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View Full Version : Darren Wilson's Acquittal.


Mr_Hi_n_Mitey
2014-11-26, 01:11 AM
Hello Folks:

So what do each of you have to say about the acquittal of police officer Darren Wilson, who allegedly shot Michael Brown (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Michael_Brown) dead? As I saw the unfolding riots take place, I was reminded of the the Rodney King (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodney_King) case. No sooner said than done, Reverend Al Sharpton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Sharpton) took the stand and said how the Brown Family and their attorney are going to take their case to the Federal Courts ... What do y'all think? :eyebrow:

Mr_H_n_M

Unicron
2014-11-26, 01:33 AM
who allegedly shot Michael Brown (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Michael_Brown) dead?
First, there's no allegedly about it. He shot him. No one is disputing that. The question is whether Wilson was within his rights and etc. to be able to shoot him given the circumstances.

Second, this wasn't an acquittal. The grand jury reached the conclusion there wasn't probable cause for a trial, based on the evidence they were given. Pretty sure an acquittal requires an actual trial.

This particular grand jury process was handled in a very unusual way. Normally, a prosecutor will only give the necessary evidence needed to reach probable cause, they will instruct the grand jury on what charge they're aiming for, what the law is on that charge, etc., the defendant won't have a chance to testify, and they're usually done pretty quick.
In this instance, it was a more drawn out process, the prosecutor reportedly presented all the evidence (including what would be defense evidence, that he had no requirement to present), reportedly didn't seek a specific charge and was leaving it to the grand jury to decide what, if anything, Wilson should be indicted for, and Wilson got to testify for several hours (which basically never happens with a grand jury).

So one of two things happened here:
1. Wilson got special treatment because he was a cop and the prosecutor didn't want to charge him with anything. Or
2. Wilson got exactly the sort of treatment that any criminal defendant should get, and effectively everyone else ever has been screwed by the grand jury system.
Either way, people deserve to be pissed.

Not saying people have the right to riot, but anger, protests, and seeking other courses of justice, is justified here.

inflatable dalek
2014-11-26, 08:48 AM
If there's ever a good reason for rioting, I'd say this would be it.

Has anyone seen Wilson's "My conscience is clear" interview? Now, even if we take it he genuinely believes he's been hard done by (though he version of what happened sounds worrying like Richard Herring's routine about the John Menezes shooting, "Best shot him in the head again, just to make sure") and will not under any circumstances even apologies for what he sees as his duty...

Going on TV and to say so was so ridiculously obviously a ****ing stupid idea I have to wonder if the people advising him actually want the riots to get worse. I didn't think I'd see a more ill judged post "Crime" statement so soon after that Chad Evens apology over his rape that apologised to everyone except the woman he raped.

Cliffjumper
2014-11-26, 02:59 PM
Evans' case is currently under appeal - his contention is that it wasn't rape (based on the girl apparently being sober enough to consent with his team-mate moments before), therefore he cannot come out and apologise to her for raping her.

Summerhayes
2014-11-26, 05:39 PM
I haven't followed the Ferguson situation closely enough to make any educated comment but it seems to follow the same old pattern of all these tragedies in a nation whose cultural Identity is routed so firmly in the gun. Not to mention institutional racism, which is enough of an issue that we need to do a seminar when we join the police in the UK but seems to be even worse stateside.

Mr_Hi_n_Mitey
2014-11-26, 06:28 PM
Thanks to all of you - especially to Unicron - for your input on this case. As with most cases of this magnitude, police officers are more than likely bound to get off because of their very roles - which is why I am not surprised at all by the outcome of this, especially since some previous cases that were quite similar to this one played out with virtually identical results. Also, you're right Unicron - there was no acquittal in this particular case (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Michael_Brown) ; I went back over it. I was thinking more about the Trayvon Martin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trayvon_Martin) Case.

Warcry
2014-11-26, 06:37 PM
So one of two things happened here:
1. Wilson got special treatment because he was a cop and the prosecutor didn't want to charge him with anything. Or
2. Wilson got exactly the sort of treatment that any criminal defendant should get, and effectively everyone else ever has been screwed by the grand jury system.
Either way, people deserve to be pissed.
Actually, I think the answer is simpler than that -- the prosecutor was probably so terrified of being accused of bias that he covered his own ass by throwing every shred of evidence he had at the grand jury, so that he could stand up at the end of the day and say "See? I didn't hold anything back! They made the decision completely on their own." The fact that he was making it much harder to actually get an indictment was probably a secondary concern compared to protecting his career.

If there's ever a good reason for rioting, I'd say this would be it.
There is absolutely never a good reason to loot and burn down random strangers' private property. Protest loudly and publicly? Sure. Picket police stations and courthouses? Absolutely. But what the hell do you accomplish by smashing up car dealerships or torching grocery stores?

Unfortunately any cause that gets this much attention these days almost invariably gets hijacked by anarchists and professional troublemakers who don't actually care about the cause they're protesting, which in turn leads to pointless destruction and violence and only makes the situation worse. And the original, peaceful protestors' message gets lost amid the chaos.

I haven't followed the Ferguson situation closely enough to make any educated comment but it seems to follow the same old pattern of all these tragedies in a nation whose cultural Identity is routed so firmly in the gun. Not to mention institutional racism, which is enough of an issue that we need to do a seminar when we join the police in the UK but seems to be even worse stateside.
There's definitely cultural issues at play, but I don't think US gun culture is a huge part of the problem this time around. The reason I say that is because up here in Canada (where, yes, we have a lot of guns -- but also a much healthier cultural attitude towards them) the exact same thing happens, only with Aboriginals being on the receiving end most of the time rather than blacks.

On the other hand, racism (and classism as well) play a huge role in what happened. So does the "**** the police!" brand of machismo that's so common in ghetto culture. A lot of cops are subconsciously predisposed to be more suspicious of poor minorities, and a lot of people in poor minority communities are predisposed to mistrust and disrespect the cops. When those two bad attitudes collide, all too often tragedy is the result. I can't imagine that'll change until there's changes on both sides of the divide.

Cyberstrike nTo
2014-11-26, 08:29 PM
I think some cops tend to jump to the use of force first instead of thinking and giving them all that excess miltary hardware to point where even small town police forces have armed APCs is getting out of hand.

inflatable dalek
2014-11-26, 08:58 PM
Evans' case is currently under appeal - his contention is that it wasn't rape (based on the girl apparently being sober enough to consent with his team-mate moments before), therefore he cannot come out and apologise to her for raping her.


There are certainly some odd aspects to the case as reported (mostly how the team mate she did consent with isn't guilty of being at least an accessory) and there's a wider issue over what sort of jobs a criminal who has served their time can and can't go back to, but the whole video itself was just staggering misjudged in both idea (as you say, his stance is he's innocent and he's out to prove it, how else was an apology interview going to come out under those circumstances) and execution. Whoever he's got organising his PR is either an idiot or actually has it in for him.

There is absolutely never a good reason to loot and burn down random strangers' private property. Protest loudly and publicly? Sure. Picket police stations and courthouses? Absolutely. But what the hell do you accomplish by smashing up car dealerships or torching grocery stores?

Oh, I'm certainly against actual rioting (if nothing else, it just hurts the wrong people), especially as I was in the middle of Brum when our riots were going on four(?) years ago. Plus, the cynical might think the police actually want a riot from the way their response to the protests has been extremely heavy handed from the off, meaning not giving in to them is probably the best bet all round.

But equally, something like this happens that makes an entire part of the community realise their children can be shot six time and the killer not be brought to justice... Well I can see why they'd want to burn the whole town to the ground and salt the earth afterwards.

Sades
2014-11-26, 09:39 PM
A lot of cops are subconsciously predisposed to be more suspicious of poor minorities, and a lot of people in poor minority communities are predisposed to mistrust and disrespect the cops. When those two bad attitudes collide, all too often tragedy is the result. I can't imagine that'll change until there's changes on both sides of the divide.

:up:

I'd :up: your entire post as I agree 100%, but that'd make for a really long quote. :p

In some cases people on both sides are actively encouraged to mistrust/disrespect, and what they experience on a daily basis doesn't help. Once people lose sight of the fact that "the other side" are individuals too, assuming that all of that "other side" are the same becomes so much easier.

IMO this was horrible. That's not in dispute. But I'm reserving my judgement until I find a source I can trust has the proper information (if that ever happens) before I voice any sort of opinion on the shooting itself, because I've read that Michael Brown was attacking the officer, that he wasn't, that he managed to get really close before the officer shot him, that he was far away, that the autopsy report(s) seems to support the officer's account, that it doesn't, etc etc...

What I can comment on is the rioting. IMO the people actively rioting/looting should not be grouped with those who did things peacefully, but they will be. There's no cause for destroying an innocent, uninvolved person's property like this. People tend to see what they want to see and the loudest voices are the ones that are remembered, and thanks to the shit-disturbers, bigots and opportunists out there all the average person is going to remember about the protests are the riots and destruction.

Skyquake87
2014-11-27, 09:13 AM
Agreed, rioting is incredibly counter-productive. It does nothing to change anyone's perceptions, more's the pity. You only had to look at our own 2011 riots to see that. That was result of a guy getting shot by the police over here. Started as a peaceful demonstration, but before you know it, there's widespread rioting and looting going on (and not just in London - where this actually happened).

What was the end result? A lot of politically motivated "we'll show you!" sentences handed down with people serving custodial sentences for looting packets of frozen peas.

As to the shooting, I'd go with Sades. All we've had on the news over here is the headlines - white cop shoots black man, all hell breaks loose (again). So without having the full details on whom did what to whom, its not really something I feel comfortable commenting on.

I do think its a bit odd that , judging by Unicron's post, the police basically seem to have gone to a Grand Jury not admitting to anything and saying 'this happened. was it wrong?'

@ Warcry - Genuinely didn't know that Canada has a gun culture - how is it different to the US? is there more education around firearms, etc? It always seems from the outside that anyone can just buy a gun in the states.

Personally, I think the right to bear arms is an antiquated piece of legislation that no right minded country really needs - and has never needed. What was that borne out of anyway? Fear of the unknown? I do understand that the US probably hasn't a hope in hell of every seriously doing anything about weapons and gun control. As the increasing militarization of the Police shows (the National Guard seemed far less threatening judging by the news reports).

Dead Man Wade
2014-11-28, 04:09 PM
Agreed, rioting is incredibly counter-productive. It does nothing to change anyone's perceptions, more's the pity.

In cases like this, I don't think anyone gives a rat's ass about changing minds. Truthfully, I think it has more to do with taking it and protesting, taking it and protesting, and reaching the point where you just can't take it any more. Not everything is necessarily about changing the mind of some random white person; sometimes, you just get so mad you want to burn it all down.

Warcry
2014-11-28, 08:44 PM
I think some cops tend to jump to the use of force first instead of thinking and giving them all that excess miltary hardware to point where even small town police forces have armed APCs is getting out of hand.
This is absolutely true. I don't know that it necessarily played a role in the initial incident, since it's entirely unclear what actually happened. But in the mess that followed? The protests and eventual riots were made ten times worse by the local PD acting like an occupying army.

In some cases people on both sides are actively encouraged to mistrust/disrespect, and what they experience on a daily basis doesn't help. Once people lose sight of the fact that "the other side" are individuals too, assuming that all of that "other side" are the same becomes so much easier.
This is a huge part of it too. When you're a cop, the people you deal with are disproportionately scumbags. It's easy to let that bleed over to the point where you assume that everyone you meet is a scumbag. And by the same token, when you're living in the ghetto on the receiving end of that, you see a lot of cops acting like assholes and it's easy to start assuming that all cops are assholes. And once that happens, whatever side of the fence you're on, those on the other side become "the enemy" instead of people. :(

@ Warcry - Genuinely didn't know that Canada has a gun culture - how is it different to the US? is there more education around firearms, etc? It always seems from the outside that anyone can just buy a gun in the states.
Well...the first thing you need to understand is that you probably won't understand. Not completely, anyway. :)

Canada is very different from most European countries, in a lot of ways. But in this case, the two most important ways are our much lower population density and the fact that we've been "settled" for a far shorter period of time than you have. We have far, far more "wilderness" than you do, most of it quite accessible (I could jump in a car right now, drive north for two hours, pull over on the side of the road and be the only human within twenty miles), and even the populated parts of our country have really only been connected by halfway-decent infrastructure in the last century or so.

The upshot of that is that we're a lot closer to our "subsistence" phase than you are. Our native peoples hunted and lived off the land for tens of thousands of years, and in many cases still do now -- deer and moose are still staple foods on some of the reserves I've visited. And the white settlers (unless they settled in one of the handful of actual cities we had then) did exactly the same when they arrived: grew their own food, hunted their own meat and generally had to take care of themselves. And even once the country started to industrialize, that didn't stop -- people in my grandparents' generation would routinely find themselves in situations where they didn't have any money for food, so they'd have to walk into the bush and shoot a deer to feed their families. We don't consider owning or using guns strange because it's simply too deeply ingrained in our traditional way of life. You'd be hard-pressed to find many rural homes that don't have guns in them, and even a lot of city homes do as well (if I remember my course material right, 1/3 of the people in the country have their firearms license).

Attitudes towards guns are different (and more European) in the more densely populated parts of the country, though. And understandably so -- you won't find much wild game in Vancouver or Toronto, or any safe places to shoot, so most urbanites' ideas about guns are solely connected to crime. Unfortunately there's a bit of a tug-of-war between the two groups, since neither one seems to understand or care about the other's concerns and each one tries to change the laws to suit themselves instead of thinking that maybe we should have different rules for different parts of the country. But that's a big digression...

As for how it differs from the US...firstly, you'll notice that I said "license". Owning a gun isn't a right here, it's a privilege. That means that we're able to sidestep a lot of the problems that the US has simply by keeping guns out of the hands of morons (the vast majority of US gunowners are responsible too, but because of their 2nd Amendment it's way harder to keep irresponsible or dangerous people from getting guns). You need to prove that you know how to handle one safely before you can buy one. You also need to properly store them, which means that eight year olds aren't finding Daddy's loaded handgun in the desk drawer and shooting their siblings' faces off.

At the same time, the anti-government paranoia that fuels a subset of US gun owners is essentially unheard of here. Neither are we as worried about crime -- most gun owners here don't think of their weapons as "home defence equipment" at all the way so many Americans have been conditioned to. Even fewer want the right to carry handguns around for self-defence, and pretty much everyone else thinks those that do are wingnuts.

The end result is that we've got nearly as many guns per capita as the US, but far, far fewer gun deaths per capita. And the majority of those deaths are caused by illegal guns smuggled in from the US, used by people who can't legally buy one in this country because they're criminals.

Clay
2014-11-29, 12:53 AM
Canada is very different from most European countries, in a lot of ways. But in this case, the two most important ways are our much lower population density and the fact that we've been "settled" for a far shorter period of time than you have. We have far, far more "wilderness" than you do, most of it quite accessible (I could jump in a car right now, drive north for two hours, pull over on the side of the road and be the only human within twenty miles), and even the populated parts of our country have really only been connected by halfway-decent infrastructure in the last century or so.

Yeah, I remember a feature on the news recently about finding gold in the Yukon. It stated that the territory was about the size of California and had all of 30,000 living it. That's... sparse.

Skyquake87
2014-11-29, 08:57 PM
Sounds amazing though :) I feel all learned now :P

Warcry
2014-11-29, 10:10 PM
Yeah, I remember a feature on the news recently about finding gold in the Yukon. It stated that the territory was about the size of California and had all of 30,000 living it. That's... sparse.
Sounds about right. Around 28,000 of those are in Whitehorse, too, so think of how empty the rest of the place is.

The scary thing is that the Yukon, with its one person for every 13 square kilometres, is actually the most densely populated of our three northern territories by far. Between the three of them, Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories have barely 100,000 people spread out over nearly as much area as the European Union covers.

Obviously population density goes up when you go farther south (about 90% of our population lives within 100 miles of the US border, in particular along the West Coast and the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River areas) but the vast majority of the country is pretty empty as far as population goes. Most of us wouldn't have it any other way.

Sounds amazing though :) I feel all learned now :P
:up: Brits seem to think we're a good tourist destination. You should take a trip one day and see it for yourself. Just try not to get eaten by bears.

Oh, and just to underscore the differences one more time...Southern Ontario is the most densely-populated part of the country by far. The rest of Canada talks about it like it's Coruscant or something, an over-built, over-populated hell that we avoid at all costs.

It covers almost exactly the same land area as England and has 1/4 the population. So, yeah...very different standards.

Sades
2014-11-30, 12:00 AM
Canadians seem to like Brits too. a lot. I think people want to be you, in fact. My list of "people I'd like to punch"* has "Canadians/Americans who use British colloquialisms" on it for a reason!

Just try not to get eaten by bears.

Unless you're into that sort of thing.

* Don't actually have a list. But I should...

Skyquake87
2014-11-30, 10:55 AM
I have had a couple of friends go to Canada for more than recreation. One guy whom I worked with at an Accountants went to Canada to work driving one of those huge trucks that shifts logs about (now there's a career change). and one of my good lady friends went there just to get out of Britain for a bit and spent about a year working and living there. I forget where she went, but had nothing but good things to say about it.

Living somewhere where there's a lot space does have its appeal, I have to say. The UK very much feels like a cramped and busy Island a lot of the time. A bit like a Richard Scarry drawing.

(...I bet you do have a list Sades, you just don't know about it.. :eek:)

On topic: guns are bad.

another tf fan
2014-12-01, 07:13 PM
The prosecutor's failure to receive an indictment is a serious miscarriage of justice.

it seems painfully clear to me the prosecutor had no intention of charging officer Wilson with anything and got the exact verdict he was looking for.

Cyberstrike nTo
2014-12-06, 01:49 PM
A tape of a white cop choking a black man doesn't get indited! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzySgv6tx4g)

They can't get a god damn inditement with a ****ing video!

Mr_Hi_n_Mitey
2015-02-07, 10:23 PM
A tape of a white cop choking a black man doesn't get indited! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzySgv6tx4g)

They can't get a god damn inditement with a ****ing video!

I know, Cyberstrike, it's a darn shame, isn't it? Also, I fear that all of this rioting - that is mostly hurting innocent people - is going to lead to a racial backlash which will mobilize more and more chapters of hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations. I know that Klan members are now protecting a lot of White-owned businesses in Ferguson, Missouri USA. This kind of thing gives me goosebumps. :afro: :eyebrow: :eek: :( :confused: