Ferguson, Riots, and Personal Protection

So the news up until the election was dominated by the Ebola virus, and has been filled with political fluff since. I find this interesting when there are other things going on in the world, some of which have significant potential to cause problems.

Take for example the Ferguson situation, which is still unfolding, and with the verdict expected any day now, one would think that there would be more remembrance of history. Before I touch on that, lets look at the situation down there.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles told Reuters he fears “the unrest is going to be far beyond the city of Ferguson” if Wilson is not indicted.

Concerns of unrest have been in the media, but mostly local to Missouri. Some examples are HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Another consideration that few take into account is the unwillingness of government to perform its basic duties. While the vast majority of Americans count on the police to protect them, there is little evidence to support this faith.
The courts have long held that the police have no legal duty to protect citizens from private violence. And in Ferguson, the police are clearly taking this to heart, as evidenced by the fact that they did not lift a finger to stop the looting and destruction in the recent rioting.

From USA Today:

Armored vehicles, riot gear, tear gas and looting returned to this small Midwest city early Saturday as a brief period of peaceful demonstrations gave way to a violent atmosphere of anarchy.
During the night, buildings burned, windows shattered, and chaos ensued as protesters stood in the street criticizing police. Officers threatened to arrest protesters who came near their trucks. Yet authorities did not attempt to stop any looting as citizens moved to protect local businesses from sporadic thefts.

From the local Fox Affiliate:

“Police presence is in question after St. Louis County and Missouri State Highway Patrol officers left the scene in Ferguson once looters began attacking businesses overnight.”

And from FoxNews:

A reporter from the station tweeted that police cars were seen driving past some of the stores being looted and did not respond.
One of the owners, with a large black gun resting on his shoulder, told the station that police were lined up blocks from the looting, and did not engage looters making off with large boxes from these stores.
Meanwhile, peaceful protesters yelled at the aggressors to stop what they were doing. About a dozen people eventually blocked off the front of the convenience store to help protect it.

So when it comes to our security and protection, we must take responsibility for our own and not rely on luck or government to keep our persons and property safe and secure.

Now as to the larger concern to the rest of the nation. When one looks at the history of such events in the United States, you will see that of the major riots we have had, including those which sparked unrest in other areas of the country, the majority involved police use of force and / or racial tension.
And while some of these incidents remained localized, not all did. The risk today, especially with modern information technology, is that current and future events have the potential to spread like a virus.

Here are a few of the major race related riots, in short:

  • Watts 1965: The DWI arrest of a man resulted in 6 days of rioting. 34 dead, 2,000 injured, 3438 arrests, over 40 million in damage. There was a 46 square mile combat zone for the duration of the riot.
  • Newark 1967: A false rumor after a cab driver’s arrest sparked a week long riot. 26 dead (including a 10 year old), 1,000 injured, 103 Million in property damage, the city was nearly ruined.
  • Martin Luther King 1968: The death of MLK touched off a series of riots in over 100 U.S. cities. The damages from just a few are:
    D.C. – 4 days, 12 dead, 1,000 injured, 1200 buildings burned, 6,000 arrests, 158 million in damages.
    Chicago – 9 dead, 82 million in damages, national guard called out, and the mayor issued “shoot to kill” orders for arsonists.
    Baltimore – 6 dead, many hundreds of fires, 5700 arrests, 92 million in damages.

There were others, including Miami 1980, Cincinnati 2001, Rodney King and more.

The fabric of our society is much more easily torn than most will admit. While I would not go so far as to predict what may happen in this situation, I will stand by my assessment that many areas of the country are much closer to unrest than we would like to believe. There are protests planned in a number of major cities, and with the potential for spontaneous ignition of tensions, there are many cities where the risk of violence is well inside the realm of possibility.

If you live in an area where you feel that tensions are high, be vigilant. As I have always taught, awareness and avoidance are the keys to self-defense, and an ounce of prevention truly is still worth a pound of cure.

While some cities have supposedly taken measures, of the few that have admitted to doing so, such as Boston, they met for the first time on Wednesday – mere days from when the verdict is expected. No major city can prepare for unrest in a matter of days. It is quite likely that most cities would be unprepared should problems occur, so as is too often the case you need to be ready to endure whatever might happen.

At least one city neighboring Ferguson is honest about it, telling their residents to prepare for being unable to leave their homes for a number of days. Story here.

When it’s time to turn to a professional firm to assist you in your planning of your personal protection, there are many options to consider beyond the most common items, firearms and training.

Whether it’s protective films, door strengthening, lighting and video cameras, or security personnel, these are a few of the kinds of problems we try to help our customers minimize the damage from. Here are a few videos of window security film doing its job.

3M Film attempted break in


Many businesses spend large sums of money on high quality door locks, security camera systems, lighting and leave a the easiest method of entry untouched.

The same can be said about homeowners. Many buy good deadbolts, some establish good exterior lighting. Few protect the easiest access to their home, glass. So while many spend many thousands of dollars on firearms, accessories and training, (which are quite often thought of for interior defense), they skip a significant weakness that could be strengthened to keep the threat outside.

R. Steven Rogers Protective Services, combined with its sister company Pistolcraft can provide you with many of the resources you need to improve your protective planning. Contact us today.