Cop-killings and discontent
It's interesting to revisit the Ferguson shooting and its sequelae, and to recognize once more the important differences from the Staten Island case. Let's postulate for the moment that the Brown case was appropriately decided by the grand jury as not worthy of further investigation by trial, but that the Garner case could and should have been sent to trial by the grand jury, with the understanding that it might not have resulted in conviction.
The absence of any indication that whites could tell the difference between the two cases may have led to a tentative confirmation in the black community that blacks are not going to get an even shake from white justice. This, plus the perceived injustice of Garner's death, instinctively attributed to the chokehold though not substantiated by autopsy, and added to the official criticism of the Staten Island police by Mayor de Blasio (né Warren Wilhelm, Jr.), may have provoked and justified the assassination of two police officers in Brooklyn a few months later.
Garner was killed 17 July, Brown on 9 August. If the Staten Island cop had been indicted prior to Brown's killing, it is not unreasonable to think that the refusal to indict the Ferguson cop might not have occasioned much, or even any, outrage. Indeed, a NYC black woman videotaped a rant in which she excoriated those defending Brown, and tasked Obama and de Blasio for their intemperate sentimentality, without mentioning Garner. And this is from a black guy writing in the Daily Beast, not a notoriously rabid right-wing outfit.
Now all this might be an academic legalistic discussion except for the assassination of the two Brooklyn cops, by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a Baltimore low-life who told friends he was going to NYC to kill cops. And now the recent shooting and disabling of two policemen in Ferguson monitoring civil unrest. That civil unrest, of course, can, with some plausible justification, be laid at the feet of Eric Holder, who released a DOJ review of the Ferguson police that may be, perhaps to a large extent, a frameup, or at least a deceitful compilation of unsworn and unverified allegations.
It used to be that authority figures would refuse to opine on adjudicated matters. But I guess we've moved on.
In a dazzling display of illogic, media pundits have called for a change in NYC policing procedures, citing the lowest-ever murder rate in the city's history, and a similar drop in most violent crimes. Reminds us of the notoriety Fox Butterfield received for his NY Times article famously titled "More Inmates, Despite Drop In Crime."
It's striking now, how implausible it is to postulate that we are in a post-racial society because of our sophisticated election of a black president who promised that the seas' rise would stop and the planet would begin to heal. We seem to be having as much racial animosity today as in the '60s.