Police in St. Louis County say they’re expecting a peaceful weekend from protesters marking the anniversary of the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson but that they’ll be prepared should events turn violent.
Protest leaders are promising that events scheduled on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the St. Louis area will be relatively calm. Brown was unarmed when he was killed last Aug. 9 by a Ferguson police officer in a shooting that galvanized the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
“The events we have planned this weekend are intended to show the strength of community, the value of self-empowerment and the power of the people,” Nabeehah Azeez, of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, said at a Monday news conference, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ( http://bit.ly/1E64sPq ) reported. Azeez was joined by more than two dozen people from at least nine organizations at St. Louis offices for the Service Employees International Union.
The organizers called upon police to respect demonstrators’ free speech rights and to refrain from confronting them in a militarized manner.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said authorities have no indication “that there is going to be anything except peaceful protest.”
So…the SEIU is involved and organizers/agitators have told the police what to do. This couldn’t possibly get any weirder, could it?
As the infomercials say-BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! (italics mine)
St. Louis County police Chief Jon Belmar said Monday that his priorities are to protect residents, property and the expression of First Amendment rights.
“We have been fortunate thus far to not have a loss of life. That’s certainly our primary focus as we move into this to make sure these events honor the memory of Michael Brown
I wonder if any of the business owners who had their livelihoods torched by the peaceful protesters feel fortunate. “Hey, nobody’s dead yet!” isn’t the highest of bars to set as a metric for success. It is quite galling to see a senior law enforcement officer speak of honoring the memory of a man who is best remembered for the consequences of attacking a police officer. While the law enforcement culture in Ferguson was found to be egregiously awful in regard to dealing with minorities, Darren Wilson was not. Conflating the two for a politically correct dance and continuing to add to the false myth of Michael Brown doesn’t do anyone in this sad story any good.
Except the nomadic band of outside professional agitators, of course.