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Police Issues and Racial Profiling Protest Discussion

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Ferguson grand jury could reach decision as early as Friday

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Ferguson, Missouri (CNN) -- It's the kind of anxiety you feel when a Category 5 Hurricane is hurtling your way.

You can't gauge with certainty what will fall in its path, what will remain in its aftermath. You board up. And wait.

That's the way much of Ferguson feels as it waits for the St. Louis County grand jury to decide whether Officer Darren Wilson should stand trial in the shooting of Michael Brown. The grand jurors technically have until January, but the prosecutor's office has said a decision could come in mid-November.

It's mid-November.

Lawyers, a--lysts and journalists have been speculating on when it will be announced. Residents of Ferguson, however, are done with all that for the most part. It has been a long calm before the impending storm.

"We just want them to get it over with" is a common refrain.

They saw street demonstrations erupt after Brown's killing. They saw how violent things became. They watched heavily armed police come face to face with angry protesters demanding justice.

So did the rest of the nation, and the world. Ferguson became a flashpoint for racial tension.

Some predict that will be the case again when the grand jury's decision is announced. Will the white police officer face any charges in the death of a black, unarmed 18-year-old?

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Monday as a precaution in the event of unrest or violence.

Along West Florissant Avenue, the ground zero of violent protests, businesses put back the plywood boards they had taken down from their windows and doors. Business owners were tired of answering questions about how they had fared through the weeks and weeks of tension.

"How do you think we are doing?" asked Dan McMullen, owner of Solo Insurance Services on West Florissant.

"I just want to get this over with and move on," he said, sitting at his desk behind the boarded-up entrance to his strip mall office.

He said some protesters came in wanting to leave flyers with information in his office.

"I told them to get the hell out. You broke my windows and now you want me to put out your literature?"

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles told local media this month that he expected demonstrations across the region and warned authorities to "prepare for the worst."

Your view from Ferguson

'We've had three months to prepare'

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said Tuesday that his officers are ready for whatever happens.

"We've had three months to prepare. ... Acts of violence will not be tolerated," he told CNN. "Our intelligence is good. Our tactics are good. We can protect lawful people and at the same time arrest criminals."

Area school superintendents wrote a letter to city officials and authorities requesting that they announce the grand jury's decision on an evening or weeknight so it doesn't affect about 20,000 students traveling back and forth to schools.

Many parents received notice to fetch their children from school if the decision comes out earlier in the day.

A group of community members calling themselves the Don't Shoot Coalition has asked for 48 hours' notice before the ruling is made public. It also released 19 "Rules of Engagement" that touch on major points of contention between protesters and police.

The group wants assurances that neither police nor the government will interfere with the flow of information, as well as a guarantee that police won't use rubber bullets, armored vehicles, rifles or tear gas. The group also requested that officers wear attire "minimally required for their safety" and that "specialized riot gear be avoided except as a last resort."

Dry runs in cold weather

In the St. Louis area, protesters have been staging dry runs on how to face police. And continuing their demonstrations.

Despite below-freezing temperatures Monday, about 100 activists disrupted lunchtime traffic in the nearby city of Clayton.

Brown's shooting on August 9 also touched a national nerve, with protests decrying racism and police brutality taking place around the country since his death.

The Ferguson National Response Network expects that reaction to the grand jury ruling will not be limited to the St. Louis area. It has set up a Tumblr account advertising about 70 "planned responses" to the ruling. They will take place from West Palm Beach, Florida, to New York to Chicago to Los Angeles.

Brown's supporters have turned out in force, but Wilson's supporters have demonstrated on occasion as well. They point to witness testimony and leaked grand jury documents that suggest Brown might have attacked Wilson, struggled for his gun and perhaps even charged the officer after the tussle over the weapon.

McMullen, the insurance company owner on West Florissant, said that protesters have made this into a racial issue but have ignored the facts of the case.

"There is no way a police officer in America would just get out of his car and shoot someone for no reason," he said.

Protesters are aware of the other version of events, but it doesn't stem their anger.

Many told CNN in August that other witnesses allege Wilson shot Brown at least six times as he stood about 30 feet from Wilson's police cruiser. The fatal shots were fired as Brown had his hands up in surrender, they believe.

Perhaps stoking the most anger is that all six shots hit Brown above the waist, leading community members to believe Wilson never had any intention of arresting the 18-year-old.

Images of Brown's body lying on the street went viral through social media.

Where he once lay is a makeshift memorial -- half on the sidewalk and half on Canfield Drive, in the middle of the road, exactly where Brown fell.

Snow blanketed the hundreds of stuffed animals and plastic flowers as kids bundled up in jackets and scarves made their way home from school Monday afternoon. A lone videographer rolled his camera in front of the QuikTrip gas station that was looted and burned on the first night of violent protests.

Everyone was keenly aware that something like that could happen again. At any moment.

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/11/18/justice/ferguson-awaits-grand-jury-ruling/index.html?hpt=hp_inthenews

New video shows Officer Darren Wilson?

New video appears to show Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown, involved in another confrontation.

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http://situationroom.blogs.cnn.com/2014/11/18/new-video-shows-officer-darren-wilson/?hpt=sr_bn3

Waiting for the grand jury: The Ferguson case laid out

Timeline of the shooting

QUICK FACTS

1. The incident occurred on Canfield Drive around noon.

2. Wilson chased Brown on foot.

3. The entire encounter lasted less than 90 seconds.

Eyewitness accounts

QUICK FACTS

1. There was a scuffle inside Wilson's vehicle.

2. Multiple eyewitnesses say Brown had his hands up.

3. Wilson and Brown faced each other in the street in the final seconds.

Darren Wilson's side of story

QUICK FACTS

1. Wilson said he feared for his life.

2. The officer claimed Brown reached for his gun.

3. Wilson went to the hospital after the shooting.

Autopsy reports

QUICK FACTS

1. Brown was shot six times, including twice in the head.

2. The teenager was shot in the hand at close range.

3. Experts say the report doesn't support some eyewitness accounts.

Details in dispute

There are several versions of what exactly happened in final moments of Brown's life, but there are two main details that are up in the air.

Who started the fight?

First, there are conflicting reports about who started the scuffle inside the vehicle. Wilson, who said he feared for his life, told the grand jury that Brown reached for his gun and that that resulted in at least two shots fired inside the vehicle.

However, Johnson, Brown's friend, said the teenager never reached for gun. He also alleged that Wilson attempted to choke Brown and grabbed his arm in an effort to pull him into the vehicle. Johnson also said Wilson threatened to shoot.

Was Brown fleeing or charging?

The second part that witnesses and police disagree on is what Brown was doing when Wilson fired the fatal shot.

Wilson said Brown was running toward him, while witnesses said Brown was running away. Other accounts claim that Brown had his hands in the air as though he were surrendering when the officer fired the bullet hit Brown in the top of the head.

http://mashable.com/2014/11/17/ferguson-grand-jury-michael-brown/

Complete coverage on

Ferguson shooting & protests

http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/us/ferguson-shooting-protests/index.html

Missouri governor declares state of emergency ahead of ruling on Ferguson shooting

(Reuters) - Missouri's governor declared a state of emergency on Monday and authorized the state's National Guard to support police in case of violence after a grand jury decides whether to indict a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager.

"As part of our ongoing efforts to plan and be prepared for any contingency, it is necessary to have these resources in place in advance of any announcement of the grand jury’s decision," Governor Jay Nixon said in a statement. The order also puts the St. Louis County Police Department, rather than police in Ferguson, Missouri, in charge of policing protests.

Residents of Ferguson, which saw weeks of sometimes violent protests following the Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, are braced for the possibility of more unrest, particularly if the grand jury decides not to criminally charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

The past two days have seen protests around the area in anticipation of the grand jury's report. Several dozen demonstrators took to the streets on Monday in Clayton, Missouri, where a grand jury is meeting.

"We want an indictment. The cops don't like it," the protesters chanted as they marched in freezing temperatures.

"Something about the way Mike Brown was killed started a fire in me that I can't ignore," said one of the demonstration's organizers, Dhorbua Shakur, 24.

He said he had little sympathy for area residents who are tired of the demonstrations, which left some businesses in Ferguson burned out.

"They can turn this off and on with a TV screen. But this is my reality. This is my life," Shakur said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/17/us-usa-missouri-shooting-idUSKCN0J11Q020141117

racist ppl really be like “so just because I’m a racist that makes me racist ??? wow”

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Shadow

Let's see what happens......  :fat:

I'm curious myself. The governor of Missouri already declared a state of emergency, calling the National Guard again. :(

in bocca al lupo

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Morphine Prince

I'm curious myself. The governor of Missouri already declared a state of emergency, calling the National Guard again. :(

I'm guessing they will rule in favor of the officer. Things are going to get ugly there. 

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ItsTommyBitch

I'm guessing they will rule in favor of the officer. Things are going to get ugly there. 

Unfortunately.

 

Zimmerman 2.0. The race war continues. Police word taken over that of civillians despite reports showing numerous accounts of racism and unjust law enforcement in the city of Ferguson in the past :smh:

 

The fact that it took so long for there even to be a trial... the fact that this isnt a case of "did he do it?" but simply "Can we charge him with anything" :messga:

 

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Ferguson has a storm on its hands.

私自身もこの世の中も誰もかれもが, どんなに華やかな人生でも, どんなに悲惨な人生でも, いつかは変貌し, 破壊され、消滅してしまう. すべてがもともとこの世に存在しない一瞬の幻想なのだから

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craig

I'm guessing they will rule in favor of the officer. Things are going to get ugly there. 

 

Let's hope for cold and wintery weather. That will put a damper on outdoor nastiness. 

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Chic

Yes, I'm sure the violence and rioting done by the extremist protestors that overshadow the calm ones is oh-so justifiable when you look at the crime :air:

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EXCXSXE

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/11/23/twelve-year-old-boy-dies-in-cleveland-after-police-shot-him-while-he-was-waving-a-fake-gun-in-a-park/

 

CLEVELAND  A 12-year-old boy brandishing what turned out to be a replica gun died Sunday after he was shot by a Cleveland police officer responding to a 911 call about a person waving a gun in a park.

 

Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said the officer fired twice after the boy pulled the fake weapon  which was lacking the orange safety indicator usually on the muzzle  from his waistband.

 

The boy did not make any verbal threats toward the officer or point the gun, but reached into his waistband and grabbed it after being told to raise his hands, Tomba said.

 

“That’s when the officer fired,†he said.

 

Police said the weapon was an “airsoft†type replica gun that resembled a semi-automatic pistol. The orange safety indicator had been removed, police said.

 

A man who called 911 told dispatchers before police arrived that the boy was on a swing set and pointing a pistol that was “probably fake†and scaring everyone.

 

The caller said the boy was pulling the gun in and out of his pants. “I don’t know if it’s real or not,†the caller said.

 

Jeff Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, said the officers were not told the caller thought the gun might be fake.

 

The officer called to the park saw the pistol sitting on a table, and watched the boy grab it and put it in his waistband, Follmer said.

 

The hospital where the boy died and an attorney for his family would not release his name on Sunday.

Attorney Timothy Kucharski said the boy went to the park with friends Saturday afternoon, but he did not know the details of what led to the shooting. “I don’t want to make a rush to judgment,†he said.

 

He said he wants to talk to witnesses and get more facts. “We’re ultimately going to find out what happened,†Kucharski said.

 

 

This is horrible. Kids should NOT be playing with guns, even if they're fake.  :( RIP. 

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CyanLights

Yet another reason why children should not be playing with guns. Our country really needs to reevaluate the guns laws we have in play because they are clearly not working. 

Cranky Capricorn ♑️

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monsterdreams

We were talking about this stuff on Friday

America needs to sort it's gun laws and policing out

Haters gonna need more than a flashlight for my shade

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EXCXSXE

BB guns are not legitimate weapons, if you guys didn't know... You don't shoot someone over a BB gun, it's just that the police officer couldn't tell the difference. :cry:

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teo

I can't believe some of you say kids shouldn't play with guns, when adults in the US can legally own an arsenal for a small army in their garage. :toofunny: Obviously the problem are not the kids. And whatever is wrong with that police officer shooting a child and not assuming it's a toy... Like go to him dumb **** and see, you're a ****ing cop, if you don't want the dangers coming with this go and be a gardener. I hope he rots in prison. 

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Economy

BB guns are not legitimate weapons, if you guys didn't know... You don't shoot someone over a BB gun, it's just that the police officer couldn't tell the difference. :cry:

couldnt he use a tazer if he wasnt sure? like wtf?

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