By BOB STONE
For the cop who paid it forward back in the summer of 1977 by taking the time to track down a 10 year-old boy’s brand-new Ross Apollo 3 speed that was stolen. I’ll never forget how he convinced me that the kids who stole it and raised the seat and stripped off a lot of the paint before leaving it in the woods somehow made it ‘faster.’ I thought it was the coolest bike in the world after that.
And for my friends in college who went on to become cops.
Let me begin by saying that in my own personal mythology I consider all cops and members of the military as my dogs. For anyone that has ever experienced the unconditional love of a dog the metaphor is quite obvious. After all, I do feed the dogs. Sorry, I meant to say “I pay their salary.” And it’s their job to love me unconditionally, or “serve and protect me” — during weekends, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, graveyard shifts, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and other natural disasters, and to otherwise risk their lives — just to make me feel cozy. Considering all cops and members of the military as my dogs is the highest form of compliment I can pay them. No offense to Cesar Millan, but no room or piece of furniture is off limits to my dogs. They’re family and as family they are my equals. Accordingly, unlike those who take the dogs for granted—e.g., only claiming ownership when arrested (“I pay your salary….”)—as my dogs protect me I know it’s my job, when necessary, to have my dogs’ backs.
I suppose that’s the best explanation I have for this protective streak I feel for one dog in particular; Officer Darren Wilson. There’s a mob that’s set on kicking my dog; and if possible putting him down. The mob says my dog attacked and killed an unarmed man without justification. They have him traumatized, fearing for his life and genuinely terrified that they’ll convince a grand jury to offer him up as some sort of sacrifice. So I tell the mob that if my dog attacked and killed a man without legal justification, then my dog should be held accountable. But if it turns out that my dog attacked and killed because he was justified in doing so—i.e., he did what he was trained to do—then you’ll have to pack up your torches and pitchforks and apologize to my dog.
And so the mob presents its “case.” And they tell me how important it is that we have a serious discussion about the lingering problems of Jim Crow, racism and class warfare in America. And they talk about right wing voter registration schemes and the systematic imprisonment and disenfranchising of casual black drug users. And they continue with the problems of militarizing the police and whether the authors of The Posse Comitatus Act would have approved of militarizing county sheriff and police departments….
“Important topics; but what does any of this have to do with my dog?” I ask.
And they tell me how angry they are that a white cop shot a black man; comparing it to the killings of Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till. And then they show me statistics about how many white cops vs. black cops there are in Ferguson…. And by this time I drift off wondering when they’re gonna break out those twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one…. And they’re telling me about all the vile racists in St. Louis County, implying that my dog is guilty for being in the same county or profession that they are.… And I drift off again wondering about those twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one…you know, maybe one of them proving anything they’re implying about my dog. So I stop ‘em and ask:
“Is this a song about the draft?”
And they look at me all kinds of puzzled and I ask:
“Is this a song about Alice?”
“Who’s Alice?” they ask.
And then I proceed to wonder why they never heard about that Thanksgiving Day Massacre. And right about that time I get to thinking they weren’t gonna be showing me those twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, so I decide to show ‘em pictures of my dog Officer Wilson instead:
Oh, I’m sorry. Did I disturb anyone’s further schemes to dehumanize Officer Wilson? Well, you know what they say: “You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant; excepting Alice,” and blind rage.
‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.
‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first — verdict afterwards.’
— “Alice in Wonderland,” Lewis Caroll
Do you know what Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till, Sgt. Major Dan Page and all the other anecdotes about racism and class warfare in Ferguson or the rest of the country have to do with the actual guilt or innocence of Officer Wilson? Absolutely nothing—unless of course you’re a sucker for the association fallacy.
From the very beginning, the mob has been fueling its rage by engaging in the association fallacy—a.k.a. “the company you keep” fallacy—jeopardizing not only Officer Wilson’s right to due process but his life as well. The association fallacy is particularly repugnant in that it’s somewhat of a trifecta of red herring; appeal to emotion; and hasty generalization. The fallacy as employed here goes roughly as follows:
There are racist cops in Ferguson;
Officer Wilson is a white cop in Ferguson;
Officer Wilson shot an unarmed black man;
Therefore, Officer Wilson is a murderous racist.
Both the NY Times and the Washington Post tried to dig up whatever dirt they could find on Officer Wilson to support the fallacy. The Post even added a bit of melodrama by stating: “[E]veryone leaves a record, and Darren Dean Wilson is no exception.” (Cue the soap opera music.) Yet failing to find anything in Wilson’s “unremarkable past” to justify the mob’s rush to judgment, both The Times and the Post simply amplified the mob’s association fallacy by digging up the dirt of other people in Wilson’s past. The Times tried to satisfy the mob by discussing the criminal past of Wilson’s deceased mother while the Post focused on the sins of Wilson’s first Police Department in Jennings. Ultimately neither the Times nor the Post found any evidence whatsoever indicating Wilson himself was one of the criminals and racists they associated him with.
And yet the mob is so possessed by their rage resulting from this fallacy, which if you listen closely enough has its own theme music, that some of its members have actually attempted to shield themselves from any semblance of reason that might rob them of that rage. Witness this article by Olivia Cole, wherein she states unequivocally that anyone who dare wait for all the evidence and a thorough investigation, much less presume any cop is “a good guy,” is just a “troll.” “Sentence first — verdict afterwards.”
Apparently a good portion of the country has come down with this Queen of Hearts Syndrome. As a self-confessed “wait for all the evidence” troll, it’s been rather disappointing watching the cable news networks attempting to sacrifice Officer Wilson at the altar of journalistic ineptitude. While S.E. Cupp tends to be somewhat irrational when it comes to the topic of climate change, ironically enough she did an excellent job of summing up the mechanism by which cable news networks entice viewers into accepting appeals to emotion and hasty generalizations in lieu of facts and rational arguments:
S.E. Cupp (paraphrased): Cable news networks have a desire to create a Hollywood story around every news story. It drives everything they cover because it rates better than fact reporting. It has driven the networks over the past 10 years to promote activists to the role of journalists simply because they can humanize and emote on the news stories. The networks don’t think there’s room in cable news for fact reporting. They’ve got to create a storyline, and they can’t wait for things like facts because they need the story immediately. Just throw the activist/journalist on air to TELL YOU who is the villain, who is the hero and why you care — while filling in the blanks before all the facts are known. (Cain & Cupp, Aug. 16, 2014, beginning around the 18:30 mark)
And that’s exactly what happened to Officer Wilson. What’s more, the Governor of Missouri and the U.S. Attorney General also exhibited signs of this Queen of Hearts Syndrome by TELLING YOU who the villain was before the completion of any investigation. Governor Nixon threw Officer Wilson under the bus when he said that “a vigorous prosecution must be pursued.” Not for nothing, but how many times in his 16 years as State Attorney General did he pursue “a vigorous prosecution” before any investigation was complete? Or is that how he became governor?
And then there’s Attorney General Holder, who said, “this attorney general and this Department of Justice stands for the people of Ferguson” … “My commitment to them is long after this tragic story no longer receives this level of attention, the Justice Department will continue to stand with Ferguson.” Stand against whom? Since the Attorney General doesn’t hold press conferences to discuss the “tragic story” behind every justified shooting, Holder’s comments clearly implied Wilson was not justified in shooting Brown before any investigation was complete. And this just one day after Holder personally sought to comfort the Brown family while completely ignoring the welfare of Officer Wilson who was forced into hiding by the mob and genuinely feared for his life and the life of his family. All of the foregoing words and actions by Holder obviously constituted “extrajudicial comment[s] having a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation” of Wilson. But in a world where Neocon – Victoria -“Fuck the EU”-“Yats is our guy”-Nuland, and her buddy N.E.D., can assist in a Neo-Nazi – (“burn Colorado burn”) – coup in Ukraine, and have Putin look like the bad guy for every reaction thereafter, I’m guessing the Attorney General can appear in Ferguson as Impropriety Incarnate without the fourth estate batting an eye. Which reminds me, has anyone seen John Kerry’s Interagency Intelligence Assessment, what with those photos from them fancy surveillance satellites that we pay, as Carl Sagan would say, “billions and billions” of dollars for, confirming all those claims he made about the shoot-down of MH 17? Chris Cuomo? … Smith – Mundt? … Bueller? … Anyone? (See also “The Propaganda Series”)
*Hyperlinks provided by Football In The Groin, Inc. — “It works on so many levels!” – H. Simpson
Non sequitur? Hardly. Essentially, anyone not caught up in the rush to judgment and the “Big Mike was an angel and Wilson is a racist murderous cop” storyline is in a unique position to catch a glimpse of a phenomenon that could be titled Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur, Latin for “the world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived.”
The country wants to be deceived into believing the emotionally simple story of a racist cop murdering a black man just as much as it wants to be deceived into believing the emotionally simple story that Ukraine is “the good guys” while the “separatists” and Putin are “the bad guys” That’s not the mindset of a thoughtful and inquiring country; that’s the mentality of Po-Jama People, and we have the fourth estate to thank for it. Eisenhower must be rolling in his grave.
Just for shits and giggles, let’s review some of the rules we all learned as children:
The rule is you don’t walk into a store, take whatever you want and then shove the clerk out of the way when he tries to stop you. That’s called a robbery and it’s a class B felony in Missouri.
The rule is you don’t punch a cop in the face. If a cop pulls you over and asks for your consent to search your car (because he/she has no legal reason to do so without your consent), you can say, “Officer, go shit in your hat.” But what you can’t do is punch the cop in the face. Punching a cop in the face is … I mean, who the hell does that?!
The rule is that, once a cop orders someone to stop with his gun drawn, it’s over. Because everyone who’s not mentally incapacitated or acutely intoxicated knows it has just become a potentially lethal game of “Mother May I.” (Hereinafter: “MOTHER MAY I RULE”) That clichéd line “make one false move and you’re dead” is clichéd precisely because it’s true. N.B. The MOTHER MAY I RULE also applies to Law Enforcement Officers; thus the reason they ask permission to show their badge. To wit: “I’m a cop; let me show you my badge.”
Is a cop that’s being rushed by a 6’4”, 292-pound assailant—i.e. the average size of an NFL lineman—after pulling his weapon and ordering the man to stop, under any obligation not to fire his weapon and just let the man, unarmed or otherwise, keep coming and attack him a second time?
Rule: Defense of Life Standard
Under the defense of life standard, Officer Wilson would be justified in using lethal force against Brown if he had an objectively reasonable belief that he posed a threat. N.B. A police officer is supposed to fire his weapon until the threat stops, not until the individual is dead. To justify the shooting, Officer Wilson needs to establish that Brown posed a threat from the first shot to the last.
On The Notion Of A “Harmless Unarmed Man”: There was a case out in Washington State twelve years ago where a “nude and highly agitated man” was running around in traffic and pounding on cars. When an officer tried to subdue him, without his gun drawn, the “harmless unarmed man” took the officer’s gun and shot him dead. This is the story that comes to mind when contemplating the threat Brown posed to Officer Wilson.
While there is no official report from Officer Wilson currently available, we do have his version of the events as related to a friend who called into a radio show identifying herself only as “Josie.” According to CNN, this version has been “confirmed by a source with detailed knowledge of the investigation.”
JOSIE: Okay. So he said that they, you know, they were walking in the middle of the street and he rolled his window down and, you know, said “Come on guys out of the street. They refused to, and were yelling back and saying, “We are almost where we are going.” There was some cussing involved, and then he just kept rolling up and he pulled over, and I believe, at that point, he called for a backup but I am not sure. But I know he pulled up ahead of them and he was watching them and then gets the call-in that there was a strong-arm robbery, and they get the description, and he was looking at them and they got something in their hands that looks like it could be, what, you know, those cigars or whatever, so he goes in reverse back to them and tries to get out of his car and they slam his door shut violently — I think he said Michael did. And then he opened his car again and, you know, tries to get out. And as he stands up, Michael just bum rushes him, just shoves him back into the car, punches him in the face, and then of course Darren grabs for his gun. And Michael grabs the gun. At one point he has the gun totally turned against his hip and Darren, you know, shoves it away and the gun goes off. Well then Michael takes off with his friend and he gets about 35 feet away and, you know, Darren, of course protocol is to pursue. So he stands up and yells: “Freeze.” Michael and his friend turn around and Michael starts taunting him, “Oh what are you going to do about it?”, you know, “You are not going to shoot me.” And then, he said, all of a sudden he just started to bum rush him. He just started coming at him full speed, and so he just started shooting, and he just kept coming. So he really thinks he was on something, because he just kept coming. It was unbelievable. And then so he finally ended up — a final shot within the forehead and then he fell about two, three feet in front of the officer. So that’s why stories are going around that “oh, he was shot execution style.” I think some people saw, you know, the shots to his head. Of course ballistics will prove he wasn’t shot in the back like the other people are saying that “when this (inaudible). But that’s, his version of what happened. (A.C. 360, CNN, Transcript of Aug. 18th 2014 show) (Emphasis added)
According to an eyewitness that came forward and made his account public a month later on September 6th, 2014 (Hereinafter: “Worker Witness”), when Wilson had his gun drawn on Brown and ordered him to freeze they were facing each other 10 feet apart. With the “MOTHER MAY I RULE” now in effect:
Then Brown moved, the worker said. He’s kind of walking back toward the cop.” He said Brown’s hands were still up. Wilson began backing up as he fired, the worker said. After the third shot, Brown’s hands started going down, and he moved about 25 feet toward Wilson, who kept backing away and firing. The worker said he could not tell from where he watched — about 50 feet away — if Brown’s motion toward Wilson after the shots was “a stumble to the ground” or “OK, I’m going to get you, you’re already shooting me.” (“Workers who were witnesses provide new perspective on Michael Brown shooting”, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Sept. 6, 2014) (Emphasis added)
Since Wilson and Brown already engaged in a physical struggle at the car, any “hands up” signal was voided the moment Brown started advancing on Wilson while he had his gun drawn and the “MOTHER MAY I RULE” was in effect. As to whether Brown was stumbling or rushing, Brown advanced a full 25 feet on Wilson while he was backing away and firing; and this after beginning only 10 feet apart.
To say that Brown had his “hands up” is also meaningless without context. “Hands up” while standing still is a sign of surrender, but “hands up” while advancing on an officer with his gun drawn is not. Furthermore, the phrase “hands up” could mean having one’s hands at a 90 degree angle to the body (straight out) or greater. Dr. Baden’s autopsy diagram shows Brown had his “hands up” but in “a forward-leaning position” towards Wilson.
To a forensic pathologist, the body diagram Brown’s attorneys released tells a different story. The wound at the top of the head, the frontal wounds and angled right hand and arm wounds suggest that the victim was facing the officer, leaning forward with his right arm possibly extended in line with the gun’s barrel, and not above his head. The image of a person standing upright with his hands in the air when he was shot does not appear compatible with the wounds documented on that diagram. Whether a forward-leaning position is a posture of attack or of surrender, however, is a matter of perspective. (“What Michael Brown’s autopsy tells us” By Judy Melinek M.D., CNN; Aug. 21, 2014)
Let’s get a little more perspective; shall we?
Relevance of Strong Arm Robbery Ten Minutes Prior to Shooting
“When I took courses on Evidence in law school, the explanation given for this giant collection of rules was simply that Juries were stupid … this does appear to be the only explanation for the development of this branch of the law.” — (Gordon Turlock, “The Logic of The Law” pgs. 93-94 (1971), as quoted in “The Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations”, “Evidence,” # 15, pg. 134)
The video above, released by Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson and narrated by CNN’s Randi Kaye, shows Michael Brown committing a strong-arm robbery for a $50 dollar box of cigars ten minutes before his altercation with Officer Wilson. Simply put, a strong arm robbery is a robbery committed by means of physical force and is a class B felony in Missouri. Since Officer Wilson didn’t stop Brown because he believed he was a robbery suspect, the layman would ask: “Then why is the video of the robbery relevant?” First, Dorian Johnson confirmed that it was Michael Brown in the video committing the strong arm robbery. Second, the robbery is relevant to show Brown’s state of mind during the altercation with Wilson. Under Missouri Law:
The general rule concerning the admission of evidence of uncharged crimes, wrongs, or acts is that evidence of prior uncharged misconduct is inadmissible for the purpose of showing the propensity of the defendant to commit such crimes.” State v. Bernard, 849 S.W.2d 10, 13 (Mo. banc 1993). Exceptions to the general rule provide for the admission of evidence that tends to establish motive, intent, the absence of mistake or accident, or a common plan or scheme. Id. An additional exception is recognized for evidence of uncharged crimes that are part of the circumstances or the sequence of events surrounding the offense charged. State v. Wacaser, 794 S.W.2d 190, 194 (Mo. banc 1990); State v. Flenoid, 838 S.W.2d 462, 467 (Mo.App.1992); State v. Davis, 806 S.W.2d 441, 443 (Mo.App.1991). This evidence is admissible to present a complete and coherent picture of the events that transpired. Flenoid at 467.” State v. Harris, 870 S.W.2d 798, 810 (Mo. 1994) (Emphasis added)
See also State v. Skillicorn, 944 S.W.2d 877, 886-887 (Mo. banc 1997); State v. Roberts, 948 S.W.2d 577, 591 (Mo. 1997) (“Skillicorn notes a seventh category permitting evidence of a continuation of a sequence of events that assist in painting a coherent picture of the crime.”)
One could argue that the strong arm robbery video is admissible under the motive exception—i.e., having just committed a felony, Brown would have motive to fight Wilson if he thought he was being arrested. But the strong arm robbery video does much more than that; it presents “a complete and coherent picture of the events that transpired,” giving us a greater understanding of how and why Officer Wilson was compelled to shoot an unarmed man.
While the mob has adopted a fanatical policy of aniconism toward anyone that dare depict Brown as anything but an angel, the video of the strong arm robbery clearly shows Brown acting like Honey Badger™**. That belligerent attitude apparently continued in his altercation with Officer Wilson not 10 minutes later. Having just robbed a store and coming upon a police car, does Brown run? No. After striking Officer Wilson in the face while he was struggling for his sidearm, committing yet another felony, Brown flees and Wilson pursues with his gun drawn and orders him to stop. And what did Brown do with the “MOTHER MAY I RULE” in effect? Just like Honey Badger™, Brown didn’t give a shit. Brown advanced on Wilson and Wilson fired while backing away. And even with the gunfire, Brown still didn’t care because he kept coming towards Wilson for 25 feet despite being hit several times in the process. Thus Wilson, according to Josie, thought “[Brown] was on something.” Accordingly, the strong arm robbery, being nearly contemporaneous, is “evidence of a continuation of a sequence of events that assist in painting a coherent picture of the [altercation with Wilson and eventual shooting]” (Roberts at 591) thereby making it relevant and admissible.
**Honey Badger is a registered trademark and the official mascot of Victoria Nuland and all Neoconservatives.
Distorted Retrospective Eyewitness Reports
The advent of social media has vastly decreased the time it takes for any remotely reliable eyewitness pool to be spoiled. Social media can now operate as a substitute for the official identification process in the post identification feedback effect. (See also Dr. Elizabeth Loftus and Misinformation Effect) A recent article in the Wall Street Journal examines a similar phenomenon in the field of clinical research. If the eyewitnesses do not remain “in the blind,” so to speak, taking to Facebook & Twitter, etc., to discuss what they saw, the authenticity and reliability of those potential eyewitness statements will plummet. Consider that there’s a shooting resulting in death in the middle of a street and before any sort of investigation is carried out, before any official statements have been taken, people are taking to Twitter and texting their opinions about what happened—the Rashomon Effect gone viral. When you combine that with the added detail of a white cop shooting a black man in a community rife with racial tension, and add to that national media attention, how long before the eyewitness accounts suffer from confirmation bias or the damaging effect of confirming feedback?
The three primary eyewitnesses, Dorian “My name is Derrick” Johnson, Tiffany Mitchell and Piaget Crenshaw claimed they saw Brown shot in the back while he was fleeing and that Brown was shot while he had his hands up surrendering; all of them neglecting the crucial “MOTHER MAY I” detail of Brown advancing on Wilson with his gun drawn. When Dr. Baden’s autopsy diagram contradicted the claims that Brown was shot in the back, Crenshaw changed her story to fit the autopsy evidence.
Furthermore, in one of the most stunning and shameless displays of confirmation bias, rivaled perhaps only by Antonin – “you’re as guilty as sin” – Scalia’s concurring opinion for the stay issued in Bush v. Gore, Brown family attorney Daryl Parks stated in a press conference that Dr. Baden’s autopsy report “supports what the witnesses said about [Brown] trying to surrender” because it showed that for the two final shots “the direction of the bullet was in a back-to-front direction.” Since Dr. Baden came to no such conclusion, he was probably “constrained to blush for [him].”
The Excited Utterance by a Non-Interested and Non-Related Declarant
The one piece of evidence furthest removed from any form of the aforesaid distortive phenomena is the excited utterance of an eyewitness recorded just minutes after the shooting. While an excited utterance is a form of hearsay, it’s admissible under the excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule. The basis for the excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule “is the belief that a statement made under the stress [of the moment] is likely to be trustworthy and unlikely to be premeditated falsehoods. Compared to present sense impression, excited utterance is broader in scope for permitting a longer time lapse between event and statement, and a wider range of content in the statement.”
Here’s what the Missouri Court of Appeals had to say about the excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule in State v. Smith, No.ED 90253, Decided: Sept. 30, 2008. (Interesting coincidence: The name of the officer in this case, called to testify about the alleged excited utterance, is also Darren Wilson.)
Under the hearsay rule, out-of-court statements offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted are generally inadmissible. State v. Lucio, 247 S.W.3d 131, 134 (Mo.App. S.D.2008). The excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule applies to statements made following “a startling or unusual occurrence sufficient to overcome normal reflection such that the ensuing declaration is a spontaneous reaction to the startling event.” State v. Kemp, 212 S.W.3d 135, 146 (Mo. banc 2007) (quotation omitted). The essential test for admissibility of an excited utterance is whether it was made under such circumstances as to indicate it is trustworthy. Id. “This exception is premised on the idea that where a statement is made under the immediate and controlled domination of the senses as a result of the shock produced by the event, the utterance may be taken as expressing the true belief of the declarant.” Id. (quotation omitted). Factors considered in determining whether an excited utterance exists are: “ the time between the startling event and the declaration,  whether the declaration is in response to a question,  whether the declaration is self-serving, and  the declarant’s physical and mental condition at the time of the declaration.” Id. (quotation omitted). State v. Smith, No. ED 90253, Decided: September 30, 2008 (Emphasis added)
Factors 2 and 3 are relevant when considering the reliability of an excited utterance made by a declarant having an interest in any future proceedings. An excited utterance by a declarant having no interest in any future proceedings, and having no relation to the party producing the statement, would necessarily be more trustworthy than an excited utterance by a declarant having such interest or any relation with the party producing the statement. The litmus test for truth and reliability here is whether there is inter-subjective corroboration between the excited utterance and the testimony of the party producing the excited utterance.
Just minutes after the shooting, a witness on the scene captured an excited utterance reciting the events that just transpired in the background audio of a mobile phone video recording. Here’s the 55 second clip, beginning at the 6:29 mark on the full recording here. An approximate transcript from the video is set forth below:
Man: How’d he get from there to here?
Eyewitness: Because he ran, the police was still in the truck
Man: They came this way?
Eyewitness: No. Police was still in the truck. He was like I don’t know..
(cross talk sounding like: “he was like… clasping his hands with …. in that truck”)
Man: Him and the police?
Eyewitness: Yeah; him and the police. I mean the Police was in the truck–he was like … over the truck what not. Cause then he ran; police got out and ran after him. The next thing I know, he coming back toward him cuz – the police had his gun drawn already.
Man: Oh, the police shot this man?
Eyewitness: Yeah, the police shot him. The police kept dumpin’ on him, and I’m thinking that the police missing – he like ––police … was like …. (inaudible – to me at least)
Eyewitness: Police… Police fired shots uh the next thing I know I think he missed him.
Man: The police shot him?
Eyewitness: The police shot him. Next thing I know I think he missed him. Then the dude started running — kept coming toward the police.
Compare with Wilson’s account via Josie:
Josie: … So he stands up and yells: “Freeze.” …. And then, he said, all of a sudden he just started to bum rush him. He just started coming at him full speed, and so he just started shooting, and he just kept coming. So he really thinks he was on something, because he just kept coming.
Excited Utterance: The next thing I know, he coming back toward him cuz – the police had his gun drawn already.
Excited Utterance: The police shot him. Next thing I know I think he missed him. Then the dude started running — kept coming toward the police.
The excited utterance corroborates both Wilson’s account via Josie and the Worker Witness account that Brown advanced on Wilson while he had his gun drawn and the MOTHER MAY I RULE was in effect. Recall that under the Defense of Life Standard Officer Wilson is supposed to fire his weapon until the threat stops. The excited utterance not only confirms that Brown kept coming toward Wilson while he was firing, but it also shows that Brown picked up the pace towards Wilson during the gunfire:
(“Next thing I know I think he missed him. Then the dude started running — kept coming toward the police.”)
Furthermore, Brown not only kept coming toward Wilson for 25 feet, but he did so while Wilson was backing up and firing. And since backing away from a rushing assailant makes for less than ideal marksmanship conditions, Wilson was compelled to keep firing because he kept missing center mass as the threat kept coming faster than he could back pedal. Finally, since Brown and Wilson began only 10 feet apart from each other, when we “solve for X” we find that as Wilson fired Brown advanced for 10 feet and chased him for the other 15 feet; OR, if Wilson would have stood his ground, Brown would have ended up 15 feet behind him. Either way, hands up or not, Brown was not not surrendering.
To a forensic pathologist … the wound at the top of the head, the frontal wounds and angled right hand and arm wounds suggest that the victim was facing the officer, leaning forward with his right arm possibly extended in line with the gun’s barrel, and not above his head. The image of a person standing upright with his hands in the air when he was shot does not appear compatible with the wounds documented on that diagram. Whether a forward-leaning position is a posture of attack or of surrender, however, is a matter of perspective. (“What Michael Brown’s autopsy tells us”By Judy Melinek M.D., CNN 8-21-2014) (Emphasis added)
In the absence of any video or still camera footage of the event, the inter-subjective corroboration of crucial details between Wilson’s account, the excited utterance and the Worker Witness account is as close to the very definition of truth—i.e., “the agreement of knowledge with its object”—as any investigator could possibly hope to find. Unless one postulates that Wilson had the power of God himself to plant those details into the mind of the eyewitness making the excited utterance, as well as the Worker Witness, it’s impossible to conclude that he fabricated his story about Brown advancing on him while his gun was drawn and while he was shooting.
While a prosecutor is under no legal obligation to present exculpatory evidence to a grand jury in the state of Missouri, he also has no legal obligation to lift a finger to save a child from choking to death right in front of him. But unless the prosecutor is truly bereft of conscience, he would have a moral duty to prevent an epic miscarriage of justice; i.e. preventing the mob from using Officer Wilson as a means to an end by punishing him for the sins of the country rather than judging him by his own actions.
Based on the evidence available so far, i.e. from which the media and the mob has been basing their condemnation of Officer Wilson, this “wait for all the evidence” troll finds that my dog clearly and convincingly did what he was trained to do. And I suppose it’s the Jungian in me that sees the excited utterance/State v. Smith/Darren Wilson coincidence as God’s way of saying: “Don’t you dare kick that dog!”
I remain, Sir, your faithful and obedient servant,
Officer in charge of laundry and morale
Two Charities For Your Consideration:
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(Basically they provide dogs for our dogs.)
Save A Vet.org: Save-A-Vet rescues unadoptable military & law enforcement working dogs when their service is done & shelters them with disabled veterans in mutual healing & support.
Brody: Wh–what do we do now? We’re quittin’ right?
Quint: We’ve got one barrel on him. So we stay out here, till we find him again.
Brody: Yeah but we can radio in and get a bigger boat —