Rules for Rioting
- Tensions in Ferguson, Missouri, have simmered since black teen Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in August.
And with a grand jury expected to soon deliver its decision on whether to indict the officer, a group that represents protesters says it wants 48-hours notice before the decision is announced so it can help prevent the St. Louis suburb from once again boiling over with anger, violence and confusion.
A group of community members calling themselves the Don't Shoot Coalition this week released 19 "Rules of Engagement" that touch on major points of contention between protesters and police since Brown's August 9 killing.
Among the "rules:"
- Some of the coalition's "rules" ask that police provide information that makes clear law enforcement's chain of command, who is making what decisions and why, and assurances that neither police nor the government will interfere with the flow of information. That means, according to the "rules," there will be no unwarranted wiretapping or attempts to interfere with internet and cellular access. The rules ask the police not to use rubber bullets, armored vehicles, rifles and tear gas.
The organization also has written stipulations about how it wants police to present themselves, including a request that officers wear attire "minimally required for their safety" and that "specialized riot gear will be avoided except as a last resort."
They also demand that the police not respond to thrown objects - like water bottles and similar. Of course, what they fill the water bottles with....well, that "rule" ought to be right out the window.