Monday, December 1, 2014

#HEADLINES: #Ferguson Edition -- The Case for Police Reform Is Much Bigger Than Michael Brown; Ferguson Grand Jury Evidence Reveals Mistakes, Holes In Investigation; Crime Scene Medical Examiner Took No Measurements, Photos of Brown; A prominent legal expert eviscerates the Darren Wilson prosecution in 8 tweets; Ferguson Cop Darren Wilson on Michael Brown’s Death: ‘I Have a Clean Conscience’

Jim Young -- Reuters
The Case for Police Reform Is Much Bigger Than Michael Brown -- The Atlantic

"But even protesters who want to highlight the specific problem of white police officers shooting black men—even those who want to do so by saying 'don't shoot' while raising their arms in the air—needn't rely on a murky incident with conflicting eyewitness testimony where there's a chance that the unknowable truth would exonerate the officer. Instead, they can show skeptics this video from Columbia, South Carolina:
...
When I want to persuade a skeptic that police can misbehave so badly that it's hard to believe until one sees it, that is the incident I thrust before them. Given an hour of their time, I could fill it with other incidents on YouTube, almost all of which were totally ignored by most of the commentators who are now flaunting their outrage at anyone evaluating evidence in Ferguson differently than they do. This alienates potential allies and converts on the larger issue of police abuse ... for what?"

St. Louis County Prosecutor's Office
Ferguson Grand Jury Evidence Reveals Mistakes, Holes In Investigation -- Huffington Post

"Soon after Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, law enforcement’s handling of the case was already being criticized as callous and sloppy. Residents of Ferguson, Missouri, looked on in horror as police officials failed to cover and later to remove Brown’s body from the street for hours.

Now that the grand jury evidence, including forensic records and testimony from Wilson and those investigating the fatal shooting, has been released, it's clear that other mistakes were made in attempting to figure out what happened on that August afternoon. The best physical evidence and testimony might not have been as ironclad in Wilson's favor as prosecutor Robert McCulloch characterized it on Monday night.

From the reams of grand jury testimony and police evidence, here are some key points that, if this case had gone to trial, could have been highlighted by prosecutors (not including the witnesses who appeared to contradict Wilson’s testimony):"

Stephen Lam -- Reuters
Crime Scene Medical Examiner Took No Measurements, Photos of Brown -- Newsweek

"Before the grand jury made the decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing African-American teenager Michael Brown, they heard testimony from around 60 witnesses, including Wilson. Of those 60, three were medical examiners; many of the details known about the moments after Brown’s death came from the only examiner that witnessed the crime scene. That medical examiner, who was not named, arrived at the scene after the detective, and strangely, did not take any photographs.

The detective, whose name was also redacted, testified before the grand jury. He was asked, 'So when you arrived [at the crime scene,] the medical examiner had not been notified?' The detective explained, 'To my knowledge, no. Sergeant [redacted] informed me that they had not been.… My main concern was making sure the medical examiner was dispatched.… If the suspect is deceased, then the next step would be to contact the medical examiner.' It’s unclear from the testimony why the sergeant did not contact the medical examiner himself."

Scott Olson -- Getty Images
A prominent legal expert eviscerates the Darren Wilson prosecution in 8 tweets -- Vox

"Following the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri, prominent lawyer and MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Bloom argued on Twitter that St. Louis County prosecutors did a bad job questioning Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson about the shooting of Michael Brown. She argued the questioning was basically a 'tea party,' far from the 'grueling session' it should have been.

Read some of Bloom's tweets:"

Ferguson Cop Darren Wilson on Michael Brown’s Death: ‘I Have a Clean Conscience’ -- Time

"The Ferguson police officer whom a grand jury has chosen not to indict in the August shooting death of an unarmed teenager said in an interview Tuesday he would not have done anything differently because he was trying to save his own life.

In an interview that aired Tuesday evening with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, Darren Wilson recalled the incident and said, 'The reason I have a clean conscience is because I know I did my job right.' The sit-down marked his first since Monday evening’s announcement that a grand jury had declined to charge him for the killing of Michael Brown, which ignited bouts of looting and arson in Ferguson despite state efforts to prepare for the possibility of violence. Demonstrations from New York City to Los Angeles played out into the night."

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