Practicing the Art of Self Defense – From the Media

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The Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases are much in the news these days. The Martin case because media outlets, “community organizers,” and other assorted rabble rousers and race hustlers see an opportunity to stir the political pot, poke political enemies in the eye, and above all, make money by trading on its notoriety in comparison to the Brown case. We are treated to specious comparisons of the Trayvon Martin case to the Michael Brown case, and never-ending misleading descriptions of Michael Brown as an “unarmed teenager.” There are, in fact, a few useful comparisons . . .

and some worthwhile lessons to be learned, but not if one listens to most of the media, a media far more interested in fulfilling the elements of a chosen, politically charged narrative than in telling the truth or actually educating the public.

My first article on the Trayvon Martin case on March 26, 2012 spawned a large response and larger archive. My first article on the Brown case, on August 17, 2014 will almost certainly not be the cornerstone of such a large archive, but will hopefully be as instructive and useful to anyone interested in the law, the facts, and self-defense. Anyone relying on the media for accurate information, or anything even resembling the truth, will likely find himself in jail, or even dead.

In the Martin and Brown cases, the media have labored mightily to portray both Martin and Brown as near-children. An iconic photograph of a cherubic, 12-year-old Martin helped in that misleading portrayal. And the media avoided like the plague the many contemporary photos of Martin portraying himself as a thug. By the time George Zimmerman actually went to trial, Martin was being portrayed as a near-fetus by the prosecution and the media.

Such blatant media misdirection has been more difficult in the Brown case, particularly since no photos have surfaced depicting Brown as anything resembling an angelic infant. Instead, we have the convenience store footage of a huge, hulking Brown (he was 6’4” and nearly 300 pounds) manhandling a diminutive clerk as he robbed the store minutes before he was shot by Ferguson PD officer Darren Wilson. Instead, Brown has been called a “teenager,” an “18 year-old child,” and an “18 year-old teenager.” He has more consistently been called, “unarmed.” While technically accurate, it is very misleading in the context of Brown’s robbery and apparent attack on Officer Wilson. An attack that led to Brown’s death.

For readers of The Truth About Guns, perhaps the most obvious reason either of these cases is of interest is the self-defense angle, an angle being overlooked–or ridiculed–by the media. There is no question in the Martin case that Zimmerman acted in self-defense under Florida law. The physical and testimonial and expert evidence supported that conclusion, and the prosecution actually proved it at trial, a trial that should never have happened.

The Brown case is still under investigation. The public knows relatively little about it, but what is known suggests that Wilson acted lawfully under Missouri law. What is less well known is that even though Brown was not carrying a weapon when shot by Wilson, the law doesn’t require it. Unarmed assailants often commit murders: fists and elbows, knees and feet are more than sufficiently deadly, as Katie Pavlich at Townhall.com notes.  Even though the media seems unaware of this — or chooses to ignore it in favor of a preferred narrative — the law, fortunately, tends to recognize reality.

Let’s examine the law as it applies to this case. A more detailed account of the legal issues, and links to the applicable statutes, are available here. But before delving too deeply into the law, understand that in the use of deadly force, police officers and citizens are essentially the same; the law applies equally to both and the foundational requirements for the use of deadly force are generally the same. The primary difference is that police officers, by the very nature of their jobs, are often required to engage in confrontations that citizens could choose to avoid or flee, something the law generally recognizes. This may–or may not–mean that prosecutors might afford police officers more of a benefit of the doubt than citizens.

Any citizen should understand that when attacked by an apparently “unarmed” stranger–a criminal by the very nature of the attack–they are in a life and death struggle. The mere fact of the attack clearly argues that no one is engaging in a sporting contest with rules designed to prevent real injury. Citizens cannot be expected to read the minds of those attacking them as stunning, damaging blows are landed to their face and head to determine that they will stop short of causing serious, debilitating damage, or even of death if they are given what they want–whatever that is. A criminal attacker may want to seriously injure or kill their victim, nothing more.

It is this lack of an aggressive mindset on the part of most people that allows criminals to not only attack, but to win. Consider George Zimmerman, sucker punched, stunned, his nose broken and bleeding, flat on his back on the ground, Trayvon Martin astride him, raining blows on his head and face and smashing his head repeatedly into a concrete sidewalk. Was Zimmerman required to assume that Martin intended him no real harm? How could Zimmerman know what damage the next blow would do, or the blow after that? How could Zimmerman know that he would survive the attack, even if Martin promised not to kill him (he didn’t)? People die–or are left crippled or disabled–from single blows.

The calculation changes somewhat when the person being attacked is a uniformed police officer. Police officers know that in any fight in which they are involved, there is always a gun–and other weapons–present. Anyone attacking a police officer is inherently dangerous, and has demonstrated their contempt for the law and public safety. Any officer must assume that anyone attacking them intends to kill them, particularly if that person tries to get their handgun. Even more, they have a duty to arrest anyone committing crimes, particularly the felonies involved in an attack on a police officer. If a criminal is willing to attack a cop, what would they do to the next citizen they meet?

There is no question that Michael Brown, a few minutes before attacking Officer Wilson, committed a strong armed robbery: under Missouri statute 569.030, Robbery in the Second Degree, a felony. Because he was 18, Brown would surely have been charged as an adult. There is also no doubt that Brown was under the influence of marijuana, though the exact concentration of the drug in his blood is currently unknown. That is a violation of Missouri statute 1195.202, Possession or control of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor.

The property Brown stole arguably adds another charge:195.233, Unlawful use of drug paraphernalia. Brown stole about $50.00 worth of cheap cigars, commonly used to make “blunts.” The cigars are hollowed out, filled with marijuana, and smoked.

When Wilson first saw Brown and Dorian Johnson, he would probably have been unaware of the drug offenses–though Brown was carrying a handful of loose cigars–and apparently the robbery, but they were walking in the middle of the street. This implicates 300.390, When pedestrian shall yield and 300.405, Pedestrians walking along roadways. Both are misdemeanors, but even if Wilson knew nothing of Brown’s robbery, or had no other suspicions of potential wrong doing, he had probable cause to stop, speak with, and cite or arrest Brown and Johnson. Wilson was, in other words, acting entirely within his authority, and in the use of self-defense was not an aggressor of any kind.

Wilson likely would have intended to do nothing more than identify Brown and Johnson, and probably warn them to get out of the roadway. At best, he might have issued them citations. Everything that happened from that point was at the initiative of Brown and Johnson; they were the aggressors.

If at some time during the encounter, Wilson became aware that Brown and Johnson were suspects in a nearby robbery, his duty to apprehend them, and his justification for the use of force in arresting two robbers, would have been obvious, however, let us assume that Wilson was not aware of this.

The best current information indicates that when Wilson tried to speak with Brown and Johnson, they attacked him, pushed him back into his vehicle, and certainly Brown–and possibly Johnson–beat him apparently fracturing the orbit of at least one eye, inflicting other injuries to Wilson’s head and face, and did their best to get his handgun. At least one shot–and possibly two–were fired inside the vehicle, which apparently caused Brown and Johnson to temporarily flee, as Wilson was able to retain possession of his handgun. Brown may have been shot in the hand during this struggle, which may have caused him to flee, but this is not currently known with certainty.

At this point, Brown and Johnson were guilty of 565.081 Assault of a law enforcement officer. This is a felony punishable by up to life in prison. Arguably, Brown and Johnson had also committed attempted murder (565.020/021) which can be inferred from their assault of Wilson and their attempt to take his handgun, as well as its discharge in the police vehicle during the struggle for control of the handgun.

At this point, Wilson was injured, but still functional, and acting as any competent police officer would, did his best to stop Brown and Johnson, ordering them to stop. Again, the best evidence suggests Brown did stop not far away, and facing Wilson’s drawn handgun, taunted him and charged him, causing Wilson to shoot him multiple times in rapid succession until Brown was finally, actually stopped. There is every reason to believe that if Brown complied with Wilson’s orders, he would have been handcuffed and would be alive today. The fact that Johnson remained uninjured supports this. But faced with an unprovoked charge by a 6’4,” 300 pound man that had already inflicted substantial injuries on him, and that had tried to take his handgun, Wilson had every reason to believe he could not survive a second attack, and every reason to believe the only option open to him to stop Brown and to protect his life was to shoot.

Two important elements of the use of deadly force are in play here: proportionality (disparity of force) and who was the “initial aggressor.” In Missouri, an initial aggressor is the person who started the assault, and who is pressing it (563-031). However, the conduct of police officers in using force is under 563.046, which takes note of their unique role. An officer may use force, including deadly force, in making a lawful arrest. In the Brown case, Wilson had more than enough probable cause to make an arrest of Brown for multiple felonies. The statute reads, in part:

3.A law enforcement officer in effecting an arrest or in preventing an escape from custody is justified in using deadly force only

(1) When such is authorized under other sections of this chapter; or

(2) When he reasonably believes that such use of deadly force is immediately necessary to effect the arrest and also reasonably

believes that the person to be arrested

(a) Has committed or attempted to commit a felony; or

(b) Is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon; or

(c) May otherwise endanger life or inflict serious physical injury unless arrested without delay.

The issue of who is the “initial aggressor,” which would apply in any encounter between citizens, is not in play here. Wilson was acting lawfully in his role as a police officer. Brown had committed multiple felonies even if Wilson were not aware of his robbery. Wilson was entirely justified in stopping Brown’s escape–it was his duty–and when Brown stopped, turned, refused to obey his commands, taunted and charged him, Wilson reasonably believed he had no choice but to use deadly force because Brown had twice demonstrated his intention to “endanger life or inflict serious physical injury unless arrested without delay.”

Remember, Brown knew he committed a robbery, even if Wilson did not. He knew he had just attacked, and potentially tried to kill, a police officer. He knew Wilson was holding a gun on him, yet chose to charge him. Would any reasonable police officer believe Brown did not intend to cause him serious bodily injury or death? This is proportionality: was deadly force necessary–at the time and place and under the circumstances Wilson used it–to achieve his lawful purpose as a police officer, or once Brown began to charge him, could he reasonably have arrested Brown with the application of lesser force? Did Wilson have the time, distance, and could he muster sufficient force to overcome a much bigger and demonstrably violent Brown–and possibly Johnson–in the time available?

Notice that Missouri statutes do not require that Brown–or anyone–be armed with any weapon before deadly force may be used against them. This is true with most states. The law rightly acknowledges that serious bodily injury or death may be inflicted without weapons. It is the demonstrated intentions and the actions of an “initial aggressor,” not the weapon they hold that matter. Of course, someone holding a firearm and threatening to kill someone is arguably more imminently dangerous than someone making the same threat with no weapon, unless of course, there is a clear disparity of force.

Someone of Brown’s size is clearly capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death on anyone smaller, including the convenience store clerk and Officer Wilson. Most men have such a size, weight and strength advantage over most women, that weapons are essentially a non-issue. A man larger than his attacker, repeatedly struck and unable to defend himself, is surely on the wrong side of the disparity of force equation.

In continuing to portray Brown as “unarmed,” the media are doing a great disservice to the rule of law and to public safety. Far too few understand anything about the use of deadly force under the law. Perpetuating the idea that merely because someone was not carrying a weapon when killed in self-defense, they must have been wrongfully killed goes beyond reportorial laziness into outright deception in the furtherance of a false, racially charged (in this case and the Martin case) narrative.

The consequences of this kind of deception are already obvious in the ravaging of Ferguson businesses, and in the threats of “activists” in Ferguson and the surrounding area that are demanding that the very businesses they have looted, burned and otherwise destroyed reopen and employ them, or there will be even more violent consequences. Continuing demonstrations and riots quickly deplete even the most solvent public treasury. But most dangerously, this kind of irresponsible media coverage will surely result in even worse violence should Officer Wilson be found to have acted lawfully, as what is currently known appears to be the inevitable outcome. “Social justice” acknowledges no law and ignores reason. Its demands are political and racial, and the media plays to those destructive forces, not the currents of law, order and domestic tranquility and genuine racial reconciliation.

As for the “average” citizen forced to defend their life or the lives of those they love, self-defense is made more difficult, and far, far more expensive, in every imaginable way. Learning the way of the firearm, understanding the law, and practicing good tactics and responsible firearm ownership to avoid, to the greatest extent possible, ever having to use deadly force, is no longer enough. We must also prepare to defend ourselves against all of the resources of the media, even the media that tries to be fair, but lacks knowledge of the law and reflexively reverts to narrative-driven rhetoric.

Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.

comments

  1. avatar Gregolas says:

    Well written and excellent coverage of the relevant facts and law, Mike.
    Thank you.

    1. avatar publius2 says:

      +1. This is an excellent primer and milestone on Ferguson, coinidentally illustrating the nature of mainstream media, in the example of the New York Times, basically ‘phoning it in’ from Chicago and New York, 4 days ago, essentially fanning the flames of racial tension by giving credence to far away, un-vetted and sympathetic black witnesses, and a statement from the Brown family lawyer, grandstanding in advance of the grand jury report, here;

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/18/us/ferguson-case-officer-is-said-to-cite-struggle.html?_r=0

      in contrast with WAPO reporting apparently on leaks in advance of grand jury report, citing official results of coroner report,
      and other black witnesses testimony, favorable to the officers account, here:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/new-evidence-supports-officers-account-of-shooting-in-ferguson/2014/10/22/cf38c7b4-5964-11e4-bd61-346aee66ba29_story.html

    2. avatar doesky2 says:

      I want Officer Wilson in jail and I don’t care if Officer Wilson is 100% innocent.
      That’s because even if he is innocent in this case he is still guilty of being an integral part of an out-of-control fascist organization. Kinda like the understanding that there were no innocent Nazis.

      And that attitude is coming from a 50+ YO financially comfortable white guy (but not fat….yet). The policemen on this site can look in the mirror or certainly to their co-workers as to the reason why I made this 180 degree change in feelings towards cops in the past 10 years.

      1. avatar Excedrine says:

        Then, I guess you’re not a fan of substantive due process?

        1. avatar doesky2 says:

          Cops deserve the kind of due process like most SS members deserved.

      2. avatar KB Dave says:

        Wait, what? You want him in jail because he’s a white cop?

        1. avatar doesky2 says:

          Skin color has nothing to do with it. I want him in jail because he’s a cop. White cops, black cops, brown cops…they all deserve a stay in the clink.

      3. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “I want Officer Wilson in jail and I don’t care if Officer Wilson is 100% innocent.”

        Holy crap.

        The frightening thing is you actually believe that.

        Yikes.

      4. avatar meandmealone says:

        I’m not a cop. And if you are a consistent visitor to this site you’ll know that most of us in this comment section will generally give cops the benefit of the doubt, but aren’t afraid at all to excoriate them when they screw up. So there’s no need for anyone here to look in the mirror for the truth.
        Also, someone such as yourself with such an obvious deep-seated hatred for the police, who would really want to see an innocent man railroaded by our justice system has harbored this angst for a lot longer than ten years.

        1. avatar doesky2 says:

          ….has harbored this angst for a lot longer than ten years.

          Nope. For the vast majority of my life I swallowed the stories from police hook, line, and sinker. My turnaround started with explosion of YouTube in the mid 2000’s that shows an endless stream of cellphone/security videos of the abuse by cops. Kinda hard to ignore your eyes. A couple years ago I happened to notice that a frequent discussion topic at our church suppers are folks discussing the latest cop abuse caught on video. You know, as a law-and-order profession, when you loose the Southern church supper demographic of the United States, you might want to ask yourself if you’re on the right track.

        2. avatar Robert W. says:

          @doesky2

          This “explosion” of YouTube videos? Sure, every once in a while you get another report or recording of a cop or security officer abusing whatever power they have, but they aren’t that common of an occurrence. Out of the Quarter MILLION cops in the US, we get a few, a couple dozen maybe, truly abusive and horrible acts by police officers a year; and probably several thousand other, more minor, acts that deserve real repercussions to the officers involved.

          But how small of a minority is that? Less than 0.1% of cops per year that should be arrested themselves, and another 1-2% that should probably be fired? I honestly think that kind of turn around made public would be AMAZING!!!! Get the bad cops off the street, and keep the good cops honest, but railroading a cop for doing his job and getting assaulted in the process is moronic, and so unethical that I wouldn’t think any patriot could harbor such thoughts.

          If officer Wilson murdered this guy, do what you want with him, but anything short of due process, fair trial, and reasonable punishment is unacceptable. He should not be protected by an Iron Curtain of unions, or some blanket pass for just wearing the uniform, but he should not be persecuted simply for being a police officer either.

        3. avatar doesky2 says:

          @RobertW….Well that was a reasoned reply but the cops already lost me. It will take a lot to get me turned around again and that’s the problem when you ruin the public trust. The problem isn’t just the worst of the cops but also the 80+% that keep quiet about the bad cops. To me that makes the whole barrel rotten. They may turn it around but it almost certainly won’t be in my lifetime. Even though I said “MAY turn it around” I truly believe the odds are very small.

          At this point the only way I’d truly believe there was a true change is if every police force trimmed their cops by 1-2% for 10 years straight and none of those fired could ever be hired by other PD departments. I have no problem taxpayer wise in replacing that 1-2% every year with new recruits. There is no way that after 50+ years of unions that 10-20% of the force isn’t deadwood or dangerous.

      5. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I’m thinking you should slack off on the ganga, ya think?

      6. avatar jerry says:

        So we can’t be close friends doesky old boy? How sad.

      7. avatar Jim says:

        doesky2, I hope that when someone like Trayvon or Brown are doing their thug thing on your 50 year old not fat yet face and head, that the police responding are those who were fired under your ridiculous plan. In other words, you’re on your own. Your attitude closely mirrors what the Black Panthers are calling for. They want police pulled out of the neighborhoods they feel are predominantly Black, so the community can protect/police itself. Sounds like Community Organizers would be in charge. Third World mini-countries.

  2. avatar JasonM says:

    I think part of the problem with the “unarmed” Brown situation might be Hollywood’s fault. I see movies and TV shows where people get the absolute crap kicked out of them. The beatings look like something that would cause brain damage, skull fractures, concussions, broken ribs, collapsed lungs, and other life threatening injuries. But the guy gets up, wipes a bit of blood from the corner of his mouth (with his teeth perfectly intact), and is fine.
    That might help explain why so many people don’t consider fists and feet lethal (even though they kill more people in the US than rifles–including “assault” rifles–every year).

    1. avatar LC Judas says:

      Two good hits to the face can disfigure you. And all those attempts at characterizing victims who were jumped and stomped is ridiculous.

      Getting stomped is not a thing you walk away from most times, certainly not with all your teeth or facial integrity.

      But, apparently the officer here wasn’t enough man to fight Michael Brown with his hands. That’s the whole idea. If he’s not armed and he’s fighting then he should have disregarded being struck, disoriented and having a significant size disadvantage and simply had a quick fistfight. Maybe taught Mr. Brown that cops are all master boxers and martial artists.

      Wait, the prior paragraph is all fiction. Even though your TV cops have black belts in every flavor of whoop ass (most cops do not) and never get shot while waiting for the bad guy to shoot first (proper etiquette for determining use of deadly force) the real world isn’t so awesome. So…unarmed or not, it’d be a smaller guy catching the worst of this waiting to see what else Brown was planning on doing.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    I am not on Brown’s side in this (or any side, for that matter), but this article is so loaded with factual misstatements and supposition that I hardly know where to begin.

    The “orbital eye socket” damage is apparently a myth. According to leaks from the Grand Jury (which are not all that trustworthy but are at least as trustworthy as this post), Wilson received no such damage. He had a swollen face because he was hit, but no broken bones. Besides, broken bones are irrelevant. Wilson was clearly in a violent physical confrontation with a large man, whether the officer had broken bones or not. Wilson had a right to defend himself.

    The narrative explains why Wilson shot Brown at close range by, or partially inside, Wilson’s cruiser. What remains unexplained is what occurred immediately before Wilson shot Brown away from the cruiser after Brown had disengaged from the fight.

    Wilson cannot assert that he killed Brown because Brown was trying to escape and represented a danger to others. According to the autopsy report, Brown was shot in the front. Based upon that shot placement, Brown had ceased to flee. Brown was either standing still or moving forward. The former indicts the officer. The latter tends to exonerate him.

    Wilson’s best defense would appear to be that Brown was attacking him, or preparing to re-engage. Either may be true and would certainly justify a self-defense shooting.

    The argument that Brown deserved shooting because he had possibly committed a low-level felony (unknown to the officer at the time, according to the Chief of Police), and a couple of meaningless misdemeanors, is specious. Michael Brown used pot? So what. Half of Colorado is using pot right now. Cops don’t get to execute people because they are “bad” or smoked a blunt.

    The bottom line of this case is that we are still probably a month away from seeing the bottom line.

    1. Dear Ralph:

      Thanks for your comment. I’m not taking any side, other than the side of the law, and its application in self-defense. Might I add a bit of clarification?

      I noted that I was providing what I consider the best available information. Surely, we lack a great deal of factual information at the moment. Whether Wilson suffered broken facial bones or not, the moment Brown struck him, he committed a felony, a felony requiring Wilson to arrest him.

      Wilson can make the assertion you mentioned, and the law is on his side if he does, but I suspect the primary justification is Brown’s initial assault, the injuries he inflicted on Wilson, and his halting and charging Wilson.

      I mention marijuana and drug paraphernalia issues because they are, in fact, crimes, are involved in this case, and will have a bearing on the Grand Jury’s decision.

      “Factual misstatements and supposition?” Again, I’ve made clear that I’m working with the best information currently available. Should the inferences I’ve had to make eventually be proved wrong, I’ll certainly correct them and update as required.

      Thanks again.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Mike, I disagree that any of the things you mention will have any effect on the Grand Jury’s decision. It will be made on the basis of the potential destruction of what is left of the city, just as Zimmerman’s was. It should be taken into consideration, it will not be.

  4. avatar CSNick says:

    No! Just us! Free TVs!

    The “community” demanding the looted businesses be re-opened, presumably to allow for fresh looting, is just too funny. And there was a time I laughed at my silly grandfather talking about “the” race war, like it was some inevitability. It’s really sad he turned out to be correct. A literal war is the only thing to maybe put a dent in this entitled ignorance.

    1. avatar Call Security! says:

      Oh really. A race war, you say. Well I’m not sure which way my Mexican bride and I will be pointing our rifles then, whitey. Come down my block spouting that stuff and you will be greeted with more than a smile and handshake. Have a nice day : )

      1. avatar Taylor TX says:

        While I dont think Civil War 2.0 will be a literal race war or racial holy war or whatever you want to call it, Race will play a huge part in it. Just as it does in all facets of American politics, just as it did during the American Civil War.

      2. avatar meandmealone says:

        You missed the point tough guy. Blacks are always threatening to “take it to the white neighborhoods.” He didn’t say anything about attacking you, did he brownie? And he’s right. Have a nice day 🙂

        1. avatar Call Security! says:

          Are they always saying that? Please cite your source. I read a lot about projection on this blog, so maybe that’s where you’re coming from.

          And look, the “whitey” thing was a joke. I am of German-Irish heritage (not particularly brown), after all. All I’m saying is that when I hear people talking about “race wars” I take that seriously. My concern is that if we have one more major terrorist attack or an economic collapse, people like Mr. Race War will be goose-stepping in the street and looking for immigrants, minorities, gays and lefties to beat on (see Golden Dawn for a recent example of this phenomenon). And I assure you I will confront fascists directly. Hence the comment about not knowing which way I’d point my rifle.

          I am sorry if you get frightened when left-wingers talk about taking it to reactionaries, but not all of us will be satisfied with candlelight vigils if the shit goes down. What will you do, try to disarm us? Perhaps you’ll use the same rationalizations Reagan did when he went after Panthers.

        2. avatar CSNick says:

          Never claimed I wanted to disarm them, or attack anyone. Just feel that those who need to seek their “justice” from other innocent parties need to have a ballistic change of heart. If you paid attention to what I posted, I wasn’t glorifying my grandfather’s ignorance towards people of color. I was lamenting that the ignorant of all colors are forcing “the” race war I used to think was impossible.

          Many thanks, the ‘not all of us will be satisfied with candlelight vigils’ comment proved my point in spades. When the ignorant/opportunistic such as yourself come out for justice I’ll be sitting quietly at home with my family as I usually do. I don’t plan on goose stepping in any streets, but you sure seem set on going out to get some “justice.” You have every right to be armed while you loot, and I have every right to core out your chest like all the other animals.

  5. avatar aaronw says:

    Walking incorrectly is a misdemeanor? WTF???

    1. avatar Christian says:

      Obstructing traffic is a crime because it places everyone at risk. Streets are for cars, sidewalks are for pedestrians. If there are no sidewalks pedestrians are to walk on the shoulder of the road and yield to oncoming traffic. I have noted that many urban males enjoy walking in the street, causing cars to swerve around them or come to a stop.

      This is to be discouraged for several reasons.

      (1) Rules of the road are to be respected because they keep everyone safe. We all agree that green is go and red is stop, and we flaunt regulations governing our actions on the road at our (and others) peril. A pedestrian walking where they do not belong could be hit by an inattentive driver, or cause a driver to swerve and hit something else to avoid vehicular homicide.

      (2) Obstructing the roadway could be the precursor to violent crime. You are driving through a bad part of town because you take a wrong turn. Someone blocks your way. Before you can turn around you’re hemmed in, and subsequently dragged from your vehicle.

      Not making it up, this sort of thing actually happens.

      http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-youths-attack-couple-racial-attack-cops-article-1.1490901

      (3) Since your typical law-abiding citizen likely abides by the common sense (and legal) rules of the roadway, violating them is grounds for the police to subject you to further scrutiny.

      E.g. when an officer pulls you over for speeding. They run your plates and your ID to see what (if anything) you are wanted for. They are legally allowed to do so, because you have already violated the law. The same logic applies to fools walking in the street where they do not belong.

      All that to say – yes. Walking incorrectly is a misdemeanor.

  6. avatar Call Security! says:

    “There is also no doubt that Brown was under the influence of marijuana, though the exact concentration of the drug in his blood is currently unknown”

    Ok, I have several issues with this article, but the whole marijuana angle is especially ridiculous. First of all, Wilson probably had no idea Brown was under the influence of MJ when he shot him. Second, cannabis is not known for making people aggressive, unless you still believe the “Reefer Madness” propaganda from the 30s. Brown may have just been a bully, with or without drugs on board. So, unless you’re trying to get white folks all stirred up over a “drug-crazed negro,” your mention of marijuana is irrelevant at best.

    I’ll leave it at that for now. I’m sure other commenters will spot other problems with your analysis.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      False: Marijuana may not make a middle class college student aggressive but there were lots of guys in Vietnam who went into combat under the influence and were capable of a lot of violence. The effect of marijuana on an individual based social context. I assure you that many of the drive bys in the ghetto are done by people under the influence.

      1. avatar libtard says:

        When and with what unit did you serve in Vietnam?

        1. avatar Nick says:

          Because after all, only people who saw it happen can have any knowledge of it. Did you see Nazis throwing Jews into gas chambers during World War Two? I’m willing to bet you didn’t. I’m also willing to bet that you don’t refute the claim that it happened either. Ask for citing or look for it yourself, don’t make some sarcastic remark implying that it’s untrue.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Heck, while you’re at it, exactly where in the US did you ever see a slave? I guess you don’t believe that happened, either, huh? I was right beside the DMZ for 4 months, I’m sure there was weed around, more interesting were the pretty little plastic containers with screw-on lids, which littered the ground simply everywhere, discarded after being relieved of their contents, 95% pure heroin, $5 worth. Would have cost more than a hundred in the US.

          I did my killing from the air, did not have to slog through the jungles. If I had, I would most likely have been stoned. Pretending that was not the case is infantile.

          Note: tens of thousands used high-grade heroin regularly for a year, then went home and led clean, successful lives. All the propaganda was BS, still is.

      2. avatar Call Security! says:

        But under the influence of just marijuana? No alcohol? Come on.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Alcohol was expensive and heavy to pack along.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Paranoia is a known effect of marijuana intoxication.

      The ‘ole ‘They’re all looking at me” thing.

    3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Right.

      I guess all the peer-reviewed literature on the subject is just viewing old movies:

      http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/178/2/116.full

  7. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Uh huh…thugs on drugs. If they had moved the gentle giants body quickly most of this BS could have been avoided. Racism? Sure…but I think more on the other side. Whatever…watch out for jihad in America

  8. avatar Southern Cross says:

    Australian firearm owners have known since the early 1990s the media serves its own agenda, and especially with regards to gun ownership. What the media presented as “fact” was usually at best a distortion and quite often out-and-out lies fuelled by the journalist’s own ignorance.

    By controlling what people see, hear, and read, they can influence how people will think and how people will act. The media is no longer an impartial observer but is now an active participant.

    Thankfully the actions of the media services were so disjointed and uncoordinated the readers and viewers saw through their efforts. The have improved their presentation but we have become better at seeing what they are trying to achieve.

  9. avatar Hannibal says:

    The media has to ignore the idea that an unarmed person can kill because if they acknowledge that it will interfere with their “no one should have guns” narrative… as even if no one had guns, people could still be beaten to death.

  10. avatar Will says:

    A large segment of the citizenery is crying that it is not being treated equally under the law, and rather than evaualting the plea, you argue that it picked the wrong examples. How crass.

    1. avatar Bodiddly says:

      Sorry, that “large segment” picked the example.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      I’ve heard that BS from some of my liberal minded friends (who always seem to live just far enough away from those neighborhoods). Before the evidence comes out it’s a specific injustice. We need justice for Mike! It’s a travesty!

      But then when it’s shown that witnesses lied and the forensics start showing that there wasn’t an injustice it suddenly becomes a system of racism, rather than the incident itself. Really, the incident doesn’t matter, it’s just a symptom of the man keeping us down!

      Except it’s crap. If people want to be respected then they should act like adults. And adults don’t throw a tantrum and then pout over some false narrative.

  11. avatar Taylor TX says:

    Man, just ughhh. Best of luck to everyone in the St Louis area, cause I get the feeling its about to get real ugly.

  12. avatar Ronald Pottol says:

    But the reason for the protests is just what a mess Saint Louis County is, it’s a maze of tiny cities, who make 10-30+% of their revenues from fines. People are really pissed off, it was just a matter of what was going to set it off. The facts don’t matter, and the cops handled this rather badly, and were caught making shit up, people have lost faith, and were waiting for something to set them off. Have a read, and ask yourself just how much you would put up with: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/10/16/why-we-need-to-fix-st-louis/

  13. avatar Garibaldi says:

    I only read about half of this post because quite frankly, none of it matters at all. If the officer is acquitted, the people will riot twice as badly as they did before. They are not going to listen to any “facts”. They will say it is all made up. If people can believe things like the Holocaust never happened, and that we never really went to the Moon, then they will believe that Brown was a sweet innocent gentle giant teen preparing for college and a productive career. That’s what they want to believe, that’s what they will believe.

    And along those lines, I would be very *very* scared to be on the jury for this case. I would fear for my life if I found it necessary to acquit the officer.

  14. LOL, now you are the defender of George Zimmerman. I thought you didn’t want to talk about it?

  15. avatar Allyn says:

    Mike, thanks for your analysis. I think it is becoming clear to even the “Brown supporters” that Wilson will not be charged. We don’t have all of the facts at this point, but we have heard no “leaks” that contradict any part of Officer Wilson’s account. This is a bit surprising, but perhaps also a testament to the officer that his report was complete and accurate despite the stress of the situation, how quickly everything occurred, and the injuries he incurred.

    I expect the grand jury will no-bill the officer about the same time as the first extreme cold spell in the St. Louis area hits. Looters, I mean protesters, don’t like cold rainy weather.

  16. avatar H says:

    Why can’t it be both?

    There are predatory blacks, blacks who cry racism when there isn’t any, and blacks who need to take personal responsibility.

    There are predatory whites and whites who need to take personal responsibility.

    If you are white and haven’t been harassed by the police you may need to remember better.

    Why disregard that white Ferguson residents are saying they know that the police harass little black boys on bicycles?

    Some of the “leaders” who show up to gain their spotlight do fan the flames. Do you see that those who are white who have syndicated shows do the same thing? They both stir up emotion.

    The issue isn’t really this incident. Why not be open to the possibility that that police force has behaved in a less stellar fashion for years, while knowing that some predatory criminal types get shot by police?

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