Still Not Guilty, but Still Hounded

Perhaps the defining moment of the Black Lives Matter movement, at least before George Floyd, was the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.  It gave rise to the slogan, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” which supposedly captured the moment in which Brown, with hands up and peacefully approaching white Police Officer Darren Wilson, was shoot dead for no reason.  That slogan is still shouted at BLM rallies today.

A new prosecutor, a black man, Wesley Bell, was elected in St. Louis County in 2018.  He reopened the investigation.  Result:  Darren Wilson is still not guilty of any crime that could be proven to a jury under the same standards applied to everyone else.

The New York Times has the story:

Six years after a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, a Black teenager, in Ferguson, Mo., another investigation into the killing has come to the same conclusion as the first: The officer should not be charged.

The officer, Darren Wilson, already had been cleared by a grand jury and a federal investigation months after the shooting in 2014.

The federal investigation was conducted by Barack Obama’s Justice Department under Eric Holder.

It’s especially noteworthy that the most recent, and third, investigation was conducted by Bell, described in the story as follows:

Mr. Bell himself is a product of the change brought on by Mr. Brown’s death. Activists heavily criticized the longtime prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, who led the grand jury process that resulted in no indictment. Mr. Bell, who is Black, unseated Mr. McCulloch in the Democratic primary two years ago as part of a nationwide wave of reform-minded people of color winning prosecutor races. Ferguson elected its first Black mayor, Ella Jones, this year.

But as Mr. Bell left the lectern on Thursday, a man yelled at him, saying he would be voted out and criticizing his decision not to charge Mr. Wilson.

The story implies, although it does not say in haec verba, that Bell was supported by Soros money, and thus gained office the same way Larry Krasner did in Philadelphia.  If this is so, then hats off to Bell for following the law rather than political tides, and for risking (as he certainly knew he was risking) the “string-him-up-and-law-be-damned” mentality still very much alive, if not more menacing than ever, in people like the fellow who shouted at him at the end of the news conference.