It really isn't my intent to post about this every day, but the release of a surveillance camera video from the store allegedly robbed by Michael Brown has been posted to YouTube. It's impossible to say exactly what's going on there, but it looks an awful lot like Brown pays for cigars, doesn't have enough money for all of them, and throws the ones he can't pay for on the counter and floor. The clerk then comes around, probably to call him a dick for throwing merchandise, and then he shoves him/her and leaves.
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That's just my interpretation of it. It happens to be supported by the fact that the clerk didn't call the police or report a robbery. So then why did the police hold a press conference to let everyone know that Violent Thug Mike Brown was a suspect in a "strong-arm robbery"? All that matters now is that white America has been given the narrative it needed to stop giving any shits about what happened. You know, just another story about another Thug (wink!) who pushed a convenience store clerk and therefore deserved to be shot six times later on by a police officer who had no idea that this alleged robbery took place or that Mike "Jaywalker" Brown was supposedly a party to it.

I don't know what it is about this case that makes me want to see the Ferguson PD get it as badly as I do. The more I see how brazen their illegal and cocky behavior is, the more I hope to see them in cuffs in a Federal courtroom. I feel about them the way every baseball fan feels about A-Rod or Barry Bonds: "I hope I'm around to see this jagoff get what's coming to him."

64 thoughts on “COOL STORY BRO”

  • You know if you were in Syria or Ukraine the press and US government would be just fine with protesters arming themselves and shooting cops. But alas, you're in America. Thus- Law and order or die.

  • So, one of the witnesses (Piaget Crenshaw) took video of some of Brown's last moments, on her phone. The cops confiscated her phone.

    So, the cops released a bullshit, irrelevant video of a robbery.

    And, one can suspect that if Crenshaw's video exonerates Wilson, the cops would have also released that. They haven't.

    Neither you, nor I know what happened prior to Brown being killed. But damn if that doesn't look telling.

  • Here's a tweet from this morning which I thought was interesting:

    Two things the U.S. should thank Black folks for: 1. Building this country. 2. Not justifiably burning this whole country to the ground.

    My thoughts exactly.

  • It has been clearly established that the cop DID NOT KNOW about any robbery. The robbery was not reported to the police before the shooting. So yes, it is 100% irrelevant. Unless you are trying to find some bullcrap excuse as to why a kid deserved to be executed for jaywalking (while black). Thanks for playing.

  • Andrew Laurence says:


    1. Confessions aren't always true.
    2. People who rob convenience stores don't deserve to get shot six times by a cop who had no idea they had done so, or by anyone else. They deserve to be arrested, given a fair trial, and if convicted, duly punished.

  • @Dookie: You should believe the WeaselZippers (!) account only when you hear the statement from Darian Johnson himself. Third person "paraphrases" should convince nobody. Not on this internet.

  • I am not saying that he deserved to be shot 6 times for the store incident. I would never say that…just introducing some actual facts into the conversation. Maybe we should get more facts before we decide we know what happened and start throwing cops in jail? Anyone?

  • Andrew Laurence says:

    So you admit he didn't deserve to be shot six times, yet you insist on collecting data on what he did to deserve having been shot six times? What is the use of collecting data unless it is in support of a hypothesis?

  • I admit that I do not know if he deserved to be shot…not yet.

    Do you know?

    So, the only reason you collect data is to support a hypothesis? Interesting to say the least. That statement says more about you than me, Andrew Laurence.

  • Dude, the video wasn't meant for you. You think. The video was meant for people who don't think and only react to images.

    Scary Black Man — therefore anything the cops do is OK. It's the Willie Horton Effect. Remember that? Showing pictures of a "Scary Black Man" on the tv helped get Bush I elected, even though it was totally irrelevant to the campaign.

    Even more pernicious is the meme I've seen propagated even by so-called "liberals." They're saying "Cops and looters should both be held accountable." This is the epitome of a false equivalency. There is absolutely no comparison between a bunch of amped-up kids taking candy and cigarettes from a convenience store and para-military cops pointing guns at unarmed citizens, lobbing tear gas, firing rubber bullets, arresting journalists who aren't breaking the law, etc.

    Some people say the cops have been "militarized," but military people have pointed out that the military doesn't behave this way. It's against the rules of engagement to point a weapon at someone who doesn't pose an immediate threat to you. Other vets have said that they went into combat with less gear and weaponry than the cops in Ferguson are using.

  • You know what I did a lot of when I was a teenager? Shoplifting. I stole lipstick and candy bars and once, an entire dress that fit perfectly under the dress I was wearing. When I was (inevitability) caught, you know what they didn't call it? Robbery. You know what they didn't do? Shoot me.

  • A policeman shot an unarmed man. The only reason he hasn't been arrested is that he's apparently considered to be above the law. And that's disgusting.

  • Cops who shoot people dead are out of control. End of story. Their job is arresting people. Not acting as judge, jury and executioner even if they know a capital crime was committed. Robbery is not a capital crime. Neither is jaywalking, I believe.

    The only reason to kill someone, for them or anyone else, is in self-defense. The pieces of evidence so far, which the cops seem to be keeping as thin as possible, don't suggest self-defense.

    A large part of me doesn't even understand why any of this needs to be said.

  • @Csicopper — exactly. How many times would someone have to shoot you to get you to stop doing what you're doing? For me, it would be once. Six times?

  • The Ferguson PD could also release a toxicology report showing he had smoked some pot recently. They still haven't released the 'official' autopsy report though.

  • Hunter Gathers says:

    @ cat
    Now I don't have to tell you that pot turns black people into murderous savages, while it just gives white people the munchies and the desire watch cartoons for hours on end.

  • We are all equal before the law. Don't forget that. Jeffery Dahmer, Mother Theresa, serial killers and brilliant doctors are all equal. It should not matter if he robbed the store or saved a sack of kittens from drowning in a lake. We are all afforded due process of law. It is one of the corner stones of our democracy. Justifying any excessive use of force with the "oh, he was a thug" narrative makes us all less free.

    We should not hold the "criminal" standard to police behavior- the are public servants, just like the people at the DMV or people at the CDC. Since when has it been okay to engage in ethically dubious behavior and it considered "okay", as long as it's not criminal, in any job? My dad rode the bus every day for like 15 years, and got to know the bus drivers pretty well. He remembers talking to them about accidents, and they told him the standard that they were held to was not "were they at fault" but "was the accident preventable." NTSB holds pilots to high standards. Why is it that we accept that if a police officer uses deadly force, and as long as the actions were not "criminal", it is okay?

  • Apologies for quoting two whole damn paragraphs, but…damn! There it is, in crystal clarity:

    I don't think the local authorities really care whether they conduct a responsible investigation, or whether they help Ferguson to heal and come to terms with what happened. It's not just that they're closing ranks around one of their own. It's not merely that they obviously believe Mike Brown was a worthless thug whose death should go unmourned. It's not only that they don't regard the people of Ferguson as fully human. It's that they don't care if you know all that about them. They're not trying to conceal it. They're not "too inept to cloak the fact" that they don't care. They don't give a damn what you think if you're the kind of person they don't like.

    From the beginning, they've known instinctively what polls are now showing us: that white people don't understand the racial pain behind the protests, or don't care, that whites always give cops the benefit of the doubt in matters like this, and that this is especially true of the Republicans who dominate America's heartland. They understood this, I assume, because they're the sort of whites who would feel his way even if law enforcement weren't their business. They have, as the kids say, no fucks to give about people who aren't like them, and they know the majority of Americans feel the same way. So they don't care if Ferguson burns. They're going to keep doing what they're doing. They don't care if it's appropriate. It's what they want to do. They don't care what you and I think, and they don't need to.

  • Dookie: Let me restate. The only sensible reason to collect data is to prove OR DISPROVE a hypothesis. You have already admitted that whether or not Michael robbed the convenience store, he did not deserve to be shot six times (fatally). It has been proven that no robbery was reported and that the cop who shot him had no evidence that Brown was a robbery suspect at the time he shot Brown, who was unarmed, six times, fatally.

  • Zoe: Robbery is taking by force. Shoplifting, which consists of taking by stealth, and looting, which involves taking in plain view and running, is theft. Race shouldn't be a factor. Of course, it is.

  • quixote: Police are also entitle to use deadly force in defense of others, not only of themselves, but I've seen no evidence that anyone needed defending from Michael Brown.

  • I saw that he was 6'4". That's an actual fact.
    Oh, and he was black. That is also an actual fact.

    Of course these are just as irrelevant as pot in the system, robbing a store, walking in the street, etc. etc. but I figured I'd point them out since that's what the police department seems to want to do at every turn. You know, contribute "the facts" for "both sides".

  • NTSB holds pilots to high standards.

    Damn straight they do. As does the FAA and my employer for that matter. I'm constantly under a microscope. Anything I say in the cockpit is recorded. Anything I do with the aircraft is constantly transmitted via data-link back home to "mom".

    I'm never more than one screw-up from standing in front of a long table with a bunch of microphones on it.

    I expect police, as the trained professionals that they're supposed to be, to be held to high standards as well.

  • Andrew…I NEVER admitted Mr. Brown did not deserve to be shot, I only admitted that a) The common robbery of cigars did not constitute a valid reason to shoot anyone (regardless how many times), and that b) I did not have enough information to form an opinion on the justification of the shooting.

    Do you really have that hard of a time understanding what you read, or do you just read into others statements what you want them to have said? My guess is the latter.

  • You know, I can never engage a certain type of person in a discussion about Ferguson, because I refuse to debate shoplifting being a capital offense.

  • @Khaled: the reason we allow a bit more "leeway" and "benefit of doubt" for cops to make "judgement calls" is part and parcel of the nature of the role and the historical role in society. We ask cops to intervene in very hazardous confrontational situations. Some petty like not walking upstairs to ask the neighbours in a friendly way that 2am is the time to turn the music way down. Historically, they've really been the ones in society permitted to use deadly force. Of course training should be a significant portion of this permission. Now a days, it's any yayhoo who wants to can go hunt n*… erm I mean defend themselves from any perceived threat.

    However, shooting someone *SIX* times for jay-walking or flauting the officer's ah-thor-ahtay, is beyond the pale. I hadn't realised that failing to stop when ordered by a cop to do so would get one shot. Tackled, yes. But not shot. And certainly not shot *SIX* times. If not murder, it certainly is one of the more grevious forms of manslaughter. If someone would like to explain the finer points of possible charges to me I'm all ears.

  • Mike H: That's a bit of a red herring. If shoplifting were a capital offense, the accused would be allowed a fair trial and an automatic appeal of any conviction. Very few people in modern society would agree that shoplifting should be a capital offense. The question at issue is whether Darren Wilson was acting in self defense, or defense of others, when he shot the unarmed Michael Brown six times, including two in the head. I'm skeptical of this claim to say the least, but no one (to my knowledge) is arguing that Wilson shot Brown for shoplifting. For being poor and black, sure.

  • There are other camera angles that haven't been made public yet; stills included in the FPD incident report clearly show Brown in a physical confrontation with someone much smaller just inside the door of the store. Because the report identifies that person as a store employee, "strong-arm robbery" might still be an accurate description of the event.

    Yes, that is almost irrelevant to the shooting. Brown did not deserve to die, and Wilson should be arrested and charged. But don't dismiss the possibility that Brown was confrontational at the jaywalking stop because of the store incident.

  • If true, I wonder how this will be explained away?

    I say "if true" because this is the only source I know that has reported anything about the specific injuries the officer who shot Mr. Brown sustained. We know the officer was injured but nothing beyond a swollen face had been reported before now. Gateway pundit is not an unbiased source…although that doesn't mean it is not true.

    Also, as someone who is currently about 5 miles from Ferguson, MO (according to the GPS on my iPhone) it is somewhat surreal to think this is all unfolding so close to where everything seems like just another day. Blacks and whites (and all colors inbetween) seem to interact as always (why wouldn't we?). I just had a young black male hold the door open for me at the Overland QT and respond "You're welcome, Sir" when I thanked him. I don't know if that means anything, just strikes me as hopeful.

  • Anyone, not just a strongarm robber, might be confrontational when stopped by a cop. That doesn't justify shooting them. Police are trained to de-escalate conflict. Let me tell you about the time a cop thought this middle-aged white guy was being confrontational (I wasn't).

    I was standing outside the turnstile area at the Oakland Coliseum BART station, near the stairs that lead to the overpass that leads to the Coliseum. I was trying two sell two tickets for face value (legal in California) because I didn't want to, or didn't have time to, attend the game myself. A white male cop asked me whether I was waiting for someone, and I replied, "No, I'm trying to sell these two tickets." He said, "Not over there you're not," and I replied, "OK, where would you like me to stand?", which in my mind was a simple, polite request for clarification of his wishes. He apparently saw it as a challenge to his authority, at which point he got right up in my face and yelled at me (I don't recall his specific words). Even so, at no point did it occur to me that he would hit me, shoot me, tase me, or even arrest me, and this was still, BY FAR, the single most unpleasant encounter I have ever had with a police officer. So much so that I literally cannot remember the second most unpleasant. On the other side of the coin, I have, on two separate occasions, been let off with a warning for driving 53 in a school zone (speed limit 25), and given a speeding ticket which I richly deserved while the cop (a Canadian Mountie) practically apologized for giving it to me.

    I just remembered my second most unpleasant encounter with a cop: A white male motercycle cop with mirrored aviator shades pulled me over in San Diego while I was riding my 50cc Yamaha scooter (don't judge: I was a broke college student). At that time I wore my hair long and had an unkempt beard. The charge was making a left turn across a double-double yellow line, which in California is considered a concrete barrier. I had not been aware of that before this encounter, and I had surely done it before and after, but this time, I got caught. I knew I was guilty, but I took it to court on the hope the officer would not appear. He did. The prosecutor asked him whether he saw the defendant in the courtroom, and he gestured toward me and said, "The gentleman over there with the hair and the beard." The judge pronounced me guilty and fined me $50, which was much less than the maximum fine. She could have imposed a partially-suspended fine from a previous traffic incident, but she did not. Perhaps she took pity on me, or perhaps she thought it was an example of police bias (though not racial), or perhaps she was just in a good mood. (This isn't relevant, but for some reason I remember, nearly 30 years later, that the judge was strikingly pretty.)

  • I should add that while the cop was giving me the aforementioned ticket, he was civil and professional and perhaps even slightly friendly and I didn't feel the least bit threatened or uncomfortable. It didn't even occur to me that he might have been biased against "my kind" until he made his unfortunate identification of me in court. Still my second worst police experience, and far from terrible.

  • Just want to make sure I have this right…

    Armed White Dickhead = Patriot

    Unarmed Black Person = Thug

    Okay! Thank you!

  • (Side issue re Andrew upthread: "Police are also entitle to use deadly force in defense of others, not only of themselves." Yes, of course. I didn't think to include it because as you say it doesn't seem to have relevance to this case,but it is a good point.)

  • @Pete .. it would be a "strong armed robbery" had he physically attacked — arm twisting, choke hold, etc. — the store clerk and forced the clerk to give him money or merchandise. What I see in the video was that he had a verbal confrontation at the counter, and then he began to leave and the store employee assaulted him and got in his face. Brown pushed him aside — something you or I would probably do if a store clerk assaulted us. That is not a "strong armed robbery."

  • It's laughable how eager people are to let cops in the U.S. off the hook for shooting unarmed people. I can't imagine how low the standards are if there is a gun involved – "he gave me a funny look", maybe.

    From what I've seen, the police in many other countries (U.K., Australia, etc) get more scrutiny over incidents where they shot an armed suspect who was actively threatening people: the responsibility is still on the police to try and deescalate and disarm the person before shooting breaks out.

  • @Tim – I find it laughable how eager people are to attack facts that run counter to what they want them to be. I thought conservatives were supposed to be the "deniers".

    I have no idea what is…none, and don't care to know. They are not the source, the AP is. You have heard of the AP (Associated Press), right? Is the only acceptable source of info MSNBC?

    We can't deal with facts here, cause they are increasingly turning against the narrative you so desperately want to be true. So do the usual…call people who do not agree with you names, attack their character, distract, decieve, whatever it takes, right?

  • @Dookie: You seem just as eager to discover facts that prove your preferred version of the narrative, that an innocent white cop successfully defended himself from a dangerous black thug. Six times.

  • "Thug" is indeed the new N word, as Richard Sherman (go Seahawks!) pointed out.

    I wish everyone could back off and not jump to conclusions about the shooting. Yes, it looks fishy to me, probably the officer escalated an incident that didn't need to rise beyond jaywalking. But I wasn't there, so I suppose it's possible the shooting was justified (it pains me to type that). I just hope that whatever the results of the investigation are they are generally accepted as credible. Either way things seriously need to change in Ferguson in the direction of representative democracy and a more diverse police department, for starters.

  • @Alan C: Which is weird, because the word "thug" to me conjures up an Italian-American rank-and-file employee of an organized crime syndicate. Or even maybe a boss. Not that Italian-Americans are particularly likely to engage in organized crime, but Tony Soprano looms large in my consciousness (RIP James Gandolfini).

    I do believe that the officials in charge should gather all the facts and decide based on the best evidence available, but ask yourself this: How come, every time we read about a cop shooting an unarmed man, that man is ALWAYS black, and the cop is always white? My right-wing friends think it's left-wing media bias; i.e., that a shooting of an unarmed white person wouldn't be considered newsworthy? Newsworthy? Hell, they would break in to Honey Boo Boo for that shit!

  • I realize my comment was a little Pollyanna-ish. I don't have high hopes that the results of the investigation will be accepted by all sides, particularly if Ferguson PD is in charge of it. I assume MSHP or the Justice Dept. is taking the lead.

  • The bigger issue to me is that, as of Wednesday, while the media had interviewed the witnesses to the shooting, the police had not.

  • Why not email videos immediately to a dozen or so news outlets (Mother Jones for sure) in hopes at least one will be honest enough to post. If it's done before the cell phone is taken at least the film exists outside of the device and confiscating it means nothing.

  • Red Ruffansore says:

    Everyone is saying 'jaywalking', but these two guys were
    arrogantly walking down the middle of the street, blocking
    traffic, or they would have been, if there had been any
    traffic. No wonder the policeman felt righteous anger!
    Lawn Order Forever! Or whatever it is in Latin.

  • Why not email videos immediately to a dozen or so news outlets (Mother Jones for sure) in hopes at least one will be honest enough to post. If it's done before the cell phone is taken at least the film exists outside of the device and confiscating it means nothing.

    The ACLU does have an app for that. But part of the problem is wi-fi accessibility. The US has not been good about getting coverage for large swaths of the country (and we do know where and for whom good wi-fi coverage does exist, don't we? Of course we do), and not everyone can walk around with a personal wi-fi hot spot.

  • The narrative is probably a LOT more complicated than all the dizzying reportage and punditry has portrayed. Personally, the local PD there needs a LOT more training in community policing. Evidently they don't think it's necessary. Hopefully the recent events will change their minds.

    That said, I have a theory: the situation escalated catastrophically due to the entanglement of personalities and events that, with a lot of training and foresight, was probably preventable. The "teenager" was 18, and a BIG guy – and from the convenience store footage, evidently had an "attitude". Most teenage males, with all that surging testosterone, have one (I taught high school, and had a son, so I KNOW.) The local cop evidently had little or no community policing skills, and confrontation was his go-to strategy. The kid was probably slightly paranoid after the convenience store incident, and reacted badly to being harassed by the cop (was the cop struck, or not? Be nice if the PD had those personal cameras !!! But then, southern cops don't believe in that stuff. I'd be surprised if they even had patrol car cams.) If the cop was punched, he'd probably react violently – testosterone again. Red flag – bull. No patrol partner there to intervene, so the situation escalated fast. I can't see him having the physical room while in the patrol car to draw his piece, so then what? Did he fire out the window? Did he have to exit the car to get room to draw? Did he yell "stop" and then fire? Or did he just fire off what looks like several rounds in the general area of the kid (not in the air?) to get him to stop (?). and then two coup de grace shots execution style? (What exactly does the only witness – his friend – say? Can't believe they didn't have him down at the station tout suite!!!) This whole thing smacks of police incompetence – it's like an episode of The Shield.

    You have to KNOW the community you are policing. You have to know the individuals/families that live there and their personalities. That only comes with daily interaction with them as people. You give them a warning, and if they don't comply, if you know their mothers and grannies and aunties, you call them up informally (we have cell phones nowadays, right?) and say "so-and-so is doing such and such right here on A avenue, do you want to speak to him?" Works nine times out of ten. Ends so much better than summary execution …..

  • I know I'll regret this, but:

    1) The shopkeeper *did* call 911 to report a robbery, according to the police report:

    2) I think the quantity of bullets is probably irrelevant. It's the intent to kill (which was likely present with the first bullet.)

    3) Wilson's mouthpieces are indicating that he has broken facial bones. I don't know how/when that occurred, or what sequence of events led to it.

    4) We still don't have information on powder presence on the clothes.

    …which is to say, there's so much misinformation out there, so much willful manipulation. And there's a dead kid. I would like to know what happened, prior to him being killed. I can create scenarios, in which his being shot makes sense, even some consistent with the three eyewitness testimonies, mostly.

    My gut tells me that's not what happened…that Wilson was badgering Brown, and Brown was not politely complying. And rather than arrest/charge Brown, Wilson thought he could intimidate him, and initiated a fight. When Brown ran away from the fight, Wilson, embarrassed that he had lost control of the situation, threatened him, and then shot and killed him. < —pure speculation, could be completely wrong. But isn't that what most of us are doing, given the b.s. information provided?

  • Out of curiosity. Has anyone made anything of Brown's emerging boxing prowess?

    According to some of the stories, the Wilson suffered a fractured orbital. Last time I checked that's the eye, correct me if I'm wrong. In my understanding it would take a pretty good punch to break bone, medicos?

    Brown allegedly was leaning through the car window when a scuffle ensued. Which isn't the best angle to deliver a pretty crushing blow from, especially if people are trying to grab and grapple with each other through a restricted aperture such as a car window.

    Even more amazing, that despite significant trauma to his eye, Wilson was able to squeeze off at least 6 rounds that found their target. Which would be a pretty good feat, considering the blurred vision and pain even at short range. Of course if there really was eye damage, it could explain why Wilson would say Brown was advancing on him if, due to blurred vision.

  • So amazing, and telling, to see the lengths some go to to deny facts that don't support their preconceived, totally biased notions. Those on either extreme engage in this behavior, just rarely is it so obvious.

  • "They left the body in the street.

    Dictators leave bodies in the street.

    Petty local satraps leave bodies in the street.

    Warlords leave bodies in the street."

    – Charles Pierce

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