The headline for the lead news story in RRND today reads: “MO: Grand jury gives cop killer a pass.” Obviously, the author of that headline thinks that the cop who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri on August 9, 2014 is a murderer who got off scot free for the crime.
Sadly, that’s also the inevitable conclusion of a lot of folks, many of whom took to the streets yesterday after the grand jury decision was announced to burn buildings and loot businesses.
Officer Wilson is a murderer, they insist. He shot to death in the street an innocent unarmed black teenager for no good reason. There is no justice. That cop deserved to be prosecuted and convicted no matter what the evidence.
What do the facts and reality have to do with it, they reckon?
Facts, evidence, reason, logic, truth -- the entire reality of existence go flying out the window in situations like this when otherwise intelligent human beings experience a knee jerk emotional reaction to an event. White cop shoots black teenager equals murder no matter what the reality.
Well, that simple equation just doesn’t add up in this case. Because now the world knows what really happened in Ferguson on that fateful day. Now we know the facts. We know why the grand jury, which included three blacks, decided unanimously after carefully considering all the facts that there was insufficient evidence to charge Officer Wilson with any crime.
First off, the whole world knew even long before the grand jury was convened, that Michael Brown was no innocent teenager. Just moments before his death, this kid did a strong armed robbery at a convenience store. It’s all on video tape for everyone to see.
I saw it. He brazenly walked into the store, grabbed a handful of cigars, turned to leave without paying for them, and used physical force to intimidate the clerk on his way out the door. Michael Brown was a criminal, a thug, a thief, and a robber beyond any doubt.
As Brown and a companion were walking down the middle of the street just seconds after committing the crime, he was confronted by Officer Wilson in his police car. Wilson was aware that Brown fit the description of the robber. He told Brown to stop, called for backup, and attempted to detain Brown while waiting for assistance to make an arrest.
Brown walked up to the car and started a physical altercation, punching Wilson several times in the face and grabbing for his gun. Wilson fired two shots, one of them striking Brown’s hand. Brown then ran off. Wilson exited his car and ordered Brown to stop. That is when Brown – all six feet four inches and nearly 300 pounds of him -- turned around and charged Wilson like a raging bull. Wilson, by now in mortal fear of his life shot Brown dead.
The physical evidence gathered and reviewed in scrupulous detail by the forensic scientists and experts backed up Officer Wilson’s account of the event. Several other eye witnesses also corroborated the forensic evidence. Brown was not just an innocent black teenager shot down dead in the street for no good reason. Brown was a thug and Wilson shot him in self defense after he resisted arrest and tried to assault him.
Those are the facts. That is the reality. It’s why Michael Brown is dead. Officer Wilson committed no crime.
But to some people Officer Wilson should be fried; the facts and reality have nothing to do with it.