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BREAKING: Ferguson drug bust stalls after earning Officer Darren Wilson an award

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The drug bust that earned Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson an award for “extraordinary effort in the line of duty” has stalled in court because Wilson has gone into hiding and did not appear to testify at a Monday hearing.

Wilson is the police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old man, on Aug. 9. Brown’s death triggered a storm of protests that continue to grip the St. Louis suburb.

Wilson has not been seen in public since the shooting — including at the preliminary hearing in Clayton, Mo., on Monday for a man he arrested in 2013.

Wilson was expected to testify so that a judge could determine whether there was enough evidence for the case to go to trial. His no-show sent prosecutors into damage control, making the case another potential casualty of the disruption that has racked the St. Louis suburb since Brown’s death.

Drug cases around St. Louis, as with a lot of metro areas, are often too numerous and minor to be individually noteworthy.

 But the story of Christopher A. Brooks’ arrest last year is a little different, mainly because of Wilson’s involvement, which ultimately made the bust an important footnote in the protests that have gripped Ferguson since August.

On Feb. 28, 2013, Wilson arrested Brooks, 29, and a man named Erik Johnson in Brooks’ driveway in Ferguson on suspicion of packaging marijuana inside a PT Cruiser.

In a police report that Brooks’ attorney later gave to reporters, Wilson said that Brooks, who was handcuffed to Johnson, had to be physically restrained when he refused to cooperate, at one point slapping Wilson’s hand away when Wilson tried to get the keys to the vehicle. (Read the full police report here.)

Wilson described “position[ing] my body on top of [Brooks’] upper back, while holding his head down to keep Brooks from standing or moving in any way.” Wilson said he didn’t hit Brooks or use any “impact weapons” to subdue him during the “hostile” encounter.

After police said they found marijuana and a scale in the PT Cruiser, Brooks was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, intent to distribute, resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to comply, and third-degree assault on a law-enforcement officer.

Officer Darren Wilson

Brooks’ version of events — according to a Facebook post cited by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the newspaper says Brooks has since deleted — is that Wilson “beat [me] in my front yard while I was handcuffed then gave me 6 felonies.”

Brooks was ultimately charged with a single felony of drug-dealing. According to police records, Brooks confessed in an interview with a detective to selling marijuana for $5 to $10 a bag to help support his family.

Almost a year later, Wilson earned a commendation for the arrest from Chief Tom Jackson at a Feb. 11 Ferguson City Council meeting. Images of Wilson receiving the award for “extraordinary effort in the line of duty” became one of the only photos of the officer to be widely distributed by the media after he went into hiding.

Wilson’s award for the arrest — along with his lack of a disciplinary record in Ferguson — remains one of the few details known about the officer’s career. He was identified by Chief Jackson nearly a week after the shooting.

When Wilson failed to appear in court for Brooks’ preliminary hearing Monday, Brooks’ attorney, Nick Zotos, speculated that Wilson’s “lawyers are basically advising him, ‘do not appear.’ There’s no up side for him to come into court and be under oath.”

James P. Towey, general counsel for the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police and a former general counsel for the St. Louis Police Officers Assn., is representing Wilson, the Associated Press reported. Towey did not immediately respond to messages from the Los Angeles Times on Monday.

Ed Magee, spokesman for the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, told The Times that Brooks’ case would be presented to a separate grand jury than the one hearing evidence against Wilson in Brown’s shooting. 

The consensus here is that [Officer Darren Wilson is] not going to be indicted. … It’s very unlikely he’s going to be a police officer in Ferguson again.- Nick Zotos, defense attorney for Christopher Brooks, who was arrested by Wilson

Magee said Wilson was not expected to testify for Brooks’ grand jury, but other officers involved in the case would.

"If we can’t make the case without Darren Wilson, we’ll make that decision at that time" about whether to keep pressing the case against Brooks, Magee said.

If Brooks is indicted by a grand jury, he would be bound over and arraigned in circuit court. The current felony case is being considered in associate circuit court, where Brooks has not yet entered a plea; the Post-Dispatch reported that the preliminary hearing for the current pending felony charge was rescheduled for Oct. 27 while officials figure out what to do.

With police saying Brooks has confessed to selling drugs, it’s not clear what effect Wilson’s absence will have on the case. According to the Post-Dispatch, Brooks had posted on Facebook that he anticipated the charge would be dropped.

Brooks’ attorney, Zotos, said he preferred to keep his comments about the case “close to the vest,” but said he was uncertain what the prosecution was doing by redirecting the case to a grand jury — perhaps buying more time for Wilson.

“The consensus here is that [Wilson is] not going to be indicted, at least those who think they’re the smart money,” Zotos said of the Michael Brown shooting investigation. And if Wilson isn’t indicted when the Brown grand jury returns its findings — possibly in November — Zotos speculated that Wilson might once again be willing to show up and testify about the February 2013 arrest that earned him an award.

But in a nod to widespread calls from community members for Wilson’s own arrest, Zotos seemed certain about at least one thing: “It’s very unlikely he’s going to be a police officer in Ferguson again.”

Source: Matt Pearce for Los Angeles Times

biruskis:

If the Winter Soldier was responsible for the Kennedy assassination and Magneto tried to STOP the Kennedy assassination then that must mean somehow Magneto lost a fight to a guy wITH AN ENTirE ARm MADE OF METAL

(via fuckitfireeverything)

queertrees:

geekygothgirl:

verycuriousnocure:

During World War II, Josephine Baker served with the French Red Cross and was an active member of the French resistance movement. Using her career as a cover Baker became an intelligence agent, carrying secret messages written in invisible ink on her sheet music. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre, and received a Medal of the Resistance in 1946. In 1961 she received the highest French honor, the Legion d’Honneur awarded by then President Charles de Gaulle.
Our loss, U.S.A….

If you don’t admire the shit out of J. Baker, who was also pretty openly bisexual and adopted NINETEEN children in addition to the badassery mentioned above, I want you to go sit in the corner and think about your life choices.

um she was also a huge civil rights activist and her refusal to perform for segregated audiences at major clubs that were fallin over themselves to book her helped de-segregate vegas performance venues
aaaand she had a pet cheetah

queertrees:

geekygothgirl:

verycuriousnocure:

During World War II, Josephine Baker served with the French Red Cross and was an active member of the French resistance movement. Using her career as a cover Baker became an intelligence agent, carrying secret messages written in invisible ink on her sheet music. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre, and received a Medal of the Resistance in 1946. In 1961 she received the highest French honor, the Legion d’Honneur awarded by then President Charles de Gaulle.

Our loss, U.S.A….

If you don’t admire the shit out of J. Baker, who was also pretty openly bisexual and adopted NINETEEN children in addition to the badassery mentioned above, I want you to go sit in the corner and think about your life choices.

um she was also a huge civil rights activist and her refusal to perform for segregated audiences at major clubs that were fallin over themselves to book her helped de-segregate vegas performance venues

aaaand she had a pet cheetah

(via slutgrrrlinternational)