Paul Cassell, writing for the Washington Post, has joined the select few mainstream media people who are talking honestly about the evidence presented to the grand jury, which resulted in no indictment against (now former) Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.
Good for him.
Click here to read Mr. Cassell\’s entire piece. Or read his first two and last two paragraphs below:
Inthe wake of the Michael Brown grand jury decision, several blog posts(including oneby me Wednesday) have dissected Officer Darren Wilson\’stestimony. Read by itself, different people can draw differingconclusions about whether it is accurate or not. But whathasn\’t been widely discussed is whether the physical evidenceconfirms or contradicts his story.
Perhapsthe reason for this disinterest in the ballistics report, autopsiesand other similar information is that for at least some of Brown\’ssupporters the facts are, apparently, largelyirrelevant because Brown is a metaphorical “symbol”of injustice regardless of what actually happened. A relatedreason may be that working through this information is time-consuming- and thus beyond the capacity of many commentators. Incontrast, the grand jury painstakingly heard sworn testimony frommore than 60 witnesses, which is now collected in severalthousand pages of transcripts. Reviewing these transcriptsreveals some important and essentially indisputable facts. Andthose facts confirm many critical aspects of Wilson\’s account.
Theseare the highlights of the physical evidence that I have reviewed inthe case, compared to Wilson\’s testimony. Based on my initial read,so far as I can see there are no significant inconsistencies betweenthe physical evidence and Wilson\’s grand jury testimony. Other reviews have likewise not identified readily-apparent examplesof problems with Wilson\’s testimony. For example, a review ofthe grand jury testimony by threeAssociated Press reporters noted numerous examples of witnessstatements inconsistent with the physical evidence, but offered noexamples from Wilson\’s testimony.
Thephysical evidence is important because, unlike witness testimony, itdoesn\’t lie and can\’t be accused of bias (such as racism). As the cliche goes, the physical evidence is what it is. Inthis case, the physical evidence aligned with Wilson\’s testimony. To be sure, as my co-blogger Orin properlycautioned earlier this week, it is always possible for apotential target in criminal case to lie before a grand jury. But it is also possible for him to tell the truth. The grandjury had to sort out these competing possibilities – and thephysical evidence gave no reason to doubt Wilson\’s testimony.
It is very clear to me that, to a great many of the “protesters”, Michael Brown himself is nothing. They could not care less about him. Brown\’s death is meaningful to them only as a vehicle for promoting their various agendas.
Maybe Paul Cassell\’s analysis will wake a few more people up to this. I certainly hope so.