Ferguson

Justice Was Not Served in Ferguson. What Happens Now?

If we fail to address this maturely, it will lead us further down the path to a police state.

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The city of Ferguson, Missouri, is now burned into our consciousness in a way that few other places are. In my youth, the race riots in Newark, Detroit, and Los Angeles marked turning points in my own and in the public's awareness of the problems of a black underclass that perceives itself as being so unfairly governed by a white power structure that it resorted to violence.

Those disturbances also revealed the difficulties of hardworking black families trying to make decent lives for themselves by endeavoring to leave the inner cities and, as basketball player-turned-philosopher Charles Barkley stated, the opportunities of inner city "scumbags" willing to steal and pillage and incite for some temporary material or political gain.

We saw this again in Los Angeles during the Rodney King affair, in which a jury in a state prosecution acquitted two white cops of savagely beating an unarmed black man, and the mobs rioted. Thereafter, the same cops were charged with federal crimes based on the same facts and were convicted by a federal court.

As bad as it was for those cops to have beaten King, it was worse for the government to violate the prohibition on double jeopardy by using the legal fiction of federal jurisdiction and federal prosecution as being so distinct from what the state of California had tried and failed to do that the second trial did not constitute a constitutionally prohibited repeated attempt to convict. It did.

Fast-forward to Ferguson, and we see the toxic mixture of a black underclass and a white power structure and the corrupt advantages that people on the make and people on the take can exploit from it.

In Ferguson, the law enforcement case is far more straightforward than the racial complexities. A white cop put 10 bullets into the body of an unarmed black youth with whom he was wrestling for control of his gun. The cop succeeded in wresting the gun from the youth and then proceeded to kill him. Once the cop had control of the gun and the youth had been immobilized, all additional gun firing is criminal. That the youth was the aggressor does not diminish the cop's obvious criminal overuse of deadly force.

The grand jury—whose job is merely to certify that the state has enough evidence to justify the charges it seeks to present against a given defendant—was subjected to the type of evidence that only trial juries hear, including a soliloquy from the cop himself and all the exculpatory evidence the prosecutor could find.

Prosecutors often loathe and sometimes even hide exculpatory evidence, but this county prosecutor must have been afraid to seek an indictment, and so he shrewdly manipulated this grand jury out of its role of determining whether the state had probable cause to try the cop and into the role of a trial jury, which is to judge whether the state has proved guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

If the feds now come along and indict the cop on federal charges, they would be correcting the error and perversion of the grand jury. This would not be double jeopardy as in the King case, because the cop in Ferguson has never been charged on the basis of the facts in this case.

Would we even know of this case if both the cop and the youth had been of the same race? Probably not.

The long and unhappy history of race relations in America now has another fiery chapter with more tragedy. The tragedy is the result of the governmental use of race as a basis for decision-making. When cops are hired because they are white, when police suspect criminal behavior on the part of youth because the youth is black and then act on those suspicions, when a predominantly black populace feels—however accurately or inaccurately—that it is being treated unfairly by the government and the government fails to address this perception, when hucksters and scumbags who are drawn to these conflagrations use racial vulnerability to rob and pillage and arouse and destroy, and when the sides are arrayed along racial lines, the government has failed to protect the liberty and property of the people it was hired to protect.

The failure in Ferguson is across the board. From a city government whose police force makes its minority populace feel vulnerable and defends an unnecessary public killing by one of its cops, to a county prosecutor afraid to take responsibility for a proper public prosecution, to a governor missing in action, to a president who sounds like he wants to federalize police, we have an out-of-control stewpot boiling over into a wave of destruction.

The police need to be strong enough to protect life, liberty, and property, and vulnerable enough to tolerate all political opinions, even those filled with ignorance and hate. The militarization of local police—perfected during the past two presidential administrations, which have given local cops military surplus intended to be used on enemy armies in foreign lands—if uncorrected, will lead to a police state. A police state is one in which the government's paramount concern is for its own safety, and not for the lives, liberties, and properties of those it has sworn to protect.

Are the police our servants or our masters? Can the mobs in the streets express political opinions without harming innocents? Can the government be dedicated to preserving the personal liberty—the right to be oneself—of even the most vulnerable among us? Can we use the tragedy of Ferguson to achieve a freedom-generated nonracial consensus on all this? If we fail to address this maturely, I fear that more Fergusons will soon be upon us.

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  1. “Can the mobs in the streets express political opinions without harming innocents?”

    Most of them can but political opportunists from the outside like to instigate violence and opportunistic theft.

    The situation in New York surrounding the death of Eric Garner I think is a more clear case of police abuse. In fact, I would go so far to call it murder. Selling cigarettes shouldn’t even be a crime. Unlike Michael Brown, Eric Gardner was engaging in a peaceful activity when he was accosted by costumed thugs.

    1. And yet the Michael Brown case sparks more outrage for some reason. More then the Eric Gardner case, and more then that kid in Cleveland getting murdered by police.

      Only when it’s a thug that gets killed, is when anybody seems to care. Anyone else frustrated by all this? Couldn’t more be done to raise awareness of growing police violence if cases like this were highlighted more, and cases like Michael Brown’s a little less?

      Unfortunately the goddamn race hustlers seem to have far more influence in media then anyone actually concerned about police violence, and so it’s only the most polarizing cases, the cases most likely to breakdown along racial lines that seem to get any traction.

      Fuck those people, and fuck the people rioting in Ferguson that follow them.

      1. Unfortunately the goddamn race hustlers seem to have far more influence in media then anyone actually concerned about police violence, and so it’s only the most polarizing cases, the cases most likely to breakdown along racial lines that seem to get any traction.

        I’m starting to believe that’s is precisely what motivates the Sharptons of the country to back completely unsympathetic criminal punks, if they got behind cases like Garner or Rice that aren’t anywhere near as polarizing along racial lines they could actually affect some substantive change. If they did that they’d put themselves out of business though.

        Or, even more disturbingly, I think what motivates some of the race hustlers backing street punks is that they think blacks have a right to rob and murder others as “justice” for slavery and racism.

        1. “I’m starting to believe that’s is precisely what motivates the Sharptons of the country to back completely unsympathetic criminal punks”

          I agree. I am waiting for Sharpton to come out to New York and demand justice for the innocent man who was murdered by police for the “crime” of selling cigarettes on the street. Somehow I doubt he will.

      2. Race baiters like Rush (King of the Rednecks) Limbaugh don’t help either.

        1. RUUUUUUUUUUUSH !!!

        2. NEEDZ MOAR CHRISTFAG!!!!

        3. Yep, bullshit from PB.

          Sharpton and the communists just make ferguson worse, they aren’t helping anything.

          Plus the commies and thugs who riot take down innocent businesses — any chance they will fire bomb the PD or town hall?

        4. If Rush is the problem, where are all his fans that are rioting? looting? burning?

          Rush’s problem is not race, it is cop-fellating.

          1. I consider Sharpton and Limbaugh equally loathsome.

            1. Sharpton NEVER gets it right. Rush is about 60/40. A big difference.

          2. Cop-fellating is Rush’s problem. If only conservatives would understand that the police unions are no different from the teacher’s unions if you gave them a gun and a license to kill.

        5. I am no fan of Limbaugh, I would call him a warmonger and I would call him a defender of torture. One thing I would not call him, however, is a racist or race baiter. He has even had an African American Economist, Dr. Walter E. Williams, guest host his program.

          I am more than happy to criticize Limbaugh, I just think he should be criticized for things he has actually done and or said, not for delusional fantasies that others have about him.

        6. Rush (King of the Rednecks) Limbaugh

          You keep using this slur. But I don’t think it means what you think it means.

      3. I’m in Cleveland, so I’ve seen that story a lot. That kid had a very realistic fake gun with the orange tip removed and reached for it when the cop told him to put his hands up. The cop was well within his rights to shoot because at the time, he had no way of knowing the gun was fake.

        1. It’s kinda on video, so…

          1. Thank you. What would I do without knowledge I already had of footage I’ve already seen.

        2. BS. I live near CLE. The kid had the gun in his pants. The cop could not see whether it was fake or not. The cop shoots the 12-yr old within a second of leaving the car. He may have been warning the kid before driving up on the grass (!!) to confront him – we don’t know since there is no audio.

          Go suck some more pig dick someplace else.

          1. It’s nice to see that someone can express an opinion without being called names.
            Oh wait.
            Never mind.

            I don’t disagree with what you say. You’ll have to excuse me for not saying it in a petty loathsome way.

            1. Lol ERMAHGERD YOU DISAGREE WITH ME YOU UNCLE FUCK!!!!! Sorry, I tend to look at these things from angles other than race. I see the need for police and occasionally see the need for police to use their weapons when they feel threatened. The video is so crappy I can’t determine much for it and was going based on the report I saw on CNN.

              1. That being said, I’m of course adamantly opposed to police militarization and if they ever declare martial law in this country, I’ll be first in line to use the second amendment for the precise reasons the founding fathers put it in the bill of Rights. My point is, both cops and civilians have the right to defend themselves. If this was an act of perceived self defense, the cop acted in accordance with the law. If this was a case of shooting a boy who didn’t make a move to grab his “gun”, then indict the asshole.

          2. Dude, I hate cops, but as far as the cop knew, he was armed. As a white female I know cops being shitty isn’t always about race, considering I was was pinned to the ground unnecessarily and then patted down by a male cop when I was 14 years old. That being said, that doesn’t mean every case of cops killing people is unjustifiable. Self defence is a justifiable reason.

          3. http://youtu.be/x1GaaMYhrw0
            That doesn’t look like it’s in his pants to me.

            1. http://youtu.be/x1GaaMYhrw0
              Better one. He was pointing a gun (the realness of which was not determined until after the fact). Considering the fact that the kid is behind the cop car and blocked from view, I don’t know how you can tell whether the gun was in or out of his pants or whether or not he was reaching for it when the cops approached him.

      4. Also, I just read that cop was asked to leave his job. I think that’s BS, but whatever. They probably just wanted to avoid race riots in Ohio, and the cop had other emotional issues that lead to his being deemed unfit for duty.

        And, fuck the media for inciting these riots.

        1. He just shot and killed someone with the video footage of the incident not showing him in a favorable light, to say the least, and it’s BS that the police department asked him to resign? If most of us were caught on video at work killing someone, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be “asked to leave”. Fired without references, probably, while we waited for the trial.

          1. Actually I misread the article. He was a cop in Independence, he had emotional issues that affected his performance and was a shitty shot with his hand gun. Then he got a job with Cleveland police. What’s bullshit is that this shit keeps turning into a race issue when it’s an issue of cops’ reaction, right or wrong, to a situation.

      5. There’s more race to be hustled when the case isn’t so clear cut. It means there’s more people arguing in favor of the white guy so you have more people to call out as racists. Notice that conservatives like Charles Krauthamer are even saying the grand jury got it wrong in Garner’s case. It’s all about promoting racial tension.

  2. Ahh Napolitano, I had such high hopes. You almost made it through an article without turning to the “string of rhetorical questions” formula, but then you had to blow it at the end.

    1. “Andrew Napolitano Asks”

      We can just use this for all his posts, yes?

      1. Sounds about right.

    2. If Wilson had been white, the entire article would have been questions. The black man only gets on paragraph! 😉

  3. I’m sure many,if not most,D.A.s, rig the grand jury when a cop is accused.What pisses me off is how many talking heads just can’t believe the D.A in NYC could not get an true bill. As any reader of this site could tell them,this was the likely out come.I never though that cop would be indited ,and doubt the cop in Cleveland or the other cop in NYC in the news will be either.

  4. The city of Ferguson, Missouri, is now burned

    You could have stopped right there…

  5. A very liberal friend of mine who lives in St. Louis asked on Facebook, “in the wake if the Ferguson events, what would be your top three reforms to try to solve this problem?” While one guy suggested body cams, the rest was a barrage of things like, “we need better early childhood education,” and “we should pay cops more,” and “raise the minimum wage,” and “fix the landlord tenant relationship,” and “compulsory voting.”

    I know the original events are unclear and disputed, but if we take Ferguson as the face for all of the police misconduct around the country, do you idiots really believe changing the relationship between landlord and tenant is going to stop cops from beating up and possibly killing citizens who fail to obey them? This is why nothing will ever change in this country.

    1. So,more laws and less freedom?

      1. Progressives always use controversy to peddle unpopular shit completely unrelated to the controversy. Just look at the menageries that were the anti-war protests. I don’t think it’s necessarily calculated, it’s just that they love jumping on bandwagons and choose to shout, “Yeah, all that and this irrelevant shit too!!”

        1. Free school lunch!

          (forgive me, I just passed a billboard at the airport that told me free breakfast will change everything)

    2. This problem will only be solved when the top marginal tax rate is restored to 90%. It’s completely obvious.

      1. Nonsense, what is needed is corvee labor!

    3. It may sound silly, but I blame TV for the public’s inability to deal with the reality of police malpractice. For decades the people have watched shows like TJ hooker, jake and the fat man, the commish, miami vice, CSI, law & order, cops & the slew of “reality” cop shows. All of these shows have created a shared fantasy of cops as hard working, under paid, honest civil servants – forensics teams are brilliant scientists with space age technology, and defendants are ALWAYS guilty, unless some piece of shit high paid defense lawyer gets them off “on a technicality”.
      Most people, even after having abusive encounters with police, still base their perceptions of the judicial branch on this shared TV delusion. The american cop drama is the most successful, and most poisonous, propoganda effort in modern history.

      1. The depiction of cops on TV seems to be slowly changing though. Shows like Sons of Anarchy depict cops that are corrupt, and sometimes worse then the gangs that they attempt to stop. Hopefully overtime that will start to change the public’s perception.

        1. Plus that show with the fat bald guy. Very bad cops.

        2. Raising the Bar was a great counter to Law & Order, but it sadly only lasted two seasons.

      2. Have you ever watched The Killing? If not, you might want to check it out, because none of the above is true for it. The third season is a real nut punch to boot.

      3. As a taxpayer who sends money to the TV studios to put in anti-drug messages, I want to know why we can’t also pay them to put in pro-constitutional messages.

        So the next time Steve McGarrett explodes a grenade in the shop of some civilian who had the temerity to ask for a warrant, you would see him getting locked up in the next scene, then fired and stripped of his pension.

      4. “It may sound silly, but I blame TV for the public’s inability to deal with the reality of police malpractice.”

        I think there is more substance than silliness to your theory, jay_dubya.

      5. How DARE you, sir, impugn the absolute divinity of Jake and the Fat Man!

    4. And some are questioning the value of bodycams in light of the Eric Gardner non-indictment. Pure insanity.

      1. Way back in the day a buddy of mine got his hands on a portable blood alcohol tester like the cops used. We decided to use it at a party to be responsible and make sure no one drove home drunk.

        After an hour or so at the party, it turned from being a tool of responsibility to one of insanity as we each decided that we now could really measure who was drunkest. “Yeah, your .18 is OK, but watch this…”

        My fear with body cameras is that as it becomes clear that even with this video the thugs won’t be indicted for anything, the thugs will begin posting the videos to Police One with accompanying bragging about how bad ass they are. “Sure you hit that homeless guy 127 times, but check out how I jumped on the hood of the perps car and shot through the windshield!!”

        Body cams are only half the solution. The other half is using the evidence to charge the cops.

        1. Agree.

          Appointing an independent prosecutor from another district could help break the pig-prosecutor mutual protection society.

          We should embrace every tool at our disposal.

        2. I understand your argument, but imagine if those testing results were somehow posted online along with identifying information about you. Somehow I don’t think the behavior would have been the same.

          1. But I do agree that “The other half is using the evidence to charge the cops.”

          2. Yeah at first we’d all be worried that we’d get in trouble. But then when the first few people got nabbed AND NOTHING HAPPENED, the flood gates would be opened.

            1. Police are ultimately a political institution and public pressure can change things even if police are not charged with crimes. I think these cameras are valuable if for no other reason than they inform the public about what is really going on. All of the video captured should be made fully available to anyone who wants to look at it for any reason.

              1. People whose privacy is being invaded by police camera footage might disagree.

                1. “People whose privacy is being invaded by police camera footage might disagree.”

                  They might, and I understand their concerns, but I think it is the only way to hold the police to account. The police, after all, are public employees. The people have a right to know what they are doing while on the job. Otherwise abuse WILL occur. Abuse might still occur but at least we will know about it.

    5. “we need better early childhood education,” and “we should pay cops more,” and “raise the minimum wage,” and “fix the landlord tenant relationship,” and “compulsory voting.”

      Any excuse is a good excuse to execute the prog shopping list of bad public policy. “Never let a crisis”- even a fabricated one -“go to waste.”

    6. My response to that question: The media should stop giving air time to eye witnesses without first making an attempt to verify or at least corroborate what they intend to say during said air time.

      http://imgur.com/eNdviOl

  6. “… the public’s awareness of the problems of a black underclass that perceives itself as being so unfairly governed by a white power structure that it resorted to violence.”

    The most publicized cases are white cops shooting black citizens. The above perception – true or not – sends protesters to the streets. My question is: when it comes to fixing the out-of-control criminal justice system, what is it going to take to piss off white people?

    During the 60s, blacks protested, wisely using civil disobedience. Despite their bravery, etc. they could not have changed things so radically on their own. Their protests fired up white people, who finally opened their eyes to the injustices, and made changes.

    So again: what’s it going to take for this country to reform the criminal justice system? Are we going to sit on our hands and wait for minorities to finally suffer a slew of unprovoked deaths in order for our eyes to be opened?

    1. When the Al Sharptons of the world finally die, and stop exploiting the issue for their own personal gain.

      When the media stops highlighting cases involving a thug in order to make the issue as polarizing as possible.

      When the progressives stop making it always about race, so that every white suburbanite mom starts believing that their special little snowflake could be the victim of police violence too.

      When the conservatives stop siding with police in every case due to Kulturwar anti-hippie bullshit.

      I do think the tide is changing, it’s just changing way too slowly, and unfortunately it means a lot of people are are going to continue to get hurt in the mean time.

    2. Would MLK have been effective without white fear of people like Malcom X? Successful nonviolent resistance almost always includes an implied threat along the lines of “if you don’t work with us, our people are likely going to end up being attracted by someone far more extreme”.

  7. “Once the cop had control of the gun and the youth had been immobilized, all additional gun firing is criminal. That the youth was the aggressor does not diminish the cop’s obvious criminal overuse of deadly force.

    The grand jury?whose job is merely to certify that the state has enough evidence to justify the charges it seeks to present against a given defendant?was subjected to the type of evidence that only trial juries hear, including a soliloquy from the cop himself and all the exculpatory evidence the prosecutor could find.

    Prosecutors often loathe and sometimes even hide exculpatory evidence, but this county prosecutor must have been afraid to seek an indictment, and so he shrewdly manipulated this grand jury out of its role of determining whether the state had probable cause to try the cop and into the role of a trial jury, which is to judge whether the state has proved guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    To me, this is THE issue. Unfortunately, the looting in Ferguson is what most of the conversation is now about. I think that shows how little the average person understands what really happened.

    1. Good point Libertarian. But another feature to consider is that pigs and prosecutors are on the SAME TEAM. The prosecutors desperately need the pigs to give testimony to put scumbags away, so they are loathe to go after them when they commit crimes.

      Solution: All prosecutors of police crime should be from OUTSIDE the district – independent prosecutors.

      1. The prosecutors desperately need the pigs to give testimony to put scumbags away, so they are loathe to go after them when they commit crimes.

        What do you think happens when a cooperative cop who puts one of his buddies in jail calls for backup?

        Yeah. Crickets.

        1. Yes, Sarc, they protect each other. Bodycams would help that a bit.

          1. Because they won’t indict a cop for choking someone to death on camera, I fail to see how body cams will make a difference.
            We’ll just see more videos of cops killing people, and nothing else will happen.

            1. We’ll just see more videos of cops killing people

              More likely you’ll see an inordinate amount of “equipment failure” at really, really convenient moments.

            2. As I said – they will help a bit.

              And experience in Rialto CA says they do help.

              But Rialto’s randomised controlled study has seized attention because it offers scientific ? and encouraging ? findings: after cameras were introduced in February 2012, public complaints against officers plunged 88% compared with the previous 12 months. Officers’ use of force fell by 60%.

              1. My guess is that this is caused by that annoyance of being investigated for anything rather than it just being swept aside. If there is video you have to at least go through the motions of pretending to care before letting the officer off of the hook. With no video there is no reason to pretend.

            3. Because they won’t indict a cop for choking someone to death on camera, I fail to see how body cams will make a difference.

              While this incident does show body cams don’t solve all problems, this doesn’t mean it will happen 100% of the time. It’s hard to believe all grand juries in all situations in all places would fail to indict a cop who did something similar as in this case with the same evidence. In some cases body cams will surely help, and in other cases they apparently won’t.

              At least the body cams show what really happened, and if there are injustices the whole country can know about it so people might be more receptive to possible solutions to police brutality.

        2. We could ask Serpico.

  8. when police suspect criminal behavior on the part of youth because the youth is black and then act on those suspicions

    This may not be the best case to demonstrate that. The initial encounter with Brown and Wilson resulted from the youth in question committing the (obviously very very minor) offense of jaywalking, and he had, in point of fact, just committed a much more serious crime only a short while prior. Kinda reminds me of that retarded scene in Crash (not a short list by any means).

    1. Excuse me. Crash won the Oscar for Best Picture. Clearly it was the best picture of the year.

      /sarc

    2. I think the most pertinant crime Brown committed to this case was the felony assault of a police officer.

  9. “In Ferguson, the law enforcement case is far more straightforward than the racial complexities. A white cop put 10 bullets into the body of an unarmed black youth with whom he was wrestling for control of his gun. The cop succeeded in wresting the gun from the youth and then proceeded to kill him. Once the cop had control of the gun and the youth had been immobilized, all additional gun firing is criminal. That the youth was the aggressor does not diminish the cop’s obvious criminal overuse of deadly force.”

    Is it established that the cop riddled Brown’s body with bullets after he was incapacitated? Or am I misreading it and it means that it WOULD be criminal if this were the case.

    Everything I have read makes it seem like the ‘kill shot’ was late in the firings if not at the end. Not to mention that many suggest that it is pretty easy to empty a mag in a gunfight (although I am not sure this counts as a gun fight with only one gun). It doesn’t go first round, pause to check if that worked, second round…

    1. I had the same thought.

      Reading through the evidence presented to the Grand Jury, Witness 10 gave written testimony that Brown was charging the officer and that the shooting stopped when he went down.

      I normally agree with the judge but find the quoted paragraph troubling in asserting that the officer continued shooting after Brown was stopped.

      This does not seem to be the case.

      1. To add:

        Judge Napalitano asserts again that the officer must be guilty of homicide or murder….

        “From a city government whose police force makes its minority populace feel vulnerable and defends an unnecessary public killing by one of its cops……”

    2. You have it right. But the N.Y. Times put up the documents on the Internet with names redacted– and they make it quite clear where Napolitano’s head is.

  10. Can we use the tragedy of Ferguson to help rein in police and secure a government dedicated to preserving the personal liberty of even the most vulnerable among us?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    No.

  11. A few years ago Cato had some great stuff on their website about police misconduct. But it has not been updated since 2011. WTF? This is a big issue, get back to work.

    The HnR commentariat will find it interesting that Cato singled out Washington State as the worst in terms of cop-fellating…er prosecuting.

    While most legal experts cited in the news confirmed that Washington’s laws, which require a nearly impossible burden of proving malicious intent to charge an officer who kills in the line of duty, could be a plausible reason for refusing to prosecute Birk. Other experts also cited how difficult it is in general to prosecute a police officer anywhere in the US for any reason, especially when the alleged criminal act occurred on duty. But this presents us with a question; could this be just a Washington problem or is this indicative of a much more systemic problem in the US?

    The National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project has been gathering data including criminal cases against law enforcement officers for nearly two years, perhaps the answer to some of these questions resides within that data.

    Have I lit the Dunphy beacon? If so, sorry.

  12. No, Ferguson won’t change a damn thing. Because the national conversation isn’t about police militarization, the us vs them mentality, the proliferation of countless intrusive laws, or the general lack of respect for individual rights. The questions being asked are about race, looters, and one fuck stick DA. As long as people are asking the wrong questions, it really doesn’t matter what answer they get.

    1. “No, Ferguson won’t change a damn thing. Because the national conversation isn’t about police militarization….
      The questions being asked are about race, looters…..
      As long as people are asking the wrong questions, it really doesn’t matter what answer they get.”

      I was explaining this very same thing to my co-worker about two hours ago, antisocial-ist.

      Why do you think most of the media outlets are asking the wrong questions/focusing on the divisive issues you mentioned rather on the underlying issues of increasing authoritarianism/a rising police state?

      1. It’s my impression that most of the media are authoritarians. They’re not gonna shoot themselves in the foot.

  13. What did I learn for Ferguson? I learned that a cop can lie, change his story, and then lie some more, and the grand jury will buy it.

    1. What do you think actually happened? Which version of events do you think is closer to reality?

      1. I have no idea what happened. What I do know is that Wilson initially said he knew nothing of the robbery, but then changed his story. Also I’ve seen pictures of him right after the alleged fight, and he didn’t even have any red marks on his face. I don’t know what happened, but I do know that nothing the cop said can be believed. Thing is, the grand jury was shown all of this, and they still didn’t think that there should be a trial to figure out the truth. I just don’t get that. Not one bit.

        1. Thing is, the grand jury was shown far more than you saw–and, very likely, far less of the obfuscatory bullshit Brown’s family and lawyers were spreading than you saw.

          I suspect that having the physical evidence match Wilson’s story was the end of it. The autopsy was damning for the story Brown’s lawyers were putting out–and revealed many of the ‘witnesses’ for that version as liars because what they said happened couldn’t possibly have happened.

      2. My guess as to what happened? I figure the cop saw the kid walking in the street and gave him shit for it. The kid got mouthy and refused to obey. The cop drew his gun and threatened the kid, who then called the cop a pussy without the guts to pull the trigger. So the cop killed him. But that’s just a guess based upon my experience with cops and punks.

    2. What did i learn from Ferguson? Same thing i learned from the Trayvon Martin shooting. Do NOT make any statements without a lawyer.

    3. I learned that people will make claims without backing them up with evidence.

      http://imgur.com/eNdviOl

  14. Once the cop had control of the gun and the youth had been immobilized, all additional gun firing is criminal. That the youth was the aggressor does not diminish the cop’s obvious criminal overuse of deadly force.

    But that’s just it, the youth wasn’t immobilized. How can you be taken seriously when you’ve gotten this basic fact wrong? How can you think we’ll ever learn anything from ferguson when even you have been sucked into the idiot leftist racial view of the event?

    1. And then this–in reference to Ferguson?–

      when police suspect criminal behavior on the part of youth because the youth is black and then act on those suspicions

      Are you feeling okay?

      As PM noted, Brown was engaged in the commission of a minor infraction when this whole thing started–one that I’m sure many people have been involved in, and one that is usually resolved by the police saying ‘get out of the street’, and the people in question complying. I can not tell you how many times I’ve been in that precise situation. And I bet Brown had been in it before as well. I’ll go further and bet that, in those instances, he just got out of the street, waved a ‘sorry’ at the cop, and nothing happened.

      Because that’s what normally happens. But not that night. Because Brown had just committed a robbery….and he freaked at something he’d dealt with a thousand times before.

      Because he’d just committed a crime.

      The problem isn’t what Wilson did. In this case, the problem is what Brown did.

      Crawford. Thomas. Phonesavanhs. Rice. Even Garner. But not Brown.

    2. Exactly! I’m a big fan of the Judge generally, but in this he’s dead wrong. You’ve got a 6’4″, 290 lbs man coming at you in a flying tackle. This is according to the physical evidence, credible eyewitness testimony, and the officer himself. Brown had failed to stop after receiving fire from Wilson, who had paused in his shooting and had given Brown opportunity to cease his aggression. It was only on the final round of shots that Brown was fatally wounded and was oriented bodily in a position head-down towards Wilson. What do you think the result of that collision would have been? I believe it likely that officer Wilson might not have survived that encounter at all if his final shot had not ended Brown’s aggression. Remember too, Wilson did not empty his gun into Brown. There were still rounds left in his gun. Wilson correctly stopped shooting when the threat abated. Given all the evidence, this is a just outcome.

  15. I’m glad Judge Napolitano was actually at the scene of the Ferguson events so he can categorically state that Officer Wilson was unjustified in the number of times he discharged his weapon. Nice to have that kind of omniscience. While I agree with the Judge on many issues, I grow weary of his carping: Lincoln was evil, Teddy was evil,anyone with whom the judge disagrees with is evil. He’s beginning to sound a lot like the folks on the left.

    1. Napolitano is a gold-plated fool.

  16. The militarization of local police … if uncorrected, will lead to a police state.

    Will?

  17. Less than one hour before his death, Brown committed a second degree felony under Missouri law, Robbery by force or intimidation, not shoplifting. Brown had a substantial juvenile police record long before he met Darren Wilson. Our legal system is based on the presumption of innocence, not guilt. The state is required to prove a crime was committed to bind someone over for trial. We do not try people in this country for the sake of calming public outcry or transparency. The Black community needs to accept they are responsible for their relationship with police because the accept the level of violence that is common in their community. Black men are 12% of the population yet responsible for 68% of the violent crime in the US. Who are the police supposed to watch? What happened in Ferguson was a tragedy, but the real tragedy is two lives have been destroyed. Wilson not only lost his career, he has to live with the fact he killed someone. He may have been within the law, but he still has to live with it. Many police officers leave the profession after being in a shooting because they cannot live with the guilt. Anyone who thinks cops are gun toting yahoos who can kill without remorse are total idiots.

    1. ” Anyone who thinks cops are gun toting yahoos who can kill without remorse are total idiots.”

      Most of them are not, I know that. Most are a reflection of the population at large. However, there are also some who are attracted to the profession because they might get an opportunity to be in a real firefight. This is also true of some who join the armed forces. It is these people who are going to be more likely to shoot – to act as they might if they were playing Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. That is how they think.

  18. “Once the cop had control of the gun and the youth had been immobilized, all additional gun firing is criminal.”

    This opinion piece is an embarrassment to Reason (and reason). Multiple witnesses testified that after the struggle for the gun, Brown ran away, and then turned and charged Wilson, a police officer who was not only known to Brown to be armed, but who clearly had his gun out. They testified that after he turned around, he made some kind of movement with his waistband– incredibly foolish– and then charged Wilson like a football player. These are not likely to be white people testifying. They’re local residents, and probably middle-class and black. So can they be wrong, or lying? Apparently so, for those looking to ramrod a narrative, but as for the black protestors, oh, nooo– sufficient numbers of black people who weren’t there can’t be wrong, can they? (This is like feminists raving and protesting during the emergence of the Duke rape case– before it was proven to be a pack of lies and they were proven to be dishonest or fools for having believed so readily.) This is not like Garner, who was clearly doing nothing threatening and whose killer ought to be fired and prosecuted.

    Until narratives are rejected and ALL the facts faced, all these protests merely burn out respect for protest and activism.

  19. Most of the Ferguson protesters live in a perpetual state of grievance against the establishment. Right now it’s the police, but later, it’ll be the GOP, tea party, male privilege, free marketeers, etc. Much like the rape hysteria, they use incidents like this to confirm their bias and perceive an epidemic.

    Police misconduct is obviously a much more serious problem than college rape. But then where was the black outrage on Kelly Thomas and Miriam Carey? Wrongful killing by police don’t get any clearer than that.

    They’re upset that a white person of power killed one of their own. That’s why they’re raging. Every stat and context is merely an opportunity to bolster their narrative. George Zimmerman wasn’t a cop, that didn’t matter.

    Black voters have the dems by the ball, but they don’t even have to defect to get the message going. Bloomberg let it known that he’ll send the police and health inspectors to enforce his soda ban. Black folks didn’t think nanny state would lead to zealous police enforcement?

    I had an argument with some minorities TWO WEEKS ago, who insisted that the GOP was cutting spending for the police. Oh, the children! How long are we going let them play victim, even though either create the problem or do nothing to address it? And once in a while something like happens, they rage and set fire to businesses?

    I don’t know what you’ve been told, but most Koreans don’t remember the LA riots as “social revolution against police brutality”

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  21. Justice was served. You just haven’t bothered to read ANY OF THE EVIDENCE, STATEMENTS, OR TESTIMONY to understand the verdict.

    http://imgur.com/eNdviOl

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