Not Again, Ctd

by Dish Staff

Dara Lind brings us up to date on yesterday’s developments in the Michael Brown case:

After Sunday night’s unrest, a protest and rally scheduled for 10am Monday morning was canceled, and the mayor of Ferguson has said that anyone who attempted to show up to the rally would be arrested. Regardless, people still turned up at police headquarters to protest. Police officers were there with riot gear. After about two hours, the police succeeded in getting the crowd to disperse and started making arrests.

On Monday night, protests continued. Groups gathered in the street, raising their hands in surrender and chanting “Don’t shoot” – it’s become the unofficial motto of the Ferguson protests. Police also attempted to disperse these protests, moving down W. Florissant, the main street in the neighborhood. This time, they used tear gas and explosives to clear crowds, and fired rubber bullets. One report indicates that police cocked their rifles at protesters. Police told protesters to “go home,” but several residents protested that they were trapped in cul-de-sacs while the main road was closed off. Police also threatened press with arrest if they didn’t leave the scene.

Ed Morrissey is hung up on the weekend’s rioting:

So far, it appears that no one died or got seriously injured during the riot, although that hasn’t been entirely confirmed yet. If so, consider that luck. Riots get very ugly very quickly, and usually include vendettas from old conflicts and new. That was the case in the LA riots of 1992 after the Rodney King verdict, which resulted in 53 deaths, more than two thousand injuries, and 11,000 arrests.

In the end, though, the LA riots did what the Ferguson riot did last night — damage the community that had the grievance in the first place. Riots are about rage and insanity, not justice or accountability, and it drives people away rather than heal, regardless of whether the underlying cause is just or not. It destroys investment, usually in areas which already suffer from a lack of investment in the first place, and mires the area even deeper into poverty and dysfunction. It’s senseless and harms the people that were allegedly victimized in the first place.

But Jia Tolentino is more disturbed by the authorities’ response:

The chief of the St. Louis County Police Force “ask[s] the public to be reasonable” in this difficult time. The police, in the meantime, are dealing with looting and considerable unrest, but all accounts point to them not being reasonable.

Mychal Denzel Smith is frustrated:

Rioting/looting (what some would call rebellion) may not provide answers or justice. But what to do with the anger in the meantime? We are told to stay calm, but calm has not delivered justice either. Do we wait for the FBI to investigate? I guess, but what to do in the meantime, as the images coming from Ferguson echo Watts in 1965? We’re told not to tear up our own communities, when time and time again we’re reminded that they don’t belong to us. Deaths like Michael Brown’s tell us we don’t belong here. What, then?

Counting the bodies is draining. With every black life we lose, we end up saying the same things. We plead for our humanity to be recognized. We pray for the lives of our young people. We remind everyone of our history. And then another black person dies.

Amy Davidson weighs in on the whole sad affair:

Michael Brown was black and tall; was it his body that the police officer thought was dangerous enough? Perhaps it was enough for the officer that he lived on a certain block in a certain neighborhood; shooting down the street, after all, exhibits a certain lack of concern about anyone else who might be walking by. That sort of calculus raises questions about an entire community’s rights. One way or the other, this happens too often to young men who look like Brown, or like Trayvon Martin, or, as President Obama once put it, like a son he might have had.