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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fueling the tragic Ferguson firestorm is grandstanding prosecutiing attorney Robert P. McCulloch

Sometimes, people really do have to "blame the messenger". St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert P. McCulloch behaved with annoying bravado and should be fired for mishandling the police shooting of the young unarmed black man named Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. 

Race relations between Blacks and Whites in America are obviously at an all time low. 

Therefore, we didn't need the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert P. McCulloch to incite more trouble. With what appeared, to me, to be a smirk on his face, he stepped up to the international television cameras with the bravado of the swashbuckling antagonist Gaston, to explain the secret Grand Jury's decision about whether or not there was probable cause to bring police officer Darren Wilson to trial, for killing Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri, in August 2014.

Although I do not intend to second guess the Grand Jury's decision to protect Officer Darren Wilson from prosecution, I can evaluate the behavior of the prosecutor, Robert P. McCulloch. His inept handling of this race relations tragedy has made a bad situation much worse. 

Police Officer Wilson, 28, will face no charges for shooting Michael Brown. As reported by McCulloch, the Grand Jury examined the evidence and did not find probable cause to bring forth any prosecution of the police officer for the killing.  Following McCulloch's reading of this decision, the streets of Ferguson Missouri became torched, as the decision caused a firestorm of destruction. Demonstrators believed the Michael Brown shooting was another example of enabling the police to single out young black men, without allowing due process, if they become suspects of misconduct of any kind.

Obviously, McCulloch is a miserable communicator. He rehearsed the cold reading of the Grand Jury's decision statement, after keeping the public and reporters waiting for at least 4 hours to hear the anticipated decision. Following the reading, he gave condescending answers to questions from reporters during the press conference. More to the point, knowing how the decision would likely be ill received, why did McCulloch wait until after sundown to grandstand his announcement? In my opinion, McCulloch created an incendiary situation by timing his announcement concurrent with late night prime time television coverage and thereby enabling the violence that, predictably, erupted after the information was made public.

Missouri public officials must've known that McCulloch was the worst person to give this outcome information to the community, to the US and, ultimately, to the world. Although I have no idea about protocol for reading a Grand Jury decision, it seems to me a judge would have been a better communicator than McCulloch. If a press conference was deemed to be necessary, it seems to me, there should've been more than one person available standing alongside McCulloch, to answer questions. Instead, the prosecuting attorney stood alone before TV cameras, like he was the victorious gladiator in a struggle for the "up" or "down" vote of his supporters. Indeed, McCulloch gets a "thumbs down" from me. His communications failure resulted in the worst night of violence since the August 2014 incident, where Michael Brown was shot dead in Ferguson, at about 12 noon, and then laid in the street for four hours afterwards. 

At this point, the sad death of the unarmed Michael Brown is nearly secondary to the unraveling situation resulting from prosecutor McCulloch's arrogant mismanagement.

Perhaps the only justice, as tangential as it may be, to the killing of the unarmed Michael Brown might be to see the prosecuting attorney  McCulloch fired. 

This man has misrepresented our judicial system by self appointing himself to be the judge, jury and communicator about this horrific incident.

Nevertheless, Michael Brown's death cannot be avenged. Race relations in the U.S. are probably worse than they've ever been. The more this particular Ferguson incident is discussed, the worse it gets for everyone, because there's no apparent resolution. Sooner or later, there will be another person in the litany of incidents without resolution.....Rodney King...Treyvon Martin and....Michael Brown....?  

Perhaps Americans need to experience a 1960's Civil Rights Movement revival.    

Meanwhile, our sympathies continue to grow for the family of Michael Brown and for all the victims in Ferguson, Missouri, who are trying to understand how to fix this racial tragedy.

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