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MUHAMMAD: Dead, Dumb, Dumber and Dumber

Askia Muhammad | 8/27/2014, 3 p.m.
Askia Muhammad

There is absolutely nothing that was done by either Eric Garner or Michael Brown on the days they were murdered that would justify their deaths. Nothing.

Both Black men were illegally executed by White police officers under color of law. Neither man had been arrested, or indicted, let alone convicted of any crime. Had either of them been guilty of the most heinous crime of which they might have been accused those days, there’s no chance they could have possibly received a death sentence.

Maybe Garner was selling loose cigarettes on the street without a license. Maybe Brown walked out of a convenience store with a handful of cigarillos. Cigars? Cigarettes?

The sheer pettiness of the alleged crimes indicts the cops involved and renders their victims, martyrs.

But in Ferguson, Missouri the situation is replete with blunders and stupidity. Let’s start with Michael Brown. I was taught that Black men should never so much as jaywalk, so as to not give race-hating White cops a justifiable excuse for intervening, possibly even making an arrest.

So here’s Michael Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson strolling down the middle of the street, just as big as you please, according to Johnson’s account. So here come police officer Darren Wilson in his cruiser, and he tells the men in the coarsest language imaginable to get out of the street and onto the sidewalk, according to Johnson’s account.

That was dumb. Once as a reporter I was covering a riotous situation, walking on the sidewalk holding my press pass aloft when a cop cocked his shotgun and shouted at me: “Just give me a reason, nigger. Just give me a reason.” I guess no one ever told Brown and Johnson, White cops are often itching for Black guys to give them a reason to shoot.

What happened next is in dispute, and Officer Wilson’s story has yet to come out. He has been in hiding, comforted by other cops and by the Ku Klux Klan which praised him for killing the Black guy, and spearheaded a drive raising a total of $300,000 so far for the murderous cop’s defense.

The Ferguson police continued the tragic farce, their stupidity only exceeded by their cruelty. Apparently no medical assistance was requested for Brown who had been shot six times by Wilson. Apparently no incident report was called in. And then Brown’s body was left uncovered in a pool of his own blood for hours.

Understandably, there was a furious, violent reaction from the Ferguson community, 70 percent of whom are Black, served by a police force that’s 95 percent White. The dumb police response was like a SWAT team on steroids: a military lockdown. Dumber.

The Gestapo response failed and the situation quickly boiled out of control. Mayhem was rampant. There was looting, Molotov cocktails were thrown, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon then tried to calm the situation by appointing a Ferguson native, and Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson.

Johnson did some good things. He told officers that the subjects of their patrols were their fellow citizens, not enemy combatants. But he did not – maybe could not – rein in the law enforcement apparatus. One cop – a lieutenant from a neighboring jurisdiction – has been relieved from duty after being caught on camera pointing his semi-automatic rifle at demonstrators and violently cursing and threatening them. Other White cops actually escorted a tiny contingent of provocative pro-shooter demonstrators through the thick of the seething, angry Black crowd.