Let Justice Prevail

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Things we know and do not know about Ferguson, Missouri:

1.  We do know that a young man was shot and killed on a street in Ferguson.
2.  We do not know what led up to that shooting or the states of mind of both the police officer or the young man.
3.  We do know that there are people who have stepped forward to be interviewed by the press alleging that the police officer shot the young man while the young man had his hands up in the air.
4.  We do know that none of these “witnesses” have given their testimony under oath or to a law enforcement officer.
5. We do know that the overwhelming majority of the protesters in Ferguson are peaceful and want justice done.
6.  We do know that a small minority of the people on the street are taking advantage of the overwhelming majority to commit acts of terrorism and other crimes like property damage.
7.  We do know that the local police in Ferguson over reacted in the wake of the shooting by deploying a militarized response.
8.  We may know that the young man may have had a history of anger reactions (his parents have averred to this) and may have been involved in a robbery minutes before the encounter with the police officer.
9.   We do know that the local police in Ferguson needs serious empathy training.
10. We do know that the police chief in Ferguson has no sense of doing what is right with respect to investigations and public relations.
11.  We do know that Captain Ron Johnson of the State Police is doing a great job calming people down so that peaceful demonstrations can be had and their voices heard.
12.  We do know that all the facts have not come out about this tragic event.

AS ARMCHAIR JURISTS, WE NEED TO REMAIN CALM AND LET JUSTICE TAKE ITS COURSE. WE DO NOT NEED TO RANT ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN FERGUSON OR WHETHER THE POLICE OFFICER WAS OR WAS NOT JUSTIFIED IN SHOOTING MIKE BROWN.

We owe this to Michael Brown, his family, the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri, and ….. to Darren Wilson.

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Why Does Waterloo, Iowa, Need An Urban Assault Vehicle?

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In the wake of the attack on America on September 11, 2001, many initiatives were started to prevent this from happening again.  The most sweeping legislation was the consolidation of many Federal agencies into the Department of Homeland Security.  With it, billions of dollars were spent to “harden” our country’s civil defenses against a repeat of the horrors of that day.

As with any similar legislation, state and local politicians demanded that their communities be fully protected as metropolitan areas like New York City, Washington, D.C., and other major urban centers.  Pork barrel politics quickly turned into a dilutions of these urgently needed funds to fully protect areas that simply just weren’t targets by any stretch of the imagination.

Waterloo, Iowa, is located in the American heartland with a population of just under 69,000.  It received Homeland Security money and applied it to arming up against the eventual terrorist attack.  This article is not meant to single out Waterloo, but to focus on whether Homeland Security money is being well-spent and on the effects of that largess on small town police departments.

National focus on the police response in Ferguson, Missouri, is belatedly addressing the increasingly militaristic evolution of police department, large and small.  This is something that we must urgently address in our national conversation, before we are faced with a real life dystopia.

Do we want even ordinary investigation to become heavy handed urban assaults, even when the putative targets are innocent grandmothers and children?

The problem is that when a local police force obtains Homeland Security largess, it becomes necessary to demonstrate those dollars are being put to good use.  Unfortunately, not all communities are the targets of terrorists foreign or domestic so they will use these skills for situations that might have otherwise called for a more modest approach.

I posted last year about how SWAT teams were used to defuse a situation with a 107 year-old malcontent.  Read the post here.

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The New Three Rs

The New Three Rs

Thanks to a misguided interpretation of the Second Amendment, our school children have to learn a different set of the Three Rs.

Enough is Enough.

All of us need to take back the streets from idiots who think or would like to think that they are living in the middle of Iraq or some similar dystopian world.

Responsible gun ownership requires responsible gun control.