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Ann Baker

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Blogs by Ann Baker

Furgeson Riots
8/10/2014 9:59:57 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

After live tweeting from Scanner Radio for a couple of hours, imagine how stunned I was to read an article from a cable news network, that didn't even resemble what happened.

Ann Baker is a retired deputy sheriff, and former police dispatcher.

Dana Loesch was the first to show up in my Twitter time line with a live feed of a situation in Furgeson (Saint Louis), MO. Not familiar with the cause of the demonstrations, I tuned in to Scanner Radio.

Surprisingly, there seemed to be a riot in progress. There were reports of an officer down (unfounded), many shots fired calls, burglaries, looting of stores, and a business set on fire. One could not help notice the many times the dispatcher that covers fire and police, was putting out urgent calls for individuals needing immediate medical treatment.

At least half of the medical dispatches came with the warning that, "the scene is not secure." Having been a deputy sheriff and a police dispatcher, I know what that means. The public likely does not.

"Scene not secure," means there is an imminent threat of bodily harm. That equates to the very real fact, that no one is coming to help you until police have secured the scene.

As I type, Saint Louis Police dispatch is reporting paramedics on scene of a burglary in progress. Medical and fire personnel are not armed. They are not trained to deal with violent people. They are not only in danger of physical harm if they try, they become potentially liable, financially.

When you see a demonstration for a good reason, no reasonable person would be frightened. However, if you are an elder, disabled person, and someone (perhaps not even from that area) decides to light a building on fire; you expect police to protect you. It is reasonable to expect that if you should have a heart attack due to the fear of what is happening outside your home, medical personnel will have the ability to get to you.

The rioters (not peaceful demonstrators) in Saint Louis tonight seemed less interested in the young man they were supposed to be demonstrating in support of, and more interested in stealing Chinese plastic trinkets from the Family Dollar.

The police agency responsible for the neighborhood where this demonstration was allowed things to get out of control, were derelict of duty. Not the individual officers, but their supervisors, the police chief. They took an oath to protect the public. A presence of sufficient police force to deal with potential criminal activity it the first and best way to prevent it ramping up into a full blown riot.

It is not only bigoted, but nave to assume that a low-income neighborhood with a large minority population, is somehow in agreement with rioting. Low income people are likely to be single mothers, elderly, disabled. Being poor is no excuse for withholding sufficient police presence to protect them.

Perhaps I came in late and it was longer, but after starting my live-tweeting of Scanner Radio, there was at least an hour before police began to inch in. Even then it seemed an unorganized response from my vantage point.

How many people were forever impacted by tonight's theft and property destruction fun? Businesses in low-income areas are themselves likely to be on the lower rungs of the financial ladder.

The residents of Furgeson, should let their mayor, governor and police chief what they think of having to wait over an hour as police leisurely (evidenced by Fox 2 News video) suited up to wade into the fray. This should have been anticipated, prepared for, war gamed before it got out of hand.

Not only are innocents harmed, but the rioters themselves were among those injured. Video evidence will lead to the arrest and conviction of many of these opportunists. How much will it cost the community to investigate, prosecute, and house in prison if convicted?

Except for Fox 2 News, the media was glaringly absent from reporting on this riot. Fact: reporters don't come out on the weekends anymore. They don't report the facts when they do. I was stunned to read an article that CNN whipped out, first thing Monday morning. It bore no resemblance to the live radio transmissions of police on the street. This didn't border on being a riot, it was full blown.

Not only has the media decided that the public is not worthy of hearing the truth, but the police seemed to decide that poor people are not entitled to competent protection.

When police show reticence, fear of upholding their oath, everyone loses. Not only is it cowardice to delay taking decisive action, it is dereliction of duty and failure to uphold oath.

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More Blogs by Ann Baker
•  Furgeson Riots - Sunday, August 10, 2014  
• Verification Code - Sunday, July 20, 2014
• Geoenginering - Tuesday, April 15, 2014
• Twitter (Again) - Monday, December 23, 2013
• December Special - Saturday, December 14, 2013
• Twitter - Friday, October 04, 2013
• My View on Same Sex Unions or Opposite Sex Unions - Saturday, May 19, 2012
• BLACK BEAN BROWNIES - Saturday, May 19, 2012
• Dave Grossman - On Sheep, Sheepdogs, and Wolves - Tuesday, April 03, 2012

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