Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson Dirty "Spins" The Execution-Style Killing Of Michael Brown
Ferguson, MO., Police chief Jackson spinning the story
Ferguson, MO., Police Chief Tom Jackson tried a dirty police trick today.
His tactics may have worked in the past on different stories with local media.
Jackson wanted to spin the Ferguson police execution-style killing of 18 year old Michael Brown. So he revealed that there had been a "strong arm robbery" of cigars from a convenience store -- and then subsequently an officer, whom he then named, almost as an afterthought, as Darren Wilson, had encountered Brown, and the shooting had occurred.
Jackson made the announcement to the news media this morning then left without taking any questions. He wanted the global media to start reporting that Brown was probably involved in a robbery; this would then provide some rationale for the encounter between Wilson and Brown.
After police chief Jackson made the discloser and then fled before he could be questioned, this is what I tweeted:
If #Darren Wilson thought #Michael Brown robbed cigars he would have searched for cigars. This is #Ferguson police #Spin
Later in the afternoon police chief Jackson held a press conference and actually took questions. It turns out my suspicion was on point -- chief Jackson admitted that when Wilson encountered Brown, the officer actually had no knowledge that Brown might have been involved in the alleged theft of cigars.
Officer Wilson had approached Brown and his friend simply because "They were walking in the middle of the street and blocking traffic" according to police chief Jackson.
So why was the video of the alleged theft of cigars by Brown released to the media this morning at the same time that the name of the officer who killed him was released?
Clearly, chief Jackson, perhaps on the advice of a public relations firm, or a right wing media outlet, wanted to spin the story. He wanted to take the focus away from the murder of an unarmed Black teenager who had is arms raised in surrender when he was mowed down according to three witnesses, and to make the story about Brown's alleged criminality.
Nevermind that the alleged robbery had nothing to do with Wilson's encounter with Brown. Never mind that even if it was true that Brown and Wilson had struggled for the officer's weapon, Wilson had then, according to witnesses, pursued Brown as he fled and shot him from behind. And never mind, according to the three witnesses, that when Brown turned around with his hands up and begged the officer not to shoot, Wilson had shot the boy until he died.
Police chief Jackson knew that all this would not matter to the kind of people he wants to influence -- the type who need any hint of Black men involved in any form of "criminal" activity to exonerate the use of brutal and excessive force against them.
In New York City, where an unarmed Black man Eric Garner was killed in a chokehold on Staten Island on July 17, the alleged "criminality" was selling untaxed loose cigars.
In Ferguson, going by police chief Jackson's deceptive actions and attempt to spin the story, the alleged "criminality" was theft of cigars.
Later in the evening, chief Jackson cooked up yet another spin, perhaps with more advice from a PR agent who had been monitoring media reaction to his disastrous "press conferences": supposedly Officer Wilson at some point spotted the cigars on Brown's person.
So why did Wilson shoot Brown in the back as he ran and then after he turned around and raised his arms?
Presumably chief Jackson and his advisors are still figuring out how to spin that one.