Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Price of Silence

Johannes Mehserle has been charged with murder.

It's tough to believe he'll be "cleared of the charges against him" - videotape and dozens of witnesses are pretty tough to refute.

The shooting in a BART station recently has gone a bit wrong for the SF police...

Note - in the first video, the news anchor says the officer responsible in the shooting has resigned rather than talk to investigators.

I'm sure we'll hear more about this.

Ye gods, this has to be every police officer's worst nightmare - a crowd gathering rapidly and chanting 'F--K THE PO-LICE,' can't say I'm very sympathetic to the protestors. Them's 'fightin words' kids, you do that to -anyone- they're going to get upset at some point and try to shut it down.

BUT... opening fire with teargas or 'nonlethal' (read: "still hurts like holy hell") rounds isn't exactly 'wise' either.

Not being an expert in defusing large, angry mobs I can only theorize, but it sure seems to me using weapons at that point was a bad idea.

Notice the people wearing bandanas - agent provocateurs? It's happened before. This footage may be analyzed with face-recognition software and I hope if it's proven there were people trying to incite the riot they're punished, police OR civilian.

Note that the guy throwing stuff (newspapers??) at the police is wearing a hoodie AND a large bandana. Note that pretty much -all- the people actively engaging the police are. In the videos above where the police car is being trashed (people jumping on it) it sure looks like drunken transients - perfect fodder for provocateurs. This just smells wrong and I hope someone is collating all this footage.

Near the end of this clip you can hear the police clearly warning the crowd to disperse or 'physical force' will be used and 'injuries may occur' - I don't know about YOU but when a group of people with guns say that to ME, I LEAVE.

Clearly there was a group among the protestors who wanted a confrontation... and brother, they got it.

For example, this hero - face completely covered:

Sorry, masked faces get zero credibility.

It's so sad that one bad cop started this whole mess, but worse that violent individuals escalated it.

The mayor did say he thought it was because 'people had lost confidence' in the police.

Here's hoping this gets sorted out and as the vice-mayor said: "Justice is done"

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