[Content Note: Police brutality; racism; image of aimed weapons.]

Here is a description via Reuters of the goings-on in Ferguson last night:
Police in riot gear ordered demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri, to disperse late on Tuesday, then charged into the crowd to make arrests as relative calm dissolved during an 11th night of protests over the fatal shooting of a black teenager.

...Community leaders, politicians and city officials had redoubled their appeals for order on Tuesday, calling for citizens to stay off the streets after sunset, even though a mandatory curfew had been lifted.

In the hours after darkness fell, protesters were notably fewer in number and more subdued than on previous nights. Onlookers milled about as civic activists, members of the clergy and even Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster mingled with demonstrators.

But as the rally was winding down and most of the protesters were leaving the area, someone among the dozens still in the streets hurled a plastic water bottle at police.

Helmeted officers, some with heavy weapons and dogs, suddenly emerged in force. They ordered the remaining protesters to leave and chased down those who resisted as more bottles were thrown. Police later said they arrested 47 people and seized several loaded firearms, but no gunshots were fired.
This is the image that accompanies the article:

image of four white male police officers in riot gear holding assault rifles; two of them are pointing their weapons toward protesters who surround them, while one handcuffs a black man against a chain-link fence and the other looks at protesters behind them

One plastic water bottle, chucked at police decked out in body armor, and this is where it ends up.

How does any reasonable person look at that and not conclude that the police are looking for reasons to aggress upon protestors?

And much of the news this morning is of a tenor which says last night was pretty great, comparatively. See how that works? Now that the police are only pointing their weapons at people, and using pepper spray instead instead of tear gas, and arresting 47 people instead of 78, on a night where people who want to exercise their first amendment rights were told to go home, that's considered fucking progress.


Today, Attorney General Eric Holder will arrive in Ferguson. Ahead of his visit, he penned "A message to the people of Ferguson," in which he makes this promise:
This is my pledge to the people of Ferguson: Our investigation into this matter will be full, it will be fair, and it will be independent. And beyond the investigation itself, we will work with the police, civil rights leaders, and members of the public to ensure that this tragedy can give rise to new understanding — and robust action — aimed at bridging persistent gaps between law enforcement officials and the communities we serve. Long after the events of Aug. 9 have receded from the headlines, the Justice Department will continue to stand with this community.
Let's hope so.

Speaking of AG Holder, here, via @prisonculture, is a petition asking Holder for a national investigation against police brutality because "investigations 'case by case' have not and shall not remedy the problem." Teaspoons ahoy!

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