This morning, I read an article in the New York Times titled “Quiet Night in Ferguson turns Confrontational.” It’s title does adequately describe what happened there last night, but it’s content leaves something to be desired.
The earlier paragraphs are simply a recap of what we already know: Michael Brown was shot six times by a police officer named Darren Wilson, and protests happened. It leaves out a lot of detail and doesn’t mention the words “shocking brutality by a militarized police force” anywhere, which every article on Ferguson ought to.
It goes on to say that Captain Ronald Johnson declared Tuesday a “turning point” for Ferguson, which may be true. There was no tear gas used, “only” pepper spray. That is better, yes. I don’t know about a turning point, but it’s an improvement.
But the real kicker is is when it completely fails to mention the time when that quiet night in Ferguson turned all confrontational-like. I was watching Rebelutionary_Z’s livestream of events. I have to say I don’t normally flock to names like that; I find them needlessly provocative. However, I must commend his work. He managed to stay with protesters right up until the very end, unlike most of the media, which was quickly corralled and split off when everything went down…
…at 11:55 PM CDT. That’s when police began to mobilize. That’s when “Officer Go-Fuck-Yourself” with his brandished AR-15 reared his ugly head, screaming an explicit death threat at an unarmed black man named Josiah whose silhouette looked about as threatening as mine. Ten frantic minutes later, at around 12:05 AM CDT, the order came out over loudspeaker for all protesters to disperse, and all “credentialled media” to move to the “designated media areas.”
Nothing spurred this police reaction. This was the enforcement of a curfew that someone in the crazy amalgamated force that might be called the Ferguson Police Department decided is still on. It is, at best, gross insubordination to the governor of Missouri. At worst, it’s a gross violation of the right to peacefully assemble. In reality, it’s both.