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Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Featured, Race, Society | 5 comments

The Ferguson grand jury proceedings, dissected

Prior coverage: We anticipated the decision, but nothing prepared us for this much bumbling

If there is any justice in this world, the aftermath of the Ferguson grand jury proceedings could trigger a deep discussion of not only the racial divide in America but also much-needed reform of our “criminal justice system” and how we make our neighborhoods safe.

I downloaded the almost 5K page testimony PDF Monday night and started reading on Tuesday. Reading this PDF is not straightforward; it is composed of images, so a normal PDF reader cannot “search within” the document. With Acrobat Pro, you can use OCR software to convert it to a searchable document, but one that large is unwieldy. As a result, much of my reading took place after the news organizations chopped the big document into smaller pieces.

Twitter helped, too.

This Storify is the result (embedded below – when Amazon CloudFront comes back online) of my trying to piece the story together for my own peace of mind. It’s the first of two. The second one will explore the role of media, traditional and social, in telling this story.

Whether due to “un­or­tho­dox forensic practices” or a DA whose heart did not seem to be in the game, the grand jury proceedings in the Mike Brown/Darren Wilson shooting came to an inevitable conclusion. No indictment. How the heck did that happen?

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  • sheknows

    Thank you Kathy for your hard work and dedication in exposing this travesty. You shed a lot of light on the way the evidence and eye witness accounts were handled.

    “in the overwhelming majority of cases the grand jury — and the courts’ confidence in it — reflects the view that the purpose of the criminal justice system is to convict the people the government sees fit to accuse.”
    Pretty ,much sums it up.

    • Thanks, SK — once-upon-a-time, I thought about going to law school. And the more years I’ve lived, the more frustrated I’ve become with a culture that tolerates (and enables) extremes in income, prospects, justice.

  • Slamfu

    Travesty is right. I’m frankly surprised more people are not concerned when cops gun down unarmed people in the middle of the street in broad daylight with witnesses and no one punishes them.

    • I’m not certain in this case if there is evidence to convict based upon the standards of a criminal trial, but there is certainly probable cause here and it should have gone to trial as it would have if this wasn’t a case involving police, who are clearly handled differently in our system.

      • @rchusid:disqus is spot-on re how police use of force differs from a lay person’s use of force. There are good reasons for that difference. This one seems from the outside-looking-in to be an exception not honored.

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