The updates to the Michael Brown shooting case out of Ferguson, Missouri, are coming as fast and furiously as an angered web of people without true journalism research and patience to uncover the correct story on August 16. As soon as the name of Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department was released as the police officer who shot Brown, Internet sleuths began their research of Google Images to turn up potential photos of the man to determine if he indeed a black man.
“Ferguson Cop: He’s Bla-ack,” screamed the headline of an article on the website called The Blacksphere, which enjoyed more than 6,200 Facebook likes, 1,300 Facebook shares and several other shares on social networking sites. Alas, the black man pictured is reportedly not Darren Wilson. “We are removing this story, since we are told that this is NOT the same Darren Wilson. Efforts are being made to find the correct Darren Wilson.
"That said, I still believe this cop is black,” wrote author Kevin Jackson, whose article is still live as of this writing. The name certainly sounds as if it could be of African-American origin, which is no doubt why Google Trends is filled with searches for any image related to Darren Wilson of the Ferguson police.
Indeed, the release of a multitude of surveillance photos showing an overweight suspect robbing a convenience store of cigars have brought questions from some in the general public over why the information wasn’t released earlier, despite the objections of the DOJ. The nation seems at odds over the purported image of complete innocence initially released to the public surrounding the aura of the unarmed black teenager contrasted against the violent, threatening robbery images, while others are calling the news that came in the wake of the video’s release a smear campaign.
And yet, the Googling public also still tries to uncover the true photos of the cop to determine if he is black or white. It matters, as if to surmise that if Wilson is indeed African American, the assumption might be made that he didn’t act in a prejudicial manner. Meanwhile, the Yahoo article titled “Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson earned police honor before shooting” is gaining lots of attention, because it speaks of Darren’s father John Wilson posting Facebook updates asking for their family to be covered in prayers of protection during this difficult time.