Officer apparently tried in camera
Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson apparently was “tried” for shooting African-American Michael Brown, 18, in camera, which means out of sight of the public, or another way of saying he was tried in secret, a system of justice favored by the old Soviet Union and Nazi Germany because results are guaranteed.
The white St. Louis County prosecutor, Robert P. McCulloch, in the shooting of Brown by the white police officer said everything the grand jury considered was released to the public.
There are several problems with that statement.
Grand juries are supposed to hear only evidence against a suspect to determine whether there is enough to bring the case to trial.
This view was even expressed by ultra conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in a decision he authored.
McCulloch said in his Monday night press conference that the grand jury heard “all the evidence” in the case.
That included four hours of testimony by Wilson, whom one analyst described as receiving only “gentle” questioning by the prosecutor where as those among the 60 witnesses called who presented different views were “sharply” questioned by the prosecutor.
The prosecutor is generally the only lawyer presenting a case to a grand jury, so whose case was he presenting?
The evidence apparently reads more like the defense case.
Because of the manner in which this case was handled, it is unlikely that the truth will ever be known.
Unfortunately, for Brown’s parents, the African-American population of Ferguson, and the protestors who took to the streets following the decision by the nine white members and three black members of the grand jury, the majority African-American community is at least partly to blame for those results.
The town has a population that is 29.3 percent white and 67.4 percent black, according to the 2010 census.
The mayor is white, as is the police chief and 94 percent of the police officers and five of the six, city council members.
News reports indicate the number of eligible voters going to elections is low, especially among African-Americans.
The manner in which the city government is set up is said to be partially to blame for that.
However, if blacks voted in the same percentage as their population, the mayor likely would be black, as well as several of the city council members, if not the majority.
With blacks more in control of the government, it is unlikely that 94 percent of its police officers would be white, if for no other reason than that more blacks would be likely to apply.
There are lots of things wrong in Ferguson, and likely with the state of Missouri, which had a lot of Confederate sympathizers during the Civil War, not the least of which were Jesse and Frank James.
To solve those problems, African Americans need to register and vote, but not only there, all across this nation so there would be fewer problems such as the shooting of Michael Brown.
By Will Sullivan