Michael Gaynor
The truth about the late Michael Brown is NOT a smear
By Michael Gaynor
August 18, 2014

Has the lesson of the Duke lacrosse case been unlearned?

On August 9, Police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

We need to find out exactly why.

The next day, Brown's parents retained attorney Benjamin Crump, who represented the family of Trayvon Martin to represent them in connection with the shooting.

A wrongful death suit is foreseeable.

But is it merited?

On Thursday, August 14, President Obama addressed the nation on the shooting and the reaction to it and called for the Ferguson police to be "open and transparent" about their investigation of the shooting.

The day after that, August 15, was a very revealing day.

8:45 a.m. – Darren Wilson was named as the officer who shot Brown . Officer Wilson has been on the Ferguson police force for six years and no disciplinary action has been taken against him, according to Police Chief Thomas Jackson. Chief Jackson also publicly discussed a strong-arm robbery at a local convenience store that took place shortly before Officer Wilson shot Brown. Chief Jackson did not connect Brown to the robbery during his news conference, but police documents he released to reporters named Brown as a suspect and Chief Jackson released dispatch records and a video of the robbery.

Noon – An attorney for Dorian Johnson, an eyewitness interviewed by police, said that Johnson and Brown took part in the convenience store robbery prior to the shooting.

12:30 p.m. – Brown's parents released a statement claiming that they were "beyond outraged" that the information about the convenience store robbery was released to "assassinate the character of their son."

3 p.m. – Chief Jackson clarified that Officer Wilson had not known that Brown was a suspect in the strong-armed when he stopped Brown for walking in the middle of the street.

Some people upset by the video of Brown apparently robbing a convenience store shortly before dying during an encounter with Police Officer Wilson, a six year veteran of the Ferguson, Missouri police force reportedly with a clean record, are describing the video as a "smear" of Brown.

Either these people refuse to allow the truth to interfere with their plans to exploit the tragic situation...or they don't know what a "smear" is.

Smear: "an untrue story about a person that is meant to hurt that person's reputation" (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smear).

The truth is NOT a "smear."

The truth is that the person shown in the video is Brown.

No one is claiming that a police officer is entitled to kill an unarmed man suspected of robbing a convenience store.

But when a man robbing a convenience store is killing during an encounter with a police officer shortly after being videoed in the convenience store, that video is relevant and a police department urged by the President of the United States to be transparent was right to share it with the public before Brown was transformed for political purposes into a saintly victim.

What Brown's parents and their lawyer want may not be supported by the facts.

Has the lesson of the Duke lacrosse case been unlearned?

Crystal Gail Magnum was not a wonderful person gang raped by members of the Duke men's lacrosse team.

She wasn't raped by anyone.

She was not a wonderful person either.

She told a false story that fit the Far Left's political agenda.

Now the Far Left wants to treat a police officer as a villain and an apparent robber as his innocent victim.

Let's get all the facts.

Let's not jump to conclusions to promote a political agenda or to try to justify or excuse theft or destruction of property.

Let's not blame the police for sharing that video, because it shows what Brown was doing shortly before his encounter with Officer Wilson.

It's the truth, not a "smear."

Last Friday night Rev. Jesse Jackson linked arms with protesters in Ferguson and urged them to "turn pain into power" while fighting back non-violently.

Not all the persons claiming to be outraged by the death of Brown have been non-violent.

And not all opportunists personally engage in violence.

Huffington Post reported (www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/16/doj-robbery-video-michael-brown-ferguson_n_5684654.html: "CNN revealed on Saturday that the Department of Justice found out about the video earlier this week and asked police not to make it public. According to CNN, the DOJ was worried that the footage would spark more violence in Ferguson."

Just what does transparency mean to the Obama Administration?

Apparently it means say good things about Brown, like, for example, he didn't have a criminal record, but definitely don't show video proof of him committing a robbery shortly before he was killed, because that's does not fit with what President Obama wanted to pounce on as a "teaching moment" and it won't work if Officer Warren was a victim fortunate to be alive and Brown wasn't a choir boy helping an elderly person across the street when he encountered Officer Warren.

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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