How much will these developments matter in the long run?
Ferguson's city authorities have been overhauling their little fiefdom by shuffling around some of the city's personnel and getting rid of some of the more egregious masters of the Negro Farm. The city manager was duly separated from his overseer seat; the police chief resigned; the municipal court judge who had been so good at harvesting the Negro crop for the city left town -- but he's still right next door; two police commanders who had chuckled over their racist email "jokes" took off for parts unknown; the racist court clerk who thought the Negroes were so funny also departed.
Things were looking somewhat positive in Ferguson for a change, though who would be stepping into the vacancies was anybody's guess. Given the economic structure of many of the municipalities in St. Louis County, it's hardly practical to bring in a more, shall we say, public-service oriented team.
The problem is that these tiny fiefdoms grandly called "cities" in St. Louis County are simply not economically viable unless the population or a significant portion of it is "farmed" as a cash crop might be. They do it in St Louis through the constant petty extractions of the municipal courts, backed up by predatory policing. It's a system worked out over many generations.
These things don't change overnight.
But overnight, shots rang out at the Ferguson Police HQ and Muni Court Building, an iconic symbol of the oppression the residents -- well, the black residents -- of Ferguson feel, and the sight of numerous protests and demonstrations since the outrageous killing of Mike Brown by FPD officer Darren Wilson last August.
Two police officers were wounded, though apparently neither of them were FPD officers.
There have been endless claims of "shots fired" during the protests against police violence in Ferguson, literally from the first moments of outrage after Darren Wilson shot and killed Mike Brown on Canfield Drive that hot August noon last years. Literally from the first moments of protest and outrage in Ferguson, the claim has been made by police that shots were fired. This statement was made over and over again during protests, but there was no proof of it, certainly no proof that members of the protest crowds were firing at police.
What we witnessed instead, through Livestreams and other mean, was police firing tear gas, flash grenades, smoke bombs, and rubber bullets at protesters. Time and time again. The police would only confront "peaceful protests" -- and they did it with such over the top armaments and technology that the scenes often turned chaotic and absurd, thanks to the police response to protesters. The police never interfered with arsonists, vandals, and looters, however. Never. They only responded to non-violent protests with overwhelming force.
And often their excuse was that somebody had fired at them, or they heard gunfire somewhere, or somebody not involved with the protests was arrested somewhere and they had a gun. They would show off the guns they had taken from people they arrested -- people who had nothing to do with the protests -- and they would often imply that these guns were being used by protesters against the police. But no such thing was happening, and there was never any evidence or proof whatever that protesters were firing at police.
There was abundant evidence that the police were firing at protesters, however.
All the police had to do was make the claim that they were being fired on by the protesters to justify in their own minds and the minds of their supporters their violence against nonviolent crowds.
It was an obvious tactic to garner support for their often outrageous actions. In the end, the claims of shots fired made their way into the DoJ's report on the Darren Wilson matter, as a justification for many actions -- such as leaving Mike Brown's body in the street for hour after hour. "There were reports..." of gunfire nearby, and as we know, force protection is the prime directive of all police forces and public entities everywhere, all the time. Thus, if there is any suggestion or suspicion of danger, protecting the force (and their fort) comes first and foremost.
So last night, as a protest demonstration in front of the Police Fort in Ferguson was winding down, shots really did ring out, and two officers -- neither from FPD -- were wounded. An "active shooter" situation was declared, police guns were drawn on the remnants of the crowd, and the fort was protected. Flying squads of police were dispatched to the site where the gunfire was thought to have have originated, well away from the few remaining protesters.
There were reports -- not confirmed that I know of -- that there were four shots, all of which reached their targets. In other words, two shots hit each police officer. The distance was calculated at about 200 yards, perhaps farther, as the exact location of the shooter was not determined. Obviously, however, whoever shot the officers was a skilled marksman, no doubt using a high powered rifle, perhaps with a nightscope.
Immediately, there was speculation that this was a provocation, a false-flag operation by someone interested in stirring things up a bit. Could be. This is America, and false flag operations are as American as apple pie and motherhood.
But who knows. Sometimes what seems to be clear... isn't.
At any rate, the hand wringers are out in force; this incident will "kill the movement," yadda yadda, which, not surprisingly, is exactly what a false flag operation would be designed to do. "We must practice non-violence! Gandhi! King! etc." Yes, well, those who are so loudly invoking King and Gandhi at a time like this simply falsify history, but that's been going on so long, hardly anybody knows the real history of King's and Gandhi's movements, and those who do know are often loathe to dispute the received narrative.
The shooting of the officers in the Bronx was supposed to "kill the movement," too. Of course the police and the defenders of their violence and murder utilize any incident like the one overnight -- incidents which are very, very rare -- to claim that the police are under constant assault and attack from the murderous public. We hear it all the time. It's false, but now and then there are incidents in which police are attacked and even wounded. Now and then.
What happened in Ferguson overnight is anybody's guess, and given the way "gunfire" has been investigated throughout the protests against police violence, I expect we will never know what happened or who was responsible.
Finding that out is not a particular priority.
The priority is to declare the people at war with the police, and thus to justify any level of suppression deemed necessary.
We'll see how it shakes out in the daylight...