BLACKOUT BLACK FRIDAY BOYCOTT — that’s one response to the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown shooting. The drum-roll beats louder on social media to hit Corporate America “where it hurts” over Brown’s shooting death.
The Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition is organising the ‘No Justice, No Profit’ boycott campaign on Thanksgiving Day (27 November), through to Sunday. Black Friday is traditionally the day that kicks off the Christmas buying period with retailers across America offering big discounts to jump-start the busiest shopping days of the year.
Dacia Polk, of the New Black Panther Party, said the coalition wants the whole of St Louis to participate in the boycott this weekend.
“We are asking you to withdraw your participation the entire weekend,” she said. “There will not be business as usual in America while our people are being killed.”
“The death of Michael Brown was groundless, was senseless, it was a miscarriage of Mr Darren Wilson’s legal duty to serve and protect,” said the Rev Spencer Lamar Booker, pastor of St Paul AME Church. “No matter how convoluting his and others’ attempt to make a legal argument, an illegal act was committed called murder.” Source: IBT Times
The grand jury decision has led to rioting, looting and arson. Several businesses have gone up on flames. This is no way to protest against a perceived wrong.
It’s interesting to note that prosecutor Robert McColluch pulled off something very interesting in Ferguson. Check out what FiveThirtyEight had to say.
Former New York state Chief Judge Sol Wachtler famously remarked that a prosecutor could persuade a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.” The data suggests he was barely exaggerating: According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. attorneys prosecuted 162,000 federal cases in 2010, the most recent year for which we have data. Grand juries declined to return an indictment in 11 of them.
Wilson’s case was heard in state court, not federal, so the numbers aren’t directly comparable. Unlike in federal court, most states, including Missouri, allow prosecutors to bring charges via a preliminary hearing in front of a judge instead of through a grand jury indictment. That means many routine cases never go before a grand jury. Still, legal experts agree that, at any level, it is extremely rare for prosecutors to fail to win an indictment.
“If the prosecutor wants an indictment and doesn’t get one, something has gone horribly wrong,” said Andrew D. Leipold, a University of Illinois law professor who has written critically about grand juries. “It just doesn’t happen.”