Problem Solving Tips From the City of Ferguson, St. Louis County and the State of Missouri
Cause you never know when your disgruntled population will be next
Issue #1: Execution style shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer in broad daylight.
Damn, one of those days, huh?
The officer at hand definitely deserves questioning and some strong words. But, good news is you can most likely get away leaving the incident unreported or categorically “justified.”
If you don’t, relax, this happens all the time. According to data collected in 2012 from only 4.4% (750 out of 17,000) of the nation’s law enforcement agencies, police officers kill 400 people (including 96 black men by white officers) a year.
So, at the very least, two black men are killed by law enforcement every week.
Of course, if all 17, 000 of the agencies had participated the death toll would be a much higher figure than that. Up to 22.7 times higher. We could be looking at 2,179 black men a year and 42 black men killed a week by law enforcement officers.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. We’re just ball-parking, bullshitting and using a little of the ole’ 1-plus-1-equals-2 here to provide you with some perspective. There is no comprehensive public record of the nation-wide numbers. Not to our knowledge or that of University of South Carolina criminologist Geoff Alpert.
The point is that in moments of chaos, perspective is key. Remember other law enforcement agencies, cities, counties, and states are in your position all the time. You’re not alone.
Knowing this, here are some surefire ways straight from us that can help defuse your increasingly tense situation.
Issue #1 Solution:
- Hide the shooting’s incident report. This may be a little left of legal but who’s counting?
- When asked how often the victim was shot respond with impenetrable statements such as “it was more than just a couple, but I don’t think it was many more than that” rather than using actual numbers.
- Police department and government leaders should not acknowledge the death or release statements for extended periods of time.
- Leave condolences to the family unexpressed or embarrassingly late.
- Refuse to release essential information such as shooter’s name and number of gunshots for as long as possible. Justice is not a foot race. But if it was, slow and steady would win it.
- Draw out the investigation required to press charges for a suspiciously long period of time. Cultivate the atmosphere of a standoff. It does matter who budges first, and it won’t be you.
- Release completely unrelated robbery footage of victim taken minutes before his death. As we’ve said, perspective is key. You’re suburban constituents will be looking for any reason why the victim may have brought this upon himself.
- Keep shooter at large, with no charges against him, on paid vacation.
- Pay for said vacation leave with taxpayer money.
- Ignore taxpayer requests for charges to be pressed on vacationing, endangered, and mentally strained officer.
Issue #2: Looting and arson of local businesses paired with violence (throwing of gas bottles and Molotov cocktails, random and targeted gunshots, brawls etc.) from members of and opportunists within the crowd. General fear of the crowd “getting out of hand.” Declining control over the area due to mutual lack of respect.
- Ignore the demands of peaceful protesters. This is #1 on the list for a reason.
- Stand firmly by your solutions to Issue #1.
- Law enforcement officers should aim loaded weapons into crowd and onto unarmed, armed, non-threatening and threatening individuals alike.
- Fire tear gas, smoke bombs and rubber bullets indiscriminately into crowds of people that according to outside media sources, personal accounts and recorded live streams have consistently contained peaceful protesters, the occasional senator, and children.
- Armored trucks
- Military gear
- Police dogs
- Call body of citizens “fucking animals” in moments of anger.
- Arrest protesters, looters, troublemakers, aldermen, community leaders and journalists.
- Bar media from the area and demand that crowds turns off recording devices.
- Create a no-fly zone over area in question to protect low flying aircraft including media helicopters.
- Block off streets and access ways in a way that simultaneously traps fleeing people within the endangered area.
- Create a curfew in the area the try to restore order in the area.
Issue: #3: Illegal and overly forceful disruption of the people’s first amendment rights, right to protest and gather peacefully.
- Use above curfew (imposed after several days of clashes) as some legal sanction to the excessive use of force described above.
- Use curfew to allow your officers and the general public to indiscriminately label all protesters and Ferguson residents out past midnight as law-breakers/criminals.
- Place new people in charge, say new things, and continue with everything you were doing before.
- Break up week with at least one night of peaceful protest.
- Use the word “warzone.” Use it well.
- Act confused that protesters are distrustful and resistant to your demands enacted for their safety.
- Be genuinely confused. Trust us, people, this is key. Go home confused. Wake up confused. Don’t intake new information. Don’t consider other perspectives. Do not learn. Static and unchanging will be your creed.
Issue #4: Increasing scrutiny and horror of your militarized police force.
- Obviously just call in the actual military
And that, folks, should do trick.
Follow our program, Ferguson 101, and you’ll be just that little bit closer to regaining the trust and respect of your community. With a little bit of improvisation on your end, peace will be regained in the streets, your local businesses will open up again, the kids will be back in school, and we can all get back to our well-respected jobs.
And there’s the chance that maybe, just maybe, people will stop tweeting about you.
Note: This is a piece of satire that was in no way contributed to by the City of Ferguson, St. Louis County or the State of Missouri. It intentionally highlights the many negative actions and poor decisions of these agencies’ leadership since August 9th. It does not pretend to give equal play to the things that they may have handled well.
Though, I do promise you, that list would have been much shorter.