- History appears to be in Officer Darren Wilson's favor.
- When law enforcement is law and order’s biggest threat
Jaeah Lee and Katie Rose Quandt, Mother Jones
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A man watches as police walk through a cloud of smoke during a clash with protesters, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (Credit: AP/Jeff Roberson).
August 22, 2014 | In the week since 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, initial autopsy findings, police reports, and eyewitness accounts have begun to provide some insights into the circumstances of his death. But plenty of questions remain unanswered, not the least of them: Where is Officer Darren Wilson, and what's likely to happen to him? Wilson, who was put on administrative leave after killing Brown, reportedly lefthome with his family a few days before his name was made public. A fundraising campaign launched on August 17 has already raised more than $10,000 to cover the financial needs of Wilson's family, "including legal fees." (The campaign has since increased its goal to $100,000.)
It remains to be seen whether Wilson will face criminal charges, but a limited review of similar killings by police suggests that the officers more often than not walk away without an indictment, and are very rarely convicted. Delores Jones-Brown, a law professor and director of the Center on Race, Crime, and Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, looked at 21 publicized cases from 1994 through 2009 in which a police officer killed an unarmed black person. Of those, only seven cases resulted in an indictment—for criminally negligent homicide, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, or violation of civil rights—and only three officers were found guilty.
Jaeah Lee is the associate interactive producer at Mother Jones.
Katie Rose Quandt is a senior online editorial fellow at Mother Jones.
Full story …
When law enforcement is law and order’s biggest threat, Simon Maloy, Salon
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