We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Prosecutor Manipulates Grand Jury Process to Shield Officer

Click here to access article by Marjorie Cohn from TruthOut.
The grand jury case, in which Missouri Police Officer Darren Wilson's killing of an unarmed, 18-year-old African American Michael Brown was investigated for a possible indictment, is an excellent illustration of how the ruling class misuses another construct of the "rule of law", a grand jury, to prevent one of the enforcers of their class rule, Officer Darren Wilson, from being tried by a more rigorous justice system embedded in a standard jury trial. The political use of the grand jury system is a common practice whenever ruling class interests are involved in order to lend legitimacy to their flagrant abuse of any sense of justice. It is most frequently used against left-wing dissidents. (See my previous posting and commentary related to grand jury practices in the US.)

In this article by Cohn posted on TruthOut, we see an archetype of a liberal take on this incident. You will see that there are no class interests involved. 
In a virtually unprecedented move, St. Louis Prosecutor Robert McCulloch in effect deputized the grand jurors to sit as triers of fact as in a jury trial.

In a normal grand jury proceeding, the prosecutor presents evidence for a few days and then asks the grand jurors to return an indictment, which they nearly always do. Of 162,000 federal cases in 2010, grand juries failed to indict in only 11 of them, according the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
This miscarriage of justice is seen initially as limited to an official prosecutor McCulloch who "has a history of bias in favor of police". Then in the final paragraph Cohn uses a quote to refer to a need for "systemic change", but it's clear that the quote is only referring to racism which has been the major theme emphasized by liberal media such as TruthOut. This emphasis plays into the ruling class's favorite strategy of "divide and rule". The ruling capitalist class would love to cultivate more divisions among working Americans by instilling fear in "white Americans" of the threat of African-Americans and other marginalized groups.