In a series of sworn statements made under oath, Darren Wilson, the former Ferguson police officer who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown, admits that he and other officers used the n-word while on duty. He also admits that Brown "never tried to remove [Wilson's] gun from [his] holster." The full list of admissions appears via the Washington Post, and comes from a civil suit filed against Wilson by Brown's family over the shooting death of their son.
The Mike Brown case has always been inextricably linked to the notions of systematic racism and police bias, making this exchange over Ferguson police department and Wilson's use of the n-word particularly explosive:
On Monday, Wilson's attorney clarified this exchange by saying that the former officer never used the n-word on his own, but rather only when repeating others' statements; this is a clarification Wilson himself made with respect to "racist remarks" as per item 155 as seen above, but didn't bother to make with respect to the n-word. When asked why Wilson didn't offer the same explanation about the n-word as he did about "racist remarks" during this discovery session, his attorney said "responses to requests for admissions are not invitations to tell a story or give a substantial narrative."
Even if these statements were sufficient to convince a reasonable person that Wilson did not himself use racist language, at a minimum it suggest this sort of language was used by other members of the police department, and has been seized upon by those who have long claimed institutional racial bias in the Ferguson police department's practices.
Wilson's admission about Brown not grabbing his gun from his holster has also received strict scrutiny since this report became public. During initial depositions in the Wilson case, the officer claimed he and Brown battled for control of the gun after Brown had reached for it during their physical altercation on August 9th, 2014. This was a key fact for Wilson, helping justify his use of deadly force in believing he was under threat of imminent danger. Forensic evidence supported Wilson's claim that Brown had reached for the gun. In this new court document, the Brown family's attorney elicits an admission from Wilson that Brown never tried to take the gun out of Wilson's holster.
It's important to note that this session was conducted by the Brown family's attorney, and so there are no other statements concerning the control of the gun, or or Brown's attempts to grab it later in their skirmish, or after Wilson himself had removed it from his holster. As such, it does not necessarily contradict Wilson's claim that Brown reached for his gun at some point during the incident.
And yet, this particular item from Wilson's admissions, in conjunction with his responses with respect to police department racism, have combined to inflame the core pillars of the debate over this case: Wilson having avoided indictment on the grounds his shooting of Brown had been legally justified, and the notion of Ferguson police racism.
Wilson's civil suit admissions come on the heels of another development in the Brown case, as this weekend a documentary framed explosive new convenience store footage of Mike Brown from the day he was killed, suggesting there may have been more to the story concerning the cigarillos police claim he had stolen.
This unusually busy week in the Mike Brown case has created a charged environment for the annual 3-1-4 day in St. Louis, wherein the city reflects on its pride and identity, and is now looking at its wounds over this tragedy with a new set of eyes and evidence.
And it coincides with tonight's "State Of Emergency 4" festival, a St. Louis concert which was conceived in response to the Mike Brown tragedy. Tonight's show features Gucci Mane, Migos, Jeezy, and Fabolous amongst many others. These rap greats have a whole lot more to talk about now. Stream it all right here on revolt.tv.