“Ferguson police’s attempts to demonize Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teen killed by Officer Darren Wilson, may have hit a small snag,” reports Crooks and Liars. “The very video they released at the same time as they identified Wilson as the officer responsible for shooting Brown six times, including twice in the head, may show the opposite of what they intended.
“Supposedly, the video shows Brown robbing the store, taking a box of cigars. However, the attorney for Ferguson Market says that it was not anyone from the store who called police to report a robbery. In fact, a customer called to report what he viewed as a robbery.
“How, then, did police get the tape? According to St. Louis News, ‘The attorney said, during the course of Ferguson (PD)’s investigation, they came to the store and asked for to review the tape.” In other words, the tape was not viewed by police until after Michael Brown was dead in the street.
“In their fervent effort to cast Brown in a negative light, they missed that the video seems to show Brown paying for the Swisher Sweets.
“While it is difficult to be 100 percent certain, the video appears to show Brown purchasing some cigars but lacking the money for the amount he wished to buy. Brown seems to purchase some cigarillos, pay for them, attempt to buy more, then replace the ones he could not afford.”
“The confrontation between Brown and the clerk may have been because Brown impatiently reached across the counter. Perhaps it was wrong for Brown to shove the employee – it is impossible to know what words were exchanged – but this footage seems to exonerate him. It is important to note that Brown only shoved the clerk after he put his hands on him.”
C&L does a good job discussing how media jumped on the “thug” bandwagon and attempted to aid the character assassination of Michael Brown.
Anyone attempting to justify this shooting by calling Michael Brown a “thug” or a “criminal” or who says that “he had a rap sheet,” as various people have claimed over the past few days is, clearly, a racist.
Even if Brown did commit the petty theft of a $5 pack of cigars, a pack he appears to have paid for, gunning him down in the aftermath is murder. Petty theft is not a capital crime.
The police themselves are never supposed to dispense punishment. Their job is never to punish. That is the job of the courts. Yet when the police in this country act to punish, they are given a pass by people who don’t seem to understand the rule of law, or the importance of our laws and rights.
Yet there has been this parade of forces attempting to justify the police action as if it could possibly be justified.
This cannot possibly be justified. There is no scenario in which the shooting of an unarmed teenager is remotely acceptable.
And the Ferguson PD have proved themselves to be liars, yet again. Just like the time that they charged a man with four counts of destruction of city property for bleeding on their uniforms while they beat him.
The fact that the Ferguson PD are liars shouldn’t surprise anyone. But perhaps this bit of evidence can help us push back against the character assassination they’re using against an innocent murdered American teenager.
Will McLeod (OllieGarkey) resides in Washington, D.C. He has been active in the progressive movement across state lines, spent time in Zuccotti Park as part of the Occupy movement and can be reached at Twitter.com/WillMcLeod99. McLeod writes frequently for Daily Kos, where this story first appeared. Bay View staff contributed to this story.