Commentary on the economic , geopolitical and simply fascinating things going on. Served occasionally with a side of snark.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Ferguson Updates ( August 25 , 2014 ) -- NATIONAL GUARD REMAINS IN FERGUSON DAYS AFTER WITHDRAWAL ANNOUNCEMENT Residents given no timeline for troop "drawdown" ....... RETIRED COP RAY LEWIS ( Philadelphia PD ) BLAMES CORPORATE AMERICA FOR THE SITUATION IN FERGUSON ....... US mourns Ferguson teenager killed by police Thousands attend funeral of black teenager whose killing by white policeman triggered days of unrest in St.Louis suburb.
NATIONAL GUARD REMAINS IN FERGUSON DAYS AFTER WITHDRAWAL ANNOUNCEMENT
Residents given no timeline for troop "drawdown"
byMIKAEL THALEN | INFOWARS.COM | AUGUST 25, 2014
A promise to remove National Guard troops from Ferguson, Mo. has yet to be fulfilled despite Gov. Jay Nixon’s withdrawal order last Thursday afternoon.
After arriving last Monday to “ensure the safety and welfare of the citizens,” National Guard troops have remained stationed at the law enforcement-run Unified Command Center several miles from the protest area.
Local residents, believing the drawdown would take several hours at most given the National Guard’s relatively small presence, were perplexed to find troops posted in the exact same location four days later.
The absence of a drawdown timeline following the initial withdrawal announcement has only served to cause more distrust among those in Ferguson, who see a pattern of misinformation coming from law enforcement officials.
Alissa Kokkins, a journalist with The Anti-Media, was stopped by the National Guard early Sunday morning while heading to a Ferguson press conference.
“The National Guard has been posted there every time we have gone, guarding that standing army of police that gathers in the strip mall,” Kokkins told Infowars. “I asked a National Guardsman how he felt about his job guarding the police and was met with silence. The National Guard that remain in Ferguson are 100 percent here to guard the cops and only the cops.”
This comes only days after the Infowars crew confronted similar disinformation from Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who repeatedly gave inaccurate statistics regarding arrests of protesters and journalists.
In 2011, when Middle American thought of the Occupy Movement as a smorgasbord of drum circles, a photo emerged of a former police captain being arrested by the NYPD. That was Ray Lewis, 23-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department. The Occupy Movement turned him into some sort of legitimized and uniformed social advocate. He’s since traveled to various protests across the US, including the recent unrest in Ferguson. I caught up with him across the street from the QuikTrip where Mike Brown was killed.VICE: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve seen in Ferguson?
Ray Lewis: Last night I saw officers not wearing name tags or badges. It’s unfathomable to me that officers, while being investigated, and with international attention, are still breaking the law. I can’t believe it. Officers on site are allowing it. That’s unheard of. If I ever saw that, the officer would be off the street in a second.
You’ve never seen anything like that before?
My officers knew better. They’d never think of doing something like that. The thing is, there’s no accountability. They get away with it here. That shows me one thing—it shows that nothing gets done to them.
Who did you see doing that?
It was the dark blue uniforms—either Ferguson or highway patrol. Speaking of which, I’ve got the St. Louis police right over my shoulder here. I don’t know what they’re doing, but I’m standing right next to CNN.
The shooting of unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, led to days of protests in Ferguson [AP]
St. Louis, Missouri – Grieving family members were joined by thousands of mourners at the funeral of Michael Brown, an unarmed black youth whose killing by a white police officer in the town of Ferguson triggered weeks of unrest.
US civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton, called for a "fair and impartial investigation" into August 9, when Brown was shot and killed on a leafy residential street, which sparked days of protests among mostly-black residents who railed against harassment by a mostly-white police force.
Those police that are wrong need to be dealt with just like those in our community who are wrong need to be dealt with
Reverend Al Sharpton, Civil rights activist
"We are not anti-police, we respect police," Sharpton told an emotionally-charged congregation that was frequently brought to its feet in applause. "But those police that are wrong need to be dealt with just like those in our community who are wrong need to be dealt with."
Brown’s body lay at the modern red-brick Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in an elaborate coffin, topped with the red baseball cap of his local team, the St. Louis Cardinals, which he wore when he was shot six times in his home suburb of Ferguson.
Brown "stated to the family that one day the world would know his name. He did not know he was offering up a divine prophecy," Brown’s cousin, Eric Davis, told mourners. "But we are here today remembering the name of Michael Brown."
A booklet to accompany the service featured images of Brown and messages from his parents. Michael Brown Sr. wrote that it “hurt soooooo much that I couldn’t protect you” while his mother, Lesley McSpadden, described Brown as the "purpose of my life."
Brown Sr. had urged supporters not to protest on Monday out of respect for his child. Reverend Sharpton also discouraged violent demonstrations, saying anyone involved in such activity would do so in their own name, not that of Michael Brown.
"It was inspirational to see our community come together and show that all we want is justice for Mike Brown," funeral attendee Lavette Ivory, 41, told Al Jazeera. "The message is that we should stop the violence come together as one community and achieve justice for all."
Crowds waved flags outside on Dr Martin Luther King Drive – a name that has been evoked frequently during a spate of violence that has raised fresh questions about US race relations almost six years after Americans elected their first black president.
"Michael Brown’s murder was just the match, now we need to keep the momentum going and do everything we can to make sure that we defeat the injustice that has corrupted our justice system," Zakiyyah Mahasin, 57, a retired railroad worker, told Al Jazeera.
Ferguson, a mostly-black suburb of St Louis of some 21,000 residents, has been riven by often-violent protests since Brown’s death.
American policing and race relations
A grand jury of three blacks and nine whites is hearing evidence about Brown’s shooting and is expected to decide whether to charge lawman Darren Wilson by mid-October. The inquiry hinges on whether Wilson, 28, fired in self-defence.
Missouri National Guard troops have begun withdrawing from Ferguson as protests have calmed in recent nights. Police have been criticised for using military tactics, toting assault rifles and using tear gas, rubber bullets and other heavy-handed measures.
Keith Sypes-El, 49, a supporter of Brown’s family, said he has spent the past fortnight encouraging Ferguson residents to register to vote in a district that has a majority-black population that is poorly-represented in elected officials.
"We need to change the political system in Ferguson – people here don’t understand about their right to vote,” he told Al Jazeera. “We need to get people in office who look after the interests of the community. If we don’t turn out to vote, we don’t have a right to gripe."
An online fund for Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, has raised more in donations than the fundraising appeal for Brown's family.
So far, 5,100 donors have contributed a total of $210,000 to the GoFundMe page for Wilson, which is intended to "help him and his family during this trying time in their lives". In contrast,Brown's family fund has been active for twice as long, but has only raised $153,000 – some $50,000 less than the officer who shot the 18-year-old.
Who are the kind of people who would send money to an officer who hasn't even been arrested for shooting an unarmed teenager ? Helpfully, some of Wilson's backers have left messages of support on the page. Some messages call Michael Brown a "common street thug" and "a waste of good ammo".
One David Durant writes: "I support officer Wilson and he did a great job removing an unnecessary thing from the public!" (If you want to read more rage-inducing comments, Deadspinhas compiled a list.)