by Andy Weddington
Monday, 18 August 2014
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Martin Luther King, Jr.
For days now I've been reading and watching news about the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. And the coverage is heavily scaled from the perspective of Mr. Brown.
I have no interest in this case other than wanting to see justice - calmly and fairly reached. So what about through the police officer's eyes?
The senseless violent "protesting" and destruction and looting - forcing the governor to order in the National Guard - beyond comprehension. The instigators and participants behaving on stoked emotions, irrational assumptions, and not facts. And the odd thing is they are calling for "justice." Right.
This morning I watched the press conference presenting results from the second autopsy (a third directed by Attorney General Holder pending).
The facts were well-presented, easy to follow and understand, and consistent with the first autopsy. But an angered woman (riling the crowd to applause and hoots of support) asked the medical examiner why Officer Wilson had not yet been arrested. As if it is within the medical examiner's authority to so do much less determine anything beyond the cause of death. And that was his reply.
What the medical examiner said was Mr. Brown was struck by six bullets - from the front. Four of the bullets ranged from the right hand up the arm to the shoulder area and two struck the head (one in the vicinity of the right eyebrow and the other about center of the top of the head - the last suspected as the fatal wound).
There was no trace of gunshot residue on the body - suggesting the shots could have come from a couple of feet to dozens of feet away. Analysis of clothing will give a better idea as to distance.
And there was abrasions about Mr. Brown's face believed caused when falling forward after being shot and striking the pavement.
Media is focused on why six rounds. But not from Officer Wilson's perspective.
So let's analyze, thoughtful speculation if you will, why six rounds and the arrangement thereof.
First, remember, early reports were that Officer Wilson was treated for facial injuries. What were the extent of his injuries? Did they impact his vision? Did they impact his motor movements? Did they impact his thinking?
The six rounds do not, by any stretch of the imagination, represent a tight shot group by a trained police officer. What does that suggest?
Perhaps Mr. Brown was not nearby. Perhaps Mr. Brown, well over 6 feet and nearly 300 pounds, was not a stationary target - he was a threat moving towards Officer Wilson.
Thus, perhaps, six rounds (and deadly force) necessary to stop Mr. Brown.
And why might six rounds be necessary when the average person would stop after being hit once (maybe twice) if from nothing else shock?
Will toxicology reports indicate Mr. Brown was under the influence of a legal or illegal substance?
Forensics will tell a story.
Officer Wilson knows what happened. And he'll have a chance to tell his story.
For now his whereabouts is protected information and that's a good thing. Because that irrational mob in Ferguson (many reported to be outsiders not from the area) would surely lynch him if they could. Some justice that would be.
Though not a police officer, I was trained and qualified with military handguns; rifles; and shotguns. With that marksmanship background and applying common sense, the only logical conclusions for the bullet(s) pattern on Mr. Brown is Officer Wilson shot from some distance; Officer Wilson was somewhat incapacitated; Officer Wilson was under duress; Mr. Brown was moving towards Officer Wilson. Maybe all of the above. Unlikely none of the above. And just perhaps something else that has yet to emerge.
Though some will never be happy, may there be truth - blind justice.
So don't screw this up, Attorney General Holder.
And please refrain from comment, President Obama.
There is no call for criticizing the police's decision to release the video of Mr. Brown strong-arm robbing (cigars) the convenience store. It's part of the story - the cigars were on his person. What is not part of the story is media publishing (as was done in the Trayvon Martin case) cherub-like photos of Mr. Brown. That is fallacious coverage and not helpful.