1. He was unarmed.
2. He was shot about 6 times.
3. He died.
Those are verifiable facts. And that is all we need to know. We don't need to wait for the results of an investigation to see if anyone is vindicated. There is no vindication for shooting an unarmed man. If the police officer truly felt threatened, what he should have done is called for back up and then waited in his car. There was absolutely no reason to get out of the car and start shooting at an unarmed man.
Michael Brown was shot twice as many times as all of the shots fired by all of the British police in the entire year of 2013.
The second police homicide victim in the Ferguson area, Kajieme Powell, was shot 4 times the number of shots fired by all British police in a single year - 12 times. If you watch the recording of the incident on youtube, you can hear the witnesses, clearly disturbed, asking, "Why did they shoot him? Why didn't they just tase him or something?" He was mentally disturbed. See, the police also do not have a good track record with people who have various disabilities - mental illness, blindness, deafness, etc. (In fact, another mentally ill woman was shot and killed by police shortly after Michael's Brown's death because she was carrying a drill that looked like a gun.)
This is all the information we need. That is, if we do not want to live in a society where police play the role of judge, jury, and executioner, able to carry out the death penalty at their personal will without any due process nor any accountability.
Other countries are able to maintain order without the very high police homicide rate that we have in the U.S., so we know it is possible. And, we know it is possible because, when a white guy in the Ferguson area assaults two cops and breaks one of the officer's hands, they manage to arrest him without murdering him. Go figure.
There are a few other things we know. We know that the residents of Ferguson have been complaining of police harassment for a while. We know there are records of racist statements made by area cops. We know the cops were violating the constitution by arresting journalists and prohibiting the right to assemble (even in a church). We know that they used their weapons inappropriately and threatened protesters. We know that the police provided false information in the Kalieme Powell case (and we know they have provided false information countless other times to cover their backs). We know that the Ferguson police department had a flawed record-keeping system for years, with complaints against officers not noted anywhere in their files (nor did the police chief have any idea how to go about finding them.) We know that an innocent man (sharing his name with someone else) was beaten by the Ferguson police and charged for bleeding on their uniforms.
Police work is very important, so it wouldn't hurt to have some systemic overhaul - reform the training process, stop sending military equipment to the police, create a better accountability system, for example.
Based on your general attitudes toward government and abuses of power, Matt, I would think you would be concerned about such large violations of the constitution. Additionally, you always claim to uphold the inherent value of life, so I would think you'd be in favor of finding other ways to do police work that don't involve killing a lot of people. But I guess, since it overwhelmingly affects people who you think aren't like you, you're not going to ardently defend the constitution or the inherent value of life in this case.
Matt Walsh writes:
Whatever the case, they make it, and then eventually they drop it and move on to the next ratings stunt.