Posted: 12:30 pm Thursday, August 14th, 2014

John Lewis calls for martial law in Ferguson, Mo. 

By Daniel Malloy

Says U.S. Rep. John Lewis in an MSNBC interview:

 “Ferguson, Missouri, is not the Congo. It’s not China. It is not Russia. We can do better. It takes me back to the ‘40s, the ‘50s, the ‘60s. To have a city that is majority African-American and only three African-Americans on the police force? Or to have local police officers referring to protestors as animals? Or to have people dress in military garment and pointing rifles directly at the protestors – that is only going to incite people.

“My own feeling is that President Obama should use the authority of his office to declare martial law. Federalize the Missouri National Guard to protect people as they protest.”

Here’s a full emailed statement sent out by Lewis’ office a few minutes ago:

“The death of Michael Brown is a grave tragedy the community of Ferguson, Missouri should not have to bear. How many more young men of color will  be killed  before we realize  that we have a problem in America? We are permitting the incarceration and shooting  of  thousands of black and brown  boys  in their formative years  who might have become  great  artists, leaders, scientists, or lawyers if we had offered them our  support instead of our suspicion. 

“It is a shame and a disgrace that a city with a significant African American population has  only three representatives from that  community on the police force. What kind of a police department is it that would refer to the people it should be trying to protect as animals? It is unbelievable that these ideas could run rampant in 2014. This is not 1940 or 1950 in America, but today it is hard to see the difference.

“This is not China or Russia or Syria. This is America, and  in this country we have a right to protest in a peaceful, orderly non-violent fashion, and the press should be free  to cover these protests without fear.  The police should not interfere in the exercise of these constitutional rights. If people are not allowed to express their dissatisfaction through peaceful protest, they will find other means to make their voices heard.

“This is a good time to consider  the words of Martin Luther King Jr., who said that “Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of justice.” I am glad the federal government will make an independent investigation of these matters.

“I urge every agency, every department, every community, every official and every person involved in this conflict to allow the whole truth to emerge so that peace–true peace and real justice will be the result. “My prayers are with the family of Michael Brown who lost their hope for a better future, with the city of Ferguson which has become the crucible of this conflict,  and my prayers are for this nation still struggling with the scars and stains of racial discrimination, wanton violence, and flagrant injustice.” 

***

On the topic of militarization, Reason.com and several other outlets are pointing to this YouTube video – until days ago posted on the website of the Doraville, Ga., police department – as an example of how suburban SWAT teams view themselves:

 

***

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia, is trying to rally support on Capitol Hill to curtail the distribution of military surplus to local cops, amid images from Ferguson, Mo., of armored divisions of police quelling protests.

Johnson plans to introduce the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act in September, and expects the shooting death of a black Ferguson teenager in an altercation with police and the police response will help gin up support — even though Johnson has been working on the issue for months. Johnson told colleagues in a letter that the bill will do two things:

  • It will limit the type of equipment that can be transferred;
  • It will require that states certify that they can account for all equipment.

Johnson notes that local departments are getting free Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles (MRAPs) from the Pentagon with what he says is not enough accountability:

“Before another small town’s police force gets a $700,000 gift from the Defense Department that it can’t maintain or manage, it behooves us to reign in the Pentagon’s 1033 program and revisit the merits of a militarized America. I hope we can work together on this important issue.”

This could become a bipartisan cause. Presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., wrote an op-ed for Time along the same lines:

“Not surprisingly, big government has been at the heart of the problem. Washington has incentivized the militarization of local police precincts by using federal dollars to help municipal governments build what are essentially small armies—where police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement. …

“Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. Our prisons are full of black and brown men and women who are serving inappropriately long and harsh sentences for non-violent mistakes in their youth.

“The militarization of our law enforcement is due to an unprecedented expansion of government power in this realm. It is one thing for federal officials to work in conjunction with local authorities to reduce or solve crime. It is quite another for them to subsidize it.

“Americans must never sacrifice their liberty for an illusive and dangerous, or false, security. This has been a cause I have championed for years, and one that is at a near-crisis point in our country.”

 

 

150 comments
Iknowall
Iknowall

To Charo369


Finally someone who is intelligent. Bravo, well said.  

Charo369
Charo369

If the protesters message was truly the message the looters wanted to send it would have played out differently. 


They wouldn't be looting and we'd be calling them insurgents. An insurgent is one who rises in revolutionary manner. They would be insurgents because they would be attacking the "appropriate" target, colloquially "the man" represented by the police. Looters are not sorry excuses for insurgents. They are uncivilized degenerates a hazard to all civilized people. They interfere with real social discussion … they cast a dark cloud on the peaceful protesters message. Looters really are thieves because they steal the citizen's opportunity to be heard in a timely manner. 

Well the man is showing up tonight … with armor and over whelming firepower. "It might get sticky tonight … " someone in authority warned.

The curfew was lifted but the MOARNG will be on the street with police. The soldiers will make sure no one goes from "looter" to "insurgent" while the police are rounding up the people physically destroying the community. 

Sorry looters, property destruction and theft is not the way we will resolve our unequal application of force and law against people with dark skin. It's real, it's 2014 and the time has come to rid our justice system of the systemic racism. If you haven't looked lately it hasn't changed a bit. Dark skinned people are still getting unequal treatment, it's being tracked and measured and it's "in our face". We do have a message to hear but it is not from the looters, its from the protesters. 





Iknowall
Iknowall

The police are paid to fill out reports concerning multiple crimes, no to put their life on the line for meat and potatoes and a little wine. they can't protect their self against a lie. Do you know of any crimes that have been completely abolished at all. War on drugs (fail) on immigrants (fail) drunk drivers (fail) and so forth. 


If you read history you will see martial law is and has been a failure. And who behind a gun will make the decision to shooter a looter ( define a looter ) and how could anyone be absolutely sure who is the looter, I'm sure a good guess is good enough. 


It seems a lot of people agrees with china " run them over with a tank " it's legal and perfectly fine as long as your ordered too. 


By the way how old do you have to be to be shot as a looter, and do pregnant women count also, or is that 2 for 1.



LawAbidingCitizenUS
LawAbidingCitizenUS

Isn't Rep. John Lewis watching what these ANIMALS are doing at night.  Protesters by Day, Looters by Night.  And yes absolutely declare Martial Law and shoot the Looters.  Why should us Business Owners be forced to defend our own stores with guns.  The Police are paid to do that.  

LawAbidingCitizenUS
LawAbidingCitizenUS

Isn't Rep. John Lewis watching what these animals are doing at night.  Protesters by Day, Looters by Night.  And yes absolutely declare Martial Law and shoot the Looters.  Why should us Business Owners be forced to defend our own stores with guns.  The Police are paid to do that.  

LawAbidingCitizenUS
LawAbidingCitizenUS

Isn't Rep. John Lewis watching what these ANIMALS are doing at night.  Protesters by Day, Looters by Night.  And yes absolutely declare Martial Law and shoot the Looters.  Why should us Business Owners be forced to defend our own stores with guns.  The Police are paid to do that.  

Missouri1983
Missouri1983

Hey John Federalize the Texas National Guard and protect the border first.

Iknowall
Iknowall

First what is an african american any thing like irish american, jewish american, jamaican  american or cuban american? I was taught that there was only one true american and they were the ones that all our ancestors killed, raped ,stole and tried to committed genocide on. Enough of that.


Everyone just needs to step back and understand the reason these african american people are reacting the way they are is because they can't convey their demands in a civilized manner. The education system has failed them, they are unable to articulate their ideas in the english language so they revert to the only way they can express them selves which is with violence. And as any intelligent being knows you can only fight ignorance and violence with violence. they has to be a winner ( ask any solider).  


Through out our history, violence has always been the solution to ignorance an violence. The only people that has been harmed so far are the Innocent ones, who have no one to protect them, but to protect the evil that has descended on the people of ferguson. 


So far no one has or it seems will take control or vanquish the evil that has festered on the people of ferguson. 


It seems that GOD may have the right idea. You think.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

 "It's time 'African Americans' became Americans along with the rest of us".  @patriotdog You don't say.   @patriotdog from the race of the oppressor is complaining because the oppressed found a way out which finally made things equal. We have been Americans for over 400 years now so we do not have to become Americans we already are.  African Americans are the most patriotic people in this country because we have fought wars (old and new), cried, laughed, vote/voted for, hell even celebrate holidays of people, places and things that did not and that still does not serve our best interest.  African Americans have done so and still do so because we are Americans.  Who would have thought? 

chuckgreen
chuckgreen

I've always said, in police departments there is a fine line between cops and robbers.  SOme of these guys are way out there and would welcome a military style gov't…

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

It appears from all the right wingers' comments here that John Lewis should just shut up. Apparently they feel that michelle bachnann, sara palin, john and lindsay mccain (such an adorable couple, can't wait for them to win DWTS) the pox news talking heads and the other tp's are the only people in the US that should be allowed to express an opinion. After all, that is what made Amerka great, the suppression of  black folks' voices and any opinion that did not paint white people as saviors of the world, who can do no wrong. amirite?

GREYGHOST
GREYGHOST

130

Who the hell woke Lewis up anyway ?


See what you started.

PSWallace
PSWallace

It's not that I disagree with Lewis on this particular issue, it's that the man cannot follow the law himself when he protests. Should society just allow him and anyone he thinks as having the right and pure thoughts do as they will until their desires be granted? I have a good feeling what the opinion of a lot in Atlanta is--"yes".

Which is why I will not be an Atlantan again. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

One thing John Lewis has always done and still does do is bring out every ignorant bigot in the United States.  One thing they bring out in me when they rear their ugly heads is a pure can of whoop a$$. Call me racist, call me what you want but my grandfather (WWI), my father (Vietnam), my uncle (WWI, WWII and Korea) fought for me to say what I want, when I want to, and however I want too. They fought wars for a country that did not want them so I do not feel your pain when you cry and whine about reverse racism. How the hell can someone from a race of people that has never been oppressed know what it's like to be oppressed so how the hell can you criticize John Lewis unless your motive is racist?  

NWGAL
NWGAL

Our Constitutional right to guns is going to kill us.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

If the citizens of Ferguson don't like their police force there are peaceful political processes in place to address the issue. Apparently most of the 70% black residents didn't see the majority white police force as a priority problem on election day, or when they moved in.

honested
honested

Doesn't it make you proud that shrub wasted trillions of tax dollars manufacturing urban combat equipment in volumes much greater than necessary for his foolish Iraqi War of Choice knowing he could 'gift' it to local police departments that were heavily staffed with unqualified goobers returning from said war of choice with no skills but to kill other people.


What other result would we have expected?

patriotdog
patriotdog

By the way, where is Lewis' outrage at the New Black Panthers' call for violence? Seems our boy OBama's hope and change has changed race relations from fair to fragile. Pea brained arse.

CmdrR1962
CmdrR1962

What do I wish in situations like this? That both sides would take a breath and then come back and speak openly. 

Too often, race (and the Al Sharptons who capitalize on it) form the distraction that prevents real change. On a very basic level, this is a situation where a police force does not view its citizens as citizens, but as potential enemies. And it could likely be said that the citizens view the police with equal fear/anger. I'm just now reading that Governor Jay Nixon is having The Highway Patrol take over security in Ferguson. That's a great start. Now, we need an honest dialogue. Each side needs to work with the other. Folks, you're on the same team!! It won't be easy, but consider talking with individual police officers -- heck, take a cop to lunch. I'm fairly sure the police would enact more community relations efforts if they are not rebuffed. Let's admit that we've all made serious mistakes. Let's stop the anger and work to stop the bloodshed. That's what I wish.  

cmac22
cmac22

Where is the outrage from this goon for all the black on black killing? Just another scumbag politician trying to stay relevant!

patriotdog
patriotdog

Well, Lewis might be right in this instance...a rarity. For the most part, he, Jackson, Sharpton, et al do more to harm race relations than help.

Stop using slavery as an excuse. Scholarships abound that are ONLY meant for blacks, which is unlawful if only for whites. Colleges exist that are for blacks only...again, unlawful if for whites only.

And, have you ever heard of the Congressional White Caucus, or Miss White America? No, because it's unlawful.

The Irish had it as bad or worse when they first came to the U.S. and got over it. It's time 'African Americans' became Americans along with the rest of us.

RangeRover
RangeRover

John Lewis is the biggest do-nothing to collect a taxpayer check...never worked or earned an honest day's pay in his life.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Iknowall Everyone need to step back and understand that Europeans infected the indigenous indian in this country with disease, alcohol and then proceeded to take their land afterwards by the vessel of wars and genocide.  What in my narrative is civilized?  Disease, infested, alcohol, war or genocide?  Did God have the answer then? The pot calling the kettle black. Just saying.

RangeRover
RangeRover

@StraightNoChaser

I repeat:

First, I'm not "White."  As a Native American my people have suffered far greater than you could ever imagine.  Ever lived on a reservation?

However, I've never dwelled on the past and have never used this as an excuse, as not a single white person today had a freaking thing to do what what happened to our ancestors.

That's the difference between you and I.  You depend on people like AL, Jessie and John to do and get for you what you're incapable or willing to do or get for yourself.  Not me...I believe in earning it and take great pride in doing so.  Further, you judge the success of our Federal Government on what it gives you and does for you; I judge  its success on what it DOESN'T have to give and do for me.  You're a taker; I'm a giver and a doer...that's the difference!

CmdrR1962
CmdrR1962

@NWGAL The Constitution doesn't kill people. Incredibly selfish idiots kill people.

MCorse
MCorse

@DawgDadII Police officers aren't elected, Einstein.  Do you know the percentage breakdown of whites and blacks on your city/county law enforcement department?

honested
honested

@CmdrR1962 

Community relations?

That takes work, and you don't get to shoot anybody!

mic404
mic404

@cmac22 I'm outraged against black on black, white on white, racism etc. "Can we all just get along?"

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@RangeRover He paved the way for my black a$$ to be able to achieve what I have in this life so if he is a big do nothing now he earned it.  He got the hell beat out of him and he was not even a boxer.  Of course when you have always had access to white privilege you would not understand where I am coming from BROTHER!

honested
honested

@RangeRover 

You must never have met tom price, lynn westmoreland, tom graves, johnny isakson or shady deal.

mic404
mic404

@RangeRover he's collecting a check for all the beatings at the hands of ignorant white folk back in the 60's.

G'tánBlaqué
G'tánBlaqué

@RangeRover @StraightNoChaser  First of all I highly doubt you're Native but I'll humor you for a bit just to dissect your condescending and hypocritical remarks:


'You depend on people like AL, Jessie and John to do and get for you what you're incapable or willing to do or get for yourself.  Not me...I believe in earning it and take great pride in doing so.'  .....But wait a minute....didn't you just speak about living on reservations? Who gave those to you? Don't worry, I'll wait....

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! That's who! So I suggest you point the finger before you point the thumb on the gift giving here, buddy. Not that hard to be a 'doer' when you're the decedent of a long line of 'takers' now now it? The natives have taken far more handouts than any other ethnic group in America. I'm not saying it isn't warranted, I'm saying you shouldn't go around attempting to shame others because they were victimized by the same people.

No one is accusing whites of what happened to our ancestors. We are, however, accusing them of re-enforcing the standard that was created by their ancestors. The standard that was created to keep us out, to keep us naked, to keep us in chains. To any white person that has turned their eye to the events that are happening in Ferguson (which is my neighborhood btw) they are the very people we are speaking about.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@RangeRover @StraightNoChaser I don't depend on no one sir. The only thing that black folk in this country still have left is our history after that we have nothing else. We are the only race of people in this country that have adopted to every other culture in this country.  We accommodate everyone but our own race. So excuse the hell out of me if I want to hang onto to our history but you sir do not get to accuse me of anything because you are just meeting me and you do not know a damn thing about me.  That is why I called you European because you are acting just like one right now.  John Lewis reminds them of what they want to forget but we are not going to let them forget it's part of our history rather you like it or not.  What you choose to do with your history is your business but I want to hold on to mine.  Just for the record the federal government has never given me personally a damn thing I have worked a$$ of for everything.  Like I said my family has fought wars for this country that spit on them and had separate everything waiting for them when they returned from overseas.  

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

Not sure what you are driving at. That is what is being reported.

CmdrR1962
CmdrR1962

@honested @CmdrR1962 Hard work? Oooh, we don't do that anymore in America. We want to Tweet our pithy opinions and eat food that comes with a label. 

YES, it's hard. Read history. Every time new Americans arrived, it was hard... sometimes bloody. But, that's the people we are. We are NOT gun-totin' paranoid maniacs. At least I hope not.

RangeRover
RangeRover

@StraightNoChaser

First, I'm not "White."  As a Native American my people have suffered far greater than you could ever imagine.  Ever lived on a reservation?

However, I've never dwelled on the past and have never used this as an excuse, as not a single white person today had a freaking thing to do what what happened to our ancestors.

That's the difference between you and I.  You depend on people like AL, Jessie and John to do and get for you what you're incapable or willing to do or get for yourself.  Not me...I believe in earning it and take great pride in doing so.  Further, you judge the success of our Federal Government on what it gives you and does for you; I judge  its success on what it DOESN'T have to give and do for me.  You're a taker; I'm a giver and a doer...that's the difference!

SlawDawg
SlawDawg

@mic404 @RangeRover  WRONG! John Lewis is still living in the 60's. When the 2 white college students in Knoxville TN were carjacked, tortured, raped, and murdered by 5 blacks a few years ago, I did not hear one peep from Jesse, Al, or John. Give the Race Card a big rest, will you? Its old....very old.

RangeRover
RangeRover

@StraightNoChaser

You're such an ignorant dope!

Do you have any idea how many white people fought and died for your freedom from slavery and freedom after slavery?  Add up the civil war, WWI and WWII total white casualties and you're talking millions.  Without them, your butt would be dead had Hitler won...he almost did!

honested
honested

@DawgDadII 

When you 'move into a community' where is the sign that says "70% Black but only 5% of police officers are Black"?

honested
honested

@CmdrR1962 @honested 

As the old 'Thermos Greenwood' song ("Who Gave the Monkey A Gun") about a small town police officer:

"His body grew up but his mind stayed small, he wants to be a cop just like in Walking Tall" 

and another line

"And if you're a police officer and you're tired of looking bad, remember that this clown is ruining every chance you had".

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@SlawDawg @mic404 @RangeRover Who gives a f__k what did your folk do when he was getting the hell beat out of him?  I know your family did not just start in the 21st century.  What contributions did your people make to the civil rights movement because there were a lot of white people who did help.  Cry me a river.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@RangeRover @StraightNoChaser If you read my post you would see I acknowledged the sacrifice of white people as well so you are the ignorant dope.  Shall we say you put the cart before the wagon, sir.  There is no excuse for racism to still exist in the country too much blood has been shed and it's time to move on but moving on does not mean that I have to forget my history.  I am not going to do that, my children are not going to forget and neither will my grandchildren.  White people have a history in this country and so do black people accept it and move on but stop calling us racist every time John Lewis comes on television and we respect him because of what he did do for my people.  

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

First, I would not jump to the conclusion race matters. Second, if it did and it bothered me as a resident I would find out if it bothered other people, like my neighbors. Third, this isn't a secret in the St. Louis area.

RangeRover
RangeRover

@StraightNoChaser

Fari enough, and I apologize for the "dope" comment.  

I'm not a John Lewis fan, nor anyone collected a taxpayer paycheck for being nothing but a race cheerleader.  He's no MLK who advocated peace, education and honor.  MLK would be embarrassed to be around he and Jessie today.  Plus, I'm sick of hearing about what he did in the 60's...what is is doing today?  

Kamchak
Kamchak

@RangeRover 

MLK would be embarrassed to be around he and Jessie today.

(sigh)

Got proof?