by Geraldo Rivera | Nov 25, 2014
Despite the bizarre television split-screen he shared with images of smoke and fire, the president was right to address the nation last night, urging calm. The epidemic of young black men dying in encounters with cops must stop.
In that regard, we should all join the Brown family’s campaign to require police to wear body cameras. Just as ‘dash cams’ have helped remove subjectivity and doubt from traffic stops, body cameras will help both cops and the kids they stop.
The camera never blinks and it doesn’t lie.
If the overwhelming evidence presented to the Ferguson grand jury is to be believed, in this case the body cam would have shown an aggressive, misguided, defiant kid acting as if he was bulletproof, as he was shot dead by an understandably rattled cop.
The decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson seems well justified by the evidence presented to the grand jury. Condolences to the Brown family. May their son's tragic death bring a heartfelt examination of what happens when cops encounter young black men. Now the demonstrators in Ferguson need to honor Michael's memory by channeling their anger and anguish into positive action not anarchy that heightens the tensions that lead to tragic encounters like this one.
The case for the white cop's innocence was cinched with the release of the surveillance video from the Ferguson Missouri convenience store that the black youngster robbed in the minutes before the fatal encounter. The crime was minor, stealing a box of cigarillos. But Michael Brown is hulking, menacing and aggressive as he dares the store clerks to stop him his brazen lift.
At that point, the 6'4" 300 pound kid was acting the thug stereotype from every other stickup surveillance video we have ever seen. And the evidence, much of it from African-American witnesses makes clear that rather than the 'unarmed child' described by attorney Benjamin Crump, Michael was a raging bull filled with tragic defiance when he reached in the window of Darren Wilson's police cruiser spoiling for a fight.
Black on black violence is the urban story of our age. It is a kind of race suicide. But in trying to quell the epidemic, the establishment has to work harder to insure the remedy isn't aggravating the crisis. Too many young black men are being killed in encounters with mostly white cops. That's an undeniable crisis in urban life too, and there is no sense denying it.
Aside from more integrated police departments in places like Ferguson Missouri, there has to be greater emphasis on non-lethal police tactics. I love cops, but a Glock 22 shot to a kid's belly leaves little room to sort fact from fiction or guilt from innocence.