Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson is neither Mark Fuhrman nor Barney Fife. Based on what has been presented so far in the media, not even an O.J. Simpson juror would find Wilson guilty of murder.
Many simply have chosen to believe that teenager Michael Brown was "executed" or "shot several times in the back" -- the evidence can wait. Witnesses who definitively assert that officer Wilson "shot him in the back" have been contradicted by the Brown family's own medical expert, respected pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, who conceded the wounds could be consistent with Brown charging toward Wilson, not running away.
Baden, asked by the family to provide an independent autopsy, saw several bullet wounds; all but one clearly came from the front. This is important because it refutes the contention that Brown was shot several times in the back, as stated by witnesses.
Was Brown running away, "executed" by being "gunned down in the back"? At least two witnesses, so far, claim that, no, Brown charged toward officer Wilson, a version consistent with Wilson's apparent description of what happened.
Did officer Wilson stop Brown because he thought Brown was a suspect in a robbery? The Ferguson police chief, in a press conference, said that Brown was stopped because he was walking in the middle of the street. The chief, however, later told the media that at some point officer Wilson apparently saw Brown carrying cigars and "made the connection" to the report of a robbery that Wilson heard about minutes earlier on his radio.
Talk about a reasonable doubt case.
If it's true that the 6-foot-4-inch, nearly 300-pound Brown struggled with the officer in the squad car, and if it is true that after breaking free Brown turned around and came back at Wilson, the officer had every reason to fear for his safety and for the safety of others. After all, there had been a struggle in the police vehicle over the officer's gun, during which at least one shot was fired, although witnesses contradict each other or have given different versions about the initial contact in the vehicle.
In any case, three investigations -- one by the FBI -- guarantee the case will be thoroughly examined, not "swept under the rug" as some "activists" predicted.
In his novel "Bonfire of the Vanities," Tom Wolfe writes about the media pursuit for "The Great White Defendant." This is a man, accused of wrongdoing, whom the media, "activists" and especially those who just love watching The Man squirm and "get what's coming to him," can all agree to hate.
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