The further we get from the announcement of the Grand Jury’s verdict as to whether or not (former) Ferguson PD Officer Darren Wilson would be indicted on murder charges for shooting Michael Brown, the clearer it becomes that the truth is completely irrelevant in the ongoing controversy, violence, and protests over the shooting.
It doesn’t matter that Michael Brown robbed a convenience store, pushing the store owner around and walking out with merchandise he hadn’t paid for just moments before being approached by Wilson. The act was caught on video, proving that Brown was not the “gentle giant” that his mother claimed him to be. Not that it matters anyway – as one protester’s sign reads, “No mother should have to fear for her son’s life every time he robs a store.” The lack of logic is so stunningly deep, no reasonable person could possibly argue against it.
It doesn’t matter that Darren Wilson was under attack and in fear for his life…nor does it matter that the physical evidence and the only reliable witness testimony backs up Wilson’s statement. It doesn’t matter that witnesses were intimidated by the mob into telling the story that Wilson had killed Brown in cold blood.
Michael Brown didn’t have his hands up, yet “hands up, don’t shoot” remains the rallying cry – to the point that five members of the St. Louis Rams decided to organize their own protest before their last game. One would hope that role models such as professional football players would show a little more class, but given the big stories out of the NFL lately, they aren’t really known for their class.
But apparently, ignorance makes a great cause – good enough that President Obama spent the day meeting with race baiters. The conclusion to this grand meeting? $263 million for body cameras. Because, as Barack Obama made clear in his remarks after the meeting, the President of the United States does not trust law enforcement.
He made it clear several times in his speech:
I think Ferguson laid bare a problem that is not unique to St. Louis or that area, and is not unique to our time, and that is a simmering distrust that exists between too many police departments and too many communities of color. The sense that in a country where one of our basic principles, perhaps the most important principle, is equality under the law, that too many individuals, particularly young people of color, do not feel as if they are being treated fairly.
Got that? The President of the United States is holding meetings that grant legitimacy to the looters, the rioters, the protesters who block traffic because they “do not feel as if they are being treated fairly.” Because it’s not fair is suddenly a reason to break windows and make false accusations.
As I said last week, when any part of the American family does not feel like it is being treated fairly, that’s a problem for all of us. It’s not just a problem for some. It’s not just a problem for a particular community or a particular demographic. It means that we are not as strong as a country as we can be. And when applied to the criminal justice system, it means we’re not as effective in fighting crime as we could be.
This just makes even more absurd the fact that the President of the United States is inserting himself into a justifiable police shooting by a cop in a Missouri town. The only reason this incident made any headlines at all is because people lied. The only reason there are still protests today is because people continue to ignore the truth and believe the lie. Boiling it down to whether people feel like they’re “treated fairly” does a major disservice to law enforcement officers across America.
Here’s the thing: we can all agree that police brutality is a bad thing, and that cops shouldn’t shoot unarmed kids based on the color of their skin…and if anything even remotely close to any of those things had actually happened in Ferguson, then someone might actually have a point somewhere in all of this.
But instead, a punk robbed a store, assaulted a police officer, and got himself shot.
At the least, some good could come out of having a few thousand additional law enforcement officers wearing body cameras: The next time a mob fed on lies demands the public lynching of an officer who was defending himself, it would be great to have some video evidence showing the real race haters what a bunch of dupes they are.