11.26.2014 08:06 AM

Shorter Darren Wilson

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47 Comments

  1. smelter rat says:

    Correction, 12x.

  2. debs says:

    thats what passes for justice in America, in canada when teens get shot, the cop still has to go to trial:P

    • Bill MacLeod says:

      “…the cop still has to go to trial…”

      Really? Don’t we have a preliminary hearing ahead of a criminal case that essentially does the same thing as a grand jury?

      Also, why would we send a cop to a criminal trial “when teens get shot?” Are you suggesting there are no situations where a teen could be shot by a cop without the need for a criminal trial?

      What I don’t understand is why the USA gets so hung up on racism. In this case, the grand jury heard a bunch of conflicting evidence, and the testimony that was closest in line with the forensic evidence came from the cop himself. If the purpose of a grand jury or a preliminary hearing here is to determine the probability of getting a conviction, surely this was a case where “beyond a reasonable doubt” stands out as ruling out the likelihood of a conviction.

      This is not a Zimmerman situation.

      Bill

      • RDS says:

        The purpose of a grand jury* or preliminary hearing isn’t to establish “beyond a reasonable doubt” it’s to establish whether there is enough evidence to even proceed with a trial, which is a much lower standard of proof and is almost always met in the case of a grand jury. The purpose of a trial — in public, with cross-examination and defence attorneys and so on — is to establish “beyond reasonable doubt.” If secret hearings are going to determine whether the balance of evidence establishes guilt, then the legal system is in real trouble.

        * Except this grand jury, the purpose of this grand jury was to redirect the blame for not prosecuting.

      • Terry Maloney says:

        Some of that conflicting evidence isn’t holding up so well …

        http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/The_Adventures_Of_Witness_Number_40

      • smelter rat says:

        I believe she was referring to Sammy Yatim.

      • davie says:

        I am not sure how it works in Missouri criminal law…was there no indictment because the cop is innocent? or because there is just not enough evidence to go to trial? or not enough to get a conviction?

        • sezme says:

          Here’s a good summary of this grand jury case: http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/use-grand-jury

          Essentially, a prosecutor normally has a very easy time convincing a grand jury to go to trial. In this case, it sounds like the prosecutor didn’t really try; just gave the jurors all the evidence and stepped back. And it was the prosecutor’s choice to go to a grand jury. He could have simply charged Darren Wilson. Sounds like not doing so was an attempt to avoid personal responsibility for not indicting Wilson.

      • Blue Grit says:

        A grand jury has nothing to do with the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. That is the standard for a trial, as well as a unanimous jury. The ‘reasonable cause to proceed’ standard is as low as it gets (merely a reasonable likelihood to suspect is required, and only 75% need agree).

        Thousands have people have taken to the streets in protest, fairly consistently, for more than 3 months. Security forces have seen fit to use gas and rubber bullets, on a number of occasions, to control/disperse the protesters…..and yet the protesters return. Could it be possible that these thousands have a reasonable perspective that we cannot get our heads around, due to our ignorance of their actual experiences? Sometimes “hang-ups” are about insisting all others see everything from your perspective, and sometimes they’re not “hang-ups” at all.

        • Bill MacLeod says:

          You’re referring to “probable cause” — and so am I. From “Handbook for Federal Grand Jurors”:

          Probable Cause:
          The finding necessary in order to return an indictment against a person accused of a federal crime. A finding of probable cause is proper only when the evidence presented to the grand jury, without any explanation being offered by the accused, persuades 12 or more grand jurors that a federal crime has probably been committed by the person accused.

          Again, I can see a rational reason why the jurors would decide, on the evidence presented, that a crime “probably had not been committed.”

          Either way, this wasn’t going to end in a conviction, based on the volumes of information presented. Don’t you think that a court case would have inflamed opinions to a much greater degree?

          Cheers,

          Bill

          • davie says:

            Was this grand jury a federal grand jury? or a part of the Missouri justice system?

          • Blue Grit says:

            I agree with you completely, with respect to the likelihood of a conviction. However, I cannot not conceive a way in which opinions could be inflamed to a greater degree. It is the secrecy of the proceedings that have created the cries of injustice, mistrust, and cover-up. While the burden of proof would be heavy, a public trial would have contributed some human value to the life lost, and brought all evidence into the light. At least there would be a line of logic to fall back on. What creates an inflammatory condition is a decision made in secret, with no one publically accountable for anything that has transpired. Based on how this event was mishandled from the beginning, a trial may have actually allowed the steam to escape from this slowly.

          • Bill MacLeod says:

            Blue:

            I would suggest that, although secrecy is bad, the gory detail of examination and cross-examination on a daily basis would be worse. One side or another of all those witnesses is wrong, and either the prosecution or the defence would be relentless in pursuit of discrediting them. Most likely, both.

            It would be an OJ Simpson trial with the main protagonists’ skin colours reversed.

            Cheers,

            Bill

          • Blue Grit says:

            Bill,

            With all due respect, this is not at all comparable to anything regarding the OJ trial. That was a straight-up murder trial, and was not really about race.

            Sometimes it’s more about the journey than the destination. A trial is public and it has an end. Good, bad, or ugly…..It reinforces the fact that we live in, and are part of, a civilized nation. The Prosecutor, through apathy or neglect, has created a situation here that will only get worse.

            The prevailing perception is that of injustice and the marginalization of a segment of the population. One where a significant number of people have zero faith in the legal system, or those charged with enforcing the law. This promotes lawlessness and rebellion. There will come a time when the protesting stops……and not because they are going to throw tea in a harbour.

  3. King Prick says:

    Perhaps you can explain, Warren, why nobody questioned Darren Wilson’s photographs of his alleged injuries. If Mike Brown was punching him through the window of his car, then why are the only marks on Wilson’s face on his right side? It stands to reason, does it not that an attack through the drivers side window would result in injuries to the left side of his face, correct? Another thing I found strange is that Wilson said Brown used his left hand to hand his friend the stolen cigarellos while applying the demonic beating. I find it hard to imagine that an 18 year old—-who likely hadn’t reached man strength yet—could subdue a six foot four police officer, punch him on the right side of his face and pass cigars around concurrently, with the same hand while reaching for the service revolver.

    If you’re running for office—and while I likely won’t agree with many of your stances on issues; I would hope that as justice minister, you ratify law so that this police bullshit that has been creeping into Canada is stopped. Cops are the least accountable opf all civil servants. It’s just a fact. They’re mailmen with guns. “Civil” and “servant.” It’s about time it was defined for them in Canada before we cross the line into American style policing.

  4. Terry Maloney says:

    But but but … he was hulking up!

  5. Joe says:

    From the get go the two sides were entrenched and immovable in their positions. Each side blaming the other side entirely for the outcome. A plague in both their houses.

  6. Lance says:

    With all the usual due respect sir, there was a little more than just that.

  7. Brent Sienna says:

    No matter what I post I doubt my beliefs and rantings will change either sides point of view.

    Rather than tilt at windmills I am off to hug my daughter and tell her how important she is to me.

    To each of you I say: Peace! We all matter, be good to each other.

  8. Lyndon Dunkley says:

    Is anyone here going to rob a store today?

    Is anyone here going to assault a cop when confronted after your robbery?

    Is anyone here going to get shot at by a cop, run, then turn and confront the officer you previously assaulted?

    No? Then I will wager none of us will be shot by cops tonight. If your evening plans include the above then your odds rise significantly, no matter what your color. When Brown came to these three forks in the road, he made decisions we, as members of a civilized society, should expect he not make.

    With all the commentary I have seen and read on this topic, I have yet to see any suggestion of what people wanted Wilson charged and with the known evidence, whether they believed twelve of his peers would convict him on the charge.

    The other non-addressed issue is how does our society want law enforcement to deal with the suspects they are unable, for any reason, to physically subdue. Let them go? Replace all guns with tasers? Shoot but only at the knees? It seems to me the law suggests police are supposed to shoot and often trained to shoot to kill. If we don’t like that, let’s change it. In the meantime, ruining a man’s life for acting within the training of his position seems counterproductive.

    • doconnor says:

      The law in Canada is that the police or anyone else cannot use deadly fouce unless thier or someone else’s life is in immediate jeapordy. Robbing a store, running away from police, assulting or confronting a police officer doesn’t meet that standard.

      • Lyndon Dunkley says:

        You are a braver man than me if you could take a few punches and have a criminal suspect wrestle for your gun and still feel safe.

        • doconnor says:

          Well, I haven’t chonsen to become a police officer.

          Not having to worry about your gun being taken from you is one of the benefits of the Britsh system where most police don’t carry guns.

      • Lance says:

        But that is not all that occurred. So how about attempting to relieve an officer of his sidearm, having it pointed at his own hip, almost losing conciousness due to being assaulted, and charging the officer to do what ANY police officer would reasonably believe was the suspect returning to continue his previous assaultive actions with yet more potentially deadly consequences? Because that is exactly what the officer disclosed during the deposition. And unless anyone is able to prove him a liar, that is exactly what happened, and that is what the grand jury concluded.

        The officer acted reasonably with the bounds of his training and that is why the grand jury didn’t move this case forward. But some people are disappointed that they didn’t get their scapegoat no matter what the evidence said, so this is the result. All they saw was a white officer, a black criminal suspect, and automatically concluded that the shooting was racially motivated, no matter the evidence, and even in some cases BEFORE the evidence was disclosed.

  9. davie says:

    We can get into the details of this one, back and forth, and so on, …and we are.

    But perhaps this incident in Ferguson is just the occasion that sets off the protests. For some time there have been stories and images of police behavior, especially what looks like picking on one race and one economic group. Anyone who wants to try to make a argument about a police state and justice system that is constantly treating people with fear and contempt, they do not have to look too far for examples.

    Protest images are showing a lot more than just one race protesting.
    If something is really out of whack, and it is not addressed, then the people protesting know darn well that even if details on this one are arguable, this is going to happen again and again.

  10. smelter rat says:

    The Prosecutor, Robert McCulloch is president of an organization that did fundraising for Darren Wilson. Conflict of interest much?
    “In addition to his duties as the county prosecutor, Robert McCulloch is also the president of The Backstoppers, Inc., an organization used to fundraise for the men and women in uniform in both Missouri and Illinois. And, in August, his organization was affiliated with a t-shirt drive featuring a picture of Missouri and the statement “I SUPPORT OFFICER D. WILSON” which was set up to raise money for the Darren Wilson Defense Fund as well as The Backstoppers.”

    http://www.backstoppers.org/

  11. tf says:

    And for those who think this doesn’t happen in Canada – just days ago in Vancouver, the police shot dead a disturbed man at a bus stop who had blocked traffic waiving a 2 x 4. It took the police only a minute after arriving before they shot the man dead. In the middle of the street with a dozen witnesses. They aren’t worried; they are just, to quote Wilson “doing their job.”

  12. Steve T says:

    With all due respect, NONE of us know what really happened. Even if you completely ignore what Wilson recounted, the witness testimony is ridiculous. Some people eventually admitted they weren’t actually stating what they saw, but instead repeating what they’d heard from others.

    My point is not that Wilson was innocent or guilt. My point is that we have to place some faith in our justice system. Sure, it may be worth protesting the racial divide, but the “I know what really happened” attitude of many protesters and rioters is horribly misplaced.

    And, of course, nothing justifies the looting of stores of innocent shopowners, or burning of buildings (which places people’s lives at risk). There are often hoodlums just looking for an excuse to riot.

  13. TrueNorthist says:

    Off topic, but somebody really ought to do an article explaining how the House of Saud just destroyed any hopes the CPC had of balancing the budget. As we all know the Conservatives have blown up one of the biggest petro-bubbles in the world and all but hitched the future of Canada to the success of the tar-sands. I wonder how they are going to hide the effects of cheap oil? You can bet the damage is already occurring and will only get worse. Alberta just went poof.

  14. patrick says:

    We live in a culture where might makes right, unless some ingrate has the temerity to complain, say a black teenager or a female intern at the CBC, and then it’s a long winding road of institutional reflex protecting it’s money, fame and status, in other words “might”.

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