I have to call you out.
I don’t care what the media says. I expect them to get it wrong and they often do. But I expect you as a veteran law enforcement commander—talking about law enforcement—to get it right.
Unfortunately, you blew it. After days of rioting and looting, last Thursday you were given command of all law enforcement operations in Ferguson by Governor Jay Nixon. St. Louis County PD was out, you were in. You played to the cameras, walked with the protestors and promised a kinder, gentler response. You were a media darling. And Thursday night things were better, much better.
But Friday, under significant pressure to do so, the Ferguson Police released the name of the officer involved in the shooting of Michael Brown. At the same time the Ferguson Police Chief released a video showing Brown committing a strong-arm robbery just 10 minutes before he was confronted by Officer Darren Wilson.
Many don’t like the timing of the release of the video. I don’t like that timing either. It should have been released sooner. It should have been released the moment FPD realized that Brown was the suspect.
Captain Johnson, your words during the day on Friday helped to fuel the anger that was still churning just below the surface. St. Louis County Police were told to remain uninvolved and that night the rioting and looting began again. For much too long it went on mostly unchecked. Retired St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch tweeted that your “hug-a-looter” policy had failed.
Boy did it.
And your words contributed to what happened Friday night and on into the wee hours of Saturday. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, you said the following regarding the release of the video: “There was no need to release it,” Johnson said calling the reported theft and the killing entirely different events.
Well Captain, this veteran police officer feels the need to respond. What you said is, in common police vernacular—bullshit. The fact that Brown knew he had just committed a robbery before he was stopped by Officer Wilson speaks to Brown’s mindset. And Captain, the mindset of a person being stopped by a police officer means everything, and you know it.
Let’s consider a few examples:
On February 15, 1978 Pensacola Police Officer David Lee conducted a vehicle check. He didn’t know what the sole occupant of the vehicle had recently done, but the occupant did. Who was he? Serial killer Ted Bundy. Bundy attempted to disarm Lee. Lee was able to retain his firearm and eventually took Bundy into custody.
On April 19, 1995 Oklahoma State Trooper Charlie Hangar stopped a vehicle for minor traffic violations. He didn’t know that 90 minutes earlier the traffic violator, Timothy McVeigh, killed 168 people with a truck bomb at the Murrah Federal Building. But McVeigh sure knew it, didn’t he? Fortunately, given his training and experience Hangar was able to take McVeigh into custody for carrying a concealed firearm. It was days later before it was determined that McVeigh was responsible for the bombing.
On May 31, 2003 then-rookie North Carolina police officer, Jeff Postell, arrested a man digging in a trash bin on a grocery store parking lot—an infraction that would rise to about the level of jaywalking. Postell didn’t know that he had just captured Eric Rudolph, the man whom years earlier had killed and injured numerous people with bombs and was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list.
So now, let’s consider Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson’s stop of Michael Brown. Apparently Wilson didn’t know that Brown had just committed a strong-arm robbery. But Brown did! And that Captain, is huge.
Allegedly, Brown pushed Wilson and attempted to take Wilson’s gun. We’re also being told that Officer Wilson has facial injuries suffered during the attempt by Brown to disarm him. Let’s assume for a moment those alleged acts by Brown actually occurred. Would Brown have responded violently to an officer confronting him about jaywalking? Maybe, but probably not.
Is it more likely that he would attack an officer believing that he was about to be taken into custody for a felony strong-arm robbery? Absolutely.
Officer Wilson survived the encounter with Brown as did Lee, Hangar, and Postell. Michael Brown didn’t survive and it’s too soon to say if Officer Wilson’s use of deadly force was justified and legal. You and I both know that not all officers survive such confrontations. Officers die in incidents like this Captain Johnson, including a couple that I remember from your own organization:
On April 15, 1985 Missouri Trooper Jimmie Linegar was shot and killed by a white supremacist he and his partner stopped at a checkpoint; neither Trooper Linegar nor his partner were aware that the man they had stopped had just been indicted by a federal grand jury for involvement in a neo-Nazi group accused of murder. The suspect immediately exited the vehicle and opened fire on him with an automatic weapon.
Just a month before, Missouri Trooper James M. Froemsdorf was shot and killed—with his own gun—after making a traffic stop. When the Trooper made that stop he didn’t know that the driver was wanted on four warrants out of Texas—But again the suspect knew it.
So Captain Johnson, I guess the mindset and recently committed crimes of the suspects that murdered those Missouri Troopers didn’t mean anything. The stops by the Troopers, as you have said, are entirely different events right?
Chief Ed Delmore | Sunday, August 17, 2014 A former St. Louis Metro Area police chief
It's amazing how much body language will tell you. I was going shopping one day and as I approached the door to the store a man came out and his expression and demeanor was screaming... 'I just did a bad thing'... I reached out to grab his arm as the officer came out of the store. This guy was moving so fast there was no way I could have grabbed him by the arm and later I thought if I get in a situation like that again I would trip him to the ground and that cop would have had him before he could get up. Oh, he had stolen something from the store and I don't know if he was apprehended or not.
I watched some video's on infowars.com last night that had Capt. Ron in them and I can tell you one of them was of someone asking him a question that he didn't like, he answered it with anger and like he wanted to get the crowd mad at the questioner. After he got done talking he quickly turned and walked away like he wanted to get away before the crowd turned on that questioner. He is not how the MSM portrays him, he's just like all the rest of the bad cops out there. He's a fraud.
The moment that Captain Ron Johnson opened his mouth on live TV, I thought what an idiot, affirmative action strikes again.
Beware The Snake in the tall grass is the Regimes bench men. The Rev.'s A. Sharpton and The Rev. J. Jackson all wound up in a scenario that ended up not going their way. His Honor(SIC) Holder is there to see to it that at all costs it has to be revived and turned around for Obamy to whine about the raceism in our country.
It is just more cover for the Regime who is mired in scandal because of the inept a matures running this roller coaster into the ditch.
And this, people, is why good cops get a bad name! Why doesn't he tell the truth? What is he covering up? He should be fired for these lies, this bullshit! He is no better than the low-life's Jackson, Sharpton AND all the rioters, looters!
I like the sound of Holder's new nick-name. Hug a looter Holder.
Well said !!!!!