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Posts tagged "Missouri"

H/T: Brian Beutler at The New Republic


  • 3 yr old boy tells mother near bedtime about riot cops patrolling near their home: “They had guns, they were about to shoot us.” 
  • Mo. Attorney General Chris Koster said a grand jury will be convened at 9 am tomorrow. He gave protesters the news
  • Koster: concerned about “getting more African-Americans involved in law-enforcement” & will be expressing ways to recruit in coming days.
  • Missouri attny general: grand jury (3 people) for  case tomorrow includes one woman of color.
  • Breaking:  says he is NOT pulling STL Co prosecutor Bob McCulloch from  case. 
  • Koster: “long term, police forces should represent the communities that they police,” & no reason can’t do a better job statewide. 
  • WATCH LIVE: Demonstrations continue in Ferguson, Missouri after police crackdown [Raw Story] 


Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced on Monday that he would deploy the Missouri National Guard to Ferguson in an attempt to quell protests there that have raged since the police killing of an unarmed black teenager on Aug. 9.

The killing led to an eruption of long-simmering racial tension in Ferguson between residents of the predominantly black St. Louis suburb and the city’s predominantly white police. And the Missouri National Guard, meant to enforce order, has its own questionable track record when it comes to racial bias.

Complaints of racial discrimination within the guard date back to at least 2000, when Capt. James Tate, who is black, filed a complaint against a guard member under his command for called him a racial slur. The investigation took nearly a year and cost four senior officers their jobs for mishandling the case, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune. Sgt. Toni Settle, the offending member of the national guard, was eventually told she would be demoted, but her demotion was delayed by six months, and she retired before her pension was reduced.

The tension flared again in 2008 when more than a dozen Missouri National Guard members including Tate, who had since risen to the rank of Lt. Col., filed a federal discrimination complaint against Adjutant Gen. King Sidwell and chief of staff Col. Glenn Hagler for allegedly discriminating against women and black people by passing them over for promotions.

police, Ferguson

Police wait to advance after tear gas was used to disperse a crowd on Aug. 17 in Ferguson, Missouri.


In 2010, the Missouri National Guard fired Tate after a controversial investigation into Tate’s alleged abuse of travel privileges. But Tate was not informed that he was being investigated, and was fired before the audit of his travel log began. A second audit by the national guard later cleared him of any wrongdoing, though after his employment was already terminated. Tate said he was fired in retaliation for his whistleblowing, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

A year before Tate filed his second complaint, Sidwell had called him a “must promote" candidate for colonel.

Sgt. Nathan Wooten, a white guard member, was also under investigation around the time Tate was fired. Fellow guard members had complained that Wooten was a member of a neo-Nazi organization and used national guard offices to recruit new members. Wooten wasn’t fired until the St. Louis Post-Dispatch began asking questions about his activities

Sidwell and Hagler are no longer with the Missouri National Guard, and the organization has had a better record of promoting minority officers under current Adjutant General Stephen Danner.

However, Danner was the commanding officer who oversaw Tate’s removal, and he has been accused of harassing and intimidating troops who have spoken out against allegations of racial, gender and sexual orientation discrimination in the Missouri National Guard, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune. He also reportedly denied Sunshine Law requests to investigate claims that his national guard troops had looted parts of Joplin, Missouri after a 2011 tornado ravaged the city.


Ray North takes a break as he works in the heat to salvage metal on July 20, 2011, after a tornado destroyed much of Joplin, Missouri.


The Army’s Office of the Inspector General and the Department of Defense are reportedly investigating allegations of intimidation and retaliation against Danner and other top Missouri National Guard officials that stem from a complaint made by Lt. Col. Michael Fayette, who was the state guard’s director of policy and strategic communications. The details of the complaint, which involve Fayette being discriminated against for speaking out on behalf of veterans who were also discriminated against, can be found in the embedded documents below.

Neither the Missouri National Guard nor the state governor’s office, to which the guard reports, responded to a request for comment.

The Missouri governor has said the national guard will serve in a limited capacity in Ferguson. Their main duty will be to protect the police’s headquarters from attacks by citizens who reportedly fired guns at law enforcement officials on Sunday night.

Nixon also lifted a curfew he had imposed on the city this past Saturday.

DoD Action Request.pdf

Inspector General Action Request.pdf

Source: Colin Daileda for Mashable


USA Today reported that no one answered the door Friday at Wilson’s Crestwood, Mo. home. A police officer keeping watch over the home told the newspaper that Wilson had left town with his family days ago.

A neighbor told USA Today that she’d had no idea that Wilson was the cop who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown until Friday morning, when Crestwood police informed residents that Wilson was involved in the incident and their neighborhood would draw attention.

It’s unclear exactly when Wilson left the area. The fatal shooting occurred Saturday.

Wilson was a six-year veteran of the Ferguson police force who had no prior disciplinary action taken against him, Chief Thomas Jackson (pictured) said.

Source: Catherine Thompson for Talking Points Memo

h/t: St. Louis American's The Political Eye

h/t: Dylan Scott at TPM


As outrage over the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed teen in Ferguson, MO, has spread across the country — significant criticism has been leveled at the individual police officer who shot him and at they way his colleagues are treating protesters and journalists attempting to cover the story.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) has also borne significant criticism for his delayed response to the situation. State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal held a photo of Nixon’s head at a Monday protest, with the words “M.I.A. Again!” written over his forehead. One Missouri statehouse reporter tweeted on Wednesday that “The Where Is Jay Nixon? meme is not new (frequent critique of lawmakers), but gaining new momentum in Ferguson situation.”

Missouri elected officials of both parties have made statements of sympathy and called for investigation, but have done little to quell the violence:

Gov. Jay Nixon (D): On Tuesday, Nixon urged civic and faith leaders in North St. Louis County to “have patience for the investigation that is now underway, but be unwavering in our insistence that it be open, thorough and fair,” “keep the peace, while remaining uncompromising in our expectation that justice must not simply be pursued, but achieved,” and “express the anger and frustration that we rightfully feel in a way that respects the living, and honors the memory of the young man we mourn.” A day later, took to Twitter to announce that he was cancelling all planned appearances to visit North St. Louis County on Thursday. He asked for calm urged law enforcement to “respect rights of residents & press,” adding, “Situation in Ferguson does not represent who we are. Must keep the peace, while safeguarding rights of citizens and the press.”

According to Bloomberg reports on Twitter early Thursday, Nixon also said he may relieve the St. Louis County police of their duties in Ferguson.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R): In a press release on Monday, Blunt grieved the “tragic loss” of Ferguson and urged a full investigation: “Everyone deserves a transparent understanding of what happened here. I am fully supportive of County Executive Charlie Dooley and St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar calling for DOJ and the FBI to take a careful, open review of the events that led to this tragedy for everyone involved.” Blunt defended local law enforcement’s subsequent actions on Wednesday, saying that “the people around the country that I talk to, the Chief of Police in St. Louis County, John Belmar, is at the top of the list in terms of expertise and his preparation,” and “I’m just really in no position to analyze, not having been there, what the police did or why they did it after the event but I do know they’ve had several days of trouble they’ve had to try to deal with in the best possible way.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D): On Monday, McCaskill released a statement saying, “As a mother, I grieve for this child and his family. I pray that the wonderful, hardworking, and God-loving people of Ferguson will find peace and patience as we wait for the results of what will be numerous and thorough investigations of what happened. I, like so many other Missourians, will not be satisfied until we have a complete and transparent understanding of all the facts and circumstances that led to this young man’s death.” Wednesday, following a call with the Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice, she said “As we continue to grieve for Michael and his family, I’m working to make sure the federal piece of this investigation is fair, transparent, and moving forward without delay. As it proceeds, I’ll be remaining in close touch with the Department of Justice, and am reaching out personally to local elected officials and religious leaders, to keep monitoring the painful events on the ground in Ferguson.”

Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr. (D): Clay, whose 1st District includes Ferguson, joined with Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH) on Monday to request that the Department of Justice not only investigate the “the facts of the specific incident” of Brown’s shooting but also “the potential for any pattern or practice of police misconduct by the Ferguson Police Department.” They argueed that “the St. Louis County Police Department may not be the most objective or credible body to investigate civil rights matters involving law enforcement given evidence of racial profiling by that department in the recent past.”

Rep. Ann Wagner (R): Wagner, whose 2nd District neighbors Clay’s district in the western St. Louis suburbs, put out a statement on Monday saying, “As a mother of three children, I cannot even imagine the pain of losing a child. My thoughts and prayers go out to Michael Brown’s family and to the people of Ferguson as they deal with this tragic loss.” She urged citizens to “remain calm and compassionate while truth and justice are served.”

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster (D): Koster tweeted on Sunday that he was “[k]eeping Michael Brown’s family in my thoughts and prayers, and all those involved in yesterday’s sad news.” Tuesday, he endorsed Nixon’s “call for a thorough, independent investigation by the United States Department of Justice of the circumstances leading to the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson,” and Wednesday, his office said had been to Ferguson, “meeting with African-American leaders, visiting command center, viewing protest area” and would remain in St. Louis on Thursday.


McCaskill said Thursday that “we need to de-militarize this situation,” calling the police response so far “the problem instead of the solution.”

Source: Josh Israel for ThinkProgress

h/t: Andy Banker at

h/t: Chris Higgins at


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.

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