Anxious to Believe the Story of Crowd Hostility in Ferguson

Posted by Melvin Bray on August 19th, 2014 filed in Useful Perhaps

Every morning since Saturday crowd control in Ferguson (its hard to call them law enforcement when the ‘laws’ they ‘enforce’ appear to be ad hoc) have justified their policing tactics of the previous night with the claim that they came under assault from rocks, bullets and molotov cocktails.

Every morning news outlets report exactly what crowd control tells them, even though reporters live on the ground are less than clear as to why tactics are changing when they do change. The first evidence of a change for news crews on the ground seems to be crowd control taking an aggressive posture (i.e. forming a line, pulling out batons, pointing weapons) and donning riot or assault gear.

There is video of citizens throwing rocks and plastic water bottles. there are pictures of crowd control launching smoke bombs and tear gas. There are images of citizen injuries consistent with what police say is malicious crowd activity. And despite the claim that crowd control has not fire at anyone, there are pics of crowd control pointing their weapons (as of last night brandishing their actual sidearms) and of citizens with injuries consistent with having been hit by crowd control weaponry.

Where are the images and evidence of police being hit by bullets and molotov cocktails? Where are the shell casings and the broken glass and flammable liquid? Where are the burns on officers or images of their equipment burning? The reason overmatched resistance groups use molotov cocktails is because they are one of the few ways to do damage to a well equipped force. Molotov cocktails don’t smoke or spark; they shatter, splash and burn. Where is the damage crowd control has sustained? We see the damage citizens are sustaining?

Is the story of crowd hostility being the instigating factor one that we are so anxious to believe that we are willing to accept it uncritically?

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