Wednesday, December 03, 2014

WJLA Town Hall: "Fallout from Ferguson"


Wednesday, December 3, 2014. WJLA-7 and News Channel 8 (ABC affiliates) in Washington DC aired another Town Hall episode from “Your Voice, Your Future: “Fallout from Ferguson”, also called “Ferguson: America Reacts”.
  
The program opened as Thuman noted that in New York City, a grand jury refused to indict Dan Pantelo for the “chokehold” killing of Eric Garner (350 pounds, father of 6) when trying to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes, CNN story and comments by  Jeffrey Toobin, here

Leon Harris  and, Scott Thuman hosted.
  
The panel comprised Michael Eric Dyson, Benjamin Crump, Jamie Allman (by Skype from St. Louis), Armstrong Williams, and Gary MclHinney.

Leon Harris noted that the Ferguson Police Department seemed to be armed like troops in Baghdad.  They regarded the majority population of Ferguson as an enemy.

Mr. Dyson said that police tend to perceive Blacks as more threatening than Whites, and are more likely to use deadly force. He mentioned Wilson’s horror movie metaphors.   
Allman said that black police officers in St. Louis county don’t want to work for small suburb police departments, but work for the larger departments. 

Harris said there is no national database on how many people by race are shot by police. Vox has a chart on this.

Harris also said the cameras are “pre-emptive”.  People are less likely to act aggressively around police if they know police have cameras.

A protester at GWU, lying in a street to block it, asked “What must we do to change the system?”
Leon Harris noted that the protests don’t seem to be organized centrally.  He spoke of “The Gesture” (hands up) by the St. Louis Rams.  (It’s not “OGAB”). 

Wikipedia attribution link for St. Louis montage. 
  
Dyson said that Obama himself needs more empathy for those who are vulnerable, even though the president himself is of mixed race. 

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