WE are #MichaelBrown

 

Yesterday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon named former St. Louis police chief,  Daniel Isom II, Ph. D. to replace Missouri’s public safety director, Jerry Lee, on his cabinet. (http://m.wgem.com/w/main/story/119575064/)

Is this an effort to correct the failed policing policies employed in Ferguson, Mo. following the shooting of unarmed teenager #MichaelBrown.  Is it the act of an unrepentant politician, hedging his bets, just in case the Black residents of Ferguson should decide to vote in the next election?

Although it appears that Dr. Isom (professional vitae) is imminently qualified for the top law enforcement position in Missouri , he is the only Black man currently on Governor Nixon’s cabinet.   Is Governor Nixon’s action  designed to placate the Black community of Ferguson, where a native son (#handsupdontshoot) was killed? Is this action designed to change the story line of the reporters who were hassled and arrested while trying to do their job? Is this Governor Nixon’s way of saying “my hands are clean” to the Federal investigators who are looking into the actions surrounding the killing of #MichaelBrown and to the Amnesty International Delegation who arrived on U.S. soil, for the first time ever, to monitor police interactions with the people whom they were charged to protect and serve?

If any of the scenarios above reflect Governor Nixon’s motivation for appointing Dr. Isom as the top law enforcement officer of Missouri, it is not enough. To paraphrase the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, we can never be satisfied as long as we are the victims of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.

We are #MichaelBrown. We are unarmed. We cry out for  #JusticeForMikeBrown (Click).

Flight or Fight

A Mother’s arms are empty. A Father’s head is bowed. A child’s blood cries out from the ground.  A police officer, sworn to protect and defend the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri, rises every morning to look at “the man in the mirror” who shot an unarmed teenager.  And the big question of the day seems to be: “Why would people destroy their own community”?

Political pundits, news anchors, public officials, ministers, friends and acquaintances have all weighed in on this question. The answers have been wide-ranging, including:

  • This is typical thug behavior
  •  These are the actions of a few ignorant people who make everyone look bad
  • The looters are outside agitators
  • People are reacting to a militarized police force
  • The people need to be given a public square to speak and express their anger
  • The people of Ferguson need jobs
  • Blacks in Ferguson are under-represented on the police force
  • These actions are reminiscent of the “Destruction of  Tea in Boston”
  • People are reacting to their perceived circumstances

In my opinion, none of the above responses, sufficiently, answers the question of why people would destroy  their own community.  It appears that the people of Ferguson were functioning on automatic pilot in response to danger.  They were in “flight or fight” mode. The community had watched a young man try to run from a dangerous situation, only to be gunned down.  After the killing of #MichaelBrown, the community was surrounded by a hostile police force.  There appeared to be no escape.  There appeared to be no safety.  They appeared to have no rights. They seemed powerless and without speech.

Tellingly, if news reports are accurate,  the Missouri National Guard was dispatched to protect the Police Command Center, and some police officers were dispatched to protect certain neighborhoods in Ferguson. It appeared that there was no protection of the First Amendment rights of the people in Ferguson. Instead, the people were given an unjust order to “keep moving.”

So, it seems to me, that rather than the query about why a few, distressed, fearful protestors threw rocks; there are better questions to ask. Why was an unarmed teen killed by a trained police officer who, in addition to a gun, carried a club and mace?   Why did the police officers and Missouri National Guard deny American citizens their First Amendment right of peaceful assembly?  How can the family get justice for #MichaelBrown?  Most importantly, how can we make sure it never happens again?

It is time, as the Prophet Amos and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. said, to Let Justice Roll Down (Click).

 

Reblog From www.huffingtonpost.com/Ferguson Police Officer Justin Cosma Hog-Tied And Injured A Young Child, Lawsuit Alleges

Ferguson Police Officer Justin Cosma Hog-Tied And Injured A Young Child, Lawsuit Alleges
Ryan J. Reilly, Ashley Alman 08/24/14 05:48 PM ET
WASHINGTON — A Ferguson police officer who helped detain a journalist in a McDonald’s earlier this month is in the midst of a civil rights lawsuit because he allegedly hog-tied a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mail at the end of his driveway.

According to a lawsuit filed in 2012 in Missouri federal court, Justin Cosma and another officer, Richard Carter, approached a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mailbox at the end of his driveway in June 2010. Cosma was an officer with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at the time, the lawsuit states. The pair asked the boy if he’d been playing on a nearby highway, and he replied no, according to the lawsuit.

Then, the officers “became confrontational” and intimidated the child, the lawsuit claims. “Unprovoked and without cause, the deputies grabbed [the boy], choked him around the neck and threw him to the ground,” it says. The boy was shirtless at the time, and allegedly “suffered bruising, choke marks, scrapes and cuts across his body.”

The 12-year-old was transferred to a medical facility for treatment, but the lawsuit says Cosma and the other officer reported the incident as “assault of a law enforcement officer third degree” and “resisting/interfering with arrest, detention or stop.”

Jefferson County prosecutors “refused to issue a juvenile case” against the young child, the suit says.

The allegations against Cosma were made in September 2012, shortly after he was introduced as a new officer at a Ferguson City Council meeting. Jefferson County is just south of Ferguson.

Captain Ron Arnhart of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, who is a candidate for sheriff, did not respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment on the circumstances of Cosma’s departure. Neither Ferguson police spokesman Tom Zoll nor Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson responded to requests for comment.

A dispatcher at the Ferguson Police Department said she would relay a message to Cosma, who was out in the field on Sunday afternoon.

Richard R. Lozano, the lawyer representing the young man in the lawsuit, declined to be interviewed due to the pending claims against Cosma and the other officer. He said he anticipates a trial date early next year. However, Lozano did provide a statement.

“The lawsuit alleges that Justin Cosma and Richard Carter, two deputies with the Jefferson County, Missouri sheriff’s department in 2010, assaulted my client during an encounter on my client’s driveway while his mother was inside their house. My client was 12 years old at the time, shirtless and was not suspected of any criminal behavior. He was checking the mail. The deputies approached my client and the encounter quickly escalated. My client was restrained, choked, thrown to the ground and hogtied by the two deputies. He suffered scrapes and choke marks to his neck. No charges were ever brought against my client. It is my understanding that Justin Cosma is currently an officer with the City of Ferguson,” Lozano wrote.

Cosma was also one of the officers who detained journalists from HuffPost and The Washington Post earlier this month in a local McDonald’s. He declined to give his name or badge number at the time, and has subsequently refused to identify himself to the press. A reader tip allowed HuffPost to match his name and face after the altercation.

While still at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Cosma received an award for dealing with a person in psychiatric crisis, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Cosma isn’t the only officer whose past has received new attention in the wake of the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson. Eddie Boyd III, an officer who faced allegations of hitting children while serving under the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, quietly resigned and sought employment with the Ferguson Police Department. Boyd faced three complaints of physical abuse against children between 2004 and 2006, two of which were dropped. Internal affairs sustained the third complaint against Boyd, saying there was sufficient evidence to support the allegation that he struck a 12-year-old girl in the head with a pistol, and recommended Boyd be fired. The St. Louis police chose to demote him.

Less than a year later, a teenage boy alleged that Boyd hit him in the nose with a gun, and the officer quietly resigned from his role at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. His license was not revoked in the ensuing lawsuit. Boyd was hired by the Ferguson Police Department sometime between July 2009 and December 2010.

St. Ann officer Dan Page, who has been on the force for 35 years, was suspended from duty for inflammatory comments made while addressing the Oath Keepers of St. Louis and St. Charles. Page made racist and sexist remarks, called President Obama an “illegal alien,” denounced hate crime laws and spoke flippantly about violence and killings. The video, uploaded to YouTube in April, was uncovered by CNN after Page pushed anchor Don Lemon on Aug. 18 during demonstrations in Ferguson.

St. Louis County Lt. Ray Albers was also suspended from duty after he threatened civilians in Ferguson, pointing his gun at them and shouting, “I will fucking kill you.” Reporter Joe Biggs was among the group being threatened.

“I can’t believe that that happened in America,” Biggs told HuffPost of the confrontation. “That’s something I’ve seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. In our country? Mind-blowing.”

Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown, joined the Ferguson police after the city council in nearby Jennings disbanded the police department and brought in new officers over three years ago because of the poor relationship between cops and residents, the Washington Post reported.

Read the lawsuit laying out the allegations against Cosma below.

Justin Cosma

CORRECTION: Alber was originally misidentified as a lieutenant with the St. Louis County Police Department.

ALSO ON HUFFINGTON POST
Kids Of Ferguson

Load More

Ferguson Police Officer Justin Cosma Hog-Tied And Injured A Young Child, Lawsuit Alleges
Ryan J. Reilly, Ashley Alman 08/24/14 05:48 PM ET
WASHINGTON — A Ferguson police officer who helped detain a journalist in a McDonald’s earlier this month is in the midst of a civil rights lawsuit because he allegedly hog-tied a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mail at the end of his driveway.

According to a lawsuit filed in 2012 in Missouri federal court, Justin Cosma and another officer, Richard Carter, approached a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mailbox at the end of his driveway in June 2010. Cosma was an officer with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at the time, the lawsuit states. The pair asked the boy if he’d been playing on a nearby highway, and he replied no, according to the lawsuit.

Then, the officers “became confrontational” and intimidated the child, the lawsuit claims. “Unprovoked and without cause, the deputies grabbed [the boy], choked him around the neck and threw him to the ground,” it says. The boy was shirtless at the time, and allegedly “suffered bruising, choke marks, scrapes and cuts across his body.”

The 12-year-old was transferred to a medical facility for treatment, but the lawsuit says Cosma and the other officer reported the incident as “assault of a law enforcement officer third degree” and “resisting/interfering with arrest, detention or stop.”

Jefferson County prosecutors “refused to issue a juvenile case” against the young child, the suit says.

The allegations against Cosma were made in September 2012, shortly after he was introduced as a new officer at a Ferguson City Council meeting. Jefferson County is just south of Ferguson.

Captain Ron Arnhart of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, who is a candidate for sheriff, did not respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment on the circumstances of Cosma’s departure. Neither Ferguson police spokesman Tom Zoll nor Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson responded to requests for comment.

A dispatcher at the Ferguson Police Department said she would relay a message to Cosma, who was out in the field on Sunday afternoon.

Richard R. Lozano, the lawyer representing the young man in the lawsuit, declined to be interviewed due to the pending claims against Cosma and the other officer. He said he anticipates a trial date early next year. However, Lozano did provide a statement.

“The lawsuit alleges that Justin Cosma and Richard Carter, two deputies with the Jefferson County, Missouri sheriff’s department in 2010, assaulted my client during an encounter on my client’s driveway while his mother was inside their house. My client was 12 years old at the time, shirtless and was not suspected of any criminal behavior. He was checking the mail. The deputies approached my client and the encounter quickly escalated. My client was restrained, choked, thrown to the ground and hogtied by the two deputies. He suffered scrapes and choke marks to his neck. No charges were ever brought against my client. It is my understanding that Justin Cosma is currently an officer with the City of Ferguson,” Lozano wrote.

Cosma was also one of the officers who detained journalists from HuffPost and The Washington Post earlier this month in a local McDonald’s. He declined to give his name or badge number at the time, and has subsequently refused to identify himself to the press. A reader tip allowed HuffPost to match his name and face after the altercation.

While still at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Cosma received an award for dealing with a person in psychiatric crisis, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Cosma isn’t the only officer whose past has received new attention in the wake of the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson. Eddie Boyd III, an officer who faced allegations of hitting children while serving under the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, quietly resigned and sought employment with the Ferguson Police Department. Boyd faced three complaints of physical abuse against children between 2004 and 2006, two of which were dropped. Internal affairs sustained the third complaint against Boyd, saying there was sufficient evidence to support the allegation that he struck a 12-year-old girl in the head with a pistol, and recommended Boyd be fired. The St. Louis police chose to demote him.

Less than a year later, a teenage boy alleged that Boyd hit him in the nose with a gun, and the officer quietly resigned from his role at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. His license was not revoked in the ensuing lawsuit. Boyd was hired by the Ferguson Police Department sometime between July 2009 and December 2010.

St. Ann officer Dan Page, who has been on the force for 35 years, was suspended from duty for inflammatory comments made while addressing the Oath Keepers of St. Louis and St. Charles. Page made racist and sexist remarks, called President Obama an “illegal alien,” denounced hate crime laws and spoke flippantly about violence and killings. The video, uploaded to YouTube in April, was uncovered by CNN after Page pushed anchor Don Lemon on Aug. 18 during demonstrations in Ferguson.

St. Louis County Lt. Ray Albers was also suspended from duty after he threatened civilians in Ferguson, pointing his gun at them and shouting, “I will fucking kill you.” Reporter Joe Biggs was among the group being threatened.

“I can’t believe that that happened in America,” Biggs told HuffPost of the confrontation. “That’s something I’ve seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. In our country? Mind-blowing.”

Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown, joined the Ferguson police after the city council in nearby Jennings disbanded the police department and brought in new officers over three years ago because of the poor relationship between cops and residents, the Washington Post reported.

Read the lawsuit laying out the allegations against Cosma below.

Justin Cosma

CORRECTION: Alber was originally misidentified as a lieutenant with the St. Louis County Police Department.

ALSO ON HUFFINGTON POST
Kids Of Ferguson

Load More

Fly Jock Blog: Do What the Cops Tell You

Black America Web

The other day a veteran LAPD officer fired a “shot” that was heard around the world.  In the midst of the nation watching and waiting for justice surrounding the shooting of unarmed Ferguson, Missouri teen Michael Brown Jr., the officer wrote a controversial column.

In a nutshell, Sunil Dutta said if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground just do what he tells you.

What he should have added to his rant was… especially if you’re African-American or any person of Sunil’s color.

This officer lays it out in the context that all is fair in the methods used to stop, address and command people who are doing something wrong.

If you’re a citizen who can be reasonably sure that the only time you will be stopped by law enforcement is when you’re committing an offense, then Officer…

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