The press has freer access to Iraq…

than to the police state of Ferguson, MO, where a cop shot an unarmed kid eight times.  He is on the customary Severe Vacation with Pay.  We aren’t allowed to know his name.

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If You or I Kill Somebody, We are Required to Answer Questions About That
  • Colin Gormley

    >We aren’t allowed to know his name.

    In fairness I think that might be wise actually, given how hit requests were put out on Zimmerman.

    • Dave G.

      According to the news, the reason for deciding not to was because of safety concerns. Apparently they were going to.

    • Dan C

      The name will be produced eventually.

      • Colin Gormley

        Eventually is better in this case. Gives some time to cool down the temp.

        • Dan C

          I think the case will be covered-up. I have little faith in the process already. Because they are acting shady.

          • Colin Gormley

            Perhaps. But withholding the name in and of itself has some legitimacy to it. That’s all I’m saying.

  • Dan C

    Verification of the degree of rioting is needed. Coverage of protests, which are reported via twitter as peaceful. And the now military pretenses of the police guarding a city under siege. Or something else, but there are limited reports.

  • MarylandBill

    I think at the moment, we need to be careful. What little we know appears to be coming from the victims friends. In contrast, the police have probably been told by their lawyers and investigators to not comment on the story. Hopefully the investigation (I believe the FBI is involved) will bring more facts to life. Until then, it is probably a wise precaution to protect the name of the officer in question since he might actually be innocent of wrong doing. Assuming the police don’t cover up the truth and the officer is guilty of a crime, he will be getting a far worse punishment than suspended with pay.

    • jroberts548

      Why should the cops get the benefit of the doubt? They have the evidence. If there was dashcam footage or radio chatter that supported the cops’ account, it would be out by now.

      But even if we give the cops the benefit of the doubt, and assume their account is true, so what? According to the cops, someone (presumably not the victim or they would have said so) struggled with the cop. The cop then shot Brown, who was unarmed, multiple times from 35 feet away. I don’t see how that makes what the cop did not murder.

      • MarylandBill

        Mainly because so much is in doubt. About the only thing that seems to be clear at the moment is that Brown was unarmed. As Christians we should only judge the actions not the individual, but even with actions, we should limit our judgment to times when we actually have enough information to draw a reasonable conclusion.

        The stories I have seen in the media suggest that either the cop was a total psychopath or more likely, that the account provided by the the press has huge holes that they are not worried about because the story is getting them viewers.

        Note, I am not saying the cop is not guilty, I am saying that the best thing to do is let the investigation determine the truth and then act on the truth, not on a witch-hunt.

        • jroberts548

          The difference between a witch hunt and this is that the cops are the only people with the evidence that would either exculpate or incriminate the cops, whereas there isn’t anything a witch could produce that would show she’s not a witch. The cops have the police report. They have the radio recordings. They have the dashcam. They also have a lot of military surplus gear. If the cop was innocent, we’d be seeing things like the police report, the radio recordings, and the dashcam footage instead of seeing all their military equipment.

          But as I already said, and you didn’t refute, the cops said that they shot Brown while he was unarmed and 35 feet away. Even if I give the cop every benefit of the doubt – much more than he gave Brown – the cop illegally killed Brown.

    • Andy

      My concern is that the police are quick to post the name, and so forth when a person not a cop kills somebody – regardless of possible death threats. In my mind what si good for the goose is equally as good for the gander.

      • MarylandBill

        Well, I don’t think the cops should do it for any suspects unless the suspect is a fugitive seeking to avoid arrest. That being said, the consequences for a cop can be particularly severe being that they tend to get far more media attention than most murder suspects.

        • jroberts548

          Given the choice between what cops get for murder (media attention) and what non-cops get (the death penalty, life sentences), I’d characterize the consequences for cops as being in no conceivable way particularly severe. The death penalty is particularly severe. A paid vacation and media attention isn’t.

          • MarylandBill

            If the shooting is found to be unjustified, he can be tried and convicted just as much as any other person. The paid suspension tends to be given to every cop involved in a shooting until it has been determined whether the shooting was legitimate or not.

        • Andy

          I agree – no names should be released, I guess that is why I am concerned – by not releasing the name it smacks as I said of a cover-up and in today’s overly excitable world we do not need this. I think that the media is a problem in so many ways far beyond this, but that is for another conversation.

      • Dave G.

        According to the reports I’ve seen and read, the police were going to release his name, but decided not to in light of the protests. Usually the name is released, though names are sometimes held for various reasons.

        • Andy

          THe number of times the name is not provided is small – protests notwithstanding not releasing his name smacks of a cover-up.

          • Dave G.

            Yes, the typical procedure is releasing the name. That happens in our area no matter what a cop does. But in this case, safety could be an issue, And that could include his family, if any. I don’t know the details. Err on side of caution especially in lieu of actual conclusive evidence is probably the best approach.

            • Andy

              I would agree – if only this erring on the side of caution were the norm.

  • Paul Martinez

    You don’t know any of the facts Mark…You weren’t there. Until the facts are all brought to light, it would be best if you remained silent.

    • jroberts548

      The only people with the facts are the cops. If the facts made the cops look like not-murderers, they’d release them. The cops don’t get to withhold all of the facts and then get the benefit of the doubt because we don’t know what the facts are.

      Even based on what the cops have said (Brown was unarmed, was shot by a cop multiple times while 35 feet away), the shooting wasn’t justified.

    • chezami

      I don’t claim to have all the facts. I claim that the reason I don’t have all the facts is because the cops are crushing the press to keep us from seing the facts. And so I assume the cops are liars and are hiding the fact because they are against the cops. Prove me wrong.

  • Elaine S.

    Speaking of press freedom, CNN reports that two journalists from HuffPo and the Washington Post covering the Ferguson unrest were briefly arrested for “trespassing” inside a McDonald’s:

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/13/justice/missouri-teen-shooting-journalists/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

    • chezami

      And here I thought McDonald’s was free to enter. This is certainly not intimidation of the press or anything. Nosirree!

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    I hope this cop gets a fair trial and a just punishment. I wasn’t there and I don’t know what happened, but I’m wracking my brain trying to come up with a scenario where it is justifiable to shoot an unarmed kid who has his hands in the air. Not coming up with much so far.
    .
    That said, I’m not sure the authorities are wrong in refusing to release the officer’s name. Given the high tensions in the community, he would become a target. That would not serve the cause of justice. The guy should get a fair trial, followed by swift punishment.
    .
    You know this situation has gotten bad when Al Sharpton is the only public figure in town talking sense.


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