The media hype over the grand jury decision in Ferguson is over the top. Except for a few stories about Buffalo and one warning of a cyber attack by China or Russia, CNN aired nothing else this afternoon, except commercials. It was that way on my hour drive to the jail to see a client at noon, and that way for the hour drive back at 4 pm. Wolf Blitzer kept breathlessly announcing "We're expecting a grand jury announcement any moment so stay tuned." It's now 3 hours later and there has been no announcement of the grand jury decision. But the media's non-stop reporting of anticipated violent reactions persist. I learned from CNN that Best Buy is closing its stores for the weekend. Schools have decided to close the whole week. Homeowners in outlying areas are stocking up on guns fearing increased crime. Police are worried. And on and on. [More...]
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Forensic pathologist Michael Baden, who conducted an autopsy on Michael Brown at the request of his family's attorney, has been subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury investigating Brown's shooting death.
According to the lawyer for Brown's parents:
Baden had only limited access to information and has asked to review several other pieces of evidence before he testifies.
Among the items Baden did not have access to when he performed his autopsy:
Baden said there was no gunpowder residue on Brown's body, indicating he was not shot at close range, though he said at the time he wasn't given access to Brown's clothing and the residue could be there.
It's not known when the grand jury will be finished. The prosecutor has said "sometime this month."
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Two workers, one of whom agreed to be interviewed, say they witnessed the shooting of Michael Brown. They didn't see the confrontation at Officer Wilson's vehicle, but according to the description of the one who is now speaking out, they did see what happened thereafter.
His account largely matches those who reported that Wilson chased Brown on foot away from the car after the initial gunshot and fired at least one more shot in the direction of Brown as he was fleeing; that Brown stopped, turned around and put his hands up; and that the officer killed Brown in a barrage of gunfire.
The worker said Brown stopped to talk to him around 11:00 am. Later, the worker heard a shot: [More...]
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Several news outlets are reporting Eric Holder will announce the Justice Department's civil rights division will launch an investigation into actions of Ferguson police.
A 1994 federal law gave the civil rights division the authority to probe whether police departments are engaging in a “pattern or practice” of violating constitutional rights or federal rights. The law was enacted after the videotaped beating of African American motorist Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers.
...Federal investigators look at patterns of excessive force, complaints against officers, and department training to help officers avoid racial profiling and unnecessary use of force.
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Driving this afternoon and listening to CNN on Sirius, the main story was not ISIS or Syria, it was a new audio of the Michael Brown shooting that a passer-by captured on his cell phone while video-chatting with a woman. As he tells her how fine she looks, there are gunshots in the background. Either 10 or 11, depending on the guest they were interviewing. But all could clearly hear about a three second pause between the first round of five or six, and the final ones. They then replayed four interviews of eye witnesses, all of whom said there was a pause in the shooting as Brown turned around and put his hands up.
The significance? Unclear, since it's not been confirmed the tape is authentic or reliable, and obviously, the network doesn't have the original recording. The FBI has also been given a copy.
Here's a thread for all topics related to the Brown shooting.
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Ferguson was fairly calm Tuesday night, with most people peacefully protesting.
AG Eric Holder arrives in Ferguson today. Here is his letter to the people of Ferguson.
Gov. Nixon said the county prosecutor will stay on the case for now, rejecting calls for a special prosecutor. (the St. Louis County Circuit Court grand jury is scheduled to commence hearing testimony today.)
I won't be online much today, so you can use this thread for all Michael Brown/Ferguson related topics.
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After a night of more unrest in Ferguson, a few shootings (reportedly not by police) and at least 30 arrests, officials are calling for calm.
A grand jury is scheduled to begin hearing evidence in the shooting death of Michael Brown tomorrow.
President Obama has dispatched AG Eric Holder to Ferguson. DOJ is conducting its own civil rights investigation. [More....]
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Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming... The curfew is over but the National Guard is on its way.
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Dr. Michael Baden, hired by Michael Brown family lawyer Benjamin Crump, has released his autopsy findings. Baden waived his fee and Crump paid his travel expenses.
AG Eric Holder has said the Brown family asked the Justice Department to conduct another autopsy. That's a lot of autopsy requests.
Baden says Brown was shot at least six times, although only 3 bullets were recovered from the body. He said he was shot in the head, the eye, and the arm. [More...]
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Ferguson, Missouri is under a second night of curfew.
Holder’s announcement, coming one day after revelations that additional FBI agents had been dispatched to Ferguson, was the latest signal that the federal civil rights investigation of Brown’s death is escalating. The federal probe is running parallel to the state investigation, and federal officials had said they were deferring to state officials.
MO Gov. Jay Nixon took the airwaves today and among other things, criticized the release of the alleged robbery video, saying he hadn't known about it.
Highway Patrol officer Ron Johnson spoke at a rally today and addressing Brown's parents, said "I am sorry. I wear this uniform and I should say that I am sorry.”
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The Governor of Missouri has declared a state of emergency in Ferguson. A curfew is in effect until further notice.
The police brought this on themselves. They have bungled every opportunity to resolve public frustration. They are a walking public relations disaster, choosing the wrong path at every turn.
Today, the Justice Department said they asked the police not to release the security camera video from the alleged theft at Ferguson's Wine and Market. [More...]
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Here is the transcript of President Obama's remarks today on the Yazidis, ISIS and Ferguson.
He said air strikes would continue in Iraq, but maintains there will be no boots on the ground.
Wherever we have capabilities and we can carry out effective missions like the one we carried out on Mount Sinjar without committing combat troops on the ground, we obviously feel a great urge to provide some humanitarian relief to the situation.
On Ferguson, he said the FBI will investigate the death of Michael Brown. As to last night's violence, he said while there are differing accounts: [More...]
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