Michael Brown was 18 years old, black and unarmed when a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri shot him to death after a scuffle in the street. The incident has provoked ongoing mass protests, vandalism, and national calls for an independent investigation and higher standards of police accountability.

The police, citing death threats, have refused to release the name of the police officer who shot Brown. The hacker collective Anonymous has promised to discover and make public the officer's identity anyway. I suspect they will succeed (if they haven't already).

General questions for those who have followed this story:

Do you think the shooting was reasonable under the circumstances?
How do you feel about the police?
Do you trust the police? Why or why not?
Who do the police answer to? Who ought the police answer to?
Are police held too accountable, properly accountable or not accountable enough for their actions?

Tags: Brown, Michael, Police

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+1

They have a dangerous job to start with. We don't pay them to make it even more dangerous unnecessarily. Saving idiots, miscreants, and suicidals from themselves shouldn't have to be part of it.

1. Perception and reality often don't coincide. Look at all the incompatible accounts of the Michael Brown shooting from people who were actually there!

2.Same answer.

3. We don't need the account. We have the video. The video shows a justifiable shooting.

Misinformation? Back to 1. They didn't have the video to refer to. If they had, their account could be as accurate as you'd like it to be.

This sort of firsthand or eyewitness testimony is notoriously questionable and not because anyone is trying to dissemble.

BTW, is that the actual police report? It doesn't look like one. I would expect a police report to be on some sort of form. I don't see any signatures, either. In fact, read the first line and you'll see it's written by some third person, not the officers. Let's read an actual police report.

...why do the errors invariably favor the police (who are supposed to be trained observers)? Is it deliberate, unconscious or are you denying it?

I don't know, but until it's clear they were consciously shaving, bending, or fracturing the truth, I'll assume innocent until proven guilty. Thus, I'll simply say that the idea it was unconscious is certainly not off the table by a long shot.

Also, given that the account you posted speaks in the third person, it's hardly clear that that is the account the officers. Furthermore, unless I totally misunderstand how these things work, each officer would be expected to write up his own report. There should be two.

I didn't know police are trained observers, but I doubt if such training could make them much more than marginally better than Joe Shmoe.

In our legal system, a jury decides what is justice. But police-- who get to report the incident on their own terms, decide which cases get referred to prosecutors, and always have the benefit of the doubt-- rarely end up in front of jury.

In the American system, justice is proper procedure, it's not arriving at the truth or "doing justice" in the sense of righting a wrong or punishing a bad guy. We know guilty people go free if the prosecution fails to prove its case within the procedural guidelines (the acquittal of the police who beat Rodney King to a pulp comes to mind).

The trial jury verdict is simply a stage in the procedure, and not even always the last one, what with appeals and the fact that judges can even set verdicts aside when he feels a jury has woefully ignored the evidence. The jury trial may never even happen if the procedure doesn't indicate one is called for.

What the heck does this mean?: "(police) get to report the incident on their own terms, (and) decide which cases get referred to prosecutors"? That's not how it works at all. Prosecutors are often the ones running investigations, and especially, I would think, when police misconduct is alleged and even more especially in a case that's become headline news.

Police (and CO's) are taught how to word their reports so that they are never caught under scrutiny if at all possible. They are coached about how to word things in a way that never causes any red flags.

Trust me.

There's a lot of shit they get away with.

All either one of us can do is speculate and bring suspicions to bear. I haven't decided one way or the other. I'm not proclaiming their innocence or their guilt. I think I'm doing what a good citizen should do.

People's minds filter events, block out details, and especially in extreme high adrenaline situations. That's according to Wikipedia, which adds that sometimes stress hormones can enhance memory. So that may be neither here nor there.

These effects, the Wikipedia article makes clear, are unconscious.

You continue to base your comments on a document that doesn't appear to be the testimony of the officers. It appears to be written by a third person, who perhaps has the department's PR position in mind.

If the department were to allow the two officers to get together and write the report together, that would be an extremely bad and suspicious procedure, and I would doubt it's the normal procedure.

Your document is probably official in some regard, as I said in a prior paragraph, but I seriously doubt if it's the officers' official write up of the incident. There should be two reports, one written by each officer and with a signature indicating that that's their story and that they're sticking to it.

I don't see any signatures, do you?

"In our legal system, a jury decides what is justice. But police-- who get to report the incident on their own terms, decide which cases get referred to prosecutors, and always have the benefit of the doubt-- rarely end up in front of jury."

Now you're getting it the system operates the way it does.  It's not perfect, so fix it instead bitching about the current results of an imperfect system.

Fix it, fix it, fix it.

Cameras with constant streaming data for all Police Officers while on duty would be a good start.

"You bet. Once the police have cameras, we'll have video footage that prevents them from distorting the truth about shootings. It's flawless. Look how well that worked in the Powell case we're currently discussing."

See we can agree. :D

Step 2: Remove the local agencies from investigating themselves, no more missing security tapes.

In America we live in a country that for the last 100+years has been systematically moving the wealth from the producers toward a small percentage at the top which has created a load of social problems.

In America we live in a country that for the last 100+years has been systematically moving the wealth from the producers toward a small percentage at the top which has created a load of social problems

I believe this is true. From the cancelled pensions to the insidious hidden fees attached to every single transaction we have to make to live. They are fine-printing us to death. They wear us down. A battery disposal fee, an intangible tax (WTF does that mean), an insurance fee for not submitting to a health exam, a toll road, a renewal fee, if goes on and on. Just work till you die, drink your light beer, watch your football and STFU.

Notably, the video in the Powell case hasn't settled whether the shooting was justified or not. But at least we can see what happened.

@GM:

I noticed the second half of your post didn't make it to the site, but it did make it to my e-mail,  LOL love your style of ad-hominem, funny, funny, funny. :)

:) It was the part about Unseen and I dating...I'm not posting it because I don't know if it was removed by the Mods...I have no interest in challenging their authority...it showed up in my e-mail and I found it funny.

GM, you are distorting my position to your advantage. I am NOT making an outright claim that the NY Mag document is false, I'm saying it does not look like an official police report and it certainly does not represent the individual write-ups of each officer, which could be compared for inconsisencies. I would think that you, of all people, would want to see those, but apparently not.

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