The nation has long anticipated the St. Louis grand jury decision regarding the fate of Officer Darren Wilson after the controversy that followed him fatally shooting Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last August.
But even now that it has been decided that Officer Wilson will not face indictment, in this current local and national environment, few if any are left at ease with the fallout now present in the wake of the decision.
Personally, as I listened to St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch’s public statement Monday, it all seemed to fall into place for me as an unfortunate outcome resulting from a police officer simply doing his job. It still appeared to me that the situation was trumped up to be an example of white police violence against black victims.
Then I hung on McCulloch’s account that the likely final shot fired at Brown struck him over 100 feet away from Officer Wilson’s police cruiser, and that the blood evidence from that shot was found over 20 feet further behind Brown.
I thought to myself, “Wait a minute! Isn’t this backwards? Shouldn’t the final shot have been within the window of Wilson’s cruiser, instead of that shot being the first close-range shot to Brown’s hand?”
Then I remembered that the autopsy reports agreed that all of Brown’s wounds were to the front of his body. I also realized that, as a cop, if a confrontational man had already attacked you through your car window, flees, and then turns around to return in your direction, you can’t afford to take any chances.
If you flee the scene, you not only shirk your responsibilities as a police officer; but you also make yourself look terribly guilty. And we should also remember that, in spite of the details of the initial altercation, there was no way for Officer Wilson to absolutely justify in his mind that this very large, angry, and violent young man was not armed.
I then realized that my initial reaction to these details provided for a personally teachable moment.
Just as easily as I had looked at one or two details of this case—and at first thought I had found an anomaly—how much easier would it be to run with these first assumptions if I had already wanted Officer Wilson to be an evil, guilty man of the system?
Unfortunately, in this upside-down world, no one wins in any part of the aftermath of this incident.
A family has lost a son; a police officer has lost his identity, freedom, and safety; the city of Ferguson lies in ruins; and the nation’s race relations are further strained, in spite of the facts of the case.
Although the fallout destruction in Ferguson is not as severe as some had projected and many had feared, with at least 4 burning buildings, 2 burning police cruisers, looting, and multiple shots fired, this predominantly black St. Louis suburb is obviously not Mayberry. The violent protests have also spread to other major U.S. cities.
It’s interesting that St. Louis County Prosecutor McCulloch is a white Democrat, and it would be even more interesting to know his private thoughts about the success of Obama’s and Holder’s intervention in Ferguson for race relations as ever benevolent representatives of the federal government.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom