7 Important Details Nobody Mentions About Ferguson
On August 9, 2014, an unarmed black youth named Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer named Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, after some kind of physical altercation between the two. Several eyewitnesses claim that Brown put his hands above his head in surrender and pleaded with Wilson to not shoot him, which Wilson did. This event led to protests in the streets, and things got worse from there. It became a convoluted mess of misinformation, no information, and some actual information, so here is every important truth and lie that you need to know to understand the situation. Due to the sensitive, controversial, and racial nature of this series of events, and how it's being retold by a white man-child on a comedy website, I will be using several farts from butts to explain everything to you. Don't let the metaphors scare you, and feel free to not watch any of the videos of people passing gas...
The Police Never Filed an Incident Report for the Shooting of Michael Brown
After many days of putting off the report's release, the Ferguson police have since admitted to never even filing one. Incident reports are incredibly important (and required), and they should ideally be written within 24 hours of the incident (for hopefully obvious reasons). But they didn't even write one. Isn't that fucking coo-coo bananas, y'all? I guess they either just never got around to it or never got around to wanting to tell the truth about it. Either way, there's that.
Or there that is not, I guess.
So Darren Wilson, allegedly savagely attacked in the line of duty, didn't file an incident report about it, nor did anyone in the department. Don't worry, because that very day the case was handed over to the big guns: the St. Louis Police Department. After a request from the ACLU, the STLPD refused to release a copy of their department's incident report, and spoiler alert, it's because they didn't write one either.
After the first refusal, the ACLU sued the STLPD for the report's release under the state's Sunshine Law. This eventually made the department admit that they never filed a report either, as I spoiled for you earlier. After the ACLU won the case, the St. Louis PD wrote up this baby 10 days after the shooting and released it 12 nights after the shooting.
So, give or take 11 days, within 24 hours of the incident.
The report itself is pretty detailed, but only if you ask an actual baby. Even then, the baby probably wouldn't understand your question. Don't ask babies stuff, I guess, is the lesson I've learned here. The lesson we all should learn from this tragedy called #Ferguson.
This later-than-too-late report is the only one any police filed about the shooting. Above is literally all of the relevant information, and I'm the kind of person who only uses "literally" correctly. There's the officer's name (Wilson), the department (homicide/robbery), the location (Ferguson), the time/date it happened (a while ago), and the date/time it was reported (recently). Unfortunately for whatever the truth might be, an incident report is actually supposed to include a "narrative" section, in which the officer describes what happened in as much detail as possible. Ideally the report would also include eyewitness accounts, if there are any. A detailed incident report written immediately after the incident is important in getting a thorough and accurate account of events. But apparently not much happened between Darren Wilson and Michael Brown, whose information sits alone on the last page of a report nobody cared about or wanted to write.
No middle name.
Eyewitnesses say that there was some sort of altercation through the police officer's car window. Maybe Wilson tried to intimidate Brown and grabbed him for sassing him via sassmouth. "Ain't gon' take no sass from you, ya sassmouth," is maybe something he thought, exactly like that. Or maybe Brown reached for Wilson's gun. Maybe he charged toward him. Maybe Wilson will feel guilt for the rest of his life because of a lethal split-second decision made while legitimately fearing for his own life and safety. Maybe the troubled young thug Michael Brown, after getting a dope high from some chron-style weed-laced pot bowls, against all common sense and against everything his mother likely taught him, went fucking crazy and grabbed for a police officer's gun.
But probably not?
We can't know, because as has been discussed probably too many times at this point, nobody wrote it down. However, if you want to read a great example of a thorough and immediate incident report (aka a good one), check out Michael Brown stealing some Swisher Sweets, because that's the kind of relevant and not at all inflammatory stuff that needs extensive note-taking.
Everything we know for sure about the incident comes from the currently two (of eventually three) autopsies. At least six bullets literally pierced Michael's flesh (two into his head). Sorrzees for the graphic language, but we're talking about guns here, so let's not fuck around. They were invented and are almost exclusively used for the purpose of piercing the flesh and organs of living things.
Editor's Note: Get rid of the personal politics, Cody.
Writer's Note: It's not politics; it's the actual fucking thing bullets are for.
Editor's Note: You know what I'm talking about.
Writer's Note: Fuck you.
Editor's Note: You're fired, Cody.
Writer's Note: You're not my dad!
Editor's Note: I didn't say I was.
Writer's Note: I know!
Editor's Note: Good point. Carry on.A Protester Was Shot in the Head With a Real Bullet (and the Police Took the Bullet )
Do you remember that woman who got shot in the head in Ferguson early last week? Probably not. Her name is Mya Aaten-White (spookwrites on Instagram), and she's going to be OK, despite the ... you know, the bullet in her skull. That whole thing.
Aaten-White woke up from surgery more than a week ago, and the doctors and nurses told her that the police came and confiscated the bullet. Assuming they would come back and question her about the shooting, she waited. For days. No one came to take her statement (something that would be useful for, say, an incident report), although the media reports the shooting as a "drive-by." Aaten-White has claimed no such thing, and remembers no such thing, not that the police would know, since it's been exactly two weeks since the incident and they still haven't gotten a statement from her (for those not in the know, a "statement" is something police get from the victim of a crime in order to "solve" it).
Aaten-White's lawyer has contacted authorities in search of the bullet/evidence, and he had this to say:
"I've talked to both the St. Louis County Police Department and Ferguson ... they have no record ... no file number, no report ... They don't have anything."
Right after the incident, another woman filmed herself questioning a police officer about it. She also filmed a different police officer physically stopping the first one from answering.
I don't want it to seem like I'm implying that there's some conspiracy to cover up this girl's shooting. Of course I'm not. I'm just saying it's either that or these cops are just completely terrible at their jobs. Pick one, or please let me know a third option in the comments. Maybe they're just super busy? I don't know. Anyway. Sorry there's no incident report again and watch out for drive-bys, I guess.
The St. Louis Cops Who Shot That Guy With the Knife Last Week Also Kind of Lied About It
You might have heard that recently a mentally ill man stole some Red Bull, pulled out a knife, and shouted "Shoot me!" to two responding St. Louis police officers. So far so true. According to St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson, the man raised the knife in an "overhand grip" and walked within 3 or 4 feet of the officers when they opened fire. This far no true, because unfortunately for liars who say things to the public, someone filmed the incident. It's GRAPHIC and shows the death of a human being, so be warned. If you're a hardcore racist, I guess it's graphic for other, more disgusting reasons. Yay.
If you watched that, you'll have noticed that many details from the police chief were accurate. But the differences are pretty significant. The man does not raise or even brandish his knife, and the officers start shooting when he's about 15 feet from them. Or something around that, I'm honestly not great at judging distances. If you're a distance-guessing savant or if you've got a distance-guessing app, feel free to correct my estimation in the comments. I'm always looking for more Internet comments to read.
Editor's Note: You didn't mention the bullet stuff again.
Writer's Note: What bullet stuff?
Editor's Note: Just thought you'd be more specific, like how the officers took at least nine shots. Four flesh-piercing bullets before he hits the ground, three flesh-piercing bullets as his body rolls on the ground toward them, and two flesh-piercing bullets as his body flops back the other way. Then they put handcuffs on the corpse.
Writer's Note: Why would I bother with that information?
Editor's Note: I have no idea, son.
Writer's Note: Well, we're not here to talk about restraint, Tasers, or excessive or unnecessary force.
Editor's Note: We're not here to talk about anything because everyone involved is either writing or reading.
My dad is right. This article is not about police violence or racism or socioeconomic etc. and so forth. That shit is way above my pay grade.
This fart is not.
In a buttshell, this is just another instance of police literally lying to the public about shootings in order to make them seem not only justified, but unavoidable. This is about the fact that ...
In General, the Ferguson and St. Louis Police Have Been -- Pardon My Fuck -- Fucking Liars
Police sources claimed to have 12 eyewitnesses that confirm Darren Wilson's account of events, which we only actually know about because of a woman named Josie who called into The Dana Show: The Conservative Alternative on local St. Louis radio. Josie said that she heard the tale from Darren's girlfriend, who heard it from Darren, who presumably heard it from his own senses and cognition. Or maybe he heard it from his boss, if I want to sound biased. The truth, it turns out, is that Josie was just repeating what she read on a confirmed fake Facebook page.
Anyway, back to the alleged 12 eyewitnesses, those police sources turned out to be not reliable enough to print.
Police sources also claimed that Darren Wilson was beaten nearly unconscious and suffered an orbital blowout fracture. Unfortunately again, the X-ray used as evidence was actually from a 2008 article explaining what orbital blowout fractures are, Michael Brown's autopsies don't show any sign of struggle, and there is video of Wilson immediately following the incident in which he walks around like he didn't just get beat up and kill a kid. (Also CNN confirms)
Ferguson's police chief claimed Wilson shot Brown "more than just a couple but think it was many more than that." But according to recent alleged audio of the shooting, "not many more than just a couple" actually means "at least 10," four of which come after a deafening and troubling pause.
The St. Louis police have also admitted that Wilson started shooting at Brown as he was running away from him. You may remember hearing that Wilson opened fire because he was afraid of the 6'4", 292-pound young black male charging toward him, but you probably don't remember hearing that it was complete bullshit.
More shit from bulls: Six-year veteran Darren Wilson with reportedly no blemishes on his record was fired three years ago along with 44 other Jennings, MO police officers because the department had a history of racism, violence, and corruption.
When it's been established, at least several times, that the police have lied or misled, why is no one asking them, "Hey, why are you lying about things a police officer shouldn't be lying about?" I'm no knowledge fella, but there's got to be someone who's, like, in charge of doing that? Of noticing when cops are lying and asking them why? Is it ... Obama? Sounds like maybe it could be Obama. Please let me know in the comments, knowledge fellas and fellows.
Anyway. Let's move on to the actual protests ...
The above tweet is one of many journalists' claims that much of the information from police regarding the night violence is not accurate. On the night of August 16, even before police told the press that they only used smoke bombs, reporters tweeted about smelling tear gas, and others tweeted pictures of tear gas canisters. Not to mention tweets from the protesters who experienced it (although yes, I did technically mention them). And if you're not into Twitter, don't worry, the police later admitted that yeah they used some tear gas.
"They fired guns at us first from their backyards!" another police liar might also say (and totally did say). So shouldn't Obama walk up to him and ask him why he definitely lied about it, which we know because there's video evidence?
Speaking of video evidence (are you getting it yet?), here is some delicious video evidence of protesters throwing rocks and objects at police officers on the night of the 16th:
In the video, protesting is in full swing. Protesters (or rioters, depending on which race you ask) hold their hands up and chant "Hands up! Don't shoot!" Community leaders and peacekeepers calm down some of the angrier youths. It's tense, but it's not violent, as Ferguson's Poorly Trained Military turns to leave. The crowd of protesters cheer, so the police fire tear gas and stun grenades and get the fuck out of there. A middle finger would have worked just fine, but maybe they could have not even done that? Like, maybe let's keep even the middle fingers out of this? ... Guys?
Actually, let's keep all fingers out of this please.
So if you want to see some angry youths throwing stuff at cops, make sure to watch the video, but note that it only happens after the police fire tear gas at them. An eagle-eyed viewer might notice that the first tear gas actually comes from the protesters' side and slides toward the cops. An even eagler-eyed viewer will notice that before then, a canister flies from the police side toward the protesters at the very top of the screen at 1:48. Someone kicked it back, probably because he or she didn't feel like getting tear gassed for clapping. "Get on outta here, ya tear gas!" she or he probably shouted, exactly like that.
And another weird fart from a butt that's going around about these riots is ...
These Protests Are Not Riots
Aside from protesters throwing rocks and things at police, you've probably heard reports that LOOTERS and RIOTERS were at the protests, and that is true, except most reports didn't include all caps. There were people at these protests who got out of hand (some from out of town, some not), and the community paid for it. But small groups of drunken youths do not a riot make, especially when it's surrounded by much larger groups of completely peaceful protesters. Most of them are just like any average citizen in America. If you have to, just imagine that all of these protesters also happen to be white. Hope that helps.
Now, I don't want to ignore or excuse the looting and damage that has been done to businesses. I just want to be clear that the majority of the protests were peaceful (at least on the protesters' side). Many of the agitators and "rioters" were even from out of town and just looking to cause trouble, and community leaders were active in removing them. Like this mess of jokers:
Once again, white people co-opting black culture and making it terrible.
"But they looted McDonald's!" shouts a man who is really worried about McDonald's earnings this year, or whose mother was a McDonald's. Well, calm down, shouting man, because the window was already broken, and they only went into the McDonald's to get milk to wash a protester's eyes of tear gas.
Tear gas, by the way, can cause miscarriages and other health problems that include death, which is the worst possible health problem to have. The name "tear gas" is actually a bit misleading because it implies discomfort, but the effects include a burning in your throat to the point that you might vomit, a stinging in your nose and eyes to the point that you can barely breathe or see, and a tightening of the chest so intense, it can bring you to your knees. Tear gas accomplishes this by switching on your pain receptors, which basically tricks your body into thinking that everything about you hurts like hell. They really should consider renaming it "pain gas."
"went to a protest and the cops made me tear up a bit no biggie just needed a tissue lol"
But again, I don't want to excuse the people who want to start fires, break things, or hurt people. I just think it's important, fart-wise, that people know how little violence there actually was. Out of the protesters who were arrested, the vast majority are for "refusal to disperse," which means a person didn't want to stop protesting in an American community. Other common reasons for reported arrests are "warrant arrest" and "fugitive," which basically means that a protester was stopped for "refusal to disperse" and the cops discovered that they had previous warrants ("fugitive" for those who came to protest from out of town). With Ferguson residents getting an average of three warrants per household every year because of definitely not racism, previous warrants include things as harmless as jaywalking and unpaid traffic violations. Even if you factor out the accounts from social media, do these reports paint the picture of a town of violent protesters throwing Molotov cocktails? ... Obama? If so many people are violent and looting and rioting, if these are described as riots because of a small minority, why are they all getting arrested for "refusal to disperse"? I'm actually asking, please let me know in the comments, Mr. President.
So while a small minority stirs up trouble, and police threaten and arrest journalists, sometimes without even charging them with anything, better things are happening elsewhere. Protesters start organizations and charities to provide food and water and medicine, organize educational and recreational activities for the children (school for them was cancelled for a week because snipers and tanks needed to bone up on their long division), contact street medics to educate the community about treating tear gas, mourn and honor their community's fallen son with grace, give speeches on race in America, and stop looters from looting. Tibetan monks show up to support the community.
It's funny because it reminds me of the dopest part of one of the Die Hards when John McClane is chasing that villain down a street full of peaceful civilians, and the villain shoves John McClane kinda hard and the villain's buddy Dirk tosses a rock at John McClane so John McClane blows up everybody around him. If you're familiar with that part of one of the Die Hards, then it's like that. Like that funny scene from a Die Hard.
It seems clear that if you're going to protest and you don't want to get hurt, make sure the riot is about something worthwhile, like the firing of a university football coach after he did not notify the police upon learning that his assistant coach literally put his erect penis inside the uneager bottom of a 10-year-old boy.
"No Justice for Mike's Brown!"
It's just a little damage, though. After all, boys will be boys, and there are only so many people's rights that can be farted on at a time. Save the pain gas for the thugs ( boys will be thugs, after all), because the due process clause in our U.S. Constitution bans police from using excessive force even when they are in their rights to control a crowd or arrest a suspect. I guess I didn't need that Die Hard analogy from earlier, because not only is it weird to destroy a crowd in order to get to a few people with possibly flaming bottles, but also it violates citizens' constitutional rights. If it helps, instead of pain gassing you while you're peacefully protesting near a couple of assholes, imagine they take away or slightly limit your guns. It's like that, only a different part of the Constitution. Even the police at a pro-Darren Wilson rally agree:
The irony is that he doesn't understand the irony?
But regardless of U.S. law, using pain gas is even banned in international warfare. It is legal for police to use in America for some reason, but pain gas could probably still be described as "excessive force to control a crowd."
In regards to "excessive force to arrest a suspect," I'll pass it off to 2008 Vice Presidential Candidate Rosa Clemente, who gives this terrifying personal account of a night as a peaceful American citizen in Ferguson. For extra context, at this point in the protests, things were so bad for humans that human rights organization Amnesty International sent observers, which has never happened before in the United States. OK, here's Clemente:
No, Not All Cops Are Bad, But...
If I had my tagging druthers, I would tag this #NotAllCops, but only half ironically. I don't think all cops are like this (liars and abusive to the people they're supposed to protect), because I have common sense. I can read a cop telling me that if I don't want to get hurt then I shouldn't challenge him regardless of the law, and I can still know that not all cops think that they have this ridiculous and unconstitutional amount of authority. Not all cops are bad, but all cops should be responsible for each other's behavior, especially when police all over the community harass, mock, and threaten peaceful protesters. I understand the urge to protect your own, but not terrible ones. Not cops who are bad at their jobs, of which they have only two: protect, serve. Not on the job description is "pointing guns directly at civilians" just for ... fun? Safety?
Note from every Marine ever: "Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot." Now here is the Goofus to the Marines' Gallant:
The above video shows a dopey dough ball of a police officer pointing a loaded assault weapon at a journalist and saying that he will shoot them dead if they don't move. When asked the officer's name, he responds "Go fuck yourself." Dope name, Officer Go Fuck Yourself. Now a brief aside, on the subject of officers' names:
None of the cops wore their name tags at these protests, and that's ... illegal, right? Law dudes and chicks? Isn't that another thing that is straight up no wiggle room illegal? Am I insane?!?! Please let me know in the comments.
Many of these cops are simply full of hate and disrespect, like when one Ferguson officer told a black woman to "get a job" (good advice, except the woman is a financial analyst). And if you think I'm jumping to conclusions based on a few tweets from the ground, here is an officer who worked the protests unapologetically explaining that he hates other races and supports diversity, but only because he wants to "kill everybody." He has since been removed from duty, only because he happened to be caught on tape saying that he thinks people who are different from him are less than him.
Another Ferguson officer is currently being sued because he hog-tied and injured a 12-year-old boy while he was checking his mail at the end of his driveway.
Another officer was seen on Twitter referring to the protesters as "rabid dogs" and "a burden on society and blight on the community." He implores, "Where is a Muslim with a backpack when you need one?" This police officer, Matt Pappert, has also been removed from duty, but only because he was dumb enough to broadcast his heart to the public. And the only reason Officer Go Fuck Yourself was temporarily removed from duty is because his behavior was caught on camera. Think about everything you haven't seen because a camera couldn't be involved.
Some cops are simply terrible at their jobs, and that's understandable. Some protesters loot. But when looting occurs, when laws are broken, who is stopping them?
Spoiler alert: It's protesters.
When we are part of a team or a community or a heavily armed and poorly trained militarized police force, we are responsible for each other's behavior. By allowing it, we are implicitly saying that it's OK. As we've seen, #Ferguson has its own back, keeping bad eggs at bay. But the Ferguson PD has a bad back and eats fucking eggs all day.
Cause they're pigs, you see.
So, no, #NotAllCops are bad, but #NotAllGoodCops are Serpico, and it's clear that these towns need more Serpicos. If cops are not wearing bodycams to keep them accountable, then they need to keep each other accountable. "Hey," shouts the McDonald's Shouting Man, who is also a cop in this scenario, "My partner Officer Dickbag Buttpooper just said something super fucking racist and tripped a baby. I should say and do something." No, if you're a police officer, it's not good enough to just not be bad. You have to quell the bad around you. Be a Serpico, not a twerpico.
I didn't want to Photoshop the slogan in, but trust me when I say it's even dumber when on a sign.
St. Louis actually did have a Serpico a couple of months ago in Sgt. Daniel O'Neil, who revealed that a STLPD lieutenant was ordering officers to profile minorities. Lt. Patrick Hayes allegedly said things like "Let's have a black day" and "Let's make the jail cells more colorful." Thankfully he was fired in May, but one Sgt. Daniel "Serpico" O'Neil apparently isn't enough, because now that entire department is treating him like shit. If only one officer felt uncomfortable being told to profile minorities and everyone still working there is out to get him, it's not crazy to assume that a lot of those officers are still hoping to have black days.
These farts aren't really helping lighten the mood anymore, are they?
So maybe we can't expect more good cops, or that "good" cops be great cops. Maybe all we can do is ask and petition for police to wear bodycams, as they have so far proven to severely reduce police brutality and complaints against officers. Another thing that reduces police brutality and racist behavior? Going to college and/or having a high IQ. Just don't tell that to citizens of New London, Connecticut, where a man was denied entrance to the police academy because his IQ was too high.
Anyway. Here's a little something just for fun:
Ferguson Can't, And Shouldn't, Go Back To Normal
In recent days, the protests have become more peaceful. It appears that Ferguson is returning to normal, at least according to many recent articles. Unfortunately, regardless of the National Guard leaving or of how many protest nights don't result in ... you know ... the stuff ...
Regardless of all of that, and even if Darren Wilson is arrested, going back to normal doesn't mean what I or other white people think it does. For me, normal is moving on to the Ice Bucket Challenge, or KONY 2015, or changing my profile picture for various causes, or sharing an article about Photoshopped models, or tweeting about the mental health problem in America after another white teen shoots anywhere between some and many people. As a white person myself, I have that luxury. I have the privilege of being able to move on to other things. The privilege to not see the problems plaguing every Ferguson in America, if I don't want to.
But in Ferguson, it is normal for 86 percent of traffic stops and 92 percent of arrests to be of black residents, even though they are less likely than white residents to have contraband on them.
Five years ago in Ferguson, it was normal for four white police officers to arrest and severely beat a falsely accused black man and then charge him with property damage for bleeding on their uniforms.
In the 67 percent black Ferguson, there is a 94 percent white police force, most of whom don't live in Ferguson. If it helps, teens and tweens, imagine Katniss Everdeen living in District 13 but all of the police are from District 1 and they just arrest her all the fucking time. If it didn't help, imagine a Stark-populated Winterfell being policed by Lannisters. If that didn't help, try the whole black population/white police thing again.
Normal in America is black people experiencing threats or use of force by police officers three times more than white people.
On the Internet it's normal that two different charities for Darren Wilson have raised more than $420,000 so far, and Mike Brown's family has raised $286,000. Darren Wilson, as we remember, is a man who is on paid leave and has no current legal fees or sudden need for a shitload of cash. Wilson's staunch supporters and the comments on Wilson's donation page are perhaps unsurprisingly racist and mostly "cop vs. thug" talk. They seem to indicate that raising more money will make Darren more right. Mr. Obama, please let me know what you think about that in the comments.
Normal is a black man getting killed every 28 hours by police or vigilantes.
It's normal that 82 percent of recorded police brutality cases in America are against people of color, and of the 11 cases against white victims, half of them were against people with either physical or mental disabilities. Two of them were against a white person's dogs.
In Central New Jersey, it's normal for 99 percent of police brutality complaints to go uninvestigated.
Normal is what happened to Mike Brown.
He is the only person killed all year in the predominantly black town of Ferguson.
But even if things get calm in Ferguson, and even ignoring other "normal" problems white people have the privilege of ignoring, and even ignoring all of the socio-economic problems in communities like Ferguson, and even if religious leaders take steps to improve the community, and even if the country's police militarization is toned the fuck down, and even if Darren Wilson is arrested, can "normal" be achieved by Ferguson residents?
Like this 8-year-old pain gas victim?
This woman and her friends who were attacked in a residential neighborhood for walking (audio here)?
This Marine who just wants the police to stop destroying a peaceful community?
An average citizen?
The relationship between these police ...
... and these people?
The Brown family?
I have no idea, I'm just a guy writing about mostly farts. The hope, though, is that they can find an amount of peace, and that the world will begin to change for the better. Protests and riots (regardless of your opinion of "rioting") historically can cause great, positive change. Other possible causes of change in Ferguson? A new neighborhood police watch program (with cameras) that educates citizens about their rights, Operation Help Or Hush, a huge increase in voter registration, Hands Up! United, and a campaign to recall Ferguson's mayor and other city officials. Pretty good for a town of riotous thugs. The world, after all, is watching.
Or maybe this is all just a bunch of hot air.
This cloying article exclusively about hot air caused by farts from butts was written by Cody Johnston, a writer, performer, and editor at Cracked. He can be found on Twitter and Tumblr and Brimby and Gliphpal and Trimmmp. If you'd like to help the people of Ferguson, here are many ways you can do that.
For more from Cody, check out 4 Reasons 'Viral' Content Stopped Mattering in 2013 and 22 Stories We Can't Believe BuzzFeed Hasn't Written Yet.