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Poll Results On Ferguson Shooting

August 27, 2014 Crime, Featured, Ferguson, St. Louis County 5 Comments

The poll last week had two questions related to the the shooting of Michael Brown and the leadership afterwords. Many more voters than usual, but these events are known around the world so I expected higher than usual numbers.

Which of the following do you think happened in Ferguson MO on Saturday Aug 9th? (331 votes)

  1. 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 153 [46.22%]
  2. 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 110 [33.23%]
  3. Unsure/No Opinion 38 [11.48%]
  4. Michael Brown, an innocent unarmed teenager; was murdered by Ferguson PO Darren Wilson. 30 [9.06%]

In the initial week I would’ve voted for the answer that received the least amount of votes; he was innocent and murdered. The Friday before the poll stared Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson released images of a strong-arm robbery just prior to PO Darren Wilson shooting & killing Brown. Doing so, just before releasing Wilson’s name, was a deliberate attempt to blame the victim. I was skeptical about the timing, leaving the Ferguson Market and getting to Canfield Green in such a short amount of time.  Only later we learn officer Wilson wasn’t aware Brown was a suspect. Still, I don’t think any objective person could’ve picked the last answer, as 30 people did.

The store police say Michael Brown stole a box of cigars.
The store police say Michael Brown stole a box of cigars.

The answer that got the most votes was that Wilson used appropriate force. I disagree, I voted that Wilson used excessive force.Very few reasons why an officer should shoot someone six times, walking in the street isn’t one of them.

Since the poll started I’ve been researching the use of deadly force and it’s not a pretty picture. I’ve long been aware of discrepancies between the treatment of whites vs non-whites, but the last two weeks has forced me to realized how much white privilege has benefitted me and all white males.

Much of the future legal wrangling will center on the use of deadly force by Wilson, a Grand Jury will decide if charges are warranted.

Neither the patrol car or Wilson was equipped with a camera so we don’t have video or audio, leaving many questions about that day. Was there a struggle? Did Brown surrender? Did Brown go for Wilson’s gun? Assuming Brown did try to get Wilson’s gun, isn’t six shots excessive? Did Wilson follow proper police procedure? What could both men have done differently that wouldn’t have resulted in the death of Brown?   And what if Wilson had used pepper spray, stun gun, or a taser instead of his revolver?

I don’t know what officers carry on their belt, but I’d assume circumstances dictate when you’d pick one over the other. In late 2011 ’60 Minutes’ ran a piece on taster use:

The Taser sounds like the perfect law enforcement tool. Simple, effective and generally safe, it allows officers to subdue a suspect using electricity rather than resorting to blunt or deadly force. But a recent study found that some officers may be too quick to use the popular stun guns when conventional procedures would suffice. As David Martin reports, there’s growing concern that Tasers may be inflicting unnecessary pain and, in rare cases, lead to death. (Taser: An officer’s weapon of choice)

During the poll two white police officers shot a black man holding a knife.  I’ve watched the video numerous times, this seems like a perfect situation where the use of a taser would’ve been more appropriate. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson avoided the type of unrest that was happening in Ferguson by addressing it head on, not shutting out the media. I think those two officers also used excessive force.

Which two of the following officials has displayed the BEST leadership regarding Ferguson? (PICK 2) (290 total votes)

  1. Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson 113 [38.97%]
  2. Unsure/no opinion 51 [17.59%]
  3. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon 43 [14.83%]
  4. Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson 27 [9.31%]
  5. St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch 14 [4.83%]
  6. Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal 12 [4.14%]
  7. Ferguson Mayor James Knowles 10 [3.45%]
  8. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar 9 [3.1%]
  9. Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed 8 [2.76%]
  10. St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley 3 [1.03%]

Captain Ron Johnson has earned praise from everyone, it seems. Gov Nixon, though gaining the #3 spot, after unsure, has been praised and criticized.

There have been many calling for Bob McCulloch to recuse himself, but he refuses to step aside. If the Grand Jury doesn’t indict Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown McCulloch will be blamed. McCulloch easily won the Democratic primary just four days prior to the shooting, with no challenger in the November general election he’ll win another term unless there’s an independent or write-in candidate.

Not on my list was St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, he’d been reporting up to that point. Since then we’ve seen Ald French assume a leadership role. His number of twitter followers @AntonioFrench have ballooned to more than 120,000. French now has nearly four times more Twitter followers than @MayorSlay. Of course, tweeting isn’t leadership. We’ll see if Ald French can unite factions in the city & region. If he can’t, I’m not sure anyone can.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. RyleyinSTL says:

    The death of Mr. Brown is sad but I feel like this poll was a bit premature. The only “facts” we know about what happened are the ones reported to us by the media. The evidence before the grand jury has not yet been released.

    • I wanted to get the initial feelings, before all is known. Once more is known I’ll revisit this to see how far off the mark I and others may have been.

      • tonydoss says:

        Here’s a fact for you, another unarmed black teenager has been killed by the police for no good reason.
        Steve I am glad at least your eyes have been opened, this kind of abuse of power by the police started as blacks moved to north county. I no longer live in north county, moved back to the city almost 15 years ago, and have yet to be pulled over by a city cop, while it seemed like I was pulled every 2 weeks by one of the many municipalities while living in north county. I lived in north county for about 12 years, and every time I hit the road I had to make sure my “papers” were in order. This region only needs 2 police departments, stl city and stl county. I believe Mayor Slay has been more divisive than Alderman French.

  2. guest says:

    French has been a divisive figure in St. Louis politics, blaming Mayor Slay at every opportunity. Now he’s supposed to be unifier? This will be very interesting to watch and see what happens. Will Slay and French bury the hatchet and work together?

  3. ROZ says:

    I think the cop was justified in shooting Mr. Brown.He was defending himself.This kid is a saint according to the media.Al Sharpton is another example of racism. This man should be banned from speaking at these places. I feel sorry for all the people that lost their businesses,because of thugs just wanting to cash in on this tragedy. Its sad that this kid lost his life,but do not compare him to Martin LUTHER kING


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