HANDS UP, DON’T REPORT: Lawrence O’Donnell gets angry again!

MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2015

Part 1—As usual, Lawrence is wrong:
Lawrence O’Donnell’s gorge was rising, a not uncommon occurrence.

On the substance, Lawrence O’Donnell was wrong. That too is a common occurrence.

At issue was the recent Justice Department report about the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson. In a world served by actual journalists, this report might have helped the nation form a clearer picture of what happened in Ferguson, Missouri that day.

Alas! Lawrence almost seems to be trying to keep that from happening! All this week, we’ll be discussing the information which hasn’t emerged from our various pseudo-journalists around an array of dials.

To read the Justice Department report, click here. For today, let’s start our search with Lawrence’s rising gorge:

On last Friday’s Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough was speaking with Jeff Roorda, a representative of the St. Louis Police Officers Association. Referring to the recent Justice Department report, Scarborough made a cheeky but largely accurate comment:

Scarborough told Roorda that Attorney General Eric Holder has now “agreed with your side of the story” about the shooting of Brown.

Needless to say, Lawrence broke in—and his gorge had clearly started to rise. “Eric Holder doesn’t agree with the officer’s side of the story,” he said. “Eric Holder’s report says they didn’t see that they could make a case beyond a reasonable doubt that would get a conviction.”

At this point, the Morning Joe panelists began interrupting each other. Below, you see the choppy transcript of what was said:
O’DONNELL (3/13/15): Eric Holder doesn’t agree with the officer’s side of the story. Eric Holder’s report says they didn’t see that they could make a case, beyond a reasonable doubt, that would get a conviction.

SCARBOROUGH: Actually, what they said was that neither the—that the testimony that, that said that he had his hands up was not credible. And also—

O'DONNELL: Beyond a reasonable doubt.

ROORDA: The conclusion was irrefutable that he’s not guilty.

SCARBOROUGH: And also, that forensic evidence—that the forensic evidence, that the forensic evidence did not show that he had his hands up in the air.

O'DONNELL: Did not prove it. Did not prove it! It did not dis-prove it.
“Understand what reasonable doubt is,” Lawrence told Joe as the segment expired, his annoyance clearly showing. Scarborough sarcastically thanked his guest “for giving me a lecture on the law.”

To watch the exchange, click here.

Uh-oh! Of the three participants, we’d have to say that Roorda was most accurate, and most clear, in his statement about the report. We’d have to say Lawrence was basically wrong in what he said.

Lawrence seemed to think that the Justice Department merely said it couldn’t establish guilt on Officer Wilson’s part “beyond a reasonable doubt.” We’d have to say that this assertion was wrong.

Somewhat surprisingly, the Justice Department report does seem to make an affirmative statement about Wilson’s lack of guilt. It seems to assert that Wilson didn’t commit a crime in the course of the fatal shooting.

“The evidence establishes that the shots fired by Wilson while he was seated in his SUV were in self-defense and thus were not objectively unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment,” the report directly states on page 80.

That seems like a fairly clear statement. On page 82, the Justice Department seems to state a similar judgment about the second volley of shots, the shots which proved fatal. “The evidence establishes that the shots fired by Wilson after Brown turned around were in self-defense and thus were not objectively unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.”

Rather clearly, the Justice Department seems to say that all the shots Wilson fired that day were fired in self-defense. On pages 84 and 85, the report continues along in that vein:
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REPORT: When the shootings are viewed, as they must be, in light of all the surrounding circumstances and what Wilson knew at the time, as established by the credible physical evidence and eyewitness testimony, it was not unreasonable for Wilson to fire on Brown until he stopped moving forward and was clearly subdued...

For all of the reasons stated, Wilson’s conduct in shooting Brown as he advanced on Wilson, and until he fell to the ground, was not objectively unreasonable and thus not a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242.
In those statements, the Justice Department seems to go well beyond the statement described by O’Donnell, whose gorge was rising, as always.

In those passages, the Justice Department doesn’t limit itself to the statement that they couldn’t establish a case against Wilson “beyond a reasonable doubt.” They seem to make an affirmative statement that he didn’t commit a crime.

According to the Justice Department, “the evidence establishes” that all the shots fired by Wilson were fired “in self-defense.” According to the Justice report, “it was not unreasonable for Wilson to fire on Brown until he stopped moving forward and was clearly subdued.”

You have to read the full report to understand the reasoning and evidence behind those statements. But on the basis of those statements, we’d have to say that Roorda was basically right in what he said on Morning Joe. Somewhat surprisingly, the Justice report does seem to reach an “irrefutable conclusion” that Wilson didn’t commit a crime.

(Just for the record, the report also states that Justice couldn’t find any credible witness who said that Brown ever said, “Don’t shoot,” in the course of this fatal encounter. Also according to the report, there is no credible evidence that Brown was trying to surrender, or was holding his hands in the air, when he was fatally shot.)

Why did Lawrence seem so sure of his view, a view which seems to be wrong? We’ll have to make a guess:

Maybe Lawrence had been watching too much MSNBC in the days since the Justice report appeared! On the whole, viewers of the pseudo-liberal corporate channel have been kept barefoot and clueless concerning this Justice Department report.

We liberals! On The One True Liberal Channel, we’ve been told about the Justice Department’s highly unflattering report about the general operation of the Ferguson police department. For the most part, we haven’t been told what Justice said about the fatal shooting itself, and about the subsequent investigation of same.

Each of those Justice Department reports is important. Liberals watching The One True Channel have only been told about one.

On last Friday’s Morning Joe, Lawrence’s gorge was rising. As always, his moral greatness was on display—but he seemed to be wrong on his facts.

In Lawrence’s case, this cluelessness is especially striking. Last August, in the wake of the shooting, he strongly vouched for several eyewitness accounts of the shooting. He interviewed one eyewitness at length, then strongly vouched for her account on several subsequent programs.

In the days and weeks after the shooting, several eyewitnesses helped create the picture of the shooting which greatly roiled the nation. Lawrence hasn’t told you this, but the recent Justice Department report threw those eyewitnesses under the bus—said their accounts aren’t credible.

This includes the star eyewitness for whose account Lawrence vouched, with his usual air of moral purity and self-assurance.

Those witnesses’ accounts weren’t credible, the Justice Department has said. But Lawrence O’Donnell, a big TV star, hasn’t yet told his viewers!

For him, the basic facts seem to be unchanged, as we saw on Morning Joe. For Lawrence, being a massively-paid corporate “journalist” seems to mean never having to say that your star eyewitness was wrong!

Does that seem like a sound approach? If not, you’ve come to the right place! All week long, we’ll review the things we haven’t been told about that fatal shooting and its aftermath. We’ll recall what Lawrence’s star witness said—and we’ll show you what the Justice Department has said about her statements.

We’ll also recall the statements by the witnesses CNN featured again and again. (Calling Anderson Cooper!) And we’ll show you what the Justice Department has said about the witnesses who refused to come forward and tell the truth because they feared reprisals.

Lawrence’s gorge was rising last week. As usual, though, his basic statement seemed to be basically wrong.

Rush and Sean have always toyed with the American public this way. Thanks to big corporate players like Lawrence, we liberals get toyed with now too.

Tomorrow: Calling Anderson Cooper:

“Witness 118’s accounts are riddled with internal inconsistencies, inconsistencies with the physical and forensic evidence, and inconsistencies with credible witness accounts...When federal prosecutors and agents challenged the inconsistencies in her accounts, Witness 118 conceded that she likely assumed facts that she did not witness herself based on talking with other residents in the Canfield Green complex and watching the news.”

“It is unknown at what point she actually witnessed the shootings, if at all.”

113 comments:

  1. Warning to casual readers of this blog: These comments are unmoderated. They are infested by one or more trolls who routinely attack the blog author in a variety of ways, rarely substantive. Such attacks are not an indicator of the level of interest of other readers, the validity of the content posted nor of the esteem in which the blog author is held by others.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Also, women are paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work! Obama said it."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HRC paid her female Senate staffers 72 cents for each dollar her male staffers earned. Of course such minor details had no effect on her gender pay equality lectures.

      http://freebeacon.com/politics/hillary-clintons-war-on-women/

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    2. What do you imagine you are accomplishing with this garbage?

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    3. @ 12:11

      HRC's hypocrisy is obviously news to you so the accomplishment is informing the ignorant.

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    4. Unfortunately the "freebeacon.com" article does not provide back up for its assertions cicero. If its record with numbers is as sterling as say, the Howler, then some might believe it until the end of the earth regardless of accuracy.

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    5. HRC has not refuted the report that she paid her female staff 72 cents on the dollar compared to her male staff. Neither have HRC's former employees. If you do not like that inconvenient truth how you are really going to be miffed by the Obama Administration's similar hypocrisy.

      "The average male White House employee currently earns about $88,600, while the average female White House employee earns about $78,400, according to White House data released Tuesday. That is a gap of 13 percent."

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/male-female-pay-gap-remains-entrenched-at-white-house/2014/07/01/dbc6c088-0155-11e4-8fd0-3a663dfa68ac_story.html

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    6. Ah, but is it for the exact same work, cicero, because Bob has told us you're a poopypants unless you are comparing wages for the exact same work.

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  3. "On an objective basis, D’Leisha Dent, a superb young person, doesn’t exactly “excel in school.,,,We’ll bet the farm on our basic premise; D’Leisha Dent is a superb young person. It’s astonishing, and a national problem, that she may not move on to college, even with her athletic success." 5/5/2014

    "An honors student who excels in school can’t get into college!" 5/8/14

    "Why is it that D’Leisha Dent, who seems to be one of Central’s best students, can’t get accepted to college?" 5/9/14

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It is also a problem that her aspirations were so low that she applied nowhere but the open entry college that her boyfriend attended and that offered her a sports scholarship.

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    2. It is a problem that Howler commenters find problems with where other people decide to go to college instead of with their blogmaster making repeated mistakes. Like a Lawrence O'Donnell.

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    3. How many anon TDH haters are there, who read the blog every day, and regularly share their junior high level sarcastic criticisms with us? Are there 3, 5, 10, 1? They never give a good reason why they follow the blog they can't stand so faithfully, (inadvertently enriching TDH, who gets paid by the click), as there is no sane reason. (Not to say that there isn't plenty that one might disagree with in TDH).. Why the random mention of Ms. Dent, out of context here? If the college that she got into accepts everyone who applies, the point you are making seems absurd.

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    4. I told you before. I'm dumb and this is one of the few blogs in existence where I can feel smarter than the guy who writes it and much smarter than the whiners who complain about what other people read.

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    5. @ AC/MA

      Please write a 200 word essay explaining why you are an avid Howler follower and how your posts have maintained the quality and stature worthy of your favorite blogger.

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    6. Anon 4:41 pm - while I can't tell how many of the anons are in fact you, I have seen that the anon who is apparently you give this answer to the puzzling question of why read the blog if you can't stand it, and constantly "whines" about its real or fabricated flaws. You may "feel" you are smarter than the blogger or someone who wonders about your pathetic motivation, but there is no evidence that the feeling is justified
      Cicero, unlike you apparently, I have a job and writing a 200 word essay would not be a good use of my time, though I appreciate your saying "please. "Briefly, I do think TDH has an interesting and sometimes valid take on things, Unfortunately, the reality is that politics is messy; no one has a monopoly on the truth; no matter what you decide will likely have a downside; and that in almost every decision, there will be winners and losers. You seem to be intelligent, but also an irrational, obsessed right wing fanatic.

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  4. Yes, as Ms. Claimer implies, our President's public statement was also inadequate. It failed to point out that the Justice Dept. said Wilson acted in self defense. It failed to point out that there was no credible evidence that Brown was trying to surrender or had his hands up when he was shot. If Mr. Obama had made a better statement of the surprising Justice Dept. findings, perhaps a young black man wouldn't have shot two policemen.

    When he was elected, we thought Obama would help bring the races together. I think he could have done so, if he and his Justice Dept. had behaved differently. As it is, there is more race hatred now, in both directions, than there was sic years ago.

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    1. Because of the antics of Sharpton, Obama, and Holder and like-minded victimologist whites, blacks are more miserable in their blackness today than six years ago. Mission accomplished, libs.

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    2. No discussion of race is possible without some white guy dropping the name "Sharpton." And now they add Obama and Holder for good measure.

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    3. @ 11:54

      POTUS Obama has more pics with Sharpton than he does with FLOTUS. Blame POTUS Obama for Rev. Al's unofficial title as the Obama Administration's Race Czar.

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    4. Welcome to the Howler readership Bob spent "seventeen useless years" working to earn.

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    5. @ 1:32

      Imagine B.S.'s consternation when he realized that the preponderance of his blog posters were the usual dailykos/Media Matters types.

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    6. Actually David in Cal, I did not imply the President's statement was inadequate. I simply quoted Mr. Somerby. His statement was false. A lie. A made up fact. Novelization.

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    7. "His statement was false. A lie. A made up fact. Novelization."

      These are good words for Officer Wilson's testimony, as well.
      (Forensic evidence does not support his words.)

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  5. Bob's got a problem here. You see, there were TWO Justice Department reports issued that day.

    A sure sign of tribal behavior is when a person wants to talk about only one of them, and disappears the other.

    But then again, Bob never finds any allegation of racism to be credible, so it is no surprise he won't touch the report about the rampant culture of racism in Ferguson's PD and municipal court system with a 40-foot pole.

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    1. Uhm, no...

      http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-caliber-of-our-own-discourse-eric.html

      "One of the stories concerns the apparently horrible conduct of Ferguson’s police department and municipal government. The other story concerns the conduct of Office Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson last August."

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    2. You know what "lip service" is?

      But thanks for reminding me that Bob KNOWS there were two reports issued, one of which has vanished from this blog in rather short order.

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    3. http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-caliber-of-our-own-discourse_6.html

      "Part 4—Harvard Law School flies to Finland: Based upon this week’s report from the Justice Department, the city of Ferguson has been running a horrible police department and overall city government.

      In the past two days, the New York Times has run detailed reports about these matters. At our fiery liberal orgs, we’ll hear a lot about that part of what the Justice Department has found.

      For ourselves, we’ve been surprised it has taken so long to see news reports of this type. We liberals have largely dragged our heels about the topics under discussion—for example, about the alleged targeting of black residents for the endless traffic fines which kept that city afloat.

      We’ve dragged our heels when it comes to that topic. The mainstream press corps has followed suit.

      We’ve also failed to ask basic question about the remarkable state of affairs which seems to have obtained in Ferguson down through the years. How is it possible that the practices in question haven’t been challenged by local civil rights organizations, by local elected officials and by local ministers? How is it possible that the elected official which drove these practices just kept getting re-elected in a city which was roughly two-thirds black?

      The fecklessness of our liberal world has been on vivid display as these rather obvious questions have largely been ignored. Because of our tribal lassitude, you haven’t seen these questions explored at our favorite liberal orgs. Instead, you saw our leaders express their devotion to “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

      As we’ve noted in the past, we modern liberals will get upset if you kill a black kid. Other than that, our high-minded, extremely useless tribe doesn’t much seem to care."

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    4. Wow! What a thorough and insightful analysis of the "other" DOJ report! NOT!

      The only thing Bob used that report, before banning it from his blog, was yet another club was as yet another club with which to bash the "liberal" media.

      And you know what? If you paid any attention at all last August, you would know that Somerby is (figuratively) looking you straight in the eye and lying to your face when he says these "conditions" in Ferguson 0weren't reported before.

      A thinking person would be insulted. A Bobbuttkisser? Anything he says must be true, right?

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    5. It's amazing that you're so stupid that you still cannot get it through your skull that this blog concerns the media. Here we are, years into comments, and you still can't grasp it.

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    6. Let's be honest here. The second DOJ report was only issued as cover for the "embarrassment" of the complete exoneration of Officer Wilson in the first report.

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    7. Let's be as honest as majneb, for pete's sake.

      http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/department-justice-takes-legal-action-address-pattern-and-practice-excessive-force-and

      http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/spl/documents/spd_findletter_12-16-11.pdf

      http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-and-city-albuquerque-jointly-select-independent-monitor-oversee-police

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    8. Majneb, getting Orwellian in the use of the word "honest"

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    9. Hey, that's the right wing spin. It's always pleasant to come here rather than there to read it.

      It is also the reason Somerby doesn't think the second report is nearly as important and won't spend more than few liberal-bashing paragraphs on it than he already has.

      Meanwhile, this week we -- all two dozen or so of us -- get a whole week of rehashing and arguing the "facts" of Michael Brown's death all over again. With Trayvon Martin thrown in for good measure.

      What a contribution Somerby makes to the "american discourse."

      Somehow, this will all tie in to how Maureen Dowd cost Al Gore the 2000 election.

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    10. To those who doubt the politically-motivated and arbitrary nature of the second report, how many other American cities could also have been subjected to the same charges of "disparate impact" had the DOJ wanted to? Why was tiny Ferguson, Missouri, singled out? Note that liberal bastions like Santa Monica, CA have even worse disparities than as alleged by the feds against podunk Ferguson. But, because bid bad ol' Mike Brown had to punch and charge a cop, poor Ferguson had to be punished, come hell or high water -- and if Officer Wilson was innocent, then by golly the whole department would pay ...

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    11. You really aren't a very bright fellow.

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    12. majneb,
      I agree with you that the nation itself is systemically racist.
      I also agree that "poor Ferguson" has been paying the city for far too long.

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  6. Lawrence O'Donnell has contempt for the American justice system and ethic of requiring a certain level of proof before presuming someone guilty. It was made abundantly clear over the course of the Trayvon Martin coverage that liberals who are liberal are few and far between. People like these should never be trusted with power.

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    1. By all means, the biggest issue here is Lawrence O'Donnell.

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    2. When liberals like O'Donnell go on TV and say stuff that isn't true, isn't that a real concern, particularly for liberals?

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    3. You can be as concerned as you wish about what Lawrence O'Donnell says on Morning Joe. But pardon me if I laugh.

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    4. MSNBC Lawrence O'Donnell's apology tour for benighted commentary.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKHtBI7bvdY

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22nLS4012Lg

      Lawrence O'Donnell Guest:" Do You Wonder Why No One Listens To MSNBC?"

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_dwsNQQ7JY

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    5. Isn't the stuff that O'Donnell says on MSNBC how liberal people get misinformed about important issues, like what happened between Darren Wilson and Michael Brown? If it matters when Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh says stuff that is obviously untrue, why doesn't it matter when O'Donnell says similar junk as well?

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    6. You can also be as concerned as you wish about what comes out of the mouths of Hannity and Limbaugh as well. But pardon me again if I laugh.

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    7. @12:27

      You should refrain from sitting on feathers.

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    8. That is, of course unless you are constantly sitting at a keyboard like cicero.

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    9. Cicero, if you have a job (questionable) I wonder how you manage to get any work done

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    10. Making believe the Clintons, Obama, and corporate America's highly-paid propagandists are 'liberal" IS cicero getting his work done.

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    11. @ 6:41

      Corporate America is only interested in the highest returns on their investments. They couldn't care less that liberal orthodoxy permeates the media, Hollywood, universities and the current administration at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

      You are the Howler who believes the admitted socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders isn't a liberal, yes?

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    12. "Corporate America is only interested in the highest returns on their investments."

      As they say in court, "Facts not in evidence."
      Or as we say outside of court, "What in the name of Carly Fiorina's executive compensation are you babbling about?"

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  7. After a week of the stirring series on our nations' professors, we now return to the umpteenth re-examination of the Michael Brown homicide, with, no doubt, Trayvon Martin added for good measure to make sure the Zimmerman Defense Team returns.

    Bob, this would be understandable if you had something new to say that hasn't been said before on any number of rightist blogs, including this one.

    But since you don't, when will enough be enough? Are you so devoid of original thought these days that you have to keep replaying Boxcar Bob's Greatest Clickbait?

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    1. It's understandable that those who used these cases to advance an agenda would want them to go away. Their dream is the return of conditions under which many black teens murdered by racist whites. Reality isn't cooperating, so they must invent dramatic stories. Attempting to get innocent people convicted of murder is a small price to pay for creating an opportunity for expression of their emotional feelings of outraged righteousness.

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    2. Gee, and all this time, I thought my dream was to have fewer vigilantes and trained cops gun down unarmed people of any race.

      Glad you set me straight. What a grand society we will live in when it's open season on human beings as long as we can say, "Oh my! I had to shoot! He just scared me sooo much!!"

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    3. What a warped and low-IQ perspective we have when we say "People, including law enforcement, should be required to ascertain whether attackers are equally armed before responding violently to attacks against themselves." You go right ahead and conduct your life like a sitting duck victim. The rest of us will continue to support sane responses to violent thugs.

      "Unarmed" is meaningless except to those who have seen too many cheesy westerns and whose diminished intelligence prevents them from identifying outcome bias.

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    4. AnonymousMarch 16, 2015 at 11:51 AM -- Four separate investigations and trials have now shown that the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases were not instances of vigilantes and trained cops improperly gunning down unarmed people. I admire your goal, But, can your goal be achieved by pretending that these cases were instances of the type of bad behavior you aim to eradicate? I don't think so.

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    5. Yes, violent jaywalking "thugs." Violent walking on the sidewalk "thugs," too.

      Funny how violent and thuggish some people get when they have a gun pulled on them.

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    6. Did that store clerk pull a gun on Brown?

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    7. "Four separate investigations and trials have now shown that the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases were not instances of vigilantes and trained cops improperly gunning down unarmed people."

      WRONG!, David. What these "four separate investigations and trials" have determined was that it is OK to kill unarmed black kids because the vigilante and the cop were sooo scaredy-scared of them!

      And you know these black kids. Violent thugs, one and all.

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    8. What? A.G. Holder crusades against racist American LEO and his DOJ could only exonerate Officer Darren Wilson and confirm he fired his weapon in self-defense. But in your parallel universe the DOJ findings confirmed your propaganda.

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    9. Seriously, Anon. Please look objectively at what they did. Trayvon apparently attacked Z, knocked him to the ground, straddled him, was bashing his head against the sidewalk, and perhaps was reaching for Z gun. Brown had previously attacked Wilson in his car and reached for his gun. Brown was charging at Wilson and did not obey Wilson's orders to halt when Wilson shot him. Might a white or Asian person who behaved like that have been shot? I think it's likely.

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    10. Poor David. He thinks the word "apparently" is a persuasive way to start off listing a string of things which, save for one, was established only through the account of a guy who, with a loaded pistol, stalked a lone teen he called a "fucking punk" on foot in the dark before shooting him in the heart.

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    11. To be fair, it was apparent to the eyewitnesses. Dramatists like 2:06 apparently believe additional details like "in the heart" make a violent attacker less culpable in his own demise.

      For the record, Eric Holder just called the thugs who shot the Ferguson police officers "punks."

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    12. "It was apparent to the eyewitnesses."

      The only eyewitness who testified to any of DinC's string of apparencies testified he saw Trayvon Martin on top of Geoerge Zimmerman at one point in a fight he did not see start or end.

      Eric Holder called perpetrators of a violent attack a "punks." Why do you think Zimmerman verbally designated Trayvon Martin one of the "fucking punks?"

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    13. Did even the possibility occur to the Zimmerman Defense Team, now back on this blog in force just as Somerby expected, that Trayvon Martin may have been fighting for his life?

      Of course it doesn't. After all, Zimmerman had a boo-boo on the back of his head that didn't even require medical attention at the scene.

      And yes, David! We all "know" that black people act differently than whites or Asians. Nothing racist about that at all, is there?

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    14. That pesky four minutes leads any reasonable person to suspect a strong likelihood Trayvon Martin was not concerned about avoiding potential danger of a short, creepy ass cracker.

      Zimmerman ended up with a boo boo on his head and not a fatal injury from the sidewalk or his own gun because he chose to defend himself against the violent attack he was subjected to, and was lucky enough to possess the means to do so.

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    15. You mean the pesky minutes when Zimmerman continued to walk about in the dark with his gun instead of return to his car as suggested by the dispatcher? You mean the car he left despite his training as Neighborhood Watch leader?

      It is amazing to me how some blog commenters cannot be content to argue Zimmerman acted in self defense when a situation for which he is primarily to blame got out of hand and instead have to turn a kid walking home into a criminal.

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    16. Yes, and those pesky first few minutes when Trayvon began walking faster, shrewedly fooling Zimmerman into thinking he was trying to get away from a guy in a truck stalking him.

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    17. Anonymous at 3:27 PM is right.
      If Martin had shot Zimmerman to death, he'd be the self-defense hero.

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    18. Martin walked up to and circled Zimmerman's car with his hands in his pants, as was reported by Zimmerman in real time to dispatchers. Martin committed the first breach of etiquette by that action, and the first and only crime in his subsequent attack.

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    19. Zimmerman wasn't primarily to blame in keeping an eye on a suspicious person. He was serving his community. Martin was primarily and solely to blame for his criminal violent attack against Zimmerman.

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    20. Zimmerman was defending his neighborhood. Trayvon, on the other hand, was defending his macho honor from a perceived "diss" by what he perceived to be a "creepy ass crackah" (Zimmerman is latino) being suspicious of his movements.

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    21. And I bet your dumb enough to want Zimmerman defending your neighborhood. Hey, I hear he needs a job!

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  8. This week in Unarmed Teens

    http://www.myfoxla.com/story/28405154/2015/03/12/two-more-arrests-after-dog-shot-tied-to-tracks

    "The other teen, who is facing a gun charge, will stay in juvenile detention until his next court date. He has been arrested 16 times since age 13."

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  9. "The media has widely reported that there is witness testimony that Brown said “don’t shoot” as he held his hands above his head. In fact, our investigation did not reveal any eyewitness who stated that Brown said “don’t shoot.”

    http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/04/doj_report_on_shooting_of_michael_brown.pdf

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    1. But that doesn't mean the young, college-bound gentle giant didn't.

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  10. Most police departments are racist in one degree or another against the groups whose members commit highly disproportionate numbers of crimes they encounter. This is going to be true as long as humans are responsible for policing.

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    1. You are suggesting the police, like Lawrence O'D. believe in groups being guilty until proven innocent?

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    2. Perhaps he is suggesting that police think a black is more likely to be a criminal than a Asian for the simple reason that blacks actually do commit many more crimes per capita than Asians do.

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    3. He is suggesting human beings assimilate information they encounter and form biases accordingly. When they encounter a member of a group whose members disproportionately display a certain behavior or trait, their human instinct is to judge that person likely good at math or likely up to no good. This ability is generally a good trait in human beings, as it helps them to avoid becoming prey. We all rely on it. It's why Lawrence O'Donnell lives in a big house in a "good neighborhood."

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    4. Thank you, @ 2:21 for your ability to read minds. And answering for others. Try spellcasting next.

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  11. Your Howler ReadersMarch 16, 2015 at 3:31 PM

    Comments TL? DR?

    A precis:

    OK fine. The case was, and is, mis-reported by some favorite teevee "liberals."

    What's more important than that though, is that racists might be comforted by your pointing that out -- so please, shut up you awful, awful Bob Somerby!!

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  12. According to Wilson's own testimon, he first shot in the car. Then when he got out of the car, while Brown was running he fired several shots, otherwise at least three rounds mysteriously dissappeared from his weapon. Finally, after brown turned, he fired several more times before the fatal shots.
    But, if you wnat to believe the eyewitnesses, do you want to believe all of them or only the ones who support whatever you want to believe.

    I suspect the latter.

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    1. Twelve rounds in all. Within two minutes after Wilson first saw Brown and his friend walking in the street instead of the sidewalk.

      Down a residential street. At noon on a summer Saturday afternoon.

      Exemplary police work!

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    2. Oh and for the sarcasm challenged, the last sentence was sarcasm.

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    3. Officer Wilson's testimony isn't supported by forensic evidence.

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    4. That would be news to Holder's DOJ who concluded otherwise.


      "The evidence establishes that the shots fired by Wilson while he was seated in his SUV"

      "The evidence does not support concluding that Wilson shot Brown while Brown’s back was toward Wilson."

      "Furthermore, there are no witnesses who could testify credibly that Wilson shot Brown while Brown was clearly attempting to surrender. The accounts of the witnesses who have claimed that Brown raised his hands above his head to surrender and said “I don’t have a gun,” or “okay, okay, okay” are inconsistent with the physical evidence or can be challenged in other material ways, and thus cannot be relied upon to form the foundation of a federal prosecution."
      were in self-defense and thus were not objectively unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment."

      http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/04/doj_report_on_shooting_of_michael_brown.pdf

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    5. The Type of Reader Somerby REALLY attractsMarch 16, 2015 at 7:46 PM

      OK, that's what the report says, but because I have decided you are a racist, that's irrelevant.

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    6. Wilson was courageous to give chase after he was attacked in his car. The law-abiding public who identifies more with the store clerk and police officer victims than the violent criminal is grateful.

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    7. Yes, quite courageous of him to discharge his weapon 12 times on a residential street at noon on a Saturday.

      Excuse me if I think he's a worse pussy than Zimmerman, who at least came up with a better pussy excused -- he was getting his ass kicked by a kid weighing a buck 40.

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    8. I guess they figured getting called a pussy by an internet wanker was preferable to getting murdered by a thug. The thugs felt otherwise. Darwinism in action.

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    9. You do understand that even the batshit insane anti-police Holder DOJ found that he discharged every one of those bullets in legitimate self defense.

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    10. You do understand that somebody you called batshit insane and anti police accomplished more before he left high school
      than you will in a lifetime?

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    11. majneb, do you know any cops? As them about the police work that Wilson did that day.

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    12. I have, 7:35, more than a few, and all but one, the dumbest whose analysis was based in outcome bias, approved.

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    13. There goes the idea that shitty cops are rare.
      P.S. I knew the idea that shitty cops are the exception was a lie before I read Anonymous at 10:43 AM's reply.

      Captain Obvious

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  13. AnonymousMarch 16, 2015 at 4:29 PM -- I agree with you that this was poor police work by Officer Wilson. He should have been able to pacify Brown without firing so many shots and without shooting him to death. Ideally, the relationship between police and the black community would have been better so that no shooting at all was needed. No doubt the police practice of ticketing so many poor people in order to raise money harmed the relationship.

    However, there's a big difference between poor police work while justifiably shooting someone, vs. shooting someone who's trying to surrender, vs. shooting someone because of his race.

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    1. Good luck pacifying a thug who just reached into your car and slugged you in the face. Did ticketing of poor people cause Brown to assault and rob the store clerk moment's before too?

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    2. Nothing short of a kill shot was going to pacify Big bad Mikey Brown that day, as he either: had a death wish; was stoned out of his mind; had the typical nihilist thug attitude ("FYMF"). The fact that he charged Officer Wilson while his gun was drawn amply demonstrates that that he was not overly concerned for life and health that same day.

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  14. Jonathan Capehart wrote a nice column in the Washington Post admitting that he was in error to credit the "Hands up, don't shoot" narrative.
    ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ was built on a lie

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    Replies
    1. Interesting. Unlike Socrates, we may have found an honest man...

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    2. Interesting. You haven't a clue what honesty is. And you add to it relentless demonstrations of unbridled venal stupidity.

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    3. That was Diogenes (The Cynic) who carried the lantern in the daytime searching for an honest man.

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    4. Hey, majneb knew it was one of those Greeks. Aristotle, Socrates, Diogenes, Alexander the Great, Zorba, what's the difference?

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  15. In the 7 months since Mike Brown's death, the average price of a home sold in Ferguson, Missouri has dropped by TWO THIRDS - to a mere $23,000. That is the kind of devastation 7 months of rioting and defamation by the mainstream media can wreak upon a tiny suburb's property values. If there was a point of no return for Ferguson, it was passed long ago.

    Lacking a viable property tax base needed to sustain the coffers of a modern city, its decline is inevitable. The residential and commercial property owners who have the means to absorb their losses are exiting quickly for farther flung suburban pastures, thus precipitating a vicious cycle of urban rot.

    It will be East St. Louis within a decade.

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    Replies
    1. You ever hear of "urban sprawl," majneb? Apparently not, because the flight to the outer suburbs is something that has been happening for longer than 7 months -- in St. Louis and in other cities across the country.

      In the off-chance you are interested in educating yourself, check out the growth of such St. Louis suburbs outside the I-270 loop such as St. Charles at St. Peters, and compare that to the suburbs inside the loop -- especially the "north county" 'burbs such as Ferguson and Florissant.

      Ferguson specifically? It has lost 25 percent of its population since 1970, and the biggest declines occurred in the 70s and 80s.

      Now if you're asking if the decline will continue with the report that Ferguson has turned its law enforcement and court systems into ATMs to make up for lost tax revenue?

      Of course. Who wants to live there? Or in a place where trigger happy cops unload their service revolvers on jaywalking shoplifters on residential streets at high noon on a Saturday. But even that -- nor is your fable about "7 months of rioting . . . by the mainstream media" (got a real chuckle out of that one!") -- the beginning of the decline of the inner suburbs, and not only in Ferguson.





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    2. They shot a jaywalker? I thought they shot a violent thug who attacked a cop in his car!

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    3. Far fewer black youths would have to die tragically if they would just be taught to abandon and reject their stupid "hardass" throw the first punch "gangsta" mentality. Because it is so prevelant in the African American community even the good kids wind up getting judged as if they were a part of it, those are the ones I feel sympathy towards.

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    4. The "thug" attacked a "gang member" in his own car.

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