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Why is the National Media Covering the Ferguson Police Shooting Case?

Brian L. Polinske
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Edwardsville Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer

As most already know, the recent shooting death in Ferguson, MO of an unarmed young man has drawn national scrutiny and media coverage. Recently, Al Sharpton and other NAACP figures both locally and nationally have visited the area and discussed the case with residents.  Both looting and property destruction has occured after the shooting.  32 individuals have been arrested, all from outside the Ferguson, MO area, for looting.  This raises questions such as "Is the looting actually connected to the shooting" or are they really actions of criminals looking for a convenient venue to conduct themselves accordingly.  The national media has covered the Travon Martin case and is now in Ferguson.  They contrast the two shootings with the looting and violence episodes following the Ferguson shooting.  In Sanford, FL there was no looting or violence following the shooting.  Both shootings drew large protests but only the Ferguson shooting drew the looting and violence.  Also, much of the looting has taken place in other municipalities outside of Ferguson.  

The media has covered this incident for five days as of this article.  There apparently was a police shooting last night of a violent protester.  The foremost question is how long will the looting and violence last?  The federal government has stepped in to investigate the matter.  However, when the FBI investigates matters such as this, it typically takes more than a year to come to a conclusion.  The time they need to finalize their investigation will not quell matters quickly.  Another interesting aspect of the situation is that some protesters don't want St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch to prosecute any crimes stemming against the police officer since his father was shot by a black man.  This seems void of logic as he has prosecuted all types of different racial backgrounds for over 20 years and to my knowledge that issue has never been raised before.  Also, there is not an ability to force a prosecutor to give up his duties unless it can be proven he has a conflict.  If so, the proper means would be to appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case.   Given the uproar over the shooting it may be best for the US Attorney's Office in Missouri to take the lead of prosecuting this case (if it is proven to be a civil rights violation).  


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