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CNN’s Van Jones: Ferguson Decision a ‘Farce’

On Monday night, CNN contributor Van Jones tweeted what much of Black America seemed to be thinking about the grand jury decision in Ferguson.

“This entire process was a farce, inside of a cruel joke, wrapped up by an insult,” Jones repeated during a phone interview on Tuesday. “That’s what I think about it. From beginning to end, a classic, blatant brazen case of a police coverup in broad daylight. Anybody who knows anything about the criminal justice system knows that this is tragic.”

After months of deliberation, the grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown.

“it shouldn’t have gone to grand jury,” Jones insists. “The prosecutor should have charged Darren Wilson with manslaughter at minimum based on facts. There was an unarmed kid gunned down by a police officer and there were multiple witnesses.”

And Jones isn’t buying Wilson’s testimony, which he provided to the grand jury.

“The officer’s story is completely made up. He doesn’t write a [police] report until a month later? He writes a report to spin the facts. He found the facts, then wrote the report,” he suggests. “So of course, months later, everything lines up because you had all the facts. You knew where you had to say you were standing for it to all make sense … It’s a textbook open-and-close police coverup of an unjustified shooting. And the way they put it together, it wouldn’t even work in Hollywood.”

Although the controversial decision was made Monday afternoon, officials waited until nightfall to publicly announce the outcome. And protests-both peaceful and violent-erupted across the country.

Jones was on the scene and on air in Ferguson throughout the chaos.

“I hate to admit that I expected the police to have a better handle on things, but the police just botched this from beginning to end,” he said. “I was tear gassed. I couldn’t see, I couldn’t breathe. I was screaming for help and I can’t figure out why we’re even there that late at night when this could have been announced at noon. I can’t figure out why there are literally tear gassing reporters on live television in the United States of America. I can’t figure out why there are flash bang grenades being lobbed over my head at protestors who are trying to carry injured people toward the police for help.”

At the height of the demonstrations, Jones estimated there were probably about 700 to 800 people in the streets.

“And maybe 25 of them were knuckleheads causing all kinds of problems,” he says. “Seven hundred were angry, but they were showing restraint. The problem is that the knuckleheads were so aggressive and nuts, that the police decided not to make any distinction between them or anyone else.”

Websites such as FergusonAction.com and JusticeforMikeBrown.org are providing peaceful alternatives to rioting in the streets. Jones, however, believes a more tech-savvy approach may be the solution.

“I’ve been focusing on this organization called YesWeCode.org to try to teach our young people about computer science and ways to be a part of the innovation economy because nobody’s coming to help us,” he says. “Let’s become a part of this whole Silicon Valley revolution and start building our own Yahoos and our own Facebooks, our own Twitters and maybe that’s a way out.”