By Gordon T. Davis
Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, and the grand jury of St. Louis County, Missouri, presented to District Attorney McCullough a No True Bill, no indictment. Mr. Wilson showed no remorse or regret in his TV interview. The finding of the grand jury did not come as a surprise, as almost no police officer has been indicted for any action, no matter how bad, while he was on duty.
What came as a surprise is that Darren Wilson resigned from the Ferguson Police Department a few days after the No True Bill.
His resignation is somewhat puzzling. When the police officers in Worcester killed Cristino Hernandez in 1993 they did not resign, nor were they fired, despite the Inquest Judge ruling that the Worcester Police used “excessive force.”
Today Ferguson is seventy percent Black and the Ferguson Police Department is ninety four percent White. In 1993 Worcester was seventy percent White and the Worcester Police Department was at least seventy percent White, if not a higher percentage. In Worcester the opposition to the police homicide of Cristino Hernandez was divided, with many people saying that the Worcester police killing him was not a racist act. That division does not exist in Ferguson today among the protesters; there is some division regarding the destruction of property.
It is a common occurrence that when people make serious mistakes, they are fired or forced to resign. We have seen this in Massachusetts at the Department of Children and Families and in the Department of Public Safety. Even the supervisors are forced out. When the police make a mistake and accidentally (unjustifiably) kill children, the least that should happen is that the officer resigns.
Darren Wilson has resigned. Some people may feel sorry for him because he says he cannot continue his work in law enforcement . However, it is likely he could find a job anywhere in law enforcement in which the population is not majority-minority.
It is unlikely he will be charged with violating Michael Brown’s civil rights. There is going to be a civil trial for wrongful death, brought by Michael Brown’s parents. In order to be successful, the parents will have to name the City of Ferguson as a defendant. This means that the City will cover Mr. Wilson’s court costs.
Mr. Wilson will have an opportunity to write his book about how unjust the system treated him. The right wing might ask him to go on speaking tours about the need for law and order. Mr. Wilson will do alright for himself. He is no victim. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for the late Michael Brown.