Ferguson, MO in 2014: Michael Brown and Darren Wilson

Wikipedia: Shooting of Michal Brown

Note: Many are comparing the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown
to the non-indictment for the killing of Eric Garner.
I have followed the Ferguson MO episode with some care,
and from what I know,
the St. Louis grand jury was justified in not indicting Officer Wilson.
I have followed the Garner case hardly at all,
but from what little I do know
it sounds to me like the New York grand jury really should have made some kind of indictment for the death of Eric Garner.

Ferguson Police Department Incident Report (18 page PDF)

Here are two excerpts from that report,
the first evidently a report from the Ferguson P.D. officer who responded to the report of the theft,
the second part of a report from a detective who two days later followed up
by reviewing videos and interviewing store personnel:

On 09/09/2014 at approximately 1151 hours …
I received a call for a stealing in progress at [redacted].
I responded to that location and was given a description by dispatch of
a B/M in a white T shirt that was walking northbound on W. Florissant toward Quiktrip…
I did not see the suspect in the area
so I returned to [redacted] to contact the employee there.
I contacted [redacted] on the parking lot,
who continued to point up W. Florissant toward Quiktrip
and say, “he went that way.”
He was indicating with his hands toward his chest and then north on W. Florissant.
I still could not see the suspect on W. Florissant…
I went inside to contact a [redacted] clerk, who was not identified at that time,
and [redacted] and [redacted] patron, who was not identified at that time,
who advised the suspect took cigars and pushed [redacted] on his way out.

Supplement No. 0001
Date/Time 8/11/2014 11:31 AM
Pursuant to the original report, the following information is pertinent.
On Monday, 8/11/2014 @ 0900 hrs, I was assigned to this investigation.

[Unidentified person] had just come out of the restroom and returned to the counter
where she observed Brown tell [unidentified]
that he (Brown) wanted several boxes of cigars.
As [unidentified] was placing the boxes on the counter,
Brown grabbed a box of Swisher Sweet cigars
and handed them to Johnson who was standing behind Brown.
[UI] witnessed [UI] tell Brown he had to pay for those cigars first.
That is when Brown reached across the counter
and grabbed numerous packs of Swisher Sweets and turned to leave the store.
[UI] then calls “911”.
Meanwhile [UI] comes out from behind the counter and attempts to stop Brown from leaving.
According to [UI],
[UI] was trying to lock the door until Brown returned the merchandise to him.
That is when Brown grabbed [UI] by the shirt
and forcefully pushed him back into a display rack.
[UI] backed away and Brown and Johnson exited the store with the cigars.

I then had the opportunity to review a copy of the video surveillance footage
which captured the following events.
The date and time stamps correspond to the video footage provided.
The entire incident takes place on Saturday, 09/09/2014 between 11:52:58hrs and 11:54:00hrs.

Camera 3 – Exterior camera mounted on southwest corner of building,
pointed east to record side of building and parking lot.
Camera 6 – Interior camera mounted on ceiling to record entry-exit doors.
Camera 7 – Interior camera mounted on ceiling to record counter/register.

The video reveals Brown enter the store followed by Johnson.
Brown approaches the register with Johnson standing behind him.
[UI] can be seen in the background walking from the restroom to behind the counter.
Brown hands a box of Swisher Sweets to Johnson.
An apparent struggle or confrontation seems to take place with Brown,
however it is obscured by a display case on the counter.
Meanwhile, Johnson sets the box he was handed back on the counter.
Brown turns away from the counter with another box of Swisher Sweet cigars and walks towards the exit door.
[UI] then comes out from behind the counter, with what appears to be a set of keys in his hands.
[UI] then stand stands between Brown and the exit door.
Brown, still holding a box of Swisher Sweets in his right hand, grabs [UI] by his shirt with his oft hand.
Brown aggressively pulls [UI] in close to him and then immediately pushes him back into a display rack.
Johnson continues out the door and out of camera frame.
[UI], no longer between Brown and the door, stops and watches Brown as he walks towards the exit door.
Brown then abruptly turns back around and advances on [UI].
Brown towers over [UI] appearing to intimidate him.
Brown then turns around and walks out of camera view.

It is worth mentioning that this incident is related to another incident detailed under Ferguson Police Report #21014-12391 as well as St. Louis County Police Report # 2014-43984.
In that incident, Brown was fatally wounded …
I responded to that scene and observed Brown.
After viewing Brown and reviewing this video,
I was able to confirm that Brown is the primary suspect in this incident.
A second person, also at that scene, identified himself as being with Brown.
That person was later identified as Dorian Johnson.
After observing Johnson and reviewing the video,
I confirmed he is the second suspect in this incident.

[End of excerpt from Ferguson Police Department report.]

Here are some comments by the author of this blog,
and excerpts from several news articles concerning the shooting of Michael Brown.

As I write this, we have not yet heard from the police officer who shot Michael Brown,
nor the results of the official investigation.
What we have heard are a lot of accusations against him,
with some calling him emphatically a "murderer."
To those who want to label him a murderer,
before they hear his side of the story,
I would ask this question:
"Why would a police officer, with no previous complaints against him,
suddenly go rogue and commit what some have called an execution
in plain sight, at high noon, in the middle of the street?"
Rational people do things for a reason.
Is there any reason to believe Officer Wilson is, or has ever been, irrational?
If not, then might there have been a rational basis for the action he took?
I do not know the answers to those questions,
but prefer to reserve judgement on the matter until I or we hear from him
and from the official investigation.
I think the "protestors" are making a big mistake in rushing to judgement
before they hear from him,
and whatever the guilt or innocence of Officer Wilson may be,
in taking out their anger on innocent businesses in Ferguson.

Now for some news articles about the case:

Eyewitness to Michael Brown shooting recounts his friend’s death
By Trymaine Lee
MSNBC, 2014-08-12

[This is an interview with Dorian Johnson, Michael Brown's friend and companion at the time of his shooting.
Mr. Johnson provides a very detailed and vivid depiction of what happened,
from his point of view.
It is contradicted in one area by the autopsy of Mr. Brown; see below.]


About 20 minutes before the shooting [which was at about 1203 CDT], Johnson said he saw Brown walking down the street and decided to catch up with him. The two walked and talked. That’s when Johnson says they saw the police car rolling up to them.

The officer demanded that the two “get the f—k on the sidewalk,” Johnson says. “His exact words were get the f—k on the sidewalk.”

After telling the officer that they were almost at their destination, Johnson’s house, the two continued walking. But as they did, Johnson says the officer slammed his brakes and threw his truck in reverse, nearly hitting them.

Now, in line with the officer’s driver’s side door, they could see the officer’s face. They heard him say something to the effect of, “what’d you say?” At the same time, Johnson says the officer attempted to thrust his door open but the door slammed into Brown and bounced closed. Johnson says the officer, with his left hand, grabbed Brown by the neck.

“I could see the muscles in his forearm,” Johnson said. “Mike was trying to get away from being choked.”

“They’re not wrestling so much as his arm went from his throat to now clenched on his shirt,” Johnson explained of the scene between Brown and the officer. “It’s like tug of war. He’s trying to pull him in. He’s pulling away, that’s when I heard, ‘I’m gonna shoot you.’”

At that moment, Johnson says he fixed his gaze on the officer to see if he was pulling a stun gun or a real gun. That’s when he saw the muzzle of the officer’s gun.

“I seen the barrel of the gun pointed at my friend,” he said. “He had it pointed at him and said ‘I’ll shoot,’ one more time.”

A second later Johnson said he heard the first shot go off.

“I seen the fire come out of the barrell,” he said. “I could see so vividly what was going on because I was so close.”

Johnson says he was within arm’s reach of both Brown and the officer. He looked over at Brown and saw blood pooling through his shirt on the right side of the body.

“The whole time [the officer] was holding my friend until the gun went off,” Johnson noted.

Brown and Johnson took off running together. There were three cars lined up along the side of the street. Johnson says he ducked behind the first car, whose two passengers were screaming. Crouching down a bit, he watched Brown run past.

“Keep running, bro!,” he said Brown yelled. Then Brown yelled it a second time. Those would be the last words Johnson’s friend, “Big Mike,” would ever say to him.

Brown made it past the third car.
Then, “blam!” the officer took his second shot,
striking Brown in the back.
At that point, Johnson says Brown stopped, turned with his hands up
and said “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!”

[That's the problem.
The autopsies have found that all the bullets, six or more,
struck Brown in the front of his body, or on the top of his head.]

By that point, Johnson says the officer and Brown were face-to-face.
The officer then fired several more shots.
Johnson described watching Brown go from standing with his hands up
to crumbling to the ground and curling into a fetal position.

“After seeing my friend get gunned down, my body just ran,” he said. He ran to his apartment nearby. Out of breath, shocked and afraid, Johnson says he went into the bathroom and vomited. Then he checked to make sure that he hadn’t also been shot.

Five minutes later, Johnson emerged from his apartment to see his friend Mike dead and in the middle of the street. Neighbors were gathering, some shouting, some taking pictures with their cell phones.

Freeman Bosley, Johnson’s attorney, told msnbc that the police have yet to interview Johnson. Bosley said that he offered the police an opportunity to speak with Johnson, but they declined.

“They didn’t even want to talk to him,” said Bosley, a former mayor of St. Louis. “They don’t want the facts. What they want is to justify what happened … what they are trying to do now is justify what happened instead of trying to point out the wrong. Something is wrong here and that’s what it is.”


Piaget Crenshaw talks about Michael Brown shooting
KSDK interview with eyewitness Piaget Crenshaw

[A 3 minute 52 second video
on an interview with a young black woman, Piaget Crenshaw,
who claims to have seen the shooting of Michael Brown.
She claims Brown had his hands up
and the shooting was entirely unjustified.]

The Search for Calm in Missouri
Abusive Police Tactics in Ferguson Will Only Delay Justice
New York Times Editorial, 2014-08-15

Higher authorities wisely stepped into the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., on Thursday after a night that startled the nation with images of police overkill: flash grenades, rubber bullets and huge clouds of tear gas fired at demonstrators protesting the police shooting Saturday of an unarmed black teenager.

Gov. Jay Nixon — after keeping a low profile for too long — made an urgent tour of the town and replaced local police officers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. He gave the Highway Patrol an order that should have been given over the weekend: Let protesters who are angry about the shooting protest peacefully, without aggressive demands to disperse, as is their constitutional right.

It’s time to make sure, he said, “that we allow peaceful and appropriate protests, that we use force only when necessary, that we step back a little bit and let some of the energy be felt in this region appropriately.”

Earlier in the day, President Obama denounced tactics of “excessive force” by the police and the “bullying” and arrest of journalists trying to cover the news. He said the federal investigation into the incident, which began earlier this week, must determine exactly what happened to Michael Brown, the 18-year-old shooting victim.

Local authorities, including the police, have “a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they are investigating that death and how they are protecting the people in their communities,” Mr. Obama said, noting the “violent turn” in street confrontations that have been seen on screens around the world.

The two executives conferred and acted after anger and frustration in the streets had descended into widespread looting by some protesters earlier in the week, countered by aggressive street policing by officers outfitted in war gear who too often veered toward provocation more than protection. “The police response has become part of the problem,” Senator Claire McCaskill told residents during a visit, saying authorities had to “demilitarize” the force, which has aimed sniper rifles at innocent protesters and sent tear gas into people’s backyards.

Chief among the transparency issues for protesters has been
local authorities’ adamant and inexcusable refusal to identify the police officer who shot Mr. Brown,
saying the officer faced death threats.
Residents have a right to know whether the officer has a record of reckless behavior,
and whether the officer lives in the community among the residents being patrolled, or in a very different neighborhood.

[Beware the double standard which
demands release of the police officer's name
but opposes release of information about the person he shot.]

Other communities across the nation have safely demonstrated greater openness in similarly tense situations by eventually identifying and protecting an officer as a matter of the public’s right to know. This should be the course taken in Ferguson if citizens are not to be further outraged at embattled authorities’ stonewalling. “When we get answers, things will calm down,” one resident told The Times’s Julie Bosman.

Mr. Nixon said Ferguson would become known “as a community that pulled together to overcome” violence. But first local politicians and law enforcement leaders will have to talk to residents to understand the deep vein of mistrust that has grown over the decades.

Restoring a sense of justice will not be an easy task in the town of 21,000, which is 69 percent black yet remains under white government leadership. While authorities have the right to respond forcefully to looting and violent rioting, the unyielding use of military tactics and abusive behavior have widened that rift. Once the tear gas has dissipated, Mr. Nixon and Mr. Obama have an obligation to ensure that a real dialogue begins in Ferguson and other racially segregated areas, in hopes of keeping armored vehicles off the streets of America.

Update: On Friday morning, the Ferguson Police Department identified the officer who shot Michael Brown as Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran of the force with no disciplinary record. USA Today said Mr. Wilson lives in Crestwood, Mo., an almost entirely white suburb on the opposite side of the county from Ferguson.

Ferguson Police Identify Darren Wilson as Officer in Fatal Shooting and Link Teenager to Robbery
New York Times, 2014-08-15

[The above headline and link were that on the NYT website at 1530 EDT on 2014-08-15.]

State of emergency declared in Missouri amid renewed tensions over Brown’s death
By DeNeen L. Brown,, Wesley Lowery and Jerry Markon
Washington Post, 2014-08-16


The crackdown was triggered by the wild scene on the streets of Ferguson
late Friday night and into Saturday morning.
In the main stretch of downtown, which had been tranquil the day before,
at least four businesses were looted
and reporters were threatened by a small group of rioters.
Police deployed tear gas and flash grenades, which dispersed many
but seemed to further incite the angriest in the crowd.

Yet the renewed protests were apparently triggered by the actions of the authorities,
who have been wrestling for days with how to balance public safety
with the right of demonstrators to assemble.
On Friday, Ferguson police had named Brown
as the prime suspect in the robbery of a convenience store
that occurred just before the shooting,
and they released a video of the robbery.
The footage showed someone they identified as Brown
towering over the store clerk and menacing the person,
images that were circulated nationwide and drew a sharp rebuke from Brown’s family.

The video’s release was criticized by the highway patrol
and came over the objections of federal authorities,
a law enforcement official told CNN on Saturday.
The Justice Department had said that distributing the images
would heighten tensions in the community,
but Ferguson police released it anyway, the official said.

[So, the activists (for want of a better word)
demanded that the name of the police officer who shot Brown be released
even before the police released the results of their investigation,
yet "the community" did not want a video showing Brown,
whom they had previously portrayed as non-violent,
robbing a store and physically intimidating a clerk who tried to stop him?
That fits the pattern we saw in the cases of Trayvon Martin and R. McBride,
where the release of cell phone photos and texts was successfully suppressed.]

As has been the case the morning after each night of violence, residents hit the streets Saturday morning to help business owners clean up broken glass and other signs of destruction. Business owners and workers were upset both at the looters and at the highway patrol officers. They said officers did not intervene during the looting and had not offered any help afterward with cleanup or investigating the incidents.

“They said they’re not going to do anything,” said Jay Kanzler, the attorney for the Ferguson Market, a liquor and convenience store that was the site of the robbery allegedly committed by Brown. The store was looted Friday night.

Cpl. Juston Wheetley, a spokesman for the highway patrol, did not directly respond to the allegations but said that at least two officers received minor injuries during the rioting.

“There was a lot of looting. Officers got in an area that was trapped. They were pummeled with rocks and bricks in their cars,” Wheetley said. “We feared for their safety. We sent in backup to remove officers from the situation. Backup arrived on the scene and received bricks. That’s when they deployed tear gas.”


In Ferguson, three minutes — and two lives forever changed
By Manuel Roig-Franzia, DeNeen L. Brown and Wesley Lowery
Washington Post, 2014-08-16


A key witness — Brown’s friend Dorian Johnson —
has told the FBI that he thought the robbery was a “prank,”
said Johnson’s attorney.


About 10 minutes before his death, surveillance video shows, Brown walked into Ferguson Market & Liquor, a small convenience store half a mile from the spot where he was killed.

In the images, the young man whose family described him as gentle reaches over the counter and roughly yanks out a box of Swisher Sweets cigars.

He is accompanied by his friend, Johnson, a slight 120 pounds and four years older, who has emerged as a key witness. In the footage, Brown fills the screen, thickly built and in long khaki shorts, a white T-shirt and sandals.

Boxes of cigars scatter as Brown appears to argue with a clerk. While Brown scoops the cigar boxes from the floor, the clerk comes out from behind the counter, seemingly trying to block his path and close the door.

Brown shoves the much smaller clerk into a snack display. When the clerk comes back at him, Brown puffs his chest and steps toward the clerk in a show of intimidation. The clerk retreats and Brown leaves, carrying cigars worth $48.99.

Johnson, who has not been charged, has told FBI investigators that he thought his friend was doing “a prank,” Bosley, his attorney, said in an interview with The Washington Post on Saturday.


From there, it was only short hop down West Florissant Avenue, a route that took them past faded strip-mall storefronts, a nail salon, a barbershop, a check-cashing business, a burger joint.

As they turned onto Canfield Drive, they were only blocks from Johnson’s home and the apartment of Brown’s grandmother. They walked in the middle of the street, rather than the sidewalk, hugging the center line.

Wilson drove past them in his patrol car.

He told them, “Get on the f------ sidewalk,” Bosley said Johnson has told him. Johnson protested to Wilson that they were almost home.

The officer put his cruiser in reverse, Bosley said, and pulled up so close that when he opened the door, it bumped Johnson and Brown. “Through the window of his cruiser, he grabs Big Mike by the throat,” Bosley said. “Big Mike tries to move away. The officer grabs his shirt.”

Johnson, who was a student at Lincoln University, saw the officer pull out a gun. “He shoots Big Mike somewhere in the chest or arm,” Bosley said. “Dorian sees blood coming from the chest.”

Johnson took off running and hid behind the first car he saw, Bosley said. “Big Mike runs by him. He says to Dorian, ‘Keep running,’ ” Bosley said. “The officer chases Big Mike. He fires a shot and hits Big Mike in the back. Big Mike turns around. [Brown] puts his hands up. The officer shoots him five or six more times.”

After Brown was shot and on the ground, Bosley said, Wilson did not report the shooting immediately or call for emergency medical help.


From there, it was only short hop down West Florissant Avenue, a route that took them past faded strip-mall storefronts, a nail salon, a barbershop, a check-cashing business, a burger joint.

As they turned onto Canfield Drive, they were only blocks from Johnson’s home and the apartment of Brown’s grandmother. They walked in the middle of the street, rather than the sidewalk, hugging the center line.

Wilson drove past them in his patrol car.

He told them, “Get on the f------ sidewalk,” Bosley said Johnson has told him. Johnson protested to Wilson that they were almost home.

The officer put his cruiser in reverse, Bosley said, and pulled up so close that when he opened the door, it bumped Johnson and Brown. “Through the window of his cruiser, he grabs Big Mike by the throat,” Bosley said. “Big Mike tries to move away. The officer grabs his shirt.”

Johnson, who was a student at Lincoln University, saw the officer pull out a gun. “He shoots Big Mike somewhere in the chest or arm,” Bosley said. “Dorian sees blood coming from the chest.”

Johnson took off running and hid behind the first car he saw, Bosley said. “Big Mike runs by him. He says to Dorian, ‘Keep running,’ ” Bosley said. “The officer chases Big Mike. He fires a shot and hits Big Mike in the back. Big Mike turns around. [Brown] puts his hands up. The officer shoots him five or six more times.”

After Brown was shot and on the ground, Bosley said, Wilson did not report the shooting immediately or call for emergency medical help.


At least two autopsies have been performed on Brown — one by government authorities and second arranged by attorneys for his family, according to attorneys for Brown’s parents.

The family is represented by Benjamin Crump and Darryl Parks — the Florida lawyers who represented the family of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager whose death at the hands of a neighborhood watch volunteer sparked national outrage in 2012.

Parks declined to discuss the autopsy results.

The convenience store where the robbery took place was boarded up,
but open for business on Friday.
A store manager, who declined to give his name, said
he fears for his life
and pleaded with reporters not to suggest that he called police.

“It’s very dangerous,” he said.
“They kill us if they think we are responsible.
People don’t understand that.”


Two churches in Missouri are filled with faith,
but common ground remains elusive

By Emily Wax-Thibodeaux and DeNeen Brown
Washington Post, published in print 2014-08-18 (Monday)


Many white congregants interviewed spoke of high crime in black communities
and said they wished it were different.

Gail Lee, 51, said she wouldn’t be making any late-night trips.

“No white people want to drive north of [Highway] 40 or 70”
[i.e., U.S. 40 and Interstate 70]
because of black neighborhoods they would pass through.
She added that there were a lot of wonderful black families
and that no one wanted looters around.


[So, (many) black people feel hassled by the police,
(some) white people feel threatened by blacks.
It would be useful to know what the actual crime statistics are
in Ferguson and in the surrounding areas.
I have not seen that in the Washington Post.]

Ferguson Cop Has No Temper, Is 'Struggling' With Shooting, Friend Says
abcnews.com, 2014-08-19

The Ferguson police officer who has gone into hiding
after being named as the cop who shot Michael Brown
is not a "cold-blood murderer" as depicted by his harshest critics,
but a man without a temper who is "struggling" with the aftermath of the shooting,
his friend told ABC News.


Wilson has been a police officer for six years,
the last four with the Ferguson Police Department.
His chief said that Wilson's record has no disciplinary incidents.

"When I first heard [Wilson identified as the shooter]
I didn’t believe it.
I thought it was a mistake in all honesty," his friend said.
"I can never imagine him shooting anybody, even as a police officer."

The two men continued to play sports as adults, particularly hockey.

"He did not have a temper,"
even during the rough checking on the hockey rink where fights are common.
"Always just on an even heal. Really laid back."

[Did he mean "keel"?]

He added, "He’s a really quiet guy, really well-mannered.
He is very respectful."

The angry descriptions of Wilson by protesters
don't match the person that he knows, the friend said.

"I feel like maybe he’s been unfairly portrayed as a villain definitely.
He was just doing his job and he was put in a bad situation
where he had to make a decision that nobody really wants to make,"
the friend said.


The man who spoke to "GMA" asked to remain anonymous
because of the anger surrounding the shooting.
"People are so quick to jump to conclusions and so quick to judge and retaliate,"
he said.

Original Witnesses' 'Hands Up' Brown Stories Falling Apart
by Ben Shapiro
breitbart.com, 2014-08-19


The Redskins were hardly the only people parroting the “hands up” meme – that meme has now gone national, with protesters and rioters in Ferguson utilizing it, hundreds of students at Howard University throwing up their hands, and Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree suggesting that Officer Darren Wilson be arrested based on the “hands up” story.

There is only one problem: the “hands up” story comes from witnesses with significant flaws in their stories.

There were three witnesses who said that Brown was fleeing with his “hands up”: Dorian Johnson, Tiffany Mitchell, and Piaget Crenshaw. All three also had another element of their story in common: they said that Brown was shot from behind.

According to Dorian Johnson, Wilson pulled Brown and him over to the side of the road, where he then attempted to pull the 6’4”, 300 lb. Brown through the window of his patrol vehicle. Johnson stated, “The second time he says, ‘I’ll shoot,’ a second later the gun went off and he let go. That’s how we were able to run at the same time.” Johnson told USA Today that “the officer pursued Brown and fired another shot, which struck Brown in the back.”

Similarly, Mitchell stated that Wilson “was trying to pull him in” to the car. She added that after a shot went off, Brown ran. She then stated that after Brown ran perhaps 20 feet, “Michael jerks his body, as if he’s been hit.”

Crenshaw tells the same story: she says, “I saw the police chase him…down the street and shoot him down.” Both Crenshaw and Mitchell say that when Brown turned around, Wilson continued firing.

The autopsy released on Monday demonstrated that Brown was not in fact shot in the back. He had no wounds to the back whatsoever, despite Brown family attorney Daryl Parks allegedly lying in his press conference that it was “clear” that “the direction of the bullet was in a back-to-front direction.” That prompted Crenshaw to change her story on CNN regarding Brown being shot in the back.


Dozens of witnesses have reportedly told another story, according to Christine Byers of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: they say that Brown attacked Wilson through the window of his car, punched him, attempted to reach for Wilson’s gun, then ran. When Wilson shouted at them to freeze, Brown turned around and charged Wilson, prompting the shooting. According to one of the officer’s friends in a call to The Dana Loesch Show, the last shot hit Brown in the head, and the teenager fell “two or three feet in front of Wilson.”

Also, while the original witnesses reported by the media claimed that Wilson attacked Brown, sources have alleged that it was Wilson who suffered an “orbital blowout fracture to the eye socket” as a result of the encounter.

Despite the fact that the witnesses in the “hands up” narrative seem to contradict themselves, the media coverage has now made Dorian Johnson’s story the narrative known around the country. The perception that young black men are apt to be shot while surrendering to police has been reinforced – it has now made its way west, to Los Angeles, where protesters of Ezell Ford’s shooting are now falsely parroting the Dorian Johnson Ferguson narrative. Ford was shot by two police officers after an alleged scrum in which Ford supposedly reached for one of the officers’ gun; no witnesses reportedly allege that Ford held his hands up to surrender to police. Nonetheless, protester Nicole Tinson, a 23-year-old graduate student at Yale Divinity School, said, “It’s absolutely ridiculous. A man who holds his hands up is surrendering himself.”

The “hands up” story may be true; then again, it may be false.
But it is true in the minds of millions of black people around the United States,
thanks to a media eager for a race controversy –
and it will remain the dominant story,
no matter what the truth is.

Shooting Accounts Differ as Holder Schedules Visit to Ferguson
New York Times, 2014-08-20 (Page A1)

FERGUSON, Mo. — As a county grand jury prepared to hear evidence on Wednesday in the shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer that touched off 10 days of unrest here, witnesses have given investigators sharply conflicting accounts of the killing.

Some of the accounts seem to agree on how the fatal altercation initially unfolded: with a struggle between the officer, Darren Wilson, and the teenager, Michael Brown. Officer Wilson was inside his patrol car at the time, while Mr. Brown, who was unarmed, was leaning in through an open window.

Many witnesses also agreed on what happened next: Officer Wilson’s firearm went off inside the car, Mr. Brown ran away, the officer got out of his car and began firing toward Mr. Brown, and then Mr. Brown stopped, turned around and faced the officer.

But on the crucial moments that followed, the accounts differ sharply, officials say. Some witnesses say that Mr. Brown, 18, moved toward Officer Wilson, possibly in a threatening manner, when the officer shot him dead. But others say that Mr. Brown was not moving and may even have had his hands up when he was killed.

The accounts of what witnesses have told local and federal law enforcement authorities come from some of those witnesses themselves, law enforcement authorities and others in Ferguson. Many spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a continuing investigation.

The new details on the witness accounts emerged as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. was scheduled to visit Ferguson on Wednesday to meet with F.B.I. agents who have been conducting a civil rights investigation into the shooting.

Mr. Holder and top Justice Department officials were weighing whether to open a broader civil rights investigation to look at Ferguson’s police practices at large, according to law enforcement officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal talks. The issue came up after news reports revealed a 2009 case in which a man said that four police officers beat him, then charged him with damaging government property — by getting blood on their uniforms.

Under Mr. Holder, the Justice Department has opened nearly two dozen such investigations into police departments, more than twice as many as were opened in the previous five years, according to department data.

Also on Tuesday, federal authorities learned the results of an autopsy performed on Mr. Brown by military coroners that showed that he had been shot six times, though they declined to release further details until their investigation was finished. An autopsy conducted on behalf of Mr. Brown’s family also found that he had been shot at least six times — including once in the face and once in the top of his head — with all bullets striking him in the front. The county has also done its own autopsy, which found evidence of marijuana in Mr. Brown’s system.

The Brown family has scheduled a funeral for Monday.

Clashes between the police and protesters have become a nightly ritual, although the scene on Tuesday was initially calm. The authorities took their positions before sunset, and Missouri National Guard soldiers staffed checkpoints at the shopping center that is now a police command post. Demonstrators marched without incident while officers watched. The quiet nature of the protests raised hopes that they had entered a calmer phase, but more confrontations were reported overnight, with 47 people arrested.

In a statement on Tuesday night, Gov. Jay Nixon expressed sympathy for the Brown family and praised residents for “standing against armed and violent instigators.” But he also said that “a vigorous prosecution must now be pursued.”

“The democratically elected St. Louis County prosecutor and the attorney general of the United States each have a job to do,” Mr. Nixon said. “Their obligation to achieve justice in the shooting death of Michael Brown must be carried out thoroughly, promptly and correctly, and I call upon them to meet those expectations.”

The fatal confrontation began on Aug. 9 shortly after the police received reports that two men had robbed a convenience store in Ferguson. Officer Wilson, who was not responding to the robbery, had stopped to speak with Mr. Brown and a friend, Dorian Johnson. The Ferguson police chief, Thomas Jackson, said that it was around the time that Officer Wilson started talking to the two that he realized they fit the description of the suspects in the convenience store robbery.

A lawyer for Mr. Johnson said that his client was interviewed by the F.B.I. and the St. Louis County police last week for nearly four hours. In that interview, Mr. Johnson admitted that he and Mr. Brown had stolen cigarillos from the store, said the lawyer, Freeman R. Bosley Jr.

Mr. Bosley said that the officer told the two to get off the street, adding that Mr. Johnson told the officer that he lived nearby. They got into a bit of a verbal dispute with the officer about whether walking in the street constituted a crime, Mr. Bosley said.

Contrary to what several witnesses have told law enforcement officials, Mr. Bosley said that the officer then reached out of the window with his left hand and grabbed Mr. Brown by the throat.

He said Mr. Brown pushed him off, and the officer then grabbed Mr. Brown’s shirt.

“My client sees the officer pull a gun and hears him say, ‘I’ll shoot you’ — then ‘pow!’ there was a shot,” Mr. Bosley said, referring to the one that apparently went off in the car. “He did not describe a scuffle. It was more of a scuffle for him to get away.”

Asked if Mr. Brown had punched the officer, Mr. Bosley said that Mr. Johnson “did not observe that.”

However, law enforcement officials say witnesses and forensic analysis have shown that Officer Wilson did sustain an injury during the struggle in the car.

As Officer Wilson got out of his car, the men were running away. The officer fired his weapon but did not hit anyone, according to law enforcement officials.

Mr. Johnson took cover near a parked car as he saw the officer confronting Mr. Brown, Mr. Bosley said.

A man who lives nearby, Michael T. Brady, said in an interview that he saw the initial altercation in the patrol car, although he struggled to see exactly what was happening.

“It was something strange,” said Mr. Brady, 32, a janitor. “Something was not right. It was some kind of altercation. I can’t say whether he was punching the officer or whatever. But something was going on in that window, and it didn’t look right.”

Mr. Brady said he had been interviewed by county investigators, but not the F.B.I.

Mr. Brady said he could see Mr. Johnson at the front passenger side of the car when he and Mr. Brown suddenly started running. Mr. Brady did not hear a gunshot or know what caused them to run. But he said he did see a police officer get out of the patrol car and start walking briskly while firing on Mr. Brown as he fled.

What happened next could be what the case turns on. Several witnesses have told investigators that Mr. Brown stopped and turned around with his arms up.

According to his account to the Ferguson police,
Officer Wilson said that Mr. Brown had lowered his arms and moved toward him,
law enforcement officials said.
Fearing that the teenager was going to attack him,
the officer decided to use deadly force.

Some witnesses have backed up that account.
Others, however — including Mr. Johnson —
have said that Mr. Brown did not move toward the officer
before the final shots were fired.

A lawyer for the police union, Greg Kloeppel,
did not return calls for comment.

The F.B.I., Mr. Bosley said, pressed Mr. Johnson to say how high Mr. Brown’s hands were. Mr. Johnson said that his hands were not that high, and that one was lower than the other, because he appeared to be “favoring it,” the lawyer said.

James McKnight, who also said he saw the shooting, said that Mr. Brown’s hands were up right after he turned around to face the officer.

“I saw him stumble toward the officer, but not rush at him,”
Mr. McKnight said in a brief interview.
“The officer was about six or seven feet away from him.”

Also Tuesday, a few miles from Ferguson,
St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers shot and killed a 23-year-old black man.
The shooting threatened to further inflame a community still reeling from Mr. Brown’s death.

Sam Dotson, the chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police, said two officers encountered a man at the Six Stars Market in northwest St. Louis behaving “erratically” and brandishing a knife. The officers repeatedly warned, “Stop, drop the knife,” but he refused, Chief Dotson said.

The man approached the officers, knife raised, and was shot after he came within three or four feet, the chief said.

In a sign of how tense the situation remains, Chief Dotson went out into a crowd at the scene of the shooting to tell it what the police understood had occurred. “I think it’s important that people understand what happened,” he said. He said witnesses, including a local alderman, had confirmed the account of the officers. “I want this message to be out as truthfully and quickly as possible,” the chief said.

But not all in the crowd were willing to listen. A small group of protesters, most of them black, gathered at the scene chanting, “Hands up! Don’t shoot!”

“Even if this is a legitimate shooting, they are going to capitalize on this and try to use it for their martial law agenda,” said Christopher Hobbs, 21, who had joined dozens of other residents at the scene.

Missouri cop was badly beaten before shooting Michael Brown, says source
By Hollie McKay
FoxNews.com, 2014-08-20

Darren Wilson,
the Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of Michael Brown
touched off more than a week of demonstrations,
suffered severe facial injuries, including an orbital (eye socket) fracture,
and was nearly beaten unconscious by Brown moments before firing his gun,
a source close to the department's top brass told FoxNews.com.

“The Assistant (Police) Chief took him to the hospital,
his face all swollen on one side,”
said the insider.
“He was beaten very severely.”

According to the well-placed source,
Wilson was coming off another case in the neighborhood on Aug. 9
when he ordered Michael Brown and his friend Dorain Johnson
to stop walking in the middle of the road because they were obstructing traffic.
However, the confrontation quickly escalated into physical violence,
the source said.

“They ignored him and the officer started to get out of the car
to tell them to move," the source said.
"They shoved him right back in,
that’s when Michael Brown leans in
and starts beating Officer Wilson in the head and the face."

The source claims that there is "solid proof" that
there was a struggle between Brown and Wilson for the policeman’s firearm,
resulting in the gun going off –
although it still remains unclear at this stage who pulled the trigger.
Brown started to walk away according to the account,
prompting Wilson to draw his gun and order him to freeze.
Brown, the source said, raised his hands in the air,
and turned around saying,
"What, you're going to shoot me?"

At that point, the source told FoxNews.com,
the 6-foot-4, 292-pound Brown charged Wilson,
prompting the officer to fire at least six shots at him,
including the fatal bullet that penetrated the top of Brown's skull,
according to an independent autopsy conducted at the request of Brown's family.

Wilson suffered a fractured eye socket in the fracas,
and was left dazed by the initial confrontation, the source said.
He is now "traumatized, scared for his life and his family, injured and terrified"
that a grand jury, which began hearing evidence on Wednesday,
will "make some kind of example out of him," the source said.

The source also said the dashboard and body cameras,
which might have recorded crucial evidence,
had been ordered by Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson,
but had only recently arrived and had not yet been deployed.

A spokesman for the St. Louis County Police Department,
citing the ongoing investigation,
declined late Wednesday to say whether Wilson required medical treatment following the altercation.

Edward Magee, spokesman for St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCullough,
said the office will not disclose the nature of the evidence
it will reveal to a grand jury.

"We'll present every piece of evidence we have, witness statements, et cetera,
to the grand jury, and we do not release any evidence or talk about evidence on the case."

Nabil Khattar, CEO of 7Star Industries – which specializes in firearms training for law enforcement and special operations personnel – confirmed that police are typically instructed to use deadly force if in imminent danger of being killed or suffering great bodily injury.

“You may engage a threat with enough force that is reasonably necessary to defend against that danger,” he said.

Wilson is a six-year veteran of the Ferguson police force department, and has no prior disciplinary infringements.

Massive protests have since taken over the St. Louis community, prompting Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon last Thursday to place Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson at the helm of security operations in an effort to calm ongoing tensions. The federal government is also investigating the death, and Attorney General Eric Holder has taken the lead – calling “the selective release of sensitive information” in the case “troubling.”

On Friday, Ferguson police released surveillance video
showing Brown stealing cigars from a convenience store just before his death.
Jackson came under intense criticism for disclosing the tape and a related police report
as he also insisted that the alleged robbery and the encounter with Wilson
were unrelated matters.
Brown’s family, through their attorney, suggested the tape’s release
was a strategic form of “character assassination.”

However, FoxNews.com’s source insisted that
there was absolutely no spin agenda behind the tape’s release
and that there were a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) media requests filed by media outlets seeking it.
Tom Jackson is said to have waited on publicly releasing it,
and did not want it shown until Brown’s grieving mother first had the chance to see it.

“He defied the FOIAs as long as he could,” noted the insider.
“A powerful, ugly spin has completely ruined public discourse on this whole situation.”

[I've made the following point before, and I'll make it again.
It seems to violate any reasonable sense of fair play
when people
who demand to know the name of the person who shot Brown
so that they can see if there is anything in his background that they can criticize,
who build up the dead person as some kind of angel who sought
peaceful resolution of conflict situations,
but then, when hard, objective evidence is presented that the dead person,
in the minutes before he was shot,
had engaged in criminal behavior and physical intimidation
(which is clearly relevant to his state of mind in those minutes
just before his fateful encounter with Officer Wilson)
claim that releasing this information is "character assassination,"
rather than simply providing the public with a more balanced picture
of the dead person.

Note also that Missouri governor Jay Nixon, in an appearance on Fact the Nation,
declared Brown a "victim".
If this Fox News report is accurate,
that seems to be ignoring some very key context for the shooting.
If this report is true, what choice did Officer Wilson have?]

A Fair Inquiry for Michael Brown
New York Times Editorial, 2014-08-21

The violence on the streets of Ferguson, Mo., abated on Tuesday night, but hundreds of peaceful protesters continue to gather each day to demand justice in the case of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was shot by a white police officer on Aug. 9. Now it’s up to local and federal officials to show that they are aggressively pursuing that demand. They have a long way to go.

Justice is a process, and it won’t necessarily result in the arrest of Darren Wilson, the officer who fired the fatal shots, as many of the demonstrators say they want. Witness accounts differ sharply on the events leading to the shooting, and it’s impossible to predict whether the grand jury that began hearing evidence on Wednesday will indict Mr. Wilson. But those in charge have an obligation to demonstrate fairness at every step, and that means there cannot be even a hint of bias in the process.

For that reason, the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney, Robert McCulloch, needs to step aside or be replaced in this case with a special prosecutor by Gov. Jay Nixon. Mr. McCulloch’s parents worked for the St. Louis Police Department, and his father was killed on the job in 1964 by a black suspect while helping another officer. Last week, he gratuitously criticized Mr. Nixon’s decision to put state police officers in charge of the response to the unrest.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that after a shooting in 2000, when two detectives shot two unarmed black men in the town next to Ferguson, Mr. McCulloch failed to bring any independent evidence to the grand jury. He claimed that “every witness” testified that the detectives were defending themselves, but secret grand jury tapes showed that several witnesses did not do so. When the grand jury chose not to indict, he said he supported the decision. That’s why many black elected officials — including Charlie Dooley, the executive of St. Louis County, where Ferguson is — have called for a special prosecutor in the Brown case, and more than 70,000 people have signed an online petition to that effect.

The community will almost certainly reject a decision not to indict Mr. Wilson if the grand jury is led by Mr. McCulloch, but his office has already begun presenting evidence to the 12-person jury (which includes three African-Americans). Mr. McCulloch said Wednesday that the governor should “man up” and make a decision about who will conduct the prosecution before it proceeds too far. Despite the widespread pleas that he should do so, Mr. Nixon has said he does not intend to replace Mr. McCulloch.

The prosecutor and local police departments have shown a disdain for the public
with their reluctance to release the evidence they have.
[A possible reason is that
they seek to gather as much testimony from witnesses as possible,
or at least as necessary,
before the witnesses start hearing each other's version of what happened,
and thus having the opportunity to tailor their accounts accordingly.
Sounds like good investigation work to me.
But of course the New York Times won't even acknowledge that as a possibility,
so eager is it to criticize the Missouri authorities.
To accuse those authorities as "having a disdain for the public",
on no better authority than this,
only shows how intellectually corrupt the NYT is.]

For the better part of a week, they refused to release Mr. Wilson’s name or record,
and they would not release the 911 tapes
or full details of the county autopsy report.
The Brown family commissioned its own autopsy,
and Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. ordered a federal autopsy.

Mr. Holder, who arrived in Ferguson on Wednesday,
has promised a full federal investigation of the shooting,
which would only grow in importance if the county is seen as bungling the case
or producing a tainted result.
[I.e., a result not to the liking of the Times
and the black "activists" with whom they so often make common cause?]

F.B.I. agents are also in the area interviewing witnesses and examining evidence
in case a federal civil rights prosecution is necessary.

Justice for Michael Brown also means that
local political officials must begin to address
the sense of powerlessness that many black residents have expressed.
What on earth is the connection there?
those are two completely separate issues.
It is gross intellectual illegitimacy to link the two.
This really is an echo of what I learned from the radicals at Brandeis University (e.g., members of the SDS),
how they plotted to use any excuse to demonize
what they then called "the system" or "the establishment"
so they could gain power.
The New York Times, Brandeis University.
Simply as a matter of fact, there's a lot of overlap there,
both in terms of demographics and agenda.
The Brandeis radicals also bragged about how their nineteenth-century ancestors
had tried to provoke the European police into over-reactions,
which they could then use to demonize the regimes they opposed.
Sure sounds exactly like what is happening in Ferguson,
and promoted by America's most prominent newspaper,
as demonstrated by this editorial.]

The mayor and City Council of Ferguson have pledged
to try to increase the number of black police officers (currently three of 53)
and provide incentives for officers to live in the city limits.
(Mr. Wilson lives in an almost entirely white suburb on the other side of the county.)

It’s crucial that all local officials follow through on their promises of fairness
and demonstrate that something useful can grow out of the fury on the streets.

Eric H. Holder Jr., in Ferguson, shares painful memories of racism
Washington Post, 2014-08-21


In Ferguson on Wednesday, the first hours after sunset were unusually calm.
The only major flare-up in that period came about 8:20 p.m.,
when a white woman walked down the street holding a sign that said
“I support Darren Wilson.”

“Y’all need to get your facts straight,” the woman was yelling.

A crowd gathered.
Someone hit the woman on the head, and somebody else snatched her sign.
Officers rushed to surround the woman,
and she was quickly put in a police vehicle and driven away.

[A 2m41s FoxNews video, from "the Kelly file", describing the scene
and showing a woman being escorted into a police car, is at YouTube.

Also in the embed below:]

In atypical approach, grand jury in Ferguson shooting receives full measure of case
By Kimberly Kindy and Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post, 2014-09-08

New Michael Brown shooting witnesses describe scene
by Randi Kaye
CNN, 2014-09-10

[In the video featured in this CNN news story,
two alleged construction-worker eyewitnesses
describe Michael Brown as having his hands up,
while another alleged eyewitness, Piaget Crenshaw
claims Brown was shot in the back.
Certainly that last claim is contrary to the autopsy reports,
while the "hands up" claim was disputed by later studies,
notably a DOJ report.
These construction workers are evidently
Witnesses 122 and 130 in the DOJ report.]

Ferguson Police Chief Offers Apology to Michael Brown’s Family
New York Times, 2014-09-26

CHICAGO — The police chief of Ferguson, Mo., issued a public apology on Thursday, in the death of Michael Brown, telling the Brown family directly in a short video that he was sorry for their loss and the four hours that the body was left in the street.

“I want to say this to the Brown family. No one who has not experienced the loss of a child can understand what you’re feeling,” the police chief, Thomas Jackson, said, wearing a polo shirt and standing in front of an American flag.

“I am truly sorry for the loss of your son. I’m also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street,” Chief Jackson said. “The time that it took involved very important work on the part of investigators who were trying to collect evidence and gain a true picture of what happened that day. But it was just too long, and I’m truly sorry for that.”


Evidence supports officer’s account of shooting in Ferguson
By Kimberly Kindy and Sari Horwitz
Washington Post, 2014-10-22

[Web story; not necessarily the print story.]

Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown fought for control of the officer’s gun, and Wilson fatally shot the unarmed teenager after he moved toward the officer as they faced off in the street, according to interviews, news accounts and the full report of the St. Louis County autopsy of Brown’s body.

Because Wilson is white and Brown was black, the case has ignited intense debate over how police interact with African American men. But more than a half-dozen unnamed black witnesses have provided testimony to a St. Louis County grand jury that largely supports Wilson’s account of events of Aug. 9, according to several people familiar with the investigation who spoke with The Washington Post.

Some of the physical evidence — including blood spatter analysis, shell casings and ballistics tests — also supports Wilson’s account of the shooting, The Post’s sources said, which cast Brown as an aggressor who threatened the officer’s life. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they are prohibited from publicly discussing the case.

The grand jury is expected to complete its deliberations next month over whether Wilson broke the law in confronting Brown, and the pending decision appears to be prompting the unofficial release of information about the case and what the jurors have been told.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch late Tuesday night published
Brown’s official county autopsy report (PDF),
an analysis of which also suggests the 18-year-old
may not have had his hands raised when he was fatally shot,
as has been the contention of protesters who have demanded Wilson’s arrest.

Experts told the newspaper that Brown was first shot at close range and may have been reaching for Wilson’s weapon while the officer was still in his vehicle and Brown was standing at the driver’s side window. The autopsy found material “consistent with products that are discharged from the barrel of a firearm” in a wound on Brown’s thumb, the autopsy says.

Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco who reviewed the report for the Post-Dispatch, said it “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.”

Melinek, who is not involved in the investigation, said the autopsy did not support those who claim Brown was attempting to flee or surrender when Wilson shot him in the street.

Benjamin L. Crump, a lawyer for the Brown family, said Brown’s family and supporters will not be persuaded by the autopsy report or eyewitness statements that back Wilson’s account of the incident.

“The family has not believed anything the police or this medical examiner has said,” Crump said. “They have their witnesses. We have seven witnesses that we know about that say the opposite.”

Crump also said one of the reasons the family and protesters were opposed to a grand jury proceeding was because it gives authorities too much control over what the public would learn about the case, as evidenced by the leaks.

“The family wanted a jury trial that was transparent, not one done in secrecy, not something that they believe is an attempt to sweep their son’s death under the rug,” he said.

The complete guide to every public eyewitness interview in the shooting death of Mike Brown
by Shaun King
dailykos.com, 2014-10-31

[This seems like an incredibly useful resource
for seeing how this story was reported.
By the way, in the DOJ report
it seems that their Witness 128
was a key source of the myths about Brown.]

Mike Brown was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson in broad daylight
on a hot Saturday afternoon in Ferguson, Missouri.
Consequently, eyewitnesses were standing at virtually every angle=
to observe exactly what happened that day.
Seven have come forward publicly.
Many gave interviews in the immediate aftermath of the shooting on Canfield Drive.
Below is an annotated list of
every public interview and video given by each eyewitness.

[Here are the names of the eyewitnesses interviewed,
and a description of each one;
the original article contains a list of their interviews,
with links to each interview.]

Dorian Johnson
Dorian Johnson is an essential eyewitness. He was walking with Mike Brown when they were first confronted by Officer Wilson and has given the only public account of what was said and done throughout the early stages of that confrontation.

Tiffany Mitchell
Tiffany Mitchell does not live on Canfield Drive, but was driving there to pick up Piaget Crenshaw, a co-worker. She witnessed the shooting from the perspective of Canfield Drive.

Piaget Crenshaw
Piaget Crenshaw observed the shooting from her balcony on Canfield Drive and filmed the immediate aftermath just seconds after Brown was shot and killed.

Michael Brady
Michael Brady lives in the apartments on Canfield Drive. After witnessing what he describes as a tussle between Brown and Wilson, he ran outside to take a closer look.

Emanuel Freeman (@TheePharaoh on Twitter)
Emanuel Freeman lives in a basement level apartment on Canfield Drive that had a direct view of the crime scene. Freeman, known as @TheePharaoh on Twitter, live-tweeted the entire shooting and even took a picture of Darren Wilson standing over Brown's body. His tweets gave very helpful timestamps and verification to other accounts.

Two Construction Workers
Two (white) construction workers were on Canfield Drive working on a project when Wilson shot and killed Brown. Their immediate reactions to the shooting were recorded on video, and they have since spoken anonymously to the media. They are afraid of losing their jobs or being targeted if their identities are released.

For Ferguson Grand Jury, Details and Responsibilities Are Abundant
New York Times, 2014-11-15

After hearing testimony for nearly three months in the death of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old unarmed African-American who was shot by Officer Darren Wilson on a Ferguson, Mo., street on Aug. 9, a St. Louis County grand jury is nearing a decision on whether to bring criminal charges.

grand juries are virtual rubber stamps for prosecutors,
approving the proposed indictments
after hearing from a few witnesses
and getting the bare outlines of the incriminating evidence.

But the Ferguson case, laden with incendiary emotions, is anything but routine, and the grand jury proceeding has been highly unusual.

The St. Louis County prosecuting attorney, Robert P. McCulloch, said from the outset that his office would be “presenting absolutely everything” to the grand jury, including eyewitness accounts of the fatal altercation and forensic conclusions that might be diametrically opposed. The proceedings have been prolonged and exhaustive, in some ways more resembling a criminal trial than a normal grand jury hearing and shifting heavy responsibility onto the 12 jurors, nine white and three black, on the panel.
Robert P. McCulloch Credit Tom Gannam/Associated Press

“The grand jury is probably going to hear more about this case than any other grand jury has heard about any other case in living memory,” said Peter A. Joy, a professor at the Washington University Law School in St. Louis, of the extended and varied testimony.


How the Ferguson grand jury process works
By Kimberly Kindy
Washington Post, 2014-11-24


Q: Will the evidence given to the grand jury —
including county crime lab test results and transcripts of witness testimony —
be released to the public if there is no indictment?
What is the process and timeline for that?

A: For months, McCulloch has said
he would seek a court order to immediately release all evidence
if Wilson is not indicted, but court officials said Sunday
they have not yet received any request from him.
Paul Fox, the court administrator with St. Louis County Circuit Court,
said in a news release that the court is anticipating a request from McCulloch
but that a judge will have to
“analyze the need for maintaining secrecy of the records
with the need for public disclosure of the records.”
Fox emphasized that this has not been done – and it will take time.

Q: Can members of the grand jury speak publicly,
or tell friends or relatives about the case after their work is done?

A: No. They are prohibited by state law from discussing any details.
They would be facing a contempt of court charge, a class A misdemeanor,
which could result in a fine and up to one year in jail.

Q: Will the county disclose the identities of grand jury members?

A: No. The county will continue to protect jurors’ identities,
which it is required to do by state law.

Q: Can witnesses speak publicly?

A: Yes.
There are no legal prohibitions against them sharing what they told the grand jury
or what questions prosecutors or jurors may have posed during deliberations.


After The 2011-11-24 Nonindictment

What happened in Ferguson
Washington Post graphic, 2014-11-25

What the autopsies revealed in the Ferguson shooting
Washington Post graphic, 2014-11-25

Darren Wilson explains why he killed Michael Brown
By Terrence McCoy November 25 at 4:39 AM
Washington Post, 2014-11-25

[I have read the actual testimony from Officer Wilson,
linked to below,
and using that information have inserted the real expletives and vulgarisms
which the Post had elided.]


The September [16] testimony he delivered to the grand jury, released Monday after a prosecutor announced that Wilson would not be charged, provides the first and most detailed account directly from Wilson of Brown’s shooting. It varies from many previously published stories — and accusations — about a cop who brazenly shot a youth trying to surrender, some said, with his hands up.

On a hot August day, Wilson drove down a street and spotted two young black men walking down the middle of the road. One wore a black shirt. The other held cigarillos. The details of a robbery earlier that day, blared out on a police radio, clicked into Wilson’s head. Were they suspects? He told the two young men, one of whom was Brown, to move to the sidewalk.

Things then happened very quickly. Wilson said Brown was at his car window, enraged. Wilson said Brown hit him in the face, grabbing for his gun. Two shots fired. Brown bolted down the street. Wilson pursued. As Wilson told it, Brown charged the officer, reaching into his pants. Wilson raised his .40-caliber Sig Sauer and aimed for a lethal shot.

“All I see is his head, and that’s what I shot,” Wilson recalled during a Sept. 16 grand jury session in St. Louis.

Wilson told the story of three minutes of hot confusion, shattered glass, a misfired gun, fear and a look of anger that came across Brown’s face that Wilson said made him “look like a demon.” Wilson said he hasn’t recovered from the shock. “I’m just kind of in shock of what just happened,” he told the grand jury. “I really didn’t believe it because like I said, the whole thing started over ‘will you just walk on the sidewalk.’”

The first thing that struck Wilson about the two young men he saw walking down Canfield Drive’s yellow line was the size difference between them. “Either the first one was really small, or the second one was really big,” Wilson said he thought. After he told the men to get out of the street and walk on the sidewalk, Wilson recalled Brown, the big one, turning to him.

“Brown then replied, ‘fuck what you have to say.’ And when he said that, it drew my attention to Brown. It was very unusual and not expected response from a simple request,” said Wilson, who decided the men were possible robbery suspects. He radioed for backup and cut them off with his car, peering out at Brown from inside his squad car.

“As I’m opening the door, he turns, faces me, looks at me and says, ‘What the fuck are you going to do about it,’ and shuts my door, slammed it shut,” Wilson said. “… He was just staring at me, almost like to intimidate me or to overpower me. The intense face he had was just not what I expected from any of this.”

Wilson told Brown to “get the fuck back,” but Brown allegedly hit Wilson in the side of his face “with a fist…. There was a significant amount of contact that was made to my face,” Wilson testified.

Wilson, who weighs more than 200 pounds, said he grabbed the 6-foot-4-inch Brown.
[This story should have noted here that the autopsy weighed Brown at 290 pounds.]
“When I grabbed him, the only way I can describe it is I felt like a five-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan.” Thoughts raced through Wilson’s head, he said. “What do I do not to get beaten inside my car?” he said he thought.

Was mace an option? Wilson said he decided against it: “The chances of it being effective were slim to none. His hands were in front of his face, it would have blocked the mace from hitting him in the face.” What about his Taser? Wilson wasn’t carrying one. “It is not the most comfortable thing,” he said. “They are very large; I don’t have a lot of room in the front for it to be positioned.”

There was only other option he said he had. “I drew my gun…. He is standing here. I said, ‘Get back or I’m going to shoot you.’ He immediately grabs my gun and says, ‘you are too much of a pussy to shoot me.’”
The men struggled for the gun, and Wilson pulled the trigger.

Nothing. “It just clicked,” Wilson testified. “I pull it again. It just clicked. At this point, I’m like ‘why isn’t this working,’ this guy is going to kill me if he gets ahold of this gun.’” It finally goes off and the car’s interior explodes with shattered glass and globs of blood. Wilson looked at the unarmed teen and the teen looked back. “He looked up at me and had the most intense aggressive face. The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon, that’s how angry he looked. He comes back towards me again with his hands up.” But then, Wilson said Brown hit him again, and the cop couldn’t get his gun to work. It clicked again, until it finally discharged a second time.

Brown took off running, Wilson said. At this point, Wilson said he was confronted with a choice: get out of his car and pursue — or stay put and wait for reinforcement? He chose the former. “My main goal was to keep eyes on him and just keep him contained,” Wilson said. “… If I could buy 30 seconds of time, someone else will be here, we can make the arrest, nothing happens, we are all good. And it didn’t happen that way.”

What did happen, according to Wilson: Brown stopped running at a light pole and confronted Wilson. The cop said he yelled at the youth to get on the ground. “When he looked at me, he made like a grunting, like aggravated sound and he starts, he turns and he’s coming back towards me,” Wilson recalled. “His first step is coming towards me, he kind of does like a stutter step to start running. When he does that, his left hand goes in a fist and goes to his side, his right one goes under his shirt in his waistband and he starts running at me.”

Wilson opened fire. He missed a few times. But he also hit Brown, who “flinched.” What Wilson remembered as “tunnel vision” came over him, homing in on Brown’s right hand in his waistband. “I’m just focusing on that hand when I was shooting.” But the shots, Wilson said, didn’t deter Brown, who continued to charge toward him.

“He was almost bulking up to run through the shots, like it was making him mad that I’m shooting him,” Wilson said. “And the face that he had was looking straight through me, like I wasn’t even there, I wasn’t even anything in his way.”

Wilson took aim at Brown’s head for the shot that would kill the unarmed teen. “When he fell, he fell on his face,” Wilson recalled. “I remember his feet coming up … and then they rested.”

Then came the end.

“When it went into him,” Wilson said, “the demeanor on his face went blank, the aggression was gone, it was gone, I mean I knew he stopped, the threat was stopped.”

[End of story.]

Read Darren Wilson's full grand jury testimony
Here is the grand jury testimony of officer Darren Wilson.

Washington Post, 2014-11-25

[This HTML page seems to include links to about all of the Ferguson grand jury documents that have been released to the press.]

Ferguson Grand Jury Faced Mass of Evidence in Decision, Much of It Conflicting
New York Times, 2014-11-26

Monroe Police Department and Residents React to MDP Officer's Ferguson Related Posts
by Taylor Thompson
myarklamiss.com, 2014-11-25

[To show how far political correctness has gone in punishing people for making perfectly reasonable remarks,
consider that a police officer was reprimanded for the following reasonable remarks:]

Monroe [I presume Louisiana] Police will hold a news conference this afternoon to address posts allegedly made on Facebook by one of its officers.

Chief Quentin Holmes has called a 2:30 p.m. news conference to address the post made on Monday night.

The post came during the rioting in Ferguson, MO, following a decision by a grand jury not to indict a police officer in the shooting death of a black teen.

One of the posts read,
"Im surprised the beauty salon didn't have armed guards.
That 'good hair' is expensive. Thats ghetto gold.'

Another post read,
"Ive got an idea on how to clear the streets in Ferguson Missouri.
Lets have a crop duster fly over and drop job applications."


Deep South justice in Ferguson
By Colbert I. King, who writes a regular Saturday opinion column for the Post
Washington Post Op-Ed, 2014-11-28

[Mr. King, whose views I generally respect,
concludes his column thusly:]

My 20-year-old grandson, Will,
the most gentle and respectful young man you would ever want to meet,
posted this on his Facebook page:

“Regarding the recent events in Ferguson:
I’ve always wanted to believe my country was free.
But today’s grand jury decision tells me this cannot be the case.
No country that refuses to hold the police,
those so-called ‘defenders of the law,’
accountable for its unjust brutality — and yes, it is often very brutal —
can be free.
When the grand jury declined to charge Darren Wilson for his actions,
what kind of a message does that send? . . .
It doesn’t seem fair that police can commit brutal acts against innocent people
and get away with it.”

It’s not, Will. Not today.
Not in your great-grandmother’s day when that Mississippi grand jury
let that white farmer get away with murder.
Not ever.

[I think it's a shame that Mr. King cannot seem to appreciate
the evidence that indicates that
Officer Wilson was entirely justified in taking his lethal action.

In particular, when one considers Officer Wilson's testimony to the grand jury,
to deny that Officer Wilson was justified in taking the action he did
seems to require calling Officer Wilson a liar.

If events unfolded as he said they did,
what other choice did he have?]

Who Are the Cowards Now?
by Patrick J. Buchanan
Taki Magazine, 2014-12-02

In July of 1967, after race riots gutted Newark and Detroit, requiring troops to put them down, LBJ appointed a commission to investigate what happened, and why.

The Kerner Commission reported back that “white racism” was the cause of black riots. Liberals bought it. America did not.

Richard Nixon said of the white racism charge that
there is a “tendency to lay the blame for the riots on everyone but the rioters.”


Among the primary causes of the ruin of FDR’s great coalition, and the rise of Nixon’s New Majority, was the belief in Middle America that liberals were so morally paralyzed by racial guilt they could not cope with minority racism, riots and crime.

And so they lost the nation for a generation.

That same moral paralysis is on display in the aftermath of the grand jury conclusion that Officer Darren Wilson acted in self-defense when he shot Michael Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri.

When initial reports came in, that a police officer had confronted an unarmed black teenager on a main street at noon and shot him six times, it seemed like a case of a cop gone berserk.

But, day by day, new facts emerged. The “gentle giant” Brown had, 15 minutes earlier, pulled off a strong-arm robbery, grabbing a store clerk half his size by the throat while stealing cigars. And Brown was in the middle of the street, and maybe high on marijuana, when he refused an order to move onto the sidewalk.

Then came leaks from the grand jury that the 6’4”, 292-pound, 18-year-old punched the officer in the face in his patrol car and went for his gun, which fired twice, wounding Brown in the hand.

Wilson got out and told Brown to get on the ground, as Brown walked away. After this, what happened is in dispute.

Several grand jury witnesses perjured themselves
by testifying that Wilson shot Brown in the back.
All of Brown’s wounds were in the front.

Others said Brown turned and faced Wilson,
with four of them saying Brown moved toward or charged the officer.

The pattern of shells from Wilson’s gun indicates
he was backing away while firing at Brown.

The grand jury concluded that not only did most witnesses support Wilson’s version,
but the forensic evidence was consistent with what Wilson said had happened,
and contradicted Brown’s lying companion.

Hence, no indictment, and wisely so.


But what happened last week was not a tragedy but a national disgrace, a disgusting display of adult delinquency.

Monday night we witnessed in Ferguson a rampage of arson, shooting, looting and vandalism, with police and National Guard ordered not to interfere. Stores and shops, the investments of a lifetime for their owners and the livelihood of their employees, were firebombed and pillaged as police looked on.


4 Downs with Mike Ditka: Ferguson, Forte and is Briggs a HOFer?
Dan Cahill reporting what Mike Ditka said
Chicago Sun-Times, 2014-12-02

Before Sunday’s [NFL Oakland Raiders vs. St. Louis Rams] game [won by the Rams, 52-0 !],
five St. Louis Rams players took the field
in a “hands up, don’t shoot” solidarity protest for Ferguson and Michael Brown.

Neither the NFL nor the Rams penalized the players for their actions.
When asked if they should have, Mike Ditka said:

“It’s a shame this thing has come to this,”
Ditka told the Chicago Sun-Times for his weekly feature column.
“The shame of it is, I’m not sure they care about Michael Brown or anything else.
This was a reason to protest and to go out and loot.
Is this the way to celebrate the memory of Michael Brown?
Is this an excuse to be lawless?
Somebody has to tell me that.
I don’t understand it.
I understand what the Rams’ take on this was.
I’m embarrassed for the players more than anything.
They want to take a political stand on this?
Well, there are a lot of other things that have happened in our society
that people have not stood up and disagreed about.

“I wasn’t in Ferguson.
I don’t know exactly what happened.
But I know one thing:
If we dismantle and limit the power of our policemen any more than we have already,
then we’re going to have a lot of problems in this country.

“What do you do if someone pulls a gun on you
or is robbing a store and you stop them?
I don’t want to hear about this hands-up crap.
That’s not what happened.
I don’t know exactly what did happen, but I know that’s not what happened.
This policeman’s life is ruined.
Because we have to break somebody down.
Because we have to even out the game.
I don’t know. I don’t get it. Maybe I’m just old fashioned.”

Charles Barkley Part One
Brooke Baldwin interview with Charles Barkley
CNN, 2014-12-04

[Here are some excerpts from that interview,
typed in by hand as I watched the video.
The words are those of Charles Barkley]


Scumbag. When you're looting people's property, that's what you are.
It's not your property. You wouldn't want somebody doing that to your house.
That's not what this country was built on.

Charles Barkley:
We never talk about race until something bad happens

By Steve Almasy, CNN
CNN, 2014-12-02

(CNN) -- Charles Barkley -- who once said he doesn't create controversies, he just brings them to our attention -- is at it again.

The basketball analyst for Turner Sports and former NBA great isn't backing away from comments he made on the radio recently that people who torched buildings in Ferguson are "scumbags" and some blacks degrade successful African-Americans too often as not black enough.

Barkley also agreed with the grand jury's decision not to indict former Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson, who is white, for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager.

In an interview with CNN's Brooke Baldwin on Tuesday, Barkley repeatedly came back to one point: He doesn't believe that white cops are out to shoot black people because of racism.

"That's ridiculous," he said.

Barkley called for dialogue, and not just after a controversial incident like the Michael Brown shooting.

"We never discuss race in this country until something bad happens," he said. And even then it usually reflects a "tribe mentality."

"Everybody wants to protect their own tribe, whether they are right or wrong," he said.

Barkley, who has had several of his own run-ins with police, lamented that there are too many communities that call for cops to come in and clean up the neighborhood, then cry racial profiling when they do and something happens.

"We as black people, we have a lot of crooks. We can't just wait until something like (the Brown shooting) happens. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror," he said of people in black communities. "There is a reason that they racially profile us in the way they do. Sometimes it is wrong, and sometimes it is right.

Barkley also criticized the rioters who set buildings and police cars on fire in Ferguson. They were set on destruction, no matter the grand jury's decision, he believes.

Instead, everyone should be like the majority of the people who took to the streets in Ferguson and other cities, or like the NFL players who held up their hands as a symbolic gesture before a game.

"Anybody who walks out peacefully, who protests peacefully, that's what this country was built on," he said. "But to be burning people's property, burning police cars, looting people's stores, that is 100% ridiculous."


Charles Barkley doubles down on his Ferguson comments
by David Just
Chicago Sun-Times, 2014-12-03

Obama, Holder, and their supporters want preference not equality
by Michael Scheuer
non-intervention.com, 2014-12-07


The problem Obama claims to be trying to fix, of course, lies not with the police, but in the fact that Obama, Holder, and other of the Black elite’s bigots have no use for equality. What they want is preference, a special status among their countrymen, funding from working Americans, and a privileged place for their views, their lawlessness, their out-of-control children, and their inexplicably mindless voting for men who have re-enslaved and buried the great bulk of the Black community deeper — speaking in terms of economics and employment — than it has been for a very long time. Obama and Holder, in truth, are clones of Al Sharpton. They simply are men who better manage to hide their Sharpton-like hatred for the people of all races but the elite of their own.

[Some of the grievances expressed by blacks seem to me to be legitimate.
In particular, jurisdictions that make a sizable part of their budget from fines on offenders raise questions about the possibility of excessive penalization for relatively minor offenses.
But on the other hand, there is the question of just how should poor people be penalized when they do, in fact, violate the law.
Should merely the fact that they are poor and unable to pay fines mean that they should get off scot free?
A possible answer is community service, if they would in fact provide such services effectively.

But Scheuer's basic point is still valid:
the way to protest such problems is not by burning, looting, and destruction.
And the shooting of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson
is certainly not so clear cut an improper act
as to justify the level of black outrage, and media criticism,
that we have unfortunately witnessed.]

Have we recently seen the rest of the U.S. population — enraged and made violent by the rhetoric of their political and religious leaders — take to the streets and try to kill Blacks and burn their homes and businesses in response to the murder, kidnapping, rape, beating, mugging, car-jacking, stabbings on a train, or some other criminal act inflicted by a young Black thug on a non-Black American(s)? If such action was as acceptable as the barbaric, Obama-endorsed events that occurred in Ferguson, Black communities across America would seldom have a quiet night.

What causes this difference? The answer is the national government’s forty-year, forced indoctrination of students so that they possess an illogical and completely out-sized feeling of guilt for the existence of slavery in this country before 1865. This is among the national government’s Department of Education’s foremost goals, along with inducing guilt for the supposedly inferior status of Gays, women, environmentalists, American Indians, and the other preference seekers who inhabit the Democratic Party’s plantations. This is the main reason why that department must to be demolished in its entirety as quickly as possible, and control over education returned to the states, and, especially, to elected local school boards.




86 page PDF file from the Department of Justice, 2015-03-04

[Interesting, to me anyhow,
is how a search on the PDF file does not turn up the name "Crenshaw",
even though she was one of the eyewitnesses with the most vivid and certain claims
that Brown was shot with his hands up.
I would have thought the report might address the issue
of her credibility,
consider she was videotaped reporting so vividly
an account in contradiction with DOJ's findings.
A cursory comparison of two of Crenshaw's interviews
with this report
suggest (the mention of "screeching" tires), to me anyhow,
that Crenshaw is "Witness 118".

By the way, in this DOJ report
it seems that their Witness 128
was a key source of the myths about Brown.]

Ferguson Report Puts ‘Hands Up’ to Reality Test
New York Times, 2015-03-06

They were four words that became the national rallying cry of a new civil rights movement: “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

Protesters chanted it, arms raised, in cities across the country in solidarity for Michael Brown, the black teenager who some witnesses said was surrendering when he was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.

The slogan was embraced by members of Congress, recording artists and football players with the St. Louis Rams.

It inspired posters and songs, T-shirts and new advocacy groups, a powerful distillation of simmering anger over police violence and racial injustice in Ferguson and beyond.

But in its final report this week
clearing the police officer, Darren Wilson,
of civil rights violations in Mr. Brown’s death,
the Justice Department said it may not have happened that way.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.
cast doubt on the “hands up” account
even as he described Ferguson as having
a racially biased police department and justice system.

“It remains not only valid — but essential —
to question
how such a strong alternative version of events
was able to take hold so swiftly,
and be accepted so readily,”

Mr. Holder said Wednesday.

Isn't the answer to that question obvious?

Powerful forces in our society,
most especially,
the people reporting the news,
chose to constantly report the version of events
from such dubious witnesses as Dorian Johnson
(who originally claimed Brown was shot in the back)
and the lawyer for both Brown's family and Trayvon Martin's family,
Benjamin Crump.
These claims were, in many if not most of the follow-on articles,
given priority over the claims of the police officer.
AG Holder himself contributed to the one-sided nature of the reporting,
when he criticized sources in the justice system
for leaking Officer Wilson's version of events while the grand jury was deliberating,
while he ignored the obvious to everyone
propaganda campaign being waged to portray Brown as a victim of police racism.
Further examples of media bias
were the countless articles reporting the protests,
endlessly recycling the (false) claims of the protestors,
without giving adequate attention to the fact that the protestors claims
were hardly proven.

Further shamefully but shamelessly stirring the pot,
engaging in what we used to call rabble-rousing,
were such classic critics of alleged racism in America
as at least some Jewish rabbis,
e.g., Rabbi Michael Adam Latz,
who wrote (my emphasis):]

We rabbis went to Ferguson to hold ourselves accountable.
We participated in an interfaith prayer service
calling upon community leaders to advocate for racial justice;
we stood before the Ferguson police station demanding that they, and we,
atone for standing idly by
when Michael Brown and so many other young people of color
are harassed, jailed and killed.
[The rabbi lied.
The evidence that Michael Brown was harassed by Officer Wilson
is extremely thin,
the evidence that Michael Brown in fact grabbed Officer Wilson's gun
and physically assaulted Officer Wilson is irrefutable.
I have nothing against the Jewish religion,
but I do have something against anyone, rabbis included,
who push false claims of injustice.]

Ferguson fake-out: Justice Department’s bogus report
by John R. Lott Jr.
New York Post opinion, 2015-03-09

[Lott raises some interesting points.
My suspicion is that the facts pointed out in the DOJ report
have a great deal of significance,
but that some of Lott's rebuttal points have at least some validity,
and are worthy of consideration.]

‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ was built on a lie
by Jonathan Capehart
Washington Post Post Partisan Blog, 2015-03-16

[An excerpt; emphasis is provided by the author of the current blog.]

The late evening of Aug. 9, 2014, I couldn’t sleep.
I was due to substitute-anchor MSNBC’s “UP with Steve Kornacki” and should have been asleep.
But after looking at my Twitter feed and reading the rage under #Ferguson,
I felt compelled to type a reaction to the killing of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson.
Tying the shooting to
the inane whine of certain politicians about a “war on whites,”
I decried the next morning
the death of yet another unarmed black man at the hands of a white police officer.

In those early hours and early days, there was more unknown than known.
But this month, the Justice Department released
two must-read investigations connected to the killing of Brown
that filled in blanks, corrected the record and brought sunlight to dark places
by revealing ugly practices that institutionalized racism and hardship.
They have also forced me to deal with two uncomfortable truths:
Brown never surrendered with his hands up,
and Wilson was justified in shooting Brown.


[T]he other DOJ report, the one on the actual shooting of Michael Brown,
shows him to be an inappropriate symbol.

Through exhaustive interviews with witnesses,
cross-checking their statements with previous statements to authorities and the media,
ballistics, DNA evidence and results from three autopsies,
the Justice Department was able to present a credible and troubling picture
of what happened on Canfield Drive.
More credible than the grand jury decision to not indict Wilson.
The transcript of his grand jury testimony read like
so much hand-holding by the prosecution.

What DOJ found made me ill.
Wilson knew about the theft of the cigarillos from the convenience store
and had a description of the suspects.
Brown fought with the officer and tried to take his gun.

And the popular hands-up storyline,
which isn’t corroborated by ballistic and DNA evidence
and multiple witness statements,
was perpetuated by Witness 101.
In fact, just about everything said to the media by Witness 101,
whom we all know as Dorian Johnson, the friend with Brown that day,
was not supported by the evidence and other witness statements.


The DOJ report notes on page 44 that Johnson
“made multiple statements to the media immediately following the incident
that spawned the popular narrative
that Wilson shot Brown execution-style as he held up his hands in surrender.”

In one of those interviews,
Johnson told MSNBC that Brown was shot in the back by Wilson.
It was then that Johnson said
Brown stopped, turned around with his hands up and said,
“I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!”
And, like that, “hands up, don’t shoot” became the mantra of a movement.
But it was wrong, built on a lie.

[I think those people who propagated that notion,
based on the sketchiest of evidence,
and in the fact of much reported evidence
that contradicted that assertion,
have a lot to answer for.
It seems to me that they have proved how impaired their judgment is.]


Now that black lives matter to everyone,
it is imperative that we continue marching for and giving voice to
those killed in racially charged incidents at the hands of police and others.
[Is the mere fact that an incident is "racially charged"
proof that a white person is never justified in taking action,
possibly lethal action, against a black person?
From what little I know, the death of Eric Garner was indeed due to police excessive force.
But to take another celebrated case,
there is much evidence that George Zimmerman was totally justified
in shooting the person who was attacking him.
And the case of Tamir Rice?
A difficult case, but not so clear cut as some would have it.]

But we must never allow ourselves to march under the banner of a false narrative
on behalf of someone who would otherwise offend our sense of right and wrong.
And when we discover that we have, we must acknowledge it,
admit our error and keep on marching.
That’s what I’ve done here.

[Capehart ends his blog post here.
But I, the author of the current blog,
would like to make my own further point:
The events before and most especially after Brown's death
form a truly ugly picture of a conspiracy in the black community
(not all of it, but certainly some of it)
to protect known criminals.
To be very specific,
what I am referring to is
the torching (and looting) of the Quik Trip service station and convenience store
after Brown was shot,
with the claimed justification from those who torched it
that they believed that workers in that store
had reported to the Ferguson police
the direction Brown had gone after his theft from the Ferguson Mart.
Note well that
spray painted on the wall of the Quik Trip was the ugly slogan
"Snitches get stitches".

You will note that the black "elite",
notably the black columnists for the New York Times and Washington Post,
Charles Blow and Eugene Robinson,
have said nothing about that,
so far as I know.
They should have.]


Practically from the beginning of reporting on this matter,
it seemed to me that Officer Wilson was being given the shaft by many.
Now that an official, DOJ report seems to corroborate that point of view,
why is ex-officer Wilson not entitled to receiving severance pay from Ferguson?
And indeed, why cannot he be rehired,
as there is now great evidence that he did nothing wrong,
and performed honorably and correctly in a most trying situation?
Why cannot he be made whole after being pilloried so much?
How about some justice for him?!

Missouri Lt. Gov.: Justice Dept. More Racist Than Ferguson Cops
newxmaxtv interview with Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder,

Peter Kinder, lieutenant governor of Missouri, has come out swinging against the Justice Department, saying it is more racist than the Ferguson police force.

"There is more racism in the Justice Department than there is in anywhere I see in the St. Louis area," Kinder said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.


"It's bad enough the protestors were behaving that way,
but we have a right to expect much more
from the attorney general … and the president of the United States,"
[Lt. Gov. Kinder] said.

"Instead, what we got too often from them was
incitement of the mob and encouraging disorder in Ferguson
and disrupting the peaceable going about of our daily lives in the greater St. Louis region.
It's been enormously destructive and enormously hurtful.

"Ferguson is not a slum area, it is not even a declining area.
It is a stable community filled with good people, solid businesses,
and it was experiencing something of a renaissance of small businesses
in the area where the rioting broke out before the 9th of August.

Kinder said the Obama White House was guilty of
an "enormous injustice perpetrated upon the good citizens of Ferguson."

"We've never seen an administration like this.
We've never seen a Department of Justice like this:
staffed with radical, hard left, radical, leftist lawyers.
They are not like any Justice Department in American history.
Eric Holder is unlike any previous attorney general,"
he said.

"Many of them have spent most of their careers
defending Black Panthers and other violent radicals
and saying, as the president did so many times …
that [the protesters] have legitimate grievances that we must pay attention to.

"There are some legitimate grievances out there,
and I will say that anything legitimately identified in the DOJ report where reforms are needed, they're being made."

He pointed to police officers' being dismissed or disciplined
and the resignations of both the chief of police and the city manager in Ferguson.

"At some point, the protesters need to give us a [break] …
The good business people along the streets in Ferguson are crying out to be left alone
and not having mobs or protesters out there
that shut down the street and make it impossible for them
to open their doors and do business
and provide jobs for people who need them in the community," he said.

Will that happen?

"I'm hopeful. There were some sane voices who stood up Saturday at a press conference,
including an African-American minister …
I was very heartened by his message," Kinder said.

"He was not alone. He was joined by the small-business owners of a pub here and a retail shop there.

"[They] said we're working six and seven days a week, 12 hours a day,
to provide jobs for people in the community
and the protesters are making it impossible for us to keep our doors open
when the police have to shut the street down."


In Missouri, Ferguson Is Still Burning
The four GOP candidates for governor are betting
anger over the 2-year-old riots will carry one of them into office.
By Maggie Severns
Politico, 2016-07-31 : July 31, 2016

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