Darren Wilson Resigns From Ferguson Police Department, But That’s Unlikely To Quell Protests

The man who shot and killed Michael Brown has resigned, but that's unlikely to satisfy protesters who still seem to be demanding criminal charges that are never going to come.

Darren Wilson

Fresh off essentially being cleared of criminal liability by a St. Louis County Grand Jury, at least on state law criminal charges, Officer Darren Wilson has resigned from the Ferguson Police Department:

FERGUSON, Mo. — The white police officer a grand jury declined to indict last week in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager has resigned from the this city’s Police Department, his lawyer said on Saturday night.

The officer, Darren Wilson, who had worked in this department since 2011, submitted a resignation letter, said Neil J. Bruntrager, the lawyer. In the letter, first published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mr. Wilson said: “It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of paramount importance to me. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal.”

For months, some here had called for Mr. Wilson, 28, to step down or be fired following the killing of Michael Brown and the unrest that followed, in August and then again last Monday, after the grand jury decision was announced.

The announcement itself is not entirely a surprise since there had been reports for weeks prior to the Grand Jury announcement that Wilson was negotiating his departure from the department regardless of the outcome of the proceedings. It really is the most realistic outcome, of course, since there was really no way that Wilson could be an effective officer in Ferguson going forward due to the controversy that the shooting created and the distrust that this has generated with the public. Additionally, the fact that he remains subject to potential Federal criminal charges, not to mention civil liability in a wrongful death suit from Brown’s family, makes it unlikely that he could have been an effective officer on the ground in Ferguson. Indeed, as long as any legal issues were pending he would likely not be able to be on the street at all, and that’s something that could take years to resolve, especially on the civil side of the ledger. Wilson staying on the job would also have been a liability for the Ferguson Police Department as it struggles to find a way to rebuild its credibility with a public that had obviously lost trust in its ability to be fair long before the Michael Brown incident. In theory, I suppose, Wilson could possibly some day end up being an officer again in some small town somewhere, although that seems unlikely. More likely than not, Wilson will be looking for another career at this point.

Wilson’s resignation is unlikely to placate the protesters who continue to speak out against the Grand Jury decision in protests nationwide:

Adolphus Pruitt, of the N.A.A.C.P.’s St. Louis chapter, said the resignation “not only fulfills one of the demands of the protesters, but also provides for one of the steps necessary for the wholesale reconstructions of law enforcement in Ferguson.”

Yet on Saturday night, as protesters gathered near the police station here, as they have on most nights since Mr. Brown’s death, many seemed unsatisfied with the news, which they said was inevitable. “We want an indictment and we’re still going to stand for that,” said Alicia Street, 29, who lives in nearby Florissant.

Realistically, that simply isn’t likely to happen. From the perspective of state court proceedings, the failure of this Grand Jury to indict essentially brings the investigation to an end, a fact that St. Louis County District Attorney Robert McCulloch acknowledged in his Monday evening press conference announcing the Grand Jury’s decision. Theoretically, charges could be brought in the future since the Grand Jury’s decision does not constitute and acquittal and Double Jeopardy has not attached, but realistically that is only likely to happen in a very limited number of circumstances. If, for example, some new evidence were uncovered that brought Officer Wilson’s versions of events into question or tended to establish that the shooting was wrongful, then the investigation could be reopened and charges brought. There are also a limited number of circumstances under which a new Grand Jury could be empanelled and a new investigation started, but that’s something that is very rare and requires the kinds of factual showing that seem highly unlikely in this case.

It also seems unlikely at this point that we wil see Federal Civil Rights charges against Wilson individually, a fact which Federal sources were acknowledging months before the Grand Jury decision was handed down. Now that we have that decision, though, the record seems to make it clear that it would be next to impossible to establish almost any of the essential elements necessary for a guilty verdict in such a case and, if prosecutors can’t do that, then they have no business bringing charges to begin with. More importantly, Federal prosecutors are not in the habit of bringing charges for “symbolic” reasons; if they indict someone in a particular case it’s because they are nearly certain that they’d be able to convict the Defendant at trial. That simply doesn’t exist in this case, which suggests strongly that anyone hoping for a Federal indictment against Darren Wilson should not hold their breath because it probably not going to happen. As I said, there remains the probability that Wilson, along with the Ferguson P.D., could face a wrongful death suit at some point down the line — a fact that seems almost guaranteed when you conisder that Benjamin Crump, the lead attorney for the Wilson family, is primarily a civil trial lawyer rather than a criminal defense attorney — but that is a far different type of legal proceeding than a criminal trial. As far as criminal liability goes, the Grand Jury’s decision was pretty much the last word on the issue.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Law and the Courts, Race and Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    As far as criminal liability goes, the Grand Jury’s decision was pretty much the last word on the issue.

    Wrong Doug, McCulloch gave the last word on that possibility long ago.

  2. James Pearce says:

    Hmm, so he has a clean conscience, huh?

    I guess now that they’ve established officially that the shooting was justified, they don’t have to work so hard to maintain that fiction.

  3. Tony W says:

    He’ll land on his feet – KKK needs security guards.

  4. Davebo says:

    The protests are less about Wilson and more about those who ensured he would not be held responsible so yes, his resignation is not likely to quell them.

    Ferguson’s problem isn’t one bad cop. It’s the entire criminal justice system.

  5. Guarneri says:

    A mob mentality by unsavory characters.

  6. bill says:

    sucks that all these “protesters” doubled down on stupidity instead of facts. now they can’t go back on this inanity for fear of losing face or something.
    they must realize that there were at least 6 witnesses who shared michael browns skin color and spoke the facts, that’s why wilson is free.
    i know there’s some smart people in here who are capable of reading theses facts- are you too stubborn to come to terms with them?
    here’s a reverse story, but with a sight twist- no crazy cracka’s rioting and burning down towns because a black cop killed a skinny, unarmed (as he was naked!) white college kid.
    note that there’s no mention in this article about the race of the cop- who is black.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/05/gil-collar-grand-jury-trevis-austin_n_2812514.html

  7. steve says:

    There are way too many shootings of unarmed people, regardless of color. It would be nice if we could address this, but of course it will turn into a pro-cop vs anti-cop argument, which should not be the case. Most cops are good people. Some aren’t and they make the rest look bad. We need to address those cops. Also, it is pretty clear that many have inadequate training for the job. Of course, training them will cost money. If we aren’t willing to pay for that then I guess we should shut up and just accept lot of homicides by police.

    Steve

  8. Tyrell says:

    I have been wondering why nothing has been heard from the judge who was over the grand jury. It would be good if he made some kind of statement and maybe answered some questions.

  9. Liberal Capitalist says:

    So… This is a stupid move. Here’s why:

    * If he was not indicted by the grand jury, and no charges are brought against him, then he (by definition) did no wrong.

    * If he did no wrong, then why is he resigning his position?

    Either he behaved by the policies set forth by his organization, or he didn’t.

    His actions are not consistent with an individual whose convictions support his innocence.

    In the end, adding fuel to the fire.

  10. Moosebreath says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    “If he did no wrong, then why is he resigning his position?”

    Because there are things he could (and IMHO did) do wrong which are not criminal. This is a situation which should never have escalated to a violent conflict. Some of that is on Brown, but some is on Wilson. And, as a police officer, his job includes being able to de-escalate situations so they do not turn violent.

  11. JKB says:

    Wilson no doubt resigned because realistically he can never be a cop in the field again. As his lawyer pointed out to him shortly after the shooting, he could never be on patrol again as his first call would be to a blind alley where he’d be executed.

    Don’t forget elements of the protesters have put a bounty on his head, or as they say on TV, a contract.

    As for charging federally or seeking an indictment from a new grand jury, it is hardly likely. As Paul Cassell has written over at Volokh Conspiracy, Wilson has a very powerful case for self defense and that case is supported by physical evidence and eyewitness testimony. The death of Michael Brown is tragic but it is not criminal.

  12. JKB says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    As I state above, Wilson can never go on patrol again. He’d quickly be set up to be killed by murderous elements of those who’ve attached themselves to the protest.

    There is also the fact that justified as he was, a clear as his conscious is over the actions he took as this event unfolded, he may want to avoid the chance of being in a situation where he had to use deadly force again.

  13. anjin-san says:

    @JKB:

    As his lawyer pointed out to him shortly after the shooting, he could never be on patrol again as his first call would be to a blind alley where he’d be executed.

    If there is “a contract” out on him in reality, and not in fever dreams, he would be safer as a cop than as a citizen.

  14. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @steve:

    We need to address those cops. Also, it is pretty clear that many have inadequate training for the job.

    We eliminated the draft, and created a “voluntary” military. This helped create the problem.

    Follow me on this:

    Admittedly, a large percentage of police officers are ex-military.

    http://www.policemag.com/channel/careers-training/articles/2014/01/military-vets-joining-law-enforcement.aspx

    Now, when there was a military draft, the percentage of population and their background reflected the American population.

    So, when those who were in the draft moved into the police force, there may have been a broader perspective.

    We eliminated the draft, and the “volunteers” were those who saw the military as their only avenue for opportunity.

    Now, maybe I have a bias, but if the military is your only option, well… that’s kinda messed up.

    So: we have people that may be messed up in their upbringing, with 10-20% coming back with PTSD, and a training that the enemy (usually identified by derogatory terns and dehumanized) must be eliminated.

    … bang, bang, bang.

  15. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Disclaimer: My comment above is a generalization, and an opinion on one challenge with Police.

    Please note that Darren Wilson does not have a military background.

    He does, however have a very messed up family history, and was employed by a police force that was deemed to be so racially troubled that it was disbanded and all police officers fired.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/darren-wilsons-first-job-was-on-a-troubled-police-force-disbanded-by-authorities/2014/08/23/1ac796f0-2a45-11e4-8593-da634b334390_story.html

  16. CSK says:

    @Tyrell:

    I don’t think there was a judge, in the sense of one in the courtroom presiding over the case. There are judges in preliminary hearings, but for grand jury proceedings, the prosecutor is the presiding officer.

  17. michael reynolds says:

    A trained police officer with a gun, a taser, a baton, body armor, a car, and back-up, had no choice but to shoot and kill an unarmed man. Bull.

    Either Missouri law is itself dangerous to the citizenry, or police training is criminally inadequate, or Wilson is an abjectly incompetent officer, or most likely, all three.

    But of course we’ll never know the truth because a prosecutor in bed with that police force acted to save officer Wilson at all costs.

    We cannot have law and order when neither applies to the police themselves. I’d say I’m shocked that all these right-wing ‘tree of liberty’ types are supporting shoot first, ask questions never policing, but of course I’m not. Poke a right-winger and you get a fascist, despite all their libertarian posturing.

  18. Pinky says:

    @JKB:

    Wilson no doubt resigned because realistically he can never be a cop in the field again.

    I agree with that. As Moosebreath says, a policeman has to be able to de-escalate dangerous situations, and you can’t do that if your name is enough to set off a riot.

  19. Rodney Dill says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    His actions are not consistent with an individual whose convictions support his innocence.

    Wrong. The current situation won’t allow him to be able to serve safely or successfully in the capacity of police officer there, regardless of his actual guilt or innocence.

  20. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds: Your nonsense proves my point. There’s no way a police officer who inspires that kind of reaction can be put on the street. It is kind of interesting how the same facts are being fit into each camp’s narrative, though.

  21. michael reynolds says:

    Imagine if Cliven Bundy had been shot down by cops in similar circumstances. We’d have right-wingers screaming about police state tactics, jack-booted thugs and calling for overthrowing the government.

    Police are free to shoot black people down anywhere, any time, for any excuse, and the right-wing will never raise a peep. In 100% of cases, they will back a white cop shooting a black man. Always. Every time.

  22. michael reynolds says:

    @Pinky:

    My “nonsense?” So, you don’t have a problem with a trained, armored, multiply-armed policeman shooting a man with no weapon. Nothing to see there, folks. Everything went just fine.

  23. James Pearce says:

    @JKB:

    The death of Michael Brown is tragic but it is not criminal.

    Sounds like Volokh logic to me.

    In Libertopia you can initiate a conflict, escalate it to fatal dimensions, and still claim self-defense, you know, because gun rights and the self-defense principle.

    So what if it provides justification for a cop to tragically, but not criminally, end your life?

    (Testament, once again, the utter uselessness of libertarianism as a philosophy. It has no way to sort the garbage. It’s just garbage in, garbage out.)

  24. Guarneri says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Here’s your lithium, MR Reynolds. Just a few minutes and you’ll be better.

  25. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    Your usual closely-reasoned argument. Do you ever have an actual thought to contribute?

  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    When you consider all the relevant facts, it is clear Wilson is guilty.

    And the only relevant facts, according to the commenters here, are:

    1) The cop was white and had a gun.

    2) The shot guy was black and did not have a gun.

    3) Quite a few other unarmed black men have been shot by cops.

    Nothing else matters. If Brown attacked the cop and tried to grab his gun away, if Brown was charging the cop and the cop was backing away — all irrelevant.

    And the only way Social Justice can be served is with Blood and Fire.

  27. Tyrell says:

    @steve: I have known two police officers who never pulled their guns during their entire careers, except in training and practice. There are alternatives: back up officers, tazers, pepper spray, hand cuffs, nets, power lights, traps, and efforts to defuse the situations. This is a huge opportunity for development of new technologies that would provide protection for the police and ways to control situations without harming someone. Imagine a device that would provide a protective shield for the officer so that a suspect could be pursued with no risk of injury from a gun, knife, or some sort of assault. That way if a suspect became violent then the officers could subdue them without fear of injury of any type.

  28. James Pearce says:

    @Rodney Dill:

    The current situation won’t allow him to be able to serve safely or successfully in the capacity of police officer there, regardless of his actual guilt or innocence.

    “The current situation?”

    This is where we need a knife to cut the shit. The “current situation” can find it’s genesis in the decisions made by Darren Wilson on August 9. If he is now unable “to serve safely or successfully in the capacity of police officer,” it’s not because he’s some bystander at the mercy of situational currents. He’s the prime mover behind the “current situation.”

    Indeed, if Wilson were a better cop, we wouldn’t even have the “current situation” and he’d be clocking in on his next shift.

  29. al-Ameda says:

    Again, the victim was unarmed. Officer Wilson was armed, back-up had responded, and yet he could not control the the situation without shooting an unarmed young man to death. I certainly do question the professional training and judgment of Officer Wilson.

    Given the GrandJury decision, this is the only result that makes sense. There is no way Officer Willson could have resumed his police career in any position other than in an administrative capacity. You could not put him back on the street with this incident and his poor judgment on the record.

  30. michael reynolds says:

    I live in an upscale town (Tiburon, CA). If one of our cops shot and killed an unarmed white teenager, the Tiburon cop, the Tiburon police chief, and the entire city council, would be swimming toward Sausalito ten minutes later.

    This would be seen as absolutely intolerable if it were white cop/white victim or black cop/white victim.

    The right wing is still screaming about Ruby Ridge and Waco where heavily-armed white people refused to obey police and federal agents and were gunned down. Had either compound been black we’d have all the same people “explaining” that all the victims had to do was peaceably submit to the system and let the courts work.

    This is the tribalism that undergirds so much of conservatism. Conservatives simply cannot accept of recognize the humanity of those who are different from themselves. It’s the moral blindness that leads conservatives to push to use government power against blacks, gays and Hispanics while loudly bloviating about freedom.

    Imagine how many black men would be killed in an average week if African-Americans began to adopt the open-carry approach. The slaughter would be on an epic scale. But of course there shouldn’t be a problem if some white clown straps on a .357 and goes to Chucky Cheese.

    This goes beyond bigotry to a deep failure of intellect, an incapacitated imagination and moral blindness. It is creepy to see it played out here.

  31. anjin-san says:

    @al-Ameda:

    You could not put him back on the street with this incident and his poor judgment on the record.

    His prior record of aggressive behavior towards citizens, giving illegal orders to citizens, and falsifying a report takes it beyond “poor judgement.” Clearly “to protect and serve” was not how he defined his role as a police officer.

  32. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    This is the tribalism that undergirds so much of conservatism.

    You said it, buddy.

    Jenos, in particular, seems to have got it in his head that he must defend Wilson or the Social Justice warriors will win. No thinking required. Just tell him who’s for it and who’s against it, and Jenos will find his orientation. “A deep failure of intellect?” It would be, if there was any thinking going on at all.

  33. anjin-san says:

    I’m curious, where was all this concern for the safety of law enforcement officers when pro-Bundy militia were training their weapons on officers? Where was the outrage when it became clear there would be no consequences for them doing so?

  34. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I live in an upscale town (Tiburon, CA). If one of our cops shot and killed an unarmed white teenager, the Tiburon cop, the Tiburon police chief, and the entire city council, would be swimming toward Sausalito ten minutes later.
    This would be seen as absolutely intolerable if it were white cop/white victim or black cop/white victim.

    Cop/Victim – Black/White or White/ Black, to me this is an example of extremely poor training and poor field judgment, and in most American towns and cities this incident would cause a comprehensive review of the hiring and training practices of their police department.

  35. Gustopher says:

    Given how poorly and unprofessionally everything was handled from the moment Michael Brown was shot dead to the present day, why would we assume that things were handled well leading up to it?

    From the Ferguson police department’s long standing treatment of the community that they “serve”, to not following procedures at the scene after the shooting, to the crazy militarized response to the protests, to the untraditional process of the grand jury… Even if this shooting was entirely justified, the entire department needs reform.

  36. Matt says:

    @bill: White college kids prefer to riot over their pedophile shielding coach being fired (see penn state). Or when their team wins (see hundreds of bowl riots after a win).

    Meanwhile in Ferguson the status quo continues.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/15/the-day-ferguson-cops-were-caught-in-a-bloody-lie.html

    Meanwhile in the area at least one cop got in trouble for speaking his mind.
    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/st-louis-county-police-lieutenant-who-allegedly-targeted-blacks-is/article_691eb995-7247-5c0b-a48b-e7048c777b37.html

  37. Gustopher says:

    This might be the first time I actually saw a clear picture of Wilson. My god, he looks weak.

    He does not look like someone who can project authority and take control of a situation. I want to yell at him — “get your shoulders back, chest out, don’t just schlump there!”

    Is this what he normally looks like?

  38. Matt says:

    @bill: 6 really? There was 20 something witnesses and I don’t see the six you’re talking about.

    http://newshour-tc.pbs.org/newshour/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/table-finalfinalup4.png

    Notice all the witnesses that saw Micheal Brown being shot while his hands were already in the air?

  39. Turgid Jacobian says:

    @michael reynolds: We cannot have law and order when neither applies to the police themselves.
    Absolutely. Well said.

  40. sam says:

    @Tyrell:

    I have been wondering why nothing has been heard from the judge who was over the grand jury.

    Uh, maybe because grand juries are not presided over by a judge. That is, there is no judge sitting in the jury room. A “presiding judge” re grand juries presides in the selection of jurors to insure that the jurors selected fairly represent the communtiy. That’s all. Petit juries, that is, juries at trials, sit before judges. Grand juries don’t.

  41. rodney dill says:

    @James Pearce: Yes, you should cut your shit. You don’t have any more pertinent information to judge this situation than I do. Whether his decisions lead to the current situation or not, whether he is guilty or not (as I already said) no longer matters. He cannot serve in the capacity that he once did. At this point this is more based on the beliefs and actions of others than any of his own.

    I’m not judging his innocence or guilt, or whether he could’ve or should’ve made better decisions, or had the real opportunity to make them. I’m only commenting on his inability return to the force.

  42. dennis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Jenos, ever work patrol? I have.

    1) Had a guy swinging at me with a railroad spike. Didn’t shoot him.
    2) Had a guy look at me “like a demon” while he pulled out his ID docs. Didn’t shoot him.
    3) Had a guy jump out of his car after a stop, bum-rushing and yelling at me. Didn’t shoot him.

    I’ve been slapped, punched, kicked, and been rolling on the ground with perps. All day long. Nobody shot. Nobody killed.

    Just as Geo Zimm started ish and instigated a situation, so did Off. Wilson. Yeah, sure, I’ve instigated plenty of ish while I was on patrol, but knew when to back it down. So why do police nowadays feel like they don’t have to ratchet down to avoid confrontation? It’s this good ol’ police state created after 9/11/2001, that’s why. Also, this unwarranted “hero” status we’ve been heaping in piles on the military and public servants.

    We’ve elevated them to can-do-no-wrong status, and this is what we get.

  43. jmc says:

    @michael reynolds:

    So surprise, surprise. The person squawking loudest for a liberal lynch mob lives in the whitest, richest part of South Marin. Pretty much the whitest, richest county in the US. Just across the water from the South African style township of Marin City where the blacks were forced to live until most were forced out by “redevelopment” back in the ’90’s.

    White folk in South Marin, especially the bien pensant liberal types, live in this completely cocooned world whose only interaction with people not like themselves is usually with the servant class hispanics. Who do all the real work. The only working class whites these people might come into contact with are, you’ve guessed it, the police. Pretty all much the anti police sentiment I’ve heard from these white middle class types is little more than class hatred. Because working class whites, especially working class whites with power, make them very uncomfortable.

    Over the years I got to know a number of Marin policemen, city and county plus CHP. I went for several decades to a very working class barbershop in Santa Venita where I got to know quite well the real Marin County types. Working class and lower middle class. Not the 101 belt commuter types. The sort of people rich white folk from Sausalito, Tiburon and Ross turn their well appointed noses up at. I got to hear all the stories. Most of which never even made it to the Marin I.J.

    So when a petty criminal out of his head on drugs and returning from a serious felony robbery on a shopkeeper attacks a policeman and the policeman shoots him in self defense you can guess who has my total sympathy. Its not for the yet another black loser who wasted his life. And most definitely not the usual suspects whipping up racialist and racists hatred using lies and distortions for the own ulterior motives.

    For the record over the years around here I’ve mostly lived in neighborhoods in SF that are very much white minority. And as someone who comes from a city even more cosmopolitan than SF or NYC, London, the thing that I still find most depressing is that the only non white group I’ve ever interacted with that are unrelentingly racist are American born blacks. And it not just with whites. I hear the same stories from asian friends. Whereas African immigrants here are just like everyone else. Just trying to get along.

    That for me is at the bottom of the real issue. And the one that absolutely everyone in the US refuses to discuss. Most of the terrible tragedy of American born blacks and their horrific level of violence and crime seems to be one of their culture. Its not us, its them. The Yardie’ culture in London is a very good analogy. Just as violent, just as racist, just as self destructive.

  44. dennis says:

    @Tyrell:

    That way if a suspect became violent then the officers could subdue them without fear of injury of any type.

    This is the problem right here. Who says you’re not to get hurt while policing the community? You WILL get hurt. Accepting that is the only way you can do the job without shooting someone while you’re WORRYING about getting hurt.

    Can you imagine firefighters bum-rushing someone in the street they thought might start a fire in which they could possibly be hurt or killed, simply because that person was lighting a cigarette, or maybe just striking a match? Ridiculous, as are all these shootings, justified by tales of being afraid. Please.

  45. anjin-san says:

    @jmc:

    I went for several decades to a very working class barbershop in Santa Venita

    So you know all about Marin because you got your hair cut there? I see.

  46. dennis says:

    @jmc:

    Most of the terrible tragedy of American born blacks and their horrific level of violence and crime seems to be one of their culture. Its not us, its them.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I suppose Native American indians’ plight is all their culture, too, huh? You know, you racists kill me with this line of reasoning. The Caucasian man has shown himself to be the most violent, ruthless and cruel of the species, and yet, here you are spouting this type of nonsense. I think you should head back over to Stormfront, where all your fevered notions can be stoked and fed. Geezuz.

  47. dennis says:

    @jmc:

    And quit being such a coward, and post up a name and picture. There are those here who stand by the content of their opinions and display their names and faces.

    So, quit being such a whiner, and prove to me why I’m my own worst enemy.

  48. Gustopher says:

    @dennis:

    Yeah, sure, I’ve instigated plenty of ish while I was on patrol, but knew when to back it down. So why do police nowadays feel like they don’t have to ratchet down to avoid confrontation?

    This is what baffles me. Officer Wilson somehow managed to either escalate a jaywalking into a shooting, or failed to de-escalate. Sure, sure, the kid is a 300 pound pothead with a chip on his shoulder, but dealing with people in stressful situations is the actual job of a police officer.

    I don’t want to judge everything by appearances, but Officer Wilson is not someone who projects much authority beyond having a gun (a failure of training, rather than just him being a wimp), and that leaves him with very few options when someone challenges that authority.

  49. al-Ameda says:

    @dennis:

    So why do police nowadays feel like they don’t have to ratchet down to avoid confrontation?

    Damned good question.

    My (police officer in a big city) father told me of a situation he was in many years ago: he and his partner were being backed down a street by mob of people throwing rocks and bottles at them. My father and his partner showed their batons (not their guns) and attempted to stop or slow the mob. They backed up to a place where they could call for back-up assistance. Assistance came, a few minutes later order was restored and the drunken disorderly people were arrested – no guns drawn, no shots fired.

    These days the default seems to be to move toward strong force and often deadly force. I cannot believe that that’s the current training.

  50. stonetools says:

    @dennis:

    Jenos, ever work patrol? I have.

    Indeed. The voice of experience. I’ve worked with cops lots of times and they’ve been involved in street altercations, car chases, drug raids, domestic violence situations, etc-the stuff of policing in a big city. Not once did any of the police shoot somebody, although they did sometimes draw their guns. Most cops go through their entire careers without firing a gun once. A guy who resists arrest and runs is a fairly common occurrence in big city policing. Generally the police call for backup, chase the suspects on car and/or foot, and apprehend them-usually without any gunplay.

  51. stonetools says:

    @jmc: @jmc:

    That for me is at the bottom of the real issue. And the one that absolutely everyone in the US refuses to discuss. Most of the terrible tragedy of American born blacks and their horrific level of violence and crime seems to be one of their culture. Its not us, its them. The Yardie’ culture in London is a very good analogy. Just as violent, just as racist, just as self destructive.

    You know, I’ve gone through my entire life without blaming “white culture” for the horrific slaughter of WW1 and 2, including trench warfare, the Holocaust, the firebombing of Japanese cities, Stalin’s mass murders, etc. I see that I need to change my thinking on that.

    What do you know of Yardie culture in London, I wonder? As someone who was born in Jamaica with relatives in the UK, I would be interested to know. Have you visited any barbershops in Brixton?

  52. michael reynolds says:

    @jmc:
    Nice try. High school drop out, 10 years as a waiter, 4 or 5 years painting houses and similar, 2 years pushing a vacuum. 11 days in jail. Got my first new car at 39. Now I do very well, but I came up poor, son of an enlisted man.

  53. al-Ameda says:

    @jmc:

    Over the years I got to know a number of Marin policemen, city and county plus CHP. I went for several decades to a very working class barbershop in Santa Venita where I got to know quite well the real Marin County types. Working class and lower middle class.

    You mean Santa Venetia? Near the Marin County Civic Center?
    Please, the class warfare does not suit you well. I grew up in a working class law enforcement family in San Anselmo, and I went to school with working class and upper middle class kids from San Anselmo, Fairfax and the San Geronimo Valley. Believe me, these people, including myself, are not the “real Marin County types” any more than the engineers who work at Standard Oil, the lawyers and corporate managers who work in San Francisco, or the entrepreneurs who work start-ups and business enterprises are. They are all residents of Marin who believe in responsive local government, good schools, and actively work to ensure that that happens. Working class people are no more perceptive or wise than non-working class people. Change your stereotypes.

  54. anjin-san says:

    @dennis:

    Jenos, ever work patrol? I have.

    I’ll have you know that Jenos reads Ace of Spades AND The Daily Caller. I would say that he has been there and done that 🙂

  55. stonetools says:

    FWIW, I think Doug is right and the search to hold Wilson criminally liable is ended. (thanks, “Prosecutor” McCulloch-the best friend a murderous police officer ever had).
    Luckily, that’s not the end of the quest for justice . There will be a wrongful death suit, which will be likely successful, since Wilson’s account can’t withstand close examination( see @LisaBloom on Twitter, for a fisking).

    There is a federal grand jury out there too, and I expect it to take wide ranging action against a Ferguson Police Department that seems more like a predatory occupying army than a police force that serves and protects Ferguson. I hope it extends its actions to take in a prosecutor’s office that seems to regard itself as the protector of the police department, rather than an organization who job it is to execute equal justice for all, including victims of police abuse.

    Finally, there is matter of political action. One of the problems with the demonstrators is that they don’t seem to have a political and legislative agenda in mind. They need to have such an agenda in order to fix the problem, which goes far beyond Brown’s murder. I’d like to see more forward planning and less emotion in the future. And the citizens of Ferguson need to vote, vote, vote.

  56. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Matt: Notice all the witnesses that saw Micheal Brown being shot while his hands were already in the air?

    I see 15 listed there. But I think I’ll keep looking.

    Witness 22 says Brown was kneeling when fired upon.

    Witness 35 says Brown charged.

    Witness 37 says Wilson fired at Brown repeatedly once Brown was down.

    Witness 41 also says Wilson fired at Brown repeatedly once Brown was down.

    Witness 42 also says Wilson fired at Brown repeatedly once Brown was down.

    Witness 45 also says Wilson fired at Brown repeatedly once Brown was down.

    Witness 46 also says Wilson fired at Brown repeatedly once Brown was down.

    Witness 45 and 46 also said that Brown said no to “did Brown reach into or otherwise directly interacted with police car.”

    Witness 64 said Brown put his hands at his waist.

    We know from the autopsy that the only wounds to Brown’s arms happened when his hands were NOT raised. We also know from physical evidence that Brown did reach into the car, so Witness 45 and 46’s accounts can be discounted. (Along with #57, for that matter.)

    There are also blood drops that indicate Brown moved about 21 feet toward Wilson, indicating that Brown was moving while being shot. As none of the wounds were clearly from the back and the final shot was pretty much instantly fatal, and his body ended up about 10 feet from Wilson, the logical conclusion is that Brown was moving towards Wilson while being shot. The pattern of the shell casings from Wilson’s gun also indicate that Wilson was backing away while firing.

    Applying a little rudimentary psychology here, if Wilson was furious and trying to kill Brown, he would be more likely to be advancing, not retreating. And if Brown was surrendering, he wouldn’t be likely moving forward, especially after repeated gunshot wounds. However, if Brown was charging and Wilson was afraid, then the relative motions make more sense.

    But again, those are not relevant facts. The only relevant facts, at least according to this crowd, are the three facts I cited above, and other facts that support those facts. Any that challenge the conclusion drawn from those facts are not relevant to the case, and only relevant to prove the malicious motives of the evil RAAAAACISTS making them.

    Thanks for the link to the chart, Matt. It’s a useful summation.

  57. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: I’ll have you know that Jenos reads Ace of Spades AND The Daily Caller. I would say that he has been there and done that

    Actually, I rarely read TheDC. Occasionally to get a good chuckle from Treacher, or when they get Instalanched, but not regularly. For one thing, their mobile version is a huge pain in the ass to read.

    On the other hand, I do regularly read Patterico, Hot Air, The Jawa Report, and Power Line. Don’t always agree with what I read, but enjoy and respect them nonetheless.

    Thanks for the excuse to post a list of other good sites, anjin.

  58. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Instead of trying to show the other kids what a clever boy you are, why don’t you answer Dennis’ question?

  59. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Instead of trying to show the other kids what a clever boy you are, why don’t you answer Dennis’ question?

    What’s to answer? He’s arguing from authority, and claiming superior knowledge through unproven assertions of experience.

    I’d challenge you with the same questions, but you have made an art form out of saying nothing of substance, so it would be a waste of time.

    But no, I’ve never been a police officer or gone on patrol with one. However, I did once stay at a Holiday Inn Express, so I’d take each of his examples of times he claims to have shown restraint and laud him for doing so. I’d also say that in several of those cases, I would have said that drawing and using his weapon would have been justified — especially #1 and #3, and the physical fights.

    I’m also troubled by those physical fights. I’ve always believed that cops have no business getting into a “fair fight,” and should an encounter get physical, they should do pretty much anything to make sure they win it. Because anyone who physically defeats a cop now has the cop’s gun, and now we have a violent criminal with a gun. The cop has a moral duty to keep his weapon in his possession and out of the hands of criminals, and getting into a physical fight with someone is risking losing control of their gun.

    But that’s far too much substance to waste on you, anjin. I’m already regretting typing it.

  60. michael reynolds says:

    It’s good to know that whenever a white man kills a black man Jenos is there to support the side that’s white. He’s kind of like s superhero: The White Defender, forever protecting those who carry out the heroic duty of gunning down black teenagers.

  61. dennis says:

    @al-Ameda:

    No al-; that’s not the training. It’s the superior culture that causes this. And that is, the superiority of the police over the policed. The better-than-though-unwashed-masses superiority. Human nature being what it is, it’s a wonder we don’t have double the incidents, and lends not a tiny bit of credence to Steven Pinker’s hypothesis in “The Better Nature of our Angels.”

  62. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: It’s good to know that whenever a white man kills a black man Jenos is there to support the side that’s white.

    And it’s comforting to know that whenever a white man kills a black man, michael will be there to denounce it as obvious racism and hatred, his opinion utterly uncontaminated by such troubling things as circumstances or facts.

    What a simple world you live in, michael. You just have to look at the skin color of people involved in a situation, and you instantly know the content of their character. Brown’s skin tone makes him automatically innocent to you, and Wilson’s skin tone declares him guilty. How convenient it is for you to be able to pre-judge such situations.

  63. michael reynolds says:

    Popular culture has played into this as well. Is there a TV cop show that doesn’t treat the general public as scum and the cops as noble warriors?

  64. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: Popular culture has played into this as well. Is there a TV cop show that doesn’t treat the general public as scum and the cops as noble warriors?

    Reno 911 and The Shield come to mind.

  65. dennis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    What’s to answer? He’s arguing from authority, and claiming superior knowledge through unproven assertions of experience.

    I will concede that, Jenos. Good point. Although, I’m not claiming superior knowledge, just knowledge through experience.

    But no, I’ve never been a police officer or gone on patrol with one. However, I did once stay at a Holiday Inn Express

    Ha! That’s a good one. Touche.

    I’d take each of his examples of times he claims to have shown restraint and laud him for doing so.

    Don’t get me wrong; I’ve acted an ass, too. Usually, though, you see enough people dehumanized by their circumstances to not want to add to the misery.

    I’d also say that in several of those cases, I would have said that drawing and using his weapon would have been justified — especially #1 and #3, and the physical fights.

    You are absolutely correct, Jenos. I think that was my whole point.

    I’ve always believed that cops have no business getting into a “fair fight,” and should an encounter get physical, they should do pretty much anything to make sure they win it.

    Again: correct. My professor in undergrad, who was a lieutenant with San Diego PD, conveyed that police do not have to back down or retreat in encounters. He also taught, that there are more times where talking with a calm but firm demeanor works more times than ratcheting things up to a physical encounter. Most cops use that approach, rather than starting a fight, because who wants to fight?

    I engage encounters with conversation or commands; passive resistance with hands on; fists with baton/OC spray; the wielding of physical objects with firearms. That’s the escalation of force under which I was trained to respond. I don’t know what Officer Wilson was trained to do, so I have to admit that I am EXTREMELY biased on which side of the argument I land when it comes to shooting unarmed people. Especially at a distance. Especially.

  66. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    No you moron the fact that he was unarmed is what strongly suggests he was wrongly killed. Duh.

    Do you have kids? I do. If my son was shot by a cop while unarmed I’d do a hell of a lot more than throw some rocks. I would find a way to destroy the reckless bastard.

  67. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Because anyone who physically defeats a cop now has the cop’s gun, and now we have a violent criminal with a gun.

    That’s interesting. I once saw a guy defeat two cops. Of course they had called for backup, so about 10 seconds after the second defeated cop hit the deck, 6 more cops showed up and beat the living shit out of the guy. So we did not have a violent criminal with a gun, we had a really big drunk guy on his way to the ER. I have no idea if he was a criminal, he looked like any other guy who had too much to drink, only larger.

    You should really avoid talking about fights and assorted violent encounters. You obviously are a bit lacking in relevant life experience. Every situation is different, and thinking in cliches takes us further away from a solution to our problems, not closer to one.

  68. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @dennis: I will concede that, Jenos. Good point. Although, I’m not claiming superior knowledge, just knowledge through experience.

    A difference without distinction. That “knowledge” is superior — if it’s honest. I’m willing to concede that what you say sounds plausible, and you speak as if you know what you’re talking about, so for now I’ll accept your claimed credentials. Otherwise, we end up in a pissing match and personal insults and demands for proof, and I get enough of that idiocy around here already.

    My professor in undergrad, who was a lieutenant with San Diego PD, conveyed that police do not have to back down or retreat in encounters.

    I’d take it a step further. I’d argue that in most cases, police have a moral responsibility to not back down or retreat. The courts have ruled that they have no legal obligation to do so, but most of the police I’ve ever spoken to see their job as a duty and a calling.

    I have to admit that I am EXTREMELY biased on which side of the argument I land when it comes to shooting unarmed people. Especially at a distance. Especially.

    The evidence indicates (doesn’t prove, but indicates) that Brown had assaulted Wilson and gone for his gun, then fled, then turned and charged. He covered at least 20 feet towards Wilson, who was backing away while firing. Brown died about 10 feet from Wilson.

    As a general rule, I’d agree that “guy with gun shoots unarmed guy” is almost always the fault of the guy with the gun. But there are exceptions, circumstances where it’s justified. And the physical evidence released so far leans towards this being one of those cases.

  69. wr says:

    @anjin-san: “You should really avoid talking about fights and assorted violent encounters. You obviously are a bit lacking in relevant life experience”

    I don’t think it’s just a matter of life experience. After all, it’s a safe bet that he has plenty of experience watching TV, and yet he declares that one possible cause of social unrest is a populuar media that shows cops as “noble warriors” and civilians as “scum. And for evidence he offers “Reno 911” — a parody about a cop who wears hotpants — and The Shield.

    Yes, The Shield. The show in which the “noble warrior” protagonist shoots a fellow cop in the face to cover up his own corruption — in the pilot. And then follows this noble warrior as he loots, steals and murders his way through seven seasons.

    No wonder he blindly accepts whatever crap he reads on right wing sites — he is clearly incapable of understanding anything on his own…

  70. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: So, which factor is the most decisive for you in this case: that one had a gun and one didn’t, or that one was white and one was black?

    As I said much earlier, those are the only two relevant facts you accept. I’m just curious if one of them is more important than the other.

  71. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: and yet he declares that one possible cause of social unrest is a populuar media that shows cops as “noble warriors” and civilians as “scum. And for evidence he offers “Reno 911″ — a parody about a cop who wears hotpants — and The Shield.

    Do you EVER get tired of showing how incredibly stupid you are?

    The question from michael was “Is there a TV cop show that doesn’t treat the general public as scum and the cops as noble warriors?” I answered with two: Reno 911 and The Shield.

    I’ll also toss in Dennis Leary’s The Job, The Commish (also starring Michael Chiklis) and Barney Miller.

    I messed up the formatting by not italicizing michael’s question, so you have the tiniest excuse for being that stupid. But it’s a tiny one.

  72. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    most of the police I’ve ever spoken to see their job as a duty and a calling.

    Hmmm. I used to have a lot of cops as bar customers. Very little talk about a calling or duty after they had a few, lots of talk about benefits, overtime, and the strategy for getting a complete disability pension.

    Another observation about cops as seen from street level – a lot of them loved it when the shit started and obviously got pleasure from forcing people to bow down before their authority.

  73. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @jmc:

    Most of the terrible tragedy of American born blacks and their horrific level of violence and crime seems to be one of their culture. Its not us, its them.

    You know… I wish that were the case, as it would be so simple to neatly summarize this sad event and move on.

    And, if this were only a single event, you could say that this is a terrible tragedy for all involved, and rest peacefully in the knowledge that this will never happen again.

    But we all know that this is not the case.

    Since this event has happened, a 12 year old kid was executed for playing in a park with a toy gun.

    Before this, a young black man was executed in Wal-Mart for picking up a toy rifle while shopping.

    And today, a black man was accosted for walking, somehow apparently menacingly, with his hands in his pockets (never mind that it was winter and about 30 below).

    It seems that walking while black is grounds for calling 911. In freaking Pontiac Michigan!

    http://gawker.com/cop-detains-black-man-for-walking-with-his-hands-in-hi-1664910193?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gawker%2Ffull+%28Gawker%29

    So, if it makes you feel better that it is because of “culture”… then I think I would have to agree.

    However, it’s not black culture that seems to be the real problem.

    Look in the mirror.

  74. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: I used to have a lot of cops as bar customers.

    I should have known. We have Cliffy Clavin, so we had to have a Sam Malone.

  75. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    so we had to have a Sam Malone

    Well, I tended bar for many years. For the most part, it was great fun, heard a lot of outstanding bands, partied with rock stars, and I got laid like crazy. Maybe that’s why you don’t like me, you can just tell I’m not your kind of guy.

  76. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Maybe that’s why you don’t like me, you can just tell I’m not your kind of guy.

    Nah, you’re just an a-hole. The main feeling you provoke is annoyance with myself — it took me way too long to catch up on your standard gambit: speaking as if you’re actually saying something of substance, but weaseling enough to mockingly deny saying anything when anyone dares infer that you ever said anything of real meaning.

    Is that how you compensate for allegedly having such a full real life — by being a totally empty nothing online?

  77. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Here’s an interesting quote from Rich Lowry on Meet The Press:

    “If you look at the most credible evidence [of Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a Ferguson, Mo., police officer], the lessons are really basic. Don’t rob a convenience store. Don’t fight with a policeman when he stops you and try to take his gun. And when he yells at you to stop, just stop.”

    I think Chris Rock would agree.

  78. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    by being a totally empty nothing online?

    Stand in front of a mirror and say that to yourself, and you will have morsel of truth in your life.

  79. Pharoah Narim says:

    @jmc: Soooooo your actual experience with Blacks and the rich patooties in MRs town comes from stories you heard at a barbershop, TV, and your Asian “friends”…. no wonder I took your comments so seriously.

  80. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Stand in front of a mirror and say that to yourself, and you will have morsel of truth in your life.

    OH. MY. GOD. I just stood in front of a mirror and told myself that I had a rich, full real-world life, and I should karmically compensate by being a total empty nothing online.

    I HAD NO REFLECTION!!!!!!!!!

  81. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I HAD NO REFLECTION!!!!!!!!!

    Well, that would go along with your inability to do humor that is actually humorous.

  82. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13</a@Jenos Idanian #13: Those days are over. After generations of police profiling, brutality, and money raiding—the young aren’t going to take it anymore. The same thing happened 50years ago when parents and grandparents told their young to quit antagonizing the white folks and let them have their buses, schools, hospitals, etc. That generation decided they’d rather die than live as 2nd class citizens. It appears this generation feels the same. Change is coming…..

  83. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Pharoah Narim: I’m seeing a significant disconnect between the sentiments you assign and the actions taken. Quite frankly, Don Surber has a more compelling explanation:

    From a kid who survived the Hough Riots in Cleveland nearly a half century ago, some unsolicited advice to the business owners in Ferguson, Missouri: Do not bother rebuilding. Your customers do not want you. They tore up your stores — twice. And after one of them robbed a store. These are not protests. They are pogroms aimed at the middle class. Take the insurance money and run.

    (Emphasis added)

    Fortunately, there are signs of hope in Ferguson. Like this story.

  84. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Pharoah Narim: Or this story, which has some overlap with the other good news story. (I didn’t want to put more than two links in a comment.)

    Meanwhile, in St. Louis, a man was driving his car when at least four teens attacked the car with hammers. He (foolishly) got out of the car to confront the teens, and was beaten to death.

    Since this is so close to Ferguson, the thought of race must come to mind. The driver was a Bosnian-American, and photos show him to be white. There is no word about the race of the two arrested teens, 16 and 15. They are seeking two more teens, one black and one Hispanic.

  85. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Let’s see what else Surber has to say:

    Backed by looters and violent people, liberals are telling the American middle class they do not want you. They want an America where you are either a billionaire knocking down tax subsidies, or jobless and on federal assistance.

    This is your idea of a thought leader? That explains a lot.

  86. Paul Hooson says:

    Unfortunately many people don’t believe in the autopsy report that all of the shots were at close range, with Michael Brown’s blood splatter in the police car, Michael Brown’s fingerprints on the gun and on the police car, or the video showing Michael Brown as a neighborhood hoodlum roughing up a store clerk in a robbery either. They still think this street hoodlum is some martyr, believing in some “hands up” surrender myth that never happened. All of the evidence supports the account of this officer that Michael Brown assaulted this police officer at his car window wrestled for the officer’s gun to kill the officer, and the officer got the gun back and shot this hoodlum at his police car door and just outside the door as well. – This neighborhood is so bad that the police and city erected barricades at a public housing project in the neighborhood to slow the huge amount of drug sales and prostitution that ran out of that housing project. When a police officer cannot even tell some street thug to walk on the sidewalk without getting assaulted and having his gun stolen and being threatened with death, some one needs to wake up and clean up this neighborhood even if it means to close down this troubled housing project and other trouble homes that breed gangs and hoodlums in this neighborhood. Decent people should be disgusted with all the crime in this neighborhood. Thugs like Michael Brown don’t make this a good place to live, or are some martyr or poster boy.

  87. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: For the uninitiated, annie here has three basic modes in commenting.

    1) Saying things in such a way that seem like he’s taking a position or asserting some opinion, but carefully weaseling his words so he can later mock those who actually take his comments seriously.

    2) Attacking others who actually say things, without ever offering any substance of his own.

    3) Starting or encouraging diversions into topics unrelated to the topic at hand.

    This is an example of annie #2, with shades of #3.

  88. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Pharoah Narim: Let’s see if we can find a little common ground here.

    Group A believes they have a grievance against Group B. We can debate whether or not this grievance is legitimate, but we can agree that the aggrieved feeling exists.

    Group A believes that their grievance is not being taken seriously, and gets angered. Also understandable, and undebatable.

    Where it goes off the rails for me is how that anger is expressed. It’s usually expressed against Group C, and quite often makes things worse for Group A. At which point, I get angry on behalf of Group C, who had nothing to do with Group C, and often are in some way generally supportive of Group A.

    In the Ferguson example, Group A are the inner city residents, Group B is the Powers That Be, and Group C are the businesses that serve the Ferguson inner city. Not only do they suffer the misdirected wrath of Group A, they find their very real damages are dismissed because they were suffered in the name of a “good” cause — the alleged injustices inflicted on Group A by Group B.

  89. Tyrell says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: There needs to be an investigation of the riots. Those who did the looting, arson, bombing, and other wanton acts of pillaging have usually proven to be outsiders: anarchists and insurgents sent in a planned, organized, and resourced effort to disrupt and destroy, with the goal of destroying peaceful change and the democratic process: the American way. That was the case in the riots of the ’60’s. In this case the goal was to disrupt the protests and destroy any chances for peaceful changes. Why did the governor wait so long to send in the National Guard to protect citizens and property ? Those responsible need to be identified, arrested, and investigated to see where they are from and what ties they have. If some of them are from Ferguson, then they should not be allowed to ever return there to live. Any who participated should face a lengthy sentence.

  90. James Pearce says:

    @rodney dill:

    You don’t have any more pertinent information to judge this situation than I do.

    The only “pertinent information” I don’t know is whether Michael Brown would be alive had he encountered a more competent, cool-headed cop.

    But I think I have enough information to say that if this shooting was truly defensible, and not just in front of a grand jury, then Darren Wilson would still be a cop. And you don’t have to believe Michael Brown was shot in the back with his hands up to say that.

  91. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @James Pearce: But I think I have enough information to say that if this shooting was truly defensible, and not just in front of a grand jury, then Darren Wilson would still be a cop.

    Cut the crap. You’re acting as if facts actually matter here. One side of the argument is still arguing that the “gentle giant” was shot in the back while his hands were raised.

    Wilson resigned because what really happened doesn’t matter. He’s a marked man, and as long as he remained on the force, he would be a target. As would any other cop. He would be used as an excuse for more violence and destruction. Every single protest would demand as his firing as a concession to the mob.

    Wilson’s career was over the instant the first riot started and his name came out. He is radioactive now.

    That’s the reality. Fairness and truth don’t enter into it.

  92. rodney dill says:

    @James Pearce: Did you even read and comprehend the comment from L.C. that I responded to, and my response. L.C.’s claim was that Wilson’s resignation from the force was essentially an admission of guilt. L.C’s comment was “His actions are not consistent with an individual whose convictions support his innocence.” My response does not address whether Wilson’s actions were defensible or not, or whether he is even guilty or not.

    It’s easy to see that the current environment in Ferguson would not allow Wilson to continue as an officer, not because of whether his actions were defensible or not, but because a large segment of the population has made up their minds that his actions are not defensible.

  93. Tyrell says:

    @michael reynolds: TV Cop shows that don’t portray general public as “scum”: sure, there are several that come to mind (and bring back a lot of memories).
    Bsrnaby Jones, Mannix, Streets of San Francisco, CHIPS, Starsky and Hutch, Air Wolf, Hawaii 5-0 (“Book him, Dan-O !”), Mission Impossible, Highway Patrol, F.B.I., McGuyver, Walker:Texas Ranger, Miami Vice, The Lone Ranger, Wild West, and everyone’s favorite Magnum P.I. ! Today you have Elementary, Person of Interest, Scorpion, The Mentalist, Arrow, and Bones. Even “Gunsmoke” portrayed the citizens of Dodge City as everyday, decent, law abiding citizens. I think that the “scum” you are talking about are the criminals that the police and detectives are trying to catch and rid the streets of.
    “Criminal Minds” shows several ways that unsubs and perps are apprehended and subdued in a peaceful manner. Perhaps the police could learn new methods from the F.B.I.
    “Book him, Dan-O !” (Hawaii 5-0 : one of the best and most popular)

  94. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Yes, little Jenos, I misread your comment. It’s true that you screwed up the formatting, but I also missed MR’s above.

    Of course, you used this as an excuse to fly into one of your petulant little tantrums, so I have to admit it’s hard to keep up any real sense of remorse. Here’s a hint: Next time you find yourself screaming “stupid stupid stupid,” look in the mirror. If you appear to be older than four, it’s time to find a more sophisticated form of argument.

  95. wr says:

    @Tyrell: ” If some of them are from Ferguson, then they should not be allowed to ever return there to live”

    Just wondering — where do you find banishment used as punishment in 21st century America?

  96. wr says:

    @anjin-san: “Another observation about cops as seen from street level – a lot of them loved it when the shit started and obviously got pleasure from forcing people to bow down before their authority.”

    I pitched a show around town with four young cops who had talked their superiors into letting them form their own squad that would follow suspected — or known — criminals around until they committed a crime and then scream up with guns blazing.

    They were a blast to hang out with — and a total menace to society, since their tactics almost guaranteed a public shootout. They got shut down after Rampart… but man, they loved their jobs.

    Never heard them talking about a “sacred duty” or any of that other crap that Jenos clearly heard from the PIO when his fifth grade class visited the station on a field trip.

  97. Nikki says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Imagine how many black men would be killed in an average week if African-Americans began to adopt the open-carry approach.

    You don’t have to imagine it; it’s already here. Ohio is an open carry state and we’ve already seen a 12 year old black boy and a twenty-something year old black man gunned down by cops simply for carrying TOY guns.

    In open carry Ohio.

  98. Nikki says:

    @Paul Hooson:

    … Michael Brown’s fingerprints on the gun

    Considering the gun wasn’t tested for fingerprints, we can put the rest of whatever shit you say as a lie.

  99. Eric Florack says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: you are aware, of course, that the prosecutor is a registered Democrat? Funny how nobody ever mentions that.

  100. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But again, those are not relevant facts. The only relevant facts, at least according to this crowd, are the three facts I cited above, and other facts that support those facts. Any that challenge the conclusion drawn from those facts are not relevant to the case, and only relevant to prove the malicious motives of the evil RAAAAACISTS making them.

    Thanks for the link to the chart, Matt. It’s a useful summation.

    Heh, I Have to laugh at Jenos’ turn at amateur defense attorney here. His statement here is couched in terms of a defense attorney’s marshaling evidence in a proceeding aimed at finding guilt beyond a reasonable doubt-IOW , a trial. (He even speaks about “summation” –the technical term for an attorney’s closing argument). This is inappropriate to the grand jury stage.

    What is a grand jury supposed to be about? Let’s listen to good ol’ Justice Scalia:

    It is the grand jury’s function not ‘to enquire … upon what foundation [the charge may be] denied,’ or otherwise to try the suspect’s defenses, but only to examine ‘upon what foundation [the charge] is made’ by the prosecutor. Respublica v. Shaffer, 1 Dall. 236 (O. T. Phila. 1788); see also F. Wharton, Criminal Pleading and Practice § 360, pp. 248-249 (8th ed. 1880). As a consequence, neither in this country nor in England has the suspect under investigation by the grand jury ever been thought to have a right to testify or to have exculpatory evidence presented.

    S o the even Scalia thinks the prosecutor got the grand jury process wrong. Its NOT supposed to a secret mini-trial. Next, legal expert Jeffrey Toobin (former federal prosecutor):

    In sending Wilson’s case to the grand jury, McCulloch technically turned over to them the decision about whether to prosecute. By submitting all the evidence to the grand jury, he added to the perception that this process represented an independent evaluation of the evidence. But there is little doubt that he remained largely in control of the process; aggressive advocacy by prosecutors could have persuaded the grand jurors to vote for some kind of indictment. The standard for such charges—probable cause, or more probable than not—is generally a very easy hurdle. If McCulloch’s lawyers had simply pared down the evidence to that which incriminated Wilson, they would have easily obtained an indictment.

    So much for Jenos’ argument.
    It’s very clear that the prosecutor gamed the process so as to clear Wilson of criminal charges. The legal experts are united about this. Even if you completely set aside race, something is rotten in the Ferguson justice system.

  101. Eric Florack says:

    Observe closely the people that are the chosen poster boys. Trayvon Martin? Michael Brown? Rodney King?
    I suppose that there would be a lot easier time convincing the rest of America that blacks are being persecuted and racially judged etc, if they actually chose the poster child who wasn’t acting like an outright thug. It would be far easier to convince the American public that blacks are oppressed by the police, if it weren’t for the fact that blacks commit crimes far in excess of that of the rest of the population.
    And once the predictable happens with these poster children when they either get shot to death or they get jailed, or they get the snot beat out of them, we get a band of people roaming the streets, and protesting against the treatment of this thug, apparently based on nothing more than skin color,WHO supposedly honor the name of the “oppressed ” by going out and doing precisely the same thing the first thug was doing…… Creating mayhem, loading, stealing, and burning their own neighborhoods to the ground. Or, in short, being thugs themselves.
    Given the number of successful blacks there are in this country, it occurs to me that the issue here is not racial, but cultural. I observe once again that those who adopt the majority culture, tend to do better, regardless of what their racial makeup happens to be. The connection between those two factors is direct and undeniable. Yet it gets ignored. Why?
    To demonstrate the cultural disconnect, let me ask you if you are a minority, and are successful at being shot by the police tonight, what minority owned business would you like burn down in your name? This after all is what happened in Ferguson. And in LA. Make sense to you? Me neither, and that’s exactly the point. From the cultural perspective of you and I it doesn’t make sense.
    Yep, do you remember the riots in Los Angeles and other cities where no J Simpson was acquitted? Yeah, I don’t either.
    Is this really the culture these people want to defend? What specifically *is* it that they are defending? What is the message they send by way of who they choose to defend?
    Another thought, that occurred to me this morning, and listening to the news regarding Obama’s supposedly meeting with civil rights leaders as to what to do about Ferguson, officer Wilson, etc.
    If we make the assumption as the Liberals seem to do invariably that violence like what we see in black neighborhoods is the result of poverty, how in the world did we manage to survive FDR? Clearly, there’s something missing in that analysis.
    Something else, too. It’s only taken 6 years of Obama in the White House and six years of overwhelming Democrat rule in both houses of Congress to lead us to this pass. The election of Obama was supposed to be the signal of a race-neutral society, and we were all supposed to be very hopeful about it. That hope turned into dismay, particularly on the part of blacks, when they realized what an abject failure sitting around hoping for unicorns and fairies to show up was going to be. Alas, that, too, is a connection that most people don’t make.
    That something is culture.
    I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, since most people don’t seem to make that connection, anymore. But that is in fact the root of the issue.

  102. Barry says:

    @Davebo: “The protests are less about Wilson and more about those who ensured he would not be held responsible so yes, his resignation is not likely to quell them.”

    Seconded..

    And Wilson walked away with hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s not the sort of thing which we commonfolk regard as punishment.

  103. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Or this story, which has some overlap with the other good news story. (I didn’t want to put more than two links in a comment.)

    Meanwhile, in St. Louis, a man was driving his car when at least four teens attacked the car with hammers. He (foolishly) got out of the car to confront the teens, and was beaten to death.

    More laughs here. Here Jenos takes his marching orders from Twitchy. However, if you click on the link, you immediately see the differences in the process between Michael Brown’s killing and the this one:

    Two male juveniles, 16 and 15, were taken into custody.

    Of course, Officer Wilson was never taken into custody but was allowed to remain at large , as free as a bird, despite killing someone in suspicious circumstances. BIG DIFFERENCE. One wonders how different things would have been in Ferguson had Wilson been treated the same as the homicide suspects in this case.

    I am going to make a prediction. I predict that shortly, after a police investigation, the grand jury will indict the defendants using the standard “ham sandwich” process, and the case will proceed to trial. I also predict that both Jenos and Twitchy will lose interest in this story.

  104. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:


    and try to take his gun. And when he yells at you to stop, just stop.”

    I think Chris Rock would agree.

    Heh, so conservatives try to enlist Chris Rock in their Ferguson defense. Here’s what Chris Rock actually says on Twitter:

    Doesn’t take 100 days to decide if murder is a crime, it takes 100 days to figure out how to tell people it isn’t…… #FergusonDecision
    9:17 PM – 24 Nov 2014

    And

    Chris Rock ✔ @chrisrock
    Follow
    ” A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect ”
    W.E.B. DuBois. http://www.whosay

    And at longer length:

    What would you do in Ferguson that a standard reporter wouldn’t?

    I’d do a special on race, but I’d have no black people.

    Well, that would be much more revealing.

    Yes, that would be an event. Here’s the thing. When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they’re not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.

    Right. It’s ridiculous.

    So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he’s the first black person that is qualified to be president. That’s not black progress. That’s white progress. There’s been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years. If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship’s improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, “Oh, he stopped punching her in the face.” It’s not up to her. Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner. Nothing. It just doesn’t. The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people.

    Yeah, so let’s hear more from Chris Rock on Ferguson (LMAO).

  105. Tyrell says:

    Now some protest group is trying to get everyone to walk out of school or their job today at noon or 11:00. Great. The kids were just out at least two days last week. Just what they need: another day out of school. I guess they can practice their reading and math while they are st home sitting on the couch watching Jerry Springer or Maury.
    And a person finally gets a job (stuffing envelopes or scraping gum off sidewalks (jobs of the economic recovery) and they lose it because they walk out; and the next person out of the 430 who applied gets the job. Great!

  106. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Hold on for this…

    @Eric Florack:

    I suppose that there would be a lot easier time convincing the rest of America that blacks are being persecuted and racially judged etc, if they actually chose the poster child who wasn’t acting like an outright thug. It would be far easier to convince the American public that blacks are oppressed by the police, if it weren’t for the fact that blacks commit crimes far in excess of that of the rest of the population.
    And once the predictable happens with these poster children when they either get shot to death or they get jailed, or they get the snot beat out of them, we get a band of people roaming the streets, and protesting against the treatment of this thug, apparently based on nothing more than skin color,WHO supposedly honor the name of the “oppressed ” by going out and doing precisely the same thing the first thug was doing…… Creating mayhem, loading, stealing, and burning their own neighborhoods to the ground. Or, in short, being thugs themselves.
    Given the number of successful blacks there are in this country, it occurs to me that the issue here is not racial, but cultural. I observe once again that those who adopt the majority culture, tend to do better, regardless of what their racial makeup happens to be. The connection between those two factors is direct and undeniable. Yet it gets ignored. Why?

    You know… I just had to quote that whole section. It is a beauty! Truly a jewel to behold.

    Let’s pause and take a moment to re-read that and consider all the implications stated in those two paragraphs.

    The majority rules over the minority, and it is the minority position that causes the minority problems.

    Have I got that right? That is the core argument here.

    First, considering that the US constitution was set up in such a way that a Majority political position could not brazenly rule over a minority position, the argument that Eric sets out how it should be in America is flawed.

    But let’s set that aside for a moment, and consider what seems to get the general argument of many in this thread: If they were not somehow thugs, then this would not have happened.

    Somehow, due to the inherent flaws in the various people that seem to incite anger against the system after their beating / arrest / death / etc … we should not question the system because somehow THOSE PEOPLE were deviant, and not of the majority.

    I have to stop and thank you Eric, as you (without even knowing it) have laid out the primary argument for White Privilege.

    Consider the following:

    White people enjoy a deeply internalized, largely unconscious sense of racial belonging in U.S. society (DiAngelo, 2006b; McIntosh, 1988). This racial belonging is instilled via the whiteness embedded in the culture at large. Everywhere we look, we see our own racial image reflected back to us – in our heroes and heroines, in standards of beauty, in our role-models and teachers, in our textbooks and historical memory, in the media, in religious iconography including the image of god himself, etc. In virtually any situation or image deemed valuable in dominant society, whites belong. Indeed, it is rare for most whites to experience a sense of not belonging, and such experiences are usually very temporary, easily avoidable situations. Racial belonging becomes deeply internalized and taken for granted. In dominant society, interruption of racial belonging is rare and thus destabilizing and frightening to whites.

    The language of violence that many whites use to describe anti-racist endeavors is not without significance, as it is another example of the way that White Fragility distorts and perverts reality. By employing terms that connote physical abuse, whites tap into the classic discourse of people of color (particularly African Americans) as dangerous and violent. This discourse perverts the actual direction of danger that exists between whites and others. The history of brutal, extensive, institutionalized and ongoing violence perpetrated by whites against people of color—slavery, genocide, lynching, whipping, forced sterilization and medical experimentation to mention a few—becomes profoundly trivialized when whites claim they don’t feel safe or are under attack when in the rare situation of merely talking about race with people of color.

    Source: “White Fragility“, via The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy

    I suggest that those who read this small backwater corner of the internet the give this a look. Well written, well sourced.

    So…

    We have to step back. We have to look at not just the recent shooting, but what leads us up to the situations that lead to these tragedies.

    Trayvon Martin? Michael Brown? Rodney King?

    Just the minority position being put down for the benefit of the majority. These just happened to get press.

    There is a very serious problem in the US that many do not wish to acknowledge.

  107. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: You always make a point of calling me stupid, saying I’m the dumbest human being on the face of the earth, and whatnot. But it seems that pretty much every time we engage in a “battle of wits,” I hand you your ass.

    Either I’m not as dumb as you say you are, or you’re even dumber than you call me.

  108. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Nikki: Considering the gun wasn’t tested for fingerprints, we can put the rest of whatever shit you say as a lie.

    It pains me to defend an egomaniac like Hooson, but his was a simple error. No, Brown’s fingerprints weren’t on Wilson’s gun. But his DNA — his “genetic fingerprint” — was.

  109. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: f course, Officer Wilson was never taken into custody but was allowed to remain at large , as free as a bird, despite killing someone in suspicious circumstances. BIG DIFFERENCE. One wonders how different things would have been in Ferguson had Wilson been treated the same as the homicide suspects in this case.

    I’m not a cop, never have been, never will. But I do know that you don’t arrest someone unless you are reasonably sure that 1) a crime has been committed, and 2) the person being arrested committed said crime.

    There was considerable evidence at the time that the shooting of Brown was not a crime. And arresting Wilson on the spot could have screwed up any future legal proceedings.

    On the other hand, it was pretty clear from the outset that the killing of Mr. Begic that it was a criminal act. Arresting the suspects was the logical move.

    Or are you prepared to argue that the four teenagers who attacked Begic’s car with hammers, then killed him, were acting in self-defense? Please, make that argument.

  110. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    There was considerable evidence at the time that the shooting of Brown was not a crime. And arresting Wilson on the spot could have screwed up any future legal proceedings

    Sigh. That is not the standard. At the time there was considerable evidence that the shooting of Brown WAS a crime. ( Wilson shot an unarmed teenager to death). That in and of itself is enough to meet the extremely low probable cause standard for an indictment. Again, the legal authorities are clear on this. Even the conservative Volokh Conspiracy says that there was enough evidence from the beginning for a charge.
    Why was there not a charge? Because the prosecutor didn’t WANT to charge. I’ve to hear to hear a single legal expert disagree( although countless nonlawyers have weighed in proving to their own satisfaction that Wilson is not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt-the wrong standard).
    Note that the OP (an attorney) never says that there was insufficient evidence for a charge. That’s because he knows the law on the issue, and how low the standard for charging an offense is.

  111. Mikey says:

    @stonetools:

    Why was there not a charge? Because the prosecutor didn’t WANT to charge.

    The more I look at how the grand jury was done, the more obvious it becomes to me that this is true. The prosecutor basically set up his own quasi-trial–a trial done in secret, over which he as prosecutor could exercise near-total control. Then he created an environment within which he could guide the grand jury’s members into believing they had to reach a higher standard than probable cause in order to return an indictment: by presenting “all the evidence,” he made them act as though they were judging guilt or innocence rather than simply deciding if there was enough to warrant charging Wilson. Then he basically washed his hands of the whole thing by asserting the grand jury bore total responsibility for the decision, when in reality he had been pulling the levers from the beginning.

    Whether Wilson was guilty or not should have been decided by a public trial with an actual prosecution and defense. What we got instead was a secret quasi-trial controlled entirely by a prosecutor with a long record of not indicting cops.

  112. Eric Florack says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: you’re tripping over your own tongue, here. And tripping over your own historical position while you’re at it.

    The majority rules over the minority, and it is the minority position that causes the minority problems.
    Have I got that right? That is the core argument here.

    first of all, what you’re describing here, is a pure democracy which is what the left supposedly wants, isn’t it? Now suddenly you’re arguing for constitutional limitations? How interesting. You better tell your boss Obama, who disregard the Constitution at his own whims.

    thing is, you’re barking up the wrong tree here. The fact is,the Constitution is a limit on the government. Not on the people. Not on the society. On the government alone. Any constitutional scholar worth his powder will tell you exactly that.

    as to the rest, it again take a look at the criminal activity involved with the people that I mentioned. Are you really saying that those actions are constitutionally protected? I don’t think so. I don’t think you do either. Perhaps I’m giving you too much credit?

  113. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    You better tell your boss Obama, who disregard the Constitution at his own whims

    Conservatives ignore language in the Constitution that they don’t like, e.g., “well-regulated,” you know, stuff like that.

  114. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: At the time there was considerable evidence that the shooting of Brown WAS a crime. ( Wilson shot an unarmed teenager to death). That in and of itself is enough to meet the extremely low probable cause standard for an indictment.

    Wilson shooting an unarmed man is not evidence, it is a fact. And, for some who are incredibly stupid, incredibly partisan, or both, that’s the only fact that matters.

    That the physical evidence strongly suggests that Brown was moving towards Wilson while he was being shot, and Wilson was backing away from Brown. (Blood spatters and bullet casings, among other things.) This supports the testimony of Wilson and other witnesses that Brown was charging Wilson.

    Brown’s DNA was found on Wilson’s gun and inside Wilson’s cruiser. That is also evidence supporting Wilson’s claim that Brown lunged into his cruiser and struggled for Wilson’s gun.

    Not a single gunshot wound was consistent with Brown being shot from behind, or while his hands were up.

    But as I’ve said quite a few times, the only relevant facts — to some are “Wilson was white and had a gun; Brown was black and didn’t. Case closed.”

    That the presumption of innocence applies to everyone — even white cops who shoot unarmed men — is something they don’t accept. They seem to demand that Wilson prove his innocence to their satisfaction, and that is an impossible standard. Look here in this thread.

    Wilson obviously lied, because it’s in his interest to do so.

    Wilson’s story matches up with the legal definitions of what makes a shooting legal? Of course, he’s a cop. He would make sure his lie fits the law.

    The evidence supports Wilson’s story? Of course it does; his fellow cops were in a position to make sure it all lines up to support Wilson.

    What I find quite appalling is how so many here are OUTRAGED!!!! that the prosecutor didn’t do all he could to arrange an indictment. To them, the job of a prosecutor isn’t to discover truth and administer justice, it’s to bring defendants before a jury and let them decide guilt or innocence. They cite the old saw that a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, and are OUTRAGED!!!! that that didn’t happen here. I always thought that old saw was a condemnation of prosecutorial discretion; I didn’t really see that it was their job description.

  115. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    What I find quite appalling is how so many here are OUTRAGED!!!! that the prosecutor didn’t do all he could to arrange an indictment. To them, the job of a prosecutor isn’t to discover truth and administer justice, it’s to bring defendants before a jury and let them decide guilt or innocence

    Of course, the question here is why did Wilson, a white police officer who shot a black teenager, get the special “discover truth” treatment, whereas the typical defendant gets the “ham sandwich” approach? Believe me, Wilson isn’t the “victim” here: he is the “privileged defendant.” You’ve got things exactly backwards.Toobin again:

    But the goal of criminal law is to be fair—to treat similarly situated people similarly—as well as to reach just results. McCulloch gave Wilson’s case special treatment. He turned it over to the grand jury, a rarity itself, and then used the investigation as a document dump, an approach that is virtually without precedent in the law of Missouri or anywhere else. Buried underneath every scrap of evidence McCulloch could find, the grand jury threw up its hands and said that a crime could not be proved. This is the opposite of the customary ham-sandwich approach, in which the jurors are explicitly steered to the prosecutor’s preferred conclusion. Some might suggest that all cases should be treated the way McCulloch handled Wilson before the grand jury, with a full-fledged mini-trial of all the incriminating and exculpatory evidence presented at this preliminary stage. Of course, the cost of such an approach, in both time and money, would be prohibitive, and there is no guarantee that the ultimate resolutions of most cases would be any more just. In any event, reserving this kind of special treatment for white police officers charged with killing black suspects cannot be an appropriate resolution.

    Would Wilson have faced charges if he had been treated like every other suspect in McCulloch’s jurisdiction? We’ll never know—and that’s the real shame of this prosecutor’s approach.

  116. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: My lawyer can beat up your lawyer.

    Paul G. Cassell teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, and crime victims’ rights at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah.

  117. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Starting or encouraging diversions into topics unrelated to the topic at hand.

    I’m curious Jenos, what does your little analysis of me have to do with “the topic at hand”?

    Otherwise, we end up in a pissing match and personal insults and I get enough of that idiocy around here already.

    you’re just an a-hole

    I’ve got an idea. If you want to be the hall monitor, stay on topic, and stop with the name calling. Do it for more than three comments. We can see where it goes from there.

  118. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    As a general rule, I’d agree that “guy with gun shoots unarmed guy” is almost always the fault of the guy with the gun

    Hmmm. Can you show us a specific case(s) where you argued that a white man was in the wrong when he shot an unarmed black man? After all, you’ve devoted countless thousands of words to explaining why it was all the black guys fault in the Martin and Brown shootings. Is there any actual balance in your position?

  119. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Not really. He said not one word about why the white police officer got the special , “kid gloves”, “let’s seek justice” treatment abnd why other defendants just get the “ham sandwich” treatment. Jeff Toobin’s point stands untouched.
    Good try, though.

  120. Liberal Capitalist says:

    OK, Eric.

    I know that I’ve been around here long enough to know that I can’t teach a pig to sing, but what the heck, I have a few minutes to spare…

    @Eric Florack:

    @Liberal Capitalist: you’re tripping over your own tongue, here. And tripping over your own historical position while you’re at it.

    The majority rules over the minority, and it is the minority position that causes the minority problems. Have I got that right? That is the core argument here.

    first of all, what you’re describing here, is a pure democracy which is what the left supposedly wants, isn’t it? Now suddenly you’re arguing for constitutional limitations?

    thing is, you’re barking up the wrong tree here. The fact is,the Constitution is a limit on the government. Not on the people. Not on the society. On the government alone.

    No, Eric.

    First, I am a remarkably strong constitutionalist. I have stated that many times before. Hell, I believe that the ACLU is doing awesome work to ensure that minority positions (even though those I may not personally agree with) are upheld.

    Next, from the quote above, I removed the straw man argument about President Obama. That has nothing to do with what we are talking about.

    And, I should remove the part about “… a pure democracy which is what the left supposedly wants“, because if you ask many on the left, we pretty well want the kinda stuff that the fellow Jesus talked about… But, again, not the core issue..

    This leaves your new core point in your latest post:

    The fact is,the Constitution is a limit on the government. Not on the people. Not on the society. On the government alone.

    Again, setting aside the fact that your response was to my post on how I described your opinion / post as an example of White Privilege, and you chose not to address that… OK. I’ll accept the fact that you deflected about 90% of what I was talking about. No problem.

    Then let’s address your concern… that I summarized YOUR position as:

    The majority rules over the minority, and it is the minority position that causes the minority problems. Have I got that right? That is the core argument here.

    This I got from your comment:

    it occurs to me that the issue here is not racial, but cultural. I observe once again that those who adopt the majority culture, tend to do better, regardless of what their racial makeup happens to be.

    And I said:

    considering that the US constitution was set up in such a way that a Majority political position could not brazenly rule over a minority position, the argument that Eric sets out how it should be in America is flawed.

    to this you said:

    The fact is,the Constitution is a limit on the government. Not on the people. Not on the society.

    So: Let’s work on reading comprehension.

    Again… remember that I stated:

    the US constitution was set up in such a way that a Majority political position could not brazenly rule over a minority position

    Notice that I did say Majority political position, which is a political power, which is involved in government.

    So, my statement had to do with government, and not individuals.

    For more details, including a great case study on the US Constitution and the African American experience, please view:

    Majority Rule/Minority Rights: Essential Principles

    and also:

    Majority Rule versus Minority Rights

    The Framers’ Constitution

    HOWEVER…

    Even though that you seemed to miss the point that was being made about White Privilege, and you totally went off tangent (incorrectly) about the political power of the Majority compared to individuals…

    Let’s look at what you said, again:

    The fact is,the Constitution is a limit on the government. Not on the people. Not on the society.

    Yeah… Well, that’s just wrong as well.

    The constitution DOES place limits on the actions of individuals. If we consider the following from

    Limits on Rights

    All individual rights have limits. Some limits on rights can be imposed by law, and other limits should be imposed by the individual as one of the responsibilities of citizenship.

    Since the time of ancient republics rights have been understood to have legal limits. The Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and the Massachusetts Body of Liberties all set limits on rights.

    Supreme Court cases that addressed limits on rights include:
    * Schenck v. United States (1919),
    * Minersville v. Gobitas (1940),
    * Buckley v. Valeo (1976),
    * New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985),
    * Bethel School District v. Fraser,
    * Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier (1988),
    * Washington v. Glucksberg (1997),
    * Board of Education of Pottawatomie County v. Earls (2002), and
    * Kelo v. New London (2005).

    Citizens also have the responsibility to exercise their rights within reasonable limits that do not abridge the equal freedom of others. Liberty exercised without responsibility is license. Citizens can practice civic values including respect (limiting ones right to speak freely so that others can have a chance to speak) and moderation (avoiding extremes or excesses in all things.)

    (links to each of the following cases are available at the provided Bill of Rights institute link)

    Another example of constitutional limits on the individual can also be read at Amendments Limiting Individual Rights

    So, yes, Eric, the constitution does place limitations on the rights of individuals. And political groups.

    OK?

    Great.

  121. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Moderators,

    Please post my response to Eric.

    It is in “moderation”, likely because I had too may links stating that the constitution has limits both on political groups AS WELL AS individuals.

    Thanks!

  122. Lib. Cap. says:

    Dear moderators…

    In my best Emily Litella voice: … never mind.

    🙂

  123. Grewgills says:

    @Paul Hooson:

    Unfortunately many people don’t believe in the autopsy report that all of the shots were at close range, with Michael Brown’s blood splatter in the police car

    That is not what the report says. At least one shot was at close range with some of Brown’s blood on the cruiser and on the gun. Most of the shots were fired at medium range, ie 10-30 feet distance.

    Michael Brown’s fingerprints on the gun and on the police car,

    There was no evidence presented that this was the case that I have seen. Can you point to that evidence in the report?

    or the video showing Michael Brown as a neighborhood hoodlum roughing up a store clerk in a robbery either.

    Who doesn’t accept that Brown stole the cigarillos? Wilson was not aware of that at the time, so it is irrelevant in any case.

    They still think this street hoodlum is some martyr, believing in some “hands up” surrender myth that never happened.

    You do not know that.

    All of the evidence supports the account of this officer that Michael Brown assaulted this police officer at his car window wrestled for the officer’s gun to kill the officer, and the officer got the gun back and shot this hoodlum at his police car door and just outside the door as well.

    That isn’t even how Wilson tells the story. There is evidence of an altercation at the cruiser. There is evidence of one point blank shot to Brown’s hand. The rest of the shots were well away from the cruiser and there was more than 10 feet between the two for every shot that hit Brown other than the first one.

    This neighborhood is so bad that the police and city erected barricades at a public housing project in the neighborhood

    So the police walled off the neighborhood like a ghetto and treated the people inside as people to be dealt with rather than a community to be served and you wonder why there is resentment.

    When a police officer cannot even tell some street thug to walk on the sidewalk without getting assaulted and having his gun stolen and being threatened with death

    Again, that is not an accurate portrayal of what happened.

  124. Grewgills says:

    @rodney dill:

    It’s easy to see that the current environment in Ferguson would not allow Wilson to continue as an officer, not because of whether his actions were defensible or not, but because a large segment of the population has made up their minds that his actions are not defensible.

    That and the way the grand jury was handled made it apparent that the prosecutor wanted to make sure there would be no indictment. The incident with Wilson and Brown was a tipping point and because of that Wilson has come to symbolize the underlying problem with the way the police in Ferguson and elsewhere treat the communities they are tasked with serving. As that symbol he won’t be welcome in any police department that serves a minority community for quite some time. He has managed to rake in quite a tidy sum in donations and I suspect that will continue if he faces civil sanctions.

  125. Grewgills says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Something else, too. It’s only taken 6 years of Obama in the White House and six years of overwhelming Democrat rule in both houses of Congress to lead us to this pass.

    Are you that dumb or do you just think everyone that reads you is? Seriously, 6 years of overwhelming Democratic rule in both houses of congress? Do you think no one has a memory or access to google?

    The election of Obama was supposed to be the signal of a race-neutral society, and we were all supposed to be very hopeful about it.

    Only as a right wing talking point. Sort of like Jackie Robinson signaled the complete racial blindness in all ball sports as soon as he took the field, or how women ceased to face any discrimination whatsoever as soon as they got the vote, etc etc etc.

    That hope turned into dismay, particularly on the part of blacks, when they realized what an abject failure sitting around hoping for unicorns and fairies to show up was going to be.
    Alas, that, too, is a connection that most people don’t make.
    That something is culture.
    I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, since most people don’t seem to make that connection, anymore. But that is in fact the root of the issue.

    The African American community only went through that bit of theater in your tiny little head.

  126. Barry says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “My lawyer can beat up your lawyer.”

    He’s lying.

  127. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Wilson shooting an unarmed man is not evidence, it is a fact.

    The rest of this comment has already been dismantled, but I couldn’t let this go. What the hell is that supposed to mean? Are the facts of the case not evidence? What in your mind constitutes evidence if it is not the facts discovered relating to the incident?

  128. rodney dill says:
  129. rodney dill says:

    @Grewgills: I am pretty much in concurrence with your comment, and I don’t think it necessarily disagrees with any of my thoughts on the subject.

  130. Grewgills says:

    @rodney dill:
    It wasn’t meant as disagreement, more as further fleshing my thoughts on what you said. We are allowed to occasionally agree even if we have some political differences.

  131. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Do it for more than three comments. We can see where it goes from there.

    Feel free to lead by example.

  132. Grewgills says:

    @rodney dill:
    From what I have been able to find in various online resources and talking with family and friends that are attorneys, there is some overlap. Evidence can be used to establish certain things as facts and facts can themselves be evidence. Evidence is a broader term that can include both facts and testimony or other things used to determine what is factual. For instance, Brown’s blood was found on Wilson’s gun. That is both a fact and evidence of what occurred during the incident. Brown was shot dead by Wilson. That is both a fact and evidence of potential criminal wrongdoing by Wilson.

  133. Grewgills says:

    @anjin-san: @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Will both of you please stop. I know SIWOTI is strong, but for the sake of the comments section and everyone else reading it, please stop.

  134. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Hmmm. Can you show us a specific case(s) where you argued that a white man was in the wrong when he shot an unarmed black man? After all, you’ve devoted countless thousands of words to explaining why it was all the black guys fault in the Martin and Brown shootings. Is there any actual balance in your position?

    Setting aside my distaste for treating your endless blatherings as attempts at serious discussion, no examples spring readily to mind. But that’s because I treat such cases as individual, just as I see people as individuals.

    But now that I think about it… Amidou Diallo. John Crawford. Levar Jones.

    So there’s three examples. Now you gonna say something on-topic?

  135. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Two of the three you mentioned were caught on video and one of those was still not indicted. Were it not for massive (minority and left wing) protests Amidou Diallo’s killers would not have been indicted. These are all additional examples of what those critical of Wilson in the comments section here and people protesting around the country are angered by. Unless there is clear video and or massive protests cops in general (especially white cops) are VERY difficult to indict for excessive force particularly when it is a minority on the receiving end. The particular case of Brown and Wilson is just another in a long line of events that served as a spark to reignite simmering tensions over this fact.

  136. rodney dill says:

    @Grewgills: @Grewgills: I agree with that. I mainly looked it up to determine how the two terms were used by lawyers. What I determined is that I’m glad I’m not a lawyer.

  137. Dave D says:

    @rodney dill:

    What I determined is that I’m glad I’m not a lawyer.

    You needed to look up legal definitions to come to this conclusion?

  138. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: They already live under Police occupation and own few if any of those businesses. Tell me exactly, how can it be worse for Ferguson….other that driving a little further to shop. If you had a brain, I’ll tell you to use it. These people have little to lose….which is part of the problem.

  139. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Paul Hooson: Ferguson as a community has relatively tame crime statistics. It’s not uncommon to have a year with no homicides. The highest number of homicides they had in a year was 5. Assault and burglary numbers were slightly above average but not eyepopping. The false meme that this place is a crime den is verifiably false. That’s projection of what YOU THINK black communities are like. I wonder who was coming to those projects to buy drugs though?…. I doubt many of those folks were stopped for traffic citations.

  140. anjin-san says:

    @Grewgills:

    You’re so offended by our dialog that you jumped right into the middle of it?

    Two of the three you mentioned were caught on video and one of those was still not indicted. Were it not for massive (minority and left wing) protests Amidou Diallo’s killers would not have been indicted.

    I see.

  141. rodney dill says:
  142. Grewgills says:

    @anjin-san:
    You know what I’m talking about. When there is substance I will respond. 80% or more of your back and forth with Jenos is off topic and/or insult trading. That is the part I can do without and I suspect I am far from alone in that.
    I agree with you on more than not, but when you interact with him (I assume him) you often get bogged down in insult trading to the detriment of the rest of the conversation.

  143. anjin-san says:

    @Grewgills:

    Well, I don’t deny that Jenos tends to bring out the worst in people, me included. He automatically lowers the IQ of any thread he is on by about 30 points.

    But do you really think you are having discussions of “substance” with him? He posts nonsense, people refute it. He engages in serial lies, people refute him. Then he claims victory and talks about how he is handing everyone’s ass to them.

    On other occasions, he spends half his time on name calling, going off topic, and generally saying nothing of substance. The other half, he spends complaining that others are name calling, going off topic, and saying nothing of substance.

    As I mentioned above, I tended bar for a long time. There was always an annoying barfly. The veteran barfly positions himself in the seat closest to the service end of the bar. That way the bartender and the waitresses, who would surely avoid him otherwise, can’t avoid him. Barflys are sad, pathetic little creatures, but bartenders and waitresses don’t feel sorry for them, because they so lower the quality of the experience everyone else is having. They are a cross between a barnacle and a hemorrhoid, very difficult to get rid, irritating, and rather disgusting.

    Jenos is our barfly. The ironic thing is that he is Cliff Clavin, and he is totally unaware of it. He thinks he’s Norm. And if we don’t all ignore him, something I have advocated on many occasions, he will never go away, and OTB will never be what it might be. He’s that toxic.

  144. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Hold on a second here. I kept looking at the criticisms of the prosecutor’s conduct here, because something bugged me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. And it finally struck me — the criticism is that the prosecutor didn’t withhold relevant information from the grand jury.

    Is that something we should be outraged about?

  145. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Let me explain why you don’t get me, and never will get me. You talk at great length about your tenure tending bar, and your insights into human nature you gained from those experiences. And you tend to categorize everyone by how you saw people in those bars.

    That won’t work with me. It won’t ever work with me. Because I’m the type that never goes to bars. Ever. The only bartenders I’ve ever encountered have been accidental, away from bars. You probably know more about junior high students, nuns, and devout Mormons or Muslims than you do about me.

    And here’s a sad observation: that’s the longest and most thoughtful thing you’ve written in ages (at least as I’ve seen). And yet it’s totally wrong and totally off-topic.

    Just for grins, let’s look at your comments on this thread: One mocking any threats to Wilson’s physical safety. One insulting Wilson’s service record. One bringing up the Bundy case (for some reason). One insult to jmc. One insult to me. One off-topic challenge to me in an attempt to get me fighting with Dennis (that failed, BTW). One about how you’ve witnessed people fighting with cops. One denigrating cops. One bragging about how awesome it was being a bartender. Another insult to me. Another insult to me. One denigration of Don Surber. Another insult to me. Another challenge to me (which, BTW, I answered). An insult to Grewgills. And then your long, amusingly wrong pyschoanalysis of me.

    So, just who here is trying to be the hall monitor?

  146. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Is that seriously what you’re taking away from all this?

    The actual criticism is McCulloch gave Wilson special treatment, and the special treatment was engineered and controlled by McCulloch to ensure Wilson would not be indicted.

    If you want to be “outraged” by something, be outraged by a public official conducting a secret trial with a predetermined result, because that’s basically what happened. Don’t excuse it because you agree with the outcome.

  147. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Mikey: That’s one way of interpreting it. Here’s another.

    Under the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct, a prosecutor is forbidden from prosecuting a case where he (or she) does not believe is supported by probable cause. That’s a hard rule.

    So assume for a moment that the prosecutor genuinely believes, based on all the evidence, his own experience, and the law as written, that the case against Wilson is not supported by probable cause. He should simply declare so and drop the matter.

    But that isn’t possible in this case. There’s too much political pressure. So he finds a way to accommodate the conflicting demands. He presents all the evidence to the grand jury — not just the stuff supporting a prosecution, but the exculpatory stuff, too — and has them exert their collective wisdom.

    Your scenario requires a prosecutor who is more interested in protecting a single police officer than carrying out his sworn duty and professional obligation. It assumes malice on his part.

    Mine requires a prosecutor who is putting a good-faith effort into finding the most just solution to a situation with several conflicting demands, and trusting the grand jury to do the right thing.

  148. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    If he only does that for one person or one class of people and treats all others differently, then hell yes it is something to be outraged about. How can you not see that?

  149. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Your scenario is not any more beneficial to McCulloch than mine, from a corruption-of-the-process perspective. You’re simply assigning him a more noble motivation.

    You are correct in saying McCulloch bowed to political pressure in convening the grand jury, but he did not want to risk it actually returning an indictment, so he turned it into a secret quasi-trial. This had the added benefit (to him) of leading the public to believe the process was somehow more fair because he gave the grand jury “all the information.” In reality, this simply led the grand jury, under his sole guidance as prosecutor, to act as the determiner of guilt or innocence–a role for which a grand jury was never intended and for which it is entirely ill-suited.

    What he should have done, since he called the grand jury to begin with, was proceed as though the case were any other case. He should have given Wilson the same “ham sandwich” treatment he would give any potential defendant. That McCulloch proceeded as he did tells me he believed there was probable cause, and so he engineered the process to ensure the grand jury would not indict Wilson.

    I mean none of this to imply I believe Wilson guilty. My beef is with what I see as a grand jury proceeding that was corrupted by a prosecutor who wanted to avoid prosecuting him. Wilson’s guilt or innocence should have been decided by a public jury trial, not by a secret proceeding run according to one man’s dictates.

  150. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Grewgills: What I see is you arguing the people, not the facts. And this was a unique case.

    Short version: a prosecutor is governed by a code of conduct that says he can not bring a case when he doesn’t think he can win it. And the evidence is pretty compelling that Brown did grab for Wilson’s gun in the cruiser, and that Brown was charging Wilson, and Wilson backing away, when he was shot.

    There never was a “hands up, don’t shoot” moment. That was a complete fiction.

  151. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Mikey: One fundamental aspect of your arguments is flawed. The grand jury was an existing one, empaneled months before the shooting.

    And you keep forgetting the “prosecutorial discretion” aspect, where it ties in with the Code of Professional Conduct and the notion that “you don’t bring a case where you don’t believe it can be won” part.

    How would you have reacted if the prosecutor had refused to bring it before the grand jury, because he didn’t think there was a case?

  152. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    How would you have reacted if the prosecutor had refused to bring it before the grand jury, because he didn’t think there was a case?

    I think that would have been his best course of action, actually, if he truly believed there was no probable cause. He would have had to be very open with the public as to why–perhaps even holding an extended news conference detailing his rationale and supported by Missouri law.

    I’m not naive enough to believe a huge outcry, probably even rioting, would have been avoided. But he could have kept the process uncorrupted and avoided the even stronger perception of bias that was created by the way he actually ran this. Even if his motivation was simply to avoid what he personally believed could have been an unjust indictment, he has done tremendous damage to public confidence in the justice system and helped drive an even larger wedge between the African-American community and law enforcement.

    (Yes, I should have said “brought the case to the grand jury” rather than “convened the grand jury.” My error.)

  153. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Mikey: Had the prosecutor refused to go to the grand jury, he’d have been pilloried at least as soundly as he is now. There would have been calls for his firing and charges for obstruction of justice and probably some “WANTED” posters with his picture on them.

    By putting all the evidence before the grand jury, and then releasing it all publicly, he puts all his cards on the table for all to see. And in all that evidence, there is nowhere near enough to support any criminal charges against Wilson.

    But that doesn’t matter to a lot of the crowd — and they are well represented in the crowd above us, Mikey. The only relevant facts to them are that 1) Wilson was white and had a gun, 2) Brown was black and didn’t have a gun, and 3) there have been other cases of white cops shooting unarmed black men. The particulars of this case simply aren’t relevant — There Must Be Justice, and that means that Wilson must be punished.

  154. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    The fact is McCulloch treated Wilson differently than anyone else before the grand jury. That is what makes this case unique. There have been other officer shootings and even other officer shootings with large public outcry and demonstrations. What separates this case from those others is the behavior of the police and the behavior of McCulloch.
    There was more than enough evidence to meet the very low bar of probable cause. If McCulloch had treated this case like every other case he brought to the grand jury there would have been an indictment.

  155. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Grewgills: <i.There was more than enough evidence to meet the very low bar of probable cause. If McCulloch had treated this case like every other case he brought to the grand jury there would have been an indictment.

    Earlier I said I’m not a cop. Well, I’m also not a lawyer, but I went Googling to see what standard a grand jury uses, because “probable cause” didn’t sound right — that’s for arrests and search warrants. But it is the proper term.

    Then I went and looked up the legal definition of “probable cause.”

    Probable cause is a level of reasonable belief, based on facts that can be articulated, that is required to sue a person in civil court or to arrest and prosecute a person in criminal court. Before a person can be sued or arrested and prosecuted, the civil plaintiff or police and prosecutor must possess enough facts that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the claim or charge is true.

    Second, in most criminal cases the court must find that probable cause exists to believe that the defendant committed the crime before the defendant may be prosecuted.

    There is no dispute that Wilson shot and killed Brown. But there’s an underlying assumption there, and that is the crux of the entire matter: that the killing constituted a crime.

    We have access to a lot of the evidence now, thanks to the prosecutor releasing the full grand jury records. Some of that evidence is supportive of the shooting being criminal. Had the prosecutor chosen to do so, he quite likely could have secured an indictment.

    But there was far more evidence — both in quantity and quality — that no crime was committed. The Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct says he can not bring a case:

    Rule 3.8 Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor

    The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

    (a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause.

    So he CAN’T bring charges, because the evidence simply isn’t there. But he HAS to try, because there’s so much public pressure. It’s a unique case, and it requires a unique solution: give all the facts to the grand jury — incriminating and exculpatory — and let them make the call.

    Then, after the jury’s made the call, release the full case to the public, so the rest of us can see for ourselves if there was a case to be made.

    And the vast majority of the evidence supports the basic story: Brown attacked Wilson in the cruiser, struggling for his gun; Brown fled and Wilson followed; Brown turned and charged Wilson; Wilson backed away while firing, killing Brown.

    Plenty of evidence of crimes being committed, but by Brown, not Wilson.

  156. EddieInCA says:
  157. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @EddieInCA: Oh, my. A JOURNALISM MAJOR has spoken. We can all stop thinking for ourselves now.

    This “analysis” is so vapid and stupid, you should be ashamed of even citing it. Here’s one point:

    -Mike Brown WAS fleeing from Officer Wilson when he was fatally shot. Wilson confirms this on page 281 of his grand jury testimony.

    I went digging, and here is the entire text of that page (plus a little before to complete sentences):

    MS. WHIRLEY: I was just going, if we are sort of done with your questioning, is there (START PAGE 281) something that we have not asked you that you want us to know or you think it is important for the jurors to consider regarding this incident:

    A One thing you guys haven’t asked that has been asked of mis in other interviews is, was he a threat, was Michael Brown a threat when he was running away. People asked why would you chase him if he was running away.

    I had already called for assistance. If someone arrives and sees him running, another officer and goes around the back half of the apartment complexes and tries to stop him, what would stop him from doing what he just did to me to him or worse, knowing he has already done it to one cop. And that was, he still posed a threat, not only to me, but to anybody else that confronted him.

    MS. WHIRLEY: Any questions?

    (Speaker redacted) Along those lines, you feel like as a police officer it is your obligation to follow that suspect?

    A Yes, sir.

    MS. ALIZADEH: All right. If that’s it then.

    (End of the testimony for Sept. 26, 2014.)

    That’s Wilson saying he was FOLLOWING Brown when he was fleeing, NOT saying he was SHOOTING AT Brown.

    That is your great rebuttal? That’s your best answer? Her first key point is not only totally refuted by the physical evidence, but the citation she makes doesn’t say anything at all like what she says it does.

  158. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @EddieInCA: Whoops, forgot to include a link to the testimony, because I wouldn’t want you to take my word for it. After all, you’ve already shown just how gullible you can be.

    Or is that just when the person is telling you what you want to hear?

  159. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I made a couple of errors in that lengthy quote comment.

    First, I messed up the formatting. The last quote-in-quote should have been not in blockquotes at all; it’s my own words.

    Second, the author you cited isn’t a “Journalism major.” She is, to quote, “a student at the University of Kansas, majoring in Journalism and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.”

    I apologize for those two errors. They both diminished my points, and I regret them.

  160. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Matt: That PBS chart you linked to has been studied more carefully, and found wanting. Here’s a revised edition.