Major police presence at intersections. Police with assault rifles. pic.twitter.com/SdxFtAkC6r
The family of John Crawford (the young black man gunned down in a Walmart store when police were falsely told by a 911 caller that he was pointing a gun at people in the store — it was a BB gun) is horrified that the grand jury has decided not to indict the police officer who killed him.
Yesterday a special grand jury returned a bill of no indictment against the Beavercreek Police officer who shot and killed Crawford.
It was an emotional meeting Thursday morning as John Crawford’s family attorney laid out why he believes the grand jury got it wrong.
In fact, at one point, the family attorney said quote “they have killed him again.”
“He was murdered, he had no chance, in the situation, in the circumstances surrounding the situation he had no chance, absolutely no chance,” said John Crawford Junior, John Crawford the Third’s father.
Here’s the surveillance video of the shooting, synced with the 911 call; notice that at one point the caller outright lied and said Crawford was pointing the “gun” at children, when he clearly was not. Also notice that the policeman opened fire on Crawford immediately after seeing him; no calls to drop the weapon or surrender are heard.
The city government of Ferguson, Missouri, has hired a public relations firm, and they apparently advised Police Chief Tom Jackson to make this video filled with abject apologies.
And today we’re learning that some of the police officers in Ferguson last night were wearing armbands that said, “I am Darren Wilson.”
@Rebeccarivas asks Johnson about the officers who were wearing “I Am Darren Wilson” armbands. He said they were doing that as individuals.
Some police in Ferguson last night wore “I am Darren Wilson” bracelets while policing protest. Cpt. Johnson says he'll talk to them about it
St. Louis County Police Semi-Apologize for “How to Handle the Media” Flyer, Delete It From Their Website
The St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy has responded to the uproar over their course on how to handle media after an officer-involved shooting, and the instructor says he’s “outraged” that anyone would “read between the lines.”
Police Academy spokesman Brian Schellman sort of apologizes in the usual non-apology “if anyone was offended” way:
Schellman also issued the following statement: “Chief of Police Jon Belmar and his command staff were unaware of the flier and its wording until the subject was brought up by several members of the media. The St. Louis County Police Department recognizes the sensitive nature of this flier in the wake of Mr. Brown’s death, and the events that transpired in Ferguson. This flier has been worded in nearly the same manner for all of Mr. Rosenthal’s prior teachings at our academy, with the exception of the newly added lines referencing Ferguson. Being that the flier was sent by our police academy, we apologize for anyone hurt by the wording of the flier. We believe Mr. Rosenthal’s use of the terms ‘900-pound gorilla’ and ‘feeding the animals’ were mentioning police departments from across the nation dealing with the media and meant no racial harm.”
The instructor, Rick Rosenthal, focuses on the racially-charged language, denying he meant it that way — but completely missing the point that the entire idea of a “highly entertaining” course teaching police how to control and “handle” the media after gunning someone down is, in itself, pretty outrageous.
Rosenthal said that was nothing racial about his flier.
“It’s outrageous that someone would try to read between lines and make something out of nothing,” he said.
He also issued a statement, which read in part: “The term ‘feeding the animals’ is a tongue-in-cheek reference to dealing with mainstream news media reporters (the ‘animals’ - I used to be one, myself.) The term ‘900 pound gorilla’ is a similar tongue-in-cheek reference to news reporters, particularly those who aggressively strain the bounds of First Amendment privilege while ignoring their responsibilities for fairness and accuracy, especially as defined by the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. I have been using these terms in my programs for the past 20 years. I strongly reject any suggestion that these terms are new, or are in any way a specific reference to the recent tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri, or are in any way a racial slur. Any suggestion to the contrary is just plain wrong.”
It’s clear that the contentious attitude we saw from St. Louis police during the Ferguson protests was no fluke; it stems from an organization that sees itself in opposition to the community and to the media. And these statements do nothing to change that evaluation.
It’s unclear from these statements whether the course has actually been canceled, but the offensive flyer has now been removed from the St. Louis County website. Here’s a screenshot, for the record.
STL County Police Academy’s New Course: How to Handle the Media After You Gun Down an Unarmed Teenager
Sometimes you get a glimpse into a separate subculture that shows you how incredibly removed from the ordinary person’s experience its members are; for example, this new course being offered by the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting, which promises to teach officers how to handle the media in situations like that, with topics like “Meet the 900-Pound Gorilla,” and “Feeding the Animals.”
This is not a parody, folks. Here’s the PDF: Mediashoot.pdf.
OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING — YOU CAN WIN WITH THE MEDIA
￼￼￼￼￼The shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer on August 9th in Ferguson, Missouri and the events that followed were tragic. In addition to the Ferguson case study, this fast-paced class is jam-packed with the essential strategies and tactics, skills and techniques that will help you WIN WITH THE MEDIA! It is practical training, not theoretical: Take what you learn and put it to work for you on the street right away! The training is also highly entertaining: numerous video clips illustrate key points, and there is NO PowerPoint! You will learn a lot, and you’ll have fun doing it! In addition to the detailed case study of Ferguson (including numerous practical tips for handling the media in an officer-involved shooting) topics will include:
- Meet the 900-Pound Gorilla
- DWI and the Media
- Feeding the Animals
- "No comment" is a comment
- Don't Get Stuck on Stupid!
- Managing Media Assault and Battery
- Managing the Media When Things Get Ugly (think Ferguson)
- Managing the Media in a Crisis (including lessons learned from the Newtown, CT school shooting.)
In case the document suddenly disappears, here’s a screenshot:
Last night during the St. Louis County council meeting that erupted in protests from residents infuriated at officials’ inaction on the Michael Brown shooting, I tweeted this:
The right wing blogosphere is going to go batshit over this STL council meeting. Get ready for the racism.
And like clockwork, that’s exactly what’s happening this morning.
And once again the angry right wing mob is led by the Dumbest Man on the Internet, Jim Hoft: Ferguson Mob Threatens StL County Leaders: “If Wilson Get Off, Y’all Better Bring Every Army Y’ Got, Cuz It’s Going Down” | the Gateway Pundit.
Get a load of Hoft’s inflammatory and distorted description of the shooting of Michael Brown; he’s still hyping his faked post about officer Darren Wilson’s “orbital blowout fracture of the eye socket.”
Brown was shot dead in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014 after he robbed a local Ferguson convenience store. Brown reportedly smashed police officer Darren Wilson in the face, severely injuring Wilson, before he was shot dead.
Wilson did not know Brown was a robbery suspect when he gunned Brown down; even the Ferguson police chief has acknowledged this. But Hoft repeatedly conflates these two issues as if they’re connected.
And about those “severe injuries” — Hoft made this up out of nothing, and continues to push the lie without any evidence and despite the fact that it’s been debunked repeatedly, most recently by St. Louis Post-Dispatch editor Gilbert Bailon, who said his paper had been unable to verify this bogus story.
But the real reason why Hoft does this is revealed with a look at his comment section, which by now has become totally indistinguishable from a neo-Nazi site, with overt racism and hate speech rampant. Some examples, hidden by default because they’re incredibly sickening:
Let the black version of the KKK AKA the Black Panthers burn Ferguson to the ground. They aren’t smart enough to know what justice is. Send em all back.
I love how the headline is written in ebonics, lol.
Oh please do it ! then we can clean this trash out !
Normally it begins with fake charges, the shaking of tree branches and the baring of fangs. In the future they should keep a pocket of shiny washers on hand. Baubles tend to distract the primitives.
We can only hope and pray that “it goes down”
Yup.. they would be mowed down like grass
I was pretty much raised by a black lady, she had a name for these folks. Political correctness has banned it to hate crime classification.
What this is really about is the black communi-teh being unable to live by white man’s laws in the white man’s society. To loud mouths like this Anthony Shahid, the solution is demanding the dominant population become subservient to them under threat of violence.
Uncivilized malcontents like Shahid should be repatriated to Ebola-ville where his philosophy and methods are dominant.
Then it’s time to kill these idiots and be done with it. You don’t get your way just bcz you threaten violence. The shooting was justified and I’d personally shoot every one of you if I live there and had to deal with you chimps.
What a pack of useless monkeys. And those shitskins wonder why nobody takes them seriously.
bang! and as many bangs as it takes from the citizen militia to do the job the government just won’t do.
What a f*cking zoo…..literally.
You can find these kinds of ugly racist comments at nearly every right wing blog that covers this story, by the way. Jim Hoft’s hate site is unusually dumb, but not unusually hateful for this crowd.
“If Darren Wilson get off y'all better bring every army y'all got. Cause it's going down.” pic.twitter.com/pexFCCawbZ
We have an update on our post from last night about the fundraising effort that was apparently linked to an organization led by St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch; Backstoppers Inc. now denies having anything to do with it.
Leaders of The Backstoppers Inc., which raises money to financially support families of fallen emergency responders who die in the line of duty, do not know who is selling T-shirts that read: “I support Officer Darren Wilson,” and will not be accepting any money from the sales if it is offered, said Executive Director Ron Battelle.
Social media sites began circulating rumors this past weekend that profits from the T-shirts would benefit Backstoppers as well as a fundraising website for Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson. Some claimed the move was a conflict of interest for St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch.
So there you have it; but I do want to point out that this was more than just an unsubstantiated “rumor,” since the page at teespring.com specifically says donations from T-shirt purchases will go to Backstoppers.
In what seems to be a serious conflict of interest, a T-shirt being sold to raise money for officer Darren Wilson, who gunned down unarmed teenager Michael Brown in a Ferguson street last month, appears to be associated with the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney, Robert P. McCulloch; here’s the page for the T-shirt: I SUPPORT OFFICER D. WILSON | Teespring.
“I SUPPORT OFFICER D. WILSON” is an officer inspired design to show support for officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department in Missouri. Donations from purchases will be divided between a fund set up for Officer Wilson at gofundme.com as well as The BackStoppers Inc. organization which can be visited at backstoppers.org for more information.
And at the website of backstoppers.org, we find that the Vice President of this company is none other than Robert McCulloch:
According to an article at stltoday.com, McCulloch is now actually the President of Backstoppers, Inc.
McCulloch joined former St. Louis County Police Chief Ron Battelle in accepting a $292,000 check from the 27th annual Budweiser Guns ‘N Hoses event earlier today at city hall in St. Louis. McCulloch also will be serving as president of the board for Backstoppers in the 50th anniversary year of his father’s death.