For law enforcement

By ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, former U. S. senator


DEC. 1, 2014 -- I don't know Michael Brown or Officer Wilson. I haven't seen the police report, or heard any witnesses. But from the news coverage, Michael Brown caused his own demise.

To begin with, Deborah Saunders reports in The Post & Courier (11/30/14): "Video of Brown shoving a convenience store clerk in what has been described as a strong-arm robbery minutes before the encounter adds credence to Wilson's account."

Brown was eighteen years of age, over six feet tall, and weighed 185 pounds. Walking in the middle of the street, and told by a police officer to move to the sidewalk, you move to the sidewalk. You don't attack the officer, punching him and preventing the officer from getting out of his car. You don't grab for the officer's pistol. And when the officer follows you on foot to prevent your escape, you don't turn and charge the police officer. After the struggle for the pistol in the patrol car, Wilson knew what Brown was after when he got charged. The best evidence that Officer Wilson was in fear of his life is that he emptied his pistol.

Now after the Ferguson Police Department received several threats, Wilson has had to quit his job. Not only that, he and his family will have to move from Ferguson, for the media's one-sided treatment of the killing has put Wilson and his family in jeopardy.

When the evidence shows that the officer is doing his job, we've got to support the officer. We ought to respect law enforcement more.

Senator Fritz Hollings of South Carolina served 38 years in the United States Senate, and for many years was Chairman of the Commerce, Space, Science & Transportation Committee. He is the author of Making Government Work (University of South Carolina Press, 2008).

© 2014, Ernest F. Hollings. All rights reserved. Contact us for republication permission.

About Fritz Hollings

Ernest F. Hollings served the public for 56 years -- 38 years in the United States Senate and as South Carolina's governor, lieutenant governor and a member of the S.C. House of Representatives.

Today, Hollings continues to be influential in public affairs and offers this website as a compendium of current and past positions on public issues. Learn more about Fritz Hollings.


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