In light of the allegedly pending decision by the St. Louis Grand Jury, which will determine the fate of Officer Darren Wilson, consider this police chief’s take on violence in the black community and police response:
That chief of police sure doesn’t pull his punches. It’s about time that law enforcement officers spoke up and spoke out. Particularly apt is the Chief’s comment about how activists value their own First Amendment rights but seem to believe that the same rights don’t apply to their opponents or to the police.
Recently Missouri Governor Jay Nixon assured the public that the police, this time around, will protect property as well as lives, while still “allowing protesters to exercise their constitutional rights.”
It seems these officials got an earful in the “conversations” they held with citizens after the Michael Brown shooting, particularly with regard to ordering the police to “stand down.” That unfortunate response by authorities is examined in depth in a previous post.
Will the police stand down once again? Despite what Nixon, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, MO Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, and St. Louis City Police Chief Sam Dotson say, it appears they may stand down, at least to some degree.
Yesterday, “protestors” staged a “die-in” and blocked traffic on several streets. A few excerpts from that link: [emphasis added to quotes]
“If we don’t get it, shut it down! If Mike don’t get it, shut it down!” they chanted …
[S]ome pretended to be police officers, who yelled at protestors to “Freeze!” The mock police then started shooting the protestors dead and yelling, “Get a job!” The protestors fell to the ground and played dead, while others came around and outlined them their bodies in chalk. …
University City police officers blocked traffic for the protest and did not intervene. …
At the Skinker and Forest Park intersection, [protestors] formed a barricade of people on the crosswalks and demanded four and a half minutes of silence …
After the moment of silence, the protestors left the street and moved to the sidewalk. St. Louis City police allowed the protest and did not intervene.
“We are here disrupting the natural flow of business,” said Derek Laney, organizer with the Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment. “We want people to understand that as long as we have a climbing pile of dead bodies in our community at the hands of cops, then no one’s going to be comfortable. If we can’t be comfortable in our communities with the knowledge that we’ll be able to come home safe, then other communities don’t get to be comfortable.”
So it seems that the police are allowing, if not actively facilitating, these traffic shutdowns.
It remains to be seen whether this is a precedent. In future, will police allow the Tea Party to disrupt traffic all around the St. Louis area? They will have to allow it, facilitate it even, or else face charges of unequal treatment based upon race and/or political ideology.
Thus, it appears that officials are ordering the police to place the specious “right” of some citizens (to disrupt and make others uncomfortable) above the right of others (to go about their business unimpeded, pursuing their liberty and happiness, without fear).
Under the Constitution, We the People have a right to free speech. We do not have any “right” to disrupt “the natural flow of business” or to deliberately make “other communities” uncomfortable.
That smacks of both racism as well as a “kinder, gentler” form of terrorism. It also sounds like conspiracy, in my opinion, to deprive others of their constitutional rights. Police are supposed to keep the peace.
Instead of being facilitated by the police in their attempts to disrupt and make others uncomfortable, all of them should be arrested. That’s what Rosa Parks and MLK welcomed, as the natural result of their own civil disobedience.
FYI: Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment is among the organizations that regrouped with new names after Congress de-funded their predecessor organization, ACORN. Laney is among the “protestors” who recently disrupted a performance of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. In theory, We the Taxpayers may be funding “protest” activities by these allegedly not-for-profit community organizations.
Some protestors are not promising “peace“:
“We’ve decided not to wait for that [Grand Jury] decision. We’ve decided to get started,” said Rockit Ali, a 22-year-old organizer of Sunday’s demonstration, who marched in a Spider-Man mask.
While Sunday’s event had been planned as a nonviolent action, Ali said that violence could not be ruled out if the grand jury finds Wilson without fault.
“Rioting and looting are the tools of those without a voice. The rioting and looting, while I didn’t participate in it, was necessary. Without it we would not be standing here today,” Ali said. “There is no revolution without violence.”
Now that skates pretty darned close to what sounds like sedition. What would Holder and Obama have done if any Tea Partier openly spoke that way about any perceived necessity for violent revolution? Are we back to the concept of “justifiable looting“?
The day after the mid-term elections, Obama met with “Ferguson protest leaders,” including Al Sharpton:
According to the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has appeared frequently in St. Louis with the Brown family and delivered a speech at Mr. Brown’s funeral, Mr. Obama “was concerned about Ferguson staying on course in terms of pursuing what it was that he knew we were advocating. He said he hopes that we’re doing all we can to keep peace.”
… “What it was that [Obama] knew we were advocating!”
What exactly is it that they are advocating? Disrespect for the rule of law? Disdain for allowing the judicial process to take place? Disregard for the Constitution and for the right to be held “innocent until proved guilty?” Distaste for law enforcement officers? Revolution?
WHY would Obama be “concerned” that these protestors “stay on course?” What course?
We all know that the only job Obama ever really had, if indeed it can be called a “job”, was as a community organizer, just like these rabble-rousing outside agitators who took control of the so-called “peaceful protests” in Ferguson, as well as coordinating similar ginned-up events across the country. What is Obama up to this time?
The “protestors” in St. Louis promise more disruption today. (Can we expect that they applied for and received the required permit to use Shaw Park as a staging ground?)
For how long will these “protestors” be allowed to make “other communities” uncomfortable?
For how long will they be allowed to disrupt the “natural course of business?”
Soon it will be crunch time and we will learn exactly WHOM the police are ordered by politicians to protect and serve: The silent majority (who pay their salaries and who vote) or the vocal minority, led by outside agitators, Al Sharpton, and Obama?