Protestors want 48 hours to prepare for ‘peace’ and get their community organizers ready. Ummm… yeah that’s horse crap.
Tensions in Ferguson, Missouri, have simmered since black teen Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in August.
And with a grand jury expected to soon deliver its decision on whether to indict the officer, a group that represents protesters says it wants 48-hours notice before the decision is announced so it can help prevent the St. Louis suburb from once again boiling over with anger, violence and confusion.
A group of community members calling themselves the Don’t Shoot Coalition this week released 19 “Rules of Engagement” that touch on major points of contention between protesters and police since Brown’s August 9 killing.
Witnesses said Brown, who was unarmed, had his hands in the air as if surrendering, when he was shot. Authorities said Brown attacked the officer.
‘Prepare for the worst’
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles told local media this week that authorities must “prepare for the worst” and he expects demonstrations across the area.
He and his administration didn’t respond to CNN’s inquiries about whether city officials would agree to the coalition’s requests. Ferguson police also did not respond to CNN’s questions about what that department thinks of the “rules,” but St. Louis County police said their department “endorses the statement from the Don’t Shoot Coalition regarding the sanctity and preservation of human life.
To that end, and in the spirit of building communications, members of the Unified Command have met with the coalition to define common goals.”
Many protesters were furious because they feel Brown’s killing was an example of excessive use of force. They and heavily armed law enforcement clashed in the streets for days after Brown’s death.
Authorities, who drove armored vehicles and wore military gear, were roundly criticized by members of the media, other law enforcement officials and demonstrators for escalating the violence, rather than tempering it. Law enforcement also was accused of blocking and, in some cases, attacking journalists who were trying to report on the situation.
19 ‘Rules of Engagement’
Some of the coalition’s “rules” ask that police provide information that makes clear law enforcement’s chain of command, who is making what decisions and why, and assurances that neither police nor the government will interfere with the flow of information. That means, according to the “rules,” there will be no unwarranted wiretapping or attempts to interfere with internet and cellular access. The rules ask the police not to use rubber bullets, armored vehicles, rifles and tear gas.
The organization also has written stipulations about how it wants police to present themselves, including a request that officers wear attire “minimally required for their safety” and that “specialized riot gear will be avoided except as a last resort.”