But feds don’t track how many officers get prosecuted for crimes

| The Washington Times

More than 400 fatal police killings a year are sanctioned by local, state and federal authorities as justified homicides, but the FBI doesn’t specifically track how many times officers are prosecuted for improperly causing a person’s death.

The FBI said Tuesday that it doesn’t keep statistics on specific prosecutions of law enforcement officers because it doesn’t track crimes by profession, though it does track justified homicide rulings.

In 2012, the last year available for full statistics, law enforcement ruled a total of 410 deaths as justified homicides, the FBI said. The annual number has been steady for much of the past few decades, officials said.

The FBI defines justifiable homicide as “the killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty.”

The key word in the definition is “felon,” implying someone who already has been convicted of a crime. That leaves a lot of areas out of the data, including people who have committed crimes but completed their sentences, and civilians at large.

The murky statistical picture emerges as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and more than 40 FBI agents are descending on Ferguson, Missouri, in the aftermath of the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed robbery suspect shot six times by a police officer.

Police say Mr. Brown charged officers, but his family has decried the shooting as needless. The killing has unleashed more than a week of racial tensions, protests, riots and looting.

Another fatal police shooting occurred Tuesday in nearby St. Louis.

Unlike Ferguson, most police shootings don’t get the high-profile attention of the U.S. Justice Department. They are adjudicated by state and local officials in a process in which discretion and interpretation are often key to the outcome, legal analysts said.

It’s often difficult to tell the difference between an officer acting properly or improperly, said Jens David Ohlin, a professor at Cornell University Law School.

“To decide between a lawful act of self-defense and a case of police brutality might hinge on something as simple as where were the suspect’s arms and in what direction were they moving,” he said.

Investigations into what exactly happened in a shooting depend a lot on the people involved, said Charles Rose, a professor at Stetson University College of Law.

“The closer you get to the ground where the event occurs, the closer or further you get from the truth based on the nature of the police department, their integrity and the nature of which it trains,” he said.

Training, Mr. Rose said, is a critical part of police action and needs to be investigated more closely.

“Cops by and large are like soldiers: They react in the moment in the way they were trained,” he said.

The post-Sept. 11 era has resulted in new training for police officers and deadly military-grade equipment for local police departments, which could affect the culture of those on the front lines.

“It could be because we’ve started to train them that way because of our shift in training law enforcement due to our concerns about terrorism,” Mr. Rose said.

Whether the justified homicide figure of 400 a year is a complete picture is open to debate.

The vast majority of crime data collected by the FBI and Justice Department are voluntary, meaning other instances of crime could go unreported.

Indeed, the 410 number from 2012 does not include what some call “unjustifiable homicide” — instances in which police, in the course of their duties, kill someone but prosecutors later find no defendable reason.

Much of the judicial debate in Mr. Brown’s death has focused on whether the police were “justified” in their shooting. Was Mr. Brown a dangerous criminal who posed a threat to police and surrounding residents? Or was he an unarmed civilian?

The Justice Department’s annual statistics don’t list crimes committed by law enforcement officers at any level. Nor do they divide crimes by any kind of profession. The types of crimes and severity, along with the race, gender and age of the convicted, are listed, but no indication is given to their jobs.

If the Justice Department starts putting more scrutiny on crimes or questionable activity by police officers, it may take a few years before the information is known.

Most areas of crime reporting and statistics are just now publishing their findings from 2010 and 2011.

The federal government often doesn’t have disciplinary control over the police, Mr. Rose said. That falls to state governments. Instead, federal prosecutors turn to a different course.

“It normally becomes a civil rights action,” he said, pointing to the federal government’s prosecution of the officers involved in the Rodney King case.

“That’s where they prosecute because they don’t often have jurisdiction for the underlying assault or murder,” Mr. Rose said.

In the meantime, riots and peaceful protests continue in Ferguson. The most recent data come from the FBI’s preliminary Uniform Crime Report, covering January 2012 to June 2013.

According to that report, the overall crime rate in Ferguson has dipped over the past 18 months. The only offenses that have ticked upward are property crimes, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

Mr. Holder will visit Ferguson on Wednesday to meet with Justice Department personnel about the investigation into Mr. Brown’s death.

“I realize there is tremendous interest in the facts of the incident that led to Michael Brown’s death, but I ask for the public’s patience as we conduct this investigation,” Mr. Holder said in a statement Monday. “No matter how others pursue their own separate inquiries, the Justice Department is resolved to preserve the integrity of its investigation.”

He said a thorough investigation would aid in “restoring trust between law enforcement and the community, not just in Ferguson, but beyond,” and called for an end to the violence in the town, including “looters and others seeking to inflame tensions.”



By Leo Hohmann | World Net Daily

Support is growing for the officer who shot an 18-year-old black man in Ferguson, Missouri, with several Facebook pages and an online fundraising campaign for his legal defense raising $40,000 in just 48 hours.

As more facts have emerged in the case over the past couple of days, Officer Darren Wilson is finding more people in his corner, supporting his decision to fire on Michael Brown, a 6-foot-4 teenager who weighed over 300 pounds but was unarmed at the time of the shooting.

Wilson’s supporters have established a fundraising page on his behalf at But that page is not easy to find. That’s because the website’s search engine does not produce results for Wilson’s campaign, like it does for a similar fundraising page for Brown’s family.

Searches for “Darren Wilson” and “Officer Darren Wilson” yielded no results at Tuesday. A user can view the page if they know the specific URL, which is at

Wilson’s supporters had raised $45,135 as of Tuesday evening with a goal of raising $100,000. The money was raised from 1,044 people in two days.

The administrator of the page, contacted by WND, asked not to be contacted further by the press, fearing that she could become a target of violence.

“Thank you for reaching out. We are not interested in speaking with the press at this time,” she wrote in an email to WND. “Please do not attempt to contact myself or any member of my family.”

“We stand behind Officer Darren Wilson and his family during this trying time in their lives,” a statement on the site said. “All proceeds will be sent directly to Darren Wilson and his family for any financial needs they may have including legal fees.”

The Michael Brown Memorial Fund, by comparison, had raised $89,133 as of 3 p.m., surpassing its original goal of $80,000. The money has been raised in five days from 3,651 people. The Brown family’s page pops up as the second listing on the site when a user searches “Michael Brown.” The stated purpose of the fundraising drive is listed as legal expenses for the Brown family.

“These funds will assist his family with costs that they will acquire as they seek justice on Michael’s behalf. All funds will be given to the Michael Brown family,” the page states and is undersigned by Benjamin L. Crump, the Brown family attorney.

WND contacted GoFundMe and was told that Officer Wilson’s page did not meet its criteria for being included in the search engine.

“All GoFundMe campaigns must meet a certain criteria in order to be listed in our Public Search Directory,” said a public relations officer with the company who only identified herself in an email as “Kelsea.”

She said the campaign for Officer Wilson “does not have a Facebook account connected, and so it is not eligible to be listed in our Search Directory.” She pointed WND to the website’s Public Search Directory requirements.

The support for Wilson comes as the first reports surfaced Tuesday about the injury he suffered in the confrontation with Brown that led up to the shooting on Aug. 9, an incident that touched off 10 days of protests and rioting in the suburban St. Louis town of 21,000 people.

Wilson suffered an “orbital blowout fracture” of his eye socket, the Gateway Pundit reported, citing two unnamed sources within the District Attorney’s Office and in the St. Louis County police.

An orbital blowout fracture is a fracture of one or more of the bones surrounding the eye and is commonly referred to as an orbital floor fracture.

Wilson has been a police officer for six years, four with Ferguson Police Department. He has no disciplinary actions on his record, according to a statement by the department. His name was released on Friday, at the same time the department released a video of a tall, young, black man who appears to be Brown robbing a store of a box of cigars.

Meanwhile, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter tweeted Monday night that a dozen local witnesses confirmed Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s version of the Brown shooting story.

USA Today reported that support for Wilson has been growing. A number of Facebook pages have popped up on behalf of the officer and his family, and many of his fellow officers have been weighing in saying they would have done the same thing Wilson did under similar circumstances.

The “I support Officer Wilson” Facebook page had garnered more than 36,000 “likes” by 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Indicative of many of the comments on the page was that of Mikey and Billie-Jane Klug, who stated, “Officer Wilson faced off with a big bad thug and defended himself, nothing more to it, and we support him and law enforcement.”

A grand jury could begin hearing evidence Wednesday to determine whether Wilson should be charged in Brown’s death, but it’s unclear how long that may take, Ed Magee, spokesman for St. Louis County’s prosecuting attorney, told USA Today. The Justice Department is conducting a separate civil rights investigation, which also could result in charges.

After a week of rioting, the scene in Ferguson has devolved further every night with reports of more violence. CNN reported that one-fourth of all those arrested have been “outsiders” entering Ferguson and working to agitate the crowds.

There were 78 arrests and four people hurt Monday night as the demonstrations again disintegrated into chaos. Of those 78 arrested, only four were from Ferguson, police said.



Written by Selwyn Duke | The New American

It has now been reported that Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson suffered a serious injury — an orbital blowout fracture to the eye socket — during his confrontation with Michael Brown. This new information, along with the revelations that an eyewitness caught on audio and 12 others confirm the police’s account of events and that all the gunshots entered the front of Brown’s body, are making more and more observers draw an increasingly likely conclusion: On that fateful Saturday, August 9, Officer Wilson was trying to avoid becoming what cops too often do.

A statistic.

“On average, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States every 58 hours,” writes the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The organization continues, “Since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791, more than 20,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice.” Yet they don’t receive ultimate attention. That’s reserved, complain critics, for the likes of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Mumia Abu-Jamal — the last of whom murdered a Philadelphia police officer named Daniel Faulkner in 1981. And the reality is that if Brown had killed Officer Wilson 10 days ago, it would have been just a footnote in the news.

Speaking of which, a law-enforcement officer who wasn’t lucky enough to become big news was Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega. While off duty and preparing to enjoy a vacation just five days before the Ferguson incident, Agent Vega was shot to death while defending his family during a robbery attempt. In an outrageous irony, the alleged killers are two illegal aliens from Mexico.

But while Vega had a well-attended funeral Mass, “President Barack Obama did not attend nor did he even mention the killing of a brave cop. He failed to even send a representative from the White House. And except for a few members of the local news media, there was no saturation of coverage in the national media,” writes’s Jim Kouri. This is despite the fact that Obama did comment on the Ferguson case. And it is despite the fact, laments Kouri, that “an onslaught of illegal aliens” were “practically invited to break U.S. law by a cynical — and arguably lawless — President Barack Obama.”

Sadly, Agent Vega wasn’t the only footnote in the month prior to the Brown shooting. Columnist and former Dade County Sheriff s Office police captain Frank Marshall cites four others:

• July 30th. Officer Scott Patrick, age 47, Mendota Heights P.D., Minnesota. Shot in the head and killed by a fugitive during a routine traffic stop. He’s survived by a wife and two teenage daughters. Killed because he was a cop. The suspect was a white male.

• July 13th. Detective Melvin Santiago, 23, Jersey City P.D., New Jersey. Ambushed when responding to a robbery call. Killed because he was a cop. Suspect is a black male who was killed on the scene. The suspect’s wife said that more cops should have been killed.

• July 6th. Officer Jeffery Westerfield, 47, Gary Police Department, Indiana. Responded to a domestic disturbance call. He was ambushed, shot in his patrol car as he arrived. Killed on his 47th birthday, he leaves behind four daughters. Another loyal, American officer… killed for being a cop. Suspect was a black male.

• July 5th. Officer Perry Renn, 51, Indianapolis P.D., Indiana. Answered a call about shots being fired in the area. Shot as he arrived. Officer Renn was also an U.S. Army veteran. Killed because he was a cop. Suspect was a black male.

Marshall also adds further perspective, writing, “At least 120 to 180 officers a year are killed in the line of duty. In 2014, the death toll is on track toward 130 dead officers. Half of those have been killed by gunfire. Most of those are killed because they are a cop. Why don’t we label that bigotry? Hate crime?”

The reality is that, statistically, 94 percent of all black homicide victims are killed by other blacks, and black Americans are more likely to shoot whites than whites are to shoot blacks. This makes white-on-black homicide a man-bites-dog story relatively speaking, yet that isn’t why the media afford such cases disproportionate coverage. Rather, we’re supposed to believe they’re cases of dog bites man — and that the media is the dog catcher.

Yet there are so many footnotes. While Ferguson was aflame with passion and violence over the weekend, 31 were shot and 7 killed in Chicago, where your chances of being murdered are 1 in 6,250;  and virtually all, if not all, these victims were black. “Where are the riots?” ask critics. “Where is the outrage?” As Professor Walter E. Williams wrote in 2012, “A much larger issue is how might we interpret the deafening silence about the day-to-day murder in black communities compared with the national uproar over the killing of Trayvon Martin. Such a response by politicians, civil rights organizations and the mainstream news media could easily be interpreted as ‘blacks killing other blacks is of little concern, but it’s unacceptable for a white to kill a black person.’”

This brings us to yet another footnote. Also referencing the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case, American Thinker’s Michael Filozof wrote in 2012:

What would happen if a black man armed with a handgun confronted “suspicious persons” in his neighborhood? What would happen if the “suspicious persons” were unarmed white teens, one of them was shot dead, and the shooter claimed self-defense?

This is not an exercise in mere speculation. We know what would happen in such a case. There would be no white mobs in the street chanting “No justice, no peace!” There would be no whites holding a “million hoodie march” in New York City. There would be no white equivalent of Al Sharpton, the professional race-baiter behind the 1987 Tawana Brawley hoax, leading marches in the streets of the shooter’s hometown. There would be no Federal civil rights investigation by the Justice Department. There would be no comments from a president who seems congenitally unable to keep his mouth shut on matters involving left-wing political correctness. And there would be no national media attention from biased, left-wing “reporters.”

We know this because in fact, such an event occurred in 2009 in Greece, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester. Roderick Scott, a black man, shot and killed an unarmed white teen, Christopher Cervini, whom he believed was burglarizing a neighbor’s car, with a licensed .40 cal. handgun.

Yet it isn’t true that this case is an exact parallel of the Martin/Zimmerman case. Both involved a grown man shooting to death an unarmed 17-year-old. Both cases were deemed self-defense. But while Zimmerman faced an adversary more formidable than he and ended up with serious facial wounds — just as Officer Wilson did — Scott admits that Cervini never laid a hand on him. Scott also is built like a brick outhouse, has trained in a few different martial arts, and has participated in martial-arts competitions. Yet the fact that the smaller Cervini rushed at him issuing a threat was enough to bring an acquittal — by a mostly white jury.

So these are just a few of the cases that, sadly, most Americans will never hear about. For it seems that today facts yield footnotes — while fallacies yield federal cases.



Written by Selwyn Duke | The New American

Unlike Trayvon Martin, pictures of a 12-year-old Michael Brown haven’t been used to portray him as a gentle little cherub. Instead the media has cast him as the “gentle giant.” And they’re at least partially right, say critics. Brown certainly was a giant, as surveillance footage seems to prove, showing his 6’4”, nearly 300-pound self towering over a petrified convenience-store employee, who got manhandled and intimidated for having the temerity to object to his store being robbed.

This characterization lies in stark contrast to the picture painted by Brown’s family, friends, and that sympathetic media. Brown’s uncle, Charles Ewing, who related the gentle-giant moniker, said that the family tried to get the young man to play football, but he “was too timid for the sport,” reported  the Washington Post. “‘He had never gotten into a fight in his entire life,’ said Duane Finnie, a family friend. At school, he was that kid who was full of jokes and trying to make others laugh,” continued the paper. In fact, the Post article opened by stating that Brown had just won a “hard-fought victory,” having recently graduated from high school, a note accompanied by a graduation photo of a gown-bedecked Brown.

Now, critics might say that education — even if it is something more impressive than that acquired at Brown’s Normandy High, which had already lost its state accreditation — doesn’t definitively denote goodness. Neither does accomplishment. But isn’t it to be expected that Brown’s defenders will relate facts about the young man’s history in order to establish his character? For sure. It’s also to be expected, however, that his whole history will then be fair game, say critics.

One of these critics, award-winning investigative reporter Matthew Vadum, leaves no doubt about where he stands. In a piece entitled “Michael Brown: A Criminal and a Thug,” he writes:

Before the shooting incident last weekend, Brown used violence and the threat of more violence to steal. With an accomplice, he knocked over a convenience store, bullying victims with his prodigious size and weight. (Incidentally, the owner of the store told the Washington Post he fears that his customers will murder him and that he begged reporters not to suggest that he called the police on Brown.)

And as the Los Angeles Times reports, Brown also enjoyed singing violent rap songs that contain “lots of boasting about murdering, taking drugs, drinking, and sex with hos,” as blogger Sancho Panza put it. How bad are the lyrics? Panza deciphers some of them for us. About a song labeled “Jennings Station Road Freestyle,” the blogger writes:

This one specifically talks about killing people and how fun it is. The main rapper talks about how his favorite part of killing people is when they hit the ground.

Every time I call your b**** I make her c*m
And when she comes I’m c*****g all over her tush
I beat that p***y up
I’m smoking purple
I roll fat blunts they look just like my thumb

While I bless him with a d*** on his face

And about “Free$tyle Big’Mike,” Panza reports:

In this rap song, one of the rappers talks about killing someone and seeing them “layin’ across the street.” The victim is said to be “mashed up and black” like a goblin so “there ain’t describing him.”

With this Glock in your face
And you betta not make a sound
And I only like white men on my money [???]
Those who are last shall be first,
Whites on the bottom

He musta walked up and unloaded because there was no stopping him
Somebody else layin’ across the street, must be his partner

At his site Panza has more examples of Brown songs, all of which he characterizes as “pretty obscene.”

Then there’s blogger Pat Dollard, who has published numerous photos of Brown flashing what appear to be gang signs. Here is a sampling of them (article continues beneath photos):




Of course, this doesn’t mean Brown actually was a gang member. He likely was just a “wannabe,” one of countless black youths who listen to violent and vile rap and adopt the signs and mannerisms of the lamentably exalted “gangsta’” culture. But this is still meaningful. As Vadum pointed out, while Brown’s musical and gestural inclinations don’t in and of themselves mean he was a thug, they do “provide insight into his state of mind.”

But talking about such things is quite unfair, say Brown’s defenders. One, Democrat Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, said that the release of the convenience-store video was an attempt “to disparage the character [of Brown]” and that making it public “in the middle of a process like this is not right.” And Nixon isn’t alone: Barack Obama’s Department of Justice also wanted the Ferguson police to suppress the video.

Making note of this double standard, Vadum wrote, “So, first local police were condemned for not being sufficiently transparent; then after they released a key piece of evidence they were condemned for being too transparent.” In the same vein, about Governor Nixon’s condemnation of Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson for a defense of the police that the governor fancies an attack on Brown’s character, Vadum stated, “This means Nixon believes that Jesse Jackson Sr. and Al Sharpton, who have been making campaign stops in Ferguson, have every right to be heard while the local police at the heart of the case should just remain silent and take whatever abuse is hurled at them.”

Yet critics might say that even more hypocrisy is evident here, in that the Brown case is all about character assassination — and, sadly, stereotyping. The Ferguson police are being portrayed as white law-enforcement officials who, the stereotype goes, are inherently prejudiced against young black men. In fact, the United States is being stereotyped as an irredeemably biased land in which blacks just can’t get a fair shake. But there is a difference: The convenience-store video and other information about Brown concern not something purely the function of stereotype-driven character assassination, but particulars about an individual central to what is currently the biggest crime story in the nation.

And the gentle-giant narrative took another blow over the weekend. An eyewitness conversation previously unnoticed in a video of the Brown shooting’s aftermath was brought to light, and it corroborates the Ferguson police’s account of the event. Unfortunately, some may say, all the evidence seems to be taking a back seat to the desire to appease the violent mobs that have made Ferguson a war zone. Perhaps, as we see in the response to Islamists in Europe, one good riot is worth a thousand truths.



A 23-year-old African-American man was shot and killed by St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers midday on Tuesday, less than four miles from the protests in Ferguson. The man was brandishing a knife, witnesses said.

According to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson, the man entered a convenience store and stole two energy drinks. The store proprietor told him to stop, but he walked out. He later returned, stole a package of muffins, and walked back out. The store owner walked out and asked him to pay, at which point, he threw the items on the ground. Both the store owner and a local alderwoman called police.

A pair of officers arrived to see the man acting erratically, grabbing his waistband and holding a knife. The police got out of their car, and gave verbal commands for the man to drop the knife, which he was brandishing with an overhand grip “in an aggressive manner,” Dotson continued. He then approached the officers.

The police repeated their commands to drop the knife. When the suspect did not drop the weapon, both officers drew their guns and shot at him from a distance of three to four feet, killing him, the chief said.

A witness described it as “suicide-by-cop,” Dotson said. Several witnesses said the suspect was saying, “Shoot me now, kill me now.”

Investigators have recovered the knife, and are looking for security footage of the incident.

The suspect has been identified so far only as 23-year-old African American male.

During an impromptu press conference, reporters asked Dotson if the outcry over the police shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown last Saturday in nearby Ferguson had an effect on how the St. Louis officers approached the situation, as well as how forthcoming the chief was being so soon after the incident.

“I think officer safety is the number one issue,” Dotson replied. “I think you have the right to protect yourself and defend yourself” if someone approaches you with a knife and gets within three or four feet of you.

“This is typically how we do it in the city of St Louis, to get the information out early,” he added.

The chief said he will spend time in the community to make sure that message is out as truthfully and quickly as possible. As well as the alderwoman who witnessed the incident, two other aldermen were on the scene quickly to talk to the community.

After speaking with reporters, Dotson then “waded into the crowd” to tell them about the investigation so far, CNN producer Yon Pomrenze reported. Tensions are still running high in Ferguson, less than four miles away.

At least 78 people were arrested during protests in that city on Monday night.



Residents of the Missouri town of Ferguson ignored calls by the authorities to stay at home and took to the streets for a tenth night after the fatal shooting of black teenager Michael Brown.

Protesters want the white officer who shot the youngster arrested

Earlier in the day, in a separate incident, police shot dead a 23-year-old black man who they said had brandished a knife at officers.

This second shooting has added to public concerns about what many perceive as a pattern of excessive police force against minorities.

St Louis Police Dept chief Sam Dotson described what happen in the second shooting:

“As officers, the suspect turned toward the officers and started to walk towards them clutching his waistband. He then pulled out a knife and what was described as an overhead grip, and told the officers “shoot me now, kill me now.”

US Attorney General Eric Holder who has promised an fair and thorough investigation into Brown’s death is due to visit the area today.

Scores of people have been arrested in Ferguson, during nights which have seen volleys of tear gas fired at demonstrators and rocks and petrol bombs hurled at police.



St. Louis (AFP) – Police in the US city of St. Louis shot dead another suspect on Tuesday, a short distance from a suburb that is the scene of protests over the killing of an unarmed black teenager.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said in a tweet that officers had responded to a call and found an apparently agitated man, armed with a knife who yelled “kill me now” and approached the patrol.

In a tweet from his own account retweeted by his force, Dotson said: “Officers gave suspect verbal commands. Officers feared for their safety and both officers fired their weapons. Suspect is deceased.”

The world’s media descended on the street where the latest police shooting took place, dozens of reporters having been in the nearby St. Louis suburb of Ferguson covering the ongoing unrest.

Onlookers gathered at the yellow incident tape sealing off the scene of Tuesday’s shooting outside a convenience store in St. Louis, some of them chanting the slogan of the protests: “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

Captain Ed Kuntz told reporters at the scene that an investigation had been launched, but, based on what he had heard, “it seems reasonable to say it was justifiable.”

“Whenever there’s a police shooting, tensions are always more high,” he admitted, while insisting: “Right now we are focused on preserving life and protecting property.”

On August 9, a white officer in Ferguson shot and killed an 18-year-old unarmed black student, triggering more than a week of sometimes violent protests against heavy-handed police tactics.


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