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RERUN

The Trouble in Ferguson, Missouri:
I Think the Cop was Wrong

On Saturday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and implemented a midnight to 5 a.m. curfew in Ferguson, where the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager sparked a week of protests and sporadic looting.

On the first night of the imposed curfew, a person was shot and is in critical condition. State Police had to use tear gas to get to the person who was shot and was lying in the street. A man with a gun was arrested.

Ferguson, a town of about 22,000 people near St. Louis, entered the national consciousness on August 9th when a White police officer, identified as Darren Wilson, shot and killed Michael Brown, 18, a young Black boy, on a city street during the middle of the day.

Accounts of what happened vary widely. Police said Brown struggled with the officer and reached for his weapon.

Several witnesses said Brown raised his hands and was not attacking the officer.

Since then, Ferguson has become a tinder box, with regular street protests, an influx of heavily armed law enforcement officers and intense media coverage.

A new development in the investigation popped up Saturday when a Brown family lawyer, Anthony Gray, said that Michael Baden will conduct a second autopsy on the teenager's body. Baden is a high-profile pathologist who testified in the O.J. Simpson, Phil Spector and Drew Peterson trials.

But let's take a look at some of the facts as we know them now.

There has been repeated news coverage of he event, and some of the facts being reported seem to hold a modicum of truth.

First of all, Michael Brown did rob a store of cigars, about $40 worth, just before he was approached by the officer. There is video of that.

The officer, however, didn't know Brown had just committed strong arm robbery.

Wilson was stopping Brown for walking down the middle of the street, obstructing traffic.

The officer, Wilson, told Brown to get on the sidewalk.

Brown allegedly approached Wilson while he was sitting in his police cruiser. And Brown was a big kid for his age.

There is an allegation that Brown and Wilson struggled, with Brown allegedly reaching for the officer's weapon.

Then, Brown ran away, about 35 feet before Officer Wilson drew his weapon and fired what has been reported as seven shots, killing Brown.

Even if Brown had tried to get Wilson's gun, he was reportedly 35 feet away when Wilson shot and killed Brown.

There was, at that time, no threat to the officer's life, with Brown being so far away. So why shoot to kill Brown?

It was also reported that witnesses said Brown had his hands raised in the universal sign of surrender. If that's true, Wilson had no cause to shoot Brown.

Frankly, it doesn't look good for Officer Wilson.

I believe he should be arrested and charged with the murder of Michael Brown.

He should also be sued for wrongful death.

Then the town's rabble-rousers will be able to chill and things can get back to normal.

That's in my opinion.

Michael C. Quinn
Publisher
NewsManatee.com

LATE BREAKING NEWS: CNN reported late Monday night that the independent autopsy on Michael Brown requested by the family and conducted by widely-known pathologist Michael Baden showed Michael Brown was shot six times; twice in the head and 4 times in the right arm.

Late Monday night, a CNN reporter said he witnessed shots fired at police which prompted a police response that included tear gas and smoke grenades that the police used to break up a near riot condition on the streets of Ferguson.

NewsManatee has learned through CNN that Officer Darren Wilson, suspected in the shooting of Michael Brown, has gone into hiding.