August 17th, 2014

Here’s how to Make a Public Records Request for Ferguson Investigation 120

By Charlie Grapski

PINAC Logo cutout

In my last story here I put out a call for PINAC readers to join with the Open Records Project in a “global” Public Records Request – a request being made by as many concerned citizens as we can enlist in this cause.

The reason for this tactic – is to force the City and Police in Ferguson to fully and faithfully COMPLY with the Public Records Law and thus to not only RESPECT THE LAW, as one should expect of a law enforcement agency, but to also RESPECT THE PUBLIC and OUR RIGHTS.

Here is the first proposed “Global” PINAC Public Records Request.

CLICK HERE TO FILE THE PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST

UPDATE: Interview Regarding the Request and the Records Obtained

If you go to that page – and follow the instructions to “sign” – it will bring you to a page with the TEXT of the request on it.  All you have to do is CUT & PASTE that request into an email – and use the provided EMAIL ADDRESSES to send it:

Lt. Jeff Burk – JBurk@stlouisco.com 
And CC it to me at charliegrapski@pinac.org.

The REQUEST is for a very simple document: the INCIDENT REPORT(S) filed pertaining to the shooting/killing of Brown on August 9th.

BY LAW this is a PUBLIC RECORD – and MUST be provided to you IMMEDIATELY (three days at the latest).

BUT – as with most public agencies – they have nothing but contempt for the law, particularly those laws associated with Citizen rights and accountability of agencies and officials.  AS SUCH the Police and City are FALSELY claiming a blanket “open investigation” exemption that precludes them from providing this by having that record exempted during such an investigation.

BUT THAT IS A FALSE CLAIM – and they KNOW IT.

The exemption is for a “report of” an “ongoing investigation.”  NOT for public records which may be utilized in or share the same SUBJECT MATTER AS an investigation.

The Incident Report IS NOT the Investigation.  It is distinct and independent of it.  It is a clear and unquestionable public record.  And it must be provided upon request.

By using this tactic – to get hundreds, perhaps if we can – thousands, of requests made for this record – the POINT will be driven home.  The public DEMANDS the release of these records; and this is a matter of EXTREME PUBLIC SIGNIFICANCE.

If, however, the City and Police again try the ruse of the “ongoing investigation” exemption – this will provide standing to bring a LEGAL CAUSE OF ACTION to have the records produced under Court Order.

CLICK HERE TO FILE THE PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST

Again – I urge as man of you out there who wish to participate in a substantive way – to make this public records request today – and to SHARE this ACTION with as many others as you think might also be willing to participate.

If you do – and when you get emails in response to this request – I ask that you forward those emails to me at charliegrapski@pinac.org

Thanks – and lets see what we can accomplish together.

Here is the TEXT of that request:

Lt. Burk,

This is a formal request for PUBLIC RECORDS pursuant to Chapter 610 Missouri Revised Statutes (the Missouri Sunshine Law).

I am hereby requesting, as is required by law to be provided, the following public record:

Any and all INCIDENT REPORTS submitted related to the shooting and death of Michael Brown on August 9th, 2014.

THIS IS NOT a request for records of the INVESTIGATION into this matter. Thus if you respond to this that these records are not available at this time because of an ongoing investigation – you will be VIOLATING THE LAW and as this is notice to you that there is no such exemption pertaining to INCIDENT REPORTS in Missouri law – if you make such a claim – your violation will be KNOWING and WILFUL – and will constitute not only an offense under Missouri Law but will constitute a knowing and willful violation of your OATH OF OFFICE.

Any police officer who knowingly and willfully violates the law – or does not deem the police to be subject to the law – has no business in law enforcement or public service. I hope you will not try and play this game – and thus require this matter to be litigated to obtain what is, by law, already and always the RIGHT of the citizens to obtain.

This record, again, has no specific exemption in Missouri statute. If you DO claim such an exemption – please CITE the EXACT and EXPLICIT STATUTORY language that you are relying upon – and provide all of the rest of the record, that is not exempt, without delay. (See 610.023.4)

As this is a matter of great public concern and as this is a routine request for a simple record that is readily at hand – I would like to receive this record, in electronic format, via email NO LATER THAN THREE DAYS FROM RECEIPT OF THIS REQUEST. Please send the record to the email address used for this request. (See 610.023.3)

AGAIN – to REITERATE: This is a request for a routine record filed in every incident involving an officer. It is NOT, in any way shape or form, a request for “the report” of any “ongoing investigation.” The fact that there MAY be an “ongoing investigation” into the SAME MATTER dealt with in these reports – DOES NOT LEGALLY CONSTITUTE the record a “report of” or a “portion thereof” an “ongoing investigation.” The two are LEGALLY DISTINCT and DISTINGUISHABLE – as you are fully well aware.

Thank you,

Sincerely,

UPDATE


SEE UPDATE: THE PUBLIC RECORDS CIRCUS: FERGUSON

As of this morning nearly 150 requests were made in this unprecedented “Global” Public Records Request.

However, in a routine follow up via the phone, I spoke with Lt. Burk of the St. Louis County Police Department’s Records Division.

He stated that their system went down and had only just gotten back online when I spoke with him.  He stated he had not gotten my request – nor nearly all of the other 150 requests.  I have since forwarded him a copy of mine and about 50 of the others.  I am in the process of contacting those whose requests are not yet on the record to resend them.  I have also asked for a copy of all of his incoming emails (not the body – but the list of emails) since yesterday.  Both to check the veracity of the claim that the emails of these requests have “disappeared” – which, if other emails during that same time period “appeared,” would be problematic; and to find out which requests have or have not been received – so that he gets the complete set.

More significantly – I spoke to Lt. Burk directly about what I was requesting (and what all others sending in this request are requesting).  I stated to him that I am requesting the “Incident Report,” that this is not a request for the “Report of the Investigation” into the incident, which are two distinct things – the latter exempt while the investigation is on-going, the former NOT exempt under the law – even during an investigation, and even if that record is used WITHIN that investigation.  (This “open-investigation” exemption claim was provided to the ACLU to deny them the Incident Report.  The ACLU has filed a legal action on this.).

He agreed with me that the Incident Report was not exempt and was a Public Record.  He did question me, however, asking if I knew what was “in” an incident report.  I stated yes, I did known, and that I recognized that some of the particular information (such as a social security number) does have an applicable exemption.  Thus I stated that I recognized that some of that information could be redacted in the copy that I am provided under the public records law.

I am still waiting for this record.  As I stated – Lt. Burk agreed it is not subject to the investigation exemption.  He has agreed to provide it.  In a further follow up call, however, it is clear that he is not making the final decisions (although this one is going to be tough to back out of now that he has stated to me it is clearly not exempt, as they initial claimed to the ACLU).  He did not say there was any problem producing the Incident Report.  He stated my SECOND request may be problematic in the view of the Legal Counsel for the Department – the request for his incoming emails since yesterday.  I was a bit surprised at this claim – as it is clear that he has heard that this was going to be a tactic in the response that the lawyers were preparing for that.  I stated to him that first – I did not request all the emails – just the list of emails from the INBOX since yesterday.  BUT – even if I did request all the emails – this was a fairly routine request.  Only if any of those emails, in the body, contained exempt information (which is rarely the case), would that justify anything other than simple production – the redaction of that particular information. BUT – as I was not requesting the emails – but the listing of emails – this was not a concern.  All they have to do is sort the inbox by date – limit it to yesterday to today – and click PRINT (print to file) – and there is the record I am requesting.  In the meantime – I had him tell me who he received emailed requests from since yesterday.  He read out the names of SEVEN requestors.  Most were from those who were sending in the request above.  Two were from members of the media (I have contacted one).  He then stated he would print out each of those and send me those as a partial response to my second request.  I am still waiting for that.

So I await the production of the Incident Report (I have been in contact with the Missouri ACLU about this).  We will see what happens.

 

******

Charlie Grapski, who is heading PINAC’s new Open Records Project, can be reached at charliegrapski@pinac.org.


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  • BabbaZee

    Since I refuse to have an NSA facebook account I am having a hard time getting in with their registration – it keeps booting me out, saying I did not fill in a field that is filled in – but I’ll get in there eventually and sign.

    Thanks for doing this, even though it feels like it will make no difference… somehow I think this has all gone past the point where trying to effect change through the established bureaucracies can have any impact.

  • MOLON LABE

    From Boston to Ferguson: Have We Reached a Tipping Point in the Police State? written by john w. whitehead friday august 15, 2014

    “I thought I was losing my capacity to be shocked — but events in Missouri over just the last couple of hours have crossed a frightening line, one that makes me pray that this assault on fundamental American values is just the aberration of one rudderless Heartland community, and not the first symptoms of nation gone mad with high-tech weaponry to keep its own citizens in line.”—Journalist Will Bunch

    http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2014/august/15/from-boston-to-ferguson-have-we-reached-a-tipping-point-in-the-police-state.aspx

  • BabbaZee

    Stop-and-Frisk’s Fiercest Foe

    http://narrative.ly/stories/stop-and-frisks-fiercest-foe/

    As New York’s minority communities fume over the controversial crime-fighting tactic known as stop-and-frisk, one camera-wielding ex-con makes it his mission to catch the cops in action.

    He was racing like a madman somewhere on the edge of the Bronx, listening to a police radio and hoping to catch some cops on camera, when suddenly he got lucky. Two officers were approaching a young black man on Bruckner Boulevard, a location Jose LaSalle had marked on his map, which he uses to track citizen complaints of the NYPD routinely and unreasonably stopping and frisking people on the street. LaSalle and his crew, a troop of middle-aged Bronx residents and young female activists, got there within seconds, pulled out their phones and surrounded the officers with cameras. Baffled, the police backed away from the young man.

  • Karen Mitchell

    Officials don’t have to give up the records within 3 days, they only have to REPLY to the request within 3 days. From that point they are to fulfill the request but there’s no set time limit. Many agencies have used this as a way to stall in fulfilling the request. However, in this case, as high profile as it is, officials will probably reply very quickly.

    • Charlie Grapski

      It depends on the state. Section 610.023.3, RSMo, requires that each request be responded to as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the third business day following the custodian of records’ receipt of the request.

      The problem is not that the laws don’t usually provide a time for reasonable production – its that the agencies don’t care what the law says – and ignore it – and bet that people will not take the matter to Court.

    • jcfromnj

      Open Records Request are a nightmare to do, even when you are good at it. I have had an on going war getting docs until recently, In NJ they have a 7 day rule to respond.After that you get to file a Denial of Access complaint the The Records Management Zombies which could result in a six month wait to side with the Records Clerk that you are smoking Crack to even consider that they wouldn’t comply with your request.
      It’s a closed “star chamber” process, no input, behind closed doors. You get the opportunity to take the whole nightmare into Superior Court at your expense if you don’t like the findings. We are supposed to be “Model” for Open Public Records. I don’t want to live in YOUR state if this is the Model.
      It worked out to my favor in a round about when in a turn of events I got to get all the documents in a Discovery Motion in a federal lawsuit, the docs that they “swore to” didn’t exist. After this blood bath is over I will revisit the Aggravated Pergury shit storm that will follow. It should be very interesting that every from the local records clerk, Police Dept and the States Investigator didn’t do an “In Camera” inspection as I requested. Everybody was running interference for everyone else until I got “Lawyered Up” as it is known on the streets.
      Good luck with those Records Request !!!

      • Charlie Grapski

        There is a problem, nationwide, with both compliance and enforcement of the public records laws.

        Which is why it is important to USE the law – both making the requests – and taking them to Court to get the records.

        But not just that – strategically using records requests – to prove the knowing and willful non-compliance. So that – in time – you begin to FORCE enforcement.

  • kraz

    Done and done.

  • hands up don’t record

    From the images and police tactics that I have seen this town should be called FALLUJAH, MISSOURI.

    • dan from stl

      I totally agree with you when St. Louis County PD was in charge. It looked and acted like an invasion.

      Now that Capt. Johnson from the MIssouri Highway Patrol has taken over, it has been done right and is a model for the rest of the country on how things like this should be done

      • Luc

        Dan you obviously have not seen raw footage of what happened on the morning of Aug 17. St. Louis County Police were back in play, and it was business as usual. Peaceful citizens and camera crews were attacked by the Police again. Police surrounded and ketteled them then fired upon them.

        But that’s ok because they were violating a State curfew while trying to exercise their 1st Amendment right, or should we call it a 1st Amendment Privilege that can be revoked at any time for any reason by our Overlords.

        • dan in stl

          Please give a link. I watched it live on Vice TV and one other Livestream saw nothing like that, except at the Red’s Bar-b-que, which was the scene of the shooting and where the guy was waving the gun around.

          • dan from stl

            From Antonio French, a reliable local black leader (Alderman in the City) who was on the scene trying to calm people down regarding armed group at Red’s BBQ.

            https://twitter.com/AntonioFrench/status/500868671271862273

            St. Louis County PD would have gone in with the SWAT team rifles blazing and blown those people away, instead of what happened.

        • A Default

          They have a right to peaceably assemble. They don’t have a right to loot and riot.

          The looting continued after the police backed off the previous two nights, yes there can be reasonable time and place placed on the 1st Amendment. For example, you can’t demand entry to a public park after closing hours and you can’t demand your right to peaceably assemble inside the White House.

          • dan in stl

            There was no looting last night. There was looting the night before last. There was no looting before that.

            There was a shooting last night. That’s what triggered the police response.

            Out of towners who are making knee jerk reactions without bothering to understand the facts or understand St. Louis aren’t helping, whether they are pro-police or anti-police.

          • A Default

            There was no looting last night because the police enforced a curfew.

            The police stood by the night before that and there was looting.

            There was also looting prior to that. (why you claim “there was no looting before that” is beyond me)

            I’m not pro-police or anti-police. I recognize the need for police as well as the need to hold them accountable for their actions.

          • dan in STL

            I stand corrected. There was looting on Sunday, August 9th too.

  • MOLON LABE

    The difference between what happened in Boston in the wake of the Boston Marathon explosion and what is happening now in Ferguson, Missouri, is not in the government’s response but in the community’s response.

    This is what happens when you ignore the warning signs.

    This is what happens when you fail to take alarm at the first experiment on your liberties.

    This is what happens when you fail to challenge injustice and government overreach until the prison doors clang shut behind you.

    Consider that it was just a little over a year ago that the city of Boston was locked down while police carried out a military-style manhunt for the suspects in the Boston Marathon explosion. At the time, Americans welcomed the city-wide lockdown, the routine invasion of their privacy, and the dismantling of every constitutional right intended to serve as a bulwark against government abuses.

    Fast forward 14 months, and Americans are shocked at the tactics being employed to quell citizen unrest in Ferguson, Missouri—a massive SWAT team, an armored personnel carrier, men in camouflage pointing heavy artillery at the crowd, smoke bombs and tear gas—where residents are outraged and in the streets in response to a recent police shooting of one of their own: a young, unarmed college-bound black teenager who had the misfortune of being in the wrong time at the wrong place.

    • dan from stl

      And the Governor responded to the outrage. He “fired” the St. Louis County Police Department and put Captain Johnson from the Highway Patrol in charge.

      The tactics totally changed. His first order was for everyone to lock their gas masks and rifles in the trunks of their cars. No more pointing rifles at unarmed citizens. No more military uniforms, all the cops are in normal dress shirts. No rubber bullets and teargas as a very last resort (the only time it has been used since was last night after a shooting). Most important, he reached out to the community and was coordinating with the local leaders and even the New Black Panthers and Nation of Islam.

      Now, it is Captain Johnson and thousands in the community working together to deal with a small group of mostly out of town troublemakers intent on violence.

      The most important part of the police response isn’t that the St. Louis County PD showed how to do it wrong, it is that Capt. Johnson showed how to do it right.

      • Luc

        Try out of town camera wielding reporters. The bulk of the violence is from the armed thugs with badges. Captain Johnson is just a black faced puppet. The Police are the ones inciting the public, the Police are the ones creating the problems.

        Today it’s Ferguson, tomorrow it may be your town or street. We need to end the militarization of Police.

        • dan from St. Louis

          This is what the Ferguson community feels about Capt. Johnson.

          https://vine.co/v/M3nJBFUPUZ0

          You have a right to your opinion, but the people who live in Ferguson disagree with you.

          The night before last, until around 2 am, there was no violence on either side. Then the looting broke out. There was no police violence whatsoever. They stood their ground and let it happen.

          Last night, after all the locals went home, there was no police violence until some knucklehead started shooting. Then, there was tear gas. No rubber bullets. It was over in 15 minutes. No police violence after that.

          Personally, I’ll accept the opinions of the local people who live in Ferguson over some out of towner. The people of Ferguson have the truth on their side. The last thing they need is out of towners distorting the truth.

          And don’t get me wrong, if you’d asked me two weeks ago to name the 5 most brutal and racist police departments in the state, Ferguson would have been near at the top of the list. If there was any justice in the world, 3/4’s of the Ferguson PD would be behind bars.

          • Charlie Grapski

            The man DID do the right thing when he arrived.

            But he doesn’t have the power to ensure that the law is enforced on those in another police department – unfortunately.

            All he can do is to try and be more reasonable than the “standard” police approach these days.

          • dan in stl

            No, unfortunately, he doesn’t. And I don’t trust Bob McCulloch at all. St. Louis County has a long history of using the Grand Jury to flush cases they don’t want to deal with. If he was serious about the process being open, McCulloch would arrest him and have a Preliminary Hearing in front of a judge in open court instead of going to the Grand Jury in secret (which Missouri law allows).

            Hopefully, the U.S. Attorney and FBI will come through for them.

        • A Default

          The police didn’t force anyone to riot and loot. The police stood back the previous two nights and the looting continued. Their original response was excessive, no question about it. But they do have a duty to maintain public order and when looting continues and armed thugs start trying to take shots at the cops, it is not unreasonable to respond.

      • Luc

        Try out of town camera wielding reporters. The bulk of the violence is from the armed thugs with badges. Captain Johnson is just a black faced puppet. The Police are the ones inciting the public, the Police are the ones creating the problems.

        Today it’s Ferguson, tomorrow it may be your town or street. We need to end the militarization of Police.

    • A Default

      That young, unarmed college bound kid wasn’t a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is growing ever more clear that he wasn’t a victim at all.

      He robbed a convenience store about 10 minutes prior to encountering the police. The police originally stopped him for walking in the street then drove off. The cop then heard the radio call about the suspect in the convenience store robbery and recognized that Michael fit the description and backed up to investigate.

      The cop tried to exit his vehicle but Michael slammed the door violently shut, forcing the cop back into the vehicle. Michael then grappled with the cop, trying to get his gun. The gun discharged in the vehicle at which point Michael and Dorian started to run away.

      The cop exited his vehicle and ordered the to stop. Michael and Dorian turned around, Michael taunted the cop and then rushed him. The cop shot multiple times before Michael finally went down and died.

      Funny how it sometimes turns out that the bad guy really is the bad guy,

      • Charlie Grapski

        Simply NOT true. Nor even if it were – irrelevant.

        It is ALLEGED that he “shoplifted” a pack of cigarillos.

        The Police Chief has REPEATEDLY CONFIRMED the officer had no knowledge of the prior incident.

        And shoplifting is not only NOT a capital offense – no offense deserves an execution by a police officer.

        In this case – whatever wrongs this guy did – the guy who shot him – is a REALLY BAD guy.

        • A Default

          Charles, words matter. It is more than “alleged” that he committed strong arm robbery (not shoplifting), there is video evidence as well as Michael’s friend Dorian who ADMITS to the robbery.

          Words also matter when you talk about what the police chief said, he did NOT say “the officer had no knowledge of the prior incident”. He clearly said the robbery was not the cause for the initial stop.

          It doesn’t matter what the punishment for shoplifting is, that wasn’t why he was shot. Yes, there are some offenses that deserve being shot by a police officer, such as attempted murder.

          You just saying the cop is a bad guy adds nothing to the discussion, it requires evidence not rhetoric.

          • Charlie Grapski

            i’ve seen the video. It is not conclusive of anything – other than if he stole the cigarillos – its a STRETCH to bring it from shoplifting to strong arm robbery.

            As for confessions of those with motives to give the police the confession they want – I don’t give that much credibility either.

            But again it is all irrelevant.

            The officer had no legal authority to demand he get off the street – and then to engage him as he did when he did not.

            And the officer had certainly no legal authority to draw his gun – let alone fire it.

            As for the “struggle for the gun” – not only is this “stock police lies” (the police are now TAUGHT to make these very statements) – but it doesn’t add up – in many ways.

            Particularly as you describe – the cop tried to get back in the car (why – because little big Mike was coming?), but Mike shoved him INSIDE by pushing on the door. Then – with the officer on the inside of the door and Mike on the outside of the door (the only way that works above) – Mike reaches THROUGH the door – grabs the gun – and engages in a struggle leading to the firing of the gun.

            Sorry – I give that story ZERO credibility. Which, by the way, is the REASON the Police are attempting, unlawfully, to withhold this particular document.

            Because they want to create this document AFTER THE FACT – so that it MATCHES the story they put together to “justify” the shooting.

          • dan in STL

            A agree with 95% of this.

            A cop does have the right to tell you to get back on the sidewalk. If you refuse you can get a ticket for jay walking.

            He pushed the clerk. Technically, that is strong arm robbery, but even in St. Louis County, it would have been filed as a shoplifting.

          • A Default

            It was filed, prior to the shooting, as a strong armed robbery. It was not shoplifting at all.

            Robbery in the 2nd degree
            569.030. 1. A person commits the crime of robbery in the second degree when he forcibly steals property.

            He used force to steal that, the merchant attempt to stop the theft and Michael used force against the merchant.

            He originally tried to shoplift, taking the merchandise while the clerk was in the restroom and handing it behind him to Dorian. But then he forcibly took more and Dorian put the original package back on the counter.

          • dan in stl

            I am aware of what the robbery statute says.

            St. Louis County prosecutors would have charged it as a shop lifting is what I meant, which they would have. If the clerk had been injured, they’d have added an assault charge. They would not have charged that as a robbery.

          • A Default

            The clerk was physically attacked and that would indeed be enough to pile on some more charges.

            Neither you or I know how it would have been charged. It certainly could have been 2nd degree robbery and the prosecutor could plea it down to shoplifting but my experience is the prosecutors pile on the charges so they can plea them down instead of charging with something lower.

          • dan in STL

            Felony court is a lot more time and effort. In St. Louis County, that would get charged as a misdemeanor. It is even possible it would have been kept in Ferguson Municipal Court. In general, that’s how St. Louis County operates.

          • Charlie Grapski

            I saw the video. I don’t deny that it was filed as “strong armed robbery”. They will always try and claim the worst. But if they had a case for that – I can assure you – it would have been TWO counts – the second one BATTERY.

            It was SHOPLIFTING – from what is seen on the video – IF he did what is alleged (yet to be proven).

            But – not only would the officer not known of it as such – and did not even know of the incident – but it is amazing how THAT police report (with no actual urgency) was able to be produced – and produced publicly – but the shooting report – no – that’s not going to be produced this quickly.

            I am not going to waste my time with you any longer.

          • Charlie Grapski

            You are claiming that the officer tried to get back into the car. The kid slammed the door on him – shutting him inside.

            Then you have the kid reaching in and grabbing the gun off the cop (in his holster).

            I mean – really?

            But again – almost never does such a scenario (taking away the inconsistencies about the car door) take place with a suspected murderer. Almost NEVER.

            A suspected shoplifter! Come on.

          • Charlie Grapski

            What you said was that the cop was pinned INSIDE the car by the kid – who thus was OUTSIDE the car.

            UNLESS the kid GOT INTO the car WITH THE COP – and then PULLED THE DOOR SHUT from the inside.

            No – I don’t suffer from a reading disorder. Nor do I suffer fools gladly.

          • dan in stl

            You state that as fact. And you base that on what? A vague statement of the Ferguson Police Chief relating what Wilson said and the anonymous radio lady.

          • A Default

            Eye witness account, I’ve already provided the link. Account was made minutes after the shooting.

          • dan in stl

            The anonymous guy in the link didn’t say anything near what you have asserted.

            I am done with you now.

          • A Default

            Have a nice night dan.

            Just remember, the truth will set you free, even if the truth isn’t what you hoped it would be.

          • Charlie Grapski

            Here is a far more PLAUSIBLE scenario for your claims about his mental state and desire to resist with force.

            IF he “knew” he was likely going to be arrested for shoplifting – he would not move TOWARD the cop – but RUN AWAY FROM HIM. As fast as he could.

          • Charlie Grapski

            OH – OK. So – the kid robs (with violence) a store.

            Then casually walks in the middle of the street – as a cop car pulls up behind him – and he TAUNTS the cop.

            Because no – he would not then fear being arrested for that crime.

            BUT after the cop stops again – then he fears he is going to be arrested (for a pack of cigarillos) – and instead of RUNNING AWAY – oh no – unarmed he is going to rush an armed police officer, struggle to get his gun, so he can shoot him dead in the middle of the street in broad daylight.

            Hey – I live in Florida. We still have a LOT of swampland. Can I sell you some?

          • Charlie Grapski

            Yes. I have dyslexia, a low IQ, and poor reading comprehension skills. OK.

          • Charlie Grapski

            OK Mr. Anonymous. What is your real name, what is your “day job” – and then I’d be happy to put my CREDENTIALS next to yours – any time.

          • Charlie Grapski

            The more you speak – you do realize – the more your TRUE MOTIVATIONS are revealed.

          • BabbaZee

            The tongue always digs the grave

          • Charlie Grapski

            And – in fact – you DID describe and RELY UPON a claim that the officer was attempting to get INTO his vehicle. The kid rushed the cop – slammed into the door – slamming the cop INSIDE the car.

            Then – the kid (I guess the car door is irrelevant) reaches and grabs the cops sidearm.

            Seriously?

          • Charlie Grapski

            Yes – that is it. With my academic background – I clearly have a reading comprehension problem and got poor grades in school – someone within one of those ten degrees I did.

            OK – so you have Michael rushing the car, getting INTO the car with the cop, and then PULLING the door shut on him.

            And yes – police cars USUALLY have their windows down. Uh huh.

          • Charlie Grapski

            I’d still like to see a struggle between a big fat kid on the outside – leaning into a window – to an armed grown male cop – and have the cop fearing for his life – and likely to lose his gun.

            Give me a break.

            Go back to insults – you are better at those than logic.

          • BabbaZee

            How do you know what he knows or does not know about guns? What does his knowledge of guns have to do with anything?

            What makes you such an expert on anything?

            My father and grandfather were NYPD. I can shoot a group the size of a dime. So?

            None of us know what happened here, not even you. All we can do is try to make the most sense out of the information we get as we get it. I do know that in the very worst times in the very worst precinct in the Bronx in the 60’s and 70’s my father never killed anyone over a cigar and no one ever managed to take his weapon from him. No one ever pulled up in an MRAP with tear gas and assault rifles even during the blackout looting. I know that what was policing then is far different than we see happening here.

            The only thing you appear to be an expert on is malice and conclusion jumping.

          • BabbaZee

            Charles…
            Don’t bother anymore.

            there is no there in there.

          • Charlie Grapski

            I would give it no grade – as it is quick typing in a tiny box – as I stretch across a couch to a laptop.

            But – I’d be happy to TEAR APART 90% of everything you say LOGICALLY. It would not be that difficult.

            But as I said – I have no time for arrogant, ignorant, and cowardly trolls.

          • Charlie Grapski

            And please explain the need for THREE bullets?

          • Charlie Grapski

            The cop COULD have shot him in the leg. You don’t shoot to kill in a sane and democratic society when you are a domestic police force. That is what you do in a war zone.

          • Charlie Grapski

            Was he armed? No. So no basis for shooting – whatsoever. Even if he “kept coming.”

          • Charlie Grapski

            No – but you have clearly stepped into the roll of TROLL.

          • Charlie Grapski

            And by the way – I am not stating whether he did or did not shoplift the cigarillos. What I am saying is that there is no conclusive evidence to that at this time. And a lot that could be argued to COUNTER all of what you claim that is based upon. I mean seriously – a “confession” of a person who was involved – when the other guy is dead – and the cops have him. Yeah – that’s a trustworthy confession. I am not even certain such a confession WAS given – have you SEEN the signed confession? I haven’t.

            And more importantly – it matters not what he did before the shooting. Because it cannot justify the shooting (which is WHY it was being put out by the Police – not because of your “alternative” (and equally ad hoc sounding) story).

            It also doesn’t matter if he did fear getting arrested (not only because that would have likely caused him to RUN FROM the cop – not stand in the street as the cop pulled up on him) – because unless he posed a CREDIBLE THREAT to the life of the officer or others – and he simply did not – the officer was unjustified in shooting – let alone shooting three times till his victim was dead.

          • Charlie Grapski

            OK. Whatever. And if cops shoot to kill – and are trained to do so – then you have IDENTIFIED the problem. (And no – that is not a longstanding police practice – but a RECENT emergence).

          • A Default

            So the problem is cops are trained to shoot to kill?

            Anyone who is trained in firearm use is trained to shoot to kill if they find it necessary to shoot at another person.

            And no it isn’t a new concept, you probably watched too many movies where the good guy tried to wing the bad guy. Movies aren’t real Charlies.

            Perhaps if you took a firearms training class you would be able to shuck off your movie mindset about guns.

          • Charlie Grapski

            Yes – that is a very real problem in a sane, democratic society.

            But I have no desire to engage with you. You are rude, petty, and not as smart as you think you are.

            Come back – post in your own name rather than as a coward behind anonymity – and then I’ll consider further engaging with you.

            I can almost guarantee that your “day job” is in law enforcement.

          • Charlie Grapski

            As I have stated – as the issue at the store is irrelevant to the shooting – I give it no credibility or thought one way or the other.

            Perhaps he stole a pack of cigarillos.

            But in MY America – that is not grounds to be SHOT AND KILLED on the streets. Maybe that is your vision of Utopia. Not mine.

          • Charlie Grapski

            You don’t have the position to “give” me anything – least of all the “benefit of the doubt.”

            You are not as smart as you think you are, not very skilled at logical argumentation, and extremely rude and obnoxious. And a coward to boot – hiding behind anonymity.

          • Charlie Grapski

            Incident reports are created immediately after the fact. Not weeks later after the story has been gotten straight.

          • Charlie Grapski

            Do you want to “quibble” with immediately? I clearly contrasted that to “weeks later” – not AT THE VERY INSTANT. I don’t think it takes a genius to know what I meant by “immediately” and what I clearly did not mean. It doesn’t – but it does take an honest person.

            How many lawyers have told me public records DO NOT have to be produced in 3 days? Actually – not a single one. Given that most of the requests that I have filed have been filed in states where they DO have to legally produce them in that time frame.

            And I cited the Missouri STATUTE that says that the records have to be provided immediately – at maximum within three days.

            So before you go lecturing me – I’d step back and re-evaluate your position.

            And I do have evidence. There is NO REASON not to give the public the incident report (within a day or two at the maximum) – other than to not want to be CEMENTED INTO an incident report WHILE you get your stories straight.

            Are you going to tell me police and police departments DO NOT attempt to “get their stories” straight – and do NOT automatically presume the shootings and other uses of force were justified?

            And wait a second – are you telling me that in the shoplifting case – there IS an incident report – already. BUT – that the incident report for the shooting will take a couple of weeks?.

          • Charlie Grapski

            Yes – but you let police officers swap stories. OK.

          • Charlie Grapski

            I didn’t say its being altered. Its not going to be produced – until they have the full story straight (meaning the story to say the shooting was justified) – and THEN the incident report will be written to fit the conclusion and the conclusion written to fit the incident report. But again – I have no time for people like you. Just go ahead and toss around some more insults – and then complain that people don’t take you seriously.

          • A Default

            “And wait a second – are you telling me that in the shoplifting case – there IS an incident report – already.”

            Yes, there was an incident report for the ROBBERY at the convenience store. The case was simple, investigation completed and case closed quickly. Nothing in that report involved an ongoing investigation and there was no need to withhold it so it was released.

            The incident report includes interviews, viewing of video tapes, etc. It was all completed, though certainly not immediately after the ROBBERY.

            The shooting is far more complex, the incident report will be very large and it will be released when it is both complete and there are not any lawful reasons to withhold it.

          • Charlie Grapski

            Again – as I stated – I am not going to engage a rude, obnoxious, simple-minded coward.

        • A Default

          Here you go Charles:

          “The initial contact between Darren Wilson and Mike Brown was not related to the alleged theft of cigars,” Jackson said

          You can view the video of the police chief here:
          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/15/tom-jackson-michael-brown_n_5682762.html

      • dan in stl

        First of all, none of what you have said comes from 1st hand witnesses.

        The Ferguson Police Chief himself said (in his second press conference after he released the video) that Wilson didn’t suspect him in the “robbery” when he stopped him. So there is no one who is saying he was stopped because he was involved in the robbery. He was stopped because he was walking in the street. Everyone agrees on that. What you said about that is just a lie.

        Three eye witnesses disputes what you say about the rest of it. Their statements are consistent. The only support is the vague statements of the Ferguson Police Chief, the only law enforcement person involved who can’t keep his mouth shut.

        The local press pretty much agrees he was shot 35 feet from Wilson and was unarmed. The Ferguson Police Chief pretty much confirms this by his silence. The investigation well show if that is what happened.

        If he was 35 feet away and unarmed, it doesn’t matter if Brown was the devil himself and ate people’s children. It’s murder.

        • dan from stl

          Actually, it isn’t just the Ferguson Police Chief. There was an anonymous lady who called into a radio show that says she talked to Wilson.

        • A Default

          “First of all, none of what you have said comes from 1st hand witnesses.”

          Incorrect

          “The Ferguson Police Chief himself said (in his second press conference after he released the video) that Wilson didn’t suspect him in the “robbery” when he stopped him. So there is no one who is saying he was stopped because he was involved in the robbery. He was stopped because he was walking in the street. Everyone agrees on that. What you said about that is just a lie”

          Incorrect, you don’t seem to understand the difference between the INITIAL stop and the second stop. There were two stops, even Dorian states that. The police chief said the reason for the INITIAL stop was not because of the robbery, I have said nothing different.

          “Three eye witnesses disputes what you say about the rest of it. Their statements are consistent. The only support is the vague statements of the Ferguson Police Chief, the only law enforcement person involved who can’t keep his mouth shut.”

          Listen to the audio for yourself. It wasn’t a cop being recorded.

          “The local press pretty much agrees he was shot 35 feet from Wilson and was unarmed. The Ferguson Police Chief pretty much confirms this by his silence. The investigation well show if that is what happened”

          That doesn’t dispute anything I said

          “If he was 35 feet away and unarmed, it doesn’t matter if Brown was the devil himself and ate people’s children. It’s murder”

          Wrong, attacking an armed police officer by rushing him is grounds for using lethal force, legally.

          • Charlie Grapski

            There was NO INITIAL mention of a “second stop” – and this CONTRADICTS the Chief’s absolutely CLEAR statement – that the officer had NO IDEA of any other charge potentially against the man.

          • dan in STL

            “Wrong, attacking an armed police officer by rushing him is grounds for using lethal force, legally.”

            You are just plain wrong about that.

            Please provide a link to an identified eye witness that supports that rest of your story. (not the anonymous radio lady or the Ferguson Police Chief)

          • A Default

            Wow! I’m just plain wrong that the police can use armed force against someone who is rushing them?

            Join Charles in the corner.

            http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/chapters/chap563.htm

            Law enforcement officer’s use of force in making an arrest.

            563.046. 1. A law enforcement officer need not retreat or desist from efforts to effect the arrest, or from efforts to prevent the escape from custody, of a person he reasonably believes to have committed an offense because of resistance or threatened resistance of the arrestee. In addition to the use of physical force authorized under other sections of this chapter, he is, subject to the provisions of subsections 2 and 3, justified in the use of such physical force as he reasonably believes is immediately necessary to effect the arrest or to prevent the escape from custody.

            May otherwise endanger life or inflict serious physical injury unless arrested without delay

            Here is a link to the inadvertently recorded audio

          • dan in STL

            I know what the statute says,

            No one has said Wilson was trying to arrest him. Making all the assumptions on the side of the cop, he knew a big black guy had committed strong arm robbery. That wasn’t grounds to arrest any particular big black guy without further investigation and there is nothing to say he was trying to arrest him. Therefore that statute doesn’t apply.

            As far as the tape, “coming back toward him” is a long way from charging him like you describe. He could very well be referring to when he turned around and tried to surrender after the first shots. Even in a contemporaneous statement like that, he’d have said “ran at him’ or “rushed him” or something like that, if things had happened the way you describe.

          • A Default

            The audio claims that the cop was trying to arrest Michael.

            He had grounds to detain but once he was assaulted by Michael he had grounds to arrest. So yes that statutes DOES apply.

            The claim on the audio was also that he bum rushed the cop and he kept RUNNING at the officer after multiple shots to the point the witness thought the cop had missed (which he did at least once)

          • Charlie Grapski

            Arrest him for what – walking in the street?

          • Charlie Grapski

            Yes – you are plain wrong.

            He need not retreat or desist from efforts to ARREST a person (BUT – first – the nature of the crime being arrested for MUST be considered (and if it is not a violent one – rule out shooting to make the arrest).

            And yes – US Supreme Court “law” TRUMPS even statutes – although that statute, properly read, does not support your position.

          • Charlie Grapski

            To use deadly force – it is SUPPOSED to be SOLELY used when one’s life is in ACTUAL jeopardy. Not when one may get a bloody nose.

          • Charlie Grapski

            An armed police officer may only use deadly force when his LIFE IS THREATENED (Tennessee v. Garner).

            If I throw a pillow at a cop (an assault – thus an attack) – he is not authorized to shoot to kill.

            I am getting the suspicion that your day job is – in law enforcement?

          • Charlie Grapski

            As I said – I will not directly engage in a debate with a dishonest and rude troll.

            But I do NOT misstate Tennessee v. Garner.

            The operative word in that case is not “prevent” – but the AND clause – containing “significant threat of death or serious physical injury.”

            THAT CLAUSE does, in fact, state what I said.

          • Charlie Grapski

            And when you come out of your cowardly anonymous position – state your name, your employment (in a public agency), and then provide your LEGAL EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND – we can compare the two.

            I assure you – you don’t have half (or even 1/10th) the legal education that I have.

          • Guest

            You come across as an arrogant dick. Do you realise that?

          • BabbaZee

            arrogance precludes insight.

            always.

          • Charlie Grapski

            You have “corrected” me on nothing. You have thrown a tantrum – insulting me about reading comprehension – because I have taken what you have written – as if it were fact – and I have pulled out what is implied in it – and shown that what is implied makes it implausible.

        • A Default

          The autopsy report will be interesting. Dorian claims Michael was shot at least once in the back before turning around. The cops claim Michael was shot in the front while charging the officer.

          If it turns out he was shot in the front it will pretty much impeach Dorian’s biased testimony.

          Dorian’s testimony has some other holes in it that don’t make sense.

          He claims the cop started to drive off and then reversed, why? The eyewitness audio provides a perfect explanation, Dorian provides none.

          Dorian says the cop reached out of his car window and grabbed Michael by the throat and Michael was trying to pull away. This doesn’t make sense, it isn’t what a cop would do and the notion that you can grab a 290lb adult male by the throat while seated in your car and hold him is ridiculous.

          Dorian went on to claim that the cop then grabbed Michael’s arm, why would he do that and how could he do that and have Michael by the throat and hold his pistol (as Dorian claimed)? Does it not make more sense that the cop was trying to keep Michael OUT of his vehicle by putting his arm out and pushing against Michael’s throat (which Dorian could view as the cop grabbing his throat)? Why would a cop in an SUV attempt to restrain a very large adult male by grabbing his arm from inside the SUV? Does it not make more sense that the cop was attempting to keep Michael from reaching the cop’s gun by trying to restrain an arm Michael was pushing in?

          The gun goes off and suddenly Michael is able to run away but couldn’t before? That doesn’t make sense either but if Michael was really the aggressor it makes sense that the gunshot scared him off.

          Dorian tells an incomplete story that doesn’t make complete sense.

          The other story makes complete sense.

          The autopsy results and release of Wilson’s statement should be interesting.

          • Charlie Grapski

            Oh – so he has “biased testimony” in DEFENSE of Brown. But it is impeccable evidence AGAINST him.

            So – who is to say that HE did not “rob” the store? And thus – now that the other guy is dead – heck – blame it on him.

            No never could happen.

            And the scenario you portray – of a kid who stole candy from a baby – I mean cigarillos from a quick mart – getting into a fistfight, trying to get the officer’s gun, to shoot and kill him – in case he got caught shoplifting.

            OK.

      • Charlie Grapski

        And I quote:

        “The cop tried to exit his vehicle but Michael slammed the door violently shut, forcing the cop back into the vehicle. Michael then grappled with the cop, trying to get his gun. The gun discharged in the vehicle at which point Michael and Dorian started to run away.”

        The cop tried to get out of the vehicle (sorry I said back in) – but the door was slammed shut (violently even! As if you were an eyewitness yourself with all your rhetorical flourish!). FORCING the cop BACK INTO his vehicle.

        So – by definition – the cop is INSIDE the vehicle. And the door is SHUT.

        So the kid is OUTSIDE the car. The officer is INSIDE the car. YOUR WORDS – NOT MINE (yes – I put the words in – but you provided the meaning for those words with your description).

        So – again – how does the closed door DISAPPEAR – and magically Mike’s hand goes THROUGH the door – and INTO the car (from outside) and grab on to the cop’s gun.

        SERIOUSLY!

      • Boko Hos

        Sounds like the kind of logic employed by the NSA. We violate your 4th amendment rights because we want to keep you safe and because no more attacks have occurred, our violations were valid. You address the specific problem, and not by locking down an entire city and acting like fascists.

  • Mike Rekart

    signed!

  • nospamformo

    Cute picture of Michael Brown on the Request page. Here are a few more to balance the narrative. http://patdollard.com/2014/08/meet-the-real-michael-brown-violent-gun-toting-gangbanger/

    • Charlie Grapski

      No reason to “balance” anything. The issue is he was a human being – shot down in the streets by a police officer. I wouldn’t care if he looked like Charles Manson – his appearance has nothing to do with it.

      • nospamformo

        Well, he did rob a guy, and then did charge at a police officer. All 6’4″ 290 pounds of him. And yes, he was “shot down” in the streets. He was also attacking an armed police officer. And he was shot in the front of his body – not his back as all of the great “witnesses ” stated. And it is not his appearance – it is his actions – recorded on film – flashing a gun, flashing a wad of cash, flashing gang signs, etc. Your actions define you…..his actions said thug. And by robbing a store and charging a cop, he proved it.

      • nospamformo

        The 6’4″ 290# gang member was shot in the front charging the officer. Not in the back running away or standing still with his hands up as several “witnesses” said. And he had just robbed a store. He was a human being, but he was also a thug attacking another human being.

  • Falutin Free
  • Falutin Free
  • Charlie Grapski

    To cut through any misrepresentations and muddying by certain trolls – let me state my personal POSITION (and HYPOTHESIS) on this issue.

    First – I am trying to get THE EVIDENCE. Because I know that much of it is not out there.

    Second – yes, in fact, I do not believe either the law or morality allows a sane and democratic and free society to have officers shoot to kill – and that the ONLY time a police officer ought to shoot – is when there is an ACTUAL, CREDIBLE threat to life at that moment.

    From what I have seen in this case – and from what I have seen in general – this appears to be a shooting where the police officer responded to the “affront” on his authority – and nothing more – leading to the extreme abuse of shooting and killing.

    What we DO know – is that the officer had no knowledge of any prior alleged offenses – and that even if he did – the alleged offense was not a violent crime of the nature and kind that would even justify consideration of introduction of deadly force into an arrest scenario.

    What we DO know – is that the individual was unarmed.

    Thus my hypothesis is as stated above – this was an abuse of power by a police officer embedded in a “police culture gone wild.” The shooting – I believe – is not likely to be reasonably considered “justifiable” – other than as a presumption that police officers are always “justified.”

    I am not going to defend my honesty – let alone my intellectual background and capacity – to an arrogant and ignorant troll. Particularly one who believes a sincere discussion entails childish insults being tossed around.

    So now – my goal is to get ALL the evidence. And with that evidence – to analyze, critically, and with a fine-toothed comb, what took place in this situation.

    • dan from stl

      I don’t know if I’d generalize it to all police.

      Ferguson is well known as a dishonest, racist, and brutal department full of dumb asses. No one works as a Patrolman for the Ferguson PD, especially not for 4 years, who can get a job somewhere else. This wouldn’t have happened in St. Louis City, from the County PD, St. Charles, Jeff County, or any of the other better municipalities.

      If you hire from the bottom of the barrel for crap pay, you get brutal incompetent dumb asses who kill people for no good reason. imho, that’s what happened here.

      • dan in stl

        Also, Wilson worked for Dellwood for 2 years. Then Dellwood abolished it’s police department and contracted out to the County. Most of the Dellwood Officers got hired by the County. But Wilson didn’t get hired by the County because they didn’t want him and instead ended up in Ferguson, where nobody wants to work.

      • BabbaZee

        Court OKs Barring High IQs for Cops

        http://abcnews.go.com/US/court-oks-barring-high-iqs-cops/story?id=95836

        Jordan, a 49-year-old college graduate, took the exam in 1996 and scored 33 points, the equivalent of an IQ of 125. But New London police interviewed only candidates who scored 20 to 27, on the theory that those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training.

        Most Cops Just Above Normal The average score nationally for police officers is 21 to 22, the equivalent of an IQ of 104, or just a little above average.

        Jordan alleged his rejection from the police force was discrimination. He sued the city, saying his civil rights were violated because he was denied equal protection under the law.

        But the U.S. District Court found that New London had “shown a rational basis for the policy.” In a ruling dated Aug. 23, the 2nd Circuit agreed. The court said the policy might be unwise but was a rational way to reduce job turnover.

        • dan in stl

          Well, I can guarantee that Ferguson doesn’t have a problem with their applicants being too smart.

    • Charlie Grapski

      This “Imposter” keeps making this nonsensical claim – which also shows that he thinks the world revolves around him – and demands that everyone ACCEPT what he says first – and then go from there.

      Well – I don’t accept what he says – especially when he is INCONSISTENT (the friend’s testimony “proves” what he wants; then the friend’s testimony is “unreliable” for all else); and when it logically falls apart when analyzed (the struggle in the car for the gun – is either through the door, or they are both on the inside, or it is through a window, opened, in an SUV – where a fat kid, on the outside and thus lower, is somehow half-way in the window above him, thoroughly over-powering the officer above him and inside the vehicle, and at the same time sufficiently inside the window to be able to – at the same time – reach down and grab the gun – all while completely overpowering the officer sitting inside. None of it adds up).

      And I keep stating – because it is important (not because HE is important) – that the alleged robbery has nothing to do with the shooting – and is irrelevant.

      He keeps idiotically throwing a tantrum about this – because, he argues, HE is not making that point (and no one is – because he is not). Well first, its NOT ABOUT HIM (and I put that there because it is important to point out), second – others ARE arguing this, and third – HE ACTUALLY DOES argue this.

      What does he say: there were TWO stops. And the FIRST stop – doesn’t involved the “robbery” – because the officer didn’t know about it. But the SECOND one DOES. So he wants it BOTH WAYS.

      This man THINKS he is intelligent – but actually is not. And worse – he throws temper tantrums and begins tossing around insults – when people don’t bow to his presumed intellectual status.

      In fact – this individual is a TROLL. His purpose here was to DISRUPT the conversation – not to contribute to it. And as such – I am not going to engage with him now or in the future.

      I have put this post here – for people to see beyond what this individual keeps trying to “spin” about OTHER PEOPLE’s positions.

  • Charlie Grapski