Who Turns Over a Portable Toilet in the Name of their Community?

by Jim Geraghty

From the Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt:

Who Turns Over a Portable Toilet in the Name of their Community?

Examining the coverage of last night’s continuing violence in Ferguson, Missouri

In front of McDonald’s, a tactical unit removed a driver from his car at gunpoint. Some protesters tipped over portable toilets and dragged them into the streets.

Who tips over a portable toilet as a form of protest? That’s not a protest; that’s a tantrum. You can’t claim that you’re expressing your anger on behalf of your community when your actions spill feces into the street of the community.

(Anyone else reminded of that Occupy protester?)

The coverage states “the conflict escalated shortly before 10 p.m.” Put aside the  government-imposed curfew in past nights. There have been protests, prayer rallies, demonstrations all day long. Who’s still out at that hour? Of course protesters have a right to peaceably assemble. But in light of the events of the past week, who chooses to express their anger over recent in the middle of the night?

And if you’re one of those peaceful protesters, out in the middle of the night… when you see somebody in your midst pick up a bottle and throw it at cops… why don’t you yell, “Stop!”?

At least two people were shot, numerous fires were set and more than 30 people were arrested in Ferguson, Mo., early Tuesday, Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald Johnson told reporters early Tuesday.

At a news briefing at about 2:20 a.m. Central time, Johnson said Monday evening began peacefully with calm and orderly protests. “This was a freedom of expression we are committed to protecting,” he said. About 9:40 p.m. more than 200 people started walking toward police officers. “They were loud but not aggressive,” he added, emphasizing that many chanted and turned around after they were heard. Police did not react, he said.

“That’s when bottles were thrown from the middle and the back of a large crowd that gathered near and within the media staging area,” he said. “These criminal acts came form a tiny minority of lawbreakers.”

Johnson said bottles and molotov cocktails were thrown; shots were fired. “Not a single shot” was fired by officers, he said.

“Protesters are peaceful and respectful. Protesters don’t clash with police,” he said. “It is criminals who throw Molotov cocktails and fire shots that injures lives and property.”

Johnson also addressed the media, asking journalists to stay clear of the roads so police can safely move through. “Let’s not glamorize the acts of criminals,” he said.

Good luck with that, sir.