back to article Anonymous threatens to name cop who shot dead unarmed Michael Brown

A group claiming to be affiliated with hacktivist collective Anonymous has threatened to release the name of the police officer who shot unarmed teen Michael Brown in the town of Ferguson, Missouri. Operation Ferguson says it is a group of hackers linked to Anonymous. It was set up a day after the 18-year-old black man was …

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Dashcam/incar video

Will be conveniently lacking in this case, of course.

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Re: Dashcam/incar video

But surely incidents such as this highlight the need for mandatory police body-cams as well?

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Re: Dashcam/incar video

It was already noted by the police department that the in-car dash cam did not have a view of the struggle as it occurred behind the wheel and to the side. And while the police department had purchased the vest-mounted video cameras for cops to wear, they hadn't gotten around to installing them yet.

I guess it was this cop's last chance to shoot some kid (struggle or not) before there would be video evidence to put him on the other side of the bars.

It just so happens that this is the same town that had a blow-up when the white school board dismissed the black superintendent without any kind of due process or evidence of the charges levied against him. The town has changed in the last decade from being majority white to majority black, but the powers that be are still all-white. And the US Justice Department was already investigating the police department on unrelated issues dealing with race.

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Anonymous Coward

Let them publish and be damned...

And they will be damned when they get caught, and caught they will be. I hope they like sharing a small space and bad food.

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"they would release the name of the daughter of St Louis County’s police chief"

Seriously? This is how a group seeking justice acts? I applaud their desire for openness and transparency, but this threat disgusts me.

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Re: "they would release the name of the daughter of St Louis County’s police chief"

Read further in the article ... they recognised the point that you make and said that they would not release the name.

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WTF?

Re: "they would release the name of the daughter of St Louis County’s police chief"

Err, am I being a little thick, or am I missing the point.

Surely if the woman's father is known, it isn't a mad jump to identify his daugher? Isn't such stuff just common knowledge ?

Or is it the case that all offspring of high ranking officials have to now have a new secret identity ?

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Re:Isn't such stuff just common knowledge ?

Incoming clue missile: It's about not putting public focus on someone for the benefit of those too ... let's say "busy" ... to do that work, and to not do so to someone who is entirely unconnected to the affair.

And by Jove lets hope that whoever is named in this jolly little demonstration of the rule of the mob in action is actually the one to blame.

Though "anonymous" will be safe in any event because, well, no-one is threatening to name any of them.

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Re: "they would release the name of the daughter of St Louis County’s police chief"

A good principle to apply, even if you're a vigilante, is 'measure twice, cut once'. Another relevant principle is to stay on task.

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Re: "they would release the name of the daughter of St Louis County’s police chief"

They're not threatening to say "We know the name of the police chief's name and it's Suzy Derkins!"

They're threatening to say "We know the name of the police officer who shot an unarmed man six times in the back and it's Suzy Derkins!"

It's the kind of stunt that anyone with half a brain could see through, but the audience is already an angry mob which is sadly lacking in a competent research assistant.

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Re: Read further in the article

I don't give a damn. They should never have made the terrorist threat in the first place. They are thugs and that threat shows them out for what they are.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Read further in the article

How low the bar for "terrorism" has apparently fallen.

I wonder what word will have to be coined for the armed militias that pointed loaded weapons at peaceful protestors last night and arrested politicians, clergy, and journalists for simply being there?

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I don't think they've really thought this through...

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Anonymous Coward

"the global collective was outraged at the events in Ferguson and demanded new legislation setting strict guidelines for police conduct in the US."

So let me get this right.... A group of bored teenage virgins have caught some news extract while channel hopping between StarTrek and Playboy telly, and are now making demands of the USA?

Forgive me if at this point I don't start holding my breath or shittin' me britches.

Now, were these radicals actually radical, or intelligent, they might consider waiting for due process to take its course before deciding the police are guilty and the dead guy is innocent, and that they have some right to name and shame the officer involved. It very well might be the case, but thankfully there's a judge and a jury before we determine that, not just an angry asshat with a keyboard.

Anonymous because I can't be arsed fending off of whiney mob of wannabe's online for the next decade.

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"Now, were these radicals actually radical, or intelligent, they might consider waiting for due process to take its course before deciding the police are guilty and the dead guy is innocent"

Putting the name of a suspect in the public domain long before court proceedings start is something common in the media. We all get to find out what celebrities are under investigation for long before they are found guilty (or not). While I don't agree that names should be dragged through the mud prior to evidence being presented, what is good for the goose is good for the gander: Police officers should be subject to trial by media in the same way that you or I would be.

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"waiting for due process", as has been repeatedly shown in the cases of Rodney King, Trayvon Martin etc, will go something like this:

Investigation* will find 2 different versions, that of police and that of witnesses. Any evidence that corraborates any version different from police's will disappear. Investigation will conclude that the officer involved acted within procedure, investigators are saddened by a tragic, avoidable accident that no doubt happened because of the victim's actions (no doubt implying in hidden subtext that it was his fault anyway)

Sadly, for all the due processes in the world, the police will protect their own. If this was a civilian suspected of shooting a policeman no doubt that his name would have been splashed all over the papers together with various leaks and anonymous 'sources' dishing dirt on him. The police are probably right to withhold the officers' name for the moment, for the sake of his and his family's safety to prevent a lynch mob. And Anonymous are right to firstly be 100% sure of any name, and secondly to keep the name to themselves FOR THE MOMENT.

If it looks like the investigation is going to end in a whitewash they should release the name immediately

*No doubt formed of all-white or majority-white team headed by a white boss reporting to white superiors

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Anonymous Coward

re: So let me get this right....

You're far from correct. Suggesting that the system will bring justice for this young man shows you've never followed any cases like this before. The normal process is that the truth will come out in about 30 to 40 years, once the officer involved has died peacefully in retirement.

Or is this case magically going to be different?

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For a non-cop

They would notify the press that he was going to appear in court at 3pm so they would have lots of time to film him being lead into court handcuffed with a coat over his head and get it on the 6pm news.

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Anonymous Coward

"While I don't agree that names should be dragged through the mud prior to evidence being presented, what is good for the goose is good for the gander: Police officers should be subject to trial by media in the same way that you or I would be."

We'd also be offered police protection from an angry mob. How do you envisage that working in this instance?

I don't disagree with you by the way, but I find the whole anonymous making demands thing purile, repulsive, and deserving of stomping into the dirt. I'm not sure who they think they are that they feel entitled to make demands.

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You just need to look to NYC

Where a man was killed by a cop for selling smokes without a license. Yes, the man had priors for similar activities. Yet when six (if I remember correctly) surround the man, one plainclothes office jumped on the man's back and put him in a choke-hold. The man eventually went to the ground, complained about being unable to breath, lost consciousness, and died at the hospital.

How do we know this? It was videotaped by a witness (who was later arrested by police for carrying a handgun). Choke-holds have been forbidden by the city for a decade, so much so that cops are supposed to receive alternative methods and be continually trained on them. Yet the fraternal order that represents the police closed ranks, in the face of absolute proof that the cop not only killed someone but did it by violating police procedure, and pleaded with the public and media that they should not be held accountable, as being a cop is hard.

The 90%+ of cops who are honorable and work day in and out to be peace officers are smeared by idiots like this, yet they still protect their own. Better to cast those fools out and revoke protection since it endangers the rest of them.

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Anonymous Coward

> We all get to find out what celebrities are under investigation for long before they are found guilty (or not).

You get to find out what celebrities have been arrested or had a warrant of some form issued against them as that is a matter of public record. You rarely hear that one of them is under investigation.

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Re: You just need to look to NYC

The two cases have nothing in common, first nothing in NY Shitty is ever on the up and up, the entire force and the government is corrupt. Who knows about the case down south. All we know for sure is there is a dead teenager and a cop who says he tried to grab his gun from him.

If the cop is right and you backyard quarterbacks have already convicted him without a court of law, you should all burn in hell. Sometimes you don't get what you expect.

NYC Police are a thing to avoid. Don't fuck with them, you'll get hurt. What you saw on TV, they call resisting arrest.

When confronted by a cop in any locale, don't get wise, do what they tell you and shutup.

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The original AC is correct, the case absolutely must go through the system in accordance with the law. Any debate about vigilante justice cannot even begin until the case has been heard and ruled on by the court. After, but only after, the court has dealt with the case those who might be inclined to administer their view of Justice, as they see it, can make those decisions then. But to do so prior to the hearing is wrong on every single level of society. No different than shooting an unarmed man trying to surrender. It is wrong and cannot in any way be justified.

That being said, as far as I'm concerned the public has every right to know the name of the shooter. In fact, I can't think of a single better example of 'in the public interest' than knowing which of the public protectors is going around shooting people. If (celebrity) shot someone the police sure as fuck wouldn't be doing anything to keep the shooters identity secret. The police are simply being lazy twats and not wanting to do their job. A job which would include protecting people who might be endangered by others.

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"*No doubt formed of all-white or majority-white team headed by a white boss reporting to white superiors".

You do realise that's incredibly racist, right? If you turned it around and put "black" in there, you'd be hauled in front of a court for speaking that in public.

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@Eric Olson

"Where a man was killed by a cop for selling smokes without a license."

This statement is false, as the rest of your post proves. He was not "killed for selling (untaxed) cigarettes". He was killed while resisting arrest. I understand that put this way it is not as inflammatory or politically useful, but it does have the advantage of being more accurate. (Which of course you might feel is not a virtue worth having...)

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Actually, you're right Jullen1.

Well let's face it a call a freakin' shovel a shovel, shall we. If the dead guy were white, would there be publicity? If the cop and dead guy were both black, would there be all this publicity? There are somethings in this world that the media feeds on. White guy kills a black kid is one of them. Black guy kills a white kid, not so much. White kills white or black kills black.... often ignored.

So, I think the term "racist" needs to be banned from media. Perhaps any mention of race should be banned as well.

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Re: @Eric Olson

Well unless he was resisting with some version of a weapon - stabbing or shooting for instance - I'd say the selling of smokes is the only one of the two likely to lead to deaths (at least deaths of other people), meaning that being killed for resisting arrest is actually even worse...

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Re: @Eric Olson

Yes, and if you had watched the freely available video, you'll see his resistance was standing there and saying, "Don't touch me." And while doing that, the murderer... I mean peace officer... jumps on the man's back, wraps his arms around the man's neck, and choke-holds him to the ground. I guess never mind that even within the NYC Police Department, such a move is banned and forbidden. The man said, "Don't touch me." That is clearly resisting arrest in a manner that requires complete and utter disregard by the officer of official policy, kind of like, I don't know, the Boston Marathon bomber. Totally in the same league.

You might want to look at the facts (as documented in video) before you try to pull stupid crap like that.

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I think this is one of the few times I've agreed with you, Don. The public interest is served by knowing the name of the shooter. That or the police need to be forbidden from leaking names, addresses, shoe size, and everything else they typically "leak" when pursing a suspect, person of interest, or witness who isn't hiding behind a badge. Cops don't get special treatment because they are cops. If they commit a possible crime, even if on-duty, such information should be publicized. In fact, it should be the first thing they do: "Office Bob was involved in a situation today that left a citizen dead. As it's one of our own, the investigation is being turned over to <insert non-city police department or sheriff's office here> to ensure that Office Bob acted within accordance of the law rather than acted in a manner unbecoming of an officer."

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Trollface

"You do realise that's incredibly racist, right?"

It can't be racist you fool, (s)he was disparraging white people! White people are scum.

Joke icon supplied, but it really is beyond a fucking joke these days.

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Anonymous Coward

"I think the term "racist" needs to be banned from media."

It neeeds to be banned everywhere, either that or misused of the race-card needs to be made into a very serious criminal offence attracting a lot of jail time. Calling someone a racist is worse than calling them a n***** or other race based slander, because it implies prejudice against all races other than their own, rather than the former which implies prejudice against one race only. Word starred out because people that use it perjoratively are c****.

Positive discrimination is just racism, sexism, and ageism dressed up in a thin vaneer for the intellectually and emotionally challenged.

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"We'd also be offered police protection from an angry mob. How do you envisage that working in this instance?"

I would imagine that should his name be released, he would be given a safe house and police protection. Cynically, he'd probably get better protection than you or I would, too.

"I don't disagree with you by the way, but I find the whole anonymous making demands thing purile, repulsive, and deserving of stomping into the dirt. I'm not sure who they think they are that they feel entitled to make demands."

I don't entirely disagree. I don't approve the methods but they are essentially doing what the media would be doing (and earning money from doing it) were this a member of the public under investigation for -say- child abuse. Trial by media and mob justice are not good things.

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"You get to find out what celebrities have been arrested or had a warrant of some form issued against them as that is a matter of public record. You rarely hear that one of them is under investigation."

True that.

But if you or I shot someone dead, we would not *be* under mere investigation. We would be arrested and questioned, with full charges pending.

The Officer is being extended a luxury that the public would not have.

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Re: You just need to look to NYC

"All we know for sure is there is a dead teenager and a cop who says he tried to grab his gun from him"

We also know that the kid got shot at least 4 times, possibly as much as 8, and his body ended up 35 yards from the police car. We do not know whether the kid actually went for the gun, or the officer thought he was going for the gun, or indeed if the officer is making up the whole 'went for the gun' thing, but in none of those scenarios would shooting an unarmed kid in the back be warranted.

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"You do realise that's incredibly racist, right?"

Just pointing out facts here. Is it racist to point out that the %age of people in US prisons who are black is many many times higher than the percentage of the US population who are black? Is it racist to point out that according to one article I saw, the town where the shooting occurred, which is majority black, has 80-odd police officers of whom 3 are black?

I don't think it's racist, any more than I think it's racist to point out that the reality in the US is that among public officials, and especially among law enforcement officials, black people are heavily under-represented.

"If you turned it around and put "black" in there..."

That's a straw man if I ever saw one, and BS to boot.

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Anonymous Coward

> But if you or I shot someone dead, we would not *be* under mere investigation. We would be arrested and questioned, with full charges pending.

Yes it is standard practise that if a member of the public shoots somebody in ambiguous circumstances they are arrested (shoot a mugger, bank robber etc. and you are unlikely to be arrested).

It is also standard practise that if a police officer shoots somebody they are put on restricted duties whilst an investigation takes place. To do anything else (such as arrest him) would prejudge any investigation.

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Anonymous Coward

> Just pointing out facts here. Is it racist to point out that the %age of people in US prisons who are black is many many times higher than the percentage of the US population who are black? Is it racist to point out that according to one article I saw, the town where the shooting occurred, which is majority black, has 80-odd police officers of whom 3 are black?*

Just pointing out facts here, Is it racist to point out that the %age of people in US who commit crime are black is many many times higher than the percentage of the US population who are black? Is it racist to point out that according to an article I saw, in areas which are majority black less than 15% of applicants to join the police are black?

* The correct figure is 53 police 3 of whom are black.

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Anonymous Coward

well and maybe

If it was standard procedure to suspend the officer from duties completely then it would not prejudge any investigation, because it would be SOP and everyone knows that, further as with all other citizens he should be arrested as that is SOP - no excuses

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Anonymous Coward

Re: well and maybe

You did not read what I said.

I said it is standard practise to put the officer on restricted duties, not to suspend him.

In the US it is not standard practise to arrest all citizens who shoot somebody (it differs from state to state). A member of the public shooting somebody who is committing a crime (whether the offender is armed or not) is not always immediately arrested. The arrest usually comes after the investigation and only if they have Probable Cause.

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"Is it racist to point out that the %age of people in US who commit crime are black is many many times higher than the percentage of the US population who are black?"

No, but its racist to then assume that the cause of them being criminals is because they're black. Truth be told, the reason why the percentage is high is because of the endemic racism in society means that people from racial minorities are more likely to be poor than us white guys.

"Is it racist to point out that according to an article I saw, in areas which are majority black less than 15% of applicants to join the police are black?"

Maybe because they are bought up in a section of society where the police are viewed as oppressive and unjust, rather than as protectors of the community?

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Anonymous Coward

> No, but its racist to then assume that the cause of them being criminals is because they're black.

I never made any such claim or assumption.

> Truth be told, the reason why the percentage is high is because of the endemic racism in society means that people from racial minorities are more likely to be poor than us white guys.

That is a matter of opinion. My own opinion is that people continually telling racial minorities that they are oppressed creates a self fulfilling prophecy. Why should somebody from a racial minority, who is continually told they wont achieve anything because they are oppressed try to achieve anything? I see kids (many of them very smart) who wont even try at school because they are of the opinion that it wont do them any good afterwards and then when they leave and end up in low paid jobs, due to poor education, they say "See I told you so".

> Maybe because they are bought up in a section of society where the police are viewed as oppressive and unjust, rather than as protectors of the community?

And now you have a circular argument. The make up of the police isn't representative of the people they are drawn from but a section of the populace wont even try to join the police because they view them as not representative.

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Re: Putting the name of a suspect in the public domain

The names of suspects are only put in the public domain when there is little anticipation of a lynch mob attacking the suspect before a trial is held. That is not the current atmosphere in Missouri, nor even here on the pages of El Reg where the police officer has already been assumed to be guilty. Even within this article there is no mention of the police chief's remarks that the face of the officer involved in the shooting was severely bruised as a result of his encounter with the so called harmless and surrendering victim.

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Anonymous Coward

"If the dead guy were white..."

If the guy were white, they wouldn't have shot him.

That, right there, is the problem in Ferguson.

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"the %age of people in US who commit crime are black is many many times higher than the percentage of the US population who are black? "

I think it's more correct to say that the %age of people in US who who are arrested / prosecuted / jailed for commiting a crime are black is many many times higher than the percentage of the US population who are black. White guys smoke dope, no one gives a shit. Black guy - straight to the slammer.

Oh, and also, white teenager can and does walk down high street carrying a loaded shotgun. Police stop him, he claims he's perfectly entitled to do so under firearms laws, he refuses to show ID to prove he's over 18, gets away with a citation, weapon not confiscated.

http://kdvr.com/2014/08/01/aurora-teen-walks-on-busy-streets-with-shotgun-videotapes-encounters-with-police/

Black 22-year old at Walmart chatting on the phone while picking up a BB gun off the shelf in the toy gun section, gets the cops called in on him, he says 'it's not real' and they shoot him dead.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/man-police-shot-in-walmart-killed-over-fake-gun-fa/ngw77/

Unfortunately this is the reality in the US - if you're black, cops shoot first and ask questions later. As AC says above, a white guy would probably not have been shot, possibly not even stopped in the first place

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@ Don Jefe

Since the end of the 1960s we have a history of withholding the names of suspects who are likely to be lynched. It was a wise policy to adopt then and a wise one to continue now. Precisely for the reasons you outlined in your first paragraph.

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Just pointing out the facts..

That some 50% of high school dropouts are black, of that percentage almost 75% end up in prison? Is it their race or is it due to the culture?

If you glorify the gang life as something to aspire to (because you don't have to work hard, just kill a cop and sell lots of drugs to be installed as a gang member) don't you run the risk of getting caught committing the crime?

The fact is that very few blacks have any interest in becoming a cop because that would be viewed as selling out. It is far more attractive to be a "Gangsta", so you will always be against the cops.

Blacks in poor areas do not become cops and thats the cops fault for what reason?

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Re: The Officer is being extended a luxury

No he isn't. You or I are not expected in the normal course of our jobs to confront situations in which we need to use lethal force to subdue someone. The police have procedures for dealing with such incidents and we do not routinely read their names when they shoot someone.

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Re: endemic racism in society

People using this phrase are racist. The facts say otherwise. In the 1950s, at the height of Jim crow, arrest rates for blacks were lower than they are now. Poverty was provably higher than it is now. So poverty is NOT the cause of increase arrest among the black population.

You want a better explanation? The rising crime rates among blacks are a result of the racist attitude that they just can't help themselves so their behavior should be excused. It gets damnably worse when it is justified because of "endemic racism in society."

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Anonymous Coward

When did the Register become the fucking Daily Mail?

Really? You are a moron.

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Not if you apply yourself!

Stop trying to make excuses for people who would rather loot and steal than face facts.

The percentage is high because they won't apply themselves. You take the anti side to any rational argument about race because you think you can over compensate by excusing others shortcomings. All you do is enable idiots to commit more crime with less guilt.

The truth be told, when a whole culture promotes crime; there is nothing that can be done until they growup and want to have a better life than "living on welfare". The black CULTURE is WRONG to glorify the "Thug Life".

Any argument between a white cop and a black victim is going to be considered "racist" when you can't possibly separate the two. When the crime in the black area involves blacks they will view the cops as "oppressive". That does not mean the cops are "racist", just that the perpetrators are black and cops are white. That's too bad.

My Niece (who was poor and half black and had a hard life with addicted parents and was raised by her white gandma) IS NOW A DOCTOR!

That did not happen by being a defeatist and saying "Woe is me, Whitey is keepin me down".

That's BULLSHIT and you should know that by now.

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