Tuesday, August 19, 2014

HOWLING MOBS---A THREAT TO DEMOCRACY

RANDY RANTS AGAINST THE HOWLING MOBS IN MISSOURI.

Our founding fathers used those very words to warn us against mob rule and mob influence.  Collectively we are much more evil than we are individually, a fact long ago described by Rhinhold Niebur in his book "Moral Man and Immoral Society.  The street rage in Ferguson, Missouri proves the point---in spades.  They are enraged and irrational---and probably DEAD WRONG in their assumptions about the death of that youth.  They have given no thought the central question of how a policeman is supposed to deal with an attack.  Should the policeman "fight him fair"? Not use his weapon.? This kid could possibly have killed the policeman.
The message that should go out to anyone dealing with a policeman is that  TO RESIST ARREST IS TO RISK DEATH.  If you did no wrong---if you have been misunderstood---you will have a chance to explain an justify yourself.
I know whereof I speak here because I have made more than 200 arrests on the streets of New Orleans and three times I have been put in fear of my life.  Once in Desire Street Project, I was surrounded by by a crowd of angry blacks.  Luckily, backup arrived just in time.

Most of us have cause to be angry---about lots of things---economic injustice primarily.  We should, from time to time, take to the streets in peaceful protest.  But this issue is the wrong one to mobilize around. I predict that in the end it will be judged by the courts to be "A JUSTIFIABLE SHOOT".

36 comments:

Jerry C said...

Well said, and I agree with your conclusion.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have been there. I was on patrol in Kenner, La.Projects off third st. I was shot at three nights in a row. Days before Christmas 1980. I resigned Christmas eve.

CM

bayrider said...

I am totally aware of how high handed cops can be when they see one as an antagonist, I have had plenty of issues with them. But you are 100% right. You can't expect the police to trade punches with every miscreant, they would not last long in that job. The choice is pretty much club them or shoot them.

This whole thing is idiotic soap opera. These people really believe this cop just decided to shoot someone for no particular reason? Yet when the deceased demonstrated his propensity for physical violence and assault just 10 minutes before he died that is irrelevant?

All the SWAT teams in these podunk towns are ridiculous though. Those clowns pointing military carbines through scopes at a crowd of unarmed protesters was insane, completely unprofessional and actively courting a huge disaster. The Army would never point them unless they were receiving active fire, hold them at the ready only.


Anonymous said...

spoken like a spoiled white man with too much money who cares nothing for others and justifies the death of folks he cares nothing for and sadly sleeps well at night. you disgust me with this cheap trick of a blog post. you think you are wise? I have enjoyed your reflections but now see they are written by one arrogant SOB who simply wants to profit from justifying your over expensive and pseudo cosmic trip. not buying it anymore. you say you care? i think not. the young people will be justified in turning all of we elders into the famous Soylent Green of that science fiction story. The youth need our help. Clearly you are on board to exploit poor folks (i have seen some of the homeless folks you have photographed and profited from!) and stay clear of any real actual truth. shame shame shame.

Volova Lolla said...

yes that's right, I have relatives there, so totally agree!

Anonymous said...

Well written post and those that have read your blog for any length of time would know that you always see the good in people that most of society would shun and the pics you post have been granted permission by the subject at hand.

Anonymous said...

I agree also, and it surprises me greatly, that everybody else does.
Bushman

Bill said...

Two things every cop should have on them: one of the new lapel video cameras and a taser.

coupe2u said...

Wow, you have outdone yourself this time Randy. I particularly love the line " If you did no wrong---if you have been misunderstood---you will have a chance to explain an justify yourself." Right, if you are a 50 year old white male - maybe. A black male teenager??? One who has been accused of stealing? YOu have got to be kidding. Using your ridiculous logic no one would ever be jailed unfairly. Yes, the riots are stupid and not the way to resolve the issue of unnecessary police violence. And the police acting like they are in Iraq is equally or even more ridiculous as they are supposed to be trained whereas the crowd/mob is not. And, yes, the officer does need to defend himself - but - to shoot the kid in the face multiple times?? Really?? Could he have just shot him once in the stomach or better yet in the leg? Do African american people commit a disproportionate amount of crime? Yes. Is a disproportionate amount of this crime committed by teenaged males ? Yes. Is there a problem? Yes. But you do not solve that problem with using unnecessary force. Furthermore, are you telling me that you have never questioned a policeman? Have you never tried to evade the law? Have you never thought that it was better to elude the police than have to explain yourself with the thought that you would be believed, listened to, and trusted? I don't think so. Get off that high horse and that holier than thou attitude. It must be nice to be an old, white male that never has to worry about the police accusing him of doing something he may not have done.

Anonymous said...

Amazing Randy, you apparently know more about the shooting than these 5 people who claim to have witnessed the events and appear to have similar accounts:

http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/08/_5_eyewitness_accounts_of_michael_brown_s_shooting.html

I'm sure you're right though. They're probably just "a crowd of angry blacks." Obviously, they have no legitimate reason to be angry.

Stephen

Anonymous said...

Your response to this issue surprises me Randy. I agree only that a crowd is dangerous, that "collectively we are much more evil than we are individually" I doubt that a crowd is "more evil" but probably more unreasonable and dangerous.
Sadly, you sound like you have NO compassion or empathy for this outraged town.
It is inexcusable that this town is 78% black and only 3 black police officers of 50-55 total
This police department is essentially an occupying force with a very militant attitude' toward the populace. Your comments and your attitude is just wrong here. Ron Sinor

Randy said...

Ah Mr Ron: Always good to hear your views. This mob wants to punish a police officer for doing his job. Do you not have any empathy for this lone policeman trying to make an arrest and being attacked viciously by this thug of a kid. Really now, Ron, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE HIM DO?
Do you doubt that the kid attacked him? When this thing gets sorted out I will expect a different response from you.
Yes there are injustices---but this is the wrong issue to rally around.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed that you seem to be rallying behind this PD. Talk about the wrong thing to rally around.
You are likely right that the court will clear the cop but that doesn't mean it's right. There is nothing that can justify this cop shooting this unarmed man (at least) 6 times, 2 times in the top of the head. This is a PD completely out of control and these people are in the right to be angry and demonstrating!
You are also right that there are many better things for US (old white men) to demonstrate about. But we're not them. What's in their craw is the murdering and imprisonment of their young men. I wish them strength and courage in their fight for justice. Ron Sinor

Anonymous said...

I have driven across the country numerous times over the last 30 years via I70. One thing I learned pretty quick, don't stop for gas in St. Louis. I plan my stops well before St. Louis so I can drive through and NEVER get out of the car there.

Anonymous said...

"...this lone policeman trying to make an arrest and being attacked viciously by this thug of a kid."

Randy, have you even taken the time to listen to the interviews with purported witnesses other than the officer?

Based on your unique life experience, you are projecting and ASSUMING facts you actually know nothing about!

Perhaps you should take your own advice...

UN-BELIEVE, DUMP IT, SHUCK IT and be born again as someone who does not claim to know something he doesn't know!

Can't you see that you are doing exactly what you are condemning?--i.e., choosing sides and condemning, based on assumptions and without any direct knowledge of the situation.

Stephen

Anonymous said...

You may be right but with the AG running the lynch mob, I expect the cop will hang.

Randy said...

Ron:/ Stephen: Yes, there is a good reason to shoot someone 6 times--being in fear of your life. Why is it so hard for you to believe that a big bullying kid, having just committed a strong arm robbery-10 minutes prior and still hyped up (I speculate he was feeling like superman) and filled up with culturally learned hate--is in no mood to tolerate the stinging commands of a police officer). I know the surging rage of being disrespected
by authority---I once charged a cop who spoke to me disrespectfully--and nearly got killed. Fortunately, I stopped short.
This jerk of a kid suddenly decided to kick the cop's ass and it was a fatal miscalculation.
Cops are afraid of agressive black youths and therefore "BREAK BAD" -seeking control of the situation--but unknowingly create a "perfect storm" situation. I think the cop was getting his ass kicked and just barely got in a position to shoot. He shot 6 times to make sure---and you would have too--if you were afraid enough.
It amazes me that otherwise sensible folks like yourselves would believe the egregiously biased black witnesses. Do you REALLY believe they would not skew their story to support their prejudice. The policeman is only guilty of a reactive brittleness. He (and all policemen) need training in alternative ways to address people. Mark my words---and I'm willing to bet sizable money--this will end much like the Trevon Martin case.
Stephen: Touche--I really do not know the facts--this is my best speculation.
Finally, I would suggest that all aggrieved minorities study the story of the Jews and learn better ways to triumph over prejudice.

Andy said...

"this thug of a kid."

"This jerk of a kid"

I'm sorry to read such examples of your self-righteousness and bigotry, my friend.

Anonymous said...

C'mon Randy fear may be a reason but it's not a GOOD reason. It's a lousey reason to evn stop someone much less KILL them. If one can use fear as a good reason then it's OK to shoot and kill him whenever you see him, no provocation needed.
Bottom line here is we don't know what happened. More than 10 days later they still won't release the incident report. They won't even let us see what the COP says happened, (as skewed as that probably is). Only after 5-6 days did they say the officer was attacked. That alone is very suspicious.
Randy, you're too smart to be on the wrong side of this event. How about just acknowledging that you spoke too soon with too little information.
Ron Sinor

Anonymous said...

This was great Randy. Could you do an update on your teeth project when you get a chance. Just wondering about the prices again and how many trips you have done to get to where your at now.

Thanks, Jeff

Anonymous said...

I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
Nuff said...

Randy said...

Andy: If nothing else, I'm glad I get to hear from you. Call me and let's chat sometime.
Re: Mike Brown: Help me out---give me words to describe a strong arm robber who pushes a small oriental store owner aside and walks out with $40 worth of Cigars. Did you not see the film?

Randy said...

Ron: You're right --it was not a GOOD reason to shoot someone 6 times.
I should have said understandable reason. I know you are going to be honorable enough when this shakes out to write me about your change of mind.
By the way--this reminds me of lots of discussions around the fire.

Anonymous said...

"Stephen: Touche--I really do not know the facts--this is my best speculation."

"It amazes me that otherwise sensible folks like yourselves would believe the egregiously biased black witnesses. Do you REALLY believe they would not skew their story to support their prejudice. The policeman is only guilty of a reactive brittleness."

Randy, other than the fact they are black, could you please state your evidence that these witnesses are "egregiously biased" or "prejudiced" and therefore "skewing" their story.

I really do hope you have some evidence other than the disgusting, racist assumption that because they are black witnesses to the killing of a black man, they should not be believed by "sensible folks."

I thought your clever speech against "belief" was a principled stand in favor of honesty--not pretending to know what you don't know. Now, I can see that that you are perfectly happy to "believe" and encourage others to believe, so long as the belief is in racist assumptions about black people, rather than belief in a deity.

Finally, even if the facts are, in this one case, exactly as you speculate, you are still wrong. Why?

Because, since you admitted having no actual knowledge of the facts, you apparently would make the very same unfounded (and disgusting) assumptions in every other case of an officer killing a black man, including cases in which the victim is entirely innocent (which has happened plenty of times).

Stephen

Randy said...

Thank you Stephen for your insightful comments. I believe you are rational and we could have a good head to head discussion.
Now to your points: 1. My evidence: Analyst have pointed out the conflicting version of events---EVEN BY BLACK WITNESSES. I saw one such witness admitting that Mr. Brown charged the officer.
I really wish I hadn't used the word black---because I know as well as you that all races have the same credibility problem ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE AN AGGRIEVED MINORITY. THEN PUT THEM IN FRONT OF A MICROPHONE AND THE PROBLEM IS AGGRAVATED. THEN PUT THE MICROPHONE IN A MOB SETTING AND IT IS AGGRAVATED EVEN MORE.
Surely, Surely, Stephen you know this. In this case I am skeptical of black witnesses only BECAUSE THEY ARE THE AGGRIEVED MINORITY.
Remember the Trevon Martin case?
Were you as sure then as you are now? An exhaustive inquiry proved (to the satisfaction of a jury) that a (beefy) angry black kid was attacking someone with a gun. It's a very bad idea and every aggrieved minority ought to be warned against it.
Now, Steve, I want you to know that I KNOW THAT MANY OF THEIR GRIEVANCES ARE REAL. I am a political leftie and proud of it. I urge you to read my rant against bankers. But so many of us lefties do not know how to separate fly shit from pepper----and that undermines our credibility.

Anonymous said...

Randy,

Thank you for your reply. From your writings, I know you to be a compassionate and fair man, and that is why I was surprised by your framing of this issue.

As a lawyer, I understand well that the testimony of EVERY WITNESS, regardless of race AND INCLUDING POLICE OFFICERS, can be affected by various VARIOUS forms of bias. It is also well known that due to the vagaries of human memory, multiple witnesses seeing the very same events will often have significantly different recollections, particularly in stressful circumstances.

Now, you seem to suggest that members of an aggrieved minority MUST BE biased. Since we don't know much about these particular witnesses I would say they COULD BE biased for the reasons you mentioned. However, without supporting evidence, it is a far reach to conclude that every member of an entire race MUST BE biased in the context of an interracial killing.

Surely you understand that it’s possible for a member of an AGGRIEVED MAJORITY to be as biased as a member of an “aggrieved minority.” You don’t have to listen to right wing rhetoric very long to know that many white people feel aggrieved and exhibit negative attitudes toward other races.

If a black officer were accused of gunning down an unarmed white teenager, would we simply disregard the testimony of all white witnesses? I don’t think so. Just as it would be wrong to say every white person is hopelessly prejudiced and dishonest in that context, it is just as wrong to suggest that every black person must be.

At this stage it is impossible to know who is telling the truth, and I would say it’s best for people to leave it at that, until more is learned.

Stephen

Randy said...

Thank you Stephen: I agree totally with everything you said. You have beautifully clarified the issue and in my mind validated my major premise. We shall have to wait till more is learned.
You've wrapped this issue up for me and I will move on---literally and figuratively---(today is moving day)

rujo said...

Jon Stewart rant. Sums it up pretty clearly IMO. Check it out.
http://www.upworthy.com/this-might-be-jon-stewarts-best-rant-ever-because-ferguson?g=3&c=ufb1

bayrider said...

Is there a single fact in the incident or the officers history to suggest that he shot this kid merely because he was black and therefore didn't value his life? No. Why do so many folks make crazy assumptions? He had no reason whatsoever to shoot him unless he was attacked by him and in fear of his life. You are right, that is exactly what happened in the Trevon Martin case. Everyone tries to get their bigoted narrative out in the media and they have zero relation to the truth. Wait for the facts. It is possible that the officer made mistakes but he certainly did not 'execute' him or any of that nonsense. None of these hysterical commentaries are of the slightest value and they have no basis in reality. 'Spoiled white man'? Typical of soft headed fools.

Anonymous said...

For those who are actually interested in evidence, this is interesting:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/10/michael-brown-witnesses_n_5801330.html

Stephen

sail4free said...

==========
Goons squads of white supremist paramilitary cops with the unconditional backing and unlimited resources of the state behind them are an infinitely greater threat to what passes for democracy in this country than any howling mob will ever be. Every black cop knows that to buck the status quo in any way is career suicide.
==========
Think back to the 50s and 60s -- all those white goons using attack dogs to intimidate blacks in the south; beating them; dragging them across the asphalt. Some will say those mindless goons were just doing their job. That never releases individuals from the reality of what they have done, and those goons ended up on the wrong side of history. If any of them are still alive, likely they still justify what they did and why -- doesn't make it one less click WRONG.
==========
Think back to the riots in Los Angeles. If that's what it takes to get the attention of the powers that be, then that is what it takes. There were significant reforms in LAPD following the Rodney King beating -- as well there should have been -- and they're likely due for another 'reminder' by now. The goons who beat RK ended up on the wrong side of history too -- as all dinosaurs (sooner or later) will. I'm sad that your upbringing in the deep South, combined with your apparent stint as a copper too, have left you blind to the greater issues of social injustice, inequality, and the life-long oppression, profiling, and murder of people of color in this good ol' land o' the free. I expect more because I know you're smarter than that. And to give that mongrel punk in Florida credit for doing anything righteous or honorable in his pathetic little life redefines credulity. His father was a freakin' judge -- no doubt still well connected to the legal community -- end of story. Of course, the killer cop will be exonerated . . . they always are.
==========
sail4free
==========

Randy said...

Sail-for-free: Point well made!
Yes, Howling mobs sometimes result in reforms.
I know about the goons also--having been tossed by them into a police van for attempting to integrate the Shreveport bus station.

Just another Bob said...

Wow, you totally lost me there Mobile, I don't follow often, but you come across enlightened, came across.....Ok, you're human, I forgive you, but will no longer follow your blog because I believe you took a side without knowledge of the facts. You are assuming you know what happened from your experience, that isn't facts, just you prejudging. Worst of all your put you prejustice in your blog. No enlightenment there. Sigh

Randy said...

Hi Bob: Sorry to lose you---especially over a misunderstanding. I don't think you've read my rant carefully enough. Did you see the sentence where I said that the mob is PROBABLY dead wrong. And the conclusion: I PREDICT. Nowhere have I said that I know for a fact what happened. On the contrary the mob acted AS THOUGH THEY KNEW WHAT HAPPENED. I'm sure they don't. How do you feel about the dangerous arrogance of the mob?
And by the way---how did you side in the Trevon Martin case? I got it correct---did you?

Anonymous said...

Today was my first visit to your blog. You are well regarded in the boondocker blogosphere. I read your post about Eugene Oregon. I went through Oregon visiting lighthouses last fall and was so impressed by the people and the general attitude in the state I was tempted to drop anchor. I was agreeing with you at every turn.

Then I found this and I was so let down.

We are now seven weeks into this situation. The killer has so far declined to file the report that his department requires. Why? The DA is allowing the killer to plead his case before a secret Grand Jury to avoid bringing the appropriate charges. Why? What ever happened to public trials?

In the mean time, we have at least three other young black men in the country shot, two fatally, while engaged in legal activities. Why? And given the situation, how can you possibly conclude the problem is citizens engaging in their Constitutional right to assemble and speak out is the problem? I agree that mobs are not good things, but I think the escalation came from the improper actions of the police and officials in StLouis.

You challenge Bob with the question of his position on the murder of Trevon Martin. I ask you, how did you feel about Cliven Bundys volunteer army when law enforcement officers were confronted at the point of a gun while attempting to carry our their legal duties? Where are the real threats to democracy? So far, it seems that those carrying that label are the ones least willing to shoot their fellow citizens. I find that a very curious interpretation of what we supposedly stand for as a nation.

Randy said...

Thank you anonymous: You sound rational. I'm confident we could---in a long conversation---come to much agreement--or at least pinpoint our differences. I get almost as exasperated at my own political allies (liberals)for their naivete as at my mortal enemies(right wing crazies and religionist). Trevon Martin is a classical case where my allies and even my personal friends wanted blood---felt so very right---did not look deeply into the incident. The St Louis thing may or may not shake itself out similarly. I DON'T KNOW---AND THE MOB DOESN'T KNOW. The only thing that makes sense is a TIMELY PROCESS of judicial inquiry. I want the facts as eagerly as you---and resolution. I don't know what is a reasonable time frame--I could use some education on the process.
THIS MUCH I'M SURE OF: MOBS CANNOT BE RATIONAL---SHOULD NOT BE TRUSTED.
YES, YES, YES---I'm all in favor of marches and protests---I've done it myself (pro choice marches)---they do their part---alerting government of our feelings--stimulating discussion etc. Re the Cliven Bundy thing---a terrific example of smart government action---THEY BACKED DOWN--to avoid bloodshed. There was no urgency to resolve this thing immediately. The government knows it has the ultimate force and can find many ways to collect its rent. I wish they had been as smart and patient at Waco.
And to answer your excellent question: Where are the real threats to democracy: I say IGNORANCE--HAIR TRIGGER EMOTIONS--RELIGIOUS BELIEFS (pretensions to certainty) FAILURE TO VOTE INTELLIGENTLY and SENTIMENTALITY.