Governor Nixon gets it wrong

People have the right to express views and grievances, but they do not have the right to put fellow citizens and property at risk,” Nixon said, while explaining how the National Guard is part of his contingency plan to protect his officers.

“Violence will not be tolerated.” he continued.

In his press conference there was not one mention of Michael Brown, VonDerrit Myers, or Kajieme Powell.


The powerful message quickly morphed into a hashtag- #ViolenceWillNotBeTolerated, and an impromptu twitter campaign ensued, reminding the Governor, and anyone who forgot- of the militarized police presence and violence that he signed off on when his storm troopers declared war on demonstrators.


The Governor received 33,549 tweets on Tuesday- the hashtag was used 7,268 times by midnight.

Governor Jay Nixon’s press conference regarding the impending grand jury decision gets the situation wrong. Governor Nixon is preparing the police force for violence expecting it to come from the protesters; now while there have been a few cases of violence from the protesters or those taking advantage of the protests to be violent, Governor Nixon is ignoring the police violence against unarmed black men before the killing of Mike Brown, and the violence against peaceful protesters perpetrated by his cops since protests erupted after the death of Mike Brown, even as this week Mike Brown’s parents (video below) are at the UN Committee against Torture hearing in Geneva discussing police violence (video below).

(This video no longer exists)

Here are some of tweets documenting police violence

When I saw the press conference and hashtag my reaction was to flip it on its head as Governor Nixon continues to shift the blame from trigger-happy cops attacking unarmed black men to the peaceful protesters back to the reason there have been peaceful protests in Ferguson since August, and even before Mike Brown was killed and the news media started deciding to pay attention.

Governor Nixon got it wrong.  When he said that violence will not be tolerated, he didn’t clarify by whom.  He meant violence from protesters will not be tolerated.  I agree with that sentiment.  Those who have been in Ferguson since August agree with that sentiment.  But the issue with that statement is that except for a few minor exceptions over 3 months, a vast majority of protesters have been peaceful, while they are attacked by police and 2 more black men have been killed by police in Ferguson, Kajieme Powell and Vonderrit Myers.  The protesters are peaceful, the cops are not.  When stating that violence will not be tolerated, let’s tell the truth about who is violent.

Let’s tell the truth that what Governor Nixon is saying is that violence from protesters will not be tolerated but violence by police is somehow justified.  And then let’s change the statement to what we need to address the real issues.

Let’s change the derogatory #ViolenceWillNotBeTolerated to the more realistic ideal that would actually bring change to Ferguson, and remind those in charge that one day we hope that #PoliceViolenceWillNotBeTolerated

This entry was posted in Ferguson, police brutality, Police Shootings. Bookmark the permalink.

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