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Many, including President Obama, have called for police to wear body cameras in the wake of Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown. Others are skeptical, saying we need look no further than the death of Eric Garner to show that not even clear footage of a cop killing an unarmed man is enough to get an indictment in our system.
One of the key legal doctrines that makes it nearly impossible to effectively police the police is the doctrine of qualified immunity. Last week we discussed Plumhoff v. Rickard, a recent United States Supreme Court Case that upheld this doctrine. There is another recent case out of the federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (Ferguson, along with the rest of Missouri, falls with ...
The prosecution led the defendant through his defense during a grand jury! This simply would not happen if a non-law enforcement defendant were facing possible murder charges but claimed self defense. The defendant and the prosecution are not supposed to be on the same side. However, our system makes it so that, in the case of police defendants, they absolutely will be.
Normally I am not a fan of the phrase "victim blaming." All too often it is used by well meaning zealous advocates to silence any voice that speaks up for the rights of the accused or who asks reasonable questions about an accuser's version of events. In some circles a call to reserve judgment or consider someone innocent until proven guilty gets one labeled as an "apologist." That is wrong.
We have been discussing police brutality this month. In order to fully understand the problem of police brutality in America, it is important to understand what our Supreme Court has said about the matter. After all, they are the ultimate arbiters when it comes to many issues surrounding police brutality, since they are of a constitutional nature.
Nationwide, Americans are outraged by a St. Louis County grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for killing an unarmed teenager named Michael Brown. Even members of the St. Louis Rams football team have joined protesters by using the now famous "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" hand gesture during this past Sunday's pregame introductions.
Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, and he will face no legal repercussions for his actions. Some members of our society are pleased with this result. Others are outraged. But while many people have strong opinions on this particular case, most of them are not familiar with the Missouri law that allowed Darren Wilson to shoot Michael Brown to death and face no criminal responsibility.
I have been considering starting this blog for a few weeks, as I have watched the news coverage of the sexual assault allegations leveled against Bill Cosby. But watching St. Louis, which I still consider my home, being torn to pieces by the circumstances surrounding the killing of Michael Brown finally pushed me over the edge.
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