#Ferguson: Pharrell Williams Calls Brown’s Actions “Bullyish”

#Ferguson: Pharrell Williams Calls Brown’s Actions “Bullyish”

#Ferguson: Pharrell Williams Calls Brown’s Actions “Bullyish”

Like so many entertainers and celebrities, Pharrell Williams of “Happy” fame has decided to weigh in on Ferguson. In an interview with Ebony Magazine, the singer made a rather pointed comment about Michael Brown’s actions.

EBONY: Did you see the video allegedly showing Michael Brown stealing from a convenience store minutes before his death?
WILLIAMS: It looked very bully-ish; that in itself I had a problem with. Not with the kid, but with whatever happened in his life for him to arrive at a place where that behavior is OK. Why aren’t we talking about that?

Good question, Pharrell.

Singer Pharrell Williams
Singer Pharrell Williams
The interviewer went on to say that they “almost hear the gnashing of Bill Cosby’s teeth” when this comes up. (Although mentioning Bill Cosby at the moment is extremely problematic.)

Pharrell then completely tempers his comments by immediately following up with his belief that Officer Darren Wilson should go to jail anyway, because, well…. read it for yourself.

I believe that Ferguson officer should be punished and serve time. He used excessive force on a human being who was merely a child. He was a baby, man. The boy was walking in the middle of the street when the police supposedly told him to “get the f–k on the sidewalk.” If you don’t listen to that, after just having pushed a storeowner, you’re asking for trouble. But you’re not asking to be killed. Some of these youth feel hunted and preyed upon, and that’s why that officer needs to be punished.

Pharrell is trying to have it both ways, and it’s not possible. On the one hand, he acknowledges that Brown committed a robbery before his confrontation with Officer Wilson, and asks a question that others have brought up – why did Brown feel like he could shoplift, rough up the storeowner (elevating his crime from shoplifting to strong-armed robbery), and then take on a police officer right after that? Apparently it would be insensitive and/or racist to ask his parents this question. So, credit where it is due to Pharrell for bringing it up.

The problem, though, is then Pharrell wants to call Michael Brown a “baby” who was gunned down by a police officer who used “excessive force.” I don’t know many babies who are 6’4″ and nearly 300 pounds. That’s the size of an NFL linebacker, not a “baby.” Also, I’ve noticed that 18 year olds generally resent being referred to as “babies.”

So, Pharrell, think about this. A guy who has the height and weight of a NFL player has just punched you in the face, tried to grab your gun, and is now running straight at you. Michael Brown, who had just committed a robbery, was “merely a child”? He was a “baby”? In that moment, what should Officer Wilson have done? A man who outweighs him by 100 pounds is running right at him. You may want to make both Brown and Officer Wilson mutual aggressors in this case, but by even acknowledging that Brown’s actions brought about the events that let to his death, you introduce the reasonable supposition that Officer Wilson just might have been justified in his actions.

And that’s without reference the fact that Brown was quite baked. His Delta-9-THC levels in the toxicology report were at 12 nanograms per milliliter, which the report notes “defines impairment.” To put that in context, in Washington state, where marijuana use is legal, a person can be arrested for DUI if their THC level is at 5 nanograms per milliliter or higher. Brown’s levels are over twice that limit.

I would also invite Pharrell (and anyone else, for that matter), to read the now-available grand jury documents if they actually want to be more informed about the case, instead of just repeating what they have seen on TV or read on Twitter. Specifically, Witness 10. All the identifying references have been redacted, but once you read that particular testimony (given on August 11, only two days after the shooting), I don’t know how anyone can keep believing the “hands up” myth.

Witness 10: He’s running in the middle of the street at like, at a slant um and the it will be the first driveway on the left from the squad car that he was-he was turned. ..about to make a turn like he was gonna go into the driveway. Actually, he did turn into that first driveway and then he stopped and came back towards. . .by this time the police officer was out of his car with the gun drawn
and afterwards he stopped and came towards the police officer.

Detective: Okay. So, Michael Brown stops, he turns around, correct?

Witness 10: Uh huh.

Detective: And where are his hands at at that point, do you know?

Witness 10: Um, I know for sure they weren’t above his head.

Detective: Okay. Okay, so let’s go back to the officer is chasing after or approaching Brown, right?

Witness 10: Uh huh.

Detective: Brown stops, turns around, and just so I’m clear what happens at that point then? You’re at the point where Mr. Brown stops, turns

Witness 10: Uh huh. He stops; he turns around… he turns around, he does some body gesture, and I’m thinkin’ he pulled his shorts up. I can’t really recall on what all happened. All I know is I seen the body gesture. I mostly seen it in the upper body. Um, after that he began to run
at the police officer.

Detective: Okay. And, where were a where were Michael Brown’s hands when he’s. . .you said he does this thing with his-with his pants right?

Witness 10: Yeah.

Detective: Or something. Um, what does he do after he does that?

Witness 10: He runs. He’s at a charging motion.

Detective: Okay. And, where are his hands at that time, do you know?

Witness 10: Um, I’m not sure where his hands was at that time. A, all I know is that I’m seeing him coming at a aggressive, um, speed and just in a charge mode towards the police officer.

Detective: Is the a trot, or is it a jog, or is it a full out.

Witness 10: No, it’s a full out. . .I’m comin’ charge full-blown at you try to get to ya.

Detective: Okay. And, so a the officer fires, a, the first shot when-when he’s how far away?

Witness 10: Um, ten yards.

The entire witness statement is absolutely compelling reading. Everyone should read it for themselves. And maybe if everyone did, we’d have a few more Pharrells willing to acknowledge that Michael Brown’s actions were “bullyish,” and we’d have some more honest people willing to step up and say that an 18 year old, who was 6’4″ and nearly 300 pounds, was not a “baby” or a “child,” but a young man who believed that he could get away with robbery and assaulting a police officer. He used his size and strength in order to exert his dominance over other people. I don’t know about Pharrell, but I tell my children that that is one of the definitions of a bully. We can leave the “ish” out of it.

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3 Comments
  • Kim Quade says:

    The drug issue is one I bately hear mentioned. When I hear the Wilson apologists ask “Why would he charge at a policeman?” I find myself yelling at the TV “Because he was hopped-up on weed, you idiot!”

  • Brat says:

    This is the only place I have read about the toxicology….thanks…and no, Brown was no “baby”…..

  • Appalled By The World says:

    If that was a baby then it must have been one hell of a birth. I guess we should be thankful he didn’t call him an angel or a saint-although he will quickly become the latter in the Left’s Hall of Oppressed Martyrs if they ever erect one on the ruins of Ferguson.

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