50. Two Weeks in August


John Crawford III was at a Wal-Mart in Beavercreek, Ohio when his life was tragically cut short by police. While on the phone with the mother of his children, Beavercreek Police officers gunned him down because he was holding what one customer assumed was an assault rifle. It was an air rifle — and, interestingly enough, Ohio is an Open Carry state.

A grand jury has decided not to indict the officers.


Mike Brown was going to college. He wanted to be an entrepreneur. His ambitions were dashed when he was gunned down by Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson. His death has caused civil unrest in the community. Eyewitness accounts differ greatly from the official police position, so much in fact, that the Ferguson Police department itself is being investigated.

With evidence gathered, the grand jury convened. Bob McCollough, in charge of the prosecution, handled the grand jury proceedings in a way that made lawyers, law professors, and even Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia shake their heads. Darren Wilson was given four hours to testify. All of the evidence was presented to the grand jury, when typically, only enough is presented to get an indictment. Ultimately, the grand jury did not choose to indict — just like with John Crawford and Eric Garner.

Before the grand jury made their decision, the Ku Klux Klan threatened to kill any protesters in Ferguson.

Interestingly, McCollough’s press conference after the proceedings sounded like a statement made by a defense attorney, not a prosecutor. McCollough has ties to an organization that assisted in raising money for Wilson’s defense. It was also revealed that Brown was killed 148 feet from Wilson’s squad car, not the 35 that has been the media and police department’s consensus. Wilson sustained no injuries during the altercation, save for what appeared to be a bruise on his cheek.

The aftermath of Mike Brown’s murder has been nothing but controversy.

Accounts from his neighbors speculate Kajieme Powell may have been mentally ill. Either way, what happened to him at the hands of St. Louis Police officers can only be described as “suicide by cop.” After stealing energy drinks and pastries from a convenient store, in what could be described as Powell trying to get the police’s attention, officers responding to the theft shit Powell dead, continued pointing their guns at his corpse, then handcuffed his corpse to their vehicle.

Two Weeks In August
(John Crawford III, Michael Brown, and Kajieme Powell)
Beavercreek, Ohio; Ferguson, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri
August 5, 2014; August 9, 2014; August 19, 2014


About Robert L. Franklin

Ah, the About Me section - social networking's excuse for you sounding like an elitist prick. Hmm... what to say? What to say?
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