Dr. Bill Atwood

False Narratives

There has been a great deal of discussion regarding the tragic death of Michael Brown in Ferguson last August. Every pundit on the television weighed in before knowing what had transpired along radio programs. What we knew at the outset was that a young black man was shot by a white police officer. The Ferguson Police Department did not handle the media in a proper manner and lost control of much of the story.

Dorian Johnson was the one talking to the news media and the lapdogs of the national press fell in love with this kid’s story that seemed to demonstrate racism against young black men by white police officers. The national press showed that there are few, if any, journalists on their staffs as they ran with the story Johnson was telling without verification of any facts. He was telling what proved to be a false narrative and now the media had created a great amount of the angst in Ferguson and across this nation with the retelling of the false narrative.

Johnson claimed that “Big Mike” was shot in the back by the white police officer while “Big Mike” had his hands up in the air and walking away from the patrol car. Mike Brown’s mom told everyone how kind and wonderful Mike was and that he was going to start college the next day. She told the press he was a good boy who did not misbehave. Johnson kept telling people that he and his friend were simply walking down the street when Officer Wilson confronted them for no reason.

The president sent the Attorney General to Ferguson. The White House sent three representatives to Mike Brown’s funeral. Al Sharpton arrived on the scene. Jesse Jackson was shocked and appalled at the racist behaviors on the Ferguson Police Department.

Many voiced concerns and looting took place in protest of the racist police department fueled by the purveyors of prejudice; Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Eric Holder.

Most of us waited to hear what the Grand Jury had to say. The Grand Jury listened to everyone. Not some witnesses but every single one. They saw the autopsy reports from two different medical examiners and they looked at the physical evidence.

It seems that wonderful and well behaved Michael Brown had just committed a felony a few minutes prior to his encounter with Officer Wilson. Brown had robbed a convenience store. It wasn’t his first encounter with the law. Brown was under the influence of marijuana which impaired his judgment. Officer Wilson did not single out Brown because he happened to be black but because Brown matched the description of a suspect in the robbery at the store.

Brown refused to get out of the street and he reached into the patrol car and tried to get Wilson’s gun. The gun discharged and Brown walked away. When Wilson ordered him to stop Brown apparently charged toward Wilson and the shots were fired. Black witnesses told this narrative to the grand jury. The forensic evidence showed that Brown wasn’t shot in the back as Johnson had stated, and Johnson admitted to the theft at the store was committed by he and “Big Mike.” Johnson was wanted on other charges in other jurisdictions.

People demanded that Wilson be charged and tried and the sentiment was that he be convicted. No justice - just vengeance.

The physical evidence disproved the false narrative and yet people still want to cry foul. Johnson had simply bamboozled the national press and sucked everyone in on his lies. Then the agitators burned down many buildings in Ferguson because they were upset. I don’t have a clue what they hoped to prove by burning down businesses and destroying jobs in their town but that is what happened and now that community will suffer even more long after the cameras are gone.

So what lessons are to be learned from this tragic event that ended a young man’s life way too soon and destroyed a policeman’s career?

First - The national media need to hire journalists who understand that they are to find a story, verify facts, and then report the news not the narrative that supports their political beliefs.

Next - young men need to not rob stores, smoke weed and ignore the directions of law enforcement officers.

The lesson we can all learn from this was that Brown’s death wasn’t a result of actions by a racist cop but a cop’s legal reaction to a young man’s criminal behavior. The racism entered from outside and it was peddled by people like Sharpton who profit from their false narratives.

Sharpton, Jackson, Holder and their ilk should be ignored.