Simon Hemingway: Grand Jury Should Probe the Aftermath of Michael Brown’s Shooting

Michael Brown

Michael Brown

By Elaine Magliaro

Simon Hemingway has an interesting article at Salon today about the death of Michael Brown titled Ferguson police’s other sin: Why grand jury must probe Brown shooting’s aftermath. Hemingway says that while people wait to hear the grand jury’s decision in the case, “one part of the horrific episode is getting way too little attention.”


A fog of war has descended on the events that led to the Mike Brown’s untimely death in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9, 2014, a fog that local, state and federal authorities have made little effort to dispel. The goalposts for what appeared initially to be a clear-cut case of either manslaughter or second degree murder are increasingly obscured while the prospect of justice for Mike Brown seems correspondingly remote.

Supporters of the police and Officer Wilson quickly sought to equate Mike Brown’s very existence with the same racially tainted doctrine of deterministic criminality that was used to undercut the prosecution of George Zimmerman. The release of a convenience store surveillance video by the Ferguson Police Department was central to a strategy of “retroactively trying to justify Brown’s death” while, at the same time, tainting potential jurors with a narrative that is likely to be inadmissible in court. Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson initially said that the “initial contact with Mike Brown was not related to the robbery,” and then backtracked later the same day.

Here’s an excerpt from a New York Times article, which was written by Julie Bosman, John Schwartz, and Serge F. Kovaleski and dated August 15, 2014. It speaks to what Ferguson police did in the “aftermath” of Michael Brown’s shooting:

Mr. Stone ran outside and saw two police officers, both white men, standing near Mr. Brown, who was lying on his stomach, his arms at his sides, blood seeping from his head. Another neighbor, a woman who identified herself as a nurse, was begging the officers to let her perform CPR.

They refused, Mr. Stone said, adding, “They didn’t even check to see if he was breathing.”

Hemingway said that if a fog did descend “on the events leading up to Mike Brown’s shooting, our view of the events immediately following is, so far, unimpeded.” He continued, “No one disputes the following: After the shooting, Mike Brown lay face down on the sidewalk. Officer Wilson did not check to see if Mike Brown was breathing or if he had a pulse; nor did he render aid in any way, shape or form.” He noted that what was reported in the New York Times article back in August made it clear that “Officer Wilson not only did not render aid himself; he actively prevented alleged medical professionals from rendering aid as well.”

Hemingway went on to say that the New York Times “charitably” opined that “Mr. Brown probably could not have been revived…” He said that was a “retroactive rationalization and speculation” He added. ‘Even if the time of Brown’s death could be established to the minute with certainty, which it cannot, the fact that he might have or probably would have died anyway does not excuse Officer Wilson’s omission of his duty to rescue. Adding insult to lethal injury, the police left Mike Brown’s body on the street for four hours. The medical examiner did not arrive for more than two hours. An ambulance was apparently never called.”

Another point that Hemingway puts for in his Salon article is that while Officer Wilson’s “motivations and state of mind in this instance are of great interest, they are of little moment. Here, it doesn’t matter if Wilson felt fear. Nor does it matter if six dozen Swisher Sweets lay scattered beside Mike Brown’s lifeless body, or even if a pistol was hidden under Mike Brown’s shirt.” Hemingway added that “Mike Brown was dying as a result of actions — right or wrong — taken by Officer Wilson; Wilson failed in his duty as a peace officer and as a human being.”

Read Hemingway’s article and let me know what you think. Do you think Officer Wilson “failed in his duty as a peace officer and as a human being?”


Ferguson police’s other sin: Why grand jury must probe Brown shooting’s aftermath
As we wait to hear the grand jury’s decision, one part of the horrific episode is getting way too little attention (Salon)

A Youth, an Officer and 2 Paths to a Fatal Encounter (New York Times)




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14 Responses to Simon Hemingway: Grand Jury Should Probe the Aftermath of Michael Brown’s Shooting

  1. blouise says:

    Yes, but, if Wilson attempted to render aid and Brown recovered then he could testify.

    Or, if Wilson attempted to render aid and found Brown was still breathing, he’d have to shoot him some more and this time there would definitely be witnesses.

    No, best to let him bleed out. To put Sheridan’s quote into modern Ferguson Police Department “devouring” terms: “The only good thugs I ever saw were dead.”

  2. blouise17 says:

    In the early 1900’s disemancipation of Jews became all the rage but one had to wait till the mid 1930’s for the laws to actually be put in place so that the legal proceedings could commence. It then became perfectly legal to murder Jews and others deemed as part of an inferior race and thus a danger to the survival of the German people.

    One of those laws was named the “Law against Dangerous Habitual Criminals” . That law pertained particularly to the Romas/Gypsies. Once that law was enacted, German law enforcement officers could legally exterminate over half a million Roma men, women, and children as dangerous, habitual criminals.

    This period in the world’s history is often referred to as the Holocaust but the Gypsies have a far more descriptive term. They call it The Devouring.

    I think of that every time I read about the legality under which Wilson shelters.

  3. Carterbo says:

    “Racially tainted doctrine.” I believe that’s a brilliant way to correlate the aftermath in Florida with what occurred in Missouri.

  4. po says:

    Anytime I think we have reached the depth of horror about this story, something worse comes up!
    I wonder how the apologists will explain that.

  5. po says:

    The devouring, poetically horrific… thanks for the insight, Blouise, never heard that term before.

  6. Carlyle Moulton says:

    Darren Wilson did his duty as a member of the slave patrol dedicated to preventing Niggers from getting uppity.

  7. Elaine M. says:

    Pathologist for Michael Brown family to testify before Ferguson grand jury

    Baden had publicly offered his analysis to the grand jury.

    On Oct. 21, the Post-Dispatch obtained the St. Louis County medical examiner’s autopsy report, which showed that Brown was shot several times at some distance but sustained one wound — to his thumb — at close range.

    It is a point of contention because such a wound could help support police Officer Darren Wilson’s reported claim that Brown grabbed his gun before it went off in a struggle in a patrol car. Brown fled, and Wilson fired additional shots moments later.

    The official report about a supplemental microscopic exam of tissue removed from Brown’s thumb says foreign matter was “consistent with products that are discharged from the barrel of a firearm.”

    The findings seemed to contradict Baden’s conclusion, reached in August, that none of Brown’s wounds had been sustained at close range.

    Baden has been quoted in USA Today as questioning whether the particulate matter might have been dirt from the street where Brown fell. Brown’s body had been washed after the first autopsy, a standard procedure, and skin from his thumb had been removed for microscopic analysis.

    Gray said St. Louis County will give Baden access today to that tissue. Gray said he hoped Baden also would be able to view results from a third federal autopsy that was arranged by the Justice Department.

  8. Bob Kauten says:

    Governor Nixon is putting law enforcement and the National Guard on alert for the grand jury verdict.
    The calculated release of grand jury testimony served to ready the public for non-indictment. Now we have one more indication that the verdict was known from the beginning.

  9. swarthmoremom says:

    “A Missouri chapter of the Ku Klux Klan distributed fliers near Ferguson, Mo. and via social media threatening protestors with the use of “lethal force,” Vice News reported on Thursday.

    The flier, which was addressed to “the terrorists masquerading as ‘peaceful protestors,'” was circulated by the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. It alleged that protestors had “awakened a sleeping giant” and claimed to be a warning.

    “We will use lethal force as provided under Missouri law to defend ourselves,” the flier said. “There will be consequences for your acts of violence against the peaceful, law abiding citizens of Missouri.” “

  10. blouise17 says:


    One picture worth a thousand words

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