In 2011, Ferguson Police Sergeant William Mudd thought it would be hilarious to send this email around to his friends from his taxpayer-funded email account while on the taxpayer's dime:
A May 2011 email stated: “An African-American woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital for a pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers.’”
Mudd was also the sergeant Darren Wilson called right after he shot Michael Brown, and was a key Grand Jury witness in Wilson's defense.
And now, he's fired.
STLAmerican reports that Mudd's testimony was some of the most important to cover Wilson's account, and even embellished what he told investigators on the day of the shooting.
Eventually, [Assistant Prosecutor Sheila Whirley] came back to something Mudd had said earlier under questioning by Alizadeh. He had testified that, according to Wilson, Brown taunted Wilson that the cop was “too much of a pussy” to shoot him.
“This is the first time we heard about ‘too much of a pussy to shoot me’,” Whirley said. In his previous recorded statement to the FBI, Mudd did not include that detail.
“I recalled that since my recorded statement,” Mudd said, explaining that he recorded his statement to the FBI in the heat of August protests when he “was working 12-plus hours a day.”
Mudd’s assumptions and expectations about the black community, and how they might lead him to email a joke about abortion stopping crime in the black community, remain veiled in his grand jury testimony. But his assumptions and expectations about use of lethal force as a police supervisor come through loud and clear.
Whirley recalled something Mudd said in his recorded statement to the FBI about being required, as Wilson’s supervisor, to ask him “stupid questions” about how the officer might have prevented killing the teenager.
“This question is not meant as any disrespect,” Whirley said, “but your recorded statement you said that, um, you have to ask stupid questions like how this could be prevented?”
“I'm sorry?” Mudd responded, either confused or needing a moment to frame an answer.
“In your recorded statement,” Whirley repeated, “you said that you are required to ask officers stupid questions like how could this incident prevented?”
“That's on the injury report,” Mudd responded – going no further than identifying where he is asked the question, without explaining why he thinks the question is “stupid.”
For once, the prosecutor kept going.
“You feel that's a stupid question,” Whirley asked, “because you feel your officers don't have any other choice?”
“Correct,” Mudd answered.
“When you are in that kind of situation?” the prosecutor added.
Then Mudd laid bare his professional opinion of the justified use of lethal force: “When you are physically attacked unprovoked, I believe ‘how could he prevent this?’ is a stupid question.”
The assumption is that once an officer has been attacked without provocation – as Wilson and Mudd claim Brown attacked Wilson through the window of the police car – it’s “stupid” to ask what the cop can do to prevent killing his assailant. It was stupid, Wilson’s supervisor thought, to ask Wilson what he could have done to prevent killing Michael Brown Jr.
So, let's review. Darren Wilson's direct superior was Sgt. William Mudd. Mudd thought sending around an email joking about black babies being born black criminals. Hilarious.
My recollection here from the Grand Jury transcripts is that Wilson's supervisor was directly involved in spiriting him away from the crime scene with his gun, which he took back to the station and put in a paper bag. Anyone want to have a look at those transcripts and see if I'm right?
Is it any wonder that Darren Wilson got off scot-free when his supervisor was doing everything he could to cover for him? There was no real investigation to speak of. The criminalist didn't have batteries in the camera and couldn't be bothered to take measurements or pictures, so the only real forensic evidence they had was autopsy evidence, which is incomplete.
This police department should be disbanded sooner rather than later.