Again and Again and Again

[Content Note: Police brutality; guns; death; racism.]

In Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by a police officer. Preliminary reports are that the officer shot Brown eight times.

And, as in every other case we've discussed that has similarities to this one, the police's account of the shooting looks very different from witness accounts. The police account asserts Brown assaulted the officer and reached into his car and tried to take the officer's gun; witness accounts say the officer grabbed Brown, and that Brown was running away with his hands up showing he had no weapon when he was shot.

The confrontation began when the officer told Brown and his friend to stop walking in the street and walk on the sidewalk. There is no reason that should have turned deadly.

And, as in several other cases we've discussed, there was a protest which turned violent, which has subsequently been reported as a riot, though some of what's been reported is not in evidence based on social media coverage of the protest. For example:
Whether residents were indeed chanting "Kill the police," however, has been called into question; video from a demonstration outside the Ferguson Police Department shows residents chanting "Killer cops have got to go."
What we know for certain is that an unarmed black teenager was shot multiple times by a police officer, after an interaction that began because that teen and his friend were walking on the road instead of the sidewalk.

That doesn't seem like it could have a reasonable explanation.

And what we know for certain is that the media coverage of the protests, at which most of the protesters were black people, are highlighting incidents of looting and possibly misrepresenting chants calling for justice as calls to violence.

We're meant to pretend that it doesn't matter when black communities are demonized as inherently violent and lawbreaking, that this isn't connected to young black people being killed by police or fearful white gun owners or stalking vigilantes.

It matters.

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