http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/ame...ple-1620169913The United States of America is not for black people. We know this, and then we put it out of our minds, and then something happens to remind us. Saturday, in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., something like that happened: An unarmed 18-year-old black man was executed by police in broad daylight.
By now, what's happening in Ferguson is about so many second-order issues—systemic racism, the militarization of police work, and how citizens can redress grievances, among other things—that it's worth remembering what actually happened here.
Michael Brown was walking down the middle of the street in Ferguson's Canfield Green apartment complex around noon on Saturday with his friend Dorin Johnson when the two were approached by a police officer in a police truck. The officer exchanged words with the boys. The officer attempted to get out of his car. At this point, two narratives split.
According to the still-unnamed officer, one of the two boys shoved him back into the vehicle and then wrestled for his sidearm, discharging one shot into the cabin. The two ran, and the police officer once again stepped from his vehicle and shot at the fleeing teenagers multiple times, killing Brown.
According to Johnson and other eye witnesses, however, the cop ordered the friends to "get the **** on the sidewalk," but the teenagers said they had almost reached their destination. That's when the officer slammed his door open so hard that it bounced off of Brown and closed again. The cop then reached out and grabbed Brown by the neck, then by the shirt.
"I'm gonna shoot you," the cop said.
The cop shot him once, but Brown pulled away, and the pair were still able to run away together. The officer fired again. Johnson ducked behind a car, but the cop's second shot caused Brown to stop about 35 feet away from the cruiser, still within touching distance of Johnson. Multiple witnesses say this is when Brown raised his hands in the air to show he was unarmed. Johnson remembered that Brown also said, "I don't have a gun, stop shooting!" The officer then shot him dead.
I don't necessarily agree with all of the writer's conclusions, but I also grew up as a half hispanic kid in a mixed race suburb. That isn't my life or my experience.
But it is the experience for many black people. The writer summarizes how many of them feel, especially by the police, because that's how they're treated. I remember how shocked I was to hear LeVar "Reading Rainbow" Burton say that when he's pulled over by the police, he sticks his hands out of the window to show the police he's unarmed. And he's taught his son to do the same.
And can you really blame him, or them?
Just look at what's going on in Ferguson tonight. I grabbed a bunch of tweets and etc really quick just to give the flavor of it...
BREAKING: Police just told a Fox station in #Ferguson, the last one broadcasting, to turn off its camera.
Scott Tobias @scott_tobias 50m Official statement on #Ferguson from "Don't Tread On Me" flag-owners: "Meh."
People in #Gaza are tweeting information on how to handle tear gas to the citizens of #Ferguson. Mind blown. #MikeBrown
Twenty minute video from a protest where rubber bullets and tear gas have been fired on the crowd: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/9...events/3271930
Jeremy Smith @mrbeaks 22m
Absence of NRA/conservative/libertarian outrage is incontrovertible proof they only represent white America. #ferguson
BrianKeene @BrianKeene 1h
Police firing flashbang grenades and rubber bullets into the #Ferguson protester crowd: http://t.co/kpEU5ZmM4m
Jack Moore @JackPMoore 1h
Why does a small town in Missouri have tanks? Under what circumstance would a town of 21,000 people need multiple tanks?
Justin Ivey @JustinIveyKN 42m
Local reporter on MSNBC says the police have been dictating to the media over the last 3 nights, telling them what they can & cannot cover.
BrianKeene @BrianKeene 1h
In a study of 90 patients injured by rubber bullets, 1 died, 17 suffered permanent deformities and 41 required hospital treatment #Ferguson
Kenzo Shibata @KenzoShibata Aug 12
Hey guys, there's a town that's a no-fly-zone with a media blackout right in the middle of our country. Let that sink in.
Alex Payne @al3x 35m
Police in #Ferguson announcing "your right to demonstrate is not being obstructed" through a megaphone on a tank. America.
Angelo Carusone @GoAngelo 29m
Recognize hypocrisy of right-wingers screaming about govt tyranny over healthcare and taxes while simultaneously cheering militarized police
Sgt Shamrock @GoIrishGlory 58m
@Adam_Jacobi The amount of body armor the cops are wearing is more than I wore in AFGHANISTAN. Just unreal.
Elon James White @elonjames 58m
I'm not even sure we can get back in to #Ferguson. I asked a cop about road access and had a Sniper rifle pointed at my chest...
Russ Fischer @russfischer 53m
The fact that no major news networks are live on the ground in Ferguson kinda denies that whole “liberal media” concept, eh?
David Dobbs @David_Dobbs 1h
Rules of engagement looser in #Ferguson than Iraq/Afghanistan. US mil can aim weapons only at imminent threats. MO cops pointing at will.
The President must address this. He must do everything he can to put an end to this bull**** violence. And then he must stop the sale of military surplus to towns like this.
Some general info on Ferguson.