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Paul Hayden

Irresponsibility in Ferguson

December 15, 2014

Following the announcement of the grand jury's decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the death of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown, the crowd gathered in the streets of Ferguson and went on a shooting, looting, and burning spree. Chanting, yelling, and rioting over a claim that the system failed and justice was not served, the mob started a wave of destruction because they couldn't have their way. The mob wanted to extract their "pound of flesh" from officer Wilson, even if he did nothing worse than try to uphold the law and defend his own life.

Yes, officer Wilson shot Brown, repeatedly, resulting in Brown's death. But as anyone with a modicum of intelligence understands, that isn't the whole story. After a thorough review of all the evidence, a grand jury found that Michael Brown's irresponsible criminal behavior was ultimately the cause of his own death.

Who should really be identified as those who failed young Mr. Brown? The police? Or was it really Brown's parents and community of friends and family?

Who allowed Michael Brown to grow up believing that he could steal, defy a police officer, assault a police officer, flee the scene of his multiple crimes and then, knowing the officer was armed and entitled to defend himself, charge at the police officer, not once, but twice after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds. It is worth noting that officer Wilson evidently did not shoot to kill until the second time Brown charged at him. How do we know that? Because, according to the autopsy findings, the shot that killed Brown was the last shot Wilson fired and death was instantaneous.

Fortunately, the Michael Browns are a minority of a minority. Few eighteen-year-old young men, of any racial composition, would put themselves in harms way as did young Mr. Brown. Why should it be officer Wilson's responsibility to answer for Michael Brown's death when Wilson was simply doing his job, which included defending himself from an enraged criminal?

Where is the soul-searching of Brown's parents, friends, and community leaders who should have been building a culture of respect for others' property and the rule of law, which includes obedience to a reasonable command of a police officer?

Who will hold responsible Brown's family, friends, and community for their failure to instill a fundamental value system in Mr. Brown that would deter him from stealing, disobeying a police officer, assaulting a police officer, fleeing the scene of his crimes, and then, with callous disregard for his own safety, begin an enraged charge directly toward the armed police officer, not once, but twice?

As very clearly and carefully explained by St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch, the grand jury meticulously examined all the evidence that including eyewitness accounts most of which were from other Blacks and then compared all the evidence of witnesses to findings of autopsies and the testimony of officer Wilson. After that thorough review of all the evidence, the grand jury then determined that officer Wilson did nothing that could justify charges being filed against him in the death of Mr. Brown. Reasonable human beings would be satisfied that the judicial system, in the hands of the people using the grand jury process, worked to serve justice in this case.

What possible justifiable basis can there be for anyone to stubbornly refuse to accept the grand jury determination?

Given this background, the actions of US Attorney General Holder in pressing on with his investigation trying to pin civil rights violations on officer Wilson are reprehensible and irresponsible. These actions can only solidify Holder's dismal record and insure his legacy as the most corrupt and disgraced Attorney General in United States history. Perhaps Holder should focus his investigation on the criminal behavior of young Mr. Brown that led to his death. Will Holder's investigation examine the role Brown's parents, friends, and community played in his death?

Is it any wonder that young Michael Brown grew up having no respect for the law when neither his President nor the US Attorney General show any respect for the rule of law?

Michael Brown's behavior that led to his death is testimony to the culture of incivility and illegality that has marked the past six years since Barack Hussein Obama became President. Ignoring laws, amending laws, and creating new law in defiance of Congress and clear constitutional limits on his authority are not the act of a law-abiding President.

It would seem Michael Brown was simply following the examples set by his President and Attorney General Eric Holder by their own disobedience to the rule of law, lack of civility and brazen disrespect for constitutional constraints on their authority.

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Copyright ©2014

Bob Webster is a descendant of Daniel Webster's father and early American patriot, Ebenezer Webster, with a strong interest in history, our Constitution, U.S. politics and law. With objectivist and libertarian roots, he has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion and is a strong believer in our Constitution as written. A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science; he earned a degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech in 1964.

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