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Monday
Aug182014

More Comments from Project 21 Members About Ferguson Rioting

This morning, Project 21 member Christopher Arps had this to say about the current situation in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown:

Governor Nixon calls in the National Guard as the narrative falls apart that Michael Brown was fleeing while shot in the back, turned around and was fatally shot while his hands were up while surrendering.

Over the weekend, Chris, a St. Louis area native who has previously commented for Project 21 on the violence in the St. Louis suburb, was regularly posting about unfolding events on Facebook.  Among them were these observations:

Angry crowds and the cover of night is just not a good mix.  Is protesting at night more forceful and compelling than protesting during the day?

Complete chaos in Ferguson right now — before the curfew begins.  Tear gas has been deployed and gunshots have been reported (not police) one gunshot victim.  [Al] Sharpton comes to town and gives a fiery speech, and rioting starts earlier than in previous nights.  Coincidence?

People just aren’t thinking rationally in this Ferguson case.

How much sense does it make to do a rushed investigation, [possibly] indict and arrest the officer and then have him acquitted at trial a year later because it was a rushed and shoddy investigation.  And then folks will be crying that black people can’t get justice in America!

This not an ordinary case of one person shooting an unarmed man.  This is a police officer who is given a reasonable assumption under the law to use his weapon if he thinks he needs to.  Let the investigation play out.  Rushing this will not get “justice” for Michael Brown.

 Watching this press conference and the reaction from the crowd towards the institution of the curfew is like watching a bad “Twilight Zone” episode.

People are rioting and looting in the streets, thus creating an unsafe situation for the residents and police.  But people are claiming their constitutional right to assemble is being infringed.  In extraordinary circumstances, constitutional rights can be infringed to keep the general order.  They have a choice to make between still being able to protest until all hours of the night — and inviting the thugs and hooligans to run rampant — or respecting the curfew and protesting during the times allowed and letting peace and order be restored to Ferguson.

Chris also had this to say about critics of the police tactics used in dealing with the crisis in Ferguson:

This “militarization of police” red herring that Rand Paul and others are advancing on the right and left is really getting under my skin.

What Senator Paul and others aren’t telling us is that the “militarization” happened after 9/11 when cities and police departments wanted this equipment in the face of terrorist threats in this country.

It wasn’t to prepare for a police state, it was to help protect us and keep order in the wake of another 9/11-style attack.  This spreading of paranoia by so-called leaders is really irresponsible, in my opinion.

Additionally, Project 21 member Stacy Washington, who hosts a Saturday night radio show on WFTK-St. Louis, and was interviewed on WLS-Chicago as well as other shows nationwide throughout the week for Project 21, reported a deluge of nasty post-show messages on her Twitter account in response to her comments.  She wrote:

Massive amounts of hatred on twitter tonight.  Just no words for the ugliness.  No dissenting views are allowed.

She also reported on other people being “villif[ied]… for having an opposing opinion” regarding Ferguson-related issues.

Also on her Facebook page, Stacy reported the following Ferguson businesses are among those “damaged or destroyed” so far by looters: QuikTrip, Firestone, Kmart, Radio Shack, T-Mobile, Cricket, Walgreens, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Taco Bell, AutoZone, GNC, Boost Mobile, CityTrends, Ross Fashions, Sam’s Meat, Ferguson Liquor, Sprint, Prime Sole, Shoe Carnival, AT&T and King David Fashions.

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