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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Questions after Ferguson

I was surprised to hear that officer Wilson was in an apartment with a sick child just prior to the altercation. No one interviewed them, but would it not have been interesting to hear how they experienced him? 

I was shocked to read today that the mother (Leslie McSpadden) and step father (Louis Head) of Michael Brown have been accused of assault and theft--a recent conflict with Michael Brown's paternal grandmother. The grandmother was selling tee shirts calling for justice for Michael Brown. In a court this sort of thing can not be admitted as evidence, but is it something which fills out the picture a bit more?

It seems that there are two related but separate questions. 
1. Did Wilson follow correct procedures, in other words, is this shooting legal?
2. Are the policies and procedures for police just and proper?

Here is what I mean. It is currently legal to abort a child, however, for many of us it is immoral. Currently, thank God, infanticide is not legal. So a person who aborts an unborn child is not brought up on charges, but the same person who smothered the same child in the nursery would be up on murder charges. Some of us wonder about the justification for police shooting and killing people, but that is a question of policy. Wilson is legally responsible to follow the law.

Am I the only one who finds an incongruity between the treatment of the dozens and dozens of Black people, who are seen weeping on television and asking "how am I going to make a living? how am I going to feed my babies?" and the so called victims of racism and police abuse? Why are there not activists lined up to provide safety and cover for Black people who had nothing to do with the shooting? We have heard that "Black people matter," yet it seems not enough to let their business and source of income for their family remain unharmed. Justice is for everyone.
It seems that the Grand Jury has decided, based on eye witness testimony and scientific evidence, that Michael Brown's behavior escalated the situation to the point that Officer Wilson was justified in drawing and discharging his weapon.
I do not know if Wilson should have killed Brown, my preference is that he hadn't. Any death of a young man is sad. I do not know what Brown's state of mind was, perhaps feeling depressed, perhaps tired of life long racism and persecution by police, perhaps just in a grumpy mood for unrelated reasons. Maybe he was not a real smart kid, maybe his testosterone was up and he wanted to assert himself. Maybe Brown was anti-social and had limited coping skills, with aggressive tendencies. I do not know.

I do know that all people do things which are uncharacteristic. The recent reports on one of my favorite celebrities, Bill Cosby, remind us that we do not always know "the real story." Priests are privy to many dark secrets as people admit to thoughts, words and deeds which are sinful. Michael could have been basically a good kid who had a bad day, or a not so good kid who over reached with Officer Wilson.

What we do know is
if Michael Brown had not stolen from the store (and assaulted someone) he would not have been in the confrontation which cost his life...
if Michael Brown had not walked down the middle of the street (an act of aggression), got in a verbal confrontation, refused to comply with the officer then the confrontation would not have been escalated...
if Michael Brown had not struck the officer and reached for his gun, the escalation to a deadly  encounter would not have happened...
if Michael Brown did charge the officer, then that decision led directly to his death...
if officer Wilson had simply driven off after the initial confrontation, Michael Brown would not have died.
if officer Wilson had refused to shoot the young man and engaged in a hand to hand struggle (with a huge young man) it is likely Wilson would have been beaten, but Brown would not have been shot.
I cannot see how the latter two options can be reasonable to expect.
105 officers died in the line of duty, 42 of them were shot. It seems there is no public record of how many times police shoot people, though it seems to be many times that many. I have no doubt that the Police can be abusive and that some shootings are wrong.

But cops encounter dangerous people constantly. They meet institutional hostility in reaction to institutional racism. There are also a huge number of criminals--many of them vicious and evil. Cops are the ones who enter a room where young children are shot up, little girls and old women are brutalized and raped, gang destroy lives of innocent people. Every day cops see the worst of it.

I have a solution, repent and convert and embrace the values of Jesus. But the real world is under the dominion of another king, the Dark Lord of Lies. We need to pray and we need to do the right thing, that is all that we have control of. Someday there is a Judge who will reveal all truth. Brown will meet him. Wilson will meet him. So will you and I. 


  1. I have a solution too, Jeff. Get your head out of your backside and admit that you're an ignorant bigot.

    Read this, if you want to learn something.

    As long as there are dimwits like you posting nonsensical "Questions After Ferguson" while not being willing to face *answers* after Ferguson--there will be more Fergusons.

    I knew you would post about this. And I knew you would use it as an occasion to parade your breathtaking stupidity.

    You never disappoint--not in that respect, anyway.




  5. "...the overall crime rate...has been falling since the 1990s, with homicide rates basically back to pre-1960s crime wave levels. The ...level of mortal danger faced by policemen in the line of duty, which has been declining steadily since its most recent, 1970s-era peak; according to one estimate, American cops are less likely to be killed in the line of duty than at any point since the 1870s." - Ross Douthat


  7. "I have no doubt that the Police can be abusive and some shootings are wrong."

    "I wish he had not shot Michael Brown."

    1. "I wish he had not shot Michael Brown."

      Yes, but after all, as you said in a post at the time, Jeff, "There's plenty of blame to go around."

      Come to think of it, you said that before any facts had been published or a grand jury had been convened, so I'll have to assume you received that information through divine revelation.

      Meanwhile, back on planet Earth: