Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Michael Brown, Ferguson and Darren Wilson

Welcome to America, the land of the free. More like - Welcome to America, where a woman who aborts a fetus is considered a murderer but a white man who shoots an unarmed black child is not.

After the disappointing verdict by the Grand Jury not to indict Darren Wilson over his murder of Michael Brown, I read the full grand jury report including all the witness statements, autopsy report, toxicology report etc. After having read all that I'm even more confused by how they managed to come to the verdict that Darren Wilson was innocent.

I'm not wanting to offend anyone by this post and I know that not everyone will agree with me on my views but this is my opinion and the conclusion that I have come to after reading all the facts of the case and I just wanted to share it as I, among many others, am outraged at the judgment of the court.

First of all, the medical examiner on the case wrote a letter to the assistant prosecutor stating that "I have not yet been permitted to have access to requested police crime scene photographs and reports, to the results of the forensic examination of the patrol car, to the Christian Hospital EMS report of Mr. Brown and the emergency room examination of Officer Wilson, to the ballistics information, to the results of the autopsy hand swabs and fingernail clipping examinations, and to witness statements..... the above requested information is the usual information obtained to be able to correlate the autopsy findings with other information that is neccessary to permit full medical evaluation of deaths such as that of Mr. Brown." How is it possible that the grand jury managed to even reach a conclusion, let alone a decision not to indict, without even having a full medical evaluation taken place? Does it not seem strange that all this information was barred from reaching the medical examiner?

Secondly, the witness statements completely contradict what Darren Wilson said took place. I'm going to quote sections from the witness statements to give a brief overview of what was said, but I'm going to post the link to the report at the end of this post so everyone can read it themselves and get a full overview and come to their own conclusions. One of the witnesses states that "I see the police care in the middle of the street. And I see a young man standin'.... next to the front of the police door, on the driver's side.... Now the shot was fired out of the window, and then...Michael was runnin' down the street and Darren is chasing him... So, at that point, I turn, go to the next window...And at this time, I heard another shot fired while they were running. After that, he then turn, had his hands in the air, by the time I saw him have his hands in the air, he got shot I heard two shots... And he dropped down... So that's why I did not see him move towards the police at any time."
Another witness (I'm going to paraphrase what was said because there was a lot of back and forth questions and answers and it would be too much to write down, but like I said, I'll post the link below so you can read it for yourself) said that she saw Darren Wilson grab Michael Brown by the shirt and by the neck from his car, and saw Michael Brown struggling to get away and then she saw Darren Wilson point the gun out of the window and shoot. She never saw Brown's hands go into the car (which is what Darren Wilson said happened), and the fact that she saw Wilson point his gun purposefully out of the window goes against his statement that the gun was discharged after Brown tried to grab it. Furthermore, Wilson stated that he was punched in the face repeatedly, but I've seen the pictures of his injuries and he has a slight red mark on the bottom side of his face and that is it. It's barely noticeable. I wouldn't say it looks like the kind of injury you would expect after someone has supposedly been punched repeatedly. Michael Brown then starts to slowly run away because he's already been hit and Darren Wilson starts to chase him. He stops running cause he realises that Darren Wilson is right behind him and he turns around and puts his hands up (something Wilson denies) and is then shot a couple more times and when he is on the floor he is shot from above. I just want to say that with the first witness statement, after he is shot and falls onto the floor she runs to get her phone and runs out of her house to video what is going on so she didn't see him standing over Michael Brown and shooting from above. The autopsy report appears to correlate with this statement as well as one of the bullet entrance routes is through the "vertex of the scalp", meaning that it could only have been done from above as you cannot shoot someone through the top of their head (as in through the top of their scalp) if you're standing opposite them. 

As with all witness acounts, there is the possibility that they could by lying. But then again, there is also the possibility that the defendant is lying. And who has more to lose in this case? The witnesses, neither of whom knew Brown and therefore had no personal connection to him or his family and so it would seem strange that they would lie to bring his killer to justice, or the police officer who is facing a murder charge and is trying to prove his innocence. Furthermore, one of the witnesses has been in trouble with the police before and repeated several times in her statement that she would not risk being taken away from her family and going to jail by lying about what she has seen and that she doesn't even want to be testifying as she knows that they are going to make her out to be a liar, but she thought that she would do the right thing by giving her account.

If what Darren Wilson says is true, that he shot Michael Brown because he was running towards him and he felt threatened, why was it necessary to shoot to kill. He was shot 6 times. If you're shooting someone to stop them, you don't shoot multiple times and then stand over them and shoot them through the head. That is purposefuly shooting to kill. That is not what a police officer is meant to do. Lethal force is supposed to be a last resort.
There's many people saying that Michael Brown was a thief and that Darren Wilson was just doing his duty as a police officer by stopping a criminal. But the last time I checked, the penalty for stealing something was not the death penalty. No matter if he did steal something or not, he did not deserve to die because of it. There are so many 19 year old kids who do stupid stuff like steal cigarette papers from convenience stores, but they don't get killed because of it. I believe this is about race. This is a race issue.

For many people stating that Darren Wilson had no choice, and it was necessary for him to shoot Michael Brown, a 45 year old white man from San Diego was taken into custody alive in September after brandishing a gun and waving it around in a public park which contained many children. The police spent half an hour talking to him before shooting him once to subdue him, and then took him in to custody. That is what police should do. Remain calm and handle the situation in a professional manner and using their gun as a last resort to disable a potential threat, not shooting to kill an unarmed 19 year old who was accused of stealing something worth about $5. The discrepancy between the actions of the police in these two cases is crazy and shows the race problems that are still alive and thriving in the world.


Although there is a wider issue with this case in terms of the race problems and the actions of the police force, in particular to their actions towards black people, the main thing is that a 19 year old boy lost his life, and a mother lost her child. My thoughts go out to Brown's family and the people of Ferguson.

RIP Michael Brown.

2 comments:

  1. great article toni! very thorough!

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    1. Thanks! I'm going to write my follow up to it now!

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