St. Louis County Attorney Robert McCulloch announced that the grand jury had declined to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown:
McCulloch stressed that the grand jurors were “the only people who heard every witness … and every piece of evidence.” He said many witness presented conflicting statements that ultimately were inconsistent with the physical evidence. “These grand jurors poured their hearts and soul into this process,” he said.
Brown’s family immediately issued a statement following McCulloch’s announcement. “We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions,” the family said. “While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.”
After the announcement, the Brown family’s attorney, Daryl Parks, appeared on Fox News. During his interview, Parks repeatedly said that the Brown family didn’t want to see Ferguson descend into violence. When asked his opinion of the grand jury’s decision, however, Parks talked about the great injustice that had just transpired.
Shortly after Mr. McCulloch’s press conference, President Obama made a statement from the White House Briefing Room. Here’s part of what he said:
“We have made enormous progress in race relations over the course of the past several decades. I have witnessed that in my own life, and to deny that progress, I think is to deny America’s capacity for change.
“But what is also true is that there are still problem, and communities of color aren’t just making these problems up. “Separating that from this particular decision, there are issues in which the law too often feels as if it is being applied in a discriminatory fashion.”
One thing was noticeably missing from his statement. President Obama didn’t criticize people like Al Sharpton and other so-called civil rights leaders for stirring up racial unrest in Ferguson. Here’s part of what Sharpton said tonight:
“It as expected, but still an absolute blow to those of us that wanted to see a fair and open trial. I think that it is clear that even when you see a blow coming, that you expected, it still hurts,” Mr. Sharpton said. “Nonetheless, we said from the beginning that we had little or no confidence in this local prosecutor and called for federal intervention.”
Sharpton deserves a stinging rebuke from President Obama. Further, saying that he didn’t have any confidence in the prosecutor is intentionally inflammatory. In his statement to the media, Mr. McCulloch said that city investigators worked with the FBI, sharing information with them. McCulloch said that that cooperation was mutual.
It’s of utmost importance, though, to highlight the facts weighed by this grand jury. McCulloch talked about the people that testified whose testimony didn’t match up with the forensic evidence. McCulloch said that some of the people who testified admitted that they didn’t see the shooting and were just going by what they’d heard.
Though it’s a lengthy video, it’s vitally important to watch it. Pay special attention to McCulloch repeatedly returning to the forensic evidence. McCulloch highlighted that information to show that the grand jury’s decision to not indict Officer Wilson was based on verifiable, irrefutable evidence.
It wasn’t based on conjecture, gossip and speculation, which is what Sharpton is basing his statements on. His statements certainly aren’t based on the evidence.
Finally, it’s worth highlighting that forensic evidence and pathology is color blind. Gun powder residue left on person’s shirt can’t happen if the person isn’t within arm’s length of the person firing the weapon. That’s true whether the person shooting the firearm is white or a person of color. That’s true whether the person who got shot was white or a person of color.
In the end, the verdict was based on irrefutable forensic evidence.