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Mike Matheny addresses turmoil in Ferguson: “It’s a sad situation. It’s a tough situation for our city”

Aug 17, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

mike matheny getty Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals play about 10 miles down Interstate 70 from where an unarmed black teenager named Mike Brown was shot and killed in broad daylight last Saturday by a white member of the Ferguson Police Department. Brown was wearing a red Cardinals hat on that fateful day and the protests and riots that have followed have been littered with people of all races wearing Cardinals gear. You may have heard that St. Louis likes its baseball team.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was asked before Sunday’s series finale against the visiting Padres whether he’s been following the story, which has dominated the national news cycle for the past week.

Matheny’s response, via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“The whole country is,” Matheny said. “It’s a sad situation. It’s a tough situation for our city and hopefully all the voices that are trying to get this resolved get this resolved quickly.”

“I think baseball, not just in St. Louis but in our country, has always served very well in that regard, whether it’s 9-11, I think baseball was a great focal point. … This is a great city with a lot of great people.”

I grew up in St. Louis and am writing this post from my apartment downtown, but I can’t come up with any special insight to offer. This city has deep racial issues that date back hundreds of years. It’s all very layered and sad and embarrassing, and unfortunately a resolution in this case probably won’t come quickly at all.

If you want to follow what’s happening on the ground in Ferguson you can’t do better than @AntonioFrench.

127 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. jimbroney - Aug 17, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    In other news, last year, an UNARMED WHITE 13 MONTH OLD BABY, was shot by 2 BLACK KIDS! Never heard the story? Shocking.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:19 PM

      Did the police respond with military gear no longer being used in Afghanistan and point their weapons at people protesting peacefully?

      /breathlessly awaiting response from a mouth breathing jackhole

      • stoutfiles - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:39 PM

        I’m pretty sure that was more about the widespread looting that has been going on. Mob mentality and all that.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 17, 2014 at 6:16 PM

        I see what you’re saying. Because of some looting, people blocks away should have a police officer point an automatic weapon at them from ontop a tank.

        Good to know there was a reason.

      • blacksables - Aug 17, 2014 at 6:45 PM

        362 cops killed by ‘innocent’ people in the last 4 1/2 years.

        Where’s your outrage about that, Sandy?

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 17, 2014 at 6:53 PM

        That’s an apple to my orange, but I will say this.

        When cops came to my house and entered it without a warrant in order to arrest a house guest, and those cops were greeted by 2 waking dogs (because, see, this was at 5 in the morning), their original stated goal was for me to “put my dogs up” so as they don’t shoot to kill them.

        So that’s what I think about your assessment about 362 cops.

        Now, do tell, how many more reasons do you keep in your front pocket in order to justify another unarmed black teen being shot dead by the police in the streets in America?

      • genericcommenter - Aug 17, 2014 at 7:12 PM

        Apparently there are a lot of boot-lickers and state-suckers here. At least there’s usually a little less bigotry than PFT or PBT.

      • jeffbbf - Aug 17, 2014 at 8:57 PM

        never had a house guest that needed arresting…

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 18, 2014 at 7:40 AM

        Naturally, Jeff, you understand the need to shoot dogs when arresting house guests before sunrise without a warrant. That’s why we live in America, amiright?

      • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2014 at 11:34 PM

        blacksables, apparently more people than that are killed by the police annually:

        And those people did not voluntarily agree to take a job that committed them to sacrifice their lives.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:13 AM

        According to the coroner hired by Brown’s family, Mike Brown was shot 6 times, including twice in the head, from far enough distance to not leave any gunpowder. 4 shots to the right arm, 2 shots to the head, for an incident that began with jaywalking.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:47 AM

        koufaxmitzvah – Aug 18, 2014 at 8:13 AM
        According to the coroner hired by Brown’s family, Mike Brown was shot 6 times, including twice in the head, from far enough distance to not leave any gunpowder. 4 shots to the right arm, 2 shots to the head, for an incident that began with jaywalking.

        I’m not trying to take a dog in this fight, but shouldn’t that be pretty obvious? I’m sure the coroner employed by the police found the exact opposite.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:57 AM

        The coroner used by the Brown family for their autopsy is the New York City coroner, so the guy has a reputation and a responsibility to uphold the standards of his investigation. I have not read the local autopsy report.

        It’s hard to discredit the number of bullet holes in a dead person’s body, as well as where the person was shot. The gunpowder is up to interpretation, but for my money, I’m more concerned about the 6 bullets and where they landed than from how far away the officer shot his victim. 4 shots in the arm is enough to make a dent in a suspect’s escape.

    • dougwhite659 - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      We all heard that story. It is unrelated, unless you are one of the people who thinks that ALL blacks need to be punished for that crime. Sounds kinda like that IS what you are saying…..

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 17, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    A sad situation indeed.

    I know better than to wade into a discussion about race in an HBT comment thread. What I will say is that the image of a soldier – errr, police officer, mounted on an armoured car, aiming a sniper at citizens in broad daylight is unsettling to say the least. Those rioting and looting are in the wrong, but my oh my what a disproportionate response.

  3. sfm073 - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    And when the police let off they started rioting again. I’m not a fan of the militarization of the police, but if they have it I can’t think of a better time to use it.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:19 PM

      The problem is that they have it.

    • jrbdmb - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:27 PM

      The problem is that it is apparently needed.

      • scotttheskeptic - Aug 17, 2014 at 10:35 PM

        It was not needed. The over-response and lack of transparency from the police exacerbated the entire situation. Which leads me to two questions,:

        1) Does it not bother you that pictures of Ferguson, MO and Gaza could be superimposed without many telling details?

        2) Why in the hell does a suburban police force need that equipment? (For the record, I oppose my local PD, Philadelphia, having that equipment and a “Homeland Security” directorate.)

      • dougwhite659 - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:24 AM

        Not true. Had they simply released the officer’s name, released the preliminary autopsy and indicted the officer, NONE of this would have ever happened. Instead, the police and DA’s office are acting as if they are the defense attorneys for the officer. Instead of saying “We have reports that Mr. Brown went for the officer’s gun”, they said “Mr. Brown went for the officer’s gun” as if it were an undisputed fact, even though the only ‘evidence’ that they had to support this came from a man who would face murder charges if this weer not the case….

    • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      They did not, in fact, start “rioting” again. There were peaceful demonstrations after the state police took over. You must be confused — or else you don’t understand what a riot is.

      • dcarroll73 - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:36 AM

        historio…, you hit that right on the button – unfortunately the local cops and some of the staties have the same lack of understanding as that poster. They think that a peaceful assembly must be sent packing with tear-gas and other violence. And for years now they have been trying to tell us that cops today must take criminal justice courses that include such things as constitutional rights.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:37 AM

        Let’s also not forget that Mike Brown was shot multiple times by a police officer, and this included an execution style shot to the head. You know, I’m sorry people are rioting and looting stores, but to suggest that the heavy-handed police presence is there to stop such an occurrence from happening simply ignores the ultra-heavy police action that quickly escalated into these riots.

        If I lived in Ferguson, I wouldn’t rest until the Chief of Police is suspended. That guy is willfully ignorant at best.

  4. nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    Well, nice sentiments without actually expressing any real opinion on the matter. Essentially, it’s sad and he hopes it gets resolved, and people in St. Louis are nice. Baseball might take their minds off crucial issues. In other words, he’d rather not comment but since he couldn’t avoid it, he’ll say as little as possible.

    • bronxbomber213 - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      Cuz he supports the cop no doubt don’t u get it all the white honkey crackers stick together and deep down they all hate minorites!

  5. bronxbomber213 - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    That’s it… ask whitey what he thinks about whitey killing an unarmed innocent black boy in the middle of the street in broad daylight! He doesn’t care he agrees with his Honkey cracker BROs and most likely supports the cop! Can’t we just get rid of all the stupid racist crackers that pollute our world and keep people enslaved!! My boy tfbuckfutter knows what I’m talkin about!! Justice for Brown and deathy to whitey and the white devils across the country!

    • ripwarrior - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      Wow you are a racist. I hope you are burned alive.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2014 at 8:39 PM

        Stop embarrassing your parents with that nonsense. People will think you weren’t raised any better.

      • CyclePower - Aug 18, 2014 at 1:47 AM

        #1. You’re too dense to realize when you’re being trolled by someone creating a false persona.

        #2. To wish upon someone forced immolation because they say something you don’t agree with is pretty unsettling.

    • jvandever007 - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      Innocent black boy? Lol he was a adult first of all…all 6 for 3, 280 pounds and from the video from the gas station your gentle giant didnt look so gentle so quit your crying and do everyone a favor a quit roiting and get a job

      • jvandever007 - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:23 PM


    • inanedmonds - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      I’m so sick of this racism crap. It’s not just white people that are racist, It’s dumb sob’s like yourself who believe it is that is a majority of the problem. I don’t care about the color of a persons skin. Murder is murder no matter how you look at. As long as these so called racial marches and demonstrations continue to happen, true justice for what happened will never prevail. How do you stop violence with more violence?

  6. recoveringcubsfan - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    Matheny weighed in? Problem solved I guess? What’s the relevance?

    Maybe, uh, the cops were just making up their own Unwritten Rules? Or does the Brown family get to drill the Chief of Police with a fastball next time they meet? I’m just trying to figure out why anyone asked Mike Matheny about this.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2014 at 8:40 PM

      Did you have that same question after 9/11 and the Boston bombing?

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      At least they didn’t ask Kirk Gibson, or else things really would get crazy.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 18, 2014 at 1:28 PM

        It isn’t funny. I treated it seriously for a reason.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 18, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        Making fun of the Cardinals’ weird adherence to “unwritten rules” is always funny.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 18, 2014 at 1:58 PM

        No. A young man is dead here. Dead.

  7. fansrus - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    Bronxbomber , you’re part of the problem. Try being part of the solution instead.

  8. professor30 - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    How come nobody wants to mention the fact that he robbed a conveinence store just moments before and assaulted the store clerk for a box of cigars that he was going to use to pack full of weed. Protesting peacfully? i must have missed that part.

    • fearlessleader - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      1) According to the police, the officer who shot Michael Brown did not know he was a suspect in the robbery.

      2) Stealing cigars from a convenience store is not a capital offense.

      • jvandever007 - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:52 PM

        How about assault on a police officer?

      • fearlessleader - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:56 PM

        Well, gosh, most of the witnesses seem to think that that didn’t happen, but we’d know for sure if the Ferguson PD had stopped stockpiling military gear long enough to install their dashboard cameras.

      • jrfstl - Aug 17, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        Not sure what reason there is to thumbs-down simple facts of the situation, except that they don’t fit with your elected narrative…

      • blacksables - Aug 17, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        Did Micheal Brown know that the police officer wasn’t aware of it?

        He robs a convenience store and just a few minutes later a police car pulls up to him.

        I’m sure he saw that as purely a coincidence.

      • genericcommenter - Aug 17, 2014 at 7:20 PM

        There are people, unfortunately, who think everything is a capital offense- though the average person is alleged to commit approx. 3 felonies per day, we have political movements and hot-button issues arising entirely from scapegoating people who commit misdemeanors..

        Plus there are some people who worship the state and therefore its agents like some kind of deities and consider perfectly legal benign behavior to take on some great level of offensiveness when done in the presence of an armed government employee. I find it sickening that a majority of people in the country probably place at least or both of government and business well above the rights and dignity of human beings. If anything- organizations and people- big government, big business and their agents-should be held to a HIGHER standard of conduct. Why are people trusted with great authority expected to have less accountability and complete impunity?

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Aug 17, 2014 at 7:35 PM

        Did Micheal Brown know that the police officer wasn’t aware of it?

        He robs a convenience store and just a few minutes later a police car pulls up to him.

        I’m sure he saw that as purely a coincidence.

        So stealing $50 worth of Swisher Sweets is justification for murder? Don’t hedge your bets, say whether you agree or disagree. Because if you disagree, then your statement is absurd.

      • perryt200 - Aug 17, 2014 at 8:16 PM

        If you blatantly steal in broad day light then toss the much smaller store clerk around, and threaten him to where he runs off; what are you capable of at midnight?

        I don’t want you as my neighbor, I don’t want you around my kids, hell; I don’t want you in my city or even in my country.

        Give the Cop a medal. He saved us from years of crime and a lifetime of paying for incarceration.

      • American of African Descent - Aug 17, 2014 at 8:24 PM

        Assaulting a police officer?

        So the guy walked up to a police officer’s car, reached in while the cop was sitting down, and tried to grab the gun? Do you realize how stupid that sounds? Moreover, why would anyone try to take on a cop when the cop is in his car?

        Anyone who believes that narrative—that Brown allegedly assaulted the cop—is a special kind of stupid.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Aug 17, 2014 at 9:17 PM

        If you blatantly steal in broad day light then toss the much smaller store clerk around, and threaten him to where he runs off; what are you capable of at midnight?

        Guessing you were a modern day Galahad then. And we’ll never know what he was “capable of” because he was summarily executed by the local PD. Amazing how many times we need to remind some of you of that.

      • blacksables - Aug 18, 2014 at 2:17 AM

        Lone cops on patrol do not wrestle with 6’3″, 300 pound people, pull them into squad car, struggle for the gun, and hit themsleves in the face hard enough to leave bruising.

        They arrest the subject, search them, handcuff them, and put them in the back.

        In a situation like this, with two people, and one being the size he was, they call for back-up before attempting anything.

        To pretend like the cop just randomly picked this two guys and shot one of them, then hit himself in the face, is ludicrous.

        Maybe it did happen. Maybe Michael Brown was the aggressor. But to pretend like it is an entirely one-sided affair to justify an opinion is ignorance at it’s finest.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:07 AM

        Maybe it did happen. Maybe Michael Brown was the aggressor. But to pretend like it is an entirely one-sided affair to justify an opinion is ignorance at it’s finest.

        No one is saying it’s a one sided opinion you moron. We’re saying that regardless of what happened, no one deserves to be executed.

        Jesus Christ, the guy who shot all those people in Aurora, CO was taken away peacefully in handcuffs, and he killed multiple people.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2014 at 8:44 PM

      Actually, he is alleged to have stolen something, but he will never get a trial, so we won’t ever get the definitive word on that. Also, that allegation has absolutely nothing to do with the behavior of the protesters, so I’m not sure what your question is about the peaceful protesting.

      • saints97 - Aug 17, 2014 at 11:02 PM

        So are you saying that people should wait for the facts to come in before they go apes**t about something that they don’t have all the facts on?

        Let that settle in for a minute.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2014 at 11:06 PM

        Actually, that is not what I was saying.

      • saints97 - Aug 17, 2014 at 11:12 PM

        So, for a robbery on camera that his accomplice narced him out for, he is innocent until proven guilty. But for a fatal shooting, it is guilty until I get tired of ranting.

        That’s fine, as long as you are okay with the hypocrisy in it.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2014 at 11:21 PM

        You can stand down because none of us fussing here are going to kill that officer without a trial — even though the death penalty actually *is* the proscribed punishment for murder in our society (unlike for shoplifting). That officer will get a trial — unlike the young man he shot. I support the cop getting that trial. One of them will have a chance at justice. I hope you are okay with the hypocrisy of that. I am not.

      • saints97 - Aug 17, 2014 at 11:38 PM

        Fair enough. And I do enjoy your downgrading of robbery to shoplifting. That was tricky.

        But, I agree that this is a sad result of a bad situation. The cop will get his day in court, but the actual facts of the case that come out at trial will never be reported. If, by chance, the facts don’t result in a guilty verdict, we know we will be seeing round two of all of this.

        Why anyone wants to be a cop anymore is beyond me. They are constantly in no-win situations where people assume their guilt no matter what the actual facts are. It will eventually come to a point where “bad” neighborhoods can’t fill the demand for officers. Maybe it has already come to that point, and the result is that the shortage of good people there to fill the openings leaves the departments forced to hire power-hungry, trigger-happy lunatics. Eventually, all of the good people will leave the profession, at least in certain locations.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2014 at 11:48 PM

        Call it robbery if you like — but it’s petty theft and still not even close to deserving the death penalty or being denied one’s right to trial. FYI, I was at a QT once when a guy took off with a case of beer. He was not shot and tanks did not roll out. Guess what his race was? And, for the record, I wouldn’t support shooting that guy either.

        Also, you might find a better audience than someone who has lost a family member because he was shot to death by the police. There’s a very good reason that I don’t automatically give cops the benefit of the doubt. And, no, I will not feel bad if cops no longer feel free to shoot people the way they get away with now. Here’s a tip from experience: when burying someone murdered by the police with military honors, skip the gun salute. It does not go over well.

      • saints97 - Aug 17, 2014 at 11:49 PM

        Robbery is not petty theft.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2014 at 11:56 PM

        I love that that’s the only part you responded to.

        Again, you can get as torqued up as you want about the kid taking something of nominal value, but that does not have anything to do with the cop killing him or in any way justifies what the cop (who apparently didn’t even know about the alleged “robbery” at the time) did.

      • saints97 - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:18 AM

        I wonder why the blood thirsty cop who was just spraying bullets at innocent kids doing nothing wrong only shot one guy and not both. Why leave a witness to your unprovoked execution?

      • historiophiliac - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:42 AM

        You really are a dummy, aren’t you? Run along back to PFT where you belong. Clearly, you need to stop pretending to think and just grunt with the other mouth-breathers.

    • DugoutDirtbag - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:15 AM

      I don’t believe anyone knows that he robbed any store for a fact. The police aren’t even saying that. Also, he certainly wasn’t tried and convicted of doing so and even if he was there isn’t a death penalty in Mo. for shoplifting.

      It is only because he was black that you would even try to justify his death after the fact – with no proof. If he was a white kid i’m sure you would advocate that he have a fair trial b4 being killed for his alleged crime…

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:30 PM

        Well there was a video that certainly looks like he is robbing the store. But that is not a reason for a police officer to shoot him. If there was a struggle for the gun like some have said, I can see why the officer shot him, but he wouldn’t have needed to shoot him multiple like others have said.

  9. creek0512 - Aug 17, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    @mattdpearce @ryanjreilly @ jonswaine @marclamonthill are all good sources for on scene reporting in addition to @AntonioFrench

    • creek0512 - Aug 17, 2014 at 7:21 PM

      LOL, people down voted me offer news sources? And if you think they are biased, @jonswaine was reporting on a rally in support of the officer today.

      I’ll also add @PDPJ to the list

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Aug 17, 2014 at 7:37 PM

        The reporter from the Washington Post, Wesley something is a must follow as well. He’s one of the two who got “arrested” along with Ryan J Reilly.

      • clemente2 - Aug 18, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        Two very good articles last week in Grantland by Morris and Browne that help put non-African Americans inside the context in which many black residents of our country see this.

  10. SocraticGadfly - Aug 17, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    I have little doubt that, in this particular case, there’s various degrees of fault on both “sides.” (If there are just two sides.)

    In the larger context, the “War on Drugs” is what’s really at fault. It’s what pushes police departments to think they need this military hardware. Asset seizures from the WoD in some cases help fund the purchase of that crap.

    On, and on political optics? The WoD has been peddled nationally just as much by Obama and Clinton as by either Bush or Reagan.

    (I now await thumbs-downing from a certain amount of Democratic tribalists as well as GOP ones.)

    • genericcommenter - Aug 17, 2014 at 7:24 PM

      You are right- every president since Nixon, really. I remember when there was a lot of Hope that Obama would not use armed gangs to raid cancer patients. I feel like he’s been marginally better in a few ways but not substantively.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        I don’t think he’s been better at all. He’s gone very hard at the medical clubs here in California, far harder than even his predecessor, which is saying something.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2014 at 8:52 PM

      Just to nitpick on the history here, the first SWAT departments in the US pre-date the “war on drugs.” The first was established in LA and used against the Black Panthers and the Hispanic/Latino farmworkers who went on strike. It is connected to the police actions in the south during the civil rights movement and subsequent race/police riots. It has its roots in racism/civil rights struggles. The war on drugs just expanded the net to include white folks as well (to a lesser degree). Also, Missouri was a slave state and has a history of oppressing minority groups (see the Mormon War). The context for this is much bigger than the war on drugs.

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 17, 2014 at 9:07 PM

        True that on first SWAT teams, but … it’s accelerated since the ramp-up of the War on Drugs.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2014 at 9:12 PM

        9/11 had a hand in it as well. The war on drugs is about as old as I am, but a lot of this equipment has only been on the streets a much shorter time — there weren’t all these tanks and whatnot when I was younger. The fear of black and brown people remains a huge motivation in government spending on military equipment.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:24 AM

      I agree that the WoD is partially responsible for the incredibly large amount of military hardware that American police forces carry, but for different reasons. And I’d also argue that our gun culture bears a significant share of the responsibility. I’ll leave education and opportunity inequality out of it for now.

      The WoD is what creates wealth for gangs, and unaffiliated dealers as well, and the ready availability of low-cost automatic weapons on the streets makes law enforcement an incredibly dangerous job. Patrol officers are heavily outgunned out there and they know it. A department issue revolver and a shotgun (at best) are precious little firepower against someone with a TEC-9.

  11. dcbear90 - Aug 17, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Matheny’s solution is to send Rosenthal in to save the day.

  12. bmoreballers - Aug 17, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    You’re what’s wrong with America

    • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2014 at 9:21 PM

      Why are you fussing at that mirror?

  13. jre80 - Aug 17, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    Always about race. If I were a cop and anyone/any race tried to assault and take my gun from me I’d do WHATEVER it took to defend myself. Bad deal either way. The looting BS doesn’t help.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Aug 17, 2014 at 7:38 PM

      The looting BS doesn’t help.

      Looting happens all the time, and it’s completely irrelevant. Does it matter that private citizens also barricaded these same businesses to prevent looting?

      If I were a cop and anyone/any race tried to assault and take my gun from me I’d do WHATEVER it took to defend myself.

      Including chasing down an unarmed individual and shooting him multiple times? Hope you don’t have a gun…

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        Looting isn’t irrelevant at all. I have no idea what happened with the shooting and I don’t want to take sides either way because I don’t have enough facts, but whether or not you think the shooting was justified, looting is the absolutely wrong reaction to it. In fact, if he indeed was murdered unprovoked, then it is, in my opinion, even worse to loot. How is reacting to violence with more violence going to solve anything?

    • genericcommenter - Aug 17, 2014 at 7:43 PM

      It’s not about race but it is. It’s about class and the cop vs. “civilian” and state vs. individual, too. I saw an article floating around earlier that was written by a white male veteran whose blond, blue-eyed 21 year-old unarmed son was executed by the police. Of course the police exonerated themselves. I don’t know if the shooter got a medal, but they usually do. I remember a few years back a Virginia (I think) officer got a medal for killing a guy for betting on football. And there have been several police who raided the wrong house and killed someone and got a medal for their bravery.

      The problem is, human beings should be supporting their fellow humans, not by race. People who want to divide and conquer love to use this stuff. I’m sure some people are having a blast watching this devolve into a race thing. Because it’s a great diversion and keeps people from seeing the real issues.

      If I’m not clear.. you can also apply this to economics or any issue.. For example, there’s really no reason that poor white people should support rich white people on policies related to poor black people, but they do..because they’d rather support non-realistic hyperbole than let “that other guy get something.” And class isn’t just about money. You could say there is a political class and a non-political class. A corporate class and a working class- lots of splits. The big picture is usually about much more than race or income.

      There is no reason for white people to support a white cop over a black shooting victim. There is no reason for white people to support to state over citizens. Personally, I know people who ARE cops and sons of cops who don’t support the cop in this situation. I also know of cops who have lost their jobs when they didn’t support murderers.

      This isn’t about race. It’s about one guy with a gun who has been pretty much granted the right to murder with impunity because of his job title. And then another guy who was shot and killed. That guy’s dead. He was a human being. But because of his race, millions of white people think that being black and not being a flawless upstanding citizen should be a death sentence? What if that was your son or daughter? You are going to support the armed guy who killed- because the other guy maybe stole some cigars or was rude?

      I don’t support rioting but to paraphrase something I saw somebody write “Maybe they riot because they’ve been told over and over that consumer goods are worth more than the lives of their fellow human beings?” .. I’m a peaceful guy and I don’t believe in making collateral damage out of the property of innocent bystanders… but man, I’d be pretty upset if someone killed a family member of loved one, and I might rage a little bit- especially when there is no accountability or answers. I’d probably punch my own walls in or something… but it’s not hard to understand where to that anger could be directed.

      • American of African Descent - Aug 17, 2014 at 8:27 PM

        This may be one of the most coherently written posts on the topic. Bravo.

      • genericcommenter - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:56 AM

        Thank you. Frankly, I’m surprised I didn’t come back to find 30-40 thumbs down.

      • genericcommenter - Aug 18, 2014 at 3:06 AM

        Of course, it has been all thumbs down since then. I’m glad some others had positive feedback.

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 17, 2014 at 10:00 PM

        Good new book on this subject: “Place not Race.”

      • genericcommenter - Aug 18, 2014 at 3:07 AM

        Thanks for sharing. That could be useful info for the book learnin’ and readin’ folks around here.

  14. sfm073 - Aug 17, 2014 at 8:11 PM

    As someone who lives in and knows a bunch of cops, this is going to turnout to be a justified shooting. The witness has already changed his story and he’ll be a very unreliable witness in court. Get over your white guilt people.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2014 at 8:55 PM

      How do you “live in” a bunch of cops?

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      I don’t mean this as a statement on whether or not he murdered him or was in self-defense, but yeah, there’s really no way he is found guilty of anything. There was an actual video of cops mercilessly beating Kelly Thomas to death, and they were still found not guilty. As far as I’m aware of, there’s no video of this situation.

    • clemente2 - Aug 18, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      You act like the shooting being found ‘justified’ means anything. We have had 50 years of justified shootings—no one believes it anymore, and that you think it proves anything indicates you gave up thinking long ago. Of course, it will be found to be justified. And you wonder why people riot? Because they know no matter what the cop does, the cop will be ‘justified’, except in a few cases where it is all filmed with no ability to spin it. That is exactly the issue now.

      The local police force has already engaged in its spin on how it is OK, such as releasing the store video, an irrelevant issue for the shooting.

      So thank you, thoughtless minion of the police state, we know the routine, you can back to the hole in the ground where you stick your head, and just hope this does not happen to someone near and dear to you.

  15. chill1184 - Aug 17, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    Until government thugs (or alternative term coproachs) are held accountable (along with corrupt judges and scumbag prosecutors) things aren’t going to change. The government monopoly on force must end, government street thugs and their badge licking law and order supporters cannot be reformed. They must be replaced with free market security because in a free market they would be held accountable.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2014 at 8:58 PM

      I thumbed you down for the “free market security” business. There are some things in this world more important than money — and your life is one. Your security should in no way be depended on market factors or ability to pay. If that was not your meaning, please clarify.

      • chill1184 - Aug 17, 2014 at 9:10 PM

        The advantage of free market security over government monopoly is accountability and cost. A free market peace officer would have no use for military grade hardware to protect people’s rights, they wouldn’t be suspended with pay most likely be fired.

        Plus there would be competition, so if one agency is flat out abusing the rights of people (whether said people are customers of the agency regardless) they will lose customers to other agencies who aren’t abusing people’s rights.

        This video also gives somewhat of explanation

      • chill1184 - Aug 17, 2014 at 9:11 PM

        Heres the video

      • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2014 at 9:18 PM

        I think you are incredibly naive.

    • SocraticGadfly - Aug 17, 2014 at 9:10 PM

      The free market, in things like private prisons, is even more thuggish than the government. By far.


      • chill1184 - Aug 17, 2014 at 9:11 PM

        Private prisons arent free market, thats crony capitalism perhaps you should get a club.

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 17, 2014 at 9:39 PM

        I’m not even going to be kind enough to call you “incredibly naive,” Chill.

        Rather, you’re incredibly dissimulating.

        That’s the answer you folks who believe in perfect libertarian worlds always give when the reality of Big Biz hits the road is “crony capitalism.”

        Since libertarianism is based on raw greed, crony capitalism is the normal end result, actually. That includes cutting corners, races to the bottom, etc.

      • dcarroll73 - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:59 AM

        Soc, I think you have the right understanding that crony capitalism is the unavoidable result of a greed-based society in which our government is for sale to the highest bidder and our supposedly conservative Supreme Court throws out a hundred years of precedent to say that it is OK fine. I wish someone would suggest to me any possible way inside the system by which this could be reversed. Unfortunately I see none, and I believe that is exactly the real reason for the militarization of law enforcement. The people who have bought our government want to make darn sure that there is no way that Americans can get any silly notions like the spirit of ’76.

    • clemente2 - Aug 18, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      The free market would result in security for the payors. And a decision making approach of acceptable loss. The standard we apply to government is higher, and for good reasons. We want each individual treated as an individual with full rights, not a variable in a loss calculation algorthim.

      The ‘libertarian’ approach to many market regulation issues fails on this ground. We do not want the ability to sue for a dead child because of an improper drug. The harm is already done. We want the government setting rules that try to result in no dead children. (Don’t talk to me about the practice—talking about the structure now). If you want to see what a ‘free market’ society looks like, read about the Gilded Age and the resulting Progressive Movement. People were treated horribly, and all the private market pressures were ineffective to alter the wealthy’s abuse. Your problem now is not too much government, it is too little.

  16. CyclePower - Aug 18, 2014 at 1:57 AM

    I just scrolled through the comments. That’s several minutes of my life that I’m never going to get back.

    …a lot of divisiveness and ugliness

    • clemente2 - Aug 18, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      Because instead of society taking a real look at the whole problem–reace issues, class issues of all sorts, policing methods, etc.), many people decide those who are engaged in it are divisive and ugly. People ar being shot and killed regualrly on the streets by cops with alot of questions about it. It is ugly. Maybe instead of hiding, you should be outraged and get involved in the discussion.

  17. brewcrewchamps - Aug 18, 2014 at 3:08 AM

    You know, this isn’t even about race. Or shouldn’t be at least. Media tends to do that.

    This is still a big story read as “Unarmed teen shot by military-equipped officer”

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:31 AM

      Of course it’s about race. When’s the last time you heard about cops killing an unarmed white kid? When people were protesting the gov’t’s intervention at the Bundy Ranch, did they fire tear gas at the protesters (armed protesters btw)?

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:02 AM

        You don’t (or won’t) hear about it Church. That doesn’t sell papers. It doesn’t make “Inside Edition” or any other prime time made for tv rag. It just doesn’t sensationalize well.
        Regardless of anyone agreeing with me or wanting to be honest with themselves, that is essentially where we are.
        What happened is truly unfortunate. It is a sad situation to be sure. There is blame to be found on both sides of this particular issue.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:06 AM

        Say: it’s *also* about race. It’s not only about race. Cops kill white people too.

        And, ask champs why it bothers him that we are discussing the racial aspect.

      • spudchukar - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:48 AM

        This is where I went to high school. So it is especially troubling to me. Anyone who suggests that race isn’t an over-riding element in this tragedy has his head in the sand. Comments that mention either the rioting or robbery as justification for the execution of the unarmed 18 year old are ignorant, uninformed, and ad hoc.

        The police officer who shot Michael Brown did not know about the half hour earlier “Swisher Sweet” theft. So that information is irrelevant, and was released merely to deflect attention from the shooting.

        Looting isn’t cool, and while it doesn’t reflect well on the protesters it has been sporadic, minimal, and often perpetrated by outsiders. Plus it post incident. And is simply an unfortunate event whose origins lie in response to shooting, and years of a corrupt, misguided, and antiquated police force.

        A young, college bound African American youth, was unnecessarily gunned down by an over zealous officer. No other compelling information changes this scenario. The protesters and family only seek justice. Nothing short of arrest and legitimate prosecution of the shooter will quell those on the streets. And they have the right to assemble and demand that action. All other opinions, biases and justifications offer nothing to change the facts that yet another young black man was taken from his friends and family for no reason other than the color of his skin.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        “When’s the last time you heard about cops killing an unarmed white kid?”

        Kelly Thomas

  18. wannabeGM - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:30 AM

    Reblogged this on stlcardinalsminimo and commented:
    should miller be in the bullpen?

  19. stlouis1baseball - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    I agree wholeheartedly with Cyclepower on this one.
    A huge amount of naive, miss-guided comments from both angles. The ugliness is disapointing.

  20. jm91rs - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    My 2 cents (worth far less than 2 cents to most of you)…the officer involved will get his trial and as most common sense people believe, he will be found guilty of something. Facts will also show that Michael Brown was an idiot and had in fact just committed robbery, which I think is important in looking at his state of mind when an officer approaches him. An over aggressive cop plus a guy that tussles with police is a recipe for disaster. What most people will fail to see is that both of them were in the wrong and it’s not as black and white as cops killing black men or black folks hating whitey. Peaceful protests are fantastic, a small minority of people using those protests to loot is what I find most sickening. As a business owner, my whole life is in my office and warehouse. If people looted I think id paint a big sign warning that trespassers will be shot and id be inside with a gun. I have no respect for people that use a tragedy as an excuse to hurt others. While the police department has pretty much written the book on how not to handle an incident like this one, to justify looting based on the fact that the police have heavy equipment is wrong. It’s time to stop blaming others and hold people accountable for their actions.

    • jm91rs - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      I guess my point can be summed up far more succinctly in 2 points. 1-Always do what a police officer tells you, provided he’s not violating your rights, and sometimes even if he is. Police have a lot of power, and certain police officers believe they have even more power. Fight the system if you are wronged, but don’t fight the officer because 8 times out of 10 you’ll be headed to the hospital or morgue. 2- If you’re a looter, you are posing a threat to anyone in that place of business, and in most states if you pose a physical threat to someone, they can shoot you. You have no right to the property of others, and you are severely hurting our cause when you riot in the name of racial equality.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:00 PM

      Actually, what Michael Brown did or did not do will not be examined because it is irrelevant to the shooting. It does not pertain the the trial of the officer who shot him. It’s lovely and naive of you to believe that cops are always found guilty when they shoot people. It, unfortunately, is not true. Anything that happened after the fact was a direct result of the officer using unnecessary force and violating that young man’s rights. FYI, I wouldn’t recommend that you would hide out in your place of business with a gun in such a situation, and nothing you own is as valuable as anyone’s life. The level of looting here does not in anyway justify the response — and has nothing to do with the police threatening to shoot reporters or arresting them for doing their jobs or tear gassing protestors. With all due respect, the problem with our country is that we value things over people. The fact that you would be more upset about looting than the many, many violations the police have committed here (and not just against Michael Brown) is disturbing. And demonstrates that you have never had a family member shot to death by the police.

      • jm91rs - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        Where to start…What Michael brown did is irrelevant to the facts of the case, but cannot be ignored. It is very relevant for people looking to learn from the case and apply it to decisions they make. I’ll tell my children again that they are far less likely to be shot by a police officer if they simply obey their commands (and don’t rob stores). If you believe, as I do, that just being black is reason enough to get stopped by an oficer at some point, then I need to teach my kids how to handle themselves when that happens to them. I wish I could change racial bias, but all that I have the power to do is control my children’s response to that bias.

        My assumption that he will be found guilty is based on the facts that I know about this case and has nothing to do with “police always being found guilty.” It’s case by case, and I’m from Cincinnati so I remember a little something about riots and cops getting away with murder. I have not yet lost faith in the system and I believe the trial will be as unbiased as possible with the eyes of the nation being on this case.

        If the police do nothing to stop this looting, people are going to be shot while they steal bread and beer from stores. It’s going to happen, I’m surprised it hasn’t yet. As far as valuing my livelihood and ability to provide for my family over the life of someone that wishes to take it from me, that is my right and I’ll never feel bad about that. Looting in any level is a disgusting act. People stealing just to steal, destroying just to destroy. As someone that works damn hard, I can’t respect that.

        And no, I’ve never had a family member shot to death by the police. For anyone to lump one shooting incident involving a police officer in with another officer involved shooting is no different in my mind than putting Michael Brown into the “black gangster” category that many seem to be doing. The decisions people make and the situations they put themselves in are unique and deserve to be studied individually.

        This small town police force has done just about everything wrong that they could do. They will have to answer to state agencies about their actions, and you can be sure that some people will lose their jobs over this, but there is absolutely nothing to justify looting. Lessons will be learned and police all over the country will get better at responses to this type of thing, but the mob mentality will prevail and looting will rear its ugly head again.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 18, 2014 at 1:53 PM

        I repeat: there is no point in analyzing what Brown allegedly did because it had NO bearing on what happened to him. He in no way invited this cop to kill him even if he did steal something. It is correct that you should warn your children about handling a police stop, but that won’t necessarily save them from being killed. The thing that will do that is restraint on the part of the police.

        Looting is nothing. It in no way warrants a massive police presence or the national guard coming out. I promise you that neither Wal Mart nor QT are going broke here. If you think the local police answer to the state, btw, maybe you don’t understand how it works. State and local governments are separate. Mayors and police chiefs do not work for the governor or state reps. I doubt seriously lessons will be learned here — or they would’ve been learned long ago (like maybe after the police riot in ’68). The behavior of the authorities here gives me no confidence that they will learn anything from this (otherwise, they wouldn’t be escalating the situation again). Also, patterns of police violence are very useful in making assessments. That’s how one does such things (ex racial profiling assessments, determinations on disparate sentences, etc). Keeping things narrowly reviewed to individual instances is a trick white people have used consistently to resist acknowledging racial issues.

      • jm91rs - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        My understanding is that the state attorney general is in charge of local law enforcement at some level, at least here in Ohio. We’ve had entire department disbanded for different issues, and Attorney General Mike Dewine is the one that handles that.

        What Brown did AT THAT STOP is important, don’t act like it has no bearing. It will not justify his killing, but it did lead to it.

        I’m not a white person, so I’m going to go ahead and disagree with your comment that viewing an instance on its own is a trick white people use. In fact, I find it a very useful way to remind white people that we’re not all out there committing crimes.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        You don’t know what happened at that stop. You are assuming he might have done something at that stop, but you really don’t have reason to go there at this point (unless you believe the self-serving suggestions of the police — and they do not deserve the benefit of the doubt on this). I doubt very seriously that anyone believes that the cop was just trying to calm a randomly angry Brown down. History has demonstrated that officers often act violently and escalate situations even when not provoked.

        I figured already that you weren’t white from a previous response, but that does not mean that white people do not compartmentalize in order to get away with things. I wasn’t accusing you of being a white person who does that. I was saying that there’s a reason that looking at patterns is important. I was a civil rights investigator for 7 years — that’s what you do. The fact that you need to remind white people that you’re not all out there committing crimes is the problem.

  21. kalinedrive - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    I don’t think the main story is about Mike Brown and the cop who shot him any more. It is now about how law enforcement handles protests. When you see people sitting or standing together peacefully protesting and then cops come in with riot gear and start pepper spraying and shooting tear gas into the crowds, you should feel violated. Even if you’re not the one being gassed or beaten or arrested, you can see that rights are being violated by the very people who are supposed to uphold and defend them. The police should be stopping looters and violent protesters, not attacking peaceful demonstrators just because they don’t know what to do when people congregate together.

    This is not the way we are supposed to handle protesters in this country, but it has become accepted as normal and necessary to “maintain order.” It happened with Occupy Wall Street, and it happens almost every time there is a demonstration in the streets. Police use excessive force, cause harm to innocent people, and arrest people for nothing more than being in their way when they decide to make a power move to disperse a crowd. We should be asking more questions about when and why they need to disperse a crowd at all.

    • jm91rs - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      You’re correct here. Sadly, the police force handled this very poorly and it takes examples like this for law enforcement agencies to figure out how to best handle situations. After 9/11 local agencies got a lot better at potential terrorism responses, hopefully after this debacle they will get better at response to protests. I can imagine the tension though when a thousand people are staring at a hundred officers, each side convinced that the other is ready to strike. Figuring out a way for better dialog would be the answer, but it would take strong leaders on both sides. Sadly even then there’s always going to be a small element of people that simply want violence for violence’s sake. The police response is one of many errors to the handling of this probable murder, but I still can’t understand why people imply that the looters are looting because of the excessive force.

      • clemente2 - Aug 18, 2014 at 3:33 PM

        I do not think anyone has implied that. People are upset, want to protest, and will disobey orders from the police or the state to not protest.

        You find looting always wrong, and because you cannot fathom it, think the ones doing it are just criminals with no reason. You just identified yourself as a person of privilege. You say, when confronted by the police, “just do what they say, we can handle any problem later’. For persons of privilege, that is understandable and likely a proper reaction. Your experience in this society has been generally positive, and you can use the procedures provided to get redress.

        What if that is not your experience? What if you do not have the capital to hire lawyers? What if you are not listened to by any government authority, and when you do protest are ignored or told to stop it? What if your daily experience is that cops can do what they want, even shoot you, and nothing will happen? (Your comment that there will be a fair trial and the officer punished is laughable–even if it did occur in this case due to federal intervention and the national outrage, it has not occurred in literally millions of cases of police abuse over the last 50 years.) What if, as the crime statistics from Ferguson indicate, blacks with contraband are arrested at many times the rate whites with contrband are? That blacks are arrested for traffic stops at many times the rate whites at traffic stops are?

        What is remarkable to me is not the occassional looting—it is that the streets of every city with a notable poor black population is not in riot every day. (You know who said this?–Richard Nixon.) Those of us privileged enough to say with easy assurrance “just do what the cops say, even if it is wrong” and “there is never a reason for looting” are the ones who are wrong. It does not make sense in the world lived in by the protesters and looters.

        See “Do the Right Thing” by Spike Jones, who explores some of these issues. And do not think this is so easy. Following the rules makes sense for those helped by and protected by the rules. Not so for those against whom the rules are used. You can read the Declaration of Independence on that point.

      • clemente2 - Aug 18, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        Too upset by this—Spike Lee. Though a version by Spike Jones would be interesting.

      • jm91rs - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        There is never a reason for looting. All of your points are correct except for that one. If these people are stealing bread because they are hungry that’s one thing, but they’re stealing bread because everyone else is stealing bread, they’re knocking things over just because everyone else knocking things over. I don’t pretend to know the sufferings of all of my brothers, but I do know that throughout my life I’ve been able to make the decisions with a constant thought towards what is right and what is wrong. I can’t fathom being in a position where I thought the best course of action for myself and others was to burn something to the ground or steal from a hard working business man or woman (I’m talking about the meat shop owners, the quickie store guys, not Wal-mart).

      • clemente2 - Aug 20, 2014 at 7:01 PM

        Awesome post.

      • clemente2 - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:04 PM

        This, too.

  22. bobwheel - Aug 19, 2014 at 12:30 PM


    “Looting is nothing.”

    You have lost all credibility with that statement. Try telling the sole proprietor of a small business who has her or his entire life savings invested in it, that looting is nothing. How would you feel if it was your business that was hit?

    The shooting of Michael Brown is a tragedy, and the officer involved must be held accountable for his actions. All sides need to show restraint.

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