Moon Over Kinloch


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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20 Responses

  1. Avatar Will H. says:

    Might not be very big population-wise, but as I remember it, that area is a huge industrial section.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Will H. says:

      Which, per Chris’ comment on the previous thread, can indeed justify a larger police force.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Will H. says:

      I wonder how many people work there?

      Living in a resort town as I do, I know it’s not always wise to judge the quantity/cost of local services by population. My region, defined by school district and 4 towns with intertwined economy, has about 5,000 residents; but 18,000 beds for rent and regularly hosts up to 60,000 visitors a day. This means that we sometimes need policing for 40,000 to 60,000 people, not for 5,000.

      So if there is a big industrial area where thousands of people work, the numbers might be justified; depending on how many are full time, how many are part time or reserve.


      Wouldn’t rule out over-policing without a lot more information.

      /and are we seeing a pattern in the wake of Ferguson?Report

      • Avatar Will H. in reply to zic says:

        There was already a pattern prior to Ferguson.
        It’s been long known, even prior to this.Report

        • Avatar zic in reply to Will H. says:

          Yes, that’s already known.

          I’m thinking of a follow-up pattern, establishing itself. People in small, racial-minority towns read the Ferguson report; and if they saw the pattern you identify, @will-h , so I’m wondering if there’s thing going on — someone running for local office and the populace actually getting out to vote.Report

          • Avatar Will H. in reply to zic says:

            I admire your optimism, and sincerely wish I could take part.

            However, I’m still fighting it out in court with St. Louis County as to whether to post online the words of MLK might somehow constitute a criminal offense.
            (It was actually a “quasi-criminal” proceeding, the second one after the rules changes went into effect; and that’s how they got away with it. . . mostly . . . )
            As a resident of Milwaukee County, Wisc., my website was viewable from St. Louis County, Mo., etc. Long story, and I’d love to tell it, but not here.Report

            • Avatar zic in reply to Will H. says:


              I’m still fighting it out in court with St. Louis County as to whether to post online the words of MLK might somehow constitute a criminal offense.

              the mind boggles.

              Have you spoken with anybody at the ACLU? Because the legal process is that rules that are a violation of free speech (government here would be doing the violating, so it actually would be a violation,) are meant to be challenged in our court system. That’s how the system works, or so reading legal writing here have taught me.

              (Thanks, lawyers and future judges. No sarcasm intended.)Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to zic says:

                the mind boggles.

                That’s what I was thinking.
                And believe me, my mind is still boggling.
                But I can see why Ferguson had to happen. It was required to, because no one thought nothing of it when the guy from Milwaukee was prosecuted for posting the MLK.

                One thing it taught me though is that anyone who claims that United States citizens have some manner of rights have never attempted to vindicate them in a court of law.
                If there is anything more reviled in the federal courts than a United States citizen entering a court of law claiming to have some manner of right, it is any sense of duty on the part of the judiciary to provide a fair and impartial tribunal.

                Have you spoken with anybody at the ACLU?
                Yes, I did, and they told me it was too complex of a case for their limited resources. At the time, they had devoted a lot locally to something to do with the firefighters’ union* (I guess their union was in far worse shape than mine ever was, even with our pension scandals and reductions).
                The Electronic Frontier Foundation refused it as well because of limited resources. This was right after they had lost the Crystal Cox case.

                Short answer:
                It happened at an inconvenient time for any representation options through some organization.

                * Oddly enough, that same judge went on to rule against the firefighters’ union.Report

  2. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Is there any significance to the fact that all of these seem to be happening in the fairly narrow strip of the state along the Mississippi River? Are there demographic or cultural differences as you go from east to west across the state?Report

  3. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Oddly enough, I’m almost done with a novel about vaudeville, the use of music to create reality, and the destruction of the universe by the forces of (literal) darkness.

    Much of it takes place in Parma.Report

  4. Avatar Alan Scott says:

    Wild speculation by a Californian who’s never been that far east:

    I wonder if it’s about borders. Looking at Census data, I see the Black population of Missouri is overwhelmingly concentrated in the metropolitan areas of St. Louis and Kansas City. But in the St. Louis area, Most of the population, both Black and White, is on the Missouri side of the river. In the Kansas City area, most of the White population is on the Kansas side, while nearly all of the Black population is on the Missouri side.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Alan Scott says:

      That’s intersting about St. Louis. Prior to Ferguson, the only largely black suburb I knew of was in Illinois.Report

    • Everyone should see the Mississippi River at least once, preferably in full flood. Cities established along the Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri rivers really didn’t have much choice about staying on one bank or the other. Kansas City is on the south bank, and the river doesn’t form the boundary with the state of Kansas to the west of the city, so it can sprawl across the state line.Report

      • Avatar Will H. in reply to Michael Cain says:

        That’s not historically accurate.

        St. Louis:
        Cahokia is the oldest part of the St. Louis metro area. It was once the largest settlement in the lower 48.
        East St. Louis is in Illinois. Alton (and East Alton) are separate towns that grew into the St. Louis metro.
        Madison County is the oldest county in Illinois (it used to be a lot bigger). Belleville is one of the older towns in the area. You can tell it was French by the way the streets run.
        On the Missouri side, Grant’s Farm was out in the boonies when he built it.
        Also, St. Charles is separated by a river.

        Kansas City:
        Possum Hollow was the original establishment in that is present day Westport. This was the last stop of civilization on the Santa Fe trail. Then the river bottoms area grew into an industrial center way before it was known as the ghetto of Italian immigrants largely run by the mob.
        Parkville was a thriving port city dealing in slaves and hemp. Likewise, Riverside was a huge farm and trading center. Platte City really is its own little town still.
        Clay County, where North Kansas City is located, is separated from Jackson County, the heavily urbanized part of Kansas City, by the Missouri River. (And there is a distinct difference to residence between “North Kansas City” and “Kansas City North.”)
        On the Kansas side, Argentine has always been over 90% black.
        Overland Park is actually the largest city in Kansas, IIRC, but it is distinctly different from one side of the street to the other.
        Gardner used to be a little town in the boonies all by itself, but has since grown into the metro area.
        Same with Belton on the Missouri side.Report

  5. Avatar zic says:

    While I don’t want to make direct comparisons of Kinloch and Ferguson, I do recommend reading this thoroughly-reported story in The Atlantic by Walter Johnson, Ferguson’s Fortune 500 Company.

    And while the reporting definitely has a ‘liberal’ bent (since it’s looking into how the town used the town’s black population as a cash cow via policing, that’s obvious,) and while the scope of what’s covered is amazing, I’m troubled by the title, I’d have called the piece ‘The Economics of Ferguson,’ or some such; this is misleading and somewhat inflammatory; otherwise, it’s excellent reporting and writing.Report