US AG Holder on Ferguson: Police must 'seek to reduce tensions, not heighten them.'


What’s needed now is some demands. Because now we’re in the next phase of unrest.

First, the uprising is attacked and repressed brutally, to see if it will submit to raw force. If so (as is usually the case) problem solved.

But when brutality galvanizes rather than demoralizes people, the politicians get involved. They start saying nice things, the kind of things that make folks feel like they’ve accomplished what they set out to do. Like things have been set right, and now they can shut up and go home.

The politicians draw distinctions between those who are willing to shut up and go home (“good protestors”, “peaceful protestors”) and those who remain in the streets (“bad protestors”, “hoodlums”, “outside agitators”, etc).

But of course, things haven’t been set right. The cops responsible haven’t been subjected to a fair and open trial for murder, and the community has no meaningful way to be sure this won’t happen again. Nice words and rueful finger wagging at the police is just a political ploy, a way to win by acting like you’re sorry.

I hope folks can rally behind some real demands, and keep the pressure up on the street until these politicians actually concede to them.


[quote]… conduct crowd control and maintain public safety without relying on unnecessarily extreme displays of force.
{emphasis added}[/quote]

Weasel words, Mr. Holder.

It was a “display of force” that started this whole thing.

Relying on more displays of force — even if they are the opposite of “unnecessarily extreme” — to conduct crowd control is just doubling down on failure.


I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message

Conflicting message? That’s exactly the intended message.


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