Looting Breaks Out In Ferguson After Grand Jury Refuses Charges Against Wilson

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 7.45.44 AMScreen Shot 2014-11-25 at 7.45.10 AMYesterday, I ran a column discussing the curious sight of rioters and looters demanding “justice” when what they are really describing is mob justice in Ferguson, Missouri. I noted that the evidence did not support the initial claims of the shooting of Michael Brown and that demonstrations are not substitutes for demonstrated evidence in a criminal case. The response, however, to the declination of charges has been precisely what President Obama and the Brown family sought to avoid in their public comments. In perhaps the most symbolic incident, Ferguson Market and Liquor, the store that Michael Brown robbed before he was killed, was looted by people demanding “justice” for Brown.

A security camera captured Brown strong arming the store owner after stealing from the store:

Regardless of how one views the evidence of the shooting, the store owner was clearly strong armed by Brown and did nothing beyond being the victim of a reported crime. However, he now has a ransacked store and is somehow blamed for the killing.

The media filmed as people carted out stolen merchandise out of the store last night:

The discussion of the resulting looting and rioting often seemed a bit too enabling and relativistic. There is no rationale connection between ransacking stores and seeking justice, a point that President Obama made eloquently last night as did the Brown family (though reportedly with the exception of Brown’s stepfather). Indeed, some “meanings” drawn from the incident extended all the way to federalism principles.

While St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch detailed the evidence including testimony from African-American witnesses who refuted accounts of Michael Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson, and onlookers Piaget Cranshaw and Tiffany Mitchell. He was not shot in his back and was initially shot in a struggle with Wilson in (or partially in) the police vehicle. Nevertheless, the verdict was denounced by various commentators, including MSNBC contributor Michelle Bernard who called Brown the latest “casualty” of what seems to be nationwide “war on black boys.” Bernard curiously blamed federalism and state rights for part of the problem, saying that people see this case and say “we don’t want to hear about states rights.” She also calls on the Justice Department to “get involved” and “intervene.”

However, the Justice Department has intervened and reportedly also found no basis for charges in the case under civil rights provisions. If those accounts are accurate, the declination of such charges may trigger no violence by those who define justice as not a guaranteed process but a guaranteed punishment.

333 thoughts on “Looting Breaks Out In Ferguson After Grand Jury Refuses Charges Against Wilson”

  1. Inga, it’s impossible to have a pleasant conversation with you. I’m giving it up for Advent, then probably for Lent as well. Ciao.

  2. I can assure you that both my brother and my sister in law are not on board with the numerous tasings and shootings of unarmed people.

    Good for them, but their opinions don’t represent all police officers.

  3. Sandi, I doubt that law enforcement agents who were feloniously killed in the line of duty believe deadly force is being used too quickly.

    My OWN brother was a police officer who was KIA. His family and friends recognize the risks faced by every LEO, and the need to use deadly force to stop a deadly threat.

  4. Inga, you appear to have a negative attitude toward police. What percentage of our total police population do you think are corrupted? The white people joining in the rioting were the Occupy Wall Street crowd. The photo of MB with something in his mouth and a gun in his hand; does that clear up any questions on his behavior. The prosecutor is considering trying some witnesses for purgory, which would be great. Then everyone would know the lies. I definitely think the step-father should be charged. He’s just another person mouthing off in front of a cheering crowd. Anyone that can be identified from pictures or video stealing (the accurate word, not looting) should be charged. All sentences should include community service. And their wages should be garnished to help pay for the cleanup. I did learn that anyone arrested would lose any aid they got from the government.

    I don’t know what they’re doing about the idiots in CA. Blocking freeways during rush hour is dangerous. Rush hour drivers are not to be messed with.

    So, time to move on everybody. Everybody in Ferguson who doesn’t live in Ferguson should go home. TV and radio should withdraw. MSNBC should be able to find something else to talk about.

    And quit listening to Al Sharpton, who should be investigated about all the protests around the country. He called for that and should be held accountable.

    Time to put up the tree, wrap presents, bake cookies, decorate inside and outside. Time to enjoy people being nice to each other in malls, etc.

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Merry Christmas!

  5. Just when you think it is hopeless, you see a shining soul like this guy. I have hope.

  6. About twenty businesses were set on fire. It is tame to just describe the criminals as looters. The “protesters” are pressing their prong rights. The First Amendment has a prong about “the right to petition the government for redress of grievances”. The private owner has a right to tell the so called protestor or probable arsonist to keep their prongs out of his store. The police can “curb” such demonstrators by pushing them out of the street onto the sidewalk and shoot them if they throw Molotov cocktails. A more appropriate and legal place for people to petition their government for redress of grievances would be in front of the building where the County Government meets or at the grounds of the State Legislature– Not in some shopping mall. December 7 is Zwarte Peet day and if he shows up at the shopping malls when the protestors are there the protestors will get angry. Never he Twain shall meet– least not in Missouri where Twain was from.

  7. Special treatment given to a white cop, to ensure that he would not be indicted. How will this injustice be corrected?

    Oh bullcrap. Read the report. If anything, McCullough was looking for a way to indict, but the facts would allow it.

    What the anti-cop progressives want is to hang Wilson, then cut him down, give him a fair trial, and a cheap funeral.

    Meanwhile blacks keep on killing other blacks, and that doesn’t seem to matter one bit because it doesn’t fit the OWS inspired racial war narrative.

  8. ” “It is the grand jury’s function not ‘to enquire … upon what foundation [the charge may be] denied,’ or otherwise to try the suspect’s defenses, but only to examine ‘upon what foundation [the charge] is made’ by the prosecutor. Respublica v. Shaffer, 1 Dall. 236 (O. T. Phila. 1788); see also F. Wharton, Criminal Pleading and Practice § 360, pp. 248-249 (8th ed. 1880). As a consequence, neither in this country nor in England has the suspect under investigation by the grand jury ever been thought to have a right to testify or to have exculpatory evidence presented.” ”

    This is what Justice Scalia said “in the 1992 Supreme Court case of United States v. Williams, and it is in stark contrast with what McCulloch did.”

    I’d like to see this addressed in the media, or at this website, or somewhere?? This is the injustice that has been done. Special treatment given to a white cop, to ensure that he would not be indicted. How will this injustice be corrected?

    1. During a three-year stay in Los Gatos CA (IBMers move a lot) I met a woman who had served on a Grand Jury for two years in Texas. If you’ve never spoken to a GJ member, try to. She said they asked questions themselves, whatever they wanted. The discussions were intense. She was proud of that service because she felt they did a good job.

      Some time down the line there will be a member of this GJ, never seen or identified, who will speak out. If another disagrees with her comments, we’ll get more info. Did they sense any bias by the prosecutor, did they think they had enough information. I hope that happens. Then lots of people can be quiet.

    2. Ninerfortyniner – I was just watching a TV show on the rise of the Mafia and they were talking about a Grand Jury being used exactly the way the Feguson Grand Jury was. Federal Grand Juries are often used as investigative tools. This is particularly true when the evidence is complex.

  9. Golden Country said …

    Aridog respect is earned not given you should know that.

    I know that for civilians, however, when those civilians have a officer swear an oath and put on that uniform. The respect is bestowed. You can despise the man, but not the uniform. Otherwise it is a banana republic scenario.

    I suspect we grew up in different times…in mine officers walked beats, frequently alone, with no radio closer than a dial up call box a block or two away most of the time. His only initial defense was that uniform and badge. You respected that as a mechanism for preserving the peace. As I said, if your rights were violated in a non-injurious way (such as being asked to get out to the street and walk on the sidewalk). Martin Luther King and the early mid 60’s civil rights leaders understood this and it is among the reasons for their non-violence approach to successfully resolving civil rights problems. They did not punch uniformed officers.

    Jim N. said …

    Nonsense. It is the law that should be respected, not the individual tasked with the responsibility of defending that law. Cops deserve no more respect than any other citizen

    I repeat what I said above. BTW…in Detroit in the 80’s I was stopped once for “being white” ostensibly, by black officers, in a very black neighborhood. They as much as admitted it verbally as well. It was a reasonable stop, albeit with little real probable cause, mainly because I understood that having come from work at 6:00 PM in the federal building to a friend’s bar that I was helping manage at the time, and I was wearing a suit and tie, that I stood out starkly at 3:00 AM after closing said bar. Suburbanites frequently cruised the ghetto areas looking for drugs in those days, so there was some probability of “surmised” cause given the circumstances. None the less, my rights to be there, etc yada yada were arguably violated with out evidential cause. No matter, I respected the uniforms and badges and felt no urge to resist or assault them, even though I was armed at the time. Common sense makes a great companion when you face uniformed police officers. They wear that uniform and badge because your community hired them to represent them, so they are not just ordinary citizens, they have an “office” to act on on behalf of the community….so you respect the uniform…even if the person wearing it a jerk. You can file a complaint later if you feel justified.

    All said and done, it is specifically the view point you both seem to have that is partially responsible for the breakdown in our cities today…although I doubt you intend it to be that way. I’ve faced, in military uniform, persons half a world away that likely hated me, yet by treating them decently (like calmly asking them to disburse or asking them a question about how they felt and where they lived) I managed to not get shot from ambush by a relative or assaulted by the individuals in front of me. In short, I tried to imbue that uniform I wore with ordinary respect, not just rely on fear.

    Your mileage may vary, but my attitude is based upon experiences I have had personally, as a youth and and as an adult. I absolutely do not agree with the idea that a uniformed officer is just another bloke on the block.

  10. Aridog: “It is the uniform that should be respected,”

    Nonsense. It is the law that should be respected, not the individual tasked with the responsibility of defending that law. Cops deserve no more respect than any other citizen. Enough with the thoughtless and craven authority worship that is rapidly turning this country into a police state.

  11. Ferguson has you all stirred up. It is time for you all to go to Ferguson and avoid the burned out quick shops and auto parts stores on West Florissant. Go the South Florissant. Actually South Florissant is parallel to West Florissant but is on the other side of town to the west. It is the main drag. Go to the Ferguson Library near Church Street and S. Florissant Rd. intersection. Walk around and sit for awhile. Go north on South Florissant Rd. to Wabash Park. Sit on a park bench and look around. Beautiful town. There will not be a CNN video crew in sight on this stretch. Don Lemon is over by Northland Shopping Center which is no longer a shopping center, in Jennings, MO. Many of the cops set up over that way. The owners of the burned out shops are moving to Florida. The kids are back in school learning about truth, justice and the American way. Jack Mehoff is asleep at the wheel at the corner of Chambers Rd. and West Florissant. The rest is history. This dog is moving to Dee Troit. To hell with Ferguson. I will never poop in Jeske Park again.

  12. Aridog respect is earned not given you should know that. Killing an unarmed teenager no matter how threatening he may seem should never be justified just because some one wears a uniform. Will be interesting to see what happens in Ohio with the officer shooting a 12 year old wielding a fake gun.
    Its easy to kill someone when the Law protects you.

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