Ferguson Missouri Riots - What happened and Why

This is an explanation of what has happened with the rioting in Ferguson, MO, and why. (For many more photos, see Flickr Photo Album, Fergoson Riots, November 2014).

Most lately, beginning the night of November 24, 2014, and continuing through that week, violence erupted after the Grand Jury, following weeks of hearing witnesses and looking at evidence, returned a NO BILL against Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.

It is a sad, tragic thing for America. But it is also something where the facts are now known and have been examined in depth and detail. All people should look at those facts and stop listening to the rhetoric and politically motivated influence peddlers who have preyed upon emotion, false narratives, inuendo, race baiting, and political opprtunism.

Michael Brown was an 18-year old man. He was not a young boy as he is depicted. He was unarmed in the sense that he did not have a weapon, but he was a very big man. 6 ft. 4 in. tall, weighing right at 300 lbs, and he was not obese. He was a strong young man in his prime. Sadly, he had take a wrong turn and used his size and strength to intimidate others.

On the day he died, he robbed a store and when confronted by a clerk (possibly the owner of the store), Michael Brown grabbed the man by the throat and shoved him away and then continued out the door with the stolen items. This was felony theft...what is called 'Strong Arm theft'.

Then, with Dorian Johnson, a friend who was involved with him in the robbery, he walked down the middle of the street where Officer Darren Wilson observed them and asked that they move out of the street. Michael Brown profaned the Officer and kept walking. The officer drove nearer and Brown kept the officer from getting out of his car, using his size and weight to force the door closed. He then struggled with the officer through the open window, striking him in the face.

There was a struggle for Officer Darren Wilson's gun which ultimately came out of its holster. When he was fearing that he might lose the weapon, Wilson pulled the trigger, and the bullet hit Brown's hand. This surprised Brown who then ran from the scene.

Officer Wilson exited his car, and gave chase and ordered Brown to stop. By that time he had his weapon drawn. According to Wilson and witnesses who observed what happened, Michael Brown then 'Bum Charged' Wilson from a distance of 80-100 feet. A big man in good health is going to cover that distance in a few seconds. Mark Wilson only had those seconds to decide.

Here is the official report:

------ Official Report ------

"The deceased and another individual were walking down the middle of the Canfield. Officer D. WILSON DSN-609, of the Ferguson Police Department observed the two individuals. He requested that they get out of the roadway.

"The deceased became belligerent towards Officer WILSON. As Officer WILSON attempted to exit out of his patrol vehicle the deceased pushed his door shut and began to struggle with Officer WILSON. during the struggle the Officer's weapon was unholstered. The weapon discharged during the struggle.

"The deceased then ran down the roadway. Officer WILSON then began to chase the deceased. As he was giving chase to the deceased, the deceased turned around and ran towards Officer WILSON. Officer WILSON had his service weapon drawn, as the deceased began to run towards him, he discharged his service weapon several times, striking the deceased."

---- End Official Report ----
At the point when Michael Brown charged him, Officer Wilson knew about the robbery, he had experienced himself Michael Brown's disdain for the law, and he had experienced his strength.

Wilson knew Brown had already tried to get his gun, and he knew Brown was stronger than he was, and would likely, if he reached him, do further harm...probably gross bodily harm if not mortally injure him.

So Officer, Darren Wilson, who had only seconds to decide, fired his gun at Brown, and he kept firing, as he had been trained, until Michael Brown was down. Michael Brown died at the scene.

Witnesses, most of them African Americans themselves, testified of this to the Grand Jury. Michael Brown's accomplice, Darrion Johnson told a different story, saying that Brown fell to his knees and held up his hands pleading to the officer, 'Don't shoot.' But forensic evidence and other witnesses showed this was false,. All of this was seen and researched by the Grand Jury.

But Dorian Johnson's story was picked up first and reported nationally by the press. This resulted in calls for the Police Officer's arrest, and rioting, looting, and burning businesses in the area for a week. All of this was egged on almost immediately by activists like Al Sharpton, and ultimately the New Black Panthers.

A Grand Jury was convened to review the events. They were looking at five possible charges against Officer Wilson ranging from illegal use of force up to 1st degree murder.

They poured over the evidence and the witnesses' testimony, including evidence brought by both sides. As stated, they had five crimes they could have charged the officer with ranging from illegal use of force, through manslaughter, 2nd degree murder and 1st degree murder. After spending weeks hearing witnesses and looking at evidence...and knowing the gravity of the situation...they did not indict Officer Wilson on any charges. This was because the evidence was clear.

The facts are, despite what Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Eric Holder, or Barack Obama say, when any adult robs a store in this fashion, it is a felony. When that same individual assaults a Police Officer...it is a felony. When that same individual charges a police officer with obvious intent of doing bodily harm, it is a felony and it should and did result in the officer defending himself with deadly force.

Michael Brown became a thug. As a youth he had a thug's history, despite how his family felt about him. Of course they loved him. He was their son. But he did not change. He made these decisions that day, and they led to his death.

It is unfortunate...it is sad...and his family, who loved him despite himself, is hurt and in remorse. That is understandable. In such a condition, they are also vulnerable, and their vulnerability has been used and taken advantage of. sadly, it has been made into a spectacle and used to cause violence and rioting.

None of that is officer Darren Wilson's fault. It is not the system's fault. It is Michael Brown's fault. He made very bad decisions and he ended up facing the consequences of those decisions that day.

President Barack Obama gave a statement the night of November 24th after the announcement of the Grand Jury's finding and as violence raged. While calling for calm, he also said that 'the anger is understandable.' This was a highly irresponsible thing for a President to say. It only encouraged the violence.

So we have politically motivated individuals and office holders from the President of the United States, Barack Obama, to the Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, to known race baiters and activists in Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, to known insurrectionists in the New Black Panthers trying to turn this entire incident into an even worse situation that they feel will benefit their agenda and ideology.

The American people must not allow this to happen. Other elected officials must stand up and stop this. Other citizens must demand the violence stop and support the local authorities and law enforcement in putting and end to it.

We are a nation of laws. The system has worked, A Grand Jury made up of a cross section of responsible citizens found and examined the facts and made the appropriate decision irrespective of what politically motivated people wanted. That Jury ruled in spite of these activists and politicians shamelessly using the tragedy and sadness of a family to seek to influence things to their own end.

They are still doing so.

The United States is a land for opportunity for anyone willing to work for it. It is not the racist cauldron some of these people try to depict it as. Look at Barack Obama, the President of the United States. Look at Clarence Thomas, a justice on the Supreme Court. Look at Condoleezza Rice, who was the Secretary of State, Look at Colin Powell, former Secretary of Defencse and then Secretary of State. Look at Will Smith, a famour actor. There are a many, many other successful and influential black Americans...as well there should be...on both sides of the political spectrum, and in business and in everyday life. A racist country would never have seen those people aspire to and obtain such high office.

That's because the United States has left those sad days far behind. Are there still some racists? Yes...and on both sides of the issue. but it is the minute minority and they are disdained by the population as a whole.

Funny how some of these people endorsing anger, calling for action against 'the system,' and saying that a Black Man's life must be worth something (and it is. Every life is of immense worth)...these same people, when faced with the endless black on black crime in Chicago, where the chances of young black men and other innocent citizens being killed is 500 times greater than what happened in Ferguson...as I say, some of these same people when faced with that weekly slaughter in Chicago are veritably silent. Where is that outrage? Where is that wall to wall news coverage?

Tragically, if it does not meet the agenda of these ideologs, finluence peddalrs, and race baiters, they virtually ignore it. This alone should tell you all you need to know about the political nature and motivation of much of what is occurring in Ferguson.

But it is trumped by the facts which clearly showed:

  • Brown did not have his Hands Up;
  • Brown was not a Gentle Giant;
  • Brown did not say, Don't Shoot;
  • Brown was not a 12 year old as some pictures depict him.
The pictures of Brown when he was 12 years old are not at all what he was like that day at 18 years of age (as shwon above).

Images and false narratives are being used to gen up the opposite picture of what actually occurred...exactly as they were in Florida with Treyvon Martin, another incident where a violent young man was beating another man, resulting in the death of the attacker.

Please do not buy into these false narratives. Folks need to set aside animus and bias and read the actual evidence. It has all been released to the public and makes clear why the Grand Jury decided as it did.

Jeff Head
Idaho, USA
November 2014

See Also:







Dragon's Fury

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Stand at Klamath Falls

The Stand at Klamatjh Falls
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Copyright © 2012 by Jeff Head, All Rights Reserved