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OK...Ferguson...let's hash this out...


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#1 grayarea

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 02:34 PM

I have sat by over the last few days and watched the zaniness of Ferguson play out. I started this after watching, and listening closely to, what prosecutor Bob McColloch said. His words were carefully chosen and you can tell that he was a little miffed with the press and other outsiders that were making it into a sideshow. Then he announced that after two months of listening and seeing ALL the evidence that was available, 12 other folks (9 white, 3 black) had decided not to return an indictment.

 

I, before commenting, decided to watch this unfold and see who would make the bigger fool of themselves in this process. I am all for racial equality, but some of this is simply getting out of hand.

 

Within minutes, the streets of the town were in torment. Even the step-father of Michael Brown had jumped upon some makeshift rising with Brown’s mother, turned to the crowd, and asked them to burn Ferguson to the ground. Until this time, Brown’s biological parents both asked for a non-violent reaction. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Instead of trying to uplift their community, they are burning cars, buildings and businesses at will. Soon, it will look like a war zone with economical development at zero because no will want to ever go near it.

 

Now, even though the prosecutor stood back a little from, maybe, a normal grand jury position and let the jury members decide on their own. He is catching the blame. We’ve got Al Sharpton and some attorney trying to make a name for himself (Benjamin Crump) saying the process is broken…simply because things didn’t go the way they hoped.

 

McColloch simply couldn’t win no matter what happened. If he pushed for prosecution, was he being fair to law enforcement? If he didn’t push for prosecution, was he being fair to the Brown family? He did the intelligent thing. He showed the grand jury everything. He held nothing back. He let the decision rest with 12 jurors to determine if enough facts existed to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown. They decided that there was not enough to go on to indict Wilson.

 

In a smart move, McColloch is presenting all the evidence and all other material to the public and press for their perusal. He took no stance one way or the other. Really, it is not his job to take a stance one way or another. Normally, it doesn’t happen that way. The prosecutors usually push for the indictment for everything to play out in a trial. McColloch made the right call and left the grand jury to make a decision based upon an unbiased look at the evidence as it existed. To my knowledge, he held nothing back.

 

He pointed out some things in his press conference that rings through this case. A lot of the witnesses changed their stories to match what the press was saying (i.e. they lied). Others gave stories that simply didn’t match the physical evidence (i.e. what was being said wasn’t possible). The scientific evidence differed on each side. So, how do you rely upon that? The only consistent story was that of Officer Wilson. And, there were photos that backed up his side of the story (they showed video of him coming out of the station on the day of the shooting and you couldn’t see injuries…but, the pictures that were taken of him while there show that he was, indeed, injured).

 

News organizations? That’s a whole other story for another time. But, I think you will find very few that believe that all of this hasn’t been way over played by the press. It made me feel that the residents of Ferguson were expected to get out there and perform for the cameras. They certainly obliged.

 

So, now, I see little demonstrations being held in protest around the country. They even protested right here in the Louisville area last night. And I shake my head. It seems some folks, in the face of facts, simply don’t want to listen to facts. Although there are numerous residents of Ferguson that over the next few days will enjoy the free liquor, groceries and other merchandised they gained…not from protesting…but by looting their neighbors, they are shooting themselves in the foot. For the next few years they will have to travel elsewhere to get their everyday goods. I would never locate, much less, relocate my business there.

 

I feel sorry for the Brown family, I really do. But I think some people involved on the fringes of this entire tragedy need to check themselves. I believe outside influences have a large hand in how this is being played out. I honestly don’t see any epidemic of white officers shooting black offenders. I do see an epidemic of black-on-black crime. But, apparently, that is not newsworthy.

 

Just my 2 cents…


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#2 jsummerfield

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 03:27 PM

That is an incredibly well written post. Here's a quote from some commentary I read:

 

"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."


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#3 Maximus

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 10:40 PM

Do you guys really think this is about some white cop killing a black thug? Ask yourself why obama and holder and sharpton are involved...Thats about all I can say on this topic without getting banned  :-)



#4 Quasar

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 10:40 PM

I don't get it...

Obama is not helping at all... tossing gasoline on the flames...

The feds still have two investigations going... maybe they can find a way to hang the cop...

#5 grammy

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 11:53 PM

I haven't understood this from the beginning . Why isn't the media calling it what it is RIOTS! To me there is an agenda here that I haven't figured out .And I think it's coming from the top of the government.And the people in Ferguson are playing right in their hands. I understand as a parent we sometimes go into a denial mode that my kid was a good kid and they couldn't have possibly done that . The stepfather showed his true character when he called for them to burn it down! Shame on him! If the people of Ferguson want to be heard and they feel they are being oppressed than this is not the way to go about it. They are only making themselves into the stereotypes that they are trying to fight against for profiling . And if protest continue nationally what better way to install Martial law. Conspiracy theory maybe, maybe not . Time will tell.

#6 snowman

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 05:14 AM

lots of questions surrounding how the prosecutor performed his role... and watching the wilson interview i think he was less than truthful when he said there was no other way than to kill the guy... i think justice was served though, in the end, the system that we have is what we have. 

 

but sometimes police to get indicted for shooting to kill...

http://www.myfoxdfw....-cruelty-charge



#7 Donna

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 08:09 AM

According to Supreme Court Judge Antonio Scalia, in 1992, stated that the historic role of Grand Juries is to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial.  This grand jury was misinformed by the prosecutor as to their duties and responsibilities.  It is not the role of a grand jury to determine guilt or innocence, but to weigh the evidence to move forward to a trial or not.  That was not done in this case. 

 

I think it was Chris Rock who stated that "it doesn't take 100 days to determine if murder is a crime, it takes 100 days to explain how it wasn't a crime."

 

The provocateurs, be they looters, profiteers, media, or rabble rousers, that fed the incendiary fires of the situation, deliberately made a bad situation worse.  There will be NO JUSTICE for Michael Brown or Darren Wilson. 

 

My concern is that the Ferguson decision will not create more riots, but will create more police officers to shoot indiscriminately.  It's kinda like "First, they came after Jews, but I'm not Jewish, so I didn't say anything, then they came after homosexuals, but I'm not homosexual, so I didn't say anything, then they came after Catholics, but I'm not Catholic, so I didn't say anything, then they came after me and no one was left to say anything."  (I'm paraphrasing.) 

 

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't want a police force that shoots to kill first, and then start asking questions.    



#8 karen

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 08:13 AM

Donna, where did you read that the prosecutor did not instruct the grand jury of their proper roll?  I'm not disagreeing, I've just not heard that before. 

 

I doubt police officers will shoot more quickly.  After seeing what has happened to Wilson's life, I think the opposite will be true. 


Edited by karen, 27 November 2014 - 08:14 AM.

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#9 kelley

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 08:27 AM

grayarea's take is the first I heard of this attitude of the prosecutor's, of just laying it all out there rather than, well, prosecuting. I find it disturbing.

The tagline on grand juries is that they'll indict a ham sandwich. One of the few types of cases that doesn't hold true for is when it's whether to indict a cop for using deadly force. Now on top of that you have a prosecutor that acts reluctant to go after the officer? The prosecutor is showing no faith in his own case?

Does that ring wrong to anyone else?

Edited by kelley, 27 November 2014 - 08:29 AM.

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#10 GOB

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 10:50 AM

Put yourself in the police officers seat and tell us what you would do.


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#11 nononsense

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 12:19 PM

Who taught this young man how to treat to other people?? Business owner (stealing)( intimidation)! Then police!! Both counts can get you killed!


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#12 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 03:13 PM

I realize that there are some "bad" cops just like there are "bad" in every other occupation. But given what happened I would certainly NEVER want anyone in my family to become a police officer --- put themselves in danger every single day, low pay and when the worst happens and they try to protect themselves they are somehow the "bad guy". I daresay that any other police officer -- young, old, black or white -- would have responded the same way that Officer Wilson did. I find it ironic that the rioters, looters, etc. were wondering where the police were when they got hurt -- suddenly they wanted the police to protect them.
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#13 GOB

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 04:36 PM

What other way could the officer respond?



#14 grammy

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 05:48 PM

There was no other way . He did his job.
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#15 karen

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 05:54 PM

Could it be possible that the prosecutor did not see any reason to even give the case to the grand jury?  But had to because of the circumstances.  From what I've heard it seems it would not have been necessary had it been a white on white shooting.  From the beginning it has had all appearances of a justified shooting except for the misinformation given by the witnesses and the chaos that followed.  I would like to see the ones who changed their stories to be brought up on charges.


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#16 grammy

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 06:15 PM

Totally agree Karen! It was just an excuse for troublemakers to loot and destroy. Wonder how many crimes happen everyday there and the people just pull their shades shut?

Edited by grammy, 27 November 2014 - 06:18 PM.

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#17 grayarea

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 12:45 PM

Donna,

 

I respectfully disagree on how you believe the prosecutor did his job. Normally, I'm with you, a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich. I have seen tons of cases go to trial that never should have due to grand juries that were led by the nose by a prosecutor that wanted to try a case.

 

However, my point on this was simple. McColloch was left in a Catch 22. If he took the normal tone a prosecutor took he looked as though he favored one side. If he slanted his duties to the other side, then he would be looked at as favoring the other. He did the smart thing. He laid it ALLl out there for all to see and pick through. He held nothing from the grand jury and let them decide. Their job was not to decide guilt or innocence, but to decide whether there was enough evidence to go forward with one of several charges that were before the grand jury. The grand jury said the evidence just wasn't there.

 

Normally, when I talk serious subjects I don't rely on a comedian like Chris Rock to tell me what's fair and what's not. His job is simply to get a reaction from his words. And, his comment is insulting to the 9 white and 3 back grand jurors that reached this decision.

 

I am of the general demeanor that the overwhelming majority of officers don't shoot to kill first. I also, based on the facts, believe that justice was served. I am of a strong opinion that the news organizations fed the majority of people that Officer Wilson was totally in the wrong...when the credible evidence, both physical and verbal, clearly suggests otherwise. I hope they return soon to simply reporting the news, instead of trying to create it.

 

What really eats at me is that there is an epidemic of black on black crime...an incredible amount (take Louisville over the last two days for instance)...but I have no recollection of ANY activist appearing to denounce these shootings. Until that can make sense to me, I have little or no respect for those that fan small fires into massive ones.


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#18 kelley

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 02:19 PM

Donna,

I respectfully disagree on how you believe the prosecutor did his job. Normally, I'm with you, a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich. I have seen tons of cases go to trial that never should have due to grand juries that were led by the nose by a prosecutor that wanted to try a case.

However, my point on this was simple. McColloch was left in a Catch 22. If he took the normal tone a prosecutor took he looked as though he favored one side. If he slanted his duties to the other side, then he would be looked at as favoring the other. He did the smart thing. He laid it ALLl out there for all to see and pick through. He held nothing from the grand jury and let them decide. Their job was not to decide guilt or innocence, but to decide whether there was enough evidence to go forward with one of several charges that were before the grand jury. The grand jury said the evidence just wasn't there.

Normally, when I talk serious subjects I don't rely on a comedian like Chris Rock to tell me what's fair and what's not. His job is simply to get a reaction from his words. And, his comment is insulting to the 9 white and 3 back grand jurors that reached this decision.

I am of the general demeanor that the overwhelming majority of officers don't shoot to kill first. I also, based on the facts, believe that justice was served. I am of a strong opinion that the news organizations fed the majority of people that Officer Wilson was totally in the wrong...when the credible evidence, both physical and verbal, clearly suggests otherwise. I hope they return soon to simply reporting the news, instead of trying to create it.

What really eats at me is that there is an epidemic of black on black crime...an incredible amount (take Louisville over the last two days for instance)...but I have no recollection of ANY activist appearing to denounce these shootings. Until that can make sense to me, I have little or no respect for those that fan small fires into massive ones.




As I understand it, the prosecutor is supposed to pick a side.


Christopher 2X and others have done extensive work and activism in the area of black-on-black crime, and that's just locally.

I don't get the impulse to point to black-on-black crime in this context (or maybe I do). It would be comparable to people calling for cancer awareness and someone discounting it because heart disease is a big deal. They're both big deals. Talking about one does not imply the other isn't a problem. We can talk about hunger and know homelessness is still a problem. We can talk about bullying and get eating disorders are a concern. People can be concerned about police shooting unarmed black men and still get violence within groups is a problem.

Further, black-on-black crime is either a social issue or, if there is a political element, it is of the failure of police to serve and protect in certain areas, regarding certain crimes or perhaps the drug war that is certainly in play. Police behavior, however, is a difference in kind. It is all about the actions of the government, which is our responsibility to keep in check. There is little I know about or can do about black-on-black crime. I can, however, insist police act professionally, transparently, fairly and without undue violence.

As for small fires, big fires and respect: 98% of the individuals who protested in Ferguson were peaceful. In fact, arguably 100% of the protestors were. The looters were the minority and arguably just looters, opportunists, rather than protestors.

Television "news" and reality aren't the same thing. People engage in good activism that never makes news. A small number of people engage in something that "bleeds," it leads.

Edited by kelley, 01 December 2014 - 02:21 PM.

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#19 Donna

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 05:33 PM

Sorry, I've been searching for the instructions given by this prosecutor to this grand jury that I read on-line prior to my original post since Karen asked in her post #8.  Finally, today I found the AP link of the transcripts provided by McCullogh, but it was too large for me to download. 

 

Grayarea, the thing I like most about comedians is their ability to see the incongruity of a situation, point it out and make us think.  But I grew up on George Carlin, Richard Pryor, David Steinbrenner, Roseanne Barr, "All in the Family," "M*A*S*H" etc.  Different perspectives, different viewpoints, but they did make me think.  I am particularly fond of Chris Rock, who recently sat down with Frank Rich (yes, I know, leans to the left!) but he had a lot of thoughtful comments about a multitude of questions.  

 

Given the details of the 12 year old Tamir Rice shooting, it will be next to impossible for me to believe that police guns are not drawn too quickly if the subject is black.  Given that a block watcher can stalk Trayvon Martin, after being told by police dispatch not to follow, and then kill him and he's "Standing his ground" but a black woman firing a warning shot over the head of her abusive mate is NOT "Standing her ground" and sentenced to decades in prison (since revisited, but both instances occurred in Florida and it took a groundswell of outrage to make the justice system revisit the case and sentencing.)  There should be outrage when youngsters are fired upon because of petty larceny or rudeness to cops or just seeming to be "BIG & SCARY."   


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#20 JHS1982

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 06:24 PM

"Further, black-on-black crime is either a social issue or, if there is a political element, it is of the failure of police to serve and protect in certain areas, regarding certain crimes or perhaps the drug war that is certainly in play. Police behavior, however, is a difference in kind. It is all about the actions of the government, which is our responsibility to keep in check. There is little I know about or can do about black-on-black crime. I can, however, insist police act professionally, transparently, fairly and without undue violence."

Sorry Kelley, but you & I will have to agree to disagree on this one, and I think one can make an argument (in my opinion - uh oh) that your quotation above is somewhat contradictory. On one hand, you're BLAMING the police for "failing to serve and protect in certain areas," but when they do (which, in my opinion, Officer Wilson did & how the grand jury saw it, but in which case I think you may disagree with), it's "racially motivated".......they simply cannot win. Do their job (as Officer Wilson did) and the headline reads "White Police Officer Kills Unarmed Black Man (which IMMEDIATELY incites racial divide & reeks of racial impropriety) vs. a headline that reads "Officer Shoots In Self-Defense, Kills Suspect During Altercation" (notice suspect bears NO color). And before everyone goes all "Rod is a racist" on me, Officer Wilson's actions would have been warranted WITH ME had Michael Brown been white, Asian, Hispanic, or polka-dot, AND / OR Officer Wilson been white, Asian, Hispanic, or polka-dot!! My point is, IF Law Enforcement positions themselves to "serve and protect certain areas," they're blamed for targeting / profiling. THEN when they DO act to "protect and serve" (whether that's to protect themselves to ensure they make it home to their families or to protect the community), we "have a Ferguson." They simply can't win....and the LEO I'm referring to is COLORLESS!!

Please don't misconstrue this: There are bad cops, just like there are bad doctors, bad lawyers, bad engineers, etc., etc. And YES, you'll find racists WITHIN ALL RACES!! THAT is a shame, but is a fact of life!! I wish there was something I could do about that (which is probably something we ALL wish we could rid the world of). But let's take this for what it was: Michael Brown WAS NOT a good "kid" (man?) AT THE VERY MOMENT HE WAS PUMMELING OFFICER WILSON," and as the grand jury found, Officer Wilson was within his rights of self defense. They were presented with ALL of the "facts" of the case & found it that way. So my point is, a "criminal" (and that's PRECISELY what Michael Brown became the minute he started beating the officer, regardless of his actions in that convenience store) chose to "cause bodily harm" to a LEO, and said criminal met his demise for the poor choice he made. "White / Black / Asian / Hispanic / Polka-dot Michael Brown" would be alive today had he complied to the "White / Black / Asian / Hispanic / Polka-dot LEO's" instructions on that fateful August day. Color / race has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with it, in my opinion!!

Sorry......just the way I see it. I mean NO disrespect to ANY race. And don't think for a minute I haven't talked to my son & daughter about what to do when they are pulled over by LEO, with the KEY being "if you want respect, GIVE respect." And you know, not ONCE have they ever had an issue with LEO. Funny thing is, I have good friends of many different races that have taught their children the same thing (to get respect you've got to give respect), & to my knowledge, none of their children have had issues with LEO's either. Coincidence? I think not!!

Rod Daily

Edited by JHS1982, 01 December 2014 - 06:29 PM.

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