Sen Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, tweeted an enormous lie recently that smeared a police officer and attempted to fan the flames of racial resentment, simmering as they have since the dark days of the Obama presidency.
“Five years ago Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael was unarmed yet he was shot 6 times. I stand with activists and organizers who continue the fight for justice for Michael. We must confront systemic racism and police violence head-on.”
The problem is that Michael Brown, a young black man who had robbed a convenience store before the shooting, was not murdered. He was shot in self-defense while attacking a police officer named Darien Wilson. President Barack Obama’s own Justice Department stated so after an extensive investigation.
The incident took place in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014, when Office Wilson noticed Brown and a friend walking in the middle of the street. He ordered them to get on the sidewalk so as not to block traffic. Then he noticed that Brown and his friend matched the descriptions of the recent robbery. He tried to block the two youths with his car.
Brown reached into the police vehicle and started to hit Officer Darren and grab for his sidearm. The police officer managed to draw his weapon and got off a shot, striking Brown in the hand. Brown turned and ran, Officer Wilson got out of his vehicle and ordered Brown to halt., Brown turned and instead of stopping, charged the police officer Wilson called on Brown to halt and, when he failed to do so, shot him several times, finally killing him with a shot to the head.
Eyewitnesses and the forensic evidence proved that Office Wilson was in imminent danger of physical harm and that the shooting was justified. However, Michael Brown’s companion told a different story, claiming that Brown had stopped, held up his hands, and yelled, “Don’t shoot!”
The friend’s claims, for a time, was accepted in the African American community, resulting in days of violent civil unrest in Ferguson. Several members of Congress took up the hands up gesture, announcing “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” and then decry what they saw as the systematic oppression of young, black men by white cops. The Black Lives Matter movement arose as a result of what happened in Ferguson. Other incidents involving black suspects and police officers occurred in other communities, followed by violent civil unrest.
In 2016, a young man named Micah Xavier Johnson ambushed and murdered five police officers in Dallas, injuring nine others. Johnson was enraged at several incidents of officer-involved shootings of young, black men. Police were obliged to kill Johnson with a bomb attached to a bomb disposal robot.
The case of Michael Brown was one of a lie making it around the world before the truth got its shoes on, to repeat a phrase used by Mark Twain. Eventually, the media got it right, but only after repeating the “Hands up don’t shoot” lie for months. The racial poison had been dispensed.
Sen Kamala Harris, D-CA, who used to be a state Attorney General, also repeated the lie on Twitter.
“Michael Brown’s murder forever changed Ferguson and America. His tragic death sparked a desperately needed conversation and a nationwide movement. We must fight for stronger accountability and racial equity in our justice system.”
Remember, both Warren and Harris tweeted these things long after the Justice Department concluded that Brown’s shooting was justified self-defense. Whether both candidates were unaware of those conclusions or were aware and choose to lie anyway is open to speculation as of this writing.
The National Review notes that the lies about the Michael Brown shooting may have legal ramifications for the two senators and presidential candidates:
“But Warren and Harris’s failure is more than a failure of leadership. The publication of a false accusation of a crime like murder is libelous under American law. In other words, their lies may well have been illegal. Democrats — especially Democrats who seek to address the very real challenges surrounding police violence in the United States — should demand better. Harris and Warren should do better. They should correct and retract their false statements. There is no excuse for their inflammatory lies. “
The implication is that Darren Wilson may have a cause for a defamation suit. Wilson was obliged to resign his position from the Ferguson Police Department and has, thus far, not been able to obtain employment as a police officer with any other department. The incident ruined his life.