PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The FBI has completed its investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown by now former Ferguson, Missouri Police Officer Darren Wilson and has decided against any federal indictments.
Former Judge and Fox News Channel Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano told WPHT midday host Dom Giordano the theory about why the FBI had to investigate it and why their conclusion is a good thing.
“When there is an allegation of lethal government force based on race, even if the allegation is not of serious nature, the Feds still have to investigate it. That is at least, the theory of the Civil Rights Act of ’64, which was written in large measure to remove race from the government’s decision making powers. So, the fact that Ferguson police department, and Officer Wilson specifically, was investigated by the Feds and now exonerated is actually a good thing, because it brings finality to this at least on the criminal side. If the Feds had said, ‘Oh we’re not going to investigate,’ there would always be that, ‘Well, why are you not going to investigate? What are you trying to cover up?’”
Napolitano goes on to say that it if the FBI had charged Officer Wilson after their investigation it would have been easier to convict him than if he had been charged after the grand jury.
“In the case of the grand jury, they are just looking at some degree of homicide, and to prove that you only have to prove the excessive use of force. The feds would be looking at conspiracy. They would be looking at an agreement amongst police officers there at the scene or not there at the scene to use their powers against the populace based on race. That is a much lower standard, and it is easier to prove.”
Even though he feels that the cases should not have anything to do with each other, Napolitano suspects that this conclusion by the FBI, “does not look good” for Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the officer involved in the death of Eric Garner in Long Island.
“Politics often drive prosecutions. It shouldn’t, but it does. Wilson gets off, the Feds are going to look bad. The Feds have a constituency which is represented very loudly and effectively by Al Sharpton. They’re going to want that constituency to have some gratification, and it will probably be Officer Pantaleo in the defendant’s chair.”