Share This Article with a Friend!

Would YOU Expect To Get Shot For Jaywalking?

Michael Brown Shot in Ferguson

Let’s get this out of the way right up front – we don’t condone fighting with the police, or the rioting and looting that has gone on in the wake of the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown at the hands of a Ferguson, Missouri police officer.
The officer involved in this tragedy [now named as six-year veteran Darren Wilson] is entitled to the presumption of innocence, and the facts of Michael Brown’s death have not yet been fully revealed, so some observers are wont to say, “Well, if you follow the lawful orders of the police and don’t start fighting with them you won’t get shot.”
But, as reported by St. Louis, here are the facts of the incident leading to Michael Brown’s death according to the statement of Dorian Johnson, who was with Brown when the incident started and witnessed his death.
Johnson said the incident started around 1:40 p.m. Saturday afternoon (August 9) when a police officer pulled up beside the pair as they were walking down the street near his grandmother's house.
"He [the police officer] didn't say freeze, halt or anything like we were committing a crime," Johnson told "He said, 'Get the 'F' on the sidewalk.'
Johnson said the officer, whose name had not been released at the time he spoke to reporters, shoved open the car door, grabbed Brown around the neck and tried to pull him through the window. He said Brown never tried to reach for the officer's weapon.
"The second time he says, 'I'll shoot,' a second later the gun went off and he let go," Johnson said. "That's how we were able to run at the same time."
Johnson said he ducked behind a car as the officer continued shooting at them, first hitting Brown in the back and then in the head and chest after Brown turned toward the officer.
Something is clearly wrong in our society if a police officer thinks it is necessary to tell a citizen to get out of the street and that citizen ends up dead for not complying with what might be a lawful, but certainly trivial police order.
And by their actions since Brown’s death law enforcement officials in Ferguson have done little to clarify exactly what the police there think their job is.
Far from calming the situation or bringing about order they have sent officers clad in military battle gear armed with automatic weapons to arrest journalists covering the unrest in the community, prompting Senator Ted Cruz to criticize the detention on Wednesday of reporters Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of The Huffington Post.  
The two journalists were arrested at a McDonald’s in Ferguson on Wednesday night in a high-profile fashion that has sparked heated reactions toward the police and the news media according to POLITICO. “Reporters should never be detained — a free press is too important — simply for doing their jobs,” Senator Cruz said in a statement. (You can watch the video of the arrest through this link.)
The police response in Ferguson has been so heavy with military grade gear that the internet is awash in images comparing Ferguson to Iraq or Afghanistan.
As Time’s Mark Thompson reported, Brandon Friedman, who served as an Army officer with the 101st Airborne in Afghanistan and Iraq, tweeted a pair of photographs contrasting a policeman in Ferguson with one of him on the eve of the 2003 Iraq invasion. “The gentleman on the left,” he said of the Missouri cop Wednesday, “has more personal body armor and weaponry than I did while invading Iraq.”
And Thompson says scenes from Ferguson have reached a point where Mashable has posted photos from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Ferguson—and asked readers to try to figure out where they’re from.
Ted Cruz is absolutely right about the need for a free press in cases like this, but the elected official who really captured where we are coming from on the events in Ferguson is Senator Rand Paul.
Senator Paul said in an op-ed penned for Time, “If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off. But, I wouldn’t have expected to be shot.”
“Most police officers are good cops and good people,” said Senator Paul. “It is an unquestionably difficult job, especially in the current circumstances.”
But says Paul, there is a “systemic problem” with today’s law enforcement.
“When you couple this militarization of law enforcement with an erosion of civil liberties and due process that allows the police to become judge and jury—national security letters, no-knock searches, broad general warrants, pre-conviction forfeiture—we begin to have a very serious problem on our hands.
Given these developments, it is almost impossible for many Americans not to feel like their government is targeting them. Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them,” concluded Senator Paul.
Senator Paul is right and every comfortable upper income white person sitting around grousing about law and order knows in their heart it is true.
Now it is time someone asked the next obvious question: If militarized, hyper-aggressive policing is such a great idea why isn’t it working in Ferguson, Missouri?
Click the link to read our report “Live from FreedomFest: Radley Balko Documents the Militarization of America’s Police.
Click the link to read Chairman Richard A. Viguerie’s op-ed in The New York Times “A Conservative Case for Prison Reform.”

Share this


Politicians and commentators who issue opinions on incidents such as Ferguson before all the facts are known are only using the incident to further whatever particular agenda they have, or are just as stupid as they appear to be.

The senator is a moron...what

The senator is a moron...what else is new? The teen was not shot for jaywalking. He was shot because that is sometimes how trash that rob people and rough up store owners then fight with police end up.