When do competent, rational, fair, responsible, ethical citizens, officials, journalists and organizations take sides in a racially charged controversy involving a law enforcement officer and an individual shot and killed by that officer in an incident where the circumstances and provocation have yet to be verified?
Simple: they don’t.
So how do we explain and characterize the decisions of so many citizens, officials, journalists and organizations to take sides in the Michael Brown shooting by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson? That’s simple too.
They are neither competent, rational, fair, responsible, nor ethical.
Thus we add to the passenger list of the Ferguson Ethics Train Wreck the following, who publicly took sides this weekend and today:
- Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (discussed here.)
- The Obama Administration. Three White House representatives will attend Brown’s funeral. This signals an official acceptance of the Brown family narrative, at this point completely unverified, that police misconduct and racism were involved in the death of their son, or if not, and I’m sure the White House will have some spin to dispute this, that is how it will be perceived by activists and how the White House wants it to be perceived. This may be good politics (though I don’t think intentional divisiveness is good, but the White House and I differ on that point), but it is horrible leadership, and a slap in the fact to all law enforcement, which is now being told by those representing the President of the United States that it is presumed to be in the wrong when there is a controversy over the exercise of force involving an African American
- Demonstrators for Officer Wilson. A rally in St. Louis was organized by a Facebook group called “Support Darren Wilson.” We don’t know, at this point, if Wilson deserves support. What he deserves is due process and fairness, and not to be made a sacrifice to “larger issues” or “historical abuse” before it is determined that his actions have any connection to either. The demonstrators may say that by supporting Wilson they are only fighting for due process, but the words of some of them belie that claim. One demonstrator quoted by the Huffington Post, Jeremy Arnold, told the site’s reporter that Michael Brown, “got exactly what he deserved.” That sentiment, which is common if not predominant among vocal Wilson supporters, is exactly as wrong as the pro-Brown protesters’ narrative that Brown was “executed.” The argument of the Wilson supporters is that their actions are necessary to counter-act the efforts of the lynch-mob of Brown advocates calling for Wilson’s prosecution. No, a rally for due process, fair law enforcement and unbiased journalism would do that: a rally for an officer who shot an unarmed black teen appears to be an endorsement of shooting unarmed black teens.
- Common. Rapper Common led the audience at the live televised MTV VMA awards in a “moment of silence” for Michel Brown, which is a statement that he was a victim, unless rappers are also in the habit of leading moments of silence for anyone shot trying to attack police officers. Come to think of it, that’s conceivable. “Every one of our lives matters,” the rapper intoned. “Hip hop has always been about truth… hip-hop has always presented a voice for the revolution. I want us all to take a moment of silence for Mike, for peace in our country and the world.” Well, if hip hop is “always” about truth, Common should stop misrepresenting rumor and politically manufactured narratives as truth. We don’t know what the truth is, and we certainly don’t know whether Brown should be honored this way. Until it is established that Brown was in fact the victim of police brutality, such public gestures are misleading, prejudicial, and unfair to the police generally and Officer Wilson particularly.
- MTV, the MTV VMA Awards, the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, the National Council of La Raza, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Every one of these organizations, which on last night’s telecast made a clear statement that in its view the death of Michael Brown was the result of racism and police brutality, should be condemned for irresponsible, biased and dishonest conduct. MTV showed two 15-second public service announcements, a.k.a propaganda, that made no sense unless one presumed that a Brown’s death was a racist police homicide. In the second one, the Ferguson protest chants of “Hands up! Don’t Shoot!” were set behind the Ferguson sign followed by a James Baldwin quote: “Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” And if Brown was not shot after putting up his hands, but instead when charging Wilson? “Never mind”? Except it is too late for “never mind.”
- CNN’s Michaela Pereira again made it clear whose side she is on this morning, interviewing race-huckster lawyer Benjamin Crump the lawyer for Brown’s parents and previously Trayvon Martin’s parents—what a cynical niche!—and sitting there nodding, looking sympathetic, as he described how Brown was executed, not saying a single word to remind viewers that this is entirely speculation from a paid advocate.
- Antoinette Cleveland of Takoma Park, Md. Yes, I know she’s just an ordinary citizen who wrote an ignorant letter in to the Washington Post, but if you are going to publicize your bias and compound it with false information, be prepared to get called out on it. She wrote, approving Eugene Robinson’s Aug. 19 op-ed column, “Those left behind,” which I referenced here…
“The only time we discuss race openly and honestly is when we’re forced to — when young black men are killed for walking down the middle of the street, walking home from the store, reaching for their wallets or whatever. If we continue to ignore the malignancy of racism spreading across the United States, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Amadou Diallo and so many others will be remembered as just a group of dead young black men. That’s why there’s rage in Ferguson.”
Just because it fits Antoinette’s biases to assert as fact that Brown was “killed for walking down the middle of the street,” it is not fair or honest to do it. You don’t know that. Nor is there ” a malignancy of racism” spreading across the U.S., unless it is anti-white racism led by people like her. Moreover, connecting Trayvon Martin’s death with Brown’s is inexcusable, a it did not involve a police shooting and was determined to be self-defense, and calling it racism is an assumption based on bias alone.
Sources: Washington Post 1,2; Huffington Post, Hollywood Life,
52 thoughts on “Ferguson Ethics Train Wreck Monday Morning Update: Taking Sides”
Interesting that the White House is sending more reps to Michael Brown’s funeral than it did to Margaret Thatcher’s or General Green’s.
Or any cop killed in the line of duty, ever.
Pure racial politics. There is zero political hay to be made from presence at the funeral of Baroness Thatcher, whose achievements largely involve the 20-years-ended Cold War and who is still hated by many Irish Americans (the joke being the only question about her grave being how big to make the dance floor). There is zero political hay to be made from paying respects to a general killed at the tail end of a war that the general public has become fatigued with and some greeted with the same question asked after the Panay incident. There is a LOT of political hay to be made by fanning the flames of the already-accepted narrative that yet another promising young black male life was thoughtlessly snuffed out by a racist white police officer for no particular reason.
What’s particularly scary is that the Federal government is starting to look more and more like it is in stark opposition to local law enforcement. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of room for discussion of primacy of police power, state-versus-federal authority, and a host of constitutional issues, and it was right for the Federal government to get involved when things like the “Mississippi Burning” events were going on. However, between this, the Trayvon matter, local sheriffs butting heads with the Feds over gun laws, governors taking immigration action the Federal government won’t, and a few other things, when measured against this administration’s policy of only enforcing the laws it decides to enforce, it is looking more and more like Obama and his very small inner circle are not interested in governing so much as reaching into every corner of this nation that does not revere them as gods and using some issue to silence the opposition and amplify the voices of their supporters until no one who disagrees dares to say a word for fear of being called a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, or some other label that sucks all value out of the person it is applied to.
This would be a great time for the Secret Service to assert itself by standing down. Or for state and local law enforcement organizations to suspend their cooperation with that service. I wonder: Who provides security for [sarcasm] heroes [/sarcasm] like Al Sharpton?
That poor bastard.
My guess, either the Black Panthers or the Black Muslims.
Those poor bastards.
Just this Sunday, the Police Chief of a small town south of San Antonio, Texas was shot multiple times and died in a local hospital. He was white, the perpetrator was latino. So far, I have yet to see a sign, a protest or a march in support of the Chief or condemning the shooter. The reason the Chief was shot is because he was doing his job, attempting to arrest a man who had a misdemeanor warrant for graffiti and who apparently did not wish to be arrested.
Dragin…the death of that police chief is a tragedy but it’s not the kind of event that is going to bring in the likes of Sharpton and Crump to set off the large protests. The shooter is probably indigent or at least doesn’t have enough money to be divided up between all those attorneys and the family of the Police chief who was murdered. Not worth Sharpton’s and Crump’s time. I can’t even think about that manipulating duo without getting sick to my stomach.
Hopefully, someone can answer this question for me. Does Wilson only need to be indicted in order for Brown’s family’s attorneys to sue the Ferguson Police Department? Or does Wilson have to be proven guilty at trial?
A civil suit can be filed regardless of whether there is a criminal charge and, if such a charge is brought, a civil suit can be filed regardless of the outcome. That’s what happened in the OJ Simpson case.
I’m not a lawyer, but I believe the usual process is to handle the criminal complaint first. It provides more evidence that could potentially make the civil case stronger. As i recall, the standard of proof is considerably lower in a civil case than in a criminal one. At any rate, I can all but guarantee you that a civil complaint will be filed….
Thanks for the info John and Urban.
Much lower standard of proof–criminal:”beyond a reasonable doubt”–civil:”proponderance of the evidence. Somewhat different issues as well. I haven’t done civil law in more tha ten years. Criminal law exclusively for the past eleven.
Add to that, the Police Chief was white, and the 24-year-old kid that shot him was a latino. Very small town, and the Chief was also the only paid position on the force.
I truly wish we had the luxury of remaining unbiased, of sticking to impartiality, of waiting for all the facts to come out. This is, no doubt what Officer Wilson and anyone suspected of a crime is due. Unfortunately, we’re so far beyond that now. Certain cases catch the collective attention of the populace. We can’t always predict what will “go viral” versus what we think should go viral. Case in point, the popular social media driven ALS Ice Bucket Challenge came out of nowhere and is driving donations and interest via social media in a manner that no one predicted. Other diseases affect more people, and are as worthy if not more so of this type of attention. So when we compare the Brown case to others; Ive read of a 9 year old boy being shot to death, the Police Chief and other recent instances of violence all wanting to garner the same type of attention that the Brown case has. But like it or not, the Brown case is different. We can debate the merits of it being this way, but it simply is because so many people around the world have tuned in. As a result, it needs to be treated differently. The pace of the releasing of information is unconscionable. You cannot ask people to wait patiently as you allow the case to play out just as you would any other case. In special or extraordinary cases, we use special and extraordinary means and methods to get to the truth. If that means expediting forensics, or assigning more investigators, then it needs to be done. And there are ways of communicating with the public while not risking damage to a potential jury pool or divulging specifics or confidential information. The fact that these types of measures have not been taken is why the protests continue and the unethical behavior won’t abate. Now everyone with a platform is using it to voice an opinion without knowing all the facts. It’s not right. But it’s not as simple as merely waiting either. We all want and need to see more progress, and faster….
Yeah, it annoys me that we seem to be closer to knowing who the man behind the mask in the video is – he who chopped off journalist Foley’s head – than the full detail of all eyewitness accounts of the altercation between Mike Brown and officer Wilson. If those details are conflicting or even contradictory, so be them – MAKE THEM PUBLIC, NOW. Once again, “my” sign:
Know truth – know justice.
Half truth = No justice.
No truth – no justice.
Well, the reason is pretty obvious: one is a threat against an entire nation by a terrorist organization, and the other is a local government matter.
THAT is a reason?? No. Urbanregor nails it: This is NOT a local government matter.
It sure as hell is. Just because some cynical, political race-rouser picks a story out of the news feed and says “Perfect! The next Trayvon story!” doesn’t change the fact that it is a local matter, and localities should not be put under this kind of scrutiny and pressure, or they will surely fail. The stakes in Iraq involve national security. This is about, in great part, the Congressional elections, and energizing the base by creating racial fear.
No argument with your last two sentences. But your second sentence describes a world that does not exist – the world that existed before “the next Travon story” decision was made, by multiple parties. As other comments in this and at least one other blog thread have covered, the stakes in the Ferguson case now ALSO involve national security.
I would say the first is a global issue, and the second in a national issue. The first is being treated as such (international cooperation among law enforcement and governments) while the second is not (locals operating in a manner that isn’t working for the local citizens or nation at large.)
It isn’t a national issue the second it becomes clear that the officer acted justifiably. Ergo, it cannot be a national issue before that is ruled out.
The national issues genie is out of the bottle. The genie might get pushed partly back in, so that his future flatulence may be contained within the bottle at least, but that is possible (and ONLY a possibility, not a certainty) if the officer is found to have acted justifiably.
The national issue isn’t the shooting. That IS a local issue.
The national issue is a subset of the greater community’s nearly 100% track record for knee jerk conclusions without relying on due process and to immediately assume the worst about the greater community without any contemporary reason to do so.
Tex, the shooting of Mike Brown and the justice such as can be established in its wake has become the national issue of priority above any other related issue or catalyst of issue such as what you describe.
What makes it a national issue, is the fact that right or wrong, it is now another incident of unarmed blacks being killed by the police. It’s a national issue because the police seem to fear for there lives at an alarming rate when it comes to unarmed teenagers (I don’t care how big they are) and feel the need to continuously use lethal force. It’s a national issue because the local reps have been slow to respond to the local community with some sort of narrative that clearly says “we’re on it, and will do the right thing for this community, and will follow the evidence wherever it takes us. And there is no knee jerk reaction when the history of these type of instances is well documented. You might disagree with a lot of aspects to this case. But there is no knee jerk reaction when it comes to blacks and the police when we seem to be at a point where cops are killing a black person EVERY DAY, and we get serious blow back in the most egregious instances. Knee jerk would be if there were simultaneous riots in Staten Island, Los Angeles and Ferguson. That’s not what’s happening here.
“What makes it a national issue, is the fact that right or wrong, it is now another incident of unarmed blacks being killed by the police.”
Irrelevant, police shoot unarmed white people also. If your concern is however whether or not the shootings are justifiable (that is to say, right or wrong, as you put it) kneejerk presumptions of guilt and follow on rioting based on that conclusion do nothing but destroy any ability to reach an objective analysis.
“It’s a national issue because the police seem to fear for there lives at an alarming rate when it comes to unarmed teenagers (I don’t care how big they are) and feel the need to continuously use lethal force.”
Alarming rate? Haven’t police shootings decreased over the years?
Don’t care how big they are? The judgment call is if an individual’s life is threatened by an assailant (and size can be a factor multiplying other behavior, say, an attacker bum rushing someone). That’s when we decide to protect our lives with force — and yes, if the officer’s life was threatened, then there is a need to use lethal force. I don’t see why you cannot understand that simple construct…
“It’s a national issue because the local reps have been slow to respond to the local community with some sort of narrative that clearly says “we’re on it, and will do the right thing for this community, and will follow the evidence wherever it takes us.”
You do see the obvious contradiction here, right? When the problem is local representation *appearing* slow to act, the problem is as you said it “local”. If most other departments conduct investigations as quickly as is responsible, then it isn’t a national issue. Is it? That other communities don’t flip out every time an officer uses his firearm and other communities wait until the facts come out may be more of a gut check on internal problems found in this community…not on the nation.
“And there is no knee jerk reaction when the history of these type of instances is well documented. You might disagree with a lot of aspects to this case.”
Yes, it is a knee jerk reaction when one group immediately assumes a conclusion without ANY research or analysis WHATSOEVER. That IS the definition of kneejerk. I’m sorry you can’t accept that, but it is willful ignorance at this point.
“But there is no knee jerk reaction when it comes to blacks and the police when we seem to be at a point where cops are killing a black person EVERY DAY, and we get serious blow back in the most egregious instances.”
Lie. 96 of about 400 fatal shootings were African American last year. That’s considerably less than “EVERY DAY”.
“Knee jerk would be if there were simultaneous riots in Staten Island, Los Angeles and Ferguson. That’s not what’s happening here.”
Nope. Again, please read it this time. Knee jerk is coming to an assumed conclusion without having researched facts and analyzed the same. (Which is what happened in Ferguson and with a subset of the greater Community).
It is not a national issue, no matter how much we’re distracting ourselves with it and no matter how much everyone across the nation is weighing in on it when it isn’t their business. It is not a national issue, regardless of what national-level blowhards have weighed in on it.
http://bit.ly/1ikxcuY The attached report uses 2012 data. I’d be interested in getting the source of your 96 out of 400. Either way, it’s hardly a Lie. As for knee jerk reactions, calling for the arrest and prosecution, or for the indictment of a suspect is not knee jerk. It’s wanting your local justice system to get off it’s ass and do its job. This calls for no conclusion as to guilt or innocence, which would be a knee jerk reaction. Statistics on police shootings are hard to come by and in my opinion, purposely vague. We rely on media reports and whatever information that can be found from official sources. While “size can be a factor”nit’s not the only factor. I would expect a trained police officer to be able to handle suspects that are physically bigger and unarmed, without having to resort to deadly force. The expectation of a civilian would not be the same. What got him shot wasn’t his size, but his color. And I’m not aware of a serious issue with police killing unarmed white people. If anything, whites in similar circumstances get the benefit of the doubt, as well they should.. But when it relates to lethal force, we all deserve that same benefit. It’s systematically being denied to blacks. And lastly, for you to think that police kill unarmed whites all the time, making this irrelevant is a large part of the problem. Whites refuse to hear black people when we complain about our treatment at the hands of the police. It appears that no amount of evidence, no words from trusted friends or sources, nothing will get some to admit that we have a serious problem. Don’t you realize that if we don’t deal with it, we all lose? Not just blacks, all of us….
Calling for the arrest and prosecution, or for the indictment of a suspect is not knee jerk. It’s wanting your local justice system to get off it’s ass and do its job.
I’d call it interfering with the effort to do that job. What you should say is “Calling for the arrest and prosecution, for the indictment, or for a clear explanation of why no charges are being made.” I have to think this is caused by a misunderstanding of the charging process. Sometimes it can take months before a suspect is charged, because you can’t charge unless there is enough evidence for a good faith belief that there is probable cause a suspect is guilty of a crime.
This calls for no conclusion as to guilt or innocence, which would be a knee jerk reaction.
Huh? Calling for indictment calls for no conclusion of guilt or innocence? That’s bizarre. Charging absolutely involves a conclusion of probably guilt. Without it, there can be no charge.
Statistics on police shootings are hard to come by and in my opinion, purposely vague. We rely on media reports and whatever information that can be found from official sources. While “size can be a factor” it’s not the only factor. I would expect a trained police officer to be able to handle suspects that are physically bigger and unarmed, without having to resort to deadly force. The expectation of a civilian would not be the same.
Are you seriously arguing that every police officer is expected to be Bruce Lee? They are taught to stop attackers, armed or unarmed, from getting close enough to take their weapon or do harm. It’s no coincidence the choke hold victim, Brown and even Rodney King were huge guys.
What got him shot wasn’t his size, but his color.
That you would even write this—or think it— is profoundly discouraging. You have absolutely no basis for the statement whatsoever. This is like saying Zimmerman was profiling Martin. No evidence. Pure supposition based on bias.
Jack, Bruce Lee’s aside, I do expect that a police officer should be able to handle a big kid without killing him, or being intimidated by his size and yes color to the point that the fear of being killed causes them to seemingly reflexively use deadly force. This wasn’t a violent crime stop. Wilson most certainly would have had time to assess the fact that this was not a full grown man he was dealing with, but an idiot kid walking in the middle of the street. Do you seriously think Wilson had no other option but deadly force? While admittedly not knowing all the specific circumstances of this case, I’m troubled by the lack of tools in the belt of police officers. I thought they had physical training, psychological assessment training AND weapons training to include a bully club and a gun. Too often the police take the path of least resistance. Shoot first, ask later. And when they kill an unarmed kid of any size, it appropriate to call them and their professional methods into question. We also should get an answer that makes sense fast. The fact that we’re looking for nuanced reasons why this could have been justifiable is part of the problem. The clearly deranged guy shot days later by the St. Louis PD hasn’t generated this same reaction. They had a not perfect, but understandable reason for using deadly force, and role have accepted that. This looks like they’re building a case to justify inside out, and it makes me suspicious.
I have no problem at all with any officer shooting any suspect charging him or her, especially a suspect of menacing size, but any suspect who is within normal size ranges or larger, of any color, gender or age. I don’t understand the priorities of anyone who does have a problem with it. “Don’t attack law enforcement officers” is just not that hard a rule to follow. An officer should not be required to take the risk that such an attacker might have the skills to overcome and harm him. How would an officer know that he wasn’t being rushed by a 300 pound Bruce Lee?
My general question is always “Why would someone attack a person wearing a pistol on his/her hip? Stupid.”
Your patience is greater than mine Jack.
Strange comment, UR. Essentially, that’s the rationalization # 31. The Troublesome Luxury: “Ethics is a luxury we can’t afford right now”:
We literally can not be “beyond” due process. Your argument is cyclical: because activists have made this case special, it no longer should be treated like any other case. Nonsense. Sure I can ask people to wait patiently. The families of all alleged victims of crime have to wait patiently; crying racism shouldn’t change a thing.
I believe you meant shouldn’t change a thing. I’m not sure we have a choice Jack. While I agree, that ethics should never be a luxury, it’s not simply those that are protesting and speaking in favor of Mike Brown. Do the Ferguson officials not have an ethical responsibility to move this along? Or to communicate faster and more clearly? Should we simply sit idley by while they take their sweet time? Given the history of the relationship between police and blacks in general, and the blacks and Ferguson police in specific, the longer they wait, the fishier it smells. This case calls for a different set of rules, and in doing so will actually protect Wilson and or Brown. It’s in the interest of all to get it done.
Yes, thanks, “Shouldn’t.” Fixed it.
Do the Ferguson officials not have an ethical responsibility to move this along?
Or to communicate faster and more clearly?
Should we simply sit idley by while they take their sweet time?
NO. Make noise. Complain. But demanding that Wilson be jailed is unconscionable.
Given the history of the relationship between police and blacks in general, and the blacks and Ferguson police in specific, the longer they wait, the fishier it smells.
True, but that’s irrelevant to the guilt or innocence of Wilson.
This case calls for a different set of rules,
No, the rules must be the same.
…and in doing so will actually protect Wilson and or Brown.
It’s too late to protect Wilson, whose potential prosecution is already tainted by threats. It’s REALLY too late for Brown.
It’s in the interest of all to get it done.
Sure. But that’s why PROCESS is essential.
In reply to comment above this one. I have a serious problem with police officers shooting people simply because they feel threatened. While I readily admit that policing is hard and judgement calls need to be made, cannot and will not accept that the police can shoot anyone dead anytime they’re “charged”. Otherwise, we should simply do away with the courts and jail systems, and instead allow police to meet out any punishment they see fit, on the spot. Kind of similar to how black folks are treated today! As a professional police officer, one should be in top physical shape, have a basic understanding of human nature, be able to spot people that may be under the influence, mentally ill or just plain scared. Simply shooting anyone in these categories because of their physical size, or because they charged you is wholly unacceptable, and if one is a policeman with this attitude, they should switch careers IMMEDIATELY. Why do you think the cops frequently make the claim of “he went for my gun” ? There must be degrees of force even if an officers well being is at risk. (well being, not life) By definition, the job is physical and dangerous. Standard issue is a bully club, and I would assume that it comes with proper training. The answer simply can’t be to resort to lethal force anytime you feel threatened. Police must be trained to better assess threats, and to consider a wider range of options. And I realize that they can be hurt, or killed in the process. It’s an occupational hazard.
“The answer simply can’t be to resort to lethal force anytime you feel threatened.” I agree. I also agree with your three subsequent sentences. I also would prefer to see local police better equipped on their person with cameras plus imagery recording and telemetering and communications equipment, rather than with additional and ever more assuredly lethal means of deadly force. I keep wondering: Where was Wilson’s back-up? Don’t the Ferguson cops operate at least in pairs when on the streets?
Well, we know that Brown had back-up.
Are you referring to the kid who, 1. put the cigarellos back on the counter, 2. Ran faster, further and consequently didn’t get shot? I’d hardly call that back up. Without knowing anything more about him, he’s been honest with the police, was reviewed and not charged with a crime, and got the hell out of the middle of the street quickly when told. Is this really back up Jack?
It was just a flip comment–the point is that there were two of them so back up would have been prudent. I really don’t think the issue of whether or not Wilson should have called for backup is germane to anything.
Got it. And I’d agree that Wilson calling for back up isn’t germane. However, I read the post in the context of cops in general working in pairs and having a second set of eyes to assess situations, to help if things go south, and to hold each other accountable.
I’d certainly agree, when it’s feasible. This seems like what seemed like a minor matter that spun out of control fast, for reason to be determined. I’ve been watching the Brit cop drama “Happy Valley” on Netflix—very interesting to watch unarmed cops at work. Great show, by the way.
I’ll check it out. I’ve watched ‘Luther” on Netflix Its another British cop drama sans guns. I’d be interested in hearing your take on it….
The appalling precedents of the “No justice, no peace!” crowd are before us, so that every such case like Ferguson must be investigated under a perceived threat. If the mob doesn’t like the verdict, well, it’s not hard to start another riot, now is it?
Yes. The race-hustlers have secure jobs for the foreseeable future. For them, it’s a profitable racket. This is where I wish the lawyers would do better to police their own, and succeed in compelling their fellow professionals NOT to represent so many obvious troublemakers, and instead turn full-force upon such cynical exploiters of ignorance and hate.
Hmm. Don’t know if this has been said yet, but I think what makes the White House sending representatives to the funeral even worse than it is…is that it’s most likely politically motivated due to 2014 being a midterm election that the Dems are afraid of losing. Had it been 2015 or 2013, we may have seen slightly (not much more) pragmatism in this. To the White House, this is probably just another event to motivate a base of voters.
This is why I’m so pro-sociology, imperfect as it may be. Social studies, statistics, and surveys need to be the foundation of our debates about this kind of thing. Every time some kook writes a letter to the editor about an “epidemic” of white-on-black institutionalized violence, or school shootings, or corruption being more common among one political party, he or she had better have numbers, and references. Otherwise they can keep quiet and have no case.
And when those numbers are dishonest or in dispute (as with the supposed gender pay disparity), you can respond with correct numbers and more comprehensive studies.
Someone will always respond “social sciences aren’t exact.” But you know what’s worse? No studies at all.
More rigourous, controlled studies > smaller samples and less-controlled surveys/stats > confirmation bias
Without going into the facts of the Brown case, since I don’t know what to believe since my only source of information is the mass media, which is inherently unreliable, and since, additionally, I haven’t the slightest idea what Missouri law is on the subject, but as a former public defender, I comment as follows:
IF Michael Brown assaulted the police officer in Virginia, it would be a class 6 felony, with a minimum mandatory six months in jail. (Punishment is 1 to 5 years)
IF Brown was trying to escape from the police officer, the officer may use reasonable force to prevent the escape.
Again, I don’t know what happened; I have no idea who was right or wrong, I don’t have any idea as to what force was reasonable, because I WASN’T there and i have NOT talked to anybody who was. All I am getting is preconceived notions and opinions by people who weren’t there either. Until I get the facts from some presumably unbiased source (and that certainly is not the Attorney General), I can draw no legal or factual conclusions.