The shooting of Michael Brown occurred on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, a northern suburb of St. Louis. Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, 28, a white Ferguson police officer, after reportedly robbing a convenience store. The initially disputed circumstances of the shooting sparked existing tensions in the predominantly black city, where protests and civil unrest erupted. The events received considerable attention in the U.S. and elsewhere, attracting protesters from outside the region. They generated a vigorous national debate about the relationship between law enforcement and African Americans, and about police use-of-forcedoctrine in Missouri and nationwide. A St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict Wilson, and he was exonerated of criminal wrongdoing by the United States Department of Justice.
On Wednesday, March 15th, Michael Harriot published an article at The Root meant to correct public misconceptions around what happened. I feel it is important to share this here…
Here is the story of Michael Brown’s murder that we all believed: One sunny day in Ferguson, Mo., a huge behemoth of a man named Michael Brown walked into a convenience store; committed a strong-arm robbery, escaping with the invaluable loot of a pack of cigarillos; and while he was walking home, Darren Wilson, a brave cop responding to the robbery, stopped him.
When Wilson tried to detain Brown, Brown reached for the cop’s gun and the policeman shot him. But Brown wouldn’t quit, and the officer thought that Brown might have a weapon, so Wilson shot a few more times to stop Brown from harming him.
“What happened in Ferguson is that a man committed a robbery, attempted to assault a police officer, and the police officer—to save his life—shot him. The police officer did his duty. The officer should be commended for what he did.” —Rudy Giuliani on Fox News, March 12, 2015
Except none of that happened.
Angela Helm, at that second article, describes what happens:
The new footage shows Brown entering Ferguson Market and Liquor shortly after 1 a.m. on the day he died. He approaches the counter, hands over what looks to be a small bag, and takes a shopping bag filled with cigarillos. Brown is then seen shown walking toward the door with the merchandise, then turning around and handing the cigarillos back across the counter before exiting the store.
Now, admittedly, it still looks like Mike Brown got a tad aggressive with the cashier, and I actually didn’t see him returning the cigarillos. But since robbing a convenience store of cigarillos does not warrant a fucking death sentence, especially without a god damn trial (and it still wouldn’t even if he was charged and found guilty), what happens in this video, and whether or not Mike Brown robbed that convenience store, is not fucking relevant.
Back to Michael Harriot…
After a documentarian released video this past weekend that dispels the myth of the Mike Brown corner-store robbery, more information is emerging about the n-word-using patrolman who was accused of racial discrimination and excessive force even before he pumped at least six bullets into Brown on Aug. 9, 2014, killing him. New court papers reveal that Brown never tried to take the officer’s gun, never struck the officer and did not initiate any contact with Wilson, who was cleared of wrongdoing by a secret grand jury in November 2014.
As part of a civil suit filed last year against Wilson, a court document reveals some stunning admissions from the former Ferguson police officer. In a court docket filed Dec. 28, the cop who killed Brown admitted to using racial slurs, cursing at Brown before he was killed and grabbing him without provocation.
According to the document, Wilson acknowledges that he spotted Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson on Canfield Drive on Aug. 9. He will not admit that they were engaged in any criminal activity other than jaywalking. He pulled his police car over, blocking the path of the teenager and his friend.
The following is a short excerpt of some of what racist pig Darren Wilson admitted too (and denied):
33. During this encounter you reached through the window.
34. During this encounter you grabbed for Michael Brown’s body.
35. During this encounter you grab for Michael Brown’s clothing
36. You eventually grabbed Michael Brown’s forearm
37. You eventually grabbed Michael Brown’s t-shirt
Michael Harriot breaks this down…
Two men are walking down the street. A cop pulls in front of them, blocking their path. Instead of calling for backup or radioing in a traffic stop, he opens his car door and either Brown closes it or it ricochets off of Brown’s body. The officer then chooses to reach through his window and grab the suspect by his arm and body.
The next section of the document contains a stunning admission:
Stunning enough that even I have to pause here before quoting this. It’s not only stunning, but, to me, at least, disturbing…
38. Michael Brown never tried to remove your gun from your holster.
39. The holster you carry is designed to prevent someone from easily pulling your weapon from the holster.
40. You eventually decided to draw your gun from the holster and point it at Michael Brown.
41. Before drawing your weapon, Michael Brown had not displayed any weapon.
Response: Objection on the grounds the term “weapon” is vague. To the extent Michael Brown’s body (including his fists) constitute “weapons,” this is denied.
42. Before drawing your weapon, Michael Brown had not displayed any threatening object.
Response: Objection on the grounds the term “weapon” is vague. To the extent Michael Brown’s body (including his fists) constitute threatening objects, this is denied.
And there it is. Black people are not seen as humans. They are seen as objects, often threatening. This is how Darren Wilson, racist pig that he is, saw fit to murder Michael Brown. Not as if any of my readers need reminding, but this is White Supremacy at work.
Michael Harriot ends his piece like this:
I’m sure this news will comfort the family, friends and loved ones of Brown, who only got 18 years on this earth, while the man who shot him rests comfortably in the free house he bought with the $500,000 in donations he received from supporters, who rewarded him for shooting the teen. While the Brown family still mourns their son, Wilson spends most of his time with his wife, who helped him bag his gun as evidence after he shot Brown, and their brand-new child.
At this point, it’s only racist assholes who are still saying that Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Dontre Hamilton, John Crawford III, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Tanisha Anderson, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Rumain Brisbon, Jerame Reid, Tony Robinson, Phillip White, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Akiel Denkins, Gregory Gunn, Samuel DuBose, Brendon Glenn, Natasha McKenna, Christian Taylor, Laquan McDonald, Yvette Smith, Jamar Clark, Rekia Boyd, Shereese Francis, Ramarley Graham, Manuel Loggins, Jr, Sean Bell, Ronald Madison, Kendra James, Amadou Diallo, LaTanya Haggerty, Margaret Laverne Mitchell, India Kager, Malissa Williams, Tanisha Anderson, Aura Rosser, Miriam Carey, Shella Frey, Darnisha Harris, Alesia Thomas, Shantel Davis, Sharmel Edwards, Aiyana Jones, Keith Lamont Scott, Terence Crutcher, Sylville K Smith, Korryn Gaines, Alva Braziel, Alton Sterling, Philanod Castile, Delrawn Small, and the other hundreds, if not thousands, of black people and other people of color murdered by the racist pigs making up our White Supremacist police force all deserved what they got.
But it’s worth reminding ourselves that no, they didn’t. These people, all never charged with crimes, all victims of racism, never did anything to deserve being murdered by these state-sanctioned racist serial killers.
#BlackLivesMatter is not over. #SayHerName is not over. Until this country rejects White Supremacy in all its forms, everyone needs to constantly be reminded.
This fight is not over.