Re: Continuing Michael Brown aftermath

1

This always makes "Tin solders and Nixon coming" play in my head. And I don't even like Neil Young.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:01 AM
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Why would you do that to me?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:10 AM
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Have you had the baby yet?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:12 AM
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Neil Young is the best!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:19 AM
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Neil Diamond is the best of the singing Neils.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:20 AM
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Neil Young is hardly a singing Neil.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:21 AM
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For Canada, he can sing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:22 AM
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He's a folk singer! (In the h-g sense of the word).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:24 AM
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Note to self: If you feel compelled to explain the stupid joke in the same comment, don't (or don't use it).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:26 AM
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Neil Diamond is the best of the singing Neils.

Nuh uh. Neil Patrick Harris.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:28 AM
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Fine. Best of the singer-songwriter Neils.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:29 AM
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No love for Neil Finn? Or Neil Sedaka? Does Vince Neal count?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:31 AM
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Don't know who he is, no, no.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:33 AM
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Neil Finn


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:34 AM
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Then: Definitely no, no, no.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:38 AM
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||
Bank sign said 7 degrees on Western Av., probably coldest day I've ever ridden my bike on a commute. On November 18th.

The obvious move, switching to public trans, fails because it's precisely the worst days when it grinds to a halt. Increased ridership, everybody so bundled-up and steamed-up that every boarding passenger takes twice as long, super-heavy traffic. I must have passed four buses going my way to the Western El stop.

So the calculus of when to ride moves with the weather in a counter-intuitive way.

|>


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:39 AM
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Apparently even barely-a-Dem Claire McCaskill made some timid comments about racial profiling/driving while black on Joe Scarborough's show and he felt the need to shut her down. US is so structurally racist that the mildest acknowledgement of ongoing structural racism is not allowed in the political discourse.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:46 AM
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Structural Racism Club.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:46 AM
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Neil DeGrasse Tyson?
I once convinced my wife that Neil Young did the voice of Kermit on the muppet show.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:55 AM
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19.2: Un-uh that was Alan Wilson of Canned Heat. Did not realize he died at a young age in 1970.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 8:03 AM
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Niall and his Nine Hostages would be a good swing band name, if anybody wanted one.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 8:04 AM
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A friend on Twitter has been helpfully reminding me that the Ferguson Police Department has never released an official report about what happened, because why would they do that?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 8:07 AM
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I'm starting to wonder if mentioning Neil Young can't induce labor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 8:23 AM
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22: That's come up. There won't be such a report because the was never FPD's case to investigate - the state police or maybe the county police, I forget, took it over immediately. Why the higher authority's report isn't available is a more contentious issue. Certain here have said it's because it's before the grand jury and therefore can't be public; I understand why grand jury proceedings are secret but am not sold that a public record's going before a grand jury precludes it from being public otherwise.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 8:37 AM
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23: Triggers doctor's appointments, at least.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:06 AM
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It's still beta.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:07 AM
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I still can't imagine how a grand jury can respectably not indict. At the indictment stage, they're supposed to be looking at whether there's a prima facie case at all, not weighing the evidence relating to defenses. With eyewitnesses telling a story that supports a prima facie case of some kind of criminal homicide (don't know MO specifics of first degree/second degree/manslaughter, don't really know them here without looking them up), whether or not they're more credible than the story the cop is telling, it should be going to trial.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:20 AM
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They're going to wait until the day before Thanksgiving and not indict.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:24 AM
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This is going to be very depressing. I guess I'll go watch the new Peanuts movie trailer again.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:30 AM
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I hope I'm wrong, but if this were a murder novel, the foreshadowing would be so strong the butler would walk into the room with a sign reading "Ask me about my proclivities for homicide" taped to his back.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:32 AM
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"I suffer from a very homicidal disability, m'lord."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:35 AM
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30: One of the Ngaio Marsh mysteries is set in a country house where the owner worked at an institution for the criminally insane (or, moderately criminally unbalanced? People who were found less responsible for their crimes by reason of having been really upset?), and who staffed the house with servants all of whom were murderers who had completed their sentences at the institution, under the theory that a thief or something is actually a criminal, but anyone might commit a murder once if they were really provoked. And then, of course, he's murdered.

I liked that one. Very vivid descriptions of Christmas decorations.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:39 AM
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To clarify: if the new Peanuts movie is not satisfactory, I will burn this wretched world and everything in it to cold ashes.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:48 AM
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Actually Niall Ferguson is finally useful for something.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:49 AM
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Did he start picking up cans for the return deposit?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:53 AM
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32: People who were found less responsible for their crimes by reason of having been really upset?

Right. "Aggravated murder" in JP's bizarro world if you recall that prior misunderstanding/confession of mine.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:56 AM
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To clarify: if the new Peanuts movie is not satisfactory, I will burn this wretched world and everything in it to cold ashes.

Bad news.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 10:12 AM
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I'm really weak on criminal procedure: if they don't indict, does anyone know if there's going to be any public release of information explaining what the thinking was, or is it just going to be "No."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 10:14 AM
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16. What kind of gloves do you wear? IME, most critical piece of cold-weather equipment. I have an aging pair that I'm thinking about replacing.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 10:14 AM
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I have a very nice pair of deer-skin gloves with a cashmere lining. Fucking moths ate holes in the lining.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 10:17 AM
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Cold-weather riding gloves are charmless, made with synthetic fabrics. They need to be thin and windproof, like ski gloves except that you need to move your fingers for shifting.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 10:21 AM
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"Aggravated murder"

Better or worse than "calm, cool and collected murder"?

For some reason, this reminds me of the strange wording of NIH's findings of research misconduct. We find the X "intentionally, knowingly, and recklessly fabricated and falsified data". That seems weird to me. Would it be better if they had knowingly, intentionally and carefully fabricated and falsified data?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 10:33 AM
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43

I had the distinct impression that even in the most notorious miscarriages of justice in the Jim Crow South, that the guilty white defendants were being acquitted at the trial stage after being duly indicted by a grand jury (e.g. the killers of Emmett Till and Medgar Evers). Was that not generally the case? Or is Missouri on the verge of breaking new ground in racially tinged injustice?

OTOH, I can imagine that trial acquittals were in some ways a more effective means of upholding white supremacy than failing to arrest the perpetrators or failing to indict them in a secret grand jury proceeding. A public trial and jury acquittal of Klan murderers is a powerful statement to the persecuted that your life is officially worthless and there's not a goddamned thing you can do about it.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 10:37 AM
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43.1 St Louis County's prosecutor does not care about your book learning. He's the son of a policeman killed in Pruitt-Igoe, and has longstanding ties with local police. He has a history of competence, not errors.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 10:42 AM
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43.2: A picture like this brings that home better than everyone just dropping it quietly.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 10:52 AM
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45: Exactly. Only that shit doesn't fly in this day and age, so better to sweep it under the rug in the most non-public forum possible: if not the police investigation, then the grand jury. So we're back to "Missouri on the verge of breaking new ground", I guess.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 11:03 AM
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But, the local officials made every attempt to drop that quietly. It took the concerted effort of the federal government, including a Supreme Court decision, to make that trial happen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 11:08 AM
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47: Oh yeah, good point, especially considering local law enforcement officers were central players the murder conspiracy.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 11:21 AM
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What kind of gloves do you wear?

I've a pair from Lands End which have proven sufficient. Similar-looking gloves from drugstores have not been good enough. Mine have a ventilating zipper on the backs because on mild winter days they get too warm.

I'm wearing a balaclava with a zipped front, which leaves only an oval uncovered. Except for glasses I look medieval. I've added safety/lab glasses the last two days, to keep from tearing up: they conform to my face and function like a storm window. They'd probably steam up on a warmer day.

I'm wearing thick winter boot/shoes. Since I don't have cleats or toeclips on this bike they don't cause any problems. Costco wool socks.

All of these are necessary, but also sufficient. As you say, extremities are the weak point in winter riding.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 12:19 PM
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||
Speaking of Neils, I liked how this article on an analysis of Armstrong's "for man"/"for a man". The team suggest that in the midwestern American state Ohio there is typically a lot of blending between words such as 'for' and 'a.' Our sloppy, provincial Midwestern accent let us demonstrate it for all of humanity.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 12:24 PM
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51

Space, a final frontier.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 12:28 PM
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Dilley and her colleagues carried out a statistical analysis of the duration of the 'r' sound as spoken by native central Ohioans saying 'for' and 'for a' in natural conversation.

Shouldn't they have compared Armstrong's speech to native Ohioans taking their first steps on the moon after riding a rocket ship for the past three days?


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 2:47 PM
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|| Sitting in the airport, trying to ignore the TVs -- and it's about Palantir and the LAPD scanning every single license plate of every single car that a patrol car drives by. And storing it forever. |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 3:07 PM
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24: The St. Louis County PD has completed a 1,077-page report. Allegedly it will be released to the public if there is no indictment.

Another interesting point in that article: Apparently police officers from neighboring towns were self-deploying to Ferguson in August. That is, independently deciding to drive over and get involved. I cannot imagine how this has not resulted in serious officer disciplinary action by their home forces.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 3:11 PM
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55

I still can't imagine how a grand jury can respectably not indict. At the indictment stage, they're supposed to be looking at whether there's a prima facie case at all, not weighing the evidence relating to defenses. With eyewitnesses telling a story that supports a prima facie case of some kind of criminal homicide (don't know MO specifics of first degree/second degree/manslaughter, don't really know them here without looking them up), whether or not they're more credible than the story the cop is telling, it should be going to trial.

IANAL, but as Missouri law has been explained to me, the police officer only needs to have had a "reasonable fear" for it to be justifiable. This article touches on the issue, although it's not exactly on point.

I am fully expecting no indictment.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 3:14 PM
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Oh good grief, the link in 55 is depressing. Assuming the statute says what they say it says, the apples/oranges comment toward the end sounds right: it would certainly violate the 4th Amendment for a cop to shoot someone for no other reason than that he was a fleeing felon, but it sure doesn't look like he could be convicted under Missouri criminal law. I hope I'm missing something (I probably am--can't figure out what's going on with the jury instructions). Not that I was expecting an indictment before, but this makes it sound impossible.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 3:45 PM
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If we're talking self-defense, that's a reasonable fear of death or serious injury. Assuming the eyewitnesses told the grand jury the same story they told the media, there are a number of people whose versions of the facts are seriously incompatible with that. At which point the grand jury is supposed to indict, rather than decide whose version is more credible: weighing credibility is for the trial.

You're probably right about what's going to happen (that is, I'm assuming from the calling out the National Guard that the fix is in) but I don't think it's reasonable under the law. (This seems completely different from the Zimmerman case to me, where I thought he was a terrible person who was morally responsible for Martin's death, but from my sense of the evidence, I think there's a good chance I would have voted to acquit if I were on the jury.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 3:45 PM
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49: I had to start wearing a fleece last week to cycle. Before that, t shirt.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 3:45 PM
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56: That article looked like bullshit to me -- the jury instruction that is used at the trial level assumes that MO law has to conform to Tennessee v. Garner, and the argument that it doesn't have to conform seems weak.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 3:46 PM
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53, apparently for some time now Britain has had a system where all license plates are tracked by cameras everywhere. It was a major plot point in Happy Valley, completely surprising me, but I guess British viewers saw the original scene where the guy drives he's going somewhere and drives somewhere else and thought "You idiot, now the cops have you".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 3:47 PM
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The guy across for me is reading from "The Champion", a publication of the national association of criminal defense attorneys. Should I ask him?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 3:58 PM
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He left, but the quality of his overcoat suggests he was good at his job.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 4:00 PM
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Real camel hair, I think.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 4:03 PM
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64

59: I hope you're right, but it doesn't sound to me like a question of conforming or not conforming: Garner doesn't govern state criminal law, does it? Though I agree, the jury instruction makes it sound like Missouri courts have decided it does. But it wasn't clear to me what jury instructions they were, crim or civil?


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 4:05 PM
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So, the family needs to pursue a 1983 action?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 4:22 PM
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57: This longer piece is by activist Shaun King, who is not a lawyer and doesn't pretend to be neutral on this topic but does seem to have gathered a lot of information.

Again, IANAL and I don't really have the tools to evaluate the relevance of the case law that he cites.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 4:23 PM
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Cycling home just now, around 18 degrees F, my fingers were starting to numb at the tips. Tomorrow I'll wear thin gloves inside the gloves, and carry an extra stocking cap to wear while standing on the platform. Something between "nothing" and "Plantagenet in armor on crypt"


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 4:30 PM
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Or maybe the AG should ask the US Attorney to bring the matter before a federal grand jury to see if they'll indict for a violation of 18 USC 242.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 4:31 PM
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66: by framing the question as "is this *legal*" that article is eliding the distinctuon between violating the 4th Amendment and violating state homicide law. But it may well be that there isn't a legitimate distinction to be made here. Hope so but even the law prof he cites as saying it would be unconstitutional to apply the Missouri statute in fact says

Wilson can rely on it in any state prosecution of him without any constitutional problem. States don't have to make all of their criminal defenses consistent with the Constitution.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 4:31 PM
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Oh, I see the article covers that. This is what the federal civil rights statutes are for.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 4:39 PM
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At least the election's over. For months I wondered if ther'd be any repercussions, and in a non-presidential year any would be bad, but I haven't seen any mention in post-mortems. At worst it contributed to unease and edginess, hard to quantify.

Civil rights or civil suit are where I've expected this to go for quite a while already.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 4:47 PM
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Thinking of joining the Oakland protests when the verdict comes. Sign idea: "It's Not in the Past / Reparations Now".


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 6:47 PM
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Ah, I sure picked a good week to travel to Santa Barbara...


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 7:54 PM
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74

Not that any of you are going to listen, but again I caution against thinking you know whether this was a good shoot.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 8:36 PM
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Happier thoughts, like this is a really interesting bank robbery I'm on. Dude thought it out. Six figure haul.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 8:38 PM
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Right, but after taxes he probably won't clear $80k.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 8:45 PM
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And then he'll go to jail. Really a raw deal all around.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 8:54 PM
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Although actually I'm confused about why gswift is on this case. Don't you do auto theft?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 8:55 PM
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74: I'd settle for "investigation by an agency that'll actually try to put Wilson in jail if it *wasn't* a good shoot".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 8:57 PM
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78: It's probably best to use a stolen car if you are going to rob a bank.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:02 PM
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80: Ah, good point.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:03 PM
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No stolen car action yet on this one. I just happened to be in the area when the call came in.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:06 PM
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May all the crime in your area be interesting. (Not sarcasm--sounds like a fun problem to solve.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:13 PM
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74: While I've got a strong opinion on whether it was or wasn't a good shoot, sure, there could be evidence that would change my mind. But if the eyewitness stories told in the media were anything like the stories the same witnesses told the grand jury, I don't believe there's not enough evidence to indict. At the indictment stage, the grand jury isn't supposed to be weighing credibility; they're supposed to be looking at the prosecution's evidence, and deciding whether, if they believe that evidence, the conduct described by it is criminal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:39 PM
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64: I hope you're right, but it doesn't sound to me like a question of conforming or not conforming: Garner doesn't govern state criminal law, does it?

I could be wrong about how it would work out in practice, but why wouldn't Garner govern state criminal law? While Garner itself is a 1983 action, look at the holding:

The use of deadly force to prevent the escape of all felony suspects, whatever the circumstances, is constitutionally unreasonable. It is not better that all felony suspects die than that they escape. Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so. It is no doubt unfortunate when a suspect who is in sight escapes, but the fact that the police arrive a little late or are a little slower afoot does not always justify killing the suspect. A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead. The Tennessee statute is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes the use of deadly force against such fleeing suspects.

It's not saying that the Tennessee statute (which is pretty much the same as the MO statute at issue) is unconstitutional in the context of an 1983 claim only, it says that it's unconstitutional full stop. I'm a little puzzled by what you'd do, procedurally, to bring the TN courts into line if they kept on applying the statute as a defense for shootings of non-dangerous suspects, but it seems clear to me that they would be defying the SC if they did so, and likewise that the MO courts would be defying the SC if they allowed 'preventing a non-dangerous suspect from escaping' as a valid defense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 9:49 PM
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85: I haven't followed all the details of who's arguing what, but surely Wilson's defense is based on the premise that Brown was actually posing a threat to him, in which case that analysis doesn't apply.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-18-14 10:31 PM
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"A really interesting bank robbery" - sometimes I envy gswift.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:44 AM
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87: Take some responsibility, Alex. If you want a really interesting bank robbery, then rob your own bank.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 3:42 AM
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News to me that Alex owns a bank.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 3:48 AM
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90

He's a British taxpayer; he owns two.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 4:06 AM
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90: the loss of empire didn't dull your national passion for epigrams, but they just lack a little with the reduced scope.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 4:16 AM
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But you can have them if you're willing to take them off my hands.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 4:17 AM
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It's true that there isn't a clever way of saying "I have South Georgia" in a single Latin word.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 4:24 AM
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85: I guess I'm not convinced that's really the holding of Garner. I think it held something more along the lines of "when an officer uses deadly force to apprehend a fleeing suspect, for no other reason than that he is suspected of a felony, that's an unreasonable seizure under the 4th Amendment." A state can't authorize use of deadly force in those circumstances in the sense that it can't trump the 4th Amendment. I agree that the Tennessee statute is obviously in serious tension with Garner but I just don't see how the 4th Amendment dictates what states must do with their criminal law. But I don't really know, maybe due process or equal protection gets you there somehow.

86: Right, this isn't likely to apply, at least in the first instance, because the claim will be that Brown was a serious danger. But if the concern in the article linked in 55 is right, Wilson could fall back on the defense of "even if you don't believe I could have reasonably believed Brown was a serious danger, you have to at least believe I reasonably believed Brown was a felon [because he attacked me, and attacking a police officer is a felony], and he was fleeing." Under the dubious Missouri statute at issue, that would be enough.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 4:29 AM
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93: "Fuck that, I'm going to make their eyes water" is pretty good though.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 4:40 AM
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Cut me some slack on standing and how you set up the class action, but because those are both a little puzzling (to me, I get confused) but not the issue at hand and not, I think, a real problem. But say, after Garner, TN cops are shooting non-dangerous suspects right and left and using the statute as a defense.

A class of wounded non-dangerous fleeing suspects (and, better, people with good reason to believe they were likely to be shot as non-dangerous fleeing suspects in the future, but I'm getting stuck on how to identify class members) brings a civil rights class action with the TN legislature and courts as a defense, claiming that the availability of the defense authorizes cops to shoot fleeing non-dangerous suspects -- they wouldn't have been shot if the police didn't know that shooting them was not a criminal act, given the availability of the defense -- and seeking injunctive relief rather than just damages. Why wouldn't it be a slam-dunk under Garner to give them an injunction requiring that either the legislature take the defense off the books or the courts stop recognizing it as valid? It seems to me like such an easy case that I would expect states to have come into compliance without being sued (as MO seems to have, given what people say about the jury instructions).

Saying that Garner doesn't govern criminal law seems to be saying that there's a distinction between authorizing police officers to shoot fleeing suspects, which is barred, and writing/applying a law that says it's not a criminal act for a police officer to shoot a fleeing suspect, and I don't see that distinction. What's authorizing something beyond saying 'go ahead, do this, it's legal?'


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 5:05 AM
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86: Wilson's got a real uphill battle establishing that Brown was a threat to him at the time of the killing -- Brown seems to have been shot from a real distance, and the 'charging' thing sounds hard to sell from what we've heard from the eyewitness reports.

If Wilson walks, I'm betting it's not on straight self-defense, but on shooting a dangerous fleeing suspect; that Brown's actions at the initial altercation at the car were enough to turn him from an unarmed teenager suspected of having shoved a guy while stealing a couple of bucks of cigarillos, to a kill-crazed maniac who had to be shot down in the street. If the line for "Dangerous enough to be shot while fleeing" is "touched a cop", and in application I think it might be, there are still some problems with that defense (that is, it's not clear Brown was still fleeing, rather than surrendering, when Wilson killed him), it looks like an easier sell than simple self-defense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 5:14 AM
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96: With the caveat that of course I'm just making this up, I guess the distinction I'd make is that Garner means states can't authorize this kind of deadly force in the "don't have the power" sense rather than the "may not" sense. The 4th Amendment prohibits the use of deadly force against a non-dangerous fleeing felon, and the state can't immunize a cop from that by purporting to authorize it. I don't see how that entails that a state must independently prohibit it by criminalizing it (though of course I agree that it's stupid and mendacious not to). And even if it did, I really don't see how it would require states to treat it as ordinary murder.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 6:10 AM
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Again, think of my class action: my class of non-dangerous fleeing felons says "Our rights under Garner have been violated by being shot, and will continue to be violated in the future. The state government is responsible for this violation, because by making this defense available to the police, it has communicated to the police that it is legal for them to shoot us. Judge, stop this ongoing violation of our rights, by prohibiting the state government from continuing to make this defense available." Why wouldn't they get the injunction?

I admit that if MO wanted to defy the SC, I don't quite see how the issue would get raised, procedurally, in an individual murder/shooting a fleeing non-dangerous suspect case. I think you'd need something like the class action. But I'm pretty sure that MO would have to take the defense off the books, or at least stop applying it, if the issue were raised properly. (And again, from what's been said about the jury instructions, it sounds to me like that's the view of the MO courts. The article saying that an appellate court would obviously apply a different rule than the standard jury instructions is nuts; the first time that happened, the jury instructions would be changed to comply.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 6:18 AM
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"The jury is reminded that structural racism is fine, but specific, individual acts of racism are only allowed if the person first says 'I'm not a racist but..' followed by a pointless story."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 6:26 AM
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At the indictment stage, the grand jury isn't supposed to be weighing credibility; they're supposed to be looking at the prosecution's evidence, and deciding whether, if they believe that evidence, the conduct described by it is criminal.

I don't really want to argue with you on this particular case, where yes, sure, based on what I've seen (which may not be the full picture), of course the grand jury should indict, but on the general statement of principle above: this is the rubber-stamp theory of grand jury indictments. Why even bother to have them if that's really the only purpose? (And I agree that you've accurately stated how they usually work in practice, although in practice they are usually not worth having.)

The grand jury doesn't have to just decide "whether, if they believe the prosecution's evidence", does it describe criminal activity. They are also supposed to be deciding whether the prosecution has credible enough evidence to warrant a trial. Being tried for a crime is an incredibly taxing and potentially life-altering experience, even if you're ultimately found not-guilty. If the grand jury thinks an overzealous prosecutor is bringing charges on flimsy evidence because of a personal vendetta, a political agenda, etc., then they should not indict. They don't have to give the prosecution's evidence the full benefit-of-the-doubt.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 6:47 AM
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Fair enough -- they don't have to take the prosecution's evidence without question. But the question isn't "Is the prosecution's story more persuasive than the defense story?" It's more like "Is there a real prosecution story at all, or is it just a bunch of bullshit?"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 6:53 AM
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But the question isn't "Is the prosecution's story more persuasive than the defense story?"

There is no defense story.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 6:54 AM
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I think Wilson (unusually) testified before the grand jury. We don't have his story, but it exists.

But generally, you're right, a grand jury usually as I understand it doesn't see defense evidence, because of exactly what I'm saying -- they're not supposed to be weighing rival accounts against each other, they're supposed to be deciding if the prosecution's case supports a criminal charge or not, where 'not' means either the prosecution's story doesn't describe a crime at all, or their evidence is transparent bullshit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 7:01 AM
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If 104.1 is right, that is very weird. Or at least, I think it's very weird... maybe it's more common than I realize? Regardless, once you start introducing defense testimony into the grand jury proceedings, then I really don't know what the applicable standards for the grand jury are supposed to be. If there is defense testimony, which presumably has been introduced for some valid reason, then I don't think it can be right that the grand jury is supposed to just entirely ignore that evidence entirely (which I think is your claim).


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 7:08 AM
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maybe it's more common than I realize?

I sort of assume it means the prosecutor is trying to throw the case.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 7:11 AM
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Why wouldn't they get the injunction?

Maybe they would. I can't really articulate why, but I find it very hard to believe you can get an injunction forcing a state to modify its criminal law to further disincentivize violations of federal constitutional rights. At best I think you'd just get an injunction against the violations directly ("cops, you are hereby enjoined from shooting non-dangerous fleeing felons"). But even if you're right, I don't see it getting you where you want to be. So Missouri strikes the current law and replaces it with one saying "Cops aren't authorized to use lethal force against non-dangerous fleeing felons. That's awful, unjustified, and we condemn it. But we don't think it's murder." Maybe throw in a misdemeanor and a $500 fine/30 days max to make it trickier. State law no longer "authorizes" this kind of lethal force. All good, or do we get to bring another class action insisting that the penalty get ratcheted up until our 4th Amendment rights are no longer being violated?

I totally agree that if the jury instructions do what that article suggests, this is a non-problem, the appellate court wouldn't apply a different standard. I hope that's right, but I haven't been able to find the instructions and still wonder if they're from the civil context (the article says criminal, but it's fuzzy on enough other things that I don't take that as definitive). I did take a quick look to see if Missouri courts have addressed this issue--unless I missed something, they haven't, and I guess I'd be surprised for jury instructions to upend a statute like that without the issue having been litigated first.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 7:11 AM
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Think of a situation where the defense evidence didn't contradict the prosecution's evidence, but explained it. Gswift arrests a guy breaking into a car with a prybar (or however you steal cars), and testifies in front of the grand jury to that effect. I think a grand jury should pretty much disregard defense testimony indicating that G is lying or mistaken about what he saw and did. On the other hand, defense evidence that defendant had title to the car and had just lost his keys seems like a different matter.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 7:16 AM
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State practices vary widely on grand juries, and some states don't have them at all. In New Jersey, a defendant who is aware of a grand jury investigation has a right to submit evidence for consideration. In my period of grand jury service, a few defendants submitted affidavits of themselves or friendly witnesses; no defendants or defense witnesses appeared live, but they could have it they wanted to. The instructions were that we were permitted to weight the evidence, including judging the credibility of witnesses, in determining whether there was sufficient evidence to indict.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 7:21 AM
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In federal court I understand that "targets" who are aware of the proceeding have a right to appear. Usually they don't, but in one widely publicized case a few years ago, Karl Rove testified for four days in his own defense in the Valerie Plame case, and convinced the prosecutor not to indict him.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 7:30 AM
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Possibly he cut a deal and was required to amuse the rest of us by his horrified and delusional reaction as the 2012 election returns came in.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 7:33 AM
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109: Yeah, I'm overstating things a little. But they're still not supposed to be weighing whether the defense case is stronger than the prosecution's case, they're supposed to be weighing whether the prosecution's case stands up at all, if you see what I mean. And specifically in this case, if the eyewitness stories before the grand jury are anything like what we saw in the media, I can't see a legit finding that the prosecution's case doesn't stand up at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 7:43 AM
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they're supposed to be weighing whether the prosecution's case stands up at all

That's so not the definition of probable cause.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 8:03 AM
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By 'stands up at all' I mean that it plausibly supports the elements of whatever the charged crime is. With a number of eyewitness statements that Wilson fatally shot Brown while Brown was neither fleeing or attacking, that's enough to support the elements of a criminal homicide. There might be defense evidence that raises a reasonable doubt as to whether the prosecution's eyewitnesses were lying or mistaken, but that's for trial.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 8:08 AM
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I am very comfortable with higher standards being required to secure to grand jury indictments as long as those high standards are applied equally to cases involving white police officer defendants and cases involving poor black defendants


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 8:09 AM
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I don't think the standards matter nearly as much as who is doing the prosecution.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 8:17 AM
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114. I thought the burden of proof in a grand jury proceeding was "appears at least as guilty as a ham sandwich."


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 8:17 AM
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117: So the burden of proof is much higher for Jewish or Muslim jurors.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 8:20 AM
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116 is correct.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 8:32 AM
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But of course everyone realizes that.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 8:33 AM
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Why wouldn't they get the injunction?

Because it's difficult to file a motion while fleeing?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:08 AM
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With a number of eyewitness statements that Wilson fatally shot Brown while Brown was neither fleeing or attacking, that's enough to support the elements of a criminal homicide.

The problem all along though is we have no idea yet how many actual witnesses there are and what they've testified to, we haven't heard the testimony of the state and federal ME, the evidence from the vehicle and clothing, injuries to Wilson, etc., etc. We could very easily have evidence supporting a struggle over the gun in the vehicle, witnesses corroborating Wilson's account, and ME's testifying that the wounds aren't consistent with Brown's hands being up away from his body when he was shot. In which case IMO you absolutely don't have probable cause for a homicide.

Of course, maybe what we're going to find is that the evidence is that Wilson murdered an unarmed kid for no good reason. But I don't think the evidence is going to matter at this point. I think even if the possibility I raised above is what happened, things are still going to burn. Oh well.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:08 AM
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It's pretty clear that nothing at all would have burned if the police wouldn't have met a peaceful protest with overwhelming force and aggression.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:10 AM
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Maybe if the local authorities had inappropriately made public some of the evidence supporting Wilson's story, along with all the other stuff they inappropriately made public, people would be more prepared to think of the shooting as justified.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:16 AM
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122. Two of the witnesses are white union guys. They sound pretty appalled in what's been publicly released, and neither the ambiguous audio fragment nor the cnn description is at all consistent with the scenario of 122. Here's CNN.

The only way Wilson gets off is industrious spinning of the "touched a cop" version of threat. This is likely what will happen, since the prosecutor is competent and the St Louis county flavor of horrible. I expect day before thanksgiving announcement.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:24 AM
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I'm not going to delve into the weeds on a bunch of news snippets again because there's really no point until the case gets released.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:30 AM
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we have no idea yet how many actual witnesses there are and what they've testified to,

This isn't true. I'd have to go back to find the links, but we have public statements from five? or so eyewitnesses. We don't have transcripts of their grand jury testimony, but that's enough to give us some idea that they exist and what they are likely to have testified to.

ME's testifying that the wounds aren't consistent with Brown's hands being up away from his body when he was shot. In which case IMO you absolutely don't have probable cause for a homicide.

So, if the evidence shows that Brown was standing motionless fifty feet from Wilson when Wilson shot him, but Brown's hands were at his sides, that means it's not a homicide? I can't see that as reasonable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:37 AM
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but we have public statements from

IME the news will give you a good idea of who likes talking to a news camera but doesn't map very well onto the true number of witnesses or what statements were given to the police.

127.2: Come on, is that seriously the point you think I was making?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 9:59 AM
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My point was that the position of Brown's hands seems to me to say very little. Say that Brown was a kill-crazed maniac, who went for Wilson's gun and did whatever is necessary to establish that he was 'dangerous'. And then he fled, and then he stopped fleeing. No matter how dangerous Brown was, Wilson's not allowed to kill him rather than arresting him -- he can kill him in immediate self-defense, like any citizen, or he can kill him under special police officer rules to keep him (as a 'dangerous' criminal) to keep him from getting away.

I can't see how the position of his hands is going to be particularly relevant to whether the shooting was justified: it's evidence, it's part of the whole story, and so on. But there's no version of the story I can think of where 'his hands weren't up away from his body when he was shot' is a decisive fact, and your suggesting that it would be seems to me to be confused.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:06 AM
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I mean, no, I don't think that was the point you were making. But if the point you were making by bringing up the position of his hands was a good one, I don't understand it. Can you explain it?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:07 AM
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I think even if the possibility I raised above is what happened, things are still going to burn.

Let's bear in mind that if things *do* burn, it's going to be in large part because of the incredibly fucked-up way the local authorities responded to the protests. Whether or not you think it was a good shoot, I would hope we could all agree that basically everything that happened after that was inexcusable.

... right?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:15 AM
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It's not just the count of witnesses, but also how articulate and reliable they are. Two of them are white union guys who saw the shooting while working. With a fair prosecutor, it should be enough, but it won't be with McCulloch.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:19 AM
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And it's also that this is not the first time something like this has happened, or the thousandth.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:20 AM
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131. We are not the audience for this. Those people will have set fires on thanksgiving day, so let's not ask questions that will pull us into the weeds.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:20 AM
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I hate to be part of the usual pile on gswift, but I doubt we're going to get any definitive new, reliable information after the (inevitable) failure to indict. In particular, things like "injuries to Wilson" seem very easily tampered with.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:24 AM
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The insurance adjusters of America would like to remind you that improper use of a turkey deep fryer is the most common way of starting a fire on Thanksgiving. It belongs outdoors on a firm, level surface well removed from any flammable material.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:25 AM
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I don't actually think the failure to indict is inevitable. It's how I'm guessing, but it's possible that the fix isn't in, and that the preparation for riots are because the authorities literally don't know what the grand jury is going to do.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:26 AM
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130: I just meant that in the totality of circumstances, if it turns out we have conflicting witness accounts, something like wound pattern might give weight to one of those accounts.

131: I don't recall defending the handling of the protests, which does seem to have been a pretty comprehensive clusterfuck.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:30 AM
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We should all chip in for buses to take the protestors to the nearest rich, white town. If things are going to burn, it might as well be there. Best flash mob ever.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:31 AM
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Yeah, you've been clear all along about not supporting the handling of the protests; anyone who's confused about that hasn't been reading your comments.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:32 AM
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Is there anyone anywhere who supports the way the local authorities responded to the protests? I don't think I've seen a defense of the response.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:34 AM
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Sadly, yes. Yes, I'm pretty sure there are people who support the way the local authorities responded to the protests.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:37 AM
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138.2: You haven't! But saying "shit is going to burn!" without even mentioning it seems at least a little tone-deaf to me.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:37 AM
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You can find enthusiastic supporters of the Ferguson police in the comment section of any newspaper website. There were even Darren Wilson fundraiser websites.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:37 AM
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141, 142: Indeed.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:38 AM
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It isn't a matter of supporting the way the local authorities have responded, but of blaming the protestors for starting a few things on fire. After a certain point of provocation, I'm fine with saying you can't expect a protest to remain completely peaceful and that blaming protestors for a relatively moderate amount of property damage is the same thing as saying they should have to eat shit for as long as the local authorities want to serve it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:38 AM
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142 gets it right. I'm pretty sure the folks who chipped in for the "#PantsUPDontLOOT" billboard think the local authorities did a fine job.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:39 AM
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Oh, huh. Although NPR had told me that the left and the right were united in criticizing the Ferguson police response, googling a bit I found something that seems to contradict that.

That second link is really quite something.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:40 AM
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148 before seeing 145 an 147. Wow. That is really quite something.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:42 AM
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Now I feel sick. I thought people had all agreed to keep thoughts that blatantly racist to themselves (or shared only among close friends).

Does free speech permit locating and publishing the names of everyone who chipped in to "crowdfund" that billboard? It seems like people have a right to know who the open bigots are.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:47 AM
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If they gave money anonymously, they aren't open bigots.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:49 AM
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Fine. Poor word choice.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:52 AM
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It's interesting of how the semantics of "good shoot" and "good shot" differ.

145: !


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 10:54 AM
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But saying "shit is going to burn!" without even mentioning it seems at least a little tone-deaf to me.

I understand the response at the time. But I think this is a juggernaut now that is going proceed regardless of the facts and I don't think that's a good thing.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 11:02 AM
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We will recall that after the Zimmerman trial there were no outbreaks of violence, confounding that American Solon Newt Gingrich among others. Assuming there are riots after the non-indictment, do we think that people talking heads will learn that a) a good faith -- if reluctant -- effort to seek justice and a decision not to escalate matters by firing tear gas at protestors had some sort of effect on the outcomes or b) those people are animals whom you can't satisfy?

I know where I'm putting my bets.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 11:12 AM
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The Washington Examiner asks the hard questions. ("Will Ferguson Race riots help Obama").


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:07 PM
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Weren't there a whole bunch of public school teachers, somewhere up north, who were asked not to wear "we support Darren Wilson" shirts on the first day of school, but did anyway because freedom?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:22 PM
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157: NYC, and they were supporting a different officer, the one who shot Eric Garner.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:25 PM
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158: He squeezed his neck with his guns, but that's not the same as shooting him.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 12:35 PM
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158: I for one am shocked that everyone in that photo is white.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 1:09 PM
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Christ, I was half expecting to find my stepsister in that picture. This reminds me that if the Ferguson non-indictment comes out next week it's totally going to ruin Thanksgiving having to try not to engage with certain members of my family on the subject.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 1:23 PM
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Kind of interesting: the California prison guards' union is not nearly as politically aggressive as it used to be. Seems to be a combination of catching up somewhat with the rest of the state on incarceration, trying to shake the reputation it developed in pressing for more incarceration, and going back to a more traditional public-sector union role.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 2:34 PM
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"You're going to see -- hopefully not -- but you could see instances of anarchy. ... You could see violence."

-- Senator Tom Coburn


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 7:29 PM
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... talking about if Obama does something on immigration


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 7:29 PM
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159: You're right, sorry. I was typing faster than I was thinking. Choked Eric Garner, not shot.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 7:37 PM
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But it may have been a good choke.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 7:38 PM
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||

Jesus, what did Bono wreck his bike into, an oncoming train?

What was first described by the band as a "spill" with surgery required is actually numerous severe fractures, one of which was a fracture on the left side of his face "involving the orbit of his eye," according to a statement to the Los Angeles Times from orthopedic trauma surgeon Dr. Dean Lorich. In addition to his facial injury, Bono's left shoulder blade was fractured into three pieces, the statement said. The 54-year-old suffered a compound fracture to the elbow where "the bone of the humerus was driven through his skin, and the bone was in six different pieces."

|>


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 8:03 PM
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I had a friend...not get thrown from her horse (which can obviously fuck you up pretty bad), but something more comparable to taking a fall off a bike, who also fractured her orbital bone and collarbone. she kind of got scraped off onto a metal (corrugated iron with the ridges parallel to the ground) fence at a slow trot. she was really injured quite badly from what seemed as if it shouldn't have been that severe an accident. to be fair, she's a tiny person who weighs about 100lbs and the horse was a pretty large and spirited one she rode in dressage competitions, so there was a physical height issue; bono can't have been that far off the ground unless he was doing some victorian penny-farthing shit, but he certainly may have been going very fast.

I had a horse do that to me one time, scrape me off on a tree, but as we were on an uneven trail in the woods, he couldn't get going all that fast, so I didn't get hurt seriously, just shaken up and bruised. the fact that there were so damn many rattlesnakes up there (west of columbia s.c.) was a helpful incentive to 'getting right back on that horse,' etc. my knees felt like jello, and I did not want to, but we were 15 miles from anywhere, also, rattlesnakes. and then we had to have a fight over whether I was that horse's bitch now or what, and I had to hold onto the reins with my throbbing elbow to prevent him from getting his head at all, using literally all the strength I had, except for the other 110% of strength my thighs were using to clamp onto the motherfucker like he was seasons one and two of 'the wire' idris elba in a hurry to get somewhere.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11-19-14 11:51 PM
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Hey, I fractured my left orbital in a bike accident too. No helmet, rushing through a green light I knew to be poorly sequenced with the next one. I had hung the stupidest thing in the world from my handlebars (IIRC): a canvas bag full of plastic bags for which I guess I had big, exciting plans back at the housing co-op. It was light enough to start swinging wildly as I accelerated, get sucked into the front wheel, and flip me over the front; I hit the ground sideways and blacked out. This was an 89 Cannondale touring bike that I still ride, and the original fork snarled up in a pretty spectacular way considering the antagonist was a canvas bag full of plastic bags. (I mention the specs in case anyone happens to know what those forks are made of. Play-Doh, apparently.) My mother was delighted to get a call from the police about this on Mother's Day. At least they sell flowers at the hospital! So maybe Bono had a similar over-the-front injury...


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 1:02 AM
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oh, dag, I did that to myself riding along the shoulder of the montauk hwy as a kid in east hampton going from my granddad's house to the beach with my towel and bathing suit in a plastic bag. right over the front wheel. but I was only 13, so, despite having terrible road rash, I was OK, and in fact biked the rest of the way into town (now I'm like, what was I thinking.) kids are very not-breakable.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 7:55 AM
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That really does sound like an over-the-handlebars crash - landing basically on his elbow, continuing forward onto his face would make sense of where he was hurt. It does sound freakishly bad, though. Then again humans really aren't built to go at the middle-to-upper end of bike speeds (20+ MPH) so it's not impossible that the front wheel hitting something and stopped completely flipping him over onto a hard surface could cause that level of injury.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 11-20-14 10:51 AM
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