Darren Wilson, The Ferguson Police Officer Who Killed Michael Brown

I feel it’s necessary to focus this blog post specifically on the police officer who killed an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri almost two weeks ago.

Darren Wilson is that police officer, and we now know that he fired at least six shots at Michael Brown. The first of those shots happened after a struggle. This first shot, fired in or near the police vehicle, from all accounts, sounds completely justified. Officer Wilson may have feared for his life, as Michael Brown was a large young man. It’s the following five or more shots that are problematic.

And while these subsequent shots are the focus, as we on the left question if this was indeed justified deadly force, I feel it necessary to make it clear that I have a much more nuanced approach to this event then some on the left. For whatever reason, everything in this country must boil down to a liberal viewpoint or a conservative viewpoint. It seems conservatives are likely to side with the police officer, giving unconditional deference to the police, pretty much on every occasion. For many liberals like myself, we are questioning the use of deadly force by Darren Wilson, and wondering why he fired so many shots after the initial altercation. But there are some on the left taking it much further, already convicting Wilson of murder.

While I’m definitely on the liberal side of this story, whatever that means, I’d like to make it clear that I don’t have a vendetta against officer Wilson. As I said, there are some on the left who have already made up their minds, and quite honestly, I feel that is a tragic betrayal to liberal ideals.

Where I’m less nuanced is on the issue of police brutality against protestors in Ferguson. It is my view that police, at least in the first few days of protests, share blame with a small percentage of protestors for the violence and the escalating tensions.

But here’s what I can say about this event, based on what we know so far from eyewitness accounts. There was a struggle between officer Wilson and Brown, the level of violence involved in this struggle is not fully known, but there’s no question the officer in this situation would have experienced a quite expected human response, adrenaline pumping, and so on. And while the officer is supposed to be a professional, he is also a human being. And so no, I do not have it in for officer Wilson. What I want is justice. What I want is an unbiased investigation. There should be justice for Michael Brown, and we should do everything that is possible to fully understand the event that ended in his death.

What we should not do is assassinate the character of Darren Wilson, as I have seen on a liberal message forum, just as Fox News and conservatives should not assassinate the character of Michael Brown.


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