Imagine you’re a police officer, and you see two men walking in the middle of the road. One of them curses at you when you ask him to use the sidewalk, and you notice that he fits the description of a strong-arm robbery suspect.
You attempt to open the door of your patrol vehicle, but the man closes it, curses again, and then begins punching you through the window. He outweighs you by over eighty pounds.
Not having a Taser, you draw your service pistol and tell the suspect to stop or you'll shoot. He responds by grabbing your weapon and trying to point it towards you. During the struggle, you attempt to fire it twice, failing both times. Your third attempt is successful, but instead of giving up or running away, he escalates his attack. You fire again, and this time he flees.
You radio for back up and pursue him on foot. Eventually, he turns around and charges at you, right hand in his waistband. You yell a warning but shoot when he ignores it. Multiple rounds are fired, and you can see some of them hit, but he doesn't stop; you keep shooting. When he's eight to ten feet away, a round goes through his head and he finally drops.
According to officer Darren Wilson, that's what happened when he came across Michael Brown in 2014. To most people, the Ferguson shooting was a case of justifiable homicide. To Sen. Elizabeth Warren?
It was murder.
Sen. Kamala Harris has a similar opinion:
Where's the evidence that Brown was murdered? Well, it's not in any of the three autopsies that were conducted after his death: none supported media claims that he had been shot in the back with his hands up or killed on his knees execution style. What they did support was Wilson's narrative.
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Brown had material in a wound on his thumb “consistent with products that are discharged from the barrel of a firearm.” His DNA was also found on the officer's weapon. Both suggest that he was struggling for Wilson's gun when it went off. One of the wounds to Brown's head appeared to have been sustained when he was either falling forward or in a charging position. What's more, two eye-witnesses (both African American) corroborated what Wilson said, despite facing threats of violence for doing so. Given this, it's not hard to see why the Obama Justice Department concluded that "the evidence does not support an indictment of Darren Wilson."
In other words, the claim that Michael Brown was murdered is a lie. Unfortunately, many have suffered because of it.
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A couple things happened after Brown's death. One is that Darren Wilson was forced into hiding. Another is that murder rates went up, and the reason is clear.
A 2017 Pew Research poll found that seventy-two percent of law enforcement officers believed their colleagues have become less likely to stop and question suspicious individuals. Put simply, officers backed off out of fear they would be vilified in the event of a shooting. Dubbed “the Ferguson Effect,” this phenomenon had deadly consequences.
A significant number of those arrested for homicide are either on probation or parole; with a less proactive police force, more of them remained armed and on the street. That's evident from the way murders spiked in cities that saw anti-police protests. While this endangers society at large, African Americans faced the biggest risk: despite comprising just thirteen percent of America’s population, blacks make up around half its homicide victims.
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Then there's the damage to race relations. In 2014, Iraq veteran Ralph Weems and a friend were warned that a local Waffle House "wasn't safe for whites" because some of the customers were upset about the Ferguson shootings. The pair went to another restaurant but were followed by a gang of twenty people who brutally beat Weems and left him with brain damage.
Later in the year, NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were murdered. The killer put up an Instagram post that listed revenge for Michael Brown as one of the reasons for his crime.
Not that any of this matters to Warren or Harris, of course. They'll keep trying to advance their careers with racially charged lies. And if innocent people are hurt as a result?
That's not their concern.
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