Tag Archives: shoot to kill

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.