Sharyl Attkisson Fact-Checks 2020 Democrats Over The ‘Murder’ Of Michael Brown

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson fired back at Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren over a tweet memorializing the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Brown’s death on August 9, 2014, at the hands of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, sparked nationwide protests as the public seized on later-debunked claims that Brown had thrown up his hands in surrender prior to Wilson shooting him. (RELATED: Holder Admits ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Claim Was Bogus)

Hands up, don’t shoot!” became the rallying cry that persisted in spite of a local investigation and a follow-up inquiry by President Barack Obama’s Justice Department that both determined Brown likely charged toward officer Wilson prior to being shot.

Warren tweeted on the fifth anniversary of the shooting, “5 years ago Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael was unarmed yet he was shot 6 times. I stand with activists and organizers who continue the fight for justice for Michael. We must confront systemic racism and police violence head on.”

Attkisson was quick to deliver a fact-check on Warren’s tweet, complete with excerpts from the report compiled by Obama’s DOJ. “With respect, this is false — and a persistent misconception. The Obama Justice Dept. ultimately determined Brown was *not* ‘murdered’ and ‘likely did not have his hands up’ when shot. The Obama Justice Dept. declined to charge the officer with anything,” she began.

Attkisson also noted that the investigation had determined that Brown likely had, as Officer Wilson had claimed, reached into the vehicle to grab him. DNA evidence supported the idea that Brown has physically assaulted Wilson, but not the other way around. (RELATED: They ‘Put Targets On Our Backs’: Houston Police Union President Takes Aim At ‘Talking Heads’ In Media)

Attkisson also pointed out that media coverage had facilitated the lie, at least for a time, before picking up on the results of the DOJ investigation.

“It’s not to say there aren’t issues of racism and/or bad policing, of course there are. But it is inaccurate to use Michael Brown as an example, according to the Obama Justice Dept,” Attkisson concluded.

Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume joined Attkisson in calling out the Massachusetts senator, adding, “I don’t know which is worse: that she still believes this, or that she knows it’s false and says it anyway.”

But Warren was not the only 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful to seize on the anniversary of Brown’s death to make political points about police violence or racism.

Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker focused his attention on another point of contention: the number of hours it took police to remove Brown’s body from the scene.

In spite of the conclusions reached by both the local investigation and the inquiry undertaken by Obama’s Justice Department, Michael Brown Sr. demanded Friday that St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell reopen the investigation.