Thursday, January 22, 2015

This Could End Badly...

I just read an article that said the FBI investigation into the Michael Brown shooting found no evidence that Officer Darren Wilson violated any of Brown's civil rights. Their report has been completed and forwarded to Attorney General Eric Holder (who gave his two-weeks notice months ago) but has yet to be approved, signed and published. I'm sure Holder, if he signs it, will do so under great personal duress. Once again one of Holder's witch hunts failed.

Anyone who has read the transcripts of the trial with an open mind understands that Officer Wilson was brutally attacked before shooting Michael Brown and that from all appearances Brown was ready and beginning to attack again when he was killed. The evidence and witness statements are clear but some will never believe what's in front of them.

If Holder doesn't sign off on the report I can't imagine what will happen. Will he assign another investigative team that is more in line with his thinking? Will he advertise nationwide, as he did in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case, for any and all information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of Darren Wilson? (That act was so shameful Holder should have been forced to resign immediately.) Or will it simply disappear into the archives of the Department of (in)Justice (under Holder) and be forgotten?

Many of you know that I spent my career working in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a branch of the Justice Department. I have never been so embarrassed by the DOJ as I have been since Eric Holder was appointed Attorney General. His obviously biased policies have been divisive and detrimental to the entire agency. If I hadn't been retired when he took over I would have done so as soon as I saw where the agency was headed.

Anyway - back to the report. If the report is signed and published will we see another round of rioting, looting and burning by the angry mobs who have kept up the lunacy for five months because they simply refuse to accept the truth? And if Holder signs off on the report - what does that say about the whole racist aspect of it? Will it mean Holder accepts the truth or will he be a traitor to his race if he signs it? Whatever will Al Sharpton do then?

In other news, I read another article this morning that was interesting and disturbing at the same time. It involved a man carrying a weapon under his jacket who was followed into a Walmart store in Florida, tackled, and held for the authorities. The problem was the man with the weapon has a legal concealed carry permit and the man who assaulted him attacked for no other reason than he happened to see the weapon.

The armed man was 62 year old Clarence Daniels. Mr. Daniels, who is black, was carrying a a holstered weapon under his jacket. When he got out of his car 42 year old Michael Foster, who is white, was able to see the weapon. Rather than call police or contact store security Mr. Foster followed Daniels into Walmart, grabbed him in a "chokehold" and took him to the floor, announcing to everyone that Daniels had a gun. Store security held both men there until the arrival of store security and police, even though Daniels told Foster over and over that he had a permit to carry the weapon.

When police arrived and checked Daniels' story Foster was handcuffed, arrested and charged with battery.

The most disturbing thing about the article was that it suggested two things that were purely speculative about the incident. First - it said that Foster racially profiled Daniels, which is why Daniels was assaulted. There is no evidence of that - merely the fact that Daniels is black and Foster white.

Second - it also suggested that if Foster had called police instead of taking matters into his own hands the police probably would have shot Daniels. There is no way to know if that's true or not but it seems no police get the benefit of the doubt these days that they'll do the right thing. And that's truly sad.

Perhaps Foster thought he was doing a public good deed by taking down an armed man, albeit without enough information to make a sound decision. Perhaps Foster is a racist who believes any black man with a gun is a threat to public safety. Unless he admits it only he knows the truth. But either way his actions got him placed in jail. And rightfully so.

The first rule of carrying concealed, besides being legally allowed to do it, is to ensure the weapon is concealed. In this case the gun was visible to someone who decided that action, ignorantly, that action was necessary. Perhaps Mr. Foster will think next time before he tries to be a superhero. Perhaps not. But he probably won't be playing superhero again any time soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment