Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ferguson case is not only about what happened at the car

Yes. I have given Officer Darren Wilson the benefit of the doubt, considered that his version of events may be true. And yes, I did read Darren Wilson's Grand Jury testimony about the killing of unarmed teenager Mike Brown. I read it because I like to read documents first-hand and not have network talking heads or biased prosecutor Bob McCulloch tell me what to think.

Assuming that Wilson's account of events is true, I believe he was afraid when he wrestled in the car with Mike Brown, a young, muscular black male who was 6 ft 4" tall and near 300 pounds. Wilson says Brown was beating him in the face and calling him "a pussy" who wouldn't shoot him. (Manhood on the line there, if Wilson is telling the truth.)

Wilson gives a detailed explanation for why he chose to shoot rather than mace Brown, including that he prefers not to wear a Taser, and he says the teen went after his gun. He also says that Brown made him feel small. When he grabbed Brown's arm, he says he "felt like a five-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan," page 212 (BTW, Hogan is 6 ft 7). Wilson is 6 ft 4 and about 210 pounds.

Later he describes Brown on page 225 as having a look of intense aggression on his face, "like a demon." And he also says that he believes if Brown hit him again, Brown would kill him. Finally, he shoots twice while the two are at the car, hitting Brown in the hand. Then Brown takes of running, stirring up dust in his wake.

So, as it says in the screenshot above, after Brown takes off, Wilson calls for more police cars and then he takes off after Brown. This is where Wilson's story begins to get shady for me. After thinking about it a while, I believe Wilson, knowing that if he shot Brown to death he would face no penalties whatsoever, pursued the teen. The moment Wilson chased Brown, he had made his decision to shoot to kill. He had already decided that Mike Brown's life didn't matter.

The Michael Brown case is not about what happened at the car

While media outlets have made a big deal about what happened at the car, and indeed it is serious to assault a police officer, the focus on the what happened at the car is a distraction designed to convince everyone that Officer Wilson feared for his life. But the reason the Grand Jury could decide not to indict Officer Wilson rests legally in Missouri's unconstitutional law that gives police officers the right to shoot a fleeing, unarmed felon.

All those documents McCulloch dumped on the jury, dumped with no instruction or recommendation of charges, were provided to overwhelm the jurors' brains, making it easier for them to decide whatever McCulloch wanted them to decide. The center of that big fecal cake, however, is that outdated law.

If you attack a police officer, you are deemed a Class A felon in Missouri. So, if you believe Wilson's story about what happened at the car, then he had a right to pursue and shoot Brown because Brown was a felon based on the officer's say-so. Officer Wilson, and I'm sure every other police officer in Missouri knows that this law will always protect them. It gives them a license to killed unarmed people. All they have to say is, "He attacked me."

In Wilson's case, he took the incident account a step further. He not only said Mike Brown attacked him, but he played into the fear of big black men, dehumanizing Brown, making him sound superhuman, demonic even. (See study that many whites think black people have superhuman powers. Nine of the jurors were white, three were black.) Later when he describes how Mike Brown came at him after the teen had run more than 150 feet away, he uses language that makes Brown sound like a charging bull"
"He turns, and when he looked at me, he made like a grunting, like aggravated sound and he starts, he turns and he's coming back toward me. His first step is coming towards me, he kind of does like a stutter step to start running" (227).

But Mike Brown ran away after the first shots at the car. That's where I see a big hole in Wilson's story. Wilson called for extra police cars, but those cars had not arrived when he chased Mike Brown. When Wilson decided to chase Mike Brown, he knew that Brown was unarmed. The only way Brown posed a threat to Wilson was if Brown were close enough to grab Wilson.

Here are my questions: If Wilson were that afraid of Brown, then how did the officer think he was going to subdue Brown and handcuff him by himself? If he were that afraid of Brown, and since the teen had already allegedly shown he would attack a police officer, then why did Wilson pursue him alone unless he'd already made up his mind to gun him down if the opportunity arose? Do we need a law now that says if you're a little or thin guy with a badge, don't pursue an unarmed person who's bigger than you and who you already know you can't beat in a fight?

So, this is where we are, where I am--Wilson decided before he ever left his car that it was okay to kill Mike Brown because Mike Brown was a big black man. Yes, it's open season on black people in Missouri and much of the rest of the country, too. The Grand Jury's decision made that much clear.


Lollipop Goldstein said...

I'm going to admit that I skipped the talk on Twitter, I definitely skipped the mainstream media coverage, and I came here to listen to your take. Because I knew it would be smart. And I knew you would get to the heart of the matter. Thank you.

Chickenpig said...

I second Lollipop. The most intelligent, and to the point, discussion of the case I have come across so far. Thank you for this.