The lack of respect for the grand jury system that was demonstrated in the response of some to the failure to indict Police Officer Wilson is appalling. Some of these protestors are no better than a lynch mob looking for a victim even if the evidence does not prove their point.
As is often said, a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich as a descriptive of how low the bar is set on evidence in the early round of a criminal case. Yet, in the Ferguson grand jury proceeding, a grand jury of 12 comprised of nine whites and three blacks with nine affirmatives necessary to indict failed to issue a single indictment.
It should be noted even if it had issued indictments, Wilson would still under our system of law be entitled to a trial. From the perspective of some, it would appear the presumption of innocence was lost long ago. A truly sad commentary.
In any event, the district attorney rightfully believing that he would need to go to unusual lengths to address questions relating to the grand jury proceedings released much of the transcripts.
Not surprisingly, the discrediting of several witness accounts based on hard data is quite evident. Any impartial reader of the transcripts with an even rudimentary understanding of what the grand jury was charged with concluding would most likely come to the same conclusion as the grand jury.
What happened and is still happening in the wake of the grand jury decision is disgraceful. Peaceful protesting, which is a hallmark of American’s approach to displeasure with authoritative decisions, all too quickly gave way to violence.
What justification could there possibly be for looting, destroying businesses, burning vehicles and shooting weapons in Ferguson as well as other incidents of violence that took place around the country? And the failure of the state and federal governments to protect the ordinary citizens of Ferguson that first night is disgraceful.
Even hundreds of miles away in New York City, one must wonder what Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton were thinking when they allowed protestors to take control of bridges and highways two nights in a row?
The commissioner explaining the decision to back off indicated that as long as the protestors were not violent, threatening or causing fear they would be allowed to move freely although they would be monitored.
I was not on the FDR Drive, West Side Highway, or any one of the bridges or tunnels they took over, but I suspect if I had been on one of them stopped in traffic as a result of being surrounded by protestors, I would have been fearful. And listening to the many media interviews conducted with those trapped by the protestors, there was great concern as anarchy swarmed around them.
Mayor de Blasio regularly shows that he is no Mike Bloomberg or Rudy Giuliani when it comes to law and order issues. I know that he is proud of this difference. I for one, at least when it concerns law and order, yearn for a return to the past. I suspect more and more New Yorkers each day would agree.