Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Latest On Ferguson And Mike Brown


The grand jury's determination is past due, with no decision yet on whether to charge police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Mike Brown Ferguson, Missouri, two months ago. The shooting led to extensive riots and looting as well as the involvement of the usual suspects and of course, the Obama Justice Department, what with the midterms coming up and the need for a large black turnout.

The prosecution's star witness if there's a trial appears to be Dorian Johnson, who was with Mike Brown on the day of the shooting and participated in what amounted to Brown's  felony strong arm robbery of a convenience store shortly before the shooting occurred.


Johnson's problem is that he's changed his story several times (at one point, he was claiming Officer Wilson stood over Mike Brown after he was on the ground and fired shots into him, something no other witness has even remotely alluded to) and Johnson's own record of making false statements under oath.

The latest witness, who remains unidentified was a black male who testified that Brown had stopped running and was moving back towards Officer Wilson when he was shot. Contrary to what Dorian Johnson and a couple of other witnesses have said, this latest witness denies that Brown had his hands up in surrender, but had them extended from his sides as he moved towards the white policeman..similar to a football rusher.

He also said that there was a scuffle in the car,  that Wilson did not fire at Brown until he was coming towards him and that Brown continued to rush towards the policemen in spite of commands to halt. This latest witness also referred to it as 'outright murder' but again, that's a subjective opinion, not evidence.

The autopsies and ballistics confirm that unlike what some witnesses have said, Brown was never shot in the back but was shot in front as he continued to move towards Officer Wilson, who was already badly injured.

 Michael Brown shot in front

This sort of difference in eyewitness accounts is actually very common. I recall a professor who once deliberately staged an altercation in his classroom and then assigned his class to write accounts of what had happened. The differences were astounding.

Sources with knowledge of the grand jury proceedings have also revealed that Officer Wilson has testified in front of them as to what had happened, and it hangs together with his medical records, the autopsies, and the forensic evidence to the point where even Pravda-on-the Hudson wasn't able to spin things too much.

According to the Times the officer reportedly told investigators that he was pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life as he struggled over his gun with the 300 lb. Brown, who attempted to grab it from him after pushing him back into his squad car and inflicting an orbital fracture and other cuts and contusions on him.

The FBI performed its own forensics tests ( needless to say, AG Holder was pushing for a civil rights indictment) and confirmed the earlier tests performed by county authorities. The gun was fired twice in the car, with the first bullet hitting Brown in the arm and the second bullet discharged wildly inside the cab of the car, evidence that the was indeed a struggle for the weapon.

The fact that Officer Wilson chose to voluntarily appear for four hours before the St. Louis County grand jury also tends to back up his story somewhat, since he wasn't required to testify by law.

The struggle in the car and Wilson being injured by Brown are going to be very influential on what the grand jury does, as I predicted long ago. A police officer who has been assaulted in this fashion usually has a lot more leeway to respond with deadly force, especially when he's been injured and then can show that according to his or her state of mind at the time, there was a reasonable fear of further bodily a 300 lb. football player coming at you in spite of your orders to halt.

Pravda-on-the Hudson quotes unnamed Justice department officials as saying that while the federal investigation was continuing, the evidence so far didn't support civil rights charges against Officer Wilson. In fact, so far all the evidence on the struggle in the car supports Officer Wilson's version of events. So does the fact that Brown had drugs in his system when he committed the violent strong arm robbery and had the altercation with the police officer. No one in his right mind acts the way Mike Brown acted that day, and the only other explanation - that Officer Darren Wilson was a vicious racist simply looking to kill a black man on the slightest pretext - has no evidence whatsoever based on Wilson's past record.

As we all know, there's a distinct disadvantage in cases of this kind when there are two participants in an incident like this and one of them is dead.

The jury is claiming that they will have a verdict on whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson some time in November. The 'community' is threatening massive riots and disturbances if the grand jury doesn't indict him.

I actually have a feeling they will indict him, regardless of the evidence. After all, they'd be spending taxpayer money on the trial, so it makes no difference to them personally whether Wilson is convicted or not. And of course, they'd be appeasing the black lynch mob in Ferguson and avoiding responsibility for any riots or unrest. Once Wilson is indicted, that becomes someone  else's problem.

We'll see.

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