Darren Wilson might eventually be exonerated for the death of Michael Brown and there's a chance he indeed acted appropriately, at least in terms of self-defense, that fateful day. The law protects him, but it also allows the family of Michael Brown to inquire as to how their unarmed son was killed while walking in the street. Shoplifting cigars from a convenience store does not deserve the electric chair and Wilson never knew of the alleged theft. According to The Wall Street Journal, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson "said the officer stopped Mr. Brown because he was walking in the road and disrupting traffic." Time magazine has quoted Police Chief Thomas Jackson as stating, "This robbery does not relate to the initial contact between the officer and Michael Brown." So, don't connect the two incidents when trying to justify Brown's death. There might indeed have been a scuffle at one point after Brown was told to get on the sidewalk, but Wilson did not have a fractured eye socket, a CNN source dispelled that myth. One can't say Brown was a human deadly weapon if Wilson simply had bruising and not a fracture, or something of that nature. In court, Wilson will have to prove that an unarmed man (not committing a crime that moment and undeserving of death for any alleged prior crime) not only went after his gun, but was also either beating him as he shot six times, or rushing towards him with deadly intent before the shooting. Either way, it's hard to go from "get off the street" to scuffle within a car or suicidal charge at a Glock staring at you, without question Wilson's mindset, or behavior during the interactions of that fateful day.
First, there's the official police narrative cited in Newsweek that a close range altercation ensued, with Brown wrestling for Wilson's gun:
According to the account of the St. Louis County police, Wilson attempted to get out of his car and Brown pushed him back inside. A struggle ensued inside the car, in which Brown tried to take the officer's gun. A shot was fired from inside the car. The officer then stepped out of the car and shot Brown, who died of his injuries.
One of those six bullets that struck Brown was on the top part of Brown's head, so that alone raises another question regarding how one can be simultaneously beaten and aim at the top of his assailant's head. You can't at the same time say Wilson was getting beaten by a maniacal behemoth in the police car, at close range, yet got off six shots with no residue on Brown's clothing. Add to this no broken eye socket.
If Brown was such an imposing threat, then one can't shoot that many times, hitting a target that many times, while getting pummeled by a giant. Also, according to eyewitness "Josie" in an article by The Blaze, Wilson was being charged at by Brown from a distance after running away from the car ("he fell about two or three feet in front of the officer"), so which story is it, the close encounter or the far away death charge? These two different narratives utilized by the millions of Wilson supporters might lead to a claim of self-defense, but they can't both be the correct narrative.
Therefore, let's say "Josie" is right.
Let's say the teenager charged, but was far enough away that Wilson could wait before shooting? What if Brown was pretending to charge after taunting verbally, in an arrogant act of defiance, with the intent of pulling back? What if Brown was running, but quickly turned back to surrender, and Wilson mistook that for charging, what then? Too bad, you might say, but if he was far enough away from Wilson, a case can easily be made that the officer shot first and asked questions later.
The answer lies in the issue of "excessive force" on the part of the officer. Even Fox News states that Dr. Michael Baden, the man who conducted the autopsy, said the presence of six gunshot wounds points to "excessive" force by Wilson... "There is legitimate concern as to whether the shooting was overreacting. That has to be answered and we don't have all the answers." Baden also explained there was no gunshot residue on the body. A St. Louis news station states, "Dr. Michael Baden, the forensic pathologist hired by the Brown family, said there was no gunshot residue on Brown's skin surface, so at the time the gun went off it was at least a foot or two away." Baden also stated that it could be a foot or two, or a great number of feet away, one can't tell yet definitively: "The muzzle of the gun was at least one to two feet away," Baden said, adding that it "could have been thirty feet away." So, while the narrative that Wilson was getting pummeled by Brown in a mad attempt at his weapon is provocative, it doesn't correlate to the autopsy, or to The Blaze story. Brown was not struggling for the weapon when shot and he easily could have been far enough away for Wilson to wait before shooting a barrage of bullets, based on the autopsy report.
Did Darren Wilson expect to kill an unarmed black teenager that fateful day? No, he didn't, and neither did the officers who killed Eric Garner, nor did George Zimmerman. Certain aspects of their overzealous, perhaps paranoid negligence led to the death of unarmed citizens. This misconduct is also exemplified in the case of Dillon Taylor, a young white man shot by a black officer in Utah, who perhaps also shot first and asked questions later. Taylor should be alive, just like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, and to explain the added circumstances of race in Ferguson doesn't mitigate anyone's death, nor does it absolve the black cop of killing the unarmed white male. However, one doesn't cancel out the other and each is its own unique story. Part of this issue is police brutality and part of it, pertaining to the over five unarmed black men dead this month alone, is an issue of race and poverty. The issue of race plays a role in these encounters, and Harvard research links directly to this claim, as well as the 20% longer sentences blacks face than whites for the same crimes, as does the racial profiling in St. Louis.
However, at best, Wilson's actions ran contrary to the hundreds of thousands of police officers who tell citizens to "do this" or "do that" without killing them. If eyewitness to the shooting Dorian Johnson is correct, and there was a "tug-of-war" by Wilson to get Brown into his vehicle, and then the two young men ran away with Brown stating, "I don't have a gun, stop shooting!" then Wilson committed a crime. Or, if eye witness Piaget Crenshaw is correct and Wilson chased after Brown and Johnson, shooting Brown when he simply turned around, then Wilson also committed a crime.
Then there are the arguments of Michael Brown's attorney who state that Brown was trying to surrender, as evident by the bullet hole on the top of his head that "appeared to enter Brown's forehead and exit near his eye, which suggests that Brown's head was in a downward position." How do you shoot a bullet into the top of a 6'4" person's head? Was Brown cowering, trying to plead for the officer not to shoot, or was he flying towards the officer like Superman?
Finally, Wilson doesn't represent the tens of thousands of officers in this country who ensure that mundane interactions with unarmed citizens don't end in their deaths. If Michael Brown had been polite that day with Wilson (assuming he wasn't) and simply quickly abided by the allegedly profanity laced request to "get the 'f' off the street," then the young man might very well be alive today. I believe this, however that's not what America is about; fearing those who protect us might kill us if we don't comply immediately and in an utterly passive manner. I also believe that something murky, and morally ambiguous took place that day, given the autopsy, the number of bullets, and the eyewitnesses.
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