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Thorner/Ingold: The Ferguson Effect Spreads Violence and Havoc



Chicago police in riot gear | Chicago Tribune photo

By Nancy Thorner & Ed Ingold - 

The “Ferguson Effect” has a long reach, including Chicago and Dallas. Here in Illinois, Chicago's violence is reaching epidemic proportions.  Police have been put on notice that the ACLU and DOJ are watching, while the President continues to express “disappointment” at every perceived transgression without first waiting for the facts to surface.

Ferguson, Missouri, where the shooting of Michael Brown occurred on August 9, 2014, gave rise to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, a combination of concerned local citizens and professional agitators. Making their opinions public is of far less importance than the havoc the Movement can cause through disrupting traffic, business, and promoting confrontations with the police.  In Ferguson, the police responded in force to the ensuing demonstrations, only to be ordered to stand down under pressure from the DOJ, a Democratic governor, and the mainstream media. Consequently, the “peaceful” demonstrations devolved into a violent riot accompanied by arson and widespread looting. 

Although the President said nothing, he did sent Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate, of all things, the police, while the demonstrators were granted a free pass.  Obama subsequently ordered the return of armored vehicles that were being used by the Ferguson police to send and retrieve police officers from dangerous areas. For according to the President, there was "too much militarization of the police." 

A few weeks later, Freddy Grey was injured while resisting arrest and later died. Baltimore, state and federal politicians quickly blamed the police.  What followed was Black Lives Matter taking to the streets across the nation. In Baltimore the police were ordered to stand back for a week while square blocks of businesses were looted and burned. Six officers were indicted for their roles in the Grey death. Two were acquitted and one had a mistrial (hung jury), and three await trial, with convictions unlikely.   With all six officers initially charged likely to be found not guilty, where is Obama with this information?   If facts are so important to Obama, now that the facts clear the police officers of killing Freddy Grey, shouldn't the President make public these facts to help dispel racial tension and misunderstanding in the black community?

The latest event is an ex-soldier in Dallas (the deadliest attack since 9/11)  who opens fire on lightly armed police tending yet another Black Lives Matter protest march, shooting twelve police officers, of whom five died. The killer’s dying declaration was that he hated whites, and white policemen in particular, and wished to kill as many as possible. While the President denounced the violence, he was unwilling to call the killers actions an hate crime. Apparently to Obama, hate flows in only one direction, white to black.

With our nation still in shock and mourning the loss of five Dallas police officers, President Obama wasted no time playing the Gun Grab card and calling for stricter gun control legislation.  As noted, the President described the situation as a failure to get along, and the easy access to “powerful weapons”: 

"We also know that when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic, and in the days ahead we're going to have to consider those realities as well.

There was no mention of a hate crime, because hate flows in one direction only to the President – white to black: 

And what does the presumptive Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton, have to say about the Houston shooting?   Hillary Clinton used a CNN interview on Friday to completely embrace the Democrats’ claim that white people and cops must change to help reduce the number of African-Americans killed in tense exchanges with cops.

The BLM protest in Dallas was indeed peaceful, in large part to the tolerance exercised by the police. This may have something to do with the Texas tradition where good men are armed, willing and able to defend their lives and property.  Not surprising is that the press is silent in this regard. Looting in Ferguson stopped when armed civilians volunteers, called vigilantes by a press unable to distinguish self-defense from revenge, to protect the few remaining stores.  According to the press, police were only there to “protect the demonstrators.” This belies the fact that there were no counter demonstrations nor any threats to the demonstrators. Simply put, the police were there to protect other citizens and businesses should the demonstrators not be satisfied with marching and shouting. That said, once shooting started the police rushed into the line of fire to move the protesters to safety, and to rescue at least one wounded woman and her son.                                                      

Parallel demonstrations occurred in other cities, including New York, Washington DC, and Chicago.  The demonstrations were not peaceful, resulting in many arrests. Is the real damage yet to come? Are marches, riots, and curfews coming soon to a city near you this summer? Following the heated protests of past years in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, an NBC News and Wall Street Journal poll noted how 96 percent of the American people believed a similar series of heated protects were likely to unfold in the urban center closest to where they lived. Given the unrest so far this summer, summer, 2016, seems to have gotten off to a bad start.

Since Ferguson…

  • Police show up to demonstrations without proper protective gear, weapons or backup – handguns and batons are no defense against rifles, even one rifle.
  • Without a show of force, it takes more police to maintain order – a target-rich environment.
  • Rules of engagement allow demonstrators to disrupt traffic and the rights of other citizens almost without restraint.
  • Subsequent to Dallas, police in many cities, including Chicago and New York, have been ordered to travel in pairs, for self-protection. This reduces coverage by 50%, without any real improvement in safety to the officers.
  • The BLM movement has attracted the attention and support of the New Black Panthers, willing to use violence to advance their cause. The Dallas shooter appears to have been a follower, if not an affiliate of the Panthers.

In 2009 and 2010, lawyers working at the United States Justice Department warned top Obama political appointees and other Justice Department officials about the dangerous threats of New Black Panthers to kill police officers and other whites. The warnings came in the context of the Voting Rights Act case that Justice Department lawyers had brought against the New Black Panthers on behalf of the United States in 2009, a case the Obama administration ultimately abandoned.  Both top DOJ officials, including now Labor Secretary Tom Perez, as well as rank and file employees in the Civil Rights Division, were warned but did not take the New Black Panther threat seriously or otherwise considered the organization to be a laughable joke.  Allies in the media echoed the narrative that the defendants in the voter intimidation case were harmless clowns.

Then as now, there is too much political correctness!

Illinois Review
Illinois Review
Founded in 2005, Illinois Review is the leading perspective and source of conservative news, opinion and information in Illinois. Follow Illinois Review on X at @IllinoisReview.


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  1. Wait a minute–you skipped from Michael Brown and Freddy Grey to the shooting of police in Dallas, as if nothing happened in between? Why is this turning into a Conservative vs Liberal thing? Why can’t we say it’s wrong to execute suspects (especially when there seems to be a knack of doing it to black suspects) AND it’s wrong to attack the police?
    You completely (conveniently, for you?) skipped over and ignored the slaughter of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Alva Braziel, where the evidence is quite a bit stronger that the police were unjustified in their use of deadly force. Because they were black.
    Look, I’m a white guy, a conservative, pro 2nd Amendment (and a gun owner myself). But two of my five kids are adopted black children, and I can see exactly why BLM has a problem with what’s going on in the world. As a white guy, I really don’t have to fear for my life when I talk to the police. My children would not have that luxury today. That’s what BLM is really about. (And if you want to define it by its extremists, then they’ll be fair to do it to you)
    Here is a real life example of the problem, especially for those of you who are pro 2nd amendment: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=866107570115697&id=107922699267525&_rdr&hc_location=ufi
    Finally, I’d like to leave you with the thought of a friend:
    “As horrific as [the Dallas shooting] was, those officers’ murderers are rightfully off the streets. They’ll be killed or prosecuted. Their senseless acts of violence will have lawful repercussions. But it’s not so for Tamir, John, Sandra, Eddie, and countless others. And while we’re still holding our breath for Alton and Philandro [and now Alva], the past events predict that we’ll still need a slogan to remind people that black lives do matter. That black lives deserve respect.”

  2. You are correct, Bill, that is a big jump. However, Ferguson gave birth to the Black Lives Matter movement, and it grew up in Baltimore. Here’s an update on the events leading to Dallas…
    Police approached Alton Sterling (Baton Rouge) following a report that he had brandished a gun at a homeless person who was harassing him. Brandishing consists displaying a weapon without pointing it, or even saying that you have one. This knowledge sets an entirely higher level of tension than suspicious activity, and would explain why the police tackled Sterling without much notice. According to the police, the gun was visible in his pocket, and Sterling was attempting to reach it with his free hand.
    Sterling was a convicted felon (drugs), with no right to possess, or even touch a firearm.
    In St. Anthony, MN, a suburb of St. Paul, two policemen stopped Philando Castile in his car, along with a girl friend and her 14 year old daughter. According to the girl friend, it was for a broken (busted, in Newspeak) tail light, but the officer reported he resembled a suspect in a recent armed robbery (the “broken tail light” was possibly a ruse to avoid alarming a potential felon). According to the police, Castile informed the office that he had a permit and a gun just as he reached for his license. The gun was exposed to the officer, and Castile ignored his orders to stop moving.
    Castile appeared to make a fatal mistake. The correct procedure is to inform the officer that you have a concealed weapons permit and “have it on me. What do you want me to do?” and wait with your hands on the steering wheel for a response. You don’t want to surprise the officer by exposing the gun or making any sudden moves, and you don’t want to use the word “gun” in your response. That may be the only word that registers. The officer may ask you to exit the car so he can retrieve the weapon safely, or not. If someone reaches for a gun, intentionally or otherwise, you have only about a second to react or risk injury or death.
    Castile had been stopped for traffic violations 83 times in the last 5 years, including speeding and running a red light.
    There may be other factors in the Minnesota case. St. Anthony is a largely white suburb, and the initial stop may involve DWB (driving while black) under a flimsy excuse. Minnesota does not collect racial data regarding police stops. However the President ascribe racial overtones to both cases before any of the facts were known, which gave incentive to Black Lives Matter protests across the country, including Dallas.

  3. Ed, thank you for the polite reply.
    We’ll see what the verdict is in each of these cases, but the police ALWAYS say the suspect was reaching for his weapon. And the video shows that this is not always the case. I believe the the video evidence of Sterling and Braziel show that they were not threatening the police when they were shot. Sterling was pinned with an officer on him after he had been tazered. Braziel had his hands completely up the whole time.
    I do not doubt that the police felt threatened and justified in using deadly force. But that’s the whole problem. Because they seem to be scared of black men, they react differently than with white men (generally).
    We do not have a video of the shooting of Castile, but the story from his girlfriend was that he WAS complying with the police officer. He informed the officer he was carrying, told him what side the gun was on and what side his wallet was on. When the officer told him to give him his driver’s licence, Castile reached for the wallet side and got four bullets in the chest from the officer.
    Do you know why the police officer though the was the robbery suspect? Because he was black with a wide nose. So, because they all look the same to this police officer, he was edgy and reacted wrongly while the suspect was complying with a lawful order.
    These are the reasons BLM is justified in believing there is no justice for black people. I can’t condemn that. I believe we can work for justice for the black community while also condemning violence from radicals who shoot police officers.

  4. repeat after me
    #1… they did not know his record
    watch the video the cop who killed him had his knee on one empty hand. His left hand holding the victim’s other empty hand.. He then pulled his gun and shot him directly in the chest with his right hand while hold both empty hands. WATCH THE VIDEO.
    resisting arrest does not mean an immediate execution by police
    resisting arrest does not mean an immediate execution by police.
    resisting arrest does not mean an immediate execution by police
    resisting arrest does not mean an immediate execution by police.
    #2 was stopped for his wide nose…. on audio tape released to publc
    the cop had to be consoled while they let the victim bleed to death and told his girlfriend to keep both hand down and not attempt to help him
    telling a man to get his papers and then shooting him is murder.
    telling a man to get his papers and then shooting him is murder.
    You are an apologist for the over militarized police state. Filled with trigger happy PTSD sensitive ex-vets and KKK members in the south.
    When those military cops are done with the blacks they will come for you… and they have.

  5. The reason for the stop given to the dispatcher was suspicion of robbery. Any unstated reasons are mere speculation. Any situation can escalate, and ultimately only the last few seconds count.
    According to the girl friend, Castile reached for his license as requested by the officer, but announced that he had a weapon at the same time. The officer could not know his intentions, only that a firearm was visible and Castile was moving his hand toward it, and ignored orders to stop. This is what firearm and police instructor Masaad Ayoob has to say about similar situations, and it is something anyone with a legal firearm should know …
    The police attempted to apply CPR to Castile once the girl friend was secured.