There really isn’t much known about Darren Wilson, the officer who gunned down an unarmed black teen, Michael Brown, on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. We do know that following the shooting, his police department put him in an essential form of police protection, and that has worked very well. The week long delay in even releasing Wilson’s name appears to have given them time to perform a sweep of the internet and remove as much about him as possible.
While the police have been shockingly tight-lipped on Wilson and his history, there does, however, appear to be a whisper campaign growing. The media gets little bits and pieces from anonymous “acquaintances” of Wilson. But last week an article appeared that wasn’t so anonymous. The DailyMail, a publication out of the UK, was able to get the scoop from a close friend of Wilson’s, one Jake Shepard. The article didn’t get much attention, except for a headline on Drudge, and honestly, why should it? Something about these sources from bufu USA going to a British Tabloid seems to happen rather often, and seems rather suspicious. Still, I read the article and one thing caught my eye and has stuck with me:
Shepard told MailOnline he thinks Wilson did the right thing according to his training. But he believes that the police in general should have better training to use non-lethal force before opening fire.
Allegedly Shepard was able to form that opinion from a series of text messages he exchanged with his buddy, Darren Wilson, and it appears to be the start of a defense. As soon as I read that, my mind started thinking “yeah, he shot him and he had to because his superiors failed him in training”. Honestly, that is a blanket defense in any kind of case like this. It’s rather simple for a good attorney to paint the defendant as the victim of a broken system, especially when you are talking about police working for an underfunded, over-staffed police department.
Then yesterday a new article appeared about Wilson. This article tries to give us a detailed look into the history of the man who gunned down Michael Brown. Again, something sticks out:
The small city of Jennings, Mo., had a police department so troubled, and with so much tension between white officers and black residents, that the city council finally decided to disband it. Everyone in the Jennings police department was fired. New officers were brought in to create a credible department from scratch.
That was three years ago. One of the officers who worked in that department, and lost his job along with everyone else, was a young man named Darren Wilson.
When we learned about Wilson from the Ferguson Police, we learned that he was an officer for 6 years. Now we find out only half of that was with Ferguson, while the other half was with a department so troubled with race relations the town had no option but to fire every single officer. That is a totally amazing thing to happen. Imagine how bad things must be for the council of a town to throw their hands up and say “hey, we’re getting rid of all of our police, paying them unemployment, and contracting out to the county”.
Then there’s something else with that tidbit of information. Darren Wilson’s formative years as a police officer were with this troubled beyond belief police department. Interesting how that can fold back into the improper training statement made by Shepard.
Now I’m not a lawyer, but if I were I would see some interesting pieces here that can perfectly mix into a great defense. “Members of the jury, we aren’t talking about a cold blooded killer, but rather a young man, trying to serve his community and not given the proper mentoring to understand the right and wrongs of deadly force”. That is something I can hear a lawyer muttering over and over again in a trial, and something I fully expect to hear if Wilson gets his day in court.