BREAKING NEWS: 2 Police Officers Shot During Ferguson Protest (UPDATED)

 Posted by Gene Howington

Huff Po reports:

Two police officers were shot outside the Ferguson Police Department just after midnight Thursday, police and eyewitnesses said. The shootings came during protests following the Ferguson police chief’s resignation on Wednesday afternoon.

In a press conference outside the hospital where the officers were being treated on Thursday morning, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said that a 32-year-old officer from suburban Webster Groves was shot in the face and a 41-year-old officer from St. Louis County was shot in the shoulder, according to the Associated Press. Belmar said the injuries were “very serious” but that both officers were conscious, and that he assumed they were targeted because they were police officers. Police had no one in custody in connection with the shooting.

The Guardian reports:

Sergeant Brian Schellman, a spokesman for St Louis County police, told the Guardian that both officers were being treated in hospital. “No update yet on condition,” said Schellman. The St Louis Post-Dispatch reported police sources saying both were expected to survive.

Belmar said the shots appeared to have been aimed at the police as they were fired “parallel with the ground” and did not appear to have ricocheted. “I would have to make an assumption that these shots were directed exactly at my police officers,” he said.

Several protesters at the scene said the shots appeared to have been fired from a hill behind a dwindling group of demonstrators who were celebrating the resignation of Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson and were gathered across from the police department on the other side of South Florissant Road.

Tony Rice, a Ferguson resident and protester, said: “The shots came from up Tiffin Avenue” – an upwards-sloping street directly opposite the police department. DeRay Mckesson, a prominent leader of the Ferguson protest movement, agreed that the shots were fired from “the alley or street” behind where protesters stood.

“I’m 100% sure on that,” Rice told the Guardian. “Clearly no one shot a gun close to me.”

Yet, when asked to confirm that the shooter or shooters had not been among the protest, Belmar said: “I don’t know who did the shooting, to be honest with you right now. But somehow they were embedded in that group of folks.” The police chief said he had no details on descriptions of suspects or on the weapon or weapons used.

Not wishing to sound too much like Cassandra, when previously discussing the matter of the breakdown of the social fabric it has been noted that civil strife would eventually start to manifest in acts of violence against government employees. This tale will likely take one of two paths: 1) the government will remain non-responsive to citizens and the acts of aggression will continue (and probably escalate) or 2) the government will realize that serving the wants of the few over the needs of the many is a path to disaster and start to remedy the situation.

Is this a sign of the breakdown of the social fabric?

If so, what are some first steps required to remedy the disconnect between government and citizen?

Is this an isolated episode?  Or a harbinger of things to come?

What do you think?

About Gene Howington

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26 Responses to BREAKING NEWS: 2 Police Officers Shot During Ferguson Protest (UPDATED)

  1. bron98 says:

    If so, what are some first steps required to remedy the disconnect between government and citizen?

    make it less burdensome and more responsive to citizens.

  2. swarthmoremom says:

    Don’t know what the government will do the but the right wing is blaming the protestors.

  3. The shots did not come from the protest group. The shots were fired from some distance. That suggests two things to me. First, it is quite unlikely the weapon was a pistol. More likely a rifle, and the shooter is a sniper rather than a protester. Almost any decent hunting rifle with a scope makes an adequate sniper rifle for this kind of operation. Those were not random shots. The officers were no doubt targeted.

  4. swarthmoremom says:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ferguson-police-shot-hilltop-protests Apparently the shots came from far away and had nothing to do with the protests. Any activist protestor knows that shooting at the police does not help one’s cause. Think Selma………

  5. mespo727272 says:

    Either a false flag operation to paint the protestors as violent or a renegade protestor. Either scenario makes some sense. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  6. swarthmoremom says:

    Both the police and citizens are over armed……not surprising.

  7. po says:

    The first issue, that won’t reveal itself until much later, if ever, is who took the shots? One thing that has always been part of any civil unrest is that the group(s) demonstrating have been infiltrated by the authority against which they are demonstrating, which creates or causes situations that allows it then to use force legitimately.
    In this case, as for past ones, I wonder who benefits from this? Not the demonstrators obviously, who have shown discipline and wisdom in trying to remain as peaceful as possible. The police on the other hand does need to frame the protesters as violent and dangerous, and as I am typing this, the St Louis Co police chief is holding a press conference where he is suggesting the danger posed to his force, followed by the media’s questions that are further entrenching that idea of violence from the protesters and danger to the cops.

    As a student of history, and particularly ‘of religious history, ‘I can see that this indeed is a harbinger of things to come. When we are so focused on ISL and the foreign forces on our shores, I worry about ‘the tearing of the inner fabric of the country. I do not worry about China, or Russia, or lSL, I worry about injustice here, about people being sick of it, about national PTSD, due the abuse of humanity elsewhere and the bloodletting here, about the cops feeling legitimately threatened by situations that they themselves create; about the abdication of the media’s responsibility to call bullshit; about the corporations owning every piece of the democratic structure of this country and being able to steer it into any direction that would make them money; about our political leaders wanting to attack other countries because they and their partners would benefit from it monetarily…
    Again, what happens on the macro happens in the micro, and there is nothing we do on the global scale that doesn’t echo locally.

  8. swarthmoremom says:

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/03/12/a-murderous-mob-incited-by-holder-and-obama/ Just thought I would check to see what the right wing spin on this is and it is the same old same old…………

  9. swarthmoremom says:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/fox-friends-holder-ferguson-cop-shootings So far it is all about blaming Holder for criticizing the Ferguson PD

  10. I take great joy in the fact that many of the posters here remain skeptical about the situation until all the facts are in.
    Unlike some sites, critical thinking is still very much alive here.
    Kudos.

  11. eniobob says:

    Outside agitation seems quite possible here,all the things that had been going on before this whole Michael Brown incident never went to this extreme.

  12. swarthmoremom says:

    Both officers have been released from the hospital.

  13. eniobob,
    As we all know, the lone wolf actor is the most dangerous and least predictable. The lone wolf commits violent acts from a variety of motives. Ted Kaczynski is a paranoid schizophrenic. Timothy McVeigh was a psychopath and conspiracy theorist. Until proven wrong, I interpret these shootings as another form of domestic terrorism. We just don’t know the motive(s) of the shooter(s). At least not yet, and probably won’t until they are caught.

  14. eniobob says:

    Chuck Stanley

    TOUCHE !

  15. Carterbo says:

    When i saw this, first thing that came to mind was the Bundy ranch supporters who murdered the Las Vegas policemen.

  16. Elaine M. says:

    SWAT Team Swarms Ferguson Home In Connection With 2 Wounded Cops UPDATED
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/12/swat-team-on-roof-ferguson-cops_n_6855764.html

  17. bettykath says:

    Considering that the cops weren’t that seriously wounded, I’m inclined to consider this an effort to escalate the violence against the protesters.

  18. Elaine M. says:

    Witnesses: Ferguson Gunshots Came From Hilltop Across Street From Protests
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ferguson-police-shot-hilltop-protests

    Witnesses said Thursday that the shots that struck two police officers doing crowd control at a protest outside the Ferguson, Mo. police department didn’t come from demonstrators.

    St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said in a news conference that the gunfire came from an area across the street and to the northwest of the department building. When a reporter asked him to confirm that the shots didn’t come from protesters, Belmar responded that while he couldn’t say who carried out the shooting he thought the perpetrator was “somehow embedded in that group of folks.”

    But witnesses who spoke to local and national news outlets said they saw the shots come from a nearby hilltop.

    Freelance photographer Bradley J. Rayford told the New York Times that he was standing near the officers when he “heard the bullets go past my head.” He told the newspaper that he saw muzzle fire from the direction of a hill across from the police station.

    Witnesses told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the shots appeared to come from a block of homes on Tiffin Avenue, which intersects South Florissant Road where the Ferguson Police Department is located.

    The Los Angeles Times also reported that several witnesses said the shots came from a hill past where protesters gathered at the police station.

  19. BK,
    False flag deliberate shooing does not make sense. One of the men was hit in the head, and the bullet is still lodged in his head near his ear. The other was hit in the shoulder. That is where the brachial plexus is located. Hit the brachial plexus nerve bundle and the victim loses the use of that hand and arm.

    No sniper is skilled enough to deliberately make non-fatal head and shoulder shots.

  20. po says:

    Chuck
    Everything makes sense when the end justifies the means. It would not have been the first time one is sacrificed to the purpose. Matter of fact, happens all the time.

  21. Po,
    Sorry old chap, but until proven otherwise Ockham’s Razor applies. Don’t forget what I have been doing for a living for almost a half century. I am not into conspiracy theories at all. What makes the most and simplest sense is that it is probably someone who hates police. It is the price of ramping up irresponsible anti-police rhetoric.

    Perps? Take your pick. My first choices are sovereign citizens, “payback for Michael Brown” sympathizers, or a paranoid anti-authority nutcase.

  22. po says:

    Chuck
    You may be right… in the realm of sense, reason and logic, the action is committed in reaction to a force. So, traditionally, we could assume that the one to shoot a cop is someone who has/gave himself reason to shoot a cop, “sovereign citizens, “payback for Michael Brown” sympathizers, or a paranoid anti-authority nutcase.”
    However, these are the times when sense, reason and logic are no longer the dominant characteristics of any situation, especially this Mike Brown related one. I would have expected, if violence from the perps were to happen, to have already happened months earlier. Furthermore, it has been apparent from the start that the police has needed ‘to frame the protesters as violent, to the point that, frankly, some ‘of us expected “violence directed towards the cops” to have happened much sooner as a way of further demonizing the protesters.

    I was never a conspiracy theorist either until these past couple of years, when I saw that whatever conspiracy theorists have been warning us about has proven true (mostly.)
    As the ancients Arabs used to say, there will be times when if you don’t think you are crazy, you are mad! These are those times and I fear I am crazy.

  23. pete says:

    Chuck

    Have you heard anything about the bullet caliber? ( I haven’t been keeping up.)

  24. Pete,
    If any ballistics information has been released, I have not seen it. On the evening news tonight, the reporter said that the head shot victim has been released from the hospital, but the bullet is still lodged in his head near his ear. Obviously, they cannot do any more than X-ray it, and take whatever measurements they can get from the X-ray images. The investigators appear to be keeping close-mouthed at the moment. That’s good. Press conferences and leaked info is a good way to screw up an investigation.

    Just guessing on my part, but from what we know, it is most likely a medium caliber rifle, How do we know this? First of all, a high powered soft-nose round would have torn most of the one officer’s head off. I have seen what .308 and .270 deer rifle rounds can do to a human head. Not handgun, because the shots appear to have been fired from beyond the range of a pistol.

  25. nivico says:

    “I would have expected, if violence from the perps were to happen, to have already happened months earlier.” – po

    March 2015 officer shooting:

    http://uneditedpolitics.com/lamont-underwood-martez-little-iresha-turner-interview-with-cnns-don-lemon-if-i-come-out-will-you-shoot-me-31215/

    Same guy… “months earlier” in August assault on officer:

    http://fox2now.com/2014/08/13/ferguson-man-claims-he-was-beaten-and-theatened-after-witnessing-tuesday-night-shooting-police/

  26. po says:

    Nivico, am not sure what point it is you are making!
    Are you saying that Little assaulted a cop? If so the videos you offer fail to show that. The second link actually speaks of his being assaulted by the cops.

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