Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Has it come to this, again. Really?

**Note:  This post will be updated when new information is learned or when and if information posted changes.  Thank You**

I am a very imperfect person, I know this.  But I have always prided myself on being a reasonably fair person and one that passionately believes in the goodness of America.  I am a news junkie and read far to much news.  Like millions of others I have been drawn to the tragic death of Michael Brown in Ferguson (Missouri) at the hands of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.  I believe that there have been incidents in American history both long ago and recently that show policing powers have and do become corrupted.  But I try hard not to reach that conclusion without a full understanding of the facts.  I don't believe that this is an easy task given the media and the manner which news is not reported with a "just the facts" manner but instead with a social or political bent. 

What occurred in Ferguson (MO) was tragic.  The loss of life by any human is a horrible thing in most instances.  Whomever has died had people who loved them and they will be missed.  Yet in death I believe those of us living have a responsibility to honor in a dignified manner that person who is no longer with us.  Such honor should give the friends and family of the dead comfort and also when required by law, must give honor to the legal system that we have in America.  I fear that we are doing neither for Michael Brown and believe that we, the public, are wrong if we allow such disregard to continue.  The parents of Michael Brown have asked for peace and civility in the wake of his death and I believe they are sincere.  I have no reason not to believe this.  However, I also know they're not being respected by the media, politicians or the public at large. 

What do we honestly know?  We know that on 9 August 2014 at approx. 12:01 pm Michael Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson were walking in the middle of a street in a small (less than 22,000 citizens) city (Ferguson) in rural St. Louis County.  We know that Mr. Brown and Mr. Johnson were asked or told by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson to move out of the street and walk on the sidewalk.  We know that something occurred and that prior to 12:04 pm when a second Police Officer arrived on the scene,  Mr. Brown was killed Officer Wilson.  Three minutes, 180 seconds after the first contact are the "unknowns".

When I first began writing this (08/20/2014) a Grand Jury was scheduled to begin meeting and to hear the evidence and render a decision on indictment.  The prosecutors office has now said that  findings may not come until October.  The truth is that the Grand Jury will hear the facts in evidence and to decide if Officer Wilson should be charged with a crime for his actions. The Grand Jury is made of up twelve people who serve a six month term.  The composition of the group hearing this case are reported to be six white men, three white women, two black women and one black man. Nine votes are needed to indict.  They're task with deciding if enough evidence is present to press charges against Officer Wilson or not.  To me this is the "simple" part of this situation.  Simple because the law gives direction regarding the legality of an act; was it justified or not.  I am, as a I said before, willing to be even tempered and allow justice to work. 

Sadly, I feel far too many others are unwilling to allow this process to move forward unabated by political pressure.  The more radical voices are being aided by opportunistic self appointed community leaders, elected politicians and even some in the media.  Because of this, that "simple" process will be a difficult one for the Grand Jury, in my opinion.  Those twelve men and women are adults.  They read or hear the news and will, like it or not, be pressured because of outside forces.  In the end they will make a decision based upon the evidence, I believe, however that does not mean they will not be emotionally pressured by a concern for the community. 

We are told by the media that this shooting must be an issue of race however nothing more is offered.  There has been no evidence brought forward to show that Officer Wilson harbored any bigoted thoughts or feelings and in truth the one thing we know is that he, a six year veteran, had no complaints lodged against him and that as late as February 2014 he was given a commendation for good service.  Officer Wilson could be a bigot, we don't know.  However as of now there is nothing being reported in the media that insinuates he was and therefore we must give him the benefit of the doubt, as we should everyone, and believe he isn't.  No question that Officer Wilson is a white man or that Mr. Brown is a black man.  However is the ethnicity of each enough to call this a racial issue?

One of the opines coming from many to show this "must" be racially biased is the low percentage of elected black leaders in Ferguson in comparison to the population.  The trouble here is that it assumes a causation (no elected minorities) without a true correlation (racism).  The fact that not many black elected leaders are in office tells us nothing as it does not answer the question; how many black candidates have ran for office?  It presupposes that all elected bodies must reflect the population at large.  That is a nice thought but if people don't actually run for office it is impossible.  Further such thinking actually undercuts the voters of Ferguson.  As the opine is that Ferguson has a high percentage of minorities and a low percentage of minority representatives the question then is; who is actually voting for those representatives. 

I grew up outside and worked in Detroit (MI) for many years.  The argument offered (that the electorate does not reflect the population) is the inverse argument many racially biased folks make about Detroit.  Consider the argument offered by many clearly bigoted folks is that Detroit has had a nearly 50 year run without electing any official who is not black.  The argument is used as a tool to say; "see, black leadership can't work".   It is, in my opinion, a clearly biased and ignorant argument.  However it is no different then the argument that there must exist bigotry if the electorate does not reflect the population.  Both arguments leave far too many questions open for debate and use anecdotal evidence to make a point and both, I believe, are invalid. 

The secondary argument is that the Police department does not reflect the population.  Again, this argument has the very same flaws.  Years ago I had the great pleasure of being the director of a community center in the town I grew up.  The center was in the largest black community in the city and one of the criticisms was that the Police and Fire departments did not reflect the community.  At that time the police had no black officers and only one black firefighter (who btw retired as the Chief).  I was asked to sit on a committee to look at this with several other people.  The work lasted all of about one day.  Why?  Simple, there were few if any applicants.  Several of the applicants for the fire department were turned down not because they were black (women or other minorities) but because they were either not certified or were not paramedics (at that time all of the city firefighters were paramedics).  For the police department is was more complex.  They had identified several candidates but after moving forward with those candidates they quickly lost them to several larger (but close by) communities (Detroit, Toledo, Dearborn and so on) because those departments paid much more and offered more room for advancement.  Lets be fair, who can fault those officers for taking a position that would be more financially beneficial.  Not to mention the entire argument that a body funded by the government (taxes) must represent the community at large is not a civil rights argument.  Civil rights is the opportunity for advancement and the removal of impediments that allow discrimination to occur not about ensuring the police, fire and electorate "look" like the community. 

So until a more salient argument is presented that this tragic shooting was racist I am inclined to simply stick with the facts that we know. 

The narrative seems to change from day to day, hour to hour and speaker to speaker.  Some have said that the outrage and protest are about police brutality.  I am more than willing to hear that argument and I actually believe it could be a good conversation to have.  I believe (and have for sometime) that the police have been given to much power.  I believe that giving the police military hardware is inappropriate and have felt this way for a long time.  It is nice to see some more liberal voices agree with me.  Yet, is this the case to show police brutality when we honestly don't know the facts of the incident?  I don't believe it is.  I believe that the reason this case is gaining such national exposure is because of Mr. Browns young age and while that is fair the truth is if we want to discuss police brutality there are more clear cut cases to use. 

The recent chokehold killing of Eric Garner (07/17) in New York is a far more clear example of what appears to be police brutality.  The incident was caught on tape (see youtube link below).  Mr. Garner did not charge at the police.  He did not have a weapon.  He clearly asked to be left alone and clearly tells the officers he cannot breath.  The police clearly used a maneuver that is not authorized by the New York City Police.  Finally while Mr. Garner is accused of "selling unpacked cigarettes" (a "loosie" - sold one at a time), nothing can justify the reaction of the four police officers.  The video even shows, in my opinion, the police attempting the intimidate and threaten the person taking the video.  To me, if the outrage is about "police brutality" then let me know when and where the protest to honor Eric Garner will be and I will support it.  Let me know where I can purchase the "please leave me alone, I can't breath" t-shirts and I will buy one. 

But the optics of Mr. Garner are not as appealing as a young man on his way to college with a grieving family.  I also think that because Missouri is a more traditionally "red" state as opposed to the clear "blue" state of New York that politics plays a role.  So the killing of Mr. Brown, tragic as it is, becomes elevated above the killing of Eric Garner.  How, why and who made that decision?  I admit the Brown incident is being presented as more controversial at this point but that by itself cannot imply that it is racist or an example of brutality.  We may learn it was but that will be a long time from now and just what will happen if we learn it wasn't?  I think the proper case to argue brutality is the Garner case, we have video of this incident and are left with many questions surrounding the Brown case.  To me such "selective" outrage undercuts the argument. 

Look, I agree that police brutality not only occurs but is a problem.  I can't speak for anyone else but me and I know that I have been stopped by police in the past and threatened with arrest.  Shoot, my experience is that if you express an honest opinion to some officers you will get at the minimum threatened with arrest.  I concede that.  I don't think it is every police officer just as a I don't think every NASCAR fan is a died in the wool racist or a so-called red neck.  I don't believe that every black is a gangsta or that every Mexican is an illegal or that every Muslim sympathizes with terrorist.  None of those things are 100% true.  Sure, they are true for some people (let's just be honest, stereotypes exist for a reason) but for the majority of Americans, we are just trying to feed our families, be good neighbors and maybe have a beer (make mine a Red Stripe) on the weekends. 

My opinion is that with all the unknowns elevating the Brown case as a "cause celeb" could do more harm than good in the end if the facts of the case don't bear it out that Officer Wilson did something wrong.  I am not saying this isn't tragic, it is.  I am not saying that it isn't worthy to honor Mr. Brown or to even protest.  What I am saying is that until the facts are known just what firm ground do we have to make an assessment that Officer Wilson acted in a racist manner or that he abused his authority and brutalized Mr. Brown?  Please refrain from the argument that Mr. Brown was shot six times as a show that this was "brutal".  In truth, one time or six times if someone has died they have died and the number of rounds does not change that fact.  Also don't say that because the Brown tragedy happened in daytime or that his body was left in the street it shows a greater degree of callouses.  If someone is killed at night or during daylight hours they are still dead and just what would folks expect the police to do when someone is dead, remove the body prior to an ambulance or medical examiner arriving, honestly (btw, I know that some of this sounds harsh but that does not make it less true).  In perspective the Garner case is much more appealing as we have a clear video and can see the actions of the police both pre and post the altercation. 

I digress.  Back to Ferguson.  Before the case has even been presented to the Grand Jury the media tells us (08/18) that credibility issues exist because the Prosecutors of St. Louis County Mr. McColloch, who is a white man that has been in elected office since 1990, just might be unable to be impartial in this case because his father was a police officer who was killed by a black man in the line of duty in 1964 when he was twelve.  We are told that Mr. McColloch has a long history of family members working for Police Departments (Mother, Father, Uncles and Cousins - as if this were a "bad" thing, right) and given the insinuation that he could be unable to cross the "thin blue line".  WE are told that because two white undercover officers who shot and killed two black suspected drug dealers in 2000 were not indicted by the Grand Jury that Mr. McColloch presented the case to that he must be biased.  But to me such insinuations are made without offering any evidence that Mr. McColloch has a history of or propensity for bigoted decisions.  In the case of his father can we honestly hold him accountable for something that occurred when he was twelve in 1962?  Is it now a horrible thing to have family members that were gainfully employed in a legal profession?  Was it wrong for the elected prosecutor to follow the directions of the Grand Jury?  The media has been given this "credibility" and "impartiality" angle thanks in part to an elected government official, County Executive Charlie Dooley who is a black man, and others and seem more than willing to question the motives of Mr. McColloch but what about the motives of those that are bringing up things from fifty years ago?   

Mr. Dooley was first appointed as the County Executive in 2003 and then won a special election in 2004.  Mr. Dooley has been in that position since that time however he lost his bid to remain during a primary challenge in August 2014, so unless he runs as an independent or write-in candidate it would seem his tenure will be ending soon.   But what was it that Mr. Dooley said that aided the media in a call for the prosecutor to step aside?  According to St. Louis CBS on 08/16 Charlie Dooley called for the State AG to remove Mr. McColloch or for him to recuse himself because, "McCulloch’s objectivity has come under question because his father – a police officer – was killed in a shooting, and because he openly criticized the decision by Gov. Jay Nixon to remove county police from the streets of Ferguson this week." Does Mr. Dooley have a valid criticism?  I have no idea on the second part but regarding the first I wonder, if valid, why hasn't Mr. Dooley raised this concern prior to 2014 considering he has been the elected county executive since 2004 and was a councilman for St. Louis County from 1994 until his appointment as county executive in 2003.  I have no idea but it seems Mr. Dooley would have stated these were not new concerns in his press conference.  Remember, Mr. McColloch has been the elected prosecutor since 1990.  Mr. Dooley has had ten years to raise concerns about Mr. McColloch's ability to be impartial has he done so or is he just using this situation to now do so?  How grotesque is it that the 1964 murder of Mr. McColloch's father at the hands of a black man is being used to question his ability fifty years after it occurred. 

Funny that Mr. Dooley request the prosecutors removal but is not requesting the United State Attorney General Eric Holder, be removed or recuse himself.  It was Mr. Holder who told the AP on 08/20  "that his father, an immigrant from Barbados proudly wearing his World War II uniform, was ejected from a whites-only train car. How his future sister-in-law, escorted by U.S. marshals, integrated the University of Alabama in spite of a governor who stood in the schoolhouse door to block her. How as a college student, he was twice pulled over, his car searched, even though he wasn't speeding."  Does not Mr. Holders  personal history prejudice him just as much as Mr. McCollochs?  To me the only question I can ask is, really, has it come to this?

But Mr. Dooley isn't the only Democrat calling for Mr. McColloch to step down.  On 08/20 CNN (see story and video at the link) reported  that "Missouri State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed launched a petition that now has more than 26,000 signatures to remove McColloch from the case and replace him with a special prosecutor".  Sen. Nasheed, who is black, has not just simply asked Mr. McColloch to resign nor is she happy with just a petition.  Sen. Nasheed, in a letter sent to Mr. McColloch and shared with CNN states that; "If you should decide not to indict this police officer, the rioting we witnessed this past week, will seem like a picnic compared to the havoc that will likely occur".  Let that sink in for a second.  A sitting MO State Senator just told an elected prosecutor with twenty-three years in office that he must (a) indict Officer Wilson regardless of what a Grand Jury finds and (b) if he does not do this the rioting already destroying a community will be nothing.  Consider that for a second.  We now have a State Senator demanding the community be given a pound of flesh regardless of if it is or is not warranted under our judicial system.  Sen. Nasheed also told CNN that; "He doesn't have the fortitude to do the right thing when it comes to prosecuting police officers," on CNN's "Newsroom".  Fortitude, eh.  Was Sen. Nasheed questioning a sitting prosecutors cojones?  Seems so to me particularly when we have been conditioned to see things as "code words" now a days.   Amazingly CNN did not question the Senator but they were able to dig up photos of the prosecutors father who was killed when he was twelve and in what can only be thought of as a move reminiscent of Willie Horton, CNN showed the arrest photo of the man who killed him.  Honestly, this is not astonishing this is horrific and beyond the boundaries of decency in my opinion. 

Although we don't have the full account of what occurred in those three minutes on 9 August, I will agree with Mr. Dooley that credibility is an issue.  I believe that the credibility of all involved is open for conversation.  Look, I am a flawed person and there are issues in my life that because of my past behavior I don't believe I have the credibility to speak on with authority.  Do I think that means I am not a "credible" person?  No.  It does mean that I understand people give more weight to folks with far more experience and education than I.  It may not seem fair but it is life and I accept that.  So what do we really know about the parties involved? 

We know the key people are Officer Wilson and Dorian Johnson.  Only they know what words were exchanged that began the events that resulted in Mr. Browns death.  Mr. Johnson has retained an attorney and has spoken with the media about that tragic day.  Officer Wilson has, at this time, not spoken and while it has been reported a "friend" of his has spoken to ABC News and to talk show host Dana Loesch, the truth is we have not heard his story or read his report. 

Mr. Johnson reported to Chris Hayes (MSNBC) that Mr. Brown was running away when he was first shot and that he (Mr. Brown) turned around to face Officer Wilson and while holding up his hands in surrender the subsequent rounds were delivered by Officer Wilson's weapon that ultimately resulted in death.  On 8/20 100.7 The Viper (radio station in St. Louis) reported that Mr. Johnson has recanted his statements to the police and has stated that Mr. Brown attacked Officer Wilson.  Which if true, then would it be appropriate to question Mr. Johnsons credibility? 

I think it is reasonable to question the credibility of Mr. Johnson (and everyone's - even my own to be honest), particularly when we now know that just minutes before the altercation between Officer Wilson and Messer's Johnson and Brown that they (Johnson and Brown) are suspected of being involved in what is being characterized as a strong arm robbery at the Quick Trip party store.  That robbery occurred at 11:51am, just ten minutes prior to Messer's Johnson and Brown encountering Officer Wilson.  Mr. Johnson has admitted he was present at the Quick Trip robbery and the Brown family AAL Mr. Parks has admitted it looks to be Mr. Brown on the video of the robbery.  Mr. Johnson was aware when he was interviewed by Mr. Hayes and others that he and Mr. Brown had (presumably) just committed this offense yet he did not mention this.  On one hand I understand leaving it out - honestly.  Maybe the story isn't as simple as presented and Messer's Johnson and Brown had nothing to do with it.  Maybe Mr. Johnson did not mention it on the advice of his attorney because an outgoing investigation.  I get it.  But it does lead one to question Mr. Johnsons credibility, fair or not. 

What about the credibility of Officer Wilson, what do we know?  Well, thanks to the media we know a great deal about him.  We know Mr. Wilson has been a police officer for six years.  We know he has no complaints against him and was awarded a commendation earlier in the year.  We know he lost his mother when he was 16, is divorced but currently lives with a fellow employee of the police department (her name has also been released) and at the home they share is a swimming pool, basketball hoop, metal American flag out front and they have a couch on the front porch. We know the house was valued at 180,000 and that his neighbors are concerned about people coming into the area to cause problems. We know that the media discovered his fathers Facebook page and took photos and quotes from that page. We know that Mr. Wilson played hockey in high school and that his mother (who, again died when he was 16) had a past criminal record for fraud and that this is being communicated (according to the media (Daily Mail) to show his character). In fact we know from the media what his home looks like as local media and CNN have broadcast video of it including the street address. OK. Fine, I agree that knowing an individuals background gives you an insight into credibility.  But what was the point of telling us Officer Wilson had a swimming pool or that his home was valued at 180,000?  Will this not make some folks assume he was part of the "middle class" and as such unable or unwilling to understand Mr. Brown or Mr. Johnson?  I believe doing this was about exploiting the difference in socioeconomic status of the two.  I also believe it shows the real agenda here which is more about class or economics than race however poverty is less sexy and does not get as many people motivated to align themselves along clear polarized lines like race will.  In the end, honestly all I can think it, really. Has it come to this. 

But was Officer Wilson in a physical conflict with Mr. Brown or was it just verbal jousting?  We really don't know yet.  Mr. Johnson asserted that there was a physical conflict and that it was initiated by Officer Wilson.  Messer's Crump and Parks did not share if there were any offensive injuries to Mr. Brown or any defensive wounds other than the gunshots that would have been found as a result of the autopsy the family had conducted (more on that later).  We do know that ABC News reported (08/21) that Officer Wilson suffered; "a serious facial injury.”  What that means is open to speculation as serious to one person is not serious to another.  We also have no idea how he obtained that "serious facial injury".  For all we know Officer Wilson could have hit his head on the door of the vehicle as he exited. The update to what a "serious facial injury" is came on 08/21 when CNN staffer Julian Cummings stated, "reports that Officer Darren Wilson had a bruised or fractured eye socket are false a source close the investigation tells CNN."  Ultimately this shows the truth; we don't know and sadly the story changes from day to day (or more often) and while CNN appears to have broke the story that Officer Wilson did not suffer such injuries other media sources reported it also.  But while CNN is disputing that Officer Wilson was injured the very next day (08/22) the Washington Post published a story that stated, "A family friend of Wilson’s told The Washington Post that Wilson suffered a fractured eye socket. "  So what we know is that we really don't know. 

Getting back to the key people in this investigation, we know a little about Mr. Johnson and Mr. Wilson but what of Mr. Brown?  Should we know about his back ground and what events may have led up to his thinking on the day of the incident.  Are such things fair?  As shown earlier, AG Holder was willing to share how his past experiences have given him insight into how he responds so is it not fair to ask what are the things in Mr. Browns history that have shaped him?  As someone with a long history of working with juveniles in a correctional environment (secure and community), I don't believe that Mr. Browns juvenile record, if he has one, should be a consideration unless that record reflects a history of violence against others. 

The media has reported that Mr. Brown was known as a "gentle giant" (and let's be fair, Mr. Brown was a big guy.  Standing 6'4" and weighing in at a reported 292 pounds clearly means you shop in the "big mans" department).  In spite of his size we are told that Mr. Brown did not want to play football because he was not attracted to violence.  His family and friends have talked about how he was proud of graduating high school and looking forward to going to college.  His mother related how he was proud of his music and how he had a sound cloud account that allowed him to share his music with others.  I have listened to Mr. Browns music (or "Big Mike" as he called himself you can find the sound cloud link at the bottom and his Mother has authenticated the account further his photo appears on the account) and have regrettably found the music to be filled with images of  guns, violence, b*****s and h**s, not to mention drugs and of course running s***t in the hood. Big Mike hash-tagged his music with things like; #trap (street for dope / crack house), #reals**t. Songs like; Money Religion, Body Bag, S**t talka, Hu$tle, Smokn' dope, We don't play, Ca$hn dough and lights out all tell a story of values and perspective. But I also know that his music isn't directed toward 46 year old white men and while I am a fan of some rap music (to be fair mostly old school stuff; Slick Rick, Public Enemy and a few others.  Disclosure; I have a weird like for Lil'Jon and love "turn down for what" . . . yeah, I know).  Anyhow, my point is that cussing and violence in music does not offend me nor do I think just because an "artist" acts in the manner they put on tape.  I don't yet I am cognitive that it sends off a message to the larger community, fair or not.  I also don't think that just because Mr. Brown created such music that he is was a bad person. 

I know that if you search for it you will find photos of Mr. Brown making gang signs (Piru Blood to be specific - sorry, I worked with gang members for years, you learn things). You will also find photos of Mr. Brown smoking dope, flashing money and looking for all to see the role of modern day gangsta. It isn't fair and I will admit that but the truth is people take all of the things we do and form an opinion.  My opinion of Mr. Brown is that he is the typical 18 year old kid in America who has been far to influenced by modern media and adopted many of those things as part of who he projects himself to be.  I have a known enough people to know that you should not judge a book by its cover.  Mr. Brown, was to me, no different than when I was 18 and had long hair, wore the tight parachute pants, bandannas and elf boots of the heavy metal scene that dominated the culture.  The difference is that I was able to grow out of that period and did not have Facebook, twitter and so on that would keep those goofy images and words for all to see.  

I know that if you watch the video from the Quick Trip robbery (if it is Mr. Brown and to be fair the family AAL Mr. Parks stated on 08/18 that, "it appeared to be him") that he did not appear to be a "gentle giant" at that moment.  I know the spontaneous memorial placed where Mr. Brown was shot (and where Rev. Jackson and Rev. Sharpton have both "prayed") shows that people have placed empty alcohol bottles (he was 18 right), Nyquil (used to make "lean"), blunt wraps and cigarillos (it was cigarillos that Mr. Brown is alleged to have stolen just prior to the shooting and for the unaware black and mild, swisher sweets and so on are used to roll pot). I also know that at the memorial is a Pittsburg Pirate hat with off coloring (Red P with bill) which is most associated with the Piru Bloods. It is all in plain sight but unless you know - you won't know. I am not bothered by such spontaneous memorials and having worked in Detroit and lived in Toledo, I am very familiar with them.  In general, while I find it sad that folks would put such garbage there in an effort to "memorialize" Mr. Brown (or anyone else), I also think most of those that are doing so are either adolescence or what I like to think of as adult-adolescence (meaning they never really grew up).  I know that fair or not all of these things play into what people will think about Mr. Brown just as much as the murder of Mr. McCollochs father plays into Mr. Dooley and Sen. Nasheeds belief that he cannot be impartial and just as much as AG Holders personal history plays into how he views this incident.  It isn't necessarily fair but it is reality.  I once worked with a guy named Dennis Sullivan and he was fond of saying, "you want fair?  OK, the fair is in August and life doesn't happen just during that week".  He was right.

It seems to me that from the very first day of this horrible event the presentation from the media has been very pro-social justice and anti-police (or authority, if you will).   Consider that the media, non elected community leaders and even some elected leaders blamed the early rioting and looting on the local police.  The local police were said to be inciting the riots by using tear gas and dressing in riot gear.  I imagine there is a school of thought that supports such feelings and I agree with part of that.  But I also know that it is difficult to second guess folks when businesses are being burned, looted, citizens are throwing Molotov cocktails, rocks and other objects at the police and continuing to shoot at not only each other but the police.  I felt Gov. Nixon was correct in brining in the State Highway Patrol to take over the policing of the protest but noticed that they engaged in the very same tactics.  I felt that Gov. Nixon was wrong to call in National Guard particularly in light of the criticism that the police had been too militarized but I concede he has that power, authority and responsibility.

As I follow politics pretty closely Gov. Nixon was not an unknown character to me.  In truth he has been talked about as a possible Presidential or Vice-Presidential candidate but is seen by many as being far too moderate.  I don't live in Missouri so I don't know.   What I do know is that Gov. Nixon, in my opinion, has been all over the map.  Appearing on the Sunday talk show circuit (08/17), Gov. Nixon (08/17) said that the night prior (Saturday) was a "A solid step" forward.

I struggled with that and wondered if Gov Nixon knew that seven people were arrested and one person was shot in a town of approx. 22,000 residents.  Honestly, is that a "solid step". Then on 08/17 (Sunday) the peaceful protest again devolved into chaos. But remember it was the Governor who said the local police were too militarized and acted to harshly thereby causing much of the chaos.  Recall that Pres. Obama from his rented vacation home on Martha's Vineyard supported the Governor and called the police harsh and questioned if they were using excessive force. It was such pontifications that led to the Governor to remove the local police and install the State Highway Patrol whos commander on the ground marched with the protesters and related that the Brown Family will need to be thanked for Michael because his death will make it better to be a black man in America. Yet then the Governor called in the very militarized Army National Guard to assist the Highway Patrol all because . . . . Sunday night the highway patrol had to use tear gas like the local police did and apparently two more civilians were shot by other civilians and at least one police car was fired upon. So where was the "solid step".

Overnight on 08/18 thirty one people were arrested, two people shot and multiple Molotov cocktails thrown at the police along with other objects and the police used tear gas, flash bang grenades, riot gear and vehicles. Not to mention four police officers hurt along with an unknown number of protesters hurt and the police seized two handguns. Where is the "solid step" that Gov. Nixon mentioned?  I have been following a Facebook Group; Ferguson Scanner Updates that reports to be providing a rolling feed of police calls and actions in Ferguson.  A simple review of this page does not support the "solid step" that Gov. Nixon spoke of and I wonder if he would now change that assessment.  If nothing else would he agree that it was not such a "solid step" when he lost control of his press conference (08/15) on CNN and allowed Rev. Shabazz to take over? Was it a "solid step" when someone (name unknown) took the podium in front of the Governor and said the County Prosecutor needs to press murder charges on Mr. Wilson.

Because I think leadership is at a major loss in many areas I want to stay on Gov. Nixon for a moment.  On 08/20 in an news story on Yahoo! it was reported that Gov. Nixon stated,  "A vigorous prosecution must now be pursued,” Gov. Jay Nixon (D) said in a five minute video address posted to his website on Tuesday (08/19).  Such a statement is worrisome, as Gov. Nixon is an attorney and former Attorney General, Gov. Nixon, clearly know that at the time of this statement no indictment had been handed down and that the Grand Jury is scheduled to meet on 08/20.  In fact could it not be argued that his statement has capacity to prejudice the Grand Jury proceedings as he is the highest elected official in the State, a lawyer and a former AG?  Gov. Nixon also said; “The democratically elected St. Louis county prosecutor and the attorney general of the United States each have a job to do,” and that, “Their obligation to achieve justice in the shooting death of Michael Brown must be carried out thoroughly, promptly, and correctly.” ABC News reported that the Governor will not seek to remove the county prosecutor in this case as he is quoted as saying it "could unnecessarily inject legal uncertainty into this matter and potentially jeopardize the prosecution."  But wouldn't it be fair to believe that, Gov. Nixon has already brought uncertainty to the proceedings by saying, "vigorous prosecution must be pursued"?  Isn't this a not so gentle reminder to the St. Louis county prosecutor that they should indict regardless of the Grand Jury findings?  Let's be honest here, right.  I once had a boss that let me know I should, "spend sometime with us after work".  Was he ordering me to go to the bar?  Not exactly but I knew what he was saying and how it could impact me if I didn't follow that advice.  It's not fair but it's life.   

To me, I believe the Governor is poisoning the well and offering a mild threat that if the grand jury determines not to prosecute Mr. Wilson the county prosecutor will somehow be punished for not fulfilling what the Governor sees as an "obligation to achieve justice".  But justice at what cost.   Sadly this does not appear to be a search for justice when the starting point is a Governor who states there is a need for a "vigorous prosecution" prior to the prosecutor beginning to present the case to a grand jury. This is a perversion of justice.  On 08/19 the St. Louis media (CBS) reported  that there were forty-seven arrest, some looting, chants of "time to kill a cop", bottles of urine thrown at police and what one police officer called "looting tourism" as the police report many of those being arrested are from Ferguson or even the State of Missouri.  Amazing. 

I do think that the community has a right to protest and demand not just an investigation but an open and transparent investigation.  I believe the Ferguson Police were correct when they (or someone above there command) made the decision to have the St. Louis County Police handle the investigation.  I believe the demanding nature of the media for more information from the Ferguson Police is inappropriate as they know the investigation is ongoing and that the case is being handled by another department.  I believe that the so-called hacker collective Anonymous was wrong to threaten the Ferguson Chief of Police with disclosing information about his daughter if he did not release the officers name.  I believe the Chief of Police was on firm ground when he released the video allegedly of Mr. Brown robbing the Quick Trip along with the report from that incident given the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that the media had submitted to his department.  I question the timing of the release and think it was handled in a clumsy manner but understand the information was already being sought by the media.

I am befuddled that before the investigation is complete or findings are presented to a Grand Jury that not one, not two but three autopsies have been performed on the late Mr. Brown.  The Brown family Attorneys, Messer's Crump and Park have said that the family requested an autopsy because they were not getting information from the local authorities and because they wanted an independent review. 

I imagine that the local authorities were holding off on information because of an ongoing investigation.  Regarding if the County Medical Examiner should be trusted, I have no idea.  If there is reason to believe they ought not be trusted I would like to hear it and would expect the State would step in just like they did by removing the local police.

We have been presented with information from the autopsy done at the request of the family but honestly, what have we learned from it?  The family autopsy showed at least six shots. All would be consistent with shots to the front.  Four to the arm and two to the head. The ME who did it even stated those wounds could have been because Mr. Brown was going toward the police officer. This fits the story that has been circulating from a supposed friend of Officer Wilson (although we have no idea if this is true of it is consistent with Officer Wilsons report).  What we do know is that if this information is true that it is not consistent with the story shared by Mr. Johnson.  We also know that on 08/19 St. Louis Post-Dispatch Crime Reporter Christine Byers tweeted; "Police sources tell me more than a dozen witnesses have corroborated cop's version of events in shooting".   Since that time it has been reported that Ms. Byers is on FMLA leave and while she has not retracted her "tweet" she has said that it did not meet the standards for publication.  In other words, more confusing news that does nothing to shine sunlight on the truth. 

We know that moments after the shooting citizens were taking video of the police on the scene and on one video shared at the website Progressives Today, a conversation was overheard.  That conversation seems to refute the idea the Mr. Brown was simply surrendering with his "hands up, don't shoot".  In this conversation two men are heard speaking.  During that exchanged one man (face unknown) tells another; #1 "But him and the police was both in the truck, then he ran – the police got out and ran after him" {crosstalk} #2 "Then the next thing I know he doubled back toward him cus – the police had his gun drawn already on him" #1. "Oh, the police got his gun" #2 "The police kept dumpin on him, and I’m thinking the police kept missing – he like – be like – but he kept coming toward him" {crosstalk} #2 "Police fired shots – the next thing I know – the police was missing" #1 "The Police?" #2 "The Police shot him".  If this conversation is true is it not possible that Mr. Brown went after or continued to go toward Officer Wilson? Notice this witness said nothing about his "hands up".  Regarding the "hands up", isn't it just possible that his "hands up" were in that position because he was running after or toward someone to fight or engage them? Does this not fit what we now have learned from the families own autopsy? Does this not contradict Mr. Johnson's report to the media?  Since the time that I first started writing about this ABC news has reported on the video and has quoted it in published stories. 

Is it not possible that Mr. Brown knew he and Mr. Johnson just committed a crime and because of this he (Mr. Brown) was amped up and feeling like he could strong arm the police just like he did the store clerk and get away? Was Mr. Brown feeling like, "no, I am not going to jail today" and did he attack the police officer to get away? Was Mr. Brown on any substances at the time of the incident that led to this? (Note; I know that some websites are reporting he was but none of that is known as of yet).  We do know that his spontaneous memorial included alcohol bottles, Nyquil (used to make "lean" or "sizzurp") bottles and blunt wraps all placed by people who knew him (more information above) but those are all anecdotal things and not solid proof. 

Regarding the autopsy the family had done it seems many questions could exist about it.  On 13 August, Messer's Crump and Park during a press conference indicated the autopsy was already done.  But according to the media it wasn't until 17 August that Dr. Baden, the man reported to have preformed it, flew to Missouri to conduct the autopsy.  Understand, I accept the New York Times could be wrong on this but wonder if Messer's Parks and Crump noticed this and will have it corrected.  If the NYT or the earlier press conference are true, it would be conflict with Messer's Crump and Parks when they said on the 15th of August that an autopsy had been conducted.  This would make sense with the timeline that Prof. Shawn Parcells, who he assisted with the autopsy, indicated when he appeared on the Lawrence O'Donnell show on 13 August to say he was contacted by the family.  When asked about the autopsy at a 15 August news conference on Fox 2 News St. Louis, AAL Parks was ask, "have you seen the results of the results of the autopsy" (referring to the County autopsy) to which he responded, "have not and were not going to talk about the second autopsy that we did there will be a time for that".  The clear implication is that the autopsy findings were already done on 15 August when Mr. Parks referenced them in the past tense by saying, "the second autopsy that we did" (see video at link below; question and answer begin at approx. 15:46). 

I can't help but question; was the autopsy done on the 15th or the 17th?  Mr. Crump during his interview with Anderson Cooper on AC360 stated that the family knew the findings just as Mr. Parks had in a later interview.  I will concede that small things can differ but two days difference from professional? This strikes me as odd. 

I am also confused about the autopsy because after looking into some of this I discovered the man who stated he assisted Dr. Baden and is named in the New York Times article on 08/17 by and  just might be a not exactly as sold.  In truth he has been called a fraud by some.  In the NYT article it is stated that "Prof. Shawn L. Parcells, a pathologist assistant based in Kansas, assisted Dr. Baden."  Problem is that Mr. / Prof. Parcells may not have an advanced degree in any subject.  The truth is that many negative reports have surfaced in Missouri about Mr. Parcells and are easy to find.  One report from The Pathological Blog along with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch states about Mr. Parcells;
  • He listed himself as a member of the National Association of Medical Examiners and American Academy of Forensic Sciences, but both organizations deny he was a member (His LinkedIn page does not include those organizations anymore)
  • He uses the initials “FPA” (forensic pathology assistant) after his name, a designation he admits he invented
  • He lists himself as an adjunct professor at Wichita State University, but an official at the university states he assisted at a clinical site only once.
  •  Mr. Parcells runs Shawn Parcells Ministries in 2012, which is also located in Leawood, Kansas.

  • But as Mr. Parcells said, “You do this for the families”, or do you?  While Mr. Parcells may not have been paid for his work the reality is that he is getting a great deal of press coverage and more importantly he does not seem qualified to perform such work.  From a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story in May 2013 it was alleged he, "has inflated his qualifications and performed autopsies without a medical license.”  That worried some coroners, who felt Parcells’ could “jeopardize criminal cases, potentially allowing a murderer to go free.”  

    But the criticism of Mr. Parcells did not end in 2013.  From local St. Louis News Channel 4 they report, "Parcells admits he has no certification as a pathology assistant, but says his qualification comes from experience. “I worked there as a forensic assistant for about a year. And if I remember correctly that was 2005 to 2006. That was under Dr. Young,” Parcells said. “And that’s honestly where I gained a lot of my experience.” But the former Jackson County Medical Examiner, Dr. Young responded with this statement: “Shawn hung out at the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s office but was not trained by me.”…. “He has been representing himself in a way that is not appropriate by giving forensic pathology opinions when he is not qualified to do so.” “He has none of the qualifications that are required. He has experience as a morgue technician, somebody who would move bodies around, clean up after an autopsy,” Dr. Mitchell said. 

    So did Mr. / Prof. Parcells complete the autopsy and did Dr. Baden simply review it?  If that was the case why not just say so?  If that isn't the case why are the dates so confused?  Look, I am an average guy.  I am not an AAL like Messer's Crump and Parks or an alleged Professor like Mr. Parcells nor am I a doctor like Dr. Baden and if I find this confusing how can such educated men not say, "whoa, wait a second, we need to correct this".  More importantly why is it that the media seems to have not caught this?  I am a firm believer in the fact that if things are not clear it only allows confusion and speculation. 
    Something else I find odd is that the NYT Reporter listed as co-author, Frances Robles worked for the Miami Herald during the George Zimmerman trail in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.  She was, at that time, allegedly the reporter of first choice for the Parks and Crump Law Firm to provide information to.  Although she has moved to the New York Times she also received the autopsy information from Messer's Crump and Park in the Michael Brown case. Understand this is very minor point however it is important as I believe that a narrative is being constructed.  Ms. Robles work is cited in a presentation given by Mr. Crump to the National Bar Association titled; "A Critical Analysis of the Trayvon Martin Case and the Stand Your Ground Laws".   
    I mentioned how I believe this is a narrative being constructed and would like to explain.  Please consider that in the presentation to the National Bar Association referenced above (linked below) the analysis begins with; Chapter 1: February 26th, The Night Trayvon Martin was killed.  It then list subsections:

    A. How the Lawyer got the nation talking about Trayvon Martin.
    B. The First Press Conference.
    C. First national interviews with Rev. Al Sharpton, CBS and Inside Edition.
    D. online petition.
    E. Tracy Martin and Sabrina Fulton: "finally".
    F. Public record lawsuit to have 911 tapes released. 
    G. First million hoodie rally in New York. 

    This was Mr. Crumps presentation to the National Bar Association and how they constructed the case for digestion to the public and media was the first chapter. 
    To me this is much like the items placed at the spontaneous memorial for Mr. Brown; they are in plain sight but if you don't know you won't know.  So have Messer's Park and Crump followed that outline?  Well they have: 

    A.  How the Lawyers got the nation talking about Michael Brown.  They have held a press conferences and highlighted how Mr. Brown was a "gentle giant" and preparing for college.  They have used "soft" images (photos) or Mr. Brown have deflected the other images of Mr. Brown as being not relevant. 
    B. The First Press Conference: See A above.  
    C. First National News Interviews. Because of the Trayvon Martin Case (fair or not) Messer's Parks and Crump are a "known quantity" and have appeared on CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC, CBS and NBS. 
    D. online petition.  While Messer's Parks and Crump have not promoted a petition one has been done at to get the current prosecutor removed and have a special prosecutor installed (please note the petition is linked below and uses as justification to remove the prosecutor the following; "McCulloch's decision not to charge officers who murdered two unarmed African-American men in 2000 by shooting into their car 20 times".  A fourteen year old case is the justification!  Seriously, how many times has the prosecutor been reelected by the public since that time and yet now a State Senator wants the prosecutor removed.  Really). 

    I believe the goal of wanting a special prosecutor is to subvert the grand jury just as was done in the Trayvon Martin case.  I believe that if the case goes to the grand jury and no indictment is handed down that it will make a civil case next to impossible and understand that Messer's Crump and Parks settled with the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Fla., Homeowners Association prior to trial of Mr. Zimmerman beginning and it is only logical to believe the lawyers (Crump and Park) would be looking to file a similar suit against the Ferguson PD and City of Ferguson if an indictment is handed down and an arrest warrant issued. 

    But it is true that Messer's Parks and Crump have used the internet to gain support for the family and have created a Go Fund Me Page entitled, "Michael Brown Memorial Fund"(see link at the bottom). 

    The fund has collected more than 200,000 for the Brown Family.  The page was created four days after Mr. Brown was killed (13 August) by Adner Marcelin, Assistant to Attorneys Benjamin L. Crump, Esq. & Anthony D. Gray (Brown Family Attorneys).  Ms. Marcelin is listed as the page creator and administrator.   Ms. Marcelin is from Tallahassee, FL.  Her relationship to the Brown family is one of Family Lawyers.   According to the Go Fund Me Page (Michael Brown Memorial Fund) all funds collected will be, "used by the Brown family to cover funeral and burial expenses, travel and living expenses of the parents as they seek justice for their son, Michael Brown, Jr."  Further that "all funds collected on this website will be withdrawn to the Brown Memorial Fund established by the parents of Michael Brown. Anyone with further questions may contact their law office at 1(877) 529-9529." 

    The Michael Brown Memorial fundraising page set up by Mr. Marcelin directs individuals that may  wish to donate money specifically to the Brown children (Deja 14, Andre 7 and Jasmine 5) to a different fund through  Go Fund Me called,  "Brown Siblings Memorial Fund". 

    The "Brown Siblings Memorial Fund" was created on 12 August (one day before the Michael Brown Memorial Fund and three days after Mr. Brown was killed).  DeMarco Davidson is listed as the page creator and administrator.  He identifies himself as a family friend and states he is the Trustee of the Michael Brown Jr. Memorial Fund. 

    Unless there are words left out or a misspelling exist on one of the two sites, the Michael Brown Jr. Memorial (where the money from the Brown Siblings Memorial Fund will go) is a different name than the fund mentioned in the Michael Brown Memorial fund administered by Ms. Marcelin.  The funds from the Michael Brown Memorial Fund are (according to the site) dedicated to go to the Brown Memorial Fund.  Different names entirely.  Both page names do not match the fund name that they indicate the money collected will be deposited into. 

    I can find no reference for the Michael Brown Jr. Memorial fund outside of the Brown Siblings Memorial page.  I can also find no reference to the Brown Memorial Fund outside of the Michael Brown Memorial Fund page.  One thing that both of the funds share is that under the item number five. they both state that;  ". . . Anyone with further questions may contact their law office at 1(877) 529-9529."  

    The contact number would be the toll free number for the Parks and Crump Law Firm.  According to the website for Parks and Crump they specialize in; specialize in "Wrongful Death, Personal Injury and Automobile Accidents to Civil Rights." In truth, the Parks and Crump Law Firm are not criminal attorneys but specialize in filing lawsuits for damage.  Damages, in the court of law, means money - nothing more, nothing less.  Just wondering; if they are the point of contact for both funds and an employee of Parks and Crump is administering one of the funds (Michael Brown Memorial Fund) just when was the last time a personal injury attorney did anything without being compensated?  No accusing anyone but honestly asking if that fits the "green" narrative.

    The Brown Siblings Memorial Fund also directs anyone that wishes to contribute that they may, "also visit any Fifth Third bank." 

    Let me be honest.  I don't care nor do I have an issue with the family collecting money from anyone.  They have that right.  But the Michael Brown Memorial fund states they money can be used to; "cover funeral and burial expenses, travel and living expenses of the parents as they seek justice for their son, Michael Brown, Jr."  OK.  Just what travel and living expenses could the family incur as the await the St. Louis County Grand Jury to render a determination on an indictment.  Further,  considering the fund is above 200,000.00 what are the parents "living expenses" pre and post the death of Michael Brown and should such a tragedy enrich anyone?  Further, if it does begin to enrich people (attorney, family, politicians, so called community leaders) do those people not have a motive to keep the narrative going to continue such enrichment?  Honestly. 

    I am not a "hater" but I am also not a fan of crowd source funding because I personally know someone that lied about a "need" and received the money they wanted because they presented as a sympathetic case ("please help me, I am a single Mom and my child has a disability".  I actually wrote about this in a post that I took down and have been planning to put back up.  I also have been exchanging correspondence Steve Mason the father of Lisa Mason regarding the Go Fund Me project the family has started to pay off her student loans.  I am writing a post about the exchange with Mr. Mason as I do not believe the "crowd sourcing" phenomena is fully above board in many cases).  This goes back to that whole character issue that Mr. Dooley and Sen. Nasheed raised about the prosecutor, right?  If it is OK to question the political motives of an elected leader is it not OK to question the political and financial motives of others? 

    My point in all of this is that we now have at least two funds funds; Michael Brown Memorial Fund, Brown Siblings Memorial Fund on the internet with two different named accounts that they say the money collected will go into; Brown Memorial Fund and Michael Brown Jr. Memorial Fund.  Both pages have an attorney contact in Florida (Parks and Crump AAL do not list "non-profit" administration as a specialty although they may do some work in that sector) and yet Mr. DeMarco Davidson (who set up the Brown Siblings Memorial Fund and states he is the Trustee of the Michael Brown Jr. Memorial Fund ) is in St. Louis and list an address of 9742 Duke Drive St. Louis, MO 63136.  See the confusion.   It's a little like the confusion over the autopsy and when it was actually completed (see above) and if one of the autopsy participants is a legitimate person to be completing them. 

    To be fair there was a Go Fund Me page in support of Officer Wilson and that page raised more than 234,910.00.  As with the Brown Family pages I think that it is fine and people have a right to do whatever they like with the money they have provided it is legal.  That said the reaction from the community has been not so nice.  People have threatened to stop using Go Fund Me.  The public comments about people who have or will support Officer Wilson by this fund include the normal; "racist", "bigot", "red neck", "scared white people" to the downright crazy, "no better than ISIS", "terrorist" and so on (more can be read at the twitchy link below). 

    But is isn't just some anon commenters on the internet that are demanding Go Fund Me stop allowing people to raise money for Officer Darren Wilson.  The organization Color of Change, stared by one time Obama Administration member Van Jones is calling for Go Fund Me to, "Stop profiting from racially-motivated donors, celebrating Michael Brown's death".  Color of Change gives examples of online remarks that they find offense and asked that people sign the petition which will be forwarded to Go Fund Me.  The truth is that there are bigoted comments and Color of Change does correctly point them out.  I have no issue with that.  The problem is that Color of Change, by only pointing out those comments, seems to dismiss the comments by Rev. Shabazz and others.  Consistency is what leadership is all about and we are not seeing any, IMO. 

    It is crazy to me that there is NO middle ground.  If you want to wait for the facts of the case then it is assumed you must not be supportive of Mr. Brown and his side.  Those that actually support Officer Wilson are called every name in the book other than human.  Sadly, some of those who support Officer Wilson also take to the internet to call Mr. Brown and those who agree the narrative offered the Messer's Parks and Crump names also.  Sad that it has come to this.  But I believe there is a narrative of "green" at work. 

    I digress (again), so back to the outline Mr. Crump presented to the Bar Association and if it is being employed today.

    E. Parents of Michael Brown.  No question they have been publically interviewed. 
    F. Public record lawsuit to have 911 tapes released. As of this point there has been no need to file to have anything release because the prosecutor has already stated an intent to take the case to the grand jury. 
    G. Marches / Protest.  There is also no need for a march or rally as the entire nation is focused on Ferguson.  However - to what end and for what benefit?  Is the intention to improve race relations and if so do the actions of many reflect that?  If the intention is to highlight police brutality why not use the Garner case?  To me this simply does not seem completely above board.

    To me this is much like crisis management.  There is a formula to follow and it is being followed in the case of Michael Brown just as it was prior by Messer's Parks and Crump.  Do I think that makes it "wrong"?  Of course not.  These are smart men and are doing what they believe will benefit the Brown family.  I understand that.  But will it benefit the community that is the question I have. 

    Back to Ferguson, Messer's Crump and Parks demanded the Ferguson Police release not only the name of the officer but how many times Mr. Brown was shot.  The police at first refused to even when threatened by the hacker group anonymous and I believe that they were correct in holding information about an ongoing investigation close.  Yet, Messer's Crump and Parks refuse to release copies of the autopsy performed at the request of the family to the media.  Why?  If they demanded the police release information (and understand, I am fine with that demand although I respect the Ferguson Police deferring to the prosecuting attorney and St. Louis County Police) how is it they feel they should not release the information they have.  My bet is that if it supported the case they wish to make they would do so and do so quickly.

    Messer's Crump and Parks and many others have held the position that the public has a "right" to know all of the information and should know it now.  The trouble is that this just simply isn't true.  When I was in high school my aunt was killed in Detroit and the police were extremely close fisted with my family.  I get it.  I understand that during the course of an investigation not everything is told to the family or community and in truth so to does Messer's Parks and Crump as they are officers of the court. 

    But consider how things are being presented in the media.  Now that the police have released part of the report the ACLU is threatening to sue because of the items not in the report.  The ACLU believes that under Missouri law the police must provide more information and I have no idea if they are correct or not.  However I wonder if the ACLU is also seeking a lawsuit against the police in Salt Lake City.  For those unaware there was a police shooting in Salt Lake just days after the Michael Brown shooting.  Consider the differences in how the media are reacting in these two cases; Michael Brown Incident as opposed to the Dillon Taylor Incident.  Both were remarked to be unarmed young men and both were shot and killed by on duty police officers.    

                                                        Brown                    Taylor
    Date of occurrence:                    9 Aug 14                11 Aug 14
    Ethnicity of Victim:                   Black                      Hispanic
    Ethnicity of Police Officer:       White                       Non-White
    Age of victim:                            18                            20
    Date officers ID was given
       to the community:                   15 Aug 14               Still Awaiting.

    The national media has not made a beeline to Salt Lake City to interview Mr. Taylor's family or friends.  There has been no demand to see the police video (which the Chief of Police admits the officer was wearing a camera and has stated the public will see it when the investigation is completed).  There has been no threats by Anonymous to disclose personal information about the Chief of Police family if the officers name is not shared.  There has been no speculation that Mr. Taylor was killed simply because he was white and the officer black.  The Taylor family has not demanded publically that the autopsy be released and that they have the body to perform a second autopsy.  The POTUS has not commented on this incident and the AG has not flown to Salt Lake City to meet with the family of Mr. Taylor.  The witnesses to the shooting, including Mr. Taylor's brother Jerrial, have not been interviewed by Chris Hayes or Lawrence O'Donnell. 

    In Mr. Taylors case the family has publically acknowledged that he had a past criminal record as a juvenile and young adult and was actually being sought for an outstanding arrest warrant issued on 08/07 for a violation of his probation.  Mr. Browns family have not acknowledged anything but the family attorney Mr. Parks said that it, "looks like him" on the video tape of the robbery (in fairness, I don't believe the family needs to acknowledge any history, if it exist.  I point out the differences only to highlight that with Mr. Brown we have an open suspicion because of the Quick Trip video that remains unaddressed and with Mr. Taylor answers are present).  While there have been ongoing protest in Salt Lake over the shooting and a demand for justice those scheduled protest have not been marked by looting, burning of buildings, arrest, throwing of items at police officers and so on. 

    Sadly while the tragic killing of Mr. Brown is, in my opinion, being used by the more liberal media to forward an agenda so to is the killing of Mr. Taylor being used by conservative commentators in blogs, on twitter and on Facebook.  In both cases things that are unknown are being speculated about to a ridiculous level.  In the case of Mr. Taylor one story making the rounds is that the police officer responsible for firing the weapon and killing Mr. Taylor was "non-white".  Some sources are even saying he was black.  The problem; the Salt Lake City press is not reporting that and not one credible source can be found that reports that.  It could be true, who knows and honestly it shouldn't matter if the protest are about police brutality.

    Mr. Taylor's case, like that of Michael Brown, has been used by some to polarize people.  Such actions are not helpful and show, in my opinion, the very evil nature of humans and those who have an agenda when they speak.  In truth we know that Mr. Taylor's brother,  Jerrail Taylor, has said his brother was "Hispanic” thanks to a report from the Desert News on 08/19.  We also know that the Chief of Police has confirmed the officer involved was "non-white" however we know nothing else.  In the end this shows, to me anyhow, that this case could be used as a means to forward the conversation in America if the real concern is about police brutality so I think it is legitimate to wonder why it isn't being as widely discussed.  Maybe Mr. Taylor's criminal record and open warrant make him a less sympathetic person as compared to Mr. Brown, no idea. 

    Understand that I am not siding with either the Brown Protesters or the Taylor Protestors.  I think they both have a right to be angry and I am good with that.  But I think in the case of the Brown protesters some of them (a small percentage) are opportunist using this situation for personal gain (media exposure, wealth).  I also think that many who have moved into the community of Ferguson are not there to assist in the search for "justice" but are there to cause havoc.  In doing so they will not achieve the long term goals they desire and in truth I think they will alienate the larger community more than they expect thereby further continuing the polarization.  I understand the desire by some to see these issues from a "race" prospective given the ethnicity of the police officers and victims involved but I will be flat-out, 100% square . . . I see a color here that is being used to manipulate people into building the wealth or security of a few and that color is green.  Ask yourself, if this were about "justice" why the amped up rhetoric?  Why so many outside agitators? 

    Still, as I go back to Ferguson, things are confusing to say the least and are not given any clarity when the Governor and others are out demanding a trial and "justice" before and indictment is even handed down. 

    Not to be outdone or left out depending on how you see it, the DOJ had an autopsy completed on Mr. Brown on or about 08/19.  I have no real issues with this but I do wonder why.  Under the law the state is required to perform this task. Does the AG have evidence that the state is incompetent? Is the AG worried that the autopsy performed by the state will not provide the narrative he desires? Does the AG understand the precedent this could set and more importantly does the AG understand that if the findings the DOJ reaches are different then those of the state this case could provide a springboard for countless numbers of challenges to past findings by the state / county medical examiner.  It is confusing. 

    I must also admit that I have been surprised at the President's involvement so far.  In full disclosure, I am not a fan of Pres. Obama and have documented the many reasons that I do not believe he is worthy of my trust or respect as my President (those reasons can be found here: ). 

    That aside, I don't understand why the President has been briefed by the AG on a daily basis (according to the media).  Do we not have some ongoing issues with ISIS (they just beheaded an American Journalist (08/19) and are threatening another). Syria (they still have not handed over the Chemical Weapons to Russia as promised last year - the deadline was June). The so called border Humanitarian Crisis (did that story just die off or what?!? seriously).  Not to mention Gaza, Ukraine (Russia), Iran (were they not just identified as supplying part of the weapon systems used by Hamas) or our domestic issues.  But, OK, the President wants to stay informed.  No worries.  Except according to both the President and the AG neither of them were aware of Fast and Furious (which killed one INS Agent (Brian Terry) and more than 300 Mexican Civilians). The AG was unaware of the DOJ tapping AP reporters phones or those of James Rosen (reporter). The POTUS has said that it is only through the media that he heard of the problems with the IRS scandal, NSA scandal, ACA websites and so on but he is aware and being briefed about this.  Really.  The President, according to the White House, was not present in the situation room during the attack upon Benghazi but he is aware of this issue and is being briefed daily.  Wow. 

    Understand I know some will read this and think; "typical right winger".  The problem is that I am not and more importantly all of those are issues within the federal government and are under the POTUS' command.  The death of Mr. Brown, tragic and horrible as it is, falls under the authority of Gov. Jay Nixon and the State of Missouri first.  Why not allow them to do the job they were elected by the citizens and are legally tasked to do prior to simply moving in and starting a DOJ investigation? 

    In his remarks on 08/18 the president said, "there are young black men that commit crime" and that they "deserved to be prosecuted". He states that we can argue they do so because of poverty or poor education but they should be prosecuted. But . . . . he then says given the history of this country. Mr. President, with all due respect . . . enough. WE elected you to represent all of us. Yet . . . when you come out and tell somehow we must be a racist society when this tragic event has not even been clearly identified as a racially biased event, it is growing old. Does racism exist? Yes. Are the majority of Americans racist? No. But many are being polarized.

    Is it racist to demand this officers head without knowing what happened because that is exactly what is happening. Yet . . . here we are. When will the POTUS call out Rev. Shabazz and those making racist statements against Officer Wilson show some consistency. Call out the violence within the black community on a consistent basis (did you know more black men and women have been killed in Chicago from 2009 until today than have been killed in Afghanistan during the same time). I am not using this as a strawman argument but honestly asking; where have these leaders been?  The POTUS does not like the militarization of the police; then stop allowing the DoD to sell (or give via grants) surplus military hardware to the police.  In the end, not everything can be racist. Can we just get some consistency, please.  The parents of Mr. Brown have been consistent at asking for peaceful protest and were even willing to call out Rev. Shabazz and ask him to stand down on 08/20.  To me that was leadership and is even more impressive when you consider that they actually are grieving at this time. 

    I also find it odd that the AG of the US, Eric Holder, was in Ferguson on 08/20. Why wait if it is such a serious issue that you as AG must brief the POTUS daily and the POTUS must return to Washington from his Martha's Vineyard vacation. Honestly, why wait until the 20th? It wouldn't have anything at all to do with the fact that is the day the AG is to arrive is the very same day the St. Louis County Prosecutor has scheduled the Grand Jury Investigation will begin would it? Not making an accusation but let's be honest about this, optics are a consideration. 

    We know from the POTUS that the DOJ CRS group (Community Relations Services) is already on the ground in Ferguson. Look, my opinion; Gov. Nixon, MO AG Chris Koster, County Prosecutor McCulloch and probably AG Holder and the POTUS have already been briefed on the investigational findings thus far. The County autopsy is completed and I am sure all of them know what it does or does not indicates. I would wager they already have an idea of the outcome and have planned or are planning for it. Are those in power getting ready to soft sell the fact that there may not be enough evidence to support charges against Mr. Wilson? Is that why the AG will have waited more than ten days to head to Ferguson if it was of such important. Is that why Gov. Nixon made a video demanding a prosecution.  Is this political "CYA"?  If not then why the hard sell demanding Mr. McCulloch step down and that Officer Wilson be charged prior to an indictment being handed down. 

    Not to be left out MO State Senator Chappell Nadal has taken the advice from the old DMX song (Party up) and basically said, "y'all gonna make me act a fool, up in here up in here" as if "y'all" can make someone do something. Yet, Sen Nadal said it is the police (all the police actually) who are making this situation worse when she said; "the State Highway Patrol, the St. Louis County Police as well as the Ferguson Police Department may be trying to make this situation worse than what it actually is.“ Really. police cars shot at. Businesses burned and looted and the POLICE are to blame. Now is that leadership?   The thing is that as a "Conservative", I am actually offended by the so-called militarization of the police and I actually do think the police have been granted far to broad of powers over the last twenty-years.  I have felt and believed this long enough to remember that if one were to have expressed it in so-called "polite" company that you would be called "paranoid" or a member of the "black helicopter crowd".  Had Sen. Nadal left her remarks at the inappropriateness of police having (and using) militarized weapons I would have been fine with that.  Instead she blames the police for the action of a few and forgets those folks also had a choice.  Allowing an outside force to "pull you off your square" does not show a failing of that outside force but a failure in you. 

    Here is the thing . . . . we don't know enough information to make a positive assessment right now but it is clear that the media and some politicians sure seem willing to try and convict Officer Wilson. Hell, the New Black Panther Party led by Rev. Shabazz were chanting (08/16); "What do we what" (response) Darren Wilson "How do we want him" DEAD. But the media is ignoring that! (in fairness, not everyone was shouting "dead" but enough were that you can clearly hear it).  But Rev. Shabazz is not only not condemned, he is has been shown with Cpt. Johnson - who had walked arm and arm (yes, literally as there are photos of this online).  But then again when Rev. Shabazz and his group printed "Wanted Dead or Alive" flyers in the George Zimmerman case neither the local authorities or the DOJ did anything then.

    The President, AG and Gov. Nixon all called the actions of the local police wrong and inferred they (police) overreacted in Ferguson. The President as we all recall said the police acted "stupidly" in the past creating the "beer summit" but none of them have spoken out about the chants or other things that are clearly wrong. Why?

    Seriously . . . how silly is all of this. Rev. Al Sharpton criticizes Gov. Christie (NJ) in the media because during the Ferguson chaos he (Gov. Christie) appears on stage dancing with Jamie Foxx in the Hamptons! Really. It's the Gov. of NJ's fault!  I would love to asked Rev. Sharpton why he isn't  criticizing Pres. Obama who was on vacation - golfing and attending fundraisers during the same time and ironically also in the Hamptons.

    This is where I believe a narrative exist also.  The motive, to me, is to politicize this and make the "white" Gov. look insensitive to the "black community" prior to the 2016 election.  What other gain could there be to criticize a governor several states away?  Maybe someone should remind the Reverend that while we are all forgiven our sins it is difficult to forget things like;   Freddie's Fashion Mart, Twana Brawley and the "white interlopers" comments regarding the Jewish community in Harlem. But is the President calling him out for this and saying he acted "stupidly"?

    In a funny twist the very day Rev. Sharpton called out Gov. Christie the media reported that Pres. Obama spent five hours at a private dinner party or as one reporter put it . . more time having dinner and enjoying the company of friends than he did in the White House addressing Iran and Ferguson. 

    But if the "optics" of he Governor of New Jersey attending a party on the Hamptons during the problems in Ferguson are important, I wonder how Rev. Sharpton feels about Pres. Obama giving a press conference on the beheading of American journalist James Foley and then just a few minuets later yucking it up on the golf course!  Chirp, chirp, chirp . . . still waiting on Rev. Sharpton to call out Pres. Obama for this but I don't think I will hold my breath.  On a side note; United Kingdom Prime Minister, David Cameron ended his holiday early as a result of the beheading of James Foley after it was learned that the suspect could be British (think about it; James Foleys President comments and goes golfing.  The UK PM calls off his holiday and goes back to work while our President goes golfing!). 

    Of course the White House had to react to this and did so, two days later, when a New York Times article informed the public that White House Aides wanted to assure the public that the Presidents golf game did not reflect the depth of grief the President feels of the killing of Mr. Foley.  Sure.  He is pained.  I don't question that.  I just question if it actually looks that way.  The trouble with he whole "he is pained" part is that the funeral for James Foley and Michael Brown took place on the same day and the actions of President Obama can only make you think he I lying to say "he was pained". 

    One 08/25 the White House sent a delegation of three staff members (Broderick Johnson, chairman of the White House's My Brother's Keeper Task Force; Marlon Marshall, the deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, who went to high school with Brown's mother; and Heather Foster, who is an adviser to the Office of Public Engagement) to the Brown Funeral and sent none to the service of American journalist James Foley who was beheaded by ISIS terrorist.  I wonder if Rev. Sharpton will complain about the "optics" now.

    But it isn't just the White House or the President.  What are the optics of AG Holder going to meet with the parents of Michael Brown after he was killed while Mr. Foley's family learns that the US refused to negotiate with his captives unlike they did with the captives that held Pvt. Berghdahl (on that note, the GAO published a report that the President had violated the law on the exchange of Pvt. Berghdahl the day after the President responded to the killing of Mr. Foley).  It boils down to Leadership.  Consistency.  Where is it. 

    More importantly, to me anyhow, is that AG Holder has said Americans are "cowards" and will not address the race problems we have.  Speaking only for myself, the reason I struggle hearing some of this is because of the ignorance shown by Rev. Sharpton, Sen. Nadal, Sen. Nasheed, Gov. Nixon and Mr. Dooley that the AG and President allow to go unaddressed.  You can't, in my view, call out one side without calling out everyone.  I believe by not being consistent the AG clearly shows who the actual "coward" is.  Maybe instead of asking others to do some soul searching the AG ought to look in the mirror and ask himself if he has "seen the enemy and it is us". 

    I want to go back to how I believe a narrative is being set and how this tragic event is being used.  We can clearly see how it is being used to enrich some but the truth is this tragedy is being used to hopefully enrich the representation of the Democratic Party.  On 08/22, Ms. Janet May (Chairwoman of the Democratic National Convention) said that Ferguson; could be a rallying cry for Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts, according to the voter education committee chair for the Democratic Southern caucus. “There is a story beneath the story in Ferguson,” chairwoman Janet May said at the Southern Caucus meeting during the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta on Friday.
    May ran through the stats of the 21,000-person Missouri town: 13,000 black citizens, about 7,000 white. Five city council members– one of whom was black. Fifty-three policemen – 50 of whom were white. A white mayor. “Do you see the picture here?” May said. “These folk don’t vote in local or midterm elections.” She added: “Now if we can’t take that scenario and roll it into a message for our party, we just need to pack it up and go home. Because we have been grasping for a message.”

    Imagine a leader within a National Party counting what must or must not be right simply by the number of black or white folks on an elected City Council or Police Department.  So, using Ms. May's logic would it be a fair thing to say that the white representation in many urban environments (Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta and yes, St. Louis) is skewed and "does she see the picture"?  Of course that wouldn't be acceptable and in truth it isn't.  Then again neither should her remarks be acceptable.  But as with other examples, I won't be waiting for AG Holder, Pres. Obama or Rev. Sharpton to call her out.  Understand, I "get" what she is wanting to say in that getting out the vote is important.  However she seems to forget that if problems existed in Ferguson (and let's be clear; she has no idea if they do and neither do I as neither on of us are from that community and any information shared now must be viewed with skepticism as it just may have an agenda) it would be up to the Democrat Governor Jay Nixon to address and the Democrat Prosecutor Bob McCulloch for St. Louis County to prosecute.  Oh, that's right . . . Democrats (Mr. Dooley, Sen. Nasheed among others) now don't like the Democrat that holds the office of County Prosecutor and has held it since 1991 because he (Mr. McCulloch) just could be bigoted as his police officer father was killed by a black man in 1964!  Amazing isn't it.  So much for living in that "color blind society" that judged a man by "the content of his character and not the color of his skin". 

    Make no mistake that Ms. May has a point that voter turn out in Ferguson is horrible.  I don't question that.  However - make no mistake that to pontificate on how this tragic event must be a rallying cry for Democrats to take home and electrify the voters because the Democrats (in Ms. Mays assessment) have been; "grasping for a message" is nothing short of ghoulish once you remember that Michael Browns corpse had not been laid to rest as she spoke those words.  What better example would one need to see that this is a narrative an agenda, not about "justice" and not about finding the actual facts of the case.  It is about personal and organizational profit.  Money and power, period. 

    I know that the retort from those wishing to defend Ms. May will be that the Mayor of Ferguson is a white Republican and so to are some of the City Council Members.  Here is the problem . . . . . NONE of them were at or involved in the shooting incident and NONE of them have (to my knowledge) come out publically for or against either Mr. Brown or Officer Wilson.  The same is not true for Pres. Obama who came out against the police.  AG Holder who came out against the police also and stated he was "with" the residents of Ferguson who were protesting.  Gov. Jay Nixon who came out asking for a speedy prosecution.  All of them have made a judgment about  what occurred on 9 August between Mr. Brown and Officer Wilson and yet none of them were actually present and none of them actually know the full facts of the case yet as it has not even been presented in it's entirety to the Grand Jury by the Democrat elected Prosecutor.  It is wrong.  It is prejudice to reach a conclusion prior to an indictment being handed down.  I understand that normal people do this all the time.  Look, when Jeffery Dahlmer was charged we ALL knew he was guilty after we heard the evidence.  When the police officers in the Rodney King case were charged in Federal Court we all knew they were guilty.  We, you and me, do sometimes judge things without all of the evidence.  However, you and me are not the President, AG, State Senator, Governor or a leading national civil rights pastor.  Those folks are in positions of leadership and when they express an opinion some people take it to heart and can sway the thoughts and feelings they have into the direction that the leader wishes.  It's a simple fact and one that cannot be overlook.  It's a narrative created prior to knowing if Officer Wilson is actually guilty of a crime and it is, in a word, WRONG. 

    But it isn't just political leaders that are doing this.  Consider that before we actually know what occurred between Mr. Brown and Officer Wilson sides are being drawn.  Some conservatives (small "c" intended) want nothing more than unbridled support for Officer Wilson and some liberals demand that not supporting Michael Brown means you are a racist.  Both are ignorant.  Yet, consider the Washington Redskins Football Team (btw; isn't the media mostly against the Redskins because of the name. . . irony, right).  The Redskins took to the field on 08/18 with "hands up, don't shoot". OK, except the truth is we don't know if Mr. Brown was or was not making that gesture and the person most responsible for telling the media that (Dorian Johnson) has been shown to be untruthful in at least one instance. Further, what if Ms. Byers is right that at least 12 witnesses agree with the police version. Look we know for a fact the video tape (see above) shows at least one witness telling a story that paints Mr. Brown as the aggressor. Yet, the players with the Redskins took the field with political speech. Why? What happened to waiting until we actually have facts? Seriously.

    The NFL isn't alone.  During the MTV video music awards it was reported that Kim and Klhoe Kardashian were photographed "texting" during the moment of silence to Michael Brown.  Because they were "disrespectful" they are being taken to task by folks not only in the media but in comments.  Really - we all must "comply" with what we are being told.  What if it turns out that Michael Brown was the aggressor and that he had attempted to get Officer Wilsons gun.  Will the folks at MTV and those who ran down the Kardashian sisters apologize to them? 

    Still again, those aren't the only examples.  A New York Times article made the mistake of saying that Michael Brown, "was no angel" and then needed to apologize on twitter for that part of the Op-Ed.  They had not choice as people were calling it a "code word" and pointing out how it was "judgmental" and "bigoted" and oh, yeah . . "racist".  The problem is that it seems like it was true given everything we know.  As I said at the beginning, I am a flawed person and when I pass, regardless of the circumstances, the news can write, "Will was clearly not an angel or not even close.  Hell, he was flawed as a MoFo and probably made some dumba** mistake the day he died".  I am good with it because it is true.  Who among us is an angel.  Seriously and how in the hell is that a new "code word".  Lord we are losing our minds. 

    But . . . remember; we have to be good and follow the narrative that we are being given for digestion otherwise you will be labeled a bigot, racist and so on.  (On a side note; the irony here is that the NYT is the paper that Ms. Frances Robels works for and she (as shown earlier) is the reporter given access to the family autopsy along with having a past working relationship with Messer's Parks and Crump.  Further, it was the NYT photographer Eric Thayer who must have been present on 08/17 at the Austin A. Lane Funeral Home in Ferguson as a photograph was taken of Dr. Baden and Mr. (or Prof.) Parcells accompanies the story by Ms. Robels.  Consider that folks . . . a NYT photographer took a photo inside the funeral home of the men who conducted the autopsy.  They (NYT) are given that much access (assumingly) by Messer's Parks and Crump and yet once they say Mr. Brown was "no angel" (not that he was a "thug" or "hood" or "thief" or "strong arm robbery suspect" but just that he is, "no angel" . . they are "bigoted" in the opinion of some in the spoon fed public and all the while we still don't know what actually occurred. 

    It's a narrative that is being sold.  Unarmed, black teenager shot and killed by police.  The thing is that on one hand it is true.  Mr. Brown was a teenager and was apparently unarmed and he was in fact shot and killed by the police.  Yet, as the Dillon Taylor case has shown he isn't the only person this has happened to in August 2014.  In truth there is also the case of Joseph Jennings an 18 year old white male who was shot and killed by a police officer in Kansas on August 24th.  Mr. Jennings either was or wasn't armed with a BB gun prior to the shooting and while he is the same age as Mr. Brown he is being referred to as a "man" in news reports by Kansas News First and the Wichita Eagle.  Did Mr. Jennings "deserve" to be shot?  I have no idea.  Maybe he pointed a weapon at the police and maybe the police did not know that it was a BB gun, I have no idea.  But I do know that Mr. Jennings like Mr. Brown was eighteen years old and one is being referred to as a "teenager" and the other a "man".  Words matter as Pres. Obama reminded us when he lifted Gov. Patrick's speech for the famous "just words" remarks.  It sends a clear message and one that builds a narrative.  It is in the open but unless you pay attention you won't see it. 

    Words matter and set a tone for the narrative.  Consider the case of Ralph Weems IV, a veteran of the Iraq War and a Marine.  He was beaten after entering a Waffle House on August 24th in rural Mississippi.  Mr. Weems and his friend were warned not to enter the Waffle House by a patron because they were white and the patrons of the Waffle House were upset about the shooting of Michael Brown.  Mr. Weems and his friend entered and were later beaten by a group of about twenty men.  Although his friend told the police that racist comments were made during the beating the police stated they did not think this incident was a hate crime.  If the story is true (see link below) those who committed this act are clearly wrong but at the same time they are being fed a steady diet in the media thanks to politicians and unelected leaders that Mr. Brown was killed by a white man for doing nothing more than being black.  That would and does anger people and at some point people will let that anger out and will harm people.  But the media is shy to condemn this and the politicians and community leaders whose words attribute to this don't address it with any consistency.  Words matter and when people are told that Mr. Brown must be innocent and Officer Wilson guilty well before a Grand Jury reaches a decision it is only logical to think they will react to such anger.  What will happen if the story turn out that Mr. Brown isn't innocent and Officer Wilson was justified?  The community that was led to believe Mr. Brown was an innocent teenager will not buy that story and will instead think the decision either not to charge or find Officer Wilson not guilty (should that be the case) will believe this must have occurred only because of racism.  It makes sense doesn't it when you consider a State Senator, AG Holder, Pres. Obama, Gov. Nixon, Rev. Sharpton and others have all said "justice" must come for Michael Brown and the citizens of Ferguson.  The narrative is being established and regardless of the outcome a huge portion of the population is being manipulated and used well before the Court System even has a chance to act.

    Just to be honest, the folks that are willing to take the side of Officer Wilson as "gospel" are wrong also.  We don't know yet we are choosing sides.  I find it horrific to be honest.  We are not playing a game of pick-up basketball and choosing teams.  A young man lost his life and the Officer responsible for it (notice I did not say legally culpable as the has not been decided) will never have the life he had prior to 12:01pm on 9 August.  Never. 

    At some point we need to be honest and say that in more than one high profile cases in the past things just don't add up once exposed to sunlight. Keep in mind; Tawana Brawley, Cornelius Weaver, Alicia Hardin, Duke University (District Attorney Mike Nifong), Madonna Constantine, Jena 6, and so many other cases that gain national prominence then turn out not to be exactly as sold and they then fade into obscurity without anyone ever saying; wait, words, accusations matter and ought to have consequences.

    Bigotry in any manner is wrong and should be ferreted out and stopped. However so to is inflaming anger when it may not be warranted. Who is served when the community is divided? Who profits from such division? Let's be honest, right, somebody is making money by appearing on TV, giving speeches and flying from place to place making accusations otherwise they wouldn't do it. In the end is this helping unite our Country?

    Something is wrong here folks and it is far worse than just this tragic killing. I don't believe anyone should die over a petty theft. However I don't know if Mr. Brown assaulted a police officer or not.  Although I don't believe that even if that occurred Mr. Brown deserved to lose his life and I am not implying that.  I know he clearly is being accused of assaulting a store clerk just prior to this incident. I don't know if Officer Wilson is guilty of a crime and regardless of what anyone else may claim they don't know either. I also don't think we will find the truth. We will find what will make political sense for those in power. Officer Wilson, I suspect, will be charged with something by the DOJ.   His life will be over and Mr. Browns family will be left grieving. 

    Earlier I wrote how I believed the media were not helping this situation but were instead part of the problem.  I believe that with all my heart.  In my opinion one of the most obvious examples came on 08/23 when after things have started to settle down AFP Reporter Robert Macpherson wrote an article that was picked up by Yahoo! informing the world that three Missouri police officers have been disciplined.  One officer, Dan Page, from the St. Louis County Police Department is under investigation because of a 2012 video on youtube where he said, "I personally believe in Jesus Christ as my lord savior, but I'm also a killer," as he spoke to a group called the Oath Keepers of St Louis and St Charles. "It's that simple" he continued, "And if I need to, I'll kill a whole bunch more. If you don't want to get killed, don't show up in front of me. It's that simple".  Clearly the remarks were ignorant and wrong.  However does he have a history and if so why is he still a police officer considering the remarks are two years old?  One thing of note

    The report also states that on 08/20, "Ray Albers, a police lieutenant from another St Louis suburb, St Ann, was suspended after he pointed a semi-automatic assault rifle at Ferguson protesters and, using obscene language, threatened to kill them."  Finally, Mr. Macpherson told how an officer from Glendale, another St Louis suburb, had been suspended as of 08/22 when it was learned he expressed contempt for the Ferguson protesters on his Facebook account. "I'm sick of these protesters. You are a burden on society and a blight on the community," wrote Michael Pappert, in one of at least five posts that have gone up since Sunday. "These protesters should have been put down like a rabid dog the first night," he added. In a reference to the Boston Marathon bombing, he also wrote: "Where is a Muslim with a backpack when you need them."

    All three officers are wrong, no question and there is no defense for the behavior they displayed.  However, notice that two of the three are already suspended (meaning internal controls worked) and that the third is being investigated by the department for his comments even though the remarks are two years old.  Again, it seems the internal controls worked.  I have no issue with AFP or Yahoo! reporting this about the police officers but I do wonder why they have not also reported as verbosely on the threats by Sen. Nasheed or Rev. Shabazz.  It is about consistency.  If we are going to call one out then we should call them all out.  Period.  But we are not seeing that by the media. 

    I simply don't see this tragic event and the protest that have followed as being about "no justice, no peace".  I believe that because of the huge number of unknowns surrounding the case.  I see this as about perverting justice to reach an outcome that is already being demanded by political and social leaders even if the evidence does not warrant it.  I wasn't alive during the "Jim Crowe" courts when white defendants were simply given a walk if the victim was black but I know that was wrong and is a horrible stain on our country.  I also see the rush and demand for "justice" before a grand jury hears the case, an indictment is handed down and a guilty verdict is rendered as just abhorrent to our society. 

    Understand . . . if Officer Wilson is guilty of a crime he needs to be charged and given his day in the court of law.  However that day should come without the assumptions of politicians and unelected so call community leaders tainting the jury.  But in the end the truth is that we have come to this and it is really sad.

    List of reading material (news stories) and blogs used in compiling my thoughts (although not exhaustive and I do apologize for leaving some of the stories out):


    1. Outstanding work you've done here!! Wow. I'm bookmarking it to come back and read more.

      1. @Jessica; thank you. I hope that the situation ends soon and that the violence (looting, burning and so on) ends even sooner. I pray for the Brown and Wilson family but also for America.

    2. Enjoyed reading your thoughts, and agree with most of what you said.

      However, it would be a lot easier to read & comprehend if you chose wider column width- and breaking it up with more paragraphs would help too.

      Thanks for your perspective!

      1. Denis;

        Points well taken and I will work on that. Appreciate your input.