Tag Archives: Michael Brown

Don’t Cry for Darren Wilson

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.

FERGUSON AND THE MEANING OF NO TRUE BILL

By Gordon T. Davis

Who will believe in the justice system after the prosecutor for St. Louis County defended the No True Bill for the indictment of Officer Wilson, who admittedly shot an unarmed Black man, Michael Brown, killing him?

This is what I heard when Mr. McCullough gave his press conference:

1. Michael Brown was shot outside of Officer Wilson’s car by Officer Wilson

2. Michael Brown ran away from the car

3. Officer Wilson gave chase

4. Brown stopped running and turned around

5. Brown’s hands were visible and held no weapons

6. Michael Brown was unarmed

6. Officer Wilson shot Michael Brown four more times, killing him.

The question that everyone is asking is how there is no probable cause for a crime. Mr. McCullough weakly said that the physical evidence did not match the testimony. He did not say how the physical evidence that Michael Brown was unarmed and shot twice while at the car and four times after running from police was evidence of no crime.

The testimony of witnesses had a consistency: Michael Brown tried to run away after being shot and he was unarmed. When he stopped running, his hands were visible.

There is outrage through the country and within Worcester. On the night of the No True Bill more than 100 people demonstrated at Worcester City Hall. At least two more demonstrations are planned for November. A movement of people is needed just to effectuate temporary changes for the better. However, because of the systemic issues, the whole justice system might have to be changed.

Ferguson MO reminds me of the killing of Worcester resident Cristino Hernandez by the Worcester Police in 1993.

There was an inquest into his death.

The judge ruled that there was no crime, but he also ruled that the police used excessive force.

Even with this ruling, the two police officers who killed Mr. Hernandez were never fired, let alone disciplined. However, based on the excessive force ruling the family of Cristino Hernandez sued the City of Worcester for wrongful death. This is a possibility for the Brown family.

The issue of race is to a large extent significant. There is a stereotyping of dark-skinned people and lower income people. The stereotype is that we are dangerous and our lives are not important.

White cops and, to a certain extent Black cops, do not see us as people, but as targets. The laws give these policemen the license to kill us with impunity while on the street.

This license to kill us has to be taken away. In many ways it is like the “stand your ground” laws which allow cops and others to kill anyone when they “believe” their life to be in danger.  That standard should change to someone’s life “actually” being in danger instead of the “belief” that someone’s life  is in danger.  It would make the killing of the twelve-year-old boy in Cleveland by the cops a crime, as the cop who shot the boy was never in mortal danger.

On Ferguson … From the Worcester NAACP

Greetings,

The Worcester NAACP wishes to express our deepest sympathy to the family of Michael Brown.  We join communities across our nation in voicing our disappointment that the grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown.  Justifying the killing of an unarmed young black man by a trained law enforcement officer is not just a travesty, but is in direct opposition to law enforcement’s sole purpose, to protect and serve those in their charge.

The killing of Michael Brown, the actions of the Ferguson Police and the grand jury decision is evidence of the acceptance of an overaggressive policing culture in our communities of color.  The NAACP stands committed to continue the fight against racial profiling, police brutality and the militarization of local authorities.

Please join the Worcester NAACP as we unite as a community to protest the treatment of Michael Brown tonight, Tuesday, November 25 … behind City Hall, Worcester.