Into the Valley of the Shadow of Death

5 Dec

policemilitary

A while ago I wrote about the tragic shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. At that time I predicted that the police officer would be found not guilty at trial and that the town would then soon be set aflame. It was an easy prediction only because we have seen this scenario played out again and again (and since) here in the United States. I did expect a trial however, and was a bit surprised that no indictment of the officer was handed down and that this seems to be a new trend. Why have the state pay for an expensive state trial when…the outcome is well, let’s be honest, never really in doubt?

But It seems to me that by streamlining the judicial process and doing away with the semblance of “blind justice” when it comes to holding police officers accountable for their actions, is a wrong step in the arrogant direction. And especially when the testimony put forth by Officer Wilson before the grand jury and then publicly proclaimed by the would-be prosecutor to be the indisputably corroborated Truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, seems to be so embarrassingly… black and white if you will, as in good vs. evil, Eloi vs. Morlock, and El Toro vs. the bull fighter,…

For goodness sakes were there no shades of gray to this tragic incident? According to officer Wilson’s testimony when he sees the teenager in the road he is nothing but friendly and politely asks Michael Brown to move to the sidewalk. Michael Brown is immediately angry, rude and aggressive and swears at the officer. Then when officer Wilson tries to exit his police car Mr Brown inexplicably shoves him back in and quickly begins punching and beating him so severely and with such force that officer Wilson says that he, a trained adult police officer, feels like a child in the hands of an 18 year old black teenager who he likens to “Hulk Hogan”.

Officer Wilson then realizes that he is one punch away from unconsciousness and then possibly being shot to death with his own gun… so he quickly pulls out his gun, hears Michael Brown call him “too much of a fucking pussy to shoot me.” (daring for his own death?) and then manages to fire a shot which wounds Mr. Brown in the thumb, sending the “demonic” teenager running away.

Now the story could have ended here with the officer driving away in his vehicle, calling in for help and then soon after apprehending the fleeing and wounded Mr. Brown…for where oh where was Mr. Brown going to go? But officer Wilson, who had been but one punch from death, ( and a severe concussion?) decides that it is his duty to pull himself together and run after Mr. Brown with his gun now drawn so as to heroically stop the crazed teenager from wreaking havoc on the unsuspecting citizenry, all of whom are now in danger as far as officer Wilson is concerned.

And then, for some strange and bizarre reason, the wounded Mr. Brown, who has lost one of his flip flops in the escape, decides that running away is not for him either (He would rather brazenly run into the valley of death?) and so he turns to face the policeman and then grunts, makes the most intense and aggressive face officer Wilson has ever seen, hops, to begin his run, puts his right hand in his waistband as though he is going for a gun, balls his left hand up into a fist  and then charges directly for the officer and his pointed weapon.

After 2 shots to the chest that puncture his lungs and break ribs, 2 to the arm and one shot that enters above Mr Brown’s right eye and exits through his chin, Mr. Brown is still charging and in fact lowers his head as if to ram officer Wilson and win the day, but a final shot enters the top of the teenager’s skull and he falls dead to the ground.

If this story were a screenplay I would ask for a re-write on the grounds that it was so shamelessly stereotypical… Wouldn’t you? It reads more like a big white game hunter on safari then it does a confrontation between 2 human beings. But that was officer Wilson’s story as presented to the grand jury and both the testimony and autopsy and other eye witness accounts can be found on-line so you don’t have to believe my paraphrased synopsis or anyone elses for that matter. You can simply look over the evidence yourself.

Which begs the question: Why not go to trial with such a polarizing and public case, especially in light of all of the other recent and similar incidents where an African American citizen (one a 12 year old child in Cleveland!) (another strangled to death on the streets of NYC) was killed by a police officer? Statistically police kill more whites than blacks, In absolute terms. However, there are more than five times more whites than blacks in America. So, When comparing death rates, blacks are about three times more likely than whites to die in a confrontation with police. So wouldn’t it make sense to at least look a little more closely into these police confrontations where extreme force is used?

Unless we show some self restraint and serious introspection in such grave matters as these, Where is our humility? Our humanity? Our humbleness or sense of decency as a society headed?

Officer Wilson has since resigned from his position as a police officer but I predict that eventually he will resurface as a consultant to a law enforcement agency or spokesperson for a gun advocacy group or the NRA. Maybe he’ll even join the public speaking circuit alongside the likes of Sarah Palin or Ted Nugent..and at a much higher salary that he ever enjoyed as a public servant. In terms of life time earnings, This could in fact be the best thing that ever happened to him. Who knows? But the chances of a positive outcome for Michael Brown’s family and the other families of such tragedies? Not so much.

So would asking for an in depth public trial, inquiry, investigation, probe, examination, review, analysis, exploration, or hearing really be such an insult to law enforcement or the publicly elected government that oversees them? Really? If we are satisfied or appeased with this outcome then shame on all of us.

5 Responses to “Into the Valley of the Shadow of Death”

  1. ruminationville December 5, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

    This is such a powerful piece! Leslie

  2. RAB December 5, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    Amazing how ridiculous it looks when described in plain terms. Posting link on my FB page.

  3. onnovocks December 5, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

    Spot on! You should look into the Nick Christie case, arrested for trespassing (drunk in the Hotel lobby) and pepper sprayed to death while tied in a restraint chair. Official cause of death: Homicide. Convictions: none! The Lee County Sheriffs Office settled out of Court for an undisclosed amount to be payed by the taxpayer! I guess the Cop felt threatened by a 62 year old, tied in the Devil’s Chair. This happened in a locked County facility, so it isn’t for lack of video or witnesses. Then they had the gall to serve an arrest warrant on a dead guy who they killed and didn’t show for his Court date. Can’t breathe, don’t spray!

  4. womanseyeview December 6, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    Very powerful and rational but the reaction police have to black men is irrational…they are over 20 times more likely to shoot a black male than a white one!! Is it just police though that have this fear? – this is a broader societal problem and one the system seems to accept. What an indictment on us all.

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