More Thoughts on Ferguson: Crimestats

michael-brownWe here at Monomakhos have kicked up yet another firestorm recently. Specifically with the story about the horrible shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed, African-American teenage by a white policeman in Ferguson, MO.

As in all things racial, the temperatures rise. I think its an evolutionary thing if you ask me. Regardless, it’s not a Christian thing. Anyway, the official narrative of young black men being gunned down by white, racist cops was quickly derailed by facts which came out later. As of yet, we don’t known exactly what happened. I for one believe that if Officer Darren Wilson gunned down Michael Brown in cold blood, then he should suffer to the full extent of the law. Period. If however the facts show otherwise, that Michael Brown injured and continue to threaten Officer Wilson, then he should skate and demand an immediately apology –as well as reparations from Al Sharpton and the Dept of Justice.

Our point however was that the fear of crime has caused many to engage in stereotypical thinking. That’s all. Everything that flows from this fear (whether real or imagined) has to be understood through this prism. We are talking about segregation, hyper-vigilance and/or bigotry by whites. I in no ways indicated that such thinking or actions are ideal but that they must be understood in the context of race relations in America. I’ve been very clear about that.

For myself, I’d rather attend an African-American church (which I have on occasion) than a lily-white Unitarian one (once was enough for me). I’d also rather my next-door neighbors be Nigerian immigrants who are Anglican than Dagestani or Chechen Muslims who are white (and more ethnically related to me than Swedes or Scots-Irish). With Nigerian Anglicans I at least know they are virtuous whether the Chechens are probably planning jihad against my country.

Put all this aside for now. The fact of the matter is that there really is a low-level race war going on in these United States and that white prejudices against young black men are based on perceptions which are not inaccurate. Please take the time to watch this short, six-minute video by Bill Whittle if you don’t believe me.

Since the shooting of Michael Brown by a white policeman and the ensuing riots and looting in Ferguson, MO, Americans have been told, yet again, that there is an epidemic of crime against black people in this country. But is there really a race war, and if so, which side is actually waging it?


  1. Thank you George, for posting this…the truth will set you free indeed.
    The ‘War on Poverty’ predictably turned the good will and hopes of many
    in the sixties and seventies onto a mechanism for creating a dependent
    feral troll class and the parasites (race baiters & sundry government scallywags
    feeding off of them. Lord have mercy!

    • And don’t forget the oversubsidized farmer fat can’t sell it all’s in your rant; food stamps and farming go together Sally. Maybe you can find the secret embedded above before you blame anyone for gifting Cheerios to four year olds.

    • Clare Mulligan says

      The Truth to which Our Lord refers is Himself. This Truth is the Logos — Who is also a Person.

      He was not referring to the political controversy du jour and the correct, conservative take on it.

      This is precisely why I think that “conservative” Orthodox and Catholic bloggers and their claques are, in fact, latent or actual worldlings and secularists.

      • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

        The Truth to which Our Lord refers is Himself. This Truth is the Logos — Who is also a Person.

        So we only need to confess the truth that Christ is the Logos? We can lie about everything else? I don’t think that’s what Christ meant.

  2. M. Stankovich says

    The issue, as I see it, is the use of deadly force, and an article in today’s Washington Post addresses this directly. Without considering the issues of personal bias and prejudice, we are placing the responsibility for the use of deadly force – regardless of the amount of training – into the hands of individuals who are necessarily making a subjective choice based upon their own perception of danger. And the fact remains that an “incorrect” decision, in either direction, can be fatally disastrous; officers kill and officers are killed for their subjective decision. Add one’s personal bias and/or prejudice to the mix and the decision is yet cloudier. One notable example of the disaster of police “reactions” was the case of Amadou Diallo, mistakenly shot 19 times amidst 41 NYPD shots, for simply reaching for his wallet, occurred, from start to finish, in seven seconds. But how to separate “me” from a decision of the use of deadly force?”

    I have worked around correction officers in prison who, on a daily basis, must make decisions as to escalating authority – excluding deadly force – in potentially dangerous situations, situations that could, theoretically, rapidly escalate far beyond the single individual before them. Though I am not “compelled,” twice I entered into situations where I fully believed an officer would be beaten down, and once I received a significant ass whooping. Post-fact, in processing the experiences, had I stopped to “think through” the potential consequences, I would have sensed the personal danger, but “in the moment,” all I sensed was the danger to the officer. I suspect, and only suspect, this is somehow analogous to the decisions peace officer make. I am batting .500 and the price for one technically “incorrect” was especially exorbitant for me. On the other hand, I have written my opinion of those who misuse their authority and jeopardize everyone around them.

    In my mind, this is an extraordinarily complex human experience that is being addressed in too simplistic a manner. It undoubtedly has to do with charter, personality, bias & prejudice, and lack of continuous scrutiny by supervisors and the reporting of rogue and ill-prepared (e.g. inexperienced, poorly trained, burned out, alcoholic, mentally impaired) officers by colleagues. “Justice” achieved by prosecuting these officers is essential, but I suspect it does little to address the problem.

  3. Nate Trost says

    Bill Whittle is certainly waging a war against facts, accurate use of statistics, presumption of innocence and unbiased commentary.

    • George Michalopulos says

      What exactly did Whittle say that led you to believe he is “waging a war against facts,” etc.? He didn’t pull those stats out of thin air but from the FBI. (Which coincidentally lumps Hispanics into the white category when noting “white on black crime”.

      But that’s another story.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Well, lookee here: it seems that the late Michael Brown had a criminal record, including 2nd degree murder:

        • Nate Trost says

          That would explain why Mr. Michalopulos could not present the tide-turning photograph of a horribly wounded Officer Wilson: clearly Michael Brown murdered the photographer.

          • George Michalopulos says

            The reason I haven’t presented it is because I don’t have it: it was suppressed. Unlike the video of Brown’s violent robbery (which was also supposed to be suppressed but the Alt Media were able to get it out in time).

            • George Michalopulos wrote:

              Well, lookee here: it seems that the late Michael Brown had a criminal record, including 2nd degree murder:

              Lookee where exactly?


              Michael Brown was never found delinquent of the juvenile equivalents of any Class A or B felony charges, and was not facing any at the time he died, a court official said this morning at a hearing on whether his juvenile records should be released.

              The Post-Dispatch had filed a petition in St. Louis County Circuit Court to unseal any records about him in family court, if any existed.

              Cynthia Harcourt, a lawyer for St. Louis County Juvenile Officer Kip Seeley, argued against releasing those records, but acknowledged that there were no convictions or active cases for the most serious types of felonies.

              Class A felonies include second-degree murder and first-degree robbery; the penalties in adult court range from 10 years in prison to death. Class B felonies include voluntary manslaughter, second-degree robbery and first-degree burglary, with a maximum penalty of five to 15 years.

              George Michalopulos wrote:

              The reason I haven’t presented it is because I don’t have it: it was suppressed.

              You don’t have any proof said photograph exists period, much less that it exists and is being suppressed. It’s quite something how you will immediately believe anonymous sources claiming Brown had a second-degree murder rap when he didn’t, but it seems quite beyond you to entertain the possibility that perhaps the reason that there is no imagery of any injury to Wilson is because it was so minor that viewing it might entertain notions like, for example, it might have been caused by Wilson banging his own head while exiting his car in a hurry rather than from any action of Brown.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          So THAT’s it! The policeman was justified in shooting him because of his criminal record, which he MUST have known.

          NO one should allow a policeman to KILL anyone out of fear. What happened to reasonable force? How about shooting someone in the arm or leg? Oh, yeah, cops can’t shoot.

          • David Rudovsky says

            Your Grace,
            Where you ever a cop under threat from a suspect???? YOU or I are not qualified to make that call. You apparently have zero respect for the brave folks who have to make these tough decisions. God help my miserable soul…….I will stop short here about what I think. Oh Lord Set A Guard Over The Open Door Of My Lips (fingers).

            David Rudovsky

            PS Feel free to report me to my priest again.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Excellent point, Mr Rudovsky. While as a Conservative with heavy Libertarian leanings I have been alarmed by the “militarization” of various police forces (as well as that of the USDA, Homeland Security, DEA, etc.) I am wont to give The Thin Blue Line the benefit of most doubt. No one knows what goes through a policeman’s head when he pulls over a motorist for a traffic violation.

              Did you ever wonder why a cop, when he approaches your car, touches the left tail-light? To leave his fingerprints so that if he is killed in the line of duty the driver of the vehicle will be identified as the murderer.

              Having said that, I will state for the record that in many jurisdictions the standards for entry into the various police academies have fallen drastically. Many of the people out there who are deputized to be policeman have absolutely no business carrying a badge or a gun. This however is a societal problem as standards of decorum have fallen pretty much everywhere else and won’t be revived anytime soon.

              • Christopher says

                Mr. Michalopulos,

                I wonder if a conservative today is almost a libertarian by default because of the socialistic environment? I don’t agree with many libertarian positions in principle, but I sure end up siding with them on so many issues…

                You are correct about the standards and the kind of folks who end up in the police force today. Indeed, for too long now police depts. have intentionally sought out military vet’s with all the attendant problems that brings (they look only at the benifits which there certainly are some). It simply proves the point of the militarization going on. In my mind, one of the most dangerous aspects of this is the promotion of a “killer” and “survival” instinct and training philosophy. This was on display a while back when the teenager in California was given a few seconds to drop his BB gun (which admittedly looked like a real AK-47 – but which he was simply carrying down the sidewalk of his neighborhood) before he was gunned down. The officer who killed (I would say murdered) this boy was the departments “tactics instructor” and had written quite a few articles for SWAT magazine over the years. This is just a snippet of what he wrote, promotes, and believes:

                “”Today is the day you may need to kill someone in order to go home,” he wrote. “If you cannot turn on the ‘mean gene’ for yourself, who will? If you find yourself in an ambush, in the kill zone, you need to turn on that mean gene.””

                Unfortunately, most citizens seem to think that the phrase “to serve and protect” is the guiding spirit of officers. Anyone who has reason to be familiar with their local police force knows this is not the case.

                Perhaps we all should say a few prayers for our officers today…

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              I have had policemen as close friends most of my life, David Rudovsky. Moreover, I graduated from the US. Air Force Police Officer’s course and liaised with local law enforcement in various locales in my USAF career. . I was the BDCL (Base Deputy Commander for Security and Law Enforcement) at Columbus AFB for a short time in the 60s before being commandeered to the Air Stafff in the Pentagon. I am WELL acquainted with what is good law enforcement and what is bad law enforcement, David. You do NOT get to shoot to kill just because you’re terrified, like those Ferguson ‘PROS’. You use only NECESSARY force in law enforcement. When you say ‘you and I are not qualified to make that call” you are wrong. Any American citizen who HIRES policemen and PAYS them is qualified to make ‘that call and many others. Killing is not enforcing the law except when directed by a court after a trial. No one gets to be judge and jury otherwise. Murder is murder and there are degrees. You can’t be the judge, David, in these cases of murder/manslaughter only a court. Good police work involves using only NECESSARY force.
              I think those Ferguson pollicmen were not a credit to American law enforcement, on the contrary.

              AS for George’s fingerprint hypothesis (by far not a universal practice) I fail to see how a shooter amongst a carload of people could be identified by it!!! What an idea!

              • Christopher says

                Your Grace,

                I want to thank you for the tone of your response to David here. I also don’t disagree with anything in particular. What I would want to suggest is that our legislatures, prosecutors, and police have been steadily expanding the scope of “necessary force” in law enforcement since the sixties. One example of this change in law/culture/orientation/tactics is the “fleeing felon” laws mentioned upstream. Another example has been the incorporation of military style tactics/training/attitude (see the tactics officer who gunned down a teenage with the BB gun I cite above). Another example is the officer in South Carolina who recently shot (without killing him thankfully) the old man who he had pulled over. Apparently the old man was hard of hearing and possibly demented, and not really up to date with how aggressive (and thus dangerous to himself) law enforcement has become. So he got out of his truck (against the officers orders) and reached for a his walking cane in the back of his pickup. The officer went with his training, perceived a *possible* danger, and pulled the trigger. The officer felt terrible, as he was literally crying after the shooting. Still, his humanity came out a little too late for the old man. The department has justified the shooting because the officer is said to “have felt an imminent threat to his life”. They are being trained to “feel” this way.

                Now, this training has done some good, in that the number of officers killed in the line of duty last year was the lowest since sometime in the 1800’s! What I argue is that we have allowed this tactic of “us vs. them” and “shoot first” based on any *perception* or *feeling* to go too far. In other words, and to put it plainly, more officers should be dying in the line of duty because more of them should be hesitating to pull the trigger. Instead of a vague definition of *perceived* and *felt* threats we should require our officers to be under an actual threat before they react with deadly force. This would necessarily lead to a greater risk to them, but it would bring our policing back in line to what most think it still does, “serve and protect” the average citizen. Right now, the tactics and training of our police force literally can’t deal with a traffic stop of a demented and/or hard of hearing old man who does not follow the instructions of the officer – unless one believes gunning him down is *necessary*…

                Actually, I disagree with one thing you said. The fingerprint would as you say only identify the car, but as you a well aware that would be one piece of investigation and would most likely lead to identifying the driver (based on more physical evidence), etc…

                • Carl Kraeff says

                  Christopher–Great post. You put your finger on the problem; we have a systemic problem with our police that has very little to do with racism. Here is a link to an analysis published in the American Conservative, Seven Reasons Police Brutality Is Systemic, Not Anecdotal by Bonnie Kristian:

                  • Christopher says

                    Thanks for the link Mr. Kraeff. I would encourage everyone to read it. One thing that struck me was points #3 and #7. I can say from personal experience that many many officers have admitted to me in having gone over board themselves or seen others do the same. However, it’s a ‘brotherhood’ and they stick together.

                    I’m not sure how you deal effectively with this behavior however, as governmental immunity is entrenched in our system of government…

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says


                  • George Michalopulos says

                    This works best if the policeman or trooper stops a lone driver. It would at least implicate a driver of that vehicle in the murder of the officer if not necessarily the owner of that vehicle.

                    If there are multiple passengers in that vehicle then if an officer is murdered and if that vehicle is later stopped, then the authorities can take each passenger and arrest them separately in the old divide and conquer strategy. Get one of them to cough up the name of the trigger man.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      The fingerprints reveal ONLY the identity of the patrolman who touched the taillight of that car, but do not reveal the identity of the driver, owner, or any passenger, or the president of China.
                      I asked “how” above and got no explanations: only 4 thumbs-downs. Typical of the high level of rationality amongst Monomakhos readers.

                  • Christopher says

                    To add what George has said – this “procedure” is based on a famous case where the driver was convicted in part because the murdered officer had left the fingerprint on the drivers car during the stop. I quickly looked it up on Google but did not find it, but I do know it is taught in some police academy’s…

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      heh heh heh! O Christopher, sometimes the days are just too SHORT!!

                      I repeat my hated question: HOW?

                      I have some law enforcement experience. Why don’t you or George just call up the Crime Lab in Austin and learn the truth?

                      (by the way, thumbs-downs here kind of please and validate me, More, please!

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    HOW? The car is identified, then WHO was diving WHEN, the WHAT (the killing) occurred can be determined. Everything is linked.

                    WHY do we need police anyway?

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      Michael, you haven’t told us how. You’ve just listed a series of events, but you haven’t shown HOW the lawman’s fingerprints show who was driving, when he was driving, or what occurred.
                      The fingerprints show only that a given lawman touched the brake light of a car. That’s all.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Nate–You really must make an argument here instead of summarily dismissing Bill Whittle’s presentation. Indeed, the only data that could possibly be used to make the case for “white against black” are the arrest and incarceration figures. There is a slight problem with using that however: Whittle’s data show why it is not surprising that blacks are arrested and incarcerated at greater rates than any other racial group. No wonder you chose to pontificate instead of to argue.

      M. Stankovich–I agree with you, but I think that there is another structural defect in our society; the existence of a permanent underclass–overwhelmingly black. This underclass is persistent and nourished by liberal/progressive politicians (mainly Democrats) for their own ends. It seems to me that there must be (a) a great deal of reforms to counter the growing unprofessionalism in law enforcement, and (b) a change of mind on the part of Democrats. I think that the first will occur because most folks in law enforcement know reforms must occur but are in a circle the wagon mode–once they get proper public support and encouragement, I think that reforms will take place. OTOH, Democrat politicians, particularly at the national level, are beyond hope. The only chance that the underclass has is for the Democrat Party to reform itself; I do not think that such reform can happen without a succession of electoral drubbings at the polls.

      • Nate Trost says

        Carl Kraeff says

        Nate–You really must make an argument here instead of summarily dismissing Bill Whittle’s presentation.

        Oh, I can, I just had things I’d rather be doing with my Labor Day weekend, but since you insist.

        Let us start with the beginning of Whittle ‘getting into the numbers’:

        Bill Whittle said:
        According to the FBI, there were 408,217 robberies in 2009. That’s about 1100 a day, or in round numbers, about once a minute, 24 hours a day. That means a thousand times a day the police are called, a thousand times a day arrests are made and in general terms the events leading up to the shots being fired in Ferguson Missouri happen about one thousand times PER DAY.

        This is ridiculously stupid. Every single robbery statistic does not have a corresponding police visit, confrontation and arrest. That FBI page is clear that category is a raw reporting figure of reported incidents without clearance or arrest data.

        So, Whittle’s “a thousand times a day” claim of robbery confrontations with the police is based on pure fantasy.

        And, it gets blatantly dishonest when he describes it as ‘the events leading up to the shots being fired in Ferguson” because those events were not some kind of police stop and arrest due to a robbery report. Not even the Ferguson police made that claim.

        Now, Whittle could have given himself an even higher incident claim if he had used the raw arrest data for violent crimes from that year: 581,765, or almost 1,600 a day. But, of course, that’s a bit of a bridge too far, as that covers everything under the sun committed by everybody and is only raw arrests not convictions. So why would Whittle use something so silly? Because he could paint a disingenous picture beforehand to set the stage.

        Whittle starts off with material that would lead the ignorant viewer to think that the statistics threw out were directly applicable to Brown. Of course, being a man with a background in film and video editing, Whittle knows exactly how to selectively edit raw footage instead of playing the entirety in order to give the impression he wants. Could it be that rather than being an impartial concerned citizen Whittle is instead of media agitator with an agenda? (pretend I’m saying this in a somber voice with flame graphics behind me). Why does Whittle keep other parts of the video from us that might change the narrative he is describing for us?

        Strange how every piece of “evidence” Whittle presents is directed against the character of Brown. He never bothers bringing up factors that might cause reason to doubt the trustworthiness of Wilson or the Ferguson Police Department. Like, for example, Wilson’s previous job being at a department where the community relations were so toxic the entire force was disbanded. Or that the Ferguson Police has a history of perjuring themselves to cover their butts after engaging in gross misconduct.

        No, Whittle is all too happy to judge one side of the story, but only one.

        As far as a more meaningful engagement on the exploration of the distortion of crime statistics, I linked this in the other thread and am content to let it stand as useful/good enough for now as a general reply on the subject.

        There is a lot more to pick at in that video. You must be a bright man Mr. Kraeff, why don’t you go over the transcript and see if you can identify some of the other things I’d take issue with. Some of them are really, really obvious. Why do you seemingly insist on swallowing it whole and uncritically?

        • M. Stankovich says

          I had no intention of commenting on this tête-à-tête over such an obviously slanted video, but your use of the FBI statistics to “refute” Whittle is amusing. Like epidemiological data, the data is being used to present trends, rather than a conclusion based upon an “incidence” calculation for a period of 12-months.

          Speaking to that issue, the FBI emphasizes what may and may not be concluded because of the difficulty of gathering accurate and fully explainable data. You merely allude to the fact that the “raw reporting figure of reported incidents [is] without clearance or arrest data,” without discussing what “clearance” means. I have worked in corrections a while and I have never heard the term; so following the link, it seems “clearance” – finalizing the event – is basically determined by one of two factors: the individual is arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced or the individual is cleared by “exceptional means,” a “circumstance outside the control of law enforcement that prohibits the agency from arresting, charging, and prosecuting the offender.” They provide the examples of the individual takes their own life, is killed by the police, is being tried elsewhere for the same event, etc.

          The point? It reminded me that some individuals are cleared by the “exceptional means” of being innocent, despite having endured hell to prove it. This is a golden anniversary for a famous NYC crime, and the good news is that a young Black man, George Whitmore, Jr., with developmental disabilities and a low IQ was exonerated for a crime he did not commit. He spoke to the wrong cops at the wrong time, and justice left him a broken man. Somewhere in all those FBI numbers, you have to imagine there are plenty more like him. Statistically.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          Nate–You are entirely correct that Whittle was wrong to equate the number of reported robberies with the number of arrests related to robberies. However, you make a mistake of your own when you wrote ” Every single robbery statistic does not have a corresponding police visit, confrontation and arrest.” That is technically true but misleading. Reported robberies are associated with (in declining numbers): corresponding police visit, confrontation, arrest, prosecution, conviction and incarceration. That is also true in every crime category. I am relying here on a paper we did for the state governor’s office when I worked for a victim assistance network. I am disinclined to research this issue because I do not believe that people or our system have changed dramatically for the better. The fact remains that only a fraction of criminals are punished for their crimes.

          The context is whether the arrest and incarceration of black folks at a higher rate than other races are justified. The Sharptons and Holders of the world think that they are not justified, that white on black prejudice is so pervasive that it makes white cops arrest, beat up and shoot blacks not because of their conduct but because the color of their skin. I think that Whittle’s intent was to prove the Sharpton’s and Holders of the world that they are wrong. But, let us look at the FBI violent crime figures for 2009 to find out the answer ourselves.

          In 2009, total population was 307,006,550, with whites being 80% of the population and blacks being 13% of the population. Thus, all things being equal, the white/black figures for violent crimes should have reflected the demographics. The following table shows the deviances from the expected”

          Violent Crimes–Estimated Volume and Actual Arrests

          Actual Arrest Volume Expected Arrest # and Difference from Actual
          Estimated # Arrests White Black White Black White Black
          Murder & manslaughter 15,241 9,739 4,741 4,801 7,750 1,258 (2,949) 3,543
          Forcible rape 88,097 16,362 10,644 5,319 13,020 2,113 (7,701) 3,206
          Robbery 408,217 100,496 43,039 55,742 79,969 12,976 (24,227) 42,766
          Aggravated assault 806,843 330,368 209,922 111,904 262,888 42,658 (150,984) 69,246

          What we are looking here is the fact that blacks are more likely to be arrested than indicated by their own proportion of the general population (see the last columnar figure where a less than expected figure is shown in parentheses while a greater than expected figure is a positive value). Conversely, whites are less likely to be arrested. This does not tell us which group got discriminated against or for, because we have not factored in the crime incidence figures by race. I will try to get to that later this week. What we do have here, however, is that unless proven otherwise, we should try to disprove a working hypothesis that blacks may well commit crimes (and thus get arrested for them) at a greater number and rate than whites and thus the general population.

          • Carl Kraeff says

            My post is really hard to read; lost all of careful columnar arrangements when I transferred the table to my post. Here is how to read the columns (with figures from the robberies row.:

            First column: Type of crime (robberies in this example)

            Second: Total estimated number of robberies reported: 408,217

            Third: Total actual arrests: 100,496 (note roughly one in four reported robberies results in an arrest)

            Fourth: Arrested white folks: 43,039

            Fifth: Arrested black folks: 55,742 (this is the only violent crime category when blacks are arrested in higher absolute numbers than whites)

            Sixth: The number it should have been for whites, in proportion to their prevalence in the total population (80%): 79,969

            Seventh: The number it should have been for blacks, in proportion to their prevalence in the total population (13%): 12,976

            Eighth: The difference between the actual and expected arrests for whites: (24,227) or the number of times that whites were not arrested as suggested by their percentage of the general population.

            Ninth: The difference between the actual and expected arrests for blacks: 42,766 or the number of times that blacks were arrested in excess of the number suggested by their percentage of the general population.

            I hope this helps.

  4. M. Stankovich says

    There is a very interesting opinion regarding deadly force with the added dimension of “pursuing and apprehending felony suspects” on the CNN site today, written by attorney Mark O’Mara, who defended George Zimmerman.

    • Michael Bauman says

      M. Stankovich: Actually a thoughtful article. Good questions. How much scope in the use of deadly force should we allow law enforcement? That includes both rules of use, types of weapons and tactics.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      I agree with both of you. Reforms are needed nationwide and this question should be addressed as an integral part of the reforms.

  5. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

    Hi! Dropped in for a minute today—-waiting for the execrable ATT service….
    I see the ideology cultivated here is as rigid and unthinking as ever.
    “white prejudices against young black men are based on perceptions which are not inaccurate.”
    So THAT’S why prejudices are OK!!!! Why not honestly admit that only those views disagreeing with your own are REAL prejuduces? .

    • Gail Sheppard says

      RE: “So THAT’S why prejudices are OK!!!! Why not honestly admit that only those views disagreeing with your own are REAL prejuduces? ”

      Because that would be inaccurate, Your Grace. George DOES consider the opinions of others, as indicated by his thoughtful replies. He is rarely guilty (if ever) of knee jerk responses, on the fly, waiting for AT&T. Just saying. . .

      Few of us are free from prejudice. Doesn’t mean this is necessarily bad. Just another factor to take into consideration.

  6. As a competitive Jui-Jitsu player (well, not so competitive now – to old and slow!) I have known many police officers over the years. My experience is a majority of them are competent, well adjusted and semi-adequately trained. However, a significant minority should not be in a position of authority or even allowed to carry a gun in public. Add to this the militarization of our police force (starting with prohibition 2.0, otherwise known as the “war on drugs”, and especially ramping up after 9-11) and I am quite critical of the way policing is done in America today.

    That said, it is plainly obvious (based on the officer’s injuries) that officer Wilson was in a fight for his life. His use of deadly force was justified.

    Still, I would recommend that anyone who has contact with a police officer be very, very careful. Always show your hands (e.g. leave them on the top of your steering wheal should you get pulled over). If the officer asks for identification tell him in a clear voice “my I.D. is in my wallet, which is in my rear pocket – is it OK for me to retrieve it?”

    Also, due to this militarization and the general direction of our culture it is best to remember that police officers are trained to have an “us vs. them” attitude and orientation. Very often, they are not interested in the truth, they are interested in fulfilling a quota, or perhaps furthering their careers with yet another fill_in_the_blank arrest. They don’t have your interests at heart.

    Google “why i never talk to the police” to see an interesting lecture given by a law professor on this subject…