Michael Maiello's picture

    The FPD Officer Who Shot Michael Brown Did Not Know That His Victim Was a Robbery Suspect

    Sorry for the separate post on this but when the Ferguson Police Department released the name of the police officer who shot Michael Brown to death they also released a long police report detailing Brown as a suspect in a petty theft incident -- very clearly implying that Brown was killed while resisting arrest for a legitimate, though minor, crime.

    Reason says that the Ferguson Police Chief later admitted that the officer who shot Brown did not know anything about him being a suspect in a crime.  That makes sense.  The crime involved stolen cigarettes and a near-violent but not-violent confrontation with the shop owner.  Why would a beat cop know about such a triviality?

    This reminds me of the reaction to the Trayvon Martin killing -- Martin was smeared by George Zimmerman's defenders for his high school disciplinary record and for smoking pot, a "crime" since legalized in two states.

    The FPD has effectively placed the idea in people's heads that Michael Brown was killed during a legitimate arrest in relation to a crime.  It seems that isn't so.  But the idea has been planted and I see it as a potentially unkillable zombie.



    Maybe in safe suburbs  and rural areas, but the urban dwellers know better. 

    The attempt to justify the actions of the police is both obvious and heinous..  But just as with the case of the man in Staten Island, it's the over-reaction that is the point, not the justification for taking some action.  Even if all the things said about the victims were true, how do you justify killing someone for stealing a few cigars or for selling loose cigarettes?   Where's the sense of proportionality and common sense?  It's a bit like using an atom bomb to open a jar of peanut butter.

    What they don't say much is that every interaction between a police officer and a citizen can potentially lead to death or injury.  Highway patrol people deal with this all the time.  You pull somebody over for something minor like failing to signal but they have a warrant or have committed some other crime the officer might not even know about and the stakes are much higher than they seem.

    In Broken Windows policing the goal is to increase interactions between police and citizens.  But originally, as I read The Atlantic article, police were supposed to use a certain amount of discretion to enforce the norms of the neighborhood, not to necessarily enforce every single law.  So, panhandling is illegal.  But the police would only arrest panhandlers who worked the bus and train stations, leaving them some space in the side streets.

    A guy selling loose cigarettes in downtown Brooklyn is breaking the law and, yes, I agree we have a public interest in regulating and taxing tobacco sales and the like.  But it was also not strictly necessary for the police to hassle the guy at all.  In fact, the guy had just broken up a fight -- acting on his own and putting himself at risk for the good of his community.  He may well have thought he was about to be arrested for his role in that incident, a much more serious affair were he to be charged with assault.  So he mouthed off and resisted and now he's dead... But the encounter with police that killed him never needed to have happened in the first place.

    I think it's time, for public safety, that we start enforcing an individual's right not to have to interact with the police in most circumstances -- a kind of right not to be hassled by the man, if you will.  It will be tough to implement, though.  One way would be to give citizens a real right to recompense if they are detained or questioned unnecessarily and to punish police officers who force such encounters, but I fear that would lead to the police manufacturing citations and the like to justify every brush with the citizenry.

    We already have a version of the manufactured beef in the routine charge of reisiting arrest that comes along with every police assault.  The worse they beat you up, the more resisting they allege.  (see, eg, Cecily McMillan's case )

    My facts were wrong so I have deleted this.





    Few things here... first, the racism endemic in the local police force really came to the surface in the response to the protests.  The race of the cop shooter shouldn't matter.  And, I guess, even in the riot response there are issues well beyond race at play here.  It's about the authoritarian mindset of police officers in general.  After all, in the response to the Occupy protests we saw all sorts of police brutality including man on on woman, white cop on white victim, black cops on white victims, white cops on black victims...

    There's a race component, for sure, but the real issue is -- who in charge, the people or the police?

    Flavius may have been responding to a false ID that had been made on social media.


    Social media mistakenly identified a Black St Louis police officer as the shooter. If the the police officer had been Black, it would take the focus off of a murder by police. Similarly the unrest last night, takes the focus off the murder. The fact that an inept police chief deliberately inflamed the situation goes unnoticed.

    There is a militarized  police force of mostly White police occupying  a Black community. There is a local DA who is not trusted by the local Black community in charge of the case. 


    I'd seen a report that the killer cop was black. So I then constructed an elaborate theory incorporating that error

    When I got the correct story  I considered leaving my error  as an example of how not to blog. but that would have spread more mis information so I deleted it.


    Anonymous released faulty information about the identity of the police officer.

    The focus needs to be on the death of an unarmed man. The community wants details on the circumstances of the shooting. Local law enforcement has not been forthcoming with information. Into that vacuum has come diversion from officials and resulting anger in the community.

    It would not have mattered if the police officer had been Black. The tactics used by the Ferguson police department is the issue. Cliven Bundy resisted law enforcement with weapons and remains a free man. Ferguson police faced a crowd with armored vehicles and some in the community responded to the overreaction with violence and looting. Martin Luther King said that riots are the language of the unheard.

    The Ferguson police department mishandled the shooting from Day One. They need to provide information to the parents and the community. Silence only fuels more anger.

    There is likely video that can identify a significant number of the looters. Arrests can be made when the situation has calmed down.

    The people were in charge last night, looting liquor stores various other shops and fire bombing a Dominos.

    The majority of the people were peaceful. The previous night had been calm. The inflamed tension came after a ridiculous news conference(s) given by an inept, bloodthirsty local police chief who wanted violence. Arrest the looters, but tell the local police chief to stay away from the microphones. Where is his boss the mayor in all of this?

    There were no riots after the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride, or Eric Garner. Ferguson, Missouri is an outlier. The police chief's slow release of information,  allowing a murder suspect to leave the city, and ever-changing story. did not help the situation. Frm snippets that I saw, some Black youth blocked the looters at some locations.


    There were photos from last night of 2 local males (early 20's) clearing looters out of a store and standing in front of the broken doors. I do not believe they owned the store.

    There should be a way to fast track young guys like this who are interested and well motivated, doing a job the current cops are apparently unable to do. The town obviously needs folks known in the hood to keep the peace, create opportunities for those who would never otherwise get a chance at such a job.

    If they check out OK, 6 months before they hit the streets: 3m for GED if necessary, 3 months Basic cop training. Mentoring by older black cops. Provision for time/college tuition, associates or BS in community relations/law enforcement from that point on.

    I don't know if those young men are unemployed, or if they see police work as a goal. They may prefer law school.

    They may prefer international arbitrage or Wall Street banking (snark).

    St. Louis needs a (new or better?) program to seek out smart young minority candidates, (many of whom dropped out of HS as it gave little or no job prospect in the 'hood') into steady, good paying public jobs in their own communities, such as law enforcement or community relations.

    Are you suggesting that the young men could not have careers in international arbitrage or Wall Street?

    There is a picture stream that poses the question of what picture would be used if African Americans were gunned down by police. 



    The reality is there are likely very few Wall Street bankers from Ferguson, Missouri. And even if there were scores of them, they wouldn't live in Ferguson or have much impact on life in that community.


    Although about two-thirds of Ferguson residents are black, its mayor and five of its six City Council members are white. Only three of the town’s 53 police officers are black. Turnout for local elections in Ferguson has been poor.

    The picture thing is typically cute entertaining internet group think. Americans are entertained to excess and under educated, especially as to who they vote for, or don't bother to vote for.

    Until more Americans show up at the polls and don't just vote for the guy with the most advertising and money, and demand accountability from their government and local police, we will continue to have senseless tragedies like this one.

    Although it does seem that Ferguson needs to improve its public school system, snark suggesting that they shouldn't bother aiming to be lawyers is counter-productive. I've taught in a troubled public school system, and it was my experience that many of the students most likely to act out were also among the most intelligent. They had been given a message that using their intelligence in a more productive manner was "selling out" or not "being black"*. This message comes from peers, family, teachers†, and society, including whites who laugh at the idea that they can be lawyers.

    *One student argued with me that he didn't need to learn the "white man's math". I pointed out to him that the foundations of math can be traced back to Egypt.

    †I recall with shock hearing one teacher complaining about one of her white students, "I expected better from a white student".

    P.S. Can we no longer use the <sup> tag at dagblog? Or alternatively apply the "vertical-align:super" attribute?

    Thanks for relating your experience. Chris Hayes came to Ferguson and in short order was able to find a Black male journalism student, The budding journalist took MSNBC's Chris Hayes to a Black neighborhood two blocks away from the turmoil.Residents were grilling and listening to the sounds of cicadas. A Black female headed off to Harvard Law noted the poor relations between the Black community and the local police. The snark is not surprising. Some have perceptions that cannot be broken.

    The DOJ urged the Ferguson PD not to release the robbery videotape because the DOJ realized the tape would result in re-igniting passions in the community. The police chief wanted the violence. Things had be calmed down.


    Thing is; Brown didn't know the officer wasn't responding to the store clerk confrontation. 

    Now this is just a thought. NO PROOF just conjecture 

    The officer confronts Brown on the street,

    Officer asks Brown for ID and is about to run the name through the data base,

    Brown panics and tries to resist further confrontation OR  

    The crime involved stolen cigarettes and a near-violent but not-violent confrontation with the shop owner. 

    NEAR VIOLENT?  Bad ass?

    Brown displays the same "bad ass" attitude towards the officer, just as he showed on the video, when he confronted the store clerk.

    "Back off store owner officer DON'T Hassle me"    

    But his mom says he was a good boy though.

    Everyone knows mothers don't lie about their kids but cops do?

    So you conjecture that the government had a right to kill an unarmed man. Multiple witnesses say that his hands were in the air. You conjecture something that negates the observations of US citizens. Interesting, so trusting of the local government when they use arms against citizens.

    Keep the fires burning then? Tell all the citizens of Ferguson, they're on their own?

    Are gun sales up in Ferguson?

    Surround the community and let the citizens have their Purge?  Vent their anger?   Get it out of their system, burn all the businesses down; because there was an injustice?

    By G..  we showed the world? 

    Can't trust Cops?  Can't trust the authorities to protect you?  

    I’ve always said, we’d see the days of anarchy and chaos and this is just the tip of the iceberg.  

    In the days ahead; you couldn't pay me enough to be a policeman to protect some neighborhoods. 

    How long before the citizens will be praying for the National Guard to come in and restore order?

    (OOOOH,  you think they might have machine guns? )

    How many businesses will want to locate to Ferguson after this? Will unemployment rise?

    What? They'll burn Ferguson down, with riots and protest till Justice is done?


    Don’t hold your breath,  

    GET OUT OF Ferguson while you can. 

    edited to add,  Do the lawful people get the right to question the witnesses, or is the cop automatically guilty? 

    edited to add,  Do the lawful people get the right to question the witnesses, or is the cop automatically guilty? 

    There re was a witness with Michael Brown who wasn't interviewed immediately. A female witness who came to pick up a friend was not interviewed. One of the things that made the community upset was that law enforcement was not interviewing witnesses. Why are the local authorities so lax?

    It's totally plausible to me that Brown might have thought the encounter over jaywalking really had to do with the convenience store shoplifting.  Since one of the reasons police stop people for minor things like jaywalking, failing to signal or drinking in public is as an excuse to run a check for warrants and the like, it would not be an unreasonable guess on his part.

    But I don't care what lip he gave the cop, no way he deserves to be dead right now.

    Agree. The excuse 'he tried to grab my weapon', why pull a weapon, you do have a window to close and a gas pedal to exit the area, and the dude is not pulling one on you? (Cop was in a car...wasn't he)

    This cop seems faster on the draw than the Sundance Kid..

    How do you reach for the window button or crank when a suspect is across your chest trying to pin your arms while trying to reach the officers gun?

    Or reach to put the car in drive, when you're trying to keep the suspect from reaching for your gun?  

    When the suspect suddenly realizes the officer has repelled the attack against him and within a micro- second, the suspect backs away, with hands in the air;  It doesn't mean the officer didn't fear for his life, or that the fear was abated or the thought, the suspect may be carrying, even as he tried to wrestle the officers gun from him.

    It was the officer who was fortunate, the suspect didn't get a hold of the officers service weapon, so it could be turned against the officer.  

    How was the officer to know, the suspect was, as it turned out, unarmed? The only knowledge the officer had, was the suspect was trying to arm himself.....with the officers gun; To do what? Kill the officer? 

    Was Brown found next to the car or away from the car. The top of the head shoot was a kill shot hard to run after that. Plus the scenario seems to be that bot individuals were away from the car. 

    We shall see if there is gunshot residue on the victim's clothing.

    So the suspect now, after a failed attempt to get the officers gun, tries to distance himself from the now fearful officer?  

    Is trying to disarm an officers gun, a felony?  

    All this officer knew, was that he was face to face with a now known felon.

    Whether he was facing the officer but still backing away, looking for an opportunity to escape. 

    Brown could have been  a psychopath as far as the officer knew  and had just killed several others, moments before, he was confronted by this officer,

    Brown having unsuccessfully tried to disarm a duly sworn officer; maybe officer felt he was confronted by a felon. Possibly already armed and dangerous? 

    If Brown attacked the officer as reported, the officer shouldn't be faulted because he didn't have all the facts. All he knew was, that a felony had just occurred seconds before and the suspect was dangerous.

    Officer yelling "FACE DOWN ON THE GROUND.... NOW"  and Brown walking backwards away from the officer. Who cares if the felons hands were in the air, if they are still resisting arrest?  

    How high were the hands in the air? Above the head? Just above the waist band? Maybe some Karate hand jesters and the suspect provoking the officer to get out of the car and the suspect threatening to kick the officers butt or be killed?

    Should the officer have just let the felonious suspect escape? Maybe try to wrestle this big boy down, to prevent his escape?

    I'd be interested in a toxicology report. 

    In the Jordan Davis murder, you hypothesize that Jordan and his companions had a weapon that magically disappeared. 

    Noe you are hypothesizing that the death came after a struggle at the car, but the body is far away from the car, with witnesses saying the officer was out of the car when he kept firing.

    No gunshot residue on the body to suggest close contact with the gun that would be expected with a struggle at the car.

    The two are not necessary to have occurred at the same time

    Struggle at car  

    Moments / seconds later, Suspect back pedaling as fast as he can because he realizes his attempt to get the officers gun has failed.

    The officer now getting out of the patrol car,  yelling at the felon who has distanced himself by back pedaling

    Officer yelling: STOP or he'd shoot.

    Suspect with hands in air still back pedaling didnt stop

    Officer shot suspect 

    Of course there would be no residue, if the suspect distanced himself in an attempt to resist arrest. 

    And shooting an unarmed man with his hands raised is called..............?

    Note that if Michael Brown stole cigars and committed an assault, the police could pick him up at his parents home. They could pick him up as he shows to register for college. There were other solutions.

    And shooting an unarmed man with his hands raised is called..............?

    And shooting an unarmed man (who has committed a felony act against the law) with his hands raised is called..............?


    Do you think Looters who are unarmed, should be shot in order to protect us victims?  

    They could have picked him up,  if they knew who he was?  He had only moved to Ferguson a few months earlier.   

    There were other solutions.

    Brown should have exercised those other solutions. I find it hard to believe this officer purposely sought out Brown, to murder him and risk everything.

    You're so positive Brown didn't escalate a simple stop and question, into a violent confrontation, all the while ignoring how he acted in the store video. 

    And shooting an unarmed man (who has committed a felony act against the law) with his hands raised is called..............?

    Felony homicide. (Even with your assumptions.)

    If that's what happened, then the officer is guilty of homicide. I was a juror on a case where a man was running from the police and was shot (in the back), and the law was quite clear on the matter. (In that particular case, it was a civil suit for wrongful death, and we found in favor of the plaintiff.)

    Your scenario is plausible, but it seems you're unfamiliar with the law:

    Under U.S. law the fleeing felon rule was limited in 1985 to non-lethal force in most cases by Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1. The justices held that deadly force "may not be used unless necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious bodily harm to the officer or others."

    A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead...however...Where the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or to others, it is not constitutionally unreasonable to prevent escape by using deadly force.

    —Justice Byron White, Tennessee v. Garner

    Resistance... we have two autopsies now.  This was not a struggle through a car window that resulted in a shooting.

    Doesn't anyone remember Pulp Fiction?

    Diane Rehm had a Police Union guy on who made some remark about 'cop training budget cuts' apparently as an excuse for this use of deadly force.

    I would expect even without any training a cop, or even an armed citizen, would keep his weapon out of sight or at least well secured unless

    (1) a weapon was drawn on him (did not happen, not even 'I thought he had a gun' it happened at 12 noon, not on some dark alley at night)

    (2) your life was otherwise threatened (not the case)

    ...and absent those reasons, in no case would you risk being the first to expose a gun from what I assume would be a guarded/safe location, when a possible assailant is close enough and big enough to fight you for control of it, one of the excuses for shooting Brown ('he fought me for my gun'....why the hell did you pull your gun, on a jaywalker?).


    Officer calls Brown over to the car?

    Officer asks Brown a few questions and is about to run suspects name?

    Officer momentarily distracted by computer screen?

    Brown seizes on opportunity, to go after the officers service revolver, but he is rebuffed by officer? 

    No gun needed to be shown, suspect already assumed the officer had one?.

    Get the officers gun and stay out of jail for the store incident?  

    BTW  Did Brown have any priors? Or will the public be denied access?

    There was no gunpowder residue on Brown, so he was not as close as the police officer is claiming. Why does it matter if Brown had priors? The facts that we currently have are: a police officer shot an unarmed man (who probably had at least one arm up, based on the pattern of gunshot wounds) from far enough way that no gunpowder residue was left. These facts are more consistent with the civilian testimonies of what happened than they are with the police officer's testimony. The officer's testimony is implausible, at best.

    The knowledge of priors is essential to the investigation,

    If officer's claims are correct; WHY did Brown, try to go for the officers gun? 

    Did Brown fear an arrest would expose his record ie. Warrants? Probation violations? Other criminal investigations? 

    PCP usage, meth  or any other drug use to explain how a good kid; according to his mother; becomes an attacker of store clerks and police officers. 

    First, you're assuming that Brown did go for his gun. If we assume that (and that's a big assumption at this point), then why do his priors help condemn or exonerate the officer? (Remember that Brown is dead, so he won't be put on trial, at least not in a courtroom.)

    Secondly, even if Brown went for the gun, if he had backed up per your scenario, then he was no longer an imminent threat and the officer had no right to shoot him. That makes it a homicide.

    Just come right out and say it. 

    You're glad an unarmed black kid is dead.

    You wish it would happen more often.

    Come right out and say it, coward.

    No one is glad,

    I just don't like the mentality of a community and people like you, who lynches or burns people at the stake, before they've have a trial. 

    Come out and say it ....Your blinded by Hate towards those who disagree with your prejudicial justice. 

    Hopefully, reasonable people will sit on the jury and not you,  for you have clearly demonstrated to me, your unreasonableness, your unfitness  to sit in judgment of others. 

    Most don't trust the local government to even have a trial. If the case were to go to trial, most do not believe that the local prosecutor will put forth maximal effort.  When citizens do not trust local government, they have the right to protest..it would probably be best to change the venue if the police officer ever comes to trial.

    The video of the murder of Oscar Grant  did not lead to riots. The murder of Trayvon Martin and the slow response of local authorities did not lead to riots. Failure to get a guilty verdict in Trayvon's case did not lead to riots. The prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case received criticism for poor presentation of the facts, but no riots. The Jordon Davis case did not lead to riots. Renisha McBride's murder did not lead to riots. One might ask what is so wrong with Ferguson, Missouri government that we are seeing this result. Arrest the looters, but ask questions about local government.

    i wouldn't want you in the Ferguson jury pool.

    Utter BS.  The only reason you're not dancing on that kid's grave right now is because he's not yet in it.

    I've read your comments here, and I remember you well from TPM.  You're nothing short of a crap-throwing provocateur, and don't much seem to care for being called on it.  Too bad.  Deal with it.

    By the way, tell us more about your mentality of convicting people for protesting a murdered, unarmed kid - who was not even shoplifting, as it turns out, the video shows he paid for the cigars - before they're held to trial.

    You're in a deep, deep hole.  Please keep digging.

    Whether he paid or didn't is best left to the court and to the one empowered to be the trier of facts.

    As presented by the News, things are not always as reported. so I have repeatedly stated my position, as one of waiting upon the Justice System, to find out all the facts, before hastily accusing the Officer or Michael Brown  

    Reasonable people can disagree, but it is abundantly clear, you are both unreasonable and disagreeable.  

    Your constant hate speech, about how one rejoices with some ones death, speaks to your depravity and your own wicked thoughts. 

    I want to hear from the Justice Department and their final conclusion, after weighing all the evidence concerning guilt or acquittal.

    Apparently; you've already judged the officer  and anyone who would stand for the right of the accused, to be judged fairly, you attack with your venom. and hatefulness.

    Shame on you . 

    Resistance, you know the rules already. ToS warning.

    I am glad to see you addressed the second attack and should have accepted your intervention.  

    Hey there, Austin, I'm very pleased to see you here at dag, and I'll hope you'll keep participating. To avoid the personal feuds that so often debased the discussions at TPM, we don't allow ad hominem attacks here. Argue as much you like, but please don't make it personal. Thanks.

    I call 'em as I see 'em. 


    So do I, and it never got me anywhere.  I'm on double secret super probation.

    Nice to see you join the _____.  I was going to say "team" but I've also learned that that is a bad word around here as well.  Chill on Resistance; he drives most of us crazy, but pile-ons never look good for the cameras.



    I have met many, who have the same attitude/ viewpoint of "Tell it like it is" 

    Some I have observed, are people who don't care about others  or that their words might be hurtful.. 

    I have observed some who use the excuse "they call it like they see it", are not even moved to restrain themselves. They see someone overweight and so they "tell it like it is"   telling the person "Your fat"  never giving a second thought their words are hurtful. 

    Resistance, I've told you more than once that I absolutely cannot stand pile-ons when someone has a different opinion from others.  And that goes for what I've seen happen to you at times on here.  I start thinking of Lord of the Flies or something.

    But, you know, much of what is going on involves what is in your control, right?  Cheers to you Resistance, and it's a pleasure to share an absolutely irrational love of and belief in a monotheistic G-d with you!

    Cheers to you too.

    Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.

    Bertrand Russell

    Bslev;  Do you know my Race, or whether I buried a son?

    No I don't know your race and heaven forbid if you've had to bury a son. I hope that is not the case.

    If an police officer in his patrol car cannot secure himself and his weapon from an on foot unarmed jaywalking teen (without blasting the kid with a fusillade of bullets) he should not (1) be on patrol (2) have possession of a weapon.

    BS .... The jaywalker wasn't walking, he was standing at the officers window. Why would the officer suspect a jaywalker, was anything other than a Jay walker. 

    Turns out, the jaywalker went from committing a misdemeanor to committing a felony.

    Shame on the cop for not being more paranoid?  

    Resistance, at least one story that the Ferguson police chief  told was that  the stop occurred because Brown walked in the middle of the street. Of course, the chief's story changes.

    Don't confuse him with facts.

    As far as I know, there has been no felony alleged. Stealing a $49 box of cigars is a misdemeanor. (In most jurisdictions, the value of what is being stolen has to exceed $500-1000 before it is considered felony theft.)

    Also, you're assuming that the police officer is telling the truth, and the evidence so far doesn't seem to be supporting that assumption. (Police officers are flawed, just like the rest of us. Don't assume they're incapable of lying or breaking the law.)

    The live feed out of Ferguson has been bad tonight.  The whole world has been watching.  This brings back memories of my youth watching evening news coming out of the south.  I remember how horrified we all were with it.  I sure hope the President is watching too. They have the press core behind the lines but social media is up and running and covering it.  

    An hour ago, the NYT reported that an autopsy by Dr Michael Baden noted 6 gunshot wounds with one shot to the head. I don't know if that was a trigger.


    The elderly Dr. Baden testified before the Warren Commission on the single bullet that was theorized to have created 4-6 distinct entry/exit wounds on JFK and Gov. Connelly. Known as the Magic Bullet. Nice to know someone from the uncontroversial Warren Commission is on the case...........

    The NYT diagram doesn't seem to show which are entry and which are exit wounds, a shot to the arm could create 4 wounds as it passes through the arm twice, and then it could create a fifth wound in the head region. This might happen if the victim was reaching for the weapon. Odd they haven't said how many bullets were fired.

    Also notable, no wounds to the back, didn't numerous witnesses said the victim was shot in the back after falling to the street?

    Interesting development. You mean the witnesses may have been wrong? Imagine that. 

    He wound up face down, back up in the street the body may have turned with the head shot. The witnesses said he faced the officer with his hands up and was shot,

    Edit to correct: His face was to the side.

    It's possible that the witnesses are wrong. It's also possible he was shot at while his back was turned, but that those bullets missed him. (Given the pattern of hits, it seems that the officer was firing rather indiscriminately.) It would be difficult in the heat of the moment for a witness to determine which bullets hit him and which bullets missed. Note that no gunpowder residue was found on the body which also suggests that the police officer witnesses were wrong about him being shot while reaching for the officer's gun.

    Yes. It is totally plausible that he stopped and attempted to surrender once a couple of live rounds went by him. That would be the sane thing to do.

    What is most striking to me is that there are no shots to the torso. Police are trained to fire at the center of the body. The pattern of bullets suggests that the killer either had terrible aim or was disregarding his training or both.

    The pattern of bullets also don't make a sensible grouping. The officer should have been firing all his shots into the same basic area, and if he was letting off a barrage if several shots at once would HAVE to aim them all at the same place. But some shots are to the arms and some to the head.

    it only makes a sensible grouping if Brown's arms were up in the air: hands up, don't shoot. Then the six entry wounds DO make a grouping around his head.

    But then, of course, we have a victims with his hands in huge air and a police officer violating standard training by shooting at his head.


    Good analysis. Despite the (non-police) eye-witness testimony, it hadn't occurred to me that the bullet pattern makes far more sense if Brown had his arms up while being fired at.

    I suspect you are not familiar with shooting a handgun. Quickly firing what was probably a short barreled, high powered pistol which kicks fairly hard, as opposed to a target pistol, from  an un-rested position, at a target 30 feet away requires a pretty good, I would say very good, shooter to make a high percentage of hits on a human sized target. The cop probably deserves a marksman award to carry into prison.

    My mom qualified with her police weapon every month (mandatory training). It was (and still is) a short barreled .357.  She was marked on the grouping of her shots.

    In any case the "30 feet away" part is more than enough to establish that this was a murder. 

    I agree.  He killed the kid as the kid had his hands up.  The wounds show that grouping. This cop lost control of his temper. 

    In any case the "30 feet away" part is more than enough to establish that this was a murder.

    I agree completely since Brown was unarmed.

    I finally heard Dianne Rheem address something I have not heard questioned at all until now and which I have been tempted to comment on from the beginning of this discussion. She asked whether cops ever shoot to wound. The ‘expert’ that responded talked about a recent study indicating the difficulty of hitting the target at some distance in a quick response and so the training is to aim at center mass, although I don’t think he used that term. That is what I would do and advise anyone else to do if being threatened with a gun. That situation would also be more likely to justify multiple quick shots. But, if someone was thirty feet away and approaching un-armed in a threatening way, I would aim the gun and tell him forcefully to stop.  If he didn’t I believe there would be plenty of time, even if the person sprinted, to shoot him in one or both legs as he got close. A cop properly trained and with the proper mentality could even wait until the last instant and still stop such an attack, he would not need to start firing from a distance and put multiple shots into his assailant. Leg shots would leave him laying on the ground and probably screaming in pain but not threatening anyone.



    They may of been trying to get ahead of the release because this started before the NYT released the report. Get everyone off the street before the news  broke. 

    Even Rupert Murdoch thinks the take home messages are job creation, improving the educational system and demilitarizing the police.


    There are organizations now trying to raise money through crowd sourcing to help this community. Crowd sourcing has been very successful in Atlanta's AA community to create small businesses. 

    Others are making plans to register them to vote because the community has a very  low turn out at the poles. There is a effort already underway to educate voters and help them register.  I know there are teams from out side the state of community organizers that are going to help with this.  I am sure this project will be given a name soon. 

     ACLU has filed suit against the state board of educations for the abuse of the school system and financial neglect. They did this awhile ago.  But it takes time for it to work it's way through the courts. 

    Thanks for the info

    A few thoughts:

    1.  I cannot understand from what I've read or seen how this police officer is not guilty of some kind of unlawful killing.

    2.   The selective release of information in a way that tends to impugn the character of Michael Brown appears to be questionable at best, and smacks of discretion abuse on the part of the public officials responsible for such disclosure.

    3.    Very few of us, very few indeed, have even a clue about what our American brothers and sisters in the African American community have to go through on a daily basis; stop and frisk barely scratches the surface of the weight of centuries of discrimination and othering.

    4.   To a large extent, the reaction of the citizens of Ferguson has to be a product of point no. 3.

    5.    I believe that the prosecutor should recuse himself, only because of appearances of propriety.  There is no confidence in the community that the grand jury process (a secret process since at or around the time of the Magna Carta) will only exacerbate.

    6.     Assuming there is an indictment, please don't kid yourselves into believing that the eyewitnesses will carry the day.  Is there anyone else out there who litigates?  If so, I'm sure you will agree -- and I've seen it time and again over nearly 30 years -- that oftentimes eyewitness testimony and 2.50 gets you on the subway, and particularly when you're talking about an extraordinary event that begins and ends within a few blinks of the eye.

    7.    As I wrote above, I can't help thinking that the officer is guilty.  But I'll be damned if I am going to convict him or any other American in the press, regardless of how unfair the criminal justice system is toward racial and ethnic minorities in this country.  

    8.  My two cents.

    I agree with everything you said.

    And when I heard about the officer's young son my heart really broke, too. Another innocent in all of this.

    Nothing good here.  Let's fix what we can.

    Amen brother.

    What about the officer's young son? 

    That he has one.

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