Shots are fired. Screams, groans, obscenities and car horns. And then a voice cuts through the din. "Acknowledgement nine months ago would've kept that from happenin'!"
What? I restart the raw video somebody posted online and watch last night's shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, for a third and fourth time. At the 30-second mark, a clear, strong voice startles me again. "Acknowledgement nine months ago would've kept that from happenin'!"
What does that mean? Why did he say it? The person (it sounds like a man, but I can't be sure) says nothing more, but I can't shake the questions. What possesses a person in the instant after a gun's discharge to justify the violence? With two officers bleeding a few feet away and nobody in the crowd guaranteed a next breath, this idiot is making excuses for the shooter.
It's not known whether the voice belonged to one of about 70 protesters gathered outside the police headquarters after the resignation of Chief Thomas Jackson. "Black lives matter," they chanted. Jackson oversaw a department that systematically violated the constitutional rights of its black residents, according to a scathing Justice Department report.
The Justice Department also concluded that there was no reliable evidence to counter Officer Darren Wilson's claim that he feared for his life when he shot unarmed Michael Brown, sparking waves of protests and riots in the St. Louis suburb. The report discredits the protest's founding narrative, finding no credible evidence that Brown was shot as he raised his hands in surrender ("Hands up, don't shoot").