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Posts tagged "Crime"


Image The Associated Press.Aliana Tsarnaeva, sister of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, listens during a hearing in South Boston District Court Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Boston. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. )

Ailina Tsarnaeva, the sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, surrendered to police on Wednesday.

According to The New York Post, the 23-year-old Tsarnaeva turned herself in at a Manhattan police precinct for allegedly threatening her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend

"I know people who can put a bomb on you,” Tsarnaeva allegedly said. 

She was charged with making a phone threat and aggravated harassment, according to the paper. Tsarnaeva’s boyfriend, George Briones, is currently in the midst of a legal battle with his ex-girlfriend for custody of their children. The woman, who has not been named, reportedly alerted authorities after Tsarnaeva called her home in Harlem, New York on Wednesday.

Tsarnaeva lives with her sister, Bella Tsarnaeva in North Bergen, New Jersey, just outside of Manhattan, the Associated Press reported.

Her parents, who are originally from Chechnya, now live in Dagestan. Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the children’s mother, has maintained her sons’ innocence. Tamerlan, 26, was killed in a shootout with police just days after the bombing and Dzhokhar, 21, is currently awaiting trial in prison in Devens, Massachusetts.

Source; David Ludwig for The Wire


The surveillance tapes supposedly shows Michael Brown “robbing” a Ferguson convenience store market. But in spite of the fact that the “robbery” was carried out without the brandishing of a weapon, and in spite of the fact that this was really more a case of petty theft shoplifting, this Friday, for the first time, the owners of the store have said that they never said they believed Michael Brown was the individual who stole the item from their store.

In fact, while the owners are speaking out through an attorney about the surveillance video, the mainstream, corporate media are largely ignoring everything they said, pretending that this video definitively identifies Michael Brown as the strong arm shoplifter.

The owners claim that this is a claim the police have come up with on their own.

Through their attorney, the owner of the store also even dispute the claim that they or an employee called 911. They say that a customer inside the store made the call. This is pretty strange if this was indeed a “robbery”.

As well, in addition to clarifying that they never said they believed, nor identified the suspect with Michael Brown, they claimed that the St. Louis County issued the warrants for the hard drive of surveillance video Friday, based on the police claiming that Brown fit the description of the person in the video… the person who the owners and employees of the store were not even going to call the police on. Again, the owner clarifies that neither the management, nor any employee ever identified Brown as the suspect in that video.

They simply never said they believed that, this was a claim made by the police alone. So the real question is why the media has been taking the word of the police on this matter, even over the word of the eye witnesses and the store owner?


Fox Nation has as its top story the “questions swirling” over a surveillance video purportedly showing Michael Brown committing a robbery shortly before he was stopped and killed by the police. Fox Nation’s headline states that the robbery was “not related” to the subsequent police stop – and, therefore, his killing. But Fox Nation readers don’t need no stinkin’ facts to “know” that it proves Brown deserved to die. Warning: disturbing language to follow.

Of course, Fox Nation highlighted the robbery and grainy photos from the surveillance video in its post:


And the readers responded like Pavlov’s dogs:











Ellen at


Where’s The Michael Brown Murder Incident Report? [TW: Racism, Ethnocentrism, White Privilege, Police Violence, Police Brutality]

Reporters in Ferguson, Mo. today got their hands on an interesting document, presumably leaked by the town’s police: An incident report from Aug. 9, implicating Michael Brown in the petty theft of some Swisher Sweet cigars from a local convenience store.

Evidently this crime made Brown, 18, a fugitive in the small town, and the force had its radar out for the young man when two officers came across him and a friend walking the streets of Ferguson that same day. We all know what happened next: A brief confrontation ended with Brown’s dead body lying prostrate in the middle of a street for four hours.

The incident report, leaked after days of civil unrest in the town and shortly after Thomas Jackson, Ferguson’s police chief, revealed the name of the officer who shot and killed Brown, would appear to shed light on the events that led to Brown’s death, and cast the police in a more forgiving manner. “See, we’re not so bad!” Its revelation says. “We were hunting a bad guy. He stole. Our work is justified.”

But petty theft should never end in death. And the murderer in this case, Darren Wilson, remains protected by the police. Where’s the report of his actions on Aug. 9? Jackson has thus far only given scant details about what happened between Brown and Wilson, reasoning that anything more could prejudice witness testimony.

But the well is already poisoned. Michael Brown is dead. The solution, when a community is in crisis, is always more information, fewer obfuscations. More facts, less one-sided bullshit. But those answers seem a long time in coming. Robert McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney, has said that a full investigation into the matter could take months. “The timeline on this is that there is no timeline.”

And that lack of urgency, the absence of truth, lets the narrative set in. As Marc Lamont Hill put it on Twitter: “There is a longstanding tradition of demonizing victims in this country. This unarmed teenager was killed by police. That’s what matters… They wanted you to believe that Trayvon was a bad kid, Eric Garner was a criminal, Renisha McBride was a thief. This is the pattern.”

To the police, these people are the enemies. And their deaths, in the end, are just incidents.

"It is worth mentioning that this incident is related to another incident under Ferguson Police Report #2014-12391 as well as St. Louis County Police Report #2014-43984. In that incident, Brown was fatally wounded involving an officer of this department.”

Where's The Incident Report From Michael Brown's Killing?

[Image by Jim Cooke, photo by AP]

Source: Leah Finnegan for Gawker


  1. Police have not alleged that Officer Darren Wilson attempted to question Michael Brown for the robbery.
  2. Brown didn’t match the description, anyway.

Here’s the REAL facts about a picture going around on social media that a picture that is being misattributed to slander Mike Brown, who recently died in Ferguson in an unjust manner: the picture on the left is Jodah Cain, NOT Michael Brown. 


To skip to updates from Wednesday, August 13, click here.

To skip to updates about the investigation into the killing of Michael Brown, click here.

To skip to certain sections, click the links below:
1) What we know about Michael Brown
2) What we know about the shooting
3) What’s in dispute about the shooting
4) What we know about the first weekend’s protests
5) What’s in dispute about the first weekend’s protests
6) What we know about the unrest on Sunday, August 10
7) Continued protests — and police dispersals — on Monday, August 11
8) Continued tensions on Tuesday, August 12
9) Arrests and police aggression on Wednesday, August 13
10) "Reframing" the chain of command on Thursday, August 14
11) Some of the context for community anger in Ferguson
12) What we know about the investigation into Brown’s shooting
13) Efforts to rebuild race and community relations in Ferguson


On August 9, Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was killed by a police officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Eyewitnesses to the shooting report that Brown was killed while attempting to surrender, but police say that Brown assaulted the officer before the shooting.

The incident provoked immediate anger and frustration in the community and around the country. The killing of Eric Garner, also an unarmed black man, by New York City police last month revived a public conversation about the history of police violence against black men, and the killing of Brown has inflamed it.

Protests began in the neighborhood immediately after Brown was shot, and continued throughout the weekend. On Sunday night, Ferguson erupted into civil unrest, withreports of looting, arson, and gunshots.

Here’s what’s known, what’s being disputed, and what happens next.

What we know about Michael Brown

— Brown was an 18-year-old student.

— He graduated from Normandy High School in St. Louis in the spring of 2014. He was scheduled to start classes at Vatterott College, a Missouri trade college, on Monday, August 11.

— On the day of his death, Brown was visiting his grandmother, Desuirea Harris, who lives in Ferguson, a working-class suburb of St. Louis.

What we know about the shooting

— Brown was shot multiple times and killed by a Ferguson police officer in the early afternoon of Saturday, August 9, outside an apartment complex.

— Brown was unarmed. All shell casings found at the scene were from the police officer’s gun.

— At least one shot was fired from the police car. Brown was killed while he was standing about 35 feet away from the car.

— The name of the police officer has not been released. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told reporters on Sunday morning that the officer had been in the Ferguson police department for six years, and that Belmar was not aware of any problems the officer had during that time.

What’s in dispute about the shooting

What happened before Brown was shot

— Multiple eyewitness accounts say that Brown was killed while attempting to surrender.

— Brown’s friend Dorian Johnson, who was with Brown at the time, says that the two of them were walking in the middle of the street when a police car approached, and the officer told them to get on the sidewalk.

— Eyewitness Piaget Crenshaw says that Johnson, Brown and the officer got into a verbal confrontation, and the officer attempted to put Brown in the police car. When Brown began to flee, with his hands in the air, she says, the officer got out of the car and started shooting at Brown. (Crenshaw has photos of the shooting, which have been turned over to the police.)

 Another eyewitness told the press that the officer was in his car when he started shooting at the boys. (At least one shot was fired from the police car.)

— Johnson says that he and Brown started running when they heard the first shot. He told local news station KMOV that the officer “shot again, and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air. He started to get down and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.”

— Meanwhile, St. Louis County police, who have been called in to investigate Brown’s death, say that Brown assaulted the officer before he was killed. St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar told reporters on Sunday that Brown shoved the officer back into the police car, “physically assaulted” him, and attempted to grab the officer’s gun. According to Belmar, the officer only began firing at Brown after the assault.

 According to Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson during a briefing on Wednesday, the officer who shot Johnson was injured during the encounter. One side of the officer’s face was swollen, Jackson said.

How many times Brown was shot

— On Sunday, Belmar told reporters that Brown was shot “more than just a couple [times], but I don’t think it was many more than that.”

— Johnson’s eyewitness account indicates that four shots were fired. Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, says she was told that Brown was shot eight times.

What we know about the first weekend’s protests

Saturday, August 9

— A crowd gathered at the scene soon after Brown was shot, and their protestextended through much of Saturday afternoon. A subsequent protest at the Ferguson Police Department headquarters happened Saturday evening. The number of demonstrators varied: a CNN report says that there were up to 1,000 protesters at the peak of the demonstrations, while other reports say there were about 200.

— Brown’s body was left at the scene for several hours after the shooting. Police said that they needed the time to conduct “due diligence,” saying that the crowd made it difficult for them to process evidence properly. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson later told reporters that he was “uncomfortable” with the amount of time the body had been in the street.

— Protesters held their hands in the air and chanted “Don’t shoot me,” “We are Michael Brown,” "No justice, no peace," and "Killer cops have got to go." Brown’s stepfather, Louis Head, held a sign that read "Ferguson police just executed my unarmed son!!!"

— During Saturday’s demonstration, around 2 p.m., a series of shots were fired in the area near the crime scene.

— More than 100 officers from 15 different police departments were called to the scene during Saturday’s protests.

Sunday, August 10

— On Sunday, August 10, nonviolent protests continued, but with a heavy police presence:

— One CNN video report, flagged by Colorlines, shows a police officer saying to protesters, “Bring it, you fucking animals! Bring it!” (at the 00:15 mark):

What’s in dispute about the first weekend’s protests

— Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson told reporters that Saturday’s protest at the crime scene “probably bordered on riot conditions.” Police say that the shots that were heard in the area during the protest were “warning shots” fired by protesters, and that protesters were heard shouting, “Kill the police.” According to the police, the purpose of the 60 reinforcements from other police departments was to protect public safety in a dangerous atmosphere.

— However, other accounts from Saturday’s protest don’t indicate that anyone shouted “kill the police,” and several eyewitnesses say that the police misheard or misinterpreted what protesters were shouting: “Killer cops have got to go” and “No justice, no peace.”

 There’s no confirmation as to the context of the gunshots fired during Saturday’s protest.

— Reports also differed about the tone of Sunday’s protests prior to the rioting. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said that protesters were “taunting” the police officers, but did not quote any protesters engaging in taunts.

What we know about the unrest on Sunday, August 10

— As protests continued on Sunday night, others in Ferguson began to engage in looting and violence. St. Louis alderman Antonio French has said on Twitter that looting began at a local QuikTrip convenience store. This was captured on video by the St. Louis Evening-Whirl:

The QuikTrip was later set on fire:

— Looting spread to the nearby neighborhood of Dellwood and continued late into the night on Sunday:

— Rumors surfaced of multiple shootings and that one man was severely beaten. But the Washington Post says no injuries were reported.

— A staff photographer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that when the looting began, there were no police at or around the QuikTrip. As looting continued, police helicopters moved into the area. A SWAT team moved in and used tear gas to disperse the looters.

— As of Thursday morning, the total amount of damage caused Sunday night hadn’t been calculated. The Ferguson Police Department told Los Angeles station KTLA that at least 20 police cars were damaged. Police did not tell the Washington Post how many people were arrested, but reports indicate “dozens” of arrests:

 Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told reporters on Wednesday that 32 people were arrested during the looting on Sunday.

— Monday, August 11, was supposed to be the first day of school for Jennings School District, one of the four school districts that cover Ferguson. Administrators canceled school out of fear for student safety.

— On Monday, August 11, a group of Ferguson residents got together to clean up the QuikTrip:

Continued protests — and police dispersals — on Monday, August 11

— After Sunday night’s unrest, a protest and rally scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday morning was canceled, and the mayor of Ferguson said that anyone who attempted to show up to the rally would be arrested.

 Regardless, people still turned up at police headquarters to protest. Police officers were there with riot gear:

 After about two hours, the police succeeded in getting the crowd to disperse and started making arrests:

— On Monday night, protests continued. Groups gathered in the street, raising their hands in surrender and chanting, “Don’t shoot.” It’s become the unofficial motto of the Ferguson protests.

 Police also attempted to disperse these protests, moving down W. Florissant, the main street in the neighborhood. This time, they used tear gas and explosives to clear crowds and fired rubber bullets. One report indicates that police cocked their rifles at protesters. Police told protesters to “go home,” but several residents protested that they were trapped in cul-de-sacs while the main road was closed off. Police also threatened press with arrest if they didn’t leave the scene.

— One family was standing in their backyard, which borders W. Florissant, while holding their hands up in protest. Police fired a tear gas canister at them, into the backyard:

 One resident was challenged by police when he put his hands up after stepping out of his car:

— The evening ended with a standoff between police and about two dozen residents who were trying to get home. Wesley Lowrey, a Washington Post reporter, was at the scene:

The final standoff came just before 11 p.m. Officers backed up their formation almost all the way to the housing complex where Brown was shot.

As they regrouped, the two dozen residents who remained outside approached with hands in the air.

"Can we go home? Do we need our hands up? Are you going to shoot us?"

The police, weapons at the ready, responded by telling them to stop asking questions and “just go home.”

Moments later, the cops pressed forward and cleared the street for good. As they passed, some remaining protesters threw rocks, and residents shouted from their windows: “This is our home. Leave us alone.”

 In all, police made several arrests on Monday. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told reporters on Wednesday that around eight people had been arrested for unlawful assembly over the course of the last several days of protests.

— Police said no injuries were reported, and on Wednesday, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said that “nobody got hurt” in the police response to protests. However,pictures circulated on social media of protesters with bruises and injuries from rubber and wooden bullets, and of one resident being loaded into an ambulance.

Continued tensions on Tuesday, August 12

— On Tuesday, August 12, the FAA issued a no-fly zone over Ferguson through Monday, August 18. The purpose of the no-fly zone, the agency said, is “to provide a safe haven for law enforcement activities” — i.e. to clear the airspace for police helicopters. On Wednesday, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told reporters that he did not know anything about the no-fly zone and had not requested it.

— On Tuesday evening, there was a brief standoff between protesters and police at the QuikTrip that had been looted on Sunday. Protesters became upset when police arrived in armored vehicles.

— Protesters amassed in downtown Ferguson again on Tuesday night. Police were again there in force, blocking streets to downtown, and reporters were again told they would be arrested if they didn’t leave. On Wednesday, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said that he didn’t know reporters had been threatened, and said, “No, I want free access.”

— Most protesters, however, made their way down the other end of W. Florissant to a church for an evening service at which Al Sharpton was scheduled to speak. A group of young residents continued to protest nonviolently outside the church — even removing someone who they were worried would agitate the crowd.

 Tuesday night’s protests were quiet and nonviolent for most of the evening.

 Around 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time, a crowd began to advance toward the bridge where police were holding a line to block traffic.

 Around 1 a.m. Central Time, St. Louis County police shot a man near Ferguson. Police say the man was pointing a gun at an officer. It is not clear whether the shooting was related to the protests. The man is in critical condition as of Wednesday morning.

Arrests and police aggression on Wednesday, August 13

— On Wednesday, August 13, the Ferguson Police Department released its first official statement since the shooting. The statement read, in part:

We only ask that any groups wishing to assemble in prayer or in protest do so only during daylight hours in an organized and respectful manner. We further ask all those wishing to demonstrate or assemble disperse well before the evening hours to ensure the safety of the participants and the safety of the community.

This statement didn’t set an official curfew, which would have justified arresting residents who were out after a certain hour. Instead, the police appeared to be hoping to set an unofficial, voluntary curfew.

Asked about the statement on Wednesday, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said that there was no curfew, and that protesters who remained out after dark would not be arrested “as long as they’re peaceful and not blocking the roads.”

— Late Wednesday afternoon, protesters blocked both lanes of West Florissant again. Police began making arrests quickly. A large SWAT team arrived to clear the protesters, as well as a tactical vehicle. Cops continued to push protesters back for several blocks. Those who did not move were detained.

 The situation was then calm until around 8:30 p.m. Central Time, when cops began attempting to push protesters back another 25 feet. Protesters threw bottles and rocks; police and reporters say that one protester threw a Molotov cocktail, and police also say one officer was hit with a brick and broke his ankle. In response, police almost immediately started firing tear gas at the crowd. After telling them that this was no longer a peaceful protest and ordering them to leave the area, police used sound cannons to disperse the crowd and fired tear gas canisters into the area — including into neighborhood backyards.

 One news crew had tear gas fired at them while they were setting up for a shoot:

 Earlier in the evening, two reporters, Ryan J. Reilly of the Huffington Post and Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post, were arrested in a McDonald’s after a SWAT team ordered residents to clear it out. Watch the arrest play out in this video:

 Other arrestees were treated even more harshly:

 In the first reported instance of violence by residents against someone other than a police officer, a man walking his dog was beaten up by a group of teens:

 Late in the evening, protesters lined up outside the Ferguson Police Station.

"Reframing" the chain of command on Thursday, August 14

 On Thursday, August 14, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon told voters he would be “reframing” the chain of command among police in Ferguson. The office of Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri confirmed that the St. Louis County Police Department, which had been in charge during Wednesday night’s protests, would be removed from Ferguson. The chief of the St. Louis city police department also announced that his department would not be participating in Ferguson on Thursday night:

— On Thursday afternoon, Governor Nixon formally announced that the Missouri Highway Patrol would be taking over police response to protesters in Ferguson. However, he said, the St. Louis County Police Department would remain in charge of the criminal investigation into Brown’s death.

— On midday Thursday, protesters in Ferguson went into Fire Department headquarters:

Some of the context for community anger

— There’s a history of police violence against young black men, and the shooting takes place at a time when this perennial topic was already being widely discussed. New Yorker Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, was killed in July after police put him in a chokehold by police. The incident, which was caught on video, caused an outcry against the New York Police Department — especially after Garner’s death was officially ruled a homicide. Mayor Bill de Blasio eventually agreed to a review of the department’s training procedures.

— The frustration and anger in Ferguson likely goes beyond the killing of Brown. Ferguson is like many cities in America: police disproportionately stop and arrest black residents. While 67 percent of Ferguson is black, 86 percent of all traffic stops and 92 percent of all arrests are of black residents, according to state report on racial profiling obtained by Buzzfeed. But black residents of Ferguson who are stopped by police are less likely to be carrying contraband than white residents are.

 The city’s government is predominately white as well: there is one black person on the Ferguson city council and one Latino on the school board. Just three out of the city’s 53 commissioned police officers are black.

— There’s also a lot of anger around how the media portrays young men who are killed. Over the weekend, the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, which was trending on Twitter on Sunday night, captured the divide between how young black men see themselves and how the media sees them:

— Advocates around the country who have been outraged by the shooting are organizing National Moments of Silence on August 14 in several cities to protest police brutality.

What we know about the investigation into Brown’s shooting

 The St. Louis County Police Department is conducting a criminal investigation to see if the officer who shot Brown was justified. St. Louis Police Chief Belmar seemed sympathetic to the Ferguson police; Belmar told reporters on Sunday"I would not think anybody would [ask for an investigation] if they had anything to hide."

 Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson is a former St. Louis County police officer, which also raises concerns about the investigation’s objectivity. Jackson told reporters on Wednesday that he had asked the St. Louis County police to keep him “out of the loop.”

— Investigators have received photos from eyewitness Piaget Crenshaw, as well as a video that was recorded after the shooting.

— The Ferguson Police Department received a grant this year to purchase several dashboard cameras for police vehicles and two to three body cameras for officers, the Ferguson police chief told reporters Wednesday, but doesn’t have the money to install them yet — so no known video of the shooting exists.

— Eyewitness Dorian Johnson, Brown’s friend who was also stopped by the officer, is testifying to police Wednesday, after several days during which he said he was not contacted to testify.

 On August 11, the FBI announced that it was also launching its own civil-rights investigation of Brown’s death. The St. Louis NAACP had called on the FBI to take up the investigation to make sure it would be sufficiently independent. Ferguson police chief Jackson told the AP that the FBI would be taking over the St. Louis County investigation of the shooting. However, the FBI says that they’re reviewing the incident for possible civil rights violations, not duplicating the criminal investigation.

— The officer who killed Brown has been put on paid administrative leave while the investigation is conducted. The officer has not been identified. Police originally planned to release his name on the morning of August 12, but changed their minds out of concern for his safety.

— On Tuesday, August 12, the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office announced that they would not be releasing the results of the autopsy of Michael Brown’s body. On Wednesday, August 13, the body was released to Brown’s family. The family’s lawyer said they would seek a second investigation of the body.

— Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told reporters on Wednesday, August 13, that the 911 tapes from witnesses to Brown’s shooting would be released to the public but did not say when that would happen.

Efforts to rebuild race and community relations in Ferguson

 On Wednesday, August 13, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told reporters that the police department has been working with the community relations division of the Department of Justice to improve race and community relations. “That’s a top priority,” he said.

— On Thursday, August 14, the Department of Justice is coordinating a meeting between Chief Jackson and community leaders, including the head of the local NAACP.

Source: Dara Lind for Vox

h/t: Aja J. Williams at

A California man was arrested on charges of animal cruelty over the weekend after he was caught on video throwing a 6-month-old dog into the street by its leash.

Lindsey Cooks told KTLA that he was waiting at a bus station in Lancaster on Saturday when he saw 54-year-old Robert Emmett Martin abusing the puppy, and decided to record the crime with his cellphone.

Video shows a shirtless Martin yanking the dog into the air, and swinging it by its leash before he is confronted by Cooks. Martin begins yelling racial slurs at Cooks, and then picks up the dog, and slams it hard into the pavement.

As Martin turns around to hurl more racial slurs, the dog can be seen running away.

“I’m a human being, you know,” Cooks explained. “And I couldn’t see even a human being being treated like that, especially a dog can’t defend itself, a little dog. So, I had to do something.”

“I had asked him to stop to, ‘Hey, man, stop doing the dog like that,’ and all he could say was ‘Shut up, n*gger,’” Cooks recalled, adding that only a “racist pig” would act that way.

“You look at the video, and there’s something really wrong with the guy,” he added. “You don’t need animals, you don’t need kids around him or nothing. Nobody.”

Cooks provided the video to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Lancaster Station, and Martin was arrested on charges of felony animal cruelty.

The 6-month-old pit bill, named Daisy, was turned over to the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control after being treated by a veterinarian. The dog was expected to recover.

Martin pleaded not guilty, and was released on bail. He was scheduled to be back in court on Aug. 22. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

H/T: David Edwards at The Raw Story


Ferguson Police Officers Slam Pregnant Woman To Ground

This video is neither safe for work nor comfortable to watch. It is the raw emotion of angry citizens confronting a police force that is not working for them or their community. It is two and a half minutes of raw distrust, frustration, and anger.

It is also brutal. I’m sorry, but slamming a pregnant woman onto the ground because she talked back is way out of line. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Monday evening, pictures flowed across Twitter of protesters with their hands up in the air while cannisters of tear gas were thrown at them. Police shot protesters with rubber bullets, and chased away the press who was there recording their activity.

They shut down all of the streets and then informed residents they could not go home, that the streets were closed and no one would be allowed through.

There is a history in Ferguson. The community is a working-class community with both black and white families living there. Yet there are only three black cops and over 50 white ones. Arrest statistics are startling.

This screengrab from CNN was rolling around Twitter earlier Monday. Those stats are mind-boggling.

read more

KMOV reporter Brittany Noble (@BrittanyNoble) on her station’s news truck window being broken:

My take on tonight’s classless and destructive riots in Ferguson, Missouri: There is a right way and a wrong way to protest the injustice committed by the Ferguson cop who shot Michael Brown 10 times. The band of vile duncebuckets who decided to vandalize QuikTrip, KMOV’s news truck, and other businesses and news crews do not represent the majority who were there to protest peacefully. Also, this is NOT a time to make snarky and snide remarks about getting free drinks, candy, or any other item(s) stolen from businesses. #Ferguson #MikeBrown #FergusonRiots #FergusonShooting


Anger and disbelief filled the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed following a confrontation with a police officer while he was walking down the street on Saturday afternoon.

Piaget Crenshaw, a witness to the shooting, told Fox2 St. Louis that Brown and a friend, Dorin Johnson, were walking in the street when a police officer drove up and told them to get on the sidewalk. After a verbal confrontation, Crenshaw said the officer got out of his car and fired a shot and when the teens started running, fired another. “Crenshaw and Johnson say the teen [Brown] held up his hands to show he did not have a weapon, however the officer fired at him two more times and he collapsed and died in the street,” the news channel reported.

Another witness told local news station KMOV that the officer “was in the car shooting this boy.” The woman said, “he threw his hands up and he shot him and the boy fell, then he shot him some more.”

During a Sunday news conference, however, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told reporters that the “genesis was a physical confrontation,” as the officer allegedly attempted to get out of his car and was pushed back in by Brown, after which a struggle over the officer’s weapon ensued. One shot was fired in the car and, as the officer exited his vehicle, several more. Belmar confirmed that Brown was unarmed and while he could not say how many times the teen was shot, it was “more than just a couple.”

Residents of the predominantly African-American suburb took to the streets to protest the killing on Saturday, with members of the crowd reportedly yelling “Kill the police” and firing warning shots, which prompted the police to call in more than 60 additional officers, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Whether residents were indeed chanting “Kill the police,” however, has been called into question; video from a demonstration outside the Ferguson Police Department shows residents chanting “Killer cops have got to go.” Video from a Saturday night demonstration shows residents with their arms raised, chanting “Don’t shoot me!” and “We are Michael Brown” in front of officers holding back barking dogs. Outlets like the Post-Dispatch temperedheadlines describing a “mob reaction” after backlash on social media.

The protests continued into Sunday in advance of the St. Louis County Police department press conference.

The officer involved in the incident, who was not named, has been placed on paid administrative leave and will be interviewed more extensively on Sunday, according to Belmar. The Bureau of Crimes Against Persons has been asked to investigate and the St. Louis County Police Chief said he would turn over the results of their investigation to the county prosecuting attorney to determine whether any charges should be filed.

As for criticism over the length of time Brown’s body was left in the street, reportedly several hours, Belmar said it took a “very long time to process the scene” and the police department was careful to practice “due diligence.”

The local chapter of the NAACP has also called for the FBI to investigate the shooting. “With the recent events of a young man killed by the police in New York City and with Trayvon Martin and with all the other African-American young men that have been killed by police officers … this is a dire concern to the NAACP, especially our local organization,” John Gaskin, a member of the St. Louis County NAACP said.

Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, said her son “doesn’t kill, steal or rob. He doesn’t do any of that.” Brown was scheduled to begin classes at Vatterott College on Monday.

Source: Kiley Kroh for ThinkProgress