Tuesday, December 23, 2014

What to do instead of protests

As far as I can tell, the goal of the protesters at the MOA this weekend (and elsewhere) is that the officers involved in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases be prosecuted.  OK, fair enough, but the grand jury's word is pretty much final; they didn't find enough evidence to indict.  So to indict them now would be to violate various parts of due process, probably including the sanctity of grand jury investigations, the prohibition of ex post facto laws, and the prohibition of double jeopardy.

In other words, to indict more or less brings back the state of affairs very well known to civil rights activists before 1964, and allow me to say that I think that black lives matter enough for us to keep the legal advances we've had since then in place.  No sane person wants a return to Jim Crow, after all.

So what is to do?   One possibility is that activists could take a good look at the evidence--it's public for the Michael Brown case at least--with the help of a good detective and lawyer and see if the prosecutor has a pattern of downplaying or even suppressing evidence that would tend to get policemen indicted.  If they find anything--and I would suggest that the USDOJ and Eric Holder are probably already looking into this--then that is cause for removal from office, disbarment, and in extreme cases, probably even jail time.  Just ask Mike Nifong.

But that said, given that the "D Team" of the USDOJ is presumably scouring everything near Ferguson and Gotham to make exactly this case, that's probably a stretch.  So the goal I'd suggest--and contribute to as God gives me the resources--is to do what it takes to reduce the chances of it happening again.  Some suggestions:

Encourage dashboard and body cameras for police, and pay for a few of them in some areas.  If the police had simply said "roll tape" to show Michael Brown either being submissive or aggressive just prior to his death, a lot of trouble could have been prevented.

Teach kids the law regarding the use of deadly force, and that picking a fight with a stranger can be the last thing they'll ever do, especially if they are large, athletic, and male. 

Encourage welfare laws to be reformed to favor work and family formation instead of penalizing those who marry those they love and get out of the house to find a job.  After all, we have 50 years of evidence now that says that what we're doing is only filling welfare rolls and prisons.

Get to know the police in your town.  Maybe everyone involved can get a sense of ownership. 

Probably a few other things can be done, and hopefully those that Walter Williams calls "race hustling poverty pimps" can get out of the way long enough to let some genuine progress be made.


Elspeth said...

That is just way too much common sense.

Bike Bubba said...

Stupid me. :^)

( I can dream, can't I?)