Police have violated protesters’ constitutional rights by forcing them to keep moving or risk arrest so U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry issued a preliminary injunction against officers to prevent them from enforcing the tactic dubbed as the “five-second rule,” used to target people standing still, ‘walking too slowly,’ or ‘walking back and forth in the same area’. By targeting peaceful individuals and small groups there is no doubt people were ordered to keep moving in situations which could never have been covered by the refusal-to-disperse law.”
But yet the St Louis County police have gone on a military equipment spending spree and the Mayor of Ferguson Missouri said “our goal is to keep all of our citizens and their homes and businesses safe, including those who are in neighborhoods that are nowhere near where the protests end up being concentrated.”
However the Ferguson Police Department’s recent outrageous purchases includes $25,000 for 650 tear gas grenades; “$18,000 on 1,500 ‘beanbag rounds’ and 6,000 pepper balls”; $77,500 for police riot outfits; and $2,300 for plastic handcuffs. Just how in the hell do they come to the conclusion spending in excess of $200,000 on police gear is protecting the public when it’s the public who they intend to use it on? Missouri officials fail to acknowledge the longstanding crisis of violent policing rampant across the area. It’s not civilians clad in riot gear, firing rubber-coated bullets, launching flash grenades and perched on top of armored trucks with military style rifles, making unjust arrests and leaving hundreds injured; it’s law enforcement.
When Gov. Jay Nixon was asked: “Does the buck ultimately stop with you” in terms of keeping Missourians safe post-indictment decision and the manner in which the State of Emergency Declaration is carried out. Here is how Nixon answered:
“We’re, um, you know, it uh, it uh, you know, our goal here is to, is to, you know, keep the peace and allow folks’ voices to, uh, uh, to be heard. Um, and in that balance, I’m attempting, you know I am, using the resources we have to marshal to be predictable, uh, for both those pillars. I, I don’t, I’m more, (pause) I, I have to say I don’t spend a tremendous amount of time personalizing this vis-a-vis me. I’m trying to make sure that, uh, um, that, that we move forward in a predictable, peaceful manner that plans for all contingencies that might occur so that people of a disparate group of opinions and actions can, can be heard while at the same time the property and, and persons, personal, persons of people in the St. Louis region are protected.”
The authorities are sending a two part message, loud and clear.
First, let the justice system decide the fate of Officer Darren Wilson. But second, find anyone who wants justice for Mike Brown guilty in advance of committing violent protest.