The Corner

DoJ’s Ferguson Report: ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Claims Are ‘Inaccurate’

A new Department of Justice report on the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. last year confirms that Brown did not surrender with his hands up as he approached police officer Darren Wilson.

In the aftermath of Brown’s death in August, some witnesses claimed that Wilson shot and killed Brown despite the latter’s attempt to turn himself in by putting his hands above his head. “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” went on to become a rallying cry for activists who viewed the incident as an example of widespread use of racial profiling and excessive force by police.

The DOJ report, which clears Wilson of any civil-rights violations, finds that there is not enough evidence to back up those witnesses’ claims, or to suggest that Wilson wasn’t concerned for his safety. “There is no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove Wilson’s stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety,” the report said, according to the New York Times.

The report also concludes that the available evidence — including various contradictions that emerged in some witnesses’ testimony during follow-up questioning – suggests that Brown did not try to surrender to Wilson. From the Times:

“Some of those accounts are inaccurate because they are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence; some of those accounts are materially inconsistent with that witnesses’ own prior statements with no explanation,” the report said.

“Although some witnesses state that Brown held his hands up at shoulder level with his palms facing outward for a brief moment, these same witnesses describe Brown then dropping his hands and ‘charging’ at Wilson,” it added.

“Those witness accounts stating that Brown never moved back toward Wilson could not be relied upon in a prosecution because their accounts cannot be reconciled with the DNA bloodstain evidence and other credible witness accounts.”

The report does find that the Ferguson Police Department exhibited a systemic racial bias in its policing efforts, with its officers singling out and targeting black residents for various violations, and exchanging multiple racist jokes in emails.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Ilhan Omar: A Hostage Situation

‘It has to stop,” says Representative Ilhan Omar. No, it does not. Representative Omar, the Jew-hating Minnesota Democrat, is engaged in one of her usual games of misdirection, a pattern of hers that by now is familiar enough to be predicted: She says something outrageously stupid, offensive, ... Read More
Film & TV

Everyone Is Wrong about The Searchers

The greatest Western of all time . . . isn’t. Though The Searchers is regularly hailed as the finest exemplar of its genre and one of the best movies of any kind (seventh-best of all time, according to the decennial Sight & Sound poll), John Ford’s 1956 film is mediocre for most of its run time. Nearly ... Read More

Why ‘Stop Sanders’?

'Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?” T. S. Eliot asked. “Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” And where is the intelligence we have lost in cleverness? Cleverness is the plague of our political classes, an influenza of the intellect. The consultants are always trying to ... Read More

Trump Is Hell-Bent on ‘Owning the Libs’

President Trump is looking into giving a free trip to San Francisco, New Orleans, or other great American cities to tens of thousands of refugees from Central America. All so he can own the libs. “Owning the libs” is one of those phrases to have emerged over the past few years that vacillates between ... Read More