Hit & Run

David Harsanyi: The Grand Jury Got It Right With Darren Wilson

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For many, the St. Louis County grand jury's decision was going to confirm the existence of deep American injustice one way or another. If it found there was insufficient evidence for an indictment against Darren Wilson—the white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, a black teenager, in August in Ferguson, Missouri—it would mean that the American justice system is corrupt, unjust, and rife with racism. If the grand jury decided to move forward with an indictment, it could only mean that American law enforcement is corrupt, unjust, and rife with racism.

But even if many of these grievances are legitimate, "justice" doesn't exist to soothe your anger, writes David Harsanyi. In the end, there wasn't probable cause to file charges against Wilson. That doesn't mean that many American's concerns about these kinds of incidents aren't genuine, and it doesn't mean that police departments like the one in Ferguson aren't a major problem, argues Harsanyi. It only means that this incident should be judged on the evidence, not the politics or the past or what goes on elsewhere. Indicting Wilson to soothe the anger of the community would not be just. It would be the opposite.