I find the leaks coming out of the Ferguson grand jury that has been meeting to determine if charges should be brought against Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown puzzling. Many people seem puzzled as to the source of the leaks. As a news junkie, rather than a lawyer, I consider the source of the leaks less relevant than the content of the leaks. Yes, I know the Ferguson grand jury proceedings are supposed to be conducted with utmost secrecy so as to insure “confidence” in the system (something like the trust insured by a jury of your peers or the transparency of The Sunshine Laws). Nonetheless, I am not puzzled by the fact that there were leaks, nor by the identity of the leaker. Rather, I am puzzled by the information that was leaked.
I am puzzled by The New York Times report that Officer Wilson testified that Michael Brown reached into the patrol car, punched the officer in the face and scratched his neck, while reaching with his right hand for the officer’s weapon. I am puzzled by this. Where was the officer’s weapon when Michael Brown reached into the car? Was the weapon in the officer’s holster on his hip, in the seat next to him, on the dashboard, in the officer’s hand? I find the visuals to be confusing. If the gun was not already in the officer’s hand, why was the officer unable to use his hand to fend off Michael Brown or punch him in the face? If the officer’s hand was empty, why was he unable to subdue the teenager? I am puzzled because it seems that a trained law enforcement officer, Officer Darren Wilson, lost an arm wrestling match with a teenager.
I am puzzled. The first leaked reports about the alleged injuries sustained by Officer Wilson asserted that the police officer suffered major injuries, including a broken or fractured eye socket. According to Snopes.com, reports that Officer Wilson suffered a broken facial bone and fractured eye socket are false. As a matter of fact, according to Snopes.com, images of Jim McNeil, a motocross rider injured in 2006, were circulated through social media to prove that Officer Darren Wilson had been seriously injured by Michael Brown. Since that was all false, I am puzzled as to the true extent of Officer Wilson’s injuries.
I am puzzled because in leaked reports of Officer Wilson’s testimony to the grand jury, Officer Wilson states that he feared for his life. I am puzzled as to when the officer feared for his life. Was he fearful when the teenager turned and ran away? Did Officer Wilson call for backup before exiting the patrol car? Was Officer Wilson’s use of deadly force warranted by the circumstances?
I am puzzled. Did Officer Wilson file an incident report on August 9, 2014, the day he killed Michael Brown? Had Officer Wilson filed a report of the incident by the following week, or the following month? If not, why not?
I am puzzled as to why Missouri Governor Nixon feels the need to appoint a Ferguson Commission to Address Inequality. If the Governor is aware that there are problems of inequality, why did he not address the inequalities in the judicial system by appointing an independent prosecutor to handle the Darren Wilson case, especially in light of prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch’s conflict of interest?
I am puzzled.