The bitter irony of the Michael Brown case is that if he had actually put his hands up and said don’t shoot, he would almost certainly be alive today. His family would have been spared an unspeakable loss, and Ferguson, Missouri wouldn’t have experienced multiple bouts of rioting, including the torching of at least a dozen businesses the night it was announced that Officer Darren Wilson wouldn’t be charged with a crime.
Instead, the credible evidence (i.e., the testimony that doesn’t contradict itself or the physical evidence) suggests that Michael Brown had no interest in surrendering. After committing an act of petty robbery at a local business, he attacked Officer Wilson when he stopped him on the street. Brown punched Wilson when the officer was still in his patrol car and attempted to take his gun from him.
The first shots were fired within the car in the struggle over the gun. Then, Michael Brown ran. Even if he hadn’t put his hands up, but merely kept running away, he would also almost certainly be alive today. Again, according to the credible evidence, he turned back and rushed Wilson. The officer shot several times, but Brown kept on coming until Wilson killed him.
To believe this version of events, you have to be completely and with purpose, blind to basic human instinct to the point of malice. Or you could be Rich Lowry, same thing. You would have to believe that A) Wilson knew that Brown committed a crime, B) that Brown would go for Wilson’s gun, and C) that after Brown was shot and ran away that he changed his mind and charged the guy who just shot him.
And on top of all that, you have to believe that there was no probable cause whatsoever to dispute this. None. Come to think of it, nine other Rich Lowrys on that grand jury did just that, didn’t they?
This is a terrible tragedy. It isn’t a metaphor for police brutality or race repression or anything else, and never was. Aided and abetted by a compliant national media, the Ferguson protestors spun a dishonest or misinformed version of what happened—Michael Brown murdered in cold blood while trying to give up—into a chant (“hands up, don’t shoot”) and then a mini-movement.
Yes, because the media killed Mike Brown. Barring that, what’s one more dead black person shot by a cop and left on the street for 4.5 hours? Race has nothing to do with it, you see, because we all know those people are all thugs and criminals, so it’s just one more insane savage beast being put down like the beast he was. America!
When the facts didn’t back their narrative, they dismissed the facts and retreated into paranoid suspicion of the legal system. It apparently required more intellectual effort than almost any liberal could muster even to say, “You know, I believe policing in America is deeply unjust, but in this case the evidence is murky and not enough to indict, let alone convict anyone of a crime.”
How can policing in America unjust, I wonder, if Lowry sees no injustice in this?
Oh yeah, evil. It’s always the ni-CLANG!s fault. Seriously. Once again, you have to believe that there’s no possible evidence in some 70 hours of testimony that any probably cause for any wrongdoing on Wilson’s part to arrive at a no true bill decision here. That doesn’t just beggar the imagination, it performs the entire Bush/Cheney/Greenspan subprime economic crisis collapse on it.