More Evidence For A Different System Of Justice For The Police

Yesterday I discussed how the grand jury was used in Ferguson was an example of how justice is different for the police than it is for everyone else.  The Washington Post also reports on unorthodox police practices in handling Darren Wilson after the shooting:

When Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson left the scene of the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the officer returned to the police station unescorted, washed blood off his hands and placed his recently fired pistol into an evidence bag himself.

Such seemingly un­or­tho­dox forensic practices emerged from the voluminous testimony released in the aftermath of a grand jury decision Monday night not to indict Wilson.

The transcript showed that local officers who interviewed Wilson immediately after the shooting did not tape the conversations and sometimes conducted them with other police personnel present. An investigator with the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s office testified that he opted not to take measurements at the crime scene

Charles Johnson adds, “Perhaps the most outrageous thing: police never tested Wilson’s gun for Michael Brown’s fingerprints. Since one of the main points of Wilson’s story was that Brown grabbed his gun, why wasn’t this done?”

The National Bar Association has also responded to the decision:

 The National Bar Association is questioning how the Grand Jury, considering the evidence before them, could reach the conclusion that Darren Wilson should not be indicted and tried for the shooting death of Michael Brown. National Bar Association President Pamela J. Meanes expresses her sincere disappointment with the outcome of the Grand Jury’s decision but has made it abundantly clear that the National Bar Association stands firm and will be calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to pursue federal charges against officer Darren Wilson. “We will not rest until Michael Brown and his family has justice” states Pamela Meanes, President of the National Bar Association. 

President Meanes is requesting that the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri not allow this decision to cause an unnecessary uproar in the community that could lead to arrests, injuries or even deaths of innocent people. “I am asking for everyone to remain as calm as possible and to join in solidarity as we continue to support the family of Michael Brown and put our legal plan into full effect” says President Meanes  “I feel the  magnitude of the grand jury’s ruling as Ferguson, Missouri is only minutes from where I reside”, adds President Meanes.

Over the last couple of months, the National Bar Association has  hosted Town Hall meetings informing  attendees of their Fourth Amendment (Search & Seizure) constitutional rights, whether it is legal to record police activity, and how citizens should behave/respond if and when they interface with police officers. “The death of Michael Brown was the last straw and the catalyst for addressing issues of inequality and racial bias in policing, the justice system, and violence against members of minority communities,” states Pamela Meanes.

The family of Michael Brown requested that District Attorney McCullough step aside and allow a special prosecutor be assigned to the investigation to give the community confidence that the grand jury would conduct a complete and thorough investigation into the tragic shooting death of 18 year old Michael Brown. The grand jury’s decision confirms the fear that many expressed months ago — that a fair and impartial investigation would not happen.

“The National Bar Association is adamant about our desire for transformative justice. While we are disappointed with the grand jury’s ruling, we are promoting peace on every street corner around the world. The only way to foster systemic change is to organize, educate, and mobilize. We are imploring everyone to fight against the injustice in Ferguson, Missouri and throughout the United States by banding together and working within the confines of the law,” states President Meanes.

Update: More Views On The Injustice In Ferguson

 

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2 Comments

  1. 1
    Mike B.T.R.M. says:

    While I think currently police powers may be too broad, and the sooner we can get most cops with body cameras, the better.  The varience in the use of the grand jury system with cops might be more good than bad.  The current alternative would seem to leave it all in the hands of one person/district attorney. If my son, a black 12 year old boy, who is tall enough to be perceived as a teenager, ever was killed by a civilian and the distirct attorney was convinced there was not enough evidence to press charges, I might be more willing to accept that then if the shooter was a police officer.  If it was a police officer, I’d be inclined to ask, well there may not be enough to prosecute, but could you have someone else, or a different group (grand jury) take a look at the evidence for a second opinion?  Thus I can see a prosecuter using a grand jury, in the case of police shooting civilians as a way to bring more transparency to a situation even when the prosecutor believes the officer should not be charged. Perhaps this is not how a Grand Jury should be used, but that statistic of 81 shootings by officers and one indictment in Dallas (2008-2012) seems to be how they are using it.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    One problem with this being settled at the grand jury level was that the prosecutor essentially acted as defense attorney, presenting the defense case, with no prosecution present. Wilson gave his story, which contradicted some of the physical evidence, but there was no cross examination of his testimony as there would be in a trial.

    Obviously this prosecutor could not have prosecuted the case in a trial either. A special prosecutor would probably have been the best solution.

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