Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Michael Brown's Parents To Speak To UN? Really?

I have read some ridiculous things in the last few years but this one takes the cake. I read an article this morning that says the parents of Michael Brown, the young man who was killed by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, in August, will be traveling to Geneva, Switzerland, to "take their case" before the The United Nations Committee Against Torture. Really?

The case hasn't even been settled yet in Ferguson. It hasn't been settled by the Justice Department, where Eric Holder is working hard to find anything he can use against Officer Wilson. Apparently Michael Brown's parents are simply not satisfied that Officer Wilson hasn't been charged and tried for murder just two months following the incident.

I'm sure the leak of autopsy information and the leak that the grand jury will most likely not be indicting Wilson in the case has led these grieving parents to make this decision but since Michael Brown was not tortured in any way, what possible reason would they have to take their desperate request to the United Nations? And why would the United Nations even be interested in hearing it unless they simply want an open door to involve themselves more deeply in the American government? Opening that door would be a mistake and a grave risk to our sovereignty as a nation.

Michael Brown's parents are hurting. I get that. No one knows better than I how it feels to lose a child to tragedy. What Michael was doing or had done up to the moment he was shot doesn't make the pain the parents feel any less. I get it. But these private citizens and their lawyers want to push their own "justice" to the outcome they desire without allowing local and federal authorities to complete their own investigations of the case. Theirs is an agenda that should not be - keep involving more and more people, agencies and organizations in the case in hope that at least one of them will eventually take their side.

What right or authority do Brown's parents have to take a local case to the United Nations anyway - particularly when they have not been settled here in the United States yet?

According to their web page - Ferguson to Geneva, "Our goal is not only to achieve justice in Ferguson, but to unite governments around the world against the human rights violations that result from racial profiling and police violence."

According to Saint Louis Public Radio, Brown’s parents, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., will go with a Saint Louis University Law professor Justin Hansford to plead their case. The law professor has written a 13-page complaint against the U.S. justice system specifically complaining about:

Leaving Michael Brown’s body in the middle of the street uncovered
Too many white police officers in Ferguson
Racial profiling
Militarization of police departments
Treatment of protesters
All U.S. police departments

And calling for:

Immediate arrest of Officer Darren Wilson
Firing Police Commissioner
Demanding an apology from Governor Jay Nixon for protester treatment
A firm definition of use of force
‘Front facing’ cameras at all police departments

Let's look at these one by one.

I have no idea why Brown's body wasn't covered. It seems to me they could have done that out of respect for his family if nothing else. It is common practice with most police departments.

The Ferguson Police Chief says he has tried (and failed) to hire and maintain black officers on the Ferguson PD. Is this true? We don't know. And neither do they.

Racial profiling is a phrase used all too often when law enforcement is white and a suspect is black. Did Wilson profile Brown? There is no evidence I've heard that indicates he did.

Police departments nationwide have acquired surplus military equipment through a government program that they use in accordance with the situation at hand. When they are confronting angry, violent mobs who are bent on breaking the law (and often attacking police) I see no logical reason why police should not use everything at their disposal to protect life and property. If you run afoul of the police who are well equipped it's most likely your own fault.

They also want the immediate arrest of Darren Wilson. On what charge? Murder? To arrest one for murder there must be concrete evidence that a murder was committed. So far that evidence hasn't panned out and the grand jury is not done deliberating. Arresting Wilson just to make some people feel better would not only be a mistake but it borders on illegal. Any intelligent attorney should know that.

They want the Police Commissioner fired. For what? What has he done that warrants firing?

Governor Nixon should apologize, alright - but not to the protesters. Violence begets violence. Governor Nixon should apologize to Officer Wilson for convicting him in the court of public opinion before the facts of the case were even close to being revealed.

The use of force has been defined in most law enforcement agencies as "the amount of effort or restraint that one, usually a member of law enforcement, must use to gain control of an unruly situation or person." That force increases or decreases as the situation changes. When you have an unruly and violent mob you come out heavily armed to let them know what could happen if they persist. That doesn't mean you use it - unless the mob dictates that to be necessary. And then you use it until the situation is under control.

The last one I can agree with. In 2014, every police department should be using personal camera technology to alleviate any doubts about what happened. Had Darren Wilson been wearing one it may have shown full well that Michael Brown attacked him in the car and charged him before being killed. That said - does anyone really believe that a camera showing Michael Brown to be the aggressor and attacking Wilson would satisfy the mob in Ferguson? There would always be the "But he was unarmed!" crowd that would completely overlook the damage done to Wilson when Brown hit him. Cameras only resolve issues when people are open to them being resolved honestly.

Bottom line is the Michael Brown's parents will never be satisfied that "justice" was done for them unless the get the outcome they want - regardless of the facts and evidence. It's understandable in a way. Grieving parents will do anything to help alleviate their pain. But if Wilson is not indicted by the St. Louis County Police or the Justice Department, is the President going to allow the UN to step in and do something? Let's hope not. And if the UN doesn't do anything then what? How will the Browns and the mobs in Ferguson ever finally resolve this? I'm thinking winter might help some but what happens after that? If you don't believe the facts and evidence in the case, regardless of how overwhelming it may be, how will you ever resolve the issue?

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