Well, that didn’t go all that well. I’m speaking of last night’s events in Ferguson. For weeks now, every elected official from Governor Jay Nixon (D) on down has been proclaiming to the public that come the grand jury announcement, law enforcement would be ready to deal with any violent unrest. I guess that that was just a bunch of hot air. Today, Nixon announced that he was going to send in 2,200 Missouri National Guardsmen. He is just a day late and many dollars in damage short.
Because of last night’s violence, Anne’s and many other Saint Louis area school districts had no classes today. My employer was not so inclined. I had to work. I was offered additional words of warning and asked to be especially careful during my commute, because much of last night’s violence occurred only a mile or two from where I work. The security guards were doing their part though. They were driving their menacing white Priuses around, with the rooftop yellow lights flashing all day. I guess that they have been promoted to the rank of mall cops for the duration.
I watched Saint Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch (D) read the grand jury’s decision last night. As an elected official, this is the kind of task that is best avoided. The decision, no matter what was decided, would upset part of his electorate. So, McCulloch foisted the decision off on to the jurors. He was there last night merely to present their decision to not indict. Except, that it is commonly known within the law enforcement community that any prosecutor worth his salt can get any decision he wants out of his grand jury and McCulloch has proven himself all too politically adept this year.
He has orchestrated the ouster of the sitting County Executive, Charles Dooley (D) and the election of his handpicked replacement, Steve Stenger (D) . Make no mistake, McCulloch got exactly the grand jury decision that he wanted and I hope that the voters remember this, because it was predominately black north county voters who elected his protégé.
Finally, to all of you who broke the law last night and turned a peaceful protest into a riot, all I can say is shame on you too. One man was killed and many injured. Dozens of business were looted, damaged and destroyed and for what? I understand that you are angry, but such violence does not help your cause. Violence like last night’s only makes it easier for the rest of the community to dismiss your very real grievances. Case in point, last night’s frantic and fear driven rush to the grocery store that I mentioned yesterday, has already returned to business as usual tonight. Saint Louis has adjusted to its new normal and will soon turn its back again on Ferguson and go back to business as usual. None of this is the way things could have been.