Someone Take Away Chief Jackson's Matches, Please

It seems Ferguson's Chief of Police really just wants to stir up trouble. After things have calmed down - in large part because Highway Patrol was called in and took over -  Chief Jackson, who mangled the situation so badly that the St. Louis suburb looked like a military war zone, released two key pieces of information: the name of the officer who shot Mike Brown and the deceased's status as a suspect in a convenience store robbery.

Up until now, the Chief has refused to release the name of the cop who killed Mike Brown because he was concerned about Darren Wilson's safety. So what's changed now? Why is he less concerned for the safety of one of his men? The day after he loses control of the situation officially (although I'd say he lost control, if not power, almost immediately after the shooting happened), he suddenly feels the officer is in no danger, and that information can be given out? Or he has an attack of conscience, and believes it's the right thing to do? I'm glad that this information is out - it ought to be - but I question his motivations for releasing Officer Wilson's name, especially in the manner he did.

Secondly, what does Mike Brown's alleged crime have to do with the shooting? He is suspected of stealing some cigars from a convenience store not long before Officer Wilson talked to him - but the officer didn't know that. He was telling two boys to get off the street and onto the sidewalk, a situation that escalated to shooting an unarmed, surrendering kid 35 feet away from his vehicle over and over until the boy died. (While I find such extreme and unreasonable use of force mind-boggling, it's apparently not unheard of for Ferguson PD.) The officer apparently is accusing Mike Brown and his friend of blocking traffic; if they were, why aren't we hearing eye witness accounts from drivers who were having trouble getting down the street?

Lastly, what if Officer Wilson had known Mike Brown was a suspect in a robbery? Let's go one step further and blow the situation out of recognition - what if Officer Wilson had known Mike Brown committed a robbery? What if he had actually seen Mike Brown walk out of that QuickTrip with those cigars, knowing they hadn't been paid for, and that the kid had pushed the store's employee on the way out? That still does not, in any sane world, justify shooting an unarmed kid, with his hands in the air, when there is obviously no threat to the officer.

Chief Jackson appears to have chosen two unrelated pieces of information and put them out there in a way that is obviously inflammatory. I suppose it's true - some men just want to watch the world burn. I, for one, hope Highway Patrol's Capt. Johnson can put out the flames and hold Ferguson together.

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