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…