In Brief: Something Else That's Wrong with Darren Wilson's Story of the Shooting of Michael Brown

There is one aspect of Officer Darren Wilson's actions in his confrontation with Michael Brown that hasn't received much attention, but it has been bugging the shit out of the Rude Pundit. By his own admission, Wilson got out of his car and chased Brown, who he knew was unarmed. Wilson said that he fired several shots when Brown supposedly turned and charged him. By his own admission, Wilson missed Brown with some of the shots. Then he fired again, another series of shots, some of which missed and some of which hit Brown, killing him. "I don't know how many I shot," Wilson told the grand jury, "I just know I shot it." We can hope that "it" means the gun and not Brown.

This all took place in the middle of the day at the Canfield Green Apartments, a public housing project in Ferguson that has far, far more than its fair share of crime and poverty. Wilson killed Brown on August 9, a little after noon. It was a summer day; school didn't start until August 25. So in the middle of a housing project, with apartments and people all around, Officer Darren Wilson made the tactical decision to fire wildly at an unarmed man who was posing no threat to anyone except him.

As many have said, Wilson could have gotten back in his SUV and awaited backup. But, no matter what you think happened, we know that Wilson decided the best course of action was to fire ten bullets, no matter who might get hurt. We also know that some of those shots hit the apartment buildings around Wilson and Brown. And we know that Wilson is pretty damn lucky he didn't hurt or kill anyone else while he was firing his gun over and over.

So the conclusion here is that Darren Wilson just didn't give a damn who might be collateral damage, not in a neighborhood that Wilson called "antipolice." Fuck those people, right? Surely, though, cops are trained on how to use their guns in situations where innocent people might be around. Certainly, they are told that in occupied, residential areas, you should shoot only if there are absolutely no other options. Of course, cops must be told that the safety of the public is their primary concern, not their own safety in the heat of a moment against an unarmed man.

Or maybe not. Maybe cops are told that they are the law and that's that, especially in places like Canfield Green or Oakmont or Northwinds, and that enforcement of the law is the only objective, lives and safety of others be damned.

To the Rude Pundit, everything you need to know about Darren Wilson is in his own version of that moment, whether he's describing it accurately or not. Someone should ask him, "Did you think for one second about the other people who you might end up shooting? Did you even think they were people?" Or perhaps "Would you have shot like that in your own neighborhood?"