(Washington Post) When we look back on what happened in Ferguson, Mo., during the summer of 2014, it will be easy to think of it as yet one more episode of black rage ignited by yet another police killing of an unarmed African American male. But that has it precisely backward. What we’ve actually seen is the latest outbreak of white rage. Sure, it is cloaked in the niceties of law and order, but it is rage nonetheless.
Protests and looting naturally capture attention. But the real rage smolders in meetings where officials redraw precincts to dilute African American voting strength or seek to slash the government payrolls that have long served as sources of black employment. It goes virtually unnoticed, however, because white rage doesn’t have to take to the streets and face rubber bullets to be heard. Instead, white rage carries an aura of respectability and has access to the courts, police, legislatures and governors, who cast its efforts as noble, though they are actually driven by the most ignoble motivations.
Video posted online on Tuesday depicts the arrest and Tasing of an unidentified Black man in St. Paul, Minnesota for seemingly little reason other than his refusal to state his name, the Twin Cities Daily Planet reported.
“Why am I going to jail?” the man can be heard saying toward the end of the nearly 6-minute long clip.
“It’ll be explained to you,” a male officer responds.
The video, which seemed to have been taken on a cell phone this past winter, begins with a female officer walking beside the man and asking for his name.
“Why do I have to let you know who I am?” the man asks. “I don’t have to let you know who I am if I haven’t broken any laws.”
Minnesota does not currently have a “stop and identify” statute in place. Those laws give police the right to arrest someone if they do not identify themselves
“I want to find out who you are, and what the problem was back there,” the first officer says. TheDaily Planet reported that a store clerk called police after the man was sitting in front of his store.
“I do not have to let you know who I am if I haven’t broken any laws,” the man says, adding that he explained to the clerk that he sat near the store for 10 minutes before going to pick up his children at a nearby school, New Horizon Academy.
“He walked up to me a minute later and got irate with me,” the man says of the clerk. “That’s a public area, and if there’s no sign that [says], ‘This is a private area, you can’t sit here,’ no one can tell me I can’t sit there.”
“The problem was,” the officer begins to say, before the man cuts her off, saying, “The problem is, I’m Black.”
Seconds later, the male officer approaches, and the man asks, “Please don’t touch me.”
“You’re gonna go to jail, then,” the officer responds, before he and his colleague grab the man.
“Come on brother,” the man says, “This is assault.”
“I’m not your brother,” the second officer answers. “Put your hands behind your back otherwise it’s going to get ugly.”
At that point, the male officer orders him to put his hands behind his back. The argument continues for a few more seconds before the image goes black. But the man can be heard yelling for help. As some children are heard in the distance, the man says, “That’s my kids right there.”
“Put your hands behind your back,” the officer can be heard yelling, before threatening to use the Taser. The device can be heard flickering at the 2:17 mark, before the man yells for help again.
Later on, the female officer can be heard asking, “Did I not ask you to stop to talk to me?”
After Michael Brown’s shooting in Ferguson, the opinion departments of Guardian US and the St Louis Post-Dispatch partnered to gather readers’ stories from around the world of being racially profiled by police. Our hope is that this sampling will help spur empathy – and then action, everywhere.
"I don’t understand why we’re talking about this. The prof just doesn’t understand how it is today because she’s from a different generation. I mean, we have Obama, right? And Beyonce! Listen, I have black friend, and her parents are dentists. So I don’t understand why we’re still talking about racism."
White Second Year Education Student, York University, in a lecture in an education class on race and racism (she said this in response to a black student describing a racist incident they experienced)
Imagine, an education major. Meaning they plan on educating people (most likely children). Yikes.
CLAYTON, Mo. - St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar defended his department’s use of tear gas, smoke, batons, rifles and armored trucks in the days of civil unrest that followed the Michael Brown shooting, saying that the military equipment is sometimes necessary to patrol “very urban areas.”
"Very urban areas"? Ferguson is a fucking suburb, population 21,000.
Translation: “Military equipment is sometimes necessary to patrol very black areas.”
Yet another reason for the outrage in the small St. Louis suburb.
Mother Jones’s Mark Follman provides new insight into the tense relationship between the black community in Ferguson, Missouri, and local law enforcement following the shooting of Michael Brown. He reports that shortly after Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed the 18-year-old on August 9, Brown’s grieving mother helped set up a makeshift memorial at the site of the shooting. Police then reportedly ran over the memorial with their cars, and at least one officer let his police dog urinate on the memorial site.
[Missouri state Rep. Sharon Pace] purchased some tea lights for the family, and around 7 p.m. she joined Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, and others as they placed the candles and sprinkled flowers on the ground where Brown had died. “They spelled out his initials with rose petals over the bloodstains,” Pace recalled.
By then, police had prohibited all vehicles from entering Canfield Drive except for their own. Soon the candles and flowers had been smashed, after police drove over them.
"That made people in the crowd mad," Pace said, "and it made me mad." Some residents began walking in front of police vehicles at the end of the block to prevent them from driving in.