The tone in the corporate media when covering police officers and the ways in which they interact with demonstrators during a given protest is often one of sympathy, stressing to the public how “difficult police officers’ duties are”. Such sentiments, however, entirely miss the point. Often if not most of the time, police officers intentionally seek ways of provoking civilians to the point where an officer feels justified in using his much-prized weapon on a protester, afterward chalking it up as a “necessary use of force”. Check out the video below from last night’s Ferguson protests in which an Officer named Ray Albers of the St. Ann Police Department approaches peaceful protesters with his assault weapon drawn and pointed directly at them as if he intends to shoot.
“I will fucking kill you!” shouts the officer. One protester filming asks sarcastically, “You’re going kill him?!” “Get back!,” the officer replies, still threatening the unarmed marchers with his weapons. “What is your name,” the man with the cam recorder inquired of the officer, to which Albers responded, “Go fuck yourself!” (One of the cameramen at one point responded cleverly, “Officer #GoFuckYourself is threatening to kill me!”)
A second video shot from another angle catches Albers again pointing his weapon at peaceful marchers, all the while members of the crowd rightly express their outrage at the barbarity of this cop who’s been assigned to walk alongside civilians in spite of his clear desire to kill somebody. “Put your fucking gun down,” the second cameraman cried out, while others yell to the sergeant in charge, “Take that gun away from him!”
- Here’s a picture of the officer’s award-winning smile:
- The same officer is apparently known to hand out incredibly pricey speeding tickets on a regular basis. His department also uses so-called “ghost cars” (parked cars without anybody in them) to “catch” speeders.
- UPDATE: (Thanks for the heads-up from Nick Sacco who informed me of the latest development) Corporal Ray Albers has been suspended for the time being after the above video made waves over the net. (Thank god for the internet!) It is not clear that the suspension will be permanent, however. The department says only that “the officer will be counseled on his choice of words.” Of course it wasn’t his words that were the cause of the heated exchange. It was the fact that Albers pointed his gun randomly at peaceful protesters, as one can hear from the moment he first arrived on the scene. Protesters desperately cried out, “We didn’t do anything!”
- Police chief Aaron Jimenez unhelpfully added, “I stand by him if he felt like his life was in danger…” Such statements, and the fact that Albers will undergo so-called “sensitivity training”, are indicative that he will probably be returning to the force sooner rather than later.
- The St. Louis Dispatch reports:
Albers had three past disciplinary incidents, Jimenez said, one in 1995, one in 1996 and another last year, when he “got into it with a citizen and instead of just letting the conversation go, he chose to say some inappropriate things.”