Michael Brown Shooting

The Missing Footage of Michael Brown's Shooting

The first Ferguson anniversary underlines the importance of video evidence in disputes about police violence.

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About a year before Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, another white police officer, Randall Kerrick, shot and killed another unarmed black man, Jonathan Ferrell, near Charlotte, North Carolina. Both shootings made the national news, but it was Michael Brown's death, a year ago yesterday, that sparked days of public protests and gave new energy to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which had formed in response to the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, by George Zimmerman, a Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida. 

The dramatically different public responses to the police shootings of Ferrell and Brown can be largely explained by the dramatically different official responses. Kerrick was immediately arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter, and his trial began last week. Wilson was never charged with a crime. Three months after the shooting, a grand jury convened by St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, after proceedings in which McCulloch's underlings acted more like defense attorneys than prosecutors, declined to indict Wilson. 

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Although the two incidents were broadly similar, local officials and police critics were basically on the same page in Charlotte but took radically different views of the shooting in Ferguson. In explaining that contrast, it is hard to overstate the importance of video evidence, which played a crucial role in Charlotte, where police cars had dashcams, but was missing in Ferguson, where the police department had purchased a couple of dashcams but had not installed them yet. Various disputed uses of police force that have come to light in the year since Wilson's deadly encounter with Brown reinforce the utility of dashcams, body cameras, and cellphones in holding armed agents of the state to account when they step over the line—and in vindicating them when they don't.

Kerrick shot Ferrell early in the morning on September 14, 2013, after Ferrell crashed his car and was mistaken for a burglar when he sought help at a nearby house. A 34-second dashcam video, played last week for the jury in Kerrick's trial, shows what happened after he and two other officers arrived at the scene in response to the report of a home intruder. Ferrell initially walks calmly toward the officers, until the light from a stun gun's laser sight appears on his chest. Then he takes off, running between two patrol cars. Ferrell is now off camera, but Kerrick can be heard repeatedly ordering him to the ground. Within three seconds of the first command, Kerrick fires four rounds, then another eight. From the moment that Ferrell starts running until Kerrick completely empties his weapon, 11 seconds elapse.

That video persuaded Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe to arrest Kerrick the day of the shooting. "Our investigation has shown that Officer Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter," the police department said. Prosecutors argue that Ferrell ran between the police cars because he was alarmed by the laser lights on his chest, which as far as he knew came from a firearm. They say he fell to the ground after Kerrick fired four rounds at him but that Kerrick, who also had fallen to the ground after stumbling in a ditch while walking backward, fired eight more rounds because Ferrell kept moving. Ten of the bullets struck Ferrell.

Shortly after the shooting, in a videotaped interview that the jury saw on Friday, Kerrick said he fired when Ferrell failed to obey his commands and got within 10 feet of him. "It did not faze him," he said. "He kept coming toward me. I fired again." Kerrick said he ended up on the ground but he wasn't sure how, and Ferrell began climbing up his legs. "There was nothing I could do to get him off of me," he said. "Then I fired again." By contrast, in his opening statement last week, Kerrick's lawyer said Ferrell had tackled him and punched him in the face while trying to grab his gun.

It remains to be seen whether the jury will find Kerrick's self-defense claim plausible. But Darren Wilson's was, as a Justice Department report released last March shows. A combination of physical evidence and reports from the most credible eyewitnesses confirms that Brown, whom Wilson stopped because he (correctly) suspected him of involvement in a convenience store robbery, punched him through the window of his patrol car and grabbed at his gun; ran off after Wilson fired two shots, one of which hit Brown's thumb; turned around and approached Wilson after the officer got out of his car; and was moving toward him as Wilson fired eight more rounds. Given those facts, Wilson's avowed belief that Brown would seriously injure or kill him upon closing the distance between them seems reasonable, whether or not that was Brown's intent. One can argue about whether Wilson should have gotten out of his car to pursue Brown. But once he did, it is plausible that the circumstances justified his use of deadly force.

Without dashcam footage of the encounter between Wilson and Brown, however, it was difficult to assess the officer's self-defense claim, especially in light of conflicting eyewitness reports. And without video to disprove them, inflammatory accounts from eyewitnesses (or purported eyewitnesses)—including a discredited claim that Wilson had shot Brown while the latter was standing still with his arms in the air, trying to surrender—fanned the flames of outrage.

Local officials fed public distrust by failing to promptly identify Wilson and clearly outline his version of events. Without the context of the narrative that eventually emerged, the Ferguson Police Department's August 15 release of surveillance camera footage showing Brown stealing cigarillos from a convenience store and intimidating the clerk who tried to stop him seemed like an irrelevant attempt at character assassination.

During the grand jury proceedings, prosecutors highlighted evidence in Wilson's favor, a reversal of the usual approach, and portrayed Brown as a suspect rather than a victim. Even if the grand jury reached the correct result (and the Justice Department's report makes a strong case that it did), the rigged process highlighted the double standard that police officers enjoy when they kill people.

That double standard also was apparent in the case of George Zimmerman, who like Wilson had a credible self-defense claim that was backed by eyewitness testimony and physical evidence. He nevertheless had to go through the ordeal of a trial, during which it became abundantly clear that the prosecution could not come close to proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt. That does not necessarily mean Zimmerman's use of deadly force was legally justified, but his account was at least plausible, which was all that was required to acquit him.

The upshot, unfortunately, is that the #BlackLivesMatter movement's two seminal cases are not very good examples of unjustified deadly force deployed against African Americans. Also unfortunately, there is no shortage of other, more apposite cases, including the chokehold death of Eric Garner on Staten Island, the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore as a result of injuries sustained during a ride in a police van, Sandra Bland's suicide in jail following a trumped-up arrest in Waller County, Texas, and the shootings of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Walter Scott in North Charleston, and Samuel DuBose in Cincinnati. Video evidence played an important role in all of these cases—including Bland's, where it showed how a state trooper needlessly escalated a routine traffic stop into a felony arrest, and Gray's, where it showed him stepping into the police van unaided, proving that his disabling and ultimately lethal injuries occurred later.

As demonstrated by a grand jury's rejection of charges against Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who put Garner in a chokehold, video evidence is no guarantee of an indictment, let alone a conviction. The footage may omit important details, while others may be open to interpretation. Even the Los Angeles cops who beat Rodney King in 1991, an incident that gave us one of the best-known video records of police brutality, managed to convince a California jury that their use of force could be justified. In other cases, video evidence may unambiguously confirm an officer's account. If that had happened in Ferguson, the shooting of Michael Brown never would have acquired the symbolic significance it did.

Still, in situations where police use excessive force, a video record can make a decisive difference by counteracting the tendency of police departments, local prosecutors, and jurors to give cops a bigger benefit of the doubt than ordinary, badgeless citizens are apt to receive. Ray Tensing, the University of Cincinnati police officer who was indicted last month for murder in the death of motorist Samuel DuBose, claimed he fired in self-defense because he was being dragged by DuBose's car—an account that was contradicted by footage from the body camera Tensing was wearing. Michael Slager, the North Charleston police officer who killed Walter Scott after a routine traffic stop last April, claimed he "felt threatened" because Scott had grabbed his Taser. Cellphone video shot by a bystander showed Slager firing eight rounds at Scott as he ran away, which led to Slager's arrest. In cases like these, seeing is disbelieving.

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  1. whom Wilson stopped because he (correctly) suspected him of involvement in a convenience store robbery,

    This is false. The more contemporaneous statements by both Wilson and his police chief are that he did not know he as a suspect, and was stopped purely for walking down the street.

    The Ferguson police officer who shot Michael Brown didn’t stop him because he was suspected in a convenience-store robbery, but because he was “walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic,” the city’s police chief said Friday.

    Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson — hours after documents came out labeling the 18-year-old Brown as the “primary suspect” in the store theft — told reporters the “robbery does not relate to the initial contact between the officer and Michael Brown.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/15/…..-shooting/

    Now, Brown may have still needed killing, but what eventually escalated into his death was a stop that had nothing to do with the robbery.

    1. You are correct.

    2. There you go again, letting the facts get in the way of the narrative.

    3. “walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic,”

      After you commit a robbery, this seems like a dumb thing to do.

      Then again…teenagers.

      1. As I recall, Brown wasn’t exactly a specimen of mental acuity. Of course, that doesn’t justify summary execution. Tussling with a cop for possession of his gun, though… different matter.

        1. Tussling with a cop for possession of his gun, though… different matter.

          Assuming it is what actually happened. Cops regularly give fictional accounts of events so as to fit an accepted narrative. Like “I feared for my life when he went for my gun” for example. In every single account from a cop where he used deadly force after some sort of a tussle, the guy always went for the cop’s gun. Every. Single. Time. Which leads me to believe it’s just boilerplate bullshit. It might be true once in a while, but even then, without proof, there’s no fucking way I’ll believe anything a cop says.

          1. Yep. I have my reservations as well. If only we could resolve these issues with some sort of evidence-collecting device cops would wear for their own protection and citizens’ as well. But how?

            1. (Although as always it should be noted that video isn’t a guarantee of anything except public outrage, and even then only selectively. Tamir who?)

          2. IIRC there was Brown’s DNA on the cop’s gun.

            1. Maybe Brown’s blood got on Wilson’s hands, and from his hands onto the gun. That seems more plausible than Brown’s DNA getting on the thing from merely trying to grab it. That might leave prints (that would be smudged off when Wilson used the thing to kill him), but not DNA.

              1. Well supposedly the gun was fired inside the patrol car while the two were tussling over it. I can easily imagine the recoil from gun’s slide taking off some skin or blood when that happened. Guns can be a bit pinchy.

                1. Guns can be a bit pinchy.

                  True. I lost a bit of skin off my thumb this weekend from one.

                  1. Couple weekends ago I got a nice cut on the piece of skin between my thumb and index finger. Fired a 1911 without a slide guard… lesson learned.

                    1. I did that snapping the slide shut in a pawn shop. That was embarrassing.

                    2. Two things I’ve never done (to date): caught my junk in my zipper and lost skin when closing the action on a weapon. I’m either less of a man somehow or just lucky.

                    3. Don’t tempt fate. You might lose skin off your junk from the closing action on a weapon.

                    4. I always thought my USP .45 was especially beautiful, but not quite that beautiful.

          3. Your reasoning is a bit faulty. If a person does not go after a cop’s gun, it is highly unlikely the cop would use deadly force at all (due to training and departmental fear of lawsuits), thus you will get an extremely high correlation between use of deadly force and claims that “he went for my gun.”

            Here is a similiar example of the same logical fallacy. Gun control freaks like to quote that “90% of illegal guns in Mexico are traced to the US.” But this turns out to be a statistics lie: the proper and original wording is that “90% of the guns that Mexico ASKS THE US TO TRACE are found to be from the US.”

            Why is this important? Because Mexico would not ask the US to trace guns it already knew were from, say, Guatemala or Honduras. It only asks the US to trace guns it suspects or expects are from the US, hence the high confirmation rate. It is a form of selection bias or confirmation bias.

            Back to the cops and “he went for my gun”–also due to training, in the cases where a person really actually goes for the cop’s gun, the cop is trained to use lethal force, so of course there will be a very high selection bias if you select for all the cases when the cop says “he went for my gun” and the cop used lethal force as well as if you select for all the cases where the cop uses lethal force and says “he went for my gun.”

            Does this make sense? I hope I explained it well enough.

        2. Tussling with a cop anyone for possession of his gun, though… different matter.

          Fixed it.

          1. I’m willing to bet citizen carriers exercise discretion more consistently than police do. They don’t enjoy the consequence-shielding legal immunity cops have.

            1. I’m willing to bet citizen carriers exercise discretion more consistently than police do.

              That’s an empirical fact.

          2. It’s like fighting someone for possession of a sword.
            The person holding the handle end always wins.

        3. Cop starts shooting at me for no reason you’re damn right I’m going for his gun if that looks like the best option for me to go home safe that night. It’s called self-defense.

        4. Cop starts shooting at me for no reason you’re damn right I’m going for his gun if that looks like the best option for me to go home safe that night. It’s called self-defense.

      2. After you shoplift, this seems like a dumb thing to do.

        FIFY

    4. And Wilson’s official statement he made after the shooting was that he knew about the robbery and stopped Brown because he matched the suspect description.

      This glaring contradiction was not pointed out at the grand jury farce.

      1. Do we know that for sure? I thought Ferguson slow-peddled releasing the GJ transcripts. I may be thinking of another case.

        1. The GJ transcript came out after they declined to indict. It’s quite a read. They didn’t even try. They read his obviously coached statement in to the record and barely asked him about it and didn’t try to trip him up at all.

          1. He survived a traumatic struggle and shooting. You can’t come out swinging against a victim like that.

            I wonder whether his union rep sat in on the proceedings.

            1. Yep. Right behind the prosecutor’s table.

              1. You know, like any other defendant in a grand…. I cannot even finish that with a straight face.

        2. You are thinking of the Eric Garner case. There the DA did not release the grand jury transcripts and a court recently upheld the decision of the DA not to release them.

      2. – “And Wilson’s official statement he made after the shooting was that he knew about the robbery and stopped Brown because he matched the suspect description.

        This glaring contradiction was not pointed out at the grand jury farce.”

        From the DoJ investigation into the shooting:

        “As captured on the store’s surveillance video, when the store clerk tried to stop
        Brown, Brown used his physical size to stand over him and forcefully shove him away. As a
        result, an FPD dispatch call went out over the police radio for a “stealing in progress.” The
        dispatch recordings and Wilson’s radio transmissions establish that Wilson was aware of the
        theft and had a description of the suspects as he encountered Brown and Witness 101.”

        So…where exactly is this contradiction you’re claiming?

    5. Brown knew he committed that robbery and assault, and likely did not know that Wilson was only looking to get him out of the street.

      So what if Wilson stopped him for that?

      1. So what if Wilson stopped him for that?

        What difference, at this point, does it make?

        1. So it is just throwing up chaff on your part?

          1. No, just pointing out that indifference to the facts is something that other people have taken advantage of, using the statement in my post.

    6. A lot of the initial stories got that wrong. In fact, Wilson told investigators and later the grand jury that he had heard the report of a robbery shortly before the stop.

    7. At 11:53 a.m., a dispatcher reported a “stealing in progress” at the Ferguson Market. The 911 operator was still talking to the caller in the background. In a second broadcast, 19 seconds later, the dispatcher says the suspect is a black male in a white T-shirt running toward QuikTrip, and had stolen a box of Swisher cigars.

      About four minutes later, there’s more detail: the suspect is wearing a red Cardinals hat, a white T-shirt, yellow socks and khaki shorts, and is accompanied by another man.

      At noon, Wilson reports that he’s back in service from the sick-baby call. He then asks the officers searching for the thieves ? units 25 and 22 ? if they need him. Seven seconds later, an unidentified officer broadcasts that the suspects had disappeared.

      At 12:02 p.m., Wilson says, “21. Put me on Canfield with two. And send me another car.” His call triggered at least two officers to head his way, including one who said he was close to Wilson.

      Sources have told the Post-Dispatch that Wilson has told authorities that before the radio call he had stopped to tell Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, 22, to quit walking down the middle of the street. They kept walking, and he then realized that Brown matched the description of the suspect in the stealing call.

      This wasn’t difficult to find. Are you saying the radio calls are altered?

      1. This wasn’t difficult to find. Are you saying the radio calls are altered?

        That would probably depend on whether or not NBC got their hands on the tapes.

      2. Sources have told the Post-Dispatch that Wilson has told authorities that before the radio call he had stopped to tell Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, 22, to quit walking down the middle of the street. They kept walking, and he then realized that Brown matched the description of the suspect in the stealing call.

        He didn’t know, like I said, when he stopped them that they were robbery suspects. Whether he realized a few seconds later, or after he had a chance to get his story straight, that they were, is an exercise for the reader. It could be true. It could be, you know, convenient.

        1. He didn’t know, like I said, when he stopped them that they were robbery suspects

          Telling someone to move off the street isn’t “stopping them”. So it’s your theory against Dorian Johnson and Wilson’s testimony that he didn’t initially pass them and then back up his car? You have a better reason than maybe they looked like the suspects he had just heard described on the radio a few minutes earlier?

    8. Now, Brown may have still needed killing, but what eventually escalated into his death was a stop that had nothing to do with the robbery.

      That’s misleading. While the initial stop was unrelated to the robbery, the escalation to violence was related, since both Wilson and Brown knew about the robbery: http://tinyurl.com/mkjgohk

      Although Wilson’s initial contact with them was unrelated to the robbery, Wilson said that he recognized that the two men matched the robbery suspects’ descriptions.

    9. – “This is false. The more contemporaneous statements by both Wilson and his police chief are that he did not know he as a suspect, and was stopped purely for walking down the street.”

      Sorry, but that that oft-repeated trope is bullshit, no matter how many times you try to peddle it.

      Even the DoJ, under Eric Holder (who did as much to fan the race-baiting flames in Ferguson as anyone) was forced to conclude as a result of it’s investigation into the shooting that all of the available evidence supported Wilson’s account of the incident, and that the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” narrative was also bullshit. And, with regard to your claim above, from that same DoJ investigation’s report:

      “As captured on the store’s surveillance video, when the store clerk tried to stop
      Brown, Brown used his physical size to stand over him and forcefully shove him away. As a
      result, an FPD dispatch call went out over the police radio for a “stealing in progress.” The
      dispatch recordings and Wilson’s radio transmissions establish that Wilson was aware of the
      theft and had a description of the suspects as he encountered Brown and Witness 101.”

      http://www.justice.gov/sites/d…..rown_1.pdf

      I’m highly disappointed that Reason insists on perpetuating a bullshit narrative just because it involves a cop. Perhaps I’ve come to expect too much.

  2. There are so many incidents that could be the poster child for police abuse. I can’t for the life of me figure out why they chose Michael Brown.

    1. The oft doesn’t function logically. They are soulless unreasoning things. They slavishly adore Hillary and Obama FFS.

      1. Actually, it is logical. The really egregious incidents would have widespread outrage against police behavior from white people as well as black people, so it couldn’t be as easily used to promote racial divisiveness and gin up #BlackLivesMatter outrage. It’s basically the same reason that police murders of unarmed white guys gets ignored.

        1. You mean you don’t remember all the demonstrations and riots in Fairfax County, Virginia, after cops gunned down Salvatore Culosi and John Geer? Yeah, me neither.

          1. And Kelly Thomas committed the unpardonable media sin of being a white male killed by brown cops, therefore it didn’t happen as far as they are corncerned..

        2. Yup. And full-throated defense of obvious thugs like Michael Brown intimidates white people in a way that promoting the truly innocent does not.

      2. ‘Left’

    2. Precisely because it’s not an obvious case. You can’t signal your unquestioning commitment to the SJW / #blacklivesmatter cause by decrying the treatment of Walter Scott. *Everybody* thinks that was an obvious case of murder, so it’s useless for demonstrating true-believer status.

      1. I think the controversial unclear nature of it made it a better target for media attention, which then made it the most prominent case in the public sphere. The riots obviously added onto that in a major way, and the reason for that goes well beyond Michael Brown’s death.

      2. Like Rolling Stone and UVA.

    3. I can’t for the life of me figure out why they chose Michael Brown.

      Thinking back to the day of, I have to wonder if it didn’t turn largely on something that I personally found meaningless?the length of time Brown’s body was left outside, uncovered (I think). Right when it happened, there was a huge sanctity issue around this. People were really upset about what happened (or didn’t happen) to the body.

      1. Huh. And I thought progressives and libertarians didn’t really care about sanctity/degradation as a moral foundation, focusing instead exclusively on care/harm, fairness (equality)/cheating, and (in the case of libertarians) liberty/oppression.

        (Megan McArdle, BTW, hypothesizes that progs actually *do* care about sanctity/degradation, but they can’t bring themselves to admit it: http://www.bloombergview.com/a…..servatives)

        1. Most progressives don’t think you should be able to sell your eggs, let alone your more valuable organs. They definitely care about sanctity.

          1. I think it’s more about control. There is no way the left belongs in sanctity. As they are soulless unclean things.

          2. I don’t think that is a concern about sanctity as much as a revulsion for sales.

          3. Most progressives think only the State should be able to sell your eggs, as well as your more valuable organs. Their definition of sanctity is different.

            FTFY

        2. Megan McArdle, BTW, hypothesizes that progs actually *do* care about sanctity/degradation, but they can’t bring themselves to admit it…

          Anybody who thinks this about progressives is completely oblivious (willfully or other) to their stance on the environment.

        3. I think the were waiting for St. Michael to ascend to heaven! After all he was immediately sanctified by the media and the rabble!

    4. Because they don’t actually want national unity on this issue. If a bunch of white people of various political and socioeconomic backgrounds agreed that Tamir Rice was murdered it undercuts their position that white America is horribly, incorrigibly racist and that’s why we need to implement X policy that involves wealth transfer along racial lines.

      You’d get yelled out and called a racist by the Black Lives Matter people if you pointed out Kelly Thomas, a white transient, was murdered by two Hispanic cops in a manner similar to Eric Garner.

      1. It depends on which specific person or group you’re talking about, but a lot of the BLM people did talk about Garner, Rice, etc. a lot. It didn’t get as much attention for a lot of the reasons people on here describe, but that’s more because the media isn’t as interested due to those stories being less controversial.

        This isn’t really relevant, but SM I think only one of the cops in the Thomas case was Latino. At least going off of last names, the other guy was Italian.

      2. You’d get yelled out and called a racist by the Black Lives Matter people if you pointed out Kelly Thomas, a white transient, was murdered by two Hispanic cops in a manner similar to Eric Garner.

        Minor quibble: Kelly Thomas was savagely beaten to death by barely trained apes while Garner was choked by barely trained apes. Given the choice, I would think being choked to death would be far less painful. Once you lose consiousness, that is. Thomas, OTOH, was fully concious while being brutally pummeled for several minutes. Agree with your overall point though.

        1. I meant similar in that both victims were guilty of things that should not be crimes (being homeless/loitering and selling cigarettes without giving the state its cut).

          The fact that cops abuse the powerless are enabled by the criminalization of everything is the lesson we should take away from those cases, not that racism is behind everything.

        2. And was able to call out for his daddy over and over. I can’t believe that got off.

          1. Can’t believe they got off.

      3. You’d get yelled out and called a racist by the Black Lives Matter people if you pointed out Kelly Thomas, a white transient, was murdered by two Hispanic cops in a manner similar to Eric Garner.

        But those were *white* Hispanics.

      4. …was murdered by two Hispanic cops…

        It’s a minor quibble, but I think only one of them was Hispanic. Cicinelli is white, I believe.

        1. Mexican… Italian ?

          What the diff ?

          /joking ?

          1. He was a spaghetti Mexican?

    5. It was because it was handled so poorly by the local officials. It was because St. Louis County had had so many systemic problems with its criminal justice system that it was only a matter of time before it ignited.

    6. I can’t for the life of me figure out why they chose Michael Brown.

      Because if they picked Tamir Rice, or Eric Garner, or Kelly Thomas to be the “poster child for police abuse” then all but the most tulpa-rrific of cop cock suckers would agree that police abuse is a real problem and they wouldn’t be able to peddle the racist cops/ racist society narrative. This way they can gin up outrage and never have to actually fix the broken system of no accountability and militarization of police that are actual problems.

    7. It was a slow burn of mistrust building up in the St. Louis area, with law enforcement continuously acting as money collectors in the poorer communities, culminating in the last straw of man who the community was told was surrendering lying dead for hours in the street.

    8. Because some people are more interested in protecting the rights of criminals to prey on the innocent than on protecting the innocent from criminals in uniforms.

      1. “Criminals in uniforms” I would say is a much worse crime than professional criminals who are, after all, just doing their job. Your car gets stolen by a car thief, well, what do you expect from a car thief? When the people who are paid to protect you from car thieves steal your car, you suddenly start becoming a little less squeamish about public executions.

        1. Squeamish, my eye! Just how do you think the cops (and lawyers) would respond to us if we shot a guy stealing our car?! We would be charged with voluntary manslaughter! Why should cops be treated any differently?! You need to use a better example than that!

    9. First, there was a lot of misinformation about the Brown case at its start. So the national outrage over (what would later turn out to be false) narrative picked up steam.

      Second, this happened in Ferguson where people have long been putting up with the abusive policing. This was the big thing. It only took a spark to ignite tensions that had been rising there forever.

      So the combination of a salacious telling of the events and a community ready to go apoplectic turned into full blown riots.

      I think the important moral to the story is you can’t just “pick” which event is going to resonate. People pile on after something has started going viral. This had enough going for it at the beginning to get national attention, and then it snowballed. Getting that national attention in the first place is random.

    10. Because they had a, since discredited, “witness”, who said the “gentle giant” had his hands up and said “don’t shoot”.
      That fits right into the media narrative that cops are just murderers, waiting for a chance to gun down a black man.
      Of course it never occurred to anyone to ask why a cop would choose to do this on a well-traveled street in the middle of the day.

    11. “There are so many incidents that could be the poster child for police abuse. I can’t for the life of me figure out why they chose Michael Brown.”

      Same reason why they believed “Jackie” and mattress girl. They throw out common sense and disbelief when it comes to their narratives.

    12. Are there really so many? Look through the list for this year: http://tinyurl.com/pktqu8k Only about 10% of the people shot are unarmed, and most of those remaining cases involved violence or serious felonies.

      There are a few cases where police acted with malice or incompetence. But what exactly does that prove? There are 1.1 million police officers in the US. If they commit murder at the same rate as the general population, you’d expect about 50 premeditated murders by police officers every year. Given that police are mostly young and male, that number should probably be double that. So, even if you find 100 cases of clearly premeditated murder by police officers, that still wouldn’t be an indication of an unusual degree of violence or “police abuse”.

  3. “Kerrick shot Ferrell early in the morning on September 14, 2013, after Ferrell crashed his car and was mistaken for a burglar when he sought help at a nearby house.”

    I once avoided a home invasion when a man came to my door at 2:00 am and said he’d been in accident and needed to borrow my phone.

    I was fuzzy from sleep and almost opened the door without thinking, but his constant use of the word “homie” woke me up, and I said I’d call 911 for him.

    He then decided to leave.

    911 said there was no accident in the area, and my house is not conveniently located from a main road…you wouldn’t have an accident and then walk in a block turn left a block, etc.

    Sorry, for the cool story bro, but the scenario was eerily close.

    1. Obviously, Ferrel was not a home invader and he’d had a real accident. I’m just saying there can be reasons the home owner calls the cops.

      1. Absolutely. I think Ferrel was probably dazed and frustrated from the accident, and the woman who was at home, with no other adults was probably scared.
        The blame for that lies completely and utterly at the foot of the police. How about finding out what is going on before going in with guns drawn.
        Oh well, at least a hero went home safely that night.

      2. Obviously, Ferrel was not a home invader and he’d had a real accident.

        Obvious now, after the fact, but he pounded and kicked on the woman’s door so hard he dented it while screaming at her to turn off her home alarm, according to her account.

        Now of course, the cops are a different story. But her calling 911 was perfectly reasonable if her account is accurate. She’s awakened in the wee hours to somebody pounding on the door, thinks it’s her husband, opens it, realizes it’s a stranger, slams it shut and locks it, and dude then proceeds to scream at her and try kicking the door in. A non-trivial tidbit, particularly since some of the Reason commentariat was calling for charging her with filing a false police report when the story broke.

    2. I had somebody come to my door at 2:00 am saying he had been in a crash once.

      I had a gun in my hand when I answered the door. The departed dunphy was of the opinion that the guy at my door would have been justified in gunning me down on the spot.

      Since he had crashed IN MY DRIVEWAY, I believed him. Since it was around zero degrees (American) outside, and I had a gun, I invited him in.

      He was drunk and got arrested (I think it was his fourth or fifth DUI). He also dinged one of my cars, so I didn’t shed any tears.

      1. He was drunk and got arrested (I think it was his fourth or fifth DUI). He also dinged one of my cars, so I didn’t shed any tears.

        Were you planning to sell the Yugo anyway?

        1. Were you planning to sell the Yugo anyway?

          Hey, that car was going to be worth a lot of money someday! I figured that, in a few years, any running Yugo would be so rare I could easily double the $28.00 I spent to buy it.

          1. I thought you were an FJ guy.

            1. Trabant or GTFO.

              RC, I remember derpfee saying basically cops had every right to waste you for “brandishing” or some shit. Incredible.

              “I’M IN MY OWN FUCKING HOME WITH MY OWN FUCKING GUN.”

              But it’s a free country, doncha know…

      2. You people live interesting lives.

        Like in the movies.

        I get Sparks Canada and Brownies selling cookies at my door.

        No gun necessary.

        For now anyway.

        1. By the way, I always buy or give to kids. It’s the way I’m wired.

          1. Your orphan supplier must have better sources than mine, if you let prime workers-to-be leave your property that easily.

          2. I always buy kids, too.

            See, we’re not so different, you and I….

        2. ASSAULT CARBS

          They were highly glycemic, your honor.

          1. Nobody should need more than one cookie, two at the most.

        3. I’d say if a GS showed up at your door at 0200, something is up. “Be Prepared” as the BS say.

        4. I answer the door with a gun behind my back every time it’s someone I don’t know, unless its some species of small woman. Having your door kicked in a few times in your life leaves quite an impression on you. To this day I regard door-to-door salesmen as violent imposters.

          1. It’s why it’s illegal in my town. You get “kids” selling candy bars for 10 bucks each. They knock. If you don’t answer, they let themselves in.

            1. Exactly. When I lived in a bigger city they would knock on my door posing as energy supplier salesmen. The one time I opened the door, the guy stuck his head around the corner immediately to see what was in my house, which I took umbrage with and asked axed him to leave. That night, about 15 minutes after I left for work, my neighbor told me that is when my door got kicked in.

              The cops told me to let them know if my investigation turned up any leads.

              1. This is why I hate cops. They are completely useless anymore. They don’t investigate anything they should and exist to harass people. Also, they get in the way of me dealing with problems where they won’t do their job.

                1. They’re too busy investigating crimes with no discernible victim.

          2. A conspicuous “No Soliciting, Police will be Called” sign tends to filter out the average salesman, leaving you with only bad actors of varying stripes coming to your door. I wouldn’t have any hesitation openly brandishing if somebody I don’t know ignores my no soliciting sign.

            Our neighborhood gets a bunch of hispanic tradesmen going door to door (which is good when you have odd jobs that you’d rather pay a couple hundred for rather than working in the 108* heat), but the biggest issue was the city code enforcement. A neighbor caught the code enforcement guy traipsing through his back yard, so he pulled his pistol out and told the guy how quickly he would be using it if the guy didn’t get off his property. Unsurprisingly, we’ve had much fewer code enforcement issues since then.

            1. Actually, all of the no trespassing signs and locking waist level gates on my property are meant exclusively as government personnel repellent. A private criminal will ignore such deterrents. A public criminal is not so eager to risk losing his qualified immunity, small as that risk may be.

          3. If someone rings my doorbell unexpectedly, it’s a salesperson; everyone else either has a key to my place or messages me beforehand to let me know they’re coming over. Beyond that, I really don’t even bother answering the door anymore.

            1. I have an annoying neighbor that knocks all the time, but I don’t think I’d get away with shooting her.

              1. I have an annoying neighbor that knocks all the time, but I don’t think I’d get away with shooting her.

                The last time my neighbor knocked, it was to ask permission to go into my back yard to retrieve the arrow that he’d fired in his yard but which had gone over the fence into my yard. I was a little grim that he was shooting arrows at night (and that he was apparently that bad at it), but I still didn’t feel that it quite rose to a deadly force situation.

            2. ^This. I never answer the door. The *one* time I did, it was… an energy supply salesman. Or so he said. I live in an apartment building. If you’re in my hallway unasked, I don’t care if you’re legit, you’re still an asshole.

  4. But- but-
    THUGZ!

  5. “Although the two incidents were broadly similar…”

    Wait, wut?

    1. “One can argue about whether Wilson should have gotten out of his car to pursue Brown.”

      Wait, wut?

  6. All, take a peek at this info graphic – showing the number and location of people killed by police in the US in the past year:

    http://tinyurl.com/qzsdbhw

    1083 killed in the past year – 3 per day. I know we all know about it – from Balko’s seemingly daily nut punches – but why is not resonating further?

    1. Well, why would people worry about violent criminals getting shot? If they weren’t doing anything wrong, the police, who have a right to defend themselves, wouldn’t have been forced to kill them.

      This is actually what most people believe.

      1. Well yeah. I mean that is 1083 times that a hero went home safe!

      2. Any thoughts as to the states that are on the upper end of the killing list? I may need to study It more – but I’m not seeing any clear connections.

        Perhaps just a set of jurisdictions with very poor oversight over police? For example, Colorado is on the list – Denver has a well known issue with police brutality and no real will to control the police force. Recall the “we get up early to beat the crowds” shirts the DPD wore during the DNC.

        1. Boulder ain’t much better.

        2. Perhaps just a set of jurisdictions with very poor oversight over police?

          See, also, the US of A.

        3. I just moved back here in February, and haven’t had any interaction with the fuzz since.
          Before I left I had a horrible incident with the Denver police, that I won’t bother to bore you all with.
          When I left,I know the Denver police were out of control, but I don’t know if anything was done about it. I haven’t seen any thing in the paper or on the local news since I’ve been back that would be an obvious case of police misconduct.

          1. I haven’t seen any thing in the paper or on the local news since I’ve been back that would be an obvious case of police misconduct.

            Probably says more about your local news agencies than it does the police.

            1. Or the fact that I seldom watch the local news, lol. But if something was causing an outrage, I’m sure I’d hear about it, during Reason’s daily nut punch update.

            1. Police were on the scene at the Capitol City Mobile Home Park because Castaway, who had mental health issues, had been drinking and getting rowdy, and his mother had called them to help get him under control.

              Good grief, when will people ever learn.

            2. Thanks Machine. Just when I thought I could go a day without getting pissed at the government, you provide a handy link.

          2. Up north in Berthoud, we actually shitcanned our local police department after their typical chrony antics made national news and subbed out the work to the county sheriff. It has done wonders for the community. The sheriff’s drive around in city cars, but they are on contract to the community and will get kicked out if they ever get too uppity. Half their work is community service, making nice nice with the residents. I recommend every small town do this.

            1. That would avoid the bulkshit speed traps that small town sheriff’s offices love so much.

        4. Perhaps just a set of jurisdictions with very poor oversight over police?

          Probably a combination of poor oversight, petty laws calling for severe law enforcement reaction (SWAT teams serving warrants) and a culture of leeway for LEOs and a subculture within LEO organizations that they are an occupying military force. All those things exist in different combinations in every state.

        5. These data are for overall killings, not just “cop shoots unarmed man” stories remember. Houston is way higher than I thought it would be but that might be because we’re a pretty busy thoroughfare for the drug and sex trafficers ( so it is said ). We have had one or two cop killings of reported MS-13 gansters IIRC in the past year. If they were indeed those guys I don’t think the gun fire is automatically a bad thing. Those guys play for keeps and are sometimes heavily armed for patrol cops to handle.

        6. It just looks like a list of states and cities with high population.

    2. See that big X over Phoenix. It is one of the reasons I left. I was every bit as afraid of the police as was about meeting up with bad people.

      1. I was every bit as afraid of the police as was about meeting up with bad people.

        Isn’t that redundant?

    3. What the hell is going on in OKC? Wild wild west?

      1. And that’s the area i just moved from. OKC police are convinced that they are in a war, mostly with dark skinned people and meth heads. It is a very conservative place, the buckle of the bible belt, and the WOD is being heavily waged.
        It is also an area with poverty issues.

            1. And the longer you are here…not your last.

    4. 1083 killed in the past year . . . why is not resonating further?

      As long as the public is fed the narrative that it’s all bad guys getting killed by the good guys, it will never resonate.

      1. ^ I doubt there is any bigger reason than that.

    5. Why should it? It looks like more than 90% of those cases involve armed criminals or suspects in situations that got out of hand somehow. The rest is a mix of accidents, manslaughter, and murders committed by police. But given that we have 1.1 million police officers in the US, police commit those crimes at no higher rates than other people.

      Unless you hang out around people who break into homes or cars, your risk of getting killed by police is about the same as your risk of getting killed by lightning.

  7. The thing about the Rodney King case is that accounts of the full video said at the time that he was shown repeatedly getting up an moving toward the police after being tazed.

    Now, it’s been a long time since I saw that video. I don’t remember IT, I remember the descriptions (I remember words better than pictures). Maybe those accounts of the full video are so much cops-can-do-no-wrong bullshit. But I don’t recall them being rebutted at the time, I recall a lot of ‘change the subject and shift the goalposts’.

    It is possible for an unarmed black man to get clobbered and or outright killed for good reason. It’s apparently much rarer than cops killing somebody because they are badly trained, over-armed, paranoid, arrogant, unaccountable pricks.

    1. I remember seeing the whole video. I don’t think that they had tasers back at that time, but King was tossing cops off him like they were rag dolls. It was truly incredible. They were waylaying him with batons and he just kept fighting them off. They managed to wear him down and get him on his hands and knees, and *that* was the footage the media was showing that stirred everything up.

      After seeing the whole video instead of a 12 second out of context clip, I changed my mind about that situation, and I supported the cops instead of King.

      1. . . . King was tossing cops off him like they were rag dolls. It was truly incredible.

        You should enjoy this (I think it’s work safe, but use discretion):

        http://thefreethoughtproject.c…..ops-taser/

        1. Weaponized electrons give Canada Man superhuman strength!

          1. Weaponized electrons give Canada Man superhuman strength!

            And I for one am glad they did.

          2. Stan Lee could make a comic book from that.

            1. Stan Lee could make a comic book from that.

              Imagine a comic book character whose powers (whatever they may be) grow stronger every time he’s abused by police. And from time to time, when he’s in an especially dark place, he’s visited by the ghost of Kelly Thomas, from whom he draws additional strength. Don’t mock my idea – DC Comics is already setting the precedent for that:

              http://www.foxnews.com/enterta…..new-comic/

      2. The first taser was completed in 1974, and BATF had classified it as a firearm in 1976. The Rodney King incident was in 1991. Plenty of time for tasters to become fairly common.

  8. The footage is not “missing” it is non-existent.

    It is about as “missing” as my Nobel Prize.

    1. Don’t get cross, but they gave yours to some dude a few years back because of what he was GOING to do. It’s okay, I am reasonably sure he hasn’t used it yet.

      1. I knew it!

        He probably has it stuffed in the same junk drawer along with Sullum’s Pulitzer.

  9. The Social Contract allows for ad hoc execution squads. If you had bothered to read it before signing, you’d know this.

    1. So do you support the right of people to defend their personal property with guns?

  10. Kerrick was immediately arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter, and his trial began last week. Wilson was never charged with a crime.

    This is likely because Kerrick committed a crime but Wilson did not.

    Maybe I’m a bit testy here, but once again, the national spotlight falls on exactly the wrong shooting to get worked up about.

    1. Without dash-cam footage, we’ll never know for sure. I for one will never take a cop’s word at face value.

      1. Unfortunately, body cam footage will still leave gaps. Imagine trying to prove someone was trying to grab your gun as you’re wrestling with him. Footage would likely be jammed against the other guy’s shoulder.

    2. This is likely because Kerrick committed a crime but Wilson did not.

      We’ll never know. There were plenty of inconsistencies and questions about what Wilson did. It turned out to be a lesson in how the double standard can be applied anywhere, even at grand juries.

      the national spotlight falls on exactly the wrong shooting to get worked up about.

      No argument there. We’d be better off if the proggies were smugly hashtagging #BumLivesMatter following the Kelly Thomas murder.

      1. Ah, but the bum vote is very small, and if you really need it you get better results with a case of Thunderbird. Pandering to the Black Vote, making them feel that the Democrats (who run the cities they re oppressed in, mostly) are On Their Side, THAT’S a sound investment in lifetime reelection.

    3. The most like scenario is the Wilson saw a big black guy committing a minor offense (blocking traffic) and saw an easy arrest to pad his stats that day.

      Whatever happened after that point, Wilson started the interaction that lead to the shooting.

      1. The most like scenario is the Wilson saw a big black guy committing a minor offense (blocking traffic) and saw an easy arrest to pad his stats that day.

        Except for Brown’s acquaintance testifying that Wilson simply told him to move off the street you would be like, totally correct

        1. Even if true, it doesn’t change the scenario, unless for some odd reason Brown actually started to comply. But every command coming from the police at this point is actually “comply or die”.

          1. Yeah, telling someone to move to the sidewalk is totally like looking for large black men to pad arrest stats.
            It would be a whole lot easier to say “yes, what I said was wrong and stupid and I don’t really know anything about what happened because I wasn’t there”

            1. http://www.slate.com/articles/…..k_men.html

              So this ex-cop explains how you can target poor black men for merely throwing a cigarette butt on the ground — to pad your stats if you need to.

              1. So this ex-cop explains

                Cool story, bro. How is that relevant to what happened prior to or during the Brown shooting?

      2. Whatever happened after that point, Wilson started the interaction that lead to the shooting.

        Your point being?

  11. One thing which made the Michael Brown killing particularly egregious is that the cops left his body on open display most of the afternoon, as a flagrant illustration of what happens to the uppity.

    1. Yep. See here for more info.

      Mr. Brown probably could not have been revived, and the time that his body lay in the street may ultimately have no bearing on the investigations into whether the shooting was justified. But local officials say that the image of Mr. Brown’s corpse in the open set the scene for what would become a combustible worldwide story of police tactics and race in America, and left some of the officials asking why.

      For part of the time, Mr. Brown’s body lay in the open, allowing people to record it on their cellphones. A white sheet was draped over Mr. Brown’s body, but his feet remained exposed and blood could still be seen. The police later shielded the body with a low, six-panel orange partition typically used for car crashes.

      1. Optics is it?

      2. In a Missouri summer on asphalt…

      3. Yeah, that was astoundingly fucked up. It doesn’t change anything about Brown’s moral character, but very few people deserve that indignity and he was not one of them.

      4. This is kind of like the Planned Parenthood organ selling thing. The egregious part is, you know, the killing. The “indignity” is pretty motherfucking trivial by comparison.

    2. Yes, we’ve come so far since the King’s men would display the corpses of his enemies in the town square as a lesson to his subjects.

      1. We live in a feudal system. Only the costumes have changed. Well, that and instead getting their power from The Divine Right of the King, our rulers have The [Divine] Will of the People.

  12. These cameras are stopping our brave officers from performing their heroic duties. And the do nothing congress can’t act, because RehthugiKKKans. Obviously, it’s time for his honorable judge PenalTax and his merry band of SCOTUS critters to outlaw this injustice so that all of our heroes can go home safely at night with none of these shooting videos to ruin their good nights sleep. Officer privacy = officer safety, and it’s a right!

    1. Officer privacy = officer safety, and it’s a right!

      THIS IS WHAT THE FOP ACTUALLY BELIEVES

    2. A strong majority of police officers seem to want body cameras.

  13. The Daily Beast had an article very similar to this one a few days ago. However the focus was on the tendency of people to believe what they want to believe and the social phenomenon of martyrdom. It’s worth a read.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a…..he-us.html

  14. In Brown’s latest interview, he expresses no regret or seemingly any emotional disturbance over what he did. Which to me, is disturbing.

    I would think most of us who kill another human being — even if we think the act was justified — would live with emotional repercussions of doing so. Because basic human empathy and decency. Maybe I’m wrong. But even soldiers are traumatized for life over what they do in war…

    1. Not Brown. It was Wilson…

    2. People with human empathy and decency are not welcome among the sociopaths that staff police departments.

    3. I see where you are coming from, but I think some people are just like that and that doesn’t mean they are sociopaths.

      There are soldiers who kill in combat and feel no remorse for it. My grandpa didn’t give a fuck about the Chinese he killed in Korea, for example, because that’s an obvious situation where you just want to live.

      As for Wilson, we know he lied/gave inconsistent testimony for the purpose of saving his own ass, so maybe he is a sociopath. But if he actually did kill a man in self-defense that doesn’t mean he’s inhuman for not feeling remorse.

    4. You’re vastly generalizing based upon your own (lack of) experience.

      Human beings feel all kinds of emotions upon having killed another being. They usually are colored by the totality of the circumstances. Citizens who kill in justifiable self defense often feel a great sense of relief upon having prevailed. Soldiers who kill in war often feel euphoria about having dealt the enemy a blow. People in the Third World feel very differently about killing than First Worlders.

      1. “Soldiers who kill in war often feel euphoria about having dealt the enemy a blow.”

        Not me or any I know …. different days.

        1. As a Naval Reserve officer, I have never had to take another life. Nor have I had to fire any shots to protect my home (drawn my weapon a couple of times, but no one actually stuck around). But I think the point is that different people react differently. I know it is difficult to say, but I really don’t think I would feel much regret if I shot someone who had broken into my home. I may feel a little sorry for the dumb schmuck because he was an idiot, but I just don’t see needing therapy or anything.

    5. Considering the fact that his story pretty much lays flat when bounced against the evidence that does exist, that Michael Brown’s mother still wants his head on a platter and is constantly agitating for the chance to execute on that desire (including occasionally indulging in the lie that someone else robbed the convenience store and not her son) I would say it’s to be expected that he’s not really broken up about what happened and is probably quite pissed about the fact that he’s become the scapegoat for all that is wrong with the police everywhere.

      As others have stated making Michael Brown the battlecry to which everyone rallies to fight police brutality and racism is like Amnesty International demanding that the UN does something about Kim Jong Un’s haircut as being exposed to it is an egregious human rights violation.

  15. Nice How come Reason does not use the last picture we have of the Gentile Giant when alive, when he was throttling that little shop owner?

    1. Robbing a store = death sentence!!

      1. Yep, that’s it. Because the media selling a narrative through sympathetic imagery (Trayvon Martin in grade school, as another example) totally means all police shootings are justified.

      2. It is at my store

      3. Wonder if he cried on the way home before his altercation with Wilson, realizing he had been violent towards a human

      4. It can, if the little shop owner had a gun, the Gentile Giant could have been dead before he left the store.

        1. Yep, and if it had been the shop owner who’d shot Brown, no one would’ve batted an eye and Ferguson wouldn’t have burned.

    2. Gentile Giant

      Do we know for a fact that Brown wasn’t Jewish?

      1. Yes, if he was the ADL would be on the march

  16. Video got this cop fired

    http://nbc4i.com/2015/08/05/wa…..complaint/

    1. Not punished, mind you, but fired. It’s a start, I guess.

    2. “Peterman resigned June 26 before being terminated.”

      I’m sure there’s some grift involved.

    3. He resigned which means he will soon be hired by another department.

      1. It sounds like that has already happened.

        1. They were impressed with the way he dragged her down those concrete steps, thereby assuring officer safety. I bet he shoots a good dog too.

      2. Not only that, but he’ll keep the time he’s put in towards his pension, which I believe he would have lost had he been fired.

  17. A different kind of video got this cop in trouble.

    http://nbc4i.com/2015/08/10/fo…..rnography/

    1. Surprised he didn’t get off on the “I was infiltrating the organization to take it down from the inside!” schtick.

      1. I was thinking the same thing.

  18. OT — The chart above shows that the Emerald City MSA started experiencing a decline in restaurant employment around the first of the year (when the state minimum wage increased to $9.47 per hour, the highest state minimum wage in the country), and the 1,300 job loss between January and June is the largest decline over that period since 2009 during the Great Recession (data here). The loss of 1,000 restaurant jobs in May following the minimum wage increase in April was the largest one month job decline since a 1,300 drop in January 2009, again during the Great Recession. In contrast to the January-June loss of restaurant jobs in the Seattle area: a) restaurant employment nationally increased by 130,700 jobs (and by 1.2%) during that same period (data here), b) overall employment in the Seattle MSA increased 1.2% and by 21,800 jobs (data here) and c)non-Seattle MSA restaurant employment in Washington increased 3.2% and by 2,800 jobs (data here).

    1. LIES SOME GUY POSTED A STORY ABOUT A RESTAURANT AND IT WAS FINE

      (*”blink”, if i recall. proggy troll)

  19. We can figure out how fast Brown was moving during the shooting from the physical evidence. Brown ran 150′ the moved back towards Wilson 25′. There is an audio recording of the shooting. The audio of the shots is 6.5 seconds long with a 3 second pause apparently when Brown paused. That means that Brown moved 25′ in 3.5 seconds. That means that Brown was moving at 4.8 mph, hardly a charge, more like a brisk walk. Try it yourself. So was Brown charging “full speed”, head down as Wilson alleges or was he stumbling forward with 4 gunshot wounds?

    1. OMG 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB

      1. Half Life 3 confirmed!

        1. I can’t wait for release day on Steam. This will be the community comments:

          1. Unlocking in 1 hour, I’m so excited!

          2. Still downloading… 50G, OMG!

          3. The graphics have been downgraded!

          4. What is this shit?, it won’t run on my computer, I want a refund!

          5. And free DLCs forever!

      2. So you’re saying Brown did not move towards Wilson 25′, there isn’t audio of the shooting that lasts 6.5 seconds and 25/3.5 doesn’t equal 7 feet per second or 4.8 mph?

        1. It’s like you can read his mind, man!!!

        2. LOOK HE USES MATH

          No, dipshit, you’re assuming everything occurs in the “silence” exactly how you assume and then applying arbitrary algebra and claiming “WOW LOOK SCIENCE”.

          Its so embarrassingly stupid no one wants to have explain it to you. Like last time. Or the other time before that.

          He could have stood for 1.5 seconds and “charged” in 2 seconds, instead of your arbitrary determination that ‘silence’ somehow indicates he was moving for 3.5 seconds. You have ‘evidence’ of nothing except the assumptions you’ve injected into that gap. Please shut up or go somewhere people are dumb enough to find that sort of thing compelling.

          1. Or the other, other time people explained how you’re an idiot.

          2. Wilson testified that Brown paused after the first round of shots which is confirmed by the audio. If Brown had charged at say 10 mph, a jog, he would have covered the entire distance in 2.5 seconds. So you are an idiot and will remain so for the rest of your life.

            1. Correction 10 mph is 14 fps so he would have covered the entire distance in 1.5 seconds. So that completely destroys your ” maybe he charged for 1 second” argument.

            2. Your ability to estimate average speeds is remarkable and you win a gold star for 5th grade algebra class.

              “BigT|2014/12/14 10:24:00|#4965042

              You are making a couple of weak assumptions. The pause in the gunfire may or may not be the same as the pause in Brown’s movement. And you are calculating his average speed. With a stop and start he must have both decelerated and accelerated, so his peak sped was likely higher.

              Physics, how does it work?”

              You’ve made this same post about 5 times over the past year

              That you find your own argument compelling means you’re bone stupid

              That you’ve tried advancing this argument over and over again despite people explaining to you why *it means absolutely nothing*, suggests you’re also crazy

              1. Wilson testified that he stopped shooting when Brown stopped and reengaged when Brown moved again. 25′ is about 8 or 10 strides. You morons think a 6’5″ 230 pounds guy who just ran 150′ is going to start and stop like the Flash? You have not disproven anything except your own lack of brains.

                1. If Brown did move faster during the first round of shots that means he would have been crawling during the second round.

                2. I think a 6-5, 230 pound guy running toward a cop is not going to be well-received. There are lots of cases where cops are the bad guys; this is not one of them.

                  1. He wasn’t running. That’s the point. If he did run before or after the first round of shots that has to mean that he was barely walking before or after the first round of shots. Wilson’s testimony that Brown charged, paused and charged again is provably false.

                    1. How the fuck are you going to disprove another person’s description of whether someone “charged” at them or not? Brown was moving toward him, whether you think it was “charging” or not. “Charging” isn’t something measured in fps, it’s a description. It’s a subjective term.

                    2. Wilson’s testimony was that he came at him “full speed”.

                    3. Wilson’s testimony that Brown charged, paused and charged again is provably false.

                      lulz. I have no clue if that’s what happened, but any “provably false” accusation says more about the accuser than the cop.

                      Show me your sources. Frankly, I don’t buy your bullshit, so put up or shut up. Doing arithmetic on numbers pulled out of your ass doesn’t impress me.

                    4. He’s saying 7.14 fps is not equal to “charging”. Welcome to Math, Derp Level 102

                    5. That’s 4.8 mph. And average person walks 4 mph. Brown was 6’5” so basically he was walking. DERP!

                    6. 25′ is ten steps. TEN STEPS!

                    7. The distance Brown traveled is from the cops and the audio of the shooting is self evident.

                    8. The distance Brown traveled is from the cops

                      Which you fucked up.. It’s closer to 180′ than 150, excluding lateral movement. Then, coming back it’s closer to 30-35′ instead of 25′.

                      Even assuming that your bullshit “evidence gathering” is 100% correct except for the 25′, that changes the game significantly! 35’/3.5sec = 6.8mph ~= 8.5 minute mile. For a guy weighing almost 300lbs, that’s an olympic pace!

                      and the audio of the shooting is self evident.

                      Self evident of nothing but the pacing of the shots. The idiotic idea that you can somehow time out exactly when Brown stopped and started based on the human reaction of Wilson is downright moronic. Also, even if everything you said was correct, but your 3.5 second figure were off by half a second (due to Wilson’s delay), that’s 5.7mph ~= 10 and a half minute mile… a pretty damn fast jog.

                      God forbid you were off by half a second and by ten feet. Then he’s running 8 mph ~= 7.5 minute mile. What do you know, he’s a 300lb. Usain Bolt!

                      If Brown had charged at say 10 mph, a jog

                      Oh, you mean 6 minutes per mile. That’s a fucking fast jog! That’s marathon winning pace jogging! A jog is 4.5-5mph, a run is 5.5-12mph, a sprint is 12.5mph+

                      Get outta here with your bullshit!

                    9. “God forbid you were off by half a second and by ten feet.”

                      DOOD BUT HE CAN TELL EXACTLY WHEN EVERYTHING HAPPENED FROM THE SILENCE IN THE AUDIO! *FACT*

                      Also, people don’t accelerate and stuff, they just move average speeds all the time, so his 5th grade math is like SCIENCE PROOF NOW U REKT

                    10. No shit. When I taught physics I had all kinds of kids tell me every year that they struggle with physics but they were really good at math. And I am sure they were. But I would always tell them life isn’t “Page 137, 1-15 odd”. Life is one gigantic fucking word problem.

                      IceTrey is the same kid who when taking the test on kinematics figured out the car went from 30 meters/sec to rest in .08347295 seconds.

                    11. That’s exactly what Gilmore is saying Brown did. Zero to 10 mph to zero in 12 feet and then again in another 12 feet. BTW I was wrong brown weighed 290 pounds! So a 290 pound guy who had just run 150 feet, or 180 feet which is worse, in flip flops. How much acceleration do you think he was capable of?

                    12. Oh yeah, after the first round of shots he had been wounded four times.

                    13. How much acceleration do you think he was capable of?

                      Like any human on earth, he was capable of 9.8 m/s2.

                    14. “DOOD BUT HE CAN TELL EXACTLY WHEN EVERYTHING HAPPENED FROM THE SILENCE IN THE AUDIO! *FACT*”

                      Coupled with Wilson’s testimony you moron. Tell me, what exactly does cop dick taste like?

                    15. 6.8 mph is 22 fps. The first round of shots lasted 2 seconds. Brown would have covered 44 feet in that time. So even 35′ is impossible. BTW the shots paused for 3 seconds. 2 seconds of shots, 3 second pause, 1.5 seconds of shots.

                      “Although walking speeds can vary greatly depending on a multitude of factors such as height, weight, age, terrain, surface, load, culture, effort, and fitness, the average human walking speed is about 5.0 kilometres per hour (km/h), or about 3.1 miles per hour (mph).”
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking
                      Brown was a 6’5″ male so he probably walked around 4 mph as I said.

                      So get outta here with your bullshit!

                    16. wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Michael_Brown

                      According to this Brown ran 174’4″ and came back 21’7″. That lowers his average speed to 6.1 fps or 4.1 mph! The first round of shots lasted 2 seconds and he was hit 3 times. The idea that a 290 pound guy who just ran 174′ in flip flops would exhibit a sprinters acceleration and inhuman deceleration is beyond absurd.

                    17. If you want to do a simple back-of-the-envelope calculation, the correct calculation isn’t “average speed across interval”, it’s “top speed after constant acceleration from a dead stop”.

                      For example… What’s the acceleration if you travel 35′ in 3.5s from a dead stop? It’s about 5.7 ft/s^2. What’s the final speed if you accelerate for 3.5s with 5.7 ft/s^2? It’s about 20 ft/s, or 13 mph.

                      Modify to taste for other scenarios you might come up with.

                    18. Brown only traveled 21.5 feet and he did it in two increments. The first one lasting two seconds the second lasting 1.5 seconds. How fast can a 290 pound man who just ran 174 feet with a gunshot wound to his hand get in two seconds?

                    19. The question isn’t well defined since there are different acceleration and velocity profiles. But generally, under those scenarios, his final velocity would probably be be higher, not lower than under the other calculation I gave. I suggest you work it out for yourself under different assumptions; it’s a good exercise in high school physics.

                      A gunshot wound to his hand would likely allow him to accelerate and run faster than under normal circumstances.

  20. For crying out loud, the absolutely central fact in Ferguson was that violent mobs demanded the prosecution of Officer Wilson without any credible evidence he’d committed a crime, and with plenty of evidence of his innocence. The rest was tacked on later. Yes, the policing-for-profit practices of the local cops were a legitimate issue, but ought to have been addressed on its own merits, not because of mob pressure.

    The Obama/Holder Justice Department would have liked nothing better to make Wilson a scapegoat, but they simply didn’t have the evidence. So they tried to get the media to bury the lede by exonerating Wilson on the same day they made a report on *real* Ferguson police abuses.

    As for the state prosecutor wouldn’t have submitted the case to the grand jury at all if the mob hadn’t demanded it. He could have done his own investigation and decided not to even *seek* an indictment. After all, that’s what the Obama Justice Department did. But the prosecutor wanted to pass the buck to the grand jury.

    So there’s no relevant comparison between the Wilson grand jury and some grand jury hearing where the prosecutor *wants* an indictment.

    1. Sure, even if the prosecutor wants an indictment he should play fair and show evidence on both sides.

      I would actually suggest a couple of reforms to make the grand jury process fairer. Allow anyone to submit affidavits and physical evidence to the grand jury (grand juries can consider hearsay). Then allow a grand jury to un-indict someone they’ve already indicted. So if the grand jury later learns that the prosecutor gave them a slanted presentation of the evidence, they can withdraw the indictment.

      1. Back to Wilson – remember the original narrative – white cop kills black “gentle giant.” “Hands up, don’t shoot!” The protesters and rioters worked up a huge outrage boner, and they wouldn’t let their boner get killed as more evidence came out in Wilson’s favor.

        Imagine defending yourself against some guy who tries to kill you, then witnessing riots, arson, etc. from people demanding your head. Front-page headlines highlight the false charges against you. Then two investigations clear you but it’s still your fault, or society’s fault, somehow.

  21. ” One can argue about whether Wilson should have gotten out of his car to pursue Brown. ”

    Ummm, Wilson was a police officer, and that is what police officers are paid to do, pursue criminals (without unlawfully shooting them).

    1. At the time, the only thing that Wilson knew this criminal had done was walk in the street. I would hope the cops have better things to do than get out of their cars to chase people who are walking on the street instead of the sidewalk in a residential neighborhood.

      1. THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE PAID TO DO, SARC. SHOOT PEOPLE WALKING IN THE STREET.

        WHERE DO YOU THINK WE LIVE – SOMALIA??

        GET WITH THE PROGRAM OR GTFO

        #BlueLivesMatterMOAR

      2. Well, by this point he had also tried grabbing for the cop’s gun and broken a window in the cruiser.

        1. After all the press on this, you’d think people could at least get the basic facts right.

          1. The “basic facts” have changed so many times that I don’t believe any of it. The only fact that I know for sure is that cops are liars, and that they’ve got an entire “justice” system that will also lie to cover for their own.

            1. All cops might indeed be liars, but if they’re altering police radio calls then the discussion about body cameras is pretty stupid

              1. There’s no “might” about it. They are trained in techniques on how to lie and manipulate people into saying or doing things that give the cops an excuse to arrest them. They are supposed to simultaneously be paragons of virtue and professional liars. For some strange reason I see those things as being in conflict with one another.

      3. is asking a person to NOT walk in the middle of the road a bad thing?

        1. If a person is dumb enough to walk in the middle of the road, let them win a Darwin Award.

      4. Wrong. The radio record shows that he did know about the robbery and the description of the suspects.

        1. Initially he said himself that he didn’t know. Just because something was broadcast over the radio doesn’t mean he was paying attention. He changed his story later after the department and union lawyers got to work manufacturing a story for him to get him out of trouble. They do it a lot and they do it well.

          1. ffs…

            About four minutes later, there’s more detail: the suspect is wearing a red Cardinals hat, a white T-shirt, yellow socks and khaki shorts, and is accompanied by another man.

            At noon, Wilson reports that he’s back in service from the sick-baby call. He then asks the officers searching for the thieves ? units 25 and 22 ? if they need him. Seven seconds later, an unidentified officer broadcasts that the suspects had disappeared.

            A certain amount of questioning is healthy, but…you’re just wrong about this one and repeating it doesn’t make it right

            1. The Ferguson police officer who shot Michael Brown didn’t stop him because he was suspected in a convenience-store robbery, but because he was “walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic,” the city’s police chief said Friday.

              http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/15/…..-shooting/

              http://www.ksdk.com/story/news…../14124259/

              1. Yeah, we know that…it’s in the links I gave you. It’s not news. The reason he backtracked was because of the earlier call about the robbery that he just finished radioing other officers about. So, you’ve gone from “not paying attention” to this. What’s next

            2. Keep going, and you’ll see that he didn’t know when he stopped them that they were suspects, and realized at some later point.

              He says it was a few seconds later, but who knows?

              You going to take a cop’s word for it?

              1. He says it was a few seconds later, but who knows?

                You going to take a cop’s word for it?

                Nope.

              2. I’m going to take the cops word…and the witnesses word that he initially told them to move off the street. And I’m also going to take the witnesses word that he backed his patrol car up, and the witnesses word that Brown walked up to the car and started fighting with the officer. This wasn’t another cop. It was the man walking with Brown.

                And yes, I’m going to take the cop’s testimony that he realized Brown fit the description of the suspects in a robbery he had heard about on the radio a few minutes earlier and backed up. You know why? Because it makes fucking sense. You have another theory for why he would simply tell them to move to the sidewalk and suddenly get the urge to shoot someone? I’d like to hear that.

                1. You have another theory for why he would simply tell them to move to the sidewalk and suddenly get the urge to shoot someone? I’d like to hear that.

                  Failure to show sufficient subservience. It puts cops in fear for their lives.

                2. And yes, I’m going to take the cop’s testimony…

                  Then you’re a dumbass.

                  1. Then you’re a dumbass

                    At least this dumbass can read a simple and verified timeline. Keep on grasping at straws to get your cop hate on.

              3. He says it was a few seconds later, but who knows?

                The man walking with Brown and he both know. They both testified

            1. Wilson then asked dispatch for backup and backed up his SUV next to Brown and Johnson.

              Why didn’t they quote that part of the radio conversation? Perhaps because it doesn’t exist?

              1. It doesn’t have to be to disprove your assertion that “he wasn’t paying attention”, which was why the article.

              2. At 12:02 p.m., Wilson says, “21. Put me on Canfield with two. And send me another car.”

                You want to hear vroom vroom or what

      5. At the time, the only thing that Wilson knew this criminal had done was walk in the street.

        That’s incorrect. He stopped Brown initially without knowing that he was a suspect in the robbery, but he recognized him as a potential suspect in the robbery during the stop.

  22. So you’re saying OJ DIDN’T do it.

    Now I’m confused.

  23. #BLACKLIVESMARTYR

  24. Now let’s think a little about the political implications.

    There’s a real problem of police abuse in this country – policing for profit, asset forfeiture (aka legalized robbery), brutality and even homicide by cops. So let’s educate the public about the issue with a view to making major reforms in the system.

    Start by saying that it’s a black/white thing, as if Kelly Thomas and the rest didn’t exist.

    Then look for a good test case which exposes police abuse.

    Oh, look, a cop shot a robber! This is obviously outrageous and reflects the Man’s disrespect of black lives, because #blacklivesmatter (an insight which Michael Brown didn’t share – the evidence is that he behaved in such a way as to throw away his own life).

    Then sit back and wait for the general public to come around to the cause of police reform.

    1. There’s a real problem of police abuse in this country

      Agreed.

      But the Michael Brown case was not an example. The “activists” who are exploiting this case could care less about asset forfeiture, etc. (I speak from some experience, by the way.) Their goal is to create a black uprising which they can then exploit to enhance their own power. Check out the websites of groups like the New Black Panthers and the Revolutionary Communist Party if you do not believe this.

      Also, the White House appears to be exploiting this affair to further federalize law enforcement.

      You have to look at the politics of the thing. It’s nothing to do with citizens rising up against unconstitutional police practices. The end game will be less liberty for all of us.

      As for Reason: what does its editors think? That if they chase after a mob burning down businesses in Ferguson or Baltimore, that the rioters will somehow register with the LP? Or subscribe to the magazine?

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  26. There was another shooting of an unarmed black teen just the other day

    “crazy behavior aside”….. they still probably didn’t have to shoot him. There really should be a “Tasers-and-batons-only” police squad for certain types of perps.

    1. “Batons Only” I could get behind – I’m picturing the “Village People”, if ya know what I’m sayin’….

      1. No, that is “Batons Out” which, you know, I could go for…

      2. No, that is “Batons Out” which, you know, I could go for…

    2. – “”crazy behavior aside”….. they still probably didn’t have to shoot him.”

      Atta’ boy. Don’t let the lack of facts stop you from jumping to a pre-determined conclusion.

      BTW, the initial reports are that a taser *was* employed.

  27. “What Donald Trump said was wrong!”

    Jesus fucking Christ on a cracker, this is ALL I’ve seen since the “debate”. OK, 95% this, 5%, “Wow – Carly Fiorina was pretty amazing.”

    HEY – THERE WAS A SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PRE-PRE-PRE-PRE-SEASON GAME ON LAST NIGHT, PEOPLE! PRIORITIES!!

    These fucking anti-Trumpettes have blood in their eyes…

  28. BLM isn’t interested in apposite cases. They prefer ambiguous cases that can fan the flames of racial strife. Justice is not their cause, disturbance is.

  29. Doesn’t anyone want to talk about Hillary? Sexists!

    1. I want to talk about Hillary! Sexyist!

      1. I just threw up in my mouth a little.

        1. I was starting to wonder if you were stepping on Crusty Juggler’s turf…?

  30. Justice is not their cause

    So what you’re saying is….

    “There is no Justice. There’s….just…us….”

    SOLID

    *raises fist in the air*

  31. Brown looks like a jerk in that graduation photo.

    1. #JerksLivesMatter

    2. Doesn’t he, though? It’s funny that at first they usually show some pic from when the guy was maybe 12, like they did with Trayvon, but sooner or later some pic comes out with them throwing gang signs or otherwise looking menacing.

      1. If had been killed at 18 (before I went to Basic Training) mine would have been #DorkLives…Meh

        1. And it’s any different now?

  32. Nice photo of Michael Brown, esquire, in cap and gown. How about putting up a still from the videocam showing him assaulting the convenience store clerk? How about an interview with said clerk? While you are at it, why not interview all the Ferguson residents and business owners who were assaulted and saw their property destroyed by “protesters” and “activists” during the rioting which has ensued in the wake of this affair?

    Or perhaps Reason might want to send a team out to Ferguson and explain to the rioters that initiating force and destroying private property are big No-Nos?

    1. – “Nice photo of Michael Brown, esquire, in cap and gown.”

      Right next to a photo of the fresh-faced 12 year-old Treyvon Martin.

      Sometimes this place is indistinguishable from MSNBC.

  33. I find it hard to believe with the alacrity most urban youth whip out their phones and video everything from police abuse to beat downs of victims, no one in Ferguson had any cell video of Brown’s confrontation. Or maybe not, because it was destroyed because it would prove Brown guilty of aggression and the officer justified in shooting?

    1. If you are correct, and a witness did destroy evidence, then you have to speculate further. Why would a stranger want to get a cop in trouble? Could it be he is not constantly harassed by citizens but he is harassed by cops? Could he be striking back in the only way he has open to him?

      We know from nationwide videos that police departments vigorously discourage complaints of police misconduct. Just asking how to file a complaint can be dangerous. This is important background information that indicates a systemic attitude of entitlement. Failure of departments to keep records of citizen deaths is another. Training to shoot to kill, not wound, is another. And a policy of “one shoot, all shoot” resulting in gross overkill is another. A policy of routinely pointing loaded guns at non-violent unarmed citizens while multiple officers bark questions and orders simultaneously, is another. The Gestapo was more polite.

    2. Or maybe it’s because they just saw a dude get murdered by an organized crime outfit and didn’t want to make themselves a loose end. As long as we’re engaging in baseless speculation…

  34. “…the prosecution could not come close to proving its case…” and “That does not… mean Zimmerman’s use of deadly force was legally justifiable…”

    Wrong! Legally, that’s exactly what it means. Did you mean to say, “morally justifiable”?

    1. Yeah…that statement write there is enough to prevent the author from being taken seriously on this subject.

      1. Yeah, I know….auto-correct bit me on the ass with “write there”.

  35. A 34-second dashcam video

    Why are these short clips always presented, divorced from their context? Juries?and the public at large?should be privy to the entire encounter, from start to finish, without editing of any kind. Only in that way can they judge the incident in context.

  36. Here’s a new hero for Ferguson, Ty Glocks

    http://fox2now.com/2015/08/10/…..y-charges/

  37. Outstanding analysis.

  38. “…whom Wilson stopped because he (correctly) suspected him of involvement in a convenience store robbery…”

    Interesting choice of words, considering that the owner of the store never said it was M. Brown in the video, and who claims that the police made up that part of the story on their own.

    1. – “Interesting choice of words, considering that the owner of the store never said it was M. Brown in the video, and who claims that the police made up that part of the story on their own.”

      Sorry, but dispatch radio-call records trump your I-read-somewhere claims.

  39. – “The dramatically different public responses to the police shootings of Ferrell and Brown can be largely explained by the dramatically different official responses. Kerrick was immediately arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter, and his trial began last week. Wilson was never charged with a crime.”

    Well, gee…you don’t suppose the latter might have had something to do with the fact that the available evidence never supported charging Wilson with a crime?

    http://www.justice.gov/sites/d…..rown_1.pdf

  40. – “That double standard also was apparent in the case of George Zimmerman, who like Wilson had a credible self-defense claim that was backed by eyewitness testimony and physical evidence. He nevertheless had to go through the ordeal of a trial, during which it became abundantly clear that the prosecution could not come close to proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    So….your argument is that because a FL prosecutor put a citizen through a politically-motivated show trial that the state didn’t have a prayer of winning, that all prosecutors should do that?

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