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Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Murder of Michael Brown: One Year Ago Today

Before 'FERGUSON' became known to the entire world, John Crawford (in Beavercreek, OH) and Eric Garner (in Staten Island, NY) would both be slain by terrorist cops. Then, came the murder of 18 year old Michael Brown. Gunned down by a White cop while attempting to surrender, Mike Brown's death occurred on August 9th - one year ago today.

HIS death wasn't any more or less exceptional than all the others. His hadn't even been caught on camera, apparently. Folks were already angry. There was already a deep, visceral, unshakable sense that this country was deadly for a Black person's health. Wounds from the hyper-racialized, polarizing case of Trayvon Martin were still festering (as they continue to do so). Then there was that wretched, police choking murder of Garner - captured on Ramsey Orta's mobile device, it provided the world with a nauseating, trigger-inducing snuff short of police thugs killing an innocent man... from beginning to end, in HD quality. Yet, with the murder of Brown, the camel's back seemed to have been broken. Folks had enough. Enough of bastard-ass cops simply murdering Black people and being soo thoroughly protected by a system hardwired to racism and terrorist, authoritarian state-violence. Enough of a sense that in America, Black lives didn't matter - or not as much at least. With the death of Brown, people were beginning to call out that bullshit. An already burgeoning BLACK LIVES MATTER movement would go international... and this small, largely Black suburb of St. Louis would become a major flash-point!
Desperate times. A protester in Ferguson holds up this sign in the midst of fire and chaos. Peaceful street actions over the murder of Mike Brown would be met with the iron fist of militarized police gestapo. In the following months (and with more police murders and grand juries refusing to indict) this fiery scene would be repeated in multiple American cities.



The murders of other innocent Black people had of course happened, earlier in 2014, as in many years prior. Best cast scenario, families of victims might receive a settlement after years of fighting and (in more high-profile cases) national attention.  Rarely were killer cops ever held the least bit accountable. Rare was it for a cop to lost his sorry-ass job for killing and innocent person. And so far as serving actual time was concerned... well statically, that never happened (the one case of BART cop Johannas Mehserle, who murdered Oscar Grant on New Years 2009 in Oakland was a rare anomaly. But that outcome came about only after immense outrage and the burn of the national spot light. And even then, the son-of-a-bitch ended up serving less than two years).

With Brown's murder, the outcome remained mostly the same: Darren Wilson, the pig who killed Brown, would go on to not face any criminal charges, and would be fully "exonerated" by a grand jury. With the murder of Brown, another vile pig with blood on his hands had gotten away with it. However, the case would spark some very tangible actions for both Ferguson and the country as a whole. Again, the murder of Brown happened in the context of other high-profile killings, either by cops or racist vigilantes. But it wasn't just that. As Brown's killing would come to reveal, The city of Ferguson, MO didn't just have a severe police problem, but a severe government problem. As of 2014, Ferguson had a Black population of roughly 67%. Yet, the police force was virtually all White. The mayor, City Council, all judges, prosecutors, and all other city officials were White. In 1970, Ferguson was 99% White. However, the demographics would shift to near-polar opposite over the subsequent 40 years, as White-flight, red-lining, divestment, neglect, poverty, and at least a couple of economic depressions would take its toll. 

By 2014, Ferguson had become a largely poor, mostly Black town dominated by White supremacist rule. Residents faced never-ending siege by the Ferguson Police Gestapo (FPG), which acted as a straight-up local gang. In the wake of Brown's murder, a Dept. Of Justice investigation into how the city operated revealed that even in the majority Black city, racial disparities were wildly out of sync. 85% of all traffic stops, 88% of all use-of-force cases (state violence) 90% of all citations (extortion), 93% of all arrests were conducted against Black residents by the police regime. Innocent people were constantly harassed. Rights were routinely violated. More likely to be searched, with or without just cause, yet less likely to have drugs or weapons than Whites. More likely to be shot and killed by cops. Same goddamned story all over the country... but the situation was especially bad in Ferguson.

BUSTED! Mary Ann Twitty(right) seen here in this photo with former cop Darren Wilson(left). The stupid bitch was fired from her job as a Ferguson court clerk for sending racist emails. The photo was reportedly lifted from her facebook page.

That federal investigation also uncovered a barrage of racist emails swapped amongst cops that showed just what these animals really thought of Black people in general. The inquiry revealed a systemic, hard-wired pattern of racism that was casually practiced by both police and other city officials. Eventually, the released emails would result in the sacking of some cops and city employees. One of those fired city workers, Mary Ann Twitty, has since found herself a part-time temporary job in Vinita Park, another St. Louis suburb.

The local municipality itself worked hand-in-hand with the police to oppress the city's Black residents. Unreasonably high fines and citations over the most mundane infractions would be routinely levied against Blacks. In a city with already high unemployment, law-abiding people forced to take precious time of their jobs to meet court dates - which would get delayed or postponed. Those who couldn't pay extortion money to the White city Council had even more fines levied against them. Missed court dates over trivial matters would result in arrest warrants. People were forced to choice between working/eating/housing and doing the court's bidding. So when Mike brown was gunned down by pig Wilson for walking in a residential street on Aug. 9th 2014 with his hands up - his body left to lay in the street for four 1/2 hours - the people had had ENOUGH! 


Given the circumstances, it was no damned wonder people were fed up. Local citizens were now passionate activists. And in the center of it all were Brown's parents,  mother Lesslie McSpadden and father Michael Brown Sr. In November 2014, McSpadden and Brown Sr. traveled to Geneva, Switzerland to testify for a United Nations panel against torture and police state-violence. And state violence was certainly what citizens would come to face, as they protested Brown's murder. And this here was whens the situation really started to become real for everyone. Notoriously, the world would be treated to images of peaceful, unarmed marchers facing off against hyper-militarized police forces. The police were compiled from multiple agencies, including the Ferguson regime, St. Louis police, and Missouri state troopers. And they had every weapon of war afforded to police regimes at their disposal. Cops and police-planted agitators instigated chaos. Besieged crowds became rightfully violent. Mainstream media smeared everything as a "riot". And before long, people were drawing (understandable) comparisons between Ferguson and Fallujah. Indeed, the city was now resembling and occupied police/war zone.

Michael Brown Sr. and Lessie McSpadden, the father and mother of Mike Brown. Since Brown's murder, Brown Sr. and McSpadden have been tireless advocates for their slain son, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement.

Cops with military assault weapons and armored vehicles, harassing terrorizing unarmed local people. Police-installed agent provocateurs disguised as "protesters", as well as other non-residents brought into town to agitate chaos. Police thugs tear-gassing people at random, including journalists attempting to cover events on the ground. Not to mention the always predictable corporate mainstream media, taking a few isolated acts of criminal activity and smearing the entire event as "looting", "rioting", and "thuggery". And along with that, can always count on racist reactionaries, conservative commentators, worthless cop-apologists, and a virtual army of coward-ass online trolls to reliably do their part. But amid all of this, righteous activists, those who support Mike Brown and all victims of police terror, and most importantly - the people of Ferguson, MO itself have persevered and continue to do so! Marches were held on Sunday August 9th to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Brown's murder. As always, there were plenty of bastard-ass cops. There was even a shooting that occurred later in the evening, when cop thugs tried to claim yet another victim! But over-all, the focus stayed on the memory of Brown, Ferguson, and continuous call for justice.     

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