A tale of two Michael Browns who were shot and killed by Missouri police

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by Howard Portnoy

“I don’t know what happened in Ferguson, Mo., between the cop and the kid. And neither do you.” So begins a piece at National Review Online by one-time liberal and CBS reporter-turned cynic Bernard Goldberg. “When I covered hard news,” he continues, “I saw cops who crossed the line and I saw kids who started trouble. So let’s not jump to conclusions.”

But what do you think the reaction in Ferguson would have been if the kid who got shot had been black and so was the cop? Or if the kid was white and the cop was black — or white? Do you think there would have been demonstrations and riots and an onslaught of national media?

It’s a reasonable point of speculation … possibly more reasonable than Goldberg knows. Just yesterday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch carried the story of an unarmed white man named Michael Brown who was gunned down by police in a small Missouri town. This particular shooting occurred in 2005 in the town of Troy. Brown was 23.

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