It turns out other young men in Missouri have been killed by the police, including by police under the command of Tom Jackson, current police chief in Ferguson.
At some point I assume we're going to see the statement from office Darren Wilson regarding why he thought it necessary to use deadly force against Michael Brown. Early on, I stated here his statement will likely include something like: "Mr. Brown was very big and strong, I was in fear for my safety and life".
In fact, Missouri state law, Chapter 563 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, allows the use of deadly force:
Under this law, a cop is justified in using deadly force “in effecting an arrest or in preventing an escape from custody” if “he reasonably believes” it is necessary in order to “to effect the arrest and also reasonably believes that the person to be arrested has committed or attempted to commit a felony…or may otherwise endanger life or inflict serious physical injury unless arrested without delay.in 2000, in Berkeley, MO, a town near Ferguson, Tom Jackson headed up a St. Louis county drug task force.
Back in 2000, two unarmed young men were shot and killed in a Jack in the Box parking lot in the suburban town of Berkeley adjacent to Ferguson by a pair of officers assigned to a county-wide drug task force where Jackson was deputy commander.Jackson's comments indicated he was certain the officers "were in fear of their lives" and were "in immediate danger".
Early reports suggested that a vehicle occupied by Earl Murray and Ronald Beasley moved toward Officers Robert Piekutowski and Keith Kierzkowski, causing them to fear being pinned against another car.
an investigation of the incident indicated the car was not driven toward the officers when the fatal shots were fired. The cops stuck to their "we were in fear of our lives" story and insisted the car "was a weapon pointed at them". The shooting was ruled justified, there were no criminal indictments of the police shooters.
In 2005, in Lincoln county, MO, another young man named Michael Brown, age 23, and one other young man were killed by a cop using the same feeble "vehicle as threat" reasoning, even though an investigation found the vehicle was only moving 3.5 mph (the driver had left the vehicle in neutral, and it rolled toward the officer).
The officer involved was charged with manslaughter in criminal court, but found not guilty.
Why is it no surprise to me Tom Jackson still has a job in "law enforcement" in Ferguson, right next to a town where two innocent young men were killed by police under his command? Why am I not surprised the two young men in Berkeley were just two of many victims of our failed war on drugs?
It's cases like these, and the hundreds of other similar cases in the past twenty years that make very skeptical there will be a conviction of Mr. Wilson for any crime related to his shooting of Michael Brown.