After two days of dog-related stuff occupying my evenings, time to post! And what could be better for a holiday than the news out of Ferguson, Miss: no indictment for Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Michael Brown.
We do have Wilson’s account of the shooting for the first time. Ezra Klein finds it unbelievable, but notes Michael Brown’s friend, the closest eyewitness confirms several details. The friend does not, however, confirm Wilson’s portrayal of Brown as a savage, belligerent thug who attacked him for no reason.
A lot of analysis has focused on the prosecution. Apparently he showed all the evidence to the grand jury and let them decide. Which is the way grand jury’s theoretically work, but it’s unusual in practice for the prosecutor not to present the case to get an indictment, if he wants one (more discussion here and here). So the assumption is, leaving it to the jury was a way to avoid indicting a white cop for shooting a black teenager.
Slacktivist points out part of the problem, that being scared of blacks or seeing them as threatening is part of the problem (tackling the same point here). As in this case, where just following the cop’s orders (show your wallet, get out of the car) got a black man shot.
Slacktivist rounds up some responses to Ferguson. Alicublog catches some delightful conservative insights (It’s the fault of the liberals. And welfare). And in this alicublog round-up, conservative John Podhoretz whitesplains that whites are just as scared of cops—don’t black people realize even whites are uncomfortable getting stopped for a speeding ticket? (Note to Podhoretz, worrying about paying a speeding fine is not actually as scary about worrying you’ll be shot).
And in the same vein, a coroner in Louisiana concludes that an 18-year-old handcuffed with his hands behind his back shot himself. That’s what the cops in the case claimed, and the inquest backs them up… despite the fact the evidence shows the kid shot himself in the front. While his hands were cuffed behind his back.
I’d planned to follow this with a more writing-related post, but time has again gotten away from me.
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