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Susan Estrich
15 Aug 2014
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8 Aug 2014
"Limited, Specific and Achievable"

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What Went Wrong in Ferguson


The short answer is: everything.

I'm not talking about the killing of Michael Brown. A tragedy, whatever the facts. But what the facts are is something we don't yet know. There are two conflicting stories: one of an unarmed teenager shot six times while his hands were in the air; the other of an aggressive man who, unbeknownst to police had just robbed a local store (of a box of cigars) and was shot after he attacked the police office in the police car. Both cannot be true. However much some people might want to protect the officer, there are too many people watching, starting with the president of the United States, to do that if he is in the wrong. On the other hand, if the teenager attacked the police officer, then the officer must be protected from unfair punishment. Justice will have to be done.

Having a black president and a black attorney general should help. If Ferguson had similar representation in its own police force, we might not all be writing about this.

Twenty-two years ago, Los Angeles, where I lived, erupted in riots after the acquittal of white police officers that had been charged with beating a black man, Rodney King. We had looting and rioting and curfews. We had a police department that was overwhelming white, largely divorced from the community it was policing, a white police chief who didn't speak to the black mayor, a police department so mistrusted by the community that O.J. Simpson managed to get acquitted two years later.

Two weeks ago, an unarmed black man, some say seriously mentally ill, was killed by police officers. A few hundred people rallied peacefully on a weekend afternoon. If I weren't paying so much attention to the Brown story, I might have missed it.

And why not? The police commission will surely review the police investigation. This is a different city now. The police department, to a degree unimaginable back then, reflects the city. We have a white chief because we passed the point of "needing" a black chief as a symbol of a white department. Since the bad old days, we've had two black chiefs and two white ones.

How could Ferguson be so far behind the times, when, frankly, Los Angeles came late to the understanding that community policing by a police force that reflects and is part of the community is the most effective technique for restoring order, reducing crime and decreasing fear. Why is it — after years of "black flight" to suburbs like Ferguson as the "white flight" went to the exurbs — that some 3 of the 53 police officers in a town that is 67 percent black are black? Think about it. The town is 67 percent black and the police department, including the chief, is 94 percent white.

So when an unarmed black teenager is shot, you get thousands of people protesting in a small town (compared to only hundreds in the nation's second largest city). You get the police overreacting, which makes things worse. You get a community divided, and lots of good reasons, some having nothing in particular to do with Michael Brown, for people to be angry. You get a young man whose death may or may not be the product, in part, of that very atmosphere of distrust and resentment. You get a young police officer whose career is, rightly or wrongly, ruined, and whose life is also being threatened. And you get a stark reminder that the fact that the country has a black president and a black attorney general comes in handy in a time like this, not because of how far we've come, but precisely because we have not come far enough.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



18 Comments | Post Comment
Pardon me but bullshit!
This piece is just Democrat politics as usual .
nothing went wrong in Ferguson. Events happened but nothing went wrong,
What happened was the enivitable result of a combination of 1 a dumbass black petty thief and thug robbing a convenience store 2 the same dumbass black thieving thug smoking dope probably using the cigars he stole 3 the same dumbass black thieving thug jay walking and being stopped by the police 4 the same dumbass black thug knowing he just robbed a convenience store connecting the police stop with the robbery 5 the dumbass black thug running then turning to rush the officer intending harm and getting what he asked for 6 the officer rightly shooting the black thug 7 the media turning the whole matter into a circus to promote the Democrat race agenda 8 a mob of similar thieves and thugs jumping on the band wagon to steal and to loot in the name of protest ( give us a break) 9 Obama and Holder joining in because they hate whitey and it's good politics for the Democrats to continue to stoke and promote racial divides. 10 what was in the scheme of things a non event will be played for all it's worth until November and then forgotten.
Comment: #1
Posted by: joseph wright
Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:44 PM
Re: joseph wright
Yes Susan, we have a ways to go.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Mark
Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:29 PM
Mark, Joe Conason has great column on subject give a little history and context. I also refer you to my comment to Tom on Roger Simon's column.
As for jw, could this imbecilic azzhole be any more full of s*hit if he were an outdoor portapotty at a Republican convention?
Comment: #3
Posted by: steveM
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:23 PM
Re: steveM

Allah akbar!!
Comment: #4
Posted by: Oldtimer
Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:01 AM
How about an article about the Chicago black on black shootings.
Many, many more deaths occuring there!
Comment: #5
Posted by: Oldtimer
Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:03 AM
Why don't we just lynch the white officer and get it over with?
Comment: #6
Posted by: Oldtimer
Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:51 AM
Re Mark, re steveM
Of course not one word of rebuttal of the facts. If the same scenario had played out with a white thug white cop no story. Likewise black cop white thug no story. Even black cop black thug no story. Non events. No possibility of a false race story. But a false narrative of a white cop shooting down a black misunderstood saint trying to surrender is a golden opportunity for the perpetuation of the liberal race based fiction that white America is a hate filled racist society that has caused blacks to underachieve. In other words the Democratic Party myth which is played by it at every opportunity to garner votes from blacks so that the Democratic Party, with the help of the media may keep blacks on the underachiever dependency plantation. That is the real story.
On average there are about 30 shootings and about 5 shooting deaths every single weekend in the liberal / Democrat created hell holes of Chicago and Detroit. Where are the media, Eric and Barry? Nowhere. Why? Because black on black or poor on poor violence caused by Democrat / liberal ideology does not fit the myth and the real results of liberalism would be exposed.
Mark, steveM should ask themselves these questions
1 will they stand with the convenience store owner robbed and assaulted by the black thug?
2 will they stand by the police officer who all witness accounts say was forced to defend himself?
3will they continue to be fooled by the false narrative and the race baiting of Holder, Obama, sharpton, Jackson, et al?
4. Or will they play full part in perpetuating the America is a bad white racist society and by so doing assist in preventing real progress by blacks.
Seems they have already chosen to keep the black population just where they want them. On the underachiever plantation.
Comment: #7
Posted by: joseph wright
Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:40 AM
Joseph Wright is more wright than wrong if not all right.

The same Black thug sucker punched a cop while the cop sit in his car. The THUG got what he deserved and America is better off now that such THUG is dead. He was a waste of good oxygen.

That said, I cannot imagine why ANYONE is surprised by the lowlife riots. Humans are actually very consistent in their behavior -- a style of behavior, if you will.

For example, if you are the kind of person that puts an empty milk container back in the refrigerator you are the type of person that will put empty ice trays back in the freezer.

Lowlife stealing thugs are going to steal. The rioters are simply using the death of a criminal LOWLIFE THUG as an excuse to steal - but lowlifes will be lowlifes. No shock.

Note I do not use race as a factor, not even once. Race is not the issue here. Skin color does not cause the human brain to act. That said, there are three undeniable facts about the current riots:

(1) the rioters are thieving thugs with NO HONOR or sense of honor;
(2) such is true without regard to skin color; and
(3) the majority the rioters have Black/Dark skin.

The question becomes, then, since these thugs were NOT born without honor, how did they lose their honor? Whatever the cause, such cause does indeed seem to be race specific as the cause affects Blacks more than non-Blacks.

So, assuming people are not born azzhole thugs, which is a good assumption, then some environmental factor has caused these predominately Black THUGS in the current riots to behave dishonorably and ignorantly.

Restated, RACE is not the cause, it is a CLUE that can help us uncover the cause.

The only policies that are targeted specifically to skin color are Liberal and Democrat policies. Liberals and Democrats as a party separate everyone into groups (women, Race, gender, etc.) and then teach one group to hate another. I call this "Hate Teach".

Then Liberals and Democrats tell these groups if they vote for Liberals and Democrats they will protect them from the other groups. For this to be effective, Liberals and Democrats have to use "Hate Teach" were the Liberals and Democrats tell group-1 all evils that group-2 has subjected group-1 to in the past. Further, often such "evils" are fabricated or misrepresented as being group specific. Restated, Liberals/Democrats LIE to make groups hate each other.

Liberals and Democrats teach and preach "Hate Teach", at every opportunity, especially in our schools, to the Black community which results in a large number of Blacks hating white people. Liberals teach Blacks that "the man", more specifically, the "the racist White Man" is keeping Blacks down and abusing Blacks. The "knock out game" is just one result of such Liberal "Hate Teach".

You see, the Liberal's "Hate Teach", is a form of mental abuse or brain washing. It actually speaks well about Blacks that many do not listen to the Liberal's "Heat Teach" and that we do not see more Black Hate than we do now.

As long as Liberals/Democrats are allowed to bombard Blacks with Liberal "Hate Teach", just to get votes, there will HATE between groups of people and there will be riots from time to time.

Comment: #8
Posted by: SusansMirror
Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:53 AM
Re: joseph wright
I have not expressed an opinion on what happened here. Unlike the rioters and the nut cases on the other side, I am interested in the facts before I leap to conclusions. This situation is complex in many ways and that is what we have a judicial system for.
No, my comment was addressed to the not too subtle silly bias in your comments. "Obama and Holder joining in because they hate whitey...". A ways to go, indeed.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Mark
Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:40 AM
Re: Mark
Obviously you didn't read factual post by the Mirror.
Comment: #10
Posted by: Oldtimer
Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:04 AM
No, no, Mark is correct, and I hardly ever agree with him. That post kept using the term "thug", and encapsulates what is wrong on both sides of the issue. If everybody can truly wait for the facts to come in they might see that overreacting is dangerous. I was embarrassed by that post. We do have a long way to go if people really can't see both sides of the issue. I, however, do not want to alienate Oldtimer because his posts are succinct and sometimes hilarious. He's got StevieM in his hip pocket. Joseph Wright came on too strong, sometimes a looting of the intellect is as damaging as the real thing.

None of KNOW exactly what happened. Obama says put cameras on all policemen. I'm for that, but remain aware that there will always be a gray area where the fear for one's own life will outweigh reason.

This is hard on many people for many reasons. It will happen again, but perhaps we can learn to minimize the damage in the search for truth. Riots and looting present no such solution. One must remain calm to remain rational. Calling people "thug" only creates more bile. Mark is correct.
Comment: #11
Posted by: Tom
Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:43 AM
I usually don't read SusansMirror. I rarely find anything of value there.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Mark
Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:11 PM
Re: Mark
Closed mind. Not good.
Should others stop reading your postings?
Comment: #13
Posted by: Oldtimer
Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:08 AM
It's rare that Susan lets her guard down this much to expose her liberal bias to such an extent.

-teenager? 6-4, 292 lb 18 year old man. stoned. just committed a crime and violence against the store owner.
-if the Ferguson police department looked like Ferguson? So much for content of character.
-not a word about the race hustlers Jackson and Sharpton showing up to incite emotions
-22 years ago LA - still stuck in the past, not willing to assess a situation freshly.

Very sad.
Comment: #14
Posted by: pb1222
Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:23 AM
A kid stealing candy from a store is NOT a thug.
A teen or adult stealing from and tormenting a shopkeeper IS a thug.
A person carrying a sign and shouting out is NOT a thug.
A person throwing a molotov cocktail IS a thig.
A person breaking into a store and stealing merchandise IS a thug.
A person selling drugs IS a thug.
Comment: #15
Posted by: Oldtimer
Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:30 AM
A kid stealing candy from a store is NOT a thug.
A teen or adult stealing from and tormenting a shopkeeper IS a thug.
A person carrying a sign and shouting out is NOT a thug.
A person throwing a molotov cocktail IS a thig.
A person breaking into a store and stealing merchandise IS a thug.
A person selling drugs IS a thug.
Comment: #16
Posted by: Oldtimer
Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:30 AM
Re Tom
Facts that have come out.
1. Brown robbed a convenience store and assaulted the owner.
2. Brown savagely assaulted the police officer causing an orbital blowout fracture to his face.
3. Brown was a thieving violent thug. Period. Unless we start to call things by their right names, we shall get nowhere.

Re Mark.
Obama and Holder look at every domestic matter through the dual prisms of (1) a need to punish white Christian America for the sins each of them perceive to have been committed in the past and (2) a need for reparations for the same.

This is why Obama has let mostly white Americans die abroad under horrific circumstances, to wit, our ambassador and three others in Benghazi and the recent beheading of John Foley, without any flush of anger or real personal loathing and with the most passive of voices. America deserves to be punished.

American enemies declared war on America by those acts but Obama acted as follows he either lied and covered up the event or ran off to the golf course. But a black thug shot after assaulting a convenience store owner and a police officer demands full attention and a full federal investigation. No such investigation of federal IRS abuse of power and targeting of mostly white citizens and no honesty about Benghazi.

Contrast this with the lawful death of Trayvon Martin which for Obama was heartfelt, deeply personal and the comments against police in the Gates incident and Obama's passive voice on the rioting and thuggish behavior of the black mobs in Fergusson.

Holder has made it clear in his talks in Fergusson that the matter is not simply one of objective blind justice but personal, based upon his own experiences of traffic stops. So much for impartiality. Holder has promised to use the civil rights laws to effect change. He forgets that whites and the white cop also have civil rights. He forgets that the Justice Department is not the Just Us Department.

No Mark, both Obama and Holder hold deep seated animus to "whitey" and America and things per Holder do not change but must be made to change.

Get ready for the October, just before November, Obama/Holder lynching of a white cop because he was white.
Comment: #17
Posted by: joseph wright
Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:31 AM
Re: Oldtimer
I imagine that others might lose interest in my comments if I frequently used the space to post the equivalent of dead baby jokes about conservatives and republicans.
Comment: #18
Posted by: Mark
Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:25 PM
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