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The Gangsters of Ferguson


The Gangsters of Ferguson

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Yesterday the Justice Department released the results of a long and thorough investigation into the killing of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson. The investigation concluded that there was not enough evidence to prove a violation of federal law by Officer Wilson. The investigation concluded much more. The investigation concluded that physical evidence and witness statements corroborated Wilson's claim that Michael Brown reached into the car and struck the officer.


I have some trouble with these conclusions. If I recall correctly, toxicology testing was done and showed no impairment from anything that would have predisposed Brown to being violent.

So what exactly happened? Here’s a kid with a future, it seemed. Yet he suddenly threw it all away? Violently? For no discernable reason? That makes no sense, psychologically.

People don’t behave irrationally if they’re not impaired. It’s one of the enduring truths that allow us all to engage in daily life without fearing that the next person who comes close to us might seize us by the throat and try to kill us, or even just shove us into the street. People simply don’t do things like that. Yet Michael Brown did? Why?


White officer whitewash.