I Hate Ferguson

As I write, the grand jury decision is being announced. I don’t need to watch. I have inside information. Disturbing information, from a disturbing person. The problem with Ferguson is twofold, the first is a national problem throughout all areas large and small, and the second  is a product of the perverse urban development of most of our major cities (St. Louis just has more of that in play than most others). The first problem is that our law enforcement personnel are increasingly people who have no legitimate credentials or temperaments for doing public safety work. In one of my most depressing days in the last few months, I listened to a senior minority police officer rail against citizens to the point of justifying killing them because they had their pants too loose. It was shocking. I heard all of the tropes about how a drug fueled young “buck” couldn’t be stopped unless you unloaded on him. That people who don’t immediately obey the most minimal instructions from a cop deserve to be shot, and shot to kill. For cops, apparently even African American cops, there is a strong culture that believes that they are and should be the judge, jury, and executioner. And, they believe they are justified if any law is broken, and if they feel the slightest threat to their own safety. Michael Brown pushed a shopkeeper and stole a couple of cigars, so he deserved to be killed (of course, his murderer didn’t even know that).

Yesterday some prison industrial complex types murdered a 12 year old kid in Cleveland for having a BB gun. Their justification is always the claim that they were “afraid for their lives.” Why do we have cops running around with guns and batons and tazers and handcuffs if they’re such fucking pussies that they have to shoot first against 12 year olds? Much of the problem is that many of these people have no qualification except for military service—which should not be a qualification, and maybe should be a liability. So, we have people who suffer from PTSD brandishing weapons in public. AND, since the beginning of the War on Drugs (or Browns and Hippies), they have been trained to shoot first, and that every citizen they encounter is a mortal threat. So, shoot, shoot, shoot, then assess the situation.  We need fewer cops, fewer guns, and a different way of engaging public safety.

The second issue with Ferguson is that towns like this should not even exist. Ferguson should die. All of it. All of the bullshit towns need to be incorporated into single metropolitan areas. There should not be a Ferguson Police Department. But, when I click off of this, I’ll see that one of their paranoid racist cops just got exonerated after murdering an 18 year old kid.

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