Robert Tracinski writes,
The early reports were very clear that Michael Brown was a good, kind-hearted young man bound for college, that the shooting was totally unprovoked, that he was shot multiple times in the back, that he was executed in cold blood. Then the evidence, as it emerged, knocked down each of these claims one by one.
Cases involving the use of force tend to be messy, and getting at the facts is difficult. It requires a lot of sorting of competing claims, cross-examination and confrontation of witnesses, and a thorough review of the physical evidence, which often refutes the eyewitness testimony.
Here are his rules of thumb for future cases:
- It’s not a story until there are facts (and claims aren’t facts).
- Forensics is a science.
- People are individuals, not symbols.
- Legal procedures and privileges exist for a reason.
- You are not the story.
I'm especially fond of #3 and #4.