This Is Leadership?

Sen. Claire McCaskill hugs an unidentified protester in Ferguson, Mo., Thursday. (Courtesy of Christine Ingrassia)

Sen. Claire McCaskill hugs an unidentified protester in Ferguson, Mo., Thursday. (Courtesy of Christine Ingrassia)

According to the Washington Post, this Sen. Clare McCaskill hug is leadership. I kept looking for some indication that the picture was some kind of metaphor for actual leadership, but there’s nothing there. The argument really is that McCaskill showing up and hugging some random protester is the essence of leadership. Maybe they changed the definition of leadership from what we learned in school?

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  • Brucehenry

    Well, have any other elected officials had the courage to show up and show some solidarity with the protesters in Ferguson yet?

    Wizbang was way outraged when authorities showed a militarized presence in the Cliven Bundy tax cheating case, but has nothing to say when police gas protesters from armored cars in Ferguson. Even though in the Bundy case many of the “protesters” were openly armed and declaring they were ready to use force, which is not the case in Ferguson, where an unarmed teen was shot dead by police.

    • Mjolnir

      Not actually equivalent situations. Even you should be able to acknowledge that.
      The Bundy situation was when the federales tried to enter private property to impose a tax fine, complete with SWAT-style paramilitary.
      In Ferguson, there has been violence and looting at the periphery of the protests. And who’s to say that the protests might not have evolved into something different had the police not had a strong initial presence?

      • Brucehenry

        I’m to say that, since things got a hell of a lot better when the police backed off and kept their armored cars and tear gas away from the scene.

        Yes I know the situations aren’t exactly equivalent. But what IS interesting is the difference in the level of outrage about armored cars and SWAT teams from our Wizbang commentariat. Why it’s almost as if some people are less upset when an unarmed, teenage black “suspect” (the cop who shot him apparently didn’t know Brown even WAS a suspect) is killed than when a bunch of heavily armed white lunatics declare they’ll shoot any law enforcement officer who dares to enforce a lawful court order. Or rather, SEVERAL lawful court orders. On a scofflaw who openly asserts he just plain ain’t gonna obey the law.

        Look at the Daily Banter link again to see the difference in how the authorities handled the two cases. They backed off in the Bundy case and violence was averted. They cracked down initially in the Ferguson incident and escalated the situation. Why do you reckon that was? And why do you reckon Wizbangers just aren’t all that outraged by the militarized police actions in the one case but not the other?

        • jim_m

          I think what bothers you is that people are upset about the police and their overreaching to deploy military weapons and tactics against the public and yet they are not upset that this one individual got shot.

          The difference is that some people maintain a principled stand against the militarization of the police and it is unrelated to this incident.

          • And it’s looking more and more like another case of “thug got plugged.”

    • LiberalNightmare

      Im generally against a militarized police force, however I would point out that the ‘protesters” have been burning the city down for the last four days.

      Im against militarized police forces being used to quell peaceful demonstrations. I’m also against sending cops to stand against molotov cocktails and rock throwiing, shotgun armed “protestors” in nothing but their Adam 12 uniforms.

      I would go so far as to say that the situation in Ferguson is a pretty good example of why they need that equipment.

      • jim_m

        There is a difference between police in riot gear and police storming your house with M16’s. There is a difference between police quelling a riot and police tooling around town in armored assault vehicles.

        40 years ago all the police needed to deal with a riot was helmets, shields and some mounted officers. Today they need rifles and tanks. The police need to step it down a bit. Most of this force is used not against criminals but against the general public.

        • It’s a case of ‘Well, we’ve got it, why not use it?”

          I’m not at all sure they should have gotten the armored cars in the first place.

    • Retired military


      Where did the armored cars and militarized gear come from?

      Also you neglected to mention the Harry and Rory Reid angle about the Cliven Bundy case. Strange how you can have 200 law enforcement folks on a “tax cheating” case but you cant have them on the border. How much did Bundy owe in taxes? How much was the cost of the 200 law enforcement officers and equipment?

      Here we have riots, molotov cocktails, and looting. I would be in favor of a 10 pm curfew for folks loitering on the streets at least in the short term. I heard folks from that area say that the protests are pretty peaceful during the day and only turn violent at night.

      You have folks coming from out of state to riot, loot and cause mayhem and destruction. In the Bundy case the only mayhem and destruction was done by the law enforcement offlicials.

    • Well, Jesse and Al have shown up. I heard there were several people trampled when they saw cameras… and didn’t get out of the way fast enough.

  • Paul Hooson

    This has turned out to be an ugly public relations disaster for the police, where it has now created a hardened “us against them” mentality on both sides. Now, many in the African American community see it as a continued war on their race by the police, and on the other side, many police now see themselves as embattled. – Last night I noticed many police acting far more on edge, now more concerned for their own safety that they could possibly find themselves a target of some isolated acts of public outrage in this largely African American neighborhood I live in, and now all across the country. And the police violence against journalists or other unfortunate acts have only worsened a growing public perception problem here. – At this point community leaders such as the NAACP, clergy members and politicians need to do all they can to return calm to this situation, that could only further spin out of control and create a climate of needless violence and disorder, needlessly endangering persons on both sides of the conflict between the African American or police community. Order and reason need to be returned here, and the federal government needs to investigate this event involving the unarmed young man, looking for any evidence to resolve this incident and restore public order.

  • Paul Hooson

    A guy I know was showing me where some individuals are now circulating the name and address of the police officer involved in this original shooting incident Online. We both agreed that this was awful in that it is an obvious attempt to threaten him or his family. – An inquiry through accepted legal channels is only right course here, not some angry mob reaction mentality from the community, although their anger and frustration is understandable here at this situation.

  • Retired military

    When you hear about the African American boy that was shot in this incident remember that he was an 18 year old, 6’4″ 292 pound suspect in a robbery which had just occurred earlier that day. Of course the MSM probably wont mention that since it isnt part of the narrative.

    • Paul Hooson

      Yes. Just this morning new evidence was released seem to show Brown and another individual roughing up a store clerk in what appeared to be a robbery. It looked like real thug stuff, and it should melt much of any sympathy here in this case because this kid appears to be acting like a thug and bully, using his large size to intimidate the smaller clerk.

    • Brucehenry

      It’s all over the “MSM.”

      Funny how this wasn’t mentioned until 6 days later. Maybe that’s to get folks talking about the “robbery,” and not the leveling of the death penalty without due process on an 18 year old alleged “cigar thief.”

      Why can we see the store video but not see the police car’s dash cam video or hear the audio, or view the autopsy report? Why can the police release the report on the robbery but not the report on the shooting? Why won’t they tell us how many shots were fired and what was the cause of death? Brown supposedly had an “accomplice” in this robbery, a guy named Dorian Johnson. Why isn’t Dorian Johnson under arrest? He ain’t hiding, he’s giving interviews. As of Thursday the police HADN’T EVEN INTERVIEWED HIM.

      Somebody’s trying to Trayvon this kid. Rubes are already lapping it up, thug this and thug that. It’s fucking sickening. Stealing cigarillos isn’t a capital offense. And cops ain’t supposed to shoot surrendering suspects.

      • Retired military

        I would say that the reason they haven’t released that stuff is the fact that it is part of an ongoing investigation. Whereas the investigation into the robbery is now presumeably closed.
        a. How do you know he was surrendering?
        b. This “kid” was an adult. He was 18.. old enough to join the military and vote.
        c. The cop has had no previous issues.
        d. This is an explosive situation. Throwing gasoline on a fire doesn’t help.
        e. How do you know the “kid” was given “the death penalty”. You automatically assume that he is as innocent as a babe in the woods. Where are you looking at the facts that we know and saying “Perhaps the officer was in fear for his life” especially when dealing with 2 people, one of which is 6’4 and almost 300 pounds.
        I want the truth to come out as much as anyone else.
        If the cop was in the wrong than throw him in jail. How about giving the cop the same benefit that you are giving the “kid”

        • Brucehenry

          a. Several eyewitnesses have said so in the media.
          b. I have a “kid” who is 18. She is a kid.
          c. So?
          d. I agree, which is why it was stupid to lob tear gas from armored cars at protesters, provoking violence from an already-angry crowd.
          e. Because he’s fucking dead.

          • Retired military

            a. They have several eyewitnesses in the media that have reported they saw aliens and have been abducted by them. The media spins shit so bad it isn’t even funny.
            WHy are there no riots over the dozen or so kids killed in Chicago last month? They don’t count because they were killed by African Americans? This is in the media and people want their 15 min of fame. Don’t believe me look at all the folks coming out the woodwork to comment how they knew something was going on with Robin WIlliams.
            b. Sorry that your adult child is still considered a “kid” . 20 years from how are you still going to be wiping her nose?
            When are you going to consider her a grown up.
            c. It shows a pattern if previous incidents are shown. Someone who has been in the police for 6 years would have probably had at least one complaint filed before this one.
            d. What to do in response to dozens of people looting, lobbing Molotov cocktails, setting fires, etc? I mean I know that Chico had no problem with OWS doing it but lawabiding citizens should be protected. I don’t remember you complaining when 200 law enforcement agents were going after someone who apparently didn’t pay taxes.

            BTW who gave the cops the armored cars again? Wait I believe it was the Obama administration. Maybe you should give them part of the blame for this mess. I am sure that if Bush was president that the left would be blaming him. After all he was blamed for everything else.

            e. So someone who had just recently committed a robbery gets stopped by the cops. Are you saying that they wouldn’t be on edge? Not acting flaky? If you were a cop and confronted with 2 people, one of which is about twice your size, would you feel comfortable? You can say that the suspect is dead. You cant at this time say definitely that he was “given the death penalty”.
            Sorry Bruce. Generally I am on the side of the police. They aren’t perfect. Sometimes crap happens that shouldn’t. Sometimes folks die when they shouldn’t. Sometimes mistakes are made on the parts of the cops and or the part of the people they are dealing with But I believe the system works IMO at least 98% of the time.
            Throw in politics (like you had in the case with the person who didn’t pay taxes) and you have more than enough gasoline to blow crap up.
            I honestly believe that if the guy had done exactly what the cop said that he would be alive today. The prison is full of people that have done what cops have said and quite a few that didn’t.
            Hard to believe that a cop who had been on the job for 6 years with zero previous issues suddenly is going to decide to kill someone in the middle of the day “with several witnesses according to the media” for zero reason. It doesn’t pass the common sense test. It doesn’t even pass the lone idiotic racist who wants to kill someone of color test.

            Why aren’t the black panthers marching in Chicago? Where is Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? Why isn’t Obama doing news conferences? Simple. Because it is African americans killing other African americans. Oh wait. That doesn’t fit the party line. Sweep it under the rug.

  • Retired military


    if this is proven accurate it kinda throws the surrendering portion of your argument out the window

    • Looks like another bad case of the Lame Stream Media cramming a story into the narrative they wanted to fill before the facts were in.

    • Brucehenry

      “He kept coming towards him” meaning the police kept coming toward Brown. At least arguably. Not a gamechanger, except in the minds of those who want to excuse this shit.

      Grasping at straws to Trayvon this guy, that’s what this “IJR” outfit is doing. Brown had no criminal record (and yes, I know the cop had no disciplinary record either, but remember who writes these records — other cops).

      Tell me, is it considered proper police procedure when interrogating a suspect on the street to just grab him by the neck out the driver’s window? Or do you think maybe the cop maybe should have got out, patted him down and THEN began questioning him?

      Know what I heard? Maybe my information is incorrect, but I heard the convenience store that was robbed of cigarillos NEVER CALLED THE POLICE. Which, duh, might explain why we didn’t hear about it until 6 days later.

      So how did Officer Wilson know there had been a robbery? Answer: As the Ferguson police chief said, he DIDN’T. So why did he grab Brown by the neck through his driver’s side window?

      Again, why hasn’t, or hadn’t, Dorian Johnson been arrested, or even INTERVIEWED, by the police? He’s been interviewed by everydamnbody else. Seems to me if this cigarillo theft was so important the cops had to grab a kid by the throat in the middle of the street, then shoot him dead when he resisted, maybe they should at least TALK to his alleged accomplice. But what do I know?

      • Retired military


        The transcript

        1 How’d he get from there to there?

        #2 Because he ran, the police was still in the truck – cause he was like over the truck


        #2 But him and the police was both in the truck, then he ran – the police got out and ran after him


        #2 Then the next thing I know he doubled back toward him cus – the police had his gun drawn already on him –

        #1. Oh, the police got his gun

        #2 The police kept dumpin on him, and I’m thinking the police kept missing – he like – be like – but he kept coming toward him


        #2 Police fired shots – the next thing I know – the police was missing

        #1 The Police?

        #2 The Police shot him


        then he ran – the police got out and ran after him

        #2 Then the next thing I know he doubled back toward him cus – the police had his gun drawn already on him –

        That sounds to me like the guy was running and not surrendering and then started running toward the cop when the cop pulled his gun.
        I have no clue why or if the other guy was “not” interviewed about the previous robbery. The cops may have done so and the guy is saying they didn’t. Maybe the cops are trying to not let the whole thing blow up and are slow playing stuff. I don’t know.
        I am saying that going by the transcript of the video above it appears the “witnesses” are saying the guy was not surrendering (as you alledge) and was running towards the officer who had his gun drawn. If I were in the same situation (holding someone at gun point ) and they started to run towards me I am going to fire and not stop until they are down.

      • Retired military

        From the WAPO–and-two-lives-forever-changed/2014/08/16/f28f5bc0-2588-11e4-8593-da634b334390_story.html

        a. the FBI interviewed the other guy about the robbery already. So that argument is mute
        b, Brown was on foot. I believe you said he was in a car or at least I assumed that since point C below seemed to make that the only reasonable assumption. So that argument is mute.
        c. The guy said that the cop grabbed brown by the throat THROUGH THE DOOR. Last I checked unless a 6.4in guy was stooping or kneeling or the cop was Mr Fantastic who can stretch his arms this argument is mute.
        d. Nowhere in the WAPO article does it say that Brown tried to surrender. That argument is mute.
        From other sites the press has posted the guys face, name and address all over the web. Gee isn’t that asking for a bit of trouble when you have rioters, looting and the black panthers (or any other militant organization here). Wouldn’t the press love a bit more blood in the street?
        And again you haven’t addressed why no black panthers, Jesse Jackson, AL Sharpton, or Obama are showing up about the dozen or African American kids killed in Chicago last month. THey just don’t fit the storyline do they since they were killed by other African Americans.
        Other things are up in the air.

        • Brucehenry

          Moot, not mute.

          The FBI has finally interviewed Johnson, days later? Why didn’t Ferguson Police do so the same day this all went down?

          Brown was on foot and wearing flip flops. The cop was in an SUV. Eyewitnesses, including Johnson, have said the cop reached through his own driver’s side window and grabbed Brown by the throat. You don’t have to me Stretch Armstrong to reach a 6’4″ guy’s throat from an SUV, at least not in the SUV I drive. Reports are the door was opened violently, bounced off Brown and shut again. Brown was never IN the SUV. Even the transcript above says “they was fightin’ in the truck…on top of the truck.”

          Speaking of the transcript, there are words on the screen I can’t hear on the video. They MIGHT be those words but they might not. Listen again and try to tell if the words you are seeing on screen are actually the words being said on tape.

          The WAPO article presents two versions of events. I think I believe Johnson’s rather than the police’s. YMMV.

          • Retired military

            I don’t know how I got mute and moot mixed up. Geesh. Sorry about that..
            As for the rest I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I wsnt that interested in this story in the first place and my interest is less.

  • Retired military


    Not trying to beat a dead horse

    It appears from the autopsy drawings that Brown had his arms down and was facing the officer.

    It is possible that his arms were up in a surrendering motion but that would mean that the cop was shooting 7 feet into the air.

    From the cited NY Times article

    Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a police officer, sparking protests around the nation, was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, a preliminary private autopsy performed on Sunday found.

    One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury, according to Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, who flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family’s request to conduct the separate autopsy. It was likely the last of bullets to hit him, he said.

    Mr. Brown, 18, was also shot four times in the right arm, he said, adding that all the bullets were fired into his front.

    The bullets did not appear to have been shot from very close range because no gunpowder was present on his body. However, that determination could change if it turns out that there is gunshot residue on Mr. Brown’s clothing, to which Dr. Baden did not have access.