The New York Times has leaked details of the forensic evidence and police officer Darren Wilson’s account in the shooting of Michael Brown. This came from that paragon of professionalism, the Justice Department, which wants to make sure that those seeking to burn down Ferguson and lynch Wilson have time to process the fact that a civil rights violation charge against Wilson just isn’t going to happen. Why is this important? Maybe the leak is to cushion the blow and reduce the likelihood of violence. That would be the motive of a non-partisan, race-neutral agency. Maybe Justice wants to make sure African-Americans are angry before the mid-term elections, so they will vote. (Democratic pollsters are telling the party that if blacks stay home, the Republicans are going to win big.) That. of course, would be unethical.
But so are leaks of federal investigations.
What the leaked information reveals is that there was a scuffle in the car, and Michael Brown, the 300 lb. teen who is always described as unarmed as if this means he was harmless, tried to grab Wilson’s pistol. He was shot in the arm as a result, and his blood was in the car and on Wilson’s gun. This prelude to Brown’s fatal shooting makes any conclusion that he was out to harm Brown because of his race impossible. Of course, it doesn’t prove he wasn’t out to kill a black kid either.
At this point, confirmation bias has completely taken over the Ferguson story, meaning that a combination of factors—police incompetence; a toxic racial culture in the city and region; the racial distrust carefully nurtured by Democrats, the Obama Administration, and an irresponsible news media; anger and cynicism by non-black, non-race-baiters over the disgraceful George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin tragedy; the slanted reporting of Brown’s shooting from the outset, and especially the full commitment of the civil rights establishment to make this incident the centerpiece of an attack on racial profiling and police violence against blacks regardless of whether the facts of the case justify it—now make any fair resolution of the incident impossible. They also guarantee that whatever occurs, the end result will be police anger, more racial division and distrust, and activists continuing to promote a false or misleading narrative as truth, just as in the Zimmerman-Martin debacle. It is hopeless.
We are at this horrible, irredeemable point because…
- The team of the media, irresponsible black politicians, an unethical prosecutor, despicable grandstanding celebrities and President Obama made a national racial issue out Trayvon Martin’s death, where there were none, and another flash point was deemed to be just what the flagging Democratic election prospects needed.
- The narrative of a black, young, college-bound, unarmed, “gentle giant” being “executed” in the street merely for “walking while black” by a white cop was widely publicized before facts that complicated the issues arose.
- The police department in Ferguson, and the region generally, has a well-established record of harassing black citizens, and an environment of mistrust already existed.
- The department waited an unconscionable amount of time before releasing any facts related to the shooting.
- The department’s decision to leave Brown’s body lying in the street looked like deliberate disrespect and insensitivity, which it probably was.
- Demonstrations began based on hearsay accounts of how Brown was killed, representing as fact what were third party accounts, some of which, like those of Brown’s companion, were far from unbiased.
- The Ferguson police acted like the Chinese government in Tiananmen Square in handling the demonstrations, and gave the media a panorama of images showing white cops abusing black protesters, a la Selma, Alabama,
- If a white cop shoots a black man, it is presumptively an act of racism in the eyes of many civil rights activists,
- Attorney General Holder appeared to pick sides in an incident where he was duty-bound to be neutral (but, as he has said, he is a black man first),
- The Justice Department agreed to investigate the incident for civil rights violations based solely on political expediency, knowing full well that it would not have sufficient evidence for an indictment.
Add to all of the above the fact that the incident itself was messy and ambiguous, as police shootings often are:
- Did Brown deserve to be stopped and arrested? Maybe.
- Was he the angelic, harmful snowflake portrayed by his parents and the media? No.
- Was he a legitimate threat to Wilson, at least when they struggled in the car? Yes.
- Did Wilson have reason to fear for his well-being? Well, would you, if a 300 pound guy was trying to get control of a gun in close quarters? Of course.
- If he had fatally shot Brown in the act of protecting himself in the car, would Wilson be in the clear legally, logically and ethically? Yes.
- Since Brown’s attempt failed, did he deserve to be shot after he left the car? No.
- Is it likely that Wilson was upset by the struggle in the car, angry, frightened, and not thinking clearly? Yes.
- Would that excuse his killing Brown, if Brown were indeed in a surrender pose as some witnesses claim? No.
- Would it mitigate his guilt? Yes.
- If Brown, unarmed or not, charged Wilson after the car incident, would Wilson be justified in using deadly force? Probably.
But the activists don’t care, literally don’t care, about any of this. For them, the issue is simple. A white cop in a racist police department shot an unarmed black teen to death, and that means that it was a racially motivated murder.
The police and their mostly conservative defenders also don’t care about the details. Once again, a dedicated public servant who put his life on the line was forced to use deadly force against a dangerous thug who attacked him, and because the cop is white, is being persecuted and unjustly maligned.
Everyone is poised to see what they want to see, believe what supports their biases and agendas, and shout loudly about injustice regardless of what occurs, fertilizing the ground for the next incident they can exploit, along with cynical politicians.
Good job, everybody.
And how exactly does all this make society better?