Jelani Cobb at The New Yorker:
From the outset, the overlapping bureaucracies in Ferguson handled the case in ways that suggested ineptitude. Yet subsequent developments -- the stonewalling followed by contradictory statements, the detention of reporters, the clumsy deployment of sophisticated military equipment -- all point not to a department too inept to handle this investigation objectively but one too inept to cloak the fact that they never intended to do so. One protestor held a sign that said, "Ferguson Police Need Better Scriptwriters."I don't think the local authorities really care whether they conduct a responsible investigation, or whether they help Ferguson to heal and come to terms with what happened. It's not just that they're closing ranks around one of their own. It's not merely that they obviously believe Mike Brown was a worthless thug whose death should go unmourned. It's not only that they don't regard the people of Ferguson as fully human. It's that they don't care if you know all that about them. They're not trying to conceal it. They're not "too inept to cloak the fact" that they don't care. They don't give a damn what you think if you're the kind of person they don't like.
From the beginning, they've known instinctively what polls are now showing us: that white people don't understand the racial pain behind the protests, or don't care, that whites always give cops the benefit of the doubt in matters like this, and that this is especially true of the Republicans who dominate America's heartland. They understood this, I assume, because they're the sort of whites who would feel his way even if law enforcement weren't their business. They have, as the kids say, no fucks to give about people who aren't like them, and they know the majority of Americans feel the same way. So they don't care if Ferguson burns. They're going to keep doing what they're doing. They don't care if it's appropriate. It's what they want to do. They don't care what you and I think, and they don't need to.