One of the reasons that many on the right castigate the ‘Black Lives Matter’ organization is that its founding, which is based around the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri, and the disproven claim of “hands up, don’t shoot,” is fictitious. An investigation discovered that, contrary to media claims, Brown was not shot without reason, and his shooting was entirely reasonable from a legal standpoint.
Thursday was the fourth anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, who died of gunshot wounds after he made the poor decision to assault a police officer. However, for some leftists, the conclusion of an in-depth investigation, as well as a politically-motivated push to indict an officer of the law who acted reasonably, is not enough, and they want the case reopened and prosecution re-considered. They’re also claiming that Brown was “setup from the beginning.”
Many on the left have claimed that ‘justice’ was not carried out in the case of the shooter, Officer Darren Wilson. By ‘justice,’ it seems that they mean that they didn’t get their way, rather than actual justice adhering to rule of law and evidence.
As reported, on August 9, 2014, Michael Brown stole a box of Swisher cigarillos from a local convenience store shortly before he encountered officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department, who was responding to the call concerning that theft.
Accounts vary as to what happened next, but at one point, two shots were fired from the vehicle Wilson was driving, a police Tahoe, following an alleged assault on the officer.
One bullet hit the assailant on his right hand.
Wilson chased Brown, who by his account had just assaulted him, eventually turned around, according to witness testimony (and Wilson’s) and charged at the officer, who shot and killed him.
The shooting, which gained media attention almost immediately led to riots around dishonest claims that the deceased had been on his knees with his hands up when he was shot and killed.
Several witnesses went to the media to tell that version of events or other versions which tried to paint the Ferguson Police officer as the villain in the shooting. However, upon cross-examination in a court of law, most of those witnesses admitted to lying under oath.
Federal investigations carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice, both organizations which were headed by Obama appointees, found no evidence that officer Wilson acted inappropriately.
However, according to Lezley McSpadden (Michael Brown’s mother) and the Color of Change, the acquittal by a grand jury (and federal authorities’ inability to find any issue with the officer’s actions) represents a “miscarriage of justice” and a betrayal of Bob McCulloch’s duties as a prosecuting attorney.
They’ve called on Governor Michael Parson to appoint a special prosecutor to review the case, which concluded three years ago, and have even begun to circulate a petition demanding the same.
The petition claims that the entire thing was a “setup from the beginning” and that McCulloch ignored standard protocol in the case by enlisting the aid of a grand jury.
The Huffington Post pointed out that not only did the local prosecution and grand jury choose not to indict, but that the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, as well as the FBI, concluded that ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ was utter nonsense.
They, like the prosecutor and grand jury, also concluded that the witnesses who claimed such were not credible.
Finally, they said that Officer Wilson did not act in an “objectively unreasonable” way in his handling of the situation.
The Justice Department report said that when the shots were fired that ended the confrontation where “Brown was moving toward Wilson.”
The same report also said that witnesses did say Brown’s hands were up for a brief moment, but those same witnesses point out that he then dropped his hands and charged at the officer.
The petition, hosted at the Color of Change website, also complains that the prosecutor called witnesses forward who he knew (or at very least reasonably suspected) were lying in their testimony.
However, given the absurd media reaction to the case, it could be easily believed that he did this to make sure that all the testimony was out in the open, and fairly examined, even the testimony of witnesses who had run to the media to tell concocted stories they later recanted or that were proved false.
Indeed, Witness 22 admitted that she lied to the FBI about what she saw, and admitted she passed along what her boyfriend said he saw.
Another witness, never identified by name or number, admitted to taking their account of the shooting from the newspaper.
Witness 35’s testimony fell apart under examination, and he eventually admitted that he made it up.
Witness 37 told multiple different accounts of the shooting, and when pressed, refused to answer questions, instead of posing questions to the court including asking “if none of my stuff is making any sense, like why do y’all keep contacting me?”
The media, and its willingness to uncritically publish claims as if they were evidence, including claims from people like Dorian Johnson, played a large role in the idea that Brown was some sort of innocent person targeted by the cruelty of a police officer.
Of course, there could be a less savory motivation behind the recent petition and the resurgence of media attention for the shooting.
McSpadden announced that she would be running for a seat on the City Council of Ferguson earlier this year. Perhaps most interestingly, Brown’s mother, who received her high school diploma just last year at the age of 37 and has no expertise in law or the criminal justice system, made that announcement at a Harvard University forum on police violence.
Even if she or other Black Lives Matter proponents win the election in the city, that doesn’t change the facts. Reopening the case would only show that politicians and the politically-connected are said to sometimes use their power for personal reasons.