convinced of his innocence? Well, any good grift will involve a hoax or two, to gin up the sense of outrage. First there was “Josie,” a purported friend of Wilson’s who called in to a radio show helmed by gun-loving wingnut Dana Loesch to tell Wilson’s side of the story. “Josie” insisted that Brown attacked Wilson, grabbed his gun, and the terrified cop shot only in self-defense. The problem? The details were almost identical to those shared on a fake Facebook page set up to look like Wilson’s own. But before the tale could be debunked, not only Fox but CNN had reported on “Josie’s” tale with some credulity. As karoli notes over at Crooks and Liars, it’s not clear whether Loesch was punked, or was in on the punking.

    Then we saw right-wing blogger Jim Hoft, named “the dumbest man on the Internet” by Media Matters, peddling a phony X-ray or CT scan purporting to show that Wilson suffered a fractured eye socket scuffling with Brown. Unfortunately, a little sleuthing revealed the image in question came from a facility at the University of Iowa and had nothing to do with the Ferguson case. Oops. Of course Fox ran with the story, but ABC News also reported that Wilson had suffered a “serious facial injury,” claiming its own local source.

  5. blouise says:

    That serious facial injury wasn’t in evidence in the video where Wilson is walking back and forth by the body of his victim. Neither is it in evidence as we see him full frontal face standing and talking to another cop as they look at the body.

    As to raising money to help Wison’s family … what a hoot. The dude’s recently divorced and living with a new girlfriend and has no kids. It was a guy named Hull who first said during the great giant controversy in the 1800’s … there’s a sucker born every minute.

    As to Brown not being an angel … I understand what the writer was saying and it certainly wasn’t that Wilson should have executed him.

    BTW …did the writer refer to Wilson’s time on the Jennings Police Force? Just curious in the interest of full disclosure and yadda yadda yadda

  6. buckaroo says:

    I’m advised that Master Brown was 6’4″ & weigh about 300 lbs – is that correct ? Oh, I was naughty back then, but I would never strong arm any store employee – for that was what my mother was.

  7. pete says:

    buckaroo

    Mike Brown’s reported size has been all over the board. I’ve seen his h/w given as anywhere from 6’1″ to 6’5″ in height and weight from 220lbs to 320lbs.
    When I was 18 my h/w on my drivers license was carried over from my learners permit that I got at 15. One year at that age can change a great deal. If you want to know his h/w at the time check the autopsy report. Any other source will reflect more the bias of the reporter than M. Browns actual size.

    Personally I find it telling that Brown had no priors in an area that isn’t shy about making arrests. Also that the owner of the store says that he nor any of his employees made a 911 call about the strong arm theft incident. For all anyone here knows the owner or one his employees may have known either M. Brown or his parents and was planning to take up the matter later.

  8. blouise says:

    “The owner of the store dispute the claim that they or an employee called 911, …”

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/18/1322560/-Ferguson-Store-Owner-Says-NO-ONE-From-His-Store-Called-Cops-To-Report-Cigar-Theft

    http://fox2now.com/2014/08/15/store-owners-talk-about-surveillance-released/

    My, my here’s how we try
    To make an injustice, justify

  9. You know the funny thing about big guys? Their joints still only bend in certain directions naturally, their nervous system still has pressure points and unless they are wired to the gills on PCP a taser is going to stop them. Lethal force is in many ways easier to administer than controlling force, handguns see to that, but it should always be the option of last resort. Very last.

  10. Doc Zombie just put up an interesting post on Daily Kos.

    FWIW, Gene, Doc is a psychotherapist in Georgia, but has a skill set similar to yours. He has participated in more than one emergency room scramble.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/25/1324584/-Outta-Control-all-across-America?detail=hide

  11. Bob Kauten says:

    Thank you, Elaine.
    It’s refreshing to read comments about this subject that aren’t over-the-top racist and insane.
    I’m happy that you folks formed this group.
    I enjoy reading intelligent conversation.

  12. Elaine M. says:

    Alex Landau’s Bloody Beating By Denver Cops Goes National Thanks to Echoes of Ferguson
    By Patricia Calhoun
    Aug. 20 2014
    http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2014/08/alex_landau_beating_denver_cops_ferguson.php

    Excerpt:
    Last Friday, the morning after communities across the country held rallies to protest police violence against African-Americans — and, specifically, the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri — National Public Radio’s StoryCorps ran a particularly appropriate piece. It focuses on Alex Landau, an African-American who was adopted by a white couple as a child, grew up in Denver and had his own unfortunate encounter with cops when he was nineteen — one that left him beaten and bloody.

    As we recounted in “Black and Blue,” our January 18, 2011 cover story, Landau was stopped by Denver Police Department officers after he made an illegal left turn in north Capitol Hill — an encounter that left him bleeding by the curb “in acute distress,” the paramedics reported when they arrived.

    It took 45 stitches to close the cuts on his face alone — and Landau, who had never been in trouble with the cops and whose adopted family includes several with law-enforcement backgrounds — asked the paramedics to take a photo of his injuries before he was stitched up.
    Those photographs became compelling exhibits when Landau sued the City of Denver two years after the beating. And soon after our story appeared, he was awarded a $795,000 settlement. Two of the police officers involved have since been fired from the DPD for excessive use of force — in other incidents.

  13. Elaine M. says:

    Bob,

    Welcome to FFS. We don’t enjoy conversation that is racist or insane around here.

  14. Oky1 says:

    When an Ok heat storm hits a man would be wise to comment on nothing other the the color of his socks & this one is hitting worst the usual on me. I used to be able to be out in it all day everyday, no more.

    So I have no comments for now.

    I’ve a couple links out of a 1/2 dozen I may post at sometime.

    But That Magical Blue Costume!

    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=229330

    Where Are The Charges Of Assault With a Deadly Weapon?

    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=229322

  15. Elaine M. says:

    Ferguson’s booming white grievance industry: Fox News, Darren Wilson and friends
    White defenders of officer Darren Wilson are raising money by slandering Mike Brown, with some help from Fox News
    JOAN WALSH
    8/25/14
    http://www.salon.com/2014/08/25/ferguson’s_booming_white_grievance_industry_fox_news_darren_wilson_and_friends/

    Excerpt:
    Why, besides racism, are Wilson’s supporters so convinced of his innocence? Well, any good grift will involve a hoax or two, to gin up the sense of outrage. First there was “Josie,” a purported friend of Wilson’s who called in to a radio show helmed by gun-loving wingnut Dana Loesch to tell Wilson’s side of the story. “Josie” insisted that Brown attacked Wilson, grabbed his gun, and the terrified cop shot only in self-defense. The problem? The details were almost identical to those shared on a fake Facebook page set up to look like Wilson’s own. But before the tale could be debunked, not only Fox but CNN had reported on “Josie’s” tale with some credulity. As karoli notes over at Crooks and Liars, it’s not clear whether Loesch was punked, or was in on the punking.

    Then we saw right-wing blogger Jim Hoft, named “the dumbest man on the Internet” by Media Matters, peddling a phony X-ray or CT scan purporting to show that Wilson suffered a fractured eye socket scuffling with Brown. Unfortunately, a little sleuthing revealed the image in question came from a facility at the University of Iowa and had nothing to do with the Ferguson case. Oops. Of course Fox ran with the story, but ABC News also reported that Wilson had suffered a “serious facial injury,” claiming its own local source.

  16. Oky1 says:

    Gnite & remember, it’s always the darkest just before it really gets really phkin dark, but you can’t change it if you keep doing the same things that phk’d it up in the first place.

    And here we are & it’s your choice, please don’t phk it up again.

  17. gbk says:

    What is more striking to me are the following phrases from Eligon’s article:

    “He lived in a community that had rough patches . . .”

    “. . . he dabbled in drugs and alcohol.”
    “He had taken to rapping in recent months, producing lyrics that were by turns contemplative and vulgar.”

    “He got into at least one scuffle with a neighbor.”

    ———————————————————————-

    A community that had rough patches:
    What the fuck does that mean? Can dog whistles get any louder?

    He dabbled in drugs and alcohol:
    So did T.S. Elliot, Poe, Burroughs, Hemingway, Faulkner . . . the list is long.

    . . . rapping . . . lyrics . . . contemplative and vulgar:
    Has anyone ever listened to the lyrics of some Appalachian (now known as bluegrass) music. By this I mean music actually recorded in the 1920’s or whereabouts? Well I have.

    I spent two years archiving old recordings for a music collector. I’ll never forget some of the song’s lyrics, most especially one where a jilted lover tied his woman, and her jilt, to two opposing trees, slowly tortured them with fire and a hot blade, and let them die looking at each other.

    Oh, yeah, the music was happy and upbeat, but there was no denying the lyrics.

    . . . one scuffle with a neighbor:
    How terrible.

  18. gbk says:

    This might post twice, not due to wont, but due to WordPress.

  19. gbk says:

    I never saw a “Parental Advisory – Explicit Lyrics” on the Appalachian music.

  20. Elaine M. says:

    Debunking Right Wing Lies re: Michael Brown – Alleged Rap Sheet False
    8/19/14
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/19/1323077/-Debunking-Right-Wing-Lies-re-Michael-Brown-Alleged-Rap-Sheet-False#

    Excerpt:
    If you go online and Google “Michael Brown arrest record,” you will invariably be directed to several right wing sites like this one, which contain an his alleged “rap sheet” filled with a number of alleged felonies for assault and other crimes (previously noted on August 14th by RyanSmith:

    Note that he also has a juvie criminal record that is sealed.
    Description: Burglary – 1st Degree { Felony B RSMo: 569.160 }

    Date: 11/02/2013 Code: 1401000

    OCN: AJ006207 Arresting Agency: ST ANN PD
    Description: Armed Criminal Action { Felony Unclassified RSMo: 571.015 }

    Date: 11/02/2013 Code: 3101000

    OCN: AJ006207 Arresting Agency: ST ANN PD
    Description: Assault 1st Degree – Serious Physical Injury { Felony A RSMo: 565.050 }

    Date: 11/02/2013 Code: 1301100

    OCN: AJ006207 Arresting Agency: ST ANN PD
    Description: Armed Criminal Action { Felony Unclassified RSMo: 571.015 }

    Date: 11/02/2013 Code: 3101000

    OCN: AJ006207 Arresting Agency: ST ANN PD
    Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/

    Two problems with this false and defamatory meme that has rocketed around the rightwingnutosphere inciting many to believe that Michael Brown was in fact a thug leading the thug life and thus “had it coming.”

    1. As RyanSmith indicated in his original diary, the Michael Brown listed in the rap sheet lives in …

    Troy, MO, which is 47 miles from Ferguson, MO, according to Google Maps. Also note that the defendant was born in 1997, which would make him 17, rather than 18. It’s safe to say that these charges are being falsely attributed and the person spreading this is libeling Mike Brown.

    and

    2. The St Louis County Prosecutor has already stated that THE Michael Brown who was shot and killed by Officer Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department, had no arrest record whatsoever.

    ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — An 18-year-old shot and killed near a Ferguson apartment complex Saturday afternoon had no criminal record, according to the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

  21. Elaine M. says:

    Right-Wing Media Caught In Another Lie As Darren Wilson Did Not Suffer An Eye Fracture
    By: Justin Baragona more from Justin Baragona
    Thursday, August, 21st, 2014
    http://www.politicususa.com/2014/08/21/right-wing-media-caught-lie-darren-wilson-suffer-eye-fracture.html

    Excerpt:
    On CNN Thursday, Don Lemon confirmed through a source that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson did not sustain a broken bone in his face prior to shooting unarmed 18-year-old Mike Brown six times. Recently, right-wing media sources have been running with the news that sources close to the situation revealed that Wilson was treated at a hospital for an orbital fracture and that his face was severely swollen. After rumors had been swirling in the conservative blogosphere about the fracture, Hollie McKay at Fox News reported on Wednesday that Wilson was beaten nearly to the point of unconsciousness.

    “Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of Michael Brown touched off more than a week of demonstrations, suffered severe facial injuries and was nearly beaten unconscious by Brown moments before firing his gun, a source close to the department’s top brass told FoxNews.com.

    “The Assistant (Police) Chief took him to the hospital, his face all swollen on one side,” said the insider. “He was beaten very severely.”

    With a major news network giving credibility to the story, The Blaze, and other conservative websites and newspapers, ran with it. Ann Coulter, who never, ever makes unfounded and wholly inaccurate statements, wrote a piece for NewsBusters claiming that there was already an X-ray of Wilson’s busted eye publicly released. Of course, no such image exists. My guess is that Coulter got her bit of info from stock images that wingnuts were passing around via blogs showing what an orbital fracture looks like. Allen West used the image in a blogpost of his Tuesday claiming Wilson suffered an “orbital blowout fracture.”

  22. Elaine M. says:

    Brown and Ferguson have been smeared
    How police, the media and politicians have tried to make this about anything other than a dead teenager
    Steven Rosenfeld, Alternet
    http://www.salon.com/2014/08/20/7_disgusting_ways_michael_brown_and_ferguson_have_been_smeared_partner/

    Excerpt:
    Since Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, local law enforcement and much of the mainstream media have been playing by an old script, in which the local police use the press to smear Brown’s character and distract from what really happened.

    Meanwhile, a lot of people on social media aren’t buying it. They have noted these police propaganda tactics are tragically predictable, and that too many reporters aren’t asking questions, but playing along as police megaphones.

    “We need journalism to kick in and start reporting the story,” actor Jesse Williams told CNN last Sunday. “This is about finding justice for a kid that was shot. An 18-year-old that was shot. Period. And this idea that because he stole a handful of cheap cigars, that were what, five bucks from a convenient store?”

    Williams, who was assailed by rightwingers for wearing a hoodie on the air—then cut to the heart of the matter. He said there is a double standard where police and mainstream media all too often turn police brutality victims into people who somehow deserved what they got:

    “This idea that every time a black person does something, they automatically become a ‘thug worthy of their own death?’ We don’t own drug crimes. We’re not the only ones that sell and do drugs all the time, we’re not the only ones who steal, we’re not the only ones who talk crazy to cops. There’s a complete double standard and a complete different experience that a certain element of this country has the privilege of being treated as human beings. And the rest of us are not being treated like human beings. Period. And that needs to be discussed, that is the story…we’re not making this up.”

  23. Elaine M. says:

    THE BODY IN THE STREET
    By Charles P. Pierce on August 22, 2014
    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/The_Body_In_The_Street

    Exerpt:
    I keep coming back to what seems to me to be the most inhumane thing of all, the inhumane thing that happened before the rage began to rise, and before the backlash began to build, and before the cameras and television lights, and before the tear gas and the stun grenades and the chants and the prayers. I keep coming back to the one image that was there before the international event began, before it became a television show and a symbol in flames and something beyond what it was in the first place. I keep coming back to one simple moment, one ghastly fact. One image, from which all the other images have flowed.

    They left the body in the street.

    Dictators leave bodies in the street.

    Petty local satraps leave bodies in the street.

    Warlords leave bodies in the street.

    A police officer shot Michael Brown to death. And they left his body in the street. For four hours. Bodies do not lie in the street for four hours. Not in an advanced society. Bodies lie in the street for four hours in small countries where they have perpetual civil war. Bodies lie in the street for four hours on back roads where people fight over the bare necessities of simple living, where they fight over food and water and small, useless parcels of land. Bodies lie in the street for four hours in places in which poor people fight as proxies for rich people in distant places, where they fight as proxies for the men who dig out the diamonds, or who drill out the oil, or who set ancient tribal grudges aflame for modern imperial purposes that are as far from the original grudges as bullets are from bows. Those are the places where they leave bodies in the street, as object lessons, or to make a point, or because there isn’t the money to take the bodies away and bury them, or because nobody gives a damn whether they are there or not. Those are the places where they leave bodies in the street.

  24. swarthmoremom says:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/audio-allegedly-shows-at-least-10-shots-fired-michael-brown

    A newly released audio recording aired by CNN Monday purportedly captures the sound of gunfire from the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

    The unauthenticated audio was recorded by a man who says he was taping a video chat conversation when the shooting of the unarmed black teen by a white police officer occurred around noon on Saturday, Aug. 9.

    CNN said it could not independently verify the authenticity of the audio. The man’s attorney, Lopa Blumenthal, said that her client discussed the tape with the FBI. The FBI has yet to comment on whether it questioned the man who made the recording.

    “He heard loud noises and at the time he didn’t even realize the import of what he was hearing until afterwards,” Blumenthal told CNN’s Don Lemon. “It just happened to have captured 12 seconds of what transpired outside of his building.”

    On the audio, a man can be heard video-chatting a friend while shots ring out in the background. After a pause in the gunfire, more shots can be heard.

    A forensic audio expert told the network that he detected a cluster of six gunshots followed by four more after the pause on the recording. A private autopsy ordered by Brown’s family found last week that the unarmed teen had been shot at least six times, including twice in the head.”

  25. Mike Spindell says:

    I don’t give a good god damn what Michael Brown was like. The only matter of interest is whether or not his killing was justified by his actions. This is true in any instance of police using lethal force. He was shot six times, once in the top of the head and his “crime” at the time of his shooting could be best described as “jaywalking”. He was walking away from the police officer and this officer chose to use his gun. It is murder pure and simple no matter how much calumny is heaped upon Michael Brown. Were this murder an isolated incident that has rarely arisen in criminal history, then perhaps we might concern ourselves with the mythical niceties of the American Legal System in which we deem the officer innocent until proven guilty. This murder though represents what has been a constant occurrence in this country throughout its history when it comes to people of color. Each time our media moves to besmirch the victim and exonerate the murderer. The usual result, as it will be in this case, is that the murderer will be exonerated and the murder deemed justified.

    Our legal system has always been corrupt. There have always been different standards of punishment that depend on wealth, poverty, class and most especially skin color. Yet we maintain the false notion that “Justice is Blind” and pretend that each American is entitled to their day in court. It is of course easy to blame the police for this state of affairs, but that is a simplistic notion that assigns guilt to those who are merely carrying out “orders”. Our system is designed to give permission for police misdeeds so long as they are perpetrated on those deemed less worthy and who do not have the resources to defend themselves. A bank has recently settled a case of criminal fraud in which the lives of literally millions of lives were disrupted and continue to be disrupted to the point of despair. They are allowed to pay a fine, which they can then write off on taxes and the perpetrators of the fraud face nothing more than a lifetime of wealth. Michael Brown is shot dead for the crime of living while Black and then has his memory besmirched by White people who don’t have the self awareness to understand their own sense of White Privilege. We might ignore this if it was an isolated occurrence, but the truth is this is the reality of America today.

  26. blouise says:

    I know more than a few police officers. I know Chiefs, Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains, and Patrolman. I know Federal, State, and local law enforcement officers. I’d trust any one of them with my life or the life of my grandchild. They are the ones I hangout with and there’s not a bad one in the bunch. Now, they know bad cops and have to work with bad cops but since they don’t hangout with bad cops, I don’t know any of the bad ones.

    The good ones, the ones I know, have noticed a subtle change in these last couple weeks in the attitudes of the citizens they encounter on the job. There’s a hesitancy, a wariness, a palpable desire to get away from the officer as quickly as possible. One young patrolman told me that he was walking his beat in one of the large malls when he saw a young girl, probably about 5 years old standing by the water fountain looking around. He approached her to see if she was lost. As he was starting to talk to the child her mother appeared, put her arm across the child’s chest gently moving her away from the officer and telling her child not to bother the policeman. He realized the mother was afraid … of him.

    • James Knauer says:

      “He realized the mother was afraid … of him.”

      Blouise, it’s hard to see how this fear-stoking is not completely deliberate. Notice how it now excludes the “good cops” from being able to do the job of policing. And how many exclusions like what happened to your officer friend does it take to build resentment, followed by a grudge? How many years does that take? Months? Upon whom does it get taken out thereafter?

      Given the militarization of police that are rife with children who like to shoot, it’s likely to get a whole lot worse. At this point, all that remains is vicious litigation, and few believe Officer Wilson will ever be charged, much less the department itself.

  27. Mike Spindell says:

    Blouise,

    I don’t doubt that decent, caring police officers far out number those who use their badges for ego gratification and sadism. The problem is that far too often the “good” ones are quietly in defense of their fellow officers, not realizing that those bad actions covered up besmirch them all.

    Oky1,

    🙂

  28. Elaine M. says:

    Anatomy of a Fox News smear: Ann Coulter, Matt Drudge and the “dumbest person on the Internet”
    How did Fox News run a totally bogus Ferguson story? Welcome to the truly slimy side of the right-wing hit machine
    JOHN AVIGNONE
    8/26/14
    http://www.salon.com/2014/08/26/anatomy_of_a_fox_news_smear_ann_coulter_matt_drudge_and_the_dumbest_person_on_the_internet/

    Excerpt:
    The killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed young black man shot at least six times by police officer Darren Wilson, and the resulting protests in Ferguson, Missouri, left the right-wing media machine in something of a conundrum. Days ticked by and still there was no viable right-wing narrative.

    Then, six days after the shooting, Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson bowed to pressure from the community and media and identified Wilson as the cop who shot Brown. At the same time, Jackson released two new bits of information. He said Wilson had been taken to a hospital after the shooting with swelling to his face. He also released a store surveillance video that showed Brown reaching over a counter and grabbing a handful of cigars, then pushing a store clerk on his way out.

    This was a turning point in the story: Ferguson police seemingly wanted to transform Michael Brown from an innocent victim to a criminal. Still, it was hard to justify killing a young man with no previous record — especially shooting him six times, for allegedly stealing a handful of cheap cigars.

    It wasn’t long before Fox News was pushing a new narrative: Michael Brown wasn’t just the latest in a depressingly long line of unarmed young black men to be gunned down by a white cop. He was a thug, they suggested, a criminal who deserved what he got, because he posed a deadly threat to Officer Wilson.

    This was proven, Fox News reported with an unnamed source, because “the officer had sustained a fractured eye socket in the incident.” Ann Coulter even suggested, incorrectly, that we’d seen X-rays of the fracture. Fox went on to claim “solid proof” of a battle between Wilson and Brown for the officer’s handgun.

    It was not long, of course, before CNN and others disproved such bogus claims. But how did such fiction make it all the way to an outlet as major, if intellectually challenged, as Fox News?

    Enter Jim Hoft — the man often described as the stupidest man on the Internet, by people on both the left and the right.

    Here’s how it happened.

    Perhaps the first shot in the right-wing news campaign to smear Michael Brown came in the form of a call to a conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch on Aug. 15. A caller who claimed to be a friend of Wilson’s — who would only identify herself as Josie — told Loesch that Brown had “bum rushed” officer Wilson, punched him in the face and tried to go for Wilson’s gun. Brown and his friend then walked away. Wilson pulled his gun and ordered Brown to stop. Brown turned around, taunted Wilson, then again “bum rushed” him. Wilson fired six shots, the last shot to Brown’s forehead. “Josie” claimed that she had gotten this information from a Facebook discussion. She did not claim that Wilson had been seriously injured in the encounter.

  29. Oky1 says:

    This Ferguson story of the local Police forces being Federalized & Militarized across the nation & literally terrorizing many in the general population should be uniting the 3 of 4 major political factions across the country.

    As many of us old Ron Paul supporters continue to argue incidents like the Ferguson Protest & Clivin Bundy Protest highlight our concerns over to much Big Govt & Federal Govt’s unconstitutional over reach of it’s authority.

    And part of the way to end it is to end this current drug war, turn asset forfeitures over to local micro biz start ups for jobs, non police community development projects, etc, de-Federalize local/state LE, turn a large part of LE, 33% loose on policing major corporations & 501 type Foundations & Wallst, and no doubt some other things I’ll think of later.

    I directly blame State/federal/Wallst & LE Leadership, not rant & file officers for this major nationwide problem.

    I’m sure most recall we all knew we had major problems in LE clear back to the NYPD Frank Serpico case when he had to flee to Canada in fear for his life.

    Maybe someone has posted this already?
    Below is an unconfirmed audio account of the Ferguson shooting. It’s weird as the guy on the recording sounds like he’s on an online dating service of something. Then the other concerns is how do they confirm it is of the Ferguson shooting?

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/cnn-airs-alleged-audio-from-michael-brown-shooting/

  30. blouise says:

    James,

    These guys aren’t dumb, they know people like Wilson make their jobs harder … so do their wives and parents.

    As I mentioned somewhere on another thread, back in the 90’s our Chief started complaining to me about the militarization of the Police that the Feds were pushing. “It’s not good for the citizens and not good for my officers.” He resisted all the offers though he did get vests for everyone and bicycles … yep, bicycles used to patrol the parks and root out young, ahem, men, smoking pot and drinking alcoholic beverages. Nobody gets charged … parents are called and Community Service is agreed upon. Officers tend to flash their lights at you if you’re speeding … except in school zones … speed there and you get ticketed and no sympathy from the Judge. Fender bender … As long as there is no injury and the damage is small … if you can agree as to how the accident occurred then the officer will write up an accident report assigning blame for the insurance companies but won’t give a ticket … The only people who get tickets are those who try to weasel out with excuses. Then they do a whole accident report that takes hours and the weasel gets a ticket. Kids here have learned that if they tell the truth, their insurance company will have to pay but they don’t have a ticket on their record.

    The officers run a week-long safety program for kindergartners in the summer before school starts and do a Christmas Shopping trip with kids whose families are experiencing financial difficulty … funded by donations from the community. The kids buy one thing for themselves and then presents for their parents and siblings.

    BTW … my town is exactly the size of Ferguson and I would be very surprised if a Wilson type ever made it through the department’s civil service hiring policies … lots of psychological testing with a big emphasis on “Culture of the Workplace” … I was a Commissioner, I know that of which I speak.

  31. swarthmoremom says:

    “As many of us old Ron Paul supporters continue to argue incidents like the Ferguson Protest & Clivin Bundy Protest highlight our concerns over to much Big Govt & Federal Govt’s unconstitutional over reach of it’s authority.” Oky I doubt we will ever see the day when the Ferguson protestors and the Cliven Bundy protestors get together.

  32. swarthmoremom says:

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson/cliven-bundys-slavery-delusion ” ” They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

    One of the most delusional parts of Bundy’s musing was the phrase “having a family life.” A great moral crime of slavery was depriving people of family. “

  33. swarthmoremom says:

    The Oath Keepers were Bundy supporters. Did you see the rant by the Oath Keeper police office in Ferguson?

  34. Oky1 says:

    SwM,

    It’s a fine time for both you & Elaine to revisit the complete video/comments of Clivin Bundy, the one Elaine didn’t post but I did, & Clivin’s comments that he felt the Black/Hispanic populations were not very happy with the way things are in the country.

    That was April 2014 & in August 2014, Blacks/Whites together in Ferguson were protesting in the streets.

    Clivin is just an ole fossil that has a different dialect then some are used too.

  35. swarthmoremom says:

    Oky1, Like I said that is one coaltion that won’t be formed. Doubt the black people in Ferguson or any where else are interested in joining old Cliven’s movement.

  36. Oky1 says:

    Swm,

    I’m not going flood this thread with links like this below, but this is just one of many of what some Ferguson black people have said to the Infowars news crew.

    And it was a nice surprise to see so many there that are supporters/listeners of Infowars.

    Black/White or Purple, people don’t like being abused.

  37. swarthmoremom says:

    Oh, I thought the infowars group blamed the new black panthers and communists for the protests in Ferguson. Oh, and they were pro-Zimmerman in Florida and so were you.

  38. Exactly Michael, all speculation on Michael’s past and community are moot. The issue what happened to him, how it happened to him and the actions that followed.

  39. Oky1 says:

    SwM,

    I’m not writing this for me, I know I’m about ready for the waste bend, but for those 3-8 yr olds that attended a spring family reunion here that are dumber then a box full of puppies.

    You can hate Ron Paul types all you want, but if you hate 99% of what you conceive as your enemy on 99% percent of the issues you care about & your perceived enemies offer you a major deal to restore Everyones Civil Rights & you refuse it & Mock I o a 1% issue, your a Fool!

    Take the Phk’in Deal.

    It may be all we get, but it’s a good deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We may be Ok with it or hate it, but this is the song for the times in which we find ourselves:

  40. Bob Kauten says:

    Oky1,
    Thanks for the Yellow Submarine clip!

    There’s no connection whatsoever between the Bundy issue and the Ferguson issue. Other than the Oathkeepers coincidentally showing the murderous side of their nature, both times.
    There’s a strong connection between the Zimmerman and Ferguson incidents, though.

    There’s zero excuse for the ugly rhetoric of Cliven Bundy.
    Bundy was not misunderstood. We know exactly who he is.
    It’s puzzling to me that you would invoke his name.

    Could you explain your last comment? I’m struggling with its references.
    Thanks!

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