On Tuesday, police in north St. Louis shot and killed a 23-year-old African-American male that was suspected of robbing a convenience store. It is being reported that he was brandishing a knife and kept coming toward the police even after they ordered him to stop and drop the knife multiple times. So it sounds like the police may have been justified in shooting this suspect, but is that really going to matter? Within moments of the shooting, there were reports that crowds were already gathering at the scene. Needless to say, this could inflame the riots that have been going on for more than a week in nearby Ferguson. The protesters over in Ferguson aren’t going to care if the police followed proper protocol or not. All they are going to care about is the fact that the police have shot and killed another young black male.
This shooting happened just a few miles from where Michael Brown as shot and killed. The following is how CNN described this latest shooting…
“The suspect, who right now is described as a 23-year-old African-American, was acting erratically — walking back and forth up and down the street,” St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told reporters.
“As officers arrived, the suspect turned towards the officers and started to walk towards them clutching his waistband. He then pulled out a knife … and told the officers, ‘Shoot me now. Kill me now,'” the chief said.
Responding officers told the man, repeatedly, to stop and drop his knife, Dotson said. He continued to approach, coming within about four feet of one of the officers, Dotson said, adding that both officers then fired their weapons, striking the suspect.
According to the St. Louis police chief, the suspect was involved in an incident earlier in the day at a convenience store, where he is accused of walking out with two energy drinks and a package of pastries without paying.
If I was a police officer and someone continued to advance toward me with a knife after multiple warnings to stop, I would have done something to protect myself as well.
But at this point, no amount of logic or reason is going to matter to the protesters in Ferguson. In fact, a “crowd of about 150″ rapidly gathered at the scene of this shooting and many in the crowd began to express fury at the police officers for what had just happened…
A crowd of about 150 gathered at the scene of the shooting in the moments after the incident, many of whom expressed anger that cops had not used other means of restraint.
“You don’t need to shoot if you’ve got a Taser and he’s got a knife,” one bystander said.
“You just kill, kill, kill because you got a gun,” another said. “They could’ve tased him. He was by himself.”
“They’re trying to shoot us down,” a third onlooker said.
Many in the crowd began chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot,” and “No justice, no peace,” the chants that have been a hallmark of the protests in Ferguson over the past 10 days.
Of course the big fear is that this incident is going to add fuel to the fire of the protesters over in Ferguson. If you want to get an idea of the kind of rage and anger these protesters are feeling, just check out this YouTube video. But please be aware that it contains some very strong language.
And as I pointed out the other day, all of this anger and frustration did not suddenly come out of a vacuum. The truth is that anger, frustration and desperation have been steadily building in impoverished communities all over the nation for years. The shooting of Michael Brown was just a “trigger event” which caused an eruption of rage in Ferguson.
In the end, it isn’t going to matter to the protesters in Ferguson whether today’s shooting was justified or not. It isn’t even going to really matter whether the shooting of Michael Brown was justified or not. The events of the past 10 days have unleashed a volcano of rage that is not going to be easily extinguished.
So we can probably expect to see even more violence, more rioting and more looting in Ferguson. On some nights, the police in Ferguson have not even tried to stop the looting. It would be very interesting to find out precisely who gave them those instructions.
As the eyes of the nation (and the entire world) are glued on the unrest in Ferguson, there is a significant amount of danger that these riots could start spreading to other cities.
If that happens, it will only be a matter of time before the federal government cracks down hard.
And if the federal government gets involved, that could be really, really bad.
A U.S. Army document that was released just a few months ago outlines how the Army would respond to “full scale riots” inside the United States. As Paul Joseph Watson has detailed, this includes potentially using “lethal force” against “unarmed civilians”…
A document released by the U.S. Army details preparations for “full scale riots” within the United States during which troops may be forced to engage in a “lethal response” to deal with unruly crowds of demonstrators.
The appearance of the document amidst growing unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, with the National Guard now being called in to deal with the disorder, is an ominous coincidence.
The 132-page document, titled U.S. Army Techniques Publication 3-39.33: Civil Disturbances (PDF), was written in April 2014 and recently obtained by Public Intelligence.
The document makes it clear that the techniques detailed therein are to be applied both outside and inside the “continental United States (CONUS)” in the event of “unruly and violent crowds” where it is “necessary to quell riots and restore public order.”
The training manual outlines scenarios under which, “Civil unrest may range from simple, nonviolent protests that address specific issues, to events that turn into full-scale riots.”
The most shocking aspect of the document is the fact that it describes the deployment of a “lethal response” directed against “unarmed civilians,” including “sniper response” and “small arms direct fire.”
Under the heading “sniper response,” the document states, “Ensure that target leaders or troublemakers are targeted,” in addition to a passage which states, “Exploit the psychological effect of an attack.”
You can see the document for yourself right here.
The governor of Missouri has already called in the National Guard.
If that fails, we could potentially see the Obama administration bring in the U.S. military.
Let us hope and pray that does not happen.
Let us hope and pray for peace in Ferguson.
Unfortunately, I am fully convinced that this is just the very start of the chaos that is coming to the streets of America in the years ahead.