HANDS UP, DON’T REPORT: Ryan’s traumatized daughter and us!

FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2015

Part 5—The things we’d do if we could:
What actually happened when Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown?

We can’t exactly tell you.

Is the Justice Department right in its assessments about the shooting?

We can’t really tell you that either.

We can tell you this—the Justice Department’s account of the shooting differs greatly from the account which was widely presented in real time. If the Justice Department is right, that account has been left for dead.

To its credit, the New York Times reported this fact in its front-page report about the Justice Department’s findings. In just his first three paragraphs, Erik Eckholm captured some basic differences between the Justice Department account of the shooting and the account we received in real time:
ECKHOLM (3/5/15): Offering the most definitive account yet of the shooting of an unarmed black teenager that stirred racially charged protests across the country, the Justice Department has cleared a Ferguson, Mo., police officer of civil rights violations in the death last August of Michael Brown.

In an 86-page report released Wednesday that detailed and evaluated the testimony of more than 40 witnesses, the Justice Department largely corroborated or found little credible evidence to contradict the account of the officer, Darren Wilson, who is white.

Versions of events that sharply conflicted with Mr. Wilson’s were largely inconsistent with forensic evidence or with the witnesses’ previous statements, the report said.
And in some cases, witnesses whose accounts supported Mr. Wilson said they had been afraid to come forth or tell the truth because they feared reprisals from the enraged community.
Eckholm proceeded from there in a striking, 1400-word report. We agree with his basic representations:

Correctly or otherwise, the Justice Department seems to “clear” Wilson in its report. They didn’t say they couldn’t prove a case and leave it at that.

Correctly or otherwise, the Justice Department found that witnesses’ accusations against Wilson “were largely inconsistent with forensic evidence or with the witnesses’ previous statements.” Correctly or otherwise, the Department seemed to make a direct statement—all the shots fired by Officer Wilson were fired in self-defense.

Is the Justice Department right in that judgment? We can’t answer that question, but that’s what its report said.

In our view, Eckholm understated one part of the case. He failed to note the Justice Department’s rejection of three influential eyewitnesses—Witness 101, Witness 127 and Witness 118.

In the days and weeks after the shooting, the disturbing claims of those alleged eyewitnesses were broadcast very widely. Correctly or otherwise, the Justice Department has now found that their basic claims were wrong.

In the case of Witness 118, the Justice Department doesn’t seem sure that she even saw the shooting! Her accounts were all over TV from the first day on.

In our view, Eckholm should have stated this point more clearly. But to the credit of the New York Times, the gentleman gave a full account of the Justice Department’s basic findings.

Over at the Washington Post, Sari Horwitz took a different approach. She offered a highly sanitized front-page report about the Department’s findings—and in the two weeks which have gone by, the Post’s approach has prevailed.

That may be the most striking fact about the recent report.

In the mainstream and on the pseudo-left, little discussion has arisen about this striking report. We’ve seen no one review the accounts of the shooting which were widely broadcast in real time—accounts which the Justice Department has now rejected as false.

TV stars like Lawrence O’Donnell haven’t explained why they vouched for those accounts, back when they had no earthly way of knowing what had happened. As always, being a TV star means never having to say you were wrong.

We can always imagine or claim that the Justice Department’s judgments are wrong. That said, the failure to report and discuss those judgments says a great deal about our culture—about our remarkably limited intellectual and moral capital.

Those of us on the pseudo-left have always been able to see the dishonesty of those on the pseudo-right. Just last night, the diminishing fellow known as Chris Hayes entertained the troops with the latest such tales.

Here’s the way he teased the upcoming segment:
HAYES (3/19/15): All right, pop some popcorn, grab a frosty beverage, because I’ll be doing some good old-fashioned right-wing myth-busting ahead.

Plus, one of the best moments so far from March Madness. All that is next.
Pop some popcorn and grab a beer! By now, we don’t even bother pretending. This is old-fashioned entertainment for us, the tribal rubes.

Later, Hayes and a pair of stooges debunked the “fevered conspiracy theories” of those in the other tribe. At one point, the diminishing fellow said this:

“Let me just say, it’s not completely ideologically limited. There are lots of conspiracy theories across the ideological spectrum. I believe they have a particular virulence on the right.”

Disclaimer aside, Hayes and his panel of stooges went on to debunk bogus claims of the right. Our own claims went unexplored.

With that as prologue, might we offer a thought about group violence?

On St. Patrick’s Day, TCM aired the 1970 David Lean epic, Ryan’s Daughter. Though it was largely a critical failure, it was a box-office hit.

We saw the film when it came out. It included the most striking scene of group violence we recall ever seeing in a film. When it popped up in the TCM section of On Demand, we watched it again this week.

Sure enough! At the climax of Ryan’s Daughter, the whole village decides—wrongly as a matter of fact—that Sarah Miles was the informer. So they go to her home and they enter her home and they drag her out into the yard.

They strip off her clothing and cut off her hair and leave her shivering with trauma. Her father, who actually was the informer, chose not to tell the truth.

At least they didn’t kill her!

Lawrence, who lives in that windswept village, said the shooting of Michael Brown was a case of first-degree murder. To tell the truth, it wasn’t the first time that Lawrence and the rest of us villagers tried to stage our own act of mob violence.

Lawrence played a leading role in that previous episode too! Do you remember the facts we invented about that previous villain? Do you recall the facts we suppressed?

Do you remember the silly, irrelevant facts we lovingly mentioned each time, despite their total irrelevance? In this time-honored way, we were trying to get that guy convicted of murder too!

Within our culture, we aren’t allowed to go into their homes and drag them out into the yard any more. That said, we liberals are making it clear that we’d do it if we could!

We aren’t real honest; we aren’t very smart. We don’t know how to build political and social movements without inventing bogus facts to target our latest scapegoat.

Our professors then emerge from the woods to make their claims. It’s amazing to see the caliber of the folk who serve as our professors!

(Over at the new salon, Professor Hanlon has posted his latest. You can pop your popcorn—it’s very pleasing. But it doesn’t strike us as real sharp.)

Dorian Johnson has always struck as a gentle person who was in the wrong place that unfortunate day. That said, the things he said were factually false, and he said them all over the place.

So too with Witness 118 and Witness 127.

The Coopers and the O’Donnells aired their statements again and again. Journalistically speaking, they kept forgetting to warn their viewers that such accounts are frequently wrong.

Correctly or otherwise, the Justice Department has now said that their accounts were wrong. But so what? Our major pundits don’t plan to relitigate that!

We think Chris Hayes had the ticket last night:

Hey rubes! Look over here, we almost thought he said.

105 comments:

  1. This seems racist.

    http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21646708-social-mobility-depends-what-happens-first-years-life-minding-nurture-gap?fsrc=scn/tw/te/pe/ed/LetsNotKidOurselves

    "THE most important divide in America today is class, not race, and the place where it matters most is in the home. Conservatives have been banging on about family breakdown for decades. Now one of the nation’s most prominent liberal scholars has joined the chorus."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wouldn't it be simpler for libs to only post examples of non racist behavior, racist thought, and racist writings as they imagine life in America is predominately racist? Now you may have your Starbucks Tiramisu Frappuccino® Blended Beverage

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    2. Sci-tech Presentation in Field of Forestry Held

      Pyongyang, March 19 (KCNA) -- A sci-tech presentation in the field of forestry was held at the Grand People's Study House on March 18 and 19 to facilitate the forest restoration campaign. It was sponsored by the Central Committee of the General Federation of Science and Technology of Korea. Present there were scientists, technicians, teachers and researchers and officials of Kim Il Sung University, the Academy of Forestry of the Ministry of Land and Environment Protection, the State Academy of Sciences, Pyongyang University of Architecture, Wonsan University of Agriculture, Forestry Science Institutes in Jagang and Ryanggang provinces and Forestry Management Stations in different cities and counties.
      The participants heard papers making scientific and theoretical clarifications of issues in raising trees of good species and widely propagating them, increasing quantity of seeds from trees of good species and matters of putting sapling production on a scientific, industrial and intensive basis and decisively boosting the rate of rooting of saplings.
      Also presented were papers on the research achievements conducive to creating and conserving forests.


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    3. Wow, Sparky. Good news for the forests. Good species and good news.

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    4. In other news, POTUS Obama rejects nominating Dennis Keith Rodman for Ambassador to North Korea.

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    5. Is there room for Robert Putnam under Nicholas Kristof's saintly bus?

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    6. We believe he will be named Ambassador to Charleston, S.C, instead.

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  2. "Correctly or otherwise, the Justice Department seems to “clear” Wilson in its report."

    "Correctly or otherwise, the Department seemed to make a direct statement"

    "Is the Justice Department right in that judgment? We can’t answer that question, but that’s what its report said."

    Well, one out of three isn't bad for Baltimore Bob the Blogger. But to me, if it is a direct statement, you shouldn't have to "suggest" it "seemed" to say something it really did say.

    But how can I be credible? I might be young. Or youngish.

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    1. Yeah, the Justice report contradicts the shit we heard on MSNBC (and elsewhere!), but the problem - the Real Problem, as always -- is Bob Somerby's stylistic tics!

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    2. You seem to agree with me.

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    3. No, @1:35 doesn't agree with you. He thinks you are complaining about the wrong thing.

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    4. He implied he did.

      As for my complaint, I only brought up my age because Bob implies lack of experience is a problem. I didn't want to be accused of leaving something out.

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    5. For ourselves, we seem to think Bob is focused on one Justice Dept Ferguson report and not the other. For ourselves, we think that might be tribal.

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    6. "To its credit, the New York Times reported this fact in its front-page report about the Justice Department’s findings."

      To his credit, Bob is crediting the NYTimes more that two weeks after the article appeared.

      When he has time he will debunk coverage of DOJ report Number 2.

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  3. The misreporting of the Justice Dept. report is a bad sign. This story could hardly be easier to write about. The reporters actually have a compete copy of the Justice Dept. report. No technical expertise is required to understand it.

    Compare this with complex issues like the science of climate change or events in the middle east. Accurate, cogent analyses in these areas is probably out of the question.

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    1. "Accurate, cogent analyses in these areas is probably out of the question."

      Especially for flat-earthers like you Dinky,

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  4. The report is interesting...Especially when you compare the remarks of witnesses 122 and 130. 122 states he saw the deceased stop, turn and elevate his hands, and heard the deceased shout "OK, OK, OK..." and the report notes that
    no other witness reported that.....Then you read the account of witness #130 who states the deceased shouted "OK, OK, OK...", and the report then also claims that "no other witness" said that.

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    1. "and the report then also claims that "no other witness" said that."


      Witness 122 and 130 accounts are detailed on pages 58, 59, and 60 of doj_report_on_shooting_of_michael_brown.pdf. Nowhere on those pages does the report say that " 'no other witness' said that" concerning either witness.



      http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/04/doj_report_on_shooting_of_michael_brown_1.pdf

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    2. No, 1:29. This is what it says:

      "According to both contractors, Brown then turned around with his hands up and repeatedly screamed “Okay!” as many as eight times, an
      exclamation heard by no other witness
      ."

      Bottom of page 58, DOJ memorandum

      Bob would characterize your comment as technically accurate but highly misleading.

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    3. What you don't say about witnesses 122 and 130 "read each other’s statements after they were written."

      They were co-workers for the guy who encouraged them to issue a statement. When witnesses read each other's statements, their credibility suffers since their opinions are not blind.

      No wonder the DOJ didn't consider them credible.

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    4. 1:55, do you think Unknown 12:54 was misleading ? Your quote accurately shows that the DOJ considered 122 and 130 as a pair, calling them "the contractors", saying that no other witnesses besides this pair (they were working together that day) heard the "Okay" scream? Did Unknown 12:54 make that very clear or not at all clear?

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    5. Could Unknown 12:54 be trying to demonstrate an internal inconsistency in the DOJ report regarding Witness 122 and 130 that isn't really there? We can't know for sure!

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    6. I can even find you a CONSISTENCY that makes witnesses 122 and 128 look bad. From the report (p. 58): "both contractors claimed to have witnessed bullets go through Brown and exit his back".

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    7. Could everybody be forgetting that Witnesses #122 and 130 were the two white guys working on the street who were prominently featured in a cell phone video aired on CNN in the moments after the shooting with their hands in the air, thus giving rise to the "false" Hands Up narrative that started immediately in the aftermath of the shooting but was "bebunked" by more "credible" witnesses nobody in the public or media knew about until grand jury testimony was released months later?

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    8. http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/10/us/ferguson-michael-brown-shooting-witnesses/

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    9. Witnesses 122 and 130 were not the ones who started the Brown "hands were up" account..Their interviews by CNN came later. It was #101 (Johnson) who first said Brown stopped, turned, and raised his hands.

      And it has been only the DOJ "credible" witnesses who disputed these 3 witnesses. But "credible" to the DOJ and police unfortunately became those witnesses who would say that Wilson did not fire while Brown ran away, a claim that is disputed by the truly most accurate witnesses (recognizing that some details were missed or misunderstood in every case. .

      The simple fact is that IF Wilson did NOT shoot while Brown ran away...Brown gets away with a mere injured thumb. He has no reason to stop. And just as the "discredited" but actually reliable witnesses pointed out, it was the gunshots that hit him that made him slam on the brakes, turn, raise his hands, say OK, OK OK, and walk back toward Wilson, who merely paused, then got in his best shots.

      BUTBUTBUT you say, the injuries were all to Brown's front. No, that is not true. But that is a big reason we have a "new" but bogus narrative. (Sorry Bob)

      In a Newsweek interview, Dr Baden and Pursell, who conducted the family requested autopsy both confirmed that several of the shots that did strike brown could have been inflicted from the front or the back.

      And the investigation integrity failed when the DOJ/police investigators rated credible ONLY witnesses who said Wilson did not fire while Brown was running away, (also that Brown did not raise his hands).

      So the truth is that all of DOJ's "credible" witnesses could be the "discredited ones" if "credible" really meant consistent with the evidence and almost certain circumstances.

      (Quoting from the Interview: "The wounds “could be consistent with going forward or going backward,” Dr. Baden said."

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    10. "Their interviews by CNN came later."

      Spoken like someone who sees events in Ferguson from the comfort of home.

      One of those two witnesses did the "Hand's Up" gesture forty seconds after the shooting, on the street where it occurred. It was captured and probably distributed by someone on the spot with the cell phone video camera. It was also witnessed in real time by real people gathering on the street who spread the reaction of the white contractors by word of mouth.

      The "Hands Up" chant came from the protests which erupted the day of the shooting. The media was reporting events as they happened with witnesses willing to come forward. Somerby, and his applauders, have many months of painstaking work by the prosecutors and Justice Department to rely on. And both, as Somerby acknowledges, could be wrong.

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    11. I have quotes from Dr Baden from USA Today and Newsweek confirming the undetermined direction of Brown's body when shot as cited just above, but I have just located a contrary quote from a Fox news interview...I will update or delete as rechecking dictates

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    12. UPDATE: Dr Baden's autopsy reported that one shot to Brown's lower arm could have only been made if his hands were up (facing Wilson), or if Brown was shot from behind presumably running away. I can't explain the apparently spurious quotes from USA Today and Newsweek, but here's one of the links with the arm shot info: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-28841715

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    13. Observe as "liberals'" professed beliefs in principles like burden of proof and presumption of innocence disintegrate before your eyes, once it is known a person was born with the wrong skin color.

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    14. The Baden autopsy is worthless as Shawn Parcells, who was exposed as a total imposter, is the one who actually did the autopsy.

      http://pathologyblawg.com/pathology-news/pathology-law/forensic-pathology/shawn-parcells-makes-national-news-michael-brown-autopsy/

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    15. Too bad your link does not make the same allegation,cicerrohisis.

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    16. Lacywood said:

      "The simple fact is that IF Wilson did NOT shoot while Brown ran away...Brown gets away with a mere injured thumb. He has no reason to stop."

      People do things without reason all the time.

      "And the investigation integrity failed when the DOJ/police investigators rated credible ONLY witnesses who said Wilson did not fire while Brown was running away, (also that Brown did not raise his hands).
      "

      Why is this a "failure"?

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    17. @ 11:22

      What allegation is that? That Parcells is a con man? That is already a fact. That Parcells is not qualified to do autopsies without supervision? That is also a fact. That Parcells is the one who did the Brown autopsy, not Dr. Baden, renders the findings unreliable is also a fact. Thankfully there are three other autopsies to rely on for forensic evidence.

      "Dr. Michael Baden Did Not Do Michael Brown Autopsy. Then Who Did?"

      http://www.dcclothesline.com/2014/08/21/dr-michael-baden-michael-brown-autopsy/

      "Pathologists interviewed by CNN say they're concerned that a man who has no formal education in pathology is giving testimony in court that could possibly help put innocent people in jail or let guilty people go free."

      http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/26/health/ferguson-michael-brown-pathologist-credentials/

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  5. OK, so we can't bust Officer Darren. Do we have to give him a medal? I remember hearing Sgt. Joe Friday on "Dragnet" brag that in 20 years on the force he had to pull his service revolver maybe once. In Chicago 1968 handled an army of unarmed hippies with nightsticks. Lots of blood but I never heard of anyone dying. "Mr. Policeman, help me get my kitty out of the tree. BLAM BLAM BLAM!!!. Thank you.

    MSNBC got rid of Joy Reid and Woody Jr. without Howler hardly ever mentioning them. Perhaps this constant one-sided ranting really turning on itself.

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    1. Joe Friday was a cop in the years before drugs and gangs in LA. Chicago 1968 was also roughly the time of the Kent State shootings (1970). You can pick and choose incidents to support your thesis but that isn't the best way to make an argument. For example, there have been deaths caused by police at riots in the early 1900's and late 1800's, and in labor riots and demonstrations. The statistics are still that most officers never use their guns during a career. What has changed is that the internet and TV now broadcast the rare shootings all over the country so that it appears such crimes are increasing, not rare. The same phenomenon occurs with school shootings -- which have been decreasing yet seem to be more and more frequent. These are illusions of changes in how crime is reported. When we see the same shooting replayed over and over and over on TV, our minds process it with the emotional impact of three shootings, not one. The overemphasis and fear most Americans feel about becoming crime victims, compared to the actual likelihood, has been reported since the early changes in TV news reporting (back in the 50s and 60s) and the same thing is now happening with shootings by police. That's why looking at statistics is so important, but most people are innumerate, so instead we have an outcry over a type of incident that is decreasing in frequency. And, if you don't want your kitty to get shot, teach it not to attack the police.

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    2. In case you hadn't noticed, gun proliferation is a problem police contend with so an assumption about "unarmed" is less advisable, and there has also been a proliferation of black teens of the Mike Brown variety with every intention of becoming armed with your weapon unless they are stopped.

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    3. I agree Jeeves. But it's Frank Jr.

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    4. @ Jeeves,

      No medal and no danger of POTUS Obama having Wilson's parents appear in a Rose Garden ceremony. That privilege is reserved for parents of deserters.

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    5. When I was finally granted an interview for U.S. citizenship in December 2000, I asked a relative to accompany me in the event that there was trouble. The interview was demanded by the government during the American Philosophical Association meetings in December 2000 (it was virtually impossible to renegotiate the appointment without a long, punishing, delay). Despite a heavy snowfall, we arrived an hour early. The I.N.S. interviewer was over an hour late in opening up the office, and cheerfully told me that I was lucky he had decided to show up. Conversationally and with a broad smile, he told me a series of stories about the various applicants he had had deported, even if they—like myself—had been in the United States since they were toddlers or infants, even if they knew no one from their countries of birth, and even if they stood to be in danger there. He emphasized how few protections immigrants had, and his message was: The United States will deport without a second thought, and hey, it’s the immigrant’s problem, not theirs.

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  6. Man, after Somerby's thorough an in-depth examination of Ferguson Report 1, I can't wait until next week when he takes on Ferguson Report 2.

    Then again, since Fox News is apparently ignoring that one as well, where will Bob get all his talking points?

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    1. Can you not wait for Media Matters and Thinkprogress to take on Report 1?

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    2. So . . . left wing blogs like one report, right wing blogs like the other. Pretty good litmus test you've set up there.

      Where does that put Somerby?

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  7. Within our culture, we aren’t allowed to go into their homes and drag them out into the yard any more. That said, we liberals are making it clear that we’d do it if we could!

    Bob dares to notice some very uncomfortable developments plaguing the "liberal" tribe.

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    1. Yes. And keep in mind the demand for an independent prosecutor was just a cover for the desire to drag people for their homes to their yards. Just like they covered up POTUS Obama's attempt to nuke Charleston after evacuating the muslim brotherhood.

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    2. An independent prosecutor was not necessary or justifiable. The call for one in every incident pimped by Sharpton is what the lynch mobs will do in lieu of dragging people with the wrong skin color into the yard, unless and until that becomes sanctioned.

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  8. OMG! WaPo Fact Checker rates "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" Four Pinocchios! See here:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2015/03/19/hands-up-dont-shoot-did-not-happen-in-ferguson/

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    1. OMG, I just read the WaPo Fact Checker article:

      "Investigators narrowed down the “hands up” claim to a witness – Witness 128 – who had told his family and neighbors his inaccurate version of events as crowds gathered minutes and hours after the shooting, the report says."

      Really, WaPo? Witness 128???

      We only need to look up thread here at the Howler. Yes, famous old Witness122:

      "The contractors, apparently unwittingly, were captured on a widely circulated video taken several minutes after the shooting while responding officers were securing the scene with crime
      scene tape. That video depicts another individual yelling, “He wasn’t no threat at all,” as Witness 122 put his hands up and stated, “He had his fucking hands in the air.”

      DOJ Memorandum p. 59

      How many Pinocchios should we give the WaPo?

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    2. http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/10/us/ferguson-michael-brown-shooting-witnesses/

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    3. "How many Pinocchios should we give the WaPo? "

      Or how many to give Eric Holder's i.e. President Obama's DOJ report on the shooting of Brown for that matter?


      DOJ report on Witness 122's credibility:

      "material portions of Witness 122’s accounts are irreconcilable with the physical and forensic evidence. These accounts are also inconsistent with each other and inconsistent with credible witness accounts. Accordingly, after a thorough review of all of the evidence, federal prosecutors determined this witness’s accounts not to be credible and therefore do not support a prosecution of Darren Wilson."

      DOJ report on Witness 128's credibility:

      "Witness 128’s accounts are inconsistent with each other, inconsistent with the forensic and physical evidence, and inconsistent with credible witness accounts. Accordingly, after a thorough review of the evidence, federal prosecutors determined this witness’s accounts to lack credibility and therefore do not support a prosecution of Darren Wilson."

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    4. Good for you.

      The problem is I am not suggesting they are credible. I am suggesting the WaPo article missed these two guys, who were on the street shouting and being video recorded by a cell phone and viewed by the gathering crowd.

      Whether they were right or good potential witnesses is immaterial to their role in the origin of "Hands Up" as a slogan.



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    5. "Whether they were right or good potential witnesses is immaterial to their role in the origin of "Hands Up" as a slogan. "

      Not sure why it's important to ID the **first not credible witness** on the hands being up, where the overall article is simply about that the hands were never up.

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    6. Here you go, @ 4:49 and @ 6:27

      First, what the WaPo said about "Hands Up"

      Investigators narrowed down the “hands up” claim to a witness – Witness 128 – who had told his family and neighbors his inaccurate version of events as crowds gathered minutes and hours after the shooting, the report says.

      What DOJ said:

      "Several individuals identified Witness 128 through description as someone who was going around spreading a narrative that Brown was shot with his hands up in surrender."

      DOJ Memorandum p. 70

      Nothing about narrowing things down to one person there. He was one person who said it. But as video of the "contractors" reacting in real time indicates, he was not the only one.

      So if you want to continue to defend the work of the WaPo, go right ahead.

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    7. "Nothing about narrowing things down to one person there. He was one person who said it. But as video of the "contractors" reacting in real time indicates, he was not the only one."

      Who cares if it can't be reconciled with physical evidence and credible witnesses?

      Did he Holder/Obama DOJ screw this thing up!?

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    8. Their idiocy or dishonesty regarding the back shot combined with the fact that they read each other's reports make them chappy witnesses bent on agreeing with each other.

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    9. Typo: crappy, not chappy.

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    10. Once again, babbling idiot, the comment was about the "fact checkers" at the Washington Post getting their fact wrong, the fact in question was the central point they were writing about, and unlike reporters covering an even in real time working on a deadline, this reporter was working off a two week old report.

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    11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    12. It's gotten crazy. The first claim of "his hands were up" came before the body was hauled away. And it was from Johnson who was on the scene. CNN later interviewed the 2 "contractor workers" who confirmed hands were up along with a video that actually showed in real time one of them duplicating the extent of the "hands up"...They also heard Brown's vocalizing "OK,OK,OK..." as he turned to surrender. They also confirmed that Wilson was pumping shots at Brown as he ran, with at least one hit that caused Brown to turn and raise his hands. But note the DOJ "discredited" these totally reliable witnesses largely on the basis of the DOJ false claim there were no shots to Brown from the back.

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    13. " the DOJ false claim there were no shots to Brown from the back."

      BS> They never made such a claim. Start reading about it on page 81.

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    14. 9;46

      Not only did they make that statement, they discredited any witness who stated he/she saw Wilson firing at Wilson as he ran away. It is YOU who needs to do some reading.

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    15. "Not only did they make that statement,"

      Then you should be able to supply the **exact** quote and page, please do so.

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  9. I feel really bad for David Lean.

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    1. yes, the critics "snubbed" him.

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    2. And so did Oscar.

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    3. And "Oscar" snubbed "Blue Crush" too.

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  10. I am glad Chris Hayes only had a "couple of stooges" on the air. It could have been much worse. He could have had Professors!

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    1. I hope Bob Somerby works weekends so we can hear about Hayes and the stooges ripping those poor Ft. Lauderdale policemen out of their houses and into the yard.

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  11. It now appears both the WaPo claim and DOJ report are "Pants on Fire" liars...And, the DOJ report itself is evidence of that.
    It's in the autopsy part, pg 17, quoting:
    Brown sustained a gunshot wound to the dorsal (back) right forearm, belowthe elbow. The bullet tracked through the bone in the forearm, fracturing it, and exiting through the ventral (front) right forearm....it is impossible to determine the position of the body
    relative to the shooter at the time the arm wounds were inflicted. Therefore, the autopsy results do not indicate whether Brown was facing Wilson or had his back to him.

    Note that this refutes the primary excuse used to discredit reliable witnesses, specifically they claimed as unreliable those who disputed Wilson's claim he did not shoot when Brown was running away!!!!

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    1. "Therefore, the autopsy results do not indicate whether Brown was facing Wilson or had his back to him. "

      Definitely shot in the back, therefore!

      "Note that this refutes the primary excuse used to discredit reliable witnesses"

      Does not!

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    2. Dear idiot at 8:45. The autopsy report stated rather clearly there was a shot to the back of his arm...The DOJ claimed there were no shots from the back. Maybe you have an 8 year old who could explain that to what that means, and the point made that the quote you use was part of the evidence that the DOJ misrepresented the evidence.

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    3. 910:

      "The autopsy report stated rather clearly there was a shot to the back of his arm"

      So what?

      "The DOJ claimed there were no shots from the back. "

      Where? They say the following on page 81:

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

      After some discussion of witness accounts on the point of the direction Brown was facing, it wraps up thusly:

      "Accordingly, there is no credible evidence that establishes that Wilson fired at or struck Brown’s back as Brown fled."

      So your claim "The DOJ claimed there were no shots from the back." is BS.

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    4. 9:40:

      If you can't see the contradiction in your own post which confirms the DOJ claim re no shots were from behind yet also confirming he was shot in the back of his arm, then the help you need will not come from anyone here.

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    5. LOL @ Unknown 10:21!

      Were you able to find in the report where the DOJ said Brown was not shot in the back yet?

      The statement "Thing A didn't happen" and "The evidence does not support that Thing A didn't happen" are quite different from each other.

      To be clear as possible for you: The evidence doesn't support that Brown was shot from behind. This is different from saying that Brown was not shot from behind. The latter statement has to be supported and established by the evidence in order to say it.

      Until you learn how very different those statements are maybe you should refrain from calling others "idiot" or suggesting they need to seek help.

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    6. The sad thing is, we in this country require evidence before we allow punishment for a thing that possibly could have happened. Sucks, doesn't it?

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    7. Too bad this blog didn't start until 1998. A few years earlier, Bob could have talked about how the media railroaded O.J. because the jury found him not guilty, and all his new-found right wing friends would be in a lather explaining that the not guilty verdict didn't mean O.J. didn't do it.

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    8. Anonymous at 10:42

      The autopsy section of the report clearly says Brown was shot in the back of his arm..That's agreed.

      If you will now read the reasons in the report for the "discredited" witnesses, you will see a number of them were so judged because they said they saw Brown being shot at (or hit) as he was running from Wilson. Read those and we'll wait your apology.

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    9. @2:04:

      "If you will now read the reasons in the report for the "discredited" witnesses, you will see a number of them were so judged because they said they saw Brown being shot at (or hit) as he was running from Wilson."

      That would be Witness 118, 128. 139, 101, 127, 124, 115, 128, 137, 105, and 106. Not one of those witnesses is discredited on the point of whether Brown was facing away merely because they said he was facing away, other reasons are given in every case. **You** will cite specific language for any particular witness before repeating your stupid claim. You will not be able to do so for even one of those witnesses.

      " Read those and we'll wait your apology."

      I read the entire report 3-4 days ago. No apology from me required. I await yours. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

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    10. " Not one of those witnesses is discredited on the point of whether Brown was facing away merely because they said he was facing away, other reasons are given in every case."

      Not only that, None of these witnesses are discredited "because they said they saw Brown being shot at (or hit) as he was running from Wilson." at all.

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    11. Congratulations for noting the obvious that there were other trumped up reasons for discrediting reliable witnesses, but no one said the ONLY reason for questionable discrediting was their (correct) statement that the officer fired as Brown ran away..For example, 122, the best witness on the position and motion of the deceased was also discredited for his innocent misconception that there were multiple police at the shooting...which had nothing to do with his perfect view of Brown's actions/reactions when he turned and raised his hands saying OK, OK. And #122's focus on Brown explains that he was not focused on Wilson. The report also discredits him because his (reliable) views were not consistent with most other (unreliable) witnesses, mostly chosen for agreeing with Wilson's absurd claim he did not fire as Brown ran away.

      The major thrust of the report was to promote witnesses who would verify Wilson's claims he did not fire at Brown from behind, an obvious lie. So they gave favorable credibility to those who said he did not do that, then used those X # witnesses as reliable sources, and diminished the credibility of anyone who differed from that chosen narrative. What happened of course was unreliable witnesses won the day.

      The simple fact is that Wilson lied. He shot at Brown from behind and hit him. Brown stopped, raised his hands, and said OK,OK,OK. Wilson then continued fire with the rest of his bullets. Reliable witnesses reported that. And only witnesses who didn't see that or claimed differently were deemed reliable

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    12. "The simple fact is that Wilson lied."

      The simple fact is the conclusion you arrived at when you first heard of the thing, because that was the **narrative**

      I OTOH took the stance of allowing the facts to emerge, and not at first taking one side or the other..

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    13. @12:50, no one is likely to make the mistake of believing the analysis by the OJ jury was as credible as that of the DOJ here. Or credible at all for that matter. Brown defenders' powers of analysis are just like the OJ jurors'. So invested in an agenda no amount of evidence could convince them to declare a truth, even if they recognize it.

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    14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    15. No Anon 8:43, Wilson is known to have lied. He claimed not to have shot when Brown was running away, but the autopsy showed a wound to the back of Brown's arm that could only have been made if shot from the back or if brown had his hands raised (as 3 witnesses stated), plus, the shell casing locations show he was firing from multiple locations before the final kill shots were made.

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    16. the shell casing locations show he was firing from multiple locations before the final kill shots were made."

      So what?

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    17. 9:35:

      "that could only have been made if shot from the back or if brown had his hands raised"

      BS, there are numerous positions that the arm could have been in besides up.

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    18. Anon 9:59 Yes his arms could have been in different positions, even like you with thumbs up your azz...It's just that he could not have been facing Wilson when that shot was fired unless his hand were up.

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    19. Also, the arm could have been raised due to an involuntary reflexive action resulting from being hit by other bullets.

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    20. BTW, if anyone thinks the racist scum are thick here, just go to the WaPo article (the 4 Pinocchio award one) where the consensus is getting close to being that it's OK to shoot blacks no matter what the circumstances.

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    21. " the consensus is getting close to being that it's OK to shoot blacks no matter what the circumstances."

      I'll bet you are misreading that just as you did with the DOJ report. It's likely that you would misquote it as you previously did as well.

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    22. " you with thumbs up your azz"

      Meaning: I've lost every other argument on the merits and this is all I have left.

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    23. Ah yes, "involuntary reflex" raises hands...and from that "bull charge position"...which would have brought them up to horizontal maybe. Or like you, he could have been standing on his head spinning in order to twist facts to match your biases.

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    24. Unknown, 10:53, do you actually believe that if Brown's arm was indeed up it could only be there by his deliberate act of surrender, and that there are no other possible means?

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  12. "Lawrence, who lives in that windswept village, said the shooting of Michael Brown was a case of first-degree murder." Somerby 3/20

    From the transcript of The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell as presented by Bob Somerby in the Daily Howler. 3/17

    O’DONNELL: .....Lisa, what I heard in that testimony, if it stands up in court, is a first degree murder charge.

    LISA BLOOM, LEGAL ANALYST, TODAY SHOW: Absolutely. If Tiffany Mitchell is believed, she tells the story of a police officer shooting a man who is running away, shooting a man with his hands up.

    You notice the detail Somerby left out in his telling his tale just three days later? "If."

    Does Somerby leaving out an important detail to enhance his script change of challenge his point that O'Donnell and other commentators on television were excessive? No. It just puts him in the same village as Lawrence and damages his credibility like an eyewitness with a changing story.

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    Replies
    1. Why is O'Donnell speculating on testimony he knows might be false? Because he hopes that Darren Wilson committed first degree murder, and cannot resist the urge to state the possibility. It appears Lawrence O'Donnell didn't want the outcome of this case to be an officer defending himself. It seems he hoped the outcome would be the murder of a surrendering black teen. That is the only way of explaining his eagerness to express his speculation about what might lead to a first degree murder conviction.

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    2. I'll speculate an answer on why O'Donnell speculated when you speculate an answer on why Somerby left out a fairly important qualifier used by O' Donnell and his guest to enhance his script.

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    ReplyDelete