I must say that I was a little surprised there wasn’t an indictment of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown last night. They could have indicted Wilson on first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter.
I was also surprised about how terribly managed this whole issue was from start until now – especially why officials waited until 8:00 p.m. local time to release the information. It’s almost like they waited until primetime.
Considering the outcome, I wasn’t surprised that there were riots in Ferguson.
I watched CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News coverage of the event throughout the evening. Around 1:00 a.m. (Montana time) I turned the TV back on and CNN and MSNBC were still live, and I heard one reporter say 12 buildings were burning in and around Ferguson.
Throughout the evening I often thought how hard it is to find neutral reporting these days.
FOX News reporting seemed to favor Police Officer Darren Wilson, MSNBC’s reporting seemed to favor teenager Michael Brown. CNN tried to be neutral, but a few of their reporters seemed to be very much against Officer Wilson.
From the testimony we found out that Michael Brown had stolen some cigars from a local store and Officer Wilson first saw Brown and a friend walking in the street. Wilson told them to move to the sidewalk. Brown supposedly responded to the police officer with an expletive. That is when things went downhill. The police officer saw the stolen cigars and called for backup.
The Associated Press (AP) reported, “As he tried to open the door, Wilson said, Brown slammed it back shut. Wilson said he pushed Brown with the door and Brown hit him in the face.”
Additionally, the AP reports “Wilson said he drew his gun and threatened to shoot if Brown didn’t move back, fearing another punch to the face could ‘knock me out or worse.’”
You can read more of the Associated Press report with highlights of the testimony HERE.
There were mistakes made on both sides. I imagine officer Wilson wishes he would have waited for backup to arrive before engaging Brown and his friend. I imagine the family of Michael Brown wishes he would have obeyed the police officer from the beginning.
Our justice system is far from perfect. Only a few people heard all the testimony and these people were members of the Grand Jury. They decided not to indict.
It’s not over for Officer Darren Wilson. There’s a Federal investigation going on that will deal with civil rights violations. Then there’s the family of Michael Brown who may file a civil wrongful death lawsuit.
One thing that is over is the young life of Michael Brown. We should all be sad about that.