Protests, Tear Gas, Riots and Looting: It’s Been Absolute Chaos in Ferguson

Photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

I’m going to once again attempt to write about Ferguson, Missouri.  Though I’ll be honest with you, I’m not at all sure where this piece might end up once I’m finished with it.  Because out of all the topics I’ve covered in my time writing, this one has honestly exhausted me.

What can anyone really say?  Honestly, can anything be discussed rationally at this point?

Racism?  Can we talk about that?  No, not really.  That’s the real issue with racism – we can’t be honest about it.  Any attempt to discuss racism quickly devolves into one side accusing the other side of being racist.

Can we have a rational discussion about what kind of person Mike Brown might have been?  Absolutely not.  Well, not unless you’re going to say nothing but positive things about him.

Any attempt at all to discuss anything remotely negative about Mike Brown instantly gets you labeled as a racist or someone trying to slander him.  Even the video that allegedly shows him robbing and physically intimidating a much smaller store clerk has somehow become a “debatable” topic by “news” sites that have tried to say Mike Brown might have bought the cigars.

Even after the gentleman who was with him, Dorian Johnson, already admitted that they did in fact steal the cigars.

Not only that, but if you bring up that video you’ll undoubtedly get, “Death is not a punishment for theft!”  Which is not what anyone is suggesting from what I’ve seen, including the officer who shot Brown.  The shooting is linked to an alleged altercation between Wilson and Brown.  An altercation that wasn’t brought about by Wilson’s suspicion of Brown in any robbery.

Can we talk about the character of Darren Wilson?  Maybe… if we knew anything.

The police have been absolutely inept in releasing any kind of information relating to this case.  How some of these individuals are even in law enforcement in any capacity is terrifying.  While it’s hard to prepare any officers for what’s gone on in Ferguson, it doesn’t take a lot of common sense to have handled this situation better than they did.  In fact, a lot of the incompetence shown by the Ferguson police department is stuff that should have been basic police training.  You know, like not leaving a body exposed laying on the street for numerous hours.  This department has screwed this situation up about badly as they possibly could have.

We should know much more about Darren Wilson than we do.  Hell, we should know more about what happened at the time of the shooting than we already do.

Can we talk about the media coverage?  Sure, but who’s going to care?  The right-wing media is focusing on the looting and riots to paint the majority of the protesters as “out of control thugs.”  The left-wing media has a clear objective of painting law enforcement officers as militarized goons who are randomly launching tear gas at groups of people who are peacefully standing there doing nothing wrong.

Neither side is really concerned with reporting objective facts concerning both sides.  They’re primarily focused on reporting what their viewers want to hear.

Can we talk about Mike Brown’s family?  Sure, that’s probably fairly safe.

I feel terrible for their loss.  While it matters legally why their son was killed, no matter what the outcome of all of this chaos ultimately is, they lost a son.  It doesn’t matter if you think he was a “gentle giant” or a “thug” who stole from a gas station, he was their son and they loved him.

Can we talk about the shooting itself?  We can try.  But what’s there’s to talk about?

We have eyewitness testimony that’s still inconclusive.  We have the officer’s account of what happened which is in conflict to what many of the eyewitnesses have said happened.  And we have Brown’s body and whatever forensic evidence can be extracted from it and the crime scene itself.

Can we talk about how this all might turn out?  Maybe.

I’m not sure why people think this is such a clear-cut case of racism.  I’m not saying it isn’t.  As facts present themselves it might very well be proven that Darren Wilson murdered Mike Brown in cold blood because he was black.  And if that’s the case, I hope he’s punished to the fullest extent of the law.

But is it possible that Darren Wilson is being honest when he says Brown assaulted him, tried to take his gun, then came charging back at him?  Based on the little bit of evidence we know now, yes.  That’s still a possibility.

But here’s another possibility: Maybe both sides are right and wrong?

Maybe an assault by Brown against Wilson led to a shooting that wasn’t based on race, but by horrific judgement on the part of Wilson.

Does that mean Wilson isn’t guilty of a crime?  Absolutely not.

If it is found that he killed Mike Brown when he had no justification for doing so, even if Brown did indeed assault him, he should absolutely be punished.

But there’s also another possibility.  The possibility that there’s just not enough evidence to conclusively prove either side.  There aren’t any videos of what happened.  There’s no audio.  There’s forensic evidence, but that doesn’t always definitively prove what happened.  It may ultimately come down to what Wilson claimed happened against what witnesses say happened.

But at the end of the day will either be enough to prove, without a shadow of a doubt, exactly what occurred?

This whole thing has just spun completely out of control.

There’s been tear gas, looting, riots, rubber bullets, Molotov cocktails, building set on fire, reporters arrested, police helicopters shot at… and for what?

Because the last time I checked, we still really don’t know what happened.  We have assumptions and guesses, but no conclusive facts about the actual shooting itself outside of an autopsy report that seems to indicate that Brown was shot six times from the front.

What if it’s found that Wilson was justified for killing Mike Brown?  What if Wilson ends up being charged with murder here in the near future?

Then what was all of this for?

That’s been the point I’ve tried to make to most people I’ve talked to these last few days.  Let’s just let the facts come out.  If justice isn’t served, then we can go from there.  But right now, most people are being driven by emotions rather than actual facts.

Because what’s happened these last few days in Ferguson hasn’t done much of anyone any good.


Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • SalubriousET

    I’m watching MSNBC, CNN, Fox, and OAN….They’ve all taken sides. They’re for ratings. I am reminded of the original Robocop, where Dick Jones of OCP tells Clarence Boddicker in response to getting some military hardware to kill Robocop, “We practically are the military.” I wonder if we’re going to see law enforcement get privatized. With the wealth gap getting wider and more people being pushed into poverty, the events in Ferguson will only add to where America is headed nowadays. It’s all bad.

    • Matthew Reece

      Privatized law enforcement would be an improvement because unlike a government monopoly that people are forced to support, private companies are accountable to their customers. If enough people do not like a private police company, they can stop supporting it in favor of a competing company or starting their own protection company.

      • Laura Hurt

        would you like law enforcement to take as many sides as the media are taking? The problem with private organizations is that they make up their own agenda. And with the chosen mayors and chosen sheriffs you can see that being accountable often has nothing to do with how often those people are voted for.

      • Matthew Reece

        The problem with states is that they make up their own agenda. Unlike private organizations, you cannot fire a government and hire a competitor or go into business for yourself. If you try, they will use overwhelming force to stop you.

      • Laura Hurt

        Privatizing services that should be done by a government, is not a good plan. Look at the way private prisons are run. A government organization is run for the public, an organization is run for profit. Where an organization can choose for profit, they will, because that is why they exist. We can improve the way government runs things, but once they’re in the hands of private organizations, it will never be given back to the public.

      • Matthew Reece

        There are no services that should be done by a government because all government services are funded by theft. A government organization is run for the rulers, with enough benefits for the public to keep them from revolting. When a private organization chooses profit over the well-being of customers, those customers can support competitors and sue for damages if necessary. When government runs things, things are in the hands of rulers, not the public.

      • Laura Hurt

        Oh excuse me, I didn’t know I was trying to reason with an idiot. So sorry, move along, nothing to see here. Theft??? You call taxes theft? Let me see, how many services are you profiting from that are paid for with taxes? You drive I assume, you use roads, traffic lights, the white lines on the road. Oh but wait, since you’re such an idiot, you probably think that a society can function just fine without things like that. Sigh. Never mind. I’ll bow out here, sorry to have disturbed you in your delusions.

      • Matthew Reece

        Oh excuse me, I didn’t know I was trying to reason with an ignorant and intellectually dishonest person, as your ad hominem and ad lapidem fallacies clearly illustrate. Taxation is the involuntary taking of property that does not belong to the people who are taking it, which is the definition of theft. I have every right to make use of the services which are funded by money stolen from me, as this is a partial reclamation of my stolen money. It does not matter how society functions without taxes, just as it does not matter how crops are picked without slave labor. What matters is that theft and slavery violate absolute moral principles.

      • Laura Hurt

        I don’t even know how to respond to this in any way that would make sense to you. I am sorry for your delusions, but if you don’t understand the function of taxes and that you should not consider that involuntary there’s not a lot of hope for you.

      • Matthew Reece

        I don’t even know how to respond to this in any way that would make sense to you. I am sorry for your delusions, but if you don’t understand that the function of taxes does not matter because taxation is fundamentally violent and immoral there’s not a lot of hope for you.

      • Laura Hurt

        hahahahaha morality does not depend on consequences, that’s a good one. I’ll try to remember that one. You got it wrong there though. Morality IS about consequences. About the consequences your actions have for others. There is no such thing as objective morals, in the way that they have nothing to do with consequences. You are talking about religious morals, which are based on religion, not on what actually causes harm.
        You are a victim of island thinking: every person is an island, and everyone just takes care of himself and maybe if they are not too obstinate and weird, their family, but that”s about it. Community? That’s the thing that you get punished in doing duty for when caught for drunk driving, but not something anyone is a part of. Taxes? Something that is taken from you for the ‘good of all’ but since when can’t I take care of the good for ME, and fuck the good for all. Every man is an island. Which is a VERY unhealthy attitude, because you are not taking care of the community, you are just taking care of you and yours. Selfish, egotistical and not very moral for someone who likes to talk about morals so much.

      • Matthew Reece

        That which is asserted without logic or evidence may be dismissed without logic or evidence, so I would be justified in ridiculing and dismissing your comment. But I will do better: I will show you exactly why you are wrong.

        When people agree to engage in rational argumentation, they
        implicitly accept certain behavioral norms. Among these are that truth is universally preferable to falsehood, and that one will make an effort to persuade others of one’s philosophical position. These norms must be accepted because if truth is not universally preferable, then the argumentation is dishonest and irrational, tending toward deception and fraud; and if one is not going to make an effort to persuade others of one’s philosophical position, then the argumentation lacks purpose. I will now show you how the consequentialism and moral subjectivism you espouse violates these norms and thus constitute performative contradictions which cannot be rationally advanced in argument.

        Morality is a system for determining what constitutes preferable
        behavior (good behaviors being preferable and evil behaviors being dispreferable). To argue that there is no objective morality is to argue that there is no universally preferable behavior. But the universal preferability of truth over falsehood is a condition of rational argumentation. Thus, the content of an argument against objective morality contradicts the very act of making such an argument. Moral subjectivism is therefore falsified by performative contradiction.

        Disproving consequentialism requires two steps. First, we must prove indeterminism. Determinism is the philosophical position that for every event, including human action, there exist conditions that could cause no other event. This implies that it is not possible to persuade others of one’s philosophical position, as strict determination of our actions (and therefore, our philosophical positions) would mean they were completely necessitated by past events beyond our present control, and therefore not alterable by argumentation. But the effort to persuade others of one’s philosophical position is a condition of
        rational argumentation. Thus, to argue for determinism is to try to convince someone that it is impossible to convince them of anything, which is a performative contradiction.

        Now, we can disprove consequentialism. Consider two people who find themselves in identical situations and who take identical actions. Because of indeterminism, the future is not directly knowable by extrapolating from the past. Thus, the consequences may play out differently in each case. Regardless of the rules used to determine what distinguishes good consequences or evil consequences, the situations may play out with good consequences in one situation and with evil consequences in the other. This means that the same action taken under the same circumstances is both good and evil. This is a contradiction; therefore consequentialism is false.

        Note that I have said nothing about religious morals, but rather
        have presented a strong rationalist case. To claim that I have done otherwise is a straw man fallacy on your part.

        “Every person is an island, and everyone just takes care of
        himself, and maybe if they are not too obstinate and weird, their
        family, but that’s about it” is a non sequitur, as the latter does
        not follow from the former. The empirical fact is that every person is an island, but that does not mean that one cannot cross the ocean, so to speak. Just because each individual person exists and collectives do not exist does not imply that there is no association between individuals. The reason that there is no such thing as “community” or the “good of all” apart from each individual person and the good thereof is that existence requires a concrete, particular form in empirical reality, and only individuals meet this requirement.

      • Laura Hurt

        uhm sure whatever.
        If you say that taxes are theft, then you are island-thinking. I don’t know what else you read in my message but that is what I said.

        I did not say that there are no objective morals, I said that objective morals are morals that hurt other people. All other morals are subjective morals.

        The rest of your post I didn’t understand at all. Probably very intelligent but tldr and simply said: I don’t really care how intelligent you want to sound. The fact remains that you think that tax is theft and morally wrong and that in itself is ridiculous.

      • Matthew Reece

        Ad lapidem and ipse dixit are admissions of defeat and ignorance. You continue to assert things and dismiss my arguments without offering any support for your assertions and dismissals, so I can dismiss what you say without support. As it is clear that you have no idea how to conduct a rational discussion, I am done here.

      • Laura Hurt

        my you really are bright aren’t you? You must be so proud that you know all these expensive words. If that gives you the moral power to struggle through your life and feel better than people who use normal language, feel free to be my guest. I have no idea what you all said and really have not the patience to try and figure it out, since I am more of the stance that if you want people to understand you, you talk normally with them. The way you are talking is all fine with people that you have established that know all the philosophical terms. Since you went from ‘taxes are theft’ to a philosophical discussion, I feel in no way obliged to try and make sense of what you all said. If that gives you the feeling that I am too dumb to reason with, feel free to be my guest but that’s really the wrong conclusion. It is just proof that you know expensive words and I don’t. Hurray for you but I won’t feel too bad about being dismissed like that.

      • Matthew Reece

        “If that gives you the feeling that I am too dumb to reason with”
        You said it (and proved it by your other statements), not me.

      • Laura Hurt

        As I said, whatever. If it makes you feel better to talk people down with expensive words, feel free to be my guest to do so. What I said was more than ‘I am dumb’, I said if that gives you that feeling, go ahead but you’d be wrong. So no, I did not say that I was dumb.

        Making your case: as I said, if you don’t determine that the other person can follow you in a philosophical debate, then a philosophical debate can give you the feeling that you ‘won’ but it does not. Because you put out a whole lot of things that I would have to research before I can even say if your first step is right. Again: if you really wanted me to understand what you were saying, you would have used normal talk. You just want to show off your smartness with this and if I am lost in it, well, that makes you an automatic winner. Wrong. That makes you an automatic looser, because you need stuff like this to make you feel better. Which is totally fine by me, I won’t loose sleep over it. But every time you try to tell that I should back down because I don’t ‘rebut’ your argument, I’m here to tell you that since you did not establish that I am capable of this kind of philosophical debate, you are barking up the wrong tree. You did not win this debate, since I have not a f’ing clue what you said.

      • emcada

        ” Among these are that truth is universally preferable to falsehood”

        So how would you deal with one person disagreeing as what counts as truth and a falsehood? It’s pretty common especially when debating pseudo-scientists/historians/intellectuals, especially cranks.

        ” To argue that there is no objective morality is to argue that there is no universally preferable behavior. But the universal preferability of truth over falsehood is a condition of rational argumentation. Thus, the content of an argument against objective morality contradicts the very act of making such an argument. ”

        Actually arguing against moral objectivity is simple. If there are objective morals where do they come from? What evidence is there to suggest that this is where morals come from? If morals are objective, then how come cannibalism, human sacrifices, circumcision, and incestuous relationships exist in some cultures and societies and not others? Certainly if there were objective morals then these practices would be alive in every culture and society and just scattered across different cultures and practices.

        Also denying arguing against moral objectivity is basically censorship. Not only that, but you’re disallowing for any truth to be discovered. What if moral objectivity is wrong? How would we know if we don’t test it or argue against it?

        “Disproving consequentialism requires two steps. First, we must prove indeterminism.”

        Why?

        “Determinism is the philosophical position that for every event, including human action, there exist conditions that could cause no other event. This implies that it is not possible to persuade others of one’s philosophical position”

        How? I’ve seen Christians become Atheists. I’ve seen liberals turn libertarian. People can be convinced through argumentation of others’ positions.

        “Now, we can disprove consequentialism. Consider two people who find themselves in identical situations and who take identical actions.”

        I’m starting to believe you don’t know what consequentialism is.

        “have presented a strong rationalist case. To claim that I have done otherwise is a straw man fallacy on your part.”

        After going through it I’m starting to think this is a very weak argument for your position. There’s a lot of holes and leaps you make without explaining why. Why should I believe something that isn’t a very strong argument? Plus your writing is atrocious. Learn to write better. Take an English class somewhere so you can practice your writing. Confusing your opponent isn’t a good thing!!

        “The reason that there is no such thing as “community” ”
        Denial of community which in itself is totally wrong as proven by just about every science out there 😛

      • Matthew Reece

        “So how would you deal with one person disagreeing as what
        counts as truth and a falsehood? It’s pretty common especially when debating pseudo-scientists/historians/intellectuals, especially cranks.”

        This is a red herring to my argument. That aside, disagreements over what constitutes truth are settled by logic and, if pure logic does not suffice, empirical evidence.

        “Actually arguing against moral objectivity is simple. If
        there are objective morals where do they come from? What evidence is there to suggest that this is where morals come from? If morals are objective, then how come cannibalism, human sacrifices, circumcision, and incestuous relationships exist in some cultures and societies and not others? Certainly if there were objective morals then these practices would be alive in every culture and society and just scattered across different cultures and practices.

        Also denying arguing against moral objectivity is basically
        censorship. Not only that, but you’re disallowing for any truth to be discovered. What if moral objectivity is wrong? How would we know if we don’t test it or argue against it?”

        The important thing to remember here is that rationalism trumps empiricism, and a priori logic overrules a posteriori observation. Objective morals do not “come from” anywhere, just as 2+2=4 does not “come from” anywhere. Neither are these a priori statements subject to empirical inquiry. They are true simply because arguing that they are false leads to a contradiction, and contradictions equal falsehood. As for cannibalism, human sacrifices, circumcision, and incestuous relationships occurring in some cultures and societies and not others, these are subjectively preferred behaviors, not universally preferable behaviors.

        “How? I’ve seen Christians become Atheists. I’ve seen
        liberals turn libertarian. People can be convinced through
        argumentation of others’ positions.”

        This illustrates my point that determinism is a contradictory
        position. You understand as well as I do that argumentation does persuade people, while determinism says that it should not.

        “I’m starting to believe you don’t know what consequentialism
        is.”

        Consequentialism is the class of normative ethical theories
        holding that the consequences of one’s conduct are the ultimate basis for any judgment about the morality of that conduct. I showed that because the universe is not deterministic, a circumstance can be constructed in which the same act is both good and evil within any consequentialist framework.

        “After going through it I’m starting to think this is a very weak
        argument for your position. There’s a lot of holes and leaps you make without explaining why. Why should I believe something that isn’t a very strong argument? Plus your writing is atrocious. Learn to write better. Take an English class somewhere so you can practice your writing. Confusing your opponent isn’t a good thing!!”

        This is an ipse dixit fallacy. You cannot just say, “There’s
        a lot of holes and leaps you make without explaining why.” You
        must show the holes and leaps. My writing style is terse so that I can put a maximum amount of thought into a minimum amount of words. Read my writing slowly and re-read parts that do not make sense the first time through and it will be easier to understand.

        “Denial of community which in itself is totally wrong as
        proven by just about every science out there :P”

        A fundamental characteristic of science is that it is tentative, always subject to new evidence. Science never proves anything to be absolutely true; it simply looks at what the preponderance of the evidence suggests and can rule out certain ideas. I do not deny community, but reject it as the burden of proof for its existence is unfulfilled.

      • emcada

        First off my point isn’t a red herring and you also failed to answer my accusations, mostly because you decided to repeat what you said earlier (lulz). Even here I’m disagreeing with you on what is and what isn’t a red herring. How would you deal with that?

        Secondly, you state that rationalism trumps empiricism with no given reason why. This is why I said that your argument has a lot of leaps. You make statements like this without explaining why. Why should I trust rationalism over empiricism? Why don’t experiences and observations matter? Can’t I trust both? Why one over the other? Am I supposed to just blindly accept this statement with no reason?

        Thirdly, if objective morals don’t come from anywhere then why believe they exist? I and many others including philosophers have argued against objective morals. How are they wrong? You’re basically stating “morals are objective and exist just because” without offering much of anything else. I brought up cannibalism, incest, and circumcision as primary examples of behaviors that you yourself had deemed immoral considering that you say that every non-preferred behavior is immoral and despite your statement that these actions aren’t preferable are actions that have and still happen/ed in cultures. So how can one culture say that an action is a preferable action while another one say that an action isn’t preferable? What about morally gray areas? How would objective morals handle those situations? Is it obvious one is better than the other? By this logic I think it’s safe to state that comparing morals to math and numbers is a fallacy of false equivalences considering in math it’s always clear which math is good math and which math is bad math but in moral questions it’s not always clear.

        I’ll concede that yes people can be persuaded by argumentation of their philosophical positions, but how does this disprove determinism? Whether or not someone is persuaded philosophically is all up to that person. If a person has a history of shutting out new ideas and holding onto the ideas they previously owned, and someone tried to persuade them of new ideas and failed, then wouldn’t that be proof of determinism considering the person who held onto their own ideas didn’t change their mind?

        Fourthly your response to my response on your dismissal of consequentialism goes back into the idea of morals not being so objective. Go back to the train example earlier. One person might say that saving the passengers was the morally right thing to do while another would berate deciding to save the passengers and kill the one person. How can there be objective morals if good and bad aren’t clearly defined? Also, terse writing doesn’t excuse incomprehensibility. If you cannot frame your arguments in a clear and concise matter then you lose your audience. This also makes arguing unfair as you can easily decide and play around what your argument is and isn’t since you left your opponent in confusion.

        And lastly science does and can prove things to be absolutely true. That’s what a law of science is. Sure science can always change but at times it can also establish unchangeable facts. Don’t deny that. If you think the evidence for a community isn’t conclusive then you don’t know much about the science around it.

      • Matthew Reece

        Again, disagreements over what constitutes truth are settled by logic and, if pure logic does not suffice, empirical evidence.

        Rationalism trumps empiricism simply because it must. It is impossible to carry out an empirical inquiry without using any logic, and that which is dependent cannot supersede that upon which it is dependent. Empirical inquiry is useful in studies where information from the senses must be used, but the results thereof cannot revise purely a priori axioms, such as the three laws of thought.

        Morals (and ideas in general) do not exist, as they have no concrete, particular form in physical reality. But universal morals are valid ideas because arguing that they are not is a performative contradiction, and contradictions cannot be true. If no argument against an idea can be true, then the idea must be true.

        I never said that every non-preferred behavior is immoral. I said that moral behaviors are universally preferable. You must learn to distinguish between objective (preferable, in this case) and subjective (preferred, in this case) in order to gain understanding and avoid fallacy. This is your most obvious shortcoming, and I will not make much sense to you until you have a firm grasp of objectivity versus subjectivity.

        There are no moral gray areas; only actions which have no moral content, such as the actions of non-sentient beings. That which appears gray is actually black and white, but is being viewed with insufficient resolution, resulting in a gray blur. A common example of this is the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate, in which both sides fail to separate the act of abortion into the act of removing a fetus from the uterus and the act of killing the fetus. The correct answer in objective morality is that removing a fetus from the uterus is acceptable (the pregnant woman owns her physical body and may decide whether the fetus may stay or must leave) but killing the fetus is unacceptable (the fetus, as a potential sentient being, owns its physical body and should not be murdered), a viewpoint known as evictionism. (Technology does not yet allow for evictionism to be fully practiced, but the correctness of an answer does not depend on the ability of people to utilize the answer.)

        “I’ll concede that yes people can be persuaded by argumentation of their philosophical positions, but how does this disprove determinism? Whether or not someone is persuaded philosophically is all up to that person.”
        If whether or not someone is persuaded philosophically is all up to that person, then determinism is false, because determinism says that they have no ability to choose, that their response is predetermined.

        You have given no train example. If you are referring to the classic trolley problem, then the correct answer is to do nothing, as immorality is already in place and participating in the situation makes one a party to the crime.

        Good and evil are clearly defined by what is universally preferable (good) and what is universally dispreferable (evil).

        Science never establishes unchangeable facts, as it is always subject to new evidence and better explanations for known phenomena. Communities are abstract objects which do not have a concrete, particular form in physical reality. Thus, it is impossible to observe a community; one can only observe individual entities that are said to belong to the community. (And to use your own reasoning against you, I can disagree with you about whether a particular entity is part of a particular community.) This means that it is logically impossible for there to be any evidence for their existence.

  • Dauger

    When looking at a police shooting, or really any shooting where self defense is claimed, the standard you are looking at is did the shooter have a reasonable belief that their life was in danger. That is really a matter of perspective. It is quite possible that what appeared to a witness to be one thing, appeared to the shooter to be something else entirely. When you take into account that the officer had already had a physical altercation with Brown, the adrenaline was pumping, and he had a split second to decide if Brown’s actions were harmless or a threat, one cannot state conclusively that the officer intended to kill Brown in cold blood. Ultimately, this is something the investigation will have to determine.

  • fairness_rules

    My assessment: Wilsons actions will be found to be justified and there will be no trial. The blacks will riot because they didn’t get the arrest and conviction they demanded. We will see where his goes but none of it is good and it deepens the divide between the races.

    • Matthew Reece

      This is the most likely outcome, unfortunately.

  • mighty tegu

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  • tmckenny

    Why is the testimony of Dorian Johnson not being taken seriously? He was right there within just a few feet of the incident. My understanding is that the prosecutor has gone to the Grand Jury without Johnson’s testimony. That smells of a cover-up plain and simple. Wilson lost his temper and shot Brown. Then for reasons unknown he purposely unloaded his pistol to kill him. This is a great article.

  • jonjstrine42

    Fantastic article! I’ve been following this story from a distance, mainly because I’ve been waiting for some solid facts to come out. So far, there hasn’t been a lot of that. It hasn’t stopped everyone, of every stripe, from jumping to their own conclusions.
    Only problem is, all this jumping to conclusions is happening way too close to the edge. I fear that someone soon will go over, and that’s when things will get even worse.