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    Ferguson Tag

    As has been widely anticipated for weeks, the Ferguson MO Grand Jury has DECLINED to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of black adult Michael Brown. This result has not been unexpected, as the overwhelming weight of both the eye witness and forensic evidence has been entirely consistent with Officer Wilson's narrative of self-defense, including:
    • Wilson being attacked by Brown and his accomplice Dorian Johnson in his patrol vehicle
    • a struggle over Wilson's service pistol
    • shots fired inside the vehicle (which forensic examination confirmed caused a contact gun shot wound to Brown's right hand)
    • the temporary flight of Brown upon those initial gunshots
    • the return of the 292 pound Brown re-engage the much smaller officer
    • the firing of additional defensive rounds as necessary to halt Brown's violence
    In contrast, the narratives put forward that might have favored an indictment were serially changed as each was proven inconsistent with the evidence:
    • Brown was shot in the back (there are no gun shot wounds to Brown's back, and contrary to bulk of eye witness testimony)
    • Brown had his hands raised in surrender (inconsistent with forensics and bulk of eye witness testimony)
    • Brown was on his knees when Wilson simply executed him (inconsistent with forensics and bulk of eye witness testimony)

    Today may be the day you and the rioters have been waiting for. The Grand Jury reportedly has reached a decision whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown. But the decision has not yet been announced yet. That is expected to come sometime today. You can follow the Twitter stream at the bottom of the post. We will embed a live video feed when available. The announcement could come at any time.

    We previously highlighted the role of anti-Israel activists in exploiting and fomenting trouble in Ferguson, Missouri as a Grand Jury decision is awaited whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown, Intifada Missouri – Anti-Israel activists may push Ferguson over the edge:
    As much tension as there is, an underreported story is the active role of “pro-Palestinian” activists who have exploited the Ferguson riots and tension this summer and fall to push their anti-Israel agenda. That anti-Israeli agenda, which involves encouraging confrontation with police in solidarity with Palestinians, is helping provide the accelerant to an already volatile situation.... It also has involved a propaganda campaign to blame Israel for the killing of Brown because a former St.Louis County police chief three years ago attended a one-week anti-terrorism program in Israel. Presumably some Ferguson officers also have attended various training sessions routinely given in the U.S. and elsewhere to police departments, but the one-week training in Israel by someone who wasn’t even on the job when Brown was shot was enough for the usual suspects to try to blame Israel for everything that happens in Ferguson.... Israel has nothing to do with whatever did or did not happen in Ferguson. But anti-Israel activists rarely care about the truth, it’s all propaganda for the cause. But this propaganda, and this agitation, actively is pushing for a confrontation between police and protesters in Ferguson, in which people are likely to get hurt. And the activists like Masri will be there to take the viral videos and photos. And that’s the point. Just as Palestinian and supportive Western leftist activists encourage children to throw rocks at Israeli police so they can get the video of the police arresting a child, so too this is all about the photo- and video-ops. And it may push Ferguson over the edge.
    One of the featured activists was Bassem Masri, someone active in the #Palestine2Ferguson movement to portray the Ferguson issues as somehow to be blamed on Israel.

    CNN's Anderson Cooper is reporting that police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson MO on August 9, is purportedly in the final stages of preparing his resignation from the Ferguson police department. Wilson, who has been in hiding for months following threats of violence against himself and his immediate family, has apparently been negotiating terms of resignation with the police department. One key factor reportedly delaying his resignation prior to this point is that he preferred to wait to resign until after the Grand Jury had completed its deliberations, fearing that his resignation would make him appear guilty in their eyes. Wilson had six years of unblemished service on the Ferguson Police Department before, the evidence overwhelmingly suggests, being viciously attacked by Michael Brown and Brown's accomplice Dorian Johnson. After Brown received a contact gun shot wound to the hand while trying to take Wilson's service pistol, Brown fled a short distance before turning to attack the officer again.  It was during this renewed attack that Wilson was compelled to re-engage Brown with gun fire, ending the attack with a fatal gun shot wound to the head. Officer Wilson has maintained throughout the investigation and Grand Jury proceedings that he has done nothing wrong.  Notably, Wilson voluntarily appeared before the Grand Jury and provided over four hours of personal testimony of the events of his fatal encounter with Brown, without legal counsel present.

    There is much speculation around when the Ferguson Grand Jury is likely to finally release their (widely expected) no true bill (non-indictment) of Police Officer Darren Wilson over the shooting death of Mike Brown. A great many people, myself included, have suggested that the authorities responsible for the release of the Grand Jury's findings would be prudent to wait for colder weather to do so, relying on the conventional wisdom that colder temperatures tend to diminish the frequency and intensity of riots and the other violent behavior (looting, arson) exhibited by the Ferguson protestors. Legal Insurrection commenter Another Ed, however, has moved us past mere conventional wisdom on this subject by kindly linking to a scientific paper that studies precisely the correlation between riots and temperature. That paper, "Ambient Temperature and the Occurrence of Collective Violence: A new Analysis," by JM Carlsmith and CA Anderson of Stanford University, was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 1979. It is embedded at the bottom of this post, for those of you who enjoy reading primary research scientific literature. The Carlsmith paper conducted a re-analysis of earlier research, and found that in fact rioting (or, as they more politely refer to it "collective violence," as if it were a workshop of some kind) increases "monotonically" with temperature. The results of their research and analysis?
    We conclude that the likelihood of a riot in a given city increases as the maximum ambient daily temperature in that city increases.
    They helpfully include a graphical representation of their findings:

    The New York Times reports today that the Ferguson Grand Jury sitting to determine whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson over the shooting death of Mike Brown heard testimony from Dr. Michael Baden, the pathologist hired by the Brown family to examine the body. Dr. Baden gave a lengthy press interview immediately after conducting his "unofficial" autopsy a week or so after Brown was killed, as shown in the press meeting below.  I've set the video to skip the preliminary 12 minute-long introductory comments of Brown family attorney Benjamin Crump, but feel free to "rewind" if you're into that sort of thing: One of the more remarkable aspects of the events surrounding the shooting of Mike Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson Missouri this past August is that Brown was subject to three-count 'em, THREE--autopsies. One was the official autopsy, which we posted about here: Michael Brown Autopsy A Further Blow To #Ferguson Racial Narrative. (A copy of the official autopsy can be found at that post.)

    NBC affiliate KDSK is reporting that Ferguson Committeewoman Patricia Bynes claims she was targeted for physical intimidation by protestors while attending the protests herself. Bynes specifies "Lost Voices" as the group that sought to intimidate her, one of many protest-related organizations currently in Ferguson. Democrat Committeewoman Bynes (pictured above) is black, as are the leaders of Lost Voices interviewed for the KDSK story. Bynes described being surrounded and intimidated by Lost Voices members, and says they demanded that she stop speaking to the media about their group.
    "They wanted me to stop talking to the media about them, and it was basically done to try and bully me. But it didn't work."
    It sure didn't: Asked for comment, Lost Voices leader Melissa McKinnies essentially responded, "It wasn't me."
    "A lot of other protestors went around her that was not members of the Lost Voices. Then some of the Lost Voices went, you know, over to speak with her."
    And I'm stickin' to it:

    On airport televisions nationwide a news agency known as CNN is reporting that black shop owners near the site of ongoing protests in Ferguson MO are boarding up their shops. The reason? Fear of losing their businesses to renewed rioting, looting, and arson following the anticipated decision of the Grand Jury to not indict Police Officer Darren Wilson over the shooting death of Mike Brown. Local black hair shop owner Constance Garnett is boarding up her shop.  She fears the loss of the business it took her 11 years to build to a few angry hours worth of petulant, violent rioting:

    The blog Gateway Pundit is reporting that a self-described Pan-Africanist group has put out a $5,000 bounty on Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Darren Wilson $5k bounty #Ferguson Pan-Africanist #Ferguson Wilson is, of course, the police officer who decisively convinced the 292 pound adult black male Mike Brown to cease his violent attack upon the officer. Brown's death led to days of riots, looting, and arson, followed by months of ongoing violent and inflammatory protests.

    CNN reports that the Department of Justice continues to express frustration with the refusal of local Ferguson officials to hide from the Grand Jury and the public generally truthful information about the August 9 shooting of Michael Brown.  These same frustrations have been repeatedly echoed by the most hardcore of the Ferguson protestors, at increasing volume as they see the prospects for an indictment of officer Wilson rapidly fading. County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch has asked federal officials to coordinate on the timing of the announcement of the local Grand Jury outcome, in the interests of minimizing the potential for more rioting, looting, and arson.  It is widely expected that the local Grand Jury will decline to indict Wilson, because of a profound lack of evidence of criminal conduct. CNN's report shows that DOJ officials have declined to do so, arguing that it would "undermine their argument that the federal investigation is independent."  Of course, an official closure of the DOJ investigation would also not allow the Department to follow the strategy they have in the Zimmerman case of dragging  out their investigation for years.  This strategy pursued in the Zimmerman case allows for such politically expedient announcements, days before a major election, as the sudden convening of a Zimmerman Grand Jury based upon evidence of highly questionable credibility. The CNN article notes that the state and federal investigations are based upon separate and distinct statutes, and thus are not entirely identical.  Left unsaid is the equally obvious point that the state and federal investigations serve different political masters.

    The Washington Post is reporting that the Department of Justice have found little legal basis on which to bring civil rights charges over the August 9 shooting of the black Mike Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson.  The reason:  the actual evidence simply doesn't support such a case.
    Justice Department investigators have all but concluded they do not have a strong enough case to bring civil rights charges against Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., law enforcement officials said.... “The evidence at this point does not support civil rights charges against Officer Wilson,” said one person briefed on the investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case. Justice Department officials are loath to acknowledge publicly that their case cannot now meet the high legal threshold for a successful civil rights prosecution. The timing is sensitive: Tensions are high in greater St. Louis as people await the results of a grand jury’s review of the case.
    This information is based on interviews with DOJ investigators on condition of anonymity, presumably to avoid punishment by their superiors.  On the record, Brian Fallon, a DOJ spokesman, maintains that the Federal investigation is ongoing, and the Post reporting is based on "idle speculation."

    A group purporting to be part of "Anonymous" claims that it has insider information from two independent sources with knowledge of relevant secret internal police communications that Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson will not be indicted in the killing of Michael Brown. It further reports that this non-indictment is to be made public on or before November 10, 2014, and both regional law enforcement and the Missouri National Guard are being prepared for widespread civil unrest.  (A PDF of the post is embedded below, or it you prefer, the Pastebin file is here.)(h/t Gateway Pundit). I confess to no great familiarity with Anonymous, and I certainly share the expectation that there will be no indictment of Officer Wilson (on what evidence?), but I also feel obliged to note that I find the overall tone of the post to be lacking in credibility. For one thing, more than half of the post is spent not discussing the evidence on which the Grand Jury might be basing it's decision--indeed, evidence is not mentioned at all--but rather is devoted to discussion of Wilson personally in the period following the shooting of Mike Brown. Claiming, for example, that he still lives in the area, that he has just closed on a home, that his girlfriend is newly pregnant with their first child, that he has changed his appearance.  None of that could have the slightest relevance in the grand jury's considerations.

    We have reported extensively on the ongoing tension in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown. Most recently, it was revealed that the shooting was not an act of random racial violence, but a likely act of self-defense. That hasn't stopped the NGOs from marching in with their reports, though. A recent report from Amnesty International accuses members of the Ferguson police department of committing human rights abuses as they attempted to control protests in the wake of the shooting. Via Reuters:
    The Amnesty International report said law enforcement officers should be investigated by U.S. authorities for the abuses, which occurred during weeks of racially charged protests that erupted after white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, 18, on Aug. 9. The use by law enforcement of rubber bullets, tear gas and heavy military equipment and restrictions placed on peaceful protesters all violated international standards, the group said. Amnesty said it sent a delegation to Ferguson from Aug. 14-22 to monitor the situation. ... The report also criticizes a Missouri law that the group said may be unconstitutional because it allows police to use deadly force against someone even if there is no imminent threat of harm. The report calls on state lawmakers to make Missouri law comply with international standards making lethal force by police a last resort, said Rachel Ward, director of research at Amnesty International. "Lethal force is only to be used to protect life when there is an immediate threat," Ward said. "The Missouri statute goes far beyond that. It is of grave concern."
    This is nothing new. The global governance sect has a long history of using "international standards" to strongarm local and/or national governments into ceding their sovereignty to the whims of a constantly changing global order.

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has obtained and released the official autopsy report of Mike Brown, the black man shot and killed by Police Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO this past August.  (The autopsy report is embedded below.) The item in the report that perhaps sheds the greatest light on the circumstances of the shooting is the evidence that Mike Brown has a gunshot wound to the inside of his right hand near his thumb and palm that appears to be a contact gunshot wound.  This would be consistent with the police narrative that Brown was fighting with Officer Wilson for possession of his service pistol when the shot was fired. Gunpowder stippling is typically indicative of the distance between the muzzle of a fired gun and the gunshot wound caused by the projectile.  If the shot is fired at close distance (inches to feet) there is typically unburned gunpowder that causes an observable stippling on the victim's skin.  When the shot is fired from a greater distance (several feet or further) the unburned gunpowder generally does not reach the victim's skin, and thus there is no stippling. Somewhat counterintuitively, however, there is another type of gunshot wound in which no stippling is found.  In a contact gunshot wound, in which the muzzle is in contact with the victim's skin, the unburned gunpowder simply enters the wound along with the projectile.  Because the powder does not contact the skin, there is no skin stippling in a contact gunshot wound.  A contact gunshot wound also typically cause a star-like burst or fragmentation of skin at the site of injury, as the hot gasses propelling the bullet enter and expand within the flesh. The projectile itself, of course, will often fragment skin and bone.

    A breaking New York Times report sheds new light on Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson's mortal encounter with local Michael Brown.

    The police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., two months ago has told investigators that he was pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life as he struggled over his gun with Mr. Brown, according to government officials briefed on the federal civil rights investigation into the matter. The officer, Darren Wilson, has told the authorities that during the scuffle, Mr. Brown reached for the gun. It was fired twice in the car, according to forensics tests performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first bullet struck Mr. Brown in the arm; the second bullet missed. The forensics tests showed Mr. Brown’s blood on the gun, as well as on the interior door panel and on Officer Wilson’s uniform. Officer Wilson told the authorities that Mr. Brown had punched and scratched him repeatedly, leaving swelling on his face and cuts on his neck.

    According to the New York Times, Wilson told authorities that he fought with Brown for possession of his service pistol, resulting in two rounds fired inside his police vehicle.  One round struck Brown in the arm, and the other was wasted.

    Importantly, Brown's blood was found on the gun by forensics analysis, as well as on the inside of the police vehicle, confirming his presence in the vehicle and the weapon.

    Wilson said that Brown punched and scratched him numerous times, causing abrasions and swelling to his face and neck.

    The officials briefed on the case said the forensic evidence gathered in the car lent credence to Officer Wilson’s version of events. According to his account, he was trying to leave his vehicle when Mr. Brown pushed him back in. Once inside the S.U.V., the two began to fight, Officer Wilson told investigators, and he removed his gun from the holster on his right hip. Chief Jon Belmar of the St. Louis County Police Department has said in interviews that Officer Wilson was “pushed back into the car” by Mr. Brown and “physically assaulted.”

    The Times goes on to quote Brown's friend Dorian Johnson as a sort of opposing witness to Officer Wilson.

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