SF Public Defender on the Indictment Decision

Jeff Adachi receiving the Vanguard Justice Award in November 2013
Jeff Adachi receiving the Vanguard Justice Award in November 2013

By Jeff Adachi

As San Francisco Public Defender, I am deeply disappointed with the grand jury’s failure to indict Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. A series of questionable, and in my opinion, biased legal and ethical decisions in the investigation and prosecution of the case presented to the grand jury led to this unjust result, most notably allowing a local prosecutor with strong family connections to police supervise the investigation and presentation of the evidence. This ethical failure resulted in the exceedingly rare step of the prosecuting attorney refusing to recommend an indictment against the police officer he was prosecuting.   The police investigation and inquiry itself were rife with problems:

  • Because it was a grand jury inquiry and not a trial, Wilson took the stand in secrecy and without benefit of a cross-examination. Prosecutors not only failed to probe his incredible testimony but frequently appeared to be bolstering his claim of self-defense. Transcripts reveal that witnesses whose accounts contradicted Wilson’s were rigorously questioned by prosecutors.
  • Dorian Johnson, the key witness who was standing next to Brown during the encounter, provided strong testimony that called into question Wilson’s claim that he was defending his life against a deranged aggressor. Johnson testified that Wilson, enraged that the young men did not obey his order to get on the sidewalk, threw his patrol car into reverse. While Wilson claimed Brown prevented him from opening his door, Johnson testified that the officer smacked them with the door after nearly hitting the pair. Johnson described the ensuing struggle as Wilson attempting to pull Brown through the car window by his neck and shirt, and Brown pulling away. Johnson never saw Brown reach for Wilson’s gun or punch the officer. Johnson testified that he watched a wounded Brown partially raise his hands and say, “I don’t have a gun” before being fatally shot.
  • Wilson’s description of Brown as a “demon” with superhuman strength and unremitting rage, and his description of the neighborhood as “hostile,” illustrate implicit racial bias that taints use-of-force decisions. These biases surely contribute to the fact that African Americans are 21 times more likely to be shot by police than whites in the U.S., but the statement’s racial implications remained unexamined.
  • Prosecutors never asked Wilson why he did not attempt to drive away while Brown was allegedly reaching through his vehicle window or to reconcile the contradiction between his claim that Brown punched the left side of his face and the documented injuries which appear on his right side. Wilson, who is 6 feet 4 inches tall and 210 pounds, is never asked to explain why he “felt like a five-year-old holding on to Hulk Hogan” during his struggle with Brown, who is Wilson’s height and 290 pounds.

The police investigation itself revealed strong biases toward the police officer and against Michael Brown, leading to an ongoing federal investigation into the police department’s history of discriminatory policing practices, use of excessive force and violations of detainees’ constitutional rights.

It is important that communities throughout this country re-evaluate and reform our processes by which justice is determined. We must work to ferret out biases that threaten the very foundation of society and taint decisions rendered by our justice system.

It is also critical that we acknowledge the impact of implicit bias in decisions regarding stopping, investigating, arresting and prosecuting citizens, and in gauging whether deadly force is necessary. We must also demand that law enforcement agencies begin using available technology, such as police body cameras, to improve transparency and accountability to the public they are sworn to serve. And we must pledge to honor the request of Michael Brown’s family to work together to ensure that this tragedy is not repeated as it has been in the past.

Jeff Adachi is the elected Public Defender of San Francisco.

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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62 Comments

  1. Tia Will

    Wilson’s description of Brown as a “demon” with superhuman strength and unremitting rage, and his description of the neighborhood as “hostile,” illustrate implicit racial bias that taints use-of-force decisions.”

    I am not sure that the use of the words “demon” and reference t0 the Hulk are demonstrations of racial bias, but they clearly represent a form of dehumanization that allows one person to objective another, and thereby devalue their life. To me it really doesn’t matter if these were the thoughts that Officer Wilson had at the time, or images he used subsequently to justify his actions as fear inspired,. The fact is that this is how he, as a similarly sized and much more heavily armed man ,chose to describe another human being. I find this very telling, and although I bear Officer Wilson no ill will I am certainly glad that he has chosen to end his career in law enforcement.

    1. David Greenwald

      Not just dehumanization but to me shows a lack of objectivity and therefore a lack of credibility in his testimony. Add to that the fact that he was not cross-examined very rigorously and I’m skeptical about his claims.

      1. zaqzaq

        From my reading of Johnson’s testimony he was not rigorously cross examined.  The grand jurors ask more clarifying questions than the prosecutors.  Johnson was able to tell his story without being ripped apart by inconsistencies with the physical evidence.  He was never asked to explain the bullet inside the door, the blood inside the vehicle or the injury to Brown’s hand which must have been in the car do to the gunshot residue.  Amazing.

        1. Davis Progressive

          someone noted to me via email that if mr. brown was fleeing, it was unlawful for the police to shoot him.

          i think it’s more gray than that.

          “Under U.S. law the fleeing felon rule was limited in 1985 to non-lethal force in most cases by Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1. The justices held that deadly force “may not be used unless necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious bodily harm to the officer or others.”[2]

           

           

          A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead…however…Where the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or to others, it is not constitutionally unreasonable to prevent escape by using deadly force.
          —Justice Byron White, Tennessee v. Garner

          so if officer wilson thought mr. brown posed a risk, he could shoot him.

        2. zaqzaq

          “perhaps because johnson wasn’t at a vantage point to be able to explain those things?”

          Johnson placed himself standing right next to Brown with a clear view of the encounter.  Johnson claimed Brown was shot in the chest at the vehicle.  The problem with this statement is that there is no gunshot residue on the shirt which would be present if the shot was fired that close.

           

    2. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      > reference t0 the Hulk are demonstrations of racial bias

      When most people hear “Hulk” they think white guy (Hulk Hogan) or white guy that becomes a green guy (The Incredible Hulk) but race baiting politicians like Adachi will say ANY word a cop uses is “proof” of “racial bias.

       

      Adachi wrote:

      > Prosecutors never asked Wilson why he did not attempt to drive away

      > while Brown was allegedly reaching through his vehicle window 

      There is a long (unfortunate) history in America of whites dragging black men from a car (I bet more Americans know who James Byrd is than Oscar Grant) and it is silly to ask a cop “why didn’t you just drag a black guy through a “hostile” black neighborhood”…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_James_Byrd,_Jr.

      1. Tia Will

        South of Davis

        You took a few words that I had quoted from the testimony and then attributed the concept of “racial bias” to me. If you read what I wrote carefully you will see that I was actually disagreeing with Adachi that the depiction of the Hulk represents racial bias. To the best of my knowledge, all representations of the Hulk have him as Caucasion, and demons have no race that I can discern.

        I will however,  stand by my point that both depictions by Officer Wilson represent dehumanizing characterizations as an attempt to portray himself as fearful and thus justified in killing an unarmed and less empowered human being. It was this dehumanization ( not race) that was the point of my post and would have been the same regardless of the race of any individual so portrayed.

    3. TrueBlueDevil

      Yes, a 300-pound 18-year-old young man would be very strong, especially if hyped up on drugs, which he was. Second, if he was standing and the officer was in the car, sitting, that is another advantage. Third, we saw the tape of him tossing around a shop keeper like a rag doll.

      No shock that a liberal public defender from a super liberal city finds fault with this. Did he read all of the testimony and evidence?

      Ninety percent of top legal experts say that Mr. Brown’s case got a more than fair shake. When a citizen goes for an officer’s gun, all bets are off. Did the DA comment about that physical evidence?

      1. Davis Progressive

        versus a 28 year old trained officer who is almost as big with weapons.

        “Ninety percent of top legal experts say that Mr. Brown’s case got a more than fair shake.”

        certainly not from what i’ve read.

        1. Davis Progressive

          he’s a big guy.  wilson was no slouch, and better trained.  he declined to use alternative tools.

          again, there are a few key points in this confrontation.  the first is whether a veteran cop would have been able to avoid the confrontation in the first place.  i’ve talked to a number who believe they would have been able to.  the second is the fatal shot and whether wilson needed to fire it, i’ve reviewed a lot of the evidence here, and believe we don’t know whether he needed to fire it because we don’t know how far away wilson was from brown when that was fired.  that’s really inexcusable in my mind.  i’ve investigated a number of officer involved shootings and don’t get it.

  2. zaqzaq

    Jeff Adachi is just another cop hater.  I have read over 150 pages of Dorian Johnson’s testimony and his story does not match the physical evidence.  For example, according to Johnson only one shot was fired while they were  at the car, the gun was inside the car and no part of Mike Brown was in the car.  He claims Brown is shot in the chest.  This is contradicted by the physical evidence that includes a bullet lodged in the inside of the door, Brown’s blood inside the car and the gunshot residue on Brown’s injured hand.  Johnson further claims that Officer Wilson never yelled stop or halt when Brown was running away.  Numerous witnesses heard Wilson yelling stop according to press accounts.   He  claims Brown was shot while running away yet there are not injuries on Brown’s body that clearly support this claim.  According to Johnson Brown then turns around and is shot where he is standing.  Brown never moves in the direction of Officer Wilson.  This again is inconsistent with the physical evidence that shows the blood trail, from Brown’s injured hand, going away from the police vehicle and then turning around and moving back towards the police vehicle or where Officer Wilson was standing.    With Adachi’s legal analysis which never addresses the physical evidence I would hate to have him representing me if I were ever arrested.

    1. David Greenwald

      One thing that I think the prosecutor did a poor job of reconciling is that eyewitness identification is notoriously poor especially in terms of fine details, but the prosecutor did a poor job of being consistent in terms of questioning the evidence supporting his cause as hard as he questioned the countervailing evidence. Johnson made some errors in his testimony, but so did Wilson. All we really know from the physical evidence are small bits and pieces – we never for instance learned how far away Brown was from Wilson when he was shot with the fatal blow, that’s kind of important, don’t you think?

      1. zaqzaq

        You discount the physical evidence because it supports Wilson’s version.  The physical evidence does not have bias or animosity.  The testimony of the witnesses must be consistent with the physical evidence.  How can it be accurate if it conflicts with the physical evidence?  Please show how Wilson’s testimony conflicts with the recovered bullets, shell casings, gunshot residue and blood evidence.

        How far away Brown was from Willson when he discharged his firearm is significant.  Eyewitnesses can only estimate the distance and their personal bias can influence their estimates.  The location of the shell casings also supports the claim by Wilson that he was backing up when shooting.  My understanding is that the shell casings from Wilson’s gun were eight feet away from the body of Mike Brown as opposed to eighty feet.  That would seem to indicate they were close together.  This physical evidence would seem to support the Wilson version of the truth.    After the robbery and struggle over the gun how close to Wilson does Brown have to get before he is justified in using lethal force?  Remember this entire incident took 90 seconds.

    2. Barack Palin

      Dorian Johnson started the “hand up, don’t shoot” lie and I’ve read where he’s been proven to have lied to police in the past.  Nothing Dorian Johnson says can be believed and he should be up on perjury charges.  Once again the left is running with the wrong guy, Michael Brown was a thug, a robber, assaulted a store owner, was high at the time of the incident and initiated the fight with Johnson.  It amazing how the left is trying to twist things to fit their narrative but they are really starting to look foolish.

        1. Barack Palin

          There are many witnesses that said the hands were never raised or were just raised for a short instance than Brown charged towards Johnson.  Give it up, Johnson’s actions were justifiable, you guys were wrong on this one.

          1. David Greenwald

            There were a number of witnesses who said he never raised his hands, one of the more neutral ones though seemed to believe he did and that rather than a charge, he kind of staggered towards Wilson. Based on that, I’m not sure we know what happened.

        2. Barack Palin

          I see the edit feature isn’t working, the post should read:

          There are many witnesses that said the hands were never raised or were just raised for a short instance then Brown charged towards Wilson.  Give it up, Wilson’s actions were justifiable, you guys were wrong on this one.

           

           

           

          1. David Greenwald

            There is a conflict between some of the apps that is causing the current problems, we hope in the next day that the update will resolve the problem.

  3. Frankly

    Wilson’s description of Brown as a “demon” with superhuman strength and unremitting rage, and his description of the neighborhood as “hostile,” illustrate implicit racial bias that taints use-of-force decisions. These biases surely contribute to the fact that African Americans are 21 times more likely to be shot by police than whites in the U.S., but the statement’s racial implications remained unexamined.

    The evidence, including the convenience store video showing the thuggery behavior of Michael Brown, and then the riots and looting of Ferguson, both serve to prove that Wilson’s descriptions to be accurate and Jeff Adachi to be the one demonstrating racial bias.

    What contributes to blacks being shot by police is that blacks are more likely to be involved in violence and criminal activity, and black neighborhoods are more likely to be infested with criminals and criminal activity.   That is the root cause of blacks being over-represented in shooting encounters with law enforcement and not white-black racial bias.  And continuing to falsely accuse cops as being motivated by racism only results in more destructive racial conflict and deflects from working to solve the root causes of black over-representation in crime and punishment.

    Is it possible that a public defender perpetuates the cops-are-racists narrative in pursuit of his self interests knowing full well the destructive consequences?

  4. Anon

    “Prosecutors never asked Wilson why he did not attempt to drive away while Brown was allegedly reaching through his vehicle window…”

    This statement is ridiculous.  Had Wilson driven away with Brown reaching in, Brown could have been seriously hurt or killed (and then people like the author would have complained about that), and members of the public could have been maimed or killed as well since Wilson would not necessarily be able to see where he was going if Brown is partway in the car.

    Secondly, what exactly would the author have Wilson charged with?

  5. Frankly

    Bad cops and bad educators routinely destroy future prospects of thousands of young people living in lower economic, high-crime areas.  High dropout rates, lower test scores and higher illiteracy rates are consistent and rampant in almost all predominantly black neighborhoods… so are those teachers and educators racist?  What if the parents of those children in these high crappy education outcome neighborhoods modeled the same disrespect for teachers and coaches as they do the police?  Or conversely, what if those same parents modeled the same high levels of respect for the police as they demonstrate for teachers and coaches?  Would anything change?
    One thing for sure… they first step to improving and repairing a community-police relationship requires an end to anger and revenge pursuits. We can’t solve any problems when there is a lack of trust.

    1. Miwok

      While I think your points are valid, I also know the even in Davis and Woodland, and definitely in West Sac, parents and students don’t even discuss this. Parents are concerned with making a living, getting their drug or beverage of choice, and the kids pick up what their parents do or they have no relationship at all. When you or anyone else talks about bad teachers, you must also include bad parenting.

      The second thing is language and culture. Some people act like it is bad for immigrants to be here dragging their kids backward, when the inclusion of them is enlightening and profound. The kids hear other languages and even learn some of them. They make friends of different peoples. I think we need to honor that.

    2. Tia Will

      Frankly

      We can’t solve any problems when there is a lack of trust.”

      Well I would say that this comment cuts both ways. If a police officer enters a neighborhood with the underlying idea that because a neighborhood has a reputation for being “hostile” then everyone in it must be hostile and is capable of this kind of dehumanization ( Hulk, demon ) , that is a manifestation of distrust just as much as a minoritiy member’s distrust of the police because he knows that the statistics of white police shootings of blacks outnumbers the number of shootings of whites. Both manifest distrust. And yet you are just as unwilling to look at both sides of the divide as is Mr. Sharpton. In my opinion, no one who is not fully capable of seeing stereotyping on both sides of this issue should be advising ( or lecturing ) anyone on race relations.

    3. Tia Will

      BP

      I heard today that Michael Brown’s step father, you know the guy that said “burn this bitch down”, is a twice convicted drug dealer”

      Well, that’s it then. Proof that Michael Brown deserved to be shot to death and left lying in the street for four hours ! I am having a hard time believing that you even chose to post that.

       

  6. Barack Palin

    In the meantime Al Sharpton made his 82nd visit to the White House today.  Is this tax evading race baiter really the person we want advising the President about race relations?

      1. Barack Palin

        It just shows the type of people this administration is willing to take advice from.  Just curious David, do you personally want someone like Al Sharpton advising the President on race issues considering his hate filled rhetoric.

        1. David Greenwald

          “It just shows the type of people this administration is willing to take advice from. ”

          To me it just shows a desire to take partisan snipes.

          “the president was to hold meetings with civil-rights activists and elected officials, including Rev. Al Sharpton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D). ”

          Not seeing it as a big deal.

        2. Barack Palin

          “the president was to hold meetings with civil-rights activists and elected officials, including Rev. Al Sharpton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D). ”
          Not seeing it as a big deal.

          Thanks, that says a lot about you.

          1. David Greenwald

            Says nothing about me. When I was in college, they had the million man march led by Farakhan. I asked one of my friends who attended that march, why Farakhan, he said, who else can get that kind of group organized, he had a point even though I didn’t like Farakhan.

            Last year they did a poll of 1002 African Americans, most influencial person by far was Sharpton, at 24 percent. Next was Jesse Jackson at 11. So why would you ignore someone in the civil rights community with that kind of support?

            I get it, you don’t like Sharpton. I might even agree with some of your reasons for not liking Sharpton, but from a pragmatic standpoint, how do you have a discussion excluding him from the conversation.

        3. South of Davis

          David wrote:

          > how do you have a discussion excluding him from the conversation.

          The same way you have a discussion excluding white supremacist “leaders”from the conversation.

          1. David Greenwald

            So you believe that Al Sharpton’s views are the moral equivalent of white supremacists?

  7. Miwok

    Because Kamala Harris parlayed her position to the AG, I can only think that Mr Adachi, whatever race he is, panders to the politicians and cameras instead of practicing law. Now that evidence is released to the public, He preaches to the ignorant that don’t do their own research, and from reading the responses on this topic there is a vast interpretation of the facts and Grand Jury process compared to SF.

    It also underscores the quality of small town America, and how some old wounds never heal unless addressed. The lack of cameras on officers, the responses, equipment is all indicative of decades of repairing roads instead of equipping and training police, right?

    Ferguson seems to be like many small towns in California, with the inevitable families (even in Yolo County) serving the public in the same Sheriff or PD. Fire Departments are the same, especially in Volunteer FD.

    So has that State let blacks down? Have other races been similarly neglected or discriminated against? And an open mind sometimes, as I try to maintain, is important. What is NOT important, IMO, is Michael Brown or the other “friend” he had at the scene. Putting the criminals on the face of your grievance is not the way to solve the problems.

  8. Anon

    Barack Palin 
    December 1, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    It just shows the type of people this administration is willing to take advice from.  Just curious David, do you personally want someone like Al Sharpton advising the President on race issues considering his hate filled rhetoric.

    Reply

    Don Shor 
    December 1, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Who else was there?

    This response blows my mind.  Are you telling me that Obama could not get advice on the Ferguson issue/race relations from anyone other than Al Sharpton?  How about any of these:

    The Real Role Models

    Rufus Cormier, JD, Partner at the Baker Botts Law Firm, Houston, Texas
    Melody Barnes, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Washington, D.C.
    Eric Motley, PhD, Managing Director of the Aspen Institute’s Henry Crown Fellowship Program, Aspen, Colorado
    James McIntyre, Spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, D.C.
    Tracie Hall, Assistant Dean and Librarian at Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois
    Kimberlydawn Wisdom, MD, Surgeon General of the State of Michigan, Lansing, Michigan
    Timothy George, MD, Chief of Pediatric Neuroscience at Dell Children’s Medical Center, Austin, Texas
    Victoria Holloway Barbosa, MD, Ethnic Dermatologist and Former Executive for L’Oreal, Chicago, Illinois
    Bill Douglas, White House Correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers, Washington, D.C.
    Leonard Pitts, Jr., Columnist for the Miami Herald, Miami, Florida
    Danyel Smith, Editor of Vibe Magazine, New York, New York
    Ed Stewart, Managing Director of External Communications for Delta Airlines, Atlanta, Georgia
    Lynn Tyson, Vice President of Investor Relations for Dell, Austin, Texas
    Willie Miles, Jr., Founder and CEO of Miles Wealth Management, Houston, Texas
    Horace Allen, Founder and CEO of TeamPact, Atlanta, Georgia
    Deavra Daughtry, President and CEO of Excellent Care Management, Houston, Texas
    Je’Caryous Johnson, Founder and CEO of I’m Ready Productions, Houston, Texas
    Steve Jones, Cofounder of a graphic design company, Oakland, California
    Isiah Warner, PhD, Chemistry Professor at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Gloria Ladson-Billings, PhD, Professor of Education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
    Bernard Muir, Athletic Director at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
    Craig Littlepage, Athletic Director at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
    Beverly Kearney, Women’s Track Coach at the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas

    – See more at: http://utpress.utexas.edu/index.php/books/sperea#sthash.BcjqXRuu.dpuf

    It doesn’t say much about your opinion of blacks if you think Al Sharpton was the only one Obama could turn to for advice.

    1. Davis Progressive

      “It doesn’t say much about your opinion of blacks if you think Al Sharpton was the only one Obama could turn to for advice.”

      doesn’t seem like sharpton was the only one in one the recent meeting.  i recognize in that group, one name.  sharpton has strong support in the black community, do any of these other people?

      1. Anon

        From NBC News:

        Nearly 40 Percent of Voters Say Race Relations Have Gotten Worse

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        Amid episodes like the unrest over the summer in Ferguson, Missouri, how have American voters’ perceptions of race relations changed since Barack Obama was elected the nation’s first black president? The 2014 NBC News national exit poll found that voters are twice as likely to say that things have gotten worse than say they have improved.
        In the historic 2008 election, the exit poll asked voters how they thought race relations in this country would fare in the next few years. On balance, voters were optimistic as they elected Obama — 47% said they thought race relations would get better. Thirty-four percent thought they would stay about the same. Just 15% expected them to deteriorate.

        This year’s exit poll asked the same question but retrospectively – how race relations have fared in the past few years. Just 1-in-5 voters see progress – 20% say race relations have improved, while nearly twice as many — 38% — say things have gotten worse. Another 40% see pretty much no change.
        African-American voters were especially optimistic on the cusp of the Obama presidency — 59% expected race relations to get better. Today, just 19% of black voters feel the country has made progress on this front, while 43% say things have gotten worse.
        A majority of Latinos also were optimistic about race relations six years ago, but only 21% feel that way today. Just under half – 44% — of white voters felt that race relations were likely to improve on the day Obama was first elected. Today, just 20% think race relations have improved.
        Visit NBC News Decision 2014 for more exit poll results and election returns.

        – NBC News Decision Desk

        1. Davis Progressive

          there are several different things happening.

          first, there is a backlash against obama and some of that is taking a racial tone

          second, there is a consciousness of race issues that has been pushed to the fore by trayvon martin and now ferguson – these aren’t new issues, but often they were covered up or covered sparsely previously.

        2. Barack Palin

          No, Obama preaches division, he thrives on it.  He’s the most divisive President this country has ever had and the public is starting to realize it as shown by the NBC poll.

        3. Davis Progressive

          “He’s the most divisive President this country has ever had”

          sure i mean it’s not like we didn’t have a civil war after lincoln was elected, is there any sense of history or perspective in these comments?

        4. Davis Progressive

          he ended getting shot and killed, his successor was impeached, and his successor was scandal-riddled and ineffective.  the country was brought together after losing millions of lives and the north looked the other way for another hundred years as the south imposed de facto slavery.  is this really your model?

        5. Frankly

          Agree with BP.

          With respect to what DP brings up, here is how I see it.

          The media goes after the race conflict stories because of greed.  They know keeping it stirred up sells copy.

          But besides that, these sensationalized stories are just the catalyst for uprising from the swelling ranks of underclass resulting from the decades of failed liberal policies (that have have been promulgated by leaders in both political parties).  These underclass people are largely anarchists and disassociated from the core of American society (which has been strongly middle-class) due to a number of ECONOMIC circumstances…  Those circumstances have something to do with globalism and automation… things we really CANNOT stop or control… and government policy to favor environmental extremism, and unchecked immigration as well as protecting the crappy state of education and economic policy that continually punishes business and makes it more difficult for them to grown and start…. things we CAN stop and or control.

          Our decline in racial harmony is a directly correlated with the lack of economic opportunity for working-class Americans.  Fix that and race relations will improve.

          And since Obama is the leader of a nation that has doubled down on failed liberal policies at a time when the globalism and automation are increasing their bite… and we had a disastrous economic crash we needed to recover from… he is rightfully held accountable.   And that too is impacting race relations because Obama is a divide and conquer Bill Ayers, Saul Alinsky student that happens to be half black.    And since blacks as a group struggle with introspection and self-criticism due to their pervasive victim mentality that liberals help inject, they are basically looking for someone else to blame for the failures of one of their own that happens to be president.

        6. Barack Palin

          DP:

          “He’s the most divisive President this country has ever had”
          sure i mean it’s not like we didn’t have a civil war after lincoln was elected, is there any sense of history or perspective in these comments?

          Lincoln was also often referred to as “The Great Uniter”.   Maybe DP you should brush up on your history and perspective,

    2. Don Shor

      Who else was there?

      This response blows my mind.

      Which response “blows your mind”?
      The president met with community leaders, and some other civic leaders. I think it included the mayor of New York, for example. I don’t know who else was there. I know Sharpton was there because he, Sharpton, released that information, with his usual flair for self-promotion. But so were lots of other people, evidently.

      It doesn’t say much about your opinion of blacks if you think Al Sharpton was the only one Obama could turn to for advice.

      And how exactly do you infer that from what I, or anybody else, wrote?

    1. Frankly

      How about Farrakhan?  Do you think he is “not so bad” too?

      Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan went on a fiery tirade about Ferguson on Saturday — threatening that if the demands of protesters aren’t met, “we’ll tear this goddamn country apart!”

      Farrakhan stated in his speech — given at Morgan State University, a black college located in Baltimore, Md. — that violence was justified in response to the decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson and peaceful protests are only in the interest of “white folks.”

      “We going to die anyway. Let’s die for something,” the radical figure told the crowd to roaring applause.

      He even said the parents of teenagers should teach their kids how to throw Molotov cocktails. “Teach your baby how to throw the bottle if they can. Fight,” the minister advised, and then imitated throwing the explosive device.

      Farrakhan argued that violence was justified by the “law of retaliation” HE claims is in both the Bible and the Koran.

       

        1. Frankly

          Two leaders of the black community that are supported by… or at least tolerated by… liberals and the media.

           

          Both are divisive.  Farrakhan is more directly provocative than Sharpton, but both deliver the same general message of victim mentality and race warfare.

  9. Frankly

    Unlike your view on things, I don’t care what color their skin is.

    Nancy Pelosi is as white as a ghost and I put her is the same tired, sad, old, useless trouble-maker category.

    There are plenty of black leaders that I support including Dr. Ben Carson, Mia Love, Arthur Davis, Tim Scott, Allen West, etc..  Are you a racist because you don’t support these folks?

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