Ferguson in Chaos: 2 officers shot

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So much for Barack Obama, the “post-racial” president who would heal America.

Two officers shotPolice take cover after two officers were shot while standing guard in front of the Ferguson Police Station on Thursday, March 12, 2015. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Laurie Skrivan)

Jim Salter reports for the AP, March 12, 2015:

Two officers were shot in front of the Ferguson Police Department early Thursday, authorities said, as demonstrators gathered after the city’s police chief resigned in the wake of a scathing Justice Department report alleging bias in the police department and court.

A 32-year-old officer from nearby Webster Groves was shot in the face and a 41-year-old officer from St. Louis County was shot in the shoulder, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a news conference. Both were taken to a hospital, where Belmar said they were conscious. He said he did not have further details about their conditions but described their injuries as “serious.”

“I don’t know who did the shooting, to be honest with you,” Belmar said, adding that he could not provide a description of the suspect or gun.

He said he assumed, based on where the officers were standing and the trajectory of the bullets, that “these shots were directed exactly at my officers.”

The shots were fired shortly after midnight as protesters gathered following the resignation of embattled Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson on Wednesday. Before the shooting, some at the protest chanted to show their dissatisfaction with the resignations of Jackson and City Manager John Shaw this week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Authorities from multiple law enforcement agencies also assembled at the scene.

The protest was a familiar scene in Ferguson, which saw similar and much larger demonstrations after the shooting death of black 18-year-old Michael Brown last summer by city police officer Darren Wilson. A state grand jury cleared Wilson, who is white, in November, sparking further protests, looting and fires. But Thursday morning was the first time an officer at a protest had been shot.

In amateur video accessed by the Associated Press, two shots ring out and a man is heard screaming out in pain.

Someone at the scene, unseen and unidentified in the video, says: “Acknowledgement nine months ago would have kept that from happening.”

Marciay Pitchford, 20, was among the protesters. She told the AP that the protest had been mostly peaceful until she heard the shots.

“I saw the officer go down and the other police officers drew their guns while other officers dragged the injured officer away,” Pitchford said. “All of a sudden everybody started running or dropping to the ground.”

Belmar said the shots were fired from across the street from the police department.

After the shooting, officers with guns and in riot gear circled the station, and more than a dozen squad cars blocked the street.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill urged “healing and reform,” calling the shooting a “criminal act that jeopardized the lives of police officers and protesters both.”

Jackson was the sixth employee to resign or be fired after a Justice Department report last week cleared Wilson of civil rights charges in the shooting. Wilson has also resigned. A separate Justice Department report released the same day found a profit-driven court system and widespread racial bias in the city police department.

Mayor James Knowles III announced Wednesday that the city had reached a mutual separation agreement with Jackson that will pay him one year of his nearly $96,000 annual salary and health coverage. Jackson’s resignation becomes effective March 19, at which point Lt. Col. Al Eickhoff will become acting chief while the city searches for a replacement.

Jackson had resisted calls by protesters and some of Missouri’s top elected leaders to step down over his handling of Brown’s shooting and the weeks of protests that followed. He was widely criticized from the outset for the aggressive police response to protests and his agency’s erratic and infrequent releases of key information.

He took nearly a week to publicly identify Wilson as the shooter and then further heightened tension in the community by releasing Wilson’s name at the same time as store security video that police said showed Brown stealing a box of cigars and shoving a clerk a short time before his death.

During a 12-minute news conference, Knowles said Jackson resigned after “a lot of soul-searching” about how the community could heal from the racial unrest stemming from the fatal shooting last summer.

“The chief is the kind of honorable man you don’t have to go to,” Knowles said. “He comes to you when he knows that this is something we have to seriously discuss.”

The acting head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division released a statement saying the U.S. government remains committed to reaching a “court-enforceable agreement” to address Ferguson’s “unconstitutional practices,” regardless of who’s in charge of the city.

Jackson oversaw the Ferguson force for nearly five years before the shooting that stirred months of unrest across the St. Louis region and drew global attention to the predominantly black city of 21,000.

In addition to Jackson, Ferguson’s court clerk was fired last week and two police officers resigned. The judge who oversaw the court system also resigned, and the City Council on Tuesday agreed to a separation agreement with Shaw, the city manager.

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~Éowyn

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0 responses to “Ferguson in Chaos: 2 officers shot

  1. we are so screwed

     
  2. How does one spell ‘chaos’?
    F-e-r-g-u-s-o-n.
    Matters will get MUCH better after the feds send in their troops and lawyers, you’ll see.

     
  3. Ok, I am going to take a different path on this from my norm however, it explains an America I fear is lost; Leadership Through Example ~ Character Matters:
    “This is the most extraordinary bunch of men we have ever had the chance of knowing. EVERY one of them, and many more than are pictured here, we call our most dear and treasured brother. Gathered here, you will find street smart kids from Philadelphia or New York or Boston; country boys from the deep-deepSouth; and, a few from the Midwestern States like Indiana and Illinois. Some California cool types can be found here, and, kids who grew up in the Barrio. There is a Pacific islander from the island of Samoa. There is at least one Aggie from Texas A&M, and, even some kid who grew up in Mule Shoe, Texas. Right next to Top, a goofy, over-read, farm kid from Southwest Missouri who found a family in this brotherhood. We were paratroopers first. What we have in common is that we were ALWAYS there for each other; and, we will ALWAYS be there for each other. THIS is what the Airborne Brotherhood is all about.” -Excerpt from CHARACTER MATTERS: FROM WHENCE THIS BAND OF BROTHERS [FDC-GUNSIX] http://wp.me/p1amkx-eWz
    Ok, Amerika; Your Move!

     
  4. Where’s Sharpton while this is going on? OH-that’s right-THIS was ONLY about killing COPS, not unarmed Black Criminal Juveniles. Right and Wrong doesn’t matter to him-it’s ALL about Black Victims or NOT Black Victims.

     
  5. Thank you, Georg Soros and Al Sharpton, for supporting this bullcrap in Ferguson…

     
  6. it’s too bad, Abe Lincoln wanted to ship them all back to africka but thy had it better here than in the muddaland. Strange how Zog media in history books never mentions the biggest slave traders were sub saharan black Africans
    I’ve asked many blacks what would male them happy and feel at peace. in all cases shouting in my face, “not until we have exterminated every last one of your white devils, then there will be peace”
    Yeah and after they have killed all of us and I have no doubts they will succeed, then they’ll have to kill all the Hispanics, then all the asians

     
  7. I blame the punk shooter(s), but I also blame the Kenyan fraud and his lackey, Herr Erich von Holderen, for their irresponsible comments that have done nothing but empower these punks.
    -Dave

     
  8. MAKE NO MISTAKE: EVERYTHING is being beta-tested. The Obama Administration DESPERATELY DESIRES a race war or a cops-vs.-civilian wars in America. All the responses are being recorded, and they are waiting when it’s safe for them to make their next surreptitious provocation.
    And the New York Times and the rest of the “lap-dog” media will be there to assuage a sonambulent public. (And that is what the “news” is: behavior modification, not news!)
    And then the Administration will make its next move.
    THIS IS AN ADMINISTRATION STRAIGHT OUT OF HELL!

     

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