Militarized Police Departments Don’t Work – Ferguson
This is a GREAT story from Kurt Eichenwald of Newsweek –
Here’s a pop quiz for all you media junkies: Which of the following took place in Ferguson, Missouri, recently, and which transpired during the 1968 Democratic National Convention (hint: both involved a certain higher-up with the last name Nixon):
- Two members of the media are quietly doing their jobs as a violent police action is under way. They are grabbed and assaulted by officers for no apparent reason.
- Peaceful protesters on a street are attacked by police with tear gas.
- A cop yells at a group of nonviolent protesters, “Bring it, you fucking animals, bring it!”
- A cop yells at a group of nonviolent protesters, “Run, you bastards, run!”
- In response to the violence, Nixon proclaims that the rule of law would be enforced and that there would be order.
- In response to the violence, Nixon proclaims that the county police need to stand down.
Ready with your answers? Nos. 1 and 2—the unprovoked assaults on reporters and protesters—are from both incidents. No. 3 was in Ferguson; No. 4 in Chicago. The fifth is related to Chicago, and are comments made by Republican presidential nominee Richard Nixon. The sixth happened last week, as part of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s response to the Ferguson nightmare.
What this country has just witnessed in Ferguson was, like in Chicago, an example of police gone wild—poorly led, poorly trained, unprofessional, displaying a complete lack of understanding of their jobs. It was an abomination that stains the reputation and credibility of talented, well-trained law enforcement officers throughout the country. It also adds to the danger these honorable men and women face, because the populace is increasingly afraid of their unfit brethren. (more…)