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Author Topic: UN Peacekeepers to occupy Ferguson Missouri
Pete at Home
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http://www.rockcitytimes.com/send-peacekeeping-forces-ferguson-missouri/

quote:
NEW YORK - The UN announced that it will begin peacekeeping operations in Ferguson, Missouri to handle ongoing riots and investigate human rights violations.

...

The UN believes the US may have violated a number of articles from Protocol II of the Geneva Convention. Suspected violations include Articles 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 13, related to protection of citizens, unnecessary force, and discriminating on basis of race. UN officials say they will pursue sanctions if violations are found.

Evidence of the potential cover up of these violations came after officials in Ferguson refused to allow media into the area, even going as far as arresting reporters attempting to cover the story, which is a violation of the United States’ own bill of rights explains Ki-moon.

Rioting in the area began after an officer, whose name officials have refused to release, shot and killed an unarmed civilian. Local police then crashed with protesters in the St. Louis suburb. UN officials say they will not seek the US’ permission to intervene in the situation.

“The US military has set a terrific example of how to conduct peace keeping internationally,” Ki-moon continues. “The old ways of only using intervention when the host nation requests so no longer works. To prevent large humanitarian crisis like what Iraq and Libya, pre-emptive action must take place to prevent further rights violations.”

April fool [Smile]

[ August 14, 2014, 09:34 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Wayward Son
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Actually, isn't that what the governor did by sending in the Highway Patrol? [Wink]
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AI Wessex
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It gets more twisty. News reports this afternoon identified the police officer who shot him, but the police chief also released video footage allegedly showing Brown "strong arm" robbing a store of a box of cigars, which the chief says were found on him when he was shot. To make it more twisty, the police officer who shot him wasn't responding to that burglary call, but stopped him because he and his friend were walking down the middle of the road disrupting traffic.

But everyone seems to agree that the shooting wasn't necessary and the militarized response afterward was wholly inappropriate.

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Pete at Home
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The shopkeepers whose shops were getting looted agree that the militarized response was wholly inappropriate?

I have less of a problem with the freaking tank than I have with the arrests of journalists at the scene and the beatings. And that crap happens without militarization.

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Grant
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Awwwww jeeez. And here we goooooooooooo
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AI Wessex
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quote:
The shopkeepers whose shops were getting looted agree that the militarized response was wholly inappropriate?
Do you think that happened before or after the police moved in with their armored team?
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Pete at Home
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If before, then it was inappropriate. If after, then I'd say that the armor was appropriate, but the arrests and beatings and press repression was not. I don't believe that the public has the right to loot stores and destroy cars and harm police officers to vent their righteous anger. When a mob threatens violence, a government show of force (but NOT brutality) is appropriate.
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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Do you think that happened before or after the police moved in with their armored team?

I don't see how the answer to that question helps your position.

If the answer is "after" then you have to justify rioting as a reaction to bringing in armored vehicles.

If the answer is "before", then you open the argument that bringing in armored vehicles to deal with rioting was justified.

So which position will you defend? That rioting is a justifiable reaction to the police bringing in armored vehicles? Or that bringing in armored vehicles to deal with rioting is not justifiable?

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Pete at Home
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In the Canadian G8 conference protests a few years back, there were some clear government false flag incidences of phony violence to justify mass arrests and silencing of the press. But I don't think that's what happened here. We have unjustified riots and unjustified suppression of the press and unjustified beatings by the government.

What I don't know is whether the original shooting was justified, or whether the government armor was necessary.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
If the answer is "after" then you have to justify rioting as a reaction to bringing in armored vehicles.
That's a false assertion. In as much as where it's justifiable is completely irrelevant. Justification is moral reasoning applied on top of baseline cause and effect. It's entirely possible to cause people to act in completely unjustifiable ways.

Both by putting tools in their hand that directly affect how they perceive and react to events around them, and by treating them like you expect them to to behave in a certain manner.

Dress police in riot gear and give them crowd control weapons, and they will treat the people they're interacting with as if they're a riot threat, regardless of whether there is any justification for doing so. The adage of "when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail" points directly to a basic fundamental psychological truth.

Without very good training to help you see otherwise, if you have a gun, every questionable event around you looks just a bit more like a threat that you could use the gun to resolve. If you have riot gear, every action of the crowd looks a little more like a potential riot to be suppressed.

Similarly, if you treat a crowd of people like it is a riot threat, you actively increase the odds that it will riot, regardless of of the fact that rioting is pretty much never justified. Once you communicate to people that you believe them to be dangerous and untrustworthy, they will gradually begin to act in that fashion, because the value of not acting that way effectively drops to nothing.

In this case, the psychology at play is no different than any social program where you communicate distrust of people by trying to force them to be have in certain ways in order to get support. The more you communicate to people that you don't trust them to figure out and make the best choices that they can, the more likely they are to not see any value in trying to make good choices outside of those that they're forced to make.

You could really see just how powerful those factors were in Ferguson when the new police force came in, and was instructed to go out in soft gear instead of riot gear. The change was pretty much like throwing a switch. Riot threats pretty much vanished and those that came with an eye toward using the chaos of a riot for a bit of looting no longer had any cover for such activities. No special agreement had to be reached to calm the crowd, it just had to be shown that it was trusted to be civil, and it became so.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
there were some clear government false flag incidences of phony violence
One of the things that's been eye-opening for me over the last decade was my discovery of just how much of this there is -- and historically has been. I dislike calling them "false flag" incidents, but it's remarkable how the FBI in particular is willing to foment violence just to nail a group that they think endangers the status quo.
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Pete at Home
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See Grant, he isnt justifying.crowd behavior; he's excusing it.

By saying cops.caused.the crowd behavior, means the individuals.in the crowd had no control.over.their own behavior.under.the.circumstances. see cops.in riot.gear.and you just cant help smashing a store.and.grabbing.stuff. that's an excuse.

An anarchist.otoh could.have gone for justification, like.this: once.we.saw.those.cops in riot.gear, it.was necessary to teach them a lesson. Viva la revolucion!

Hope.that's more.clear distinguishing justification from excuse.
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
If the answer is "after" then you have to justify rioting as a reaction to bringing in armored vehicles.
That's a false assertion. In as much as where it's justifiable is completely irrelevant. Justification is moral reasoning applied on top of baseline cause and effect. It's entirely possible to cause people to act in completely unjustifiable ways.

Both by putting tools in their hand that directly affect how they perceive and react to events around them, and by treating them like you expect them to to behave in a certain manner.

Dress police in riot gear and give them crowd control weapons, and they will treat the people they're interacting with as if they're a riot threat, regardless of whether there is any justification for doing so. The adage of "when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail" points directly to a basic fundamental psychological truth.

Without very good training to help you see otherwise, if you have a gun, every questionable event around you looks just a bit more like a threat that you could use the gun to resolve. If you have riot gear, every action of the crowd looks a little more like a potential riot to be suppressed.

Similarly, if you treat a crowd of people like it is a riot threat, you actively increase the odds that it will riot, regardless of of the fact that rioting is pretty much never justified. Once you communicate to people that you believe them to be dangerous and untrustworthy, they will gradually begin to act in that fashion, because the value of not acting that way effectively drops to nothing.

In this case, the psychology at play is no different than any social program where you communicate distrust of people by trying to force them to be have in certain ways in order to get support. The more you communicate to people that you don't trust them to figure out and make the best choices that they can, the more likely they are to not see any value in trying to make good choices outside of those that they're forced to make.

You could really see just how powerful those factors were in Ferguson when the new police force came in, and was instructed to go out in soft gear instead of riot gear. The change was pretty much like throwing a switch. Riot threats pretty much vanished and those that came with an eye toward using the chaos of a riot for a bit of looting no longer had any cover for such activities. No special agreement had to be reached to calm the crowd, it just had to be shown that it was trusted to be civil, and it became so.


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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
there were some clear government false flag incidences of phony violence
One of the things that's been eye-opening for me over the last decade was my discovery of just how much of this there is -- and historically has been. I dislike calling them "false flag" incidents, but it's remarkable how the FBI in particular is willing to foment violence just to nail a group that they think endangers the status quo.
You hate the word conspiracy as well but have no problem.describing bad.acts planned privately by multiple.persons. [Big Grin]
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
See Grant, he isnt justifying.crowd behavior; he's excusing it.
In no way. Please don't make crap like that up and accuse me of it.

Not one word of what I said excused anything. It just pointed to the real cause and effect factors at play. Excusability is completely orthogonal to predictability, both on the part of the police, and in the response to their behavior. Knowing why inexcusable behavior happened, though, allows us to plan better in the future to avoid provoking it.

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Pete at Home
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Apologies if i misread you, Pyr.

Ok, if you're saying that dressing up in riot gear just cause the police to falsely perceive that the crowd was rioting, then how do you explain all the looted stores?

I thought you were saying that police donning riot gear caused the crowd to riot, which would be an excuse for.the crowd. Are you saying instead that no actual.riot occurred?

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
See Grant, he isnt justifying.crowd behavior; he's excusing it.

I'm sorry, but Pyr is in full "Charlie Brown teacher" mode. If men are from Mars, and women are from Venus, then Pyr is from some unidentified planet that I still havn't found a universal translator for. I feel Tom could help out but he is probably frustrated with my obtuseness.

Nevertheless, I understand the error that I committed by leaping from the question of the "appropriateness" of bringing in armored vehicles, to the "appropriateness" of the response.

But it seems Pyr wasn't really raising that issue, as much as he was raising the issue that coming out in riot gear caused (or can cause, or can contribute to) rioting to happen.

quote:
Similarly, if you treat a crowd of people like it is a riot threat, you actively increase the odds that it will riot, regardless of of the fact that rioting is pretty much never justified. Once you communicate to people that you believe them to be dangerous and untrustworthy, they will gradually begin to act in that fashion, because the value of not acting that way effectively drops to nothing.

In this case, the psychology at play is no different than any social program where you communicate distrust of people by trying to force them to be have in certain ways in order to get support. The more you communicate to people that you don't trust them to figure out and make the best choices that they can, the more likely they are to not see any value in trying to make good choices outside of those that they're forced to make.

I'm not a psychologist, or well read in psychology, but I am skeptical of this concept.

I will try to focus on this simplified conclusion:

quote:
The more you communicate to people that you don't trust them to figure out and make the best choices that they can, the more likely they are to not see any value in trying to make good choices outside of those that they're forced to make.
Now, if this is true, the more I communicate to my son that I do not trust him to use a kitchen knife, then he will lose interest in making good choices outside of the rules stipulated for him.

Would it be similar to say that by putting an alarm system into my house and posting a sign or sticker of it's existence would encourage burglary ?

If a woman tells her first date that she is carrying a taser in her purse or that she will be receiving regular calls from friends during the night, is she encouraging poor behavior from her date?

The question hangs on whether taking what one believes to be prudent precautions can help create the very behavior that the precautions are meant to prevent. It's entirely possible that they do. I've always been a proponent of the theory that the majority of human action/belief is not based on reason. I believe it is important to work within the bounds that human beings "actually" think, rather then how they "should" think.

Nevertheless, it is important to stress that there is a strong belief that people "should" behave rationally in law and modern society. A man arrested for rioting will not be able to defend himself by making the case that police in riot gear and armored vehicles "drove" him to riot.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Would it be similar to say that by putting an alarm system into my house and posting a sign or sticker of it's existence would encourage burglary?
...
If a woman tells her first date that she is carrying a taser in her purse or that she will be receiving regular calls from friends during the night, is she encouraging poor behavior from her date?

I can't speak for Pyr on these, but I think that both of these examples are actually excellent ones -- in that I think installing alarm systems and confronting your dates will make you specifically safer in a given instance, but will raise the overall likelihood of an undesired response. All else being equal, I think installing alarm systems in a neighborhood will reduce the quality of that neighborhood and ultimately encourage crime, even if that crime chooses to target those houses without alarms; in the same way, a woman who regularly warns her dates away from violence and treats them with a certain high degree of caution will have less enjoyable and less successful dates, ultimately shrinking her available pool of worthwhile men. If you are constantly communicating to your son that you don't trust him to cut his own food, you are also communicating to him that you do not trust him; this has consequences.

----------

quote:
A man arrested for rioting will not be able to defend himself by making the case that police in riot gear and armored vehicles "drove" him to riot.
Having seen agents provocateur in action during the protests in Madison a few years back, I honestly find it hard not to side with a "rioting" crowd in most of these scenarios. It would be hard to overstate how many of the rioters turn out to be plants.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I thought you were saying that police donning riot gear caused the crowd to riot, which would be an excuse for.the crowd. Are you saying instead that no actual.riot occurred?
It did cause the riot. That explains the riot, it does not excuse it.

quote:
Ok, if you're saying that dressing up in riot gear just cause the police to falsely perceive that the crowd was rioting, then how do you explain all the looted stores?
People that wanted to engage in looting were attracted to the situation because they could see the potential for the protest to be stoked into a riot. Thus far they were out of town opportunists, waiting for a breakdown to happen, because it's become the expected course of events.
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Pete at Home
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I'm the one who first brought up plants, from the Canada G8 ... but I'm unfamiliar with plants and agents provocateur actually looting stores, Tom. In Canada they did stuff like turn over an empty police vehicle which was carefully left at the scene. Are you seriously arguing that these Missouri lootings are orchestrated by the government?

"If you are constantly communicating to your son that you don't trust him to cut his own food, you are also communicating to him that you do not trust him; this has consequences."

I agree. But a child's misbehavior in response to such stimuli is, IMO, more excusable than an adult's. More to the point, the word EXCUSE is applicable, which Pyr doesn't seem to grasp. If you say that A did B but that A's actions were provoked, caused, entrapped by C, that is by definition an excuse for A.

Let's not get trapped in a rhetorical neverneverland where "excuses" are bad things to give. There is such a thing as a valid excuse.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
I thought you were saying that police donning riot gear caused the crowd to riot, which would be an excuse for.the crowd. Are you saying instead that no actual.riot occurred?
It did cause the riot. That explains the riot, it does not excuse it.

I never said you were excusing the riot; I said you were at least partially excusing the individual rioters, by shifting responsibility to the police.

That description doesn't mean you're wrong, btw. I don't reject your argument that the police may be more responsible than the mob for the riot. I'd need actual facts to be convinced, but as far as theories go, it's viable. You might make a decent argument for it, if you ever stop running away from facts and the meaning of words.

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Seneca
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While I am one of the biggest opponents of militarizing the police especially since they have no duty to protect the public and aren't trained to properly handle all that heavy armor and weaponry, I find this conspiracy theory of false flag rioting to be utterly absurd.
Is there any solid evidence of that? I haven't seen a single shred.
It's funny, I recall how often the people here who suggested it have derided real and strong evidence of wrongdoing by Obama or things that they don't agree with politically as outlandish theories or wild speculation and now we see this. It's quite illuminating.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I find this conspiracy theory of false flag rioting to be utterly absurd.
Of course you do.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
If you say that A did B but that A's actions were provoked, caused, entrapped by C, that is by definition an excuse for A.
I would say that it provides an ameliorating excuse, not an exculpatory excuse.

If, for (deliberately ridiculous) example, a plant throws a brick through a window and cries out, "Let's stick it to the Man!", the people who rush into the store and grab TVs are still guilty of looting, but their behavior was primed and prompted by an outside instigator. Their behavior is not excused to the extent that they cannot be blamed for it, but neither should it be punished as if they were committing robbery in a vacuum. This is why the law has grey areas, as much as some people (like, say, Seneca) might dislike those.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
If you say that A did B but that A's actions were provoked, caused, entrapped by C, that is by definition an excuse for A.
I would say that it provides an ameliorating excuse, not an exculpatory excuse.
Earlier I used the terms "mitigation" and "partially excusing" for what you call "ameliorating excuse," but for this discussion, where some folks don't understand what an excuse is, your term is probably more useful. Thank you. Yes, I tend to agree that police provocation and entrapment is only a partial or ameliorating excuse rather than a fully exculpatory excuse. But even if I did not agree, I'd still thank you for helping to clarify the discussion for those who are struggling with the terminology.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
If you say that A did B but that A's actions were provoked, caused, entrapped by C, that is by definition an excuse for A.
And excuse reduces or removes individual culpability for an action. An explanation just identifies why it happened without reflecting directly on individual responsibility, particularly when you're talking about a mob situation, where the potential for individuals failing to behave responsibly is increased and magnified across the group.

Saying that action A provoked action B explains it. It does not excuse action B in any way- that is purely a function of the nature of action B without regard to external input, it only explains why something that might be inexcusable occurred.

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Pete at Home
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You're right that saying action A provoked B does not *necessarily* excuse action B in any way, Pyr.

For example, if I say that Joe gave Jenny the finger and told her she had a fat butt before she took out the nine-millimeter and shot him in the eye, I am explaining her motive for murder, rather than providing a partial excuse or exculpatory excuse for Jenny. That would be an explanation of Jenny's actions, usually in order to convince a jury that Jenny did actually shoot Joe in the eye.

but it seemed to me (and to Tom as well if I read him right above) that you were at least partially shifting responsibility for the riots from the individuals to the police. If I was mistaken, then thanks for clarifying.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
but it seemed to me (and to Tom as well if I read him right above) that you were at least partially shifting responsibility for the riots from the individuals to the police
Right. No shifting. I was pointing out the ways in which the police were responsible for them as well, not instead of the people that were provoked into them.
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Pyrtolin
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Put another way- responsibility for a given incident is not a zero-sum thing. Additional responsibility is additional, not a transfer from one person to another.

Whoever made the decision to send the police out in riot gear should be held just as accountable for the results of doing so as the police who overreacted to the crowd and as the members of the crowd that perpetrated any damage, harm, or theft.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
but it seemed to me (and to Tom as well if I read him right above) that you were at least partially shifting responsibility for the riots from the individuals to the police
Right. No shifting. I was pointing out the ways in which the police were responsible for them as well, not instead of the people that were provoked into them.
That's cool.

From my view of the facts, I'm not seeing anything that precludes mob responsibility, pure cop responsibility, or some mix of the two. If you have any facts that prove it one way or one of the others, I'm all ears.

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Seneca
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So CNN did a report from practically in front of the cop's house.

USA today and the Gazette had the decency to apologize. Think CNN will?

What happens if the cop's house burns down or his family gets killed?

Also, why is the head of the New Black Panther Party discussing security strategy with the authorities? Was Ferguson annexed by the NBPP?

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D.W.
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I wish that even 1 out of 100 protesters would enroll in police academy or encourage their friends, family or children to do so.

Viewing police as the enemy and demanding they behave is not going to get a community anywhere fast. If the police don't represent the community isn't it up to the community to represent itself within the police department?

Then again once things have broken down to a certain point I guess asking someone to take a job they know will cause people to mistrust, if not hate them, is asking a lot.

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AI Wessex
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This could be more interesting still. According to this article, the video may show Brown paying for the cigarillos rather than stealing them. Additionally, the shop-owner didn't report the theft. This story suggests that another shopper thought Brown was stealing them and called it in himself.

This doesn't change the fact that the officer who shot him didn't know about the robbery report, and would seem to suggest that the police were indeed trying to make it look like Brown had been a strong-arm robber after the fact even though they knew that the shop-owner hadn't reported a crime and only reviewed the video after Brown was killed.

I have no sympathy for the continued violent protests and looting, but I have even less for the actions of the Ferguson police. 20 years ago that town was nearly all-white with an all-white police force. Over the ensuing years most of the white residents moved away but the police force is still almost all white. One media interview I heard said that the reporter talked to about 30 black people on the street the day after Brown was killed. All said they had been stopped at least once by police while walking down the sidewalk, but none had ever been arrested. The protests reflect that history (looting does not).

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Seriati
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So, don't get the rationale behind planting agents to provoke a riot, is the view that the government wants to suppress a riot, rather than deal with a peaceful protest? Can't imagine why given how bad it makes them look. Now, I wouldn't be suprised if there aren't non-government actors deliberately provoking the situation.

I agree with much Pyrtolin's pyschology explanation. The police showing up in mass in riot gear is going to impact the mindset of everyone who comes to the scene. I think there are a lot of factors that push the police to do it, even if it's almost certainly the worst way to appear on the scene. First they have oversized equipment that they deploy, second they have the wrong kind of training (that they recieved often in connection with said equipment) and third they are paranoid about losing control - which is the fundemental characteristic of a modern officer. Losing control in their minds means risk of injury, risk of law suit, and the appearence of being powerless rather than overwhelming.

I think, we should all specifically question why our police have so much military equipment. And we should all take a look at whether our police departments are too large for the amount of crime that our communities have.

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Rafi
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The headline: Egypt Urges US Restraint Over Missouri Unrest
quote:
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry's statement on the unrest in Ferguson read similarly to one issued by U.S. President Barack Obama's administration in July 2013, when the White House "urged security forces to exercise maximum restraint and caution" in dealing with demonstrations by Mursi supporters.

The ministry added it was "closely following the escalation of protests" in Ferguson, unleashed by the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman on Aug.

[Exploding]
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NobleHunter
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Seriati, in the case of Ferguson, riots let the police shift the narrative away from murder. Sympathetic media can now focus on images and stories of violent protesters rather than the cops. Outlets sympathetic to the protesters fragment over concerns about the riots and the strategies of protest.
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D.W.
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Briefly there was a call for new police practices such as worn cameras by police officers and informing people they have the right to record police doing their work and outrage over harassment of reporters.

Now we are “safe” again in the quagmire of racial divide, low minority voter turn-out and how we can never seem to outpace our history. We can soon wrap ourselves back snuggly in comfortable apathy and hopelessness. After the media has finished cashing in on their latest opportunity at least.

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AI Wessex
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As cynical as I sometimes am, I'm more hopeful than that. The city does have a history of antagonism between the police and citizens. The media has no influence on whether that will be addressed after this mess settles down.
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D.W.
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It's because people believe the media has no influence on whether that will be addressed that I am cynical.

The media helped cause the riots. The media COULD be a driving force for reform which would reduce these types of incidents.

Helping to reduce something like this however would give people less incentive to tune in and feed off the outrage. And that's asking them to be a benifit to society at the cost of their own viewership.

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AI Wessex
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The media sometimes even orchestrate "events" and are completely non-partisan in that pursuit. You would expect them to disappear when there's no more drama, but I don't think you can put any causal responsibility on the media for the town's problems. Those are now apparent and one can hope they will be addressed after the fireworks are over.
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D.W.
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The problems before the shooting? No, can't blame them.

Pretty much everything after? I blame them all right. Probably more than I do the police.

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