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There is never an excuse for shooting unarmed suspects

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I was the police chief in Kansas City, Missouri, when an unarmed African-American teenager was shot by a cop for a non-violent issue. The result was a peaceful and constructive public dialogue - the opposite of what is happening now in Ferguson, Missouri, in the aftermath of the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.

I was then the youngest big-city police chief in America, having just arrived from New York City, where I had been a deputy inspector in the New York Police Department during a high-crime period. But I had no real honeymoon in Missouri.

Just a few days after I took charge, on a crystal clear day in 1973, a uniformed officer responded to a daylight break-in of a home. The officer raised his shotgun and fired at a youth running away. He killed Rory Lark, age 15, unarmed and slight, at 115 pounds.

The Kansas City Star filled its entire front page with an image of Lark, an angelic school photo of the youngster who looked to be a skinny 10-year-old. If you had a heart, you had to be touched.

If Lark had received any punishment, it would likely have been a week in juvenile hall. As a gesture of sympathy to the black community, I attended his funeral in civilian clothes. The officer was reprimanded and transferred.

Reasonable people, black and white, didn't want to hear how the law was complicated, or how a new chief was not responsible for the boy's death. So we waited through the night to see if the city would burn. It didn't. The next day, however, pickets appeared in front of police headquarters demanding, in none-too-polite language, that I should go back to New York.

Kansas City's black community wanted to know, Why had this boy died for a nonviolent crime? My police department responded quickly: He should not have been fired upon.

I reminded the media that I had announced in my first news conference as chief that I didn't believe officers should use their firearms unless there was imminent danger to human life. I planned to rewrite the firearms policy, I had declared, so that officers were officially ordered not to fire except under those circumstances.

As soon as possible, we announced the official new policy. It prohibited police officers from firing at unarmed suspects. We cut back on all police use of military gear. We invited local community leaders to help shape police responses.

In the wake of the new policy, police shootings fell dramatically, and crime declined as local leadership joined with police in speaking out against crime.

The Kansas City shooting, remarkably similar to Ferguson today, offers lessons we can learn.

First, except for highly unusual circumstances, police have no excuse for killing unarmed people.

Second, it is in Americans' national DNA that we be policed by civil, not military, institutions. So television and social media pictures of heavily armed police in military gear and armored vehicles are no way to gather public support. In Ferguson and across the nation, police need to recalibrate the use of deadly force - and return to traditional strategies of professional police forces working with the public to win support against criminals.

Body cameras, better training and discipline, new police leadership and other strategies are crucial. But it is clear that U.S. police must recalibrate current militarization policies, in which officer safety is paramount.

The fundamental police duty is protection of life. Officer safety should never supersede democratic policing, where police officers adhere to their role as public servants willing to take reasonable risks to protect and serve.

As Kansas City chief, I was responsible for maintaining order within my city, releasing to the public all legally permissible information through the media, the mayor and state and local officials.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, a self-appointed spokesman for an investigation of which he was not part, held frequent press conferences that only created more confusion. For example, when Jackson released the name of the officer involved in the shooting, he also released security camera stills of a convenience store robbery that he said are of Brown. Even though the Justice Department had asked the Ferguson Police Department not to do this.

Jackson also did not coordinate with Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, whom Governor Jay Nixon had put in charge to help defuse the situation.

Jackson seems to have foolishly tried to walk through a legal minefield, possibly releasing information that could hinder the prosecution of involved officers. This may also lead to charges of a police cover-up.

Yet, all the remedial steps now being debated focus on actions to take after a tragic death - not the deep-rooted causes that must be part of real reform.

Yes, the heat is now on Ferguson police. The real challenge, however, is to all U.S. policing. Police nationwide have drifted into the militarization of attitude and equipment as a strategy for controlling street demonstrations such as Occupy Wall Street, youth violence, heavy crime zones and drug searches.

This sort of militarization was intended for extremely rare hostage situations. The arrest of journalists and the use of tear gas in Ferguson is zany.

The major issue, though, is still the unanswered question: What justification do the police have for killing an unarmed suspect?

The answer is always: None.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2014.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

82 Comments
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There is never an excuse for shooting unarmed suspects

Yes, there is.

"I thought he was reaching for a gun"

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Except that a large number of police officers are shot with their own weapons. An unarmed person can be extremely dangerous, and many officers every year ar injured or killed by unarmed people.

I was once a police officer, and my very first arrest was on a Christmas evening. The suspect was a 30 year old drunk woman who was threatening her neighbors, and kicking cars in the street. She was 5 feet tall, and weighed a little over 100 pounds, but she was very violent, and would not be subdued. I had just left the Army after 6 years of service, and was in good shape, yet this woman was almost impossible to control. It took myself and two other officers to restrain her, the sergeant on the scene had two of his fingers broken. But once in the back of the police car, this woman broke a pair of Peerless handcuffs, and then knocked the back window out of the car, and was halfway down the street before she could be caught again.

It appears that the officer in this case suffered severe injuries, including a orbital eye socket fracture of the skull. This is not the kind of injury which is easily inflicted, and usually occurs during viloent car or motorcycle accidents. And unlike earlier witness testimony, the suspect in this case was not shot in the back as he was running away. This evidence strongly supports the officer's claim of self defense.

How does a "fractured eye socket" affect a decision to shoot an unarmed man at 25 to 30 feet away?

Because the "unarmed man" was not 25 to 30 feet away? The suspect was hit 6 times by gunfire. Have you ever fired a handgun? Do you know how hard it is to hit a man-size target that is 25 to 30 feet away even once, let alone six times? I was the highest qualified marksman in my department, I began learning to shoot when I was 5 years old, during my years in the Army, I always qualified as "expert", which is no easy feat. Yet even I could not easily hit a stationary susepct 25 to 30 feet away six times, let alone one which was moving, and it would be far harder if I had just had the skull around my eye broken.

The media have made this entire story into a circus, giving us testimony from secondhand or thirdhand "witnesses" when even firsthand witness testiminy is often not reliable. They have related this story in a way to increase outrage so as to increase interest and viewership. They shouldn't be reporting anything but the known facts in the case, and these should be reported objectively, and not in a way which assigns guilt to one side or another. It's quite shameful.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

IF an unarmed 300 pound plus man/woman was about to attack me I would not hesitate to shoot him/her. IF there was another way to stop such an incident, without killing the individual, then that non-lethal method could be chosen, but only if I was sure it would prevent my being killed. It is too much of a generalization to say that it is always NOT justified to kill an unarmed individual. That may be politically correct but it doesn't pass the 'reality' test. Things are not always so black and white (no pun intended).

8 ( +11 / -3 )

@lucabrasi

Nobody gets shot in Britain for approaching a cop in an unsatisfactory manner.

Unless he happens to be a young Brazilian electrician sitting on the underground on his way to work when he was shot dead by several armed cops because they suspected he was a terrorist.

More recently there was a young black guy shot dead by armed cops in North London.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

@turbotsat

Northern Ireland is, by definition, not Britain.

There may well be many specially-authorised operations using firearms, but they aren't the norm. Nobody gets shot in Britain for approaching a cop in an unsatisfactory manner.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

When the man is a bull of a man fighting you he is armed. Feet and fists can kill just as dead as a gun.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Brown was a big, 18-year old kid,

He was 6 feet, 4 inches tall, and 292 pounds. How many "kids" do you see who are that big?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

First of all, if the cop is being physically and verbally abusive, a punch in the face is what he has coming to him. A police department which supports physically abusive cops needs to be abolished. (God bless you, Attorney General Holder.)

This young man had just robbed a store, and beat up the cashier. It seems that this young man was rather abusive himself, don't you think? Perhaps he himself got what was coming to him?

How hard is it for a cop to be physically abusive when he is sitting inside his car, and the suspect is outside the car? Was he throwing donuts at the suspect? Let's not forget that the story so far is that the "gentle giant" suspect struck the officer through the open window of the patrol car, causing a fracture to the skull. This is a felony, if the officer orders the suspect to put up his hands, or to get down on the ground, and the suspect refuses, this is another crime. If the suspect moves toward the officer against the orders of that officer, and the officer has already been injured, then the suspect is stupid.

Secondly, escape to where? Brown was a big, 18-year old kid, known to many in the neighborhood. Where was he going to escape to? Hell, he sure wasn't hiding -- walking down the middle of the street. Was he on a cigar-stealing rampage? This is worth executing him in the street? He'd managed 18 years of life and wasn't noted for causing harm to anyone. (And I'm not willing to judge the video tape until I hear directly from the store owner.)

We already know that he wasn't stopped for stealing the cigars, he was stopped for walking in the street, which is an infraction. Failure to obey an order to get out of the street is a misdemeanor, and the officer has the right to arrest suspects for committing misdemeanors. Striking an officer, or resisting arrest with violence is a felony, and an officer is required to arrest suspects who commit felonies, not let them walk away and hope they can catch them later.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Here in Glasgow there is a problem with gangs and a knife culture. The police officers here are armed with (generally) a pepper spray or in some cases a taser. When confronted by a nutter with a knife they use their training to disarm said nutter. Should nutter be holding a hostage then that ramps up the situation and as a matter of course an armed response team are called in, but only if it is felt that there is a real risk to life. There is very little gun crime in Glasgow, so shoot-outs are practically unheard of.

However, for some insane reason police officer in the Highland city of Inverness have been authorised to carry side arms. Why insane? Well Inverness is so far down the crime stats list that it's like taking a bazooka to a darts match... over the top. People in Scotland are worried that this could be the start of a trend that isn't required. There are already armed police at major airports and armed response teams a patrolling in their cars, so there is no need for armed Bobbies. It's actually going to be discussed in Scotland's Parliament.

What I am dreading is that armed police officers are attacked and their guns taken, and so more guns ending up in the hands of villians, which in turn will lead to more armed police.... and we end up like America and you start getting scenes like we've seen over the past week from Missouri.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Reckless: "I think the police should have the same right of self defense as any civilian."

The problem with this is that they are not regular civilians, but instead are empowered by taxpayers to use force in ways off limits to civilians. Shooting at moving vehicles, performing rough physical arrests, etc. But abusing this license, such as the current case of the Rio Arriba, New Mexico, sheriff who acted like a street fighter when he was off duty, or the numerous police who were sentenced for the post-Katrina shootings, should be enough to end employment and special privileges from prosecution, which seems to be the tenor of the Ferguson protests. Maybe the scope of the weaponry such as second hand military gear and use of deadly force without legal consequences should be toned down to civilian levels, not boosted up to quasi-military levels. Civilians can use close range pepper spray, but can't indiscriminately tear gas an entire block for example.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Missouri statute on law enforcement officer's use of deadly force:

http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/chapters/chap563.htm

563.046. 1. A law enforcement officer need not retreat or desist from efforts to effect the arrest, or from efforts to prevent the escape from custody, of a person he reasonably believes to have committed an offense because of resistance or threatened resistance of the arrestee. In addition to the use of physical force authorized under other sections of this chapter, he is, subject to the provisions of subsections 2 and 3, justified in the use of such physical force as he reasonably believes is immediately necessary to effect the arrest or to prevent the escape from custody.

The use of any physical force in making an arrest is not justified under this section unless the arrest is lawful or the law enforcement officer reasonably believes the arrest is lawful. A law enforcement officer in effecting an arrest or in preventing an escape from custody is justified in using deadly force only

(1) When such is authorized under other sections of this chapter; or

(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; or

(b) Is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon; or

(c) May otherwise endanger life or inflict serious physical injury unless arrested without delay.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@zichi

To be fair, he didn't "approach" the police, he was targeted as a result of gross incompetence and paranoia.

I'm not particularly out to defend Brit cops; I've seen at first hand their stupidity and brutality too clearly for that.

I'm just saying that, say, if a drunk or drugged bloke runs at your average copper in Manchester or Leeds or wherever, wielding a knife, he'll be taken down with a punch or a kick, not with a bullet to the head, which seems to acceptable in other countries.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

if the cop is being physically and verbally abusive, a punch in the face is what he has coming to him

oh dear ...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You could answer your first three questions by reading my post speculating on why Ferguson police didn't mention it sooner.

You could answer your last question by imagining yourself going after a violent suspect immediately after being hit hard enough to have your eye socket fractured.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

British cops don't need guns to take down unarmed suspects. I doubt American cops are congenitally less able to fight than Brits, so leave the gun in its holster and use the fists the good Lord gave you. Cowards.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

never say never. of course there are situations where its justified in shooting an unarmed suspect. was this one of them? no video so we'll never know for sure. the cops will tell one story and the friend will tell another story. both have conflicts of interest so there will always be questions as to whose telling the truth.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@turbotsat

Wow... We're obviously on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to criminal justice.

But you make your case well and don't resort to insults. It's been a pleasure... : )

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Well in the Ferguson case you have an officer with a good record and I recall no prior shootings who alleges that a hulking 250+ pound man (not little boy) starting punching him as he was getting out of his car, and the officer is now in the hospital with broken eye socket. I can't really say the officer should just take this abuse. The larger issue is why a large part of the US population cannot assimilate in a meaningful manner in a civil society.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@lucabrasi

Thanks, you too :) ...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

An injured eye socket is no excuse to murder someone.

Injured? What's a broken leg to you? A scratch?

6'4", 292lbs, slugging you in the head, grabbing for your gun, leaving the scene of a crime (it's a crime you know to assault ANYONE) come back in a threatening manner, and I have no right to defend myself with my weapon?

Dude your comments ring true of a keyboard commando and not one who has ever been in a situation where you feared for your life.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The officer was reprimanded and transferred.

... this is all that needs the change. Police officers who clearly and blatantly use lethal force where it is not absolutely necessary are murderers hiding behind a badge, and need to be treated as such.

I'm not going to try and lay down rules for precisely what circumstances constitute legitimate uses of lethal force, that would be up to a judge and jury to determine, but some unarmed kid running away? That cop was just too much of a lazy fat-ass to chase down the kid, so he decided (like a sociopath) to do what was easiest for him and take a shot at the kid.

Police officers need to be held to the same standards as everyone else. You don't draw your gun unless you can demonstrate a reasonable reason for needing it. You don't fire unless you have no other option.

Approaching a car with tinted windows? Yeah, that sounds like caution would be advisable. Approaching a car with clear windows and a couple of screaming kids in the back? Get outta here, if you're drawing your gun in this situation you're too paranoid to work in the police.

Firing your gun at some guy running at you with a knife? Fine, that's reasonable, but try to aim for the legs or arm. Firing your gun at someone running away? Are you lazy or just a sociopath? Get off your ass and run after him.

Drawing your gun while you're in a brawl? Go back to police academy moron, if the guy is so much bigger and stronger than you that you NEED a gun then you've just given them the perfect opportunity to take it from you. This situation is what your nightstick is for, or your tazer, or if absolutely necessary your legs so you can get some distance and then draw your gun (minimum 10 meters).

2 ( +4 / -2 )

He killed Rory Lark, age 15, unarmed and slight, at 115 pounds.

Using this to compare what happened in St Louis is like comparing a golf ball to a bowling ball.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

All of the four (so-far) independent witnesses have related this.

This is not true.

For black Americans, murder and terror (and the threat thereof) have always been the means used by the majority to keep them in check.

I worked in law enforcement in the "Pork and Beans" section of "vice city" for ten years, a neighborood which was/is almost entirely black. There were 7 officers which worked in my district, 4 of whom were white. There were about 30,000 people living in my district. I suppose us four officers constituted the majority which murdered and used terror to keep 30,000 people (many of whom are armed) in check? I never murdered anyone, I never terrorized anyone. Plenty of murders and assaults occurred, our record for murders was 7 in a single night. But almost all of these murders were people in the neighborhood killing each other over drugs, having affairs, or other reasons. There were three or four police shootings each year, at least one of which resulted in death. These shootings always occurred during arrest attempts. From time to time, tourists or other people would get lost and end up in my part of town, many were robbed and beaten, some were murdered, none of these unfortunate people were black. There was seldom, if ever, a night when gunfire could not be heard.

Needless to say, I got tired of my job. I got tired of the stupidity. Tired of arresting people who were continually throwing away their lives. Young men who rob a store with a gun to get $50 at the risk of spending a minimum sentence of 15 years, and who's only dream in life is to drive a nice car and wear a gold Rolex, but never once think about getting an education or job which would give them the income to buy these things. They risk 15 years to life in prison for committing an armed robbery, when in 15 years they could make enough money cutting grass or selling hamburgers to buy seversl cars and a pair of Rolexs. I knew most of the young men in my area by name, and had arrested most of them at one time or another, one I had arrested as least 10 times.

A few are lucky enough to escape from the "Pork and Beans", and go on to get an education and a real job. I knew a young woman with two sons (by two different men) who lived in a one room apartment with her children. She did not want them to spend their lives there. She worked double shifts at a coffee shop as a waitress, and kept her sons in school. She kept them out of trouble, and got all three of them into university. She was not terrorized or kept in check, except by her neighbors, who laughed at her for working, and not taking welfare. Her sons got little respect in the neighborhood for spending all their time studying, and thinking that they were better than the other young men who spent their days smoking and selling dope. It was a great day for me when I heard that she had moved to Tallahassee with her youngest son when he started his classes there.

It's quite easy to make judgments or have opinions when one doesn't have evidence or experience. Take a walk down NW 79th Street in Miami someday. If you go during the day, you might make it from one end to the other with only being yelled at, or having a bottle or two thrown at you. If you go at night, you probably won't make it to the end of the street, you'll be found in an alley or dumpster somewhere, hopefully still alive. If you do make it, your ideas and opinions of the inner city, and some of the people who live there, will be different.

There are good people who live there, I have been to barbecues and Thanksgiving dinners where mine was the only white face. But these good people also don't like what goes on in their neighborhood, they too are terrorized and kept in check, but not by the police. They are terrorized by the violent and irresponsible people who live among them. These good people do not see the police as oppressors or murderers, and they wish there were more than 7 officers to keep the peace in their neighborhood,

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Frungy: Turbotsat - the right wingers know they can't defend the shooting. All the physical evidence disproves the officer's claim that Brown was assaulting him at the time. So they right wingers focus on him stealing the cigars as if this makes it okay to kill him. It doesn't. Even if Brown was a mass-murderer the police do not have the right to be judge, jury and executioner.

I note how you have completely avoided discussing the physical evidence. Typical.

You don't have any physical evidence. All you have is news reports of presentations of evidence you don't have, making it 4TH HAND from the actual event, which you spin into a defense of a target conclusion you have already reached. The news reports are very sparse on original information. The family's attorney refused to release the family's autopsy to the public. The family's hired pathologist says 1 to 2 or as much as 30 feet away, and you say it HAS to be 30 feet away.

Even Baden, who conducted the family's autopsy, did not find the evidence you are finding. He was a defense witness in Phil Spector's trial, "reportedly paid $250,000" for that work, on a case where his wife was a defense attorney. He'd certainly be looking for evidence to support Brown's family's claim but he didn't find anything like what Frungy would like him to find.

Again, he wasn't shot for the cigar store robbery. The (alleged) robbery contradicts the claims that Brown was a gentle giant, provides information as to his mindset immediately prior to the shooting, gives him a motive to assault and escape the officer. You claiming others are claiming he was shot for it and then saying that shows how wrong they are is a straw man.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Baden

http://foxnewsinsider.com/2014/08/18/dr-baden-michael-brown-autopsy-contradicts-witnesses-points-excessive-force

Dr. Baden: Michael Brown Autopsy Contradicts Witnesses, But Points to 'Excessive' Force

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/did-michael-brown-have-his-hands-up-when-killed-by/article_f9904f19-dba5-58b4-ac4b-56b9bda29646.html

Did Michael Brown have his 'hands up' when killed by police? Private autopsy can't say

Baden said given what he knows, the shots could have been fired from at least 1 or 2 feet away or much farther.

“It could be 30 feet away,” he told reporters Monday.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@tubotstat

Well, this is where we disagree fundamentally.

I don't think a fractured eye socket (if it happened) is grounds for shooting somebody dead.

A cop shouldn't pull the trigger unless it's to save a life (whether his/her own) or that of an innocent bystander.

Again, British cops don't have the option of shooting people who attack them, but they seem to cope reasonably.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

According to Crenshaw, there was a struggle between Brown and Officer Wilson at the window of Wilson’s car in which it appeared as if Brown was trying to push away from the vehicle. Once free from Wilson, Brown ran away from the officer, at which point the officer began firing at Brown. Once Brown raised his hands and turned around to surrender, Officer Wilson allegedly continued to shoot, hitting Brown multiple times.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

We already know that he wasn't stopped for stealing the cigars, he was stopped for walking in the street, which is an infraction. Failure to obey an order to get out of the street is a misdemeanor, and the officer has the right to arrest suspects for committing misdemeanors. Striking an officer, or resisting arrest with violence is a felony, and an officer is required to arrest suspects who commit felonies, not let them walk away and hope they can catch them later.

And this justifies shooting them?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I just love right wingers. Until yesterday, it was "Don't rush! Wait till the facts come out!"

Now its: "Brown knocked Wilson's Eye Out!!!!"

'Cause Fox says so.

No honor. No shame.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@lucabrasi

And Britain, by definition, does not include Ferguson, Missouri, USA.

I wouldn't say "approaching a cop in an unsatisfactory manner" would satisfactorily describe "fractured the cop's eye socket", either, even if you're indulging in British understatement, because you're using a diluted description of Brown's actions to imply the cop's reaction was overreaction.

@yabits

That's right! Fight the Power! Accept no contrary information!

Where did I change my story? I posted Missouri statue on deadly force by office a while back, in a couple of threads, including this one. Felony assault on officer is violent felony. That's enough cause to shoot Brown coming or going, according to the statute.

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&authuser=0&q="darren+wilson"+"eye+socket"

About 711 results (0.09 seconds)

http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/chapters/chap563.htm

A law enforcement officer in effecting an arrest or in preventing an escape from custody is justified in using deadly force only ... 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 ... Has committed or attempted to commit a felony.

And the US Supreme Court adds the additional requirement that the felony be a violent felony. That would include felony battery of a peace officer.

If he broke a police officer's eye socket, do you think the rest of us want him to escape?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@turbotsat

I wouldn't argue for a minute that the British police are perfect. There are some thoroughly nasty, racist people in there who are attracted by the power and the uniform. As a big football fan, I've had plenty of experience with them on Saturday afternoons.

The point is though, that when somebody dies in custody in Britain, it's a scandal. When a policeman in America shoots somebody dead for "waving a knife", that's somehow acceptable....

0 ( +4 / -4 )

In USA, in 2012 alone 48 cops were feloniously killed, 44 of those by firearm.

@turbotsat

I don't think that this particular stat has anything to do with the topic "There is never an excuse for shooting unarmed suspects".

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@lucabrasi

It's an indication that the environment in Britain is much less wild than it is in US. And police here should go armed and ready.

Hit hard enough to break eye socket is hit hard enough to kill. And hitting a cop that hard is enough of a breach of the peace that the perpetrator shouldn't be allowed to escape. If he can do that I wouldn't want him running loose. Or even if he just tried to wrestle the cop's weapon away. Black white brown or green. So our opinions differ. Sometimes I think cops go too far and should be punished severely. As for the cases of Ida Delaney or Byron Gilliam. But so far, not in this case.

Re your earlier post, I also think cops shoot too much when confronted with knives, screwdrivers, vegetable peelers. But it may be that some of the dead were close to family members, cops, or other persons when waving their weapons around. Media tends not to report too many details on these, so difficult to tell.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Black white brown or green.

I've absolutely never suggested this is about skin colour.

Perhaps it comes down to how much someone values human life. The crazy, drunk, dirty old guy waving the broken bottle is somebody's son, maybe somebody's husband or father. The policeman who draws the gun on him needs to bear that in mind before pulling the trigger.

I'm sure that most cops, along with most Americans in general, would claim to be Christians. Maybe they, more than anybody, need to think "What would Jesus do?"...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

and the officer is now in the hospital with broken eye socket

No. There is no verified report that the officer is in the hospital.

In fact, the video taken by Piaget Crenshaw just moments after the shooting shows Officer Wilson pacing back and forth around the body of the man he just murdered. Neither side of Wilson's face appears to bear any injury -- there's certainly no sign of any bleeding -- and he never brings either hand to his face as most people would do if they have been injured.

He just paces back and forth as though he's not going to be able to explain what just happened.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I think the police should have the same right of self defense as any civilian.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The police need to understand, here and in America, that they are also civilians. They are not the military, no matter how much they may think they are... they are civvies.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I must of missed something because for sure there was everyone in the Area that was close had a cell phone and took video of the conflick but may be scared to come forward this was a big man and has friends or have already sold them because if they implicated the officer they would of already been on te Net. Something is not being told think about it and be honest with yourself

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thunderbird

Yep. American police think they need tanks because of the success of the NRA.

Which, BTW, 80% of America disagrees with.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What about knives or people with a lot of upper body strength? They should be considered to have deadly weapons as well, particularly if they are acting in a crazed manner. Ideally the US would not have guns altogether, but until that happens, I'm inclined to let the police do what they need to do to keep law and order.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Michael Brown’s death is a tragedy and my heart goes out to all those affected by it, this should not have occurred. The officer that shot Brown might boils down to ineffective or poor training on the part of the department and officer, but here is my problem, the very common trend among black America is that if a young black man is shot and killed by police (particularly a white officer) there is automatically racist intent with little care or concern for the facts and festering malicious plague that stands to corrupt our future into believing that all cops are like this.

Some of these policemen have the unique benefit of identifying police corruption, brutality and racism from a view you might not from a personal and professional point of view and know the difference. Police department need to teach the officers using the taser to wear it on their weak side forcing the officer to “cross draw” which is a very distinct draw and very hard to confuse with a strong arm draw (normal draw) the acts alone gives the officer those tiny fractions of a second to think which makes a huge difference when it come to lethal force, with information from this tragedy. If became standard training, a good cop doesn’t just learn from his mistakes, but he learns from all mistakes and trains to never repeat any of them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

First, it is not known if Brown actually stole the cigars. That is assumed from the reaction of the store owner. But if a theft actually occurred, we could not go by video tape alone, which is inconclusive. The store owner would have to confirm it, which he hasn't. If Johnson handled the stolen goods at any time, he would have been an accomplice. And the police have not arrested him or accused him of anything.

Ok, let's try this again, it has already been established that Brown stole the cigars, the video doesn't lie. No way, No how!

The other thing is that the shooting happened a very short time after the alleged theft/transaction. Did police recover the cigars? Who had them? Their complete lack of interest in Brown's accomplice (Johnson) seems very telling.

At this point, the owner thinks there's a possible theft going on and heads up to the front to block Brown. Brown, who believes he has paid for the product, isn't standing for this and moves the owner out of the way. Meanwhile, the employee is telling the owner (in his language), that everything's ok and that Brown has, in fact, handed over MONEY. How much money was handed over? Only the store owner can say. But the fact is that he did not report any theft.

The owner is not thinking anything, Brown was being a thug, pushed the clerk around and thought, he can defy and break the law.That was the mistake that cost him his life. No one told him to shove the clerk, no one told him to steal the cigars. Because of his actions, people started rioting, looting and the final straw, he lost his life. His fault.

What are you talking about? Where? He had them in his hand, the officer was already debriefed on that point. Now it's part of the crime scene and even if YOU don't know where they are, the police would never give the public OR media a hand in divulging what they have or don't have in their file of evidence. The police don't operate like that, NEVER. They won't even tell you if you are a suspect, even if you are. You need to learn more about police tactics and investigatory procedures

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If the store owner had said Brown had paid for the cigars, no problem, it'd be all over the news. And it's become a point of contention so you'd expect he would have spoken up by now.

Owner's had his attorney giving news conference so he's had ample opportunity to say that, and didn't.

His attorney did say that he didn't call in the report, a customer did. You got to figure that the owner has got to make some amiable statements, because his store is in the middle of a riot zone. He could get looted or killed for snitching. Didn't help so much because his store was looted later.

Here is PDF of the police report from the store incident. Including reports by witnesses (including store employee) on scene to cop on the scene, and cop's description of the events on video cameras. I don't see anything to support yabits' theory that the cigars were paid for. There are at least a couple of statements indicating that the cigars weren't paid for. I would paste the statements, but the PDF format is binary image not text, so I won't.

The jpg files are of the store being looted. Or the second jpg might be citizens protecting it. First jpg appears to be looting.

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Sections/NEWS/Ferguson.pdf

http://cdn.thewire.com/media/img/upload/wire/2014/08/18/AP29060525462/lead_large.jpg

https://tribkcpq.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/ferguson-looting.jpg

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The fundamental police duty is protection of life. Officer safety should never supersede democratic policing, where police officers adhere to their role as public servants willing to take reasonable risks to protect and serve.

Plain and simple cop job description that should be adhere before engaging. Thumb up guy!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@bass4funkAUG. 22, 2014 - 12:09AM JST

Brown was solely responsible for his own death.

I see that professional skills of some U.S. reporters match professional skills of some U.S. policemen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Note that the Rory Lark case really WAS a case where people should have been outraged, even though legal at the time. According to 1973 Joplin Globe article, Lark was running away during commission of a burglary. His two friends stopped but he kept running. He was shot by a black cop. The shooting was legal at the time, because officers could shoot fleeing suspects in Missouri back then if the offense was likely to result in prison time, so the cop only violated the department's regulation that firearms not be discharged to apprehend juveniles.

And Michael Brown's case would not be covered by the new policy McNamara himself put in place back then, "where the suspect is unarmed and where no crime of violence has been committed".

McNamara likely wrote his piece a few days ago. Recent news is that the Ferguson cop suffered a fractured eye socket in the altercation, that dazed him before he shot Brown. McNamara might change his mind on the case if he knew that before writing the article.

If Wilson did receive that injury, it seems that the Ferguson police chief should have mentioned it long ago, and maybe avoided a lot of trouble. But he already caught flak for releasing the store video. And WilliB or someone noted on comments to another article that there are reasons not to release all evidence to the public, such as avoiding witness collaboration before their testimony is collected.

http://newspaperarchive.com/us/missouri/joplin/joplin-globe/1973/11-22/page-9

... A county grand jury refused Friday to indict one of Chief Joseph D. McNamara's men who shot 15 - year - old Rory Lark who was reported fleeing from a house burglary Monday. ... (department regulation) "The discharge of a firearm is prohibited to effect the apprehension of anyone known to be or believed to be a juvenile unless the juvenile proposes a threat to the life and-or safety of the officer or officers. A juvenile is defined as a youth 16 years of age or younger." McNamara said there is evidence that Patrolman Williams violated this regulation ... At the same time, McNamara issued a new directive. It said that from now on a policeman is not to fire unless his life or the life of another is in jeopardy, where the suspect is unarmed and where no crime of violence has been committed. McNamara went on: "It will be the officer's responsibility to be certain that he never fires at a juvenile except when the officer's or another person's life is in immediate jeopardy, and then only as a last resort."

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I've absolutely never suggested this is about skin colour.

Sorry if I implied that you did. I was just thinking about yabits' rants.

"What would Jesus do?"

For me, if they locked the prisons down with felons inside and walked away, I'd like it, even if they spent the money saved on public sector salaries, whether Jesus would or not. I think sentences should be much longer, trials much more restricted and in some states shorter, and death rows cleared (and not by releasing the inmates). Three strikes is one too many (especially when it's actually sixth or umpteenth strike in a lot of cases). Two serious felonies should be enough for life without parole, or death sentence.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I've absolutely never suggested this is about skin colour.

Sorry if I implied that you did. I was just thinking about yabits' rants.

"What would Jesus do?"

For me, if they locked the prisons down with felons inside and walked away, I'd like it, even if they spent the money saved on public sector salaries, whether Jesus would or not. I think sentences should be much longer, trials much more restricted and in some states shorter, and death rows cleared (and not by releasing the inmates). Three strikes is one too many (especially when it's actually sixth or umpteenth strike in a lot of cases). Two serious felonies should be enough for life without parole, or death sentence.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

...in 1973....

Groundhog Day. Some things in America never change.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A class with discussion such as sangetsu003's should be REQUIRED for graduation from high school.

sangetsu003: We already know that he wasn't stopped for stealing the cigars, he was stopped for walking in the street, which is an infraction. Failure to obey an order to get out of the street is a misdemeanor, and the officer has the right to arrest suspects for committing misdemeanors. Striking an officer, or resisting arrest with violence is a felony, and an officer is required to arrest suspects who commit felonies, not let them walk away and hope they can catch them later.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I think the police should have the same right of self defense as any civilian.

That's right

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The article was written by a politician, which is what police chiefs are. They get their jobs as the result of political favors, brown-nosing, and back-stabbing. Most cannot fill out a traffic citation, let alone a police report (and I have in fact written these for senior officers who happened to witness a crime on their way home, or to the golf course). These sheriffs, police chiefs, and senior officers know almost nothing of what goes on in their communities until they read about it in the news. They spend all their time trying to find ways to spend the taxpayer's money to buy cars, equipment, or new buildings from their friends. The clown in the article above has probably not personally arrested a criminal since "Gilligan's Island" premiered on TV.

Here is what is probably going to happen. The Justice Department will launch a civil rights inquiry into the shooting, but any hearing will probably rule that "there is insufficient evidence to prefer charges". They will never exonorate the officer involved, because even if he deserves exonoration, the prosecutors will never admit they were wrong to investigate further. The officer will leave Ferguson with his family, and become an officer in another town far away.

The family of Mr Brown will sue. Since the city, state, and justice department won't dare to exonorate the officer, they will pay a seven-figure settlement (paid for by the taxpayers) to the Brown family. The Brown family's lawyer will get 40%, plus expenses, which will include lots of business-class air travel to Washington, as well as expensive hotel fees. In the end, the Brown family will be lucky to get 30% of any settlement, and that will be taxed heavily. They will probably use the left over money to buy new cars and other toys, all of which will be lost over the next two or three years. Five years from now, they will have no money, and their son will still be dead.

Eric Holder and President Obama will get a lot of credit with their party's voters, even though they did nothing at all to help them, other than to possibly taint the outcome of any real criminal case. Justice is supposed to be blind and impartial, but this blindness and impartiality vanished the moment Obama mentioned the case, and when Attorney General Holder decided to get his department involved without for the request of local agencies.

The media has had the most to gain from this story. They have kicked it and prodded in in hopes of getting a little more blood out of it. They have done a good job of stirring up the people to watch the news, Anderson Cooper flew all the way from Israel to Ferguson to cover the story, attract more viewers, and get more air time for their sponsors.

It is interesting to watch the political and business vultures ripping into this case to extract every cent of value they can from it. They are pouring as much oil as they can to get the story to keep burning. They would faint with ecstasy if a protestor or police officer was badly hurt or killed.

Such is the world we live in.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Unless he happens to be a young Brazilian electrician sitting on the underground on his way to work when he was shot dead by several armed cops because they suspected he was a terrorist.

@ Zichi That isn't quite the truth of how/why that poor guy got shot is it.........

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How much verbal abuse was shouted at the policeman while all this was going on? Does anyone know what the 18 year old said?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How much verbal abuse was shouted at the policeman while all this was going on? Does anyone know what the 18 year old said?

You don't shoot someone for swearing at you.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Also factor in, liberals think petty crimes should be forgiven, like everything else.

If I had to log all of your stupid statements, it would fill volumes. As a liberal, I actually believe there's a wide spectrum of options available to punish petty crimes between the extremes of forgiveness and public execution.

Yabits talks about the officer should talk nice Nice??

What does treating a citizen with common courtesy and respect cost? Who is supposed to be the public servant? Who is supposed to "protect and serve?" How do you serve someone by denying them basic respect? You seem to be advocating that authority be abusive, and that the abusive approach is perfectly fine. I can only wonder why.

Doesn't the habitual treating of people with disrespect -- instead of like human beings -- justify their feelings of distrust and unwillingness to cooperate? Doesn't that just make things harder for the police?

But we shall see if the officer was in the right for shooting Brown or if it was overkill and abuse of power and NO excuses from liberals,

We will not see that, thanks to Jim Crow era Missouri laws which make it very easy for law officers to deprive citizens of their lives with impunity. We well eventually see this in a federal case against the officer.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How can an officer who belongs to a police force where 96% of the officers are white have a sullied record in a community where 67% of the people are Blacks? Even if statements were given they would have never been logged.

The county autopsy was the first autopsy done and all they said was the teen was shot. Why? Because they are trying to use the autopsy result to concoct a plausible story.

You are telling me, this mean teen socked the poor officer in the face, and almost shot him, and this officer did not feel threatened enough to call for backup before pursuing the threat? A 'trained' cop of six years....hmmm.

What I can tell you is that one of the officer's crony is suffering from a bruised fist. Maybe not so bad seeing that eleven days have passed since.

This from one of the witnesses: Ms Crenshaw said that police had her footage after confiscating her phone following the shooting. I hope it is not altered. She should be able to say if the officer’s face was battered.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2728166/Video-shows-cop-shot-Michael-Brown-pacing-lifeless-body-immediately-firing-six-shots-teen.html#ixzz3B3Af4voh

Now back to reasoning. For the teen to get a shot at the top of his head, his head would have had to been bent at a particular angle. According to the independent autopsy report, he also had a shot to his right palm . A shot in the top of the skull, as shown in the autopsy, and the bullet in the palm, indicates someone, either standing or kneeling, head held down in submission, and hands in the air....surrendering.

The friend of the officer wasn't there. How is she then treated as a witness? The officer told his wife/girlfriend a story. The wife/girlfriend then told her girlfriend. What other story could the friend tell the radio station? The officer had enough time to think out what he would say.

Anyway, according to the friend, and I quote,

"Brown pushed him back in and punched him in the face, and then reached for his gun. The two tussled, Brown had the gun pointed at Wilson’s hip, but Wilson pushed it away before it went off in the car."

("Brown had the gun pointed at Wilson’s hip") Was Brown's fingerprints found on the gun? Where is that gun in question? Is it missing? Why even that confirmation hasn't come out? What you hear is that someone said it happened, with nothing to substantiate the claim.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Never? That is quite an extreme claim. I can think of many situations in which shooting an unarmed suspect is the only sane, reasonable course of action.

There is justifiable anxiety about the behavior of police. Police forces have become increasingly militarized in recent years. Whether it is the reporting of police wrongdoings or an actual rise in police wrongdoings, they appear to have become increasingly aggressive, with a pervasive attitude that they are the law, or perhaps that they are above the law. People should be worried when the police have military-grade hardware pointed at them. There is no sense in this.

But shooting a suspect who broke an officer's eye socket with a punch, tried to steal his gun, and then turned from running and charged the officer? Yes, if this is indeed what happened, then the officer should shoot.

And this nonsense that the police should not have released the convenience store footage because the Justice Department requested them not to? Whose case is this? Who is served by hiding information from the public? Why is the Justice Department intervening, and why should they have any authority in the case at all? This all seems highly suspect and sets a convoluted standard regarding transparency in a democratic society. The deceased's behavior may make a lot more sense if we know that he just robbed a store and assumed he was getting nabbed for theft. This bit of evidence would undoubtedly come out at any trial of the officer involved, should the matter go to a trial. The only people served in keeping that surveillance video hidden would be those who want to maintain a one-sided narrative about what a loving, kind, good boy Brown was. To maintain this charade, one might as well suppress a dozen eyewitness statements, the autopsy, the officer's injuries, and the forensic evidence from the scene, too. That evidence is relevant and important. People are rioting because they've been sold on a phony story that an innocent, unarmed, surrendering man was shot in cold blood. All the evidence is pointing to the facts that the man was engaged in an assault, had just participated in a strong-arm robbery, and was not only not surrendering but was charging the officer to assault him again. If this is true, then the protests are delegitimized.

So why is it that Eric Holder's Justice Department wants to suppress evidence that would help prove that these protesters have nothing worth protesting about?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Your problem is that you keep missing the point. What appears as racist is how the incident is handled by the justice system. Got that? Most blacks know that if they are involved in a shooting, they are going to jail. Period. But when someone kills a young black male (usually...but females are killed too), the justice system appears to treat the killer with great deference.

Then maybe they shouldn't be thuggin' and packin' and not getting involved with gangs or shootings, then they don't have to worry about the 5.0!

First, it is not known if Brown actually stole the cigars.

YEAH, he did. There is NO way on Earth anyone will follow you to the entrance and block you if you paid, NO WAY! Maybe in your world seeing a video of someone stealing is not really stealing. Not to get off topic, but there was a recent beheading and some people believe it was a fake, trick photography and orchestrated by the US. People will see what they want to imagine and NOT what's really on there.

That is assumed from the reaction of the store owner. But if a theft actually occurred, we could not go by video tape alone, which is inconclusive. The store owner would have to confirm it, which he hasn't. If Johnson handled the stolen goods at any time, he would have been an accomplice. And the police have not arrested him or accused him of anything.

And once again, you need to purchase another shovel. ROFL

I'm not even going to address the other wasted excuses on what happened at the store. The video shows Brown be thuggin' and pushing and walking out with a box of cigars, why was he stopped? I know!!! The owner wanted to ask for his autograph and Brown refused, so the store owner got crazy and jumped him and then he gave him a box of chocolates as a kind gesture. I got it now. ROFLMAO Yabits, your posts are funny and entertaining. Lol

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Frungy: Who cares if he stole the cigars? The right wingers keep on going on about this like stealing a few cigars is an automatic death sentence. Even if he beat the guy at the cigar shop bloody it wouldn't matter.

From the non-winger's perspective, it's the left-wingers going on about how stealing a few cigars does not rate a death sentence. Or jaywalking does not rate a death sentence.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

More 'news' on the Wilson's eye-socket:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2014/08/21/darren_wilson_eye_socket_not_broken_by_michael_brown_cnn_says.html

Looks like its nothing more than a rumor now. Which is funny, dont you think? I mean, if Wilson really had been hurt, don't you think his picture would be every where....? Y'know, to, er, make the case that Brown was One of the Bad Ones.

So lazy. So smug. So stupid.

The same people who brought you the Iraq War.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_use_of_firearms_in_the_United_Kingdom

In Northern Ireland, all police officers carry firearms.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorised_Firearms_Officer

In the year 2010–2011, there were 6,653 Authorised Firearms Officers and 17,209 police operations throughout England and Wales in which the deployment of firearms was authorised.[1]

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

@JTDan

I think what you meant again, was that unlike CNN and msnbc, FOX is just stating the facts, like it or not and the facts are, Brown was NOT an Angel, which is something you libs want to make this kid out to be, FOX never said, Brown WASN'T a victim, they are NOT taking sides, Like Don Lemon and Al Sharpton (which I still don't understand, is he a community activist or a news commentator? Gets a check from msnbc, he should do one or the other, but then again, having worked for that network, I'm surprised that they are still holding on, even with a distant 3rd rating) they just keep trafficking and many of the pundits are condemning the officer and still we don't have all the facts in. FOX has NOT done that. But the Huffington Post, MoveOn.org and other out of control liberal outlets want to hang this officer. Racist? Hmmmm, I wonder.... That's where your shame comes in. Makes me beyond ashamed to know some of these people!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If I had to log all of your stupid statements, it would fill volumes. As a liberal, I actually believe there's a wide spectrum of options available to punish petty crimes between the extremes of forgiveness and public execution.

Stupid statements? Ahh, that's liberal gibberish meaning, the holes you guys dig, ain't going any deeper, you reached rock bottom. You believe? Your opinion in this case is irrelevant. In the End, They don't care about you or me or any of our opinions. If you want to make it relevant, try and see if you can submit your wishes to Eric Holder and see if he listens, if he does, you will get my deepest apologies on JT.

What does treating a citizen with common courtesy and respect cost? Who is supposed to be the public servant? Who is supposed to "protect and serve?" How do you serve someone by denying them basic respect? You seem to be advocating that authority be abusive, and that the abusive approach is perfectly fine. I can only wonder why.

He IS protecting you, sometimes from yourself and you just don't argue with a cop. I have been on 27 ride alongs and I have seen a few times where people that have strong attitudes like you go up against a cop, ranting and raving about their rights and it always ended up the same way, the officer won and the argument was shut down. I advocate fairness, I get tired of hearing people like you making it seem that every cop is either bad, corrupt or racist and having a brother that's a cop, I do have a serious issue with that. Yes, I have seen and met cops that were total jerks, but you have that in EVERY profession, every one! I worked at NBC, the list of bad journalist would reach all the way to the moon, it doesn't matter what job you do, you will have some bad apples, but most of the law enforcement officers are good people and it's wrong for you to label them as power hungry wolves!

Doesn't the habitual treating of people with disrespect -- instead of like HUMAN beings -- justify their feelings of distrust and unwillingness to cooperate? Doesn't that just make things harder for the police?

The job of the police is NOT to be your best friend when things go wrong to ensure, enforce and uphold the law regardless if anyone of us had a bad day, it doesn't matter. Just follow the police orders and if you have a beef with the officer, then wait another day to file a formal report, but this slandering has got to stop!

We will not see that, thanks to Jim Crow era Missouri laws which make it very easy for law officers to deprive citizens of their lives with impunity. We well eventually see this in a federal case against the officer.

Yabits, you cannot say unequivocally that there will be NO justice. There will be, maybe not the way that YOU want, but there will be.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

But shooting a suspect who broke an officer's eye socket with a punch, tried to steal his gun,

No one has answered this: How was it that the police officer allowed Brown to get so close to his car in the first place?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The police had lied from the beginning saying that Brown stole cigars that he actually bought by showing a carefully edited verso of the surveillance tapes. They did this to some how justify killing a unarmed young man. idling ad beating none violent people is common enough to become worrisome ad it is unlikely that may officers well ever be brought to justice because they will only be investigate by internal affairs which has a vested interest in covering up any wrong doing. Corruption in our police forces has bee a problem side the day we first created them. I have friends who are retired police officers and they are shoved by what is happening in Ferguson. Mind you the violent crime rate has been dropping for 20 years thee is no excuse for militarizing police in our country.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

but here is my problem, the very common trend among black America is that if a young black man is shot and killed by police (particularly a white officer) there is automatically racist intent with little care or concern for the facts and festering malicious plague that stands to corrupt our future into believing that all cops are like this.

Your problem is that you keep missing the point. What appears as racist is how the incident is handled by the justice system. Got that? Most blacks know that if they are involved in a shooting, they are going to jail. Period. But when someone kills a young black male (usually...but females are killed too), the justice system appears to treat the killer with great deference.

Look at how the video tape of (alleged) Brown is handled by some: He's guilty of theft and a thug. But a murderer wearing a uniform, and we're told: "Let's not rush to judgment."

The police had lied from the beginning saying that Brown stole cigars that he actually bought by showing a carefully edited verso of the surveillance tapes.

First, it is not known if Brown actually stole the cigars. That is assumed from the reaction of the store owner. But if a theft actually occurred, we could not go by video tape alone, which is inconclusive. The store owner would have to confirm it, which he hasn't. If Johnson handled the stolen goods at any time, he would have been an accomplice. And the police have not arrested him or accused him of anything.

So here's an explanation of what is plausible - within the bounds of reason -- and might have happened: (At least it fits all of what we are seeing.) Brown is at the counter dealing not with the owner, but with an employee. Brown has put cash on the countertop and wants to see how much product he can get. It's possible there's some language barrier between Brown and the employee so he gets impatient and reaches over the counter to get the product -- and is viewed doing this by the owner. When reaching, he might have pushed some of the bills he placed off the counter onto the floor near the employee..

At this point, the owner thinks there's a possible theft going on and heads up to the front to block Brown. Brown, who believes he has paid for the product, isn't standing for this and moves the owner out of the way. Meanwhile, the employee is telling the owner (in his language), that everything's ok and that Brown has, in fact, handed over money. How much money was handed over? Only the store owner can say. But the fact is that he did not report any theft.

The other thing is that the shooting happened a very short time after the alleged theft/transaction. Did police recover the cigars? Who had them? Their complete lack of interest in Brown's accomplice (Johnson) seems very telling.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Who cares if he stole the cigars? The right wingers keep on going on about this like stealing a few cigars is an automatic death sentence. Even if he beat the guy at the cigar shop bloody it wouldn't matter.

What does matter? The evidence. Let's just take one small piece of evidence, the gunshot wounds.

Now the officer says Brown was assaulting him at the time he fired. That means he was real close, a 6'4 guy has maximum a 1 meter reach. Well, the gunshot wounds don't match that story. There are six shots at least. If Brown's arms were down assaulting the officer they're spaced more than a meter apart on a guy who was over 6 feet tall, IF Brown was standing over him reaching down to assault him in his car. Do a little experiment at home, put 3 sheets of A4 paper on a door and stand 1 meter away. See how far you need to move your wrist up from close to your body (without extending the arm, because the officer wouldn't have had space to do that) and you'll see that you need about 45 degrees of movement at least to cover a spread of a meter. That's just not possible without extending your arm or putting your wrist at an angle where the kickback from the gun would break most people's wrists. Also it just doesn't match the entry and exit wounds, at that sort of extremely close range a low calibre round would have punched straight through Brown, not deviated through his upper arm and into his chest or through his eye and out the top of his skull.

Also, if that's the scenario the officer insists on then why, after putting 3 bullets in Brown's right arm did he feel it was necessary to keep firing? I mean this isn't an assault rifle on full auto, this is a semi-auto pistol. 3 bullets in ANYONE'S arm will stop them, if only from the impact pushing them back. Because that's the way the firing must have gone, UP, not down. Guns kick up.

But let's be fair, the account that has Brown with his hands up also doesn't fit the evidence. The entry wound on the right arm and the exit wound through the right chest only makes sense if Brown's arms were down. What the wounds do seem to fit is a standard firing pattern at someone about 10 meters away. You see, when a pistol fires it "climbs" by about a degree or so each shot. At 10 meters that means that each shot is about 20cm higher. That matches the pattern of wounds on Brown's body perfectly. the first shot to the right arm below the elbow, climbing to above the elbow on the next shot (about 20cm on a 6 foot tall guy), climbing to the right arm just below the shoulder (exiting in the chest at low calibre rounds tend to), then the next shot to the chin (exiting through the next), and the next shot to the eye (exiting through the top of the skull).

The smaller distance between the final shots (about 10cm apart) and the first shots (about 20cm apart) reflects standard firing pattern as the wrist stiffens as at reaches the limits of its natural mobility. I've seen this pattern many, many times on the firing range. The 10m theory also fits the slight drift to the left of the firing pattern.

No other theory fits. A lot closer than 10m (like 1 or 2 meters like the officer claims) and the 20cm spacing is just way too big. Hands raised wouldn't fit the left-ward drift or spacing unless the officer fired three times, took a moment to stop, stabilise his weapon and then started firing again.

So the autopsy evidence strongly suggests that Brown was about 10m away, that his hands weren't raised, but where rather down. In short, both sides got some stuff wrong. What we can be sure of though is that with Brown being unarmed the officer definitely wasn't in any immediate danger with him 10m away and his hands down.

This was a bad shooting. The officer is a murdered. End of story. Anyone who's fired a gun before in their life should be able to look at the autopsy and location of the wounds and reach exactly the same conclusion.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Its a much more complicated problem than the unarmed shooting. Its white flight, no opportunities for poor and black, distrust of the police, reliance on the government etc.

Johnson tried to heal it, but it made it worse. The government is not always the answer.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You could answer your first three questions by reading my post speculating

No, turbotshat, I'll not take your speculation seriously.

You could answer your last question by imagining yourself going after a violent suspect immediately after being hit hard enough to have your eye socket fractured.

LOL! So, you're changing your story. Brown was no longer charging at the police officer. Brown hurt the police officer and the officer is taking revenge.

I've been injured in the face in sports accidents and I never knew at the time if I broke anything. Unless I was knocked out, I always still knew the difference between right and wrong. Descriptions like "fractured eye socket" are only used by dishonest people to color an opinion. An injured eye socket is no excuse to murder someone.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

@smith

Exactly. Nail on the head.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

There is never an excuse? Really? Blanket statements like this is what there is no excuse for.

A HUMAN is always armed. Especially males, even more so males who are large and if trained by experience to fight, armed as Well. A police officer is not required to take beating suffering extreme injury or death from unarmed suspects because liberals would rather live in Utopias. The officer could be a 130 lb woman easily killed by a thug like this suspect did to the Ferguson officer. So according to liberals police officers should be beaten or killed by thugs try o ensure no gun use? An unarmed suspect can threaten citizens also, we should allow citizens to be assaulted by suspects because liberals dont like guns?Ridiculous. It is situational. If there is a shooting it gets investigated. Officer gets jailed if the shooting is proven unjustified.

Otherwise if you don't want to be shot by police, then Dont commit assaults.

Exactly, well said. It's just that simple. If Mike Brown wouldn't have been thuggin' around the way he did, thinking that his size, he can can intimidate anyone and get in their face and NOT suffer any repercussions was sadly mistaken. Brown was solely responsible for his own death. If he were really smart, he would have respected the store owner and either paid cash or came back another day until he had the cash, but he took it upon himself to TAKE whatever he wanted and thought, NO one can stop him, but a bullet did, his violent actions caused his demise and yes, you are right. NO peace officer is required to be a punching bag for anyone. Especially, if you are confronted with someone that gargantuan. Also factor in, liberals think petty crimes should be forgiven, like everything else. "They're just cigars, c'mon man, what's up with that? Why are you trippin'?"

Yabits talks about the officer should talk nice Nice?? I had many times where officers yelled at me for something stupid or petty, like drinking in a car and smoking blunts when I was a kid, I never got an attitude, I respectfully apologized, showed my ID, followed the officers instructions, talked in a quiet respectable manner and got my citation and later he calmed down saw me and my friends were humble and we went our ways. Libs think that they can just go toe to toe and that will NEVER work on a cop.

I knew that night had my friends and I started to talk mess to the cop, it would have agitated him and escalated the situation into possibly something worse. Backing down doesn't make you a lesser man. Being a jerk does, being loud mouth and confrontational does. Many libs on JT try and try and try to justify Brown's actions as unjustified and the kid didn't steal anything, the video didn't show that. It must've been Republicans that used Final Cut Pro to make it seem like he stole something. The excuses are NOT and will NOT help the kids image as being what he was a thief and a thug. You have to be high, dumb or out of your mind thinking you can go up against a police officer that has a gun. But we shall see if the officer was in the right for shooting Brown or if it was overkill and abuse of power and NO excuses from liberals, Al Sharpton and the people out there or on JT will change ANY of the facts and investigation or the outcome of this situation (thank God) the system will sort all of this out. The officer has every right to a fair and safe trial and to be heard and stand before his peers in a court of law.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Turbotsat - the right wingers know they can't defend the shooting. All the physical evidence disproves the officer's claim that Brown was assaulting him at the time. So they right wingers focus on him stealing the cigars as if this makes it okay to kill him. It doesn't. Even if Brown was a mass-murderer the police do not have the right to be judge, jury and executioner.

I note how you have completely avoided discussing the physical evidence. Typical.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

What are they killing people with, then?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_police#Deaths_after_contact_with_the_police

The Economist stated in 2009:

“ Bad apples ... are seldom brought to justice: no policeman has ever been convicted of murder or manslaughter for a death following police contact, though there have been more than 400 such deaths in the past ten years alone. The IPCC is at best overworked and at worst does not deserve the “I” in its name.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

More indication that the US is not Britain.

US has about six times the population of England&Wales.

Wikipedia is able to list British cops killed in line of duty individually. Numbers such that from 2004 to 2013 there were 13 total.

(2013 - 1, 2012 - 4, 2009 - 1, 2007 - 3, 2006 - 2, 2005 - 1, 2004 - 1.) Five of these officers were not killed directly by suspects but collapsed during pursuit or arrest or died in vehicle accidents while pursuing or transporting suspects or prisoners. Eight were shot or stabbed or run over by suspect. One of these was shot while off duty, so not sure if he would be counted if in the US figures.

In USA, in 2012 alone 48 cops were feloniously killed, 44 of those by firearm. In 2011, 72 were killed, 63 of those by firearm. Stats not out for 2013 yet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_police_officers_killed_in_the_line_of_duty

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/leoka/2012/officers-feloniously-killed/officers-feloniously-killed

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/leoka/2011/officers-feloniously-killed/officers-feloniously-killed

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Where is this guy's LIKE button? I'd click it a hundred times right now.

There's absolutely no need to read all of the above comments except for the article itself. It's perfect!!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

When did "To Protect and To Serve" morph into "To Murder and Terrorize"?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Once free from Wilson, Brown ran away from the officer, at which point the officer began firing at Brown. Once Brown raised his hands and turned around to surrender, Officer Wilson allegedly continued to shoot, hitting Brown multiple times.

All of the four (so-far) independent witnesses have related this. None of them have Brown making a bum rush towards Wilson. All of them have Brown with his arms raised and trying to surrender, being hit and going down with his head lowered and receiving two shots to the head. No independent witness has come forward who claims Brown tried to rush the officer.

When did "To Protect and To Serve" morph into "To Murder and Terrorize"?

For black Americans, murder and terror (and the threat thereof) have always been the means used by the majority to keep them in check. Examine "The New Jim Crow" by Michelle Alexander. Few things are more frightening than the notion that someone who is supposed to be a public servant can summarily murder a citizen on the street and get away with it. If the incident in Ferguson happened at midnight with no eyewitnesses, the cop could have made up any story and that would be the end of it.

Because it has happened in broad daylight with multiple witnesses whose retelling of the final moments when Brown went down all correlate, it is made much more difficult to excuse the cop for his actions. Not that major parts of the system aren't going to try. We've already seen the character assassination of Brown as "thug." Watch for character attacks on the main witnesses, and all sorts of reports on how badly the cop was hurt.

Striking an officer, or resisting arrest with violence is a felony, and an officer is required to arrest suspects who commit felonies, not let them walk away and hope they can catch them later.

We don't know that Brown was being arrested. From what Johnson says, Wilson drove back and tried to assault Brown by grabbing his neck. Is the the first stage of an arrest process -- physical assault? Keep in mind that physical assault on a black person will be staunchly defended by many here. And the bigger the black person is, the more deserving he (or she) is of being assaulted. Anyone that big, they infer (hoping to strike a common chord with all who fear black men), has simply got to be dangerous.

And this justifies shooting them?

Of course not! And another young American who is not the preferred color dies in the middle of the street -- executed in broad daylight. "They killed that man for no reason," one of the witnesses to the scene is heard saying. This will only change when sufficient numbers of white Americans express unequivocal outrage at their own system. But they won't. Like slavery and Jim Crow had its defenders, so does the system that continues in their place.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

There is never an excuse? Really? Blanket statements like this is what there is no excuse for.

A human is always armed. Especially males, even more so males who are large and if trained by experience to fight, armed as Well.

A police officer is not required to take beating suffering extreme injury or death from unarmed suspects because liberals would rather live in Utopias. The officer could be a 130 lb woman easily killed by a thug like this suspect did to the Ferguson officer. So according to liberals police officers should be beaten or killed by thugs try o ensure no gun use? An unarmed suspect can threaten citizens also, we should allow citizens to be assaulted by suspects because liberals dont like guns?Ridiculous.

It is situational. If there is a shooting it gets investigated. Officer gets jailed if the shooting is proven unjustified.

Otherwise if you don't want to be shot by police, then Dont commit assaults.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Recent news is that the Ferguson cop suffered a fractured eye socket in the altercation

Bullshit meter >> pegged.

Why would this be "recent?" Did someone injure him at the station? Did he fall in the shower?

How does a "fractured eye socket" affect a decision to shoot an unarmed man at 25 to 30 feet away?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

If he broke a police officer's eye socket, do you think the rest of us want him to escape?

This is a moronically stupid question.

First of all, if the cop is being physically and verbally abusive, a punch in the face is what he has coming to him. A police department which supports physically abusive cops needs to be abolished. (God bless you, Attorney General Holder.)

Secondly, escape to where? Brown was a big, 18-year old kid, known to many in the neighborhood. Where was he going to escape to? Hell, he sure wasn't hiding -- walking down the middle of the street. Was he on a cigar-stealing rampage? This is worth executing him in the street? He'd managed 18 years of life and wasn't noted for causing harm to anyone. (And I'm not willing to judge the video tape until I hear directly from the store owner.)

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

There is never an excuse for shooting unarmed suspects

Agreed.

So why are drones used by the US? They kill the suspected target and any others who happening to be in the area, men, women, children, elderly.

Why does the US kill so many non-combatants?

There is never an excuse for shooting unarmed suspects.

-7 ( +10 / -16 )

So now the police are reporting that the cop who shot this unarmed kid was nearly beaten unconscious before the gun went off in the car, and then before Brown got out of the car after the shot and started calmly walking away before the officer demanded he stop and then Brown rushed him and he fired six shots including one that would be impossible while the man was standing and that he had already been beaten to the point he was going to pass out... oh wait, that makes not even the slightest modicum of sense. Now add to that when asked for evidence that the cop was beaten (and remember, to the point where he was going to pass out!), the police say, "Cameras and gear for collecting what would have been crucial evidence were not employed at the time" -- oops! Convenient!

Okay, then, how about pictures that would DEFINITELY have been taken by paramedics of the police's fractured eye and other proof of the serious beating he took... which of course is only coming out a week after riots started! BS! Completely and utterly!

-7 ( +2 / -8 )

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