Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart admitted he had a change of heart and regretted supporting the “Hands up, don’t shoot” rallying cry.
According to The New York Post, Capehart wrote in his column that the mantra “was built on a lie.” He realized the movement was a myth after the Justice Department released its report that “corrected the record” of the Ferguson incident that involved the death of a black teen, Michael Brown, in a police-related shooting by a white officer, Darren Wilson.
“They have also forced me to deal with two uncomfortable truths: Brown never surrendered with his hands up, and Wilson was justified in shooting Brown,” Capehart wrote in the March 16 Washington Post column.
“Through exhaustive interviews with witnesses, cross-checking their statements with previous statements to authorities and the media, ballistics, DNA evidence and results from three autopsies, the Justice Department was able to present a credible and troubling picture of what happened on Canfield Drive,” he said.
In another report, the Justice Department described evidence outlining a history of abuse against African-American citizens by the Ferguson Police Department. While Capehart recognized the injustices, he felt that Brown was not the right “symbol” to represent the racial unrest in the city.
In the Washington Post column, Capehart highlighted three crucial pieces of evidence proving Brown was less innocent than portrayed.
First, he noted that Brown punched and grabbed Wilson in the car. Next, he pointed out that Brown fought to get control of the officer’s gun. Thirdly, eyewitnesses stated Brown lowered his hands and charged at Wilson before the officer fired at him.
“Yet this does not diminish the importance of the real issues unearthed in Ferguson by Brown’s death,” Capehart wrote. “Nor does it discredit what has become the larger ‘Black Lives Matter.’”
He finished by stating, “We must never allow ourselves to march under the banner of a false narrative. And when we discover that we have, we must acknowledge it, admit our error and keep on marching.”