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Thread: Time to retire Ferguson narrative

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    Time to retire Ferguson narrative

    Time to retire Ferguson narrative

    “Hands up, don’t shoot” never happened. Somebody tell the Democrats running for president.

    Even amid the heated political rhetoric that dominates the news media and social media, resurrected false claims about the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., stand out as egregious.

    On Friday and Saturday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, all running for their party’s nomination for president, tweeted out statements containing disproven claims or false implications about the incident.

    Booker tweeted: “5 years ago, Michael Brown was killed by a police officer ... I have been thinking all day about Mike and his family, and my prayers are with them. I am also thinking about the everyday citizens who stood against this police violence and racism and were tear gassed for their patriotic acts. Ferguson called to the conscience of our nation and inspired a movement that rightly continues.”

    Gillibrand said: “5 years ago, a Ferguson police officer killed Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager. He shot him 6 times. Nothing will bring Michael back, but we can't stop fighting the injustice done to his family and so many others.”

    Ryan wrote: “Five years since the tragic death of Michael Brown and we still have significant work to do. We must rebuild trust between police and the communities they have sworn to protect.”

    DeBlasio said: “Michael Brown should be here today. My city knows the pain of Ferguson all too well ... NO ONE should die due to the color of their skin.”

    O’Rourke tweeted: “Five years ago, Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer. ... We are reminded of an idea as urgent, and as ignored, today as it was when Michael was killed: Black Lives Matter.”

    Sanders wrote: “Michael Brown should be alive today. Five years after his death, we must finally end police violence against people of color.”

    Harris had this take: “Michael Brown’s murder forever changed Ferguson and America. His tragic death sparked a desperately needed conversation and a nationwide movement. We must fight for stronger accountability and racial equity in our justice system.”

    And Warren tweeted: “5 years ago Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael was unarmed yet he was shot 6 times. I stand with activists and organizers who continue the fight for justice for Michael. We must confront systemic racism and police violence head on.”

    I’m not too surprised when I hear friends and members of the public refer to the debunked narratives about the Ferguson shooting. I’ll explain why in a moment. But I was more than a little taken aback to find these presidential candidates — some of them lawyers — passing along divisive, libelous implications.

    To back up for a moment, the shooting happened on Aug. 9, 2014. A Ferguson, Mo., police officer named Darren Wilson shot and killed an 18-year-old unarmed suspect named Michael Brown. Brown was black, Wilson is white. Witnesses claimed that Officer Wilson had shot Brown in cold blood while Brown’s hands were raised in surrender. Though without evidence, those accounts were afforded wide credence in the media. They sparked riots. They ignited a movement called “Hands up, don’t shoot!”

    If ever there were a time for responsible journalists to carefully mitigate uncorroborated and inflammatory claims, this was arguably the moment. At the time, pockets of the nation were a racial tinderbox.

    The problem is, all of the racially tinged accusations against Officer Wilson were likely false, according to the final analysis by President Obama’s Department of Justice. The report, issued in 2015, found that Officer Wilson’s accounts were corroborated. He’d acted in self-defense. Brown, the report said, had reached into the police vehicle and grabbed Officer Wilson by the neck. And Brown appeared to be lunging toward Officer Wilson when Officer Wilson shot him in self-defense.

    The Obama Justice Department investigators concluded that original witness accounts claiming that Brown’s hands were up when he was shot, and other key claims, were “unreliable” and — in many instances — directly contradicted by the forensic evidence, while Officer Wilson’s story was supported by the forensics. “Hands up, don’t shoot,” the Obama Justice Department found, was contrary to reliable accounts — and likely fabricated.

    The findings of this important report got nowhere near the news coverage of the original false claims. There were no apologies to Officer Wilson. His career and life were ruined by the false claims.

    Now, the very candidates regularly accusing President Trump of being a liar and divisive, of making claims “without evidence,” have made their own divisive, false claims. Not only are these claims “without evidence,” they contradict the evidence, according to the Obama Justice Department.

    There are, undeniably, instances of racism and bad policing in our society. Most everyone can get behind the idea of addressing them in a productive way. But to incorrectly forward the notion of the Ferguson shooting as an example of those problems shrouds the search for progress.

    Ferguson, based on the findings of the Obama Justice Department, isn’t an example of bad policing run amok or racism. It’s a tragic case of media malpractice ruining the life of a police officer who was found to have done nothing other than defend himself.

    Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) is an Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist, author of The New York Times best-sellers “The Smear” and “Stonewalled,” and host of Sinclair’s Sunday TV program, “Full Measure.”


    The lying snakes are still perpetuating this lie.
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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Politicians will always be loathe to abandon even the most obvious falsehood as long as it can be used to manipulate people into doing what they want.

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    tWebber firstfloor's Avatar
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    The report is worth a read. These are the actions of someone who has been harassed by the police before, and has had all that he can take. None of that background in the report, I think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firstfloor View Post
    The report is worth a read. These are the actions of someone who has been harassed by the police before, and has had all that he can take. None of that background in the report, I think.
    Nonsense, Michael Brown was a thug that just got done robbing a store and physically assaulting the owner.
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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firstfloor View Post
    The report is worth a read. These are the actions of someone who has been harassed by the police before, and has had all that he can take. None of that background in the report, I think.
    How dare they stop him after he just commited strong arm robbery. What gall.

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    What's that? lilpixieofterror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firstfloor View Post
    The report is worth a read. These are the actions of someone who has been harassed by the police before, and has had all that he can take. None of that background in the report, I think.
    I hear not trying to choke out an officer and steal his gun lessens your chance of being shot by police.
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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firstfloor View Post
    The report is worth a read. These are the actions of someone who has been harassed by the police before, and has had all that he can take. None of that background in the report, I think.
    Brown was a thug who had just robbed a convenient store and assaulted the clerk. Any "harassment" by police in the past was due to his own criminal activities.


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    tWebber firstfloor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    How dare they stop him after he just commited strong arm robbery. What gall.
    I think they stopped him for walking on the carriage way. To those officers, he was not a robbery suspect; he was apparently as innocent as you. If you want to connect the robbery to the killing, you have to know much more about it. Still missing is that and his personal history, particularly regarding interactions with the authorities.
    “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
    “You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” ― Anne Lamott
    “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell

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    Quote Originally Posted by firstfloor View Post
    The report is worth a read. These are the actions of someone who has been harassed by the police before, and has had all that he can take. None of that background in the report, I think.
    And you know this how? The reason he had interactions with the police was because he was a common thug up to no good.
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lilpixieofterror View Post
    I hear not trying to choke out an officer and steal his gun lessens your chance of being shot by police.
    Yes, one should absolutely make a habit of not trying to choke out an officer and steal his gun.
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

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