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Ferguson G. J. Decision : No Indictment, Violence Erupts

The prosecutor's office has released the grand jury testimony in the investigation of the Michael Brown shooting. The grand jury declined to indict Officer Wilson. The local CBS affiliate has this recap, with links to some of the testimony. Officer Wilson's testimony is here. Dorian Johnson's testimony is here.

Evidence photos are here and here.

As expected, violence erupted following the announcement. More on that here. The St. Louis Post Dispatch has a running feed of incidents. The police chief says the violence is worse than the worst night in August.

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    Full set of docs, interviews and exhibits (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by bmaz on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 03:06:34 AM EST
    Can be found here

    Note that the final GJ transcript, from Monday, which would include the five "indictments" and other forms given the GJ, and the return, is not yet available apparently.

    bmaz, are you planning to write (none / 0) (#20)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 09:35:17 AM EST
    about this?  Would be interested in your take.

    Parent
    To me this a tragedy (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by Slado on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 11:14:25 AM EST
    Here's to me this is what the GJ thinks happened...

    Wilson asked two men walking in a street  to walk on the sidewalk in an area that was really more of a subdivision.   This was not Main Street or a crowded road but a residential road through an apartment complex.   Wilson was on guard based on his testimony of what he considered the area to be like.

    Mr. Brown was already agitated from the store incident.   He did not take kindly to the pestering or maybe Wilson asked nicely at first and Brown and his friend ignored him.   Either way a verbal altercation started which resulted in Brown assaulting the officer in the police car.  

    Shots went off in the car.   Brown was shot by the gun.   Brown started to flee.   Wilson went after him and ordered him to stop.   Brown turned and charged Wilson who discharged his weapon until Brown was dead.

    For me reading the GJ material the physical evidence and other witness evidence supports this scenario.

    There are lots of unanswered questions.  Why didn't Wilson stay in the car and wait for backup.   What was the friend doing this whole  time?   What made Brown turn around?   He was already shot as shown by the blood evidence.   What was said or done to make him decide to turn on Wilson again?

    Either way the question to the GJ was pretty simple.   Did Wilsons account match up to the physical evidence better than the witness testimony contradictory to the testimony that supported his story.  

    Bottom line the GJ found the physical evidence matched Wilsons story.   So much in fact that they couldn't even support the prosecuting him.

    All that said it appears to me the prosecuter believed Wilsons account and did not try to convince the GJ of any other theories or make the case that even though Brown wasn't an inicent bystander Wilson may have been just as responsible for the situation getting out of hand and ultimately he had a higher burden of responsibility since he is a cop and he had a gun.

    To met the real question is to what burden do we hold law enforcement when it comes to how and when to use deadly force?  This case has always to me been more about how the system failed Brown more then this particular officer.   From my understanding of the Law if Wilsons story is the truth then he did not commit a crime.

    That makes me uncomfortable, I also think the police are given a fairer shot by the law then an average criminal but those facts existed before this tragedy.  

    We have to work on the issues of how cops work and deal with the people in high crime or poor areas to really fix these issues.   Right now fairly or not the cops have the benefit of the doubt when it comes to what happened after the fact.

    What worries me (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:06:24 PM EST
    is that everyone seems to have gone to their corners.  Which always happens in cases like this from OJ to Trayvon.
    IMO this is bad.  I have no doubt some are tired of hearing about Michael.  We better get used to it.  This one is not going away.  
    I completely understand the outrage.  What happened was almost unbelievable from the circumstances of the death to the announcement last night.  I couldn't believe the tone of the thing last night.  He said, this is how it is.  It's how we told you it was going to be.  And here it it.  Get over it.  We killed him and we will do it again if we feel like it.  This has come to be about something bigger than this one incident.  And it has to stop.  Or as they say no justice, no peace.  
    Until this society addresses the trend killing unarmed civilians it's going to be bad.  And it should be. IMO.

    Parent
    So interesting to read how different commenters (none / 0) (#105)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:54:22 PM EST
    here perceived McCulloch's presentation last night. I wonder if anyone who was negative about him b/4 8 pm CST changed their minds.

    Parent
    Also (none / 0) (#50)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:17:22 PM EST
    all your questions

    There are lots of unanswered questions.  Why didn't Wilson stay in the car and wait for backup.   What was the friend doing this whole  time?   What made Brown turn around?   He was already shot as shown by the blood evidence.   What was said or done to make him decide to turn on Wilson again?

    Would have been answered if there had been a trial.  And if you are correct the officer would have been acquitted.  And there would have been no fires.
    And trust me,  there will be more fires.

    Parent

    Iif the gj returned a true bill and (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:56:57 PM EST
    a jury acquitted Wilson, the segment of our society engaged in looting and destroying private property would still be inclined to do so.

    Parent
    I disagree (none / 0) (#55)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:23:09 PM EST
    Had there been a trial and an acquittal, I believe there would have been the same people who are committing trouble.

    Parent
    I you are right (none / 0) (#59)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:31:07 PM EST
    and I don't think you are, we, as a society, would have at least had the right to condemn the violence.  Because make no mistake, we, as a society, deserve whatever comes next.

    For those so willing to call Brown a thug and dismiss witness accounts I would suggest considering admitting what happened here was wrong and needs to be fixed.  Out of pure self interest.  Something they understand.  

    Parent

    I'm not going to presume to know ... (none / 0) (#101)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:48:46 PM EST
    Slado: "Bottom line the GJ found the physical evidence matched Wilsons story. So much in fact that they couldn't even support the prosecuting him."

    ... what the grand jury was thinking when it returned no bill. And neither should you. There could be any number of factors and reasons regarding how and why the grand jury ultimately rendered its determination.

    Further, and by law in most states, grand jurors are sworn to secrecy regarding any public discussion of their deliberations, unless permitted otherwise by a judge. So until that happens, it's almost never wise to speculate about someone else's motive(s) when you've no real foundation for doing so.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Brilliant: (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:40:28 PM EST
    - from CNN:

    The medical investigator did not take photographs at the scene of Brown's killing because the camera battery had died, the grand jury heard.

    The investigator, who goes to the crime scene to collect evidence for the pathologist, also did not take measurements of anything at the scene because they "didn't need to."

    The investigator, whose name was redacted, said: "It was self-explanatory what happened. Somebody shot somebody. There was no question as to any distances or anything of that nature at the time I was there."

    Becuz it was like so totally obv.

    Page 58 (4.50 / 2) (#4)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 06:24:30 AM EST
    Page 58 of the Sergeant's testimony: He says that Wilson told him that he did not know anything about a stealing at the Ferguson Market.

    And yet McCulloch in his recitation said that he did.

    So who's lying???  

    McCulloch also says that the 12:02 call to dispatch asking for backup took place when he first met them at ~12:01.

    So in McCulloch's world 12:02 means 12:01.

    And he says that the eyewitnesses were lying????

    Have you (1.80 / 5) (#15)
    by whitecap333 on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 09:07:46 AM EST
    sent your new, improved "timeline" to Eric?

    Parent
    Oh, great...you've decided to just be (4.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 09:21:02 AM EST
    a gloating a$$ about the turn of events.

    No surprise there.

    Parent

    You mean this??? (none / 0) (#23)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 09:49:29 AM EST
    8/9/14 Ferguson Timeline

    I should probably send it to McCulloch instead.  In  his world time runs backwards -- 12:02 come before 12:01.

    I need to get one of his watches.

    Parent

    Questions???? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 07:09:10 AM EST
    Later circa page 160 an FBI agent recalling what he told him later, he recalls the cigarillo handoff -- really -- in the midst of this great front seat battle he sees the handoff outside the vehicle.

    Wilson had the benefit of other witness statements interviews before he gave this one to the FBI.  

    Says he couldn't get to his baton, didn't have a tazer [why not???], and couldn't use mace BUT did he have a gas pedal??? Why didn't he use it???

    If he was being punched with Brown's right hand, then it would have been Brown's left hand reaching for the gun. So then how did he get shot in the right hand??? Makes no sense --

    Furthermore if Brown was where Wilson says he was then how did that bullet get through the door and into the building down the road without hitting Brown in the stomach???

    Parent

    I'm sure you will not be the only one to (3.50 / 2) (#9)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 08:20:00 AM EST
    go through all of the material and find yourself unable to understand how the GJ could possibly have reached the conclusion it did; maybe seeing the actual vote count will shed some light on things, I don't know.

    I think there's going to be a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking on the proceedings, with a predictable division between those who will claim it was so thorough that there's no doubt the decision was a fair one, and those who will feel that the GJ was so overwhelmed with evidence and received so little guidance that there was never any chance for an indictment.

    For now, anyway, this is over.  It just is. Darren Wilson walks away.  He gets to figure out the rest of his life, which isn't likely to involve a career in law enforcement.  He may not ever pay a legal price for the killing of Michael Brown, but there's no question in my mind that he is paying a price.  Maybe he truly believes he was justified.  Maybe he stands by all of the decisions he made that day.  Mayne he has to do that in order to live with himself, I don't know.

    I'm sort of at the point where, if I never have to hear the name "Darren Wilson" again, it will be too soon.

    Parent

    We won't see the vote count (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 08:36:33 AM EST
    I believe it's kept secret by law.

    Parent
    Little Darren towering over wedding party. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 09:01:18 AM EST
    Did you happen to see this in the Daily Mail yesterday???

    2011 wedding picture

    Scan down a few pictures and check out the size of Wilson relative to everyone else at the wedding party.

    He is atleast a full head taller than anyone else there. He is huge.

    It's the biggest secret in this case that no one even the Prosecutor last night has been willing to address.

    Parent

    Get over it. (1.17 / 6) (#16)
    by whitecap333 on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 09:16:22 AM EST
    Darren has $450,000 use as he pleases.  It will probably cost the city a good $250,000 to procure his resignation.  If he needs more, he need only appeal to the public.  He will withdraw to some nice, suburban community in the Northwest, where children will pester him constantly for his autograph.  He will never have to buy another drink.

    I raise a glass to this fine officer.

    Parent

    This is one of the most offensive (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:10:01 PM EST
    things I've read around here.

    A young man is dead, and while he used bad judgment every step of the way, his actions should not have resulted in his death.  had Michael Brown lived, what should have happened is he probably should have been arrested for the robbery and / or possible assault of the store clerk.  If the first part of this event took place, he could have been arrested for assaulting a police officer, but it didn't end there. He still didn't deserve to die.

    Seriously.

    Parent

    Put a sock in it. (1.00 / 2) (#121)
    by whitecap333 on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:32:40 PM EST
    I don't come here to solicit the approval of political radicals.  I post an occasional comment, in defense of Officer Wilson, with the thought in mind that reasonable, fair-minded people may occasionally happen this way.  I will admit I have lately seen little evidence of that.

    Parent
    HAHAHAHAHAHA! (none / 0) (#123)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:42:04 PM EST
    Me?  A "political radical"??

    Funniest thing I've heard all day.

    Parent

    You're one of those (none / 0) (#124)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:46:48 PM EST
    looney, far left liberals now, jb. ROTFLMAO

    Parent
    Of course you do, because clearly (3.50 / 2) (#21)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 09:40:05 AM EST
    the world is a better place with cops like Wilson on the job, right?

    But go ahead and drink, up, buddy - you may need it to face the reality that it isn't likely that Wilson's life is going to be what you have fantasized for him; karma can be a cruel and punishing b!tch that way.  Just ask Mr. Zimmerman.

    Parent

    You need a deep water rig, Whitey (3.50 / 2) (#25)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 10:04:22 AM EST
    You won't catch anyone with the superficial bait you're using.

    Parent
    For Love or Money??? (3.50 / 2) (#26)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 10:13:27 AM EST
    Darren has $450,000 use as he pleases.

    You mean as his new bride pleases.

    Civil suits are on the way. That's why he got married so quickly -- to shield his assets from any judgment.

    And should new evidence arise or if McCulloch moves on he could face another Grand Jury as there is no double jeopardy.

    Parent

    Crump (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by whitecap333 on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:52:15 PM EST
    isn't fool enough to file suit in defiance of all this evidence.  Rule 68 sanctions can be ruinous.

    When are you going to answer my question about how that 30 ft. trail of blood got there?  You know, the one behind Brown's body?

    Perhaps Wilson would prefer to be a sheriff in West Texas.  He'd be a "shoo-in."

    Parent

    Chip, time to give it up (1.00 / 1) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 09:17:50 AM EST
    9 people heard testimony so compelling that they refused to indict Wilson of anything.

    Wilson had the benefit of other witness statements interviews before he gave this one to the FBI.

    You are assuming that Wilson had access?? It doesn't work that way.

    One bullet missed and was found inside the door. One went out the window and was not found.

    Unless you just want to disbelieve it is easy to  see how the bullet grazed his thumb.

    Parent

    Give it up??? (none / 0) (#24)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 10:03:53 AM EST
    With all this wealth of information that McCulloch just gave us all very little of which adds up to the sum of his recitation???

    One bullet missed and was found inside the door. One went out the window and was not found.

    And right away you prove my point. You need to get with the evidence -- pictures and all.

     

    Parent

    Chip, it doesn't have to add up (none / 0) (#42)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 11:55:48 AM EST
    to the sum of his recitation???

    It had to, and did, add up to the GJ saying no crime had been committed.

    Parent

    "No crime had been committed" (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:29:28 PM EST
    That's actually the root problem here, Jim.

    Gunning down unarmed citizens is not a crime, at least not for the police.


    Parent

    Not surpised... (4.40 / 5) (#41)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 11:50:54 AM EST
    I expected no indictment.  But after having now read some of Wilson's statement of his version of the events, I don't find it the least bit believeable or plausible, and am now surprised the GJ didn't indict.  

    Makes you wonder if McCullough really tried, or instead tried to cloud the issue by drowning the GJ in useless and/or conflicting information.  

     

    'cuz pretty much across the board, if they saw the whole thing, they say pretty much exactly what Wilson said, however unbelievable and implausible it may seem.

    Wilson yelling "Stop!" repeatedly, bystanders yelling "Lay yo a$$ down!" during the chase, etc., etc.

    The more I look at the GJ evidence, the more I realize there was no other decision they could have come to.

    Parent

    That's another thing... (none / 0) (#80)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:58:55 PM EST
    why was every witness statement presented to the grand jury? On my GJ duty, the prosecutor only presented enough evidence to indict, and saved their witnesses and balance of the evidence for trial.  

    Granted, Michael Brown might not have reacted to being fired upon and shot in the safest way possible, according to some witness accounts, but that is understandable imo.  Who knows how anyone would react to being fired upon and shot?  

    Wilson's account of how the altercation began just does not make sense to me...a kid who allegedly committed a robbery moments before decides to give a cop lip and start a physical altercation?  Doesn't pass my smell test Sarc.  Also I can't explain away the gap in the shots, that was an opportunity for Wilson to use non-lethal force and make his arrest.

    I think Wilson lied or warped it in his head.  Which would be reason enough for a GJ to leave it to a jury trial to sort out guilt or innocence...but McCullough decided to try the case instead of seek an indictment.  Though I suppose a not guilty verdict was inevitable, the legal burden for lethal force being so low and all, and this saves the state money and gets the heartache and rage outta the way now.

    Parent

    I'm sorry kdog, (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:15:30 PM EST
    you are making grossly uninformed comments.

    A number of witnesses saw the entire altercation and they described it basically just as Wilson described it.

    Did they all come up with the same "lies?" Are they all identically "warped in the head?"

    Parent

    Just my opinion... (none / 0) (#116)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:18:27 PM EST
    it could be true, just not plausible nor believable to me...and I'm not the only one.

    And if Jeralyn has taught us anything it is how unreliable eye witnesses can be...especially when talking to the scariest people on earth according to Hitchcock, the police.  They're so good they can convince people to confess to things they didn't do, never mind convince mere witnesses of what they saw.

    I think you're right and if the world wasn't watching, they would not have even sought an indictment.  But since they were public pressured into doing their jobs, they made damn sure it went the way they wanted.  IMO, with biases acknowledged.

    All that being said, I think enough reasonable doubt certainly exists to acquit at trial...but the threshold for an indictment, mere probable cause a crime was committed, sh*t Brown's unarmed corpse was sufficient to prove that...but ianal.

    Parent

    football game nor am I interested in looking at the published results.

    Therefore, it is not plausible nor believable to me that the Ravens could win.

    Please don't tell me what the actual score was, my opinion won't change.

    Parent

    So (none / 0) (#82)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:06:05 PM EST
    The prosecution should have only presented evidence that didn't support the officer's story?

    And Michael Brown had THC in his system.  His toxicology reports state that the amount he had in his system defined impairment, although they can't say exactly when he partook.  We all know that pot can impair judgment, and while it may not make a person initially violent, could it be that the presence of marijuana contributed to him not using good judgment in a) robbing a store, b) getting into an altercation with a police officer, c) running away, and then d) charging back?

    Parent

    The prosecution... (none / 0) (#89)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:20:30 PM EST
    should seek indictments consistently...has any civilian received this kind of grand jury treatment or is it only reserved for accused cops?

    I think we know the answer.

    If Michael Brown was stoned, it makes Wilson's story even more perplexing...unless he was smoking PCP, which no one has alleged to my knowledge.

    Parent

    to the GJ in an attempt to appease. I bet he knew there was no legitimate case to be made from the get go.

    Parent
    This was my presumption a couple (none / 0) (#98)
    by leftwig on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:36:07 PM EST
    of months ago when he stated that he was going to give all the evidence to the GJ.  As mentioned, a prosecutor almost never provides more evidence than needed to get an indictment (I have issues with that particular process).  Of course, most prosecutors only bring cases they think are valid and/or that they can win based on the evidence.  I think the prosecutor knew after the witness interviews that there was no chance he could ever get a conviction, but given the politicized nature of the case, he had to at least give the evidence to a GJ to decide.  By releasing all of the evidence, we can now see why.

    Parent
    I agree (none / 0) (#122)
    by Slado on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:36:34 PM EST
    I can only imagine how many crimes and murders are never prosecuted because of lack of evidence.  Rightly or wrongly we give that power to the State.   Inversely how many times do young poor kids plea down to small crimes instead of going to trial because of questionable evidence but they don't get this much attention?

    This case turned into the storm it did because of the media attention and the racial overtones.

    Also it highlighted an unfortunate reality of how poor and minority communities interact with their local police forced and the distrust that exists.   There are tons of reasons why this tension exists and it's not just the police.   All the problems of society (family breakdown, no opportunity, bad schools, over aggressive criminal justice system) are what brought these two men together and resulted in this horrible tragedy.

    Depending on your point of view this was unfortunately or correctly the probable and only outcome.

    Parent

    So Far the Only Intelligent Suggestions (4.00 / 3) (#27)
    by RickyJim on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 10:43:57 AM EST
    are that tasers be more generally available to police nationwide and should be the first choice to be used in such situations and that police wear cameras. The lack of politicians saying the obvious, that Brown's demise was due mostly to his outrageous behavior, is political correctness run amuck.

    Body cameras are useless unless (none / 0) (#74)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:50:08 PM EST
    the video and audio can't be turned off.  They would also have to include near field charging, so the "whaddya know, the batteries were dead" excuse wouldn't be trotted out at every opportunity.  And they would have to embody the same sort of wear it or get fired tech used in home imprisonment bracelets.

    Tough on the cops.  But they have abused our trust and are no longer trusted.

    Parent

    Of course, there is a lit of criticism of law (none / 0) (#102)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:51:30 PM EST
    enforcement using tasers, as people have died. In addition, sometimes using a taser is ineffective to gain a person's compliance with lawful orders.

    Parent
    Oculus, serious question: (none / 0) (#110)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:06:04 PM EST
    Who gave the police the legal abiltiy to "order" us around however and whenever they feel like?

    We've all seen the documentation on the socialization leading to authority worship in degraded societies like Nazi Germany.  I see a lot of parallels in the barely disguised nationalism and authority worship taught here.

    Parent

    Why do you think I typed "lawful (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:22:15 PM EST
    Order"?  Would it be preferable to live in a society where there are no laws or law enforcement?

    Parent
    bmaz weighs in, over at emptywheel, (4.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 11:17:08 AM EST
    here:

    With respect to McCulloch's statement:

    The content is simply stunning. Prosecutor McCulloch basically gives a closing summation from the perspective of Darren Wilson's personal defense attorney. Which makes sense, as that has been the clear and unmistakable posture of McCulloch from the outset of this charade. He glowingly recounts cherry picked aspects of Wilson's testimony to support the officer's narrative, and then attacks the numerous civilian, and mostly black, witnesses that support the Brown side of things as all being either mistaken, liars or not even there. Just amazing.

    But, as I alluded to, it was not just the content, but the timing of McCulloch's press conference as well. It was a consummately reckless and hideous thing to do to wait until well into the night and darkness to incite the tinderbox of emotion and protest.

    Regarding the conduct of the standing prosecutors:

    The one substantive comment I will make for now is the way the standing prosecutors, Kathi Alizadeh and Sheila Whirley, spoon fed the witnesses, and especially Darren Wilson, and otherwise slanted everything imaginable, to support the exoneration of Wilson is just disgusting. I have read countless grand jury transcripts over the years, and I have NEVER seen anything that remotely resembles this kind of biased, for the defendant, dog and pony show. Again, it is simply insane and unheard of.


    Now For Some Balance (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by RickyJim on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 11:33:27 AM EST
    Go over to the Conservativetreehouse for the other side.  They are all over the details of the evidence in a number of threads.  One thing I noticed them say is that the Grand Jury asked lots and lots of good questions of the witnesses.  Now that is a refreshing contrast with the usual American criminal trial.  Are bmaz, Uncle Chip and MOBlue bothered by the contradictions between what certain witnesses said on TV and what they said before the Grand Jury?  I think that is more important than what Mr. McCulloch said about the timeline.

    Parent
    Putting MOBlue (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by sj on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 11:42:27 AM EST
    and especially bmaz in the same category as UC is a dirty little tactic. And clearly you didn't read the piece, much less follow any links he provided.

    Parent
    Sorry, I Can't Tell the Difference (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by RickyJim on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:01:09 PM EST
    The bmaz piece for which Anne gave the link was simply an accusatory diatribe against the prosecutor and his two assistants who presented the evidence plus some quotes from other likeminded bloggers.  It gave no examples how the evidence was presented in a manner that would guarantee a no bill. At least he admitted that he hadn't gone through the evidence and was just giving his vague impression.  

    Parent
    wev (none / 0) (#64)
    by sj on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:38:45 PM EST
    Your lack of discernment is your problem, not mine.

    Parent
    To be compared to bmaz is a rare (3.00 / 2) (#61)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:33:02 PM EST
    compliment.

    What would be truly insulting would be lumped together with Ira Hanson, Frank Ancona, whitecap and you.


    Parent

    Ricky Jim (none / 0) (#44)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:03:37 PM EST
    Now that is a refreshing contrast with the usual American criminal trial.

    I hate to clue you in but this was not a trial but a Grand Jury presentation.

    Can you tell me who cross-examined Wilson???

    Are bmaz, Uncle Chip and MOBlue bothered by the contradictions between what certain witnesses said on TV and what they said before the Grand Jury?

    If you have a question for me then why not ask me???

    Parent

    Ricky Jim or Sundance (none / 0) (#52)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:21:35 PM EST
    Go over to the Conservativetreehouse for the other side.

    Perhaps you can tell us what that cone behind Wilson's SUV in this photo from Canfield  was marking???

    It wasn't a shoe, or a bracelet, or a hat. So what's left???

     Could it have been marking that elusive shell casing from the bullet that Wilson denies that he  fired at Brown while he was running away???

    Parent

    How is it that anyone can think this is a (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by leftwig on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:27:57 PM EST
    good article when it contains this statement.

    "Next is the actual grand jury materials and content, and what they mean to the injustice that has occurred in this matter. That one is going to take a lot longer to suss through and put together."

    The author has determined that an injustice has occurred, but has said the only evidence they've currently looked at is Wilson's testimony.  How can anyone thinks its proper to have a conclusion prior to knowing the facts?  
     

    Parent

    Who is "bmaz?" (none / 0) (#32)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 11:20:44 AM EST
    Okay, seriously? (none / 0) (#39)
    by sj on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 11:43:26 AM EST
    You're usually pretty reasonable. So why don't you follow the link Anne provided.

    Parent
    Ya, seriously. (none / 0) (#47)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:12:24 PM EST
    I went to the link. I imagine there are dozens, maybe hundreds even, of blogs who don't support the GJ decision.

    Who is bmaz? I have no clue who he/she is. I can't imagine I'm the only one. Why is his/her blog specifically something any of us should go to?

    Parent

    sarc, bmaz is a very bright lawyer, (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by fishcamp on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:23:40 PM EST
    who occasionally posts on this blog.

    Parent
    bmaz is a Phoenix-area lawyer with (none / 0) (#104)
    by scribe on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:52:08 PM EST
    almost 30 years' experience in criminal defense and civil rights litigation.  As in actually trying cases for criminal defendants and those done wrong by the government.

    Parent
    nor the manner in which the GJ decision was announced.

    I'd be interested to see which charges, if any, he feels Wilson is guilty of.

    Parent

    I cannot speak (none / 0) (#125)
    by sj on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:46:58 PM EST
    for messer bmaz,
    I'd be interested to see which charges, if any, he feels Wilson is guilty of

    but if I were he, I would say that I don't know what Wilson may be guilty of because he never had a trial.

    And moreover no one will ever know  -- either what was justified OR what he was guilty of -- because of the way the GJ was conducted.

    Parent

    Okay, fair enough (none / 0) (#53)
    by sj on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:21:58 PM EST
    I've been reading him since Firedoglake days so that builds up history and credibility.

    He is just as credible at Emptywheel as Peter G is here.

    Parent

    Judging from want I just read (none / 0) (#69)
    by Redbrow on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:43:06 PM EST
    An unhinged  conspiracy theorist.

    Parent
    haha (none / 0) (#77)
    by sj on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:54:43 PM EST
    seriously funny coming from you.

    Parent
    I assume bmaz stayed up all night to assimmilate (none / 0) (#109)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:03:54 PM EST
    McCulloch's "evidence dump."  

    Parent
    According to bmaz (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:08:07 PM EST
    he hasn't looked at the evidence:
    Next is the actual grand jury materials and content, and what they mean to the injustice that has occurred in this matter. That one is going to take a lot longer to suss through and put together. I have read a few bits and pieces, notably much of Darren wilson's grand jury testimony, but there are thousands of pages of material, and it will take me days to get through it properly. More will come, but for now, I want to give a couple of links to the full set of materials put together by others.


    Parent
    In my opinion, crticism of McCulloch and his (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:18:14 PM EST
    and the grand jury should be withheld until the criticizers have thoroughly studied the entire set of materials McCulloch released last night. Though I would be quite surprised if minds are changed after doing so.

    Parent
    Fair emough... (none / 0) (#118)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:28:00 PM EST
      of course,  the defenders and supporters should do likewise.

      Even this  blog where people just toss words and shoot off their mouths is a great example  of how broadly prevalent and individually strong  a force is confirmation bias.

     

    Parent

    but your approval, OTOH (none / 0) (#126)
    by sj on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:48:58 PM EST
    requires no such investigation. Apparently.
    In my opinion, crticism of McCulloch and his  (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:18:14 PM MDT

    and the grand jury should be withheld until the criticizers have thoroughly studied the entire set of materials McCulloch released last night.



    Parent
    Good piece. bmaz (none / 0) (#36)
    by sj on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 11:38:20 AM EST
    links to this at Simple Justice: The Ferguson Lie
    McCulloch put on a play in Ferguson.  His press conference announcing the foregone conclusion was remarkably in many ways, not the least of which was how he sold the argument for "no true bill" rather than the position he, as prosecutor, was duty-bound to champion.  The man charged with prosecuting killers argued the case for not indicting Wilson.

    McCulloch didn't have to go to the grand jury at all. He could have prosecuted Wilson by fiat had he wanted to do so.  He did not.  He was not going to be the person who charged Wilson with any variation of homicide.  But in deciding to take the case to the grand jury, the lie was born.

    Whether Darren Wilson would have been convicted after trial remains unclear; perhaps the case against him for the killing of Michael Brown wouldn't have survived scrutiny. Perhaps the structural benefits given law enforcement to kill without fear would have allowed him to circumvent conviction.  Perhaps he wasn't guilty.  We will never know.

    The grand jury transcript offers little comfort.

    He (bmaz) also links to Jeff Toobin's piece on the decision to announce at 8:30PM (after dark) when the deliberations concluded around lunchtime.

    Parent
    Sure he could have (none / 0) (#58)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:27:18 PM EST
    McCulloch didn't have to go to the grand jury at all. He could have prosecuted Wilson by fiat had he wanted to do so.  He did not.  He was not going to be the person who charged Wilson with any variation of homicide.

    And what if he lost?  Interesting how many around here who loathe prosecutors want one man to decide this in a case like this, as opposed to 12 people.

    Parent

    Not quite what they are saying (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:39:04 PM EST
    they don't want one man to decide guilt or innocence - they want him to have turned the decision over to 12 people who hear the case in a public trial setting with advocates for both sides, rather than a GJ setting

    Parent
    If McCulloch had not taken the case to the gj, (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:11:07 PM EST
    his office, if it exercised its discretion and filed a criminal complaint, would have then have presented evidence to a single judge in a preliminary hearing where the same questions the grand jury faced would be determined by that single judge. If the judge bound the case over for trial, then 12 jurors would determine guilty or not guilty or be unable to reach a verdict.

    Parent
    McCulloch could have also declined to prosecute W (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:02:12 PM EST
    Wilson

    Parent
    The only decision one man would have (2.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:37:27 PM EST
    made - and I daresay it's a decision he makes all the time - is whether there is probable cause to charge someone with a crime.  He doesn't decide guilt or innocence, and neither does the grand jury, if the decision is made to present a case for consideration there.

    Not sure I know what you mean by, "and what if he lost?"  Isn't that what people wanted him to do in this case - "lose" so he could lay this all at the feet of the GJ and decide not to prosecute?

    And for what it's worth, I don't know that there is loathing for prosecutors here as much as there is loathing for abuse of prosecutorial power.  Just as there is loathing for abuses of police power.  Are you sensing a theme?

    The argument that keeps being made is that, well, McCulloch's office put all the evidence in front of the GJ, didn't hide evidence, so its decision had to have been fair.  But from the portions of the transcripts that I've read, it sure seemed to me that the prosecutors steered and herded witnesses in the direction they wanted them to go.  As they no doubt do when they are looking for the GJ to indict.  It's unclear to me why you think it's impossible that McCulloch's office could not have been working toward a NTB, given that McCulloch was more or less strong-armed into convening the grand jury in the first place.  You think the same office that wasn't going to file charges in August was going to do a 180 and go full-tilt against Wilson to get a GJ to vote a true bill to charge him?

    Are you really that gullible?

    Parent

    No, but I think you are (none / 0) (#114)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:16:46 PM EST
    Seems McCullough didn't want to just go ahead and indict Wilson because he knew he didn't have a case. As oculus points out below, there was the step of a prelimary exam, where he would have presented the exact same evidence to a single judge, instead of 12 people.  But some how, through the power of magical thinking, you seem to think that all would be well with the world if he had just done that.

    But from the portions of the transcripts that I've read, it sure seemed to me that the prosecutors steered and herded witnesses in the direction they wanted them to go.  

    Maybe they did.  Or, more likely, maybe you had such preconceived notions about how you felt this should turn out so that's how you are reading it?


    Parent

    By the way, (1.50 / 2) (#73)
    by sj on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:48:35 PM EST
    And what if he lost?
    That's a possibility at any [fair] trial. Why should that be different now?

    And I have no idea what you are saying here.

    Interesting how many around here who loathe prosecutors want one man to decide this in a case like this,
    What exactly would one man have been "deciding" in this case?

    There is so much wrong and so many bad assumptions in your two sentences that paragraphs could be written in response.

    So ... never mind. I guess I'm going back to "oy" in response to your comment.

    Parent

    oy (none / 0) (#67)
    by sj on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:41:11 PM EST
    By the way, on another topic, you did notice that the police sporting riot gear was the default setting, right? in fact, they have been sporting riot gear for days.

    Parent
    I know you have difficulty (none / 0) (#78)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:55:52 PM EST
    With logic and reading comprehension sometimes, because you are stuck with your blinders on.  What is you said to someone else? Lack of discernment is your problem, not mine. Oy, indeed.

    By the way, on another topic, you did notice that the police sporting riot gear was the default setting, right? in fact, they have been sporting riot gear for days.

    Today is seems like it was a good decision.  Have you seen the pictures from Ferguson lately?

    Parent

    Yes indeed (none / 0) (#79)
    by sj on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:57:15 PM EST
    I have seen the pictures. All weekend, all over TV.

    Police in full riot gear.

    Parent

    What is sad (3.25 / 4) (#2)
    by Mikado Cat on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 04:48:32 AM EST
    is that if Obama and Holder had told the truth about what they knew on Aug 18th, that no credible evidence existed that Wilson acted improperly, none of this needed to have happened. Instead they fed the fire to get out the vote, politics before integrity as usual.

    What is truly sad ... (4.25 / 4) (#3)
    by Yman on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 06:07:40 AM EST
    ... is if anyone takes such specious, evidence-free claims seriously.

    Parent
    Really?? (none / 0) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:06:59 PM EST
    You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.

    Rahm Emanuel

    Link

    Parent

    Precisely (2.33 / 3) (#29)
    by whitecap333 on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 11:09:56 AM EST
    The problem here is lawlessness, not law enforcement.

    They have succeeded marvelously in "getting out the vote"--just not the vote they expected.  Slow learners.  

    Parent

    Obama's performance (1.40 / 5) (#6)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 07:52:07 AM EST
    Obama's performance post announcement was pretty sad.  Instead of feeding hatred with sympathy for "disappointment", how about lessons learned:

    1. Don't rob other people and expect no consequences.

    2. Don't go out in public higher than a satellite.

    3. Don't violently assault an armed police officer.

    A violent young thug made terrible choices that brought him to a bad end.  That is a tragedy.  Instead, pointing the finger at the police in general is just what you would expect from a divider rather than a uniter.

    BTW, is that race hustler Sharpton still welcome in the White House?

    Parent

    "Prosecutorial Misconduct"... (2.00 / 1) (#7)
    by mike in dc on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 07:54:40 AM EST
    ...is a phrase that will get used a lot in the next few months.  Nixon should have handed this over to a special prosecutor from the jump.  The questions asked by the prosecutors should be under as much, if not more, scrutiny as the testimony of the various witnesses.  

    You can check it out for yourself (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 08:09:51 AM EST
    bmaz graciously posted a link above to all the GJ testimony - you can see for yourself how and what questions were asked, although I fear you aren't going to find what you're looking for - the 2 prosecuting attorneys just phoning it in.  You can also read about the physical evidence which supported the officer's version of events, as well as all the other witness testimony, including all the witnesses who didn't make the cable news rounds when this all started. There were more than a few witnesses who backed the officer's version of events.

    The most credible eyewitnesses to the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., said he had charged toward Police Officer Darren Wilson just before the final, fatal shots, the St. Louis County prosecutor said Monday night as he sought to explain why a grand jury had not found probable cause to indict the officer.

    The accounts of several other witnesses from the Ferguson neighborhood where Mr. Brown, 18 and unarmed, met his death on Aug. 9 -- including those who said Mr. Brown was trying to surrender -- changed over time or were inconsistent with physical evidence, the prosecutor, Robert P. McCulloch, said in a news conference.

    SNIP

    The fact that at least nine members of the 12-member panel could not agree to indict the officer indicates that they accepted the narrative of self-defense put forth by Officer Wilson in his voluntary, four hours of testimony before the grand jury. Mr. McCulloch, in his summary of the months of testimony, said it was supported by the most reliable eyewitness accounts -- from African-Americans in the vicinity of the shooting -- as well as physical evidence and the consistent results of three autopsies.

    At issue, under the Missouri law governing use of deadly force by law enforcement as well as general rules for self-defense, was if Officer Wilson "reasonably believed" that he or others were in serious danger.

    But it's all there for you to read.

    Parent

    Wonder (2.00 / 4) (#14)
    by whitecap333 on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 09:05:48 AM EST
    how Wilson managed to drag Brown's body 25-30 feet to leave that trail of blood, without being being spotted.

    The Lt. Gov. of Missouri was on tv this morning, claiming that Obama twisted Nixon's arm not to send in the National Guard.  You think?  

    I loathe that I share a country (4.25 / 4) (#37)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 11:40:52 AM EST
    with people like you. People that believe that deadly force is an acceptable response to everything. I hate what this country has become. Founded in blood, it will drown in its own blood.

    Parent
    Everything? (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:18:41 PM EST

    Being charged by a 6 foot plus 292 pound male that has already assaulted you and tried to take your firearm hardly qualifies as "everything."  Anyone else in Wilson's shows would have done the same.

    Parent
    McCulloch announcement (none / 0) (#10)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 08:23:10 AM EST
    Full: Bob McCulloch announces Grand Jury decision in the Mike Brown / Darren Wilson case Nov 24 2014

    Among things we learned is:

    The altercation at the SUV took place THROUGH the window -- Brown was not IN the front seat -- only his hands, arms or upper part of his body.

    Body was 153 feet from the SUV -- not 35 feet as Chief initially claimed.

    12:02 in Ferguson comes before 12:01.

    That cone marking something on the ground suspected to be a shell casing about 30 feet behind the SUV was a mirage.

    Wilson's story is to be accepted in full. The other witnesses were mistaken.

    Chip, turn your TV on and look at the (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 09:32:16 AM EST
    devastation that is Ferguson.

    While I fully support freedom of speech, do you not understand that the many charges, etc.,made while a grand jury was laboring to find the truth, contributed to what happened last night?

    Do you really believe that the grand jury, who knew what their ruling would likely release, gave Wilson any "slack?"

    Parent

    I do hope (2.33 / 3) (#22)
    by whitecap333 on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 09:44:39 AM EST
    you're not suggesting some people "egged on" this orgy of violence by twisting the facts to fit their agenda.

    Parent
    YES, systemic tampering in the GJ process (none / 0) (#51)
    by Palli on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:20:32 PM EST
    http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=b493e6c4d31beda32fdaf8e2d&id=73514e334b

    Immediate Release 11/24, 2014  from ABA:

    ...National Bar Association President Pamela J. Meanes expresses her sincere disappointment with the outcome of the Grand Jury's decision but has made it abundantly clear that the National Bar Association stands firm and will be calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to pursue federal charges against officer Darren Wilson...



    Parent
    That is the NBA (none / 0) (#91)
    by Redbrow on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:21:44 PM EST
    A toxic mimic of the ABA.

    Parent
    It's the perfect storm (none / 0) (#28)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 11:02:13 AM EST
    that could have been quelled with an honest and open  presentation of the facts instead of one riddled with leaks, rumors, irregularities, prefabrications and conclusions based upon the contention that time runs backwards.

    Parent
    So you are saying that the (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 11:22:53 AM EST
    lies, distortions and calls for "justice" provided by Sharpton and those like him had no effect??

    And while I doubt that anything you have written here was read by anyone involved in any manner with the protesters/rioters, do you not recognize the similarities between Sharpton and his ilk and what you are writing??

    Chip, I understand that you are more or less a libertarian who, for whatever reason, has a deep seated problem with authority. But your refusal to accept the results of the GJ proves nothing beyond your desire to argue over bits and pieces.

    Chip, arguing the bits and pieces and the conflicting human testimony is what the GJ did for some 25 days over 3 months. The DA pointed out that there were conflicts. That's normal. But, at the end of the day the GJ decided that no crime whatsoever had been committed.

    Parent

    2 days of deliberation (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 11:45:18 AM EST
    arguing the bits and pieces and the conflicting human testimony is what the GJ did for some 25 days over 3 months.

    Not true -- they deliberated for just two days after hearing all that evidence once a week for two months without sequestration.

    The prosecutor was using a Grand Jury conduct a trial -- but they were not a trial jury. He knew better.

    Most importantly there was no cross-examination of witnesses especially of Wilson himself.

    All that was necessary for a True Bill was enough evidence to indict -- just two credible witnesses.

    Instead McCulloch does a witness dump and takes great pleasure in impugning them -- all of them.

    He dumped 50 witnesses in front of the GJ while only maybe 4 were relevant and actually saw anything.  That's clear by looking at video of the scene immediately after the shoot where the streets are all empty except for a handful of people.  

    What he did here was to pee on all of our legs and tell us that it's raining -- and a whole lot of people outside of the black and protesting community object to what he did here.

    Parent

    Chip, they listened to over 70 hours (none / 0) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:12:45 PM EST
    of testimony. Do you really believe they didn't question/think/discuss this as they went along??

    And "what he did here?"

    If you object to a GJ receiving all the evidence rather than a prosecutor withholding evidence and pushing for an indictment then you don't know how our system is supposed to work.

    Parent

    Um.... (none / 0) (#63)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:34:27 PM EST
    Most importantly there was no cross-examination of witnesses especially of Wilson himself.

    Who do you think does a cross-examination of a defendant at a trial?  The prosecutor - you know, the same person asking him questions here.  In fact, testifying before a Grand Jury is more fraught with landmines, since the rules of evidence are relaxed and the prosecutor can ask leading questions. And let's not forget, Wilson's attorney didn't get to ask questions - like he would have at a trial.


    Parent

    jb (3.50 / 2) (#71)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:45:03 PM EST
    Who do you think does a cross-examination of a defendant at a trial?  The prosecutor - you know, the same person asking him questions here.

    You mean the guy defending Wilson, and trying to protect him, and get him off, who delighted in impugn witnesses against him, and told the jury that that 12:02 call was made at ~12:01.

    Right????

     He was supposed to be the deceased's advocate as he is in all other GJ presentments  -- but he wasn't. He was advocating for Wilson and it showed in his presser last night.

    Parent

    I think you are reading (none / 0) (#75)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:51:22 PM EST
    Way too much into a press conference.

    Especially as he wasn't even in the GJ room asking questions.

    And I suggest you take a civics lesson on what "cross-examination" means.

    Parent

    I notice that (none / 0) (#81)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:59:54 PM EST
    you won't touch that 12:02 call with a 100 foot pole -- and I don't blame you.

    Parent
    I guess you haven't noticed this, Jim... (none / 0) (#70)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:44:55 PM EST
    But TalkLeft is all about real problems with authority and grand juries and a largely rigged system.

    Parent
    Correction (3.67 / 3) (#11)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 08:26:48 AM EST
    Wilson's story is to be accepted in full

    Wilson, and more than several other witnesses, along with physical evidence, is to be accepted in full.

    There.  Fixed it.

    Parent

    Sorry you don't like facts, sj (none / 0) (#49)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:17:22 PM EST
    Ferguson National Guard Decision (none / 0) (#34)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 11:25:50 AM EST
    .

    The decision to keep the called up National Guard out of Ferguson and let the looters and arsonists run wild needs some explanation.  Some of those burned out businesses will likely not come back.  And H. Clinton to the contrary those jobs won't be back either.  

    Governor Nixon has some 'splainen' to do.

    .

    The Lt. Gov. of Missouri (none / 0) (#56)
    by whitecap333 on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:23:17 PM EST
    was on TV this morning.  He accused Nixon of allowing Obama and Holder to bully him into refraining from sending in the guard.  Someone could have got hurt, you know?    

    Parent
    Someone could have (none / 0) (#62)
    by CST on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:33:12 PM EST
    Especially if they'd brought in the troops.

    I bet you would've loved that.

    Parent

    "Tin soldiers and Nixon coming..." (none / 0) (#68)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:42:16 PM EST
    Some stuff you can't make up.

    Parent
    I was struck last night (none / 0) (#60)
    by CST on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:32:25 PM EST
    Watching the president's remarks on CNN - the very last thing he said was to the media please don't focus only on the negative response - look at the larger picture, regardless of what makes better TV.  As soon as he's done speaking - cut to them going on and on about the negative response.

    I will say that I feel like this country is at a tipping point with law and order.  Personally I am hearing it from people on both sides of the isle - police are no longer assumed to always be the good guy.  It started with white college kids getting pepper sprayed over income inequality and has escalated now to police overreaction in poorer communities.  The movement towards decriminalization of drugs, and increased awareness of abuses of power, gives me some hope that this can move in a positive direction.

    As terrible as this tragedy is - the fact that it's made national news, is actually a positive change.  This is not the time to move on quietly, it's the time to keep up the pressure.  It doesn't have to be like this.  This is not just about Ferguson.  And frankly, I was very glad to hear the president of the united states acknowledge that there needs to be a change in the way law enforcement deals with the communities they are supposed to be protecting.  I know it's just words, but in my lifetime politicians have been overwhelmingly "tough on crime" when speaking to the media.  So it's a very welcome change of tone and I think speaks to the shift in the public consciousness somewhat as well.

    There are many people who want to (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:17:02 PM EST
    make this about nothing more than angry black people, especially angry black men. But among the chaos and destruction there was proof that it was about more than Michael Brown and angry black people.

    Look closely at the faces of the protesters who shut down I-44. If you chose to look, you will find as many, if not more, white faces. You might see a predominantly young crowd but scattered throughout the crowd there are men and women of every age group. Look at the protesters who gathered in or around the Shaw neighborhood and you will find the same thing.

    Even on the streets of Ferguson, white people who believe that the law enforcement's first response in too many instances is to shoot to kill were among the protesters. They know something needs to change.

    When Slado and I can both come to the same conclusion, that we need to change how cops operate in poor areas, you have to know the issue is about more than angry black men

    Parent

    I am 55 year old white male. (none / 0) (#120)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:30:52 PM EST
    A veteran, son of a veteran, son of a police officer. And I'm PO'd. Extremely PO'd. I'm sick and tired of reading stories about unarmed citizens (and family pets) killed by law enforcement. I'm sick of reading about people having their doors battered down in the middle of the night or wee hours of the morning and being killed by thugs with badges and guns for simply being there. For being in the wrong house. For being the baby sleeping by the front door. For being the little girl sleeping on the couch when these morons throw in an incendiary device. For simply growing or possessing marijuana. For coming out of their bedroom with a golf club in their hand. For being the wrong stairwell. This country has got stop being a population of bootlickers and hero worshipers. These people who come in the night are not heroes. They are not knights in shining armor. They are an army of occupation whom you pay (as taxpayers) to kill you in your homes.

    It has to stop. By any means necessary. And the ballot box will change nothing. Politicians in this country are cowards. They are the worst of the worst law enforcement bootlickers. They will do nothing.

    Parent

    Yes (none / 0) (#72)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 12:46:03 PM EST
    and I don't feel good about the way the tipping is going.  I wish I did.  I agree we are tipping.
    The fact that people,  even here on this sensible blog, seem unable the even allow for the possibility that there is a problem is not a good sign.

    Parent
    I don't think many on this blog (5.00 / 3) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:10:57 PM EST
    Are saying there isn't a problem.  But hanging one police officer for it doesn't fix it.  It seems pretty obvious that Brown did assault Wilson, and he was also approaching Wilson when killed.  Officer Wilson's story holds.

    How such distrust of law enforcement authority and why Brown would have chosen to assault a police officer is a different story, and cannot be repaired by just hanging Wilson.

    Parent

    also (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by CST on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:21:31 PM EST
    even considering all that you said - is it an appropriate use of lethal force.  Legally I think the answer is yes.  But I don't think it necessarily should be.

    As a country, both on the law enforcement side of things and in the public we are far too quick to pull the trigger at any sign of danger.

    Parent

    Yes, exactly. (5.00 / 3) (#92)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:24:12 PM EST
    is it an appropriate use of lethal force.  Legally I think the answer is yes.  But I don't think it necessarily should be.


    Parent
    I am willing to advocate police officers (5.00 / 3) (#94)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:26:41 PM EST
    Using less lethal force....and yet, this country is gun crazy, flat out gun nuts, so I'm not sure at this point of guns all over the streets that I can ethically tell police officers they can't shoot someone who has assaulted them and is now approaching them again.

    You think police officers are capable of being super human?  I don't

    Parent

    And it's no wonder then (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by CST on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:51:31 PM EST
    that it feels as though the game is rigged.

    "People are too dangerous" - so we need more guns.

    "Too many guns" - so we need to act with lethal force more quickly.

    With disproportionate responses being felt overwhelmingly in places where the population is perceived to be more dangerous - and we both know what that means, especially when the police force is not representative.

    Does that mean this case wouldn't have happened or would've ended differently?  Maybe, maybe not.  But it sure didn't help.

    I do think the police should be held to a higher standard.  I think everyone should be held to a higher standard.  A beat-up police officer is a better outcome than a dead person, IMO.  And I know plenty of people who have been assaulted without resorting to gun violence, most of them didn't have access to backup or a vehicle.  None of them are super human.  There is a reason that assault doesn't warrant a death penalty.  We have to start somewhere.

    Parent

    Police officers in nations where guns are (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 02:07:46 PM EST
    Controlled seem to get to enjoy a much different relationship with the populations they serve.

    I think the Ferguson problems encompass more than just the gun problems we all suffer from, the accumulation of decades of racism and segregation seem to also be factors.

    Parent

    True (none / 0) (#93)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:26:38 PM EST
    As a country, both on the law enforcement side of things and in the public we are far too quick to pull the trigger at any sign of danger

    But I'm not sure what the answer is in a 90 sec situation where someone has already shown they will use physical force and even attempt to grab your gun, and then come charging at you. Do you have any idea how a police officer, or you, or anyone should react? I don't.(Keeping in mind that it's a lot easier from the safety of time and distance from the situation)

    Parent

    Here is a very informative article (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:17:13 PM EST
    How it happened (none / 0) (#100)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 01:38:10 PM EST