Tag Archives: FERGUSON

Michael Brown’s mom considering a run for Ferguson city council

lezley mcspadden

No doubt this would create an even tighter bond between city residents and police…

From STL Today: Lezley McSpadden says she is considering a run for a City Council seat in Ferguson, the city where her son Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer.

McSpadden was among four people who took part in a panel discussion about issues raised by Brown’s death on Monday night at Harvard University.

She was prompted to mention her potential candidacy by Benjamin Crump, another panelist who is an attorney for the family. Crump urged McSpadden to discuss what she was considering.

“What I’m contemplating is running for City Council of Ferguson,” she said, drawing applause and a call of “Run, Lezley, Run” from the audience of several dozen.

“There are several people back home that are willing to help me get that going and make sure that I’m treated right,” McSpadden said.

Crump chimed in with encouragement. “What a legacy that would be — elected to the City Council and supervising the same police department that killed Michael Brown,” he said.

See also:

DCG

Keeping the divide going: AMC developing series based on BLM book, “They Can’t Kill Us All”

they can't kill us all

More fiction coming to your TV…

Ferguson was a liberal-funded protest. Baltimore race rioters were given permission by then mayor, Stephanie  Rawlings-Blake, to burn, riot, and loot their own city. Instead of waiting for the facts of police shootings to emerge, race agitators destroyed their communities.

Now a book about the riots from the BLM movement’s perspective is coming to TV. More fiction, no doubt.

Another show I won’t be watching.

From Deadline: AMC has put in development a drama based on Wesley Lowery’s bestselling nonfiction book They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice. It comes from Brad Weston’s Makeready and writer LaToya Morgan (Into the Badlands, Turn: Washington’s Spies).

Published in 2016 by Little, Brown & Company, the book was acquired by Makeready last fall. It examines how decades of racially biased policing in segregated neighborhoods with failing schools, crumbling infrastructure and too few jobs has led to the high-profile cases of police brutality in Ferguson, Cleveland, Baltimore and elsewhere and the birth of Black Lives Matter movement seeking justice for the deaths of Michael Brown (police officer Darren Wilson was cleared by Obama’s DOJ), Tamir Rice (a grand jury declined to indict due to the fact that Rice drew what appeared to be a real firearm) and Freddie Gray (the trial against Officer William Porter ended in mistrial. Officers Nero, Goodson, and Rice were found not guilty at trial. The remaining charges against the officers were dropped on July 27, 2016).

Written by Morgan, who is under an overall deal at AMC, the potential series also will reflect current events and race relations through the stories and voices of fictional characters. Morgan will executive produce with Makeready founder and CEO Weston and creative heads Pam Abdy and Scott Nemes.

Lowery, a reporter at The Washington Post, was a lead on the paper’s “Fatal Force” project, a database that tracked 990 police shootings in 2015. The project won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2016.

They Can’t Kill Us All joins the growing development slate of Makeready’s television division, headed by Nemes, which funds development and can deficit finance series, with Entertainment One handling international distribution. The slate also includes a series adaptation of Rocket Men, Robert Kurson’s upcoming book about the Apollo 8 odyssey; the Untitled David James Kelly project, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson’s Appian Way; Old City Blues, by screenwriter Arash Amel, based on the Boom graphic novel; Catching Out, from writer/executive producer Amy Harris and executive producer Chloe Grace Moretz; and the Jonás Cuarón-written drama Undocumented America, based on manuscript by journalist and DACA recipient Karla Cornejo Villavicencio about undocumented immigrants illegal aliens across America.

Morgan is repped by Echo Lake Entertainment, CAA, and Rob Szymanski.

DCG

Trump Derangement Syndrome: Tech’s SXSW festival takes on Trump

hugh forrest sxsw

Hugh Forrest from SXSW: Wants to “ramp it up” against Trump

For those who are unfamiliar with the SXSW festival:

South By Southwest dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together.”

In other words, a celebration for like-minded liberals. It’s bound to be a hoot this year with the massive discussions related to Trump Derangement Syndrome.

From USA Today: Russian hackers. Allegations of federal wiretapping. Online leaks of purported CIA documents. There will be no lack of controversial issues to dissect at this year’s SXSW Conference & Festivals, which begins Friday and runs through Mar. 19. And more so than in past years, this year’s massive gathering of tech, film and music enthusiasts – usually equated with tech innovation and startups – will have a stronger-than-ever focus on politics.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and CNN’s Van Jones are scheduled to speak. Panel discussions, reflecting the recent election of President Donald Trump, range from “Startup Investing during the Trump Years” to “The War at Home: Trump and the Mainstream Media” and “Head Fakes and Pivots: Trump Punks Silicon Valley.”

“SXSW is the place for great thinkers and innovators,” said Erin Schrode, 25, activist and social entrepreneur who will lead a discussion on millennials and activism. “At this moment in history, how can SXSW not dive into politics?”

This week, the gathering, now in its 31st year, got another controversial issue to debate: The WikiLeaks release of thousands of documents purportedly detailing how the Central Intelligence Agency hacks into smartphones and Internet-connected televisions.

There will still be healthy servings of startups strategy, robotics and self-driving cars. But, six weeks into the Trump administration – and all the controversies that have swirled around it – SXSW this year will delve deeper than ever into how Washington could impact the tech and media worlds – a departure seemingly embraced by speakers and attendees.

SXSW has long had a political element to it. In 1993, then-Texas Gov. Ann Richards was the sole keynote speaker, and Al Gore, Rand Paul and Chelsea Clinton have all given talks. Last year, then-President Obama spoke at the event, drawing thousands of attendees.

But when Trump won the November election, Hugh Forrest, SXSW’s chief programming officer, knew he needed to ramp up the political programming, he said. He called his staff into a meeting to brainstorm how best to reflect the divisions and debate consuming the country. They came up with a programming track titled “Tech Under Trump” and began filling it with sessions and guest speakers.

“There is definitely a degree of politics or political focus that may not have been there in previous years,” Forrest said. “We hope people walk away with a little better understanding of issues and the players driving the issues.”

Amanda Quraishi, an Austin-based digital consultant and interfaith activist, said she had an early idea for a SXSW panel discussion. But as the number of hate crimes across the country mounted following Trump’s election, she and her fellow panelists switched their focus. On Tuesday, they’ll give a panel discussion titled “From Trump to Trolls: How Muslim Media Fights Back.”

“Right now, politics is on everybody’s minds all the time,” Quraishi said. “America has had an awakening of what it means to live in a democracy and that it requires a lot of ongoing engagement with the process.”

She applauded SXSW organizers for reflecting the mood of the country in their programming. “They manage to be very nimble from year to year and come up with programming that’s very pertinent right now,” Quraishi said.

SXSW briefly became part of the political story earlier this month when a New York musician scheduled to perform at SXSW objected to language in his contract that warned that U.S. immigration agents may be contacted if an international artist violated the performance agreement.

The musician, Felix Walworth, tweeted his concern, which got nearly 4,000 retweets, and drew parallels to the increased immigration raids sweeping the country under Trump’s executive orders. SXSW officials called it a misunderstanding, stressing that no artist in its 30-year history had ever been reported to federal immigration agents. The contract provision was later rescinded.

Politics won’t just play out in panel discussions and speeches. Documentary filmmaker Jason Pollock said he considered other film festivals to premiere his film, Stranger Fruit, which explores the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. He chose SXSW because he hopes the multitude of tech influencers and music execs there will spread the film’s message wider and farther than Cannes or Sundance ever could, he said.

The film premieres at SXSW on Saturday, followed by a panel discussion on Monday with Pollock and Brown’s parents. “We’re going to be able to create a real movement around Michael Brown because of the people who attend that festival,” Pollock said. “At other film festivals, you get film critics, distributors and industry folks. At SXSW, it’s the world.”

Schrode, the millennial activist, said she was initially surprised when SXSW contacted her in December and invited her to give a talk on political activism. But then she realized what a natural pairing SXSW and politics make, she said.

“It’s undeniable that Trump and the Trump administration are having an existentially larger impact than anyone ever thought on all our industries,” said Schrode, who ran for Congress last year in California’s District 2. “Certainly, for SXSW to ignore that would be unnatural and irresponsible. After I wrapped my head around that, I thought, ‘Absolutely!’”

DCG

Superman fights the police in new comic paralleling Ferguson riots

superman

Fox News: The latest issue of Action Comics finds Superman battling a foe on the streets of Metropolis, but this time he isn’t taking on his rival Lex Luther. Instead, he’s battling the police, which has some people outraged.

“There’s some fans that are alienated, a portion of the older fans,” said Dimitrios Fragiskatos, the manager of Midtown Comics in New York City. “[But] younger fans seem to be embracing it.”

The new issue comes from the minds of Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder, who have imagined a much darker story for arguably the world’s most iconic superhero. The comic has been making waves for its controversial theme as the parallels to the riots in Ferguson and St. Louis are impossible to ignore.

In the issue, Clark Kent’s secret identity has been revealed, he has been stripped of most of his powers and he’s ditched his tights. Instead, Kent wears just a T-shirt and jeans, along with tatters of his Superman cape over his fists.

The downtrodden hero returns to a town that is fearful of him. Although a group of his supporters decide to celebrate his return, the police department soon arrives to break up the party. One of his supporters gets unruly, the police get angry, and before long, a full blown riot breaks out. The comic ends with Superman punching a police officer in the face.

Patrick Colligan, president of the NJ State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, told FOX411 the comic is disgraceful. “They want to sell comics,” he said. “Unfortunately it’s at the expense of some very great cops out there every day protecting the public.”

Still, seeing a police officer portrayed as a villain didn’t come as a shock to Colligan. “We are once again painted with the very broad stroke nobody wants to be painted with,” he said.

But Fragiskatos said the move is actually in line with the Superman fans know. “[He is] standing up for the little guy, which is what he’s always stood up for, [but] the law usually is on the side of civilians,” he said.

Fragiskatos added that this issue is far from the first time Superman was inspired by a real-life situation. “[Some of] the earliest stories involve [Superman] fighting corrupt landlords and businesses and that was to give depression era people something [to relate to],” he said. “When you look back it’s not surprising that he became popular when there was no real world hero to look up to.”

Fragriskatos defended the creative team’s decision, saying they are not doing anything many other comic book authors have done.

Too bad Superman couldn’t stand up for this “little guy”:

planned parenthood body parts

DCG

Jay Z Bails Out Violent Protesters

image

By Doyle Murphy of the New York Daily News

Beyoncé and Jay Z wired ‘tens of thousands’ of dollars to bail out protesters in Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo., a writer says.

Jay Z and Beyoncé bankrolled protesters in Baltimore and Ferguson with tens of thousands of dollars in bail money, a writer and social activist close to him claimed.

“I can say I’ve personally helped facilitate donations they’ve given to protesters directly and that they never ask for anything in return, especially publicity,” author dream hampton told the Daily News in an email.

The writer, who collaborated on Jay Z’s book “Decoded,” first revealed the power couple’s behind-the-scenes support in a series of tweets on Sunday morning.

“When we needed money for bail for Baltimore protesters, I asked hit Jay up, as I had for Ferguson, wired tens of thousands in mins.” hampton wrote.

Only two options for cops: Get executed in the streets or executed in the media

handsup

MyNorthwest.com (Dori Monson Show): Police officers in our region (Seattle, WA) are saying there’s a tremendous anti-police backlash right now even though there was no evidence in the grand jury that Darren Wilson did anything wrong in the shooting of Michael Brown and even though that happened a couple thousand miles away in Ferguson, Missouri. But still, all of these people have seized on the “Hands up, don’t shoot” false narrative.

It’s a phony storyline because there was no evidence that Michael Brown had his hands up and said don’t shoot and yet there are a bunch of people who are trying to push this storyline through for some agenda. It’s creating a real anti-police backlash. Cops are getting all kinds of grief from the public as a result of all of this.

In Pierce County, Deputy Sheriff’s Guild President Cynthia Fajardo tells KING 5 it’s been tough trying to convince people to be cops because of what is going on in the world. “If you check with any of the agencies here in the Seattle Metro area, every single agency is having a very difficult time getting people who want to be police officers anymore.”

She told KING 5 that this false storyline, that cops are just out to hunt and kill people, is just absolutely ridiculous. “We train them very significantly to think about their hesitation. We want it to be almost an instantaneous reaction based on their training. Nobody goes into this job wanting to take someone’s life. That is the last thing on anybody’s mind when they take this job. They want to help people.”

Richard Herzog

Richard Herzog

I want to remind everybody of something that happened in our area more than 12 years ago. It was a beautiful June Sunday afternoon in Newcastle near Bellevue. There was a naked black guy walking around in the neighborhood and he was screaming obscenities, pounding on the hoods of cars, and a bunch of people who lived in the neighborhood called police.

A King County Sheriff’s Deputy named Richard Herzog responded and he went to confront this guy who was reportedly on PCP. Law enforcement tells me that PCP is often the drug of choice that leads people to ripping off all their clothes and gives them this incredible strength.

So, Herzog went to intervene. He went to take this man into custody, but the naked man overpowered him. He got Richard Herzog’s weapon and he shot him. Then, when Richard Herzog was on the ground, he stood over him and kept firing at him, executing him in the middle of the street on a sunny June afternoon.

herzog2

Now think what would have happened if Richard Herzog in trying to corral this naked PCP-filled man had managed to get off the first shot. What if he had shot and killed the naked man in the middle of the street. What would have happened to Richard Herzog’s life? He would have been crucified.

We would have had Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton leading marches in the streets of Newcastle and downtown Seattle demanding his badge, demanding life imprisonment for this King County Sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed this unarmed black man on the streets of Newcastle.

Those were the two choices for that cop that day: lose the battle for his gun and get executed in the middle of the street or win the battle for his gun and get executed in the media and by all of these race-hustlers. Those were the only two possible outcomes for a King County Sheriff’s deputy 12 years ago on a sunny June afternoon.

How can you put your cops in that situation? How can you live with yourself knowing we have to have police out there to protect us and to take these risks for us and to sometimes lay down our lives for us, like Richard Herzog? How can you look in the mirror with your phony narrative when you know that is the situation you’re putting our cops in?

I’m not at all surprised that they’re having trouble finding cops when that is the only resolution in these encounters: Kill and get killed in the media by the ignorant public or be killed in the literal sense. I wish people would remember a little bit of our local history as they’re just spouting all this nonsense about Ferguson.

DCG

 

What a coincidence! Ground Zero of Ferguson riots was slated for redevelopment 2 years ago

On the night of November 24, 2014, St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s announcement of the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of black teen Michael Brown, was followed — predictably — by rioting, looting, and burning in Ferguson and environs.

Note: Ferguson is a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, and part of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. To the east of Ferguson are Dellwood and north St. Louis. Blacks comprise the majority of the population in the area:

Ferguson St. Louis map

Altogether, more than a dozen to 25 businesses suffered losses. (For a list of the businesses, click here.)

Here are the before and after images of some of the businesses that were burnt to the ground (for more images, see “Ferguson: Before and After the Riots“):

Advance Auto Parts and Fashion R on West Florissant Avenue just south of Chambers Road

Advance Auto Parts and Fashion R on West Florissant Avenue just south of Chambers Road

TitleMax Title Loans on W. Florissant Ave.

TitleMax Title Loans on W. Florissant Ave.

Little Caesars on N. Florissant Rd

Little Caesars on N. Florissant Rd

Like the four stores above (Advance Auto Parts, Fashion R, TitleMax Title Loans, Little Caesars), most of the businesses that were looted, vandalized, or burned to the ground were in a two-square-mile block on or near Florissant Avenue — Ground Zero of the Nov. 24 riot.

florrisant-ave-map

Ferguson riots businesses destroyed

Three days after the riots, The Buffalo News reported that “Officials of the Missouri Department of Insurance (MDI) met with business owners at the Ferguson Public Library Wednesday to help merchants file claims.” MDI spokesman Chris Cline said: “We’ve been working off a list of businesses that we believed to have been affected and reaching out to them.”

The only thing wrong with this picture is this:

Two years before Officer Wilson shot Michael Brown, setting off a series of protests and riots that culminated in the Devil’s Night of looting and arson on Nov. 24, 2014, there was already a plan — the Saint Louis Great Streets Initiative — to redevelop and revitalize the West Florrisant Avenue corridor.

Here’s a description of the initiative from the City of Dellwood’s website:

St. Louis county Great Streets Initiative – West Florissant Road

In the spring of 2012, elected officials, staff, and residents for the cities of Dellwood, Ferguson, Country Club Hills, Flordell Hills, and Jennings, along with representatives from St. Louis County Highways and Traffic and East West Gateway Council of Governments formed the West Florissant Avenue Committee, recognizing the need for the revitalization of the West Florissant Avenue corridor. The redevelopment strategy for this corridor focused on a 4.5 mile segment of the arterial roadway, beginning south of I-270 and continuing southward through the listed five municipalities, concluding at the city limits of Saint Louis City.

The fundamental goal of this collaborative effort was to compose a strategic plan for the redevelopment of West Florissant Avenue corridor that would significantly improve the quality of life of the individuals who utilize the thoroughfare and also to transform the area to allow increased accessibility and support long term economic development within the corridor.

The City of Dellwood, in partnership with the City of Ferguson and St. Louis County Highways and Traffic has been awarded funds by East-West Gateway Council of Governments for the redevelopment of the West Florissant Road corridor.

St. Louis Great Streets Initiative

How convenient for the St. Louis Great Streets Initiative that the riots did part of their (demolition) work by destroying the businesses along the W. Florissant Ave. corridor, burning some stores clear to the ground!

How convenient for the St. Louis Great Streets Initiative that public donations and state and federal dollars will now pour in to redevelop and rebuild those destroyed businesses along the W. Florrisant Ave. corridor!

What a coincidence!

Now I finally understand why prosecutor Bob McCulloch, knowing full well there would be riots, scheduled his announcement of the grand jury’s decision for night-time, at 8 pm Central time. (See “Are Ferguson riots a planned event?”)

Now I finally understand why Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, although he had already called up the National Guard a week before, held back those same National Guard troops on the night of Nov. 24, in effect giving free rein to those rioters, looters, and arsonists. Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder has accused Nixon of holding back the troops because of pressure from the Obama administration and Attorney General Eric Holder.

Now I finally understand why firefighters in Ferguson did not immediately respond to calls to put out the multiple fires that burned so many businesses to the ground on the night of Nov. 24.

Now I finally “get it” about those paramilitary men recorded on video throwing a flashbang grenade into a car next to Advance Auto Parts — one of the businesses that were burned completely down to the ground. (See “Devil’s Night in Ferguson: paramilitary men set car on fire,)

Paramilitary men in Ferguson riot, Nov. 24, 2014

H/t Jimmy Wen

See also:

Update (Dec. 4, 2014):

KMOV St. Louis reports, Dec. 2, 2014, that some of the businesses that were damaged during the Nov. 24 riots have set up “Go Fund Me” accounts soliciting the public’s donation. I suggest they ask the Saint Louis Great Streets Initiative for help. Go to http://www.WestFlorissantAve.com.

~Eowyn