November 25, 2014

By Mike Caccioppoli

This is my first reaction to what just happened in Ferguson. My stomach is in knots. Buildings are burning. There are people who have criticized the title of my blog “America The Not So Beautiful.” They wanted something more optimistic, softer. Can you argue with the title now? I mean can you really? We are retreating in this country. As other nations forge ahead, we are back in the 1950’s and 60’s. It’s Selma all over again and watts and even further back, into the dark ages. This is where we are now. No justice and certainly no peace.

We all sat together, watched, listened together. Listened as the corrupt St. Louis County Prosecutor named Bob McCulloch, told the nation, told all of us, from San Francisco to Chicago to New York to Miami and to the heart of the tragedy, Ferguson, Missouri, that Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Michael Brown, will not face charges. Yes, most of us expected it, dreaded it. But now it was real, it had actually happened. Justice denied, again. Again.

McCulloch stood there, and described an execution, then in the next breath said there was nothing to see here. He didn’t sound like any prosecutor I have heard before. He sounded much more like a defense attorney, the defense attorney for Darren Wilson. A prosecutor wants an indictment when they go to a grand jury so therefore in the almost non-existent cases where they don’t get one, they are distraught, just as they are when they lose a case in court. McCulloch hardly seemed upset about the decision, in fact he seemed vindicated, just like a defense attorney would be after they got their client off.

I’m not surprised at all. I expected this decision. We all did. But like everyone else, I was dreading this moment. I knew the fix was in. There was something disquieting about watching McCulloch throwing that fact in our collective faces. He threw it in our faces and hid behind a grand jury. I don’t blame them at all. As all legal experts have said, the grand jury does what the prosecutor wants. This time he didn’t want an indictment so he stacked the deck to get the result he wanted. McCulloch is a coward, and just like a defense attorney who does not put everything on the line for their client, McCulloch should be forced out of office and not be allowed to practice law ever again. He put nothing on the line for Michael Brown, in fact, Brown, the VICTIM wasn’t represented at all.

Look, this is what it comes down to. A cop can kill who they want. If they kill a black person they will get off 100 percent of the time. If they kill a white person that probably drops to about 95 percent. This is why whites shouldn’t think they are safe. WE are not. They say a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich, but police officers aren’t ham sandwiches. In the minds of too many they are filet mignon. They are the top of the line and can do no wrong. If they shoot and kill it’s always because they have to. Whether it’s a kid walking in the street, or a man with a fake gun at his side in a toy store or a 12 year old with a gun that even the guy who called 911 knew was fake but the trained cop didn’t, it simply does not matter. They can kill you if they feel like it that day. There is no recourse.

McCulloch admitted that Wilson shot 12 times, that’s a dozen shots. Once again though, nothing to see here. No question from the idiot reporters in the media pool, about how far away Brown was when Wilson shot at him several times, including the fatal shot to his head. No question to McCulloch about the need for a cop to justify each and every shot, all 12 in this case. Nobody asked him why he allowed Wilson to testify for four hours and if he will afford ALL defendants that leeway from now on. What McCulloch painted was the picture of a hulking black thug charging at Wilson, after he was already shot at least twice, charging AT BULLETS. That Wilson needed all 12 shots against an unarmed 18 year old kid in order to save his own life. Incredulity doesn’t describe it well enough.

McCulloch didn’t present a case. He dumped a case file in the hands of 12 people who were not legal experts and said have at it. He knew there were inconsistencies in testimony, because guess what…there ALWAYS is. If that were a reason to not indict, most of the people in prison wouldn’t be there. This was a game for McCulloch, a game he knew he could manipulate and win. He didn’t want to indict a cop and he knows that juries don’t want to either. So a little prod here and there is all he would need.

Scumbag Rudy Giuliani continues to spew at the mouth about “black on black” crime. But when a black person kills another black person they go to jail in about 23 seconds. As we have seen once again, when a cop kills someone, no matter what the evidence, no matter how many witnesses, no matter what, there is no justice.

Yes Ferguson is burning right now. But the entire country continues to smolder. None of us are protected from the flames.




  1. tvcwp32

    Mike, thank you so much for this excellent analysis of the Mike Brown grand jury proceedings. You are absolutely correct that these proceedings were “rigged” all along the way! Clearly, Mr. McCulloch got the exact result he desired all along. Almost 50 years after the rebellion in Watts and the Kerner Commission report, we’re still dealing with police authorities who far too often fail to “protect and serve” communities of color engendering a total mistrust between the police and the community. We, as a nation, will NOT advance until we honestly and aggressively confront and resolve the underlying issues and conditions that continue to generate these tragedies.

  2. Mike5001

    When I hear bloggers refer to Michael Brown as an 18 year old kid, I pretty much know right off the blog post is going to be naive drivel. M. Brown was an 18 yr. old, 6’5″, 285#, young man.


        That’s the way you speak to readers?

        Doesn’t matter, you’ll never get far. You have the writing skills of a 12 year old.

        This isn’t even an onion piece, it’s a rant by a child.

  3. maburg713

    What an incredible post! I have vacillated between sadness and wanting to throw something very heavy at the wall since last night. The frustration of *knowing* this was coming, but then finding out the DEGREE of corruption involved…. but you’ve captured it so perfectly, and for that I thank you. You’ve put every bit of my “bang my head against the wall” anger into words, and with that, have somehow released some of the anger (but NOT the fight). We all know this though: We have a very long way to go.

  4. stephieopolis

    Reblogged this on Stephieopolis and commented:
    I’ve had over 24 hours to sift through the grand jury evidence, to listen, to think, to answer my kids questions and argue with my husband.

    I still have questions. There are MAJOR inconsistencies. How then do 12 people arrive at the decision that there is no evidence that needs to be reviewed by a jury? How? Before becoming disabled, I worked the legal field. I’ve worked defense and what I saw happen in Ferguson was a defense, the exact opposite of a prosecution. I’m not sure there’s ever been a 4 hour testimony before a grand jury and that nobody on the grand jury didn’t think there was one thing Darren Wilson said in four hours that needed to be cross-examined in a trial, is beyond my comprehension.

    Living outside of Cleveland, we are already in the midst of our firestorm: the shooting of a 12 year old African American boy at a playground with an airlift gun by a police officer.

    I’m at a loss. I want to be proactive about bringing about a change. I just don’t know what I can do or say. I have no other words right now, but I feel this…


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