A UK Policeman takes a knife-wielding perpetrator down with his taser.
We have been discussing the North St. Louis shooting of Kajieme Powell, who was brandishing a knife and approaching police in a threatening manner shouting “Shoot me now”. The police obliged and it was only due to the transparent and rapid response by Chief Dotson that this situation did not further inflame tensions in nearby Ferguson.
First, I want to elaborate on the editorial position of TTAK of both shootings. Discovering the truth is extremely dificult in the circus environment surrounding Ferguson. My position on Brown simply is that I do not know. The public has little hard evidence beyond the report of Dr. Baden which shows that Brown was shot in the front. Everything else is speculation based on uncorroborated eyewitness testimony, some of which comes from extremely dubious sources. There is no video record, and the police have been less than forthcoming in relating Officer Wilson’s side of the story. He does a tough job and has a presumption of innocence. To state much beyond that based on what little is verifyiably in the public realm is irresponsible at a minimum, or reprehensible if it is meant for ratings or personal agrandizement.
I covered county politics for a local paper when I lived in Idaho. I take my responsibilities as at least a quasi-journalist here at TTAK seriously. Most often it is simply offering my personal stamp of approval (or not) for a knife that our readers may consider spending their hard-earned money on. But sometimes it is offering editorial on knife laws, the TSA, and even topics such as the Gaza War or Ferguson and police militarization. I take the First Amendment as seriously as I do the Second, and try to comport myself accordingly.
One tragedy that goes beyond the personal circumstances of the Brown family, who regardless of what happened are deserving of our prayers, lies in the way the media have been treated by the authorities. I have nothing but contempt for irresponsible reporting, which has made a bad situation worse. But there has been appaling treatment of journalist as well. They have been arrested, hit with tear gas and wooden baton-rounds. There has been a no-fly zone over Ferguson which has denied context to the protests. From what I have read in many sources, the unrest has been limited to a couple of blocks which makes the full-on military style invasion seem even more suspect. But we have no perspective because the Government is denying access to the media.
This quote comes from an article by the ACLU and deals with both Ferguson and the larger media environment that includes Government hacking of journalist’s computers:
“The right to record the actions of the government without it interfering is a basic prerequisite to a functioning democracy. Restrictions on media freedom – whether via surveillance, prosecutions, or tear gas – rob us of the information we need to engage in informed debates, assess our government’s policies and practices, and hold it to account. Journalists aren’t criminals, and they shouldn’t have to act like spies.”
All of this has made it harder for the truth to shine through. The situation has been tainted by all involved to the point where if there are not charges brought against Officer Wilson there will not be peace. However if the evidence does not warrant indictment, then for Officer Wilson to find himself in a courtroom is itself a miscarrage of justice. Continue reading