Thursday, November 27, 2014

Dropping Assumptions of Ferguson, of Each Other

Here are some new thoughts as information develops on the death of Michael Brown regarding no charges being filed on Officer Darren Willson.
The crime scene photographer arrived with a camera with dead batteries, so no crime scene photographs exist as well as no photographs of the injuries to Officer Wilson exist on site or as to Michael Brown’s blood inside the police cruiser.

People believe that the autopsy proves a wide array of stories. Autopsies prove cause of death, but can tell other vital clues as to what happened leading up to death.  Autopsies don't tell a narrative. In this case, the autopsy cannot possibly prove that Brown was running toward the officer or not. The autopsy proves that Brown was killed by gunshot, how many gun shots he had, potentially the close proximity of some or all of those gunshots and any other wounds that may have existed prior to death.

Then, many people who choose to convict Michael Brown, and thus justify his death by cop, use his criminal record to do so. This criminal record, however, was received in Ferguson by the Ferguson Police Department. There is a history of alleged harassment and abuse of the citizens of Ferguson. Keep that in mind when you consider the lengthy criminal record that this 18 year old had, which also puts in context his attitude toward the police department in this community. The fact that the public is even aware of an 18 year old male’s police record when he was a juvenile is another example of the corrupt practices of the Ferguson Police Department.

Many people have said that he charged Officer Wilson in his cruiser. Brown was alleged to have been walking down the middle of the road when Officer Wilson arrived driving his cruiser down the middle of the street toward them. Now, this is all in broad daylight. Wilson alleges that Brown told him that they were nearly to their destination when asked to move to the sidewalk. Of course, we only know Officer Wilson’s portrayal of the events.

Officer Wilson, the key living witness since no video exists of the shooting and Michael Brown is dead, was not only allowed to leave the scene of the shooting by himself, he took the weapon he discharged with him, the weapon he said that Brown tried to grab. Therefore, the weapon was never dusted for Brown’s fingerprints and Wilson’s uniform and person were never collected or treated as evidence in this incident.
Again, I have not passed judgment on Officer Wilson or on Michael Brown, as so many have already done. I am raising points that are in the public record, or that are glaringly absent from the public record. I would highly suggest that those people who would make assumptions of guilt and innocence in this case to not do so. At least become informed of the grand jury process. It is a one-sided process. If the prosecutor wants to indict, there is ample conflicting eyewitness statements in this case to get a grand jury to indict.

As the country moves forward from this, we need to actually move forward and attempt to resolve the underlying issues that create the hostility and mistrust between both police and the public, between those that seem to think they know how it is to be an 18 year old with a record to those that seem to think they know how it is to be a cop alone on a beat. It’s all the assumptions about this, about each other, the finger pointing and the blaming that is so caustic and deadly. We can all do better. We need to do better.

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