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Member since: Fri Jul 13, 2012, 12:38 PM
Number of posts: 653

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My mother has dementia as well

When I was a boy, she was prejudiced against blacks. It's how she was brought up, in poverty with a father who wheezed to death from being gassed in the first world war. She didn't know any better - classic ignorance. MLK, RFK, etc & the civil rights movement gave her kids the support and arguments to work on her and educate her.

In 2008, she was a gigantic fan of candidate Obama. Every day, she'd turn on her TV to see one of her favorite people in the world: Barack. Today, when she gets up, she'll turn on her TV and be back at it, getting snippets of how President Obama is doing. She adores him.

I know when you see things like Michael Brown, 150 years after the civil war and 50 years after MLK, it's disheartening and makes you wonder if things will ever change. But people can change, some do and some have. I've seen it. 60-70 years ago, I have my doubts you'd have ever seen the fuss and front page outcry over the police shooting someone like unarmed Michael Brown as we've seen recently. Not everybody has changed and not enough have changed but a bunch have.

Keep up the good work you do here. Slowly but surely, it is working and changing people.

Don't accept "the difference" with the examples you gave

Yes, they're different.

But, for example, some of the first media I read on Mike Brown was describing him as a gentle giant.


"Janet Reitman delivers a riveting account of how Jahar Tsarnaev became a monster"

So cherry picking media paragraphs doesn't work for me.

Has there been some coverage on Brown that suggests some racism is behind it? Definitely.

Have we seen that level of racism against Tsarnaev? Definitely not.

If that's the point, then I could agree with that.

They claimed they never called 911 but

from the police reports

they reported a theft to the officer who responded to (apparently) a patron calling 911

Watch the video and convince me the retailer was just thanking Mike Brown (allegedly according to Dorian Johnson) for his business.

If Brown did pay for something, maybe he bought one pack of cigarillos and stole 10 more. Who knows yet? Dorion Johnson said Mike had his hands full of cigarillos when the trouble with Wilson started.

I don't think one has to be a rocket scientist to figure out there was an unusual problem at that store that looked like some sort of theft and the police reports show the store employees claimed theft of cigars.

I answered one of the things I wondered about:

from the Boise manual:
The officer or officers directly involved in the shooting will be placed on Administrative
Leave after the completion of their reports.
Administrative Leave is for an undetermined
period of time and is authorized at the direction of the Chief of Police. The officer placed on
Administrative Leave is responsible for advising the respective bureau command of the
officer's whereabouts in order that contact may be made when necessary.

and this:
Any member involved in, or performing any function pertaining to, an officer involved
shooting will submit reports detailing such involvement. Reports will be completed and
submitted prior to securing from the tour of duty during which the incident occurred.

From San Jose Police Duty manual:

I haven't been able to access Ferguson/St Louis police links so I looked this up elsewhere

Below are clips from the duty manual of the San Jose Police

Revised 06-16-04
An officer may discharge a firearm under any of the following circumstances:
- When discharged in a safe manner at an approved range
- When used for the humane destruction (euthanasia) of a seriously injured animal, or to
dispatch any animal that poses an immediate threat to any person or other animal, and
other dispositions are impractical
- When deadly force is objectively reasonable in self-defense or in defense of another
person's life
- When deadly force is objectively reasonable to effect the capture of, or prevent the
escape or rescue of, a suspect whom the officer has reasonable cause to believe has
committed a felony involving the use or a threat to use deadly force, and whom an
objectively reasonable officer could believe would pose an imminent danger of death or
serious physical injury to other persons if he or she were to escape

Revised 04-06-07
Firearms will not be discharged under the following circumstances:
- At misdemeanants who do not pose an imminent danger of death or serious physical
harm to other persons.
- To affect the capture, or prevent the escape or rescue of, a suspect whom the officer
has reasonable cause to believe has committed a felony which did not involve the use
or a threat to use deadly force.

L 2643 REPORTING USE OF FORCE (in firearms section of SJ Duty Manual):
When force is used by an officer in the course and scope of his or her duties as a peace
officer, the officer will document the details of such use in a general offense crime report
and/or a Narrative/Supplemental Report (Form 200-3A-AFR).. Details will include:
- The reason for the police response to a call for service, or police initiated detention or
- The behavior of the subject which caused the officer to use force
- Type of force used (verbal and physical tools, techniques and/or tactics used)
- Extent of injuries to any person and the post-force care provided
- Other relevant information regarding the circumstances of the use of force

Here's what the Boise Idaho Duty Manual says about reporting the incident:
 Complete a supplemental report and include:
o Facts, circumstances, and chain-of-events
o Resistance encountered
o Type, extent, and reasons for the force used
o Disposition of subject(s)
 Review the Administrative Use of Force Report with your supervisor.

1.01.07 Supervisor’s Responsibilities
When force techniques are used, the following guidelines shall apply:
 Monitor involved officer’s use of force activities to ensure compliance with these policies and procedures.
 Consult with a Lieutenant if problems are noted in situations where force is applied.
 when one of the following techniques are used regardless of injury or complaint of injury:
o Hard empty-handed control techniques are used
o Vascular neck restraint is used
o Intermediate weapons are used (baton, specialty impact munitions, conducted energy weapon, OC Aerosol)
o Canine deployment when force is involved
o Any object used as a weapon
 Complete and forward the Administrative Use of Force Review form for each involved subject, unless there is an intentional use of deadly force, when there is injury or complaint of injury.
 Conduct the initial investigation to obtain and document the facts. The supervisor shall:
o Attempt to obtain photographs (digital images) of the subject and any alleged injuries
o Attempt to obtain recorded interviews with subjects and witnesses
o Complete and attach a supplemental narrative
 Attach copies of incident reports to the Administrative Use of Force Review form and download any audio recordings. Send any photographs to the lab for processing or storage.
 Review all collected evidence as part of a regular administrative Use of Force investigation.
 Review completed Administrative Use of Force Review form with involved officer, note the review in the investigation, and forward to Internal Affairs as outlined 12.03.05H Performance Review Document policy.

so it appears with other city police forces that filing a report is standard procedure

Having said that, in the interest of trying to inform and understand the circumstances (not defend the officer per se!!), I wondered about:
- what obligations the officer has to file such a report if he's placed on administrative leave/suspended with pay immediately
- what obligations the officer has if the crime scene is turned over to another police force as the Ferguson Police did, passing it to the St Louis County Police
- what would be the officer's Miranda rights - if I'm his lawyer, I'd be telling him to shut up and say nothing

What has been reported is that Wilson stayed at the crime scene for hours after the shooting before eventually going to the hospital. He made some sort of a statement to police that day. A few days later/next day?, they got another more lengthy statement from him.

If the Ferguson Police did not follow their own procedures, they could have a problem. But the fact that they turned over the crime scene to the St Louis County police so quickly probably covers them for a lot of that because many of their procedures for this crime scene would cease when that got done.

This sentence from the article is what rattled me:

"As long as there is still the slightest possibility that Wilson acted in his own defense, Missouri law favors Wilson"

Maybe I'm getting hung up on semantics.

With DNA evidence, the possibility it is wrong is often quoted as something in the order of 1 in 13 billion. That's nearly as slight a possibility as you could find. But jurors often accept DNA as damning evidence - in spite of the fact that there is the "slightest possibility" it is wrong - because to them, 1 in 13 billion is so slight, it's not reasonable doubt - it's highly, highly unlikely.

In spite of whatever evidence is piled up against Wilson, the slant of that article suggests in Missouri, one racist on the jury can easily cling to Wilson's self defense claim having the "slightest possibility" it's true and it's game over. It should relate more to reasonable doubt - not unreasonable "slightest possibility".

I realize a racist on the jury could ignore all reason regardless. But "slightest possibility" gives them something easier to cling to.

It frightens me that the prosecution could put on a good case and fail because of "slightest possibility". From that, I'd fear Rodney King II: riots in Ferguson causing damage and potentially death.

This distresses me. I'm left to wonder if this is really justice.

There is an ordinance in Ferguson about walking in the middle of the road

Dorian Johnson has said they were walking in the middle of the road. So it's hard to pin profiling on Wilson because Johnson basically testified that they were in violation of that ordinance. Even if they're wasn't a specific ordinance, I doubt folks would have a big problem with a police officer expressing concern for citizens walking in the middle of the road. And Wilson initially didn't try to bust Johnson or Brown for it. Wilson just asked them (ordered them rudely according to Johnson) to get off the road.

I don't see a sustainable civil rights argument for profiling at that point.

Wilson, according to some accounts including Johnson's started to drive off. And then he backed up.

Why did Wilson back up?

I doubt at that point it was because he suddenly realized they were black. I strongly suspect he realized their race long before he drove away - probably as he initially approached them.

Maybe they said something that ticked him off.
Maybe they didn't show any sign of doing what he asked and that ticked him off.
Maybe he noticed the cigars in Brown's hands as he drove off that Johnson said were there and put two and two together with the robbery report that had been broadcast in the police radio.
Maybe something else that others can imagine or Wilson says ...

But from that above list, once again, so far, I do not see a convincing civil rights issue like profiling.

Maybe others have some thoughts on this and I'm missing something.

(and please, I'm not defending Wilson per se. I just don't want to go down a legal rabbit hole or get hopes up with an approach that isn't going to bear fruit holding the officer accountable for killing an unarmed man)

That's murky because of the cigars robbery

It's hard to argue beyond reasonable doubt for profiling - that the officer went after Brown because of his color - when the police radio was broadcasting the robbery and a description that matched Brown.

Ever since Obama entered his candidacy,

the racists sure came out of the closet.

The chances of finding 12 people in the US where one isn't a racist seems slim to me based upon what I've been seeing. And it's probably much worse in Missouri.

This garbage is still going on after 100s of years. It's awful.

Article: "Convicting Darren Wilson Will Be Basically Impossible"

I originally saw this article on Daily Kos

But generally, we expect situations of justified violence and legal killing to be the rare exception, and most people would probably imagine that policemen and citizens raising claims of justifiable homicide must meet a substantive burden of proof. But in Missouri, these justifications barely require any evidence at all.

In other states, claims of self-defense need to be proven as more likely than not, or in legal speak, to a “preponderance of the evidence.” It’s still the state’s obligation to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant actually killed the victim. But once that’s established, the prosecution doesn’t also have to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the killing wasn’t justified. That’s because justifications—like self-defense—require the accused to make an active case, called an “affirmative defense,” that the circumstances were exceptional. The logic here is simple: As a rule, homicide is a crime and justification is reserved for extraordinary cases. Once the state has proven that a defendant did in fact kill someone, it should be the accused’s obligation to prove his or her actions were justified.

Not in Missouri. Instead, as long as there is a modicum of evidence and reasonable plausibility in support of a self-defense claim, a court must accept the claim and acquit the accused. The prosecution must not only prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime, but also disprove a defendant’s claim of self-defense to the same high standard. Under Missouri law, all a citizen claiming self-defense or a police officer claiming to have fired while pursuing a dangerous criminal need do is “inject the issue of justification.” In other words, he only needs to produce some evidence (his own testimony counts) supporting the claim. Once he does so, “any reasonable doubt on the issue requires a finding for the defendant.” In Missouri, the burden doesn’t budge an inch, even after we know that the defendant has killed the victim. It doesn’t matter that there is certainty that Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown. As long as there is still the slightest possibility that Wilson acted in his own defense, Missouri law favors Wilson.

The author provides some links in their article to back up what they're claiming.

Not only is the Ferguson police force a disgrace. So it appears are the Missouri laws that protect it.

This whole situation is appalling. It seems the more I find out, the more appalling it gets.

In short, the prosecution have to prove Mike Brown did not bum rush the officer. They can produce witnesses to say that as we've already heard them. But the officer saying that isn't so may well be enough for reasonable doubt = he gets off.

If they go through with this as laid out above, I fear more people in Ferguson will die. Rodney King II. I don't think I'm over the top saying that. This could get uglier.

The author updated their article some:
Correction and update: A previous version of this article implied that Missouri's low burden for self-defense claims made it an outlier among U.S. states. Although historically, many states required defendants to actively prove a justification defense (and Ohio still does), in the last few decades most other states have moved away from Ohio’s approach and resemble Missouri’s. The legal situation is therefore perhaps even more troubling than originally implied. The language of the story has been updated to reflect this.

That's kind of good news in that his revision indicates Missouri's standards are similar to many other states. But it will still be tough to get a conviction.
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