Michael Brown was a bully and a thug. He had just robbed a convenience store and assaulted the owner when he took to the street. There, he was confronted by a Ferguson police officer who remained in is car. Brown reached in and tried to take the officer’s firearm. He was shot and killed.
These are the facts of the case of Michael Brown which, before the facts were known, sparked outrage from anti-police activists who converged on Ferguson, Missouri. It was the dawn of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” which became a mantra for the movement. But the story that Brown said these words was later recanted. Nevertheless, the mantra remains popular even today.
Brown’s death was a tragedy, but it’s no longer logical or truthful to classify it as a murder. The officer involved in the shooting has been exonerated, and as more facts emerged, the picture of a “gentle giant” the activists tried to paint had more holes in it than Swiss cheese.
But that’s not stopping Democratic candidates for president from revising history to redact his criminal history, the exoneration of the police officer, or the reality that he attacked the officer and tried to take control of his firearm. To them, these facts are mere roadblocks in promoting the narrative that Michael Brown was murdered in cold blood by a racist cop and by golly something still needs to be done about it.
The reactions of presidential hopefuls ranged from semi-lucid to outright lies. Here are the ones who at least didn’t call it a murder.
Five years ago, Michael Brown's life was taken in Ferguson. His death stirred the conscience of our nation and awakened a generation of activists. We must ensure justice rings out for all in America — regardless of skin color.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 9, 2019
Five years ago, Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer. In the years since, we’ve heard too many names, too many similar stories, to count. In each, we are reminded of an idea as urgent, and as ignored, today as it was when Michael was killed: Black Lives Matter.
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 9, 2019
5 years ago, Michael Brown was killed by a police officer. His body lay on the street for hours before he was treated with humanity. I have been thinking all day about Mike and his family, and my prayers are with them.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) August 9, 2019
Five years ago, Mike Brown was killed by the police.
Activists in Ferguson and beyond always remind us— police violence is gun violence.
We can be more just, but we have work to do.
Reading our policing plan below:https://t.co/b2nRaUfdwE pic.twitter.com/DIoJxyzdjm
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) August 9, 2019
Like Eric Garner, Michael Brown should be here today.
My city knows the pain of Ferguson all too well — and what we've learned has fundamentally changed us. There’s more to do and we’ll be at it awhile, but our mission is clear: NO ONE should die due to the color of their skin.
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) August 9, 2019
But two candidates took it to the realm of bald-faced lies. Michael Brown was not murdered, which requires intent. He was killed in self-defense after attacking multiple people, including the police officer who shot him. But that narrative doesn’t play as well as the murder narrative being pushed by Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren:
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.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 9, 2019
5 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.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) August 9, 2019
Even on the anniversary of the tragic events in Ferguson, Democrats continue to change the narrative – and history – for the sake of political expediency. The two who called Michael Brown’s death “murder” should be ashamed of themselves.
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