EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a guest post by Paul R. Hollrah, a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico who served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. Even if you disagree with him, this piece will make you think long and hard.
My eighty-first birthday earlier this week was to have been a happy occasion, featuring a great dinner with friends at Tulsa’s finest German restaurant and many cards and letters from far-flung children and grandchildren. But a late email printout detailing events in Geneva, Switzerland, took a bit of the luster off the day.
The email I received was a copy of a 13-page document titled, United States Compliance with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment. It was subtitled, Written Statement on the Police Shooting of Michael Brown and Ensuing Police Violence Against Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. The document was filed with the 53rd Session of the United Nations Committee Against Torture, meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from Nov. 3-28, 2014, after being delivered to Geneva by Michael Brown’s parents, Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden.
The cover page of the complaint asserts that the complaint was submitted by the Brown family, who hand-delivered it to Geneva, as well as organizations called HandsUpUnited, Organization for Black Struggle, and Missourians Organized for Reform and Empowerment.
In a CNN interview, Brown’s mother insisted that, “We need the world to know what’s going on in Ferguson and we need justice… We need answers and we need action. And we have to bring it to the U.N. so they can expose it to the rest of the world, what’s going on in small town Ferguson.”
But, all emotion aside, what are the facts? We know that, on Aug. 9, 2014, Michael Brown Jr. a 6 ft. 4 in. 292 lb. black teenager, was identified on videotape as the individual who engaged in the robbery of a convenience store in Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. In the video, Brown is seen taking a box of Swisher Sweets cigars (valued at approximately $49) from the checkout counter of the convenience store, a 2nd degree theft under Missouri law.