What About Darren Wilson, Mr. Attorney General?
By John W. Lillpop
Eric Holder is Attorney General of the United States and, as such, is the chief law enforcement officer of the land, a position which requires objective, unbiased analyses of facts and actions based on proven facts---not emotions or personal history.
As reported at the reference, Holder visited Ferguson, Missouri in order to deal with the aftermath of the August 9 shooting of Michael Brown, a young, unarmed black man whom was slain by a white police officer named Darren Wilson.
Attorney General Eric Holder flew to Ferguson, Mo., on Wednesday as the nation's chief law enforcement officer leading an investigation into a police shooting.
He also arrived as an African-American who said he understands the racial tensions that have fueled days of protests that have been marred by violence and mass arrests since the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
"I am the Attorney General of the United States, but I am also a black man," Holder told Ferguson residents at a community meeting. "I can remember being stopped on the New Jersey turnpike on two occasions and accused of speeding. Pulled over. ... 'Let me search your car' ... Go through the trunk of my car, look under the seats and all this kind of stuff. I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me."
Holder was here primarily for briefings on the Justice Department's ongoing investigation into possible civil rights violations related to the fatal shooting. He offered perhaps his most forceful and personal assessment yet of how the 18-year-old man's shooting has re-ignited a long history of racial "mistrust and mutual suspicion.''
"The eyes of the nation and the world are watching Ferguson right now,'' Holder told a group of community leaders assembled at a local community college. "The world is watching because the issues raised by the shooting of Michael Brown predate this incident. This is something that has a history to it, and the history simmers beneath the surface in more communities than just Ferguson."
Although the Attorney General did not specifically accuse Wilson of murder, his comments lacked any mention of the vital tenants of law: Namely, presumption of innocence and the right to due process.
On the contrary, Holder’s comments suggest that racial stereotypes and “history” are more important than “old school” ideals set forth in the Constitution.
Sympathizing with Michael Brown’s family is an appropriate action by the AG, provided it does not deny Darren Wilson the presumption of innocence.
To date, Darren Wilson has been unjustly convicted and tried by black leaders, some of whom have even demanded death for the six-year veteran.
Unfortunately, Eric Holder’s comments have been unhelpful in separating raw emotion, stoked by slavery and years of discrimination, from facts and reason.
Again, to Mr. Holder: What about Darren Wilson, sir?
Posted by John W Lillpop at 9:59 AM