"Imagine if the DA acted like he cared."

November 25, 2014

I am not working on a substantive post about the grand jury's unwillingness to indict Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. I don't have much wisdom to offer here, just sadness.

But Beth Jusino does, so I thought I'd share it:

I am not a lawyer nor a law enforcement officer. I don't know what the grand jury in ‪#‎Ferguson‬ heard to make them come to their conclusions, and I'm not here to question it. But I do know a thing or two about PR and marketing, and man, that DA did everything he could do tonight to make the situation worse. From delaying his press conference until well past dark, when protests are statistically more likely to become violent, to opening with a 15-minute defensive rant that blamed everyone except the police for the subsequent troubles on the street, to never offering a word of empathy to the community or acknowledging ongoing investigations into subsequent police behavior, to accusing the deceased teenager of a crime that he was never arrested for and that the officer who shot him knew nothing about... it was embarrassingly tone deaf and insensitive.

Imagine the difference if they'd announced it at 10am this morning (when they knew) and given the elders and pastors time to process with people peacefully before night fell. If they'd acknowledged the community's loss, the mistakes made in the charged days and weeks that followed. If he had focused on the legal decision that had to be made, and the difficult situations that police officers find themselves in sometimes. Imagine if the DA acted like he cared, just a little bit, that a teenager is dead and a family is grieving. Same announcement, but I bet the streets all across the country would be a lot quieter tonight.

Lord have mercy on the people of Ferguson, because their officials sure didn't.