End the duopoly

Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris’s controversial Michael Brown tweets, explained

Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris marked the five-year anniversary of the Ferguson, Missouri, police shooting of Michael Brown last week with tweets claiming that the cop who shot Brown “murdered” the 18-year-old black man.

But the evidence, including a report released by President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice, says otherwise.

The protests in Ferguson drew national attention to the real problem of police violence and racial bias nationwide — the bigger movement Harris and Warren acknowledged with their tweets. Justice Department investigations after the shooting, though, found that the officer who shot Brown was legally justified, even if the police department that he worked in had serious problems with racial bias and violence.

The Brown shooting became a national story almost immediately on August 9, 2014, triggering protests and riots in Ferguson over accusations of racist and racially biased policing against the city’s police department. The protesters claimed, based on some eyewitness testimony, that Brown raised his hands up before Wilson shot him anyway — which gave way to the mantra of “hands up, don’t shoot.”

Warren and Harris reiterated the protesters’ narrative in two separate tweets on the five-year anniversary of the shooting, using the moment to call for action against systemic racism and police violence. […]

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