Newell: It's time to end the "Hands Up Don't Shoot" mythology

Five years later, Dems still aren't telling the truth about Michael Brown

Newell Normand
August 13, 2019 - 5:42 pm

The 2020 Democratic Presidential hopefuls continue to perpetuate a myth, a falsity - what I would call a lie - all in an effort to divide us and foster racial tensions. The pandering for votes in this political process, at the expense of law enforcement officers all across this country, is absolutely despicable. 

The "Hands up, Don't Shoot" myth is still alive today and it needs to come to an end, but nobody wants to allow it to do so, in spite of the fact that the investigation done by the Justice Department under President Obama contradicts what we're hearing from the campaign trail. 

Elizabeth Warren tweeted "5 years ago Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael was unarmed yet he was shot 6 times. I stand with activists and organizers who continue the fight for justice for Michael. We must confront systemic racism and police violence head on."

Kamala Harris tweeted "Michael Brown’s murder forever changed Ferguson and America. His tragic death sparked a desperately needed conversation and a nationwide movement. We must fight for stronger accountability and racial equity in our justice system."

Beto O'Rourke: "Five years ago, Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer. In the years since, we’ve heard too many names, too many similar stories, to count. In each, we are reminded of an idea as urgent, and as ignored, today as it was when Michael was killed: Black Lives Matter."

Gillibrand, Booker, DeBlasio and others made more or less the same comment. The police officer who worked on this case, Darren Wilson - his life was completely destroyed. He can never be a police officer again. 

Go ahead and read the DOJ report, written under the Obama administration. You'll remember Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder helped this urban myth of "Hands up, don't shoot." It's a smokescreen, a misstatement meant to divide us. Here's what the report says happened.

The encounter between Wilson and Brown lasted about two minutes. Wilson was on duty and driving his department-issued Tahoe when he saw Brown and his friend walking in the middle of the street. Brown and his friend had just come from the Ferguson Market and Liquor Store, where just a few minutes earlier, Brown stole several packages of cigarillos as captured on surveillance video, and Brown used his physical size to forcefully shove the store owner away when he tried to stop him.

The call went out - gave the suspects' description - and that's when Wilson came in contact with Brown, and said he had two men that he suspected were involved in the incident at the market, and he could see the cigarillos in Brown's hand. He then called for backup. Wilson parked his SUV and blocked traffic and stopped Brown from walking any further. He attempted to open the drivers side door to exit, but as it swung open, it came in contact with Brown's body. Wilson and other witnesses stated that Brown then reached into the SUV, punched and grabbed Wilson. This is corroborated by bruising on Wilson's jaw and scratches on his neck, the presence of Brown's DNA on Wilson's shirt and pants, and Wilson's DNA on Brown's palm. They transferred DNA to each other while Wilson was still sitting in the unit.

Other individuals stated that Wilson reached out of the SUV and grabbed Brown by the next, prosecutors could not credit their accounts because they were inconsistent with forensic evidence.

Wilson told prosecutors he responded to being punched by drawing his gun because he could not access less-than-lethal weapons while sitting inside the SUV. Wilson is right handed, your gun is on your strong side - that's the side away from Brown. Wilson fired, striking Brown in the hand. Autopsy results and bullet trajectories, and the presence of Brown's DNA inside the door corroborate Wilson's account. Brown then used his right hand to attempt to control Wilson's gun. According to three autopsies, Brown sustained a close-range gunshot wound to the fleshy portion of his right hand at the base of the thumb. Soot from the muzzle was found in the tissue there. This indicated Brown's hand was within inches of Wilson's gun when it was fired.

After the initial shooting inside the SUV, the evidence establishes that Brown ran and Wilson chased after him. The autopsy results confirm that Wilson did not shoot Brown in the back as he was running away. There were no entrance wounds to Brown's back. You'll recall, many witnesses have said that's exactly what happened, but it didn't. Witnesses who say so cannot be relied upon in the prosecution because they gave accounts that are inconsistent with the forensic evidence, or are significantly inconsistent with their own prior statements made during the investigations. And that happened over and over and over again.

Brown ran at least 180 feet from the SUV, then turned around and came back toward Wilson to the spot where he ultimately fell to his death. Witness accounts saying Brown never moved back toward Wilson could not be relied upon, because their accounts can't be reconciled with blood stain evidence and other witness accounts. As detailed through the report, several witnesses stated that Brown appeared to pose a physical threat towards Wilson as he moved back toward the SUV and some even say he was running. Wilson shot him several more times. 

Although there are several individuals who say Brown was holding his hands up in an unambiguous sign of surrender prior to the shooting, their accounts do not support a prosecution of Wilson. Some of those accounts are inaccurate because they are inconsistent with physical and forensic evidence. The very same witnesses who said "Hands Up, Don't Shoot," then recanted their stories and said that's not what happened. Other witnesses recanted the same, admitting they did not witness the shooting, despite what they originally reported to law enforcement or the media. Prosecutors cannot rely on those accounts.

The findings of the report, in conclusion:

1) The shootings were not objectively unreasonable uses of force. Wilson used the appropriate force necessary
2) Wilson did not willfully violate Brown's constitutional right to be free from reasonable force. Wilson's account was totally credible and supported by forensic evidence.

Yet the 2020 candidates say that Brown was murdered by Wilson. A good number of these candidates are lawyers and they know what this report says. This is not a murder. It's a justifiable killing, and the force that was used was found by the Obama administration's Department of Justice to be reasonable, but once again, in Woketopia, it is vogue to villainize law enforcement, because all we are is racist. 

Does it sound like a murder to you?


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