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Justice Dept. to Recommend No Civil Rights Charges in Ferguson Shooting

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by YankeeFan, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Wilson won't be facing any criminal charges:

    The Justice Department has begun work on a legal memo recommending no civil rights charges against a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., who killed an unarmed black teenager in August, law enforcement officials said.

    That would close the politically charged case in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. The investigation by the F.B.I., which is complete, found no evidence to support civil rights charges against the officer, Darren Wilson, the officials said.

    A broader civil rights investigation into allegations of discriminatory traffic stops and excessive force by the Ferguson Police Department remains open, however. That investigation could lead to significant changes at the department, which is overwhelmingly white despite serving a city that is mostly black.

    The state authorities concluded their investigation into Mr. Brown’s death in November and similarly recommended no charges.

  2. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    I guess the Grand Jury proceeding that McCulloch ran was not so unfair after all if Eric Holder agrees
  3. franticscribe

    franticscribe Well-Known Member

    Different factual elements the feds would have to prove to bring civil rights violations. This isn't necessarily an agreement by DOJ with the St. Louis County grand jury's decision. It's an acknowledgement that not enough evidence exists that Officer Wilson acted on the basis of race, gender or nationality to bring federal charges.
    bigpern23 likes this.
  4. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    In all due respect why try to spin it down to a meaningless event? The investigation was a joint one between Missouri State prosecutor Robert McCulloch and
    the DOJ. I think it's fair to assume that if The DOJ thought that there was something there, there would have been an indictment ( ham sandwich etc etc). As it stands, their decision not to indict further validates The Grand Jury decision and vindicates McCulloch in many ways. Will the protestors be back now and start labeling Eric Holder a racist?
  5. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Which is still a pretty big deal, since the narrative had everything to do with race. And, in the absence of a physical confrontation with Brown, there was no motivation other than racial animus to shoot him.
    Boom_70 likes this.
  6. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

  7. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    What, what?
  8. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    Not particularly surprising, considering:

    The tricky thing in a federal civil rights prosecution is proving mens rea — that is, the defendant’s state of mind. As the jury instructions above make clear, federal prosecutors would have to establish that the police officer acted “willfully” — i.e., with a “bad purpose or evil motive.” And because mens rea is an element of the offense, prosecutors would have to prove that state of mind beyond a reasonable doubt.

    In some of the discussions of the case that I have seen, this critical point has been overlooked. Some commentators have assumed that the officer could be charged federally if he was negligent or reckless in assessing the need to use deadly force. For a federal civil rights prosecution, that is untrue. A federal civil rights prosecution in the Brown shooting will only be successful if the defendant acted with specific intent to deprive Brown of his rights.

    What would federal prosecutors have to prove in the Michael Brown shooting? - The Washington Post
  9. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Which commentators assumed this?

    We've been down this road several times now, haven't we? It's double jeopardy if the Feds go after him for the same charges (though, technically, in this case, I suppose they could have, since he wasn't acquitted of any charges).

    But, every article described the Feds investigation as a civil rights investigation. Anyone that didn't understand the standard required for charges to be brought wasn't paying attention.

    And, if you believed the narrative that Wilson gunned down Brown because he was black, then civil rights charges were a no-brainer.

    A whole movement -- Black Lives Matter -- sprung up in response to this death. The movement didn't claim that cigarillo stealing lives matter, or walking down the middle of the street lives matter, or punching cop in the face lives matter.

    According to the narrative, Brown is dead because he was black. That's the only reason he was killed. If true, it would be an easy civil rights case.
  10. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Exactly. As it turns out The DOJ investigation was really nothing more that a PR event to perhaps quiet things down. Uncle Eric would right the
    wrongs of racists Bob.
  11. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    The link I posted says, "federal civil rights prosecution would be a high-stakes, all-or-nothing affair," often impossible to prove under a very narrow list of criteria.

    However, Wilson apparently not violating Brown's civil rights is a completely different matter than whether appropriate force was used. The calls of racism stemmed as much from the Ferguson PD's botching of the aftermath as they did from the shooting itself. Which, coincidentally, could be addressed in the "other" federal investigation into systemic racism allegations.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  12. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Was this your opinion or were you talking in generalities?
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