“Hands up! Shot in the back” Less than one-quarter of 60 something witnesses involved in the Ferguson investigation gave that account. Even those stories widely varied, and were contradictory to hard physical evidence. Yet we still have people referring to Darren Wilson as a cold blooded murderer.
A violent crime against a police officer occurred, Brown literally broke Wilson’s face. Attempted to steal his gun. Wilson had very legitimate concern for his safety knowing he had a violent criminal charging at him. He responded in a way I imagine a great deal of people would respond, should they be holding a gun. The law is written the way it is for a reason; if officers couldn’t respond with more force than is presented to them, violence against the police would become the norm, as the criminal would always have a ‘fighting chance.’ We do not want our law enforcement system devolving in to a ‘survival of the fittest’ scenario.
Police aren’t equipped with weapons for decoration. It’s a job where you put your life on the line every day. Wilson didn’t start his shift with the idea of hurting anyone. Brown was committing serious crimes before noon. Brown made a ridiculous amount of horrible decisions that led to him being at the wrong end of the barrel. When you participate in reckless criminal activity, that tends to happen.
That’s the inconvenient truth.
I don’t think many of us would argue that racism doesn’t exist in some part around the country in police departments. But you cannot demand that a man who acted within the law be lynched out of some show of symbolism for all crimes against a minority. If this outcry was taking place over an innocent person, you wouldn’t see people like me defending the officer. But Brown was a drugged up, violent young man, making the worst possible decisions at every turn. Brown was playing with fire. He was burned. It is sad; for him, his family, and friends. It is horrible for that community which will be left far worse off after the riots.
Something I hope to see come out of this is body cameras. The technology is available, so I expect it before long. I wonder if it would have made a difference here, at least in the fall out.