Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Evidence and due process trump outrage and mob rule in Ferguson

   When Missouri State Prosecutor Robert McCulloch mentioned social media and the 24 hour news cycle as contributing factors in the volatile aftermath of the police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, a collective groan went up...across social media.  When McCulloch announced that a grand jury had decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in Brown's death, the online cynicism graduated to borderline hysteria, aided and abetted by media coverage that was tantamount to cheerleading for civil unrest.
   The sneering refrain that McCulloch was blaming Twitter and CNN for killing Michael Brown only served to prove his point.   Social media has taken short attention span and instant gratification to the next level.  The clamoring for "justice for Michael" began literally within minutes of the August 9th shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, and was based on eyewitness accounts that have since been called into question, if not entirely discredited.  Once a theme is established on social media, it takes on a life of its own, and the Michael Brown shooting was and remains firmly established in the public consciousness as first and foremost a case of an unarmed black man being shot dead by a white police officer.  It matters not that Brown robbed a convenience store, roughed up the store owner and reportedly assaulted officer Wilson.  Those are pesky details to be ignored because they don't fit the racism narrative.
   Under the circumstances, indicting officer Wilson would have been the politically expedient thing to do.  Everyone - including members of the grand jury - knew what was going to happen last night if he wasn't charged.  Yet they decided that he acted legally and responsibly in his role as a law enforcement officer.  The only way to credibly dispute that decision is to weigh the same mountain of evidence the grand jury considered, and explain where they got it wrong.
   Have at it.


  1. well written Ted and I totally agree. Please keep up the great work. Bob

  2. Wow, thats all I have to say.

  3. here here. This is so much like you.keep it up Ted. Mark

  4. Social media...be there first and loud instead of correct !!!!....Rob

  5. So reasonable yet so very wrong...