Three months after Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson gunned down Michael Brown in the middle of the street, sparking waves of protests and national debates about the militarization of police, the grand jury is expected to announce its decision as to whether it will indict the cop in the deadly shooting of the teen.
A decision is expected this week, perhaps as early as today.
But considering grand juries are handpicked by prosecutors, whom are part of the same legal system that protects police and persecutes the populace, the odds of Wilson being indicted are slim to none, which is why the St. Louis area is bracing for possible riots this week, even though activists who have been protesting daily and nondestructively for more than 100 days have vowed to remain peaceful.
However, many Americans still haven’t forgotten the looting and destruction of property in the days after the shooting, which seemed to convince them the shooting was justified, judging by social media commentary. That and the fact that he was seen on surveillance video appearing to commit strong-armed robbery at a local convenience store prior to his fatal confrontation with Wilson.
But a video emerged Friday showing Wilson arresting a man for recording him, telling him, “If you wanna take a picture of me one more time, I’m gonna lock your ass up.”
The man holding the camera, Mike Arman told Wilson he was recording, not taking photos, which, of course, got him locked up anyway after he insisted on asking for Wilson’s name. He was charged with failure to comply and for pit bull violations, charges that were all dropped, according to the Guardian, which stated that the incident took place in 2013.
“Do I not have the right to record,” Arman asks.
“No, you don’t,” Wilson responds.
A police spokesman told the Guardian that the cop in the video wasn’t Wilson, even though he looks just like Wilson, and even though Wilson signed Arman’s arrest report. And even though the Ferguson Police Department has been less than forthcoming since the August 9 shooting, to put it mildly, which is why we can’t believe a word they say.
In fact, Wilson admitted in his report that it was him, which you can read here, claiming that he told Arman he was allowed to record, but only arrested him after Arman stuck the the camera in his face and refused to cooperate with him regarding an investigation about abandoned cars in his front yard.
So the video not only shows he has no regard for citizens’ right to record him in public, it also shows he has no qualm about lying on police reports considering he had to walk about 20 feet to arrest him, stepping around a pile of junk to get to him. Nothing close to having an annoying camera stuck in his face.
Nevertheless, many Americans, including many in the PINAC community, whom are generally skeptical of police use of force, are convinced that Wilson was truly in fear for his life, trying to keep Brown from snatching his gun, which is why he had to shoot Brown multiple times, even after Brown was no longer at close range to him.
But that is only Wilson’s version of the story, which is boilerplate police spin, not much different than the police report for the posted video. Witnesses to the shooting say Brown was surrendering with his arms in the air before he was shot.
Brown’s companion said that Wilson grabbed Brown by the neck from inside his car after ordering them off the street, sparking a struggle that resulted in a single shot being fired. He said Brown broke free and tried to run away, but Wilson stepped out of his car and began firing, ordering him to stop. His friend also said Brown stopped and turned around with his arms in the air, only to be shot several times.
Wilson claims the confrontation started when he spotted the two walking in the street and ordered them off the street, only for Brown to attack him out of the blue, trying to reach his arm inside the car and grab his gun, making him fear for his life. He said the gun fired as both their hands were on the gun and that Brown had then taken off running, which is when he stepped out the car and ordered him to stop.
Wilson said Brown stopped and turned around, before charging him in a menacing rage, causing him once again to fear for his life, which is when he shot eight times, striking the teen six times.
And that’s the version the grand jury will most likely believe because if online commentary is any indicator, Mainstream America perceives Brown to be a “thug” who deserved to die and Wilson to be a “hero” who was only trying to keep the community safe.
In fact, Wilson’s supporters are using the latest autopsy report that showed Brown was shot in the hand at close range to conclude Brown was, indeed, reaching for the gun. They will also point out that Brown had marijuana in his system as if that somehow leads to spontaneous violence against armed authority figures.
But Brown’s friend had always maintained a gunshot went off inside the car while the two were struggling, so those autopsy results are nothing earth-shattering.
According to a USA Today article – four days after the shooting:
Johnson said the incident started around 1:40 p.m. Saturday when the officer pulled up beside the pair as they were walking down the street near his grandmother’s house.
“He didn’t say freeze, halt or anything like we were committing a crime,” Johnson told KSDK. “He said, ‘Get the ‘F’ on the sidewalk.'”
He said the officer, whose name has not been released, shoved open the car door, grabbed Brown around the neck and tried to pull him through the window. He said Brown never tried to reach for the officer’s weapon.
“The second time he says, ‘I’ll shoot.’ A second later the gun went off and he let go,” Johnson said. “That’s how we were able to run at the same time.”
Johnson said he ducked behind a car as the officer continued shooting at them, hitting Brown in the back.
“His (Brown’s) hands immediately went into the air and he turned around to the officer,” Johnson recalled. “My friend started to tell the officer that he was unarmed and that he could stop shooting (him). Before he could get his second sentence out, the officer fired several more shots into his head and chest area. He fell dramatically into the fatal position. I did not hear once he yell freeze, stop or halt. it was just horrible to watch.”
Johnson, who began to sob during the interview, said he could tell Brown was in pain: “It hurt him a lot. Could see it in his eyes. It was definitely like being shot like an animal.
“I definitely think (the officer) is guilty of murder,” Johnson said.
Police have said that a scuffle broke out after the officer asked the teens to move. Police have not confirmed witness accounts that Brown had raised his hands to surrender when the shots were fired.
For the last three months, Wilson’s supporters have used the surveillance video from the convenience store where Brown appears to be stealing a box of cigars as proof he was a thug and deserved to die.
But the above video shows Wilson to be quick-tempered, dishonest and unabashed about violating people’s rights, so who is to say he didn’t grab Brown by the throat as he was walking down the street as his friend reported?
Perhaps Brown mouthed off to him after being ordered off the street, displaying contempt of cop, which angered Wilson where he wanted to teach him a lesson. Perhaps Wilson pulled out his gun after placing Brown in a headlock to further intimidate him.
And perhaps Brown reached for the gun in order to protect himself from being killed, which is when the gun went off.
Or are we just supposed to allow cops to kill us once they decide to pull out their guns?