Image Credit: The Truth About Guns
By now you’ve already been hearing all about what’s been happening in Ferguson via all the major media outlets including major news channels, blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. We wanted to list some links of interest to help round out the situation and help contextualize what’s going on a bit more, from all sides, and especially if you haven’t been following it all super closely. Please feel free to add more links of interest and articles in the comments.
The coverage from The Truth About Guns, though a conservative-leaning site, has been largely objective with speculation presented clearly as “speculation” based upon the evidence, accounts, and other information available from individuals with experience with firearms, whether that be law enforcement or concerned citizens.
- The Officer-Involved Shooting and Police Response in Ferguson: A Law Enforcement Perspective A Georgia Police Officer offers insight and thoughts on the rather poor way in which the various law enforcement agencies have handled the situation in Ferguson, as well as questioning the shooting itself.
- Speculative Analysis of the Ferguson, Missouri Shoot Speculation from Robert Farago based upon the accounts of a woman named “Josie.” Of interest is his notes on shot placement and groupings towards the end of the article. Also of interest is the unknown origins of Josie and why she is being considered a credible source at all.
- Michael Brown Was Shot “At Least Six Times” Note the full comments from Dr. Baden that stresses the autopsy isn’t conclusive of blame or justification to either party. The user comments are worth a look to see the varying interpretations of the ballistics and GSWs.
Keeping in mind the inconclusive reports from the independent autopsy from the request of the Brown family, the conclusions drawn from various media outlets and other sources, in addition to the often lack of full disclosure, has manifested in differing & subjective interpretations and narratives:
- Family of Michael Brown Says Autopsy Confirmed Witness Account The NYTimes tell of confirmation via the lawyers of the Brown family from the autopsy. While this might be true, this was NOT the conclusion reached by Dr. Baden himself. The article also edits his quote in question to leave out his mentioning the possibility that the shot to the top of the skull could either be from a position of surrender or because Brown was “charging forward at the officer.”
- Michael Brown Was Shot at Least Six Times, Twice in Head, Preliminary Autopsy Shows On the other hand, more conservative outlets like The Blaze ignore the conclusions drawn by the family lawyers, failing to mention them altogether, and making sure to mention at the very least, that Brown could have been charging the officer. And with subsequent reports like this which back up the narrative put forth by the police, without the presence of solid evidence. The Blaze also with report that more than a dozen witnesses have corroborated Officer Wilson’s version of the shooting.
- Witness Video with recorded account of the altercation The video linked here made its rounds across conservative outlets yet was largely ignored by more mainstream liberal news. While the validity and authenticity of the video is impossible to verify, the conversation that takes place within it does suggest a far more complex altercation then either popular narrative seems to suggest. Other accounts, like in this CNN video also show the emergence of very different versions of the shooting.
- This Daily Kos article on the the cigar theft and its subsequent 911 call is misleading in its title that implies no theft took place, especially with “dispute the claim” and “NO ONE” emphasized in both the title and body of the text. The original source on the other hand, seems to imply that the store owners likely didn’t call it in, not because Brown wasn’t involved or the robbery didn’t occur, rather a rational concern over being targeted by the growing mob of rioters.
The whole situation in Ferguson has opened up questions and expectations of the exact role of police officers, the extent of their power, and whether they have become far too militarized. Also, there has been much debate on the innocent business and store owners caught in the crossfire, many of which have armed themselves to protect their businesses against looters and rioters.
- Warren v. District of Columbia This case among many others, established the exact legal responsibility of police officers when it comes to the protection of “individuals”. “[t]he duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists.” This is important to note primarily before anyone thinks to criticize those that armed themselves to protect their businesses or livelihood.
- 1 and 2. The boiling over of Ferguson is beginning to draw comparison to the LA Riots of 1992, primarily to the Korean store owners and their armed response. Two years ago as a sort of anniversary piece, NPR conducted an interview with one of these store owners who was forced to protect his business by arming himself and others, and is worth a listen to get an idea of how bad things can get.
Why Can’t Police Just ‘Shoot to Injure’ Instead of ‘Shoot to Kill’? Wolf Blitzer on CNN asks why cops don’t shoot to warn/injure. This type of thinking is characteristic of those unfamiliar with firearms and their effectiveness. A shot anywhere can be fatal and guns in general are meant to only be used when necessary. Shooting a warning shot is not only reckless, it will immediately escalate the situation. TTAG also on shooting to wound.
National Guard Troops in Ferguson Fail to Quell Unrest NYTimes coverage of some of the recent happenings in Ferguson.
The right’s “race lobby” trash: Why WSJ’s Ferguson explanation is absurd Salon attacks conservative paper Wall Street Journal‘s explanation of Ferguson
Vice has been covering the events with its own reporting and opinions. Notable articles: In New York City, Police Brutality Is Bringing People Together / Seattle’s Former Police Chief Speaks Out Against Police Brutality / Everything Wrong With Police Has Been on Display in Ferguson
Documenting the arrests of journalists in Ferguson BoingBoing documents the arrests of journalists in Ferguson since August 13 with links to sources.
I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me. Sunil Dutta offers a cop’s perspective at The Washington Post. An article that has already been largely controversial and been pointed to as what is wrong with the attitude of some police officers. Another cop offers insights: Ted the Cop on Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson – @OpieRadio
The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race In the ocean of polarization and arbitrary lines being drawn to further divide the populace, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar provides a rather insightful and wise message to those both involved in the happenings of Ferguson, as well as those external to these events but pulled by the blanketed generalizations of simply making this about race, white vs black, or police vs protestors.
Why Obama won’t give the Ferguson speech his supporters want An interesting article on Vox about Obama as a polarizing figure, and the increased political polarization in the US after his election.