Ferguson Grand Jury Decision: Revolt and Deception

By Eric Francis

Dear Friend and Reader:

When Robert McCulloch said the words, “no probable cause exists,” it was 8:25 pm. He is the St. Louis County district attorney who revealed that a police officer was not charged with a crime after killing unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August. That is, not charged after firing 11 or 12 shots at him, hitting him at least six times.

A demonstrator sat in front of a street fire during a protest in Oakland following the grand jury decision in Ferguson. Photo by Stephen Lam.

This is, as we all know, part of a pattern of white police officers killing unarmed black youth with impunity.

Grand juries seem ready to indict just about anyone except a police officer who has killed an unarmed person of color.

As I said in my earlier coverage of this issue, we are talking about the badge being a license to kill. It was never deigned that way, but in effect that’s what it’s become.

At no point did McCulloch state the actual reason that police officer Darren Wilson believed that his life, or someone else’s life, was threatened, therefore giving him legitimate reason to fire his weapon. And incredibly, no journalist who later questioned him asked about that issue. If there’s an elephant in the room, this is the one. We all agree that police officers and even civilians have the right to use deadly force — if life is threatened.

So in order to determine that Officer Wilson did not commit a crime, we would need to know what his reasoning was. And this was left out of the story, and from what I’ve read from his testimony, he failed to explain it to the grand jury.

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‘No Probable Cause’ in Ferguson + Top Five Events of 2015

By Eric Francis

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In tonight’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I look at the chart for Monday’s announcement that no charges would be brought against Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot Mike Brown, an unarmed teenager. In the second half of the program I begin the discussion of the top five events of 2015, covering three of them — Saturn transitioning into Sagittarius, the separating Uranus-Pluto square, and Chiron conjunct Borasisi in Pisces.

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The Baggage

By Felirene Bongolan

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News coverage of Ferguson is another specimen of the over-worn demonization of African Americans made fresh for the 21st century. That demonization is packaged diabolically by politicians and other opportunists hungry for the next land grab of neglected neighborhoods ripe for gentrification.

Taking Their Time — Jupiter and Saturn

By Len Wallick

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Len Wallick considers the progress of Jupiter and Saturn in the context of our present moment and one of its inflammatory signifiers: the grand jury verdict in Ferguson, Missouri. “Each in our own way we are determining more than just our individual fates — we are determining the fate of our kind.”

The Poetry of Connection

By Planet Waves

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I’ve experienced the drain and moodiness as well, but three distinct events have shown me the importance of maintaining connection during these times. Whether you believe it’s the Uranus-Pluto square, Sun conjunct Saturn, wintertime blues, or aren’t aware of a collective malaise at all, connection seems to be a vital thread keeping us warm right now. I’ve thought a lot this week about connection and poetry.