Tag: Michael Brown

Howard Husock talks with Shelby and Eli Steele about their new documentary, What Killed Michael Brown?, and Amazon’s refusal to make the film available on its Prime Video streaming platform.

The documentary is written and narrated by Shelby Steele, a scholar at the Hoover Institution, and directed by his filmmaker son, Eli Steele. It is available through their website, whatkilledmichaelbrown.com.

“Four Hours,” A Sermon


I have a question about the story we heard from Matthew 28 this morning. Why did the Chief Priests and elders bribe the soldiers to tell a lie? I mean, this may sound like I’m stating the obvious … but lying is wrong.

It wasn’t even a very good lie. Even a casual reading of the story brings a lot of questions to mind: Like: if the soldiers were asleep, how did they know that it was the disciples who had stolen the body? How could the disciples, or anyone else, roll a heavy stone away from the opening to the tomb without waking everyone up? And why would they do this, given that stealing a body was considered a downright sacrilegious offense and punishable by death in those days? Not to mention the punishment that awaited soldiers who conked out while on duty?



I have a fairly high tolerance when it comes to grieving parents: It may be a cliché, but it’s likely true that none of us can understand the anguish and sorrow of losing one’s child without having gone through it. However, I have a very low tolerance for those who enable parents to present thugs and thieves as victims and martyrs. Whatever one’s other feelings about police shootings and #BlackLivesMatter, justice and decency should have demanded that Lezley McSpadden — the mother of Michael Brown, pictured below in the blue dress — not be featured on a stage of victims at the DNC. But as you can see, she was.

The Problem In The Pronouns


self-absorption-and-bipolar-disorder-300x199As a theologically liberal clergy person, I receive a lot of drivel masked as thoughtful, contemporary writing addressing the most urgent issue of our day: How can we make life better for nice, middle-class white people? These things come with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, and are often written by black people, but they are really about white folk (and people “passing for white,” which I think includes people like Condi and Ben?)

Two big clues to who these missives are for, and what they’re really about: Pronouns. Also: verbs.

As a representative example, I offer the following, penned by Amira Sakallah and presented courtesy of the Theology of Ferguson project. “Ferguson,” you will recall, is the small city in Missouri where an 18-year-old black man, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a white police officer. This is important, because a) Michael Brown is dead; and b) it sparked huge demonstrations and riots that went on all year, and resulted in massive property damage and further loss of life. So: serious business! Something for the clerical-collar-clad social warrior to really sink her straight, white teeth into! The essay is called Being a Do-Gooder, Becoming a Freedom Fighter: BlackLivesMatter:

First Baltimore, Now Los Angeles?


shutterstock_140272873Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is as obtuse as ever. Addressing the sharp decline in arrest numbers from the Baltimore Police Department, Rawlings-Blake told a reporter for the Baltimore Sun she expects the officers to step it up. “We know there are some officers who we have some concerns about,” she said. “I’ve been very clear with the FOP that their officers, as long as they plan to cash their paycheck, my expectation is that they work.”

And the officers’ expectation is that if they perform their duties within the law, they won’t be arrested and charged with crimes so as to appease a riotous mob. Or at least this was their expectation. Now, since the arrest and indictment of the six officers implicated in the death of Freddie Gray, Baltimore cops live with fear that they could be next and are conducting themselves accordingly.

The mayor claims the officers aren’t working. In fact, they are: they’re merely adjusting their work habits so as to bring them into alignment with the current political climate. They’re out on patrol in the same numbers and manning all the posts they were before Freddie Gray’s death, but they’re being far less proactive in their efforts to reduce crime. And who can blame them? Imagine yourself as a Baltimore cop. You are driving the streets in your patrol car when you see someone you know to have a violent history. You see him tug at his shirt or adjust his pants or change his gait in a certain way, any of which might indicate he is carrying a gun. Do you get out of your car and investigate with the knowledge that — if he doesn’t shoot you — he’ll run away and force you to chase him?

The Libertarian Podcast: Ferguson Revisited


I’d recommend this week’s installment of The Libertarian podcast if only because it’s rare to hear Professor Epstein hold forth with this level of passion. Our topic: the recent Department of Justice reports on Ferguson, Missouri — one exonerating Darren Wilson in Michael Brown’s death, the other alleging a systemic pattern of racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department. Richard’s less than happy with the political agenda of Eric Holder and his associates. Listen in to hear why (and subscribe to The Libertarian on iTunes or your favorite podcast app to take us on the go):

The DOJ Inflames Racial Tensions in Ferguson


FergusonThough it has scarcely garnered the attention it deserves, the U.S. Department of Justice has released a report exonerating Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown last year in Ferguson, Missouri. As I note in my new column for Defining Ideas, the Justice Department should, in the interest of civic harmony, be doing everything it can to call attention to the report’s findings:

What the DOJ now has to do is to acknowledge that the killing of Michael Brown was a justifiable homicide. It must abandon its contrived legalisms and defend Wilson, by condemning unequivocally the entire misguided campaign against him, which resulted in threats against his life and forced his resignation from the police force. Eric Holder owes Wilson an apology for the unnecessary anguish that Wilson has suffered. As the Attorney General for all Americans, he must tell the protestors once and for all that their campaign has been thoroughly misguided from start to finish, and that their continued protests should stop in the interests of civic peace and racial harmony. In light of the past vilification of Wilson, it is not enough for the DOJ to publish the report, and not trumpet its conclusions. It is necessary to put that report front and center in the public debate so that everyone now understands that Wilson behaved properly throughout the entire incident.

At the same time, however, the DOJ has issued a report claiming systemic prejudice in the Ferguson Police Department, an odd conclusion given that the investigation was surely undertaken to identify the “root causes” of Wilson’s misbehavior — misbehavior that they now admit did not occur. As I write:

Was Michael Brown’s Death Unavoidable?


In my most recent contribution over at PJ Media, I examine the Michael Brown-Darren Wilson encounter with a focus on Wilson’s tactics. I’m in complete agreement with the grand jury’s decision not to indict him, but this is not to say there might have been a different outcome had Wilson not made some key decisions in the moments leading up to the shooting. A sample:

But even as Michael Brown’s death recedes from the front pages, there are still aspects of the case that require examination, not least of which are the tactics employed by Darren Wilson in the moments leading up to the shooting. Though I’m in agreement with the grand jury’s decision in declining to charge Wilson in Brown’s death, it doesn’t mean I agree the shooting was unavoidable. If we imagine a counterfactual scenario and back up, step by step, from the moment the first shot was fired, we can come up with a way in which Michael Brown might have been arrested without the use of deadly force. This is not intended as a criticism of Darren Wilson, but rather as a reminder to police officers who may someday find themselves in a similar situation.

Cashing In…


Here is a tidbit from Ferguson, Missouri:

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – In a recent statement, Michael Brown’s mother asked that her son not be part of self-serving business or political actions as she pleaded that he be remembered for the good.  A reported assault and theft this past weekend may dramatically underscore that sentiment.

The African-American Answer to George Wallace


A few days ago, an article appeared in Pravda-on-the-Hudson reporting that pollsters had told the White House that if there is not a huge African-American turnout on the first Tuesday this November, the Democrats are cooked.

In the meantime, there have been leaks from the Ferguson, Missouri grand jury investigation. Darren Wilson is said to have testified that Michael Brown attacked him in his police car and went for his gun, that he fired at him twice at that time, and that, when he emptied his gun into Brown, the young man was charging at him on the street.

Shaneen Allen and The Democratic Narrative


pic_giant_091814_SM_Shaneen-Allen(Update 09/24/2014: McClain has reversed course and admitted Allen to the Pre-Trial Intervention Program she’d been denied access to. Whatever else it may be, that’s wonderful new for Allen and worth celebrating).

It’s not necessarily damning that Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown’s deaths became rallying cries within Leftist and Civil Rights circles: as initially presented, both cases appeared to confirm the Democratic narrative that American society is beleaguered by divisions of race, gender, and class.

It does, however, say a lot about those groups that they stuck with those stories long after the original facts were shown to be factually incorrect, heavily edited, or outright fabricated in an effort to cast Martin and Brown as hapless victims of prejudice.

Member Post


There are a few galvanizing “truths” within the dogma of the left in America which when exposed to sunlight, blow up bike B movie vampires.  First and foremost among those truths is the absolution of any person of marginal black African decent in America from the responsibility for their own misery.  If they commit crimes, […]

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ISIS Interrupts the Narrative


BvZ5vBrIgAAv3ChAfter witnessing four nights of incited mayhem on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, I made a personal declaration on Twitter that I would no longer retweet or tweet at members of the media in Ferguson who were sensationalizing the standoff between the police and the rioters. It’s become clear they have inserted themselves into the story and made it more about a political ideology (the man putting us all down) than about the facts of the investigation of Michael Brown’s death.

Every tweet about being shoved, arrested, manhandled or just plain being treated rudely now serves the sole purpose now of goosing ratings and clicks. This is not justice for Michael Brown or Darren Wilson. This is Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers come to life, with the media becoming the story. In lower Manhattan, they stood around and recorded members of Occupy Wall Street clashing with police. In Missouri, they are declaring themselves the Occupiers.

Matt Pearce of the Los Angeles Times admitted as much yesterday, stating on his Twitter feed that the media has become an accelerant. Take a bow. 

Member Post


I have been away from Ricochet for almost a week (I missed you all), so perhaps I am asking a question that has already been asked, but is the Left trying to turn this situation in Ferguson, MO into a second chance at revenge over the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case last year? It seems to […]

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This Is Big Government

Ferguson Is Big Government


The images out of Ferguson, Mo., have shaken many. On one side, an angry community demanded answers to the suspicious killing of a young man by police. On the other, a military-style show of force complete with armored vehicles, snipers, and policemen dressed more for Kabul than middle America.

As the smoke from the flash grenades and tear gas cleared, we learned that cops took journalists and politicians into custody while the First Amendment “right of the people peaceably to assemble” was denied.