A Grand Jury is an investigative body. Under Missouri Law 540.031:
"A grand jury may make inquiry into and return indictments for all grades of crimes and shall make inquiry into all possible violations of the criminal laws as the court may direct."
Some critics condemn the grand jury system of secrecy, but that secrecy is for the purpose of protecting both witnesses and jurors; and for the specific purpose of collecting enough information on which to base a decision on whether or not to bring the matter under investigation to trial.
In the State v. Wilson case the Prosecutor offered the Grand Jury the opportunity to indict at five levels: from murder in the first degree to involuntary manslaughter. Given the State of Missouri Grand Jury oath of office shown here;
540.080. Grand jurors may be sworn in the following form:
"Do you solemnly swear you will diligently inquire and true presentment make, according to your charge, of all offenses against the laws of the state committed or triable in this county of which you have or can obtain legal evidence; the counsel of your state, your fellows and your own, you shall truly keep secret? You further swear that you will present no one for any hatred, malice or ill will; neither will you leave unpresented any one for love, fear, favor or affection, or for any reward or the hope or promise thereof, but that you will present things truly as they come to your knowledge, to the best of your understanding, according to the laws of this state, so help you God."
...an investigation and deliberations spanned a period of months; that the Grand Jury was comprised of a cross section of ethnic citizens; that eye witnesses were blacks; Dorian Johnson, the close friend of Michael Brown emphatically stated that Brown had his hands up in surrender when he was shot by police officer Darren Wilson. Three months of Grand Jury testimony and investigation repudiated Johnson's assertion and resulted in no indictment of the officer. That the Grand Jury declined to return an indictment affirms that the Grand Jurors carefully weighed the abundance of evidence and witness testimony and concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to indict at even the lowest level of homicide...involuntary manslaughter.
So, in an effort to justify the unlawful and violent behavior of rioters in Ferguson many apologists turn to agonizing and contorted thinking and reasoning. They divert blame for the violence and damage to everything and everyone except the perpetrators of the destruction. One Missouri State Senator went so far as to declare a "race war."
In many debates, the discussion quickly turns from the specific facts, as Michael Brown's mother stated of officer Wilson's testimony, "I don't believe a word [of Wilson's story],...My son would never provoke anyone." As is often the case when people are confused by wanting to believe something that is contrary to the facts (a lie), she refused to accept even video evidence that her son took a handful of cigars, started to walk out the door, then pushed the owner of the store aside like he was a rag doll, the height of intimidation and provocation.
The Michael Brown incident usually turns to a generalized accusation of police overreach and brutality directed primarily at "young black men." Notable accusations: Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida claimed in an interview that, "Trayvon was hunted down like a rabid dog, shot in the street and racially profiled." Actor Samuel L. Jackson stated: "Young brothers Beware!! It's open season!" For decades the number of blacks in penal institutions has greatly exceeded their numbers in the general population. That is because young black men commit criminal acts at higher rates than their white, Hispanic or Asian cohorts. Black activists assert that the imbalance is the result of bias in the justice system, others believe it is because police authorities profile and target blacks. Whereas there is evidence that supports both profiling and targeting by some police, racial profiling alone cannot possibly account for the disproportionate numbers of blacks who are incarcerated.
This then leads to the question of, "Okay, so why are so many black people incarcerated?" Most are incarcerated for drug related offenses such as: possession, selling, transportation and use. Others for collaterally related crimes such as spousal abuse and other domestic violence ranging from simple assault to battery and attempted murder or murder in the first degree. Are white people subject to the same social and criminal issues? Yes, but not at the same frequency as a percentage of respective populations.
Many, especially on the political left explain that "protests" are an effort to achieve racial justice. "Racial justice" is a term that is thrown around with impunity, but no one really explains it. Congressman Charlie Rangel recently suggested reparations as a way to move toward "racial justice." Unfortunately, the Congressman does not take into account the seventeen trillion dollars that has been spent on programs to advance education, income supplement, and welfare payments, etc. for the poor. So, the question arises what additional reparations are warranted?
A recent Supreme Court decision struck down "Affirmative Action" programs designed to racially profile in favor of blacks when awarding benefits. As of 2012 there were 69 welfare programs that span the spectrum of social and educational programs. Yet, blacks are no better off today than when President Johnson initiated Great Society Programs and the Nation embarked wholesale on the government welfare path. When that happened, Churches hardly peeped, in fact the Catholic Church in my opinion made a serious mistake by dipping into the welfare money stream to help it support its social outreach programs. That unwise move by the Catholic Church has now led to government intervention into matters that are, or should be, the exclusive purview of the Church.
One understands the need for lending a hand and even greater involvement when necessary and many Americans engage in some form of benevolence with regularity. But, has Federal Government involvement to the tune of seventeen trillion dollars achieved a "Great Society?" I think not, given the destruction of poor families; and especially the destruction of the black family unit and which lies at the heart of failed parental leadership and nurturing with its resultant dysfunction on a grand scale.
For several decades I wrote and voiced an opinion that black Americans would lead the Nation in spiritual renewal, and in so doing would re-civilize and unify the Nation. But, given mounting evidence and recent events despite continued hope, one has serious misgivings about that long-held opinion.
Until Churches supplant governments' social justice programs, with those programs' collective witting or otherwise destruction of families, the economic and racial divide will not make significant salutary gains. Affirmative marches to achieve goals do not accomplish much, people are not motivated in that way. I have observed everything from pro-life galas to Tea Party marches on the Capitol, but that has not kept abortions from becoming the greatest legal holocaust in human history; and Federal Government Revenue and debt is at an all-time high. (Think about national debt, the higher the debt, the higher the taxes to pay the interest on that debt and therefore fewer dollars left for families to spend on their own pursuits. )
In my not so humble opinion, the solution to pervasive crime, hate, bloodshed and racial acrimony is for Christian believers to light a fire within the Christian Community that will spread the Gospel of Jesus, of hope, salvation and of loving ones neighbors as oneself. Remember? ."..and they asked Him, who is my neighbor?" Those who know, know the story well, but too many have relinquished their faith responsibility to government and in so doing believe that have distanced themselves from personal responsibility. That is not true, if one understands the implications of that self-deception, or lie, one understands that personal inaction will lead to personal condemnation.
If this situation is going to improve the Christian Church in general must repent of its lackadaisical behavior and lukewarm spirit. One is reminded of the admonition which states in the book of Revelations 3:15-16:
"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. 16. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of my mouth."
Churches must lead people in the right path and undertake the admonitions contained in the Gospel of Matthew, the 25th chapter; not out of requirement, but out of actually "loving ones neighbors as oneself." Like Hillsdale College, Christian Churches of all stripes should eschew government funds, demand decreased taxes and get their collective hands "dirty" advancing the Kingdom that Jesus spoke so eloquently about.
Until Christian Churches assume the leadership on race relations, helping the poor, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and caring for orphans and widows, the government will continue to waste enormous resources buying votes. Meanwhile non-government organizations will not be able to meet the overwhelming demand.
Politicians, especially Democrats, will fight such a move by the "Church" with all their might because they want the votes and they get those votes by keeping the poor on a welfare plantation; except, on a plantation, slaves had to produce. The Nation gets nothing back from the present system with government bureaucrats clumsily, and inefficiently attempting to carry out what is by all accounts and rightfully the mission of the Church. The solution is to dump the "system" and begin doing the work of love, mercy and grace. I can state with certainty that unless Christians get serious about it, condemnation is eminent and this Nation is headed for the ash heap of history...what a victory for evil and a cataclysmic waste of this Nation's magnificent Christian heritage!