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View Full Version : As expected, riot v2.0



zraver
25 Nov 14,, 04:45
With the no bill returned, the crowds are going bat shit crazy. I'm listening to the police audio on radio reference listening to the cops trying and failing to keep control of the situation. Hearing, "officer safety, retreat and surrender (street name) while watching video of burning cars and clouds of tear gas...

Audio via radio refrence Missouri Highway Patrol Troop C

Missouri State Highway Patrol - Troop C Live Audio Feed (http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/17925/web)

TopHatter
25 Nov 14,, 04:56
Watching live footage, appears some fairly isolated incidents.

If it hasn't erupted into a full-blown Los Angeles 1992 by now, I rather doubt it will.

zraver
25 Nov 14,, 04:59
Aarons, Walgreens (on fire), Shop N Save, Family Dollar, McDonald's, Faye's Cafe, Ferguson Market and Liquor and other chains and local owned businesses.... Night of the walking dead, cops retreating all over, not enough riot squads to contain the looters and black hats... At least two burning police cars, 1 possible death so far (cardiac arrest), audio now reporting a possible shooting. At least 1 journalist took a brock to the head and needed to be evac'd.

TopHatter
25 Nov 14,, 05:04
Yeah, there was virtually no chance of arson and looting not taking place.

zraver
25 Nov 14,, 05:43
MSHP has an officer missing.

edit- officer was found safe

Triple C
25 Nov 14,, 06:55
Hopefully there will be no fatalities.

lemontree
25 Nov 14,, 11:34
What is this about?

Pedicabby
25 Nov 14,, 13:27
What is this about?


White copper shoots unarmed black yoof. White copper gets off.

DonBelt
25 Nov 14,, 13:42
Steal another crate of vodka for justice! At this rate Ferguson will either be the most just city in America or the driest.

Aryajet
25 Nov 14,, 16:56
Close to 30 small and medium size businesses burned down to ground, over 100 vehicles including patrol cars torched to ashes, over 60 people arrested and around 40 people have been evaced to hospital, police officer shot albeit not fatally, entire town looted all just because justice system refuses to kneel for their demand.

I say when this thing is over all normal people should leave the town for good and let thugs and hoodlums have Ferguson and run it the way they want.

Pedicabby
25 Nov 14,, 17:13
Close to 30 small and medium size businesses burned down to ground, over 100 vehicles including patrol cars torched to ashes, over 60 people arrested and around 40 people have been evaced to hospital, police officer shot albeit not fatally, entire town looted all just because justice system refuses to kneel for their demand.

I say when this thing is over all normal people should leave the town for good and let thugs and hoodlums have Ferguson and run it the way they want.




38568

Mihais
25 Nov 14,, 17:18
Yoofs will follow normal people.Better fight back.You have the means,you have the reason.Shoot the fvckers on the porch and set them straight.

Pedicabby
25 Nov 14,, 17:37
Yoofs will follow normal people.Better fight back.You have the means,you have the reason.Shoot the fvckers on the porch and set them straight.

Word!

Red Team
25 Nov 14,, 17:47
The sad part is all the media coverage and anticipation for this has left me with not even an iota of shock. The time for considering the implications of this in the socioeconomic/judicial realm can wait, now is the time to mourn the fall of sensibility in the town of Ferguson.

Triple C
25 Nov 14,, 17:48
Ferguson is already black and poor. Not very different from Detroit or a big chunk of South Side Chicago where middle class flight was completed decades ago.

Mihais
25 Nov 14,, 18:02
The sad part is all the media coverage and anticipation for this has left me with not even an iota of shock. The time for considering the implications of this in the socioeconomic/judicial realm can wait, now is the time to mourn the fall of sensibility in the town of Ferguson.

Bro,the very fact you can predict with pinpoint accuracy the media coverage,the anticipation and the result is of huge meaning.And the meaning is there is litlle greyzone left.

Stitch
25 Nov 14,, 18:26
My son and I talked about this on the way to work; he said, "What a great idea! 'I'm pissed off, so let's go out and trash our own town!'" I understand the anger/frustration, I don't understand the destruction of property and mayhem.

Red Team
25 Nov 14,, 19:12
Bro,the very fact you can predict with pinpoint accuracy the media coverage,the anticipation and the result is of huge meaning.And the meaning is there is litlle greyzone left.

I have no doubt a large part of this is due to the marginalization of the lower class black communities around the country and subsequent profiling and increased aggression towards blacks by police. Also a large part of this, as with any other riots may also be attributed to the actions of a few firebrands lighting the powder keg. Then again MLK and civil disobedience faced these very same struggles down without resorting to riots, so there really is nothing much to offer but disappointment at the whole thing at this point.

zraver
26 Nov 14,, 00:33
Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, Little Caesars, Advance Auto, O'Reilly's, Walgreens, Toys R Us, Ferguson Antiques and Collectibles, Ferguson Market and Liquor, Mini Storage, Beauty World, an Optometrists office, a Dentist office, Auto By Credit, Conoco gas station, Phillips Gas Station, London's Wing House, Juanita's Fashion Boutique, Fashions R Boutique, Reds BBQ, STL Cordless (cellular), Energy Express (gas station), Dellwood Market, Cho Suey (Chinese), AJ&R Pawn (stolen guns...), Corner Coffeehouse, Hidden Treasures (flea market), Halls Ferry Shopping Center, Quiznos, El Palenque (Mexican), Cafe Natasha, JC Wireless, Sam's Meat Market, Autozone, St. Louis Bread Co, McDonalds, Fed Ex store, Bank of America, Radio Shack, The Gin Shop...
A list of businesses damaged, destroyed, looted or burned last night.... Those are jobs Its going to be hard for the community of only 21,000 people to rebuild from the loss of so much tax revenue and employment. For an example of how things spiral out. They lost 3 auto parts stores- how can the mechanics get parts to fix cars= no/ reduced work for them.
What we saw last night was not rage, not protest, not excusable it was community self immolation. How many small business owners and their employees don't get Thanksgiving or Christmas now? All for the memory of a man who was a strong armed robber. Sure the chain stores might come back, but what about the locals who had built up a business....
Then there are the closed schools- can't teach kids to be future adults is class is out so hooligans can have fun. Or shooting at fire fighters.... seriously WTF, who does that?
Police brutality? Nah, last night was primal thuggery.

dan m
26 Nov 14,, 00:43
It was indeed thuggery and saying it was anything else is insulting to those who are truly saddened by Michael Brown's death. Situations like these always seem to bring out a mass of opportunistic people looking to get free stuff or destroy things. What comes to my mind is the Sublime song April 29th, 1992.

zraver
26 Nov 14,, 00:52
Meanwhile, 311 miles to the South, the same number of people who rioted showed up to look for a missing two year old. its all about where a person and community has its priorities.

Jimbo
26 Nov 14,, 00:59
Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, Little Caesars, Advance Auto, O'Reilly's, Walgreens, Toys R Us, Ferguson Antiques and Collectibles, Ferguson Market and Liquor, Mini Storage, Beauty World, an Optometrists office, a Dentist office, Auto By Credit, Conoco gas station, Phillips Gas Station, London's Wing House, Juanita's Fashion Boutique, Fashions R Boutique, Reds BBQ, STL Cordless (cellular), Energy Express (gas station), Dellwood Market, Cho Suey (Chinese), AJ&R Pawn (stolen guns...), Corner Coffeehouse, Hidden Treasures (flea market), Halls Ferry Shopping Center, Quiznos, El Palenque (Mexican), Cafe Natasha, JC Wireless, Sam's Meat Market, Autozone, St. Louis Bread Co, McDonalds, Fed Ex store, Bank of America, Radio Shack, The Gin Shop...
A list of businesses damaged, destroyed, looted or burned last night.... Those are jobs Its going to be hard for the community of only 21,000 people to rebuild from the loss of so much tax revenue and employment. For an example of how things spiral out. They lost 3 auto parts stores- how can the mechanics get parts to fix cars= no/ reduced work for them.
What we saw last night was not rage, not protest, not excusable it was community self immolation. How many small business owners and their employees don't get Thanksgiving or Christmas now? All for the memory of a man who was a strong armed robber. Sure the chain stores might come back, but what about the locals who had built up a business....
Then there are the closed schools- can't teach kids to be future adults is class is out so hooligans can have fun. Or shooting at fire fighters.... seriously WTF, who does that?
Police brutality? Nah, last night was primal thuggery.

This is the thing that gets me. I understand why they are angry, but what the fajita did the owners and workers at Toys R Us or Ferguson Antiques have to do with it?!? How many workers living on paycheck to paycheck budgets lose a day's worth or more of pay because of this? It is thuggery and it is committed by a bunch of cowards. Also notice the lack of police stations and gov't offices to the list?

I am curious how many doing the actual burning and looting are actually Ferguson residents. I would think most of those are outsiders that really don't give a rip about the City of Ferguson and only want to use it for their fiery soapbox. Protest at city hall, the county office, at police stations, I get that, but to burn the town does nothing to help and only hurts Ferguson.

A question I will raise. I understand the police not wanting to escalate the situation, but when you have that much damage, don't the owners and workers of the stores deserve some level of protection? Or do you hope it is just one or two nights and then the mob will get bored?

dan m
26 Nov 14,, 01:00
Zraver, from what I've gathered you are a police officer. I agree with you that damage done to the community was unnecessary and criminal. Burning down small stores and cars doesn't solve anything. However was there anything the police could have done to calm the situation down? Was there anything that the state could have done better to avoid what happened last night? Do you feel that the police are overly militarized?

tbm3fan
26 Nov 14,, 01:22
My son and I talked about this on the way to work; he said, "What a great idea! 'I'm pissed off, so let's go out and trash our own town!'" I understand the anger/frustration, I don't understand the destruction of property and mayhem.

Does make one yearn for those days when martial law is declared and we will shoot looters on sight. Even a 1000 miles away there were looters trashing a few businesses in Oakland for beer, bottled water, coffee beans and chips.

zraver
26 Nov 14,, 02:29
Zraver, from what I've gathered you are a police officer. I agree with you that damage done to the community was unnecessary and criminal. Burning down small stores and cars doesn't solve anything. However was there anything the police could have done to calm the situation down? Was there anything that the state could have done better to avoid what happened last night? Do you feel that the police are overly militarized?

Not a cop, a search and rescue worker.

However (and this goes for Jimbo as well), I was listening the Missouri State Highway Police Troop C Unified Incident Command scanner (troop C) last night. St Louis County Sheriff's office (sheriff) had riot duty at the expected protest sites and to protect critical infrastructure. Troop C who had wide area security was busy all night once things began happening. They had multiple squads out trying to stop looting and more officers on roving patrol. These assets were then forced to retreat in the face of gun fire or being seriously outnumbered. At one point they had a trooper missing and were in a near panic but he was found safe. Warfighter (National Guard) was on Troop C's net but was not deployed until about 1 AM. Governor Nixon dropped the ball big time there. Of note they reported a Pontiac G6 involved in a shooting last night, today a man was found dead in a Pontiac G6.

In short it looks like the cops concentrated their resources to deal with protests and were waiting on the National Guard to show up as cavalry/ fire brigades and were not prepared to deal with the wide spread and dispersed outbreak of violence without support from the National Guard. Why it took the National Guard 5 hours to get into action when they were in the area is a question that needs to be answered. I started listening to Troop C's coms before 5pm so I know they were on Troop C's net. Apparently the governor is claiming the troops were in St Louis proper but like I said, I head them on Troop C's net.

Native
26 Nov 14,, 04:03
What is this about?

Gangbanging thug punches cop, goes for his gun and gets shot.

lemontree
26 Nov 14,, 07:23
White copper shoots unarmed black yoof. White copper gets off.

Oh yes, I did not realize. Sorry for the silly question.

Bigfella
26 Nov 14,, 08:46
The sad part is all the media coverage and anticipation for this has left me with not even an iota of shock. The time for considering the implications of this in the socioeconomic/judicial realm can wait, now is the time to mourn the fall of sensibility in the town of Ferguson.

Is there anything about this from the shooting to the Grand Jury to the riots that has been a surprise? Nothing from the moment I heard about Brown being shot has been a surprise. I wasn't surprised last time something like this happened & I won't be surprised next time. Wish I could say otherwise. I really do.

Louis
26 Nov 14,, 12:15
Just a thought, but a 17 year old dead in the street with ten shots in him is a bit worrying.


TENSIONS IN FERGUSON

CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Officer Darren Wilson's story is unbelievable. Literally.
Updated by Ezra Klein on November 25, 2014, 11:00 a.m. ET @ezraklein

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The St. Louis county officials released photos of Officer Darren Wilson after his altercation with Michael Brown.
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We've finally heard from Officer Darren Wilson.

Wilson had been publicly silent since the events of August 9, when he shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. And, even as the grand jury announced its decision not to indict him, he remained silent. He had his attorneys release a statement on his behalf.


But on Monday night, St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch released the evidence given to the grand jury, including the interview police did with Wilson in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. And so we got to read, for the first time, Wilson's full, immediate account of his altercation with Brown.

And it is unbelievable.

I mean that in the literal sense of the term: "difficult or impossible to believe." But I want to be clear here. I'm not saying Wilson is lying. I'm not saying his testimony is false. I am saying that the events, as he describes them, are simply bizarre. His story is difficult to believe.

The story Wilson tells goes like this:

At about noon on August 9th, Wilson hears on the radio that there's a theft in progress at the Ferguson Market. The suspect is a black male in a black shirt.

Moments later, Wilson sees two young black men walking down the yellow stripe in the center of the street. He pulls over. "Hey guys, why don't you walk on the sidewalk?" They refuse. "We're almost at our destination," one of them replies. Wilson tries again. "But what's wrong with the sidewalk?" he asks.

And then things get weird.

Brown's response to "what's wrong with the sidewalk?", as recorded by Wilson, is "fuck what you have to say." Remember, Wilson is a uniformed police officer, in a police car, and Brown is an 18-year-old kid who just committed a robbery. And when asked to use the sidewalk, Wilson says Brown replied, "Fuck what you have to say."

WILSON SAYS BROWN REPLIED, "FUCK WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY."

Wilson backs his car up and begins to open the door. "Hey, come here," he said to the kid who just cursed at him. He says Brown replied, "What the fuck you gonna do?" And then Brown, in Wilson's telling, slams the car door closed. Wilson tries to open the door again, tells Brown to get back, and then Brown leans into the vehicle and begins punching him.



Photos surround Michael Brown's casket in Ferguson, MO. (Richard Perry-Pool/Getty Images)

Let's take a breath and recap. Wilson sees two young black men walking in the middle of the street. He pulls over and politely asks them to use the sidewalk. They refuse. He asks again, still polite. Brown tells Wilson — again, a uniformed police officer in a police car — "fuck what you have to say." Wilson stops his car, tries to get out, and Brown slams the car door on him and then begins punching him through the open window.

What happens next is the most unbelievable moment in the narrative. And so it's probably best that I just quote Wilson's account at length on it.

I was doing the, just scrambling, trying to get his arms out of my face and him from grabbing me and everything else. He turned to his...if he's at my vehicle, he turned to his left and handed the first subject. He said, "here, take these." He was holding a pack of — several packs of cigarillos which was just, what was stolen from the Market Store was several packs of cigarillos. He said, "here, hold these" and when he did that I grabbed his right arm trying just to control something at that point. Um, as I was holding it, and he came around, he came around with his arm extended, fist made, and went like that straight at my face with his...a full swing from his left hand.

So Brown is punching inside the car. Wilson is scrambling to deflect the blows, to protect his face, to regain control of the situation. And then Brown stops, turns to his left, says to his friend, "Here, hold these," and hands him the cigarillos stolen from Ferguson Market. Then he turns back to Wilson and, with his left hand now freed from holding the contraband goods, throws a haymaker at Wilson.

Every bullshit detector in me went off when I read that passage. Which doesn't mean that it didn't happen exactly the way Wilson describes. But it is, again, hard to imagine. Brown, an 18-year-old kid holding stolen goods, decides to attack a cop and, while attacking him, stops, hands his stolen goods to his friend, and then returns to the beatdown. It reads less like something a human would do and more like a moment meant to connect Brown to the robbery.

Wilson next recounts his thought process as he reached for a weapon. He considered using his mace, but at such close range, the mace might get in his eyes, too. He doesn't carry a taser with a fireable cartridge, but even if he did, "it probably wouldn't have hit [Brown] anywhere". Wilson couldn't reach his baton or his flashlight. So he went for his gun.

Brown sees him go for the gun. And he replies: "You're too much of a fucking pussy to shoot me."

"YOU'RE TOO MUCH OF A FUCKING PUSSY TO SHOOT ME."

Again, stop for a moment and think about that. Brown is punching Wilson, sees the terrified cop reaching for his gun, and says "You're too much of a fucking pussy to shoot me." He dares him to shoot.



A protestors holds up a sign saying "don't shoot". (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

And then Brown grabs Wilson's gun, twists it, and points it at Wilson's "pelvic area". Wilson regains control of the firearm and gets off a shot, shattering the glass. Brown backs up a half step and, realizing he's unharmed, dives back into the car to attack Wilson. Wilson fires again, and then Brown takes off running. (You can see the injuries Wilson sustained from the fight in these photographs.)

Wilson exits the car to give chase. He yells at Brown to get down on the ground. Here, I'm going to go back to Wilson's words:

When he stopped, he turned, looked at me, made like a grunting noise and had the most intense, aggressive face I've ever seen on a person. When he looked at me, he then did like the hop...you know, like people do to start running. And, he started running at me. During his first stride, he took his right hand put it under his shirt into his waistband. And I ordered him to stop and get on the ground again. He didn't. I fired multiple shots. After I fired the multiple shots, I paused a second, yelled at him to get on the ground again, he was still in the same state. Still charging, hand still in his waistband, hadn't slowed down.

The stuff about Brown putting his hand in his waistband is meant to suggest that Wilson had reason to believe Brown might pull a gun. But it's strange. We know Brown didn't have a gun. And that's an odd fact to obscure while charging a police officer.

Either way, at that point, Wilson shoots again, and kills Brown.

There are inconsistencies in Wilson's story. He estimates that Brown ran 20-30 feet away from the car and then charged another 10 feet back towards Wilson. But we know Brown died 150 feet away from the car.

There are also consistencies. St Louis prosecutor Robert McCulloch said that Brown's DNA was found inside Wilson's car, suggesting there was a physical altercation inside the vehicle. We know shots were fired from inside the car. We know Brown's bullet wounds show he was only hit from the front, never from the back.

But the larger question is, in a sense, simpler: Why?

Why did Michael Brown, an 18-year-old kid headed to college, refuse to move from the middle of the street to the sidewalk? Why would he curse out a police officer? Why would he attack a police officer? Why would he dare a police officer to shoot him? Why would he charge a police officer holding a gun? Why would he put his hand in his waistband while charging, even though he was unarmed?

NONE OF THIS FITS WITH WHAT WE KNOW OF MICHAEL BROWN

None of this fits with what we know of Michael Brown. Brown wasn't a hardened felon. He didn't have a death wish. And while he might have been stoned, this isn't how stoned people act. The toxicology report did not indicate he was on PCP or something that would've led to suicidal aggression.

Which doesn't mean Wilson is a liar. Unbelievable things happen every day. The fact that his story raises more questions than it answers doesn't mean it isn't true.

But the point of a trial would have been to try to answer these questions. We would have either found out if everything we thought we knew about Brown was wrong, or if Wilson's story was flawed in important ways. But now we're not going to get that chance. We're just left with Wilson's unbelievable story.

More: Michael Brown spent his last day with his friend Dorian Johnson. Johnson was also there when Officer Wilson stopped Brown. Here's where Johnson's testimony corroborates, and diverges, from Wilson's account.

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Monash
26 Nov 14,, 12:31
Is there anything about this from the shooting to the Grand Jury to the riots that has been a surprise? Nothing from the moment I heard about Brown being shot has been a surprise. I wasn't surprised last time something like this happened & I won't be surprised next time. Wish I could say otherwise. I really do.

A the law stands in the U.S. it is very hard to convince a grand jury that someone should be charged (Police Officer or civilian) in a shooting situation where the defense mantra is "I was in fear of my life". The burden of proof ways heavily on the State which convince the jury that the actions of the accused were egregious/excessive in the circumstances. Sans video evidence or forensics at the scene that is usually a tall order. What made it worse in this situation was the apparently broken relationship between the local PD and the community. That is going to take a decades of hard work by a lot of people, especially the Police Department.

The question is whether someone is going to put a 'broom' through the Department in the hope a whole raft of new faces might change things. Either way no-one in that community is going to get a win out of recent events - not in the short term anyway.

GVChamp
26 Nov 14,, 14:13
Louis,

The Grand Jury didn't just listen to Wilson's testimony. They listened to all testimony, and reviewed the physical evidence. According to them, there's no reason to indict Wilson.
HuffPo's agitprop is selective review of the case, not an honest appraisal of everything revealed to the Grand Jury.

Mihais
26 Nov 14,, 14:24
Don't know the States,but in my neck of the woods,simply changing faces isn't enough.Changing policemen doesn't reduce criminality in certain communities.While there are many approaches,only a few work and people eventually will arrive at the same conclusions as their predecesors.
The guy was a robber and he attacked a cop.He deserved what he got.

The alternative is what the Swedish,Dutch,Belgian or French police do wrt troublesome areas.They don't go there.And from this point onwards,you no longer have a law enforcement problem,you get an insurgency.

zraver
26 Nov 14,, 14:36
Is there anything about this from the shooting to the Grand Jury to the riots that has been a surprise? Nothing from the moment I heard about Brown being shot has been a surprise. I wasn't surprised last time something like this happened & I won't be surprised next time. Wish I could say otherwise. I really do.

On the day he died, 18yo 6'3" 292lb Mike Brown decided to model that day of his life on Conan the Cimmerian. First we have the strong armed robbery at Ferguson Market and Liquor. Then the erstwhile barbarian that sidewalks were for mere mortals and he'd take his pleasure stroll down the center of a road blocking traffic. Then when confronted about this he attacked a cop and tried to get the cops guns. Had he won he likely would have killed the cop. Instead Darren Wilson managed to fight free and Mike Brown fled. Had Mr. Brown continued fleeing or surrendered he would probably still be alive today. Instead he decided to re-engage the cops, betting that his size would carry him to victory. He bet wrong and paid with his life. I'm no fan of cops but I am even less of a fan of violent thugs walking around terrorizing people and treating society like shit.

TopHatter
26 Nov 14,, 15:59
I love how that HuffPo piece (of shit) makes great mention of Michael Brown as "an 18-year-old kid headed to college" and that this fact (?) calls into serious question that such a person would assault a police officer, charge a police officer etc.

And yet, other than quoting Officer Wilson, the author makes no mention that Brown had just committed strong-arm robbery, which was irrefutably captured on video!

So Mr Klein, I ask you: Why would an 18-year-old kid headed to college brazenly rob a convenience store for a pack of cigars in broad daylight?

astralis
26 Nov 14,, 16:26
frankly, according to both the Dorian Johnson and Officer Wilson testimonies, Michael Brown was a bully, thief, and general all-around thug.

the question is whether or not his death was just.

there's holes in both testimonies that i'd take anything either of them said with a grain of salt. what scanty evidence there is lies towards Officer Wilson's direction, but not conclusively.

overall i'd say justice was done: Wilson got off, but he lost his job. from what happened it seemed there was a lot of poor police practice going around, something that the Ferguson PD demonstrated in spades with the response to the demonstrations immediately following the incident.

the demand by the Michael Brown family regarding all police wearing body cameras is not a bad one.

TopHatter
26 Nov 14,, 18:03
frankly, according to both the Dorian Johnson and Officer Wilson testimonies, Michael Brown was a bully, thief, and general all-around thug.
And yet the Brown family and their supporters continue to insist, almost shrilly, that he was a "gentle giant on his way to college". :bang:


the question is whether or not his death was just.
I don't know if it's just or not, but when you bodily assault a police officer (confirmed) and attempt to lay hands on his firearm (more than likely), you've just guaranteed yourself a shortened life. And yet again, Brown's supporters would have us believe that Brown was merely walking down the street when he was suddenly murdered, execution-style, by a white police officer.


overall i'd say justice was done: Wilson got off, but he lost his job. from what happened it seemed there was a lot of poor police practice going around, something that the Ferguson PD demonstrated in spades with the response to the demonstrations immediately following the incident.No question about it. And police forces in general are insulated and isolated from the law-abiding community they're sworn to protect. This breeds a contempt and mistrust of the community in general.


the demand by the Michael Brown family regarding all police wearing body cameras is not a bad one.
I would consider the Brown family to be extremely fortunate that Officer Wilson wasn't wearing a cam and mic. Even if the cam had been damaged or knocked of position, the mic would've recorded the words of their "gentle giant" refusing the commands of a cop and daring that officer to shoot him.

astralis
26 Nov 14,, 22:28
TH,


I don't know if it's just or not, but when you bodily assault a police officer (confirmed)

was this confirmed? AFAIK there was a struggle. but other than the testimonies involved, the evidence doesn't assist in finding out whom started the altercation, and why Officer Wilson would put himself in such a situation where he had to 1.) engage in a hand-to-hand struggle (to the point where he almost lost positive control of his firearm), 2.) feel compelled to shoot MB after the initial altercation at the car, especially if there was some distance between himself and the attacker.


No question about it. And police forces in general are insulated and isolated from the law-abiding community they're sworn to protect. This breeds a contempt and mistrust of the community in general.

and it's particularly bad in racially sensitive areas such as the south. there IS a problem with minority distrust of the police, which given the number of police shootings has some legitimate basis. and the ham-fisted way that Ferguson PD acted against the initial protests was a good demonstration of this.

of course i find using this particular case as the symbol of injustice to be a pretty poor one-- i am far more sympathetic to the types of Amadou Diallo, for instance.


I would consider the Brown family to be extremely fortunate that Officer Wilson wasn't wearing a cam and mic. Even if the cam had been damaged or knocked of position, the mic would've recorded the words of their "gentle giant" refusing the commands of a cop and daring that officer to shoot him.

it would certainly have gone a long way to clearing this situation up. we simply don't know if Officer Wilson's testimony is correct, let alone Dorian Johnson's. and given how both of them have a LOT of reason to shade the truth, i wouldn't take either one's testimony as gospel. even if he wasn't deliberately lying, the heat of the moment makes oral testimony unreliable at best. all those witnesses reported differing stories, from distance between MB and the officer, the number of shots fired, to MB's stance...

i'll be interested to see what the federal investigation brings to light. it seems most people have made up their minds already about what happened, with conjecture filling in for actual evidence.

TopHatter
27 Nov 14,, 00:08
TH,
was this confirmed? AFAIK there was a struggle. but other than the testimonies involved, the evidence doesn't assist in finding out whom started the altercation, and why Officer Wilson would put himself in such a situation where he had to 1.) engage in a hand-to-hand struggle (to the point where he almost lost positive control of his firearm), 2.) feel compelled to shoot MB after the initial altercation at the car, especially if there was some distance between himself and the attacker.
Confirmed, photographs were taken of Wilson's face showing he'd been struck multiple times.

Idiot bloggers have dismissed Wilson's injuries as appearing minor and hardly worth crying about. Because as we all know, a wound has to look incredibly gruesome and gory to be actually painful. :rolleyes:

According to Wilson's testimony, he radioed for backup and then used his SUV to block the passage of the two men. Probably the only thing he could've done at that moment, other than letting them go. Had he done that, they would've melted away into an alley or some such.

The struggle began when Brown approached the SUV and punched Wilson through the open driver's side window. He described Brown as being immensely strong (no surprise there, Brown was a "giant" by his family's own description), despite Wilson himself being a very large man as well. If true, I'm sure Wilson was shocked when he realized what he'd stepped into.

As far as the final fatal shooting, I'd say Wilson was probably scared out of his mind and hopped up on a few gallons of adrenaline. Understandable, especially given that he was as alone as he could possibly be and had nearly had his weapon relieved by someone who clearly did not give a simple shit about literally anything...not the least of which was his or Wilson's life. Then this "gentle giant" decides "Fuck it, I'm going back for more!" and turns around toward Wilson to continue their conversation.

I probably would've done the same thing.


From Wiki:

According to the leaked testimony, the incident began as Wilson was driving down Canfield Drive, having just handled a call about a sick baby, when he saw Brown and Johnson walking down the middle of the street. Wilson told them to move to the sidewalk and was met with verbal abuse from the pair in response. Wilson saw that they were carrying cigarillos, and he noticed that Johnson matched the description of a suspect in a strong-arm robbery where cigarillos had been stolen. Wilson parked his vehicle and called for assistance, then tried to get out of the vehicle, but was punched in the face by Brown through the open window. Wilson thought he had no choice but to draw his weapon, because Brown was "incredibly strong". He was unable to use pepper spray due to the close quarters, and his baton was out of reach. Brown grabbed Wilson's pistol while punching him repeatedly in the face. Wilson could feel Brown pushing the weapon back toward his body, and it was at one point pointed back at his hip. Wilson pulled back inside the vehicle and attempted to shoot Brown, but he failed the first time because Brown's finger was jammed in the hammer of the gun. The gun fired on the second attempt, resulting in a wound to Brown's hand, as well as scattering fragments of glass inside the vehicle. A second gunshot failed to hit Brown before Brown fled. Wilson's shoulder radio had been knocked off-setting during the struggle, and he decided to give chase. After he got out of the vehicle, Brown turned back toward him, then charged at him despite his commands to stop. Wilson fired at Brown, hitting him four times, including a final, fatal shot to the forehead, which brought Brown down.


and it's particularly bad in racially sensitive areas such as the south. there IS a problem with minority distrust of the police, which given the number of police shootings has some legitimate basis. and the ham-fisted way that Ferguson PD acted against the initial protests was a good demonstration of this.

of course i find using this particular case as the symbol of injustice to be a pretty poor one-- i am far more sympathetic to the types of Amadou Diallo, for instance. Agreed on all points, especially the lackluster and ham-fisted (best way to describe it IMO) actions after the event, of Wilson as an officer and the PD as organization. It doesn't help that the prosecutor is notoriously, infamously, pro-LEO.


it would certainly have gone a long way to clearing this situation up. we simply don't know if Officer Wilson's testimony is correct, let alone Dorian Johnson's. and given how both of them have a LOT of reason to shade the truth, i wouldn't take either one's testimony as gospel. even if he wasn't deliberately lying, the heat of the moment makes oral testimony unreliable at best. all those witnesses reported differing stories, from distance between MB and the officer, the number of shots fired, to MB's stance...The prosecutor said they didn't put much stock in Wilson's testimony for obvious reasons. Mostly because the forensic evidence was pretty clear as to what happened. It certainly didn't support the notion of Brown surrendering. Indeed, the forensics destroyed the credibility of many witnesses and the popular "mythology" surrounding the event, especially the "Hands Up Don't Shoot" crap.


i'll be interested to see what the federal investigation brings to light. it seems most people have made up their minds already about what happened, with conjecture filling in for actual evidence.I'll be interested too. If the federal probe doesn't bring charges, there'll be a lot more rioting I'm sure.

Mihais
27 Nov 14,, 07:10
Nice job.Gotta show all the supressed revolt against those holding'em down. Ferguson man attacked with his oxygen supply and then run over | Daily Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2851061/Elderly-man-attacked-oxygen-supply-carjacked-run-protesters-Ferguson.html)

zraver
27 Nov 14,, 20:08
To be honest, looking at the actions of the prosecutor, the process was dirty. I don't think the evidence is anywhere clsoe enough to convict Darren Wilson but the process was definitely corrupted.

Triple C
28 Nov 14,, 14:15
According to one attorney who's not happy with the Grand Jury, the hospital records show that Wilson had "no bleeding, no laceration, no ecchymosis [bruises]". Anywho, Governor Nixon's job performance has been a head scratcher.

TopHatter
28 Nov 14,, 18:46
According to one attorney who's not happy with the Grand Jury, the hospital records show that Wilson had "no bleeding, no laceration, no ecchymosis [bruises]".This always cracks me up.

I've been conked on the head or what have you in the past and the pain was utterly excruciating, to the point where I can't quite catch my breath...and that's with my rather high threshold for pain. Visions of a Hollywood-esque Saving Private Ryan wound dancing in my head, I look in the mirror and see...a light red mark that wouldn't even qualify as sunburn. Then I'm doubly-glad that I didn't complain to anybody about my little "owie".


Anywho, Governor Nixon's job performance has been a head scratcher.
I think it's fair to say that most of the Missouri state and local response has been lackluster at best. So much lost opportunity, overreactions and underreactions.
Hopefully this who tragedy will be a textbook example of what not to do.

JAD_333
29 Nov 14,, 05:18
A sober look at the legal issues involved... Check out the comments as well. Recall in his interview with George Stephanopoulos (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/exclusive-watch-george-stephanopoulos-full-interview-police-officer-27186831) Wilson said “I did my job and followed my training...The training took over.”


Why Officer Darren Wilson wasn't indicted (http://www.policeone.com/ferguson/articles/7782643-Why-Officer-Darren-Wilson-wasnt-indicted/)


November 24, 2014

Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief 10-43: Be Advised...
with Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief

Why Officer Darren Wilson wasn't indicted
A cop may use lethal force when he or she “reasonably believes that the action is in defense of human life, including the officer's own life” and in the Ferguson incident, that’s precisely what happened

The grand jury in Ferguson (Mo.) has spoken, and there will be no criminal prosecution pursued against Officer Darren Wilson. The decision, outlined in detail tonight by St. Louis county prosecutor Robert McCulloch, comes about three and a half months after the officer-involved shooting of Michael Brown which sparked weeks of violent protest on the streets there and elsewhere, and a torrent of anti-cop fervor online.

Police officers, legal experts, and people who actually work in the law enforcement profession had expected no charges to be filed, and McCulloch spelled out clearly the rationale for the grand jury's decision — citing several times the inconsistent and contradictory statements made by many witnesses. But despite the rationale, the question from the general public will invariably be: “Why wasn’t Officer Wilson indicted?”

The short answer is: Because he shouldn’t have been indicted.
Related Articles:
Examining issues of time in the Ferguson shooting5 key factors about ‘looming’ and officer safety from violent attackers
Related Resources:
Be alert for violent interlopers hiding among peaceful protestersReview your crowd control tactics as Ferguson grand jury decision nears
Related Feature:
4 revelations from the leaked Michael Brown autopsy report
The fact that the report was leaked at all may actually be the most interesting piece of the story.

Justified Use of Force
The facts of the case showed that under Missouri law — and in accordance with Supreme Court precedent — Officer Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown.

In fact, compared to other police use-of-force cases, this incident was pretty simple and pretty easy to evaluate. Under Missouri law, a police officer is authorized to use force in self-defense (when in fear of death or great bodily harm to himself or another person) and to effect an arrest or prevent escape under certain prescribed conditions. Further, the City of Ferguson Police Department’s use of force policy (section 410.01) states:

“An officer may use lethal force only when the officer reasonably believes that the action is in defense of human life, including the officer's own life.”

Two court cases likely had some bearing in the grand jury’s decision-making process:

1. In Jones v. City of St. Louis, 92 F.Supp.2d 949 (E.D. Mo., 2000) the federal district court, in a lawsuit from the police use of deadly force, held that the use of deadly force is reasonable where the officer has probable cause to believe the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or others.

2. In Fitzgerald v. Patrick, 927 F.2d 1037 (8th Cir., 1991) the 8th circuit federal court of appeals, in another police use-of-force case out of Missouri, said law enforcement officers are justified in using deadly force in self-defense or in defense of a third person if a reasonable person in similar circumstance would believe it was necessary.

Still, the person who knows woefully little about police work will ask, “How can an officer be in fear of death or great bodily harm from an unarmed teenager?”

It really boils down to two things: An unarmed assailant can legitimately threaten life or great bodily harm to another person — even an officer — and an objectively reasonable officer in a similar position to Wilson would have done what Wilson did.

PoliceOne Contributor and legal expert Terry Dwyer explained, “The fact that Brown was found to be unarmed does not affect the reasonableness of the officer's decision — it is the officer's reasonable perception at the time, not in hindsight. There seems to be evidence — or there is evidence — indicating a struggle taking place with the officer while he was still in his patrol vehicle and a struggle or attempted struggled for the officer's gun, which would justify the officer's perception that he was in danger of serious physical injury or death.”

Let’s examine both elements.

1. Fear of Death or GBH: First and foremost, the word “unarmed” does not equate to “not dangerous.” In this case we had an attacker (Michael Brown) who was six feet, four inches tall and weighing 290+ pounds and a victim (Officer Wilson) who is shorter and lighter. An such size disparity affects the perception of the threat on the part of the person being attacked.

In addition to Brown’s size, we have to acknowledge Brown’s mindset at the time of the encounter. Merely five minutes before the shooting, Brown and an accomplice had manhandled a store clerk while robbing a convenience store.

When Wilson stopped the pair, they were walking down the middle of the street, something often done as a means of intimidating drivers and pedestrians. This action alone suggests a mindset bent on confrontation.

Further, remember that Officer Wilson told investigators that Brown had pushed him back into his SUV, then struggled for his pistol inside that squad. When there is a physical fight between an officer and an assailant, there is always at least one gun present. If the officer loses consciousness or the ability to completely protect himself/herself, that gun may be used against them.

“The public and the media do not seem to grasp that once someone grabs an officer's weapon, he is no longer unarmed,” said PoliceOne Columnist Dan Marcou.

There are a variety of ways that officers can perceive that they’re under threat. Environmental factors such as being confined in a vehicle — being belted in and being assaulted — especially when facing someone who is vastly larger than yourself and charging at you, can increase an officer’s perception of threat.

2. Reasonableness Standard: The Supreme Court has clearly stated that an officer’s actions are ‘objectively reasonable’ in light of the facts and circumstances confronting them at the time — without regard to their underlying intent or motivation.

Columnist and Police Chief Joel Shults explained, “If the physics and facts of the Brown encounter show that Brown attacked, the question of reasonableness starts first with the question of whether any other citizen would have the right to defend themselves. Wilson's position as a peace officer gave him no fewer rights."

Shults added, “If activists want to change the law that is another debate. But the law as it stands is clear. The ‘reasonableness’ of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. The calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments — in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving — about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.”

Fire in the Streets
Three months ago, the narrative of “unarmed black teen shot by white police officer” went so viral so fast that cooler heads could not possibly have prevailed. Many people relentlessly beat that drum in social and mainstream media regardless of the fact that it was totally out of tune with reality.

A day after the Ferguson incident, a candlelight vigil went wildly off the rails, resulting in mayhem in the streets. For weeks, people commuted to Ferguson from far and wide to cause nightly havoc.

As the looting and the rioting were fiercely ongoing, thousands of people said they were demanding justice. But what they actually wanted was satisfaction. And considering the facts that have subsequently come to light, that pursuit of satisfaction seems only marginally related to the incident that ignited their response.

The turmoil has negatively impacted Ferguson in myriad ways. More than a dozen businesses were raided and robbed by rampaging rioters — from AutoZone to Zisser Tire... from Footlocker to Shoe Carnival... from Walgreens to Walmart — and the financial loss is still being calculated. Let’s not forget, too, that several LEOs suffered injuries — including impact wounds from thrown rocks and bottles, as well as one gunshot wound — and no dollar amount can be placed on that damage.

Some have feared tonight will likely be the same — if not worse.

All indications are that law enforcement is far better prepared for unrest this time around. We hope that preparation is met by a more enlightened perspective among those who come to protest, and an understanding that whatever the larger societal issues and pent-up frustration that this saga has brought to the surface, destruction and violence of one's community is no way to seek “justice.”

To our brothers and sisters on the front lines in Ferguson and at other protests around the nation — please stay safe.



And to balance things out, here is a series of tweets from Lisa Bloom, billed as a legal adviser to NBC news. Try MSNBC. A good example of why tweets will never double for serious analysis.

https://twitter.com/lisabloom

AG Holder reportedly disappointed with grand jury decision, and believe it not he's a lawyer.

Sure, Wilson could have reacted differently. But applying retrospect to 90 seconds of a traumatic confrontation proves nothing except the naivete of those who engage in it. It's sad that an 18-year old college-bound kid was killed in the streets of Ferguson; sad that his parents lost their son; and sad that this sort of things happens too often, but no amount of poetic narrative can alter the basic story: if you attack a police officer, you risk your life.

TopHatter
29 Nov 14,, 05:44
Still, the person who knows woefully little about police work will ask, “How can an officer be in fear of death or great bodily harm from an unarmed teenager?”

It really boils down to two things: An unarmed assailant can legitimately threaten life or great bodily harm to another person — even an officer — and an objectively reasonable officer in a similar position to Wilson would have done what Wilson did.

I've been saying that repeatedly for MONTHS: "Unarmed" does not and has never equaled "Harmless". :bang:

zraver
29 Nov 14,, 06:11
Darren Wilson should have been indicted once the prosecutor decided to refer it to a grand jury. The job of the grand jury is not to decide innocence or guilt, merely the exceedingly low threshold of probable cause. I think an honest look at the evidence may well establish probable cause even if it would not support conviction. If the prosecutor knew that Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Micheal Brown (as I believe he was) and that there was no chance of probable cause existing he should not have sent them the case. Sending the case to the grand jury and then corrupting the process by showing the grand jury "brady evidence" is or should be prosecutorial misconduct because it directly affects faith in the system.

Monash
29 Nov 14,, 06:17
I would be curious to see what the shooting review says about the officers choice re: use of force options. In other words was he equipped with and did he consider using, baton, Taser or CS. If the approaching suspect was unarmed did he consider using these other options and if not why not? I'd also be looking at the training package the local PD uses - it could be a matter of poor or substandard training. Alternatively it could be he did just the right thing in the circumstances. These incidents have to be taken apart piece by piece with each step in the decision tree being looked at very closely before people go rushing to judgement.

zraver
29 Nov 14,, 07:18
I would be curious to see what the shooting review says about the officers choice re: use of force options. In other words was he equipped with and did he consider using, baton, Taser or CS. If the approaching suspect was unarmed did he consider using these other options and if not why not? I'd also be looking at the training package the local PD uses - it could be poor a matter of poor or substandard training. Alternatively it could be he did just the right thing in the circumstances. These incidents have to be taken apart piece by piece with each step in the decision tree being looked at very closely before people go rushing to judgement.

You know I am not exactly keen on police....

Man with a 100lb weight advantage brazenly attacks a cop in his car and tries to disarm him, then turns and tries to re-engage. The cop has no back up present at that moment so if the attacker closes the distance its man oh ehh man oh... NO honest review would conclude the cop should have gone with anything less than deadly force.

Which is why I have a problem with the prosecutor, they system would have worked if he hadn't corrupted it. Sure we'd have had the one round of riots in August, but round v2.0 could have been avoided. The second round of riots has killed at least 1 person and injured many more, cost a lot of jobs and crippled the towns ability to attract any new employers.

JAD_333
29 Nov 14,, 18:05
Darren Wilson should have been indicted once the prosecutor decided to refer it to a grand jury. The job of the grand jury is not to decide innocence or guilt, merely the exceedingly low threshold of probable cause.

Where do you come up with that? A grand jury's job is to decide whether an indictment is warranted on the basis of the evidence the prosecutor presents. It does not decide on innocence or guilt, but rather whether the evidence presented to it establishes that a crime was committed. That Wilson killed Brown is an established fact. The only legal issue was whether he did so in the line of duty.

This case was about sufficiency of evidence to convict, not innocence or guilt.



I think an honest look at the evidence may well establish probable cause even if it would not support conviction. If the prosecutor knew that Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Micheal Brown (as I believe he was) and that there was no chance of probable cause existing he should not have sent them the case.

Probable cause, or the reasonable basis to detain someone suspected of a crime, existed in this case. If it had not, Wilson would have been likely indicted. But a police officer's actions after probable cause is established can still be criminal.

DonBelt
29 Nov 14,, 18:45
I would be curious to see what the shooting review says about the officers choice re: use of force options. In other words was he equipped with and did he consider using, baton, Taser or CS. If the approaching suspect was unarmed did he consider using these other options and if not why not? I'd also be looking at the training package the local PD uses - it could be a matter of poor or substandard training. Alternatively it could be he did just the right thing in the circumstances. These incidents have to be taken apart piece by piece with each step in the decision tree being looked at very closely before people go rushing to judgement.

He did answer questions with regard to choice of force. It was too close quarters in the cruiser to use pepper spray, he would have sprayed himself, disabling himself- many police officers don't like pepper spray for that reason alone, too easy to get yourself as well- and he could not reach his baton.

zraver
29 Nov 14,, 18:48
Where do you come up with that? A grand jury's job is to decide whether an indictment is warranted on the basis of the evidence the prosecutor presents. It does not decide on innocence or guilt, but rather whether the evidence presented to it establishes that a crime was committed. That Wilson killed Brown is an established fact. The only legal issue was whether he did so in the line of duty.

This case was about sufficiency of evidence to convict, not innocence or guilt.

Handbook for Federal Grand Jurors,

The grand jury, on the other hand, does not
determine guilt or innocence, but only whether
there is probable cause to believe that a crime was
committed and that a specific person or persons
committed it. If the grand jury finds probable
cause to exist, then it will return a written
statement of the charges called an “indictment".

It was not, or rather should not have been about sufficiency of evidence to convict, or about whether or not the shooting was justified. It should have been about probable cause. Given that an unarmed Micheal Brown was shot by Darren Wilson along with witness statements that Brown posed no threat to Darren Wilson should have been enough. The place to cross examine witnesses (funny how community witnesses were cross examined but Darren Wilson wasn't) is before the petite/trial jury. If the prosecutor knew 100% that the shooting was justified he never should have sent it to the grand jury and instead relied on his own discretion.


Probable cause, or the reasonable basis to detain someone suspected of a crime, existed in this case. If it had not, Wilson would have been likely indicted. But a police officer's actions after probable cause is established can still be criminal.

I believe probable cause existed (or would have if this was any other shooting) and the prosecutor acted out of character to prevent Darren Wilson from being indicted. The prosecutor corrupted the system to protect a cop who likely didn't need the protection. We can see the results of his actions in the burned out shops. This isn't the first time the prosecutor has gone to bat for the cops, he treats police shooters much differently than others.

TopHatter
29 Nov 14,, 19:37
Given that an unarmed Micheal Brown was shot by Darren Wilson along with witness statements that Brown posed no threat to Darren Wilson should have been enough. The place to cross examine witnesses (funny how community witnesses were cross examined but Darren Wilson wasn't) is before the petite/trial jury.There's that word again: "Unarmed". :confused:

And the forensic evidence showed clearly that many of the witnesses will simply full of shit. They would have us believe that Wilson simply executed Brown. Grand jury or trial jury, the "witnesses" were anything but.


If the prosecutor knew 100% that the shooting was justified he never should have sent it to the grand jury and instead relied on his own discretion.IIRC the prosecutor sent it to the grand jury specifically so that it wasn't at his own discretion, but rather that of ordinary citizens.
Again if I recall recall correctly, this was a (vain) attempt to mollify the public that Wilson would indeed be put before a non-State, non-police forum to determine probable cause.

Naturally a large portion of the community wasn't looking for probable cause, whether determined by a prosecutor or anybody else. They wanted, demanded and still want a hangman.

zraver
29 Nov 14,, 21:35
There's that word again: "Unarmed". :confused:

He was not armed


And the forensic evidence showed clearly that many of the witnesses will simply full of shit. They would have us believe that Wilson simply executed Brown. Grand jury or trial jury, the "witnesses" were anything but.

Those are issues and questions for the trial jury, not the grand jury.


IIRC the prosecutor sent it to the grand jury specifically so that it wasn't at his own discretion, but rather that of ordinary citizens.
Again if I recall recall correctly, this was a (vain) attempt to mollify the public that Wilson would indeed be put before a non-State, non-police forum to determine probable cause.

Yup, but that is not the function of grand jury and he loaded the evidence the GJ saw and changed their function from finding probable cause to justifying the shooting.


Naturally a large portion of the community wasn't looking for probable cause, whether determined by a prosecutor or anybody else. They wanted, demanded and still want a hangman.

Be that as it may, the GJ was misused. The GJ is not a review panel and it was misused and even lied to.

Grand Jury Sept. 16, 2014| MS Alizadeh, Asst. prosecutor:
"I'm going to pass out to you all, you are all going to receive a copy of a statute, It is section 563.046, and it is, it says law enforcement officers use of force in making an arrest, And it is the law on what is permissible, what force is permissible and when in making an arrest by a police officer"

The problem is that law was ruled unconstitutional in 1985 (Tennsesse v Garner). But it changed the standard DW was judged by from fear or his life, to legal right to shoot a fleeing suspect.

Parihaka
29 Nov 14,, 23:11
38627

Monash
30 Nov 14,, 00:42
He did answer questions with regard to choice of force. It was too close quarters in the cruiser to use pepper spray, he would have sprayed himself, disabling himself- many police officers don't like pepper spray for that reason alone, too easy to get yourself as well- and he could not reach his baton.

Thanks, for the update. FYI - the effective range for most personal issue CS dispensers is 3-4 meters and you generally try to avoid using them under 1meter because of the potential for splash back.That said LEO are exposed to CS (at least we are) and trained to fight through it long enough to disable an assailant or else disengage. Of course the downside is the assailant can fight through it to. :frown:

zraver
30 Nov 14,, 02:47
Darren Wilson didn't have a taser, but this shows how event at might fail.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNXdzPTkviM

Monash
30 Nov 14,, 04:38
Yes we've had a few instances where offenders (usually off their faces on drugs) have fought through multiple Taser hits. Still it slowed him down a bit. (I like the way the civilians on the scene thought about locking the doors. Like would it have hurt to at least ask if the officers wanted assistance?

zraver
30 Nov 14,, 05:36
Yes we've had a few instances where offenders (usually off their faces on drugs) have fought through multiple Taser hits. Still it slowed him down a bit. (I like the way the civilians on the scene thought about locking the doors. Like would it have hurt to at least ask if the officers wanted assistance?

They are teen aged sheep, not sheepdogs, at least locking the doors acted to keep the suspect away from other people.

Officer of Engineers
30 Nov 14,, 06:23
Yes we've had a few instances where offenders (usually off their faces on drugs) have fought through multiple Taser hits. Still it slowed him down a bit. (I like the way the civilians on the scene thought about locking the doors. Like would it have hurt to at least ask if the officers wanted assistance?Ok, I ain't a cop and the combat arms ain't issued with tasers but one on one and a larger man than me and having at seen big men worked through tasers, I would have grabbed the best stopping power I have ... and it ain't the taser.

Officer of Engineers
30 Nov 14,, 06:24
Let me put it to you this way, I ain't using a taser on a grizzly, let alone a polar bear.

And for those bears, I don't think you have an equivlent in Australia but the rule is you don't stop shooting until the bear stops moving.

To put this in context, if I think the man will work through a taser, I ain't using a taser ... and I'm not about to stop putting rounds into him until I'm sure he's stopped.

Monash
30 Nov 14,, 08:17
Let me put it to you this way, I ain't using a taser on a grizzly, let alone a polar bear.

And for those bears, I don't think you have an equivlent in Australia but the rule is you don't stop shooting until the bear stops moving.

To put this in context, if I think the man will work through a taser, I ain't using a taser ... and I'm not about to stop putting rounds into him until I'm sure he's stopped.

The trouble is 99% of the time the Taser is going to get the job done (say 80-90% for OC). And since you can't know in advance which subjects they will work on and which they won't you can't justify going strait to lethal force just because you know that on a small % of occasion they won't work. You have to be able to demonstrate that your life or someone else's was at risk first. Note the distinction - if the two the officers involved had gone to lethal force before it all turned to shit they would have been crucified. Yet once they went hands on it became all but impossible to go to firearms safely.

OH and we do have Koala bears but Tazering them doesn't get you praised - it just gets gets you laughed at. :biggrin:

Aryajet
30 Nov 14,, 15:03
He was not armed


Z

Unarmed doesn't mean not dangerous. Prisoners are unarmed but we still see cases of rape, paralyzing injuries and death in prisons all the time. Michael Brown had already thrown 3 punches to cop's face, fist of a 300 lbs man landing on the right spot of the head can be lethal.

BTW 8 all black eye witnesses testified before the GJ verifying Darren Wilson's description of the event they just didn't want their name be published or interview with the press and I don't blame them, they live in a neighborhood where Snitches get Stitches or end up in Ditches.:biggrin:

JAD_333
30 Nov 14,, 17:47
Handbook for Federal Grand Jurors,

The grand jury, on the other hand, does not
determine guilt or innocence, but only whether
there is probable cause to believe that a crime was
committed and that a specific person or persons
committed it. If the grand jury finds probable
cause to exist, then it will return a written
statement of the charges called an “indictment".

It was not, or rather should not have been about sufficiency of evidence to convict, or about whether or not the shooting was justified. It should have been about probable cause. Given that an unarmed Micheal Brown was shot by Darren Wilson along with witness statements that Brown posed no threat to Darren Wilson should have been enough. The place to cross examine witnesses (funny how community witnesses were cross examined but Darren Wilson wasn't) is before the petite/trial jury. If the prosecutor knew 100% that the shooting was justified he never should have sent it to the grand jury and instead relied on his own discretion.



I believe probable cause existed (or would have if this was any other shooting) and the prosecutor acted out of character to prevent Darren Wilson from being indicted. The prosecutor corrupted the system to protect a cop who likely didn't need the protection. We can see the results of his actions in the burned out shops. This isn't the first time the prosecutor has gone to bat for the cops, he treats police shooters much differently than others.


Z:

I agree with everything you said, but you didn't really address my points.

You said, "It was not, or rather should not have been about sufficiency of evidence to convict, or about whether or not the shooting was justified. It should have been about probable cause."

Yes. Probable cause that the subject committed a crime. Contrary to what you say, it all hinged on whether the shooting was justified. It could not have been about whether Wilson shot Brown because that was a known fact Wilson himself admitted in his report. There were actually two issues before the grand jury: Did Wilson have probable cause to confront Brown? There is general agreement that he did. The other issue was whether Wilson was justified in shooting Brown. The grand jury decided he was. In other words, there was insufficiency of evidence to establish probable cause that Wilson committed a crime.

By the way, there are two probable cause issues in this case. The one I referred to in my post had to do with Wilson's actions as a law enforcement officer. Did he or didn't he have probable cause to confront Brown? This is important, because if he didn't have probable cause to confront Brown, he might well have been indicted for killing Brown. But because he did have probable cause, the sole issue remaining, as I already mentioned, was whether the shooting which ensued from the confrontation was justified under the law.

Was the grand jury's action tantamount to deciding Wilson's guilt or innocence, as the protest movement claims? No. Because if new evidence comes to light that Wilson was not justified in shooting Brown, Wilson can be still be indicted.

Some who protest the decision of the grand jury claim that it was unfair because eye witnesses were questioned far more than Wilson. This is a bogus claim. It was only natural the so-called 'eye' witnesses would be questioned more because some accounts contradicted others or went against the forensic evidence. The differences had to be resolved to determine the accuracy of Wilson's account of events which was already on record in his report filed after the shooting. So, rather than being a negative, questioning the eye witnesses extensively was a positive in that it demonstrates the grand jury did attempt to find evidence of holes in Wilson's report.

Your quote from the handbook doesn't contain anything to preclude what transpired before the grand jury or whether the grand jury could consider evidence without a recommendation from the prosecutor to indict. Everything was done legally, if not wisely. The Fed grand jury up next will probably focus on whether Brown's civil rights were violated. That's going to be interesting. Out of it could come changes in police procedures if Wilson is indicted and convicted in Federal court.

Double Edge
30 Nov 14,, 22:36
38627
Long after this riot is forgotten that image will still live on.

That kid has an amazing story (http://petapixel.com/2014/11/28/story-behind-powerful-photo-black-boy-hugging-police-officer-ferguson-demonstration/).

zraver
30 Nov 14,, 23:23
Z:

I agree with everything you said, but you didn't really address my points.

You said, "It was not, or rather should not have been about sufficiency of evidence to convict, or about whether or not the shooting was justified. It should have been about probable cause."

Yes. Probable cause that the subject committed a crime. Contrary to what you say, it all hinged on whether the shooting was justified. It could not have been about whether Wilson shot Brown because that was a known fact Wilson himself admitted in his report. There were actually two issues before the grand jury: Did Wilson have probable cause to confront Brown? There is general agreement that he did. The other issue was whether Wilson was justified in shooting Brown. The grand jury decided he was. In other words, there was insufficiency of evidence to establish probable cause that Wilson committed a crime.

By the way, there are two probable cause issues in this case. The one I referred to in my post had to do with Wilson's actions as a law enforcement officer. Did he or didn't he have probable cause to confront Brown? This is important, because if he didn't have probable cause to confront Brown, he might well have been indicted for killing Brown. But because he did have probable cause, the sole issue remaining, as I already mentioned, was whether the shooting which ensued from the confrontation was justified under the law.

Was the grand jury's action tantamount to deciding Wilson's guilt or innocence, as the protest movement claims? No. Because if new evidence comes to light that Wilson was not justified in shooting Brown, Wilson can be still be indicted.

Some who protest the decision of the grand jury claim that it was unfair because eye witnesses were questioned far more than Wilson. This is a bogus claim. It was only natural the so-called 'eye' witnesses would be questioned more because some accounts contradicted others or went against the forensic evidence. The differences had to be resolved to determine the accuracy of Wilson's account of events which was already on record in his report filed after the shooting. So, rather than being a negative, questioning the eye witnesses extensively was a positive in that it demonstrates the grand jury did attempt to find evidence of holes in Wilson's report.

Your quote from the handbook doesn't contain anything to preclude what transpired before the grand jury or whether the grand jury could consider evidence without a recommendation from the prosecutor to indict. Everything was done legally, if not wisely. The Fed grand jury up next will probably focus on whether Brown's civil rights were violated. That's going to be interesting. Out of it could come changes in police procedures if Wilson is indicted and convicted in Federal court.

Jad, none of that adresses my points. 1. That if the prosecutor knew that DW was jsutifed he never should have sent it to the GJ. 2. He used the GJ for political purposes. 3. He conducted the GJ and contrled the flow of information in a way to further get a justified result (at odds with normal procedure where information is controlled to get an indictment).

It was an abuse of the system for naked political ends.

JAD_333
01 Dec 14,, 05:40
Jad, none of that adresses my points.

Z, I suppose that makes us even.


1. That if the prosecutor knew that DW was jsutifed he never should have sent it to the GJ.

I assume that's your opinion, because what he did was legal. Obviously, he thought the shooting was justified because he didn't ask for an indictment; instead he left the final decision up to the grand jury. In doctor lingo, he sought a second opinion.



2. He used the GJ for political purposes.

Of course he did; politics is the art of compromise. He opted for transparency so the public would be better informed. That's good politics, in my view. Either way there was no stopping the riots, and things might have gotten even worse had he alone made the decision not to prosecute.



3. He conducted the GJ and contrled the flow of information in a way to further get a justified result (at odds with normal procedure where information is controlled to get an indictment).


I don't think he had to work very hard at it. Wilson had probable cause. Brown was uncooperative, threatening, and by many accounts attacked Wilson.



It was an abuse of the system for naked political ends.

The alternative the system provides is for a single prosecutor to make the decision. I don't see how the system was abused by letting citizens on a grand jury decide.

Triple C
01 Dec 14,, 10:17
JAD, I think Justice Sacalia wrote in an opinion that the Grand Jury's job is not to weigh the balance of evidence for or against a defendant, but only to limit themselves to judging whether the evidence provided by the prosecutor is sufficient for an indict. Ordinarily defendants were not put on the stand to give exculpatory testimony for themselves and the cross examination was criticized for being unrigorous. I believe that a prosecutor should be fired up to obtain a conviction; if he cannot do so, then he should refuse to indict, rather than going to grand jury half-cocked. The later does a disservice to the system, the defendant, and the family of the slain.

zraver
01 Dec 14,, 14:39
Not to mention the prosecutor should not ask the GJ to weigh the situation using a law ruled unconstitutional in 1985. A law that radically changed the burden needed to indict.

JAD_333
01 Dec 14,, 17:45
JAD, I think Justice Sacalia wrote in an opinion that the Grand Jury's job is not to weigh the balance of evidence for or against a defendant, but only to limit themselves to judging whether the evidence provided by the prosecutor is sufficient for an indict. Ordinarily defendants were not put on the stand to give exculpatory testimony for themselves and the cross examination was criticized for being unrigorous. I believe that a prosecutor should be fired up to obtain a conviction; if he cannot do so, then he should refuse to indict, rather than going to grand jury half-cocked. The later does a disservice to the system, the defendant, and the family of the slain.


Scalia was speaking about how grand juries traditionally operate and he makes a good case. No question this one was out of the norm, but it was not outside the realm of the purpose of a grand jury which is to act as the final arbiter of whether to prosecute or not. Maybe the prosecutor should have asked for an indictment and let this play out in a court of law. Maybe he wouldn't have gotten an indictment. The evidence to establish probable cause was ambiguous at best. The prosecutor would have had to use only damning eye witness accounts while excluding exculpatory eye witness accounts. A backlash was inevitable no matter how it was handled.

Prosecutors can supply as much evidence as they wish. Typically they present just enough to get an indictment. And BTW, it's not the prosecutor that indicts or refuses to indict.

What Z objects to is the use of the grand jury outside of common practice as if by doing so some injustice was committed. Keep in mind, the prosecutor could have achieved the same result by not bringing the case before the grand jury. So, really, the issue is whether the community benefited by his doing it this way? The benefits on one hand were 1) transparency and 2) allowing a panel of citizens decide. On the other hand, the downsides were 1) an ensuing public debate over orthodoxy and from that 2) belief that justice was not served.

There have been commentaries on both sides of the issue. Two opposing views:

We Need More Ferguson-style Grand Juries - The Daily Beast (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/11/30/we-need-more-ferguson-style-grand-juries.html)

The Strange Ferguson Grand Jury | Consortiumnews (http://consortiumnews.com/2014/11/30/the-strange-ferguson-grand-jury/)

JAD_333
01 Dec 14,, 17:59
Not to mention the prosecutor should not ask the GJ to weigh the situation using a law ruled unconstitutional in 1985. A law that radically changed the burden needed to indict.

Z:

You need to take a closer look at this. I don't know why you are so vehement on this point when valid statutes were also presented to the grand jury.


No, Prosecution did not Mislead #Ferguson Grand Jury into Erroneous Decision

Ferguson | Michael Brown | Grand Jury | MSNBC (http://legalinsurrection.com/2014/11/no-prosecution-did-not-mislead-ferguson-grand-jury-into-erroneous-decision/)

zraver
01 Dec 14,, 23:31
Z:

You need to take a closer look at this. I don't know why you are so vehement on this point when valid statutes were also presented to the grand jury.

That piece is 100% wrong... we don't know why the GJ decided as it did, the vote and why members voted that way is secret. All we know is that 1. The GJ was given a copy of a law ruled unconstitutional and 2. The GJ voted to issue a No Bill.

Oh, and the GJ is not the final arbiter of weather or not to prosecute. Prosecutors cannot be compelled to prosecute, not to settle or to not drop cases once begun.

What I object to is the way the GJ was manipulated for political ends, fed misleading information used as a stand in for an adversarial court proceeding.

Mihais
02 Dec 14,, 07:59
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIPZ09WcTWk

Triple C
02 Dec 14,, 09:27
I am not saying the decision was illegal, JAD. But in such cases prosecutors should not appear, or actually be, ham-fisted and wishy-washy.

JAD_333
02 Dec 14,, 18:21
That piece is 100% wrong...

Saying so doesn't make it wrong. What's wrong with it? It was written by an attorney.



we don't know why the GJ decided as it did,

Yes, we do. Wilson had probable cause and acted within legal guidelines.



the vote and why members voted that way is secret.

The vote is no secret. What the jurors thought is..well...their own counsel to keep.



All we know is that 1. The GJ was given a copy of a law ruled unconstitutional and 2. The GJ voted to issue a No Bill.

All we know? Good God we know a hell of a lot more. The law that was unconstitutional did not sway the case. It's a moot point. Not pretty, but hardly decisive, as there are other laws on the books covering Wilson's actions.



Oh, and the GJ is not the final arbiter of weather or not to prosecute. Prosecutors cannot be compelled to prosecute, not to settle or to not drop cases once begun.

You're muddling my point. The grand jury is the final arbiter once the case is submitted to them, and if they indict, the prosecutor must try the case. Like I said, the prosecutor did not think there was enough evidence to indict, but he let a panel of citizens decide. Once all the BS smoke clears about the use of a grand jury in this case, what you have is a prosecutor who didn't have enough evidence, but played it safe by putting the case before local citizens, three of which were African American.



What I object to is the way the GJ was manipulated for political ends, fed misleading information used as a stand in for an adversarial court proceeding.

If one believes in advance, as many do, that justice required a different outcome, one will look for chinks in the process and use them to erect strawmen to support their objections. We probably share the same view about overzealous or abusive police tactics, especially in dealing with racial minorities. That is a larger issue. In Ferguson it is about one police officer and his guilt or innocence. His case from a legal standpoint has nothing to do with what goes on elsewhere in the country.

JAD_333
02 Dec 14,, 18:29
I am not saying the decision was illegal, JAD. But in such cases prosecutors should not appear, or actually be, ham-fisted and wishy-washy.

It depends on which point of view you take. That's certainly the image the protest movement is trying to sell the public.

tbm3fan
02 Dec 14,, 20:29
It depends on which point of view you take. That's certainly the image the protest movement is trying to sell the public.

Most definitely and not to mention turning it into racial profiling, which though it may occur, did not occur in this situation.

zraver
02 Dec 14,, 23:34
Saying so doesn't make it wrong. What's wrong with it? It was written by an attorney.

It presumes to know that the submission of an unconstitutional law to the juros had no impact and gives the reader the impression the author knows why the juris decided as they did.



Yes, we do. Wilson had probable cause and acted within legal guidelines.

That was the result, but we don't know why it reached that result. It is likely due to the physical evidence, but the fact they were given an unconstitutioal standard to judge by cannot be ignored.




The vote is no secret. What the jurors thought is..well...their own counsel to keep.

The vote is secret, we do not know the vote totals other than it was at least 9 people voting to acquit. We don't know if it was only 9, all 12 or somewhere in between. We don't know what evidence influenced the vote, who the jurors were, what their backgrounds are... We do know they were given bad law as a standard to judge by.



All we know? Good God we know a hell of a lot more. The law that was unconstitutional did not sway the case. It's a moot point. Not pretty, but hardly decisive, as there are other laws on the books covering Wilson's actions.

Prive the bad law did not sway the case. You can't, the juros identities, how they voted and why they voted as they did is secret. There is no recourse, no appeal and and anything but the bill or no bill verdict is just summation by anyone.


You're muddling my point. The grand jury is the final arbiter once the case is submitted to them, and if they indict, the prosecutor must try the case.

Nope, they can use prosecutorial discretion, they cannot be bound to a case and are totally immune for any and all decisions regarding a case.


Like I said, the prosecutor did not think there was enough evidence to indict, but he let a panel of citizens decide.[quote]

That is an abuse of process

[quote]Once all the BS smoke clears about the use of a grand jury in this case, what you have is a prosecutor who didn't have enough evidence, but played it safe by putting the case before local citizens, three of which were African American.

What we have is a prosecutor who should have said,"eh nothing here, or not enough here to prevail at trial". Instead he set up a rigged game to get that result in order to give himself political cover since he lacked the moral fortitude to take the action warranted by the facts as known.


If one believes in advance, as many do, that justice required a different outcome, one will look for chinks in the process and use them to erect strawmen to support their objections. We probably share the same view about overzealous or abusive police tactics, especially in dealing with racial minorities. That is a larger issue. In Ferguson it is about one police officer and his guilt or innocence. His case from a legal standpoint has nothing to do with what goes on elsewhere in the country.

Justice needs a system that uses the same rules and procedures for everyone. We have enough problems because it doesn't use the same rules. A person who can afford a good lawyer will often have a much different legal experience than an indigent defendant. Adding more bias to the system by jerry-rigging a grand jury is not a way to create faith in the system.

Firestorm
03 Dec 14,, 21:41
Another white cop who killed an unarmed black man cleared by a grand jury today. There were protests, but thankfully no violence.

N.Y. cop not indicted in choke hold death (http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/03/justice/new-york-grand-jury-chokehold/)


During the fatal encounter July 17 Garner raised both hands in the air and told the officers not to touch him. Seconds later, a video shows an officer behind Garner grab him in a choke hold and pull him to the sidewalk, rolling him onto his stomach.

"I can't breathe! I can't breathe!" Garner said repeatedly, his cries muffled into the pavement.

The cause of Garner's death was "compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police," the medical examiner's office has said. The death was ruled a homicide.

The New York City Police Department prohibits choke holds.

Red Team
03 Dec 14,, 22:23
Another white cop who killed an unarmed black man cleared by a grand jury today. There were protests, but thankfully no violence.

N.Y. cop not indicted in choke hold death (http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/03/justice/new-york-grand-jury-chokehold/)

This case infuriates me, officer should have been charged with manslaughter. No excuse for him to put that man in a chokehold especially when it is forbidden by regs.

zraver
03 Dec 14,, 23:11
This case infuriates me, officer should have been charged with manslaughter. No excuse for him to put that man in a chokehold especially when it is forbidden by regs.

The choke hold may or may not have contributed to Mr. Garner's death, but so did his very unhealthy lifestyle so good luck convicting... What the cop should ahve been charged with is assault and unlawful arrest under color of law.

Firestorm
03 Dec 14,, 23:21
The choke hold may or may not have contributed to Mr. Garner's death, but so did his very unhealthy lifestyle so good luck convicting... What the cop should ahve been charged with is assault and unlawful arrest under color of law.

May or may not? The medical examiner was pretty clear on this and ruled the death a homicide. So why the speculation?

"The cause of Garner's death was "compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police," the medical examiner's office has said. "

His bad health was listed as a secondary cause. I'm guessing the reason why NYPD prohibits officers from putting a guy in a chokehold is to prevent exactly this sort of an incident.

How far do cops have to go to atleast be charged, forget about being convicted?

Red Team
03 Dec 14,, 23:25
The choke hold may or may not have contributed to Mr. Garner's death, but so did his very unhealthy lifestyle so good luck convicting... What the cop should ahve been charged with is assault and unlawful arrest under color of law.

Perhaps, but IIRC the medical examiner ruled his death a homicide by "severe neck and chest compression during police restraint." I'm by no means anti-cop but any other civilian placed in this officer's position IMO would be mincemeat for the prosecution.

zraver
03 Dec 14,, 23:29
May or may not? The medical examiner was pretty clear on this and ruled the death a homicide. So why the speculation.

becuase everything in a trial is speculation


"The cause of Garner's death was "compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police," the medical examiner's office has said. "

His bad health was listed as a secondary cause. I'm guessing the reason why NYPD prohibits officers from putting a guy in a chokehold is to prevent exactly this sort of an incident.

Mr. Garner had dirty hands, he was committing criminal acts at the time of his death, he was not peacefully complying. He has dirty hands and is at least somewhat complicit in his own death. He is not in anyway complicit in the cops decision to use an illegal choke hold on him.


How far do cops have to go to atleast be charged, forget about being convicted?

Until the rioters go a lot farther than they did in Ferguson. As bad as south central was in LA, it only changed a city not a nation. Until there is real public (white) outcry that can't be papered over the is no real reason for cops or the system to change. They are well paid, very well protected, have a lot of political pull on local politics, are very well trained at following orders and enjoy a generally amicable relationship with prosecutors. Prosecutors who are loathe to upset the apple cart of the very people they depend on to catch the people they will end up prosecuting.

JAD_333
04 Dec 14,, 04:48
Justice needs a system that uses the same rules and procedures for everyone. We have enough problems because it doesn't use the same rules. A person who can afford a good lawyer will often have a much different legal experience than an indigent defendant. Adding more bias to the system by jerry-rigging a grand jury is not a way to create faith in the system.

No point in you and me going back and forth, but out of all of your replies, I tend to agree with you on the one above.

You might find this interview interesting. It's Terry Gross of NPR's Fresh Air interviewing Jeffrey Toobin today. Toobin is a legal analyst for CNN, a writer for The New Yorker and a former prosecutor.



GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. And if you're just joining us, we're talking about President Obama and the courts. My guest is Jeffrey Toobin, who's CNN's senior legal analyst and a staff writer for The New Yorker, where he writes about legal issues. He's also the author of the book, "The Oath: The Obama White House And The Supreme Court."

Let's move on to Ferguson, which you've been, you know, writing about and speaking about on CNN. What are some of the questions you are left with about how the grand jury was handled?

TOOBIN: Well, you know, my view is the best the criminal justice system can hope for is treating everybody the same. And by that, I mean that particularly in a procedural way, that everybody who is suspected of a crime should by and large be treated the same way by the people who are investigating the crime. And I guess my real problem with how the prosecuting attorney, Mr. McCulloch, handled this case is that he set up this really elaborate superstructure of a grand jury investigation. He threw every single piece of evidence in the case into the grand jury and effectively threw up his hands and said to the grand jury, well, do you think there was a crime here? Now, that is not the usual way that prosecutors work. Prosecutors usually use the grand jury as an investigative tool, as a vehicle to get the result they want, usually an indictment, a charge. Or, under Missouri law, they can bring the charge themselves. Now, I don't think that the result in this case was necessarily unjust. The one good thing that Prosecutor McCullough did - and I think it was a good thing - was release all of the testimony and evidence so that all of us can make up our own minds about whether there was an appropriate criminal case to be brought against Officer Darren Wilson. Based on what I have seen, I think a case like that would have been virtually impossible to win in front of a trial jury. [bold added] Yes, it would've been possible to get probable cause. That's a very low standard. But, you know, my view of the ethical responsibilities of prosecutors is you only bring a case if you think a criminal jury would find this person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. And I can see why the prosecutor didn't bring this case. I do not think that's necessarily miscarriage of justice. But I think the way he went about it did not contribute to the confidence that we'd all like to see in such a high-profile case.

GROSS: Why do you think the case would have been impossible to win before a jury?

TOOBIN: Because the key issue in this case is the confrontation between Officer Wilson and Michael Brown at the time of the shooting. Now, clearly there was a confrontation between Brown and Wilson at his cruiser - at his police cruiser. But then, they moved about 150 feet away. And that's where the fatal shooting took place. There are several witnesses, including several African-American witnesses, who say that Michael Brown was coming at Officer Wilson. In light of that evidence, I don't think you could get a jury of 12 people to say, beyond a reasonable doubt, that this shooting was unreasonable and a crime. That, to me, is the key evidence.

GROSS: As a legal reporter, have you been going through the documents that McCulloch released?

TOOBIN: I have.

GROSS: What's it like to read them? And how - are you finding it confusing?

TOOBIN: Well, you know, it just shows that - the vagaries, among other things, of eyewitnesses testimony, especially in high-profile cases. There are people who see what they want to see. There are people who see things that are demonstrably untrue. There are people who try, in good faith, to remember what they saw and see very different things from other people who are trying, in good faith, to remember what they saw. There are people with agendas who invent testimony and pretend to see things they clearly didn't see. It gives you, I think, a real sense of humility about the ability of the legal system to reach definite conclusions about events.

GROSS: The prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, told the jurors physical evidence does not change because of public pressure or personal agenda. Physical evidence does not look away as events unfold, nor does it block out or add to memory. He was really emphasizing, like, focus on the physical evidence. Do you think that that was a way of swaying the jury, of saying, like, don't listen to what the eyewitness accounts are; just, like, focus on the physical evidence?

TOOBIN: You know, to tell you the truth, I don't have a real problem with McCulloch saying that. I mean, frankly, it's just true, especially when you have so much contradictory eyewitness testimony. My problem with what McCulloch did relates more to his real abdication of his role as the legal advisor to the grand jury. You know, when I was a prosecutor, you go in there and you say, here's an indictment. And here's the reason why there's probable cause. And this is the summary of the evidence. You don't go in there and say, I don't know. Well, maybe there's an indictment here or maybe there's not, and good luck to you. I mean, that's just not - that, to me, looked like he was placing a thumb on the scale in favor of no indictment. That statement that you read I don't think is a thumb on the scale. But I think other things he did were tacit encouragement of no indictment.

GROSS: So because it was a grand jury investigation and not a jury trial, Darren Wilson was not cross-examined. And so people reading the legal documents - you said everybody can make up their mind for themselves what they think happened. Darren Wilson was never cross-examined. So any holes in his testimony, any challenges to his testimony, were not directly expressed to him. So how does that affect the value of these documents being the final documents on the case?

TOOBIN: Well, I think one of the really shocking and disappointing aspects of the grand jury investigation was the kid-glove treatment of Darren Wilson. One reason why targets of grand jury investigations usually refuse to testify in front of grand juries is that it's only prosecutors in the room. There is no defense counsel. There's no judge. So they can be aggressively questioned. But Darren Wilson was not aggressively questioned. That makes - which is just a tremendous missed opportunity. Now, I don't know if aggressive questioning would have changed the result in this case. But I think it was a very disappointing performance by the prosecutors.

GROSS: Can I just ask you a law 101 question? Why are there grand juries?

TOOBIN: Grand juries were meant as a check on the executive's power to prosecute. If you didn't have grand juries, you would simply let prosecutors decide which people to charge. What the framers thought is, let's establish an intermediate step. Let's make the prosecutor persuade another group of people that the charge is justified. But let's make that an easier step than convicting them. So what you have - in most states and in the federal government, you have the standard of probable cause, which is a lower standard than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. And you also don't have the unanimity requirement. You usually only have to get two-thirds or three-quarters, in most states, of the grand jurors to vote an indictment. So the idea behind grand juries is it's a check, but it's a modest check on executive power.

GROSS: So you said that you don't think a prosecutor could have won prosecuting Darren Wilson before a criminal court in a jury case. But just in terms of the feelings of Americans who are so just kind of emotionally involved in this case, do you think the case would have left Americans with a different feeling had it been prosecuted before a jury with cross examination of Darren Wilson?

TOOBIN: Probably. But, you know, I guess I have to say, this is where the ex-prosecutor in me comes out. You know, I don't think prosecutors should bring cases that they believe they can't win in front of a jury. I just think that's not the right reason to bring a criminal case, to make people happy. I think criminal cases should only be brought if the prosecutor believes there's proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I mean, that's an example of why I think, you know, everybody should be treated under the same rules under the same standards.

GROSS: Well, Jeffrey Toobin, thank you so much. I always enjoy your visits to FRESH AIR. I really appreciate it very much.

TOOBIN: Thanks, Terry.

President Obama And The Courts: A Shift In Balance : NPR (http://www.npr.org/2014/12/03/368228244/president-obama-and-the-courts-a-shift-in-balance)

bfng3569
04 Dec 14,, 19:33
Perhaps, but IIRC the medical examiner ruled his death a homicide by "severe neck and chest compression during police restraint." I'm by no means anti-cop but any other civilian placed in this officer's position IMO would be mincemeat for the prosecution.

true, but that because civilians should not be putting themselves in this position, and why the police are judged in the courts differently.

zraver
04 Dec 14,, 20:12
Perhaps, but IIRC the medical examiner ruled his death a homicide by "severe neck and chest compression during police restraint." I'm by no means anti-cop but any other civilian placed in this officer's position IMO would be mincemeat for the prosecution.

Depends on how good of an attorney and expert witnesses they could afford. The medical examiner also said heart disease, sleep apnea and obesity were factors in his death. The American legal system is not about the truth, its about which side can create the most compelling story to a given jury. We hope the results reflect an approximation of the truth, but in the end it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is which side the jury believes.

dan m
05 Dec 14,, 01:34
A good sized crowd are protesting at the Christmas tree lighting on the Boston Commons. There is a pretty large police presence and news helicopters overhead. Tried to get a picture but I couldn't get a shot from where I am. My nexus 5's camera doesn't have the range.
Edit: A large column of protesters are circling the commons and near where I work
People were chanting "This is what democracy looks like!" and "I can't breath!"
Super Edit: My apologies for the obnoxious size of the photos I posted. I tried to delete one of them to make the post smaller but no dice.

astralis
05 Dec 14,, 15:00
frankly when it comes down to police overuse of force, i am FAR more sympathetic to the eric garner case than i am to the michael brown case.

tbm3fan
05 Dec 14,, 20:08
Depends on how good of an attorney and expert witnesses they could afford. The medical examiner also said heart disease, sleep apnea and obesity were factors in his death. The American legal system is not about the truth, its about which side can create the most compelling story to a given jury. We hope the results reflect an approximation of the truth, but in the end it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is which side the jury believes.

What the medical examiner said really bothered me. Heart disease, sleep apnea and obesity are not factors in his death they are conditions he suffers from. Probably some on this board suffer from the same conditions along with high blood pressure, diabetes and a host of other conditions I could list. None of them were the proximate cause of death which was basically strangulation. Those conditions might have made him more prone to die but, by themselves, they would not have caused him to die right then and there. Same with some here who may be in stable condition but if put through a stressful situation may also suffer death and had you not be stressed you would still be alive.

Then there is the obfuscation over whether it was a choke hold or head lock. From what I saw it was clearly a choke hold around his neck. Some say this practice was illegal but it seems it was banned in 1993. I look upon that as similar to standard of care. I am held to certain standards of care which constantly evolve over time as we learn new information. New techniques come on line and old are discarded. If I violate standard of care or don't adhere to it I can easily get my ass sued off in court. The NYPD issued a standard of care directive (my opinion) in 1993 banning the use of choke holds. The officer ignored it for whatever reason and a man died for a misdemeanor offense. In my opinion the officer should be charged with involuntary manslaughter at a minimum.

bfng3569
05 Dec 14,, 21:36
frankly when it comes down to police overuse of force, i am FAR more sympathetic to the eric garner case than i am to the michael brown case.

when discussing over use of force, has anyone asked the question yet of what the officers should have done to get the man to the ground?

What other options did they have to bring a man of his size down to the ground to put hand cuffs on him?

astralis
06 Dec 14,, 03:53
Something else other than an illegal chokehold, I'm sure.

In any case why should the officers have needed to get him on the ground? I wasn't aware that he got physical or in any way endangered FOUR officers surrounding him.

bfng3569
06 Dec 14,, 21:06
Something else other than an illegal chokehold, I'm sure.

In any case why should the officers have needed to get him on the ground? I wasn't aware that he got physical or in any way endangered FOUR officers surrounding him.

so you aren't going to comment on what you think the officers should have done different to get a 6-4 or so 350 lb man on the ground?

as to why they needed to get him on the ground?

to put him in handcuffs.

Red Team
07 Dec 14,, 00:42
so you aren't going to comment on what you think the officers should have done different to get a 6-4 or so 350 lb man on the ground?

as to why they needed to get him on the ground?

to put him in handcuffs.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5S2qRcO8Qw

Let's not put the cart before the horse and watch the actual video of this happening. There were plenty of actions the officers could have taken before resorting to slamming his face into the ground and putting him in a chokehold.

Officers had substantial numerical superiority, a few could have gone for both arms (and appeared to be in the process of doing so) and pulled him to the ground with enough force. Multiple takedowns in the police toolbox (armbars, wristlocks, hammerlocks etc.) focus on the arms and legs to catch a perp off balance without the need to go into a chokehold. See the following:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPrm4ZOwSCM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OddNosOP-T8

Also why the decision to maintain the chokehold when he started yelling out "I can't breathe?" If at that point he was no longer resisting and declaring injury why not disengage the chokehold in in favor of applying pressure on an arm or back?

Of all people police should not only know how to apply force appropriately, but also de-escalate and bring a situation under control to prevent further injury. Clearly, they failed in both regards.

bfng3569
07 Dec 14,, 02:08
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5S2qRcO8Qw

Let's not put the cart before the horse and watch the actual video of this happening. There were plenty of actions the officers could have taken before resorting to slamming his face into the ground and putting him in a chokehold.

Officers had substantial numerical superiority, a few could have gone for both arms (and appeared to be in the process of doing so) and pulled him to the ground with enough force. Multiple takedowns in the police toolbox (armbars, wristlocks, hammerlocks etc.) focus on the arms and legs to catch a perp off balance without the need to go into a chokehold. See the following:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPrm4ZOwSCM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OddNosOP-T8

Also why the decision to maintain the chokehold when he started yelling out "I can't breathe?" If at that point he was no longer resisting and declaring injury why not disengage the chokehold in in favor of applying pressure on an arm or back?

Of all people police should not only know how to apply force appropriately, but also de-escalate and bring a situation under control to prevent further injury. Clearly, they failed in both regards.

i'm not putting the cart before the horse at all here, its a legit question.

i have no training or knowledge of such training so no, i really don't know what the options are in these scenarios.

i do know a few people in law enforcement, and i have heard the same from them, that when it comes to resisting arrest, more likely than not, they are going to take you to the ground, control you, and get you in cuffs.

and this could very well be a poor example, but after watching 'Cops' a few times, it seems that most cases were someone is resisting, they get taken to the ground and controlled, and usually its a violent event.

and lots of times you see the guy going down complaining of being hurt, choked, breaking something etc etc etc and they typically don't stop and let up until they have the person in the cuffs.

the training aspects and the options that are available i think are a legit topic on this.

bonehead
07 Dec 14,, 02:24
What I think is interesting is that Eric is complaining that every time the cops see him they arrest him. I guess it never occurred to him that if he stopped being a criminal the cops would leave him alone. As for the takedown I see nothing wrong with it. If anything that was far more gentle than the ones I have seen first hand. Honestly, Eric was clearly agitated and gave every indication he would put up a fight.

zraver
07 Dec 14,, 03:01
Selling loose cigarettes that already had their tax stamp paid should not be a criminal offense. Just because someone is breaking the law, it does not mean they are a criminal. Everyone in the US breaks some law everyday, we simply have too many laws to honestly say we are law abiding.

Red Team
07 Dec 14,, 03:35
Really, the main reason I and many other New Yorkers are pissed at this is simply the fact that the punishment did not fit the crime. The application of force by the NYPD in this case was both excessive and illegal, and the fact that this officer got away with what amounts to negligent homicide without even a slap on the wrist is egregious. There's absolutely no reasonable justification for Mr. Garner to be dead right. Being fined or in jail perhaps, but not dead.

bfng3569
07 Dec 14,, 07:09
Really, the main reason I and many other New Yorkers are pissed at this is simply the fact that the punishment did not fit the crime. The application of force by the NYPD in this case was both excessive and illegal, and the fact that this officer got away with what amounts to negligent homicide without even a slap on the wrist is egregious. There's absolutely no reasonable justification for Mr. Garner to be dead right. Being fined or in jail perhaps, but not dead.

so when he said 'no, i am not going to let you arrest me right now', should the police have just said 'ok' and walked away?

Red Team
07 Dec 14,, 08:02
so when he said 'no, i am not going to let you arrest me right now', should the police have just said 'ok' and walked away?

No, I'm saying trained officers should know better in the application of force than what was shown in this case.

bfng3569
07 Dec 14,, 17:30
No, I'm saying trained officers should know better in the application of force than what was shown in this case.

watching the video, i am not so sure i agree.

the other vids posted, ya, they all look good on practice, but i am not so sure about how they would have worked in that situation with that individual.

bonehead
10 Dec 14,, 07:23
Selling loose cigarettes that already had their tax stamp paid should not be a criminal offense. Just because someone is breaking the law, it does not mean they are a criminal. Everyone in the US breaks some law everyday, we simply have too many laws to honestly say we are law abiding.

That is the definition of a criminal. He did break the law and he was knowingly doing it. Furthermore he had a history of doing it and getting arrested for doing exactly the same thing. Not agreeing with the law is irrelevant.