Friday, October 24, 2014

This IS "Justice" -- as the High and Mighty See It

There's been a great deal of angst and handwringing over the selective leaking of information favorable to Mike Brown's killer Darren Wilson apparently from information only available to the prosecutor's office and the Grand Jury so leisurely "considering" whether to indict the Brave Officer Wilson over the incident.

The leakage is seen as corrupting and specifically intended to influence the grand jury proceedings and public opinion with the upshot being no indictment of the Brave Officer just trying to protect himself and others from the big-scary black man. Or something.

So when the riots come, there will be justification for shooting into the Angry Mobs of Agitated Negroes. And so forth.

This is all being bruited about as the likely outcome of the leisurely proceedings in St. Louis by all and sundry. It has become the Standard Narrative.

The thing of it is, the people of Ferguson and St. Louis have not been playing to script. They have their own ideas, no matter how the Powers That Be try to shape the narrative to present a defense of the System As It Is, Things As They Are, and the justified suppression of the Natives.

It's amazing to witness. Now we're coming close to the dénouement, and people in the news -- apparently -- are getting themselves all worked up over the "impeding riots," when Young Officer Wilson isn't indicted.

Jebus. If I recall correctly, the killers of John Crawford in Ohio weren't indicted by the Grand Jury, either. They declined to indict, so the story went, because the Officers, Brave and True to Their Calling, genuinely thought the Negro With A Gun was an Active Threat To Themselves and/or Others, and when that is the Genuine Belief of Law Enforcement, there is no legal basis for indictment. Or so we are to believe. Grand Juries generally don't have the option of indicting on "no legal basis." The purpose of turning these cases over to a Grand Jury is to give the appearance of public accountability to a process that is basically a rubber stamp of internal decisions already arrived at.

So. John Crawford's killers were not indicted. Police officers who use deadly force on innocent and guilty alike are almost never indicted so long as they use the magic phrase: "I feared for my life and/or that of others."

That's all they have to do to get away with murder.

It happens all the time, and there are no riots, rarely is there more than a demonstration and march or two. There were no riots in Ohio, despite the egregiousness of the killing of John Crawford III. There were no riots in New York, despite the egregiousness of the killing of Eric Garner. There were no riots in Los Angeles, despite the egregiousness of the killing of Ezell Ford.  The idea that there will be riots in Ferguson when Officer Wilson is not indicted for the egregious killing of Mike Brown is an expectation based on a fantasy of what Ferguson residents see as justice.

The Ferguson police and other authorities in the area have been trying for months to incite riots in Ferguson without success. They've consistently accused the crowd of violence against police and property, but the crowds of protesters have not been violent. A handful of individuals -- widely regarded as provocateurs -- have engaged in arson, looting and vandalism periodically, but these people have been denounced by most of the crowd, a crowd which on the whole has consistently been determined and nonviolent. The contrast between police statements about the crowds and the protesters and the reality could not be more acute.

The police have repeatedly claimed -- without evidence -- that members of the crowd have thrown rocks and fired weapons at police lines. The only thrown objects that witnesses have testified to are bottles, plastic bottles, often empty plastic bottles, water bottles in other words. Even they are widely thought to be the result of provocateurs within the crowd trying to incite violence.

From the day of Mike Brown's execution on Canfield Drive, the police have behaved as if they are at the scene of a riot when there has been no riot. The burning of the QuikTrip two days after the killing is seen by Ferguson residents as an aberration, something not in character with the community, and likely not done by anyone in the community. The burning of the QuikTrip was the sole act that might be called 'rioting', but who did it? The answer to that question is still unclear.

There are many other questions left unanswered or muddled by events, including questions about a number of shooting incidents that did not involve members of the crowd of protesters but which were elided into the protests by police in a rather pathetic effort to smear the protesters and justify the highly inappropriate deployment of military-style force against the demonstrators.

The police were in effect the rioters, not the crowd. And this was clear to anyone who was witness to events in Ferguson. It was so clear, in fact, that the police were forced to step back and stand down. They simply looked absurd.

But it's clear they are determined to suppress a riot no matter what.

A riot they incite once the Grand Jury refuses to indict, an indictment that has been demanded but never expected by the protesters. Huh.

The refusal to indict is seen as genuine Justice by the Powers That Be. As long as they feel they are being protected by the police, they're satisfied with whatever the police do to those scary people in the streets, including shooting them down in cold blood. It's part of the job police are expected to do to maintain a sufficient level of fear among the Rabble. That's how Justice is supposed to work in the eyes of the High and the Mighty, no matter what we're taught in school or what the foolish Rabble believes about it.

Justice serves the Mighty.

Everyone else gets what they deserve.

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