Months ago, I received the following email from many well-meaning friends and relatives who I’m sure thought they were setting the record straight:
Our good friend and neighbor who sent this is a retired homicide detective with the Philadelphia Police Dept.
Subject: Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson MO Police Department
Here’s what that poor little child did to that mean old policeman……Why isn’t the media releasing the photos of Police Officer Darren Wilson’s injuries after he was assaulted by “the unarmed black teenager”?
He was punched in the face before he emptied his weapon into the drugged and“unarmed teenager”—here is what a broken eye socket looks like:
At the time, I responded with the following message:
I don’t know how severe Officer Wilson’s injuries were, but CNN has reported that the claims of a broken eye socket were false. In addition, this photo is of a guy in a motorcycle wreck who landed on his face, so I don’t think we can say this is what Officer Wilson’s injuries look like. It’s certainly not Officer Wilson in the photo, despite the misleading claim otherwise.
This isn’t a comment on anything in the situation, just saying it’s important to not form opinions based on misinformation.
Well, now we know what Officer Wilson’s injuries were documented to be. Here they are:
Now, I’m not saying these injuries aren’t severe; maybe you think they are. However, they surely don’t look anything like the pictures in the email I received over and over. If you would like to learn more about Officer Wilson’s testimony to the grand jury, you can read a summary here
In general, if you ever receive an email that is a forward from someone that didn’t personally write the email being sent, assume that everything in it is false; it usually is. Certainly don’t pass it along to others just because the sentiment sounds good or seems like it’s probably ok. The people who craft these lies do so in the hopes that you will read it, internalize it, and use it as the basis for your future opinions even if you later find out it’s false. Don’t let them manipulate you in that way.