The Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

For those trying to understand why the grand jury in the Michael Brown case came to the decision not to indict Darren Wilson, this appears to be a very good accounting:

The most credible eyewitnesses to the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., said he had charged toward Police Officer Darren Wilson just before the final, fatal shots, the St. Louis County prosecutor said Monday night as he sought to explain why a grand jury had not found probable cause to indict the officer.

The accounts of several other witnesses from the Ferguson neighborhood where Mr. Brown, 18 and unarmed, met his death on Aug. 9 — including those who said Mr. Brown was trying to surrender — changed over time or were inconsistent with physical evidence, the prosecutor, Robert P. McCulloch, said in a news conference.

[. . .]

The fact that at least nine members of the 12-member panel could not agree to indict the officer indicates that they accepted the narrative of self-defense put forth by Officer Wilson in his voluntary, four hours of testimony before the grand jury. Mr. McCulloch, in his summary of the months of testimony, said it was supported by the most reliable eyewitness accounts — from African-Americans in the vicinity of the shooting — as well as physical evidence and the consistent results of three autopsies.

I should note that this doesn’t change in the slightest any of the conclusions that I have reached in writing in the past about Ferguson, or about the overextension of police power in general. Furthermore, whatever your feelings regarding the grand jury decision in the Ferguson case, the amount of popular mistrust concerning the application of the rule of law presents a serious problem for America.

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