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The Left Column

MineralMan

What You Can Do if You're a 17-Year-Old White Male without Getting Shot by Police

You can steal some cigars from a convenience store.
You can be stopped by the police for almost anything.
You can drive slowly through the wealthiest neighborhood in town.
You can drink too much and get rowdy with your friends.
You can get drunk and get into a fight with someone.
If you're a high school athlete, you can sexually assault someone.
You can walk down the middle of the street.
You can be out after midnight on foot.
You can carry a baggie of weed.
You can sell a baggie of weed to someone.
You can hang out with any number of your friends.
You can get thrown out of a bar for fake ID.
You can have sex with the police chief's daughter and get caught.
You can have sex with the mayor's son and get caught.
You can listen to loud hip-hop music in your car.
You can insult a cop. You shouldn't, but the cop won't shoot you.
You can run away from a cop who tells you to stop. He'll chase you, maybe, but won't shoot you.
ETA: Walk down a residential street wearing a hoodie.

kpete

Officer Darren Wilson's story is unbelievable. Literally. --- by Ezra Klein on November 25, 2014

(Vox) Let's take a breath and recap. Wilson sees two young black men walking in the middle of the street. He pulls over and politely asks them to use the sidewalk. They refuse. He asks again, still polite. Brown tells Wilson — again, a uniformed police officer in a police car — "fuck what you have to say." Wilson stops his car, tries to get out, and Brown slams the car door on him and then begins punching him through the open window.

What happens next is the most unbelievable moment in the narrative. And so it's probably best that I just quote Wilson's account at length on it.

kpete

How the media would cover the events in Ferguson were this another country:

(Vox) Chinese and Russian officials are warning of a potential humanitarian crisis in the restive American province of Missouri, where ancient communal tensions have boiled over into full-blown violence.

“We must use all means at our disposal to end the violence and restore calm to the region,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in comments to an emergency United Nations Security Council session on the America crisis.

spanone

Jeffrey Toobin: Decision to announce grand jury verdict at night devastating

(CNN) The grand jury has made its decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown last August in Ferguson, Missouri. But another verdict became clear last night, too. The decision by St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch to announce the decision at 8:30 p.m. CT was foolish and dangerous.

Here's the thing about that time of night: it's dark. Anyone -- anyone! -- should have known that the decision in the Brown case would have been controversial. A decision not to indict, which was always possible, even likely, would have been sure to attract protests, even violence. Crowd control is always more difficult in the dark.

loyalsister

Legal Experts Explain Why The Ferguson Grand Jury Was Set Up For Failure

(Think Progress) Specifically, McGraugh and Christmas question McCulloch’s unusual decision to present “all evidence” to the grand jury. Typically, prosecutors present to the grand jury only the evidence necessary to establish probable cause. (A grand jury does not determine guilt or innocence but only if a reasonable jury could find the defendant guilty.) McGraugh and Christmas are especially critical of McCulloch’s decision to allow Wilson to testify for hours in front of the grand jury.

TygrBright

Yes. They WANTED riots.

While there is always *some* element of unpredictability in any particular riot situation, the dynamics of highly emotional crowds breaking into violence has been carefully studied and is thoroughly understood.

They know, for instance, that in any given crowd of X thousand individuals engaged in peaceful protest, if violence can be provoked certain things are highly likely to happen, such as looting, and the violence will coalesce on targets of opportunity (that is, the location where the violence breaks out, rather than where the ire of the protesters is actually focused.)

They know that certain types of photo ops beneficial to the dissemination of pro-law enforcement propaganda are more likely to be glaringly obvious than photo ops that show the role of law enforcement in provoking the violence. It's a calculated risk...

Bonobo

"Decades later they're still asking why Mookie smashed the window..."

"Decades later they're still asking why Mookie smashed the window at Sal's instead of why they killed Radio Raheem."

-Best Tweet today.

Hissyspit

Ferguson Prosecutor's Idiot Speech Blames Everyone But Darren Wilson

(Gawker) Ferguson prosecutor Robert McCulloch delivered a long-winded, smirking speech blaming social media, the media, journalists, neighborhood residents, and everyone else who isn't Darren Wilson, for Darren Wilson shooting and killing 18-year-old Michael Brown.

It took McCulloch 10 minutes of hectoring before he revealed the panel had found no probable cause to indict Wilson, and the rest of the 45-minute speech, in which McCulloch seemed to be presenting evidence in Wilson's favor, felt a lot more like defense attorney's argument than a prosecutors. The very length of McCulloch's rambling statement, really, and the amount of evidence he felt compelled to argue against, was an argument that the case should have gone to trial.

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