The Washington Post - "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" Did Not Happen In Ferguson - Wilson Acted Out of Self-Defense - Witnesses Recanted - "... They Had Heard It Through Media Reports Or Via Social Media."
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2021-12-01 03:45:39 UTC
'Hands Up, Don't Shoot' Did Not Happen In Ferguson

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By Michelle Ye Hee Lee
March 19, 2015

Hands Up. Don't Shoot!

This phrase became a rallying cry for Ferguson residents, who took to the
streets to protest the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police
officer, Darren Wilson. Witness accounts spread after the shooting that Brown
had his hands raised in surrender, mouthing the words "Don't shoot" as his last
words before being shot execution-style. The gesture of raised hands became a
symbol of outrage over mistreatment of unarmed black youth by police.

That narrative was called into question when a St. Louis County grand jury
could not confirm those testimonies. And a recently released Department of
Justice investigative report concluded the same.

Yet the gesture continues to be used today. So we wanted to set the record
straight on the DOJ's findings, especially after The Washington Post's opinion
writer Jonathan Capehart wrote that it was "built on a lie."

From time to time, we retroactively check statements as new information becomes
available. In this case, the Justice Department has concluded that WILSON ACTED
OUT OF SELF-DEFENSE, and was justified in killing Brown.

Does "Hands up, don't shoot" capture the facts of Brown's shooting? What has it
come to symbolize now?

The Facts

"Hands up, don't shoot" links directly to Brown's death, and it went viral.
After the shooting, St. Louis Rams players raised their hands as a symbolic
gesture entering the field before a football game.

Protesters chanted "Hands up, don't shoot" during rallies after a grand jury in
the state's case against Wilson decided not to indict Wilson in Brown's
killing. The phrase and gesture were on signs, T-shirts, hashtags, memes and
magazine covers. It even has its own Wikipedia page.

In November 2014, a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson after finding that

OTHER WITNESSES RECANTED their original accounts or changed them, calling their
veracity into question. In particular, the grand jury could not confirm the
"Hands up, don't shoot" narrative the way it was told after the shooting. By
then, however, the phrase had taken on a message of its own.

On Dec. 1, 2014, four members of the Congressional Black Caucus repeated the
gesture while delivering speeches on the House Floor titled, "Black in America:
What Ferguson Says About Where We Are and Where We Need to Go." Each of the
members held up their hands, and the image spread widely online.

Yet the Department of Justice's March 4, 2015, investigative report on the
shooting of Michael Brown found federal investigators could not confirm witness
accounts that Brown signaled surrender before being killed execution-style.

The department's descriptions of about 40 WITNESS TESTIMONIES SHOW THE ORIGINAL

Some witnesses who claimed they saw Brown's hands raised had testimonies that
were inconsistent with physical and forensic evidence. Some admitted to federal
investigators they felt pressured to retell the narrative that was being spread
after Brown's shooting.

OTHERS RECANTED THEIR INITIAL TESTIMONIES saying they had heard it through
media reports or via social media.


A few witnesses said Brown had his hands out to his side with his palms up, as
if saying "What?" Others said Brown's hands were not raised, as he was charging
at Wilson. A few said Brown's hands were "balled up."

Investigators narrowed down the "hands up" claim to a witness - Witness 128 -
who had told his family and neighbors his inaccurate version of events as
crowds gathered minutes and hours after the shooting, the report says.

Another witness could not confirm what she saw because of her poor vision, but
she heard a man running around the apartments along the street where Wilson
shot Brown. The man was saying something to the effect of, "The police shot my
friend and his hands were up." The witness said that "quickly became the
narrative on the street, and to her frustration, people used it both as an
excuse to riot and to create a 'block party' atmosphere."

A key passage from the report:

Investigators tracked down several individuals who, via the aforementioned
media, claimed to have witnessed Wilson shooting Brown as Brown held his hands
up in clear surrender. All of these purported witnesses, upon being interviewed
by law enforcement, acknowledged that they did not actually witness the
shooting, but rather repeated what others told them in the immediate aftermath
of the shooting. ... Witness accounts suggesting that Brown was standing still
with his hands raised in an unambiguous signal of surrender when Wilson shot
Brown are inconsistent with the physical evidence, are otherwise not credible
because of internal inconsistencies, or are not credible because of
inconsistencies with other credible evidence. In contrast, Wilson's account of
Brown's actions, if true, would establish that the shootings were not
objectively unreasonable under the relevant Constitutional standards governing
an officer's use of deadly force.

In August 2014, after Brown's death, members of the Congressional Black Caucus
delivered speeches about law enforcement's excessive use of force against black
youth. In December 2014, members again spoke about Ferguson killing and those
of three others killed by police between August and Dec. 1, 2014: Tamir Rice in
Cleveland, Akai Gurley in Brooklyn and Eric Garner in Staten Island. Four
members of Congress- New York Democrats Hakeem Jeffries and Yvette Clarke, and
Texas Democrats Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green - raised their hands during
their speeches in solidarity with the "Hands up, don't shoot" movement. The
grand jury had questioned this characterization by then.

We requested an interview with those members and other caucus leaders, to see
if the DOJ report changed their responses to the Brown shooting. Jeffries
responded to our request. He noted that during the December 2014 hearing, none
of the members used "Hands up, don't shoot" as a factual analysis of Brown's
shooting. A review of their comments while raising their hands confirms this:

Clarke: "Hands up, don't shoot. ... I first want to once again offer my
condolence to the family of Michael Brown, whose efforts to secure justice on
behalf of their son were undermined by the decision of the grand jury. The
killing of Michael Brown, and attacks by the Ferguson Police Department on
protesters, demonstrate an assumption that young women and men who are African
American are inherently suspicious - a false assumption with deadly
Green: "This has become the new symbol, a new statement - a statement wherein
people around the country now are calling to the attention of those who don't
quite understand that this is a movement that will not dissipate. It will not
evaporate. It's a movement that is going to continue because young people - a
new generation - has decided that they're going to engage themselves in the
liberation movement."
Jeffries: "'Hands up, don't shoot,' is a rallying cry of people all across
America who are fed up with police violence - in community, after community,
after community, fed up with police violence in Ferguson, in Brooklyn, in
Cleveland, in Oakland, in cities and counties and rural communities all across
Lee: "I also admire the young St. Louis Rams players who raised their hands, to
be able to share in the dignity of those young, peaceful protesters. If we
don't affirm non-violence, then who will?"

The same day the DOJ released the shooting report, it also published the
results of its investigation into the Ferguson Police Department. This report
highlighted systemic exploitation and racial profiling of black residents in
Ferguson. Jeffries said that report underscored the importance of the message
of "Hands up, don't shoot." He said: "The issue of dealing with the police use
of excessive force, often directed at unarmed African American men, in the
absence of subsequent accountability through the criminal justice system,
remains just as important today as it was the day before the Department of
Justice report was filed."

Justin Hansford, St. Louis University professor who has been organizing legal
and community advocacy after Brown's death, said the DOJ report on Brown's
shooting did not prove that Brown never had his hands up at any point during
his confrontation with Wilson. The DOJ could not find evidence to conclusively
say that he did, which is an important legal distinction, he said.

Hansford said his Facebook profile photo remains an image of "Hands up" because
the message is consistent regardless of the positioning of Brown's hands: "I
don't feel any way that I was somehow duped or tricked or that my picture was
based on a lie. I think it is a very symbolic gesture that really speaks to the
experiences of a lot of us, a lot of youth of color."
The Pinocchio Test

Catchy phrases like "Hands up, don't shoot," "Black lives matter," "an unarmed
black person is killed every 28 hours" (which we have fact checked) have
resulted from protests over the deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric
Garner. They are emotional messages spread easily, like the "We are 99
percent" mantra of Occupy Wall Street.

We care about facts, how they're used and the context in which the facts are
portrayed. In this case, it is important for us to note that the initial "Hands
up, don't shoot" chant after Brown's shooting has evolved into a message that
is no longer connected solely to the Ferguson event. A series of other fatal
shootings by police occurred following Brown's death, and the "Hands up, don't
shoot" came to symbolize the need to hold law enforcement accountable. And the
DOJ report on Ferguson Police Department confirmed the agency systemically
profiled black residents.

But we also care about setting the record straight. Investigators have
overwhelmingly rejected witness accounts that Brown had his hands up in a
surrender before being shot execution-style. The DOJ has concluded Wilson did
not know whether Brown was armed, acted out of self-defense and was justified
in killing Brown. The majority of witnesses told federal investigators that the
initial claims that Brown's hands were up were not accurate. "Hands up, don't
shoot" did not happen in Brown's killing, and it is a characterization that
deserves Four Pinocchios. Politicians should step carefully if they try to
highlight this expression in the future.


There Are Several Theories For Why Rudy Can't Stop Lying

Rudy's An Undeserved Narcissist

Narcissists are often pathological liars, because they simply don't care about
the truth.

They prefer to tell lies and gain control over people than be honest.

Sometimes, compulsive liars are highly impulsive people who struggle to take
the time to think things through and tell the truth.

Lying doesn't necessarily make you a bad person, but it could be a sign of
something more sinister.

By the age of three or four, we all start to lie. At this point in our brain's
development, we learn that we have an incredibly versatile and powerful tool at
our disposal - our language - and we can use it to actually play with reality
and affect the outcome of what's happening.

Sooner or later we learn that lying is "bad," and we shouldn't really do it.
But if Jim Carey's "Liar Liar" taught us anything, it's that this just isn't
feasible. We all have to lie sometimes.

But some people are pathological liars, meaning they can't stop spreading
misinformation about themselves and others. The psychological reasons for why
some people are this way is a bit of a mystery, but in the third edition of the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, pathological lying is a
disorder in its own right, as well as a symptom of personality disorders like
psychopathy and narcissism.

"I think it comes from a defect in the neurological wiring in terms of what
causes us to have compassion and empathy," psychiatrist Judith Orloff, author
of "The Empath's Survival Guide," told Business Insider. "Because narcissists,
sociopaths, and psychopaths have what's called empathy deficient disorder,
meaning they don't feel empathy in the way we would."

The Truth Doesn't Matter to Narcissists

When you don't care about other people, lies don't seem to matter. A lack of
empathy essentially means a lack of conscience, which is a hard concept to
grasp for a lot of people.

"When they lie it doesn't hurt them in the same way it would hurt us," Orloff
said. "So many people get into relationships with pathological liars, or just
can't understand why they're lying, because they're trying to fit these people
into the ordinary standards of what it means to be empathetic."

But they don't fit. In fact, they may not even realize they are lying half the
time, because they're not conscious of it. Orloff said they actually believe
they are telling the truth a lot of the time. It's not so much about the fact
itself, she said, as it is about wanting to have power over somebody.

This is extremely dangerous for highly sensitive people, because they attract
narcissists. Then when they see someone is lying, they try and figure it out,
or blame themselves. Once the lies start, it can end with the victim being
gaslighted, which is essentially when they are told over and over again that
their version of reality is incorrect, and they begin to believe the warped
truth of the abuser.

"The great power of relationships is when you can tell the truth to one
another, and trust each other, and be authentic - and with pathological liars
you can't trust them," Orloff said. "You can't base your life around them. It's
like a moral deficit, and there's no accountability. Someone who is a
pathological liar will not say I'm sorry for doing it. They will say it's your

The only way to escape the clutches of a pathological liar is to be strong
enough to say "no this is not my fault, this is not ringing true to me, so I
can't really trust you," she said.

Unfortunately, people tend to doubt themselves, because the lies can escalate
subtly. It may start with a small white lie, and a few months later the
victim's life with be a mess of confusion because of the web of tall tales that
has been woven.

"If somebody lies, don't try and make an excuse about it," Orloff said. "A lie
is a lie. And if you bring it up to the person and they say it's your fault, or
no it didn't happen, just know there's something very wrong going on."

Psychologist Linda Blair, an author of many psychology books, told Business
Insider some compulsive liars are simply too impulsive to tell the truth. The
impulsive-reflective scale is ingrained in our genes, and it's very hard for
someone highly impulsive to take the time to think things through, just as it
is a challenge for a reflective person to jump into something head first.

"If you're an impulsive person, it's really hard to break the habit, because
you have this terrible feeling inside you that you have to sort things out
right now," Blair said. "So when it comes to your head, you just say it. That
doesn't mean you necessarily lie, but it's a little harder for you to stop from
lying, more than it is for someone who's more reflective."

Pathological lying and narcissism aren't synonymous, they just sometimes go
hand in hand. In other cases, compulsive liars just might not have the capacity
to stop themselves blurting things out. And Blair said they just need to learn
to control their urges and compulsions. Their lies don't necessarily come from
a bad place.

"I don't think it's something they know how to deal with," she said. "We think
probably it has something to do with actual brain function and the way some
people's brains work, which makes it much harder for them to understand the
effect it will have on other people... We think, but we just don't know yet
for sure."
Rudy Canoza
2021-12-01 03:52:19 UTC
Post by AlleyCat
'Hands Up, Don't Shoot' Did Not Happen In Ferguson
And yet, it did.