Ferguson

Anti-Police Rhetoric Leads to Rise In Violent Crime

http://www.lloydmarcus.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Shared-humanity.jpg

 

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” ~ Newton’s Third Law of Motion

 

What is it with cops in South Carolina?

They already have one indicted for the murder of a fleeing suspect, and now we are treated to the sight of a resource officer (school cop) flipping a girl out of her desk and wrestling her to the ground. Granted, there are reports of a separate video from another angle showing that the officer was reacting after the girl hit the officer in the face with her fist (and she’s not a small girl), but this type of video is tailor-made to feed into the anti-cop rhetoric being stoked by the likes of Obama and his race-baiting, anti-cop compatriots.

And it may not be equal, but America is seeing there is certainly an opposite reaction to the demonization of law enforcement by the Obama administration and leaders of the major American cities which have been run by liberal Democrats for decades. And that reaction is a deadly one.

Frequently referred to as the “Ferguson effect” in reference to the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of a black man, Michael Brown, by a white police officer following a strong-arm robbery, it is the hesitancy of police officers to engage with those possibly engaged in criminal activity, lest they get blame for any resulting violence and face the end of their career, or even prosecution. Police officers are reporting being surrounded by black youths as they get out of their patrol vehicles, recording them even as they taunt them.

The Ferguson Report Should be the Catalyst for National Criminal Justice Reform, and Conservatives Should Lead

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After briefly flirting with using the DOJ report on the Michael Brown shooting and Ferguson police department to continue tone deaf whining about the #HandsUpDontShoot protest slogan, conservatives are finally coming to realize the real importance of the report. It should be the catalyst for nationwide criminal justice reform, and they should lead that effort.

This week, leading conservative publications RedState, National Review, and Commentary all have long posts explaining in depth the horrific actions of the Ferguson PD and why conservatives should be leading the charge for reform, not making excuses.

For example, the police department, allegedly a public safety organization, was primarily used to pad the city budget:

2014: A Year In Review

 Year In Review

A new year has begun. A new slate upon which to write our hopes and dreams, a new opportunity to do better, to be better, to rise above past disappointments, and to build upon past successes. As we look to the future, however, wisdom dictates we study the past to gain enlightenment and clarity. Though seemingly impossible, our memories telling us they occurred long ago, each and every one of these stories occurred in just the last year…

We kicked off the year in January with overheated rhetoric and under-heated weather, first forced to suffer through another of Obama’s interminable State of the Union addresses, where he tried to one-up Joe Biden by plagiarizing himself (which makes sense, considering Obama thinks he is smarter than the rest of us, so who else would he quote?). This speech was pretty much a copy-and-paste montage of past speeches; whining that the rich need to pay more, we need to “invest” more in “renewable” energy, and how six years of his economic policies don’t have us where we want to be yet, but are showing promising gains…blah, blah, blah. Add to that more promises of more bailouts for people who took on bad loans, to be paid for higher taxes on people who paid for the first bailout, plus a renewed demand for a “comprehensive” immigration reform bill, which seems pointless now that Obama has decided he is Emperor after all and will just make law by executive fiat, and refuse to enforce provisions he doesn’t like.

Barack Obama and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year

Obama Sad

It’s not been a good year for Barack Obama.

Of course, the midterm elections during the sixth year of a two-term president’s time in office are historically bad for the president’s party. In 2006, Democrats defeated President George W. Bush’s party and picked up a net of six seats in the Senate and 31 seats in the House. The 1998 elections held steady for Republicans during President Clinton’s sixth year, and they kept majorities in both chambers.

In 1986, during President Reagan’s sixth year, Democrats picked up eight seats in the Senate, giving them control of the Senate, and gained a net five seats in the House, giving them a massive 258-177 majority. To give context, Republicans are expected to start the next Congress in January with 247 members to the Democrats’ 188 — and that’s historically high for Republicans.

But President Obama’s bad year doesn’t start and end with Election Day 2014. According to Gallup, which has been tracking presidential approval ratings for decades, 2014 is the first year where President Obama’s approval rating never eclipsed his disapproval rating, meaning he has not — at any point this year — had a net positive approval. He has been under water since August 2013 and has not recovered.

National Journal’s James Oliphant writes:

Militarized police supporters in Congress such as Nancy Pelosi get big bucks from defense contractors

The recent stories coming from Ferguson, Missouri have stirred the police militarization debate by putting the spotlight on the police’s use of “surplus” war gear to contain a mass of protestors in the suburbs of St. Louis.

The protests followed the killing of Michael Brown, and while most are peaceful, local police — and now the National Guard — have proceeded to use rubber bullets, tear gas and other aggressive methods such as curfews to fight locals and even journalists covering the events.

Without proper coverage, it’s nearly impossible to know what is truly going on in Ferguson, especially because the Federal Aviation Administration banned helicopters to fly below 3,000 feet over the region as soon as the unrest began. News crews often use helicopters to cover live events, but with the ban, law enforcement agents on the ground have a free pass to act according to their understanding of the situation.

No accountability.

One essential piece of this equation, however, is missing from the public debate; lawmakers who support the government’s program allowing the distribution of leftover war gear and weapons to local police departments are also the same lawmakers who receive a considerable amount of financial support from defense contractors.

Police should wear body cameras to protect themselves when they’re accused of wrongdoing

body-mounted camera

It seems that there is at least one area of agreement (with caveats) between some in law enforcement and some civil libertarians: cops should wear body cameras. The how, when, and where is still a question for all concerned but at least there seems to be some agreement on the broad outlines.

PoliceOne.com’s editor-in-chief Doug Wyllie argues that police departments should embrace the idea of body mounted cameras on almost every police officer. Wyllie writes:

In the week following the officer-involved shooting in Ferguson (Mo.), many have asked me for a comment and/or my commentary on the matter. My reply has generally been, “What, precisely, might that comment be? We know very little detail regarding the incident itself, so any ‘analysis’ on my part would be tantamount to irresponsible speculation. Further, analysis of the rioting and looting (and police response to same) would be redundant — we’ve got reams of columns on crowd control tactics and strategies.”

One thing, however, merits mention in this space. It’s directly related to the first thought that came to my mind when news of this tragedy broke: “Man, I hope that officer was wearing a body camera.”

After Ferguson, Washington (predictably) overreacts, attempts to further federalize local police

Police Body Camera

Increasingly in this digital age, our public actions can be recorded, posted online, and shared with millions of viewers. “Viral videos” on YouTube make us laugh and sometimes stun and surprise us. And when it comes to law enforcement, these videos — recorded by either third parties or through the use of personal body cameras — can hold them accountable when the desire to exert too much force or manipulate the law becomes too great.

President Obama called for $283 million in federal funding to provide police body cameras and training to police in communities where the relationship between law enforcement and the general public is strained. And while the push to provide more transparency and accountability for law enforcement is ultimately a good thing, conservatives should be wary of further federalizing local law enforcement.

From the NBC account:

President Barack Obama on Monday proposed new funding meant to help improve relations between police departments and minority communities, saying there is a “simmering distrust” between the two groups that extends well beyond the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

The White House has asked for $263 million in funding for police body cameras and training in the wake of the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

The program, which would need congressional approval, would offer a total of $75 million over three years to match state funding for the cameras by 50 percent, helping to pay for more than 50,000 of the devices.

The (wrong) Ferguson narrative is set, and we should focus on other instances of police brutality

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“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” has become a rallying cry for black residents of Ferguson, Missouri and their supporters after the August shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. The evidence suggests the victim never actually had his hands up. Brown is ubiquitously called an “unarmed teen,” but he was 6’4” tall, nearly 300 pounds, and was in a physical altercation with the officer, Darren Wilson. The image of him as a passive, supplicant child being assassinated by a racist police officer is just wrong, and the lack of a grand jury indictment demonstrates that. But does it matter now?

Now that the actual criminal investigation is over (pending separate federal action), the details are irrelevant. The narrative has been set, the debate is front-and-center, and it’s one we need to have. But should the catalyst for that debate actually match the arguments in it? In a debate about police brutality of young black men, you’re probably better served if your focal figure isn’t a towering brute who had just come from a physical assault in process of a robbery and may or may not have been trying to take a cop’s gun.

Joe Scarborough put it surprisingly well Monday morning:

#BlackoutBlackFriday sends the wrong message to consumers, hurts urban communities

Blackout Black Friday

The jury is still out on the long-term effects of the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the wake of the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Americans will continue to debate police use of force, urban crime rates, and racial inequality. There’s no doubt we’ve come a long way since the days of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement, where leaders like Dr. Marting Luther King, Jr. dreamt of an America where “little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

But incidents like Ferguson pull back the curtain on lingering racial and socioeconomic inequality. They tear at the fabric of American life and cause unrest in communities of color. Now, this author isn’t calling for government intervention to solve the problem. In fact, there is a lot evidence that government intervention has only worsened the plight of the poor in America’s inner cities.

Politicizing Ferguson before a grand jury has had a chance to review the evidence is a roadblock to justice

Jay Nixon

On October 27, 1838, Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs issued Missouri Executive Order #44, also known as the “Mormon Extermination Order.” At that time The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known by most then, as now, as simply the “Mormons,” was less than a decade old as a formally organized religion. Founded in Fayette, New York, in April 1830, the church quickly came under severe persecution, surprisingly so for such a tiny, obscure church, in large part due to outrage from many Protestants at the claim of Joseph Smith, the religion’s founder, to have seen the resurrected Jesus Christ, and God the Father, in the flesh.

Over the next eight years, the Saints would be persecuted and driven out of New York into Ohio, and from Ohio to Missouri, and from there to Illinois and eventually out to the Utah territory. The persecution in Missouri was particularly grievous, when initially it seemed the state might be a peaceful home for them.

Missouri was a slave state, and deeply so. The Mormon Church was anti-slavery, and deeply so. The first Mormons first began settling in Jackson County in 1831, but before long were attacked by mobs, their leaders dragged from their homes, beaten, tarred and feathered. The Mormons fled from Jackson to Clay County, but persecution followed and soon drove them from Clay County to Caldwell and Daviess counties. For a short time, there was hope of peace, the Missourians believing the Mormons effectively corralled into these two counties.


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