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Weekly Poll: Two Questions About Michael Brown and Ferguson MO

August 17, 2014 Crime, Featured, Ferguson, St. Louis County, Weekly Poll 59 Comments
Please vote in the poll, located in the right sidebar
Please vote in the poll, located in the right sidebar

More than a week ago a young man lost his life, shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson:

His mother, Lesley McSpadden, said the shooting took place as her son was walking to his grandmother’s residence.

Piaget Crenshaw, 19, said she was waiting for a ride to work when she saw a police officer attempting to place Brown in the squad car.

She then said she saw the teen, hands in the air, attempt to flee. Several shots hit Brown as he ran, Crenshaw said. She complied with a request that she give photos of the scene to authorities. (stltoday)

In selecting this subject for the poll this week my hope is to gauge reader sentiment.

The first question this week is:

Which of the following do you think happened in Ferguson MO on Saturday Aug 9th?

  • Michael Brown, an innocent unarmed teenager; was murdered by Ferguson PO Darren Wilson.
  • Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, forcefully stole cigars from a convenience store a half mile away; was killed by Ferguson PO Darren Wilson who used excessive force
  • Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, forcefully stole cigars from a convenience store a half mile away; was killed by Ferguson PO Darren Wilson who used appropriate force
  • Unsure/No Opinion

Note that the above will be presented in random order  in the poll in the upper right sidebar on the desktop layout.

The second question is: Which two of the following officials has displayed the BEST leadership regarding Ferguson? (PICK 2) See poll for list, they’ll also be presented in a random order.

Please discuss in the comments below.

— Steve Patterson

  • JZ71

    While these polls are certainly timely, I’m not sure if they’re appropriate. We still don’t know all the facts, the unrest continues and death should not be a popularity contest.

    • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

      Seeing who people think are leading us out of this mess is highly appropriate.

  • Sgt Stadanko

    the trouble with the american justice systems these days is the victim’s rights are secondary to the perpetrator’s. victim has no rights. for example, making sure a person on death row receives the most painless death possible. should be eye for an eye. however, the victim becomes most important when it is a racial issue. that is not fair, nor is it equitable. i don’t know all the facts so i am not making judgement on this incident. this is just an observation of mine. thanks, Sarge

    • Bob Monti

      you do bring into the conversation a very important element: an alleged racial issue stirs up so much valid but unacknowledged guilt on the one hand, and so much bottled up resentment on the other, that neither hand can stop shaking long enough to complete a hand-shake.

  • Flavin

    I’m surprised Antonio French didn’t make your list of local leaders.

    • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

      I considered it but decided to limit the list to those with jurisdiction. If I included Ald French I would’ve had to include St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, for example.

      • Flavin

        I don’t think it would have been inconsistent to include Ald. French since he has been very visibly active on the ground while not including other city officials who have been active but less so. But it’s your poll, so you can include or not include whomever you like.

  • guest

    You needed a “none of the above” choice on the leadership question. The leadership during this crisis has been pathetic across the board. Not only does the crisis expose the racial tension of the St. Louis region, it also exposes our gutless and clueless leadership/political class. The best they can do is point fingers or give pats on the back. Actual leadership? Pfffft. Pathetic showing all around.

  • Lisa Burnett Robinson

    I am saddened but not surprised that the poll voters have fallen for the unethical tactic … the release of that video was meant to change the focus of potential jurors, and it appears to have been successful. The fact that such a tactic was used by a Chief of Police should be troubling to everyone in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Try not to lose focus: two Black guys were walking down the middle of the street … the officer did NOT know about the store incident when he stopped Michael Brown. Can you, as a juror, forget the video? Yeah, the police don’t think so either.

    • Mark

      ….but it appears that Michael DID KNOW about the store incident…..and that just may have made him more arrogant, aggressive and anxious about being detained by police (and therefore more incorrigible than otherwise). A credible witness hasn’t yet stepped forward. We have no facts. Let’s make no assumptions. We’re not writing fiction! Or are we? Meanwhile, let’s see if the demonstrators/rioters show as much passion the next time a black-on-white murder is committed on the streets of, say, St Louis City! (This afternoon, this evening?)

      • Carl Whether

        @Mark, Michael Brown wasn’t the one who was “arrogant”, the cop is the one who sounded arrogant. Remember how he talked to those two boys upon his arrival on-scene. The cop said ” Get the F out of the street!” The cop is the one who sounded like had issues, was angry/arrogant. So sit there and try to guess Michael Brown was when this cop displayed vernal signs of being angry when he got there. He could’ve just said “Get out of the street”.

        • JZ71

          So, Carl, were you actually there? And heard the exchange? Or is this just what you’ve read and/or heard from others? And want to believe happened?

          My guess is that the truth is somewhere in between. The response most people would have had to a request / suggestion / order by a police officer would be to, duh, get out of the middle of the street. It doesn’t matter if it was “Get the F out of the street!”, “Get out out of the street.” OR “Pardon me, gentlemen, would you mind availing yourselves of the sidewalk on your right.”, most people would just DO IT. Even Michael’s buddy was quoted as saying that their response was “We’re having a conversation, we’ll move over when we’re done.” And that, sir, is how confrontations escalate . . . .

          • GMichaud

            JZ, please, Micheal Brown was shot for jaywalking, that is a known fact. There is no in between as you suggest. The cop should have been professional rather than trigger happy and hateful.
            Sure Mr Brown should have bowed to the almighty cop and moved away, if that is what would have solved the problem.
            In the end you have a dead teenager for what?
            It is clear many police are off the rails. Just look at the St. Ann Police officer who was pointing an automatic rife at peaceful protesters saying he would kill them.
            The problem of insane cops needs to be dealt with. We harass the hell out of teachers and the worst that can happen is the Johnny and Jane might not learn as much as with another teacher.
            Meanwhile killer cops go free.
            I doubt with the current prosecutor a fair judgement will result. It will be more protection for incompetent cops.
            If a prison sentence is a deterrent for someone who commits murder in a robbery or domestic dispute, then that same sentence should be in place bad cops to discourage that behavior.

          • JZ71

            I’ll repeat – were you there? I was not. And no, no one should be shot for jaywalking, being black or even for having a bad attitude. But a police officer does have the right to defend themselves, and the police “version of the story” states that a struggle occurred INSIDE the patrol car, involving a large, male suspect attempting to gain control of the officer’s gun.

            You obviously have an agenda and are only willing to look at one side of the story. I want to wait until all the facts are known and the legal system reaches its conclusions before I go condemning this or all police officers as “incompetent”, “insane”, “killer”, “trigger happy and hateful”.

          • GMichaud

            No I was not there, but we have a dead teenager killed for jaywalking. That is a fact. You want the legal system to answer the questions, but if you believe the secret grand jury of Prosecutor McColloch will do anything but whitewash the investigation for Officer Wilson, then I have a bridge I want to sell you. By the way the coverup has already started. The police incident reports from both Ferguson and St. Louis County were essentially blank.
            As for as the hate and incompetence of police officers, I wrote a letter to the Post Dispatch last week
            http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/mailbag/letters-to-the-editor/time-for-major-changes-in-governing-the-police/article_2a22cc4d-484e-5f61-bf76-2fb899a6e88e.html
            In it I pointed out not only Wilson but the officers from St. Ann, St. Louis County and Glendale were out of bounds. Steve of course has a more recent post outlining additional evidence of how sick the Glendale officer really is. I never said all police officers were like that, you did. So how exactly do you define the actions of these officers, surely you don’t think they are ok?
            As far as an agenda, the only person one sided is you. The agenda I have is the same as many in the community, that is police need to stop terrorizing and murdering citizens.
            A Police force should be made up of well trained professionals who are mentally stable and communicate, respect and are involved in the community they police.
            The public does not need macho individuals who have anger, rage and bias issues and who go off at the slightest provocation, nor officers who believe they are above the law and hold the community in disdain.
            In the letter I wrote to the Post I also said it is time to prevent fines from going to police departments, or their city for that matter. The fines should go towards mass transit, nonprofits or some other unrelated entity. Policing for profit is immoral and subject to abuse, as we see in Ferguson and elsewhere.
            I also suggested eliminating the muni’s police forces and creating a number of new districts under St. Louis County jurisdiction.
            If the police in the county can’t be brought under one umbrella with the elimination of muni police forces, then the fractured government nightmare of citizen abuse will continue.
            Some serious changes need to be made to policing in this region.

          • JZ71

            I agree with most of your comments about rogue officers, unstable officers, policing for profit and the potential for abuse. I disagree that “we have a dead teenager killed for jaywalking”. I seriously doubt that any department would hire an officer who would drive down the street taking random shots at pedestrians. What we have, here, is a case too much testosterone, on both sides. The officer got in the teenager’s face, and the teenager got in the officer’s face, and we have a dead teenager killed for having a bad attitude, for not just doing what he was told to do (get out of the street), for not showing proper deference to an authority figure with a gun. We (you, me, the rest of the world) don’t know, and never will truly “know”, absent video evidence, exactly what transpired. We won’t know who threw the first punch, if there really was a struggle inside the vehicle, if there really was a struggle for the officer’s gun. We won’t know if the teenager was charging or kneeling. We know what we want to believe, we know what we’ve read and we’ve heard, over and over, but WE WEREN’T THERE! And even if we were, as true witnesses, history has proven that witness recollections can be notoriously inaccurate. With the clarity of 20/20 hindsight and Monday morning quarterbacking, YES, there are many things that could have, and maybe should have, been done differently. Deadly force is always an option any police officer has, but most police officers retire without ever using it. If nothing else, the paperwork simply isn’t worth it . . . .

          • GMichaud

            I think you are dismissing why there is so much anger in the community. Even if you discount the eyewitness accounts a video taken by one of the eyewitnesses shows Wilson and another officer standing over the not yet covered body of Micheal Brown, the video does not show his police car. Since it is outside of the view of the video means it was at least 20 feet or more away.
            The location of the shell casings would verify Wilson’s position, and since Wilson was in his car and got out, this means that the usual excuses police use for their actions do not apply. Michael Brown was too far away to threaten him, was facing him so he was not resisting arrest, the Officer clearly had his gun so Brown was not trying to take his gun.
            What happened in the car has nothing to do with Brown’s death.
            In addition there is now a verified recording of 11 gunshots, meaning the officer missed at least 5 times, further indicating Brown was a distance away and not at point blank range.
            I realize Urban Review is not the place for a trial, we are just talking, but the evidence is overwhelming that this officer murdered Mr. Brown, the distance he shot him at is the proof.
            As I say the location of the shell casings in relation to the body would confirm everything, but even the position of the police car to the body shows Wilson’s deadly attack was unwarranted. Since cover ups are the way things are done by police, I doubt there was any measurements of the shell casings, and if there are photos they will not be presented to the Grand Jury.
            Nor does anyone run with their head down. Brown had a bullet in the top of his head. Try it, see if you can run with your head parallel to the ground. Even a bull in a bull fight only lowers his head at the last micro second.
            McColloch should have stepped down given the controversy, However he wants to participate in the cover up and will control information given to the Secret Grand Jury to facilitate the cover up. Secret being the key word.
            The bottom line is that Michael Brown was shot from at least 20 to 30 feet away and it was murder. This is why there is so much outrage, the evidence available to the public confirms the eyewitness accounts in the major points.
            If this was a rare occurrence it might be one thing, but there are at least four of these type of excess police force events across the nation right now.
            The danger to society is that sooner or later everything is going to explode in social unrest impacting everyone. The other thing that can happen is America can turn into a complete police state, like China or Burma. Don’t think it can happen? We already have a government bought and paid for by insiders, if police are allowed to do as they will with no accountability it will be a matter of time before everyone loses their rights, not only minorities.
            (By the way the video also shows Officer Wilson with no sign of distress on his face, nor did he act like something was wrong with his face, contrary to what was reported by Wilson, of course police willing to shoot unarmed citizens are also willing to lie, it goes with the turf)

          • JZ71

            I’m not “dismissing the anger”, I’m trying to explain how and why life ain’t always “fair”. There is agreement that the young men were walking in the street, that the officer, correctly, asked them to get out of the street, and that they either refused to do so or did not move very quickly – do you disagree, so far? After that, we have differing accounts, but we do know the outcome. My point is that one needs to be very careful when one confronts superior force: http://youtu.be/ua_TZ84hmEA . . . If you don’t want to end up dead, don’t get into a confrontation with someone who carries a gun, and especially one who has the ability to hide behind their badge.

          • GMichaud

            I always enjoyed Harrison Ford in that scene. Good post. Yes, but I think that is where police professionalism and training need to take over, for real what did Michael Brown really do, even if he took a swing at the officer?
            I’ll just say the facts surrounding his slaying that are visible to the public indicate excessive force. You add witness accounts of hands being raised in surrender then you have a firestorm.
            We can discount the witnesses, however many, yet many people are in prison in America for a lot less witness involvement. A lie detector test would be interesting for everyone involved including the officer.

            I do want to talk for a minute about the prosecutor, Bob McColloch.
            He is elected, and has been for a long time. One would suppose he is a leader in the community
            That leadership should include healing the community. In fact healing the community is what a real leader should do at this important juncture.
            He has clearly gotten resistance as prosecutor in this case. This resistance includes Congressman Clay, along with Brown’s parents and many others.
            Even if McColluch thought in his mind that he is the absolute best choice, should he not first try to heal the community and not concern himself with his ego?
            As a true leader Mr. McColluch should realize that he can’t control the outcome and also that there should be no questions about his integrity and commitment to the success of the St. Louis region..
            It would be far nobler for him to step down, but nobility and concern for the greater good is a lost art.
            Instead by clinging to the prosecution of this case he will be viewed as ego driven, better than everyone else and completely detached from the community:not unlike how much of policing is viewed by the citizens of St. Louis right now.
            If the verdict from the secret grand jury is not to indict. Then which prosecutor choice would the public feel that justice has been served. (I am totally uncomfortable with the idea of secret, when and how soon after the decision does transparency occur?,)

            It is important as leader Mr. McColluch chooses to step down. That is the best way towards justice and healing the community, Then a decision not to indict would at least seem fair, balanced and just and not a decision that fuels the fire of separation and discrimination.
            Mr. McColluch has an opportunity to express a regional and even state wide leadership role, ironically his leadership comes from deciding not to act as prosecutor.

          • JZ71

            How much of the push to get McColluch out is being orchestrated by Dooley, as a direct result of McColluch’s support of Stenger in the primary?

          • GMichaud

            While I’m sure there is no love lost between Dooley and McColluch at this point, It appears to me at leas,t that the call for McColluch to recuse himself is coming from a variety of directions and sources.
            In any case, as I said if McColluch is a real leader he will want to ensure the region can heal, and if he recuses himself, that will give the best chance for that to occur.
            Here is another link I think you might be interested in and I hope Steve takes a look at it, it is a Washington Post article on how St Louis County muni’s profit from poverty.

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/09/03/how-st-louis-county-missouri-profits-from-poverty/
            The article floored me and I pretty well know what is going on. I guess the Arch City Defenders have been following this for some time.
            It is corruption beyond belief and it is hard to believe we as a society allow it to continue.
            A couple of quick takeaways
            For all of the the people who think the city should unite with the county, I think the real issue is cleaning up the county and getting it to unite with itself.
            Also the article points to the utter failure of mass transit and urban planning policies. There are many cities in the world where taking mass transit is not only a viable option, but even preferred by both rich and poor, it can be done.
            The East West Gateway Council needs to be disbanded. It is another area the region needs to start over.
            The complete incompetence of decision making by the political and corporate leaders in the St Louis region is on full display.

          • JZ71

            I’ve seen two arguments about why McColluch needs to to go, politics (Dooley, Stenger, factions within the Democraic party) and losing his father (to a black man, dec ades ago). What I have not heard is any actual incompetence or malfeasance. He’s been reelected multiple times, and I agree with his position that the people who elected him expect him to do his job, and I think that ANY prosecuting attorney is going to be biased towards the police, not just McColluch.

            I also found the Washington Post article to be pretty disturbing, and I agree that “the real issue is cleaning up the county and getting it to unite with itself.” People seem to assume that there’s more accountability with micro governments – in reality, too many of these small burgs fly under the radar, with their only viable financial stream being their police and courts. Until we “fix” that situation, there’s little that will change with the cycle of harassment tickets, high fines, bench warrants, bail or jail and the cycle of poverty.

          • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson
          • JZ71

            By definition, ANY prosecuting attorney will appear to “be on the side of the police”. The police arrest the suspects, the PA prosecutes, the defense attorneys defend and the jury decides. I wasn’t here for the Jack in the Box case, so the only conclusion I can draw is that McColluch did not feel that he had sufficient evidence to gain a conviction, no different than in many other cases. And in any politically-charged case, then and now, politicians and activists are going to take sides. In the immortal words of Rahm Emanuel, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/rahmemanue409199.html#yKE2kHqxZMqk8sHK.99

          • GMichaud

            Whether or not any prosecuting attorney is going to be biased does not mean Mr. McColluch should not take the lead in attempting to heal the community. It may be difficult to find a suitable prosecutor, but if the attempt is made then the segment of the population that no longer has confidence in government, police or the justice system will at least feel that someone is listening.
            Even if McColluch thinks he is the best prosecutor in the state or even the nation, he is in the best position to build public trust in the St. Louis region. I think McColluch would gain status and respect as a leader if he acts to recuse himself.
            I agree, the Washington Post article, is as you say, disturbing.

          • JZ71

            If anyone needs to “take a fall” for this / “lead in attempting to heal the community”, it’s not McColluch, it’s the mayor and/or the police chief in Ferguson.

    • Sgt Stadanko

      So why should this video been kept under wraps? – it is truth. It was a felony committed in broad daylight. it just paints a different image than the ‘gentle giant’, ‘teddy bear’ that was trying to be spun in the hours after the shooting. It starts to paint a picture of truth and just because it doesn’t fit into the agenda of some, it should be kept under lock and key? Again, let me say I am not choosing sides because I don’t have all the facts. But people crying foul because this video hurts the image of Michael Brown is ridiculous – they want their cake and eat it too. thanks, Sarge

      • Lisa Burnett Robinson

        First and foremost, the video from the store down the street is irrelevant to the death of Michael Brown, according to the Ferguson Chief of Police. Is he lying? Second, if the Chief is lying and the officer did know about previous incident, why did he approach this “accused felon” alone? Proper procedure is to call for backup before approaching. Did the officer fail to follow department procedures? If the officer knew about the previous incident and approached Michael Brown alone, and during their interaction he shot him because he was afraid. Ok, that accounts for the first bullet … what about the ones shot in his back while Michael was running away, or when he turned to face the officer with his hands up or when he dropped to his knees with his hands up, or after his body had fallen to the ground? 4-6-8 … unaccounted for. The militarization of the local police begs the question … they can be suited and booted for combat but can’t afford dash cams? Was the officer carrying a taser and made the decision to shoot, and shoot some more. My questions are all about the number of bullets and the trajectory … facts that can be proven. None of this smoke and mirrors can blur the facts. Finally, the simple fact that a seasoned police officer is afraid of an unarmed, empty handed teenager begs more questions than you could possibly answer.

        • Sgt Stadanko

          That video is more relevant than you think. It shows the lack of respect Michael Brown has for the laws we have in this country. He has just committed a felony and a police vehicle pulls up to him. How does he know Officer Wilson is aware of him just committing a FELONY? That might explain why he tried to grab for the Officer’s gun. Or does that get to be thrown out of reality because it paints Michael Brown in a not so ‘gentle giant’ light like the video you have a problem with?

          I will agree the timing of the video release was poor. Almost seems calculated. But that doesn’t take away the relevance this video will have to any/if any prosecution of Officer Wilson.

          I can’t address your questions without the facts but I think the autopsy results will shed a lot of light on what really happened. That will answer all the questions about trajectory and number of bullets that actually hit him or ones that were warnings. Again, a lot rests on those autopsy results and we don’t know them yet. But it seems like many want to convict this officer before there are even charges brought against him. That is what I have a problem with.

          Lastly, I have to believe that this officer felt his life was being threatened for him to do what he did. That was my first reaction to this before it got turned into a racial issue. Because let’s agree that race is really what is fueling this issue. I would love to see the dialogue if this officer was not white. Law knows no color. That is a bigger issue than this. But why would an officer open fire on an unarmed, empty handed (except for a handful of stolen blunts) teenager walking down the middle of the street? There is more to the story here that will come out, in time.

          • Lisa Burnett Robinson

            We’ll see. Police harassment is a huge issue in the StL metropolitan area. Those of us who have experienced it over and over no matter the City have a frame of reference. If it weren’t so sad, I might laugh at the fact that area police are suited and booted like a militia but lack dash cams, body cams, or tasers. We’ll see.

          • Sgt Stadanko

            if you are law abiding folk, there should be no problems. follow laws and you should not have any problems. now, if you are pushing the laws and you get caught, that is a different story. especially if a white cop is involved.

            it seems to be, you don’t care that people commit crimes, but you are more concerned with how accommodating the law it to them like they are paying customers IF they are black. Is this to be the concept of ‘WHITE MAN’S BURDEN’? I just still can’t see your angle here. you sound like more a mouthpiece for the liberal media.

          • Sgt Stadanko

            I agree, we just have to let the facts play out. i don’t want to say there is not a problem but there is also a lack of respect for police officers as well. Had he respected the officer and got out of the street as he was told, he would most likely be here today. Life is not fair, but you have to chose your battles wisely. Thanks, Sarge

  • Joe_Martin

    St. Louis is oppression and misery particularly for young and Black people.The best thing that young people can do is pack up and move out of St. Louis. Young people want to live in a city that has strong population growth, good quality schools, low crime rate, high or decent home values, strong economic growth, and lots of diverse people (some that look just like you). There are way better cities that will serve your demographic group better than St. Louis.

    Not a good city for singles and young people. There seems to be hate and hostility toward young people in this town. The older generations do not like young people. Some of the older folks are competitive toward the young and want to see them down and deprived. This city is NOT good for people who are–young, Black, educated, or foreign. This city was built for the success of white, baby boomers and only this generation and race. Please move out of St. Louis to look for better opportunities and where you can find racial acceptance and tolerance for your age and singleness.

    Rust belt city is dying. St. Louis has a vanishing population. More people leave STL than stay. The city continues to shrink as people leave or die off. A vanishing city is an indicator that there’s not a lot of opportunity and/or that lots of people are dying off.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/l

    http://worldpopulationreview.c

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02

    Lots of vacant properties. STL metro area ranks in the top 5 for vacant/abandoned foreclosed homes in the entire US at 34%. So, for every 1000 foreclosures, 340 of them are owner-vacated (abandoned foreclosures). The city has about 20,000 empty vacant lots so far. There are lots of zombie foreclosures.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/

    http://www.marketplace.org/top

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/l

    Large senior population. St. Louis county has 15% of its population known as the “silent generation” (ahead of the baby boomers). Then, we have the baby boomers, which represent 28%. Together, these 2 generations add up to 43% of the population. In about 10-20 years, you will see a good, say 30%, of the 43% of the population die out and be gone from St. Louis county. It will be a suburban slum with a lot of zombie foreclosures in the sprawling neighborhoods. People will lose equity in their homes if they purchase a home property between 2015-2030. Don’t own property in case you need to relocate for a job as you could be tied down for up to 2-3 years before
    your house sells. It can be very hard to sell.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jo

    http://www.stltoday.com/busine

    Low-wage city. STL is a low-wage city. 90% of all new jobs created since the recession is low wage jobs (lots of working poor in healthcare, call centers, and fast food like McDonalds, Popeye’s, Wendy’s). Once those fast food jobs are automated, there will be vast unemployment in this city and heavy reliance on public assistance by former fast food workers. About 50% of all health care workers have less than a bachelor’s degree so their future job options are limited.

    http://news.stlpublicradio.org

    http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/0

    High suburban poverty. St. Louis county poverty grew by 75% in 12 years (2000-2012). STL city has about 11% of the metro region’s population, which is very small, with about 318,000. Both the city and county of St. Louis represent 50% of the metro population.

    http://video.ketc.org/video/23

    Unaccredited St.Louis Public Schools (though labeled as “provisionally unaccredited”). You can look up accreditation scores for several school districts to get a sense of the quality but many are of very poor quality. STL public schools scored a 24 out of 100 when 51 is passing for accredited. Missouri ranks 47th or 48th in providing resources in pre-K
    education for low-income children. Home values are determined by school quality so expect your home values in the city to decrease if the “provisional” gets changed to “unaccredited”. Again, avoid home ownership if at all possible. It will only get worse.

    http://news.stlpublicradio.org

    http://staytuned.ninenet.org/e

    High crime, particularly murder and armed robbery. Lots of shootings.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interac

    http://www.kmov.com/news/crime

    http://blogs.riverfronttimes.c

    http://www.ksdk.com/story/news

    History of racism, segregation, and white flight in STL metro area. 51% of the city is Black and STL is rated as the most segregated city in the US.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazi

    http://www.pruitt-igoe.com

    http://www.spanishlakefilm.com

    http://news.stlpublicradio.org

    Not good for small businesses. STL is not an easy town to start a business because it is unfriendly. It is also very difficult to get a job for anyone of any age. There is no Lyft or Uber in this town to serve the people. It is also an old boys network kind of business town with lots of cliques so it’s difficult to fit in the established, elitist culture that is exclusionary, insular, and rarely takes interest in the broader community. Many communities are kept down and deprived simply because the powers-that-be only care about themselves and will not invest in the broader community. This is a selfish, white baby boomer town as the old drive out the young.

    http://www.kmov.com/news/busin

    http://www.bizjournals.com/stl

    Brain drain problem. People who are highly educated tend NOT to stay and work here. Just under 1000 people with advanced or professional degrees left St. Louis in 2012. Brain drain contributes to population loss. The older population tends to be hostile toward educated and young people. The foreign born tend not to be welcomed. STL does not work well for those who are young, black, foreign, or educated. Even the large black majority of STL city residents are ignored by the white population.

    http://www.citylab.com/work/20

    http://blogs.riverfronttimes.c

    Heavy smoking town. Lots of people love to smoke. STL is a smoker’s paradise. Low taxes on cigarettes is what lights the cigarettes up. The city should install a chimney above the city so that the smoke fumes could pass up. Air quality is very poor. Lots of city children have asthma.

    http://blogs.riverfronttimes.c

    Missouri is America’s drugstore. It has a lot of drug abusers of painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone and tranquilizers such as Xanax and Valium. It is the only state that does not have a prescription drug database so it attracts drug abusers and sellers from all over the US. Be aware of your surroundings as you walk out of a pharmacy. People desperate for drugs do desperate things.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07

    High rates of STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. There are a lot of people with STDs in STL.

    http://www.stltoday.com/lifest

    • Mark

      Holy Good Night!

      • dempster holland

        which means our metropolitan area contains the worst 2.5 million
        people iin the world.

      • Adam

        eh… this guy goes around posting his links on every STL-themed story on the internet. he’s oddly intent on dissuading people from coming here (thus inflating all his grievances). makes me think he’s just a really miserable guy with a chip on his shoulder.

  • gmichaud

    If you include best leadership the two people I think should be on the list are Alderman French should be on the list. He along with Patrol Captain Ron Johnson are engaged with the community, the two state senators may also get a nod. I just don’t see anyone on this list that has supplied the leadership of French and Johnson, irregardless of jurisdiction. Notice they are the only two on the ground in the community on a consistent basis, the rest sit back in their offices to make pronouncements.

  • gmichaud

    Here is an example of a leader, Captain Ron Johnson
    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/08/watch-capt-ron-johnsons-emotional-apology

  • upsetwiththe media

    Are you freaking kidding? Hasn’t the “media” stirred up enough malcontent, condemning both sides with incomplete information? This is so inappropriate.

  • Sharon Steinberg

    The part about “an unarmed teenager” seems leading.

    • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

      I disagree, that’s relavant information in a police-involved shooting.

  • [email protected]

    Anytime Sharpton, Jackson, Holder and obummer get involved, you can bet it’s premature action by those wishing to personally capitalize on the situation. This totally “muddies up the water” and makes justice more elusive. Our incompetent and agenda-driven media is quick to add to the trouble by filming and giving credence to the lawbreakers. We are at a point in our country where obummer’s efforts to create massive racial division has everyone at a fever pitch. Blacks perpetually whine about injustice and being victims of racism but they do absolutely nothing to alter their image as deadbeats, criminals, leaches of the welfare system, educationally challenged, indifferent to law and prone to behave very badly at every opportunity. Blacks with no visible means of support, wandering the streets, emboldened by obummer and holder’s refusal to hold them accountable for their actions are bombs waiting to go off in the face of law enforcement. They take tremendous risks because they don’t have respect for themselves, much less for others. Police need to read up on the “Wyatt Earp law enforcement technique”, a clout over the head allows the troublemaker to be hauled off to jail before any violence can take place and provides a “cooling off” period.

    • gmichaud

      Your attitude is part of the problem,

      • [email protected]

        And you have your head in the sand.

    • gmichaud

      I didn’t have time to respond completely earlier. So let’s
      break down your words just a bit. Your calling President Obama, obummer is a
      good place to start, you don’t even have enough respect for the President to
      use his name, let’s just say there are racial prejudice overtones in you repeating
      that, (note the name degradation has nothing to do with having a conversation)

      I am fully aware there are many black (and whites) under
      duress. The killing of an unarmed teenager is part of that duress.

      And certainly there are too many that consider violence and
      looting the solution. There is a book Tombee, (portrait of a cotton planter by
      Theodore Rosengarten) which describes slaveholding in 17th century America,
      shows how families, fathers, mother, brothers sisters were sold off to the highest bidder, completely dividing the family.

      Imagine your family. You have a mother and father, and maybe some brothers or sisters, what would be that impact on your life, if they were sold along with you to different slaveholders far from where you grew up.
      This occurred for almost 200 years until the Civil War. Even after the Civil War it was another 100 years until the Civil Rights Act was passed.

      I am 66, when I was young segregation was real. I have seen it.
      After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 things began to change, but corporations began to send the stepping stone jobs overseas. The steady jobs with decent income were far fewer.
      So here we are today, even the white middle class is collapsing.
      The real looters on Wall Street, in Congress and in the Missouri House and Senate are allowed to go free because they make the laws and own the police and the justice system.
      That is the revolution that is happening, it has nothing to do with the usual misguided talking points. The same bullshit has being going on too long.

      • Mark

        I think several of your points of argument were valid– at least they were in the 70’s and during the 80’s even. But by the late 80s, at least one generation of African Americans had been given the opportunity to seek education and begin the process of personal recovery. Given the opportunities offered to African Americans over the years, the caged bird theme remains relevant only so long. I suspect your response might be that young AAs lacked the incentive to begin climbing out of the abyss…that their parents and family (may have) failed to encourage them.Given the public assistance that they were offered and that many received at the time and even today, it may be true that society too has handed them too much and, along with their parents, has failed/spoiled them. A well-fed cat won’t catch any barn rats! But the events of the 80’s aren’t in yesterday’s current news stories. And almost 2 generations later, AA’s are complaining about the same things. But what are they doing to improve themselves–beyond marching? (I maintain it’s a hell of a lot easier to put on a shirt, join a demonstration, pick up a free TV or two, or radio–than to open a math book and learn the fundamentals of algebra.)

        Not all “whites” were handed an education on a platter. My father had a 6+ grade education (a poor one at that !); my mother was the “educated” among us, having completed 10th grade. Both became farmers. College was never even mentioned in our household, and high school graduation was the goal they had helped us set. No one–but me!!!– subsidized my college or grad school tuition, room and board, clothing. I wasn’t smart enough to earn scholarships, but I knew enough to work my ass off for 7 years to earn degrees that would eventually pay off.

        When I’m visiting the states, I think I see that that things aren’t improving in the AA community. They appear to be status quo, never missing an opportunity to march against those things they consider to be injustices. I wonder if some of that energy might be better diverted toward the books? And I wonder why the AA community almost always plays the race card when an AA is on the receiving end of a white bullet–but not when a white is on the receiving end of a black bullet?

        When are the AA community leaders going to step forward to rally against all the AA crime and thuggery that stereotypes them? When is Mr. Sharpton going to travel to STL or Omaha or LA or NYC to organize an AA march against the most recent AA incident of AA thuggery? The better question is, ‘When will Mr. Sharpton travel to a city after a school shooting–where the victims are mostly white–in support of the local community?’ IMO, AA leaders tend to separate themselves from mainstream events and they appear to come out of hiding when it would appear they have found an opportunity to further their own agenda.

        Everyone has personal issues to deal with. Male black skin immediately signals trouble to some.I wonder if behaviors among black males have somehow contributed to this perception. I travel with a man who is grossly overweight–GROSSLY!–but he is an excellent engineer, and eventually people overlook his appearance when they begin to realize his value to a project. And believe me, they don’t snuggle up to him quickly! I speak with a thick southern accent–a MAJOR SOUTHERN ALABAMA ACCENT THAT SPELLS ‘I G N O R A N T’ for some–not something that immediately impresses clients!! Together, my colleague and I walk into a meeting and have to overcome our handicaps. Lots of engineers today appear to be of Arabic descent….don’t you think that people look twice at them when they enter a room for a meeting?

        There comes a time when the “buck stops here” concept becomes a reality beyond a clever adage among Harry Truman’s colorful humorisms. I think the AA community needs to grow up–just like the Italians, Jews, BOSNIANS, Asians and indo-Europeans have and are doing.

        • JZ71

          Mostly agree with most of your observations, but I think that one further point needs to be made – stereotypes start with/about groups of people, and are broken down as members of the group become more familiar and individualized. It’s way easier to say that “all” young AA males look and act like thugs than it is to say that many young AA males choose, like most young people, to adopt whatever is currently “fashionable” when it comes speech, dress and attitude. I work with a diverse group of people. Some come closer to fitting the typical stereotypes than others, but the vast majority are either a pleasure or perfectly fine to work with. I came of age in the ’70’s, and I remember how many of those Caucasian young people were stereotyped for their fashion choices.

          Finally, there’s a fine line between ethnicity and racism. We can change our hair and how we speak. We can change our clothes and our posture. We can change our names and our weight. We can choose to smile and be friendly, or not. What we can’t change is our skin pigmentation. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t notice, but we do. The real challenge isn’t that we notice that someone is different – white/yellow/brown/black, the challenge is that we stereotype anyone based on solely what they look like, before they even open their mouths. AA’s have been negatively stereotyped my entire life (60+ years). Getting an education is only one part of the equation. As long as AA’s are viewed as being inferior to every other race, for whatever reason(s), they will continue to struggle economically.

          • Mark

            Your comment that “education is only one part of the equation” is accurate….but we can’t ignore the fact that academia exposes an individual to much more than the collection of facts, theories, concepts and even visionary theorizing. In the process of becoming educated, we also learn discipline; self-control; success-and-failure coping skills, and humility– qualities that appear to be sorely lacking among the thugs who terrorize the innocent and even among those who have joined the masses to loot and destroy their very neighborhoods and local businesses.

        • gmichaud

          I understand what you are saying, however the oppression has been steady for almost 300 years, I’m not sure overcoming it in a few decades is reasonable. Especially given the abject poverty that is evident.
          I get it work hard is a key to success, but if barriers keep being thrown up, as this whole discussion has as a root. The favoritism is built in structurally. Most of the police force and the good paying white color jobs are white in Ferguson.
          Trust me I understand there are many problems in the African American community, I have been completely frustrated and unhappy about things that happen. I live in the city off of South Grand, that, among many other experiences (Every city I visit, I find the slums so I can tour them.) informs my discussion.
          I understand the problems are deep, I also believe good progress has been made in the past 50 years, we have a black president after all. Completely unthinkable when I was young.
          Still policies that send many, if not most of the stepping stone jobs overseas is one major area that prevents even further progress.

          In contrast Germany has a strong industrial policy that supports worker unions, keeps industries in Germany and while they are at it have become a world leader in renewable energy.
          Check the statistics on poverty, economics, health, wealth or whatever and Germany is going to be far ahead of the US in most areas.
          Structurally the United States policy does not represent the African American population, It has gotten to the point it also ignores the American population as a whole.
          Polls consistently show the public supports measures that Congress do not. In fact there was a recently released Princeton University Study that showed that government policy reflects the desires of interest groups and the wealthy while the citizens influence on government policy is less than 1%.
          So do you think a white Bosnian, Italian, Jew, and so on are going to be treated the same in a job interview as a black male? As JZ points out, you can’t change skin color.
          You gave an explanation how you worked your way through college and life, what if you could never get a job due to skin color, where would you be now? It would be different wouldn’t it?

          • Mark

            My family and I are leaving the US in a few minutes to return home…..but your last question is an interesting one and I would like to offer my observations about that issue, based on my experience. I work in the construction engineering industry, and when I travel for a presentation, I am one of several engineers/architects on the team. Depending on the size of the project, our team may include several engineers: mechanical, electrical, soils, structural, typically. I have found that well-educated black engineers (and I assume architects as well) move quickly to the top of the hiring list because of (but not just because of) government-mandated quotas, but also because selection teams (who represent the eventual client and actually select the project design team) typically appear to be awed by and soon develop a noticeable, (almost) reverential respect for a well-educated, articulate professional. (A Mike McMillan type!). I’ve watched the dynamics in several presentations: at first they view the AA engineer cautiously–but respectfully, but they soon warm up to him when (if) they realize that this guy is on the design team because he knows what he is doing–that he wasn’t planted there because of skin color. Nothing turns off white America more! Maybe I’m naive, possibly because I grew up in the south where blacks and whites live next door to one another and don’t think (much) about it–but I think that white mid-Western America is ready and willing to open their doors to AAs , but it won’t happen until the violence in the AA community is reduced–and substantially; until AA middle- and high-school students apply themselves to academia and quit bitching about the past that happened 100 years ago!!!!!; until AA students develop a degree of self-respect that will render their school environments less confrontational and more conducive to the job at hand, supporting teachers instead of consistently confronting them; until AA parents DEDICATE their lives to raising their kids and encouraging them in their personal and academic responsibilities/pursuits; until AA fathers zip up their trousers and settle in with a single wife/life partner, staying at home in the evenings to be the dad and husband that the kids and wife deserve.

            I agree that changes/improvements won’t happen overnight–but it’s obvious that new methodology is in order for the AA community, because what they’ve been doing “ain’t been working” over the last 100+ years! It almost appears that the AA community desperately wants to be accepted into the white community, but on their own terms–and many of those terms are totally unacceptable to the white world. In response to another one of your comments: Hitler sorta screwed things up for US-Germans for several years in the US; and the Japanese were forced and were smart to kept a low profile after the war–but things eventually changed for them, and through hard work, by respecting the law and by integrating into mainstream society, they overcame the sigmas that had alienated them from mainstream society, and eventually re-blended. The same can happen for the AA community. I think the AA community would do well to divorce Mr. Sharpton, his supporters and all those who share similar ideology, and do whatever is necessary to re-establish themselves on a platform that advocate less violence, more self-respect, less confrontation, and lots more responsibility within their ranks–with an emphasis on responsibility and self-respect.

          • gmichaud

            I think it is interesting to point out that your African American colleague would not likely have had an oppurtunity to work with you 40 or 50 years ago. Art Shell was the first African American football coach in 1989, not so long ago.
            The African American community recognizes the problems, but again it is not easy to break the cycle of poverty. I certainly don’t see Rev Sharpton doing anything but encouraging peaceful demonstrations.
            If there are a lack of decent jobs, then the paths are cut off for stability and success. Like I asked you before, where would you be if you didn’t have a job?
            So if you have a 50% unemployment rate for black youths, what exactly do you imagine is going to happen? Too many turn to violence and robbery, but society fails to supply alternatives, as I said previously Germany manages to make policies that strengthens industry at home, so it is entirely possible to do the same here is America if the government wasn’t completely owned by the wealthy insiders.
            Also I don’t believe it is bitching when the past is considered as a factor in present day problems. Racism is still prevalent in this country, the treatment and death of Michael Brown for walking down the middle of a street with little traffic should indicate there is still a problem.
            The Japanese Americans after WW2 were never disenfranchised as blacks in America have been.
            I am as tired of the violence and crime as anyone, but painting the whole African American community with the same brush is not a solution. That has been done for as long as I can remember.
            While education is a factor, ultimately getting rid of poverty is the best solution so that everyone has a stake in society. Without jobs, decent paying, livable wage jobs, we will continue to deal with serious problems in the community.
            In fact many wars and uprisings through the centuries have been caused by poverty or contributed to conflicts.
            Unfortunately the United States is going in the opposite direction with the corporate and wealthy elite usurping more and more of the wealth of the country, impacting everyone.
            In any case, we can talk about character, responsibility, self respect or whatever you want. I just don’t think there will be a permanent solution until there is an economic base that supports everyone in the community, black or white.

      • [email protected]

        Wake up and smell the coffee, bub. obummer is obummer cause he has done nothing, I repeat, absolutely nothing worthy of respect. He is a race baiter, muslim terrorist, statist, America hating, egotistical, lazy, vengeful, two bit thug. You are a dreamer, a bleeding heart…don’t even start lecturing me on black hstory, I’m 60 and I’ve lived in four different southern states, I’ve been there, seen it and draw my conclusions from personal experience, not prejudice but years of seeing blacks do absolutely nothing to improve their lot because they’ve found that people like you will feel sorry for them and keep throwing them money as long as they keep playing victim.

        • JZ71

          So, does your vitriol toward our current president extend to all of our other recent leaders at the federal level? Every president since JFK has worked to help minorities and the disadvantaged, some more aggressively than others, and every successful politician in Congress can be labelled a “statist, egotistical, lazy, vengeful” person, as well!

          • [email protected]

            The proof is in the pudding, bub. It has become quite easy to separate the “morally motivated” from the “self-aggrandizing” in our government. I call it as I see it, there are some good ones but obummer has spearheaded the most criminally unjust and lawless administration in history, along with holder, reid and Pelosi, Soros, Ayers, Jarrett and all the muslims and black militants he’s appointed as czars. If you can’t see it, you are blind as a bat.

        • gmichaud

          My, my did you forget to take your meds?
          In the above discussion I suggested that after almost 300 years of oppression that maybe it was too much to ask for normalcy after several generations, especially without a job base to support change.
          I also said that although education, self discipline, perseverance and the like are important to success, once again without decent jobs to alleviate the poverty it is going to be difficult to improve conditions in the African American community no matter what the circumstances are on the ground.
          In contrast your response is full of hate, racism and completely counterproductive. As I said previously your attitude is part of the problem.
          And yes I respect African Americans, I saw many die in Vietnam. The dirty underbelly of war, of fighting and dying does not see the color of the skin.
          The only thing I can recommend to you at his point sir is that you grow up and act your age.

          • [email protected]

            Go soak your head. What you failed to mention is the trillions of dollars thrown at the black community since LBJ’s “War on poverty” and what has that money done….nothing! You can throw money at the problem but until blacks admit they are the cause of their own poverty and do something about it, they get no sympathy from me. When black men accept parental responsibility and black women quit having babies by different men just to collect more welfare, maybe they can begin to catch up to self-responsible civilization. I’m sorry, where you come from, all blacks are probably like Bill Cosby, but it ain’t that way…by a long shot. Until they quit claiming victimization while perpetrating all types of crime and mayhem, I’ll continue to treat them as fellow humans but will withhold any respect until its earned. There’s not a black kid in this country that can’t get a free bus ride to school, free breakfast, free lunch, free use of computers, textbooks and libraries. Minority scholarships, Negro College Funds, affirmative action admittance, minority business loans, a black television station, a black Miss America…….just what do they want that isn’t already there?! Now go on and cry for them, I won’t.

          • GMichaud

            I am not crying for blacks, I am crying for America. If we want America
            to succeed than we have to figure things out, its that simple.
            I
            believe more white people in American collect welfare than blacks, is
            that not correct? The difference is the percentage of the population,
            since one population has been oppressed for some 300 hundred years while
            the other skin color has contained the ruling class so it should come
            as no surprise that blacks have a higher percentage, but not a higher
            number of individuals on welfare.
            America has the highest number of people in prison in the world, white or black, so we are clearly doing something wrong.
            To simplify the discussion I will focus on one item-jobs. Even the recent
            editorial calls in the Post-Dispatch for more diplomas is absurd, a
            person can have all of the degrees in the world, if there is no jobs-to
            what avail?
            My own son had a bachelors in math and a MBA and it took
            him two years to find a job. This was during the downturn, but the point
            is you can have degrees up the wazoo, but if no one will hire you then
            you live in poverty.
            I remember as a youth I had a summer job at
            Lincoln Engineering on Goodfellow making arc welders and lub parts for
            cars. I also had a job for awhile at a little steel plant on the
            northside on Warren Street.
            And when I came back to St Louis after
            being overseas I moved to Soulard in the seventies, there was a rope
            factory, just up the street from Soulard Market. Yes they made honest to
            goodness ropes. Quite a few Soulard residents worked there and walked
            to work. After I had lived in the neighborhood a few years the plant
            machinery was dismantled and sent to Mexico.
            These factories are all closed of course, but their products still are made, just elsewhere.
            When jobs exist that can support a small family modestly then it will be possible for progress.
            Even if those jobs were available on a consistent basis it would still decade or two to get to a point of normalcy.
            You
            seem to have talking points down pretty well. A black television
            station?, lord no we can’t any counterpoint to the white tv stations
            which are everywhere, all of the time.
            By the way there is no doubt
            that there are blacks that take advantage of the system. Same as with Wall
            Street and Congress, In fact I’d guess that 80 to 90 percent of
            congress, dems and republicans are corrupt. Of course they make the laws
            so bribes are called donations. Even the supreme court agrees
            basically arguing that if everyone pretends political donations are not
            bribes, then they agree too.
            By the way Finland has one of the best
            education systems in the world and they offer free lunches, libraries,
            textbooks and computers. The schools are designed as neighborhood
            schools with high school students taking mass transit to school. There
            is no such thing as a school bus in Finland.
            I guess you never go the local library in your community, they also have free computers and textbooks.

          • [email protected]

            GMichaud, we’re really not that diverse in our opinions or perspectives. By relating how all blacks have the opportunity to better themselves, getting a job is not the point. Showing a desire/resolve to better yourself by becoming educated and standing on your own feet is the point. I’m glad you admitted that the black population (about 14%) gets less total welfare but much more by percentage. And yes, I realize there are many whites and others that take advantage of a corrupt system to “ride the gravy train”. However, turning to a life of crime and violence is much more likely among the blacks who have been taught to hate white people to the point of not having any consideration or regret for destroying lives and property as a way of “getting back at the crackers”. Getting back for what? I am sick to my stomach of hearing about slavery, it’s been gone for generations and every black was not descended from slaves. A great number of white people entered this country from Europe as indentured servants who put in years of hard work in poor conditions to gain their independence. You don’t hear their descendants hollering “victim of oppression”. A great amount of harm has been done to the black community by welfare. It has made them unappreciative of what the get and reduced them to a state of only wanting more instead of wanting to be self-reliant. Our judicial system has failed to carry out tough sentences which, I believe, would deter crime. The bible, God’s word, condones capital punishment for taking a life. Why have we failed to do that? Too many lawyers and too many people wearing rose-colored glasses. Abortions, by the thousands, lowers what people think of human life. The love of money, the root of all kinds of evil, has pervaded our congress and pretty much all levels of government offices. TV, Hollywood and the internet have combined to contribute to moral decay and everyone thinks they know truth but have never read the only truth, the Holy Bible. I’ve had to quit watching TV news of any kind cause the world is in a tailspin of making right wrong and wrong right. When I do watch the news, I think, “If everyone would just tell the truth and face up to it.” There’s nothing wrong with making an unrighteous mistake if we learn from it, sincerely ask for forgiveness and strive to not make it a way of life. I don’t know, how we fell from The Greatest Generation to where we are now is a mystery to me, maybe it was inevitable in a democratic republic when the majority becomes apathetic.

  • RA Greenman

    All assumption at this time. The entie investigation thus far is being handled by the press! And that can be very biased depending on the news organization. None of us know any of the facts, only that Brown was shot dead by the police.

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