How Much Do Black Lives Matter in Ferguson, Missouri?: Justice Department Investigation Finds Pattern of Racial Bias in Ferguson Police Department and Courts

By Elaine Magliaro

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson

Ferguson Police Chief
Tom Jackson

The Justice Department released two reports today. In one report, the DOJ explained why it does not plan to “pursue federal civil rights charges against Darren Wilson, the white police officer, who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, in Ferguson, Mo., last August.” The DOJ found that Officer Wilson’s actions did not “constitute a prosecutable violation” and there was no evidence upon which prosecutors could “rely to disprove Wilson’s stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety.”

According to Sara Horwitz (Washington Post), the second report released by the DOJ contained “seven racist e-mails written by Ferguson police and municipal court officials.”  Horowitz said that a “November 2008 e-mail, for instance, stated that President Obama could not be president for very long because ‘what black man holds a steady job for four years.'”

Horwitz:

Another e-mail described Obama as a chimpanzee. An e-mail from 2011 showed a photo of a bare chested group of dancing women apparently in Africa with the caption, “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.”

The Justice Department did not specifically identify who wrote the e-mails and to whom they were sent, but said they were written by police ad court supervisors who are currently employed by the city.

Horowitz said that although federal officials will not bring civil rights charges against Officer Darren Wilson, “they see their broad civil rights investigation into the troubled Ferguson police department as the way to force significant changes in Ferguson policing.”

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. was quoted as saying: “As detailed in our report, this investigation found a community that was deeply polarized, and where deep distrust and hostility often characterized interactions between police and area residents. Our investigation showed that Ferguson police officers routinely violate the Fourth Amendment in stopping people without reasonable suspicion, arresting them without probable cause, and using unreasonable force against them. Now that our investigation has reached its conclusion, it is time for Ferguson’s leaders to take immediate, wholesale and structural corrective action. The report we have issued and the steps we have taken are only the beginning of a necessarily resource-intensive and inclusive process to promote reconciliation, to reduce and eliminate bias, and to bridge gaps and build understanding.”

Ferguson police routinely discriminated against blacks, DOJ says

 

The Justice Department report “says blacks in Ferguson, Missouri, are disproportionately subject to excessive police force, baseless traffic stops and citations for infractions as petty as walking down the middle of the street.”

CBS:

With scathing findings of a months-long investigation being released, attention now turns to Ferguson as the city confronts how to fix racial biases that the federal government says are deeply rooted in the police department, court and jail.

The full report could serve as a roadmap for significant changes by the department, which commanded national attention after one of its officers shot and killed an unarmed black 18-year-old, Michael Brown, last summer. City officials said they expected to discuss the report once it’s released Wednesday.

John Gaskin III, a St. Louis community activist, said, “It’s quite evident that change is coming down the pike. This is encouraging. It’s so unfortunate that Michael Brown had to be killed. But in spite of that, I feel justice is coming.”

According to CBS, there were others individuals who said that “the federal government’s findings confirmed what they had long known and should lead to change in the police department leadership.”

In an interview with CBS last month, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told news correspondent Dean Reynolds that “he believes his department is misunderstood.” Jackson insisted that there was no racial problem in the Ferguson Police Department.

Ferguson police chief on what’s changed since shooting

SOURCES

Will Ferguson change after scathing federal report? (CBS)

Justice Dept. will not bring civil rights charges against Ferguson police officer (Washington Post)

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164 Responses to How Much Do Black Lives Matter in Ferguson, Missouri?: Justice Department Investigation Finds Pattern of Racial Bias in Ferguson Police Department and Courts

  1. Bob Stone says:

    “Hands Up; Don’t Shoot”?

    “Although there are several individuals who have stated that Brown held his hands up in an unambiguous sign of surrender prior to Wilson shooting him dead, their accounts do not support a prosecution of Wilson. As detailed throughout this report, some of those accounts are inaccurate because they are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence; some of those accounts are materially inconsistent with that witness’s own prior statements with no explanation, credible for otherwise, as to why those accounts changed over time. Certain other witnesses who originally stated Brown had his hands up in surrender recanted their original accounts, admitting that they did not witness the shooting or parts of it, despite what they initially reported either to federal or local law enforcement or to the media. Prosecutors did not rely on those accounts when making a prosecutive decision.”

  2. Bob Kauten says:

    Shit.
    The dogs got here before I did.
    Never mind.

  3. nivico says:

    Bob (Stone)…

    …and isn’t it interesting how much that sounds EXACTLY like McCulloch’s statements to the press after the Grand Jury failed to indict Wilson.

    Kinda makes you wonder what the DOJ would have determined if McCulloch hadn’t nipped them in the bud and exposed all the lies, contradictions, and witness corruption to the public 😉

  4. Elaine M. says:

    DOJ Issues Damning Report On Ferguson Police, Courts
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/04/ferguson-police-report_n_6800440.html

    Excerpt:
    Many police officers “appear to see some residents, especially those who live in Ferguson’s predominately African-American neighborhoods, less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue,” in part due to city policies, according to the report.

    The Justice Department also disclosed several emails sent by current Ferguson officials over the past several years that reveal racial bias. One email depicted President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee. Another email described a man who wanted to get welfare for his dogs because they were “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddies are.” A third email included a photo depicting bare-chested dancing women with the caption “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion,” while another email included jokes about Muslims.

    The report found that city, police and court officials have “worked in concert to maximize revenue at every stage of the enforcement process” for several years.

    “City and police leadership pressure officers to write citations, independent of any public safety need, and rely on citation productivity to fund the City budget,” the report states.

    “Everything’s about the courts… the court’s enforcement priorities are money,” one Ferguson officer told federal investigators, according to the report. The report describes several instances of officers abusing their power. In summer 2012, for example, one officer charged a man with violating Ferguson’s municipal code by saying his name was “Mike” instead of “Michael.” The man told the Justice Department that he lost his job as a federal contractor because of that charge along with several others.

  5. blouise says:

    In an interview with CBS last month, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told news correspondent Dean Reynolds that “he believes his department is misunderstood.” Jackson insisted that there was no racial problem in the Ferguson Police Department. – article above

    Uh huh. “Hands Up; Please Shoot” is really being misunderstood.

    Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson needs to do lunch with Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis. Bet they’d develop a deep friendship based on shared misunderstanding.

  6. Elaine M. says:

    Ferguson Police, Court Violated Minorities’ Civil Rights, Justice Department Says
    http://www.newsweek.com/justice-department-ferguson-minorities-civil-rights-311294

    Excerpt:
    African-Americans were involved in 85 percent of vehicle stops, 90 percent of citations and 93 percent of Ferguson police arrests, although they make up only 67 percent of Ferguson’s population, the DOJ, citing police statistics from 2012 to 2014, said. In addition, African-Americans are “more than twice as likely as white drivers to be searched during vehicle stops…but are found in possession of contraband 26 percent less often than white drivers.”

    The Ferguson Police Department also “appears to bring certain offenses almost exclusively against African-Americans.” From 2011 to 2013, 95 percent of “manner of walking in roadway” charges were brought against African-Americans. The department filed 94 percent of all “failure to comply” charges against African-Americans. Some 90 percent of documented use of force cases were against African-Americans. And when it came to police dogs, in “every canine bite incident for which racial information is available, the person bitten was African-American.”

    The DOJ’s criticism of Ferguson’s municipal courts was similarly scathing. African-Americans, the DOJ notes, “are 68 percent less likely than others to have their cases dismissed by the court, and are more likely to have their cases last longer and result in more required court encounters.”

    In addition, African-Americans are “at least 50 percent more likely to have their cases lead to an arrest warrant, and accounted for 92 percent of cases in which an arrest warrant was issued by the Ferguson Municipal Court in 2013.” When the Ferguson Police Department arrested individuals solely due to an outstanding municipal warrant, 96 percent of those arrests involved African-Americans.

    “Our investigation indicates that this disproportionate burden on African Americans cannot be explained by any difference in the rate at which people of different races violate the law,” the report stated. “We have found substantial evidence of racial bias among police and court staff in Ferguson.”

    Emails swapped between police department supervisors and court staff denigrated minorities as criminals, and one correspondence “joked about an abortion by an African-American woman being a means of crime control,” the DOJ said.

  7. Bob Stone says:

    Nivico,

    I’m still reading the report. I don’t know whether it’s restoring my faith in the criminal justice system or forcing me to conclude once again that:

    “Mankind has not evolved an inch from the slime that spawned him.”

    BTW, do you have any good articles on hand discussing Holder’s questionable use of Patterns and Practices lawsuits?

  8. swarthmoremom says:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidmack/doj-ferguson-pd-report#.obkD4R3lWj “These disparities are also present in FPD’s use of force. Nearly 90% of documented force used by FPD officers was used against African Americans. In every canine bite incident for which racial information is available, the person bitten was African American.”

  9. swarthmoremom says:

    Christopher Hayes ‏@chrislhayes 1h1 hour ago

    The details of police misconduct being cited by Holder here are just enraging. Guy falsely arrested for no reason loses his job.

  10. Elaine M. says:

    Here Are The Most Shocking Excerpts From The DOJ Report On Ferguson’s Police
    The scathing report found an endemic racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department, as well as a focus on generating revenue, rather than public safety.
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidmack/doj-ferguson-pd-report#.ryMoKL2erb

  11. Elaine M. says:

    5 Points On The Most Shocking Incidents From The DOJ Ferguson Report
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/fivepoints/ferguson-doj-report-shocking-moments

    Excerpt:
    Black woman shocked with stun gun for not removing bracelets

    In August 2010, the report said, a black woman in the Ferguson City Jail refused to remove her bracelets. In response, an officer used a stun gun on the woman “even though there were five officers present and the woman posed no physical threat,” according to the report.

    Officers use stun gun on man for ‘trespassing’ at house where he’d been invited

    In January 2015, officers reportedly tried to arrest a black man for trespassing at the home of his girlfriend’s grandparents, even though he had been invited to the home. Officers said that the man tried to resist arrest, leading multiple officers to approach him.

    Seven officers allegedly hit the man and used stun guns, according to the report. The DOJ said “the young man suffered head lacerations with significant bleeding.”

  12. Elaine M. says:

    DOJ Ferguson Report: Personal Responsibility Only Applies To Black People
    http://crooksandliars.com/2015/03/doj-ferguson-report-personal

    Excerpt:
    After all, the good people of Missouri can’t tax people to raise those revenues, right? So instead they targeted those least able to fight back — Workers, teenagers, single moms, and others living on the edge of poverty.

    So instead they planned ways to hike fines and then make it difficult for those fines to be paid, which led to arrest warrants and more fines, which led to arrests and even more fines.

    However, the notion of “personal responsibility” is one that is selectively applied in Ferguson.

    On page 77 of the report, they note that most officials and lawmakers in Ferguson consider the problem to be a lack of personal responsibility on the part of African-Americans, even though the facts do not bear that conclusion out.

    Worse, there’s a huge double standard about how standards of personal responsibility are applied.

    The common practice among Ferguson officials of writing off tickets further evidences a double standard grounded in racial stereotyping. Even as Ferguson City officials maintain the harmful stereotype that black individuals lack personal responsibility—and continue to cite this lack of personal responsibility as the cause of the disparate impact of Ferguson’s practices—white City officials condone a striking lack of personal responsibility among themselves and their friends. Court records and emails show City officials, including the Municipal Judge, the Court Clerk, and FPD supervisors assisting friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and themselves in eliminating citations, fines, and fees. For example:

    In August 2014, the Court Clerk emailed Municipal Judge Brockmeyer a copy of a Failure to Appear notice for a speeding violation issued by the City of Breckenridge, and asked: “[FPD patrol supervisor] came to me this morning, could you please take [care] of this for him in Breckenridge?” The Judge replied: “Sure.” Judge Brockmeyer also serves as Municipal Judge in Breckenridge.

  13. nivico says:

    “The details of police misconduct being cited by Holder here are just enraging. Guy falsely arrested for no reason loses his job.”

    You mean Officer Wilson, right…???

  14. Elaine M. says:

    nivico,

    “You mean Officer Wilson, right…???”

    What’s your point?

  15. Bob Stone says:

    “What’s your point?”

    How about “Thou shalt not bear false witness.”

  16. Elaine M. says:

    Bob,

    nivico says:
    March 4, 2015 at 6:52 pm
    “The details of police misconduct being cited by Holder here are just enraging. Guy falsely arrested for no reason loses his job.”

    You mean Officer Wilson, right…???

    ***
    What does my post have to do with bearing false witness against Darren Wilson? It’s about the Justice Department’s investigation of the Ferguson police department and the municipal courts. Would you care to address the report findings? As I noted in my post, the DOJ said it won’t be pursuing federal civil rights charges against Darren Wilson. Do you and nivico have a problem with the report findings? Do you think there is no racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department?

  17. Elaine M. says:

    Ferguson police report: Most shocking parts
    By Jeremy Diamond and Wesley Bruer, CNN
    http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/04/politics/ferguson-justice-report-shocking/

    Excerpt:
    The Justice Department report found that African-American Ferguson residents may have felt like they were being used as the city’s personal ATM, by the way the police department hit them with traffic fines.

    One woman has paid $550 on what was original a $151 fine for two parking tickets — and, more than seven years later, she still owes $541.

    The police also let dogs loose on residents, sometimes without warning.

    One 14-year-old African-American boy said he was waiting for his friends at a house, unarmed, when police released a dog that bit his ankle, thigh and arm.

    Harassment was also a common occurrence.

    An African-American man was cooling off in his car after playing basketball in a public park in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2012 when a police officer approached him and accused him of being a pedophile…

    The Justice Department completed a months-long review of the case and released those results Wednesday. The report cites “unlawful bias against and stereotypes about African-Americans,” and points to a number of violations of constitutional rights.

    Attorney General Eric Holder said a “highly toxic environment” existed between Ferguson police officers and the city’s African-American residents before Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown last year.

    “It’s not difficult to imagine how a single tragic incident set off the city of Ferguson like a powder keg,” Holder said.

    He pointed to the use of excessive force overwhelmingly against African-American residents, noting that only African-Americans were bit by police dogs, and said “no alternative explanation” except racial bias exists to explain it.

    Holder also said Ferguson’s police department violated residents’ First Amendment rights to record the activities of officers, regularly conducted illegal searches and unlawfully detained citizens and competed with each other to “see who can issue the largest number of citations in a single stop.”

    He said the city’s municipal courts and local government “relies on the police force to serve essentially as a collection agency.”

  18. pete says:

    Ferguson Police Chief Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson

  19. eniobob says:

    “How Much Do Black Lives Matter in Ferguson, Missouri?: ”

    if it were only Ferguson, Missouri:

    Please spare a few minutes,you will not be dissapointed:Democracy Now

    Michelle Alexander: Ferguson Shows Why Criminal Justice System of “Racial Control” Should Be Undone

    http://www.democracynow.org/2015/3/4/michelle_alexander_ferguson_shows_why_criminal

  20. Elaine M. says:

    10 ways white people are more racist than they realize
    Progressives like to believe they’re enlightened, but they’re no less vulnerable to their implicit biases
    KALI HOLLOWAY, ALTERNET
    http://www.salon.com/2015/03/04/10_ways_white_people_are_more_racist_than_they_realize_partner/

    Excerpt:
    3. White people are more likely to have done illegal drugs than blacks or Latinos, but are far less likely to go to to jail for it. A 2011 study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive found white people were more likely to use illegal and prescription opiates (heroin, oxycontin), hallucinogens, and cocaine than blacks and Hispanics by significant margins. Black people just edged out white people on marijuana and crack use (which incurred disproportionate sentences for decades). Yet, a 2009 Human Rights Watch study found that each year from 1980 to 2007, blacks were arrested on drug charges at rates 2.2 to 5.5 percent higher than whites.

    4. Black men are sentenced to far lengthier prison sentences than white men for the same crimes. A 2012 study by the United States Sentencing Commission found black men were sentenced to prison terms nearly 20 percent longer than white men for similar crimes. To break those numbers down further, from January 2005 to December 2007, sentences for black males were 15.2 percent longer than those of their white counterparts. From December 2007 to September 2011, that number actually increased, with differences in sentencing growing to 19.5 percent.

    5. White people, including police, see black children as older and less innocent than white children. A UCLA psychological study surveyed mostly white, male police officers to determine “prejudice and unconscious dehumanization of black people.” Researchers found a correlation between officers who unconsciously dehumanized blacks and those who had used force against black children in custody. The study also found that white female college students saw black and white children as equally innocent until age 9, after which they perceived black boys as significantly older — by about four and half years — and less innocent than their white peers. UCLA researcher Phillip Atiba Goff wrote, “Our research found that black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent.” Which leads right to our next stats.

    6. Black children are more likely to be tried as adults and are given harsher sentences than white children. A Stanford University study uncovered this sobering information: ”[S]imply bringing to mind a black (vs. white) juvenile offender led [white study] participants to view juveniles in general as significantly more similar to adults in their inherent culpability and to express more support for severe sentencing.” That is, when white respondents thought the child on trial was black, they were more like to endorse “sentencing all juveniles to life without parole when they have committed serious violent crimes.” That might explain why, of the roughly 2,500 juveniles in the U.S. who have been sentenced to life without parole, nearly all (97 percent) were male and (60 percent) black. Interesting study note: for black kids, killing a white person was a good way to end up behind bars for their entire adult life. For white kids, killing a black person actually helped their chances of ensuring their prison stay would be temporary. From the report: “[T]he proportion of African American [juveniles sentenced to life without parole] for the killing of a white person (43.4 percent) is nearly twice the rate at which African American juveniles overall have taken a white person’s life (23.2 percent). What’s more, we find that the odds of a [juvenile life without probation] sentence for a white offender who killed a black victim are only about half as likely (3.6 percent) as the proportion of white juveniles arrested for killing blacks (6.4 percent).”

  21. nivico says:

    “As I noted in my post, the DOJ said it won’t be pursuing federal civil rights charges against Darren Wilson.”

    They’re not pursuing charges because they cleared Wilson of any wrongdoing:

    “The evidence establishes that the shots fired by Wilson after Brown turned around were in self-defense and were not objectively unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.”

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/multimedia/special/doj-report-regarding-the-criminal-investigation-of-the-shooting-death/html_b7c67e73-5ea3-5a5c-8d14-2696dd5a70d0.html

  22. eniobob says:

    nivico

    Just looking at the report you linked to,in particular the different witnesses and their accounts of what happen regarding the same event…Puts me in mind of a recent internet sensation that was all the buzz this past week end.Only using this as what all the witnesses seem to prove in a strange sort of way.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/dress-people-viral-outfit-colors-differently/story?id=29268831

  23. Carterbo says:

    It’d be curious to see what the stat is with the amount of people who’ve been fired across the country since January 2009 for racially charged comments made about the POTUS and family. I have have hunch it’s higher than most think.

  24. Elaine M. says:

    Eniobob,

    Nivico is trying to deflect attention away from the findings of the investigation. Or else, he/she may be trying to imply that there is no racism in the Ferguson police department because the DOJ won’t be pursuing charges against Darren Wilson.

  25. Elaine M. says:

    The Ferguson Report: It’s Never About Race
    This may not be a reign of terror, but it damn sure is a reign of unaccountable authoritarian power.
    By Charles Pierce
    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a33465/the-ferguson-report-its-never-about-race/

    Excerpt:
    Let’s leave aside for a moment the obvious racial profiling inherent in these findings, the statistics on traffic-stop searches, for example. Imagine, for a moment, your daily life. Do you jaywalk? Do you walk in the street? Ever? Imagine that, two or three times a week, an armed police officer decides to involve himself in your life just because you jaywalk, or because you’re walking in the street. Imagine this happening, over and over again, for a decade. Or two. Or five. Imagine that the simple act of asking, “What’s the problem, officer?” is 94 percent more likely to wind up with you in handcuffs in the back of a patrol car. Imagine that the simple act of then asking, “Can you tell me what the problem is, officer?” is 88 percent more likely to get your head cracked, or worse? Imagine this happening in front of your kids, three or four times. Imagine this happening in front of your mother, your preacher, your girlfriend, your wife. Is this a life? Are you free? This may not be a reign of terror, but it damn sure is a reign of unaccountable authoritarian power.

  26. nivico says:

    “Nivico is trying to deflect attention away from the findings of the investigation.”

    What findings, these findings…???
    ________________

    “In fact, our review of the evidence found no alternative explanation for the disproportionate impact on African American residents other than implicit and explicit racial bias.” – Eric Holder

    FALLACY COMMITTED: Appeal to Ignorance

    “Argument from ignorance (Latin: argumentum ad ignorantiam), also known as appeal to ignorance (in which ignorance stands for “lack of evidence to the contrary”), is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false (or vice versa).”

  27. bigfatmike says:

    “The Justice Department completed a months-long review …cites “unlawful bias against and stereotypes about African-Americans,” and points to a number of violations of constitutional rights….Attorney General Eric Holder said a “highly toxic environment” existed between Ferguson police officers and the city’s African-American residents…”

    Well I guess that blows the idea about unconscious racism all to pieces.

    I remember the claim that higher stop, arrest, conviction and incarceration rates were justified by higher crime rates among African Americans. That claim seems to be undermined by the overt racism of members of the criminal justice system and lower contraband rates for African Americans than for whites. The higher crime rates themselves have to be questioned and cannot be used to reliably explain anything.

  28. Slartibartfast says:

    nivico,

    The burden is on you to come up with an alternative explanation which fits the facts better than pervasive racial bias. If you can do that, you can argue that a fallacy has beed committed. If not, not so much.

    Bob,

    May I assume that you are still in favor of jumping to the conclusion that Mr. Wilson was a choir boy when the available evidence now suggests that he and his fellow officers had a distinct tendency to act like jackbooted thugs? Or will you admit that the findings of the Justice department make what happened much more appalling since it now appears that a biased process was used to protect a member of a racially biased police force from a fair and just investigation?

    To me, this report would seem to imply that there was probable cause to indict Mr. Wilson by the Missouri statute since it would certainly allow a reasonable person to conclude a Ferguson police officer might have acted improperly.

  29. bigfatmike says:

    ““In fact, our review of the evidence found no alternative explanation for the disproportionate impact on African American residents other than implicit and explicit racial bias.” – Eric Holder…
    FALLACY COMMITTED: Appeal to Ignorance”

    I think this show a serous misunderstanding of what Holder actually claimed and how to apply logic to it. Holder did not claim ‘must be racism because we can’t think of anything else’.

    On the contrary, he made two claims. The first has to do with the theory he presents: we have ample evidence of racism. Holder is not arguing form ignorance. He has compelling evidence of racism.

    But when it comes to justifying reasonable belief there is still more work to do. In many real world cases there may be other plausible theories that also explain the data. Holder follows through to check to see if their are other possible explanations. He tells us their are none. This additional check gives us greater confidence in Holder’s theory of racism – but not because of ignorance. It gives us additional confidence in racism as the explanation because if there were a better explanation Holder would have found it and reported it.

    We can reasonably conclude that best belief is racism because we have strong evidence to support racism and we know that at this time with this evidence there is no better explanation.

    The observation that the model fits the data and no other model is a better fit is a very, very different proposition than the ‘appeal to ignorance’.

    The argument that Holder is refuted by ‘appeal to ignorance’ is based on a faulty reading of Holder’s two part claim and a faulty understanding of how to apply logic to conditions of uncertainty.

  30. Mike Spindell says:

    I find it curious that the reaction of three commenters here is to disparage Holder’s report by invective and distraction rather than logic. For them it seems that more than 300 years of racist behavior in this country was ended by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. From their perspective, one would assume that the racial problems in this country are the result of bigotry by people of color, or non-existent. Given their mindset humor such as:

    “Another e-mail described Obama as a chimpanzee. An e-mail from 2011 showed a photo of a bare chested group of dancing women apparently in Africa with the caption, “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.””

    Is merely good clean fun.

  31. Mike Spindell says:

    Perhaps you three dispute the report because Holder as a black man must be a racist.

  32. nivico says:

    “The burden is on you to come up with an alternative explanation which fits the facts better than pervasive racial bias. If you can do that, you can argue that a fallacy has beed committed. If not, not so much.” – slartibartfast

    Your logical fallacy is: Burden of Proof

    You said that the burden of proof lies not with the person making the claim (Eric Holder), but with someone else to disprove.

    • bigfatmike says:

      “You said that the burden of proof lies not with the person making the claim (Eric Holder), but with someone else to disprove.”

      Holder has already presented data to support his claim. If you want to persuade us his claim is invalid it is for you to either 1) show his data is insufficient to support his conclusions or 2) there is a better model/explanation for the data he has presented. So far you have done neither 1 or 2.

  33. gbk says:

    A few resound the claims of virtuous law, while many lament it.

  34. gbk says:

    Admittedly, most music videos suck as by their very existence they encourage watching over listening.

    As if we are all just witnesses and not participants in life — such is the world today.

    But who am I to upset the fragile boat of information; of patterns observed yet denied; of pardons favored?

  35. nivico says:

    “Holder has already presented data to support his claim.”

    Holder’s burden of proof is to show ~intentional~ racial bias under the Civil Rights Act.

    But he’s arguing disparate impact… a legal theory that was struck down as “chutzpah” by a US District Court judge last November, and I’m guessing is soon to be struck down by the Supreme Court as well in ‘Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project.’

    Scotusblog.com states, “Scalia told [Michael] Daniel that racial disparity is not the same as racial discrimination, which requires someone to “intentionally exclude” someone else based on her race. Most players in the National Football League, he observed, are black, but that’s not discrimination. You are arguing, Scalia said to Daniel with obvious disapproval, that a racial disparity is enough to make a policy unlawful.”

    “Daniel countered that the problem can be easily fixed by stopping the practice that is causing the disparity, without having to consider race. But the Chief Justice seemed unconvinced.”

    Now think about what a slippery slope that presents if we were to apply Daniel’s ‘stop the practice’ logic to the law and law enforcement…

    http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/01/justice-scalia-keeps-both-sides-guessing-in-fair-housing-act-case-in-plain-english/

    • bigfatmike says:

      “Holder’s burden of proof is to show ~intentional~ racial bias under the Civil Rights Act.”

      As I understand your position, the report and presumably any future agreement reached between Ferguson and DOJ does not meed the burden of proof now required by some but not all federal courts.

      And, presumably, if there were ever a future case alleging non compliance with the hypothetical agreement by Ferguson then DOJ might have to provide additional data to support its claim.

      OK. So what? Most decisions we make in life are based on data that provides reasonable basis for belief, not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

      Further, when it comes to the operation of institutions and the impact on communities why would anyone belief that ‘intention’ is necessary before relief should be granted. I might demand proof of ‘intention’ before I convict an individual. But when it comes to institutional racism, disparate impact, I personally see no reasonable basis to require proof of ‘intention’. The pattern itself clearly demonstrates damage and the need for relief.

  36. gbk says:

    The Marriage Of Figaro

    I’m assuming everyone knows the composer, and the gist of the libretto.

  37. gbk says:

    Then there’s this (ignore the guy at the beginning):

    Muddy Waters — You Can’t Loose What Your Never Had — starts at 0:37:

  38. gbk says:

    And fifty years later this happens, I love syncretism; when the source is acknowledged:

    Isn’t that George Washington and Marilyn Monroe in the front seat?

  39. gbk says:

    So, I’ll say it again, hopefully better this time:

    A few resound the claims of virtuous law, while the many lament the same.

  40. Elaine M. says:

    Gbk,

    What’s the big deal…a little racial disparity should not be a cause for concern. So what if police and court actions have had a disparate impact on Black folks in Ferguson? There’s no indication that the disparity was the result of racial bias/discrimination.

    ***

    Police, Courts Violated Minorities’ Civil Rights, Justice Department Says
    http://www.newsweek.com/justice-department-ferguson-minorities-civil-rights-311294

    Excerpt:
    Ferguson, Missouri’s Police Department and municipal courts routinely discriminated against African-Americans, burdening them with excessive use of force, jail terms, traffic stops and fines—and evidence suggests department leadership perpetuated a culture of “explicit racial bias,” a just-released U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) civil rights investigation charges.

    “As detailed in our report, this investigation found a community that was deeply polarized, and where deep distrust and hostility often characterized interactions between police and area residents,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “Our investigation showed that Ferguson police officers routinely violate the Fourth Amendment in stopping people without reasonable suspicion, arresting them without probable cause and using unreasonable force against them.”

  41. Elaine M. says:

    Ferguson Mayor: 1 City Official Fired, 2 Being Investigated Over Racist Emails
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ferguson-officials-investigation-racist-emails

    Excerpt:
    Ferguson Mayor James Knowles on Wednesday said that the city had fired one official and was investigating two others after the Justice Department uncovered numerous racist messages sent on city email accounts.

    During its investigation into the Ferguson Police Department, the Justice Department found numerous racially charged emails sent by city officials. Knowles said that the emails were sent by the three individuals.

    “This type of behavior will not be tolerated in the Ferguson Police Department or in any department in the city of Ferguson,” Knowles said about the emails during a press conference responding to the DOJ report.

    Knowles detailed a few diversity initiatives that the city will undertake to address the issues outlined in the Wednesday DOJ report, but he did not address whether anyone in the Ferguson police department would be terminated.

  42. blouise says:

    Knowles detailed a few diversity initiatives that the city will undertake to address the issues outlined in the Wednesday DOJ report, but he did not address whether anyone in the Ferguson police department would be terminated. – article @7:16am

    Probably because they’re so misunderstood or maybe he’s afraid they’ll shoot him or their Union has threatened legal action or ….

  43. swarthmoremom says:

    Jonathan ChaitVerified account ‏@jonathanchait

    I thought Ferguson was a brutal kleptocracy. DOJ report paints it as far worse than I imagined. More like an Apartheid state. Twitter

  44. swarthmoremom says:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/03/justice_department_report_exposes_ferguson_s_discrimination_against_blacks.html “In Ferguson, if you are black, you live in the shadow of lawlessness and plunder, directed by city officials and enforced by the police.”

  45. Elaine M. says:

    HOW THE FEDS LET FERGUSON ROT
    BY MICHAEL DALY
    03.05.15
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/05/how-the-justice-department-let-ferguson-rot.html

    Excerpt:
    Those revolting racist emails that hit the news turn out to be just a few of many such missives written by cops and court clerks in Ferguson.

    “Our review of documents revealed many additional email communications that exhibited racial or ethnic bias, as well as other forms of bias,” says the U.S. Department of Justice report on the Ferguson police.

    The report then turns even more disturbing.

    “Our investigation has not revealed any indication that any officer or court clerk engaged in these communications was ever disciplined.”

    The report goes on, “Nor did we see a single instance in which a police or court recipient of such an email asked that the sender refrain from sending such emails, or any indication that these emails were reported as inappropriate. Instead, the emails were usually forwarded along to others.”

    In other words, emails such as the one that depicted President Obama as a chimpanzee were generally considered acceptable.

    But that should not be surprising in a system that routinely trampled the Constitution, tolerating police brutality and racial profiling so long as the cops were writing enough tickets to fill the city’s coffers.

  46. Elaine M. says:

    Ferguson’s Conspiracy Against Black Citizens
    How the city’s leadership harassed and brutalized their way to multiple civil-rights violations
    CONOR FRIEDERSDORF
    3/5/15
    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2015/03/ferguson-as-a-criminal-conspiracy-against-its-black-residents-michael-brown-department-of-justice-report/386887/

    Excerpt:
    So far, a disproportionate amount of press attention has focused on racist emails circulated by Ferguson officials, causing two to be fired and one to be placed on leave. While the correspondence in question is deeply offensive and worthy of condemnation, it is nowhere close to the most objectionable transgression documented in the DOJ report, which ought to prompt multiple Ferguson officials to resign in disgrace and provoke condemnations from across the political spectrum. Nearly every page shocks the conscience.

    Ferguson officials repeatedly behaved as if their priority is not improving public safety or protecting the rights of residents, but maximizing the revenue that flows into city coffers, sometimes going so far as to anticipate decreasing sales tax revenues and urging the police force to make up for the shortfall by ticketing more people. Often, those tickets for minor offenses then turned into arrest warrants.

    Ferguson officials leeched off the black community as shamelessly as would mafia bosses.
    Police officers were judged not only on the number of stops they made, but on the number of citations they issued. “Officers routinely conduct stops that have little relation to public safety and a questionable basis in law,” the report states. “Issuing three or four charges in one stop is not uncommon. Officers sometimes write six, eight, or, in at least one instance, fourteen citations for a single encounter.” Some officers compete to see who can issue the most citations in a single stop.

    In one email, the police chief, who also oversees the municipal court, brags to the city manager about how much revenue it is generating. Ignoring that conflict of interest is a recipe for a justice system that bleeds the powerless of their meager resources.

  47. Mike Spindell says:

    “Holder has already presented data to support his claim.”
    Holder’s burden of proof is to show ~intentional~ racial bias under the Civil Rights Act.”

    Nivico,

    Either you are being purposely obtuse, have a reading problem, or merely bloviating for the pleasure of it. Holder’s report was an investigation of police and court procedures in Ferguson and so has to meet no “burden of proof under the civil rights act” because there was no mention of a prosecution under the civil rights act, unless you are talking re: Wilson, which the report stated there weren’t grounds to prosecute him.

    “But he’s arguing disparate impact… a legal theory that was struck down as “chutzpah” by a US District Court judge last November, and I’m guessing is soon to be struck down by the Supreme Court as well ”

    He’s not arguing a “legal theory”, he’s presenting data that he concludes shows a pattern of behavior by the legal system in Ferguson that is treating people of color unfairly.

    “Scalia told [Michael] Daniel that racial disparity is not the same as racial discrimination, which requires someone to “intentionally exclude” someone else based on her race”

    Again yet another diversion with Antonin Scalia as the trusted source. Scalia is a bigoted fool, who has disgraced SCOTUS by most of his decisions, but in your “legalistic” view his nonsense is “golden” because he bears the title of “Justice”. But again, this is merely your obfuscation, intentional or not, because you don’t want to deal with any of the issues the report raises. What is going on in this thread is a discussion of the Holder report and its implications, not a legal debate that puts the issue in the “pristine” context of legalisms that divorce themselves from reality in the pretense that something approximating “justice” is being done.

    “Now think about what a slippery slope that presents if we were to apply Daniel’s ‘stop the practice’ logic to the law and law enforcement…”

    And in your vain attempt to muddy the waters you bring in the well known “slippery slope” argument on a case that doesn’t at all pertain to what we are discussing here. That type of “twisted logic” and the idea that showing a pattern is merely “disparate impact” has been used for years to avoid the charges regarding the bigotry that so pervades most of the treatment in America of the poor and the non-White. It allows people with your mindset to mildly exclaim that you are merely following legal theory, when in fact what you are doing is denying that any bigotry exists.

    Returning to the Wilson murder issue, your tack on the Holder report is necessary for those of you who disparaged the protests in its wake. Were you to recognize that the people in Ferguson reacted so strongly because this had only been the latest incident in a long history of oppression there, then you would have had to see the protests as justified. Such views of the “Law” and the American Legal System are probably necessary for those who defend it, or practice it. However, for someone like me who understands our “Legal System” in a larger context, these views are nonsense. The American Legal System is and always has been a quagmire for those not privileged either by wealth, political connections or skin color. Ferguson is but one area out of a multitude where the “legal system” falls heavily on those least able to defend themselves. The problem with Ferguson though, is that this community is less circumspect in its unequal application of the “Law”.

  48. Mike Spindell says:

    “Ferguson officials leeched off the black community as shamelessly as would mafia bosses.
    Police officers were judged not only on the number of stops they made, but on the number of citations they issued. “Officers routinely conduct stops that have little relation to public safety and a questionable basis in law,” the report states. “Issuing three or four charges in one stop is not uncommon. Officers sometimes write six, eight, or, in at least one instance, fourteen citations for a single encounter.” Some officers compete to see who can issue the most citations in a single stop.”

    Elaine,

    You are correct in highlighting these practice as the key issues raised in the report. Yet it is telling that the news media focuses mainly on the racist E Mails. All the better to diminish the impact of the report and cloud the discussion.

  49. gbk says:

    . . . “diversity initiatives” . . .

    I love this language!!

  50. Elaine M. says:

    Mike,

    Well, if the media made a bigger issue of places like Ferguson fining people in order to raise revenue…then we’d have to ask why such communities didn’t consider raising taxes in order to support muniicipal operations, wouldn’t we? Can’t talk about raising taxes these days, can we? It’s not politically correct!

  51. Bob Stone says:

    Mike: “Returning to the Wilson murder issue,”

    The Wilson murder issue?

    Gee Mike, either you didn’t read the DOJ report or you simply never cared about the truth of the matter.

    Either way, the rule ignored by Sharpton, Crump, Parks, Holder, you and the protesters et. al. is:

    Thou shalt not bear false witness.

  52. Bob Kauten says:

    I think the question posed in the title has been answered, adequately.

    • Bob Stone says:

      Actually Bob, people like you destroyed a man’s life in much the same way that Abigail Williams did in “The Crucible.”

      And regarding that counter myth of mine that you’re so fond of ridiculing, the DOJ report reads like this commercial:

  53. gbk says:

    “Thou shalt not bear false witness”

    You mean like the DA knowingly presenting false testimony to the GJ?

    And knock off the biblical lexicon seeking redemption — twice in this thread; it’s a lame attempt at cultural sophistry.

  54. Bob Stone says:

    “You mean like the DA knowingly presenting false testimony to the GJ?”

    GBK,

    If there were any truth to that allegation, it would have been brought up here:

    “In order to make the proper assessment under these standards, federal prosecutors evaluated physical, forensic, and potential testimonial evidence in the form of witness accounts. As detailed below, the physical and forensic evidence provided federal prosecutors with a benchmark against which to measure the credibility of each witness account, including that of Darren Wilson. We compared individual witness accounts to the physical and forensic evidence, to other credible witness accounts, and to each witness’s own prior statements made throughout the investigations, including the proceedings before the St. Louis County grand jury (“county grand jury”). We worked with federal and local law enforcement officers to interview witnesses, to include re-interviewing certain witnesses in an effort to evaluate inconsistencies in their accounts and to obtain more detailed information. In so doing, we assessed the witnesses’ demeanor, tone, bias, and ability to accurately perceive or recall the events of August 9, 2014. We credited and determined that a jury would appropriately credit those witnesses whose accounts were consistent with the physical evidence and consistent with other credible witness accounts. In the case of witnesses who made multiple statements, we compared those statements to determine whether they were materially consistent with each other and considered the timing and circumstances under which the witnesses gave the statements. We did not credit and determined that a jury appropriately would not credit those witness accounts that were contrary to the physical and forensic evidence, significantly inconsistent with other credible witness accounts, or significantly inconsistent with that witness’s own prior statements.

    Based on this investigation, the Department has concluded that Darren Wilson’s actions do not constitute prosecutable violations under the applicable federal criminal civil rights statute, 18 U.S.C. § 242, which prohibits uses of deadly force that are “objectively unreasonable,” as defined by the United States Supreme Court. The evidence, when viewed as a whole, does not support the conclusion that Wilson’s uses of deadly force were “objectively unreasonable” under the Supreme Court’s definition. Accordingly, under the governing federal law and relevant standards set forth in the USAM, it is not appropriate to present this matter to a federal grand jury for indictment, and it should therefore be closed without prosecution.”

  55. Bob Stone says:

    Kevin: “May I assume that you are still in favor of jumping to the conclusion that Mr. Wilson was a choir boy when the available evidence now suggests that he and his fellow officers had a distinct tendency to act like jackbooted thugs? Or will you admit that the findings of the Justice department make what happened much more appalling since it now appears that a biased process was used to protect a member of a racially biased police force from a fair and just investigation?”

    Kevin,

    Did you get all that from the “DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE REPORT REGARDING THE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO THE SHOOTING DEATH OF MICHAEL BROWN BY FERGUSON, MISSOURI POLICE OFFICER DARREN WILSON”?

    I think not.

    In fact, just like Mike, I think you have no interest in reading that report or admitting you were wrong about Wilson.

  56. Elaine M. says:

    Has anyone been wrong about the Ferguson police? Was there no pattern of racial bias in the police department and courts?

  57. Mike Spindell says:

    “Mike: “Returning to the Wilson murder issue,”
    The Wilson murder issue?
    Gee Mike, either you didn’t read the DOJ report or you simply never cared about the truth of the matter.
    Either way, the rule ignored by Sharpton, Crump, Parks, Holder, you and the protesters et. al. is:
    Thou shalt not bear false witness.”

    Bob,

    Yes I thought using “murder” would piss you off and so that’s why I presented it. That’s because what pisses me off in what both you and Nivico have written is that you are both too obtuse, or too cowardly to address the substance of this piece, which is the pattern of bigotry shown by the criminal justice and legal systems in Ferguson. So you deflect an uncontested issue. Wilson got off and the DOJ can’t/won’t take action. The DOJ report supplies context for the events in Ferguson. You don’t want context because you’re too busy protecting your “dogs”.

    “Cognitive Dissonance is “psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously”. People will contort in all sorts of ways to avoid seeing the uncomfortable truth that is right in front of their eyes and facing that conflict.”

    Sadly, your cognitive dissonance is such that you are incapable of understanding the point I just made.

  58. gbk says:

    “If there were any truth to that allegation, it would have been brought up here:”

    Where’s “here”, Bob?

    The fact that the GJ did not credit the testimony of “40” does not preclude the fact that McCulloch presented her testimony knowing it was fabricated. She wasn’t even there.

    Yes I know what’s coming, others lied too!!!! But they were there, and the point of testimony is to establish credibility, or not, of WITNESSES.

    Take your pick:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=ferguson+da+witness+lying&lr=&hl=en&as_qdr=all&gbv=1&sei=PYP4VP-wEpPgoATsqYBY

  59. Bob Stone says:

    “Has anyone been wrong about the Ferguson police? Was there no pattern of racial bias in the police department and courts?”

    Brown Family attorney Anthony Gray is black; is he not?

    http://www.ktrs.com/michael-browns-lawyer-is-pine-lawns-police-chief/

  60. Bob Stone says:

    “Has anyone been wrong about the Ferguson police?”

    Elaine,

    What does the Ferguson Police Department have to do with the way a man’s life was ruined by the spreading of false accusations and narratives like “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” ?

    That was a rhetorical question.

  61. Mike Spindell says:

    “In fact, just like Mike, I think you have no interest in reading that report or admitting you were wrong about Wilson.”

    Bob,

    I’ve already stated my opinion of Wilson’s actions, time and again. That he was not indicted under the American legal system, nor can the DOJ prosecute him was no surprise. However, I don’t have any respect for the fairness of the American Criminal Justice system as I’ve written here: https://flowersforsocrates.com/2014/12/12/americas-broken-criminal-justice-system/ and also here: https://flowersforsocrates.com/2014/05/23/the-law-is-a-whore/

    Now I understand that since you are a lawyer it is quite difficult to accept what a morass the American legal system is in general and its criminal justice system in particular is, because to do so might actually cause you to despair at your work. Some of us can’t stand to tell ourselves the truth about our work. Other like myself can be honest with ourselves and accept how much bullshit is entailed in the work we do, or the work we’ve done. As a social worker I freely acknowledge that most social work is bullshit and as a psychotherapist I was astounded to discover how many therapists were themselves problematic psychologically. My means of dealing with the dysfunction in my professions was to be true to my own core ethics and try to do the best job I could. With lawyers like Jonathan Turley and perhaps yourself, their personal solution seems to be to play pretend in their professions as if the system weren’t rigged and that people like Antonin Scalia belong on SCOTUS.

  62. Bob Stone says:

    “That he was not indicted under the American legal system, nor can the DOJ prosecute him was no surprise.”

    Mike,

    Unless you read the report, everything you say on this topic is out of sheer laziness and willful ignorance.

    And it just may surprise you how wrong you really were.

  63. swarthmoremom says:

    “What does the Ferguson Police Department have to do with the way a man’s life was ruined by the spreading of false accusations and narratives like “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” ?” Bob S. Life ruined? He chose to shoot an unarmed man and the young man’s community rose up in protest. That is how change happens. Seems like you wish that no one noticed, and that the Ferguson police could continue to terrorize the black community.

  64. Elaine M. says:

    Bob,

    “Has anyone been wrong about the Ferguson police? Was there no pattern of racial bias in the police department and courts?”

    Brown Family attorney Anthony Gray is black; is he not?

    *****

    Trying to avoid answering my questions by responding with a question?

  65. Elaine M. says:

    Bob Stone says:
    March 5, 2015 at 11:39 am
    “Has anyone been wrong about the Ferguson police?”

    Elaine,

    What does the Ferguson Police Department have to do with the way a man’s life was ruined by the spreading of false accusations and narratives like “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” ?

    That was a rhetorical question.

    *****

    Don’t know why you keep trying to steer the conversation to Darren Wilson…and avoiding the focus of my post, which is about racial bias in the Ferguson police department and courts. There’s so much concern expressed for the reputation of one white man–but no concern expressed for an innocent black man who lost his job after an encounter with the Ferguson police or for all the other Black people of Ferguson whose civil rights were violated.

  66. swarthmoremom says:

    “There’s so much concern expressed for the reputation of one white man–but no concern expressed for an innocent black man who lost his job after an encounter with the Ferguson police or for all the other Black people of Ferguson whose civil rights were violated.” Elaine. Yep…..

  67. Mike Spindell says:

    “That he was not indicted under the American legal system, nor can the DOJ prosecute him was no surprise.”
    Mike,
    Unless you read the report, everything you say on this topic is out of sheer laziness and willful ignorance.
    And it just may surprise you how wrong you really were.”

    Bob,
    when I’m wrong I’ll admit it, but it seems that yo are more the obfuscation type:

    “The two documents were released around midday Wednesday.

    The report on the shooting concludes that Wilson’s actions aren’t “prosecutable violations” under the relevant criminal civil rights statute,” stating that evidence in the case “does not support the conclusion that Wilson’s uses of deadly force were ‘objectively unreasonable’ under the Supreme Court’s definition.

    “This is true for all six to eight shots that struck Brown,” the report states. It says that witness accounts that portrayed Brown as standing still with his hands raised in surrender “are inconsistent with the physical evidence” or lack other credibility.

    In contrast, the report says, Wilson’s account of Brown’s actions, “if true, would establish that the shootings were not objectively unreasonable under the relevant Constitutional standards governing an officer’s use of deadly force.””

    There is no inconsistency in my position. The key phrase is “relevant Constitutional standards”. I don’t dispute that the lack of indictment was not consistent with “relevant Constitutional standards”, I just believe that those “standards” are bullshit that allow too much leeway in police actions and results in a pattern of injustice towards people of color and people who are economically disadvantaged. That was my main point, which you conveniently ignored, throughout the whole of the “dog” discussions. You have high regard for the “injustice” to poor Officer Wilson, but express little or no regard for he problems of the underclass in this country. Now I’m sure you thoroughly read the first report which dealt with Officer Wilson, but have you read the second report 105 page report (which this blog is discussing) about the pattern of discriminatory behavior in Ferguson. If not here is the link: http://www.ibtimes.com/ferguson-police-racism-report-full-text-justice-department-probe-after-michael-browns-1835944

    Do you have any comment on THAT report, or doesn’t it interest you?

  68. Slartibartfast says:

    Bob,

    As Mike points out, you conveniently ignore the actual points that others are making in favor of straw men based on your prejudiced view (“prejudiced” in the literal sense – you made up your mind before writing your first post on the subject). Nothing in that report is relevant to my main point which is that the process was corrupt. In fact, the report your are ignoring makes it clear that a reasonable person could believe Mr. Wilson may not have been justified in his killing of Mr. Brown. This is the standard for indictment in Missouri. This strongly suggests that the process, like the Furgeson PD, was corrupt.

  69. nivico says:

    “That’s because what pisses me off in what both you and Nivico have written is that you are both too obtuse, or too cowardly to address the substance of this piece, which is the pattern of bigotry shown by the criminal justice and legal systems in Ferguson.”

    I’ve already addressed this issue… perhaps you missed it?

    RACIAL DISPARITY IS ~NOT~ THE SAME THING AS RACIAL DISCRIMINATION.

    The DOJ has proven nothing more here than that there is a racial disparity that exists between those who show up for their court dates and those who don’t, and between those who pay their court fines and those who don’t.

    Heck, I’m not even sure that the DOJ has proven that a racial disparity exists… with Ferguson being a predominantly minority community, it only stands to reason that a majority of those failing to appear and failing to pay their fines will also be predominantly of the same minority community.

    And let’s be frank here, Ferguson residents who’ve had bench warrants issued against them for failure to appear on their court date had warrants issued against them because and only because they ‘failed to appear’ on their court date… not because of their race.

    It’s not rocket science… we don’t need statisticians to explain the situation for us.

    Sadly, the DOJ report even goes so far as to recommend taking the amount that a repeat offender already owes in fines into consideration when fining them again for additional offenses… in essence, they are suggesting that chronic and habitual offenders should receive a bulk discount.

  70. eniobob says:

    “And let’s be frank here, Ferguson residents who’ve had bench warrants issued against them for failure to appear on their court date had warrants issued against them because and only because they ‘failed to appear’ on their court date… not because of their race.”

    Not in touch with the community I see.

  71. Elaine M. says:

    Any concern for a Black man named Henry Davis who had a violent encounter with Ferguson police?

    The Day Ferguson Cops Were Caught in a Bloody Lie
    The officers got the wrong man, but charged him anyway—with getting his blood on their uniforms. How the Ferguson PD ran the town where Michael Brown was gunned down.
    By Michael Daly
    8/15/14
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/15/the-day-ferguson-cops-were-caught-in-a-bloody-lie.html

    Excerpt:
    Police in Ferguson, Missouri, once charged a man with destruction of property for bleeding on their uniforms while four of them allegedly beat him.

    “On and/or about the 20th day of Sept. 20, 2009 at or near 222 S. Florissant within the corporate limits of Ferguson, Missouri, the above named defendant did then and there unlawfully commit the offense of ‘property damage’ to wit did transfer blood to the uniform,” reads the charge sheet.

    The address is the headquarters of the Ferguson Police Department, where a 52-year-old welder named Henry Davis was taken in the predawn hours on that date. He had been arrested for an outstanding warrant that proved to actually be for another man of the same surname, but a different middle name and Social Security number.

    “I said, ‘I told you guys it wasn’t me,’” Davis later testified.

    He recalled the booking officer saying, “We have a problem.”

    The booking officer had no other reason to hold Davis, who ended up in Ferguson only because he missed the exit for St. Charles and then pulled off the highway because the rain was so heavy he could not see to drive. The cop who had pulled up behind him must have run his license plate and assumed he was that other Henry Davis. Davis said the cop approached his vehicle, grabbed his cellphone from his hand, cuffed him and placed him in the back seat of the patrol car, without a word of explanation.

    But the booking officer was not ready just to let Davis go, and proceeded to escort him to a one-man cell that already had a man in it asleep on the lone bunk. Davis says that he asked the officer if he could at least have one of the sleeping mats that were stacked nearby.

    ”He said I wasn’t getting one,” Davis said.

    Davis balked at being a second man in a one-man cell.

    “Because it’s 3 in the morning,” he later testified. “Who going to sleep on a cement floor?”

    The booking officer summoned a number of fellow cops. One opened the cell door while another suddenly charged, propelling Davis inside and slamming him against the back wall.

  72. Bob Stone says:

    “when I’m wrong I’ll admit it, ”

    Mike,

    Until you read that report, you’ll never know why you’re wrong.

  73. Mike Spindell says:

    “Until you read that report, you’ll never know why you’re wrong.”

    The “Y” down here is on Jog Road. I’m always more interested in the “how?” and the “what?”

    Now the “how?” is your avoiding talking about the issue of this thread via distraction and the “what?” is that you refuse to acknowledge that you’ve read the second report which I linked.

  74. eniobob says:

    “Lawyers for the family of Michael Brown said on Thursday that they will file a wrongful death civil lawsuit against the city of Ferguson and Darren Wilson, the former Ferguson police officer who fatally shot Brown.

    Wilson shot and killed the unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, last August, setting off a wave of local and nationwide protests against police treatment of minorities.”

    http://mashable.com/2015/03/05/michael-brown-family-civil-suit/

  75. Mike Spindell says:

    ‘The DOJ has proven nothing more here than that there is a racial disparity that exists between those who show up for their court dates and those who don’t, and between those who pay their court fines and those who don’t.”

    My what a dainty distinction in avoidance of the topic. If you don’t believe that racism exists in the Ferguson criminal justice system why not just say it and denounce the DOJ for writing a prejudiced report.?

  76. eniobob says:

    If only Ferguson and if only Police and Black Males:

    “Last month, the African American Policy Forum released a report on the treatment of black girls in schools. According to their research, black girls are suspended six times more than their white peers (while black boys are only suspended three times more than white males), and disproportionately suffer under excessive disciplinary measures in schools.”

    http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/03/on_being_a_little_black_girl.html#incart_river

  77. nivico says:

    The DOJ’s investigation found that the only witnesses who were credible were those who corroborated Wilson’s innocence and account of events.

    It found that the forensic evidence corroborated Wilson’s innocence and account of events.

    It found that the physical evidence corroborated Wilson’s innocence and account of events.

    It found that none of the “Hand’s Up, Don’t Shoot” witnesses were particularly credible… not a single one of them.

    It found that many of the inculpating witnesses were either demonstrably lying or admittedly lying.

    It found that many of the exculpating witnesses were afraid to come forward and tell the truth because of the threat to their safety if they dispelled the lies that were already being circulating within minutes of the incident.

    Long story short, the DOJ’s investigation (like the state’s investigation) found that Wilson acted in self defense and is innocent of any wrongdoing by every reasonable and objective standard.

    That being said, folks need to take a moment to apologize to the innocent man they’ve labeled a racist murderer for the last seven months in headline after headline on their broadcasts, newspapers, and blogs……….. it’s the respectable and ethical thing to do.

    • Mike Spindell says:

      “The DOJ’s investigation found that the only witnesses who were credible were those who corroborated Wilson’s innocence and account of events.”

      Still avoiding the main issue of Elaine’s post and this thread Nivico? Perhaps racial bias is to delicate a subject for you to discuss……or perhaps you have nothing valid to say?

  78. eniobob says:

    This is the respectable thing to do:

    “Brown’s family issued a statement on Wednesday after the release of both DOJ reports:

    “While we are saddened by this decision, we are encouraged that the DOJ will hold the Ferguson Police Department accountable for the pattern of racial bias and profiling they found in their handling of interactions with people of color,” they said. “It is our hope that through this action, true change will come not only in Ferguson, but around the country. If that change happens, our son’s death will not have been in vain.”

  79. Elaine M. says:

    Mike,

    It’s ALL about Darren Wilson, doncha know? How the Black citizens of Ferguson have been treated by police and the courts over the years should be of no concern to us. The great injustice is what happened to Darren Wilson. Black lives don’t matter–at least not as much as White lives do.

    • Mike Spindell says:

      “Black lives don’t matter–at least not as much as White lives do.”

      Elaine,

      This would certainly seem to be the case for some of us here who refuse to enter into the thread’s discussion, choosing instead to try to sidetrack it. They believe that any protest by Black people, ever, is a sign of mob violence. Those poor, poor, police officers in Selma who had their tender nightsticks and bats assaulted by Black body parts. Oh the horror that that “mob” put them through. Seems like canine abuse to me.

  80. eniobob says:

    “It’s ALL about Darren Wilson, doncha know?”

    “On Wednesday evening, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly got into a heated argument with democratic strategist Mark Hannah over what she feels is inappropriate public smearing of Officer Wilson. Despite the results of the investigation, Kelly feels that the outcry associated with Brown’s death was overblown and inappropriate.”

    http://www.salon.com/2015/03/05/megyn_kelly_loses_cool_over_doj_report_hands_up_dont_shoot_did_not_happen/#

  81. Elaine M. says:

    Justice Dept. Seeks Overhaul of Ferguson Police over Systemic Racial Bias

  82. Elaine M. says:

    Ferguson’s True Criminals
    The city’s police, city, and courts unjustly targeted blacks with a violation of their most basic rights.
    By Jamelle Bouie
    3/4/15
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/03/justice_department_report_exposes_ferguson_s_discrimination_against_blacks.html

    Excerpt:
    t every point in the drama of Ferguson, Missouri, from the first protests to the final fires, Americans have argued about the character of the personalities involved. Was Michael Brown a thug or an ordinary kid? Was Darren Wilson a racist, or was he just trying to do his job? In each case, the hope was that you could justify your “side” with the right answer. If Brown was just a criminal, then his death wasn’t a tragedy, and the protests don’t mean anything. If Wilson is a racist, then the community is righteous, and their anger is just.

    As it stands, we have good evidence that Brown committed criminal acts, as well as a firm conclusion from the Justice Department that there aren’t sufficient facts to support a criminal indictment against Wilson and that the officer is neither guilty of a civil rights violation nor culpable under federal law. As far as the state goes, the evidence shows that he did what he had to do.

    But this conclusion shouldn’t lead anyone to dismiss the discord in Ferguson, which was fueled by stronger forces than Brown’s death. The reason it happened as it did—the reason the anger spilled into protests and rioting—is because of a long history of police mistreatment and unfairness. Journalists covered much of this in the weeks and months after the August protests. But a new review from the Justice Department goes beyond what we know to expand on the Ferguson police practices. The department didn’t just discriminate against black Americans; it targeted them for fines and fees and knowingly violated their constitutional rights…

    *

    When I was in Ferguson, I talked to white residents who were baffled by the anger of their black neighbors. What was so bad about the city? they asked. Why are you so upset?

    It’s not hard to grok. In Ferguson, if you are black, you live in the shadow of lawlessness and plunder, directed by city officials and enforced by the police. You work, and you pay taxes, and those taxes go to fund a system that stops you, arrests you, and steals from you.

    Which is all to say that we shouldn’t ask why Ferguson rioted. We should ask why it didn’t happen sooner.

  83. eniobob says:

    Mike:
    I don’t know why but just reading your post,this place in time flashed into my head and the whole visual of the change of heart,not trying to make any point but again I just had this thought.

    ” Many blacks were among those mourning a man who, at his first inauguration in 1963, had vowed “segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” and later stood in a doorway at the University of Alabama to prevent two black students from enrolling.

    In the years after he was shot in 1972, Wallace renounced his segregationist views, began reaching out to black voters and appointed African Americans to state positions. ”

    http://edition.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1998/09/16/wallace.02/

  84. Bob Kauten says:

    This is a “show of hands” article.
    As in “How many of you think that black lives matter in Ferguson? Raise your hand.”
    We can argue forcefully about this issue, but it’s always the same people who deny any racial problems in Ferguson.
    I knew who’d be protesting.

  85. eniobob says:

    “eniobob says:
    March 4, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    “How Much Do Black Lives Matter in Ferguson, Missouri?: ”

    if it were only Ferguson, Missouri:”

    “It was billed as an investigation of the Ferguson Police Department. But a hard-hitting report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Justice also reads as an indictment of cities and towns across the St. Louis region.

    The report implicates at least four other municipalities in alleged misconduct or questionable behavior. And as the Justice Department itself acknowledged, many of the conditions described in the report could have been written about any number of the 90 municipalities in St. Louis County.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/05/ferguson-justice-department-report_n_6810766.html

  86. Bob Kauten says:

    From Andy Borowitz:

    Ferguson police chief: “Any officers displaying insensitivity towards the minority community will not be allowed to drive the tank.”

  87. blouise says:

    Rome is burning no matter how loudly the lyre players strum the strings.

    (gbk. 😉 )

  88. Mike Spindell says:

    Eniobob,

    If you remember back in the days of Selma the rumor was that Wallace was nowhere near the racist he purported to be, yet he played it for political gain.

  89. Slartibartfast says:

    Bob,

    Mr. Wilson was shielded from indictment by a biased prosecutor, allowed to resign from a job from which he should have been fired for cause and and I’m sure will be ably represented in civil court. None of this has “ruined his life” (your prior comments would seem to support a civil judgement if a jury so decides, so if his life is ruined in that manner I assume you would agree that it was justified).

    On the other hand, Mr. Brown is still dead and you do not now and have never given a damn about his rights. Would you be so dismissive if someone killed one of your loved ones and not faced any consequences as a result of their action. Don’t bother answering, that was rhetorical too.

  90. Harvey says:

    Life ruined? There are plenty of bigots that will offer Wilson a job. Additionally, he does not have any problem paying his bills. He got plenty from crowdfunding sources.

  91. eniobob says:

    Mike:
    Just think all the political assasinations in those days were** ALL TELEVISED**Kennedey Brothers,Wallace and Dr King after still being seen laying on that balconey.

    • Mike Spindell says:

      Eniobob,

      Yes there was always film footage to show the nation. I believe that the Kennedy’s, King, Wallace and Malcolm X were conspiracies and who knows how many more. We are familiar with past history like Caesar, the Borgia rise to power and too many more to relate, but we assume that “modern” humans are somehow above that. I don’t think that assumption is valid. Our government admits to a program of assassinating “terrorist” leaders proudly as if it is a great moral accomplishment. One groups “terrorist” is another group’s hero. Whose to say if other convenient assassinations are carried out in the name of national security? I understand that is a cynical point of view but for a generally optimistic person like myself, when it comes to “politics” I’m a confirmed cynic.

  92. Elaine M. says:

    Ferguson police chief mum on federal report
    3/6/15
    http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/05/us/ferguson-police-chief/

    Excerpt:
    Ferguson, Missouri (CNN)Ferguson’s police chief is ducking questions about his department and his future there in the wake of a scathing federal report.

    “I need to have time to really analyze this report so I can comment on it,” Chief Tom Jackson said Thursday in an exclusive interview with CNN.

    He spoke one day after the Justice Department released its 102-page report, which found rampant racism within the Ferguson Police Department.

    It specifically faulted officers for seeing residents as “sources of revenue,” a practice that disproportionately targeted African-Americans.

    When asked what he thought about the report, and what he planned to do about it, the chief said he would “take action as necessary.”

    *****

    Jackson has to analyze the report because he didn’t know what was going on in his police department????? If he is going to “take action as necessary,” he should fire himself.

  93. Elaine M. says:

    The Gangsters of Ferguson
    Darren Wilson was innocent. If only the city’s cops offered their own citizens the same due process he received.
    TA-NEHISI COATES
    MAR 5 2015
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/03/The-Gangsters-Of-Ferguson/386893/

    Excerpt:
    The “focus on revenue” was almost wholly a focus on black people as revenue. Black people in Ferguson were twice as likely to be searched during a stop, twice as likely to receive a citation when stopped, and twice as likely to be arrested during the stop, and yet were 26 percent less likely to be found with contraband. Black people were more likely to see a single incident turn into multiple citations. The disparity in outcomes remained “even after regression analysis is used to control for non-race-based variables.”

    One should understand that the Justice Department did not simply find indirect evidence of unintentionally racist practices which harm black people, but “discriminatory intent”—that is to say willful racism aimed to generate cash. Justice in Ferguson is not a matter of “racism without racists,” but racism with racists so secure, so proud, so brazen that they used their government emails to flaunt it.

    The emails including “jokes” depicting President Obama as a chimp, mocking how black people talk (“I be so glad that dis be my last child support payment!”), depicting blacks as criminals, welfare recipients, unemployed, lazy, and having “no frigging clue who their Daddies are.” This humor—given the imprimatur of government email—resulted in neither reprimand, nor protest, nor even a polite request to refrain from reoffending. “Instead,” according to the report, “the emails were usually forwarded along to others.”

    One should resist the urge to clutch pearls and carp about the “mean people” of Ferguson. Bigoted jokes are never really jokes at all, so much as a tool by which one sanctifies plunder. If black people in Ferguson are the 47 percent—a class of takers, of immoral reprobates, driving up crime while driving down quality of life—then why should they not be “the sources of revenue?” In this way a racist “joke” transfigures raw pillage into legal taxation. The “joke” is in fact an entire worldview that reveals that the agents of plunder, the police, are in fact not plundering anyone at all. They are just making sure the reprobates pay their fair share.

    That is precisely what Ferguson’s officials told federal investigators:

    Several Ferguson officials told us during our investigation that it is a lack of “personal responsibility” among African-American members of the Ferguson community that causes African Americans to experience disproportionate harm under Ferguson’s approach to law enforcement. Our investigation suggests that this explanation is at odd with the facts.
    On the contrary the investigation “revealed African Americans making extraordinary efforts to pay off expensive tickets for minor, often unfairly charged, violations, despite systemic obstacles to resolving those tickets.” And while the investigation found no lack of “personal responsibility” among black residents of Ferguson, it did find that the very same people making the charge were often busy expunging fines for their friends…

  94. Elaine M. says:

    Walking in Ferguson: If you’re black, it’s often against the law
    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-walking-black-ferguson-police-justice-report-20150305-story.html#page=1

    Excerpt:
    But according to the federal report, police have routinely used the law for another purpose — to fine and harass blacks. African Americans accounted for 95% of manner of walking along roadway charges from 2011 to 2013, according to the report.

    “We called it walking black,” said Kevin Seltzer, 30. “You would leave out of your house to go to the store and might not make it back.”

    “They’ll stalk you and stop you,” he said. “They will say, ‘Hey, what’s your name? Got any warrants? Why are you strolling through the neighborhood? Come here, you look suspicious.’”

    It was walking in a roadway that initiated the confrontation between Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson and 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9 — an event that ultimately sparked demonstrations across the country and prompted the Justice Department’s investigation of the Ferguson Police Department.

    Brown was returning with a friend from a convenience store on West Florissant Avenue when Wilson stopped him for walking in the street. They argued and Wilson shot Brown in front of the Canfield Green apartment complex where he lived.

    The Justice Department report found that citations for minor infractions, such as walking in the road, were all part of an effort by the city to increase revenue through fines. The municipal court can sentence a violator to up to three months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

    Spokesman Jeff Small said the city had no comment on allegations in the report that police abused or overused the charge to make money.

    Susan McGraugh, a law professor at St. Louis University, said “manner of walking” laws have some similarities to “stop and frisk” policies of police in New York City and other locales.

  95. Mike Spindell says:

    “Now the “how?” is your avoiding talking about the issue of this thread via distraction and the “what?” is that you refuse to acknowledge that you’ve read the second report which I linked.”

    “Still avoiding the main issue of Elaine’s post and this thread Nivico? Perhaps racial bias is to delicate a subject for you to discuss……or perhaps you have nothing valid to say?”

  96. Mike Spindell says:

    “The Justice Department report found that citations for minor infractions, such as walking in the road, were all part of an effort by the city to increase revenue through fines. The municipal court can sentence a violator to up to three months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

    Spokesman Jeff Small said the city had no comment on allegations in the report that police abused or overused the charge to make money.

    Susan McGraugh, a law professor at St. Louis University, said “manner of walking” laws have some similarities to “stop and frisk” policies of police in New York City and other locales.”

    Elaine,

    Now what was it that Officer Wilson decided to stop Michael Brown for? Why it was walking in the middle of the street, jaywalking, which as we all know is a crime so heinous and destructive to public safety that it must be eradicated at all costs. Thank God for police like Officer Wilson who fearlessly protect us all and in addition bring so much revenue into our towns.

  97. Mike/eniobob,

    There is no doubt those killings were suspicious, but if conspiracy, they were conspiracies with different roots. Kennedy and MLK were likely done in by “external opposition” while the leading candidate for Malcolm was within his own organization. All power plays, but of different sorts.

  98. swarthmoremom says:

    http://www.wnd.com/2015/03/darren-wilson-free-at-last/ “But the real story of Ferguson is the entrenched bigotry that propelled a mob-like rush to judgment by journalists and race hustlers that ruined the life of an honest cop who did his duty and told the truth.

    In this version of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Darren Wilson is Tom Robinson – the victim of anti-white racism ……..” Sound familiar?

  99. Bob Stone says:

    Slarti: “May I assume that you are still in favor of jumping to the conclusion that Mr. Wilson was a choir boy when the available evidence now suggests that he and his fellow officers had a distinct tendency to act like jackbooted thugs? Or will you admit that the findings of the Justice department make what happened much more appalling since it now appears that a biased process was used to protect a member of a racially biased police force from a fair and just investigation?

    To me, this report would seem to imply that there was probable cause to indict Mr. Wilson by the Missouri statute since it would certainly allow a reasonable person to conclude a Ferguson police officer might have acted improperly.”

    Simply stupefying.

    I still don’t have the words…

  100. Slarti: “evidence now suggests that he and his fellow officers had a distinct tendency to act like jackbooted thugs?”
    You’re drawing a conclusion from an imagined correlation.

    Such specific evidence is completely absent from both the Grand Jury proceedings and the DOJ Report. If you want to confirm that no such evidence exists you’ll have to read both in full.
    Wilson is never specifically mentioned as being incriminated in the Ferguson PD report, so the guilt on his part is by association only. You can’t fault individuals in a group as being participants in acts without evidence that they participated those acts.
    If you could do that then every Ferguson protestor should be tried for the looting, vandalism, and arson perpetrated by individuals within that group.
    Wilson and the protestors are not the target of Class Action suits so you cannot try them as part of a group.

    You’re perpetrating the same practice of stereotyping that you are disgusted by without even realizing it.

  101. Bob Stone says:

    Mike: “Now what was it that Officer Wilson decided to stop Michael Brown for? Why it was walking in the middle of the street, jaywalking, which as we all know is a crime so heinous and destructive to public safety that it must be eradicated at all costs. Thank God for police like Officer Wilson who fearlessly protect us all and in addition bring so much revenue into our towns.”

    Well, so much for Mike’s version.

    As for the truth…

    Department of Justice:

    “The encounter between Wilson and Brown took place over an approximately two-minute period of time at about noon on August 9, 2014. Wilson was on duty and driving his department-issued Chevy Tahoe SUV westbound on Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Missouri when he saw Brown and his friend, Witness 101,2 walking eastbound in the middle of the street. Brown and Witness 101 had just come from Ferguson Market and Liquor (“Ferguson Market”), a nearby convenience store, where, at approximately 11:53 a.m., Brown stole several packages of cigarillos. As captured on the store’s surveillance video, when the store clerk tried to stop Brown, Brown used his physical size to stand over him and forcefully shove him away. As a result, an FPD dispatch call went out over the police radio for a “stealing in progress.” The dispatch recordings and Wilson’s radio transmissions establish that Wilson was aware of the theft and had a description of the suspects as he encountered Brown and Witness 101.

    As Wilson drove toward Brown and Witness 101, he told the two men to walk on the sidewalk. According to Wilson’s statement to prosecutors and investigators, he suspected that Brown and Witness 101 were involved in the incident at Ferguson Market based on the descriptions he heard on the radio and the cigarillos in Brown’s hands. Wilson then called for backup, stating, “Put me on Canfield with two and send me another car.” Wilson backed up his SUV and parked at an angle, blocking most of both lanes of traffic, and stopping Brown and Witness 101 from walking any further. Wilson attempted to open the driver’s door of the SUV to exit his vehicle, but as he swung it open, the door came into contact with Brown’s body and either rebounded closed or Brown pushed it closed.”

    • Mike Spindell says:

      Yes Bob,

      I’m aware of Wilson’s well coached testimony, but I’ll still note that you continue to ignore the subject of this thread. Now why is that?

  102. eniobob says:

    “As for the truth…”
    Seems as if we will never know.

  103. Bob Stone says:

    DumbScribblyUnctious: “You’re perpetrating the same practice of stereotyping that you are disgusted by without even realizing it.”

    DumbScribblyUnctious,

    Well said sir.

    Just like this:

    http://wonka.ytmnd.com/

  104. Bob Stone says:

    Mike: “I’m aware of Wilson’s well coached testimony”

    Sorry Mike,

    Your days of making shit up on this topic are over.

    “During Wilson’s interview with federal authorities, prosecutors and agents focused on whether he was consistent with his previous statements, the motivation for his actions, and his training and experience relative to when the use of deadly force is appropriate. Federal prosecutors challenged Wilson with specificity about why he stopped Brown and whether he was aware that Brown and Witness 101 were suspects in the Ferguson Market robbery. Similarly, prosecutors challenged Wilson about his decision to use deadly force inside the SUV, to chase after Brown, and to again use deadly force on Brown in the roadway. Wilson responded to those challenges in a credible manner, offering reasonable explanations to the questions posed.

    At the time of his interview, federal prosecutors and agents were aware of the autopsy, DNA, and ballistics results, as detailed below. Wilson’s account was consistent with those results, and consistent with the accounts of other independent eyewitnesses, whose accounts were also consistent with the physical evidence. Wilson’s statements were consistent with each other in all material ways, and would not be subject to effective impeachment for inconsistencies or deviation from the physical evidence. Therefore, in analyzing all of the evidence, federal prosecutors found Wilson’s account to be credible.”

  105. Mike Spindell says:

    Bob,

    Sometimes i can’t believe how you can be so perceptive on some things and yet so naive about other.

    Also I notice that despite your many comments on this thread you have never once discussed this thread’s topic.

  106. Elaine M. says:

    Ferguson judge behind aggressive fines policy owes $170,000 in unpaid taxes
    Ronald J Brockmeyer, who is accused of fixing traffic tickets for himself and associates, was a driving force behind using fines and fees to generate revenue
    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/06/ferguson-judge-owes-unpaid-taxes-ronald-brockmeyer

    Excerpt:
    The judge in Ferguson, Missouri, who is accused of fixing traffic tickets for himself and colleagues while inflicting a punishing regime of fines and fees on the city’s residents, also owes more than $170,000 in unpaid taxes.

    Ronald J Brockmeyer, whose court allegedly jailed impoverished defendants unable to pay fines of a few hundred dollars, has a string of outstanding debts to the US government dating back to 2007, according to tax filings obtained by the Guardian from authorities in Missouri.

    Brockmeyer, 70, was this week singled out by Department of Justice investigators as being a driving force behind Ferguson’s strategy of using its municipal court to aggressively generate revenues. The policy has been blamed for a breakdown in relations between the city’s overwhelmingly white authorities and residents, two-thirds of whom are African American.

    Investigators found Brockmeyer had boasted of creating a range of new court fees, “many of which are widely considered abusive and may be unlawful”. A city councilman opposing the judge’s reappointment was warned “switching judges would/could lead to loss of revenue”.

  107. Slartibartfast says:

    A friendly warning DSU: I don’t take kindly to people telling me what I am thinking. If you aren’t sure, and short of telepathy you really can’t be, then ask don’t state.

    DSU said

    Slarti: “evidence now suggests that he and his fellow officers had a distinct tendency to act like jackbooted thugs?

    You’re drawing a conclusion from an imagined correlation.

    No, I am not. You, however, are drawing a conclusion from your backside. Did you read this comment at the Fogbow? I assume you did since the very next comment on the thread is yours.

    The examples of behavior given there (and elsewhere) fit the definition of “jackbooted thug” in my opinion (the only thing that matters since we are discussing what I think), although I would not be opposed to call the Ferguson PD a bunch of “honey badgers” in deference to Bob’s sensibilities. If that’s not enough, there is the video of a Ferguson officer (alleged to be Mr. Wilson) attempting to prevent a person from videoing him in the person’s front yard that surfaced last fall.

    I believe that it is clear that there is something seriously wrong with the honey badgers of the Ferguson PD and if you believe that conclusion is based on “imagined correlation” (we wont get into what you meant by that bit of technobabble) rather than a rational evaluation of the facts of which I am aware, then you are sorely mistaken.

    You are free to disagree with me and certainly free (and encouraged) to attack any of my arguments on their merits, but don’t presume you know what I’m thinking better than I do or think in your ignorance that my arguments aren’t rational or well thought out (although I certainly wouldn’t deny that they are not well expressed at times). I would also mention that there is much history to this debate of which you are likely unaware. In particular, my choice of language (especially inflammatory language) is often intended to illustrate the hypocrisy I see in Bob Stone’s choice of language. For instance the term “honey badger” was one that he has consistently used to smear Mr. Brown, urging a jump to conclusions in exactly the same manner which he decried in the case of Mr. Wilson. Before you jump all over the mote in my eye, you might do well to consider the size of the beam in Bob’s.

    Such specific evidence is completely absent from both the Grand Jury proceedings and the DOJ Report.

    Well, one of the DOJ reports, anyway. In any case, I am uninterested in the evidence regarding Mr. Wilson, but rather I am focused on the process used to collect, evaluate and and act on that evidence—a process which I believe was totally corrupt. I think that a truly just outcome of this whole affair probably would have been for Mr. Wilson to be fired for cause and then indicted (I believe there was probable cause to do so under Missouri law and clearly the Ferguson PD deserves no benefit of the doubt in these situations) where he likely would have been acquitted of wrongdoing (although he may have perjured himself as well). We’ll see what happens in the civil trial, but I suspect that a just outcome would be a large settlement against Mr. Wilson and the city of Ferguson as I believe that Michael Brown would be alive today (and likely in jail) had Mr. Wilson not been an incompetent member of a systemically racist police force.

    If you want to confirm that no such evidence exists you’ll have to read both in full.

    I’m willing to wager that nothing in either report contradicts the evidence and reasoning I’m using to support my argument. If you think I’m mistaken, you should probably make sure that you aren’t mistaken about what my argument is.

    Wilson is never specifically mentioned as being incriminated in the Ferguson PD report, so the guilt on his part is by association only.

    No, we have other evidence of Mr. Wilson’s character. The videotape I mentioned above, several egregious errors in judgement he made (unless he was a thug, in which case they make perfect sense), the fact that either Mr. Wilson or the Desk Sargent perjured themselves. It looks like a duck and it acts like a duck so it isn’t a big stretch to suspect that it is, in fact, a duck.

    You can’t fault individuals in a group as being participants in acts without evidence that they participated those acts.

    You seem to be under the very mistaken assumption that I am not basing my assessment of Mr. Wilson entirely on his own actions. He’s a bad apple in a barrel full of bad apples. I’m only observing correlation, not making assumptions as to causation.

    If you could do that then every Ferguson protestor should be tried for the looting, vandalism, and arson perpetrated by individuals within that group.

    You’re singing Bob’s song (I think you might owe him royalties for that). Unfortunately, your analogy falls flat since I’m not making the leap you accuse me of. Truthfully, your analogy doesn’t work even if I was, but I’m too lazy to deconstruct it.

    Wilson and the protestors are not the target of Class Action suits so you cannot try them as part of a group.

    Both Wilson and the Ferguson PD as a whole will face civil action in the case of Mr. Brown and could potentially face something bigger than a Class Action suit from the Justice Department. Clearly some action is necessary because the conduct of the department as a whole is unacceptable.

    You’re perpetrating the same practice of stereotyping that you are disgusted by without even realizing it.

    No, you are constructing elaborate straw men of my positions without even realizing it, so please don’t try to use them to baselessly smear me. I really don’t like that.

    DSU,

    I understand that you honestly believe the misinterpretations you made of my positions and you may have encountered people with seemingly similar views in the past who couldn’t defend them, but please don’t make the mistake of judging my arguments before you understand the basis for the conclusions I’m drawing. Anyone confident in the merits of their own positions should make sure they understand the reasoning of their opponents so that they can attack it effectively.

    And welcome to FFS too also. I’m always happy to see people from the Fogbow posting here.

  108. blouise says:

    “The judge in Ferguson, Missouri, who is accused of fixing traffic tickets for himself and colleagues while inflicting a punishing regime of fines and fees on the city’s residents, also owes more than $170,000 in unpaid taxes.”

    I bet these guys could just kill Wilson for bringing all this Federal attention to their little fiefdom. St Louis county ain’t ever goin’ to be the same for the white, political, power structure. Dumb ass Wilson shot the wrong guy. I love it!

  109. Slartibartfast says:

    Good point Blouise! I wonder if McCullough didn’t make matters much worse by not simply getting an indictment and trusting that the fix would be in for the trial. Clearly they didn’t feel the need for even the appearance of propriety and now they’re going to get a big dose of what they least want: transparency.

  110. blouise says:

    Slarti,

    McCullough made a lot of poor decisions but after 2 decades he was so used to business as usual that his mind was incapable of considering other possible consequences to the same old approach. He, the Governor, the Police Chief, the mayor, all the white power structure, were caught completely unawares by the power of 4 short words … Hands Up; Don’t Shoot.

    The World Wide Web invaded Ferguson and I don’t care how many tanks a power structure possesses, you can’t kill an idea that can be so vividly expressed in 4 short words and inspire all sorts of pictures.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/24851807/rams-mimic-ferguson-protestors-with-hands-up-dont-shoot-gesture

    The fools that make up the white political power base actually thought this was about Wilson. It was their fatal blind spot.

  111. blouise17 says:

    I’ll try again

  112. Slartibartfast says:

    Blouise,

    That’s right. The thing that Bob doesn’t get is that “Hands Up; Don’t Shoot.” doesn’t really have anything to do with Mr. Brown or his killer or what happened in that particular event anymore, but rather it is about fighting the kind of systemic corruption that the Justice Department found in Ferguson.

    Bob and those like him need to realize that an owner who doesn’t keep his dogs disciplined is the owner of bad dogs, and until they are willing to figuratively shoot their own dogs when they prove to be honey badgers and jack-booted thugs their position will remain a fundamentally hypocritical one.

    [edited to add: I deleted your first attempt at posting the image]

  113. Elaine M. says:

    2 Ferguson police officers resign in wake of FBI investigation, racist emails: reports
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-ferguson-police-20150306-story.html

    Excerpt:
    Ferguson city leaders will meet with Justice Department officials in about two weeks and provide a plan for improving the police force and the municipal court system, Knowles said.

    “They want to hear what we will do,” Knowles said. “We’re going to hopefully work out some sort of agreement and we’ll move forward.

    “We’ve got to come up with solutions now,” Knowles said.

    Some experts believe the first step toward a solution is change at the top.

    Larry Cunningham, professor and associate dean at St. John’s University School of Law in Queens, New York, said the removal of the chief is key to healing the racial wounds in the suburb.

    “He should absolutely not stay in office and should step down,” said Cunningham, a former prosecutor in Virginia and the Bronx. “The report details a widespread pattern and practice of abuse and discrimination and dysfunction. Because it is widespread and systemic throughout the entire police department, the buck stops at the top — the person in charge — and that’s the chief.”

  114. Elaine M. says:

    Some in Ferguson Who Are Part of Problem Are Asked to Help Solve It
    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/03/06/us/in-ferguson-some-who-are-part-of-problem-are-asked-to-be-part-of-solution.html?_r=1

    Excerpt:
    FERGUSON, Mo. — When Mayor James Knowles III announced Wednesday that one official had been fired and two others were under investigation in connection with racist emails, he said that the behavior was “in no way representative” of the city or its employees.

    On Thursday, however, a city spokesman revealed that the fired official was not a low-level officer but the city’s top court clerk, Mary Ann Twitty. In a court system that the Justice Department found was rife with constitutional violations, Ms. Twitty wielded power nearly on par with a judge. The emails uncovered by the Justice Department included a cartoon portraying President Obama as a chimpanzee and a joke about giving a black woman a crime-prevention award for having an abortion.

    They were circulated widely, Justice Department officials said, and no discipline has been announced for those who received the emails and said nothing.

    While Ms. Twitty was terminated, her involvement in the emails and their wide distribution illustrate how difficult fixing the Ferguson Police Department and municipal court will be when many city officials led, participated in or tolerated the most controversial practices uncovered by the Justice Department. Those city employees include the police chief who authorized arrests without probable cause; the municipal judge who adds new charges when people contest their citations, yet quietly got his own traffic ticket wiped away; and the city manager who was the force behind the financially driven policies that led to widespread discrimination.

  115. blouise says:

    Slarti,

    Locke wrote: “A. collective idea is one idea. …many particular substances considered together, as united into one idea … ” (AN ESSAY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING – 1690)

    That is the power of Hands Up; Don’t Shoot. There are many particular substances that make up the one idea but Wilson is not any of them. Wilson is not part of the idea, he is simply meant to hear it. His role is passive and that is what enrages the white power structure. They have been outgunned by an idea that carries no guns. That rage is their blind spot.

  116. eniobob says:

    Scott Walker now front and center:

    “Madison Police Chief Mike Koval told reporters that an officer responded to a disturbance around 6:30 p.m. local time and later forced his way into an apartment that the 19-year-old, who was also suspected of a recent battery, had gone into.

    Koval said that a struggle between the suspect and the officer ensued and the teen was fatally shot, according to a recording of the news conference published by broadcaster WKOW.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/07/wisconsin-police-shoot-black_n_6821524.html

  117. blouise17 says:

    eniobob,

    It’s always good to keep in mind the Police Chief’s initial responses to reporter’s questions. Just make a note:

    “Chief Koval said it’s not clear if Robinson had any sort of weapon.

    ?”Initial findings at the scene did not reflect a gun or anything of that nature that would have been used by the subject,” he said.

    When asked about the number of shots, Koval said he thinks it’s safe to say there was more than one shot fired.

    The officer was knocked down by a blow to the head. He was taken to the hospital, where he was expected to be treated and released.

    Koval said the first officer responded around 6:30 p.m. to call of a man dodging in and out of traffic.

    ?”Before we arrived, the call was updated by another complaintant who indicated that this same subject was responsible for a battery,” Koval said.

    The chief says the officer went to the apartment he thought the man had gone into, where he thought he heard a disturbance and forced entry to the apartment.

    “This same subject then assaulted my officer and in the context of mutual combat, the officer did draw his revolver and subsequently shot the subject,” Koval said”

    Thus far the shooting appears to be justified if the forensics confirms the policeman’s claims and if the dead man is the guy who was dodging in and out of traffic and the guy who committed the alleged battery. Hopefully there are witnesses other than police who can back up the officer’s claims because, of course, the other main witness is dead.

  118. Slarti: “I am uninterested in the evidence regarding Mr. Wilson”

    Then you should refrain from offering opinions regarding the contents of same documents that you have been unwilling to read. You’re still drawing conclusions that Wilson is complicit and participative with NO evidence to support that accusation.

    “I’m willing to wager that nothing in either report contradicts the evidence and reasoning I’m using to support my argument.”
    You would easily lose that wager. The shortest document available for you to read in summary is the DOJ report itself.

    You understand that correlation and causation are different, and even within your own posts you have neither. “Looks like a duck and quacks like a duck” Is not a valid argument for accusing a specific individual if you can’t support it directly with evidence.

    You are jumping to conclusions that are unsupported by evidence.
    Aside from the above I apologize for being excessively hostile.

  119. Mike Spindell says:

    “Slarti: “I am uninterested in the evidence regarding Mr. Wilson”

    “Then you should refrain from offering opinions regarding the contents of same documents that you have been unwilling to read. You’re still drawing conclusions that Wilson is complicit and participative with NO evidence to support that accusation.”

    DSU,

    Yuou seem to still be unaware that this thread is NOT about Wilson. That is why Slarti clearly stated that he is uninterested in the evidence regarding Wilson. As for telling him what he should and shouldn’t comment on, it doesn’t work that way around here. You for instance can comment on anything you want to and that is so, even though you have consistently tried to steer this thread off topic, towards the discussion YOU are more comfortable with. That is all well and good if that is your wont. I take it from your remarks that you feel that the DOJ observations regarding the law enforcement system in Ferguson are unsubstantiated and merely reflect coincidence. I find your position either a silly one, or possibly duplicitous, or even maybe an example of the psychological defense mechanism know as “denial”. Whatever it is, it seems to me that you simply do not want to accept that there is general prejudice against people of color in Ferguson, or in the rest of the country. Now I find that viewpoint counter-factual.

    “Aside from the above I apologize for being excessively hostile”

    Do you really DSU? Could it be that you have a hostile outlook in general, or is it that you enjoy engaging in verbal combat? If either is so, then you’ve come to the right place because at this point you have little idea of who you are dealing with. My own preference is to debate strongly but civilly, but admittedly unctuous people do at times arouse the primitive in me.

  120. Bob Stone says:

    DSU,

    I was kicked off a website called Ethics Alarms by a dishonest blogger desiring to silence me using the “off topic” allegation. The topic was “Big Lies Die Hard”

    http://ethicsalarms.com/2015/02/07/big-lies-die-hard/

    In it, the author stated that those who claimed Bush stole the election or that Bush v. Gore was anything but a legitimate decision was a “Big Lie.”

    When I challenged him on his limited knowledge of the case, he became frustrated and accused me of being “off topic” — all while repeating without reason why he was correct and I was wrong.

    Since the DOJ report on the Ferguson PD would not exist but for the false accusations against Wilson and the false narratives that followed; e.g. “hands up, don’t shoot.” or “Black lives matter”
    You are most certainly ON TOPIC sir — especially since you directly addressed Slarti’s faulty reasoning.

  121. Elaine M. says:

    The focus of this post is the report on the DOJ investigation of the Ferguson police department and courts. I don’t have a problem with people going “off topic.” I DO find it interesting that a few people who have commented on this thread refuse to address the findings of the investigation…and only want to return again and again to the subject of Darren Wilson. America is not a “post racial” country. Black people are still discriminated against in many parts of the United States–including in Ferguson, Missouri. It seems that some people refuse to acknowledge that fact.

    • Bob Stone says:

      Elaine,
      I acknowledge that racism still exists in this country. The war on drugs; the prison industrial complex; the disenfranchising of blacks and minorities via drug related felony convictions to thin out the Democratic voter rolls, etc.

      What I object to here is your reliance on the Jamie Leigh Jones excuse for bad behavior.

      You cannot falsely accuse a man of a crime and then turn around and say because you achieved something from that false allegation that all your sins are forgotten.

  122. Mike Spindell says:

    “You are most certainly ON TOPIC sir — especially since you directly addressed Slarti’s faulty reasoning.”

    Bob,

    No he isn’t, but then as I’ve pointed out numerous times in this thread, neither are you. At least DSU has actually made some comments on the real topic of this thread, while you have declined to do so.

    As for your previously being kicked off another blog for straying off topic I can’t comment because I wasn’t aware of it. However, judging by your performance on this thread I must admit there is a possibility that you really were off topic.

    In any even you are one of the principal writers here, so I think we can be certain you won’t be kicked off.

  123. Elaine M. says:

    Bob,

    Where did I rely on someone’s excuse for bad behavior? Could you please point out where I did that?

    I see you still won’t address the findings of the DOJ Ferguson investigation. Do you think that racial bias exists in the Ferguson police department and courts? A simple yes or no will suffice as an answer.

  124. Bob Stone says:

    “Where did I rely on someone’s excuse for bad behavior? Could you please point out where I did that?”

    Apparently you don’t know the story of Jamie Leigh Jones and the legislation she inspired Al Franken to get passed via her false accusations of rape.

    Let’s try this hypothetical: Let’s say someone falsely accused you of abusing children and as a result you were crucified in the media. Subsequently your false accusers sued you civilly and your lawyer convinced you to settle the case for an undisclosed sum. If your false accusers then used that money to construct a day care center, would they be any less culpable for falsely accusing you of abusing children?

    The answer is categorically no.

  125. Bob Stone says:

    BTW,

    I don’t recall anyone alleging that Michael Brown was killed by traffic tickets or seven year old emails.

  126. Mike Spindell says:

    So did Jamie Leigh Jones murder someone? Interesting hypothetical, but as usual with this thread by you far afield of the topic

  127. Elaine M. says:

    Bob,

    What innocent person did I accuse of doing something illegal/unlawful/criminal? I DO know the story of Jamie Leigh Jones. That case has no bearing on what I wrote in my post or in my comments. BTW, you didn’t point out where I did what you said I did. Did you falsely accuse me of doing something I didn’t do?

    • Bob Stone says:

      My apologies Elaine. You were obviously being fair and balanced by doing things like associating Wilson with the KKK while claiming his killing Brown was racially motivated and unjustified.

      My mistake.

  128. Elaine M. says:

    Bob,

    Did I claim that Wilson’s killing of Brown was racially motivated? Can you point out where I did that?

  129. Bob Stone says:

    As early as August 28th:

    “The Killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and John Crawford III: It’s Not about Race…It’s Never about Race!”

  130. Elaine M. says:

    Bob,

    What did I write in that post about Darren Wilson’s killing of Michael Brown being racially motivated?

    *****

    Elaine M. says:
    November 15, 2014 at 8:47 pm
    It was history and knowledge of what goes on/has gone on in this country that led Mike and others of us to think that race may have played a part in the shooting of Michael Brown. Those who claim we are a mob/grievance syndicate have closed their minds to the thought that race may have played a part in the officer-involved shooting of an unarmed black teenager.

    https://flowersforsocrates.com/2014/11/14/st-louis-post-dispatch-releases-wilsons-radio-communications-and-police-station-video/#comment-20739

    *****

    Did I say I thought that race MAY have played a part in Michael Brown’s killing? Yes. Did I say for sure that I knew it had? No. I don’t think anyone can know for sure whether or not race played a part in Brown’s killing. I know that you are sure that race was never a part of the whole sad story.

  131. Slartibartfast says:

    DSU said:

    Slarti: “I am uninterested in the evidence regarding Mr. Wilson”

    Then you should refrain from offering opinions regarding the contents of same documents that you have been unwilling to read.

    First off, I didn’t offer opinions regarding documents, I made conclusions based on evidence which included my understanding of what is in the documents (from the discussion and quotes I have seen). My conclusions regarded topics and contexts about which you seem to be ignorant, so by your own reasoning, your comment is inappropriate. However, even if your objection had merit, it would still be out of line. I can offer my opinion about anything I want. If you can attack my opinion on its merits (i.e. understanding and accepting what I think my argument means and showing that meaning to be flawed) and convince people that you’re right, then more power to you, but I’m pretty confident that wont happen and it certainly wont if you keep trying to put words in my mouth or forbid me to opine on certain subjects.

    If you want to disagree with me, I suggest you be specific regarding what I said that you think is wrong, because I’m guessing you’ve made a whole boatload of bad assumptions about me and will consequently be unable to understand my reasoning. I don’t think you want to hand me that advantage, as I’m pretty sure I’ve got you pretty much pegged (there must be something about this in The Art of War)..

    You’re still drawing conclusions that Wilson is complicit and participative with NO evidence to support that accusation.

    Bull-fucking-shit.

    Let me say that again: your statement is complete and utter bullshit.

    My conclusion* was that, in light of EVIDENCE such as the video that was allegedly of Mr. Wilson, the fact that either he or the sergeant perjured themselves and the sergeant had nothing to gain thereby, and the DOJ report on the systemic racism in the Ferguson PD, a reasonable person could conclude that Mr. Wilson had acted improperly in the events which led to the killing of Mr. Brown.

    Why is this important? Because of the Missouri statute defining “probable cause”. (by the way, if you didn’t know that, then you are a hypocrite since it was critical information regarding the point I was commenting on) In other words, in retrospect it is clear that there was probable cause to indict Mr. Wilson had Mr. McCullough not decided to make sure the grand jury would return a “no bill”. Neither you nor Bob seem willing to comment on the evidence which now seems to support a finding of probable cause even if Mr. Wilson would almost certainly have been acquitted at trial.

    * I really should ask Mike or Blouise to explain my conclusion to demonstrate that others had no problems understanding exactly what I meant.

    [Slarti]: “I’m willing to wager that nothing in either report contradicts the evidence and reasoning I’m using to support my argument.

    You would easily lose that wager. The shortest document available for you to read in summary is the DOJ report itself.

    Once again, you have no idea what you are talking about. Listen, as I implied above, I understand the arguments you are trying to make—I just disagree with them. You, however, seem to feel no need to understand my argument before opining on its merits. Once again showing yourself to be a flaming hypocrite—not to mention a shitty gambler.

    You understand that correlation and causation are different, and even within your own posts you have neither. “Looks like a duck and quacks like a duck” Is not a valid argument for accusing a specific individual if you can’t support it directly with evidence.

    You are an idiot. Sorry, that was harsh, but honestly? Here’s the quote:

    No, we have other evidence of Mr. Wilson’s character. The videotape [sic] I mentioned above, several egregious errors in judgement he made (unless he was a thug, in which case they make perfect sense), the fact that either Mr. Wilson or the Desk Sargent perjured themselves. It looks like a duck and it acts like a duck so it isn’t a big stretch to suspect that it is, in fact, a duck.

    For the analogically handicapped:

    (looks like a duck) = video
    (acts like a duck) = errors in judgement
    (bonus evidence) = perjury

    (being a duck) = (Mr. Wilson’s character is similar to that of the officers responsible for the incidents in the DoJ reports)

    Clearly (and I mean that literally), your comment was idiotic or dishonest. Maybe you could either explain which or just apologize.

    You are jumping to conclusions that are unsupported by evidence.

    No, I’m not. But you seem to have done a fine job of it all by yourself. Here’s a rule of thumb: if you think my argument is easily refuted or ridiculous, you probably don’t understand it. PRO TIP: next time you want to claim that one of my conclusions is unsupported by evidence, then you should be able to quote my assertion, paraphrase it to show that you understand** and (and I can’t stress this enough) MAKE SURE I HAVEN’T MENTIONED THE EVIDENCE SUPPORTING IT. Otherwise you’ll end up with egg on your face. Again.

    ** I only suggest that because it is pretty obvious that either your reading comprehension skills are poor or you’re not applying them.

    Aside from the above I apologize for being excessively hostile.

    Oh, I don’t mind the hostility (I give as good as I get), I just mind your predilection for truthiness, your knee-jerk judgements, and your penchant for hypocrisy. If you can show me anything I’ve said here (or elsewhere) and explain why it wasn’t justified then I will be happy to truly and sincerely apologize for it.

    DSU,

    Until you find an interest in how your narrow bits of knowledge fit into the context of the discussion then I would suggest that you have no business complaining about other people ignoring irrelevant facts.

    Just sayin’

  132. Slarti:
    “(looks like a duck) = video”
    That video was uploaded 2 months after events in the Michael Brown case. It also was uploaded 14 months after the report involving the individual who supplied the video (thus giving him history with Wilson and motive to produce such a video). Beyond the above making the video nothing more than allegedly Wilson, it also does not contain any dialogue to indicate that the person filming is being targeted because of their race. The dialogue does incriminate the person being filmed as giving instructions in violation of the civil rights of the person filming. So the video supports the description of “jack-booted thug” being accurate to the person being filmed. Without evidence that the individual being filmed is in fact Wilson it’s not a credible reference.

    “(acts like a duck) = errors in judgement”
    List them specifically. Again, you haven’t read the contents of the case so you’ll have to do some reading.

    “(bonus evidence) = perjury”
    Which you also would have to find by reading the contents of the case. And since the DOJ also concluded that Wilson’s claims material to the case were supported by physical evidence this portion of your “evidence” also lacks support.

    I still urge you to read the DOJ report. It’s only 86 pages and does an excellent job of summarizing the evidence and the witnesses. Per their report they found 24 members of the witness pool to have such poor credibility that their claims relevant to the case would not have been useful for prosecution. All of those witnesses that provided testimony are included with the DOJ witness number cross references in my testimony summary chart.

  133. Slartibartfast says:

    Jeebus Chris! Didn’t anyone ever tell you to stop digging when you find yourself in a hole?

    You accused me of making an assertion without supporting evidence via my analogy using the “duck principle”. You would think, when making such an allegation, you would check to be sure that I hadn’t given any evidence to support my claim (i.e. that there was evidence to support your claim). Perhaps you did your due diligence and it was merely gross incompetence that led you to miss that very evidence you were claiming didn’t exist immediately before and obviously connected to my analogy. Perhaps you feel that hypocrisy is justified so long as the perpetrator is on your side. Whatever. Yeah, it’s a little embarrassing, but a simple “sorry, my bad” does the trick and probably earns you some respect as well. Everything’s taken care of and maybe you can go on to try and understand the argument I’m making before making up your mind as to whether it is right or wrong instead of the other way around and we all get flying unicorns that fart rainbows.

    But Noooooo! Dumb (you don’t mind if I call you Dumb, do you?) decides to make specious and hypocritical arguments about the merits of the evidence that he claimed didn’t exist. That’s a pretty spectacular fail. Doubling down on the hypocrisy and the idiocy at the same time. Seriously, Dumb, you’ve bought yourself an irritating task (I’m guessing that responding to this sort of comment isn’t what you’d consider fun) and reduced your own credibility in the eyes of the readers while gaining exactly nothing in return.

    Well played, Dumb. Sun Tzu would be proud. There’s a quote in my signature over at the Fogbow: “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Now, I’ve been adopting a strategy of ridicule without much in the way of tactics because I like to play with my food. My assessment of you, on the other hand, is that you saw something that you perceived as a flaw in my argument and fixated on the tactic of attacking that supposed weak spot. Your strategy, however, was about as detailed as the Underpants Gnomes’ business plan. Do you think this encounter is going to be an exception to Sun Tzu’s aphorism?

    I get it, Dumb, you figured you were going after easy prey—a small wounded fish just sitting there wriggling. Completely understandable. The thing you should have asked your self was how was it wounded?, which might have made you pay attention to the hook (that’s the thing protruding through your jaw, in case you’re wondering).

    Okay Dumb, I’m hitting you over the head for a reason. Compared to me, you are dumb. There’s no shame in that—there are many people (some of whom post here) to whom I am dumb in comparison. There’s always someone smarter than you. And I’m not trying to blow my own horn, I’m just a pretty smart guy. The thing is that you’ve been treating me like I’m an idiot. That kind of pisses me off (not too badly, but enough that I’m not just letting it pass). Basically, that’s really dumb, Dumb. You might want to rethink that strategy if you don’t want people to think you are dumb.

    I hope I’ve proved my point, but if you still want to treat me like you think I’m an idiot I’ve got plenty more snark ready to go.

    On to your “rebuttal”…

    First off, the question at bar is whether or not a reasonable person could conclude that Mr. Wilson committed a crime. That is how Missouri defines “probable cause”. If you think that I was addressing any other question then you are simply wrong and now you know better, right?

    Slarti:
    (looks like a duck) = video
    That video was uploaded 2 months after events in the Michael Brown case.

    So what, we’re talking about what we know now, not determinations made in the past with incomplete information. Not to mention the fact that refusing to consider additional relevant information is completely hypocritical given your claim that I need to consider irrelevant information.

    It also was uploaded 14 months after the report involving the individual who supplied the video (thus giving him history with Wilson and motive to produce such a video).

    Then am I to assume that you’ve never made the argument that the grand jury should have been shown all of the evidence? Otherwise, that would be a bit hypocritical, wouldn’t it?

    Beyond the above making the video nothing more than allegedly Wilson,

    Yeah, those jack-booted thugs all look alike, don’t they? Hmm… do you think that they might act alike as well?

    it also does not contain any dialogue to indicate that the person filming is being targeted because of their race.

    Because racists always announce that they are being racist? Do you think that the KKK just happens to target African Americans randomly?

    The dialogue does incriminate the person being filmed as giving instructions in violation of the civil rights of the person filming.

    At the very least, it corroborates the DoJ report, if it truly is Mr. Wilson, then it shows him to be a typical member of the Ferguson PD.

    So the video supports the description of “jack-booted thug” being accurate to the person being filmed.

    And thus whether it is Mr. Wilson or not (do you think he’ll be asked that in civil court? I do) it helps paint a picture of systemic bias and abuse.

    Without evidence that the individual being filmed is in fact Wilson it’s not a credible reference.

    Isn’t that for a trier of fact to determine? Or is this another instance where one gets a pass as long as they agree with you?

    (acts like a duck) = errors in judgement

    List them specifically. Again, you haven’t read the contents of the case so you’ll have to do some reading.

    Sorry, but I already have. Now there’s no reason you should know that, but a smart person would have gotten the lay of the land before making idiotic assertions. Let’s make this an exercise for the student: What did Mr. Wilson do wrong? Once you tell me where you think this honey badger and alleged jack-booted thug made mistakes (or that you find his behavior throughout to be a textbook example and endorse the implication that Mr. Brown deserved to die that day) I will explain where I think he went wrong.

    (bonus evidence) = perjury

    Which you also would have to find by reading the contents of the case.

    Okay, smart guy, then how do I know about it?

    I’m not sure what you meant here, but this statement is ridiculous on its face.

    And since the DOJ also concluded that Wilson’s claims material to the case were supported by physical evidence this portion of your “evidence” also lacks support.

    The DoJ’s conclusions would be significant before a trier of fact, not a grand jury (who I don’t think would need to have been shown such a report, had it existed at the time). Furthermore, that doesn’t change the fact that SOMEONE was guilty of perjury and Mr. Wilson was the only one with a motive. I’m thinking that you might want to consider that it might not be me that is lacking in support.

    I still urge you to read the DOJ report. It’s only 86 pages and does an excellent job of summarizing the evidence and the witnesses.

    I urge you to spend 10 years in the graduate study of mathematics, 5 years in postdoctoral research and 5 more years trying to commercialize your research. It really hones your critical thinking skills. Do you think that’s going to happen? It doesn’t matter if Jesus himself were on the witness list saying “hands up; don’t shoot” and the crime scene had better video coverage of Mr. Wilson firing at Mr. Brown’s back than an NFL cornerback tackling a wide receiver in the end zone in the Super Bowl if Mr. McCullough was determined not to bring home an indictment. Alternately, you could read the story and the comments on this thread and try to figure out what this discussion is about. Remember, it’s better to be silent and be thought a fool…

    Per their report they found 24 members of the witness pool to have such poor credibility that their claims relevant to the case would not have been useful for prosecution.

    Which is why, in a trial, Mr. Wilson would have most likely been found not guilty. It doesn’t, however, remove the need for a trier of fact to make such decisions or, in the absence of that, effect a determination of probable cause.

    All of those witnesses that provided testimony are included with the DOJ witness number cross references in my testimony summary chart.

    Yeah, I’ve seen your chart. I’ve followed the thread on the Fogbow. It is simply not relevant to the point I am making—I know this because I paid attention to what you said and understand your position. Your lack of understanding of my argument and myopic focus on a single leaf on a single tree in a discussion about the forest, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to serve you nearly as well.

    Let me see if I can simplify this for you. What does your chart tell you about Mr. McCullough’s integrity? (HINT: Nothing.) If it can’t tell you anything about that, then why is it relevant to this conversation at all? (HINT: It’s not.)

  134. Slartibartfast says:

    Bob said:

    DSU,

    I was kicked off a website called Ethics Alarms by a dishonest blogger desiring to silence me using the “off topic” allegation. The topic was “Big Lies Die Hard”

    In it, the author stated that those who claimed Bush stole the election or that Bush v. Gore was anything but a legitimate decision was a “Big Lie.”

    When I challenged him on his limited knowledge of the case, he became frustrated and accused me of being “off topic” — all while repeating without reason why he was correct and I was wrong.

    And this story is relevant how?

    Since the DOJ report on the Ferguson PD would not exist but for the false accusations against Wilson and the false narratives that followed; e.g. “hands up, don’t shoot.” or “Black lives matter”
    You are most certainly ON TOPIC sir — especially since you directly addressed Slarti’s faulty reasoning.

    First I’m going to ask if you understood what Blouise and I were talking about, because she’s laughing her ass off right about now. In other words, you are saying that the so-called “false narratives” resulted in evidence of systemic racial bias being produced and a whole bunch of wrongdoing on the part of the Ferguson PD (and the justice system as a whole) being uncovered. Can you please explain why that is a bad thing?

    After that you can read my last post and see who’s reasoning was faulty. While it is certainly Dumb’s right to post off-topic (you and I certainly know a thing or two about off-topic discussions), the idea that a myopic focus on the physical evidence and witness testimony is germane, much less central to a discussion about the value of black lives in Ferguson is ridiculous. If you don’t understand why the question of probable cause given all of the evidence is relevant, then I suggest you consider the rights of Mr. Brown.

    Hands Up; Don’t Shoot!

    Isn’t it wonderful how galling this must be to the corrupt members of the Ferguson PD who just wanted to continue keeping the darkies in their place, Bob? Don’t you just love the irony?

    Or must we ignore a nest of honey badgers and jack-booted thugs lest someone say something mean about Mr. Wilson on TV?

    • bigfatmike says:

      “Since the DOJ report on the Ferguson PD would not exist but for the false accusations against Wilson and the false narratives that followed; e.g. “hands up, don’t shoot.” or “Black lives matter””

      It seems to me the report put an end to meaningful discussion of Wilson when it concluded that there is not evidence sufficient to charge Wilson with a crime. What ever Wilson did on that day, he is now beyond our reach.

      The claim that any discussion of overt racism in Ferguson much include discussion of Wilson strikes me as analogous to a claim that any discussion of the internet must include discussion of the Clovis point technology that started it all. Why?

      How, exactly, does discussion of Wilson and lack of evidence to indict him illuminate years of overt racism in Ferguson? I think the only reasonable answer to that question is that it does not. At this point Wilson is a distraction from the important subject of racism in Ferguson – which might be exactly what some commenters wish. But then again distraction and evasion has been hallmarks of the techniques used by some who supported Wilson in this thread.

    • Mike Spindell says:

      “Since the DOJ report on the Ferguson PD would not exist but for the false accusations against Wilson and the false narratives that followed; e.g. “hands up, don’t shoot.” or “Black lives matter”
      You are most certainly ON TOPIC sir — especially since you directly addressed Slarti’s faulty reasoning.”

      Bob,

      Forgive me for piling on, but the logic in your quote above is simply non-existent and shows why when it comes to this case your pre-judgments have somehow fogged your extremely logical and prescient mind. You wrote above:

      “Elaine,
      I acknowledge that racism still exists in this country. The war on drugs; the prison industrial complex; the disenfranchising of blacks and minorities via drug related felony convictions to thin out the Democratic voter rolls, etc.”

      Well finally after all this time you’ve responded with a statement that clarifies what I already knew about you. You are not a racist and you do have some understanding of the issues Black people face in this country. Here’s where I think you go off the rails. You have admitted to having a sensitivity to the working conditions of police officers. Also you have shared that not only do you have a youthful memory of a Cop that aided you, but also friends who became policeman. So it is fair to say that you are predisposed to look on the police from a benign perspective. This indeed is a summary of your opening narrative in your “Dog” series. Given that, your belief was that Officer Wilson was being given a bad rap, that there was a rush to judgment as to his guilt and that those who took the streets in Ferguson were in effect a lynch mob. I think that represents your position fairly.

      Now to my mind here is where you went wrong. Let us say that for the sake simply of discussion that Wilson behaved not only legally, but admirably, what you fail to perceive is that it changes nothing in the sad history of the Ferguson story, a fact which many of us here have been trying to impress you with to no avail. The reason it changes nothing is this. The DOJ report detailing the history of mistreatment and corruption with regard to Black people in Ferguson tells of citizens who have been stretched to their limits by a constant pattern of police abuse. The Brown shooting was merely the culmination of years of abusive behavior that finally caused these oppressed citizens to finally demonstrate their despair and their anger. So even if Wilson was an innocent victim of that anger, it was built upon many years of abuse and of guilty behavior, by police, courts and local authorities. Those you so blithely characterized as a mob had finally had enough and chose to express their displeasure. They were victims of the ongoing racism you acknowledge and at what point do citizens denied legal redress begin to work outside the system that denies that redress?

      My arguments all along in our numerous Ferguson discussions here follow that line. From the beginning I was always more interested in the systemic problems, rather than Wilson’s fate. Early on I specified that. Now since you are familiar with my writing through the years, then you know that police brutality, the unfair legal system that falls heavily on people of color and racism in general, are among the topics I’m most interested in. Those writings started long before Ferguson hit the news. When it did hit, then I saw it as an opportunity to again cast light on the American problem of racism and institutional racism. I also said early on, that I doubted that Wilson would be indicted and if indicted that he would be found guilty at trial. This wasn’t prescience on my part, merely an understanding of past history in this particular type of situation. Amadeu Diallo, Rodney King and a host of other names from the past easily come to mind.

      At this point no doubt you want to castigate me for calling Wilson a murderer, killer etc. as evidence that I was treating him unfairly. Bob my words had no effect on Wilson’s case, since I’m insignificant in the scheme of things. They did have the intended effect of you though because they angered you. What you failed to see was that sometimes when I am faced with what I find to be uncalled for aspersions cast upon people and their motives, in argument I respond in a way to show the “aspersion caster”, you in this case, the nature of their error. From the beginning in your “mob” characterization you acted as if the people of Ferguson had nothing to complain about and were thus a “Mob” etc. .My response was to do exactly the same thing back at you and see how you like it, you didn’t, but yet you didn’t get the message.

      Now as far as the DOJ “exonerating” Wilson there are other perspectives to view what happened. The first is political. After doing an investigation that found some shocking things about the legal situation in Ferguson, politically it was more important for Ferguson and for the country to get that out. Rehashing Wilson’s guilt, or retrying him under Federal Civil Rights statutes would be problematic and distract from the far more essential issue…a pattern of racist behavior by the legal authorities.

      Secondly, the forensic reports were in. An effort to retry Wilson’s guilt or innocence would require attacking the “forensics” by redoing them more than a year later. A dim prospect, so back to perspective one.

      However, before you go “Hah! I got you, you were trying to convict an innocent man!”, think again to my writing through the years. Bob I think most of what we see as forensics is bullshit and simply not scientifically proven, with the exception of DNA and even DNA’s assumption of uniqueness has had its exceptions. Blood spatter, fingerprints, forensic dentistry, gunshot residue are evidence that all requires “expert” testimony. Even the “science” of forensic pathology shows clearly that different “experts” see different results in the same case. This doesn’t even call into account individual corruption by the forensic examiner and by the police. The most famous and renowned forensic institution in our country, the FBI Crime Lab, has had scandals showing extreme patterns of misbehavior by their staff. As for those performing forensics in the Brown case I think there is some cause to believe their judgments may well have been colored by political motivations.

      Finally, let’s return to Officer Wilson. Giving him the benefit of the doubt he is still guilty of making a minor situation into a major catastrophe. By his own admission he escalated a confrontation over a rather petty crime into a death. At worst Brown’s theft (if it was at play, which I doubt) was shoplifting. The “battery” shown on tape was his roughly brushing by the store clerk. If he had been caught, tried and convicted he would have faced a minimal sentence, of course if he were White in Ferguson, he probably would have been let off with probation. This type of crime does not deserve death and yet all too often it has come to that. I’ve written much about the militarization of the police and the inculcation of a mindset to see the public, especially the pigmented skinned public, as enemy combatants. Wilson at the least was impulsive and incompetent and he has no business being a police officer, even though it seems in FErguson he was merely behaving with the norm.

  135. Elaine M. says:

    Key grand jury witness resigns over black abortion joke: Darren Wilson’s supervisor exposed in DOJ report
    3/7/15
    http://www.stlamerican.com/news/local_news/article_5bdbef22-c4ed-11e4-b9e9-1b57f950f209.html

    Excerpt:By Chris King Of The St. Louis American
    The U.S. Department of Justice investigative report on the Ferguson Police Department released on March 4 put into new perspective a key police witness who testified to the St. Louis County Grand jury and federal investigators about Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s fatal shooting of Michael Brown Jr. on August 9.

    The DoJ review of emails provided by the Ferguson Police Department turned up a series of jokes about African Americans (including the president and first lady) that has led to one termination and two resignations.

    One of the two veteran Ferguson police commanders who resigned on Thursday, March 5, Sgt. William Mudd, was the first police supervisor on the scene at Canfield Drive following the fatal shooting on August 9 and the first person to speak to Wilson about the event.

    Mudd testified to the grand jury on September 16. The witness’ name is redacted in the transcripts provided to the public by St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch. However, the Ferguson police sergeant who testified to interviewing Wilson soon after the shooting also testified about his own role shooting and killing a threat at St. Louis County Courthouse in 1992, for which Mudd was awarded a Medal of Valor. Mudd also belatedly filled out an incident report about Wilson’s fatal shooting of Brown, which confirms this witness is Mudd.

    Sgt. Mudd resigned on Thursday, according to the Post-Dispatch, following his identification as the police commander responsible for emailing one of the jokes about black people circulated within the Ferguson Police Department. Mudd reportedly was responsible for emailing (in May 2011) a joke about CrimeStoppers paying a black woman to have an abortion. The DoJ noted that no one at the time was censured for circulating the racial jokes, which in fact tended to be forwarded to others approvingly.

    Mudd’s finding humor in this joke about a black woman’s abortion stopping crime puts into perspective his testimony before the grand jury on September 16. It also shows something about the mindset of the first police supervisor to arrive on the scene of an officer-involved shooting where the deceased was left lying on the pavement for four and a half hours while canines were deployed for crowd control.

    What Sgt. Mudd expected from Canfield Green residents when he arrived at the scene on August 9 comes up in his grand jury testimony. It is the first thing assistant prosecutor Sheila Whirley (who is black) wanted to talk about after taking over questioning from assistant prosecutor Kathi Alizadeh (who is white). It’s a puzzling exchange where – as often happened in these proceedings – the prosecutor presumes to speak for the police officer she is supposed to be questioning.

  136. Elaine M. says:

    Meet 3 Ferguson employees cited by DOJ for racism & corruption now in charge of cleaning up the city
    by Shaun King
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/06/1368959/-Meet-3-Ferguson-employees-cited-by-DOJ-for-racism-corruption-now-in-charge-of-cleaning-up-the-city

    Excerpt:
    In the scathing 105-page report on the Ferguson Police Department and municipal court system, hundreds of incidents of racism, corruption, cronyism, and discriminatory profiteering are detailed—with employees from the top to the bottom in Ferguson driving the system every day of the week. The report makes it clear that Ferguson’s government wasn’t made up of just a few bad apples, but that the entire system was completely infected. The primary symptom of that infection was the misery of black families in and around the city, frequently arrested without cause, confronted, harassed, and ticketed for “crimes” like jaywalking or simply sitting in their cars, forced to pay excessive fines or suffer jail time. Ferguson, with an almost exclusively white government but predominantly black population, looked and felt more like apartheid South Africa than modern-day America.
    In the picture above, you are looking at former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, two months before he killed Mike Brown, with his hands around Mary Ann Twitty, the top court clerk in Ferguson, who was cited in the DOJ report over and over and over again for racism and corruption. She was the first person fired by Ferguson Mayor James Knowles. While she dismissed tickets and citations for white judges and friends, she pushed and pushed for every penny of every fine to be paid by African Americans every chance she got. She sent flagrantly racist emails openly to her colleagues as if they all must have shared her beliefs.

    While it’s great that Mary Ann Twitty has been fired, she was not the exception in Ferguson, but the rule. Below the fold are at least three more Ferguson executives who are cited in the DOJ report for racism and corruption, who still remain on the job to somehow clean up the mess.

    *

    John Shaw, chief executive of Ferguson

    John Shaw runs Ferguson. As chief executive officer, he hires and fires whom he pleases. Not the mayor, but John Shaw, is king. Whatever Ferguson is or isn’t, falls in his lap. In the six months since Mike Brown was killed, have you ever heard of him? Me neither.

    Over and over again, Shaw is cited in the Ferguson report for being the primary driver of the system that over-criminalized black Ferguson residents for profit. While he actively engaged in conversations with the DOJ about how he would improve the system and pledged to make changes, he defiantly refused to actually to act on them.

    Hired in 2007, Shaw had been at the job for eight years and drove revenue up year after year on the backs of Ferguson’s black residents by any means necessary. No single person was more aware of how the Ferguson budget worked and why it worked that way than Shaw.

    The Ferguson we know today doesn’t exist in spite of him—he built it.

  137. blouise17 says:

    Even the Mayor, you know, the guy who is not convinced “that widespread problems exist” in spite of the DOJ report, worked as an an employee of the Ferguson Police Dept. for 4 years in their communications department.

  138. blouise17 says:

    Your name is mudd, Sgt. Mudd. (sorry, couldn’t resist)

  139. blouise17 says:

    “Your name is mudd” was a saying that got its start shortly after Dr. Mudd was convicted of conspiracy in the Lincoln assassination for treating Boothe’s leg injury. He always claimed he was innocent and President A Johnson pardoned him but he could never get the conviction overturned or expunged … Thus the saying regarding a ruined reputation … Your name is mudd … came into being.

  140. Slartibartfast says:

    Blouise,

    Don’t forget that, according to Bob, none of this would have happened if it hadn’t been for people jumping to conclusions critical of Mr. Wilson.

  141. Elaine M. says:

    Ferguson Became Symbol, but Bias Knows No Border
    By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON, SHAILA DEWAN and MATT APUZZO
    MARCH 7, 2015
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/us/ferguson-became-symbol-but-bias-knows-no-border.html?_r=0

    Excerpt:
    If the shooting of Michael Brown had taken place about 500 yards to the southeast, he would have died not in Ferguson, Mo., but in the neighboring city of Jennings. The court system there, which is overseen by a white judge but has almost exclusively black defendants, routinely sends people to jail for failure to pay minor traffic fines, a new lawsuit alleges.

    Had the shooting occurred three and a half miles to the north, the world’s attention might have turned to the city of Florissant, where in 2013, the police stopped black motorists at a rate nearly three times their share of the population. Less than four miles to the northwest, in Calverton Park, court fines and fees accounted for over 40 percent of the city’s general operating revenue last year.

    But it was Ferguson and its government that came under federal scrutiny almost unprecedented for a city of its size, culminating in a Justice Department report last week that described explicit racism among city officials, abusive policing and a system that seemed to view people “less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue.” And it is Ferguson that will almost certainly be forced to make wholesale changes.

    Ferguson, a city of 21,000, is unusual in some respects — it has issued the most warrants of any city in the state relative to its size, for example — but the unfairness in its court system that the Justice Department highlighted is not limited to it, to St. Louis County or even to Missouri. In one meeting of federal investigators, a Missouri F.B.I. agent told colleagues that if he had been asked to predict which cities were most likely to erupt over racially charged policing, Ferguson would have been low on his list. Yet Ferguson’s neighbors are not under the same pressure to change.

    “Ferguson is one dot in the state, and there are many municipalities in the region engaged in the same practices a mile away,” said Vanita Gupta, the Justice Department’s top civil rights prosecutor. “It would be a mistake for any of those neighboring jurisdictions to fold up their hands. They should absolutely take note of this report.”

    Ms. Gupta urged police and city officials nationwide to read the report on Ferguson and take stock of whether their police and court systems were equally in need of an overhaul. “The Ferguson report really does highlight some issues that jurisdictions around the country are plagued with,” she said. “Police departments shouldn’t wait for us.”

    Across the country, a mounting number of investigations and lawsuits have focused attention on the justice system’s heavy burdens on the poor. In Alabama, which has tried to make up for deep cuts to court funding by imposing fees like $35 for posting bail, half a dozen lawsuits contend that local courts perpetuate a cycle of steep fines for minor offenses and jail for those who cannot pay. And as early as 2009, Florida became a model for aggressive collection of court fees and fines.

    “There’s clear case law that police can’t illegally search you for no reason, but it happens 10,000 times a day,” said Alec Karakatsanis, a co-founder of Equal Justice Under Law and the lead lawyer in suits against Ferguson and Jennings. “The Constitution is not self-executing.”

  142. blouise says:

    Don’t forget that, according to Bob, none of this would have happened if it hadn’t been for people jumping to conclusions critical of Mr. Wilson. – Slarti

    That was the same mistake the white power structure made at the local and state levels. They honestly thought they could make it all about Wilson. They had a lot to hide and they tried very hard to hide it all behind Wilson. The tanks didn’t work, the GJ production didn’t work, Wilson’s resignation didn’t work. Because Hands Up; Don’t Shoot was never aimed at Wilson; It was aimed at what was hiding behind him.

    I downloaded and read all 105 pages in the report. The city can either agree to the recommended changes in a “consent decree” thus giving federal authorities oversight in the implementation process or they can refuse to agree in which case the Feds will file a law suit.

    Hands Up; Don’t Shoot hit its target with armor piercing accuracy and I chose those words with gleeful irony.

    It has been suggested, quietly suggested with a wink and a nod, that allowing, yea, even encouraging, the white power structure to remain focused on Wilson kept them from recognising what Hands Up; Don’t Shoot was really aiming at. The reason for the quiet wink and nod? Think about it. 😉

  143. Elaine M. says:

    Further Proof Ferguson Officials Need To Resign Or Be Fired
    http://crooksandliars.com/2015/03/further-proof-ferguson-officials-need

    Excerpt:
    Hey, Ferguson officials! When the Department of Justice releases a report the likes of which this country has never seen before, calling out practices that are slimier than anything we’ve seen in a movie about small-town corruption this century, maybe it’s time to sit up and listen.

    Let’s begin with Jeffrey Roorda, who isn’t exactly a Ferguson official, but stands as an apologist for the racist, dirty cops in his union. Here he is with Anderson Cooper, dutifully repeating sanitized talking points prepared by their public relations team.

    Here’s Roorda’s talking points, in a nutshell. The reason so many black people are stopped by police in Ferguson is because black people come from adjacent communities and drive through on their way to work or whatever. Therefore it stands to reason that more of them get stopped.

    No, really. Those are his talking points, and Anderson Cooper couldn’t shake him, no matter how hard he tried. Roorda also referred to the report releasing Darren Wilson from culpability for civil rights violations as “the meat of the report” but complained that it was “wrapped in a flimsy tortilla,” referring to the 106-page report on systemic racial bias in Ferguson’s police and court system.

    ***

    NOTE: Jeffrey Roorda[1] is a Democratic member of the Missouri House of Representatives, serving since 2013…A former police officer, he is also the executive director and business manager of the St. Louis Police Officers Association.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Roorda

    • bigfatmike says:

      “Here’s Roorda’s talking points, in a nutshell”

      I believe I actually saw this at broadcast time. My recollection is that Roorda complained that when DOJ starts an investigation like the one in Ferguson there is a 99% chance the DOJ will find fault.

      His conclusion was that Ferguson must be like 99% of the rest of the US and so we should not judge them harshly. He seemed to be arguing that it was unfair to hold Ferguson to a higher standard when everybody else does the same thing.

      My recollection is that Cooper did not even try to question Roorda’s used of statistics or his conclusion that if everybody else is doing it why criticize Ferguson.

      I will simply point out that DOJ’s success rate at finding fault in this type of investigation may be due to careful selection of communities to investigate by DOJ.

      On the other hand, if Roorda’s claim is correct and Ferguson is like 99% of the rest of the country then doesn’t that add to the urgency of the problem?

  144. blouise17 says:

    Jeffrey Roorda needs to meet Steve Loomis who besides being the President of the Cleveland Police Association is also an Elementary School art critic. Me thinks the two men have a lot in common.

  145. blouise17 says:

    ‘Roorda also referred to the report releasing Darren Wilson from culpability for civil rights violations as “the meat of the report” but complained that it was “wrapped in a flimsy tortilla,”’

    Bada bing!

  146. Elaine M. says:

    blouise,

    Don’t forget Patrick Lynch, the head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York.

  147. blouise says:

    He seemed to be arguing that it was unfair to hold Ferguson to a higher standard when everybody else does the same thing. – BFM

    Years ago I remember Nixon offering the same defense, ‘ … think this is routine, that everybody’s trying to bug everybody else, it’s politics.”’

    Didn’t work for Nixon, won’t work for Ferguson.

  148. “If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.” – Charles Kettering
    “We have always been at war with Eastasia.” – George Orwell
    “Evil is done without effort, naturally, it is the working of fate; good is always the product of an art.” – Charles Baudelaire
    “Same as it ever was.” – Talking Heads

  149. Slartibartfast says:

    Blouise,

    I guess I see this as less an intricate interplay of tactics and strategy than an example that, although the moral arc of the universe is long, it does indeed bend towards justice.

  150. Bob Stone says:

    DSU,

    As you know I’m well aware of the immense amount of time and effort you expended analyzing the Witness statements and Grand Jury testimony to construct your charts. Accordingly, I find Slartibartfast’s attack of your analysis, out of sheer ignorance of the primary materials, to be nothing less than shameful.

    Thus, I think it only fitting that you be made aware of just what type of “legal mastermind” you’re up against.

    Allow me to begin with a confession though. About a month after the transcripts were released and having spent hours poring over Johnson’s descriptions of how the entire struggle between Brown and Wilson was predicated upon Wilson’s choke-hold-grasp of Brown’s neck and thence Brown’s shirt, I inadvertently confused a “lack of DNA evidence to corroborate” with “conclusive evidence” that Johnson lied about the hold. While I own that mistake I attribute it to the incongruity between where DNA evidence was actually found and where it would have to be if Johnson’s story was even remotely true. While I had forgotten how the amount of blood on the shirt limited the amount of areas that the tech was able to swab, I was acutely aware at the time of the DOJ ME’s testimony about failing to find any strangulation marks on Brown’s neck.

    ===
    From the Grand Jury Transcript:

    Q: Did you notice either through your autopsy or examining the photographs and the report from Dr. … did you note that there was any bruising to the neck area?

    DOJ Medical Examiner: No, we did not, nor through our examination or review of what Dr. had done, there was no injury to any of the neck structures.

    Q: “if someone were to have grabbed Michael Brown around his throat with one hand and were to have hold tightly enough with that grasp so that Michael Brown could not get away from that grasp, would you expect to see bruising?

    DOJ Medical Examiner: I would, I would. Strangulation in general is a very violent act and it requires a lot of force. And in order to do it effectively, you need to be doing it hard. So you are going to have some evidence usually, yes, I would expect to see it. (Vol 20, pg 134)

    =====

    So, there was no evidence to corroborate Johnson’s claim that Wilson choked Brown nor was there any discoverable DNA evidence on Brown’s shirt to corroborate Johnson’s claim about the shirt hold. (See also DOJ Report pg. 20)

    Again, I let my indignation get the best of me. The mistake was mine and I own it.

    Having admitted my mistake….

    Now let me give you a sampling of Slartibartfast’s “Legal Reasoning”:

    He has claimed that a finding of probable cause is synonymous with a finding of the possibility that a crime was committed:

    “If it is not the grand jury’s job to weigh the evidence, then it logically follows that they do not need to weigh the evidence to do their job, right? In that case, they must not need to figure out what is probably true—only what is possibly true. Can any system claim to be just if possible crimes are ignored? Should people be able to get away with murder as long as it wasn’t obvious that they did it?”

    He not only thinks the Equal Protection Clause applies to victims of crimes that the DA declines to prosecute in his discretion, but he also believes that dead people have equal protection rights:

    “I don’t know what the federal government has the power to do here, but several possibilities suggest themselves (such as taking McCullough to court for violating Mr. Brown’s equal protection rights or ethical violations).”

    He re-wrote the history of Anglo Saxon law; specifically regarding the very purpose of Grand Juries:

    “The grand jury isn’t concerned with protecting the rights of the innocent, it is for protecting the rights of the victims (which is in the interest of society).”

    He claims the powers of a psychic; i.e. being able compare a document he hasn’t read to statements he makes about the document.

    For example, having not read Johnson’s testimony he said:

    “First of all, the phrase “Big Mike” is yet another reference to Mr. Brown’s “magical negro” status (i.e. it is effectively propaganda).”

    He then attempted to justify his ignorance by claiming:

    “Apart from my assumption that the use of “Big Mike” was prejudicial, nothing in my comments is in any way impeached by my not having read the transcripts (which I never claimed to have done).”

    He summarily dismissed all the evidence, and lack thereof, impeaching Johnson’s testimony; i.e. the very same relied upon by the DOJ in their report:

    “Personally, I’m laughing pretty hard at your attempt to impeach Mr. Johnson’s testimony…”

    “Actually, the soot and DNA evidence is consistent with Mr. Johnson’s testimony. It is also consistent with Mr. Wilson’s testimony. It does not support either.”

    Click here for details:
    https://flowersforsocrates.com/2014/11/26/why-shawn-parcells-dont-you-dare-kick-that-dog-iii/#comment-22603

    Since he hasn’t bothered to read the DOJ report and the DOJ’s assessment of Wilson’s actions,
    He still feels that by …

    “Putting the car in Park.

    Exiting the car to pursue at least two suspects (one clearly dangerous) without backup.

    Failing to properly request backup.”

    That Wilson, at best, was “guilty of gross incompetence and should have been fired (not to mention exposed the Ferguson PD to a massive civil liability) and, at worst, he was a cowboy cop who ran down and killed a teenager to cover up the initial, unjustified, shooting (something that the evidence may suggest is unlikely, but doesn’t preclude).”

    Of course, he’s not interested in reading how the DOJ cited chapter and verse while finding all these actions reasonable; including each and every shot fired by Wilson.

  151. Slartibartfast says:

    Well, I waited to give DSU a chance to respond, but he doesn’t seem to want it.

    DSU,

    As you know I’m well aware of the immense amount of time and effort you expended analyzing the Witness statements and Grand Jury testimony to construct your charts.

    I’ve never said anything to denigrate the time and effort DSU spent on his chart. That dog don’t hunt.

    Accordingly, I find Slartibartfast’s attack of your analysis, out of sheer ignorance of the primary materials, to be nothing less than shameful.

    You can’t find my attack of his analysis for one simple reason—it doesn’t exist. Saying that his analysis isn’t relevant to a particular question (the question that is the topic of the thread) isn’t attacking it, it is simply stating a fact (that the value of black lives in Ferguson has sod-all to do with Mr. Wilson). If you’d like an example of something shameful, I suggest you take a long look at the fundamental hypocrisy that has permeated your approach to this issue from the very beginning: Your admonishment of those that jumped to conclusions you didn’t agree with while never even acknowledging the expansive leaps you were taking yourself, not to mention your putting people who had come to opinions contrary to yours by rational consideration of the facts as they saw them (including several people commenting on the various Ferguson threads) into the same group with those that jumped to conclusions. Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

    Thus, I think it only fitting that you be made aware of just what type of “legal mastermind” you’re up against.

    Seriously Bob? I’ve never represented myself as anything but what I am. On the other hand, you’ve represented yourself as objective while studiously ignoring the context and willfully misrepresenting anyone who didn’t share your opinions. As surely as a dog returns to his own vomit…

    Allow me to begin with a confession though.

    [snip]

    So, there was no evidence to corroborate Johnson’s claim that Wilson choked Brown nor was there any discoverable DNA evidence on Brown’s shirt to corroborate Johnson’s claim about the shirt hold. (See also DOJ Report pg. 20)

    Again, I let my indignation get the best of me. The mistake was mine and I own it.

    Your error was explained to you repeatedly at the time by several people, including myself, that understand the science far better than you do. You either ignored them or responded with disingenuous arguments. What’s up with that, dog?

    Having admitted my mistake….

    I’m not sure if you’re trying to impress DSU with the illusion of honesty or just doggedly covering up your dishonesty elsewhere.

    Now let me give you a sampling of Slartibartfast’s “Legal Reasoning”:

    He has claimed that a finding of probable cause is synonymous with a finding of the possibility that a crime was committed:

    I was making the (undeniable) point that since a grand jury is not supposed to be a “trier of fact”, they must be able to do their job with determining what the facts are. To me, “probable cause” means that there is some possible fact pattern which includes a crime being committed. I’ve also been clear that this is my opinion and the standard of “a reasonable person” is what holds for Missouri grand juries.

    He not only thinks the Equal Protection Clause applies to victims of crimes that the DA declines to prosecute in his discretion, but he also believes that dead people have equal protection rights:

    How does Mr. Brown’s right not to be murdered manifest itself? Or was The Clash right about it not being a crime when done by a policeman (or an aristocrat)?

    He re-wrote the history of Anglo Saxon law; specifically regarding the very purpose of Grand Juries:

    It may not be the purpose of the grand jury, but one of its effects is to protect the rights of the victims by ensuring that defendants stand trial if there is probable cause that they committed a crime.

    He claims the powers of a psychic; i.e. being able compare a document he hasn’t read to statements he makes about the document.

    No, I said that I can know things about a document without having read it (i.e. I claimed second-hand sources and commentary exist) and use that to inform my opinions—usually opinions on things at most tangentially related to the document.

    For example, having not read Johnson’s testimony he said:

    I accused you of using loaded words—something which you had been doing (specifically with the term “honey badger”) but weren’t guilty of in this case. Something which I admitted immediately instead of waiting months before giving a self-serving “confession”. A nice example of how, even though I might get the odd detail wrong now and then, the gist of my arguments are unaffected.

    He summarily dismissed all the evidence, and lack thereof, impeaching Johnson’s testimony; i.e. the very same relied upon by the DOJ in their report:

    “Personally, I’m laughing pretty hard at your attempt to impeach Mr. Johnson’s testimony…”

    I was laughing because it was irrelevant to the point I was making and a blatant example of your lack of objectivity.

    “Actually, the soot and DNA evidence is consistent with Mr. Johnson’s testimony. It is also consistent with Mr. Wilson’s testimony. It does not support either.”

    Which is exactly what you admitted to be true in your “confession” above. Was that insincere or was this comment an attempt to acknowledge that I’d been right all along? If it’s the latter, you suck at it.

    Since he hasn’t bothered to read the DOJ report and the DOJ’s assessment of Wilson’s actions,

    I have, however, followed the discussion here and elsewhere which has made it abundantly clear that, even if Mr. Wilson’s actions that day weren’t criminal, they were not consistent with what I believe should be the standard of conduct for police officers. Hence my opinion that he should have been fired rather than allowed to resign. I have never, by the way, said that I think Wilson should be jailed or otherwise punished for potential criminal actions, just that I believe that (by the Missouri statute there was probable cause

    Of course, he’s not interested in reading how the DOJ cited chapter and verse while finding all these actions reasonable; including each and every shot fired by Wilson.

    Was the DoJ assessing Mr. Wilson’s actions based on professional standards? No, they were basing it on criminal standards.

    Bob,

    Given all of the extremely relevant context of these events which you steadfastly refuse to acknowledge, let alone consider, your claim that I must directly read specific materials only tangentially relating to points on which I was opining is hypocritical in the extreme.

    Shame on you.

  152. Bob Stone says:

    Kevin,

    When will you ever learn that making excuses for your errors is not the same as rectifying them?

    “I was making the (undeniable) point that since a grand jury is not supposed to be a “trier of fact”, they must be able to do their job with determining what the facts are. To me, “probable cause” means that” …

    Must be nice to live on a planet where you get to make up your own definition of probable cause.

    “How does Mr. Brown’s right not to be murdered manifest itself?”

    Your confusion does not permit you to grant dead people Equal Protection rights; much less apply the Equal Protection clause wherever you feel like.

    Kevin: “The grand jury isn’t concerned with protecting the rights of the innocent, it is for protecting the rights of the victims (which is in the interest of society).”

    Kevin again: “It may not be the purpose of the grand jury, but one of its effects is to protect the
    rights of the victims”

    Or is that the duty of the prosecutor? Nonetheless, that’s not what you originally said. What you originally said was dead wrong. You don’t get credit for changing your answer after the fact.

    “No, I said that I can know things about a document without having read it”

    It’s one thing to read Cliff’s Notes and fake your way though your book report; it’s quite another to claim equal to superior knowledge of the primary material without having actually read it.

    Thus we end up with crap like this:

    “Was the DoJ assessing Mr. Wilson’s actions based on professional standards? No, they were basing it on criminal standards.”

    He said; having not read the DOJ report; much less understanding the distinction he claims to know.

    I’d ask you whether you thought the rule set forth in Loch v. City of
    Litchfield
    , as cited by the DOJ, serves as a professional standard, civil standard and “criminal standard” all in one; but since you didn’t actually read the report and were obviously only trying to be a contrarian, I’d be a fool to care what you say at this point.

    Kevin: “Actually, the soot and DNA evidence is consistent with Mr. Johnson’s testimony. It is also consistent with Mr. Wilson’s testimony. It does not support either.”

    Kevin again: “Which is exactly what you admitted to be true in your “confession” above. “

    That’s just a flat out lie; I never claimed the soot and DNA evidence is consistent with Johnson’s testimony.

    And it’s at this point where I come to the realization that arguing with you is simply a waste of time because, as someone else pointed out to me, your reply is:

    “nothing but an enormous pile of fallacies and excuses. It’s not even worth talking to him he’s so far gone.”

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