The Siege of Ferguson Continues

So at the beginning of the week the governor declared a state of emergency and mobilized the National Guard. 100 FBI agents are arriving in the area today. One local school district has already canceled classes for next week. That’s all in anticipation of the high likelihood that a St. Louis County grand jury is going to refuse to indict Ferguson, Missouri policeman Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown to death.

I appreciate the responsibility federal and state authorities have for protecting public safety, and for local school board officials to keep kids out of harm’s immediate way. And I know some of the fears about what will happen in Ferguson are about “outside agitators.” But still: can’t we hear a little more about the circumstances under which so many people are so sure the “fix” is in, and that white folks in Missouri are closing ranks in solidarity with an admitted killer?

If there is definitive evidence Wilson did no wrong it should be immediately released and reasonable suspicions about its authenticity allayed as soon as is possible. But the whole “siege” mentality exhibited by police immediately after (and apparently preceding) Brown’s death clearly hasn’t gone away. And that’s a big problem, whether or not justice is being done in this particular case.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.