That is sadly unsurprising. Also sadly unsurprising was the naked racism on display in the emails that were uncovered between Ferguson police and local court staff. The entire local criminal “justice” system there has decided that African Americans are a dangerous “other” that needs to be kept down, based on those emails. If the feds aren’t going to get involved, I don’t see how anything is going to change.
I will pay real cash money to never come across that picture of his stupid face ever again. Check that, ANY picture of his stupid face.
Oh, I am surprised*
*is not surprised at all
plus ça change
It would be wonderful if every suspect received the kind of thoughtful consideration he got. Seriously. Not kidding, even a little bit. Of course, he got it because he’s a cop, we’re fucked. https://www.popehat.com/2015/03/04/darren-wilson-and-the-benefit-of-doubt/
Sometimes I wonder how Ken feels about his predominantly racist, cop apologist commenters.
I agree with him entirely. I completely believe that this case shouldn’t have gone to trial because of the system we have. That’s how the system functions - cops can kill black men any time they want because the details of each particular case won’t themselves allow prosecution. I don’t know how people can look at a system where cops can kill black men with impunity and think it isn’t racist and broken.
From what I’ve been hearing (NPR, mostly), the Justice department decided there wasn’t enough evidence to go after Wilson individually, but they plan on taking the Ferguson PD to task just for the emails you mentioned. What that means, in terms of real changes, we’ll see, but they do agree that systemic racism has been at play in Ferguson overall.
Unfortunately, sending emails that are clearly racist is probably worthy of a tsk-tsking. Take them to task, yes, take them to court, I’d be a little surprised.
Firing some officers for racist emails <> prosecuting officer for murder. It’s fine that they are trying to push out the trash, but would they be probing so hard into this department if the murder hadn’t happened in the first place?
As for whether it was murder to begin with, sadly only two people know what really transpired and one of them is dead.
There’s was more…
I meant more in terms of motivation, we have a bunch of people interpreting what they saw/heard/remembering false memories of the incident and all of those things are affected by those individuals prejudices.
I don’t doubt Brown was shot while he was unarmed, I don’t doubt he was shot while his hands were up, but we will never know the true motivations of Wilson. Mainly because of the actions of the police after the incident and misinformation spread by false witnesses, the news, and social media.
I think a big part of the problem is that the contentions about what happened with Wilson and Brown on that day are being used to cover the contemptible actions of the Ferguson police regarding the incident in general. They immediately went into cover-up mode and tried to keep everything they could from the public. Now it might have turned out that there was no need for them to suppress evidence to protect Wilson, but if there had been a need for that it seems like they were ready to do it.
Somehow we are asked to say, “Sure, black men get killed by police constantly, but this particular killing is not part of a larger problem,” and then extend “not part of a larger problem” to gloss over the police handling of the protests, the resistance to sharing information with the public, etc. I mean, if there isn’t enough evidence to take Wilson to trial then that photo of seven cops pointing rifles at a black man walking down the street is fine too. It was fine for them to force Amnesty International observers to their knees in the street at gunpoint. It was fine for them to arrest reporters for taking pictures. And they definitely need a tank to do all of that. Totally justified because we can’t prove in a court that Wilson’s shoot was bad.
I don’t know how the racism of this situation escapes so many people.
Unfortunately I can’t imagine they can do much about the emails. They may be indicative of a pattern of widespread civil rights abuses, but not direct evidence of a specific crime. A few of the more vulnerable court employees might get fired, but mostly I suspect it will amount to: “Stop talking like that in (forums that can be made) public.” The Ferguson police have committed a string of horrific abuses, and they’ve already gotten away with them.
The actions of the police after the fact were despicable at best. And the racism hasn’t escaped me, one only needs to look at the prison population to see that something isn’t right.
What bothers me (other than an UPOC being shot to death which is definitely more important) about this situation, any situation recently these days it seems, is that there is no middle ground. Unless someone falls squarely on one side, they must fall in the other camp. Everyone is so focused on one issue at a time (and what side they support or don’t) they can’t see the forest for the trees. Not to diminish the importance of the situation at hand, but there are bigger issues at play in all of these situations and solving those issues are not as clear cut as black and white, right and wrong. Everyone expects an immediate response that magically fixes everything, and moves on. Usually, that results in someone being fired/jailed/killed/new laws, but that doesn’t prevent the situation from happening again.
I’m skeptical on that count, too. I think the Justice department wants to have it both ways - to not rock the boat and to be seen as on the side of the anti-racist angels. In fact, maybe that’s how we can best understand Obama’s whole presidency when it comes to issues related to race. But if they want to do something, they have to take a more radical direction.
Yeah, I know. I agree, but I think they’ll wave their hands and appear to do something by investigating it, and then letting it disappear into the institutional bureaucracy because once it’s off the front pages, they figure many Americans will forget.
I think it’s not that some people are racist and “isn’t that unfortunate, let’s fire them”, but that there is a culture of racism, that comes out in ways other than just blatant racism. It’s not the blatant racism that is so tough to root out, but the more subtle stuff that’s so insidious. it’s giving African Americans more traffic tickets, harassing them more, arresting them more, imagining that they are more prone to criminal behavior, giving them harsher penalties in court, etc. That is the problem here and, in theory, that is what the justice department is talking about. It’s easy to point to the racist redneck and say that he is the problem. It’s harder to get rid of a system that disproportionately punishes one group of people over another. You have to completely upend the system and that desperately needs to happen in Ferguson, I think.
Fixed that for you. Institutional racism won’t be eradicated by fixing one precinct at a time, it needs to happen everywhere at once, and it needs to be properly enforced.
Oh, of course. But, if history is any indication, fixing things usually happens piecemeal, a precinct at a time, if at all. But you’re right about it needing to happen everywhere at once.