Misleading Initial Narrative of Zimmerman-Martin Case Applied in Ferguson
Ferguson Shooting Triggers A Too-Familiar Misinformation Cascade
The fatal shooting of the Mike Brown by police officer Darren Wilson has raised a hue and cry about a wide variety of social issues, among them the increasingly vitriolic nature of American race relations, the astonishing militarization of the police (or, perhaps more accurately, their equipment), and the curious (to me, at least) degree to which the rioting, looting, and arson that followed the shooting was rationalized as “wrong, but understandable.”
A Too-Familiar Misinformation Cascade
This most recent high-profile shooting has also seen the deployment of a too-familiar misinformation cascade in cases where there is a real or perceived racial element. This misinformation cascade achieves its purpose by taking what few “facts” are typically available in the immediate aftermath of such an event, and passing them through a rhetorical filter to construct two defining narrative elements:
The pure victim: An image of the victim as an innocent, nearly saint-like, young child of such tender years as to suggest that the very notion of him committing an act of malice is preposterous.
The monstrous aggressor: An image of the shooter as an angry, hateful, racist monster with a hunger for shooting young black children dead in circumstances totally absent of legal justification.
The Misinformation Cascade in the Zimmerman/Trayvon Case
In the case of the shooting of Trayvon Martin by the “White Hispanic” George Zimmerman, these dual goals were accomplished in several ways.
For example, “the pure victim” fork of the narrative was aggressively advanced by the mainstream media widely promulgating a photo of Martin taken of him as an much younger looking child.
The reality: pictures of the 17-year-old Martin taken shortly before his death, many of them by himself, show a near 6-foot, athletic, well-muscled young man making gestures and engaging in conduct that fall well outside the bounds of “angelic.”
The toxicology report also confirmed he was a user of controlled substances (THC, marijuana), with suggestions (the “fatty liver”) that there may also have been long-term abuse of other drugs. Pictures recovered from Martin’s cell-phone show him smoking (presumably marijuana).
There were also pictures on Martin’s cell phone that appear to be “selfies” of him holding a gun–the possession of which would have been illegal if only due to his age.
There were also credible allegations that Martin had been recently been suspended from school for having been found with stolen property, and also bragged about fighting, and his experience landing the first blow to the nose (which is what happened to Zimmerman). This evidence never was presented to the jury, but it strongly contradicted the original narrative.
Furthermore, there was eye-witness testimony at the trial that unequivocally placed Martin astride Zimmerman, aggressively raining down blows “ground-and-pound” MMA style, with Zimmerman screaming for help. There was also forensic evidence of moisture on the back of Zimmerman’s jacket, consistent with him having been on his back on the ground during the course of the fight, and the forensic ballistic evidence confirming that Martin was on top of Zimmerman at the time of the shooting.
To say that the narrative of an innocent child shot for wearing a hoodie and carrying Skittles had imploded would be a gross understatement.
Similarly, “the monstrous shooter” fork of the narrative was advanced by, among other means, NBC deliberately doctoring the recording of George Zimmerman’s 911 call to police to create the impression that Zimmerman independently offered an unsolicited description of Martin’s race. The implication was that Zimmerman used Martin’s race as the basis for concluding that Martin was “up to no good.”
The reality: Zimmerman never mentions Martin’s race to the 911 dispatcher until that dispatcher explicitly asks him, “Is he white, black, or Hispanic.” (It is this inquiry from the dispatcher that NBC edited out of the 911 recording they played numerous times in television coverage of the event.)
Those examples are only a few of dozens that illustrate the broader application of this misinformation cascade in the Zimmerman case, but time and space compel me to move on to the more recent incident.
In the end, of course, Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges. The costs for having “won” at trial included a year-and-a-half of his life, several hundreds of thousands of dollars, his marriage, and knowing that much of the nation would forever believe the misinformation to which they had been exposed.
The Misinformation Cascade Following the Shooting of Mike Brown
In the shooting of the Mike Brown, a black 18-year-old, by the Darren Wilson, a white police officer, we see the same misinformation cascade brought into play.
It should be noted up front that this shooting has not yet been thoroughly investigated and adjudicated.
If Officer Wilson violated the law in his use of force against Brown, I will be among the first to demand that he be held accountable. If he did not, I will be the first to demand that he be cleared of misconduct.
It should also be noted that neither Brown nor Wilson is, in real life, a pure archetype. It seems very likely that Brown engaged in some serious criminal activity–including a robbery–but it is also undoubtedly true that there are those in his life who will recall him with love. Similarly, Wilson appears to have been exemplary officer who had only recently been awarded a commendation–but I’m sure he would be among the first to acknowledge that he, like all of us, is not immune from making mistakes.
The only issue in the matter about which I feel strongly is that Wilson, like all of us, is entitled to the rule of law and due process. And, as in the Zimmerman case, we are seeing again how a misinformation cascade results in the effective denial of both of those rights.
Here “the pure victim” fork of the narrative has been aggressively forwarded by the early and repetitive references to Mike Brown as a black teenager, and even as a black child (Brown family attorney hit this theme repeatedly in a press statement just yesterday), and un unarmed black child, at that.
The reality: It was only days after the event that we learn that although Mike Brown was indeed technically a “teenager,” being 18 years of age, he was far from a harmless child.
First, one is compelled to note that at 18 years of age the United States military will accept one as a recruit to be trained to kill our nation’s enemies with professional skill and efficiency. If a person is of an age to sufficiently present a lethal threat to foreign armies, he can certainly present such a threat to a lone suburban police officer. Further, enormous numbers of young men still in their teenage years are found to have deliberately murdered other young men still in their teenage years–c.f., Chicago. The term “teenager” is by no means synonymous with “harmless,” as anyone with common sense knows.
Second, Mike Brown was referred to in the community as “Big Mike” for good reason—he was an 18-year-old of stupendous proportions, standing well in excess of six feet tall and weighing just shy of 300 pounds.
Third, we now know that Mike was not at all unwilling to make use of his size to commit felonies against innocents, as is illustrated by the surveillance videotape that shows him committing a strong-arm robbery just minutes before he fought with and was shot by Officer Wilson.
It is notable that this videotape was released only days after the shooting, and the rioting, looting and arson that immediately followed the shooting. The damage this videotape clearly does to the “pure victim” fork of the narrative suggests why this delay might have occurred.
And what of “the monstrous shooter” fork of the narrative? In part this follows naturally from the “pure victim” fork of the narrative—after all, what possible reason can there be for shooting a “pure victim”? Invariably, however, the effort is made to buttress this fork of the narrative further.
In this case, one such effort was to characterize not just the shooter as monstrous, but the entire police department as monstrous. The department, it was argued, had an extensive prior history of shooting young black men for no good reason and then covering up the event to escape liability for their misconduct.
The reality: The actual concrete evidence of this extensive prior history—e.g., actual convictions of police found guilty of such conduct—was scarce to the point of vanishing. The only foundation provided was allegation and speculation—both of which the media happily ran with. With this argument, then Darren Wilson becomes just the most recently active monster of a department of monsters.
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. St. Louis County Police Department Chief Jon Belmar spoke to these events in a press statement this past Sunday, as shown here: Belmar: Struggle over gun led to teen’s shooting.
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.
Chief Belmar stated that in the struggle in the car over the gun, the weapon discharged. I can tell you from personal experience that a handgun firing in an enclosed space is very, very, very loud, to the point of being momentarily disorienting.
I would also note that the gun could only have been discharged if the trigger had been depressed. Further, that a police officer’s holster (as any good holster) completely covers the gun’s trigger. Thus, the only way the gun could have been discharged during the struggle would have been if the pistol had already come out of the holster.
Because of the threat to police officers of being shot with their own guns, they are trained in techniques of weapon retention. One of the golden rules of weapon retention of a holstered pistol is to keep the gun in the holster. If an assailant manages to get his hand on the pistol’s grip, the officer will place his hand atop the assailant’s and push down with every ounce of strength he has to keep the pistol inside the holster. The gun cannot fire so long as it remains within the holster.
But what if the assailant possesses, as here, considerably greater strength than the officer? Or there are multiple assailants, as here, who collectively can easily overwhelm the officer? Where the cascade of trying to keep the gun in the holster is doomed to fail because of such circumstances—in other words, the assailants are sure to eventually overpower the officer, obtain the weapon, and kill the officer with it.
In such circumstances the officer may attempt an alternative approach to “retaining” his weapon: by discharging.
This seems a likely explanation for the discharge inside Wilson’s vehicle, and the discharge seems a likely explanation for the two assailants exiting the vehicle and creating some space between themselves and the Wilson. Finally, it would also explain why Wilson might have already had his pistol in hand when he himself emerged from the car.
At that point did he simply shoot the fleeing/surrendering Brown in the back? While the evidence remains cloudy, a growing proportion of it suggests not.
First, there is just released autopsy sketch, which indicates six bullet gun-shot wounds (although a handwritten note suggests some may be exit and re-entry wounds). All six are to the front of Mike Brown’s body, none to the rear. This evidence is clearly inconsistent with the early narrative of Brown being shot in the back as he fled.
Second, we now have reports from an interview conducted by Dana Loesch on her radio show with a person who claims personal knowledge of the events that for some reason Mike Brown made the decision to stop distancing himself from the police car and Wilson, and instead decided to turn back charge at the officer:
He pulled up ahead of them. And then he got a call-in that there was a strong-arm robbery. And, they gave a description. And, he’s looking at them and they got something in their hands and it looks like it could be what, you know those cigars or whatever. So he goes in reverse back to them. Tries to get out of his car. They slam his door shut violently. I think he said Michael did. And, then he opened the car again. He tried to get out. He stands up.
And then Michael just bum-rushes him and shoves him back into his car. Punches him in the face and them Darren grabs for his gun. Michael grabbed for the gun. At one point he got the gun entirely turned against his hip. And he shoves it away. And the gun goes off.
Well, then Michael takes off and gets to be about 35 feet away. And, Darren’s first protocol is to pursue. So, he stands up and yells, “Freeze!” Michael and his friend turn around. And Michael taunts him… And then all the sudden he just started bumrushing him. He just started coming at him full speed. And, so he just started shooting. And, he just kept coming. And, so he really thinks he was on something.
If true, Wilson—faced with a substantially larger assailant who had only moments before demonstrated the willingness and desire to strip Wilson of his gun for the only rational purpose of killing him with it now charging at him again—would have had every legal justification to use all reasonable force, including deadly force, to stop that imminent attack.
The Misinformation Cascade, the Rule of Law, and Due Process
So in Ferguson we find ourselves with a similar initial narrative as in the Martin case.
But what if Officer Wilson, like Zimmerman, is ultimately cleared of wrong doing?
Will this have been accomplished at Zimmerman-like cost–a year or more of his life in turmoil, hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expenses, and a world that will forever tie his name to that of a “racist executioner of a black child,” all driven not by the rule of law and due process, but of a misinformation cascade?
And Officer Wilson is far from the only victim of the current misinformation campaign. What of the residents of Ferguson? Where similar riots have occurred in other cities, the community’s recovery has taken decades, if it was achieved at all. What of the shop owners whose stores were looted and burned down?
Further, and more pragmatically, it is worth asking why the normal measures of the rule of law and due process will have been short-circuited in the case—just as they were in the Zimmerman case, and innumerable others. Who benefits from such blatant violation of our legal norms? And who pays the cost?
[Featured Image source: YouTube]
Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He holds many state-specific Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and produces free online self-defense law educational video- and podcasts at the Law of Self Defense University.
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Here’s a quick video of Al Sharpton (sc)hurrying to a meeting with Benjamin Crump, the family’s new spokesman, in NYC
Yes, the Trayvon Martin case spokesman.
What – you expected them to learn a new song now ? After all these years ?
When are we going to see a full background report on Mike Brown ?
Trayvon Martin had an interesting one.
I’d bet we won’t…the hustlers trying to make money off this learned lessons from Martin/Zimmerman, and you can bet they’ll do their damndest to keep anything character-related out of the headlines.
Heads Up people. This is not about Brown being shot. This is about unrest because for the last 5 years it has been getting harder and harder to get by. There are no jobs for black men in the inner city. Black income has plummeted and people are in the mood to riot.
This was just an excuse.
No jobs and high black youth unemployment … so let’s vote for our black messiah again at a 95% rate. You can’t fix stupid, son.
I would argue that there are jobs for hardly anyone, regardless of race.
No offense to you this is one of my pet peeves, we still look at things by race, mainly because the government insists on it and because of the race baiters who have something to gain from continuing racial strife.
I have asked before why can’t we just be Americans, instead of White, Black, Asian, or Hispanic Americans? The answer I am overwhelmingly give is that to do so would be racist. Does this seem counter intuitive to anyone else? We will not be able to defeat racism until we come to a point that when someone brings up race the natural reaction is to say; “So what, your an American. Suck it up and soldier on.”
As long as ethnicities want to self-segregate, your E Pluribus Unum dream is just a dream. It didn’t used to be, but the left has succeeded in making it so.
There aren’t many jobs for white men in the suburbs either.
The job situation is worst for “urban blacks” because of their lack of education, training, job skills. Those who don’t buckle down and learn the things needed in order to become desirable employees are going to be the last hired/first fired. Not sure how that is my fault, but I’m sure Spike Lee and Al Sharpton can explain.
Yes, the shooting is just an excuse. If not this, then something else.
The Democrats (including Obama) and the establishment Republicans support a massive and illegal influx of third worlders (not just Mexicans), and they are going to make things much worse for the blacks.
This is just begging for trouble, and we are going to see it. In Spades, if you will pardon the expression.
Reposting something I just posted in the eyewitness thread, a very interesting video on eyewitness testimony:
You can put 10 people in a room, create an incident, interview them separately after the fact and most people, unless they’re trained to observe, will have focused on one aspect and missed something important.
Wowsa ! Proof !!!!!
BREAKING REPORT: Officer Darren Wilson Suffered “Orbital Blowout Fracture to Eye Socket” During Mike Brown Attack
No problem here for the protestors. The Officer had no right to put his face in front of Brow s fist.
Especially in his own car ! the NOIVE of some officers !
That may seem like sarcasm, but it’s true: Many “urban” blacks and white leftists think that black criminals have a right to do whatever they want to whomever they choose to target.
A culture that accepts violence, theft, etc.. as the norm isn’t going to understand why so many of us don’t readily accept the precious little snowflake narrative.
Wake up ! Wake up !
Don’t know why that threaded here – out of place
“Who benefits from such blatant violation of our legal norms?” Very simply, it is the race-mongers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, as well as increasingly the cable networks MSNBC and CNN. The only way to make them stop this behavior is to make it in their best interest to stop this behavior.
This is where the lawsuit of Zimmerman against NBC is so important (doctored tape recording). If George can successfully push the lawsuit and get a verdict of a couple hundred million dollars, suddenly the suits at CNN, NBC, MSNBC and the others will find it in their own best interest to cease this behavior.
Don’t exempt Fox. I was flipping between a baseball game and Fox last night. By 9:00 CST, Shep Smith was broadcasting live from a brightly lit, sleek, Manhattan studio, with multiple reporters on the ground in Ferguson. At one point, they said there were “hundreds” of media on the ground. Since the OJ trial (or maybe it started sooner but that’s where I first noticed it), they’ve learned how to turn these tragedies into “entertainment” with big ratings.
Yeh, right, that’ll ever happen ….
Again, WordPress mis-threaded my post. F*** !!!!
“Further, and more pragmatically, it is worth asking why the normal measures of the rule of law and due process will have been short-circuited in the case—just as they were in the Zimmerman case, and innumerable others. Who benefits from such blatant violation of our legal norms? And who pays the cost?”
The answers to several of those questions would seem to be apparent, and by this time almost “traditional”.
Why is it in anyone’s interest to short-circuit due process?
Because they are not remotely interested in “truth”. The narrative is much too valuable, and getting the narrative out front is much easier and, indeed, more gratifying to those who love instant gratification.
Who benefits? Again, obvious. Those who are rich because they have managed to pick the racial scab for decades. Those who have political power because they have convinced some Americans they are perpetual victims and will be because…racism.
Who pays? Obviously, all of us. But what I pay is miniscule compared to what my black neighbors who buy into this pay. They are the prime victims of this scam. I can…and i DO…say “SCREW THAT!!!”. They say, “I’m down, and the man will always hold me down”.
And it’s a lie. But it’s an effective, power-giving lie for a few to tell.
“A Lie can go halfway around the world before the Truth can get its shoes on.” — Samuel L. Clemons
Nice one, thumbs up.
Andrew–How will an attorney address the argument that the officer should have used non lethal force first, such as as taser?
To me a taser is not the weapon of choice of a loan officer against two violent thugs. But I am not a reporter or a politically motivated prosecution.
I would guess that if the reports of Wilson’s orbital fracture are true and the gun did discharge within the vehicle, it pretty much destroys the scripted narrative and Wilson would be very credible in claiming that Brown was charging him and he was in fear for his life.
If both those things are borne out by evidence, there will be no charges filed by state authorities.
No bets on Do(racial)Justice…
You forgot that he wasn’t shot in the back.
Stop the militarization of bank employees!
…sorry, couldn’t resist 😉
I was thinking the same thing. I bet some loan officers wish they had a taser at times, lol.
How will a lawyer address concerns that the officer should have used less-than-lethal force? Probably point to the MO law (http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C500-599/5630000046.HTM) concerning law enforcement use of deadly force in affecting an arrest. The relevant parts read as thus:
“3. A law enforcement officer in effecting an arrest or in preventing an escape from custody is justified in using deadly force only … (2) When he reasonably believes that such use of deadly force is immediately necessary to effect the arrest and also reasonably believes that the person to be arrested … (a) Has committed or attempted to commit a felony.”
Strong-arm robbery is a felony in MO, and if Brown just assaulted the officer (broken bones in his face would attest to that, if true), which is also a felony. Also “the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that size alone could constitute physical force” (https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/disparity-of-force/)
Statutes allowing the use of deadly force for the purpose of merely stopping or apprehending a suspect are still on the books in many states, but have not had legal effect in decades as a result of the Supreme Court decision in Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985).
To my knowledge no police department today authorizes the use of deadly force by its officers in the absence of a reasonably perceived deadly threat to innocent life. (If anyone has knowledge to the contrary, I’d appreciate a source.)
I don’t have time to do a thorough review of the case, so I’m going the drop the mike with a wiki link and leave folks who are interested to dig deeper themselves. 🙂
Incidentally, this is an excellent example of how very hazardous it is to rely upon a plain language reading of a statute in isolation of case law.
A statute merely represents the stated intent of the Legislature. How that statute is applied to real people in real fact situations happens in court. And higher level courts in particular can change the apparent intended meaning of a statute 180 degrees–I’ve seen it more than once.
Tennessee v Garner only struck down the fleeing felon rule if letting the felon escape doesn’t pose a threat to the officer or to the public. If the officer believes that the felon is a danger to him or anyone else, the ruling doesn’t apply. (It also doesn’t apply to non-state actors, but that’s not relevant here.)
In this case, had Wilson shot brown in the back to stop his escape he could very easily have argued that Brown was someone who had just committed a robbery in broad daylight, was brazen enough to saunter down the middle of the street just minutes later, and to assault a policeman and try to take his weapon and kill him with it. Such a person is probably on something, and having him roam the streets poses a danger to whomever crosses his path, so Tennessee v Garner won’t apply.
Milhouse – you made me think of something I that has stuck with me for well over 30 years. I was invited to be in Court to watch the first seaters argue a major case.
The lead partner said, “Your Honor, The law says ….”
The judge responded “Don’t tell me what the law says. It says what I say it says”.
I was stunned. Absolutely flabbergasted. However, the judge was absolutely right. In fact the US Court of Appeals upheld him.
Andrews citation of Tennessee v Garner should not be lightly taken. It is settled law. I have no idea of the case-law on the Missouri Statutes in light of Tennessee v Garner and I don’t care to check. How a judge rules on the type of arguments you raised is by no means a sure thing.
if alone use the gun.
if with partner use tazer while he covers with gun if possible, which it often isn’t.
tasers are not always that accurate and when someone is rushing you its a good way to get shocked too.
I like how they are also ignoring the fact that, if Brown had gone for Wilson’s gun and it had gotten to the extent that the gun was in play enough for it to discharge then it would have been in the officers hand already. He is facing 2 attackers, one of which has already possibly severely injured him and gone for his gun.
I am not a cop, but I can tell you right now that if someone ever does go for my gun, I will consider that a reasonable threat of death or great bodily harm and should I retain the weapon it will begin to make loud noises very shortly afterwards.
Did he even have a taser at his disposal?
Personally, I wouldn’t risk my life on a Taser. If I think someone is going to attack me, I’m using the most effective means of self defense available to me at the time.
The whole “taser” argument is about as rational as the “why don’t police just shoot to wound” argument, it is made by people with little knowledge and no understanding.
But Detective Joseph Walker was a cold blooded murderer who lured Joseph Harvey into a distance where he could kill him. Harvey had so much to look forward to after all he just became a homeowner. So what Harvey threatened Walker. Walker should have let himself get harmed by a larger intoxicated man.My mistake Harvey’s bac had nothing to do with some cop shooting him. Or better yet,Walker should’ve just driven away.DTR after all I forgot Walker tried that,but the larger innocent Harvey kept pursuing him. After all Harvey didn’t have to retreat,DTR and all. It was just for Harvey a violent racist to pursue black Walker and say ” I’ll kill you f—-g n—-r.” But self preservation shouldn’t have been on Walker’s mind. Especially when confronted by a larger violent intoxicated white racist criminal.
Are you okay? Prunes or blackstrap molasses might help, you know.
This is incoherent – can you please clean it up so I know what the heck you are talking about?
m1 like sot imply that folks are racist anytime they don’t support the black side of the coin, just ignore him. Incoherent is kind of his thing.
I defended Walker and I get what you’re saying about the inconsistency of supporting Wilson and not Walker.
One key difference is Wilson had already been attacked before firing while Walker was aiming to forestall a perceived imminent threat.
And let’s be clear, as a Walker supporter, do you support Wilson in this case–or are you just for the black guy no matter what?
An even better difference is that Wilson was actually one duty, Walker was on vacation.
correction one should be on i.e. “Wilson was actually on duty”
Oh, yea Wilson was also with in his jurisdiction, Walker wasn’t even in his own state.
I saw a report of NJ gov Christie offering support for Ferguson Missouri police officers.These officers are hundreds of miles from Nj. However, I can’t find him offering similar support of Detective Joseph Walker.A Hudson County Investigator. A cop from his own state.
“Police” are not the same as A POLICEMAN.
NOOOOOOOObody is accused of a crime in Missouri.
It IS inappropriate for a governor of a neighboring state to opine on the CRIMINAL trial of one of the officers from his state…or any damn body else.
Let. It. Go.
Yea, because….RACISM!!!! Ignoramus.
So far I’ve heard news media pundits and interviewees refer to the strong arm robbery as “shoplifting,” a “bad habit,” and a “silly thing” in an attempt to minimize Brown’s criminal action immediately prior to the shooting.
Now, as in the Martin case, we’re starting to hear demands that the local chief of police and prosecutor be excluded from the investigation — which I think is a bad idea. In effect, certain people are demanding a kind of bi-racial justice system, in which there are different investigative processes depending on the races of the alleged victim and the accused.
Just moments ago I read a news report stating that officer Wilson suffered a facial fracture during the altercation with Brown. At this point I don’t have a lot of confidence in that report, but we should know relatively soon whether or not it is true.
They want the chief of police and prosecutor removed so they can bring in a special prosecutor of their choosing – as Angela Corey did in the Trayvon case. And they are also saying they “just want an arrest.” Why? Because Crump and company (Brown’s parents, et al) cannot file civil suits without someone being arrested. At least this is what I read. Can any attorneys here confirm that? (Jeez, I sound like Ryan Reilly – rubber bullets, anyone?)
An example. If I have a hose that leaks water all over the sidewalk. If it freezes over and someone slips into the street where he is killed by a car, you can be sued without an indictment.
An indictment isn’t necessary, it just helps.
The Chump has seen the $$$$ potential and now Brown’s mother, who did shed real tears is shedding crocodile tears in front of the cameras because she now has $$$$ in her eyes.
Just like in the Martin-Zimmerman trial the libs and blacks got the original investigator, the police chief and the prosecuting attorney all fired and replaced them with their “Own” people. They got a judge from hell who would not allow any information on Martin that might shake the image that he was a little kid angel. By getting rid of all of the original team the libs were able to do away with a grand jury which probably would not have indicted Zimmerman. Now that a$$holder is in charge we can expect the same procedures. No grand jury, restriction of evidence on Brown’s character, appointing a judge that they hand pick to keep out any prejudicial evidence and the control of media as to what they get to print or video.
Maybe this is just my perception, but this story went from 0-60 in just hours, whereas the Zimmerman think took weeks to develop.
I think that makes a lot of difference. Too many people have been following this too closely to recreate Zimmerman/Martin, and there is too much stink for a self-serving pol to feel good about getting close to it. Race-hustlers, yes.
You obviously haven’t been watching the 24/7 coverage. It’s just Zimmerman on steroids.
I think you misunderstand what Rags is saying here.
The race-baiters were quick off the mark to cause trouble and that is a distinct difference.
However, as time goes on there are too many similarities to ignore.
First, you’re right. I won’t watch 24/7 “news” because I know how vapid it becomes when idiots are vamping on camera.
But I see some very real differences, bad and good, here. For one thing, bsNBC has not had a chance to distort a recording of the officer as they did with Zimmerman, and the conservative press has been pushing back early and effectively (for the most part…I have some real problems with some of my favorite conservative writers [but that will wait]).
I think each of these incidents is its own.
I agree Rags, while I do see some similarities the huge difference is that the race hustlers didn’t have time to get their ground game organized. Which is why things are moving much faster here and why parts of the narrative are collapsing so quickly.
Also, there are actually several issues here that are getting mixed up and muddled together.
1. Officer involved shooting of Michael Brown, which must be investigated as any officer involved shooting should be.
2. The possible strong armed robbery of a local store by the man who was shot by the police. This is an entirely separate issue and investigation. It only enters into the shooting investigation in 2 or 3 ways that I can see.
a. First it brings into doubt the credibility of Browns friends “eyewitness” account since he would be an accomplice he has every reason to lie.
b. Second it does give a “reason” to why Brown may have taken violent action against a cop that was trying interact with him.
c. It discredits the narrative of Brown as the innocent angel.
3. Peaceful protesters who are rightfully seeking answers regarding the shooting of Brown. These people are there, unfortunately they are getting overshadowed by the folks I will mention in number 4.
4. The pot bellied savages that seem to think that looting, burning, and flinging Molotov Cocktails is behavior suitable for a civilized society. I also include the agent provocateurs from such Utopian areas like Chicago and New York in this category
5. The police response to the demonstrations and rioters.
All of these things are getting bundled into one huge issue and while they are somewhat connected there still needs to be a degree of separation.
Too many people have been following this too closely to recreate Zimmerman/Martin,
Hope that’s true. Over the objections of Eric Holder’s corrupt DOJ, the strong-arm robbery video went public, and so have some witness stories about the struggle in the police car, and the frontal-bullet autopsy. It will be much harder for politicians and their media poodles to foist the ‘evil cop’ vs ‘pure angelic teenager’ Narrative which the Zimmerman case was saddled with.
But the media is doing its best to shove public opinion in the same direction, despite the counter-evidence against it. And Obama and Co. haven’t even begun with their Narrative and lawfare, whatever they might be.
Ragspierre writes: “Too many people have been following this too closely to recreate Zimmerman/Martin . . . ”
I hope so.
With the Martin case the Left was largely In control of the narrative for the first couple of months, with only a handful of blog sites — Legal Insurrection, Conservative Treehouse, and a few others — presenting an alternative narrative.
Unlike the Martin case, this time the Scheme Team playbook is already known. This time we can anticipate their moves and actually respond to them in advance.
Also important is that the strong arm robbery, committed just minutes before the shooting, rather tarnished Michael Brown’s halo, making it much more difficult for the Brown family legal/public relations team to trayvonize Michael Brown. I’ve even heard a couple of TV news talking heads say negative things about Brown. With Trayvon Martin that was virtually unheard of.
Perhaps most important is George Zimmerman’s acquittal. I think many people now understand that there can be a huge difference between what the Scheme Team says about a case and the actual facts of the case.
But Zimmmerman had a very good story, putting his claim of self-defense in a reasonable light, and he gave that story to the police immediately, without even waiting to lawyer-up.
Similarly, the story AB gave here isn’t a bad one at all so far as providing a skeleton to hang a self-defense case on. And if the police had released that story a week ago, the race-hustlers might never have even gotten their fantasies off the ground.
But the police didn’t offer that story while it might have done some real good. And one doesn’t have to be a race-baiter to wonder why they didn’t.
Unfortunately, there is also a similarity to the Wafer case, in which Wafer claimed that he didn’t know there was a round in his gun, damaging his later claims of self defense. And that is the claim that Wilson was unaware that the man he shot was a suspect in the earlier store robbery. Perhaps the police have the documentation to make that story go away; perhaps they don’t.
Tom you need to quit looking for instant gratification and start looking for justice. The rioting and looting are no reason to short circuit the justice system. In fact they should make us look harder at insuring justice isn’t short circuited. Releasing the officers narrative early could have resulted in changing witness statements. It could have also been used by the race baiters to build a narrative like they did in the Zimmerman case. Remember their narrative couldn’t hold water until the mayor released the 911 tapes. Releasing info during an active investigation does more harm than good.
The police couldn’t release Wilson’s story right away, because I’m sure he didn’t give it to them right away. Unlike those chumps Zimmerman and Wafer, he knew that no matter how innocent he was he should keep his mouth shut until he could talk to a lawyer, and then only say what his lawyer told him to.
Similarly they took days to release the robbery video because it took them days to get it, since the store refused to give it up; and then the DOJ told them not to release it, so it would have taken some time to decide to defy them.
Actually, I believe they have had the robbery video from day one, I keep seeing people saying that the store wouldn’t give it up but I haven’t been able to find proof of that. There have been reports that the DOJ was trying to keep the police from releasing the video.
I would think that the responding officer would use good investigative technique and ask for the video and that the store owner probably gave it to him as any responsible and reasonable person would.
Unfortunately, there is also a similarity to the Wafer case, in which Wafer claimed that he didn’t know there was a round in his gun, damaging his later claims of self defense. And that is the claim that Wilson was unaware that the man he shot was a suspect in the earlier store robbery
That’s nonsense. Wilson didn’t know that when he told Brown and Johnson to get out of the road. He certainly knew it when the confrontation took place. There’s never been any suggestion that he didn’t.
A very sobering post. So star witness Dorian Johnson may actually be co-felon Dorian Johnson who could be looking at felony assault on a police officer and felony murder on Big Mike Brown. I think his lying narrative will support charges as Brown’s partner and accomplice. But Dorian Johnson is entitled to a presumption of innocence until such time as he is convicted of wrongdoing as I am sure the “No Justice, No Peace” mob will urge. The prominence and deference this mob receives is embarrassing since their posture is essentially civil rights for me — not for thee.
“Dorian Johnson is entitled to a presumption of innocence”
But not the presumption of believability.
I read somewhere that recently he admitted ripping of the store in concert with Martin.
So much for innocence, if true.
I posted this in the tip section, but things seem to be getting tenser now.
Another police shooting: http://fox2now.com/2014/08/19/officer-involved-shooting-in-north-st-louis-2/
Fortunately, I am not in charge. Otherwise, there would have been a lot more officer involved shootings. I would have quelled the riots (not the peaceful demonstrations) with shotguns. There would have been lots of dead rioters on the first night of rioting.
I fully support peaceful protest. I would not tolerate looting.
As your co-commander I would have recommended sniper teams with the immediate “Green Light” anyone holding a Molotov Cocktail.
With rubber bullets!
(Sorry, I’m not meaning to make light of this man’s death, just shaking my head at the “real media” once again.)
Once again they show they have little knowledge and no understanding.
“why not shoot him in the leg”
The officer did even better: He shot him in the arm. Four times. 🙂
Followed the Zimmerman trial on this site and have just returned. It appears that some intelligent people that think like me post here so I might post if I can think of anything intelligent to post. This appears to me that the lynch mob has formed and no one in the main stream media has the courage to even remotely suggest that this was a justifiable homicide in self-defense. I sometimes want to scream at my TV because reporters/interviewees seem so incredibly unbelievable. Why is what I believe to be the correct narrative so hard to believe?
I appreciate most of the comments and the people that take the time to post here. Thanks.. many times your insight gives me hope.
Thanks especially to Mr. Branca for such a good summary, one even a civilian can appreciate.
Did anyone else notice that the Browns have one upped the ante on the Martins and resorted to using pictures of Brown when he was in diapers on their memorial shirts?
I don’t win my running bet with a buddy until the sonograms come out. 🙂
Still laughing even with a puddle of milk on my desk.
That is our Andrew, wonderfully abrasive in the most subtle ways, lol.
Further, and more pragmatically, it is worth asking why the normal measures of the rule of law and due process will have been short-circuited in the case—just as they were in the Zimmerman case, and innumerable others. Who benefits from such blatant violation of our legal norms?
The misinformation cascade is in full bloom in the editorial cloisters of the Seattle Times. Even as late as today, with public knowledge of the store video, some eyewitness stories and the frontal-bullet autopsy, the Editors still cling to The police shooting of an unarmed teen near St. Louis… while denouncing individuals who tweet real-time information during law enforcement episodes.
It’s not hard to think that said Editors would like to control the story up to the last possible minute before the facts of the event become clear – solely to ensure that their interpretation of the event becomes properly embedded in the public brain. The facts be damned.
Shades of Baghdad Bob come to mind.
“You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid.”
– Rahm Emanuel
Truth? Facts? heck no. That takes away from the “crisis”.
We live in an age of propaganda
Y’all hear on the national news that a Houston LEO was shot to death today?
Rags – no I didn’t hear about that. Was he shot by an innocent young “teen” who was on his way to college?
No, he killed himself. Which explains why it is not national news.
“A Houston Police officer has died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound”? That one?
Yep. You hear about it anywhere but here? Any national media?
Breitbart had it but apparently deleted their post after it turned out he killed himself. To be fair, not a lot of police suicides make national news.
How is that “fair” when Mr. Brown is the cause of the month?
Or how is he more important than any of the dozens of kids killed in Chicago in the last 90 days?
They’re not unusual.
Especially when you also count all the “accidental” deaths while cleaning their guns.
Understand and agree wholeheartedly.
Not ‘was shot’ – shot himself.
The scheme team hard at work:
Getting real trayvonny, isn’t it?
This is all about getting their “Stacey Koon” case. The one politicians can use to prove to blacks they are “down with the cause.”
We in police work knew this was coming since 2008. They tried Cambridge, then literally created Zimmerman out of whole cloth to make it work of the 2012 election to swing Florida. Now this is for the 2014 midterms. Holder intends to not make the same mistake as Zimmerman. He won’t let any local agencies control the investigation or the release of evidence. You think Corey in Florida was bad (I live there), Holder will make her look like a piker! And shame on any professional FBI agent who follows any orders to suppress evidence that doesn’t fit the narrative.
The level of evil and corruption that drives people like Obama and Holder is mind boggling, ideological madness.
What people don’t get is what they are trying to do won’t divide America between races, but between haves and have nots. The Makers vs the Takers. And it will be violent.
All nations have suffered this, Russia, China, France (the French revolution).
The elites think they can control it to their advantage, and they are wrong. The gated communities and the private security will last for only so long. As the Left is realizing in Ferguson, once there is blood in the water EVERYBODY can be the next victim.
Here’s another dandy of a case going on right now.
Maybe Andrew will give it a look when he has a minute.
What bugs me most is that charges have not been brought against Dorian yet. According to witness testimony, Dorian was helping Micheal try to disarm the officer. That’s attempted murder on top of the burglary he participated in.
By all rights, he should be in handcuffs on his way to a jail cell a week ago.
Unconfirmed rumor of a plea deal with Dorin; Dorin is recanting and now stating that Brown did go for Wilson’s gun and that Brown hit Wilson and was taunting him before he rushed him, which was after he broke Wilson’s eye socket.
The injury is considered very serious.
Forgot the link: http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2014/08/19/breaking-report-dorian-johnson-recants-media-statement-tells-authorities-big-mike-did-try-for-officers-gun-acquittal-probable/
There is also a report that he is wanted else where on a different issue, so the may just be waiting to see what that is about as well.
Thank you, Andrew for the excellent write-up. I knew I wasn’t the only one noticing the similarities in these 2 cases. Looks like most of the loyal L.I. Readers were also already there…
I don’t know how far-flung this might be but with so many legal minds here I can’t think of a better place to ask this question (pretty sure I know the upshot of the answer but still curious how we might get there…)
With all the federal resources being focused and spent on this one case- does this invite a subsequent (perhaps class-action) suit against the Feds for a real or perceived negligence of attention to a homicide which happens in someone else’s community?
Equal protection clause, right?
-This Person was killed here and has the full force of the FBI investigating it.
-Why doesn’t My Person who was killed over There warrant the same resources devoted to him?!
-Perhaps Justice could have been realized if we had 40 FBIs on This case, too.
The courts have already decided the citizens have no right to police protection and can’t sue because of a failure of the police to provide it.
Unlike Zimmerman, Wilson’s initial legal costs if any will be borne by the department or the union. Wilson will not be financially ruined by this. Wilson won’t get railroaded out of town either.
On another note, I’ve read unconfirmed reports that Wilson suffered a “blown out eye socket”. If true it is shameful that the media isn’t reporting it, because that’s a very dangerous injury that could cause permanent eye damage or blindness.
I’ve read that one in eight suffering such an injury dies.
Who benefits from such blatant violation of our legal norms?
It should be obvious who benefits: the Democratic Party. Don’t lose sight of what this is all about — raising black turnout in November. It’s exactly the same as the Trayvon Martin™ outrage two years ago; it almost didn’t matter what happened to Zimmerman, the point was to get black voters full of outrage, and feeling that the KKK would be taking over if they didn’t turn out and vote.
The Governor of Missouri has joined the lynch mob, calling for a “vigorous prosecution” of Darren Wilson. Nice for all Missouri police officers to know that if they land in a tough spot their governor will publicly condemn them before the grand jury hears the case. I understand that event begins today.
Missouri Lt. Gov. has condemned Nixon’s pre-judging investigation of shooting.
Link please? Can’t find anything about this online.
“Misinformation Cascade” great term.
There’s a whole field of study active now covering the topic of such cascades, diffusions, limits of influence. Driven by the intense dynamics of the internet social networks.
For example a paper “Limiting the Spread of Misinformation in Social Networks” from Spring 2011 uses terms of art such as “competing campaigns in a social network”, “influence limitation”, “a set of likely to have been infected nodes”, “influential users”, “early adopters”, “influence maximization problem”.
Or an ACM workshop from this February on “Diffusion Networks and Cascade Analytics” in New York, where the online brochure notes: “Diffusion of various types of behavior, information, rumors, ideas and infectious diseases are all instances of stochastic processes that occur over the edges of an underlying network. A contagion appears at some node of a network and then spreads like an epidemic from node to node over the edges of the network, creating a cascade. ”
Further they go on: “Diffusion and cascades have been studied for many years in sociology, and different theoretical models have been developed. However, experimental validation has been always carried out in relatively small datasets. In recent years, with the availability of large-scale network and cascade data, research on cascading and diffusion phenomena has aroused considerable interests from various fields in computer science.”
Twitter especially provides a huge, detailed, and fast set of data, and the ready ability to track cascades accurately through society.
In my brief look see via Google in the last few minutes I am however surprised NOT to have seen the terms “avalanche” and “catastrophe theory” pop out in this regard. To me I think the model of a snow-covered mountain being ripe for a an avalanche applies, ESPECIALLY due to the priming and preparation of the underlying active elements in our modern day social snowy mountain — hat being how various elements in society have been trained, cultured, and inculcated to respond to social and political events of various types, and how the politics of an Obama-Alinsky is all about creating unstable piles of social snow on top of society. I guess that kind of modeling will come about over the next score of years.
Nor is is just a cascade, for a cascade is a passive dynamic or at least fully-internal dynamic. No, this is very much DRIVEN EXTERNALLY. In my engineering school and physics lad days we were taught that such dynamics are FORCED.
And the driving forces are largely ones WE ARE PAYING FOR in taxes and in vicious devaluation of all classes of money and asset, where that devaluation is caused by regulatory impairments of those monies and assets, or by regulatory or legislative dilution of those assets, for example dilution of value of our labor wage hours by massive import of cheap outside labor, or the many kinds of dilution the Federal Reserve and US Treasury have, are and will apply to dollars and dollar-like stores.
In any case, good strong terms to describe this modern public opinion flow.
Only 16% of adults in America use Twitter, and only half of those (8% of US adults) “ever” get news there — with news defined as “information about events and issues that involve more than just your friends or family.”
The firehose of tweets coming from Twitter may tease you into thinking you’ve got a huge dataset to play with, but the small minority of people who are either producers or consumers of that data are probably not an “accurate” proxy for public opinion and sentiment. Thank goodness.
Thanks Amy in Florida for considering the post I made and responding with a cogent point. Yet that point is misrepresented by the linked report you buried under it, and your own point is mis-represented in your last attempt at a rebuke.
You claim that “Only 16% of adults in America use Twitter, and only half of those (8% of US adults) “ever” get news there”. That’s one in seven, which is not not so bad as a sampling mechanism of huge populations, yet clearly you are trying to knock down the idea that any study using tweets as a data set is invalid because of a limited data set, and data set of the loony who are ever among us.
Yes, it is considered loony in society today to be in alarm over “chemtrails”, similarly to be in alarm over “UFOs”. Harmless fantasies both. Yet it was a tweet group concerned with chemtrails that you chose to use, buried as a link under a malicious snark “Thank goodness”, as a single data point used to describe the whole ensemble of every tweet. Well, that was unhelpful, scientifically speaking, eh?
Yet the very report you linked to to make your cogent point belies that claim of “looniness” and even any claim that Twitter fails to provide acceptable samples of normal society. You linked to Pew Research report titled ” Twitter News Consumers: Young, Mobile and Educated”. The leaders of the upcoming generation is one way of describing that cohort.
And that’s a perfectly acceptable measure of overall social information flows.
The race baiting liberal vote-getters are seeing this one slip away as the narrative against Brown continues to build.
They have to do something fast to keep racial tensions high!
Ghads. Sucky world we live in.
I’m no expert but if you look at the autopsy sketch I think we’ll learn that the forearm wound was a thru and thru that then struck Brown’s right eye. It also looks like the lower bicep wound was a thru and thru that then hit Browns right chest. That would put Brown’s arms up and out stretched as if he was attacking Officer Wilson.
While not directly related to the Brown shooting, this comment might help to show why there is so much distrust between blacks and whites.
Betsy’s Page( http://betsyspage.blogspot.com/ )excerpts a Paul Sperry article that shows how the Obama Administration is poisoning race relations (Sperry link included below):
“Paul Sperry details the sorry history of Obama administration officials deliberately exacerbating racial relations.
Less known, however, is the role of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, who’s made incendiary — and shamefully disingenuous — statements about race relations in America.
Last month, for instance, Perez told hundreds of black students in Washington, DC, that school authorities in the South recently had black high-schoolers arrested for infractions as innocuous as fashion faux pas and farting.
He made the shocking allegation during a July 15 speech he delivered at Howard University.
Perez recounted a recent visit to Mississippi, claiming: “I was looking at their feet and every one of them had an ankle bracelet — they were 14 years old — and that’s because they were all in the school-to-prison pipeline.
And I asked them: ‘What are you in for?’ One was, uh, wrong color tie. One was the wrong color socks. One was flatulence.
“I’m not making this up,” Perez insisted. “This is Meridian, Miss., where we still see separate and unequal,” adding, “We thought we had made progress [but] this is America” today.
Only, he was making it up. Meridian Public School District students have never been jailed simply for breaking school dress code, as he implied. That would be false imprisonment.
They have, however, been mildly disciplined for wearing the wrong uniform to school. Meridian, which is mostly black, has a strict dress code to prevent gang violence.
And some students do wear ankle bracelets to school — but only because they broke actual laws and were convicted of crimes by a juvenile judge.
Perez conflated the circumstances, even though he knew better.
Two years earlier, in a speech to the National School Boards Association in Boston, Perez described it much differently.
“I had an opportunity to visit Meridian and listen first-hand to students,” he said. “They told me of serving time in in-school suspension for wearing the wrong color socks. I listened to a panel of eight students, roughly half of whom were wearing ankle bracelets…Regrettably, students of color are receiving different and harsher disciplinary punishments.”
At Howard, Perez made it sound as if Meridian were run by a bunch of white, racist Bull Connors.
What he failed to mention is that the Meridian school superintendent, Dr. Alvin Taylor, and four of the five Meridian school board members are all black. So is the judge running the juvenile court.
Why would this Cabinet official say one thing to an audience of administrators and another to an audience of black students?
There’s only one explanation: To rile young African-Americans up about the specter of a still-racist America. (Requests to Perez’s office for comment went unanswered.)
Remember the argument we heard in 2008 about how electing an African American president would go far towards ending racial tensions in America? Well, that can’t happen if his administration sees racial conflict as a partisan tool to help elect Democrats.”
“I am a forensic pathologist assistant and medical investigator,” Parcells told FOX 4’s Shannon O’Brien.
However, that’s something of a dubious title according to forensic pathologist Dr. Erik Mitchell.
“That is a degree that does not exist in my knowledge, except in the mind of Shawn Parcells,” Dr. Mitchell said.
Dr. Mitchell takes issue with Parcells’ title.
“You cannot claim the title, because it is a formal, licensable position. You can assist somebody; in this way I can say, for instance, I have paid my taxes, so I am an assistant President of the United States,” Dr. Mitchell said.
Parcells admits he has no certification as a pathology assistant, but says his qualification comes from experience.
“I worked there as a forensic assistant for about a year. And if I remember correctly that was 2005 to 2006. That was under Dr. Young,” Parcells said.
That’s Dr. Thomas Young, the former Jackson County Medical Examiner.
“And that’s honestly where I gained a lot of my experience,” Parcells said.
Dr. Young responded with this statement:
“Shawn hung out at the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s office but was not trained by me.”…. “He has been representing himself in a way that is not appropriate by giving forensic pathology opinions when he is not qualified to do so.”
“He has none of the qualifications that are required. He has experience as a morgue technician, somebody who would move bodies around, clean up after an autopsy,” Dr. Mitchell said.
“I worked there as a forensic assistant for about a year. And if I remember correctly that was 2005 to 2006. That was under Dr. Young,” Parcells said.
LOL, a year of experience and he can’t even remember when that year was….LMAO. What is really funny is that someone would actually pay him to give an opinion and I am gonna go out on a limb and say that they pay him a lot. “A ffol and his money are soon parted” seems to apply here.
Also, the actual credible Medical Examiner that Crump and the Race Pimps hired didn’t actually preform an autopsy, from what I can find he wasn’t even actually present when Parcell’s played with the cadaver (since that is all he is actually qualified to do). The ME arrived 2 days later and just reviewed Parcell’s “findings”
That ME apparently is having some buyers remorse now because he was under the impression that Parcell’s was a credible practitioner. So basically any half arsed defense attorney will make them look like fools on the stand.
This is probably why Holder ordered a “federal autopsy”. He realized that not even the autopsy by the snake oil salesman was favorable and would be completely discreditied so he needs one of his cronies to mock one up.