On August 9, 2014, Ferguson, MO, Police Officer Darren Wilson shot dead Michael Brown.

Our first post about it was on August 11, 2014, as rioting broke out. We kept the coverage non-evaluative. We learned from prior cases, such as Trayvon Martin, not to accept at face value racial and other narratives being spun. We also learned from events such as the Boston Marathon and Newtown shootings that initial facts reported by the media often are wrong.

We embedded this news reports of the looting:

Within days, various supposed eyewitnesses would claim Brown was a passive victim — an account we now know to be untrue — as summarized in this MSNBC report we posted on August 13, 2014:

It did not take long, however, for facts to come out indicating that all may not be as it seemed, as we posted on August 15, 2014, UPDATED: Brown Was a Robbery Suspect, Cop Identified in #Ferguson:

Michael Brown Convenience Store

Very soon thereafter, it became obvious that the narrative of the Brown case would be “hands up, don’t shoot,” in which an innocent Brown was mercilessly gunned down for no reason as he attempted to submit.

That narrative and the racial angles on the case seemed to be just as much a fabrication as the initial narrative in the Trayvon Marting case, as Andrew Branca noted on August 19, 2014, Misleading Initial Narrative of Zimmerman-Martin Case Applied in Ferguson:

Another effort to bolster the “monstrous shooter” fork was the claim that Wilson shot Brown from a considerable distance, shot him repeatedly in the back as Brown was fleeing, while Brown had his hands raised in surrender, and while Brown being entirely compliant with Wilson’s lawful instructions. Were these facts true, Wilson’s conduct would have been monstrous, indeed.

The reality: We now hear that there exists quite another side to the story. This other side recounts how Wilson had just had the fight for his life against not just Brown but also Brown’s robbery-accomplice, Dorian Johnson, as the two men forced the officer back into his car and attempted to strip him of his sidearm….

It is worth noting at this point that many police officers who are killed by gunshot are shot with their own weapon that has been taken from them by assailants. Every police officer in the nation, likely in the world, is aware of this reality.

An attempt to seize an officer’s pistol is nothing short of an out-and-out declaration that you intend to slay that officer. Wilson would have been unquestionably entitled to use deadly force against both Brown and his accomplice to prevent this seizure from occurring.

While Andrew took no position at the time as to what happened, his prediction that if Brown attempted to take the officers gun then deadly force was justified, would turn out to be prophetic.

The Black Lives Matter movement, which was conceived in the Trayvon Martin case, was born in the Brown shooting. Hands Up, Don’t Shoot would be it’s rallying cry. That seminal factual allegation turned out to be a lie, but it gave birth to a movement which now dominated much of the media attention.

We continued to follow the riots and looting throughout August and as it died down by September. As October rolled around, and more evidence was released, Andrew did what he does best — follow the facts:

But by October we took note of another development: The rapid move by anti-Israel groups to exploit the shooting and turn it against Israel, Code Pink to exploit Ferguson “Weekend of Resistance” to bash Israel.

The piqued my interest, led me to research the infiltration of the Ferguson riots and protests by anti-Israel activists. I released my findings on October 25, 2014, Intifada Missouri – Anti-Israel activists may push Ferguson over the edge:

As much tension as there is, an underreported story is the active role of “pro-Palestinian” activists who have exploited the Ferguson riots and tension this summer and fall to push their anti-Israel agenda. That anti-Israeli agenda, which involves encouraging confrontation with police in solidarity with Palestinians, is helping provide the accelerant to an already volatile situation.

It started with a propaganda campaign over the summer when Brown was shot. On Twitter and elsewhere, anti-Israel activists started tweeting messages of “support” for protesters in Ferguson, including advice on how to deal with tear gas.

It was a highly organized effort to exploit the Ferguson tension and co-opt it into the anti-Israel cause….

It also has involved a propaganda campaign to blame Israel for the killing of Brown because a former St.Louis County police chief three years ago attended a one-week anti-terrorism program in Israel. Presumably some Ferguson officers also have attended various training sessions routinely given in the U.S. and elsewhere to police departments, but the one-week training in Israel by someone who wasn’t even on the job when Brown was shot was enough forthe usual suspects to try to blame Israel for everything that happens in Ferguson.

That anti-Israel infiltration would continue for weeks, Anti-Israel activist still stoking fires in #Ferguson. As I wrote the other day, the attempt in Ferguson to blame Israel for police shootings of blacks was a theme long pushed by anti-Israel activists, Exposed: Years-long effort to blame Israel for U.S. police shootings of blacks. Ferguson was the opportunity, and two years later the Black Lives Matter Movement has been effectively hijacked, If you are surprised #BlackLivesMatter joined war on Israel, you haven’t been paying attention.

[This was not funny at all, when two police officers in NYC were executed by a perp who used the “pigs in a blanket, fry’em like bacon” phrase used by one of the anti-Israel protesters in Ferguson, “Pigs in a blanket” chanted in #Ferguson long before #NYPD executions.]

When the Ferguson Grand Jury refused to indict Wilson in the shooting, there was predictable outrage. But the evidence was clear — Brown punched Wilson in the fact as he sat in his patrol car and attempted to steal Wilson’s gun. Brown’s hands were not raised, and he didn’t shout “don’t shoot.” The narrative that launched the Black Lives Matters movement and its eventual hijacking by anti-Israel activists was based on lies, as summarized by Andrew:

This result has not been unexpected, as the overwhelming weight of both the eye witness and forensic evidence has been entirely consistent with Officer Wilson’s narrative of self-defense, including:

  • Wilson being attacked by Brown and his accomplice Dorian Johnson in his patrol vehicle
  • a struggle over Wilson’s service pistol
  • shots fired inside the vehicle (which forensic examination confirmed caused a contact gun shot wound to Brown’s right hand)
  • the temporary flight of Brown upon those initial gunshots
  • the return of the 292 pound Brown re-engage the much smaller officer
  • the firing of additional defensive rounds as necessary to halt Brown’s violence

In contrast, the narratives put forward that might have favored an indictment were serially changed as each was proven inconsistent with the evidence:

  • Brown was shot in the back (there are no gun shot wounds to Brown’s back, and contrary to bulk of eye witness testimony)
  • Brown had his hands raised in surrender (inconsistent with forensics and bulk of eye witness testimony)
  • Brown was on his knees when Wilson simply executed him (inconsistent with forensics and bulk of eye witness testimony)

There would be more protests, including the tactic of blocking roads and highways and disrupting shopping malls. Members of Congress got into the hands up, don’t shoot narrative despite the evidence:

congress-members-hands-2

Some tender law students were so traumatized by the non-indictments in the Brown and later Eric Garner case that Columbia canceled finals, and Harvard Law students fell to the ground and demanded the same:

harvard die in

Writing of my Alma Mater, I noted, It’s their law school and they’ll cry if they want to.  An editor of The Harvard Law Review would write one of the most *amazing* posts I’ve ever read, Harvard Law Review Editor on exam delay request: Our Weakness is Our Strength:

Although over the last few weeks many law students have experienced moments of total despair, minutes of inconsolable tears and hours of utter confusion, many of these same students have also spent days in action—days of protesting, of organizing meetings, of drafting emails and letters, and of starting conversations long overdue. We have been synthesizing decades of police interactions, dissecting problems centuries old, and exposing the hypocrisy of silence.

I have seen the psychological trauma brought on by disillusionment with our justice system send some law students into a period of depression…. The hesitancy to recognize the validity of these psychic effects demonstrates that, in addition to conversations on race, gender and class, our nation is starving for a genuine discussion about mental health….

A UCLA law student later would claim to have been traumatized by having to answer a question about Ferguson on a final exam. So intense was the campus trauma that Cornell Univ. Police Chief apologizes for saying #AllLivesMatter instead of #BlackLivesMatter.

The Michael Brown case ended legally when the U.S. Department of Justice, after an intensive investigation, declined to prosectute. Andrew reviewed the DOJ findings, Darren Wilson Cleared by DOJ of Civil Rights Violations:

In considering civil rights charges against Wilson the Department of Justice ultimately determined that the credible witnesses and forensic evidence overwhelmingly favored Wilson’s narrative of lawful self-defense. The witnesses whose testimony favored a narrative of racist misconduct were found to be lies, inconsistent with the forensic evidence, or simply not credible relative to the witnesses favorable to Wilson’s narrative.

In particular, Even DOJ Admits: “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” An Utter Lie:

The DOJ report (embedded in our earlier post Darren Wilson Cleared by DOJ of Civil Rights Violations ) particularly noted the lack of credible evidence for the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” meme (page 8):

Although there are several individuals who have stated that Brown held his hands up in an unambiguous sign of surrender prior to Wilson shooting him dead, their accounts do not support a prosecution of Wilson. As detailed throughout this report, some of those accounts are inaccurate because they are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence; some of those accounts are materially inconsistent with that witness’s own prior statements with no explanation, credible for otherwise, as to why those accounts changed over time. Certain other witnesses who originally stated Brown had his hands up in surrender recanted their original accounts, admitting that they did not witness the shooting or parts of it, despite what they initially reported either to federal or local law enforcement or to the media. Prosecutors did not rely on those accounts when making a prosecutive decision.

While credible witnesses gave varying accounts of exactly what Brown was doing with his hands as he moved toward Wilson – i.e., balling them, holding them out, or pulling up his pants up – and varying accounts of how he was moving – i.e., “charging,” moving in “slow motion,” or “running” – they all establish that Brown was moving toward Wilson when Wilson shot him. Although some witnesses state that Brown held his hands up at shoulder level with his palms facing outward for a brief moment, these same witnesses describe Brown then dropping his hands and “charging” at Wilson.

The legacy of the Michael Brown case, and Trayvom Martin case before it, is that lie upon lie built a false narrative that changed the political landscape even after the truth came out through the judicial process. But that truth mattered not to the activists involved, who believe in convenient myths.

The Black Lives Matter movement was launched by lies, and so was its hijacking by anti-Israel activists. That’s the cold, hard truth.