Elon Musk: Check out the merch closet at Twitter (plus the Ferguson tweet)

Anyone who has been on Twitter for the last 7-8 years will not faint in shock at this discovery at Twitter HQ.

Jordan Peterson called it predictable and he’s right.

Others see it as Elon capturing an enemy flag in a sense.

Naturally there are also some defending this as if everyone should own one of these.

MSNBC’s Stephanie Rule sees this as part of a plot to control people’s minds or something.

Someone pointed out that black employees at Twitter were selling shirts similar to this back in 2016, though the ones Elon is holding up look slightly different.

In any case, the good news is that most of the people who were selling these/buying these are probably gone already.

Musk followed the video up with another tweet which really set people off.

He deleted it a few minutes later and replaced it with a tweet that just has a link to the DOJ report on Ferguson. Not sure why he did that but I have a few guesses which I’ll share in a moment.

Musk is correct that after weeks of misinformation spread by activists and the media, the Obama DOJ report knocked down most of the bogus stories about Ferguson including but not limited to “Hands up don’t shoot.” Mike Brown did not surrender at any point. He fought with the officer for his gun and then after two shots were fired he ran away, stopped and turned and then charged at the officer. There were other false claims that Mike Brown was shot in the back (i.e. while running away), that he was on his knees surrendering when shot, that he never charged at the officer. All of these claims were undercut by the DOJ report. I’m going to use a longer excerpt, partly because as soon as this was released the media mostly stopped talking about it.

The evidence does not support concluding that Wilson shot Brown while Brown’s back was toward Wilson. Witnesses, such as Witness 118, Witness 128, Witness 139 and others, who claim to have seen Wilson fire directly into Brown’s back, gave accounts that lack credibility because the physical evidence establishes that there were no entry wounds to Brown’s back, although there was a wound to the anatomical back of Brown’s right arm, and a graze wound to Brown’s right arm. Also, other witnesses who say that Wilson fired at Brown as he ran have given accounts that are not credible because significant aspects of their statements are irreconcilable with the physical evidence, such as Witness 101 and 127, whose statements are suspect for the reasons noted above. Similarly, Witness 124 claims to have seen Wilson following behind Brown while steadily firing at him. However, Witness 124 dramatically changed her accounts of what she saw between the time of her first statement to the SLCPD and second statement to the FBI. She refused to meet with the federal prosecutors to clarify her varying accounts. Also, her account was dramatically different from that of her husband, Witness 115, who was standing next to her during the incident. Witness 115 stated that he thought he saw Wilson fire once at Brown as he was running away, but other aspects of his account lack credibility for the reasons set forth above, i.e. he did not witness significant parts of the shooting and based parts of his account on assumption. Witnesses 128 and 137 initially claimed that Wilson fired at Brown while he was running away, but then acknowledged that they did not see what Wilson and Brown were doing at this point and thus do not know whether Wilson fired at Brown as he was running away. Witnesses 105 and 106 thought they saw Wilson fire at Brown as he was running, but describe seeing Brown hit in the leg and back in a manner that does not match the autopsy findings. Accordingly, there is no credible evidence that establishes that Wilson fired at or struck Brown’s back as Brown fled…

The evidence establishes that the shots fired by Wilson after Brown turned around were in self-defense and thus were not objectively unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment. The physical evidence establishes that after he ran about 180 feet away from the SUV, Brown turned and faced Wilson, then moved toward Wilson until Wilson finally shot him in the head and killed him. According to Wilson, Brown balled or clenched his fists and “charged” forward, ignoring commands to stop. Knowing that Brown was much larger than him and that he had previously attempted to overpower him and take his gun, Wilson stated that he feared for his safety and fired at Brown. Again, even Witness 101’s account supports this perception. Brown then reached toward his waistband, causing Wilson to fear that Brown was reaching for a weapon. Wilson stated that he continued to fear for his safety at this point and fired at Brown again. Wilson finally shot Brown in the head as he was falling or lunging forward, after which Brown immediately fell to the ground. Wilson did not fire any additional shots. Wilson’s version of events is corroborated by the physical evidence that indicates that Brown moved forward toward Wilson after he ran from the SUV, by the fact that Brown went to the ground with his left hand at (although not inside) his waistband, and by credible eyewitness accounts.

Wilson’s version is further supported by disinterested eyewitnesses Witness 102, Witness 104, Witness 105, Witness 108, and Witness 109, among others. These witnesses all agree that Brown ran or charged toward Wilson and that Wilson shot at Brown only as Brown moved toward him. Although some of the witnesses stated that Brown briefly had his hands up or out at about waist-level, none of these witnesses perceived Brown to be attempting to surrender at any point when Wilson fired upon him. To the contrary, several of these witnesses stated that they would have felt threatened by Brown and would have responded in the same way Wilson did. For example, Witness 104 stated that as Wilson ran after Brown yelling “stop, stop, stop,” Brown finally turned around and raised his hands “for a second.” However, Brown then immediately balled his hands into fists and “charged” at Wilson in a “tackle run.” Witness 104 stated that Wilson fired only when Brown moved toward him and that she “would have fired sooner.”

Furthermore, there are no witnesses who could testify credibly that Wilson shot Brown while Brown was clearly attempting to surrender. The accounts of the witnesses who have claimed that Brown raised his hands above his head to surrender and said “I don’t have a gun,” or “okay, okay, okay” are inconsistent with the physical evidence or can be challenged in other material ways, and thus cannot be relied upon to form the foundation of a federal prosecution.28

And that brings us to footnote 28 in the report which states, “The media has widely reported that there is witness testimony that Brown said ‘don’t shoot’ as he held his hands above his head. In fact, our investigation did not reveal any eyewitness who stated that Brown said ‘don’t shoot.’” In other words, it was completely made up. But for years afterwards protesters would still chant this on occasion.

As for the claim that the officer was exonerated, that’s basically accurate. He was absolved of guilt by the DOJ for the shooting:

When the shootings are viewed, as they must be, in light of all the surrounding circumstances and what Wilson knew at the time, as established by the credible physical evidence and eyewitness testimony, it was not unreasonable for Wilson to fire on Brown until he stopped moving forward and was clearly subdued. Although, with hindsight, we know that  Brown was not armed with a gun or other weapon, this fact does not render Wilson’s use of deadly force objectively unreasonable. Again, the key question is whether Brown could reasonably have been perceived to pose a deadly threat to Wilson at the time he shot him regardless of whether Brown was armed. Sufficient credible evidence supports Wilson’s claim that he reasonably perceived Brown to be posing a deadly threat…

For all of the reasons stated, Wilson’s conduct in shooting Brown as he advanced on Wilson, and until he fell to the ground, was not objectively unreasonable and thus not a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242.

So Elon is correct that the DOJ report pretty much corroborated the officer’s account and exonerated him. And he’s correct that “Hands up, don’t shoot,” despite becoming a major fixation for the media, was made up as were the claims Brown had tried to surrender, etc. So why delete the tweet?

I think there are three possibilities. First, it’s true that the hashtag Black Lives Matter got started with the Trayvon Martin case and with this case but I’m not sure about the exact timing of the #StayWoke hashtag of these particular T-shirts. My recall is that Deray McKesson helped popularize this hashtag but I may be wrong. Second, there was another part of the DOJ investigation into Ferguson which did find evidence of racist behavior in the department. Maybe Musk thought his tweet would be seen as too broadly dismissive, though I think it’s clear he was talking about the shooting of Mike Brown, not the city as a whole. Third, Musk owns other companies besides Twitter. Tesla has been sued over racist behavior at its California factory. So, even though this tweet was basically accurate, he may not want to hand attorneys another stick they can beat him with in court. He did leave the link up but I don’t think there’s much to argue about there which is why the left is giving a lot of shocked but non-specific reactions like this one:

The left is so wedded to the false narratives surrounding Ferguson that they insist on being wrong even when the evidence says otherwise. Here’s how Gizmodo is reporting on this today:

The killing of Brown and refusal of local authorities to charge the police officer who shot him, Darren Wilson, set off heated protests in the summer of 2014 and helped shine a national spotlight on the epidemic of police killing unarmed Black people. The militarized crackdown on protest that summer was ruthless, to say the least. And none of those facts were fiction.

But one of the rallying cries from the movement, “hands up don’t shoot,” was picked apart incessantly by right-wing pundits who sought to exonerate the police officer, much like Musk is still doing today. Witnesses to the shooting claimed Brown had his hands up, though the U.S. Department of Justice investigators didn’t find this credible. Wilson, who shot Brown at least six times, claimed that Brown had charged at him and the shooting was in self-defense.

Go back and read the excerpt above. There’s no evidence Brown raised his hands above his waist or ever tried to surrender. As for “don’t shoot” let me quote footnote 28 again, just for Gizmodo: “The media has widely reported that there is witness testimony that Brown said ‘don’t shoot’ as he held his hands above his head. In fact, our investigation did not reveal any eyewitness who stated that Brown said ‘don’t shoot.’” It did not happen. Here’s the very next line from Gizmodo’s story: “Gizmodo isn’t going to relitigate what happened in 2014.” That’s probably because there’s not much they can say.

So that’s what we’re going to get today. People are angry at Elon Musk for (accurately) noting that something the left was heavily invested in for a time never actually happened.



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