Officer Darren Wilson exonerated in DOJ report

Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson is in the clear after a report by the Department of Justice was released yesterday that found no evidence of wrongdoing on his part.

Looks like they'll have to recall all those "Hands Up! Don't Shoot" T-shirts.

ABC News:

The department of Justice announced today that police officer Darren Wilson will not be charged in the death of Michael Brown.

"There is no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove Wilson's stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety," the DOJ criminal report said.

According to the report, Wilson "saw Brown reach his right hand under his t-shirt into what appeared to be his waistband."

Accounts that Brown put his hands up are "inaccurate because they are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence," the report says.

Witness accounts were "inconsistent" and "changed over time," it also said.

We knew that already from the St. Louis County autopsy report - that was immediately dismissed by protestors. But "Hands Up! Don't Shoot" will enjoy a long life in the racialists protests. The legend is secure, the narrative, set. No matter how many reports come down debunking the notion that black kid was gunned down in cold blood, since it doesn't fit into the myth, they will be ignored.

AG Holder apologized to the people of Ferguson that DOJ would be unable to persecute Wilson:

"The promise I made when I went to Ferguson and at the time that we launched our investigation was not that we would arrive at a particular outcome, but rather that we would pursue the facts, wherever they led," said US Attorney General Eric Holder. "Our investigation has been both fair and rigorous from the start. It has proceeded independently of the local investigation that concluded in November. And it has been thorough: as part of a wide-ranging examination of the evidence, federal investigators interviewed and re-interviewed eyewitnesses and other individuals claiming to have relevant information and independently canvassed more than 300 residences to locate and interview additional witnesses."

Holder added, "This conclusion represents the sound, considered, and independent judgment of the expert career prosecutors within the Department of Justice. I have been personally briefed on multiple occasions about these findings. I concur with the investigative team’s judgment and the determination about our inability to meet the required federal standard."

The report on the Ferguson police department is another story. The DOJ all but put white hoods on the police:

As detailed in our searing report ... this investigation found a community that was deeply polarized; a community where deep distrust and hostility often characterized interactions between police and area residents," said US Attorney General Eric Holder. "A community where local authorities consistently approached law enforcement not as a means for protecting public safety, but as a way to generate revenue. A community where both policing and municipal court practices were found to disproportionately harm African American residents. A community where this harm frequently appears to stem, at least in part, from racial bias – both implicit and explicit. And a community where all of these conditions, unlawful practices, and constitutional violations have not only severely undermined the public trust, eroded police legitimacy, and made local residents less safe –- but created an intensely charged atmosphere where people feel under assault and under siege by those charged to serve and protect them."

Should a report by the most important law enforcement department in the United States government be "searing"? Shouldn't it be cold, dispassionate, and factual? Holder destroyed the credibility of his own report with that characterization, revealing his personal and professional bias.

Three officers have been identified as sending clearly racist emails. One has been fired and the other two placed on administrative leave. There were 161 accusations of excessive force between 2010 and 2014. Only one case was founded and no officer was disciplined. Does that establish a pattern and practice of discriminatory policing.

Like most police forces the size of Ferguson, questions can be raised about their lack of training and general professionalism. But in this case, it appears that there is tremendous dysfunction between police and the citizen largely as a result of erroneous perceptions of police on the part  blacks, and a lack of understanding of the community they serve on the part of police. Simply hiring more black police officers and holding "diversity training" sessions is not going to solve the problem. Only consistent dialogue involving all parties will begin to remove the distrust in the community and help the police protect law abiding citizens.



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