Quote of the Day:
“To actually have the police injured by gunshots — that is not even a small setback, it is a real setback,” said Courtney Curtis, a Democratic state representative whose district includes Ferguson. “It takes away the forward momentum the protesters did have.”—
–from the New York Times report headlined “Just as Ferguson Was Making Progress, Shooting Deals a Setback.”
The shootings were also a setback to the two police officers who were ambushed and shot while doing their jobs during the latest round of rioting in Ferguson, Mo.
A 41-year-old St. Louis County Police officer has a shoulder wound, while a 32-year-old officer from the nearby Webster Groves Police Department was shot in his eye. The bullet remains lodged in his head, somewhere in the vicinity of his ear. Yeah–sounds like a setback for sure.
Heather Mac Donald comments:
Good thing the officers weren’t killed. That might have inhibited the protests for, say, a week. As it was, the demonstrations were up and running again last night, demanding the firing of the entire police force.
This round of rioting broke out in the wake of the resignation of Ferguson police chief, Tom Jackson. The resignation can be seen as a response to the Justice Department report that cleared former policemen Darren Wilson, who is white, of criminal behavior in the shooting death of eighteen year old Michael Brown, who was black, but alleged that the Ferguson PD is racist. You’d think that the resignation would be heralded as a sign that the PD is trying to do better and a cause for celebration rather than as a cause for more rioting. But you would be wrong.
I watched some of the rioters interviewed last night on TV, and it was alarming: I was struck by how utterly lacking in compassion for the police officers those interviewed were. Not a single person I saw interviewed expressed sadness or sympathy for the officers, who were doing their job and have families. Nobody would say it was sad or a pity or anything remotely human.
These officers are just casualties in a roiling class and race war that now engulfs Ferguson.
This is not to say that I don't understand that Michael Brown’s death was unspeakably sad—he was not a model citizen, as even the sympathetic New York Times had to admit, and he had been caught on video in the process of a strong arm robbery of a cigar story only moments before his death. But he was eighteen years old, a young man whose life lay before him, and of course now we’ll never know what he would have made of his life. There was always the glowing hope that, after a rough patch, he would take hold of his life.
Being terribly sad over Michael Brown's death and overlooking the circumstances of that awful event are different things. I don’t know if the rioters interviewed last night on TV really believe, contrary both to the Grand Jury and the report by Eric Holder’s DOJ, that Brown had been shot down in cold blood. I don’t know if they really believe, as they repeatdly said, that Michael Brown held up his hands and said, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” which seems not the case from either the Grand Jury or DOJ.
But I do know that the complete lack of compassion for the officers on display in the interviews was frightening. Are we now a country so feral and divided that an innocent young father who had a bullet fired into his head no longer causes sympathy?
Whoever fired the shot is guilty. I am not blaming anybody else for the shootings. President Obama didn't cause the shootings. Attorney General Eric Holder didn't cause the shootings.
But I can't help thinking that, President Obama and Attorney General Eric contributed to the bitter atmosphere we see in Ferguson with their rhetoric about Michael Brown's death.
And, honestly, wouldn’t you expect more from the President of the United States than a tweet opining that “violence against police is unacceptable?”
Violence against police is unacceptable. Our prayers are with the officers in MO. Path to justice is one all of us must travel together. –bo
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 12, 2015
As the country's first black president, President Obama is probably admired by many in that crowd I saw last night.
He could use his position to at least attempt to quell the riots in Ferguson and to call us to recognize our common humanity.
Instead we get the tweet.