I have noticed a pattern. Whenever a young, minority male is shot dead by a trigger-happy, non-black person, the shooter’s story always involves the kind of superhuman powers you see in a comic book or a video game.

Exhibit A: Weighing just 140 pounds, Trayvon Martin supposedly knocked down 250-pound George Zimmerman with a single punch before jumping on top of him to slam his head on the sidewalk like a Mortal Kombat fatality.


Exhibit B: Michael Dunn claimed that he shot Jordan Davis dead, and shot into Davis’s car at his passengers, because they all had huge guns in their hands — guns that he could see in the car with his Superman X-ray vision. Of course, the guns must have been Portal projectors, because Dunn’s alleged assailants made them disappear into another dimension before police or paramedics arrived.


We now add Exhibit C: according to the New York Times, Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson claims that he was pinned inside his patrol car and in fear for his life because black teenager Michael Brown was struggling for his gun.

Below is a photograph of a state trooper talking to a driver through his window. Can you see the problem with this narrative? Wilson hasn’t told us this story himself yet, but I for one would love to hear it from the horse’s mouth:


As you can see, for Brown to reach Wilson’s gun, he would need to have his head and shoulders inside the car. Brown was not slender, so this would be difficult, and he would risk being trapped by a deft use of the window lever.

By reaching across Wilson’s body for the gun with his own left hand, Brown would effectively be kissing Officer Wilson. No matter which hand Brown used to reach around Wilson for his gun, he would not be able to pull the weapon from its holster at an angle at which he could fire it.

Had Brown reached for Wilson’s gun with his right hand, he could have grabbed for the wheel with his left, but then he still could not prevent Wilson from using his accelerator — not without a third arm, anyway. The policeman remained in control of a large, heavy motor vehicle during this alleged assault.

Basically, if this is Officer Wilson’s story then he’s saying that Michael Brown was a close-combat contortionist with superhuman strength and arms that stretch like Dhalsim from Street Fighter. 


This display of superhuman powers not only put Wilson in fear for his life, it forced him to get out of the car to shoot Brown twice in the head, from behind, before his Dhalsim arms had enough room to stretch to their full length and grab the gun from Wilson’s hip. See how that works?

Against a normal human assailant, an act of self-defense in these circumstances would involve using the car to get away or even shooting through the window of the car. Exiting the car to pursue a human Michael Brown on foot and gun him down makes Wilson a murderer, however, so it’s obvious which story he prefers.

To get away with murder, perpetrators often try smearing the victim as a violent, powerful, inhuman threat in the hopes of convincing us that a monster ‘deserved’ to die at their hands. This is not an unusual phenomenon, but factors such as race, gender, and class can make it a thousand times worse.

15 thoughts on “How Officer Darren Wilson’s Story Dehumanizes Michael Brown”
  1. I love fairly close to where this happened. I’m still not sure what my opinion is. I think both sides are bringing things up that maybe they shouldn’t. I think that it is great that cops will have to wear a camera now, though.

  2. I live in O’Fallon, MO, which is about 30 miles west of Ferguson. I don’t believe a word of Wilson’s story. As I read the account in the St. Louis Post I turned to my husband and said, ‘Here we go with the super-powered, contortionist black guy crap again.’ I’m pretty sure Wilson was driving an SUV, not a police cruiser, which makes his story even more unbelievable. Why would any person in their right mind go for a cop’s gun out of nowhere? Why would Brown continue to ‘charge’ Wilson as he was shooting? They’ve had almost 3 months to come up with this BS story. Why wasn’t this account released sooner? Why is there no police report with this detailed information? Why Why? Why? Why? That’s what I’m left with, a big, fat WHY.

    And contrary to the portrayal in the media of white St. Louis, there are plenty of us who do NOT proudly proclaim ‘I am Darren Wison’. There are plenty of us who are horrified at what happened and are sick at the prospect of this not going to trial.

    1. Try looking at the facts before you spread hate. The autopsy results practically scream that Brown was attacking Wilson when he was shot. No fair grand jury will return anything but a no-bill.

    2. This may surprise you, but there are some people who do not always act in their “right mind”
      Brown’s motive is obvious, he does not want to be arrested and sent to prison. Whether his judgment was drug-impaired perhaps. But considering that he was able to imprison the officer in his own SUV and then wrestle for the gun, he came very close to accomplishing his goal of killing the officer and fleeing away from arrest.

      1. you make no sense at all. Brown did nothing. Wilson is the one that was out of control. Afraid for his life? Please. He was a bully, a racist, and outright murdered that kid. Anyone saying any different is evil and dishonest. If you are white, and guaranteed to get home tonight, free from murder by cop, you really have nothing to say that is worth a hoot.

  3. Actually, the NEUTRAL autopsy shows that 1) Brown was shot in the hand at extremely close range, 2) that his hand was ON the gun when that shot was fired (blood and tissue evidence), 3) that the shot to the top of the head was delivered while Brown was facing the officer and inside the car.

    The inescapable conclusion is that Brown attacked the officer, and that the officer was justified in shooting him. The eye socket injury to the officer also supports this conclusion.

    1. you have two “facts” wrong. You’re not very well informed. Coincidentally, your conclusion is correct. The officer was justified in shooting him.
      1. Brown was not in the vehicle when he received the shot to the top of the head. The head shot had been repeated described as immediately fatal. It would have been impossible for Brown to run away 40-50 feet, then rush back to the cop another 20 feet if he first had been shot at the top of his head. The head shot occurred while Brown was rushing Wilson and perhaps less than a second after Wilson shot Brown through the right eye socket. Brown was probably falling from the eyeball shot when the last bullet hit Brown.
      2. There was no eye-socket injury (or at least no “blown right eye orbital”) as had been characterized by an unidentified person claiming to be a Wilson family member. Police clarified this months ago. However, the same police authority stated that Wilson had facial injuries consistent with being punched and scratched.

  4. Garbage contention

    Trayvon was an athletic, lean, 6 foot 160 lbs, 17 year old, with experience in boxing. Zimmerman, at the time of the homicide, was a chubby, unathletic, 5′-7″, 190 lbs, 28 year old. Zimmerman had at least 13 injuries to his face and head including 4 open wounds to the back of his head. Trayvon had two injuries: the bullet hole at the center of his chest and a small abrasion to his fourth left knuckle. The only eyewitness close enough to positively ID the participants testified that the dark skinned male w/ a dark top was sitting on top of and swinging his arms at the light-skinned male with the lighter top. There is circumstantial evidence that supports Zimmerman’s claim that Trayvon reached for his gun (contact shot to the hoodie, mid-distance shot to his chest [i.e. Trayvon leaning forward] and perpendicular bullet penetration [i.e. Trayvon twisting his torso toward Zimmerman’s right side]).
    The moment Zimmerman understood that Trayvon intended to smash his head on the sidewalk, the Law allows Zimmerman the right to use deadly force to prevent the eminent threat of severe bodily harm. Instead, Zimmerman chose not to exercise his right to stand his ground (notwithstanding that he had very little opportunity to retreat with Trayvon on top of him). Still, he tolerated at least four blows to the back of his head with the deadly weapon of a four inch thick slab of concrete.

    You seem to be 2 years and 5 months out of date with your “facts”

    I don’t know the facts, no comments.

    Big Mike / Wilson
    Contrary to the photograph of the compact car you presented, Officer Wilson was driving an SUV. It blows away your Dhalsim theory. Every single eyewitness who saw the confrontation in the vehicle states that Big Mike’s upper body was thru the window. Mike’s blood was on the gun, the officer’ shirt and the inside panel of the vehicle door. The shot to his hand left gunpowder residue in his hand flesh, solid evidence of a contact shot and solid circumstantial evidence of a struggle for the gun.

    You seem to make these Grand Theories without knowledge of basic facts.

    1. Oh yeah, and Wilson had injuries consistent with being punched and scratched. You don’t seem to want to explain that inconvenient detail.

  5. so you say that even if Brown’s upper body was inside the vehicle “kissing” the officer and punching him while trying to grab the gun, the much smaller officer trapped under the 292 lb man was still in control because all he had to do was blindly, without control of the steering wheel and without the ability to release the parking brake, could just accelerate and then the problem of the punching grabbing man goes away.
    Yeah ok.

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