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Sheriff-Elect McDonnell & Others Speak on Ferguson… And Lots More

Here are a few of the early reactions to the news Monday night
that a Missouri grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson in the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown


The frustration we have seen in Ferguson, Missouri demonstrates what can happen when a divide develops between government — through one of its most vital agents, law enforcement — and the community it serves. It is why community policing and engagement must not merely be something we do, but rather it must be who we are and how we operate every day.

The Grand Jury in Ferguson, Missouri has spoken. Yet a community is still fractured and many lives are forever and irreparably impacted.

I urge those who may be disappointed by today’s decision to nonetheless respect the outcome and processes of our legal system. The greatness of our nation comes from our ability to come together peacefully and lawfully, to speak up about what is on our minds, and to respect one another…..

As the incoming Sheriff of Los Angeles County, I will continue to focus, as I have throughout my career, on strengthening lines of communication and fortifying trust between communities and law enforcement….


As we await the grand jury’s decision, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you — a deep, heart-wrenching thank you — to all the organizers and activists who took to the streets following Michael Brown’s killing and who refused to stop marching, raising their voices, and crying out for justice. It is because of them — their courage, boldness, vision and stamina — that the world is paying attention to what is happening in a suburb called Ferguson. The world is not watching because an unarmed black man was killed by the police. That’s not news. What made this police killing different was that the people in Ferguson — particularly the young people — rose up and said We Will Not Take It Any More. Our Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter. And their cry has been heard around the world…..


“Today, the people of Ferguson and caring Americans throughout our country are devastated by the grand jury decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Mike Brown,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis. “The legal system has failed again to hold someone accountable for the loss of life of an unarmed young Black man. In places throughout the United States, innocent lives are being lost at the hands of those who are supposed to serve and protect us. Mike Brown, Eric Garner and John Crawford are just a small portion of those killed by the police, while countless others have been harassed, injured and criminalized unnecessarily. Efforts for sweeping change will not stop until there is relief for communities of color.”

“The family of Michael Brown deserves an immediate, thorough, and transparent investigation into this shooting,” said Connie Rice, Founding Co-Director of Advancement Project. “This incident should be investigated by the federal government for possible civil rights violations. We also welcome federal action to ensure that civil rights of youth of color and of those protesting Michael Brown’s death are protected in the community of Ferguson.”

Here’s the rest.


“Michael Brown’s death has ignited deep passions across the nation, and Los Angeles is no exception.

Tonight’s decision is one that will be heatedly debated — but we should do so through dialogue and peaceful action….


My heart continues to go out to Michael Brown’s family and community. Like everyone in our community, I am devastated by the senseless murder of yet another young black man,” Lee said. “The deaths of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant, one of my constituents, serve as tragic examples of the senseless murder of young African American men.

We must come together like never before to tackle the systemic, structural and rampant racial bias endemic in our institutions and criminal justice system. We must demand change and work to realize it.



In a surprise move that is very much in keeping with Jerry Brown’s style of choosing unconventional but talented and high profile judicial candidates, on Monday, the governor named 38-year-old Leondra R. Kruger to the California Supreme Court, making her the youngest member of the court in memory. In his Monday statement, Brown called his nominee “a distinguished lawyer and uncommon student of the law” who has won “the respect of eminent jurists, scholars and practitioners alike.”

Interestingly, Kruger, has argued twelve times before the U.S. Supreme court, but has not practiced law in California since 2008. Instead she has spent much of her career as a rising star in the nation’s capital, most recently serving in the U.S. Department of Justice, in the office of legal counsel, prior to that, holding a top position in U.S. solicitor general’s office.

Attorney General Eric Holder stated that Kruger would be “an excellent and thoughtful Supreme Court justice who will serve the people of California with distinction for many years.”

Kruger is only African American on the court since the exit of Janice Rogers Brown in 2005 for a position on the D.C. Court of Appeals.

Howard Mintz of the San Jose Mercury News is one of those who reported on Kruger’s appointment. Here’s a clip from his story:

Here’s a clip:

Defying convention again in his picks for the state’s highest court, Brown on Monday tapped 38-year-old top Obama administration lawyer Leondra Kruger to a vacancy that has been lingering on the Supreme Court since early this year.

Most recently a deputy U.S. attorney general, Kruger would be the state Supreme Court’s first African-American justice since former Justice Janice Rogers Brown moved to a federal appeals court in 2005.

Kruger, a rising legal star already mentioned as a federal appeals court and future U.S. Supreme Court prospect, replaces 73-year-old Justice Joyce Kennard, who retired in April.

The addition of Kruger to a once-aging state Supreme Court represents an unprecedented youth movement — in addition to being the youngest justice in memory, Kruger joins Brown’s two other picks, Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, 42, and Goodwin Liu, 44, in bringing down the court’s average age by decades.

“(The governor’s) recent appointments to the California Supreme Court reflects a realization in Sacramento of something made decades ago in D.C. in connection with the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Shaun Martin, a University of San Diego law professor. “The younger the justices are when they get appointed, the longer they stay there and affect the law.”


According to statistics released by the FBI on Monday, 27 law enforcement officers died as a result of felonious acts last year, and 49 officers died in accidents, for a total of 76 officers killed on the job protecting American communities.

The numbers of officers killed as a result of criminal acts by others in 2013 decreased by 22 when compared with the 49 officers feloniously killed in 2012, according to the FBI.

The FBI also looked at five- and 10-year comparisons in number of officers killed on the job by others and found a decrease of 21 felonious deaths compared with five years ago, in 2009, when 48 officers died, and a decrease of 30 felonious deaths compared with 2004’s 57 officers.

Of course, for the friends, colleagues and the families of those 27 officers feloniously by others in 2013, the statistics don’t really matter.


The millions of Americans who cycle through the nation’s courts, jails, and prisons every year experience far higher rates of chronic health problems than found in the general population—including a higher rate of infectious diseases, substance use, serious mental illness, and emotional conditions such as chronic depression.

When prisoners return to their communities—as most eventually do—they bring those problems with them, in many cases, arriving home with a condition that has been exacerbated by their prison stay.

A just released report by the Vera institute of Justice called Life Support: Public Health in the Age of Mass Incarceration takes a deep look at the negative impacts of incarceration on the health of communities.

Here’s the opening of the report’s overview, which gives a good idea of what researchers found.

Here’s how it begins:

Each year, millions of incarcerated people—who experience chronic health conditions, infectious diseases, substance use, and mental illness at much higher rates than the general population—return home from correctional institutions to communities that are already rife with health disparities, violence, and poverty….

For several generations, high rates of incarceration among residents in these communities has further contributed to diminished educational opportunities, fractured family structures, stagnated economic mobility, limited housing options, and restricted access to essential social entitlements

Several factors in today’s policy climate indicate that the political discourse on crime and punishment is swinging away from the punitive, tough-on-crime values that dominated for decades, and that the time is ripe to fundamentally rethink the function of the criminal justice system in ways that can start to address the human toll that mass incarceration has had on communities…..

Here’s a link to the full report.


  • The Grand Jury has spoken. They spent weeks reviewing evidence and listening to testimony. Even from those who claimed the saw everything and were proven to have seen nothing. The race batters and race hustlers, to include Obama, Holder, Not so Sharpton and Jackson won’t be happy unless the have Officer Wilson’s head on a stick. The facts and evidence are irrelevant to the racists, they have an agenda and damm the truth.

    Burn baby burn.

  • Just like the jury has spoken in Ferguson, the jury has spoken regarding LASD indictments and convictions. So if we respect the jury’s decision in Ferguson how about we respect the jury’s decision here.

    There is no winners in none of this, but we have to continue to find ways to be fair and just in the way the law is enforced on the streets and in the courtrooms.

    LASD has many problems of its own with discrimination & civil rights violations against its own deputies, civilians, and inmates.LASD should not throw stones in its glass house. My best wishes are with Ferguson as they try to get emotions under control and move forward in a positive direct.

    Regardless of the results, I commend the process in which the case in Ferguson was thoroughly investigated and the results is transparent. The Ferguson case received special attention that many cases will never receive and therefore the investigation process will not be as thorough. We can only hope one day that will change.

  • Same old, same old… Burning and looting for “justice”.. Police standing by showing great restraint while private property is destroyed and stolen. Dear citizen you may want to remember this when they call for the next round of gun control. Who needs “assault rifles” and more than 10 round magizines? Answer : some one who wants to protect their property during the next “injustice” , for at least a few hours/ days you are sure to be on your own.

  • Who is this Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a senseless killing of a young black man. She needs to go through the evidence and hear it for herself before she makes any judgements. I would expect a lot more from a elected official then to generalize this shooting as a senseless killing of a young black man. When officers are killed, they hardly refer to this that as a senseless killing of a law enforcement officer. She herself is not a cause of these riots and mentalities that have plagued our minorities black and Hispanics. That they are victims, don’t get me wrong I understand that there are injustices out there, but we should teach are youth about respect and the manner in how to handle these injustices. Educate themselves and become a voice. Not protest, riot, and play the victims. If it were my son I would be devasted at the loss of my son, but would be ashamed if his actions were anywhere near what Browns was that night. There needs to be a solution and I hope I live to see society correct themselves.

  • “Today, the people of Ferguson and caring Americans throughout our country are devastated by the grand jury decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Mike Brown,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis. Response: Caring Americans are not devastated at all, rather encouraged that justice was served.

    “The family of Michael Brown deserves an immediate, thorough, and transparent investigation into this shooting,” said Connie Rice, Founding Co-Director of Advancement Project. Response: they got it, it’s just not the results they wanted.

    There have been unlawful killing of young black men at the hands of the police for many years, culminating with the civil rights movement of the 60’s. Those incidents have dropped steadily, and post-Rodney King continued to drop to the point of being newsworthy each one on its own. In today’s era of community policing, 24 hour news cycles, and every citizen armed with a cell phone, they have virtually disappeared. In the rare instant that it does happen, the results appear to be more based on tactical errors and bad judgment, not racial animosity.

    Today’s young black youth face the greatest threat to their safety by their own peers, not the police. Deaths at the hands of the police, almost universally, involve confrontations where the deceased, such as Michael Brown, deliberately assaulted the officer prior to his demise. Those are the grim, cold facts, removed from the emotions of racial tensions and the race-hustling charlatans out there.

  • @Anon. She is just another another cheap politician who is pimping and pandering for media attention and votes. It is all a part of the Obama team mindset and Democratic Party strategy of “victimization,” convincing minorities that “the man” is holding them down. The Dems and liberals have no ideas, no solutions other than handouts, higher taxes and big government. This is all about stoking the racial fires, division and playing on the emotions for political gain. It is all pathetic.

  • @ Sachamoe, I agree she is another in a long line of cheap politicians pandering for votes from her base. Maxine Waters is the champion of that, hands down. I should point out, however that both parties use fear as a means to energize their base and get out the vote, they just approach it from polar opposites. Both parties have had a chance at running government, and I think neither party has a lock on good governance. In fact they both suck, because they treat running government as a zero-sum game, I win you lose. It becomes an exercise in “what can we get away with while we’re here,” nation be damned.

  • This was never a search for truth or justice. To suggest that the testimony of a street thug, crime partner should outweigh the scientific , physical evidence of brown having some pot 2 to 3 hours of the event is sadly laughable. McCulloch acted wisely by giving the case to the Grand Jury. If one person, D.A. or special prosecutor made the decision and ruled the same way, they would have been castigated as racists. How does rioting, looting ( THEFT ) equate to a search for truth and justice…. It doesn’t . It merely allows for street thugs to steal and get drunk and party. been there , saw that. So the liberal nay-sayers can take their arguements soemwhere elsem because the truth is Brown percipiated the event and responsible for the outcome. The real victim ares Wilson and his family. His career is probably over and he will probably live in fear for a long time. I hope the voice of reason resounds and that he is aware of the amount of support he has.

  • The legal system has evaluated the facts and the grand jury has reached its conclusion, which based on the more elucidating information released, seems like a reasonable, sensible and well-thought out one. Regretfully, whatever the decision reached, it was going to anger one segment of society or another. People will never be satisfied since this incident became the poster board headline for a far deeper and more pervasive sense of injustice and frustration felt by a segment of our society.

    This incident just shone a light on a bigger and ever more persistent problem in our country that just won’t seem to go away…….even in the 21st century. There are problems in the way people of color perceive the police and the police, who often serve in these areas, perceive these communities. I think it’s an inevitable fact of life that people relate, emphasize, feel more at ease/comfortable with people who look like them, talk like them and come from a similar social, ethnic and reality/ background. We can’t get away from this simple fact of societal programming. It’s part of our human nature, biology, DNA. What we have to do is fight the temptation to act on these innate biases…easier said then done of course

    If people choose to live in isolated, ethnically monolithic neighborhoods, oftentimes by choice and not dictated by economic factors, how can you expect these same people to be fair and impartial in their interactions with people unlike themselves? They may not even know it, but their pre-judgment and treatment of others is oftentimes subconsciously shaded by the media, pop-culture and in the case of police their interactions with their most common “customers of the day”…..suspects, law breakers, malcontents and criminals. Just like some police officers become jaded and cynical because of years and years of dealing with people behaving “at their worst”, they start to see the world through, pardon the language, “s*@t colored glasses”. In turn, who do these same folks come to see as being “okay” or being good…their family members, friends at work and neighbors who most likely look like, act like and talk like them. People than can identify with. You can see where this can lead to problems in perception and further interaction.
    Oh…..this pattern of misunderstanding of course goes both ways.

    Maybe everyone could start to make changes in their homes… this I mean the way they raise their children. The things we say and do in our households can go a long way in trying to shape a generation in a more positive way. We might someday start to reduce the distrust and perceived dis-connect between communities of color, greater society as a whole and the governing systems in place.

    In the case of Ferguson I don’t want to inflame anyone but if Michael Brown had not robbed the convenience store and not shown a total disregard for the community, law and those who enforce it we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Although the conversation is a needed one, hopefully it could have been initiated under better circumstance.

    Parents, start in your home. Please take responsibility and teach your kids the difference between what is right and what is wrong, respect for others, respect and reverence for their parents and family, respect for their elders, responsibility to the community as a whole, an understanding of the concept “it’s not just about you”, accountability, respect for themselves and respect for authority.

  • 62% rise this year in officers killed by felonious gunfire Celeste. You didn’t know that? Come on now you’re on top of these things so putting up the 2013 stats when 2014 is readily available is a bit cheesy. While I was down with the assholes last night near the 101 I longed for the days you would see everyone taken to jail, we’ve become such a puss society it’s unreal.

  • Sheriff McDonnell, please realize that your current command staff over the Central Patrol Division lacks the ability to connect with the community they serve. They have picked one failing captain after another and to make things worse the deputies don’t respect the leadership. Look close and you will see there is a current chief that has the connection with the south communities and can effect community oriented policing. In addition he is respected by the deputies and has proven he is able to pick successful captains to lead those stations. He has also gained the respect of the community leaders in the south central communities…..

  • Curious George, if you are shilling for defeated sheriff candidate Jim “What Pursuit?” Hellmold, please spare us all the need to explain how poorly qualified he is to hold any position on the department, much less that of division chief. McDonnell had the opportunity to witness his bootlicking up close and personal during the debates, and it was embarrassing.

  • #12 good call on those statistics. A quick Google search easily reveals these numbers. Did you really expect her to reveal this? These stats really doesn’t fit the liberal agenda, so keep that to you self please. Reminds me of the LA times article showing a significant increase assaults in the jails on Deputies. Where was Celeste on this?

  • I guess the release of the FBI’s numbers on LEO deaths from 2013 is supposed to assure us all that it isn’t as dangerous out there for cops as people think. Try checking the 2014 numbers. To date, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 55 LEOs have died feloniously. That is more than double the 2013 total.
    Among those deaths are two peace officers murdered with their own weapons by previously “unarmed” assailants. It would be nice if Navy Master-At-Arms Mark Mayo, EOW 032414 and Johnson City, New York Officer David W. Smith received half the attention of robbery suspect Michael Brown. The facts on Officer Smith’s death are eerily similar to what Darren Wilson faced.
    One other thing, the ODMP makes no mention of the race of the assailant of Mayo or Smith. In fact, you won’t find the race of the murderers listed for any LEO in the ODMP accounts. Why? Because race does not matter.


    Commenters #12 & #17,

    We reported on the 2013 felonious deaths of law enforcement officers because the figures had just been released by the FBI earlier that day, including the five year and ten year comparison. There was no hidden agenda.

    When the FBI releases the complete 2014 figures we’ll report on those as well.

    In the meantime, we too check ODMP several times a year as it’s a valuable site.

    As for any additional message the story is meant to convey, you can find that in the story’s last sentence.


    PS: #17, Thank you for reminding us about the cases of Navy Master-At-Arms Mark Mayo, and Johnson City, New York Officer David Smith. They are indeed both reminders that it is all too possible for someone with ill intent to take an officer’s service weapon, and tragedy can result, as in these two instances.

  • The sad thing about LEO deaths in the line of duty are that society and the media have become so jaded they don’t give it second thought. It’s not “headline” worthy I guess. People are quick to drop the line, “it’s part of their job…they new the job was dangerous when they took it….oh the suspect was crazy…he’s a bad guy”. However people rationalize it….an LEO is dead. Never to go home, laugh with his friends, family…see the sun rise and set….just dead.

    Pretty sad that there is no vocal and national moral outrage and disgust expressed by the community in these instances. There is no round the clock media coverage needed for the concerned protesters angry at what the suspect or suspects did.

    These death get local media coverage at best. Typically for the day of the incident and maybe coverage of the funeral procession….that’s it.

    I’m sure LEO’s don’t want pity or a “tiny violin serenade” but at least some acknowledgement that their life is just as valuable and precious as the citizens they have taken an oath to protect. They do bleed, feel pain, have feelings, families that depend on them and they care for and who want to see them come home everyday.

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