The Corner

Reactions to the Ferguson Non-Indictment

Michael Brown’s family has said that they are “profoundly disappointed” in the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, and called for peaceful protests over the events.

Officer Wilson’s representatives, who did not, as some pointed out, mention the Brown family:

The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Ohio representative Marcia Fudge, did not mince words (emphasis added):

The Ferguson Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown is a miscarriage of  justice.  It is a slap in the face to Americans nationwide who continue to hope and believe that justice will prevail. 

This decision seems to underscore an unwritten rule that Black lives hold no value; that you may kill Black men in this country without consequences or repercussions.  This is a frightening narrative for every parent and guardian of Black and brown children, and another setback for race relations in America.  

My heart goes out to Michael Brown’s loved ones, and to the loved ones of all the Michael Browns we have buried in this country.

Ron Hosko, former FBI assistant director and the chairman of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, maintained that Wilson has been mistreated by the justice system. In part:

While the legal system has exonerated Officer Darren Wilson for his split-second decision on that August afternoon, he very much remains a victim of a politicized agenda that deemed him “guilty until proven innocent.” Although he will walk free, his life has been forever changed, as he has been exploited in a cynical effort to turn civilians against cops in fulfillment of an anti-law enforcement agenda.

The president, the attorney general and many others who presume to be speaking for them have put a rush to judgment ahead of a need to determine, and base words and actions on, the facts. Now a grand jury has, presumably after hearing all of the available facts, delivered this result, the question Americans should ask is, ‘Where do we go from here?’  The coming days may well define the narrative for the coming years. Some will reject the grand jury’s decision out of hand, with no additional facts and no regard to the factors leading to the loss of Michael Brown’s life. Others will embrace the decision and not bother with the details that led to it.

The long-term effects of the politicization of this case are chilling. . . .

Contempt of law enforcement will do little to heal Ferguson or the rift it has highlighted in our country. Likewise, contempt by law enforcement officers for the people they are sworn to serve and protect is myopic and counterproductive.

Although it’s clear that some who have weighed in on this case are incapable of meaningful introspection or concern about the damage they leave in their wake, we hope some true leaders emerge from these events.

President Obama is expected to make a statement shortly.

Patrick BrennanPatrick Brennan is a writer and policy analyst based in Washington, D.C. He was Director of Digital Content for Marco Rubio's presidential campaign, writing op-eds, policy content, and leading the ...

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