According to a recent MSNBC report by Lawrence O’Donnell, there is even more reason to be upset with the Grand Jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri.
On August 9th, Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white police officer. The shooting prompted protests that roiled the area for weeks. On Nov. 24, the St. Louis County prosecutor announced that a grand jury decided not to indict Mr. Wilson.
Though many tried to remain optimistic of an outcome that would reflect the seemingly egregious nature of this crime, I don’t believe that many were truly surprised when news broke that the Grand Jury had decided not to indict Wilson.
Aside from other anomalies in the operation of this grand jury (everything from the fact that the prosecutor never recommended a charge, to the grand jury having heard from Officer Wilson himself), there is apparently more for us to be worried about.
The reported mistakes made were so outrageous, that I can only believe that prosecutors intended to do everything possible to ensure that charges would never be brought against former officer Darren Wilson.
Prior to hearing testimony directly from Officer Wilson, assistant prosecutor, Kathi Alizadeh gave the jury a print out of a statute, telling them:
“And it is, it says law enforcement officers use of force in making an arrest. and it is the law on what is permissible, what force is permissible and when in making an arrest by a police officer.’”
That statute was deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1985. That is, longer than Kathi Alizadeh had been practicing law.
After being given this incorrect statute by which they were supposed to judge Officer Wilson and the events in Fergusen, the grand jury listened to Officer Wilson testify for four hours.
While watching this video, I immediately though that Kathi Alizadeh should be charged with malfeasance; but turns out she knew how to cover her behind. So that it was on record that she “corrected” her mistake, she then gave the grand jury the corrected statute, mentioning in the most vague way possible that the prior statute was out of date, and never bothering to explain the fundamental differences between the two. What she said was that the first statute did not comply with the rules of the Supreme Court.
Then one of the grand jurors asked Alizadeh the Supreme Court law overrode the Missouri statute.
“As far as you need to know, just don’t worry about that.”
And another prosecutor added, “We don’t’ want to get into a law class.”
It saddens me to know that there is such an utter, deep-seated, institutional disregard for Black lives, that this type of deliberate, glaring misconduct can stand, and yet we are called animals for rioting in the streets. #blacklivesmatter
See the entire broadcast here.