November 19, 2014

Ferguson ‘Rules of Engagement’?

The police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, are trying to agree on 19 rules of engagement for police officers overseeing the protests that are expected to happen after a grand jury decides whether Darren Wilson should be tried. Some of the rules reinforce what the Constitution already says, like rule 19: “Bond for arrestees will not be set above the levels which would be considered average over the last two years, and arrestees will not be held for periods longer than average lengths of time.” Other rules limit the power that the police wielded on the streets of Ferguson in the past. Rule 15 says, “Police will be instructed to be tolerant of more minor lawbreaking (such as thrown water bottles) when deciding whether to escalate the use of force.” The police have agreed to abide by some of the rules, but the two sides are hashing out other rules – like notifying protesters 48 hours before the decision will be announced. Hopefully these rounds of protests will not make the world stop to watch American police using excessive force – eroding the very freedoms they claim to protect – but we also expect the racist looters and rioters to force their hand. More…

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