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(Photo credits: Flo Smith/Material Evidence).

Khalid Zaki is an acting coach. A few months ago the 35-year-old Arabian Christian stage managed Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice at a local theater in Qarakosh. Today, he is one of approximately 100,000 Christians who sought refuge from the wrath of the Islamic State in and around Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

“We came here in the morning of August 7, most of us with nothing but our clothes on,” Khalid recounts. The Christian exodus was total. More than 40,000 Christian refugees fled Quarakosh — until then the largest Christian town in Iraq. According to refugees interviewed, there are but 120 Christians left in Qarakosh, who are employed by the Islamic State as auxiliaries to prevent looting in the abandoned Christian homes.

In Erbil, Nazar Hana, a manager at the Nisthiman Mall in the city center, opened up the whole sixth floor of the building to around 1,100 Christian refugees. Due to construction delays, funding problems, and local opposition by shopkeepers, the Nishtiman Mall was never completed and is now in a derelict state, with only a few shops open on the first and second floors, as well as a thriving black-market in the basement of the building.

The 1,100 refugees at Nishtiman Mall have benefitted from media attention to the plight of Iraq’s minorities fleeing ISIS. Christian NGOs, UNHCR, as well as the International Red Cross are delivering food and medical supplies. Some of their living space is even air-conditioned which with outside temperatures of over 100 degrees is a vital necessity and in stark contrast to their lives two weeks ago.

And while there are only enough matresses for the women and children to lie down on (the men sleep on the marble floor), the mall refugees are better off than most of the other Christians, spread out in approximately 23 camps in the city and its vicinity, and who often have to make do with mere tents or canvases shielding them from the elements.

This, however, is little comfort for the displaced people of Qarakosh who see the most recent attacks as perhaps the final act in their expulsion from Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians have left the country in the last two decades. Estimates of the remaining total number of Iraqi Christians are as low as 200,000.

Leaving Qarakosh

While sipping a cup of chai, Khalid Zaki recounts the last 24 hours in the city: “On the morning of August 6, the Pesh Merga promised to defend us to the death and we believed them once the
shooting started.”

IS fighters began shelling the city with both artillery rounds as wellas missiles. Soon the first casualties appeared.

With tears in his eyes, Kaleed Kackwani, a 27-year-old construction worker, tells the story of his neighbor’s children who were killed while playing in the street. A shell exploded in their
midst, killing two boys, aged 12 and five, as well as a 10-year-old girl: “One of the boys was torn apart by the shell and all that was left of him was one arm and one leg. His family collected his remains in a nylon bag. People were panicking.”

“Around 5 p.m. we gathered for the funeral of the children,” continues Khalid, who lives in the same neighborhood as Kaleed. “Then the congregation held a service at the Church of Saint Mary. After the service I went home.” On August 7, at 3 a.m. Khalid received the news that the Pesh Merga had started withdrawing from their defensive positions. He and his family lost no time. They got into their car and started heading towards Erbil. On the road they were held up at Pesh Merga checkpoints. “It took us five hours to pass one single checkpoint,” tells Khalid.

Khaleed Kackwani explains that Ram, the brother of his wife, was hit in the head by a bullet while caught in the crossfire of IS fighters and retreating Pesh Merga forces at one of the three checkpoints that Kurdish forces had set up between Qarakosh and Erbil. “There was nothing we could do for him. We had to leave him behind. It took us 15 hours to cover the 80km from Quaraqosh to Erbil. The road was filled with cars and refugees. We were only allowed to pass the checkpoint one by one.”

The same night ISIS suicide bombers tried to break through a Pesh Merga checkpoint with a stolen ambulance but were spotted and killed before detonating the charge.

In the room next to Khaleed’s, Bydaa Bhnam Khtya, mother of three, also recounts the long wait in front of the checkpoints leading to Erbil. She and her husband owned a gas station and a chicken farm in Qarakosh. Dressed in pajamas, a baby girl on her lap, she emphatically states that she will not return to Qarakosh: ” I do not trust the Pesh Merga anymore. They left us undefended. I do not trust anyone anymore connected to the Iraqi government.”

Majeed Iyu Gorgies and his four sons fled on August 6. He sits on his bed in a small room on the 6th floor in the Nishtiman Mall resting his left leg on a worn out matrass. He lost his right leg in March 2003 during an American aerial bombardment at the beginning of the Iraq
War. He was sitting in a café in Mosul when the bombs were dropped: “It was March 31, 2003 at exactly 6 p.m. when three bombers dropped half a dozen bombs on our neighborhood. Nine people were killed and 45 wounded — I was one of them.” Numbers are still hugely important for the 55-year-old former teacher of mathematics.

Majeed Iyu Gorgies story is typical of the lives of many Christians in Iraq in the last few decades.

Majeed wanted to become a teacher. He studied natural science and mathematics at Mosul University. Yet, two months after my graduation the war with Iran started. “I had to serve for five years in an anti-tank unit and fight on the frontlines. Only then was I allowed to begin teaching. After another five years the next war came and the school officials laid me off because I was not a member of the Baath party, and in addition, as a Christian, I was considered anti-patriotic.” Until 2003 he had to work on various construction sites as a floor tiler, and, although the American invasion cost him a leg, he was immediately singled out as a traitor by Sunni extremists once the insurgency intensified in Mosul. In 2007, he had to flee his beloved hometown: “The extremists called us and told us that they would come over in 10 minutes and kill me and my family unless I left the town immediately.” The family moved to Qaraqosh. Now in August 2014 they had to flee again.

According to some sources, Iraqi and Kurdish forces are planning the recapture of Mosul as well as Qarakosh. Yet only a few Christians are thinking of returning to the city once it is liberated. They are scared. According to Khalid many Muslims welcomed the IS fighters to Qarakosh. In disbelief he relates the story that former Muslim students of his tried to convince him on the phone that it was safe to return to the city.

“We will only return under the protection of an international intervention force,” Rabee Yussef Sorani emphatically states, the unofficial spokesperson of the refugees at the mall. Majeed has resigned himself to indefinite exile, but like so many he does not know where to go: “Mosul, Qarakosh, and now Erbil! How far do I need to run to escape the war? Where do we go from here?”


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An illusive serial bank robber dubbed the “AK-47 Bandit” is believed to have struck again, police said.

The mysterious suspect, who allegedly shot a California police officer during a heist in February 2012, is now wanted for the August 22nd robbery of the the First Nebraska Bank in Nebraska City, Nebraska, KETV reports.

“We want to make everybody aware of how violent this individual is. He’s not afraid to pull the trigger. He’s already shot a police officer, so anybody who gives him any resistance, he’s not afraid to act,” said Detective Carlos Dominguez, of the Chino, California, police department, according to CNN.

The police force in Chino, where the officer shooting took place, is aiding in the investigation.

The suspect earned his nickname by carrying the AK-47 with him to targeted banks. He is wanted in connection with robberies in Idaho, Washington and California.

Authorities believe that the suspect has a police or military background, according to CBS News.

There is a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

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Police in Washington said they are investigating a likely homicide after a cop responded to a fire and discovered disturbing evidence.

On August 13th, the Auburn Police Department were called to a fire on the side of a highway. Officers said when they arrived, they found blood-stained carpet, flooring, and towels all being burned, Q13 Fox reported.

A man who police believe is a key suspect was seen near the items before fleeing in a dark SUV.

On Friday, police conducted DNA tests on the blood and determined the victim is 30-year-old Brandon Zomalt, who remains missing, according to KOMO News.

Cmdr. Mike Hirman told the station that Zomalt may have been killed more than two weeks ago. During this time, no one reported him missing.

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A photo released by the department shows Brandon Zomalt, who is believed dead

“The body is somewhere,” Hirman said. “The fruits of the crime, if you will, were dumped here in Auburn. And so we need to find out who this person’s associates are, we need to find where he was staying, where he was living and then we can go from there.”

With few leads in the case, police are asking the public for help in identifying Zomalt’s killer. Authorities could give only a vague description of the man who fled the scene, according to Q13 Fox.

The suspect seen fleeing in the SUV was described as possibly a mixed-race man, in his late 20s to early 30s, between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-10, thin build, and short, dark hair. There is no further description of the SUV.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Auburn Police Department tip line at 253-288-7403.

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NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton says a suspect is in custody in a fatal shooting that occurred hours before the start of the nearby West Indian Day Parade.

Bratton says a “career criminal” opened fire early Sunday on a crowd of people who had already begun parade festivities in Brooklyn. One man died.

Bratton says the suspect had recently been paroled.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH’-zee-oh) defended the importance of the parade despite the violence that has surrounded it in recent years.

He says the “vast majority have a wonderful time and only a few individuals get out of line.”

He was joined at the parade by his wife, Chirlane McCray, who is of Caribbean decent, and their children, Dante and Chiara.


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FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Police in the St. Louis suburb where a white officer shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old have started wearing body cameras.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports ( http://bit.ly/1r0D9m1 ) that Ferguson police began wearing the cameras Saturday. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told the newspaper officers had the devices on during a protest march Saturday. The march marked the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson.

Jackson said the department was given about 50 body cameras by two companies about a week ago. Company representatives offered training to officers Saturday on using the devices that attach to their uniforms and record video and audio. Jackson said each officer will get one to use.


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Several shootings have been reported near the route of New York City’s West Indian Day Parade just hours before its start.

The New York Police Department says a 55-year-old man was shot and killed at 3:30 a.m. Monday in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights. A suspect is in custody.

Police say they’re still gathering information about other shootings in the vicinity.

The parade has been scarred in recent years by violence nearby. Police are taking steps to keep the event safe, including keeping tabs on any gang activity

The parade is one of the year’s biggest outdoor events — and political see-and-be-seen spots. It’s set to start at 11 a.m.

The parade is a prime place for officeholders and candidates to greet the public the week before Primary Day.


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LAS VEGAS (AP) — The father of a woman whose June rampage with her husband left two Las Vegas police officers and a good Samaritan dead visited the restaurant and store where the three were gunned down, saying he was still in disbelief and thinks about the victims’ families every day.

Todd Woodruff of Lafayette, Indiana, laid flowers Friday against the window of a pizza shop where his daughter, Amanda Miller, and her husband, Jerad Miller, killed officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo in an ambush during their lunch break. “I can’t believe they went in and did that,” he said of the couple who espoused anti-government views.

Woodruff then went to a nearby Wal-Mart where the Millers fled after shooting the officers. His 22-year-old daughter shot and killed shopper Joseph Wilcox when he approached Jerad Miller, 31. The couple died during an exchange of gunfire with police inside the store.

Woodruff told KLAS-TV (http://bit.ly/1qtm3w2 ) that he realizes his daughter caused a lot of hurt and he will never forget the three victims.

“I can see their faces right now,” he said. “I can’t tell them (victims’ families) I’m sorry enough. I think about it every day.”

At the Wal-Mart, he passed through the same doors where his daughter and her husband announced, “The revolution has started.”

He also passed by the spot where his daughter killed Wilcox as he pulled his legal concealed weapon to stop Jerad Miller.

Woodruff then made his way to the back of the store, where his daughter shot herself in the head and her husband was killed during the shootout.

As he left the store, he said it was almost as if he could hear his daughter’s voice in his head.

“She apologized. She just said, ‘I’m sorry, Dad. I didn’t mean to disappoint you,’” Woodruff told the television station.

He said he never imagined his daughter could be capable of killing anyone, and he blames Jerad Miller for brainwashing her with his anti-government rhetoric.

“We were so against this, that marriage, that I just threw up before I walked her down the aisle,” he said.

Police have said the Millers shared an ideology with militia and white supremacists that law enforcement officers were oppressors. The couple had temporarily joined supporters of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who engaged in an armed standoff in April with U.S. Bureau of Land Management agents trying to round up Bundy’s cattle amid a public land trespassing dispute.

Woodruff not only came to Las Vegas for “closure” but to bring back to Indiana his daughter’s two cats, who had been at a foster home since the June 8 rampage.

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Information from: KLAS-TV, http://www.klas-tv.com


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KIEV/MOSCOW, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia on Monday of “direct and undisguised aggression” which he said had radically changed the battlefield balance as Kiev’s forces suffered a further reverse in their war with pro-Moscow separatists.

In the latest in a string of setbacks in the past week, Ukraine’s military said it had pulled back from defending a vital airport in the east of the country, near the city of Luhansk, where troops had been battling a Russian tank battalion.

Poroshenko said in a speech there would be high-level personnel changes in the Ukrainian armed forces, whose troops fled a new rebel advance in the south which Kiev and its Western allies say has been backed up by Russian armored columns.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called on Sunday for immediate negotiations on the “statehood” of southern and eastern Ukraine, blamed Kiev’s leadership for refusing to enter into direct political talks with the separatists.

European Union leaders decided at a summit on Saturday that the direct engagement of Russian troops in the war – still denied by the Kremlin – called for a stepping up of economic sanctions unless Moscow pulled its soldiers back.

With German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressing that accepting Russia’s behavior was not an option, EU ambassadors were to start discussing a new package of measures that could include a ban on Europeans buying Russian government bonds, EU sources said.

Until last week Ukraine had appeared close to crushing the four-month rebellion in the east, which erupted after a pro-Moscow president was forced out of power by popular protests. But then the rebels opened a new front to the south on the coast of the Sea of Azov, pushing towards the city of Mariupol.

AGGRESSION

Poroshenko repeated Kiev’s belief that Russian forces are helping the rebels to turn the tide of the war. “Direct and undisguised aggression has been launched against Ukraine from a neighboring state. This has changed the situation in the zone of conflict in a radical way,” he said in his speech at a military academy in Kiev.

Defense Minister Valery Heletey added on his Facebook page that Ukraine no longer faced a threat from separatists but outright war with Russian troops. “Unfortunately, in such a war, the losses will be numbered not in their hundreds, but in thousands, even tens of thousands,” he said. “We must refrain from panic and show that Ukrainians are not about to surrender.”

In the Belarussian capital, Minsk, separatists sat down for preliminary peace talks with Ukraine, saying they would be prepared to stay part of Ukraine if they were granted “special status”, according to Russian news agencies.

But they said one of their key conditions would be for Kiev to immediately end its military offensive.

The separatists’ demands did not appear, at first sight, to be acceptable to Kiev since they would leave the rebels in control of the territories of Ukraine’s industrialized east and exercising a trade policy tilted towards Russia and away from integration with the European Union, which is Kiev’s key aim.

Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Ukrainian forces had pulled back from the airport near Luhansk. However, they had destroyed seven Russian tanks and identified a major build-up of Russian forces to the north and south of the city.

“According to our operational data, there are no fewer than four (Russian) battalion-tactical groups in Ukraine,” he told reporters, adding that each one comprised 400 men.

Speaking during a visit to Siberia, Putin repeated his call for talks. “The current Kiev leadership does not want to carry out a substantive political dialog with the east of its country,” state news agency Itar-Tass cited him as telling journalists.

Putin also said the separatists were trying to force Ukrainian troops from their current positions where they were firing on civilian targets. “The aim of the militia fighters is to push away these armed forces and their artillery to not give them the possibility to shoot on residential areas,” he said.

NON-ALIGNED STATUS IN DOUBT

Kiev has clung to a non-aligned status as it tried to steer between two dominant powers – Russia to the east and Europe to the west. However, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Ukraine’s political leaders expect a new parliament to abandon this status after an election next month in a possible prelude to an application to join the Western alliance.

Putin made his statehood remarks two days after comparing the Kiev government with Nazis and warning the West not to “mess with us”. On Sunday, Putin’s spokesman said his call for talks on the statehood of southern and eastern Ukraine did not mean Moscow now endorsed rebel calls for independence for territory they have seized.

However, Merkel took a hard line, although she acknowledged the sanctions have hurt German exporters to the Russian market.

“I have to say there is also an impact when you are allowed to move borders in Europe and attack other countries with your troops,” she told a news conference. “Accepting Russia’s behavior is not an option. And therefore it was necessary to prepare further sanctions.”

EU leaders asked the executive European Commission to prepare further sanctions within a week, building on steps taken at the end of July, which targeted the energy, banking and defense sectors. “I’m hearing that a ban on buying Russian government bonds could be in the next package,” an EU official familiar with the preparations said.

The July round forbade Europeans from buying or selling new bonds, shares or other financial instruments with a maturity of more than 90 days issued by major state-owned Russian banks.

COMMON SENSE

Putin called for the EU to think twice about stepping up the sanctions, which were first imposed after Russia’s annexation of Ukraine in March. “I hope that common sense will prevail and we will work in a normal modern way,” the Interfax news agency reported him as saying.

He won support from China, with which Putin wants to trade more as the West tightens its restrictions.

“A political solution is the only way out. Sanctions do not help to solve the underlying problems in Ukraine,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

Several EU countries heavily dependent on Russian gas supplies, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria, opposed new measures, which require unanimous agreement.

“I consider sanctions meaningless and counterproductive,” Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Sunday. “I reserve a right to veto sanctions harming national interests of Slovakia.”

The EU could ban gas exports and limit industrial use as part of emergency measures to protect household energy supplies this winter as it prepares for a possible halt in Russian supplies due to the crisis, a source told Reuters.

The United States and EU already extended sanctions after a Malaysian airliner was shot down over rebel territory in July, killing 298 people. Moscow has responded by banning the import of most Western foodstuffs and shutting down McDonald’s restaurants but so far energy shipments to the EU have been unaffected.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there would be no military intervention from Russia in Ukraine. Moscow denies the presence of Russian tanks and troops there, despite what NATO and Western governments have said is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. (Additional reporting by Richard Balmforth in Kiev, Mark Trevelyan and Thomas Grove in Moscow, Noah Barkin in Berlin, Jan Strupczewski, Adrian Croft and Martin Santa in Brussels and Sui-Lee Wee in Beijing; Writing by David Stamp; Editing by Giles Elgood)


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BAGHDAD, Sept 1 (Reuters) – At least 1,420 people were killed in Iraq in August, the United Nations said on Monday, as sectarian violence raged in the center and north of the country.
Another 1,370 Iraqis were wounded and 600,000 people forced to flee, the U.N. added, as Islamic State militants, who have grabbed large areas of territory since June, pushed into land controlled by Kurdish troops and targeted religious minorities.
“Thousands continue to be targeted and killed by ISIL (Islamic State) and associated armed groups simply on account of their ethnic or religious background … The true cost of this human tragedy is staggering,” said the U.N. representative in Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov.”
The UN said the casualty figures could be far higher, but it could not get indepent verification of reports of hundreds of incidents in areas under Islamic State’s control.
Violence killed 1,737 people, mostly civilians, in Iraq in July, and 2,400 in June, the U.N. data showed.
Both Islamist fighters and Iraqi government forces have committed atrocities in the three months of fighting, senior U.N. officials said in Geneva during an emergency debate on the conflict on Monday. (Reporting By Ned Parker; Editing by Andrew Heavens)


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Darren Wilson might eventually be exonerated for the death of Michael Brown and there’s a chance he indeed acted appropriately, at least in terms of self-defense, that fateful day. The law protects him, but it also allows the family of Michael Brown to inquire as to how their unarmed son was killed while walking in the street. Shoplifting cigars from a convenience store does not deserve the electric chair and Wilson never knew of the alleged theft. According to The Wall Street Journal, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson “said the officer stopped Mr. Brown because he was walking in the road and disrupting traffic.” Time magazine has quoted Police Chief Thomas Jackson as stating, “This robbery does not relate to the initial contact between the officer and Michael Brown.” So, don’t connect the two incidents when trying to justify Brown’s death. There might indeed have been a scuffle at one point after Brown was told to get on the sidewalk, but Wilson did not have a fractured eye socket, a CNN source dispelled that myth. One can’t say Brown was a human deadly weapon if Wilson simply had bruising and not a fracture, or something of that nature. In court, Wilson will have to prove that an unarmed man (not committing a crime that moment and undeserving of death for any alleged prior crime) not only went after his gun, but was also either beating him as he shot six times, or rushing towards him with deadly intent before the shooting. Either way, it’s hard to go from “get off the street” to scuffle within a car or suicidal charge at a Glock staring at you, without question Wilson’s mindset, or behavior during the interactions of that fateful day.

First, there’s the official police narrative cited in Newsweek that a close range altercation ensued, with Brown wrestling for Wilson’s gun:

According to the account of the St. Louis County police, Wilson attempted to get out of his car and Brown pushed him back inside. A struggle ensued inside the car, in which Brown tried to take the officer’s gun. A shot was fired from inside the car. The officer then stepped out of the car and shot Brown, who died of his injuries.

One of those six bullets that struck Brown was on the top part of Brown’s head, so that alone raises another question regarding how one can be simultaneously beaten and aim at the top of his assailant’s head. You can’t at the same time say Wilson was getting beaten by a maniacal behemoth in the police car, at close range, yet got off six shots with no residue on Brown’s clothing. Add to this no broken eye socket.

If Brown was such an imposing threat, then one can’t shoot that many times, hitting a target that many times, while getting pummeled by a giant. Also, according to eyewitness “Josie” in an article by The Blaze, Wilson was being charged at by Brown from a distance after running away from the car (“he fell about two or three feet in front of the officer”), so which story is it, the close encounter or the far away death charge? These two different narratives utilized by the millions of Wilson supporters might lead to a claim of self-defense, but they can’t both be the correct narrative.

Therefore, let’s say “Josie” is right.

Let’s say the teenager charged, but was far enough away that Wilson could wait before shooting? What if Brown was pretending to charge after taunting verbally, in an arrogant act of defiance, with the intent of pulling back? What if Brown was running, but quickly turned back to surrender, and Wilson mistook that for charging, what then? Too bad, you might say, but if he was far enough away from Wilson, a case can easily be made that the officer shot first and asked questions later.

Why?

The answer lies in the issue of “excessive force” on the part of the officer. Even Fox News states that Dr. Michael Baden, the man who conducted the autopsy, said the presence of six gunshot wounds points to “excessive” force by Wilson… “There is legitimate concern as to whether the shooting was overreacting. That has to be answered and we don’t have all the answers.” Baden also explained there was no gunshot residue on the body. A St. Louis news station states, “Dr. Michael Baden, the forensic pathologist hired by the Brown family, said there was no gunshot residue on Brown’s skin surface, so at the time the gun went off it was at least a foot or two away.” Baden also stated that it could be a foot or two, or a great number of feet away, one can’t tell yet definitively: “The muzzle of the gun was at least one to two feet away,” Baden said, adding that it “could have been thirty feet away.” So, while the narrative that Wilson was getting pummeled by Brown in a mad attempt at his weapon is provocative, it doesn’t correlate to the autopsy, or to The Blaze story. Brown was not struggling for the weapon when shot and he easily could have been far enough away for Wilson to wait before shooting a barrage of bullets, based on the autopsy report.

Did Darren Wilson expect to kill an unarmed black teenager that fateful day? No, he didn’t, and neither did the officers who killed Eric Garner, nor did George Zimmerman. Certain aspects of their overzealous, perhaps paranoid negligence led to the death of unarmed citizens. This misconduct is also exemplified in the case of Dillon Taylor, a young white man shot by a black officer in Utah, who perhaps also shot first and asked questions later. Taylor should be alive, just like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, and to explain the added circumstances of race in Ferguson doesn’t mitigate anyone’s death, nor does it absolve the black cop of killing the unarmed white male. However, one doesn’t cancel out the other and each is its own unique story. Part of this issue is police brutality and part of it, pertaining to the over five unarmed black men dead this month alone, is an issue of race and poverty. The issue of race plays a role in these encounters, and Harvard research links directly to this claim, as well as the 20% longer sentences blacks face than whites for the same crimes, as does the racial profiling in St. Louis.

However, at best, Wilson’s actions ran contrary to the hundreds of thousands of police officers who tell citizens to “do this” or “do that” without killing them. If eyewitness to the shooting Dorian Johnson is correct, and there was a “tug-of-war” by Wilson to get Brown into his vehicle, and then the two young men ran away with Brown stating, “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!” then Wilson committed a crime. Or, if eye witness Piaget Crenshaw is correct and Wilson chased after Brown and Johnson, shooting Brown when he simply turned around, then Wilson also committed a crime.

Then there are the arguments of Michael Brown’s attorney who state that Brown was trying to surrender, as evident by the bullet hole on the top of his head that “appeared to enter Brown’s forehead and exit near his eye, which suggests that Brown’s head was in a downward position.” How do you shoot a bullet into the top of a 6’4″ person’s head? Was Brown cowering, trying to plead for the officer not to shoot, or was he flying towards the officer like Superman?

Finally, Wilson doesn’t represent the tens of thousands of officers in this country who ensure that mundane interactions with unarmed citizens don’t end in their deaths. If Michael Brown had been polite that day with Wilson (assuming he wasn’t) and simply quickly abided by the allegedly profanity laced request to “get the ‘f’ off the street,” then the young man might very well be alive today. I believe this, however that’s not what America is about; fearing those who protect us might kill us if we don’t comply immediately and in an utterly passive manner. I also believe that something murky, and morally ambiguous took place that day, given the autopsy, the number of bullets, and the eyewitnesses.