OK

The WaPo practices the “twisted golden rule” in Sunday’s edition [See: "Darren Wilson’s first job was on a troubled police force disbanded by authorities"], doing unto Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson what the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department’s (with the help of a subservient, biased MSM) been doing to the reputation of 18-year-old homicide victim Michael Brown for the past two weeks, with one major difference: Everything in the WaPo article is fact-based.

It's a very expansive exposé on Darren Wilson, as well as an update with regard to events on the ground in Ferguson; and it’s one hell of a must-read…


Darren Wilson’s first job was on a troubled police force disbanded by authorities

By Carol D. Leonnig, Kimberly Kindy and Joel Achenbach
Washington Post
August 23 at 10:22 PM

FERGUSON, Mo. — The small city of Jennings, Mo., had a police department so troubled, and with so much tension between white officers and black residents, that the city council finally decided to disband it. Everyone in the Jennings police department was fired. New officers were brought in to create a credible department from scratch.

That was three years ago. One of the officers who worked in that department, and lost his job along with everyone else, was a young man named Darren Wilson.

Some of the Jennings officers reapplied for their jobs, but Wilson got a job in the police department in the nearby city of Ferguson…

At this point in the article, it’s self-evident that the reporters diligently attempted to contact Wilson for a response/feedback. But, Wilson’s nowhere to be found. Readers are informed: his lawyer didn’t return calls or emails; “the police union is mum;” neither his ex-wife nor his friends are speaking out; his mother’s deceased; and there are no signs of “his father or either of his stepfathers.”

The WaPo piece continues…

…But everyone leaves a record, and Darren Dean Wilson is no exception.

People who know him describe him as someone who grew up in a home marked by multiple divorces and tangles with the law. His mother died when he was in high school. A friend said a career in law enforcement offered him structure in what had been a chaotic life.

What he found in Jennings, however, was a mainly white department mired in controversy and notorious for its fraught relationship with residents, especially the African American majority. It was not an ideal place to learn how to police. Officials say Wilson kept a clean record without any disciplinary action…

The very lengthy article delves much, much deeper into an up-close-and-personal (well, as "personal" as a news story may be, given that the subject is unavailable for comment) look at Wilson’s life.

Suffice it to say, Wilson didn’t exactly live with the Brady Bunch in his youth. He came from a very troubled home. (Readers of today’s WaPo article will learn that there’s been significant turmoil in Wilson's personal life over the past year, as well.)

Briefly recounting some personal realities about Wilson's upbringing (the WaPo does a much deeper dive later on in the piece), the journalists flash forward to 2009…

…After going through the police academy, Wilson landed a job in 2009 as a rookie officer in Jennings, a small, struggling city of 14,000 where 89 percent of the residents were African American and poverty rates were high. At the time, the 45-employee police unit had one or two black members on the force, said Allan Stichnote, a white Jennings City Council member.

Racial tension was endemic in Jennings, said Rodney Epps, an African American city council member.

“You’re dealing with white cops, and they don’t know how to address black people,” Epps said. “The straw that broke the camel’s back, an officer shot at a female. She was stopped for a traffic violation. She had a child in the back [of the] car and was probably worried about getting locked up. And this officer chased her down Highway 70, past city limits, and took a shot at her. Just ridiculous.”

Police faced a series of lawsuits for using unnecessary force, Stichnote said. One black resident, Cassandra Fuller, sued the department claiming a white Jennings police officer beat her in June 2009 on her own porch after she made a joke. A car had smashed into her van, which was parked in front of her home, and she called police. The responding officer asked her to move the van. “It don’t run. You can take it home with you if you want,” she answered. She said the officer became enraged, threw her off the porch, knocked her to the ground and kicked her in the stomach…

Readers are informed that the Jennings Police Department “…also had a corruption problem. A joint federal and local investigation discovered that a lieutenant had been accepting federal funds for drunken-driving checks that never happened."

Eventually, in March 2011, the Jennings City Council “…voted 6-to-1 to shut down the department and hire St. Louis County to run its police services, putting Lt. Jeff Fuesting in charge as commander.”

Fuesting worked with Wilson for four months, at which point Wilson transferred to the Ferguson PD.

As the article notes about Fuesting…

…He said of the department during its difficult period: “There was a disconnect between the community and the police department. There were just too many instances of police tactics which put the credibility of the police department in jeopardy. Complaints against officers. There was a communication breakdown between the police and the community. There were allegations involving use of force that raised questions.”
Again, I strongly urge everyone who’s read this far to click on the link to the entire article, above. But, I’ll leave readers of this diary with one last comment from the WaPo: “The structure of policing in these small St. Louis communities, as in many places in the United States, is innately combustible."

After the publication of this piece, the Wilson-Brown narrative will never be the same, IMHO, despite the inevitable, ongoing efforts of some in the MSM that will attempt to present it otherwise. It’s all there in Sunday’s WaPo in black and white…


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Originally posted to http://www.dailykos.com/user/bobswern on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 09:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Police Accountability Group.

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