AS88: Ferguson Followup

Several months ago I gave my initial thoughts on the happenings in Ferguson. Well, as you’ve no doubt heard, the grand jury came back with no charges filed. Also, the evidence has been made public, so it’s time to dive into it.

Also, new segment, Patron of the week! I am going to do a little questionnaire with a Patron each week because they each are so neat and have their own unique story. Michael kindly agreed to be the first subject, and it went really well!

Here are several links I referenced:

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/08/what-i-did-after-police-killed-my-son-110038_Page2.html#.VHa-D4vF-Gk

http://www.kansascity.com/news/state/missouri/article4157730.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/seemingly-unorthodox-police-procedures-emerge-in-grand-jury-documents/2014/11/25/48152574-74e0-11e4-bd1b-03009bd3e984_story.html

http://www.vox.com/xpress/2014/11/25/7285265/darren-wilson-grand-jury

And there were many others.

 

13 thoughts on “AS88: Ferguson Followup”

  1. Wilson was never shooting at Brown from 150 feet away. He chased Brown 150 feet from his car. Then Brown stopped, and turned, and allegedly charged him, and then Wilson resumed firing.

  2. Regarding your last thought experiment, the problem with it is that the protesters and the looters are not the same people, just (mostly) the same skin color. I doubt that anyone, even the looters themselves, would characterize looting as an act of civil disobedience.

  3. Long and short of it is, to my mind is I wasn’t there. I didn’t see it or witness it in any way. A jury made of the community that had heard, seen, questioned, all the evidence determined that the cop was in the right. I am not going to 2nd guess a jury more knowledgeable than me in this. If there was proof of jury tampering or some such thing, that would be a different story, but, there isn’t. The biggest problem in this case, and most cases, is this was tried by the press first and the press determined that the whole story should be reported in a way to get maximum ratings which vastly influences the public’s knowledge and opinion.

    The issues of how the cops are overall in Ferguson is another issue all together. Military equipment for an untrained authority, lack of standards and overall training, those are things well worth and quite overdue on discussion.

    Does America need to rethink how we police ourselves and by whom? Perhaps… I personally think we need higher standards, better training, psychological testing, and more funds available to pay good wages so our police force can be made up of some of the best… That is worthy of debate, IMO.

    These individual issues are just a distraction to a much larger problem. If there is a conspiracy it would be how those who don’t want to pay taxes to hire the best and who have, basically, bought the press and the politicians, spread their opinion and influence upon a largely passive society to further increase their power and wealth.

    As far as the rioting goes… those are people that are protesting nothing. They are people who are there to just gain whatever their selfish desires need. They use legitimating causes to rob, destroy, kill for their own reasons.

    1. You don’t need jury tampering. It wasn’t a trial, it was to assess whether or not they were going to indict. The prosecutor threw though case. And just in case, they had a 9:3 racial ratio. The police and justice system in Ferguson don’t deserve us giving them the benefit of the doubt – they have already abused their powers on multiple occasions. The press was NOT the issue here. In fact, they did better on Ferguson than they have in many other issues (though admittedly that doesn’t say much).

      I completely agree with the need for us to demilitarize the police, as well as provide better training (de-escalation techniques, education about mental health, psychological testing, cameras on every officer and strict regulations/monitoring of those cameras, etc). We also need a separate entity to investigate the police. Police investigating police is completely absurd.

      I have some sympathy with the feelings (but not actions) of some of those who are rioting. Not for the idiots acting out for reasons similar to those at the pumpkin festival, but the rioters who are similar to the rioters in the Rodney King riots. Imagine if you live in a society where your life is considered meaningless. Where you can be harassed and killed over literally nothing, and there will be no justice. Where you feel like you have no future. Psychologically speaking, it makes sense why some would lash out in that manner.

      1. “You don’t need jury tampering. It wasn’t a trial, it was to assess whether or not they were going to indict. The prosecutor threw though case.”

        You do realize the prosecutor could have simply chosen not to prosecute right? He didn’t even have to convened grand jury. I suggest he only did so because he knew he didn’t have enough evidence of wrongdoing to get a conviction on any charge, and hoped if a grand jury agreed people would be more willing to accept their decision than if he had simply made the decision himself. As the expression goes a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich. A prosecutor can do so because he chooses what evidence they get to see, and what testimony they get to hear. In this case, because the prosecutor didn’t believe he could get a conviction he understandably wasn’t pushing for an indictment, and gave the grand jury all the evidence.
        Additionally is it fair, to charge, and try Wilson when there isn’t sufficient evidence to get a conviction? Doing so amounts punishment in it’s own right, and in my opinion is an injustice.

          1. There was plenty of evidence to indict – maybe not to get a guilty sentence, but definitely to indict.

            I think I pretty much said that, but is it just to push for an indictment when you are convinced you can’t get a conviction?

            He threw the case

            If by that you mean he didn’t do everything he could to indict someone he knew he couldn’t convict, and perhaps didn’t believe had even committed a crime, then yeah he threw the case. What would you call it if he had simply chosen not to charge Wilson, or had just charged him with a misdemeanor.

            Hell, even Nancy Grace sees it.

            I’ve never seen Nancy Grace think someone was innocent.

          2. My fault for not being clear. I don’t think the lack of a guilty sentencing would be because of not enough evidence. St Louis is a mess of a city, with shocking amounts of racism and segregation. Add to that the attorney’s historical inability to get a conviction/indictment on similar cases in the past, and the police’s coverup from day one (not taking photographs of the scene, not interviewing, not checking Wilson’s hands for gun residue, etc etc)… Even if McCulloch hadn’t tossed the case, a guilty verdict would have been impossible.

            I also meant even Nancy, who is usually a nutcase, was able to point out the main reason an indictment should have gone through no matter what – the sheer number of bullets fired, especially in comparison to Wilson’s injuries. Yes, as Thomas pointed out, a fight can turn quick and a lack of visible injuries doesn’t mean that Wilson wasn’t hurt or that Brown didn’t punch. However, the amount of force doesn’t make sense given his story (which is contradicted by evidence, other police, and witnesses). Shooting that much is also against police protocol. At best, Wilson had insufficient training and panicked, resulting in excessive discharge of his weapon.

  4. May I suggest you discuss this topic with Bobby C, the host of No Religion Required? He’s a retired police officer, and might be able to offer some insight into the actions of police in at least a general sense.

  5. I came into reading the evidence firmly in the “Michael Brown was murdered” camp and after reading the forensic evidence and multiple witness statements I did a near 180. The thing that convinced me that Officer Wilson’s account was reasonable was considering the timeline. Consider how long it takes a person to run 150 ft. I’m obese and I could do it in seconds. It’s the length of two tractor trailers. Pair that with the time it takes to exit a car, holding a weapon, take stance and issue a warning. We’re talking about less than a minute, both guys high on adrenaline, Michael has already confronted and struggled with Darren, and if Michael made any movement that could have been taken as a threat I can see how Darren would taken it as a legitimate threat of Michael pulling a gun and killing Darren. At this point, Darren has no knowledge as to whether Michael is armed, but he knows that he is irrational enough to fight with a cop.

    I don’t condone the killing, as I think it is a symptom of the overall pattern of police killing black men. I feel the same about the riots, as this was painted by portions of the media of a racist cop gunning down an innocent, unarmed kid who was just walking home. The people that have been convinced of that narrative wanted justice, and when it felt like one more punch to the nuts, they let go. Others are taking advantage of this situation for their own motives.

    I second that you should talk to Bobby Cary from noreligionrequired.com.

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