Via Mediaite, a reminder that no modern tragedy can escape Truther-ization. One woman in the clip, speculating on why the cops waited to release the surveillance footage, says, “It took so long for them to do that because they Photoshopped him.” That’s how cognitive dissonance works in the digital age. In fact, the basic argument made to Don Lemon here seems to be, “It wasn’t him, and even if it was, you’re smearing him, and even if you aren’t, he deserved a jury trial, not summary execution by cop.” The shooting must have been unjustified; take whatever logical path you need to in order to arrive at that conclusion. And needless to say, there are people on the other side following the opposite “logic.”
The woman in the hat is more interesting because she claims the man in the surveillance video was wearing different clothes than Michael Brown was when he was shot. Don Lemon doesn’t ask her how she knows that but I’ve seen that same point made on Twitter today — supposedly, the guy in the clip is wearing shorts and sandals whereas the photo of Michael Brown lying dead on the ground shows him wearing khaki pants and sneakers. I’m not going to link that photo but I’ve seen it and it’s pretty clearly the same clothes. Brown’s shorts were long (as you can see in the surveillance video) and appear to have slipped down a bit sometime before he died; the angle of the photo makes it look as though they run almost to his ankle. That’s probably where the “pants” idea is coming from. The sneakers/sandals confusion is likely due to how his sneakers look in some of the stills from the surveillance video. If you only saw the two images on the right-hand side here, the shadows and cross-wise bands might make you think Brown was wearing something with straps and no heel. The actual footage makes clear that they’re sneakers. And although there’s no Cardinals cap on Brown in the death photo, as there is on the man in the video, there was a Cardinals cap on the ground at the crime scene. There’s a photo of it in the gallery here. But needless to say, none of this will convince anyone who’s invested in a conspiracy theory.
There is one good point made here, though. Ed made it himself in a post this morning. Why’d it take the cops days to accuse Brown of a robbery and to release the footage? The narrative from the beginning was that a rogue cop decided to hassle two black teens who were minding their own business for no reason, then shot one of them in cold blood. If you accepted the first part of that narrative, the second part was easier to swallow. Go figure that a man looking for a fight might be quick to anger with deadly force. But Wilson apparently wasn’t looking for a fight and the PD knew it. He was looking for a robbery suspect. Why didn’t the PD emphasize that sooner?
Update: Hooooold the phone.
BREAKING: Police chief: Officer who shot Michael Brown did not know he was a robbery suspect at the time.
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 15, 2014
So Wilson wasn’t looking for a robbery suspect? Why’d he stop Brown and Johnson, then? More coming in a new post.
Update: Apparently Dorian Johnson has ‘fessed up to the convenience store robbery.
The friend who was with Michael Brown when he was shot and killed by a police officer near St. Louis over the weekend is reportedly confirming that he and Brown had taken part in the theft of cigars from a convenience store that day.
That word comes from the attorney for Dorian Johnson, speaking to MSNBC. Police in Ferguson had earlier announced that Brown was suspected of taking cigars from the convenience store in what was described as a “strong-arm robbery.”