Tuesday, November 25, 2014
From: Gary L. Bauer
As you know, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announced last night that the grand jury investigating the shooting death of Michael Brown found no cause to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson on any of five possible charges. We can say with certainty that there are people of all races who agree and disagree with this decision.
We can also say with certainty that the individuals who engaged in anarchy last night are not in either camp. I watched the news reports for hours last night and want to share the following observations:
- Last night’s rioting was not a spontaneous event. Leftist extremists, mostly from Chicago, have poured into Ferguson and surrounding communities since the summer. Some in the crowds were wearing Guy Fawkes masks — a symbol of the radical left. Fawkes, a British revolutionary from the early 17th century, is not exactly representative of today’s black community.Some of the radicals in Ferguson are professional agitators who have been instrumental in previous left-wing riots. There is zero violence associated with the Tea Party movement. Yet it is routinely castigated by the media, while these violent left-wing groups get a pass. They should be investigated and shut down.
- The people looting liquor stores and running out with bottles were not crying over the grand jury’s decision. There was no outrage on their faces. They were celebrating.The arsonists who torched minority-owned businesses were not making a statement about police brutality or any other legitimate cause.
- Dozens of buildings were burned. Police cars were set on fire. The police chief said he counted 150 shots fired. When fire crews attempted to put out fires, they were attacked and had to retreat.Many commentators have suggested that the nighttime announcement was terrible timing. Local officials say they wanted to ensure that kids and commuters were off the streets.But why on earth did Governor Jay Nixon declare a state of emergency and mobilize the National Guard a week ago and then wait until 1:00 a.m. to deploy them? Why were Ferguson’s citizens and stores unprotected?
- Eric Holder deployed 100 FBI agents to Ferguson last week. What were they doing?
- As I watched the handcuffed police last night, it was clear they were under orders to do virtually nothing. Then the thought occurred to me: I’ve seen this before. . . this is how the left fights wars.Now it has imposed the same politically correct tactics on the men and women standing on the thin blue line. All that was accomplished was the destruction of jobs and businesses, many of which were held by blacks.Obama’s RemarksNot long after the violence erupted, President Obama addressed the nation. Two things struck me about his remarks. In the past, he was quick to take sides — blasting the Cambridge cops and claiming Trayvon Martin as a son. Last night he was more even-handed.
Yet the juxtaposition of the president on a split screen pleading for calm as vehicles burned was astonishing. Not long ago, many on the left and in the black community saw Obama as a savior. Last night, he seemed to be an afterthought.
In all honesty, Obama lost me in the first 60 seconds when he said, “We are a nation of laws.” This administration has violated the rule of law from the moment it assumed office. Just last week he rewrote our immigration laws, exercising powers he repeatedly claimed not to have.
Kudos To the Grand Jury
Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch went on at length last night to explain the process and the evidence involved in reaching yesterday’s decision. He also released that evidence to the public.
McCulloch pointed out that in contrast to physical evidence eyewitnesses are often unreliable. He noted that many of the so-called “eyewitnesses” we heard giving media interviews in fact were not eyewitnesses at all. When the physical evidence contradicted their statements, they recanted and said they were only repeating what people had told them.
For example, initial media reports suggested that the young man was shot repeatedly in the back. The autopsy revealed that was not true. Some said Brown was killed as he was surrendering, shot with his hands up. Once again, the physical evidence contradicted that meme.
Yet when Obama cited Ferguson at the U.N. several weeks ago to create some kind of moral equivalence between the U.S. and the rest of the world, he was relying on bad evidence. When Eric Holder sympathized with the radicals, saying, “I am the attorney general of the United States. But I am also a black man,” he was relying on bad evidence.
This is a reminder that everyone in a position of authority (from the county prosecutor to the president) should assume a demeanor of responsibility, support the rule of law, and avoid speculation — especially when dealing with sensitive issues like race.
Finally, keep this in mind: It has often been said that a decent prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich. The point being that a grand jury proceeding is heavily biased toward the prosecution. Compared to a conviction by a trial jury, an indictment requires a lower threshold of evidence and it needs only nine votes, as opposed to a unanimous vote.
Kudos to the members of the Ferguson grand jury. From a certain perspective, the decision they reached was the most difficult.
Virtually all elite opinion demanded that Officer Wilson be charged. The jurors were given five charges to consider. They could have easily chosen one and passed the buck to a trial jury. In this age of computer hacking and ID theft, they have every reason to be worried that their names may become public and their lives threatened.
Instead, they refused to appease the mob and they upheld the rule of law.* * * * *
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