The Los Angeles Times reports today that two online donation pages intended to support Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson have unexpectedly shut down.
One of those pages appears to be completely legitimate. But the other one? hmmmmmm …
Both pages were hosted by GoFundMe, which calls itself the “world’s #1 fundraising site.”
The legit page, called “Support Officer Wilson”, raised $197,620 and was set up by “Shield of Hope”, a St. Louis police charity. Shield of Hope has been certified by GoFundMe as a valid donation recipient.
But the other page? Not so much.
* Not certified by GoFundMe as a valid donation recipient. * Not linked to a valid Facebook page, as GoFundMe’s own rules require. * Email account for the recipient turns out to be a pseudonym. * Two weeks ago, the recipient, one “StandUp”, claimed on the donation page that he would be working with Shield of Hope to become a valid recipient. Shield of Hope sez: nuh uh, never happened.
So far, GoFundMe has provided no explanation for the shutdowns of the two pages, but is standing by the legitimacy of both.
Hey, just wanted to say that while there may be crazy people like that heritage-and-tradition chick, there are sane Republicans out there who don't have the absolutely disgusting viewpoints that she does on race.
No. Not any more. Anybody who had any sanity, reason or logic abandoned the Republican Party years ago, once they saw the absolute hate-filled, treasonous snake pit it’s become. If you’re still a Republican after seeing what they’ve been doing for the past 15 years, you’re only fooling yourself into thinking you’re ‘normal’ or ‘sane’. Sorry, you’re not.
Fox News objects to calling Michael Brown an 'unarmed teen'
attribution: Fox News (screenshot)
By Hunter for Daily Koss
It’s almost uncanny how Fox & Friends can so reliably manage to be the stupidest of all possible punditry shows. The competition is fierce—I imagine Steve Doocy has to personally chug a gallon of tapioca semigloss every morning just to make sure he brings his ‘A’ game to the show—but they pull it off.
A Fox News segment asked whether the “unarmed teen” description of Michael Brown is misleading and featured Fox contributor Linda Chavez arguing that such a description enhances racial fears and is an attempt to play the “race card.”
Well, he was a “teen” and he was “unarmed” so the phrase would seem to be as straight-news as you can get, but I’ll bite. Go on.
During the segment on Fox, on-screen text asked if the “unarmed teen” description of Michael Brown was misleading while [today’s guest crazy person Linda Chavez] argued that Brown was an adult male “who is six foot four and weighs almost three hundred pounds”:
So this is where we’re at. We’ve got Steve Doocy and company arguing that calling the unarmed teen an “unarmed teen” is misleading, because unarmed American black teenagers are their own dangerous weapons. You shouldn’t call him “unarmed” because the unarmed black teen walking down the street is armed with himself.
That’s frequently the unspoken subtext when a black American teenager is shot, whether by police or random patriots or people who fancy themselves the underappreciated superheros of their neighborhood watch associations. As usual, Fox & Friends lacks the necessary subtlety to distinguish between preferred conservative text and subtext and just lets the “theory” rip out loud, complete with interviews and scare quotes. Look at those faces up there. They’re pretty sure they’re on to something, by jove, something big like gravity or a cure for cancer or figuring out why milk cartons have expiration dates printed on them.
An unarmed American teen should not be declared “unarmed” if Linda Chavez can’t personally take him in a fight, I guess. And that’s why America can’t have nice things, and why Fox News continues to be a boil on a pox on a scab on a lamprey’s cloaca.
The gathering began gaining steam in the early afternoon outside Barney’s Sports Pub in south St. Louis — a place many described as a popular police watering hole. At it’s peak, between 50 and 70 people crowded around a table as organizers said they had raised thousands of dollars for Wilson, who killed Michael Brown on Aug. 9. A brief press conference ended with the group reciting in unison, “we are Darren Wilson.”
But for a group motivated by the supposed railroading of the nice officer just dispensin’ jaywalking tickets like a nice officer should, they certainly are quick to jump to their own presumptions.
“We’ll all see this in the end that it was a good shooting. You know, it was a good kill.”
What are we basing that on, sport? So far, the information we have about the shooting is very close to nothing at all, which is precisely what all of the rude people saying rude things about the Ferguson Police Department have been rudely saying. The police report describing it was left blank. The sole justification we’ve heard from the officer or the department is through friend-of-the-girlfriend-of-the-officer suppositions that do not match the accounts of multiple witnesses. In response to public demands for information, the chief of the department released a videotape attempting to show that the victim was a Bad Person, then announced that no it didn’t have anything to do with the jaywalking stop so never mind.
And that’s pretty much it. We’d all be very happy to wait for the results of the “investigation” to come in, but as far as anyone can tell there wasn’t going to be any “investigation” at all, not until people took to the streets to demand one. Two bullets to the head is generally not the accepted penalty for jaywalking, and you will have to forgive the folks who are more than a bit miffed at the apparent normalization of such a thing, the banal business as usual dismissals of it as perfectly standard police work.
We know that the relationship between law enforcement and residents in the area has been horrible for some time. We know from statistics that Ferguson law enforcement is extraordinarily devoted what we shall tersely describe as “traffic enforcement,” and we know from reports that the Ferguson courts conduct themselves in such a fashion as to squeeze their poorest residents for remarkable sums of money based on those efforts. We have witnessed post-shooting police reactions that confirm a fair amount of the worst things residents say about them, including incompetence, excessive and spurious police violence, and arresting reporters for crossing the street too slowly (hey, but they didn’t kill them for it—progress?)
And yet there’s a sizable chunk of the St. Louis (and American) population who can wander around in all this smoke and swear up and down that there’s no fire here. Nope, just normal police work, nothing to see here. Good job! Chin up Bro! Stay strong!.
At one point tonight, Michael Brown protesters chanted “hands up, don’t shoot!” Darren Wilson supporters responded: “Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!” — @WesleyLowery
Many of these probably tremble at any hint of government excess, but this episode doesn’t offend them. For many of them, the reasons turn out to be blindingly obvious. The rest of these folks we’re still pondering on.
Why Ferguson Incident Report Illegal & How Obtained
By Charlie Grapski
There has been much made of the Incident Report, the lack of one, and then the production without any of the significant information, in the news lately.
But what people don’t know is how it actually was obtained - and how, in fact, it came into existence ten days after the shooting.
This is the story of citizens taking action - and using the public records law - to force the police to produce this record. And it is the story of a never before used tactic in public records law - a “Global” Public Records Request.
On August 12th the ACLU requested the Incident Report of the St. Louis County Police Department which was dispatched to investigate the shooting by another agency - the Ferguson Police Department.
The next day, however, the St. Louis County Police Department denied the request - and claimed the record was exempt because of an ongoing investigation.
The ACLU - followed by the National Bar Association - filed a lawsuit. But the Police did not, as has been being reported in the media, produce the report in response to that lawsuit. Instead they were fully prepared to allow that process to drag out and thus delay the ultimate production of the record - until a court compelled them to produce it.
That’s when the game was changed. On Sunday August 17th I emailed a public records request for that same document. But I addressed in that request the distinction between an Incident Report, which is a public record with no applicable exemption, and an Investigative Report, which comes after and upon an Incident Report, and is exempt - during the active investigation. It becomes public upon that investigation being completed.
I also notified the custodian, Lt. Burk, that if he played the same game with me that was played with the ACLU - that he would be violating his oath of office as well as knowingly violating the law - a Class A Misdemeanor.
Also demonstrated in that story is how and why both the failure of the Ferguson Police Department and Officer Wilson to file that report and provide it - with a narrative statement by Wilson as to the facts and what he saw and did at the scene - violates both the Department’s policies on reports and Missouri law - and why that same law was violated when the St. Louis County Police manufactured an Incident Report in response to this request, after denying what must be another to the ACLU ten days prior, and then released it trying to both deny the public its right to the information while technically complying with the request for a report.
What this amply demonstrates - is that both the Ferguson Police Department and the St. Louis County Department are willing to ignore the law to defend “one of their own”. Showing a clear contempt both for the public they are supposed to serve and the laws they are sworn to enforce. When police deem themselves to be above the law, and are allowed to get away with it, there really is no law left - but the law of might makes right. And they have proven both with their unjustified shootings and their militaristic responses to protests - that they have that might - and believe that they are right.
See the article and read the documents themselves. It is both a triumph of the citizens - using the law to demand their rights to know and to hold officials to account; and a tragedy - of those officials ignoring the law, backed up by all the other officials - from the prosecutors to the courts - in an act of naked lawlessness.
While the pursuit of public records now continues into this matter - both to find out what happened the day of the shooting - and to find out how the Departments have conspired to cover up in defense of “one of their own” - what this story demonstrates, the lesson that need to be learned, is that citizens CAN take the law into their own hands - the public records law that is, which is meant to be in their hands and wielded as a check on abuses of government - and turn the tables, to where the officials - including law enforcement officials - become the lawbreakers. There is an untapped potential just waiting to be understood in these citizen-empowering laws - if we just learn about them and how to wield them effectively as part of our “arsenal” of weaponry - armed not with guns but with the law - to preserve and protect what we expect to be a free and democratic society.
Ferguson protesters chanted, "Hands up, don't shoot!" Darren Wilson supporters replied, "Shoot!"
By David Harris-Gershon
Sometimes, there are moments so stark that they have the power to encapsulate an ugly truth in a single frame. This is one such moment.
Today in Saint Louis, around 100 people demonstrated in support of Darren Wilson, the officer who gunned down Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The mostly white crowd gathered at a local watering hole popular with police, held signs and raised money for Wilson. Many suggested Wilson was the victim of a rush to judgement, and some insisted the episode had nothing to do with race, but rather with a police officer doing his job, as evidenced by this gem:
“They are saying it’s murder because a white officer killed a black man,” said Karen Kennedy, who attended the rally with her daughter Katie. “I don’t know where that comes from.”
Despite the troubling implications of supporting a police officer who gunned down an unarmed teenager with six bullets, all was relatively peaceful.
And then came the moment. A counter protest developed in response to the gathering of Wilson supporters, and many of them began chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” a reference to the fact that, according to both witnesses and an autopsy, Brown had his hand raised in the air when he was shot.
In response? Wilson’s supporters began chanting, “Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!”