Fanning the Flames in Ferguson

| August 14, 2014


Chief Tango sends us a link from USAToday entitled “Pentagon fueled Ferguson confrontation” an opinion piece by David Mastio and Kelsey Rupp. It’s subtitled “Department of Defense provided surplus military vehicles to local PD” the gist of the article is that the police in Ferguson have been armed by the Pentagon for their confrontation with looters and rioters there.

Michelle McCaskill, media relations chief at the Defense Logistics Agency, confirms that the Ferguson Police Department is part of a federal program called 1033 that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars of surplus military equipment to civilian police forces across the United States. The materials range from small items, such as pistols and automatic rifles, to heavy armored vehicles such as the MRAPs used in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“In 2013 alone, $449,309,003.71 worth of property was transferred to law enforcement,” the agency’s website states.

According to McCaskill, the most recent transfer of military equipment from the Department of Defense to small Ferguson was in November and included two vehicles as well as a trailer and a generator. Details on the vehicles and their intended uses have not been released by the Pentagon. Information on any prior transfers is also unavailable.

So, it sounds like the police are waging a war on rioters, doesn’t it? You’d expect photos of tanks rolling through the streets crushing dissent. Well, this vacuous piece of journalism, if you bother to read the whole thing, says;

There is no evidence that any such equipment has yet been used in the Brown case and its aftermath. But such “police militarization” is just one element of an often toxic relationship between minority communities and local police.

The whole story revolves around the fact that police department HAS the equipment, not that they’re USING the equipment. Now, I’m one of the first to question why the civil police need this equipment – it’s needless expenditures purchased only for county fair displays and so the police can appear “tacti-cool”. But it’s irresponsible of journalists to write these kinds of articles which are clearly written for low-information readers who wave the article like a bloody shirt in social media and fan the flames of the civil war in Ferguson.

It’s the media that is “fueling the confrontation” in this case, not the Pentagon.

Category: Media, Police

Comments (75)

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  1. ChipNASA says:

    I don’t know why they don’t just go FULL RETARD and finish off with the “OMG SEKRET FEMA DEATH Concentration camps, DERP!!!!”

    /Thanks Obama.

  2. Old Trooper says:

    Yellow journalism is nothing new. It was used effectively by Hearst and others to get the Spanish-American War sold to the citizenry, here at home as well as others.

    • Old Trooper says:

      BTW, Jonn, Foxnews has a pic up of riot geared LEOs, including a MRAP with a cop with his head sticking out the turret. I don’t know if that’s just a stock pic, or one from Ferguson.

      Just pointing it out.

  3. MGySgtRet. says:

    I don’t worry too much about all the MRAP’s and other gear sent to local LE organizations. As someone far smarter than me pointed out, that shit is cool until the first maintenance cycle, then it just becomes rusted junk that local PD’s can’t afford.

    But why let reality get in the way of a good old shitty article that scares and inflames people.

    • O-4E says:

      Right you are. Just had one of my mechanics get a slight reprimand for voluntarily going and repairing the local Sheriff Department’s MRAP, on his own time, because it has set idle for the last 8 months since they got it because of an electrical issue with no money or expertise to repair or maintain it.

  4. jonp says:

    One of the first stories i read about the riots said the cops showed up in full gear with a tank. Tank? Looked at a picture and it was a mrap but thats the same thing right? Im very nervous about local cops getting military gear like full auto weapons and tanks or mraps. Remember Boston and people being run out of their homes at gunpoint?

    • rb325th says:

      Dude, way to over dramatize what happened here in Boston. It was a shitty couple of days here, but when all was said and done the people of those very neighborhoods were standing on the street shoulder to shoulder applauding the Police when it was all over.
      Just saying.

      • Old Trooper says:

        Yeah, I saw the “Boston Strong” peeps applauding their civil rights being violated. Applauding that they were removed from their homes with no warrant used. Being threatened with arrest if they so much as walked out to their mailbox. All to find one kid, that they didn’t even find, but a citizen found. Personally, I love having cops in up-armored humvees pointing their full auto rifles at me for doing absolutely nothing wrong but standing at the window or door of my own residence.

        • rb325th says:

          That “kid” was a desparate terrorist who had already ambushed, killed and maimed hundreds, including the ambushing of a Cop in Boston, and to top it off ran over and killed his own brother in order to escape the massive shootout they had with cops.
          He was only captured due to the incredible effort of law enforcment to hunt him down like the piece of shit vermin that he is.
          But hey, you would have had them do what? Hand out fucking fliers?

          • jonp says:

            Well, at least everyone is clear at what point you are willing to surrender your Rights and live in a police state. But as long as they keep you safe your freedom is a small price

            • rb325th says:

              Douche, the cops were off the street within an hour of this being resolved. I don’t exactly call it a police state when you have a reaction to a horrific series of attacks, and when it is over the cops all go home.
              Nope…. but glad to know you are an idiot who likes to hyper exxagerate shit to fit their political agenda. Don’t ever let the pesky facts get in your way there sunshine.
              3 killed in the bombings, over 200 wounded, 1 Cop ambushed and killed, 16 other cops wounded one critically…. but hey, we should have just issued a fucking amber alert or something huh?

              • Old Trooper says:

                Ok, we get it; you’re willing to give up your rights and everyone else’ rights so that you can feel safe. Most of us, outside of a couple others, are not. It has nothing to do with a political agenda, either, although when you’re caught out like you are, grasping at weak shit is to be expected. The amount of drama and emotion you’re attempting to inject into the conversation shows more about your own politics than it does ours. If you would look at it objectively; yes, it was starting to look like a police state scene and you trying to deflect attention away from it doesn’t make it any less so.

                Who is the dumbass?

              • jonp says:

                I was commenting on what you wrote not on you personally, Douchebag. I don’t care when they are off the streets. They busted down peoples doors and marched them out at gunpoint. You seem to be ok with that. Benjamin Franklin had something to say about liberty and security ass hat, look it up

                • rb325th says:

                  I stand by everything I have said. OldTrooper, I think you are the one not looking at this objectively. What would you have done? It is easy to criticise.
                  Lead, follow, or get the fuck out of the way.
                  There was no time for anything else that day. We got attacked, War was declared by two Terrorist who showed an absolute willingness to slaughter innocent lives.
                  God Bless the Boston Police, State Police, FBI, and all the local and outside agencies who took part in killing and capturing the terrorist scumbags. Just wish they had let that fucker bleed out. That would have happened in a Police State though. He would have been killed where he lay in that boat.

                  • Old Trooper says:

                    Objectivity would allow you to look at the gross violations of law and civil rights. I stand by that. What I, and jonp, were pointing out is that you are willing to suspend your rights to the police in order to gain a little security. That’s fine, but most of us aren’t willing to do that. Thumping your chest after having your rights suspended isn’t something I would brag about. Now the police know that they will be applauded the next time they want to violate your rights. good job.

          • Old Trooper says:

            Bullshit. It wasn’t law enforcement that caught him, it was a private citizen that found the little bastard. I don’t need the play by play from you, as to what transpired that day, I saw the same things you did. At least we know what it takes for you guys will roll over and give up your rights. Hand out parking tickets? Really? You’re gonna go with that lame shit? How about doing their job while not violating everyone’s rights to do it? Wow!!! What a fucking concept!!!!

  5. trapperfrank says:

    I am no fan of the current trend in law enforcement of militarizing the police. But, playing devil’s advocate, the police in this particular instance would not need military hardware if the citizenry of Ferguson did not act like a pack of wild animals.

    • B Woodman says:

      These upright bipedal hominids (I refuse to call them “people”) are less than animals. Even animals don’t burn up and tear down their own neighborhoods and homes.
      Although I disagree with the militarization of teh po-po, in this instance they need to “gear up” to try to keep the fanaticism from spreading.
      Where are Sharps and Jackson when you need them to calm things down? Oh. . . . .never mind.

  6. David says:

    Was an article on Bloomberg this AM screaming about the “jackbooted thugs” and showing pictures of cops with armored vehicles and an LMG (240? After my time). The funny part was their complaint was that the NRA was not protesting the police arming themselves. Apparently the irony that the kid was shot, unjustifiably according to the protesters, by a cop – one of the ONLY privileged classes these same screamers think should be allowed to have guns – escaped them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, for left/liberals thinking is “racist,” you know…

    • ArmyATC says:

      Typical leftist hypocrites. When the NRA did call some cops, specifically the ATF, “jack booted thugs” it was those very same leftists who excoriated the group viciously.

  7. UpNorth says:

    ” two vehicles as well as a trailer and a generator.”? OMG, the cops got an “assault” trailer and “assault” generator? That settles it, the rioters’ rights have been violated.

    • jonp says:

      The EPA would call it an assault generator. Look what its doing to Gaia.

      • UpNorth says:

        True, between the assault generator and the flash-bangs, smoke grenades and tear gas, and molotov cocktails, poor ole Gaia is having a rough week.

  8. STL Frank says:

    FWIW, Ferguson is a pretty small department – about 50 officers and a dozen or two vehicles. Most of the police present are from other area departments. Local news showed an armored vehicle in use last night, an MRAP I guess, but it belongs to the St. Louis County PD, a force of about 800 sworn officers.

    Frank, USAF 66-74
    St. Charles, MO

  9. gitarcaver says:

    Police arrest reporters in McDonalds:

    This situation is out of control.

    While we can argue all day long about whether they police should be militarized, they are responding without concern for the rights of people, the harm they are causing, and how their confrontational actions make things worse, not better.

  10. nbcguy54 says:

    I’m in favor of just setting up a perimeter around the town, let the hoods burn it down or whatever and moving in and cleaning up what’s left.
    Screw ’em all…

  11. joseph says:

    I agree with you nbcguy54. I also wonder why the feds backed off from the bundy gang in nv but the local police are kicking ass in mo

  12. FatCircles0311 says:

    From the pictures I saw apparently the US Marines were deployed to deal with the riots. I mean why else would civilians wear military uniforms as law enforcement?

    If these were Tea Party and/or whites rioting the media would want Abrams tanks sent in, but since It’s a protected class, it’s an outrage.

  13. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Well I trust the cops about as much as I trust the rest of government to tell me the truth….

    I’m hoping the violence ends all around and the FBI can finalize its investigation into this issue. No police force should ever be allowed to investigate itself and have that investigation be the final official version, it’s a clear conflict of interest.

    Ferguson was a shit hole before Brown was shot for a variety of reasons, since he’s been shot it’s clearly not become a more agreeable community.

    When community tensions are not addressed for years, riots are often the result. It doesn’t make it right, it just makes it what happens. Now, the rest of the nation sees Ferguson as an asylum.

    Depending on their perspective they see this asylum as a city of criminals forcing the cops into action or they see a city with 66% black population policed by a force of mostly white officers responsible for increasing racial tension.

    The situation gets ever more interesting with Anonymous now looking to release personal information regarding the police officers and their families.

    • charles w says:

      Funny how the NSA probably has all of our info and can’t find Anonymous. Both times they released the identity of the cop they were wrong.

      • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

        Apparently even Anonymous has anonymous hackers involved that it doesn’t recognize as anonymous members….there is some irony there to be sure.

    • OldSoldier54 says:

      “Well I trust the cops about as much as I trust the rest of government to tell me the truth….” – Same here.

      ” No police force should ever be allowed to investigate itself and have that investigation be the final official version, it’s a clear conflict of interest.” – It has always astonished me that those in power, including the judges, never seem to notice, or if they mention it, it’s is immediately poo-poo’d away as irrelevant, because those fine upstanding bastions of Truth, Justice, and the American Way would clearly never abuse their positions to influence events or outcomes, now would they …?

      Although I do see race as an issue, I suspect a lot of it is just stereotyping – on both sides.

      These uniforms appear to be screwing up by the numbers, and all that does is add power to the stereotype.

      On the other hand, burning the house down is pretty self defeating … and also adds power to the stereotype.

      In both cases, self fullfilling prophecies it seems.

  14. TMB says:

    Junk article by USAToday that conveniently forgot that the state and county made the choice to acquire that gear. The DoD didn’t force them into it.

  15. vietnam war protestor aka uss liberty aka deport republicans not the children says:

    No justice No peace! As Malcolm X said by any means necessary. We will use the militarized police against themselves. The picture of the police aiming machine gun from armored car at people sitting in the road is most useful! The people can shut ferguson down thru non violence and wait for the ignorant southern white trash to do something stupid. The white trash have already lost! We shall overcome now!

    • A Proud Infidel®™ aka deport VWPissbucket says:

      Really, o inbred idiot? Why don’t you show up there with those crowds and see just how quickly you get your filthy glue-sniffing fleabag ass stomped into oblivion?

    • Pinto Nag says:

      And when in doubt, throw molotov cocktails! Right?

    • NHSparky says:

      I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and shit a better post than what you just made.

      Meds. Dosage. Increase. NOW.

    • Jonn Lilyea says:

      That wasn’t a machine gun, oh drama queen.

    • Just an Old Dog says:

      This is footage of VWP trying to help out his “oppressed Brethen” in Ferguson.

      • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

        I LOVE watching fleabag hippies getting their asses beaten!

      • Old Trooper says:

        Not taking the side of the hippies, but I see the urban utes are using their tried and true tactics of 4 against 1. That’s because those pussies would get a mudhole stomped into their ass in a 1 on 1 confrontation.

    • ArmyATC says:

      Blah, blah, blah. VWPissypants, do you ever say anything that isn’t a tired cliche’ or just completely moronic? “We” aren’t going to do anything. You are going to continue to be the mindless coward that you’ve always been.

    • The Other Whitey says:

      “we will used the militarized police…”

      Riding right past your ubiquitous inability to utilize the written English language, I’ll quote the age-old joke: “What’s this ‘we’ shit, white boy?”

      I will pay serious money to see you walk around Ferguson at night, VWPederast. That show will be worth the price of admission!

    • 68W58 says:

      Not headed off to Ferguson to offer yourself up for some of that “tit for tat” “justice” you were going on about the other day.

      When you derped it up the other day about the beating of Reginald Denny you removed any doubt that you are truly a vile and wretched little piece of shit (I mean, I didn’t have any doubts in that area, but there may be some credulous, naive soul out there who did). There aren’t enough fuck yous to go around with you.

    • Flagwaver says:

      First, you’re an idiot.

      Second, the quote you are misquoting has nothing to do with what you are claiming. Malcolm X was not a violent man, he was a scholar. He did not advocate use of force, he advocated use of intelligence. The entire quote that you so poorly set up is:
      “We declare our right on this earth to be a man, to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.”
      —Malcolm X, 1965

      Third, I am concerned with your apparent lack of moral compass. The police were not aiming machine guns, but carbines and shotguns. They were not targeting people “sitting in the road,” but the rioters who were behind the people sitting in the road. Those weapons were armed with rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

      Fourth, I am curious when your “non violence” (sic) shut-down will occur. All I have seen is rioting, looting, and violent criminal activity. Can you explain how rioting is non-violent? Can you explain how Al Sharpton inciting the race card is non-violent?

      Fifth, what precisely are you planning for “the ignorant southern white trash” to do? All I have seen so far is people defending themselves from a riotous mob. There has already been an “innocent youth” shot by a police officer when he brandished a pistol toward the officer. Oh, and it was caught on camera.

      Sixth, what have the “white trash” done to lose? The last time that I checked, it was a single police officer that shot an adult under suspect circumstances. It was not all of white America, but a single person. How then is “white trash” losing when the number of blacks killed by whites is still barely a drop in the ocean of black-on-black violence in inner cities?

      Seventh, who is it that you are including with yourself and what are you overcoming now? Were you in bonds prior to the shooting? Were you indentured? Were you held against your will? What is it that you wish to overcome? Are you in a city filled with racial subjugation? Are you in a culture that forces you to be less than you can be? No, I didn’t think so.

      Finally, you are an idiot.

  16. FatCircles0311 says:

    I wonder how long it’s going to be until we start to see court challenges to police dress. Wearing military uniforms and then trying to portray themselves as police certainly is going to cause an issue sooner or later.

  17. NHSparky says:

    And throwing another gas can on the fire is Rep. John Lewis, who wants Obama to declare martial law in Ferguson…

    Uh, Congressman? As a lawmaker, you should be familiar with the Constitution, and as such, in this case, that authority resides with the governor of Missouri.


    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      I read about that earlier. They didn’t say what party he is, thus I assume he’s a dildocrat, and you always expect stupidity from them!!

      • vietnam war protestor aka uss liberty aka deport republicans not the children says:

        And we can always expect republicans to act like nazis! And here is your problem 100,000 minority kids turn 18 voting age every month and and 30,000 angry old white republicans die and go to meet their maker and explain their evilness to him!

        • streetsweeper says:

          Ya mama shoulda swallowed, too.

        • Climb to Glory says:

          Once again you pull random statistics outta your ass. Fuck you, you incoherent piece of shit. Fuck the two bit whore and the drunken/stoned hobo that spawn your sorry ass.

        • The Other Whitey says:

          And even more stank-ass hippies OD hourly, VWPeckerhead. And lots of those kids are smart enough to know that you and your ilk are full of shit and want to make something of themselves rather than be bloodsucking sacks of shit like you.

        • 68W58 says:

          Ferguson is 67% black shitbag, according to your, let’s just charitably call it reasoning, they should already have heavily Democratic government, so why hasn’t presumably more enlightened racial politics been put in place there by now.

          I will now pause to see what nonsense you randomly type in response.

          • UpNorth says:

            68W, apparently, Ferguson, Mo.’s last municipal election was in April of this year. Two years ago, the turnout in the municipal election was 8.9%. Not enough of the “citizens” of that fine city care enough to even bother to vote.
            But, according to MSDNC, the election date is “racist”. Apparently, the good “citizens” can’t be bothered to educate themselves enough to find out when to vote, or they just don’t give a shit.

        • GDContractor says:

          VWPissbucket – if we accept your numbers just for argument sake that 100,000 minority kids turn 18 each month and meanwhile 30,000 white Republicans die….if that’s true, then your (only) economic plan of “tax the rich” is clearly unsustainable. What does your party have to offer these young Einsteins other than an EBT card and a shitload of illogical angry rhetoric? Go ahead and raise the minimum wage each year so that they think they are getting raises….see where that gets you (my 8 year old can figure that one out). Put them all on the public payroll and then tax their earnings at 100%….see how long they play the game, or just keep kiting checks to China.
          If I was 18 and as smart as you idiots portray “the dreamers”, voting democrat is the last thing I would do. On the other hand, if I was an illiterate moron incapable of reason and foresight LIKE YOU, I’d sign up for welfare, 6 Obama phones, and a few big screen TVs, and loot when I had the chance while chanting meaningless shit like “no justice no peace” and pretending to be a victim.

    • ArmyATC says:

      There’s a huge part of the problem. Idiotic leftist politicians neither know what’s in the Constitution nor do they care to find out. To them it’s just an inconvenient old piece of parchment, written by dead white oppressors, that gets in the way of their agenda.

  18. 40below says:

    Soldiers in Afghanistan carried less gear than the police in Ferguson:

    / the gas-mask-with-rolled-up-sleeves look seems poorly thought out

  19. xbradtc says:

    I wonder if Michelle McCaskill is any relation to Claire, and if she got her nice little government job as a sinecure?

  20. jonp says:

    The local PD does not need military hardware. If it gets that bad, and here it is, the Govenor should have immediately called out the National Guard to take control or asked the Federal Government to send in Military Troops. They screwed the pooch from the outset and instead of getting control the first night they sat around and worried about the “optics” and what meanies the MSM would call them.

  21. gitarcarver says:

    It seems pretty evident to me that the average person of Ferguson didn’t want the looting and the rioting that occurred. Civic leaders and the parents of the dead kid called for peace.

    Many of the looters and more violent “protestors” (thugs) were from outside of the city.

    That being said, the local police totally screwed this up. Instead of allowing people to peacefully protest and protect businesses and property, they seemed more concerned with the protestors.

    Instead of being transparent in the investigation and talking with the parents of what they were doing and what they were going to do, the police decided to stone wall everything and everyone.

    Instead of working with the community to protect them and their property, the police worked very hard to make everyone an enemy,

    Calling in reinforcements and a similar mindset from the county didn’t help things at all.

    The governor has now stepped in and said the Missouri Highway Patrol will take the lead on the safety and security of the citizens. They have a long row to hoe and to do so they are going to need to have a lot of conversations rather than confrontations.

    I have seen far too many images of police with weapons raised and pointed at residents and protestors. Under the ol’ rule that you should never point a weapon at anything you aren’t prepared to shoot, what message is being sent when you have police in full riot / military gear with weapons pointed at citizens?

    I keep wondering what would have happened if the police had met with the community leaders, talked with the parents to tell them their plans on the investigation (including daily updates) and then protect businesses and property while letting people march and protest.

    Certainly it could not have gone worse than it has gone.

    The thugs and looters need to be held accountable and no one should accept or condone their actions. But two wrongs don’t make a right and certainly the police have acted in what can be best described as a misguided, if not wrong, manner.

    Hopefully things will start to quiet down.

  22. Jabatam says:

    Turns out the officer that did the shooting is black! I wonder how that fits in with the Al Sharpton/Black Panther Party agenda

  23. jonp says:

    Oh darn. The innocent youth cut down in the prime of life by a racist officer was being arrested fir robbing a store and its all on video. Guess all looters will have to return the stereos, rims and air jordans

  24. mistythemedic says:

    I’m late to the party but FWIW I was shot at on scene waaaay before I enlisted in the Army. An armored vehicle would’ve been super nice when all those meth-making assholes started shooting at us for “letting” their piece of shit trailer house burn to the ground even though we were 45mins out (rural Fire/EMS ROCKS!). The flames sure we’re pretty though, all those chemicals burning up…