Tuesday, December 02, 2014

I know, I’m late on this. But the grand jury decision concerning officer Darren Wilson is a crock. A big one. Here’s why.

During the facedown with Michael Brown
Officer Darren Wilson had several options
other than shooting. But oh hell, bang bang!
I’m not going to go into any depth on how a prosecutor can impartially indict a cop from a department with which he has to work on a daily basis.

I’m not going to go into why he didn’t stand aside in favor of an outside prosecutor with no axes to grind.

I'm not going to ask why he put Darren Wilson on the witness stand at all, much less why he put him there before anyone else.

What burns my butt is that the prosecutor didn’t ask simple followup questions as Wilson testified.

So  it started we had officer Darren Wilson in a car and he spots some Black dude jaywalking. I’m also not going to go into whether the cop ever before enforced a jaywalking statute in his life.

And let’s grant, for the sake of argument, that as Wilson and some – not all – witnesses say, Brown reached into the cop's car, and somehow or other got his arm in deep enough to reach down, across the seat, and into Wilson’s holster for the weapon. And let's also grant for the sake of argument that Brown had the strength of a make-believe comic book hero. And let’s also grant that Brown had indeed shoplifted some cheap cigars and straight-armed a store clerk who tried to stop him. And that furthermore, Brown was committing that most grave of all crimes, jaywalking.

And then let us grant that according  CNN...

Wilson told the detectives how he ran through in his mind what he could do -- mace, baton, flashlight -- before going for his gun. To the grand jury, he expanded, describing a "use of force" triangle as to what reaction was appropriate. 
To the grand jury, Wilson also described his fear. He told jurors Brown was so powerful that when he grabbed the 18-year-old's forearm, "I felt like a 5-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan." 
That’s where a prosecutor who wasn’t sleepwalking, phoning it in, or more probably making damn sure he wouldn’t tempt a grand jury to indict might have jumped in and asked a few revealing questions. Like these two:
  • “So why, officer Wilson, didn’t you just roll the window up on Mr. Brown’s arm? With a piece of glass jamming his arm against the top of the window space, don’t you think you could have bent back his fingers and made him let go?
Or alternatively:
•So why, Officer Wilson, didn’t you just step on the gas and drive a short distance away from Mr. Brown, so that he couldn’t reach your gun? Or are you arguing that his “Hulk Hogan” strength would have been enough to stop several hundred horsepower of police vehicle in its tracks?
I know, I know, former cop Darren Wilson said, “I didn’t want him to run away.” Which raises some more questions:
  • Is it worth drawing your weapon and firing bullets into the body of a human being to keep him from running away from a charge of shoplifting?
  • Assuming Mr. Brown had run, and for the sake of law, order and the future of Democracy you had to catch this sticky-fingered thief, couldn’t you have followed him in your car until police backup arrived? Or if he took shelter in a house, simply waited for backup and then gone and arrested him inside?
It’s interesting how prosecutors will withhold  or ignore exculpatory evidence, frame people in death penalty cases, and get a conviction at all costs in murder trials – all completely unforgivable but rarely punished crimes of prosecutorial misconduct. Yet in this case prosecutor McCulloch did his damnedest to exonerate  before a grand jury – which was there simply to indict – an officer on what was at the very least a case of coarsely mindless police brutality.

In my own opinion, Wilson is most certainly not guilty of murder in the first degree, possibly not even of murder in the second degree. There's no evidence that he spotted Brown and set out to kill him. But there’s a strong cases that Wiilson's actions and reactions in this case were tantamount at least to criminal negligence and wanton disregard for life.

Wilson according even to his own testimony, is a killer, if only a manslaughter killer. And what does that make so-called Prosecutor Bob McCullogh? I leave it to you to find the correct adjective. The ones that occur to me are unprintable.

1 comment:

Jean Clarkin said...

Thank you. I've been trying to have this conversation with a couple of my less thoughtful acquaintances and failing to be clear. Now, I can direct them here.
I appreciate all of your crankiness!