Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ferguson shooting and idiots

There is a story in the NY Times this weekend about the Ferguson shooting. In the article, a source is quoted as saying that Federal charges against the officer are not warranted because the forensics seem to support the officer's account of the shooting. The innocence or guilt of the officer is not, however, the topic of this post. The stupidity of the people commenting on it is.

Here are some real gems from the comments section, comments which show just how ignorant and stupid people can be:

Louis says:
A few nights ago I had a run-in with a police officer in a St Louis suburb (not Ferguson) and was stunned by his aggressive and abusive behaviour. As I spoke calmly to a first officer (who was also calm) Officer #2 began ranting and raving, threatening to arrest me. The very first words out of his mouth were shouted at full volume.

My first thoughts were that if he was behaving like this toward a middle-aged white guy, what would he have done had I been a 20 yr old black man?
So to prove that a cop is prejudiced, we submit a statement that says an encounter with a cop in a different city who acts like a jerk makes the Ferguson a racist? Even though, according to your statement, race was not a factor in your own encounter?

Brian Kirkland from North Brunswick, NJ says:
Brown was unarmed and running away. It makes no sense that he would attack the cop, if all this was over walking down the street.

Why did the cop want to stop Brown? Because he could? This is so much like the shooting of Trayvon Martin. If the guy with the gun, who has no legitimate reason to confront anyone, doesn't decide to confront, everyone lives.

Being a police officer shouldn't be a license to stop African-Americans in the street, anymore than being on the neighborhood watch. There has to be a probable cause, which isn't revealed in this article.

I went to that street. It's narrow and doesn't lend itself to high speeds. What was this confrontation over, since Wilson didn't know Brown was a suspect in the store incident? That's what needs to be explained.
Never mind that the article says that Brown was not shot in the back ( as evidenced by the autopsy), meaning that he was not running away. Never mind that Brown's blood is in the patrol car and on the officer's gun, indicating that the officer and Brown were fighting over the gun inside the patrol car. Never mind that Zimmerman did not confront Martin, but was attacked by Martin. No, you want to claim that armed men must wait until they are killed before trying to defend themselves.

 rm writes:
The officer was armed and Michael Brown was not, and the officer fired many times at Brown, hitting him six times, killing him.

Those bare facts alone, I believe, should make it hard to claim, with aggressive confidence like many posters here, that the shooting was justified.

I don't know the whole picture, or how the trial will turn out, but we know enough to see that the shooter's defenders are in no position to be quite so bumptious.
 So, to this self defense expert, I ask: If you are justified in shooting someone, how many times are you allowed to shoot them before it is no longer a justified shooting? If I shoot a person in self defense once, that is OK, but if I shoot him six times, that makes the previous five shots retroactively unjustified?

knickerbockeravc from Tennessee says:
Reports on the incident are all over the map. One glaring fact is Wilson unloaded his service weapon into Brown. The kill shots being in the eye and top of the head. My opinion is Wilson was scared of a young black male, so he executed him. He should be charged and the specific charges will be up to a court of law.
Actually, that is pretty factual. See, you have to be "scared" (in fear for your life) to use deadly force. Brown was in fact a young, black male. However, I do not see where that adds up to "execution" or warrants charges.

alista writes:
A man with a gun in a car shoots 6 times, I repeat 6 times, another man in the street and kills him. The reason: the other man was walking in the middle of the street. The event happened in full day and the facts are undeniable. And we are discussing here whether the murderer should be prosecuted? This is sick.
So just ignore all of the events and facts that don't support your opinion? The fact that the man who was in the street tried to take the weapon from the cop and kill him with it? Ignore that the man walking in the street was a violent felon? Those undeniable facts?

One last one, from Riley Temple in Washington, DC:
It is brushed aside, Michael, because assault in a store, petty theft, a violent nature, even punching a police officer in the face or body, as deplorable as all of that surely is, is no justification for shooting to kill when the perpetrator of the violent acts is unarmed and in retreat. If he must be stopped for arrest, then the officer could have shot his weapon to stun or to stop him -- at his feet or legs. What Wilson did in this case was to shoot to kill. Six bullets in all were dislodged, five after the victim had turned with his arms up in surrender, one of the bullets fatally aimed and lodged in his head. The killed man could have been as violent and as awful a person the world has ever known. Yet, he did nothing to deserve to die on August 9, 2014. He tussled with a cop and he stole some cigars. Bad boy! Since when does our government put "bad boys" even "delinquent boys" to death in the street? Sadly, we know the answer all too well.
Even ignoring the allegation that Brown was trying to tak ethe officer's gun from him, and that robbing a tore with violence is a felony. According to this idiot, cops should shoot people in the legs to stop them from running away. As if a gun were some sort of lasso or remote controlled punch, instead of being what they are: lethal force.

Which story is more believable?
A cop pulled up next to a 6'4" 300 pound black man, grabbed him by the throat with one hand and hoisted him through the driver's side window. Then, the black man bravely fought him off and ran, the cop ordered him to stop, which he did, and then the cop shot him as he was surrendering, then staged the entire crime scene in front of witnesses, and none of those witnesses saw him.   OR-

The criminal who just robbed a store attacked a cop who confronted him and fought over the cop's weapon. The gun went off twice during the struggle, and hit the criminal at least once, leaving the criminal's blood in the cruiser and on the weapon. The criminal ran, and the officer pursued. The criminal then doubled back to attack the officer, and was shot several times as he advanced on him.

The scary thing to me is that these idiots can all vote, and each of their votes counts the same as anyone's. The comments here are the biggest argument against Democracy as I have ever seen.

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