aknowledgeableperson wrote:Well, it's not like Wilson was found innocent but that the grand jury felt (whatever the vote) there wasn't enough evidence to charge. What was interesting in the press conference announcing the grand jury decision was the statement about how so-called witness statements did not agree with the evidence presented, how some witnesses changed their statements over time, how some admitted they did not actually see the incident, how some witnesses could not be located along with other items concerning statements.
I thought what was much more
interesting in the press conference was that it took thirty minutes of mental gymnastics to explain how there wasn't enough evidence to bring charges, something that federal grand juries manage to do virtually every time
. I was also very interested in how McCulloch came across more like Wilson's defense lawyer than a county prosecutor (I see now that Max already covered this). If a prosecutor wants an indictment, he can get an indictment. Conflicting evidence is something for a (petit) jury to sort out as the finder of fact in a real trial, not a convenient excuse not to go to trial in the first place.
I'm very interested to read the witness statements to see what they actually said, because the only two specific examples of conflict that he cited were that some witnesses apparently claimed Wilson came up on Brown already on the ground and fired a bunch of rounds into him (?????, never heard this one before), and your favorite bit that some witnesses thought he'd been hit in the back and then "changed their stories" when the autopsy came out (which we've been over again and again, so not gonna rehash it once more). Do they conflict with each other or with the physical evidence on any substantive matters? I'm also interested to see to what extent, if any, any of the prominent witnesses changed their stories, including admitting that they didn't actually see the events unfold. I specify "prominent," meaning the big ones we already knew about, because McCulloch clearly cast a wide net if he has witnesses saying Wilson walked up on Brown's body and pumped bullets into him on the ground, and because the ones we already knew about all claim to have had pretty good views of the shooting. I started to look into this last night, but unfortunately the transcript is nearly 5,000 pages long so it takes time. I skimmed through the first 550 or so, which left me in the middle of Dorian Johnson's testimony (which, for what it's worth, seemed unchanged from what I recall him saying before, but much more detailed here).
I also thought it was very interesting how much McCulloch harped on witnesses changing their stories before he recapped the event and included that Wilson knew of the alleged robbery -- something the PD has, itself, changed its story on.
IraGlacialis wrote:And regardless of views on the case itself, can we at least agree that the actions of the rioters and looters over this night are inexcusable?
chaglang wrote:A local justice system broken enough to spark rioting can't hold one of its own accountable? Shocking. Isn't this how every movie about Mississippi in the 1930's begins?
Except in Mississippi there were clear protagonists and antagonists. For all that went on that led to Brown's demise, the kid attacked a cop without provocation and that much is known. He introduced an amount of randomness to the situation where anything could happen. In Mississippi, the situation was generally premeditated racial attacks by people angry that the Yankees took their slaves away. Lets not try to compare the two situations.
This is complete bullshit. It is absolutely not
"known" that Brown "attacked a cop without provocation." What precipitated the struggle at the car is a key point of contention. The grand jury obviously made its decision but that doesn't mean it's now "known" that this or that happened.
grovester wrote:Seems like the end result is comparable.
Yes. But there is a big difference between getting killed because you're in an altercation with a cop
and being killed solely because of your skin color while you're not harming anybody.
When you make poor choices, the chances of something bad happening are greater than if you had made good choices. Michael Brown made some bad choices that day and it had unintended consequences. That does NOT mean he deserved to die - he surely didn't. It just means the consequences of his poor choices were much greater than if he had made better choices.
I agree, it's the victim's fault.
rxlexi wrote:One thing that I am curious about re: riots in Ferguson - why, if the idea is to shock, provoke, and potentially effect change, would you want to tear down your own community, versus the actual seats of power in STL?
When people are actually asked that the reply is surprisingly consistent: it's not "their own" community, they don't own
any of it. They don't own much of anything at all.