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We remember during the Bill Clinton Administration all about those Black Helicopters, Military Manuvers in the Streets of America, putting people into collective camps and prisons……yeah, we remember all that fairly vividly. Then after 911 the talk got pretty scary about those Black Helicopters reading your mail – in your mailbox and even taking people out who were political opponents.
As Right Wing Cable pushed these stories aside and relegated them to rumor and innuendo or certain PBS Independent Documentaries……these tales dimmed somehwat and became aimed more specifically at stealing credit card numbers and stealing your identity and a raft of listening to your private conversations in your own home, on your telephone or mobile device or computer. Nancy Grace seemed to target the great stupids in our society which had begun years before as the Natalie Holloway disappearance in Aruba. Joran Vandersloot, Foxy Knoxy – Amanda Knox, Casey Anthony and finally the grand poo-bah of stupids Jodie Arias.
In the meantime, a black kid in crazy Florida – Travon Martin was killed by a self appointed Neighborhood Watch guy, who liked walking around at night in the rain, with a 9mm handgun following black teenagers to the nearest Convenience store and back into his own special Stand Your Ground area. The kid was unarmed and whatever happened only George Zimmerman will ever know. Then came the Kelly Thomas killing in Fullerton, California. His dad was an ex-cop, Kelly did drugs and liked living outside. Two cops with a combined weight of over 500 lbs, jumped on him and stopped his breathing and he became brain dead and died several days later. Suddenly, lots of Officer involved shootings of people that were unarmed but may have reached for their “Waistband”.
We kept hearing time and time again about excessive use of force by police officers, some involved lots of shots others serious beatings by homeless grandmas and the like. Having been to the Citizens Police Academy several years ago, we know how tough and dangerous the job is that our many wonderful police officers do. There are times however, when the leadership of police departments is either “outdated” or using “Material Overkill” as an excuse for good decision making and strong direction in the public safety arena. It is certainly the old story, that the press never reports the many great jobs that are done on a daily basis by police officers all around our country. We still sit fixated watching the latest “Car Chase” until the brutal end….and are very excited when the dummy that wouldn’t stop is apprehended with great eland. We keep wondering however about the 15 to 20 police cars and three helicopters that were required to get some drunk, prescription drug overdoser, liquor store robber or simply someone that beat up their wife and grabbed their 3 year old as hostage – finally taking the kid to grandma’s house before being arrested. Is this really worth that many Public Safety resources?
Sadly, we do have poster boy cases that are awful. The recent incident in Ferguson/St. Louis, Missouri on Saturday is such as case. When black kids only graduate 15% of the male 18 years olds…..”Gentle Giant” Mike Brown was walking to his grandma’s house with his friend. Mike was unarmed and had recently graduated from high school. A police car cruised by and made a nasty comment……to get out of the road. Within 60 seconds……Mike Brown was pulled halfway through the driver side window of the police car and shot once……he pulled back raised his hands and was smartly cut down like tree with six more bullets….and fell dead. After five days, the Ferguson Police Department have down everything wrong……that could be done. First of all, the Eric Holder and the FBI rushed Agents to Ferguson to do a serious investigation. The Ferguson folks said that they were going to do a parallel investigation! Guess they don’t trust the FBI and instead of wanting to Collaborate and support the FBI Investigation – they wanted to do their own “special investigation”. The Police Chief has so far refused to release the name of the Officer, because after five days…….he says: “We have had death threats….”
Sunday, folks were shocked and when the Ferguson PD stonewalled and Ferguson City Council were in hiding, the result was on Monday night that some people rioted. There is still some conflict in the story about who set the fire to Convenience Store. One report was, that a Flash Bang Grenade set off the fire, not the protesters. Eventually, the truth will come out. Tuesday night the Police donned their Riot Gear and brought out lots of various Smoke, Gas, Flash Bang Grenades and arrested 40 people. Tonight, things really got out of hand and the Ferguson Police brought out all their Military Equipment, including uniforms with a armored carrier with a mounted Machine Gun. 30 caliber or 50 caliber? It doesn’t matter……we now have created the Gaza Strip right in the middle of the heartland of our country. Hundreds of rounds of Tear Gas, CN and CS…..both very painful and of course Smoke and Flash Bang triples. Camo clad Police with rifles roamed the streets in search of protesters, even in a MacDonalds. They arrested several news reporters for not clearing the area fast enough – even without an imminent threat to public safety. News trucks were not allowed in the area and the PD Chief wanted all protest activities to cease after sunset.
The Governor of Missouri made a five minute appearance and left. The Mayor of Ferguson, or any member of the City Council has yet to make a public statement or comment. As we watched the events unravel in Ferguson…..we thought back to the days of Kent State and how many kids had to be killed before those in power realize that escalation of force is probably not the correct course. What has to happen? Does President Obama have to deploy troops to take control of the situation? Is there no one in Ferguson/St. Louis, Missouri that will be responsible and take charge? The Police Chief of Ferguson should be fired and put on administrative leave. The Police Officer that killed Mike Brown….should be arrested and kept in solitary – for his own safety – until a trial is held. What is so amazing is that this is Deja Vu all over again. Yes folks….welcome to the 60’s – everyone smoked weed, protested, got beat up by the cops and were totally disappointed with our political leadership at even the lowest levels. As Dolly Parton said: “Here you come again!”
Ferguson, MO……Back to the 60’s!