justice 4 MB
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Protesters awaiting the grand jury decision.
Riots in Ferguson, Missouri and protests nationwide as another cop gets away with murder

The Darren Wilson grand jury announcement has rekindled the frustration and anger of protesters against police brutality, leading to a renewed wave of clashes with riot gear-clad police. The demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, erupted into violence, with businesses being set on fire and looted and law enforcement firing tear gas in an attempt to disperse the angry crowds.

In addition, a side show between Anonymous and the Ku Klux Klan found its way onto the streets of Ferguson, since the grand jury verdict to not charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson with murder brought protesters, activists and police out in numbers. Tensions, already on a knife-edge, were raised after Klan members threatened to shoot townsfolk protesting the August 9th slaying of teenager Michael Brown by Wilson.

In response, Anonymous launched #OpKKK and #HoodsOff, which took down - and took over - multiple Klan websites and social media accounts while exposing numerous Ku Klux Klan members, making their personal information public. In the process, Anonymous uncovered connections between the Klan and the "We Support Darren Wilson" group, which has raised money and support for the trigger-happy cop, with ties to Wilson's new wife, a Ferguson police officer.

FYI: The KKK is a century-old militant terrorist organization based on a religious ideology, whose pathological actions include: arson, beatings, cross burnings, destruction of property, lynchings, tar-and-featherings, whippings, rapes and murders. It targets African Americans, Jews, Catholics, and other social or ethnic minorities. And, they are not shy.

police riot gear
© www.ibtimes.com
Missouri State Troupers in their new riot gear, Ferguson, November 24, 2014.
With a Ferguson showdown as the pretext, the St. Louis County Police Department spent $172,669 to replenish equipment, such as shields, batons, tear gas and flex handcuffs. After weeks of unrest, in the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown, it was noted that the department had depleted supplies and damaged equipment. So they went shopping. Check out the following police department equipment purchases:

$25,000 for 650 teargas grenades, smoke-and-gas grenades, smoke canisters and hornets nest CS sting grenades which shoot out dozens of rubber bullets and a powdered chemical agent upon detonation.

$18,000 on 1500 "beanbag rounds" and 6,000 pepper balls, paintball-style projectiles that explode with a chemical irritant when they strike a protester. The department uses LiveX branded pepper balls which are billed as ten times hotter than standard pepper rounds.

Another $77,500 was spent on 235 riot gear helmets, 135 shields, 25 batons and 60 sets of shin guards and other uniform items.

$2,300 was used to buy 2,000 sets of handcuffs that have been used to detain dozens of demonstrators (like...maybe two or three dozen? ok, six dozen? that = 72...actually it was only 61 this time and aren't they reusable?).

$50,000 has been set aside by the department for repair work for damaged police vehicles.

I don't see any purchase of police body cameras or dash cams...do you?

Note: "the so-called 'less-lethal' ammunition shot at crowds in Ferguson - such as wooden bullets, beanbag rounds, and rubber balls - can result in serious injury and even death. Equipping officers in a manner more appropriate for a battlefield may put them in the mindset that confrontation and conflict is inevitable rather than possible, escalating tensions between protesters and police." - Amnesty International report

The St. Louis metropolitan police force recently spent $325,000 on "civil disobedience equipment." (Surely they don't just use it once and throw it away... Perhaps it would be time well spent wondering what all this equipment hoard is really for!)

KKK vs. Anonymous

hanging KKK
© www.computerworld.com
After Anonymous took over the Klan's websites, the KKK retaliated with death threats directed at the hacker collective. Anonymous responded to these threats, putting the KKK and Ferguson PD on notice that "We are the law now."

With a promise that "This is just the beginning," the international hacktivist group "unhooded" alleged Klan members online, and provided links to social media accounts which contained their photos, addresses, phone numbers, ages, workplaces, and photos of their children. While there is some concern about offering up photos of KKK members' children, the KKK make a practice of indoctrinating their children at very early ages to the ways and rituals of the Klan and often make their own children's photos public. Anonymous, hopefully, will show more discretion than the parents.

Did the hacktivist group Anonymous go too far in challenging the KKK? Most Twitter users appeared to be supportive of the hactivists. Responding to criticism about violating free speech, Anonymous released this statement:
"We are not attacking you because of what you believe in, as we fight for freedom of speech. We are attacking you because of your threats to use lethal attacks against us at the Ferguson protests... The Ku Klux Klan is a terrorist group. The blood of thousands of human beings are on the hands of the Klansmen."
Enter U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. With coincidental (wink, wink) timing, coming just days before the Ferguson decision, Holder announced that law enforcement officers have been given new guidelines "to maintain public safety while safeguarding constitutional rights during First Amendment-protected events...[and]...to minimize needless confrontation...to bring attention to real and significant underlying issues involving police practices." (We will address him a little later because surely some of what he just said about safeguarding our constitutional rights... Are there any left to safeguard?)

In addition, a federal judge issued court orders that prevent Missouri police from stopping media and others from recording officers. The court order followed a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union that said police tried to stop journalists from recording in Ferguson. (Why must there be a lawsuit for LAW officers to do something RIGHT?)

By way of preparation in Clayton, Missouri, location of the grand jury announcement, police placed barricades around the courthouse including locks on mailboxes. Ferguson shop owners, having faced weeks of sometimes violent protests following Brown's death, boarded up their windows. Schools were cancelled. Barricades also went up in the same shopping center parking lot (West Florissant Avenue) where police had their command center in the aftermath of Brown's death.

Around the country: Boston sent out robocalls to public school and college students to stay calm. Oakland found businesses putting steel plates on their doors. Los Angeles police chief Charles Beck said he hoped to get advance notice as to whether Darren Wilson was indicted. In Ferguson, gun sales skyrocketed with the announcement of a State of Emergency declared by the governor.

Present for the showdown in Ferguson were the National Guard, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County and Ferguson police departments. City, county and state officers, as well as the National Guard, were marshaled under a unified command, plus an influx of nearly 100 additional FBI agents to assist law enforcement. It sure looks like they knew what the grand jury decision would be, huh?

The Awaited Announcement

Darren Wilson predictably dodged his bullet with the "Get out of jail free" card from the grand jury. In possibly the longest presentation of "not guilty" in recent history, prosecutor Robert McCulloch managed to blast the media and discredit witnesses who claimed Brown was shot several times. His presentation, seemingly thorough, resembled a dumbed-down legal two-step, and he was the lead. Unfortunately, if you paid attention to what he "over-emphasized" and "under-lined," it was a snow-job for the police department and a slick confirmation of how the pathological elite manipulate black minorities, buffalo white opinions and perpetuate authoritarian 'justice'. The unusual timing of the grand jury's announcement, after darkness had fallen, was a decision by the prosecutors, begging the question: 'most audience' or 'most scary time for protesters'?

By the numbers, according to the prosecution:
  • The grand jury met for 25 days
  • They listened to 70 hours of testimony from about 60 witnesses
  • Jurors presented with 5 indictment options, ranging from first-degree murder to involuntary manslaughter
  • 3 medical examiners testified
  • 3 autopsies returned consistent results
  • 2 shots fired while Officer Wilson was in his police car
  • Brown's body lay 153 feet east of Wilson's car
  • Less than 90 seconds between the first shot and the arrival of a second police car
  • Audio of the final 10 shots was captured on video
Grand jury processes are secret, as are the identities of the jury. Could it be a slim possibility that the evidence and testimonies were helped along by the "Ghoul Squad" fronting for the KKK? Just a thought since we now know of the connection between Ferguson police and the Ku Klux Klan. FYI: A Ghoul Squad is an auxiliary group for Klansmen who have jobs that would be at risk if their membership were known.

There is also reason to think that this grand jury's finding is statistically rare. Ordinarily, almost every case that a prosecutor takes to a grand jury ends in indictment. At the federal level, of 42,140 grand jury investigations in 2012, only 56 targets escaped indictment, from the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. These jurors were offered a range of possible charges instead of the prosecutor's recommended charge with evidence supporting it. Defense attorneys are not allowed to be present in grand-jury proceedings, so defendant testimony is rarely given, which makes Wilson's testimony in front of the grand jury suspect, to say the least. It was more like a secret trial.

Perhaps there were huge segments of the Darren Wilson fan club that took the prosecutor's carefully couched explanations to heart. Protesters on the street seemed less gullible, if not bordering on shock.

Immediately following the announcement, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri said the decision "does not negate the fact that Michael Brown's tragic death is part of an alarming national trend of officers using excessive force against people of color, often during routine encounters. Yet in most cases, the officers and police departments are not held accountable." The ACLU said that while many police officers "carry out their jobs with respect for the communities they serve, we must confront the profound disconnect and disrespect that many communities of color experience with their local law enforcement."

For many, this was clearly seen as a racial issue, no less compounded by members of the KKK making threats to use lethal force, in leaflets handed out in Ferguson on the 12th of November:

KKK flyer
© www.nydailynews.com
The KKK flyers in Ferguson, Missouri
And, here is an excerpt from the KKK's 'death threat' to Anonymous:
"...You pathetic nigger lovers are going down, we're NOT HIDING. WE'RE NOT ASHAMED OF WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE REPRESENT, THE INVISIBLE EMPIRE CANNOT AND WILL NOT BE OVERTHROWN. We held a Klan wide meeting today with the Imperial Wizard, who has decided if you want war, we will give you war, not online, but on the streets, we will hunt you down and tear those masks from your face. You'll be strung up next to the chimps. On display for the whole world to see. The Klan is to be feared, not threatened. Turn away, or face the consequences. We would like to wish Officer Darren Wilson and his family all the best in the future. To Anonymous and the people of Ferguson, we will see you on the streets." - signed by the Grand Wizard Frank Ancona, 11/19/14.
3 Klan
© biafransatellite.blogspot.com
Show of hands please. Any police officers?
The capital letters are in the original document, by the way. It leaves little to the imagination as to why the Ferguson Police Department is not all over the KKK for its threats and actions to date. (If there was ever a good cause for all that military-grade hardware, here it is, guys!)

If the KKK is so "hidden" within communities, how many other police departments across the U.S. are similarly connected with, or infiltrated by, this terrorist organization? What makes a community bow to the dictates of such a group that hides its face from the public and rules from the shadows through coercion and terror, if not the leaders themselves? How many communities in the U.S. have such terror cells? And how far up the social, religious, government ladders do KKK tentacles reach? Who knows, maybe Anonymous will find out.

Protests spread nationwide following Ferguson grand jury announcement

NEW YORK - Hundreds of protesters marched through Union Square Monday night holding signs saying "Jail Killing Cops" and "Resistance Is Justified."

In Sanford, Fla., protesters were expected to march at the local county courthouse. Sanford is the site of the Feb. 12, 2012, shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

In Topeka, Kansas, protest organizers posted instructions on the Tumblr page of an informal group known as the Ferguson National Response Network, telling attendees to "Dress warmly - Bring signs."

Elsewhere, protesters gathered across the country from New Haven, Conn., to Bellevue, Wash. In many cities, such as Seattle, Durham, Detroit, Tempe, Harlem, Oakland, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Nashville, Toronto, Richmond, Allentown, Knoxville, Tampa, and others, thousands rallied with shows of support for Ferguson and the black community.

Darren Wilson remains on administrative leave, Mayor Knowles said at his news conference. Wilson's legal problems may not be over yet. The Justice Department and the FBI are investigating possible civil rights violations regarding Brown's civil rights and the civil rights record of the Ferguson Police Department. Brown's family could file a wrongful-death suit.

An Indictment of America

In 1968, the literary critic Hoyt Fuller wrote, "Black people are being called 'violent' these days, as if violence is a new invention out of the ghetto. But violence against the black minority is in-built in the established American society."

Apparently Attorney Crump agrees. "The problem is far more pervasive than Ferguson. All across America, young people of color are being killed by police officers. And local prosecutors are putting together these 'unbiased' grand juries that continue to yield the same results." He's right. A few weeks ago USA Today reported that nearly two black people a week were killed by police in a seven-year span ending in 2012. While one in five black people killed by police are under 21, only one in 11 white people killed by police are so young.

And, here's an interesting fact:
Many criminologists say we are not given the full truth that only 750 of 17,000 police departments around the nation file killings by police with the FBI. (We can only wonder why not.) 461 deaths by police were reported in 2013 (an upward trend), but the number is suspect due to "spotty" reporting.

It is a pattern that African Americans receive rougher treatment from police and biased treatment from the justice system. Could anything change as the result of Brown's death that offers hope for improvement regarding polarization of issues, events and outcomes? Will mistrust and deeply unresolved biases again resurface when confronted with the next tragic victim of a society struggling for equality and identity? Most likely, faster and stronger than the last. Locked into roles and protocol, manipulation and response... the aggressor becomes the victim, the victim becomes the aggressor and it goes on. There is no winner when emotions are so rawly triggered, blinding reason and truth. Is this what the PTB are banking on? Are they setting up the 'weeding out' of American society? Do you have your riot gear? Should you be afraid?

Outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said recently, though he served as the nation's top law-enforcement official, and as an African-American man who has been searched unnecessarily by police, "I also carry with me the mistrust that some citizens harbor for those who wear the badge." Well, Eric, what have you really done about that? Why aren't police departments being deprogrammed for unsubstantiated stereotypes and, likewise, held accountable for despicable and unlawful actions? And, by the way, what are you doing about the KKK?

Just another word about them: For as long as the KKK has been in operation, we should suspect it, or something like it, to be everywhere in one form or another. In its modern incarnation, the KKK might only be degenerate remnants of a once larger organization, but institutionalized racism is still clearly a major issue in the U.S. Looking a little deeper though, it's not just "hatred of blacks" that is at root here. It is what allows pathological and amoral individuals to come into power, whether locally or nationally, drawing others with a similar ideology and mindset to its ranks. This is the reality. It encompasses all the other issues that have been discussed, debated and fought over in the past months (and years): race, police militarization, the absurdity of legal procedures and precedents.

The Anonymous-KKK stand-off is a relative food-fight compared to what has happened since the grand jury result was announced. Even if this event blows over without more chaos, at the rate cops are killing the innocent, violating the law and devaluing human life, it's surely only a matter of time before all hell breaks loose across the U.S.

Ferguson is a tinderbox. It is also a trial run and the game maker is watching. Which side will you choose? At the end of the day, if we do nothing, we are all victims.