Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wilson shooting of Brown remains a murky tragedy, at least in my own mind; there are stones to throw from both sides


What to make of all the evidence now?
  
The NPR has a very telling post this morning on the evidence, with an index to all of the exhibits available to the Ferguson grand jury, here

Yet, even the most conservative Supreme Court justice Scalia says that the prosecutor handled the grand jury in an inappropriate way.  Although the prosecutor’s job is normally one-sided, I think a prosecutor’s decision to anticipate affirmative defenses can sometimes be appropriate, to prevent prosecutorial abuse.  Affirmative defenses might include interpretation of a law and anticipating the possibility of overturned convictions even on constitutional grounds. This could be one of those cases. 
  
The Washington Post on Thanksgiving morning documents inappropriate practices by the Ferguson polie in handling evidence, including allowing Wilson to wash his hands and drive.  And of course, why did Brown “lie in state” so long?  
  
The Wall Street Journal has a “conservative” but appropriate perspective here
  
There has been some discussion of Brown’s marijuana use.  It is conceivable, although medically unlikely (especially in a big man) that pot use might contribute to an uncharacteristic outburst.  What is clear is that before the tragic incident, Brown’s behavior had without explanation gone off the rails (maybe suddenly) that Saturday morning.  That can happen just as easily with a white person, and has often.  Most shooting rampages are from white males.   Can some other young adult that "you" know and admire go off the deep end unpredictably?  That's a frightening lesson for everyone. What's happened to the idea of "personal responsibility"?

Update: July 29, 2015

Vox Media has a card stack on the facts as best they are known.

The chart comparing eyewitness accounts is particularly important.

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