[Update 12/3/2014: I’ve written an update on these events, here, after both Grand Juries failed to indict.]
Eric Garner & Michael Brown
To the un-attuned, the last few weeks have seen a “spike” in incidents of police brutality. To those with a little more discrimination, however, the spike is merely in the popular reportage, not in the incidents, themselves. Sure, Eric Garner’s death (which kicked things off in July) was all the more dramatic because it was captured on video, wherein 4 or 5 incompetent cops decide they cannot cuff a single nonviolent ‘resister’ without the use of an illegal maneuver, while 6+ witnesses (as of 8/27) in Ferguson, MO, all contradicting a lone cop’s account of self-defense, certainly feels sensational.
Yet such things occur on and off camera all the time, to blacks AND whites, with arbitrary degrees of public scrutiny. Often, there’s simply no criticism at all, and following the countless lawsuits and/or complaints filed by victims of police brutality, it is clear that cops rarely get punished for their misdeeds. I mean, just consider how the cop in this story — who allegedly broke a 10 year old’s leg for legally recording him, then sexually assaulted the kid’s mother — was not only NOT charged (as per the lack of any news stories, 6 months after the fact), but also never even named, despite the fact that civilians accused of the same would be hunted, harangued, and lambasted all over the media for days, until they’ve been caught and properly chastised.
Of course, there’s a very simple reason for this. It’s not that America is still quite dishonest vis a vis race, to the point of international embarrassment. It’s not simply because cops have bullets, and we are empty vessels waiting for their fill. And it’s certainly NOT because cops used ta’ be so respectful, in some Golden Age of such, and have merely become brats in the interim. In fact, it’s really because the police force, like the military, is an autocratic body, with little to no accountability, except in the most extreme cases. There are no elections to force some sort of compromise; there is no police conduct review board of any real power. Sure, people can file lawsuits, but they’ll often languish. Cops can speak out against abuses, but will be ostracized. And, to top things off, cops are seemingly bound by a very different set of laws, just like the autocrats of yore, with every violation explained away as a ‘necessity’, and every gray area (hell, even what’s black and white) deferred to the cop’s judgment, again out of a perceived necessity.
I mean, think of it. If a black guy shoots someone around ten times, without provocation, as recounted by ALL SIX (as of 8/26) official witnesses to the death of Michael Brown, with NO witnesses in support of the killer’s account, he’d be named and arrested immediately, as per the rules of crime and punishment. But, because the killer’s a cop, it takes the police department about a week to even name the guy, and a week and a half to file an incident report. The implication, then, is that prior to the Ferguson riots, nothing really happened, as far as the police were concerned. Just another nigga dead, as NWA once said. And that, of course, is not an ‘incident’. It is mere trajectory.
Obviously, it is not very wise, then, to give one group of people a near-absolute monopoly on force without demanding strict accountability, or else shit like the above happens. Nor is it a problem limited to America, as it’s been going on ever since the first simian was given power, armed, and asked to patrol the deer-trails. And why not? From the time of standing armies (which sometimes functioned as mini-states, in their own right), nothing made sense BUT corruption, due to the nature of power and the limits of human self-control. The Roman military raped, pillaged, and plundered. Genghis Khan pillaged, plundered, and raped. Mao had a nice little service-harem to cap off his weekly dances. And slavery, today, seems unthinkable in America. But it’s not that we’re somehow more ethical than conquerors or slaveholders (although, in a sense, we are), but that, in an ever-complicating society, the number of outlets for human actions, be it mere violence or its various sublimations, has gone up dramatically, and therefore, the worst of our behaviors are controlled by making them rather unattractive options. Thus, most abuses of power are not only predictable, but – save for pockets of naive leisure, such as in America – outright expected. And unless cops have somehow skipped a normal step of human evolution, they’re still bound by the same rules, the same parameters that govern ALL autocratic bodies, whether they are two-bit conquerors on the outskirts of Etruria, or merely a disembodied part of something better.
As for those social outlets that help us corral the worst of us? Obviously, if they’re a product of a rule-bound society, this means they cannot exist in places cut off from the rest of society proper – as cops inevitably are – and therefore, the darker parts of their behavior seem to disappear, as well. Abuse? What’s THAT? Abuse under such a system can’t even logically EXIST, much less be punished by those made these rules so exclusionary in the first place.
Don’t believe me? Three days after Eric Garner was killed via an illegal police maneuver, the NYPD made a quiet, de facto admission of guilt by putting the cop responsible on desk duty. Clearly, the cop must be guilty of SOMETHING, then, in the department’s eyes. But of what, though? Certainly not murder, as he’s not been arrested. It’s not an unlawful killing, or anything, because there’s been no charge. Yet, in the real world, facts don’t turn upon such whims. They are as follows:
A man, formerly living, died a month ago as a direct, quantifiable result of an action that the police department deemed unlawful more than two decades prior, and have deemed inappropriate now, given the ‘procedural reviews’ and ‘investigations’ this incident engendered. But, in the end, it’s not really murder. It’s not even an accidental death. Sure, the medical examiner ruled it a homicide, but fuck – it’s not even DEATH.
How do I know? Because if I do something that I’m told I’m not supposed to do, and kill someone in the process due to my own negligence, I — a civilian, bound by socially agreed upon rules — will not get mere desk duty and a $30,000 blowjob. That’s not the normal chain of events with respect to death. In fact, that’s a mere incident report, in the back-logs somewhere, until things quiet down again, when a nigger can get lynched and barbecued in peace, without some asshole breathing down the department’s neck, trying to tell it how to do the job it’s already been given 100% freedom in doing LONG before the first complaint was ever lodged. This started in the trails, somewhere, when people decided they needed to give up SOME freedom for security. And it still continues when the need for security – from predators, opportunists, the genocidal tribe one village over – is far less, yet the perception the same, with too many cops hired to do too many things, for no other reason than to satisfy this perception for political ends, and bloat the importance of this or that agency.
I’d think this is all too obvious, but watching the recent narrative unfold re: Eric Garner and Michael Brown, this just ain’t so. And it was especially strange to watch this narrative unfold over Facebook, and propped up by a black man – now a New York City cop, no less – that I knew back in high school, and got into a series of arguments with. Yet in detailing our conversation, I am also detailing all the evidence surrounding these men and their behavior, as well as what’s been said, and why it’s so fucking ridiculous.
This is not, of course, the history of two dead men, but really the narrative of ALL police victims, for the worst and least instructive thing to do is to pretend like their stories are unique. They are not, because the narrative of abuse is not unique, the mis-use of power is not unique, and the eventual cover-ups are not unique. They are, if anything, predictable, and as you steer through the inanities, the logical fallacies, the emotive non-reasoning, you will see where the problem REALLY is, and why.
The Victims This Time Around
1. Eric Garner
Background: Garner was approached by 4-5 cops for either breaking up a fight or selling untaxed cigarettes (reports vary), in Staten Island, as part of an interaction that was 100% caught on camera, as well as through nearby witnesses. He claims, on camera, to being harassed, and refuses to put his hands behind his back to be arrested. Instead, he firmly says ‘Don’t touch me’, puts his hands up a few times, and (gently) grazes an officer’s hand in the process, at which point he is put into a chokehold (an illegal maneuver banned for over 2 decades) from behind, put down, with the remaining 2 cops rushing in to assist. He repeatedly says he cannot breathed, is ignored, and soon dies. The medical examiner ruled the death a ‘homicide’, caused by ‘chest and neck compression’, and complicated by a heart attack (the man was a 400 lb asthmatic). Protests soon followed, and the offending cop (who previously forced the city to pay out a $30,000 lawsuit due to his macho behavior with a prior victim) was put on desk duty as ‘punishment’.
Note the choke-hold, below, via the police’s own escalation of events. If a single, non-violent man cannot be quelled by 4 adults except through an illegal maneuver, they need to all be fired:
My acquaintance, “J”, posted a link to Garner’s autopsy report, ridiculously claiming that because there was no damage to the trachea, it could not have been a chokehold (despite it clearly being visible on video), and that Garner could breathe despite claiming he could not. Of course, the second report indicated otherwise: that Garner died via ‘neck’ and ‘chest compression’, and could NOT breathe, putting that cop-propped theory re: being able to breathe when speaking, to rest. Others chime in.
An uninterrupted screengrab of this conversation thread, as well as the two others involving Michael Brown, can be found here. I am in RED, “J” is in BLUE, and minor players in the conversation appear in other colors, consistent throughout the 3 threads. My friend, Jackson Hawley, makes an appearance, as well, and appears in lime green.
If you’d prefer to look at the text-only transcript, and my commentary, within, please read below:
Things kick off with “Jo”:
Jo: Personally, i think this man’s death had a lot to do with his health. Yes the police was wrong to chokehold him like that, especially when he said he cld not breathe, but he was overweight. When you are unhealthy and overweight any activity like that can put you physically down.
Notice how, despite calling the cops “wrong” (i.e., criminal negligence, by any stretch of the imagination), she defaults to blaming the guy for being a fatass, out of mere trick of habit, as if that somehow obviates criminal negligence. I respond:
Alex Sheremet: Jo, the police used an illegal maneuver to put him down, which directly led to his death. Their and only their actions led to this. His height, weight, sexual status etc. etc. etc. are all irrelevant, as there’s a reason why this is an illegal maneuver.
Jo: i believe his health problems and the chokehold contributed to this. bad combination
Alex: They contributed, but responsibility is 100% the same. If you run a red light and mildly hit a 90 yr old pedestrian who dies due to frailty, you are accountable even if a healthier person would have survived your poor choices. Chokeholds, excessive force, etc. all fall under this rubric of illegal acts that are illegal PRECISELY to avoid such worst-case scenarios. Those cops clearly fucked up in this regard.
Then, my acquaintance ‘J’ comes in, making claims that were subsequently shown to be false, as well as immaterial to the issue at hand: a criminally negligent act (as per law) that directly causes a person’s demise. ‘V’ goes the blaming route, as well, only to back-pedal in the end. Eric Garner, you fat fuck!
J: If you’re in a choke hold, you’re not going to get the words out “I can’t breath” Not going to happen. What led to this situation was the man resisted arrest. Which he’s not allowed to do. Had he never done that; a use of force would not have been necessary. Another thing that led to his death was his poor health. No matter what happened, even if the “Choke hold” wasn’t used, the result most likely would’ve been the same if a fight broke out between him and the officers on scene.
V: Choke hold is not illegal, it is against NYPD policy. If you go to any MMA gym, I am positive you will see a choke hold being taught
V: The unfortunate outcome would probably not change if the cops used OC (mace) spray or a tazer instead. Both of these alternatives are higher on the force spectrum than a hold.
V: Okay choke holds are illegal, I’ve been corrected. Thank you.
Alex: J– EXCESSIVE force, not force, is the issue, which is why the police reports clearly contradicted what was on video. This is a further illegal act, because they fucked up.
Re: not being able to speak while getting choked– guy had a heart attack and died, prob due to shock, obviating any claims that he could breathe. If he could breathe then, he’d still be breathing now. A heart attack makes both difficult, however, exactly as he claimed.
Re: your hypothetical fight, neither you nor I can possibly know this, and is irrelevant. Cops use an illegal move on a guy who subsequently dies from it. It was made illegal to stave off these worst case scenarios, in the first place. This was not some dude with a life threatening allergy to steel handcuffs going into anaphylactic shock, but cops causing death due to their own negligent refusal to follow the policies they, themselves, agreed to follow.
Your theory may be right but remains 100% speculation. The benefit of the words, above, is that they are verifiable, and therefore must be accounted for.
V: You are 100% right on using a move that is illegal and against policy, but holds are the lowest level of force on the spectrum, followed by OC spray and then baton. I am not sure that fact would credit the claim of excessive force.
Alex: ‘The outcome would be the same.’
Ok, I run a red light and kill a woman. At trial, the judge discovers there was a contract on her head by an unfaithful spouse, and dismisses my case because ‘the outcome would have been the same anyway’.
Fair? No, because punishment is not merely to ‘get revenge’, but prevent such bad behavior in the future. If I run one red light, I’ll run another. Same w cops who refuse to follow procedure because no one gives a shit. Had the guy not died, cop would not be sweaty now. I doubt he’ll chokehold anyone else soon. THAT is the point.
V: The blame should be equally distributed to NYPD management/city hall. It is their heavy reliance on the “broken window theory” when formulating anti-crime strategies and policies. In my opinion, putting all the blame on one cop is unjust.
Alex: The pt is that they are illegal for a reason– prob because the risk of death is too high. It’s to prevent these ‘gray areas’ in the first place. You can hold someone without cutting off their air supply, esp w so many other cops around to help.
If procedures can’t be respected, don’t be a cop. And if this is ignored, and such negligence leads to death, someone needs to take responsibility.
J comes back into the thread:
J: Not true about crime. As it stands right now, the man died because of a heart attack. A situation exacerbated by his physical contact with police and more so, his own poor physical health,which he was the direct cause of for both. If it was a legit choke hold, there would be some dmg to his trachea, which there wasn’t. One arm underneath the arm, bringing it up and over the mans head, the other around the neck/head area, twisting the man down because that is the easiest/least resistant way to do so. Where the head goes, the body follows.
Now dowe honestly think that the use of OC spray which would directly effect his breathing, and then having the officers still having to get physical with the man to cuff him wouldn’t cause the same reaction? It more than likely would’ve been worse since the effect of the spray would’ve lingered far longer than the effects of the take down of the cop
I can’t say for sure, but NYPD personnel below the rank of Sgt aren’t equipped with tasers anyway, outside of ESU. So that’s a moot point anyway. Bottom line is had he never resisted, he would still be alive today.
Alex: “As it stands right now, the man died because of a heart attack. A situation exacerbated by his physical contact with police and more so, his own poor physical health,which he was the direct cause of for both.”
J, if I run a red light (my illegal act), gently collide with, and kill an 800 lb man who dies from cardiac arrest, rather than from any car-related injury, do I get to go free, as well? What if my victim had just taken 2 hits of sour diesel (his illegal act), and thus put himself at risk? Do I blame the guy for his poor life choices, and tell everyone else to fuck off with their critiques?
Nope. A driver has a # of rules to follow that pedestrians do not, because common sense calls for such a distinction. It’s the same thing with cops. They’re the ones with guns, a big bad posse, and a monopoly on the use of force. This is why what they can and CANNOT do is strictly regulated, including a two-decade ban on choke holds– probably because choke holds were deemed too risky, and as this case shows (as well as many others), ABUSIVE.
If they do NOT follow these rules, and in their negligence cause an ‘accident’, they, like the drivers of a car, are held responsible.
I work with kids. There are things I’m allowed to do, and not allowed to do. If I see a kid with a life-threatening allergic reaction, and decide to slip him an antihistamine, I get fired– or sued. And if he’s injured due to the pill, I go to jail. This is the protocol, and to assume that cops can just fuck around with it simply because they’re cops is the worst kind of entitlement, besides being dangerous and stupid.
“If it was a legit choke hold, there would be some dmg to his trachea, which there wasn’t.”
Here’s the definition of a choke hold:
“n. — a restraining hold, as when one person encircles the neck of another from behind in a viselike grip with the arm.”
Look at the video. Are you kidding me?? You see the cop bringing him down, with the ENTIRETY of the cop’s upper arm, forearm, and hand encircling his neck, to the point that the guy’s chin is poking way over it. This is the dictionary definition of the word ‘choke hold’, all the news outlets are calling it such, as well as the witnesses, and the NYPD is currently reviewing its protocols re: choke holds– facts that you seem to not like, but can’t logically deny.
And you’re wrong about the trachea. This is like saying that if a guy gets kicked in the balls, he’s now necessarily sterile. You’re using MMA-level anatomy to try to get around what is clearly visible on video.
So fuck pepper spray, guns, or the ridiculous what-if scenarios. It is IRRELEVANT. The only relevant detail is that, in THIS case, due to the illegal behavior of THIS cop, an unarmed man who “resisted arrest” by moving back 2-3 inches and PUTTING UP HIS HANDS is dead.
Now, he could have been 1200 lbs lbs, albino, and wearing a strap-on dildo that he was trying to get into that cocksucker’s mouth. The cop’s behavior STILL would have been illegal, and thus worthy of discipline. That someone’s dead does not magically obviate a need for punishment; it only makes it more LIKELY, whereas, in a better scenario, the cop would have simply walked, as they usually do because genuine punishment is SO RARE.
J, you might think you’re ‘just trying’ to get people to view things in a better light, but you’re doing a real shitty job of it. I mean, what’s your argument– that a cop’s illegal, death-inducing act is OK ‘cuz the victim was a lard-ass and would have soon been dead anyway? That he resisted arrest with his hands in the air, a few words, a movement of 2-3 inches, and therefore ‘asked for it’?
I mean, Jesus Christ. This is PRECISELY why cops are so distrusted. A guy can get arrested, choked, and killed over a 25-cent cigarette, but a cop’s illegal (meaning, universally NOT ALLOWED) action that directly leads to an illegitimate death is OK?
J: Ok. Your argument falls apart at the very start with this. If someone resists arrest and the cop uses his baton and strikes the man, or OC spray and sprays the individual right in the face, by your logic it would be a felony assault.
Same as if the cop uses fists (Misd assault), same as if he uses a fire arm and the guy dies (which technically is a homicide). Of course these levels of responses depend solely on the level of resistance the officer is set with. My point is though that they are 100% legit, allowed, and not considered a crime when we are talking about gaining compliance/protecting themselves or another/preventing a crime. The man resisted arrest, and whether or not you think it didn’t warrant the level of force used does not matter. Your red light example fails there because you are the one who broke the law in the first place. In reality, Garner broke the law and tried to prevent police from placing him under arrest (breaking yet another law), and was met with force.
You claim he stepped backed and raised his arms, and that’s all he did. He hit the officers hand away and prompted the take down. They didn’t take any chances with him being able to really get going and mount a better resistance, if that was his intention; and rightfully so. He already started resisting. Why give him the chance to put up a better fight? He resisted and they literally used the lowest level on their force continuum that comes after trying to gain compliance verbally. He died because of his physical condition.
Also your definition of a choke hold is wrong since it doesn’t include restricting breathing. As I said before significant pressure has to be put on the neck, restricting breathing for it to be called a choke hold. Neither you, not I know how much pressure was put on. Only ones who do are Garner and the officer. And from what I know, if you’re in a choke hold, you aren’t going to be doing much talking. That coupled with the info about what I said about trachea dmg, and what it was revealed that the man actually died from is what I’m going by.
People keep bringing up NYPD do’s and don’ts acting as if the fact that it’s in their patrol guide as something not to do makes it against the law. Which is wrong. It’s against department policy. Did you know NYPD aren’t allowed to shoot a fleeing felon yet it’s not against State or Federal Law? NYPD also aren’t allowed to get into vehicle pursuits, but that isn’t against the law either. There’s more, but you get my point. Quit using the fact that it’s against department guidelines to say that it’s illegal.
Also I’m not wrong about the trachea. If he died because of the choke hold, that would mean that significant pressure and time in the hold cutting of his oxygen caused him to die (which we all know isn’t the case). Now in death his body wouldn’t be able to heal any damage that was recently done to it, so it wouldn’t be able to hide dmg from the choke hold if that were indeed the cause of his death. Am I right or wrong? The man died from a heart attack. Plain and simple. This could’ve all been avoided had he simply complied. He didn’t, which brought on a use of force (which comes BEFORE OC spray, the asp, taser, & fire arm)…
I mean, did you read all that fluff? So much dancing around the issue; so much of this or that detail, just to avoid the crux of what transpired. I move in for the final shot, call out the fallacies, and am unanswered, until, a couple of weeks later, Michael Brown gets shot and ‘J’ starts to publicly complain about his usual ‘attackers’ (me, I presume!) not commenting on any of his pro-Wilson material.
Given the above exchange, I wasn’t going to, since ‘J’ did not seem genuinely interested, but eventually thought this back and forth would be quite instructive as a blog topic, re: people’s thinking and ease of manipulation on, and so went for it. Thus, this is the conclusion of the first thread, before I move into the Michael Brown killing:
Alex: J– WHY are you bringing so much irrelevant material into this? A bunch of cops surround the guy, and one puts him into a choke hold, a BANNED act of force that causes an ‘accident’ — i.e., the definition of manslaughter, at minimum.
Fuck pepper spray, police batons, or Dear Aunt Polly fellating Ronald McDonald in a gondola. Nothing matters except that the police have a set of rules they MUST follow, and in this case HAVE NOT. This is ILLEGAL, and if you’re gonna complain about his half-assed resisting arrest being so awful, then what do you make of an illegal use of force that directly leads to someone’s death? “Oh, no, see, that’s okay… they’re COPS! And he’s a fatass!”
No shit, and such double standards are PRECISELY why cops are hated.
“You claim he stepped backed and raised his arms, and that’s all he did. He hit the officers hand away and prompted the take down.”
He barely GRAZED an officer’s hand in the midst of accusing them of harassment, at which point they use a banned maneuver– clearly disproportionate to a man who is both being nonviolent (waving your hands around and saying “Please leave me alone!” is non-violent, btw) and outnumbered 4 to 1, if not more.
”Your red light example fails there because you are the one who broke the law in the first place.”
And what if the dude had a few hits of sour diesel (as I wrote)– thus putting himself into danger, as well as committing an illegal act before I even get into my car? Am I free to go, then?
The bottom line is that drivers, like cops, are ideally held to a MUCH higher standard of conduct than others due to a power differential. So if your dumb ass decides to run a red light (driver), or put a suspect with his hands up in a choke hold (cop), the consequences are on YOU.
Such things are universally recognized, but, in the case of cops, rarely enforced.
“Also your definition of a choke hold is wrong since it doesn’t include restricting breathing.”
It’s not my definition, it is the dictionary’s– the book that ensures we’re all on the same page when dealing with words. And the definition does include restricting breathing by implication, if you know the meaning of the phrase “viselike”.
“Quit using the fact that it’s against department guidelines to say that it’s illegal.”
It certainly is illegal if it leads to a wrongful death. This is like saying it’s not “illegal” for a cop to shoot a 1 yr old child in the dick simply because it’s more proper to call it “against policy”– a true but utterly meaningless distinction, given the aftermath. You’re doing the semantics thing; I’m dealing with consequences, and context.
“Also I’m not wrong about the trachea. If he died because of the choke hold, that would mean that significant pressure and time in the hold cutting of his oxygen caused him to die (which we all know isn’t the case).”
And he could have just as EASILY died from a heart attack brought upon by the *shock* of the choke hold, since he couldn’t breathe for a good 10-15 seconds on top of being an asthmatic, thus creating panic. You’re trying to look for physical damage, when the autopsy clearly states heart attack, which was no doubt caused by the stress of such excess force.
The autopsy proves nothing except that a man died under unnatural circumstances– all that’s needed is the video to see what ‘unnatural’ means in this context.
Bottom line– cops use excessive force that was BANNED to specifically remove these sorts of ‘complications’, on a non-violent suspect who is already outnumbered 4 to 1, and now, they’re trying to deny what is manifest on video.
Let the cocksucker responsible rot in prison, pay restitution, or both.
2. Michael Brown
Background: Brown was walking home after most likely robbing a convenience store for cigarillos (unarmed), at some point must have met up with friend Dorian Johnson, and was, according to Johnson, stopped by a cop (Darren Wilson), then attacked through the cop’s rolled down window as Brown attempted to escape when the officer’s gun went off, reportedly hitting him in the hand. He ran, the cop followed, shooting off several rounds, causing Brown to turn around (either due to the sound of gunfire, getting hit, or perceiving to having been hit – it is unclear), put his hands up, only to be shot several times from the front.
Initially, the police department said Brown was stopped for being the suspected robber. Then, they said he was stopped for jaywalking, a charge Johnson concurs with. Initially, the police claim was that the shooting happened when Brown reached for the officer’s gun, forcing Wilson to kill him in self-defense at close range. A preliminary autopsy revealed that the killing occurred at mid to long-range, however, will all bullets entering from the front. So the claim was changed that Brown ran off, despite being pursued, only to turn around and charge the officer, forcing Wilson to kill him in self-defense at mid-range.
As of 8/27, there are six official witnesses known, with five of them having had their statements go public. All 5 witnesses fully contradict Wilson’s account, and support each other’s in details, language/word choice, and the most important facts. The 6th witness, Mitchell’s friend, reportedly gave a similar statement, thus bringing the total witness count to 6 in support of each other, and 0 in support of Wilson.
Tiffany Mitchell, one of the major witnesses to the Michael Brown shooting, in one of the most lopsided cases of murder in police history. Virtually ALL witnesses have some to Brown’s side, thus contradicting the police department’s narrative:
Note that, despite the arguments I’ve made, within, new information has come out since, pointing to more contradictions and telling admissions. This article collects a great deal of this info, and even links to a New York Times article, revealing that Darren Wilson initially fired upon Brown as Brown was running away. This is a big deal, obviously, as it further cements witness testimony re: Brown being shot AT while running, but not necessarily being hit.
This later ‘spat’ began when ‘J’ indirectly solicited the anti-cop ‘attackers’ for comment (silly phrase, I know), and I began the conversation thru a link he shared, which, in all likelihood, shows Brown robbing a convenience store.
Again, screengrabs for uninterrupted reading can be found here.
‘Jo’ kicks things off again, and although she clearly wishes to take Brown’s side (as shown in later comments), she claims to be confused vis-a-vis the media, as she has unwittingly bought into the narrative that, because Brown robbed a store, it somehow ‘complicates’ a completely unrelated shooting by a several minutes later.
Jo: I don’t know who to believe, because we are hearing all sorts of things in the media
Alex: ‘J’, I heard you were “waiting” for neg comments on this post–
What does this have to do with the shooting and killing of an unarmed man, at a different place and different time, while he was merely walking?
There were THREE witnesses (not just the guy’s friend) who all had identical reports of what happened. Compare this to how the officers contradicted each other and changed stories in the midst of scandal, with the ONLY witness corrobating the cop being, well, THE COP, himself, who needs to save his own ass.
If Brown robbed a store, he would have needed a little jail time. But the cop’s offense deserves an electric chair, and unlike the 100% unrelated robbery, we know for a fact the cop killed an unarmed man running away from him, whose connection to the robbery was completely unknown to the cop until days after he murderd him.
Listen, I know you’re a cop, and you wish to ‘do good’, but you’re earning no trust like this, when you defend every instance of police brutality, nor even admit when you’re wrong– such as the now-fact that the SI guy was killed due to a broken neck. Where is your public service announcement on THAT? Did it at least change your mind?
If you behave like this on FB, about random black guys getting fucked in the ass in Missouri, how would people expect you to behave in the street when YOU get out of your car?
Seriously, think about this for the sake of your own profession, cuz right now, cops are the only people more hated than politicians, and if you assume this is only due to people’s “stupidity”, you’ll never relate to regular folks on the street, on any deep level.
There’s a nationwide problem that’s been going on in police forces and standing armies since time immemorial, and it needs to be addressed for the sake of peace. Denying this is irresponsible, and self-deluded.
Jo: i feel sorry for black male s in America. The media protray them negatively now the cops are killing them out. The good cops will get bad reputation
Alex: UNLESS better cops, like J, step in and act as whistleblowers to all this bullshit, instead of giving petty justifications.
Seriously, it’s common sense that a police force is better than NO police force. But that doesn’t mean they are automatically trusted, and incidents like these — and their endless justifications — harm everybody, including cops.
J: Ok. The SI guy [Eric Garner] didn’t die of a broken neck. Stop it. The original ME report stated that he had no dmg to his trachea. I don’t know how they came to the conclusion that it was a homicide due to the choke hold and his pre existing medical condition after they said there was no damage to his trachea but it is what it is. That’s what the ME said regardless of how stupid it is. Any struggle with the police would’ve ended the same way because the guy was in piss poor health. I’ll believe submission experts like the Gracie’s who pointed out that what the SI cop did was NOT a choke hold over people who can’t tell the difference.
As for this Brown case, he was positively ID’d as the man who did the robbery. Down to the shoes and all. Now I’ve only heard of one other witness coming forward. Not 2 others outside of his friend. My thing is, and it’s what you all need to understand, is that no one but the cop, the friend, and the deceased know what really happened. I don’t believe a word out the mouth of all these so called bystanders now coming out the woodwork.
Also, people keep bringing up unarmed like that matters. People act like an unarmed person can’t still be a threat to an armed person. Like he can’t just whoop the officers ass and take his gun and kill him (has happened in the past) especially since every story has some struggle taking place by the officers car. The officer went to the hospital for facial injuries. Unless you’re saying that he punched himself in the face or his colleagues did it for him just to cover his ass, then I’m inclined to believe some sort of struggle happened between the two.
I couldn’t care less how many people hate cops. That will never change. People always have something to say about police, their tactics, what they should’ve done, where they should’ve shot. None of them having any experience in the field but always wanting to Monday-morning quarterback.
And trying to say that I will never relate to any regular folks on the street is an ignorant statement, because that’s where I started. What I can say is that I’m the one here who has been on both sides. Therefore I’m experienced enough to speak on both sides (most, including you aren’t) and perspective from both.
Also, just a heads up, in other states including the Feds, they are allowed to shoot fleeing felons. Trying to take an officers gun/being wanted for a robbery/assaulting a cop is a felony. Only the NYPD doesn’t allow it, even the NYS law does.
Just so you don’t get confused though bro, I’m not saying he should’ve been shot for stealing a box of cigars. That would be ridiculous.
Notice how ‘J’, despite taking pride in his ability to communicate with street-folk, says, in the very same breath, that he “couldn’t care less how many people hate cops”. It’s as if the cop-hate, in his mind, has NO source whatsoever except a completely irrational, knee-jerk reaction, and that there’s NOTHING to be done about it all. This goes back to the original discussion, re: the police force really being APART from the community, as a kind of disembodied thing, not bound by the same parameters or laws. Also note how ‘J’ very subtly – to the point that he himself does not notice it – calls Brown a “felon”, despite the fact that a felon, by definition, is someone who was CONVICTED of a felony thru due process, not executed on the street for a perceived crime. This already dehumanizes Brown, a priori, as well as automatically accepts the cop’s statement at face value, despite having no witnesses supporting him, and multiple witnesses contradicting him. This, too, makes it very easy to accept Brown’s killing for the layperson, who might very well be a decent human being (murder apologia aside), but is pretty unaware of what the fuck’s going on in his own mind, and therefore easily duped.
Stop what, J? You keep bringing up the trachea, as if that’s the only way someone can die of asphyxiation. Read the article again. The medical examiner states homicide via “neck compression” and “chest compression”— something that obviously occurred via a choke-hold, and requires no damage to the trachea.
You don’t like this? Ok, cool. But this is the conclusion of a medical expert who actually EXAMINED the body and all related evidence, as per his job, so the reality will go on as it is, with or without your consent.
It’s a homicide, and there is video footage, witnesses, and now, the ONLY valid medical opinion declaring it such. That’s just it, really.
“Now I’ve only heard of one other witness coming forward. Not 2 others outside of his friend.”
Not true. Look at the wikipedia page on the shooting, the various timelines, and the newspaper citations. There have been 4 witnesses as of today, and ALL of them contradict the cop’s statements. A couple of the witnesses say he was running away as he was shot, in the back, with his hands up. One witness states he was shot at the front, standing or kneeling, begging not to be shot. And the other witness, who only saw a fraction of the incident, says he turned around and charged the cop AFTER being chased with a gun, and killed from a good distance.
But the cop claimed to shoot the kid during a fight somewhere inside the car, or right by the car door, after the kid supposedly went for his gun, at close range. And the story keeps changing, and will change again once the Feds do their own autopsy. Pretty fucked, right?
Now, that’s 4 witnesses contradicting the cop– not to mention the various unidentified voices in the video you posted that claim he was shot with his hands up, ALL contradicting the cop’s account.
And the last witness’s story makes zero sense, even though it still contradict’s the cop’s story. Seriously, how do you run away from a cop with a gun, THEN turn around and try to charge him from a distance WHILE his gun is still out and pointing at you? I mean, sure, all these media reports call the kid a thug, but I didn’t hear anything about him being a fuckin’ retard, too— because only a suicidal idiot would do such a thing, especially after trying to escape, first, as this last witness stated.
“The officer went to the hospital for facial injuries.”
Yes. And MOST witnesses claimed that the cop was trying to pull the kid against or into the car, as the kid resisted and eventually ran away. So the facial injuries are 100% in line with what every witness has stated.
You’re claiming self-defense, but if the kid resisted the cop’s advances, punched him, THEN ran away and was shot at a distance — as 3 of 4 witnesses stated — this is no longer self-defense on the cop’s part, but revenge for getting punched in the face.
“Also, just a heads up, in other states including the Feds, they are allowed to shoot fleeing felons. Trying to take an officers gun/being wanted for a robbery/assaulting a cop is a felony.”
A felon, BY DEFINITION, is a person that has been convicted of a felony— and this is done in a court, not on the street. You calling him a felon is prejudicial, and shows you care less about the law as stated, and more about interpreting the law and putting it into your own hands– which, in fact, is probably what got this kid killed in the first place. You’re not doing this consciously, or anything, but come on; you know what the word felon means, and it requires typical due process to the very end– which this kid did not get.
In short, he was not a felon, yet, and the ONLY way the cop could have shot the guy, legally, is if in fact he put his life in danger. But every witness claims he was trying to get AWAY from the cop, even the last witness, who claims the kid was being pursued with a gun pointed at him, before finally turning around. [*Note- the ‘last witness’ was an unidentified voice on a video recording made after the shooting, who admits to having seen only a fraction of the incident, and claims Brown charged the cop– albeit still in heavy contradiction of the officer’s latest rendition of events. This voice is not one of the 6 publicly known official witnesses. -Alex]
“And trying to say that I will never relate to any regular folks on the street is an ignorant statement, because that’s where I started.”
Ok, so what would happen if you’d enter the riots in Ferguson, as a black civilian, and say that it was OK for the kid to have been shot? Or the various rallies for the guy put in a chokehold?
THAT’S relating on the streets, on the deepest level— and I don’t see how you’d get out of these situations alive, because, correctly or incorrectly, you’d be perceived as lacking all empathy, and being a stooge, by the very people you wish to protect.
Now, I don’t consider you those things, ‘cuz even if I haven’t seen you since Lincoln, you’re a black guy from Crown Heights who MUST have seen some fucked up cop shit.
Yet NOBODY knows this from just looking at you, and as you say, you “don’t care”. And what I’m saying is, YOU SHOULD, because, if not, it will prevent you from doing the best job you can be doing. But saying this kid deserved it, or that it was OK to put the fat guy in a choke hold, will earn you zero trust.
Then, ‘Jo’ comes back in, blaming Garner for his own death, ignoring the fact that the medical examiner ruled it a homicide. It seems that, no matter how hard she tries to see victims as victims, she still can’t get over the mainstream narrative:
Jo: I blame the NYPD guy or what ever you call them over there & the victim. that guy has bad health all over him.
Alex: Ok, but the medical examiner — i.e., the ONLY person to ever see the body, and the only person fully qualified to make this judgment — blames “homicide”.
Homicide: n. —
1. the killing of one human being by another.
J: Bro read the link I just shared. [On the first Michael Brown autopsy.] Honestly this is a good discussion, but it’s a lot to respond to on my iphone.
Alex: J, the robbery happened, and was prob done by the kid, but has exactly zero relationship to the subsequent shooting. You either have a trial in court, via due process, where you are formally indicted then put away, or you get lynched in the middle of the street by a vigilante– which is what most of the stories you post suggest, calling the guy a “thug” and an “animal” who deserved to get killed, anyway. But, you KNOW where the law stands on this. So why even bring the robbery up?
Re: autopsy, it is a preliminary one — remember that the Feds need to do theirs — and it confirms what now 5 of 5 witnesses have stated: that Brown was shot, at a good distance, NOT in a scuffle with a cop inside/next to the cop car. Yet the police dept initially claimed Brown was killed in the midst of a fight, at close range, and ONLY changed their story when an unnamed witness in a video alleged that that Brown charged him.
How is the dept’s changing of their story 3 times in one week NOT a red flag to you– especially since ALL of the witnesses 100% contradict the cop’s story, and MOST fully match each other, down to the smaller details that are impossible to make up?
And I’ve read the articles– pretty much all the articles in the top 5 or 6 media outlets, as well as watched the interviews with the witnesses. The witnesses match each other, and contradict the 3 stories put forward by the police dept– including the latest one, which not only has no witnesses, but makes no sense. I mean, seriously, a 300 lb boy is gonna turn back around to face the guy who’s been chasing him with a gun, then charge him at a distance of 35 feet while the gun’s pointed at him? Who’d do such a thing? And why didn’t any of the 4 official witnesses see it?
J: Dude, really, you can’t seriously still be standing your ground on this.
1) the friend lied about Brown being shot in the back. His credibility is automatically shot
2) Autopsy proved that brown was charging at the cop. You brought up the autopsy for the SI case but want to ignore it now. Not going to happen. His wounds are consistent with the story of him charging at the cop.
3) The cop had facial injuries constant with the story of a struggle ensuing over his gun while they were near their vehicle
4) 12 witnesses corroborated the officers story of Brown attacking him
5) I shared an article of a witness, not even knowing he was being recorded, saying Brown was charging the cop.
C’mon man. The proof is mounting up that your wrong. Check every article I shared.
And more proof. Cop had a broken orbital bone. [Link was shared. According to this story, this claim of a broken orbital bone has been dismissed, but I argue as if it’s true — since it STILL easily matches the testimony of witnesses.]
Alex: “1) the friend lied about Brown being shot in the back. His credibility is automatically shot”
This is a popular myth, and I’ll explain why.
ALL of the 3 witnesses [now 6, as of 8/28] who gave accounts on Brown’s side stated he was shot 5-6 or more times from the front, and 2 witnesses state he died kneeling or ready to kneel, which explains why the head’s forward.
Johnson didn’t like about him getting shot in the back, nor did Mitchell. But they both state they saw the body twitch, AS IF he got shot, at which point he turned around and was killed off from the front.
Yet Johnson ALSO states Brown was already shot in the hand or arm during the initial scuffle. It’s perfectly reasonable, then, that if he suddenly felt another bullet go past him, a minute or so later, he knew the cop was pretty fuckin’ serious, and would therefore turn around with his hands up so he’s not killed.
Incidentally, every witness says he was killed from the front– and that, implicitly, the one back bullet may have never even occurred, esp. since the officer missed a few shots, according to most accounts.
Seriously, you’re looking at ONE detail of the witness accounts, while ignoring the fact that all of them disagreed with the cop’s account in every other, and FAR more important ways.
“2) Autopsy proved that brown was charging at the cop. You brought up the autopsy for the SI case but want to ignore it now. Not going to happen. His wounds are consistent with the story of him charging at the cop.”
Already discussed, above. The autopsy is consistent with what all witnesses have stated, and differs in only one detail that may not even have occurred, while still contradicting the cop’s 3 different accounts. By a mile, bro!
“3) The cop had facial injuries constant with the story of a struggle ensuing over his gun while they were near their vehicle”
Or of a struggle where the officer was trying to pull Brown into the car as Brown tried to get away– something that THREE witnesses claimed, at separate points, thus independently corroborating each other’s story, and NOT the cop’s. The fact that you simply ‘choose’ to believe these cops, as opposed to the witnesses,
“4) 12 witnesses corroborated the officers story of Brown attacking him”
There have only been THREE witness statements released to the public, plus unidentified man heard in a video, AND the account of Mitchell’s friend, whom Mitchell claims wrote down a similar story to the cops. This means FOUR independent witnesses corroborate what I’ve argued, and are saying the same thing– even the man heard on video.
But only the cop is supporting the cop’s story.
“5) I shared an article of a witness, not even knowing he was being recorded, saying Brown was charging the cop.”
And there’s a reason why the link you shared tells us to start listening at 6:20, and not before. Because the same main claims, earlier in the video, that he only saw a fraction of what he goes on to describe as he was in and out of the house– and ALSO claims that Brown was finished off from the front, like all other 4 witnesses claim, at a distance.
Compare this to the cop’s first two claims, which insisted there was a ‘scuffle’ in or around the car, in which the cop’s life was threatened, and therefore he shot Brown, at close range.
Now he says Brown ‘charged’ him.
But even in this unidentified witness’s story, Brown is STILL running away from him, knowing a guy’s after him with a gun pointed.
So, which one is it? Did Brown get killed at close range, or not? Was it by the car, during a scuffle, or after a pursuit, in which Brown suddenly turned around, saw the cop’s gun, and intentionally ran towards his death like a suicidal bull? If the latter, why did it take THREE tries for the cop to get it straight, while the other witnesses ALL agree on the major points of each other’s story: that there was a scuffle, that Brown ran away from it, that the cop chased him, that Brown turned around at a distance of around 30 feet, and — whether he charged him or not — was then dead by getting shot IN FRONT.
That’s your unidentified witness, bro. He disagrees with one thing the other witnesses said, but ALSO happens to disagree with the cop’s first two accounts, and many details of the new (and final??) story.
Again: red flag? ALL witnesses pretty much agree with each other, but contradict the cop. Yet the cop changes his story three times, and constructs an implausible, suicidal scenario for Brown in which he simply runs at a pointed gun from 30 feet away.
J: Scuffle by the car which resulted in the officer receiving a broken eye socket. Felony assault on an officer plus Robbery that he knew he committed. He wasn’t worried about the Jay walking (if that’s what the officer stopped him for). He was worried about the cop knowing about the Felony he just committed.
And you say all that, yet the autopsy and witness statements show that he in fact did charge the cop. It’s clear as day what happened here.
Notice J’s selective use of evidence, the massive # of hypotheticals, the guess-work, the stipulations… A lone cop’s statement, contradicted by 6 others, is taken as proof of “felony assault”, the invocation of the autopsy of proof of ‘charging’, when in fact the ONLY thing that the autopsy reveals is that his body was leaning forward at the time of death– consistent with charging, OR kneeling while tipping forward, the latter of which is confirmed by all witness accounts.
As for J’s comment re: witness statements? This is false, as discussed in the last post on this thread:
Alex: “Witness statements saying he charged the cop”– no, only ONE, unidentified witness who admits to seeing only a fraction of the incident, is making this claim of charging at the cop.
Every OFFICIAL witness who’s formally and publicly made a statement claims Brown was running AWAY prior to being shot at the front, with no charging. At least one witness claims he was shot while kneeling.
This means that, out of all the statements made public thus far, 4 of 5 say nothing about charging. Only the cop’s statement says otherwise, and it took him THREE revisions to his own story before he settled on this claim.
In other words, 4 of 5 witnesses agree with each other, not the cop, and the 5th, unidentified witness on video still contradicts the cop’s account in several important respects, which I’ve already detailed.
Again: that’s not a red flag to you? 5 of 5 witnesses contradicting a lone cop’s account, with 4 of 5 witnesses matching each other’s accounts fully? This doesn’t set off alarms in your head?
Re: eye socket injury. Yes, and he could have had his nose broken, too, as well as teeth, ears, etc. This would be 100% consistent with a fight that took place as Brown struggled to get away. It says nothing about the circumstances, though.
And no, J. You’re not allowed to shoot an unarmed person (not “felon”, as he wasn’t convicted) that’s running away, even IF he left the site of a robbery. You’re saying Brown started the fight because he was “nervous”, but the police dept AND Johnson claim that they were being stopped for a traffic violation, nothing more. It would actually pay them to act cool and nonchalant, rather than go nuts without provocation.
To think that a “nervous” dude who’s afraid of being picked up for a felony would bring even more attention to himself by shoving a cop without reason, then punching him, is ridiculous.
In fact, it’s almost as ridiculous as claiming that Brown was running away from a pointed gun after it went off at him, only to turn back at 30-40 feet and start charging that very same gun that almost killed him, like a suicidal bull.
That is not normal human behavior. Hell, that’s not even CRIMINAL behavior. It is simply full-on retarded, psychotic, high off of bath salts type of shit that EVERY official witness has now formally contradicted.
The only story consistent with the cop’s story is the cop’s. Perhaps there’s a video somewhere proving everything the cop is claiming, J, but right now, with every official witness contradicting him, it’s just not logical to take his side, no matter how you might feel about this emotionally.
The third (and final) thread began with J’s friend shared a video of two cops being threatened by a clear psychotic with a knife, only to get shot. The friend calls this ‘excessive force’, I disagree, and note that the cops were within their rights to shoot. The conversation then circles back to Michael Brown:
J: Wait wait wait…this is the one where the guy charges at the cops with a knife…?
What do you expect them to do in this situation exactly? If anyone says shoot for the arms, legs, or taser the guy you’re wrong, ignorant, and know absolutely nothing about these types of confrontations. How anyone can blame the police and not the knife wielding idiot who had a death wish is beyond me.
L: From the video, I don’t see no knife…but I might be wrong. Even if he had a knife, for the sake of the dignity of human life, there are some non-deadly tactics available. Not just shooting the poor guy.
J: There was a knife. They even yelled out drop the knife. And what non deadly tactics were available to them?
Alex: Hey, listen, I’ve been arguing w J about the recent cop brutality incidents, and it’s damn clear to me that both the shit in Ferguson and the Staten Island chokehold were homicides. [I meant to say ‘murders’. -Alex]
But this? The cop didn’t even respond as a cop, but a normal human being who’s threatened by a lunatic with a knife. If there’s injustice here, it’s that America spends no real $ on psychiatric problems, and therefore did not stop this loon before he could endanger others, and himself.
If I had a gun license, and someone came at me with a knife, I’d shoot, and if I’d [simply] run without taking care of him, I’d be risking other people in the area.
So, imprison the two fucks I’ve mentioned, but this cop is being an ordinary man- not a ‘cop’- who acted in a predictable manner.
Jackson Hawley: Yeah, in this instance, the guy seems clearly to have had some kind of death wish, considering he was walking toward police officers with a knife and ignoring commands to drop it and surrender.
Now, whether they needed to shoot him DEAD, with maybe ten bullets, is another point entirely. I think they could have focused on trying to disable him first, which is one of the reasons tasers exist and have proliferated. But the disproportionate use of force is, well, a problem that affects police departments nationwide, and it would not be fair to turn these two guys into the sacrificial goats to finally bring it to a reckoning.
RMM: Yea sorry. I would have pulled the trigger myself. I think in a lot of situations people look at this from one side. Just remember the cops have families to go home to as well. Most of the times people seem to not be satisfied unless the outcome is that the cop gets hurt.
Alex: The disproportionate force [issue] affects quite a bit of ‘resisting arrest’ incidents, like with the guy who died from a chokehold, or a video I recently saw with 4-5 cops punching and kicking a single man for resisting. It’s like, there’s 4 or 5 of you, if you can’t find a better way to subdue a SINGLE man other than kicking him in the balls and nose, you need to find another job. Maybe some low-tier MMA shit, to get all that aggression out.
Eventually, J comes back in:
J: I’ll tell you why a taser or shooting at the limbs to disable won’t work. A person with a knife, especially 20 yards or less actually has the advantage per say. He doesn’t really need I aim to land his strike. A taser is a one shot type deal. You miss that shot with your taser, you don’t have time to set up a second cartridge and go for another. Now you have to unholster your gun and take aim again while this guy is already rushing you. In the time it takes you to do all that, how long do you think it’ll take him to cover that distance and rip your throat open?
Same with shooting at the limbs. Police are trained to shoot at center mass because you have the highest chance of landing a successful hit there. It’s the biggest target. With shooting at limbs you have a higher chance of missing or not doing enough damage to put the threat down. Never mind the possibility that the person may be hopped up on some sort of drug able to keep on trucking through the pain or able to take bullets and keep on coming, like in the case of Michael Brown as per recorded witnesses.
Jackson Hawley: Err, recorded witnesses suggest that Michael Brown was in the process of surrendering when he was shot. It’s one guy in the background of another recording corroborating the police officer’s story, versus 3 confirmed eyewitnesses (and several others claimed) saying that Brown was NOT advancing on the police officer in the manner described, and the fact that he had no bruises on his knuckles gives lie to the notion that the supposed “broken orbital bone” of the officer was caused by blows levied by Brown. Bad example.
And Brown wasn’t “hopped up” on anything. He had marijuana in his system, which he could have smoked within 2 weeks to thirty days due to the way that particular drug is metabolized, but regardless, it has zilch to do with the ability to absorb bullets and keep going. That’s ludicrous.
There’s your recording. I wish I could find the link to the recorded 911 call that cop orated the same story this guy said in the link.
That and I never said brown was hopped up on anything. I said he took the bullets and kept coming as per witnesses like the one in the link the provided. I mentioned people hopped up on stuff in reference to people who use PCP and Coke and then tank bullets like no tomorrow.
Note how J links to an anonymous radio caller named ‘Josie’, who has given NO statement, and cannot be questioned, but continues with the hypotheticals while ignoring that 6 official witnesses have publicly put themselves on the line and contradicted the cop. J’s repetition of false statements continues, even though it’s been pointed out, several times, that there are no official witnesses except for the 6 contradicting Wilson’s account.
Jackson Hawley: J, you’ll note that I professed awareness of the existence of that recording in my initial post.
J: As for your witness statement. I’ve heard of 2. The friend of the deceased and the woman who kept changing the account to her story. The friend already said that Brown was shot in the back which we now know isn’t true. So as far as I’m concerned he doesn’t even count anymore.
As for no bruises on the knuckles meaning the broken orbital bone bit was a lie, it depends on who is doing the hitting. If you’re a monster of a man with a lot of power behind your strikes, breaking bone no longer is an issue of how many strikes will it take it get the job done. People can break bone in one hit. The lack of bruises (haven’t heard this yet) on his fist doesn’t mean that he didn’t break the officers face. It can simply mean that he hit with enough power to do it in such few strikes that no bruises developed.
Releasing a photo of the officers face/the injury would greatly help as opposed to just reporting it , but what can I expect from the media that has been reported both this & the SI incident in such a one sided manner? Alex, for the first time in these discussions we actually agree, lol.
Note how J accuses Johnson of being uncredible for slightly altering his story (even if such a thing could be called alteration), while the police dept is still credible, in his eyes, despite having changed their story multiple times– and, recently, a 4th time, from a New York Times article that reveals Wilson did, in fact, shoot at Brown (and missed) while Brown was still running.
Jackson Hawley: There are at least three eyewitness accounts, confirmed as being genuine eyewitness accounts, that suggest Brown was NOT struggling nor acting violently within the officer’s car. And there are many more claimed, though of course these situations are fraught with BS. Point is, there’s ONE person vaguely backing up the officer’s own account of apparently suicidally illogical behavior on Brown’s part, no physical evidence corroborating it in terms of Brown’s physical person, and three eyewitness accounts whose general thrust suggests much culpability on the cop’s part. Occam’s Razor and all that.
J: If you’re 3 includes his friend then it’s really 2 since his friend was already proven to be a liar. And the officer has two in his favor as well. What will really be a telling story is the autopsy and who’s side the results line up with. That and the cops hospital records. All parties indicate that there was a struggle near the officers RMP, yet logically, why would an officer that small look to be in close combat with a man that large?
Then you have to look into the fact that Brown knew he just finished robbing the store…Whether or not the officer knew what Brown did doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that Brown KNEW what he did. I can’t speak for a dead man here, but there has been precedence for people who are wanted for a crime, who know they are wanted, attacking an officer who stops them for even the most minor of offenses because they thought the officer knew exactly who he was dealing with and figured they were being stopped so that they could be placed under arrest.
To me, that sounds way more logical than the cop picking a fight with and trying to pull a 6’3 300lb man through his RMP window to engage in close combat, then shooting the kid as he stood on place with his hands up, execution style.
Note how, in the exchange above, J *still* resorts to creating this fanciful explanation of Brown ‘fearing’ for himself due to his robbery, and therefore attacks the cop…despite my original post on this very point remaining 100% unanswered, and outright ignored, because it doesn’t ‘fit’. This is a classic avoidance strategy, no matter how unconsciously done.
Jackson Hawley: http://www.vox.com/2014/8/11/5988925/mike-brown-killing-shooting-case-ferguson-police-riots-st-louis
This is an excellent day-by-day account of the situation, one that is sympathetic to the police’s good-faith attempts to respond to criticism while also laying out the myriad of abuses said department has committed since the whole thing started. And seriously, the human hand is a pretty predictable thing. If you hit one good, hard blow or a number of lighter blows, bruising is highly likely to develop in either case. Skulls are REALLY hard to break, dude. [Note that, despite my arguing from the standpoint that Wilson’s skull WAS broken, Jackson dismisses the claim as illogical, and is ultimately proven right in subsequent reports indicating no skull damage. It is a minor point, most likely, but still reveals how deeply the police department has attempted to writhe off of their self-made hook.]
Various arguments Alex has had with you have popped up in my feed, and I’ve seen you bend over backwards from the beginning to try and exculpate the officer in this case. I have not followed the story very closely from the beginning, as I often like to give things a week or so to play out before “jumping in”, as emotions cool down and you get a more detached, objective sense of what happened. My nephew’s father is a cop, and I have all sympathy for men in a seemingly dangerous line of duty. (I say “seemingly” because, truth be told, there are probably hundreds of occupations that are more dangerous than being a cop, statistically speaking.) But all the evidence I’ve read in this case suggests that the police officer greatly overreacted to the situation, abusing the power and authority invested in him by a community that already felt estranged from their law enforcement officials, and that the police department (and his friends in the community) have done what they can to find any reason to justify and excuse his actions in the case. Now, that assessment may be wrong, perhaps some footage will come out tomorrow to show that Brown really did assault the officer and really did die running at a gun pointed at him, but if so, that doesn’t change the fact that, at the present moment, these are incredibly illogical assumptions that run counter to normal human behavior and that they are probably the wrong assumptions to make, given the available evidence.
J: As for L’s question, if the officer’s story is true, which I believe it is, then it wasn’t excessive. The man is solo, was assaulted by a wanted Felon who just tried to take his gun, and said felon was charging him after the failed attempt.
If facts come out that prove this cop lied about what happen, and I’m not talking about some bull shit witness statement like the one his friend and others gave. Actual facts, video proof, good stuff like that come out, then he’d deserve everything that comes to him.
I bend over backwards defending the cop because there is as much evidence IN his favor as you believe there is against him. The recorded witnesses that side with the officer have no dog in this fight. One was an on looker from that very community that doesn’t like the police force, and the other was a 911 caller. Then there’s the fact that Brown was wanted for Robbery in a place that actually hits you with serious time. Not the bullshit that we have here in NYC. Then you have the fact that we know he’s aggressive given the footage from the Robbery and the notion that a cop somehow can’t or won’t shoot an unarmed man that’s attacking him, creates the perfect storm for what happened. It’s happened time and time again in the past.
Again, more repetition– Brown was a “wanted felon”, despite not fitting the definition of the word, the anonymous audio is treated as “witness accounts”, the mysterious 911 caller who, quite naturally, simply doesn’t exist. Anyway:
Alex: J, you keep repeating things that aren’t so. He wasn’t a “felon”– that implies a conviction. He was a SUSPECT. Your mentality is one of vigilantism, whether you realize this or not, and is thoroughly anti-cop, since it ignores due process, and implies, “Fuck him, he’s a criminal, anyway.”
And you keep saying the word “witnesses”– that is, in plural, as if there were witnesses on the cop’s side. There are NOT. Literally EVERY official witness– that is, a witness who formally gave a statement to the police– is on Brown’s side.
Johnson– Brown was shot while wrestling w cop around cop car, then fled, was pursued, then shot to death. Claims hands were in air.
McKnight– saw Brown running away, only to turn around and STUMBLE (not rush) towards the officer’s direction at a long distance, at which point he was shot to death. Claims hands were in air.
Brady– saw an “altercation” at vehicle, only to say that Brown fled. Then, he states the cop “walked briskly” towards him, shooting AT him (not necessarily hitting him) as Brown was running away.
Crenshaw– saw cop chase Brown, shot at him as Brown fled. No bullets hit the back, but is still 100% consistent with others’ claims that Brown’s body merely ‘jerked’, since the cop fired more rounds than actually hit. Claims hands in air.
Mitchell– Brown was fighting cop, then runs off. Shot at as cop “briskly” walked (matching Brady), while claiming Brown’s body merely ‘jerked’, as he was shot AT, not HIT, with his back turned. 100% consistent with autopsy and Crenshaw’s revision. Statement fully matches Johnson, almost to the exact wording. Claims hands in air.
Mitchell’s friend– gave statement to police, not made public yet, but based on Mitchell’s long interview on Youtube, she claims her friend told the cops a similar story.
Video tape guy– gave NO statement, and claims to have only seen a FRACTION of the incident. Claims Brown rushed cop, but that cop already ran after him w gun drawn– AND contradicts the police dept’s initial statement that Brown was shot at close range, DURING the initial altercation wherein Brown supposedly reached for the cop’s gun, forcing the cop to shoot to kill.
Bro. Those are the SIX official witnesses who publicly gave their statements, who PREDOMINANTLY agree with each other, and 100% contradict the cop.
Do some witnesses say different things– that Brown was either shot ‘at’ his back, rather than hit? That he ‘jerked’ this or that direction? Do some witnesses say 35 feet and others less?
Sure, they do, but that’s how witness testimony works– you get a GENERAL story, of the most important details, from a large number of witnesses, and THEN you re-construct the most likely scenario based on the common threads.
And, thus far, not ONE official witness has corroborated the cop’s story, and even the video tape guy STILL contradicts the cop’s story in several important respects. Not to mention the fact that the cop’s story is absolutely ridiculous.
You keep writing ‘Brown did this’, or ‘Brown did that’, or ‘Brown rushed him’. But where’s the evidence? Because, thus far, the ONLY witnesses on public record support each other, and reject the cop. ALL SIX OF THEM.
I mean, you keep writing from the cop’s perspective, but why? You take his word above all other witnesses– why? Because, as of 8/21/2014, the ONLY witness to publicly agree with the cop’s story is the cop, himself, who (surprise, surprise!) also happens to be the defendant.
Crenshaw changed her story re: a MINOR detail. So what??? The police dept changed its story THREE times [now four! -Alex], in very substantial ways, from the reason to the initial stopping of Brown, to how Brown was ultimately shot, and at what distance.Yet it’s only Crenshaw and Johnson who’s lost credibility in the eyes of the pro-Wilson protesters over in Ferguson. Why???
Oh, I know. Because Wilson’s a cop, and Brown is just a big, dumb nigger with a death wish. So, fuck him, and fuck Ferguson.
If you got a better explanation, I’m all ears, but right now, this is the only thing that makes sense to me.
J: Ok Alex, you know why i keep bringing up the recordings? Because one was done as the incident was happening and the other right after. When exactly did these ppl come forward with what they saw? Before or after the shit hit the fan and resentment against law enforcement over there hit it’s peak? Tell me why none of those witnesses have anything about him charging the cop in their story as opposed to the caller who witnessed what was going on as it was happening and the man from the other video I posted?
I’m inclined to believe those that made their statement in the moment than those that waited to more and more came out about the story and then all of a sudden witnesses exactly what happened.
Alex: Those witnesses came forward exactly when most witnesses come forward: when the police are ready to take statements.
Now, there MAY be pro-Wilson witnesses out there. Who knows? But, as of 8/21, the only official statements that have been publicly released are 6 pro-Brown statements. So, one could speculate about their motives, or about some vast conspiracy to shut pro-cop supporters out of this, but these words are just that: speculation. By contrast, the witness statements are legally binding, and would be part of the legal testimony at trial (assuming there will be one).
You say some witnesses might have come out only when the shit hit the fan, but keep in mind that the police dept changed Wilson’s story several times, with the latest revision (“he was charging at me”) coming out AFTER the release of the autopsy, AND when that unidentified voice in the video appeared in the news. That, to me, is a pretty coincidental time to revise one’s statement… and for the third time, at that.
As you can see, however, my argument does not merely throw dirt around, and I’ve focused specifically on the large # of witnesses (with at least several more forthcoming according to Brown’s lawyers) that support Brown’s story and contradict the cop’s. This is standard judicial procedure, and there really is no higher legal standard right now, given that Brown is dead and cannot give his own statement.
Once there are 10 or more witnesses, you’ll probably find that a # of them contradict each other in small or larger ways, and that’s OK. That’s what happens to all witness testimony, especially in such large numbers, and the legal standard is simply to find the common thread, and go with what’s most probable when all these stories are taken together.
But, bro, 2 weeks in, and 6 witnesses later that ALL contradict the lone testimony of one cop? That is pretty damning, and would be considered a pretty irrefutable standard of evidence in ANY physical crime…. except here, of course, because the accused is a cop, and the dead guy is a dumb black kid, and all the witnesses are black. That’s not fair.
Look at the witness testimony again. Look at how certain words are repeated: Brown’s body “twitched” or “jerked” before turning around; he was being shot AT, not simply “shot”; 3 or 4 witnesses claim he had his hands up, 2 claim he was kneeling; 2 witnesses claim the cop was “walking briskly” towards Brown… Then, Johnson’s testimony, on videotape, which recounts the same EXACT story, over multiple interviews, using variations of similar words to get across the same details, which is a pretty common sign of somebody telling the truth.
Come on, J– these things are NOT coincidental. You’d have to get all these guys in a room and force them to read from a script to get this level of similarity, even if, on occasion, you’d find some differences in testimony. In fact, these differences in testimony prove they’re NOT merely rehearsing, but recounting what they genuinely believe to have seen, even amongst witnesses who did not know one another prior to the shooting.
J: Actually officer Wilson’s story was the same from the start.
And you still never answered how come none of the pro Brown witnesses mentioned charging when a woman who was calling 911 as it was happening pretty much screamed it out. Same as the guy from the aftermath video, same as the swiftness Josie.
That’s a pretty big detail to miss and you can’t say that these people just imagined the charge happening. Charging someone is a pretty distinct action that can’t be mistaken for anything else.
You aren’t going to change my opinion on the matter with witness accounts from people who came out after the facts were released when we have them from people who made their statements both during and immediately after the incident. And the reason why I’m so untrusting of these accounts is because I witnessed such things happen here in NYC from people anti police neighborhoods, changing/trying to change the account of what actually happened.
My response will be the same until more credible proof comes out as I said before.
Alex: Dude. I offer 6 official witnesses who’ve PUBLICLY come forward, and are open to further questioning. You allude to an anonymous 9/11 call, of which there is no transcript, and virtually no mention, anywhere, and “Josie” — another nobody, who anonymously calls some radio station, refuses to give an official statement for further questioning, and merely repeats the cop’s story, then disappears, and is never to be seen again.
J, on what planet are such things “evidence”, especially when ALL six OFFICIAL witnesses contradict the cop’s account? And these witnesses are not nobodies, not voices on some video or local radio call, but people who have PUBLICLY come forward, given their names, and opened themselves up to intense legal scrutiny. Any asshole can call in a radio station, or blab on video. It’s a whole other story to actually give a statement for which you are legally accountable, and that investigators need to comb over for logic and consistency.
And the police account DID change, several times. First, the dept says Brown was stopped as a suspect. Then, it was for blocking traffic. Then they said there was a fight during which Wilson’s gun was almost stolen, forcing Wilson to grab his gun and kill the guy. Now Wilson claims that Brown was shot at a distance, AFTER Brown initially ran away, contradicting the former claim of a scuffle over his gun, which is what “initially” caused Wilson to kill, before this new claim of “charging” was made.
Then, to top it off, the police filed an incident report only today… that is, a week and a half AFTER the shooting. I mean, what the fuck? Is that normal procedure in YOUR dept? I work at a school, and if a kid gets so much as a bloody nose, I file it immediately. These guys waited a week and a half, and filed an incident report that gave no more info except that a man was killed. And there’s still NO way of publicly scrutinizing the cop’s account, because the police did not yet release a public statement, or any sort of chronological report.
That’s now 10 days after the fact, bro. Any sane person looking at the dept’s silence would conclude that they’re merely waiting, trying to see who else comes forward, to craft the “perfect” response, instead of simply giving the cop’s honest account to the press from the very beginning. It not only makes the cop look bad, but enrages the Ferguson protesters, because there’s still no real information forthcoming.
Also, note this. You’re coming up with a # of reasons for why all 6 official witnesses “might” have lied. Yet you don’t even THINK to entertain the possibility that the cop, himself, might be lying, despite the fact that it’s the cop who will gain the most from a good, believable lie.
And really. Why do you prefer to believe that 6 people, unrelated to each other, entered into a conspiracy to frame Wilson, rather than accept that a lone cop, with NO public witnesses able to support his side as of 8/22, might be lying? Seriously, 1-2 witnesses against Wilson, and it still might be “controversial”.
But SIX witnesses? SIX, bro? With NO ONE coming to Wilson’s defense publicly? You call them “not credible”, but think that a lone cop who’s changed his story 3-4 times, from a dept that simply REFUSES to even make an official statement, is more believable?
J: I already said what I had to say about this whole thing bro. I laid out exactly why I’ll support the officer multiple times and what it would take to change my mind. Haven’t heard any stories of the officer changing his statement at all. And I already stated why I believe those recordings have more merit (both played on CNN) than people who show up with witness accounts way after the fact. I’m not interested in making circular arguments.
A Conclusion From The Errata
And so, this is how J ends things. Six witnesses all contradicting a lone cop’s account, plus serious procedural issues with the dept’s behavior, is not enough ‘evidence’ for J. Perhaps he wants video, as well?
Or maybe not, for we DO have a video of Eric Garner being put into an obvious chokehold, as well as a medical examiner’s report concluding the death was caused by said chokehold, thus officially deeming the incident a “homicide”.
But fuck the video, because J insists there was no illegal maneuver. And had a video of the Brown killing surfaced, J would STILL be there, cheerleading the death because, well, Brown was a “felon” anyway, right?
You see, it’s not really about evidence, or fairness, or justice. It’s about the fact that the police department (like any other autocratic body) subsists on the margins of the social order, and is not bound by such silly words, or the parameters we all live by, as we incorrectly assume the rest of the world does, too.
In short, there was no death. There was no ‘incident’. There was no Eric Garner. There was no Michael Brown. Sure, the riots in Ferguson seem to contradict this, but the key word is ‘seem’. Because if the police department does not take responsibility, the riots are merely that: a spontaneous uprising of nobodies who just want to fuck things up for the hell of it. I mean, you remember J’s words, don’t you? “I don’t give a shit WHAT people think of cops” – or some-such. And if the cops don’t give a shit, because nothing can logically be their fault, who are WE to give a shit, but mere troublemakers?
Yet remember that this was a black cop talking to me, from a piss-poor neighborhood in Brooklyn where police brutality is common. For, if anything, J’s words show how utterly vapid racism is. After all, J isn’t take the side of a fat, dumb nigger, and this proves how little ‘race’ plays upon people’s realer, immanent behaviors. No, J’s notions of tribalism run FAR deeper, well into the more constructed realm of ideas. ‘I am a cop,’ it says. ‘I have my brothers. I have responsibilities.’
And THIS is his tribe, folks. THIS is J’s community. Nothing else will matter, for nothing else in this peculiar mindset can align.
And it’s not that most of these pro-cop arguments are from assholes. They’re simply clueless, and cannot even follow their own self-made threads.
Realize I should leave the comment here on your actual blog too.
Very enlightening conversation. Indeed, your friend betrays his own tribal thinking, where any leap of logic is pursued to justify the actions of someone from his gang. And you’re right also about the institutional role of a policing force, it essentially creates ‘outsiders’. Though, ‘outsiders’ might not be the right word. It’s a strange situation, and any human being belonging to such an institution will inevitably be pulled in different directions at once, being that in order to police a society one invariably detaches oneself from it. Which is why the role must be held to a very high standard. Not many people are up to dealing with both belonging and helping police their community. In other words, this should be an extraordinary job for extraordinary people. It should be an incredibly difficult job, with zealous oversight. It’s the only compromise I can think of. The other option is what we basically have today: rampant abuse and corruption, a complete disregard for the public opinion, coming from the people they are supposed to protect, and what goes beyond an us vs. them attitude. None of this current behavior should be considered normal or even expected. Though I know you are using the words in a different way, seeing that things are expected because of the way the institution has fucked up and created a system of oppression run with rampant corruption, it is important to point out that the public outrage comes from the great pain felt when considering how vast a chasm there is between what people in position of power are doing and what they SHOULD be doing, what is prescribed for them to do in a democratic society.
It is telling that your friend is black (is he African, African-American?). While I agree with most of what you say, race has had and continues to have a central role in this dilemma. The fact that he is black and chooses to be a policeman and defend another police officer regardless of how fucking stupid they are does not rule race out. It problematizes it, but doesn’t efface it. After all, how many latinos and african american kids see, as a way to get out of difficult present predicaments, that joining the institution, the system of oppression, yields them benefits otherwise unreachable to their eyes. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that being an Uncle Tom?
There’s plenty of people who opt for that option.
It’s the same way with another friend of mine– guy has always had a strong moral and spiritual compass, but as soon as he decided to become a cop, he started looking at news stories, like these, from a VERY different light. Suddenly, Eric Garner resisted arrest, and therefore ‘deserved’ it. Despite 4-5 cops being available for a legal takedown, if necessary. Despite the cops having done something explicitly illegal, and got someone killed.
It’s also predictable, though. If race and other bullshit is just that, bullshit, people will find new bullshit to flock to. Bullshit that still has the veneer of being concrete.
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