There’s Always an Excuse for Rioting

Somehow, there’s always an excuse for rioting in Ferguson. Remember the militarization of the police? Back in August, it was allegedly provoking otherwise law-abiding people into acts of mayhem because they were so angered by the sight of military-style equipment. Then, the police backed off and businesses were ransacked anyway. At another point, the authorities supposedly provoked more unrest by releasing video of Michael Brown robbing a store. Now, it is the timing of the announcement that Officer Wilson won’t be charged that we’re told is responsible for all the property damage and arson. Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post had a theory on Morning Joe this morning that the announcement was timed to maximize the rioting so as to distract from the non-indictment. Really? Every one last night missed the fact that Wilson isn’t being charged?

Personally, if it were my choice, I would have released the news this morning, but let’s be serious — all the same people who have been breaking and burning things in Ferguson for months would have been out there breaking and burning things at nightfall, regardless. The only way to stop it would be an even more vigorous police (or National Guard) presence, which would, of course, have been blamed for provoking any of the rioting the authorities couldn’t stop. There’s always an excuse for rioting.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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