The shooting of Michael Brown: Time to move beyond condolences

The shooting of Michael Brown: Why it’s time to move beyond condolences

76 Comments

President Obama offered his “deepest condolences” to the family and community of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was shot to death by police Saturday.

“I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding,” Obama said.

“We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.  Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.”

Talk with one another? Prayers? With all due respect, Mr. President, we need more than calm reflection and quiet conversation. We need outrage. We need change.

Our criminal justice system has been crying out for it since well before the shooting of Trayvon Martin (whose killer walks free: what happened to that FBI investigation?). Should we just keep “reflecting” as we add names to the ever-growing list of unarmed black men like Amadou Diallo, Kimani Gray, Kendrec McDade, Timothy Russell, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Jonathan Ferrell and so many others killed by cops?

Reams of studies document over and over again what should be our national shame: that our criminal justice system is rife with racial bias. From hugely disproportionate policing in inner city neighborhoods, to who is considered suspicious, to disgusting racial disparities in arrests, convictions, incarceration and beyond.

From start to finish, it’s a major advantage to show up on our streets or in our system with white skin. In judgment calls where a suspect may be held or let go, African Americans are more likely to be detained than whites accused of the same crimes. If arrested, whites are more likely to be permitted to plead down to a lesser crime. When tried and convicted, whites get lighter sentences than blacks for the same crimes.

To take a particularly repulsive example, first-time child offenders, black kids are six times as likely as white kids to be sentenced to prison for identical crimes.

(Rich, white) Wall Street crooks whose criminal actions torpedoed our economy in 2008 walk free. No one’s gone to jail, though megabanks have paid out billions in civil fraud and corruption settlements. Yet police are all over (poor, minority) inner cities, stopping and frisking “suspicious looking” residents – which we all know, and which exhaustive empirical evidence documents, means young black men.

In Ferguson, Missouri, for example, African Americans are far more likely to be subject to traffic stops, far out of proportion to population numbers, even though whites, when stopped, are more likely to be found with contraband. A New York City stop-and-frisk study had the same conclusion: minorities stopped more, whites more likely to be carrying something illegal. Even after police knew this, they continued to stop and hassle mostly young black and Latino men.

“All we ask of America,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his final speech, before he was gunned down by a white shooter, “is be true to what you said on paper.”

We need action to make that a reality. Specifically:

1. Every police car in American should have a dashboard camera recording every incident. If we can afford a $25 billion annual drug enforcement budget for local law enforcement to harass, arrest, prosecute and incarcerate mostly nonviolent drug-users, surely we can afford $60 dashcams in every cruiser so we can see what our tax dollars are paying for in local police activity.

In 2014, we shouldn’t be enduring a 20th century inquiry into what happened in the shooting of Michael Brown, combing through witness accounts of what happened. We should have a video.

2. Every police force in America should reflect the racial diversity of the community it serves. Ferguson, Missouri is 65 percent African American, yet, shamefully, only three of its 53 police officers are black. Residents have complained of police harassment for years.

When 80 percent of white Americans test for moderate or severe implicit racial bias against African Americans, meaning that we walk around with subconscious negative stereotypes against blacks, race matters. Wishing it didn’t is understandable. Ignoring the evidence that it does is inexcusable while young people are being shot to death.

Every police force must also require continuing education in racial and cultural sensitivity. This isn’t a Kumbaya, feel-good measure. Understanding that black skin does not equate with criminality saves innocent lives. Good programs are working in pilot cities. Expand them, now.

3. Rethink “broken windows” policing – targeting offenders for petty infractions – because it has too often become official abuse of the poor. Michael Brown was walking with a young friend on the road, not the sidewalk, so the police got involved. Are you kidding me? I walk in the road nearly daily in my nice Los Angeles suburb (sidewalks are sometimes nonexistent or unwalkable in my neighborhood) and never once has a police officer pulled up. Clearly road-walking is an infraction only for black folks.

Police officers swarm poor neighborhoods across America and virtually ignore the suburbs unless they’re called. The result is that black Americans get arrested for “blocking the sidewalk” – standing in front of their own home – drinking in public, or marijuana possession. Though whites and blacks smoke pot at the same rates, four times as many blacks are arrested for it.

Enough. How many painful stories of police abuse, how many beating, chokehold and shooting videos do we need to wince at before we make a decision to focus police on serious, violent criminals? How much longer can we as a nation accept allowing our armed police officers to demean, smack around and shoot the poor?

4. Transparency, transparency, transparency. When police like those in Ferguson appear to have made a terrible mistake (or worse), being open and honest with the public is the first step in accountability.

Three days after Michael Brown was shot on the street by a police officer, we don’t even know how many bullets were fired, the identity of the officer who shot the teenager, whether Brown was shot in the front, back or both, inside or outside the patrol car, or many other important details.

When the police withhold this information, one must wonder whether they are circling the wagons to protect their own, allowing the shooter to come up with a story that’s consistent with the evidence, or getting their witnesses’ accounts in line. Perhaps they’re not, but it is reasonable to suspect such misbehavior as the facts remain hidden.

Condolences are not enough when we know what needs to be done. If we truly value the lives of all of our children, we’ll go beyond expressions of grief at another tragic loss.

Can we get on with it?

Citations for facts in this piece appear in Bloom’s recent book SUSPICION NATION: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It.

Related Articles:

Lisa Bloom, Avvo.com Legal Advisor and Analyst

About 

Lisa Bloom is the founder and managing partner of The Bloom Firm, a civil and criminal general practice law firm. Admitted to practice in all state and federal courts of California and New York, Lisa partners with local attorneys nationwide to bring justice to clients all over the U.S.

Lisa Bloom is a legal analyst for Avvo.com and NBC News, and the author of three books, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World, Swagger: 10 Urgent Rules for Raising Boys in an Era of Failing Schools, Mass Joblessness and Thug Culture, and SUSPICION NATION: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It.

76 Comments

  1. Adam Paul / September 5, 2014 at 11:37 pm / Reply

    Every 2 years, more blacks are murdered on the streets in this country the. American Combat Casualties In Vietnam 1969…the year of the Tet Offensive. More blacks are murdered by their own race than all combat deaths in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In 7 years, the amount if blacks murdered exceeds 20 years of Americans Killed In Action In Vietnam. Now, tell me, considering that blacks make up 13% of the American Population…..where’s the war and where should your column TRULY be referencing?

  2. Linda / September 2, 2014 at 10:46 am / Reply

    Great article Lisa. Excellent points with thoughtful solutions to start shifting the paradigm.

    I am always so surprised at the venom that comes from peoples mouth. Such hate and ignorance, and so many incorrect “facts”. Fox News and their pals do a really good job of manipulating people into such a bad place. I hope one day people will realize that they are just being played, and as a result, dividing our country, bringing it down. It is outrageous to be discriminated against and to be hunted, like an animal. We are an extremely racist and violent country. Violent with our words and actions to one another and other countries. We need to stop this. Yes, we need to be outraged that another human is treated this way.

    Slavery technically ended only 149 years ago… not hundreds of years. Just two generations max. And that bigoted and ignorant mindset is still passed on generation to generation.

    I have so much respect for the grace in which black people are able to survive in the U.S.
    Being put down in one way or the other CONSTANTLY, unknowingly and knowingly in small everyday ways and too often in brutal and violent ways is very intense. I am not sure I would be able to be as cool as they are. I so wish all these haters could live just one month in the life of a black person.

    Ok, long post. I just wanted to tell you Lisa that I appreciate your post with facts and suggestions. I sure would like to see more of that from haters other than name calling and copy-and-past propaganda.

  3. jrw / August 26, 2014 at 7:46 am / Reply

    Referencing Trevon Martin is a red herring. Zimmerman was acquited in our American justice system. I still feel that had I been in Zimmerman’s place and Martin were on top of me beating my head against the pavement, I would have shot hin too. Ms. Bloom, as a lawyer should know that trying to take a cop’s gun is a sure-fire way to get yourself shot (as it should be). Watching the video of Brown doing his strong-arm robbery in the convenience store showed me that this guy was used to relying on his size 6’4″ ,292# to intimidate people, unfortunately for him cops aren’t used to being intimidated and definitely don’t like to be physically attached and injured by an over-sized bully, and since they are armed you pay for your stupidity by “LEGALLY” getting shot. Being the father of a policeman who every day goes out to protect the rights and safety of the likes of Bloom, I will unashamedly take the policeman’s side until it is proven in a court of law (not public opinion) that he indeed abused his authority. Listening to public opinion should convince anyone that it is true that “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

  4. Jester / August 22, 2014 at 6:16 pm / Reply

    CONTENT OF OUR CHARACTER

    Resolution of every incident must be reached based on the facts.

    Rush to judgement by some surrounding Ferguson and calls for the officers demise, is evidence of their character.

    No matter who you are.

  5. Lori / August 20, 2014 at 11:53 pm / Reply

    I can’t believe that no one mentioned the fact that she is talking about these cop killings and not one person pointed out that Trayvon Martin’s killer George Zimmerman was not a Police Officer.
    That being said…Unfortunately, I am still amazed at how much the anononimity of the internet allows people to say such vile things about people (Bloom). I know that most readers just dismiss people’s comments as soon as they resort to lazy name-calling. Quit taking the lazy way out and express your opinions with the same class and intelligence you would if you were t hiding behind a computer screen.

  6. Carlton oneal / August 20, 2014 at 12:42 am / Reply

    i agree with you ma’am ,as a medium complexion black male in the south .i have suffered and been exposed to the evil thar you speak of ,but because of slavery system history of the world ,then i suffered from deadly hatred from all colors in the south and law enforcers.i was always so nice to everyone but because of slavery system history,therefore ,my family,school,etc. treated me with brutality ,child abuse,child molestation,neglect (extreme );),etc.why wasn’t anything done help me!rascism ,self-hatred,etc.

  7. Lynda / August 20, 2014 at 12:05 am / Reply

    Wow. All these racist posts. Such ignorance. Finally, an article that speaks truth and stupid white folks jump all over it. Shut down any speech that reflects truthfully the rampant problem in the land of the not-so-free-for-everyone. Good work. I’m ashamed of most white Americans. Stupid is as stupid does. Stupid is only reading news from sources that float your boat. I can see the misinformation and lies passed on in ignorance (fueled by hate deep from within the heart) in almost every hateful post. Put your heads back in the sand, white America. Just keep pretending everything is fine…..

    PS. I’m white, wealthy, and related to COPS. Somehow I still have critical thinking skills. Maybe it’s because, unlike most of these posters, I use them.

  8. Steve / August 18, 2014 at 5:28 pm / Reply

    In all sincerity, if NBC is actually concerned about justice, this piece should cost Ms. Bloom her job.

  9. Christina / August 17, 2014 at 10:47 pm / Reply

    What if this cop wouldn’t have shot the boy ? Would the boy have went back after the cop? Would it have been the day a cop died? Better yet would the world know if that cop that puts his life on the line everyday to protect the innocent for idiots had been shot and killed? No one would care they would go on with their everyday lives and wouldn’t bat a lash at it. So with this all being said who cares that he died he was doing something wrong sad he was killed yeah. But how many of us can say we knew this kid and are crying over it?

  10. Pam / August 17, 2014 at 9:22 pm / Reply

    I have never read such a one-sided report in my life! Try being a law enforcement officer in a racially mixed city! I lost my former husband as an officer in a very similar incident as the officer in Ferguson! Try a Ride-A-Long with an officer in, oh maybe, Compton, CA! Then maybe you will see the other side of the story! It’s really easy to sit in your fancy home in a secure area and think you know everything! While there still are race problems in this country, your article certainly doesn’t help! Not only did I lose my former husband to violence, I spent 16 years in law enforcement! I have never, ever heard an officer go out on the road, looking for a black person to harass! It isn’t what we’re about! You disgust me!

  11. Jude / August 17, 2014 at 12:14 pm / Reply

    Hey, Lisa Bloom – the cops don’t come trolling around MY neighborhood either. And guess what? It’s bcz we don’t cause trouble for cops to troll around for. Shocking, I know.

    Lisa Bloom is a journalistic moron. The law says, and has said since before I was born, certainly before she was born, that jaywalking and impeding traffic, is ILLEGAL. What about that is hard to understand for Lisa? Why is that so hard to comprehend? If wanton disregard for a police cruiser behind you on the street doesn’t get your attention and urge you to move, what would? Is it ok for someone to be nuisance on the street, as long as they are black? What about hispanic? What about a white guy? When WOULDN”T it be ok? If that’s ok, what about playing bball in the street and refusing to move? What if they are black? Hisp? White? Ever? What about just any infraction… ok as long as the perpetrator is the ‘right’ ethnicity? At what point this side of anarchy is it ok for cops to become involved in the doings of someone that is black? Ever?

    See where I’m going with this? It seems that only crimes involving unarmed black youths get media – what about unarmed hispanics? What about ‘white-hispanics’? Jews? There isn’t a vocal bloc in defense fo these ethnicities. There isn’t the money and fame for someone that is. Defense of AA youth pay a LOT, eh, Lisa? Jesse? Al? Speaks a lot.

  12. Sade / August 17, 2014 at 12:44 am / Reply

    I’m almost at loss for words after reading these comments–almost. I certainly agree that it is time for change. The truth is black people as a race have in fact been victims and hundreds of years as victims is not so easily overcome. There are obstacles, scars, challenges, handicaps, hundreds of years old that affect us still. It’s sad but true. After being denied the chance to get in the game for so long, black people encouraged themselves by saying they didn’t want to play anyway, but now the court is open!! There are still some like my parents that still fight to be equally respected. Some, however, took solace in their conviction that they could make their own rules to their own game and any thing resembling the way whites play is undesirable even if your way was right, thus speaking proper English is frowned upon in some circles, etc.
    Years of unequal treatment, rights, and education have taken their toll and they don’t have as much practice and experience with the ball in their hands…Let me be clear: wrong is always wrong if that boy and whomever else is guilty, but don’t scratch your heads, judge, and condemn the depravity of the black race as if you have no clue how it happened. This monster was created for sure. If the world went totally green next year it wouldn’t suddenly undo all the years of pollution we’ve subjected it too. No it doesn’t work that way..the wounds are deep, the scars are long lasting, the damage is evident, and the consequences will be seen for years and years to come.

  13. Jim D / August 17, 2014 at 12:15 am / Reply

    As it appears is the obvious and common belief in this comments section you are completely clueless. If you had said let’s all wait and see what the investigation reveals I would have a lot more respect for you. As it stands I agree with the majority of other comments. You are doing nothing more than fanning the flames in order to put yourself in the lime light. You call yourself an attorney but yet overstep the laws you are supposed to fight for. If the officer was your client you would be singing a much different tune. You are nothing more than a parasite. You care nothing about the damage you do to our country or the officers who go out every day and risk their lives to protect the law abiding citizens. Ask yourself, if no crime had occurred, if no officer had been assaulted, where would this country’s attention be right now? You don’t want peace though do you? That would not fit your agenda.

  14. Erich / August 16, 2014 at 11:57 pm / Reply

    Seems like Lisa is getting her “facts” and “opinions” mixed up on even the same matter. In paragraph ten she states:

    In Ferguson, Missouri, for example, African Americans are far more likely to be subject to traffic stops, far out of proportion to population numbers (her OPINION.. At least not backed up by any referenced statistic or fact)

    Cited from: The shooting of Michael Brown: Time to move beyond condolences http://nakedlaw.avvo.com/lisa-bloom/shooting-michael-brown-time-move-beyond-condolences.html#ixzz3Ad4iL5eA

    But further down she states:

    Ferguson, Missouri is 65 percent African American (Fact)

    Using simple grade school probability and reasoning skills, you would realize almost 7 out of 10 people are black in that community. Just like having having 7 red jelly beans and 3 blue jelly beans in a hat. A person grabs randomly 10 times, the chances are much greater to obtain a red jelly bean than it is to obtain the blue jelly bean.

    I think the red jelly beans are being racist against the blue jelly beans for outnumbering them in the hat. Time for a civil action lawsuit!!!! (of course after the red jelly beans incinerate the hat)!

    It should be initiated by The Bloom Firm, which has such highly qualified, and intelligent partners, such as Lisa; who can make two contradictory statements in a single argument. The sign of a “excellent” laywer, a person who can make an argument for even the most asinine side of a controversy!

  15. Curt / August 16, 2014 at 11:35 pm / Reply

    Love the stat “blacks more likely to be pulled over for a traffic stop in Ferguson, MO”. No kidding the town is 70% black. I’m sick and tired of all this racial profiling crap. If 85% of crime is being commited by any group you focus on that group. Thats like going to the southern border and bitching that latinos are the only people being “profiled” over immagration status. It’s 90% latino, DUH!

  16. Danno / August 15, 2014 at 11:23 pm / Reply

    Come on everybody, she is just wanting some readers to like her opinion column. She did not mean to start the race war.

  17. An / August 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm / Reply

    Aaron, you nailed it!
    –Perhaps it’s the culture that ridicules and ostracizes those who attempt to better themselves and escape that environment,

    Bingo. How many Black “alleged leaders” call out successful non democrat Blacks uncle Toms’ and worst! Disgusting as most of it comes from the NAACP sickening.

  18. An / August 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm / Reply

    So wait up dear, you state more blacks are shot because of race. Seriously ?
    More blacks are involved in crime, hence more likely opportunity to end up in violent conflicts with police.
    But hey, you knew that, right?

  19. DTConcerned / August 15, 2014 at 9:57 am / Reply

    Lisa Brown is a wacko. Jumping to conclusions without evidence, probably from a family with a history of leading lynch mobs? First there was a reason Trayvon Martin’s family did not want the public spectacle over and the man was found innocent in a court of law. Apparently law does not matter to Lisa Brown though. Nice you can actually list names of unarmed black men killed by cops, but you don’t compare it with other races, or with how many cops were killed by unarmed black men, or others?
    Lisa Brown you article is nothing more or less than a deliberate attempt at racial aggravation, an attempt to create more racism, perhaps you think you can get more fame if there are more racial conflicts you can report on by generating them with your words? Maybe something will open your eyes to the damage you are doing and wake you up to reality. I can only hope it is a gentle awakening and not as ill-wished and violent as what you are wishing on others.

  20. Willard / August 15, 2014 at 8:15 am / Reply

    Breaking news!!! It appears Michael Brown was a suspect in a robbery that had just been committed. That might explain why he attacked the police officer. Yes, the police officer needed medical attention and it wasn’t for a scratch…his face was clearly swelling,

    Freaking idiots like Lisa Bloom are what’s wrong with this country.

  21. Willard / August 15, 2014 at 8:12 am / Reply

    Lisa Bloom, you are a trouble-making idiot.

    Trayvon was a thug and Zimmerman was defending himself. The libs doctored pics of Zimmerman to make his injuries look less severe. Also, Trayvon’s family or attorney entered false evidence into the trial. Why haven’t you reported on that?

  22. LowInfoVoter / August 15, 2014 at 12:36 am / Reply

    I love how these insulated elite liberals escalate racial tensions to benefit them politically knowing it will never impact their lives personally. 500 people were killed in Chicago last year, most of the victims AND perpetrators minority. This was caused by the liberal social policies espoused by people like Lisa. She does not shed one tear for any of those people and the media understates this horrific violence as they can’t make any political hay from the disaster they caused.

  23. Jane Catanzaro / August 14, 2014 at 9:33 pm / Reply

    Lisa you need to learn all the facts before spouting off about the Michael Brown case. You obviously have no idea what you’re talking about. The officer involved had severe facial swelling and was treated at an area hospital. Michael Brown was not the innocent teen the news has been so quick to report. He shoved the officer as he wss trying to ecit his vehicle. He put his hands through the officers window and was reaching for his gun. The officer was in fear for his life! What would you have done in that situation? It’s so easy to blame the police and shed tears for African Americans. Yes there are more blacks in prisons because MORE blacks commit crimes!! Get your facts right lady!

  24. john brothers / August 14, 2014 at 8:13 pm / Reply

    Lisa, Lisa the bleeding heart liberal. You use your soapbox to make money off the ignorant or naïve. Over 70% of all crimes are committed by the blacks. You have no right to incite this violence. Shame on you! Let the facts come out.

  25. Maddaddyssa / August 14, 2014 at 3:10 pm / Reply

    Lisa Bloom, your rhetoric is nothing new. In fact I have a suspicion that methinks thou protest too much. I’ve known a few “ignernt redneck” types, as idiotic as they are, at least they’re honest about their bigotry. It’s been my experience that the worst racists I’ve had the DISpleasure of knowing are so-called progressive types. Instead of facing up to their own personal bigotry, they try to impress us with empty rhetoric and project their own racist attitudes on others. I have witnessed this mindset back in college. White liberals, from generally privileged backgrounds putting on their schtick about how they’re “in solidarity” with their “brothers and sisters” in the ghetto, as well as oppressed peoples anywhere. I wish I had these phonies under surveillance during a typical Saturday night of partying. When the brewskis flowed and the doobies passed around, that’s when these hypocrites let their, no pun intended, TRUE COLORS show. In vino veritas, indeed!

  26. Rick / August 14, 2014 at 2:57 pm / Reply

    It appears that over ninety percent of those that posted comments think you are an absolute idiot, They feel you have no idea of the facts in this case because no one does at this point. They feel you are trying to use your “soap box” to widen the racial divide in this country and stoke the anger already present in the community. I would have to agree with them that you are a very misguided and narcissistic individual. Instead of hoping for calm until the justice system has time to work, you demand outrage. What you are doing is giving the losers that are robbing, burning, and looting an excuse to continue with their lawlessness. I understand that too many unarmed Americans are unjustly shot by the police and that they often go unpunished. Civil unrest is not the answer, the court system is. If the media keeps the spotlight on this case we can be sure that the prosecutors will scrutinize the facts and take action as appropriate. The action may not always be to your liking but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. The alternative is anarchy and if that is what you want I hear you can get a house pretty cheap in Benghazi. Bye!

  27. rhonda / August 14, 2014 at 2:54 pm / Reply

    This whole thing makes me sick. Some how, what does this have to do with Race???? Until the investigation is completed why is the police officer guilty and hung. How can we have a President who totally blew my mind away, would get on TV and promote racism. The Term white he had to use.. This article by reading it has made me more stupid than I already am. The business owners and cops who have been hurt, threatened to be killed… Where is Obama saying sympathy to people who have lost their business.. Yes its sad a person was killed.. see I said person.. NOT Color.. This is the way it should be seen!!!! BTW can we help that a black person chooses to not go apply and become a cop, or then again you will tell me they can’t. Well I live in a 95 person place neighborhood and also military post which has a population of 65% etc. The people made it as race, the so right hand Liberals.. lets scream race!!!! BTW I am independent voter.

  28. Frank / August 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm / Reply

    I wonder why we can’t wait until the facts from the event actually come in, before we pass judgement?

  29. Millie McClave / August 14, 2014 at 1:37 pm / Reply

    Name says it all! You are a Blooming Idiot!

  30. Gary / August 14, 2014 at 12:29 pm / Reply

    Live like a thug… Die like a thug… Attack a cop, black or white and there is a good chance you will be killed. That is the way it should be.

  31. rreactor / August 14, 2014 at 12:23 pm / Reply

    When I read your comments, I was “outraged”. Are you happy now? Judging from the responses I’d say you have pretty much been discredited as having anything valuable to add, so it might be a good idea to publish a public apology for your incredible lack of judgment and keep your mouth shut for the duration.

  32. Steve / August 14, 2014 at 11:58 am / Reply

    Lisa, did you find out how many qualified black applicants Ferguson received that WANTS to work their as a police officer. That would answer why there are only 3.

  33. N / August 14, 2014 at 8:12 am / Reply

    Police “target” poor neighborhoods and swarm them because their racist?!?!? No… They do that because the people who live there otherwise continually bitch about how they aren’t being protected and there isn’t enough officer presence. You need to wake up. Start by spending a night alone in these neighborhoods. It wouldn’t be fun for a rich white lady like yourself. And here’s a hint, if anything happens to you, Obama won’t be making any condolences.

  34. me / August 14, 2014 at 8:03 am / Reply

    As a former Correctional Officer for the state of Texas, with all due respect you’re ignorant. “The police target poor neighborhoods” Well think about this one for a second, where in the world do you think most of the crime, grime and slime come from? From America’s inner cities AKA the ghetto. Your “nice” suburb in LA isn’t gonna have a strong police presence because guess what? How many drug dealers, hookers, and crackheads do you see on the corners of your neighborhood? I’d bet not a one. You wanna get statistical? There are a greater number of blacks in prison because they do commit more crimes. They come from the poor neighborhoods and they chose to act like that. It’s called perpetuating the cycle, like the generations living on welfare. Cause after all its so much easier for me to go to work and support their lazy asses then it is for them to make something of themselves. I’ll tell you what, you wanna defend the “black man” so much. Take your expensive car and drive your white behind down to one of the many ghettos in LA, let’s see how long it is before you get robbed, car jacked or worse. I’m sick to death of hearing we owe the black people. We owe the black people nothing. They live in the same nation I do. Yes, it may be more difficult for some to make good because of the situation they were born into, but it’s NOT impossible. Stop bitching, stop whining, stop crying that everyone owes you something. You owe it to yourself to make a decent life. And until you do, it’s your own damn fault. And hiring someone simply because of their skin tone is a huge crock. The most qualified should be hired. Not who whines and bitches about how unfair it is. Life isn’t fair and thus ain’t burger king, you can’t always have it your way.

  35. Aaron / August 14, 2014 at 7:17 am / Reply

    It is shameful that someone with an audience the size of yours absolutely ignores the statistics of what you’re writing about. The reality is that black males are responsible for a disproportionate level of crime compared to other races. Further, the majority of crime is perpetrated in the inner-city. So yes, there will be more police presence in those communities. If it so happens that those areas are predominantly black, then one must ask why. It’s not profiling, it’s proven statistics
    Perhaps it is due to the breakdown of the black family, causing a lack of proper upbringing of their youth.
    Perhaps it’s the culture that ridicules and ostracizes those who attempt to better themselves and escape that environment, causing more and more of the youth there to give up on their hopes of succeeding in life and perpetuate the demise of the black community.
    Perhaps it’s the black community continually listening to their “black leaders” such as Sharpton or Jackson who profit from making sure the black people continue to see themselves as victims and continue to demand that they are owed something, simply because they are black.
    You should be ashamed of yourself for publishing such flagrant lies and attempting to push the agenda of a particular political ideal rather than being an unbiased “journalist”. The black community would do well to ignore you.

  36. steven hough / August 14, 2014 at 7:11 am / Reply

    We do need change; change in the way the first amendment is interpreted so that the “freedom of the press” should be as not to report blatant falsehoods and enrage a nation instead of doing what it was supposed to do in the first place: report what has really happened here. You, ma’am, rank right up there with Nancy Grace; a true media hackjob. Both of you care no more about the reporting the truth on any subject than my child does about wiping his butt. You are concerned with your ratings so you can continue to make a ton of money, all the while spouting your personal rhetoric.

  37. Thomas McGinty / August 14, 2014 at 6:21 am / Reply

    I can not believe an educated? person like you would promote such absurdity. First off I agree that cameras should be installed but the cost is ally more than $60. Small departments do not have the funds to properly outfit their officers let alone install a camera system for over $500 per vehicle. The disparity you speak of in the lack of people of color within law enforcement is related to the quality and interest of the candidates. Fewer minorities apply for these positions.
    Outrage is fine but when it escalates to violence and destruction of property it needs to stop. Death threats to the officer is the reason for not releasing their name, I am sure you get some because of your liberal stance probably called the police to report the threats,law enforcement are not the bad guys they have a difficult job and people like you make it more difficult instead of sowing the seeds of unrest maybe you should get the facts first and try sowing understanding. At the end of the day we are all human and want to make it home safely and keep our communities safe. Yes I am a retired deputy. God bless the families of all involved

  38. John Stark / August 14, 2014 at 6:20 am / Reply

    Agreed!

  39. John Stark / August 14, 2014 at 6:03 am / Reply

    To think someone actually have you a voice. Let’s look at the prisons that I work in. .. it’s 85% black. There is a reason people profile. .. it’s because we profile ourselves. It’s disturbing when people pass judgements before they see the whole clip on FB or as in this situation before all the facts have come out. You are a moron and I’m glad you posted something so people can realize it. Let’s ask ourselves why are we not blaming the kid who might have robbed the store before this situation… get of your equality soap box. Here’s a fair question. . If we have a written testing system to become a police officer, why do we have to hire minorities regardless if they are the highest scorers of the test or not. The test doesn’t ask rave when you fill it out. Now that’s racist. .no?!

  40. Rose / August 14, 2014 at 3:20 am / Reply

    I agree with Adam’s comment.

    Trayvon was in the process of killing George Zimmerman when he got shot. Let’s see how many times you have your head smashed into the concrete by a large strong male before you yell “Uncle” and/or attempt to defend yourself.

    We don’t have all the facts on this issue in Ferguson, MO. How about we wait and hear the policeman’s side of the story?

    Oh wait, this is NBC. Your motto is, “Why let facts get in the way of a good story?”

    I forgot.

  41. Steven / August 14, 2014 at 12:25 am / Reply

    It is not merely a racial bias that the American Gastapo-Police have it is a complete total disregard for the American Citizen,thus it is a bias of anyone who is not a cop.

  42. Mo / August 14, 2014 at 12:10 am / Reply

    I Agree with Adam 100%. This “lady” disgusts me! Apparently, it doesn’t take much to become a legal advisor these days. Why would anyone suggest more outrage is called for? Very easy to say when you are not here in Missouri with us, watching the violence unfold in your backyard. Perhaps the officer is in the wrong but perhaps he wasn’t. Yes, it’s still a terrible situation that this young man is dead but don’t you think that as a human this officer is living with it everyday knowing he took another person’s life? It certainly seems that “innocent until proven guilty” is just a load of bull we’ve been fed all these years. Everyone wants to know who this officer is immediately and are not concerned at all about allowing the authorities to do their job and finish the investigation. She says it’s to allow the officer to come up with a lie. So, essentially, the FBI are a bunch of idiots that can’t tell a lie from the truth. Why would the Feds give two shakes about covering this all up? If these same people can steal, burn and damage these business’ as they have then it’s feasible that they want to know so they can hunt him or his family down and do God knows what. I wouldn’t tell anyone a damn thing either, just like in any other investigation. But there are all of these “eyewitnesses”, right? I’ve seen 3 different people interviewed, on the same St. Louis tv station, and each one gave different specifics about how many times Brown was shot. The first person said 3 times, the second said 6-8 times, and the third said 10 times. I don’t know about anyone else but if I hear gunfire, I’m not sticking around to count how many times I heard it. That being said, isn’t it also feasible to say that perhaps these witnesses may have gotten other specifics wrong as well? What will you say if citizens take your advice and become more outraged then it’s discovered that the officer did have to defend himself? I suppose that will be the ultimate lie and cover up you were expecting? Just like with Zimmerman?

  43. RJ / August 13, 2014 at 10:49 pm / Reply

    Totally agree with guy above….your an idiot. YOU need to get your FACTS straight. Pathetic that people such as yourself encourage this violence and im sure u live in the upper class suburbs with gated communities!! U should be ashamed of yourself!!

  44. Kevin / August 13, 2014 at 9:50 pm / Reply

    Three words:

    Committees of Vigilance.

  45. Alan Thomas / August 13, 2014 at 9:37 pm / Reply

    And what about the innocent young white CHILDREN killed by blacks? Do they matter…

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/other/georgia-man-faces-trial-killing-baby-stroller-f6C10945967

    http://beforeitsnews.com/politics/2013/07/black-neighborhood-watchman-kills-white-teen-boy-the-black-george-zimmerman-youre-not-allowed-to-know-about-2537178.html

    WHERE IS YOUR OUTRAGE ON THESE CASES? Why are you not against black on white crime… You want to bring up Trayvon, but what about Nicole Brown Simpson? Where was the outrage in her death…? You are despicable. How you can be a legal analyst and call for more outrage when the black are destroying their communities in MO is beyond me… People like you are nothing more than race-baiters.

  46. Gennette Grider / August 13, 2014 at 9:06 pm / Reply

    Lady are you completely stupid? To encourage such violence, you should be locked up. This teen attacked the officer first by shoving him back in his car, or do you not read the facts? I think someone as stupid as you should be fired!

  47. walt / August 13, 2014 at 9:04 pm / Reply

    Here’s a question?
    How many blacks(African Americans) live in your Nice Los Angeles suburb. This of course is a comparison of whites to blacks.
    How many blacks/African Americans work in your firm. Out of that number how many are attorneys. This again is a comparison of whites to blacks.

    Thank

  48. BPR / August 13, 2014 at 9:02 pm / Reply

    OJ was guilty; Zimmerman completely innocent. See the link I posted earlier
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Bv_W-x4NbQ

  49. Starvin Larry / August 13, 2014 at 8:44 pm / Reply

    “When 80 percent of white Americans test for moderate or severe implicit racial bias against African Americans, meaning that we walk around with subconscious negative stereotypes against blacks, race matters.”

    Oh bullshit-utter bullshit.

    Blacks are the racists now-the days of the KKK and lynching are long gone-Trayvon Martin was not an innocent kid-and his “killer” was found not guilty in a court of law-the FBI investigation found NOTHING to suggest that Zimmerman did not act in self defense.

    Where’s your outrage over all the black on black killings? Where’s your outrage over black gang-bangers killing other black gang bangers in Chicago?

    Do some actual research-the reason black people are overrepresented in the criminal justice system,in prisons,and in jails is because blacks commit the majority of the violent crimes.
    Be outraged at the welfare system that does nothing to help inner city blacks and other minorities to make something out of their lives-do not advocate for anything until you know all the facts-this is just like the Trayvon martin case-the media painted both Martin and Zimmerman as something neither of them were.
    You do NOT know all the facts in this case-nor do I,nor does anyone-other than the deceased,the supposed witness,and the cop.

    Yes-there are rouge cops-yes our police are overly militarized,yes our police act like jack-booted thugs-but no one knows all the facts in this case-including you.

  50. David / August 13, 2014 at 8:32 pm / Reply

    Lol… you are a real first class moron! You obviously live in a bubble!

  51. Larry / August 13, 2014 at 8:24 pm / Reply

    Lisa….Had it been a black officer shooting a white boy, there probably would not have any outrage or even a black officer shooting a black boy, no outrage. So much for your “Diversity” theory. And then to top it off the wonderful and sensitive people of Ferguson loot and burn the only stores in their community. The people of Ferguson should be ashamed of themselves.
    The people in Ferguson have too much time on their hands, probably because the majority
    are on welfare and have nothing better to do. If they were working they would not have time to
    protest, loot and burn down buildings. I hope they enjoy their loot.

  52. Jimmy / August 13, 2014 at 7:27 pm / Reply

    You Miss Lisa Bloom are an absolute idiot. If you are so knowledgeable about Law Enforcement and how cops should do their job then why don’t you take the LEO challenge. I challenge you to do a week ride a long in the worst city in America and then write about your experience you libtard. I would like to hear your opinion on the savages that killed that poor fellow from NJ at the Short Hills mall over a freaking car. Right in front of his wife and a few days before Christmas but I bet that was the PO-lice fault right. Hey wake up that might be you getting carjacked and shot riding in one of those poor neighborhoods you so adamantly defend. LIBTARD

  53. steve / August 13, 2014 at 7:09 pm / Reply

    You and nbc are idiots.

  54. John / August 13, 2014 at 6:20 pm / Reply

    $……

    $60 dash cams? Did you do any research at all?

  55. ron / August 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm / Reply

    wow….that was stupid…the only outrage we need is whatever will be sufficient to shut impulsive calls to action before due process has run its course…but then…that would put you out of a job….

  56. Bill Schlosser / August 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm / Reply

    “With all due respect, Mr. President, we need more than calm reflection and quiet conversation. We need outrage.”

    Calling for outrage in a situation that is already over the top with rage is more than just pandering, it’s dangerous.

    It’s amazing how everyone jumps on the “It was a cop killing an unarmed kid” when the details of what really happened haven’t even come out yet. My bet is there is more to the story – like the kid being on drugs and going after the cop… isn’t that what usually happens??

    “Exposing the law for non-lawyers” is your tagline? It should be “Exposing racism where it doesn’t exist”

  57. Char / August 13, 2014 at 5:26 pm / Reply

    I agree with Adam…. are you looking at the facts? This kid was shot in the police car attacking the officer. What is good about this “good” kid and this situation? Skin color is all that matters to some of you. This kid did wrong and he paid the price. Reports now show that the officer’s face was beaten. I guess he did that himself? smh.

  58. Scott / August 13, 2014 at 5:22 pm / Reply

    You are a raving lunatic. Someone who has never set foot in Ferguson has no business making this level of commentary. You are completely clueless and are cause for further racial division. Your careless comments made prior to ANY evidence in this case is a clear example of closed mindedness. You can’t make accurate judgement without evidence. You were not an eyewitness. Instead of providing unbiased legal review (as your website suggests is your purpose), you provide very liberal agenda oriented opinion and propaganda. This article does not “expose the law for non-lawyers” in any stretch of the imagination, as it does not even address any law…merely personal opinion. You should have your license to practice law revoked and should be arrested for attempting to incite a riot.

  59. Misty / August 13, 2014 at 5:12 pm / Reply

    You, ma’am, have a skewed sense of reality. Get out of your “nice Los Angeles suburb” some time, and see what the real world is like. Also, regarding the news today that the officer involved was injured, meaning there WAS some type of altercation before Mr. Brown was shot, what say you? And one last thing. Regarding Trayvon Martin: If you had a large, man sized person on top of you, beating you in the head, what would you have done?

  60. Al Dilger / August 13, 2014 at 5:11 pm / Reply

    Your own words ” we dont know……..” All the info yet YOU know who’s at fault.
    You are an attorney??? So much for innocent until proven guilty. The officers ID has been held FOR HiS SAFETY ? !!! Please dont dare say anything of the looters who destroyed and stole innocent peoples property. Your numbers are far askew, while there are instances of rouge cops, the percentage is very minimal, ( they should of course be held accountable)
    Of the percentage of those in prison, blacks percentage is disporportionit compared to the population of blacks. (That would suggest to uphold the fact that blacks do in fact commit more crimes then white as it compares to the percentage of the population)
    I would like to see what you would do if someone was trying to wrestle away your firearm.
    Wait for the facts before you shoot your mouth off. Its people like you that ignore facts that cause racial divide. Journalist……..I think not.

  61. Tom / August 13, 2014 at 5:07 pm / Reply

    An idiot, for sure. She calls for more outrage in a city that is already being destroyed by riots and looting, while she’s safely ensconced in her “nice Los Angeles suburb.” The investigation is ongoing, with an assist from the FBI, and she’s already convicted the police officer, and implied that there’s a racial element, even though his identity has not been revealed, in part, due to numerous death threats. There have been over 4,200 crimes committed in St. Louis already this year, with 60+ homicides, the vast majority of the black-on-black variety, and it takes one 6’4″ “gentle giant” being gunned down after allegedly rushing a police officer to incite pleas for change? Give me a break. Where was the outrage over the grandmother being gunned down by two black thugs recently? Oh, right. That doesn’t fit the victim narrative.

  62. Mike Brasher / August 13, 2014 at 5:05 pm / Reply

    Why are you trying to apologize for being white? You write a good line, but, like a typical liberal journalist, you’ve never been out there! You’re taking “witness statements” as gospel and convicting the officer without a trial! You need to give the police time to conduct their investigation. This is real life, honey. Not CSI! It doesn’t magically get solved in an hour!

  63. John / August 13, 2014 at 5:03 pm / Reply

    I would never hire an idiot who thinks the way you do.

  64. Brian / August 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm / Reply

    I agree adam. Any racial tension in this country is fanned into flames to advance their Marxist ideas. The rioters are willing dupes of leftist politicians.

  65. Josh / August 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm / Reply

    And who is ignoring facts? There were a lot of white people threating to kill the police and looting or burning stores the other night. The police patrol the areas with the highest rate of violent crime. If you want that to change then you shouldnt start with the police, start with the culture. A black kid is killed its on the news for weeks and there is national outrage about the white devil. A white person is killed by blacks and? Nothing. And that is because they are judged as individuals that committed a crime, but whites are judged collectively. So who has the stereotype? Oh, and you report all of this before you have any facts, just conjecture, thats why you are not a journalist but an opinionist. Congratulations on being a race monger. Hope the pay is good.

  66. Gene / August 13, 2014 at 4:57 pm / Reply

    I agree with Adam!

  67. Joe / August 13, 2014 at 4:56 pm / Reply

    I bet you are a crackerjack lawyer. Lie with the best of them. What an idiot. Didn’t they teach you in law school to fight your cases in court? No, imbeciles like you prefer to taint the jury pool and try your cases in the court of public opinion. I hope someone examines your actions and you are disbarred. Scum like you are what is wrong with the court system today.

  68. Chris / August 13, 2014 at 4:48 pm / Reply

    What a bunch of crap. Why don’t you write an article about the overwhelming violence in America RE: Black on white crime or Black on Black crime. I would use the term ‘useful idiot’ but it would be too kind.

  69. Joe d / August 13, 2014 at 4:48 pm / Reply

    Kumani gray wasn’t “unarmed”, he had a handgun and pointed it at the police, it’s embarrassing that your allowed to even post on the Internet, let alone write anything.

  70. Chris Kennedy / August 13, 2014 at 4:46 pm / Reply

    Wow, you are blinded by your intransigent political beliefs. You’re so consumed by your liberal views you lack true perspicacity. Trayvon Martin? He attacked George Zimmerman , without legitimate provocation. Martin was attacking him in such an egregious manner that Zimmerman was compelled to use deadly force. The courts, jury agreed. Get over it. Both of these shootings were undoubtedly sad. The bottom line is we need compromise on both sides. You promoting more violence or outrage is idiotic. Law enforcement does need greater transparency.
    But please stop with your liberal tirade!

  71. Patrick Campbell / August 13, 2014 at 4:39 pm / Reply

    You are a idiot and you are causing more problems by speaking hate, people like you do not need to be reporting news. A call for you to lose your job!!!!

  72. Miller / August 13, 2014 at 4:36 pm / Reply

    Wow. For a lawyer, you sure are clueless about the law. First and foremost, a person is within their rights to protect themselves, using up to and including deadly force, if they deem it necessary. Where did you get your remarkable ability to read people’s minds and decide whether or not they felt they were in imminent danger? Black, white, brown, green, purple or orange, if one attacks a police officer, as it appears is the case in Ferguson, a reasonable expectation of deadly force isn’t out of the realm of options, now is it, “Counselor”? Think. Better yet, get a job in line with your lack of a clue — I hear Harvard has openings for “Constitutional Professors”. You’ll be in great company.

  73. Brian / August 13, 2014 at 4:22 pm / Reply

    You’re a special kninda stupid arn’t ya? Bless your heart you know so much that isn’t so. You Ma’am are a complete dolt and are the reason the racial divide continues to widen..

  74. Jeff / August 13, 2014 at 4:19 pm / Reply

    Always a big news story when a white person kills a black person. Blacks rape, murder, rob & steal from white people at a alarming rates but that goes under the radar. If you weren’t so brainwashed by the Political Correct climate you see the truth of what I’m saying here.

  75. Frankie / August 13, 2014 at 4:06 pm / Reply

    I take exception to this person blaming whites because a black man got killed. It is a shame but what they turned it into was worse. It was just an opportunity for black people to loot hard working PEOPLE OF ALL COLORS.

  76. adam / August 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm / Reply

    Wow are you ever an idiot. It is repulsive liberals such as yourself that have created such a strong racial divide in the first place. As for Trayvon? it was self defense and it is over. Like O.J. Zimmerman was tried and found not guilty. Get over it.

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