If we were on the Ferguson City Council, the only thing we would be giving Mike Brown’s family is a first-class bus ticket to “enter city of your choice here.” Begone. No, no, we insist. We appreciate how your boy roughed up a shop owner, nearly killed one of our police officers, and ended up making our town the target of intense national scrutiny (and a federal investigation). Oh, and we really loved it when you stood up on a car and incited a riot with your cries of “burn it all down” after the verdict came in on Officer Darren Wilson. That was fantastic. We really enjoyed watching our community go up in flames because of your criminal offspring. But yeah, if you don’t mind, we’d really love it if you…found somewhere else to be. That is, if anyplace else will take you.
Apparently, the actual city officials who run Ferguson had something different in mind.
From the Associated Press:
The $1.5 million awarded this week to the parents of Michael Brown is the latest of several large settlements involving black suspects who were killed by police, but it’s far from the largest.
A federal judge in St. Louis on Tuesday approved the settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Michael Brown Sr. and Lezley McSpadden. Their 18-year-old son was unarmed on Aug. 9, 2014, when he was fatally shot by white officer Darren Wilson during a street confrontation in Ferguson, Mo.
The shooting launched months of protests and led to a U.S. Department of Justice investigation that found racial bias in Ferguson’s police and court system. But a St. Louis County grand jury and the Justice Department declined to prosecute Wilson, who resigned in November 2014.
Brown’s parents sued the city, former Police Chief Tom Jackson and Wilson in 2015, citing a police culture hostile to black residents and claiming Wilson used excessive force. Ferguson, Jackson and Wilson denied the allegations.
Odd that the city would agree to this settlement, considering that both a grand jury and the Obama DOJ concluded that Officer Wilson did not violate the law or his oath as a police officer when shooting Brown. We get it that it’s sometimes easier to just go the payoff route, but what kind of a message does this send? Oh, anytime you break the law and wind up on the wrong side of a cop’s gun, your family can just sue the city for millions! And since we don’t want to see our town burned down again by angry black protesters, we’ll gladly hand over the money. That’s basically extortion. We won’t say it’s as bad as Palestinian officials paying off the families of terrorists, but it’s not much better.