Wilson’s resignation was announced Saturday by one of his attorneys, Neil Bruntrager, who said his client’s decision was effective immediately.
‘I have been told that my continued employment may put the residents and police officers of the City of Ferguson at risk, which is a circumstance that I cannot allow,’ Wilson said in his resignation letter released late Saturday.
‘It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of paramount importance to me. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal,’ the letter read.
The social justice narrative in the Michael Brown case grinds on. Despite the complete release of evidence following the decision of the grand jury not to indict former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, the racial grievance industry, and the President and Attorney General, will not allow facts and the truth to get in the way.
This inevitably leads to pundits and “activists” solemnly shaking their heads, intoning that the truth will never be known. What they mean is that they reject any “truth” that does not support their preconceptions. Therefore, the grand jury’s decision is inherently faulty and they have no obligation to bother with fact or evidence, despite the fact that both are easily available to them.
They also invoke our video-suffused society, observing that despite a three-month grand jury investigation and an ongoing federal probe, no one has publicly disclosed any photos or videos capturing exactly what transpired from start to finish. The implication is that without high- resolution video of the event, the truth is unknowable, therefore, their view of things must be correct.
It is not unusual to hear progressives speak of “alternate ways of knowing,” or “other ways of knowing. This is particularly popular and an article of faith in college “studies” courses where facts and evidence do not support virtually anything being taught, therefore professors and students laud the inestimable value of “other ways of knowing” whatever it is they want to believe. This allows the acceptance of unsupportable narratives and eliminates the need for such time-consuming and often contradictory concepts as research, evidence and truth. If you can construct “truth” out of thin air, what’s the point of wasting time doing otherwise?
In the real world, we understand the limitations of our senses and of human perception. Thus have we constructed the criminal and civil justice systems that allow us, within the limitations of human beings and the physical world in which they exist, to know the truth. The standard of proof is much higher in the criminal justice system than in the civil justice system, which, considering people’s liberty and lives are at stake, is a good thing.
Police officers understand that no matter how proficient they are as investigators, they may never know every minute detail about any case. This is acceptable in that it is not necessary to know every detail, to be absolutely positive beyond any possible doubt, only to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt.
If physical evidence is properly gathered and interpreted, if it supports the statements of credible witnesses, if it supports the confessions of criminal suspects, there can be no reasonable doubts, even though we may never know every gesture, thought, action and utterance that occurred during the commission of the crime.
In the Michael Brown case, the problem is that some people refuse to accept evidence, the fulfillment of the elements of the involved crimes, or the lack of fulfillment of the elements where murder charges against Darren Wilson were at issue, and all of the factors that demonstrated to the satisfaction of the criminal justice system we have constructed that Michael Brown was a drug-impaired robber who caused himself to be shot by the officer he chose to attack and who acted within the laws governing the conduct of police officers and self-defense. Those are the facts. That’s the truth.
Another fundamentally dishonest approach used by social justice proponents is the statistical/social justice approach. In this method, all things are known and proven by the use of single, cherry-picked statistics. Because statistics show that young black men are many times more likely than young white men to be imprisoned for felonies, society must be racist. Because statistics show that only about 6% of the Ferguson Police Department is black and about 70% of the population of Ferguson is black, the Ferguson PD must be racist. Such simplistic jumping to conclusions ignores the reality that young black men are more likely to be jailed for felonies because they commit numbers of felonies far out of proportion to their numbers in the population. It also fails to take into account that police work is, by law and necessity, highly selective in hiring, and that what is most likely is few, if any, qualified black candidates have applied to work for the Ferguson Police Department.
The PBS News Hour, a reliable purveyor of progressive, social justice narratives, has written an article that manipulates statistics to try to delegitimize the grand jury verdict. Their method appears to be a 51% approach. If more than 50% of all the witnesses said something, or something like the point PBS wishes to make, it must be true. This is a majority rules approach to criminal justice. Ignore, for the purposes of this article, that whenever two thugs attack a single victim, they’d always have a statistical majority on their side, a two to one majority in fact.
PBS goes further, essentially suggesting that whatever a single witness said is indicative of something significant. They also leap upon the absence of observations, saying that more than half of all witnesses did not mention whether Michael Brown was kneeling. The observations of a single witness may mean they were in a unique position to see whatever they saw or they are completely mistaken. Knowing that a number of witnesses did not see Brown kneeling is likely indicative of nothing more than that they did not see him kneeling for a variety of reasons, including the fact that he never knelt. In every case, witnesses may simply not be credible and nothing they say can be believed. That was certainly true in the Brown case.
More than 50 percent of the witness statements said that Michael Brown held his hands up when Darren Wilson shot him. (16 out of 29 such statements)
Only five witness statements said that Brown reached toward his waist during the confrontation leading up to Wilson shooting him to death.
More than half of the witness statements said that Brown was running away from Wilson when the police officer opened fire on the 18-year-old, while fewer than one-fifth of such statements indicated that was not the case.
There was an even split among witness statements that said whether or not Wilson fired upon Brown when the 18-year-old had already collapsed onto the ground.
Only six witness statements said that Brown was kneeling when Wilson opened fire on him. More than half of the witness statements did not mention whether or not Brown was kneeling.
Take the link to see NPR’s chart relating to witness testimony. To those unfamiliar with statistics and/or the justice system, it may seem impressive and authoritative. As a general guide to the variability of witness perceptions, it is instructive. As insight into the truth in the Brown case, it is useless.
Unfortunately for PBS and the narrative, most of the witnesses were not only unreliable, they were self-confessed liars. Many simply made up their testimony, having seen little or nothing at all of the events about which they lied. Others lied in part, and even when confronted with incontrovertible evidence of their lying, refused to admit they were lying.
For the grand jurors, listening to such testimony must have been a veritable clown show. At first, they would have been amused by such clumsy perjury, but eventually, they would have become angry. Having read the testimony of witnesses both credible and incredible, it is clear that the grand jury could have come to no other verdict.
Consider the testimony of Witness 41, a women, as she was interviewed by the FBI. She was only one of the many social justice witnesses who so effectively nuked the social justice narrative, an in a pathetic, tragicomic way. She began by claiming to be outside on the second floor porch of a nearby apartment building when she heard two shots. She said she then ran into the parking lot:
41: And I, that’s when I ran down to the lot to see what was goin’ on.
Special Agent (SA): Okay.
41: And um, Michael Brown’s on his knees with his hands up and he was being shot up. And then he-he fell. The officer got out of his truck, SUV rather and that’s when he stood over the boy and just emptied his clip.
She claimed Officer Wilson was shooting a fully automatic weapon, and the FBI agents corrected that “misconception.” By this point, she had already committed massive perjury. Nothing she said occurred; it was in direct conflict with the physical evidence. She wasn’t nearly done:
SA: Um, okay, so you said that you saw—you saw Michael down on his knees. Was he facing the police officer?
41: Yes he was.
SA: Where was the police officer at the time?
41: The police officer was coming toward him. He was on his knees.
SA: So the police, so Michael Brown was on his knees.
41: And he had his hands up. He had his hands up.
SA: And the police officer’s walkin’ toward him?
41: Yes, and he had his hands up and the police was shootin’ him as he was comin’ toward him.
Notice how the agents are allowing her to dig her perjury grave even more deeply. For racial reasons, none of the lying witnesses will ever by prosecuted, but the agents are following proper procedure and their training. They continued:
SA: But he was on his knees?
41: (unintelligible—UI) Michael was on his knees with his hands up. (UI)
SA: Okay, okay, and then did Michael Brown fall?
41: And yeah, he eventually fell and fell face down and that’s when…
SA: He fell face down?
41: …that’s when the policeman came over and just finished him up.
SA: So-so when he came over and you said he finished him up, where was he shootin’ him?
41: They shot him in his head and that was the last bullet that went off was in his head.
Notice how the interview degenerates into farce:
SA: Okay, but, how could he have shot him there if he’s face down?
41: No, I’m talkin’ about while he was up he was shootin’ ‘em.
SA: Okay, then you said he fell down…
41: But, then he fell down and he-he-he and that’s when he shot him in the head.
SA: He got up over him…
41: And shot him in the head.
SA: Shot him in the head. In the back of the head?
The woman then embarks on a bizarre and convoluted explanation of how Wilson, standing over Brown who is face down on the ground, could have shot him in the top of the head.
SA: How many shots did you hear total?
41: I got a total of nine.
SA: You heard a total of nine shots.
SA: OK, um, but you said, did he shoot him after he fell?
41: Yep. He-he was goin’ down that when he was shootin’ he-he’s like no, you ain’t gonna plea me down but you almost down.
41: And, that’s when the bullet hit him in the head.
41: And he went on down.
SA: And then—then did the police officer stop shooting?
41: he didn’t have no more rounds. The gun just stopped. Or, the gun said ‘click click.’
SA: Okay. Un, you understand that you-you’re not allowed to lie to a federal officer?
41: Yes, I know.
SA: You know it’s a crime.
41: A, who you tellin’? I know that.
The agents continue to try to give her an out, an opportunity to tell the truth, but she keeps digging the hole she’s already started.
41: But I’m just tellin’ you what I saw. And then a, I ran in the house and I-I got all my (UI) ‘cause I-I’ve been vomiting. Then I-I got myself back together. I went back out and he was just laying there. Just blood just running everywhere.
41: And, a, they say on the radio move (UI) everybody had to move back. So, everybody moved back so they can get the body out of the street but the boy lay there for four hours uncovered. And then they finally covered him up and he laid there and hour and thirty minutes covered up.
Notice how she is now repeating parts of the narrative she obviously heard elsewhere. No one times such things. If you think the interview has been farcical to this point, you haven’t read anything yet:
SA: Um, I think we told once before that we-we know, this isn’t the first interview. This isn’t the first a, thing we’ve done in the investigation.
She apparently tries to trick the agents into thinking they have something in common so they should let her lie:
41: I already know about you all (UI) ‘cause my uncle is a FBI, that’s why I know about your all procedures…
SA: Your uncle’s FBI?
41: …and (UI) yes.
SA: Who’s your uncle?
41: I can’t tell you that.
SA: Well why can’t you tell me that?
41: ‘Cause I can’t.
SA: If he’s an FBI agent, it shouldn’t be a secret.
41: No, I can’t tell you all that.
SA: Where’s he…where…what office is he in?
41: Washington, D.C. I can tell you that.
SA: Okay, your uncle is-is an FBI Agent. You know, what-what area does he work, do you know?
41: I just know he live in Washington, D.C. (UI)
SA: Is he an agent?
41: Yes he is.
SA: He’s an agent. Okay. Well, I bet if your uncle is sittin’ to you he wouldn’t-he wouldn’t be add…buying your story either. ‘cause I’m not…
41: You don’t have to buy my story…
SA: No, I’m-I’m not…what I want…
41: …matter of fact you…
41: …what you all can do is erase this.
SA: No, we’re not erasing anything.
41: But, I am.
SA: Please put the recorder down.
SA: Please put the…
And the recording stops at that point as she struggles to erase her statement and the agents wrestle the recorder away from her. This is the kind of stuff even Hollywood wouldn’t think to put in a screenplay. Imagine grand jurors reading that statement. Imagine further, adding many statements similar to it in credibility, and the reasons why witness credibility is so important and why the PBS approach is so uninformed and worthless are easily understood.
For the good of us all and to the chagrin of NPR, in the legal system all doubt is resolved in favor of the accused, who has the presumption of innocence. The burden of proof is on the state, as it should and must be in a free society, though this is not as large a burden as it might initially seem. The state has the full wealth of all taxpayers behind it, and more than a few means of coercion. A no bill for Darren Wilson was by no means a sure thing, particularly in the racially, politically charged atmosphere surrounding the case.
Consider too the grand jury testimony of Dorian Johnson, Michael Brown’s companion and arguably, his accomplice. He too nuked the social justice narrative.
Johnson had a very great deal to lose. Not only was he criminally culpable, he was thrust into the position of holding up the social justice narrative upon pain of being branded a traitor to his race. He could have faced murder charges under the felony murder rule: anyone involved in a crime in which someone–even one of the criminals–dies, may be charged with murder.
I’ll not repeat all of Johnson’s testimony. Interested readers can take the link. His testimony of 09-10-14 begins on page 17 of the transcript and runs to page 176. Some have suggested that the prosecutors teated Officer Wilson with kid gloves. If so, they provided drinks and massages for Johnson as he testified. From the beginning, the prosecutor treated him deferentially, and made it clear he would not be prosecuted for his admissions of crimes. His mother and attorney were waiting in the “TV room,” and the prosecutor made it clear Johnson could halt the proceedings at any time to speak with them if he pleased. An example of her deference:
Prosecutor (Q): Now, we told you that your are not a focus of any criminal charges, right? [skip]
That we just want to hear from your being the person that was with Michael Brown that day, in your own words, what happened, that’s what we are here for. We are not here to prosecute you. You may tell us some things that have to do with criminal behavior. I know there is an incident at the store, as the Ferguson Market. We will play that video and ask you to tell us what’s going on there.
There is some talk about smoking weed and those kinds of things, but that’s not anything that we are here to prosecute you for. I want to make that clear on the record, okay?
Johnson began his testimony by explaining he lived in a two bedroom apartment with his daughter, a girlfriend and a roommate. He is 22. He also explained that he was unemployed:
I recently lost my job around the sixth month, I met him [Brown] in the fifth month, so now I’m on the verge of finding new work and finding a way to pay the bills.
Here is Johnson’s account of awakening on the morning of August 9, 2014. Consider the effect this must have had on the jury:
A: August the 9th, it began like any other day. I start my morning, I wake up, I take a shower, and I ask my girl does she like breakfast, what would she like for breakfast. I head out to go get it. Upon getting breakfast, I get me some Cigarillos. I smoke marijuana in the mornings when I start my day off, so I was going headed to the store.
Well, who doesn’t begin their day by getting stoned? Johnson said he was on the way to get his blunts when he ran into Brown:
So I stopped and spoke to him. He asked me where I was headed to. I told him, I was going to get some rillos and get something to eat for me and my girl, I’m headed back to the house. He was like okay, well, I’ll match you. I guess he had his own weed, so he said he would match me one. Matching is, if you don’t know, is just someone I will roll the weed, he will roll the blunt, we both exchange blunts.
Johnson clarified that he and Brown were going to get blunts and smoke pot together. He said he and Brown began conversing about the future and somehow ended up walking to the store.
Johnson described Brown’s robbery, claiming he had no part of it and had no idea Brown was going to do it. He said after they left, he asked Brown what he was doing His testimony does not paint Brown in a favorable light:
And so much is giving me an answer as to why he did it was he was basically laughing it off, be cool, be calm, stuff like that laughing it off but in my head I’m like, I can’t be calm, I can’t be cool because I know what just happened and we were on camera.
Johnson said he intended to try to hide the stolen blunts, but he didn’t have any pockets–even trying to lie, he couldn’t hide his criminal tendencies–Brown carried bunches of them in each hand. As they were walking down the middle of Canfield, Officer Wilson stopped and Johnson said “it was very rudely,” claiming that Wilson told them “Get the fuck on the sidewalk.”
Johnson testified that he told Wilson “we was just a minute away from our destination.” He claimed Brown didn’t say a word, and under questioning finally admitted they stayed in the middle of the road.
Johnson’s testimony was already very different than Wilson’s. It was about to diverge even more dramatically as he said Wilson backed up and stopped right next to them. Notice that much of his testimony sounds like it has been written, rehearsed and regurgitated:
And Big Mike, in an instant, Big Mike was finished saying something, his door was thrust open, very complex, he thrust his door open real hard. We was so close to the door that it hit mostly Big Mike, but it hit me on my left side and it closed back on him, like real fast. Just the same speed, boom, boom, that fast.
And at that time he never attempted to open the door again like to try to get back out, but his arm came out the window and that’s the first initial contact that they had. The officer grabbed, he grabbed ahold of Big Mike’s shirt around the neck area.
Q: So did he grab his neck or his shirt around the neck area?
A: It was more of both because he had a real good grip on him.
Johnson testified and Brown put his hand on top of the vehicle and on the side view mirror and “he’s trying to pull off the officer’s grip.”
They are both talking to each other, they are yelling and cussing. And neither one of them can calm down, they both have angry faces on while they are talking.
They both were very upset and they couldn’t calm do. There wasn’t any wrestling or anything like that, punches were thrown. It was more a tug of war and it was very intense, very intense.
Through this supposed tug of war, Johnson would have the jury believe that Brown never dropped the blunts in both his hands, eventually handing them to Johnson. According to Johnson, Brown was never leaning into the vehicle, and was merely trying to pull away while Wilson was trying to pull him into the vehicle–something no police officer would ever do–having only a grip on Brown’s shirt.
Johnson testified that Wilson threatened to shoot Brown, who was still outside the car, being held only by Wilson’s left hand, desperately trying to pull away, his hands on the exterior of the vehicle. When pressed for details, Johnson began to call himself a victim and claimed not to be aware of what Brown was doing despite standing right next to him. Notice his testimony directly contradicts the physical evidence:
The left arm is not on the car any more, the officer still has the right arm, but he’s not inside the car. And when I look up and see the officer, the officer has his gun pointed, his left arm grabbed, he has his gun pointed aimed at Big Mike.
In my mind it was probably aimed at both of us, but I assumed he wasn’t directly just trying to go for Big Mike. he had his gun pointed towards us. I’m still standing in the doorway and at the time he said I’ll shoot. He was going to say it again, I’ll shoot and almost, he didn’t get to finish his sentence, the gun went off.
Q: At the time that the gun went off, where were the hands of Big Mike?
A: The left arm was down at his side. He was standing straight up, I was standing right on the side of his. The right arm was still un in the air while the officer, but still pulling, but it is not like he got any, pulling off the car, he is still pulling the officer.
Notice that Johnson isn’t making much sense, but is sticking with his story that Brown was never inside the vehicle, and always had his hands and arms outside it. The prosecutor tried to clarify this:
Q: Are you absolutely certain you did not see Big Mike’s hands inside the officer’s car in a struggle with the officer?
A: Now, his hand being inside the car, I won’t speculate on, like I said, there was times where the officer had a good pull and his arm would get in there, but majority of the time the officer really didn’t have that much power because of the position that they both had…
Johnson, specifically asked, reiterated that he was standing right next to Brown the entire time, but Brown never made a fist or punched Wilson.
Johnson claimed that after the shot, he and Brown ran, and he hid behind a nearby car as Brown kept running and Johnson began walking toward them, saying nothing, his gun drawn. Johnson said Wilson shot Brown as he was running away, which caused Brown to jerk, apparently from the impact of a bullet, stop and turn around.
Johnson claimed Brown’s hands were sort of “up,” but never near his waistline. According to Johnson, Brown spoke to Wilson:
No, the first statement was I don’t have a gun.
Q: You heard him say that?
A: Yes, I don’t have a gun.
Johnson testified that Wilson then began shooting Brown, who began falling and eventually fell down as Wilson kept shooting. According to Johnson, Brown never ran toward Wilson. Johnson, supposedly in shock, said he didn’t say a word after Brown fell, and ran away, though he did change clothing and return a short time later. Johnson said:
A: No, Ma’am. At no point in time when he turned around he made a rush toward the officer or anything like he was going to tackle the officer or anything like that. He was standing straight up.
Readers interested can take the link and read all of Johnson’s testimony. He began by painting himself as a chronic pot head, lied throughout his testimony, every bit of it directly contradicting the physical evidence which plainly made his testimony impossible, and ended by doing his best to minimize what sounded like a fairly extensive criminal record for one only 22. His self-portrait was of a chronic drug-using social parasite without a job, and an infant daughter and no means to support her or his girlfriend, yet he always had money for marijuana, which he smoked every morning. This is not, for most people, a recipe for employment, personal credibility, and a useful, productive future. Surely the jurors must have decided Johnson had no credibility whatever.
Under normal circumstances, Johnson and many other witnesses would be prosecuted for perjury, but fear of riots and of being accused of racism will surely prevent it.
Some social justice proponents have complained that Michael Brown did not get his day in court. Actually, he got far more than that. A great many witnesses, including Dorian Johnson, testified and lied for him. Fortunately for the rule of law, there were many honest witnesses whose testimony supported that of Officer Wilson. His, and their, testimony was supported by the physical evidence. Those witnesses, by virtue of their character, their apparent honesty, and the fact that their testimony was independently confirmable, made it possible for all people of good will and honest disposition to know the truth in this case.
Some people, regardless of the truth of falsity of their testimony, simply make terrible witnesses. Some people just aren’t very likeable. This is nothing more sinister than human nature. In the Michael Brown case, witnesses tended to destroy their own credibility by making up fantastic and very clumsy lies in the service of the narrative and misplaced racial solidarity.
I’ll not go into great depth about every witness involved in this case. All of the testimony is available online for those interested in reading it. For the most part, there is no more benefit to be had in re-litigating the case. Those maintaining the social justice narrative have no interest in reading the evidence and learning the facts. They just aren’t useful in keeping people at each other’s throats.
The next installment of the case will explore the testimony of several credible witnesses. I’ve no doubt after seeing their testimony, readers will understand why the grand jury had no option but to return a no bill.