Here's the WP story
. I've just now heard nearly all of Robert McCulloch's statement to the press, and it was utterly unconvincing and downright infuriating. So what
if the grand jury heard conflicting testimony about the position of Brown's hands? The guy was unarmed. If I were sitting in a car and I opened fire at an unarmed man coming toward me (at whatever
speed), there's no way I could empty a gun into the guy's body and then claim self defense.
McCulloch kept speaking of "physical evidence," as if repeating that magical mantra could disguise the fact that none of the physical evidence he described justified what Officer Wilson did.
Everyone knows that a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich if the D.A. really wants an indictment.
And then McCulloch had the audacity to say that his office would never take the grave step of charging someone with a crime unless the preponderance of physical evidence demanded it. I doubt that the black people of Ferguson would say the same.
We all know by now that the police department in that town has been run as a criminal enterprise for a long, long time.
Ferguson makes money
by profiling black people. The cops are running a major shakedown racket
. What has McCulloch done about that?
When I lived in Los Angeles, much of my city burned after the Rodney King verdict -- a miscarriage of justice that, in retrospect, seems rather less outrageous than what happened in Ferguson.
On that night, I went into Simi Valley and decorated telephone poles with a cartoon of the jury in the Rodney King case, depicting them as Nazis and Klansmen. Got a death threat or two.
But what I did was nothing. Nothing
. Others in my town took bolder action.
"No justice: No peace," they cried. Good slogan.
Now, I'm not saying that I approved of everything the insurrectionists did. They gutted the 99 Cent Stores. Why? The good
stuff was elsewhere. As a friend from the UK told me that night: "Why don't they just go marching into Bel Air?"
Revolution is a terrible thing and should always be used as a last resort. But revolution is not the worst thing in the world. A stupid
revolution is worse. As a wise man once said, the first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it.
I think that I've made my feelings as clear as I dare.
Just now, I saw our president speak in calm and folksy tones while, on the other side of the split screen, gas bombs dispersed crowds in Ferguson. We're told that those projectiles were not tear
gas, but people seemed to be running away rather rapidly nonetheless. Obama never looked more ineffectual.
I don't know how many fires have broken out in Ferguson. Television coverage conveys the impression that quite a few buildings are burning, but that impression is probably misleading. One thing is quite clear: There are no firefighters trying to put out those flames. Chris Hayes noted that fact just now on MSNBC.
MSNBC has been doing spectacularly good work in covering this story. All other television news coverage that I've seen has ranged from mediocre to lousy to lousier.
Just now on CNN, I saw a particularly ditzy white news anchor decide that she had a right to speak on behalf of the people of Ferguson. She said that they must be angry at the small number of outside agitators who are causing all of the violence now raging.
I got news for you, lady: The agitator who is at fault in this situation is named McCulloch.
And I'm pretty sick of people who insist that the only permissible forms of protest are those forms which don't bring change and don't challenge power.
By the way: It seems clear that the cops must be preventing the fire trucks from getting near the burning buildings and cars.