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Barrister15



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 4263
Location: New York, NY


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PostPosted: 11/27/14 11:35 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Jammer wrote:
Quote:
So when anyone attacks a cop or fights with a cop, they're giving that cop the green light to waste their stupid ass. They might not know it. But that's their fucking problem.


No. Just no.

What Mike Brown did was stupid, but he paid the ultimate price. To me, the issue isn't the death of Mike Brown, though to his family and loved ones, it most certainly is. To me, it's the pattern of police having the same mindset that you just described - attack a cop and expect to die. It's questionable how much "attacking" Brown did, but at some point, the threat to the officer was over, yet he continued to fire upon Brown. How else would his body end up some 100+ feet away from Wilson's squad car?

I'm outraged that there are two standards at play here - shoot to kill the black man, shoot to disarm or incapacitate everyone else.

I'm outraged that this farce of a grand jury proceeding meant we'll never know if justice was truly accomplished.

(FYI, read Jeffrey Toobin's piece in The New Yorker for an excellent analysis of the grand jury proceeding.)

I don't know whether Officer Wilson truly believed his life was in danger. His use of hyperbole (calling Brown a "demon") makes me suspect his motivation at the time. I'll admit, it's possible, though, that he believed deadly force was necessary to protect himself and others. But that's not what should have been before the grand jury.


TonyL222



Joined: 01 Oct 2007
Posts: 5140
Location: Reston, VA


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PostPosted: 11/27/14 1:43 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Barrister15 wrote:
Jammer wrote:
Quote:
So when anyone attacks a cop or fights with a cop, they're giving that cop the green light to waste their stupid ass. They might not know it. But that's their fucking problem.


No. Just no.

What Mike Brown did was stupid, but he paid the ultimate price. To me, the issue isn't the death of Mike Brown, though to his family and loved ones, it most certainly is. To me, it's the pattern of police having the same mindset that you just described - attack a cop and expect to die. It's questionable how much "attacking" Brown did, but at some point, the threat to the officer was over, yet he continued to fire upon Brown. How else would his body end up some 100+ feet away from Wilson's squad car?


Your (jammer's) presumption of what Mike Brown "did" is just one account of what happened. There are conflicting accounts from several people. THAT's What a trial is for - a search for the truth. But no there will be no trail


Barrister15 wrote:
In US v. Williams, Scalia, in his majority opinion stated "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."

That Wilson testified at the grand jury is not unusual -- certainly defendants testify at the grand jury all the time (and usually against the advice of counsel). That he testified for hours at the behest of the prosecution, and that the prosecution presented exculpatory evidence to the grand jury is what made these proceedings so suspect. That McCulloch brought this to the grand jury at all just proved to be lip service to those who called for Wilson to face charges -- the unorthodox way he presented the case to the grand jury, contrary to hundreds of years of American jurisprudence, was a slap in the face to the Brown family and a disservice to the memory of the unarmed young man whose life was lost.

You can characterize Mike Brown however you'd like -- call him a bully, call him a violent criminal -- but no matter what you call him, he didn't deserve a death sentence.


Thanks for your legal insight, Barrister.


jammerbirdi



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
Posts: 19268



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PostPosted: 11/27/14 1:53 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Barrister15 wrote:
Jammer wrote:
Quote:
So when anyone attacks a cop or fights with a cop, they're giving that cop the green light to waste their stupid ass. They might not know it. But that's their fucking problem.


No. Just no.

What Mike Brown did was stupid, but he paid the ultimate price. To me, the issue isn't the death of Mike Brown, though to his family and loved ones, it most certainly is. To me, it's the pattern of police having the same mindset that you just described - attack a cop and expect to die. It's questionable how much "attacking" Brown did, but at some point, the threat to the officer was over, yet he continued to fire upon Brown. How else would his body end up some 100+ feet away from Wilson's squad car?

I'm outraged that there are two standards at play here - shoot to kill the black man, shoot to disarm or incapacitate everyone else.

I'm outraged that this farce of a grand jury proceeding meant we'll never know if justice was truly accomplished.

(FYI, read Jeffrey Toobin's piece in The New Yorker for an excellent analysis of the grand jury proceeding.)

I don't know whether Officer Wilson truly believed his life was in danger. His use of hyperbole (calling Brown a "demon") makes me suspect his motivation at the time. I'll admit, it's possible, though, that he believed deadly force was necessary to protect himself and others. But that's not what should have been before the grand jury.


You only deign to allow, from the comfort of your life far from the streets of Ferguson and that cop's existence there, that the officer believed he needed to shoot Brown to protect himself. Are you at all grappling with the question of whether he actually did need to use his weapon to save his life?

Sounds like the answer to that is no. Just no.

Quote:
To me, it's the pattern of police having the same mindset that you just described - attack a cop and expect to die.


I want criminals and everyone else to operate under the assumption and reality that if you attack a cop you are likely to die. Cops have guns. If (by default) violent criminals attack police officers those people pose multiple threats to everyone else and must be stopped at all cost. This is a violent world with incredibly violent and disturbed people operating in it at all times. We need cops to take those individuals on and have the capability to handle the job. Few human beings are Michael Brown's size. When someone that large and powerful decides to use his size and power to threaten and attack other people he must face the law.

It's questionable how much "attacking" Brown did, but at some point, the threat to the officer was over, yet he continued to fire upon Brown. How else would his body end up some 100+ feet away from Wilson's squad car?

You say. The threat was over. Witnesses and forensics say that Wilson fired the fatal shot while a) backpeddling b) Brown was advancing on him and c) from a distance INSIDE ten feet. Police are trained that (something like) 25 feet is THEIR danger zone when they are at the greatest risk.

Most things in life are subject to questioning but your quotes indicate that you don't believe, for reasons that so many of you guys are somehow leaving out of your critical comments here, that Michael Brown did what a half dozen black eyewitnesses said he did. Why don't you believe the black witnesses?

Quote:
I'm outraged that there are two standards at play here - shoot to kill the black man, shoot to disarm or incapacitate everyone else.


I don't know what police policy is where you live when it comes to how and when cops are to discharge their weapons. But I do know that in ALL police departments that I know of there is only one policy and that is shoot to kill. So I don't even know what you're talking about here. Please explain or at least provide any cases where the police detail an action wherein they shot people to disarm or incapacitate.

They have other devices. Tasers. Bean bag, etc. But those are for instances where they have a chance to deploy those non-lethal devices.

As I'm typing this and all through this thread I literally can't stop my mind from flashing on the white highly educated progressive who spent a great part of her career working on poverty issues but who is now most notably the founder of a organization that at this point seeks to put lower class black and latino men behind bars for speaking to women like her on the street in a way they don't appreciate. I'm sorry. I'm being honest. This has nothing to do with you, barrister. I've been thinking about all the liberal and progressive outrage over this shooting and I just keep thinking about that lady and her Hollaback efforts.

Like how many of all these more affluent outraged progressives who don't know anything about dealing with people from lower classes, who don't know anything about the dangers of places like Ferguson or many much worse places, are making themselves feel better about everything by going after someone who has to deal with all those petty and not-so-petty criminals and real people with real problems like a cop in a place like Ferguson has to? How quickly would they all be looking around for a cop or punching 911 into their cellphone if someone stole from them or threatened them with physical violence. If they had to live with that. Live LIKE that.

But they don't.

This is actually a case where deadly force was justified. I don't merely THINK it was justified. If all the eyewitnesses are to be believed it WAS justified. Violent attack on a cop. One more punch could have turned that cop into Brian Stowe for the rest of his life. One more punch could have allowed Michael Brown to commandeer the cop's gun.

I truly am done here. You guys continue to cry a river for Michael Brown and destroy a cop who just might have been for all you know simply and bravely doing his job.

I didn't read the Jeffrey Toobin article... I saw the title and have been listening to him on CNN. After seeing the title and listening to him the day after the verdict I was then stunned yesterday (along with, I'm sure, his New Yorker bosses) to hear him say something completely different than anything he'd been saying up to that moment. I don't have it word for word but I'll try to find it because I haven't delated anything from my DVR. But he did a 180 on the grand jury. Seriously. He may not have come down on that side but he changed his tune after seeing more of the evidence.


Genero36



Joined: 24 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: 11/27/14 2:04 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote




White-on-black racism facilitated via police brutality
2014: Tamir Rice (Cleveland, OH)
2014: Akai Gurley (Brooklyn, NY)
2014: Victor White III (Iberia Parish, LA)
2014: Dante Parker (San Bernardino County, CA)
2014: Kaijeme Powell (St. Louis, MO)
2014: Ezell Ford (Los Angeles, CA)
2014: Michael Brown (Ferguson, MO)
2014: McKenzie Cochran (Southfield, MI)
2014: Tyree Woodson (Baltimore, MD)
2014: John Crawford III (Beavercreek, OH)
2014: Jordan Davis (Jacksonville, FL)
2014: Trayvon Martin (Sanford, Florida)
2014: Eric Garner (New York, NY)
2014: Yvette Smith (Bastrop, TX)
2014: Jordan Baker (Houston, TX)
2013: Barrington Williams (New York, NY)
2013: Andy Lopez (Santa Rosa, CA)
2013: Carlos Alcis (New York, NY)
2013: Deion Fludd (New York, NY)
2013: Jonathan Ferrell (Bradfield Farms, NC)
2013: Kimani Gray (New York, NY)
2013: Kyam Livingstone (New York, NY)
2013: Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr. (Austin, TX)
2013: Miriam Carey (Washington, DC)
2012: Chavis Carter (Jonesboro, AR)
2012: Dante Price (Dayton, OH)
2012: Duane Brown (New York, NY)
2012: Ervin Jefferson (Atlanta, GA)
2012: Jersey Green (Aurora, IL)
2012: Johnnnie Kamahi Warren (Dotham, AL)
2012: Justin Slipp (New Orleans, LA)
2012: Kendrec McDade (Pasadena, CA)
2012: Malissa Williams (Cleveland, OH)
2012: Nehemiah Dillard (Gainesville, FL)
2012: Ramarley Graham (New York, NY)
2012: Raymond Allen (Galveston, TX)
2012: Rekia Boyd (Chicago, IL)
2012: Reynaldo Cuevas (New York, NY)
2012: Robert Dumas Jr (Cleveland, OH)
2012: Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr (Orange County, CA)
2012: Shantel Davis (New York, NY)
2012: Sharmel Edwards (Las Vegas, NV)
2012: Shereese Francis (New York, NY)
2012: Tamon Robinson (New York, NY)
2012: Timothy Russell (Cleveland, OH)
2012: Wendell Allen (New Orleans, LA)
2011: Alonzo Ashley (Denver, CO)
2011: Jimmell Cannon (Chicago, IL)
2011: Kenneth Chamberlain (White Plains, NY)
2011: Kenneth Harding (San Francisco, CA)
2011: Raheim Brown (Oakland, CA)
2011: Reginald Doucet (Los Angeles, CA)
2010: Aaron Campbell (Portland, OR)
2010: Aiyana Jones (Detroit, MI)
2010: Danroy Henry (Thornwood, NY)
2010: Derrick Jones (Oakland, CA)
2010: Steven Eugene Washington (Los Angeles, CA)
2009: Kiwane Carrington (Champaign, IL)
2009: Oscar Grant (Oakland, CA)
2009: Shem Walker (New York, NY)
2009: Victor Steen (Pensacola, FL)
2008: Tarika Wilson (Lima, OH)
2007: DeAunta Terrel Farrow (West Memphis, AR)
2006: Sean Bell (New York, NY)
2005: Henry Glover (New Orleans, LA)
2005: James Brisette (New Orleans, LA)
2005: Ronald Madison (New Orleans, LA)
2004: Timothy Stansbury (New York, NY)
2003: Alberta Spruill (New York, NY)
2003: Orlando Barlow (Las Vegas, NV)
2003: Ousmane Zongo (New York, NY)
2001: Timothy Thomas (Cincinnati, OH)
2000: Earl Murray (Dellwood, MO)
2000: Malcolm Ferguson (New York, NY)
2000: Patrick Dorismond (New York, NY)
2000: Prince Jones (Fairfax County, VA)
2000: Ronald Beasley (Dellwood, MO)
1999: Amadou Diallo (New York, NY)



jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 11/27/14 2:15 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

TonyL222 wrote:


Your (jammer's) presumption of what Mike Brown "did" is just one account of what happened.


This is where I have to say that people are losing me. Speak facts. One account? No. Not one. Many corroborate the officer's account. Many black witnesses corroborated the officer's version of events.

The forensics, most notably the fact that at least one shot from the officer's gun hit INSIDE his own vehicle, corroborate the officer's account. Shows that Michael Brown was partially inside the vehicle with him. But the witnesses corroborate this. In fact, Micheal Brown's accomplice's account says that Michael Brown was partially inside the vehicle. No one disputes that and all of the credible witnesses have said that's what happened.

Not jammer's presumption. Bullet penetrated the police vehicle from inside the driver's side door. Witnesses state that Brown was inside the vehicle. Brown was shot for the last time from 8-10 feet advancing on the cop. Cop was backpedaling.

jammer not presuming.

facts not mattering.


beknighted



Joined: 11 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 11/27/14 10:14 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

jammerbirdi wrote:
Quote:
I'm outraged that there are two standards at play here - shoot to kill the black man, shoot to disarm or incapacitate everyone else.


I don't know what police policy is where you live when it comes to how and when cops are to discharge their weapons. But I do know that in ALL police departments that I know of there is only one policy and that is shoot to kill. So I don't even know what you're talking about here. Please explain or at least provide any cases where the police detail an action wherein they shot people to disarm or incapacitate.

They have other devices. Tasers. Bean bag, etc. But those are for instances where they have a chance to deploy those non-lethal devices.


Actually, barrister is wrong. The standard is shoot to kill the black man, don't shoot the white man.

Think about the literally dozens of cases that have gotten publicity (and I'm sure there are many more) when white guys walk down the street exercising their open carry privileges with extremely serious firepower, the police come by, politely ask them to stop doing that, they decline to leave and the police let them go about their business. A 12-year old kid in Cleveland with a toy gun gets shot and killed almost before the police car stops. (The video is unimaginably boring for 7-1/2 minutes and then unimaginably awful for 5 seconds.)

If Mike Brown had been white, the odds are 100-1 - maybe 1,000-1 - that no shots would have been fired that day. The whole interaction from the very beginning would have played out differently. That's the fundamental issue here.


TonyL222



Joined: 01 Oct 2007
Posts: 5140
Location: Reston, VA


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PostPosted: 11/28/14 1:31 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

jammerbirdi wrote:


This is where I have to say that people are losing me. Speak facts. One account? No. Not one. Many corroborate the officer's account. Many black witnesses corroborated the officer's version of events.

The forensics, most notably the fact that at least one shot from the officer's gun hit INSIDE his own vehicle, corroborate the officer's account. Shows that Michael Brown was partially inside the vehicle with him. But the witnesses corroborate this. In fact, Micheal Brown's accomplice's account says that Michael Brown was partially inside the vehicle. No one disputes that and all of the credible witnesses have said that's what happened.

Not jammer's presumption. Bullet penetrated the police vehicle from inside the driver's side door. Witnesses state that Brown was inside the vehicle. Brown was shot for the last time from 8-10 feet advancing on the cop. Cop was backpedaling.

jammer not presuming.

facts not mattering.


I am speaking facts jammer. The FACT is there a differing accounts of the events. Just about every account says there was a tussle betwee the two while Wilson was in his vehicle. Some say Wilson was the aggressor and some say Brown. What forensics corporates either POV? No one ever disputed that Wilson's gun was discharged inside the vehicle. Wilson could have pulled his gun and Brown could have reached inside to grab his gun hand in defense. Sounds more reasonable than big bad, thug Mike decided to attack a police officer over some swishers (definitely my opinion, there)

You say witnesses say Brown was "inside" the vehicle. Other witnesses say that Wilson was pulling Brown from inside the vehicle. THE POINT is there are differing witness accounts. A Grand Jury doesn't decide guilt or innocence - only whether there is enough evidence for a trail. Now there won't be a trail - where Wilson would be innocent until proven guilty.

Huff Post had this interesting "scorecard" on two critical eye witness accounts - 1) Did Brown Charge at Wilson, and 2) Were Brown's Hands up:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/25/michael-brown-witnesses_n_6221774.html



1. Did Brown Charge at Wilson? I count 5 "Yes", 10 "No" and 6 "Don't know."

2. Were Brown's Hands up? I count 9 "Yes", 2 "No" and 10 "Don't know."

Looks to me like there should have been a trail, eye witnesses testify and cross examined, forensics presented and questioned, and a jury decide on guilt or innocence based on testimony and evidence.

Given where they were, I'm sure most (if not all) the witnesses were black, so I don't know why you feel the need to point that out.


jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 11/28/14 2:41 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Sit in the driver's seat of an SUV, Tony. Imagine yourself being the 'aggressor' in a physical fight with someone on the street.

The source of the story that the cop grabbed Michael Brown and pulled him into the vehicle was Brown's accomplice, a brainless twit who might be the person more responsible than anyone for one of most significant periods of civil unrest in this country in years. HIs lies and rhetoric set things off. If he'd said, uh, Michael went nuts. Reached into the cop car and started punching the cop. which is what occurred... absolutely nothing else is remotely probably... none of what we've seen in the last six months would have happened.

No one on Rebkell's is so intellectual deficient as to believe that the cop tried to pull Michael Brown into his vehicle. Certainly not you, Tony.


p_d_swanson



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PostPosted: 11/28/14 4:41 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The Rude One:
Quote:
This all took place in the middle of the day at the Canfield Green Apartments, a public housing project in Ferguson that has far, far more than its fair share of crime and poverty. Wilson killed Brown on August 9, a little after noon. It was a summer day; school didn't start until August 25. So in the middle of a housing project, with apartments and people all around, Officer Darren Wilson made the tactical decision to fire wildly at an unarmed man who was posing no threat to anyone except him.

As many have said, Wilson could have gotten back in his SUV and awaited backup. But, no matter what you think happened, we know that Wilson decided the best course of action was to fire ten bullets, no matter who might get hurt. We also know that some of those shots hit the apartment buildings around Wilson and Brown. And we know that Wilson is pretty damn lucky he didn't hurt or kill anyone else while he was firing his gun over and over.


TonyL222



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PostPosted: 11/28/14 9:20 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

jammerbirdi wrote:
Sit in the driver's seat of an SUV, Tony. Imagine yourself being the 'aggressor' in a physical fight with someone on the street.

The source of the story that the cop grabbed Michael Brown and pulled him into the vehicle was Brown's accomplice, a brainless twit who might be the person more responsible than anyone for one of most significant periods of civil unrest in this country in years. HIs lies and rhetoric set things off. If he'd said, uh, Michael went nuts. Reached into the cop car and started punching the cop. which is what occurred... absolutely nothing else is remotely probably... none of what we've seen in the last six months would have happened.

No one on Rebkell's is so intellectual deficient as to believe that the cop tried to pull Michael Brown into his vehicle. Certainly not you, Tony.


"Accomplice" and "brainless"? What makes you think the friend was EITHER of these? He most certainly was NOT an accomplice. I assume you are talking about the cigars. The friend didn't steal anything. Brown handed him some cigars, and he put them back on the counter before they left the store. Probably why he hasn't been charged nor arrested. I don't have any information to assess his mental capacity. Do you?

Okay, jammer YOU sit in the driver's seat of an SUV. You first order the two to get outta the middle of the street. Have you actually looked at this street? This was a small drive through what looks like public housing. It was NOT a major road. NOBODY went to the cross walks to cross the street. You realize two people fit the description of a recent cigar theft (that wasn't the initial story as told by the police chief, but was Wilson's story by the time of the GJ), so you do a batman maneuver and pull you vehicle right right next to them - gotta get those cigars. YOU put yourself in Brown's position. You are next to the driver side window and see the officer draw his gun. You might reach through the window and tussle with the officer over the gun. There are logical scenarios to support either version.

Then Brown moves away and Wilson gets out of his vehicle. Makes perfect sense to me that Brown would turn and charge an armed officer like a bull. Yeah, that makes sense to me. Makes sense that I'd shoot him 6 times.

If you read the story I posted MULTIPLE witnesses said Brown was trying o pull away while MULTIPLE witnesses say he was the aggressor. YOU have decided the one version is FACT, and that somehow the forensics corroborate that.

I don't know if Wilson was guilty or innocent. THAT's what a trail where the testimony and evidence was presented by one side and challenged by the other would have come in.

It was clear from the beginning that this prosecutor DID NOT want to charge this police officer. He first punted to a Grand Jury to get it off of his office. Then in the Grand Jury his office pretty much presented the evidence in an exculpatory way with NO ONE to make an alternative case. Of course the GJ didn't indict. There was no adversarial review of testimony or evidence - only what the prosecutor presented. That's not unusual. But generally the prosecutor is presenting evidence to support an indictment (hence his title). This persecutor acted as a defense attorney.

This whole thing could have been avoided if a special prosecutor had been appointed who then determined if there was enough evidence to indict. why a special prosecutor? Because there was enough public distrust in the system and this particular prosecutors ties to the local PD, that anyone could have predicted this outcome. So there's lots of blame for the this reaction.


Howee



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PostPosted: 11/28/14 9:43 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

This question--obviously too late--I haven't heard yet: WHAT, exactly, would a trial accomplish? I mean, it *sounds* like a righteous thing to do, but as entrenched as opinions are NOW, how would a trial change things? Those who "know" the officer is guilty would not change their minds....would they? Those who "know" the officer is innocent wouldn't change their minds....would they? It would only drag the process for so many more weeks and months. And anger would only intensify.

Obviously, Due Process must remain the goal. But sometimes, it seems like due process is not even possible in such emotionally charged cases.



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TonyL222



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PostPosted: 11/28/14 9:50 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Howee wrote:
This question--obviously too late--I haven't heard yet: WHAT, exactly, would a trial accomplish? I mean, it *sounds* like a righteous thing to do, but as entrenched as opinions are NOW, how would a trial change things? .


A not guilty verdict from a trail might just meet with the same results. But the message now is that Mike Brown's death didn't even warrant a trial. JMO, there just seems to me to be enough conflicting testimony, that it should have been sorted out during a trial.

Let me add - there are protest, and then there are riots and looting. They are two different things. The rioters and looters are opportunistic criminals and should be arrested and charged. Don't lump them in with protesters.


<iframe src='http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_lw_Eremis_141126_397271' height='500' width='635' scrolling='no' border='no' ></iframe>


beknighted



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PostPosted: 11/28/14 1:07 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

TonyL222 wrote:
Howee wrote:
This question--obviously too late--I haven't heard yet: WHAT, exactly, would a trial accomplish? I mean, it *sounds* like a righteous thing to do, but as entrenched as opinions are NOW, how would a trial change things? .


A not guilty verdict from a trail might just meet with the same results. But the message now is that Mike Brown's death didn't even warrant a trial. JMO, there just seems to me to be enough conflicting testimony, that it should have been sorted out during a trial.

Let me add - there are protest, and then there are riots and looting. They are two different things. The rioters and looters are opportunistic criminals and should be arrested and charged. Don't lump them in with protesters.


<iframe src='http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_lw_Eremis_141126_397271' height='500' width='635' scrolling='no' border='no' ></iframe>


Well said, on both points, and I'm particularly glad you mentioned the second one. The overwhelming majority of people out in the streets of Ferguson after the announcement were peaceful. Heck, there may well have been more people coming out to clean up the mess caused by the looters, etc. than actual looters. Don't confuse the two groups.

I would add that people see a trial differently than the grand jury/charging phase. For one thing, in a trial the testimony is in public and you can see what's happening - does the prosecutor pull his punches, are the witnesses credible, what exactly did the forensics say, etc., etc. Here, a lot of people are seeing this for what it was, which was an attempt to create the impression that there was nothing the prosecutor could do, when he actually controlled the whole thing. There was no widespread unrest after the George Zimmerman verdict, despite the great disappointment in the black community. I think it's quite possible that there wouldn't have been such a severe reaction after a Darren Wilson trial, even if he'd been acquitted.


Genero36



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PostPosted: 11/28/14 9:34 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

<embed><iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/MZiegNiE6f0?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></embed>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MZiegNiE6f0


Genero36



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PostPosted: 11/29/14 12:22 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote



Genero36



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PostPosted: 11/29/14 12:38 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote



Genero36



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PostPosted: 11/29/14 9:22 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote


Quote:
"He asked Devonte why he was crying. His response about his concerns regarding the level of police brutality towards young black kids was met with an unexpected and seemingly authentic (to Devonte), 'Yes. *sigh* I know. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.' The officer then asked if he could have one of his hugs," Hart wrote, according to the Oregonian.


http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/29/living/ferguson-protest-hug/index.html?hpt=hp_c3


Howee



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PostPosted: 11/30/14 12:18 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

^^ I saw that on the NBC world news the other night ^^

Very poignant picture. And it helps me remember that, while ONE Travon and ONE James are way too many, I still have faith that the VAST majority of cops--black white brown yellow whatever--have good hearts and honest souls.



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hyperetic



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PostPosted: 11/30/14 12:41 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Howee wrote:
^^ I saw that on the NBC world news the other night ^^

Very poignant picture. And it helps me remember that, while ONE Travon and ONE James are way too many, I still have faith that the VAST majority of cops--black white brown yellow whatever--have good hearts and honest souls.


I would love to believe that too Howee but the thing that makes me question it is what are those good hearted and honest souls doing while their bad hearted and dishonest souled brethren are committing heinous acts?
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PostPosted: 12/16/14 4:26 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/unmasking-Ferguson-witness-40-496236

Quote:
The grand jury witness who testified that she saw Michael Brown pummel a cop before charging at him “like a football player, head down,” is a troubled, bipolar Missouri woman with a criminal past who has a history of making racist remarks and once insinuated herself into another high-profile St. Louis criminal case with claims that police eventually dismissed as a “complete fabrication,”



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PostPosted: 12/17/14 9:31 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/unmasking-Ferguson-witness-40-496236

Quote:
The grand jury witness who testified that she saw Michael Brown pummel a cop before charging at him “like a football player, head down,” is a troubled, bipolar Missouri woman with a criminal past who has a history of making racist remarks and once insinuated herself into another high-profile St. Louis criminal case with claims that police eventually dismissed as a “complete fabrication,”



Sandra McElroy did not provide police with a contemporaneous account of the Brown-Wilson confrontation, which she claimed to have watched unfold in front of her as she stood on a nearby sidewalk smoking a cigarette.

Instead, McElroy (seen at left) waited four weeks after the shooting to contact cops. By the time she gave St. Louis police a statement on September 11, a general outline of Wilson’s version of the shooting had already appeared in the press. McElroy’s account of the confrontation dovetailed with Wilson’s reported recollection of the incident.



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PostPosted: 12/20/14 9:29 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote



Quote:
“I thought it was much more important to present anybody and everybody,” McCulloch said, “and some, yes, clearly were not telling the truth, no question about it."


http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/prosecutor-admits-witnesses-likely-lied-under-oath-michael-brown-case


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PostPosted: 12/20/14 7:25 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

There's just no excuse for this. If he thought she "clearly wasn't present," then he is giving the grand jury false information. That's completely irresponsible.


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PostPosted: 12/20/14 7:31 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

beknighted wrote:
There's just no excuse for this. If he thought she "clearly wasn't present," then he is giving the grand jury false information. That's completely irresponsible.


Can he face some sort of professional misconduct penalty for it?



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PostPosted: 12/20/14 10:35 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
beknighted wrote:
There's just no excuse for this. If he thought she "clearly wasn't present," then he is giving the grand jury false information. That's completely irresponsible.


Can he face some sort of professional misconduct penalty for it?


In theory, yes. In practice, highly unlikely.


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PostPosted: 12/22/14 11:49 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

What Ferguson can learn from the LAPD

http://news.yahoo.com/what-ferguson-can-learn-from-the-lapd-214547339.html


Quote:
When the former Boston and New York police chief arrived in Los Angeles in 2002, the LAPD was operating under federal oversight; a rogue unit in the Rampart Division had been caught planting evidence, beating gang members and lying under oath.



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PostPosted: 12/23/14 2:00 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

beknighted wrote:
There's just no excuse for this. If he thought she "clearly wasn't present," then he is giving the grand jury false information. That's completely irresponsible.


Huh?

I read this as McCulloch saying he came to believe she lied in her testimony after she had given that testimony, and after he and the jurors could compare what she said against other evidence. How could he have known what she was going to say under oath to the grand jury, about her supposed presence and what she supposedly saw, until she actually so testified?

The cops or DA may have interviewed the witnesses before they testified--or not, who knows?--but those statements aren't grand jury testimony until made to the jury under oath.
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PostPosted: 12/23/14 7:13 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
?

The cops or DA may have interviewed the witnesses before they testified--or not, who knows?--but those statements aren't grand jury testimony until made to the jury under oath.


He knew well before that her story was concocted:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/unmasking-Ferguson-witness-40-496236
Quote:
In interviews with police, FBI agents, and federal and state prosecutors--as well as during two separate appearances before the grand jury that ultimately declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson--the purported eyewitness delivered a preposterous and perjurious account of the fatal encounter in Ferguson.




Last edited by TonyL222 on 12/23/14 10:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: 12/23/14 7:48 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
beknighted wrote:
There's just no excuse for this. If he thought she "clearly wasn't present," then he is giving the grand jury false information. That's completely irresponsible.


Huh?

I read this as McCulloch saying he came to believe she lied in her testimony after she had given that testimony, and after he and the jurors could compare what she said against other evidence. How could he have known what she was going to say under oath to the grand jury, about her supposed presence and what she supposedly saw, until she actually so testified?

The cops or DA may have interviewed the witnesses before they testified--or not, who knows?--but those statements aren't grand jury testimony until made to the jury under oath.


Of course they interviewed people before they testified. If they didn't, it's an even worse dereliction of duty. In the case of this witness, they also had her supposed journal in hand before she testified, and again of course they read it and knew what she would say.

I suppose it's possible that he didn't figure out until afterwards that parts of her story were actually impossible, but that's not what I'd call an endorsement of the process. The police and the prosecutor have investigators whose job is to check out witness statements in advance, and if they didn't do that in this case, it's more than inexplicable, it's irresponsible.


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PostPosted: 12/23/14 3:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Hope this isn't too far off topic, but this video making the rounds on fb, was allegedly made by a law student. He was approached by a cop, and his conversation demonstrates what civilian rights really are.

Can any of you 'legal minds' verify the validity of his claims?



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pilight



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PostPosted: 12/23/14 3:19 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Howee wrote:
civilian rights


We need a better term than "civilian" to delineate non-police persons. Cops are not soldiers and should not be treated as such.



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PostPosted: 12/23/14 3:26 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

That video has been making the rounds for a while. I don't think I've ever gotten past about first minute or so (and, for all I know, it ends soon after that) because the guy is pretty annoying.

Anyway, in general, you are not required to give the police ID, you are not required to consent to a search and you are not required to let them take anything from you. Some things change if they decide there's probable cause that you've committed a crime and they arrest you, and in particular certain searches and seizures are permitted in connection with an arrest. (The things in your possession, but not your house, for instance.)

I'd probably advise against acting the way he did unless you're white and have either a running video camera or a whole lot of people who are watching the interaction around you. Also, police seem to really hate it when you take video of them arresting people.


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PostPosted: 12/23/14 5:55 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

TonyL222 wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:

The cops or DA may have interviewed the witnesses before they testified--or not, who knows?--but those statements aren't grand jury testimony until made to the jury under oath.


He knew well before that her story was concocted:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/unmasking-Ferguson-witness-40-496236
Quote:
In interviews with police, FBI agents, and federal and state prosecutors--as well as during two separate appearances before the grand jury that ultimately declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson--the purported eyewitness delivered a preposterous and perjurious account of the fatal encounter in Ferguson.


This witness, Sandra McElroy, was interviewed according the the Smoking Gun, but I stand by my viewpoint.

That McElroy "delivered a preposterous and perjurious account" to the police and/or FBI is an unsupported assertion by the Smoking Gun writer containing an improper legal conclusion if it relates only to the initial story given to investigators. McElroy's story can only have been perjurious after it have been given under oath to a jury.

Of course, she did testify to the grand jury twice, as the Smoking Gun reports, and it is now reasonable to conclude, after all the grand jury testimony has been completed and revealed, that McElroy's initial story to investigators and twice-changed story on the witness stand were collectively preposterous and, a posteriori, perjurious.

If you read the Smoking Gun account, it makes clear that, while her initial statements to investigators were "greeted with skepticism," it was on the grand jury witness stand that her story began to change and come apart. She made inconsistent statements under oath along with admissions that harmed her credibility. She asked for a break in the proceedings to get a piece of paper from home on which she had allegedly written everything she had seen, contemporaneously and word-for-word. This writing had never before been disclosed to investigators. Under examination, these notebook entries further damaged her credibility because they seemed to have been fabricated.

I think it would have been irresponsible, foolish, naive, improper, stupid and probably career-killing for McCulloch to have failed to bring before a grand jury a woman who had been publicly claiming for months on Facebook to have personally witnessed the shooting events from up close in person. The superficial and highly agended Fourth Estate would have gone ballistic with stories about an evil or incompetent prosecutor ignoring or suppressing percipient witnesses. Imagine the situation McCulloch would then have been in--trying to defend his actions by appealing to unsworn and perhaps confidential FBI and police witness interviews that were never entered into evidence or even proferred to a grand jury.

McCulloch did the right and smart thing by letting everyone with any arguable claim to relevant evidence to appear before the grand jury, and then let those citizens separate the wheat from the chaff. That's their job.
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PostPosted: 12/23/14 9:58 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
TonyL222 wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:

The cops or DA may have interviewed the witnesses before they testified--or not, who knows?--but those statements aren't grand jury testimony until made to the jury under oath.


He knew well before that her story was concocted:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/unmasking-Ferguson-witness-40-496236
Quote:
In interviews with police, FBI agents, and federal and state prosecutors--as well as during two separate appearances before the grand jury that ultimately declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson--the purported eyewitness delivered a preposterous and perjurious account of the fatal encounter in Ferguson.


This witness, Sandra McElroy, was interviewed according the the Smoking Gun, but I stand by my viewpoint.

That McElroy "delivered a preposterous and perjurious account" to the police and/or FBI is an unsupported assertion by the Smoking Gun writer containing an improper legal conclusion if it relates only to the initial story given to investigators. McElroy's story can only have been perjurious after it have been given under oath to a jury.

Of course, she did testify to the grand jury twice, as the Smoking Gun reports, and it is now reasonable to conclude, after all the grand jury testimony has been completed and revealed, that McElroy's initial story to investigators and twice-changed story on the witness stand were collectively preposterous and, a posteriori, perjurious.

If you read the Smoking Gun account, it makes clear that, while her initial statements to investigators were "greeted with skepticism," it was on the grand jury witness stand that her story began to change and come apart. She made inconsistent statements under oath along with admissions that harmed her credibility. She asked for a break in the proceedings to get a piece of paper from home on which she had allegedly written everything she had seen, contemporaneously and word-for-word. This writing had never before been disclosed to investigators. Under examination, these notebook entries further damaged her credibility because they seemed to have been fabricated.

I think it would have been irresponsible, foolish, naive, improper, stupid and probably career-killing for McCulloch to have failed to bring before a grand jury a woman who had been publicly claiming for months on Facebook to have personally witnessed the shooting events from up close in person. The superficial and highly agended Fourth Estate would have gone ballistic with stories about an evil or incompetent prosecutor ignoring or suppressing percipient witnesses. Imagine the situation McCulloch would then have been in--trying to defend his actions by appealing to unsworn and perhaps confidential FBI and police witness interviews that were never entered into evidence or even proferred to a grand jury.

McCulloch did the right and smart thing by letting everyone with any arguable claim to relevant evidence to appear before the grand jury, and then let those citizens separate the wheat from the chaff. That's their job.


I really disagree. First, this is not how grand juries work. Prosecutors don't dump all of the evidence in front of them and let them decide. 99% plus percent of the time, prosecutors present cases only when they want to indict and they pretty much never approach cases this way. Besides, unlike prosecutors, grand juries aren't trained in separating the wheat from the chaff, and so it's not their job at all. As I said above, he did it this way because he counted on them being unable to indict. In fact, as it turns out, the grand jury was given an incorrect explanation of the law, based on a Missouri statute that was overturned by the courts years ago. Conveniently, that wrong explanation supported not indicting Wilson.

Second, putting her in front of the grand jury actually was what was irresponsible. If her story broke down during the grand jury testimony, it would have broken down beforehand if she'd been interviewed properly. If the investigators were "skeptical," then they needed to dig deeper, and as the Smoking Gun story makes clear, her story involved some physical impossibilities that the investigators could have figured out if they'd tried. It makes no difference if she had been telling the whole world she was there - it's a dereliction of duty not to properly vet witnesses before you present them to the grand jury, one that's just as bad as putting on a witness you know is lying.


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PostPosted: 12/24/14 6:33 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
What Ferguson can learn from the LAPD

http://news.yahoo.com/what-ferguson-can-learn-from-the-lapd-214547339.html


Quote:
When the former Boston and New York police chief arrived in Los Angeles in 2002, the LAPD was operating under federal oversight; a rogue unit in the Rampart Division had been caught planting evidence, beating gang members and lying under oath.



What Ferguson can learn from the LAPD? Question


Quote:
LA police investigate song mocking dead black teen at ex-cop's party

A song poking fun at the killing of black teenager Michael Brown by a white policeman, performed at a retired officer's party, has prompted the Los Angeles Police Department to launch an internal investigation, its chief said on Tuesday.

"Michael Brown learned a lesson about a messin' with a badass policeman," goes the song, captured on video and posted on entertainment news website TMZ. It continues: "Michael looked like some old Swiss cheese" ... his brain "splattered on the floor."

http://news.yahoo.com/la-police-investigate-song-mocking-dead-black-teen-092122735.html
http://www.tmz.com/2014/12/23/michael-brown-song-video-dead-police-parody-leroy-brown/



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PostPosted: 12/24/14 11:46 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:


That McElroy "delivered a preposterous and perjurious account" to the police and/or FBI is an unsupported assertion by the Smoking Gun writer containing an improper legal conclusion if it relates only to the initial story given to investigators. McElroy's story can only have been perjurious after it have been given under oath to a jury.



Your assertion that the DA did not know her testimony prior to the GJ is also unsupported. All any of us here have is various accounts we've read. I've read in several places that the FBI never believed her story. She was supposedly in the area to visit a friend - whose name and address she could not recall. I think that would have sent up a read flag.

So you are free to stand by your viewpoint. That would mean that the FBI and local police investigators would have let many conflicting details of her story slip by them. Believe that if you'd like. I stand by mine.


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PostPosted: 12/24/14 12:46 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

One note - it is true that you can't commit perjury unless you lie under oath. It is, however, a crime to lie to federal investigators. I don't know about whether Missouri has the same kind of law.


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PostPosted: 12/24/14 12:47 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

TonyL222 wrote:
She was supposedly in the area to visit a friend - whose name and address she could not recall. I think that would have sent up a read flag.


Or a red one.


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PostPosted: 12/24/14 4:38 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

beknighted wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:
TonyL222 wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:

The cops or DA may have interviewed the witnesses before they testified--or not, who knows?--but those statements aren't grand jury testimony until made to the jury under oath.


He knew well before that her story was concocted:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/unmasking-Ferguson-witness-40-496236
Quote:
In interviews with police, FBI agents, and federal and state prosecutors--as well as during two separate appearances before the grand jury that ultimately declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson--the purported eyewitness delivered a preposterous and perjurious account of the fatal encounter in Ferguson.


This witness, Sandra McElroy, was interviewed according the the Smoking Gun, but I stand by my viewpoint.

That McElroy "delivered a preposterous and perjurious account" to the police and/or FBI is an unsupported assertion by the Smoking Gun writer containing an improper legal conclusion if it relates only to the initial story given to investigators. McElroy's story can only have been perjurious after it have been given under oath to a jury.

Of course, she did testify to the grand jury twice, as the Smoking Gun reports, and it is now reasonable to conclude, after all the grand jury testimony has been completed and revealed, that McElroy's initial story to investigators and twice-changed story on the witness stand were collectively preposterous and, a posteriori, perjurious.

If you read the Smoking Gun account, it makes clear that, while her initial statements to investigators were "greeted with skepticism," it was on the grand jury witness stand that her story began to change and come apart. She made inconsistent statements under oath along with admissions that harmed her credibility. She asked for a break in the proceedings to get a piece of paper from home on which she had allegedly written everything she had seen, contemporaneously and word-for-word. This writing had never before been disclosed to investigators. Under examination, these notebook entries further damaged her credibility because they seemed to have been fabricated.

I think it would have been irresponsible, foolish, naive, improper, stupid and probably career-killing for McCulloch to have failed to bring before a grand jury a woman who had been publicly claiming for months on Facebook to have personally witnessed the shooting events from up close in person. The superficial and highly agended Fourth Estate would have gone ballistic with stories about an evil or incompetent prosecutor ignoring or suppressing percipient witnesses. Imagine the situation McCulloch would then have been in--trying to defend his actions by appealing to unsworn and perhaps confidential FBI and police witness interviews that were never entered into evidence or even proferred to a grand jury.

McCulloch did the right and smart thing by letting everyone with any arguable claim to relevant evidence to appear before the grand jury, and then let those citizens separate the wheat from the chaff. That's their job.


I really disagree. First, this is not how grand juries work. Prosecutors don't dump all of the evidence in front of them and let them decide. 99% plus percent of the time, prosecutors present cases only when they want to indict and they pretty much never approach cases this way. Besides, unlike prosecutors, grand juries aren't trained in separating the wheat from the chaff, and so it's not their job at all. As I said above, he did it this way because he counted on them being unable to indict. In fact, as it turns out, the grand jury was given an incorrect explanation of the law, based on a Missouri statute that was overturned by the courts years ago. Conveniently, that wrong explanation supported not indicting Wilson.

Second, putting her in front of the grand jury actually was what was irresponsible. If her story broke down during the grand jury testimony, it would have broken down beforehand if she'd been interviewed properly. If the investigators were "skeptical," then they needed to dig deeper, and as the Smoking Gun story makes clear, her story involved some physical impossibilities that the investigators could have figured out if they'd tried. It makes no difference if she had been telling the whole world she was there - it's a dereliction of duty not to properly vet witnesses before you present them to the grand jury, one that's just as bad as putting on a witness you know is lying.


I can't tell whether you have any practical experience in criminal procedure, but it's obvious you're scattering all sorts of unsupported "facts" and opinions on different subjects simply to trash the indictment.

Juries aren't trained to separate evidentiary wheat from chaff? Come on!!! Juries of peers, both grand and petit juries, have been the vehicle for evaluating evidence in the Anglo-American legal system for 1000 years. They are the judges of fact. Prosecutors are politicians. (BTW, I've never seen a course in "evaluating evidence" in any of the four law schools I've been affiliated with.)

I suggest that in any "normal" case there never would have been any grand jury proceeding at all--because the totality of all the collective evidence of any crime by the policeman was extremely thin, as we can now plainly see in retrospect. The jury had an easy time confirming this. McCulloch proceeded to a grand jury only because of the tsunami of public riots, anti-police media frenzy, the racial turmoil, and even political pressure from his own governor to "try" the policeman even before any evidence had been collected, the racially charged statements of Eric Holder, and the unprecedented army of a reported 50 FBI agents.

Oh, I get it, this Ben Hur cast of federal, state and local law enforcement experts, detectives and prosecuting attornies were all engaged in "dereliction of duty" to "vet witnesses properly" over a period of months. I confess I can't argue against such "facts".

Once the decision was made to have a grand jury hearing at all, it made perfect sense in this racially charged media circus for the in-court prosecutors, which did not include McCulloch, to present all evidence. Such prosecutors, as ethical officers of the court, can challenge weak testimony by examination and commentary.

Do I think the prosecutors believed early on that Officer Wilson committed no crime? Yes, for lack of probable cause evidence. They then had two choices: (1) not to bring the matter before a grand jury and dismiss the charges; (2) to put everything before a grand jury. Option 2 was legally smart and politically wise. The grand jury would either (a) agree with the prosecutors that there was no probable cause, or (b) find probable cause for trial, in which event Wilson undoubtedly would ultimately have been acquitted.
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PostPosted: 12/24/14 4:47 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

TonyL222 wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:


That McElroy "delivered a preposterous and perjurious account" to the police and/or FBI is an unsupported assertion by the Smoking Gun writer containing an improper legal conclusion if it relates only to the initial story given to investigators. McElroy's story can only have been perjurious after it have been given under oath to a jury.



Your assertion that the DA did not know her testimony prior to the GJ is also unsupported. All any of us here have is various accounts we've read. I've read in several places that the FBI never believed her story. She was supposedly in the area to visit a friend - whose name and address she could not recall. I think that would have sent up a read flag.

So you are free to stand by your viewpoint. That would mean that the FBI and local police investigators would have let many conflicting details of her story slip by them. Believe that if you'd like. I stand by mine.


I don't have any personal knowledge of what story McElroy told what investigators. I'm just going by what I read in the Smoking Gun account, the accuracy of which is also unknown to me. But that account says McElroy changed her story while on the witness stand and produced a writing she had never before disclosed to any investigator.

Based on this account, my "belief" is simply that, however weak McElroy's story seemed initially to investigators and prosecutors, it became even weaker yet under oath during the grand jury proceeding. So, the decision to put McElroy before the grand jury not only did no harm, but helped bring out the actual truth. She was a largely a phony witness whom the jury could safely ignore.
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PostPosted: 12/24/14 5:45 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

How much do we owe you, Glenn? Or just me? I'll pay. And thank you and Merry Christmas.

I'm amazed that people are still here beating away on this topic. It's enough to make a person, as someone else expressed in another thread, pack it in for this place.

Guy was a either a serial goon or a very dangerous person who on that day finally snapped. At 6 feet 6 inches and close to 300 pounds he attacked a police officer doing society's dirty work. And yet the case was pounced upon by media because there was a protest response and the news media took that to mean where there was smoke there must also be fire. But it was all just smoke and mirrors. This country is fucked up. People are fucked up. Michael Brown was fucked up. His lying POS friend is fucked up.

The people who projected what has been a national disgrace for decades, that is the killing by police, warranted only by their own self-determined policies, of citizens who should not have been killed ONTO THIS ROTTEN STINKING example of a case where an officer killed an unarmed black teenager were just plain stupid. And everyone who doesn't have that nugget of judgment, discernment, fairness, societal responsibility, required apparently to know what's right from wrong in this case is as much a part of the problem as any other part of the problem. Shame is ON, people. That cop could have been protecting you or yours.

What some people don't seem to give a shit about, unfortunately, is that there is a truly vast swath of the American public, white America, who looks at this case, the convenience store video, the IGNORANCE and violence of the response and the aftermath, and they are turned OFF. Everything they fear and everything they think about blacks, Liberals, the news media, etc. has been given a giant booster shot that Fox News or the KKK couldn't have dreamed up in their wildest fantasies.

I don't know if many of you've heard this... but most of America look at the police as protection FROM the Michael Browns of this country ANYWAY. And NOW more than ever. Thank you for that, Ferguson! But people do need protection from the Michael Browns of this country. Everybody with a good job and a nice house does. Every affluent community not based in some liberal stronghold of the country does. And on down the economic ladder to the less well off, the struggling middle class and the working class who live in closer proximity to high crime areas. The police represent some measure of physical security for most everyone in this country, their loved ones, and their property.

So that a guy 6 foot 6 inches tall and 300 pounds can't just come along and decide he's going to take your shit because he's too big and too bad for you to do anything about it.

In this particular case, on this very message board, you have multiple progressive left leaning liberal Democrats... whatever... who have expressed their traditional distaste and suspicions of the police and specifically on this subject matter in general... but who have been over the months giving a hard thumbs down to this case in Ferguson. That's people who want to fix this country and fix the how and whys of when law enforcement uses deadly violence so that this number of people killed, which is going to always skew to minorities, goes way way down.

All of those people like me and I won't even name the others here... would be allies and would be behind this case... if the details of the case itself were different.

We keep having these moments hand delivered to us by the news media that set race relations back 50 years. So many of that vast swath of America could be and would be on board with the outrage if this case was like SO many other outrageous examples and then you would have real change. But that possibility has been squandered. For decades. These protests are going nowhere. They will fizzle eventually or end in some well deserved beat downs. Because the police are now really pissed and the taxpayers who employ the police are looking at each other with raised eyebrows and a mutually agreed upon resolve that NO... sorry folks.... some things are NOT going to change.


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PostPosted: 12/24/14 11:23 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
benighted wrote:
I really disagree. First, this is not how grand juries work. Prosecutors don't dump all of the evidence in front of them and let them decide. 99% plus percent of the time, prosecutors present cases only when they want to indict and they pretty much never approach cases this way. Besides, unlike prosecutors, grand juries aren't trained in separating the wheat from the chaff, and so it's not their job at all. As I said above, he did it this way because he counted on them being unable to indict. In fact, as it turns out, the grand jury was given an incorrect explanation of the law, based on a Missouri statute that was overturned by the courts years ago. Conveniently, that wrong explanation supported not indicting Wilson.

Second, putting her in front of the grand jury actually was what was irresponsible. If her story broke down during the grand jury testimony, it would have broken down beforehand if she'd been interviewed properly. If the investigators were "skeptical," then they needed to dig deeper, and as the Smoking Gun story makes clear, her story involved some physical impossibilities that the investigators could have figured out if they'd tried. It makes no difference if she had been telling the whole world she was there - it's a dereliction of duty not to properly vet witnesses before you present them to the grand jury, one that's just as bad as putting on a witness you know is lying.


I can't tell whether you have any practical experience in criminal procedure, but it's obvious you're scattering all sorts of unsupported "facts" and opinions on different subjects simply to trash the indictment.

Juries aren't trained to separate evidentiary wheat from chaff? Come on!!! Juries of peers, both grand and petit juries, have been the vehicle for evaluating evidence in the Anglo-American legal system for 1000 years. They are the judges of fact. Prosecutors are politicians. (BTW, I've never seen a course in "evaluating evidence" in any of the four law schools I've been affiliated with.)

I suggest that in any "normal" case there never would have been any grand jury proceeding at all--because the totality of all the collective evidence of any crime by the policeman was extremely thin, as we can now plainly see in retrospect. The jury had an easy time confirming this. McCulloch proceeded to a grand jury only because of the tsunami of public riots, anti-police media frenzy, the racial turmoil, and even political pressure from his own governor to "try" the policeman even before any evidence had been collected, the racially charged statements of Eric Holder, and the unprecedented army of a reported 50 FBI agents.

Oh, I get it, this Ben Hur cast of federal, state and local law enforcement experts, detectives and prosecuting attornies were all engaged in "dereliction of duty" to "vet witnesses properly" over a period of months. I confess I can't argue against such "facts".

Once the decision was made to have a grand jury hearing at all, it made perfect sense in this racially charged media circus for the in-court prosecutors, which did not include McCulloch, to present all evidence. Such prosecutors, as ethical officers of the court, can challenge weak testimony by examination and commentary.

Do I think the prosecutors believed early on that Officer Wilson committed no crime? Yes, for lack of probable cause evidence. They then had two choices: (1) not to bring the matter before a grand jury and dismiss the charges; (2) to put everything before a grand jury. Option 2 was legally smart and politically wise. The grand jury would either (a) agree with the prosecutors that there was no probable cause, or (b) find probable cause for trial, in which event Wilson undoubtedly would ultimately have been acquitted.


I'm going to start with the last paragraph. If they believed there was no probable cause, then the right thing to do was say so and not go to the grand jury. (By the way, there were never any charges to dismiss - he was never arrested.) The only reason to go the grand jury if McColluch thought there was no probable cause was, in fact, political, which is what I've been saying all along. He didn't want to take the heat for not indicting Wilson, so he used the grand jury for that purpose. It was never, ever about finding the truth. If he'd wanted an indictment, he'd have gone about it completely differently (and he would have ensured that the grand jury was told the correct legal standard, too, not one that had been overturned years ago). (And, really, to think that the "in-court prosecutors" weren't fully directed by McColluch on how to handle this case is pretty unrealistic.)

There is, by the way, a course in evaluating evidence in law schools. Most everybody who has any interest in litigation takes it. It's called, unsurprisingly, "Evidence." There's a huge body of law on the question of what makes evidence credible and not credible, and about what evidence can be used in a trial. The specific reason all of that law exists is because of concerns that juries can be swayed by evidence that is not trustworthy or that makes them like or dislike a party in case for irrelevant reasons because they don't know how to judge some things. A lot of evidence never makes it to the jury because, in fact, they are not trained in separating the wheat from the chaff. And history demonstrates that if you give juries too much information, they can get overloaded and give you bad results. (For instance, there's good reason to think something like that happened in the O.J. Simpson trial.)

And I will note for about the tenth time that I am not saying the grand jury should have indicted Wilson. While I'm convinced that Wilson's behavior was the root cause of Brown's death, that's different from saying he bears legal responsibility, and I know that I don't have enough information to make that judgment. Rather, I'm saying that the game was rigged by the prosecution, so there was no chance he would be indicted, which is a much different thing.




Last edited by beknighted on 12/25/14 10:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
TonyL222



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PostPosted: 12/25/14 8:47 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:

Based on this account, my "belief" is simply that, however weak McElroy's story seemed initially to investigators and prosecutors, it became even weaker yet under oath during the grand jury proceeding. So, the decision to put McElroy before the grand jury not only did no harm, but helped bring out the actual truth. She was a largely a phony witness whom the jury could safely ignore.


As I said, all any of us here have are third hand media accounts and the released GJ info. TMZ, while sensational (that's why it exists) is usually a reliable source and to date no one has refuted its story - but you for no apparent reason other than it doesn't fit with your narrative. What it does is point out is that her story would have immediately been seen as "preposterous" by even a rookie investigator.

My "reason" tells me that McElroy would have had to explain to FBI investigators right away WHY she was even an area she had no reasons to be in and her story would have fallen apart right away. I'm also sure the investigators were aware of the uninformed and biased FB post well before the GJ. The DA, FBI and police investigators would all have to be incompetent to not know her story was fabricated before her GJ testimony. THAT's what I believe and why.

jammer I just don't believe that even a guy 6'6" and 300lbs is dumb enough to charge like a bull at someone with a gun who has already shot him once. You start to run, you keep on running. Instead he stops, turns, makes some dramatic notorious gansta statement and charges and armed policeman. Yeah, right. Of course there were witnesses who saw this. No wait, that was McElroy.

I'm neither "left leaning" nor have a distaste for the police. My brother-in-law was the police chief in Riverdale, GA, and my fraternity brother is an officer in Denver. Both of them need to shoot to kill when threatened or the public is threatened. But by your on words, the police have a special responsibility in deciding when yo use force to make an arrest and when to use deadly violence. $35 worth of cigars in Ferguson and $2 cigarettes in NYC just don't rise to that level for me.


GlennMacGrady



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PostPosted: 01/01/15 3:39 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

beknighted wrote:

The only reason to go the grand jury if McColluch thought there was no probable cause was, in fact, political, which is what I've been saying all along. He didn't want to take the heat for not indicting Wilson, so he used the grand jury for that purpose.


I agree completely with this, and that's what I said. It was not politically possible for McCulloch simply to drop the the case and bring no charges. His career would have been killed. Literally his life and those of his family could even have been in danger from the crazed rioters and racial pot stirrers. He was smart to use the grand jury to make the decision.


beknighted wrote:
It was never, ever about finding the truth.


Well, I can't agree with this because it contradicts the previous point. The "truth" is a matter of judgment. I believe the prosecutorial team was early of the judgment that Officer Wilson was guilty of no crime. Call that the truth of the situation if you like. By presenting all the evidence to the grand jury -- instead of just the incriminating evidence as prosecutors usually do -- the prosecutors gambled that the jurors would reach the same judgment (= truth) that they had privately reached. And that's what happened. Legal truth prevailed with minimal political heat on the prosecutors and legal system.

I simply don't agree that law students learn how to evaluate the substantive truth of admissible evidence. They do learn lots of fuzzy rules about admissibility, which have even fuzzier exceptions, but none of those rules apply to a grand jury proceeding. The prosecutors can introduce whatever they want and, as far as I know, can say what they want. No judge or other lawyer is even present, and the whole process is secret.

You fully well know that common folk jurors are the judges of fact in our system of jurisprudence. Not lawyers. Not judges (except in bench trials). What's true or not is simply a matter of human experience and common sense as adjudged by common people. The butcher, baker and candlestick maker have as many of these qualities as any lawyer.
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PostPosted: 03/15/17 7:54 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

According to the cop who shot him, Michael Brown never reached for the gun

http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/national/us-district-court-document-including-officer-darren-wilsons-list-of-admissions/2371/




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PostPosted: 03/15/17 9:41 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

You know, I'm all for equal civil rights and everything but there has to be SOMEBODY better out there to get behind than Michael Brown.

For the life of me I don't get why some of you feel this deep connection to this guy. You've already chosen which side you want to win regardless of the evidence and the decision. It's puzzling the people some of you choose to defend (and the things you get bent out of shape over).

Somewhere out there is a man more deserving of this level of attention.


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