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Ferguson / USA Race Violence / Etc

#1 User is offline   Studlock 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 11:18 AM

I'm writing a term paper right now (which is due in approximately 12 hours and I'm only on the second of 8-10 pages...priorities amiright?) but I'm simply creating a thread because I've already started a discussion/ yelled at Sombra in the messing with my groove thread and thought the topic had earned a lofty thread in the discussion sub-forum. For those who don't Ferguson is a suburb of St. Louis, a city in the USA, in which a young black man was shot to death by a police officer. He was not indicted by a Grand Jury (and the evidence now available to the public so you may see for yourself) which resulted in a riot. The original argument erupted because I disliked the way Sombra framed the situation, we went back and forth and however these things go (I'm sure a mod will bring whatever is applicable to this thread). My main concern on this subject is the continued failure of the justice system in america to properly hold up the law (or in this case at least hold a trail) when pertaining to it's black citizens. Also the increasing violence police officers are allowed to get away with when the victim of that violence is African-American. And also, also the way people frame this issue as if it's unreasonable that African-Americans are anything other the perfect citizen, its unrealistic that a population should suffer show much and not lash out at anyone and anything. It's an unfair standard that the media/American populous has of POC who act out.

I don't really have anything else to add, I just think the topics deserves to be discussed. It's not something we can ignore, not us Canadians at least, it's an gross abuse of human rights just across the border.

Discuss or not.
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#2 User is offline   Obdigore 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 12:31 PM

This is a weird way to start a discussion. You don't include any real information or links to places that have information.

The simple fact of the matter is that the grand jury didn't indict the police officer. I think they should have and had it gone to a trial, but that is just me and I don't currently have access to everything the grand jury had access to. I can't say why they made the choice they did.

That said the US absolutely has an issue with how the government (both state and federal) treat minorities, how the culture in power (that would be old white men, generally) perceive black people, and the responses that laws and preconceived notions generate in those black people.

There is no 'increasing violence police officers are allowed to get away with', its more that we can now televise/study/social media that violence.

This is why I'm a supporter of each police officer wearing a 'badge cam'. In the case of the Ferguson issue, it would either protect or damn the police officer, based on the incident itself.

Now, I saw someone commenting in the 'whats fucked up' thread that there was another young african american male shot the other day in a different city. As far as I can tell those two cases are quite different, since police were responding to a 'young man with a gun' and he was apparently (according to the police) reaching for it after numerous orders to keep his hands up.

The proliferation of small arms in this country is something that police have to deal with every single day. They are trained to protect themselves first, and they know which areas are more likely to be full of (reported) crime. This is why I'm a supporter of removing all handguns and anything that isn't an 'action' long gun from circulation.

That said, a major problem for minorities in the US, especially the black communities in major cities, is the fact that US ranks second to last (thanks, England, for not making us last there too) in Western Countries for income elasticity (which means that you will be in the same economic level your parents are). People in inner cities have little to no hope of making anything better, so take what you can while you are alive. I understand that sentiment.

Anyway, back to Fergeson, the officers statement was that he was attacked in his car by this person, (and they found both the officers and Michael Browns blood in splatters in his car). Many of the witness statements contradicted each others, and eye witnesses are notoriously unreliable. Now, if you feel like going down the conspiracy road, you could have said the cop shot the guy, got some blood one his hand, and splattered the back of the inside of his car with it to make his story plausable.

That said, the grand jury probably should have indicted to a manslaughter charge at the very least, since apparently Michael Brown (and there is no one saying differently that I'm aware of) was running from the police officer when he was shot. A Grand Jury doesn't decide a case, they just say if there is enough evidence to go to trial.
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#3 User is offline   Tiste Simeon 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 12:39 PM

I completely understand the anger there but (and I think this might have been what Sombre was hinting at in the other thread) I don't think looting and then setting fire to a Toys-r-Us or Walgreens is doing yourself any favours. That isn't related to the case, nor is it a proving a point. Except that maybe you're using the unrest and chaos to do yourself some nice Christmas shopping on the cheap...

Obviously a majority of the people on the streets would be focused on the Jury result but there are a bunch of people taking the focus away from all that...
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#4 User is offline   Tiste Simeon 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 01:02 PM

Also a Redditor has provided a list of all the live links/streams etc. of ongoing coverage.
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#5 User is offline   Studlock 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 01:09 PM

Apologies for the weird OP, I just want to quickly provide a thread if anyone wanted to continue discussing. As for the Grand Jury decision, we in fact have access to all the evidence presented, and it's very troubling for two different reasons. One the story Wilson tells the Grand Jury is completely different than what the police original reported, as well as being utterly dehumanizing as possible as much as possible (http://apps.stlpubli...t/evidence.html). The other reason, for me personally, that was disturbing was a letter from the medical examiner who was denied access to: police crime scene photographs and reports, the results of the forensic examination of the patrol car, the original hospital report of Michael Brown, the emergency room examination of Wilson, the ballistic information, results of autopsy hand swabs, fingernail clipping examinations, and witness statements. Supposedly they couldn't take photographs because the camera battier died.

That is abnormal and extremely shady. We only really have the polices word on many important things, and simply I don't trust the police. The 'life-threatening' injuries of Wilson was literally a slight bruise on his right cheek. The more and more I look into the evidence and testimonies the more this looks like a clean-up. I'm generally not a conspiracy-type person but I'm becoming more and more convinced this is in fact a cover-up, and that just simply makes me anger/sad.

@Tiste, I don't necessarily agree with the violent outbrust, I understand it, but not necessarily agree. That being said this wasn't even as big as a riot as the one in Sans Fran after their baseball team won the championship. There is an overemphasis on the 'bad' actions of African-Americans all the time in America, even in times of understandable lashing out. They (and by I mean the power structures of America) expect them to sit there like a nice little boy as they condone the continued shootings of their brothers, sons, fathers, and cousins so I don't overly agree with your sentiment. No matter what they do they're going to suffer on some level, so a cathartic release of rage is, for me, understandable.
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#6 User is offline   Studlock 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 01:14 PM

Posted Image

Here's that letter I mentioned.
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#7 User is offline   Inane Babble 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 01:41 PM

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I feel that the current state of racial discrimination in the US is not going to be settled until the issue is forced, unless there is a radical change in the American zeitgeist pending. Too many people are indifferent to it because they do not perceive it as affecting them. But it does, in a profound way through their day to day lives.

It is unfortunate that people who were completely uninvolved in the events are now being made to suffer by the rioters, but I can empathise with people who are preyed upon by the very people who they should turn to for protection. It is a truly horrible thing to be unable to turn to the police and say "There are awful things happening to us, please help us" because it is the police who are doing the awful things or standing idly by, complicit. By the sheer fact that it is the police performing the actions automatically makes you feel like you are already outside of the law, cut off from civilisation, and that no help is coming from anyone but yourself/your community. Lashing out is not the smart thing to do, and it is not productive, but when it is made readily apparent that the various institutions of government are lined up against you, lashing out becomes one of the few actions of immediate effect left to you.

Yes they can protest peacefully, yes they can campaign to make racial profiling illegal, they can raise money for community building or better housing and scholarship programs and anti-discrimination laws but the police are shooting their children. (Six. Fucking. Times.)
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#8 User is offline   Terez 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 02:00 PM

View PostObdigore, on 25 November 2014 - 12:31 PM, said:

I saw someone commenting in the 'whats fucked up' thread that there was another young african american male shot the other day in a different city. As far as I can tell those two cases are quite different, since police were responding to a 'young man with a gun' and he was apparently (according to the police) reaching for it after numerous orders to keep his hands up.

He had a BB gun. The person who called it in to 911 said it was "probably fake". He was 12 years old.

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#9 User is offline   Obdigore 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 03:42 PM

View PostTerez, on 25 November 2014 - 02:00 PM, said:

View PostObdigore, on 25 November 2014 - 12:31 PM, said:

I saw someone commenting in the 'whats fucked up' thread that there was another young african american male shot the other day in a different city. As far as I can tell those two cases are quite different, since police were responding to a 'young man with a gun' and he was apparently (according to the police) reaching for it after numerous orders to keep his hands up.

He had a BB gun. The person who called it in to 911 said it was "probably fake". He was 12 years old.


He had a gun that looked real, one person said it was probably fake, we don't know if the police were told that. It was a model that looked just like a real weapon.

http://online.wsj.co...lice-1416769649
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#10 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 04:57 PM

View PostTiste Simeon, on 25 November 2014 - 12:39 PM, said:

I completely understand the anger there but (and I think this might have been what Sombre was hinting at in the other thread) I don't think looting and then setting fire to a Toys-r-Us or Walgreens is doing yourself any favours. That isn't related to the case, nor is it a proving a point. Except that maybe you're using the unrest and chaos to do yourself some nice Christmas shopping on the cheap...

Obviously a majority of the people on the streets would be focused on the Jury result but there are a bunch of people taking the focus away from all that...

The vast majority of people arrested (and doing violence/looting) in Ferguson did not come from Ferguson. Last night, a police car was set on fire by a white man from outside the city who wanted to incite real and sustained violence between the police and the peaceful protestors in some sort of "force 'em to fight" scenario. It's been a huge problem for the Ferguson people to almost entirely be peacefully protesting, standing calmly and legally on sidewalks etc. and see outsiders come in, break stuff, destroy property and bring guns and thrown objects into confrontations with the police.

The police mostly chose to oppress the peaceful protesters instead of going in and removing the bad element. The State Trooper captain who came in for a while changed those tactics, listened to the peaceful protesters and made things better. However, he didn't stay long and the police commanders that were fucking things up by over-escalating their responses went right back to their ways.

It sucks to see how easily the violence of the outsiders and police demands that the attention goes away from the 95% of the people in Ferguson protesting peacefully, listening to the Brown family and others calling for non-violence and so on.


View PostObdigore, on 25 November 2014 - 03:42 PM, said:


He had a gun that looked real, one person said it was probably fake, we don't know if the police were told that. It was a model that looked just like a real weapon.

http://online.wsj.co...lice-1416769649

There are numerous examples of white guys killing 5+ people (Jared Loughner, the Colorado movie theater shooter and so on) and being apprehended by the police. The police knew they killed people, had weapons on them and still took them alive. A 12 year old boy can't get that same level of treatment?

The police make snap decisions and since most of the police are overworked, overly fearful and all too often unequipped/trained to deal with what they're facing, the snap decisions turn out bad/violent/fatal at a higher clip than other emergency response people like firefighters, EMTs or military. Add in the systematic racism in which the black poor are very deliberately kept as such by white law enforcement and civil justice systems - especially down south in Missouri/Mississippi/Alabama/Florida and you get what is going on here.

The rioting and the looting is actually very, very minor compared to the insane shit we see elsewhere - but because it's black people doing it, it gets the police out in ex-military gear and ramping up fear through their own presence and media slanting.
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#11 User is offline   Obdigore 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 05:00 PM

View Postamphibian, on 25 November 2014 - 04:57 PM, said:


View PostObdigore, on 25 November 2014 - 03:42 PM, said:


He had a gun that looked real, one person said it was probably fake, we don't know if the police were told that. It was a model that looked just like a real weapon.

http://online.wsj.co...lice-1416769649

There are numerous examples of white guys killing 5+ people (Jared Loughner, the Colorado movie theater shooter and so on) and being apprehended by the police. The police knew they killed people, had weapons on them and still took them alive. A 12 year old boy can't get that same level of treatment?

The police make snap decisions and since most of the police are overworked, overly fearful and all too often unequipped/trained to deal with what they're facing, the snap decisions turn out bad/violent/fatal at a higher clip than other emergency response people like firefighters, EMTs or military. Add in the systematic racism in which the black poor are very deliberately kept as such by white law enforcement and civil justice systems - especially down south in Missouri/Mississippi/Alabama/Florida and you get what is going on here.

The rioting and the looting is actually very, very minor compared to the insane shit we see elsewhere - but because it's black people doing it, it gets the police out in ex-military gear and ramping up fear through their own presence and media slanting.


And are those people holding weapons or appearing to be going towards their weapons? You are making poor assumptions to make these kinds of comparisons.

And yes, I agree that the 'rioting and looting' is extremely minor compared to the response from the government, and that a large number of those being violent instead of just protesting are there to fuck stuff up, not to actually protest treatment.

Jared Loughner was tackled by bystanders when he was trying to reload and got the shit beaten out of him and had his weapons taken away -> http://abcnews.go.co...ory?id=12577933

Quote

The Colorado Shooter guy was standing at his car waiting to be arrested -> Aurora police officer Jason Oviatt arrested Holmes a few minutes later, after finding him outside, standing with his hands on top of his car. Oviatt said Holmes was "completely compliant" when told to surrender. Oviatt, though, said that when he first spotted Holmes, he thought he was a fellow officer because he was dressed in full body armor and wore a gas mask and helmet.

"He was just standing there not doing anything, not urgent about anything," Oviatt testified.


Maybe you should take a look at the differences here.

(Not that I'm defending the police shooting young black men, it is a huge problem that the US has to face, but comparing it with those other people is wrong, especially in the case of this 12 year old with his bb gun).

This post has been edited by Obdigore: 25 November 2014 - 05:05 PM

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#12 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 05:14 PM

Riots used to be far more common.

I have a family friend who is a professor and historian, currently writing a book on New York history that occupies a full room of 18 x 14 with documents and research. She has shown me articles going back to the mid 1800s showing that up until the World Wars, there used to be a riot every month in just about every town in NY. It was a thing to get together and break shit over some sort of cause that often bubbled up again and again.

We know one of the biggest series of early riots as the Whiskey Rebellion, saw a few more turn very big later on in the NYC Draft Riots that lasted about a week or so and there's even been things like the bombing of Tulsa over riots.

What these things have in common is that the rich slanted government systems their way in such a way that ended up being the last straw for the poor around them - and the responses from the government were so inadequate/infuriating that violence became easier and easier to slip into for the poor that didn't have much invested in the community around them.

Does this sound familiar?
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#13 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 05:17 PM

View PostObdigore, on 25 November 2014 - 05:00 PM, said:

And are those people holding weapons or appearing to be going towards their weapons? You are making poor assumptions to make these kinds of comparisons.

Jared Loughner was tackled by bystanders when he was trying to reload and got the shit beaten out of him and had his weapons taken away -> http://abcnews.go.co...ory?id=12577933

Quote

The Colorado Shooter guy was standing at his car waiting to be arrested -> Aurora police officer Jason Oviatt arrested Holmes a few minutes later, after finding him outside, standing with his hands on top of his car. Oviatt said Holmes was "completely compliant" when told to surrender. Oviatt, though, said that when he first spotted Holmes, he thought he was a fellow officer because he was dressed in full body armor and wore a gas mask and helmet.

"He was just standing there not doing anything, not urgent about anything," Oviatt testified.


Maybe you should take a look at the differences here.

(Not that I'm defending the police shooting young black men, it is a huge problem that the US has to face, but comparing it with those other people is wrong, especially in the case of this 12 year old with his bb gun).

Yes, there are differences in how Loughner and Holmes handled themselves. I shouldn't have directly compared those cases.

But it does seem that white guys get more time to comply or to cease their violent/aggressive conduct than black guys do and it extends as far down as black children. That's a huge problem and it derives from irrational fear in the police force across the nation - particularly in the South.
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#14 User is offline   Illuyankas 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 05:24 PM

*rational, statistically
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#15 User is offline   Obdigore 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 05:31 PM

View Postamphibian, on 25 November 2014 - 05:17 PM, said:

View PostObdigore, on 25 November 2014 - 05:00 PM, said:

And are those people holding weapons or appearing to be going towards their weapons? You are making poor assumptions to make these kinds of comparisons.

Jared Loughner was tackled by bystanders when he was trying to reload and got the shit beaten out of him and had his weapons taken away -> http://abcnews.go.co...ory?id=12577933

Quote

The Colorado Shooter guy was standing at his car waiting to be arrested -> Aurora police officer Jason Oviatt arrested Holmes a few minutes later, after finding him outside, standing with his hands on top of his car. Oviatt said Holmes was "completely compliant" when told to surrender. Oviatt, though, said that when he first spotted Holmes, he thought he was a fellow officer because he was dressed in full body armor and wore a gas mask and helmet.

"He was just standing there not doing anything, not urgent about anything," Oviatt testified.


Maybe you should take a look at the differences here.

(Not that I'm defending the police shooting young black men, it is a huge problem that the US has to face, but comparing it with those other people is wrong, especially in the case of this 12 year old with his bb gun).

Yes, there are differences in how Loughner and Holmes handled themselves. I shouldn't have directly compared those cases.

But it does seem that white guys get more time to comply or to cease their violent/aggressive conduct than black guys do and it extends as far down as black children. That's a huge problem and it derives from irrational fear in the police force across the nation - particularly in the South.


I don't think a black males' fear of the police force is irrational. The south is still very much a 'good old boy' network, and that would be white males. The police department in Ferguson, which his a black population of over 50% only has 3 black police officers, out of 53 total police officers. Now I'm not suggesting that a police force should have to hire to fill racial quotas based on the people they police/protect/server/whatever, rather that is a signal that something is wrong.

Here is, what I think is, a good article from NPR.

http://www.npr.org/b...ause-isnt-clear

The problem isn't just Fergeson, but rather a systematic racism coupled with terrible income elasticity and the white flight in the last half of the 1900's lead to stuff like this. We could fix it with government investments and programs, but that is ZOMG SOCIALISM!!!! FUCKING COMMIES!.

One major political group in the US feeds on the fear, pushes the fear, and tries to make everyone afraid. They should be arrested and tried as terrorists.
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#16 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 05:47 PM

View PostIlluyankas, on 25 November 2014 - 05:24 PM, said:

*rational, statistically

No. I looked up police fatalities in the line of duty and separated out the traffic accidents (car crashes). There's something like 100 civilians shot to death justifiably for every police officer shot to death and since 2004, 400ish officers have been shot and killed, while car crashes have claimed about the same number. These numbers are notoriously unreliable and I'm only including the "justifiable homicides", not the woundings or the unjustified shootings - which would push the civilian numbers higher.

So in a nation where there are something like a million police officers, the risk spread out among all of them of being fatally shot is a 0.0045% chance. Obviously, that's a junk usage of statistics, as the beat cops are way, way more likely to get involved in violence than the higher-ups and technicians, but it starts to show how likely a fatal incident is for the average police officer - as in not likely at all, even with crime stats the way they are.
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#17 User is offline   Obdigore 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 05:53 PM

Just FYI, I read your previous post wrong, I thought you were saying that Black Males fear of the police was unreasonable, when it clearly isn't.

I don't think the police's fear the population is entirely unreasonable, and if you are going to suggest it is you are going to get a rebuttal that the reason officer deaths are so low are because of the precautions they take (like shooting first and emptying their weapon to make sure they put the target down).
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#18 User is offline   Grief 

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 06:10 PM

View Postamphibian, on 25 November 2014 - 05:47 PM, said:

View PostIlluyankas, on 25 November 2014 - 05:24 PM, said:

*rational, statistically

No. I looked up police fatalities in the line of duty and separated out the traffic accidents (car crashes). There's something like 100 civilians shot to death justifiably for every police officer shot to death and since 2004, 400ish officers have been shot and killed, while car crashes have claimed about the same number. These numbers are notoriously unreliable and I'm only including the "justifiable homicides", not the woundings or the unjustified shootings - which would push the civilian numbers higher.

So in a nation where there are something like a million police officers, the risk spread out among all of them of being fatally shot is a 0.0045% chance. Obviously, that's a junk usage of statistics, as the beat cops are way, way more likely to get involved in violence than the higher-ups and technicians, but it starts to show how likely a fatal incident is for the average police officer - as in not likely at all, even with crime stats the way they are.


I think Illy (and Obdi) misread "in" as "of" and thought you meant black males' fear of the police -- rather than the police's fear of black males -- was irrational.

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 06:20 PM

The percentages are uncertain, but there is growing evidence that large percentage of the civilians who are shot by police (not just killed) have some sort of mental illness that is often masked by drug use/homelessness etc.

It's really not this "hardened criminal hates cops and wants to go out in a blaze of glory" thing going on. It's people who have trouble operating in the real world, distinguishing the real from the fictive, following orders/rules and so on.

Look at the search results for "arrest Airsoft pistol": https://www.google.c...pistol%20arrest

Most of them are white kids arrested after pointing the toy guns at people - some for robberies.
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Posted 25 November 2014 - 08:15 PM

View PostObdigore, on 25 November 2014 - 12:31 PM, said:

There is no 'increasing violence police officers are allowed to get away with', its more that we can now televise/study/social media that violence.


Perhaps (it does make a kind of common sense), but I would not advise taking even this for granted:
http://www.sltrib.co...-outpacing-gang
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