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Cops and Robbers
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The Spectator
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 by Laramie Boyd
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2014 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
C
        Warning: This is the NO PINHEAD ZONE. You need read no further if you are one of those people who honestly believes that if someone disagrees with you then they are wrong; or that all cops are bad; or blacks never get a fair deal; or all white people are prejudiced but blacks aren't; or that all Republicans hate minorities; or all Democrats are always looking out for the welfare of citizens and the downtrodden; or that even if you aren't a witness to a crime or have any facts about the case, and you think someone is guilty because of your narrow-minded prejudices, you want them convicted and sentenced, especially if the person is of a certain color, race, gender, religion or viewpoint, other than your own. Because from this point on, reasonableness and the "Rule of Law" will be cited. Reasonableness meaning basing judgments on facts and evidence and the "Rule of Law" meaning following existing laws.
        Is the lesson to be learned in the Ferguson, Mo. heartbreaking killing of a black boy by a police officer something close to "If you don't like what the duly elected or appointed government officials or police do, which is often the case, respond by looting, setting fires, firing weapons and any other form of violence?" Are these protestors, especially the "out-of-towners," able to escape accountability by wearing masks and or "hoodies" so they won't be recognized? Show either one of these "inalienable rights" in the Constitution and we can be more accepting of the rioting when angry mobs disagree with tough decisions that have to be made by lawmakers and law enforcement people.
         But is the justification, for "non-peaceable assembly," that violent response seems to be the only voice government or police respond to, and it is better than doing nothing at all when their is a legitimate grievance that goes unheeded? In the tragic death of the young boy in Ferguson, Mo. is it possible that the "I don't care what the facts are or what evidence there is, or who doesn't approve, the boy is dead and I want the policeman to pay for it?"
        Be advised that if the day comes when evidence is not used in determining guilt or innocence, and only racial or even religious or gender bigotry is the basis for determining innocence or guilt, the tension and violence in cities across America will make the unrest in Ferguson look like a tea party in comparison. I ask that those people who have evidence of why the Ferguson policeman who shot the young boy must be indicted, to come forward with that evidence. Some evidence other than statements like "Cops get away with murder," or "The Grand jury was fixed," or "Several people saw the policeman shoot the boy in cold blood" while other evidence disproves this. Or other remarks that have no place in a country bound by the "Rule of Law." And the fact that not all arrests, trials, verdicts, and sentences are perfect, there is no justification for throwing all elements of criminal proceedings to the wind.
        I wonder of any of the following comments about the Grand Jury's non-indictment in Ferguson are examples of reactions of people who have all the facts and are reasonable, open minded citizens? Or are they simply off-the-wall inflammatory remarks made with no intent of cooling off the rioting, looting, burning, and violence, and they have no evidence to the point that make the claims valid. Judge carefully!
        Kobe Bryant- The system enables young blacks to be killed behind the mask of law.
       Magic Johnson- Justice was not served.
        Serena Williams- Shameful. What will it take?
        Cher- Something must be done.
        Police supporter- So if a man one foot taller and 100 lbs bigger punches you in the face, you're saying that you will then be able to calmly assess the situation and choose the least lethal method (to stop him).
Brown supporter- I can't believe this murderer is out here talking.
        NAACP- We stand against racial profiling, police brutality, and militarization of local authorities.
       Al Sharpton- The Grand jury used "flawed" and "suspect" investigative procedures. He added, "The fight is not over."
        Garth Brooks- (His reaction to hearing the news of civil unrest prior to performing on stage seemed a welcome change of priorities) To spend the day promoting our stuff (singing country songs) like nothing was wrong seemed distasteful to me.
        Is there anyone who doesn't want to see justice done, other than those who foment hatred and bigotry by lawless rioting? In reality, isn't justice, for the most part, supporting the laws enacted by elected representatives? No one wants the law to be a hiding place for murdering black young men, and I believe Kobe Bryant should be ashamed for saying such an illiterate remark. Surely he's sorry for that. Does any reasonable person really believe that's what defines the "Rule of Law?" And Al Sharpton speaks as though he was on the Grand Jury and knows information available only to him. What a travesty he is to the good people of Ferguson. I'll wager many of those citizens could only wish that he would butt out of their affairs, as he has no solutions, only mindless bigotry while he claims it only resides in white people.
         Shameful events have been taking place in the history of America for over 200 years.. And they must stop. And only by laws and by supporting laws can there ever be any hope of that happening. Mob rule will never reach that goal. Do the protesters really believe that if they burn and rob and destroy that the justice system will profit, and that decisions made through fear of retaliation will better serve the people? Seems to me they're just throwing gas on the flames.
        Anyone who believes the policeman in Ferguson is a murderer who was set free to roam the streets has no idea whatsoever of what the purpose and function of criminal laws in general and Grand Juries in particular hope to achieve. And it certainly isn't rule by rioting. I also believe that if the majority of the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri were left to their own instincts, there would not be nearly the devastation taking place in the streets there.
        There are in our midst those persons who gather together in vulnerable situations and locations and incite lawlessness just for the sake of lawlessness. They are the ones hiding behind masks. Their goal is not true justice for the sake of Michael Brown. They couldn't care less about that young man. Their goal is simply to tear down shops, burn police cars, cause as much damage as possible, feigning a crusade against government authority, the government that allows limited protests available to those who will take advantage of that right peacefully. And there are demagogues who stand at pulpits and preach retaliation at any cost, where any means justifies the end. These are perhaps the worst agitators when and where tough decisions need to be made. They want exceptions made and rights given where no responsibility is taken.
        One news broadcast revealed that the Governor of Missouri didn't send in the National Guard troops to assist shop owners in holding off the thieves. The President of the United States, mostly condemning the rioters, in my opinion held out that maybe the rioters had good reason to be responding the way they were. I felt that he didn't want or didn't know how to mediate the problems he felt were simply symptomatic of a much greater problem than just the rioting in Ferguson. Shouldn't he have demanded that the rioters, the burners and looters, must be arrested and held accountable for breaking the law, rather than giving them an alibi for what they did?
        Look out America! Trouble with a capital "T" is upon us, and the leader of the United States of America must take a definitive stand and act against mob rule if we are to have a chance to stop the tide of unrest. This is no time for golf outings or travel abroad, or announcing that his focus in the 2 years to come will be immigration. Civil disobedience that gets out of hand should be top priority. The fact is, the citizens of Ferguson could, if they would, solve the problem overnight if they agreed to cease and desist and corral the real hoodlum provokers. However, that isn't likely.
        So, the Mayor of Ferguson, the Governor of Missouri, and the President of the United States must each take some calm but resolute steps towards social change and accountability for criminal behavior and get people back to work and off welfare and other entitlement roles to insure that each resident of Ferguson and every other American citizen can claim their share of equal and inalienable rights. It may never happen if this approach doesn't take place.