NBC Legal Analyst Lisa Bloom and State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal appeared on MSNBC last night to offer their reactions on the grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson and they both spoke from their hearts, offering us commentary that one could easily liken to empowering speeches. Both of these women offered candid feelings about the way law enforcement unfairly and disproportionately kills Black people, where St. Louis prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch went wrong and what we can do to move forward.
While many news outlets chose to cover the reaction to Darren Wilson not being indicted as violent protests and looting, MSNBC took the high road and invited these two class acts on the air to share their thoughts. And trust us…you will not be disappointed with these statements! Check them both out below:
“Not only has this Mike Brown movement revealed the true intentions of people in police departments across the state, but I have to tell you, there’s been systematic racism institutionally in state government for decades, including my own state party. What we are looking at right now is a system of racism that has been swept under the rug for decades and I am so glad now that the truth is out and I’m very grateful to your network for telling the truth and reporting the truth for what’s going to go down in the coming days. People are angry and hurt and trying to figure out how they’re going to receive justice.
We are now in phase three–looking at our statutes that we have in law. When I listened to Bob McCulloch, he didn’t reflect on the fact that we can change excessive force language that is in our statutes right now. My community is hurting. They are in pain. They have been in pain before Michael Brown. Having to look at Michael Brown’s body for four and a half hours injured them more. I have constituents who have PTSD. I have constituents that have no hope. And tonight, when you listen to what Bob McCulloch said, people are angered because they feel as though his words are empty. Because of the systematic racism that we have in our state government, in our state party, if we do not bring the truth to bare, then we will not recover from what we are experiencing right now. This is St. Louis’ race war. People have to be open and honest and earnest and they have not been earnest for decades. We are not going to allow it anymore!”
“I’m ashamed for my justice system that is so good at protecting celebrities and authority figures and so pathetically bad at protecting the ordinary person, especially when it’s an African-American person assaulted by a White person, especially a police officer. There’s no question about it. What we saw from Bob McCulloch tonight was a defense attorney presentation dressed up as a prosecutor doing the presentation. He talked about conflicting evidence–there’s conflicting evidence in every case. We wouldn’t be the land of mass incarceration if every case was treated the way this case was treated. Conflicted evidence means you can’t even charge a man?! That was just so outrageous and disturbing to me.
There’s no question that Darren Wilson got special treatment. I wish one of the reporters would have asked Bob McCulloch about that. Why don’t all of the other defendants in St. Louis get the treatment that Darren Wilson got? Which is, a prosecutor who doesn’t want to file charges himself, a prosecutor who has close ties to where the defendant works, a prosecutor who puts on all the evidence, meaning all of the defense evidence and then doesn’t request any particular charges to be filed. This prosecutor bent over backwards to ensure that there would not be charges filed.
Many of us, myself included have said all along that we would be absolutely shocked if there was an indictment because he rigged the system to get the result he wanted. He got that result and he never explained in that press conference why officer Wilson feared for his life–the most important fact in this case. Officer Wilson shot Mike Brown twice in the car–that means that a twice shot, bleeding Mike Brown is running away, officer Wilson knows he is not armed, even if he came towards him again, why would he be threatened for his life? Why would he have to shoot him in the head and kill him in that moment? Unfortunately, Bob McCulloch never answered that question.”
Last night President Obama addressed the nation after the Darren Wilson indictment reveal and the speech was a passionless testimony of what we already know–the police need to stop disproportionately killing Black people. What both Chappelle-Nadal and Bloom had to say about Ferguson and what the lack of indictment means for our country is more of what we expected from President Obama. At least someone said it. Thank you MSNBC for offering fair coverage of Ferguson.