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A protester throws back a smoke bomb while clashing with police in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014. Police in Ferguson fired several rounds of tear gas to disperse protesters late on Wednesday, on the fourth night of demonstrations over the fatal shoot
McCulloch: "Come on, man, they were doing great!"
Later today, a grand jury will begin hearing evidence in the shooting death of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was gunned down by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9. And as is everything else surrounding this case, it is already aswirl in controversy:
[Missouri Gov. Jay] Nixon said Tuesday he doesn’t intend to ask County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch to step aside from the case amid criticism that McCulloch will be biased in favor of the police officer who shot Brown.
And the basis for those concerns about bias? Besides the fact that McCulloch's father was a police officer killed by a black suspect, his critics says that:
In both his prosecutorial decisions and public comments ... he has shown a clear bias toward police in cases where officers’ actions are in question.
And those critics are particularly concerned with McCulloch's reaction when Nixon had the Missouri Highway Patrol take over security from the Ferguson and St. Louis County police departments last week:
“It’s shameful what he did today, he had no legal authority to do that,” McCulloch said of Nixon at the time. “To denigrate the men and women of the county police department is shameful.”
Nixon defends his decision to stick with McCulloch and suggested his only out was if McCulloch recused himself. But the Missouri attorney general disagrees, saying that "Nixon did indeed have the right to remove McCulloch if the governor declared a state of emergency."

So, does anyone really doubt that the nearly two weeks of police clashes with protesters in the wake of Michael Brown's death qualifies as a state of emergency? And does Gov. Nixon intend to allow even a question of bias to surround the decision on whether or not Darren Wilson is indicted for shooting Michael Brown? Seriously?

Originally posted to Barbara Morrill on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 07:53 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos and Barriers and Bridges.

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Comment Preferences

      •  Don't hold your breath for Holder (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AlexDrew

        Holder has been crystal clear that he is NOT there to oversee or interfere with the local investigation. His mandate is ONLY so far to see if Darrell Wilson violated the deceased unarmed teenager's CIVIL rights.  Nor is he there to investigate charges of institutional racism, bias, sloppy police work, corruption, malfeasance or excessive use of force  as policy or practice within the Ferguson PD or the St Louis county Police, nor is he there to investigate Ferguson Police Cheif Jackson's record, nor is he there to investigate DA McCollugh's record or performance or grand jury proceedings.  

        He is bringing the DOJ's CRS and making a narrow inquiry into a civil rights angle of the killing.  If the Trayvon Martin case is any example, little to none of his work will change anything at all, except a slight misleading aspect of the public's perception that justice is being sought by competent professionals.  

        Having said that, the upside is that SOME of the investigative work he will over see MAY see the light of day if and when dedicated journalists and their organizations fight to make the reports public under FOIA.  

        GET REAL.  This is a fight the people have to fight, and win.  There will be no man on a white horse to bring justice here.  

        •  I guess you don't have a clue about (10+ / 0-)

          why people in Ferguson are very pleased that AG Holder is there.

          Like one person stated today "We got our freedom from the Federal Government - not the State"

          He's not a man on a white horse.  He is however the first black AG - and since people in the black community have zero trust in the mayor, the police chief or the DA ...they are meeting with AG Holder and have been cooperating with the 40 FBI agents on the ground.

          The people wanted a Federal investigation and they've got it.

          Who are you to poo-poo it?

          "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

          by Denise Oliver Velez on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:24:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Who am i to poo-poo Holder? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AlexDrew

            I am someone who watched him do very, very little to bring justice to the family of the deceased Trayvon Martin, despite clear and incontrovertible evidence that George Zimmerman lied to investigators and was guilty of a serious crime in stalking the teen, resulting in the death of an unarmed black teen at the hands of a criminal.  

            And we do not disagree, you and I that the community needs hope and has little. They also need justice, and a credible investigation and not spokespersons and photo ops. These people wanted a CREDIBLE murder investigation.  Holder cannot give that to them, as murder is not a federal crime.  

            And if you think the FBI has a record of bringing justice to minority communities in pain, please cite the instances where this occurred in a credible, timely and transparent fashion.

            Thus far there is NO criminal investigation, period.  There are some effort to determine if a crime has been committed. And this effort is aided by the federal presence, yes but that is not yet something that I have much confidence in, frankly.  For there to be a credible investigation, there must be credible evidence, and the actions of the ferguson PD have all but  guaranteed this is not possible.

            Aside, regarding the comment about the feds giving the blacks their freedom.  You call this "freedom" what we've seen on the streets of Ferguson?

            This is Missouri. Show me.  Show me freedom to assemble.  Show me the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.  Show me a credible set of evidence and facts established in transparent proceedings.  Show me justice.  Not a dog and pony show.  Show me, and THEN I will praise the DOJ, and rejoice with the community that justice has come to #ferguson.  Until then the struggle continues.  No justice, no peace.

            "Three witnesses tell one story.  One police chief tells three stories."  Can we agree on the injustice of THAT, at least?  

            Thank you for your views. I hope we can find consensus, and i WORK to push for everyone finding justice.  I just don't expect it as a gift from the DOJ.  
             

          •  I hope you are right, Denise, because the cop who (3+ / 0-)

            murdered Michael Brown will not be indicted for any kind of murder.  In similar circumstances, cops have been charged way less than 1% of the time.  (See remarks by law professor Laurie Levinson reported on yesterday at TPM.)  I didn't realize it was so bad and it makes my blood boil.  
            If the Gov. of MO. or county prosecutor were serious, they would have arrested the cop and held a preliminary hearing in court, open to the public.  However, these officials care more about white votes than black and won't get interested in the difficult work of healing until their asses are on the line.  When they have to change their tunes because they are about to lose an election, they will suddenly become devoted to diversity and Civil Rights for minorities.
            I hope AG Holder does a serious investigation and decides to take the cop or police force or city to court for violations of Civil Rights.  But nothing like that happened in the Trayvon Martin case, so I seriously doubt that it will in Michael Brown's.
            Justice and healing in Ferguson will come when African Americans there exercise their power at the polls and take over the godforsaken place.

            Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

            by hawkseye on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:29:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think the two cases are different (0+ / 0-)

              specifically because Mike Brown was killed by a cop.

              Tom P is looking closely at what type of charges DOJ could bring - has a diary up.

              "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

              by Denise Oliver Velez on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:44:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I can't believe there won't be any head banging (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mjd in florida, Onomastic, Lilowl

          behind the scenes. This is a PD that has directly disobeyed instructions from the FBI about releasing prejudicial "evidence" to the media.

          American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

          by atana on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:39:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm all for heads banging and rolling. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hawkseye, AlexDrew

            But who will do this task?  It should be the VOTERS of #ferguson, in a recall election.  Throw all the bums out, from the idiot mayor the nearly all white city council, the manager and of course the police chief for gross incompetence.  

            Whatever private dressing down happens, behind closed doors I don't care.  That solves nothing.  

        •  There will be justice (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lilowl, onionjim

          when Wilson is booked, fingerprinted and jailed on either murder charges by the state or wrongful death criminal charges per 18 USC 242 by the feds.  Picking a jury might be a challenge, but I think any carefully selected (vigilante) group from Ferguson would do fine and justice would be served thereby.  The federal statute allows for the imposition of a sentence of death too, which will never happen if this dufus DA remains in charge of things and only state charges are brought.  That would be justice too, wouldn't it ?  

    •  Is the grand jury white and conservative. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neneburge, Decorina, Lilowl

      I fear they will let him get away with it and then
      the police will finally be able to us those weapons
      of mass destruction on their black citizens, what they
      have been wanting to do all along.

      •  The Grand Jury is chosen (5+ / 0-)

        at random from among the jury pool in St. Louis County by the presiding judge.  In theory, their composition should reflect that of St. Louis County, which, according to Wikipedia,was, in 2010,

        70.3% White (68.9% Non-Hispanic White), 23.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 3.5% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.9% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races.

        Anyone arguing that there's no difference between the parties is a fucking moron who can simply go to hell. -- kos

        by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:52:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They don't want to kill these people. (0+ / 0-)

        They want them cowed and compliant.

        They'll 'make examples of' any goats in the flock, and continue the systematic shearing of the sheep that are left.

        Now, if a Grand Jury finds that the Ferguson MO city council/courts/mayor/PD are guilty of mass extortion, murder, unlawful imprisonment, et cetera, then perhaps we'll see a change.

        But not until then.  The town is toxic enough to qualify for the social equivalent of Superfund money.

        If your sole and entire rationale for doing something is "It's not illegal." then perhaps you should rethink doing it.

        by dcnblues on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 03:23:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The grand jury... (0+ / 0-)

        has been impaneled since May. This is a good thing because it means they have already heard many cases.
         and have deliberated on other true bills. They will know right away if something is different about how the prosecutor handles this case and will follow with appropriate questions. Two news reports say that there are at least 3 minorities on the jury.

        There is some bad news in that unlike many states where it only takes a majority to return a true bill, for this grand jury it will take 9 jurors to affirm a true bill. That could be a problem depending on the jury makeup. I think it is important to remember that this jury has been working together since May, so it is already quite experienced for a jury.

        Another potential problem is that - just the same as in Florida - the state not only has to prove that you did it, but also prove to the legal test of beyond a reasonable doubt that you did it in an illegal manner. In many states, once the state has proved that you did it, it is up to you to prove that it was a legal action that you took. This is worded somewhat inarticulately in that I am a chemist - not a lawyer. I don't even play one on television, but I hope you get the gist.

    •  In the video that (2+ / 0-)

      the right loves to point out, at 8:20 begins a witness speaking of four shots, pause, then three more. This is consistent with finishing him off.

      •  That doesn't prove anything. It's going to take (0+ / 0-)

        all the evidence, duly considered, and possibly the police are holding onto damning evidence  for the office.
        Probably, if they had video that proved the officer's account, they'd have "leaked" it by now.

        If the grand jury doesn't  indict, then the DOJ will have to step in , or they may prosecute regardless.

        Some pols will probably try to inflame the situation, but the responsible parties will probably try to cool things until after the mid-terms.

        There's justice needed for Michael Brown, and then there's a bigger fish to fry, which is to look long and hard at Ferguson which is representative of a lot of other Fergusons out there and make change so there are fewer Michael Browns being shot.
        This is going to be a long process.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:21:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What video? (0+ / 0-)

        Let's see a link.

    •  It appears as if "Nixon" has either been (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      amsterdam

      Intimated by Prosecutor McCulloch's initial blasting of his behavior or he's O.K. with racial bias favoring the police actions.

      What infuriated me last night was Senator McCaskill coming out in favor of the Governor doing nothing and singing praises for McCulloch.  What part of the civilians don't trust their local officials for a fair process doesn't she understand?  All around our world, let alone country, the racist town authorities have exposed their personal fiefdom of repression and abuse.

  •  I am afraid it will be the latter. This whole mess (21+ / 0-)

    has been mishandled from the get go. I have no confidence that Nixon will do the right thing. He has been inept throughout.

    The things I want to know are in books; My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I ain't read.- Abraham Lincoln

    by Mighty Ike on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 07:57:36 AM PDT

  •  DOJ needs to move first. (18+ / 0-)

    Don't trust McCulloch -- biased toward cops.  he may surprise us, but most signs are bad.  

    Stretching it to until October, even grand jury, are unnecessary.

    DOJ does not have to wait until state rules.  Can move now.  DOJ should indict for violations of civil rights laws.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 07:58:30 AM PDT

    •  Very high (4+ / 0-)

      burden of proof though.

      •  You got to go with the law you have. :-) (8+ / 0-)

        to paraphrase Rumsfeld.  

        DOJ can indict.  It's a start.  Don't wait.  Less than 50% chance McCulloch's grand jury indicts.  This is exactly how one would do it if one planned to exonerate cop.

        Congressman Clay does not trust McCulloch.  I bet he called Holder early on, before DOJ moved in.

        It's likely all we have.  High burden of proof, difficult case, so it goes.  You fight with what you got.  This is a chance for a DOJ lawyer to be a star and make a career by winning.      

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:17:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How? (6+ / 0-)
          DOJ can indict.  It's a start.  Don't wait.
          The DOJ can't indict Wilson on Federal civil rights charges for the shooting without evidence that Wilson acted with racial animus towards Brown. A white police offer shooting a black victim is not enough to conclude the cop acted with racial animus, you need something to show bias on Wilson's part. So to the extent they have to "wait", it's because the investigation must reveal such evidence before a charge can be filed.

          Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

          by Pi Li on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:35:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If they have a case, they can indict. (8+ / 0-)

            Excessive force violates 42 USC 1983.  Killing is excessive force in this context.  No racial animus need be proven.

            Federal Criminal Enforcement

            It is a crime for one or more persons acting under color of law willfully to deprive or conspire to deprive another person of any right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. (18 U.S.C. §§ 241, 242). "Color of law" simply means that the person doing the act is using power given to him or her by a governmental agency (local, State, or Federal). A law enforcement officer acts "under color of law" even if he or she is exceeding his or her rightful power. The types of law enforcement misconduct covered by these laws include excessive force, sexual assault, intentional false arrests, or the intentional fabrication of evidence resulting in a loss of liberty to another. Enforcement of these provisions does not require that any racial, religious, or other discriminatory motive existed. What remedies are available under these laws? Violations of these laws are punishable by fine and/or imprisonment. There is no private right of action under these statutes; in other words, these are not the legal provisions under which you would file a lawsuit on your own.

            Department of Justice, Addressing Police Misconduct Laws Enforced by the Department of Justice

            Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

            by TomP on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:42:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Whoops. wrong cite. (5+ / 0-)
              18 U.S.C. §§ 241, 242
              this si criminal code.  Section 1983 is civil suit.

              Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

              by TomP on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:43:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  18 U.S. Code § 242 (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TomP, Grabber by the Heel, AlexDrew, VClib

                18 U.S. Code § 242 - Deprivation of rights under color of law

                Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
                § 241 is in regards to conspiracy. Which there may be, but it would be in a potential cover up, not in the shooting itself (unless there are facts were don't know about, which goes to my larger point).

                Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                by Pi Li on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:55:30 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  A good prosector can indict a ham sandwhich. (0+ / 0-)

            Whether or not a conviction can be obtained is a matter for trial and will depend on both the evidence and who the jury is, but indictment should be possible.

            I won't believe corporations are people until Texas executes one. Leo Gerard.

            by tgrshark13 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:50:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  But if DOJ rushes ahead of the Grand Jury ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yoduuuh do or do not

      ... the prosecutor has one more reason to shuffle around with his case, even sidetrack it.

      I think there's not a Federal murder case. (There is a civil rights case but it's uphill proof, as others have noted.) If there were a Federal murder charge, it would warrant DOJ proceeding more quickly. I think it'll wait, however, to see how the locals handle the case in its early stages; the threat of a broader investigation and possible prosecutions does have value here.

      2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:24:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't wait. McCulloch will (4+ / 0-)

        do what he does regardless.  Bring the federal charges that are appropriate.  

        Most in black community here (Congressman Clay, Jamillah Nasheed, the U-City state senator Maria Chapelle whattever,  etc.)  want DOJ to move.  

        Don't wait for justice form McCulloch because you may wait forever.

        They will tell Holder today -- don't wait.  

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:28:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let me do Maria's name right. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Silencio, gramofsam1

          Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-University City).  Her state senate district includes Ferguson.  U-City is next to Washington University, although surprisingly not named for Wash U.  Weird St. Louis trivia, for free!  :-)

          Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

          by TomP on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:33:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  OK, but what charge does Holder proceed with? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kingfishstew

          I'm not against DOJ pursuing this, but it will take the locals off the hook. You can reasonably argue they'd take themselves off the hook - with no indictment or a weak manslaughter charge that gets bargained down in time. But ...

          DOJ acting now is a preemptive strike, a relatively narrow one that might well do better as a broader complaint against the handling of the investigation and the legal case. Filing now, despite the laggard investigation, will surely produce a main defense - we were cut short by the Federal prosecution, and now we can't even talk about any aspect of it until that's resolved.

          If that will settle the community, OK, but on the law points, I believe it harms the overall case.

          2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:39:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  18 U.S.C. §§ 241, 242 (5+ / 0-)

            From DOJ website, linked above.

            Federal Criminal Enforcement

            It is a crime for one or more persons acting under color of law willfully to deprive or conspire to deprive another person of any right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. (18 U.S.C. §§ 241, 242). "Color of law" simply means that the person doing the act is using power given to him or her by a governmental agency (local, State, or Federal). A law enforcement officer acts "under color of law" even if he or she is exceeding his or her rightful power. The types of law enforcement misconduct covered by these laws include excessive force, sexual assault, intentional false arrests, or the intentional fabrication of evidence resulting in a loss of liberty to another. Enforcement of these provisions does not require that any racial, religious, or other discriminatory motive existed. What remedies are available under these laws? Violations of these laws are punishable by fine and/or imprisonment. There is no private right of action under these statutes; in other words, these are not the legal provisions under which you would file a lawsuit on your own.

            Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

            by TomP on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:44:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Right, and I'm assuming the DOJ complaint ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TomP

              ... can be amended to add new facts and legal theories.

              But I still think it'll give the locals cover when it's filed. Their actions and whatever reforms might be forthcoming could well be frozen by a complaint filed, say, today, because subsequent action would be admitting what lawyers typically don't want to admit.

              The prospect of a complaint-to-be-filed is a threat with considerable leverage, in my view.

              2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

              by TRPChicago on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:00:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  At a guess. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eagles92, tgrshark13

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

  •  If the grand jury declines to indict, is that t... (0+ / 0-)

    If the grand jury declines to indict, is that then final from the state's perspective?

  •  just the appearance of a conflict (7+ / 0-)

    especially in light of the comments critical of Nixon, is enough to remove this guy, and if the National Guard has already been called in then it's enough to declare a state of emergency.  
    I said below that it would be stupid for the cop to testify before a grand jury, but I forgot that this prosecutor probably doesn't want to prosecute.  If there are any charges filed I wouldn't be suprised if it's for something less than murder.  
    McCaskill was defending him last night, which didn't make me feel any better about the situation. She was also trying to tell people that they should stay home and stop protesting, supposedly as a way to single out the troublemakers.  That didn't help much either.  

    you can shit on my face but that doesn't mean I have to lick my lips

    by red rabbit on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:02:44 AM PDT

  •  I posted in another thread... (16+ / 0-)

       There are 2 ways a lawyer would let a 'target' client testify before a grand jury. If the client has immunity or if the prosecutor is "friendly" and looking to 'clean it up'. Wilson has or will have a lawyer. The lawyer will talk to the prosecutor.
         If a special prosecutor is not appointed and Wilson testifies, the fix is in. If that happens, there is a stronger likelihood or a not true bill or a lesser type of homicide indictment (some type of manslaughter, etc).
         

    The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

    by Hillbilly Dem on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:04:22 AM PDT

  •  the old saying holds true (10+ / 0-)

    you can indict a ham sandwich--IF you want to, but I don't believe this prosecutor does.  

    you can shit on my face but that doesn't mean I have to lick my lips

    by red rabbit on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:04:59 AM PDT

  •  Gov. Nixon: On His Way OUT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WendyK

    ...
    It's difficult to understand what he could possibly be thinking. ALL the rational political calculus, no matter how one feels about the events at a personal level, are to ensure that there is no taint to any proceedings.

    If it truly is Nixon's intent to let the to my eyes clearly biased prosecutor handle this case, then he has no political moxie in him and he's headed for the door, one way or another.

    At least, we can only hope. -heavy-sigh-

    Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

    by RTIII on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:05:02 AM PDT

  •  Crumb should stay out of Brown case (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DocGonzo, NoBlueSkies

    Him not filing a civil right lawsuit in the Trayvon Martin, case amount to malpractice on his part, When a person file a civil lawsuit ,you control the wheel of justice .lots of  prosecutor do not  let police control thier decision,it a prosecutor in area pissed off at the local police and sheriff department for bringing  bad cases too him  

  •  We can push Jay Nixon (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, Eagles92, onionjim, GideonAB, DRo

    to ask McCulloch to step aside.

    Governor Jay Nixon

    Office of Governor Jay Nixon
    P.O. Box 720
    Jefferson City, MO 65102
    Phone: (573) 751-3222

    "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

    by kj in missouri on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:07:53 AM PDT

    •  would like to know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kj in missouri, DRo

      if there are any Senators, like Warren, pushing for change here.

      Nixon does not seem willing to do the right thing by himself

      Seeking to be as wise as Fioral

      by GideonAB on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:34:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, Nixon does not seem willing to ask McCulloch (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eagles92

        to step aside by his own self.   i haven't been able to get through to his phone line to hear what his staff is saying, it's ringing busy.  i hope that's a good sign.  ?

        there is a internet contact form on the link above, however.  i suggest flooding it.

        "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

        by kj in missouri on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:49:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  what is the situation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, kj in missouri

      with regard to calls from out of state?

      Are they allowed?  And are they likely to be effective or counterproductive?

      Seeking to be as wise as Fioral

      by GideonAB on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:10:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am now out-of-state (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Denise Oliver Velez

        and contacting the office through the contact form on his website.  Phone line is busy.  HOWEVER,  I maintain the position that I can call states other than mine when an issue reaches national attention, and that's how I present my call to the staffers.  If I've ever lived in that state (..."As an former resident...") I add that.

        I chose to think they are effective.   :-)   But of course, have no idea how the pro/con breaks down in the office. Overwhelming support can only be a positive if Nixon truly did have national ambitions.

        "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

        by kj in missouri on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:30:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's (probably) all up to Holder now. (4+ / 0-)

    Holder has never shown himself to be a particularly good AG - for example, he continually refuses to indict bankers even when there's continually damned good reason to do so - however, I do think he'll act on issues of social justice like this.

    He'd better!

    If Holder refuses to act, not only would it be shocking, it would permanently taint his boss and his administration - again!

    Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

    by RTIII on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:09:14 AM PDT

  •  Rhetorical question right? (5+ / 0-)

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:10:27 AM PDT

  •  The fix is in (7+ / 0-)

    For Nixon and the rest of these clowns, it's all about putting "a cover of protection" over the killer cop.  

    Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

    by Big River Bandido on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:12:22 AM PDT

  •  Impeach Nixon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poleshifter

    Of course the Conservative powers in Mississippi are perfectly happy with a police whitewash. The governor is a tricky dick.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:14:51 AM PDT

  •  there are very few (5+ / 0-)

    politicians that stand on principle in america and those in missou are certainly no exception to that rule.

  •  "Declaring a state of emergency" is not just some (6+ / 0-)

    simple thing that the governor can do solely for purposes of having a prosecutor removed.  It is a very, very far-reaching order that allows the state government to suspend all sorts of governmental functions.  In some instances, it can suspend, for a period of time, the rights and freedoms of the citizens.  For example, in a state of emergency where the governor determines that it's unsafe to go out on the streets or that allowing citizens out on the streets puts governmental employees (police, fire, ambulance) at risk, declaring a state of emergency can suspend the First Amendment right to march and protest.  They can impose mandatory curfews for all citizens.  The list goes on and on.  

    So, it's not as simple as the diary implies here:

    But the Missouri attorney general disagrees, saying that "Nixon did indeed have the right to remove McCulloch if the governor declared a state of emergency."
    So, does anyone really doubt that the nearly two weeks of police clashes with protesters in the wake of Michael Brown's death qualifies as a state of emergency? And does Gov. Nixon intend to allow even a question of bias to surround the decision on whether or not Darren Wilson is indicted for shooting Michael Brown? Seriously?
    It's not simply saying, I think there's an emergency that means McCulloch should be replaced.  What the AG is talking about is a very far-reaching order that gives state government all kinds of extra-ordinary powers with respect to all sorts of things.  Is that what people really want here?  

    It seems that McColloch is going to have to do his job, with the FBI (doing its own investigation) and DOJ serving as a check on his actions to make sure he does his job.  Now, if he's not enthusiastic about prosecuting Wilson for whatever reason, that can't be mandated.  But he has an obligation to present the relevant evidence to the grand jury for them to make a decision as to an indictment. (It may not even be McCullough presenting the evidence to the grand jury; it may be one of the attorneys in the county prosecutor's office.  If I were McCollough, I'd have my most senior and experienced prosecutor do it so there's no real question of McCollough's bias affecting the grand jury.)   And what the FBI and the DOJ can do is make sure all the facts come out, and -- if they think there's a case but the grand jury fails to indict -- to proceed on a federal level.  That's the way the system works.  

    •  considering all the factors (0+ / 0-)

      yes, he could legitimately declare a state of emergency, and it wouldn't just be for the purposes of replacing McCulloch.  

      you can shit on my face but that doesn't mean I have to lick my lips

      by red rabbit on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:02:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yebbut... (0+ / 0-)

      You're not biased like McCulloch, just because you'd act responsibly doesn't mean he will. He has a built-in bias against black people because of his family history. I don't see how he can possibly avoid charges of bias, and I think his response will be a shrug.

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:04:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Governor already did it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      La Gitane

      states own website has entries referring to his executive order

      http://governor.mo.gov/...

      A federal call up is more complicated, but governors have the power to call up National Guard to State Active Duty.

  •  99.5% chance no indictment with Mcullough in chg (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, poleshifter

    If he does get an in indictment, it will be on small charges but it's likely to go well at trial. Or wilson will take a plea.

  •  "Your honor, I feared for my life." (10+ / 0-)

    Hizzoner: "That's all I need to hear. Case dismissed."

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:18:51 AM PDT

  •  St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCullough (5+ / 0-)

    will do a Huck Finn (WHITEWASHING) in the matter -- it's the Missouri thing to do, especially because of McCullough's personal animus towards black folks.

    The standard for recusal is can a person reasonably question the fairness and impartiality of the authorities conducting the proceeding.

    When a hatchet job in the Criminal Just Us system is going to be perpetrated, there will be no recusals but there will be shameless, patently dishonest, sanctimonious excuses offered claiming that the authorities can be fair and impartial.

    Psychopathic "judges" and prosecutors are a penny per gross in the Criminal Just Us sytem.  McCullogh has been a county prosecutor for decades -- he got elected over and over because he does what is politically popular, NOT because he is ethical, moral, or competent.

  •  Total whitewash (8+ / 0-)

    It's already started.  The thugification of Brown, the treatment and characterization of the protestors and so on.  That the cop will be invited to testify before the GJ, and will probably do so, is a clear sign to me that TPTB are confident of getting away with it.  

    Even the usual suspect media outlets are getting in line as evidenced by today's NY Times article about eyewitnesses accounts differing as if that was a surprise or problem.   Of course the accounts differ as they all didn't see the entire incident from start to finish from the same angle at the same time but considering that, the accounts are largely consistent.  

    The difference the Times seems to find problematic is that some witnesses said that Brown was stationary when he was finished off while others (one) indicated he stumbled or moved forward before being finished off and another couldn't tell.  The Times seems to think that difference is important because it indicates when the cop decided to use deadly force but remarkably they "ignore" the witnesses accounts that indicated the cop had already fired at Brown as he was running away!  

    •  Well, I see one consistency: (4+ / 0-)

      They all seem to agree that he was "finished off".

      "To take another person's life from the bench is no better than to take another person's life from the street"

      by commonmass on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:33:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  According to the times (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ks1, NoBlueSkies

      all the witnesses agree that Wilson fired as he was running away. We'll see whether that makes the difference.

      Here's what I would argue:

      If Mike Brown did attack WIlson, why did he do so? Was it with the intent of murder or to try to flee the arrest? Which makes more sense. THe kid just committed a dumb robbery and he knows he's been caught. Now he's going to escalate that to killing a police officer?? I find it highly doubtful. Wilson probably grabbed at him from the window and he wrestled to break free from his grip so he could run away. Once Wilson starts firing at him from behind, he knows he's fucked and turns to surrender.

      You only believe he charges wilson if his intent THE ENTIRE TIME was to murder the cop. I find that a very big stretch.

      Now, with that said, Wilson with his blood pumping may have interpreted brown turning and stumbling as him charging him.
      IMO, the onus is still on him. Bad judgment, bad handling of the situation, and because of that, a kid is dead.

      The more sinister outlook comes in when you consider that witnesses seem to agree that there was a pause between when Mike turned around and Wilson fired the last 6 shots. In that scenario, Wilson had time to think...

      •  Six shots? (0+ / 0-)

        How many total shots were fired?  Were others fired before he turned around, thus appearing he was being shot in the back?  If they missed and the last six were as he was trying to surrender, it would appear to witnesses he was first shot in the back.  It did happen very fast.

        Did anyone even attempt to recover any other bullets that missed?  It seems to me it was so fast that Wilson, possibly a total coward, didn't even take time to assess the threat.

        "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

        by cowdab on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:58:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And when someone murders Wilson in revenge... (0+ / 0-)

      ....they'll shrug and send in the riot squad, round up the usual suspects (the ENTIRE black population of Ferguson),
      They'll see it as a feature, not a failure, they don't care about Wilson any more than they care about the citizens of Ferguson....

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:09:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is whitewash a realistic option right now? (3+ / 0-)

    I think they know that any attempted whitewash will be exposed later on since there's a federal investigation, a likely civil rights lawsuit, and eventually a civil lawsuit filed by the family, all of which will bring out the facts. Maybe they're stupid enough to think they could get away with it but I think county officials are aware that everything they do is under a microscope. If they don't bring Wilson to trial they're going to have to come up with a good explanation for the public.

    •  The explanation will be that the grand jury (7+ / 0-)

      felt the shooting was justified after hearing the officer's story and that there was not enough evidence to contradict the officer's story. Same as the Zimmerman trial. It is up to Mculllough to actively challenge the officer's story with evidence and cross examination and I do not think that he will.
      He will say he is 'being fair and just presenting all the facts' but they will be presented in a way that 'lets the jury decide' with no active pursuit of indictment on the part of the prosecutor.

      •  I see. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AlexDrew

        If the Post-Dispatch reporter was accurate about there being other witnesses who tell a different version of events then I could see the grand jury not pressing charges.

        •  The Post Dispatch reporter has been suspended (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cowdab

          and what she leaked, even if partly true, was framed in a very exaggerated, self serving way by the police.

          The Times offers a different account saying that some people saw Brown "move toward the officer" which may have been caused by him stumbling. I doubt you'll hear many people, even wilson, say that he was "rushing him" at trial. They'll leave it grey.

          http://www.nytimes.com/...

          •  Probably right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Last Years Man

            And the notion that point constitues a whole "different version of events" is kind of dubious especially when all the witnesses tell a very similar story otherwise.

          •  Yes, the Times is cryptic (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NoBlueSkies, AlexDrew

            with this line.

            "Fearing that the teenager was going to attack him, the officer decided to use deadly force. Some witnesses have backed up that account."

            The officer "fearing" he was going to be attacked is different than actually being charged or attacked. So that line doesn't tell me what other witnesses are saying.

            And if a defense attorney is able to bring parts of Johnson's testimony into doubt then his entire description may be called into question by a jury. ugh

            •  Luckily there are other witnesses (0+ / 0-)

              who back him up and were much more careful. He's 21 and didn't handle himself in the best manner. Still he's definitely not the only person who saw what he says he saw. Rather than throw out all the witness testimony, i hope the forensics will back one side up.

            •  The problem is... (0+ / 0-)

              "Fearing that the teenager was going to attack him, the officer decided to use deadly force. Some witnesses have backed up that account."

              ...that according to several witnesses the officer had already fired at Brown.  Also, how do "some witnesses back up that account" as, at best, they have Brown moving or stumbling toward and not attacking the officer.

              Also, there's a key tell.  Notice that in the account from the cop's supposed friend, she leaves out that Wilson seems to have shot at Brown as he ran away?  She only has Wilson shooting at Brown as he "charged" him.  

  •  Whitewash - Now I understand what that means (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, yoduuuh do or do not

    no peace without justice

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:28:08 AM PDT

  •  If the Grand Jury doesn't produce an indictment (10+ / 0-)

    The rioting will spill over and out of Ferguson before McCulloch has a chance to put a period on his first sentence.

    I wouldn't blame a soul.

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

    by The Termite on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:30:58 AM PDT

    •  Well (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, AlexDrew, VClib

      You don't indict someone simply to stop a riot. That's not justice.

      Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

      by Pi Li on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:37:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, sure (9+ / 0-)

        Do you think that is what I was suggesting?

        Given what you know, do you think an indictment is proper and just? I do.

        Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

        by The Termite on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:42:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  he/she is one of the cop defenders on this site (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, ks1, amsterdam, NoBlueSkies, hester

          no one else thinks it's what you were suggesting.  There is easily enough evidence to indict if the prosecutors want to do so.  
          Of course it's easy to keep repeating that we "need to wait for all the facts to come out" when the police are withholding the report and other evidence for their own benefit.  

          you can shit on my face but that doesn't mean I have to lick my lips

          by red rabbit on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:06:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep, they can withhold whatever they want. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            atana, amsterdam

            There are statements from multiple independent eyewitnesses that match one another very closely.

            There is an autopsy that incriminates Wilson in several ways.

            The only way to justify not indicting Wilson is by producing some exonerating evidence. If they had such a thing they would have released it long ago.

            Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

            by The Termite on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:23:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not correct (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AlexDrew, VClib
              If they had such a thing they would have released it long ago.
              Has there been any evidence, exculpatory or inculpatory, released by the formal investigators (DA & DOJ) in this case?

              AFAIK (and I could be wrong), all the witness statements we heard are from media reports, and I believe the autopsy report  that was released was a private one. The police report and the robbery video (probably irrelevant) were released, but that was by the hapless PD, not the DA or DOJ, who are the ones investigating this case.

              Don't assume that just because we haven't heard about evidence doesn't mean it's not there. At this point I'd say we don't know about the vast majority of the evidence that will come to make up this case.

              Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

              by Pi Li on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:37:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The police department has officially released... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                atana, amsterdam, NoBlueSkies, ks1

                ...and unofficially leaked all manner of shit, from the convenience store videotape to the toxicology report on Mike Brown to the rumors leaked from "police sources" that eyewitnesses report Brown "charged" Wilson.

                The PD has liberally shared anything they had that could incriminate Brown and in so doing justify Wilson's decision to gun him down. You mean to tell me that if they had squad car video of Brown charging Wilson that we wouldn't have seen it or heard about it by now?

                Are you SURE that's what you wish to contend?

                Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

                by The Termite on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:46:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Did you read what I said? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AlexDrew, VClib

                  I specifically said the PD was putting stuff out there.

                  I'm referring to the evidence that the DOJ and DA has released, which is far as I know is zilch.  If you think we know all or even most of the evidence at this point, you're very mistaken.

                  Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                  by Pi Li on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:53:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, I got that (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm suggesting that any exculpatory evidence the DA or the DOJ might have could only have come from the PD, and if the PD had it then NOT releasing it would have been inconsistent with their other behavior (which was to release or leak any information that might be used to either smear Brown or excuse Wilson).

                    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

                    by The Termite on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:55:25 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, I can't speculate as to that (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AlexDrew, VClib, OrganicChemist

                      I have no idea what this PD is behaving the way it is, it's been amateur hour in Ferguson as far as that goes.  

                      I do know that there will be a lot of evidence coming in this case.  I can only imagine that there must be some exculpatory evidence, even if it's the cop's version of events, since if there wasn't the DA would have filed charges by now.  Again, as I said, that's why I need more evidence to draw a conclusion.

                      You know, as an aside, this site usually self-styles itself on caring about "facts" and being "reality based"...but to be reality based you have to base what you believe on reality. We're going to need more facts to know what really happened here. I don't have a problem with you or anyone else drawing conclusions on this case at this early stage, Termite, this isn't a court of law. I'm sure you think you know all you need to to presume guilt. My personal experience with these kind of cases tells me differently.  So I'm not sure what your problem is with my wanting to wait see more evidence before drawing my own conclusions.

                      Is that OK?

                      Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                      by Pi Li on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:04:34 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Pi Li, NoBlueSkies

                        I don't think I've been disrespectful to you. If I am wrong about that I'll apologize for sure.

                        I appreciate your expertise, even if I disagree with some of your points (like the notion that the DA would have filed charges absent any exculpatory evidence).

                        I am sure that you understand why people have a very dim view of our justice system, which claims to be blind and yet delivers very different results for people with less melanin and more money than it does for people like Mike Brown. I'm sure you're sympathetic to the disillusionment and crushing powerlessness that people are feeling, even as you encourage confidence in the system that you've seen work. I don't have any reason to judge you as a person. You're fine with me. I've enjoyed our exchange.

                        Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

                        by The Termite on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:11:53 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          The Termite, qphilo, VClib

                          I

                          am sure that you understand why people have a very dim view of our justice system, which claims to be blind and yet delivers very different results for people with less melanin and more money than it does for people like Mike Brown. I'm sure you're sympathetic to the disillusionment and crushing powerlessness that people are feeling, even as you encourage confidence in the system that you've seen work.
                          And I've said many, many times on this site that I believe the biggest factors that determine how someone fares is the US criminal justice system are wealth and race.  I've seen it first hand,  and there's no doubt America's courtrooms are not a good place to be of you're poor and black.

                          I'm also not asking people who have reasons to feel otherwise to have confidence in the system.  Many have reason to have no confidence in it.  I'm not saying the system is perfect and always works. Just that it is what it is. How and why to change it is,  of course,  another discussion.

                          Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                          by Pi Li on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:33:32 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

          •  Well...I'd call her one of the truth defenders... (0+ / 0-)

            I do realize that because of the issue, people need to vent, commiserate and demand justice. However, there are some that will just wait till all the facts are in and will correct people when they make misstatements.

            I would have to believe that the FBI has had the incident report from the first day that they became involved - that is unless Wilson was told by his lawyers not to write one and that is something that they could get away with. If that's the case, then there never will be an incident report. If he did write one, then what he claims has been frozen for some time. I would just bet that it will follow what was reported to the media by the mystery friend.

            Now if he did write one and if FBI/Justice didn't get a copy early on, then I, too would have big problems with its integrity. If the FBI did get a copy early on and does know what Wilson's claims are, then they just might be the ones withholding it so as not to taint any witness memories (especially those supporting Wilson).

        •  Indictments by grand jury are generally easy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yoduuuh do or do not, VClib
          Given what you know, do you think an indictment is proper and just? I do.
          Well, first of all, I don't know all the facts, so as I've said before, I'm not going to make any conclusions on whether an indictment is "proper" or "just" at this point. I'd rather stick with what's possible until I know more.

          So, given that, I believe it's possible that the facts are enough to sustain a grand jury indictment, depending on how they are presented to the grand jury. Grand Juries can be very one sided affairs, and if that's how the few facts we know are presented to this grand jury, I can see them returning an indictment, and in fact it would be likely.  I'll add this caveat...a police shooting is not a typical case, and grand juries, like traditional juries, can tend to give cops the benefit of the doubt.

          To that point, I'll tell you what I think. Based a lot of experience watching things like this develop, I'm pretty sure McCollough doesn't think he has enough evidence to support a conviction.  The problem is, for better or worse, as I said juries give a lot of latitude to cops in shootings like this. The evidence pretty much has to be overwhelming. If there's a reasonable and alternate theory to the case involving self defence, most juries are going to give a copy the benefit of the doubt. Remember, the standard is "beyond a reasonable doubt."

          And keep in mind, I presume the jury in this case (assuming it's not moved), would be taken from all of St. Louis County (70% white) and not just Ferguson or the city.  It's very difficult to get 12 people to vote to convict unless, again, the evidence very, very strong.

          So given that, I think McCollough believes he can't get  a conviction, and he probably is not even convinced of guilt himself. But he doesn't want to be the one who refuses to prosecute this guy (thus the game between him and Nixon) so he's punting it to a grand jury. And again, getting an indictment from a grand jury is a very different thing from getting an indictment in a court, so I would not be surprised, at all, to see Wilson indicted.. depending on how the prosecutors (McCollough isn't doing it himself) present the evidence.

          As to the notion that the DA's office there might "throw the case", I know there's concerns about that, but I haven't read anything thus far that would cause me to question McCollough's integrity in this way. Certainly the situation with his father is a red herring.

          Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

          by Pi Li on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:18:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You know a lot of facts, actually (7+ / 0-)

            Three eyewitnesses said Wilson came out of the car and shot Brown as he was running away, and that the fatal shot was delivered seconds later to his head as he was bending over passively with his hands up. We know that.

            Brown was unarmed. We know that.

            The officers present didn't call for an ambulance. We know that. Instead, his body was removed four and a half hours later in a black SUV, according to multiple eyewitnesses.

            How many black murderers have been convicted on the testimony of a single white eyewitness? I'll answer it for you: a metric fuck-ton. Is the eyewitness testimony of three independent black people to be discarded?

            Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

            by The Termite on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:31:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We know some facts (5+ / 0-)

              We don't know all of them.  And I've prosecuted enough cases to know that eye witness testimony, while often crucial, is often unreliable. There will be more eyewitnesses, and all the physical evidence, that I'll want to know about before I draw any conclusions. That's not to say that cases aren't built on eye witness testimony, they are all the time. But they are often the achilles heel of many cases as well.

              Brown was unarmed. We know that.
              Brown being unarmed is certainly a fact which tends to support guilt, but a cop shooting an unarmed person is not always a crime. Again, I need to know more.
              How many black murderers have been convicted on the testimony of a single white eyewitness?
              Quite a few. I've convicted murderers, black and white, based on a single eyewitness about.  Which is why I spent quite a bit of time talking about how most juries tend to treat police officers differently. Everyone who works in the criminal justice system knows this. I'm not saying it's right or fair, just that's how it is.
              Is the eyewitness testimony of three independent black people to be discarded?
              Of course not. It's to be included, tested, challenged, and weighed against all the other evidence. Which witnesses are to be believed is for the jury to decide.

              Since you're so anxious for me to give my personal conclusions on a case I don't have enough information about to draw conclusions on, I'll say this. If the testimony of the eyewitnesses is accurate, and if Brown was attempting to surrender, hands up, saying "don't shoot", and not attempting to attack, and the cop just gunned him down under those circumstances, then yes, that would be murder.  And if those end up being the facts, I'll be the first to say so.

              And I'd be happy to prosecute a case like that.  Nothing is more dangerous than an out of control cop.

              Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

              by Pi Li on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:50:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  To clarify (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib

                When I said...

                I've convicted murderers, black and white, based on a single eyewitness account.
                ...I meant, based partially on a single eyewitness account. I've never tried a murder case without physical evidence. But I have had a single eyewitness account be crucial to a conviction. But there's always physical evidence.

                Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                by Pi Li on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:57:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I've also read that... (0+ / 0-)

            McCollough's grand jury will need 9 of the 12 to affirm a true bill. In many states it is a majority or a much smaller percentage. Missouri also has the Florida "problem" if you want to call it that. The state not only has to prove who did it (easy in this case and the Zimmerman case) but also has to prove that it wasn't self defense beyond that reasonable doubt. In many states, once the proof is done about who did it, if it is self defense, the accused has the burden of proof. makes it that much more difficult for the prosecution. I'm sure you can clean that up as I am certainly not a lawyer.

      •  Is that an accusation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ks1

        disguised as an observation? Just asking.

        "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

        by cowdab on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:33:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Claire Mccaskill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    I heard her say that McCulloch would not be presenting the case to the grand jury himself, it would be two of his prosecutors, one of which is African American.

    Moreover, she said that her information was that the make up of this particular grand jury was "diverse".

    Take that for what you will, IMO I'm not sure it matters.

    Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

    by Pi Li on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:31:52 AM PDT

    •  I think another important point... (0+ / 0-)

      is that this grand jury has been impaneled and working since May. They have been working together long before any of the MB case happened. They will be experienced and will hopefully be trusting of each other since they have already handled many cases. I get the feel that many here think this group was just assembled for today.

      In most states, a grand jury will stay impaneled for months listening to various cases. In some cases, they might hear and vote on a couple of simple cases in a single session. In some cases, they might hear evidence for weeks (or even months before they decide). I'm sure you could elucidate this point with much additional clarity.

  •  How did Ferguson become so black so fast.... (8+ / 0-)

    Aljazeera provides a partial explanation.  A prosperous, nearby black town named Kinloch was  destroyed to make room for a new runway for the St. Louis Airport -- and many of the residents were moved into housing projects in Ferguson.  Ironically, 30 years later, the runway remains unbuilt.

    See: http://america.aljazeera.com/...

  •  I hate multiple choice exams... Let me guess... (6+ / 0-)

    Whitewash!!! Jay Nixon is a coward and a weasel, his race record is far from spotless and he has the spine and temperament of a Portugese Man O' War. Of course, he's being ably supported by Sen. Claire Mc Caskil, who dropped by last night on MSNBC to support Bob Mc Culloch and give Nixon cover for not calling for a special prosecutor or for Mc Culloch, "that fine public prosecutor," to recuse his Neoconfederate authoritarian ass.

    This is starting to stink like Limburger cheese left out on an August afternoon in Missouri.

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:33:14 AM PDT

    •  Well, if we are going to paint the town... (0+ / 0-)

      let's do the whole thing. Eric Holder congratulated Capt. Johnson and all of the police for the fine job of community policing they have been doing the last week since Johnson took over. Let's see...we know that Johnson is a sell-out and a self-hater...hmmmm...oh, and Obama didn't call for a conviction so he's suspect, too.

  •  Here's the thing.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cowdab, NoBlueSkies

    Not all the details are in from all three autopsies.  We've gotten dribs and drabs here and there.

    This cop's story just doesn't comport with the forensic evidence released thus far.  And if he manages to tell a story that does, it will have changed from initial stories his "friends" have been telling the media.  What sort of danger was he in that he had to shoot someone from such a far distance?

    The other thing to consider here is that one of the DAs is African American.  There are African Americans on the jury.  

    McCulloch might feel that this isn't a jury he can sway, so why handle the case personally?  He may have said as much to Nixon.  Who knows?

    They seem to be trying to run out a clock so that they can name a special grand jury at the end of the month.  But GJ would handle other business.  

    Either way, it might not be so easy to fix this one as others in the past.

    If the grand jury rules in favor of a trial, you might see action toward pleading down to manslaughter.  Frankly, anything that separates this guy from a badge would be a win for the community.  

  •  So now that the grand jury... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poleshifter, cowdab, NoBlueSkies

    aspect of the case is about to begin, it appears to be as tainted as the rest of this disgraceful debacle has been.  

    "These 'Yet To Be' United States" --James Baldwin-- -6.75, -5.78

    by kevinbr38 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:36:06 AM PDT

  •  Even if Wilson is indicted (0+ / 0-)

    they'll use Nixon's statement last night to get the case thrown out of court.... sigh.

  •  Wait a minute, is this our idea of justice? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't know this prosecutor, but accusing him of being biased because of what happened to his father?  Is this our idea of justice?  Are we smearing this guy like that local cop is trying to smear Mr. Brown.

    And is this:

    In both his prosecutorial decisions and public comments ... he has shown a clear bias toward police in cases where officers’ actions are in question.
    If you're going to make an accusation like this, you better provide some links so I can judge for myself.  If you've got some specifics that show this guy IS GOING to be biased, let's see them.

    If our idea of justice is that we can remove any fairly elected prosecutor until we get the one we want, well imagine what the Tea baggers are going to do with our idea of justice.

    This guy has the Feds looking over his shoulder, if he screws it up, the Feds will be all over it, and it will make the Fed case even stronger.  If he is replaced by someone worse, will the calls go out for yet another prosecutor?

    If we truly want justice, we can't be removing prosecutors based on claims of bias, rather than evidence of real wrong doing.  I don't like the way he is going about this, but that's a far cry from accusing him of bias in this case without any supporting evidence.  

     

  •  Jay is way more nixon than he is D. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poleshifter

    If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when? Rabbi Hillel the Elder, Ethics of the Fathers. Corporadeus

    by Floyd Blue on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:41:59 AM PDT

  •  Whites are looking like thugs in all this (5+ / 0-)

    Images are powerful, and when I see photos or videos of white police chiefs, a white governor, white prosecutor, white officers with all their "badass" military gear on-- they make whites look like thugs.

    Meanwhile, Michael Brown was a cool young brother and I see these beautiful black people in the streets, the stylish tattoos and proud bodies of young black men, beautiful faces of black women-- it makes me feel like we (whites) have had our day.  We loused up the country and the world, now it's time for other voices-- we need to pay our taxes, especially rich whites, and get the hell out of the way.  I'm sick of the way whites keep messing up this country.  And there's a big white shoulder turned away in smug indifference-- when that white mass isn't showing open, racist hostility.  White people need to get with the program!  I'm sick of this!

    "F**k Tha Police!!!" ~ Ice Cube, Eazy E, MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Yella

    by samantha in oregon on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:45:35 AM PDT

    •  Historically in the US (2+ / 0-)

      whites have been thugs.  

      (I'm agreeing with your comment.)

      "It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." (Artemus Ward)

      by Silencio on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:53:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you would premise that with many (0+ / 0-)

        or even 'most' then you would be close to the truth.  Just as any ethnicity has its good and bad, so do whites.  
        It has always been my opinion that if whites were dealt with in the same way as other minorities, we would be on the attack long ago.  We do not seem to take well to oppression.  Maybe this is why white skin seems to be in charge world wide.  Not necessarily to the good either.

        "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

        by cowdab on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:49:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  MORE THAN THE SHOOTER (4+ / 0-)

    DOJ investigation will bring to light information that reveals the depth of bias and corrruption of Ferguson authorities at all levels.
    This will provide the basis of a civil rights prosecution .

    "AMERICA DID NOT INVENT HUMAN RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS INVENTED AMERICA"

    by michealallison on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:45:52 AM PDT

  •  Unofrtunately, to ask the question is to answer it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    willisnewton

    There is no doubt that if handled by the locals, this will be a white wash (pun intended). This extra-judicial murder is what the power structure wants, keep the majority population in line. The only hope for a real prosecution is for the feds to take over and try this outside the region in a federal court. Given the timidity and deference to locals by this administration, I am not holding my breathe.

    I won't believe corporations are people until Texas executes one. Leo Gerard.

    by tgrshark13 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:47:27 AM PDT

  •  Nixon is a steaming turd. (5+ / 0-)

    He's fucking useless, a perfect example of useless sorta-Democrats who destroy our party with their bullshit.

    It was really apparent just how useless this asshole is when he was bluntly asked if he had the authority to appoint a Special Prosecutor the other night on MSNBC and he bloviated a bunch of horseshit about  "transparency" and "community outreach" and when Chris Hayes persisted and asked him the question again after his non-responsive bloviation, he bloviated the same horseshit word-for-word!

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:50:49 AM PDT

  •  Without an indictment, all hell will break loose (0+ / 0-)

    in MO and perhaps elsewhere. I also think that it is a bit early to be thinking that McCulloch is going to throw this one. There is enormous pressure on him and worldwide attention. A whitewash would change his name to Jim Crow. Given the situation, you have to ask whether McCulloch values his career more highly than Darren Wilson's freedom. The smart money at this stage is modestly in favor of McC's career.

    Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

    by Anne Elk on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:57:49 AM PDT

  •  doesn't a governor need (0+ / 0-)

    a state of emergency to call out the National Guard as Nixon has already done in Ferguson?   So why can't he replace the local prosecutor who is part of the long time white power structure that controls 70% of the population without representation?

  •  future (0+ / 0-)

    I can see the future in this case--indictment--change of venue to a whiter suburb--more demonstrations--Nancy Grace.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:03:55 AM PDT

  •  Why bother to ask a totally rhetorical question? (0+ / 0-)

    This is Missouri!  White Cop shoots down black youth.  So what?

  •  There is no need to denigrate McCulloch in any (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kingfishstew, DRo, willisnewton

    way.

    To be removed from the case does not need to reflect on him in any way, shape, or form.

    There is a long established concept of "the appearance of" conflict of interest, bias, etc in the law.

    The governor can heap praise on McCulloch for 40 days and 40 nights, ending with "It's unfortunate that we can't bring his talents to bear in this case, but we need to reassure the local citizens that justice is our number one goal and that we will not permit even an appearance of potential bias to undermine their confidence in the process."

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:12:26 AM PDT

  •  I keep hearing... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cowdab

    ...about people who don't live in Ferguson coming into the area to threaten, cajole and agitate the situation. Is that a reference to these fuckers who call themselves the Police?

  •  All prosecutors have that bias (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher

    So I'm not to sure about that critique.

  •  If I had to guess the Grand Jury (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kingfishstew

    Will be made up of mostly white citizens.

    First, the court uses voter registrations for addresses to send out the notices. It has been noted that voting by the black population is very low in this area.

    Secondly, to serve you have to return the notice sent to you in the mail, it would be a guess that apathy keeps a lot of the black citizens from returning the notices.

    Hopefully I am wrong.

    "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." -- Albert Einstein

    by lynn47 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:16:17 AM PDT

    •  the grand jury has been in business since May... (0+ / 0-)

      I heard two reports that 3 of the 12 are minorities. Since everything is supposedly secret, who knows if that is correct. However, I would expect it to be majority white.

      The also need 9 of 12 to affirm a true bill instead of a slight majority as in many other states.

  •  If it is a "whitewash" (so ironic, no?) (0+ / 0-)

    I only have two words:

    Rodney King

  •  I regret to say... (0+ / 0-)

    ...that it will likely be a whitewash.

  •  They've been whitewashing from the beginning (0+ / 0-)

    why stop now? I mean they invited killer cop Darren Wilson to testify in front of the grand jury which is unprecedented and never done unless you're try to taint the process.

    "Speak with your chest, bro. You a man!" - Ferguson citizen to Gov. Nixon

    by jazzence on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:27:17 AM PDT

  •  i think we are used to not seeing justice done (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    willisnewton

    when i hear the way nixon and mccullough talk, i think it is daydreaming to think there's much chance of it.

  •  Calling it a whitewash is too kind (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoBlueSkies

    Everything about this so called grand jury investigation will be rigged to make Darren Wilson look like a saint.  Brown will be portrayed as some lumbering brute of a monster who needed killing.  Afterwards, we will have Gov. Nixon and that useless excuse of a Senator, Claire McCaskill, say that the justice system has worked, and the rest of us need to chill out and get back to work.

  •  This jackass (0+ / 0-)

    (i.e. Nixon) is a DEMOCRAT?!

    I see a party switch in his future, it's about the only way he'd be able to get elected again after this mess.

    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

    by democracy inaction on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:39:07 AM PDT

  •  A grand jury is not obligatory (0+ / 0-)

    I would like to hear the prosecutor's reasoning for using a grand jury, whose precedings are secret, as opposed to a preliminary hearing where all precedings are open public record.

    I would also like to hear his reasoning as to why he is allowing Wilson to testify. The goal of the prosecutor is to get a true bill, not playing defense attorney for the defendant. Get a true bill, and Wilson can decide if he wants to testify in his trial.

    Mediocrity cannot know excellence ~ Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 12:06:33 PM PDT

    •  I think any prosecutor would LOVE... (0+ / 0-)

      to get the defendant to testify in front of a grand jury where they would have absolutely no defense counsel on hand. And any defense attorney would absolutely shit their pants if their client did testify. That is not a favor or a good thing.

      In a grand jury proceeding, everything is secret. The defense doesn't get a trial run through of what cards the prosecution has. A preliminary hearing is public. defense gets to see a summary of what the case will look, who most of the witnesses will be and how things will proceed.

  •  Ooh Ooh I know the answer. (0+ / 0-)

    And a tip of the hat to Ron Palillo's Horshak from Mr. Kotter.

    http://www.latimes.com/...

    https://www.youtube.com/...

    And I am Kilrain of the 20th Maine. And I damn all gentlemen. Whose only worth is their father's name And the sweat of a workin' man Steve Earle - Dixieland

    by shigeru on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 12:54:53 PM PDT

  •  The question is (0+ / 0-)

    did the prosecutor have a forensic physician examine the injuries on the officer? Did they come from a blow, from what angle?  Any chance the bone around his eye got slammed into the edge of the car door as he held onto Mike's arm and Mike tried to pull away forcefully?

    Was the officer's blood tested for intoxicants?  Was he interviewed as to whether things had been going OK at home, any recent incidents etc that would make him tend to over-react?

    Also, what is this deal with officers unloading at least six bullets, each, into the guy in St. Louis?  Is six a recommended number or something?  Is there a culture or command that says "Make sure the guy is dead...dead guys tell no tales?"

  •  The White Wash is already happen. (0+ / 0-)

    No autopsy report, No police report and a secret grand jury underway. The Ferguson Police Dept should be charger with negligence for letting the body of Mike Brown lie out in open for over 4 hours with no EMT to check the his vitals. It has been reported that Mike Brown's body was not carry away in an ambulance it was an unmarked black SUV. Atty Robert McColluch is not concern with that fact. Atty McColluch should be removed and the grand jury. How to kill an unarmed black man and get away with playbook is in full effect.

  •  Will Grand jury hearing be a whitewash? (0+ / 0-)

    Only remark...is.This is America.What do you expect. If it goes to trial...S.O.S.

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