Updates at the end of the article
Michael Brown is the Ferguson youth who was killed in August by a Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson. Some eyewitnesses say he was killed while surrendering. A vigilante group formed immediately with the support of the president and his attorney general.
Media have pursued opening up the records of the officer but only two have attempted to get the full story of Michael Brown.
In cases of white shooting victims, their records, sealed or not, are routinely unsealed without any public opposition. It should be the same for all.
A lawsuit was begun by Charles C. Johnson, Editor of GotNews, to unseal Michael Brown’s juvenile records. The Brown family sees it as an attempt to defile his memory but getting all the facts out is the only way to get to the truth.
The St. Louis Dispatch joined Johnson in the suit.
There was a court hearing Wednesday to determine whether or not Brown’s sealed juvenile record should be unsealed.
AOL, St. Louis Dispatch, NBC News, ABC News, and others promptly reported that a St. Louis juvenile court attorney said during the hearing that Michael Brown had no serious misdemeanors or felonies against him as a minor.
Charles Johnson is an investigative reporter, a rare breed in today’s society, and he is a warrior for the truth, wherever it leads. He is described by NBC News as a conservative online journalist.
The decision on the issue will rest on whether Michael Brown’s privacy rights extend beyond his death. The decision will come down some time in the future.
After reading the news reports that Brown had a clean record, it appeared the case was over. There was no there there but then I went to GotNews.
Editor Johnson wrote that two law enforcement sources told him “Michael Brown was involved in a second degree murder and was a gang member. I tweeted it, filed a sunshine request, and was denied. My counsel John Burns and I filed suit.”
There is disagreement about what took place during today’s hearing between Mr. Johnson and the Disptach reporter.
Johnson further wrote, “The St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrongly reported that Cynthia Harcourt, who represents the St. Louis family court, said that Michael Brown had not been convicted of a “serious felony.” (No reporter has asked her what a “serious felony” even means.)”.
GotNews never said Brown was convicted of a second degree murder – only that he was involved.
As Mr. Johnson said, there are many ways a person can be involved in a crime but never charged with the actual offense.
Also a fact is that juveniles especially are allowed to plea down and even escape first offenses completely.
Got News also found that Brown’s stepfather, Louis Head, has a “long rap sheet that includes gang activity.”
The truth needs to be known. If the records reveal nothing, then why not release them? It’s illogical to hide them. Sealed records are routinely opened after a person’s death in the case of a serious crime.
Mr. Johnson, pictured above, tweeted this Wednesday:
I can’t believe a CNN reporter asked me why I wanted 2 know if #MichaelBrown had been charged. Don’t reporters report when people r charged?
The answer is no, they don’t. Investigative reporting is dead.
Charles Johnson started Got News because he “seeks to transform journalism by empowering everyday people, experts, and sources to break news and make money.”
“I invite you to join the revolution and change the world,” says Johnson.
It takes courage to join. I hope his IRS returns are in order.
Update: A liberal blogger named @ShaunKing is attacking Mr. Johnson with some libelous statements. He accused him of being a child molester and then removed the information, possibly because he realized he had the wrong man. Then he accused him of paying the man who lied and said the McDaniel campaign paid Democratic voters to vote for him. However, he said it as fact and there are no such facts offered. The statements appear to be libelous.