Policeman suspended for pointing rifle at protester in Missouri [And saying 'I will ___ kill you']

From Reuters:

(Please note: there is strong language used by the police officer in paragraph seven)

A St. Louis-area police officer was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday for pointing a semi-automatic assault rifle at a peaceful demonstrator as tensions flared during protests over the Aug. 9 police shooting of black teenager Michael Brown.

The incident just before midnight on Tuesday punctuated the 11th straight night of racially charged demonstrations in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, since Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, was slain by a white police officer.

No one was hurt in the gun-pointing confrontation, but the incident underscored what many have criticized as heavy-handed and unprofessional police tactics that have helped stoke continuing civil unrest.

According to an official account from the St. Louis County Police Department, an unnamed policeman from the neighboring community of St. Ann leveled his weapon at a Ferguson protester “after a verbal exchange,” and that a superior county officer, a sergeant, quickly intervened.

You can see a video of the confrontation (from a protester’s phone) on Youtube (caution: there is some foul language on the video).

I can understand that the officer would be pretty nervous in the situation, particularly with how tense it is right now, but they are paid to be professional.

The cop certainly screwed up, but I imagine the cops are getting tired and edgy about this going on day after day and night after night, Frankly, I’m tired of it myself and think it’s time the street party ends and let the investigators work it out. It’s totally into over kill. Most of the protesters need to put up their alcohol, go home, and try going out and finding a job tomorrow!

They are paid to be professional and the officer’s behavior helps feed the stereotype that cops are on a power trip and expect meek compliance from the public… or else.

Oh yeah, don’t you KNOW that Alex Jones and his ilk will be absolutely loving this video!

Of course, I can appreciate that the cops have got to be frustrated, particularly after having urine thrown on them by a subset of the protesters. Sort of reminiscent of the “Occupy” protesters.

It’s a step in the right direction. And if we really need to take into consideration the stress that some police officers are under, then maybe we should apply that same kind of thinking to all professions when people exhibit anti social behaviour.

Maybe we should send a couple bus loads of therapists to Ferguson instead of corrupt politically motivated activists.

You believe that the feature of the protestor are folks drinking alcohol and a need to get a job.

It seems to me they have concerns and as US citizens, have a right to express them.

Indeed, we do not know the specifics of this shooting, but that doesn’t preclude the conserns of the citizens- which, for some at least, transcend this specific issues.

I may not agree or understand the reasoning behind every protest but I support the rights of the protestors to do so- as long as they are civil and unarmed- and these protestors are.

The rioters and looters are another story.

And to the oP- I agree with the decision to suspend the officer. Police have a profession and they need to be professional- especially given the specific needs of this situation.

At what point are cops permitted to behave un-professionally. I know in my job- I am never given this luxury. I used to work with florally mentally ill individuals who, at times, threatened me, mocked me, a behaved in an inconsistent and inappropriate manner.

If I was rude, insulting, or mocking- I would have been disciplined gravely.

Exactly. Same with me in the military when I had to pull security duty. A violation like what the cop did in that video would have gotten me court-martialed. Regardless of how much I was provoked. (And sometimes during the anti-nuclear protests in Europe during the 1980s, the provocation could be pretty significant at times)

Yes, we all have gifts in life and not everyone can take obnoxious behavior being thrown at them.

It’s where I can feel bad for retail workers, who have to face it, but often don’t have the fortitude!

That’s tough. My wife has a job like that.

Videos of police officers being abusive, both physically and mentally, are certainly commonplace. It’s a stressful (and extremely well paid) occupation, and I don’t think it helps that cops seem to really buy into that whole us versus them mentality. The guy in this video clearly views the entire populace as the enemy. Maybe if the government supplies them with enough tanks, armored vehicles, machine guns, paramilitary ninja body armor, infrasound crowd dispersal torture devices and all the other US military hand-me-downs, they’ll feel safe and secure enough to not point shotguns and scream incoherent profanity at random citizens?:confused:

If a private citizen had done something like this, they’d be arrested and brought up on charges. Cops on the other hand, are allowed to brandish weapons and threaten people as much as they like without any fear of punishment.

Powertripping lunatics have no place in the street wearing body armor, and carrying assault weapons.

I should add that there is another video which shows Ferguson police murdering a man in cold blood and then placing handcuffs on his dead body. The entire filmed event directly contradicts the official police version of events. I’m not going to link to the video because it is basically just a snuff film. Clear-eyed people who have managed to land on their feet will immediately comprehend the situation, and those who are hellbent on defending the official narrative aren’t going to change their minds no matter what information they are exposed to.:shrug:

So we’ll just take your word for it. Thank you!

Did I manage to overestimate people’s abilities at locating basic, front-page news events?

For future reference, Path_Finder, an obscure website you might find useful in the future is called Google.:wink:


Let it be noted, your reference is*** not*** to the Ferguson Police. Oh dear.

And no, I don’t need to watch it either. And this was the incident we heard about the other day I take it with the police.

Sickening. Just sickening. How many times did they shoot him? Geeze.

They didn’t try to use tasers, they seemed to have wanted to shoot him the moment they got there.

Just what in the world is wrong with police these days?

Enough times to stop him advancing toward them with the knife he was holding.

He was wearing a hoodie. Loose clothing makes tasers’ effectiveness drop significantly, and they are single-shot devices. If one misses or fails, it’s not a quick reload process when a person with a knife is only 20 feet away. They acted to protect themselves and the people standing nearby.

They’re doing a job that garners few thanks, and their service is often repaid with hatred and contempt from the very people they’re protecting. These officers acted correctly: Deadly force to stop a knife-wielding person who kept shouting “Shoot me!” while advancing on them. One doesn’t become superhuman when putting on a police uniform, and the training for these situations is a lot simpler than most people think. They are trained to use sufficient force to stop the threat as quickly as possible. Tasers don’t always work. Mace/pepper spray is dangerously short-ranged. Stun guns are even shorter-ranged. An officer’s gun is - as it has been for many years - the best tool available for stopping a threat before they can get close enough to harm someone.

I did not read the whole posts here.

Let me weigh in with a little experience: I’m an active duty police officer 12 years. I have worked only patrol. Although I have never had to used deadly force, I have been forced to used every level of force except that.

Now having watched the video with experienced eyes, let me give some perspective.

THE CAMERA IS NOT GOD: all this junk on You tube has citizens believing a camera and what some untrained person pointing the camera has to say about the situation more than a paid professional. No where, except maybe politics do trained, paid professionals get more arm chair quarterbacking than Law Enforcement.

The camera does not show what happened to this officer in the minutes, or even moments leading up to what we see / hear on the video.

The camera does not show what the person the officer said that to was doing (it doesn’t even show who the person is).

Finally, the camera can NEVER show what the Officer’s perception of the situation is. In most states this is what determines what level of force should be used, NOT a camera, NOT the suspect’s perception, BUT ONLY THE OFFICER.

So, can anyone, based on the camera, tell me any of the above?

What if the person off camera - and never shown - is holding a large rock? What if, before the camera got there, the person threatened to kill the officer? (From other articles we know that the “peaceful” protesters are sometimes chanting “kill the police”).

Let me give a little more information: Violence looks violent. Violence is nothing like “Walker Texas Ranger”: one spinning back-kick knocks both the bad guys gun out of his hand and knocks him unconscious without so much as a bloody nose.

Violence looks like a train wreck: There is blood, there is broken noses, bones, ripped off nails, teeth dislodged, people screaming, emotions running high etc.


But this is what you pay me and my brothers / sisters in blue / brown for. We go and put ourselves in the way so that you don’t have to live in an Iraq, Mexico, Syria or Nigeria.

I will never meet an unjust aggressor with no, lessor or equal aggression. In order to overcome, an unjust aggressor MUST be met with Greater Aggression.


There are numerous occasions where a suspect has been shot in a limb, or even the heart, but continues to try to kill the officer. One incident in Illinois the Officer shot a suspect (who tried to kill him with several guns) 14 times with .45 ACP (larger handgun round) Six of which were declared “fatal wounds” yet the suspect continued to shoot at the officer.

Don’t even get me started on “what about a net” or “why didn’t you just Taze him?” In Texas, a training officer got both himself and his rookie killed by trying to taze a suspect who had a .357. A tazer is a one shot deal, where I have to hit with 2 prongs going at different angles in that one shot. I miss with either prong and nothing happens to the suspect.


Police Officers have been killed with hands, feet, arms, legs, teeth (you ever seen someone try to bit out another persons carotid artery?)

If you don’t believe me, just watch UFC and then tell me which one of those body parts can’t kill.


When your in a fight, a real fight not a push here or there, or other highly volatile situation (riot, armed / barricaded and suicidal / homicidal subject) your brain literally shuts down the parts that are not necessary for survival. The last thing your brain is going to do is use up processing power on making a decision based off the other person’s race.

We see this in “witness” statements all the time where they can’t even remember what race their attacker was, what they were wearing etc.

The Brain just does not do that. Sorry. The race baiting is done by racists in the news / government. Their the ones who are making judgments based on race.


This, again, is law for most states. We are trained to watch for pre-attack postures. Can anyone judging the officer in this video name one?

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