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The Philosopher

The Shooting in Ferguson, Missouri Ver. 1.0.0

https://thephilosopheronpolitics.wordpress.com/

11/28/2014

The people, who are demonstrating against not indicting the officer for the death of one of their own, may have a legitimate complaint.  According to the officers own testimony, “He shot at a retreating suspect” an act, at least in California, is forbidding by the law.  Once a threat to your life has turned into retreat, you cannot shoot at this fleeing suspect as they are no longer a threat to your life.  The Grand Jury in this case probably did not know of this law and the Prosecutor in the case did not inform the Grand Jury of this law, or Missouri does not have a law regarding the shooting at a “Retreating Threat”.  Whatever the case may be the Justice System in Missouri appears to be broken.

It looks to this Philosopher that this is a case of differing attitudes.  The Victim’s attitude is that “I know the law and you cannot shoot at me if I am retreating”.  The Police Officer’s attitude is “I win-You lose”.

The demonstrators say that our justice system is broken.  As one who has served on one shooting incident jury, I could not agree more.  My conclusion after serving on this jury is that “I hope I never have to come before a Jury”.

In this case that I served on, a couple of decades ago, some of the Jurors would have convicted this person, not for what he had done, but for who he appeared to be “a member of a gang”.   They were instructed to find this person guilty of something by the Judge in the case because he carried a concealed weapon illegally; therefore, “Self-Defense” was not an option.  With these instructions from the Judge, the accused was either guilty of something he confessed to doing or he was not guilty of something he confessed to doing.    In this case the two neighborhood gangs, actually just a group of friends of different ethnicity, met at a street corner near the victim’s and his friends’ homes.  The gang of friends of the suspects group thought they were going to a gun fight, the gang of friends of the victims thought they were going to a knife fight.  When the Victim ended up chasing the Accused with a large Butterfly knife, the Accused pulled the concealed hand gun from his waist band and fired at the pursuing knife wilding Victim, unfortunately hitting the Victim in the heart along with two peripheral wounds.

Since the two or three preceding ballots, taken no later than our arrival in the Jury Room by this Jury Panel resulted in eleven “Guilty” of something votes and one “Undecided” vote.  And since I had earlier in my answers to the ADA, disclosed that I had formed a neighbor gang in my youth and after high school we had joined larger gangs known as the US Marine Corps, Army, Navy and Air Force and known to one female Juror to be a member of a national laboratory known for its close attention to details, she tried to have me removed from the Jury Panel as being biased to the Accused.  When asked by the Jury Chairman what I thought about this, I stated that “I did not think I was the one with a problem”.  Several of the other Jurors agreed with me.  The female making the removal request recanted and asked that she not be removed from the Jury panel and she would not show prejudice anymore.  I think, since it was Friday and all wanted to be done with this Jury responsibly and return to their own lives next Monday, they allowed her to stay on the Jury Panel.

After I had led a reviewing through the scenario that had taken place on that day of this terrible loss of a young seventeen year olds life, It became evident to me that there was enough responsibly for the death of this young man to go around.   The young man had earlier in the day consumed a six pack of beer with a couple of friends.  Who sold this minor the beer?  The young man was still a minor and needed the supervision of his parents; his father was more interested in watching daytime television than in supervising his son.  His son owned and was in the possession of knives with blades that exceeded the legal limit in form and function.  The suspect was a new immigrant exile of only a few years from a war torn country, where carrying a weapon was probably normal behavior, the suspect most likely new more of our laws from watching Western Movies than from actual classroom instructions.  Is our own Immigration Department responsible for not instructing new immigrants on the laws of our land?  We allow these new immigrants to live among us when they are more likely to behave according to what was “Normal Behavior” in their country of origin than in the laws of the USA.  In the end we, the Taxpayers, “foot the bill” to incarcerate people who should have been taught the laws of our land by the Immigration Department.

When the “Shooting in Fergusson, Missouri” demonstrators say that our Justice system is broken, based on my personal experience in the Jury system, I could not agree more.

Next case: “Death by Cell Phone” A young Black Male Twelve Year Old is in the park playing with his toy gun pointing it at people, who mostly ignored him, with one exception.  A woman calls 911 on her cell phone and reports the incident stating “She didn’t know if the gun was real or not”.  This doubt did not reach the police that responded to her call and when the twelve year old was ordered to raise his hands and instead reached for his waist band, where he had his toy gun, he was shot dead by the police.  Total time of the shooting after the police arrived in their squad car, about two seconds.

It will be interesting to see how this case unfolds.  Was the young Black Make responding to the news reports of the shooting in Fergusson, Missouri?  Was this young man under the supervision of his parents?  What role did the breakdown in communications play in this incident?  Do we have too close a connection, with our cell phones, to the Police for our own good?  Do we set in motion a panic, with our cell phones that result in a tragedy to a family? I’m sure the news rooms will keep us informed of the results of this incident.  Hopefully we will not have a mass revolution on our hands to deal with these injustices.