No Violence, Just Justice


Chris lives in Austin, TX, where he once shook Willie Nelson's hand.

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30 Responses

  1. notme says:

    I find it odd that folks want to riot and loot even before there has been an investigation. Shouldn’t that wait until after the investigation is finished and folks don’t like the findings?Report

    • Chris in reply to notme says:

      If you want to keep commenting out of ignorance, best do it on one of the other Ferguson posts.

      Sad thing is, I’m pretty sure you know what happened Saturday night. You’re just hell bent on painting the protesters, who have been peaceful since, and were peaceful before (but still broken up by riot police with automatic weapons and armored vehicles!), as looting thugs. And I’m not entirely convinced that you’re not doing it simply to rile up folks like me.

      So seriously, if you want to comment out of ignorance, best do it on someone else’s post.Report

    • zic in reply to notme says:

      Did you see the Chris Hayes tweet above? He’s interviewed a witness; the police haven’t.

      Same thing has happened over and over — if the kid is black, there often is only the pretense of an investigation until people take to the streets in protest. And of the thousands of people protesting, the vast majority are not rioting and looting; and much of that has been in response to police overreach.

      What I find odd is how you automatically assume all those people are out there rioting and looting and not, in fact, protesting for their civil rights. Can’t imagine why you automatically presume they’re all guilty of rioting and looting; it’s pretty much the same behavior that you’r suggesting people are doing who aren’t waiting for the investigation results.Report

      • notme in reply to zic says:


        Saw it but so what? Just bc they haven’t interviewed that witness yet doesn’t mean that they aren’t investigating or don’t intend to interview that witness. Maybe they’ve interviewed 20 other people and that person is next. You don’t even know if the police even know of that person’s existence. You read one quote about one potential witness and assume the worst.Report

      • zic in reply to zic says:

        @notme, a lot of people are bothered and ashamed by this. Ashamed of our country. Chris put this up to deal with his shame. He’s asked you to stop.

        I get you don’t agree. But stop being a troll. Go talk on one of the other threads, go hang out at one of the conservative blogs where you’ll find lots of company.

        But have some respect, even if you don’t agree. Right now, all your doing is showing you can be both insensitive and rude.Report

      • notme in reply to zic says:


        “What I find odd is how you automatically assume all those people are out there rioting and looting and not, in fact, protesting for their civil rights.”

        I don’t know about you, but I watched the news and saw the footage of folks looting stores. I’m all for peaceful demonstrations but not looting or riots.Report

      • Chris in reply to zic says:

        The police knew of his existence. In addition to the fact that by the time he was on Chris Hayes, he’d been interviewed by several other journalists, he had already contacted St Louis County PD through his lawyer.

        The fact that they didn’t interview the closest eye witness for days is not a good sign.

        But the reasons for the initial protests and anger were: 1) witnesses came forward right away to say that Brown had his hands up when the final, fatal shots were fired, 2.) the police left his body in the street for everyone to see, and photograph, because they were more focused on what they were describing as an “angry mob” (but which was not at all violent) that was gathering in the area of the crime scene, 3.) because his mother found out her son was dead because someone showed her a photo taken on a phone of her son’s body in the street, 4.) because the police released an account of the shooting that contradicted that of every single independent eye witness, 5.) because unlike any other homicide, the police refused to release the name of the killer, 6.) because the police and town authorities in Ferguson have a contentious relationship with majority black community that has been building to a tipping point for years 7.) because Brown was not the first, or the last, unarmed black man to be killed by police in the last month.

        Your lack of empathy is appalling. You can’t even imagine what might have caused the anger. You can’t be bothered to even try to understand.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to zic says:

        You read one quote about one potential witness and assume the worst.

        Given the background of the story, isn’t assuming the worst the rational response? I mean, a cop killed an unarmed kid on the street, yes? That’s a pretty effing serious situation, don’t you think? One in which we *should* automatically assume the worst? Why should we give the cops the benefit of the doubt in this situation, when the uncontroversial evidence at this point suggests excessive force sociopathy on the part of the cop?

        And even if there’s a story to tell defending the cop’s actions, it’s his and the department’s burden to present that evidence. I mean, at the risk of repeating myself, they killed an unarmed kid on the street. How does that not mean anything to you?Report

      • notme in reply to zic says:


        “A young man, 18 years old, set to start college this week, was executed by a police officer for walking in the street.”

        As an attorney I deal in facts not the speculation above that you so readily substitute. If you want to be upset fine, atleast know the all the facts first. It is too early to make such sweeping statement as the one above. What will you say if the officer is cleared after an investigation? It doesn’t sound like you could even imagine such a thing.


        Everyone even the cop is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law not the court of public opinion.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to zic says:


        The cop killed a kid. What could possible suffice for his innocence? That the kid had an outstanding? Had priors? That it’s against the law to resist when a cop grabs your shirt (and throat) through the driver side glass?

        What, in your mind, could possible exonerate the cop given that an *unarmed* person is dead as a result of his actions?

        I know, shit happens. Being a white cop in a black city is fucking stressfull. THose poor, poor police officers. (Wait, didn’t Jaybird say that already?……)Report

      • Chris in reply to zic says:

        When the state kills someone for a crime, it is an execution, is it not? And the cop accosted Brown and his friend because they were walking in the street and did not get out of the street when he demanded they do so. None of that is in dispute.

        I’m going to say this again: if all you have to add to this conversation is ignorance of the facts, add it to a different conversation.Report

      • James K in reply to zic says:


        When the state kills someone for a crime, it is an execution, is it not?

        Actually, it’s only an execution when the killing is performed as part of a judicially-sanctioned sentence. In this context, the proper term is murder.Report

      • Zac in reply to zic says:

        @Chris “You can’t be bothered to even try to understand.”

        Modern American conservatism in a nutshell.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to zic says:

        Notme doesn’t want us to rush to judgement against the police who shot an unarmed teen. But Aaron Swartz? Notme didn’t need to wait for due process to know Aaron Swartz was guilty.

        Maybe it has something to do with the color black. 😉Report

    • Stillwater in reply to notme says:

      I find it odd that folks want to riot and loot even before there has been an investigation.

      Well, you’re right about that. Usually rioters and looters wait for a definitive word that an investigation has begun before the engage in their uncivilized, degenerate, illegal actions.

      Oh, let’s be real, notme. You don’t find it odd at all. In fact, you’re just trying to find something to disagree with “liberals” about on this issue. And if you think I’m being uncharitable, I could share some other views on why you’re saying this sort of nonsense. My advice, if I were asked, would be to grow the fuck up.Report

    • Hoosegow Flask in reply to notme says:

      How can you be sure there was looting? There have been no convictions.

      It seems to me like some are rushing to judgement and throwing out accusations before letting the justice system run its course.Report

      • @hoosegow-flask

        I think his point is that when the police shoot and kill and unarmed black person, we have to withhold judgment because the victim obviously had it coming. But when someone suggests that black people may have rioted, we have to assume “they” (whoever they are) actually did and punish them accordingly, because we know how “they” are. Or something like that.Report

  2. zic says:

    The NYT has some beautiful pictures of vigils around the nation tonight.

    • Chris in reply to zic says:

      I went to the #NMOS14 here in Austin. It was sparsely attended an lacked energy, but I was heartened to see the size and energy in the protests elsewhere.

      Here’s my terrible (into the sun) photo of the gathering in Austin, to give you an idea:


  3. Saul Degraw says:

    Great post, Chris.

    The parallels to the Civil Rights Movement and events from 50 years ago and more and deeply troubling and shows how much work still needs to be done on civil liberty and equality for all people especially black-Americans.

    Notme’s responses are pretty indicative about why the woman above still needs to protest this shit.Report

  4. LeeEsq says:

    Just a minor question, I thought that the FBI took over the investigation of Michael Brown’s death a a few days ago? Am I mistaken?Report

    • Mark Thompson in reply to LeeEsq says:

      I don’t think they took it over- I think they just began a parallel civil rights investigation. Any homicide investigation would be in missouris jurisdiction.Report

    • Chris in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Mark’s right. They were called in pretty early to “monitor” the investigation, and then opened an investigation into potential civil rights violations after a couple days. St. Louis County PD, which is doing official homicide investigation and was responsible for much of the militarism you saw this week. They’re the ones that didn’t interview the closest witness for days.Report

    • Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

      The DoJ is also investigating. As is someone from the State of Missouri.
      Four separate investigations now.Report

  5. Thanks for writing this, Chris.Report