"The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him" (Prov. 18:17, ESV).
The Bible warns us to be sure we hear from both sides and collect full information before we make up our minds. This ancient wisdom of Solomon has been validated again in Ferguson, Missouri.
The early narrative, spun by racial-grievance mongers, was that Michael Brown, a harmless teddy bear of a boy, was shot by a racist officer because he was black, that he was shot for jaywalking, and that he was shot in the back execution style.
Riots, mayhem, violence and looting ensued, so unremitting that Gov. Jay Nixon has finally been reduced to calling in the National Guard (after complaining all week about the "militarizing of the police." (Missouri Democrats, by the way, including Nixon and Rep. Clay did not call Attorney General Eric Holder in to "investigate;" they called him in to "prosecute.")
But cracks are starting to appear in the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton/New Black Panther narrative. A caller to a local talk-radio program in St. Louis, who claimed to be a friend of Officer Darren Wilson's significant other, gave what she said was the officer's version of events.
The account goes as follows: Wilson stopped Brown and his friend because they were walking in the street. The officer told them to get on the sidewalk. They responded belligerently. The officer tried to exit the vehicle, at which point Brown slammed the door shut to prevent him. Sometime during the stop, Wilson learned via police radio that someone matching Brown's description was a suspect in an armed robbery at a nearby convenience store, a burglary that had happened just minutes before. He observed what looked like the contraband in Wilson's hand.
Now dealing with a criminal suspect, Wilson ordered Brown to stop so he could be detained, at which point apparently Brown stuck the upper half of his body into Wilson's squad car and lunged for the officer's gun. In the tussle over the weapon, it was discharged one time inside the vehicle. Following the shot and his apparent inability to wrest control of the gun from Wilson, Brown took off. Wilson, as police protocol dictates, pursued him.
Officers, of course, cannot simply allow a criminal suspect to run away. With gun drawn, Wilson pursued Brown and ordered him to stop. At some point, Brown stopped, turned around and confronted Wilson with angry epithets. And then apparently after taunting Wilson, he charged him. Wilson then fired six rounds, each of which hit Brown, the last of which entered his skull and killed him. According to the radio caller, he fell dead practically at Wilson's feet.
This account has been inadvertently corroborated by a conversation between an eyewitness and a bystander, caught on tape by a man using his phone's video recorder. The eyewitness twice said he saw Brown charging Wilson. He said Brown "doubled back toward him" (that is, toward the officer) and "he kept coming toward him" even though the officer was firing at him in order to get him to stop.
The account of Wilson's friend indicates that Wilson thought Brown was hopped up on something, from the way he was charging and the fact that not even five bullets could slow him down. (This will make the toxicology report extremely important, which likely won't be released for a week or so.) Now this woman's account is a third-party account and obviously requires confirmation. But that evidence is slowly trickling out.
The first autopsy, for instance, performed on Brown at the direction of his own family, reveals that all six shots that hit his body entered from the front. Not a single entrance wound was found on his back. This destroys the testimony of Brown's accomplice in the cigar heist who claimed that Brown was shot in the back as he was fleeing.
The autopsy report is consistent with the accounts that Brown was shot while he was charging the officer at full speed. Even the Brown family's pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, admitted Monday morning at a news conference that the fatal wound on the top of Brown's head is consistent with the possibility that he had his head down and was closing on Wilson in an effort to spear him.
The surveillance video from the store, which Eric Holder did not want the public to see, reveals Brown—all 6 feet 4 inches and 292 pounds of him—to be aggressive and violent, stealing a batch of cigars and shoving the store owner against a display rack. He was not the "gentle giant" the radical left wanted us to think.
Holder has ordered a federal autopsy, likely because the family ordered autopsy does not play into the racist narrative he intends to foster. It's also possible that the grievance mongers had some awareness that the facts might challenge their meme. Not wanting "to let a good crisis go to waste," they hurried to whip as many people into a frenzy as they could before the facts could challenge their version of events.
So while at first blush this incident was painted as a racially motivated execution, fresh information reveals that this incident likely had nothing to do with race at all. It was about criminal behavior. It was about strong-armed robbery, assault, resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer,and physically coming after him with violent intent.
Do we know everything at this point? Of course not. We do not, for instance, yet have Officer Wilson's official account. But we do have enough evidence to begin thinking that the hyperventilating we have heard from the press (which actually printed a map to Officer Wilson's home) and from race-baiters is unlikely to be true on any salient point.
So it turns out the Bible has been right all along. "The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him." Good advice for everybody, including the press, Eric Holder, the governor of Missouri and the president of the United States.
Bryan Fischer is the director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the American Family Association and host of the talk radio program Focal Point.
Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Charisma Media.