One year ago today, former Ferguson, Missouri, Police Officer Darren Wilson was rewarded with the gift of no prosecution for his murder of 19-year old Michael Brown in August 2014. Yes, that’s right, I said it. Murder: killed without justification (but especially with malice aforethought). Reward: a gift in exchange for something done.
The decision by St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCullough was not unexpected, but it was still heinous, to say the very least. McCullough’s actions throughout the grand jury process to determine if Wilson should be charged with a crime made it so. His actions bordered on the criminal. Those actions included knowingly allowing at least one liar to testify under oath, as well as purposefully giving grand jurors wrong information on which to base their decisions. I say purposefully because, c’mon, the chief lawyer for the county does not know the law? Really? Seriously? Nah. Not buyin’ it.
The other probable liar said the key thing that McCullough wanted to hear, everything that Darren Wilson needed to bolster his case that he acted in self-defense: that Mike Brown charged at the officer, who naturally feared for his life and shot Brown in self-defense.
Police and their supporters are quick to tell people of color in particular, “if you didn’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to fear,” but when it comes to themselves, they are not slow to accept their own admonitions—they just flat out ignore them and use their power to shield themselves from accountability.
Many people, today, point to the Department of Justice report that “concluded” that Brown’s hands were not raised and that he struggled with Wilson. Yeah. See. The problem with that report, as reported on by Wesley Lowery, is the preponderance of doubt we are left with because of words like “probably” and “more than likely.” They also cite the report as saying that many witnesses were not credible. In other words, believable … like the witnesses that McCullough got? Okay. Nonetheless, that report was released in March of 2015.
But back in August of 2014, Darren Wilson himself stated that Mike Brown’s hands were up. So did those two white guys who weren’t from the area. But that’s neither here nor there anymore. The murder of Mike Brown by Darren Wilson will be debated/argued about for years to come in all manner of settings, including no doubt, right here on this page. Only two people know what truly happened that hot summer afternoon. And one of them is no longer here.
Today is the one year anniversary of when a notorious murderer walked free. The system that calls itself about justice colluded with him—it held the door open for him.
This is a day that should be remembered for what it didn’t do, as well as what it did do. This is the day that not only saw a murderer walk free, it unleashed a nationwide wave of protests and a spirit of resistance that has not abated. One that does not look like it will be subsiding anytime soon.
Is that a good thing? It’s a great thing.
But Mike Brown is still dead. And Darren Wilson will never serve a day in jail for that. And that is a terrible thing.
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