Following the Grand Jury decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18 year old Michael Brown, much of the internet has been abuzz with allegations that Michael Brown had an extensive criminal record and was not the “gentle giant” as described by family and friends. Although I highly doubt the assertion by a Brown family friend that Michael was, “Spreading the word of Jesus” at the time he was confronted by Wilson, I also began to doubt the allegations of an extensive criminal history for this young man. A couple of other websites have already taken a stab at debunking the criminal record claim but they failed miserably in that attempt. Vaunted Snopes.com simply ended their investigation by indicating that the records shown don’t appear to be the right Michael Brown. That isn’t good enough for any real investigator, so I will set the record straight and tell you why.
Bear in mind, a lack of a criminal history doesn’t mean anything with regard to this deadly interaction. And this post is in no way meant as a confirmation that the police were in the wrong in this encounter. You’ve most likely read my article titled, Shooting The Unarmed Man, in which I show how clear justification can be made for the use of deadly force when encountering unarmed attackers. But, in the interest of clear information and an attempt to stop the flood of idiocy surrounding this incident on both sides, I will now explain what is, and is not, part of Michael Brown’s history.
CHARLES C. JOHNSON – IDIOT IN CHIEF, GotNews.com
The assertion that Brown had an extensive criminal history including a charge of 2nd Degree Murder as a juvenile began with a few Tweets sent out by pseudo-journalist and owner/operator of GotNews.com, a website that bills itself as, “Independent, Unbiased, and Unafraid.” Although those tweets were sent out in August of 2014, they gained new traction after the Grand Jury returned a decision of “Not True” in its investigation. The fact that the St Louis County Prosecutor’s office had informed the press in August that Brown had neither felony, nor misdemeanor convictions on his record was completely ignored by Johnson. His tweets are below.
Johnson then filed a lawsuit to have Brown’s record released to the public but his suit was thrown out by the courts which stated the suit had no merit. The county then reiterated their earlier statement that Brown had no felony convictions on his record. These facts didn’t hinder that bastion of internet truth and wisdom, WesternJournalism.com, from repeating the allegations and promoting the idea that Brown was a violent criminal with a long history and basically deserved to be killed whether he did anything wrong or not.
Well, not so much. Johnson claims his information came from a “source” within the Ferguson PD. Without a shred of evidence, I am going to blame it on Officer Dan Page, St Louis County Police – a stolen valor jackass for whom I still patiently await the arrival of his military records. It probably wasn’t Page who “leaked” all over Johnson, but I just felt like insulting that douchebag one more time.
Some other genius decided to do some due diligence and search for Brown’s criminal records in an actual database. He then posted the results for all the world to see while proclaiming that it was PROOF Michael Brown was a violent criminal. Below is the post created by this genius researcher. I don’t know from who it originated because these things spread like an STD at a Tijuana whore house once they hit the internet.
Now, you may not know this but, Michael Brown is a very common name. It is almost like John Smith. The above listed charges seem to stem from a serious night of debauchery by a man named Michael R. Brown, not Michael Brown, Jr., the person of interest in this story. The two men were even born in different years but this doesn’t seem to deter any would-be pseudo-journalist with an internet connection. There are NO listings in the database for Michael Brown, Jr. with a date of birth of May 20th, 1996, in the publicly available adult records for Missouri. None. Michael Brown, Jr. became an adult when he turned 18 on May 20th, 2014.
Could this all be some sort of mistake? A typo, perhaps? Or a conspiracy to hide the truth? Nope. Here’s why.
Missouri has what is called discretionary bind-over in their juvenile court system. Anyone between the ages of 12 and 17 may be charged as an adult if the offense, or a history of offenses, deems that reasonable. They can hold you over in the juvenile system to the age of 21 as long as “good cause” is shown that would necessitate your incarceration past the age of 18. In Missouri, if a juvenile has a past criminal history and commits an offense at the age of 17, the juvenile system has no jurisdiction. The person is automatically charged as an adult and processed through that system. Therefore, if Brown had a juvenile record AND committed the above listed offenses in November of 2013, he would have automatically been charged as an adult and those records would be a part of his adult criminal record which would then be available to the public. But, they are not. Again, there are no convictions or even charges on his adult record and, according to the St Louis Prosecutor’s office, none on his juvenile record. It simply isn’t possible in the State of Missouri for a young man to have this many charges, including a stealth conviction for 2nd degree murder, to be out walking the streets, graduating High School, and shoplifting cigars from a convenience store.
If you would like to read the statutes yourself, if you are into mental flagellation and enjoy putting yourself into a coma, they are available online. Review the following statutes with an attorney, or your favorite Facebook genius. Even they should be able to decipher them. Personally, both myself and my attorney, who has 15 years of experience in the juvenile court system, albeit not in Missouri, reviewed these statutes attempting to find any possible means by which Brown could have a hidden criminal record that nobody can find. We were unsuccessful.
Missouri Revised Statutes:
211.041, 211.071, 211.073, 211.181.1
They are available at the following link: Missouri Legislature
Was Michael Brown a brilliant, generous, caring angel of mercy? Nope. By all accounts, he was pretty much a jackass who learned how to use his considerable size to his advantage by bullying and victimizing people in his neighborhood. I’m sure he was very popular.
Was Michael Brown a murderous criminal mastermind who was well on his way to dominating the St Louis crime syndicate? No, not that either. But, there seems to be no shortage of people bent on demonizing this man and trying to diminish the meaning of his life. I suspect much of this is based in racism, which isn’t something I say very often. I say that because I’ve seen the response comments and pictures posted in the comments of pages that carried the fraudulent criminal record post.
Black lives matter. So does the truth. In this case, the truth is on Brown’s side. That’s probably not something that will be true often in this situation.