[Content Note: Police brutality; description of shooting; racism.]

Here are some of the things that happened over the weekend in Ferguson:

1. Friday night, a few people, whom many Ferguson residents asserted were not local, damaged some property and did some looting. The police did not stop them. The police could not stop them, because police intervention would have escalated the situation. Instead, peaceful protesters stood in front of stores, blocking their way. Peaceful protesters spoke to them, and discouraged them from doing any further damage. St. Louis Alderman Antonio French has detailed accounts of what's been happening each night.

2. Saturday, the instances of looting by a small number of people was used by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon as justification for declaring a state of emergency and imposing a curfew, "for security purposes." And it was announced in the most condescending way possible: "If we are going to achieve justice, we must first have and maintain peace. This is a test. The eyes of the world are watching."

So, basically, the Governor of the State of Missouri told the people of Ferguson who are protesting a police officer shooting and killing an unarmed teenager that they have to prove that they deserve justice by: 1. Not asking for justice; 2. Proving they refuse to be provoked by militarized police taking a totally provocative stance as they deny their right to demonstrate for justice.

3. The curfew was set for midnight, but hours before the curfew, police were already marching and lining up in riot gear.

image of police lined up in front of a storefront in Ferguson on Saturday night

At the time, I tweeted: Just look at a picture like this and consider what it communicates about what the police think of the people. To ignore what that communicates denies how culture works. What we are told we are affects us. What our state thinks of us matters. Under the auspices of "safety" and "security," the police are communicating something profoundly harmful, just in their very posture. It's not like it's only bad if and when they start throwing tear gas canisters. It's bad already.

4. The preliminary report from a private autopsy done on Michael Brown by top medical examiner Dr. Michael M. Baden was released, showing that Brown "was shot at least six times, including twice in the head. ...One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown's skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury. ...Mr. Brown, 18, was also shot four times in the right arm, he said, adding that all the bullets were fired into his front."

5. United States Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a federal autopsy of Michael Brown, as well.

6. Sunday, the curfew was imposed again. And again police were lining up long before the scheduled curfew. And again tensions rose, and a shooting that was off the protest route was used by police as a justification to unleash tear gas on protesters, including children. A police officer was caught on video threatening to shoot a journalist.

7. This morning, Governor Nixon signed an executive order sending the National Guard to Ferguson.

* * *

Here is something that has not happened in Ferguson: Officer Darren Wilson has not been arrested.

Over and over, watching the news this weekend, I saw in news scrolls and heard defenders of police talk about how Officer Wilson never intended to shoot Michael Brown and how terrible he feels that it happened.

Not so terrible that he won't surrender himself to custody, though.

No. He'll stay hidden away, on administrative leave with pay, while the people of Ferguson rally for justice, and the Governor sends in the fucking National Guard "for their own good."

I think we all know who's really being protected here. And it ain't the people of Ferguson.

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