A nation with guaranteed Civil Rights and legal protection from violent government thugs, is seeing its front line protestors treated like cattle; abused and arrested and subjugated.
The killing of young Black men is a critical issue that truly pulls at the heartstrings of most Americans, but that majority view has no power in Missouri, where police let deadly bullets fly, and ask questions later.
This story begins with the police shooting of 18-year old Michael Brown. White Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, opened fire and the young man fell in a hail of bullets even though he possessed no weapon. His hands were over his head, inspiring the slogan and related Tweet, #handsupdontshoot.
Did this young man really have to die? Is the fallout worth the tremendous price?
Dignity be damned
At a time that Americans should be coming together, they are falling apart. The young man’s body was left in the hot street for hours after his death, adding disgrace and robbing dignity from a human being who never had a chance to find out what life can offer. Of course in America there are more young Black men in prison than in college; most never had a chance in a system that enslaved their ancestors only a few generations ago.
After demonstrators took to the streets of Ferguson, they were met with immediate hostility from law enforcement. Those of us who follow the live UStream videos from Ferguson, know far more of what is taking place than mainstream Americans, who are fed a filtered version of events by their news channels, with police stating that they are operating lawfully and with good intent. This is far from the case… tragically far.
Take for example, the officer who threatened the lives of peaceful unarmed protestors Tuesday night. In the most disturbing video clip, a seemingly rogue police officer with an assault weapon thrashes around, behaving like a scared child, and threatens to kill peaceful, non violent demonstrators, right in front of a UStream camera.
The officer pointed his military assault rifle and said “I will f*cking kill you, get back.”
As it turns out, the officer is not some rookie, it was a 20-year veteran police lieutenant. 46-year old Ray Albers, is caught on video yelling at protesters and journalists, threatening their lives with his rifle aimed on them, urging the crowd to disperse from the area.
When asked for his name by a UStreamer who uses the name, Rebelutionary_Z, the officer responded “Go f*ck yourself.”
The intensity displayed by Albers is just the icing on the cake.
Officials in Missouri simply needed to take responsibility for the actions of their officers. Instead, they do everything in their power to minimize the role of law enforcement in this situation. If the officers had received proper training, then in all likelihood they would have brought Mr. Brown into custody with less than lethal force. The tools available for this approach include tasers, mace, and rubber bullets. Instead the Ferguson Police officer simply shot him to death, and it is an extremely rare day in America that any police shooting is deemed unjustified. The only thing a police officer needs to state in the United States is that they feared for their safety.
Changing police tactics
Police in America are trained to believe that their safety is the most important thing. This has not always been the case, police have not always been made to feel untouchable. In fact there have been trends in the past, particularly in the 1970’s, where governments held police officers accountable for their own criminal actions. Any lingering signs of this level of responsibility were flushed away when the Bush Administration took office and began simultaneously, launching illegal wars, and stripping Americans of their valued rights. Barack Obama has carried the torch, signing the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) which allows Americans to be detained indefinitely without charges.
Many have believed for a long time, that America is weakening by the day and that the good people who remain mostly quiet and out of the way, are complicit in the country’s demise. It is the slow erosion of Civil Rights and constant military action overseas that will bankrupt America and cause a massive reevaluation of what Americans possess. Then the creditors will come knocking, with China at the head of the pack.
All the while, American minds are sterilized by half truth reporting, the hallmark of corporate based mainstream US news media.
Second black man killed
A second black man was killed by police near Ferguson, Missouri, as the protest packed with questionable police commands, treatment of protestors and media, rages on over the Ferguson Police deadly shooting of 18-year old Michael Brown.
The police chief of St. Louis was on the scene of the second shooting, assuring residents in this populated area, that the latest man to die from TWELVE police bullets fired on a public sidewalk, was a danger to police, he stated that the man was “thrashing around” with his knife.
After police killed Powell, they actually handcuffed him. Many who watch the video will question why police did not simply use a taser, mace, rubber bullet, or even shoot the man in the leg.
A video was recorded of the incident that was later posted on YouTube, telling another story altogether of what happened to Kajieme Powell, 25, the St. Louis man who police killed. The video, recorded on a cell phone, shows Powell walking down the street before being stopped by officers. A local shop owner reportedly contacted police, after suspecting that Kajime Powell had stolen drinks and donuts.
The footage shows the two officers getting out of their car as Powell walks in their direction, holding a knife, shouting “shoot me, shoot me”. It appears he may have been suffering from mental issues. Witnesses and media outlets speculated that Powell was attempting to commit “suicide by cop.”
It took only a matter of seconds for the officers to brandish their firearms and let loose with an extraordinary number of bullets. Mr Powell, as it turns out, was not “thrashing about” with the knife as the St. Louis police chief claimed. It appears that he never even moves toward them. Needless to say, the St. Louis Police ultimately had to admit that the video tells a different story.
The truth is that behavior of police in America has gone off the deep end, and their progressively murderous behavior is coinciding with the massive militarization of law enforcement in this country.
In the meanwhile, Ferguson demonstrators are dealing with curfews and police commands to “keep moving” which deny their right to peacefully assemble and stand together in protest. American demonstrators paid a heavy price during the 1960’s, to secure their rights regardless of the color of their skin, and they go on paying today in an effort to secure a color blind society where all people are treated equally.