by John Gibson
The mishmash of soundbites from the streets of Ferguson suggest there are many reasons for the rioting and looting.
People don't like the militarized police. Seems the sight of cops in helmets, visors, kevlar, and camo incites riot. I assume what we are to take from that is that officials trying to control a riot should be armed equally as the rioters and not come to control the riot with superior force. A new concept in policing, to be sure.
OK, moving on.
People don't like the Ferguson cops. Seems the police force is mostly white. (Has anybody asked how many black applicants the Ferguson PD had turned down?) It's also true the mayor and the city council are both extremely pigment challenged. The New York Times reported this was odd considering the city of Ferguson is about two thirds black, but failed to mention until deep in the story that voter turnout among Ferguson blacks is about twelve percent. So whose fault is it that the city "power structure", as the Times put it, does not reflect the ethnic makeup of the city? (Ooof.)
People have come to believe that Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer, shot and killed Michael Brown simply because Brown was black. We'll see what the investigation turns up, but even the New York Times has now been forced to admit there are two very different stories from witnesses.
And celebrities like Spike Lee have very publicly alleged there is a War On Black Males in the United States.
MSNBC has taken sides, predictably. Howard Kurtz of Fox News' Media Buzz says it appears the MSNBC lineup has become the Michael Brown defense team. Kurtz also noted that previously respected reporter Jake Tapper has been "grandstanding" for the protesting crowd.
But worse, an MSNBC host says the violence in Ferguson will not stop until there is an indictment or an arrest of officer Darren Wilson. There is every reason to believe host Chris Hayes meant the violence should not stop until Wilson is behind bars.
The governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon (D), has gotten in on the act saying he won't be satisfied until there is a "vigorous prosecution."
Evidently we now assume there is not a just and fair outcome here but a prosecution of Darren Wilson. Even on a day when the Attorney General of the United States has arrived in Ferguson to be briefed by the leader of his forty FBI agents on the scene, as well as prosecutors from his Civil Rights Division, even on a day that the St. Louis County Grand Jury begins its work on the case, all these people are caught in the act of assuming the only just outcome is a prosecution of the officer who was attacked by the late Michael Brown, suffering a punch to the face that broke the bones around an eye, and who arguably was defending himself from further attack by the six foot four inch tall, two hundred ninety pound "gentle giant" Michael Brown. May I add the autopsy report also shows Brown was high on pot?
What are the cops to take from all this?
Simple: when in the "hood", don't shoot. Just take your beating. If a raging giant teenager high on pot, caught in the act of stealing the cigars used to make humongous, mind altering joints called blunts taunts you and charges you, just holster your weapon and let him bust up your face some more.
What could be more right than that, a better example of justice than that?
And by the way, despite widespread crime among young black males, when approaching a carload of such males, assume they are law abiding citizens, not armed gang members as perfectly willing to shoot a cop as one of their gang rivals.
These are the new rules cops are to live by. Or die by. Whatever.
Residents of Ferguson should not be surprised if the police response to this message is to let the thugs run wild. If the police don't confront the thugs the police won't have to choose between using deadly force or suffering deadly force.
I know what I would do.