"Wilson cursed at the pair and ordered them onto the sidewalk, Bosley told The
An autopsy commissioned by the Brown family suggests that account is not true, at least in regard to the most incendiary charge. None of the bullets fired at Johnson entered his body through his back. That hardly means Wilson was justified in shooting Brown even once. Nor does it necessarily mean Wilson is a murderer. The simple fact is we don't know.
The rush to condemn Wilson's conduct and the gallop to martyr Brown may have set land speed records. The New Yorker, like numerous outlets, reported that Brown was walking to his grandmother's home when confronted by Wilson. A video released from the by turns hapless and devious
That video is almost surely irrelevant to Wilson's state of mind, since the police said he didn't know about the shoplifting incident. It is, however, inconvenient from the martyrdom angle.
But don't tell that to the legions of too-often-interchangeable activists, commentators and reporters who have convinced themselves that we know exactly what happened, or at least all we need to know.
Of course he does.
The New Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam claim that their groups control the situation in
Hayes -- actually one of MSNBC's cooler heads in this tale -- was quick to respond to critics that he was simply reporting on the mood in the city. I'm sure he's right about the mood of the people he's listening to. But such moods have no legal standing whatsoever.
Nearly everything about this story is ugly: the gleeful ideological and bureaucratic point-scoring, the spectacle of a militarized police force and bunkered police leadership, the self-congratulatory advocacy journalism, the Molotov cocktails and despondent victims of looting, the feeding frenzy of Sharpton and
Save for the occasionally reported efforts of
There also seems to be a bipartisan desire to make President Obama part of the story. He is the first black president and a former community organizer, after all. The media maw needs a quote.
Obama, as is his wont, took the bait. His comments Friday were defensible on the merits, but what was the point? He clearly mollified no one and exposed himself, once again, to being dragged along by events. On Friday, he explained how he and his team are monitoring events closely. On Monday, the
The race to be wrong, it seems, isn't a sprint but a marathon -- and everyone, including the president, wants to participate.