Monday, August 11, 2014
Race Riot Breaks Out In Ferguson, Missouri Over Death Of Black Teen
Massive looting, rioting and violence has broken out in Ferguson Missouri after the shooting of a black teen by police.
Michael Brown, 18 was shot and killed by police in the course of an arrest last Saturday afternoon. There's no word yet on why he was arrested, or whether or not he was under the influence. The circumstances seem confused, and there's no definitive information about what went down yet.The information that's been released so far is that Brown, who was extremely large and strong was being placed in the squad car, that there was a struggle for a policeman's weapon, and that he fled and was pursued. Earlier, the police were reporting that one shot had been fired inside the squad car that didn't hit anyone, and that a policeman had fired several rounds at Brown, who was unarmed and had killed him. If that's true, it's extremely odd, as everything I know about police procedure when pursuing an unarmed suspect involves pursuit on foot or otherwise and subduing the suspect with non-lethal force. I personally saw this in action one Hollywood night when a suspect did a runaway. The police ran after him, caught him and definitely subdued him (!) but they didn't shoot him.
Given Brown's size and strength, it might be that the officer involved felt unable to physically subdue Michael Brown and used his or her gun. Or it might have been that the officer believed Brown had a weapon. We'll know more as this develops.
As of right now, a full investigation is being carried out and St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar has called the FBI in for assistance. In St. Louis, Special Agent Cheryl Mimura said, “I can confirm that the FBI is working closely with the St Louis County PD to review the matter at this time.”
The rioting itself broke out almost immediately after the incident. Further shots were fired as police arrived immediately after the shooting but no one was injured as angry residents screamed obscenities mixed with threats to “kill the police.”
But the real festivities started this evening.
While some people prayed, others spilled onto West Florissant Avenue, choking off traffic. Looting was reported at a QuikTrip at 9420 West Florissant Avenue about 9 p.m. and soon spread from there. Most of the businesses being targeted were mainly along West Florissant.
Around 11 p.m., looters smashed into a Wal-Mart in the area near Interstate 270, as well as cell phone, clothing and dollar stores. A large fire was burning at West Florissant and Northwinds Estates Drive. A civilian was reported severely beaten near West Florissant and Chambers.
There's nothing that says 'social justice' like smashing up and looting a convenience store, a grocery or a Wal-Mart.Just another hot summer night. And apparently there was no pass for being a black businessman this night:
Jimmy Muhammad, 32, said he and his colleagues had just fended off a gang of masked young men with guns who tried to break into his uncle's store, United Mart, in the 10300 block of West Florissant. The front door was shattered.
"It's bad," said Muhammad, still gripping a pistol. Sirens blasted from police vehicles speeding by to other crime scenes. "I don't blame the police, but they can't keep up."
Silas Chung, 53, didn't get to his small store, Up N Up Fashion, in the 11600 block of West Florissant, soon enough to defend it.
"I feel bad," said Chung, cleaning up the damage. "This world is getting worse and worse."
At Ferguson Avenue and West Florissant Road, about 150 demonstrators also blocked traffic. They were taunting police officers, who were lined up in riot gear, carrying shields and batons.
"We have officers from just about every department around here," said St. Louis Police Capt. Ed Kuntz. "Obviously we don't want to use force. We are hoping that just the presence is enough."
By 1 a.m. today, he said pockets of stores had been looted from north of Interstate 270 to the city's northern border. Kuntz, who has worked in policing for 34 years, said of the level of looting: "This is the first time I can remember this ever happening here."
Like I said, just another hot summer night.
Meanwhile, the vultures have gathered.
Benjamin Crump, Trayvon Martin's lawyer was quick on the scene and announced that he had already been hired to represent Brown's family. That should be fun, as anyone who followed that trial remembers.
The odious Rev Al Sharpton, of course, is on his way, and Attorney General Eric Holder reportedly has his civil rights lawyers 'monitoring the case'.
Various politicians have weighed in as well, especially those up for election.
Regardless of what happened to Michael Brown, it was a tragedy to see a young life snuffed out like that. Whether a police officer badly overreacted or whether Brown had some part in that tragedy remains to be seen.
But those who chose to use that tragedy to act out and victimize people who had nothing to do with it, and the public figures who are using it to gin up racial animosity to fatten their wallets, to bring themselves publicity or to massage their own racism are beneath contempt.