Demonstrators marching from Ferguson to Missouri’s capital to protest the police shooting death of Michael Brown were met with opposition as they passed through a rural town.
Television station KRCG reports that some people in Rosebud shouted obscenities and held signs telling them to “go home” and someone put an empty bottle of beer, a melon and some fried chicken in the path of the protestors.
The Columbia Missourian reports that at least one person displayed a Confederate flag, and the back window of a bus traveling with the marchers was broken by a bullet.
Now showing up in Ferguson, Missouri: the “Oathkeepers,” one of the most extreme right wing militia groups in the US and one of many offshoots of the Patriot movement, with numerous ties to white nationalist and xenophobic anti-immigrant groups. Founder Stewart Rhodes believes Barack Obama is plotting to disarm American citizens and turn US cities into “giant concentration camps.” He explained the goals of the group like this:
“We say if the American people decide it’s time for a revolution, we’ll fight with you.”
It’s doubtful the addition of these far right gun worshippers to the volatile Ferguson situation is going to make things better.
For the record, here’s George Stephanopoulos’ complete 45-minute interview with officer Darren Wilson, in which Wilson basically repeats the story he told the St. Louis County grand jury.
The grand jury testimony in the Darren Wilson case reveals some shockingly lax procedures by the Ferguson and St. Louis County police departments: Unorthodox Police Procedures Emerge in Grand Jury Documents.
When Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson left the scene of the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the officer returned to the police station unescorted, washed blood off his hands and placed his recently fired pistol into an evidence bag himself.
Such seemingly unorthodox forensic practices emerged from the voluminous testimony released in the aftermath of a grand jury decision Monday night not to indict Wilson.
The transcript showed that local officers who interviewed Wilson immediately after the shooting did not tape the conversations and sometimes conducted them with other police personnel present. An investigator with the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s office testified that he opted not to take measurements at the crime scene.
“I got there, it was self-explanatory what happened,” said the investigator, whose name was not released, in his grand jury testimony. “Somebody shot somebody. There was no question as to any distances or anything of that nature at the time I was there.”
The investigator, described as a 25-year veteran, did not take his own photographs at the scene of the shooting because his camera battery was dead, he said.
Perhaps the most outrageous thing: police never tested Wilson’s gun for Michael Brown’s fingerprints. Since one of the main points of Wilson’s story was that Brown grabbed his gun, why wasn’t this done?
Republican Rep. Peter King thinks it would be a great idea for President Obama to invite Darren Wilson to the White House.
“I think it would be very helpful if President Obama went and met with the police officer or invited him to the White House and said, ‘You’ve gone through four months of smear and slander and the least we can do is tell you that it’s unfortunate that it happened and thank you for doing your job.’ And then try to bring the communities together,” King said in an interview with Fox Business News.
George Stephanopoulos apparently won the media competition to interview officer Darren Wilson. In a preview of the interview, Stephanopoulos says Wilson told him that although he was sorry for the loss of Michael Brown’s life, he “would not do anything different that day” and has a clean conscience about what happened.
And by the way, ABC News says they did not pay for the interview.
TV nets sometimes find $$$ ways to “win” exclusive interviews. But not Darren Wilson: ABCer says “No payment, no licensing, no NOTHING.”
I have known and seen racism and discrimination. I have known and experienced privilege.
And I have the common sense to distinguish between the two.
Ferguson is a place that is riddled with racism and discrimination. The police are known by all to engage in discrimination and racism. The state has disbanded police departments for racism and other malfeasance. Darren Wilson belonged to one such department to start his career. He came to Ferguson where the Department has long had issues in policing the community. All but a handful of officers are white in a community that is overwhelmingly black.
Blacks are stopped far more frequently than white (when adjusting per capita). That’s despite fact that whites that are stopped are found to have contraband in higher rates.
In this respect, Ferguson is hardly alone. Many other communities around the St. Louis region (and indeed nationally) face the same problems.
But the specifics of this case are exceptionally troubling. Only Officer Wilson was able to speak to what happened - and it was couched from the outset that he feared for his life when he stopped Brown. Both were the same height (Brown had 70 pounds on him). All the shots were fired by Wilson. And Brown lay dead more than 150 feet from the vehicle, in about a minute after the stop was initiated by Wilson.
All the eyewitness evidence was disregarded or minimized by the fact that Wilson feared for his life. That there’s no bruising apparent from the photos taken hours later. Yet, he thought he was a punch or two from being disabled?
Here’s the live video of Bob McCullogh’s statement on the Darren Wilson grand jury decision.
People are beginning to fill the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, as the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office prepares to release the results of the grand jury investigation into Darren Wilson’s shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. We’re expecting the announcement at 8 pm Central time.