Monday, November 24, 2014

Ferguson Grand Jury Indictment Announcement: No Charges Filed!

The grand jury tasked with deciding whether or not to indict Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown has reached a decision. That decision was just announced shortly after 9 PM EST this evening. Update: No criminal charges will be filed against Darren Wilson. Not a one. The grand jury found no probable cause. Stop back here later for updates, discussion and analysis of next steps, if any. With any luck one of the blog attorneys will stop by to comment and provide perspective. I think this whole process has been janky, to borrow a word often used by one of my cousins but we shall see what will happen. One of the things which has bothered me about this situation is that too many people who support Officer Wilson seem to want to try the facts before a trial has even been set. The grand jury is only supposed to decide if there is enough evidence for an indictment. It's a much lower standard than beyond a reasonable doubt. Everyone should remember that. If the grand jury indicts it doesn't mean that the people on the grand jury thought that Officer Wilson was guilty of the crime. That remains to be seen. One of the things that some of the commentary around this incident does show is that in general people with more melanin and people with very little melanin have completely different viewpoints of reality, to the extent that one wonders how there can ever be any "coming together". Of course such coming together can and does happen on an individual level but in so many ways institutionally we remain a nation completely divided in perceptions and everything else. This CNN poll shows that 38% of whites think that Wilson should not be charged with a crime at all while a full 50% of whites think that police in their area have no or almost no prejudice against blacks. LINK 
Anyway, indictment or not, once the decision has been announced let us know what you think of the process, the case particulars and what if anything this means for the future of race relations in America.
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