Some Facts

On my birthday, Aug 9th, a young man named Michael Brown assaulted a convenience store clerk and stole a box of cigars.  This incident was caught on the store’s video camera.

Following the robbery, he and some other young men (the number is unclear) were walking down the middle of the street when police officer Darren Wilson told them to clear the road and walk down the sidewalk. Michael Brown attacked the officer, breaking bones in the officer’s skull and attempting to take control of the officer’s weapon.

Brown then fled on foot.  When the officer told Brown to stop, Brown charged the officer and the officer shot and killed him in what seems to be a clear act of self defense. Immediately following the shooting the local police department ordered a full investigation of the incident, turning the case over the the County police rather than handling it themselves.  The results of this investigation are still pending.  The County has asked for the assistance of the FBI.

The young men with Brown claimed that Brown was shot in the back and that he was holding his hands up in surrender.  This claim was contradicted by both other eyewitnesses and the physical evidence at the scene.

Following this incident there have been riots, looting, arson, and acts of vandalism in the area, largely committed by mobs from outside of the jurisdiction where the shooting took place.

I ordinarily don’t comment on news stories, but this is taking place in my home town, within a fifteen minute drive of my house and even closer to where my roommate works.  Watching the national media coverage of these events consistently misrepresent the facts of the case has prompted me to set the record straight.

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About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MPNBNS
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21 Responses to Some Facts

  1. LindaGHill says:

    I’m confused. If these are the facts, where does the media get off saying he was shot six times in the back – according to an autopsy?

  2. Jonas Lee says:

    Gotta love the media. #ratings

  3. There are so many sides to stories like this that it’s impossible (or it SHOULD be impossible) to make a decision one way or the other until all the facts are in (or unless you saw it go down in person!). I don’t get the rioting, I really don’t. It’s no way to solve anything. Wait for the official statement to come out, wait for the eyewitness reports to get tallied, wait for the interviews with the people who were at the scene of the crime, and then decide how to react. And for goodness’ sake, don’t do it by running around breaking shit.

  4. kingmidget says:

    I guess I’m going to quibble with these as facts. The video of the theft shows a large black man, but doesn’t show his face. Is Michael Brown the only large black man in the area? I get that it’s likely that it was him, but … And to call the rest of it facts, when there are eye witnesses who have a different version … there are eye witnesses who dispute whether Brown attacked the officer, for instance. The reality is that there are very few known “facts” about this case, including many of the ones that you’ve claimed are facts here.

    • MishaBurnett says:

      The autopsies–two of them–are facts. The MIR scans of the officer’s skull is a fact. The majority of the eyewitness accounts and all of the physical evidence supports the account the Brown assaulted the officer. The accounts that claim he didn’t are internally inconsistent and contradict each other. Pending the results of the investigation, which is still ongoing, there is no reason to doubt the officer’s report.

      • kingmidget says:

        I believe there are contradictions in the version that supports the officer’s story. And until I see a picture of the officer’s face, I don’t believe he suffered an orbital fracture. Why? Because my wife suffered one a couple if years ago. She had food poisoning and blacked out on the way to the bathroom. She fell and hit her face on the laundry room door. Orbital structure Fractured in three different places. A video I saw of the immediate aftermath of the shooting shows the officer standing there. He’s not touching his face, he’s not acting like he’s in pain. I’m pretty sure if he had a fracture orbital structure he would have been acting differently. Or let’s see a picture of the inevitable bruising if it really happened. My issue is nobody has credibility here. I think the cop is lying, many of the witnesses are lying, and I don’t expect any investigation to produce a definitive answer because of all of those lies.

      • MishaBurnett says:

        The point is that the people who live in the neighborhood don’t see this as some kind of racist hate crime or police brutality. That’s a narrative that’s coming from the national press and being imposed from above. This is being made into a crisis by people who don’t know the city and don’t care what happens to those of us who live here. It’s not locals who are rioting and looting. It’s gangs from other places taking advantage of sensationalist news stories to claim their actions are justified.

      • kingmidget says:

        So, the protests that occurred the very next day before the rest of the world knew anything about it were instigated by outsiders? The majority of protesters who have been arrested in recent days have been Missouri residents. I don’t doubt that there is a problem with outsiders now but there is clearly a whole heck of a lot of local angst and involvement.

      • MishaBurnett says:

        Outside of Ferguson, not outside the state of Missouri. It doesn’t take long to get a flash mob of looters together. Look, all I know is what I get from talking to people who live there, and my experience living for a decade or so in North Saint Louis County. What I see with my own eyes is much different than what I read in the news.

      • kingmidget says:

        I understand you’re much closer to it than any of us can be. Hopefully, some sort of peace will reach the streets of Ferguson and the investigators will do their jobs well.

  5. Whatever happened or didn’t happen, the shop owners, whose stores were attacked, had nothing to do with the shooting. Looting and rioting are not the same thing as peaceful demonstrating or protesting. Looting and rioting reveal those people for what they really are – criminals.
    If the facts demonstrate that official abuse occurred, that still does not justify lawlessness. It justifies legal action against the abusers.

  6. Sally says:

    I, too, am tired of the media misrepresenting my Ferguson. The marching, police action, violence are on a 2 mile stretch of West Florissant. This is NOT Downtown Ferguson. It is a small area that was annexed in the 60’s from unincorporated St. Louis County. I live 3 blocks from downtown Ferguson, and the adverse publicity has our downtown suffering. There are restaurants, shops that have no business because folks are afraid to come there. The local food pantry had to close because the grocery that helps stock it was closed, and folks who make contributions were afraid. Some local and national media publicity, and Social Media publicity helped the McCluer Alumni collect food and $$ to allow the pantry to re-open yesterday. One of our local social groups made a cash contribution Monday. I expect this weekend, another social organization to which I belong with make in-kind donations.

    The shenanigans by police and protesters on the east side of Ferguson is not representative of the majority of Ferguson.

  7. I feel badly for the officer in question who has been tried and convicted by a mob.

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