Even though most of Saint Louis Northern Counties have been shutdown with one road block after another in anticipation of the Grand Jury’s decision to be announced at 8:00 p.m. CST tonight, to be honest, a grand jury verdict is pretty much pointless. In my expert opinion as a former Criminologist, criminal profiler and investigator plus my BS/MS in Criminal Justice and over 12-years working in the field, it is more of an song and dance than anything. Not every criminal case requires a grand jury approval to bring charges against a person in order to go to trial. For example, if the verdict is to bring charges against the officer, this does not suggest that the officer will be found guilty at trial. OJ Simpson was a clear case of how a grand jury and a jury trial can go completely the opposite way. Likewise, in the event that the grand jury’s verdict is not in favor of the victim, this does not suggest that Officer Wilson is going to get away with murder because the prosecutors could still take their chances with a criminal trial and hope for a conviction. Not to mention that, like with OJ Simpson who was acquitted of murder, he was still lost in civil court as could the City of Ferguson should the Brown family decide to civilly sue the police department.
As far as the protesters, I suspect that regardless of the decision, people will still riot just because they want to. After all, there was no reason to burn down the QT gas station over the shooting or for people to carjack innocent bystanders in the name of Michael Brown. We have to remember that there are many protesters who are from different states and other neighboring counties. As far as my opinions, I truly believe that there was an altercation between Michael Brown and Officer Wilson but have no clue what set them off. Did Brown assault the officer? Possibly. Did Officer Wilson assault Brown? Most likely. Was race an issue? My guess is that race played a part in Officer Wilson’s initial investigative stop of Brown and his friend. Did the officer use Excessive Force? Probably. I suspect that the officer did shoot from the car 2 times and then as Brown fled, Wilson followed in foot pursuit and yes; most police departments have policy and procedures about shooting at fleeing suspects which is often for felony pursuit only.
Nevertheless, I believe that Brown fell to the ground as the adrenaline began to subside and as he fell his arms were up and beginning to come downward as he felt to his knees. As to why the officer did not simply point his gun at Brown and await for backup or at the very least use a taser at that point if the officer still felt he was in imminent danger is beyond words. I do however believe that officer Wilson was revved up in the moment and then Executed Brown by shooting him at close range. Most people hear an echo when gunshots are heard. As far as the witness’ accounts, how is it that people did not look over at the incident after the first couple of shots were fired by the officer near the vehicle but they did hear Brown say “Don’t shoot!” I think that part was inserted by spectators who saw Brown’s hands coming down as he fell to the ground and then just assumed that is what he said if anything.
But, regardless of the decision, people need to just take a moment and calm down; and think before they act. After all, a criminal trial could be many months away at this point.